Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The burning season – complex and costly


Editor's note

The massive Carr Fire in Shasta County, California, has burned roughly 100,000 acres and is so large that it reportedly is creating its own internal weather systems. Dozens more major fires are also burning across the West. Cassandra Moseley, associate vice president for research at the University of Oregon, unravels the intertwined factors that are creating textbook conditions for large, complex and costly wildfires during an expanding fire season.

When historians Febe Armanios and Boğaç Ergene were conducting research for their book, “Halal Food: A History,” they noticed that some Muslims had become more fixated on healthy, ethical eating. Interestingly, these Muslims had found inspiration for changing their eating habits in the Quran. Armanios and Ergene explore how this has led to shifting interpretation of what is and isn’t halal – and how the American halal food market has responded.

In a Gallup survey, 45 percent of Americans said they believe the news is strongly biased towards a particular political party. But how biased is the media, really? One study found that Republican politicians received more than two times the mentions as Democrats in two leading newspapers, but media scholar Dominik Stecula explains why that statistic is not the best way to measure media bias.

Jennifer Weeks

Environment + Energy Editor

Top stories

The Carr Fire tears through Shasta, California, July 26, 2018. AP Photo/Noah Berger

A perfect storm of factors is making wildfires bigger and more expensive to control

Cassandra Moseley, University of Oregon

Climate change, development, past forest management policies and current firefighting practices are creating conditions for large, costly wildfires.

For many non-Muslims, the fast food carts that line the streets of New York City and San Francisco are their primary point of contact with halal foods. Guian Bolisay

For many Muslim grocery shoppers, a shifting definition of ‘halal' 

Febe Armanios, Middlebury College; Boğaç Ergene, University of Vermont

The halal food sector largely relies on industrially produced meats and produce. But more and more Muslims are using the Quran to interpret halal to mean food that's wholesome and humanely raised.

It’s difficult to measure media bias. Lawrey/shutterstock.com

More Republicans in the news? That’s not media bias

Dominik Stecula, University of Pennsylvania

Nearly half of Americans say they see a great deal of bias in the news media. But the research on this subject is unresolved.

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