GOOD
Issue 39: The OGOD Issue

My Kid Is Freaking Out About The Future—And So Am I

When “everything is going to be okay” doesn’t cut it for either of us

A few months ago, while scrubbing my kitchen with Method soap and a natural sponge, I mentioned to my 7-year-old that I’d read an article predicting that the North Pole’s summer ice cover would melt through in the next year or so. It was an offhand comment, granted the same weight as any other tidbit of daily news: The North Pole is about to be unrecognizable. Your future is precarious. Oh, and we’re having tacos tonight. My son’s defining quality is that he cares a hell of a lot about pretty much everything. He put up his hands, drew a deep breath, and said: “Mom, when I’m president”—long exhale—“what are we going to do? There’s just too much to fix.”

Keep Reading
Articles

Yes, You Can Buy Happiness

With products that target ‘90s nostalgia, a writer makes a case for purchasing some peace of mind

Watching Selena Quintanilla per­form in the early ’90s was, for me, a religious experience. Her thick, brown hair formed a halo as she danced onstage singing “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” beaming into my living room with that magnetic smile and signature bedazzled bra—which I tried to replicate, although I had yet to reach puberty.

She was a popular Mexican- American Tejano singer from Corpus Christi, Texas. I was an 11-year-old immigrant from Iran living in Los Angeles and navigating an identity crisis. Witnessing her seamlessly blend dual cultures, in music and style, helped me come to terms with who I wanted to be. Though Selena died young—shot by a friend in 1995—her legacy helps me re­member who I had been: a shy junior high schooler who took comfort in creating distance from the outside world in order to recover from it. Listening to Selena now, I’m taken back to my childhood room, where I wrote bad poetry in my journal and choreographed dance routines to her songs, safe from anyone’s judg­ment but my own.

Keep Reading
Features

Trump Just Proposed $54 Billion In Military Spending—But Do We Need It?

Looking at the last three presidents’ military budgets

“Weak and ineffective.” Those are the words Donald Trump used to describe the U.S. military during his presidential campaign. As our commander in chief, he has vowed to bulk up defense with additional ships, troops, and aircraft. But are these traditional (read: outdated) methods what the world’s leading superpower really needs? For the past two decades, it’s been reliance on cyber defense and unmanned vehicles that have increased—not boots on the ground. But this may all change with Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, in which he has proposed a 10 percent increase in military spending. For now, here’s a more accurate view of how our current defense budget of $583 billion adds up.

Keep Reading
Articles

Inside A Covert Mission To Defeat Poachers In Nicaragua

Scientists and armed guards were about to trick thieves into revealing their criminal networks. Then Hurricane Otto showed up

At about the same moment I board a flight from Los Angeles to Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, a tropical cyclone is quietly forming over the southwestern Caribbean sea. My plan—which I detailed in the Winter issue of GOOD—is to join conservationists on a covert mission to trick sea turtle egg poachers into swiping hyper-realistic decoy eggs along with those containing GPS and Bluetooth tracking devices. If all goes smoothly, we’ll gain unprecedented insight into a vast, underground criminal network linked with a shadowy black market stretching from Central America to Asia.

But by the time I’m scheduled to land—around lunchtime on a tropical winter afternoon—the cyclone will have intensified into a full-blown hurricane. Though science journalism isn’t without some degree of risk, my biodiversity beat means I’m usually able to mitigate risks with a sufficient application of mosquito-killing DEET. I’m not a storm-chaser by either trade or personality; I’m an observer of creatures wilder than myself, under the supervision of expert scientists.

Keep Reading
Features