Bo Gardiner is an environmental analyst, naturalist, writer, and humanist/skeptic organizer. She's a former research hydrologist, EPA consultant, wildlife program director for a national NGO, and TV writer/producer. She holds a B.A. in communications and M.S. in environmental engineering sciences.
By now, you’ve probably heard about (and seen) the horrific shooting of reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward (below). The WDBJ-TV journalists were in the middle of conducting a live interview this morning when former employee Vester Lee Flanagan, who went by “Bryce Williams” on air, shot and killed them both. ABC is reporting that it received a 23-page fax from the shooter before he killed himself, in which he gives as his motivation the racism and homophobia he experienced as a gay black man and a directive to act from Jehovah (Flanagan was a Jehovah’s Witness): Read more
You’ve probably heard of the small conspiracy theory group that’s dedicated to spreading the news of an unimaginably elaborate hoax — supposedly the largest conspiracy ever perpetuated on humanity. The group, known as Electricists, claims that electricity is an invention of the government that doesn’t occur in nature and isn’t what “they” tell us. Read more
I’ve disagreed with Richard Dawkins before on his insensitivity to women, feminism, and majority privilege. Some of it he’s apologized for, so I’d like to think we’re starting to be heard. I know all too well from environmental campaigns the importance of acknowledging our successes. And thus, I part with my fellow Friendly Atheist contributor Lauren Nelson in her recent post, which struck out scathingly at Dawkins for the following single tweet: There is nothing wrong with those words. The question deserves answers, not attacks. Read more
Kylie Willey was suffering the agony of cancer and the sickness of chemotherapy when a friend told her of a true miracle. Sweet, young, and lovely fellow Australian Belle Gibson (below) had recently enchanted national media with her inspiring story of healing multiple terminal cancers by quitting chemotherapy and switching to things that feel “good and nurturing.” The 26-year-old’s holistic-lifestyle blog, book, and phone app, all titled The Whole Pantry, advised cancer patients to switch to yoga, meditation, colonics, oxygen therapy, craniosacral therapy (a type of energy-healing head massage), herbalism, and a diet free of dairy, gluten, preservatives, refined sugars, and GMOs. Read more
As Hemant reported the other day, many conservative leaders are scrambling to attribute the horrific Charleston massacre of nine African-Americans by a white racist to… anything but racism. First, a reminder of what we actually know of Dylann Roof’s motives: His Facebook page shows him in white supremacist emblems, a friend said he spoke of starting a race war, and shooting witnesses quoted him as saying, “I have to do it. You rape our women, and you are taking over our country. And you have to go.” There are, to my knowledge, no reports of his religious beliefs or lack thereof. With nearly 800 hate groups operating in the U.S., according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a majority of whom are white supremacist groups, it’s clear that the fight against racism in America has a long way to go. Read more