Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot
Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.
A federal appeals court struck down Virginia’s anti-sodomy law on Tuesday, a decade after the U.S. Supreme Court banned laws prohibiting sex between consenting adults. Judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond held that the state’s “crimes against nature” law was unconstitutional in light of the high court’s 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas.
The Virginia decision is a clear civil rights win — such laws often target gays and lesbians – but has semi-unsavory origins. The appeal originated in a 2005 case in which a 47-year-old man was convicted of soliciting a 17-year-old girl for sex. The girl refused and reported the incident to police, resulting in a “crimes against nature” charge.
As reported by the Richmond Times Dispatch:
MacDonald appealed his convictions to the Virginia Court of Appeals arguing that Virginia’s anti-sodomy provision was invalid so far as it relates to consensual sodomy between unrelated people who have reached the age of consent.
The state appeals court, however, turned him down and noted that MacDonald had convictions for violating Virginia’s anti-sodomy provision — twice each with two young women who were 16 and 17 years old…
MacDonald appealed to U.S. District Court where, among other things, the judge ruled that because Virginia had properly treated the 17-year-olds as children, the anti-sodomy provision was constitutional as it applied to him… The majority opinion in the 4th Circuit on Tuesday held that the Virginia law is invalid and, therefore, cannot serve as the predicate felony for the criminal solicitation charge for which MacDonald was convicted. The panel reversed the lower court judge.
Glenberg said Virginia can and should punish adults who have sexual relations with minors, but the state cannot use an unconstitutional law to do so.
The court noted that Virginia law currently prohibits adults from soliciting sodomy from anyone under age 15, and if the state should amend that law to extend to older minors, they are “entitled to do so.”
Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China
Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti
“Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA
Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.
Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada
Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway
Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.
Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.
Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million
Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.
Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon
Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.
Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico
Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.
Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.