Tys Sweeney is a sophomore studying political science. Tys can be reached at tys.sweeney@tufts.edu.


Repeal and Replace: Hotung Café

Dear fellow students, I’ve never been a big fan of Hotung Café. It’s dark, the aluminum chairs make a terrible noise, the food isn’t unique enough to justify another Tufts Dining establishment next to the Commons Marketplace and I can’t use my meal swipes. Can’t we do better? Let’s repeal and replace Hotung Café. In 2010 […]


Pretty Lawns and Gardens: What is it with 2050?

Time horizons should never be conservative, generalized or arbitrary, but ambitious, specific and planned. This is why attempting to make our world economy carbon-neutral and green by 2050 bothers me. Why 2050? It’s a long way off, it’s clearly arbitrary and it’s hardly ambitious. But perhaps it’s fair — 30 years to transform an energy […]


Pretty Lawns and Gardens: Taking responsibility for traveling

Many Tufts students travel home by air for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, polluting the atmosphere in the process. Air travel can make up a significant portion of an individual’s carbon footprint — a round-trip flight to a city in Western Europe will cost about two tons of carbon dioxide — so what can we do about […]


Pretty Lawns and Gardens: The real problem with Bitcoin

I never bought into the Bitcoin hype, partly because I personally don’t believe the world is quite ready for the transition to a completely anational digital currency. But if you’ve read my column, you know I care about the intersection of environmental, political and financial issues. My issue with cryptocurrency extends beyond financial arguments. I […]


Pretty Lawns and Gardens: A case for charismatic megafauna

The case against the charismatic megafauna model for conservation is strong: Publicizing species such as elephants, lions and whales skews efforts to protect lesser-known or less attractive species, including many at-risk insects, plants and crustaceans. And this, in many ways, is very true. It’s often viewed as acceptable to spray a bee nest, while killing […]


Pretty Lawns and Gardens: The necessary response to ecological crime

The U.S. Department of the Interior protects vast tracts of land across the United States, preserving the pristine beauty of the North American continent for generations to come. Sort of. Only 28 percent of the land in our country is federally owned, and when it comes to protecting the rest of our nation’s beauty, our government often falls […]


Pretty Lawns and Gardens: Medford’s proposed bag ban does not go far enough

An Oct. 17 Daily article reported that Medford will likely be joining neighboring municipalities in implementing a partial plastic bag ban, affecting “thin film” plastic bags, by the end of the year. I’m always excited when a state or municipality takes the initiative to protect our environment, but in Medford’s case, I’m disappointed. Though it […]


Pretty Lawns and Gardens: Breaking down the UN climate report

Last week, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a shocking report on the impacts of global warming to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels — a diplomatically and scientifically relevant benchmark for global warming identified in the 2016 Paris Agreement. So what’s significant about the report? It’s the first report of its kind, […]


Pretty Lawns and Gardens: Where is the Kindle curve?

Amazon’s Kindle debuted in 2007. It was expensive and pretty ugly. Today, after more than a decade of development, the Kindle is an affordable and high-quality product, but I’ve always had a lingering question: Is the Kindle an environmentally sound option? In this week’s piece, I will investigate what it means to be environmentally sound, […]


Pretty Lawns and Gardens: The humanity in energy production

The arguments in favor of nuclear power are strong. We need plentiful low-cost, carbon-free energy to power our society and combat global warming. A shift to nuclear energy would tilt geopolitical power structures away from oil-producing nations and allow us to more easily address human rights abuses in countries like Saudi Arabia. Nuclear power is young […]


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