Author Archive for Zachary A. Marx

Zachary Marx is currently living and working in Munich, Germany. He graduated with a degree in Political Science in 2006 from the University of Tennessee, and continues to bleed orange. So far, his vagabond lifestyle has brought him to five continents, and twenty-eight countries, with extended stays in China, Japan, and Korea. He started 80couches.com in February of 2011, with the ultimate goal of using it as the premise for couchsurfing around the globe. Your feedback and suggestions are welcome. He can be reached by carrier pigeon, smoke signals, telegram, and via the Interwebs, at zachary.marx@gmail.com.

The 7-Stages of Climate Debate

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This week, world leaders gather in Bonn, Germany for the COP 23. Since the breakthrough Paris Agreement two years ago, the US, under new (for lack of a better word) “leadership” decided to withdraw, and the two other hold-outs–Nicaragua and…

Disconnected, Disconnecting: Stepping Away from Technology

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For someone who has taken very public stances against technological encroachments and smart phones in particular, I find myself just as addicted as anyone else to my phone. This addiction was recently highlighted on a three-day camping trip when Christine and…

Travel Wise: The Cautionary Tale of North Korea

The view from behind our apartments. Everything past the river is North Korea. Photo by Kate Zeis.

I have a friend, who, for the purposes of this blog we’ll call Derek (not his real name). A few years ago, Derek traveled to Laos. It’s a beautiful–if secluded–country and a real gem when traveling through Southeast Asia. One…

Losing Duke

The Everglades, May 2015

I just had my last conversation with Grandpa Duke last night. Just typing that sentence doesn’t seem right, or accurate, or even possible. He has always been such a large influence to me personally, and to the family as a…

10 Commandments of Facebook Arguments

Fifteen Commandments

This is a follow up to my piece, “Pretty Hate Machine: News, Facebook, and the Culture of Mass Hysteria.” I called for readers (and myself) to hold themselves to higher standards when commenting on political affairs online. Here, I’m listing…

Pretty Hate Machine: News, Facebook, and the Culture of Mass Hysteria

Political-Polarization

For two weeks, the noise droned on in the background. I tried to tune it out. I tried to escape. But it was always there. The words didn’t matter. The flashy graphics didn’t matter. The tone told you everything you…

Open Letter to Liberals: Wake Up!

I'm with her (because we must stop him).

Dear Liberals, I’ve seen a lot of posts out there in social media by well-meaning liberals who proclaim that they will not be bullied into voting for Hillary Clinton. Here is my rebuttal. We have to face facts: Hillary Clinton…

Lessons From Couchsurfing: More Trust, Less Fear

Couchsurfing party on a much more hopeful election night in 2008.

I’m writing this in the wake of the United Kingdom’s referendum to leave the European Union. No one really knows the full implications of what this means for the future of Britain, the EU, or the global economy. The one…

Fewer Prayers, More Action

Source: vox.com

When it comes to terrorism, liberals are often accused of “seeing the world as you want it to be, not as it is.” It’s now time for liberals to accuse conservatives of the same when it comes to guns. So…

Overcoming Fear and Standing For Our Values

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Author’s Note: I started writing this post on January 10, 2016 after being stopped at the border between Denmark and Sweden. I wrote it purely for some peace of mind, and then revisited it with some new thoughts in March. The day…

On Free Education

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There’s a reason I ended up in Eastern Finland, and it’s not for the weather or abundance of mid-winter sunlight. No, it’s to study. While the program–Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy and Law–was appealing, the price tag was even more…

Climate Change and Becoming a One Issue Voter

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This is a picture of the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon in Iceland. At 1.5 kilometers (~1 mile) long, and 200 meters deep it is Iceland’s largest lake, made up predominantly of glacial melt water. It didn’t exist 80 years ago.  Some travel…