Showing posts from March 30, 2016

“What We Have is Capture of the Regulators’ Minds, A Much More Sophisticated Form of Capture Than Putting Money in Their Pockets”

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[I'm not sure when I'll get time to read it, but I just bought his book Cornered. On corporate concentration: how every major industry and marketplace in America came to be controlled by a single, monolithic player. "Our political economy is run by a compact elite that is able to fuse the power of our public government with the power of private corporate governments in ways that enable members of the elite not merely to offload their risk onto us but also to determine with almost complete freedom who wins, who loses, and who pays." *RON*]

Posted by Asher Schechter, ProMarket, 26 March 2016

On September 21, 1999, a devastating 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan, killing close to 2,500 people and displacing more than 100,000. The earthquake also affected the PC industry: as Taiwan was home to factories that manufactured most of the world’s motherboards and semiconductors, many firms were cut off from their supplies due to local …

Citing Humanitarian Nightmare, Aid Agencies Are Pulling From Europe's Refugee Prisons

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[The new deal between the EU and Turkey has transformed refugee "hotspots" into detention centers. They're forcing Kurds into Turkey, along with Afghanis and Iraqis who, by Turkish law, will be forcibly deported back to their home countries. *RON*]
By Sarah LazareAlterNet, 25 March 2016
“We will not allow our assistance to be instrumentalized for a mass expulsion operation,” declared Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) official Marie Elisabeth Ingres this week, joining the chorus of major humanitarian institutions pulling their operations from Greek island refugee “hotpots” that have been transformed into nightmarish prisons. “[W]e refuse to be part of a system that has no regard for the humanitarian or protection needs of asylum seekers and migrants.”

As ever-increasing numbers of war and poverty survivors reach Greek islands, the land masses have become ground zero for a newly escalated European Union crackdown, which decrees: “All ne…

$1tn could be wasted on 'unneeded' new coal plants, report warns

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[Investment in 1,500 new coal plants around the world, mainly in China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, could be wasted if action on climate change and pollution prevent them from being used, "but there’s more at stake here than money," said Ted Nace, director of CoalSwarm. "In terms of climate safety, the clock is ticking on the transition to clean energy." See also: These 2 charts show why investing in coal power is a waste of $1 trillion. *RON*]

Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 30 March 2016

Almost $1tn of investment in new coal-fired power stations could be wasted if growing concerns about climate change and air pollution leave the plants unused, according to a new report.

About 1,500 new coal plants are in construction or planning stages around the world but electricity generation from the fossil fuel has fallen in recent years, the detailed report from the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and CoalSwarm found. In China, existing pla…

An open letter to Minister McKenna on lack of due diligence with Woodfibre LNG approval

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[Democracy or corporatocracy? Feds say they consulted. "How so? By giving us less than a week’s notice that we have yet another public comment period to go through with 21 days to review a highly questionable document compiled by the CEAA on upstream greenhouse gas emissions? And then giving the project your official approval before staff at the CEAA could even upload all 1,300 comments to the website, let alone read them, or validate the scientific concerns we have raised about the CEAA’s dodgy greenhouse gas assessment. This is not meaningful public consultation." *RON*]
Tracey Saxby, Vancouver Observer, 28 March 2016

I cannot adequately express my anger, disappointment, and despair upon learning that you have given the green light for the proposed Woodfibre LNG project in Howe Sound, BC.

The West Coast is a long way from Ottawa, so perhaps you don't fully understand how the communities around Howe Sound have been fighting to stop…

De Blasio sees links between terror, income inequality

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[This is, quite literally, bleedingly obvious, but at least someone is saying it. "Unfortunately, there’s always some fertile field when people feel there is no hope, society is not for them and the economy doesn’t offer them a pathway." *RON*]

By Matthew Chayes, Newsday, 29 March 2016
Income inequality fuels terrorism, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday, pointing to recent attacks in Belgium, Pakistan and elsewhere as evidence that the world needs to confront the gap between rich and poor.

Addressing mayors and other leaders from around the globe, de Blasio said security is hard to achieve without narrowing a widening income gap.

“I think we can safely say that in many nations of the world, lack of opportunity and a sense of doors being closed, unfortunately, has led to an environment where many people, particularly young people, have felt disaffected, have drifted toward extremist ideologies and sometimes toward violence,” de Blasio said…

Fracking linked to 90 per cent of seismic activity in B.C. & Alberta: Study

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["...between 90 and 95 per cent of seismic activity Magnitude 3 or larger in the last five years was caused by oil and gas activity, with most of it linked to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking." *RON*]
By Dan Fumano, The Province, 29 March 2016

Scientists from the federal government, regulatory agencies and Canadian universities have unearthed a deeper understanding of the link between fracking and earthquakes in a major oil-and-gas-producing region of Western Canada.

A new report, set to be published in the journal of the Seismological Society of America, examines an area straddling the B.C.-Alberta border and finds that between 90 and 95 per cent of seismic activity Magnitude 3 or larger in the last five years was caused by oil and gas activity, with most of it linked to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

“The biggest implication of this study is that we can no longer deny the link between induced earthquakes and hydraulic fracturi…