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Showing posts from April 17, 2016

A tiny forest tribe built a DIY drone from YouTube to fight off illegal loggers

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[An exciting and uplifting one for you! :-) Indigenous peoples really are at the forefront of the environmental movement today. When's the last time you heard of a story out of Guyana? *RON*]

By Melody Schreiber, Quartz, 16 April 2016

The engine started, the propeller began spinning, and with a high whine the drone shot into the air—before quickly crashing to the ground. It took a few more tries before the drone flew straight, but when it did, it soared into the azure skies above southern Guyana’s grasslands, and the small crew on the ground cheered. The homemade drone zipped toward a mountain range in the distance, transmitting live video and photos as it flew.

Guyana doesn’t often make the headlines. But this tiny country of 735,000 people, perched atop Brazil, has an outsize resource: the world’s second highest percentage of rainforest cover. However, these lands are under threat of deforestation and pollution by wildcat gold mining and log…

The Spirit of Occupy Lives on in France's Emerging Direct Democracy Movement

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[A kind of communitarian dream come true. From the Power to the People Department, see also: Anti-austerity protest: tens of thousands attend London march (and London anti-austerity march – in pictures), and 40,000 Verizon Workers Launch One of the Biggest Strikes of the Decade. *RON*]
By Marisa Holmes, Truthout, 15 April 2016

A specter is haunting France, and it is called direct democracy.

In 2011, throughout North Africa, the Middle East, southern Europe and the United States, there were similar occupations of public squares and calls for direct democracy. In reaction, there were multiple counterrevolutions, including military dictatorships and civil wars. There were also softer means of repression such as recuperation by political parties. The moment passed. Now, five years later, there is another moment beginning in France.

A Voter’s Guide to Hillary Clinton’s Policies in Latin America

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[Support for coup regimes, militarization, and privatization; trade deals that wreak economic havoc—they reveal the failure of Clintonism. I keep running into women who think she's a good candidate. Please see also: Hillary Clinton Made More in 12 Speeches to Big Banks Than Most of Us Earn in a LifetimeRepublican Hawks prefer Hillary Clinton for president over Donald TrumpWhite feminism is selfish, and  Hillary Clinton doesn’t speak for me: I’m a millennial woman raising a biracial son. I voted for Bernie, and I refuse to be shamed for it. *RON*]

By Greg Grandin, The Nation, 15 April 2016
There’s been too little discussion of Latin American through the Democratic primary, including at last night’s debate, which didn’t touch on it. One candidate, Bernie Sanders, doesn’t have much of a track record to examine, although his broad rejection of neoliberalism and interventionism bode well for turning a page on US policy in the region. The other,…

Fracking wells released over 5 billion pounds of methane in one year

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[For what it's worth I mailed this one to Christy Clark, saying "See especially the final paragraph." *RON*]

By Xian Chiang-Waren on 14 Apr 2016 18 comments

Being in close proximity to fracking operations could screw up your sexual health, cause developmental defects and cancer, induce seismic activity around you, and the list goes on.

Does all that doom and gloom seem, well, a little vague? An Environment America report released Thursday offers raw numbers, based on a set of industry-reported data going back for more than decade.

Frackers, the report concludes, have used billions of pounds of cancer-causing chemicals in at least 137,000 wells from 2005 to 2015, including:
5 billion pounds of hydrochloric acid, a caustic acid1.2 billion pounds of petroleum distillates, which can irritate the throat, lungs and eyes; cause dizziness and nausea; and can include toxic and cancer-causing agents445 million pounds of methanol, which is suspect…

Rafe: Gutless Horgan caves to union, apologies for opposing LNG project

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[Pathetic pandering on Horgan's part. This is incredibly frustrating. Who is left to vote for? Andrew Weaver is fantastic, but the Greens aren't going to form the next BC government. Will we be stuck with Christy's Cronies forever? *RON*]
By Rafe Mair, Commonsense Canadian, 15 April 2016

Apparently, according to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and BC NDP leader John Horgan, we have a new doctrine in Canada which essentially says that Jobs Come Ahead Of Crisis When A Powerful Union Leader Says So.

Any free society, as part of its basic philosophy, permits citizens to better themselves, legally, and to withhold their labour. At the same time, no society can permit those rights to endanger society as a whole. Moreover, it can hardly be permitted because society hasn’t been able to control some of its segments, like the bastards exposed by the Panama Scandal. That behaviour exposes the weakness of people, not of the philosophy.
Horgan’s about…

Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems

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[It doesn't say here, but I think this is an excerpt from Monbiot's new book, "How Did We Get Into This Mess?" A good overview of many issues related to neoliberalism. Financial meltdown, environmental disaster and even the rise of Donald Trump – neoliberalism has played its part in them all. Why has the left failed to come up with an alternative? *RON*]

George Monbiot, The Guardian, 16 April 2016

Imagine if the people of the Soviet Union had never heard of communism. The ideology that dominates our lives has, for most of us, no name. Mention it in conversation and you’ll be rewarded with a shrug. Even if your listeners have heard the term before, they will struggle to define it. Neoliberalism: do you know what it is?