Showing posts from October 30, 2016

Reviving middle class key to saving global trade

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["Too many middle class workers have been left behind in the free trade sweepstakes and its time for politicians to find solutions for them or they risk destabilizing the global trading system." It's quite something when a conservative strategist gets published in the Toronto Star saying 'Just possibly, the ideological spin we've been putting on free trade has been a bit much!' *RON*]

By Jaime Watt, Toronto Star, 30 October 2016
On Nov. 21, 1988, after a rigorous debate over free trade with the United States, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s government was re-elected with a solid majority mandate. Canadians had declared themselves free-traders.

The notion that free trade would kick-start job creation and economic growth gained currency in the late 1980s. Since then trade pacts signed by nations across the world have proliferated. Canada itself — under both Liberal and Conservative governments — has expanded its trade oppor…

Renewables just passed coal as the largest source of new electricity worldwide

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[Coal causes about a quarter of US CO2 emissions. See also: Bad Week for Exxon: Outlook Plunges as NY Court Says Climate Criminal Must Comply; and Rapidly Warming Mediterranean Headed for Desertification, Study Warns. *RON*]

Samantha Page, ThinkProgress, 25 October 2016

It’s been a long run, coal, but your reign is over.

Renewable energy sources have passed coal as the largest new source of electricity in the world, according data released Tuesday by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The transition of the world’s energy sources is critical for avoiding a 2°C rise in global temperatures. Coal, for instance, represented about a quarter of U.S. CO2 emissions in 2012.

North Dakota pipeline activists say arrested protesters were kept in dog kennels

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[And, in case you missed it, Thousands of Wild Bison Appear At Standing Rock Out Of Nowhere! A Sign From Mother Earth? *RON*]
Sandy Tolan, Los Angeles Times, 28 October 2016
After a night of chaotic clashes with police on the front lines in a months-long protest, Native American activists complained about the force wielded to drive protesters from the path of a pipeline they contend will desecrate tribal lands and put their lone source of drinking water at risk.

Protesters said that those arrested in the confrontation had numbers written on their arms and were housed in what appeared to be dog kennels, without bedding or furniture. Others said advancing officers sprayed mace and pelted them with rubber bullets.

Aboriginal and Environmental Groups Hope to Use Enbridge Precedent to Stop $36 Billion LNG Project

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[Consultation = you speak, we ignore. What is needed is consent, not consultation. *RON*]

Oil & Gas 360, 26 October 2016
Groups plan to file lawsuits to stop BC LNG
First Nations groups are planning to sue the federal government and the majority stake-owner of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, Petronas, in order to halt the project on British Columbia’s northern coast.

The $36 billion project includes a pipeline and terminal, and was conditionally approved by Canada’s federal government last month after a three-year environmental assessment. The conditional approval included 190 conditions.

The approval is a major test for Canada’s Liberal Party, which is juggling the concerns of an energy industry suffering from low oil prices, and environmental groups which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau courted during last year’s election. The legal challenge also presents another major obstacle for the project, which has continued forward despite the fall…

They Don’t Care About Us

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[The Podesta emails show that Democratic power brokers won’t reward labor’s unwavering loyalty or record contributions. Nowadays all we have are hard-line economic neoliberals and 'social-for-show' neoliberals. *RON*]
by Micah Uetricht, Jacobin Magazine, 28 October 2016
Four Futures: Life After Capitalism by Peter Frase, the latest title in the Jacobin series, is out now. Get a six-book subscription for just $49.95.

After the 2012 presidential election, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka told labor journalist Josh Eidelson that the union federation “won’t be taken for granted” by the White House and the Democratic Party. Fast forward to a recent Wall Street Journal article: union contributions to politicians (almost entirely Democrats) are up 38 percent, with the AFL-CIO chipping in $11 million and SEIU over $30 million.

It’s possible, I suppose, that unions have devised a secret method for holding Democrats accountable behind closed doors whi…

Iceland may become first nation ruled by 'pirates'

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[Iceland Rocks! :-) Pirate Party vowing to root out government corruption and bring radical change is projected to win upcoming election. See also: Why Iceland Should Be In The News, But Is Not. *RON*]
Micah Garen & Marie-Helene Carleton, Al Jazeera, 29 October 2016
Reykjavik, Iceland - The small island nation of Iceland may soon be the first modern country ruled by pirates.

Not swashbuckling bandits with eye patches, but political pirates bent on rooting out corruption and transforming society through direct democracy.

Their brand of politics is hacktivism meets revolution. Dominated by young people, the Pirates have grown from their founding in 2006 as a small Swedish movement battling restrictive copyright law into a quasi-mainstream political force.