Showing posts from November 20, 2016

Finance Is Not the Economy; Rent is not Income

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[A l-o-n-g piece but a useful and informative one on how an economy based increasingly on rent extraction by the few and debt buildup by the many is a feudal model. *RON*]
By Dirk Bezemer and Michael Hudson, Evonomics, 

The authors thank the editor and two anonymous referees for helpful suggestions that greatly improved this article. Bezemer wishes to thank the Equilibrio Foundation and the Institute for New Economic Thinking for financial support. Any remaining errors are the authors’ own.

Why have economies polarized so sharply since the 1980s, and especially since the 2008 crisis? How did we get so indebted without real wage and living standards rising, while cities, states, and entire nations are falling into default? Only when we answer these questions can we formulate policies to extract ourselves from the current debt crises. There is widespread sentiment that this crisis is fundamental, and that we cannot simply “go back to normal.” But d…

Jeffrey Sachs: The U.S. Will Become a Pariah State If Trump Pulls Out of Paris Climate Accord

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["Look, if Donald Trump goes the way that his rhetoric has portrayed, we’re going to have a brawl in the United States politically. Everything will be tied up in tremendous political conflict. Tens of millions of people will rally not to have the Earth wrecked. I’m not convinced that it’s all going to be for the worst." See also: After Trump Elected, Nearly 200 Nations Proclaim "Urgent Duty" to Implement Paris Climate Accord; If Trump Pulls the U.S. Out of the Paris Agreement, France Might Carbon Tax Our Goods. *RON*]
Amy Goodman & Jeffrey Sachs, Democracy Now!, 16 November 2016

GUEST: Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. He served as an adviser to Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.

As Democracy Now! broadcasts from the United Nations climate summit in Marrakech, Morocco, the U.S. special envoy on climate change, Jonathan Pershing, says no one from President-elect Donald Trump’s transit…

Canada's proposed natural-gas plant stirs more controversy

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[Lawsuits and a new study raise questions about the project's environmental impact. *RON*]
Lesley Evans Ogden, Nature, 11 November 2016

The controversy surrounding a proposed liquefied natural-gas plant in British Columbia, Canada, continues to intensify. The project, which the Canadian government approved in September, now faces three separate lawsuits. And new research at the proposed site on the Skeena River estuary reveals that some salmon species spend over a month in the area, feeding and growing during their migration to the sea.

In contrast, a marine fish survey conducted by Stantec Consulting on behalf of the project characterized the habitat as low value. Although Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) rejected that conclusion, the agency determined that any harm from construction could be mitigated to produce only negligible impacts on salmon.

Canada gives $3.3bn subsidies to fossil fuel producers despite climate pledge

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[So, why is this not front-page news in Canada? Government subsidy to gas and oil companies undermine Trudeau’s plan to put national price on carbon dioxide by 2018, environmental report warned. "This system is like taxing consumers when they buy cigarettes while giving massive tax breaks to tobacco companies that encourage them to produce more cigarettes. It doesn’t make sense." The mass media ARE the 1%. *RON*]
Oliver Milman, The Guardian, 15 November 2016
Canada’s attempt to act on climate change is being undermined by $3.3bn in government subsidies flowing to oil and gas producers in the country a year, a new report has warned.

The prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has vowed to place a national price on carbon dioxide emissions by 2018. Last week, Trudeau said he would not be deterred by the election as US president of Donald Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax”, and would forge ahead with the plan to “show leadership that qui…

Reports from Standing Rock detail horrific conditions

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[What kind of world do we want to live in? See also: Largest Bank in Norway Sells Its Assets in Dakota Access Pipeline; New US Army Regulations May Further Delay the North Dakota Pipeline. *RON*]
By John Patrick, The Hill, 18 November 2016

A couple weeks ago one of my best students disappeared from the argumentation and advocacy class I teach at the local community college. I emailed to see if she was ok. I learned she was on her way to Standing Rock to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

I had just made a donation to the Standing Rock legal defense fund earlier that week. I was supportive of the fact that she was going to go out into the world to practice advocacy; the real world experience is valuable, and it strikes me as fair that if the people of Bismarck have the right to reject the pipeline, the people of Standing Rock deserve the same right.

Stop Kinder Morgan: March & Rally, November 19th

[See: Kinder Morgan protest draws huge crowd in Vancouver. It certainly felt right to join the crowds at the rally on Saturday. I suspect the @#$%& thing will still be approved, but we'll see soon enough. Either way, it matters a great deal that the public and the politicians both know that such decisions are made in the face of substantial democratic opposition. *RON*]

See the rest of my photos below...