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Showing posts from December 29, 2016

Today's Trumpery

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Seven Things the Defund DAPL Campaign Has Achieved So Far

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[Actual good news from 2016! *RON*]
Ari Paul, YES! Magazine, 28 December 2016

Back in September, researcher Hugh MacMillan helped create an infographic tracing the money behind the Dakota Access pipeline. Using public data, MacMillan and his colleagues at the environmental nonprofit Food & Water Watch showed which 17 financial institutions have directly loaned money for the pipeline's construction and which 38 banks were offering hundreds of millions of dollars in open lines of credit to the parent companies controlling the pipeline project.

"It's an illustration of how decisions about our energy future and our climate future are being made," MacMillan said.

Iraq Facing Potential 'Catastrophe of Biblical Proportions'

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[Scary prospect. Mosul Dam breach could pose greater threat than ISIS. *RON*]
Jenn Gidman, Newser, 27 December 2016
(NEWSER) – As Iraqi forces continue their battle against ISIS in Mosul, there's another problem lurking just 25 miles away from the embattled city: the Mosul Dam, a structure the US Army Corps of Engineers has called the "most dangerous dam in the world," per a piece by Dexter Filkins in the January 2 New Yorker. It's not the dam itself that has both American and Iraqi officials worried: It's that the structure is built on void-prone gypsum rock, which needs constant cement injections; without that fortification, the ground underneath the dam will be whisked away and the dam will sink and crumble. When the dam was being built, experts assured then-leader Saddam Hussein the gypsum problem could be managed, and the Mosul Dam was completed in the mid-'80s—but structural problems were immediately evident. Af…

How climate change transformed the Earth in 2016

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[A CO2 milestone; transforming the arctic; agricultural instability; the end of the Great Barrier Reef? *RON*]
Shanika Gunaratna, CBS News, 27 December 2016
2016 was a milestone year in the continued warming of the planet. From unstable agriculture to the drought in California to melting ice sheets to extreme weather events and heat waves, climate change has disrupted virtually every corner of the world.

It’s impossible to exhaustively list all the ways in which climate change was felt in 2016, but here’s a guide to understanding the year that was for the planet:

Fuck work

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[Interesting piece. Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren’t working anymore? *RON*]
James Livingston, Aeon, 25 November 2016

James Livingston is professor of history at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He is the author of many books, the latest being No More Work: Why Full Employment is a Bad Idea (2016). He lives in New York.

Work means everything to us Americans. For centuries – since, say, 1650 – we’ve believed that it builds character (punctuality, initiative, honesty, self-discipline, and so forth). We’ve also believed that the market in labour, where we go to find work, has been relatively efficient in allocating opportunities and incomes. And we’ve believed that, even if it sucks, a job gives meaning, purpose and structure to our everyday lives – at any rate, we’re pretty sure that it gets us out of bed, pays the bills, makes us feel responsible, and keeps us away from dayt…

‘It can either be Jewish or democratic. It cannot be both’: In parting shot, Kerry tears into Israel

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["Secretary of State John Kerry tore into Israel on Wednesday for settlement-building, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of dragging Israel away from democracy and forcefully rejecting the notion that America had abandoned Israel with a controversial U.N. vote." See also: Israeli PM counters Kerry, calls speech a ‘deep disappointment’. *RON*]
Josh Lederman & Matthew Daily, Associated Press / Ottawa Citizen, 28 December 2016
Kerry: 'Not in US Interests' to Create One State
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry tore into Israel on Wednesday for settlement-building, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of dragging Israel away from democracy and forcefully rejecting the notion that America had abandoned Israel with a controversial U.N. vote. Israel’s government accused Kerry of a skewed attempt to blame Israel for failing to reach a peace deal.