THE LATEST world summit conference on climate change, due to begin in Paris on November 30, will take place against the backdrop of continuing climate disasters--including a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that the planet suffered its hottest summer ever recorded, and possibly the hottest in 4,000 years.
THOUGH YOU wouldn't know it from the mainstream media, the U.S. economy continues to suffer the aftershocks of the Great Recession of 2008. California is a special case in point, where the unemployment rate hovers at 10 percent.
SOME 5,000 union members represented by the United Steelworkers (USW) are on strike at 11 refineries in six states, and counting. Workers at BP refineries in Whiting, Indiana, and Toledo, Ohio, joined the strike this week. The union could bring out more than 30,000 workers at 63 refineries plus related oil terminals, pipelines and petrochemical facilities, which would dramatically affect oil production.
THE CONSEQUENCES of human-induced climate change are dire. Crop failures will increase. Severe weather and rising sea levels will wreak more havoc. Species are being wiped out by the hour--and the continued existence of our own is threatened.
Even without the threat of climate change, we live in a world of vast inequality, where the majority of the world's population struggles to meet basic needs like putting food on the table--while corporations refuse to pay living wages, and decent health care and housing remain unaffordable for many, when there is access at all.