A recent spate of high-profile campaigns against projects based on extracting raw materials has opened up an important new dynamic within the broad processes of change sweeping South America. Understanding their nature and significance is crucial to grasping the complexities involved in bringing about social change and how best to build solidarity with peoples' struggles.
Since the end of the most active, public phase of the Occupy movement, a number of activists have looked for ways to carry on the fight against the "1 Percent." This ongoing struggle has taken many forms--among them are recent attempts to build an independent political alternative to the two dominant capitalist parties.
In this excellent video, George Manbiot explains how liberals continually forfeit their positions in order to appease the radical right. Nowhere is this more salient then in the approaches to 'pricing nature' and their adoption of the concept of 'natural capital'. "We don't really care about nature for its own sake, don't believe in its intrinsic value...wonder, delight, enchantment.
Think about the last time you got to the top of a mountain one mile high. Now think about descending that distance below the surface of the earth, foot by dark foot, far below all life, light or oxygen. You go down there to dig.
What you’re digging for, deep in the hot, fetid, bowels of the earth, is carbonized life forms, millions of years in the making, turned to a type of rock that ignites and burns; one that your prime minister and energy analysts tell you will help the economic future of your country.
Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century was number two in the US Amazon bestseller list last week. It nestled between a tear-jerker about living with cancer and a Disney movie spin-off coloring book for kids.
In Britain the impact has been less dramatic, but it has still featured heavily in print, radio and television.
This is quite an achievement for a nearly 700-page book by a hitherto unknown French economist packed full of statistical tables and retailing at £29.95. Yet in the past few weeks it has enjoyed an astonishing success.
What is “capital”? To Karl Marx, it was a social, political, and legal category—the means of control of the means of production by the dominant class. Capital could be money, it could be machines; it could be fixed and it could be variable. But the essence of capital was neither physical nor financial. It was the power that capital gave to capitalists, namely the authority to make decisions and to extract surplus from the worker.
Republican Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), is dismissing a report out yesterday on the human security threats of climate change, authored by 11 three and four-star US Admirals and Generals, saying the group is desperate for “publicity.” The report, National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, issued by the non-profit group CNA
Climate change will be a significant factor in sovereign credit ratings and is already putting them under downward pressure, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services (S&P) warned on Thursday. In a new report, S&P argued that climate change – and particularly global warming - will hit countries' economic growth rates, their external performance and public finances. "Climate change is likely to be one of the global mega-trends impacting sovereign creditworthiness, in most cases negatively," it said in the report.
There is now much exuberance in the United States about “100 years of energy independence” as we become “the Saudi Arabia of the next century.” One might take a speech of President Obama’s two years ago to be an eloquent death-knell for the species. He proclaimed with pride, to ample applause, that “Now, under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. That's important to know. Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states..."
Fossil fuel divestment campaigners have released a hit list of 200 companies from which investors should remove their money. The new Fossil Free Index identifies the 200 largest public fossil fuel companies, based upon the potential CO2 emissions embedded in their reserves. These reserves are growing, as companies continue to explore for new sources of fossil fuels. The list ranks oil and gas companies separately from coal. Gazprom and Coal India top the lists respectively.