Capitalism

Richard Smith, TruthOut, January 15, 2014

This article is a lightly revised and updated version of the article originally published as "Beyond Growth or Beyond Capitalism?" in Real-World Economics Review, issue 53, June 26, 2010, pages 28-42.

Richard Heinberg, Commondreams.org, January 15, 2014
The trade deal, negotiated in secret, is now trying to receive fact track authority so that it can be rushed through Congress with little say by elected lawmakers. (Image: CD)

The past couple of decades of globalization have been a disaster for planetary ecosystems, indigenous peoples, and most middle-class citizens, but a gravy train for big investors, investment bankers, and managers of transnational corporations.

Richard Smith, ThruthOut, January 9, 2014
Jared Rodriguez Truthout

In what scientists have called "The Great Acceleration," the engine of global capitalist economic development since 1950 has now engulfed nearly the whole world and accelerated at an ever-faster speed, overwhelming our small blue planet's finite natural resources and limited ability to withstand pollution in a last great fire sale of global upper and middle-class overconsumption.

Linda Nguyen, Canadian Press, January 2, 2014
Rich CEOs

TORONTO - By the time you finish lunch on Thursday, Canada's top paid CEOs will have already earned the equivalent of your annual salary. It may be hard to swallow, but according to an annual review by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, by 1:11 p.m. on Jan. 2, the average top paid Canadian CEO will have been earned as much as the average full-time worker's yearly income. The review found the average compensation among Canada's top 100 CEOs was $7.96 million in 2012. This compared with the average annual Canadian worker's salary of $46,634.

Ben Whitford, Ecologist, December 28, 2013

A shadowy but extraordinarily powerful legislation-mill and stealth-lobbying outfit, ALEC specialises in quietly shepherding right-wing legislation through America’s statehouses - a process that, until recently, went all but unnoticed by the national media. In recent months, however, ALEC has found itself the subject of a great deal of unwanted attention.

Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, December 21, 2013
climate denial

Conservative groups may have spent up to $1bn a year on the effort to deny science and oppose action on climate change, according to thefirst extensive study into the anatomy of the anti-climate effort. The anti-climate effort has been largely underwritten by conservative billionaires, often working through secretive funding networks. They have displaced corporations as the prime supporters of 91 think tanks, advocacy groups and industry associations which have worked to block action on climate change.

Erin Flegg, DeSmog Blog, December 17, 2013
Port Metro Vancouver

When it comes to shipping coal, it looks like the Vancouver Port Authority is taking a page out of the U.S. coal lobby's books. In an effort to combat negative public opinion about coal and the proposed expansion of coal exports through Fraser Surrey Docks, the port authority has hired public relations firm Edelman Vancouver to revamp its image. Edelman is the largest public relations firm in B.C. and the company has a history of both pushing coal exports and disregarding public opinion.

Ian Angus, Climate and Capitalism, December 17, 2013
Daniel Tanuro

Tanuro is most successful in his challenge to mainstream greens. He rebuts the common view that pollution is caused by humanity in general — “it would be infinitely more accurate to refer to capitalist climate change instead of ‘anthropogenic’ climate change.”(43) Then, in an effective argument that mostly avoids abstract economic theory, he demonstrates the practical impossibility of stopping the climate crisis by carbon taxes, emissions trading, green subsidies, or any other means short of radical social change.

Adam Corner, The Guardian, December 14, 2013
Every little bit helps, a dangerous mantra

In 2014, England will follow the example set by Wales and Scotland and introduce a carrier bag charge. If the Welsh and Scottish experiences are anything to go by, the policy will drastically reduce the number of bags in circulation, keeping unnecessary waste out of landfill and removing a little polythene from the diet of our cities' seagulls. Like recycling, re-using carrier bags has become something of an iconic "sustainable behaviour".

Heather Smith, Grist, December 14, 2013
NAFTA

I grew up around the North American Free Trade Agreement. It was all grownups talked about in Detroit: the Sound of NAFTA. Although not much rhymed with that phrase, the hills were indeed alive with the sounds of grouchy tool and die workers, complaining that all of our jobs were going to Mexico. As a kid, I found it hard to see what was so exciting about jobs. My dad worked in a tool and die shop with bad ventilation and no heat, and every winter he would come down with a case of bronchitis that was one order of magnitude worse than the last. But it didn’t matter what we thought, anyway.

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