A Call to Arms: An Invitation to Demand Action on Climate Change | Politics News | Rolling Stone

At the moment, the overwhelming sense around the world is nothing will happen in time. That’s on the verge of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy – indeed, as I’ve written in these pages, it’s very clear that the fossil-fuel industry has five times as much carbon in its reserves as it would take to break the planet. On current trajectories, the industry will burn it, and governments will make only small whimpering noises about changing the speed at which it happens. A loud movement – one that gives our “leaders” permission to actually lead, and then scares them into doing so – is the only hope of upending that prophecy.

via A Call to Arms: An Invitation to Demand Action on Climate Change | Politics News | Rolling Stone.

US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study | Common Dreams

“Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But, …” and then they go on to say, it’s not true, and that, “America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened” by the findings in this, the first-ever comprehensive scientific study of the subject, which shows that there is instead “the nearly total failure of ‘median voter’ and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories [of America]. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

via US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study | Common Dreams.

Krugman: Worried About Oligarchy? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet | Common Dreams

The world in fact has moved on a long way in the last 25 years and not in a direction you’re going to like because we are seeing not only great disparities in income and wealth, but we’re seeing them get entrenched. We’re seeing them become inequalities that will be transferred across generations. We are becoming very much the kind of society we imagine we’re nothing like.”

via Krugman: Worried About Oligarchy? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet | Common Dreams.

Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for ‘irreversible collapse’? | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | theguardian.com

A new study sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common.”

The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary ‘Human And Nature DYnamical’ (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.

via Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for ‘irreversible collapse’? | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | theguardian.com.

The Global Elite: Rigging the Rules That Fuel Inequality | Common Dreams

The global elite have rigged the rules so that \”economic growth looks more like a winner-take-all system\” that undermines democracy and threatens future generations with a \”cascade of privilege and disadvantage,\” a new report from Oxfam states.

Image: Oxfam

The report, Working for the Few: Political capture and economic inequality, states that just 85 of the world\’s richest people own the wealth of half of the world’s population.

via The Global Elite: Rigging the Rules That Fuel Inequality | Common Dreams.

Davos Elite Message Deserves Fierce Resistance Not Applause | Common Dreams

Even amid seemingly thoughtful discussions about climate change, economic inequality, water scarcity and other key global issues, whats important to remember, says Alex Jensen, an expert on globalization and development at the International Society for Ecology and Culture ISEC, is that a critical look at any of these crises shows \”the complicity of the very corporations that the WEF represents.\”Beyond its glossy \”veneer,\” Jensen says, the Davos summit acts as a stage \”for multinational corporations, among them human rights abusers, political racketeers, property thieves and international environmental criminals.\”

via Davos Elite Message Deserves Fierce Resistance Not Applause | Common Dreams.

Imperial Recipes for a Burnt Planet by Chris Williams | Dandelion Salad

AT THE turn of the 19th century, industrialist and weapons manufacturer par excellence Alfred Nobel, the guilt-ridden inventor of dynamite, established the Peace Prize that carries his name, proposing that it go “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

Over 100 years later, for the first time ever, a Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to an African woman. The 2004 award was controversial. Politicians from the country responsible for the awards, Norway, wanted to know what this woman from Kenya had done for peace.

Carl I. Hagen, leader of Norway’s Progress Party, whose senior political adviser, Inger-Marie Ytterhorn, was a member of the Nobel Committee, sneeringly dismissed giving the Prize to a mere environmental activist: “I thought the intention of Alfred Nobel’s will was to focus on a person or organization who had worked actively for peace…It is odd that the committee has completely overlooked the unrest that the world is living with daily, and given the prize to an environmental activist.”

Former Deputy Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide felt that widening the Prize to include the environment diminished its importance: “The one thing the Nobel Committee does is define the topic of this epoch in the field of peace and security. If they widen it too much, they risk undermining the core function of the Peace Prize; you end up saying everything that is good is peace.”

via Imperial Recipes for a Burnt Planet by Chris Williams | Dandelion Salad.

Chris Hedges: I’m Calling For the Overthrow of the System, Part 7 | Dandelion Salad

On the final episode of Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay, Chris Hedges answers questions like: “Do you believe the US or Israel will attack Iran?” and “Is there any hope for Bradley Manning?”Pt 7 of

via Chris Hedges: I’m Calling For the Overthrow of the System, Part 7 | Dandelion Salad.

Q&A with James Anaya on Implementing Prior Consent with Indigenous Peoples | Turtle Talk

Most of the questions relate to implementation of this standard in Latin America, but his answers to the final two questions were particularly interesting to me, and applicable to many nations that are being called on to implement the prior consent standard.

Q: Do you think the state would lose its sovereignty if an indigenous community has the last word on whether or not an investment project can be undertaken on their territory?

A: The state does not lose its sovereignty if it respects human rights or indigenous rights. It has to comply with these rules to respect those rights; the state cannot do whatever it wants.I would say that the respect of these rights is a way of ensuring that this sovereignty is exercised. When the state respects human rights, it exercises its sovereignty, because it is acting in favour of its citizens and peoples.

Q: Nevertheless, there has been a loss of trust in governments. What can be done to ensure legitimate consultations and to open up dialogue?

for more, go here…

via Q&A with James Anaya on Implementing Prior Consent with Indigenous Peoples | Turtle Talk.

Chile’s ex-chief negotiator drops a bombshell on TPPA | Scoop News

Chile’s ex-chief negotiator drops a bombshell on TPPA | Scoop News.

‘Here is an insider who knows the texts. Rodrigo Contreras has sat in the negotiating room for several years and tried to get the US and others to back off their most damaging demands. He now believes the current direction of the TPPA poses a threat to his country’s economic and social development’.

‘The evidence continues to mount against this agreement every day. New Zealand cannot continue to negotiate the TPPA under the shroud of secrecy. With many chapters nearing closure, it is way past the time to release what is on the table so we can evaluate and debate its implications’, Kelsey said.
*For an English translation see: The New Chessboard – English Translation of Rodrigo Contreras