The TPP Must Be Defeated

By Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

22 May 15

ongress is now debating fast track legislation that will pave the way for the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) unfettered free trade agreement. At a time when our middle class is disappearing and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider, this anti-worker legislation must be defeated. Here are four reasons why.

First, the TPP follows in the footsteps of failed trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA, Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China, and the South Korea Free Trade agreement. Over and over again, supporters of these agreements told us that they would create jobs. Over and over again, they have been proven dead wrong.

Since 2001, nearly 60,000 manufacturing plants in this country have been shut down and we have lost over 4.7 million decent paying manufacturing jobs. NAFTA has led to the loss of nearly 700,000 jobs. PNTR with China has led to the loss of 2.7 million jobs. Our trade agreement with South Korea has led to the loss of about 75,000 jobs. While bad trade agreements are not the only reason why manufacturing jobs in the U.S. have declined, they are an important factor.

…(read more).

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Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans – The New Yorker

Credit PHOTOGRAPH BY NASA EO/REX/FEATURES VIA AP

MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) – Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.

“These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”

More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”

While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain. “The normal functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,” Logsdon said.

…(read more).

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Kingdom built on oil foresees fossil fuel phase-out this century

May 21, 2015 7:44 pm Pilita Clark in Paris

Oil

©PA
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, could phase out the use of fossil fuels by the middle of this century, Ali al-Naimi, the kingdom’s oil minister, said on Thursday.

The statement represents a stunning admission by a nation whose wealth, power and outsize influence in the world are predicated on its vast reserves of crude oil.

Mr Naimi, whose comments on oil supply routinely move markets, told a conference in Paris on business and climate change: “In Saudi Arabia, we recognise that eventually, one of these days, we are not going to need fossil fuels. I don’t know when, in 2040, 2050 or thereafter.”

For that reason, he said, the kingdom planned to become a “global power in solar and wind energy” and could start exporting electricity instead of fossil fuels in coming years.

Many in the energy industry would find his target of a 2040 phase-out too ambitious. Saudi Arabia is the largest consumer of petroleum in the Middle East, and more than 25 per cent of its total crude production — more than 10m barrels a day — is used domestically.

A 2012 Citigroup report said that if Saudi oil demand continued to grow at current rates, the country could be a net oil importer by 2030.

But while acknowledging that Saudi Arabia would one day stop using oil, gas and coal, Mr Naimi said calls to leave the bulk of the world’s known fossil fuels in the ground to avoid risky levels of climate change needed to be put “in the back of our heads for a while”.

…(read more).

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The reality of climate change | David Puttnam


TEDx Talks

Published on Dec 1, 2014

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. David Puttnam looks at Climate Change through different lenses, all of which reveal the unsustainable ways in which we are living. Climate Change is real, but throughout history humans have failed to set political and economic concerns aside for our greater good. Will we ignore this latest warning?

Lord David Puttnam produced award-winning films including Chariots of Fire, Bugsy Malone, and The Mission. He now works at the intersection between education, media, and policy. In 2007 he was appointed Chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Draft Climate Change Bill.

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I’ve Read Obama’s Secret Trade Deal. Elizabeth Warren Is Right to Be Con cerned. – Michael Wessel

“You need to tell me what’s wrong with this trade agreement, not one that was passed 25 years ago,” a frustrated President Barack Obama recently complained about criticisms of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). He’s right. The public criticisms of the TPP have been vague. That’s by design—anyone who has read the text of the agreement could be jailed for disclosing its contents. I’ve actually read the TPP text provided to the government’s own advisors, and I’ve given the president an earful about how this trade deal will damage this nation. But I can’t share my criticisms with you.

I can tell you that Elizabeth Warren is right about her criticism of the trade deal. We should be very concerned about what’s hidden in this trade deal—and particularly how the Obama administration is keeping information secret even from those of us who are supposed to provide advice.

So-called “cleared advisors” like me are prohibited from sharing publicly the criticisms we’ve lodged about specific proposals and approaches. The government has created a perfect Catch 22: The law prohibits us from talking about the specifics of what we’ve seen, allowing the president to criticize us for not being specific. Instead of simply admitting that he disagrees with me—and with many other cleared advisors—about the merits of the TPP, the president instead pretends that our specific, pointed criticisms don’t exist.

…(read more).

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Crowd-sourced timelapse images capture Vegas strip, Vatican


PBS NewsHour

Published on May 21, 2015

In our NewsHour Shares video of the day, researchers from the University of Washington and Google sifted through 86 million photos posted on public photo sharing websites to create a new kind of time-lapse photography of sites like a Norwegian glacier, a New York skyscraper and Mount St. Helens.

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Fracking Kern County, California


350.org

Published on May 22, 2014

Video by Bunkey Seyfort of Project Survival Media: http://projectsurvivalmedia.org

Kern County is the most-fracked county in California by a wide margin. This region also has the worst air quality in the nation, as well as highly elevated rates of cancer and respiratory illness. For the people that live here, fracking means more oil extraction, more crippling climate impacts, and more impacts on their health.

But residents of Kern County are fighting back. They’ve invited California Governor Jerry Brown to come see the impacts of fracking for himself. Join them and sign the petition to Governor Brown here: http://act.350.org/sign/KernCounty/

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