Daily Archives: May 19, 2014

The End of Choice…


thomhartmann

Published on May 19, 2014

Thom Hartmann says NPR got it wrong on the proposed AT&T-DirecTV merger.

If you liked this clip of The Thom Hartmann Program, please do us a big favor and share it with your friends… and hit that “like” button

Environmental Justice
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What Does the U.S. Look Like after 3 Meters of Sea Level Rise? – Scientific American

New research indicates that climate change has triggered an unstoppable decay of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, eventually leading to at least three meters of global sea level rise

May 14, 2014 |By Ben Strauss and Climate Central

By the metric of most people living on land less than 10 ft above the high tide line, New York City is most threatened in the long run, with a low-lying population count of more than 700,000.
Courtesy of Climate Central

New research indicates that climate change has already triggered an unstoppable decay of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The projected decay will lead to at least 4 feet of accelerating global sea level rise within the next two-plus centuries, and at least 10 feet of rise in the end.

What does the U.S. look like with an ocean that is 10 feet higher? The radically transformed map would lose 28,800 square miles of land, home today to 12.3 million people.

These figures come from Climate Central research published in 2012, analyzing and mapping every coastal city, county and state in the lower 48 states. (A next generation of research is currently under way.)

Cities with the Most Population
on Affected Land
CITY POPULATION
1. New York City
2. New Orleans
3. Miami
4. Hialeah, FL
5. Virginia Beach
6. Fort Lauderdale
7. Norfolk
8. Stockton, CA
9. Metairie, LA
10. Hollywood, FL
703,000
342,000
275,000
224,000
195,000
160,000
157,000
142,000
138,000
126,000
All cities

More than half of the area of 40 large cities (population over 50,000) is less than 10 feet above the high tide line, from Virginia Beach and Miami (the largest affected), down to Hoboken, N.J. (smallest). Twenty-seven of the cities are in Florida, where one-third of all current housing sits below the critical line — including 85 percent in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Each of these counties is more threatened than any whole state outside of Florida – and each sits on bedrock filled with holes, rendering defense by seawalls or levees almost impossible.

By the metric of most people living on land less than 10 ft above the high tide line, New York City is most threatened in the long run, with a low-lying population count of more than 700,000. Sixteen other cities, including New Orleans, La.; Norfolk, Va.; Stockton, Calif.; Boston, Mass.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Jacksonville, Fla.; are on the list of places with more than 100,000 people below the line. (Much of New Orleans is already below sea level, but is protected at today’s level by levees.)

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
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Michael Pollan: Cooked – A Natural History of Transformation


Forum Network

Published on May 13, 2014

Harvard Book Store welcomed bestselling author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma Michael Pollan for a discussion of Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, new to paperback.
In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer.
Each section of Cooked tracks Pollan’s effort to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements. A North Carolina barbecue pit master tutors him in the primal magic of fire; a Chez Panisse–trained cook schools him in the art of braising; a celebrated baker teaches him how air transforms grain and water into a fragrant loaf of bread; and finally, several mad-genius “fermentos” (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers) reveal how fungi and bacteria can perform the most amazing alchemies of all. The reader learns alongside Pollan, but the lessons move beyond the practical to become an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships. Cooking, above all, connects us.
The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching. Relying upon corporations to process our food means we consume large quantities of fat, sugar, and salt; disrupt an essential link to the natural world; and weaken our relationships with family and friends. In fact, Cooked argues, taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable. Reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, opens the door to a more nourishing life.

This talk was taped by Annie Shreffler of WGBH.

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters

“THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS,” Orwell’s Preface to Animal Farm

THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

George Orwell was the pseudonym of English author Eric Arthur Blair, born in 1903 in Bengal, where his father worked for the Opium Department of the Government of India. His first book publication was Down and Out in Paris and London (1933) dealing with his experience of poverty and homelessness in those two cities, which Orwell researched by living as an indigent for some months. For the same publisher he produced The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), which was controversial for including Orwell’s trenchant criticism of England’s left-wing intelligentsia alongside a larger attack on the flaws of capitalism as exemplified in the wretched lives led by the working poor. Orwell also wrote six fictional novels, including Animal Farm (1945) and the chock-full-of-neologisms 1984 (1949), as well as a number of essay collections and an account of his involvement in the Spanish Civil War, Homage to Catalonia (1938). He died in 1950 after a long battle with tuberculosis.


…(read more).

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The Intercept

The Intercept, a publication of First Look Media, was created by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill. It has a two-fold mission: one short-term, the other long-term.

Our short-term mission is to provide a platform to report on the documents previously provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Although we are still building our infrastructure and larger vision, we are launching now because we believe we have a vital obligation to this ongoing and evolving story, to these documents, and to the public.

Our NSA coverage will be comprehensive, innovative and multi-faceted. We have a team of experienced editors and journalists devoted to the story. We will use all forms of digital media for our reporting. In addition, we will publish primary source documents on which our reporting is based. We will also invite outside experts with area knowledge to contribute to our reporting, and provide a platform for commentary and reader engagement.

Our long-term mission is to produce fearless, adversarial journalism across a wide range of issues. The editorial independence of our journalists will be guaranteed. They will be encouraged to pursue their passions, cultivate a unique voice, and publish stories without regard to whom they might anger or alienate. We believe the prime value of journalism is its power to impose transparency, and thus accountability, on the most powerful governmental and corporate bodies, and our journalists will be provided the full resources and support required to do this.

While our initial focus will be the critical work surrounding the NSA story, we are excited by the opportunity to grow with our readers into the broader and more comprehensive news outlet that the The Intercept will become.

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First Look Media

https://vimeo.com/85162918

https://firstlook.org/

First Look Media seeks to reimagine journalism for the digital age, combining the promise of technological innovation with the power of fearless reporting. Founded by Pierre Omidyar, the organization will pursue original, independent journalism that is deeply reported and researched, thoroughly fact checked, and beautifully told. We are driven above all by a belief that democracy depends on a citizenry that is not just highly informed, but deeply engaged. In all our work, we are committed to strict standards of accuracy and honesty, a willingness to report our own errors and inconsistencies as well as those of others, and a deep respect for the transformative power of true stories.

Global Climate Change
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Media

US Military, Monsanto Targeting GMO Activists and Independent Scientists, New Investigation Alleges

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 10:52 By Sayer Ji, Green Med Info | Report

A highly concerning new investigative report from the largest daily newspaper in Germany alleges that Monsanto, the US Military and the US government have colluded to track and disrupt both anti-GMOactivists and independent scientists who study the adverse effects of genetically modified food.

As revealed yesterday by Sustainable Pulse, on July 13th the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung detailed information on how the US Government “advances the interests of their corporations,” focusing on Monsanto as a prime example.

The report titled, “The Sinister Monsanto Group: ‘Agent Orange’ to Genetically Modified Corn,” described a ‘new fangled cyber war’ being waged against both eco-activists and independent scientists by supporters and former employees of Monsanto, who are described as “operationally powerful assistants” and who have taken up sometimes high ranking posts in the US administration, regulatory authorities, and some of whom have connections deep within the military industrial establishment, including the CIA.

“Monsanto contacts are known to the notorious former secret service agent Joseph Cofer Black, who helped formulate the law of the jungle in the fight against terrorists and other enemies. He is a specialist on dirty work, a total hardliner. He worked for the CIA for almost three decades, among other things as the head of anti-terroism. He later became vice president of the private security company Blackwater, which sent tens of thousands of soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan under US government orders.”

…(read more).

Environmental Justice
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Food-Matters

Washington’s China: The National Security World, the Cold War, And the Origins of Globalism (Culture, Politics, and the Cold War): James Peck

This book addresses a central question about the Cold War that has never been adequately resolved. Why did the United States go to such lengths, not merely to “contain” the People’s Republic of China, but to isolate it from all diplomatic, cultural, and economic ties to other nations? Why, in other words, was American policy more hostile to China than to the Soviet Union, at least until President Nixon visited China in 1972? The answer, as set out here, lies in the fear of China’s emergence as a power capable of challenging the new Asian order the United States sought to shape in the wake of World War II. To meet this threat, American policy-makers fashioned an ideology that was not simply or exclusively anticommunist, but one that aimed at creating an integrated, cooperative world capitalism under U.S. leadership – an ideology, in short, designed to outlive the Cold War. In building his argument, James Peck draws on a wide variety of little-known documents from the archives of the National Security Council and the CIA. He shows how American officials initially viewed China as a “puppet” of the Soviet Union, then as “independent junior partner” in a Sino-Soviet bloc, and finally as “revolutionary model” and sponsor of social upheaval in the Third World. Each of these constructs revealed more about U.S. perceptions and strategic priorities than about actual shifts in Chinese thought and conduct. All were based on the assumption that China posed a direct threat not just to specific U.S. interests and objectives abroad but to the larger vision of a new global order dominated by American economic and military power. Although the nature of “Washington’s China” may have changed over the years, Peck contends that the ideology behind it remains unchanged, even today.

Environmental Justice
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BBC News – Balkans floods: Appeal for aid as rescue continues

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27465175
19 May 2014 Last updated at 02:15 ET

Guy Delauney reports on the latest rescue efforts in Belgrade

Related Stories

Serbia and Bosnia have called for international help to rescue people from inundated areas after the worst flooding since modern records began.

Waters are now beginning to recede, but officials say dangers remain.

They say that the threat of landslides is an ever-present problem as are the difficulties caused by unexploded landmines in Bosnia and river surges.

Serbia’s main power plant is still at risk of flooding. Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes.

Bosnian Refugee Minister Adil Osmanovic described the flooding as “catastrophic”.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
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Glenn Greenwald: No Place to Hide – Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State


Forum Network

Published on May 19, 2014

Harvard Book Store welcomed political commentators Glenn Greenwald and Noam Chomsky for a discussion of Greenwald’s latest book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State.

In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency’s widespread, systemic overreach proved to be some of the most explosive and consequential news in recent history, triggering a fierce debate over national security and information privacy. As the arguments rage on and the government considers various proposals for reform, it is clear that we have yet to see the full impact of Snowden’s disclosures.

Now for the first time, Greenwald fits all the pieces together, recounting his high-intensity eleven-day trip to Hong Kong, examining the broader implications of the surveillance detailed in his reporting for The Guardian, and revealing fresh information on the NSA’s unprecedented abuse of power with never-before-seen documents entrusted to him by Snowden himself.

Going beyond NSA specifics, Greenwald also takes on the establishment media, excoriating their habitual avoidance of adversarial reporting on the government and their failure to serve the interests of the people. Finally, he asks what it means both for individuals and for a nation’s political health when a government pries so invasively into the private lives of its citizens—and considers what safeguards and forms of oversight are necessary to protect democracy in the digital age. Coming at a landmark moment in American history, No Place to Hide is a fearless, incisive, and essential contribution to our understanding of the U.S. surveillance state.

Environmental Justice
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