Daily Archives: May 1, 2015

Robert Reich -The Political Roots of Widening Inequality

Friday, May 1, 2015

For the past quarter-century I’ve offered in articles, books, and lectures an explanation for why average working people in advanced nations like the United States have failed to gain ground and are under increasing economic stress: Put simply, globalization and technological change have made most of us less competitive. The tasks we used to do can now be done more cheaply by lower-paid workers abroad or by computer-driven machines.

My solution—and I’m hardly alone in suggesting this—has been an activist government that raises taxes on the wealthy, invests the proceeds in excellent schools and other means people need to become more productive, and redistributes to the needy. These recommendations have been vigorously opposed by those who believe the economy will function better for everyone if government is smaller and if taxes and redistributions are curtailed.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Climate change risk to ‘one in six species’ – BBC News

Amphibians face a number of threats to their survival

One in six species on the planet could face extinction if nothing is done to tackle climate change, analysis suggests.

If carbon emissions continue on their current path – and temperatures rise by 4 degrees – 16% of animals and plants will be lost, according to a review of evidence.

The study, published in Science, shows risks are highest in South America, Australia and New Zealand.

Previous estimates range from 0 to 54%.

Dr Mark Urban of the University of Connecticut, US, analysed data from 131 scientific studies on the risk of extinction from climate change.

Many species will be able to shift their ranges and keep up with climate change whereas others will not Dr Mark Urban, University of Connecticut

He found that the rate of biodiversity loss is likely to speed up with each degree Celsius rise in temperature.

If future temperatures rise by 2 degrees compared with pre-industrial times, global extinction risk will rise from 2.8% today to 5.2%.

But under the scenario where global warming continues on its current path, 16% of species (one in six) face extinction.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

The Divide Between Rich and Poor Wider than Ever…


thomhartmann

Published on Apr 28, 2015

Thom Hartmann says thanks to Reaganomics, Americans born into poverty will most likely die in poverty.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Bart Simpson Sculpture Unveiled in New York


Associated Press

Published on May 1, 2015

Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson on ‘The Simpsons,’ has created a sculpture of Bart Simpson’s alter ego ‘Bartman’ that will sit on permanent display out front of the News Corp building in New York. (May 1)

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice
Media

Pope Francis Steps Up Campaign on Climate Change, to Conservatives’ Alarm – NYTimes.com

By CORAL DAVENPORT and LAURIE GOODSTEINAPRIL 27, 2015

WASHINGTON — Since his first homily in 2013, Pope Francis has preached about the need to protect the earth and all of creation as part of a broad message on the environment. It has caused little controversy so far.

But now, as Francis prepares to deliver what is likely to be a highly influential encyclical this summer on environmental degradation and the effects of human-caused climate change on the poor, he is alarming some conservatives in the United States who are loath to see the Catholic Church reposition itself as a mighty voice in a cause they do not believe in.

As part of the effort for the encyclical, top Vatican officials will hold a summit meeting Tuesday to build momentum for a campaign by Francis to urge world leaders to enact a sweeping United Nations climate change accord in Paris in December. The accord would for the first time commit every nation to enact tough new laws to cut the emissions that cause global warming.

The Vatican summit meeting will focus on the links between poverty, economic development and climate change, with speeches and panel discussions by climate scientists and religious leaders, and economists like Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia. The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, who is leading efforts to forge the Paris accord, will deliver the opening address.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Conservatives lash out at the Pope over climate change

In the 1980s, Pope John Paul II became the scourge of dictators the world over, lending succor to people’s power movements that brought down governments in southeast Asia, Latin America, the Warsaw Bloc, and the Soviet Union.

Three decades later, another populist pope—Francis—has embraced climate change activism as a pillar of the Catholic Church’s work on behalf of the world’s poor. The discomfited forces this time: US and UK conservatives who regard climate change as a hoax.

The Pope seems likely to release an “encyclical,” the much-watched letters in which pontiffs lay out official positions, in June. Experts say that he will put the church firmly behind efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, and environmentalists hope that will help them to win a global climate change accord at a United Nations summit in Paris in December.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin


euronews (in English)

Published on May 1, 2015

Taking a stand in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz are whistleblowers Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

Activists and members of Germany’s Green party unveiled the life-size bronze statues on Friday.

All are considered heroes on the political left for leaking US intelligence documents.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice
Media