The Koch brothers have been making criminal justice reform a centerpiece of their lobbying efforts, but don’t be fooled into thinking that they actually care about the fact that our prisons are being packed. Instead, the Kochs are trying to make it more difficult for white collar criminals to be prosecuted.
Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this with Brendan Fischer, the general counsel for the Center for Media and Democracy.
As TransCanada files a NAFTA claim for $15 billion against the U.S. government over the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, we turn to another case in which massive trade agreements have infringed on the U.S. government’s ability to pass legislation. In December, Congress passed a spending bill that included a repeal of a law requiring meat to be labeled with its country of origin. The repeal of the legislation came after the World Trade Organization threatened to impose billion-dollar sanctions against the United States, saying the label law violated trade deals. According to Lori Wallach of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, this type of infringement is just the beginning if the Trans-Pacific Partnership is approved.
On Wednesday, TransCanada Corporation filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court alleging President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline exceeded his power under the U.S. Constitution. TransCanada also filed legal action under the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, claiming the pipeline permit denial was “arbitrary and unjustified.” It’s seeking $15 billion as part of its NAFTA claim. TransCanada’s lawsuit comes just days before President Obama’s final State of the Union address, where he’s anticipated to tout his controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, deal.
The secretive trade pact between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations could govern up to 40 percent of the world’s economy. After TransCanada announced its lawsuit on Wednesday, the group Friends of the Earth released a statement saying, “This is why Friends of the Earth opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade agreements, which allow companies and investors to challenge sovereign government decisions to protect public health and the environment.” For more, we’re joined by Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.
Dagget’s ideas fly in the face of our culture’s ancient assumption that humans are separate from nature and of current notions that the best way for us to protect the land is to leave it alone. He demonstrates case after case of positive human engagement in the environment and of managed ecosystems and restored areas that are richer, more diverse, and healthier than unmanaged ones.
Much of pre-Columbian America, he contends, was not a pristine wilderness but an ancient garden managed over millennia by native peoples who shaped the plant and animal communities around them to the mutual benefit of all. What Dagget is proposing is a radical change in the way we define land health and the ways this health can be achieved. Rather than leaving the land alone, he recommends a new kind of environmentalism based on management, science, evolution, and holism, and served by humans who enrich the environment even as they benefit from it.
In this way, we humans can resume our ancient role as gardeners and stewards of our world, reviving damaged land, facilitating the return of native species, restoring the land’s ability to absorb and store water and carbon. Dagget’s new environmentalism offers hopeful solutions to the current ecological crisis and a new purpose for our human energies and ideals. This book is essential reading for anyone involved with the earth and anyone seeking a viable way for our burgeoning human population to continue to live upon it.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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