Daily Archives: June 14, 2016

Noam Chomsky: Crises and the Unipolar Moment talking at SOAS, University of London


Noam Chomsky Videos & Quotes

Published on Jun 14, 2016

Noam Chomsky: Crises and the Unipolar Moment talking at SOAS, University of London

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

How shareholders jumped to first in line for profits

By Scott Tong June 14, 2016 | 6:58 PM
Milton Friedman, one of the most influential economists of the 20th century. – PBS


CEOs say it all the time: they have a responsibility to “maximize shareholder value.” Fund managers say it too: CEOs have a responsibility to maximize profits for shareholders. That’s the job of a corporation.
But companies have not always seen themselves as serving stockholders first.

The big change began with a professor. At the University of Chicago, economist Milton Friedman (who would later win the Nobel Prize) wrote this in the New York Times Magazine in 1970:

“There is one and only one social responsibility of business — to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits.”

Profits for whom? For shareholders, Friedman wrote.

“Some called it slumpflation,” said Rick Wartzman of the Drucker Institute and author of the upcoming book “The End of Loyalty.” “’Inflump’ was another one that circulated. But most famously it was stagflation.’”This

was a new idea that began to take root. Throughout the decade of the ’70s, the old postwar business model was crumbling under pressure from inflation and weak growth.

The downturn exposed American companies as uncompetitive in an increasingly global environment.

“Many companies had gotten fat and lazy during thegolden age of American business,'” Wartzman said. “We just didn’t see the seams starting to come apart until the late ’60s and early ’70s.”

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
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Findings – Climate Ready Boston

Climate Ready Boston is an initiative to develop resilient solutions which will prepare our city for climate change. It has three main elements, which will also be summarized in a final report:

CLIMATE PROJECTIONS CONSENSUS

Drawing on existing research to project future climate impacts in the Boston region, including extreme temperatures, sea level rise, heavy precipitation and coastal storms.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Niger delta avengers demand foreign mediators in negotiations with gov’t


CCTV Africa

Published on Jun 14, 2016

The Niger Delta Avengers, a militant group that has carried out attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria’s southern oil region, said it would only negotiate with the government if independent foreign mediators were involved. Last week the group rejected an offer from the government to hold talks. Attacks in the southern swampland have pushed oil production to a 20-year low in what was until recently Africa’s biggest oil producing nation. Its production has fallen behind Angola in the last few weeks. On Sunday, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, one of the region’s largest militant groups until it signed up for a government amnesty in 2009, urged the Avengers to take part in negotiations.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Noam Chomsky: The Republican Party Is Becoming a Real Danger to Human Survival

(Andrew Rusk / Flickr) Web Only / Views » June 13, 2016

Nuclear weapons, climate change, and the prospects for survival.

BY Noam Chomsky

Prospects for decent long-term survival are not high unless there is a significant change of course.

This piece first appeared in TomDispatch. It is excerpted from Noam Chomsky’s new book, Who Rules the World? (Metropolitan Books).

In January 2015, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists advanced its famous Doomsday Clock to three minutes before midnight, a threat level that had not been reached for 30 years. The Bulletin’s statement explaining this advance toward catastrophe invoked the two major threats to survival: nuclear weapons and “unchecked climate change.” The call condemned world leaders, who “have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe,” endangering “every person on Earth [by] failing to perform their most important duty—ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization.”

Since then, there has been good reason to consider moving the hands even closer to doomsday.

As 2015 ended, world leaders met in Paris to address the severe problem of “unchecked climate change.” Hardly a day passes without new evidence of how severe the crisis is. To pick almost at random, shortly before the opening of the Paris conference, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab released a study that both surprised and alarmed scientists who have been studying Arctic ice. The study showed that a huge Greenland glacier, Zachariae Isstrom, “broke loose from a glaciologically stable position in 2012 and entered a phase of accelerated retreat,” an unexpected and ominous development. The glacier “holds enough water to raise global sea level by more than 18 inches (46 centimeters) if it were to melt completely. And now it’s on a crash diet, losing 5 billion tons of mass every year. All that ice is crumbling into the North Atlantic Ocean.”

Yet there was little expectation that world leaders in Paris would “act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe.” And even if by some miracle they had, it would have been of limited value, for reasons that should be deeply disturbing.

When the agreement was approved in Paris, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who hosted the talks, announced that it is “legally binding.” That may be the hope, but there are more than a few obstacles that are worthy of careful attention.

..(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Study: CO2 in Atmosphere to Remain Above Threshold of 400 PPM


June 14, 2016
Headlines

In another climate milestone, a study projects levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will smash the threshold of 400 parts per million this year and not fall below it again in our lifetimes. The 400-parts-per-million threshold has been an important marker in U.N. climate negotiations, widely recognized as a dangerous level that could drastically worsen global warming. The environmentalist group 350.org takes its name after the 350-parts-per-million threshold that scientists say is the maximum atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide for a safe planet.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Nutrition-Driven Global Food System

IFPRI Director General Shenggen Fan talks about the importance of prioritizing a nutrition-driven global food system.

E120, e130, food matters,