Daily Archives: October 28, 2016

Will the DOJ or FCC Stop the AT&T Merger from Creating World’s Largest Media Conglomerate?


Is inequality undermining US democracy? – UpFront


White Terrorist Bundy Group Goes Free

E120, e139

Food and Energy Demand Drives 58 Percent Decline in Global Wildlife Populations


From: Lorin Hancock, World Wildlife Fund
Published October 28, 2016 07:16 AM RELATED ARTICLES

Global populations of vertebrates — mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish — have declined by 58 percent between 1970 and 2012, states a new report from World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Animals living in the world’s lakes, rivers, and freshwater systems have experienced the most dramatic population declines, at 81 percent. Because of human activity, the report states that without immediate intervention global wildlife populations could drop two-thirds by 2020.

“This research delivers a wake-up call that for decades we’ve treated our planet as if it’s disposable,” said Carter Roberts, WWF president and CEO. “We created this problem. The good news is that we can fix it. It requires updating our approach to food, energy, transportation, and how we live our lives. We share the same planet. We rely on it for our survival. So we are all responsible for its protection.”

The top threat to wildlife is habitat loss and degradation, driven primarily by increasing demand for food and energy. According to the report, global food production is the leading cause for destruction of habitats and overexploitation of wildlife. Agriculture currently occupies approximately one-third of Earth’s total land area and accounts for 70 percent of all freshwater use.

…(read more).

World has entered new climate reality – UN weather chief | Climate Home – climate change news

Published on 24/10/2016, 10:00am

Global average CO2 concentrations breached symbolic milestone of 400ppm for the first time in 2015, while temperatures soared

Global average temperature in 2015 was the warmest year since modern record-keeping began in 1880, while CO2 concentrations breached 400ppm for the first time. Source: Scientific Visualization Studio/Goddard Space Flight Center

By Karl Mathiesen

The most dangerous greenhouse gas has passed a new milestone, marking the beginning of a new paradigm for the planet and all of those who live upon it.

That was the stark warning of Petteri Taalas, secretary general of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), on Monday.

Releasing the WMO’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, Taalas confirmed that the average concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere had slipped above the landmark 400 parts per million for the first time.

Taalas said the unabated rise of global CO2 levels should refocus the minds of politicians and diplomats who have giddily heralded the rapid entry of the Paris climate agreement into law this year.

“The year 2015 ushered in a new era of optimism and climate action with the Paris climate change agreement. But it will also make history as marking a new era of climate change reality with record high greenhouse gas concentrations,” said Taalas.

…(read more).

The Econocracy: The Perils of Leaving Economics to the Experts

One hundred years ago the idea of ‘the economy’ didn’t exist. Now, improving the economy has come to be seen as perhaps the most important task facing modern societies. Politics and policymaking are conducted in the language of economics and economic logic shapes how political issues are thought about and addressed. The result is that the majority of citizens, who cannot speak this language, are locked out of politics while political decisions are increasingly devolved to experts. The econocracy explains how economics came to be seen this way – and the damaging consequences. It opens up the discipline and demonstrates its inner workings to the wider public so that the task of reclaiming democracy can begin.

Join us for the eagerly anticipated launch of our new book The Econocracy: The Perils of Leaving Economics to the Experts at the Old Theatre at the London School of Economics just five minutes walk from Holborn and Temple tube stations and 10 minutes walk from Charing Cross.

We will begin by introducing the Econocracy and then handover to the RSA’s Citizens’ Economic Council and Economy, two really exciting projects that are actively addressing many of the problems we highlight in the book. Then Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England, and author of the foreword for The Econocracy will offer his reflections on the book and the challenge of democratising economics more broadly.

Afterwards we will be going to the LSE Students’ Union just across the road for a drink and it would be wonderful to see you there!

When? Monday 21st November, 6.30pm-9.00pm.
Where? Old Theatre, London School of Economics, London.

The Ethanol Lie . . . aka “The Ethanol Effect”


Uploaded on Sep 16, 2008

Ethanol Lie: While visiting a remote village in southern Ecuador this summer, an old woman suddenly approached us in distress. We were shocked to discover whats happening there because we are using corn for fuel in the US.

The old woman’s name is Lastenia Correa Aponte. This video is HER STORY.

***** For more information go to: http://www.ethanol-lie.com *****

Using Food for fuel: We didn’t intend to make a video focused on corn ethanol or congress’ energy policy but that’s where this story led us. It seems that when we burn food to run our cars it affects the whole world!

In the past, it was cheaper for countries like Ecuador to import corn from the US. But after congress mandated increased biofuels, the price of corn went up, and Ecuador faced food shortages. Thats why peasants are burning tropical forests to plant corn. This deforestation is actually INCREASING global warming.

This video shows a rare dry tropical forest in Ecuador with over 800 bird species. But unfortunately this biodiversity-hotspot may be lost to cornfields.

Also see: Energy Policy Act 2005; HR6 Energy Independence Security Act 2007; E85.