Jeremy Paxman continues his personal account of Britain’s empire, looking at how the empire began as a pirates’ treasure hunt, grew into an informal empire based on trade and developed into a global financial network. He travels from Jamaica, where sugar made plantation owners rich on the backs of African slaves, to Calcutta, where British traders became the new princes of India.
Jeremy then heads to Hong Kong, where British-supplied opium threatened to turn the Chinese into a nation of drug addicts – leading to the brutal opium wars, in which Britain triumphed and took the island of Hong Kong as booty. Unfair trading helped spark the independence movement in India, led by Mahatma Gandhi; in a former cotton spinning town in Lancashire,
Jeremy meets two women who remember Gandhi’s extraordinary visit in 1931.
More about this programme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01dtk57 It starts with piracy in the Caribbean, which gives way to growing sugar there – and forcing slaves from Africa to work them. Trade with India brings wealth to men like Robert Clive who progress from trader to governor. The empire grows piecemeal as chartered companies take over large tracts of foreign territory – answering only to head office in the City of London. Illegal opium sold to China makes a fortune for British businessmen – but sparks a war with the Chinese emperor.
We live in the United States of Surveillance–with cameras increasingly positioned on street corners and with much more invisible spying online and on the phone. Anyone who is paying attention knows that privacy could be out the window. All of this is not happening by accident -well funded powerful agencies and companies are engaged in the business of keeping tabs on what we do, what we say, and what we think. To many in the world, today, the face of America also has A BIG NOSE for sniffing and sifting mountains of data—phone calls, emails and texts. And with many mouths silenced by paranoia to keep what they decide is secret, secret. America has become a Surveillance-Industrial State where everyone’s business has become its business, and where one huge US intelligence Agency has been given the sanction and unlimited amounts of money to spy on the whole world. Mass Surveillance is the focus of this new 6 part investigative documentary series examining who is watching whom and why.
Dr. James Hansen and his legal advisor, Daniel Galpern, Esq., discuss making the fossil fuel companies, the ‘Carbon Majors’, pay for the damage they have done to society, not only in terms of climate change and all of its impacts, but also health impacts. This Climate Matters show, videotaped at COP-23 in Bonn, Germany, furthers the idea that the polluters must pay for the damage their pollution causes.
In this Climate Matters show live from COP-23 in Bonn, Kevin Anderson of Britain’s Tyndall Center and Hugh Hunt of Cambridge University, go at it in a lively discussion of all the loose talk happening about climate change and the lack of meaningful action. A lively and light conversation for a very serious and weighty subject.
Research has boosted the concepts of climate liability and corporate accountability in recent years from pie-in-the-sky theories to plausible underpinnings for litigation. Now, a new report synthesizing this research concludes there is solid evidentiary basis for holding fossil fuel companies accountable for climate change.
The report by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), released Thursday at the United Nations climate talks in Bonn, Germany, pulls together the studies and research of climate accountability and public deception and evaluates the evidence in the context of legal liability standards. Titled Smoke and Fumes: The Legal and Evidentiary Basis for Holding Big Oil Accountable for the Climate Crisis, it details what the petroleum industry knew about climate change, when it knew it, and what it did with this knowledge.
“The knowledge these companies had about the nature of their product and what it would do to the climate is important for different concepts of legal responsibility,” said CIEL staff attorney Steven Feit, a co-author of the report.
Under tort and human rights law, the report explains, liability for harm depends on the defendant’s ability to foresee this harm, and also having the opportunity to minimize or avoid the harm. The report concludes that big oil and gas corporations satisfy both conditions of liability.
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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