Daily Archives: March 26, 2021

Jim Crow Redux: Georgia GOP Governor Signs “Egregious” Voter Suppression Law Targeting Black Voters


Democracy Now!

Published on Mar 26, 2021

Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp has signed a sweeping elections bill that civil rights groups are blasting as the worst voter suppression legislation since the Jim Crow era. The bill grants broad power to state officials to take control of election management from local and county election boards. It also adds new voter ID requirements, severely limits mail-in ballot drop boxes, rejects ballots cast in the wrong precinct and allows conservative activists to challenge the eligibility of an unlimited number of voters. Since the 2020 election, Republican state lawmakers have introduced over 250 bills in 43 states to limit voter access. The elections bill is “extremely egregious” in its restriction of voting rights, says journalist Anoa Changa. “They’re continuing to put processes in place that reinforce these narratives that … have long existed within the Republican toolkit to help get their base fearful in terms of what might come in terms of Black voters and other voters of color.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Final Book and Her Legacy

NowThis News

Published on Mar 26, 2021

‘Knowing her was a privilege, it was an honor, and it was a joy’ — Amanda Tyler, who started working as a clerk for RBG in 1999, talked to NowThis about co-authoring a book about her legacy.

The Climate Crisis: Towards Zero Carbon


Cambridge University

Premiered Feb 25, 2020

Forests burn, glaciers melt and one million species face extinction. Can we humans save the planet from ourselves? In a new film, alumni Sir David Attenborough and Dr Jane Goodall DBE, and leading Cambridge University researchers, talk about the urgency of the climate crisis – and some of the solutions that will take us towards zero carbon. If we are to avoid climate disaster we must sharply reduce our carbon dioxide emissions starting today – but how? Cambridge researchers describe their work on generating and storing renewable energy, reducing energy consumption, understanding the impact of climate policies, and probing how we can each reduce our environmental impact. We hear how the ambitious new programme Cambridge Zero is bringing together ideas and innovations to tackle the global challenge of climate catastrophe – and inspiring a generation of future leaders – and how the University is looking at its own operations to develop a zero carbon pathway for the future. Explore more: Cambridge Zero: https://www.zero.cam.ac.uk/​ Cambridge research on sustainability: http://www.cam.ac.uk/topics/sustainable-earth

Zero Carbon Living


Facing Future

Published on Mar 25, 2021

A #zerocarbon​ home in cold New England? Bill Moomaw built one in 2007 and he’s still powering his heat and electricity, as well as his electric car from his solar panels and ground source #heatpump​. And that’s an old system! Solar panels now have higher efficiency and lower cost, as well as subsidies in many states. If we are to mitigate the climate crisis, we must focus on “sunrise” industries that are sustainable, not on 19th century “sunset” industries that are sustained by fossil fuel.
Bill Moomaw has authored many special reports for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on #ClimateChange​. He says we are in an emergency, but we are not beyond the point of no return. We know what needs to be done. We need the will to do it. Using the Powers of 10 Model, it’s clear that every action has the capability to inspire 10 more, then 100, then 1000, until we reach critical mass.

After the “Green Revolution” Who “Owns” Global Agriculture? The Fatal Mistake of Misplaced Metaphors in Our Globalized Agro-ecosystem

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http://ecoethics.net/2014-ENVRE120/20210328-EV&N-384-Link.html

https://www.cctvcambridge.org/node/773539

YouTube Version

One of the impacts of the “Green Revolution” has involved the redistribution of the ownership and effective control of the world’s agricultural assets.

See related:

and the broader context:

Pastoralists’ voices in 360 – A story on intercommunity coexistence in the Greater Karamoja Cluster – YouTube

Published on Mar 26, 2021
http://www.fao.org

Experience FAO’s work with pastoralist communities in the Greater Karamoja Cluster in East Africa. In this immersive 360° experience, use your mouse to scroll inside the video and explore our work through the eyes of the beneficiaries: from Pokot and Karamojong shepherds, and a young girl’s passion for farming, to a Kenyan veterinarian’s life’s work.!

Through cross-border coordination of livestock movements and sharing of natural resources, discover the result of more than a decade of FAO’s work in building resilient livelihoods contributing to peace and stability and overcoming a challenging history of cross border proportions.

Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge: Vandana Shiva

In this intelligently argued and principled book, internationally renowned Third World environmentalist Vandana Shiva exposes the latest frontier of the North’s ongoing assault against the South’s biological and other resources. Since the land, the forests, the oceans, and the atmosphere have already been colonized, eroded, and polluted, she argues, Northern capital is now carving out new colonies to exploit for gain: the interior spaces of the bodies of women, plants and animals.

About the Author

A world-renowned environmental leader and recipient of the 1993 Alternative Nobel Peace Prize (the Right Livelihood Award), Shiva has authored several bestselling books, most recently Earth Democracy. Activist and scientist, Shiva leads, with Ralph Nader and Jeremy Rifkin, the International Forum on Globalization. Before becoming an activist, Shiva was one of India’s leading physicists.

  • Publisher : South End Press; First Edition (July 1, 1999)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 148 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0896085554
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0896085558
  • Item Weight : 2.4 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches

farmlandgrab.org | Stop TIAA’s corporate investment in land grabs that foster displa cement and threaten biological and ecological destruction.

PSC-CUNY | March 2021

Stop TIAA’s corporate investment in land grabs that foster displacement and threaten biological and ecological destruction

The following resolution was adopted in March 2021 by the Professional Staff Congress, a union that represents 30,000 faculty and staff at the City University of New York and the CUNY Research Foundation

Resolution Title: Stop TIAA’s corporate investment in land grabs that foster displacement and threaten biological and ecological destruction. Submitted by: PSC- Environmental Justice Working Group.

Whereas, TIAA has invested billions of dollars, directly or through its subsidiaries, in land in Brazil, the US, and elsewhere, and has invested in agribusiness companies associated with deforestation, labor abuses, human-rights violations, and severe climate impacts; and

Whereas, the investments in grabbed land deprive independent family farmers of their land, leading to displacement, loss of ancient cultural and community ties, and exposure to disease-causing chemicals sprayed onto crops or otherwise applied; and

Whereas, much of this land is in Brazil where it has expanded industrial agriculture in the threatened ecosystem of the Cerrado region, contributing to loss of biodiversity, air and ground-water pollution, and increased greenhouse gas emissions associated with petrochemicals used, methods of monoculture agriculture, and deforestation; and

Whereas, a significant portion of the acquired lands was bought from known speculators who grabbed the land illegally and forced off the peasant occupants using tactics of intimidation and violence; and

Whereas, fraud, intentional deforestation, and the subsequent loss of productive soil are part and parcel of land grabbing; and

Whereas, concentrated agricultural landholdings typically produce export commodities rather than food for local consumption, under conditions that threaten the physical environment and encourage consumption of an unhealthy diet; and

Whereas, TIAA is also buying farmland in the United States, leading a trend of corporate and institutional land accumulation that threatens soil erosion, pollution, the future of family farming, especially for African American farmers, and access to locally-based healthy food distribution; and

Whereas, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Environment Program, and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights all call upon the financial sector to do its part in reducing climate emissions and respecting human rights; and

Whereas, TIAA falsely claims to be a leader in responsible investing and the inclusion of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria in its investment decisions; and

Whereas, TIAA puts its clients’ funds at risk by acquiring land from sellers that a Brazilian court has found to have illegally grabbed land; and

Whereas these investments expose TIAA and its beneficiaries-including faculty members with retirement investments-to a host of material financial risks including operational risk, market risk, regulatory risk, policy risk, reputational risk, and physical risks related to the unsustainable exploitation of ecosystems; and

Whereas, the PSC has been historically committed to the defense of human, civil and labor rights as well as the promotion of social justice, both at home and abroad; and

Whereas, a majority of PSC members have substantial investments in the TIAA family of funds, and recognize the responsibility that comes with such financial involvement;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the PSC, on behalf of its membership, call on TIAA and its corporate subsidiaries to halt investments in land and agribusiness, divest itself of any land already acquired; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the PSC call on TIAA, while still invested in land to be transparent and inform investors of the names of funds that contain grabbed land and the amount invested, so that members can choose funds that satisfy their ethical requirements; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the PSC educate its members on these issues of TIAA agricultural land grabs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the PSC urge NYSUT and AFT affiliates with higher education members to support the cessation of TIAA in investing in agricultural land and agribusiness.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/17/world/americas/tiaa-cref-us-investment-giant-accused-of-land-grabs-in-brazil.html
https://www.grain.org/article/entries/5336-foreign-pension-funds-and-land-grabbing-in-brazil
https://foe.org/publication/invested-exploitation-tiaas-ties-land-grabbing-deforestation/
https://www.grain.org/en/article/6456-harvard-s-land-grabs-in-brazil-are-a-disaster-for-communities-and-a-warning-to-speculators 
https://foe.org/news/groups-call-on-harvard-university-to-stop-land-grabs-as-new-report-exposes-harm-done-to-communities-in-brazil/
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-17/u-s-pension-fund-tiaa-embroiled-in-brazil-land-purchase-probe?sref=5DzaVjJc
Original source: PSC-CUNY