TPP: Terrible Plutocratic Plan
The TPP is actually the Trans-Pacific Partnership, more commonly known as NAFTA on steroids. The U.S. government is secretly negotiating this treaty with Pacific nations. Here are a few highlights of what whistleblowers have revealed is in this fundamentally anti-democratic treaty:
- Corporate nationhood, empowering corporations to sue real nations and overturn their laws.
- Job offshoring.
- Damage to food safety and environmental protections.
- Enrichment of drug companies at the expense of health, and banning some generic drugs.
- Further deregulating banks, and forbidding the breaking up of too-big-to-fail financial firms.
- Censoring the internet.
- Go to this link to sign the petition against theTPPhttp://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=8036
Jury nullification. Pass it on.
Must read of the week. Why are politicians not addressing climate change? Because you don’t ask.
- Climate change does not register as a high-priority issue for most Americans, and the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns are both exacerbating the situation by ignoring the issue.
- The consequence of this inattention will be an irreversible commitment to a much higher level of global warming than either Obama or Romney care to admit.
- If Americans are to have any hope of addressing climate change, a grassroots social movement must challenge the irresponsibility of both candidates.
The Keystone XL Pipeline route will separate thousands of miles of animal habitat, destroy fragile forests, put thousands of farms at risk, and threaten drinking water aquifers used by dozens of cities where millions of Americans work and live - all for Canadian oil that will primarily be sold on the international market.
Above: South of Fort McMurray, swaths of trees were removed to make way for an underground oil pipeline that carries product from the oil sands mines to processing facilities. Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post
More tangible examples of climate impacts.
Western Fires Kill Thousands of Cattle
Across the West, major wildfires are wreaking havoc this summer on the region’s economically fragile livestock industry. In areas such as remote Powder River County, Mont., ranchers says they could be grappling with the devastation for years to come.
Hay is in short supply. Hundreds of miles of fence and numerous corrals and water tanks must be rebuilt. Thousands of head of displaced livestock are being shipped to temporary pastures. Similar scenes are playing out in Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho. Including Montana, the value of the six states’ cattle industries approaches $9 billion annually.
The following is an excerpt from an article published in Harvard Magazine on July 26, 2012:
A team of Harvard scientists led by Weld professor of atmospheric chemistry James G. Anderson announced today the discovery of serious and wholly unexpected ozone loss over the United States in summer. The finding, published in advance online on July 26 at Science’s Science Express website, is startling because the complex atmospheric chemistry that destroys ozone has previously been thought to occur only at very cold temperatures over polar regions where there is very little threat to humans. (A large hole in the ozone layer persists over Antarctica.) The discovery also links—for the first time—ozone loss (an issue around which world leaders successfully organized to ban chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs) to climate change (a global problem that has so far proven politically intractable).
The ozone layer blocks a large fraction of the sun’s ultraviolet light from reaching the earth, protecting life forms from potentially damaging radiation that in humans can lead to skin cancer. But stratospheric ozone is susceptible to chemical catalysts of manmade origin, such as chlorine and bromine, which are present in the earth’s atmosphere as a result of the formerly widespread commercial use of CFCs. And the chemical reactions that destroy ozone are highly dependent on both atmospheric temperature and the presence of water vapor.
Anderson’s team has discovered that during intense summer storms over the United States, water vapor is thrust by convection far higher into the lower stratosphere than previously thought possible, altering atmospheric conditions in a way that leads to substantial, widespread ozone loss throughout the ensuing week. The paper links the loss of ozone over populated mid-latitude regions in summer to the frequency and intensity of these big storms, which could increase with climate change resulting from rising levels of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere.
The New York Police Department will soon launch an all-seeing “Domain Awareness System” that combines several streams of information to track both criminals and potential terrorists.
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says the city developed the software with Microsoft.
Kelly says the program combines city-wide video surveillance with law enforcement databases.
He says it will be officially unveiled by New York’s mayor as soon as next week.
Kelly spoke Saturday before an audience at the Aspen Security Forum.
The NYPD has been under fire for surveillance of Muslim communities and partnering with the CIA to track potential terror suspects. Muslim groups have sued to shut down the NYPD programs.
Kelly defended the policies as key to thwarting 14 terror plots against the city since the attacks of Sept. 11th.
“What would a McMansion become if it weren’t a single-family dwelling? How could a vacant big box store be retrofitted for agriculture? What sort of design solutions can you come up with to facilitate car-free mobility, ‘burb-grown food, and local, renewable energy generation?”
Reburbia offers some compelling solutions for turning urban sprawl into self-sustaining, walkable communities.
Click the picture to see the winners of the Reburbia design competition.
The presentations and case studies are tuned for use by practicing land managers and foresters, especially in the western U.S. But, they are particularly useful for students of adaptation, disaster managers, ecologists, forest management, etc.
Report shows Republicans voted in favor of stripping environmental laws to help the oil and gas industry.
“Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Ed Markey released a new report that provides an updated analysis of the anti-environment record of the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress. In 2011 and in the first half of 2012, the Republican-controlled House voted 247 times to dismantle environmental and public health protections.
The report, prepared by the Democratic staff of the Energy and Commerce Committee, found that the House averaged one anti-environmental vote for every day the House was in session in 2011 and in the first half of 2012. Nearly one in five of the 1,100 legislative roll call votes thus far this Congress – 19% – were votes to undermine environmental protection.
The report also found that the oil and gas industry has been the largest beneficiary of this anti-environment record in the House. The House has voted 109 times on legislation that would enrich the oil and gas industry. This includes 45 votes to weaken environmental, public health, and safety requirements applicable to the oil industry, 38 votes to prevent deployment of clean energy alternatives, and 12 votes to expedite review of the Keystone XL pipeline.
- The full report is available here.
- A comprehensive list of all anti-environment votes in the 112th Congress is available here.
- A list of all votes related to the oil and gas industry is available online here.