User: flenvcenter Topic: Sustainability-National
Category: Environmental Justice :: General
Last updated: Mar 23 2015 24:38 IST RSS 2.0
 
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"All Japan" vs. "All Okinawa": Abe Shinzo's Military-First Politics 22.3.2015 Truthout.com
A grand, and massively unequal, struggle over the future of Japan is underway. At sea, a miniscule flotilla of canoes and kayaks confronts a solid wall of National Coastguard ships and on land a few hundred protesters face off 24 hours a day against riot police outside Camp Schwab Marine Corps base, trying in vain to halt the delivery of materials for the construction of a new Marine Corps base on Oura Bay. As Okinawa struggles to assert and give shape to its new form of “All Okinawa” politics, its struggle is waged against the backdrop of nation-wide indifference, reinforced by the silence of the press, amounting to a national consensus of support for the discrimination and violent repression meted out by the be government, a contemporary soryokusen (All-Out War) in which Abe’s “All Japan” brings to bear the “irresistible force” of state power upon the “immovable object” of “All Okinawa” resistance. Should the state now proceed to crush, divide, and remove that resistance, the crystallization of an ...
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From Basic Income to Social Dividends: Sharing the Value of Common Resources 20.3.2015 Commondreams.org Views
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Republicans Vote To Hide Costs Of Repealing Obamacare In Budget 20.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee voted Thursday to shield attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act from objections that it would add to the government's budget deficit. The budget resolution for 2016 includes what are known as reconciliation instructions that tell several congressional committees to come up with ways to undo Obamacare. Such reconciliation measures only require 51 votes to pass in the Senate. But the spending plan also includes language that allows lawmakers to raise what are known as budget points of order against any legislation that would add more than $5 billion to the deficit, and block it. According to the last estimate by the Congressional Budget Office, repealing Obamcare would add $210 billion to the deficit . That would seem to make it likely that any Obamacare repeal effort would run afoul of a point of order, which takes 60 votes to surmount. So, later in the resolution, it exempts an attempt to repeal Obamacare from those points of order. "What we ...
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Bernie Sanders Rails Against GOP Budget As Boost To Income Inequality 19.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- To Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the new Republican budgets offered this week aren't so much spending blueprints as they are promises to help the rich get richer and boost income inequality. There are some large differences between the House GOP budget offered Tuesday and the Senate plan unveiled Wednesday. The House version includes deeper cuts to the safety net, for example, along with significantly greater military spending. But to Sanders, the top minority member of the Senate Budget Committee, neither version of the budget would do much to help working-class Americans, students, the elderly or the sick -- although they both offer plenty of handouts to wealthy taxpayers and corporations. "At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, my Republican colleagues apparently believe that the richest people in this country need to be made even richer," said Sanders after Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) unveiled the Senate document at a committee meeting Wednesday. "It is ...
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Why Congress' Obamacare Doomsday Cult Can't Admit It Was Wrong 16.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- In the 1950s, the psychologist Leon Festinger became fascinated by a Chicago woman pseudonymously named Marian Keech, who convinced herself and a surprising number of others that the world was about to end in a biblical flood. When aliens didn’t arrive in spaceships to save Keech and her followers on Dec. 21, 1954, as she predicted, it did not, at least as far as Keech’s followers were concerned, reveal her as a fraud. But it did inspire Festinger and his colleagues, who infiltrated Keech’s group, to formulate one of modern psychology’s most important new schools of thought -- the theory of cognitive dissonance, which they detailed in the 1956 book When Prophecy Fails . The United States Congress is not a UFO cult. But its members are all too human, and the floors of its deliberative chambers offer exceptionally fertile ground for hatching all manner of prophecies, often of the frightening variety. They aren’t usually as specific as Marian Keech. Nor are many willing to espouse such ...
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Age of Sustainable Development: Good lives for all? 14.3.2015 New Scientists HIV
Top sustainable-development guru Jeffrey Sachs can get world leaders on board for saving the planet, but is the optimism of his vision ...
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The Perfect Earth Day 13.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Earth Day will turn 45 years old next month, and plans are underway for a big party on the National Mall. The Earth Day Network is organizing a celebration on April 18 that will combine star-studded musical performances with serious business, including commitments by national and international officials to marry the goals of curbing climate change and ending poverty. Everyone is invited. It promises to be a ball on the Mall, but two things would make Earth Day even more special this year. The first is a major address by President Obama -- a State of the Union's Environment speech billed as being just as important as the annual State of the Union address. The second would be an event that draws out all the prospective 2016 presidential candidates on their environmental platforms. Why another speech? This should be a big year for the environment. The 2016 presidential race will take shape. Unlike the candidates in 2012, the new bunch should be compelled to get specific about their environmental policies, ...
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What the Netherlands Can Teach Us About Riding Bikes, Sustainable Development & Green Economy 11.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
View from Amsterdam Biking in Amsterdam for a weekend can open your eyes and mind to re-think of renewable sources of energy, an economic sustained growth, and a green and less polluted environment. All coupled up with sports and human well-being. Sustainable development is the key word when we are talking about the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and warming up for the new Sustainable Development Goals that will enter into the scene Post 2015. Goal 7 of the MDGs covers the environmental sustainability of the planet and its limited resources, encouraging national governments to develop and implement strategies for sustainable development, i.e. incorporate the use of a greater amount of renewable energies in the production and consumption of food for instance, or in limiting the emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for factories and multinational companies among others. If it all starts from where we are, we should be thinking of the kind of sustainable life we all want, both ...
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Top of the Food Chain: How Women Are Helping Each Other Lead the Food and Farming Sector 9.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Ten years ago, when I was working at an environmental center at Harvard Medical School, I had coffee with a woman who was working for one of the large, national environmental NGOs. The conversation turned into what a friend calls a "woe-down." We lamented that our directors were men, that the faculty or in-house experts were mostly men, and that our boards consisted largely of -- you guessed it -- men. We could both think of plenty of administrative and middle management positions filled by smart, competent women, but the examples quickly dwindled near the top of the organizations. A scan of the data backed up this realization. The fact that men, almost without exception, led the environmental movement came somewhat as a surprise to me. I had formed the false assumption that conservation work was one area that naturally offered more equitable women leadership. It still doesn't. The most recent data compiled by the Chronicle of Philanthropy lists 21 of the largest charities, measured by fundraising ...
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I Wish I Was in Dixie? Culture, Planning and the Future of the Southern "Boom" 9.3.2015 Truthout - All Articles
In addressing the growth of sprawling, low-density, autocentric communities around much of America, Joel Kotkin, a 'New Suburbanist,' states the case for a new outlook: Rather than reject such cities, we are committed to their improvement. All of our analysis of current and likely future trends reveals that sprawling multipolar cities with overwhelmingly auto dependent suburbs will continue to enjoy economic and demographic growth over the next several decades. [ 1 ] Despite what many New Urbanists might want to believe, Kotkin - though a sprawl apologist - is likely correct. Polycentric cities will continue to grow, and they will continue to attract new residents-for now. Much of that growth will occur in the South, now the most populous region in the United States. Ultimately, however, this is an unsustainable trend. Attempting to sustain it will have enormous portends for one of the most complicated and ecologically fragile areas of the country. The American South, long a sparsely populated region ...
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Six Myths of Sustainable Design 9.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Green building isn't as difficult as you might think. RTKL's LEED Platinum 1225 Connecticut Avenue cost less and sold for more than most buildings. Copyright Paul Warchol. A couple of weeks ago, the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce published an opinion piece titled, " Why green building has hit the wall, and what to do about it ." The author, long-time green building advocate Jerry Yudelson, laments the relatively low rate of green building certification and asks, "Why hasn't the current system had more marketplace success?" The answer, he claims, is that the most popular rating system, the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, is too complicated and costs too much. He points to his own organization's competitor system as "simpler, cheaper and more useful." As I wrote last Fall, Yudelson's program has been shown not to be all that "cheap" or "useful." However, he is right to point out that green building has not gotten as much traction as it should, ...
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Revolutionary Extractivism in Bolivia? 6.3.2015 Truthout - All Articles
Across Latin America, the boom in oil, gas, and mineral extraction and export—extractivism—has intensified debate about the trade-off between social redistribution and socio-environmental impacts.  In neoliberal countries where violent dispossession is intensified, extractivism is easier to critique. Yet in Bolivia, where recently re-elected President Evo Morales speaks of deepening a socialist project through what we might call 'social' extractivism, the ecological left is often at odds.  Social extractivism uses money (rents) from natural gas and mineral exports to improve public infrastructures and alleviate poverty through redistributive policies. This positions the state in a key economic role and reverses, in some ways, two decades of free-market neoliberalism.  If a lower poverty rate and 61% of the country voting for Evo is any indication, extractivism with a redistributive side has broad popular support.  So what is to critique?  Critics have argued that extractivism, even with 'social' ...
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World Bank Admits It Ignored Its Own Rules Designed To Protect The Poor 6.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
This story was reported and written with Sasha Chavkin and Mike Hudson from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The World Bank, created to fight poverty, has admitted that it’s failed to follow its own rules for protecting the poor people swept aside by dams, roads and other big projects it bankrolls. This conclusion, announced by the bank on Wednesday, amounts to a reversal of its previous efforts to downplay concerns raised by human rights activists and others working on behalf of the dispossessed -- people evicted from their land, sometimes in violent ways, to make way for World Bank-financed initiatives. It comes days after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and The Huffington Post informed bank officials that the news outlets had found “systemic gaps” in the bank's protections for people who lose homes or jobs because of development projects. The World Bank, which is controlled by the United States and other member countries, had failed to respond to the ...
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Fast-Tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Bad for General Welfare and Common Good 5.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
"Our trade agreements should not just be good for Wall Street. It should also be good for Main Street." -- Senator Barack Obama , 2007 The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), if ratified by the United States, is predicted by some to bring about widespread economic opportunity for the American worker. The Obama administration claims the TPP is expected to boost U.S. economic growth by creating new Americans jobs for small business and major corporations alike. The administration also believes Made-in-America exports will increase, labor rights will be expanded and strong environmental protections will be promoted among trade partners. Sounds really good, right? Yet the last time such a large scale trade agreement was ratified, hundreds of thousands of Americans lost their jobs, weak environmental standards were continued by a partner country, and multinational corporations were given substantial legal protections at the expense of the average worker and consumer. The trade deal fallout I'm describing are the ...
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Saving Obama from a Bad Trade Deal 4.3.2015 American Prospect
  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) In this June 11, 2013, photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, prior to a trip to Europe for a Group of Eight summit of major Western democracies, where the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with Europe was be a top item. The deal is touted as a means of boosting growth and jobs by eliminating tariffs and other barriers, but those expectations are unlikely to be fulfilled in the deal, which would benefit corporations far more than governments or citizens, which would likely be hurt. Plans to rush fast-track authority for two trade deals for a quick House and Senate vote abruptly broke down on Tuesday. The White House was hoping to put the vote to Congress as early as this week. But Republicans wanted to see more details of one of the deals, which addresses trade with Pacific nations—before agreeing to a fast-track vote. Democrats who favored the deal were seeking some concessions to appease their skeptical ...
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TPP, Peace and Conflict: It’s Not about Trade, It’s about How We Trade 27.2.2015 Commondreams.org Views
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Celebrating Black Leadership on the Environment 26.2.2015 Switchboard, from NRDC
Adrianna Quintero, Senior Attorney, Director, Latino Outreach, San Francisco: Black History Month calls for a celebration of the visionary environmental leadership of Black individuals and communities, as well as an examination of the many environmental injustices faced by people of color in our country. Whether we acknowledge it or...
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Celebrating Black Leadership on the Environment 25.2.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Black History Month calls for a celebration of the visionary environmental leadership of black individuals and communities, as well as an examination of the many environmental injustices faced by people of color in our country. Whether we acknowledge it or not, the extreme weather events of last year and early 2015 do not visit economic, psychological and health-related damage upon all Americans equally. We have seen for decades how racism, poverty and other forms of marginalization negatively impact our experience of environmental issues such as pollution and extreme weather. When a superstorm like Hurricane Sandy hits, it does its worst damage to families who lack access to health insurance, rent homes, are un- or under-insured, and generally already overburdened. From winter storms that bring higher heating costs and disrupted services, to summer heat waves that are felt more harshly in urban centers where, research shows, 52% of black Americans are more likely than whites to live in "urban heat ...
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Reverend William Barber: Leader of the Biggest Social Movement the Media Won't Talk About 19.2.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
This is the first installment in a three-part series on Reverend Barber and the Forward Together movement in North Carolina. On Feb. 14, roughly 30,000 people got up early on a cold Saturday morning to march on the North Carolina state house in Raleigh to demand anti-poverty legislation, voting rights, healthcare access, LGBT rights, environmental justice, criminal justice reform, and reproductive rights. #MoralMarch, the official hashtag of the protest, was a top national trend on Twitter , and an image of the march posted on the US Uncut Facebook page was shared over 12,000 times and reached almost 1.5 million people. (Full disclosure: I'm one of the admins for US Uncut.) Meanwhile, the lead story in the next day's Raleigh News & Observer, complete with a spread of 97 photos , was about a five-mile run in which participants ate a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts halfway through. Anchors of corporate-owned local TV news stations each spent 40 seconds talking over video of the march, briefly mentioning that it ...
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Gulf Coast Activists Band Together to Fight Climate Change and Extractive Industries 18.2.2015 Commondreams.org Views
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