economics

Dr. Wendy Ring MD, MPH, Climate 911: The Health Effects of Climate Change


99 minutes, http://youtu.be/ThK9EJlNOLc

Dr. Wendy Ring visited Olympia in July, on the first leg of her continental bicycle tour to Washington D.C. on a route to follow the coal trains, and Keystone XL Pipeline, and other prominent features of the fossil fuel industry. The goal of her journey is to raise awareness amongst the healthcare community of the health effects of climate change. For more information about her effort please visit Climate 911: What's the emergency?.

Dr. Ring's Olympia presentation was sponsored by Physcians for Social Responsibility, Transition Olympia, and Olympia F.O.R.

Climate Change Set to Steal Wellbeing from Future Generations

Friday 21 June 2013

Climate Change Set to Steal Wellbeing from Future Generations:

The past 200 years of rapid industrial growth and technological development have impacted the planet and humanity tremendously.

Largely fueled by the extraction of fossil fuels, (and other extractive industries, including financials,) aided by petrochemical based materials in technology, transportation and agriculture, both human population and the collective mass of material wealth in the world have spiked.

Unfortunately, the distribution of wealth has been far from equal. And the creation of wealth has been driven by the worst violence (including war of aggression.) Some of the most advanced areas, namely stemming from militaristic conquesting cultures of Europe, have done so at the extreme expense of others (this includes the United States.) Examples include the decimation of Indigenous people and cultures, and the systemic enslavement and denial of humanity for African and Asian people.

While conditions have improved somewhat, and certainly in many ways the veneer looks much better than 50 or 100 years ago, it is arguable that the improvements are indeed largely a facade, and that wealthy corporations are still engaged in the "exportation of exploitation," taking advantage of cheap overseas labor; suiting the interests of their investor/owner class clients, at the expense of humanity and environment, and all members of future generations.

Population and wealth (and inequality) have spiked, and so has environmental damage, a wide array of pollution, including impacts on climate.

Atmospheric levels of Carbon Dioxide have spiked, to the same levels where in the past, sea-levels were 25 meters (!!!) higher than they are now.

State of the State Budget and What To Do

Lack of budget, furloughs and lay-offs for the working class...meanwhile the richest have never been richer.

Is it possible that here we have corruption to blame? Systemic corruption in the form of special influence for money, (much of it ill-begotten and based in violent practices, environmentally destructive industries, exploitative labor practices, etc.) Perhaps?

...Meanwhile, beautiful sunsets abound. Those of us with sufficient privilege travel, enjoy recreation, maybe even find some sense of peace and/or solace in the beauty of nature, hobbies, music, photography...what have you.

And then there are all of those (by some measures, more than 2 billion people) who have been not able to enjoy such experiences, because of distresses caused by poverty (and who are also, arguably, in some ways, happier than those of us in the "first world.")

This system we call "ours" enforces poverty. Tremendously extreme wealth for a tiny fractional few depends on the extraction of wealth from the great many. The present system depends upon poverty.

Cutting Rock by Hand

It's hard to know what to do in the current political and environmental environment. Scanned a piece today on Climate and Capitalism website. This piece was a reaction to a favorable review of Derrick Jensen's book Deep Green Resistance that ran on Canadian Dimension. Jensen seems to catch a lot of reactionary ink to his proposals to create change. I am pretty busy working the create change in many ways, so don't have lots of time to read Jensen (or to blog these days) but I get the impression that Jensen embraces a Luddite sensibility at times. Maybe also a monkey wrench mentality that is attractive, but may be a dead end politically. There is something about the monkey wrench mentality that I find both sexist and adolescent, which is not to say that I don't also find it attractive.

In order to accumulate wealth...

LEM Vista
LEM Vista

Tuesday 27 December 2011, Olympia—This is the view from the Law Enforcement Memorial Vista point on Christmas eve, the 24th. A few of us Occupationists were there singing Christmas holiday carols.

In the foreground

"Fiduciary Responsibility" and Eliminating the Investor/Ownership Class

Had a great conversation at Sizizis under the Jupiter full Moon early Thursday morning about how the socio-cultural-economic harms people, and leaves them hanging. Rampant fear, distrust, disease. The real trickle-downs from the predatory Wall Street style economic system.

The worst part is that the system is set-up so the big corporations actually have a "fiduciary responsibility" to cut throats in order to be most attractive to investors.

Maybe we would be better off eliminating the owner/investor class from our society, if people are not able to refrain from hurting each other, and killing each other, in their quest to accumulate wealth...

And thanks for the hot chocolate!

b

Jupiter (nearly) Full Moon with Halo
Wednesday, 9 November, 2011
In this photo, the full Moon is conjunct Jupiter.
Airplane crosses from SW to NE in the 7 or 8 o'clock position inside the halo.
There was ground fog in the park tonight.

Tax Loopholes


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDoSL7I98bg

Educational Tabling about State Tax Policy with Pat Holm, at the People's Movement Assembly. The PMA was sponsored by the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace.

Is the USA doing Terrorism?

Saturday 22 October 2011

Dear Obama Administration and White House Staff,

Lately I have been thinking some about terrorism. It seems really Orwellian, because the USA is all up with nationalistic gung-hoism and jingoism against terrorism. But think about this. Maybe the USA is a terrorist!

Think about the terror wrought by Wall Street style predatory economics. People lacking job security, and in fear of losing their homes. Families are disrupted by a predatory system that "rewards" (with wealth) harmful behaviors like exporting jobs to exploit low-wage workers overseas.

Meanwhile, many suffer from violence and crime associated with and caused by inter-generational and other chronic poverty...

Maybe the economic system is the terrorist. Maybe those enforcing it, and keeping it in place, need to be prosecuted and held accountable for their behaviors.

I also thought of a similar and very related thought last week: the idea that the USA uses the State of Israel as a 'human shield' to protect its interests in, and control over, mineral resources (and geo-political and economic dominance.)

If there is any truth to this, then this policy would be exploitative, highly anti-Semitic, and the associated behaviors could be classified as those of a terrorist.

Sincerely,

Berd

Violence is the Problem, NOT the Solution

Tax Preferences Hearing Comments

(updated with additional comments)

(Update 2 below the fold: 11 October 2011 meeting video embedded, and also more information about the Citizen Commission. Meeting video is also available at the Tax Preferences website.)

(update 3: just want to note that the Commission's work is to work with JLARC—the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee, and to compare and rate, and recommend and suggest various tax exemptions to the legislature, for the purpose of representing the citizenry's preferences.)


Comments at Citizen Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax Preferences Hearing

These are my comments from the Citizen Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax Preferences on Tuesday. I will add a link to the meeting video when it becomes available.

Additional comments: "Hog Fuel" is industry jargon for slash that results from clearcuts. When I went to an earlier commission a few weeks ago, this was a big topic, with industry advocates pushing for the tax exemption. I had to listen for a while before figuring out this didn't have anything to do with heating barns for pigs.

Additionally, a few things I had thought about, but didn't manage to remember to testify on during the hearing include: 1) the possibility that, if we are really concerned about job creation, then ending the practice of clear-cutting forests might help. That might have to be coupled with a dose of de-technologization. Selective harvesting of carefully chosen trees. Coupling trees to horses to pull them out of the forest, for instance. Or owners being willing to lower their margin of take-home cash, so as to ensure a responsible employment and environmental ethic.

2) I also spoke about productivity and merit and disparity in wealth. What I didn't mention is the problem of profiting from activities which have no merit. This includes both legal and illegal activities (like narco-trafficking, for example. By some estimates this illicit economy might account for $1 trillion annually.)

There are legal activities with dubious merit. Take the petroleum industry as an example. Petroleum extraction has enabled technological advancement. But for whom. And at what cost? —The petroleum industry, and other industries it has enabled (like the global military industrial complex, for example) have done tremendous harm to human cultures and to the planet. Look at the decimation of tribal societies. The meaningless consumerism. The pollution of the water, of the land, and of the air of this planet Earth. There are other industries that are harmful too. Petro-chemicals are not alone.

p.s. I suggest that the petro-chemical industry be nationalized. No one person, or group (e.g. the investor-class) should profit from industries that are harmful to everyone.

Also, think about legalization and regulation of the drug trade, to reduce violence associated with the illicit market.

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