Today, the planet is on fire with global warming, toxic pollution and species extinction, with fundamentalism, terrorism and fear. The dominant media tell us that WE are to blame: our greed is the cause, and we as individuals must change our consumer habits. However, if we try to deal with these crises individually, we won't get very far. We need to stand back and look at the bigger picture. It then becomes obvious that the driving force behind our crises is a corporate -led globalization. [...more]
Thirty-three years ago, I watched as a culture that had been sealed off from the rest of the world was suddenly thrown open to economic development. Witnessing the impact of the modern world on an ancient culture gave me insights into how economic globalisation creates feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, particularly in the young, and how those psychological pressures are helping to spread the global consumer culture. Since that time I have been promoting the rebuilding of community and local economies as the foundation of an ‘Economics of Happiness’. [...more]
How did three World Trade Center skyscrapers suddenly disintegrate into fine dust? How did massive steel beams in three skyscrapers suddenly fail as a result of short-lived, isolated, and low temperature fires? "A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7," reports the Washington Times. [...more]
First, a confession: This is not another enumeration of confident judgments. I will not tell you that Copenhagen was an unmitigated failure. Or that this failure was Obama’s fault. Or that, as is the new fashion, China was the ugliest of them all. I will not say that the South’s negotiators made impossible demands. Or argue that the United Nations’ process is unwieldy and obsolete. I will not claim that only domestic U.S. action really matters. Nor will I talk of a “North-South impasse” or a “U.S.-China polluters pact,” two popular formulations that misleadingly imply an equal division of blame. [...more]
Silly me. Here I had thought that world leaders would want to keep their nations from collapsing. They must be working hard to prevent currency collapse, financial system collapse, food system collapse, social collapse, environmental collapse, and the onset of general, overwhelming misery—right? But no, that's not what the evidence suggests. Increasingly I am forced to conclude that the object of the game that world leaders are actually playing is not to avoid collapse; it's simply to postpone it a while so as to be the last nation to go down, so yours can have the chance to pick the others' carcasses before it meets the same fate. [...more]
The campaign against climate science has been enormously clever, and enormously effective. It’s worth trying to understand how they’ve done it. The best analogy, I think, is to the O.J. Simpson trial, an event that’s begun to recede into our collective memory. [...more]
On Tuesday, Burkina Faso and Moldova both ratified the treaty, bringing the number of ratifying countries to the thirty needed for the agreement to take legal effect August 1. The treaty bans using, making and selling cluster munitions, and sets deadlines for the destruction of stockpiles and the clearing of contaminated land. It also provides aid for victims of the weapon. The United States has yet to sign. [...more]
Expect a deepening global depression; protracted economic, political, social, and institutional upheaval; mass unemployment, poverty, homelessness, and hunger; and severe repression to curb public anger. Blame it on decades of political influence buying yielding unprecedented returns for the privileged, but economic wreckage and catastrophic life changes for the rest. The price of excess is pain, lots of it for the world's disadvantaged, the ones who always pay for rich peoples' sins. [...more]
Globalization is killing Europe, just as it's already wiped out much of the American middle class.
Spain and Greece are facing immediate crises that many other European nations see on the near horizon: aging boomer workers are retiring with healthy benefit packages, but the younger workers who are paying for those benefits aren't making anything close to the income (or, therefore, paying the taxes) that their parents did.
The fighting is still underway in the town of Marjah, in what is being described as the first battle in Obama's War in Afghanistan, or alternatively as the biggest battle of the US War in Afghanistan. But already, the US has lost that battle. It lost it from day one, when troops fired missiles in to a Marjah house, killing 12 civilian occupants--half of them children. And it lost it further when another three more civilians were blown away by US-led forces. Finally, it lost the battle as much of the town has been simply destroyed by the fighting [...more]