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RiverLover

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Dec 1, 2011, 12:59 PM
Number of posts: 7,830

About Me

FDR Populist Progressive who believes the environment trumps all. We\'re sinking the only ship we\'ve got, and govt leaders are ignoring it.

Journal Archives

THE FIGHT IS ON! - People & Planet vs Greedy 1% (TPP Team call tomorrow!)

Since Thursday's early morning release of the text, experts agree on one thing: the reason the TPP has been kept under wraps for the last 6 years is because it stinks to high heaven!

In every meaningful way the TPP could have set benchmarks higher than former trade agreements, it fails miserably, especially when it comes to jobs, access to healthcare and lifesaving medications, environmental protection, digital rights, food sovereignty, and democracy.

Think about this for one minute: Our representatives are being told by a handful of corporate interests, to approve a treaty that is required to set up a separate bureaucracy of foreign corporate interests to harmonize our laws so they can do away with Buy American policies and kill country of origin food labeling, so countries like Viet Nam, with its poor labor standards and toxic fish have unhampered market access. And let's not forget the words "global warming" aren't mentioned a single time.

I hate to say global corporate dominance for want of sounding alarmist, but if we're not careful and don't stand up and fight now, those who follow us are going to pay the price for generations to come, because this treaty is open-ended.

There is no expiration date.




THE FIGHT IS ON! PEOPLE AND THE PLANET VS. THE GREEDY 1%

NATIONAL TPP TEAM CALL SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8 / 4:30 PACIFIC / 5:30 MOUNTAIN / 6:30 CENTRAL / 7:30 EASTERN TIME

Click this link to login to the online meeting room: http://login.meetcheap.com/conference,87610294


Online meeting room opens 15 minutes before the call

DIAL-IN NUMBER AND ACCESS CODE: 605-562-3140 / 951146#

ALTERNATE NUMBER: 559-726-1300 / 951146#

TPP VS. FAMILY FARMS AND FARMERS

Join the National TPP Team to discuss how TPP would further impact food sovereignty and safety, and jobs,
with John E. Peck, Executive Director, Family Farm Defenders and Oscar Gutierrez, Director Nacional Dignidad Agropecuaria por la soberanía alimentaria de Colombia (National Executive Director of Dignity in Agriculture, working for food sovereignty for Colombia).

Mr. Gutierrez will address the continuing detrimental impacts of the U.S. Colombia Free Trade Agreement on agricultural workers in Colombia. Also with us will be the coalition partners reporting on the current state of Congress when it comes to the unpopular coming vote.

Kathryn Johnson, Policy Impacts Coordinator, American Friends Service Committ, will give her analysis on the recent leaked text of the TPP;

Emilianne Slaydon, TPP Media March, will update us on the TPP Tuesday Twitter Storm;

Adam Weissman, TradeJustice NY Metro, will update us on coming events; Mackenzie McDonald Wilkins, Popular Resistance / Flush the TPP will fill us in on the imminent #FallRising D.C. Days of Action against Toxic Trade, November 14-18, and how we can participate; And

Andrea Miller, Co-Executive Director, People Demanding, will moderate the call.

Please join us,

Harriet Heywood

Co-Coordinator, National TPP Team

P.S.: Please sign and help spread Peter's petition which we will deliver in D.C. during #FallRising:
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-the-trans-pacific?mailing_id=31855&source=s.em.cr&r_by=1444895


Please JOIN the FIGHT!!!

(xposted in GD)

Exxon, Keystone, and the Turn Against Fossil Fuels


The New Yorker
Exxon, Keystone, and the Turn Against Fossil Fuels
November 6, 2015



The fossil-fuel industry—which, for two centuries, underwrote our civilization and then became its greatest threat—has started to take serious hits. At noon today, President Obama rejected the Keystone Pipeline, becoming the first world leader to turn down a major project on climate grounds. Eighteen hours earlier, New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that he’d issued subpoenas to Exxon, the richest and most profitable energy company in history, after substantial evidence emerged that it had deceived the world about climate change.

These moves don’t come out of the blue. They result from three things.

The first is a global movement that has multiplied many times in the past six years. Battling Keystone seemed utterly quixotic at first—when activists first launched a civil-disobedience campaign against the project, in the summer of 2011, more than ninety per cent of “energy insiders” in D.C. told a National Journal survey that they believed that President Obama would grant Transcanada a permit for the construction. But the conventional wisdom was upended by a relentless campaign carried on by hundreds of groups and millions of individual people (including 350.org, the international climate-advocacy group I founded). It seemed that the President didn’t give a speech in those years without at least a small group waiting outside the hall to greet him with banners demanding that he reject the pipeline. And the Keystone rallying cry quickly spread to protests against other fossil-fuel projects. One industry executive summed it up nicely this spring, when he told a conference of his peers that they had to figure out how to stop the “Keystone-ization” of all their plans.

The second, related, cause is the relentless spread of a new logic about the planet—that we have five times as much carbon in our reserves as we can safely burn. While President Obama said today that Keystone was not “the express lane to climate disaster,” he also said that “we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them.” ....

.......Snipping...don't want to...its great stuff....

In many ways, the developments of the past two days are more important than any pledges and promises for the future, because they show the ways in which political and economic power has already started to shift. If we can accelerate that shift, we have a chance.

It’s impossible, in the hottest year that humans have ever measured, to feel optimistic. But it’s also impossible to miss the real shift in this battle.


Read in full here~
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/exxon-keystone-and-the-turning-tide-on-fossil-fuels



My step was a little bit lighter today. Anyone else?

Even the birds looked happier. And the frogs probably were as well...


I don't have time right now, kk, to really delve into this. But here's a fair summary~

....As with NAFTA, the TPP will benefit U.S. companies relocating jobs to low-wage, high-repression nations, argues economist Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). This would also exert strong downward pressures on the pay of U.S. workers, “Most U.S. workers are likely to lose out from the TPP,” Weisbrot says. “This may come as no surprise after 20 years of NAFTA and an even-longer period of trade policy designed to put lower- and middle-class workers in direct competition with low-paid workers in the developing world.”

Obama has billed the TPP as a “trade agreement” that will create U.S. jobs. The pact, however, actually has little to do with reducing trade restrictions. Tariffs are now a minimal factor for most global trade. Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, points out that only five of the TPP’s twenty-nine chapters are about trade at all. But the remaining provisions cover such immensely important measures as the creation of a kind of corporate supremacy over the democratically established regulations enacted by member nations. If an existing law threats to diminish profits, corporations in the TPP nations would be entitled to bring their complaint to an international dispute panel of anonymous corporate members, who could impose major financial penalties on the “offending” countries. “The Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Wallach concludes, “is a Trojan horse for a host of awful measures that have nothing to do with trade and would never get through Congress in the light of day.”

http://dollarsandsense.org/archives/2014/0314bybee.html


Its expanding NAFTA to more countries. Like Malaysia. (see Obama Won’t Let Some Mass Graves Stop the TPP http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026962420 )

I imagine labor is even cheaper than Vietnam in Malaysia. Lots of profits to be made!!!

She would have been a extremely beneficial prez, and Bernie is right up there with her.

Luckily he's willing to take on the challenge of running.

If you watch these videos, the indescribable "it" factor for being President of the US is self-evident in Elizabeth Warren~





My tremendous disappointment in Barack Obama turning out to be a corporate dem is matched only by Warren deciding not to run for president.

I can't take too much more of these letdowns, so for me personally, I'm not allowing myself to become too personally invested in Bernie's run. I hope I get to vote for him in my primary, but out of self-preservation, my enthusiasm is low-key.

Elizabeth Warren is trying to right a wrong by Bill Clinton & help SS at the same time.

As you may have heard, there will be no Cost of Living Adjustment for Social Security beneficiaries next year. Despite average annual benefits of just $14,375 and rising medical and housing costs, Social Security payments will remain flat.

CEO pay for the top 350 US Firms, meanwhile, saw their pay increase by 3.9% last year, according to data compiled by the Economic Policy Institute. Why are we stretching thin seniors and people with disabilities while CEOs whose average pay is $16.3 billion—much of it paid through a tax-free “performance pay” loophole—are making more than ever?

Thankfully, Social Security champion Senator Elizabeth Warren has just introduced a bill which will give a 3.9% raise to Social Security beneficiaries in 2016 – around $580 – and pay for it for by eliminating the CEO performance pay tax break.

At a time when more than half of households 55 and older have zero retirement savings, and when two-thirds of retirees depend on Social Security for the majority of their income, Senator Warren’s legislation is critical to providing financial security to Social Security recipients in 2016.

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/warren_ceo_pay


A bit of history on the "tax-free “performance pay” loophole", posted last April~
...The story begins during Bill Clinton's earliest days in the White House. Soon after his election, he worked with Congress to limit corporations' ability to deduct executive compensation from their taxes, as they do for ordinary workers' wages and other expenses of doing business. A limit of $1 million was set for deductions for executive compensation. There was a big exception, though. Compensation that was dependent on the firm's performance was exempt from the threshold.

...As a result, the new limit didn't prevent executives from receiving ever fatter paychecks -- but they got the money in stock and options, rather than in cash. Clinton and Congress had failed to solve the problem.

"My cynical opinion is that they were trying to look like they were doing something," said Steven Balsam, a professor at Temple University.

Some, like Warren, say the provision was worse than useless. In a speech last week, she called on her colleagues in Congress to change the rules, although without discussing how they'd come about.

"This tax incentive has encouraged financial firms to compensate executives with massive bonuses – bonuses that too often reward short-term risk-taking instead of sustained, long-term growth," she said. "We can close that loophole and stop pushing companies to reward short-term thinking."


Lynn Stout, a law professor at Cornell University and an outspoken skeptic of today's corporate governance, says the Clinton-era shift led executives to try to boost stock prices in the near term by laying off employees and spending less on research and development. These measures, according to this line of thinking, made firms more profitable in the short term because their costs were lower, which resulted in high stock prices, but less able to generate value in the long term for investors and the economy....

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12653828


Let's hope this pragmatic bill, with common decency to boot, passes into law!! I hope even corporate Dems can see the massive good it would do for US.

Introducing 'Keep It in the Ground' Bill, Sanders Goes Big on Climate

Introducing 'Keep It in the Ground' Bill, Sanders Goes Big on Climate
Published on Wednesday, November 04, 2015
Common Dreams

Proposed legislation by presidential candidate and Senate colleagues—which would keep majority of fossil fuels on public lands and offshore areas from being exploited—described as 'historic'

by Sarah Lazare, staff writer



.....The Keep It in the Ground Act was introduced by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).

The bill was cosponsored by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).


Specifically, the proposed legislation would block corporations from pursuing new and non-producing leases for coal, oil, gas, shale, and tar sands extraction on federal land. In addition, it would ban offshore drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans and halt new and non-producing leases in the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico.

"We are taking on the Koch brothers and some of the most powerful political forces in the world who are more concerned with short-term profits than the future of the planet," said Sanders in a statement accompanying the bill. "I’ve got four kids, and I’ve got seven beautiful grandchildren. We have a moral responsibility to leave our kids a planet that is healthy and inhabitable."

The introduction of the bill follows an appeal issued in September by over 400 climate organizations and environmental leaders—including Asian Pacific Environmental Network and Indigenous People's Power Project—calling on Obama to halt new leasing on public lands and oceans, and insisting this is the single greatest thing he could do as president to curb the climate crisis.

"Over the past decade, the burning of fossil fuels from federal leasing has resulted in nearly a quarter of all U.S. energy-related emissions and nearly 4 percent of global emissions," the letter stated.

In a study published in the journal Nature earlier this year, scientists concluded that, in order to stave off climate disaster, the vast majority of fossil fuel deposits around the world—including 92 percent of U.S. coal, all Arctic oil and gas, and a majority of Canadian tar sands—must stay "in the ground."

Bill Snape, senior counsel to the Center for Biological Diversity, told Common Dreams that—because of this stark warning—Wednesday's legislation is "historic."

"Obviously Obama's Clean Power Plan is not enough, and not even close if it is by itself," Snape emphasized. "All of the technical standards, all of the state cooperation, it matters for nothing if we do not keep the vast majority of fossil fuels in the ground."

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/11/04/introducing-keep-it-ground-bill-sanders-goes-big-climate

*This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

(Bold for emphasis is my own)




(xposted in environment & energy forum)

Warning From KY: Managerial Democrats Can Lose to Extreme Republicans

Warning From Kentucky: Managerial Democrats Can Lose to Extreme Republicans
by John Nichols
The Nation
11/4/15

A Republican referred to as “Kentucky’s Trump” just beat a mainstream Democrat in a race the Democrats should have won.

Democrats who think they can win simply by highlighting the extremism of Republicans—a popular notion as Dr. Ben Carson, Donald Trump, and Senator Ted Cruz rank high in Republican presidential polls—would do well to consider the case of Kentucky.

Yes, Kentucky—where cautious Democrats just clashed with extremist Republicans. In an exceptionally low-turnout election, in which two-thirds of eligible voters failed to cast ballots, the Republicans prevailed.

....snip....Democrats have dominated Kentucky statehouse politics with only a few exceptions since the end of the Civil War. Even as other border states were following Southern states into the Republican fold, and even as Republicans were winning federal elections in Kentucky, Democrats (some of a populist persuasion, some with strong personal followings) have held their own in state races.

The party has lost Kentucky’s governorship in only two elections over the past 70 years. They held it even in 2011, just after the 2010 Republican-wave election that saw the GOP take control of statehouses in far bluer states such as Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan.

This year, Kentucky Democrats took the “safe” route. They discouraged populists such as former Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongiardo, a coal-country physician who talked of running “a campaign for the soul of our Democratic Party,” and settled on state Attorney General Jack Conway, who lost a 2010 Senate race to Republican Rand Paul. Conway had plenty of money, plenty of statewide name recognition and the solid record of outgoing Democratic Governor Steve Beshear to run on. Conway repeated his talking points and presented himself as a suitably experienced, if drably managerial, successor to the popular Beshear. But it wasn’t enough. Conway lost. Badly.

Full story~
http://www.thenation.com/article/warning-from-kentucky-managerial-democrats-can-lose-to-extreme-republicans/

Re:KeystoneXL - "This is a desperate play by a company that knows it's on thin ice"

Request to suspend application makes it clear KXL has been defeated by the climate movement. Campaigners call on Obama to 'end this.'

By Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams
Published on
Tuesday, November 03, 2015


Neil Young and Daryl Hannah walk with First Nations and climate activists during a 2014 protest at the National Mall in Washington D.C. (Photo: Stephen Melkisethian/cc/flickr)

......On Monday, TransCanada Corporation sent a letter (pdf) to Secretary of State John Kerry requesting the department to suspend its review of the Presidential Permit application for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, citing ongoing litigation in Nebraska over the pipeline route.

Environmental groups, which for years have fought an impressive grassroots battle against the international project, said the request was an indication that the pipeline giant knew it would not win approval under the current administration. Thus, TransCanada is calling a "timeout," hoping to push the decision ahead to a time when the declining oil markets—and perhaps government leadership—are more in their favor.

"This is a desperate play by a company that knows it's on thin ice," states a petition launched by climate group 350.org. It continues: "By calling for a suspension, TransCanada is hoping to avoid the pre-election rejection by President Obama that many are predicting. They are playing for time, hoping that by leaving the project in limbo they can avoid losing outright—and that maybe a year from now all those pesky activists will have gone away."...

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/11/03/smelling-rat-groups-tell-obama-foil-transcanada-and-ban-kxl-outright




A NYT article (won't allow copy/paste) posted 10 hours ago, saying that Obama will not allow them to stop his decision on KXL and that he is going to reject their application. This will make it so that even if a rethug or a willing corporate dem becomes our next president, they would have to start the application process over from scratch....

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/04/us/politics/obama-wont-yield-to-companys-bid-to-delay-keystone-pipeline-decision.html?_r=0

This is a WIN for activists!!! (kow)

"Why We Can Be Hopeful About Climate Change" (Slate)

Why We Can Be Hopeful About Climate Change
November 3, 2015
by Eric Holthaus
Slate, Science

This month, world leaders will gather in Paris to negotiate the future of our planet’s atmosphere. Putting it that way may seem like overstating the meeting’s importance, but that’s exactly what they’ll be doing. On the table is the first-ever global agreement on climate change, and some media reports are playing up the sense of optimism in the air. And it’s true: There are a few very good reasons for hope....

Reducing emissions quickly is the best solution, but after decades of delay, it’s getting really, really hard to make the numbers work. That’s why I’ve been really pessimistic about humanity’s chances of preventing a worst-case climate change scenario for a while now.

I mean, really pessimistic. In a recent article in Rolling Stone, I made the case that it may already be too late to prevent the loss of critical biodiversity in the world’s oceans, with devastating consequences for all of us. Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a global coral bleaching event that’s on its way to becoming the worst in history. A recent study into the value of the “ecosystem services” provided by coral reefs—a heartbreakingly wonky way of saying that people’s lives depend on them—found that reefs, which support a quarter of all marine life, were third only to Earth’s forests and fresh water supply in terms of importance to humanity. Nearer-term impacts of climate change such as these are probably already unavoidable, and in some cases, the longer-term viability of cities and ecosystems is still very much in question.

........The blunt fact is that the world has done less than nothing to tackle climate change since it became a political issue in the 1990s: Global emissions have actually risen 40 percent since the previous international climate treaty in 1997 and very likely will keep rising until at least 2030 no matter what happens in Paris.

So, where’s the hope?

.........Snip...........The U.N.’s own assessment of all the pledges, released last week, framed the remaining challenge most accurately: We’re definitely seeing a slow down of emissions growth, but no peak yet. That means we’re still going to be making the problem considerably worse for the foreseeable future, just not as bad as we could have. So, um, yay!

While most close climate watchers—myself included—have bemoaned the fact that the 2-degree goal is probably no longer possible, there’s a huge achievement on the horizon in Paris that’s clearly worth a victory dance: The nightmare worst-case scenario, in which the planet warms by 4.5 degrees or more, is now likely off the table.....

Read in full~
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/11/paris_pledges_will_avoid_worst_case_climate_change_scenario.html


( Meanwhile Americans Largely Unconcerned About Climate Change )


Montana Activists Score a Global Victory Against Climate Change

Fighting to Keep Coal in the Ground, Montana Activists Score a Global Victory Against Climate Change
Sunday, 01 November 2015
By Alexis Bonogofsky, Truthout | Report

If you are concerned about the climate, you should be paying attention to what is happening in southeast Montana.




To avoid catastrophic climate change, a recent study in the journal Nature found that 92 percent of coal reserves in the United States must stay in the ground to keep global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius. Montana has the largest amount of recoverable coal in the United States, close to 120 billion tons - almost one-quarter of known US reserves.

Arch Coal, a major US coal mining and processing company, has been pushing hard to gain access to Montana's coal reserves since 2010.

"Montana could be the energy capital of the United States if the state government and the state's community desire that to happen," Arch Coal CEO Steven Leer told the Billings Gazette in 2010 after his company leased 1.5 billion tons of coal in the Otter Creek Valley in southeast Montana.

To this day, however, no permits have been issued for a coal mine in Otter Creek.

The mining project does not suffer from a lack of support from Montana's politicians or from a regulatory environment unfriendly to their ambitions. What they suffer from is a severe lack of community support. There is a dedicated community of people in southeast Montana who fiercely love their land and have organized quietly and resolutely, keeping billions of tons of coal in the ground.

Their repeated victories in bringing ranchers, Northern Cheyenne tribal members, Amish farmers and others together to fight the coal mines constitute one of the most inspiring - and most overlooked - stories of climate change activism in this decade.


Northern Cheyenne, local ranchers, Amish and conservationists gather to view proposed Tongue River Railroad route near the Otter Creek Coal Tracts in southeastern Montana. Photo by Beth Raboin


How the Struggle Began

On January 17, 2013, a winter storm blew through southeast Montana. The wind was bitterly cold and roads were treacherous but the people came anyway.....

Read the rest of this inspiring story here~
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/33471-fighting-to-keep-coal-in-the-ground-montana-activists-score-a-global-victory-against-climate-change

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