Cheap Oil Begets the Centralization of Power

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Peak Oil, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

The oil age allowed us to do the wrong things with unprecedented speed and efficiency. Oil is an almost ideal energy source. It is relatively easy to extract (until recently) requires little refining, and has an extremely high energy density. The only problem is that there’s not an endless supply of it. To get an… Read more »

Save Our Foodbowl From Coal Mining (NSW, Australia)

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Please take one minute to send an email to protect our national food-bowl, the Liverpool Plains, and the rich groundwater supplies it depends on. This is an urgent request. BHP are planning on digging the largest underground coal mine in the world under our very best farmlands, on the Liverpool Plains in north-west NSW. Submissions… Read more »

The Meat Industry and Ideas for What We Can Do About It

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Health & Disease, Livestock, Society.

Some practical ideas about the meat industry Spacious chicken houses — a stark minority (Photo by David Ashwanden) In many countries, the state of the meat industry is fairly well publicised: poor conditions for animals (see for example 1, 2), strange and unnatural foods and medicines getting into our food chain (see for example 3;… Read more »

Loved to Death

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Society.

By embracing their critics and colonising governments, corporations engineer a world of conformity and consumerism. How do you engineer a bland, depoliticised world, a consensus built around consumption and endless growth, a dreamworld of materialism and debt and atomisation, in which all relations can be prefixed with a dollar sign, in which we cease to… Read more »

Supreme Court Backs Big Coal Over People (USA)

Posted by & filed under Economics, Society.

The Supreme Court just issued its ruling on McCutcheon V. FEC (see background on this case here if you’re not familiar) and it’s a disaster for our democracy. Five justices sided with Shaun McCutcheon, the climate-denying coal baron, opening the door for near-unlimited campaign contributions from individuals. We’re still figuring out all the implications of… Read more »

Charmian Gooch: End Anonymous Companies (TED video)

Posted by & filed under Economics, Society.

Anonymous companies protect corrupt individuals — from notorious drug cartel leaders to nefarious arms dealers — behind a shroud of mystery that makes it almost impossible to find and hold them responsible. But anti-corruption activist Charmian Gooch hopes to change all that. At TED2014, she shares her brave TED Prize wish: to know who owns… Read more »

All Give and No Take

Posted by & filed under Economics.

Do those negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership have any interest in democracy? Here’s a test. Nothing threatens democracy as much as corporate power. Nowhere do corporations operate with greater freedom than between nations, for here there is no competition. With the exception of the European parliament there is no transnational democracy, anywhere. All… Read more »