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 »

The Benefits Claimants the Government Loves

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Biofuels, Deforestation, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Corrupt, irrational, destructive, counter-productive: this scarcely begins to describe our farming policy. Soil erosion in a maize field. Photo: Defra Just as mad cow disease exposed us to horrors – feeding cattle on the carcasses of infected cattle – previously hidden in plain sight, so the recent floods have lifted the lid on the equally… Read more »

European Patent Office Blunder Leads to Grant of a New Patent on Conventional Breeding

Posted by & filed under Economics.

Patent granted on watermelons. 20 February 2014 Munich. The company, H.M. Clause, which belongs to the French co-operative group, Limagrain was granted a European Patent on watermelons (EP 1816908). The patented watermelon plant is supposedly even more multibranching and smaller fruits than usual, but this cannot be an invented trait since it is part of… Read more »

Holmgren’s ‘Crash on Demand’: Be Careful What You Wish For

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Peak Oil, Society.

Originally published on TransitionNetwork.org It is a rare occurence that I disagree with David Holmgren. One of my heroes, and the co-founder of permaculture, I generally find his intellect formidable, his insights on permaculture revelatory, and his take on the wider patterns and scenarios unfolding around us to be deeply insightful. But while there is… Read more »

Muddying the Waters

Posted by & filed under Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

How the government’s farming policies have produced a perfectly designed system for flooding your home. It has the force of a parable. Along the road from High Ham to Burrowbridge, which skirts Lake Paterson (formerly known as the Somerset Levels), you can see field after field of harvested maize. In some places the crop lines… Read more »