Costa Rica is one of the few States that can boast of being nearly ‘Carbon Neutral’, conserving 25% and doubling its forest. But it’s still a capitalist top-down State, dominated by US capital and being rapidly bought up cheap for nearly tax free US holiday homes. Over 20% of people survive in severe poverty while millions of tourists arrive by plane and Cruise Liners, spewing uncounted CO2. You can even take a Tourist Tour of the slums to photograph the ‘happy smiling beggars’.(7 Shocking Facts About CostaRica’sPoverty Rate).
Of course we must follow Costa Rica’s amazing ecological gains, but without forgetting it’s a small exceptional place (4.5m people) and to solve Climate and ecological breakdown the whole system of Infinite Growth must change.
by Pepe Galindo edited with inserts by thefreeonline ”Costa Rica, is an Central American country that conserves its forests very well and that promotes renewable energy Years of uncontrolled logging razed two thirds of Costa Rica’s trees. When they stopped cutting, the forests grew.
But that was not something that simply happened, but was organized by the leaders of the country. They recognized that forests generate many benefits that do not appear in economic account.
Costa Rica began to give tax benefits to those who conserved their lands without degrading them.
They understood that protecting their “natural resources” is beneficial in the long term. The so-called Payments for Environmental Services (PES) are serving to recognize that healthy ecosystems generate benefits and that they must pay for them (carbon sequestration, water filtration, maintenance of quality aquifers and air, provision of food and medicines, etc. .).
When these environmental processes are free, people have no incentives to conserve them. Free is not valued. In rural areas, PES have also served to reduce poverty.
later a report from OXFAMcalled “EXTREME CARBON INEQUALITY” (capitalization not my own) revealed that rich people are the biggest contributors to climate change — by a wide, wide margin.Greta Speaks Truth to Power as Those She Criticizes Applaud…16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed the U.N. Climate Action Summit with an emotional speech condemning leaders for inaction and stressing that while “[e]ntire ecosystems are collapsing… all you can talk about is money and about fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
Embarrassment of Riches By George Monbiot ….. For the sake of life on Earth, we should set an upper limit on the money any person can amass.
It is not quite true that behind every great fortune lies a great crime. Musicians and novelists, for example, can become extremely rich by giving other people pleasure. But it does appear to be universally true that in front of every great fortune lies a great crime. Immense wealth translates automatically into immense environmental impacts, regardless of the intentions of those who possess it. The very wealthy, almost as a matter of definition, are committing ecocide. A few weeks ago, I received a letter from a worker at a British private airport. “I see things that really shouldn’t be happening in 2019,” he wrote. Every day he sees Global 7000 jets, Gulfstream 650s and even Boeing 737s take off from the airport carrying a single passenger, mostly flying to Russia and the US. The private Boeing 737s, built to take 174 seats, are filled at the airport with around 32,000 litres of fuel. That’s as much fossil energy as a small African town might use in a year.
Where are these single passengers going? Perhaps to visit one of their superhomes, constructed and run at vast environmental cost, or to take a trip on their superyacht, which might burn 500 litres of diesel per hour just ticking over, and is built and furnished with rare materials, extracted at the expense of stunning places. continues below
Eat the Rich? How Offshore Capital Now Rules the World .. Today’s super-rich are the most privileged and powerful group of people in history. If you’re a billionaire, you can even decide an election by funneling a little bit of your money into the race. You can choose to pay 0% tax. You can sway public opinion by buying up media outlets, and by using think […]
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that when Google convened a meeting of the rich and famous at the Verdura resort in Sicily this July to discuss climate breakdown, its delegates arrived in 114 private jets and a fleet of megayachts, and drove around the island in supercars. Even when they mean well, the ultrarich cannot help trashing the living.
A series of research papers shows that income is by far the most important determinant of environmental impact. It doesn’t matter how green you think you are. If you have surplus money, you spend it. The only form of consumption that’s clearly and positively correlated with good environmental intentions is diet: people who see themselves as green tend to eat less meat and more organic vegetables. But attitudes have little bearing on the amount of transport fuel, home energy and other materials you consume. Money conquers all. continues below
Growing inequality in the United States shows that the game is rigged. …..Last month, Bloombergreportedthat Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, has accumulated a fortune worth $150 billion. That is the biggest nominal amount in modern history, and extraordinary any way you slice it. Bezos is the world’slone hectobillionaire.He is worth what the average American family is, nearly two million times over. He has about 50 percent more money than Bill Gates, twice as much as Mark Zuckerberg, 50 times as much as Oprah, and perhaps 100 times as much as President Trump. (Who knows!) He has gotten $50 billion richer in less than a year. He needs to spend roughly $28 million a day just to keep from accumulating more wealth.
Of course we need new technologies. But he has missed the crucial point: in seeking to prevent climate breakdown, what counts is not what you do but what you stop doing. It doesn’t matter how many solar panels you install if you don’t simultaneously shut down coal and gas burners. Unless existing fossil fuel plants are retired before the end of their lives, and all exploration and development of new fossil fuels reserves is cancelled, there is little chance of preventing more than 1.5°C of global heating. continues below
see also:US Millionaires Pass $1.500,000,000,000 Tax Cut for RichEvery year wealth and power are concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.. HOW CAN WE STOP THIS MADNESS NOW? ‘Welfare for the Wealthy’: 227 Congressmen Pass $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut for Corporations and the Rich “It’s immoral that many hardworking families will pay a higher tax bill or lose access to critical services like healthcare […]
But this requires structural change, which involves political intervention as well as technological innovation: anathema to Silicon Valley billionaires. It demands an acknowledgement that money is not a magic wand that makes all the bad stuff go away. On Friday, I’ll be joining the global climate strike, in which adults will stand with the young people whose call to action has resonated around the world. As a freelancer, I’ve been wondering who I’m striking against. Myself? Yes: one aspect of myself, at least. Perhaps the most radical thing we can now do is to limit our material aspirations. The assumption on which governments and economists operate is that everyone strives to maximise their wealth. If we succeed in this task, we inevitably demolish our life support systems. Were the poor to live like the rich, and the rich to live like the oligarchs, we would destroy everything. The continued pursuit of wealth, in a world that has enough already (albeit very poorly distributed) is a formula for mass destitution. continues below
see also: The US military is a bigger polluter than as many as 140 countries …The US military is one of the largest polluters in history, consuming more liquid fuels and emitting more climate-changing gases than most medium-sized countries. Its carbon bootprint is enormous. Like corporate supply chains, it relies upon an extensive global network of container ( … )
A meaningful strike in defence of the living world is, in part, a strike against the desire to raise our incomes and accumulate wealth: a desire shaped, more than we are probably aware, by dominant social and economic narratives. I see myself as striking in support of a radical and disturbing concept: Enough. Individually and collectively, it is time to decide what enough looks like, and how to know when we’ve achieved it.
Left, Center and Right: We’re All in Denial About Climate Change .. byTed Rall .. If you really believe that the planet is becoming uninhabitable, if you think you are about to die, you don’t march peacefully through the streets holding signs and chanting slogans begging the corrupt scoundrels who haven’t done a damn thing for decades to wake up and do something. You identify the politicians and corporate leaders who are killing us, you track them down and you use whatever force is necessary to make them stop. Nothing less than regime change stands a chance of doing the job.
There’s a name for this approach, coined by the Belgian philosopher Ingrid Robeyns: limitarianism. Robeyns argues that there should be an upper limit to the amount of income and wealth a person can amass. Just as we recognise a poverty line, below which no one should fall, we should recognise a riches line, above which no one should rise. This call for a levelling down is perhaps the most blasphemous idea in contemporary discourse but her arguments are sound. Surplus money allows some people to exercise inordinate power over others, in the workplace, in politics, and above all in the capture, use and destruction of natural wealth. If everyone is to flourish, we cannot afford the rich. Nor can we afford our own aspirations, that the culture of wealth maximisation encourages. The grim truth is that the rich are able to live as they do only because others are poor: there is neither the physical nor ecological space for everyone to pursue private luxury. Instead we should strive for private sufficiency, public luxury. Life on earth depends on moderation.
note> This post was 1st made as a copiable flyer HERE
No Government Will Save the Planet for Us
by Crimethinc From September 20 to 27, tens of thousands will take to the streets to denounce the causes of climate change and call on governments to address what may be the most drastic crisis facing humanity in the 21st century.
These mass actions will showcase the growing anger of a new generation that has known nothing but crisis, war, and the threat of environmental collapse.
We have prepared the following text as a flier encouraging climate activists to consider how to interrupt the causes of climate change via direct action rather than petitioning the state to do solve the problem for us. Please print these out and distribute them at climate protests and everywhere else you can. Continue reading “The Wrong ICE is Melting, The Wrong Amazon is Burning”
101 East investigates how the illegal wildlife trade is wiping out rare species on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
Monkeys, butterflies, bats, snakes and a dazzling assortment of birds – the forests on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi are known as the ‘Galapagos of Asia’
…… But for how much longer?
Humanity’s impact is now endangering the survival of Sulawesi’s creatures, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.
“80 to 90 percent of the wildlife in Sulawesi is facing extinction. We are sleepwalking into ecological disaster,” says Billy, who works at the Tasikoki Wildlife Refuge.
”The extinction of the animals is part of climate and environmental breakdown caused by rampant exploitation for personal and corporate profit, imposed from outside by a kleptocratic State. Autonomous government of the islands would grant a stake to local people, along with strict environmental controls and suppression of plundering Corporations”.
A range of animals, from orangutans, sun bears and birds to crocodiles, can be found at the refuge. All of them have been taken from traffickers or people who kept them illegally as pets.
But Billy says the demand for “bushmeat” poses the biggest threat to animals.
“Mostly they are being caught from the wild, from the forest, for bushmeat … to be served on a plate as food,” he says.
Wanting to know more, we recently spoke with several people participating in autonomous disaster relief efforts (note, this interview is edited, and includes the voices of multiple individuals) about how the network of autonomous hubs and supply chains are functioning and how they might be utilized in other struggles and situations.
We reflected on past experiences responding to disasters and realized that we helped foster community and contributed to people’s survival and self determination in impacted areas. And this, for good reason, has been our focus.
“The level of coordination is the best I’ve seen yet.”
Meanwhile, supply drives in other communities took place, but were sometimes haphazard or invisible and not cultivated as much as they could have been. This is an effort to be more intentional about strengthening bonds across the regional networks and encouraging people to self-organize around collecting needed supplies in their own locales, even if their community is removed from the zone of impact.
“This is an effort to be more intentional about strengthening bonds across the regional networks, and encouraging people to self-organize…”
5003 ViewsAugust 09, 2019 24 Comments by Peter Koenig for The Saker blog
Imagine just for a moment, the World would stand up in unison, sick and tired of the aggressive killer arrogance of the United States and her vassals – and their joint war-force called NATO – and this World, our World, what’s left of it when you deduct Washington and its Brussels allies, would at once block every shipment of everything destined for the ports of the United States of America; every sea port, airport and road port. Hermetically. Nothing would enter. Nothing, no food, no medicine, no electronics, no cars – no nothing. And nothing could leave. No exports, no petrol, no grains, no meat, no pharmaceuticals and foremost, no weapons. Nothing.
And now, take your mind a step further – and imagine the same – exactly the same, a total and full blockage of Israel – nothing would enter, no food, no fuel, no medication, no machinery and especially no weapons – and nothing would leave; a full and total blockage.
This would of course be totally illegal; illegal and unacceptable, by any international law, by the standards of the UN Charter, by the Human Rights Laws and Directives – by any ethical values of human morals. Wouldn’t it? – Yet, this is exactly what these countries are doing, have been doing for decades, sanctioning to strangle and murder entire populations into death or submission. The US with Cuba; Israel with Palestine. And the coercion and strangulation go on, unabated.
The longest embargo – illegal, inhuman and outright criminal – Washington imposed on Cuba – 60 years. Because Cuba has chosen socialism as her form of state and government. Cuba survived and will never give in to the tyrant of the north.
Now the US is expanding her palette of killing by impunity to dominate and subjugate nation after nation which they do not consider bending sufficiently to the dictate of their masters. Venezuela has been targeted for two decades, ever since former President Hugo Chavez was democratically elected in 1998; and Iran, ever since the US-imposed Shah was deposed in 1979 – exactly 40 years ago – by Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Both Venezuela and Iran are rich in natural resources, especially hydrocarbons but also in gold, rare earths and other precious metals and stones.
8 August 2019 — Global Research: ..The Trump regime exceeds the worst of its predecessors. Based on the trend since the 1980s, whatever leadership succeeds it is likely to be even more contemptuous of world peace, equity and justice.Abandoning the JCPOA and INF Treaty, waging war on China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and other nations by other means, entirely discarding the rule of law, fostering destabilization worldwide, substituting brute force for diplomacy, along with its rage for global dominance ups the stakes for possible nuclear war against one or more nations…
Contrary to what one would like to imagine, international world bodies, like the United Nations and her sister and associated organizations remain just about silent. When a high-level official utters some benign criticism of the US or Israel – it flairs up for a moment in the ‘news’, then it disappears again, as if it never happened. And indeed, nothing happens. They – the US and Israel – go on with their crimes in impunity.
The latest is an open declaration of economic warfare by Washington, a total embargo on Venezuela; the embargo is now being turned into a naval blockade. Similar steps are to be taken for Iran. That literally means that no merchandise – no matter how vital for survival, like food and medication, is allowed into Venezuela. Three days ago, the US seized, totally illegally, a cargo ship attempting to deliver food and medication to Venezuela – in the Panama Canal, territory which the US does not own or control anymore.
The ship was carrying soy cakes, from which Venezuela was to produce food. Never mind, that the cargoes are fully paid for by Venezuela. And this seems to be just the beginning. Vessels leaving Venezuela with petrol deliveries to client countries are also targeted for blockage, thus confiscating, or rather stealing, Venezuela’s main source of income on which she intends to survive and feed and provide health care for her people. This, in addition to the more than 130 billion dollars total Venezuelan assets confiscated – stolen – by the US worldwide .
And nobody says beep. Almost. Yes, there are some collective protests by countries in solidarity – like key members of the Sao Paulo Forum, as well as more than 60 members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM – total 120 members) that have become especially active in recent years in defense of Venezuela within the United Nations. Protests and protest declarations also take place by ALBA members, a Latin American trade alliance (ALBA – Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, 11 members [Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Ecuador, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Grenada and the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis]).
But most interesting are the hypocrites, those who write and scream that Venezuelans are starving to death, that the Maduro government neglects its people – yet these accusers-in-falsehood – let the US and her vassals strangle Venezuela and steal her foreign assets, including foreign reserves and gold, food and medical imports – they are saying zilch, nada, nothing. Just watching.
To top it all off, the Human Rights Commissioner, Madame Michelle Bachelet, Hypocrite-in-chief, who recently visited Venezuela, at the invitation of President Nicolas Maduro, on a Human Rights mission, and who delivered a devastating report about Venezuela’s HR, full of lies, half-truths and outright omissions, not mentioning with one word the US inspired coup attempts, the US-funded opposition and its bloody atrocities on the Chavista population, and the strangulating and starving by the US and US-dictated European sanctions – Madame Bachelet now came forward condemning the naval blockade.
Great. But she did not stand up against the deadly embargo by the US and the European Union. – What credibility remains for the Human Rights Commission? – The world can see it – it’s all bought, coerced into submission, like so many other UN agencies by the Murderers Inc.
If we are not careful, they are soon going to rule the globe. Thanks god, for Russia and China – which are also subjects of US-EU sanctioning and targeted for take-over. But they are a tiny little bit too big and too strong for this sort of games by the decaying US empire and her obedient rats on the sinking ship.
Similarly, the European Union – despots as they have been for hundreds of years as colonialists in Africa, Asia and Latin America – and continue in a modern colonial role through economic control of much of Africa – this very EU, has been sanctioning Venezuela for years on the orders of Washington, naturally, who else? – Now they condemn the naval blockade, but continue their routine sanctions regime.
According to a study carried out by the Washington DC based Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), under guidance of Mark Weisbrot, CEPR co-director and Jeffrey Sachs, economics professor, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, New York, US and EU sanctions have cost some 40,000 Venezuelan lives. This mainly since August 2017, when Washington escalated its unilateral coercive measures against Venezuela and her state oil company, PDVSA, cutting them off international financial markets.
Yes, the world would have plenty of reasons to stand up and dish out similar naval and air blockades against the US and Israel. Just as a teaser to begin with, and if that doesn’t send a strong enough wake-up message, perhaps such embargoes should be considered on a longer-term indefinite scale. It’s illegal. But we are living in a world where international laws don’t count – where laws are made, as we go, by the self-declared hegemon, the US of A, and her symbiotic Middle East ally, Israel. – So, why not nudging the legal, moral and ethical order back into balance?
Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance. Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.
Establishment attitudes towards XR have been hardening. This week, a report co-authored by a former head of the Met Police’s Counter Terrorism Command warned of XR’s ‘subversive agenda… rooted in the political extremism of anarchism, eco-socialism and radical anti-capitalist environmentalism’.
The report calls for a ‘far more proactive’ police response, new anti-protest legislation, more prosecutions, and demands that ‘politicians and public figures should avoid endorsing, legitimising, or meeting with Extinction Rebellion’.
Activists ask Londoners to withhold 22 percent of their council tax to protest slow action on ‘climate emergency’…….
rs21 members have been getting involved around the UK, and trying to find out why XR has got the authorities so rattled…
Watch Al Jackson‘s video interview with an XR activist in Leeds who explained why people had set up camp for the week. ‘We can’t hide from the facts any more’, she said. ‘The people in charge…need to get moving, and if they don’t, it’s time for them to step down.’
Addressing climate catastrophe needs to be part of a wider vision for change: ‘We need a redistribution of finances anyway… We’re living in an unfair society.’