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While representatives in Washington debate the “fiscal cliff” of their own invention, we are edging ever closer to a real, physical cliff: extreme weather due to carbon emissions. After almost entirely avoiding the issue of climate change and the need for pursuing alternatives to fossil fuels during the presidential debates, Hurricane Sandy hit with a vengeance to drive the point home how critical the situation is and I credit it with playing a role in defeating Republicans this November, particularly Romney.
Despite Sandy and the increasing urgency for action, the naysayers and dimwitted demagogues in Washington pretend that their made-up budget deadline is more important than attending the Climate Summit in Doha, Qatar. Sen. Inhofe, true to form, is reportedly questioning why anyone should attend the conference as the White House and Congress are embroiled in budget so-called “negotiations” (going nowhere as usual) and are conspicuously absent. Though the developing nations of India and China now are producing huge amounts of CO2, the U. S. remains the most flagrantly unrelenting in its refusal to ratify carbon reduction agreements, even though it has had the worst historical record of carbon emissions, and its inattendance severely thwarts worldwide efforts to change course.
I wonder if the moronic Inhofe is still declaring climate change a “hoax” in the wake of Sandy. His state of Oklahoma has been experiencing record drought, like the rest of the Great Plains states: North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Colorado, but this hasn’t previously phased him. It is curious to note that all these same states, with the exception of New Mexico and Colorado, voted for Romney, a climate denier, in the last election. Perhaps the residents of these states, along with the disinformation-pushing Koch Bros., need to take a tour of the eastern seaboard, and witness the destruction firsthand so that they might be shaken awake, as every coastal state, from Maine to Florida, was affected, along with other northeastern states like Michigan and Wisconsin, as the storm traveled clear across the Appalachians.
Corporate agriculture, enabled by global-warming scoffing Republicans like Inhofe, will increasingly be attempting to profiteer off tragic disasters like megastorm Sandy, as Naomi Klein outlines in her book, “Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.” You can bet that they will be pushing more and more GMO crops, hormones, and pesticides in order to try to circumvent nature rather than correcting the problem of burning fossil fuels. This is equivalent to what the pharmaceutical industry does in pushing drugs that fool your body into thinking its ok rather than going after the cause of the illness and curing it.
We cannot look to our plutocratic government to lead nor can we hope for any solutions from the greed-driven corporate world. As always, we the people are the ones who will effect real change by direct action and demanding that our government do what is needed, e. g. institute serious emissions reduction, pursue clean alternatives to dirty energy, and preserve tropical rainforests. We must also end corporate “personhood” and money as speech, and stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership as they figure into this largely: corporate “personhood” is the root problem behind all the others and the TPP would institute global corporate government and permanently hamper efforts to slow global warming or protect the environment.
Bill McKibben, who heads up 350.org, has been doing a “Do the Math” tour to help raise awareness regarding heating of the planet because of CO2 emissions and resulting climate change. He has been encouraging students to pressure their college boards to divest themselves of big polluters, which has expanded into an effort at schools across the country. This is how we get things done! For more information on these issues, check out these links:
The outrageous Trans-Pacific Treaty being pushed by the Obama Administration, if it passes, will outlaw local, state, and even national efforts to protect food, air, water—all our natural resources—as it simultaneously bestows the corporation with more power than even nation-states and disembowels democracy. Very telling is the fact that the negotiations for this multi-national treaty have been conducted in secret, and the only reason any of us know what is in it is the fact that some of the document thankfully leaked, revealing the brazen agenda of the 1% behind this coup.
Nothing more urgently requires our attention at the present time than this treaty and the loss of civil liberties because together, they form a frightening picture of world government a la The Corporation who, armed with new powers to control, exploit, and force its will on people as well as on the earth, will be virtually unstoppable since citizens are being stripped of our rights and disempowered. The U. S., predictably, is leading the way for the most extreme provisions of this “agreement” between governments (over the will of their respective peoples) of New Zealand, Peru, Chile, and Vietnam, among others, and is attempting to add as many countries as possible to the list, including China.
We the People must wake up and end this attempt at world domination NOW; otherwise I fear we will lose all of our freedoms and ability to affect not only our lives but the fate of the planet, permanently. Nothing emphasizes the urgency of a constitutional amendment abolishing corporate “personhood” and ties it to every effort to reclaim our right to a safe and healthy environment, or any kind of a life, more than this treaty. It is imperative that we make sure that the dark motives behind it are exposed and that we abolish corporate personhood; otherwise this is just a preview of similar power grabs we can expect in the future.
We must stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Occupy the next meeting in San Diego which takes place the week of July 2-10–OCCUPY TRADE AGREEMENTS !
Democracy NOW covered this story on June 14–please watch and pass on this link:
After I heard David Cobb of Move-to-Amend speak last summer, I got to thinking about all the multitude of ways in which the Corporation has invaded and taken over our lives. Here is a list of how far-reaching the problem is and why it is of such overriding importance that we ban corporate “personhood”.
The Corporation controls:
1. Lobbying and the revolving door – in order to manipulate congress, regulatory agencies for the benefit of private enterprise
2. Elections – in order to buy elections by funneling huge donations into campaigns
3. Representatives and justices – in order to buy influence by campaign contributions, perks
4. Legislation – support and even write legislation so that it benefits corporate interests rather than the interests of the people
5. Ballot Initiatives – powerful corporate interests promote ballot initiatives that are often wolves in sheep’s clothing that serve their interests at the people’s expense while dumping huge sums of money into defeating others like the tobacco industry just did with Prop 29
Our government has been bought and has allowed the corporate world to monopolize industry, commit unspeakable crimes against humanity and the environment while escaping all accountability, paying no taxes, shipping our jobs overseas, bankrupting our country while getting government contracts, subsidies, and bailouts. All of this has been made possible by the expansion of the wrongheaded concept of corporate “personhood” which has allowed them to claim rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights to citizens, NOT corporations. Corporations are mere legal fictions as they are artificial entities. This insanity has to end. We must amend the Constitution to end the corporate “personhood” sham once and for all that has been allowed to strangle our democracy and destroy our world.
Corporate and/or government control of land often lends itself to abuse–one need only look at the hideous strip malls, huge boulevards convoluting what was or could have been a pleasant street into a forbidding and noisy thoroughfare built for nothing but motor vehicles, or at cookie-cutter housing projects with houses built barely 5 feet apart converting previously beautiful arable landscapes into ugly, land-starved, life-denying cells. Similarly, a glance at the BLM and the history of land grants, how the native Americans were shoved off their ancestral lands, mining and logging “rights” that have been exploited, HUD’s dismal sub-standard public housing, etc. reveals government’s failures at protecting nature and preserving or creating habitable neighborhoods and cities.
In contrast, a wonderful thing is happening in some very depressed communities, like Detroit, where the people are claiming the land from abandoned properties in order to grow their own food, a very direct solution to not only urban blight but food deserts, one that needs no bureaucratic or corporate involvement, and one that increases sustainability in a very democratic manner and also decreases pollution. Everyone who knows anything about real estate understands that the best way to increase the value of property is to improve the landscaping, and every human being responds positively to the beauty and serenity of nature, even those who practice environmental destruction. You don’t see the CEOs of polluting corporations hanging out in their off time at a nuclear power plant, a copper mine, or a denuded forest–they are on their yachts on the glittering ocean, skiing down a gorgeous mountain slope, or at least on a golf course surrounded by grass, shrubs, water, and trees. Everyone appreciates plants and trees and feels better when in their company, with their life-giving oxygenation, without which we could not survive; when those plants and trees provide nutritious food, their value is potentiated even further, beyond their inestimable intrinsic worth.
There are a lot of direct actions we citizens can take to reclaim the land and utilize our natural environment to beautify and support life: in addition to re-purposing abandoned properties for growing vegetables to feed yourself and members of your community, working locally on establishing community gardens and planting fruit-bearing trees, both in your own yard and in city parks and along city streets, is another way to ensure there is land to cultivate to help grow the natural environment. Also, doing away with corporate “personhood” will allow for citizens to take back the power to outlaw the excesses of the corporate world that impinge on our lives in a multitude of ways including housing, city planning, zoning laws, and land use. We can exercise all of these options to enhance our lives and reclaim the land by growing the natural world.
It is astonishing that the Supreme Court, with its pro-corporate majority, finally got it right. The patenting of human genomes is an outrageous idea that should never have been allowed at all. Hopefully this decision sets a precedent that will allow for suits to be brought regarding other such corporate abuses of humanity for profit and we can outlaw it entirely.
This is one of the myriad examples of why we need a Constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood so that corporations’ singleminded pursuit of profits over people can be reined in and governed by the actual citizens of this country instead of monstrous emotionless artificial entities who have no conscience being allowed to run amok with impunity.