In US politics, a job guarantee was seen as hopeless lefty radicalism as recently as a month ago. But the shock of the virus has opened the conversation to bigger ideas. As unemployment spirals into a range of social pathologies, history is catching up to economist Pavlina Tcherneva.
While tens of millions of Americans lose their livelihoods and struggle to put food on the table during the coronavirus pandemic, billionaires are laughing all the way to the bank. Since the start of this year alone, the world’s richest man Jeff Bezos saw his wealth increase by a whopping $25 billion, bringing his total net worth to $143.1 billion.
The number of people harmed by floods will double worldwide by 2030, according to a new analysis. The World Resources Institute, a global research group, found that 147 million people will be hit by floods from rivers and coasts annually by the end of the decade, compared with 72 million people just 10 years ago.
What lessons can we learn from this pandemic? Will the coronavirus crisis lead to a new way of organizing society — one that conceives of a social and political order where profits are not above people? In this exclusive interview with Truthout, public intellectual Noam Chomsky and economist Robert Pollin tackle these questions.
The Covid-19 crisis has revealed gruesome core dysfunction. Drug companies have to be bribed to make needed medicines, state governments improvise harebrained plans for emergency elections, and industrial capacity has been offshored to the point where making enough masks seems beyond the greatest country in the world.
"When a company fails, it does not fire their employees, it goes through a packaged bankruptcy," said Palihapitiya. "If anything what happens is the people who have the pensions inside the companies, the employees of these companies, end up owning more of the company.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has produced a remarkable new video using data gathered from their Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, which specifically tracks atmospheric air pollution. The images reveal a sharp and sudden decrease in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over Italy from January to mid-February, which scientists believe is tied to the reduction in human activity in the nation due to the coronavirus outbreak.
At a time of near-record wealth concentration, more than twice as many young Americans say the existence of billionaires is bad for society as those who say it is good.According to the Pew Research Center, 39 percent of adults younger than 30 support the view that people whose personal fortunes exceed $1 billion “is a bad thing,” while 16 percent say billionaires are good for society.
Before a vaccine to combat the coronavirus pandemic is within view, the Trump administration has already walked back its initial refusal to promise that any remedy would be affordable to the general public. “We can’t control that price because we need the private sector to invest,” Alex Azar, Health and Human Services secretary and a former drug industry executive, told Congress.
In Norway, way up by the Arctic circle, global warming is already affecting people and nature. This authors show us the results of global warming in pictures and it is devastating. The temperature is only 1 degree warmer in that last 115 years and here are the effects.
Even when critical of US actions, media commentary on recent US bombings and assassinations in the Middle East is premised on the assumption that the US has the right to use violence (or the threat of it) to assert its will, anytime, anywhere. Conversely, corporate media coverage suggests that any countermeasure—such as resistance to the US presence in Iraq—is inherently illegitimate, criminal and/or terroristic.
In 2019 the central principles that have organised the international tax system for the last century began to publicly unravel. A long OECD consultation aimed at finding ways to patch up the leaky global rules ended with experts agreeing that a completely new set of ideas was needed to govern the digital economy.
One way of reframing the 2016 election is in terms of abuse psychology. Political control changed hands from the compromisers/enablers to authoritarians/abusers. From a systemic psychological perspective, while enablers seem to be nicer people than abusers, they too are implicated in the abusive system, because they condone and enact many of the same abusive behaviors, and at times submit to the abusers, and even help them. That is what it means to be an enabler.
It was shortly after midnight in Baghdad on Friday, Jan. 3, when a missile strike ordered by President Trump killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. When stock markets opened the next day, dozens of members of Congress saw bumps in their portfolios as their holdings in defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon increased in value on the possibility of war. Over the next three trading days, the leading defense industry stock index would surge 2.4% above Thursday’s close.
For many Americans, how they feel about issues raised during President Donald Trump’s impeachment has much to do with where they get their news. A study released Friday by the Pew Research Center illustrated these tendencies, along with the growing Republican suspicion of media sources during the Trump administration.
The heat in the world’s oceans reached a new record level in 2019, showing “irrefutable and accelerating” heating of the planet. The world’s oceans are the clearest measure of the climate emergency because they absorb more than 90% of the heat trapped by the greenhouse gases emitted by fossil fuel burning, forest destruction and other human activities.
The solution [to the problem of maintaining the demand for dollars] turned out to be to replace gold with U.S. Treasury securities (IOUs) as the basis of foreign central bank reserves. After 1971, foreign central banks had little option for what to do with their continuing dollar inflows except to recycle them to the U.S. economy by buying U.S. Treasury securities. In fact, U.S. foreign military spending helped finance the domestic U.S. federal budget deficit.
The world is, finally, awakening to the imminent threats posed by climate change and pollution, and London is starting to do its bit to help. From zero-emissions streets to pollution-eating solar panels, along with restaurants trending towards zero-waste and veganism, the capital has begun to put greener, more sustainable methods into practice. Next in the war on global warming are three new City Trees, a series of CO2-filtering structures which have just been installed in Leytonstone.
Every $100 given directly to the poorest households was generating between $250 and $270 in GDP. That’s a fiscal multiplier in the range of 2.5 to 2.7 18 months after the money was spent — a huge number by global standards.
In the popular imagination, energy-storage technologies like batteries are a key part of the effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and fight climate change. But storage has something of a dirty secret: Its net effect is often an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The full causes and dynamics behind this are complex, having to do with what energy is being stored, what energy is being displaced when it is released, and what energy makes up for the energy lost (roughly 20 percent) in the round-trip journey to battery and back.
Montana state Rep. Kathy Kelker (D) and Sen. Jen Gross (D) acknowledged in interviews that editorials they published separately about the single-payer health proposal included language provided by John MacDonald, a lobbyist and consultant in the state who disclosed in private emails that he worked for an unnamed client.
Four years after countries struck a landmark deal in Paris to rein in greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to avert the worst effects of global warming, humanity is headed toward those very climate catastrophes, according to a United Nations report issued Tuesday, with China and the United States, the two biggest polluters, having expanded their carbon footprints last year.
The report, published Wednesday, found that failing to limit emissions would lead to health problems caused by infectious diseases, worsening air pollution, rising temperatures and malnutrition.
The incarceration of Black women, men, and children is a global phenomenon. And thanks to New Jim Crow mass incarceration laws – prosecution is rampant across the United States – the so called ‘Land of the Free’. The New Jersey Department of Corrections recently came under fire after ACLU attorneys exposed their unconstitutional ban on The New Jim Crow — an award winning book that blew the lid off of America’s prison-industrial complex.
The removal of Trump from office would not threaten corporate power. It would not restore civil liberties, including our right to privacy and due process. It would not demilitarize the police or champion the rights of the working class. It would not impede the profits of the fossil fuel and banking industries. It would not address the climate emergency.
The more than 12,000 residents of this windswept Canadian archipelago are facing a growing number of gut-wrenching choices, as extreme climate change transforms the land and water around them. Season after season, storm after storm, it is becoming clearer that the sea, which has always sustained these islands, is now their greatest threat.
When progressives propose new or expanded social programs, they face intense media scrutiny bordering on harassment over how they intend to pay for these programs. Republicans proposing tax cuts don’t face anything like the same scrutiny; they are seemingly able to get away with blithe assertions that tax cuts will pay for themselves by boosting economic growth, even though every single piece of evidence we have says that this is nonsense.
In war zones, evidence captured on smartphones can provide a path to justice — but platforms like YouTube and Facebook are getting in the way. In the Video Op-Ed above, the Syrian activist and archivist Hadi Al Khatib urges platforms to overhaul and improve their content moderation systems. He fears that automated removal, which in 2017 deleted 10 percent of the archive documenting violence in Syria, risks erasing critical history.
Something very unusual happened on Thursday, Oct. 17. The New York Times suddenly ran an article on its opinion page explaining how to cut $300 billion from the $1-trillion military budget — enough, the article explained, to fund Bernie Sanders’ proposed program for an expanded Medicare program to cover all Americans without raising a dime in new taxes.
Google has made “substantial” contributions to some of the most notorious climate deniers in Washington despite its insistence that it supports political action on the climate crisis.
Up and down the mid-Atlantic coast, sea levels are rising rapidly, creating stands of dead trees — often bleached, sometimes blackened — known as ghost forests. The water is gaining as much as 5 millimeters per year in some places, well above the global average of 3.1 millimeters, driven by profound environmental shifts that include climate change.
The Guardian today reveals the 20 fossil fuel companies whose relentless exploitation of the world’s oil, gas and coal reserves can be directly linked to more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era.
Extracting CO2 from air is the best way to reverse global warming without resorting to expensive technologies, convoluted tax schemes or preventing billions from getting sufficient energy. If you then make gasoline from it, then you’d kill two birds with one stone. That stone is Carbon Engineering.
It’s not unusual for billionaires and lobbyists to set up political groups that masquerade as grassroots movements, but most of the time they make it slightly difficult for the rest of us to figure out what’s going on. Other times, however, it’s not that hard.
The Earth is living, and also creates life. Over 4 billion years the Earth has evolved a rich biodiversity — an abundance of different living organisms and ecosystems — that can meet all our needs and sustain life.
After Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, Houston jumped to the front of the pack in adapting to the threat of climate change. It passed tougher building codes, offered more buyouts for flood-prone homes and budgeted billions of dollars in new funding for flood control.
Impeaching Donald Trump would do nothing to halt the deep decay that has beset the American republic. It would not magically restore democratic institutions. It would not return us to the rule of law. It would not curb the predatory appetites of the big banks, the war industry and corporations.
The skies are emptying out. The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970, scientists reported on Thursday. There are 2.9 billion fewer birds taking wing now than there were 50 years ago. There are likely many causes, the most important of which include habitat loss and wider use of pesticides.
Carbon offsets offer a way to balance out your pollution by investing in projects that reduce emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. If you’re taking a long-haul flight from New York City to Paris, for example, you can purchase a carbon offset to account for that specific environmental impact.
As a journalist who has worked both inside and outside of establishment media, I see influence as embedded in a corporate media culture rather than in isolated cases of CEO dictates. It happens in little ways, such as how an interviewer frames a question, and in big ways, like the decision to exclude a topic, a person or a group of people from the airwaves.
American war-making will persist so long as the United States continues to seek military dominance across the globe. Dominance, assumed to ensure peace, in fact guarantees war. To get serious about stopping endless war, American leaders must do what they most resist: end America’s commitment to armed supremacy and embrace a world of pluralism and peace.
The International Life Sciences Institute, with branches in 17 countries, is funded by giants of the food and drug industries. The organization, which championed tobacco interests during the 1980s and 1990s in Europe and the United States, has more recently expanded its activities in Asia and Latin America, regions that provide a growing share of food company profits. It has been especially active in China, India and Brazil, the world’s first, second and sixth most populous nations.
Florida has the largest concentration of freshwater springs in the world, but they are being devastated by increasing pollution and drastic declines in water flow. Some springs have dried up from overextraction; others have shown signs of saltwater intrusion and harmful algae blooms.
The United States has spent nearly $6 trillion on wars that directly contributed to the deaths of around 500,000 people since the 9/11 attacks of 2001. The final count revealed, "The United States has appropriated and is obligated to spend an estimated $5.9 trillion (in current dollars) on the war on terror through Fiscal Year 2019, including direct war and war-related spending and obligations for future spending on post 9/11 war veterans."
For years, wealthy visitors to Baker’s Bay could ignore the precarious living conditions in the Mudd. But now, in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, that’s no longer possible. The shantytown has been destroyed. Many people were killed; the rest are homeless. The devastating human toll has exposed an economic dependency — there’s no one to repair the mansions.
For over a year, we asked people in prison to paint or draw people we felt should be in prison–the CEOs of companies destroying our environment, economy, and society. Here are the results.
High pressure means air tends to sink toward the surface rather than rise, making it hard for any clouds to break up the blue sky. The blocking high also distorts the average wind directions as it brings warmer air from the south up to the north. That’s the pattern that produced Russia’s incredibly deadly 2010 summer heatwave. Instead of westerly winds, warm air coming from Kazakhstan moved in on Moscow.
Climate-changing pollution reached unprecedented levels in 2018. That's both judged against the last 60 years of modern measurements and against 800,000 years of data culled from ice cores, according to the U.S. government’s State of the Climate report, which was published this week with the American Meteorological Society. That pollution creates a greenhouse effect that is over 42 percent stronger than it was in 1990, the report added.
In any one geographic location, 2 degrees Celsius may not represent global cataclysmic change, but it can threaten ecosystems, change landscapes and upend livelihoods and cultures. In Lake Hopatcong, thinning ice let loose waves of aquatic weeds that ordinarily die in the cold. This year, a new blow: Following one of the warmest springs of the past century, harmful bacteria known as blue-green algae bloomed in the lake just as the tourist season was taking off in June.
The gases heating the planet at higher levels in 2018 than humans have ever recorded, according to an authoritative report published by the American Meteorological Society and compiled by the US government.Greenhouse gases were at levels unseen in 60 years of modern measurements and 800,000 years of ice core data, the study found. The data used in the 325-page report was collected from more than 470 scientists in 60 countries.
If there’s a silver lining in all the terrifying climate headlines recently, it’s the fact that the world finally seems to get the gravity of the crisis. But when the conversation turns to solutions here in the US, one prominent voice seems to be consistently left out. Indigenous peoples of America.
Countries that are home to one-fourth of Earth’s population face an increasingly urgent risk: The prospect of running out of water. From India to Iran to Botswana, 17 countries around the world are currently under extremely high water stress, meaning they are using almost all the water they have, according to new World Resources Institute data published Tuesday.
We are only at the beginning of an increasingly more perilous worldwide water crisis. The ability to turn seawater into drinking water will be able to turn the tides on this problem before it grows. Desalination on an industrial scale would change the world.
Last week, mainstream media outlets gave minimal attention to the news that the U.S. Naval station in Virginia Beach had spilled an estimated 94,000 gallons of jet fuel into a nearby waterway, less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean. While the incident was by no means as catastrophic as some other pipeline spills, it underscores an important yet little-known fact—that the U.S. Department of Defense is both the nation's and the world's, largest polluter.
Concerned Health Professionals of New York and my organization, Physicians for Social Responsibility, recently released a remarkable compendium of research on the subject. It summarizes and links to over 1,500 articles and reports and has become the go-to source for activists, health professionals, and others seeking to understand fracking. The new studies we looked at expose serious threats to health, justice, and the climate.
At sunrise, the misty fields around the village of Guior are already dotted with men, women and children sowing maize after an overnight rainstorm. After several years of drought, the downpour brought some hope of relief to the subsistence farmers in this part of eastern Guatemala.
Every year - on a date that gets earlier and earlier due to the expanding ecological impact of humanity - the Global Footprint Network (GFN) commemorates Earth Overshoot Day to shed light on the planet's dwindling resources. In 2019, the partner organisation of British think-tank New Economics Foundation chose July 29 as the illustrative day by which total resource consumption for the calendar year has already surpassed the Earth's capacity to regenerate itself.
I had come to the Arctic to learn what the people who live and work there think about the talk of geopolitics—land-grabs, hidden oil wealth, and strategic shipping lanes—now that global warming is opening the region. I wanted to see what the threats really looked like on the ground. And, of course, I hoped to see the Arctic ice sheet, the frozen top of the planet that I had dreamt of setting foot on since I was a child.
On every level, the Obama administration couldn't break with neoliberalism. We're living with its failures today. At one point in A Crisis Wasted, the author compares the inaugural speeches of Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama, two Democratic presidents who took office at times of epochal economic crisis.
Vast swathes of the Arctic are suffering from "unprecedented" wildfires, new satellite images have revealed. North of the Arctic circle, the high temperatures are facilitating enormous wildfires which are wreaking ecological destruction on a colossal scale.
Seeing countless renewable energy records broken and milestones passed has been a constant source of encouraging news for our planet. Now, we have yet another impressive stat to celebrate: in the first half of 2019, Scotland generated enough energy from wind power to supply its homes twice over.
At first glance, the classroom I was visiting at a high-poverty school in Washington, D.C., seemed like a model of industriousness. The teacher sat at a desk in the corner, going over student work, while the first graders quietly filled out a worksheet intended to develop their reading skills.
Antarctica faces a tipping point where glacial melting will accelerate and become irreversible even if global heating eases, research suggests. A Nasa-funded study found instability in the Thwaites glacier meant there would probably come a point when it was impossible to stop it flowing into the sea and triggering a 50cm sea level rise. Other Antarctic glaciers were likely to be similarly unstable.
The sailing cargo ship Kwai docked in Honolulu last month after a 25-day voyage with 40 tonnes of fishing nets and consumer plastics aboard, gathered from what has become known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The latest annual clean-up voyage by the non-profit Ocean Voyages Institute (OVI) used satellite imagery to specifically target discarded fishing gear. More than half a million tonnes of plastic nets - so-called ghost nets - are abandoned each year in oceans across the world, entangling and killing up to 380,000 sea mammals.
Planting more than 500 billion trees could remove around 25 percent of existing carbon from the atmosphere, a new study has found. What's more: there's enough space to do it. The study set out to assess how much new forest the earth could support without encroaching on farmland or urban areas and came up with a figure of 0.9 billion hectares.
The vast expanse of sea ice around Antarctica has suffered a “precipitous” fall since 2014, satellite data shows, and fell at a faster rate than seen in the Arctic. The plunge in the average annual extent means Antarctica lost as much sea ice in four years as the Arctic lost in 34 years. The cause of the sharp Antarctic losses is as yet unknown and only time will tell whether the ice recovers or continues to decline.
As many environmentalists and even elected Democrats have come to believe that serious climate disruption is already upon us, it has become fashionable to call for a World War II-style mobilization to fight climate change. But virtually no one will actually call for any of the sorts of activities that the United States undertook during the war mobilization—rationing food and fuels, seizing property, nationalizing factories or industries, or suspending democratic liberties.
The new superdelegate rules, combined with a crowded field and early elections, could lead to a brokered convention in 2020. The party’s delegate allocation rules, combined with the large number of candidates and an early election calendar for key states, have laid the groundwork for a small group of lobbyists and party officials to potentially play a deciding role in choosing the nominee.
This morning, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that employers may require employees to settle collective disputes in individual arbitration, thereby barring them from banding together in class-action lawsuits against employers.
The world is increasingly at risk of “climate apartheid”, where the rich pay to escape heat and hunger caused by the escalating climate crisis while the rest of the world suffers, a report from a UN human rights expert has said.
The American economic system is focused on maximizing shareholder returns. And it’s achieving that goal: on Friday, the S&P 500 notched a new all-time high. But average Americans have seen no significant gains in their incomes for four decades, adjusted for inflation.
The Arctic spring thaw has begun with a bang, with extensive melting of the Greenland ice sheet and sea ice loss that is already several weeks ahead of normal, scientists said.A stagnant zone of high-pressure air over Greenland last week brought warm air from the south, raising temperatures as much as 40 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. That, coupled with cloudless conditions, led to a pulse of melting across much of the ice sheet surface.
Over the past two years, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has reached out to communities in more than 30 states across this nation. We have met with tens of thousands of people, witnessing the strength of their moral courage in trying times. We have gathered testimonies from hundreds of poor people and we have chronicled their demands for a better society.
A new International Monetary Fund (IMF) study shows that USD$5.2 trillion was spent globally on fossil fuel subsidies in 2017. The equivalent of over 6.5% of global GDP of that year, it also represented a half-trillion dollar increase since 2015 when China ($1.4 trillion), the United States ($649 billion) and Russia ($551 billion) were the largest subsidizers.
Drone surveys have revealed erosion of coastal permafrost in the Arctic — up to 3 feet a day. Researchers reported Friday that the recent rate of erosion is six times higher than the historical rate. Meanwhile, the Arctic just saw the hottest May on record, with temperatures in northwest Russia hitting a remarkable 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius).
On Thursday, Americans remembered those killed on D-Day, 75 years back. Some 2,501 Americans gave their lives that day, according to historic estimates. Another 1,913 soldiers from other Allied countries also died, bringing the total death toll from the immediate invasion to 4,414. It took until late April before the number of people killed by guns in the United States in 2019 topped that number, according to data collected by the Gun Violence Archive.
On current global heating trends, thousands of people are set to perish due to the heat every year across 15 major US cities, in an analysis by a team of British and American researchers. Once the average worldwide temperature rises to 3C (37.4F) above the pre-industrial period nearly 5,800 people are expected to die each year in New York City due to the heat, more than 2,500 are forecast to die annually in Los Angeles and more than 2,300 lives will be lost annually in Miami.
Glaciers in the Everest region are melting at an alarming rate because of increasing pollution and global warming, a scientist has claimed. Professor John All, of Western Washington University, said his team discovered that samples of snow taken from the world’s highest mountain and surrounding peaks were surprisingly dark.
A harrowing scenario analysis of how human civilization might collapse in coming decades due to climate change has been endorsed by a former Australian defense chief and senior royal navy commander.
Millions of floating islands that convert atmospheric carbon dioxide to fuel could help protect our climate from the burning of fossil fuels, scientists have said. These proposed islands would be clustered together to create large-scale facilities that—if enough were built—could eventually offset the total global emissions from fossil fuels.
Plutocrats like to control the range of permissible public dialogue. Plutocrats also like to shape what society values. If you want to see where a country’s priorities lie, look at how it allocates its money. While teachers and nurses earn comparatively little for performing critical jobs, corporate bosses including those who pollute our planet and bankrupt defenseless families, make millions more.
Exxon Mobil Corp shareholders on Wednesday rejected a proposal that would have forced the company's board to create a special committee on climate change. Shareholders also defeated measures requiring the company to report the risks of climate change at chemical plants on the Gulf Coast in the United States and to report political contributions and lobbying.
Defense executives from around the country crowded into Goldman Sachs’ glimmering tower in downtown Manhattan in mid-May, eager to present before a conference of bankers and financial analysts. While much of the world was on edge over simmering tension in the Middle East, as the U.S. and its allies have stoked tensions with Iran, the businessmen at the conference talked of opportunity.
Here’s how the process works: Developers accept public money to build these projects to house the homeless – either “bridge housing,” or “permanent supportive housing.” Cities and counties collect building fees and hire bureaucrats for oversight. The projects are then handed off to nonprofits with long term contracts to run them. That doesn’t sound so bad, right? The problem is the price tag.
Thirty-two-year-old French economist Gabriel Zucman scours spreadsheets to find secret offshore accounts. Gabriel Zucman started his first real job the Monday after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Fresh from the Paris School of Economics, where he’d studied with a professor named Thomas Piketty, Zucman had lined up an internship at Exane, the French brokerage firm. He joined a team writing commentary for clients and was given a task that felt absurd: Explain the shattering of the global economy. “Nobody knew what was going on,” he recalls.
Climate change is increasingly linked to many forms of extreme weather. One analysis of extreme weather data found that human-caused climate change was a “significant driver” of 21 out of 27 extreme weather events, including droughts, floods and heat waves.
The bankruptcy of one of the largest domestic coal producers in the country has revealed that the company maintains financial ties to many of the leading groups that have sowed doubt over the human causes of global warming. The disclosures are from Cloud Peak Energy, a Wyoming-based coal mining corporation that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 10. The company had been battered by low coal prices, including in international markets cultivated by the firm.
The greatest restraint on judges is that they are bound by a written text — or, at least, that they are supposed to be. Members of Congress gain their legitimacy from the will of the people, so they have broad ranging authority to enact laws that, in their opinion, will serve those people. Judges, by contrast, have no democratic legitimacy and far less discretion. Their sole task, at least in theory, is to apply written law to individual cases.
The United States has spent more subsidizing fossil fuels in recent years than it has on defense spending, according to a new report from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF found that direct and indirect subsidies for coal, oil and gas in the U.S. reached $649 billion in 2015. Pentagon spending that same year was $599 billion.