Tag Archives: capitalism

I was Once a Consumer but Now I am a Human Being

12 Dec

Consumption and Consumerism
“Today’s consumption is undermining the environmental resource base. It is exacerbating inequalities. And the dynamics of the consumption-poverty-inequality-environment nexus are accelerating. If the trends continue without change — not redistributing from high-income to low-income consumers, not shifting from polluting to cleaner goods and production technologies, not promoting goods that empower poor producers, not shifting priority from consumption for conspicuous display to meeting basic needs — today’s problems of consumption and human development will worsen.

… The real issue is not consumption itself but its patterns and effects.

… Inequalities in consumption are stark. Globally, the 20% of the world’s people in the highest-income countries account for 86% of total private consumption expenditures — the poorest 20% a minuscule 1.3%. More specifically, the richest fifth:

Consume 45% of all meat and fish, the poorest fifth 5%
Consume 58% of total energy, the poorest fifth less than 4%
Have 74% of all telephone lines, the poorest fifth 1.5%
Consume 84% of all paper, the poorest fifth 1.1%
Own 87% of the world’s vehicle fleet, the poorest fifth less than 1%
Runaway growth in consumption in the past 50 years is putting strains on the environment never before seen.”

Human Development Report 1998 Overview, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) — Emphasis Added. Figures quoted use data from 1995
Read more: http://www.globalissues.org/issue/235/consumption-and-consumerism

Greece 2-Day General Strike (Footage)

19 Oct
Thousands of protesters march in Athens as capital comes to a standstill ahead of vote on latest austerity measures.

 

Athens Clashes LIVE: RT at Greece massive protest showdown

 

Greek Battlefield: Video of Athens clashes with police

 

First video of Athens night clashes as Greece fights austerity

 

Thousands of protesters have marched in the Greek capital Athens at the start of a two-day general strike, as parliament prepares to vote on sweeping new austerity measures designed to stave off a default that could trigger a crisis in the wider eurozone.
Police were deployed in force in central Athens on Wednesday as protest marches began, blocking a road by parliament and shutting down two nearby metro stations.
At least 3,000 officers were stationed around the city, with additional forces guarding possible targets of violence such as embassies and government buildings.
Most of the country’s professional classes joined the walkout, including civil servants, tax collectors, doctors and teachers.
 

Taxi owners, petrol station operators and bakers also shut down their businesses in protest against the government’s economic policies.
Flights were grounded in the morning after air traffic controllers staged a 12-hour work stoppage.
Piles of rubbish continued to fester on street corners despite a civil mobilization order issued on Tuesday to order rubbish collectors back to work after a 17-day strike.
Civil servants have staged rounds of sit-ins at government buildings, with some, including the finance ministry, being under occupation for days.
“We expect that the strike could be the largest” in decades, Ilias Vrettakos, deputy president of the civil servants’ union ADEDY, said.
“The fact that other sections of society that are suffering from government policies are also participating gives a new dimension to the social resistance by workers and the people in general, and we hope that this mobilization will have an impact on political developments.”
 

Read more: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/10/201110190538784585.html

 

“Want to make a change, to save the world? Learn what needs to be saved, but more importantly…… what needs to change.” www.zeitgeistmovie.com

Global Debt (Recession)

19 Oct
European penny drops as more banks need more bailouts while the public debt clock ticks up to $40 trillion.  

 

View the global debt clock here: http://www.economist.com/content/global_debt_clock

 

The clock is ticking. Every second, it seems, someone in the world takes on more debt. The idea of a debt clock for an individual nation is familiar to anyone who has been to Times Square in New York, where the American public shortfall is revealed. Our clock shows the global figure for all (or almost all) government debts in dollar terms.

Does it matter? After all, world governments owe the money to their own citizens, not to the Martians. But the rising total is important for two reasons. First, when debt rises faster than economic output (as it has been doing in recent years), higher government debt implies more state interference in the economy and higher taxes in the future. Second, debt must be rolled over at regular intervals. This creates a recurring popularity test for individual governments, rather as reality TV show contestants face a public phone vote every week. Fail that vote, as the Greek government did in early 2010, and the country can be plunged into imminent crisis. So the higher the global government debt total, the greater the risk of fiscal crisis, and the bigger the economic impact such crises will have.

Quote

18 Oct

“War, poverty, corruption, hunger, misery, human suffering will not change in a monetary system. That is, there will be very little significant change. It’s going to take the redesign of our culture and values.”

Jacque Fresco

“Want to make a change, to save the world? Learn what needs to be saved, but more importantly…… what needs to change.” www.zeitgeistmovie.com

#OccupyWallStreet and the #Climate Movement

7 Oct
I’m writing from New York City, where the Occupy Wall Street movement is taking off.
What started as a small group of young people with a vague call to action is evolving into something truly inspiring — and our crew at 350.org is excited to support this nascent movement.
Here’s what Bill McKibben had to say about “The 99%” who are Occupying Wall Street — and how climate change fits into the picture:
Bill McKibben and the climate movement stand in solidarity with #occupywallst

(Can’t see the image above? Click here)

Let’s show the activists in New York (and in cities all over the country and the world) that the climate movement stands in solidarity with them. Share this image on Facebook, post it on Twitter, and consider joining a local “occupation” near you. Engage in dialogue and join the conversation that is shaping one of the most exciting grassroots movements in recent memory.

It’s hard to believe that just 10 days ago, I was in the afterglow of Moving Planet, sorting through inspirational photos from people all over the world who were moving beyond fossil fuels. The images were powerful, and they fired me up for whatever came next.

What came next was the Occupy Wall Street movement. In the last two weeks it has grown from something small, local, and overlooked by the media into something massive, global, and unignorable. There are now non-violent protests springing up in hundreds of cities, and stories of “the 99%” are dominating headlines everywhere. No one knows exactly what it will become — but it has the potential to be a true game-changer.

 

We now face exciting questions: what can we all do to support and expand this groundswell? And how might Occupy Wall Street’s amazing energy further embolden the climate movement?

The answers to these questions are starting to become clear. Two days ago I joined a crew of passionate climate activists in Manhattan to march with tens of thousands of people as part of Occupy Wall Street. The demands from the crowd were varied, but it all boils down to this: just about every problem we now face — from foreclosures to the climate crisis — is made worse by unchecked corporate greed and a corrupt political process. As I marched through the city, it struck me that naming (and acting on) the root causes of the world’s biggest problems is precisely what this moment demands.

 

In the coming weeks, we’ll be zeroing in on the root causes of the climate crisis, and focusing on the iconic battles in the fight for our planet’s future. In the near term, we’ll be focused on stopping the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline–a key fight where corporate corruption and environmental justice collide. If we can stop the pipeline we’ll send a resounding message across the country: that it’s time for the health of our communities and our planet to come before the profits of Wall Street and big polluters. President Obama will decide by the end of the year on whether to approve the pipeline, and we’ll be scaling up our activism to keep the pressure on.

From Wall Street to Washington DC to cities across the country, big things are coming together, and there are ways for people everywhere to join in. You can go to TarSandsAction.org to get plugged into the fight to stop the Keystone pipeline, and OccupyTogether.org to find out more about joining the 99%.

The next phase of these movements will be a sprint, not a marathon. It’s an honor to be running it with all of you.

 

Onwards,

 

Phil Aroneanu

 


MORE INFO ON OCCUPY WALL STREET AND THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE


350.org is building a global movement to solve the climate crisis. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for email alerts. You can help power our work by getting involved locally and donating here.
What is 350? Go to our website to learn about the science behind the movement.

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