Published on Monday, October 24, 2011 by Inter Press Service
Inter Press Service
CHANGWON, South Korea – The window to limit global warming to less than two degrees C is closing so fast it can be measured in months, a new scientific analysis revealed Sunday.
Without putting the brakes on carbon emissions very soon, large parts of Africa, most of Russia and northern China will be two degrees C warmer in less than 10 years. Canada and Alaska will soon follow, the regional study shows.
“If one is sincerely committed to limit global temperature increase to below two degrees C… (governments) committing to a global peak emission level and peak year makes sense from a science perspective,” said Joeri Rogelj of the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science in Zurich, who headed the analysis published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Governments will be meeting in Durban, South Africa starting Nov. 28 to launch the next round of climate treaty negotiations, which so far have failed to ensure their goal of less than a two-degree C increase will be achieved.
Published on Monday, October 24, 2011 by Reuters http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/10/24/idINIndia-60096820111024 Reuters (Reuters) – An anti-capitalist group which sparked the Occupy Wall Street movement has called for global protests on Saturday to demand G20 leaders impose a “Robin Hood” tax on financial transactions and currency trades. Canada-based Adbusters wants the Occupy Wall Street …
By Aaron Mehta and John Aloysius Farrell
Nation of Change, October 24, 2011
Goaded by battalions of corporate lobbyists, members of Congress are working to give a select group of U.S. multinational firms like Apple, Oracle and Pfizer a lavish tax break on a trillion dollars stashed offshore.
The avowed goal is to generate jobs and investment, but the offshore tax holiday was tried before, in 2004, and the lion’s share of the benefits went not to unemployed workers and their families, but to corporate shareholders and executives.
With today’s high unemployment, and soaring costs for college, health care and other family essentials, critics are asking why an elite class of corporations and their shareholders should get a huge tax break on overseas profits.
The proposed tax holiday could cost the Treasury from $40 billion to $80 billion over the next decade, and the high cost of the measure is one reason that its prospects for passage are mixed.
But 73 members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, have signed up as co-sponsors. And cash-rich mega corporations are pushing hard for the tax break.
guardian.co.uk, Monday 24 October 2011 10.30 EDT
Jean-Claude Trichet will be retiring as head of the European Central Bank at the end of October. He will step into retirement having wreaked the sort of destruction on the European economy that hostile powers could only dream about. Tens of millions of people across the eurozone countries are unemployed or underemployed because of his mismanagement of Europe’s economy.
Meanwhile, the world teeters on the brink of another financial crisis because of the failure of the ECB, along with the IMF, to effectively address the sovereign debt crisis. Most incredible of all, Trichet probably thinks he has done a good job.
This last point really is central because the ECB, like much of the economics profession, continues to be controlled by a bizarre clique that believes that the most important, and possibly only, goal that a central bank should pursue is a 2% inflation target. By this measure, the ECB has done reasonably well, even as the eurozone economy has crumbled around it. After all, inflation in the eurozone economies rarely exceeded 3% and averaged well under the 2% target over the last decade.
By Lynn Parramore, AlterNet
After over a month of demonstrations, numerous dismissals, and thousands of arrests, Occupy Wall Street is gaining momentum. Over the last two weeks, polls have poured in revealing that Americans familiar with the protests largely support them. And since that familiarity will continue to increase, we can only conclude that the country’s support for the movement will keep on growing. When you’ve got NYT pundit Charles Blow unfurling his hipster flag comparing OWS to legendary 90s band Nirvana, you know a tipping point has been reached!
Recent polls prove that when Americans hear this band, they dig it. Here’s a round-up:
Oct. 9-10 Time Magazine/Abt SRBI: This poll showed a 54 percent favorable rating of OWS, compared to a mere 27 percent thumbs up for the Tea Party. The same poll revealed a strong support for grievances associated with the movement. 86 percent of Americans polled thought that “Wall Street and lobbyists have too much influence in Washington”; 79 percent said that “the gap between the rich and the poor in the U.S. is too large”; 71 percent wanted prosecutions for “executives of financial institutions responsible for the financial meltdown in 2008″; and 68 percent believed that “the rich should pay more in taxes.” Echoing the sense of alienation expressed by OWS protesters, 60 percent of respondents said that “the political debate in Washington and the media” does not represent their concerns.
Published on Saturday, October 22, 2011 by the Associated Press http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/10/22 Associated Press WASHINGTON — Fifty percent of U.S. workers earned less than $26,364 last year, reflecting a growing income gap between the nation’s rich and poor, the government reported yesterday. There were fewer jobs, and overall pay was trending …
By Zygmunt Bauman, Comment Is Free
The news of capitalism’s demise is (to borrow from Mark Twain) somewhat exaggerated. Capitalism has an inbuilt wondrous capacity of resurrection and regeneration; though this is capacity of a kind shared with parasites – organisms that feed on other organisms, belonging to other species. After a complete or near-complete exhaustion of one host organism, a parasite tends and manages to find another, that would supply it with life juices for a successive, albeit also limited, stretch of time.
A hundred years ago Rosa Luxemburg grasped that secret of the eerie, phoenix-like ability of capitalism to rise, repeatedly, from the ashes; an ability that leaves behind a track of devastation – the history of capitalism is marked by the graves of living organisms sucked of their life juices to exhaustion. Luxemburg, however, confined the set of organisms, lined up for the outstanding visits of the parasite, to “pre-capitalist economies” – whose number was limited and steadily shrinking under the impact of the ongoing imperialist expansion.
With each successive visit, another one of those remaining “virgin lands” was converted into a grazing field for capitalist exploitation, and therefore sooner rather than later made unfit for the needs of capitalist “extended reproduction” since no longer promising profits such an expansion required. Thinking along these lines (a fully understandable inclination, given the mostly territorial, extensive rather than intensive, lateral rather than vertical, nature of that expansion 100 years ago), Luxemburg could not but anticipate the natural limits to the conceivable duration of the capitalist system: once all “virgin lands” of the globe are conquered and drawn into the treadmill of capitalist recycling, the absence of new lands for exploitation will portend and eventually enforce the collapse of the system. The parasite will die because of the absence of not-yet-exhausted organisms to feed on.
Published on Monday, October 24, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
Published on Monday, October 24, 2011 by Huffington Post
by Zach Carter
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is introducing a new program on Monday designed to lower monthly mortgage payments for more troubled homeowners.
Under the modified plan, “put back” liability at banks will be erased for any underwater mortgage that is refinanced through HARP, eliminating Fannie and Freddie’s ability to sack lenders with losses in the event that the mortgage does not pan out. This, in effect, leaves the US taxpayer holding the toxic debt created by a private, profit-hungry bank. (Getty)
But a key new condition in the plan would shift the financial liability for refinanced loans from Wall Street banks to the American taxpayer. And by focusing on lower payments, the program does not confront what housing experts view as the core problem in the foreclosure crisis — borrower debt that exceeds the value of one’s home.