Europe is an outsized indicator of the “shocking levels” of worldwide inequality. OXFAM’s September 2015 press release, “Increasing Inequality Plunging Millions More Europeans into Poverty”, makes a stark comparison between the “123 million people – almost a quarter of the EU’s population – at risk of living in poverty and its 342 billionaires”. Other reports show how, worldwide, the fortunes of the mega-rich have soared during the crisis, a situation summed up in the notorious statistic “Richest 1% Will Own More Than All the Rest by 2016”. The socioeconomic effects of this indecent inequality and how to deal with them are widely discussed and one product of the debate is a fast-expanding interest in the universal, unconditional basic income, which is usually presented as a measure for combatting poverty.
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Less of What We Don't Need
Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.
Once they were mighty, today they're in trouble! Michael T. Klare examines the fate of the "petrostate," ie; a state which funds itself primarily on oil procceds. In an age of the overproduction of that commodity leading to falling prices, facing the need to reduce consumption of fossil fuels, what were once seen as economic powerhouses are now facing economic difficulties.
It's not looking good for the global fossil fuel industry. Although the world remains heavily dependent on oil, coal and natural gas -- which today supply around 80 percent of our primary energy needs -- the industry is rapidly crumbling.
This is not merely a temporary blip, but a symptom of a deeper, long-term process related to global capitalism's escalating overconsumption of planetary resources and raw materials.
Michael T. Klare examines the recent OPEC meeting in Doha, and extrapolates the future of oil producing countries.
Five-plus years after the publication of Dickson Despommier's book The Vertical Farm: Feeding Ourselves and The World in the 21st Century, his dream—originally conceived as the production of food in the interior of tall urban buildings—is gaining momentum despite many unanswered questions about its feasibility.
Climate change may be the biggest threat facing humanity, but the way we’re currently going about fighting it just ensures that, even if we prevail, another threat will follow, and another, and another.
To explain why, it’s helpful to review a philosophical debate that’s simmered throughout the past couple of centuries. With the advent of modern science came a general predisposition toward an attitude called “reductionism,” the essential notion being that complex phenomena can best be understood by breaking them down into their component parts. Reductionism unquestionably works in many situations. For example, we can better understand the physical attributes of many materials if we study their molecular structures and their elemental atomic constituents. Chemistry is rooted in physics, and cell biology is rooted in chemistry.
A debate on the future of the 'degrowth' paradigm, starting with a critical UK-based economist, with a response by a Greek co-author of a recent collection on the subject
We are being told to eat local and seasonal food, either because other crops have been tranported over long distances, or because they are grown in energy-intensive greenhouses. But it wasn't always like that. From the sixteenth to the twentieth century, urban farmers grew Mediterranean fruits and vegetables as far north as England and the Netherlands, using only renewable energy.
Canadian oil producers can’t address the downturn by slowing production without huge losses, so they now sell at a loss economically and for the climate.
Michael Klare provides an insightful analysis on the overproduction of oil and it's political-economic background.