Leaders from the frontlines of mining struggles in the Philippines, Colombia and Uganda travelled to the UK this November to expose the true costs of the UK’s extensive ties to the global mining industry and oppose the Mines and Money Conference in London- a global hub of mining finance and power.
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Less of What We Don't Need
Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.
During the 17th and 18th centuries the rise of mercantile power, colonialism and a slave economy was associated with the development of the idea that “improvement” meant production growth and was an indicator of a new idea of progress. This was a core idea in Adam Smith’s book The Wealth of Nations. In it Smith described the production increase at the early stages of the industrial revolution as being the result of an increasing division of labour and specialisation – his famous example being the pin factory.
Warning: President Trump’s national security strategy is going to backfire like a shotgun plugged with mud. In one fell swoop, Trump called for:
1) Locking out foreigners;
2) Growing GDP as the key to national security, and;
3) Better terms of trade.
Now many voters, going down the list, will promptly put a checkmark by one or two of the items, and some (especially Trump’s base) will check all three. But let’s think about the combination. Here we are, the wealthiest country ever, clamoring for more, more, more – with an insatiable appetite for global resources – while letting fewer and fewer people into the country to enjoy the bounty. All while releasing more pollutants into the global environment and demanding more favorable trade.
The Limits to Growth was published in 1972 by a group of world class scientists using the best mathematical computer modelling available at the time. It projected the future collapse of global industrial civilisation in the 21st century if humanity did not curb its population, consumption and pollution. It was pilloried by many “infinite growth on a finite planet” economists over the decades.
However, updated data inputs and modern computer modelling in recent years (particularly by Dr Graham Turner of the CSIRO in 2008 and 2014) showed that we are in reality closely tracking the standard model of the LtG, with industrial collapse and mass die-off due sooner rather than later. The future is now.
It’s a typical summer day in the desert of Southern California. Very little breeze and blazing, unforgiving heat. We’re in the Mojave on an excursion to find the ruins of Llano del Rio, a socialist colony that sprouted up here in 1914. The temperature is well over 100 and it feels even hotter. As we drive past barren fields, a few groves of Joshua Trees and miles upon miles of scrub brush along Pearblossom Highway — that is, California State Route 138 — it’s hard to imagine an off-the-grid band of leftists calling this sunbaked land home over a century ago.
Frances Moore Lappe demonstrates that capitalism, and the energy-intensive industrial farming it promotes, can't feed the world. There are however alternatives that are efficient, sustainable, democratic, and egalitarian.
"If we want to have any hope of averting catastrophe, we’re going to have to do something about our addiction to growth."
Earlier this summer, a paper published in the journal Nature captured headlines with a rather bleak forecast. Our chances of keeping global warming below the 2C danger threshold are very, very small: only about 5%. The reason, according to the paper’s authors, is that the cuts we’re making to greenhouse gas emissions are being cancelled out by economic growth.
The top 10 percent of the wealthiest people in China emit less carbon per person than people on the bottom half of the US wealth distribution — again, inequality between countries — but it also shows that the top 10 percent wealthiest in the US emit more than five times as much CO2 per person as those on the lower half of the income scale.