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Reposted from Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse by LakeSuperior

Senator Elizabeth Warren has noted that ISDS is a policy in the new TPP, and she, other lawmakers, environmentalists and human right activists object to ISDS for good reasons.

The full name of Investor-State Dispute Settlement sounds like a harmless process to settle disputes between a foreign government and a corporation that invests in that country. If the host country "violates" rights granted to the corporation under a trade agreement, then the investor may bring the matter before an "arbitration tribunal."  

The U.S. is proud of our democracy and the rule of law so it is curious that this ISDS basically operates in direct opposition to our rule of law whenever possible.

Joseph E. Stiglitz (and other distinguished professors and former judges and justices) wrote a letter to Congressional leaders to state their opposition to ISDS based on impacts to our rule of law. The ISDS is a new legal system for only foreign investor/corporations, it is not available to "nations, domestic investors, or civil society groups alleging violations of treaty obligations."  ISDS panels do not have to follow legal precedent and its decisions cannot be appealed to a court. The ISDS arbitrators are not public servants, but "highly paid corporate lawyers [who] go back and forth between representing corporations one day and sitting in judgment the next" in secret proceedings. Supporters of ISDS counter that arbitrations are generally confidential in order to foster resolution of disputes; however, this ignores that typical arbitration is between two parties of a dispute while ISDS affects the general public.

ISDS gives foreign investors an exemption from the rules of law and our judicial system. Foreign investors can skip courts and take their issues to a private tribunal to argue that government actions have de-valued their investments.

"Under investor-state, if a regulation gets in the way of a foreign investor’s ability to profit from its investment, the investor can sue a country for monetary damages based on both alleged lost profits and 'expected future profits.'There are no monetary limits to the potential award."
As noted by Senator Warren, these "corporate courts" are on the rise around the globe. From 1959 to 2002, there were fewer than 100 ISDS claims worldwide. But in 2012 alone, there were 58 cases."

While ISDS tribunals are not based on precedent, prior cases are a good example of how ISDS can prevent effective actions to address climate change and climate justice, protect environmental resources and protect our health and safety.  ISDS allows corporations to bully nations and people into changing or watering down policies in order to prevent ISDS actions. An investor/corporation claim or even the threat or concern about a claim can inhibit governments from passing effective measures to address matters of public concern that should be handled by government.

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Reposted from Sunday Train by LakeSuperior

Just as national attention has been focused on the sections of Baltimore that have been largely locked out of the revival of economic activity in downtown Baltimore and the Inner Harbor, the new Republican governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, is considering whether to proceed with the construction of the Red Line in Baltimore, as well as the Purple Line in the Maryland DC suburbs.

As discussed in StreetsblogUSA back in January, "Considering to proceed", here, means:

Early in his gubernatorial campaign, Hogan promised to kill the projects, saying the money would be better spent on roads and that the western, eastern, and southern parts of the state deserved more attention. But closer to the election he moderated his views, saying the lines were "worth considering."
Now Transport for American (t4america.com) has weighed in, producing a report that argues that the benefits of the lines make them well worth their cost.

Indeed, part of their case may well help explain why Gov. Hogan is "deciding" when originally Candidate Hogan sounded like he had already made up his mind. For the Transport for America case for these lines, join me below the fold.

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Reposted from Marcia G Yerman by LakeSuperior

Although the country is over a year and half away from the 2016 presidential election, candidates are stepping up to throw their hats into the ring.

Voters may be exhausted by the time November ’16 rolls around, but the upside is that it will give them plenty of time to dig deep into each entrants position on the environment, climate change, and the commitment (or lack of) to protecting the planet for future generations.

Gallup has put together a poll on the views of the American electorate focusing on the question of global warming, and looking at responses on a Conservative Republican to Liberal Democrat continuum.

On the question of, “When will global warming happen?” — using the response, “Will it happen in your lifetime?” the break down was:

•    89 percent of Liberal Democrats said yes
•    66 percent of Independents said yes
•    37 Percent of Conservative Republicans said yes

On the question of whether global warming was the result of human activity the break down was:

•    81 percent of Liberal Democrats said yes
•    54 percent of Independents said yes
•    27 percent of Conservative Republicans said yes

On the question of whether global warming was the result of naturally occurring changes in the environment the break down was:

•    16 percent of Liberal Democrats said yes
•    38% of Independents said yes
•    70 percent of Conservative Republicans said yes

This information is essential to understand the posturing of most candidates who have to appeal to one demographic in the primaries and another in a nationally contested race between (most probably) two candidates. This becomes clear specifically for those who emanate from within a narrower base core (such as the Tea Party).

Here’s a brief look at the declared candidates:

Marco Rubio: On the record in an interview with ABC news, Rubio stated, “Our climate is always evolving and natural disasters have always existed.” He doesn’t believe that “human activity’ is causing the extreme changes to climate change “the way scientists are portraying it.” He does not support legislation to ameliorate what has been laid out as industrial causes, seeing them as “destroying” the economy. His point of view has changed dramatically since 2007, when he was not on the trail of pursuing higher office.

Ted Cruz: Cruz does not believe the “data” supports the point of view that humans contribute to climate change. He recently likened those concerned about global warming to the “equivalent of the flat- earthers,” casting himself in the role of renowned scientist Galileo (1564–1642). He also opposes government intervention as a “job killer.”

Mike Huckabee: Rather than answering questions about climate change with transparency, Huckabee has used deflection in recent speeches to comment on the President’s efforts. Huckabee maintains that Obama was adrift in his State of the Union speech, when he spoke about the importance of tackling environmental issues. Huckabee’s response was that America had more to fear from ISIS and “Islamic jihadism.”

Rand Paul: Staking out potentially different ground than many of his fellow Republicans, Paul has publicly acknowledged that climate change is accelerated by the actions of humans. He has implied that he would support regulations that are not at odds with job loss. However, a recent article in Climate Progress, suggests that a seismic shift from his previous stand (climate concern as “dubious stuff”) is suspect.

Carly Fiorina: As recently as an April interview with MSNBC, Fiorina put forth that “a single nation acting alone can make no difference” through regulatory action. “We need to innovate our way out of this,” she said. “That’s what the scientists are telling us.” Six months prior, Fiorina penned an op-ed for the Washington Post entitled, “Companies shouldn’t cave in to the demands of climate change activists.”

Ben Carson: A well-regarded neurosurgeon, Carson doesn’t see global warming as a concern because, “"There's always going to be either cooling or warming going on." He believes the emphasis should be on the EPA working “in conjunction with business, industry and universities to find the most eco-friendly ways of developing our energy resources." Carson also supports building the Keystone Pipeline, assured that it is “perfectly safe.”

Hillary Clinton: With clear statements evidencing that she will follow the initiatives of the Obama presidency, Clinton is a strong supporter of the Clean Air Act’s mission to curb power plant emissions of carbon. Like Obama, she references natural gas as a “bridge fuel.” adding the caveat of concern for “methane leaks” and placement of drills sites. Clinton supported fracking abroad while Secretary of State, a topic examined in depth by a Mother Jones article. As a Senator in 2006, she voted for drilling of the coast of Florida's Gulf of Mexico coastline. Clinton has spearheaded efforts for Clean Cookstoves, a global move to “empower women and combat climate change.”

Bernie Sanders: Sanders is as good as it gets. He has a 95 percent lifetime score with the League of Conservation Voters, and was the highest scoring Senator in the 113th Congress according to the group Climate Hawks Vote. He has pointed to the U.S. military’s warnings on the dire results of global warming, pushed to end fossil fuel subsidies, and consistently advocated for reducing greenhouse emissions. He has reiterated in speeches that climate change is real and that the future of our children depends on immediate action.

Stay tuned!

Demand the Presidential Candidates Give Us a Climate Plan!

This article originally appeared on the website Moms Clean Air Force

Poll

Do you think that voters can push the candidates to take a clear stand on climate change and the environment?

34%8 votes
13%3 votes
13%3 votes
39%9 votes

| 23 votes | Vote | Results

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Reposted from Pacificshift by John Crapper Editor's Note: Let's help keep the momentum going! -- John Crapper

Washington state legislators are concerned that a $25/ton carbon tax proposed in Carbon Washington’s ballot initiative, I-732, will be too “blunt” an instrument.  So they are reviving a more nuanced carbon-pricing plan proposed by the governor.  This demonstrates the power of citizens to place climate action pressure on elected politicians, and the need for citizen to keep the pressure up.

Meanwhile, Carbon Washington and the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, which has been considering its own initiative, have achieved a public rapprochement. The two groups have been in some tension, but have now issued a joint statement committing to avoid competing 2016 initiatives.  They could build further collaboration by joining in an urgently needed public campaign to illuminate the promise of clean energy and the need for some form of carbon pricing to drive it forward.

Crossposted from Cascadia Planet

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Otto Braided Hair speaks at a press conference against coal exports. He is a traditional leader from the Northern Cheyenne and does not represent the tribal government.
"We collectively stand together to protect what we love; the earth is a part of who we are."

So said Reuben George, Ceremonial Sundance Chief of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation at a press conference this week, during a historic gathering where tribes from Montana, Washington and British Columbia stood together to oppose North America's largest coal export terminal. That's George in the blue shirt, above, listening to Otto Braided Hair of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.

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Reposted from windsong01 by LakeSuperior

This is an interesting story that is spreading all over environmentally conscious sites like a wildfire. Most of the articles covered how environmental investigative reporting photo shoots could now get you a whopping $5,000 fine and imprisonment of not less than 10 days or up to one year or both in Wyoming.

This bill was like most of the recent passed ag-gag bills that have been popping up around the country. However this one seems to have created a uproar among environmentalist because of a vague definition of meaning of  “collection” and   ”intention”  in the bill.

Section D states that "Collect" means to take a sample of material, acquire, gather, photograph or otherwise preserve information in any form from open land which is submitted or “intended” to be submitted to any agency of the state or federal government.

This section only appears in the final draft of the senate bill that passed.

Many believe that this wording is so vague that even if you had no intention of passing over the photo to the government to report something, if the government even stumbles upon the photo, you’re in violation. The burden of proof of intent would be on the photographer.

 However, they did make a weak attempt to protect the family outings in public parks.

 

“Collected incidental to a recreational activity or educational activity done with statutory, contractual or other legal authorizations to enter or cross open private land and the data is not used for legal or regulatory proceeding.”
That protects the family outing in the park.

The entire structure of this bill is built around permission and intent.

If you first have the permission of the owner of acting agent in control of the open land that you are planning to photograph for your legal evidence, it is ok.

But, if you are intending to take your “resource data” to court to use against them without their permission,it is not ok.

"Resource data" means data relating to:

"land or land use, including but not limited to data regarding agriculture, minerals, geology, history, cultural artifacts, archeology, air, water, soil, conservation, habitat, vegetation or animal species.”
When you combine Resource data with the section D definition for "collection" you open a legal can of worms that all hinges on what you "intended" to do with the data you "collected".

Obviously, this bill is another effort to stop citizen investigative journalism and activism. However, in their zeal to head off activism at the proverbial pass, someone overstepped  the line of common sense with meaning ‘intent’ and ‘collection’ sections of this bill, leaving it wide open to interpretation.

 At the least this bill should be returned to the Wyoming Senate to be amended for further clarification or they can expect unintended consequences.

Bill text: Wyoming Senate bill 12

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Reposted from Holy $h*tters by John Crapper Editor's Note: Just a reminder of an important connection we need to remind our leaders about constantly. -- John Crapper

I recently had a conversation with a young man who had just finished serving a tour of duty in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  I asked him what, in his opinion, was the reason we had become militarily involved in those countries.  Without hesitation he immediately said, "oil".  

Connecting the dots!
U.S. intelligence officials revealed in September 2014 that they believed the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, was reaping as much as $3 million a day in revenue, making it one of the wealthiest terrorist groups in history
That report listed the main sources of ISIS funding.

1. WEALTHY DONORS

Much of the fundraising for Syria's extremist groups occurs in the Arab Gulf states, where wealthy private donors raise millions to hand over to Islamist fighters at the Turkey-Syria border. The governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait also covertly provide millions in aid to radical Sunni groups fighting Assad.
2.LOOTING
"It's cash-raising activities resemble those of a mafia-like organization," a U.S. intelligence official told the AP last week. "They are well-organized, systematic and enforced through intimidation and violence."
3.  SMUGGLING AND TAXES

The Islamic State also levies taxes in the areas it conquers.

The group is also believed to have earned millions of dollars from illegally trading antiquities. The Guardian reported in June that the Islamic State had made at least $36 million in one particular Syrian region by selling items that were up to 8,000 years old.
4.OIL As reported in the Huffington Post 9/14.
Oil appears to be the largest source of income for the Islamic State today. The militants pump crude oil from about a dozen oil fields they have captured in Syria and Iraq. They either sell the crude oil directly or send it to small refineries to produce low-quality fuels. It is then transported via decades-old smuggling routes over the border and sold at low prices on the black market in Turkey and in smaller volumes to the Syrian regime.
The price the Islamic State group fetches for its smuggled oil is discounted—$25 to $60 for a barrel of oil that normally sells for more than $100 — but its total profits from oil are exceeding $3 million a day, said Luay al-Khatteeb, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution's Doha Center in Qatar.
In the early days of the Syrian civil war, the Islamic State group was funded in large part by donations from wealthy residents of Gulf States, including Kuwait and Qatar, American officials have said.

"A number of fundraisers operating in more permissive jurisdictions — particularly in Kuwait and Qatar — are soliciting donations to fund ... al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)," David Cohen, the Treasury department's top counterterrorism official, said in a speech in March. ISIL is an alternative acronym for the Islamic State group.

That stream of funding has diminished in recent months as the group's violent tactics have drawn worldwide attention, U.S. intelligence officials say.

The group's reliance on oil as its main source of revenue could easily be disrupted by American airstrikes, officials say. But so far, no decision has been made to target Iraqi or Syrian oil infrastructure, which is serviced by civilian workers who may have been conscripted.

Well more recent reports point to that disruption in oil revenue coming true.  

As reported by Berlin (AFP):

The Islamic State group has lost control of "at least three large oil fields" in Iraq, depriving the jihadists of a crucial source of income, a German newspaper report said Thursday.

In the face of a large-scale Iraqi counteroffensive, the extremist group now controls just a single oil field in the country.

But the success has been achieved through military means. Military options continue to be our weapon of choice in the fight against terrorism since 9/11 and the limits with this method should be self-evident.

I would like to posit a new approach. What if the United States, along with our Western allies made a concerted and sustained effort to unplug from these Muslim countries?

This begs the question: why are we involved with them? Is it because we consider Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq  our natural allies as we do Great Britain? I think not. I think it is because of oil just like the soldier who recently returned from Afghanistan said to me.

Follow  below the orange hairpiece for more.

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Reposted from Climate Change SOS by VL Baker
Like voluntary restrictions have worked so well with Big Agriculture in the past. For instance, how long has Obama's USDA been proposing voluntary restrictions for reduction of antibiotics in livestock production?  A long time and still not much has been done. The only way that some antibiotics have been restricted is when consumer pressure has been effective in pushing a retail giant to source antibiotic free meat or lose customers.

DesMoines Register:

The Agriculture Department unveiled a host of voluntary programs and initiatives Thursday to encourage agricultural producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon storage and generate clean and renewable energy in their operations.

The department hopes the programs will help reduce emissions and boost the capture of carbon by more than 120 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2025 — equivalent to taking 25 million cars off the road.

"This is an ambitious but voluntary strategy that rewards and incents and builds upon the good work that is already being done by our farmers, ranchers and landowners," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in announcing the plan at Michigan State University. "It lays out the foundation for agriculture and forestry to be visible as part of the climate change solution for the country."

It's essential to reduce emissions from Big Ag if we are going to meet climate goals and stop the worst effects of climate change. So this new announcement from the USDA is welcome.

 But...

When you look at what they are proposing it certainly seems sensible enough, a lot of actions that will probably reduce emissions, all voluntary of course. They will give financial incentives to the industry to encourage complying with the restrictions. This is on top of continued subsidies because the Big Ag lobby is one of the most powerful on the planet and you certainly don't want to piss them off.

The majority of emissions from agriculture come from the livestock sector so it's realistic that they are targeting the sector with efficiency methods. They are proposing better manure management, burp management, etc.  which is all fine and good, but no mention of reducing the scale of production.

The current scale of production is unsustainable from the prospective of water, land and energy. So if there are no proposals to reduce production, how do they intend to address these issues, especially water and land? If not reducing production the only way is even more economy with more Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO's); larger CAFO's , some methods for converting manure to energy, etc. Right now, water use in livestock production is a major issue. It's not going to get better. Livestock production uses over 50% of all potable water in US.  

Is there anyone out there thinking this through?

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Reposted from Lefty Coaster by Lefty Coaster

The Mayor of Seattle doesn't want Shell's Polar Pioneer to dock in Seattle.

The Seattle City Council doesn't want Shell's Polar Pioneer to dock in Seattle.

The Port of Seattle doesn't want Shell's Polar Pioneer to dock in Seattle until a further legal review of its lease of the terminal that is only permitted for cargo operations.

But Royal Dutch Shell and its local contractor Foss Maritime aren't about to change their plans due to the opposition of a mere major city.  

Just before 2:30 AM the massive Polar Pioneer accompanied by four large Foss tugs left the harbor of Port Angeles.


         My photo as the Polar Pioneer in Admiralty Inlet the entry to Puget Sound at 9:00 AM.

A flotilla of protesters in kayaks calling themselves Kayaktivists plan to meet the Arctic Pioneer when it enters Seattle's Elliott Bay.


Kayakers prepare to meet Shell’s oil drill rig in Seattle

By Phuong Le 

SEATTLE — Protesters opposed to Arctic oil drilling are preparing to paddle out in kayaks to meet Shell’s massive offshore drilling rig as it arrives any day now in Seattle, raising the stakes in the battle over oil exploration in the remote Arctic Ocean.

The petroleum giant says it is moving ahead with plans to use leased space at the Port of Seattle to load its drilling rigs and other vessels with supplies and personnel as it prepares to explore for oil this summer in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast.

That’s despite the city saying the Port of Seattle needs a new permit before it can host Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet and the city warning that the port and Foss Maritime, a local company that’s working with Shell, could potentially face fines for unpermitted activity.


The Dutch drilling Armada coming to the Salish Sea is a large one.

Shell oil rig arriving Thursday is just the start of Arctic drilling fleet

By Coral Garnick and Hal Bernton

The company will have 25 vessels in and out of the Pacific Northwest in preparation for the season, according to spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh, but Shell has been tight-lipped about detailing its plans.

The arrogance of Royal Dutch Shell is breathtaking. Nevermind what the city government and the port want, Shell is determined to get its way with Seattle the same way they did with the Obama Administration in gaining its approval for its very risky and potentially lucrative exploration in the Arctic.

Also see: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray delays Shell's plan to use port as base for Arctic Drilling
 

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Reposted from Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees by LakeSuperior

Yesterday, House Republicans did one of their favorite things: attack the EPA. They did this in the form of the so-called "Regulatory Integrity Protection Act," a bill that would overturn an EPA rule aimed at redefining which streams, ponds, wetlands, and other waterways are under its Clean Water Act jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court ordered the federal government to define its "waters of the United States" jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act in a 2001 case. The EPA has thus been working on this rule for over a decade. And Republicans, in response to industry lobbying, want to make them start all over.

Here is Rep. Donna Edwards (MD-04), who serves on the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment in the House, on the dangers of the bill:

“H.R. 1732 would halt the current Clean Water rulemaking, and require the agencies to withdraw the proposed rule and restart the rulemaking process. This is after one million public comments, a 208 day comment period, and over 400 public hearings. On April 6, 2015, the EPA and the Corps forwarded a revised rule based on concerns expressed to the Office of Management and Budget for review.

“The bill would only force the agencies to meet with the same group of stakeholders and talk about the same issues that they have already discussed several times over the last fourteen years since the first Court decision. This rulemaking has been more than a decade in the development. Moreover, this bill will further perpetuate the current regulatory confusion that leads to unnecessary costs and delays, which has been the subject of much criticism from all stakeholders, and will leave many of our nation’s waters unprotected.

“This week we will also vote on the Energy and Water appropriations bill, which contains a policy rider explicitly prohibiting the Army Corps of Engineering (Corps) from spending any money to develop the very same new Clean Water rule that this bill tells the Corps to write.  From my understanding the Interior appropriations bill is expected to contain a similar rider for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Republicans try to make it sound as if all they want is for EPA and the Corps to develop rules the right way, but it’s clear that what they really want is to stop these agencies from doing their job at all – no Rules – no clean water.

“Congress must allow the Administration to finish its work and publish the final rule. If we don’t like the result, we have ample authority to fix it.  Congress has the ability to review “major” rules issued by federal agencies before the rules take effect.  In fact, the Congressional Review Act allows Congress to actually disapprove new rules, resulting in the rules having no force or effect.

“If H.R. 1732 were to be enacted, it would only ensure that the confusion continues and that these sources of drinking water remain a serious risk to the public health. That is why I urge my colleagues to oppose this bill.

The bill passed 261 to 155. 24 Democrats joined Republicans in voting for it.

Here are the 24:

Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Jim Clyburn (SC-06)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Jim Costa (CA-16
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Danny Davis (IL-07)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Robin Kelly (IL-02)
Sean Maloney (NY-19)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Cedric Richmond (LA-02)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
David Scott (GA-13)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Eric Swalwell (CA-15)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
Norma Torres (CA-35)
Marc Veasey (TX-33)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Tim Walz (MN-01)

When the GOP brought up this bill last September, it got 35 Democratic votes.

Part of this difference is due to the retirements or defeats of conservative Democrats last year.

7 Democrats who voted FOR the bill last year changed their mind and now voted against it:

Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05)
Sam Farr (CA-20)
Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
John Garamendi (CA-03)
Alcee Hastings (FL-23)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
David Loebsack (IA-02)

5 Democrats did the opposite. They voted against it last year but now voted for it.

Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Danny Davis (IL-07)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Sean Maloney (NY-19)
Eric Swalwell (CA-15)

Raul Ruiz (CA-36), who voted against it last year, was not in attendance this time.

Brad Ashford (NE-02) and Gwen Graham (FL-02) both replaced Republicans who had voted for the bill, and Norma Torres (CA-25) replaced a now-retired Democrat (Gloria Negrette McLeod) who had supported it.

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Reposted from Paul Bland for Public Justice by LakeSuperior
Huge factory-like dairies in Yakima, Washington, that confine tens of thousands of cows were applying millions of gallons of manure onto a few fields and calling it “fertilizer.” In fact, some people in the U.S. dairy industry have referred to that [fertilizer] as 'liquid gold.' The best thing that can be said of that characterization would be that it was a euphemism; it might be better characterized as, metaphorically, a bigger load of shit than they were dumping into the environment.

The cost to the environment, the water, the community, and the animals of operating in this dirty manner was huge. The picture painted above doesn’t even account for the acres covered in piles of dry manure or the cow pens so filled with manure that the dairy cows lived standing knee deep in their own waste. Each dairy cow produces as much raw sewage as 20-40 people, so these dairies were producing about the equivalent amount of waste as all of the residents of Hoboken, NJ and dumping it, untreated, onto the ground. The tons of excess waste drained out of the cesspools and manure piles and overloaded the fields, leaking into the groundwater and contaminating it with high levels of nitrates.  That groundwater just happened to also be the nearby community’s sole source of drinking water.  

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Reposted from Lefty Coaster by Lefty Coaster

Investor oriented Free Trade under T.P.P. is NOT compatible with taking action to limit Global Warming. Why? Because T.P.P. (like the WTO) includes a poison pill mechanism to penalize any national government that's a signatory for taking action to limit Global Warming.

Here are a few excerpts from Naomi Klein's book 'This Changes Everything' from chapter two titled HOT MONEY How Free Market Fundamentalism Helped Overheat the Planet

Almost a decade ago, a WTO official claimed that the organization enables challenges against "almost any measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions"
p.80
And the WTO is far from the only trade weapon that can be used in such battles-so too can countless bilateral and regional free trade and investment agreements.  
p.80
To allow arcane trade law which has been negotiated with scant public input to have this kind of power over an issue so critical to humanity's future is a special kind of madness. As Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz put it, "Should you let a group of foolish lawyers, who put together something before they understood these issues, interfere with saving the planet?"
p. 80-81
Indeed the three pillars of the neoliberal age-privatization of the public sphere, deregulation of the corporate sector and the lowering of income and corporate taxes, paid for with cuts to the public spending- are each incompatible with many of the actions we must take to bring our emissions to safe levels. And together these three pillars form an ideological wall that has blocked a serious  response to climate change for decades.
P. 81
Klein then explores how climate treaties are made subordinate to trade treaties.
In fact, the hierarchy was so clear that the climate negotiators formally declared their subservience to the trading system from the start.
P. 85
As Australian political scientist Robyn Eckersley put it ... "Rather than push for the recalibration of the international trade rules to conform with the requirements of climate protection ... the Parties to the climate regime have ensured that liberalized and an expanding global economy have been protected against trade restrictive climate policies"
P.85
A destabilized climate is the cost of deregulated, global capitalism, its unintended, yet unavoidable consequence.
p. 90
We need to make our economy more local not less. We need government that does more to protect its citizens and less to protect corporate profit margins.
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