Clinton and Blair avoid arrest

SUBHEAD: The level of gross incompetence and lack of accountabilit is leading to populist revolts around the world.

By Michael Krieger on 6 July 2016 for Liberty Blitzkrieg -

Image above: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sits with Prime Minister Tony Blair while hosting Ban Ki Moon at U.S. State Department. From (

It’s been a good couple of days for the global two-tiered justice system and its political beneficiaries. Just yesterday, the world gasped in horror as Hillary Clinton was given her much anticipated “get out of jail free card,” further clarifying the similarities between herself and her lawless banker patrons. As I wrote in yesterday’s piece, “What Difference Does It Make” – Thoughts on the Non-Indictment of Hillary Clinton:
Unless you’re some kind of cultist and view Hillary Clinton as your leader and savior, you cannot read the above and not be extremely concerned that this person could in very short order be elected President. Indeed, let’s focus in on that last paragraph. Comey admits that other people under similar circumstances might face consequences, but that Hillary Clinton will not. So once again, due to her position of influence and power, she will face zero accountability for her actions. What difference does it make.
It’s not just Hillary, of course. Politicians and corporate executives the world over escape justice on a daily basis. Although this has always been true to varying degrees throughout history, it’s the current in your face boldness of it all as the general public suffers from a rigged and broken economy, which is leading to populists movements all across the Western world. The latest example of elite immunity comes courtesy of America’s “special ally” across the pond: Great Britain.

Earlier today, the findings from a seven year UK inquiry into the run up to the Iraq War and its disastrous aftermath were revealed. Reuters reports:

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s justification, planning and handling of the Iraq War involved a catalogue of failures, a seven-year inquiry concluded on Wednesday in a scathing verdict on Britain’s role in the conflict.

Eight months before the 2003 invasion, Blair told U.S. President George W. Bush “I will be with you, whatever”, eventually sending 45,000 British troops into battle when peace options had not been exhausted, the long-awaited British public inquiry said.

More than 13 years since the invasion, Iraq remains in chaos, with large areas under the control of Islamic State militants who have claimed responsibility for attacks on Western cities.

Many Britons want Blair to face criminal action over his decision to take military action that led to the deaths of 179 British soldiers and more than 150,000 Iraqi civilians over the following six years.
Despite all of that, absolutely nothing will happen to Tony Blair. Just like nothing happened to Hillary Clinton, or mega bank CEOs. Are you picking up on a pattern yet?
Critics also say it fuelled a deep distrust in politicians and the ruling establishment. The report was issued 13 days after Britons delivered a stunning blow to their political leaders by voting to leave the European Union.
Well yeah, why do you think the British people voted for Brexit despite all the experts lecturing them about how stupid that decision would be.
The inquiry, which was given unprecedented access to confidential government documents and took longer to complete than British military involvement in the conflict itself, said Blair had relied on flawed intelligence and determined the way the war was legally authorised was unsatisfactory.

The threat posed by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons of mass destruction – the original justification for war – had been over-hyped and the planning for the aftermath of war had been inadequate, it found.

“It is an account of an intervention which went badly wrong, with consequences to this day,” said the inquiry chairman, former civil servant John Chilcot. 
In light of all this, you’d think Tony Blair might express some regret about his decision to go to war. You’d be wrong.
In a lengthy and passionate defence lasting almost two hours, Blair explained his decision to back Bush and go to war alongside the United States in March 2003, at a time when the inquiry said Saddam posed no imminent threat.

“I did not mislead this country. There were no lies, there was no deceit, there was no deception,” the former prime minister told reporters, looking gaunt and strained but growing animated as he responded to questions.

“But there was a decision, and it was a controversial decision … to remove Saddam and to be with America. I believe I made the right decision and the world is better and safer as a result of it.”
Sounds a lot like all the economists and central bankers who continually assure us that things would’ve been “so much worse” if we didn’t bail out the bankers with zero strings attached. He then proceeds to rewrite history and pretend his war didn’t have the obvious effects it did.
Blair said he would take the same decisions again, and that he did not see the action as the cause of terrorism today, blaming outside forces for continuing sectarian violence in Iraq and the legacy of the Arab Spring for the emergence of Islamic State militants.
Yet you wonder why the world’s in the wretched state it’s in. With “leaders” like these, what do you expect? They’re all corrupt, incompetent, militaristic and completely incapable of learning from their mistakes.
Oh and while Tony Blair is busy reminding everybody about how much better the world is from his plush surroundings, here’s what some Iraqis had to say about, you know, their actual lives:
“I wish Saddam would return; he executed many of my family but he is still better than these politicians and clerics who got Iraq to the way it is,” said Kadhim Hassan al-Jabouri, an Iraqi who was filmed attacking Saddam’s statue with a sledgehammer after the invasion.
Now this from the AP:
Iraqis say they’re not satisfied that the head of Britain’s Iraq War inquiry has not recommended prosecuting former British Prime Minister Tony Blair for war crimes.
Many Iraqis are still mourning the loss of more than 175 people killed in a massive weekend bombing in Baghdad claimed by the Islamic State group.

Ali al-Saraji, a Baghdad resident, says Blair, “destroyed our country,” and should be prosecuted as a war criminal for his involvement in bringing about the Iraq war.

The instability that the 2003 U.S.-led invasion unleashed in Iraq persists to this day and has left more than 100,000 Iraqis dead, tens of thousands wounded and millions displaced.

Al-Saraji says “since 2003 until now, our country has been a scene of destruction, killing, massacres, explosions and sectarianism.”

The rise of al-Qaeda in Iraq following the 2003 invasion later morphed into the militants who call themselves the Islamic State group.

Juma al-Quraishi, an Iraqi journalist, says “everyone who took part in the war against Iraq should be condemned, either Britain or others.”
But never mind, Tony Blair tell us he made the right choice.

Meanwhile, it’s this level of gross incompetence and lack of accountability that is leading to populist revolts around the world. Earlier today, I was stunned to read that Italy’s 5-Star Movement is now the most popular party in the country.

From Reuters:
Fresh from its successes in last month’s local elections, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) is now Italy’s most popular party and would easily win power if a national election were held now, opinion polls show.

Three polls this week said M5S had overtaken Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party in voter preferences, reaching around 30 percent of the vote and continuing a long trend of rising support while Renzi’s popularity ebbs. Italy’s next national election is scheduled for 2018.

But all recent polls show that under the new electoral system M5S would easily win in the second round ballot if the election were held now.

The strength of M5S in second-round ballots was reflected in mayoral elections last month, when it won in 19 of the 20 run-offs it contested, including the capital Rome.

The 5-Star Movement, founded by comedian Beppe Grillo in 2009, bases its appeal on the fight against Italy’s rampant corruption and pledges to break down the privileges of its political and business elite.
I first brought this movement to the attention of readers back in 2013, in one of the most popular posts of the year. Here it is in case you missed it: Incredible Video: Beppe Grillo Dissects the Financial System…in 1998
Image above: Heads of State Clair Blinton and Toby Killary as mashed together by Juan Wilson. Click to embiggen.


Green Party deserves attention

SUBHEAD: Candidate Jill Stein's Green New Deal deserves the widest possible audience.

By Bill Boyarsky on 6 July 2016 for TruthDig -

Image above: Jill Stein speaking in front of the police station in Ferguson, Missouri. From original article.

This is a crucial time for Dr. Jill Stein. It’s a test of whether she can move her presidential campaign from the fringes into the mainstream of an election that she says “has tossed out the rule book.”

“We are here to keep the revolution going,” Stein, the prospective Green Party presidential candidate, told me in a telephone interview Tuesday. “Bernie [Sanders] supporters are grieving over the loss of the campaign, of their hard work, their vision, but they are remobilizing. Our events are absolutely mobbed with Bernie supporters.”

We spoke in the morning, before FBI Director James Comey threw yet another twist into the presidential race by announcing that while the bureau would not recommend criminal charges in the Hillary Clinton email affair, she had been “extremely careless” with her use of a personal email address and a private server for sensitive communications.

Comey’s recommendation against criminal charges is good news for Clinton. But his comment about carelessness is not. It is one more factor injecting volatility into her contest with Donald Trump, the presumed Republican presidential nominee. With Sanders’ presidential campaign falling short in the primaries and Clinton battling for her good name, I thought I’d call Stein, the progressive alternative, a pediatrician-turned-presidential candidate.

She and the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, are far behind. According to a CNN/ORC poll in June, Clinton had 42 percent of the vote, Trump had 38 percent, Johnson had 9 percent and Stein had 7 percent. When Sanders was put in the poll against Clinton, 43 percent said they backed him.

The Johnson and Stein programs are very different from one another. Johnson, while favoring a laissez-faire approach on personal and social issues, embraces a balanced budget limiting federal action, opposes tax increases and favors a consumption (or sales) tax, which hurts the poor. All of this has a Paul Ryan sound to it and is far removed from Stein’s progressivism.

I asked Stein how her administration would create jobs for working people who have seen manufacturing plants and other businesses close because of foreign competition, automation and corporate financial machinations.

EXPERIENCE: She’s No Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump—Behind the Scenes With Jill Stein (Multimedia)

She likes the idea of a Green New Deal, a combination of ideas that basically revolve around the notion that the government would help to finance the conversion of old industry into new industry—solar energy devices and wind farm materials instead of internal combustion engines and oil drilling equipment. Doing this would require a considerable government investment—certainly not a Gary Johnson idea—plus investment from a banking industry converted from giant banks to smaller state and community banks.

There’s much more to the Green New Deal. Eliminating carbon-based fuels would improve health and reduce—if not eliminate—global warming, saving big amounts of money for health care. It includes Medicare for all.

I wondered about the practicalities of converting the old auto plant into something else. Who would decide on the new products? Stein said the unemployed workers or members of the community would pick a product. I reminded her of something I had seen when you try to get community consensus.

“You know,” I said, “it’s hard to get people to agree on the location of a stop sign or what should go in a community garden.”

Stein has a more optimistic view of human nature than I do. She believes that ordinary people can get together to make decisions on financing, manufacturing, marketing and all the other facets of a big, complex business. Now, Stein said, businesses, big and small, make decision-making by communities or local governments impossible because of their narrow interests and campaign contributions.

“The Green New Deal operates in a far different process, not subject to money and backroom deals,” she said. “People can get together, make compromises. You can’t make compromises when there are predators. This is a society poisoned by distrust.”

Another big issue for her is student loans, which she wants canceled.

“This has to be the most mobilizing issue,” Stein said. “It started happening in Carbondale, Ill. Suddenly, our events were mobbed. This became the norm, and we did an event in San Francisco before the primary. We thought it would be a quiet visit to California. We had to turn hundreds of people away.

“There is a rebellion, and it is being led by millennials. There are 43 million young people locked into predatory debt. They just have to know they can cancel their debt by voting Green. Just by organizing on social media, young people can take over this election. We have full houses at millennial events. Debt is the sleeper issue in the campaign. It is the elephant in the room.”

Stein said this kind of support is why she has moved up in the polls without “any major-league coverage” by the television networks and the cable news channels.

But both she and Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, face a big obstacle. The Commission on Presidential Debates requires that candidates get at least 15 percent on five national polls before they are admitted to the debate club. Formed by Republican and Democratic Party officials several years ago, the commission looks as though it’s another establishment ploy to exclude outsiders.

Stein has got good, progressive ideas and deserves to be heard by a wide audience. This is especially true since the election is coming down to a contest between Clinton and Donald Trump, who are battling each other for first place in the unpopularity category. In that kind of election, nothing is impossible.


DLNR responsibility on RIMPAC

SUBHEAD: 60 Day Legal Notice to Enforce the U.S. Endangered Species Act on the U.S. Navy and RIMPAC.

By Terry Lilly on 5 July 2016 in Island Breath -

Image above: DLNR police armed with semiautomatic weapons enforcing restrictions on Hawaiian protest of construction of Thirty Meter Telescope on a sacred part of the summit of Mauna Kea mountain on the Big Island in 2015.  From (

[IB Publisher's note: The following is a letter from Terry Lilly to Mrs. Suzanne Case Chairperson of the Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources to enforce the US Endangered Species Act  against the U.S. Navy for conducting RIMPAC 2016 and damaging the environment in and around Hawaii. Certainly, the DLNR fully enforce regulations along the beaches of Polehale and Kalalau to keep residents without the proper permits from camping (presumably to protect these pristine environments.]

Dear Mrs. Case,
As Chair Person of the Hawaii DLNR you are head of law enforcement and bound by law to enforce the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) here in Hawaii. When you took your oath of office you swore to uphold US and State Law.

The federal and state ESA claims " Any employee or agent of the department upon whom the board has conferred powers of police officers, including the power to serve and execute warrants and arrest offenders, or issue citations throughout the state, and any police officer of the counties of this state shall have the authority to enforce any of the provisions of this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter".
Furthermore, it has been determined in court "That the Willful Omission of enforcing the ESA can be considered a Take under the law itself". Which means that you are obligated to enforce this law.

I know you are well aware of the wording in the ESA and are aware of the need for the Navy to do a Habitat Conservation Plan before operating in the habitat of Hawaiian endangered species.

The reason I know you know this law is because in December of 1998 you attended and graduated from the same class I did in California which was hosted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Craig Potter who wrote the ESA in 1973.

The class was called "Endangered Species Act and Habitat Conservation Planning". You are listed on the attendance sheet as "Suzanne Case : The Nature Conservancy: 201 Mission Street 4th FL San Francisco CA : 415-281-0466.

During that class we were both give many legal quotes out of the ESA itself and also many court case studies.

We were presented by the top environmental attorney firms in the USA and Craig Potter himself these quotes about the ESA.
1. ESA Section 7 requires that EVERY Federal agency consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to ensure that the agency actions are "not likely to jeopardize the continued existence or ANY endangered species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat of such species.
I can prove that the war ships off our coastline during RIMPAC and the US Navy five year long electronic microwave war testing here in Hawaii is "likely" to jeopardize the critical habitat of the endangered green sea turtle, hawksbill turtle and monk seal. These ships put out billions off watts of electromagnetic energy they discharge into the sea and they are using high intensity sonar. Both of these events harm, harass and take our endangered species.
2. 16 U.S.C. 1536 (a)(3)(4), 50 C.F.R. 402.14 legal code claims that : If the agency determines that an endangered species MAY be present in the area affected by the action and proposed actions is LIKELY to effect the species the ESA REQUIRES consultation.
NOAA has already determined that all Hawaiian waters are critical habitat for the monk seal because these endangered species travel in between islands!

Plus the very rare hawksbill turtle travels between islands and the baby green sea turtles live out at sea for the first part of their life.

So it is obvious that the wide area of sea that the Navy is discharging electricity into, blasting with explosives, sinking ships with bombs and using massive amounts of sonar and underwater (DARPA) tested electronics to track and destroy submarines is "likely" to harm, harass and take our endangered species.
3. Section 7 V. Section 10 of the ESA is a process by which FEDERAL agencies obtain permission to "TAKE" endangered species. The Navy must file for and receive an Incidental Take Permit to START RIMPAC or their microwave war test.
Section 7 outlines the process that the Navy must take to get a permit to operate in the habitat of our endangered turtles, whales and monk seas. This process is called an HCP.

It is described by law as:
Habitat Conservation Plan as a plan describing the ANTICIPATED effect of proposed taking on the affected species and HOW that TAKE will be minimized and mitigated for : the plan is submitted with and Incidental Take Permit.

No HCP was done or submitted by the Navy to operate RIMPAC! RIMPAC is in direct violation of the most powerful environmental law ever adopted by a country on our planet.

Commander Bruce Hay from PMRF openly told all of us on the KKCR radio show and in a private meeting with the top PMRF officials "RIMPAC 2014 had no way to monitor the effects on the sea turtles and coral reefs". He further said "RIMPAC 2016 will be operated just like RIMPAC 2014 and the Navy has NOT done an environmental study ahead of time or a Habitat Conservation Plan".

The ESA has been held up in court against the US Navy in dozens of law suits filed by the NRDC and Earth Justice and once again it looks like we must got to court to force the Navy to follow our Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and Clean Water Act.

As a citizen of the USA I have the LEGAL rite to make you enforce the ESA onto the Navy. I have the legal rite to sue the Navy, NOAA, and the DLNR for violating the ESA and, or lack of enforcement of the ESA.

This is called a Citizens Suit. It is described in the ESA section 11 as : To enjoin any person, INCLUDING the United States of America and other governmental instrumentality or agencies, who allege to be in violation of the ACT or its implementing regulations.

Craig Potter who wrote the ESA said " This is the peoples law" because the people own the wildlife, not the government.

Well I am "the people" and I wish to formally allege that the US Navy is currently in violation of the ESA for not doing the needed Habitat Conservation Plan before RIMPAC started. I allege that you are violating the ESA for lack of enforcing the ESA onto the military. I allege that very same actions on NOAA for their lack of enforcing the ESA onto the military.

I am alleging these violation on behalf of the endangered sea turtles, whales, monk seals and their coral reef habitat because I have direct proof via HD video with time, date and GPS of the US Navy and their guests during the 2014 RIMPAC harming, harassing and taking our endangered species.
Since Commander Bruce Hay said "that RIMPAC 2016 will operated like RIMPAC 2014" and we know the capabilities of the ships currently involved in RIMPAC today we easily have the "Likelihood" that these current operations are effecting the habitat of our endangered species.

Therefore by law the military needs to stop ALL activities in Hawaiian waters and do the needed Habitat Conservation Plan and acquire the needed Incidental Take Permit to resume their destructive activities!

Please look at this letter as a legal 60 day notice under the ESA to force you to enforce the ESA on the US Navy. This is the responsibility of the oath of office you hold.

I would be more than happy to meet with you and your legal council in person and go over all of the documented proof I have of the violations of the ESA the Navy has committed. I already had a high profile meeting with the Navy brass in Kauai of which they did NOT dis agree with any of these violations!

Terry Lilley: Marine Biologist
Hanalei HI

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Oceans4Peace Pacific Pivot Panel 6/18/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Ocean 4 Peace Events 6/11/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Prepare for RIMPAC 2016 War in Hawaii 5/22/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Navy to "take" millions of mammals 5/17/16
Ea O Ka Aina: US court RIMPAC Impact decision 4/3/15
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC 2014 Impact Postmortem 10/22/1
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC 2014 in Full March 7/16/14
Ea O Ka Aina: 21st Century Energy Wars 7/10/14
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC War on the Ocean 7/3/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Voila - World War Three 7/1/14
Ea O Ka Aina: The Pacific Pivot 6/28/14
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC IMPACT 6/8/14
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC Then and Now 5/16/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Earthday TPP Fukushima RIMPAC 4/22/14
Ea O Ka Aina: The Asian Pivot - An ugly dance 12/5/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Help save Mariana Islands 11/13/13
Ea O Ka Aina: End RimPac destruction of Pacific 11/1/13 
Ea O Ka Aina: Moana Nui Confereence 11/1/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Navy to conquer Marianas again  9/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Pagan Island beauty threatened 10/26/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Navy license to kill 10/27/12 
Ea O Ka Aina: Sleepwalking through destruction 7/16/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Okinawa breathes easier 4/27/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Navy Next-War-Itis 4/13/12
Ea O Ka Aina: America bullies Koreans 4/13/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Despoiling Jeju island coast begins 3/7/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Jeju Islanders protests Navy Base 2/29/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Hawaii - Start of American Empire 2/26/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Korean Island of Peace 2/26/12   
Ea O Ka Aina: Military schmoozes Guam & Hawaii 3/17/11
Ea O Ka Aina: In Search of Real Security - One 8/31/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Peace for the Blue Continent 8/10/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Shift in Pacific Power Balance 8/5/10
Ea O Ka Aina: RimPac to expand activities 6/29/10
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC War Games here in July 6/20/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Pacific Resistance to U.S. Military 5/24/10
Ea O Ka Aina: De-colonizing the Pacific 5/21/10
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC to Return in 2010 5/2/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Living at the Tip of the Spear 4/5/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Living at the Tip of the Spear 4/15/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Guam Land Grab 11/30/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Guam as a modern Bikini Atoll 12/25/09
Ea O Ka Aina: GUAM - Another Strategic Island 11/8/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Diego Garcia - Another stolen island 11/6/09
Ea O Ka Aina: DARPA & Super-Cavitation on Kauai 3/24/09
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2008 - Navy fired up in Hawaii 7/2/08
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2008 uses destructive sonar 4/22/08
Island Breath: Navy Plans for the Pacific 9/3/07
Island Breath: Judge restricts sonar off California 08/07/07
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2006 sonar compromise 7/9/06
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2006 - Impact on Ocean 5/23/06
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2004 - Whale strandings on Kauai 9/2/04
Island Breath: PMRF Land Grab 3/15/04 

Equality and Sustainability

SUBHEAD: Life would improve for the ecosystem and human majority if we all lived like Cubans.

By Diego Mantilla on 4 July 2016 for Cassandra's Legacy-

Image above: Impact of the rich and poor are not equal. If we all used the same resources at what level would we be living? Cuba. From original article.

Recently, in this blog, Jacopo Simonetta raised a very important question: Would a fairer distribution of income worldwide diminish the damage humans are doing to the earth? His answer, that it would not and would actually make matters much worse, intrigued me. So, I decided to look at the best available data.

Simonetta specifically looked at the question of whether a fairer distribution of income would reduce global CO2 emissions. In 2015, Lucas Chancel and Thomas Piketty (henceforth C-P) wrote a paper and posted online a related dataset that dealt with the global distribution of household consumption and CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent = CO2 and other greenhouse gases) emissions in 2013.

The data are not perfect, but they are the best that exist. The C-P dataset captures the Household Final Consumption Expenditures (HFCE) values provided by the World Bank, using the distribution of income in Branko Milanovic's dataset (for the bottom 99 percent) and in the World Wealth and Income Database (for the top 1 percent).

Income is not the same as consumption, and C-P assume that the distribution of income is the same as that of consumption. Also, they assume that the same distribution of income that existed in 2008 also existed in 2013. Like I said, the dataset is not perfect.

The C-P dataset includes 94 countries, which cover 87.2 percent of the earth's population, about 6.2 billion people, who are responsible for 88.1 percent of global CO2e emissions. Generally speaking, C-P divide each country in “11 synthetic individual observations (one for each of the bottom nine deciles, one for fractile P90-99, and one for the top 1%).”

The following chart shows consumption per capita and CO2e emissions per capita in 2013 from the C-P dataset.

<img border="0" src="" />
Figure 1: Consumption and CO2e emissions per capita by world consumption percentile in 2013. (Some percentiles are missing due to the fact that the country quantiles vary in size and sometimes extend beyond a given global percentile.) (Source: own elaboration from data of Chancel and Piketty (2015).)From original article.

The top 1 percent on the consumption scale spend an average $135,000 (2014 PPP dollars) and emit an average 72 tCO2e per person per year. The threshold for belonging to the top percentile is $54,000. Their consumption is equal to 18 percent of all the money spent by households around the world. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that consumption equals income. If one were to take all the income of the top 1 percent and distribute it among the 99 percent, each person in the 99 percent would get about $1,400.

C-P assume a CO2e emissions to consumption spending elasticity of 0.9. A 10 percent increase in consumption means a 9 percent increase in CO2e emissions. This is a broad generalization, and C-P have a range of elasticities, but they chose that one because it is the median value of the estimates.

Using that elasticity in the C-P dataset, if each person in the bottom 99 percent got $1,400 and those in the top 1 percent were left with nothing, global CO2e emissions would increase by 9 percent.

But, of course, the top 1 percent are only part of the problem. About 22 percent of the world's population lives with a consumption level above the global mean of about $8,000 per year. Let's assume that everyone had a level of consumption equal to the mean.

Going back to the C-P dataset, if one averages the CO2e emissions of everyone within a consumption bracket ranging from $7,700 to $8,300, one gets an average emission of 6.15 tCO2e per person per year.

If everyone had that kind of emission, global CO2e emissions would be practically the same they are today, but, needless to say, that would improve the lot of more than three-quarters of the world's population.

In short, a perfect distribution of income would have a negligible effect on global CO2e emissions.

There remains the question: At what level of consumption would CO2e emissions be reduced dramatically and would this level be compatible with a decent existence?

Cuba offers an interesting example. Moran et al. (2008) looked at the UN's Human Development Index (HDI) and the Ecological Footprint of 93 countries for 2003, and worked on the assumption “that an HDI of no less than 0.8 and a per capita Ecological Footprint less than the globally available biocapacity per person [one planet earth] represent minimum requirements for sustainable development that is globally replicable.” Their survey showed that only one country met both of those requirements, Cuba.

Cuba also has the second lowest fertility rate of the Americas, 1.61 births per woman. Only Canada's is lower. This means that a low-consumption society can be compatible with no population growth.

The average Cuban eats 3,277 calories a day. Cubans have a life expectancy at birth of 79.4 years. This is above the United States and only 1.5 years below Germany. And Cuba's mean years of schooling are above Finland's. And only Monaco and Qatar have more doctors per capita than Cuba. Clearly, a level of consumption compatible with the finite planet that we have does not have to equal penury and destitution for everyone.

I'm not saying life in Cuba is easy for everyone. It isn't, but at some point in the near future, those who live in the developed world and in the rich enclaves of the developing world are going to be faced with a choice between a Cuban lifestyle and, to quote Noam Chomsky, the destruction of “the prospects for decent existence, and much of life.”

I wanted to find out if the findings of Moran and colleagues were still true today, but I made one change. The HDI is built using three dimensions: life expectancy, education, and per capita income. This has always bothered me.

A long, healthy life and an educated population are no doubt hallmarks of human development. But, is driving a Lexus a sign of human development? I think not. Therefore, I used the UN's data to build an index that looks only at life expectancy and education, which I'm calling the truncated human development index (THDI). (The calculation of the HDI is explained here.

 The THDI follows the same procedure used from 2010 onward, but it only takes the geometric mean of the first two variables.) In the following chart, I plot the THDI versus the Ecological Footprint, measured in the number of planet earths the inhabitants of a given country consume, using the most recent data.

Figure 2: THDI and Ecological Footprint of 176 countries. The red dot represents Cuba. (The THDI corresponds to 2014, the Ecological Footprint to 2012.) Source: own elaboration from data of the UN and Global Footprint Network. From original article.

There are only two countries in the vicinity of one earth that have an THDI higher than 0.8, Georgia and Cuba, the red dot. Of the two, Cuba has the highest THDI. It's interesting that Cuba has practically the same THDI as Chile, but Chile uses 2.5 earths.

And it has practically the same THDI as Lithuania, but Lithuania uses 3.4 earths. Furthermore, Cuba uses as many earths as Papua New Guinea, but Papua New Guineans have an average of 4 years of schooling, Cubans 11.5.

This is just to show the possibilities that exist for an egalitarian, sustainable society. As of late, inequality in Cuba has been on the rise.

However, according to the World Bank, CO2e emissions per capita in Cuba are not substantially different today than they were in 1986, when Cuba's Gini coefficient was very low, 0.22 (Mesa-Lago 2005, page 184).

In any case, I'm not advocating that we copy the Cuban model completely. I'm not defending Cuba's crackdown on individual liberties, freedom of speech among them.

All I'm saying is Cuba is an interesting example of the possibilities that an egalitarian society offers.

I, for one, would like to live in a society that is even more egalitarian than Cuba. It seems to me that there is no reason in principle why humans cannot build a society that is more egalitarian than Cuba and just as sustainable, especially when the alternatives are dire.

Cuba is not in the C-P dataset. It is hard to estimate the level of consumption of Cubans in dollars, because the statistics the Cuban government publishes are not comparable with those of the rest of the world, but last year the UN published a GNI per capita number for Cuba for 2014 that seems to be solid and comparable to other countries, 2011 PPP $7,301.

That number is not directly comparable to the C-P data, because C-P looked at household consumption.

Assuming that the share of GNI for household consumption published by Cuba's National Statistics Office is correct, one can estimate household consumption per capita in Cuba to be at around 2011 PPP $3,900.

It's hard to translate that to 2014 dollars, because I don't trust the PPP conversion factor published by the World Bank, but let's assume that the consumption of the average Cuban is around 2014 PPP $4,000.

Going back to the C-P data, one can find that the average CO2e emission for a consumption bracket ranging from $3,700 to $4,300 is 3.14 tCO2e per person per year. If everyone in the world had that level of emissions, global CO2e emissions would be cut by half.

And in a social system similar, but not identical, to Cuba's, no one would starve or be unschooled, and the lot of 61 percent of the world's population would improve.

To recap, an equal level of consumption for everyone around the world at the level of today's Cuba offers the possibility of substantially lowering human impact on the biosphere while at the same time maintaining a rather decent standard of living for all.

According to the Global Carbon Project, in 2014, “the ocean and land carbon sinks respectively removed 27% and 37% of total CO2 (fossil fuel and land use change), leaving 36% of emissions in the atmosphere.” If CO2 emissions were cut by half, all of them would be removed by the earth's sinks, and there would be no net addition of CO2 to the atmosphere.

It is worth pointing out that global mean consumption will reach the level of today's Cuba eventually.

The question is will that happen before humans increase the global temperature to dangerous levels.

Cubans today consume 6 barrels of oil equivalent per person per year of fossil fuels, which is what Laherrère (2015, page 20) forecasts humans will consume around 2075, after the peaks of oil, natural gas, and coal production.

But, by that time, according to Laherrère's forecast (2015, page 22), humans would have emitted about 2,000 GtCO2 since 2015, 800 GtCO2 more than the maximum Rogelj et al. (2016) estimate we can emit to have a good chance of avoiding the 2 °C threshold. (Laherrère is skeptical about anthropogenic climate change, but I'm not endorsing his conclusions, just looking at his data.)

• Diego Mantilla is an independent researcher interested in the collapse of complex societies and social inequality. He has a bachelor's degree in computer networking from Strayer University and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. He currently lives in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Climate, Energy, Economy - Pick two

SUBHEAD: Investments of time, energy, and money in resilience will become increasingly valuable.

By Nelson Lebo on 5 July 2016 for the Automatic Earth -

Image above: Painting of futuristic view of Eaarth from the North Pole after peak anthropomorphic climate change. From (

Introduction by Raul Ilargi Meijer

We used to have this saying that if someone asks you to do a job good, fast and cheap, you’d say: pick two. You can have it good and cheap, but then it won’t be fast, etc. As our New Zealand correspondent Dr. Nelson Lebo III explains below, when it comes to our societies we face a similar issue with our climate, energy and the economy.

Not the exact same, but similar, just a bit more complicated. You can’t have your climate nice and ‘moderate’, your energy cheap and clean, and your economy humming along just fine all at the same time. You need to make choices. That’s easy to understand.

Where it gets harder is here: if you pick energy and economy as your focus, the climate suffers (for climate you can equally read ‘the planet’, or ‘the ecosystem’). Focus on climate and energy, and the economy plunges. So far so ‘good’.

But when you emphasize climate and economy, you get stuck. There is no way the two can be ‘saved’ with our present use of fossil fuels, and our highly complex economic systems cannot run on renewables (for one thing, the EROEI is not nearly good enough).

It therefore looks like focusing on climate and economy is a dead end. It’s either/or. Something will have to give, and moreover, many things already have. Better be ahead of the game if you don’t want to be surprised by these things. Be resilient.

But this is Nelson’s piece, not mine.

Article by Nelson Lebo

There appear to be increasing levels of anxiety among environmental activists around the world and in my own community in New Zealand. After all, temperature records are being set at a pace equal only to that of Stephen Curry and LeBron James in the NBA Finals. A recent Google news headline said it all: “May is the 8th consecutive month to break global temperature records.”

In other words, October of last year set a record for the highest recorded global monthly temperature, and then it was bettered by November, which was bettered by December, January, and on through May. The hot streak is like that of Lance Armstrong’s Tour De France dominance, but we all know how that turned out in the end.

Making history – like the Irish rugby side in South Africa recently – is usually a time to celebrate. Setting a world record would normally mean jubilation – not so when it comes to climate.

Responses to temperature records range from sorrow, despair, anger, and even fury.

Anyone with children or grandchildren (and even the childless) who believes in peer review and an overwhelming scientific consensus has every right to feel these emotions. So why do I feel only resignation?

We are so far down the track at this point that we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Remember the warnings 30 years ago that we needed 30 years to make the transition to a low carbon economy or else there would be dire consequences? Well, in case you weren’t paying attention, it didn’t happen.

While these warnings were being issued by scientists much of the world doubled down – Trump-like – on Ford Rangers, Toyota Tacomas, and other sport utility vehicles. The same appears to be happening now, with the added element that we are experiencing the dire consequences as scientists issue even more warnings and drivers buy even more ‘light trucks’. Forget Paris, the writing was on the wall at Copenhagen.

The bottom line is that most people will (and currently do) experience climate change as a quality of life issue, and quality of life is related to a certain extent to disposable income. Acting or not acting proactively or reactively on climate change is expensive and gets more expensive every day.

If the international community ever takes collective action on climate change it will make individuals poorer because the cost of energy will rise significantly. If the international community fails to act, individuals will be made poorer because of the devastating effects of extreme weather events – like last year’s historic floods where I live as well as in northern England, etc – shown to be on the increase over the last 40 years in hundreds of peer-reviewed papers with verifiable data.

And here is the worst part: most economies around the world rely on some combination of moderate climate and cheap fossil fuels. For example, our local economy is heavily dependent on agriculture and tourism, making it exceptionally vulnerable to both acting AND not acting on climate change.

Drought hurts rural economies and extreme winds and rainfall can cost millions in crop damage as well as repairs to fencing, tracks and roads. As a result, both farmers and ratepayers have fewer dollars in their pockets to spend on new shoes, a night out, or a family trip. This is alongside living in a degraded environment post-disaster. The net result is a negative impact on quality of life: damned if we don’t.

On the other hand, tourism relies on inexpensive jet fuel and petrol to get the sightseers and thrill seekers to and around the world with enough dollars left over to slosh around local economies.

Think about all of the service sector jobs that rely on tourism that in turn depend entirely on a continuous supply of cheap fuel. (This is not to mention peak oil and the lack of finance available to fund any long and expensive transition to an alternative energy world.) I’m told 70% of US jobs are in the service sector, most of which rely on inexpensive commuting and/or a highly mobile customer base.

Any significant approach to curbing carbon emissions in the short term will result in drastic increases to energy prices.

The higher the cost of a trip from A to Z the less likely it is to be made. As a result, business owners and ratepayers at Z will have fewer dollars in their pockets to spend on new shoes, a night out, or a family vacation of their own.

The net result is a negative impact on their quality of life: damned if we do.

I suppose it deserves repeating: most OECD economies and the quality of life they bring rely on both moderate climate and cheap fossil fuels, but these are mutually exclusive. Furthermore, regardless of emissions decisions made by the international community, we are already on track for decades of temperature records and extreme weather events that will cost billions if not trillions of dollars.

The response in many parts of the world has been to protest. That’s cool, but you can’t protest a drought – the drought does not care.

You can’t protest a flood – the flood does not care. And even if the protests are successful at influencing government policies – which I hope long-term they are – we are still on track for decades of climatic volatility and the massive price tags for clean up and repair.

Go ahead and protest, people, but you better get your house in order at the same time, and that means build resilience in every way, shape and form.

Resilience is the name of the game, and I was impressed with Kyrie Irving’s post NBA game seven remarks that the Cleveland Cavaliers demonstrated great resilience as a team.

As I wrote here at TAE over a year ago, Resilience Is The New Black. If you don’t get it you’re not paying attention.

This article received a wide range of responses from those with incomplete understandings of the situation as well as those in denial – both positions dangerous for their owners as well as friends and neighbours.

The double bind we find ourselves in by failing to address the issue three decades ago is a challenge to put it mildly. Smart communities recognize challenges and respond accordingly. The best response is to develop resilience in the following areas: ecological, equity, energy and economic.

The first two of these I call the “Pope Index” because Francis has identified climate change and wealth inequality as the greatest challenges facing humanity. Applying the Pope Index to decision making is easy – simply ask yourself if decisions made in your community aggravate climate change and wealth inequality or alleviate them.

For the next two – energy and economics – I take more of a Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight (credit, Thom Hartmann) perspective that I think is embraced by many practicing permaculturists.

Ancient sunlight (fossil fuels) is on its way out and if we do not use some to build resilient infrastructure on our properties and in our communities it will all be burned by NASCAR, which in my opinion would be a shame.

As time passes, everything that is not resilient to high energy prices and extreme weather events will become economically unviable and approach worthlessness.

On the other hand, investments of time, energy, and money in resilience will become more economically valuable as the years pass.

Additionally, the knowledge, skills and experience gained while developing resilience are the ultimate in ‘job security’ for an increasingly volatile future.

If you know it and can do it and can teach it you’ll be sweet. If not, get onto it before it’s too late.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: The Solution Space - Part 1 8/15/15
The cost of capital will be very high and solutions which need it will lie outside solution space.

Ea O Ka Aina: The Solution Space - Part 2 8/16/15
If solutions depend on cooperation at a large scale, they will not be part of solution space.  

Ea O Ka Aina: The Solution Space - Part 3 8/17/15
Proposed solutions which depend on energy-intensivity will lie outside the solution space.

Ea O Ka Aina: The Solution Space - Part 4 8/18/15
The shift to lower consumption will be imposed on us. The choice will be only in how we face it.

Ea O Ka Aina: The Solution Space - Part 5 8/19/15
The solution space will be inexpensive, small-scale, simple, low-energy, and community-based.  

Ea O Ka Aina: From Here on Down 8/4/15
Keep your head down, your nose clean and your hands busy! Get used to it and thrive!

Ea O Ka Aina: Oases on a future Eaarth 6/28/15
It may seem like slow motion, but the unraveling is happening as quick as it can go.

Ea O Ka Aina: Food, Water, Energy & Shelter 1/31/13
As things seem to be degrading or coming apart you will have to step in to provide for yourself.
Considering the alternatives, there really isn't that much choice.  

Mainstream journalism for sale

SUBHEAD: The Atlantic and Economist are selling editorial interviews to lobbyists at DNC and RNC.

By April M. Short on 2 July 2016 for -

Image above: Clinton and cover story from The National Enquirer. From (

In case you still had faith in the political media machine's integrity, several big outlets have cleared that misconception right up for you. They’ve decided to offer news interviews up for sale at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

This means these outlets not even trying to hide their sleaze anymore. As Lee Fang wrote in a July 1 article for The Intercept, which broke the story:
“For high-rolling special interests looking to make an impression at the presidential conventions next month, one option is to pay a lot of money to a media outlet. Lobbyists for the oil industry, for instance, are picking up the tab for leading Beltway publications to host energy policy discussions at the convention, including The Atlantic and Politico.

And for the right price, some political media outlets are even offering special interviews with editorial staffers and promotional coverage at the convention.”
The Hill newspaper, for example, is sponsoring events at both party conventions and is promising its sponsors who pay $200,000 convention interviews with The Hill editorial staffers for “up to three named executives or organization representatives of your choice,” according to a brochure obtained by The Intercept.

“These interviews are pieces of earned media and will be hosted on a dedicated page on and promoted across The Hill’s digital and social media channels,” the brochure promises.

The Hill ignored The Intercept’s inquiries, Fang wrote.

Fang's article mentionsThe Economist and its subsidiary CQ Roll Callas having similar deals on the table.

Even for big media, this is a slimy new low. These once-journalistic news organizations are undeniably morphing into paid advertising and PR for the 1-percenter corporations and billionaires who control the political lobby.

People who care even a little bit about the importance of journalistic integrity, or the checks and balances of the press—which are a necessary piece of any healthy democracy—should immediately boycott any news organization willing to stoop this low. This kind of behavior erases the already-too-fuzzy line between the news media and the moneyed class's greedy interests.

Maybe you aren’t shocked by this new low because this is simply a blatant version of what you already knew has been going on behind the scenes for years—but still. That they are so brazen about it is terrifying.

What does it say about the state of the press when these well-known, long-time trusted publications are straight-up going, "Hey, rich people: ever wanted to buy off a journalist? Now's your chance!"

It's upsetting on a whole new level.

You can read the full Intercept article here.


Sanders to fight DNC over TPP

SUBHEAD: The trade agreement is opposed by virtually the entire grassroots base of the Democratic Party.

By Deidre Fulton on 3 July 2016 for Common Dreams  -

Image above: Bernie Sanders makes a point at the podium. From original article.

Environmentalists oppose it. So do labor unions, medical professionals, and major religious groups, as well as every leading presidential candidate.

So why hasn't the Democratic Party gone on record opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)?
That's what Bernie Sanders wants to know.

Noting that the deal "is opposed by virtually the entire grassroots base of the Democratic Party," Sanders said Sunday he will reintroduce an amendment rejecting the TPP at next weekend's full Democratic Platform Committee meeting in Orlando, Florida.

In an op-ed published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sanders praised the platform drafting committee for including "some very positive provisions" in the final draft released Friday.

"At a time when huge Wall Street financial institutions are bigger now than they were before the taxpayers of this country bailed them out, the platform calls for enacting a 21st-century Glass-Steagall Act and for breaking up too-big-to-fail banks," Sanders wrote.

"The platform calls for a historic expansion of Social Security, closes loopholes that allow corporations to avoid paying taxes, creates millions of jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, makes it easier for workers to join unions, takes on the greed of the pharmaceutical companies, ends disastrous deportation raids, bans private prisons and detention centers, abolishes the death penalty, moves to automatic voter registration and the public financing of elections, eliminates super PACs, and urges passage of a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, among many other initiatives," he continued—all provisions where Sanders' influence was in evidence.

However, Sanders wrote, "there were a number of vitally important proposals brought forth by the delegates from our campaign that were not adopted." These included a national ban on fracking, a carbon tax, and clear language on corporate-friendly "free trade" agreements like the TPP.

To that end, Sanders said he will offer an amendment in Florida "to make it clear that the Democratic Party is strongly opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership" and to ensure the deal doesn't come up for a vote during the lame-duck session of Congress.

"My hope is that a grassroots movement of working people, environmentalists, and human-rights advocates will work with us to demand that the Democratic Party include these initiatives in the platform to be adopted by the full committee in Orlando," he wrote.

As Sanders and others observed last week, by tacitly backing the TPP, the drafting committee was not only working against the party, but undermining Clinton's own stated position.
Indeed, Sanders wrote in the Inquirer op-ed:
Frankly, I do not understand why the amendment our delegates offered on this issue in St. Louis was defeated with all of Hillary Clinton's committee members voting against it. I don't understand that because Clinton, during the campaign, made it very clear that she did not want to see the TPP appear on the floor during the lame-duck session.

If both Clinton and I agree that the TPP should not get to the floor of Congress this year, it's hard to understand why an amendment saying so would not be overwhelmingly passed.
The full 187-member Platform Committee meets in Orlando ahead of the Democratic National Convention, which will ratify the platform, at the end of the month.


Senate endangers GMO labeling

SUBHEAD: Victory in Vermont, where GMO label requirements went into effect Friday, may be 'fleeting'.

By Deidre Fulton on 3 July 2016 for Common Dreams -

Image above: PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay group began making label changes on a nationwide basis a couple of months in advance of the July 1 deadline. Photo by Consumerist. From original article.

As the nation's first GMO labeling law takes effect, food policy experts are warning that its benefits could be "fleeting," should the U.S. Senate pass a so-called "compromise" bill this week that would nullify Vermont's historic law as well as other state efforts in the works.

Vermont's law (pdf) requiring food manufacturers to clearly state whether a product is "produced with genetic engineering" went into effect Friday.

"Vermont had the courage to say, 'If it's the right thing to do, what are we waiting for,'" Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin told a rally of about 150 people on the Statehouse steps. He asked supporters of the law to celebrate on social media under the hashtag #WeLabeledGMOS.

“But this victory may be fleeting," cautioned Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. "The Senate will vote next week on a federal bill that would nullify Vermont's law, and other state labeling efforts percolating, thanks to the heavy hand the ag-biotech industry wields over our congressional representatives."

Republican chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee Pat Roberts, of Kansas, and ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow, of Michigan, announced the so-called "compromise" bill—which has less stringent requirements—last month. Food safety advocates have decried the legislation (pdf) as anti-consumer, inadequate, and "inherently discriminatory."
As Hauter wrote in an op-ed on Friday:
Advocates of GMO labeling have pushed for clear, on-package language, just like what’s required under the Vermont law. But the Senate bill would allow manufacturers to post “call for more information” phone numbers or even smart phone “QR codes” if they so desire—meaning that if you have a phone with the right app installed, a steady hand and a solid data connection you’ll be able to access a website that will tell you what’s in the food you’re buying.

That’s not a label—that’s a hassle.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) last week called it "bad federal legislation" and vowed to do what he can do defeat the bill, which is expected to come up for a vote this week. He tweeted to that effect on Sunday:

The Minneapolis Star Tribune notes: "If the new bill passes the Senate, it must still pass the House, which earlier voted for a bill that places a national ban on on-package GMO disclosure."

It's a race against the clock, one industry lobbyist told Capital Press. "If Congress does not pass this bill by the 15th [when it goes on recess until after Labor Day], it won’t get taken up until September, which is much, much, much too late," said Roger Lowe, executive vice president of strategic communications for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.


Sustainability - the simpler way

SUBHEAD: We have no choice but to try to move to a society in which there cannot be any economic growth.

By Ted Trainer on 3 July 2016 for -

Image above: An indigenous home in Amatlan, Mexico. From (

I believe most discussions of sustainability fail to grasp the magnitude of the problem, and therefore fail to realize that it can’t be solved without extremely radical change. I also believe the transition to the required Simpler Way could easily be made ... if we wanted to do that, and that it would greatly improve the quality of life.

Following is an outline of the case, firstly that present ways are grossly unsustainable and secondly that the solution must involve far lower rates of production and consumption and GDP, frugal and self-sufficient lifestyles in small, localized, and largely self-governing communities, in a zero growth economy which is not driven by market forces.

The most difficult element in the transition will be cultural, that is moving from competitive, individualistic acquisitiveness to being able to enjoy non- material life satisfactions in stable and cooperative local communities.

The present levels of production, consumption and GDP in rich countries are far beyond those that could be kept up for long or spread to all the world’s people.

The basic numbers here are indisputable (below) and they mean that a sustainable and just world cannot be achieved unless we shift to systems, ways and values that allow us all to live well on a very small fraction of present rich world per capita resource consumption.

The Simpler Way vision is firstly concerned to get the seriousness and nature of the situation more clearly understood, and then to persuade people that a workable and attractive alternative to the present society is easily imagined ... and achieved if that’s what we want to do.

Most thinking about sustainability proceeds as if it will be possible to solve the resource and ecological problems without much if any need to question affluent lifestyles or economic growth or the free enterprise system. The reasons why this belief is seriously mistaken will be outlined below.

If this analysis of our situation is sound we have no choice but to try to move to a society in which there cannot be any economic growth, market forces cannot be allowed to determine our fate, there must be mostly small and highly self-sufficient and self-governing settlements, mostly local economies, very little international trade, highly participatory political systems, and above all willing acceptance of frugal lifestyles and non-material sources of life satisfaction.

The argument is that these extreme steps are the only way that the accelerating global problems can be solved, including resource depletion, destruction of the environment, Third World deprivation and poverty, conflict and warfare over dwindling resources, and a falling quality of life in even the richest countries.

Many groups and movements are now working for a transition to more local, small scale, self sufficient and communal ways.

For instance there are De-growth, Eco-village, Transition Towns, Permaculture and Voluntary Simplicity movements. However The Simpler Way argument is that change must be more radical than most people in these movements realize.

The chances of us making such a transition are not at all promising but the challenge to people concerned about sustainability is, when the seriousness of the limits analysis is understood, what other perspective makes sense?

Read the whole article as a PDF file here (


Kapiolani Hotel is the RIMPAC lodge

SUBHEAD: The Queen Kapiolani will be extending our military "Per Diem PLUS" for all RIMPAC guests.

By Staff on 2 July 2016 for Queen Kapiolani Hotel -

Image above: Exterior of the  Queen Kapiolani Hotel in a promo piece. From (

[IB Publisher's note: It's ugly to see a tourist hotels pimping for the military services. I guess the Kapiolani is more desperate than  it seems or simply doesn't care what damage the US  does to the Pacific Ocean and Hawaii.]

Queen Kapiolani Hotel & Kokua Hospitality welcomes RIMPAC 2016!   Since 1971 with the first RIMPAC the Queen Kapiolani has proudly welcomed our sailors and GI's from the US and Abroad. 
This year is no exception.  The Queen Kapiolani will be extending our military "Per Diem PLUS" for all RIMPAC guests. Book your reservation here...

The Per Diem PLUS includes the following:
  • $177.00 Per Diem rate with appropriate ID
  • WAIVED - One Night Deposit at time of reservations
  • WAIVED - Daily Resort Fee ($15/day)
  • 50% Discount on Daily Valet Parking Fee 
  • FREE In-Room Coffee
  • FREE In-Room Safe
On Site:
  • 300 Steps to Waikiki Beach
  • 3 Miles to exit 25-A on the H1 Freeway
  • 24-Hour coin operated laundromat
  • 7 Minute walk to the center of Waikiki
  • On Main Bus Line 
  • On Site "Bike Rentals"
  • Sundry store open daily
  • Bar & Restaurant on 3rd Floor Pool Deck with a back drop of Diamond Head
We look forward to welcoming you with the true spirit of aloha & Thank you for all that you do 24/7/365!  See our website for additional information at: www.queenkapiola

RIMPAC on Social Media:

RIMPAC on Facebook RIMPAC on Twitter
RIMPAC on Instagram
RIMPAC on YouTube


GMO Labeling Flimflam

SUBHEAD: Text of GMO label bill includes a definition of bioengineering that critics disagree with.

Read more here:

By Lindsey Wise on 1 July 2016 for Miami Herald -

Image above: Some packaged foods are voluntarily labeled as being free of GMO at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op in Sacramento on Sept. 18, 2012. From original article.

[IB Publisher's Note: This bill is what used to be called "The Big Runaround". It's a bunch of bullshit to avoid dealing with the real problem - in fact it's to avoid even admitting there is a problem. Note that meat is not included in the labeling bill. This is significant because virtually all commercial food used to raise farm fed beef, pork, chicken and fish relies on GMO corn for feed.   The American Bread Basket has been totally taken over by genetic modification of seeds, dependence on pesticides, reliance on synthetic fertilizer and other environmentally destructive practices. Big Ag is approaching a dead end. They know they are doomed... especially if the public comes to realize what  they are doing to our food.] 
Polls show Americans find the idea of "Frankenfoods" unappetizing and are open to labels identifying which products contain genetically modified ingredients. But some in the scientific community say GMOs are safe. And some anti-hunger advocates say the science behind them can help deliver nourishment to millions living in poverty.
- Randall Benton The Sacramento Bee.
A bill to create the first nationwide labeling standard for genetically modified foods is getting push-back from consumer advocates alarmed that its language could exempt a vast majority of foods made with genetic engineering.

“There may be no genetically engineered food that we commonly eat that’s actually covered by this law as it’s currently written,” said Jean Halloran of Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports. “I have to think that that’s a drafting error, but nobody’s said they’re going to fix it.”

The bipartisan compromise bill, negotiated last month by the Republican chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Pat Roberts of Kansas, and the panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, is on the verge of passing the U.S. Senate this month. Next it will go to the U.S. House of Representatives, where it’s expected to face little resistance.

The bill would require producers to identify foods that contain genetically modified ingredients with text on packages, a symbol or a link to a website with a QR code, a bar code that can be scanned on a smart phone.

But the legislation contains several sentences that “raise confusion,” according to a June 27 memo to lawmakers from the Food and Drug Administration, which has long maintained that GMOs are safe to eat, and therefore do not need to be labeled.

In the memo, the FDA noted that one paragraph in the Roberts-Stabenow bill narrowly defines bioengineered food as containing “genetic material,” which could exclude many products made from bioengineered crops, such as refined sugars, oils and starches.

The bill’s language also would limit coverage to foods where the genetic modification “could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature,” a standard that could be hard to prove, the agency said.

Halloran said consumer groups are scrambling to bring lawmakers attention to these concerns before an expected vote July 13.

“It was brought forward so quickly without a hearing or much review, and it took us a while to tussle through what it actually says, so I think it hasn’t gotten the kind of serious scrutiny that it needs,” she said.

A coalition of nearly 70 consumer groups and organic farming associations has sent a letter urging senators to oppose the legislation, calling it “a non-labeling bill under the guise of a mandatory labeling bill.”

The letter estimates that 99 percent of all GMO food ultimately could be exempt from labeling since the bill leaves it up to a future Secretary of Agriculture to decide how much GMO content in a food qualifies it for labeling. “If that secretary were to decide on a high percentage of GMO content, it would exempt virtually all processed GMO foods,” the letter said.

Consumer advocates also object to the lack of consequences for companies that fail to properly label their products and the fact that the labels themselves won’t necessarily have to contain the words “GMO,” “genetically modified” or “biotechnology.”

Roberts defended the bill in a statement on Friday.

“All bioengineered food crops currently on the market are captured by the definition of ‘bioengineering,’ ” he said.

Whether that definition also captures refined sugars, oils and other products made from genetically engineered crops, will be determined through rule-making by federal agencies that implement the legislation, said Meghan Cline, a spokeswoman for the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Roberts also took issue with consumer advocates’ criticism that the compromise bill released on June 23 had not been subject to public hearings or testimony.
“We held a hearing last October that covered all facets of agriculture biotechnology, including labeling,” Roberts said. “To say we have not been transparent in this process is simply incorrect.

Myself, and members of the Agriculture Committee, have listened to constituents from all sides of this debate and crafted the best piece of legislation that allows farmers to keep using safe technology on the farm while satisfying consumers’ (desire) to know what’s in their food.”
The bill is likely to pass in the Senate, where it received 68 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle on Wednesday.

“This is a good, bipartisan, commonsense way to set a national standard — it’ll give certainty to consumers, and to our producers, without stigmatizing the important use of science,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, a Democrat who plans to vote for the bill.

For those opposed to the Roberts-Stabenow bill, the fight has taken on particular urgency because the federal legislation would nullify any state laws that require GMO labeling.

The first such law in the nation went into effect in Vermont on July 1.

Fresh off the campaign trail, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has vowed to do everything he can to defeat the Roberts-Stabenow bill.

From the steps of the statehouse in Montpelier, Vermont, on Friday, Sanders said he and other members of Congress would not allow Vermont’s law to be overturned by bad federal legislation.
Sanders said the Roberts-Stabenow bill “would create a confusing, misleading and unenforceable national standard” for GMO labeling.

The major agribusiness and biotech companies “do not believe people have a right to know what’s in the food they eat,” Sanders said. “That is why they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in lobbying and campaign contributions to overturn the GMO right-to-know legislation that states have already passed and that many other states are on the verge of passing.”

Voluntary GMO labeling grows

SUBHEAD: Campbell's, is calling on the federal government to create a mandatory labeling law.

Image above: "MADE WITHOUT GENETICALLY MODIFIED INGREDIENTS> TRACE AMOUNTS OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED MATERIAL MAY BE PRESENT". If this is the case of many food products the truth about GMO ingredients will be fuzzy around the edges.  From original article.

It's been less than a month since the Senate stopped an anti-GMO labeling act from becoming law which would have banned individual states from requiring GMO labeling on foods. Since the law did not pass, it looks like Vermont's GMO labeling law will be enacted as planned this July.

The law will require food manufacturers that use GMOs in their foods to label them as such if the foods are sold in Vermont. This creates a problem for the food manufacturers. Do they create one label for Vermont and another label for the rest of the country? What happens if a second state creates a law that require different wording than Vermont's? Do the food manufacturers now have to have three different labels?

That problem could be solved by the federal government creating a standard that requires clear, mandatory labeling on the package. Earlier this year Campbell's broke with the rest of the major food manufacturers and called on the federal government to create a standard for the entire U.S. Campbell's made this announcement before the Senate voted down the anti-GMO labeling bill, in hopes to avoid a "patchwork of state-by-state labeling laws" that they believe would create consumer confusion.

Other big food manufacturers must have been hoping for the Senate to pass the law, but planning for its defeat. In the days following the defeat, several of them made announcements that they would begin to label foods with GMOs, even though they stand by the safety of genetically modified ingredients.

Just two days after the bill failed to gain the votes it needed to pass, General Mills announced it would begin to label GMOs on all its products, not just the ones in Vermont. The company announced they would label nationally because labeling products just in one state would cost consumers too much money. In the next week or two after that, several other companies made similar announcements.

On March 22, ConAgra said it's urging Congress to pass a national solution to GMO labeling as quickly as possible. Until then it will begin to nationally label GMOs because state-by-state labeling laws would cause "significant complications and costs for food companies."

On March 23, Kellogg's released a statement from North American President Paul Norman who said the company would like a federal solution, but until then "in order to comply with Vermont’s labeling law, we will start labeling some of our products nationwide for the presence of GMOs beginning in mid-to-late April. We chose nationwide labeling because a special label for Vermont would be logistically unmanageable and even more costly for us and our consumers."

Mars also has an undated statement on its website in response to the Vermont law. "To comply with that law, Mars is introducing clear, on-pack labeling on our products that contain GM ingredients nationwide."

Only one of these five big food companies, Campbell's, is calling on the federal government to create a mandatory labeling law. The federal or national solution that General Mills, ConAgra and Kellogg's would like is not necessarily a mandatory labeling law. A national solution that would satisfy them would be the same national solution that was in the anti-GMO labeling bill that was struck down — one where the government sets standards for voluntary labeling and states would not be allowed to legally require labeling.

Until we have a national, mandatory GMO labeling law, the possibility of big food companies adding these voluntary labels to their packaging while continuing to pour money into fighting labeling laws is very real. For those who want GMO labels on all foods to be on them indefinitely, the fight is not over yet.