Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Saving Our Planet One City at a Time

Saving Our Planet One City at a Time

During all the kerfuffle (or is that covfefe?) surrounding Trump's announcement that the U.S. wouldn't support the Paris Climate Agreement, something wonderful happened. It didn't get much (if any) press coverage (or is that covfefe?) in the mainstream media since it doesn't make the lobbyists for Big Oil and Fossil Fuels particularly happy, but fortunately the alternative media outlets thought it was a worthy story and have reported on it extensively.

Many American cities such as Pittsburgh--and a few states such as Illinois--have come to the conclusion they will support the climate treaty and follow its goals. By acting in defiance of the idiocy coming out of the White House, these cities and states have grown a backbone overnight. They aren't afraid of going against the anti-environmental sentiment festering in Washington these past months. They plan on developing and encouraging green energy usage and growth, (solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, etc.), and they plan on doing so with or without the federal government's help or blessing.

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Who will suffer first from the effects of climate change? The populations of our cities. With the rising of the Earth's mean temperature and the accelerated melting of the polar and Antarctic ice caps, the oceans rise and coastal cities like Miami flood. I take that back--they don't flood; they disappear totally off the map under a mountain of sea water, driving millions of people inland. Where will all these displaced refugees of climate change live? Who will deal with housing and feeding the increasing number of homeless in their time of crisis? How big is your city's homeless shelter?

A defunded Environmental Protection Agency will lead to the dumping of pollutants into our lakes and streams from unregulated activities such as spraying toxic pesticides in our waterways, fracking wastewater and coal-fired power plant ash dumping, further stressing cities' aging water treatment facilities. Who will pay for these needed infrastructure improvements so we aren't drinking contaminated water? The tax payers. Who will suffer the most when there's no money to be had because the tax base has shrunk due to sending jobs offshore and the income inequality practices of many corporations? Ask the residents of Flint, Michigan, the first among many cities who will find themselves in such a situation.

 You guessed it--water pollution is considered a local problem in an Ayn Rand-libertarian "every man is his own separate island" America. Your town's water is your problem. So, if any governmental agencies need be concerned with climate change, it is our cities that will foot the bill. 

And it isn't just the increased fear of 100 year flooding (great a risk as it is) that concerns cities and states. Elevated greenhouse gases caused by burning fracked gas will yield stagnant air masses and the risk of increasing airborne particulate pollution, resulting in a sharp rise in cases of asthma and other chronic diseases. Who gets stuck with the bill for helping millions of coughing and gasping citizens? Trumpcare 2.0 certainly isn't Medicare for All, is it? With Trumpcare's promise of eliminating the pre-existing condition clause of the A.C.A., cities and states, which are already stretched trying to cover indigent populations' health needs, will have even more human beings to take care of.

After all, what private health insurer is going to sell insurance to citizens of a city or state with poisonous smog problems and a polluted water supply? If they do decide to sell health insurance, you can bet the premiums will be out of the range of affordability for 99% of the population. If you can't afford it, you can't have health insurance, can you? You probably aren't going to be able to pay for treatment out of pocket, either. It's a perfect example of discrimination of the poorest by the richest.

And there's the rub--Trump's refusal to follow the Paris Climate Agreement is essentially a tactic by the 1% to wipe the rest of us off the map by flooding or poison watering or killer smogging us into oblivion. The mega-wealthy will be okay with their billions in their offshore bank accounts and their strongholds in New Zealand, where they'll grow their own organic foods and live off grid with their own wind turbines. I'm certain some bright-eyed billionaire will even go into the bottled oxygen business such as Nestlé has gone whole hog into the bottled water business, buying up many municipalities' water sources. Imagine the advertisements…

Announcer: "Want to breathe easier? Buy Trump Brand Bottled Oxygen. It's what all your favorite celebrities and reality TV stars breathe. Only losers breathe a poisonous atmosphere. Bigly losers! So, buy Trump Brand today and breathe like a billionaire."

Support your city and state when it makes a declaration to stand by the Paris Climate Agreement. (Sign the agreement here to show your support.) Your lungs--and the very land you walk upon and the water you drink--may very well depend on it. 

Just when you thought you couldn't hate him enough, this week's C.R.A.P. award goes to Eric and Donald J. Trump for shifting children's cancer charity money into Pres. Trump's businesses. Read this article and weep: http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/43997-how-donald-trump-shifted-kids-cancer-charity-money-into-his-business 

Feel free to Chastise Rich Arrogant Pricks (C.R.A.P.) as often and as widely as possible on social media sites. Please call, email and write them letters expressing your outrage. Let them know we don't appreciate their greed, arrogance and sociopathic behaviors. Stand together and tell these elitists we're not going to take their immoral abuse anymore. Thank you.

Please free free to continue chastising these 22 senators for telling Trump to pass on the Paris Climate Agreement. 


Why keep fighting to save the planet? Why keep fighting to save our schools, to provide universal health care, or to overturn Citizens United? Why engage in politics at all? When people ask you these types of questions, here are some  deep thoughts to share with them.

From Activist Sean Nestor:

"As long as a government exists, you will need to engage in politics to alter it. Not just electoral politics, but social and interpersonal politics.

People understandably despise politics in this country because it's such a messy, underhanded, and frustrating field. But contrary to what many believe, the more of us who engage in it, the better it becomes. Becoming cynical enough that you disengage is exactly what the people screwing us all over want you to do."

"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you." --Pericles

"The future will not belong to those who sit on the sidelines. The future will not belong to the cynics. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. I want you to believe in the beauty of your dreams." --Paul Wellstone

The People's Summit

In case you didn't catch Bernie Sanders' talk and Q & A at the People's Summit, here it is via Uphill Media's rebroadcast. (Bernie takes the stage about halfway through, and John shows some interview clips with Jim Hightower and Nina Turner beforehand.) The senator's message is clear: Now isn't the time to give up--now is the time to keep fighting. https://youtu.be/6MknMeS5bGQ

You can also watch his remarks at the Our Revolution site:

Nina Turner's new show for The Real News Network premiered at the People's Summit as well. Check out her interview with Bernie. Watch it below:


 From Our Revolution:

While most of the country wasn't looking, House Republicans voted to claw back virtually every banking regulation implemented after Wall Street crashed and the Great Recession began. With so much scrutiny on the White House, Senate Republicans are now poised to roll back Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act in the same month. Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and every other politician bought by Wall Street and corporate donors thinks that they can get away with this while we're distracted by the daily circus in the West Wing.

We haven't forgotten what Wall Street deregulation got us last time. A reeling housing crisis, millions of people's life savings wiped out, and 800,000 jobs lost every month by the time George W. Bush left office. We remember Occupy, and the reprieve that the most egregious offenders got from going to prison. Executives at the largest financial firms who gambled people's hard-earned life savings away were treated less harshly than the people actually paying their mortgage.

We need to break the big banks up and implement a modern day version of Glass-Steagall, but we have to stop Republicans from rolling back even more Wall Street regulations first. Will you join our fight to protect Main Street from Wall Street greed? Sign our petition to tell Congress: Stop the Wall Street assault on working families.

The Financial CHOICE Act wipes out the Dodd-Frank law signed in 2010, putting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Donald Trump's control. That's right, the department charged with protecting consumers will be under the control of a person who has spent his entire life ripping people off. The biggest banks that were considered “too big to fail” at the time of the Recession are even bigger now, and virtually all new income is going to the top one percent. Giving Wall Street another break isn't solving the crisis of income and wealth inequality.

While Paul Ryan and the House were stripping essential banking protections, voters in the United Kingdom rejected the Conservative government and their cabal of bankers and billionaires, and embraced Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party's reinvigorated progressive movement. People across the world are ready for a movement that takes on the greed of the few, and works on behalf of the many.

Glass-Steagall is part of the solution, but it doesn't solve the entire problem. We've still got so much work left ahead, like overturning Citizens United to get Wall Street and special interest money out of politics. 

Nobody could have prepared for the daily assaults on our health care, housing, environment, and civil rights since Trump took office, but organizing as many people as we can is the only shot we have at fighting back against the greed he serves. Stand with us as we take on Wall Street and the special interests that Congress represents. Sign our petition to let Congress know we won't let Wall Street take us back into another recession.

We will see economic justice be done in this country, with an economy that works for all. Thank you for joining us.

In solidarity,

Shannon Jackson
Executive Director
Our Revolution


From the Sum of Us:

Bayer and Monsanto's merger from hell is at a critical moment – and this week, a three-day meeting could be the tipping point.

We've organised for beekeepers, farmers, and experts to meet with Congress on Capitol Hill. They're planning to tell regulators just how devastating this merger will be for our bees and our food supply.

Farmers and beekeepers have told us that they simply can't afford to get to briefing under their own steam, so we're hoping you can chip in with a special last-minute donation so their vital testimony is heard directly by decision makers. 

We only have one shot at this, and without your help, we might miss the moment to have maximum impact.  Can you chip in to stop the merger from hell?

If you've saved your payment information with SumOfUs, your donation will go through immediately:

Chip in another amount

SumOfUs members have been at the forefront in the fight to stop Monsanto and Bayer from merging into the largest agribusiness in the world.

Together, we're continuing to pressure antitrust regulators in Europe and the U.S., using some of the best legal minds to prove that the merger is a violation of monopoly laws.

We're campaigning along with farmers and consumers to show the public how harmful a Monsanto-Bayer partnership is, and we're reaching out to Bayer shareholders to let them know how much they'll lose in this merger.

We know we can stop this merger. We did the impossible in 2014 when SumOfUs members helped stop Comcast from acquiring Time Warner in an unprecedented takeover. It was the Department of Justice that laid the finishing blow -- but it was tens of thousands of SumOfUs members and our allies us who made it happen.

If Congress hear from their very own constituents as well as beekeepers and farmers about how bad this merger would be for our bees and our food supply, they can stop this merger from hell.
If you've saved your payment information with SumOfUs, your donation will go through immediately:

Chip in another amount

Thanks for all that you do,
Anne and the team at SumOfUs

More information:
Bayer to sell Liberty crop protection brands to get Monsanto deal passed, Reuters. 8th May 2017.
Why companies in the chemicals industry are mixing, The Economist. 25th May 2017.


Next time: What did the U.K. Labour Party's results say about the progressive movement as a whole? A Brit gives us his insights.

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