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Global News and Analysis

A Green New Deal can give us the freedoms to allow humanity to flourish

Source: The Guardian

Franklin Delano Roosevelt sought to redefine freedom in the face of war. The Green New Deal imagines goals for a colorful democracy

One of the biggest challenges of climate politics is that the solutions seem scarier than the problem. We worry that to truly decarbonize, we’d need an authoritarian government or endless austerity. But a big and bold enough Green New Deal could finally make us truly free.

The principles that animated the New Deal are often associated with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s proposed (but never fully enacted) Economic Bill of Rights. These included rights to employment, medical care, housing, education, and social security. Those goals are tragically unrealized for many Americans, and any just version of the Green New Deal must start there. They’re familiar goals for the left, ones we’ve been fighting over for decades. But we also need to rework another New Deal-era statement of principles – FDR’s Four Freedoms. read more

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Global News and Analysis

European colonization of Americas killed so many it cooled Earth’s climate

Source: The Guardian

Research finds killing of native people indirectly contributed to a colder period by causing deaths of around 56 million by 1600

European colonization of the Americas resulted in the killing of so many native people that it transformed the environment and caused the Earth’s climate to cool down, new research has found.

Settlers killed off huge numbers of people in conflicts and also by spreading disease, which reduced the indigenous population by 90% in the century following Christopher Columbus’s initial journey to the Americas and Caribbean in 1492. read more

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Climate Change, Not Border Security, is the Real National Emergency

Source: The Intercept

The shutdown might be over for now, but President Donald Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency still looms. The continuing resolution passed Friday afternoon does not contain funding for a border wall, and the president has suggested that if Congress doesn’t compromise on a funding plan within three weeks, he may still proclaim a national emergency at the border.

When Trump first threatened to use emergency powers to unlock $5.7 billion for his $20 billion border wall project, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. came out strongly against it — but not for humanitarian reasons or because he is concerned about an unmistakable creep toward authoritarianism. Rather, Rubio worried that normalizing the call for a state of emergency might make it easier for politicians to act on a genuine existential threat: “If today, the national emergency is border security,” said Rubio, “tomorrow, the national emergency might be climate change.” read more

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Global News and Analysis

“Wet’suwet’en Strong”: Indigenous resistance in Canada

Source: Roar Magazine

The Wet’suwet’en struggle in British Columbia is the latest Indigenous resistance that builds on hundreds of years of organizing against colonial Canada.

Colonialism in Canada is alive and present. It wields enormous ongoing violence against us Indigenous people through disappearing and murdering our women, two-spirit, and trans people; through lack of clean drinking water; dire housing conditions and shortages; and the highest rates of poverty, and incarceration, of any group of people within Canada. The underlying motivation that propels all of this violence is the state’s age-old war for Indigenous land. read more

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Global News and Analysis

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: Housing Market Racism Persists

Source: The Guardian

In the US, where homeownership speaks to class, African Americans are being denied mortgages at rates much higher than their white peers

As a new year begins and the 2020 presidential election looms closer, our political focus will start to narrow around the issues thought to be most urgent and likely to mobilize voters. One issue surely to be glossed over, if not completely ignored, is the persistence of racial segregation. Even writing it feels off-topic, like referring to an anachronism. We have become so habituated to the ingrained treads of our racial geography that they are unremarkable. When segregation is remarked upon, it is almost always in reference to the histories of public policy and private action that were necessary to the invention of “black neighborhoods” or “white suburbs”. read more