The Waxman-Markey climate bill was released yesterday, and if Joe Romm gives it a B+ I’m loathe to be pessimistic about it. But I am. It’s true that the bill’s targets for CO2 reduction are a little more aggressive than the ones Barack Obama campaigned on, but it also includes two provisions that are pretty discouraging. First, their cap-and-trade program allows a lot of offsets: two billion tons in all, which allows companies to pollute away as long as they “offset” their carbon emissions somewhere else. In theory, this is fine, but in practice it’s an invitation to abuse, substituting purely fictional reductions for real ones. Second, it allocates a portion of the emission credits directly to affected industries instead of auctioning 100% of them. This is yet another invitation to abuse.
As the United States and the rest of the world enter into an economic free fall, the current crisis offers an opportunity not only to question the politics of free-market fundamentalism, the dominance of economics over politics, and the subordination of justice to the laws of finance and the accumulation of capital, but also the ways in which children’s culture has been corrupted by rampant commercialization, commodification and consumption. There is more at stake in this crisis than stabilizing the banks, shoring up employment and solving the housing problem. There is also the issue of what kind of public spaces and values we want to make available, outside of those provided by the market, for children to learn the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to confront the myriad problems facing the twenty-first century.
Truthdig – A/V Booth – A Nation of Narcissists. Watch the video!
Is American exceptionalism just a euphemism for nationalized narcissism? Are narcissists to blame for the cataclysm on Wall Street? Stephen Colbert takes a read on the national zeitgeist and brings in Slate columnist Emily Yoffe to declare that certain public figures might suffer from narcissistic personality disorder. Let the armchair diagnosing commence!
When this hinge-point in human history is remembered, there will be far more sympathy for the people who took to the streets and rioted than for the people who stayed silently in their homes. Two global crises have collided, and we have a chance here, now, to solve them both with one mighty heave – but our leaders are letting this opportunity for greatness leach away. The protesters here in London were trying to sound an alarm now, at five minutes to ecological midnight.
“What happened at TMI was a whole lot worse than what has been reported,” Randall Thompson told Facing South. “Hundreds of times worse.”
An Open Letter to Congress: Help Me or I Will Die | CommonDreams.org. Kick-ass organizers in action.
Is Anything Black About the American West?. from TheRoot.com
Facebook, YouTube at work make better employees: study | Lifestyle | Reuters. Well thank goodness.
Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Short Imagined Monologues…because all of the other news seems depressing today.