“I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms
in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.
If they can get off, onto another planet, some of them would.”
“A lot of wealthy and powerful people are quite afraid right now –
they see us on an unstable trajectory”
noting that the failure of political institutions to be representative
is causing strain on the system.
Robert Johnson, president of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, speaking in Davos
Listen to this 1 minute statement- worth the trip to Switzerland’s Davos!
Elite Are Afraid of Ferguson-Style Riots
As inequality soars, the nervous super rich are already planning their escapes
- This little peek into the minds of the super-rich should awaken the rest of us! They know we are at a cusp yet continue insatiable avarice that feeds both social injustice and destruction of our precariously balanced Earth. Even the not super wealthy have asked me where to flee to get away from climate change.
How can “we the people” allow our only earth’s destruction and massive injustice to continue? Billionaires buy clever social psychologists, conniving political strategists, and media space to convince enough people to actually vote against both their own rights and against the earth’s indispensable life support systems. When will the super-rich realize eco-system collapse means everyone, regardless of long rows of numbers in secret bank accounts? – Editor
Can Koch Brothers Lock In Fatal Climate Delay For $889 Million In 2016 Election
The multi-billionaire Koch brothers are planning to spend a staggering $889 million in the 2016 election cycle, more than double what they spent in 2012. Politico called it “a historic sum that in many ways would mark Charles and David Koch and their fellow conservative megadonors as more powerful than the official Republican Party.”
Remember, the Koch family put together the Tea Party movement and much of the modern right-wing infrastructure. Koch Industries surpassed Exxon Mobil in funding climate science disinformation and clean energy opposition years ago. They have already become the biggest force for anti-science politicians at every level of government.
New York Times Article
That Book About Inequality That’s Sold Out of Bookstores? Here’s What It Means
In his analysis of tax records, Piketty shows how capitalists have run away with capitalism and left the workers behind.
Just take a look at how our oligarchs—oops, I’m sorry—our “wealth generators” have benefited. The top 25 hedge fund managers took in an average $134 million in 2002. By 2009, their earnings went up to a billion dollars (that’s right: they each made a billion dollars a year!). The market “correction” didn’t send them back to zero or to Sing Sing. Rather, by 2012, they were still making tons more than in 2002: $537 million. In fact, in 2010, these top 25 managers together made four times as much as the CEOs of the top 500 Standard and Poor companies—combined.
France economist Thomas Piketty rejects Legion D’Honneur
French economist Thomas Piketty, the best-selling author of Capital in the 21st Century, has turned down France’s top award, the Legion D’Honneur. His book examines income inequality in society and became a surprise hit, topping the bestseller list in the US.
- We have solutions to climate change, poor health caused by pollution, and environmental destruction caused by fossil-fuels! Should we blindly accept claims that we cannot have renewable energy, net zero buildings, clean air, or clean water, can’t protect kids from getting asthma, can’t work on social justice and alternatives to prisons, and more because it costs “more money”? Or does it really mean less money for rich fossil-fuelers? Reports from the New Building Institute are worth sharing! Data are showing we can do this! – Editor
“The findings in this report are eye-opening.
It presents us with a policy framework that will help us achieve our goal to
slash energy use to half of what it was in 2010 by 2032, and
provides us with the data to back it up.”
Bill Updike, green building specialist, District of Columbia Department of the Environment
Cost Study Finds Over 30% ROI for Zero Net Energy
As momentum for zero energy buildings grows, there is more interest in better understanding the costs. A series of studies have come out including one that shows the District of Columbia could save up to 60% on energy use in new commercial building developments by adding just 1-3% to the cost of construction. In addition to the energy use savings, key financial savings include: The return on investment for deep energy efficiency is 6 percent to 12 percent and rises to 33 percent to 36 percent when modeled for net zero energy using solar power. Advanced water conservation measures cost 1 percent to 3 percent, conserve 45 to 60 percent of the water usage and have a return on investment of 5 percent to 10 percent.
ACTION: Go to the 2015 Getting to Zero National Forum
Zero energy is an ultra-efficiency building performance goal!
February 1-3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Sign up!
- A burglar taking your $300 TV set can go to jail for years, and not be able to get a job when he’s out, but what happens if your house suffers thousands of dollars of damage from a large corporation fracking near you? Does justice apply to corporations these days? – Editor
Court Will Decide If Fracking Companies Can Be Held Responsible For Earthquakes
Oklahoma’s Supreme Court will decide whether two oil companies should be held financially responsible for injuries suffered by a woman during a 2011 earthquake thought to have been caused by drilling activity. If the woman’s lawsuit is successful, it could set a legal precedent for future earthquake claims against oil and gas companies in Oklahoma. Scientists increasingly believe that the large amount of water that is injected into the ground after a well is fracked can change the state of stress on existing fault lines to the point of failure, causing earthquakes.
and it is not just Oklahoma-
Texas Town at Center of Latest Earthquake Swarm Questions Fracking Impact
Thousands Of Montanans Can’t Drink Or Cook With Tap Water Because Of Oil Spill
The estimated 50,000 gallons of crude oil that spilled from a pipeline into Montana’s Yellowstone River Saturday has forced truckloads of water to be shipped in to one Montana city, after traces of the oil were found in the city’s water supplies. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock declared a state of emergency Monday morning in Dawson — where Glendive is located — and Richland counties. Glendive City Council member Gerald Reichert said that he didn’t believe the reports of odors coming from residents’ taps until he smelled it in his own home. “Suddenly at our house there was a definite smell. It was a diesel smell,” Reichert said. The EPA also said in the statement that it was working to limit the spill’s spread by placing containment structures about 30 miles downstream from the spill site. It’s also trying to clean oil from the ice-covered parts of the river, but those icy conditions are making it difficult to find the oil that may have made its way underneath the ice.
and it’s not just there-
Water pollution from fracking confirmed in multiple states
and it’s not just the water that is contaminated-
First infrared analysis of oil and gas air pollution shows communities’ health risk
Making visible normally invisible pollution, the study revealed that the communities of Lost Hills and Upper Ojai are exposed to at least 15 distinct toxics released by oil and gas development.
For the report Californians at Risk: An Analysis of Health Threats from Oil and Gas Pollution
For a useful group very concerned about the health dangers from toxic air pollution- Medical Advocates for Healthy Air (MAHA)
NEW NURSERY RHYME?
Diesel in our water,
diesel in our air,
our kids are sick,
is that fair?
Parents, Teachers and Students Ask School Districts to Go 100% Renewable Energy
Now that solar is cheaper than electricity from the grid in 42 of 50 largest U.S. cities, it’s no wonder that a coalition of education, health, labor and environmental organizations launched a campaign to encourage North Carolina’s public school districts to transition to 100 percent renewable energy. The coalition also stresses the health benefits of going solar. They report that more than 50,000 students across the North Carolina suffer from asthma, making it the leading cause of missed school for children with chronic diseases.
For Repower Our Schools in North Carolina
For the very useful national report Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in US Schools- this report was produced to: (1) help K-12 schools understand the motivations and successes of current solar schools; (2) provide insight into the basic technical and financing aspects of these systems; (3) provide the most comprehensive baseline to date of K-12 schools with solar, providing a means for tracking future solar/school installation progress, and; (4) supply prospective solar school stakeholders with actionable information and lessons learned from previous projects so they can “go solar” with greater confidence.
CONGRATULATIONS- IT CAN BE DONE!
Oregon Tech campus is the first U.S. university to meet
all of its energy needs with renewable electricity,
replacing the equivalent of $1 million a year in heating and electricity costs
from its on-campus geothermal and solar facilities.
Wash., Ore. Could Vastly Expand Renewable Power Production
Solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, geothermal, and waste-to-energy electricity production could account for 98 percent of Oregon’s and Washington’s electricity needs in just 15 years, according to two new reports.
POWERING UP OREGON: A REPORT ON THE ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY DEVELOPMENT
In a “High Renewables” scenario, Oregon has the potential to deploy as much as 7,864 megawatts (MW) of additional installed renewable electricity capacity by 2030 (enough to supply over 98 percent of overall state electricity use). Our report finds that this deployment would:
• Create almost 140,000 additional local jobs and over $8 billion more in wages and benefits during construction.
• After construction and during its operation, this new renewable energy would create nearly 2,500 additional annual jobs and nearly $150 million in annual wages and benefits.