IBI Watch 10/9/11

9 10 2011


Too Big to Derail

The media have decided they can’t play dumb.  The Wall Street protests, three weeks old, were pretty much ignored by mainstream media for over a week.  No more.  Big-name speakers have been addressing the growing crowds.  And conservative spinning has also fired up – you see, this is chaotic, disorganized and wacky – unlike their vaunted Tea Party ‘patriots.’  I say – after 30 years of policies that have led to fabulous plenty for the top one percent in America, while everyone else stagnates or suffers, it is about time!


Let’s start with the alleged confusion around the protestors’ aims.  Of course, as expected, conservative pundits have made the most of the seeming vagueness of the group’s complaints and demands.  First link – Keith Olbermann reads a manifesto from the protestors.  And next – Jon Stewart has big fun with media hypocrisy on the story.  Pay special attention when Sean Hannity, that faux populist, takes the screen.




Now – some background on what finally got so many people involved.  First, Andy Kroll explains just how bad the 2000s decade was for everyone but the top 1 percent.  David Morris – of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance – also weighs in.  I like the echoes of Network (‘mad as hell’) and this sentiment – ‘We are the 99 percent.’  Next, two links for those who might need any more convincing that the economic crisis was somehow ‘accidental’ or ‘unforeseen.’  The last link is a trailer for a documentary that you must see – ‘An Inside Job.’






Finally – many influential progressives and liberals see potential in the movement.  Paul Krugman’s column is particularly insightful.  Next, a short, packed speech by Naomi Klein (author of the highly recommended ‘Shock Doctrine.’).  Read the first paragraph to see why Klein had to keep her speech extremely short.  Next, a short video from Bill Maher’s show featuring former Congressman Alan Grayson taking on PJ O’Rourke.  And finally – Jim Hightower, who has been fighting the good progressive fight for decades.






You can support Occupy Wall Street, if you can’t be there.


And a local (Twin Cities) link



Climate Chaos Imperils Oceans

You don’t have to be a wild-eyed environmental extremist to know that the world’s oceans are in trouble.  Collapses in fishing stocks, pollution-generated ‘dead zones’ at the mouths of major rivers, and the massive, diffuse plastic wasteland in the Pacific Ocean have been widely covered.  But what does ocean decline have to do with greenhouse gases and climate change?  Well, everything.  The first link is an excellent story that explains the interaction between our atmosphere, ever ‘richer’ with our greenhouse gases, and the chemical makeup of the oceans.  The second link takes you to a description of a strongly recommended book.  It explains the back story – how this relationship has played out over geological time, and the dangerous game we are playing be refusing to cut our greenhouse emissions.  The third is an organization worthy of support.





Trashing and Thrashing Wildlife – A New Low?

A sickening story hit the Star Tribune this week.  A farmer whose lawyer says he ‘snapped,’ spent several methodical hours stomping pelican nests – destroying thousands of chicks and eggs in all.  Pelicans are a protected species.  Someone who ‘snaps’ might get off a shot, kill an animal or two.  But hours?  Thousands?  And now his lawyer is trying to get him through with no prison time. This kind of willful, massive disregard for nature made me think of sad stories from the past.  The passenger pigeon for instance.  Want to know more about why this matters so much?  Read the excellent book at the third link.  Want to help fight this madness?  Support organizations like those at the fourth and fifth links.







Alternatives Revving Up

While the battle over tar sands oil and pipelines to transport it rages on, progress is happening on the renewable energy front.  Would you believe a solar-powered boat traveling the world?  Second link debunks myths about electric cars.  Third link details progress in mainstreaming wind power.





Passing of a True Visionary

It was easy this week to read about the contributions of Steve Jobs.  But I want to celebrate the contributions of a wise woman who passed the previous week.  Wangari Maathai, founder of the Greenbelt Movement, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.  Her contribution – promoting environmental protection as a way to also protect peace and prosperity.  The world will miss Wangari Maathai – but her legacy lives on.






“We can work together for a better world with men and women of goodwill, those who radiate the intrinsic goodness of humankind.”  – Wangari Maathai




Contributed links to this posting – Jeff Carlson, Allyson Harper




One response

9 10 2011
Louis Wilson

I like to hunt and fish. It is good to know that some people care about our environment.

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