Greener Times

Promoting a sustainable society…one day at a time.

GT for January 12 – 18

Posted by Trey Smith on January 11, 2009

Greener Times for the Week of January 12 – 18

Volume 3 No. 39

an e-publication for Greens anywhere and everywhere

Trey Smith – Publisher/Editor
Tom Herring, Duff Badgley & Maryrose Asher – Columnists

In This Week’s Issue
* Greens Blast EPA Over TVA Coal Ash Spill
* The Technology Cult & Obama’s Agenda
* Thoughts By the Way: Ripple Rock
* Our Climate Crisis: Obama & Our Biofuels Nightmare
* Un-Spinning the Spin: 26 Things To Do to Bring Peace with Justice in Gaza
* This Week in History
* Letters to the Editor — On the PSE Sell Out
* Pencil Shavings: Global Warming, Maybe?
* News You May Have Missed

Greens Blast EPA Over TVA Coal Ash Spill
Green Party leaders strongly criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s response to the recent spill of 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash from the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Plant.

“The EPA has failed to follow through on its stated intention to regulate coal ash as hazardous waste,” said Frank Jeffers of the Green Party’s Eco-Action Committee. “Nationwide, how big is this mess? Very very big. There are thousands of coal waste sites all over the country, and when it comes to coal wastes, you can figure about anything that could be in it, is in it.”

According to a December 29 article in The New York Times, byproducts from the Kingston plant in just one year include “45,000 pounds of arsenic, 49,000 pounds of lead, 1.4 million pounds of barium, 91,000 pounds of chromium and 140,000 pounds of manganese. Those metals can cause cancer, liver damage and neurological complications, among other health problems.”

As a result of the spill, the toxins have now been poured into a 400 acre area, rendering the land uninhabitable.

Greens called the spill a preventable disaster, noting that if the EPA had implemented its recommendation in 2000 to label coal ash as a hazardous waste, the coal ash would have been contained in a pond with a composite liner system.

According to the Times article, the EPA backed off this recommendation “in the face of industry opposition, promising instead to issue national guidelines for proper ash disposal, though it never did.”

“The enforcement of such guidelines is not optional. Safe drinking water standards are not optional. Such cowardice in the face of industry pressure is unacceptable. Americans deserve a strong advocate for their health and the health of their environment,” said Linda Cree, co-chair of the Eco-Action Committee.

Greens called on President-elect Obama’s chosen EPA administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, to:

  • Label coal ash as hazardous waste
  • Retrofit all coal ash ponds and coal ash landfills with composite liner systems
  • Require a complete and accurate inventory of coal combustion waste (CCW) sites, including abandoned sites
  • Issue public advisories on the hazards posed to communities by all CCW sites
  • Relocate and reimburse local residents impacted by the sludge
  • Mitigate damage to local water supplies and establish a local environmental advocate to monitor water quality

Green Party leaders said that the sheer size of the Kingston coal ash spill, estimated to be more than 40 times larger than the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, is evidence that the US should begin to phase out the use of coal to generate electricity.

The Green Party has long advocated phasing out existing coal plants and a ban on new ones, part of an aggressive national policy based on conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy. See the Green Party EcoAction Committee’s “First 100 Days Energy and Environmental Policy”.

“With more than 400 coal power plants in the US, the odds of a disaster of this magnitude occurring again are alarmingly high. To safeguard our shared natural heritage, we must adopt the EPA’s prior recommendation that coal ash be treated as hazardous waste and contained as such. Anything less, in the face of foreseeable catastrophe, is irresponsible,” said Art Browning, member of the Harris County (Texas) Green Party and producer of Greenwatch Live! (Houston Public Access TV). Mr. Browning witnessed the dangerous effects of fly ash from a coal-fired electricity generation plant in Kingston, Tennessee, where he grew up.

The Technology Cult & Obama’s Agenda
By Peter Crabb for Culture Change

Among the “changes we can believe in” proposed by President-elect Barack Obama is his support for a 21st century technological infrastructure. The plan calls for spending hundreds of billions of dollars on hardware, software, and regulation, all orchestrated by a new Chief Technology Officer.

The tone of Obama’s technology agenda is frankly evangelical. According to his transition team, “Barack Obama understands the immense transformative power of technology and innovation and how they can improve the lives of all Americans.” Technology is the new religion and offers the salvation we’ve been seeking.

This is nothing new. Presidential politics have long been intertwined with technology in ways that are both symbolic and concrete. In a shrewd move intended to shift public attention away from the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, John F. Kennedy announced a startling plan to put astronauts on the moon. Thus began the cult of space flight and the squandering of enormous resources on frivolous engineering spectacle. And we were in awe.

Consider the message of transformation and salvation embedded in just two of the technofixes proposed by Obama’s transition team:

(1) “Use health information technology to lower the cost of health care.”

Oh, really? Anyone who works with IT knows that more technology always means increased costs. The most cost-effective and scientifically proven route to good health is diet, exercise, and a clean environment — not more technology! Ironically, the additional computer work promised by the Obama plan will mean more carpal tunnel syndrome, more eye strain, more obesity, and more back problems for the lucky folks who are hired to implement it.

(2) “Advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in-hybrids, promote development of commercial-scale renewable energy, and begin transition to a new digital electricity grid. This investment will transform the economy and create 5 million new jobs.”

And you probably thought the way to go was to conserve energy, use fewer cars, and produce energy locally! This plan for increased growth in energy use will only accelerate our rush toward economic and environmental collapse.

Implicit in these proposals is the demand that we have blind faith in technology. Questioning the means of production is simply off the table. When economies were based on animal power, there probably weren’t a lot of PETA activists making noise about animal rights, just as when economies were based on slave labor there probably weren’t a lot of John Browns agitating for abolition. In the same way, our present economy based on energy-intensive technology forbids critical inquiry into the wisdom and morality of how we are making our livings. Technology self-evidently works, so why look a gift machine in the mouth? [Try this exercise: go to the IT department where you work and ask, “Does technology really save time and effort? Does it really solve more problems than it creates? Isn’t all of this stuff harmful to the environment and our health?” I bet they look at you like you like you are from Mars.]

At the risk of blasphemy, my question is, “If technology does work, to what end?” Engineers, of course, ensure that technologies do what they are intended to do. Beyond the box, though, is a whole cascade of unintended ecological and behavioral effects that receive no attention at all. Did Henry Ford foresee the pollution, the noise, the landscapes devastated by roads, and the routinized carnage that his cars brought us? Probably not. But he could have had he only asked a few simple questions.

There was a brief moment in history when the U.S. government actually paid some attention to the social and environmental consequences of technologies. Congress’s short-lived Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) evaluated technologies in terms of their appropriateness for government administration and public welfare. The OTA did not quite have a consumer protection mandate, but it was definitely an attempt to understand the public implications of new technologies. Unfortunately, the OTA was defunded in 1995 by the Republican Revolution led by Newt Gingrich, darling of the military-industrial complex. It is noteworthy that there is no mention of technology assessment in Obama’s technology policy statement. Have faith.

If government won’t question technology, what about scientists and engineers? They are in an excellent position to test for the broader ecological impacts of technologies. But they don’t. Like the typical teenage gamer, professional scientists and engineers are true believers. It wouldn’t occur to most of them to question whether a technology is good for society or the environment because they depend for their livelihoods on a constant stream of bigger, better, and more expensive software and equipment. Those who do dare to raise doubts about technology quickly find that the doors are closed to research funding and publication in journals.

The acolytes are doing their jobs splendidly on behalf of the technology cult. Unsustainable technology thrives on unquestioning faith, active recruitment of young people, and marginalization of nonbelievers. While people are lost in their states of technobeatitude, the sobering reality will be a headlong march toward more energy use, more nonrenewable resource depletion, more pollution, more pavement, more habitat destruction and species extinction, more surveillance, more bailouts and give-aways at taxpayer expense, and more technotyranny by government and industry.

If there is one silver lining in all of this, it is that the enormous budget deficit that Obama inherits from his predecessor may very well make spending on these projects impossible. We can only hope.

Peter Crabb is Associate Professor of Psychology at Pennsylvania State University-Hazleton. He is a social psychologist whose research looks at the impact of technologies on social behavior and personality. He leads a low-tech, low-impact way of life in rural eastern Pennsylvania.

Thoughts By the Way: Ripple Rock
Tom Herring is a Community Council member on Vashon Island. Catch more of Tom’s thoughts on his blog.

Gaza, oh, Gaza, blasted from obscurity by the mightiest military consortium on earth. Why? Zionist Jews committing genocide on their Arab cousins, why? Jehovah knows it’s not the rockets. Richard Falk probes the murk to end up with this reason:

There are two conclusions that emerge: the people of Gaza are being severely victimized for reasons remote from the rockets and border security concerns, but seemingly to improve election prospects of current leaders now facing defeat, and to warn others in the region that Israel will use overwhelming force whenever its interests are at stake.

Noted. Now tell me how it comes to be that Zionism is so brutal. In search of the root I back off far enough from this screen to take in the Holocaust and the Carboniferous Period. Let’s say Christ came, took one look and found the oil. Knowing that there would be strife, he tried to show the local semitic tribes the path to charity. He was crucified for his efforts and twelve tribes got blamed for it, so much so that they had to leave and roam the diaspora. This experience gave them a unique skill at surviving by which they evolved into possibly the most creative race on earth. Many resented, and resent, the Jews. This made it easy for Hitler to use them as targets in his conquest for power. The degree of cruelty he was able to instill in his followers – clinical experiments in the US have shown how this is done – the degree of cruelty established a standard for hypocrites the world over to prove them virtuous. Not like Hitler.

This cruelty has been put forward to explain Zionist’s overreaction to affront – the abused abuses. But if so, why is it that those survivors of the Holocaust who did not yearn for Zion, who came here, went there, not to Palestine, those, have not evinced the slightest bent toward cruelty? So what seems to be the situation with Israel is that some Jews who have always wanted to re-write the Bible were given the chance by Britain to elbow the Palestinians aside, so to give the West a beachhead in petro-land. In the beginning oil, then oil, now, oil. No oil, no wall. What is happening in Gaza is a nice little proxy for Britain and the US to maintain the beachhead. The original obsession of the Zionists is proving to be most useful.

But does oil explain why a nation of motherhood and apple pie and purple mountain majesties and freedom could countenance such evil. (means able to look at it without gagging) I do think that even at this late date we do not realize the power and inhumanity of the US oligarchy. If we did, then we would not waste time nipping at heels. The kind of action that’s called for is illustrated by the story of ripple rock:

Ripple Rock was a submerged twin-peak mountain that lay just nine feet beneath the surface of Seymour Narrows in British Columbia. The current there reaches up to 17 miles an hour. Ripple Rock sank 120 vessels and took 114 lives. It earned a reputation as the fiercest, and arguably, the most dangerous area for nautical navigation in North America. (from Wikipedia)

As early as 1931, a Marine Commission recommended removing Ripple Rock, but it was not until 1942 that the government authorized attempts to remove it. There was political opposition to the destruction of Ripple Rock, as some felt it would serve well as a bridge support to connect Vancouver Island to the mainland.

The first attempts at planting explosive charges on Ripple Rock were made with floating drilling barges with the goal of blasting away the rock in pieces. The first, in 1943, was secured with six 3.8 cm steel cables attached to anchors that altogether weighed 998 metric tons. This approach was abandoned when one cable broke on average every 48 hours. Another attempt in 1945, involving two large overhead steel lines was similarly abandoned after only 93 (out of 1500 planned) controlled explosions were successful.

In 1953, the National Research Council of Canada commissioned a feasibility study on the idea of planting a large explosive charge underneath the peaks by drilling vertical and horizontal shafts from Maud Island . Based on the study, this approach was recommended. The project cost in excess of 3 million Canadian dollars. Between November 1955, and April 1958, a three-shift operation involving an average of 75 men gouged a 174 meter vertical shaft from Maud Island, a 762 meter horizontal shaft to the base of Ripple Rock, and two main 91 meter vertical shafts into the twin peaks, from which “coyote” shafts were drilled for the explosives. 1,270 metric tons of Nitramex 2H explosives were placed in these shafts, estimated at ten times the amount needed for a similar explosion above water. The explosion took place at 9:31:02 am on April 5, 1958. 635,000 metric tons of rock and water was displaced by the explosion, sending debris 300 meters in the air.

Our Climate Crisis: Obama & Our Biofuels Nightmare
Duff Badgley is the leader of the One Earth Climate Action Group and was a candidate for Governor as a Green in 2008. He can be reached at 206-283-0621.

Barack Obama is setting the stage for a biofuels nightmare-while we applaud it as a way out of our current economic recession. In his January 8 speech, Obama asked Congress “to act without delay” to pass legislation that included doubling alternative energy production in the next three years.

The nightmare begins like this: Our best climate scientist, Jim Hansen, recently made a personal appeal directly to Obama. Hansen called for Obama to match his words about our Climate Crisis with his actions. Obama followed with his January 8 speech.

Hansen’s major point to Obama: “a phasing out of coal-fired power stations – which Hansen calls “factories of death'”.

Bravo! But wait. What lies behind no coal-fired power? What is no politician, and almost no climate leader of any kind, saying? Answer: Radically reduced consumption by Americans (and all Industrial World citizens) will follow radically curtailed energy production. Except, if we radically ramp up production of so-called ‘alternative energy’ production. And cloak it with jingoistic phrases like ‘energy independence’ and ‘green jobs’. See Obama’s January 8 speech. Obama doesn’t call for phasing out coal. But he bristles with ‘clean energy economy’ phrases.

Here comes our nightmare.

Obama has a hideous record on biofuels. He has long championed corn ethanol in defiance of science and reason. He nominated another corn ethanol devotee, Tom Vilsack, to be his Agriculture Secretary. His Energy Secretary nominee, Steven Chu, talks of dedicating 50 million acres to ‘energy crops’ for producing cellulosic ethanol to keep our gas tanks full.

Obama acts like he thinks he is under twin pressures to perform: from his Planet in Peril campaign speeches and from the recession. To ‘fix’ both, what’s to keep him from subjecting us and the entire Earth to a biofuels nightmare—biofuels that are massively worsening our Climate Crisis while they spread starvation around the world?

Biofuels are gutting our present and future, in the name of saving them.

Will Obama increase the already obscenely high federal subsidies to biofuels? Will he fuse planet-ruining biofuels to solar and wind and wave power?

The nightmarish pieces are in place.

Please stand ready to resist.

Un-Spinning the Spin: 26 Things To Do to Bring Peace with Justice in Gaza
Maryrose Asher is a former Chair of the Green Party of Washington State and a tireless activist of many causes.

Read Maryrose’s GT Web Exclusive, “Countering US-Israel Propaganda Regarding Gaza”.

1. First get the facts and then disseminate them. Click here is some basic background information.

The true story behind this war

If Gaza Falls

Gaza massacres must spur us to action

2. Contact local media. Write letters to editors (usually 100-150 words) and longer op-eds (usually 600-800 words) for local newspapers. But also write to news departments in both print, audio, and visual media about their coverage. In the US: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/media/. You can find media listings in your country using search engines like google.

3.  Contact elected and other political leaders in your country to urge them to apply pressure to end the attacks. In the US, Contact the State Department at 202-647-5291, the White House 202-456-1111, the Egyptian Embassy 202-895-5400, Email (embassy@egyptembassy.net) and the Obama Transition Team 202-540-3000 (then press 2 to speak with a staff member).

4. Organize and join demonstrations in front of Israeli and Egyptian embassies or when not doable in front of your parliament, office of elected officials, and any other visible place (and do media work for it).

5. Hold a teach-in, seminar, public dialog, documentary, film viewing, etc. this is straightforward: you need to decide venue, nature, if any speakers, and do some publicity (the internet helps).

6. Pass out fliers with facts and figures about Palestine and Gaza in your community (make sure also to mention its relevance to the audience: e.g, US taxpayers paying for the carnage, increase in world instability and economic uncertainty)

7.  Put a Palestinian flag at your window.

8.  Wear a Palestinian head scarf (Koufiya)

9.  Wear Black arm bands (this helps start conversations with people)

10. Send direct aid to Gaza through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

11. Initiate boycotts, divestments and sanctions at all levels and including asking leaders to expel the Israeli ambassadors (an ambassador of an apartheid and rogue state). See Palestinian call.

12. Work towards bringing Israeli leaders before war crime courts (actions along those lines in courts have stopped Israeli leaders from traveling abroad to some countries like Britain where they may face charges)

13. Calling upon all Israelis to demonstrate in front of their war ministry and to more directly challenge their government

14. Do outreach: to neighbors and friends directly. Via Internet to a lot of others (you can join and post information to various listservs/groups).

15. Start your own activist group or join other local groups (simple search in your city with the word Palestine could identify candidate groups that have previously worked on issues of Palestine). Many have also been successful in at bringing coalitions from different constituencies in their local areas to work together (human rights group, social and civil activists, religious activists, etc).

16. Develop a campaign of sit-ins at government offices or other places where decision makers aggregate

17. Do a group fast for peace one day and hold it in a public place

18. Visit Palestine (e.g. with http://www.sirajcenter.org)

19. Support human rights and other groups working on the ground in Palestine

20. Make large signs and display them at street corners and where ever people congregate.

21. Contact local churches, mosques, synagogues, and other houses of worship and ask them to take a moral stand and act. Call on your mosque to dedicate this Friday for Gaza actions.

22.  Sign petitions for Gaza.

23.  Write and call people in Gaza, they need to hear from the outside world

24. Work with other groups that do not share your political views (factionalism and excessive divisions within activist communities allowed those who advocate war to succeed).

25. Dedicate a certain time for activism for peace every day (1 hour) and think of more actions than what are listed above.

26.  Urge your local radio talk shows and news editors to call any of us here in Palestine to report live what is happening on the ground.

For support and contacts of people in Gaza or to volunteer, please contact the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People, via gaza@imemc.org, or call +1-989-607-9480 (from the US and Canada) or +972-2-277-2018 (from other places).

This Week in History
This Week in History, published by Carl Bunin and edited by Al Frank, is a collection designed to help us appreciate the fact that we are part of a rich history advocating peace and social justice. While the entries often focus on large and dramatic events there are so many smaller things done everyday to promote peace and justice. Find more info at http://www.peacebuttons.info/E-News/thisweek.htm.

January 12, 1987: Twenty West German judges were arrested for blockading the U.S. Air Force base at Mutlangen, West Germany where Pershing missiles were being deployed. Judge Ulf Panzer stated: “Fifty years ago, during the time of Nazi fascism, we judges and prosecutors allegedly ‘did not know anything.’ By closing our eyes and ears, our hearts and minds, we became a docile instrument of suppression, and many judges committed cruel crimes under the cloak of the law. We have been guilty of complicity. Today we are on the way to becoming guilty again, to being abused again. By our passivity, but also by applying laws, we legitimize terror: nuclear terror. Today we do know…”

January 14, 1942: President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Presidential Proclamation No. 2537, which required aliens from World War II enemy countries – Italy, Germany and Japan – to register with the United States Department of Justice. Registered persons received a “Certificate of Identification for Aliens of Enemy Nationality.” This proclamation facilitated the beginning of full-scale internment of Japanese Americans the following month.

January 17, 1893: Queen Lili`uokalani of the independent kingdom of Hawai`i was overthrown as she was arrested at gunpoint by U.S. Marines. American businessmen, particularly sugar plantation owners, led by Lorrin Thurston, had supported annexation of the islands to the United States. The Queen had been working on a new constitution that would restore voting rights to native Hawaiians. A new provisional government was installed with Dole as president. The troops had landed the day before, providing support “to protect American lives and property.” In 1898, Pres. William McKinley signed a joint resolution of Congress authorizing the annexation.

Letters to the Editor
Got something you want to get off your chest? Did an article in a previous edition of Greener Times make you madder than a hornet or cause you to stand up to say, “Right on!”? Well, this space is reserved each week for your comments and opinions.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) approved the sell out of Puget Energy, Inc. and Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to Puget Holdings, a Delaware corporation, on December 30, 2008. Puget Holdings is owned by the Macquarie Group, a foreign owned venture that’s been likened by some to a huge ponzi scheme.

How could this happen in view of the overwhelming public sentiment against the sell out?

PSE has lavished hundreds of thousands of customer dollars on political contributions to Washington state legislators over the last several election cycles. Republicans, Democrats, political party made no difference. And all the politicians had to do was nothing. Not a single one spoke out against the sell out, thought by many to be against the public interest.

Governor Christine Gregoire received $4,700, Jeff Morris received $1,600 in 2008 alone and Attorney General Rob McKenna received $2,150. They joined the approximately 95 Washington state legislators and officials who reported receiving contributions from PSE. Again, not a single one raised any questions concerning the sell out.

PSE also spent untold advertising dollars with the Skagit Valley Herald for multiple full page ads extolling the virtues of PSE. The Skagit Valley Herald failed to raise the alarm concerning any of the perceived downsides to the PSE sell out. Additionally, Steve Reynolds, PSE CEO will reportedly receive $20,000,000 as a reward for engineering the sell out of PSE to Macquarie.

There’s still a chance that Simon Ffitch, Public Counsel with the Attorney General’s office will file an appeal to the Superior Court objecting to the sell out, but I wouldn’t bet on it with his boss receiving $2,150 in political contributions from PSE.

Many of us believe that we must support clean election laws to eliminate the corrupting influence (or appearance) of money on Washington politics.

Howard Pellett
5293 Guemes Island Road
Anacortes, WA 98221
360-293-8128

Pencil Shavings: Global Warming, Maybe?
Pencil Shavings appears in this space most weeks and solely represents the opinions of the publisher. If you’d like to read more of Trey’s ruminations, visit The Rambling Taoist.

My wife and I have lived in South Bend for a little less than 1 1/2 years. Before that, we lived about the same amount of time just north of here in Aberdeen. During our relatively brief time on the southwest Washington coast, we’ve encounter 4 — count ’em 4 — historic weather events! For all those who think global warming is nothing more than liberal claptrap, I’d suggest they move to my region. After living here a year or two, I’m confident they’d sing a far different tune.

During our first year in Aberdeen (Spring 2006), we had street flooding that locals told me was far greater than anyone could ever remember. Franklin Park — just down the street from our rented house — is a sunken park used for rain catchment in the “wet” season, October – March. While there had been several occasions in which the park almost filled up completely, no one could remember a time when it had overflowed into the surrounding neighborhood. And that’s exactly what it did!

Since moving to South Bend in August 2007, we’ve experienced the greatest wind storm on record (December 2007 — gusts to 150 mph), the greatest snowfall on record (December 2008 — nearly 18″ over several days) and the greatest one day rainfall total (Jan. 7, 2009 — 10.91 inches!). Re the latter, we’re already 10+ inches ABOVE NORMAL for the month of January with 3 potentially rainy weeks to go!!

If these various weather events occurred over a 10 or 20 year period, then I might agree that each represented a stray radar blip in the typical ebb and flow of climatic patterns in this region. But they have each happened within less than 2 years. What are the odds of that?

Me thinks the odds are infinitesimally small, if not for GLOBAL WARMING. Unfortunately, it’s beginning to look like these sorts of weather events are becoming the norm, not the exception.

Who knows? The way things are going the next weather event on our calendar may be a major tornado (we almost NEVER have tornadoes here), tsunami or a plague of locusts!!!

News You May Have Missed

Blame Recurring Floods on a Triple Whammy
2006: Flooding throughout Western Washington shuts highways, causes power outages and forces scores of residents to flee their homes. A state of emergency blankets 18 counties. 2007: Flooding closes Interstate 5 in Lewis County and sends rescuers in rafts to evacuate Seattle apartment houses and homes. 2008-09: A massive snowstorm blankets the region, soaking the ground and feeding landslides when the snow is followed by torrential rains. Interstate 5 closes and tens of thousands of residents head for emergency shelters. Is this becoming an annual exercise? And if so, what’s to blame? Development? Logging? Climate change? The answer is all three, to some degree, in different places around the region, and at different times…

Think Again: Climate Change
Act now, we’re told, if we want to save the planet from a climate catastrophe. Trouble is, it might be too late. The science is settled, and the damage has already begun. The only question now is whether we will stop playing political games and embrace the few imperfect options we have left…

Climate Change Threatens Pacific, Arctic Conflicts
Climate change and rising sea levels pose one of the biggest threats to security in the Pacific and may also spark a global conflict over energy reserves under melting Arctic ice, according to Australia’s military. A confidential security review by Australia’s Defense Force, completed in 2007 but obtained in summary by the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, said environmental stress had increased the risk of conflicts in the Pacific over resources and food. But the biggest threat of global conflict currently lay beneath the Arctic as melting icecaps gave rise to an international race for undersea oil and gas deposits, it said…

Is Free-Market Fundamentalism Immoral?
Many authors, critical of neoliberalism [free-market fundamentalism], maintain that the neoliberal economic system is amoral since it is based on individual profit and selfishness only. One may wonder whether the current economic crisis does not demonstrate that this system is even completely immoral…

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