Attention YOU’RE TOO PC, THE WORLD’S GONE MAD, THERE ARE STARVING GIRL CHILDREN ON THE MOON concern trolls, your favourite argument has been debunked.
Shell reported it had doubled its third-quarter profits to more than $7bn (£4.4bn) and triggered a major share buyback programme after being helped by an increase in production from the tar sands of Canada as well as its North Sea fields.
Exxon raised net income in the three-month period by more than 40% to $10.3bn over 12 months ago, even though its production fell by its heaviest level for three years. The company reported sales of $125bn – or nearly $1.4bn a day.
The two oil groups – the largest in Europe and the US respectively – are collectively pumping nearly $70bn a year into new projects, including some in highly sensitive areas such as the Arctic.
Expansion of a controversial Canadian plant at Athabasca, Alberta, meant Shell and its partners were able to produce 255,000 barrels a day of tar-sands oil, in a development that will raise its own carbon dioxide contribution from the sector to more than 3.7m tonnes a year.
Shell plans further increases in output from the tar sands in a project set to run for 40 years, despite mounting opposition from environmentalists. The company’s share of tar sands production has been raised to 153,000 barrels so far – meaning it now accounts for around 5% of total corporate output.
Simon Henry, Shell’s financial director, said the carbon impact would be diluted in future by Shell pressing ahead with a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project backed by both regional and national governments.” —
And yet we must protest these new environmental regulations. Intolerable, I tell you.
North Sea oil spill risk ‘unacceptably high, The Guardian.
bell hooks (via kdhume)
Such a good and important point. Though we need to be careful not to let that critique be used to shame women who do choose to marry. Cause, really.
I’m going to start doing pull-quote roundups of the million billion articles I link to and retweet on Twitter. I think this is the only way I’m going to be able to keep track of things, because my god. I read a lot. I follow a lot of people. JFC.
Salon: Why can’t we say empire?, David Sirota.
Crowley bridles at the idea that America’s long history of geopolitical aspirations, invasions, occupations and various extensions of power is part of an imperial project. Instead, we are told that it’s all just one “liberal hegemonic project” (as if alleged liberalism somehow makes it a “hegemonic project” not an “imperial project”). Yet, even beyond this almost overt contradiction of himself, his examples betray what really drives American foreign policy.
The World Trade Organization, for example, uses the imperial threat of sanctions to help American corporate interests trample the will of local governments in order to exploit host nations for profit. Likewise, the United Nations — which certainly does a lot of good, important work — is still structurally rigged with a security council to make sure America has outsize imperial influence in proportion to its population.
While Crowley is correct that “a lot of democracies have come into the world in the last 30, 40, 50 years,” many of those democracies have emerged in spite of America’s imperial ambitions — not because of America’s non-imperial benevolence (think: Latin American democracies emerging in the face of Reagan administration meddling, or Egypt’s move toward democracy in spite of the Obama administration’s backing of dictator Hosni Mubarak). Additionally, more democracies might have come into the world if the U.S. hadn’t been propping up dictators.
Mother Jones: Rich People Create Jobs!, Kevin Drum
For the first four years of his presidency, Franklin Roosevelt tackled the Great Depression with inflation, easy monetary policy, and government spending. But in 1937, FDR’s advisers persuaded him to reverse gears. After all, interest rates had been close to zero for years, commodity prices were climbing, and fear of inflation was on the rise.
What happened next is now called the “Mistake of 1937” (PDF). Federal spending was cut and monetary policy was tightened up, with disastrous results: GDP immediately began to plummet, and industrial production fell by a third. Within a year everyone had had enough. In 1938 the austerity program was abandoned, and the economy started to grow again.
The truth is that stimulus worked in 1933 and it worked in 2009. So why is our economy still in such bad shape? For one, partly due to political considerations and partly because it was rushed through Congress, the 2009 stimulus wasn’t as well designed as it could have been. It was also sold badly. If the bill passed, administration economists predicted, unemployment would peak at 8 percent and then start declining (PDF). But the recession was far worse than the White House originally thought. Unemployment peaked in the double digits, and that’s made the stimulus a fat target for Republican critics ever since.
The Walrus: Against Wall Street, Christopher Watt
Christopher WattI assume there is competition within any protest movement to define its collective principles. Is that fair to say?
Ryan Hoffman: We’ve got tons of people with opinions and they’re angry. Getting them to agree is difficult. But the process we set up is about cooperation, not competition. Cooperation is going to be difficult; it’s a constant check of your ego. You have to take the time to hear where other people are coming from. Someone might make a point that you disagree with, but upon talking with them, you might come around to say, “I agree with this part of it, and I disagree with the other stuff.” Then we take the important parts and make a synthesis, and that’s a beautiful thing when that happens. It really is.
Christopher Watt: You talk about the constant ego check as this thing proceeds… but you went on Olbermann. Can we talk about media and promotion for the movement, and about how you avoid getting into ego-minded self-promotion?
Ryan Hoffman: It’s an interesting dichotomy: the constant ego-check for idealism, then going on Olbermann. Two different things. I take pride in taking an initiative on the Declaration of the Occupation, but I’m also enough of a realist to say that the declaration wouldn’t be what it is if I didn’t have my working group to help edit it, if I didn’t have my [general assembly] to help amplify it, if I didn’t have everyone around me saying this speaks for all of us, and that’s what 100 percent consensus means. Basically, the GA has adopted the document to speak for all of us, so the only pride I have is for the process that allows that to happen. But the media can only have one or two people on [each] show, and I feel that the skill set I bring is as follows: I can write and I can speak somewhat articulately, and I think I’m a good servant to the GA to express everybody’s overall sympathies.
Oh NYT. This was a delicious take down.
Take first the central premise–that an fMRI experiment could help determine whether iPhones are no less addictive than alcohol or cocaine. The tacit assumption here is that all the behavioral evidence you could muster–say, from people’s reports about how they use their iPhones, or clinicians’ observations about how iPhones affect their users–isn’t sufficient to make that determination; to “really, truly” know if something’s addictive, you need to look at what the brain is doing when people think about their iPhones. This idea is absurd inasmuch as addiction is defined on the basis of its behavioral consequences, not (right now, anyway) by the presence or absence of some biomarker. What makes someone an alcoholic is the fact that they’re dependent on alcohol, have trouble going without it, find that their alcohol use interferes with multiple aspects of their day-to-day life, and generally suffer functional impairment because of it–not the fact that their brain lights up when they look at pictures of Johnny Walker red. If someone couldn’t stop drinking–to the point where they lost their job, family, and friends–but their brain failed to display a putative biomarker for addiction, it would be strange indeed to say “well, you show all the signs, but I guess you’re not really addicted to alcohol after all.”
Quick (and dreadfully late) response to Eric’s (It SparklesI) response:
“People are bringing attention to the comics and to the problem at same time, and in the process, finding new allies and enemies.”
Except you’re rewarding your “enemies,” if that’s what they truly are, with exactly what they want: attention and sales.
I’d love to see some evidence to support your contention that fans complaining about sexism in comics continue to buy books that offend them… but I suspect there isn’t much one way or the other, and this is going to be a conversation driven by anecdotal evidence. I mean, yeah, we all know a rageholic fanperson who continues to read Invincible Iron Man, no matter what horrors Matt Fraction visits upon the character (and my god, what horrors), but in my experience, readers who are passionate about social justice do eventually stop reading the crap comics that drive them crazy. That’s not to say they won’t read previews, reviews, and post about the slow slide into Gehenna—they’re still passionate about Iron Man, regardless of what’s happening in his ongoing.
And not only do these people stop buying books that make them rage, they sometimes do so in an organized fashion. There’ve been numerous campaigns—even recently, guys remind me of that latest one?—to buy or not buy books en masse, in order to send publishers a message. It’s not like this kind of consumer activism is alien to comics fandom. But one of the difficulties for folks organizing purchasing power-type campaigns, is reaching readers who aren’t part of the vocal, online comics community. The online comics community is of course dwarfed by the silent majority of readers who don’t congregate on boards or blogs to chat about the latest issue of Tec, and who are perennially out of the loop wrt these conversations. This is where publicity (ie. lots of people posting loudly, eventually getting picked up by journalists) within and outside of the comics community comes in.
I absolutely agree that readers should stop buying garbage comics. Where we part ways is with regard to complaint. Complaint does not drive sales. Complaint does not give my enemies what they want. While it’s true that DC might benefit from the free publicity, it’s just as true that my cause—boo to sexism in comics!—will benefit from SF/F, movie, toon, or casual fans, joining in. These people represent a previously silent portion of comics fandom speaking up, and they deserve to have their say. When I speak up, it sends out a signal to other frustrated readers that they too can and should speak up. It gets people thinking about the aspects of their favourite comics that make them uncomfortable. It opens up new possibilities.
Silently dropping a book makes me feel better, but does nothing for anyone else.