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People Before Profits • Stop Foreclosures • Break Up Big Finance • End the Wars
Updated: 1 hour 7 min ago

BP And Big Oil Drive Society Over The “Climate Cliff”

August 20, 2018 - 3:00pm
At the end of July, as the American wildfires began to take hold in California, British oil giant BP made its biggest financial deal in nearly twenty years. In retrospect it would have been hugely symbolic if one of the largest oil companies in the world, BP, which had so badly devastated the Gulf of Mexico eight years earlier with the Deepwater Horizon spill, had taken this moment to say it was investing in renewables. All you had to do was look at the flames burning – and listen to the experts saying this was climate change in action –  to know that urgent action was needed. But BP did not do that. As Reuters reported, BP agreed to buy U.S. “shale oil and gas assets from global miner BHP Billiton for $10.5 billion, expanding the British oil major’s footprint in some of the nation’s most productive oil basins”. That’s a whopping $10 billion invested in more climate failure.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

Farmers Are Drawing Groundwater From The Giant Ogallala Aquifer Faster Than Nature Replaces It

August 20, 2018 - 1:00pm
Every summer the U.S. Central Plains go dry, leading farmers to tap into groundwater to irrigate sorghum, soy, cotton, wheat and corn and maintain large herds of cattle and hogs. As the heat rises, anxious irrigators gather to discuss whether and how they should adopt more stringent conservation measures. They know that if they do not conserve, the Ogallala Aquifer, the source of their prosperity, will go dry. The Ogallala, also known as the High Plains Aquifer, is one of the largest underground freshwater sources in the world. It underlies an estimated 174,000 square miles of the Central Plains and holds as much water as Lake Huron. It irrigates portions of eight states, from Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska in the north to Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas in the south.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

CEO Compensation Surged In 2017

August 19, 2018 - 2:00pm
This report looks at trends in chief executive officer (CEO) compensation, using two different measures. The first measure includes stock options realized (in addition to salary, bonuses, restricted stock grants, and long-term incentive payouts). By this measure, in 2017 the average CEO of the 350 largest firms in the U.S. received $18.9 million in compensation, a 17.6 percent increase over 2016. The typical worker’s compensation remained flat, rising a mere 0.3 percent. The 2017 CEO-to-worker compensation ratio of 312-to-1 was far greater than the 20-to-1 ratio in 1965 and more than five times greater than the 58-to-1 ratio in 1989
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

Socialists Need To Fight For Economic Change — Not Just Another Version Of Capitalism

August 18, 2018 - 11:00am
“Socialism” has become the new political buzzword. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) surprised many during his 2016 presidential run by winning the votes of millions as an explicitly “socialist” candidate. In 2018 we’re seeing a rash of candidates running on socialist tickets. Most high-profile of these is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was propelled into the public eye ? along with her progressive policies like job guarantees and universal, single-payer health care ? following her unexpected victory against veteran incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in a New York Democratic primary. In contrast, capitalism, once defended as a seemingly unassailable ideology, is showing deep fractures. While the U.S. economy booms, “workers have been getting ripped off,” a New York Times editorial said in August.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

Campaign For Los Angeles’s Public Bank Gets Into Full Swing

August 17, 2018 - 12:00pm
November’s Public Banking ballot initiative will allow the citizens of Los Angeles to vote on the first step to creating a city-owned bank. Public Bank LA, along with an overflowing room of community groups and advocates, launched their action campaign July 28 for creating public support for the ballot measure. Chair Ellen Brown and Suzanne O’Keeffe from Public Banking Institute were there in support. …Advocates were presented with a detailed plan that includes community outreach, political outreach, street art, field strategy into neighborhoods, and media. The campaign is designed to communicate the benefits of public banking, answer questions, and generate excitement around freeing the City from Wall Street and using the power of a bank to benefit the people of Los Angeles.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

Writing The Next Chapter In NYC’s Cooperative History

August 17, 2018 - 11:00am
My name is Mike Sandmel. I’m here from NYC where I was born, have lived most of my life, and where I organize for economic democracy and cooperative development with a group called New Economy Project. We’re a citywide economic justice organization founded in 1995. We’re fighting, in close partnership with community-based groups throughout the city, for a new economy vision of economic development, grounded in racial and economic justice. NYC is a really interesting place to do New Economy organizing. It’s full of contradictions and opportunity, deep inequality and a history not just of popular mobilization but of building community-controlled economic institutions. In the late 19th century, when my immigrant great grandparents were working in Manhattan sweatshops, unions like the Knights of Labor invested heavily in organizing worker cooperatives all over the city.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

Why The U.S. Needs More Worker-Owned Companies

August 17, 2018 - 11:00am
The gap in wealth in the United States between the ultrawealthy and everyone else has reached its widest point in decades. One way to narrow the divide is through the use of worker buyouts, in which ownership of a company transfers from a single person or a small number of people to the workers of the company. Currently, about 10% of Americans hold equity stakes in their workplaces. By providing more workers and employees with opportunities to buy shares, companies can help workers and communities raise their standard of living and simultaneously feel more invested — literally — in the success of the enterprise. In that way, worker buyouts also increase firms’ competitiveness: Research suggests that employee-owned companies are more durable and resilient during economic downturns.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

If Ireland Can Get Out Of Fossil Fuels, Your Town Can Too

August 16, 2018 - 9:00am
On Thursday, July 12th, a small, rainy island in the North Atlantic proved it was on the right side of history. The Republic of Ireland passed a bill to divest its $370 million worth of investments in around 150 fossil fuel companies within five years. Should the bill pass the Irish Senate in September, which it is expected to do, Ireland will become the first country to fully divest from fossil fuels. This action marks a huge step forward. For years now, neighborhood climate activists have pressured cities, universities, and governments to divest their holdings in fossil fuel companies. The idea is to defund and denounce the industry that contributes the most to climate change, funds climate denial, and prevents climate action. With its divestment bill, Ireland will join a group of almost 900 cities, universities, and governments that have collectively divested over $6 trillion from the extractive fossil fuel economy.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News

Russia Backs Non-Dollar Trade With Turkey, No Promise Of Help Amid Lira Crisis

August 16, 2018 - 9:00am
“The use of national currencies for mutual trade has for several years been one of the tasks that the presidents of Russia and Turkey had set,” Lavrov told a joint news conference with Cavusoglu in Ankara. “Identical processes have been happening in our relations with Iran. Not only with Turkey and Iran, we’re also arranging and already implementing payments in national currencies with the People’s Republic of China,” he said. “I am confident that the grave abuse of the role of the U.S. dollar as a global reserve currency will result over time in the weakening and demise of its role,” Lavrov said, echoing statements made by President Vladimir Putin. However, Lavrov did not announce any immediate commitment to drop the dollar in trade with Turkey or provide it with financial aid, leaving observers guessing if the two countries, both hit by U.S. sanctions, have agreed on any bilateral deal.
Categories: Friends of GEO, SE News