Tag: Oil

A Friendly Critique of the Break Free Climate Actions

Article – Robert J. Burrowes I have enjoyed reading accounts and seeing photos of those committed and courageous climate activists who participated in the recent Break Free from Fossil Fuels actions conducted at various locations in 13 countries from 4-15 May 2016. See ‘Break Free … A Friendly Critique of the Break Free Climate Actions Robert J. Burrowes I have enjoyed reading accounts and seeing photos of those committed and courageous climate activists who participated in the recent Break Free from Fossil Fuels actions conducted at various locations in 13 countries from 4-15 May 2016. See ‘Break Free from Fossil Fuels’. https://breakfree2016.org/ Much of what was done was creative (some of it demonstrating considerable flair) and, mostly, how it was done reflected a sound understanding off nonviolent principles and dynamics to which virtually all activists adhered. In this regard I must acknowledge the thoughtful ‘action agreements’ signed by participating activists, the conduct of nonviolence education workshops, the police liaison, legal briefings and arrest support, and the widespread recognition that secrecy and sabotage have no part to play in nonviolent actions for them to be strategically effective. My friendly criticism is directed at those key organisers who planned the nonviolent actions without understanding how to make the commitment and courage of those who were mobilised have maximum strategic impact on the ongoing climate catastrophe. I understand that it takes phenomenal...

Read More

Fictitious Withdrawals: The Myth of US Disengagement

Column – Binoy Kampmark Nothing happens at the supposedly dazzling do at the World Economic Forum held at Davos at least, of the constructive sort. It is a heavily catered talk bonanza on what people have already agreed to. It has a huge pretence to discuss policy. Fictitious Withdrawals: The Myth of US Disengagement by Dr. Binoy Kampmark January 27, 2013 The United States was blessed among nations. On the north, she had a weak neighbour; on the south, another weak neighbour; on the east, fish; and on the west, fish. Jules Jusserand, French Ambassador to the US, 1910 Nothing happens at the supposedly dazzling do at the World Economic Forum held at Davos – at least, of the constructive sort. It is a heavily catered talk bonanza on what people have already agreed to. It has a huge pretence to discuss policy. This year’s backslapping colloquium even had a touch of star dust in the form of Goldie Hawn and meditation aficionado Matthieu Ricard. But one thing to take away from the conference were remarks made by US Secretary of State John Kerry. He was not pleased. Kerry was slighted by remarks that the United States was disengaging. Relevant questions: how and where? Reasons vary on this purported power withdrawal. Perhaps the US hegemon is getting sated. The strains placed by natural resources are less, given the increased...

Read More

Gordon Campbell on the TPP’s risk to national sovereignty

Column – Gordon Campbell Remember the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, and those scary stories last year about how it would give foreign multinationals the right to sue the countries who sign up to it, if said corporates happen to feel disadvantaged by any laws or regulations … Gordon Campbell on the latest risk to national sovereignty posed by free trade deals by Gordon Campbell Remember the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, and those scary stories last year about how it would give foreign multinationals the right to sue the countries who sign up to it, if said corporates happen to feel disadvantaged by any laws or regulations that governments might pass, or if these multinationals feel annoyed about any rulings made by local courts? Tell it to the Canadians. Canada is currently being sued by a very large US pharmaceutical company called Eli Lilly, because Canadian courts have ruled that Lilly’s patents on two drugs have expired. Lilly disagrees, and is reportedly suing Canada for $500 million in compensation for its losses. The Globe &Mail story on the impending legal action is here. Basically, the Canadian courts have ruled that the Lilly patents – on an ADD treatment called Strattera, and a schizophrenia treatment drug called Zyprexa – have run their course, this opening up the field for generics. Lilly disagrees and is suing Canada under the North...

Read More