partisans’ grotto sauna in canada features bold sculptural forms...

Nov 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   to sauna in canada features bold sculptural forms all images courtesy of partisans       perched on a private island, north of the canadian city of toronto, this sculpted sauna was constructed using three-dimensional technology to scan, model and build the scheme. designed by local studio partisans, the realized project was the result of comprehensive research informed by the imagining of the space as a ‘grotto’ – a cave-like volume often found near water. the space is imagined as a grotto – a cave-like volume often found near water       the sauna’s interior boasts bold sinuous forms that reference dynamic air movements, as well as providing comfortable and welcoming areas of seating. large apertures offer views across the bay, while a skylight positioned in the roof plane brings natural...

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Paul Krugman Reveals the Culprit Behind the GOP’s Rabid Anti-Environment Stance...

Nov 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]     Economy   AlterNet / By Janet Allon Breathing used to be a non-partisan issue. Here’s what changed. Photo Credit: via YouTube November 28, 2014  |   Since when did breathing clean air become so politicized? It predates President Obama’s recent attempts to install regulations to curb ozone emissions, but not by that much. Paul Krugman takes up the truly bizarre Republican opposition to even the most tepid attempts to protect the environment in Friday’s column and digs deeper to find the root cause. Of course, polluters will defend their right to pollute, he points out, but why can they always depend on Republican support? Some background from Krugman: It wasn’t always thus. The Clean Air Act of 1970,  the legal basis for the Obama administration’s environmental actions, passed the Senate on...

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Walmart’s Bottomless Greed: Dodging Billions in Taxes, Scheming to Avoid Billions More...

Nov 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace   AlterNet / By Steven Rosenfeld, Alyssa Figueroa Rich companies like Walmart want more tax cuts now and in the next Congress. November 19, 2014  | There’s another reason Walmart is known as one of America’s greediest corporations: it won’t pay its fair share of taxes. Walmart Stores is America’s top-earning corporation. In 2013, its revenues were $473 billion, yet it only declared $16 billion in profits. While it has been reported that Americans subsidize Walmart because its low-wage employees receive an estimated $6.2 billion annually in Food Stamps, Medicaid and other anti-poverty benefits, what’s not widely known is that Walmart has parked $21.4 billion in untaxed profits offshore and is currently lobbying to cut U.S. corporate tax rates. “Walmart’s offshore profits have doubled in recent years at...

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8 Horrible Truths About Police Brutality and Racism in America Laid Bare by Ferguson...

Nov 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   Civil Liberties   AlterNet / By Steven Rosenfeld African Americans and communities of color face many ugly obstacles. The hard truths about American racism exposed by Ferguson aren’t going away. That’s the case, even as the first African-American president, Barack Obama, responding to Monday’s renewed rioting, said, “Nothing of significance, nothing of benefit, results from destructive acts.” Racism is real, Obama said, and he urged Americans to “mobilize,” “organize,” find the “best policies,” and “vote.” Yet on the ground in Ferguson, where the white policeman who shot an unarmed black man was exonerated by a local grand jury and went on national television and said he would do the same thing again, Obama’s words stung. There are specific and surprising reasons why the rage over Ferguson isn’t going away. In the St. Louis...

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The Shady PR War Unleashed Against Environmentalists Who Oppose Keystone Pipeline...

Nov 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] AlterNet / By Steven Rosenfeld PR giant Edelman lists nine anti-pipeline claims that threaten the project. Photo Credit: http://commonsensecanadian   With possible Canadian oil sand pipeline profits estimated to be in the $100 billion range, it’s no surprise how low backers will go to smear opponents to win approval. A cache of secret documents prepared in May by Edelman, the world’s largest PR firm, for pipeline developer TransCanada, more than confirms the no-holds-barred mentality the oil industry will use to exploit one of the continent’s dirtiest energy sources. The documents concern the so-called Energy East pipeline, which would carry oil sands production to eastern Canada; the Keystone XL pipeline would take the same oil to the U.S. Gulf Coast. “We also recommend continuing to emphasize the term ‘natural resources’ when possible, instead of oil...

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Like Seafood? Enjoy It Now: Commercial Seafood Set to Disappear from Oceans in 2048...

Nov 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] AlterNet / By Cliff Weathers Scientists and economists are concerned that commercial seafood harvesting may end within three decades. Photo Credit: withGod/Shutterstock November 28, 2014  | A prominent marine research ecologist says that commercial seafood could disappear from our oceans within the next three decades if humans don’t take action immediately. Boris Worm of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada said the oceans are quickly losing biodiversity and that nearly 30% of seafood species humans consume are already too small to harvest. If the long-term trend continues, there will be little or no seafood available for a sustainable harvest by 2048. Dr. Worm’s study was recently published in the journal Science and is an update of a study published in 2006. Importantly, the study is about the collapse of commercial catches, not species extinction. Catch...

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Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining black holes is just as awesome as it sounds...

Nov 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Sorry “Interstellar,” Tyson explains that you don’t want to be anywhere near a black hole Sarah Gray  SALON.COM Neil deGrasse Tyson(Credit: Business Insider) Neil deGrasse Tyson broke down the physics of two mysterious aspects of our universe: wormholes and black holes. In this recent video for Business Insider, Tyson explains why you wouldn’t want to venture into a black hole — you’d want to avoid them “at all costs!” Watch below: Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email...

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Giraffes may be headed for extinction...

Nov 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Elephants aren’t the only African animals in grave danger. Giraffe populations are down 40 percent over 15 years John R. Platt, Scientific American   Giraffes may be headed for extinction This article was originally published by Scientific American. Scientific AmericanOne of the world’s most iconic and beloved animals is quickly disappearing. Fifteen years ago about 140,000 giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) roamed the plains and forests of Africa. Today that number has plummeted by more than 40 percent, according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF). As with so many other species, the causes of this decline include habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, overhunting and poaching. Unfortunately, this decline has occurred with little fanfare or public attention. “For comparison’s sake, while there are warnings and alarm bells ringing about the imminent extinction of the African elephant as...

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World Bank to ditch coal for clean energy...

Nov 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Shutterstock By John Vidal Cross-posted from The Guardian The World Bank will invest heavily in clean energy and only fund coal projects in “circumstances of extreme need” because climate change will undermine efforts to eliminate extreme poverty, says its President Jim Yong Kim. Talking ahead of a U.N. climate summit in Peru next month, Kim said he was alarmed by World Bank-commissioned research from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, which said that as a result of past greenhouse gas emissions the world is condemned to unprecedented weather events. “The findings are alarming. As the planet warms further, heat waves and other weather extremes, which today we call once­-in­-a-century events, would become the new climate normal, a frightening world of increased risk and instability. The consequences for development would be...

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Shopping tips for the eco-minded dresser...

Nov 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Robyn Lee    GROST By Ask Umbra Q. What is the most eco-friendly type of clothing? Organic cotton clothing, organic bamboo clothing, clothing made from recycled materials, or used clothing? Mark G. Pittsburgh, Pa. A. Dearest Mark, The correct answer is E) none of the above. True, the other options are good choices when it comes to bundling up. But as my 10th-grade social studies teacher used to remind us on his tricky multiple-choice tests, we’re looking for the best choice here. And the best clothing is the clothing you don’t have. Allow me to explain, Mark. Obviously, we all need clothes to protect our tender hides from the elements, not to mention the social benefits that come with wearing pants when we leave the house. And for most of us, clothes do a...

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On New York’s Skyscraper Boom and the Failure of Trickle-Down Urbanism...

Nov 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Point of View The METROPOLIS Blog Joshua K. Leon View above Central Park looking south towards “Billionaire’s Row” towers, with Midtown towers in background and various Financial District and Downtown Brooklyn Towers in far background. All images © CityRealty What would a city owned by the one-percent look like? New renderings for City Realty get us part way there, illustrating how Manhattan may appear in 2018. The defining feature will be a bumper crop of especially tall, slender skyscrapers piercing the skyline like postmodern boxes, odd stalagmites, and upside-down syringes. What they share in common is sheer unadulterated scale and a core clientele of uncompromising plutocrats. The renderings instill a depressing sense of inevitability toward projects that should have been fought off. I don’t just mean one or two of these luxury towers, but all of them. Some of...

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A Workspace for Wordsmiths

Nov 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Sara Morishige Williams and Huntsman Architectural Group design a space for Medium employees to find inspiration in themselves as well as others. Kira Gould   METROPOLIS MAGAZINE Fluidity in Space The design team knew that a meeting can consist of just a few people or a large group. To create a comfortable space for either of these scenarios, large sliding doors were installed. All photos courtesy Drew Kelly To Evan Williams, founder of the online publisher and platform Medium, as well as cofounder of Twitter, words are central. The expression of ideas—be it through 140 characters or longer, more thoughtful articles—is central to his platforms. This motivating factor can be easily seen on Medium, which provides a clean and simple space for reading and writing. “The words can be accompanied by images to help...

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U.S. government working to renew oil agreement with Israel...

Nov 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] The agreement was first signed in 1979 after the Iranian revolution sent shock waves of higher prices and fears about disruptions in the Middle East through oil markets. By Reuters | Nov. 27, 2014 | 7:46 AM The United States is in the midst of renewing its 35-year-old commitment to supply Israel with oil in emergency situations after the pact expired on Tuesday, a U.S. State Department official said. The United States “is in close contact with the government of Israel on extending the long-standing memorandum of understanding” between the two countries on emergency oil supplies, a State Department official said on the condition of anonymity. The agreement was first signed in 1979 by Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan after the Iranian revolution sent shock waves of higher...

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Yes, the U.S. can reduce emissions 80% by 2050 — in 6 graphs...

Nov 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] DDPP Si se puede! Pero no lo haremos By David Roberts GRIST So, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news: There is no substantial technical or economic barrier that would prevent the U.S. from reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, a target that would help put the world on track to limit global average temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. In fact, there are multiple pathways to that target, each involving a different mix of technologies. Achieving the goal would cost only around 1 percent of GDP a year out through 2050, and if we started now, we could allow infrastructure to turn over at its natural rate, avoiding stranded assets. The bad news: Pulling it off would require immediate, intelligent, coordinated, vigorously executed...

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A Kenyan kid turns his friends’ poop into clean energy...

Nov 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Sam Bliss   GRIST In January 2013, Maseno School in western Kenya had just completed a brand new dormitory, but the building’s shoddy sanitation system was a stinky mess. Founded in 1906 by Christian missionaries, Maseno is the oldest English-language school in Kenya and counts President Obama’s pops among its notable alumni. The new dorm, home to 720 students, featured a pit latrine and malfunctioning sewer system that, predictably, smelled like shit. Periodic blockages brought on by lack of water made the foul odors even more putrid, and the faulty sewer system contaminated a nearby stream that provided freshwater to the community.Meanwhile, using firewood for cooking fuel was causing more problems. Burning wood in the school’s kitchen poses a serious health risk, threatening the lungs and throats of those who prepare food....

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Preserve your brain, live in a walkable neighborhood...

Nov 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Zachary Shahan (@zshahan3)   TREEHUGGER Design / Urban Design CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 UrbanGrammar Walkable neighborhoods are great on many levels. The latest news is that they help to preserve your brain. I’ve lived in 9 neighborhoods in the past 9 years. Several of those have been very walkable neighborhoods, but some more than others of course. I’ve realized in my current one, one of the most walkable yet, that a nice, walkable neighborhood is a tremendous value that cannot be quantified by calculating the transportation and time savings. Well, I have known that for ages, but it has really been registering for me lately as I walk with my wife and baby daughter to one wonderful park ~3 minutes away, a huge park/forest ~5 minutes away, or a low-key but super useful shopping center...

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Local planning authorities need to be pro-active, or we can expect the worst...

Nov 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] | By Paul Finch   AJ ‘Untrammelled’ development can only happen where a local authority has no plan for accommodating housing need, writes Paul Finch I have some sympathy for the residents of country villages or homes on the edge of cities next to green belt when they find their expectations of rural peace and quiet being disrupted by unexpected and unwanted housing development.  The National Trust and the Council for the Protection of Rural England are expressing deeply felt anger at one of the outcomes of the National Planning and Policy Framework (NPPF): groups of unscrupulous lawyers riding roughshod over local feeling to obtain as-of-right planning permissions on sites not previously regarded as suitable for development. Conservatives are going to be given an electoral bloody nose, no doubt, since they will be blamed...

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Red and green: Rathbone Market by CZWG...

Nov 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Architects journal By Felix Mara  Previous thumbnails Next thumbnails CZWG’s Rathbone Market flats rely on mechanical smoke extraction, whole-house ventilation and an acoustic green wall, writes Felix Mara. Photography by Tim Crocker The next worst fate to living in flats next to a motorway is to be commissioned to design them. But noise and pollution from the A13 weren’t the only challenges that confronted CZWG, architect of Phase 1 of the Rathbone Market development in East London, officially opened last December. Spearheading the £3.7 billion Canning Town & Custom House Regeneration Programme, masterplanned by Arup Urban Design and Erick van Egeraat Architects, it provides 271 new homes and 1,858m² of commercial space on a wedged site. It also promotes the development of a sustainable community with reduced ‘churn’ in England and Wales’ sixth...

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Mighty neighbourly: Pewsey One by Tony Fretton Architects...

Nov 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Ellis Woodman  ARCHITECT’S JOURNAL Tony Fretton’s Wiltshire housing scheme flies in the face of local sensibilities to create a more sociable development, writes Ellis Woodman. Photography by Peter Cook A series of houses and apartment buildings realised largely on sites in inner-city London over the past 25 years has secured Crispin Kelly a reputation as one of Britain’s more architecturally enlightened developers. However, recently his firm, Baylight, has also begun to explore the possibilities for development in rural locations – a shift motivated partly by the increasing difficulty of finding sites in the capital, but also by Kelly’s ambition to challenge the dismal quality of the UK’s volume housebuilders. It has proved something of a thankless task. When he submitted a planning application to build six eminently desirable houses on the edge...

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No Assembly Required Tiny House!...

Nov 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] The new “aktiv” house by ideabox has all you love about IKEA…with no assembly required. While this pre-fab home is not tiny, it’s under 1,000 square feet and is designed with open, airy living in mind. The 745 square feet aktiv was created by ideabox and IKEA designers from Portland, Ore., built with contemporary corrugated steel and fiber cement and is delivered with everything (except furniture) included. The one-bedroom, one-bath home comes with all of the closets, cabinets, countertops and flooring installed. Both the kitchen and the bathroom contain IKEA appliances which includes an induction cooktop and convection oven, a counter depth refrigerator and dishwasher, a two sink vanity and a front load washer and dryer. Buyers can select their own wall and floor colors and, of course, they can fill it with...

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‘A Quarter Of The Energy We Use Is Just In Our Crap’: Black Friday And The Destruction Of Planet Earth...

Nov 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] by Joe Romm   CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Black Friday has become an orgiastic celebration of unbridled consumerism. And earlier this month, Pope Francis wrote a letter to world leaders saying, “There are constant assaults on the natural environment, the result of unbridled consumerism, and this will have serious consequences for the world economy.” Black Friday is a sort of reverse “Hunger Games,” an annual ritualized competition, but one built around overabundance, rather than scarcity. It is perhaps the inevitable outcome of a country whose citizens are commonly referred to as “consumers.” So what better time to think about how the global economic system is a Ponzi scheme, an utterly unsustainable system that effectively takes wealth from our children and future generations — wealth in the form of ground water, arable land, fisheries,...

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Thanksgiving Thoughts

Nov 26, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] by Casey Coates Danson I Dream a World – by Langston Hughes (1902-1967)   I dream a world where man No other man will scorn, Where love will bless the earth And peace its paths adorn. I dream a world where all Will know sweet freedom’s way, Where greed no longer saps the soul Nor avarice blights our day. A world I dream where black or white, Whatever race you be, Will share the bounties of the earth And every man is free, Where wretchedness will hang its head And joy, like a pearl, Attends the needs of all mankind— Of such I dream, my world!   (February...

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How Millionaires Buy Up Farmland And Hoard All Our Water...

Nov 26, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   Books   University of Minnesota Press / By Karen Piper   VIA ALTERNET When FOX News stands up for “family farmers,” they are really fighting for Murdoch’s rich friends.   The following is an excerpt from Karen Piper’s new book, The Price of Thirst: Global Water Inequality and the Coming Chaos (University of Minnesota Press, 2014).  Reprinted here with permission. I grew up in southern California, in a part of the country hit by the nation’s worst dust storms, deadly storms full of heavy metals that blow from dry Owens Lake. Studies have shown that I will not live as long as others because of this. I have accepted this, while at the same time hoping that these studies are wrong. Where I grew up, the city of Los Angeles diverted water away...

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The Largest Solar Plant in the US is Officially Up and Running...

Nov 26, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] by Kristine Lofgren, 11/25/14 The largest solar plant in the United States is officially fully operational. The Topaz Solar project in San Luis Obispo County, California completed its final 40-megawatt phase last month, making it the first 500-plus megawatt farm in the country. All told, the project now includes an astounding 9 million solar panels across 9.5 square miles and generates 550-megawatts of clean, solar energy. The project is owned by MidAmerican Solar and started construction two years ago. Originally the plant was scheduled to complete in 2015, so the project is actually ahead of schedule. According to First Solar, the project will generate 550 megawatts, which is enough to power 160,000 homes, and to displace 377,000 tons of CO2 every single year. Related: Massive 579MW Solar Star Power Plant Goes Online in California...

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Gallery: Sweden’s Most Sustainable Office Building Will be a Plus Energy…jewel inspired building...

Nov 26, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]     <p>Your browser does not support iframes.</p> view this image in original size ( 728 x 485 ) Rendering of Juvelen at night.   Skanska and Utopia Arkitekter designed the six-story-tall Juvelen with an exciting, triangular patterned facade and fragmented windows. The geometric pattern is continued on the public piazza, which will be easily accessible by public transit and offer numerous bicycle facilities such as a green-roofed bicycle parking deck, changing rooms, and lockers. The piazza leads into Juvelen’s ground floor, an area open to the general public that will include a bike repair shop, a restaurant, and an educational sustainability center. Related: Snøhetta’s New ‘Plus House’ in Norway Will Produce Twice The Energy It Uses The building will be constructed with a concrete frame and metal rectangular coffers that are then...

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Congress Poised To Eliminate Key Tax Breaks For Middle Class, Provide Permanent Tax Breaks For Corporations...

Nov 26, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] by Igor Volsky   CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Shutterstock Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has reached a compromise with House Republicans on a package of tax breaks that would permanently extend relief for big multinational corporations without providing breaks for middle or lower-income families, individuals with knowledge of the deal tell ThinkProgress. Under the terms of the $444 billion agreement, lawmakers would phase out all tax breaks for clean energy and wind energy but would maintain fossil fuel subsidies. Expanded eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit would also end in 2017, even though the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that allowing the provisions to expire would push “16 million people in low-income working families, including 8 million children into — or deeper into — poverty.”...

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Industry Groups Are Freaking Out About Obama’s New Smog Pollution Rule...

Nov 26, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] by Emily Atkin  CLIMATE PROGRESS Smog in downtown Los Angeles, Tuesday, April 28, 2009. CREDIT: AP Photo/Nick Ut The Environmental Protection Agency issued a new draft proposed rule on Tuesday to tighten already-existing restrictions on ground-level ozone pollution, the main ingredient of urban smog. Under the draft proposal, states would be required to lower the level of ozone pollution allowed to be in the air. Right now, the current standard is 75 parts per billion, and the new rule would change that to somewhere between 65 to 70 parts per billion. The rule would require some states with bad pollution to expand their ozone pollution monitoring, and require improvements to systems that notify the public when their air quality is at an unhealthy level. The EPA predicts this will do wonders for public...

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How To Talk To Your Climate Denier Uncle This Thanksgiving...

Nov 26, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] by Ryan Koronowski   CLIMATE PROGRESS Obstreperous, argumentative, conservative relatives are often expected to be uncles, but climate denial can peep out of aunts, grandparents, children, or spouses. CREDIT: Shutterstock and Dylan Petrohilos Everyone likes to talk about the weather. It affects all of us, it’s always happening, and it’s uncontroversial — not like third rails of polite company such as politics, religion, or money. So when you spend the holidays with extended family, one of your relatives who denies the reality of climate science may see a little snow as an easy opportunity try to land a non-political jab about climate change. Or global warming. Whatever those hippies are calling it these days. It’s easy to get blindsided, so here are some key points to help everyone stick to the facts, and...

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Still Waiting for the Collapse

Nov 26, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co. | Op-Ed  NY TIMES Paul Singer, the CEO of Elliott Management Corporation, last year in Davos, Switzerland. (CREDIT: World Economic Forum) Will Truthout’s mission continue in 2015 and beyond? That depends on readers like you. Make a tax-deductible donation now to sustain our work! Sometimes the absurdity of what passes for economic wisdom surpasses even my highly adapted expectations. I really, truly expected that even Wall Street would consider the recent hyperinflation-in-the-Hamptons rant from Paul Singer – the billionaire inflation truther who is sure that the books are cooked – embarrassing and pretend that it never happened. But no. Apparently Mr. Singer’s letter to investors is being passed around eagerly by traders and big shots who think it’s the greatest thing since sliced foie gras. So what’s...

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Dahr Jamail | Climate Disruption Depression and 2013 Emissions Set New Records Monday, 17 November 2014 10:28 By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report...

Nov 26, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] DAHR JAMAIL – TRUTHOUT (Image: Coal power, hide face via Shutterstock) “The impact of industrially packaged quanta of energy on the social environment tends to be degrading, exhausting, and enslaving, and these effects come into play even before those which threaten the pollution of the physical environment and the extinction of the (human) race.” – Austrian philosopher Ivan Illich, 1973 article in Le Monde This month’s dispatch surveys global calls for massive carbon dioxide cuts from the European Union (EU) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that are still not enough to truly mitigate the impacts of anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) or stem the massive wildlife disruptions that are now occurring globally, and highlights other glaring signs of an increasingly unstable climate across the globe. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has concluded...

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