Friends, Good morning again, class! This week we examine the effects of climate change on inequality. It hasn’t gained nearly the attention it should. Just click below, and you’re back in my class. Among the questions I’ll be addressing today are: How do environmental issues connect to wealth/income, racial, and geographic inequality? What role does environmental policy play in addressing this inequality? How will different communities be affected by climate change? What role do social movements play in addressing environmental justice issues?
Yesterday, SCOTUS 5-4, in another miscarriage of justice, ruled against Navaho access to water rights. The tribe sued the federal government in 2003, seeking to compel it to assess the tribe’s needs and devise a plan to meet them. The states of Arizona, Colorado and Nevada intervened in the suit, seeking to protect their own access to water from the Colorado River system. At issue is an 1868 treaty under which the federal government guaranteed the nation’s agricultural needs, which the Navajo Nation argues includes water rights.
Tribal governments in the suit also cited to the so-called Winters doctrine, based on the 1908 Winters v. United States court case, which established that the creation of a Native American reservation also reserves the water necessary for its purposes.
.The region's water supply is dwindling as its population and agricultural output have boomed. The river, which provides water for 40 million people across the entire Southwest, is already overtapped. The seven states that rely on the river have long been embroiled in litigation over the body of water.
“Where does the Navajo Nation go from here?” Gorsuch wrote in a dissent, joined by 3 liberal justices. “To date, their efforts to find out what water rights the United States hold for them have produced an experience familiar to any American who has spent time at the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Navajo have waited patiently for someone, anyone, to help them, only to be told (repeatedly) that they have been standing in the wrong line and must try another.”
In Navaho country the wind grows cold.....
Tone down noise
Limit excessive lighting
Best agricultural practice
Move away from wood combustion, conserve forest/plain natural purpose.
These come to mind. Worth working on.
The rich never suffer from external disruptions. They take the attitude that the next generation will have to deal with the problems they refuse to accept. The underprivileged are then forced to confront the issues the rich have chosen to ignore. The wealthy will continue to blindly shed their responsibilities concerning the health of our planet and continue to exist in a world where they enjoy passing the buck, but only one, because of the love they have for old George.
In Lousiana we see racial injustice in the placement of the petrochemical and chemical plants making up Cancer Alley.
Another excellent class thank you. There is another aspect to 'toxic wastes: that is recycling. American business does not like recycling it is cheaper and easier to use fresh natural resources, but it is possible, cleaner and doable.
Take plastic water bottles. Here in California we "recycle" them we think. Fact is we consumers conscientiously turn them into recycling centers and collect money for doing so. But the bottles are not recycled. Too much trouble say the manufacturers. When I worked for IBM a young female scientist invented a machine that would take a plastic bottle, chop it up, treat it and emit small plastic "balls" that are the raw material plastic bottle industry uses to produce new bottles. In Africa, a young woman contractor used recycled plastic in the making of concrete building blocks. On a Pacific Island, teenagers were collecting plastic bags cutting them into ribbons and weaving them into shopping bags and purses. On mainland Asia recycled plastics are turned into fabric, I have purchased a few fashionable tops made of these recycled plastic fibers.
Oil waste can be cleaned and reused. In the 19th century industrialists balked at adding soot collection in their chimneys until they found it could be remade into charcoal.
American manufacturers have become too lazy and too dependent on raw material. We could solve a lot of our waste and toxic waste by taxing them for not recycling. This would also save the environment.
There are many different types of plastics and they cannot be mixed (at least not at present) but they can be separated and each different type could be recycled. Which brings me to another complaint about greedy corporate America. There was a time, Professor Reich yours and my lifetimes when corporate America spent a good portion of their profit on Research and Development instead of stock buybacks, R&D is expensive but resulted in array of new products. As you have pointed out Stock Buybacks help very, very few people, and they are already wealthy beyond belief.
Dear Mister Reich...
Your contribution to educating the public on crucial issues is outstanding and so important.
That the United States in general and the U.S. military-industrial complex in particular has for decades been the main driver of climate change/global warming has never been and probably will never be admitted to by the U.S. establishment; the main beneficiaries of the havoc wrought upon the rest of the world.
We all must suffer (the 99%) the devastation of climate change so the tiny minority (the 1%) can bask and indulge in luxury.
As Thucydides said 2,300 years ago in his historical study "The History of the Peloponessian Wars": "The strong do what they will, and the weak suffer what they must."
One doesn't have to like it to grasp the reality of it.
Currently, the Glasgow Alliance for Net Zero has reported that $663M has been spent by Wall St firms to stop climate legislation from achieving Net Zero goals. Institutional racism to protect the Fossil Fuel Industry. How many low income and coastal communities could have been helped by this money? The longer this travesty exists, the more people will die from climate related catastrophic events. Insurance Companies have stopped insuring and the Taxpayers are left the cleanup duties, as usual.
Makes me want to broadcast a message like this:
To: All of you billionaires and the leaders you are influencing to do your bidding.
From: The rest of humanity and all other life forms on the planet
Subject: Climate Change
Have you selfishly but realistically considered the consequences for you and you families of climate change?
Most of you have expert advisors for all sorts of disciplines. Have you used these resources to soberly look at the range, probabilities and timeline of potential impact on you? If so, does it not make elegant sense for all of you to collaborate to quickly put an end to the many factors that are destroying your Goldilocks Zone? Or will you sit back and pretend that it is not happening, or that you and your families can survive what is an increasingly less hospitable environment to most life on the planet?
You are likely well aware of what will happen to you when mass migrations driven by rising ocean waters, the lack of potable water, and the lack of food become ‘real'? Do you believe that your fortunes and resultant power will actually be worth anything after the impending socio-economic and geo-political collapse which is inevitable ,and arriving much sooner than expected? Have you imagined what your life will be like when that shit hits the fan? When global economies collapse, do you really believe you can survive the consequences?
Many of you have taken the ‘prepper route’, and have spent fortunes to insulate yourselves and families in bunkers or on islands from what you know is coming. Have you done a sober analysis of this strategy? How long will you realistically be able to survive in those sanctuaries, and what will you face when you have to come out? Many of you are also heavily investing in and personally experimenting with life-extension treatments of all sorts. The question is ‘why?’; you know your fortunes will evaporate and you will get to watch your offspring having to deal with the misery that you could have prevented?
Are you not aware that you, as group, are the only ones on the planet than can stop the worst of what is surely and rapidly coming? Or are you so absorbed in collecting more Latinum that you will let your own houses, with all your family inside, burn down..... to get more?
Melting . . .
The Same Ship All in hasn't dawned . but will, tho still lots of nice lawns ..
Like magnolia scented nights . .. storied way of life . . .
that kissed the air, then with the wind . .was gone ... #Faster Than Thought . .
Facts about climate armageddon:
1. A recent "state of the climate" paper by James Hansen and others says that given the current composition of gases in the atmosphere, the estimated additional heating to reach equilibrium is +10 degrees C (10C = 18F). We are at 1.2 C. We are already suffering catastrophic impacts and only at 12% of that 10C. And the adverse impacts are nonlinear. You ain't seen nothin' yet.
2. Each 1 degree C of heating results in the atmosphere holding an additional 7% of water vapor. This is why we're facing these biblical droughts and floods. You ain't seen nothin' yet.
3. The ocean currents are slowing down. There is increased stratification of waters in the ocean due to meltwater. It's known that Greenland, etc. are losing mass. Ocean currents will stop due to meltwater, and when they do all hell will break loose. They are like the climate flywheel keeping things calm by steadily redistributing roughly 90% of the global heat. When they stop, the air will have to redistribute 100% of the heat. Severe famine await us. You ain't seen nothin' yet.
4. Sea level rise. You ain't seen nothin' yet.
5. Migration on a biblical scale. You ain't seen nothin' yet.
6. Let's say all of a sudden all fossil pollution magically stopped. It turns out that pollution reflects the sun's energy, thus the rate of heating would increase.
We STILL are hurtling head long toward our own destruction and the destruction of the entire planet because we REFUSE to move away from fossil fuel. The train is already on the track and heading toward us. The end gets closer every day as we fiddle........................ Mother Nature will clean house and no one will be spared!
The link to this class is not working. I get: This page isn’t workingblockpg-dock.safezone.mcafee.com is currently unable to handle this request.
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I've been trying since Friday and keep getting the same message on three different devices.
Climate and also whole communities of people are disparately impacted by our nuclear weapons programs. Indigenous communities are especially affected by uranium mining and by the work with uranium. Nuclear plants are often sited in or near communities of color and lower income communities. These choices are part of the systemic racism in the US. And then there are the financial impacts. Imagine what we could achieve in the way of equity if we used the $90+ billion (that we know of) that is currently spent on nuclear weapons programs and instead spent it on medical care, housing, childcare, etc.
Wondering why the 2023 Wealth & Poverty series reverted to 2022 material starting at class 8 ?
Thanks for yet another informative session enriched by your personal experience. Looking back, do you regret advising President Clinton to hire Larry Summers in his team of economic advisors ? He showed his true colors in that memo as chief economist of World Bank where he recommended dirty industries to be located in poorer countries because the cost of damage done will be least as their life expectancy is already lower.
Currently, Larry Summers will not be satisfied until the Federal Reserve drives the economy into recession by raising interest rates and getting millions of workers in lower and middle income groups laid off. According to the article below, “Summers has called for 5 percent unemployment for five years or 10 percent for 1 year to tame inflation. (The current unemployment rate stands at far less than that: 3.5 percent.) “ After all, it is more important for him to be proved right. Sixty percent of inflation now is due to corporate price gouging, which Summers doesn’t accept. Raising interest rates will have no impact on such price gouging. It needs more action under antitrust laws, as you have repeatedly stated in articles. Thoughts?