The counterpart, then, to the familiar post-industrial and postmodern visions of social reproduction founded on service labour, the creative industries and the fashioning of consumer experiences in the advanced societies of the North has been the ebbing visibility of material production over the last thirty to forty years in those same countries. While commodity chains have proliferated exponentially, their links have become both more numerous and more fragile as a result of such trends as the dissociation of brand ownership from factory ownership, and the relocation of factory work to ad hoc, clandestine Export Processing Zones in the global South as well as subterranean sweatshops in the North. One significant consequence of this has been the expansion of an ever larger industrial labour pool for capital’s ever more itinerant hand to grasp, and the rapid growth of a global reserve army of labour; an underpaid ‘precariat’ whose insecurity is the flipside to the cherished autonomy of the cosmopolitan freelancer.

To kill one man is to be guilty of a capital crime, to kill ten men is to increase the guilt tenfold, to kill a hundred men is to increase it one hundredfold. This the rulers of the earth all recognize, and yet when it comes to the greatest crime – waging war on another state – they praise it! […] If a man on seeing a little black were to say it is black, but on seeing a lot of black were to say it is white, it would be clear that such a man could not distinguish black and white. […] So those who recognize a small crime as such, but do not recognize the wickedness of the greatest crime of all […] cannot distinguish right and wrong.

The philosopher Mozi (470 BC – 391 BC) as quoted in The Problem of Political Authority by Michael Huemer (via eltigrechico)

Reblogging because Mozi deserves it

(via lariat-for-christmas)

The greatest barrier to our government’s single-minded obsession with drilling, mining and fracking the hell out of this country is the fact that indigenous communities from coast to coast are exercising their inherent and constitutional rights to say no. Indigenous strength and power is a tremendous threat to that insatiable vision. And indigenous women are…’the heart and soul’ of these movements.

The trauma of sexual violence saps the strength of communities, with terrifying efficiency. So let us not be naïve. The Canadian government has no incentive to heal and strengthen the very people that it sees as its greatest obstacle. Justice, when it comes, will be demanded, not granted.

California condors, population 22 a few decades ago, soar over the Grand Canyon thanks to an elaborate capture and captive breeding program that involves feeding chicks with hand puppets, teaching them to fear power lines, and getting California to outlaw lead bullets that were causing released condors to die of lead poisoning when they ate carcasses. People dress up in bird costumes and teach whooping cranes to fly after ultralight aircraft to lead them to new wintering grounds. Conservation biologists and an endless supply of volunteers slide around on guano-slick cliffs to put up decoys, mirrors, and loudspeakers to lure murres, puffins, and other birds to safe new breeding territories.

It’s utterly absurd, the measures people take to save endangered animals. It’s also the most touching, inspiring, selfless, redemptive thing we do as a species.

If the environment has become Australia’s enemy, fossil fuels are its best friend once again. Two months after it struck down the carbon tax, the government forged a deal with a fringe party led by a mining tycoon to repeal a tax on mining profits. It appointed a noted climate-change skeptic—yes, another one—to review its renewable energy targets. Surprise: He’s expected to slash them. Independent modeling in a study commissioned by the Climate Institute, Australian Conservation Foundation, and WWF-Australia finds that the cuts to renewable energy won’t reduce Australians’ energy bills. They will, however, gift the country’s coal and gas industry another $8.8 billion U.S.

Australia’s environmental movement has been overthrown. (via dendroica)

“The Saudi Arabia of South Pacific”.. Follow link to Slate website.

Millions of migratory birds that fly tens of thousands of kilometres between their homes in Australia and Siberia are facing annihilation as development destroys the vital feeding grounds they rely on during their epic journeys, a Deakin University avian expert has warned. Director of Deakin’s Centre for Integrative Ecology Professor Marcel Klaassen has joined a growing chorus of leading scientists alarmed by a sudden and dramatic drop in the number of shorebirds finally arriving in Australia after their legendary flights across the globe. “The rate of decline among some of these bird species is such a dramatic drop in numbers as to be truly depressing,” Professor Klaassen said. “For instance, the rate of decline in numbers of one of these, the Curlew sandpiper, is a staggering 10 per cent per year which means they face extinction within a decade,” he warned.

Levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose at a record-shattering pace last year, a new report shows, a surge that surprised scientists and spurred fears of an accelerated warming of the planet in decades to come. Concentrations of nearly all the major greenhouse gases reached historic highs in 2013, reflecting ever-rising emissions from automobiles and smokestacks but also, scientists believe, a diminishing ability of the world’s oceans and plant life to soak up the excess carbon put into the atmosphere by humans, according to data released early Tuesday by the United Nations’ meteorological advisory body. The latest figures from the World Meteorological Organization’s monitoring network are considered particularly significant because they reflect not only the amount of carbon pumped into the air by humans, but also the complex interaction between man-made gases and the natural world.