Colonization killed 90% of indigenous people & changed world climate

There is now scientific evidence that links climate change to the first encounter and the cumulative destruction of Indigenous societies.

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What happened last month in Geneva at the WTO?

What happened last month in Geneva at the WTO? LOTS as it turned out. The outcomes portend new fights on the horizon: on tax justice re: Big Tech; on environmental issues in five plurilateral agreements currently under negotiations in the WTO; upcoming fights on investment and expanding the role of corporations in domestic policymaking on services; and much more.

Join CSO participants in MC12 for a front-line report-back and considerations of important issues moving forward, including for civil society working on non-WTO tax/debt, environmental/climate, investment, and other related issues.

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The outcome of the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Geneva in June likely indicates a resurgence in the need to focus civil society and trade union efforts on the WTO.

MC12 concluded with pro-corporate, anti-worker and anti-development outcomes on all major issues of access to medicines, agriculture, fisheries subsidies, digital trade, and the future of the WTO itself.

These outcomes portend new fights on the horizon: on environmental issues in five plurilateral agreements currently under negotiations in the WTO; upcoming fights on investment and expanding the role of corporations in domestic policymaking on services; and much more.

● MC12 and WTO outcomes in context: Deborah James, Facilitator of Our World Is Not for Sale global network, USA

● Process violations and development issues: Kinda Mohamadieh, Senior Researcher & Legal Advisor, TWN, Lebanon

● Access to medicines, Covid-19, and the TRIPS waiver: Fatima Hassan, Health Justice Initiative, South Africa

● Campaigns for Covid-19 Vaccine and Treatment Equity post-TRIPS Waiver: Professor Brook K. Baker, Senior Policy Analyst Health Global Access Project

● Outcomes and prospects for workers and labor: Georgios Altintzis, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Brussels

● Agriculture and food security: Ranja Sengupta, Senior Researcher, TWN, India

● Fisheries subsidies outcomes: Adam Wolfenden, Campaigner with Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG), Pacific Islands

● Way forward for Africa: rep from SEATINI Uganda

● Tax justice e-commerce: Sofia Scasserra, IMT, UNTREF, Argentina

● MC12 and the environment: Rashmi Banga, UNCTAD

● Multilateralism and corporate rule in services and investment: Jane Kelsey, Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Auckland

● National campaigns: Maulana Sidik, Indonesia for Global Justice

● National campaigns: Burghard Ilge, Both Ends, Netherlands

Link below to a July 27 Webinar
WTO MC12: Outcomes and Implications
Jul 27, 2022 01:00 PM


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Eating one-fifth less beef could halve deforestation

Replacing just 20% of global beef consumption with a meat substitute within the next 30 years could halve deforestation and the carbon emissions associated with it, finds a modelling study.

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Alternatives to sustainable development: what can we learn from the pluriverse in practice

Sustainability Science, 2022 By Shivani Kaul, Bengi Akbulut, Federico Demaria & Julien-François Gerber

Abstract The debates on the sustainability of development have a long history. Although the Brundtland Report popularized “sustainable development”, this slippery concept sidelined previous critiques of development and has been compatible with a wide range of conflicting agendas. A notable example of this contradiction is the uncritical promotion of capitalist growth in the pursuit of social justice and ecosystem health by the sustainable development goals. In contrast to this reliance on the “one world” of Euroamerican market economies, this special feature presents 12 case studies of “alternatives to sustainable development”. These case studies question the anthropocentric universalism of the development project and enact radically different relational ontologies, often gathered under the conceptual umbrella of the “pluriverse”. They focus on territorial, community, and network initiatives that intend to move methodologically beyond discourse analysis with a situated and empirical analysis of how pluriversal practices might flourish as well as generate tensions. We identify three frictions with capitalist modernity emerging from these contributions: (1) how alternatives to sustainable development relate to state institutions, (2) how they engage with the distribution of surplus, and (3) how they unsettle scientific epistemologies, at times regenerating past resources—and at other times radical futures. With this special feature, we hope to re-politicize the debates on the science and practice of sustainability, and weave the contributions of anticolonial and indigenous science studies into neo-Marxist and post-development critiques.

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The real urban jungle: how ancient societies reimagined what cities could be

A fascinating Guardian review of how ancient cities fed large urban populations. Are there any lessons there for “civilization” and degrowth/slowcialism?

Many tropical forest societies found immensely successful methods of food production, in even the most challenging of circumstances, which could sustain impressively large populations and social structures. The past two decades of archaeological exploration, applying the latest science from the land and the air, have stripped away canopies to provide new, more favourable assessments.

Not only did societies such as the Classic Maya and the Khmer empire of Cambodia flourish, but pre-colonial tropical cities were actually some of the most extensive urban landscapes anywhere in the pre-industrial world – far outstripping ancient Rome, Constantinople/Istanbul and the ancient cities of China.

Ancient tropical cities could be remarkably resilient, sometimes surviving many centuries longer than colonial- and industrial-period urban networks in similar environments.

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Humanity faces ‘collective suicide’ over climate crisis, warns UN chief

Wildfires and heatwaves wreaking havoc across swathes of the globe show humanity facing “collective suicide”, the UN secretary general has warned, as governments around the world scramble to protect people from the impacts of extreme heat.

António Guterres told ministers from 40 countries meeting to discuss the climate crisis on Monday: “Half of humanity is in the danger zone, from floods, droughts, extreme storms and wildfires. No nation is immune. Yet we continue to feed our fossil fuel addiction.”

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Mapping areas of agreement between two of the most important radical ecology movements

For ecosocialist degrowth July 2, 2022

by Michael Löwy, Bengi Akbulut, Sabrina Fernandes and Giorgos Kallis

Degrowth and ecosocialism are two of the most important movements—and proposals—on the radical side of the ecological spectrum. Sure, not everyone in the degrowth community identifies as a socialist, and not everyone who is an ecosocialist is convinced by the desirability of degrowth. But one can see an increasing tendency of mutual respect and convergence. Let us try to map the large areas of agreement between us, and list some of the main arguments for an ecosocialist degrowth:

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Animals farmed: microplastics in meat, ‘cruel’ Parma ham and jet-set salmon | Farming | The Guardi an

The Guardian’s monthly roundup of the biggest issues in farming and food production, with must-read reports from around the web

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Nearly $2tn of damage inflicted on other countries by US emissions | Climate crisis | The Guardian

The US has inflicted more than $1.9tn in damage to other countries from the effects of its greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new analysis that has provided the first measurement of nations’ liability in stoking the climate crisis. The huge volume of planet-heating gases pumped out by the US, the largest historical emitter, has caused such harm to other, mostly poor, countries through heatwaves, crop failures and other consequences that the US is responsible for $1.91tn in lost global income since 1990, the study found.

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American Interdependence Day

Today is American Independence Day and there’s lots of celebrating going on (not to mention the volatilizing of hundreds of millions of pounds of different chemical compounds in the atmosphere). So it’s a big day in the USA today. But truthfully I’d rather wish everyone—American or not—a Happy Interdependence Day!

So instead, I wish you all a day to celebrate our Interdependence with countless other species—with the blue-green algae that make the oxygen you breathe; the bacteria that make up more of you than you do; with the plants that make up your food (either directly or indirectly); the animals that are sacrificed so many of us can eat (or wear) them; the ancient beings that made up the coal, gas, and oil that we’ve become dependent on (in the bad sense); the future beings that will care for us when we’re old and that will inherit (and hopefully heal) the horrible ecological and societal wounds we’ve inflicted; and last but not least, our family, friends, extended communities, and the millions of people we don’t know who provide us with food, medicine, energy, goods, and services. In this complex civilization we live in, we are all deeply interdependent—interwoven with countless lives day in and day out.

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