Sustainable Community Development
A quiet municipal movement is making its way across the United States in which communities are directly defying corporate rule and affirming the sovereignty of local government.
Over the last ten years, state legislatures across the country have acted to prevent the dissemination of harmful chemicals into the market and their communities. A recent Healthy States: Protecting Families from Toxics While Congress Lags Behind report noted that, over the past eight years, 18 states have passed some 71 chemicals policy reform bills with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Gov. Rick Scott, the tea party-backed Republican elected last November, told reporters today that he is not accepting $2.4 billion in federal stimulus funds to build a high-speed rail line from Orlando to Tampa. Supporters had already spent $66 million preparing for the project, which has been viewed by optimists as the beginning of a larger high-speed rail network in Florida.
On Monday, after 17 years of intense legal battle, Chevron, the second largest oil company in the United States, was found guilty by Ecuadorian courts for massive environmental contamination of the Amazon and was ordered to pay a fine of $9 billion in damages.
The United States’ reliance on coal to generate almost half of its electricity, costs the economy about $345 billion a year in hidden expenses not borne by miners or utilities, including health problems in mining communities and pollution around power plants, a study from the Center for Health and Global Environment.
The final frenzy of votes on the House GOP’s federal spending bill approved early Saturday included passage of amendments to scale-back environmental regulation of mountaintop removal coal mining projects and stymie the overhaul of a major federal climate research program.
Democracy and Corporate Accountability
Events in the Middle East are generating new, unprecedented interest in nonviolence.In this episode of People & Power, Al Jazeera looks at the role that the April 6 Movement played in getting Egyptians out on the streets and sustaining the struggle to oust Mubarak.
Common Cause has been leading the charge for a Department of Justice investigation into Justices Thomas’ and Scalia’s ties to Koch Industries, and has launched a campaign to strengthen ethical standards for Supreme Court justices. See the Colbert Report coverage below.
The rise in food prices since last June has shoved 44 million people into dire poverty, the World Bank says in its latest report on the global food crisis. The antipoverty organization says in February’s Food Price Watch that its price index rose 15% between last October and last month.
Robin Broad and John Cavanagh report from their search for rootednessthe social, environmental, and economic anchoring that sees us through tough times, Finding Rootedness in the Age of Vulnerability.
The Nation reports on a meeting between Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and the American Sustainable Business Council —a network representing 65,000 businesses and more than 150,000 entrepreneurs, owners, executives, investors, business professionals and individuals from diverse regions and sectors.
Institute for New Economic Thinking interviews John Fullerton, of the Capital Institute, about the many profound implications of what happens when a perpetually growing economy finally runs into a finite biosphere.
Democracy Now covers Wisconsin where some 30,000 students and public sector workers rallied at the Wisconsin State House in Madison Thursday to oppose Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s bid to eliminate almost all their collective bargaining rights and slash pay and benefits.