Благодаря смелым экспериментам Марио Драги и Харухико Куроды с минусовыми ставками, облигации на 8 трлн долларов теперь приносят отрицательную доходность. Инвесторам из ЕС и Японии приходится искать варианты. Нередко такие поиски приводят их в США.
Благодаря смелым экспериментам Марио Драги и Харухико Куроды с минусовыми ставками, облигации на 8 трлн долларов теперь приносят отрицательную доходность. Инвесторам из ЕС и Японии приходится искать варианты. Нередко такие поиски приводят их в США.
Благодаря смелым экспериментам Марио Драги и Харухико Куроды с минусовыми ставками облигации на $8 трлн теперь приносят отрицательную доходность. Инвесторам из ЕС и Японии приходится искать варианты. Нередко такие поиски приводят их в США.
The powerful typhoon Man-yi that swept through central Japan on Monday dumped enough rain to completely submerge parts of Kyoto, with the majority of rivers in Kansai high or bursting their banks. Shortly after the storm had passed, a group of schoolboys ventured out to take some snaps of trains…
Why It’s So Tough to Get Your Head Around Climate Change Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com Two Sundays ago, I traveled to the nation’s capital to attend what was billed as “the largest climate rally in history” and I haven’t been able to get the experience -- or a question that haunted me -- out of my mind. Where was everybody? First, though, the obvious weather irony: climate change didn’t exactly come out in support of that rally. In the midst of the warmest years and some of the warmest winters on record, the demonstration, which focused on stopping the Keystone XL Pipeline -- it will bring tar-sands oil, some of the “dirtiest,” carbon-richest energy available from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast -- was the coldest I’ve ever attended. I thought I’d lose a few fingers and toes while listening to the hour-plus of speakers, including Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island, who were theoretically warming the crowd up for its march around the (other) White House. And I also experienced a moment of deep disappointment. When I arrived early at the spot in front of the Washington Monument on the National Mall where we were to assemble, my heart sank. It looked like only a few thousand protestors were gathering for what had been billed as a monster event. I had taken it for granted that I would be adding one small, aging body (and voice) to a vast crowd at a propitious moment to pressure Barack Obama to become the climate-change president he hasn’t been. After all, he has a decision to make that’s his alone: whether or not to allow that pipeline to be built. Nixing it would help keep a potentially significant contributor to climate change, those Albertan tar sands, in the ground. In other words, I hoped to play my tiny part in preserving a half-decent future for this planet, my children, and my new grandson. Sixty environmental and other organizations were backing the demonstration, including the Sierra Club with its hundreds of thousands of members. Given what was potentially at stake, it never crossed my mind that the turnout wouldn’t be substantial. In fact, on that frigid day, lots of demonstrators did turn up. Evidently, they knew the dirty little secret of such events: that much talk would precede a modest amount of walking and inventive slogan shouting. So they arrived -- poured in actually -- late, and in real numbers. In the end, the organizers estimated attendance at somewhere in the 35,000-50,000 range. Media reports varied between the usual “thousands,” generically used to describe (or, if you’re in a conspiratorial frame of mind, minimize) any demonstration, and tens of thousands. I have no way of estimating myself, but certainly the crowd was, in the end, sizeable, as well as young, enthusiastic, and loud. It made itself heard passing the White House. Not that President Obama was there to hear anything. He was then on a golf course in the Florida warmth teeing up with “a pair of Texans who are key oil, gas, and pipeline players.” That seemed to catch another kind of climate-change reality of our moment and strongly hinted at the strength of the forces any such movement is up against. In the meantime, Keystone builder TransCanada was ominously completing the already green-lighted first half of the Texas-Oklahoma leg of its prospective future pipeline. In the end, I felt genuine satisfaction at having been there, but given what was at stake, given Frankenstorm Sandy, the devastating Midwestern drought and record southwestern fires of 2012, the Snowmageddon winter storm that had recently dropped 40 inches of the white stuff on Hamden, Connecticut, the blistering spring and summer of 2012, the fast-melting Arctic sea ice, and the fact that last year broke all heat records for the continental United States, given the build-up of billion-dollar weather disasters in recent years, and the growing emphasis on “extreme weather” events on the national TV news, shouldn’t hundreds of thousands have been there? After all, I’ve been in antiwar demonstrations in which at least that many marched and in 1982, I found myself in my hometown in a crowd of a million demonstrating against the possibility of a world-ending nuclear war. Is climate change a less important issue? “There Is No Planet B” While protesting that Sunday, I noted one slogan on a number of hand-made signs that struck me as the most pointed (and poignant) of the march: “There is no planet B.” It seemed to sum up what was potentially at stake: a planet to live reasonably comfortably on. You really can’t get much more basic than that, which is why hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, should have been out in the streets demanding that our leaders begin to attend to climate change before it’s quite literally too late. After all, to my mind, climate change, global warming, extreme weather -- call it what you will -- is the obvious deal-breaker in human, if not planetary, history. Everything but nuclear catastrophe pales by comparison, no matter the disaster: 9/11, 70,000 dead in Syria, failed wars, the grimmest of dictatorships, movements of hope that don’t deliver -- all of that’s familiar history. Those are the sorts of situations where you can try again, differently, or future generations can and maybe do far better. All of it involves human beings who need to be dealt with or human structures that need to be changed. While any of them may be the definition of “the worst of times,” they are also the definition of hope. Nature and the weather are another matter (even if it’s humanity that, by burning of fossil fuels at increasingly staggering rates, has created its own Frankenstein's monster out of the natural world). Climate change is clearly something new in our experience. Even in its relatively early but visibly intensifying stages, it threatens to be the singular event in human history, because unlike every other disaster we can imagine (except a full-scale nuclear war or, as has happened in the planet’s past, a large meteorite or asteroid impact), it alone will alter the basis for life on this planet. Raise the planet’s temperature by three to six degrees Celsius, as various well-respected scientific types and groups are now suggesting might happen by century’s end (and possibly throw in some more heat thanks to the melting of the permafrost in the north), and if you live in a city on a coastline, you'd better watch out. And that only begins to suggest the problems humanity will face. The world, at best, will be a distinctly poorer, less comfortable place for us (and from there the scenarios only get uglier). Don’t misunderstand me. I’m no scientist. I doubt I’d even be considered scientifically literate (though I try). But the scientific consensus on the subject of climate change seems striking enough to me, and what’s happening around us is no less striking as a confirmation that our world is changing -- and remarkably quickly at that. Whether you read about melting glaciers, the melting Greenland ice shield, melting Arctic waters, melting permafrost, acidifying oceans, intensifying storms, greater desertification, wilder wild fires, or so many other allied subjects, doesn’t it always seem that the rates of bad news are on the rise and the word “record” is usually lurking somewhere in the vicinity? So I continue to wonder, given our situation on this planet, given our future and that of our children and grandchildren, where is everybody? Can You Organize Against the Apocalypse? Don’t for a second think that I have some magic answer to that question. Still, as it’s been on my mind, here’s an attempt to lay out at least some of the possible factors, micro to macro, that might have limited the size of that crowd two Sundays ago and perhaps might tend to limit the size of any climate-change crowd, as well as the mobilizing possibilities that lie in the disaster awaiting us. Outreach: Yes, there were at least 60 groups involved, but how much outreach was there really? Many people I know hadn’t heard a thing about the event. And while climate change has been on the human agenda for a while now, a real movement to deal with what’s happening to us is in its absolute infancy. There is so much outreach and so much education that still needs to be done. The slowness of movements: It’s easy to forget how long it can take for movements of change to grow, for their messages to cohere, penetrate, and begin to make sense or seem meaningful to large numbers of people in terms of their everyday lives. Despite its obvious long-term destructive power, for many reasons (see below) climate change might prove a particularly difficult issue to link to our everyday lives in ways that mobilize rather than demobilize us. On a similarly difficult issue, the nuclear movement, it took literally decades to grow to that million-person march, and even early anti-Vietnam War protests were smaller than the recent Keystone demo. Politics: Attitudes toward climate change have largely polarized along left-right lines, so that the issue seems politically ghettoized at the moment (though there was a time when Republicans of some stature were concerned about the subject). To my mind, it’s part of the insanity of our moment that the preservation of our planet as we have known it, which should be the great conservative issue of our era, is now pure poison on the right. Even American paleo-conservatives, who are willing to make common cause on American war policy with left anti-imperial types, won’t touch it with a 10-foot poll. When this begins to change, you’ll know something of significance is happening. Enemies: Here’s a factor it’s easy to ignore, but no one should. Giant energy companies and energy-connected right-wing billionaires have for years now been funneling staggering amounts of money into a network of right-wing think tanks and websites dedicated to creating doubts about climate change and promoting climate denial. In the latest revelation about the well-financed climate-denial movement, the British Guardian reports that between 2002 and 2010, $120 million dollars was shuttled, “using a secretive funding route,” into “more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change.” It all came from conservative billionaires (and not just the Koch brothers) who were guaranteed total anonymity. And it “helped build a vast network of think tanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarizing ‘wedge issue’ for hardcore conservatives.” The funders of this “movement” and their minions should, of course, be disqualified on the spot. They are almost all identified with and profit from the very fossil fuels that climate-change scientists say are heating up the planet. But they -- and a few outlier scientific types they’ve scrounged up -- provide the “balance,” the “two sides,” that the mainstream media adores. And they play upon the arcane nature of Science itself to intimidate the rest of us. Science: When you have a bad boss, or your country is ruled by a dictator, or your bank cheats you, it’s within your everyday experience. You have some body of personal knowledge to draw on to understand the situation. You are personally offended. But Science? For most of us, the very word is intimidating. It means what we didn’t understand in school and gave up understanding long ago. To grasp climate change means teaching yourself Science with no professors in sight. Filling the knowledge bank you don’t have on your own. It’s daunting. Oh yes, the Ice-Albedo feedback loop. Sure thing. If the boss, the bank, the dictator takes your home, you get it. If Superstorm Sandy turns your home into rubble, what you get is an argument. What you need is an education to know just what role “climate change” might have played in making that storm worse, or whether it played any role at all. Similarly, you need an education to grasp the dangers of those tar sands from Canada. It can be overwhelming. Doubts are continually raised (see “enemies”), the natural variability of the weather makes climate change easier to dismiss, and sometimes, when Science takes the lead, it’s easier just to duck. Nature: Science is bad enough; now, throw in Nature. How many of us still live on farms? How many of us still live in “the wilderness”? Isn’t Nature what we catch on the Discovery Channel? Isn’t it what we pay a lot of money to drop in on briefly and ogle while on vacation? In our everyday lives, most of us are, in some way, no longer a part of this natural world of “ours” -- not at least until drought strikes your region, or that “record wildfire” approaches your community, or that bear/coyote/skunk/puma stumbles into your (urban or suburban) neck of the woods. Connecting with Nature, no less imagining the changing natural state of a planet going haywire (along with the likelihood of mass, climate-changed induced extinctions) is again not exactly an easy thing to do; it’s not what comes “naturally” to us. Blame: Any movement needs a target. But this isn’t the Arab Spring. Climate change is not Hosni Mubarak. This isn’t the Occupy moment. Climate change is not simply “Wall Street” or the 1%. It’s not simply the Obama administration, a polarized Congress filled with energy-company-supported climate ignorers and deniers, or the Chinese leadership that’s exploiting coal for all its worth, or the Canadian government that abandoned the Kyoto treaty and supports that tar-sands pipeline, or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has put its money where its mouth is in American electoral politics when it comes to climate change. Yes, the giant energy companies, which are making historic profits off our burning planet, couldn’t be worse news or more culpable. The oil billionaires are a disaster, and so on. Still, targets are almost too plentiful and confusing. There are indeed villains, but so many of them! And what, after all, about the rest of us who lend a hand in burning fossil fuels as if there were no tomorrow? What about our consumer way of life to which all of us are, to one degree or another, addicted, and which has been a model for the rest of the world. Who then is the enemy? What exactly is to be done? In other words, there is an amorphousness to who’s aiding and abetting climate change that can make the targeting on which any movement thrives difficult. The future: In the environmental movement, there is some serious discussion about why it’s so hard for climate change to gain traction among the public (and in the media). It’s sometimes said that the culprit is our brains, which weren’t set up, in an evolutionary sense, to deal with a problem that won’t deliver its full whammy for perhaps close to a century or more. Actually, I wonder about this. I would argue, based on the historical record, that our brains are well enough equipped to face distant futures and their problems. In fact, I think it’s a reasonable proposition that if you can’t imagine the future, if you can’t imagine building something not just for yourself but for your children or the children of others and of future generations, then you probably can’t build a movement at all. All movements, even those intent on preserving the past, are in some sense future-oriented. The apocalypse: Here’s the thing, though. It’s difficult to organize for or even against a future that you can’t imagine yourself and those children and future generations in. The thought of world-ending events may simply close down our operative imaginations. The end of the world may be popular in fiction, but in everyday life, I suspect, the apocalypse is the version of the future that it’s hardest to mobilize around. If the prospect is that it’s already hopeless, that the suffering is going to be largely down the line, that we’re all going down anyway, and the planet will simply be destroyed, well, why bother? Why not focus on what matters to you now and forget the rest? This is where denial, the almost involuntary turning away from unpalatable futures that seem beyond our power or ability to alter, comes into play. If the future is essentially over before it begins, then better to ignore it and go about your still palatable enough daily life. Putting Your Money on Climate Change Add all these factors (and others I’ve probably ignored) together and perhaps it’s a miracle that so many people turned out in Washington two weekends ago. As we’ve already learned in this nuclear age of ours, it’s quite possible for a grid of exterminationism, a sense of hopelessness about the distant future, to descend upon us almost unnoticed. That grid in no way stops you from thinking about your own life in the present, or even about the immediate future, about, say, getting married, having a child, making a living, but it’s crippling when it comes to mobilizing for a different future. I’ve always believed that some of the vaunted organizing power and energy of the famed Sixties came from the fact that, in 1963, the superpowers achieved an agreement on the testing of nuclear weapons that sent them underground and more or less out of consciousness. The last end-of-the-world films of that era appeared in 1964, just as bomb-shelter and civil defense programs were heading for the graveyard. By 1969, the National Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy had even eliminated "nuclear" from its own name. Without necessarily being aware of it, many (especially among the young), I suspect, felt their energies liberated from a paralyzing sense of doom. You no longer had to think about scenarios in which the two Cold War superpowers would destroy the planet. It made almost anything seem possible. For a brief period before the Reagan presidency raised such fears again, you could look to the future with a sense of hope, which was exhilarating. Can there be any doubt that, to steal a phrase from that era, the personal is indeed political? On the other hand, the apocalypse, particularly an apocalypse that features Science and Nature in its starring roles, seems anything but personal or stoppable -- unless you’re a farmer and a pipeline filled with a particularly nasty version of oil runs right through your nearest aquifer. The real issue here is how to make climate change personal in a way that doesn’t simply cause us to shut down. One of the cleverer approaches to climate change has been that of Bill McKibben, the man who organized 350.org. In a determined fashion, he’s been breaking the overwhelming nature of climate change down into some of its component parts that can be grasped, focused on, and organized around. Stopping the Keystone XL pipeline and encouraging students to lobby to make their schools divest from big fossil fuel companies are examples of his approach. More generally, climate change is, in fact, becoming more personal by the year. In the “extreme weather,” which so regularly leads the TV news, its effects are coming closer to us all. Increasing numbers of us know, in our hearts, that it’s the real deal. And no, it doesn’t have to be the apocalypse either. The planet itself, of course, will survive and, given a few hundred thousand or even a few million years, will recover and once again be a thriving place of some unknown sort. As for humanity, we’re a clever enough species. Sooner or later, we will undoubtedly figure out how to survive as well, but the questions are: How many of us? On what terms? In what kind of degraded state? And what can we do soon to mitigate climate change’s worst future effects? Perhaps a modern, post-religious version of seventeenth-century French philosopher Blaise Pascal’s famous bet is what’s needed. He argued that it was in the interest of those who remained in doubt about God to place a wager on His existence. As he pointed out, with such a bet, if you win, you win everything; if you lose, you lose nothing. Something somewhat analogous might be said of climate change. Perhaps it’s time to put your wager on the reality of climate change, on its paramount importance to us and our children and our children’s children, and to bet as well that your efforts (and those of others) will in the end make enough of a difference. Then, if you win, humanity wins everything; if you lose, well, there will be hell to pay. Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture, runs the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com. His latest book, co-authored with Nick Turse, is Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050. Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch book, Nick Turse’s The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare.
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, New Yorkers are showing the best of humanity, self-organizing to provide mutual aid in spite of the establishment's continued failure to turn the lights back on. Free kitchens were distributing hot meals within hours. Thousands of pounds of food, clothing, and other donations have been distributed across Red Hook, Staten Island, the Rockaways, and Coney Island. Cleanup of flood damage has begun, and volunteers continue to go door-to-door in the neglected buildings that still lack heat and electricity. Of course, this encouraging response does not minimize the true scope of tragedy this storm has left behind. We must continue to provide for each other and, as we do, show the world that another way of relating to one another is not only possible, but necessary in the face of economic and ecological catastrophe. But we must not forget that the twin catastrophes of climate change and capitalism are deeply interconnected. The market sees only resources to be extracted, not a world to be shared or communities to be protected. The 1% continue to push for (and the banks continue to finance) more coal, oil, and natural gas, and they don't care how many mountains they must destroy or communities they must frack to increase their profits. Wall Street-owned politicians from all political parties are complicit, competing only about who will drill more. The result is a warmed planet and warmed oceans where superstorms like Sandy are increasingly common. And when the storms hit, we aren't all impacted equally. In New York and across the globe, poor and marginalized communities, already suffering from austerity and dismantled social services, are always hit the hardest and the last to receive aid from the established channels. In response to the failure of the State and capitalism to provide for our needs, relief work like #OccupySandy is a beautiful, necessary, and logical response for social movements who are committed to replacing economic and social injustice with solidarity and people-powered solutions. But the 1% would be glad to have an army of volunteers to replace the safety net they cut and clean-up the mess they created. If we want to protect ourselves from the next storm or BP-style spill, we have to continue building the structures of mutual aid and support that will deal with crisis equitably. But we must also build a mass movement to address the systemic problems that create climate crises. After Sandy, we are not merely rebuilding the status quo; we are building a new world. This is why Occupy Wall Street stands in solidarity with the on-going Tar Sands Blockade and other direct actions to stop the destruction caused by greed and profit. In Texas, activists have held a tree-sit for 50 days and are calling for solidarity actions across the world. Over 20 cities have already answered the call. Occupy Wall Street and Occupy the Pipeline will join with many others to protest dirty power on November 17. In New York and New Jersey, many of us are busy supporting those who have been left in the dark by Sandy. But we encourage everyone who is able to take action! See below for more information about the Global Campaign Against Fossil Fuels in New York on November 17th and the Tar Sands Blockade day of action on November 19th. To find out how to help the recovery efforts, check out interoccupy.net/occupysandy. Occupy Sandy volunteers feed hungry FEMA workers November 17th: Earth Eviction Defense - Global Campaign Against Fossil Fuels When: 1 PM Saturday, November 17, 2012Where: 42nd St and 6th Avenue, Bryant Park People of the World: Rise up against Dirty Power! Call for mass direct action A Renewed Sense of Urgency for the Autumn of Unity LOCAL ACTION / NEW YORK CITY - Join hundreds of New Yorkers from upstate and downstate as they converge in Bryant Park in Times Square as part of a global week of action protesting the social, environmental and climatic devastation of the fossil fuel industry, in solidarity with actions by Green Umbrella, Tar Sands Blockade, Push Europe Climate Justice, Occupy Melbourne, 350.org, and many grassroots organizations all over the planet. The group will march to key locations that include bank headquarters and media centers, all of whom are either actively responsible for climate change or are complicit in spreading climate disinformation. More than just a march, this gathering will perform a whole range of informative and eye-catching spectacles including everything from eating a giant mountain-shaped cake to staging a news report in a public fountain to mining for coal in the decorative gardens of New York’s financial centers. If you are in New York City, please join us! GLOBAL CONTEXT - Sandy has brought death and destruction to the US Northeast this fall. Drought covered much of America's Midwest this summer. A recent report predicts that, by 2030, 100 million people will perish as a result of the greenhouse gases that corporations emit and Wall Street bankrolls. In America, the silence regarding climate change from our media and politicians, even as nature screams, is deafening. While here in New York we struggle to rebuild in the wake of Sandy, a resistance against corporate induced global warming is needed now more than ever. Join us on November 17th in an International Earth Eviction Defense to prevent the 1% from foreclosing on the planet. The Earth Eviction Defense will be occurring ahead of UN climate talks in Doha this November. As the Kyoto Protocol expires this year, what happens at this gathering will have a long lasting impact on the future of the earth. It is not a positive sign that world leaders have chosen to gather in the capital of an oil dictatorship to discuss the impact of fossil fuels on our atmosphere. We in New York have seen what climate change looks like; police guarding gas stations as fuel grows thin, furniture upside down along rubble strewn streets, eighty-year-olds trapped in the cold, dark, twentieth floor of housing projects. Sadly, much of the world is already familiar with these scenarios; the products of savage inequality and a reckless abhorrence of nature. We have a different vision. Our struggle is global. Now is the time for a mass mobilization of direct action. We call on comrades and allies around the globe to target local sites of dirty power with sit-ins, blockades, pickets, flash mobs, occupations and other forms of nonviolent direct action. Choose a new target or link an existing campaign to this larger movement. Together we can build a world based on truly renewable energy sources, a world in which health, biodiversity and labor are respected and protected. System Change, Not Climate Change! Please post your actions on our facebook event site!: http://www.facebook.com/events/110516695773312/?ref=ts&fref=ts Follow us here:http://www.facebook.com/OccupyThePipeline?ref=hl occupythepipeline.blogspot.com @occupy_pipeline @owsenvironment Join the conversation at https://lists.mayfirst.org/mailman/listinfo/AutumnofUnity Email email@example.com November 19: Tar Sands Blockade Calls For Solidarity Actions (via Earth First! Newsire) Alright, eco-warriors, consider yourselves on notice. Tar Sands Blockade is stepping our game up, and we’re calling on you to do the same. We’ll be throwing down in a big way next Monday, November 19th, somewhere near Nacogdoches, Texas, the heart of outlaw territory in this region for hundreds of years, and we want you to do the same. If you’re close enough or able to travel, of course we’d love to have you here with us, but we also want to see communities rising up and defending their homes from the wanton destruction of extractive industry everywhere. TSB is dedicated to fighting this tar sands pipeline running through our collective backyard (or front yard, as the case may be), but we can do the math. We know that extraction is the lifeblood of the machine, the foundation of the crisis known as capitalism, and that only by building communities of resistance can people opt out of the system and watch it return to dust. So we call on the radical environmental community to show solidarity with the struggle against the tar sands, recognizing that our struggle is just a piece of the larger struggle against extraction and that you need to do what makes sense for your community. Our message is simple: climate catastrophe is social injustice manifest and nothing less than a slow but sure genocide of the have-nots perpetrated by those with extraordinary privilege. The only way to survive climate chaos is by building community resiliency across all boundaries based on mutual aid and respect. The community that resists together persists together, so join with your neighbors and defend your homes from the onslaught of resource extraction. The state, knowing that they can no longer ignore or mock us, has escalated its fight back against our campaign. At our last action, the two blockaders arrested had their phones stolen by police while they seek subpoenas for records, but they don’t scare us. Let’s school them on why direct action gets the goods with an eruption of community resistance against tar sands and all the other fucked up extractive industries nestled in our backyards. Check out this page for suggestions on targets and action ideas, but recognize that you know best about what your community needs. When you get your action planned, let us know about it and send any media you have to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can spread the word far and wide. There are already 22 solidarity actions planned for November 14th through 20th, let’s keep that number growing and blow the lid off this thing all over the world. Finally, thanks for the ongoing love and support. The day-to-day work here is a constant struggle, but knowing that y’all got our backs makes it easier to push on through and focus on what matters. Loving and raging for the wild, Tar Sands Blockader