Friday, December 7, 2012

Break the grip of corporate power to secure our future | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian

George Monbiot| The Guardian:

 Neoliberal dogma forbids the intervention required to stop climate change. To save the planet we must articulate a new politics

Illustration by Daniel Pudles
Neoliberalism is not the root of the problem: it is the ideology used, often retrospectively, to justify a global grab of power, public assets and natural resources by an unrestrained elite. But the problem cannot be addressed until the doctrine is challenged by effective political alternatives.

In other words, the struggle against climate change – and all the crises that now beset both human beings and the natural world – cannot be won without a wider political fight: a democratic mobilisation against plutocracy. This should start with an effort to reform campaign finance – the means by which corporations and the very rich buy policies and politicians. Some of us will be launching a petition in the UK in the next few weeks, and I hope you will sign it.

But this is scarcely a beginning. We must start to articulate a new politics, one that sees intervention as legitimate, that contains a higher purpose than corporate emancipation disguised as market freedom, that puts the survival of people and the living world above the survival of a few favoured industries. In other words, a politics that belongs to us, not just the super-rich.


  1. Very sad news for miners.

    Children whose fathers work around diesel-powered vehicles and heavy machinery are more likely to develop brain tumours, according to a WA study.

    Researchers from the WA Institute for Medical Research and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research found that children with fathers who were exposed to diesel exhaust fumes at work about the time of conception were 62 per cent more likely to have brain tumours.

    The results, published in the International Journal of Cancer, also showed that children of women exposed to diesel fumes at work before the birth had twice the risk of brain tumours.

    The researchers said that while diesel technology had improved in the past 20 years, resulting in lower emissions, exposure around ships and heavy duty equipment in the mining and construction industries was still largely uncontrolled.

    Susan Peters, from WAIMR, said the study looked at 306 children with brain tumours from 10 children's hospitals across Australia, including Princess Margaret Hospital.

    She said childhood brain tumours were the leading cause of cancer death in children, and most developed before age five.

    "We know that malignant brain tumours are the leading cause of cancer mortality in children but despite decades of research, the risk factors are largely unknown," Dr Peters said. "This work on the occupational hazards faced by parents of children with brain tumours also looked at other factors which may be involved in children developing tumours."

    Dr Peters said that researchers started investigating parental exposure to diesel exhaust after the International Agency for Research on Cancer listed it as a human carcinogen. The only engine exhaust fumes found to have a link to childhood brain tumours were from diesel fuel.

    She said the findings on fathers' exposure were likely to be more significant than those for women because men were far more likely to work in industries where they were exposed to diesel exhaust fumes.
    Researchers were now looking at other occupational exposures, including pesticides and solvents and their possible link to childhood brain tumours.

  2. The pin prick revealed.

    Wilderness Society has released more details of today’s planned Perth protest.

    Coordinator Peter Robertson also supplied this image of the proposed gas hub at James Price Point, superimposed over a map of Perth.