The Paris Agreement is a severely inadequate response to the climate crisis the world now faces, writes Pete Dolack, full of vague aspirations and devoid of hard, enforceable commitments. But the impending US withdrawal is still bad news for us all - including the Trump-supporting Koch brothers, set to gain billions from their Alberta tarsands holdings. Short-term profits are a poor exchange for a less livable world, even for those making the money.
Pollution caused by burning fossil fuels are already causing the premature deaths of 200,000 people a year - in the US alone, writes Pete Dolack. Add up the figures worldwide and it comes to many millions. And that's before we even count the catastrophic long term impacts of global warming. The US response: to loosen anti-pollution regulation and encourage increased oil, coal and gas production.
World Bank projects have left a worldwide trail of evictions, displacements, rapes, murders, forest destruction, greenhouse-gas-belching fossil fuel projects, and destruction of farmland and water sources, writes Pete Dolack. But even as internal reports admit the Bank's wrongdoing, it is asserting its immunity from legal action as terrorised communities seek redress in the courts.
Donald Trump's scheme to rebuild US infrastructure could be among the world's greatest ever financial heists, writes Pete Dolack. He has chosen the most expensive, anti-democratic way to do the job, through the mass privatization of priceless public assets - sticking users and taxpayers for exorbitant charges for decades to come, while banks and speculators reap the profits.
If there's one good thing about Trump, it's that he has put an end to the TPP and TTIP trade deals, right? Don't celebrate yet, writes Pete Dolack. There's another 'trade deal' waiting in the wings, TISA, and negotiators have been busy expanding its remit to include huge parts of TPP and TTIP, while giving free rein to the global behemoths of internet and finance to expand their monopolies.
Progressives must begin organizing now, writes Pete Dolack, before Trump takes office and command of the world's most deadly security apparatus. We must demonstrate strong resolve against the right-wing authoritarian rule to come, as a Trump White House will unleash repression on a scale not seen in decades.
The organizers of tomorrow's International Monsanto Tribunal describe it as a 'moral trial', while the company dismisses it as a 'mock trial' and 'stunt'. The truth, writes Pete Dolack, is that it's about much more than this one company. On trial is the entire neoliberal system of 'free market' finance and monopoly capitalism.
The UK's exit from the EU won't deliver for the 'victims of globalisation' whose votes were decisive in the referendum result, writes Pete Dolack. All the economic scenarios advanced to date envisage more of the 'free trade' and neoliberalism that has global empowered capital against communities and the well-paid jobs that once sustained them. Plus ca change ...
A leaked text from the 'Trade In Services Agreement' negotiations shows that TISA is set to unleash a massive wave of deregulation affecting social, environmental and financial standards, and force the privatisation of state-run enterprises, writes Pete Dolack. So it's not just TTIP, CETA and TPP we have to fight - TISA could be the biggest corporate power grab of them all.
The leaked chapters of the EU-US TTIP 'free trade' deal reveal a shredding of health, environmental and other protections for consumers and citizens, writes Pete Dolack. It's a wet dream for corporate monopolists and profiteers, and the elite bureaucrats that serve them. But for civil society it represents an irreversible destruction of democracy itself.
With its 800 bases in 80 countries, the US's global military domination is often seen as an altruistic exercise to ensure world peace and harmony, writes Pete Dolack. It is, of course, the opposite: the essential underpinning of the US's predatory economic power, always ready to strike down any challenge to the rights and privileges of its corporate conquerors and financial oligarchy.
The latest country to be hooked under 'free trade' agreements is Colombia, writes Pete Dolack, sued for tens of billions of dollars by US and Canadian gold mining companies for valuing its national parks and the high-altitude Andean wetlands that provide 70% of the nation's water above the profits of foreign corporations. Free trade or clean water? You can't have both.
Of all the impacts of climate change, one stands out for its inexorable menace, writes Pete Dolack: rising oceans. And it's not just for distant future generations to deal with: new scientific studies show that people alive today may face 6-9 metres of sea level rise flooding well over a million sq.km including many of the world's biggest cities. So where's the emergency response?
Boosters of 'free trade' agreements - like the Trans Pacific Partnership that's being signed today - like to make big promises, writes Pete Dolack: trillions of dollars of economic gains, billions of dollars of investment, millions of new jobs. But there's only one certainty, and it's one they never mention: the permanent redistribution of power and income from working people to capital.
Almost 60 years since the world's first commercial nuclear power station began to deliver power to the UK's grid, the industry remains as far from being able to cover its costs as ever, writes Pete Dolack. But while unfunded liabilities increase year by year, governments are still willing to commit their taxpayers' billions to new nuclear plants with no hope of ever being viable.
In this new age of austerity money is a perpetual struggle for the public sector and ordinary people, writes Pete Dolack. Yet central banks have squandered trillions to boost profits in the financial sector, reward speculation and push up real estate values. In fact, the world is awash with money as never before - our money. Just don't expect to get your hands on it any time soon.
Just how bad is the TPP? Incredibly, we don't know its full horror because even now, the agreement is a state secret, writes Pete Dolack. But the text will have to be released soon so that Congress and other parliaments can vote on it. And only then we will know the full scale of the corporate sellout it represents. The choice facing legislators is clear: democracy, or corporate dictatorship?
The climate change discourse rarely looks beyond 2100, writes Pete Dolack. Maybe that's because even at current levels of CO2, we are committed to thousands of years of warming and polar ice melt that will raise sea levels by at least six meters. However the implacable imperatives of capitalism mean there's little prospect of change for a long time to come.
Monsanto has a simple purpose, writes Pete Dolack: to control the world's food supply, monopolizing seeds and agrochemicals to extract profit from every bite of food we eat. Caring nothing for the disease, poverty and destruction that it causes, it has suborned politicians, governments and regulators to its will. But millions are determined to stop it.
A new report from the IMF has quantified the prodigious subsidies doled out to the fossil fuel industries, writes Pete Dolack - an astonishing $5.6 trillion per year, over 7% of world product, including direct payments, tax breaks and unpaid environmental costs. The obscene scale of public largesse proves the need for a social movement to challenge global energy capitalism.
The renewable power boom is excellent news for people and planet, writes Pete Dolack. But let's not get carried away: much energy that claims to be 'renewable; like biomass and big hydro, is no such thing. And greening our energy is just one of many steps to a sustainable world. The greatest challenges - like tackling the monster of infinite 'growth' - all lie ahead.
Canada's 'Anti-Terrorism Bill' proposes a massive increase in the power of security services, writes Pete Dolack - and in the crosshairs are campaigners against a tar sands industry that's intent on releasing 240 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, and those fighting the pipelines needed to get the heavy crude to market. Who are the real 'extremists'?
OceanaGold is demanding $300 million in compensation from impoverished El Salvador after a mining permit was refused to safeguard a clean drinking water source that millions of people depend on, writes Pete Dolack. The sum does not even represent losses - but profits the company claims it would have made.
The shutoff of water to thousands of Detroit residents, the proposed privatization of the water system, and the diversion of the system's revenue to banks are possible, writes Pete Dolak, because water - the most basic human need - has become a means to extract profit from the City's people.