We’re live! Join John Bellamy Foster, Amy Leather & Martin Empson to discuss Marxism and ecology in a time of pandemic. The global environmental crisis has demonstrated how the system’s drive to accumulate means that capitalism puts profit before people and planet. The work of Marx and Engels in understanding the relationship between capitalism and nature has resurfaced in recent decades as an outstanding critique of the system’s destructiveness. The coronavirus pandemic originates in the same system that is driving climate change and the biodiversity crisis. Fossil fuel capitalism, industrial agriculture, deforestation is driving environmental destruction and creating the conditions for new and deadly diseases. Join authors and activists John Bellamy Foster, Amy Leather and Martin Empson to discuss how Marxism and Ecology can explain the crises we face and offer an alternative.Read More »
Down to Earth spoke to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to understand his government’s modus operandi.
When the first case of a person testing positive to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was reported in Kerala on January 30, 2020 — most of India knew about the ensuing disease (COVID-19) vaguely as an outbreak somewhere in China.
Kerala, however, was alert to prevent any spread of Nipah (outbreak in 2018) — which also traced back to bats, has no cure / vaccine and killed the state’s citizens (18 of them). The state’s handling of the situation earned it global recognition, including a certificate from the World Health Organization (WHO).Read More »
Hidden away in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a series of Republican tax cuts that will save the ultra-wealthy $90 billion in 2020 alone. According to a report from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), a nonpartisan congressional body, almost 82 percent of the benefits of the tax breaks will go to just 43,000 Americans who make over $1 million annually. In contrast, less than three percent will go to the great majority who earn less than $100,000 per year.
The provision, inserted into the emergency bill intended to save the economy from implosion, allows business owners to suspend any limitations on how much they can deduct against their non-business income, such as capital gains tax, in order to further reduce their tax liability, in some cases likely to zero. Unsurprisingly, this business-friendly loophole is destined to aid the extremely wealthy and ultimately hurt the rest. The JCT projects that the tax cut will add almost $170 billion to the deficit over the next ten years, something that Republicans, if history is any judge, will use as a battering ram against any progressive policies tabled.Read More »
WASHINGTON DC (The Last American Vagabond) — IPresident Trump recently praised a deal reached largely by Saudi Arabia and Russia, two of the top oil producers in the world who together dominate the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), saying that the agreed upon production cuts would “save hundreds of thousands of energy jobs in the United States.”
Despite the president’s rosy tone, most analysts have called the agreement – which presumably will freeze the Saudi-Russian oil price war that broke out last month – “too little too late” and have noted that a slew of bankruptcies from the U.S. shale oil industry are inevitable, despite the actions that have been taken. Even the Federal Reserve has stated that around 40% of domestic shale companies now face bankruptcy in just a few months if the price of oil remains under $30, a figure it is unlikely to pass for some time due to slumping demand caused by global lockdowns, among other factors that have emerged as the current coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis has played out. Trump has since fielded the possibility of imposing tariffs on oil imports to drive up oil prices and favor the domestic consumption of U.S. shale oil, but it remains to be seen if that policy will materialize.Read More »
If you are using one of the many coronavirus incidence trackers, the Pacific country of Ecuador does not seem to be particularly badly affected by COVID-19. Officially, the country has less than 7,500 cases and 333 deaths. But everybody knows this number is nonsense, including President Lenín Moreno, who freely admitted that authorities were collecting over 100 dead bodies a day from Guayaquil city alone, the epicenter of the pandemic tormenting his country.Read More »
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) grappled with two global health emergencies: The Ebola virus disease and the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also faced a significant challenge, as it ran short of at least $83 million to contain the Ebola outbreak in the DRC, said to be one of the poorest countries in Africa, according to several experts.
The DRC — with 2,266 deaths and 3,456 Ebola infections as of April 12, 2020, according to the country’s health ministry — suffered from the world’s second largest outbreak on record, since August 1, 2018.Read More »