Tag Archives | Economics

World’s Largest PR Firm Is Dropping Coal, Climate Change Deniers

ZKfsR4JCVia Planet Experts:

Last year, Planet Experts ran a brief story on Edelman, the largest public relations firm in the world, and its role in selling the public misinformation on climate change. At the time, Edelman was almost alone among its top 25 peers in its willingness to represent climate change deniers.

And that was all right for the firm’s CEO, Richard Edelman, who held the view that turning away any business would cost his company the chance to reach $1 billion in revenues.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the cash register.

Edelman Lost Clients, Leaders and Goodwill Over Climate Change

Last year, The Nation confirmed that Edelman was on a nearly $52 million retainer for the American Petroleum Institute (API). As part of the strong arm of the fossil fuel industry, Edelman ran several pro-oil campaigns, including the management of “multiple websites and online advertising efforts asking officials to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, support tax deductions for the oil industry and expand access for drilling on public lands.” Corporate Watch even alleged that Edelman was responsible for astroturfing several fake grassroots organizations in support of fossil fuel spending and jobs.

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Half of world’s wealth now in hands of 1% of population – report


Is anyone really surprised?

Jill Treanor via The Guardian:

Global inequality is growing, with half the world’s wealth now in the hands of just 1% of the population, according to a new report.

The middle classes have been squeezed at the expense of the very rich, according to research by Credit Suisse, which also finds for the first time that there are more individuals in the middle classes in China – 109m – than the 92m in the US.

“Middle class wealth has grown at a slower pace than wealth at the top end,” said Tidjane Thiam, the chief executive of Credit Suisse. “This has reversed the pre-crisis trend which saw the share of middle-class wealth remaining fairly stable over time.”

The report shows that a person needs only $3,210 (£2,100) to be in the wealthiest 50% of world citizens. Some $68,800 secures a place in the top 10%, while the top 1% have more than $759,900.

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The Real Reason Playboy is Getting Out of the Nudie Business

If you haven’t already heard the news that Playboy is getting out of the nudie business or thought it was a internet hoax, I’m here to lay the bad news (or good news if you hate boring airbrushed soft porn) on ya.

No more boobies from the bunny.

Playboy Party Bucharest 2008

If you suspect that political correctness has finally run amok and absconded with your naked girlies, I also have bad news for you. It is far more cynical than that.

The real reason former Freedom of Speech advocate Playboy is dumping the airbrushed tits and ass is China’s mores and China’s Yuan. Especially the latter. Yep, as it turns out Playboy makes almost half of what they bring in from China, and they won’t hesitate to bow down to the almighty dollar, even if the Chinese do spell it funny over there.

Quartz has the explanation for us:

Playboy’s recent decision to stop publishing nude photos marks a watershed moment in media, as the porn pioneer buttons up and turns its back on what made it famous.

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‘It’s Like I Forget I’m in Prison’: Simple idea that could change solitary confinement

Prisoners Growing Sagebrush
Terrence McCoy via Washington Post:

It began with a painting, a biologist and an idea to disprove the widely-held axiom that trees are static. The biologist first affixed a paintbrush to a tree branch, set it to a canvas and watched it sketch. She then multiplied the length of that tree’s stroke by every branch in its crown. In the course of a year, the biologist learned, the tree would move 187,000 miles — or seven times across the globe. This seemingly immobile thing was actually in constant motion.

The drawing and its implications would ultimately spark a program that has infiltrated some of the most impenetrable prisons in the nation, attracted international attention, and earned a spot on TIME Magazine’s list of best inventions. Called the Nature Imagery Project, it transports the soothing elements of nature into supermax prisons to help ease the psychological stress of solitary confinement.

The project is rooted in an idea that even the most static entities — like trees, like inmates in solitary confinement — have the capacity for change.

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When Exxon’s Business Ambition Collided with Climate Change Under a Distant Sea

EXXON Gas station @ Amistad Lake National Recreation Area
Neela Banerjee & Lisa Song write at InsideClimate News:

In 1980, as Exxon Corp. set out to develop one of the world’s largest deposits of natural gas, it found itself facing an unfamiliar risk: the project would emit immense amounts of carbon dioxide, adding to the looming threat of climate change.

The problem cropped up shortly after Exxon signed a contract with the Indonesian state oil company to exploit the Natuna gas field in the South China Sea—big enough to supply the blossoming markets of Japan, Taiwan and Korea with liquefied natural gas into the 21st century.

Assessing the environmental impacts, Exxon Research and Engineering quickly identified Natuna’s greenhouse gas problem. The reservoir was contaminated with much more carbon dioxide than normal. It would have to be disposed of somehow—and simply venting it into the air could have serious consequences, Exxon’s experts warned.

Exxon’s dawning realization that carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect posed a danger to the world collided with the company’s fossil fuel ambitions.

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No one should ever work. Workers of the world… *relax*!


Bob Black, “The Abolition of Work” via Primitivism:


No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a *ludic* conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

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China’s Nightmarish Citizen Scores Are a Warning For Americans


Jay Stanley, writing for the ACLU:

China is launching a comprehensive “credit score” system, and the more I learn about it, the more nightmarish it seems. China appears to be leveraging all the tools of the information age—electronic purchasing data, social networks, algorithmic sorting—to construct the ultimate tool of social control. It is, as one commentator put it, “authoritarianism, gamified.” Read this piece for the full flavor—it will make your head spin. If that and the little other reporting I’ve seen is accurate, the basics are this:

  • Everybody is measured by a score between 350 and 950, which is linked to their national identity card. While currently supposedly voluntary, the government has announced that it will be mandatory by 2020.
  • The system is run by two companies, Alibaba and Tencent, which run all the social networks in China and therefore have access to a vast amount of data about people’s social ties and activities and what they say.
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Male Suicide on Rise as Result of Austerity, Report Suggests

to be or not to be
University of Portsmouth via ScienceDaily:

Young males between the ages of 10 and 24 have committed suicide in growing numbers as a direct result of austerity measures brought in across Europe following the 2009 recession.

According to new research from the University of Portsmouth and Webster Vienna University, more males of all ages are committing suicide in the Eurozone’s poorest countries.

The researchers, Dr Nikolaos Antonakakis and Professor Alan Collins, are urging policy makers to put European citizens’ health before wealth as a matter of urgency.

The research is the first to examine the direct impact of fiscal austerity on suicide rates in the group of countries most affected by the Eurozone crisis — Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Dr Antonakakis, a Visiting Fellow at Portsmouth Business School and an Associate Professor at Webster Vienna University, said: “The Eurozone debt crisis is transforming into a health crisis. Austerity measures were implemented in response to the 2008 global financial crisis and the subsequent Eurozone debt crisis in an attempt to restore confidence, competitiveness and macroeconomic stability.

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How Hacktivists Will Break Corporate Control of Information Within a Decade


Jake Anderson via Activist Post:

Sci-fi author and information rights activist Cory Doctorow appeared out of the dusty heat of the 2015 Burning Man in a gray jumpsuit and a pair of Adbusters Black Spot sneakers. In his hand he held a small black moleskin, which he glanced at intermittently while delivering an electrifying, albeit head-spinning talk on the future of the Internet of Things.

Doctorow, who recently re-joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), contextualized theInternet of Things as an information rights struggle that requires an end to patent laws that forbid jailbreaking digital locks. Concordantly, he and the EFF have an ambitious plan: To dismantle the draconian Digital Rights Management (DRM) laws currently protected by the DMCA Section 1201. Doctorow and the EFF seek to counter this oppressive legislation with the Apollo 1201 initiative, by which they will strategically pick cases that can clearly demonstrate Congress violated the Constitution when it passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in 1998.

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