Food sovereignty

21 results back to index


pages: 329 words: 85,471

The Locavore's Dilemma by Pierre Desrochers, Hiroko Shimizu

air freight, back-to-the-land, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, Community Supported Agriculture, creative destruction, edge city, Edward Glaeser, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, intermodal, invention of agriculture, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, megacity, moral hazard, mortgage debt, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, planetary scale, profit motive, refrigerator car, Steven Pinker, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl

That was enough to set off the protests. The Organic Consumers of America sent 10,000 emails damning Monsanto. Doudou Pierre, the “grassroots” National Coordinating Committee Member of the National Haitian Network for Food Sovereignty and Food Security, said: “We’re for seeds that have never been touched by multinationals.”1 U.S. writer Beverly Bell explains: “The Haitian social movement’s concern is not just about the dangers of chemicals and the possibility of future GMO imports. They claim that the future of Haiti depends on local production with local food for consumption, in what is called food sovereignty.”2 Church groups in the U.S. donated some 13,300 machetes and 9,200 hoes to, I guess, encourage traditional agriculture in Haiti. It’s worth noting that defenders of “traditional agriculture” are usually several generations removed from its practice.

option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=418; Josh Brem-Wilson. 2010 The Reformed Committee on World Food Security. A Briefing Paper for Civil Society (Section 1) http://www.foodsovereignty.org/Portals/0/documenti%20sito/Home/News/reformed%20CFS_english.pdf; and the websites of organizations such as La Via Campesina http://viacampesina.org/en/ and the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty http://www.foodsovereignty.org/. 7 See, among others, Peter Rosset. 2008. “Food Sovereignty and the Contemporary Food Crisis.” Development 51 (4): 460–463. 8 Standard statements to this effect are found in Oakland Institute. 2008. The Food Crisis and Latin America, Policy Brief http://media.oaklandinstitute.org/content/food-crisis-and-latin-america; and Frederic Mousseau. 2010. The High Food Price Challenge: A Review of Responses to Combat Hunger.

The EU recently allowed the planting of a genetically modified potato, and even though this tuber was intended for paper production and not for human consumption, the Italian Agriculture minister protested, vowing to “defend and safeguard traditional agriculture and citizen’s health.” It is no coincidence that the mention of “traditional agriculture” was given precedence in the Minister’s statement. The reluctance of much of the world to adopt biotechnology is not about the safety of the seed, but rather the preservation of “traditional agriculture” and what the Haitian protesters called food sovereignty. In large parts of the world, local trumps science, and people suffer as a result. The Obama administration has had much to say about local food. The First Lady has planted a garden, organic, of course, and the Department of Agriculture is spending 50 million or so on a program called Know Your Farmer. The effort is likely to disappoint: in fact, a suburban housewife determined to know this corn farmer is likely to be mortified by my looks, the way I smell, and my opinions.


pages: 128 words: 38,187

The New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff

3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, basic income, Bretton Woods, clean water, collective bargaining, commoditize, crony capitalism, feminist movement, follow your passion, Food sovereignty, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, Khan Academy, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, means of production, performance metric, post-work, profit motive, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, Tim Cook: Apple, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

The World Bank tried for decades to implement Green Revolution programs in poor African countries, and these efforts not only failed, but left increased levels of inequality, landlessness, and ecological damage in their wake.39 AGRA policies are more sophisticated than the 1980s World Bank policies, but they trot out the same traditional-modern dichotomy, in which traditional (read: Backward) African farming practices are to blame for African poverty and malnutrition—a claim that doesn’t hold up to empirical scrutiny.40 Thus, African farmers should follow the modern (read: Smart) practices of Western farmers to increase productivity and pull themselves out of poverty.41 AGRA is an ongoing program and has generated sustained criticism from activists and political leaders around the world. In October 2014, representatives from six African countries and more than a dozen US food sovereignty groups convened the Africa–US Food Sovereignty Strategy Summit in Seattle. But the outcry against AGRA has had little impact, because the foundation has the resources to pursue any policy goals it wishes. It has used its money to gain support inside the UN and from numerous other foundations and private donors, and it is accountable to no one other than Bill and Melinda Gates. The Gateses play down their power by situating themselves within a global network of partners that includes farmers and community groups, but the farmers who would supposedly benefit from the program have almost no voice in it.

These new seeds will be supplied by new, local private seed retailers in formal seed markets and protected by intellectual property rights. The new “certified” seeds will require increased pesticide use, so the foundation is also supporting the creation of pesticide markets. (The Gates’s ownership of 500,000 shares in Monsanto may partially explain their enthusiasm for genetically modified seeds.) When AGRA was announced it sparked an outcry from scientists, development scholars, and food sovereignty activists from both the Global South and North.38 They argue that the Green Revolution hasn’t passed over Africa, as AGRA’s title suggests. The World Bank tried for decades to implement Green Revolution programs in poor African countries, and these efforts not only failed, but left increased levels of inequality, landlessness, and ecological damage in their wake.39 AGRA policies are more sophisticated than the 1980s World Bank policies, but they trot out the same traditional-modern dichotomy, in which traditional (read: Backward) African farming practices are to blame for African poverty and malnutrition—a claim that doesn’t hold up to empirical scrutiny.40 Thus, African farmers should follow the modern (read: Smart) practices of Western farmers to increase productivity and pull themselves out of poverty.41 AGRA is an ongoing program and has generated sustained criticism from activists and political leaders around the world.

“On the assumption that commercially successful systems equal food security and social well-being,” AGRA is proposing that African farmers (most of whom are too poor to buy seeds at any price) buy and use genetically modified seeds, which they are not allowed to reuse or share, as they have done for thousands of years.43 There are serious ecological and developmental dangers in monoculture farming, and agro-ecologists worry about the growing crisis in US and European farming models. All of these problems are brushed aside in the AGRA initiative. The right of countries and their populations to food sovereignty is ignored. People from the West are experts, and African farmers are thought to be too poor and oppressed to come up with solutions and strategies. The example of education in the United States is much the same. The Gateses and other education reformers have decided that the public education system in this country is broken. They say this over and over. It’s broken, and they will fix it.


pages: 193 words: 63,618

The Fair Trade Scandal: Marketing Poverty to Benefit the Rich by Ndongo Sylla

British Empire, carbon footprint, corporate social responsibility, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, Doha Development Round, Food sovereignty, global value chain, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, land reform, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Naomi Klein, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, open economy, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, selection bias, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

Besides, the ecological costs linked to international transport do not seem to be factored in by Fair Trade. By encouraging countries of the South to export specific goods (those produced in the North mainly), Fair Trade seems to paradoxically contribute to increasing human pressure on the environment. Finally, Fair Trade seems not to encourage relocation of production processes. It encourages producers in the South to promote cash crops at the expense of subsistence crops. This threatens their food sovereignty and slows the adoption of more autonomous modes of living. This strategy also contributes to the depletion of soils under the pressure of productivist agriculture. Conclusion The objections to Fair Trade that I have reviewed are often irreconcilable with one another because they stem from radically opposed doctrinal approaches. Nevertheless, whether or not we agree with their premises, 83 Sylla T02779 01 text 83 28/11/2013 13:04 the fair trade scandal each has an undeniable merit.

If developing countries themselves do not have the means to establish these social safety nets in favour of their populations, it would be unreasonable to expect this from Fair Trade; yet it is worth noting this, if only to demonstrate the limits of its approach. This being said, a second best solution and one that is less demanding could be, for instance, to encourage economic diversification and the achievement of the food sovereignty objective. In the absence of social safety nets, this initiative would at least enable producers and their families to possibly enjoy several sources of income and to reduce their food dependency. In the FT approach, these objectives are considered as secondary. Even though their importance may be recognised, they remain subordinate to the export of products in demand by the market. In principle, the FT system boosts economic diversification if the income effect – financial gains collected, freeing up time and inputs for other forms of production – is higher than the substitution effect (the income increase from Fairtrade leads to specialisation in FT products and the phasing out of other production).

This would be of little consequence, as for some such countries, only a limited number of agricultural products account for export revenue. For countries in this situation, it is crucial in the first instance to facilitate market access and to (re)introduce income stabilisation mechanisms. Beyond this, enhancing agricultural productivity should generally be encouraged for a number of reasons. Through this approach, they would first and foremost ensure food sovereignty and security, especially in countries with dynamic demography. 150 Sylla T02779 01 text 150 28/11/2013 13:04 conclusion This in turn can reduce the cost of food products for populations, alleviate the trade balance and facilitate a channelling of export revenue towards the import of basic intermediate goods. Refocusing agriculture around domestic concerns is, in my view, more profitablefor LDCs in the long term than an economic growth model based on agricultural exports.


pages: 668 words: 159,523

Coffeeland: One Man's Dark Empire and the Making of Our Favorite Drug by Augustine Sedgewick

affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, business cycle, California gold rush, collective bargaining, European colonialism, family office, Fellow of the Royal Society, Food sovereignty, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Honoré de Balzac, imperial preference, Joan Didion, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, land reform, land tenure, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, Monroe Doctrine, Philip Mirowski, race to the bottom, refrigerator car, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, wage slave, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

To end “hunger in the coffeelands,” the Specialty Coffee Association of America proposes unmaking monocultures by planting fruit trees for shade above the coffee trees, and cultivating corn and beans in the soil below.54 At the same time, poor and hungry people around the world have come together behind bolder proposals for food security and food sovereignty. Food security, as defined by the UN, “exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”55 Food sovereignty, a concept developed by small farmers themselves, goes further, calling not only for a human right to sufficient, varied, and healthy food, but also for the production and distribution of food to be governed locally by the people who eat it.56 Both principles have begun to be translated into new, ethical certifications for coffee that honor instead of exploit basic human needs, and make eating the precondition of working rather than its contingent consequence.

Food security, as defined by the UN, “exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”55 Food sovereignty, a concept developed by small farmers themselves, goes further, calling not only for a human right to sufficient, varied, and healthy food, but also for the production and distribution of food to be governed locally by the people who eat it.56 Both principles have begun to be translated into new, ethical certifications for coffee that honor instead of exploit basic human needs, and make eating the precondition of working rather than its contingent consequence. There are two ways to think about food sovereignty. One is as a direct rebuke to the core order of the modern world, a way of plowing under the history of globalization, pulling up the root of the international coffee economy, cutting off the principal mechanism of long-distance connection between people who work coffee and people who drink coffee. But the other, more empathetic way, is to think of food sovereignty as a humane proposal for peace: picking wild fruit, tending tomatoes and blackberries, cultivating corn and beans, raising chickens, hunting and fishing, cooking with family, feeding children, sharing with neighbors, welcoming friends, eating anytime, and going back for more, again

., “Losing Labor: Coffee, Migration, and Economic Change in Veracruz,” Culture, Agriculture, Food & Environment 39, no. 1 (June 2017): 35–42. 54. “A Blueprint to End Hunger.” 55. Trade Reforms and Food Security: Conceptualizing the Linkages (Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2003), www.fao.org/docrep/005/y4671e/y4671e00.htm# Contents. 56. Hannah Wittman et al., eds., Food Sovereignty: Connecting Food, Nature, and Community (Halifax, NS: Fernwood, 2010). 57. Huston, Families As We Are, 276–78; interview with Jaime Hill, PHP. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Uncollected Manuscripts Libro de planillas de la Finca de la propiedad de Antonio Flores Torres, 1926–1931, Intercorp, S.V., San Salvador, El Salvador Papers of J. Hill y Cía., 1902–1950, Las Tres Puertas, Santa Ana, El Salvador Papers of Otis McAllister, Inc., 1902–1907, San Francisco Archival Collections Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC Hills Bros.


ECOVILLAGE: 1001 ways to heal the planet by Ecovillage 1001 Ways to Heal the Planet-Triarchy Press Ltd (2015)

Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, Community Supported Agriculture, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Food sovereignty, land tenure, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, off grid, Ronald Reagan, young professional

Lakabe Today In the history of Lakabe it was very important to get involved in RIE (Iberican Network) and in GEN. This helped us to understand that we are part of something bigger. Things become clearer when you see your position within a movement. It is like a field of resonance. Today, we have three generations living in Lakabe. We are 100% self-sufficient in energy. In terms of food, we have 80% regional food sovereignty. People come and do trainings and workshops here to learn about this kind of life. We have our own school. Our children show what Lakabe is about. They have a strong sense of social behaviour and are very committed to understanding what is taking place on the planet. We have worked a lot on governance and decision-making and offer workshops throughout Spain to help people set up proper governance in their projects and communities.

Sometimes people tell me that I work miracles. I also work with challenges and failure; ideas evaporated, projects faded, plans had to be postponed. Yet I cannot be held back. I must look at that what has succeeded and be filled with gratitude, for only then will abundance spread. www.otepic.org Keywords for Solution Library: Earthbag Houses — building cheap and simple shelters Bread from Sweet Potatoes — creating local food sovereignty Portable Gardens — growing food in urban environments solution.ecovillage.org Ubuntu — I Am Because You Are Greening Schools / Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia Mugove Walter Nyika, council member of GEN-Africa, was born in Zimbabwe, became a permaculture and ecovillage teacher, moved to Malawi and then, recently, to the Zambia. He speaks about his memories, about the abundance of nature in his childhood, how it was destroyed, and how the wounds of nature and of the mind can heal.

They can only sell inside Palestine, and as products in such a small country are ripe at the same time, the market is at times flooded with cheap tomatoes, cucumbers or mandarins. Thus, farmers cannot ask a price that pays for their work, especially when they grow organic fruits. By establishing the solar dryers, we created the possibility of preserving fruits and vegetables for the winter, thus strengthening food sovereignty. When we presented this technology people said: “We used to dry our products on the rooftops, but we had to take them down in the evening and put them back up in the morning, and sometimes it rained and then all was ruined.” The solar dryer makes things easy: a plastic sheet tunnel and solar driven fans to take care of the right humidity. The fruits are dried in one day. Another example: flush toilets were not in our culture originally, but now they consume a lot of our precious water resources.


Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution by Wendy Brown

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Food sovereignty, haute couture, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, late capitalism, means of production, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, Philip Mirowski, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, shareholder value, sharing economy, The Chicago School, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, young professional, zero-sum game

Extractable in principle only, best practices bring with them the ends and values with which they are imbricated; by the experts’ own accounts, these are market values. Meanwhile, the aims they replace could include those of educating citizens and developing human beings with those of meeting investor or consumer demand in a university; or those of vitalizing democracy or securing the health of the indigent with those of compressing costs in municipal agencies; or those of producing food sovereignty, war recovery, sustainable resource use or access to the arts with those of branding and competitive positioning for nonprofits and NGOs. Of course best practices are selected and tailored for specific features or challenges of an operation — customer service, employee-driven product innovation, downsizing, management restructuring, outsourcing — but the criterion for a best practice is its help in achieving competitive advantage.

Organic, diversified, low-cost, ecologically sustainable wheat production in Iraq is finished.68 Half the free wheat seeds distributed in post-Saddam Iraq were for bread wheat; the other half was for pasta wheat, and pasta is no part of the Iraqi diet.69 Thus, in addition to making Iraqi farmers dependent on giant corporations whose seeds, licensing, and chemicals they must now purchase annually (and for which state subsidies P o l i t i c a l R at i o n a l i t y a n d G o v e rn a n c e 145 are available, while other farm subsidies were eliminated), they were being transformed from multicrop local food providers into monocrop participants in global import-export markets.70 Today, Iraqi farmers generate profits for Monsanto by supplying pasta to Texas school cafeterias, while Iraq has become an importer of staples formerly grown on its own soil. There is more to this heartbreaking story of the destruction of thousands of years of sustainable agriculture and of what some activists call “food sovereignty,” but let us fast-forward to one possible future. A similar experiment took place in India in the 1990s.71 Tens of thousands of farmers were lured into using genetically modified cotton seed by village-to-village agribusiness representatives promising bigger crops with export potential, something especially important at a time when neoliberal reforms were eliminating government price supports and subsidies for cotton production.

Thus, while it is certainly possible to imagine more ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable practices for Iraqi agriculture, these would be at odds with global markets and competition, 148 u n d o in g t h e d e m o s intellectual property rights, and new financing conventions, not to mention modernized agricultural techniques. Farming practices that are organic, biodiverse, small scale, cooperative, free of debt financing, and aimed at generating “food sovereignty” for the nation might be sensible from the perspective of how Iraqi wheat production could draw on past knowledge, materials, and techniques for a sustainable future. But insofar as they would make Iraq an outlier in the global economy, they could not qualify as best practices. Also visible in this story is the specific meshing of state and business aims through neoliberal governance, a meshing that exceeds the interlocking directorates or quid pro quo arrangements familiar from past iterations of capitalism.


pages: 396 words: 112,832

Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love by Simran Sethi

Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Food sovereignty, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Louis Pasteur, microbiome, phenotype, placebo effect, Skype, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, women in the workforce

They want the right to enjoy what the rest of the world eats—or at least what the world says they should eat. The loss of agricultural biodiversity and our narrowing global diet are, in part, a reflection of hamburger culture. Fast, processed food is considered modern, easy and cool—sentiments that wind all the way back to the crops that are grown. Phrang Roy, coordinator of the Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty, saw this surface in the l960s during the rise of industrialized agriculture, which started with the Green Revolution, a period of intensive planting of high-yielding cereal crops that transformed agriculture. “If a farmer grew a multitude of crops, he was not modern, he was backward,” Phrang said. “If his field was a bit messy, not manicured or monoculture, he was backward. This is the psychological impact of accepting someone else’s standard.

While roughly one-fourth of food crops are preserved in genebanks, Penn State geographer Karl Zimmerer and his colleagues learned, through their assessment of global census data, that “up to 75 percent of the seeds needed to produce the world’s diverse food crops are held by small farmers” working on plots of less than 7 acres. Most of these farmers are women who preserve diversity through “networks of seed and knowledge exchanges.”50 They grow crops that flourish in small areas and nourish local palates, ones that may not ever make it into limited ex situ collections (which, however diverse, can only hold so much). These women are the ones securing the foundation of food sovereignty: the right to decide what to grow and how to grow it—and the right to ultimately decide what to eat.51 Women feed the world. In a story titled “India’s Farming ‘Revolution’ Heading for Collapse,” investigative reporter Daniel Zwerdling explains, “When farmers switched from growing a variety of traditional crops to high-yield wheat and rice, they also had to make other changes. There wasn’t enough rainwater to grow thirsty ‘miracle’ seeds, so farmers had to start irrigating with groundwater.

“Wheat,” Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, last modified April 2012, http://www.agmrc.org/commodities__products/grains__oilseeds/wheat/. 48.Borlaug, “The Green Revolution, Peace, and Humanity.” 49.Daniel Zwerdling, “India’s Farming ‘Revolution’ Heading for Collapse,” pt. 1, All Things Considered, NPR, April 13, 2009, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102893816. 50.Chris Arsenault, “Small Farmers Hold the Key to Seed Diversity,” Reuters, February 16, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/16/us-food-aid-climate-idUSKBN0LK1PO20150216. 51.Ronit Ridberg, “Leading the Fight for Food Sovereignty, An Interview with La Via Campesina’s Dena Hoff,” Nourishing the Planet (blog), Worldwatch Institute, August 9, 2010, http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6514. 52.Daniel Zwerdling, “‘Green Revolution’ Trapping India’s Farmers in Debt,” pt. 2, Morning Edition, NPR, April 14, 2009, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102944731. 53.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), “A Statement by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva” (“Lectio ‘Aula Magna,’” lecture at the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Piedmont, Italy, March 25, 2013), http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/newsroom/docs/2012-03-25-university-of-gastronomic-sciences-lectio-aulamagna-DG-speech-en.pdf. 54.Sean Gallagher, “The Poisoning of Punjab,” Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, September 2, 2014, http://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/asia-india-punjab-pesticide-food-production-pollution-chemical-agriculture; E.


pages: 684 words: 212,486

Hunger: The Oldest Problem by Martin Caparros

Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, carbon footprint, commoditize, David Graeber, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Food sovereignty, Gini coefficient, income inequality, index fund, invention of agriculture, Jeff Bezos, Live Aid, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, Slavoj Žižek, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the market place, Tobin tax, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%

Against the idea of food security understood as the guarantee that everybody will receive—receive being the key word here—enough food, an international organization, La Vía Campesina coined the idea of food sovereignty. In their Declaration of Nyéléni in Mali in 2007, they defined this as, “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations. It defends the interests and inclusion of the next generation. It offers a strategy to resist and dismantle the current corporate trade and food regime, and directions for food, farming, pastoral and fisheries systems determined by local producers. Food sovereignty prioritizes local and national economies and markets and empowers peasant and family farmer-driven agriculture, artisanal fishing, pastoralist-led grazing, and food production, distribution, and consumption based on environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

Food sovereignty prioritizes local and national economies and markets and empowers peasant and family farmer-driven agriculture, artisanal fishing, pastoralist-led grazing, and food production, distribution, and consumption based on environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Food sovereignty promotes transparent trade that guarantees just income to all peoples and the rights of consumers to control their food and nutrition. It ensures that the rights to use and manage our lands, territories, waters, seeds, livestock, and biodiversity are in the hands of those of us who produce food. Food sovereignty implies new social relations free of oppression and inequality between men and women, peoples, racial groups, social classes, and generations.”20 What would happen if we all ate, if nobody died of hunger? Would it then be fair that some had billions and others just enough to eat.


pages: 273 words: 93,419

Let them eat junk: how capitalism creates hunger and obesity by Robert Albritton

Bretton Woods, California gold rush, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate personhood, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, illegal immigration, immigration reform, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, land reform, late capitalism, means of production, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, South Sea Bubble, the built environment, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile

Since the draconian structural adjustment policies increasingly imposed on developing countries from the 1980s, movements of self-protection against big capital’s tendency to drive people from the land and to leave them hungry have been particularly important. Now they are even more necessary as food 204 L E T T H E M E AT J U N K prices rise globally, and this is why Via Campesina and the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement have been so successful. Via Campesina’s call for “food sovereignty” is essentially an effort to find ways of insulating the rural poor from the rapaciousness of global capitalism by rebuilding healthy rural communities that are, at least to some degree, self-sufficient. At the same time, given the violent and exploitative history of colonialism and imperialism, and the devastation that this history has caused throughout the global South, it is also necessary to think about longer-term means to significantly redistribute wealth on a global scale – a redistribution that will only become possible and effective to the extent that international cooperation is far more advanced than it is today.

Coli 115 ecology 6–7, 24, 148, 161, 219 see also environment Ecuador 138 election campaigns (US) 185–6 El Salvador 159 empty calories 3, 5, 94 see also junk food enclosures of commons 12, 21 England 31, 44, 54 environment 152, 146–65 environmental costs 61, 148, 183 environmental debt 147 environmental degradation 61, 147, 151 environmental regulations 45 see also ecology Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 137, 151, 159, 192 equality x, 197 see also inequality erosion 157 ethanol 5, 15, 23, 107, 135, 147, 150–2, 154, 189, 212 Everglades 45, 100–1, 171, 216 exercise 104 export-oriented agriculture 125, 134–6, 141 externalities xii, 28, 208 see also social costs extinction 156 extreme weather 35, 153, 156, 158 F Factory Acts 31 factory farms 19, 29, 36, 150, 157 see also agriculture fair trade 204 254 INDEX family farms 8, 18, 19, 25, 42, 45, 49, 59, 69, 82, 83, 120, 123, 128–30, 138, 140–1, 144, 203 see also agriculture farm income 128–30 fashion 69 fast food 32, 92, 97–8, 109, 120 fast food chains 133, 120–2 feedlots 103 see also confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) field workers 126–8 Fiji Islands 176 fish 160 flourishing 6 food 10 food additives 63, 113 food aid 108 food crisis ix, x, 89 food disparagement laws 189 food inspection 112, 189 food prices ix, 5, 23, 41, 88, 108, 129, 135, 141–2, 150, 152, 187, 204 see also hunger, starvation, structural adjustment policies, subsidies food provisioning 164 food pyramid 188 food regime/system 6 food safety 189 food security 153 see also food prices, hunger, starvation, structural adjustment policies, subsidies food sovereignty 204 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) ix, 89, 97, 153, 188 forced labour 124, 127 see also slavery fossil fuel 148, 151, 155 see also coal, petroleum Framework Convention on Tobacco Control 187 Frank Statement 191–2 freedom 47, 189 see also rights French revolution 2 G General Marshall 182 General Pershing 182 genetically modified organisms (GMOs) 118–19, 147, 161–3, 193 Bt crops 162 Roundup ready crops 162 global warming xi, 4, 5, 35, 147, 150, 154–6, 159, 179, 218 globalization 43–6, 71 glyposate 118–19 see also Roundup golden age 13, 52, 53 Gore, Al 100 government 183 government regulation 168, 193, 206 grain crops 155 green house gas emissions 142, 146, 148, 151, 155, 157 Greenland ice sheet 154 green revolution 58, 61, 115, 118, 124, 135, 149 green tobacco sickness 220 group of eight xii guaranteed annual income 35, 205, 210 guest workers 127, 140 H Haber–Bosch process 57 Haiti 128 Hammer, Armand 63 health 6, 16, 81, 92–4, 144, 174, 190–1, 210 high blood pressure 109 high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) 96, 101 historical analysis 13 historical directionality 12 homogenization 24, 33–7, 66 see also monoculture, species loss human flourishing 213 INDEX human rights 132 human right to food 197 see also rights Human Rights Watch 131, 138–9 hunger 4, 80, 89, 91, 105–8, 158, 204 see also starvation I identity 6, 10 island identity 46–7 see also subjectivity, individualism, possessive individualism ideology 74–5, 168, 182, 196 see also capitalist ideology illegal drugs 141 immigrant labour 40, 124, 126 see also guest workers, undocumented workers India 142 Indian Ocean 158 indifference to use-value 28, 29, 77 see also quality versus quantity individualism 26, 73–4, 166, 168, 170, 179 Indonesia 142, 155 industrial reserve army 39 inelasticity 24 inequality 8, 72, 134, 152, 180, 184, 194, 213 see also equality, poverty, poverty line, wages inner logic 12 see also abstract theory, deep structure/cause, pure capitalism intensification 30, 131 see also speed international cooperation 204, 207, 211 see also movements International Monetary Fund (IMF) 134 invisible hand 11 irrationality x, xi, 6, 29, 195, 202, 207 see also contradiction, rationality irrigation 157 255 Ivory Coast 138, 202 J jobs 126 job security 125–6 job turnover 131, 133 Joe Camel 171 Johnson, President L.


pages: 324 words: 93,606

No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy by Linsey McGoey

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, American Legislative Exchange Council, bitcoin, Bob Geldof, cashless society, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, effective altruism, Etonian, financial innovation, Food sovereignty, Ford paid five dollars a day, germ theory of disease, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Mitch Kapor, Mont Pelerin Society, Naomi Klein, obamacare, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school choice, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, urban planning, wealth creators

As Stuckler and his colleagues have asked, when a philanthropic foundation that is heavily invested in Coca-Cola chooses to set up a charitable initiative that enlists poor farmers in cultivating fruit for Coca-Cola, the question is – does this still count as philanthropy? And if not, then why should the Gates Foundation continue to receive the generous tax exemptions it currently enjoys?42 TAMING THE DONORS In 2014, the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), a pan-African platform composed of different farmers organizations throughout the continent, submitted an ‘open letter’ to the Gates Foundation and Iowa State University expressing concern over human feeding trials of GM bananas taking place at the university. The results of the trials were aimed at supporting the release of GM bananas into Ugandan farming and food systems although Uganda has resisted efforts to increase the use of GM crops in the nation.

, Alliance 16 (2011), 29–45. 11Evgeny Morozov, To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism (London: Allen Lane, 2013) 12Rich, “‘No Child” Law Whittled Down by White House’. 13Edwards, Small Change, 25. 14Morozov, To Save Everything, Click Here, 133. 15Peter Thiel, ‘The Education of a Libertarian’, Cato Unbound, 13 April 2009. 16See Morozov, To Save Everything, Click Here. 17Quoted in Eichenwald, ‘Microsoft’s Lost Decade’. 18Tressell’s biographer, F.C. Ball, discovered that Noonan – Tressell’s name while alive – was itself an earlier pseudonym. He was likely born Robert Croker. I refer to him as Noonan as it was his chosen name. Index Africa: and African markets, 216–9, 222; agricultural challenges in, 216–7, 221–2; and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, 217, 218; and the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, 228; and Coca-Cola, 222–3; and diseases, 190–1, 223–4; economic infrastructures in, 39, 170–1; and genetically modified maize, 218–9; Ghana, 1–3, 5, 21, 150, 170–1; and Monsanto, 206, 216–9, 221–2; and M-PESA bill-pay system, 81–2; Uganda, 14, 219, 228; and World Food Programme’s Purchase for Progress, 208; and World Health Organization, 226 African Americans: and education, 10, 54; and schools established by Rosenwald, 118; as source of labour for industrialists, 46–7; and students’ gap in test scores, 138; and voting rights, 45 Allen, Paul, 181–3 altruism, 48, 90, 146 American Legislative Exchange Council, 131–2, 200 Apotex, 103–4 Apple, 143, 246 Argentina, 188–9 Ashoka, 66, 68, 72 Asia: and Coca-Cola, 222–3; and World Food Programme’s Purchase for Progress, 208; and World Health Organization, 226 Balsillie, Jim, 106–7, 245 Band, Doug, 29–32 Barefoot College, 67, 68 Barkan, Joanne, 128, 139, 140, 144 Bastiat, Frédéric, 198, 200 Baudelaire, Charles, 12–13, 14 Berkshire Hathaway, 8, 173–4, 215 Bishop, Matthew, 6, 7, 8, 111 Bloomberg, Michael, 127–8 Boldrin, Michele, 199–200 Bourdieu, Pierre, 19–20, 65 Brazil, 17, 96, 221 Broad Foundation, 9, 122, 139 Buffett, Howard, 216, 221 Buffett, Warren: and Berkshire Hathaway, 173, 216; and Coca-Cola, 173, 222; as a donor to African farming programmes, 216; and Gates Foundation, 8, 173, 174; and the Giving Pledge, 24, 117; and Goldman Sachs, 215; and philanthropy, 24, 26, 146 Bush, George H.


pages: 382 words: 107,150

We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now: The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages by Annelise Orleck

airport security, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, card file, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, Food sovereignty, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, McJob, means of production, new economy, payday loans, precariat, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Skype, special economic zone, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor

They can buy medicine for those who are sick. And once their children are educated, they can become part of the rice marketing. They have a business of their own.” Through the heirloom rice business, indigenous Cordillera women have become political advocates for their communities, says Hensley. They travel through Asia and Europe, connecting with other farmers and slow-food activists. They have become part of the global fight for “food sovereignty.” Each country’s citizens should control local food supplies, policies, and growing practices, they argue, not global seed and chemical companies. Garcia’s remarkable energy helped spark a little revolution in the Cordillera, says Hensley. “I can still see her in my mind, visiting a hundred little communities, finding ways to speak to farmers in their own languages (which are different in every town).

In California, the world’s sixth-largest economy, proposed legislation that stands a good chance of passage includes laws improving access to clean drinking water for all, farm-to-school free meal programs, incentives for organic farming, and eased access to land and cutting-edge farm machinery for underserved farmers: young farmers, women, veterans, and farmers of color. Perhaps most important is their Food Chain Workers’ Bill of Rights. The food-chain bill is potentially transformative, they say. One in six US workers labor in food-chain jobs. So do millions more worldwide. Food First director Eric Holt-Giménez and Berkeley professor Miguel Altieri see similar kinds of coalitions being formed worldwide as “agroecologists build strategic alliances with food sovereignty and agrarian movements.” These alliances, they believe, are creating “considerable political will for the transformation of our food systems.” As Via Campesina argues, the future of our world and its creatures may depend on their success.17 Cotton farming is being transformed as well. And, once again, global worker protest and consumer pressure have catalyzed change. In May 2017, thirteen of the world’s largest clothing, retail, and textile companies, which together use 300,000-plus tons of cotton annually, signed a Sustainable Cotton Communiqué.


Global Financial Crisis by Noah Berlatsky

accounting loophole / creative accounting, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, centre right, circulation of elites, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, energy security, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Food sovereignty, George Akerlof, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, moral hazard, new economy, Northern Rock, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, South China Sea, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, working poor

In the search for an alternative paradigm, Africa should revisit key documents, such as the Lagos Plan of Action (LPA), the African Alternative Framework to SAPs (AAF-SAPs), the Arusha Declaration on popular participation, and the Abuja Treaty, among others. An update of these documents and the integration of contributions made by the struggles of civil society organisations in the areas of gender equality, trade, finance, food sovereignty, human and social rights should help Africa come up with its own development paradigm. Africa and Africans should reclaim the debate on their development. Is it necessary to stress again that Africa’s regional and continental integration is one of the keys to its survival and long-term development? Because only a collective and concerted effort can help Africa overcome the multiple obstacles that lie on the road to an endogenous, people-centred, democratic and sustainable development.


pages: 614 words: 176,458

Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Boris Johnson, call centre, carbon footprint, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Just-in-time delivery, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, megacity, Northern Rock, Panamax, peak oil, refrigerator car, scientific mainstream, sexual politics, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

It can be done through selling bags of subsidized compost, but at the current price of £10 for a 25 kilo sack, organic pig-feed justifies the transport a lot more than organic compost. The return of the backyard pig will not only sort out our food waste problems more importantly it will enhance the cultural life of the nation. The pig has always been a mainstay of the poor family’s independence and of a community’s food sovereignty. ‘Pigs for health’ was an English expression; ‘the pig pays the rent’ an Irish one. It is because of the centrality of the pig to the security and the aspirations of settled peasants – be they Papuan tribesmen, the labourers of Larkrise, or the negroes of Maryland – that its life, its death and its afterlife are invariably imbued with ritual or religious significance.34 ‘Stand by your Ham’ is a call that resonates more fully amongst a proud and independent peasantry than a bunch of whingeing factory farmers, some of whom have probably never cured a ham in their lives.

In 1997, he drew up for the FAO the table reproduced as Table 5 below which shows more graphically than any paragraph I could write how ecologically and socially damaging it is to place ownership of the world’s marine biomass in the hands of a few powerful and overcapitalized corporations. Table 5: The World’s Two Marine Fishing Industries – How They Compare Credit: David Thompson/FAO The one matter that Thomson’s chart doesn’t show is who eats the fish. One can be reasonably confident that fish caught by the small scale sector are feeding local people (though not necessarily all local people) and contributing to a region’s food sovereignty. The global fleet of factory trawlers, on the other hand, is an engine for hoovering up protein in certain parts of the world and ferrying it to consumers thousands of miles away who have the wherewithal to pay for it. And the flow of protein is from the waters of people who need it to the tables of people who don’t. Sacred Cows and Infernal Goats The term ‘waste’ is interesting, not so much for its derivation, from the Latin vastus meaning desolate, as for the modern meanings that have subsequently been assigned to it.


Green Economics: An Introduction to Theory, Policy and Practice by Molly Scott Cato

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Bretton Woods, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, carbon footprint, central bank independence, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deskilling, energy security, food miles, Food sovereignty, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, gender pay gap, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job satisfaction, land reform, land value tax, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, mortgage debt, passive income, peak oil, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, the built environment, The Spirit Level, Tobin tax, University of East Anglia, wikimedia commons

His salt marches and campaign for homespun cloth or khadi (the origin of the spinning wheel on India’s national flag) were designed to achieve not just national independence but local and personal independence too: GLOBALIZATION AND TRADE 133 BOX 8.2 THE FIGHT-BACK: TRADE-RELATED DIRECT ACTION IN INDIA • • • • • • Shut-down of a Coca-Cola plant in Plachimada, Kerala by local tribal women; the company had been exploiting the valuable local water resource to the extent of 1.5 million litres a day; blockades of 87 Coca-Cola and Pepsi plants nationwide inspired by the Plachimada example; students at Jawaharlal Nehru University voted to replace their campus Nestlé outlet with a café serving indigenous cuisine from the northeast tribal region of India Seed Sovereignty: a nationwide movement encouraging non-cooperation with seed patent laws; development of sufficiency agriculture policies around the slogan – Food Sovereignty, Seed Sovereignty, Water Sovereignty; creation by communities of ‘freedom zones’ protected from GM seeds, pesticides, unfair practices by corporations and monopolistic markets. Source: C. Lucas, V. Shiva and C. Hines (2005) ‘Making poverty inevitable: The consequence of the UK government’s damaging approach to global trade’, download available from Caroline Lucas’ website: www.carolinelucasmep.org.uk.


pages: 326 words: 91,559

Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy by Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Mechanical Turk, back-to-the-land, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, disruptive innovation, do-ocracy, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Food sovereignty, four colour theorem, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hydraulic fracturing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, multi-sided market, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post-work, precariat, premature optimization, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, undersea cable, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

Black activists during that period visited co-ops in Africa and Israel. Martin Luther King Jr. tried to set up credit unions during the Montgomery Bus Boycott and at his church in Atlanta—efforts that faced resistance from federal regulators. After years of agitating for voting rights, Fannie Lou Hamer organized the Freedom Farm, a cooperative meant to secure the gains of civil rights with food sovereignty. When Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee members agitated for voting rights in Jackson, they also helped create cooperatives; later, black churches kept up the work by building bulwark institutions such as the Hope Credit Union.29 Cooperation has bound survival and resistance together. The generation of farmers that organized under the Federation of Southern Cooperatives in the 1960s and 1970s is aging out of existence, and the next generation of black-led cooperation is still just beginning to emerge.


pages: 829 words: 229,566

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, different worldview, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jones Act, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, renewable energy transition, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, wages for housework, walkable city, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

After all, the U.S. has more food than it knows what to do with, and still 50 million people are food insecure.”28 And he adds, “The tragedy here is that there are thousands of successful experiments, worldwide, showing how climate-smart agriculture can work. They’re characterized not by expensive fertilizer from Yara and proprietary seeds from Monsanto, but knowledge developed and shared by peasants freely and equitably.” And, Patel says, “In its finest moments, agroecology gets combined with ‘food sovereignty,’ with democratic control of the food system, so that not only is more food produced, but it’s distributed so that everyone gets to eat it too.”29 About That German Miracle . . . We now have a few models to point to that demonstrate how to get far-reaching decentralized climate solutions off the ground with remarkable speed, while fighting poverty, hunger, and joblessness at the same time.

In fact the slogan long embraced by this movement has been “System Change, Not Climate Change”—a recognition that these are the two choices we face.67 “The climate justice fight here in the U.S. and around the world is not just a fight against the [biggest] ecological crisis of all time,” Miya Yoshitani, executive director of the Oakland-based Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), explains. “It is the fight for a new economy, a new energy system, a new democracy, a new relationship to the planet and to each other, for land, water, and food sovereignty, for Indigenous rights, for human rights and dignity for all people. When climate justice wins we win the world that we want. We can’t sit this one out, not because we have too much to lose but because we have too much to gain. . . . We are bound together in this battle, not just for a reduction in the parts per million of CO2, but to transform our economies and rebuild a world that we want today.”68 This is what many liberal commentators get wrong when they assume that climate action is futile because it asks us to sacrifice in the name of far-off benefits.


pages: 338 words: 104,684

The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People's Economy by Stephanie Kelton

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, COVID-19, Covid-19, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, discrete time, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, floating exchange rates, Food sovereignty, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, liquidity trap, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Mason jar, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Nixon shock, obamacare, open economy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, trade liberalization, urban planning, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yield curve, zero-sum game

Meanwhile, as Fadhel Kaboub recommends, South-South trade partnerships could help developing countries grow complementary industries and escape their current position in the global production chain, where they’re stuck importing high-value finished goods and exporting cheaper intermediate goods. Otherwise, we will need a system that transfers these productive resources and technological know-how from the developed world to the developing one.39 That would deliver poorer parts of the world the industrial capacity they need to build up their (renewable) energy and (sustainable) food sovereignty—and thus escape the trap we discussed earlier of being dependent on imports to access critical resources. In theory and practice, lack of food and energy sovereignty are solvable problems. Even major food importing countries with mostly desert climates can adopt a sustainable agriculture program by investing in more water efficient hydroponic and aquaponics food production. And even countries with no oil or natural gas reserves can adopt a renewable energy program by installing solar and wind farms, and by investing in energy efficiency for housing and transportation.


pages: 464 words: 116,945

Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism by David Harvey

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, California gold rush, call centre, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, drone strike, end world poverty, falling living standards, fiat currency, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Food sovereignty, Frank Gehry, future of work, global reserve currency, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, peak oil, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wages for housework, Wall-E, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

When famines do occur (as, sadly, they too often do), it is invariably due to social and political causes. The last great famine in China, which may have killed some 20 million people at the time of the ‘great leap forward’, occurred precisely because China was then by political choice isolated from the world market. Such an event could not now happen in China. This should be a salutary lesson for all those who place their anti-capitalist faith on the prospects for local food sovereignty, local self-sufficiency and decoupling from the global economy. Freeing ourselves from the chains of an international division of labour organised for the benefit of capital and the imperialist powers is one thing, but decoupling from the world market in the name of anti-globalisation is a potentially suicidal alternative. The central contradiction in capital’s use of the division of labour is not technical but social and political.


pages: 538 words: 138,544

The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-And How We Can Make It Better by Annie Leonard

air freight, banking crisis, big-box store, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, dematerialisation, employer provided health coverage, energy security, European colonialism, Firefox, Food sovereignty, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, global supply chain, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, liberation theology, McMansion, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ralph Nader, renewable energy credits, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, supply-chain management, the built environment, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, union organizing, Wall-E, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

In 2005, the Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements, a coalition of farmers from around the country, wrote a letter to the prime minister summarizing their demands in the face of the emergency: “The dumping of these agricultural commodities led to depression in the domestic farmgate prices, which led to a deep agrarian crisis and caused increased cases of farmers’ suicides... We believe that the very structure of WTO rules therefore distorts trade against small farmers, against food sovereignty and against trade justice. That is why we gave a call for the removal of agriculture from WTO... Agriculture in India is not an industry. It is the main source of livelihood for 70% of the population of the country. We therefore demand from the Indian government to quit from WTO. We also demand that agriculture should be out of WTO.”119 As I finalize this book in late 2009, farmers throughout India are continuing to fight with increasing desperation to protect their livelihoods and save their economy from being the latest casualty of the WTO.


pages: 717 words: 150,288

Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism by Stephen Graham

addicted to oil, airport security, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, DARPA: Urban Challenge, defense in depth, deindustrialization, digital map, edge city, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Food sovereignty, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Google Earth, illegal immigration, income inequality, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loose coupling, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, McMansion, megacity, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, one-state solution, pattern recognition, peak oil, planetary scale, private military company, Project for a New American Century, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, surplus humans, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, white picket fence

‘Nobody understands’, he said, ‘how 11 to 12 billion dollars a year [of US biofuel] subsidies in 2006 and protective [US] tariff polices have had the effect of diverting 100m tonnes of cereals from human consumption, mostly to satisfy a thirst for fuel for vehicles’.163 Worse still, state-supported biofuel expansion programmes in countries such as India and Indonesia were bringing about wide-scale deforestation (which sparked major bursts of greenhouse gases); an extension in the power of corporate agribusiness; and the forcible removal of indigenous and poor communities from their lands (which governments often class as ‘wastelands’). ‘Tens of millions of hectares worldwide have been converted to grow biofuels’, writes Almuth Ernsting. ‘Hundreds of millions of hectares are being eyed by biofuel corporations and lobbyists. The land-grab now underway has devastating impacts on food sovereignty and food security’.164 In response, mass evictions and mass protests have become common. Indonesia’s indigenous Orang Rimba community, for example, has held demonstrations against the deforestation of the Sumatran rain forest – which had sustained their semi-nomadic livelihoods for centuries – for biofuel palm-oil monoculture (Figure 9.14). As a result, many Orang Rimba ‘are [now] forced to beg or take food from plantations where they are vulnerable to violence, and they suffer from hunger and malnutrition’.165 9.14 Orang Rimba indigenous groups protesting against the takeover of their lands by biofuel plantations in Indonesia’s Jambi province.


pages: 708 words: 176,708

The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire by Wikileaks

affirmative action, anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Edward Snowden, energy security, energy transition, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, experimental subject, F. W. de Klerk, facts on the ground, failed state, financial innovation, Food sovereignty, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, high net worth, invisible hand, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, liberal world order, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, Northern Rock, Philip Mirowski, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game, éminence grise

This cable reveals that the embassy saw business support as a potential way to “balance” the “competing interests” behind the Constituent Assembly [07QUITO768]. Despite the efforts of the US embassy, voters approved the proposal for a Constituent Assembly with 80 percent of the vote, and gave Correa’s party a majority of the seats in the assembly. The new constitution—which contained numerous progressive initiatives, such as enshrining the rights of nature, treating drug abuse as a health issue, and food sovereignty—was approved with 64 percent of the vote.19 While the US ultimately proved unsuccessful in preventing Correa’s rise, the cables reveal the embassy’s clear intention to thwart the public’s will. The concerns of the United States about Correa, and its activities against Ecuador’s progressive movement, did not end with the election of President Obama, however. In January 2009, Ambassador Heather Hodges wrote: “Over the past two months, Correa has taken an increasingly leftist, anti-American posture, apparently unconcerned that his actions would result in frayed ties with the United States.”