Links for the Week – Feb. 4/06

icecapsThis week’s focus is on the environment, politics and economics

The Environment

All Environment News All the Time: That’s the promise of a new 24/7 environmental radio station, Radio Ecoshock.

Inexpensive Solar Power for Intentional Communities: Even small villages in struggling nations can afford the improvements and self-sufficiency that solar power provides, thanks to a new installation model called Solar Power Village. Thanks to Jeff Gold of the Canadian Green Party for the link.

Who’s Using Green Power: The US EPA is now tracking and ranking US organizations on how much of the energy they consume comes from renewable sources. Thanks to reader ‘Robert’ for the link.

Bush Gives Big Agriculture Polluters a Free Pass: In his latest shameless corporatist act, Bush is providing the agriculture oligopoly an exemption from EPA pollution rules if they volunteer for a ‘study’ on how bad the pollution is.

Yet More Evidence of Accelerating Climate Change: A new scientific report commissioned for the UK government shows the climate in the arctic warming at a rapidly accelerating rate, with dire consequences for the planet.Thanks to Dale Asberry for the link.

Canadian Politics

Multi-Party Voting Decision-Maker: Canadians are fortunate to have several political parties to choose from, although lack of proportional representation sometimes makes that choice moot. But here’s a really neat tool that walks you through all the issues and tells you (sometimes surprisingly) how close each party’s platform is to your personal views.

US Politics & Economics:

Who’s Lobbying Whom: A new service of the Center for Public Integrity, Lobbywatch tracks the source and destination of money designed to influence public policy and law. Thanks to Craig of Craigslist via James Coughlan for the link.

US Consumers Spending More Than They Earn: Overspending by US consumers has now reached its highest level since the darkest years of the Great Depression. Well, they’re just following the horrible example set by their federal government.

US General Health Care on Verge of Collapse: For those who can’t afford private clinics, finding a general practitioner is now nearly impossible, and it will get worse without Medicare reforms that stress prevention instead of expensive care, say the American College of Physicians.

Gore Vidal Doesn’t Like Imperial Presidents: A delicious rant by the always-eloquent Vidal on the US president’s propensity to act like a Roman emperor.

US Rich-Poor Disparity Balloons Again: The disparity between the ultra-rich and the rest of America soared again in the latest statistics (2003) just released. The gap is now comparable to that found in corrupt third world dictatorships. The share of total wealth owned by the top 1% has now grow from 39% to 58% in just 15 years, and is accelerating — up 4%in just the latest year.

Bush Cabal Wants to Fight the Net: In case you missed my earlier mention of this — a scary report about Homeland Security’s plan to own, and if necessary, destroy the Internet as part of the War on Terror. Thanks to Dale Asberry for this link, and the one that follows.

‘Chinese’ Film Mocks US Dependence on Cheap Chinese Labour: Savage and absolutely hilarious — but long (15 minutes) Sundance festival film explaining how China is exploiting the unsustainable US trade deficit to leapfrog the US as an economic power.

International Politics

Russia Brags About Circumventing US Missile Shield: Angry about the US’s “do what I say, not what I do” stance on nuclear disarmament, Putin announced that their new armaments are smart enough to circumvent any anti-missile defenses. Thanks to Mark Matchen for the link.

UK Neocon Calls War With Iran Inevitable: The logic of the neocons in saying there is no choice but to launch yet another disastrous ‘preemptive’ war, this time with Iran, is so perverse it’s terrifying. Thanks to Dale Asberry for the link.

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