Category Archives: Environmentalism & Animal Rights

UPDATED (12/22/019): Little Guy Shoulders Costs Of Crony Capitalism: Pollution, Red Tide, Ground-Water Contamination…

Business, Capitalism, Donald Trump, Economy, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Free Markets, Globalism, IMMIGRATION

Paul Craig Roberts gets to the nub of American crony capitalism: profits are privatized; external costs are socialized. In other words, The Little Guy bears the brunt of the pillage, be it reckless commercial farming or rampant real-estate pillaging (“development”), fueled by endless immigration central-planning.

External or social costs are costs of producing a product that the producer does not incur but imposes on third parties or on the environment. For example, untreated sewage dumped into a stream imposes costs on people downstream. Runoff of chemical fertilizers from commercial farming produces dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and toxic algal blooms such as Red Tide that result in massive fish kills, make seafood unsafe, cause human ailments and adversely impact the tourist trade of beach areas. The result is lost incomes, ruined vacations, health expenses, and none of these costs are born by the commercial farmers.

Real estate development produces massive external costs. Scenic views from existing properties are blocked, thus reducing their values. Construction noise and congestion impose costs on existing residents and reduces the quality of their lives. Water runoff problems are often created. Infrastructure has to be provided, such as larger highways to provide evacuation from hurricane-impacted areas, usually financed by taxpayers. …

the external costs of coal-fired power plants being built in India by the Indian conglomerate Tata with a loan from the International Finance Corporation, a branch of the World Bank. The ground water in the area has been ruined and is no longer drinkable. Farmers are no longer able to grow crops on half of the area farmland. Heated wastewater that is dumped into the Gulf of Kutch is destroying fishing. The ecology and the livelihoods of the population are essentially destroyed. None of these costs are born by the private power companies.

Tired of being doormats for capitalists and the World Bank, the residents of the affected provinces rebelled. They have succeeded in getting their case before the US Supreme Court. It seems that the International Finance Corporation is so accustomed to financing projects that produce large external costs that it overlooked its obligation to examine the environmental impact of the projects it finances. This oversight resulted in Indian farmers and fishermen getting their case before the US Supreme Court. The International Finance Corporation’s lawyers argued that the World Bank lending agency had “absolute immunity.” The Supreme Court said no and remanded the case to the circuit court to rule on the damages.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this apparent victory for ordinary faraway little people in an American court against the World Bank, a principle instrument of American imperialism, is that the Trump administration appeared in court as a friend of the Indian farmers and fishermen. The US Solicitor General, represented by Jonathan Ellis, rejected the notion that international orgnizations have absolute immunity. The Establishment exists on its immunity. Here we see the ultimate reason that the ruling Establishment wants rid of Trump.

Already the senior staff of the International Finance Corporation have come to the realization that they have other responsibilities than just to shuffle money out the lending shute. If the Indian farmers and fishermen succeed in protecting themselves from ruination by external costs, perhaps Americans who suffer external costs will follow their lead.

[SEE: “US Supreme Court rules against World Bank’s claim of absolute immunity.”]

No wonder Paul Craig Roberts—he served in the Reagan administration—has been expunged from official Conservatism’s polite circles. All good people have been. Fortunately, we have the Unz Review.

RELATED are my pieces on homelessness and high-tech.

 

As I wrote in “Why The H-1B Visa Racket Should Be Abolished, Not Reformed:

Barricaded in their obscenely lavish compounds—from the comfort of their monster mansions—these social engineers don’t experience the “environmental impacts of rapid urban expansion”; the destruction of verdant open spaces and farmland; the decrease in the quality of the water we drink and air we breathe, the increase in traffic and traffic accidents, air pollution, the cellblock-like housing erected to accommodate their imported I.T. workers and extended families, the delicate bouquet of amped up waste management and associated seepages. For locals, this lamentable state means an inability to afford homes in a market in which property prices have been artificially inflated.

* Image of the Tata Mundra power plant is courtesy of Joe Athialy

UPDATE (12/22/019): And now “Mysterious greenish-yellow liquid [is] gushing from walls on I-696.” Goo will probably contaminate drinking water.

When Powerful Meat Producers Muscle Puny Plant-Based Meat Producers

Business, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Ethics

“The beef industry in America has been urging legislatures to restrict the use of the word ‘meat’ to that which comes from an animal carcass,” reports the Economist.

When big business, nay massive, begins to muscle small business (with a tiny share of the food market), you ask critical questions—that is if you are a fair-minded thinker, as conservative and libertarian-minded people ought to be.

The latter must certainly reject restrictions on speech in advertising.

Which is why it is clear on whose side a fair-minded person will be in the case of the meat producers vs. the makers and marketers of plant-based meat.

Remember, the word “meat” is NOT A TRADEMARK, it’s a noun in the English language.

So longs as plant-based meat producers are clearly listing the ingredients on the packaging of their products and are not defrauding the consumer—I know on whose side I am. But then I’m fair-minded, not partisan.

FROM “Plant-based meat could create a radically different food chain”:

..At least nine American states—including Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi—have now agreed. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is also asking the Food and Drug Administration, the federal regulator, to outlaw what it sees as misleading labelling of plant-based meat. In April the European Parliament’s agriculture committee recommended the introduction of a ban on plant-based meat producers using such terms as “burgers” and “sausages”, although the proposal has not yet been debated or voted upon by the full parliament. The European Court of Justice ruled that many plant-based alternatives could not be labelled “milk” in 2017, but this did not noticeably affect demand.
The fight over labels is a sign that meat producers are on the defensive, says Mr Friedrich of the GFI. “The meat industry attempting to define meat as something that comes from a slaughtered animal is every bit as absurd as trying to say that your phone is not a phone because it doesn’t plug into a wall any more,” he claims.
When plant-based meat becomes common, language will no doubt adapt. The word “meat” may one day simply evoke the sensory experience that comes from eating a particular blend of fats, amino acids, minerals and water.
Whether that is made by slaughtering animals or by some other means depends on the ingenuity of the new meat makers. …

* Image courtesy of The Economist.

UPDATED (12/26/019): DRUDGE Clearly Cares Deeply About Animals, All Animals

Conservatism, Culture, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Ethics, Media, Morality

To his great credit, DRUDGE Report alerts almost daily to stories of abuse of wild and companion animals.

Drudge is also clearly trying to raise consciousness about the destruction of animal habitat at the hands of humans, that is if thematically consistent headlines on the site are any indication.

And DRUDGE does not appear to be one of those ethically challenged individuals who’ll tell you, “I’m a dog person; fuck the lions who’re being culled in canned hunts.”

My impression from following this news aggregator’s headlines for years is that DRUDGE cares deeply about animals and their fate.

Today, the item on Drudge raised awareness about “the complex relationship between humans and animals.”

Yesterday, Drudge linked to a story of a starving elephant made to carry tourists until she dropped dead.  Disgusting culture that would allow this.

I will keep you updated with a daily Drudge on animals.

UPDATE I (12/26/019):

Via DRUDGE: “Elephants in Thailand ‘broken’ for lucrative animal tourism…

UPDATE II (1/14/020): Parrots are innately kind.

Sewage In Seattle

Environmentalism & Animal Rights, IMMIGRATION, Left-Liberalism, Technology

As argued in “Homeless In Seattle, Part 2: Tech Sucks The Soul Out Of The City” & “Homeless In Seattle, Part 1: High-Tech Harm The Homeless,” homelessness and extreme poverty in Seattle and beyond are helped along by Big-Tech’s non-stop importation of a feudal elite.

Homelessness and extreme poverty, enabled by the agents forenamed, also increase pollution:

In addition to the homeless who are living in tents on the sidewalk, Seattle is also dealing with an increasing number of people who are living in RVs. Because these people have no homes, they have nowhere to properly dump the sewage that accumulates in their vehicles. Instead, the waste gets dumped directly into storm drains that connect to waterways. Two business groups in the city have funded testing related to the dumping and reached some stunning results

Does the Left care? Of course not.

Seattle’s RV campers dump an estimated 1 million gallons of raw sewage into waterways per year.”