The Bush National Labor Relations Board dealt a body blow to workers by “deciding” that workers who’se employers call them “supervisers” are not entitled to unionize. Thus, thousands of nurses have just been denied their union protections. The decision may end up affecting millions of workers. This is a two-for-one for the Bush Republicans: they get to destroy unions that tend to fund democrats. At the same time hey can pay back the plutocrats who fund them.
For another perspective on this decision and its esential logic, see Colbert on the meaning of Solidarity:
The Independent has yet another article on the fate befaling the world if global warming isn’t stopped, like, right now. A team of British scientists predicts that drought will likely sweep much of the earth:
The study, by Eleanor Burke and two Hadley Centre colleagues, models how a measure of drought known as the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) is likely to increase globally during the coming century with predicted changes in rainfall and heat around the world because of climate change. It shows the PDSI figure for moderate drought, currently at 25 per cent of the Earth’s surface, rising to 50 per cent by 2100, the figure for severe drought, currently at about 8 per cent, rising to 40 cent, and the figure for extreme drought, currently 3 per cent, rising to 30 per cent.
Like good scientists, the study authors do warn of limitations in their study:
Senior Met Office scientists are sensitive about the study, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, stressing it contains uncertainties: there is only one climate model involved, one future scenario for emissions of greenhouse gases (a moderate-to-high one) and one drought index. Nevertheless, the result is “significant”, according to Vicky Pope, the head of the Hadley Centre’s climate programme. Further work would now be taking place to try to assess the potential risk of different levels of drought in different places, she said.
What does this mean for the world’s people?
“We’re talking about 30 per cent of the world’s land surface becoming essentially uninhabitable in terms of agricultural production in the space of a few decades,” Mark Lynas, the author of High Tide, the first major account of the visible effects of global warming around the world, said. “These are parts of the world where hundreds of millions of people will no longer be able to feed themselves.”
Mr Pendleton said: “This means you’re talking about any form of development going straight out of the window. The vast majority of poor people in the developing world are small-scale farmers who… rely on rain.”
The poorest areas of world, especially Africa, will be the hardest hit.
Though the article doesn’t discuss effects on the developed world, one can only wonder what would happen to the world if the US midwest and/or California became desert.
This study is yet another piece of evidence suggesting the world had better act now or else prepare for the loss of tens of millions, or more, people. It sounds strident, but I believe that we may be experiencing the last century of human civilization as we know it.
I wish I knew how to bring about change, but the tendency toward denial and delay is extraordinarily powerful. My fellow psychoanalysts and psychologists should help address this issue, and some do. But all too many among them are themselves absorbed by the pull of the immediate. It doesn’t appear that psychoanalysis helps people to be forward looking. Too bad.
Given the small amount of attention I’ve seen, at least here in Boston, I’m dubious that the World Can’t Wait will draw enough people to really have an impact. But one can always hope. Here Sunsara Taylor exaplains what the World Can’t Wait is about: