Jim Hightower was Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, an elected office, from 1983 to 1991. He presents here, the past and current American history of choking farmers to death and suicide.
The current result of the average farm losing money for the past 5 years happens due to political and market arrangements, which give farmers no say in what they are paid for what they produce, but large financial firms, trading commodities, can rig prices every day. Seed and pesticide companies have ramped up their prices, and put farms out of business if they don't cooperate. US farm policy since Nixon/Kissinger/Earl Butz has been to "get big or get out", and to only support massive corporate players like Monsanto and Cargill. This puts all the farmers in the world at the "mercy" of these weaponized multinational corporations. Their interests are to dominate as part of the financial-capitalism-war-machine.
Thanks for the link, Ray. (God bless me, I've got the "black dirt" in Yoakum!)In Democratic Promise, Larry Goodwyn’s definitive history of America’s 19th century Populist Movement, he describes the migration of hundreds of thousands of abjectly poor Southern farmers into Texas in the 1870s and ’80s. They were escaping the scurrilous “company-store” system of crop lending that predatory financiers had imposed on the rural South, trapping farmers in perpetual peonage. The people’s only way out of oppressive debt was literally to abandon their farms and flee the state. Family after family loaded their meager belongings onto horse-drawn wagons, nailed a “Gone to Texas” note to their cabin doors, and headed west, seeking land and some sort of positive future.
But the rich blackland prairie of East Texas was out of their financial reach, so their caravans pushed into the sparsely populated west-central region, ending up on the thin dirt of the Edwards Plateau.
How to Thrive in the Next Economy, John Thackara's preface to the upcoming Chinese Edition A cultural disconnection between the man-made world and the biosphere lies behind the grave challenges we face today. We either don’t think about rivers, soils, and biodiversity at all – or we treat them as resources whose only purpose is to feed the economy. This ‘metabolic rift’ – between the living world, and the economic one – leaves us starved of meaning and purpose. We have to heal this damaging gap.
This book is about the design of connections between places, communities, and nature. Drawing on a lifetime of travel in search of real-world alternatives that work, I describe the practical ways in which living economies thrive in myriad local contexts. When connected together, I argue, these projects tell a new ‘leave things better’ story of value, and therefore of growth. Growth, in this new story, means soils, biodiversity and watersheds getting healthier, and communities more resilient.
The chlorofluorocarbon-cheat emitters have been located!After much speculation, the whereabouts and magnitude of these harmful emissions has been confirmed in scientific research. As earlier reporting in The New York Times had already suggested, they seem to be coming from the northeast coast of mainland China...
These violations are likely going unreported because even though CFC-11 is illegal, it is also one of the cheapest ways to produce new foam insulation in refrigerators and buildings.
After tracking down documents and international sources, journalists at The New York Times and independent investigators discovered that in some factories in China, illegal CFC use has been slipping through the cracks for years...
Gathering atmospheric observations from locations in South Korea and Japan, the researchers compared global monitoring data and atmospheric chemical movements to figure out whether these emissions came from eastern Asia - the area most suspected as the source of CFC-11...
China currently produces about one-third of the world's polyurethane foam, and the emissions so far may only represent a fraction of what has already been manufactured. The rest of the CFC-11 may still be trapped inside a slowly-emitting foam bank, and the only way to know for sure is to find the ones responsible.