Am I stoned?



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The US: Rogue Nation

  • Conservative estimate = 8 million killed
  • US invasions/bombings often largely at behest of corporate interests
  • European colonial history similar

The US: Rogue Nation

  • The US spends vastly more on militarization than on peacemaking
  • The US maintains over 1,000 bases worldwide today (737 in 69 other “sovereign” countries)
  • Continued funding of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation

The US: Rogue Nation

  • “Which country is the greatest threat to peace?”
    • U.S. - 24%
    • Pakistan - 8%
    • China - 6%
    • Afghanistan - 5%
    • 2014 Gallup poll, 66,000 worldwide participants

International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism

  • Failure to sign or approve:
    • Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change
    • International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
    • Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Land Mines
    • Convention on Cluster Munitions

International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism

  • Failure to sign or approve:
    • Treaty to ban cluster bombs
    • Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
    • Convention on the Rights of the Child
    • Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
    • UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism

    • Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in Persons
    • UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons
    • WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes
    • UN General Assembly Recognition of Human Right to Water and Sanitation

International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism

  • Failure to sign or approve:
    • Protocol 1, Article 55 of the Geneva Conventions, which bans methods or means of warfare which are intended, or may be expected, to cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment

International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism

  • Failure to sign or approve
    • The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
    • The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes
    • The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (re GM foods)

The US: Rogue Nation

  • Death Penalty:
    • US one of only 20 countries to execute civilians (2011)
    • Until recently, the US was the only country to execute both juveniles (ended 2005) and the mentally ill (ended 2002)

The US: Rogue Nation

  • Failure to follow World Court Decisions
  • Failure to recognize International Criminal Court
  • Largest debtor to the UN (only 40% of dues paid)

The US: Rogue Nation

  • Patriot Act, government spying, revocation of habeas corpus, presidential signing statements
  • Cited by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International for Human Rights Violations

Positive Trends

  • Majority of U.S. citizens rate the environment as one of the most important issues facing the country, think the government is doing too little to safeguard the environment, and favor environmental protection over economic expansion
  • Power/voice of green groups increasing
  • Involvement of religious groups growing

Religion in the U.S.

  • 85% of US citizens call themselves Christian (75% of Israelis call themselves Jewish)
  • 75% pray daily, 33% attend church weekly (self-reported)

Religion in the U.S.

  • Misinterpretation of the Bible common
    • Only 40% of Americans can name more than 4 of the 10 commandments
    • 50% can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels
    • 12% believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife
    • 75% believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves” (Ben Franklin)

Religion in the U.S.

  • “Most Americans have replaced the Christianity of the Bible, with its call for deep sharing and personal sacrifice, with competing creeds”
    • Bill McKibben
    • Stress personal responsibility over collective action
    • Celebrate financial success
    • Apocalyptics

Environmental Crime

  • $70 billion - $213 billion per year problem
  • Includes traffic in endangered species, illegal logging and mining, illegal transportation and discharge of toxic waste, bribes, extortion, kidnapping, and murder
  • Organized crime involved
  • Supports extremist militias
  • Enforcement limited, penalties low

Positive Trends

  • Insurance industry urging reductions in global emissions
    • due to dramatic increase in weather-related claims
  • Analogy with smoking

The “Benefits” of Sterility-Causing Chemicals in the Workplace?

  • 12 September 1977
  • Dr. Eula Bingham, Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health [Regarding] worker exposure to DBCP. While involuntary sterility caused by a manufactured chemical may be bad, it is not necessarily so. After all, there are many people who are now paying to have themselves sterilized to assure they will no longer be able to become parents... If possible sterility is the main problem, couldn’t workers who were old enough that they no longer wanted to have children accept such positions voluntarily? Or…some [workers] might volunteer for such workposts as an alternative to planned surgery for a vasectomy or tubal ligation, or as a means of getting around religious bans on birth control when they want no more children?
  • Sincerely,
  • Robert K. Phillips, National Peach Council

Environmental (Partial) Success Story: The Montreal Protocol (1987)

  • Phaseout of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by 1996
    • CFC MDIs phased out in US by 2008 (tetrafluoroethane or HFA = substitute)
  • Major cause of Antarctic and Arctic ozone holes
    • Hole still size of North America
    • Size only 9% down from 2000 maximum
    • Should gradually decrease and close by 2060


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