Naomi Klein Makes Moral Case for World Beyond Fossil Fuels

Activist and author, Naomi Klein, praises ‘courageous’ invitation by Pope in face of fossil fuel industry’s power

by Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Author and activist Naomi Klein spoke at the Vatican on Wednesday, calling climate change a “moral crisis” that should unite all people. (Photo: Adolfo Lujan/flickr/cc)

Naomi Klein—activist, author, and self-described “secular Jewish feminist”—spoke at the Vatican on Wednesday where she championed the Pope’s message for global action on climate change and made the case for “the beautiful world” beyond fossil fuel addiction.

Klein, who was invited to speak by the Vatican, gave her speech ahead of a two-day conference to discuss the Pope’s recent encyclical, Laudato Si’, on the environment and the threat of the global economic system—subjects that the author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate knows well.

The encyclical has garnered praise from environmental campaigners like Greenpeace International’s Kumi Naidoo, who called it a “clarion call for bold, urgent action.”

“Pope Francis writes early on that Laudato Si’ is not only a teaching for the Catholic world but for ‘every person living on this planet.’ And I can say that as a secular Jewish feminist who was rather surprised to be invited to the Vatican, it certainly spoke to me,” Klein told reporters ahead of the conference, which is called People and Planet First: the Imperative to Change Course.

She praised what she described as “the core message of interconnection at the heart of the encyclical.”

Klein also expanded on what may appear to be an unlikely alliance with the leader of the Catholic Church.

“Given the attacks that are coming from the Republican party around this and also the fossil fuel interests in the United States, it was a particularly courageous decision to invite me here,” she said, according to the Associated Press. “I think it indicates that the Holy See is not being intimidated, and knows that when you say powerful truths, you make some powerful enemies and that’s part of what this is about.”

“In a world where profit is consistently put before both people and the planet, climate economics has everything to do with ethics and morality.”  — Naomi Klein

“I have noticed a common theme among the critiques. Pope Francis may be right on the science, we hear, and even on the morality, but he should leave the economics and policy to the experts,” Klein said in her speech. “They are the ones who know about carbon trading and water privatization, we are told, and how effectively markets can solve any problem. I forcefully disagree.

“The truth is that we have arrived at this dangerous place partly because many of those economic experts have failed us badly, wielding their powerful technocratic skills without wisdom,” she said. “In a world where profit is consistently put before both people and the planet, climate economics has everything to do with ethics and morality. Because if we agree that endangering life on earth is a moral crisis, then it is incumbent on us to act like it.”

Echoing the Pope’s message to address inequities, Klein said that “our current system is also fueling ever widening inequality.”

But Klein stressed that her appearance at the Vatican did not mean that any one world view was “being subsumed by anyone else’s.”

“This is an alliance on a specific issue. It’s not a merger,” Klein said. “But when you are faced with a crisis of this magnitude, people have to get out of their comfort zones.”

Despite the magnitude of the crisis, Klein stressed: “We can save ourselves.”

“Around the world, the climate justice movement is saying: See the beautiful world that lies on the other side of courageous policy, the seeds of which are already bearing ample fruit for any who care to look.

“Then, stop making the difficult the enemy of the possible.

“And join us in making the possible real,” she said.

The two-day conference, which comes in the lead-up to the COP21 international climate talks in Paris later this year, is being coordinated by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE), an alliance of Catholic development agencies. Alongside Klein, other speakers include Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, pontifical council president H.E. Cardinal Peter Turkson, and CIDSE secretary general Bernard Nils.


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CREDO Advocacy: Tell AG Laxalt to Drop His Anti-Immigration Lawsuit

Thanks to the courage of thousands of youth activists in the immigration reform movement, last fall President Obama finally took executive actions that protected five million immigrants and their families from the pain of deportation. CREDO members were proud to support these actions with their activism and contributions to United We Dream.

NV-AG Adam Laxalt
NV-AG Adam Laxalt

But this victory is now at risk. Right-wing extremists have pressured Republicans in 26 states, including Attorney General Adam Laxalt, into pursuing politically motivated, anti-immigrant lawsuits to block the Obama administration from implementing executive actions meant to provide relief for millions of immigrants and their families.

Once again, families of millions of immigrants are facing the risk of being pulled apart. And it’s all because a group of right-wing Republican state officials led by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton are pursuing a craven, politically-motivated legal strategy just to pander to their racist and anti-immigrant conservative base. We have to fight back now.

Tell Attorney General Adam Laxalt: Drop your frivolous lawsuit against President Obama’s executive actions protecting the families of millions of aspiring Americans.

President Obama’s executive actions, commonly known as expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), could provide widespread relief to nearly 5 million children, young adults, and their parents under constant fear of deportation (More Info). DAPA would defer deportation and grant temporary work permits for millions of undocumented immigrants while changes to DACA would expand exemptions from deportation to 330,000 more children and young adults (More Info).

DACA-DAPA

Even though the president’s executive order on immigration was not all that we asked for, it was a historic move that would protect families of millions of aspiring Americans from being ripped apart due to our broken immigration system.

We know the right-wing majority in the House has never had any intention of passing meaningful immigration reform. And since the Republicans are now in charge of the Senate, there’s no chance that Congress will fix our broken immigration system any time soon.

Without a permanent solution in place, these actions by the Obama administration will provide the immediate relief that so many immigrant families need to keep their families together.

But extreme right-wing ideologues are pursuing a politically craven and heartless strategy – arguably amounting to an abuse of our legal system – that will potentially result in undocumented parents being ripped away from their children and deported (More Info).

Tell Attorney General Adam Laxalt: Drop this frivolous lawsuit against President Obama’s executive actions protecting the families of millions of aspiring Americans.

Sign-the-Petition-gold.fw

Allowing these lawsuits to stand will only prolong the suffering of families of millions of hardworking aspiring Americans who are seeking a better life for themselves and their children.

We must act now to publicly pressure Attorney General Laxalt to show compassion by dropping the frivolous lawsuit to undo President Obama’s executive actions. 

Thank you for fighting for the rights of immigrants.

Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

The ACA is Here to Stay —

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a key provision of the Affordable Care Act. This ruling means that the ACA will remain the law of the land, and millions of people will keep their health insurance. This is an extraordinary victory for all of us who fought so hard to make the ACA a reality!

Unfortunately, the GOP have made it clear that this latest legal attack on the ACA will not be the final attempt to undermine the law or other essential public health programs and services. In the coming months, you can anticipate that the GOP-led Congress will consider drastic funding cuts to Medicaid and community health centers. Congress will also likely try to undermine the ACA in other ways, such as by changing the definition of “full-time worker” from 30 to 40 hours and by repealing a tax on medical devices that provides essential funding for the law.


From the White House:

On March 23, 2010, I sat down at a table in the East Room of the White House and signed my name on a law that said, once and for all, that health care would no longer be a privilege for a few. It would be a right for everyone.

Five years later, after more than 50 votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law and multiple challenges before the Supreme Court, here is what we know today:

This law worked. It’s still working. It has changed and saved American lives. It has set this country on a smarter, stronger course.

And it’s here to stay.

This morning, the Supreme Court upheld one of the most critical parts of health reform — the part that has made it easier for Americans to afford health insurance, no matter where you live.

If the challenges to this law had succeeded, millions would have had thousands of dollars in tax credits taken away. Insurance would have once again become unaffordable for many Americans. Many would have even become uninsured again. Ultimately, everyone’s premiums could have gone up.

Because of this law, and because of today’s decision, millions of Americans will continue to receive the tax credits that have given about 8 in 10 people who buy insurance on the new Health Insurance Marketplaces the choice of a health care plan that costs less than $100 a month.

If you’re a parent, you can keep your kids on your plan until they turn 26 — something that has covered millions of young people so far. That’s because of this law. If you’re a senior, or have a disability, this law gives you discounts on your prescriptions — something that has saved 9 million Americans an average of $1,600 so far. If you’re a woman, you can’t be charged more than anybody else — even if you’ve had cancer, or your husband had heart disease, or just because you’re a woman. Your insurer has to offer free preventive services like mammograms. They can’t place annual or lifetime caps on your care.

And when it comes to preexisting conditions — someday, our grandkids will ask us if there was really a time when America discriminated against people who got sick. Because that’s something this law has ended for good.

Five years in and more than 16 million insured Americans later, this is no longer just about a law. This isn’t just about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Today is a victory for every American whose life will continue to become more secure because of this law. And 20, 30, 50 years from now, most Americans may not know what “Obamacare” is. And that’s okay. That’s the point.

Because today, this reform remains what it always has been — a set of fairer rules and tougher protections that have made health care in America more affordable, more attainable, and more about you.

That’s who we are as Americans. We look out for one another. We take care of each other. We root for one another’s success. We strive to do better, to be better, than the generation before us, and we try to build something better for the generation that comes behind us.

And today, with this behind us, let’s come together and keep building something better. That starts right now.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama


And what did all the 2016 Candidates have to say about today’s ruling?  Read their “repeal” themed responses over at the Huffington Post.

Three Words: Corporations. Aren’t. People.

by Catherine Cortez Masto, 2016 Candidate for US Senate

CatherineCortezMastoAs attorney general, I made sure everyday Nevadans knew that my door was open for them, that they could count on me to be working for them when they had a problem.

And that’s precisely why Citizens United gets me so riled up: It shuts the door on average Americans and throws it wide open for corporations and billionaires to influence elections. That’s not how our democracy is supposed to work.

We need to stand up now – all of us – and demand an end to Citizens United. It’s the only way to put our elections back where they belong: in the hands of voters. Please, join me now in calling on Congress to end Citizens United.

Click here to add your name: Tell Congress to overturn Citizens United!

The Citizens United decision has been a disaster for our democracy, tearing apart our campaign finance laws and bringing on a flood of anonymous “dark money.” Outside groups spent $500 million in 2014 alone – and 2016 spending is expected to easily pass $1 billion.

We can’t continue to let the voices of everyday Americans be lost in a sea of special interest spending. I’m running for Senate because I’m committed to fighting back against runaway spending that erodes our democracy, but I need you on my side.

Sign the petition today: Tell Congress to overturn Citizens United!

Click here to stand with me and tell Congress it’s time to end Citizens United.

Thank you for standing with me,

Walmart

Originally posted on Rcooley123's Blog:

Nearly everyday, commercials air on TV and radio touting the great low prices available to consumers shopping at Walmart. Other ads discuss how the company prides itself on the upward mobility of its employees within the corporate structure from hourly associates up through the ranks to store management positions. Deeper analysis of Walmart’s policies and practices with regard to its employees show it to be far from the paragon of employer virtue that the advertisements would leave one to believe.

Walmart provides many of its store employees with a compensation package that leaves many of them dependent upon government assistance to feed, house and provide medical care for themselves and their families. In a very real sense, American taxpayers,through such programs as Food Stamps, Medicaid, school lunch programs, federal housing assistance and other programs are subsidizing Walmart. Taxpayer money enables them to maintain their low prices while keeping their labor…

View original 965 more words

A Note from Lucy Flores

Flores4Congress-logoThis past weekend, as thousands of UNLV students celebrated their graduation, I reflected on how important education was in creating opportunities for me. I also remembered that overcoming the odds and becoming the first person in my family to attend college would not have been possible without financial aid to make tuition more affordable.

That’s why I’m disappointed that Crescent Hardy recently voted to make it harder for students to pay for college.

Higher education is essential to achieving the American Dream, but it’s increasingly harder to afford. And now Rep. Hardy helped Speaker Boehner and the GOP Congress pass a budget that freezes Pell Grants for a decade, meaning the class of 2025 would have to find a way to pay for an extra 10 percent of their tuition.

We need to ensure the next generation of Nevada students has the same opportunity to complete their education and reach for their dreams.

Join me in calling on Republicans in Congress to make college more affordable? Sign the petition today.

Dem Leaders Breakfast w/ Hillary Clinton Campaign

Please join us for a Dem Leaders Breakfast on Tuesday, 5/19 at 9:00am. The Hillary for America National Campaign Manager Robby Mook and Deputy Campaign Manager Marlon Marshall will provide a national and Nevada specific campaign update and learn how you can be involved in the campaign.

Here are the details for Monday’s event:

Northern Nevada Volunteer Reunion

  • Date: Tuesday, May 19th
  • Time: 9:00am
  • Location: Carson City Democrats
    502 E. John St., Suite G
    Carson City, NV 89706
  • Click Link for Directions: http://bit.ly/CarsonCityMap

Please RSVP by clicking this link: http://bit.ly/HRCCCRSVP. If you can’t click, please feel free to RSVP by responding to this e-mail or calling Alana, (503) 816 – 8272.

This is not a party event or an endorsement.  Our office is open to any Democratic Presidential Campaign.


Hillary for America
Regional Organizing Director – Northern Nevada
amounce@hillaryclinton.com| (503) 816 – 8272

New FAQ’s on Birth Control Coverage

birth-control-pillsThis week the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help insurance companies better understand the scope of coverage that is required (including contraceptive care) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to help people better the ACA and benefit from it as intended.

This guidance follows recent Kaiser Family Foundation  and research that reported variation in how the ACA contraceptive coverage provisions were being interpreted and implemented by health plans.

Some main points of interest:

  • All non-grandfathered plans and insurers must cover, without cost sharing, at least one form of contraception within each of the 18 methods of contraception that the FDA has identified for women.
  • If an item or service is not covered but is determined medically necessary by the woman’s attending provider, there must be an easily accessible process for the woman to get that item or service;
  • If an insurer covers dependent children, recommended preventive services for women (such as preconception and prenatal care) must be covered for the dependent children as well (i.e., not just the parent(s) on the plan); and

Clarifies that insurance companies may still use reasonable medical management techniques within each of the methods of contraception (there are currently 18 identified by the FDA for women). For example, a plan can discourage the use of brand name over generic pharmacy items through cost sharing.

Douglas County Democrats’ Annual BBQ

by Kimi Cole

Douglas County Democrats’ Annual BBQ at Mormon Station State Park in beautiful Genoa, Nevada, is coming right up!


Date: Saturday, July 25, 2015
Time: 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Price: TBA

 

I have spoken with Catherine Cortez Masto and expect she will be one of our main speakers. For now, I want to make sure the date is on everyone’s calendars.