24. European Elections 2014
21. BANKING [feb 2014]
18. MORE IS LESS: carbon emissions
17. "OCCUPY"
16. GLOBALISATION: colonialism and slavery.
11. Globalisation: Environmental Degradation/  BP OIL POLLUTION/TIN MINING DEGRADATION.
                 Environmental Crimes, SEPTEMBER 2014.
8.  Unsustainability and Sustainability, June 2012
7.  The Eurozone game, March 7
6.  Globalisation: Cheats, Fraud, Corruption
5. World Population............7.2 billion, 2014
4. BANKING - Money, Wealth, Debt, Fraud.  Sept.2011
3. Tipping Points, Aug. 2011
2. Democracy is a fantasy. Plutocracy is the reality. Mar. 2011
1. 'Corporate Social Responsibility'.    
  CSR: tobacco; asbestos; oil; mobile phones.

BP found guilty of gross negligence/ DEEP WATER HORIZON; SEPTEMBER  4 2014; FINED $18BILLION.
European Elections 2014;    UN Climate Change
Conference/Poland 2013;  "OCCUPY";  USA and Syria;
Money/  Oil Drilling in the Arctic/ Florida High Court ruling
on Tobacco/ March 15 2013;Money/Growth March 14 2013;
Global Economics, Feb. 25 2013;  Friends of the Earth, Jan 24;
Cooperative Alternatives, Jan 22;  Federal Court ruling on
Tobacco, USA/CSR;; CSR/Health Protection Agency report
on Mobile Phones, April 26 ;CSR/
Tobacco packaging,USA,April 10 2012/ High Court case
in Australia,April 17 2012.  Wealth and Poverty [Mar 2012];
CSR, Asbestos; CSR/OIL/Fracking, March 8.2013
REVISIONS. Corporate Social Responsibility :
Tobacco and the Missouri hospitals legal claim; TPSAC investigation report
into menthol cigarettes[April 30] USA Surgeon General health warnings/Tobacco.  
Asbestos [May 2]    
Oil: Chevron found guilty[May 5]Legal notice to sue Shell  by the Athabaskan First Nation,Canada [Nov 30 2011]  
Marketing and sale of cigarettes to adolescents,[2011.]US National Transportation Board report, [Dec.2011]
Ban on the display of tobacco products/UK[Dec 2011]Mining of Asbestos at Asbestos[Feb 2012];
Smartphones and driving.

27. Can we change the world without taking power?
Recently, in ROARMAG,  Professor John Holloway revisited his thesis about changing the world. He recognized the need for change, but he wanted
to minimize the role of the state, and challenge the workings of capitalism.
I want to argue that any challenge to capitalism requires the direct role of the State.

What is meant by ‘we’?
All references to ‘we’ are usually directed at the peoples who live in Europe and the United States and/or are part of the systems of capitalism.
Who do I include amongst those who can change the world?
Should I include all or some of the 7.2 billion people that live on earth and live in families, tribes, sects, classes, working groups; hierarchies;
communities; neighbourhoods;  nations, states, exercising different languages, celebrating different histories, cultures, and religions.
What about the tribes of Amazonia in Brazil?: feeding off the trees and flora; with own languages; unaware of the people who live beyond the
forests? or the Inuits of the Arctic who survive on the glaciers?  What about the the millions of refugees, and migrants desperately trying to find
a better, safer place to live?
Would these communities want ‘survival’ or change? Would it   ever be possible for them to act in unison ? Of course, it would not be possible to
know  all  these peoples, although I may come to know what their preferences are by means of modern media.
Population maps show us that the world population lives in river valleys, estuaries and coastal lands as well as grasslands and forests. The maps
also reveal that  most of the Earth is empty …….. Yes, it is empty because many lands are unfit for human habitation…the hot deserts: and cold
deserts;   the tropical rain forests of Africa, and South America; the glaciers of Arctic and the Antarctica; and the cold lands of Russia, and Canada.
It may be the case that there will be a natural limit on the number of people on earth. But at the moment it is 7.2 billion….more than at any time in
Can 7.2 billion people change the natural world? When the winds blow at 100 miles an hour; or the rains fall at 50 inches an hour, or
the temperature rises to 50c in the summer, it is clear that we cannot cope with the vagaries of ‘nature’. The extreme events destroy our homes
and factories and communities.
However, over a long period of time, the actions of 7.2 billion people are causing changes in the atmosphere, and the biosphere. As a result of
our development of industrial processes and products since 1800’s, we are increasing the levels of nitrogen, carbon, and methane in the
atmosphere, altering oxygen levels, the balance of green house gases, and raising the global temperatures by +2c each year, We are now
being urged  by environment agencies to lower the temperatures by changing our behaviour and reducing pollution and emissions. For example,
as we have taken to driving cars,and lorries and increasing carbon emissions, so we will have to stop driving  petrol vehicles and reduce carbon
levels, and adopt renewable energies such as solar power and wind power.

What is meant by ‘we’?
The UN and many charities estimate that 5 billion people try to thrive and  survive on less than $10 a day; among whom are 3,25 billion
on $2 a day  1billion people are known to starve to death each year, of which many are children.
I live in a world in which the norm is to be poor, and starving. I live in a world in which it is expected that a minority forms a privileged elite. In
this world the elites exploit, the majority with no shame. They see nothing wrong with paying little for a lot of work; living amongst communities
that have little to eat, depending upon  food banks and nowhere to live.
‘We’ are poor and starving; abused and exploited. And ‘we’ are the majority. The central element of global society is poverty! That is, lack of
money and resources.

Following more than 500 years of  Euro-capitalism and colonialism, it is declared in 2014 by FORBES: Merrill Lynch; Morgan Stanley, the TIMES
and other rich lists  that 1654 people across the world are billionaires, in control of $6.4. trillion, amongst 12 million $millionaires  who control
$46 trillion….the so called 1%.
We consider that money is power; and purchasing power allows 12.16 million people to influence and control the lives of the other  99% of the
global population: what is consumed and produced, what jobs are available, how much money is shared:  ‘money is power’   The World Bank
tells us that in 2013, the world produced  $85 trillion: most of which went to enrich the 1%.
Discussions about  ‘wealth’ always seem to assume that ‘wealth’ is the norm, and poverty the exception. This is not true.
It is true that 12 million rich people form a significant group, but it is less than 1% of the 7.2 billion. Poverty is the norm.
Any debate about who takes control has to accept the fact that most people in the world are trying to survive. Their poverty  results in their
starvation; malnourishment; without sanitation; no clean water; subject to disease; inadequate medical care.

This evidence indicates that the key social change that must take place  to reduce poverty and attain a fair, just, equal society, is the redistribution
of $52 trillion private wealth, and the $85 trillion world GDP.
It is clear that the billionaires and millionaires are not going to take part in this social change. Government authorities, State agencies, are to be
directed, entrusted to redistribute the wealth of the 1% to the 99%.
Of course one could argue that the 99% direct their actions to the removal of the 1654, and the 12 million, [all of whom are known] and confiscate

their riches for the benefit of all. This needs to be done peacefully in democratic parliaments organizing legislation to promote social change. It will
only be done if the actors are committed, honest, just, not corrupt.

26.   5th ? Islamic State in Syria and Lebanon.
Conflicts in the Middle East.

Recent events in Syria and Iraq, triggered by the actions of the ‘Islamic State ‘and their Caliphate, have revealed the complexity of the struggles.
Indeed the situations are so complex that the views of the USA and UK seem naive and simplistic.
Of course the USA, in particular, is acting in the belief that ‘might is right’: a privilege that it vigorously denies to other countries.
A corollary of this view is that the peoples of the countries that the USA invades or attacks : ‘hate’ the Americans!
At the moment, the Christian American and European democrats are busy intervening in the affairs of Muslim Ottoman Arabian dictators and all the
associated tribes and religious sects.
The current conflicts are economic [to protect sources of oil] ;  political [to support the Israelis, and other friendly regimes, and to control the growth
of Iran; Syria; Egypt, and Turkey];  and religious [to stop the rise of extreme sects]: and a combination of all these. For example, the leaders of the
‘Islamic State’ have captured oil fields and refineries, and are selling the oil to their enemies to finance their wars against the infidels! At the same
time the forces of the USA along with allies from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, are attacking these sources of oil and gas so as to get rid of
the so-called ‘Islamic State’ and protect their own prosperity.
The emergence of the ISIL, Islamic State of Iraq, and Lebanon, has resulted in direct aggression against various groups who are declared the
enemies of Islam. Recently, ISIL/ISIS/IS have been accused of being an enemy of Islam, and subject to attack by Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain,
Qatar, the USA, and the EU.
ISIL is perceived as challenging the viability of  the first Caliphate, and thereby the Prophet Muhammad, by declaring itself as the fifth Caliphate
and the Caliph Ibrahim as the  leader of Islam, contrary to the rulings of  the many sects and tribes.
Having been identified as the enemy of the USA and the EU, ISIL has become identified as the enemy of  Sunnis and Shias in Arabia.
632 AD: the Prophet Muhammad  had founded the religion of Islam, and  left behind a community of 100,000 followers. These Muslims were
organized as an Islamic State in Arabia, centred in Iraq and Syria. They were arguing about who should succeed Muhammad on his death. There
were many claimants among the relatives and family, sisters, daughters, cousins, sons in law, and supporters.
The divisions of the Islamic religion were not resolved and   those who chose Abu Bakr, came to be known as ‘Sunni’; those who chose Muhammad’s
son in law, ‘Ali’ were called ‘Shia’.
The history of Islam has been punctuated by the conflicts between the Sunnis and the Shia Muslims.
2014 AD: it has been calculated that there are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world: 85% Sunnis; 15% Shia.
In the ‘Middle East’, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, are Sunni: Whereas Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar are Shia/Shiites. It is clear
that the conflicts between these countries is rooted in religion. The USA and the EU and Russia are perceived in the ‘ Middle East’ as the agents
of Christianity determined to undermine Islam.
At the same time, ISIL is being seen as an enemy of Islam! On the other hand, it is clear that they regard themselves as the Saviours of  Sunni Islam,
getting rid of all dissidents and heretics.
The situation is made more complicated by the struggles for power between the tribes and religious sects of Arabia. As well as the divisions between
the Sunni and Shia, there are the Bedouins, Ottomans, Kurds, Jews; the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ba’ath Party, the Bahai: The tribal defence forces
of Hezbollah, Hamas, Mahdis, Fatah.; The sects of Mahmud, Karim, Druze, Copts, Maronites; Alawites, Ibadis, Ismailis, the Shafis, the Sufi, the
Wahabbis; Salafis, Yazidis, Zaidis.
The conflicts are not between countries/nations. It is between families, tribes and sects!
At any one time these groups can be involved in conflict which may result in the death of many thousands of citizens e.g. the attacks on the
Yazidis, the aggression of the Alawites in Syria; the attacks by Hamas against the Israelis; the claims for land by the Kurds; the on going rebellions
in Yemen.
Turkey has entered the ‘ring’ with the Parliament agreeing to organize their troops in opposition to Syria and the IS and in support of the USA.
The role of Turkey is perplexing in that it is the ‘rump’ of the Ottoman Empire that ruled Arabia/North Africa for many years. Currently it is a member
of NATO, and therefore an ally of the USA, and will be a key player in the USA/Arab League coalition. At the same time, it is an enemy of the Kurds
and opposes their claims for a homeland. However, it is the homebase for more than 1million refugees from Northern Syria, including  Syrians and
At this time, the ruling families of Arabia are to be counted among the richest peoples in the world, controlling the supply of oil and gas to the world;
as well as the financial markets. We have to reconcile excessive materialism with intensive spiritualism, as well as the divisions between Sunnis and
It is worth noting that the present conflicts may be settled, and peace restored., and the USA withdraw, but the religious differences between the Sunni,
Shia, and Jews will continue in many forms for many years.

This weekend, September 21 2014 will witness the People’s Climate March in New York. There will be the UN Summit on the climate crisis.
It is clear that the climate crisis is directly related to the pollution of the Atmosphere, and the planned destruction of the environment. The United
Nations has created a body of laws intended to identify the law of ecocide, and prosecute those who wilfully destroy the environment. Unfortunately
there is little evidence to show that these laws are being enforced.


Any survey of the actions of mining corporations, logging companies, chemical companies, Oil, and gas groups,  in association with governments ,
and crime syndicates [growing and making drugs]  will reveal that they are actively involved in the pollution of the environment of the earth. They are
‘environmental criminals’ committing ‘ECOCIDE’………and denying all the evidence, and the accusations!  Oil Pollution can be seen across the
world and the oil companies persistently deny their responsibility, and the consequences.

The crime of Ecocide has been identified recently by the lawyer Polly Higgins. She has been particularly concerned to devise a law for the UN. She
wishes to apply the Law of Ecocide to natural events as well as to humans; to corporations as well as individuals; to those in command and control
as well as to those whose defence is that they were doing as they were ‘ordered’.

So what is ‘ecocide’?  It is when human agents are actively involved in the damage, loss, destruction of ecosystems of a given territory to such an
extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been or will be severely diminished. As the law stands at the moment ‘abstract
agents’ such as corporations, or syndicates, or governments, cannot be held responsible for ECOCIDE. Only human agents can be accused,
prosecuted, called to account, for their environmental crimes.

The International Lawyer, Polly Higgins, wants to identify all those in command and control of their corporations and to render them responsible for
the consequences of their ecocide behaviour , and subject to investigation and prosecution.

I am proposing that Social Ecology should pursue new directions which would lead it to direct action to prosecute/fine/imprison/control
‘environmental criminals, and clearly identify ‘environmental crimes’ and support the work of Polly Higgins. Voluntarism is no answer to crime
syndicates and corporate crimes.


Polly Higgins wishes to establish that Ecocide is one of the Crimes against the peace and security of mankind: crime of aggression; crime of
genocide; crimes against humanity; war crimes.

Ecocide is a crime of aggression when it leads to the waging of aggressive acts against communities and territories. For example, recent reports
have revealed that gangs of ‘drug barons’ have killed indigenous tribes, and destroyed  rain forests in Peru and Ecuador so as to plant many acres
of cannabis.

Ecocide is a crime of genocide when agents of corporations; syndicates; governments; kill and maim members of indigenous tribes in the forests
of Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia. Genocide results from the planned destruction of environments that support the local communities.
This ecocide  leads to the hunger and starvation of the communities.

Ecocide is a crime against humanity when tribes are murdered; animals are exterminated; local peoples are tortured and enslaved to enable
syndicates of drug barons, and corporations, to destroy the rain forests  and to deport local communities.

Ecocide is a war crime when civilians are attacked so as to cause widespread damage to natural environments in the territory and to gravely prejudice
the health and survival of  the population.

Ecocide is a crime against the peace and security of mankind.

Research into the behaviour of agents of criminal syndicates; soldiers, militants carrying out acts of war in order to exploit the resources of
it is clear that they will kill, torture, destroy. Attack, plunder, pillage, all those who are deemed to be
‘in the way’.
For example, at the moment all these crimes are being committed in the Middle East; in the Ukraine; in North Africa; and West Africa; in the forests of
Amazonia; as well as all those territories where groups are intent on the illegal exploitation of forests; of minerals; of oil and gas reserves; of animals.

In the future,
SOCIAL ECOLOGY must focus on the discovery of the perpetrators of these crimes, and to promote the peace and security of mankind
and protect the exercise of human rights; to protect and preserve the global environments, and reduce the impacts of climate change.


UNITED NATIONS 1948                                               

The expressions of ‘horror’ by the MEPs  throughout this week [May 27] concerning the increased votes for the right wing/nationalist/
independence parties  is an expression of the isolation/ignorance of those MEPs.
What else could they expect? following a period in which  unemployment has risen, and immigration rises, and austerity is the only
government response. Social services have been cut, while business entrepreneurs have been encouraged to cut their costs and
raise their profits and personal fortunes!
There has been a failure on the part of the European Council to realize that while support for ‘union’ is static, the movements
for independence and nationalism, even imperialism and colonialism, are re-emerging vigorously.
The strength of these movements is not surprising in view of the facts of ‘Empire’. The dilemma facing the EU is that it includes all the
countries that were the leaders of colonialism, slavery, and imperialism for more than 500 years:
‘Great Britain’ which still sees itself as the greatest ruler of their ‘world Empire’;
Germany that initiated two World Wars to assert their ‘superiority’;
Spain and Portugal whose pirates and buccaneers travelled the world in search of gold and silver; and converts to Catholicism;
Italy, the home of the Catholics in Vatican City; along with the Empires of the Romans/the Holy Roman Empire;
Greece, lauded as the founder of natural sciences, and the cradle of democracy, as well as the leader of the Hellenic Empires in
opposition to the Ottomans.
Holland that pioneered  capitalist companies to deal and trade for raw materials across the world; as well as bringing Puritanism to
their colonies;
France inspired by William the Conqueror, and later by Napoleon, to dominate global forces;
Belgium that ventured into Africa to share in the spoils of imperialism along with Germany; and France, and Great Britain;
Turkey, which wants to join the EU, was the base of the Ottoman Muslim Empire stretching across North Africa as well as East Europe
and Arabia.
It does not take long to realize the complex social relationships operating within the EU. It is not a gang of friends coming
together to make life easier. It is a gang of enemies that have finally realized that they must stop their military separatism and independence,
and stop terrorizing the world!
The EU insists that these countries negotiate and cooperate, and actively form a Union, and abandon their legacy of military opposition
to each other.
As we see everyday, this is easier said than done. In view of the historical legacy, the EU  should be more active in promoting the
significance and justification of  the  European project. For example, they need to challenge the politicians of the UK who refuse to fully
join in with the EU, rejecting the euro, and constantly blocking political initiatives.
Taking these factors into account, the MEPs should not be surprised when the electorate make an anti-EU vote!
The MEPs, in response
to these votes, should underline that the importance of the European Union is that it supports  political and economic union.

23.  Social Ecology is Social Reform: May 2014

Economic Unions across the world must support sustainable futures.
Economic Unions  must pursue a Social Ecology Manifesto.

Humans and all other organisms function in the biosphere: the blogosphere;  the atmosphere; the lithosphere; the troposphere; and the hydrosphere.
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations of living organisms with each other and their surroundings in the biosphere. Ecologists are biologists
who describe and analyse the biosphere with a view to explain the evolution of organisms, how they have adapted to survive, and offer explanations
of their behaviours.
Social Ecologists analyse the impact of human actions upon the biosphere, and offer explanations about the relations between the environment, and
all organic species.
Social Ecology is reflexive and normative, offering prescriptions and manifestos about how humans ought to behave in relation to the environment,
other species, and all extended ecological communities, so as to ensure their mutual co-existence.
It evaluates evidence so as to devise social, moral, philosophical, economic, ecological, environmental manifestos in order to identify the principles,
policies, and actions that are necessary to protect the environment and enable the survival of all ecological communities in the biosphere in
the future.
‘Social Ecology’ is best regarded as a social science. Social ecological manifestos should be available to  any organization, government, or group;
from a dictatorship, or a plutocracy, or a parliament, or a corporation, or a local authority, or a municipality, to any political party.

Nevertheless, for some reason or other, Social Ecology has become associated with particular politics such as anarchy; libertarian municipalism;
direct democracy; inclusive democracy; or communalism, or even communism, to the exclusion of all others. I suggest that there is no valid reason
why Social Ecology has been so completely tied to these  political perspectives. In fact, to do so has led it into a dead end!

Today, most organisations are hierarchies. Nation States are plutocracies …even those parading as democracies. All states and corporations are
actively involved in capitalism, and state socialism has failed. Most people in the world live in large cities with little sense of community.  Most
people, that is 6.5billion out of 7.2billion, are poor and uneducated, struggling to survive.
Does all this mean that there is no place for Social Ecology? On the contrary, it is most important that all these groups pay attention to, and enact,
a Social Ecology manifesto.
We must be actively concerned with protecting the environment, nature, blogosphere, biosphere; and learning how to organize our societies so that
we can thrive where there are  limited demands and no growth. The recent European elections witnessed the emergence of Nationalist politics,
and the emphasis on growth, and the associated employment of local people to the exclusion of immigrants. The electorate was returning to
right wing politics and rejecting the manifesto of the European Union. The MEPs have forgotten about the need to negotiate, persuade, discuss
issues with their electorate .The European Union must commit itself to a
Social Ecology Manifesto.

Humans have walked the earth for less than 200,000 years - a relatively short time in comparison to the existence of the biosphere. From 7000BC
to 2014AD, humans have grown more numerous, and developed tools and processes to enable them to reconstruct the environments in the
biosphere. It is true that they suffer from the catastrophes of nature: solar flares, earthquakes, volcanoes, typhoons, tornadoes, cyclones,
monsoons, ice and snow storms, floods, forest and grass fires, and diseases like malaria, but are better able to protect themselves and predict
the events.
After 1800AD, humans began to manufacture tools of mass construction and destruction which enabled them to mine coal, iron ore, limestone;
cut down trees by the thousand; grow wheat, corn, barley, rye, rice on thousands of acres - in fact, to completely transform the biosphere; or to
be more precise, to completely destroy nature!
As a result of these endeavors the global population of humans has risen to 6.87 billion, reaching 7.2 billion, May. 2014; and is predicted to rise to
9 billion by 2050, in response to the more efficient use of water and the creation of new plants for food.
As a result of their industrial activities, humans have become a threat to the survival of all living organisms. Human communities are no longer
committed to the mutual coexistence of living organisms. They are actively involved in the destruction of other living organisms so as to ensure the
survival of ‘homo sapiens’. Nevertheless, in the near future, some humans will face extinction because of the lack of drinking water; and others will
suffer from pollution, and global warming.
Many writers have argued that in order to make an impact on water shortages and world pollution, all societies will have to work together. If the
world is to survive as an 'eco-system' and be sustainable, we will all have to act together. Every individual and every government will have to agree
to take specified actions designed to reduce pollution and  global warming. The peoples and all other organisms of the world form an extended
ecological community within complex networks, and humans must pay attention to their interdependence if they are to survive. ‘Development,
Conservation and Environmentalism’ mean that we should all share the resources of the globe so that we all achieve a satisfactory sustainable
standard of life. It means caring and sharing.  The nature of our interdependence is such that the greed of some brings about the hunger of others.
In order to secure the greatest happiness of the greatest number, we must act in consideration of all others. The warnings are all around us from
scientists, activists, and, increasingly, from our personal experiences of climate catastrophes with flooding, droughts , forest fires, tornadoes,
hurricanes,  species extinction, and other natural disasters.
Social Ecology indicates that in order to protect the environment, and expect a sustainable future, we must make different choices and alter our
behaviour,  our lifestyles, our economics, our notions of self; our cultural filters, our priorities, our morality. These changes will require us all to
analyse our mindscapes, our cultural filters. Roszak (1973) argues that what is important in the examination of  people’s mindscape is not what they
articulately know or say they believe. What matters is something deeper; the feel of the world around them, the sense of reality, that   spontaneously
discriminates between  knowledge and fantasy .Pepper (1989)  states that: It is of prime importance for us to study the real and tangible physical
environment, how different groups and individuals perceive that environment and the nature of the ecologically, socially and culturally based
presuppositions which colour these perceptions, or as some express it, the cultural filter. This means that we have to think and act, locally and
globally. Concern for the environment, conservation, development, and ecology are not only about nature, they are calling for social changes: the
development of a social ecology, according to which we realize that we are interdependent and connected to each other, as part of complex networks
in the biosphere.

Social Ecology is
the study of human behavior in the biosphere;
concerned with Development, Conservation, Environmentalism, Sustainability, and Subsistence, in order to foster extended ecological communities
in the biosphere.
It will study political systems, and economic issues in the municipality, the city, the factory when they challenge the viability of the biosphere;
the identification and analysis of the problems caused by human behavior in the biosphere;
the development of solutions to the problems caused by human behavior in the biosphere;
the formulation of social practices that will ensure that humans live in mutual coexistence with all living organisms;
the formulation of social policies and practices designed to allow all humans to survive and thrive in relation to all living organisms;
the development of systems of governance, [social, political, economic] that will enable human communities to take decisions that promote the
mutual co-existence of all living organisms in the biosphere;
the study of the ways in which humans exist in cooperation with each other, and with other species, for their mutual benefit as an extended
ecological community.
the study of biological entities, with various traits, that choose different, unpredictable behaviors in order to adapt, evolve, survive, in the face
of threats to their survival.  
will be concerned with behaviors and systems in the municipality, the city, and factory, as aspects of humans in the biosphere;
Social Ecologists will study human behavior and climate change;
the emission of pollutants and gases;
the exploitation and destruction of forests, and grasslands;
the exploitation and mining of oils, ores and minerals;
the destruction of species.
They will formulate policies and practices to help conserve the biosphere.
They will identify alternative systems of economy and politics in order to ensure that humans live in mutual coexistence with all living organisms.
Social ecologists recognize the role of humans in the destruction of the environment and the consequences of capitalist  enterprise to the
exploitation of natural resources.
They propose policies and practices that preserve the environment, and do not poison the biosphere.
They draw our attention to the facts that ‘we’ are responsible for the pollution of nature.
They urge  governments to move towards a sustainable economy based on subsistence, conservation and preservation.
They devise  models of a steady state economy which will stabilize consumption and growth. They emphasize the need to ‘care and share’,
and for communities to provide welfare for the benefit of all by redistributing wealth.
Such a manifesto would lead to significant social change whether it was adopted by local or central government, direct or participatory democracy,
hierarchical or non-hierarchical organizations.
To be relevant to our present lives, it has to be available to all organizations, bureaucracies and democracies.

I want to say at the start that I am not an economist; nor a mathematician..
As a social ecologist, I am appalled by the operation of capitalist financial
systems that enable 0.01% of the global population to control 80% of the
global wealth, and tolerate 1 billion people dying of hunger!  
For a long time, most people in the world have been poor, and subject to the
demands of conquerors, monarchs, emperors, rulers, dictators, leaders, and
their bankers. Whenever the ruling families wanted money or valuables, it was
expected that they obtained them from the citizens by taxation. These demands
were made easier once the citizens kept their valuables in bank vaults. The rulers
could simply take them and confiscate them as taxation.
For a long time, whenever people had valuables made of gold and silver or
diamonds and pearls which they wanted to keep safe, they would place them, for a fee, with the goldsmith, or silversmith, to keep in their vaults.
The smiths, over time, would accumulate a vast store of valuable items. As these items gathered in their vaults, they would use them as collateral
for loans and investments or as taxation for the government.
These items were assets that were not ‘liquid’; that is, they were not portable; they could not be moved nor sold on the spot. They could be
valued and taken to market, and sold at auction. But their value could not be guaranteed. If no-one wanted to buy the items, they would be worthless.
On the other hand, gold and silver were portable when converted into coins. Coins were used as items of value to pay in exchange for food, shelter,
transport, clothing, furniture, equipment, and so on.

For many decades, ‘usury’  was a mortal sin in the Catholic Christian world. Lending money at interest was forbidden: and in many communities that
remains the same today. However, that did not mean that usury did not take place. It did mean that it was not carried out by Christians/Catholics.
For example, in Italy, Spain, France, the UK and their colonies, money lending was carried out.. Christian borrowers would offer their valuables as
collateral for loans. The Lenders would charge interest and take possession of the valuables in the case of default or late payment. The valuables
always covered the value of the loans: full reserve.
Times of war gave rise to the greatest demands for capital, and loans.  Wars were carried out by monarchs and emperors, who demanded monies
for equipment, the purchase of ships, the payment of mercenaries, far in excess of what they had to hand. So, in effect, usury became sponsored
by the ruling families of Christian and Muslim countries as in the Crusades, Norman wars, Napoleonic Wars, Ottoman conquests. Bankers became
experts at creating money, and prospered.
We have a picture in which bankers looked after valuable goods for wealthy customers, and created monies for the use of ruling families and the
governments of the day. Initially, the  bankers raised the monies and charged government agents fees, not interest.
All new enterprises, whether involved in conflicts or corporate enterprises, required new money. This money took the form of coins of recognized
denominations: say 1 pound/10 pound/50 pound etc.. Of course, anything over 1000 pounds would be bulky, heavy, and not very portable. As coins
had replaced valuable items, so coins were replaced with paper, say receipts or promissory notes eg. ‘I promise to pay’. In response to the increasing
demands for coins in their hundreds of thousands, notes and cheques became more common and eventually replaced coins.
We have a changing picture. Vaults full of  objects like rings, necklaces, candlelabras, chalices, plates, boxes, pots, knives and forks, swords, etc.,
made of gold and silver are replaced by coins. As more coins are used so they become more difficult to move. The banks issued pieces of paper to
represent the coins and the goods of value.
It is worth noting that even today most people think of money as cash, as coins, as solid. items.
From the start of banks, bankers have been involved in making money portable. The valuable items that they kept for their customers were
converted into coins, and later into ‘notes’ or cheques or receipts. The papers were much more portable and very cheap to print.  They could be
carried in your pocket or purse or by hand and represented the valuables held in your bank accounts or as land assets. The coins and notes were
more reliable items of value and could be added and monitored. Soon, balance sheets were developed as statements of how much value was in the
bank account, and how much had been spent: credits were expected to balance debits. Once debits exceeded credits, customers applied for loans,
for new money from the banks.
The biggest customers of banks were and continue to be governments who also supervise and regulate banks and devise the rules.
Banks will loan money on the assumption that credits will be paid in the future. Up until the 20th century, it was expected that the assets in the bank
would cover the amount on loan: [full reserve banking]: so that if a new venture had assets of $1 million, it could borrow $1 million.

In an attempt to spread the risk of a new investment, the Joint Stock Company was devised: according to which many people could invest in the
new venture by buying shares in return for a dividend on their investments. For example, those who invested in the East India Company made a
fortune. Those who put their money in the Louisiana Land Company lost it all. The success or failure of a Joint Stock Company is not guaranteed!
although it can be insured.

Important aspects of banking are ‘the management of risk’ and the ‘generation of profit’. If a bank has managed risk, it takes a profit.
We have reached the point where banks are used as consultants and charge fees.
We have reached a point when money is not solid as coins. It is represented by numbers. At first these numbers were on a balance sheet. Later,
on a computer screen.
As more and more coins were used, so they ceased to be portable. They became represented by ‘numbers’ so money became flexible and highly
portable….being moved  on line from one account to another, in milliseconds.
The global expansion of trade and industry saw the rising demand for more new money. For example, the iron and steel industry required the
construction of mines, and furnaces before there was any talk of ‘profits’. Railways and roads had to be built before they could have an organized
timetable, rail fares, and traffic.
Banks responded by developing ‘fractional reserve banking’. If a bank had $100 in  cash, the bank could lend $1000.  If companies had assets worth
$1million, they could borrow $70million, at the discretion of the bank……or even $700 million if the company had good prospects. Over a long time,
say 50 years, this would not be a problem. [as long as the companies made profits] although the interest payments would be a lot.[4.5times the
principal]  It becomes clear that companies and banks are dealing in bank created money.  Banks did not have $700 million in hard cash,
The application of fractional reserve banking would mean that the monies in circulation are number  entries’ on a contract form or later, digital
entries on a computer programme. The profits of the bank continue to be calculated in terms of credit and debit.
The emergence of digital banking has led to quantitative banking. The search for predictability and certainty and secure profits has led to
quantitative banking.
Banks and Finance Houses took great pains to hire mathematical experts who could derive formulae to develop predictions for their financial
Today, real Estate/Housing is a major activity of the finance industry. In the USA, the Clinton/the Bush governments wanted to increase home
ownership to all families. There developed the ‘sub-prime’ mortgage’ market, which offered  families the chance to buy their homes. These families
had little chance of repayment and a high chance of default. Indeed some groups were called ‘NINJAS’: no income; no jobs, no assets.
And so was born the 2008 credit crisis. When a large percentage of borrowers defaulted on their mortgage debts, banks and savings and loans
companies went ‘bust’: that is, demands for money [debits] were exceeded by the supply [credits]. The finance houses could not pay their bills.
All their planning was based on the assumption that there was no risk in the mortgages, and there would be a steady stream of repayments.
This assumption was reinforced by the predictions of the ‘quants’ who devised formulae and methods of packaging the mortgages into derivatives
such as credit default swaps, options, futures, insurance; that protected the lenders from losses. But their calculations all assumed that everyone
would repay their debts. When no-one paid their debts, the system collapsed!
Of course, it was easy to blame the borrowers for this crisis. But it should be argued that there should not have been ‘sub-prime’ mortgages. What
is the point in giving unemployed workers a mortgage loan, and then expecting them to pay it back with interest.  Such a strategy is fraught with
problems, particularly when unemployment increased and companies went bankrupt; interest rates went up; insurance premiums went up; and
house prices went down, and everyone wanted to sell, but no one wanted to buy! Government plans were at fault.

We have moved from the 15th century when usury was a sin, and loans were made to Monarchs, and aristocrats, and governments; to the 21st.
century when loans could be available to every family in the land.
Loans have always been ‘new money’ created by the banks and banksters to meet the demands of the ‘rulers’ and other clients: on  condition  
that money generated in the future will be paid to the banks, the borrowers would be credited with an agreed sum. At first, these credits would
be cash, gathered up by the bankers. For example, during the Napoleonic Wars, the Emperor wanted cash to pay the wages of his soldiers.
The bankers who could raise the cash, and deliver it to the front lines, would get the commission, and the fee. Many banks prospered during times
of war!  patronized by the governments and their rulers.
As the demands on banks have become more and more extensive, so banksters have looked to more and more different ways to use money,
and make it easier to transfer from one account to another. This has become more marked with the globalization of trade and industry. For example,
a corporation in Australia may well be selling iron ore to a steel corporation in the UK. Some time ago this sale would require settlements by cash.
Today, these dealings can be settled by the transfer of  digital money, in milliseconds. It is still necessary for the dealings to be settled in cash, but
sometime later by interbank transfers.

It is puzzling to think about a system in which we believe that payments are made in cash, when the evidence shows that payments are made by
transferring numbers from one account to another. Even the creation of ‘new money’ by banks is illusory as the banks do not have the cash to cover
their loans. Banks add new numbers to an account, they do not print the notes nor coins. The modern banking system is based upon a ‘money
There are important distinctions between ‘full reserve banking’ and ‘fractional reserve banking’. ‘Full reserve banking’ insists that  loans made by  
a bank are covered by the assets of the bank: that is, $1million loans are covered by $1million reserves held by the Central Bank. If new money is
covered by old money, there is little danger of bankruptcy, and the amount of money on loan can be regulated by the Central Bank.
Today, in the rich developed countries ‘fractional reserve banking’ is the more common system.  Governments and Central Banks declare that there
must be a lot of new money available to sponsor rapid growth. The demands for money are far greater than the supply. If an enterprise has a
regular income, and whose prospects are judged to be good, and has assets worth $1million, it may ask for a loan of $10million or $20million; and
may be given a loan of $100million. In this situation, the banks depend upon the success of the enterprises, and there is no question of failure. The
investment banks create money. The financial crisis of 2007/2008/2009 was caused when debtors of the banks failed to repay their loans and
interest , thus cutting off the supply of  income to the banks. Enterprises failed; countries went bankrupt. Banks failed. In every case costs exceeded
income; debits exceeded credits; withdrawals were greater than deposits; Bank statements were in deficit; debts exceeded credits. Organisations
failed and went bankrupt.  The debtors had no way to convert their debts into cash, There were no reserves to cover the debts. Every debtor was
in breach of contract. Fractional Reserve Banking does not require debtors nor creditors to have access to reserves that cover the loans. The system
assumes that income was secure, and that the loans would generate interest, and create purchasing power.
Lord Adair Turner, once of the FSA, has declared Fractional Reserve Banking to be the cause of financial crises! He sees that any reform of the
banking system must stop Fractional Reserve Banking.
Lord Adair Turner, in his recent presentations to INET, identified different forms of money:
‘metallic money’ including coins and notes; ‘fiat money’
created by the Central Bank and the State as notes and bonds; ‘debt money’ created by private banks as loans;
‘credit money’ created by private banks as credit cards or cash cards.
He confirms that 97% of money placed in circulation is credit or debt or digital entries  created by  private corporations., or banks, and 3% is metallic
money.  It is difficult for many people to accept that nearly all the money that is in use in the world economy is digital numbers: that is, authorized
entries on Bank balance sheets, created ‘ex nihilo’ by the fund managers. The many trillions of dollars that are quoted in statements are not ‘cash’ but
are digital entries.
Is it time to turn our perceptions of money systems upside down! And to come to terms with  the ‘money game’.
First, from the days of Monarchs to elected  Presidents, governments have identified  and authorized ‘money’ as gold or silver coins and bank notes.
Second, the rulers of the State, and the Central Banks, have produced ‘money’ according to their declared needs. It is not necessary for them to
borrow Money, only to print it.
Third, private banks are entitled to identify digital entries as money.
More directly, we can all think of the numbers in our bank accounts as
money because the bank says so!
Private banks create money as loans, out of nothing. ‘Money’ can be conjured up by bankers and fund managers in the form of loans, and debts.
Those accredited with the most ‘money’ have the greatest ‘debts’.
We are caught in a puzzle in which economists talk money, products and demands; and no one refers to money as fantasy. as make believe.

Refer to the writings and videos associated with the:
Institute for New Economic Thinking;
New Economic Foundation;
Lord Adair Turner
IdeasLab 2013
Financial Services Authority, UK
George Soros
Open Society Foundation
Thomas Piketty
Paul Krugman
Joe Stiglitz
Niall Ferguson
The Ascent of Money: Channel 4 video
The Love of Money: BBC video


Investment bankers and fund managers have been concerned for a long time to manipulate other people’s money to maximize profits, and minimise
risk. Finance companies like JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Lehmans , MorganStanley, Barclays, RBS, DeutscheBank, worked out schemes that
enabled them to increase the range of their clients, and invest their monies for the best returns, and highest fees and bonuses. The development
of de-regulated markets following President Reagan in the USA, and Prime Minister Thatcher in the UK, led not only to more innovations in the
financial services industries, but more dubious practices; and bankruptcies and the collapse of the global financial system! It is not surprising that
from 2007/8, and the global banking crisis, bankers have been called ‘banksters’: bankers as criminals!
This is not new. It is easy to forget that in the past, banking was a crime. In particular, lending and charging interest was forbidden by Christians. It
was known as usury, and was classified as a sin. Of course, this did not mean that money exchange and loans did not happen. It did mean that only
specific groups, such as Jews, were permitted to be bankers and described as usurers. Jews as usurers led them into social and political disrepute,
best represented by Shakespeare’s Shylock., in the Merchant of Venice.
Today, we have come to think of bankers as ‘crooks’, and fraudsters’ in the light of  millions of people across the world  losing their savings, or
defaulting on their loans, and banks losing money, and investment bankers being busy paying themselves million dollar fees and bonuses. In fact
as the poor have got poorer, the rich are getting richer.

Bankers  are part of the ‘loan cycle’.   One of the first steps that bankers take is to create new money in the form of loans. An interesting trick is
that modern banksters are allowed to create money out of nothing.  They do not depend upon the availability of  customers savings or deposits.
How do they do that? simply by writing numbers in a ledger and  charging you interest for the transaction and paying themselves a bonus for the
business.  For example, you  pay into the bank $1000 and they can lend you 54,000 or 70,000 at 8% compound interest. Banks are allowed to
leverage the money they create 54 to 1 or 70 to 1, or even 100 to 1, [if they are unregulated] on the assumption that the loans and interest will be
recovered within a specified time limit, generating profit.  The more loans that are allocated the more profits are generated and the more interest
paid. There is a world-wide market for loans.  The loans are new money. They do not consist of coins and notes. They are ‘digital’. This is part of the
overall ‘scam’ that is ‘banking’. It is highly likely that disreputable bankers simply create numbers to trade. Bankers talk cash, but deal in numbers.
They do have to make sure that the statements of account balance in the day book. But some do not bother.  Traders in investment banks make
and transfer and exchange money as number entries on statements of account. They bet against each other in various markets: stocks, shares,
bonds, currencies, commodities, derivatives, credit default swaps; buying and selling so as to make profits.
Loans are bound by contracts but not by cash.  ‘Banksters’ protect their cash monies by creating new money. It is only when new money is greater
than earned income, or traded products and exceed GDP, that problems arise. If loan money is $20 trillion and ‘products’ only generate $2 trillion,
the loan cycle survives only when there are no default events. It is estimated that the current markets create more than $700 trillion.
New money/digital money is far greater than cash: at a ratio of 97 to 3.

Fund managers are using ‘saver’s money’ to invest in government projects and corporation stocks and shares They focus on maintaining and
increasing the funds. And of course the savers have similar demands: often depending on the funds for their pensions.
Fund managers want to encourage people to join their funds, and increase
the capital and generate interest. These demands lead fund managers into
‘evil’, into fraud! Into dubious practices, when unregulated.
The classic fraud is to operate a ‘Ponzi scheme,’ whereby the capital
invested by new members is used to meet the demands for  payments by
other members. Ponzi schemes promise high returns with no risk. But what
is kept secret is that the fund managers do not invest any of the deposits.   
But as soon as the deposits decline, and the demands for payments increase,
the scheme will collapse! and holders will lose their
money. Of course the scheme could set up a Credit Default Swap and
promise to cover losses on accounts.
Legal Pension Fund managers, who control many millions of savings
deposits, are desperate to find investments that are safe, and capable
of growth. It is reported that Fund Managers respond positively to
‘hedge funds’ which are limited partnerships for ‘millionaire’ investors.
Hedging these funds is the attempt to reduce risk, and maximize returns
by carefully managing the fund. Indeed, they need the hedge fund
manager to manage meticulously with insight to anticipate variations, and
protect the value of the investments.
When the financial markets are volatile with all items going up and down in
value, it is important for fund managers to be able to place their monies into other items, such as  futures, swaps, options such as oil, currencies,
wheat, rice. They will set up derivative contracts to buy or sell at a given time, for a given price and thus hedge their bets, and ensure the value of
the funds. In the past, it was common for derivative contracts to be made against the price of rice. Implicit in the dealings is that the items would go
up in value. And the skill is in identifying when the prices go up, and being able to manage the trading, and the prices. If they went down, the
investment funds would lose value. The manager would have gambled and lost!
Credit Default swaps came into operation because of these risks. CDS’ are a contract to compensate you in case of a credit default.  In view of the
millions of pounds/$ in circulation looking for appropriate investments, fund managers would make financial contracts for compensation, in case of
default, arranging for swaps or options to exchange monies for commodities/items. Money managers can be involved in buying or selling stocks
and bonds; and currencies;or commodities.
It is worth noting that in every case the deal would be to safeguard the value of funds, not to promote the success of trading companies or
production companies. The capitalist investment is designed to increase the funds.
Most deals in ‘derivatives’ would take place over the counter. They would be beyond the regulation of an exchange. The trade was previously
valued at $700 trillion, and now in 2014, at $1.2 quadrillion. The trade is unregulated, and subject to illegal manipulation.
Credit default swaps have been described as ‘pretend insurance’. The contracts may have been drawn up carefully so that the ‘swaps’ will be
made, and the investments retrieved in the case of a default. But  Credit Default Swaps have been also been accused by Jeff Neilson in Canada
as a $600 trillion  ‘paper Ponzi scheme’- that is, a fraud designed by Wall Street syndicates that have no intention of honoring the contracts. The
syndicates receive payments, initiate default, and refuse to pay compensation.

Banks, Building Societies, [in the UK] or Savings and Loans companies [in the US] act as mortgage brokers. Over the last 20 years in the USA, in
particular, mortgages were increasingly given to poor families who had little hope of repaying the full mortgage, and a high likelihood of defaulting
on their loans. They were called sub-prime mortgages. This was possible as a result of new schemes of insurance supported by government agencies. The mortgages were credit
default options whereby ‘default’ was covered by insurance and the sale price of the property at auction. In effect the mortgage brokers received
payments of interest from the clients, and insurance payments from the Insurers, and auction value of property. The Banks created new money as
loans on many millions of property. However, once the mortgage holders started to default, and payments stopped, the Insurance groups, such as
AIG, were the first to suffer. They were unable to keep up with the insurance payouts, and soon became bankrupt. In the UK, customers demanded  
cash from Building Societies, causing a ‘run on the bank’. In this way the financial crisis unfolded in the USA and the UK, and later in the EU. It
became clear that many of the principal global Banks had been actively involved in the ‘sub-prime’ scheme: buying and selling mortgage options
across the world; putting loans together as bonds and selling them as investments. As soon as the sub-prime schemes failed, and the poor families
defaulted on their loans, many banks became bankrupt and appealed for help from governments. The failure of the financial sector was the direct
result of their dubious practices in unregulated markets.

In the past money as ‘cash’ was tangible, solid, handled, moved, carried, transferred, exchanged, created and distributed:  created by Central Banks
from copper, silver, gold, and paper, or plastic, and used by the citizens, governments and bankers for payments of services and products.
Many citizens are convinced that all ‘money is cash’ and that all dealings are in cash. They go to the bank, take cash out to pay for items or services
or they receive cash in payment and take the cash to the bank. All dealings are in cash!  Citizens, including myself, experience a ‘cash delusion’.
Irrespective of what we may think, financiers in the UK inform us that only 3% of money dealings are ‘cash’. 97% of money dealings are ‘digital.’
Global banking is ‘cashless’ internet banking. All transactions are digital and involve altering the number entries in the statements of accounts.
Transactions and exchanges can now be done in a few seconds. Money is transferred, exchanged in millions, simply by clicking a keyboard and
altering the numbers. In a computer system, ‘digital numbers’ represent cash/gold/silver/ bank notes, cheques and bonds. Many people now pay for
things and services by credit cards. The transactions are digital and cashless.
Nevertheless, it is assumed that cash reserves are available to cover the transactions. It is assumed that the digital transactions are based on the
‘cash’ in your bank account, and the ‘cash’ that will be transferred to your account in the future. These assumptions ignore the fact that there is no
cash in bank accounts. The only cash in the bank is the banknotes in the ATM, printed and delivered by the Central Bank.
It is true that many  countries  do have gold reserves, and their wealth is judged in terms of the balances  between their reserves and their spending.  
The USA has the largest gold reserves of any country at $361.8 billion; followed by the IMF $125.7billion,. Germany $34.9 billion; Japan $34.6 billion;
the Netherlands $27.2 billion; the UK $13.8 billion. Gold reserves are normally used to under write the cash demands of banks. Gold is used as
collateral for the monies created by banks. Gold is the basis of digital money. But these reserves are inadequate for the digital money demands of
the global money funds. For example, the total gold reserves do not cover the $1.2 quadrillion traded in derivatives markets.   

97% of money in circulation is ‘digital’. It is ‘bank created money’.It is used to buy houses/ equipment/vehicles/transport/ to pay wages,
etc.. This  money is created  as a loan, out of nothing. For each loan that the banks arrange, digital money is created. The ‘numbers’
are treated as if they were ‘cash’. They are talked about as if theywere cash. Digital numbers are regarded as ‘cash’ and to have the
value of ‘gold’, simply because we think them to be!  The numbers in our bank accounts are cash simply because we think they are.
Given that we never see the cash, nor the gold, but only the numbers, perhaps it doesn’t matter that there is no hard cash.
The digital money is easy to handle, easy to manipulate, easy to calculate, easy to transfer, easy to protect, easily available on
computer systems. If most of the transactions are ‘digital’, and theentries are simply numbers, banking becomes a game of arithmetic!
A banking casino!
The essential aspect of all these bank transactions is that the numbers ‘balance’ in the ‘day book’. There has to be balance
between debits and credits; loans and cash; debts and income.
The Central Banks and the governments have to judge as to whether the finances of a country are in balance. They must regulate the creation
of money. However, when it is necessary for banks to possess ‘cash’, they simply arrange with the authorized government, and Central Banks, to
make and print the coins and notes they need. In effect, all countries are in debt. They do not have enough money to cover their expenses.
In 2013, the USA borrowed up to $17 trillion; in 2012, Japan borrowed  $11.7trillion;  the 27 countries of the EU, $16.4 trillion, with Germany, France,
Italy and the UK having the biggest debts. China, with one of the largest GDP, has international debts of $2.5 trillion.
At this point we have to confront the fact that the sovereign debt of the USA and Japan, and other countries, is greatly in excess of their gold reserves.
They are not able to cover their debts. Are they all ‘bankrupt’?
In contrast, out of a world population of 7.2 billion people, there are 12 million who are valued at $46.2 trillion.  There are
1,426 billionaires who have an estimated  wealth of $5.4 trillion.
In North America, 3.73 million people have $12.7 trillion.   
In Asia, there are 3.68 million with $12 trillion.
In Europe, 3.4 million individuals have $10.9 trillion.
It is clear that some individuals have access to larger sums of money than many countries. But we have to confront the fact that these riches are not
cash money. They are digital money created as loans by banks, and entered on bank accounts. We conclude that banking systems are digital,
cashless, internet banking in which numbers represent cash. And few people have ready access to cash. We work in systems in which there is little
cash. The total gross wealth of $54 trillion is on paper in numbers. This digital money is not covered by cash. The total gold reserves are $1.02 trillion.
We are operating a capitalist system in which digital money is greatly in excess of cash money: and in which all money is created by banks, regulated
by governments.  The money is ‘leveraged’ 54 to 1: that is, if the bank has one pound it can create 54.
What we think of as money is created out of nothing by banks. What we think of as cash is created by Central Banks with the authority of
governments. Banks create money as loans out of nothing, and make paper profits out of the interest charged  for the loans. The capitalist system
is based on ‘leveraged money’, which is created by banks, and is best regarded as ‘fantasy money’  and is best described as ‘digital money’.
It is difficult to be clear  about what the financial services think they are doing. Why was Greece penalized so severely by the EU and the IMF and the
World Bank for having a sovereign debt far less than many other countries in Europe? The penalties seemed to deny the fact that  countries and
corporations depend upon loans. Their development and growth are a product of debt. If they had to have money as cash, growth would be a slow
process.  The austerity imposed by the Troika made the crises in Greece worse, restricting all access to hard cash and loan cash; and condemning
the Greeks as spendthrifts!


War and Empire.
Peace and Democracy.

The United Nations tells us that there are 196 countries in the world, all of whom are eligible to be members of the Organisation.
These countries of the world are not natural entities, occupied and organized by their native communities into ‘states’. Some countries are
monarchies, ruled by royal families; many are governed by a wealthy elite – plutocracy; or at the will of  individuals, autocracy/ dictatorship;  the
rules of a religious sect – theocracy. Few countries operate as democracies, governed by the votes of all citizens, in the interests of all the citizens.

Empires in time and space.
Over the last 3000 + years the lands of Europe, Arabia, the Americas, Africa, Asia have all been dominated at one time or another by military/religious/
trading Empires; and  sometimes occupied by vast and violent armies whose leaders and kings were determined to colonise, enslave,  and to exploit
the resources of their lands.
For example, Julius Caeser [50BC] led the Romans from Italy to Babylon, to Britain; to Spain, to France, Germany, Egypt, Arabia to establish the
Roman Empire, later to become the Holy Roman Empire.  The Norsemen [1060AD] and the Vikings, spread from the Baltic to Canada, to Britain,
Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Sicily and established the Norman Empire. The Portugese, the Spanish, and the British [from 1415 to the present
day] used their maritime powers, including pirates, privateers/trading companies, like the East India Company, to conquer the world for trade, setting
up  companies, colonies and enslaving the natives. The British Empire became the largest in the world.  Assyrians [1000BC], attacked  Persia, Iraq,
Syria, Saudi, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt. The Byzantine Empire [550AD], centred on Greece, controlled the Mediterranean Basin. The Ottoman Empire
[1300AD to 1914] extended its dominance from Constantinople in Turkey, to Russia, Greece, the Balkans, Austria, Spain, France, Egypt, the whole
of North Africa, Caucasus, Jordan, Arabia. The French Empire [1800] during the time of  Napoleon Bonaparte controlled Europe.  The Mongol Empire
[1200AD] under the rule of Ghengis Khan, and his family,  spread from Mongolia, to China, Siberia, Ukraine, Poland, Austria, Russia, Korea, Tibet,
Afghanistan,Vietnam to become the largest land Empire in history.
Along with all the other empires that have existed over time and territory, there are very few lands and peoples that have not been occupied,
attacked, colonized and enslaved by Imperial armies. At the points where one empire encroached on another, there would be constant and horrific
The centres of violence today were the centres of  imperial invasion in the past. For example, recent reports describe  the struggles of Egypt,
Tunisia and Yemen as well as Syria to gain independence and democracy as if they had been taken over recently.  Such reports pay little attention
to the fact that they have been invaded and occupied for a very long time by many different  attackers, from 1000BC to 2000AD.
Imperial conquest was associated with the religious wars between the Christians [Catholics/Protestants/Orthodox] and Muslims [Shiite/Sunni], Jews
and Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs. Jordan, and the city of Jerusalem, [the so called Holy Land] was the site of the Crusades between the Christians
of the Holy Roman Empire and the Muslims in the Middle Ages. For example,  Richard the Lionheart  became well known for his crusades against
Saladin [1187AD].
During the times of ‘empire’, and Holy Wars, democracy was not relevant. In many cases the Empires were totalitarian or authoritarian. The ruling
powers were determined to impose their will upon the peoples of their empire. In some cases in history, for example, during the Roman Empire and
Norman Empire and Ottoman Empire,
this meant chopping off the feet and hands, noses and ears, heads, of any opponent or terrorist, and crucifying anyone who protested and
challenged the authority of the Emperors: To do so was to declare opposition to their ‘Gods’. Throughout history, Empires have been set up and
maintained by military leaders, determined to enforce the supremacy of the rulers. In such states, the citizens were suspect, deprived,  lacking any
rights; destituent, destitute.  For a long time, the forces of state were directed to maintain the power of dictatorship. These states have always been
plutocracies, ruled by a powerful, ruthless, wealthy elite. These states have been about ‘control’. It would be normal for the governments  to suppress
the citizens,  to prevent troubles amongst hostile communities, and manage all outbreaks of protest.
As we have seen, ‘Empires’ have existed over at least 3000years. It is worth noting that the demand and the  search for ‘empire’ continues. In 1884,
Leopold of Belgium, and Bismarck of Germany set up the notorious Berlin Conference, intent on the partition of Africa on behalf of the Germans and
the Belgians; the Portugese, the Spanish, French, British, and Dutch. The allocation of territories was done by drawing lines on a map, without any
regard for the location of native communities, but a total regard for resources and riches.
From 1914 to the present day, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, France, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Italy, Britain, China and Japan pursued conflicts in order to
confirm their claims to ‘empire’; and the Germans, and later the USA, waged wars to establish their claims to ‘empires’. The Germans failed in defeat,
while the Americans established their hegemony across the world with thousands of military bases, and unequalled economic power.

What kind of state do we live in now?  It is without doubt that during these ‘Empire days’ very few states operated as ‘democracies’: And even those
that claimed to be should be described as plutocracies.  
The  recent  ‘Occupy’  movements in the USA and the EU,  and ‘new democracy’ protests in North Africa and Arabia have led to renewed debates
about ‘democracy’ and ‘state power’.
Those territories that have been subjugated by Imperial forces over time have all  been controlled by wealthy military elites, who have expressed full
support for the Emperors and the Empire. In North Africa, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Sudan  have all been subjects of
Imperial rule: whether  by Assyria/Roman Empire/Byzantine Empire/British Empire/ Ottoman Empire over 2000 years, and they will not know what it is
to be ‘independent’, nor to be ‘democratic’. It was clear that President Morsi of Egypt saw his election as giving him absolute power.  In future, for
these countries, it will be essential for them to learn how to rule themselves in peace and how to organize a democracy in which the interests of the
majority, and the minority, are served in peace?  and has nothing to do with conflict or war. Democracy depends upon voting, consultation,
negotiating, discussion, compromise in peace.
Even in those countries that are considered to be ‘modern’, independent, industrial, innovative, with electronic systems of government and finance,
it is difficult to identify ‘democracies’.

The rule by the 1%
What has become clear over the last ten years is that 80% of the wealth of the globe [GDP] is controlled and managed by 0.01% of the global
population.  $45 trillion is the property of 12 million people. It is declared that 7.2 billion people across the globe [plus or minus 12 million] have
access to $11 trillion. This majority is poor.
So whatever the history of many countries, they are still ruled by a wealthy minority elite: the 1%.
One of the implications of ‘Empire’, whether the rulers or the ruled, is that the majority are subdued, controlled, governed, managed by a wealthy
minority elite.
Even in 2014, we have to be careful as to how we define, develop, practice ‘democracy’. It is possible to argue that there are no ‘democracies’. There
are many plutocracies, and autocracies, and monarchies, and some theocracies: all of which identify the minority elite.
What is more, if we accept that wealth is power, it follows that power is exercised by the wealthy minority who own most of the riches. In such political
situations, it is impossible for the poor majority to have absolute power. As has been clear in Syria, it is possible for the wealthy ruling minority of the
Alawites, led by the Assads, to organize  military forces and weapons so as to subdue and defeat all other communities. In Egypt the poor majority
Muslim Brotherhood has been unable to control the minority military elite of al-Sisi.
These examples indicate that where the distribution of wealth is located, the wealthy minority elite is able to establish permanent positions of power.
The examples further illustrate that the allocation of territory and the identification of a State, lead to the exercise of political power by one  group
over others in the form of a plutocracy  or a  theocracy or autocracy. In these cases, the formation of a State government has little to do with
democracy; and  is often the expression of the assertion of  dominance  by the ruling group. The development of the State becomes the
establishment of rules and regulations, and the organization of procedures, systems, institutions to secure the dominance of the ruling group.
In the past, the State is a system of control, designed to maintain the power of the ruling minority. The government is expected to take all action
to prevent troubles, and to manage the power of the plutocracy. In these terms ‘the state’ exists to protect the interests of the ruling elite, and to
manage the behaviour of the ‘ruled majority’.
We are still embroiled by the systems of ‘Empire’: the political, military, financial, religious elites.
In the future, we all have to learn how to establish, organize, operate a democracy in the interests of all citizens, and break the ties with the days
of Empire! The ‘revolution’ must be ‘democratic’.



The purpose of these UN conferences is                              
[1]   to stop the 2C rise in global temperature,
[2]   to reduce Green House Gas emissions,
[3]   to provide support for loss and damage,
[4]   to finalise plans to deal with the impacts of climate

With reference to UNFCCC[Climate Change Secretariat];
International Institute for Sustainable Development; November 2013.
World Meteorological Organisation.

The realities of climate catastrophes had been
clearly illustrated in the experiences of  the
Philippines: in 2012 they were ravaged by Typhoon
Bopha; in 2013 by Super Typhoon Haiyan,
causing incalculable damage to farms, villages, towns and cities.
Scientific experts confirmed that climate change was evident in those parts of the world suffering floods, droughts, storms, typhoons, temperature
extremes, rising sea levels, melting ice caps.
The World Meteorological Organisation reported that 2013 was among the warmest years on record.

The various reports, by observers of the proceedings of the November Conference indicated that despite these global realities  the delegates in
Warsaw seemed to have little resolve to tackle climate change. Indeed some delegations were so upset that they went on ‘hunger strike’, and others
walked out. Those NGOs assembled in Warsaw organized demonstrations and protests, urging the 190 participant countries to get their plans
sorted out, and commit funds to provide support for loss and damage.

Financial issues were ‘thorny’.  Serious differences emerged between the developed and developing countries.
The delegates from the developing countries asserted that pledges made were inadequate, and that in fact monies in the Green Climate Fund
had declined.
Loss and Damage issues were apparent. The essence of climatic events is that they occur at random, and the loss and damage suffered is
unavoidable.  But the issue is how to pay ? How is the Philippines going to recover from the SuperTyphoon Haiyan? It was observed that developing
countries suffered the greatest  damage from climatic events, were the poorest, unable to generate the funds to rebuild their societies. It was agreed
that the developed countries of the USA, the EU, the Russian Federation, should provide the developing countries with financial support. But the
arguments over the whole of the Conference was whether the funding should be 'commitments' or  'contributions'.
The final Warsaw agreement ‘requested’ developed countries to provide developing countries with financial support. There was no commitment to
contribute to the Green Climate Fund.
There was disagreement about the development of ‘market approaches’ to economic growth. The ‘developed’ countries insisted that ‘developing’
countries expanded their capitalist markets to encourage growth and wealth. Many of the countries in Africa, South America, Central America,
SE Asia, wanted to pursue socialist economies and focus on the welfare of their citizens. These political differences made it very difficult to reach
agreement, and consensus, and underlined the need for the UN to pay greater attention to the politics of climate change, and conservation.
In the face of all the disagreements, differences, protests, and walk-outs, the progress on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation
[REDD] was welcomed by the organizing committee. It must be accepted that forests are ‘sinks’ absorbing green house gases, and every
‘deforestation’ allows the dispersal of gases into the atmosphere. Forests are a key element of climate control. It was noted in the conference reports
that many countries had initiated their own REDD projects, and were unwilling to abandone them to cooperate with the UN.

The POLAND Conference raised the issue as to whether the UN Framework is able to respond to the urgency and consequences of climate change.
While communities in the Philippines and Pakistan were being overwhelmed by climate catastrophe, delegates in Poland were arguing about
procedures and consultations and funding. Other delegates were playing games about emission targets. Japan, for example, finally committed to
emission reduction targets of 3%. Observers reported that given  the base year was 1990, Japan should have  declared  6% reduction. Their
declaration in 2013 meant that in fact they were producing higher carbon emissions.
It was clear that in Poland there was a lack of political will to move forward and find solutions. Participants left Warsaw determined to prepare for the
2015 conference.
The truth is that climate change continues and we all have to face the consequences.
The final press release noted that ‘developed’ countries had been asked for contributions to the Green Climate Fund, and that the USA, the UK,
Norway, and the EU, Sweden, Japan, South Korea  had made pledges worth $280 million to help ‘developing’ countries to reduce Green House
Gas emissions.
48 of the poorest countries finalized their plans to deal with the impacts of climate change, ready for implementation by 2015.
The UN established a Climate Technology Centre and Network [CTCN] to provide advice and assistance to developing countries, and encourage
more countries to stop the 2C rise in temperature.


In March 2014, the IPCC [the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] explicitly declared that the global climate system is warming as a result
of human interference. This declaration simply confirmed what environmental activists had been claiming for some time. The declaration provided
official approval for the demands for environmental policies by the countries of the UN.
During the 20th century, the atmosphere and the oceans have warmed; the sea levels have risen; and greenhouse gases increased.
Ocean warming is the most dominant process, accounting for more than 90% of the energy accumulated during the period 1971 – 2010. This
warming has led to the Greenland, and Antarctic ice sheets losing mass; and the global sea levels rising more in the last 100 years.
In the atmosphere, the levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are greater than in the last 800,000 years. The absorption of carbon
dioxide by the oceans has led to increasing acidification.
The researchers of the IPCC acknowledge that some of these changes are due to natural causes such as volcanic activity, but there is overwhelming
evidence of human influence on the climate system. Temperatures of the atmosphere and oceans are rising. Changes in the global water cycle have
led to reductions in snow and ice: and increases in flooding, and drought.

Large areas of the world have become uninhabitable.   Global sea levels are rising. Greenhouse gases continue to increase in response to the
rising use of fossil fuels. Shifts in wind movements result in seasonal changes in temperature distribution and rain patterns. The IPCC reported that
carbon pollution from automobiles had lowered significantly, but they asserted that it was still important to reduce the use of cars and lorries.
What is disturbing for politicians is that the Report made it clear that the current accumulation of heat in the oceans guarantees the climate changes
for the rest of the century. Even if there were substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions now, the energy stored in the oceans will result in
a 2C+ global temperature change beyond 2100. Heating of the global oceans will affect ocean circulation. Arctic sea ice cover will continue to shrink
and thin. The evidence made it clear that human intervention in the past will have climatic consequences for the present and future.  
The climate changes that are in progress will lead to further changes in the future. The increasing temperatures of the upper levels of the oceans
will result in the rising temperatures of the lower atmosphere, and alterations in the patterns of rainfall. It is essential for the United Nations to make
all 196 member countries to take action to limit air and water pollution.


If we accept that human intervention is the cause of climate change, then we must recognize that human behaviour has to change. The increase in
CO2 and methane emissions is the direct result of human enterprises, in the form of generators, furnaces, engine combustion.
The EC Joint Research Centre have recently presented a report in collaboration with the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency looking
at the trends in Global CO2 Emissions.[November 2013]
The report makes it clear how difficult it is to identify such emissions and how to present findings that tell governments and corporations what is
going on in terms of the pollution of the atmosphere, and creation of climate change and global warming. The researches indicate that while CO2
emissions are at their highest level, there is evidence that the levels are lower in the ‘developed world’; [that more is less.]
The trends are based on measurements taken in 2012. The actual global emissions were 34.5 billion tonnes, which was an increase of 1.4% over
2011, but was significantly less than the annual increase of 2.9% since 2000. [more is less].
The report noted that there was a global shift to more renewable energy, and increased energy saving along with less intensive fossil-fuel activities:
oil gas, coal.
The report did not focus only on global trends, it also told us about regional developments. CO2 emissions increased in China [6.3%], India [7%],
and Japan [6%], and decreased in the USA [4%], the EU [1.6%], Russia[1%].
The increases in carbon emissions in China for 2012 did represent a decrease compared to the 10% annual growth since 2000. This decrease was
the result of the reductions in the generation of electricity from coal, and increases in the use of  hydro-power.
The decrease in carbon emissions in the USA is the result of  the use of more gas [shale gas]. The decrease is significant, given that  the USA  
has the highest emissions levels in the world!
The decrease of emissions in the 27 countries of the EU are the direct result of  the economic recession and the reduction in the consumption of  
oil and gas.
The report concluded that while there was a global shift from the use of  coal to gas, to bio-mass, and the development of carbon capture systems,
there was a decrease of nuclear power in the face of the Fukushima disaster.
It was noteworthy that  renewable energy from hydropower, solar panels, wind mills, and bio fuels was increasing, at last !
Will there be continuous decreases in CO2 emissions over the next decade?
An important step is for the increasing use of gas: shale gas , LNG.
High prices of coal and gas will effect the fuel mix of public utilities.
A prolonged recession in the EU will reduce the use of fossil fuels.
A change to a service based economy in China will reduce the production of electricity by coal.
Whatever is happening to the levels of carbon emissions, the particles of carbon dioxide  continue to rise. In 1990 there were 355particles of CO2
per million particles . In May 2013 this had increased to 400 ppm.

Ted Trainer, of the University of New South Wales, in his analysis, published in The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY,
(October 2008) argued that once the concentration of carbon dioxide and other gases has reached 450 parts per million,  the greenhouse problem
cannot be solved without large scale reductions in the volumes of economic production and consumption.
He asserts that the greenhouse problem cannot be solved within a society committed to free market capitalism and affluent living standards,
maximum levels of economic output, and economic growth.  Ted Trainer, has been arguing for half a century that consumer societies are
fundamentally unsustainable. He argues that the alarming greenhouse/ energy/ equity problems now threatening us cannot be solved within any
capitalist/consumer society but require a vast and radical transition to very different economic, political and value systems and structures. A simpler
way is the only way forward. We must drastically reduce economic production and consumption. Is it possible to stop climate change and
environmental pollution if we stop the emissions of heat trapping gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane? A report by the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration, as presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 2009, proposes that it is too late
and that it will not be possible to stop climate change and environmental pollution. Many people who worry about global warming hope that once
emissions of heat-trapping gases decline, the problems they cause will quickly begin to abate. Now researchers are saying that such hope is ill
founded, at least with regard to carbon dioxide. Because of the way carbon dioxide persists in the atmosphere and in the oceans, and the way
the atmosphere and the oceans interact, patterns that are established at peak levels will produce problems like inexorable sea level rise and
Dust-Bowl-like droughts for at least a thousand years.
According to this view, the damage has already been done!


An  article written by Mehmet Dosemeci, and published in ROARmag. in November 2013  is proposing that the protesters, the occupiers of public
squares across the world, are demanding that their governments pay attention to them, listen, be aware, and rule by the law, stop ignoring the needs
of their citizens, prosecute the bankers who have cheated everyone, and seek trust and equality.
The ‘Occupy’ is a ‘ROAR’ demanding an end to the current policies and strategies of their governments. It is not the first steps to revolution.
If we accept this analysis then it would seem that we are not witnessing a revolution. We are witnessing the assertion of democratic rights in pseudo
democracies where the elected governments act without further reference to their citizens. I want to argue that the different Occupy  protests are for
different reasons, and may be destined to fail.

Let me take Greece as an example. Until the collapse of Western capitalism and the bankruptcy of banks and governments in 2007/8, the Socialist
government of Greece had pursued the creation of social welfare without any regard to costs and income.  The NHS was funded so that patients
received free care. Doctors, nurses, administrators were paid by the government. State Pensions were given to all citizens without any  contributions.
Civil servants received full salary pensions without contributions.[As someone who had worked in public services in the UK, I was appalled by this, as
my pensions were based on 50 years of work and contributions.]  Primary, Secondary, and Higher education  were available to all students for free.
Attendance at school was compulsory until 18. Teachers were paid by the government.  In Greece, a socialist society was one in which the needs of all
citizens were identified by,  provided and paid for by the government. While I am impressed by such a socialist ‘paradise’, and of course all citizens
would want this to continue, it is essential to recognize that this was operated by a government that was bankrupt. It had international debts that were
300% GDP. Its total debts were three times greater than its income. The truth is that the social welfare programme could only be maintained by a
government whose income was at least twice the debts, annually. Joining the EU was necessary, so as to provide another source of funding. Indeed
many farmers have taken great advantage of the CAP grants, spending the money on luxuries rather than essential agricultural items: in 2008, the
farms in the region of Larissa had more Porsche Cayennes  than tractors. The organization and funding of the Olympic Games in Greece led the
government into the investment schemes devised by the financial traders of London and New York. The government was persuaded that they could
borrow money without risk. They borrowed billions and insured the loans against default [credit default swaps]. It was only when they realized that they
could not afford to pay the interest and the insurance premiums,  that they had to recognize their bankruptcy! Greece cannot continue to provide the
social welfare programme. Government spending has to be cut. The civil service, farm subsidies, price controls, salaries have to be cut, and people
made redundant: not out of malice, but necessity. It is not surprising that strikes, marches, demonstrations, occupations have become a constant
feature of life in Greece. All the protests are demanding the re-establishment of a social welfare system that is not possible under the present capitalist
system, which demands income by growth. Countries that are bankrupt cannot afford to pay for welfare services. The occupations are pointless unless
the citizens agree to pay towards the services, pay their taxes, regulate and supervise funding. Yes! It is possible to complain about the actions of
governments and demand that ministers and civil servants are transparent about their policies. But even today under the critical eye of the creditors,
the Greek government has not declared itself ‘bankrupt’. The present government cannot listen to the demands of the protesters, simply because it is
incapable of providing jobs and salaries anymore!
So what should happen now? The government should be setting up consultations designed to change the current system, and designing an effective
society that can survive without economic growth. We all have to accept that ‘austerity’ is the future. If we are to conserve our environment, we have
to stop destroying it by the constant impacts of economic growth. Furthermore, if the 99% are to survive , the 1% has to pay taxes, and agree to the
redistribution of wealth. In the short term, change and revolution is inevitable.
In New York, Washington DC, and London we saw the same strategies of marches, demonstrations, and occupation of public parks. But the protests
were directed at the traders and executives of investment banks like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, RBS, Barclays, UBS, Deutsche. Since 2007/8 many
customers of the banks had lost their savings, lost their houses, lost their insurance protection, lost their cars, lost their jobs, and their pensions  
directly as a result of the ‘banksters’ incompetence. At the same time, they had to loan money from the banks so as to cover their losses. The loans
were gained and interest was charged at the highest rates. The bankers who operated the system of loans so as to enable people to cover their
commitments were seen to be keeping their jobs, and increasing their salaries and bonuses. The market managers of Finance Houses were busy
investing their monies in global business and gaining profits to maximize their fees, and the fortunes of their wealthy clients. The wealthy minority,
the 1%, were getting wealthier out of the misfortunes of the majority, the 99%. Something has to change. Banking must be regulated and supervised
to protect the interests of citizens. Investments must not be managed as if in a casino. Governments must ensure that banks obey the rules, and
impose the regulations. It has become possible to advise that banks are nationalized and managed by the government for the benefits of tax payers!  
The Royal Bank of Scotland is a State owned bank dependent upon the coalition government in the UK for the payment of its debts. The banking crisis
of 2007/8 may well lead to a revolution in the capitalist system.
We have to conclude that ‘occupation’ of public spaces is best regarded as a strategy of democracy, designed to allow the occupiers to express
protests about  developments in social life, and demand that their governments pay attention to their grievances.
In Egypt, up to one million people gathered in Cairo to protest against the claims of their first elected president. Their action, supported by the Army,
led to the arrest of President Morsi, and  the wishes of 10 million voters were ignored .
In most cases, ‘Occupy’ only involves a minority of citizens, who are sufficiently organized to express their demands. Sometimes the voters are simply
saying that they are most upset by the results of the election. But every time they are alerting the government of their opposition.


‘De-colonialism’/de-globalisation are essential for the future development, prosperity, and freedom of the indigenous peoples of the so called
‘Third World’ of ‘developing countries.

The richest countries, as represented by the G8, and more recently the G20, and the multinational corporations that drive 'free market capitalism',
have exhausted most of the resources of the 'developed world', and are now looking everywhere else for new sources of key materials. This capitalist
development is the exploitation of resources and materials, as well as the indigenous communities, so as to gain maximum profits for shareholders and
corporations in their home country.

Globalisation and development and colonialism and slavery, are strategies of capitalist intervention by these countries and corporations for the benefit
of shareholders, not the world's poor!    Capitalist enslavement and colonialism have resulted in the dislocation of communities, the imposition of
colonial inequality, the perpetuation of long term debts, as well as the permanent failure of cooperative partnerships.

The peoples of Africa have suffered brutally at the hands of European invaders for more than five centuries. A massive slave trade helped to
undermine community development and   depopulated Africa’s coastal regions. Millions of people were forced to live without any rights, wages, nor
any land and family in America, and the Caribbean.   
In the nineteenth century, the slave trade was replaced by direct colonial rule leading to a century of exploitation by European imperial powers, which
left very little behind in terms of education, health care, and physical infrastructure.
During the Cold War politics of the  twentieth century, many African countries found themselves to be battlegrounds in a global ideological struggle
between capitalism and communism: what could be called ideological colonialism .
It is not surprising therefore that most of the countries in Africa are poor and indebted and bankrupt. For example, the World Bank identifies Benin,
Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana,
Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia as
among the 40 most heavily indebted poor countries in the world , with very low domestic saving and low rates of market-based foreign capital inflows.  
There is little in Africa’s current dynamics that promotes an escape from poverty. Furthermore, given that most of the world’s population is poor, there
is little hope that the peoples of Africa, many of whom are on $1.25 a day, will gain an acceptable standard of living.

Today, some people, in Washington, and London, and Paris and Berlin and Beijing still argue that the moral thing for rich countries to do is to
re-colonise Africa for its own good, providing qualified people from other countries to be in charge, until the Africans are ready to take over. This is a
call for a return to Imperial colonialism.  
Such a call for neo-colonialism is an expression of the rampant and persistent racism that has condemned the peoples of Africa to exploitation, slavery
and colonialism over 500 years. The difficulties confronted by these ex-colonial countries are more to do with exploitation and enslavement and racism
than to do with community incompetence or lack of resources. Ethics World informs us that often the local communities of indigenous peoples do not
benefit from any capitalist projects, because the labour is imported, and all the profits are directed to the home office. Greenpeace has revealed that
companies working in the poorest countries in the world take great pains to avoid paying taxes and fair wages.
Something new is needed.

The African Union has been negotiating deals and projects with China .Unfortunately, at the moment, the Chinese authorities are adopting a typical
'colonial' stance by providing the money, the workers, and the administrators for any project such as the new AU headquarters in AddisAbaba. It is
important that the Chinese investors realise the need to provide opportunities for employment and administration for the African workers, not the
imported Chinese workers in Africa.
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), an agency of the AU, proposes that in the future, there is a critical need for deepening
regional integration and investments in cross-country transport, energy, and communication infrastructure. Individual countries do not have the
resources to develop such projects. They must cooperate and negotiate to devise plans, obtain materials, technology and interest-free funding, in
order to take new initiatives.

The countries of Africa may have been colonized by the UK, France, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Holland, Germany but they have not benefited,
and remain among the poorest countries in the world with limited social resources. The native peoples have been subjected to virulent diseases from
Europe of the type directly transmitted between humans ( HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, measles, syphilis, influenza), or transmitted by intermediate hosts
such as rats, bearing bubonic plague and mosquitoes carrying malaria. Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University proposes that colonial domination
frustrated long-term economic growth of the colonized regions through several mechanisms, such as the relative neglect of key public goods,
especially primary education and primary health care of the indigenous populations; the suppression of higher education among the colonized
population; the creation of oppressive political mechanisms such as forced labor and head taxes to extract resources from the local population; and
the active suppression of local industry in favor of cash crops and extractive industry.

Anup Shah, [www.globalissues.org]  suggests that the scramble for Africa in the 19th century disrupted the creation of communities and countries.
Artificial borders were created by Imperial Europe at the 1884 Berlin Conference simply by drawing lines on a map. These artificial boundaries created
by colonial rulers had the effect of bringing together many different communities that had little in common, and separating those who had everything in
common! And thereby laying the foundations of many conflicts that disrupt Africa today! Colonial administrators started to take control of the new
colonies, and settled to form dominant European minorities. Of course, local people were attracted to help these administrators by creating claims to
power, and promoting the interests of their own families. It is not surprising that the struggles to build local communities, and efforts to raise levels of
prosperity for all, are proving difficult after many years of slavery and colonialism, betrayal and collaboration with the colonialists.

The Centre of International Development , Columbia University indicates that in the post-colonial age, the rich countries, including those colonial
powers such as UK, France, Germany, have often used their majority vote within the International Monetary Fund to impose draconian adjustments
on poor debtor countries. For twenty years, many of the poorest tropical countries have had insolvent governments, burdened by un-payable external
debts. The international system has delayed or blocked the obvious solution: debt cancellation of past loans, and low interest on new  loans.  The
policy of high interest loans has contributed to continuing low growth and instability in the so-called Highly Indebted Poor Countries, the extremely
poor and highly indebted countries that are subject to special scrutiny and policies of the international creditor governments. Corporate Watch
regularly reminds us that the prosperity of ex-colonies continues to be hindered by corruption and illegal practices by corporations, as well as by
institutions of government.

The continent of Africa is rich in resources and minerals. But its peoples remain poor and indebted. Many other countries and corporations want
access to the riches, but do not want to pay a fair price. They use their racism as the excuse for the exploitation of the lands and peoples of Africa!
'Development' must become a socialist strategy for the alleviation of poverty, not a capitalist strategy to line the pockets of the rich!
A report by Transparency International [Feb 2009] revealed that these corporations and their agents are busy corrupting their customers for
preferential terms on multiple projects. For example, in Southern Asia and parts of Africa the shortages of water to drink, and for sanitation, for the
poor are not caused by the lack of water resources, but by unfair distribution of water supplies to the wealthy as a result of bribery and corruption over
water projects.

The wealthy corporations, and individuals, spend their time and money increasing their own advantages. They are not interested in alleviating poverty.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, once known as Zaire, is probably the richest country in the world in terms of natural resources; it is the only country
on earth that houses all elements found on the periodic table. As such, it is persistently a site of fierce exploitation. The Congo possesses over 80 per
cent of the world's reserve of coltan and has vast amounts of cassiterite (tin ore), gold, wolframite, pyrochlore, diamonds, clays, copper, cobalt, gas,
nickel, oil, tungstone, zinc, iron, kaolin, niobium, ochre, bauxite, marble, phosphates, saline, granite, emerald, monazite, silver, uranium, platinum and
lead. Over the last 150 years, since Belgian King Leopold II’s conquest in 1885, the Belgian Congo has been subject to vast and destabilising resource
expropriation at the hands of European capitalism. This exploitation still continues to this day. The Democratic Republic Congo is suffering from a war,
often referred to as Africa's World War: that is almost certainly the worst in the world, leading to the death of 5.4 million people. This war is largely the
result of the exploitation of the DRC’s rich resources by foreign corporations, which fund 'warlords' from the DRC and surrounding countries, and the
army, to give them access to cheap minerals. The war and exploitation in DR Congo, principally at the hands of the imperial powers of Europe and the
United States is truly devastating!

The USA are masters of intervention in the organization of other countries. The US administration has learnt how to control other countries without
appearing to be involved at all.
For example, the USA is closely involved in the militarization of Egypt. For the last 50 years Egypt has received billions of military aid from the USA.
The USA has successfully built up the armed forces and supported the military governments of Egypt.
For those countries that are seen to be strategically important, the USA has provided training and funding. US Armed Forces are stationed in 150 out
of 192 countries in the world. Various programmes are operated by the US government in 100 countries. The CIA and the NSA are known to be
present in many countries providing help for the official and unofficial agents of government. A recent scandal has emerged  where it is reported
that these agencies have been spying on the Presidents of Brazil and Mexico.
At the moment the USA want to intervene in Syria without invoking the open hostility of Russia or Iran or Turkey or Israel. It had hoped to do this in
association with the UK. But such military intervention was vetoed by the British Parliament.
At the moment, the Syrian government is reported as being involved in killing citizens by using chemical weapons. It is certainly actively involved in
bombing the residences of its citizens. These actions are deemed to be contrary to international law.
The USA may choose to organize its forces to target Syria with stand off strikes, firing missiles from destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea at Syrian
The USA may identify ‘no-fly zones’ and eliminate any hostile aircraft.
It may want to render secure all chemical weapons sites in Syria. Of course, this objective assumes that the US forces know where these sites are.
If so, they could easily set up ‘drone strikes’ as well as missile strikes. If not, the whole campaign would be a ‘military lottery’, leading to the death of
many citizens,  raising hostility against the US! And inviting intervention by Russia.
Taking action against chemical weapons would lead to the imposition of sanctions against those countries that supply the chemicals to Syria. This
could be problematic if the suppliers are companies from the USA, UK, EU, China, Russia,
The USA could organize action with the UN to protect refugees. At this time millions of Syrians are living in camps along the Syrian borders. US forces
could set up buffer zones intended to protect the refugees. The buffer zones could be used as bases from which to take action against the Syrian
government forces for the maltreatment of its population. The buffer zones would become targets for these forces and the death toll would rise.
The  resolution of situations in Syria is made more difficult as a result of the opposition of the peoples of the Western Allies to any form of direct
military action. Having been embroiled in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, people do not want to start again in Syria. As a result the leaders of the allies
have had to focus on strategies of non-intervention, and devise policies of conflict prevention.
The latest development has been the request by President Obama to the House of Congress in Washington DC to debate and vote on the military
action against Syria. If Congress follows the Houses of Parliament in Westminster and vetoes any such action, then the President will be seen to be
following the will of the voters, a majority of which do not want to pursue more battles in the Middle East.
It is clear, from the recent assertions by President Assad of Syria that if you are not with him, then you are against him. Negotiations are unacceptable
to him as indicating support for  al-Quaeda, and all other rebels.
It seems to be coming clearer that the Alawite minority, led by President al Bashar, prefers that all potential enemies are displaced and made refugees
in all neighbouring countries. If you are a member of a minority, numbering only 3 million out of 24 million, then it would seem to be to your advantage
for as many of the majority communities to move out…….6/7 million Sunnis.
The movement of masses of people out of Syria seems to me to be sufficient justification for action to be taken to protect the refugees and provide
maximum resources for humanitarian aid. Why not talk with the Syrian government and organize aid? And not waste money in bombs and weapons!
Work with the Red Crescent and the Red Cross to help all displaced people to gain water, food, medical help, sanitation, tents, shelter and protection.

13. How is economic growth sponsored?
Who determines the patterns of environmental exploitation?
I am not an economist, but I am concerned about the consequences of the ways that capitalists promote economic growth, and exploit the environment.
Money [as cash or digital entries] is exchanged in the production and sale of goods as part of economic growth. Economic growth is measured as
‘gross domestic product’: a statement of the value of manufacture and sales of products by enterprises in every country across the world.  
In 2012 global GDP was $71 trillion.
Any national GDP is taken as a statement of the size of a national economy. In 2012, the largest is $15.8 trillion in the USA; $8 trillion in China;
$6 trillion Japan; $3.5 trillion Germany;   $2.4 trillion in the UK.
GDP may be seen as national income. It can only be regarded as ‘growth’ if the income exceeds expenditure. In this way, growth is sponsored by
gross domestic production.  When there is a surplus, a country is judged to be ‘growing’. When there is a deficit, then the country is subject to
depression or recession, and even bankruptcy.  At the present  time, many countries are subject to deficit, and have to look elsewhere for sources
of money.
In times of decline, deficit, or depression how is growth possible?
Many people, including myself, think that money is created by the exchange of  services, facilities, products, labour for tokens such as currency/

coins/notes. The growth of an enterprise depends upon the availability of finance for production, transport, marketing, advertising.
But  this begs the question as to where the currency comes from in the first place?
During 2012 it has become much clearer that new money is created and  printed by the Central Banks of countries, and given value. The Central Banks
and governments,  decide how much to print.
In the UK, the Bank of England has created GBP375 billion in the system. The US Federal Reserve, and the European Central Bank have been doing
the same: the Fed has created $1.02 trillion, the ECB printed 500 billion euros. The Bank of Japan has been printing money without limit so as to
stimulate inflation in an attempt to put a stop to 20 years of deflation: in 2012, 50 trillion yen, with plans for 91 trillion yen in 2013  [15 times the GDP].

This new money is not a product of bank deposits nor savers deposits nor exchange of products. It is created out of nothing: it is printed.
Initially, this new money goes into banks as equities. The Central Bank invests in the stocks and shares of  commercial banks. It is intended that the
funding converts into lending and business investment, and economic growth. In the UK, the current plan of the government is to expand funding for
lending. Accordingly, named banks are given funding so as to increase their lending to enterprises to enable growth to occur. In this way, growth is
sponsored by the printing of new money. It does not always work as the banks hold onto the new money, keeping it as capital.
It is clear that GDP generates more money than Central Bank printing. But, production by corporations, as well as the creation and development of
small or medium enterprises,  relies upon business loans from commercial banks. For example, Corporations may offer up collateral worth $1 million,
and apply to borrow $70 million from a commercial bank. Commercial loans [debt] are money created by banks [credit] and form most of the money in
circulation. The amount of a loan is more a product of the bank’s trust in the corporation and is a statement of their business relations. The policies of
the government can sponsor the growth of an enterprise.  These loans are not based on savings. They are based on the business confidence of the
commercial banks. Any corporation that is totally trusted by its bank, and is judged to have enough collateral assets, can borrow any amount from the
bank. In this way, growth is sponsored by commercial loans: money that is created from nothing.
It is worth noting that many projects, leading to the exploitation and destruction of the biosphere, are sponsored by commercial loans as part of
economic growth.
In these ways,
we now know that growth and exploitation are made possible at the whims of the banks and bankers and their demands for profits and
bonuses. The more a bank lends, the more money is created, the greater the profits, the larger the bonuses. Clearly, banks and bankers have
incentives to destroy the environment, and protect their wealth!

Time for Alternative models?

Conservation. Environment. Sustainability. Steady State.
Profit.Resources. Exploitation. Exhaustion.
Reuse. Recycle. Post Growth. Stability. UseLess.

The World Economic Forum concluded a gathering in Davos, Jan 27 2013.
There seemed to be an increasing acceptance of the consequences of the exploitation of raw materials:   resources like iron ore, coal, petroleum,
timber, fish, will run out, soon, at current levels of consumption;
finished goods are consuming iron, steel, aluminium, copper, tin, rare earth metals, as wellas plastics at rates that cannot be maintained.;
greater efforts should be made to reuse, and recycle, all products and reduce the system of  exploiting raw materials, producing new products;  
mass production and constant growth is leading to the destruction of the natural environment.

We know that we operate a capitalist system based on the private ownership of capital goods and the means of production, with the creation of goods
and services for profit, capital accumulation, competitive markets, and  price systems. [Wikipedia]

During the Forum in Davos the debate about conservation and sustainability and environmentalism, and its implications for global economics, had
been stimulated by the arguments of a number of think-tanks such as the New Economics Foundation,  the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, the
Product-Life Institute, the Bio-Mimicry Institute, and the Centre for Steady State Economics, as well as the Post Growth Institute.

In a recent newsletter,
The Post Growth Institute argued for  Transformative Research .

Amelia Byrne argued that if our assumptions aren’t true…most of us today have grown up surrounded by a culture that believes that the earth has an
unlimited capacity to provide us with whatever we humans might desire – more cars, more electronic gadgets, cheap meat, and so on. Not only that,
but we have organized the way that our society works around this belief. The global economy, to which most of our livelihoods are tied, is based on
the assumption that endless economic growth (which usually equals an increase in resource use and environmental degradation) is not only possible,
but also desirable and even necessary. This kind of thinking has led us to think that unlimited capacity is more likely than peak supplies.
What if these fundamental assumptions of our society – endless growth, and endless resources – aren’t actually true?      It seems more and more
apparent that continual economic growth is not only not possible, but that we in fact must “de-grow” (use less) in order to bring our activities in line
with planetary realities. This is a daunting thought because how we currently make our livings, and therefore provide food and shelter for our families,
is often reliant on the economic growth model.
Sometimes this reliance is literal, is primary – for example, owning a business that sells luxury goods: the business prospers the more you sell and does
better when people have extra money to spend as a result of economic growth or higher credit limits.
This dependency on the growth model can also be secondary. For example, working for a company, an institution or clients that see the world from
within the economic growth paradigm. In this case, one’s job, funding or income is dependent on the fact that you continue to do your work in a way
that promotes, or at least doesn’t threaten this fundamental faith.
Turning our minds to the task.  As an (applied) researcher Amelia Byrne falls  into that second category. Presently many researchers are not officially
supported in the work they do that is outside of (and challenging to) the economic growth paradigm. Participating in such research can be threatening
to one’s career, whether one works in the corporate world, the non-profit sector, or even the academic one. What’s more, the financial underpinning
of the modern university often depends on economic growth.  Endowment investments are based on a growing economy.  And, as governments
throughout the world are attempting to reduce expenditures in light of tough economic times, publicly funded research money is cut.  This further
narrows the scope of research, since research funding becomes increasingly dependent on the private sector.
But, what if this wasn’t the case? What if researchers were in fact supported and publicly encouraged to address the great challenges we face?
This possibility isn’t unthinkable.  Bill McKibben, for example, writes about Cuba  which was forced away from industrial farming in the early 1990s with
the fall of the Soviet Union — their source of cheap oil. Cuba was able to transition to more-or-less local, organic agriculture in part because of the fact
that the country’s best scientists and researchers started focusing their work on how this could be done, and done better. So, McKibben points to the
question: what if research money in the United States started to be put into organic agriculture research rather than industrial agriculture methods as
has been the case for the last decades?
Or more generally, what if researchers, in many different disciplines, started putting their energy into addressing post-growth/de-growth questions
rather than doing research that supports the growth paradigm? Where this has happened, there have been attempts to render ‘post - growth’ more
acceptable .
The different pressure groups and think-tanks that offer critiques of the current capitalist economic system have presented  concepts of  de-growth  
and environmentalism under different names. For example, the Ellen Macarthur Foundation at Davos talked about the ‘circular economy’:   An
opportunity to rethink our economic future
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation report on the Economics of a Circular Economy invites readers to imagine an economy in which today’s goods are
tomorrow’s resources, forming a virtuous cycle that fosters prosperity in a world of finite resources.
This change in perspective is important if we are to address many of today’s fundamental challenges. Traditional linear consumption patterns
(‘take-make-dispose’) are coming up against constraints on the availability of resources. The challenges on the resource side are compounded by
rising demand from the world’s growing population. As a result, we are observing unsustainable overuse of resources, higher price levels, and more
volatility in many markets.
As part of their strategy for Europe 2020, the European Commission has chosen to respond to these challenges by moving to a more restorative
economic system that drives substantial and lasting improvements of our resource productivity. It is our choice how, and how fast, we want to manage
this inevitable transition. Good policy offers short- and long-term economic, social, and environmental benefits. But success in increasing our overall
resilience ultimately depends on the private sector’s ability to adopt and profitably develop the relevant new business models.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s report paints a clear picture: our linear ‘take-make-dispose’ approach is leading to scarcity, volatility, and pricing
levels that are unaffordable for our economy’s manufacturing base.
As a compelling response to these challenges, the report advocates the adoption of the circular economy, and provides an array of case examples,
a solid framework, and a few guiding principles for doing so. Through analysis of a number of specific examples, the research also highlights immediate
and relatively easy-to-implement opportunities. On the basis of current technologies and trends, it derives an estimate of the net material cost saving
benefits of adopting a more restorative approach—more than $ 600 billion per annum  by 2025, net of material costs incurred during reverse-cycle
activities. The corresponding shift towards buying and selling ‘performance’ and designing products for regeneration should also spur positive
secondary effects such as a wave of innovations and employment in growth sectors of the economy, whilst increasing Europe’s competitiveness in
the global marketplace. Many business leaders believe the innovation challenge of the century will be to foster prosperity in a world of finite resources.
Coming up with answers to this challenge will create competitive advantage.
While The Foundation’s first report has taken a European perspective, I believe that its lessons are relevant at a global level. It will not be possible
for developing economies to share the developed world’s level of living standards and provide for future generations unless we dramatically change
the way we run our global economy.
The Foundation’s report offers a fresh perspective on what a transition path to a circular economy at global scale could look like. It is time to
‘mainstream’ the circular economy as a credible, powerful, and lasting answer to our current and future growth and resource challenges.

New Economics Foundation, and the Centre for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy,[CASSE]  promote the concept of the
‘Steady State Economy’.
The  “steady state economy” originated from ecological economics, most notably the work of Herman Daly. The steady state economy is often
discussed in the context of economic growth and the impacts of economic growth on ecological integrity, environmental protection, and economic
Economic growth is generally indicated by increasing gross domestic product (GDP). Economic growth entails increasing population x per capita
consumption, higher throughput of materials and energy, and a growing ecological footprint.  
The size of an economy may undergo one of two trends: growth or recession. Otherwise it is stable, in which case it is a “steady state economy.”  
Therefore, “steady state economy” connotes constant populations of people (and, therefore, “stocks” of labor) and constant stocks of capital. It also
has a constant rate of throughput; i.e., energy and materials used to produce goods and services.
Within a given technological framework these constant stocks will yield constant flows of goods and services. Technological progress may yield a
more efficient “digestion” of throughput, resulting in the production of more (or more highly valued) goods and services. Conflicts with ecological
integrity and environmental protection occur long before a steady state economy is maximized.
Neither economic growth nor economic recession  are sustainable; therefore, the steady state economy remains the only sustainable prospect and
the appropriate policy goal for the sake of sustainability.
Rules for a Steady State Economy
Good economic policies strive to achieve societal goals like sustainability and fairness with the least amount of impingement on individual freedoms.
Following this principle, achieving a steady state economy requires adherence to only four basic rules or system principles that are hard to argue with:
(1) Maintain the health of ecosystems and the life-support services they provide.
(2) Extract renewable resources like fish and timber at a rate no faster than they can be regenerated.
(3) Consume non-renewable resources like fossil fuels and minerals at a rate no faster than they can be replaced by the discovery of renewable
(4) Deposit wastes in the environment at a rate no faster than they can be safely assimilated.

Friends of the Earth want to identify a ‘green economy’, and develop a ‘sustainable economy’. . As an organization, it wants to fight the oppression
and exploitation of native communities, and work for systemic changes that make the polluters pay, and end all subsidies for polluting industries such
as coal and iron mining, oil drilling, or fracking, chemical manufacture of pesticides and herbicides. It promotes a cleaner, low carbon economy,
encouraging investment in clean alternatives. At the moment, Friends of the Earth is running a campaign to force corporations such as Samsung
and Apple, that make electronic goods, to admit how many rare earth minerals they use, and acknowledge how they destroy sensitive environments,
as in Indonesia.  For example, Smartphones sold by best-selling brands almost certainly contain tin from Indonesia where mining is devastating forests
and farmland, coral reefs and many communities, a Friends of the Earth investigation reveals today, Jan 2013.
Our research shows that Samsung and Apple deal with companies that use tin mined on Bangka island in Indonesia. They may not have known this
nor about the devastating effect of mining on the island. Tin is used as solder in all phones and electronic gadgets. Around a third of the world's tin
comes from Bangka and neighbouring island Belitung.
'Mining for Smartphones: the True Cost of Tin' reveals:
•        Dangerous and unregulated tin mining on Bangka
Police figures show that in 2011 an average of one miner a week died in an accident: that is, more than 52 miners a year.
•        Coral and sea life threatened
Silt from tin mining is killing seagrass eaten by turtles, and coral reefs, driving away fish and ruining fishermen's livelihoods.
•        Farmers struggling to grow crops
Soil has become acidic after the destruction of forests for tin mining.  
When we asked Samsung and Apple if they used tin from Bangka, they neither confirmed nor denied it.
Friends of the Earth's Executive Director Andy Atkins said:
"Though Apple and Samsung may not have realised it, our research shows that mining tin to make both companies' smartphones may come at a
terrible cost to people and the environment."
Samsung sold around 95 million smartphones in 2011, and Apple around 93 million. Analysts say there are likely to be more than 2 billion
smartphones in use within the next 3 years. Experts say that innovative design and better reuse of old phones could cut demand for tin.

Of course,  whatever is said at any World Economic Forum gatherings, the principal corporations such as Shell, Esso, BP, Walmart, Toyota,
Volkswagen, Glencore,  Apple, Samsung, Ford, General Electric,  operate within a ‘capitalist economy’ based on annual growth, designed for mass
production with low labour costs and economies of scale, generating  maximum profits.
This growth  business model provides for the accumulation of wealth by an elite, [11 million people]  and the poverty of the majority [6.9 billion people].
The capitalist system that has operated for hundreds of years has meant that poverty is normal, and that growth benefits only the owners of capital
[based on findings of World Wealth Reports].
Different versions of economic development are all based on different notions of environmentalism, expressing the need to conserve and preserve the
environment and the biosphere, while at the same time maintaining profit levels.
As we have considered is that the latest version, a circular economy, explores the possibilities of designing production and industry and products so
that they are reusable with limited waste. Growth is no longer  the key to development. The key is a ‘steady state’ in which products are designed to
maintain production levels, and conserve the environment.

Different concepts of ‘economy’.

Circular Economy: an industrial economy that is, by design and intention, restorative and in which material flows are biological nutrients designed to
re-enter the biosphere safely, and technical materials which are designed to circulate at high quality without entering the biosphere; an economy in
which today’s goods are tomorrow’s resources, forming a virtuous cycle that fosters prosperity in a world of finite resources.

Ecological economy is based on the interdependence and evolution of human economies and natural ecosystems over time and space. This model
treats the economy as a sub-system , proposing to preserve natural capital.

Environmental economics
This approach undertakes theoretical and empirical studies of the economic effects of national and local environmental policies around the world
The Green Economy is one that results in improved human wellbeing and social equity, reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

Sustainable Development
A mode of human development in which resource use aims to meet human needs, and preserve the environment so that these needs can be met
now, and in the future.
The Brundtland Commission said: development that meets the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet
their own needs.

Some politicians will argue that these different economic models will require government legislation and regulation.

Global Socialism may be necessary: it is a system of social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy
with common ownership , and state ownership This definition assumes that officers of government will ‘look after’ the environment, and not destroy it.
But this assumption  is not always wise! There are instances, as in Brazil  recently in which Governments have been directly involved in selling
forestry and farmlands to the oil companies or other multi-national corporations.

The International Cooperative Alliance thinks that the future lies with a ‘cooperative economy’.

An alternative approach is cooperative economics. A cooperative is a company owned and democratically controlled by its members. Its members can
be producers, or consumers or employees of its products and services [ http://ica.coop].

1. Co-operative societies must have an open and voluntary membership. According to the ICA's Statement on the Co-operative Identity,
"Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership,
without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination."   
Anti-discrimination : to discriminate socially is to make a distinction between people on the basis of class or category. Examples of social discrimination
include racial, religious, sexual, sexual orientation, disability and ethnic discrimination.  A Co-operative society should not prevent anyone willing to
participate from doing so on any of these grounds. However, this does not prohibit the co-operative from setting ground rules for membership, such
as residing in a specific geographic area or payment of a membership fee to join, so long as all persons meeting such criteria are able to participate
if they so choose.
Motivations and rewards
Given the voluntary nature of co-operatives, it requires a motivation to encourage people to participate. Each person's motivations will be unique, and
will vary from one co-operative to another, but will often be a combination of the following:
•        Financial - Some co-operatives are able to provide members with financial benefits.
•        Quality of life – serving the community through a co-operative because doing service makes one's own life better - is perhaps the most
significant motivation for volunteering. Included here would be the benefits people get from being with other people, staying active, and above all
having a sense of the value of ourselves in society that may not be as clear in other areas of life.
•        Giving Back – many people have in some way benefited from the work of a co-operative, or more generally, and volunteer to give back.
•        Altruism – volunteering for the benefit of others.
•        A sense of duty – some see participation in community as a responsibility that comes with citizenship – in this case they may not describe
themselves as volunteers
•        Career Experience - Volunteering offers experiences that can add to career prospects.

2. Democratic member control
Co-operative societies must have democratic member control. “Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively
participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In
primary co-operatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co-operatives at other levels are also organised in a
democratic manner.”

3. Member economic participation is one of the defining features of co-operative societies. Co-operatives are enterprises in which “Members
contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property
of the co-operative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate
surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be
indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.”
This enshrines democratic control over the co-operative, and how its capital is used.
Limitations on member compensation and appropriate use of surpluses  Unlike for profit corporations, co-operatives are a form of social enterprise.
Given this, there are at least three purposes for which surplus funds can be used, or distributed, by a Co-operative.
•        “Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership.”
•        “Developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible;” in other words, the surplus can be
reinvested in the co-operative.
•        Benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative;” for example, a Consumers' Co-operative may decide to pay
dividends based on purchases (or a 'divvi').
•        “Supporting other activities approved by the membership.”

4. Autonomy and independence
Co-operative societies must be autonomous and independent. According to the ICA's Statement on the Co-operative Identity, “Co-operatives are
autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or
raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.”

5. Education, training, and information
The fifth  principle states that co-operative societies must provide education and training to their members and the public.  “Co-operatives provide
education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development
of their co-operatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.”

6. Cooperation among cooperatives
The sixth  principle states that co-operatives cooperate with each other. “Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the
co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.”

7. Concern for community
The seventh  principle states that co-operative societies must have concern for their communities. “Co-operatives work for the sustainable
development of their communities through policies approved by their members.”
Whatever approach you take, the destruction of the natural materials must stop; along with the emission of green house gases. If they are not
stopped, the natural environment will be exhausted, and polluted, and climate change will continue.
Herman Daly declares that in place of the growth economy he would put a steady-state economy.  At the moment, we are subject to growth mania -
literally not counting the costs of growth. One of the most popular arguments against limiting growth is that we need more growth in order to be rich
enough to afford the costs of cleaning up pollution and discovering new resources. Economist Neil Jacoby says, "A rising GNP will enable the nation
more easily to bear the costs of eliminating pollution" (1970, p. 42).
Yale economist Henry Wallich makes a similar point: The environment will also be
better taken care of if the economy grows.
Kenneth Boulding has for many years been making the point that Gross National Product is largely Gross National Cost and has never been taken
But most advocates of the steady state accept and proclaim the absolute necessity of limits to inequality in the distribution of both wealth and income.
Indeed, many people who have long favored less inequality in the distribution of wealth on ethical and political grounds have reached the same
conclusion on ecological grounds. As Wallich so bluntly put it in defending growth, "Growth is a substitute for equality of income. So long as there is
growth there is hope, and that makes large income differentials tolerable" (1972). We are addicted to growth because we are addicted to large
inequalities in income and wealth.  

Czech, B. 2006. Steady State Economy. Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Tom Tietenberg et al., National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington, DC.
Czech, Brian and Herman Daly. 2004. The Steady State Economy – What It Is, Entails, and Connotes. Wildlife Society Bulletin 32(2): 598-605.
Daly, Herman. 1991. Steady-State Economics. Island Press, Washington, DC. 286pp.
Daly, Herman and Joshua Farley. 2003. Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications. Island Press, Washington, DC. 450pp.
Mill, John Stuart. 1909. Principles of Political Economy. William J. Ashley. Library of Economics and Liberty.
Daly, Herman. 2005. “Economics in a Full
World.” Scientific American, September 2005,
Global Footprint Network. 2009. Data and Results
Website. http://www.footprintnetwork.org.
McKibben, Bill. 2007. Deep Economy: The
Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future.
Henry Holt and Company, New York, NY.
Rockström, J. et al. 2009. “A Safe Operating
Space for Humanity.” Nature 461, 472-475.
World Wildlife Fund. 2010. Living Planet Report.

11. Globalisation: Environmental Degradation

GLENCORE are among the major corporations in the world, producing
large profits from many products. While their adverts, particularly those
on BBCWorld, acknowledge their leading roles in the production of
products that are at the leading edge of technology, none of them                                Gallery mining: Bangka Island
acknowledge the ways in which their operations are instrumental in the
destruction of the environment!
It is clear that all of them depend upon the exploitation of the raw materials, from oil to gas to coal, to iron ore to tin to rare earth metals like Scandium,
Yttrium, Lanthanum, Cerium, Promethium and so on, that are essential to their operations. Each of them require the raw materials, and are actively
involved in their exploitation. However, increasingly they are presenting their mobile phones, their tablets, their smart phones, their laptops, their PCs,
their searches for energy, as attuned to the demands for the care of the
environment and the conservation of ecology.                                                                                                                 
On the other hand, the Friends of the  Earth are developing
a campaign to make a better world. They are determined to
make these companies, and all the other multi-national
corporations, to recognize their roles in the destruction of
the natural environment!

A significant
amount of tin is mined on Bangka Island, both legally by
licence, and illegally by fishermen and farmers. These mines are not               
involved in the conservation of Indonesia. They ravage the forests,
destroy the coral reefs, pollute the coastal environment, and destroy
the fish. The open cast mining injures the miners and ruins the
fishermen. This picture does not match the images currently presented
by the Indonesian government in their adverts of ‘remarkable Indonesia’.               
                                                                                                                                 Mining tin by hand, Indonesia
We have to be increasingly aware that those agencies that are actively  
and consciously destroying the environment, and warming the globe, are
at the same time creating images of their concern for, and care for, the
environment. New environmental campaigns must take account of the cynicism and deceit of the main protagonists, and get them to declare their
involvement  in the destruction of the biosphere.
As David Attenborough declared on Jan 22 2013, it is humans that are 'the plague' of the earth,
exploiting all resources to exhaustion!

Oil Pollution
Gulf of Mexico

Monday Feb 25, 2013,
BP’s high-stakes civil trial began in New Orleans. BP claims that it was ready for disaster, and complied with all regulations, and was not negligent!
The Los Angeles Times reported that lawyers said that  energy giant BP caused the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history; The death of 11 workers;
The spill of more than 4 million barrels of oil damaged the waters and economies of five states. BP has already pleaded guilty to criminal charges
stemming from the disaster and will pay $4 billion to settle the case, the largest environmental penalty in U.S. history.  
Michael Underhill, an attorney with the Justice Department, emphasized BP's profit-driven culture. "The evidence will show that BP put profits above
people, profits before safety and profits before the environment," he said.  The captain of the rig vessel, a Transocean employee, had never been
trained in operating the rig's emergency systems.  The Deepwater Horizon's emergency systems, with their required audible alarms, were disconnected
out of concern that the klaxons would wake the crew.  A crucial well pressure test was misinterpreted by two BP employees, an error the company has
previously acknowledged. Transocean's drill crew "put too much trust in BP, and they paid for that fact with their lives," said Transocean attorney Brad
Brian.  Halliburton's lawyer said key safety tests were omitted because they would have required time and money. BP wants to avoid charges of gross
negligence, and punitive damages of $4300 per barrel. BP claims that as a result of their clean up techniques much of the oil was captured before it
could pollute the waters of the Gulf. BP says that it has already spent $26billion on restoration and clean-up.
December 16 2013 sees the end of the second phase of the trial.

December 16 2013 also witnessed the completion of a  contract between Oman and BP to drill 300 wells as part of the Khazzan Gas Project,
worth $16 billion.
What happened in the Gulf of Mexico was of little significance to the Emirates in  the Middle East!

SEPTEMBER 4 2014: Judge Barbier announced in New Orleans that BP OIL  was guilty of gross negligence at DeepWater Horizon oil disaster
and would face a  fine of $18 billion.
Oil drilling can lead to environmental crimes  by environmental corporate criminals. The profits and the fines generated by these corporate criminals
can be huge, immense, unbelievable, sufficient to rectify the damages or sufficient to compensate for losses.
Oil Companies have been pursuing ‘fracking’ since 1950’s. Normally, it is developed when oil and gas have stopped flowing efficiently and need to
increase their liquidity. Water and chemicals are injected into the wells and oil and gas are drawn out under pressure. When the pressure is too great,
the base rock will crack and quake; and the water/oil/gas will leak and pollute all ground water! in the basin. The ‘fracking’ companies will commit an
environmental crime, polluting the shale base.

Rainforests: Deforests

AUGUST 2014 Reports revealed that government agents in Brazil/Peru had discovered tribes of indigenous peoples that had lived in complete
isolation in Amazonia from the migrant communities such as the commercial loggers, and shifted cultivators.
Logging and farming can lead to the destruction of rainforests in South America; and Malaysia, and Australia. Also major projects like the construction
of hydro-electric dams; mining for bauxite; and industrial operations like iron and steel making, and aluminium smelting;  lead to the direct loss of
forests  due to the clearing of land., building roads,  and long term water/air/land pollution.

If the object is to conserve the rain forests, then any activities that result in the destruction of the rainforests, and their communities, must be
considered an environmental crime.
Logging companies select trees and cut them down. They depend upon the maintenance of the forest, and remove the best trees. Their work
involves the removal of a few logs but it results in extensive damage to the forest due to heavy machinery, road building, as well as soil disturbance,
soil  erosion, siltation; deforestation, following the trees falling to the ground, and creating ‘jungles’.

Once the roads have been built into the rainforests, they are used by the ‘shifted cultivators’ to move into the forests to start small scale farming.
Many of these farmers are landless, having lost their land to the government and the corporations and the criminal syndicates. They are directly i
nvolved in  the total clearance of the forests for food crops; tree plantations, grazing cattle, and fuel wood. Many shifted culivators, in fact, are the
environmental criminals committing environmental crimes!  Total clearance is pursued by agriculture.

Governments see the forests as trees for sale, say $11,000 each, and offer the areas under licences to international logging companies. Illegal
is carried out by local communities, many of whom are sponsored by criminal syndicates, and gain extra cash to improve their standards of life.
At the
same time, illegal loggers in Peru kill tribal leaders who try to claim their rights to land, and agitate against the illegal loggers.
Forest experts argue that the forests should be seen as sources of important plant, animal, and insect species, micro-organisms, as well as
It is a real benefit of the forests to harvest
the fruit, seeds, the products of the trees.
The rainforests should be harvested.  
It is a crime to log, cut,
slash and burn trees.



                          Corruption and Impunity Rife in Cameroon's Forestry Sector

03 Sep 2014 06:46 PM  EARTH ACTION

Large quantities of wood extracted from forest "conversion" projects are reaching international markets illegally, in full knowledge of Cameroon’s
Ministry of Forestry (MINFOF) and the European Union (EU), says Greenpeace Africa.The failure to fully monitor and regulate timber from such
projects   is undermining international agreements Cameroon has with bodies such as the EU, including its Voluntary partnership Agreement (VPA),
part of the bloc's Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan.
Greenpeace Africa obtained evidence that Uniprovince, a company owned by US agribusiness company Herakles Farms, has cut at least 10,000 m3
of   commercially valuable wood. While official documents  from the port of Douala show that a shipment of over 3000 m3 has already left Douala for
the  Chinese port of Zhangjiagang.
The Herakles Farms project in the country's South West region has proved highly controversial since its announcement in 2009 and attracted the
opposition of local residents, civil society and international NGOs who say it threatens an area of important biodiversity value and the livelihoods
of communities who live there.
"Sadly it comes as no surprise to Greenpeace Africa to see this wood find its way to China despite all the evidence of its illegality" said Irène Wabiwa,
Forest Campaign Manager.
In a report published last May, Licence to Launder, Greenpeace Africa documented how Uniprovince obtained a Vente de coupe permit to log without
public auction, in violation of Cameroonian law.
"Three different Cameroonian state prosecutors were given information proving Uniprovince's illegal logging operations, but no action has been
taken to  our knowledge," explains Wabiwa. "The Cameroon's Ministry of Forestry and the EU, in charge of the implementation of the FLEGT  
Partnership  Agreement, were also repeatedly informed; but unfortunately, it did not prevent the wood from being exported."
On August 19th, Greenpeace East Asia submitted the evidence to the competent authorities  in China, asking them to investigate about the Chinese
company that is involved in importing illegal timbers from Herakles Farms/Uniprovince.
Regrettably, the case of the illegal logging title obtained by Uniprovince is just the tip of the iceberg. There are strong indications that the allocation
of  thirteen Ventes de coupe permits earlier this year, to a variety of timber companies for operations in the Kribi area, failed to respect procedure.
A large proportion of wood from Cameroon's Vente de coupe logging operations is destined to China via the port of Zhangjiagang, taking advantage of
the fact that the country doesn't yet have legislation in place to prevent the imports of illegal wood.
"If these operations continue with total disregard for the law, it will undermine the credibility of the FLEGT partnership agreement ratified in December
2011, accelerate forest destruction and deprive communities who depend on the forest for their livelihood in Cameroon" warns Wabiwa.
Cameroon made a commitment to verify the legality of all timber and derived products covered by the agreement whether these are sold on the
internal   markets, exported to the EU or to markets outside the EU.

Sources: Greenpeace (http://www.greenpeace.org)  
RainTree RainForest Facts
Tropical Rain Forest Animals.com
Save the RainForest.com
Forests Monitor.Com

9.  A Cooperative Past, Present and Future?
Cooperative Alternatives.

At the moment, January 2013, we live in a world of capitalist enterprise, in which most people are poor, and where less
than 1% of the global population controls most of the global wealth.
1426 people are multi-billionaires, with $4.6 trillion.   11million people have access to $42 trillion out of the total
annual GDP of $71trillion.
And 7 billion people survive on less than $10 a day, of which 1.5 billion survive on less than $1 a day, and 1 billion die
of hunger!
The present global society is not fair nor equitable nor equal nor just. It is elitist, a plutocracy managing a capitalist economy for their own benefit.   
The owners and shareholders get maximum bonuses.The workers with minimum wages, and maximum prices for the consumers.
Many years of capitalism has enriched a minority. Yes, it has led to the creation of technological innovations that
have totally changed ways of life!
However, if there is to be the creation of a fair and just global society, the wealth will have to be redistributed leading to  a
transformation of elitist capitalism. Instead of describing how this elitist capitalist society functions
it is time to begin to look at alternative systems, and to make alternative choices.
As we have witnessed in the USA during December 2012, it is no good standing at the top of the ‘fiscal cliff’ hoping that no
one falls off. Serious efforts must be made by voters and politicians to alter the criteria of ‘tax and spend’.
The very wealthiest must stop complaining about the possibilities of personal taxation, and make efforts to
support the poor with social benefits. Or even provide regular employment and a living wage!

If 7 billion people are to thrive on a living wage of say $10 an hour, the wealth of the elite plutocracy must be shared.  The wealth of the world should
be managed in cooperation, and the enterprises could be organized as cooperatives in which the efforts of all are equally rewarded.
There are many cooperative enterprises across the world, particularly in agriculture, and retail e.g. Cooperative Wholesale Society, UK; Euro-Coop;
Lega-Coop, Italy;  Coop, Switzerland;  MIGROS  Switzerland; Coop-City in New York; Best Western Hotels; Italian Social Coops; AMUL in India; FELDA
in Malaysia, along with many others as listed by the International Cooperative Alliance:  
Go to
The ICA in their most recent report, 2012, declared that up to 1 billion people are actively involved in cooperatives, with the largest 300 cooperatives
generating $1.6 trillion.
But this does not alter the fact that most of the wealth generated by capitalist enterprises, $60 trillion GDP 2011, has greatly enriched a minority,
11 million people out of 7 billion. Cooperative enterprises have not been so successful, and their presence has been ignored. The University of
Wisconsin has reported that over the last few years, cooperatives in the USA have declined due to the running battles between capitalists and
socialists where the arguments centre on whether business is for the enrichment of the few or the social benefits of the many?

From the mid-nineteenth century, mutual organisations in  Europe tried to  embrace the ideas of cooperation and sharing, and taxes and social
enterprises  as economic enterprises: firstly amongst trades people, and later in cooperative stores, educational institutes, financial institutions and
industrial enterprises. The common thread of ‘mutuality’ (enacted in different ways, and subject to the constraints of various systems of national law)
is the principle that an enterprise or association should be owned and controlled by the people it serves, and share any surpluses on the basis of
each members' cooperative contribution (as a producer, labourer or consumer) rather than their capacity to invest financial capital.
The cooperative movement has been fueled globally by ideas of economic democracy, a socioeconomic philosophy that suggests an expansion of
decision-making power from a small minority of corporate shareholders to a larger majority of public stakeholders.
A cooperative is a legal entity owned and democratically controlled by its members. Members often have a close association with the enterprise as
producers or consumers of its products or services, or as its employees.
In some countries, e.g. Finland and Sweden, there are specific forms of incorporation for cooperatives. Cooperatives may take the form of companies
limited by shares or by guarantee, partnerships or unincorporated associations. In the UK they may also use the industrial and provident society
structure, according to the Industrial and Providence Act 1965.  In the USA, cooperatives are often organized as non-capital stock corporations
under state-specific cooperative laws.  Cooperatives often share their earnings with the membership as dividends, which are divided among the
members according to their participation in the enterprise, such as patronage, instead of according to the value of their capital shareholdings (as is
done by a joint stock company). Cooperatives are typically based on the cooperative values of "self-help, self-responsibility, democracy and equality,
equity and solidarity".
If there are to be fair shares of resources and wealth, the future is to be ‘Cooperative’! We will need to  return to the ideas of cooperative socialism .
The Rochdale Principles are a set of ideals for the operation of cooperatives. They were first set out by the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers
in Rochdale, England, in 1844, and have formed the basis for the principles on which co-operatives around the world operate to this day. The
Rochdale Principles focus on  co-operative economics.
The original Rochdale Principles were officially adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) in 1937 as the Rochdale Principles of
Co-operation. Updated versions of the principles were adopted by the ICA in 1966 as the Co-operative Principles and in 1995 as part of the
Statement on the Co-operative Identity:
1.  The first of the Rochdale Principles states that co-operative societies must have an open and voluntary membership. According to the ICA's
Statement on the Co-operative Identity, "Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to
accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination."
2. The second principle states that co-operative societies must have democratic member control. According to the ICA's Statement on the
Co-operative Identity, “Co-operatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies
and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives, members
have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co-operatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.”
3. Member economic participation is one of the defining features of co-operative societies, and constitutes the third Rochdale Principle in the ICA's
Statement on the Co-operative Identity. According to the ICA, co-operatives are enterprises in which “Members contribute equitably to, and
democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative. Members
usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the
following purposes: developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members
in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.” Co-operatives are a form
of social enterprise.”
4. The fourth of the Rochdale Principles states that co-operative societies must be autonomous and independent. According to the ICA's Statement
on the Co-operative Identity, “Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with
other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their
members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.”
5. The fifth principle states that co-operative societies must provide education and training to their members and the public. According to the ICA's
Statement on the Co-operative Identity, “Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and
employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people
and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.”  Indeed organising  a cooperative enterprise can be complicated, requiring
knowledge of the law, accounting procedures, business planning, marketing strategies, community investment, working  a democracy, resolving
differences by negotiation, writing papers and proposals, working with officials, serving on boards of directors, recording minutes of meetings, and
decisions. A wide range of new skills and knowledge are to be learnt.
6. The sixth of the Rochdale Principles states that co-operatives cooperate with each other. According to the ICA's Statement on the Co-operative
Identity, “Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national,
regional and international structures.”
7. The seventh of the Rochdale Principles states that co-operative societies must have concern for their communities. According to the ICA's
Statement on the Co-operative Identity, “Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by
their members.”
These seven Rochdale principles are bought into play in creating a cooperative venture, whether it be a grocers shop or dairy or corn farm or
wheat farm or market garden, a credit union or utility provision. . These seven principles help make a ‘cooperative’ different from a ‘capitalist’
enterprise: with its members working together, and decisions being made together. A cooperative is not focused on making the maximum profit.
It is concerned with providing affordable products to local members.                                  
Marvin Schaars [1978] concludes that “If I were to name the principles, not practices if you please, which I feel any organization must include in its
set-up to be a true cooperative, be it a grocery store company, a rural electric cooperative or a cooperative milk plant, I would list only three. These
I call the "hard-core" underlying principles of cooperation. They are:
1. Services at cost to member-patrons,  
2. Democratic control by member-patrons,                                                                                                                                      
3. Limited returns on equity capital.

The legal definition of a cooperative varies greatly.  
It is correct that there are many different types of cooperatives.
Retailers' cooperative  is an organization which employs economies of scale on behalf of its members to receive discounts from manufacturers
and to pool marketing. It is common for locally owned grocery stores, hardware stores and pharmacies to be cooperative businesses rather than
workers cooperative or producers cooperative is a cooperative,  that is owned and democratically controlled by its "worker-owners".
volunteer cooperative is a cooperative that is run by and for a network of volunteers, for the benefit of a defined membership or the general public,
to achieve some goal such as a social service.
consumers' cooperative is a business owned by its customers. The world's largest consumers' cooperative is the Co-operative Group in the
United Kingdom, which offers a variety of retail and financial services.  
housing cooperative is a legal mechanism for ownership of housing where residents either own shares (share capital co-op) reflecting their
equity in the cooperative's real estate, or have membership and occupancy rights in a not-for-profit cooperative (non-share capital co-op), and
they underwrite their housing through paying subscriptions or rent.
Members of a building cooperative (in Britain known as a self-build housing cooperative) pool resources to build housing, normally using a high
proportion of their own labour. When the building is finished, each member is the sole owner of a homestead, and the cooperative may be dissolved.
This collective effort was at the origin of many of Britain's building societies, which however, developed into "permanent" mutual savings and loan
organisations, a term which persisted in some of their names (such as the former Leeds Permanent)
utility cooperative is a type of consumers' cooperative that is tasked with the delivery of a public utility such as electricity, water or
telecommunications services to its members. In the case of electricity, cooperatives are generally either generation and transmission (G&T) co-ops
that create and send power via the transmission grid or local distribution co-ops that gather electricity from a variety of sources and send it along
to homes and businesses.
Agricultural cooperatives or farmers' cooperatives are cooperatives where farmers pool their resources for mutual economic benefit. Agricultural
cooperatives are broadly divided into agricultural service cooperatives, which provide various services to their individual farming members, and
agricultural production cooperatives, where production resources such as land or machinery are pooled and members farm jointly.  Agricultural
supply cooperatives aggregate purchases, storage, and distribution of farm inputs for their members. By taking advantage of volume discounts
and utilizing other economies of scale, supply cooperatives bring down members' costs. Supply cooperatives may provide seeds, fertilizers, chemicals,
fuel, and farm machinery. Some supply cooperatives also operate machinery pools that provide mechanical field services (e.g., plowing, harvesting)
to their members. Agricultural marketing cooperatives provide the services involved in moving a product from the point of production to the point of
consumption. Agricultural marketing includes a series of inter-connected activities involving planning production, growing and harvesting, grading,
packing, transport, storage, food processing, distribution and sale. Agricultural marketing cooperatives are often formed to promote specific
Credit unions are cooperative financial institutions that are owned and controlled by their members. Credit unions provide the same financial services
as banks but are considered not-for-profit organizations and adhere to cooperative principles.  The UK Co-operative Group includes both an
insurance provider CIS and the Co-operative Bank, both noted for promoting ethical investment.
Cooperative wholesale society.  According to cooperative economist Charles Gide, the aim of a cooperative wholesale society is to arrange “bulk
purchases, and, if possible, organise production.”   
Cooperative union.   A second common form of cooperative federation is a cooperative union, whose objective (according to Gide) is “to develop
the spirit of solidarity among societies and... in a word, to exercise the functions of a government whose authority, it is needless to say, is purely
moral.”   Co-operatives UK and the International Cooperative Alliance are examples of such arrangements.
Cooperative political movements.  In some countries with a strong cooperative sector, such as the UK, cooperatives may find it advantageous to form
political groupings to represent their interests. The British Cooperative Party, the Canadian Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and United
Farmers of Alberta are prime examples of such arrangements.

Schaars  [1978] proposed that ‘a cooperative is a business, voluntarily owned  and controlled by its member-patrons and operated for them and by
them on a non-profit or a cost basis.

According to Gide, [1904] ‘a cooperative is a group of persons pursuing common economic, social, and educational aims by means of a business’.

Legislators have wrestled with the problem of  profit or social ends for many years. Yet no definite conclusions are in sight. Even co-op scholars and
researchers differ among themselves concerning the definition of a "true cooperative."  Nevertheless, there is general agreement with Schaars's
conclusion that a "true"cooperative is one which provides; (1) service at cost, (2) democratic control by member-patrons and (3) limited returns on
equity capital.
It is significant that, at this time, share-owning capitalist enterprises are normal in USA, Europe, Russia, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Japan, and
across the world. All these enterprises have share-holders. If they are successful, the profits are paid to the shareholders. If the principal shareholders
are family investors [such as the Gates family, or Apple, or Tata or Branson or Buffet, and the rest of the Forbes 500,] they will receive the dividends
and bonuses agreed by the Board of Directors, and reap the maximum profits. The success of such capitalist enterprises depends upon paying the
workers low wages and charging maximum prices to the consumers: that is, capitalist exploitation. Whatever problems there are in defining a
cooperative, it is most important that cooperative enterprises are owned and controlled by members, patrons, workers, consumers as well as
investors. The benefits and profits of the cooperative enterprise are shared by all those involved, not just the elite investors.
I would suggest that a ‘true cooperative’ provides services and products at prices agreed by the democratic votes of member-patrons in the light of
the democratically agreed returns on equity capital. Every one with an interest in the operation of the cooperative enterprise is involved in making
decisions about practices,products  profits, and benefits.

The United Nations  declared 2012  the Year of the Cooperative.
The United Nations Year of the Cooperative will express:  "Cooperative
Enterprises Build A Better World" and highlight the key aspects of
cooperative enterprises which allow them to fulfill this rule.

Cooperative enterprises build a better world.
Cooperative enterprises are member owned, member serving and
member driven                                                                                                   COOP CITY, BRONX, NEW YORK
Cooperatives empower people
Cooperatives improve livelihoods and strengthen the economy
Cooperatives enable sustainable development
Cooperatives promote rural development
Cooperatives balance both social and economic demands
Cooperatives promote democratic principles.                                                          

Cooperatives and gender: a pathway out of poverty
Cooperatives: a sustainable business model for youth

Marvin Schaars: Cooperatives, Principles and Practices 1978
Frank Groves: Philosophy of Cooperation 1985
www.peoples.coop/cooperative                           DAIRY COOP,USA


When there is little economic growth, there is high unemployment in Europe, the USA, and all other capitalist countries in the G8/G20/G70.
The EU Minister for Industry suggested in January 2013 that more and more individuals should start up their own businesses rather than depend on
finding jobs with existing enterprises. Therefore, It would be a good idea for governments to sponsor more groups to start up cooperative enterprises.
It will be a major initiative for the richest countries like Kuwait, Qatar, Abu Dhabi,[the United Arab Emirates], with their petro-dollars, to follow the
example of the Yunus group and Grameen Banks, and set up trust funds to  micro-finance programmes to fund local businesses and to give impetus
to cooperative start-ups.
Given that joint-stock corporations enrich their primary shareholding investors, [that is 11 million people out of 7 billion,] and their efforts exploit the
resources of the earth to exhaustion, the only viable future is a cooperative economy.
An aspect of a cooperative economy is that enterprises are developed in the light of local needs. It is unlikely that their efforts will destroy the local
environments and render their lives impossible!
Another aspect of cooperative initiatives is that they involve groups of members,
not single entrepreneurs. So whether it be a shop, market gardens, dairy farms,
cereal farms, farm machinery, a public utility like a phone service or internet
provider, water and sanitation, clothing and shoes manufacture, cotton farms,
and sheep herds, pharmacies, community schools, medical services; white
goods, auto-parts like Mondragon; hotels like Best Western; community
housing like Coop City in New York, among many other alternatives, every
body involved puts up money and effort and skills and time. Everyone  is a
member, equal to fair shares. The members of a cooperative work together
as a collective, making decisions about the management and organization of
the cooperative. One member, one vote. Cooperatives are designed to
satisfy the needs of their members, not to enrich a minority of shareholders.

So how would you go about starting up a cooperative?  
For any group of cooperators, they must have a good project, that they know could be established and be viable. The members could establish a
new cooperative or re-organise local enterprises as cooperatives, based on the ICA principles, and establish a network of cooperatives,  including
a  whole range of industrial , financial, retail, social services. In fact, there is no reason why any enterprise could not be organized and operated as a
cooperative. What is interesting is that the most attention, [media/business reports], is paid to corporations not cooperatives. The World Economic
Forum in Davos is currently obsessed with capitalism not cooperation.

Once the plan for a cooperative has been drawn up, the members must decide about funding. They need to determine how they are going to get the
money required to operate their enterprise. Where is the money going to come from?  Of course, some of the money will be generated by the
donations of the members. Indeed, if the enterprise is small scale, this may be enough. Or as it develops, micro-finance credit will provide support.
Any cooperative that utilizes machinery, trucks, workers, premises, sales, distribution,  most of the funding will come from investors, banks, and credit
unions as grants and loans in the form of new money. The initial costs of starting up a cooperative, or any enterprise for that matter, are far greater
than can be supported by one person. The start up costs will be the same for a capitalist enterprise as for a cooperative. The fundamental, and
significant, difference is that the one is controlled by shareholders, and the other is controlled by every member.
When new cooperative enterprises can be sponsored by governments and their agencies, the cooperators will have to apply for  start-up help,
funding, along with micro-finance and grant-aid, and low interest loans and trust funds. From the start, the cooperative members have to decide
how to market the enterprise, and the format of the publicity, as well as who was going to write and design the application brochures or web-sites or
videos for ‘YouTube’ or Vimeos. These marketing activities are best done by members as the more money that is spent on outside experts, the higher
the initial costs would be. Whenever possible it is important to utilize the resources of the cooperative. The brochures can be designed and developed
by the cooperative team. But specialists like publishers and printers will have to be used at a cost. Of course, the printers could be a cooperative or
part of the network of cooperatives.
It is worth remembering that the initial members will be experts in the services offered by the cooperative, skilled in retail or agricultural or social or
financial or manufacturing activities which will form the basis of the co-op. As the cooperative expands, a wider range of members will take part
including workers, customers, suppliers. It is essential that all cooperatives are organized as a cooperative democracy - one member, one vote.
There are no shareholders forming boards of directors.  There are members forming management committees.

It is important for all members to realize that cooperative enterprises are subject to specific legislation and financial regulation. All the members will
have to become familiar with the laws relating to public liability, and the regulation of finances for cooperative enterprises.
Legally speaking, what is a cooperative? It is an organization that is legally owned and mutually controlled by those who make up the cooperative.
Members are most often producers, consumers, or employees related to the enterprise.                          Cooperatives can exist in a variety of legal
forms. They can be incorporated and limited by guarantee, shares, or partnerships, or they can be unincorporated. To be ‘incorporated’ the
cooperative is registered as a legal entity with limited liability.  If a company is ‘unincorporated’ it means that there is unlimited liability: that is, the
owners are liable for the assets, debts and properties and products of the corporation.  In some European countries, such as Sweden and Finland,
cooperatives can be incorporated, limited companies or unincorporated associations. While in the United States, state-specific laws govern the legal
structure of cooperatives as either unincorporated structured limited liability companies, partnerships, or non-capital stock corporations or in the case
of incorporated co-ops, the variations allow for varying degrees of return and amounts of control, most often based on members' participation in the
co-op.[ http://EzineArticles.com/5110083].
In the UK, in January 2012, Parliament introduced the new UK Coop Bill, aiming to rationalise all previous legislation in to a coherent system and to
facilitate the creation of cooperatives in the future. Clearly, all members of a cooperative are required to become familiar with all these different laws
relating to cooperative enterprises. It could be argued that a significant step would be to make the legal matters simpler! As it is at the moment, all
cooperatives must be in contact with corporate lawyers.

‘Incorporation’ requires the cooperative corporation to specify how it will be organised.
While all members contribute initial funding as a membership fee, their power in the enterprise will not depend on their money donations but on their
status as a member.  One member, one vote.
It may be that there will be individual investors. But they will not be share-holders,they will be members of the cooperative.
In order to concur with the laws of incorporation, the cooperative management committee will organize the cooperative so that the members will have
a clear picture of  objectives, and procedures and purposes. The management structure should enable the enterprise to operate at the lowest costs,
by using the skills of the members and linking with partners as part of a cooperative network. There is no place for a chief executive officer nor a
board of directors. The important aspect of the cooperative is that it is run by the members in committee. What sort of members will there be?
organisers, suppliers, managers, customers, workers, investors, lawyers, accountants. The workers and organizers cannot be expected to work
for nothing. They will be paid a fee or a salary for their time, or wages and expenses, as agreed by the unions. Customer members will be subject to
discounts according to how much they spend. Investors, along with all members, will receive a dividend each year linked to patronage, and profits.
Given that the profits are distributed to all members, rather than a handful of share-holders, no one member will become richer than any other
members. It is not part of the ethos of the cooperative that the few benefit at the expense of the many. But the enterprise will have a finance section
which keeps a tally on revenue, payments, and dividends.
As I have mentioned before, small enterprises may not require complex support mechanisms. But medium to large corporations will certainly have to
develop a business model, a management structure, and support mechanisms in order to function. Whatever their size, all cooperatives will have to
accord with the legal demands.

All cooperatives will need the services of banks, not only to lend money, but also to provide retail services such as deposits, money transfers, credit
cards, payments. It is recommended that cooperatives do not use commercial banks, but credit unions.

A Credit Union is a profit sharing, democratically run financial co-operative which offers convenient savings and low interest loans to its members. The
members own and manage their credit union themselves. The three main aims of a Credit Union are:
•        To encourage its members to save regularly.
•        To provide loans to members at very low rates of interest.
•        To provide members with help and support on managing their financial affairs (if required).

Commercial Banks, like Barclays, Lloyds, Santander, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs are committed to investment schemes that are designed to
make as much profit as possible for their shareholders. As we saw in 2008, when these banks put all their monies into speculative investments, and
the schemes collapse, the banks went bankrupt. Some Credit Unions did go ‘bust’. They had been tempted to put their members savings into
speculative schemes that failed!                                           If  the members of a cooperative decide to develop ‘a savings and loan’ scheme, it is
possible for the cooperative to be a profit-making enterprise and a profit sharing credit  union.                                                                                                        At this point, it is
important to understand that any financial company that is in the business of lending money / providing loans / giving credit /creating debt will be
concerned to create new money. The savings of the members/customers provide the assets that form the collateral that secure the loans. The banks
or credit unions or building societies are licensed to create new money by making credit entries in their customers balance sheets. For example, when
a bank or credit union has     GPB10 million in savings, it may be entitled to lend GPB100million, according to the rules of the Central Bank.[At the
time of the financial crash 2008, some banks were creating GBP700 million of debt.] These loans are new money, created out of nothing. They exist
as digital entries on the corporate balance sheets. Currently, cooperatives, as well as joint stock, corporations are dependent upon this system of
fractional reserve banking to buy materials, and sell products, and pay workers.
How can our cooperatives be environmentally friendly?                                                                                       Recently, I was watching a documentary
on BBC World News concerning the emerging environmental movement in China. The protagonists were most concerned that the priorities of the
current Central committee of the government, and most of their new enterprises, were development, expansion, and profits. Care of the environment
was a marginal concern. The evidence in China of the pollution of the environment, and the industrial poisoning of the workers, is alarming. However,
it was reported that today more local authorities are placing higher priorities on the care of the environment.                                      Today in the
USA, EU, UK, as well as China, all enterprises must take into account the ways in which they are poisoning the environment, destroying the biosphere,
polluting the atmosphere.                                                                                         How can cooperatives take care of the environment? First of all, it
must be high on the list of priorities and targets of the business plan.  Questions must be asked about how the raw materials are produced? Grown?
Processed? Are they being transported half way round the world? Only to be shipped back as finished goods? Does the company discharge waste
materials into local waterways? Does it monitor rates of pollution? Is there any attempt to limit pollution of the atmosphere? Does the cooperative
explore the possibilities of generating and using carbon-free energy? By means of wind power? Solar power? Tidal power?  Or if this is not possible,
can they control and monitor and ration coal powered electricity? Oil powered or gas powered
generators?                                                                                                                                                       Of course, many enterprises do not
monitor simply because it is too complicated, and too difficult to do without the efforts of the government. This underlines that protection of the
environment involves a change of mind by all organisations across the world. Cooperative corporations, whether   small/medium/large, will need to
examine how they deal with waste products; investigate how their suppliers care for crops and products? These matters will be most important for
dairy farms and creameries, as well as for beef cattle ranches, rice paddies, wheat farms.  It is well recorded that cattle generate significant amounts
of methane - an element of the air pollution mix of ozone.  It is too often ignored that Agriculture is a primary source of pollution. Animals, crops,
wetlands, fermentation, as well manure, add to the pollution of  local waters and ground water, and the biosphere with the creation of ozone, with the
mix of methane, nitrous oxide, halocarbons, carbon dioxide. Agricultural cooperatives can be a major source of greenhouse gases, and need to be
monitored and supervised.                                   Many Cooperative enterprises start up as shops and food stores. Today, they could  be vegetarian
and  encourage local grown products in gardens, allottments, and market gardens. They can pioneer the development of vegan diets and encourage
the reduction of meat consumption, and thereby limit the generation of methane and manure.                                                                                                             
Large scale cooperatives like Mondragon produce such things as auto-parts, electrical goods. Other industrial coops produce textiles, clothes, shoes.
Customers have become obsessed with new, fashionable items, from mobile phones to shirts and dresses. Cooperatives could begin to plan for the
use of recycled materials. For example, there is enough iron and steel in the world to provide recycled products. What is more, items can be designed
to be recycled rather than thrown away. At the WEF, Davos, Jan 2013, they have begun to talk about 'a circular economy' in which everything is
produced to last and recycled. It is interesting that they have chosen a new term, rather than confirm the need for a cooperative economy.  If a
cooperative company does throw products away, where are they thrown? How are they prepared as waste? Is there any attempt to render products
recyclable?                                                                                                                                  What is perfectly clear is that our atmosphere is being
polluted with greenhouse gases; that our global climate is undergoing warming, and more extreme climatic events;   that our lands are being covered
with waste products, and our rivers are being poisoned with sewage and untreated industrial waters.                                                                                                
Cooperatives can be a force for change and the protection of our environments.

8  Unsustainability and Sustainability; June 2012
Having read Jo Stiglitz about the changing demands on Democracy, I wish to propose some alternatives e.g. a sustainable economy; a steady state
economy; a green economy. I want to make it clear that these may not be easy to adopt, and develop.

1. In the past, banks kept notes that they printed, and cash they were given by their customers.
It has become clear during the arguments between politicians and economists since 2008  that the default financial position is ‘growth’, and ‘debt’.
‘Austerity’ is not acceptable because it limits growth by insisting on cutting costs, reducing debts, and repaying loans, and living within your means.
I want to examine the implications of these arguments for the collapse of an unsustainable economy and the development of a sustainable economy.
2. It is worth remembering that most people in the world are poor; surviving on the equivalent of 520euros to 5200 euros a year. The current debates
and disputes that are taking place in Europe and the USA about growth and austerity are of interest only to those wealthy enough to be actively
involved in the management of money.  All discussions about ‘growth’ and ‘prosperity’ concern a minority of the global population - what has come
to be called ‘the 1%’.  As Christine Lagarde of the IMF noted recently, the conditions of the peoples in Sub-Saharan Africa are of much more concern
to the IMF and World Bank than the shenanigans of Greece or Spain or Germany.

3. All the current discussions, whether by George Soros or Paul Krugman, or the World Bank or IMF, seem to assume that most people are
prosperous and enjoy the benefits of employment and bank loans.  They fail to mention that all growth is the product of debt. The creation of money
as interest bearing debt demands that enterprises generate profits, out of which loan debts are repaid and benefits such as wages, bonuses, and
pensions, can be funded.
The creation of money as interest bearing debt depends upon a fractional reserve banking system. At the moment, FR banking is unregulated. The
need to create money as required by capitalist enterprises and corporations or governments means that if an individual has 1000, they can borrow
70,000; a corporation with 1 million, can borrow up to 100 million; a government with 1 billion will be able to borrow up to 100 billion. Each loan is
secured by collateral but what is important to the banks is the payment of interest, the more the better. You may wonder how it is possible for the
banks to make loans that are so much greater than the deposit. A simple consideration of the interest payments reveals all: a loan @ 8% for
20 years: 1000 generates 4662; 1 million generates 4.6 million; and 1 billion generates 4.6 billion. Under this system all enterprises are in debt, and
have to pay interest. Governments, in particular, will use their tax revenues to pay their debts. The US government will pay $500 billion in a year as
interest payments. To put it another way, governments use their taxes to pay the banks. They do not use taxes to supply government services.
Countries like Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Iceland, are in trouble because they cannot afford to pay the interest! Their tax incomes are not enough.

4. Times of austerity and cost cutting lead to demands to pay off loans, and to stop borrowing money. These actions lead to loss of growth, loss of
prosperity, loss of profits,  loss of employment, failure to repay debts, failure to increase loans, failure to increase new money: in fact move towards
Full Reserve Banking.

5. But recent comments by Soros, Krugman, IMF, World Bank, and Central Banks, demand that loss and debt must be secured by growth and loans.
Please note that as long we continue to operate a system of loans and debts, the failure to create new money as loans will cause economic and
financial collapse. A system of debt based growth has to be secured by loans and interest payments as well as collateral. This means that most
enterprises are ‘owned’ by the banks, and depend upon loans, and upon growth to make profits to pay interest.. The entrepreneurs are trapped in
a cycle of debt. Even the so called ‘1%’ are sitting on a mountain of debt. If cuts result in loss of consumption of all products, the enterprises will
collapse, and the entrepreneurs will go bankrupt. The system of debt drives the search for growth, and maintains the demands for profits. It leads us
to organize an unsustainable economy.

6. An unsustainable world is one where all products are over-exploited. Any product has to be found or made and sold as soon as possible so as to
generate profits. The search for fuel oil continues to the sacrifice of the local landscapes, the pollution of water, and destruction of habitats.  This
search limits the development of alternative sources of energy simply because oil is the preferred option.   Fishing the oceans using industrial
methods leads to the exhaustion of all species, followed by the farming of fish and the use of synthetic foods. Forests are cut down leaving all the
land bare and eroded. Recently, Brazil has been advertising eucalyptus plantations. The attraction is for financial returns, not the protection of the
Amazon forests. Minerals are removed on a vast scale without any regard for the natural environment, such as water supplies, nor even local villages.
Farming is carried out on an industrial scale, and crops are grown across 1000’s of acres and sold across the world, without any regard for the
balance of species and the hunger of the local communities. Factories and their products fill the biosphere with waste products that poison the earth.

7. At the same time, there are persuasive arguments for the development of a sustainable global economy. What this means is that industrial,
commercial, agricultural, maritime initiatives conserve and preserve the environment. Such initiatives respond to local needs not international markets.
Developments are designed so that the rates of exploitation balance the rates of restoration of products and materials. For example, fish are
harvested in consideration of the replacement of the species. It is important to maintain the species or minerals or soils or water. They should not be
exploited exclusively for profit.
An environmental economy will express the ‘steady state economy’. There will not be demands for large loans, and repayments will be limited by the
rates of profit. It will be normal for Central Banks to provide the new money for the initiatives, by printing money.

7.  According to the present system, money is interest-bearing debt. Governments, corporations, individuals sponsor their projects by loans. The
profits are used to pay the principal and the interest. A capitalist economy depends on loans, and the banks depend on interest payments.

A new system must generate capital from tax revenues and cash payments, as well as printed money.  It is to be based on cash, not interest. It will
take longer to generate cash for investments. The development of initiatives will be ‘long term’.

8. A system that is based upon fractional reserve banking, and in which all new money is interest bearing loans, is dependent upon loan money. Our
present system operates with 3% cash and 97% loan money. There is no way that this system can survive on cash, simply because there is not
enough. The system operates by interest bearing loans. If the loans stop, the system collapses. All countries will reach the point when they run out
of resources, money or materials. Their enterprises will not be able to produce commodities without loans. Each of these enterprises depends upon
the availability of cheap finance. The resources are offered up as collateral for the interest-bearing loans. The profits are geared to repayment of
interest, as well as the control of costs. In an unsustainable economy, the demands and rights of the local citizens are ignored in search for minimum
costs and maximum profits.

9. A sustainable economy is one in which products are not mass produced; local landscapes are conserved; priority is given to renewable sources of
energy e.g. solar, wind, water, bio-mass like olive waste.  Local peoples bicycle. There is no demand for automobiles, nor oil products. The oil
industry, petroleum, cars and trucks disappear. Fishing protects the survival of species: for example, nets are designed with different size holes so
as to allow the smallest so escape and become adults; forests are protected, unlike the exploitation of the forests of the Amazon, and Prey Lang,
and Khimki. The supplies of timber provided for heating are controlled. The extensive forests of Eastern Europe are under threat from local
communities who are busy gathering the timber in place of heating oils and diesel that are becoming too expensive to use. Mining operations are
planned to safeguard the lives of local communities, to preserve water supplies, and provide improved standards of living. Farming is organized on
a local level, so as to provide food supplies to local communities and maintain the environmental balance between humans, plants, animal, insects.
At the same time, biologists look for seeds and plants that can be more fruitful; able to survive on less rain; and to resist drought conditions; as well as
to cope with torrential rains.   Factories and processing are designed to produce little waste, and protect the soils and atmosphere of the earth. All
enterprises are set up to consider their impact upon the biosphere. When supermarkets and retail warehouses are designed, the planners take into
account the effects upon rainwater run off, local traffic flows, local shops. It is clear that a sustainable economy is completely different to present

10. It can be argued that the world population of 7+billion people will automatically generate great demands for all products. But we have to remember
that 6+ billion people are living in poverty. The basics that are taken for granted by half a billion people in Europe and the USA are luxuries for
everyone else. The 6+ billion poor do not have reliable sources of electricity, water, sanitation, medical help, shelter, education, transport, food,
employment, wages. However, once they demand a way of living that includes all these basics, the world economy will have to change.

11. A Green Economy will generate clean energy. There will be Green cities with open spaces, and limited auto-transport. Zero waste will be produced,
industrially and domestically. Many different industries will be using a diversity of resources. Ecosystem services will look after plants and animals,
atmosphere, carbon dioxide and methane; the provision of water and sanitation. There will be local living economies, supporting empowered

12. Social Ecology is determined to study the impacts of human societies upon the conditions and stability of the biosphere of the earth.
Social Ecology will focus on the actions of human communities and their consequences for the natural environment.
Social Ecology is not interested in public statements by governments and corporations and individuals as to the protection of the environment; it is
concerned to study and analyse their  actions.
So when people declare that they are determined to protect the atmosphere, Social ecologists  will look at their inconsistencies such as the continuing
use of fossil fuels and the search for more sources of these fuels, along with their failure to develop renewable energy.
Social Ecology will observe the impacts of human behaviour in urban and rural settings on forests, fields, rivers, seas, air, fire and water.  Social
Ecologists will  derive alternatives, designed to alter current behaviours: they are descriptive, investigative, analytical, judgemental, and prescriptive.

www. Oregon environmental council
Centre for the Advancement of Steady State Economy.
go to jkelvynrichards.blogspot.com


Why do we want banks?
I am talking about 'we' : those people with spare cash, with savings, with a regular income, with at least 100GBP each a day..... the minority who think
they are the ‘norm; the 500 million out of 7 billion’
We want banks as places to receive our payments, our salaries, our pensions; to pay our bills; and when necessary, give us credit. . In fact, many
people think that when you put money into a bank, that money is kept there.  It is assumed that your money is safe and available on demand. This is
known as ‘Full Reserve Banking’, and does not operate in the UK nor anywhere else. It is a fantasy. There are a number of versions of this system.
According to the narrow version, a bank would function as a ‘deposit box’, in which the total monies are held, for a fee, until withdrawn by the
depositors. The bankers would be driven to set up as many accounts as possible, so as to increase fee incomes. The bankers would focus on their
customers and their accounts. A broader definition recognizes that the monies held are never withdrawn simultaneously, sitting in their accounts for
long periods of time. Banks could invest and loan the deposits held in the bank, for profit. Banks can act as intermediaries between investors and
business enterprises, and loans can be made for profit. The significant aspect of Full Reserve is that a loan must be secured by an agreed sum, on
deposit either at the bank or the Central Bank.  For example, in order that 10,000GBP be lent at 10% interest for 10 years, 10,000GBP must be held
in reserve on deposit. The full reserve ratio is 1 to 1: or 100%. This would mean that if there was a default, the bank could recover the loss from this
collateral. This is not how banks operate today.  But this is how many people think banks work. In fact, many people do not know how banks operate!

So how do they operate? Financial groups, such as banks, mutual funds, hedge funds, investment funds, insurance companies, pension groups,
operate ‘Fractional Reserve Banking’, according to which monies or assets held can be leveraged or multiplied by many times in the form of  loans,
creating new money according to demand. For example, any 10,000GBP cash held on deposit will allow the bank to lend up to 100.000GBP; and
any 100,000 on account can create 1,000,000; and that can be used to create 100,000,000. The fractional reserve ratio in this case can be 1 to100.
The bank can use 10,000GBP to create 100,000,000GBP.
In this way, Fractional Reserve Banking is designed to create new money as loans. Money is regarded as debt not cash. Bank profits are generated
from the interest paid on the loans. In this way 10,000 cash is used to create 100,000,000 ‘virtual money’ as debt. Today, of all the ‘monies’ available
to bankers and fund managers, 97% is digital/virtual, 3% cash/coins/notes.  The amount of digital money lent has little to do with the amount of cash
in circulation. Under Fractional Reserve banking, cash deposits are not held at the Central Bank. Bankers and financiers and traders manipulate
‘money numbers’ on a screen, talk ‘cash’, but  their electronic dealings take place without regard for the consequences of their trading in numbers  for
cash, stock and commodities markets across the world. The ‘money numbers’ traded everyday in markets can be many  trillions GBP……in loans,
in commodities; currency exchange; stock market dealings; derivatives………..
Today, the only ‘cash’ is to be found in our wallets and purses, and ATMs, pay packets, and shops; and a bank does promise to pay cash to us on
demand via an ATM or cash clerk.
Before 1986, fractional reserve banking in the UK had been subject to rules set by parliament and the Bank of England. After 1986 the Financial
Services Act allowed an unregulated fractional reserve banking system, in which interest is charged and profits generated from every transaction
and the higher the interest rate, the greater the profits. Following the deregulation of the UK banking system in 1986, the pursuit of profits and fees
was more important than customer care, and banks constantly enticed customers to take out loans at the highest interest rates possible. Few
customers, including myself, actually worked out the total payment made on a loan and preferred instead to decide if they could afford the monthly
Under both systems, new money is debt money.  ‘Full Reserve’ means that the 10,000GBP I borrow is secured by 10,000GBP in a deposit account.
Every loan is secured against a cash deposit. Whereas ‘Fractional Reserve’ means that any agreed amount can be used as collateral for a loan, and
the loan itself can be up to 100 times more than the collateral.  Money is debt!
Banks and financial groups were free to develop their services for maximum profit and efficiency. The first thing to change was that it was no longer
necessary to deal in nor transfer cash. The transfer of cash had always required armoured vehicles and guards. But now all transactions were digital
projects. No cash, only digital entries transferred at the stroke of a keyboard.
Fractional Reserve banking means that money can be created more quickly and easily, x100, and facilitates growth. Shops/factories/offices/ all
enterprises can borrow monies, x100, to expand their facilities and services, irrespective of their savings, but dependent on their assets as collateral.
Most of the ‘money’ that is used does not exist as ‘cash’, but is represented by digital numbers. It is assumed that monies are kept in bank accounts,
ad infinitum. It was thought to be safe for the sums on loan to greatly exceed the cash available and it was denied that banking becomes much more
risky in the event of defaults. But as we saw following 2007, many people defaulted on their loans, and even more claimed their cash deposits, and
the banks could not meet these demands, and went into liquidation. They could not pay cash as promised and so had to appeal to the governments
for bailouts: that is, print the money.

Fractional Reserve Banking makes it easier to negotiate loans when the client has substantial assets. Countries have taxes, GDP, commodities,
minerals, resources which entice banks to loan money to governments. Even though governments have the right to print money to meet their costs,
most use Central Banks to organize their monies in the form of loans.
National debts can be as high as $15 trillion, as in the USA, with   interest payments of $500 billion per year; and the UK, with 1.2 trillion GBP debts,
has to meet 43 billion GBP  annual interest. Other countries have large debts: Belgium $1.3 trillion; Japan, $1.5 trillion; France $1.7 trillion;
China $1.9trillion; Ireland $1.8 trillion; Italy $2.2 trillion; Germany $2 trillion; Russia $76 billion; Greece E345 billion. Unregulated Fractional Reserve
banking has led to sovereign debts being larger now than ever. The Banks are free to negotiate deals to their advantage, and help governments to
manage their finances for a fee.
In Europe, the countries of Ireland, Iceland, Portugal, Greece, and others have borrowed more than they could afford and gone bankrupt. What that
means is that they were unable to pay their debts, nor to pay their bills. They had run out of cash. In order to pay their debts they have had to ask the
Euro-zone for bailouts: that is, more debt to pay debts.The  public debates between the finance ministers of the EU have been about the balances of
numbers in accounts, and how to reconcile the credits and the debits; the assets and income with the loans and the interest payments.
The negotiations have not been about the morality of a system that sacrifices social welfare for the protection of banking profits.
While poor countries borrow to meet their monthly costs, rich countries borrow, rather than use their assets, to pay for their projects. They are
concerned to ‘leverage’ their incomes so as to fund major projects like wars, weapons, space travel. The 1:100 ratio enables them to borrow very
large sums of money.
Poor countries like Greece or Portugal or Hungary or Argentina or Guinea or Somalia or Sudan or Niger or Congo borrow, knowing that they will
default. On the other hand, why do some banks lend to countries that they know are likely to default? Or in the case of Goldman Sachs, devise
strategies with governments like Greece that will enable them to default with minimum risk to the lender [the creation of credit default swaps].
All the dealings are about profits as embodied in the rates of interest. As long as the debtor country keeps paying, it raises the profits of the creditor.
We are involved in a ‘numbers game’, and one that punishes all who do not ‘pay up’. One of the rules of the game is that debts are paid on time and
in full.  In the case of a ‘bankrupt’, debts are to be covered by more debts [that is, loans by more loans, interest payments by more interest.] Another
rule is that the ‘bankrupt’ is obliged to reduce costs, and increase income, so as to balance the books and repay the debts. The ‘bankrupt’ has to be
punished. Greece has to be punished.
Over the last four years we have all been witnessing what happens to debtors who fail to pay, who default. For example, in the USA, sub-prime
mortgage debtors have lost their houses. Often, in the cases of sovereign default, such as Argentina or Greece, the clients may have repaid the
principal.  But as we know, the contract is to pay principal + interest, as the interest payment comprises the profit for the creditor. Recently, it was
reported by Gavin Hewitt/Robert Peston of the BBC, that Greece has paid the equivalent to the principal owed, but may be unable to pay the interest
in full. How much interest is generated by these transactions? Loans are subject to compound interest. For example, collateral of 1million GBP,
enables a loan of 100,000,000GBP. The compound interest of 7.5% for 20 years generates 424.7millionGBP. The client is liable for the payment
of the principal + interest: that is, 524.7millionGBP. In effect, the original loan is subject to a fee of 424,700,000GBP. So the client borrows 100 million,
and pays 525 million in return. In this case, the original sum of 1 million is used to generate 525 million as new money! All of which is gathered by the
bank/hedge fund/investment group, etc. as profit. Banks charge exorbitant interest fees and prosper.  Countries and their peoples, die! simply
because they have to pay back 4.24 times the original loan.
At the moment, let us say that the national debt of Greece is Euros345 billion, according to Wikipaedia/World Bank/CIA/EU. It is worth noting that
the numbers vary from one report to another, and so it is difficult to be precise.
But if we follow Gavin Hewitt, the principal sum is not the problem!  The interest payable is the problem. It is easy to see why:  E345 billion @ 7.5%
for 20 years, would be E1.46 trillion. In 2011, the government was in the situation whereby it was being forced by the Eurozone to cut all expenses,
and raise all incomes so as to repay the total interest of up to E1.46 trillion to the banks by 2020. As a consequence, the country has suffered
intense social unrest …..strikes, demonstrations, riots.
However, recent negotiations in 2012 have led to the acceptance that the interest payments are ruinous to a country that is poor, and undergoing
recession. There has been an agreement that 30% of the interest will be sufficient ….Even though the banks have been ‘weeping’ over this ‘haircut’,
30% of E1.46 trillion is still a large profit on a ‘virtual principal’. It is still more than the original loan!
We will have to wait to see if the debt interest is cancelled, so that Greece [and other such countries] can re-start with a clean plate. Remember the
original loan has been paid back, and the banks are being asked to reduce their profits, but the profits are still ruining the country.
The payment of interest would not be seen as a problem for a country such as Germany, USA, or China whose economy was growing by +5%/7%/
10% a year. But for Greece, and many other poor countries across the world, whose economies are shrinking by -7% per year, these payments have
become impossible. These loans were made at the height of economic growth when the payment of interest [no matter how exorbitant] was thought to
be ‘no problem’.

In the years following the ‘credit crunch’ of 2007/8/9 when some of the biggest banks in the world went bankrupt, and many countries went into
recession, and the global financial system almost collapsed, some alternative strategies are necessary so as to ease the economic pressures on
poor countries……that is, most countries.
One solution could be to lower the compound interest rates charged on loans. For example, a loan of E100million @ 1% for 20 years would generate
E22million interest; and the principal + compound interest would be E122,019,004.
Another solution would be to calculate the simple interest: a loan E100,000,000 @1% simple interest for 20 years would be E120 million.
These totals are significantly less than E424 million repayable on a loan at 7.5 %. But they are still exorbitant at a time of economic recession. And all
represent significant profits for the creditors on transactions that are trading virtual sums created and deleted at the push of a button.
These transactions are politically significant in circumstances when a government has to raise taxes and to cut all social services in order to repay
the interest on a loan; or when a government, like the USA, has borrowed so much that it can only afford to pay the annual interest, and therefore
has to sell off national assets so as to remain solvent. Governments, such as Greece or Ireland or Portugal or Iceland or Spain or Italy, may have
repaid the principal of their loans, but cannot pay the interest. This interest could be four times the principal! Ireland with a national debt of $1.8
trillion is facing interest payments of $7.2 trillion; or Italy, $8.8 trillion interest.  These are all inconceivable amounts of money: particularly for countries
that are barely covering their costs.
Should any government be permitted to borrow more than it can ever possibly repay? Should any government be permitted to borrow sums at interest
rates that will lead to bankruptcy?
Should funding agencies be able to charge punitive interest rates?
Should creditors be able to lend money to clients who cannot pay their debts?
Should interest rates be variable according to the circumstances of the debtor?
Should we follow the example of the Grameen Bank, initiated by Muhammad Yunus, and charge very low interest rates, for small loans ?
Should interest rates be capped for everyone, so as to limit the profits of the creditors? Would it be better if all loans had a fixed fee?
How could a regulator stop the debtors and the creditors from taking advantage of any preferential contracts?
This leads us to another  solution:  the necessity for oversight and regulation.
Which organization could be given authority to supervise, regulate, and control the financial affairs of individuals, corporations, countries? The World

Bank, the IMF, the United Nations, the EU, the AU? among others.

It is not surprising that many clients, corporations or countries, become unable to repay the sum in total and default.
It is clear that none of the funding agencies and their traders care about the circumstances of the debtors. All they are interested in is the
generation of  profits and bonuses. It is none of their business that many countries like those in Africa, Namibia, Niger, Sudan, Somalia, Congo,
need loans to pay for foods to feed their starving peoples. The countries want grant-aid, but are driven to loans…..that will bankrupt them. To survive,
these governments have to negotiate for debt-cancellation.
None of this would matter under a system of ‘full reserve banking’ simply because every loan would be tied to cash or assets. It must be admitted that
none of this would matter, because many countries would be unable to raise enough cash to provide collateral for any loans.
So we are faced by a dilemma. How to structure and regulate a ‘fractional reserve system’ that does not bankrupt those countries that try to borrow
money? How to design a ‘full reserve system’ which is more flexible in demands for collateral and assets? On reflection, it seems that banking
systems that are intended to benefit the banksters and fundsters, and sacrifice the debtors, are not socially nor morally justified. They protect the
interests of the 1% and control the savings and investments across the world. They are only interested in peoples and governments who want to
borrow money, and pay maximum interest.
One can conclude that any banking system that is totally dependent upon the generation of profits from the interest on loans is unacceptable. As we
have seen, the calculation of the interest due from poor debtor countries leads to their bankruptcy. Such loans and compound interest are not
intended to alleviate global poverty. They are intended to maximize the profits and bonuses of the banksters.
A different system is essential: one in which the money needed for survival is printed and not borrowed. The cycle of debt, as organized by fractional
reserve banking, and upheld by full reserve banking, must be abandoned.

6. Globalisation: Cheats, Fraud, Corruption

On February 7 2012 it was announced that there would be a merger of the commodity trader, Glencore, with the mining company, Xstrata, to form a
new corporation, ‘Glenstrata’.
It is projected that the new corporation will generate revenues of GBP 156 billion, with profits of GBP14 billion. The current chief executive officers
were at university together in Witwatersrand, South Africa, and are already multi-millionaires.
The new corporation will manage the mining of zinc, copper, lead, alumina, nickel, cobalt, iron ore, coal; and production of fuel oil, heating oil,
gasoline, naptha, jet fuel, liquefied petroleum gas, steam coal, and coke, ferro-alloys; and the farming of grains, wheat, corn, barley, rice, oilseeds,
cotton, sugar, biodiesel, meals. The corporation operates enterprises in Brazil. Bolivia, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia; Mauritania, Tanzania, South
Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo; Kazakhstan, Russia; Italy, France, Spain, UK.,
Ireland, Sweden, Norway; Texas, Canada; Singapore, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Australia.

It will have a significant global presence. In a socially just and equitable world, one could imagine that such corporations as ‘Glenstrata’ [and RioTinto,
and BHPBilliton, Anglo-American, and Cargill] would be examples of the benefits of globalization. They would support local workers and communities
with fair wages, pensions, social benefits such as housing and health care; provide facilities for safe water and sanitation; offer education and training;
provide roads and railways; enable local mining companies to develop effective safety procedures, and to protect local environments from pollution.
Such global corporations could make the lives of the local people better with higher standards of living in return for the rights to produce and process
local commodities. Alternatively, if they did not want to bother to make such social provisions, the corporations and their subsidiaries could fully pay
their taxes so as to allow the governments to provide all these amenities to the local citizens.
But such an humanitarian approach does not seem to be part of the agenda for international commodity capitalism!
Glencore produces, sources, processes, refines, transports, stores, finances, and supplies commodities, and trades them, playing the markets, selling
them at the highest price. Xstrata mines ores and sells the minerals on the commodities markets. As part of the new corporation, it will become a
trader. ‘Glenstrata’ will control the commodities it mines and grows from source to market. It will control the prices of everyday goods from fuels,
electric wiring, bread, and cereals. It will speculate on futures markets: buying  commodities today at an agreed price, betting that the price will be
higher, securing a profit, on the agreed sale date. And of course, because Glenstrata brings the commodities to the market place, it can control the
supply and prices. Such a corporation will benefit from globalization by gaining access to resources and materials from many countries. It will have
strategic control of essential commodities and will need to be closely regulated by international and national governments.  
As reported by the New York Times, the Ecologist, Aljazeera, the Daily Telegraph, the opponents of the merger object that Glenstrata will be able to
control the world supply and prices of vital materials by hoarding them until the prices rise e.g. holding grains in storehouses, waiting for a drought!
They fear that Glenstrata will exert a price stranglehold over minerals, foods, and metals. However, some primary shareholders vigorously oppose the
merger on the grounds that too much bonus money will be going to the chief officers to the disadvantage of the shareholders.
The past history of  both companies leads us to conclude that their corporate strategies are ‘hard-nosed’ and that they are highly likely to play the
global markets to their advantage, without any consideration of the benefits of the countries and the communities in which they operate. ‘Minimise
costs to maximize profits’ is a key principle of capitalist practice. For example, Glencore set up joint enterprises by private deals in the Democratic
Republic of Congo with 6 mining companies that cost the government $5.5 billion in lost revenue as the result of operating tax avoidance schemes
such as non payment of corporate taxes. In Zambia, the mines at Mufulira pay workers minimum wages, create serious pollution including sulphur
poisoning, and acid rain. In Chile, and Australia, and Canada, Xstrata has been subject to worker disputes over wages and safety.

In view of the fact that GLENSTRATA is a new corporation, looking towards a new future, what are the possibilities of new corporate strategies? The
countries of Africa have many poor people trying to survive on less than $1.25 a day. And these countries are rich in minerals and ores. Their tenants
should be richer from the rents, and fees and royalties that ‘Glenstrata’ could be paying them. But the new corporation will continue to deprive the
local communities of their rights and dues. This could change if the governments of countries like Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Tanzania, South Africa, Indonesia, Philippines chose to develop systems of regulation, that would  establish and secure exactly what corporations
ought to be paying for their mining and farming enterprises, ‘Glenstrata’ would be forced to choose to play fair, and operate for the benefit of
local communities and shareholders. A recent story by the BBC showed that this is not happening. John Sweeney reported that in the DRCongo, at
the Luilu refinery, Glenstrata continues to mine and refine copper by using sulphuric acid, and pouring the residues direct back into the local river......
..while declaring that it is busy looking after the environment, and improving the living conditions of the workers!

At the moment the World Bank, the IMF, the OECD, and the UN, all condemn the leaders of many ‘developing countries’ for their extensive practices
of corruption. While this may be justified, it ignores the fact that the leaders of corruption in these countries are the multi-national corporations who
are busy exploiting the resources of the different countries for the lowest cost and the maximum profit, as well as personal gain. It is well known and
well documented that many global corporations, including ‘Glenstrata’, choose to use every means at their disposal to avoid paying taxes!
For example, when there are tons of copper waiting to be sold, ‘Glenstrata’ would buy it from the local mining company, which it owns, at a low cost of
say $500million, and sell it in Switzerland at a premium price of say $11.4 billion.  Such transfer pricing is a normal practice operated by all the
commodity groups of Europe and Australasia and is instrumental in depriving poor communities of any social benefits from the riches in their
Another stratagem is to buy up local companies and to treat them as if they are competitors or subsiduaries or shells according to priorities at the
time. ‘Glenstrata’ has a number of subsidiary companies in different countries. Sometimes they operate as integral parts of the corporation,
contributing to the ‘total tax contribution’.  This is a scam developed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, PwC, whereby the auditors add together the total
corporation tax; the total VAT paid by customers; PAYE and National Insurance payments paid by workers; and treat it as if it was the total tax paid by
the corporation. The total tax contribution is used as the justification for the non-payment of tax. Sometimes the local companies are treated as
independent, but dependent on the global corporation for loans. This scam is known as ‘thin capitalisation’. As business loans are usually welcomed
by governments, they are subject to tax  relief schemes: the bigger the loan, the bigger the relief.  In this scam, the corporation is lending money to
itself, so as to avoid paying tax and gaining relief. .
Sometimes the local companies are operated as independent, mining the ores, and selling minerals to the corporation at the lowest prices.   
Tax havens such as Switzerland are essential to resource-seeking corporations operating in Africa: more than 85 per cent of asset portfolios for
sub-Saharan Africa pass through tax havens. A tax haven is a territory/country that has low or nil taxes; allows companies to register, to be non
resident; observe total privacy; enables individuals and companies to avoid paying taxes in their resident territory. A tax haven operates as a
financial enterprise attracting as many cash deposits as possible. Shell companies are another scam that allows listed corporations to buy the name
and listing of a company that no longer functions; has gone bankrupt, has no products, no officers, and no workers.  The shell enables corporations
to hide monies in their accounts and audits. ‘Glenstrata’ has many subsidiaries in Africa that are registered in tax havens such as the British Virgin
Islands.  It keenly utilises tax havens as vehicles for shell companies able to access legal and financial opacity tools including banking secrecy, thin
capitalisation, little or no taxation, zero disclosure of company accounts, use of nominees, and - best of all - high-level client confidentiality, all of which
is entirely legal. But all of which is immoral and corrupt. All of these scams enable corporations such as ‘Glenstrata’ to cheat the native workers, and
their communities, and their governments of income and social funds and benefits. These complex webs of corruption raise issues about the
legitimacy of such corporations and the intentions of governments that declare these actions as legal.
These webs reveal that globalization is
designed for the benefit of corporate capitalism.

GLENSTRATA is one of the largest owners of farm land in the world. Are they at all concerned to feed the farmers and their families, and raise their
standards of living? or to hoard their products in storehouses?  Instead of playing the food markets to raise prices, should they endeavour to reduce
hunger. Glencore already recognizes food insecurity and participates in the UN World Food Programme as a supplier of grain as well as a trader.
However, shareholders of GLENSTRATA such as the United Arab Emirates and Korea are determined to gain access to the farmlands for the benefit
of their own citizens in the future, without regard for the interests of the farmers in the supplier countries. We have to confront the facts that
commodities markets reward the traders and keep the miners and farmers in poverty.                                                                                                   
Each year, Africa loses a minimum of $148bn - almost four times the sum of foreign aid it receives, to capital flight - of which 60 per cent is due to
corporate mispricing. Clearly, the solution toward enabling African countries to recover their lost revenue and become economically independent, is
to block revenue leakages, rather than provide further loans and grants characterised by conditions that undermine development.

The period between 2007 and 2012 has revealed more clearly than before that we are subject to a capitalist system in which the drive for profits leads
banks and fund managers and corporations to seek for high prices and high returns without regard for the interests of the customers, the workers
and communities across the world. We have to accept not only that poverty is the norm, but also that corruption is standard practice. It seems too
that those individuals who have millions of dollars want more! They do not seem to care that if they could be satisfied with $500.000, they would
release millions of millions of dollars to alleviate the poverty of 6.9 billion others.                                                                                                       
Is it so unreasonable to ask corporations like GLENSTRATA to adopt business strategies and working practices that benefit the workers and their
families? Instead of spending fortunes on auditors and financiers and lawyers to creatively account the books, those fees could be used to raise the
standards of living of the locals involved in mining and farming across the world.

5. World Population 2014

Having read the Human Development Report, and the UNFPA report about ‘World Population’ 2011, in association with Gunnar Rundgren’s new book
‘Garden Earth’, it seems that the impact of the world population on the global environment is more complicated than simply numbers.

November 2011, it is estimated by the UN, the World Bank, that the planet Earth has a human population of 7 billion. It is estimated that 50% live in
the urban areas.
NASA reports that satellite images show 3% of the earth’s surface is urbanized.
While there are more people living on earth than at any other time, 50% of the people live on 3% of the land. The other 50% occupy 97% of the land.
Does this count as global overcrowding? or simply aspects of urban living? How many more people can survive on the other 97% of earth?
It is easy to think that there are too many people and that the world is subject to overpopulation,  associated with excessive demands for food, water,
jobs, resource exploitation, and destruction of the environment, green house gases, and climate change.


Total numbers do not tell the whole story.
If you look at a map of population distribution
and density, the most notable feature is that
most of the earth’s surface supports fewer
than 5 people per square km and  is still
relatively empty.
Large tracts of the earth’s surface are empty,
whereas specific urban locations are
overwhelmed by the number of people.
Across the world there are, on average, 52 persons per square kilometer [psk].  Today, the largest countries include Russia with 17 million square
kilometers; Canada with 9.9 million square kilometers; the USA, 9.8 million square kilometers; China, 9.5 million square kilometers; Brazil, 8.5 million
square kilometers; Australia with 7.7 million square kilometers. Countries like Canada and Russia have extensive land areas with few or no inhabitants.
Both countries are cold and freezing for many days of the year. Russia has 8.3 persons for every square kilometer; while Canada has 3.4 persons psk.
Some countries are hot and dry and deserted like parts of Australia, with only 3 persons psk. Other countries, like India, are hot and dry and wet, with
368 persons psk.  China is a vast land space, with cities like Shanghai, and Beijing each with up to 20 million people, and a general population density
of 140 persons psk.
Even with a population of 7 billion, the world still has vast empty spaces: left empty because they are either too cold/wet/hot/or dry to live comfortably.  
The greatest concentrations of people are to be found [where they have always been] in the valleys of the main rivers such as the Nile, the Ganges,
and the Yangtse; and the coastal zones of New York, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, Lagos.  
Countries like China [with 1.3 billion people] and India [1.2 billion] have the greatest numbers, and have wide open spaces. Their peoples can move
into these more open spaces, but instead they are moving into the cities. This is the pattern for the rest of the world. As the total numbers of people
increase, they are distributed unevenly. There are many open, empty spaces, such as the Sahara Desert, the grasslands of Africa, the steppes of
Russia, and China, the Amazon forests, the glaciers of Greenland. But the peoples are moving to the cities, away from the fields to the slums of
Tokyo, 32 million; Mexico, New York, Mumbai,  with 20 million; Jakarta, Sao Paulo, Delhi, 19 million; Osaka, Shanghai, 17 million.
Planners and politicians of the United Nations argue about the merits of the field or the city. The consensus, at this time, is that it may be better for the
peoples to be concentrated where they can receive social benefits and medical care, where schools and hospitals are easily accessible by bus or
The United Nations Population Agency estimates that 43% of the global population is under the age of 25.  2.2 billion are children, of which many will
die before they get to 5 years old. A significant improvement in child care and medicine will lead to a lower death rate, and an increase in population
over the next ten years. 1.8 billion of the 7 billion  is aged between 10 and 25 and now form the largest cohort of young people ever. Even though
there are more children and adolescents, there is evidence [www.geography.about.com] that the numbers of children have stabilized, even that in
some areas we have ‘peak child’[after Gunnar Rundgren.] In particular, many of the countries of the ‘developed’ world have a declining population.
For example, Ukraine: 0.8% natural decrease annually; 28% total population decrease by 2050; Russia: -0.6%; -22%; Belarus -0.6%; -12%;Bulgaria -
0.5%; -34%; Latvia -0.5%; -23%; Lithuania -0.4%; -15%; Hungary -0.3%; -11%;Romania -0.2%; -29%;Estonia -0.2%; -23%; Moldova -0.2%; -21%;
Croatia -0.2%; -14%;Germany -0.2%; -9%; Czech Republic -0.1%; -8%; Japan 0%; -21%; Poland 0%; -17%;Slovakia 0%; -12%; Austria 0%; 8%
increase; Italy 0%; -5%; Slovenia 0%; -5%; Greece 0%; -4%.

Fewer families comprise 4 or 6 children; more have two children. In China, it is still the case that one child families are the norm and will result in a
slower/smaller natural expansion of population  by child birth. Overall, it seems that birth rates are down. And the threatened ‘population explosion’,
predicted in the 1990’s, is not going to happen. Global Issues.org  reports that it is also the case that 21,000 children die everyday! that is, 7.6 million
a year!

From UNICEF, ‘State of the World’s children’  2010:
22 million infants are not protected from diseases by routine immunization;
7.6 million children  worldwide died before their 5th birthday in 2010;
4 million newborns worldwide are dying in the first month of life;
2 million children under 15 are living with HIV;
500,000 women die each year from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.

.  The UN Population Agency suggests that the future increases in total population will be the result of higher survival rates amongst all sectors of the
living population rather than significant  increases in birth rates. People will live longer due to better medical care. Babies and their mothers will survive
as a result of secure water, sanitation, vaccination. Wikipedia/CIA World Fact Book inform us that in 1965 it was normal for 15.5 persons per 1000 to
die. They forecast that in 2015 the death rate will be 8.3 per 1000. It is clear that the ‘population explosion’ has not happened. The families in the
countries of the developing world  are not having many children, but are trying to control their lives by adopting family planning.  We must recognize
that higher survival rates will occur only if  aid resources are allocated to improved social benefits and medical care.
At the same time, we already know that extreme events like floods, drought, higher temperatures, lower rainfall, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunami,
will disastrously impact upon communities on islands, by the coast, in grasslands, and will result in higher death rates. Given that large numbers of
people are living by the coasts, they may be subject to natural disasters leading to mass loss of life, as we have seen over the years in the Ganges
Delta, Aceh in Indonesia, the Fukushima tsunami in Japan, where thousands of people were swept away by the sea.

Why is it that economists, politicians, sociologists, social ecologists, planners and such like, are so concerned about the numbers of people on the
The UNFPA, in their recent report, ask why focus on the over population by the ‘poor many’?  Why pay little attention to the over-consumption of the
‘rich few’?
It is easy to forget that out of the 7 billion, 10 million people control $50 trillion of global GDP and $19 trillion is spent by the 500,000 who each earn
more than $100,000 a year. 0.05% of the global population live in luxury, controlling 80% of the wealth. 99.95% live in relative poverty.
Nearly all the consumption and production that occurs in communities is managed by the ‘1%’ of the global population. These figures reveal that over
consumption, exploitation of resources, the drive for growth and profit is manipulated by the 1%. It is not the direct impact of increasing population.
We have to accept that many of the adults included in the other 6.5 billion [along with 2,2 billion children, or 1.8 billion youth]  may not have more than
$2 dollars a day each, and will only be scratching a living in the fields or searching for scraps in the slums.
Social ecologists like Ted Trainer and Frank Peirce argue that across the world an average person requires 2.7 hectares of land to provide their
basic needs for food, water, and fuel. In India each person uses 1 hectare. On the other hand, the average American consumes the output from 9.5
hectares. If every citizen lived the lifestyle of the average American, we would need the land space equivalent to 5 Planets Earth. Therefore,  most
people cannot aspire to the standards of living enjoyed by the Americans, or the citizens of the EU, or Japan. There is not enough land. The 6.5 billion
have no prospect of achieving the capitalist dream of the 500,000.  
Once they realize this, they will demand some answers, and demonstrate against their governments. Their future will be social unrest! Social protest!
In some countries, their present is already demonstration and riot, and government change.
At this time, 2011, the majority of global resources and most of the pollution, are the responsibility of the capitalist elite, the 10+ million. The present
environmental crises are not the result of excessive consumption by the majority.
It is true that if the 99% did demand more income, more food, more water, more jobs, more services, and facilities, their demands would destroy the
biosphere. Planners, politicians, and managers and governors are concerned about the total number of people on Earth in anticipation of the
consequences of their future demands simply because their demands cannot be met. Human societies are caught in a trap. Many citizens want jobs,
better wages, so as to buy more things. They want growth and savings so as to secure their futures. They do not want to spend their lives scratching
the soil or scavenging the streets.
But a sustainable future for all is one without growth. A sustainable future is a subsistent, low growth economy. The poor majority will have to stay on
the farm and in the village or in the city and the  slum. The governments will have to devise projects to make their lives acceptable, tolerable, bearable.
The truth is that even if communities removed the rich elite, and redistributed their wealth, the monies would not improve the lives of the 7+ billion. For
example, the $70 trillion, controlled by the 1%, divided amongst the 7 billion would provide a gift of $10,000, but no security for the future. The
governments of the day would be better advised to tax the rich and spend the taxes on social benefits, social enterprises, and medical care.
At the moment, there are large empty spaces: at some time, there will have to be migration from the urban areas e.g. from China to Russia; India to
China; from Europe to Russia; from Europe to Canada; from Europe to Australia; Arabia to Africa. Such changes in policy will cause significant
changes in perspectives, such as the abandonment of concepts of nationalism and country territory.
If  global population is to be more stabilized, overall family size will need to be reduced to one child per family, and family planning be freely available
to all citizens………whatever the local religions advocate!
We are at the stage where any improvements in health care will result in the survival of more people. 7 billion will become 7.5 billion simply by reducing
the number of deaths in childbirth, and offering care to the aged so that they live longer.
But as in the past, the future of the human race is rooted in innovation. For example, innovations and inventions could be planned to render life in
cold spaces, in hot  places, in slums, possible and more comfortable. Installations need to be designed to protect the shoreline. Water security can

only be achieved in future by desalinization of ocean waters. Now, water sources are wasted and  limit human survival. All nations must exploit the
most secure renewable energy, solar power, and export the power across the globe, such as, from the Sahara to the EU.
The benefits of high technology must be directed to better living standards for all citizens. The necessary innovations must be directed to enable
all people to live a ‘good life’. They should not be designed solely for the benefit of the inventor and innovator,  the capitalist entrepreneur.  The
innovations are to be part of a ‘social business’ network whereby communities are actively involved caring and sharing for each other.
If there are no changes, most people, that is 6+billion, will continue to be relatively poor, living in slums and working in rubbish or scratching the soil
in the fields. The poor majority will remain to be exploited by the capitalist elites. The 10+million capitalists will continue to form the ruling plutocracy
and organize the exploitation of the environment for the benefit of their own families. Their wealth will enable them to live wherever they please.
But for a fair, equitable future for all, they cannot be allowed to continue developing the capitalist system. All families and communities are to be part
of a cooperative, social business system which works in favour of 7+billion people, developing micro-finance to promote community enterpise., and
collective survival.

go to jkelvynrichards.blogspot.com

Money is an electronic demand deposit in a bank
Money is digital
Many people think of wealth as cash, in terms of coins and notes and gold, and they believe that the 1221 billionaires that have $4 trillion; or the 10.1
million people that have $40 trillion, keep it in a vault in their banks or on their premises. Of course, this cannot be the case because we are talking
about sums of ‘money’ that can only be conceived as entries in a statement of account, as digits, as units, as digital! Today the figures are mind
boggling. In 2011 the UN/World Bank estimated that the total legal tender is $600 trillion. In 2008, the Bank of England calculated that $200 trillion
had been lost in the sub-prime mortgage crisis. World Wealth Reports in 2011 said $60 trillion was produced by economic enterprise [GDP]; and
fund managers deal in thousands of $trillion dollars.
While I know what one pound or euro or dollar looks like, I have no idea about a trillion or a million. They only make sense as digital entries on a
balance sheet. They are digital money, numbers on balance sheets; that bankers tell us are the equivalent of ‘cash’!  
Remember that ‘cash money’ is only pieces of paper or metal coins or even buttons or shells. In fact, ‘money’ is anything that we declare as ‘money’,
a store of value, including lists of numbers on a balance sheet in a ledger displayed on computer screens.

Money as debt,
wealth as debt.
Today, the global banking system is Fractional Reserve Banking. This system states that private banks create new money as loans and that
governments do not print new money, unless ordered to do so by the Central Bank. [We often forget that governments have the right to print money
as they require.]
Fractional Reserve Banking allows private banks to lend many times more money than they have as deposits. As a simple example: if a private bank
has a deposit of $1, it can create loans that are x10, up to x70 even x100 according to the security offered to support the loan. So you may get a
loan of $70, but the bank has only $1.
A more realistic example is that the bank has cash deposits of $1million and can create up to $70 million/ $100million in new loan money as debt.
Most of the money created by banks is digital. It is not cash, nor hard currency.  
This leads to a paradox. If 97% of money is digital, created by a bank or finance house or hedge fund or investment fund as debt, does that mean that  ‘wealth’ is, in fact, debt? digital
money  created as a product of loan arrangements.
The ‘rich’, [that is, the 10.1 million millionaires,] have the greatest debts and are deemed to have the greatest wealth because the banks trust them
to pay back.  Their assets are all offered as security against their loans? They therefore have the greatest liabilities? Someone worth $1million is able
to borrow up to $70 million/ $100 million as debt, contracted to the bank to pay interest [$185 million @5% over 20 yrs.] and principal on the loan?

Banks create new money
According to Fractional Reserve Banking, a bank calculates the total deposits at the end of the day or week and uses the money to offer loans and  
to create new money. The bank may have GBP1 million in cash. This is placed in reserve. The bank offers loans and creates new money at the stroke
of a pen or computer key: say GBP20 million in total. The 1 million is used to create 20 million!
When I am given a loan by the bank, at a given interest rate for a period of years, I know it is digital, but I still think of it as a pile of ‘cash’ in my bank
vault.  Let us say that I borrow GBP1000 at 8% for 20 years. When a bank makes the loan, it simply types in to its account that I owe it a sum of
money - asset. It also types into my account that I have a bank deposit of the same amount - liability. There is no cash involved! It is ‘loan money’:
they are digital entries. The bank has not given me actual money, but I sign a contract that commits me to pay the amount and the compound interest
as if it was actual money. I have to pay for the service of making entries in bank statements that represent loan money + interest. In my case, over
the 20 years, I pay the principal, GBP1000, and the interest, GBP4660.  The bank gains an asset of GBP5660. What I did not realize until now is that
the bank, from the start, gave me  an electronic demand deposit. I gave the bank 240 monthly cash payments, worth in total GBP5660.

Is this theft? Is it fraud? Is it a con-trick? Is it a Ponzi scheme?
It is what banks are allowed to do! It is how they create new money.

Of course, each transaction does have administrative costs that would justify a fee. But each transaction generates payments for the bank of principal
plus interest: a complete fraud; grand larceny! given that the principal is created, and then deleted as digital entries. At the present time, the income
of banks depends upon the creation of ‘loan money’. It is in the interests of banks to make the biggest loans possible so that they can receive the
principal + interest. If there are no loans, there is no new money, no interest, and no profits.
New Economics Foundation [2011] tells me that in the UK each year banks create money and lend at interest, generating profits of GBP20 billion.
The banks are totally dependent upon making loans so as to make new money. Recently, at the meetings of the Finance ministers of the EU and the
USA, Sept. 2011, we had a classic example of Fractional Reserve Banking. It had been agreed that E440 billion be allocated to a European Financial
Stability Fund. Tim Geithner, the Secretary of State of the Treasury for the USA [and once leading member of GoldmanSachs] urged the fund to offer
the sum as loans and so create up to E1.5 trillion. The matter was not resolved.

Casino Banking
As banking has become ‘unregulated’, bankers have been devising more devices such as CDOs[collateral debt obligations] and CDS [credit default
swaps] to allow them to cover their ‘risk’ of default. They can now make loans to any one and insure against loss. Collateral or security is no longer
required. Or so they thought.
What happened in 2004 to 2008 is that banks and funds made loans to clients who had little money, little income, and who would default! At that time,
what became important was the ‘loan’, and the chance to create new money with interest.[every 1000 generates 5660] After all, the loan money was
‘created’ and ‘deleted’ by the stroke of computer key. It did not really exist. It did not matter to whom, and for what, the loan was agreed. The lenders
did not care about the creditability of the borrowers because they had devised an insurance strategy whereby they were insured for ‘default’. In the
USA some banks packaged the loans as AAA derivatives and sold them on as investments packages.
Banks made more profits from the default insurance and derivatives than from the loans.  The banks gained, whether the clients paid their loans or
defaulted. There is evidence that banks made bets for default and against payment. They sold mortgages, and then gambled that the clients would
default. When they did, the bankers won their bet, and the clients lost their houses. What sort of con-trick is that? But then in 2007, millions of clients
stopped paying principal + interest and stopped seeking loans, stopped settling their debts. The banks lost income, had no money to pay their own
debts, and went bankrupt. They demanded that the USA government printed money to bail them out. Yet another fraud. Elsewhere, the clients took
fright and demanded their money back, causing a run on the bank. As we know the banks did not have the cash, as they had used it to make loans.
Very soon the banks and the clients had no money! Yet another fraud! How do the banks get away with it?

Governments and Banking
The customers of banks and credit companies are actively involved in the creation of new money as debt. I realize now that the banks had devised a
system for actively creating new money as debt, and on a global scale. For example, governments are the biggest customers of private banks. In the
past they could not raise enough revenue to fund their demands for weapons, war, or social welfare services, or civil service salaries and pensions,
health services, etc., so they arranged with some banks to borrow the money. The banks made sure that it was available at once and managed it to
secure the costs of the governments. The situation today has developed and expanded, and salaries, savings, and production and sales are part of
the loan system.
I think about my salary or my pension as if it was ‘cash in hand’. But it was not! They were payments made by public corporations in the Education
Services. There was no cash. All payments were digital entries into my bank accounts. So I have to confront the fact that my employers - the
education ministry and the government- all borrowed loan money to pay for their public services. The principal was created, and will be deleted, at the
end of the contract. This is tantamount to saying that the principal sum exists only as the basis for the calculation of the interest fee to be charged
and paid.  Fractional Reserve Banking means that customers and corporations do not need ‘cash’.  They do need a finance house whose customers
feel confident enough to allow it to create ‘loan money’ for them. Corporations and governments borrow the money from the Central Banks and their
affiliated private banks. Today, the economies of the world are managed by these private banks. Governments are slow to reform the banking system
because they are totally embroiled and dependent upon the creation of new money. The officers of governments have forgotten, or worse, do not
know, that a legal government is fully entitled to create new money by printing it, and does not have to borrow it.

‘Promise to pay’
The validity of debt is the ‘promise to pay’. It is not necessary for the customers to have the money at the time of their loans. The banks create the
money as ledger entries, so nobody has the money as cash. The expanding demands for products are based on debt. The producers and businesses
and consumers borrow the money from the bankers and investors. The whole system is based on ‘promise to pay’ and no one pays up front.
The most reliable promises to pay are thought to be  those of governments, and these are categorized AAA investments. Over recent years, this
game has been played out. Governments have been enticed by their bankers to borrow more and more money, and pay increasing rates of interest ,
and have gone bankrupt!

Rich or Poor
If all this is correct, what does it mean to be ‘wealthy’ or ‘rich’ or ‘poor’?
To be poor is to have no cash and no access to loan money, no debt.  
To be ‘wealthy’ is to be in debt. You will have access to cash which can be used to create loan money. But everything you have was bought on
credit, as a debt with loan money or advances from credit cards; And  is used as collateral to secure the loan.
To be ‘rich’, a millionaire, is to have sources of cash, and investments, and to be in debt with access to money as credit.
It is important to remember that the majority of the global population is poor: 80% survive on less than $10 a day; 95% on less than $64 a day. Only
an elite minority are actively involved in the Fractional Reserve Banking game. The poor majority will never be able to access a bank loan.
But everybody is subject to the effects of loans to Corporations and Governments. As we have seen recently, during the so-called ‘African Spring’
the leaders of  the governments of  Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Morocco, among many others, all had secret accounts in
‘big banks’ worth many billions of dollars or pounds or euros. They were involved in major loan negotiations for the purchase of weapons, aircraft,
ships and, of course, personal luxuries! The loans and derivatives and swaps derived by the ‘big banks’ to benefit these governments, constantly
disrupt the lives of the citizens, the poor majority. The governments create huge debts, and tax their citizens to gather revenue to pay the debts.
Corporations may want to exploit forests, rivers, minerals, farming, roads, railways,  for their own profit, and will negotiate with governments and
banks to raise the finance. The local citizens may get jobs….if they are lucky!

Capitalism and Debt
2011. The current disputes and accusations criticizing governments, such as Greece, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, Ireland, that have large debts, is a
complete farce, fraud, deceit. It ignores the fact that every citizen in developed countries; all corporations, and all governments across the world are
in debt. The debts are being managed and manipulated by the private banks and their central banks for their profits.
The essence of a system of Fractional Reserve Banking is that 97% of wealth is ‘loan money’, represented as digital entries on balance sheets. The
capitalist system operates as a debt system. The Central Banks of Europe, and the USA, the IMF, and the World Bank are private corporations
protecting the interests of the private banks, who are determined to maintain their control over governments. They do this by promoting the system
of ‘debt money’, and making sure that each government pays their debts:  principal + interest, impoverishing themselves, and enriching the central
banks and their associated banks.
The current crises in the EU are generated and maintained by the system of debt money. For example, If  any government,say Greece, wants to
borrow $1million for 10 years@8%, they will have to pay back principal + interest, $3,158,925.. If the same government wants to borrow another
$1 million for 10 years, the banks can demand 25% interest, and the repayment of $10,313,225. The con-trick is that the excessive interest makes
sure that the client defaults; the banks are able to make credit default swaps to bet on the default. The banks win, the client loses everything. In this
way loans of $2 million are converted into repayments of $13,472,150! and drive the government to bankruptcy.[It is worth reminding ourselves that
the banks arrange the loans to create the money out of nothing and generate their profits from the repayments]. If any country such as Greece,
experiences an economic decline, leading to recession, and depression, growth stops. It no longer generates enough profit to pay off the debts, nor
to organize government services. As it is part of the Eurozone, it is not allowed to print money to solve any deficit. It becomes bankrupt. If Greece
defaults, the banks are deprived of their profits.
On the other hand, the financial demands of some countries, like the USA, UK, Japan, are so great that they arrange with the banks to pay only the
interest. For example, the national debt of the USA is $15 trillion. The government pays only the annual interest of $500 billion. The economy of the
USA must grow at an agreed rate so as to generate a surplus to pay loan interest. If not it will default.
On a smaller scale, if you want to start a business, and  get a bank loan, you sign a contract with a bank to pay the principal + interest in return for
the bank paying your costs. It means that you are working for the bank. If you want to pay off your debts, then your business must grow, and make
more profits. Debts trigger the drive for growth.

Social Reform
As long as we operate Fractional Reserve Banking it will be impossible to develop a steady state economy and to control growth and production and
limit resource exploitation.Of course, any government could change the rules, abandon Fractional Reserve Banking, cancel all loans, and set up a
new system of finance. Any government could abandon  'an Industrial Growth Economy' and develop a 'steady state economy'.
If the 'developing world' wanted to live in the future at the current rates of consumption of Europe and the USA, they  would need the
biocapacity of  5 Earths. This is impossible. The Earth may be 'developing' but it is not 'growing'. We cannot 'grow' forever on a finite planet.
We are already consuming too many resources, producing more waste than we can absorb, living beyond our ecological means. A steady
state economy is stable, with little growth, no debt, full reserve banking, greater equality, redistribution of wealth, a steady population,
limited consumption, sustainable, with a balanced ecosystem.

Banking Reform
There are global demands for the reform of the Fractional Reserve Banking system. Even the present Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King,
has admitted that it is unsustainable, undesirable, unstable, unreliable.
Fractional Reserve Banking, as currently practiced, requires governments to raise taxes to pay off their loans. It is no longer the case that taxes are
used to fund government programmes. Private banks are not supposed to manage the finances and economics of a country but they do. Only
Governments are allowed by law to print money, to create money as currency, but banks create new money from loans as debt. Over recent months
in the UK, the printing of new money, or quantitative easing as it is now called, is reported as a weakness, as undesirable. This is a marker of the
extent to which we have all become deceived by the private bankers and their drive to maximize their  profits. It is common sense to assert that if
governments could print the monies they need, then they would not need banks! nor have to pay interest.
Whereas governments could/should print the money that they require to operate their government services and facilitate the payment of wages and
project costs, Fractional Reserve Banking drives the capitalist system to depend on debts, to promote growth at 5/10/15% per year, so as to pay
off loans, and make investments. Once growth stalls, the capitalist system goes into decline, depression, recession. Corporations and governments
become bankrupt, unable to pay off loans, unable to make loans, going out of business.
As we have seen, Banks are allowed to create up to 70 times their cash reserves. GBP1,000,000 is used to create
GBP70,000,000. This reserve-ratio is regarded by many as  too great, leading the banks to create too much unsecured ‘debt money’ at too high
interest rates .
But the banks could be subject to much stricter regulation: 1,000,000 creating 10,000,000.Some reformers want to be stricter and demand that a
reserve of GBP1,000,000 can only be used to create a debt of GBP1,000,000: that all loans are secured by matching reserves. This is called Full
Reserve Banking. Strangely, this represents what many people believe is how banks operate at the moment – a measure of the deception that has
been promoted by all banks. The new  rule would be that if banks  made a loan of GBP1million, a reserve of 1million must be placed in the Bank of
England. If this is to be effective, it would have to operate in all currencies across the world. It would have to be strictly regulated.
Many citizens, including myself, want the convenience of cash deposits being held in their local bank, and bills being paid as a service. This money
is not to be available for investment, nor for casino banking. This money is not to be available for loan money. It is to be safe for my purposes, not
for those of the bank. On the other hand, I recognize that many clients will want their money to be invested for the highest possible returns, and are
willing to take the consequences in the case of financial crises. This reform would lead to the separation of  investment accounts, and current  
The government of a country has the legal right to print money. Any government could/should print money to cover debts and budgets according to
needs. In fact, if a government printed money as needed, there would be no need to borrow money; nor to pay  principal + interest; nor for taxation.
Under this system, the Treasury would manage the country’s finances, and control deflation and inflation, through the Bank of England.  
Another version of this sort of reform is community currency. According to this, local communities in towns and neighbourhoods agree to create a
system of exchange whereby services are provided and paid for by local citizens using a local currency e.g. Totnes pound; Brixton pound. This
strategy  secures trade within a locality, and eliminates international exchanges. It has become popular recently in Italy where towns have abandoned
the euro so as to create a local currency and avoid all the current difficulties.
The present difficulties in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, are derived from the Fractional Reserve Banking. Their governments were enticed to
negotiate loans with ‘big banks’ and are now saddled with the payment of  principal + interest. I am no expert, but it seems to me that the situation
would be greatly improved if they were required to repay the interest only, at a lower rate. As we have seen above, the principal is created and
deleted as digital entries. Of course, all the accusations are being made by the ‘big banks’ of France and Germany simply because they want to
secure their profits, and to avoid the precedent of national default. They are not in the least concerned about the future of the EU.
The model for the survival of these countries may be seen in ‘community currencies’. At the moment, they are all part of the Eurozone and are
committed to the euro. But given that the eurozone is subject to the management of the private banking system of the World Bank, IMF and
Central Banks these countries have to grow and make profits. If a country cannot grow and make profits, then it may be better to create a ‘country
currency’. This currency would be valid only in the country. The government could print the currency as needed. There would be no loans, and no
interest to be paid. In the case of Greece, it could reissue the ‘drachma’ and manage the economy to benefit the citizens, and not the central banks.
Alternatively, the unity of the EU and the eurozone could be secured by appointing an EU Central Bank as an agency for the EU, and printing euros
in response to the needs of the European Union, and member countries.

YOUTUBE, video, Money as Debt.
YOUTUBE, video, Money as Debt II
YOUTUBE: video, Zeigeist
YOUTUBE: video, Debtocracy
DVD: Inside Job, Charles Ferguson
DVD: The Ascent of Money, Niall Ferguson
Money and Debt, Josef Hasslberger 1999.
Green New Deal, the Green New Deal Group, 2011.
Good Banking, the New Economics Foundation with Compass, 2011
How poor is Poor, the New Economics Foundation 2011
Enough is Enough, report of the Steady State Economy Conference 2008
The Great Transition, New Economics .org., 2010

3.TIPPING POINTS: for a global, capitalist, high growth system
[Aug 2011]

This essay is an analysis of the implications of our tendencies to see issues in isolation, and our attempts to resolve them as single issues. We
consistently  ignore the facts that the resolution of one issue can make others worse: tipping us from one crisis to another. For example, we may
welcome the declaration of water as a human right, ignoring the fact that across the globe, water is not secure. We may want to promote a steady
state economy, without planning for no-growth markets. We may welcome peak demands, but then resent our dependence on other countries.


1.  Various scientists, such as Prof. Hubbert, have confirmed that the global economy has reached ‘peak oil’. It happened in the USA in 1976, meeting
Hubbert’s  prediction. Since that time the USA has been consuming more and more  global oil. And the American politicians have been complaining
increasingly about the US dependence on other countries. What this means is that the world demand for oil exceeds supply. This peak has come at
a time when countries like China, India, Brazil, are greatly increasing their demands. The consequences of the shortage of oil supply over the next 50
years will be the increasing economic decline of the principal countries of the G8/ G20/ and even G70.   We all have to accept that once the oil has
been drilled out of the ground, there is no more. The global economy is currently totally dependent on fuel oils for transport, heating, petrochemicals
such as fertilizers. The ‘developing world’ will not take kindly to the fact that the ‘developed world’ has already taken the best, the most accessible,
and  most of fuel oil!  

At the same time, we have reached the point of ‘peak coal’. Many people have not been bothered by this trend because they have believed that the
large scale use of various coals was over: this is to forget that in 2011 coal is still used to generate most of the electricity across the world. The
development of industries across China and India will become increasingly dependent upon electricity, as generated from ‘hydro’; or from
lignite/bituminous coal  or from ‘nuclear power’. Any support for nuclear power is constantly undermined by ecological disasters as at Fukushima in
Japan 2011; or Three Mile Island in USA in 1979; Chernobyl in USSR/Ukraine 1986; as well as several other disasters. For some reason or other, the
producers seem incapable of designing trouble-free nuclear power stations. It became clear during the recent Fukushima disaster that the operators
believed that nothing could go wrong with their design. The stupidity of constructing   nuclear power stations within active seismic zones did not seem
to have crossed  their minds.
It has been predicted that the decline and fall of the use of the fossil fuels as key sources of energy will stop most of the infrastructure of modern life.
There is a continuing debate about whether or not iron and steel have reached their peak productions.

2.  July, 2010.UN General Assembly declared access to clean water and sanitation, a human right. Safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a
human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights. The UN has voiced deep concern that an estimated 884 million people
lack access to safe drinking water and a total of more than 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation. Studies also indicate that about
1.5 million children under the age of five die each year and 443 million school days are lost because of water- and sanitation-related diseases.
Water does cover about two-thirds of the Earth's surface, but most of it is too salty for use by humans. Only 2.5% of the world's water is not salty, but
two-thirds of that is locked up in the icecaps and glaciers. Of what is left, about 20% is in remote areas, and much of the rest arrives at the wrong time
and place, as monsoons and floods. Humans have available less than 0.08% of all the Earth's water. We use about 70% of this water in agriculture.
It is worth noting that a continuing  water crisis places a direct limit on the growth and survival of human societies.  
The Ecologist journal reports in August 2011 that one person in six [ 1.15 billion] across the world has no access to safe drinking water.  One in two
[3.45 billion] lacks safe sanitation. Adequate, safe water is key to good health and a proper diet. There are still some 2.6 billion people around the
world who have to use pit latrines or defecate in the open.  The Gates Foundation has just announced a $370 million project over several years to
develop a toilet that doesn't need water, mains power or sewerage and that will cost next to nothing. They are asking inventors to imagine a toilet that
takes human waste and converts it into minerals for fertiliser and clean water, while harvesting energy in the process. The toilet will not use water,
doesn’t need the expensive infrastructure of a sewerage system, doesn’t need to be connected to mains electricity and, unlike composting toilets,
doesn’t need lots of space and time. If this new multi-million dollar project, the ‘Reinventing the toilet challenge’, is a success, such a toilet may soon
become a reality.
Until then, inadequate sanitation causes an estimated 1.5 million children to die each year due to diarrhoeal diseases. But with water scarce -
1.6 billion people currently live on less than one thousand litres of water a year and by 2020, experts predict that this figure will rise to between
3.2 and 4.6 billion (the average Briton uses 55,000). Toilets that flush the problem away, using precious water and expensive infrastructure, are clearly
not the answer. Although they will be so high-tech that they will probably need to be controlled by a microprocessor, the toilets must not exceed a cost
of 5 cents per person per day.
'Over time, we’d like to bring this cost down to even less than this,' says Frank Rijsberman, director of the Global Development Programme of the
Gates Foundation. The toilets will be sold, rather than given away, 'for them to be sustainable,' says Rijsberman. All the concept toilets rely on the
separation of urine from faeces with the subsequent drying and burning of solids and some form of liquid treatment, such as osmosis or evaporation.
Some models meet the requirements for a unit suitable for a single household, others will be community toilets that treat larger volumes of waste,
perhaps off-site. For example, in South Africa, specially designed toilet pedestals that separate urine from faeces are already fairly common. The
project of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in conjunction with eThekwini Water and Sanitation (Durban) will take this technology further by combusting
solid waste to a pathogen-free ash that can be used as a phosphate and carbon rich fertiliser. Heat generated in the combustion will be used to dry
solids and to concentrate the liquid stream, resulting in a liquid fertiliser after osmosis. In the project, a simple transport system for faeces and urine
will be set up. Liquid waste will be collected using appropriate technology such as a bicycle pump system already in use for emptying pit latrines. For
reasons of hygiene, solid waste will be transported directly in the toilet containers.  
It is important that access to clean water and sanitation is formally declared a human right. The declaration enables the UN General Assembly to
apply political pressure to member countries to provide safe water and sanitation for all their citizens as well as to  support the initiatives offered by
The UN Declaration is made, and welcomed, despite a continuing fresh water crisis due to the rise in global population: {at the moment estimated to
be 7 billion, and projected to be 9 billion by 2050};  the desire for better living standards, as countries like Brazil, China, India, Russia increase their
GDP;  the inefficiency of the way we use much of the available water e.g. irrigation wastes water on a prodigal scale, with the water trickling away or
simply evaporating before it can do any good. Pollution makes more of this water unfit for use. Increasingly, governments are seeking subterranean
supplies of groundwater; about 80% of the world's population live in areas where the fresh water supply is not secure.  
Future water shortages are a growing concern for business, according to a global survey published November 2010, organised by the Carbon
Disclosure Project, which does research on behalf of 137 institutional investors representing US$16 trillion of holdings. Sectors reporting the
greatest exposure to water risks include food, drinks; tobacco, metals, and mining. A report from consultants ERM was requested by institutional
investors who want to know how much risk their investments face from water problems. The research shows that more than half of the 147 firms
responding expect problems with water in the next 1-5 years. Some 60% of firms have already set performance targets on the way they use water.
It shows that 39% of the firms are already suffering from water related issues - including disruption from drought or flooding, declining water quality,
and increases in water prices. The report predicts that the issues will get much worse as the world demand for water is projected to soar over the next
few decades.
The UK's chief scientist, John Beddington, has warned that water scarcity will form part of a perfect storm of environmental problems. The challenge
lies in managing what we have among competing users, whether they are firms, communities or natural systems. It is clear that water scarcity is more
problematic for prosperity and growth than any other factor.

The population of the world continues to increase:
7 billion people on Oct 31 2011.  Water scarcity  limits the .survivability  of communities.  What
should the UN be proposing to match the numbers of people and the availability of resources? and the patterns of greater pollution?  What should
countries be doing to control their increasing populations? Many detailed studies of human population, as presented in WIKIPEDIA, reveals that up to
the 18th.century population doubled every 32,000 years. But after 1900 population has doubled every 31 years. It is now 7 billion; predicted to rise to
9 billion by 2050. All the evidence indicates that the world resources will not be able to support this number, particularly not with the economic
demands of the richest sectors of society in the USA or the EU or Japan. Key resources are in decline, and industrial growth is limited, but global
population increases [for the moment.]

3.  Ecologists and biologists have made it clear that more than 450 particles per million of water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide,
ozone, chloroflourocarbons in the atmosphere initiate greenhouse effects, leading to extensive problems of pollution and climate change. The
biosphere increases in temperature and patterns of precipitation change with the results that glaciers melt, zones dry up, deserts spread, seas rise
in level, and coastal areas and small islands submerge. These changes have resulted in the mass extinction of species in the biosphere.
4. The current arguments concern whether or not the widespread effects of global industrialization and urbanisation have led to global air pollution
and climate change? Or that climate change is the result of an inter-glacial phase? or is a response to sunspot activity  and increased solar
If it is the result of ‘natural forces’, then we do not have to change. It can be ‘business as usual’. The capitalist ethic of ‘grow or die’ is sustainable.  
The Stern Report, for the UK Treasury, 2006, and the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, (2007), Working Group III, Fourth Assessment
Report, 2007, and 2009, concluded that  the greenhouse problems can be solved, at negligible cost, without any need to question the commitment to
affluent living standards and economic growth.

If we accept that human intervention is the cause of climate change, then we must recognize that human behaviour has to change. Ted Trainer, of
the University of New South Wales, in his latest analysis, published in The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, Vol.4, No. 4
(October 2008) argues that the cost and difficulty of resolving the greenhouse problem will be significantly greater than is foreseen by these two
previous studies. Once the concentration of carbon dioxide and other gases has reached 450 parts per million, Trainer presents evidence to show
that the greenhouse problem cannot be solved without large scale reductions in the volumes of economic production and consumption. He asserts
that the greenhouse problem cannot be solved within a society committed to free market capitalism and affluent living standards, maximum levels of
economic output, and economic growth. The ‘limits to growth’ school, as presented by Ted Trainer, has been arguing for half a century that consumer
societies are fundamentally unsustainable. Ted Trainer argues that the alarming greenhouse/ energy/ equity  problems now threatening us cannot
be solved within any capitalist/consumer society but require a vast and radical transition to very different economic, political and value systems and
structures. A simpler way is the only way forward. We must drastically reduce economic production and consumption.
Is it possible to stop climate change and environmental pollution if we stop the emissions of heat trapping gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane?
A report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 2009,
proposes that it is too late and that it will not be possible to stop climate change and environmental pollution. Many people who worry about global
warming hope that once emissions of heat-trapping gases decline, the problems they cause will quickly begin to abate. Now researchers are saying
that such hope is ill founded, at least with regard to carbon dioxide. Because of the way carbon dioxide persists in the atmosphere and in the oceans,
and the way the atmosphere and the oceans interact, patterns that are established at peak levels will produce problems like  inexorable sea level rise
and Dust-Bowl-like droughts for at least a thousand years. According to this view, the damage has already been done!
5. GROWTH?  STEADY STATE?                                                                                      
The object of capitalist enterprise is to gain maximum profits for the entrepreneurs; to ensure growth. For  capitalists, the preservation and protection
of the environment is not a priority. The alleviation of poverty is not on the agenda. Under this system, citizens can save money and spend; or save,
lend , borrow and spend; can borrow against collateral and spend. If there is no hurry, one can save and spend. But once you realize that the Banks
will lend you money at once as long as you have assets to secure the loan money, then most of us will borrow the money at once. On our promise to
pay principal and interest, the Bank will create the loan money on our balance sheet as if by magic!  That is, they do not make/print the money as
cash. They write the contract on a balance sheet, and present the loan as ‘digital money’. Cash money does provide the base for digital money…..
3% to 97%. A growth economy is based on fractional reserve banking; on debt. When there is a financial crisis, it is based on fears of no growth and
default. As we have seen recently, the crisis is created by the banks: creating too much debt.                                                                      
It is not the case that governments have no money. It is the case that Governments are the legal issuers of money, printers of money. Governments
specify what is legal tender, or what is known as ‘fiat money’. Money is printed by governments, but it is given to the bank consortia e.g the Federal
Reserve in the USA, the Bank of England in the UK, the European Bank in the EU, who then decide the bank rate.                                                                                                            
In fact, according to the present regulations, the State has only two ways to obtain money: one, is by taxation of citizens; the other is borrowing from
the private banks. When the Central Bank issues money, this is done in the form of a loan. The State has to borrow this money, and must promise to
repay it, with interest. Taxes are used to pay the interest not the principal. Over the years these loans form the ‘national debt’. For some countries, the
national debt is so great that there is no chance of repayment. In the USA, today, the national debt is $14.5 trillion, and the interest payments are
$500 billion a year. These numbers are so large, that there has been a major political dispute between the President/ the Congress/and the Senate in
the last 3 weeks[2011] as to whether to pay off or default. In the UK, 2011, the national debt is 2.253 trillion GBP, with interest payments of 92 billion
GBP. Usually, tax payments are used to pay the debt interest, not to pay for public services. The UK government has been involved in a massive
programme of  budget cuts so as to control the national debt. However, it is important for us to realize that Governments could print the money it
needs to pay for social services. But we have established a banking system according to which governments and corporations and individuals borrow
money, repay money, and pay interest for the privilege, and do not print money.
97% of   money is  digital money.                                                                                                                                
It is not coins  nor notes nor gold.  In fact, at this time, 3% of money in circulation is cash and notes; 97% is digital entries on electronic records.  So
your bank can create money out of nothing, it can cash in the interest, and then it can uncreate that money,  subsequently  repeating the cycle with
another willing customer. Under the rules of fractional reserve banking, banks are not required to hold in cash the value of the loan. . A bank with
GBP 1 million in cash can lend up to GBP 60 million. The bank does not have this money, it creates it: on a promise by the customers to pay principal
+interest. This is highly unreliable and fraudulent. Banks are dealing ‘magic money’.        
6. Fractional Reserve Banking enables banks to issue loans that are many times their total holdings. The banks get away with it on condition that few
clients claim their money back. The recent financial crises occurred because many borrowers defaulted on their loans, failing to pay back the loans
and not paying interest. When the depositors came for their monies, there was a run on banks. The banks ran out of money. The system collapsed.
Can the banking system be made more reliable and secure? Banking laws should be changed to exclude the autonomous creation of money as debt
by banks and allow the issue of new currency by the governments. Full Reserve Banking demands that loan money is backed by cash in the Central
Bank: that is, GBP 60million in loans is matched by GBP60 million in cash.  1%. The next stage is for governments to take over their legal currency
roles and to issue money according to social need as social credits. The development of a Steady State Economy is one which does not depend upon
growth. It promotes the creation of products according to social need. It will lead to a very different society: one which is not based on profit
7. A full world? A poor majority?                                                                                                                                               400 years of capitalism has
succeeded in enriching a few, and leaving the majority of the world population in poverty. 10 million people control most of the global wealth,
$40 trillion in 2010. And 1221 billionaires have $4 trillion. This leaves up to 6.8 billion people trying to survive and thrive with less than $30 a day;
including 5.5 billion with less than $10 a day; and 1.4 billion starving on $1.25 a day.    When one talks about ‘a full world’, as part of the capitalist
growth  economy,’ it can only refer to a minority. Even the richest countries in the world, such as China and India, have millions of poor people. In
the USA, 14% of the population is poor and unemployed. Across the world, 1 in 7 are involved in the manufacturing and consumption of all products,
and producing waste and pollution. Aspirations to a ‘steady state economy’ will be subject to opposition from the poorest, none of whom have gained
any benefits from the operation of a capitalist, free market, system. It would be better to focus upon the development of a system that alleviates the
positions of the poorest majorities…and aspires to equality among the 7 billion people.

acknowledgement to NEF.

Fisher,I.(1936a),100% Money, New York, Adelphi

Frank,R,(2007)Falling Behind:How rising inequality harms the middle class,
Berkely C.A.: University of California Press

Friedman,M.(1960) A Program for Monetary Stability.New York: Fordham University Press.

King,M,(2010)“Banking:From Bagehot to Basel and Back Again”,
The Second Bagehot Lecture, Buttonwood Gathering, New York City, Monday 25thOctober 2010

Nef (the neweconomicsfoundation),(2000),
Creating NewMoney: A monetary reform for the information age, authors:JamesRobertsonandJamesHuber,London:nef

nef (the new economics foundation),2010,
Where Did Our MoneyGo? Building a banking system fit for purpose, London:nef

Stiglitz,J,and Weiss,A.,(1981),‘Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect   Information’,AmericanEconomicReview,vol.71,pp.393–410

Stiglitz,J.,andWeiss,A.,(1992)‘Asymmetric information in credit markets and its
Implications for macro-­economics’, Oxford Economic Papers, vol.44, no.4, October, pp.694-­‐724


Werner,R.A.(1997),Towards a New Monetary  Paradigm: a QuantityTheorem o fDisaggregated
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WernerR.,A(2009) Can Credit Unions Create Credit?An Analytical  Evaluation of a Potential Obstacle to the Growth of Credit Unions,
Discussion Paper Series, No2/09, Centre for Banking, Finance and Sustainable Development, Southampton University

Wilkinson, R., and Pickett, (2009) The Spirit Level: Why more equal societies almost always do better, Allen Lane:  London

Positive Money/New Economic Foundation/University of Southampton:  2010  Towards a 21st. Century banking and Monetary System

2. Democracy is a fantasy.                                     
Plutocracy is the reality.
November 1st. 2011, the OCCUPY MOVEMENT has spread across the world. It represents the fact that  99% of the global  population has realised
that most of the wealth of the world is controlled by 1%.  It is a declaration that the 99% should be directly involved in wealth redistribution by
occupying the premises of the banksters, the investors, that form the ruling plutocracy.
Taking a glance across the current pages of Social Ecology sites, [whether the Institute of Social Ecology, the New Compass, the Kommunalismi,
Inclusive Democracy, Green Fuse, ecologiesociale.ch., Zulenet], it becomes clear that ‘direct democracy’, ‘libertarian municipalism’ and  communalism
are key concepts, and local democracy by all citizens, a necessary practice.
One has to conclude,
first, that social ecology  is local democracy. The writings of Murray Bookchin, as well as Takis Fotopoulos, Peter Staudenmaier,
Janet Biehl, Eirick Eiglad, Brian Tokar, Bob Spivey, Dan Chodorkoff, Karl Hardy, Chaia Heller, Vincent Gerber and Jussi Haverinen, among others,
insist that the local government of local neighbourhoods by all the local residents in local assemblies will ensure that all localities will be governed for
the benefits of the local communities and their local environments. This form of direct democracy is considered to be essential for the conservation
and preservation of nature, wild life, environment, and the biosphere.
One can conclude, second,
that local democracy is  social  ecology.                               
Certainly, there is an assumption that when people are directly involved in the management and government of the municipality where they live, they
will act to protect and conserve this environment. Further, it is assumed that they will not take actions that will foster growth, and exploitation. Another
assumption is  that these citizens have the time and the will to make decisions in the interests of all, communal, rather than the one, anarchy. In such
a direct democracy, [to refer to Bookchin’s Communalist Project, 2002] the residents are enjoying and protecting ‘the good life’, self-sufficient,
sustainable, with health, wealth and happiness.  
In the future, this may be the case across the globe. But in 2011 this is a  fantasy!   What is more, I wish to propose that, at this time,
be it direct, local, participatory, or representative, is a fantasy.
It is a cover-up for plutocracy, rule by the wealthy. In 2006, Warren Buffett asserted
that ‘there’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.’ In this class war, the wealthy elite are in
control of the many.  The latest data indicates that 7 billion people including 2.2 billion children, live on earth.  The wealth reports [Forbes, CapGemini,
Merrill Lynch, SundayTimes] that were issued up to February 2012 confirm that wealth is not distributed equally, and that poverty is the norm for most
of the global population. ‘The good life’ is a fantasy.  There are at least 5.5 billion people, each surviving on less than $10 a day, of whom 1.5 billion
live in absolute poverty, trying to survive on less than $1 a day, of whom 1 billion are starving to death. Out of the total global population, perhaps
1.38 billion are living on between $11 and $274 a day, with 480 million each surviving and thriving on more than $100,000 a year, including 1226
billionaires with $4.6 trillion a year.
The wealth reports confirm that we live in a world in which 10 million individuals [all of whom are known and on record] accumulated $40 trillion GDP
last  year, that is; $4 million a year, or $11000 a day each. The global GDP in 2010 was $59 trillion. This means that 6.879 billion people shared
$19 trillion a year. Most of these people, who are found in China, India and sub-Saharan Africa, have less than $10 a day to feed their families. Fewer
than 0.15% of the world’s population control most of the wealth of the world and live in a capitalist paradise!  able to spend more than $11,000 a day
each: that is $44000 a day for a family of four. Today, this capitalist elite of 10 million does not only live in the USA. They are to be found in the
Asia/Pacific zone, of China, Japan, India, Singapore, Australia, where 3 million have $9.7 trillion; the Europe zone, including the EU, UK, Russia,
where 3 million have $9.5 trillion; and the USA, with Canada and Mexico, where 3.1 million have $10.1 trillion. These zones include many of the
dictators, and their families, across the world. The capitalist elite rule! The finances, economies, industries, governments of the world are controlled
by 10 million ultra-rich capitalists,
a global plutocracy.
You may want to dispute the relevance of wealth to the governance of countries: And I must admit that I am assuming that wealth means power and
influence, or at least provides the means to buy and bribe people in power. I would  remind you that the capitalist elite do own more than 80% of the
capital of the world, and so form the most significant group of investors and shareholders, and owners of the means of production. They are members
of boards of directors of all the major corporations, and decide the salaries and bonuses of the executive officers. In October 2011, the Financial
Times reported that they had been involved in the approval of pay increases of 49% for CEOs; and pay freezes for many others.
This elite of 10 million capitalists are the drivers of  economic growth and development in any one region. If they are ‘upset’, they can choose to invest
their money elsewhere. Newspaper reports over the last year have shown that the recent financial crises have left them relatively untouched: those in
China, Japan, India, Brazil, the UK, the USA, Germany and the EU have seen their fortunes expand by up to 33%! And even where there was ‘trouble’,
they have been compensated by the governments, who printed money, or paid tax revenues to them to restore liquidity. Their private debt was bought
by the governments and the Central Banks. Private was made public. And the poor lost their savings and their
Recent events in the Middle East and North Africa have revealed that the governments of Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Morocco, Jordan,
Bahrain, are the fiefdoms of millionaire dictators and their families and friends.  Their exercise of absolute power has finally been challenged by the
populace, for while many of the citizens of these various states have been living in absolute poverty, their leaders have been getting richer and richer,
and living in absolute luxury. Their displays of luxury and imposition of repression in their police states finally triggered rebellion.    The rebels have
shown that if you attack the families, you attack the governments; if you get rid of the families, you get rid of the governments.

And is this the story of the rest of the world? First, there is overwhelming evidence that  the gap between the rich and the poor grows ever larger, and
the rich elites control the so called ‘democratic’ governments of the industrial countries of the West, as well as the East. For example, the cabinets of
the USA, during the presidencies of Bush and Obama, as reported by the New York Times, and the BBC, have been dominated by millionaires, and
the corporations such as Haliburton, Exxon, Chevron, Alcoa, and Boeing. A report in the Wall Street Journal revealed recently that 237 members of
Congress were declared as millionaires.  In the UK, newspapers such as the Daily Mail, and the Telegraph, reported in 2010 that the coalition
government had 23 millionaires amongst the 29 members of the Cabinet! some aristocrats, some entrepreneurs, some inherited. In Indonesia, the
governing Senate of the Philippines has 23 Senators who are multi-millionaires. Recent reviews of the communist regimes in China and North Korea
indicated that the rulers are drawn from the elite members of the One Party! not from the poor majorities. Since the collapse of the USSR, the
government of the Russian Federation has been dominated by the ‘shenanigans’ of the ‘oligarchs’ such as Abramovitch, Khodorovsky, Medvedev,
Putin.  The Indian government, which has been declared the largest democracy in the world, has been accused recently of failing to curb corruption
and bribery, and allowing the capitalist elite to develop projects without any regard to local interests and conditions. There is overwhelming evidence
to show that ‘local direct democracy’ is at best a fantasy, and at worst a sham.
Across the world, local and national governments are the fiefdoms of the plutocracy, and are subject to bribery and corruption. 500 years of capitalist
enterprise from Queen Elizabeth I to Queen Elizabeth II has enriched less than 1% of the world’s population. Politicians’ beliefs, and financiers
assurances, about the ‘trickle down effect’ of wealth is an outright con-trick! The very wealthy plutocrats organize, and legislate the decisions and
laws in finance, economics, investments, profits, in the interests of their corporations, banks, funds, and families, under the protection of   national
governments across the world. This is not to deny that billions of people in the USA, the EU, India, Japan, Brazil, Australasia, and so forth, exercise
their rights to vote in open elections….along with special interest groups who lobby and donate to the campaign funds of candidates and their parties.
This is not to deny that billions of people believe in democracy. But they vote for the wealthy elite on the grounds that they are ‘the fittest’. It simply
confirms that the voters are living in a fantasy. The enactment of democracy secures the power of the plutocracy!                                                           
Are there any ways out of this dilemma? Is there an escape? One can step out of the system and live in an alternative community. This will leave the
field open for the elitists, and it will not prevent future interference from corporate exploitation. It may be possible to redesign democracy so that
societies are more equal, and the financial systems are more closely regulated and supervised so that wealth is distributed for the benefits of all.
A more radical approach would be to remove the millionaire elite by disqualifying them from political institutions so as to make possible the
development of local community initiatives and local democracy.  
I would like to conclude by suggesting that
social ecology is more than local democracy. The work of  social ecologists such as Prof. Stuart Hill and
Ted Trainer in Australia, along with Gunnar Rundgren in Sweden, and Bob Spivey in Vashon, as well as Brian Tokar, has established the significant
connections between human communities and plants, soil, sun, rain, climate, animals, fish, insects –the complex systems of diverse ecological
communities coexisting in the biosphere.
For example, Stuart Hill offers  a provisional definition of social ecology that places greater emphasis on sustainability:  
the study and practice of
personal, social and ecological sustainability and change based on the critical application and integration of ecological, humanistic, relational,
community and ‘spiritual’ values.
His definition is based on his work in agricultural settings, pest control, animal husbandry, and sustainability.
I suggest that social ecologists will study human behavior and climate change; the emission of pollutants and gases; the exploitation and destruction
of forests, and grasslands; the exploitation and mining of  oils, ores and minerals; the destruction of species. They will formulate policies and practices
to help conserve the biosphere. They will identify alternative systems of economy and politics in order to ensure that humans live in mutual
coexistence with all living organisms. ‘Local democracy’ may be part of these studies, but only so far as it allows the development of alternative
practices of subsistence, sustainability, and steady state economics: a world in which we conserve and preserve the ecological communities in
the biosphere.

If we accept that Social Ecology leads us to a new morality, then we have to accept that capitalism and environmental protection are not compatible.
The guiding light of the capitalist is to maximise profits, and that of the ecologist is to safeguard nature. The United Nations declares that we should
be concerned with ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.
The capitalist will claim the loyalties of the investors and the workers in order to maximise profits for the company.
It is 'grow or die!'.  Corporate Social Responsibility is a sham, a con trick perpetrated by companies to protect their commercial interests. Social
Ecologists argue: it is grow and die! Major health problems have become associated with capitalist enterprise. Medical authorities should take action
to minimise the effects of pollution on people.

Obviously, the Tobacco corporations have a different notion of Corporate Social Responsibility to any other organizations. Tobacco companies see
nothing wrong with selling products that infect and kill their customers. They have been making cigarettes for many years, knowing that they were
increasing the risks of chest infections and disease amongst their customers. Chris Woolston  [www.ahealthyme.com] reported that in the early 1960s,
researchers at Brown & Williamson, one of the world's largest tobacco companies, made a sickening discovery......... Smoking causes lung cancer.
But, in public, the company claimed cigarettes were perfectly safe. Even that smoking is good for you. Behind closed doors, their scientists searched
for ways to remove cancer-causing compounds from cigarettes. As their own internal documents show, the search for a safe cigarette was doomed
from the start. The researchers found that burning tobacco produces a stunning collection of dangerous chemicals, no matter how it's grown, treated,
or packaged. Simply put, cigarettes are not safe! are not good for you! In the USA, this finding was confirmed in 1964 by the report of the Surgeon
General's Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health which declared that cigarette smoking is causally related to lung cancer: the more you smoke,
the more likely you are to contract lung cancer.........and chronic bronchitis........... and chronic bronchopulmonary diseases.
Today, of course, the secret is out. Everyone from the Surgeon General to the kid on the street corner knows smoking causes lung cancer. In fact, it
causes the vast majority of all lung cancer, a disease that killed an estimated 160,000 Americans in 2007. Even the tobacco companies are now willing
to admit the obvious.
A statement on the Philip Morris Web site says it all: We agree with the overwhelming medical and scientific consensus that cigarette smoking causes
lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and other serious diseases such as throat cancer, bladder cancer.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -November 28 2012.
Major tobacco companies that spent decades denying they lied to the U.S. public about the dangers of cigarettes must spend their own money on a
public advertising campaign saying they did lie, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.
The ruling sets out what might be the harshest sanction to come out of a historic case that the Justice Department brought in 1999 accusing the
tobacco companies of racketeering.
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler wrote that the new advertising campaign would be an appropriate counterweight to the companies'
"past deception" dating to at least 1964.
The advertisements are to be published in various media for as long as two years.
Details of the campaign - like how much it will cost and which media will be involved - are still to be determined and could lead to another prolonged
Kessler's ruling on Tuesday, which the companies could try to appeal, aims to finalize the wording of five different statements the companies will be
required to use.
One of them begins: "A federal court has ruled that the defendant tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public by falsely selling and
advertising low tar and light cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes."
Another statement includes the wording: "Smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans. Every day."
The wording was applauded by health advocates who have waited years for tangible results from the case.
"Requiring the tobacco companies to finally tell the truth is a small price to pay for the devastating consequences of their wrongdoing," said Matthew
Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an anti-tobacco group in Washington.
"These statements do exactly what they should do. They're clear, to the point, easy to understand, no legalese, no scientific jargon, just the facts,"
said Ellen Vargyas, general counsel for the American Legacy Foundation, which is known for its "Truth" advertising campaign that began in 2000 and
was credited with curbing smoking by the young.
The largest cigarette companies in the United States spent $8.05 billion (5 billion pounds) in 2010 to advertise and promote their products, down
from $12.5 billion in 2006, according to a report issued in September by the Federal Trade Commission.
The major tobacco companies, which fought having to use words like "deceived" in the statements, citing concern for their rights of free speech, had
a muted response.
"We are reviewing the judge's ruling and considering next steps," said Bryan Hatchell, a spokesman for Reynolds American Inc.
Philip Morris USA, a unit of Altria Group Inc, is studying the decision, a spokesman said.
A spokesman for a third major defendant, Lorillard Inc, had no immediate comment.
The case is USA v. Philip Morris USA, et al, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, No. 99-cv-02496.
Separately, tobacco companies are battling in court with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over the warning labels on tobacco products.
The FDA has proposed new graphic warning labels - one of which includes a photo of a man with a hole in his throat. New graphic warnings have
become compulsory on cigarette packets in Australia as from December 1 2012.

Despite this, their drive for sales continues. Their profits expand and grow, and many of their customers die from smoking their cigarettes! In 1980
their research indicated that secondary smoke from cigarettes was toxic, but this was not made public for 20 years.
March 15 2013: This ruling was confirmed by the Florida High Court, when 6 judges found against the appeal by the principal tobacco companies.
July, 2013 the FDA reported that menthol cigarettes are harder to quit. They are marketed as 'light; but are just as dangerous as any other
cigarettes. The FDA concluded that 'menthol' should be removed.

What sort of Corporate Social Responsibility is this ?  
November 2010 the tobacco corporations are fighting a battle to stop health warnings covering their packets. Their defence is that such action
prevents them from marketing their products effectively and thus limiting their profits. A report in the NewYorkTimes,
Nov.21 2009, made it clear that
the tobacco companies considered product liability a cost of doing business. Morgan Stanley asserted that the tobacco industry could afford millions
of dollars a year in legal costs! For example, recently, in Fort Lauderdale, a woman was awarded by a jury 'compensatory damages' of $56million,
and 'punitive damages' of $244 million, against Altria Group, the parent company of Philip Morris........ And there are hundreds of cases waiting to be
called to court.  
April 2011 a jury found in favour of the tobacco companies. Six major US tobacco companies defeated a lawsuit by hospitals seeking
compensation for treating patients with smoking-related illnesses. Thirty-seven hospitals in the state of Missouri had claimed cigarette companies
delivered an "unreasonably dangerous" product.  They sought more than $455m (£272m) reimbursement for treating uninsured smokers who had not
paid for care. In the case, the hospitals claimed that tobacco companies manipulated the nicotine content in cigarettes and misrepresented the
health effects of smoking. But a jury in St Louis rejected their claim. "The jury agreed with Philip Morris USA that ordinary cigarettes are not negligently
designed or defective," said Murray Garnick of Philip Morris.
March 2011 TPSAC [Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee] does conclude
that the availability of menthol cigarettes has led to an increase in the number of smokers and that this increase does have adverse public health
impact in the United States. TPSAC found evidence that the availability of menthol cigarettes increases initiation; leading to greater addiction. Of
particular concern was the high rate of menthol cigarette smoking among youth and the trend over the last decade of increasing menthol cigarette
smoking among 12 to 17 year olds, even as smoking of non‐menthol cigarettes declines. Evidence showed that 'menthol' made smoking less irritating
to youth, leading to their addiction to nicotine. Marketing 'menthol' keeps their sales rising! Spending $12.5 billion a year entices adolescents in Asia
to start smoking.
The Department of Health in the UK, confirmed
Dec.21 2011, that Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco, British American Tobacco and Philip Morris -had
withdrawn their legal challenge against new laws to end the display of tobacco products in England.  Sarah Woolnough, Cancer Research UK's
director of policy, said: "We were always confident that the tobacco industry would lose their case because the evidence shows that selling cigarettes
alongside sweets and crisps makes them seem like a normal, everyday product rather than a deadly and addictive drug. The Government will soon be
consulting on putting cigarettes in plain packaging so that all tobacco products look alike, with no distinctive branding and with large picture health
warnings.” Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: "Removing tobacco displays from shops will help to stop young people from starting smoking and
help smokers that want to quit.”
Are the labels on the packets  important?
Who reads them ?-- Nine new graphic cigarette warning labels showing cancerous lesions and other impacts of smoking were unveiled Tuesday,
April 10 2012, by the Food and Drug Administration, USA, part of the agency's sweeping new powers to regulate tobacco and tobacco products.
"With these warnings, every person who picks up a pack of cigarettes is going to know exactly what risk they're taking," Health and Human Services
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters. Sebelius called smoking and other tobacco use the "number one cause of preventable death" in America,
claiming more than 440,000 lives a year.
Cigarette packages will now carry one vivid color image and one of these warnings about the consequences of smoking: "Cigarettes are addictive"; "
Tobacco smoke can harm your children"; "Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease"; "Cigarettes cause cancer"; "Cigarettes cause strokes and heart
disease"; "Smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby"; "Smoking can kill you"; "Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers"; and
"Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health."
The warnings, which must be in place by September 2012, will cover the upper portion of the pack both front and back. At least 50% of the package
will have to be covered. In addition, the warnings will have to cover at least 20% of a cigarette ad. Small ads less than 12 inches don't require the
20% coverage, but must still have a warning. Each warning will also have a phone number -- 1-800-QUIT-NOW -- that smokers can call to get help
if they want to quit.
The world's biggest tobacco firms are challenging the Australian government in court,
 as reported by the BBC April 17 2012 over a law on mandatory
plain packaging for cigarettes. The suit, led by British American Tobacco, is being watched around the world as a test case.  Australia last year
passed legislation requiring all tobacco to be sold in plain packets with graphic health warnings from 1 December 2012. It is the first country to pass
such stringent packaging legislation. The proceedings, being heard before the High Court in Canberra, are scheduled to run until Thursday. It is not
clear when a decision might be reached. "We're very conscious that we're being watched around the world," Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon
said. Countries such as Britain, Canada and New Zealand are considering similar moves
The companies, including Philip Morris, Imperial Tobacco Australia and Japan Tobacco International, claim the law infringes their intellectual property
rights by banning the use of brands and trademarks.  They argue that removing logos and company colours will lead to a drastic cut in profits and see
fake products enter the market. They also say that it is unconstitutional for the government to remove trademarks from packaging without
compensation. Ms Roxon rejected the claims, saying that the sale and advertising of tobacco had always been subject to laws and regulations. The
law, she added, was constructed ''in a way that it will have the most public health impact''.  "I think big tobacco's throwing everything at it because
they're scared it will be successful and they're scared it will be copied then around the world," she said.  A spokesman for British American Tobacco
told Australian media that the company would prefer not to have had to take the government to court ''but unfortunately they have taken us down the
legal path''.  Under the law, the only thing distinguishing tobacco brands on packets will be the brand and product name in a standard colour, position,
font size and style. The government says the aim of the law is to cut the number of smoking-related deaths.
Why don’t health authorities simply ban tobacco products ? make them illegal, and prosecute the tobacco corporations for selling products that they
all know  damages and/or kills their customers?


But even when a product has been banned, like asbestos, its effects continue. Asbestos fibres can cause various forms of cancer. The World Health
Organisation estimate that 1700,000 people die world wide annually from asbestos poisoning. People who worked with asbestos 50 years ago are
coming forward with mesothelioma today. Others who were present when buildings exploded, such as the World Trade Centre in 2001, were exposed
to asbestos fibres, and many have died of asbestos cancers. The  MAA Center [www.maacenter.org] is one of the centres  that monitors the many
different ways in which the companies producing asbestos continue to endanger the workers and users of asbestos through the spread of
The dangers of asbestos were known 100 years ago. Companies like Bendix, Borg Warner,Chevron, Chrysler, Dow Chemicals, Kodak, Ford, General
Electric manufactured and sold asbestos products.  Its use, and the profits generated, were more important than the lives of the workers and the
consumers. Mining and processing was banned  in the EU, 2005: but continues in Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Canada, Brazil. China is the major
producer, and consumer  of asbestos. Canada has long banned the use of asbestos, but allows the mining and export of up to 120,000 tons of white
asbestos each year from Quebec. It is worth noting that Asbestos products have not been banned in the USA, and the Surgeon General did not
issue a health warning until April, 2009. So Government agencies adopt contradictory attitudes to asbestos.   
Dr. Richard Lemen, the retired assistant U.S. surgeon general and deputy director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and
now an adjunct professor of environmental and occupational health at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University [2011] reports to
Environmental Health Perspectives,  that asbestos is a fibrous crystalline mineral known for its resistance to heat and flame, and its usefulness in building materials and fabrics...but it’s
not so great for human health.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, the National Toxicology Program, and the Environmental Protection Agency all declared asbestos
a known human carcinogen decades ago. And yet U.S. imports of crude asbestos fibers rose by 235% between 2009 and 2010. Worldwide nearly 2
million tons of it were mined for use in things like cements, automotive parts, protective footwear, and textiles. All of Europe, many countries in South
America, and Saudi Arabia and others have banned asbestos. However, the United States has not seen fit to ban asbestos. The health effects of
asbestos are wide ranging, from an asbestos-related lung condition called asbestosis, which is not a cancer but a scarring of the lung caused by the
fibers that get into the lung. Asbestos can cause a variety of cancers. The principal cancer is lung cancer and accounts for the most number of
cancers associated with work with asbestos or exposure to asbestos. Another very rare tumor but very fatal tumor is mesothelioma, which is a tumor
that affects the lining of the lungs, in the pleura, the lining of the abdomen, and this is a tumor that is unique to asbestos. About 80-90% of all
mesotheliomas that are diagnosed in the United States are associated with some exposure to asbestos, so its become what we call a signal tumor,
and when we see mesothelioma occurring we can pretty much trace a history of exposure to asbestos. The International Agency for Research on
Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization, has now designated asbestos to cause laryngeal cancer, ovarian cancer, and other forms of
gastrointestinal cancer.  So it’s one substance that has had a wide variety of use but has been associated with multiple types of diseases including
respiratory disease and cancer.
I think we really don’t need to spend a lot of research dollars on continuing research on something that has been determined by the World Health
Organization and every major scientific agency in the world to cause cancer and respiratory disease. What we need to do now is spend this money
on preventing people from developing asbestos-related diseases both in the workplace and in the environment.  More than 60 countries have banned
this substance.   What’s taking the U.S. so long? As they always say, trace the money, and I think you’ll find why it has not been banned in this
D.W.Kamp [2009] observed that even if all new asbestos use stopped today, people would still be at risk of exposure from preexisting uses. Products,
especially building materials, degrade with age, releasing toxic fibers. Demolition, renovations, and reconstruction after disasters can release still
more asbestos. And with a typical latency period of decades between exposure and cancer, asbestos-related mesothelioma would continue to be
diagnosed well into the future.
December 10th 2009 marks the start of the 'trial of the century' in Italy: two executives of the company, Eternit, have been accused of  causing an
environmental disaster leading to the deaths of 2,200 workers, and ill health of hundreds of others, due to asbestos poisoning in four factories. On
February 13th 2012 the court in Turin found ETERNIT guilty, and sent the two executives to prison.     
Recently, August 2010, it has been announced on the BBC Africa service, that asbestos, serpentine, amphibole, are being mined in Democratic
Republic of Congo........and in any area where controls and regulation are weak...... And in Canada, for export.

Action can be taken to protect local communities from pollution. But as the legal battles between Chevron and the government of  Ecuador show such
actions are never straightforward and can drag on for years.  According to the New York Times, October 2009, the multibillion-dollar legal case
between Amazon peasants and Chevron over oil pollution in Ecuador’s rain forest keeps unfolding more like a mystery thriller than a battle of briefs.
Since the oil giant released videos in August 2009 that were secretly taped by two businessmen, Ecuadorean officials and Chevron have accused
each other of gross improprieties, including espionage. Chevron gambled that the disclosure of the videos would enable it to cast doubt on the
integrity of the trial, and the honesty of the Ecuadorean legal system. But the tapes have also raised questions about its ties to the men who made
the recordings, potentially opening the company to a new legal fight. The tapes were the latest turn in a legal marathon over oil contamination left by
Texaco years before it was acquired by Chevron.  The fight has become one about 'damages' not about environment. On Monday 14th February,
2011, after 17 years of legal battle, the second-largest oil company in the US, Chevron, was found guilty by Ecuadorian courts for massive
environmental contamination of the Amazon. Chevron was ordered to pay a fine of $9 billion in damages. This is the largest judgement ever made
against a US company for environmental contamination and is the first time that indigenous and farming communities have won judgement in foreign
courts against a US company for environmental crimes abroad.
From 1964 to 1990, Chevron made billions of $US in profits through oil extraction in the Ecuadorian Amazon. In the long-running trial in US and
Ecuadorian courts, Chevron admitted to deliberately discharging around 18 billion gallons of toxic waste-water into the water systems of the Amazon.
The company committed a series of serious environmental crimes, such as spilling 17 million of gallons of pure crude oil from ruptured pipelines and
abandoning more than 900 unlined waster pits which leeched toxins, contaminating the air, soil and water. Chevron ordered workers to destroy
records of these crimes and never carried out any environmental impact studies.
May 2010 witnessed the oil pollution of the Gulf of Mexico, and the shorelines of Louisiana, following the destruction of  the Macondo platform. The
chief executives of BP, in public, were more concerned with minimising the significance of the oil spill, asserting that the quantities of oil were minor in
comparison to previous spills. To say this, is to ignore the horror of the catastrophe for the local communities, and the destruction of fisheries, and
marine life.  The US government has declared the oil spill the biggest ever ! If such oil companies as BP  took corporate social responsibility seriously,
they would not have drilled for oil in such ocean localities in the first place: the Deep Water Horizon well extracts oil from a depth of 2 miles! July 2010 -
the CEO of BP has paid the consequences of his public indifference by being dismissed. Nov. 2011 the exploitation of the tar sands in Canada has led
Shell into conflict with the First Nations of Athabaska for failure to meet contractual agreements. In Nigeria, Shell are legally obliged to restore
Ogoniland from the effects of oil pollution. 'Fracking', a process whereby oil and gas are forced out of the ground by water, has resulted in
earthquakes in Lancashire, UK. What sort of madness is this?   

EARTH ACTION   California, Fracking and Tomorrow’s Energy
Posted: 26 Feb 2013 09:47 AM PST                                                                                                           
Just last month, California announced new policy proposals to regulate fracking; yet despite bucking the pro-industry trend, the state has failed to
please concerned environmentalists. The process of fracking, which involves injecting the earth with sand, water and chemicals, leaves
environmentalists and certain scientists feeling uneasy. And it’s that last aspect – mainlining chemicals into the ground – that has many worried.  
Under the proposed regulations in California, companies would be required to disclose the chemicals they are injecting into the ground. On its
face, the proposed regulations strike a blow for transparency. But of course, the devil’s in the details. These disclosures would be stored in a privately
owned database, called FracFocus, that many claim is linked to the oil and gas industry. Moreover, companies can claim “trade secrets” exemptions
that would allow them to keep the chemicals that they use out of public knowlege.                       
Fracking: Better than carbon dioxide?    Part of natural gas’ popularity is that it’s seen as less harmful than coal, as well as less expensive.
However a 2011 study by Cornell University found that natural gas could in fact be worse for the environment. They warn that methane released
might be more harmful than our old friend CO2, as methane’s deleterious effect on the atmosphere is 105 times that of carbon dioxide. Disturbingly,
the study estimates that as much as 8% of the methane in shale reserves leaks into the air during the lifetime of a fracking well. In another study by
the Pacific Institute in 2012 of government, academic and private groups, many named water issues as a main concern. Chemicals leaked during the
fracking process into the surrounding water supply can jeapordize the quality of drinking water. And that’s not to mention the sheer quantity of water
needed to extract this energy – an increasingly touchy subject as Californians spar with each other over water
The economic impact of a boom town.        The boom and bust
characteristic of an energy town will – hopefully – largely spare California, which has a diverse and resilient economy. Yet the economic consequences
of fracking cannot be ignored.  The rapid rise of a fracking economy raises the specter of an equally swift fall.  Lingering chemicals are but one
aspect of the consequences of hydraulic fracturing. As yet unstudied are the effects of water contamination, earthquakes and  the weakening of the
social fabric.              (Anisha Sekar - EarthAction Contributing Writer) This article comes to you from the NerdWallet Credit Team.
Drilling for Oil in the Arctic
Which oil company is dumb enough to go full speed ahead with its plans to drill in the Arctic?  Not Shell, who after spending 7 years and $5 billion
dollars on Arctic exploration was forced to halt its 2013 plan to drill in the Arctic. A series of blunders and accidents including the grounding of its drill
rig caused Shell to cancel its current plans to drill in the Arctic. Not French oil giant Total SA, whose CEO says that “energy companies should not drill
for crude oil in Arctic waters because the environmental risks are too high”.  Despite the failures and doubts of its rivals, ConocoPhillips is the oil
company dumb enough to stick with its current plans to drill in the Arctic.
Mobile phones
And how should we regard Motorola or AT&T? During the first week of December 2009, a story has emerged, in the New York Times, outlining the
facts about the marketing of cell phones/mobile phones by Motorola during the 1960's. Both corporations have admitted that they knew that
'multi-tasking' by the driver in the car, with a cell phone causes distraction, and accidents, and death....... So of course they mounted a campaign
against the use of these phones by drivers? Not a bit of it. Motorola mounted a campaign promoting their use by lorry drivers. Motorola was too
concerned about its market share. Since this time, they have developed 'hands-free' mobile phone kits fitted in the car and lorry. This is despite the
fact that they are aware that  'multi-tasking' is dangerous: leading to 2,600 fatal crashes, and 570,000 accidents in the USA, in 2007.  In Dec 2009,
the BBC reported that the Transport Research Lab.UK revealed that in London the use of mobile phones in vehicles was on the increase, despite the
fact that it was illegal.
Another example of the incompatibility of CSR and capitalism! January 2010, the lawmakers of States are  drawing up legislation to control 'distracted
driving'. Four bills are pending in Congress that would push the states to regulate various types of cellphone use by drivers, including banning texting,
requiring hands-free devices or prohibiting motorists under the age of 21 from using any devices. In the USA, generally, states regulate their
roadways — which is why, safety advocates say, the actions of state lawmakers play such a critical role in addressing the issue. (Currently, 19 states
and Washington D.C. ban texting while driving, and six states and Washington require use of hands-free devices by motorists talking on phones.) In
December, 2009, the House of Representatives passed an order banning 8,000 House staff members from texting while driving (following  an order
signed in October by President Obama banning 4.5 million federal employees from texting in state-provided cars or phones or during work hours).
Nov.2011; a court in California ruled that using a hand held phone at a traffic lights is part of the ban, and illegal.
December 14 2011, the US  National Transportation Board issued a report  urging all states of the US to ban all use of mobile phones in automobiles.
Their research into the links between distracted drivers  and accidents over the last 10 years had forced them, in the face of opposition from
phonemakers and carmakers, as well as lawmakers, to draw the conclusion that mobile phones in autos are dangerous!
December 2011, there are 3 billion users of mobile phones across the world. Mobile phones are best regarded as transmitters of microwaves,
exposing their users to radiation. To put it another way: 3 billion people are directly subject to the effects of micro-wave radiation, and may be subject
to  skin rashes, brain tumors, sleeping disorders. Governments and manufacturers know this, but say nothing....... so as to create doubt about any
'bad effects'. However, on April 26 2012, the Health Protection Agency in the UK  issued a report that declared that there is no hard evidence of bad
health effects from mobile phones. The report confirmed that the greatest dangers of mobile phones is their use in cars and lorries, leading to
'distracted driving'.
February 2013: Despite the extensive evidence that the use of cell phones, and what are now called smart phones, is bad for your safety, we are
constantly bombarded by adverts extolling the wonders of  the smart phones - iPhone, Samsung, Nokia, Blackberry, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Sony  
and their 'Apps' ; as well as the necessity to tweet/text messages. These smart phones have become so complicated that they are known to initiate
distracted behaviour, whether  on foot, or bicycle, or vehicles. But of course Apple, and the other manufacturers, are only concerned about sales not
safety. Researchers at the University of Utah, and Virginia State Institute, have shown clearly that the major problem is 'distracted driving'. The use of
mobile phones to talk, to text, to game, while driving, results in the distraction of the driver, and the greater likelihood of being involved in a crash.........
to be as impaired as a drunk driver!

CSR and pollution
Indeed the current fad for ‘corporate social responsibility’ can be seen as a strategy to persuade  workers and customers  that their best interests are
provided by the corporation. However, we must not forget that the prime objective of a capitalist corporation is to maximise profits for the shareholders
and the directors. INSnet newsletter in January 2008 signalled that the countries that are acknowledged as the  biggest polluters were gathering in
Hawaii to see if they can reduce their pollution and safeguard  profits. The G8, the G20, the G77, the UN, the IMF, the World Bank, continue to meet
and discuss up to the present time [Nov/Dec 2009]. If  this is best achieved by being more careful about how they look after the workers, take care of
their customers or conserve the environment, then so be it. But once the profits are threatened, the workers will be sacked, and the resources
exploited once more. This has been clearly illustrated by the battles about the exploitation of the Amazon forests. Recently, increased demands and
the prospect for profits has accelerated exploitation by the very companies that had promised protection and conservation. For example, McDonalds
has been encouraging the growth of soya beans, which has led to the resumption of clearing of forests for farmland. Elsewhere, in the forests of
Indonesia, Wilmar, a palm oil producer, has been caught by Friends of the Earth, violating its own CSR policies by cutting forests and occupying land
without permission.  
Ethics World tells us that
An assessment of the Dubai Ethics Centre's efforts highlights the glaring gap between the rhetoric of corporate social responsibility and the reality of
most business practices.
"Companies are becoming familiar with the term 'corporate responsibility' and they recognize the need to be saying the right things in this rapidly
developing, highly competitive international marketplace [and] yet their actions, if not the words, prove that they remain unconvinced or unclear of the
business case for corporate responsibility and the benefits successful CR management could bring to them in terms of mitigating risk and identifying
opportunities," concluded the DERC-commissioned report.
There can be a lot of ‘greenwash’ !

I am arguing that ‘capitalism’ and ‘corporate social responsibility’ cannot go together.
Capitalism is a system of exploitation in which products are bought and sold for profit: to ‘care and share’ and ‘conserve and recycle’ are regarded as
means to ends, not ends in themselves. It is easy to see this as the fault of private enterprise. But we must remind ourselves that the emergence of
communist China as a major economic power indicates that capitalism can be state controlled, 'authoritarian capitalism' , and generate major pollution
in every corner of the country in the search for wealth.
Furthermore, I am suggesting that capitalism and democracy do not go together. Capitalism results in the profits going to an elite, the owners of
capital. The recent UN reports indicate that this elite comprises 0.000015% of the world’s population, who control +80% of the wealth. What sort of
world is this!
If at this time the millionaires forgot about ‘growth’, and actively redistributed their existing wealth, it would make a significant difference to all the others.
But under a capitalist system that elite are forever trying to increase their share at the sacrifice of everyone else. This is oligarchy and patriarchy.  
How can we take seriously the notion of a share owning democracy ?
Even those who are involved in charitable works make sure that everybody knows where the money comes from……..
Social interdependence and social responsibility are to be sought in tandem as part of a cooperative system, what has been called a cooperacy,  
not part of an exploitative capitalist system.

It was a significant development to see that the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, proposed scrapping capitalism and developing clean energies as
part of radical measures "to save the planet and mankind." "If we really want to save the planet, we must eliminate the capitalist system," Bolivia's
first indigenous president told hundreds of indigenous delegates from around the world at the UN in April 2008.  Morales argued that the capitalist
system was mainly responsible for climate change and for the "accumulation of waste." He also railed against the development of biofuels which he
said only serve to fuel "poverty and hunger" and instead he expressed strong support for clean energies. "Biofuels are very harmful, in particular for
the poor people of the world," he later told reporters. The leader called for "respect of Mother Earth," guaranteeing access to basic services for all
and putting an end to consumerism. He noted that indigenous peoples had a different perspective on life, including a stronger commitment to social
justice and a preference for communal ownership of the land. "Mother Earth is not a commodity. It's not something to buy and sell," he said. And he
proposed an international convention "to protect water resources and prevent their privatization by a few." [as reported in www.insnet.org]. In January
2009, Morales made it clear that the increasing world wide demand for the lithium in Bolivia will lead to increased prices for the benefits of the total
Environmentalists have already realised that if and when the poor majority of the world demand a better way of life, the exploitation and pollution of the
world will accelerate out of control. If we listen to Ted Trainer of the University of New South Wales, future practises will have to be significantly
If all 9 billion people soon to be living on earth were to consume resources at the present per capita rate in rich countries, world annual resource
production rates would have to be about 8 times as great as they are now.  All estimated potentially recoverable resources of fossil fuels (assuming
2t tonnes of coal) would be exhausted in about 18 years.
If all 9 billion were to have the present US timber use per person, the forest area harvested would have to be 3 to 4 times all the forest area on the
If 9 billion were to have a North American diet 4.5 billion ha of cropland would be required, but there are only 1.4 billion ha of cropland in use, and this
is likely to decline.The drive for growth, whether by the rich or the poor, has a limited future.[after Ted Trainer]
You may want to argue that social responsibility and capitalism must go together. If corporate social responsibility as currently practised is a sham,
what should be done to make it a reality?

Ethics World newsletter tells us that www.policyinnovations.org. reports,  
Much of the past fifty years has been characterized by a corporate attitude of denial or obligation. Only over the past fifteen to twenty years have
companies begun to look at social and environmental challenges as business opportunities,either by "greening" their current products and processes
or by moving "beyond greening" to technologies that leapfrog us into the future and make incumbent technology obsolete through a process of
"creative destruction."
Looking forward, however, the greatest opportunity may lie not in reaching only the wealthy of the world with clean technology, but the six billion plus
at the base of the economic pyramid which have historically been bypassed, underserved, or ignored by economic globalization. To do so will require
not only technological ingenuity, but also disruptive new business models and a willingness to listen and co-create rather than impose new
technologies from the top down. For example, Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Foundation wants us to run 'social businesses', no loss,no
dividend companies, organised to achieve social objectives, such as health care, sanitation, education, clean water.

What could be done to promote CSR?
What and where is the company?  
Offices, factories, warehouses, fields, forests, mines, water. Is it part of the neighbourhood or alien? Does the company endeavour to link with the
local communities.
If you are from another area, or region, or country, make sure you manage the enterprise in the interests of the locale. Organise the enterprise in
tune with the local cultures. On the assumption that you are a capitalist enterprise, invest an agreed amount of your profits into the improvement of
the local area. Do not simply take the money and run.
A fair days pay for a fair days work. Pay the workers at all levels a fair wage as negotiated by all parties. Do not contrive to pay below the minimum
wage. Ideally, one could pay everybody in the company from shop floor to office the same wage.
Provide the whole work force with benefits that will help them to work e.g. health services, medical care, work protection such as ear defenders, face
masks, showers where necessary, changing rooms, toilets; family leave, crèche facilities.
Bus services to and from work; conference meetings by internet, and audio/video links; no company cars.
Fair wages. Fair treatment. Fair trade : tea, coffee, soft drinks, milk, fruit, vegetables. Fair Prices.
All processes to be operated by renewable energy: solar, wind, water. In many locations where there is flowing water, why not return to the water mill?
If the company is producing finished products, say furniture; then use recycled wood.
If it is buying farm produce, make sure that you do not cheat the farmers: like paying one penny a kilo, and selling on for 1000 pennies a kilo.
In such a CSR company, the priority is offering a fair deal to workers, the suppliers, and the customers. In a company where profit is the only motive,
it is important to cheat the workers, suppliers, and customers so as to maximise profit, and of course, protest that you are being as fair as possible!
For a company that is manufacturing a finished product, it is essential to cater for any pollution risk from the first design, rather than discover it after
everything has been built. Factories that belch their polluted smokes in to the atmosphere do so because the company does not care. And the local
inspectors cannot be bothered to take action, or are bribed by the companies to do nothing. It is no good imposing a fine. The factory has to be rebuilt
or closed down.
If any of these actions were taken, there would be significant changes to current practices immediately.
All the ‘developing’ countries, that are claiming their places in the new economies will not be able to enjoy the luxuries of the North American and European capitalists. ‘The West’ will
have hoodwinked the rest yet again!
The force of Ted Trainer’s arguments is that we cannot go on as before. It will all change whether we like it or not, and we shall have to face the
I accept that you may not want to go as far as Trainer’s forecasts. But it is time for a seed change in our thinking. ‘Exploitation’ leads us to see other
people, plants and animals as objects to be used and abused. Our thinking is dominated by competition and individualism. Within this mindset, ‘social r
esponsibility’ is just another way to take advantage of those ‘objects’. ‘Growth’ involves expansion and greater profits. A company that makes the
same profit as the year before is seen to be failing. ‘Expansion’ means that more land, more resources, are consumed and converted into products
and profit. This capitalist cycle will have to stop.
Already, in the wake of the credit crunch of 2007/8/9, responsible financiers are questioning free markets, and calling for greater regulation, and
suggesting the extension of redistributive taxes. Even senior officers  such as S.Roach at MorganStanley, a principal investment bank, are raising
questions about unfettered capitalism. At one level you could argue that the financial corporations should regulate themselves more rigorously. At
another level, one has to admit that the ‘crunch’ occurred because these financiers were busy offering packages to a wider range of customers so as
to seek growth, and to maximise their profits. In other words, they were doing what they are supposed to do! in a capitalist system. And they are
looking for greater regulation because many of the key players like JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Lehmann Brothers,
BearSterns, CitiGroup, and SocGen, Barclays, Northern Rock have lost millions for themselves, and of course…….for their clients.
Some environmental organisations, such as Earth Action, World Wild life Fund, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, LiveGreen, and Ted Trainer’s The
Simpler Way [www.ssis.arts.unsw.edu.au] see the capitalist search for growth as the key to exploitation and destruction. The fact that most companies
are not satisfied with stability as the norm, and  are busy pursuing greater growth and market share, drives them to produce more and to devise a
wider range of other products. For example, local supermarkets will offer 2 for 1 to increase their turnover. But the impact of this is to increase
demands for greater production in the field and under glass, and the ploughing up of forest or scrubland in different parts of the world.
The history of Walmart in the USA has shown the devastating effects on the environment of low prices and bulk demands.
report  that Walmart promote organic foods, even though many products sold are not organic. Their superstores create significant atmospheric
pollution and water erosion. Their insistence on low prices forces farmers to adopt industrial farming methods, thus altering the ecology of the locality.
The fact that they buy many products from China, and are in fact their fifth largest trading partner, means that they are part  of the pollution cycle
in China.
We have to conclude that a ‘fair price’ is not always a low price. It is a price that allows farmers to cultivate in eco-friendly ways; and is affordable to the
consumers; and generates profit for the shop and the farmer. ‘Walmart Watch’ are clearly indicating that big-block superstores and their systems of
bulk purchase and global transport are unsustainable in the future, and need to be replaced by smaller mini-markets. The future should be local
suppliers for local customers. One could argue that if we were part of a system in which the price of any product was the sum of costs, plus a premium
for services, then there would be no need for price competition. Or is that being too naïve?

The culture of capitalism means that one is free to use your own , and other people’s, capital for your personal profit; to use the labour of others for
your own profit; to organise companies so that they make the most profit for you. When these cultural beliefs are associated with the culture of
paternalism, some individuals are given greater value than others. For example, the father is the leader of the family, and  the lines are drawn  for
systems of patriarchy, in which the ‘father’ is the most important individual, to whom homage is owed. My analysis has revealed that the capitalist
system of the world is controlled by many such families. It is run by the ‘barons’ of capital. When associated with elitism, those individuals deemed to
be the most able, and the richest, are allowed to form an upper class distinct from the rest, with the power to control the rest. Recently, Lloyd
Blankfein of Goldman Sachs went so far as to declare that such an elite is 'doing God's work '!  In such a closed  system what does corporate social
responsibility mean?  I want to argue that whether we see ourselves as individuals equal to all others; individuals independent of all others; individuals
as part of a patriarchy; elders of the tribe; or members of an elite; we live in conditions of social interdependence. The one depends on the many for
survival, for prosperity, for language, for culture, for education, for work, for support, for love, creativity, skills. And of course each one of us benefit
from, and contribute to, the networks of social interdependence.
Social ecology leads us to think and act in the interests of all humans, animals, and plants. Social responsibility involves the seed change
in our thinking that Thabo Mbeki is looking for, and leading us to new ways of behaving that will benefit all: a new morality!