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Jim Lane

Profile Information

Name: Jim Lane
Gender: Male
Hometown: Jersey City
Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 11:22 AM
Number of posts: 11,175

About Me

I spend most of my online time on Wikipedia, where we desperately need more people to help counter right-wing bias. Please PM me whenever you want help with a Wikipedia-related issue. (Remember that Wikipedia material must be neutral, but we can and should include facts that conservatives would prefer to suppress.)

Journal Archives

Electoral-vote.com is back

In recent cycles, one of my favorite sites has been http://www.electoral-vote.com. It's notable in the run-up to presidential elections for doing state-by-state poll aggregation, updated for each new poll that comes out. It also provides polling data on downticket races. It goes beyond poll numbers with commentary and links to interesting MSM stories.

After the December 7, 2014 final recap of the midterms, the site stopped updating. Its proprietor said its future was "up in the air." I've been checking in occasionally to see if he resumed.

This month, he did. Those of you who, like me, have missed the site, will find it available again. (I just finished binge-reading all his August updates.) I thought about posting this news in General Discussion: Primaries but there's quite a bit of material about the Republican primaries so I thought it fit here better.

Skepticism about divestment and McKibben

A veteran environmentalist sent me a link to this article: McKibben’s Divestment Tour – Brought to You by Wall Street.

The article is long, with detailed denunciation of the idea of a carbon "budget" that would allow some safe burning of fossil fuels. The author's view of divestment is that it is essentially a distraction, functioning to shield from scrutiny the actions of the people who are really the problem -- the global rich (including many of us!) who are generating most of the current emissions.

An excerpt from her summary:

• {The global Divestment campaign} provides a moral alibi and evokes illusions of white saviour/moral superiority of those that divest/divest-invest while the very people divesting are those that comprise the 1% creating 50% of all global GHG emissions (anyone who can afford to board an airplane). Shuffling their investments does not change this fact or alleviate/absolve one’s role in accelerating climate change and ecological destruction.
• Protesting fossil fuels cannot and will not have any effect on fossil fuel consumption, production or destruction without legitimately and radically addressing Annex I consumption, economic growth under the capitalist system, human population (specifically in Annex I nations), the military industrial complex and industrial factory farming.
• The chosen campaign of divestment rather than the boycott of fossil fuels in combination with proposed sanctions on fossil fuel corporations demonstrates the insincerity of the campaign and its true intentions as sought (and developed) by its funders.


(Incidentally, the "Annex I nations" -- listed here -- are essentially the industrialized countries.)

For my part, I've been skeptical of the common analogy to the anti-apartheid campaign to divest from South Africa. A big multinational corporation might have been getting only a tiny fraction of its profits from its South African operations. If the price of that small profit was constant hassle and boycotting and bad publicity in the United States and other major markets, then it was plausible to hope that the company would decide to get out of South Africa, just on the basis of costs and benefits (i.e., morality aside). By contrast, it is not plausible to hope that BP or its ilk will get out of the fossil fuel business.

I credit the divestment proponents with good intentions, but I fail to see how the movement would have any effect on fossil fuel consumption, other than as an indirect vehicle for publicizing the problem, and in that respect it seems very inefficient.
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