Saturday, May 9, 2015

♫ Once... I Had... A Secret Law... ♫
The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Environment

NOT the logo, but should be...
If I have been absent from the blog a lot, it is because I've been reading Naomi Klein's prizewinning book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. The book is utterly essential reading for anyone who calls him- or herself an environmentalist, but I'd be the last to deny it is challenging reading on several levels. Especially on point regarding the environmental consequences of the TPP are two chapters: chapter 9, Blockadia: The New Climate Warriors; and chapter 10, Love Will Save This Place: Democracy, Divestment and the Wins So Far. It may be possible to read these chapters independently without starting at the beginning of the book; I'm not sure because I so strongly feel you should read the entire book.

Leaders of TPP member states
(courtesy Wikipedia))
Reading the chapters led me to pursue more information on TPP on the web. Goodness knows there's both a lot of it, and not enough of it: the damned thing is being written in secret, from the public of the involved nations and (in America) from Congress, by 600 people who might politely be called corporate lobbyists... no environmentalists involved. But someone leaked an early version of specifically the environmental section of the draft, WikiLeaks published it in January 2014, and a team assembled from Sierra Club (SC), World Wildlife Federation (WWF) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) published an analysis (.pdf), also in January 2014. This is surely not the final version, but it does include a comparison of two earlier versions of the environmental chapter. Believe me, it isn't pretty!

For background, you might want to read about the two decades of NAFTA, the only major trade agreement in town at the moment, and see how that has worked out. Back to TPP, here's a recent TechDirt article of possible interest, mostly about how the US thinks it can get around TPP's provisions... yes, the ones for which no one has been permitted to know the text... and an op‑ed by Sarah Rose at SFGate urging that TPP not be fast-tracked.

The whole thing sucks little green dog dicks. And I doubt we can stop it; TPTB have shown little interest in what the public thinks in any nation involved. But we have to try: democracy already means little enough, and IMO we are obliged to give it some help.


  1. Replies
    1. Good to see you around here, Enfant! Yes, sadly, but Ms. Klein thinks it is possible TPTB are not as smart as they think they are, and the residents of Blockadia ;-) are much better organized, even if geographically dispersed, than TPTB thinks they are, and this could end better than it looks right now. I'm just furious with Obama for having run on a pseudo-populist platform and then betraying his followers on this critically important matter. But once again, he didn't ask me...

  2. Nike: Pacific Trade Deal Will Bring 10,000 Jobs to U.S.

    1. Enfant, with many of these environmentally or socially destructive proposals, the announced number of created jobs is plausible, but they turn out not to be at a living wage, and they last at most one or two years. I don't know about the jobs "created" by TPP, but my guess is that they are exactly of that nature: not a livelihood and not a long-term job.



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