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Dispatches From the Culture Wars - Follow the Green edition

Closing the Jara case; Dropping ALEC like it's hot; Google, GE feed the deniers; Climate crisis feeds fatcats; How white is Green?; Bechdel and Chast: no respect for funnybooks

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Remembering Victor Jara, Photo: Sergio // Flickr

Three Chilean Ex-Army Officials Charged in the Murder Case of Legendary Folk Singer Victor Jara

By Gabriel San Roman
September 10, 2014
Truthout

The decades-long call for justice in the murder case of legendary Chilean folk singer Víctor Jara took another dramatic turn last week. Judge Miguel Vásquez Plaza indicted three retired ex-army officials for their roles in the brutal September 16, 1973, killing.

Hernán Chacón Soto and Patricio Vásquez Donoso face kidnapping and murder charges. Ramón Melo Silva, a former military prosecutor, stands accused of covering up the truth about what happened to Jara that day. The new charges are in addition to those brought against eight other ex-military officers in December 2012 and January 2013.

Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo Drop ALEC, Following Google's Lead

By Rona Fried
September 25, 2014
SustainableBusiness.com News

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ALEC has now lost most of big players in the Internet. Since it became clear Google won't renew its membership, Facebook, Yelp and Yahoo immediately followed. Only eBay is left.

Facebook says: "While we have tried to work within ALEC to bring that organization closer to our view on some key issues, it seems unlikely that we will make sufficient progress so we are not likely to renew our membership in 2015."

Yelp says it dropped its membership months ago, and after defending its membership, Yahoo reversed its position and also says it will leave.      

"The departure of these firms from ALEC shows that denying the facts on climate change, really doesn't have a place in the modern business world," Brant Olsen of Forecast the Facts told Common Dreams.

Google, GE and others contribute to climate-change deniers in Congress, report finds

By Bruce Watson
September 22, 2014
The Guardian (UK)

It isn't hard to see why some corporations might want to support climate change denial. Companies involved in gas and oil, like Chevron - which contributed $1,262,463 - or ConocoPhillips - which contributed $754,251 - could have much to gain by delaying climate action. Others, like Goldman Sachs - which contributed $1,757,104 - might be concerned about the market effects of climate regulation.

Other contributing companies, however, are actively pursuing sustainability agendas. For example, General Electric (GE) - which donated $1,756,457 - announced plans last year to reduce the energy intensity of its operations by 50% by 2015. Similarly, Google, whose efforts to fight climate change have included a $1bn contribution to developing renewable electricity, contributed $699,195 to congressional climate deniers, including US senator James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, and US representative Darrell Issa, a Republican from California.

Meet the companies that are trying to profit from global warming

By Brad Plumer
August 18, 2014
Vox

Global warming isn't necessarily bad news for everyone. For some companies and countries, it may be even be a huge boon.

A number of companies, investors, and governments are starting to realize that some amount of climate change is inevitable in the decades ahead. And while that may cause problems for many people, it also opens up opportunities to make lots of money.
 

Study: History of cultural bias has led to a lack of diversity at liberal green groups

By Darryl Fears
August 10, 2014
Washington Post

A report released last month said the nation's large, powerful and decidedly liberal green groups have failed to keep pace with the nation's expanding minority populations and remain overwhelmingly white.

Minorities represent nearly 40 percent of Americans, yet account for fewer than 16 percent of workers at the government agencies, nongovernmental organizations called NGOs and foundations that were studied.

The divide has resulted in two environmental movements. One is white and the other non-white, one rich and the other poor, one devoted largely to advocating on behalf of wilderness areas and the other for "environmental justice" in core urban areas where minorities tend to live.

"This isn't literary": Alison Bechdel, Roz Chast and why it's so hard for us to take comics seriously

By Alexander Chee
September 13, 2014
Salon

Some of the problems comics face in being taken seriously does come from the creators themselves - some of whom are uneasy with being taken seriously. Some of the best deride the term "graphic novel" at any opportunity, which is partly why I'm using the word "comics" in this very piece. And some of the problem certainly comes from the way in which comics are one of the earliest forms we encounter, and we are encouraged, despite decreasing evidence, to believe comics are for children, and should not be read by serious adults. Way before people scoffed at you for reading YA [Young Adult], they scoffed if you read comics. And this is a uniquely American provincial take, to be sure - cultures around the world all take comics seriously. We as Americans do not. Not yet.