Climate Summit or Not, We are Still Losing the War Against Greenhouse Gases

By Bruce E. Johansen

Another climate summit has come and gone.

Remember the huge “Peoples’ Climate March”?

Carbon dioxide has already blown past it.

However, one thing has not changed: reports from the front in the war on greenhouse gases are grim.

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TAKE ACTION | War is NOT Working, End Endless War

The following email is from our national Peace & Justice affiliate Peace Action. Please take a moment to read the message below and then let's take take a stand together and tell Congress WAR IS NOT WORKING! Contact your members of Congress TODAY!

In the wake of the election, we knew pressures would mount to escalate the war in Iraq and Syria. We had no idea that within a few days of the election, the White House would double down on the war, ordering twice the number of troops on the ground and requesting over $5 billion more dollars.

Call Congress toll-free today, 877-429-0678, and tell them: War is not working and is ineffective in addressing the threat of ISIS. (Click HERE to find your Nebraska Representatives.)

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On Black and White & Many Shades of Gray

by Paul Olson, President Emeritus

 

We have watched too many westerns. Everywhere we look for white or black hats: Mr. Spocks or Khan Noonien Singhs; Gandalfs or Saurons. History is not so colored. It is a spectrum of grays.

When the “Arab Spring” came to Egypt, many of us—including me, including the President—greeted it. We were happy to see the old crook and tyrant Mubarak get his comeuppance. But then Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was elected Egypt’s president in a free, democratic election. In the first round Morsi got 25 percent of the vote, Shafik 24 percent, Sabahi 21 percent, Abdel Fotouh 18 percent, and Moussa 11 percent; in the second, Morsi had 51.7 percent versus 48.3 percent for Shafik. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood party, prior to the Arab Spring, had been forbidden to organize politically since 1954 and had an anti-Jewish history. Obviously, neither the United States nor Israel wanted him. We wanted and supported someone like Omar Suleiman, the CIA’s point man for Egyptian torture after 9/11.

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Economists Are More Human Than They Think, Unfortunately

by Hendrik Van den Berg
UNL Professor of Economics

After attending two psychology conferences this summer, I confirmed my worst fears about economists’ poor understanding of human psychology. The many papers presented at the conferences suggested a very different form of human behavior than economists customarily assume in their economic and financial models. And I have to presume that psychologists are closer to the truth about human behavior than my economist colleagues. After all, economists have made little effort to align their behavioral models to reality, while psychologists have as their main focus the understanding of human behavior.

The mathematical macroeconomic and financial models economists use generally assume that human beings rationally analyze a wide range of information in reaching economic decisions. Individuals are assumed to carefully weigh the present relative to the future in making long-term decisions. Economists’ most egregious assumption is that people behave as pure individuals and make decisions with only their own well-being in mind.

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TAKE ACTION | Build Public Pressure to End Bombing

The following email is from our national Peace & Justice affiliate Peace Action. Please take a moment to read about the survey they took and then take a moment to write a letter to YOUR editor!

Last week, we surveyed our online supporters on how Peace Action should respond to the crisis in Syria and Iraq. We asked for an assessment of the situation and the most important immediate steps to take to build a visible, vibrant opposition to the war in Syria and Iraq.

After one month of the bombing in Syria, the results confirm the importance of maintaining a steady stream of letters to the editor in local and online press to argue for a way out of the crisis. Two thirds of respondents said that media activism and public education are priorities.

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