Workers and their unions have a hard road ahead to strengthen Myanmar's weak legal framework in the face of the rapacious vulture capitalism of big foreign business interests. But the unique moment in history unlocked by the election victory of Aung San Suu Kyi can spur the motivation to build a solid democracy with better human and workers rights as a foundation.
Developing countries lose more and are damaged more. This is why developing countries have been continuously, tirelessly fighting for loss and damage in the climate negotiations. Meanwhile, developed countries like the United States, those who have caused the climate change we know today, have only evaded the topic.
Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada handed Chevron another defeat in its efforts to forever avoid paying to clean up its toxic mess in the Amazon. It ruled unanimously that the Ecuadorian communities could pursue an enforcement action with the aim of seizing Chevron's Canadian assets to cover its $10 billion liability.
The power of California's oil refiners is always felt but rarely visible in Sacramento. It was on full display at Wednesday's press conference when it was acknowledged that California's effort to lead the world by cutting petroleum use in half was dead for the year due to oil company lobbying and advertising.
Why would refiners build more refining capacity if they can charge more for making less gasoline? And with crude oil at historic lows, Californians gas pumps are the refiners' most reliable ATM. That's why Senate Bill 350's mandate to limit petroleum use and free up supply comes to the aid of the consumer, not just the climate.
As part of an ongoing effort to blur the truth, The Washington Times just published a "hit piece" against Amazon Watch, which has long supported the Ecuadorian communities that were devastated by decades of Chevron's reckless actions for which it has been found guilty in a landmark environmental lawsuit.
Sen. Whitehouse likened their actions to those of the tobacco companies that conspired to manufacture doubt about the link between smoking and disease when they were all too aware of it. In 2006, a federal district court ruled that the tobacco industry's deceptive campaign to maximize its profits by hoodwinking the public amounted to a racketeering enterprise.