Political Analysis

From the grassroots to Washington and beyond, the realities of politics and power are routinely cloaked in euphemism and evasion.

    Political Analysis
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Nov 21st, 2014 by progressiveradionetwork at 2:37 pm

For the first two-thirds of the show Steve Horn had Zach D Roberts on the show, a photo/video journalist whose work has been published in the Observer, The Guardian, TheNation.com. He has been photographing and researching for an investigation on voting suppression for Al Jazeera America with investigative journalist Greg Palast, which we discussed on-air.

For the last third of the show, Steve had on Darren Dorchuk, Associate Professor, Department of History and Associate Professor in the Humanities in the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. His research explores points of connection between religion, politics, and culture in modern U.S history. He is author of the 2011 books "Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism" and "Sunbelt Rising: The Politics of Space, Place, and Region" He is currently on the book, "Anointed With Oil: God and Black Gold in Modern America," which served as the topic of discussion for the show.
Nov 14th, 2014 by progressiveradionetwork at 3:05 pm
***Part 3 of Political Analysis' series on the Global Water Crisis***


Tonight Sandy LeonVest is joined by researcher Laura Stroup, who co-authored with Michael Finewood, the groundbreaking new report, "Fracking and the Neoliberalization of the Hydro-Social Cycle in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale."

Sandy and Laura discuss, among other issues, the ways neoliberalism is re-defining the relationships between people and the non-human world; the significance (or lack thereof) of this week's US-China climate agreement; and how "multi-scale neoliberal discourses" obfuscate a deeper understanding of the impacts of fracking on water resources -- and facillitate the normalization of a false narrative on fracking and other energy-related issues and practices.

They also discuss the huge socio-environmental costs of the current "fracking frenzy" in the US and abroad, as is so graphically illustrated in Ukraine, where the connection between neoliberal policies and the global fracking rampage is painfully apparent -- and emblematic of the larger problem. 

The report states: "But more broadly, we are interested in contributing to a context-specific analysis of  As market approaches to environmental regulation become a more accepted, and perhaps a dominant part of governance strategy, places like northeastern PA are ''written off for environmental destruction in the name of a higher purpose, such as the national interest" (Scott 2010, 31). These 'sacrifice zones' assume an ecological disconnect between people and their environment, normalizing environmental degradation in some places while protecting others, and also assume no alternative uses ofland or energy resources. This can be viewed as a form of remote environmental exploitation and brutality where the scalar issues make these sacrifice zones almost invisible to the larger nation and world. We feel that these struggles to (re)define the nature/ society relationship is about the power to ensure capital flows into specific hands, which will likely result in greater costs to other people and their environments. Formally investigating and deconstructing pro- fracking discourses is part of an ongoing project to come to terms with the realities involved with the transformation of the hydro­ social cycle and with the water-energy nexus, and to strive for a more equitable future."


(Michael H. Flnewood and Laura J. Stroup, Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA; St. Michael's College, Colchester, VT)

The Global Labor Institute's Dr. Sean Sweeney joins Sandy LeonVest on tonighit's Political Analysis. Sandy and Sean reflect on Tuesday's election results and the ramifications for the climate. They also discuss Energy Democracy in an increasingly undemocratic world and this November's Labor and Climate Justice Forum in NYC (moderated by  Dr. Sweeney). Other topics include the folly of Obama's "all of the above," methane-powered climate plan; the imperative of organizing a mass, "transformative" movement -- from the ground up; effective coalition building on a divided planet and current strategies for uniting various activist and grassroots groups, in the interest of saving the climate.

"With the threat of climate change and the likely breach of planetary resource limits, human civilization faces an energy emergency of global proportions." (from the WorldwatchInstitute’s State of the World 2014: Governing for Sustainability, co-authored by Dr. Sean Sweeney, co-director of the Global Labor Institute at Cornell University.) The book highlights the need for economic and political institutions to serve people and preserve and protect our common resources.



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