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Hillary Clinton unsuited to task of confronting climate change, too enmeshed in corporate thinking

 So let’s forget the smoking guns for the moment. The problem with Clinton World is structural. It’s the way in which these profoundly enmeshed relationships—lubricated by the exchange of money, favors, status, and media attention—shape what gets proposed as policy in the first place…….

 At the center of it all is the canonical belief that change comes not by confronting the wealthy and powerful but by partnering with them. 

USA election 2016 The Problem With Hillary Clinton Isn’t Just Her Corporate Cash. It’s Her Corporate Worldview.
Clinton is uniquely unsuited to the epic task of confronting the fossil-fuel companies that profit from climate change. The Nation By Naomi Klein     Twitter  APRIL 6, 2016 

 There aren’t a lot of certainties left in the US presidential race, but here’s one thing about which we can be absolutely sure: The Clinton camp really doesn’t like talking about fossil-fuel money. Last week, when a young Greenpeace campaigner challenged Hillary Clinton about taking money from fossil-fuel companies, the candidate accused the Bernie Sanders campaign of “lying” and declared herself “so sick” of it. As the exchange went viral, a succession of high-powered Clinton supporters pronounced that there was nothing to see here and that everyone should move along…….
 some facts. Hillary Clinton’s campaign, including her Super PAC, has received a lot of money from the employees and registered lobbyists of fossil-fuel companies. There’s the much-cited $4.5 million that Greenpeace calculated, which includes bundling by lobbyists.

 But that’s not all. There is also a lot more money from sources not included in those calculations. For instance, one of Clinton’s most prominent and active financial backers is Warren Buffett. While he owns a large mix of assets, Buffett is up to his eyeballs in coal, including coal transportation and some of the dirtiest coal-fired power plants in the country.

Then there’s all the cash that fossil-fuel companies have directly pumped into the Clinton Foundation. In recent years, Exxon, Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Chevron have all contributed to the foundation. An investigation in theInternational Business Times just revealed that at least two of these oil companies were part of an effort to lobby Clinton’s State Department about the Alberta tar sands, a massive deposit of extra-dirty oil. Leading climate scientists like James Hansen have explained that if we don’t keep the vast majority of that carbon in the ground, we will unleash catastrophic levels of warming.

During this period, the investigation found, Clinton’s State Department approved the Alberta Clipper, a controversial pipeline carrying large amounts of tar-sands bitumen from Alberta to Wisconsin. “According to federal lobbying records reviewed by the IBT,” write David Sirota and Ned Resnikoff, “Chevron and ConocoPhillips both lobbied the State Department specifically on the issue of ‘oil sands’ in the immediate months prior to the department’s approval, as did a trade association funded by ExxonMobil.”

Did the donations to the Clinton Foundation have anything to do with the State Department’s pipeline decision? Did they make Hillary Clinton more disposed to seeing tar-sands pipelines as environmentally benign, as early State Department reviews of Keystone XLseemed to conclude, despite the many scientific warnings? There is no proof—no “smoking gun,” as Clinton defenders like to say. Just as there is no proof that the money her campaign took from gas lobbyists and fracking financiers has shaped Clinton’s current (and dangerous) view that fracking can be made safe.

It’s important to recognize that Clinton’s campaign platform includes some very good climate policies that surely do not please these donors—which is why the fossil-fuel sector gives so much more to climate change–denying Republicans.

Still, the whole funding mess stinks, and it seems to get worse by the day. So it’s very good that the Sanders camp isn’t abiding by Krugman’s “guidelines for good behavior” and shutting up about the money in a year when climate change has contributed to the hottest temperatures since records began. This primary isn’t over, and Democratic voters need and deserve to know all they can before they make a choice we will all have to live with for a very long time……..

The mission of the Clinton Foundation can be distilled as follows: There is so much private wealth sloshing around our planet (thanks in very large part to the deregulation and privatization frenzy that Bill Clinton unleashed on the world while president), that every single problem on earth, no matter how large, can be solved by convincing the ultra-rich to do the right things with their loose change. Naturally, the people to convince them to do these fine things are the Clintons, the ultimate relationship brokers and dealmakers, with the help of an entourage of A-list celebrities.

So let’s forget the smoking guns for the moment. The problem with Clinton World is structural. It’s the way in which these profoundly enmeshed relationships—lubricated by the exchange of money, favors, status, and media attention—shape what gets proposed as policy in the first place…….

At the center of it all is the canonical belief that change comes not by confronting the wealthy and powerful but by partnering with them.

Viewed from within the logic of what Thomas Frank recently termed “the land of money,” all of Hillary Clinton’s most controversial actions make sense. Why not take money from fossil-fuel lobbyists? Why not get paid hundreds of thousands for speeches to Goldman Sachs? It’s not a conflict of interest; it’s a mutually beneficial partnership—part of a never-ending merry-go-round of corporate-political give and take.

Books have been filled with the failures of Clinton-style philanthrocapitalism. When it comes to climate change, we have all the evidence we need to know that this model is a disaster on a planetary scale. This is the logic that gave the world fraud-infested carbon markets and dodgy carbon offsets instead of tough regulation of polluters—because, we were told, emission reductions needed to be “win-win” and “market-friendly.”

If the next president wastes any more time with these schemes, the climate clock will run out, plain and simple……http://www.thenation.com/article/the-problem-with-hillary-clinton-isnt-just-her-corporate-cash-its-her-corporate-worldview/

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April 11, 2016 - Posted by | USA elections 2016

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