Economists, politicians, and pundits insist recovery is at hand, yet unemployment remains high, real estate values continue to sink, and governments face record deficits. Today’s guest, RICHARD HEINBERG has a new book, The End of Growth, in which he proposes a startling diagnosis: humanity has reached a fundamental turning point in its economic history. He talks about the new normal that recognizes the limits to growth imposed by resource and disposal limits, climate change, and population growth.
ELISE WHITAKER, Action Committee, OccupyLA
DAVID DeGRAW, OWSnews.org, AmpedStatus.com
TODD GITLIN, The Sixties; Letters to a Young Activist
SARAH VAN GELDER, YES magazine,
editor, THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
I have invited four guests to have a conversation about the movement referred to as the Occcupy movement, the Occupy Wall Street movement, or the 99% movement. From a group of people encamping in New York city September 17th, to affiliated actions or camps in 900 cities in the US and the world, through the removal of most of the physical camps — where do we stand now, where do we go from here?
I will ask for a brief update of status reports from around the country and then I want to explore the impact so far, its meaning, its prospects, its challenges and possibilities. How does OWS/99% interact with other movements and other political entities, including the 2012 elections and the Democratic party? How much of our hopes can we fulfill through this movement? How wide can it be? How far can it go? And what will it demand of us?
SARAH VAN GELDER is co-founder and Executive Editor of YES! Magazine and YesMagazine.org. She was a television and radio producer, a community organizer, founder of a cooperative of food co-ops, and a founding board member and resident of Winslow Cohousing. She is editor with the staff of YES Magazine of THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement.
TODD GITLIN, a professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph. D. program in Communications at Columbia University, holds degrees from Harvard University, University of Michigan, and UC Berkeley (sociology). Giltin was the third president of Students for a Democratic Society in 1963-64, and is the author of fourteen books, including, and Letters to a Young Activist; The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; aND The Whole World Is Watching. He gave three lectures on media, revolutions, and democracy as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo between March 23 and 29 of this year.
DAVID DeGRAW is an investigative journalist, founder and editor of AmpedStatus.com, as well as OWSnews.org, formerly editorial director of MediaChannel.org, and author of The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States. In DeGraw’s expanded “reports” he piles on (amply footnoted) data with a relentless fury that makes a reader want to cry uncle. Then he connects the dots, building a narrative that makes clear “uncle” is not an option. DeGraw’s challenge: Will we the people come together to take on our common enemies – the economic elites who have stolen our money, our media, and our democracy – before they steal our future?”
At a time when social media is being utilized to coordinate protests against the domination of our economy, our government, and our society by corporations and the very wealthy individuals who profit most from them, SIMON MAINWARING sees a hopeful path to save society from capitalism’s worst excesses. http://wefirstseminar.com/
A social media expert with global experience with brands such as Nike, Toyota and Motorola- he offers a new brand model in which they leverage social media to earn consumer goodwill, loyalty and profit, while promoting sustainable social change through contributions from customer purchases.
The goal of We First is a sustainable practice of capitalism. It is based on the belief that selfish Me First thinking hurts our businesses and the lives of millions of people around the world. It asserts that a brighter future depends on an integration of profit and purpose within the private sector. To achieve this, companies and customers must become partners in social change to build a better world.
Could such innovative partnerships (with shared goals) practice capitalism in a way that satisfies the need for both profit and a healthy, sustainable planet? How realistic is his vision at a time when greed keeps consolidating gains? How much difference could it make even if successful? What has MAINWARING seen in working with these brands that makes him talk about his vision as a likely alternative?
This week’s show is about a Los Angeles institution and source of local pride, nurtured to greatness as a family-owned business, purchased by someone from out-of-town who knew little about the business, put up little of his own money, and ran the property into the ground so that it is now a shell of its former self. And many customers have reacted by not buying the product.
No, we’re not talking about the Dodgers, but the Los Angeles Times.
After buying Times Mirror, The Tribune Company sent JAMES O’SHEA to LA to run the Times. Sam Zell bought the Tribune Company in a deal that even I – no financial expert – thought was both bad and doomed, and soon the Tribune Company was in bankruptcy where it remains.
O’Shea refused to do his bosses’ bidding in terms of cutbacks and he was let go. Over the next two years the Times cut nearly 40% of its journalists. JAMES O’SHEA has since founded a Chicago news cooperative of which he is editor, attempting a new model of journalism.
JAMES O’SHEA is editor and co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative, former editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times and past managing editor of the Chicago Tribune. Under his leadership, the Tribune’s news staff received six Pulitzer prizes. O’Shea is the author of THE DAISY CHAIN about the savings-and-loan crisis of the 1980s, DANGEROUS COMPANY, an examination of management consultants’ role in corporate decision making, and his latest THE DEAL FROM HELL: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers.
Some bad news:
In 2008 more than 50% of all US harvested cropland grew only two crops – corn and soybeans and more than 40% of the food calories consumed worldwide came from just three crops: wheat, corn and rice.
30% of Detroit residents receive food stamps, but 92% of Detroit’s food stamp retailers offer few or no fresh fruit or vegetables.
The average plate of food eaten in our homes or restaurants travels 1,500 miles from where the food is grown. Our food system consumes 10.3 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce 1.4 calories of food energy.”
And some good news:
There are now 8000 farm to school programs across the US. Eight years ago there were only 4. There are now 6000 farmers’ markets in the US three times as many as in 1995. 330 hospitals in the US and Canada have pledged to purchase food that is grown according to Fair Food principles.
In recent years a number of books and films have documented the dangers of our current food system, and a number of those have been featured on Free forum. Just as you can’t alter the course of climate change by simply switching to efficient light bulbs, today’s guests believe that you can’t fix the broken food system by simply growing a backyard garden. It requires redesigning our food system.
My first guest, ORAN HESTERMAN has a new book FAIR FOOD, a guide to changing not only what we eat, but how our food is grown, packaged, delivered, marketed and sold. Hesterman opens the book talking about Detroit, Michigan, an unlikely beacon of hope in the fight for fair food.
Prior to starting the Fair Food Network, where he is President & CEO, ORAN HESTERMAN was the inaugural president of Fair Food Foundation, leading their sustainable food systems programs. Before that, he researched and taught in the crop and soil sciences department at Michigan State University in East Lansing, and for more than 15 years he co-led the Integrated Farming Systems and Food and Society Programs for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, during which time the Foundation seeded the local food systems movement with over $200 million. FAIR FOOD is his first book.
My second guest LEILA CONNERS, a founder of Tree Media in Santa Monica, is a producer of URBAN ROOTS, a documentary on the food revolution taking place in Detroit. Directed by Detroit-native Mark McInnis the film tells the powerful story of a group of dedicated Detroiters working tirelessly to fulfill their vision for locally-grown, sustainably farmed food in a city where people — as in much of the county — have found themselves cut off from real food and limited to lifeless offerings of fast food chains, mini-marts, and grocery stores stocked with processed food from thousands of miles away.
LEILA CONNERS is Founder and President of Tree Media Group. Conners is director, producer, and writer on THE 11TH HOUR, as well as the short films “Global Warning” and “Water Planet” (all with Leonardo DiCaprio). She was Associate Editor at New Perspectives Quarterly and Global Viewpoint, focusing on international politics and social issues. She is producer of URBAN ROOTS.
fairfoodbook.org, fairfoodnetwork.org, urbanrootsamerica.com, treemedia.com