Archive for April, 2015


The Arctic is the “canary in the coal mine” of global warming. Over the past 50 years Arctic winters have gotten a whole lot warmer,rising in temperature by an average of 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit. With the region warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, changes in the Arctic are providing a preview of what is to come if climate change is not stopped. The picture is not pretty: the Arctic is suffering increasing coastal erosion, more acidic oceans, earlier spring snowmelt, drier landscapes, and more extensive wildfires. Significant habitat changes are also pushing many species—including the iconic polar bear—to the very brink of extinction.

The United States is taking over chairmanship of the Arctic Council at a challenging and critical time. Thanks to melting sea ice caused by climate change, the Arctic is opening up. This means that Arctic nations could soon begin sparring over new shipping routes and access to remote oil and gas deposits. At the same time, the region is being hit hard. Climate change is directly impacting the Arctic ecosystem. Rising sea levels are upending coastal settlements, while gas flaring is coating sea ice in a nasty layer of black carbon that speeds the melting  causing over a million premature deaths each year from respiratory and heart disease.

If the United States wants to protect the Arctic from climate change, it can’t allow any more oil and gas drilling in the region. The Obama Administration has a unique ability to use its chairmanship of the Arctic Council to chart a new course for climate leadership in the region. According to a peer-reviewed study recently published in Nature, the world must choose between drilling for Arctic oil and maintaining a safe, liveable climate. Showing leadership on climate means cutting carbon emissions—not greenlighting oil companies’ risky plans to place new drilling rigs in the Arctic Circle.




Beijing’s political role, historical narrative, geographical structure, and cultural memory culminate in a city where people share a common experience of culture and emotions. At the same time, Beijing’s unbridled growth can feel unfamiliar, a surreal mix of globalization and localization that has allowed Beijing to build its own traditions, becoming an extremely competitive art hub in the process. Yet there are moments where it diverges from this path. LEAP’s April issue, “The State of Beijing: A Report,” looks at the art capital from the perspectives of architecture, geography, exhibition history, and more, shedding a light on the the rawness and weirdness, authority and gravity that Beijing brings to the table.

This issue’s middle section introduces two important artists as well as new theories: Yuko Mohri’s electro-mechanical sound installations, Timur Si-Qin’s renditions of commercial objects and imagery through a neo-materialist lens, and musings on neoreactionary thoughts and Dark Enlightenment . Einar Engström investigates Mohri’s art via contemporary dynamics — her objects acting as intermediaries and persuading physical forces to reveal a natural order we are simply not accustomed to seeing; Lai Fei interviews Si-Qin, who describes China as a “giant processor of materials,” which may be the Beijing to come; and Matthew Shen Goodman adopts a new philosophy to examine the future of Beijing—a fragmented city-state that is fundamentally unknowable.

This issue’s bottom section features a total of 14 exhibition reviews, including “2015 Triennial: Surround Audience,” “Sharjah Biennial 12: the Past, the Present, the Possible,” “On Kawara: Silence,” “New Measurement and Qian Weikang: Two Case Studies in Early Chinese Conceptual Art,” as well as other major international exhibitions. In addition, you will find reviews of new work and solo exhibitions from Wang Gongxin, Huang Yong Ping, Ding Yi, Zeng Hong, Yang Xinguang, Mark Bradford, and Robert Zhao Renhui, among others.

艺术界 LEAP 32


The Guardian describes Harry Leslie Smith as…’a survivor of the Great Depression, a second world war RAF veteran and an activist for the poor and for the preservation of social democracy. He has written several books about Britain during the depression, the war, and postwar austerity.’

Join him on Twitter @Harryslaststand

…as UK election approaches, this message is more important than ever. Just say NO to those “sinister rightwing c**ts”…

the interpretOr

bobby“We’re living in extreme times and if you listened to modern rock music you wouldn’t know that,” says Gillespie. “I just think it’s odd there’s no protest, resistance or critique of what’s going down. It’s like people are tranquilised. All the rights people had fought for – people like trade unionists, anarchists, artists – are being clawed back by extremists. These people [in charge] aren’t rational thinkers. Someone like Boris Johnson hides behind that bumbling public schoolboy image but he’s a sinister rightwing c**t trying to bring in anti-strike legislation … we’ve got to fight these fucking people!”

Bobby Gillespie’s primal scream: click here to go to the interview in full @ the guardian

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“…Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone was psychologically healthier? If there were less loneliness and less depression? If people knew how to overcome failure? If they felt better about themselves and more empowered? If they were happier and more fulfilled? I can, because that’s the world I want to live in, and that’s the world my brother wants to live in as well. And if you just become informed and change a few simple habits, well, that’s the world we can all live in…”

Psychologist, author

syd march 10 april


April 2015

… redefining ‘terrorism’; Libya, from chaos to war; the IS brand of daily terror; 100 years on, the Armenians speak; US, nothing is as usual; an African Spring? Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria; Sao Paulo’s water crisis; India’s giant, Tata in the 21st century; Algeria’s harkis; dancing for Kobane… and more…

::: just click cover above to access :::


To combat online censorship, Reporters Without Borders is unblocking access to 9 news websites in order to make them available in the 11 countries where they are currently banned.

The nine mirror sites created by Reporters Without Borders…

  1., blocked in Russia, is now available at
  2. blocked in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, is now available at
  3. The Tibet Post International, blocked in China, is now available at
  4. Dan Lam Bao, blocked in Vietnam, is now available at
  5. Mingjing News, blocked in China, is now available at
  6. Hablemos Press, blocked in Cuba, is now available at
  7. Gooya News, blocked in Iran, is now available at
  8. Gulf Centre for Human Rights, blocked in United Arab Emirates, is now available at
  9. Bahrain Mirror, blocked in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, is now available at

This list is also available at

To help make freely-reported news and information available in these countries, all Internet users are invited to join in this operation by posting this list on social networks with the #CollateralFreedom hashtag.

The former prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, is also a longtime student of China, with a unique vantage point to watch its power rise in the past few decades. He asks whether the growing ambition of China will inevitably lead to conflict with other major powers — and suggests another narrative.

TED 2015, filmed March 2015.





The most important government agency you’ve never heard of has never met a fracking lobbyist it didn’t like.

Syriza is just part of a wave of anti-austerity leftism in Europe, much of it led by young people.


Residents fear that a new redevelopment initiative will usher in another wave of displacement.


A human rights attorney looks back at his nearly three decades going after Chicago’s notorious torturer of African-American men.


One explanation is hidden in plain sight: the way the cult mirrors the star-obsessed, profit-driven culture of Hollywood.


Monsanto is malevolent, but some scientists say Frankenfoods can do good.


As a staffer for Bill Clinton, Emanuel allegedly stated that if the polls said voters were in favor of killing a mentally incapacitated man, so was he.

Amid a wave of strikes, there are hopes for lasting workplace reforms in China.



Every direct reference to the exclusive right of one group, based on its mythic and historical past, is a precursor to a justification of brutal power, a version of “might is right.”


How the “cozying up” at the SEC is just another example of regulatory capture.



Workers Say the Fight for 15 Isn’t Just About Raises, It’s a Fight for Meaning in Their Lives

The movement by low-wage workers for higher pay and a union has already won real gains and built up solidarity between workers from many different industries.



Momentum continues to build for the next UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Paris this December, with nations realising the huge benefits of climate action and getting on with the job of developing their national emissions reduction plans for the negotiations. These action plans – known as “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) – marry national goals reflecting individual circumstances and ambitions with a UN framework to keep average global warming below the internationally agreed 2DegC red line.

So far, Switzerland, the European Union, Norway, and Mexico have all submitted plans, but Australia has further cemented its reputation as a coal-obsessed wrecker by not only ignoring the deadline, but dragging its feet and only now calling for public submissions on what it should do. Its discussion paper ignores the 2DegC red line, it attempts to cook the books (again) by describing its current target as “equivalent to a reduction of 13 per cent below 2005 levels” instead of referring to its inadequate five percent below 1990 levels commitment. It also totally ignores the “5-25 per cent range” ittrumpeted in early 2010.

While the rest of the world moves forward, Australia’s climate change policy is “on course for ‘disastrous’ 4DegC warming” as it allows polluters to increase emissions as much as they like without penalty. While railing against the age of entitlement, the Abbott government is looking for special treatment to keep burning and selling coal. It claims it is determined to reduce emissions “without destroying jobs”, but its actions demonstrate that it does not understand the health, employment, environmental and economic benefits that come with cleaning up its economy. The Government has been captured by a dying coal industry, is fighting the future for it, and dooming Australia to climate pariah status on the world stage for its dim prospects.

Related Tree Alerts


  • MT @Mattias_S: #Australia – when can we expect your #climate contributions, #INDC , You’re already behind #Mexico – Is that leadership?
  • MT @MattGrudnoff: PM ‘Australia open for business’. Unless you’re an industry the govt is ideologically opposed to #auspol #climate
  • MT @fionamcrobie: Submissions on Australia’s post-2020 emissions reduction target can be made here: #auspol #climate


“The men and women who conducted this diplomacy deserve great thanks from the entire world.”

BEIRUT — The agreed parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program that were reached Thursday between Iran and the P5+1 powers represent a monumental achievement that affirms the power of reason and diplomacy over the ravages of fear and warfare. The technical details of the complex understanding remain to be completed. For now, though, the lasting significant aspects of this development are about the past and the future: The past being the bold leadership that Iran and the United States have shown in launching and advancing the diplomatic negotiations, and the future being about the potential significant regional changes that will follow the implementation of a full agreement…

::: click here for piece in full @ AlterNet :::

 Rami G. Khouri is was founding director and now senior policy fellow of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut. Follow him on Twitter @ramikhouri.

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