Crossposted from Axis of Logic
It's way too late at this moment to ask the question: Are we going to lose our democracy? We may not all have noticed it yet, but the Big Corporations stole our democracy a long time ago.
How did they manage? They bought up everything, from the heavy to the light industry, arms, oil, chemical, to the people in Congress who are supposed to protect us from abuse of power by applying the rules set down in the Constitution. But, above all, they bought up the media. There is no objective source for authentic news in the U.S. any more, other than the Internet.
Rupert Murdoch and his equally power-hungry fellow media moguls have seen to it that we just get pre-cooked baby-formula infotainment. People are dumbed down by the non-stop stream of meaningless chatter and unceasing propaganda.
Two major disasters
Among all the outrageous and inhuman crimes that plague the world today, there are two all-consuming current disasters which tie into all the other dictatorial abuses of power, from the executive to the lobbies that have bought up the government in all its forms.
There is first of all world hunger and, on the same level of emergency, the phenomenon of global warming – both those enormous problems having to be seen as the disasters that must be dealt with in the most urgent way possible. And today, there is virtually no urgency displayed in the way those disasters are dealt with – or not dealt with.
And yet, those two huge problems have to be solved if the world is going to continue in a shape even vaguely like the world as we know it.
There is the planetary inequality which has caused the world hunger that finally seems to have attracted wide-spread attention. It is obviously not a recent phenomenon, but it has been enhanced by the rise in food prices, which have multiple causes – the use of food for biofuel, the rise in the price of oil for transport, the droughts in Australia and in Africa, the enormous sham of GMOs that were made out to be capable of saving the world from hunger, but instead are doing the opposite. And let's not forget about the role the speculators and the hedge funds are playing in their roulette game with heavily loaded dice.
The second enormous disaster is climate change, which we don't seem to be able to do anything much about. Or rather, governments are, at their own peril, disregarding the imminent danger of inaction in the face of global warming. It would be perfectly possible to roll back the disastrous situation where we find ourselves today. However, instead of dealing with the problem of over-consumption of oil in a rational way in order to save our lives and the life of the planet, governments are forging ahead in the same old way of splurging on oil consumption as if there was no tomorrow. Oil companies go on making bigger profits than ever before in human history, while the people are paying the price for their obscene profits at the gas pumps.
Why the lack of action?
So, why can't we deal with the two foremost disasters, poverty and climate change? Because the corporations are more interested in making big bucks than saving the planet or saving people from starvation. Once again, it's that short-term profit that outplays all true concern for realism and sound planning. Speculators drive up the prices of commodities without a second thought for the consequences of their short-sighted game of quick profit which produces nothing and benefits nobody.
So the real rulers of the world, the Big Corporations, are condemning us to a life of increased poverty and hunger in third-world countries, a general increase in insecurity and joblessness for middle class people in the western world and increased pollution in the emerging economies in Asia, where the standard of living is actually rising – for the rich. And of course, alongside all these disasters, we are seeing the lives of steadily increasing luxury for the people who are reaping the profits of the plunder. The Corporations see to it that the so-called governments, their obedient front men, cut back the taxes on the top levels of income, on capital gains and on inheritance.
Ethanol is NOT the solution
There is big talk and lots of activity for the production of ethanol, which is exactly the way we should NOT be going in the campaign to lower the rate of release of CO2 gas into the atmosphere. This use of corn, sugar cane and soybeans for biofuel makes for less food for the hungry in the third world and also in Brazil, which is now considered an emerging nation rather than a developing one, increasing food prices in the entire world. It does not make for less emission of CO2 gas since the production of ethanol gives off more CO2 than it saves as an alternative fuel. But corporations and industrial farms are taking advantage of people's ignorance and gullibility and making huge profits. (See Addendum on ethanol*) Rain forests are being cut down to make room for millions of acres of culture for the production of ethanol and biodiesel. And those rain forests are exactly the best protection on the planet against too much CO2 in the atmosphere. 
The Corporations make money off ethanol production, so that's the way we are going, even though it increases world hunger and does absolutely nothing to save the world from global warming.