Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

gallons of milk in a dairy case

IATP's new study draws a direct line between policies (or lack thereof) that have aided and abetted global dairy corporations to get big and powerful to those that have disempowered dairy farmers and the rural communities where they reside.

Time to Hold Agribusiness Accountable for Its Climate Footprint

IATP’s new study on Big Dairy makes the connection between emissions and the rural crisis

In the past two years, calls for addressing greenhouse gas emissions from our food system, livestock in particular, have been growing louder. The solutions proposed focus on either the farmer or the consumer. If only farmers would stop polluting or consumers would eat a lot less meat, we would be fine. Both are part of the solution, but not the drivers of the problem.

Global agribusiness determines much of what, how much and how farmers produce, what consumers buy and what they pay for it. Governments help facilitate or hinder corporate access to land, natural resources and markets. Governments are also tasked with raising their climate ambitions this decade under the Paris climate agreement, our last shot at reining in catastrophic climate change. At the same time, rural communities are in economic distress, with many families leaving farming all together.

Our new study, Milking the Planet: How Big Dairy is heating up the planet and hollowing rural communities, draws a direct line between policies (or lack thereof) that have aided and abetted global dairy corporations to get big and powerful to those that have disempowered dairy farmers and the rural communities where they reside. It connects rising emissions, mergers and acquisitions and rural disenfranchisement. Policies that support over-production and below cost prices for farmers also drive emissions higher and serve these global dairy conglomerates. Responses to the climate crisis must address these inter-connected challenges of keeping farmers on the land and protecting the planet.

It is past time that governments get our agriculture, trade and climate policies in sync with climate and social justice goals that result in thriving farms and decent work. Since the Earth Summit in 1992 when governments committed to tackle climate change, we have waited for private actors to do the right thing by the planet. We have lost 28 years and many farms since. Governments must take concerted action this decade, our last perhaps to contain runaway climate change, to redirect public funds away from industrial agriculture, regulate corporations to internalize the public health and environmental costs of their production and support producers in regenerating soils and communities.    

© 2021 Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Shefali Sharma

Shefali Sharma is a senior advisor with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·

Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·

New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·

West Virginia Constituents Decry 'Immorality' of Joe Manchin

"West Virginia has been locked into an economy that forces workers into low-wage jobs with no hope for advancement, and after decades of this our hope is dwindling," said one West Virginian. "The cuts that Sen. Manchin has negotiated into the agenda hurt our state."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo