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Saturday

Notorious 'Neonics' Pervasive in Midwest Waters: Study

Notorious 'Neonics' Pervasive in Midwest Waters: Study | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

A new study has added to mounting evidence against a class of insecticides called neonicotinoids, or "neonics." Linked in numerous studies to bee declines, the new research looks at neonics' impacts on surface water.

Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey looked at 9 rivers and streams in the U.S. Midwest — home to vast plantings of corn and soybeansas well as widespread use of neonics—in the 2013 growing season.

The researchers detected neonics in all the waterways, which included the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. One systemic pesticide, clothianidin, was found in 75 percent of the water samples...

note: Two cities, Eugene OR and Spokane WA, have taken initial action to ban city use of neonics. Look into your city, and see if your city council can be educated and take action on this issue. Next step after banning city use: commercial ban, outlawing sale of neonics in the city. Also work to revive bill from last year that would impose US moratorium on neonics, as the EU has done. 

Tuesday

Nestle boycott profile, Us and Canada

Nestle's bottled water scam in Canada.

Nestle boycott profile  (UK)


Nestle bottled water

The U.S. bottled water market has grown from 6.2 billion gallons and $8.5 billion in revenues in 2003 to more than 10 billion gallons and $12.2 billion in revenues last year, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation. Nestle operates 29 bottled water facilities in the U.S. and Canada, with annual reported revenues of $4 billion in 2012.

Nestle continues to draw water to sell from wells located on a California reservation despite worsening drought conditions that have prompted conservation measures limiting personal use.

The company has been drawing water for more than a decade from wells near a spring on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians’ reservation, but neighbors have grown concerned about the operation as the statewidedrought continues into its third year.

“Why is it possible to take water from a drought area, bottle it, and sell it?” said Linda Ivey, a Palm Desert real estate appraiser.

The Desert Sun reported that Nestle Waters North America Inc., which leases the property from
the tribe, had previously submitted annual reports on its groundwaterextraction to local water districts.

Monitoring conducted by the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) finds the company to be responsible for more violations of the World Health Assembly marketing requirements for baby foods than any other company. It quotes UNICEF "Marketing practices that undermine breastfeeding are potentially hazardous wherever they are pursued: in the developing world, WHO estimates that some 1.5 million children die each year because they are not adequately breastfed. These facts are not
in dispute."

Sunday

Nestlé's water privatization push | Story of Stuff

Nestlé's water privatization push | Story of Stuff

Across the globe, Nestlé is pushing to privatize and control public water resources.

Nestlé's Chairman of the Board, Peter Brabeck, has explained his philosophy with "The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution."

Since that quote has gotten widespread attention, Brabeck has backtracked, but his company has not. Around the world, Nestlé is bullying communities into giving up control of their water. It's time we
took a stand for public water sources.

Tell Nestlé that we have a right to water. Stop locking up our resources!
At the World Water Forum in 2000, Nestlé successfully lobbied to stop water from being declared a universal right -- declaring open hunting season on our local water resources by the multinational corporations looking to control them. For Nestlé, this means billions of dollars in profits. For us, it means paying up to 2,000 percent more for drinking water because it comes from a plastic bottle.

Now, in countries around the world, Nestlé is promoting bottled water as a status symbol.
As it pumps out fresh water at high volume, water tables lower and local wells become degraded. Safe water becomes a privilege only affordable for the wealthy.

Thursday

Suncor lobbying against water laws on the Athabasca

Suncor, the biggest company in the tar sands, has a dirty secret -- it’s lobbying against laws that could prevent the Athabasca River from running dry.

Scientists, experts and industry know that restrictions on the amount of water taken from the river are needed to protect this rich ecosystem, one of the world’s largest freshwater deltas. But Suncor is only concerned with  corporate profits -- it's determined to take as much water as it wants,
whenever it wants it.

The new laws are weeks away from being released by government, and if we can force Suncor to back down, we have a chance to save the Athabasca.

Tell Suncor’s CEO: Stop lobbying against water laws that could save the Athabasca.

Suncor has spent millions on a flashy ad campaign claiming it's green,   innovative and that it cares about water management. But lobbying records and leaked legislation show it's trying to weaken water laws and could be able to withdraw ten times more water than its competitors, and even be able to dump toxic tailings right back into Lake Athabasca, causing even more havoc.

We’re targeting Suncor because it is the largest company in the oilsands, and it cares deeply about its reputation. It spends millions convincing the public it is clean and green. If these laws go through, fish and aquatic  species will be put directly at risk and it will be almost impossible to save the Athabasca.

The SumOfUs.org community have already fought Suncor for intervening in our kids’ education, and dumping toxic water into Lake Athabasca and failing to even inform the Fort McKay First Nation what was going on so they could protect their communities and families.

Now, we have a real opportunity to call out Suncor on its greenwash and protect the Athabasca from growing tar sands expansion.

Tell Suncor's CEO Steve Williams to immediately stop lobbying the Alberta government.




Suncor is spending millions on a high profile public relations blitz to convince Canadians it cares about the environment. But we know Suncor is lobbying to get exempted from new water regulations to protect one of Canada's most important rivers.
If wants to be able to take as much fresh water from the Athabasca
River as it wants -- even when plant and animal life are at risk. And
what's more, it could be able to dump toxic tailings water - untreated - right into the Athabasca River. 

The Athabasca River is essential to hundreds of species of birds,
animals and fish that rely on those ecosystems to survive. If water
level falls too low, animals, fish and wildlife die, and drinking water, farming, and traditional transportation routes will be put at risk.

Suncor thinks a masasive PR campaign will distract us from their
shameful behaviour, but we won't let them. The stakes are too high. The
Alberta government's draft regulations are weeks from being released, giving us an urgent opportunity now to call on Suncor to do the right thing before its too late.
Sign the petition to Suncor Energy.
Suncor: Support absolute limits on water withdrawals and a ban on waste water dumping.











































































































































































































































































- See more at: http://whatyescando.org/#what-yes-really-doing



Suncor is spending millions on a high profile public relations blitz to convince Canadians it cares about the environment. But we know Suncor is lobbying to get exempted from new water regulations to protect one of Canada's most important rivers.
If wants to be able to take as much fresh water from the Athabasca
River as it wants -- even when plant and animal life are at risk. And
what's more, it could be able to dump toxic tailings water - untreated - right into the Athabasca River. 

The Athabasca River is essential to hundreds of species of birds,
animals and fish that rely on those ecosystems to survive. If water
level falls too low, animals, fish and wildlife die, and drinking water, farming, and traditional transportation routes will be put at risk.

Suncor thinks a masasive PR campaign will distract us from their
shameful behaviour, but we won't let them. The stakes are too high. The
Alberta government's draft regulations are weeks from being released, giving us an urgent opportunity now to call on Suncor to do the right thing before its too late.
Sign the petition to Suncor Energy.
Suncor: Support absolute limits on water withdrawals and a ban on waste water dumping.











































































































































































































































































- See more at: http://whatyescando.org/#what-yes-really-doing



Suncor is spending millions on a high profile public relations blitz to convince Canadians it cares about the environment. But we know Suncor is lobbying to get exempted from new water regulations to protect one of Canada's most important rivers.
If wants to be able to take as much fresh water from the Athabasca
River as it wants -- even when plant and animal life are at risk. And
what's more, it could be able to dump toxic tailings water - untreated - right into the Athabasca River. 

The Athabasca River is essential to hundreds of species of birds,
animals and fish that rely on those ecosystems to survive. If water
level falls too low, animals, fish and wildlife die, and drinking water, farming, and traditional transportation routes will be put at risk.

Suncor thinks a masasive PR campaign will distract us from their
shameful behaviour, but we won't let them. The stakes are too high. The
Alberta government's draft regulations are weeks from being released, giving us an urgent opportunity now to call on Suncor to do the right thing before its too late.
Sign the petition to Suncor Energy.
Suncor: Support absolute limits on water withdrawals and a ban on waste water dumping.











































































































































































































































































- See more at: http://whatyescando.org/#what-yes-really-doing

Friday

BBC News - Landmines: US tells Mozambique summit of ban plans

BBC News - Landmines: US tells Mozambique summit of ban plans

The United States says it will no longer produce or buy any anti-personnel landmines.
A White House statement also said it would not seek to replace expiring stockpiles of the weapons.

The announcement came at a conference in Mozambique on the Ottawa Convention, a UN treaty banning landmines. The White House says it is moving towards signing the pact.

But critics accuse the US of not going far enough. They say it should ban landmine use immediately, commit to a target date for joining the UN treaty and destroy its existing stocks. Several other world powers, including Russia and China, have also not signed the convention.

Thursday

UN: Detroit violating human rights by turning off residents' taps

UN: Detroit violating human rights by turning off residents' taps | World news | theguardian.com

UN rights experts on Wednesday slammed struggling US city Detroit forviolating the basic human rights of its citizens by disconnecting thousands of people from water services over unpaid bills.

Cash-strapped Detroit, which last July became the largest US city to ever file for bankruptcy protection, has recently begun disconnecting water services on a large scale, for all households that have not paid bills for two months, the three experts said in a statement.

The birthplace of the US auto industry has accelerated the process since early June, with around 3,000 customers cut off each week, and some 30,000 households expected to be disconnected from water services over the next few months, they said.

"Disconnection of water services because of failure to pay due to lack of means constitutes a violation of the human right to water and other international human rights," they insisted."The households which suffered unjustified disconnections must be immediately reconnected," they said.

While disconnecting people who are able to pay but choose not to can be justified, the experts stressed that in a city like Detroit, with its sky-high poverty and unemployment rate, the relatively expensive cost ofwater is simply unaffordable for a significant portion of the population.

Do farmers really need bee-harming insecticides? |

Do farmers really need bee-harming insecticides? | Environment | theguardian.com

and from the comments:
A major problem is that there is almost no funding
for research into biological or cultural controls (e.g. crop rotations),
since these do not offer a return on investment (you cannot patent a
crop rotation system).
Instead industry puts huge amounts of money
into developing and promoting technological solutions such as new
pesticides, GM crop varieties etc. which they can then sell for decades
to come."
This comment by Professor Dave Goulson from Sussex University contains a massively important point. This is the whole problem with the current food system. It isn't that there isn't any alternatives or different insights. The whole problem is that the current system is only interested in solutions or options which can be monetised i.e. solutions which someone can greatly profit from. There is no interest in any solution that cannot be monetised and patented, no matter how good it might be for everyone else and the environment. THIS IS THE WHOLE PROBLEM. We are doing things in these stupid ways, not
because there is no other option, but because it is the option that allows a tiny group of very wealthy people to carry on profiting from this idiocy.

This why wild pollinators have been largely ignored as well, even though they account for twice the pollination of crops that Honeybees do. Honeybees are commercialised and have a commercial
value. No one can profit from wild pollinators so the powerful people that run our systems are not interested in them, although us ordinary people need them to survive.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/feb/28/wild-bees-pollinators-crop-yield

here is the result of the Italian ban a few years ago:

http://www.youris.com/Environment/Bees/Marco_Lodesani_Lessons_From_The_Italian_Ban_On_Pesticides.kl

No effect on yield. Good recovery in bee populations not exposed to seed sowing (dust is a major contaminant) or spraying.

Wednesday

It’s time to ban bee-killing pesticides | David Suzuki Foundation

It’s time to ban bee-killing pesticides | David Suzuki Foundation

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about bee-killing pesticides. Bees have been dying off at alarming rates, and neonicotinoid pesticides are implicated in this decline. Bees aren’t the only victims. “Neonic” pesticides may harm the human brain, nervous system and hormonal system.
In June, an international group of independent scientists released the results of a comprehensive analysis of 800 peer-reviewed studies on neonics — a massive, four-year undertaking. Their conclusion: “…there is clear evidence of harm sufficient to trigger regulatory action.
The assessment highlights serious risks, not only to bees, but to many other beneficial species, including butterflies, earthworms and birds.

Meanwhile, research indicates that neonics do not necessarily increase agricultural yields.
So why are we still using them? Last year, Europe announced a moratorium on the use of three neonics on bee-attracting crops.

In Canada, however, these pesticides are still in widespread use. Canadian regulators have confirmed
that neonics used on corn seed is a contributing factor to bee die-offs in Ontario and Quebec, but they continue to allow the use of these pesticides.

In the case of clothianidin — a neonic used to treat corn seeds and frequently detected in samples of dead bees — Canadian regulators even signed off on its re-approval last year just as their European
counterparts were implementing a ban. That stings!

Take action! French version for Quebec here.

Federal and provincial governments share responsibility for pesticide regulation in Canada. Join us in calling on our regulators to side with the science and ban neonics.

Agent Orange is back - and so is 2-4-D.

Friends of the Earth

Dow Chemical is seeking approval for its “Agent Orange” crops --
corn and soy seeds genetically engineered to withstand massive doses of
2,4-D. This pesticide was one of the main ingredients in Agent Orange,
the toxic chemical mix that caused devastating health problems in the
Vietnam War.

2,4-D is a highly toxic pesticide -- more harmful to plant life than
RoundUp -- and has been linked to serious health problems such as
cancer, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption and reproductive
problems. EPA approval of 2,4-D resistant crops will bring a massive
increase in even more toxic pesticide applications, threatening our
environment, the safety of our food, and the health of people who live
in agricultural communities across the U.S..

We need to stop the destructive cycle of using more and more of the
most toxic pesticides on our crops. Don’t let Dow Chemical reap the
profit from this dangerous pesticide at the expense of our environment,
our farmers, and our health.

Speak up now for safe food and safe farms. Tell the EPA to oppose  Dow’s “Agent Orange” corn and soy!

Tuesday

Pesticides greater threat than previously admitted; Sierra Club says ban bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides now! | Sierra Club Canada

Pesticides greater threat than previously admitted; Sierra Club says ban bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides now! | Sierra Club Canada

OTTAWA -- The findings of the Worldwide Integrated Assessment (WIA) undertaken by the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides make it absolutely clear neonicotinoid pesticides must be banned by the Health Canada. The Study reviewed some 800 scientific papers and concluded that the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides go far beyond honey bees: butterflies, birds and amphibians are all threatened. “The experiment must end now!” said John Bennett, National Program Director, Sierra Club Canada Foundation. “There is overwhelming evidence to justify banning neonicotinoid pesticides,”

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has inexplicably refused to take action after concluding last September that the use of neonicotinoid pesticides is “unsustainable because they kill bees”. After a three month comment period the Agency decided last December to continue consulting for at least two more years before making a decision.

However, in February of this year the PMRA greatly expanded the approved uses of the neonicotinoid pesticides despite its own cautions and mounting evidence of the damage being done.“Canada needs a strong regulatory regime that bases its decisions on science, not on needs of thepesticide industry,” said Mr. Bennett.

On June 19th Sierra Club Canada Foundation requested the federal Ethics Commissioner launch an investigation of ConservativeMP and Cabinet Minister accepting a job with CropLife the pesticide
industry’s lobbying organization.

The European Union banned the use of neonicotinoid pesticides a year ago in response to mounting
scientific evidence. Last week President Obama announced a review of pesticides among other measures to protect bees and other pollinators.

Wednesday

Noam Chomsky on human extinction: The corporate elite are actively courting disaster

Noam Chomsky on human extinction: The corporate elite are actively courting disaster

Climate change poses an imminent threat to human life, said political philosopher Noam Chomsky – and humans are drawing their own doom ever closer.

“This is the first time in human history that we have the capacity to destroy the conditions for decent survival, (and) it is already happening,” Chomsky told journalist Chris Hedges,

Chomsky said species destruction had reached the same level as 65 million years ago – when an asteroid hit the earth, ending the period of dinosaurs and wiping up many other species.

“It is the same level today, and we are the asteroid,” he said. “If anyone could see us from outer space they would be astonished.” The noted linguist said some sectors of the global population – such
as the First Nations in Canada, aboriginals in Australia, and tribal people in India – had tried to slow the march to catastrophe, while others were actively courting disaster.

“Who is accelerating it?” Chomsky said. “The most privileged, so-called advanced, educated populations of the world.”

He compared this phenomenon to a theory by Ernst Mayr, a 20th-century evolutionary biologist who speculated humans would never encounter intelligent extraterrestrials because higher life forms quickly force themselves into extinction.

“Mayr argued that the adaptive value of what is called ‘higher intelligence’ is very low,” Chomsky said. “Beetles and bacteria are much more adaptive than humans. We will find out if it is better to be smart than stupid. We may be a biological error, using the 100,000 years  which Mayr gives [as] the life expectancy of a species to destroy  ourselves and many other life forms on the planet.”

But Chomsky remained hopeful that the corporate elite could be overthrown before they bring on environmental disaster, citing historical examples of mass movements that returned power to autonomous collectives.

“In the 1920s the labor movement had been practically destroyed,” he said. “This had been a very militant labor movement. In the 1930s it changed, and it changed because of popular activism. There were circumstances [the Great Depression] that led to the opportunity to do something. We are living with that constantly. Take the last 30 years. For a majority of the population it has been stagnation or worse. It is not the deep Depression, but it is a semi-permanent depression for most of the population. There is plenty of kindling out there that can be lighted.”

Sunday

Stop The Great Lakes Nuclear Dump Petition

Stop The Great Lakes Nuclear Dump Petition

Ontario Power Generation (OPG), a multi-billion dollar power generation company, is seeking approval to build a nuclear waste dump (a Deep Geological Repository or DGR)
1 km from the shores of Lake Huron.

The Dump will extend underground to approximately 400 meters below the lake level. Some of this nuclear waste remains toxic and lethal for over 100,000 years.
Approval is anticipated within 4 to 6 months.

This dump puts at risk the fresh water of the GREAT LAKES, relied upon by 40 million people in two countries.

Any risk of buried nuclear waste entering the largest body of fresh water in the world is too great a risk to take, and need not be taken.

We can and must deliver an overwhelming wave of opposition to OPG's plan. Tell Minister Aglukkaq and the Canadian federal government to stand up for the protection of the Great Lakes.