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Sunday

Nunavut vs Big Oil | SumOfUs

Nunavut vs Big Oil | SumOfUs

Off the coast of Clyde River, Nunavut, unspoiled Arctic waters are home to 90% of the world's narwhals. These unique tusked whales play a crucial role in the aquatic ecosystem, and for thousands of years have been a staple of the local Inuit community. But now their very survival is in danger.

The Canadian government just granted oil corporations the right to search for drilling sites in the ocean near Clyde River. Offshore drilling is bad enough, but the search is worse – these oil companies will use "seismic testing," setting off huge explosions underwater to try and find oil.

Like all whales, narwhals use their hearing to communicate and to find their way safely beneath the Arctic ice. The search for oil will deafen, disorient, and kill any narwhals caught in its path. It's up to us to speak up now, and stop this while we still can. Save the narwhals! For generations, big corporations have stripped northern Canada of its natural resources, trampling the rights of native peoples and destroying entire ecosystems for profit. The government has been complicit in this, auctioning off oil and mineral rights to the highest bidder and ignoring the consequences. But until now, the narwhals and the local ecosystem they support have managed to survive.

The people of Clyde River have had enough. They are standing up to the government and to Big Oil and fighting to protect their home. But there are only 900 people in Clyde River. They need us to stand with them. If we act now, we can stop the oil companies in their tracks before the damage is done.

Sign the petition to stop Big Oil from destroying Arctic habitats.

Tuesday

Amnesty International: Tories' Resources-Over-Human-Rights Approach Mistaken

Amnesty International: Tories' Resources-Over-Human-Rights Approach Mistaken

OTTAWA - Amnesty International's Canada branch has issued a wide-ranging attack on the Harper government for making economic development a higher priority than human rights — especially in resource development.

Alex Neve, Amnesty's director general, said the organization wants human rights issues to be on the agenda for the expected federal election in 2015. Canadians will be talking about jobs and economic prosperity during next year's election, and those issues are inextricably linked to questions of human rights, said Neve.

Amnesty is accusing the government of doing too little to ensure that the rights of aboriginal people are adequately protected in the hundreds of major resource projects that are planned for the next decade.

"With all the attention that will be on jobs and the economy, we have to recognize how important it is to deal with indigenous people's land rights, corporate accountability and a trade policy that is grounded in human rights," said Neve.

Monday

OCA: Tell Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz: Stop Supporting Efforts to Kill GMO Labeling Laws. Quit the GMA!

OCA: Tell Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz: Stop Supporting Efforts to Kill GMO Labeling Laws. Quit the GMA!

Starbucks wants you to think the company is on your side when it comes to GMO labeling laws.
But it isn’t. As long as Starbucks is a dues-paying member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which is party to a lawsuit against the state of Vermont intended to overturn Vermont’s recently passed GMO labeling law, the coffee peddler’s profits are being used to defeat your right to know.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz: Stop Supporting Efforts to Kill GMO Labeling Laws. Quit the GMA!


In response to a blog post by singer/songwriter Neil Young, proclaiming his support for a Starbucks boycott, Starbucks posted this statement on its website:

Starbucks Response to Questions and Litigation Regarding GMO Labeling
Starbucks is not a part of any lawsuit pertaining to GMO labeling
nor have we provided funding for any campaign. And Starbucks is not
aligned with Monsanto to stop food labeling or block Vermont State law.


The petition claiming that Starbucks is part of this litigation is
completely false and we have asked the petitioners to correct their
description of our position.


Starbucks has not taken a position on the issue of GMO labeling.
As a company with stores and a product presence in every state, we
prefer a national solution.


“Completely false”? Not quite.

As this subsequent article by Reuters points out:

Internal GMA documents filed last year as part of a lawsuit in  Washington State revealed [GMA] members contribute to a "Defense of  Brands Strategic Account" designed "to help the industry fund programs  to address the threats from motivated and well financed activists" and  to "shield individual companies from criticism for funding of specific  efforts."


When asked by Reuters if Starbucks has contributed to this “special” account, Starbucks did not respond. No big surprise. Because not only does Starbucks’ membership in the GMA support the GMA’s lawsuit against Vermont, it also supports a bill awaiting a hearing in Congress, written by the GMA, that would strip states of the right to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws.

Starbucks wants you to think the company is on your side when it comes to GMO labeling laws.

But it isn’t. As long as Starbucks is a dues-paying member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which is party to a lawsuit against
the state of Vermont intended to overturn Vermont’s recently passed GMO
labeling law, the coffee peddler’s profits are being used to defeat
your right to know.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz: Stop Supporting Efforts to Kill GMO Labeling Laws. Quit the GMA!



In response to a blog post by singer/songwriter Neil Young, proclaiming his support for a Starbucks boycott, Starbucks posted this statement on its website:

Starbucks Response to Questions and Litigation Regarding GMO Labeling

Starbucks is not a part of any lawsuit pertaining to GMO labeling
nor have we provided funding for any campaign. And Starbucks is not
aligned with Monsanto to stop food labeling or block Vermont State law.



The petition claiming that Starbucks is part of this litigation is
completely false and we have asked the petitioners to correct their
description of our position.



Starbucks has not taken a position on the issue of GMO labeling.
As a company with stores and a product presence in every state, we
prefer a national solution.



“Completely false”? Not quite.

As this subsequent article by Reuters points out:

Internal GMA documents filed last year as part of a lawsuit in
Washington State revealed [GMA] members contribute to a "Defense of
Brands Strategic Account" designed "to help the industry fund programs
to address the threats from motivated and well financed activists" and
to "shield individual companies from criticism for funding of specific
efforts."



When asked by Reuters if Starbucks has contributed to this “special” account, Starbucks did not respond.

No big surprise. Because not only does Starbucks’ membership in the
GMA support the GMA’s lawsuit against Vermont, it also supports a bill awaiting a hearing in Congress, written by the GMA, that would strip states of the right to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws.

- See more at:
http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50865/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15178&track=FB&tag=FB#sthash.pDDuweFj.dpuf

Starbucks wants you to think the company is on your side when it comes to GMO labeling laws.

But it isn’t. As long as Starbucks is a dues-paying member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which is party to a lawsuit against
the state of Vermont intended to overturn Vermont’s recently passed GMO
labeling law, the coffee peddler’s profits are being used to defeat
your right to know.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz: Stop Supporting Efforts to Kill GMO Labeling Laws. Quit the GMA!



In response to a blog post by singer/songwriter Neil Young, proclaiming his support for a Starbucks boycott, Starbucks posted this statement on its website:

Starbucks Response to Questions and Litigation Regarding GMO Labeling

Starbucks is not a part of any lawsuit pertaining to GMO labeling
nor have we provided funding for any campaign. And Starbucks is not
aligned with Monsanto to stop food labeling or block Vermont State law.



The petition claiming that Starbucks is part of this litigation is
completely false and we have asked the petitioners to correct their
description of our position.



Starbucks has not taken a position on the issue of GMO labeling.
As a company with stores and a product presence in every state, we
prefer a national solution.



“Completely false”? Not quite.

As this subsequent article by Reuters points out:

Internal GMA documents filed last year as part of a lawsuit in
Washington State revealed [GMA] members contribute to a "Defense of
Brands Strategic Account" designed "to help the industry fund programs
to address the threats from motivated and well financed activists" and
to "shield individual companies from criticism for funding of specific
efforts."



When asked by Reuters if Starbucks has contributed to this “special” account, Starbucks did not respond.

No big surprise. Because not only does Starbucks’ membership in the
GMA support the GMA’s lawsuit against Vermont, it also supports a bill awaiting a hearing in Congress, written by the GMA, that would strip states of the right to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws.

- See more at:
http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50865/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15178&track=FB&tag=FB#sthash.pDDuweFj.dpuf

Starbucks wants you to think the company is on your side when it comes to GMO labeling laws.

But it isn’t. As long as Starbucks is a dues-paying member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which is party to a lawsuit against
the state of Vermont intended to overturn Vermont’s recently passed GMO
labeling law, the coffee peddler’s profits are being used to defeat
your right to know.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz: Stop Supporting Efforts to Kill GMO Labeling Laws. Quit the GMA!



In response to a blog post by singer/songwriter Neil Young, proclaiming his support for a Starbucks boycott, Starbucks posted this statement on its website:

Starbucks Response to Questions and Litigation Regarding GMO Labeling

Starbucks is not a part of any lawsuit pertaining to GMO labeling
nor have we provided funding for any campaign. And Starbucks is not
aligned with Monsanto to stop food labeling or block Vermont State law.



The petition claiming that Starbucks is part of this litigation is
completely false and we have asked the petitioners to correct their
description of our position.



Starbucks has not taken a position on the issue of GMO labeling.
As a company with stores and a product presence in every state, we
prefer a national solution.



“Completely false”? Not quite.

As this subsequent article by Reuters points out:

Internal GMA documents filed last year as part of a lawsuit in
Washington State revealed [GMA] members contribute to a "Defense of
Brands Strategic Account" designed "to help the industry fund programs
to address the threats from motivated and well financed activists" and
to "shield individual companies from criticism for funding of specific
efforts."



When asked by Reuters if Starbucks has contributed to this “special” account, Starbucks did not respond.

No big surprise. Because not only does Starbucks’ membership in the
GMA support the GMA’s lawsuit against Vermont, it also supports a bill awaiting a hearing in Congress, written by the GMA, that would strip states of the right to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws.

- See more at:
http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50865/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15178&track=FB&tag=FB#sthash.pDDuweFj.dpuf

Thursday

Turn the Tables - Idle No More - reject interim land claims

Turn the Tables - Idle No More

This summer the Supreme Court of Canada made a historic ruling that
the Tsilhqot'in Indigenous nation in British Columbia holds Aboriginal
title to its traditional territory and ensures that First Nations with
title have decision-making power. If this court decision can be
implemented on the ground, it offers a chance to create a radically more
just country.
But the Harper government is denying this new reality: in order to push
through their tar sands pipelines and resource extraction projects, they
are trying instead to accelerate the elimination of Aboriginal rights.
In response to the Tsilhqot’in decision, Harper has quietly introduced a
newly revised policy to undermine and negate the Indigenous land rights
that stand in the way of his agenda.

We can't let this happen. Honouring Indigenous jurisdiction would not
just pay off Canada's enormous legal and moral debt to First Nations:
it is also our best chance to save entire territories from endless
extraction and environmental destruction. Canada can seize the
opportunity at this historic crossroad, but only if we build massive
pressure on the Canadian government to finally recognize and affirm
Aboriginal title.

Join Defenders of the Land and Idle No More in putting forward 4 demands to challenge the current land claims reform process:

  1. Disengagement of negotiating bands from the Termination Tables and forgiveness for all loans taken out to finance the process;
  2. A fundamental and joint reform of both the Comprehensive Land Claims
    and Self-Government policies with duly mandated representatives of
    Indigenous peoples, with the aim of making the policies consistent with
    both Canadian law on Aboriginal title, Aboriginal rights, treaty rights
    and inherent Indigenous laws of jurisdiction;
  3. Federal and provincial governments must provide funding grants to Indigenous peoples for negotiation processes;
  4. Absolute rejection of the unilaterally imposed Eyford consultation process.
What you can do to support these demands:

SEND THIS MESSAGE TO DOUGLAS EYFORD THE SPECIAL FEDERAL REPRESENTATIVE LEADING THE CONSULTATION PROCESS   (click on top link to find the form)

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.
Read more about how you can protect the bees and butterflies.

Sunday

Restoring Ecosystems to Reduce Global wamring conference - Nov 21, Tufts Needs your help

European Tribune - Community, Politics & Progress.

" I know from my monitoring of Harvard, MIT, and other universities that ecosystem solutions to climate change are not only not on their radar but met with antagonism when brought up.  The conference organizers can use your help (and mine) in getting the word out..."
Restoring Ecosystems to Reverse Global Warming

More of our man-made carbon emissions to date have come from land mismanagement and the resulting loss of soil carbon than from burning fossil fuels. The good news is that we know how to remove that atmospheric carbon and store it back into the soils where it belongs, by harnessing the power of nature.

Restoring Ecosystems to Reverse Global Warming is a 3-day conference with the goal to bring the power of biology front and center in the climate conversation. We are bringing together a stellar roster of speakers -- scientists, land managers and activists -- and participants from around the world to learn from one another and to devise strategies to expand vast natural soil carbon sinks around the world. To learn more about the speakers: http://bio4climate.org/conference-2014/speakers/
Register here:
http://bit.ly/1qOBfAo

Help us support the conference!
http://www.razoo.com/story/Conference-2014-1

Donations will keep tickets affordable, provide scholarships, pay for  materials, assist with major outreach efforts before and after the  conference, and help support our hard-working and dedicated staff. Any  contribution is greatly appreciated!

Restoring Ecosystems to Reverse Global Warming is hosted by the Tufts Institute of the Environment and the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at Tufts University in Medford,Massachusetts.

Wednesday

Nestlé: Stop trying to patent Fennel.

Nestlé: Stop trying to patent natural cures | SumOfUs

Nigella sativa -- more commonly known as fennel flower -- has been used as a cure-all remedy for over a thousand years. It treats everything from vomiting to fevers to skin diseases, and has been widely available in impoverished communities across the Middle East and Asia.

But now Nestlé is claiming to own it, and filing patent claims  around the world to try and take control over the natural cure of the  fennel flower and turn it into a costly private drug.

In a paper published last year, Nestlé scientists claimed to “discover” what much of the world has known for millennia: that nigella sativa extract could be used for “nutritional interventions in humans with food allergy”.

But instead of creating an artificial substitute, or fighting to make sure the remedy was widely available, Nestlé is attempting to create a nigella sativa monopoly and gain the ability to sue anyone using it without Nestlé’s permission. Nestlé has filed patent applications -- which are currently pending -- around the world.

Prior to Nestlé's outlandish patent claim, researchers in  developing nations such as Egypt and Pakistan had already published  studies on the same curative powers Nestlé is claiming as its own. And Nestlé has done this before -- in 2011, it tried to claim credit for using cow’s milk as a laxative, despite the fact that such knowledge had been in Indian medical texts for a thousand years.

We know Nestlé doesn’t care about ethics. After all, this is the corporation that poisoned its milk with melamine, purchases cocoa from plantations that use child slave labor, and launched a breast milk substitute campaign in the 1970s that contributed to the suffering and deaths of thousands of babies from poor communities.

But we also know that Nestlé is sensitive to public outcry, and that it's been beaten at the patent game before. If we act fast, we can put enough pressure on Nestlé to get it to drop its patent plans before they harm anyone -- but if we want any chance at affecting Nestlé's decision, we have to speak out now!
**********

Third World Network (PDF): Food giant Nestlé claims to have invented stomach soothing use of habbat al-barakah (Nigella sativa), 6 July, 2012

5 products you probably buy that are quietly driving human rights abuses - Vox

5 products you probably buy that are quietly driving human rights abuses - Vox

Being a consumer means participating in a vast, global system of supply chains, labor markets, and corporations, and almost all of it beyond the average person's visibility. It can be near-impossible to
judge which products might be tied up in something nefarious or destructive.

Making this more difficult, there is no truly effective international authority to govern private corporations and guide consumers. The United Nations has tried, but of the world's roughly 80,000 multinational corporations, only 323 appear on a UN list of companies with stated human rights policies, according to GWU Professor Susan  Ariel Aaronson and researcher Aaron Higham. Or those companies, Aaronson and Higham finds that only a fraction have policies that meet UN standards for corporate codes.

Here, then, as means of illustrating how the complicated webs  of globalization can link innocuous-seeming products with far-away harm — and thus perhaps help perpetuate that harm — are five common consumer  products that have demonstrated connections to serious human rights  abuses. The intent isn't necessarily to call out these products or their producers as especially egregious — though some are — but to show just  how common these practices have become in the global economy, and how difficult they are to stop.

Fried products at Burger King, McDonald's, Taco Bell, and KFC
First, climate change: tropical forests in those southeast Asian countries are being cut to the point of total destruction — a UN report indicates they'll be 98 percent gone by 2022. As if the habitat destruction were not bad enough in itself, according to May-Tobin, tropical deforestation already contributes about 10 percent of global carbon emissions. Moreover, planting new palm oil trees often involves draining peat soil, which stores huge amounts of carbon.

Second, human rights. A 2013 US Department of Labor study found clear evidence that the Indonesian palm oil industry has used child labor, and the Malaysian industry has used outright slaves.
Still, palm oil is used by Burger King to make its fries and is used for unspecific food products at McDonald's and stores under the Yum! Foods brand: Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut. It's not certain that all fried products at these stores use palm oil, but they are confirmed to make use of palm oil, so it stands to reason that french fries or other fried products could include the ingredient.

Now, it isn't inevitable that palm oil contributes to these problems. May-Tobin wrote in September that several companies — including Dunkin' Donuts and  General Mills — have developed more environmentally friendly and ethical sourcing regimes to continue using palm oil in a way that doesn't cause these problems. Still, the fast food chains listed above — and surely  many others — have not embraced such practices. According to May-Tobin, Burger King failed to deliver on a 2010 pledge to reform its palm oil sourcing.

Shrimp
 In June of 2014, the Guardian released a blockbuster report on shrimp production in Thailand. "Large numbers of men bought and sold like animals and held against their will on fishing boats off Thailand are integral to the production of [shrimp] sold in leading supermarkets around the world, including the top four global retailers: Walmart,  Carrefour, Costco and Tesco," Guardian reporters , , and wrote, revealing a pattern of beatings, torture, and murder of slave workers on boats that supply Thailand's largest shrimp company.

The named companies responded by promising to reform their purchasing practices. But unless authorities in Thailand address the problem or the global shrimp market somehow develops an entirely new market, it's not clear that the problem is fully possible for buyers alone to solve.

Over 90 percent of shrimp purchased in the United States is imported. According to US government statistics, the bulk of that is farmed in South and Southeast Asia (there's a bit from Latin America as well). A massive Environmental Justice Foundation expose released in April 2014 found evidence of rampant human rights abuses in the South and Southeast Asian shrimp industries

Jansport backpacks and other VF Brands products  (Northface, etc.)
Enormous numbers of Bangladeshi garment sector employees work in unsafe sweatshop factories. These poorly inspected buildings are prone to deadly fires  and wholesale collapses. The employees work long hours for very little  pay. After about 1,100 people died in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013, this problem became impossible for the world to ignore.

Recently, a great deal of attention has focused on VF Brands — the parent company of Jansport, Nautica, and NorthFace, which contracts from 90-odd factories in Bangladesh. In June 2014, a fire broke out at a Medlar Apparels factory in Dhaka — which, according to customs data reviewed by the International Labor Rights Forum, is a longtime VF supplier. An activist organization, United Students Against Sweatshops, says that VF-linked factories have a lengthy history of fires and labor abuses.

VF is far from the only supplier to use Bangladeshi factories or fail to adhere to safety standards. But it's been singled out because, as of October, it has refused to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a corporate agreement to implement more robust safety inspections. Over 150 brands have signed onto accord; VF and several dozen other  companies (including WalMart) created an alternative agreement on  factory safety that, per the New York Times, labor groups believe is insufficiently robust.

SodastreamWhatever your view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it's very hard to argue with one basic point: Israeli settlements in the West Bank, as they currently exist, really hurt Palestinians. Palestinians suffer through a system of checkpoints that choke off economic life in their community, live under a separate- and- unequal justice system from the rest of Israel, and are victims of a vigilante violence campaign designed to make it hard for Israel to ever withdraw from the West Bank.

This is why it's so problematic that SodaStream, the huge home seltzer company, has its largest factory in a West Bank settlement. The factory, which employs 1,100 workers, is in Ma'ale Adumim, a settlement just east of Jerusalem. Ma'ale Adumim isn't just any settlement: it's in a settlement area called E1 that, if further expanded, would threaten to make the Palestinian West Bank non-contiguous. That would make Palestinian travel inside the West Bank far more difficult, and make it much tougher for the Palestinians to establish their own state. In other words, settlement construction in E1 is a literal, physical barrier to peace.

By locating in E1, SodaStream grants legitimacy to — and, indeed, physically and economically entrenches — a settlement project that's widely considered illegal under international law.

Chocolate
Today, over 70 percent of the world's chocolate comes from West Africa, with about a third from Cote d'Ivoire. While activists and legislators have put serious effort into addressing child labor issues since 2001, not all is well. In February 2014, CNN reported that there were still up to 800,000 children working on Cote d'Ivoire cocoa farms. Not all child workers are slaves, of course, but human rights groups agree that child slavery is still a major problem for the cocoa industry.

There are hopeful signs. In May 2014, 12 major chocolate and cocoa companies launched something called CocoaAction, an initiative to make cocoa farming more ethical or sustainable. "The commitment of the industry to share strategy and objectives related to sustainable cocoa is a positive signal," Oxfam Novib policy analyst Frank Mechielsen said of CocoaAction."Besides the productivity and quality agenda, attention is provided to  community development and child labour remediation. It shows the sense  of urgency the companies show to address the challenges and work on  solutions together."
But this is still relatively new. We've got a long way to go before we can give the cocoa industry a clean bill of health.

Sunday

Ban the new "F"-word | Bee pesticide - David Suzuki Foundation

Ban the new "F"-word | David Suzuki Foundation

While dithering over neonicotinoids —
bee-killing pesticides banned in Europe — Canadian regulators are poised to approve a closely-related poison called flupyradifurone. We call it the new "F"-word.
Like neonics, flupyradifurone attacks the nervous system of insect pests. Both are systemic pesticides that are taken up by plants and move through their tissues into pollen, fruits and seeds. Both are also persistent, sticking around in the environment and, with repeated applications, building up over time.

Health Canada says flupyradifurone may pose a risk to bees, birds, worms, spiders, small mammals and aquatic bugs — familiar words to anyone following Canada’s slow-motion review of neonics. Dust from corn seed treated with neonics is implicated in large-scale bee die-offs during planting season in Ontario and Quebec.
Not only is this is alarming in its own right; the dead bees are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine, signalling broader ecological consequences.

Inexplicably, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has yet to take action to curtail the use of neonics, and now the agency is preparing to give the green light to a look-alike chemical, flupyradifurone.

The PMRA is accepting public comments on this move until November 3, 2014.
Join us in calling on the government to put the brakes on flupyradifurone. It’s time for Canada to get serious about addressing the concerns with neonics and related systemic pesticides.

Saturday

Coca-Cola's Attack on Mehdiganj - Petition

Coca-Cola's Attack on Mehdiganj Villagers | Story of Stuff

petition at link above.

Coca-Cola is  determined to drain the village of Mehdiganj, India, dry despite a  government order to shut down the plant for using too much water and  violating pollution limits. According to Indian authorities, the groundwater level in the village has gone from “safe” to “over-exploited” -- the worst designation of groundwater, before it dries up completely --in the time the Coke plant has been operating.

Mehdiganj villagers have been protesting against the Coke plant for years. The villagers' protests have escalated as their wells have dried up,  forcing them to walk ever-greater distances for fresh water. As the water level drops, crop yields are dropping with it, sucking out the economic basis of the village and endangering the livelihoods of thousands of residents. Meanwhile, Coke has spent much of this year pressing for a massive expansion of the plant that would increase water use by five times. The company has shown that it is totally disconnected from the danger it is imposing on the village.

Studies conducted by both the Indian government agencies and independent organizations have found that Coke has located many of its plants in water-stressed areas of India and bottling operations in these areas have threatened groundwater in many places. Furthermore, Coke plants have also been caught polluting the surroundings and selling toxic waste to unsuspecting farmers to be used as fertilizer.

Water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource around the world. Many corporations argue that they are free to use as much water as they want, even if it makes entire areas uninhabitable.
Careful stewardship of our resources is at the heart of our Story, ensuring that we'll be around to continue telling stories long into the future.

Thursday

“Lock your office door and stay away from the windows…” – elizabethmaymp.ca – October 23, 2014

“Lock your office door and stay away from the windows…” – elizabethmaymp.ca – October 23, 2014

"So, while it is too early to jump to conclusions, I intend to hold fast to the following: we must ensure that this appalling act of violence is not used to justify a disproportionate response. We must not resort to hyperbolic rhetoric. We need to determine if these actions are coordinated to any larger group or are the actions of one or twoindividuals. If it is the latter we must develop tools and a systematic approach  to dissuade our youth from being attracted to violent extremist groups of any kind. We need to protect  our rights andin a democracy.

We do know that through history these kinds of events open the door to a loss of democracy. Naomi Kleindetails the elements of seizing the opportunity created by tragedy or  tumult in Shock Doctrine.The  of her new and important book on climate, This Changes Everything,is correct – the  threat of the climate crisis changes everything. Theshootings on Parliament Hill do not change  . It is up to all of us to ensure that, to the extent we encounter demands for change, we keep in the forefront of our minds that once we surrender any rights it is very difficult to restore them. Let’s demand answers,  and proportionate response..."

Saturday

Friends of the Earth - Monsanto and Monarchs

Friends of the Earth

Monarch butterflies are in serious trouble. The leading factor in their decline is the increased use of Monsanto’s Roundup®, which has virtually wiped out milkweed -- the only food young monarchs eat. More Roundup® = less milkweed = fewer monarchs.

The leading factor is the loss of their breeding habitat and food. Across the Midwest, millions of acres of “Roundup® Ready” GMO crops engineered to withstand massive amounts Monsanto’s Roundup® have been planted along the monarch’s migration route -- virtually wiping out milkweed, the only food young monarchs eat. The use of Roundup® has skyrocketed in the last decade. More Roundup® = less
milkweed = fewer monarchs.

Monarchs need our help before it’s too late! Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect monarchs under the Endangered Species Act.

The numbers are startling: in the last 20 years, the number of monarchs has declined by 90 percent. They’ve dropped from a recorded high of 1 billion butterflies in the mid-1990s to less than 35 million last winter. For this year, early reports suggest a 50 percent decline in their numbers from last year.

But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the power to help. It could restore essential monarch habitat nationwide -- by giving the monarch butterfly protection under the Endangered Species Act. But we need your help to protectthis essential pollinator for future generations.