Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.

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.

Tell McDonald's to adopt a deforestation-free palm oil policy | SumOfUs

Tell McDonald's to adopt a deforestation-free palm oil policy | SumOfUs

The palm oil industry’s rampage is also fueling climatechange — releasing billions of of tons of greenhouse gases every year, andmaking Indonesia the world’s third largest climate polluter.

McDonald's buys palm oil to make a range of products — from Baked Apple Pie to Spicy Chicken McBites. If we could get McDonalds to adopt a no-deforestation palm oil policy, it  would show the palm oil producers that there's no going back. The palm oil industry would be forced to make its one year separation from deforestation permanent, if it wants to sell to leading consumer brands in the future.

The best part? McDonald's just joined a pledge at a UN Summit to help cut global deforestation rates in half by 2020, so we suspect it's open to the idea of changing its palm oil policy to be tiger-friendly.

But McDonald's has a ways to go still. It currently relies primarily on controversial "RSPO GreenPalm" certificates, which give a few dollars to sustainable producers while allowing McDonald's to buy any palm oil on the marketplace, regardless of its sustainability.

This isn't only about getting McDonald's to clean up its own act, but also to use its significant influence with suppliers to reform the whole palm oil industry, especially those producers who are linked even more directly to rainforest destruction and human rights abuses.

Together, we've already convinced Kellogg's and other big companies to change their ways, causing a shift in the global palm oil supply chain. Similar organized consumer pressure has dramatically slowed the rate of deforestation in Brazil. McDonald's can be moved with public pressure too.

But due to pressure from people like us, the largest palm oil producers have promised to halt deforestation for one year. Now we have an opportunity to fundamentally change how major companies like McDonald’s source their palm oil—or the tiger, the orangutan, and the elephant will be at risk once again.

Tuesday

Sea of Irish Protesters: 'Water Is a Human Right!'

Sea of Irish Protesters: 'Water Is a Human Right!' | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

As many as 100,000 people took to the streets of Dublin on Saturday to denounce a new water tax  and declare, "Water is a human right." Protesters say the water charges, to begin next year, are yet more austerity measures that have pushed people towards a "tipping point."

Fifty-year-old Martin Kelly held a sign reading "Stop the great water heist" and told Reuters, "There is absolute fury against what the government has imposed on the people."

"This day will go down in history as the day that the people decided to roar," said Independent TD Clare Daly. "We are here in our tens of thousands to say water is a human right, based on need, not an ability to pay."

Friday

Demand the NEB respect Indigenous Rights! Sign to support Chippewas of the Thames First Nation! | Leadnow.ca

Demand the NEB respect Indigenous Rights! Sign to support Chippewas of the Thames First Nation! | Leadnow.ca

Demand that the National Energy Board respect the Aboriginal and Treaty Rights of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. Enbridge has no right to pump dangerous oil through the community without consultation with, and consent from, Chippewas of the Thames, as well as other First Nations in Southern Ontario and Quebec.

The NEB must reject Enbridge's 'leave to open' applications until the appeal is heard and First Nation rights are respected.

Why is this important? Enbridge has filed 'leave to open' on Line 9 which means that by mid-October or early November, 2014, Line 9 could be pumping tar sands dilbit and fracked Bakken oil throughout southern Ontario and Quebec.

In June, 2014, the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation launched a legal challenge to the National Energy Board's approval of Line 9, stating that constitutional obligations for consultation and accommodation of Aboriginal rights had not been met.

THE CASE HAS NOT YET BEEN HEARD.
Enbridge is attempting to bypass the Court of Appeal in order to start pumping heavy oil through an aging pipeline built for light oil through 18 First Nations, many of whom were not consulted on the reversal project, as required by the Canadian Constitution. And the National Energy Board, closely tied to the Harper government and Big Oil, is likely to let Enbridge get away with it.

Tuesday

Cancer Free Cosmetics | Story of Stuff

Cancer Free Cosmetics | Story of Stuff

Procter & Gamble, the largest personal care product  company in the world, spends millions using Breast Cancer Awareness  Month to advertise its products while refusing to remove cancer causing  chemicals from those same products. Major brands such as Tide, Pantene, Herbal Essence, and CoverGirl are packed with carcinogens andsold to customers without so much as a warning on the label.

Meanwhile, the multi-billion dollar company will only donate $100,000 this year to fighting breast cancer. For P&G this is a marketing gimmick – the company has never made a commitment to  protecting its customers from the known carcinogens in its own products and has hidden the danger from them. This month, while the spotlight is on breast cancer, we can hghlight P&G's role in contributing to it and other cancers, ensuring that the company makes areal commitment to protecting its customer's health.

Dozens of potentially dangerous chemicals can be found across the spectrum of P&G products. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), recognized as a carcinogen by the state of California, is one such chemical usedworldwide. The US National Institutes of Health reports that BHA is "reasonably anticipated" to be a human carcinogen. By putting chemicals linked to cancer in P&G products, the corporation is running a dangerous experiment on human health.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has reviewed the scientific literature on carcinogens and found cancer-causing chemicals in Procter & Gamble products including shampoos, lotions, cosmetics, and hair dyes. The CSC cross-referenced this research with authoritative bodies, including the California Proposition 65 list of chemicals, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and the NationalToxicology Program (NTP).

Many of the chemicals P&G uses are banned in various  places around the world, but the company simpky ships its old, dangerous formula to countries with poor regulations. We are calling on P&G to take action now to end the health threat to people worldwide. There is no reason for Procter & Gamble to put cancer-causing chemicals in its personal beauty products when safer alternatives exist.

Sunday

Toxic waste dumped into Niagara River a threat to Lake Ontario | Toronto Star

Toxic waste dumped into Niagara River a threat to Lake Ontario | Toronto Star

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE–Remember theLove Canal

Just up the road from that notorious toxic neighbourhood in New York state, there’s a new plan to dump more poisonous waste, including radioactive material, right near Lake Ontario and on an earthquake fault line. New York state officials are now considering whether to permit a company called Chemical Waste Management Inc. to expand its landfill in Youngstown, N.Y., perilously close to the Canadian border — and our shared water.
Do we ever learn? The site is less than five kilometres from the Niagara River, already filled with so many chemicals that it’s listed as an official area of concern by the International Joint Commission

that oversees shared Canada-U.S. waters.
Even more concerning for Canadians is that at least once a year, under U.S. permit, the existing New York-side landfill is allowed to dilute the cancer-linked PCBs and other materials it collects and discharge its nasty water into the Niagara River...

Why aren’t Canadians doing more to stop this plan? The biggest reason is that so far, only a few Canadians seem to know about it.

Gary Burroughs, Niagara’s regional chair (on the Ontario side), says he found out about the scheme only recently, when Burmaster contacted him. He attended a public meeting on the U.S. side on July 16.
“I’ve been trying to raise attention about it since then,” he says.
Why hasn't this drawn government attention?

You would think that a problem on the order of toxic and radioactive waste threatening Lake Ontario would draw the attention of the provincial and federal governments, but apparently it hasn’t. It’s
possible that no one on the U.S. side has told the Ontario Environment Ministry anything officially, as this may not be required under law.

As for Ottawa, as many Canadians know, the federal government treats environmental protection as an enemy — Prime Minister Stephen Harper has cut environmental programs, muzzled scientists and ordered tax audits of environmental groups. It’s hard to determine what the feds would do
or even if they would care.

At the same time, Canada’s environmentalists don’t seem to know about this problem either. A spokesperson for the David Suzuki Foundation, asked about the plan for more toxic waste at the edge of the Great Lakes, expressed shock and surprise.

To make matters worse, Burmaster says that the Chemical Waste Management site is on an earthquake fault line: “Should a quake happen and open the landfill . . . in just one hour those carcinogens and
radioactive particles would become airborne and could be carried 60 miles (100 kilometres) away.”

Not to make this too scary, but as he says, that’s “all the way to the Toronto area

David Israelson
is a Toronto writer and consultant.

Wednesday

Matt Damon Does Ice Bucket Challenge With Toilet Water For 800 Million Without Clean H2O

Matt Damon Does Ice Bucket Challenge With Toilet Water For 800 Million Without Clean H2O

"It posed kind of a problem for me,
not only because there's a drought here in California," Damon explained in the video, uploaded to the organization's YouTube channel. "But because I co-founded Water.org, and we envision the day when everybody has access to a clean drink of water -- and there are about 800 million people in the world who don't -- and so dumping a clean bucket of water on my head seemed a little crazy."

The actor -- who nominated George Clooney, Bono and NFL quarterback Tom Brady to do the challenge next -- said swapping clean H2O from the faucet for toilet water seemed fitting for the causes near and dear to his heart, as about 2.4 billion people across the globe still lack access to clean sanitation systems. Toilet water in westernized nations, Damon added, is still cleaner than the drinking water in many underserved communities in developing countries.

The ice bucket challenge has raised an unprecedented amount to combat the fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Between July 29 and Aug. 25, the ALS Association has raised $79.7 million from about 1.7 million donors in its fight against Lou Gehrig’s
disease, according to TIME. During that same period last year, the organization raised about $2.5 million.

Tuesday

Holes in the Earth - mining and indigenous communities

Holes in the Earth | MyFDL

Hooded thugs in Guatemala allegedly beat and set on fire a protester at the Marlin Mine, owned by Goldcorp of Canada. The victim managed to jump into a puddle of water to douse the flames, was rescued by family and taken to hospital where he died. He was indigenous, a Maya Mam.
The Maya Sipacapenses, living nearby, have also reported severe reaction if they protest the mine and its destructive impact on their communities. It’s so bad that the Inter-American Commission on Human
rights urged the government to “properly consult” with the two indigenous communities, to no avail. World Bank International Financial Corporation provided the loan that got the mine underway. Goldcorp said any suggestion that it or its subsidiary, Montana Exploradora which is operating the mine, had anything to do with the violence is “patently false.” After all, their web page says so.

Saturday

Neskoulith evict Imperial Metals Corp in BC

Mount Polley mine spill: fish safe to eat, water ban mostly lifted

A British Columbia First Nation plans to issue an eviction notice to Imperial Metals Corp. (TSX:III) — the company behind a massive tailings pond breach at a gold and copper mine last week over a
separate project in the band's territory.

The declaration from the Neskonlith Indian Band is the latest sign that last week's tailings spill at the Mount Polley Mine in central B.C. could ripple across the company's other projects and possibly the province's entire mining industry.

The Neskonlith band said the notice, which its chief planned to hand-deliver to Imperial Metals in Vancouver on Thursday, orders the company to stay away from the site of its proposed Ruddock Creek zinc and lead mine, which is located about 150 kilometres northeast of Kamloops.

The mine, which is still in the development phase and has yet to go through the environmental assessment process, would be located near the headwaters of the Adams River, home of an important sockeye salmon run. The Neskonlith band opposed the mine long before the Mount Polley tailings spill.

"We do not want the mine developing or operating in that sacred headwaters," Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson said in an interview Wednesday.

"Our elders have stated very clearly that they do not want anything poisoning our water or our salmon."

Monday

The U.S. Bans GMOs, Bee-Killing Pesticides in All Wildlife Refuges | TakePart

The U.S. Bans GMOs, Bee-Killing Pesticides in All Wildlife Refuges | TakePart

The U.S. government is creating a safe place for bees in national wildlife refuges by phasing out the use of genetically modified crops and an agricultural pesticide implicated in the mass die-off of pollinators.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System manages 150 million acres across the country. By January 2016, the agency will ban the use of neonicotinoids, widely used nerve poisons that a growing number of scientific studies have shown are harmful to bees, birds, mammals, and fish.
Neonicotinoids, also called neonics, can be sprayed on crops, but most often the seeds are coated with the pesticide so that the poison spreads throughout every part of the plant as it grows, including the pollen and nectar that pollinators such as bees and butterflies eat.

“We have determined that prophylactic use, such as a seed treatment, of the neonicotinoid pesticides that can distribute systemically in a plant and can affect a broad spectrum of non-target species is not
consistent with Service policy,” James Kurth, chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, wrote in a July 17 memo.

The move follows a regional wildlife chief’s decision on July 9 to ban neonics in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands by 2016.

The nationwide ban, however, goes further, as it also prohibits the use of genetically modified seeds to grow crops to feed wildlife.

Thursday

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry |

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry | MyFDL

The Obama administration’s latest election year delay on Keystone North is not a victory, but the dominoes continue to fall.

Earlier this year, a citizen lawsuit denied TransCanada a route through Nebraska. Last month, it lost its permit through South Dakota. Now it faces a gauntlet of “Cowboys & Indians” vowing to stop it in its tracks...

We should not be doing business with a misanthropic industry that knowingly poisons First Nations communities in Canada, with immoral disregard for its climate impacts on humanity. Fortunately, the U.S. is in a strong position to help starve Alberta’s landlocked tar sands beast
by stopping the flow of tar sands crossing our border.. (meaning US border).

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 statewide drought 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.”