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.


The Impossibility of Growth Demands a New Economic System | Common Dreams

The Impossibility of Growth Demands a New Economic System | Common Dreams

On Friday, a few days after scientists announced that the collapse of
the West Antarctic ice sheet is now inevitable(4), the Ecuadorean
government decided that oil drilling would go ahead in the heart of the
Yasuni national park(5). It had made an offer to other governments: if
they gave it half the value of the oil in that part of the park, it
would leave the stuff in the ground. You could see this as blackmail or
you could see it as fair trade. Ecuador is poor, its oil deposits are
rich: why, the government argued, should it leave them untouched without
compensation when everyone else is drilling down to the inner circle of
hell? It asked for $3.6bn and received $13m. The result is that
Petroamazonas, a company with a colourful record of destruction and
spills(6), will now enter one of the most biodiverse places on the
planet, in which a hectare of rainforest is said to contain more species
than exist in the entire continent of North America(7).

The UK oil company Soco is now hoping to penetrate Africa’s oldest
national park, Virunga, in the Democratic Republic of Congo(8); one of
the last strongholds of the mountain gorilla and the okapi, of
chimpanzees and forest elephants. In Britain, where a possible 4.4
billion barrels of shale oil has just been identified in the
south-east(9), the government fantasises about turning the leafy suburbs
into a new Niger delta. To this end it’s changing the trespass laws to
enable drilling without consent and offering lavish bribes to local
people(10,11). These new reserves solve nothing. They do not end our
hunger for resources; they exacerbate it.

The trajectory of compound growth shows that the scouring of the
planet has only just begun. As the volume of the global economy expands,
everywhere that contains something concentrated, unusual, precious will
be sought out and exploited, its resources extracted and dispersed, the
world’s diverse and differentiated marvels reduced to the same grey

Petition | Save the Red Door |

Petition | Save the Red Door |

Red Door Shelter for Homeless Families Threatened by Condominium Development.

The building that houses our long-term home has been put into receivership
and is now being bid on by condo developers, leaving the Red Door Family
Shelter without a concrete future.

Please sign our petition to help save the Red Door!

Since 1982, the Red Door Family Shelter
has provided hope and help for thousands of homeless families that have
come through our red door.  We play an integral role in the community,
helping more than 500 families each year to heal and rebuild their lives
so they can live safely and independently.

“Our home has been at 875 Queen Street East for 30 years,” said Bernnitta Hawkins, Executive
Director, Red Door Family Shelter. “We are an integral part of the South
Riverdale community. We do not want to leave, and we certainly do not
want to reduce the number of beds we offer homeless families in need.
The receiver and developer have not given us any answers and we need
them now!”

A permanent solution for our 106-bed shelter must be sought. We want to stay where we are and continue to provide much needed services.

We need to send a message to city council, to the developer and to the receiver to let them know that a refuge for homeless families is more important than condos.   We have done all we can and have not received any concrete solution.  We need your support to make the message heard! Help us reach 1,000 signatures to send a strong message of public support for the Red Door.

Please sign our petition now to help ensure that homeless families still have a refuge at 875 Queen Street East

For more information about the Red Door and how you get involved in the campaign visit


Soil as Carbon Storehouse: New Weapon in Climate Fight?

Soil as Carbon Storehouse: New Weapon in Climate Fight?

According to Rattan Lal, director of Ohio State University's Carbon
Management and Sequestration Center, the world's cultivated soils have
lost between 50 and 70 percent of their original carbon stock, much of
which has oxidized upon exposure to air to become CO2. Now, armed with
rapidly expanding knowledge about carbon sequestration in soils,
researchers are studying how land restoration programs in places like
the former North American prairie, the North China Plain, and even the
parched interior of Australia might help put carbon back into the soil.

Absent carbon and critical microbes, soil becomes mere dirt, a process
of deterioration that's been rampant around the globe. Many scientists
say that regenerative agricultural practices can turn back the carbon
clock, reducing atmospheric CO2 while also boosting soil productivity
and increasing resilience to floods and drought. Such regenerative
techniques include planting fields year-round in crops or other cover,
and agroforestry that combines crops, trees, and animal


Seeds of Freedom | Common Dreams, Vandana Shiva

Seeds of Freedom | Common Dreams

For thousands of years farmers, especially women, have evolved and
bred seed freely with the help of nature to increase the diversity of
what nature gave us and adopt it to the needs of different cultures.
Biodiversity and cultural diversity have mutually shaped one another.

Every seed is an embodiment of millennia of nature’s evolution and
centuries of farmers’ breeding. It is the distilled expression of the
intelligence of the earth and intelligence of farming communities.
Farmers have bred seeds for diversity, resilience, taste, nutrition,
health and to adapt it for local agro-ecosystems.

In times of climate change we need the biodiversity of farmers’
varieties to adapt and evolve. Climate extremes are being experienced
through more frequent and intense cyclones that bring salt water to the
land. To develop resilience against cyclones, we need salt tolerant
varieties of seeds, and we need them in the commons. Along coastal
areas, farmers have evolved flood tolerant and salt tolerant varieties
of rice such as Bhundi, Kalambank, Lunabakada, Sankarchin, Nalidhulia,
Ravana, Seulapuni, Dhosarakhuda.

"By adding one new gene to the cell of a
plant, corporations claimed they had invented and created the seed, the
plant, and all future seeds that were now their property. In other words
GMO meant 'God Move Over.'"

These seeds have been evolved by farmers and need to stay in the commons to gain resilience against climate change.

After the Orissa Supercyclone, Navdanya could distribute salt
tolerant rice to farmers because we had conserved them as a commons in
our community seed bank run by Kusum Mishra and Dr Ashok Panigrahi in
Balasore, Orissa. Hence we were about to donate two truckloads of salt
tolerant seeds to the farmers, who could not grow rice because of the
sea salt deposited on their farms. As I have written in my book—Soil, Not Oil—40
per cent of the greenhouse gases come from an industrialised and
globalised model of agriculture. Having created the crisis,
corporations, who made profits from industrial agriculture, now want to
turn the climate crisis they have contributed to into an opportunity to
control climate resilient seeds and climate data. Corporations like
Monsanto have taken 1,500 patents on climate resilient crops. With these
very broad patents, Monsanto and other corporations can prevent access
to climate resilient seeds after climate disasters since a patent is an
exclusive right to produce, distribute and sell the patented product.
This implies that the farmers’ right to save and share seed is now
defined as “theft,” an “intellectual property crime”...n times of climate change, such monopolies aggravate the disaster by blocking farmers’ rights to seeds they have evolved.

Hence, seed as a common good became a commodity of private seed companies, traded on the open market....

The vision of the corporations and sadly the US government is to
privatise every aspect of life — our seeds and biodiversity, the
atmospheric commons, and the knowledge of the climate and weather as a
public good.

At a time when the world needs to recognise that life forms,
including seeds, are not an invention and the US should correct its laws
to be more in alignment with the Rights of the Earth and with human
rights, the US government is threatening India with trade retaliation to
force us to change our patent laws yet again and introduce the
unethical, unscientific and anti-human laws of patent monopolies on seed
and medicine.

America’s National Association of Manufacturers — which represents
about 50 US business groups — gave the suggestion to the US Trade
Representatives’ office to designate India a “Priority Foreign Country”,
a tag it gives to worst offenders of intellectual property rights. This
is not just a US-India dispute. It is a fight against corporate
enclosures of the commons. If we have to survive as a species, we need
to reclaim our commons — of seed, of climate, of knowledge and resist
the privatisation of every aspect of life.

We need to create the commons of the seed and cultivate seed freedom
through seed saving, seed exchange and participatory breeding.