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.


Tell Nestlé to leave our Elora well enough alone. | SumOfUs

Tell Nestlé to leave our water well enough alone. | SumOfUs

Nestlé conditionally purchased a water bottling facility in Ontario
that can draw 1,300 litres of water a minute from a well so deep it
punctures the bedrock. Residents are rightly worried -- an environmental
science professor is calling it "the stupidest, short-sighted, most criminal use of water" he's ever seen.

We already scored a major victory against Nestlé in BC this summer -- let's make sure Elora, Ontario isn't next.

Tell the Ontario Government to ban corporate water permits until the township can produce a water plan.   The residents of Elora will need this water. The town currently uses 1.7 million litres of water a day -- and Nestlé will take 1.6 million litres a day under this plan.


Banned pesticides pose a greater risk to bees than thought, EU experts warn | Environment | The Guardian

Three pesticides banned in Europe for their potential to damage bee populations could pose an even greater threat than was thought, according to a new assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa).

Already proscribed for seed treatments and soil applications, the Efsa analysis says that clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam also pose a ‘high risk’ to bees when sprayed on leaves.

The UK is currently facing a legal challenge to an emergency exemption it granted, allowing use of two of the substances, after protests by the National Farmers Union.

But far from supporting the British case, the advisory expert assessment will add to pressure for an extension of the ban to apply to fruit orchards after blooming, and crops gown in greenhouses, Greenpeace says.

“The commission should expand the EU-wide ban to cover all uses of neonicotinoids on all crops, and end the self-service approach to derogations. Viable non-chemical alternatives exist and the EU should encourage farmers to use them,” said the group’s agriculture policy director, Marco Contiero.

“The evidence of harm is clear,” added Paul de Zylva, senior nature campaigner for Friends of the Earth. “Questions need to be asked about how these products were ever approved for use when they were not tested for their effects on different types of bees.”

Use of the prohibited substances has been linked to dramatic declines in bee populations. The EU’s recommendations allow exemptions to the ban under some circumstances, and a review of their impact is expected in Brussels by the end of the year.

José Tarazona, the head of Efsa’s pesticides unit told the Guardian that the new study backed previous risk assessments, in showing (or being unable to exclude) high risks to bees from neonicotinoids.

“It is clear that in some cases there is data suggesting high toxicity and potential risk from these substances,” he said. “We have less information for pollinators like bumblebees and for these species
we take a precautionary and conservative approach in applying an additional safety factor for ensuring their protection, and that of other species.”

More than a quarter of European bumblebees – and nearly one in 10 of all honeybees – are at risk of extinction, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s red list for bees.

Banned pesticides pose a greater risk to bees than thought, EU experts warn | Environment | The Guardian


UN council holds first-ever meeting on LGBT rights

UN council holds first-ever meeting on LGBT rights

UN Security Council members on Monday opened their first-ever meeting on LGBT rights to hear Syrian and Iraqi gays tell of terror under Islamic State rule.

“It’s historic,” US Ambassador Samantha Power told reporters ahead of the meeting. “It’s about time — 70 years after the creation of the UN — that the fate of LGBT persons who fear for their lives around the world is taking center stage.”

UN envoys were to hear accounts from Adnan, an Iraqi who fled northern Iraq after being targeted as gay and from a Syrian, Subhi Nahas, who escaped persecution and now works for a refugee organization in the United States.

Since July 2014, the Islamic State group has released at least seven videos or photos online that show the brutal executions of people accused of “sodomy,” according to the International Gay and Lesbian
Rights Commission.

Jessica Stern, the director of the commission, was also to address the meeting, hosted by the delegations from the United States and Chile.