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.


'How can I be happy?' Narrated by Stephen Fry - British Humanist Association

'How can I be happy?' Narrated by Stephen Fry - British Humanist Association

The long experience of tens of thousands of years of human beings living in communities has developed and refined our morality and we are all the lucky inheritors of that hard work.
But it does not mean that there are not people who do harm, or make bad choices.
But ultimately, morality comes from us, not from any god. It is to do with people, with individual goodwill and social responsibility; it is about not being completely selfish, about kindness and consideration towards others.
Ideas of freedom, justice, happiness, equality, fairness and all the other values we may live by are human inventions, and we can be proud of that, as
we strive to live up to them.


Lawyer: 'Monsanto's History Is Full of Lies'

Anti-Monsanto Lawyer: 'Monsanto's History Is Full of Lies' - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Monsanto has an internal program called "Let Nothing Go." The aim of this program is to attack scientists who are critical of Monsanto products. They go after people directly and discredit them. They also pay others to do so.

...nother program is called "Freedom to Operate." Its purpose is to eliminate everything that might disrupt sales of their products - laws, scientific articles, they go after everything. As part of that effort, they also engage lobbyists - scientists who Monsanto pays for their opportunism. Such programs reflect a corporate culture that shows no interest whatsoever in public health, only in profits.

DER SPIEGEL: Monsanto continues to dispute that it tried to influence scientific research. What was the critical factor for jurors in reaching the verdict?
Wisner: I believe it was the scientific findings themselves. The 12 jurors were not lightweights after all. There was a molecular biologist, an environmental engineer, a lawyer. Some colleagues told me: "Be careful Brent, so much intelligence can be an impediment." But I was certain that the arguments in the critical studies, parts of which were suppressed, were the strongest evidence we had.


'A man of enormous compassion': Adrienne Clarkson reacts to Kofi Annan’s death | CTV News

'A man of enormous compassion': Adrienne Clarkson reacts to Kofi Annan’s death | CTV News
Former governor general Adrienne Clarkson is remembering her friend and ex-United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan as “a man of enormous compassion” and “intense human vulnerability.”
The first black African to lead the United Nations, Annan died at the age of 80 after a short illness, his family and foundation announced on Saturday.
The relationship between Clarkson and Annan spanned a quarter of a century and the pair served together on the board of directors for the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa.
Those qualities, Clarkson said, included dignity, generosity, understanding, compassion and a capacity for listening that “is very rare in world leaders.”“I think that what was remarkable about Kofi Annan was that he hereditarily -- and for centuries I guess, because that’s the way African tribal life is -- was really a king and a prince in his own culture,” Clarkson said. “He brought all of the best qualities of that to his international work in the modern world for the UN.”
She added that Annan was not “a power technocrat” and that while he was realistic in his assessment of the world’s most complex problems, “he never lost hope and he never became cynical.”

Former UN chief and Nobel peace laureate Kofi Annan dies aged 80

Former UN chief and Nobel peace laureate Kofi Annan dies aged 80

The U.N. can be improved, it is not perfect but if it didn’t exist you would have to create it,” he told the BBC’s Hard Talk during an interview for his 80th birthday last April, recorded at the Geneva Graduate Institute where he had studied.
“I am a stubborn optimist, I was born an optimist and will remain an optimist,” Annan added.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, paid tribute to Annan as “humanity’s best example, the epitome, of human decency and grace”.
Zeid, who has criticized major powers and other countries during his four-year term that ends later this month, said that whenever he felt “isolated and alone politically”, he would go for long walks with Annan in Geneva.
“When I told him once how everyone was grumbling about me, he looked at me — like a father would look at a son — and said sternly: “You’re doing the right thing, let them grumble.” Then he grinned!


Health Canada to End Outdoor Use of Two Bee Killing Neonicotinoids : Friends of the Earth Canada

Health Canada to End Outdoor Use of Two Bee Killing Neonicotinoids : Friends of the Earth Canada: August 15, 2018 (Ottawa) – Friends of the Earth Canada welcomes the proposed decision by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency to end outdoor use of Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam, two of the most widely used neonicotinoid pesticides in the world.

Neonicotinoids (neonics) are systemic chemical insecticides that are found in all tissues of treated plants, including pollen and nectar. Neonics pose threats to non-target organisms like bees, which are responsible for pollinating one third of the world’s crops and 90 per cent of all wild plants. “This is testament to the persistence of Canadians. Literally 100s of thousands have petitioned government to make a special review of these bee-toxic chemicals.

 It is especially telling that the proposed decisions are based on unacceptable residues in our water and their impact on aquatic invertebrates – they haven’t yet finished the bee studies,” said Beatrice Olivastri, CEO of Friends of the Earth Canada. Today’s decision, along with the 2016 proposed decision on Imidicloprid, brings Canada in line with the European Union which banned the pesticides in April this year after a moratorium on their use since 2013. Today’s decision is an important step in protecting pollinators and Canada’s agricultural industry.

 Canadian beekeepers have reported significant losses since neonicotinoids were given conditional registration by PMRA. Despite growing complaints, PMRA continued to renew conditional registrations. “Five years ago I launched the save the bees campaign in Canada and PMRA told me there was nothing to worry about – neonicotiniods were safe. Today, PMRA is finally saying the use of these pesticides is not sustainable,” said John Bennett, Senior Policy Advisor, Friends of the Earth Canada. Despite the high levels of Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam found in waters, PMRA is proposing a three to five year phase-out rather than an immediate ban. The European Union has seen marginal impact on agricultural production since it stopped the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in 2013. A number of other studies have concluded the prophylactic use of neonicotinoids has little impact on yields. “Three to five years is too long to allow pesticide pollution to continue. PMRA is putting the economic interests of multinational corporations before the safety of our environment. Our environmental security requires an immediate halt to the use of these pesticides” said Ms. Olivastri. Friends of the Earth Canada’s #BeeCause campaign has called for a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides since 2013 mobilizing tens of thousands of Canadian, distributing bee friendly plant seeds and testing flowering plants sold by garden centres.

 Friends of the Earth is one of four environmental groups represented by Ecojustice in the November 2018 hearing against PMRA where we are asking the court to rule that the PMRA’s “approve first, study the science later” approach is unlawful and that the practice of granting approvals without science cannot continue.

Michelle Bachelet, Ex-President of Chile, Picked as Next U.N. Rights Chief - The New York Times

Michelle Bachelet, Ex-President of Chile, Picked as Next U.N. Rights Chief - The New York Times
The leader of the United Nations said on Wednesday that he had picked Michelle Bachelet, a prominent women’s rights advocate and the first woman to serve as Chile’s president, to be the organization’s next top human rights official.
The announcement by Secretary General António Guterres ended the uncertainty over who would replace Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, a Jordanian prince and longtime diplomat who became one of the most forthright critics of abuses by governments in many countries, including the United States, during his four years as the high commissioner for human rights.
Mr. al-Hussein said in December that he would not be seeking an extension of his term, which expires next month. He told colleagues that “to do so, in the current geopolitical context, might involve bending a knee in supplication.”
Ms. Bachelet, 66, who was imprisoned and tortured during Chile’s right-wing dictatorship and years later became a pediatrician and politician, will be stepping into a particularly difficult and contentious role at the 193-member organization.