Tag Archives | Environment

Bigger Than Science, Bigger Than Religion

Genesis Farm. (Photo: Michael Taylor/flickr/cc)

Genesis Farm. (Photo: Michael Taylor/flickr/cc)

Richard Schiffman writes at Common Dreams:

The world as we know it is slipping away. At the current rate of destruction, tropical rainforest could be gone within as little as 40 years. The seas are being overfished to the point of exhaustion, and coral reefs are dying from ocean acidification. Biologists say that we are currently at the start of the largest mass extinction event since the disappearance of the dinosaurs. As greenhouse gases increasingly accumulate in the atmosphere, temperatures are likely to rise faster than our current ecological and agricultural systems can adapt.

It is no secret that the Earth is in trouble and that we humans are to blame. Just knowing these grim facts, however, won’t get us very far. We have to transform this knowledge into a deep passion to change course. But passion does not come primarily from the head; it is a product of the heart.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

John Waters Narrates a Documentary about the Salton Sea

Narrated by John Waters and featuring the Salvation Mountain art installation, Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea explores the economic, political and environmental issues that face the Salton Sea, a one-time vacation destination for the rich and famous that is now occupied by an eccentric and individualistic populace.

 

h/t Open Culture.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Indonesian Villagers Stand Up Against Illegal Miners

"Mount Merapi in 2014" by Crisco 1492 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Mount Merapi in 2014” by Crisco 1492Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Bambang Muryanto writes at the Jakarta Post:

Hundreds of residents from four villages on the slopes of Mount Merapi in Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, have taken it into their own hands to stop illegal sand mining near their homes and demand that Sleman regency take firm action.

They also took a stand by driving out heavy machinery from the sand quarry.

“We demand the heavy machinery be pulled out today,” said rally coordinator Maryono, during an event dubbed “the people’s hearing” at an intersection in Candi hamlet, Purwobinangun, Sleman, on Tuesday.

The protesters — hailing from Girikerto, Wonokerto, Purwobinangun and Hargobinangun villages — included housewives, teenagers and adults and called themselves the Concerned Residents Forum.

They also cut down several trees and used the trunks to block hundreds of sand trucks from leaving Purwobinangun, including those belonging to the Army’s ZENI Engineering Directorate.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Fossil Fuel Propaganda Misfire Goes Viral

Peter Sinclair writes at Climate Denial Crock of the Week:

Every once in a while we can pull back the curtain and get a good look at the evil elves and Madison Avenue Orcs deployed by the fossil fuel barons. Look hard, climate deniers. This is the man pulling your strings.

Posted by a front group called the “Environmental Policy Alliance”, this corporate forged “viral” video popped up a couple days ago. Had to check and make sure this wasn’t a joke, but it’s real.

Check out the video above for the hilarious/bad caricature of Bill Mckibben, and for the ‘fossil fuel” girl friend, who I guess is supposed to be attractive, but unfortunately for the producers, looks disturbingly like “Mr Hanky” of South Park fame.  The piece is getting a lot of views, but maybe not for the reasons the client hoped.

Sourcewatch:

Big Green Radicals is a front group operated by the PR firm Berman & Co.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Dinosaurs on Acid

tumblr_mmglm2NZmW1ruu68bo1_500

Via Phillip Smith at Alternet

Was brontosaurus blissed out on prehistoric psychedelics as he munched the swamp grass in Southeast Asia 100 million years ago? Scientists who have analyzed a perfectly preserved amber fossil from a cave there say it’s entirely possible.

The amber fossil contains evidence of the earliest grass specimens ever discovered—about 100 million years old—and that they were topped by a fungus similar to ergot, which has long been intertwined with animals and humans. Ergot is known as a medicine and a toxin. It is also the source of the psychedelic drug LSD.

In animals, ergot can cause hallucinations, delirium, gangrene, convulsions, or the staggers. And this research provides evidence that the fungus, the grasses it lived on, and the dinosaurs who gulped down huge mouthfuls of them, coexisted for tens of millions of years. Imagine a multi-ton behemoth wrecked out of its dinosaur mind stumbling around the landscape.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

In the lion’s den: my victory against Monsanto


Zen Honeycutt / Moms Across America via The Ecologist:

Moms Across America founder Zen Honeycutt took on Monsanto chief Hugh Grant at the company’s Annual General Meeting – and won, winning 53% of the vote on a call for Monsanto to reform its practices and safeguard the health of millions of children exposed to its toxic products – and Roundup in particular. In her own words, this is what took place …

The sounds of the boisterous rally crowd faded behind me in the distance as I walked toward building A of Monsanto Headquarters in St. Louis Missouri for the shareholder meeting.

The security stationed on the perimeter of the property, without a word between us, relayed my pending arrival to the headquarters, “Ms. Honeycutt approaching building A.” The staff inside also knew me by name and greeted me cordially.

After a thorough security check and receiving my ‘Shareowner’ sticker, I was escorted to a conference room where Lisa from SumofUs was also sitting.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Monsanto Crops Pushing Monarch Butterfly to ‘Verge of Extinction’

A monarch butterfly on butterflyweed, a type of milkweed, at the Lenoir Preserve Nature Center in Yonkers, New York. (Photo: Don Sutherland/flickr/cc)

A monarch butterfly on butterflyweed, a type of milkweed, at the Lenoir Preserve Nature Center in Yonkers, New York. (Photo: Don Sutherland/flickr/cc)

Deirdre Fulton writes at Common Dreams:

Herbicide-resistant genetically modified crops have brought the iconic monarch butterfly to the brink of extinction, according to a new report presented by the Center for Food Safety to Congress on Thursday.

The report, Monarchs in Peril (pdf), is the most comprehensive look yet at how Monsanto’s ‘Roundup Ready’ crops have helped decimate the monarch population, which has declined by 90 percent in the past 20 years.

“This report is a wake-up call. This iconic species is on the verge of extinction because of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crop system,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director at Center for Food Safety. “To let the monarch butterfly die out in order to allow Monsanto to sell its signature herbicide for a few more years is simply shameful.”

As Common Dreams has reported before, and the new study makes abundantly clear, a critical factor in the orange-and-white butterflies’ decline is the loss of host plants for larvae in their main breeding habitat, the Midwestern Corn Belt.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

A ‘Lively’ Day at Monsanto Headquarters

Via Alexis Baden-Mayer at Organic Consumers Association

On January 30, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) joined Moms Across America (MAA), SumofUs, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Harrington Investments and GMO Free Midwest in a protest and confrontation at Monsanto’s annual shareholder meeting.

The meeting was held at Monsanto corporate headquarters outside St. Louis, Mo., in a town called Creve Coeur—which in French means Broken Heart.

It’s a fitting name for the location of a company that has caused so much heartache with its toxic chemicals.

OCA’s mission on January 30 was to let Monsanto know, in no uncertain terms, that its so-called science—bought and paid for with dirty corporate money—is no match for the research being conducted by honest, independent scientists. And that research is clear: Monsanto is making us sick.

OCA launched our “Monsanto Makes Us Sick” with speeches by medical doctors Jeff Ritterman and Norm Shealy who summed up the scientific case against Monsanto’s flagship product, Roundup herbicide.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The loneliness of the long-distance drone pilot

Aaron Sankin via The Kernel:

Bruce Black had been preparing for this moment for most of his life.

Growing up, he always wanted to be a pilot. After graduating from New Mexico State University in 1984 with a degree in geology, Black was commissioned as an officer in the Air Force. He spent years as an instructor pilot before quitting to join the FBI, where he specialized in chasing down white-collar criminals, but the pull of military was too strong. He eventually found himself in the air above Afghanistan.

Black flew constantly. Once, in the spring of 2007, Black’s job was to serve as another set of eyes high above a firefight happening on the ground. An Army convoy had been patrolling near a site of a previous strike and gotten ambushed by Taliban fighters while returning to base. Black was acting as a crucial communications relay, sending life-and-death updates back and forth from the men and women on the ground to the Pentagon and a network of support staff located around the world through the military’s version of the Internet.

Read the rest
Continue Reading