Tag Archives | Environmentalism

How Environmentalists Got One Firm to Quit Deforestation

tftMargaret Debore writes at TreeHugger:

A firm that once accused Greenpeace of making “false accusations” has finally had a change of heart. This morning, NPR’s Morning Edition has a great story on how Greenpeace and the Tropical Forest Trust pushed Asia Pulp and Paper to end their devastating practice of deforestation.

Scott Poynton of the Tropical Forest Trust, dealt with the company’s misplaced priorities:

Poynton told them bluntly that if they kept cutting down virgin forests, no amount of “greenwashing” was going to help them.

Head over to NPR to hear or read the full story.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Lobbyists for Canadian Pipeline Have Deep Ties to White House

via Pratap Chatterjee CorpWatch 6a0120a65d9a8c970b0148c6d1c8ab970c-250wi

TransCanada and the provincial government of Alberta are paying former advisors to the Obama administration – as well as former staff of the Hillary Clinton and John Kerry presidential campaigns – to help them lobby for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to transport tar sands fuel to the U.S.

The pipeline from Alberta – which is to be built by TransCanada – has been delayed for over four years pending approval from the U.S. State Department which has final say because it crosses the international border. President Barack Obama is expected to announce a decision this fall in consultation with John Kerry, who took over the State Department earlier this year from Hilary Clinton.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Assassinations of Environmental Activists Have Doubled Over the Last Decade

Picture: Sigurdas (CC)

Fred Pearce writes at the Guardian:

Where is Sombath Somphone? With every day that passes, the fate of one of south-east Asia’s most high-profile environmental activists, who was snatched from the streets of Laos in December, becomes more worrisome.

His case has been raised by the State Department and countless NGOs around the world. But the authorities in Laos have offered no clue as to what happened after Sombath was stopped at a police checkpoint on a Saturday afternoon in the Lao capital of Vientiane as he returned home from his office. It looks increasingly like state kidnap — or worse, if recent evidence of the state-sponsored killings of environmental campaigners in other countries is anything to go by.

Personal danger is not what most environmentalists have in mind when they take up the cause of protecting nature and the people who rely on it in their daily lives.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Scientist: No One Has the Right to Have as Many Children as They Want

Here’s a hot topic, and one that we’ve visited many, many times before here in the United States: Population growth. Anyone remember the Zero Population Growth movement of the sixties and seventies? I wonder how many ZPG activists have children (and grandchildren) of their own now? I’m not a dad, myself, and am pretty much sure that I’ll never be. What about you parents? How do you feel about population growth and control? What about the rest of you? How would we ever enforce such a thing, anyway?

Via Raw Story:

A Stanford professor and author of The Population Bomb recently published a paper in a scientific journal re-emphasizing climate change and population growth pose existential threats to humanity and in an interview with Raw Story said that giving people the right to have as many children as they want is “a bad idea.”

“The only criticism we’ve had on the paper is that it’s too optimistic,” said Paul Ehrlich, Bing professor of population studies at Stanford University and president of the Center for Conservation Biology.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

2012: The Year We Did Our Best to Abandon the Natural World

Picture: USDOD (PD)

George Monbiot writes in the Guardian:

It was the year of living dangerously. In 2012 governments turned their backs on the living planet, demonstrating that no chronic problem, however grave, will take priority over an immediate concern, however trivial. I believe there has been no worse year for the natural world in the past half-century.

Three weeks before the minimum occurred, the melting of the Arctic’s sea ice broke the previous record. Remnants of the global megafauna – such as rhinos and bluefin tuna – were shoved violently towards extinction. Novel tree diseases raged across continents. Bird and insect numbers continued to plummet, coral reefs retreated, marine life dwindled. And those charged with protecting us and the world in which we live pretended that none of it was happening.

Their indifference was distilled into a great collective shrug at the Earth Summit in June. The first summit, 20 years before, was supposed to have heralded a new age of environmental responsibility.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Tiny Pacific Island Becomes The First Completely Solar-Powered Nation

Think a completely renewable-energy-based society is a pipe dream? Tiny Tokelau will no longer rely on imported diesel, instead switching over to solar panels and coconut-based biofuel. Fiji, the Cook Islands, Samoa, and Tuvalu plan to follow suit in the next decade. Voice Of America reports:

The remote islands of Tokelau have become the first territory in the world to be powered by the sun, officials say. The move is expected to save money and ease the environmental burden of relying on imported fossil fuels.

“The Tokelau Renewable Energy Project is a world first. Tokelau’s three main atolls now have enough solar capacity, on average, to meet electricity needs,” said New Zealand’s foreign affairs minister Murray McCully in a statement. “Until now, Tokelau has been 100 percent dependent upon diesel for electricity generation, with heavy economic and environmental costs.”

The island nations of Samoa and Tuvalu are aiming to get all of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Endocrine Disruptors from Personal Care Products Found in Statewide Survey of Minnesota’s Rivers and Lakes

Via ScienceDaily:

A science team from Arizona State University, in collaboration with federal partners, has completed the first statewide analysis of freshwater bodies in Minnesota, finding widespread evidence of the presence of active ingredients of personal care products in Minnesota lakes, streams and rivers.

These products are a billion dollar industry and can be found in antimicrobial soaps, disinfectants, and sanitizers to scrub our hands and clean countertops. Hundreds of antimicrobial products are sold in the U.S., many marketed with efficacy claims that remain elusive due to the short duration of the average consumer’s handwashing practices. The fate of these products can be traced from home use to sewers to wastewater treatment plants to eventually, downstream bodies of water.

The research team focused on two active ingredients found prominently in anti-bacterial soaps — triclosan and triclocarban — which have come under scrutiny by the EPA and FDA due to their environmental and human health concerns.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

New Zealand Grants Personhood Rights To River

In my eyes, this makes more sense than the Citizens United ruling. Via Care2:

In a landmark case for the Rights of Nature, officials in New Zealand recently granted the Whanganui, the nation’s third-longest river, with legal personhood “in the same way a company is, which will give it rights and interests”. The decision follows a long court battle for the river’s personhood initiated by the Whanganui River iwi, an indigenous community with strong cultural ties to the waterway.

Under the settlement, the river is regarded as a protected entity, under an arrangement in which representatives from both the iwi and the national government will serve as legal custodians towards the Whanganui’s best interests.

While it may seem an odd extension of rights, in many ways it harkens back to a time when mankind’s fate was more readily acknowledged as being intertwined with that of the rivers, lakes, and streams that sustained us.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Inside The FBI’s Manual On The Anarchist/Environmentalist Threat

They are often students, are paranoid and resent authority, and hatch their plots in coffee houses and underground clubs. Via Green is the New Red, meet the FBI’s public enemy number one:

The materials…to train agents to identify and investigate “domestic terrorist” groups such as “black separatists,” anarchists, animal rights activists, and environmentalists…were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the ACLU. They offer additional insight into a disturbing pattern of FBI activity misrepresenting political activists as “terrorists” and manufacturing “domestic terrorism threats” where none exist.

Juxtapose this with militia extremists and white supremacists, who have murdered, lynched, bombed, assaulted government officials and created weapons of mass destruction. To most reasonable people, such a stark disparity between these groups would raise questions about how the FBI is allocating its domestic terrorism resources. How did such misguided policies come about?

Read the rest

Continue Reading