ZeroHedge ~ Arctic Drilling Future Now Rests On One Well {I DO NOT CONSENT TO ARCTIC DRILLING}


 Note: Now that we know Shell is the only player left, it’s time to voice our Non-Consent and bring PEOPLE POWER against Shell and the psychopathic politicians that enable the prospects of environmental destruction in the Arctic. Love, Blessings and aloha! {~A~}
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Submitted by Charles Kennedy via OilPrice.com,

Royal Dutch Shell is nearing a start to drilling in the Arctic, but has run into some hiccups.

The U.S. government decided that Shell cannot actually drill both of its wells in the Chukchi Sea as planned. The Interior Department said that doing so would run afoul of its rules that protect marine life. According to those regulations, which were issued in 2013, exploration companies cannot drill two wells within 15 miles of each other. Shell had planned to drill two wells in the Burger prospect within a 9 mile range.

Environmental groups hoped that the Interior Department would throw out Shell’s drilling plan altogether, owing to the fact that the environmental assessment the agency conducted was based on the two-well drilling plan, according to Jennifer Dlouhy of Fuel Fix. Environmental groups argued that since the Interior Department didn’t actually conduct an assessment of a drilling plan consisting of just one well, the entire drilling program should be scrapped.

Interior didn’t buy these arguments, but still ruled that Shell can only drill one well this summer. Shell reiterated that it would move forward with drilling the lone well in the Arctic this year, having committed around $1 billion for the program.

Shell announced that it expects to be able to begin drilling by the third week in July after sea ice has melted sufficiently. Shell is still awaiting one last federal permit before it can begin drilling, and it is also awaiting the arrival of its second drilling rig in Alaska.

Separately, several oil companies recently announced that they were putting their Arctic plans on ice. A joint venture between Imperial Oil, ExxonMobil, and BP decided to shelve plans for exploration in the Canadian Arctic. They had permits that will expire in 2019 and 2020, and the group says that they will not be able to drill before then. More research is needed and since the companies are running out of time, they have decided to suspend work and lobby the Canadian government for an extension.

Last year Chevron decided to suspend its plans to drill in the Beaufort Sea after the collapse in oil prices made doing so unattractive. The move by Imperial and its partners likely puts any significant drilling in the Canadian Arctic on hold indefinitely.

As such, Arctic drilling in North America will come down to Shell’s one well in the Chukchi Sea.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-03/arctic-drilling-future-now-rests-one-wellhttp://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-03/arctic-drilling-future-now-rests-one-well

1,255 wild animals found dead after floods in Bhanvnagar, India


Image

© Source: PTI
A lioness takes her cub to a safer place after heavy rainfall caused floods at forest in Amreli on Saturday.

The forest officials have recovered carcasses of 1,255 wild animals including four lions and 1,225 blue bulls and 14 chittals from three talukas of Bhanvnagar district. These animals had swept away in river Shetrunji during flash floods last week.

Following a massive search and rescue operation, the Bhavnagar forest department on Tuesday issued a statement giving the details of the wild animal that died in the floods.

“Our 30 teams searched for wild animals dead or alive in mud filled water and muck for one week. We found bodies of total 1255 wild animals including four Asiatic lions which had swept away in flood waters and reached down-stream of Shetrunji River in Bhavnagar area,” G S Singh, deputy conservator of forests, Bhavnagar, told TOI.

Singh said that the bodies were found from Palitana, Gariyadhar and Talaja talukas of Bhavnagar.

http://www.sott.net/article/298543-1255-wild-animals-found-dead-after-floods-in-Bhanvnagar-India

Mark Plotkin: What the people of the Amazon know that you don’t


“The greatest and most endangered species in the Amazon rainforest is not the jaguar or the harpy eagle,” says Mark Plotkin, “It’s the isolated and uncontacted tribes.” In an energetic and sobering talk, the ethnobotanist brings us into the world of the forest’s indigenous tribes and the incredible medicinal plants that their shamans use to heal. He outlines the challenges and perils that are endangering them — and their wisdom — and urges us to protect this irreplaceable repository of knowledge.

WATER WOES – ARIZONA, LAKE POWELL, NAVAJO NATION, COLORADO RIVER


Jun 17, 2015 Posted by


This power plant slurps up water for Arizona — and burns 15 tons of coal a minute

This story was produced through a collaboration between ProPublica and Matter.A couple of miles outside the town of Page, three 775-foot-tall caramel-colored smokestacks tower like sentries on the edge of northern Arizona’s sprawling red sandstone wilderness. At their base, the Navajo Generating Station, the West’s largest power-generating facility, thrums ceaselessly, like a beating heart.

Football-field-length conveyors constantly feed it piles of coal, hauled 78 miles by train from where huge shovels and mining equipment scraped it out of the ground shortly before. Then, like a medieval mortar and pestle machine, wheels crush the stone against a large bowl into a smooth powder that is sprayed into tremendous furnaces — some of the largest ever built. Those furnaces are stoked to 2,000 degrees, heating tubes of steam to produce enough pressure to drive an 80-ton rod of steel to spin faster than the speed of sound, converting the heat of the fires into electricity.

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Shutterstock

The power generated enables a modern wonder. It drives a set of pumps 325 miles down the Colorado River that heave trillions of gallons of water out of the river and send it shooting over mountains and through canals. That water — lifted 3,000 vertical feet and carried 336 miles — has enabled the cities of Phoenix and Tucson to rapidly expand.

This achievement in moving water, however, is gained at an enormous cost. Every hour the Navajo’s generators spin, the plant spews more climate-warming gases into the atmosphere than almost any other single facility in the United States. Alone, it accounts for 29 percent of Arizona’s emissions from energy generation. The Navajo station’s infernos gobble 15 tons of coal each minute, 24 hours each day, every day.

At sunrise, a reddish-brown snake slithers across the sky as the burned coal sends out plumes of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, lead, and other metals. That malignant plume — containing 16 million tons of carbon dioxide every year — contributes to causing the very overheated weather, drought, and dwindling flows of water the plant’s power is intended to relieve.

Its builders knew that the Navajo Generating Station, which began being constructed in 1969, would cause enormous pollution. An early government analysis warned that burning so much coal would degrade the region’s air by “orders of magnitude,” and federal scientists suggested Navajo and other coal plants in the region could turn the local terrain into a “national sacrifice area.” But for more than a decade, the pollution went largely unchecked. Climate change wasn’t yet a threat, and the other option for getting water into central Arizona — damming the Grand Canyon — seemed worse.

At times, officials have tried to mitigate the plant’s problems, pouring $420 million into improvements to limit sulfur dioxide emissions as acid rain blanketed parts of the country, for example.

But again and again, the federal government and the other agencies responsible for the plant have dodged calls to clean up the facility and have pushed some of the most stringent environmental requirements far into the future.

In a series of reports, ProPublica has examined how the West’s water crisis is as much a product of human error and hubris as it is of nature. The Navajo Generating Station is a monument to man’s outsized confidence that it would always be possible to engineer new solutions to an arid region’s environmental limits.

Now, 15 years into a historic drought, it is becoming increasingly clear that the era of engineering more and more water out of the Colorado River is coming to a close. The Navajo Generating Station is more a caution than a marvel, showing how much energy it takes to move water through an artificial river system, and the unforeseen damage produced by doing so.

The plant’s environmental toll is sure to fuel arguments for its eventual closing. For now, it has been granted a reprieve from complying with the Obama administration’s new Clean Power initiative, which requires Arizona to reduce its carbon output by 52 percent. But the Environmental Protection Agency has said that it expects to work with the Navajo tribe to reduce emissions separately from Arizona’s mandate, and will likely revisit that issue in the future. The plant will also soon be subject to a new federal environmental review process triggered by its renewed lease on Navajo lands.

To date, though, the Navajo has always found a way to survive as an essential piece of the infrastructure needed to tame the wild Colorado.

Last year, the plant’s owners and their supporters negotiated a compromise with the EPA that will allow it to continue operating until 2044.

“The mechanics of moving water is just lost on people,” said Jared Blumenfeld, administrator of the EPA’s region for the Pacific Southwest, including Arizona, Nevada, and California. “It’s something that is just invisible. I don’t think people connect the dots on how enormous an undertaking it is to move water around, especially in a time of drought.”

It was with awesome feats of engineering that the West was built. To settle a vast, inhospitable region that lacked water, Americans harnessed the Colorado River — which tumbles 1,450 miles from the boulder-strewn flanks of the Rockies to the Sea of Cortez — and daringly used it to remake one-fifth of the country.

More than 100 dams were built across the system. Where the river’s path was inconvenient, its reach was extended with tentacles of tunnels and trenches deep into Southern California and Arizona. Parts of the river were even reversed; water sent eastward through pipelines beneath the Continental Divide. Each project was like a small surgery meant to strengthen and preserve the West’s access to the river before it was overused. And the more people who relied on the river, the more bandages and appendages engineers attached to it.

Over time, the engineers turned the river into one of the world’s largest plumbing systems, where a person and a button control even the wildest rapids in the Grand Canyon. The river’s tail waters have been allowed to flow their natural course into Mexico for just a few days out of the last 16 years.

The capacity to control a river — to tame its floods, to store its water so that it can be used even in drought, and to displace it so that it can be streamed through the landscape for irrigation — is one of the greatest engineering advancements in modern civilization.

But as surging population, excessive demand for water, climate change and drought continue to menace the American West, the ability of mega-projects to sustain the same old patterns of consumption has diminished. The techniques used to extend the Colorado River’s vitality have instead begun to squeeze the life out of it.

It is not only the Navajo Generating Station — aging, polluting — that is so troubled. Many of the most significant pieces of infrastructure lose water, no longer function the way they were designed to as water levels drop, or have required hundreds of millions of dollars in fresh investments.

The Hoover Dam, completed in 1936, was erected to hold two years of river flow in reserve. Its walls stretch 1,200 feet across the Boulder Canyon, are 726 feet high and 660 feet thick. But today, the dam holds back lots of air, and less water, since the lake levels have dropped more than 140 feet from their high.

Lake Powell, which sits behind the 700-foot-tall Glen Canyon Dam and is the nation’s second-largest water reserve, is even more troubled. The lake has recently fluctuated between 39 and 51 percent full, and if the drought ended tomorrow, it could take nearly a decade for it to fill back up. But the larger problem is not that Lake Powell could one day approach what experts call “dead pool,” meaning there is no longer enough water for it to flow through the dam’s gates or generate the hydropower that the West’s electricity grid depends on.

Lake Powell in Arizona.

Lake Powell in Arizona.
Shutterstock

It’s that the reservoir leaks like a sieve. As much as 123 billion gallons of water — 2.6 percent of the annual flow of the entire Colorado River — likely seeps into fissures in the porous sandstone underlying the lake and disappears each year, according to a 2013 study. Another 168 billion gallons evaporates off the surface annually, as the sprawling lake bakes in the arid desert climate. A facility whose central purpose is to save water instead loses a mind-boggling amount of it. Were Lake Powell to go away, the American Southwest would have approximately 6 percent more water overnight.

“There may well be an oncoming argument about whether we really ought to take that dam out,” said Bruce Babbitt, the former secretary of the interior and former governor of Arizona.

The river’s big canals have faced similar problems. The All-American Canal, an 80-mile aqueduct that ferries water along the north side of the Mexican border into California, recently received a nearly $300-million upgrade to stop some 22 billion gallons of water from seeping into the sand dunes beneath it each year.

“The vulnerabilities in this system are so numerous,” said Blumenfeld, the EPA official for several Western states. “When you look at the thousands of miles that water moves … the water loss is huge.”

This reckoning of the limits of American ingenuity to conquer the West was predicted more than 135 years ago, after John Wesley Powell first explored the river’s basin. Powell, who later ran the United States Geological Survey, assessed water supplies across the country for Congress. Though he had lost most of his right arm in the Battle of Shiloh, he rowed the Colorado River from Wyoming through the Grand Canyon, with 10 men in custom-made oak and pine boats he’d had sent from Chicago. Four of the men abandoned the expedition; three were killed by tribes as they hiked away from the canyon.

Powell, reporting afterward, told Congress about a bifurcated landscape: a river gushing and abundant, but relatively inaccessible, surrounded for hundreds of miles on all sides by a desert so devoid of rainfall and moisture that it almost certainly could not alone sustain efforts to grow food from its soil. “Many droughts will occur; many seasons in a long series will be fruitless,” he cautioned in a dour report. If one were to try to irrigate the desert, Powell warned, the infrastructure and facilities needed to do it would be so enormous and costly that only a large collective effort — like from the government — could pay for it.

What Powell wrote then could just as easily summarize what the Department of the Interior is relearning today. In 2012, the Bureau of Reclamation, in an unvarnished assessment of the West’s current water predicament, found the river outmatched by demand and implied that its water projects, by themselves, were no longer an adequate answer.

The best way to spread the region’s limited water supply further was to find ways to use it more efficiently, the agency concluded.

The Navajo Generating Station was born out of jealousy and Arizona’s great ambition. In 1901, Theodore Roosevelt declared, “The western half of the United States would sustain a population greater than that of our whole country today if the waters that now run to waste were saved and used for irrigation.” Roosevelt soon signed a law creating the Bureau of Reclamation and charged it with taking back the lands of the West from nature’s control.

Arizona coveted the thriving growth of Los Angeles but couldn’t keep California from hoarding water unless it had a way to take some for itself.

What Arizona wanted was a mega-canal — an artificial river that would pump one-tenth of the Colorado’s flow out of Lake Havasu, send it upward nearly the height of the Chrysler building and halfway across the state. The state’s business leaders didn’t just yearn for water. They envisioned their own thriving metropolises, kept cool in the scorching desert with air conditioning, lit bright and speckled with verdant golf courses and retirement villas. Such a vision would be possible only with lots of cheap power.

At first the Bureau of Reclamation proposed building two large hydropower-generating dams in the Grand Canyon, filling its majestic valleys to power Arizona’s canal. Environmentalists, though, ran newspaper ads comparing the plan to flooding the Sistine Chapel. The bureau needed an alternative.

Arizona, it turned out, had immense reserves of coal, most of it underlying the nation’s largest Indian reservation. A consortium of power companies had long been working toward what historians have called a “grand plan” to tap those coal reserves and generate the power to execute an expansive vision for Arizona and the rest of the West. In 1964, Time described the six-power-plant project as the world’s largest electricity complex, one that “would dwarf the TVA.”

The Navajo Generating Station promised to take the traditional coal plant and supersize it, employing state-of-the-art generators to produce 2,250 megawatts of power, more than all but a handful of the operating plants in the nation at the time.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation had never built a coal plant before, but it agreed to be the Navajo’s largest investor, taking a nearly 25 percent stake. The other investors included a number of Arizona utilities as well as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

It all seemed a godsend. The Navajo plant would power Arizona’s big canal, the Central Arizona Project. The Native American tribes would get jobs. One of the world’s largest coal companies would mine the coal on the reservation, and a national construction firm would benefit, too. And the Southwest would get an abundant supply of homegrown energy that could support its expanding cities and cool them. The plan would even save the Grand Canyon.

“Back up and put yourself in that time frame,” said David Roberts, senior director of water resources for the Salt River Project, one of the station’s six co-owners and the operator of the plant. “It was a win-win for everyone.”

How the Navajo plant and Arizona’s water canal would pay for themselves, though, was based on a financially complex scheme, and everyone — from the federal government to Arizona’s water and power companies — had a stake. Almost none of it worked out as planned.

Most simply put, the Navajo plant — and all the pollution it caused — became a form of subsidy for cheap water. The Arizona authorities charged with selling the water in order to repay taxpayers scrambled for years just to break even, and their debt payment schedule to federal authorities is still significantly delayed.

“Financially, it wasn’t a wise decision,” said Douglas Kenney, director of the Western Water Policy Program at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder.

For many, though, any financial setbacks mattered little when set against what the plant, the canal and the water it made available achieved: By 2010, Arizona had credited its water canal with nearly half of the state’s annual economic production.

“Monday morning quarterback all you want,” said the Salt River Project’s senior director of base load generation, Jim Pratt. The canal, Pratt said, “made Arizona, and the state has never looked back.”

Navajo turned out to be every bit as filthy as the government had warned in the 1970s, when officials predicted it would cause severe haze and health problems. The prized landscape that surrounds it, and the adjacent Four Corners region, has become significantly polluted, with 11 national parks and protected wilderness areas draped behind a curtain of smog. While no epidemiological studies have pinpointed a cause, EPA records include tribal complaints of a doubling in cancer rates in the Navajo Nation since the generating station began operating, as well as worsening asthma. The nonprofit environmental organization Clean Air Task Force estimated emissions from the Navajo plant alone were responsible for 12 premature deaths in 2012.

The EPA tried to clean up the site in the 1980s after environment groups sued — pressing for controversial emissions limits and forcing the plant, a decade later, to install expensive smokestacks that sharply reduced sulfur dioxide. But it wasn’t enough.

In 1999, the EPA tried to get serious again. Haze still veiled the national parks. The threat of climate change loomed on the horizon. The environmental tradeoffs that allowed the Navajo Generating plant to exist grew ever more dramatic.

The remaining problem was largely due to thousands of tons of nitrogen oxide that Navajo and other coal-fired plants still spewed into the atmosphere, pollution that wasn’t caught by the enormous filters installed to catch sulfur dioxide a few years before. The agency finalized a regional haze rule that aimed to restore all polluted areas — not just northern Arizona — to natural background levels of pollution. But Navajo, because it was so close to the Grand Canyon and other prized parks, would face some of the most stringent cuts.

Navajo’s owners, including both the Salt River Project and the Bureau of Reclamation, haggled with the EPA for years, suggesting alternatives and challenging the rules. But in 2009 the EPA announced its plans to force the Navajo Station into making dramatic cuts. In order to keep producing power, the agency wanted Navajo’s owners to install enormous catalytic converters that would scrub its emissions of nitrogen oxide and other pollutants, steps that would ultimately cut the plant’s most worrisome emissions by 84 percent and keeping some 28,500 tons of nitrogen oxide out of the atmosphere each year.

But in pushing for dramatic changes at the Navajo plant, the EPA underestimated how intertwined the plant had become with every aspect of life in the region — from providing its power to moving its water to buttressing the tribal economy.

The plant represented a herculean effort to solve the conflict between water and growth in the West. The EPA’s interference suggests that the consequences were too great. But Arizona and much of the broader region’s vitality had become dependent on the plant. It represented the core of the nation’s strategy to manage the most important resource for a significant chunk of the country’s economy. A seemingly simple aim of curbing pollution really suggested re-examining the larger system.

What the EPA really wanted, opponents claimed, was for the Navajo Generating Station’s owners to simply close up shop. After all, the EPA’s rulemaking process had led two other large coal plants in the region to shut down all or part of their operations.

“You don’t just close this power plant down,” said Jon Kyl, the former three-term Republican senator and four-term congressman from Arizona who was closely involved in negotiations over the fate of the plant. “It will have an enormous impact on the entire fabric of the state of Arizona, not just because of power but because of water.”

The plant’s operators denied responsibility for the haze and claimed the fixes the EPA demanded would cost nearly $1 billion to implement. Such an expense, they argued, would cause electricity rates to skyrocket, doubling the cost of water delivered through the Central Arizona Project canal and threatening its viability. Where else would the canal, which depends on the Navajo station for more than 90 percent of its energy, get power?

Complicating any effort to recognize the plant’s problems was the fact that some of Arizona’s most influential leaders rejected the scientific consensus that the Navajo station’s carbon pollution played any role in a warming planet or intensifying drought.

Kyl, who was attuned to water scarcity issues and had sponsored several bills to address them, told ProPublica the link between the plant’s emissions and climate change “is absolutely not proven, it is simply assumed.”

As debate over the EPA’s plans meandered on, environmental groups made the case that the coal-fired Navajo was polluting the air and damaging people’s health.

“You are trying to raise your family in this environment, and you realize this is one of the top 10 dirtiest plants in the nation and it’s been spewing all this stuff for 40 years,” said Nicole Horseherder, a Navajo environmental activist. “Who is going to speak up and say, ‘Look, we are paying a huge cost so that the state of Arizona can have its profits, have its taxes, have its electricity, have its water?’ ”

Horseherder has twice testified before Congress about the power plant’s effects. Alongside groups like the Sierra Club, she urged legislators to replace coal with investment in new solar and other clean energy plants on the reservation.

Many of the strongest arguments for maintaining the Navajo as it was didn’t hold up to scrutiny.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a division of the Department of Energy, analyzed the impacts of the EPA’s plan and found that power costs were unlikely to increase anywhere near as much as the plant owners insisted. “Could we have found the energy to move that water?” asked Tom McCann, Central Arizona Project’s deputy general manager of operations and maintenance, in an interview with ProPublica. “Yes.”

Finally, in July 2014, 15 years after the EPA formalized its haze rule and first set in motion rules that would curb nitrogen oxide pollution at the Navajo plant, a deal was finally struck to limit the plant’s harm.

But the deal, to many, was yet another compromise showing that the government was not yet prepared to adapt its power and water policies to a changing environmental reality.

The EPA had originally sought an 84 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide by 2018, swiftly curtailing the pollutant most linked to haze and health problems. Instead, the plant owners agreed to an 80 percent cut after 16 years, and to shut down one of its three generators for good by 2019, reducing overall emissions by one-third in the short term. They successfully put off installing new equipment to filter the two remaining smokestacks until 2030, a delay that would get the EPA much closer to its goals for nitrogen oxide in the long run, but allow the plant more flexibility. And the government agreed to allow the plant to continue operating until 2044.

The National Parks Conservation Association called the deal “unconscionable,” and other environmental groups also took note.

“They always get special bargains and deals,” Janette Brimmer, an attorney with Earthjustice, said of the Navajo’s long history with environmental regulators.

The EPA’s Blumenfeld insists the deal is better than it appears and that federal regulators achieved their most important goal of cutting nitrogen oxide by 80 percent while considering the complex employment and social needs of the region.

“You really can’t go and meet and talk to folks on the ground and understand all the issues and then say that the solution here was to shut it down. It would have been an absolute disaster,” Blumenfeld said. “It wasn’t balancing for balancing sake, it was wanting to get it right.”

On a morning last fall, Terry Edwards stood atop a waffled steel gangplank outside the humming heart of the Navajo Generating Station, 203 feet above the sprawling concrete yard. A rising breeze came off the desert as it heated in the bright sun.

Edwards, 58, with graying hair and metal-framed glasses, could almost see the town in Utah where he was born. He’d never strayed far, coming to work at the generating station in 1979, five years after it opened. Now he’s become an operations and maintenance supervisor and is accustomed to finding the most dramatic places in the facility to show off in a tour.

He calls the plant “Big Iron,” a nod to its central role in providing power to an entire region from a single plant. “We’re one of the cheapest suppliers of energy,” he said proudly. The coal is good quality, inexpensive, and practically bottomless, he said, pointing down to a yard where miniature-looking trains pull up to the endless conveyors. It’s been moving like that every day for 40 years, he said, like a giant machine. And he thinks — though the feds estimate far less — that there’s another 200 years’ worth under the reservation.

Edwards has no qualms about the effect of burning all that coal on the drought or on climate change, which he said “is cyclical and man can’t change on his own.”

Lake Powell, Ariz., with the Navajo Generating Station in the distance.

Lake Powell, Ariz., with the Navajo Generating Station in the distance.
Shutterstock

Even after the decades-long debate over whether the plant’s contributions outweigh its harm, he has not reconsidered its purpose or wavered in his awe for what the generating station accomplishes, and he sees it as proof that man’s ability to conquer the West’s environment is as durable as ever.

The West is full of people like him. Indeed, as the region gets more crowded, drier and hotter, there is talk not of living within the current constraints but of engineering new ways to gather additional supplies of water. The West must continue to grow, Kyl says, or it will begin slipping backward. He thinks it will be necessary to shoot silver iodide into the clouds in an effort to make it rain or to build plants to desalt ocean water.

Some have proposed building a pipeline to route water 700 miles from the Mississippi River — or from its tributary the Missouri — to Colorado. Such a pipeline, like Arizona’s canal, would likely require yet another power plant to make it work. Others suggest towing icebergs down from the Arctic or filling tankers from Alaska’s rivers.

Though these ideas seem far-fetched, all are listed in the Bureau of Reclamation’s 2012 report on water shortages across the Colorado River basin and have been contemplated by some of the smartest policy experts in the nation.

Even if they remain out of reach, states are already racing to build billions of dollars of smaller engineering marvels in the hopes that machines and money can dig the West out of its drought.

Utah plans to dam its Bear River, at a cost of some $1.5 billion, and hopes to build a pipeline from Lake Powell, even as it runs dry. New Mexico plans to build a channel to divert water out of the Gila River before it crosses into Arizona, even though Arizona already uses much of that water. Colorado’s Legislature has discussed a plan to divert water from the Missouri River, at the far end of Kansas. California voters just passed a $7 billion water measure that amounts to a blank check but will likely be put toward new dams. The list goes on.

“Arizona will eventually have to bring water in,” said Kyl, who thinks the state has exhausted its other options. “When you cannot conserve any more and the demand exceeds the supply, you have to consider options.”

Environmentalists say it won’t work to spend new billions to add more bandages and appendages to the Colorado. The health of the river will get worse with each new diversion, they say, and the water wars between states will only intensify.

“Right now we have two colossal reservoirs and there isn’t enough water to keep even one of them full, and yet entities around the basin are trying to build more,” said Gary Wockner, executive director of Save the Colorado, an advocacy group. “They can pour more cement, but they can’t make it rain.”

Wockner and others say the elaborate projects built along the river amount to expensive distractions. The more permanent solution: Put the Colorado’s limited water to the best purpose, by planting more efficient crops, irrigating with modern equipment, writing laws that incentivize conservation, and reducing energy spent moving water over large distances.

“The Colorado River is already extremely depleted,” Wockner said. “There is nothing left to give, and it’s time to go to plan B, which is water conservation efficiency. It’s faster, cheaper and easier than building these new dams.”

As the debate continues and the water crisis deepens, the Navajo Generating Station keeps grinding away, consuming 22,000 tons of coal and emitting 44,000 tons of carbon each day, in large part to deliver Arizona’s water.

Naveena Sadasivam and Lauren Kirchner contributed to this story.

http://www.globalpossibilities.org/water-woes-arizona-lake-powell-navajo-nation-colorado-river/

 

We Stand with the Caretakers of Burnaby Mountain and Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion: Will you join us in taking a stand against corporate tyranny?


pipeline_rally

Over eighty community, labour and environmental groups have released an open letter in support of Caretakers of Burnaby Mountain and Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion. Here is the letter.

We, the undersigned, express our support for those who are protecting Burnaby Mountain from Kinder Morgan geotechnical survey work.

Burnaby Mountain is public land (on unceded Indigenous territories) that is used frequently as a recreational area and is a designated Conservation Area.

The City of Burnaby and its residents have been vocal for several years against Kinder Morgan’s $5.4 billion Trans Mountain pipeline and terminal expansion proposal that would transport even more diluted bitumen and bring even more tankers to the Burrard Inlet.

Over 70% of Burnaby residents are opposed to Kinder Morgan’s expansion. (Source: http://is.gd/j79aOJ) Residents have been educating themselves through town halls, teach-ins and personal research and have determined that the risks to public safety and environmental degradation from Kinder Morgan’s proposal are too high. Many residents are no strangers to the harmful health impacts of tar sands crude given that the city was home to a terrible oil spill in 2007.

The City of Burnaby is currently in the process of appealing a National Energy Board decision that grants Kinder Morgan access to the designated Conservation Area. This is a critical constitutional question of whether a regulatory body can grant a corporation the authority to override municipal bylaws.

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation has also launched a legal challenge of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tankers project. This is the first legal challenge by a First Nation against the new pipeline and tanker proposal, citing the federal government’s failure to first consult Tsleil-Waututh on key decisions about the environmental assessment and regulatory review of the project.

The pipeline facilitates Tar Sands expansion on Indigenous territories along the pipeline route and at the source. This would violate numerous Aboriginal Treaty Rights and the overall well-being of these communities, many of whom have already emphatically said no to Kinder Morgan’s expansion. As the Supreme Court of Canada has consistently upheld, it is the federal government’s duty to respect these treaties, as well as the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples living on unceded lands along the pipeline route.

Therefore it should come as no surprise that community members are on Burnaby Mountain. These caretakers and residents should not be facing an injunction or a multimillion-dollar lawsuit by a corporate energy giant. Given the federal government’s failure to respond to residents, to Indigenous communities at the source of Tar Sands destruction and along the proposed pipeline route, and to municipal concerns, we laud these protectors for their bravery in taking a stand against Kinder Morgan.

We invite all individuals to sign this letter that will go directly to Kinder Morgan: http://act.350.org/letter/burnabysupport/

Initial List of Sixty-Five Signatories:

  1. Asian Youth Dialogues Collective
  2. Building Bridges-Human Rights Vancouver
  3. Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion
  4. Café Rebelde Collective
  5. Climate Convergence
  6. Coalition of South Asian Women Against Violence
  7. Colour Connected Against Racism (UBC)
  8. Connective Project
  9. Council of Canadians
  10. Defenders of the Land
  11. Delusions of Development
  12. Dogwood Initiative
  13. Forest Action Network
  14. ForestEthics Advocacy
  15. Georgia Strait Alliance
  16. Global Queer Research Group, UBC
  17. Greenpeace
  18. Heartwood Community Cafe
  19. Idle No More
  20. Latinos in Action
  21. Lead Now
  22. Left Front
  23. Living Oceans Society
  24. LopezNOCOALition
  25. Mainlander
  26. Mexicans Living in Vancouver
  27. Mi’kmaq Warrior Society
  28. Mining Justice Alliance
  29. Missourians Organizing for Reform & Empowerment
  30. Native Youth Movement
  31. No One Is Illegal-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories
  32. Peace Alliance of Surrey
  33. PIPE UP Network
  34. Pivot Legal Society
  35. Portland Rising Tide
  36. RAGA Graduate and Undergraduate Student Network
  37. Rising Tide North America
  38. Rising Tide – Coast Salish Territories
  39. Rococode
  40. Root Force
  41. San Juans Alliance
  42. San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping
  43. Sanctuary Health
  44. Save Our Shores Gabriola
  45. Secwepemc Womens Warrior Society
  46. Shit Harper Did
  47. Sierra Club BC
  48. Social Housing Alliance
  49. South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy
  50. Streams of Justice
  51. System Change Not Climate Change
  52. Toronto350 dot org
  53. Trikone Vancouver
  54. Unifor
  55. Union of BC Indian Chiefs
  56. Unist’ot’en Camp
  57. Vancouver Ecosocialists
  58. Vancouver Status of Women
  59. WaterWealth Project
  60. We Love this Coast
  61. WildCoast dot ca
  62. Wilderness Committee
  63. Wild Idaho Rising Tide
  64. Wildlife Defence League
  65. 350 dot org

Additional signatories (rolling basis):

1. Friends of the Earth International
2. Beyond Boarding
3. T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation
4. Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group
5. UFAWU-Unifor (United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union)
6. Gabriola S-O-S
7. March Against Monsanto – Victoria, BC
8. Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
9. Friends of Lily Lake
10. Wildsight
11. Voters Taking Action on Climate Change
12. Council of Canadians Windsor Essex Chapter
13. Green Shelters Corporation
14. Project Pipeline dot org
15. Friends of the San Juans
16. FORPA Forest Protection Allies
17. Social & Environmental Justice Committee of Vancouver Quaker Meeting
18. SWATT Smart Women Against Traffic Team
19. Clayoquot Action
20. SAFE (Students Active for the Environment – Kwantlen)
21. Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver
22. Chaos Faerie
23. Raincoast Conservation Foundation
24. Global Compliance Research Project
25. Greenpeace – Victoria
26. Polaris Institute
27. System Change Not Climate Change-Dallas/Fort Worth
28. UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
29. SMART CHANGE (Vancouver – Victoria)
30. Marineland Animal Defense
31. Vancouver Community Laboratory
32. Graphic History Collective
33. Rainforest Action Network
34. SFU350
35. Talon – UBC
36. How we Roll Longboards
37. Canada Waking Up the Masses
38. DaDaBaBy Enterprises

 

If you would like to add your support, fill in the form at the bottom of this page: http://peoplesclimateconvergence.org/we-stand-caretakers-burnaby-mountain

http://themainlander.com/2014/11/05/we-stand-with-the-caretakers-of-burnaby-mountain-and-burnaby-residents-opposing-kinder-morgan-expansion/

Stand with the Apache: No mining on sacred land!


Note: The attack on tribal sacred lands has gone overboard with corporate entities attempting to desecrate ancient sacred sites, while stripping every last resource available. Please join me in standing with the Apache in one BIG HELL “NO” to Congress in handing over Oak Flats to “foreign” a mining company.
The Apache join Hawai’i’Ti’s Kanaka Maoli (TMT Telescope on Mauan Kea) and tribes worldwide in protecting and preserving sacred lands.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The US government is about to handover a beautiful stretch of national forest held sacred by the local Apache tribe — to a giant foreign mining company. It’s a national disgrace, but if we come together now we have a real chance to block the mine.

Our country’s shameful, criminal mistreatment of Native Americans is no secret. And when Arizona lawmakers snuck this mining proposal into a critical national defense bill last year, Apache leaders and activists vowed to fight back. That pressure is working and right now Congress is considering whether to stop the mining project. If we back the Apache’s call with tens of thousands of voices nationwide, we can help protect this land for good.

Next month, tribal leaders are planning a cross-country trip to DC to defend the land that’s hosted important ceremonies for generations. If enough of us stand with the Apache, we can meet them on arrival and build a huge groundswell of support for their courageous fight on Capitol Hill. Sign now:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_the_apache_loc/?bHGVHeb&v=61248

The Oak Flat area of the Tonto National Forest in Arizona has had protected status since the Eisenhower Administration, out of recognition of its natural beauty and cultural significance. The local San Carlos Apache use if for coming of age ceremonies and other rituals. And repeated attempts to open the land up to mining have failed to pass Congress. That’s why Arizona’s Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake’s decision to tie the provision to a critical national defense vote last year was so cynical.

Supporters of the mining plan say it will bring jobs to the area, but local leaders question the benefits and highlight the cost. And that cost is clear: A massive 2 mile-long copper mine at Oak Flat would destroy a holy site that Apache have used since time immemorial. It boggles the mind that in 2015 the US government is still stomping on Native American rights like this, at the behest of foreign mining interests to boot.

Let’s join the fight to protect this sacred land. When enough of us have signed to get Congress’s attention, we’ll deliver our call to leaders in Congress and stand shoulder to shoulder with the Apache to defend against this attack on their heritage. Sign now and spread the word:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_the_apache_loc/?bHGVHeb&v=61248

From the Brazil to Tanzania, our community has stood behind local communities protecting their natural and cultural heritage. Now we have a critical opportunity to make sure our own government honors its commitments and moral responsibility to the Apache.

With hope and determination,

Nick, Joseph, Rewan, Emma and the rest of the Avaaz team

More Information:

Selling Off Apache Holy Land (New York Times)
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/29/opinion/selling-off-apache-holy-land.html

Tribe’s protest of mine plan near Superior is in 3rd week (Arizona Daily Star)
http://tucson.com/news/state-and-regional/tribe-s-protest-of-mine-plan-near-superior-is-in/article_f551fab1-853b-5826-9037-9ddb3739e5fc.html

Apache tribe distressed by privatization of sacred land (Arizona Daily Star)
http://tucson.com/news/apache-tribe-distressed-by-privatization-of-sacred-land/article_c8f9f32c-80c0-11e4-a781-a7334409bcc3.html

Save Oak Flat
http://www.apache-stronghold.com

Opponents renew fight against Superior copper mine
http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/politics/2015/06/17/superior-copper-mine-congress-bill-stop/28894741/

California’s Drought Could Upend America’s Entire Food System


May 5, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]


Irrigation water in California.

AP

CLIMATE PROGRESS

On April 1, California Governor Jerry Brown stood in a field in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, beige grass stretching out across an area that should have been covered with five feet of snow. The Sierra’s snowpack — the frozen well that feeds California’s reservoirs and supplies a third of its water — was just eight percent of its yearly average. That’s a historic low for a state that has become accustomed to breaking drought records.

In the middle of the snowless field, Brown took an unprecedented step, mandating that urban agencies curtail their water use by 25 percent, a move that would save some 500 billion gallons of water by February of 2016 — a seemingly huge amount, until you consider that California’s almond industry, for example, uses more than twice that much water annually. Yet Brown’s mandatory cuts did not touch the state’s agriculture industry.

Agriculture requires water, and large-scale agriculture, like that in California, requires large amounts of water. So when Governor Brown came under fire for exempting farmers from the mandatory cuts — farmers use 80 percent of the state’s available water — he was unmoved.

“They’re not watering their lawn or taking long showers,” he told ABC’s “The Week” the Sunday after he announced the restrictions. “They’re providing most of the fruits and vegetables of America to a significant part of the world.”

Almonds get a lot of the attention when it comes to California’s agriculture and water, but the state is responsible for a dizzying diversity of produce. Eaten a salad recently? Odds are the lettuce, carrots, and celery came from California. Have a soft spot for stone fruit? California produces 84 percent of the country’s fresh peaches and 94 percent of the country’s fresh plums. It produces 99 percent of the artichokes grown in the United States, and 94 percent of the broccoli. As spring begins to creep in, almost half of asparagus will come from California.

“California is running through its water supply because, for complicated historical and climatological reasons, it has taken on the burden of feeding the rest of the country,” Steven Johnson wrote in Medium, pointing out that California’s water problems are actually a national problem — for better or for worse, the trillions of gallons of water California agriculture uses annually is the price we all pay for supermarket produce aisles stocked with fruits and vegetables.

Up to this point, feats of engineering and underground aquifers have made the drought somewhat bearable for California’s farmers. But if dry conditions become the new normal, how much longer can — and should — California’s fields feed the country? And if they can no longer do so, what should the rest of the country do?

“It’s Not Just A California Drought Problem, It’s A Problem With Our Whole Food System”

In 2014, some 500,000 acres of farmland lay fallow in California, costing the state’s agriculture industry $1.5 billion in revenue and 17,000 seasonal and part time jobs. Experts believe the total acreage of fallowed farmland could double in 2015 — and that news has people across the country thinking about food security.

“When you look at the California drought maps, it’s a scary thing,” Craig Chase, who leads the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s Marketing and Food Systems Initiative at Iowa State University, told ThinkProgress. “We’re all wondering where the food that we want to eat is going to come from. Is it going to come from another state inside the U.S.? Is it going to come from abroad? Or are we going to grow it ourselves? That’s the question that we need to start asking ourselves.”

The California Central Valley, which stretches 450 miles between the Sierra Nevadas and the California Coast Range, might be the single most productive tract of land in the world. From its soil springs 230 varieties of crops so diverse that their places of botanical origin range from Southeast Asia to Mexico. It produces two thirds of the nation’s produce, and, like Atlas with an almond on his back, 80 percent of the world’s almonds. If you’ve eaten anything made with canned tomatoes, there’s a 94 percent chance that they were planted and picked in the Central Valley.

Some crops will always be grown in California. The Napa Valley, where a history of earthquakes has resulted in 14 different microclimates perfect for wine, is a truly unique place for growing grapes. The maligned almond is a great crop for California — it needs brief, cold winters and long, dry summers, and produces more value than it uses water, something rare for crops. Realistically, there aren’t many places in the world better suited to growing almonds than California.

But a lot of the things that California produces in such stunning numbers — tomatoes, lettuce, celery, carrots — can be grown elsewhere. Before the 20th century, the majority of produce consumed in the United States came from small farms that grew a relatively diverse number of crops. Fruit and vegetable production was regional, and varieties were dictated by the climate of those areas.

“There may be reason for the citrus and some of the nuts that are uniquely suited to the Mediterranean climate, but there’s no real reason that you have to produce all the fruits and vegetables. Those were grown other places before California came in,” John Ikerd, professor emeritus of Agricultural & Applied Economics University of Missouri Columbia, told ThinkProgress.

Ikerd, who taught agricultural economics before becoming an advocate for sustainable farming, grew up in rural Missouri, where he estimates that the majority of the food he ate came from within 50 miles of his home. At that time, the Midwest was still covered with small and mid-sized farms growing a diverse portfolio of crops. Ikerd described a tomato cannery in the town where he grew up, built to process the tomatoes grown in the farms from the surrounding area. Orchards, too, were once plentiful throughout the Midwest, growing apples and fruit for markets both local and national.

But the tomato canneries and the orchards that Ikerd remembers have largely disappeared, replaced by fields upon fields of corn and soybeans, commodity crops that government subsidies help make the quickest, fastest way to profit in the Midwest. From 1996 until the most recent version of the Farm Bill, farmers that grew commodity crops like corn and soil were actually prohibited from also growing specialty crops like fruits and vegetables on their land. Anyone who grew a specialty crop on land meant for subsidized commodity crops would have to forfeit their subsidy and pay a penalty equal to the market value of whatever specialty crop they grew, a policy that did little to discourage farmers in the Midwest from becoming large producers of one or two commodity crops. The U.S. government spent almost $84.5 trillion dollars subsidizing corn between 1995 and 2012, and a good portion of corn crops does not make it to a plate, instead used as ethanol or feed for livestock.

Of the corn that is intended for consumption, much of it ends up as high fructose corn syrup, which is now so ubiquitous it encourages maximizing the yield of corn at the expense of agricultural diversity. From 2002 to 2012, the amount of land dedicated to growing the nation’s top 25 vegetables fell from 1.9 million acres to 1.8 million. In the same amount of time, corn production grew from 79 million acres to 97 million.

“The deeper people look at it, they’ll see it’s a deeper part of the whole,” Ikerd says. “It’s not just a California drought problem, it’s a problem with our whole food system.”

A map showing where various crops are grown across the U.S.

A map showing where various crops are grown across the U.S.

CREDIT: Bill Rankin

In 2010, the Leopold Center at Iowa State University ran some numbers to figure out what would happen if a small stretch of Midwestern farmland — just 270,000 acres — was used to grow vegetables instead of corn or soybeans. They found that diversifying even that small amount of land — basically the amount of cropland in an average Iowa county — across six Midwestern states would yield almost enough produce to supply all the residents of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota for the entire year.

But that conversion is easier said than done, according to Chase. Farming corn requires a completely different infrastructure than farming produce, and he doesn’t see farmers jumping to replace their crops and machinery with California still capable of producing fruits and vegetables. Equipment for corn or soy farming can cost upwards of $100,000, a financial commitment that encourages farmers to grow crops that are easy to plant and harvest with the machinery.

“It’s not a land issue and it’s not a soil quality issue,” Chase said. “A lot of it is an infrastructure issue or a labor issue, particularly with those products that are so extremely labor intensive.”

Matt Kroul, co-owner of Kroul Farms in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, explains that for farmers — stereotypically a stubborn bunch — changing what’s grown can be difficult. Kroul farms 1,200 acres that have been in his family since the 1800s; for decades, his grandfather and grandmother farmed corn and soy, but the farm crisis of 1980 forced Kroul’s father to diversify their enterprise. Today, the farm produces a mix of commodity crops and seasonal produce, which it sells both directly to consumers via markets and a farmstand, and to local restaurants. Kroul feels fortunate that the farm was both small enough to be able to adapt to new crops and well-connected enough within the community to find a consumer base, but he acknowledges that in Iowa, this isn’t the case for everyone.

“You’d love to see it change, you’d love to see consumers drive that market to push more local foods,” Kroul said, but he worries that large-scale commodity farmers won’t want to change what they’ve always done. “Farmers are going to continue to grow what they’ve always grown. It’s a slippery slope in their mind to turn some acres over to vegetable and other growth.”

But Ikerd believes that the system can — and must — adapt to changing conditions. He remembers a time when fruit trees dotted the Midwest, and he also remembers watching as they were steadily replaced by large operations growing corn or soy or both. The system we have now, Ikerd says, was all built in the last 50 years. And he thinks a more sustainable system could be put in place just as quickly.

“This System Was A Fantasy”

Why do we grow so much of our produce in one place? And why California?

“There’s plenty of good soil elsewhere,” Richard Walker, professor emeritus of geography at the University of California, Berkeley, told ThinkProgress. “But it’s the ability to put water on [that soil] over a long, dry summer that allows you to get very quick results.”

When it comes to irrigation, California is a powerhouse. Some 9 million acres of farmland are irrigated each year, making California the state with the second-largest amount of irrigated land (behind Nebraska).

But it wasn’t always like that. Back in the early days before California’s modern agriculture — during the mining boom of the mid-1800s — the state’s primary crops were wheat and corn. Farmers grew the grain without irrigation, finding that California’s short, rainy winters, long, hot summers, and nutrient-rich soil created the perfect growing conditions without the need for extra water. By the 1890s, however, the intense grain industry had depleted the soil, and California’s farmers were forced to find another crop.

With a Mediterranean climate, California has always been particularly well-suited to growing produce. Toward the turn of the 20th century, fruit and vegetable production in the state exploded in growth, helped along by the transcontinental railroad, which could carry California’s produce — fresh, frozen, or canned — to East Coast markets where it fetched a handsome price. Between the 1880s and the 1930s, the amount of cropland dedicated to fruits and vegetables increased ten times over — and most of that depended on irrigation.

At first, irrigation projects were small, created by organizations of farmers banding together to build small local dams on small local rivers. By the 1930s, Walker says, all the best, most naturally fertile land had been developed — but demand for dependable year-round produce was only increasing, thanks to the rise of supermarkets and shrewd advertising from California agribusiness. So, farmers turned their eyes to something bigger.

“A water system grew with the rise of the state to economic prominence, from individual projects to irrigation districts and colonies to state-engineered projects,” Steven Stoll, associate professor of history at Fordham University, told ThinkProgress. “Their rising political power ensured that they would get the water they needed — no matter what.”

These big projects — sponsored by both the state and federal government — brought water to unexpected places, like the Westlands, a barren area southwest of Fresno that has historically received around eight inches of rain annually. By most accounts, the Westlands could be classified as a desert. It was instead transformed into farmland by funneling water in from San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta to meet the demands of industry.

“But here is the point — the water existed. It flowed out of the Sierra up and down the Central Valley. It only needed to be captured, stored, and directed,” Stoll says. The Westlands became farmland at a certain point in the history of California agriculture where massive engineering projects were the solution to any problem. As long as water continued to flow from the Sierras, human ingenuity — and water from the Sacramento and Colorado Rivers — was all that was needed to bring that water to the fields.

“Human societies for the last 10,000 years have arisen on that same assumption — climatic stability, the continuation of certain trends indefinitely,” Stoll says. “No one could have known, or only few did, that fossil fuels had the capacity of changing those conditions.”

As Walker sees it, California agribusiness, for a long time, has dealt with problems through engineering. But now — after a century of diverting rivers — there’s simply less surface water to work with.

“It turns out that you can’t overcome all the problems with engineering,” Walker says. “You don’t even need climate change to know that this system was a fantasy.”

Alongside surface water, farmers can access groundwater, natural aquifers that have been soaking up water that falls in California — as rain or as snow — for thousands of years. Within the complicated web of water rules in California, groundwater is a complete free-for-all — anyone who taps it can use it.

In an average year, water from underground aquifers supplies California with 30 to 40 percent of the state’s water supply — in drought years, that number jumps to 60 percent. This year, that number could be as high as 75 percent.

But groundwater takes thousands of years to fill up, and California farmers are being forced to drill deeper and deeper — sometimes thousands of feet into the Earth — to find groundwater for their farms. That deep drilling is beginning to mar the California landscape, lowering water tables and causing the ground to sink. Shallow wells are being sucked dry by those with the resources to drill deeper, and communities are being deprived of their groundwater safety nets. According to the New York Times, the depletion of groundwater has terminally damaged California’s soil, lessening its ability to reabsorb and store water in the future.

Last fall, the California legislature addressed the problem of overpumping groundwater, passing a bill that forces communities to regulate the extraction of water from underground aquifers. It was a big moment, the first time in the state’s history that anyone had dared to place restrictions on groundwater use. But it was also a bill that, in a lot of ways, fell short of actually fixing the problem: communities are given years, decades even, to formulate their plans for replenishing and conserving groundwater, meaning that many of the effects of the bill won’t be felt until 2040.

“There’s no more water in the system,” Walker says. “That’s what they have to realize. Where’s the water you’re going to pump this year? It’s not there.”

Taking Pressure Off California With A Regionalized Food System

In 2013, the USDA published a report looking at the impact of climate change on the United State’s agriculture — a comprehensive overview of available literature meant to serve as an input to the National Climate Assessment. Climate change, the report concluded, would fundamentally alter the way that crops and livestock are raised in this country. Crops that depend on irrigation would be especially vulnerable as both increasing temperatures and changing precipitation patterns place stress on water resources.

“Some U.S. agricultural systems, such as those currently operating at their southern marginal limit or those that currently depend on irrigation, will have to undergo more transformative changes to remain productive and profitable,” the report read.

California has a finite amount of water to split between a seemingly infinite number of needs: from drinking water to residential lawns, swimming pools to protected streams, almond trees to alfalfa sprouts. For decades, irrigation and ground water have been enough to transform otherwise unsuitable areas into productive farmland. The Midwest could specialize in commodity crops because specialty crops could be — and were — grown easier elsewhere.

Climate change is altering that balance. Though evidence connecting the current drought to climate change is the subject of debate, studies show that man-made climate change certainly won’t help the situation. A recent study out of Stanford found that human emissions increase the probability of the low-precipitation, high-temperature conditions that have made this drought so tough. Another study from NASA also found that if emissions continue to increase, the American Southwest has an 80 percent chance of facing a multi-decade megadrought from 2050 through the end of the century.

Mike Hamm, director of the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, hopes that those projections — of more frequent and longer-lasting droughts — don’t come true. He hopes that California can still produce as many fruits and vegetables in 30 years as it does now — but he also thinks that, to safeguard our food system, we need to move toward a more regionalized system of production.

“We need California production as long as and as much as it can be contained, and we need to regionalize production of fruit and vegetables as much as we can, in part to take water pressure off of California and in part to take pressure off of developing countries where we get fruits and vegetables from,” Hamm told ThinkProgress. Michigan, Hamm says, is already fairly well-situated for regional, diverse produce. Places like Iowa, that have seen their land consumed by large commodity farms, would face a more difficult transition.

“They neither have the land that is producing it, nor do they have the human capital,” Hamm says. “On the other hand, historically, in a place like Iowa, they had a very diverse agriculture with a lot of fruits and vegetables, which says that they have the climatic and environmental capacity to do it.”

To switch from a single crop to a diverse portfolio might seem daunting, but it’s change that has already begun to happen elsewhere. Thirty years ago, late spring would have signaled the beginning of the growing season for the most predominant crop in western North Carolina: tobacco, which had been grown in the region since the late 1600s. Federal quotas instated as part of the New Deal assured farmers a minimum price for their product in exchange for a set yield, a program that gave small farmers a measure of security for growing a high-value but labor-intensive crop. In 2002, the tobacco industry in North Carolina accounted for $800 million — roughly 12 percent of the state’s agricultural revenue.

That all changed in 2004, when quotas were phased out as part of a President George W. Bush’s American Jobs Creation Act.

“It was a big change, like a hurricane coming through,” Charlie Jackson, executive director of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), told ThinkProgress, explaining that three decades ago, western North Carolina had some 7,000 tobacco farms — according to the 2012 census, that number is down to 94.

But farming didn’t disappear in western North Carolina — instead, it transitioned, diversifying to produce fruits and vegetables for local markets with the help of ASAP. From 2002 to 2012, the number of farms in the area fell from 12,212 to 10,912, but the number of farms selling produce directly to the local community increased from 740 farms to 1,190. Instead of sales dropping with the decline of the tobacco industry, sales to consumers actually grew over $5,000 during that time. According to an ASAP report, by switching from tobacco to produce, farmers in the southern Appalachia’s could provide local communities with almost 40 percent of their yearly fruit and vegetable needs.

If the tobacco quotas had remained in place, Jackson says, the switch to regional produce farming might have been slower. “My guess is that there would still be a lot of farms growing tobacco,” he said.

Western North Carolina, in a way, was already primed for the transition to supplying diverse produce to the region. Because of the area’s mountainous geography, farms were already small, and they occupied different climatic regions, from 1,000 to 5,000 feet in altitude. Farmers in North Carolina hadn’t invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in specialized farming infrastructure, so they were more free, in a sense, to adapt to the changes ushered in by the end of tobacco quotas.

“It’s really an interesting thing, where something that could have been disastrous ends up being transformative,” Jackson said.

So will the California drought be disastrous, or transformative? Ask John Ikerd what he thinks, and he leans toward transformation.

“I’m not really pessimistic. If we decide we want to change agriculture, I think it’s quite conceivable that we can recreate this whole food system,” he said. “We just need to wake up to the fact that we’ve got a problem and start working on it. Once we do that, the solutions are there.”

http://www.globalpossibilities.org/californias-drought-could-upend-americas-entire-food-system/

A BOLD PLAN FOR SAVING POLLINATORS


Jun 27, 2015 Posted by


bees

“We need solutions to the bee crisis,” said Laurie Davies Adams, head of the Pollinator Partnership, at a packed briefing on Capitol Hill, which was organized by her organization and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The honey bee crisis Adams is deeply worried about is caused by the spread of colony collapse disorder, which has decimated hives across the U.S. Scientists say a combination of stressors is killing off honey bees, including the loss of the habitat they need for foraging, the widespread use of agricultural pesticides and fungicides, and disease. Other critical pollinators, like native bees, monarch butterflies, and bats, face similar challenges. While the destruction of these species is a cause of concern in itself, it’s also causing real fears among many of country’s farmers who rely on honey bees to pollinate their crops, at a cost of billions every year.

President and First Lady Obama have a “personal interest” in fixing the problem, said Adams. President Obama launched an inter-departmental task force that led to a new national strategy for honeybees and other pollinators, which was just released a few weeks ago. Adams called this the “most comprehensive blueprint for conservation in the 21st century.” But she cautioned that the federal government alone can’t solve this problem: it will take state and local governments, non-profit community groups, farmers, businesses, and homeowners, too. In fact, a key part of the effort will be to get people with any type of property to step up, which is the goal of the newly-launched Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. As Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, CEO of ASLA, added, landscape architects and designers also play a key role in turning landscapes at all scales into healthy habitats. “Restoring habitat for pollinators can happen even in very small patches.”

At the briefing, Anne Kinsinger, U.S. Geological Survey and one of the leaders in the presidential task force, said the group successfully brought together the many departments that can help — defense, transportation, education, and the General Services Administration (GSA). This task force, together with Reps. Alcee Hastings and Jeff Denham, have pushed for the Highway BEE Act, which would transform 17 million acres around highway right-of-ways into habitat for pollinators. For example, Interstate 35, which runs from Mexico from Canada, could be planted with milkweed, providing a source of nutrients for Monarch butterflies all along their migratory route.

interstate

Rep. Denham, who spoke at the briefing, said it would be a way to “beautify the highways while also creating a transportation system that supports healthy pollinators.” As of writing this post, the Highway BEE Act has passed the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Next steps to make this law are getting the act through the full Senate and also moving it through the House of Representatives.

While the Highway BEE Act moves through the Hill, the national strategy has already made some important contributions. It pulled together 75 leading bee scientists to come up with a “research action plan.” There are now targets: reduce colony collapse disorder by 50 percent in 10 years. Increase Monarchs’ numbers from around 37 million today to 225 million in 5 years. Restore 7 million acres of pollinator habitat through public-private partnerships, to aid all kinds of pollinators. As Kinsinger explained, “you can’t separate European honey bees from the 4,000 native bees.” The GSA is also already revising its policies for 3,000 government facilities to include best-practice land management techniques.

Robert Sneickus, FASLA, national landscape architect with the USDA’s National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), which is charged with restoring vast public wildlife habitat, said pollinators are essential to 80 percent of flowering plants. In turn, the health of pollinators themselves are dependent on access to productive habitat. For Sneickus, what’s important is planting “winter cover crops” that will be green all winter so bees will have access to forage in all seasons as well as flowering annuals that come back year after year. Also, all types of landscapes should be planted for both pollinators and beauty. “If a landscape looks great, more people will want it.” He said landscape architects can create a “pollinator master plan” to restore even small patches and corridors as healthy, beautiful habitats.

pollinator

And then John Chandler, a fourth-generation California farmer and agriculture advocate, explained how honey bees are crucial to his farm, which grows almonds, peaches, plums, and nectarines. As bees continue to die off, the cost per hive continues to go up, reaching about $200 these days. Each acre of almonds, explained Chandler, needs about two hives, so just for one growing season Chandler will spend $350 million to cover his entire 800,000-acre farm. “It’s the single largest check to payout.”

“What are we doing as an industry?”, wondered Chandler. Beginning in the 70s, Blue Diamond almonds started to finance advanced bee research and then created some pamphlets for farmers. There were some common sense ideas: When bees are out pollinating during the day, farmers shouldn’t be spraying chemical pesticides or fungicides. Farms now do that spraying at night when bees have gone home to their hives. During spraying, all water sources are also covered up so they aren’t contaminated. Chandler said “bees are like us, they want clean, fresh water.”

But, clearly, even more is needed to restore pollinators to health. According to the speakers, a key piece of the puzzle is bringing back nutritious forage wherever possible. Let’s start with better integrating forage opportunities along highways. With today’s problems, we can’t afford single-use infrastructure anymore; a highway for both cars and pollinators makes more sense. And farmers could be given greater incentives to set aside parts of their farmland as forage, a strategy the UK government has been using for some time. Communities can turn their own thoroughfares into pollinator pathways. Just about any strip will work, given many pollinators have a multiple-mile foraging range, and, as Adams, explained, “if you plant it, they will find it.”

pollinator-path

Lastly, everyone with a yard needs some plants for pollinators, too. Learn more at the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge.

http://www.globalpossibilities.org/a-bold-plan-for-saving-pollinators/

Ed. Note: Not mentioned here is placing a BAN on ALL residential and commercial use of ROUND-UP. To restrict it’s use to evenings is only pandering to biotech firms and allowing the destruction of the environment to continue. Round-up’s residue on plants also has adverse effects on any living organism that comes into contact with it and it can also be aerosolized and carried by the wind, infecting children, adults and wildlife with the same detrimental affects.

Bombing the Arctic: US Navy War Games in Gulf of Alaska Threaten One of World’s Most Pristine Areas


Published on Jun 16, 2015

http://democracynow.org – The U.S. Navy is set to begin a major war exercise in the Gulf of Alaska amid protests from local communities concerned about environmental damage. The Navy is reportedly unleashing thousands of sailors, soldiers, airmen, marines and Coast Guard members along with several Navy destroyers, hundreds of aircrafts, untold weaponry and a submarine for the naval exercises. The Gulf of Alaska is one of the most pristine places left on Earth; the region includes critical habitat for all five wild Alaskan salmon species and 377 other species of marine life. The Navy’s planned live bombing runs will entail the detonation of tens of thousands of pounds of toxic munitions, as well as the use of active sonar in fisheries. The Navy has conducted war games in the Gulf of Alaska, on and off, for the last 30 years, but these new exercises are the largest by far. They come at a time when scientists are increasingly worried about climate change causing Arctic melting. Meanwhile, the unprecedented melting has created an opportunity for the military to expand its operations into previously inaccessible terrain. We are joined by Dahr Jamail, staff reporter at Truthout, whose latest piece is “Destroying What Remains: How the US Navy Plans to War Game the Arctic.”

Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on 1,300+ TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream 8-9am ET: http://democracynow.org

Herbicide-resistant insects are destroying GMO crops like never before


Bt corn was originally created, or so Monsanto claims, to eradicate a farming nuisance known as rootworm. But as evidence from a GMO corn lab comes in, we are learning how the pests are living the lives in fields planted with GM Bt corn seed.

In 2011, a cornfield planted in Iowa with Bt corn was found to be completely decimated by rootworm. A study, just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describes the western corn rootworm’s rapid evolution after dining on the engineered crop.

The study’s lead author, AaronGassmann, states that:

“The widespread planting of crops genetically engineered to produce insecticidal toxins derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) places intense selective pressure on pest populations to evolve resistance.

Western corn rootworm is a key pest of maize, and in continuous maize fields it is often managed through planting of Bt maize. During 2009 and 2010, fields were identified in Iowa in which western corn rootworm imposed severe injury to maize producing Bt toxin Cry3Bb1. Subsequent bioassays revealed Cry3Bb1 resistance in these populations.

Here, we report that, during 2011, injury to Bt maize in the field expanded to include mCry3A maize in addition to Cry3Bb1 maize and that laboratory analysis of western corn rootworm from these fields found resistance to Cry3Bb1 and mCry3A and cross-resistance between these toxins.

Resistance to Bt maize has persisted in Iowa, with both the number of Bt fields identified with severe root injury and the ability western corn rootworm populations to survive on Cry3Bb1 maize increasing between 2009 and 2011.”

Read: Rootworms Prevail as they Develop Resistance to Toxic GMO Crops

The authors also found that not only did the rootworm thrive in Bt corn fields, but the pest had the potential to “develop resistance rapidly” when Bt crops don’t produce a high enough level of Bt toxin, and therefore would require farmers to use more pesticides to eradicate the pest.

In short, Bt corn didn’t eradicate the pest it was meant to destroy; it only made it stronger, thereby causing even more pesticide use. Sounds like a perfect biotech creation made in cahoots with companies that sell chemicals for a living – and yet we trust them to make our food?

Additional sources

Photo by Joseph Spencer, INHS

News.Illinois.edu

Source: http://www.sott.net/article/298159-Herbicide-resistant-insects-are-destroying-GMO-crops-like-never-before

Monsanto herbicide faces global fallout after World Health Organization labels it a probable carcinogen


Image

© PiggingFoto/Shutterstock

The fight against glyphosate is gaining momentum, and where governments are not stepping up to enforce bans, citizens and private companies are taking it upon themselves with major successes.

The World Health Organization’s official recognition of the health damage caused by glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, is having ramifications around the world. National governments are moving to restrict the chemical, campaigns to ban it are intensifying, and now ‘Roundup Ready’ GMO crops are coming under the regulatory spotlight.

Could it be that the World Health Organisation’s classification of glyphosate as a ‘probable carcinogen’ (see [1] Glyphosate ‘Probably Carcinogenic to Humans’ Latest WHO Assessment, SiS 66) will be the final nail in the coffin for the world’s most popular herbicide and Monsanto’s flagship product?

Recent weeks have seen the intensification of campaigns to ban or remove the product as well as lawsuits being filed against Monsanto; in the US for false safety claims of glyphosate, and in China, for hiding toxicity studies from the public.

El Salvador has already banned the chemical though yet to be signed into law [2], while the Netherlands last year banned private sales [3]. Sri Lanka had a partial ban in place in regions most afflicted by chronic kidney disease that has been linked to glyphosate use (see later).

People have known the truth for years. Industry and government regulators have conspired to bury copious evidence of toxicity for decades, and they feel to some extent vindicated by the latest WHO assessment (see [4] Glyphosate and Cancer, SiS 62) and [5] EU Regulators and Monsanto Exposed for Hiding Glyphosate Toxicity, SiS 51). More importantly, governments are finally beginning to take action.

Outright Bans

Colombia has taken the lead, deciding to suspend aerial spraying of illegal coca as well as poppy plants, which is expected to come into effect in a few weeks’ time following a majority 7 to 1 vote for the ban by the National Narcotics Council [6].

The day before the ban, the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defence (AIDA) delivered 24,000 signatures to the Minister of Justice who also chairs the Narcotics Council to push for this decision [7].

Colombia had been employing US contractors to spray glyphosate for two decades, covering an estimated 1.6 million hectares of land. This spraying for the ‘war on drugs’ has been ineffective in eradicating illegal cocaine production, but has instead caused rising illness in local communities, killing local crops and polluting land and water supplies.

Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities have borne the brunt of the fumigation programs, prompting protests against both coca production and glyphosate use that has been displacing people from ancestral lands [8]. Colombia is not alone.

Bermuda, the British overseas territory in the Atlantic also banned glyphosate imports with immediate effect following the WHO assessment, as announced by their Minister of Health, Jeanne Atherden, whose decision was supported by local farmers [9]. The Minister said she believes the”action we are taking today is prudent and in the best interests of a safe environment…Like any area of science, there are competing studies and a wealth of information on both sides of the argument … I am satisfied that this action is warranted and we are committed to conducting an open and thorough investigation.” [10]

Sri Lanka is the latest country to declare an outright ban. The decision follows the election of the new president, a farmer and previously the Health Minister, Maithripala Sirisena taking the decision due the epidemic of chronic kidney disease [11]. The spread of kidney disease highlights the wide-ranging toxicity of glyphosate not limited to carcinogenicity.

The country’s battle to ban the chemical precedes the WHO declaration, coming after studies by Sri Lankan researchers linked the chemical to hard water, heavy metal contaminants and glyphosate use (see [12] Sri Lanka Partially Bans Glyphosate for Deadly Kidney Disease Epidemic, SiS 62).

This prompted an initial ban, which was later restricted to certain regions of the country following intense lobbying pressure. With the government paying for healthcare of over 25,000 residents and supplying them with fresh water, the latest decision for an outright ban could not come soon enough.

Imminent bans, protests, and fresh calls for bans

Brazil is facing growing pressure to follow suit, with the country’s public state prosecutor writing to Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) asking it to urgently re-evaluate their stance on glyphosate and also revoke authorisations on glyphosate-tolerant GM crops [13].

He has even gone as far as launching an investigation into whether regulatory authorisations are legal for the GM crops. ANVISA are stalling their decision however, until the full report by the WHO is published.

In Argentina, 30 000 health professionals belonging to the union of doctors and health professionals (FESPROSA) have come out in support of the WHO decision [14], claiming thatglyphosate “not only causes cancer. It is also associated with increased spontaneous abortions, birth defects, skin diseases, and respiratory and neurological disease.” The statement continues:

“Health authorities, including the National Ministry of Health and the political powers, can no longer look away. Agribusiness cannot keep growing at the expense of the health of the Argentine people. The 30,000 health professionals in Argentina in the FESPROSA ask that glyphosate is now prohibited in our country and that a debate on the necessary restructuring of agribusiness is opened, focusing on the application of technologies that do not endanger human life.”

Similarly, the Society of Paediatric Haematology-Oncology (SAHOP) issued a statement calling for an immediate ban of glyphosate fumigation, signed by the President of the Paediatric society Pedro Zubizarreta. They objected to the massive use of toxic products being sprayed in ever increasing concentrations in combinations of both insecticides and herbicides, and being sold as ‘technological advancements’.

They also warned of storing the grains in plastic bags, which leaves grains teeming with aflatoxins, categorised by the WHO’s IARC as a known carcinogen since 1993 [15]. Glyphosate has already been previously linked to the growth of these fungi in scientific studies, along with many other crop diseases [16].

Successful protests in Argentina were also recently mobilised to prevent Dr Medardo Ávila Vázquez from losing his job after the agribusiness-funded university threatened to sanction him for conducting and disseminating studies showing the high levels of cancers affecting his region as a result of agrichemical spraying [17].

These protests are a tribute to his work in exposing the toxicity of glyphosate, as well as the groundswell of opposition to glyphosate spraying in the country despite support by the national government.

Local residents are gaining strength to voice their concerns following the WHO news as well as the recent decision by the Ministry of Production in the province of Santa Fe to ban aerial spraying of 2,4-D within 6 km of residents, confirming the health risks of the chemical agricultural system that leaves children covered in chemical and dust particles as they walk to school [18].

In Europe, the International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE) (an influential body with member organizations in 27 countries) has written to officials at the EU parliament and Commission asking for an immediate ban of glyphosate herbicides and for insecticides also judged by the WHO to be carcinogens, without exceptions [19].

A member of the EU commission stated in the 2015 GMO-free conference 2015 in Berlin, Germany that they will include the WHO assessment in their re-evaluation procedures that is due to be completed later this year.

However the corrupt process of reassessment that was led by a consortium of chemical companies (see [20] Scandal of Glyphosate Re-assessment in Europe, SiS 63) means that EU campaigners will have to push hard to force the EU to have some semblance of integrity in their final decision making.

Meanwhile,Germany’s state consumer protection ministers are calling for an EU-wide ban on selling glyphosate for home use, for precautionary reasons [21], and the German retail giant REWE has decided to remove all glyphosate from its ‘toom Baumarkt DIY’ store shelves by September 2015 [22].

Swiss companies are following suite, with Coop supermarkets and Switzerland’s largest retail company, Migros declaring they will both no longer sell any products containing it [23].

In Denmark, the Danish Working Environment Authority has decided to follow the WHO decision and has now declared glyphosate a carcinogen, with the expected outcome being a switch to alternative, less toxic chemicals (see [24] Roundup Listed Carcinogen by Danish Authority, SiS 67).

The decision is backed by one of the world’s leading toxicologists, Philippe Grandjean, a professor at the University of Denmark where he is head of the Environmental Medicine Research Unit as well as being an adjunct professor at Harvard University.

Commenting on the decision he stated, It is so common a substance — and our use of it is so extensive — that this WHO report must be taken seriously, while encouraging people to rid the chemical from their homes.

With such a decision, it now seems unlikely that the post-harvest spraying of crops for desiccation will go ahead this year, which contributes to it being the most widely used herbicide in the country. This is big news in a country about to face an election, with the highly-respected Professor Grandjean’s media appearances drawing much public attention, leaving little room for industry to defend themselves.

U.S. Citizens File Class Action Lawsuits Against Monsanto for False Safety Claims

A group of citizens in Los Angeles County are taking court action against Monsanto for falsifying safety claims that Roundup® “targets an enzyme found in plants but not people and pets” in its labelling of the herbicide [25]. The lawsuit applies to residents of California who have purchased Roundup at any time during the last four years. This lawsuit, if successful can encourage similar actions elsewhere in the country.

The claim that glyphosate targets an enzyme (EPSP synthase) that does not physically exist in people ignores the fact that EPSP synthase is present in the bacteria that live inside people. Moreover, these microbes are intimately linked to many physiological functions in the body that are vital to human health, and their disruption is increasingly linked to illness.

The plaintiffs state in the lawsuit that “…this claim is absolutely, positively false because glyphosate does indeed target an enzyme ‘found in people’ — in our gut bacteria”, making Monsanto’s claim “objectively false (and inherently misleading)”.

The class action further alleges that Monsanto,”cannot deny that Roundup targets an enzyme that is physically located inside of people…this fact lay beyond dispute.”

Monsanto’s claim that glyphosate targets a single enzyme is also a fallacy. It has been shown to disrupt the function of many enzymes at least in part due to its metal chelating activities, a property for which the chemical was originally patented in 1964. Metals act as co-factors for many enzymes which is why metals are key to any healthy diet.

Anyone wishing to support the suit filed by T. Mathew Phillips can visit the attorney’s website [26].

Comment: Monsanto sued in Los Angeles County for false advertising

In today’s lawsuit, Monsanto is accused of deliberate falsification to conceal the fact that glyphosate is harmful to humans and animals. “Defendant intentionally misleads consumers by misrepresenting and concealing the true and correct facts concerning glyphosate…” Attorney T. Matthew Phillips says, “We are not trying to prove that Roundup is harmful or carcinogenic, we are merely pointing out that Monsanto is lying about the enzymes that Roundup targets. Roundup kills the weeds in your backyard and the weeds in your stomach.”

Chinese Citizens Sue Government for Hiding Toxicity Studies from Public

Three Beijing residents, have filed a lawsuit against China’s Ministry of Health requesting full disclosure of the toxicology report submitted to the Chinese government for registration of the chemical almost three decades ago [27].

The case, a rare example of private citizens against the Chinese government comes after more than a year of the Ministry of Agriculture failing to meet the requests of the Beijing food volunteers after they submitted the first application of disclosure in February 2014. So far, the government has refused to disclose the report for privacy and business reasons, protecting Monsanto’s commercial interests.

The toxicology report was not performed independently by Chinese institutions, but was instead conducted by US-based Younger Laboratories and commissioned by Monsanto [28]. The tests were restricted to acute toxicity in rats and rabbits being exposed via the mouth and skin, hardly a comprehensive safety test that the Chinese people can have confidence in.

Further, while Monsanto filed the report for registration of the formulation product Roundup, the tests were performed on glyphosate alone. The case has not yet been heard, but the Ministry of agriculture has added Monsanto as a defendant [29].

The country is by far the largest producer of glyphosate, producing an estimated 70% of the world’s supply [30]. It is also the largest importer of GM foods.

Despite it being a centre of origin for soybean plants, China is now importing most of it from overseas, the majority of which is GM, making the country not only the leading producer, but also one of the leading consumers of glyphosate (see [31]How Grain Self-Sufficiency, Massive GM Soybean Imports & Glyphosate Exports Led China to Devastate People & Planet‘, SiS 67).

If successful, the suit will only further expose the toxic effects of this herbicide, which go beyond its carcinogenic properties, with evidence of teratogenic and endocrine disrupting effects among others (see [32] Roundup of Roundup® Reveals Converging Pattern of Toxicity from Farm to Clinic, SiS 65).

The Beginning of the End for Glyphosate?

The fight against glyphosate is gaining momentum, and where governments are not stepping up to enforce bans, citizens and private companies are taking it upon themselves with major successes.

A major campaign to stop local governments from spraying glyphosate has just been launched by a group of 81 scientists/medical professionals (Independent Scientists Manifesto on Glyphosate.).

In less than two days, the number of scientists who have signed the Manifesto has more than tripled, while over 300 non-scientists have endorsed the Manifesto. Add your name now.

This article was originally published by ISIS, the Institute of Science in Society.

Please circulate widely and repost, but you must give the URL of the original and preserve all the links back to articles on our website. If you find this report useful, please support ISIS by subscribing to our magazine Science in Society, and encourage your friends to do so. Or have a look at the ISIS bookstore for other publications.

References

1. Ho MW and Swanson N. Glyphosate ‘Probably Carcinogenic to Humans’ Latest WHO Assessment, Science in Society 66, 16-18

2. El Salvador Government Bans Roundup over Deadly Kidney Disease. Sustainablepulse.com, accessed 27th February 2014

3. “Dutch Parliament bans Roundup, France and Brazil to follow“, The Healthy Home Economist, 12 April 2014,

4. Ho M. W. Glyphosate and cancer. Science in Society 62, 12-14, 2014.

5. Sirinathsinghji E and Ho MW. EU Regulators and Monsanto Exposed for Hiding Glyphosate Toxicity. Science in Society 51, 46-48, 2011

6. Colombia to ban coca spraying herbicide glyphosate, BBC.co.uk, accessed 18th May 2015.

7. AIDA celebrates historic decision to suspend fumigation with glyphosate in Colombia, aida-americas.org, accessed 19th May 2015.

8. Ineffective U.S. Fumigation Policy Adversely Affects Afro-Colombians. Wola.org, accessed 19th May 2015.

9. Farmers back decision to ban Roundup spray. RoyalGazette.com, accessed 20th May 2015.

10. Bermuda Suspends Glyphosate-Ridden Roundup Indefinitely. Naturalsociety.com, accessed 19th May 2015.

11. Sri Lankan President orders to ban import of glyphosate with immediate effect, www.colombopage.com, accessed 26th May 2015.

12. Sirinathsinghji E. Sri Lanka partially bans glyphosate for deadly kidney disease epidemic. Science in Society 62, 2014.

13. Brazil’s Public Prosecutor Wants to Ban Monsanto’s Chemicals. Naturalsociety.com, accessed 20th May 2015.

14. 30,000 doctors and health professionals demand ban on glyphosate, GMWatch.org, accessed 18th May 2015.

15. Reclamos contra un pesticida. Página12.com.ar, accessed 20th May 2015.

16. Barberis CL, Carranza CS, Chiacchiera SM, Magnoli CE. Influence of herbicide glyphosate on growth and aflatoxin B1 production by Aspergillus section Flavi strains isolated from soil on in vitro assay. J Environ Sci Health B2013, 48, 1070-9. doi: 10.1080/03601234.2013.824223.

17. University drops action against cancer researcher in face of massive support for his work, GMWatch.org, accessed 18th May 2015.

18. Argentina: Chemical Warfare on Towns, upsidedownworld.org, accessed 20th May 2015.

19. International Doctors Demand Immediate Ban on Glyphosate Herbicides, isde.org, accessed 18th May 2015 [PDF]

20. Swanson N and Ho MW. Scandal of glyphosate reassessment in Europe. Science in Society 63, 8-9, 2014

21. German states call for ban on household pesticide, euroactiv.com, accessed 18th May 2015.

22. German Retail Giant REWE Removes Glyphosate from DIY Stores, sustainablepulse.com, accessed 18th May 2015.

23. Swiss Supermarkets Stop Sales of Glyphosate over Health Concerns. SustainablePulse.com, accessed 3rd June 2015.

24. Ho MW. Roundup Listed Carcinogen by Danish Authority, Science in Society 67 (to appear) 2015.

25. Monsanto re/Roundup Class Action Lawsuit, accessed 18th May 2015. [PDF]

26. Monsanto Glyphosate Advertising Class Action.

27. Chinese citizens sue government over transparency on Monsanto herbicide. Reuters.com, accessed 18th May 2015

28. Chen I-wan. Chinese People Fight Back on Monsanto Against Glyphosate-based Roundup

29. Chen I-wan. Chinese Citizen Sues American GM Giant, Accuses It’s Herbicide Possible Carcinogen.

30. An insight into glyphosate trend. Agropages.com, accessed 18th May 2015.

31. Ho MW. How Grain Self-Sufficiency, Massive GM Soybean Imports & Glyphosate Exports Led China to Devastate People & Planet, Science in Society 67, (to appear) 2015.

32. Sirinathsinghji E. A roundup of Roundup reveals converging patterns of toxicities from farm to clinic to laboratory studies. Science in Society 65, 26-31, 2015.

About the author

Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghji is a scientist working on GMOs with the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS).

Comment: More information on the ‘global fallout’ of Monsanto’s evil herbicideglyposate:

http://www.sott.net/article/298123-Monsanto-herbicide-faces-global-fallout-after-World-Health-Organization-labels-it-a-probable-carcinogen

California property values collapse as water shut-offs begin… wealthy community to go dry in days… real estate implosion now inevitable


(NaturalNews) Water shut-offs have now begun in California, where government-ordered restrictions are starting to leave large communities high and dry. As CBS News is now reporting, the Mountain House community of 15,000 residents will run out of water in just a matter of days.

“The community’s sole source of water, the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, was one of 114 senior water rights holders cut off by a curtailment notice from the state on Friday,” reports CBS.

And just like that, the property values of millions of dollars worth of homes belonging to 15,000 residents nosedives toward zero.

After all, what’s the value of a home that has no running water? California isn’t Africa… yet… so the idea of carrying your own buckets of water for bathing isn’t widely accepted.

Get ready for a real estate collapse in Collapsifornia

As Natural News readers know, I saw all this coming. In a May 7th article entitled Why the California water crisis will lead to a housing collapse, municipal bankruptcies and a mass exodus of climate refugees, I wrote:

How many California homes and businesses are headed for a zero-water future? Many millions. How many Californians are aware of all this and already have their homes on the market so they can move somewhere else? A very small number… a tiny fraction of the total number of home and property owners invested there.

What these people are unfortunately not yet seeing is the catastrophic consequences of a continued drought and how it can utterly destroy the value of their property.

In that same article, I also foretold what’s going to happen next: plunging property tax revenues, municipal bankruptcies, a wave of climate refugees fleeing California and the collapse of the California economy. Unless rain starts falling out of the sky, all this is going to start unraveling like clockwork. (Count on it.)

“A number of water districts plan to sue the state on the grounds the State Water Resources Control Board has no legal authority to cut off some of California’s oldest and most protected water rights,” reports CBS. And so the water wars begin: there’s not enough water to go around, and the courtroom serves as the new battleground over a resource that the state of California has squandered for far too long.

The Collapsifornia real estate collapse has already begun

Just as I predicted in May, the collapse of real estate valuations in California is already well under way.

As the Washington Post now reports:

Rancho Santa Fe resident Randy Woods was feeling burdened by his lush landscape and opted to downsize. …The drought has dampened demand for large estates in San ­Diego County.

Woods said his girlfriend is among those struggling to sell. Her home boasts a yard designed by Kate Sessions, a well-known landscape architect and botanist who died in 1940. But now, the rare palm tree specimens, the secret garden and the turret-shaped hedges are a liability rather than a selling point.

Another friend, Woods said, has seen the value of his nine-acre plot plummet from $30 million to $22 million.

Did you read that correctly? A multi-million-dollar estate has lost over 25% of its value virtually overnight due to the issue of water. And this collapse in property prices is for properties that still have running water. What happens when the water supply to a $30 million estate is cut off? The value collapses to almost nothing. Who wants to live in a $30 million mansion and pay seven figures of property tax each year to the same California government that cuts off your water supply? Who wants to live like a third world refugee in a $30 million estate?

Nobody in their right mind, it turns out. Not even in California.

Freak out and get out, or be the last one holding worthless property

As this drought has unfolded, my message to Californians has been consistent and simple: freak out early and you might still be able to sell and leave. But if you delay, you’ll be among the last people holding near-worthless property.

This isn’t difficult to predict. As the sell-off begins, property valuations will plunge in an accelerated manner. (It has already begun.) The more water gets cut off by the government, the more desperate people will be to sell and leave. The term “motivated seller” will be ratcheted up to “panicked seller” and then finally “fire sale!”

People who buy the properties will soon be able to pick up once-prized real estate for dimes on the dollar. But it’s a gamble: If the rainfall comes back, property valuations may recover. And yet, according to nearly all the people who live in California right now, this drought is all caused by man-made global warming. And because I don’t see China shutting down its coal-fired power plants anytime soon, there’s no end to this drought if the climate change alarmists are correct.

Welcome to Delusionville, where the power of magical belief in Big Government can overcome any drought

California, it seems, is reverting back to a barren desert. Meanwhile, far too many of the people who live in California remain in a state of absolute denial over where this is all headed. Overall, I love California optimism, and many of my best friends live in California. But as anyone who lives in Los Angeles knows all too well, California is also the home of fantasyland dream weavers… people who live in their minds instead of reality. (Oh yeah, and I have a really awesome script I need you to read… it will change the movie industry forever!)

Delusional thinking is also a key trait of California’s political leadership. These are people who think money falls out of the sky and water runs uphill. They’ve recently even decided that California should cover the health care costs of the children of illegal immigrants.

And why not? If you’re going to live in Delusionville, you might as well dress it up with all the false hope and delusional wishes on your list: free health care for everyone, unlimited debt spending on entitlement programs, magical waterfalls of free H2O falling out of the clouds, and so on.

I once lived in Arizona, and many of the street names there envision concepts that are total fiction: Waterfall Lane, Great Spring Drive, Surging Rivers Rd. and so on. (Most of the rivers in Southern Arizona are bone dry riverbeds nearly all the time.) Wouldn’t it be great if California renamed its own streets and thoroughfares to match its own fantasies? Everything Is Free Hwy and Limitless Entitlements Drive seem especially fitting. Why not open a new swimming area called No Consequences Beach?

I think I’ll also take a long, meandering drive down If I Think It, It Must Be Real Highway, where “positive thinking” overpowers negative obstacles to such an amazing degree that you don’t even need to wear seatbelts or turn on your headlights.

Desalination is an environmental nightmare

For those who are saying, “There’s no water problem in California! It has the entire Pacific Ocean right next door!”, you need to look into the catastrophic environmental destruction tied to ocean water desalination.

Not only does desalination use fossil fuels which emit the very same carbon emissions that the California government insists caused the drought in the first place, the desalination process itself pollutes the ocean with high concentration salt brine that kills marine ecosystems and destroys ocean life along the California coastline.

And that’s on top of all the Fukushima radiation that’s already causing a marine ecosystem collapse in many areas of the coast. Add more salt brine to the mix and you get a state where rich, self-entitled Hollywood celebrities demand their lush, green lawns at the expense of ocean life, climate change and the global ecosystem. If that happens, California will lose all credibility as a “green” state, and its wealthiest residents will be living an ecological lie.

The new green, it turns out, is actually BROWN.

How dare we think ahead!

I fully realize it’s entirely evil of me to think ahead and point out what’s coming. There is no person more hated in modern society than someone who tells the truth. (Just ask Donald Trump, who’s now running for President by abandoning political correctness and stating the obvious.)

But when I see headlines like Rich Californians balk at limits: ‘We’re not all equal when it comes to water’, I can tell you without hesitation that California’s water woes have only begun.

If you live in California and don’t have your own individual water supply — a private well that still works, large-scale rainwater collection in a rare area that still has rainfall, access to a private year-round stream, etc. — you either wake up to what’s coming or you get steamrolled by it.

Think of California as a jumbo jet that has just run out of fuel and is plummeting toward a mountain. You can either grab a parachute and bail out, or you can plug in your headphones and keep watching the in-flight Hollywood entertainment, pretending nothing bad is happening outside your immediate focus.

I know this isn’t the good news you wanted to hear. It’s much nicer to turn on the local TV and hear how Gov. Jerry Brown is going to brilliantly solve all of California’s problems by using the magic of wishful thinking and sleight-of-mind economic trickery. Meanwhile, in the real world, the taps are running dry, employers are fleeing the state’s high taxes, the almond orchards have shriveled into dust, the flood of non-citizen immigrants is draining the state’s revenues and property valuations are about to fall off a cliff.

Perhaps the California that has been promoted by socialist-minded propagandists can be recreated as a virtual reality destination for Oculus Rift fans, but in the real world, nobody wants to live in third-world conditions and drink their own recycled urine. Not even Ed Begley, Jr., and he’s a pretty cool dude who’s willing to do almost anything to save the planet.

Hence the coming wave of recently-bankrupt California climate refugees who will flood into neighboring states seeking water, low-cost housing and free entitlements. That’s not gonna win friends in neighboring states, trust me. If you’re living in California right now, I urge you to strongly consider where things are really headed and start making a realistic list of your options.

6/20/2015 — “Super-Fractures” CONFIRMED ! Geology professionals say ‘Super-charged’ wells cause fracking earthquakes


4.0m earthquake may 7 2015 texas fracking
Above: May 7, 2015 – M4.0 earthquake strikes Venus Texas Fracking operation — Leading to the new term “super-fracture” to describe the actual process at work.

 

In my most famous (online famous lol) diatribe regarding this issue, I coined a new term that I am using to describe what is occurring at these injection well locations.

The term I came up with was “super-fracture”… causing pressure on the injection well casements.

Now the professionals come out with a breakthrough so-called “discovery”.   They have discovered that “super-charging” is causing fracking injection earthquakes.

I called it super-fracture over the past few months , now they come out with a “breakthrough” new study where they’re now calling it super-charging.

To top it all off, the team of researchers has come to the same conclusions I put out in the multiple videos!

SMH  :)

See one of the videos where I fully explain the concept of a “super-fracture” here (about 13min into the video):

Here is an epic rant video explaining the same exact thing in no uncertain terms 😀 :


Here are two articles I put out a month ago, in May 2015, talking about the “super fracture pressure” causing these earthquakes.

5/18/2015 — Dallas Texas Fracking Earthquake — Multiple events prove the “Super-Fracture” has spread

http://dutchsinse.com/5182015-dallas-texas-fracking-earthquake-multiple-events-prove-the-super-fracture-has-spread/

5/08/2015 — 4.0M earthquake strikes Texas Fracking Operation — Viewer asks “What comes next?” Answer is…

http://dutchsinse.com/5082015-4-0m-earthquake-strikes-texas-fracking-operation-viewer-asks-what-comes-next-answer-is/


Summed up, the professionals have come to the same exact conclusion that I came to previously (publicly in the multiple videos / posts).

They have concluded that by backing off injection well pressure, but not fully closing down the wells, that the pressure subsides, and the super-fracture (super-charging) slows down.

Ironic they used nearly the same term, and came to the same conclusions isn’t it?!


 

Here is the main stream media article on this new “super charging” release by professionals:

Supercharged injection wells triggering more earthquakes, study finds

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20150618-supercharged-injection-wells-triggering-more-earthquakes-study-finds.ece

“The more oil and gas companies pump their saltwater waste into the ground, and the faster they do it, the more they have triggered earthquakes in the central United States, a massive new study found.

An unprecedented recent jump in quakes in America’s heartland can be traced to the stepped up rate that drilling wastewater is injected deep below the surface, according to a study in Thursday’s journal Science that looked at 187,570 injection wells over four decades.

It’s not so much the average-sized injection wells, but the supercharged ones that are causing the ground to shake. Wells that pumped more than 12 million gallons of saltwater into the ground per month were far more likely to trigger quakes than those that put lesser amounts per month, the study from the University of Colorado found.

Although Texas, Arkansas, Kansas and other states have seen increases in earthquakes, the biggest jump has been in Oklahoma. From 1974 to 2008, Oklahoma averaged about one magnitude 3 or greater earthquake a year, but in 2013 and 2014, the state averaged more than 100 quakes that size per year, according to another earthquake study published Thursday. Since Jan. 1, the U.S. Geological Survey has logged more than 350 magnitude 3 or higher quakes in Oklahoma.

Studies have linked the increase in quakes to the practice of injecting leftover wastewater into the ground after drilling for oil and gas using newer technologies, such as hydraulic fracturing. Recent studies have linked the damaging 2011 magnitude 5.7 quake that hit Prague, Oklahoma, to a nearby high-rate injection well.

Unlike other studies, this new University of Colorado study looked at 18,757 wells that were associated with earthquakes within 9 miles of them and the nearly 170,000 that didn’t have any quake links. Looking for the difference between the two groups, researchers determined that it was how much wastewater was pumped and how fast, said lead author Matthew Weingarten.

Even though quake-associated wells were only 10 percent of those studied, more than 60 percent of the high-rate wells — 12 million gallons or more — were linked to nearby earthquakes, the study found.

And of the 45 wells that pump the most saltwater at the fastest rate, 34 of them — more than three out of four — were linked to nearby quakes, the study found.

Physically, it makes sense because “high-rate injection creates much higher pressure over the relative time scale,” said study co-author Shemin Ge, a hydrogeology professor at the University of Colorado.

Possible other factors Weingarten and Ge looked, such as cumulative amounts of saltwater injected or depth, didn’t show up as significant in the large database.

A different study that just looked at quake-struck Oklahoma, released at the same time in the journal Science Advances, pointed more toward cumulative amounts of liquid rather than high rates. But study co-author Mark Zoback of Stanford said both papers can be right because factors might be slightly different in Oklahoma than elsewhere.

Seismologist Susan Hough of the U.S. Geological Survey called the Weingarten study both compelling and hopeful — hopeful because it means that energy drillers can change the way they inject wastewater and thereby lessen the number of earthquakes.”

http://dutchsinse.com/page/6/

Kayaktivist Showdown with Shell in Seattle


Other 98% has been working tirelessly on-the-ground with activists and organizations in the Pacific Northwest on the #ShellNo campaign. We want to stop Shell from destroying the fragile Arctic and the Climate.

The kayaktivists’ showdown with Shell’s Arctic rig has been all over the news this week. Please support our work to turn the ShellNo moment into a ShellNo movement.

At 3:30 a.m. on Monday, I helped a Mosquito Fleet of kayaks launch from the deck of our solar powered barge, The People’s Platform. I watched through teary eyes as kayaktivists paddled out to block Shell’s monstrous drill rig from leaving port. Then my daughter Hazel and I joined them.

It was a motley crew of 40 or so small boats; among the paddlers were Seattle City Council member Mike O’Brien, a Lummi canoe family, my wife Genevieve and 10-year old son Sam, and our web developer, Kelly Mears (who may need a new job title after his badassery yesterday).

Other98 has thrown down as hard as we can in Seattle and played a central role in this historic fight with Shell. Please chip in 5 or 50 dollars to keep us going.

US Coast Guard and Seattle Harbor Patrol were out in force making arrests; 24 when all was said and done. Despite the fact that Shell’s presence in the Port was found to be unconstitutional by Washington’s Department of Natural Resources, it was these courageous activists who faced legal action, while Shell continues to operate with total impunity.

With the kayaks neutralized, Shell’s rig and its police escorts began slowly moving north – but they weren’t moving for long. A second wave of kayaktivists met them off the coast of Bainbridge Island. Shell’s rig veered into shallow waters during an extremely low tide and ran aground (just as a Shell rig ran aground in the Arctic in 2012). Shell claimed they stopped to “calibrate the rig’s compass.” Yeah right.

Whatever really happened, the rig was delayed off the coast of Bainbridge Island for half a day, costing Shell precious time and significant amounts of money.

Help us permanently slam the door on Shell’s Arctic Drill plans by pitching in a few bucks.

In the last few months, we have made Shell’s Arctic rig an international news story. With every action we take, we delay Shell’s disastrous plans and put more pressure on our elected officials to take real action to protect our climate. We cannot stop using oil overnight, and our transition to clean energy must be done in a way that acknowledges and supports workers whose livelihoods are tied up with carbon emissions. That’s why it’s so crucial that we start the transition now, before it’s too late to do it right. Drilling in the Arctic is a huge step in precisely the wrong direction.

The rig is still making its way North, but this fight is far from over. This week’s action and the huge flotilla action back in May represent a new phase of the climate movement; one with more creativity, more energy, more voices, and more urgency. These kayaktivists have captured the world’s imagination; we have to make sure we can hang onto it.

Other 98% and our friends and allies are going to leverage this fresh wave of energy and attention to build this moment into a powerful movement. Help us go big by chipping in today.

Thank you so much for everything you do. Knowing we have the support of such a big, bold, brave group of people makes even the earliest mornings and the coldest waters all worth it.

-John Sellers
The Other 98%

He Holds The Patent That Could Destroy Monsanto And Change The World!


From: ewao.com


In 2006, a patent was granted to a man named Paul Stamets. Though Paul is the world’s leading mycologist, his patent has received very little attention and exposure. Why is that? Stated by executives in the pesticide industry, this patent represents “the most disruptive technology we have ever witnessed.” And when the executives say disruptive, they are referring to it being disruptive to the chemical pesticides industry.

What has Paul discovered? The mycologist has figured out how to use mother nature’s own creations to keep insects from destroying crops. It’s what is being called SMART pesticides. These pesticides provide safe & nearly permanent solution for controlling over 200,000 species of insects – and all thanks to the ‘magic’ of mushrooms.

Paul does this by taking entomopathogenic Fungi (fungi that destroys insects) and morphs it so it does not produce spores. In turn, this actually attracts the insects who then eat and turn into fungi from the inside out!

This patent has potential to revolutionize the way humans grow crops – if it can be allowed to reach mass exposure.

To tolerate the use of pesticides in modern agriculture is to deny evidence proving its detrimental effects against the environment. Such ignorance really can no longer be tolerated. For example, can you imagine a world without bees? Monsanto’s chemical concoctions which are being sprayed all over farmers’ fields around the world are attributed to the large-scale bee die off. While a growing number of countries are banning Monsanto, it’s still being used in in nations who should be aware of its dangers. To say that new methods need to be implemented before it is too late is an understatement.

Monsanto presently generates $16 billion dollars per year (as reported in 2014), therefore you can be certain they do not want anything interrupting that flow of revenue. Such income gives them nearly limitless resources and abilities to suppress information that may be damaging their reputation.

But by becoming educated on the benefits of growing sustainable, organic, and bio-dynamic food, sharing articles like this, and boycotting GMO & herbicide-sprayed crops, the corporate demon may soon get the message.

Here are helpful links to understand more about the incredible patent discussed above:

Here is a link to the patent we are speaking of: 7,122,176
http://www.google.com/patents/US7122176

A list of all the patents Paul has applied for:
http://patents.justia.com/inventor/paul-edward-stamets

Plenty of information about Paul Stamets:
http://www.fungi.com/about-paul-stamets.html

Wikipedia page about Paul Stamets:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Stamets

And finally, here is a TedTalks video by Paul in 2008 called:

6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save The World

Source: ewao.com

Courtesy of: http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=33589

Jane Fonda takes on ‘big oil’ in Vancouver: ‘Arrest me, I don’t care’


Activist and actress in Vancouver for Greenpeace’s Toast the Coast event

CBC News Posted: Jun 12, 2015 

Jane Fonda on climate change: ‘We allowed it to happen’ 1:07

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Jane Fonda 7:53

Actress and activist Jane Fonda is adding her star power to the anti-oilsands pipeline movement in B.C.

The star of Netflix comedy series Grace and Frankie is in Vancouver for Greenpeace’s Toast the Coast event on Saturday, celebrating Canada’s coastline and raising awareness of the environmental issues surrounding oil drilling and pipelines.

Ahead of the free event, she spoke to The Early Edition host Rick Cluff about why she’s fighting the oilsands, the legacy she wants to leave her grandchildren and how older actors may finally be winning out in Hollywood.

Why did you want to take part in this?

I come from Los Angeles. We just had a big spill in Santa Barbara, not to mention all the other spills, including the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

TV QVC Fonda

Fonda has a long history of activism. In this 1972 file photo, she is surrounded by soldiers and reporters as she sings an anti-war song near Hanoi during the Vietnam War. (Nihon Denpa News/Associated Press)

So the idea that increased tanker traffic bringing the most destructive tar sand oil from Alberta to the coast … it’s horrific to think about what it could do to this most beautiful part of the world … People don’t want to see the world that they love and grew up in spoiled the way so many other coastlines are being endangered and spoiled…

The struggle to stop the pipelines joins together with the struggle to prevent drilling in the Arctic — you don’t have to live in B.C. to be impacted by that. This is a global problem.

If Alberta’s tarsands are expanded and drilling starts in the Arctic, global warming is not going to be able to be stopped at the 2 C that international climate scientists agree is what has to happen…

I feel it’s not just the struggle of people here. It’s my struggle. It’s the struggle of people all over the world.

What do you make of the response from your government and our government to this?

I’m frankly appalled. I’m just appalled.

My president, who I voted for, and who I admire — and who has done some very good things for the environment in the past — by giving Shell permission to drill in the Arctic has undone all the good he did.

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Fonda says she is disappointed by the actions of U.S. President Barack Obama on drilling in the Arctic. (Dennis Brack/Getty Images)

I just don’t understand it. He has children who will have his grandchildren. Does he not realize that this makes it almost impossible for us to slow down global warming? But it’s not too late for him to withdraw the permits. It’s not too late for us to stop Shell from going there …

I’m desperate. I have grandchildren. I want my grandchildren, in 30 years, to be able to look back and say, “Grandma was on the right side of history. Thank you Grandma.”

I wish I could sit down with President Obama right now and say, “Why? Did you think we wouldn’t notice?” I think he was hoping nobody would notice…

My peers, a bunch of angry grandmothers in Seattle, just got arrested the other day, God bless them. And there are people here, in British Columbia who’ve been arrested, putting their bodies in front of the projects to expand pipelines. God bless them …

There’s a history of progressive struggles and standing up for life in this part of the world that I am so honoured to be a part of.

Your Netflix series, Grace and Frankie, just got picked up for a second season. In it, you play Grace, a woman whose husband leaves her for another man. What drew you to this character?

TV-Q and A-Marta Kauffman

This photo provided by Netflix shows Jane Fonda, left, and Lily Tomlin in the series Grace and Frankie. (Melissa Moseley/Netflix via AP)

Ever since I was in my 40s, I’ve wanted to give a cultural face to older women and all their juicy complexities. We get stereotyped in the media and I wanted to change that. I’m just so happy it’s a hit series … people are really liking it. We start shooting the second season in July.

Hollywood has a reputation of being young and beautiful, but in this series all the leading actors are above 70. Do you think there’s change afoot on that front, now that older actors are getting more starring roles?

It’s a little too early to claim victory but we’re moving in the right direction. In fact, I’m feeling pretty good. We’re moving in the right direction on all kinds of fronts, in terms of ageism in Hollywood and in terms of stopping big oil … I feel optimistic.

What do you value the most when you look back over your 77 years?

Read more, see VIDEO: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/jane-fonda-takes-on-big-oil-in-vancouver-arrest-me-i-don-t-care-1.3111568

27 images that prove that we are in danger. #7 left my mouth open.


Note:When the state of our planet is revealed thru a compilation of images like below, it becomes apparent how urgent and dire the need is for action EVERYWHERE around the world. The entire planet needs help from an awakened humanity before it’s too late….

It was #4 that left my mouth open, those are chemtrails…not contrails, big difference. Please share…mahalo!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sometimes every word is superfluous. These pictures say more than a thousand words.

1. The view over the overdeveloped metropole of Mexico City (with more than 20 million inhabitants).

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2. An elephant killed by poachers left to rot.

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3. The rainforest in flames – goats used to graze here.

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4. Trails of excessive air traffic over London.

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5. A massive truck delivers a load of oil sands for processing. Oil sand is considered the energy source of the future.

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6. A simple herd farmer cannot withstand the stink of the Yellow River in Inner Mongolia.

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7. A waste incineration plant and its surroundings in Bangladesh

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8. A fire storm plows through Colorado – increased incidences of wild fires is a result of climate change.

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9. The scars left behind from the mining of oil sands in the Canadian province of Alberta.

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10. A nighttime spectacle in downtown Los Angeles – the energy demand is unfathomable.

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11. In Oregon, this thousand year old forest fell victim to the chainsaw for a new dam.

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12. The area around Almeria in Spain is littered with greenhouses as far as the eye can see – simply for a richly filled dinner table.

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13. Poachers pose proudly with the coat of a Siberian tiger.

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14. The Mir Mine in Russia, the largest diamond mine in the world.

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15. A dead albatross shows what happens when we litter. A living dumpster.

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16. And yet another megatropolis – a bird’s eye view of New Delhi (over 22 million inhabitants).

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17. Paradise almost lost: the Maldives, a popular vacation spot that is threatened by rising sea levels.

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18. The beginning of Black Friday at an electronics store in Boise, Idaho.

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19. Tons (literally) of broken electronics end up in developing countries and are stripped for precious metals by using deadly substances.

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20. The blunder of the Brazilian rain forest is being repeated here in Canada.

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21. A landfill for worn-out tires in the desert of Nevada.

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22. While the entire world watched the events of Fukushima, a massive heat and power station was burning just a few miles away. All attempts to extinguish it were fruitless.

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23. This polar bear starved to death in Svalvard, Norway. Disappearing ice caps are robbing polar bears of both their living space and food.

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24. To the last drop: an oilfield in California and its merciless overexploitation by humans.

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25. A massive waterfall from melting pack ice. These masses are the only meltwater on earth and the undeniable proof of how swiftly climate change is advancing.

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26. A lignite power plant contaminates the air with its emissions.

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27. The Indonesian surfer Dede Surinaya rides a wave of filth and trash (Java, Indonesia).

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“When the Last Tree Is Cut Down, the Last Fish Eaten, and the Last Stream Poisoned, You Will Realize That You Cannot Eat Money.”

This prophecy is becoming a more and more brutal reality. But, even today, not every person is aware of the horrible effects our lifestyles have on nature. So share these evocative pictures with everyone.

http://www.hefty.co/truth-in-pictures/

Note: “Houston, we have a problem…”

Groups Urge New York State Government, Cornell University to Notify Public About Genetically Engineered Diamondback Moth Field Trial


Washington, D.C.–Environmental, advocacy and organic farming organizations sent a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball along with Cornell University President David Skorton and Agricultural School Associate Dean Susan Brown, urging them to release information to the public about the field release of genetically engineered (GE) diamondback moths at Cornell’s agricultural experiment station in Geneva, New York and to stop any outdoor trials until more adequate information is available.

In September 2014 several of the organizations commented on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s environmental assessment (EA) for the proposed field release of Oxitec’s GE diamondback moths at Cornell University. The agency did not contact the organizations to address their myriad concerns, and months later, the groups found out through a separate correspondence with the USDA that the GE moth permit had been quietly approved with no press release or other public notification.

“This release of genetically engineered autocidal moths is the first of its kind in the United States and it sets a very poor precedent that they were released with minimal environmental review and transparency,” said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. “The USDA’s irresponsible management of this genetically engineered insect is putting the environment and agriculture at risk.”

“Proposals to release GE moths in England were halted in 2012 amid concerns about the risk assessment. Many issues that would be closely studied before the moths were released in Europe have not yet been considered in the USA,” said Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK. “Consumers and farmers deserve much better information about GE insects that could end up in the food chain.”

“The USDA took comments on whether this first genetically engineered insect should be released for field trials and then without responding to our comments approved the trials without public notice,” said Jaydee Hanson, Senior Policy Analyst at Center for Food Safety. “The first use of GE insects in an agricultural setting should have required public consultations with potentially affected parties, as well as, trials in physically enclosed spaces before even considering open field trials. This violates one of the basic principles of biosafety for genetically engineered organisms—that they should be physically constrained in trials, not openly released.”

The mechanism for these GE moths to control population levels is for offspring to die in the larval stage. The larval moths will die on plants, including crops such as broccoli and cabbage. In its assessment, the USDA failed to recognize that if farms near the field trial sites happen to be certified organic or non-GE, their certification could be lost if these larval stage GE moths were present because genetic engineering, even for pest control, is prohibited. With no prior public information, accidental escapes and contamination would be a significant issue for proximate fields.

“The USDA has dropped the ball by approving this field trial without a thorough review and without notifying New York’s organic farmers. The loss of certification would be a major economic problem for these operations, threatening future earnings from their crops and wiping out a major investment of time and money to get the certification,” said Anne Ruflin, Executive Director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York. “If GE contamination occurs, it has the potential to not only permanently damage long-standing partnerships with organic buyers but also to destroy an organic farmer’s livelihood and standing in the community.”

“The maker of these moths, Oxitec, has had a long track record of conducting GE insect field trials throughout the world without proper notification of the public and now they have brought their model to the United States,” said Lisa Archer, Friends of the Earth Food & Technology Program Director. “The USDA and Cornell must put a stop to this activity and ensure that these insects have been thoroughly reviewed before they are released into the wild.”

Read the letter here: http://fwwat.ch/1FIVQid

Contact:

Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch, 202-683-4905, kfried(at)fwwatch(at)org

Abigail Seiler, Center for Food Safety, 202-547-9359, aseiler(at)centerforfoodsafety(dot)org

Anne Ruflin, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Anne(at)nofany(dot)org, 585-271-1979 ext. 501

Helen Wallace, GeneWatch UK, +44-7903-311584

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/pressreleases/groups-urge-new-york-state-government-cornell-university-to-notify-public-about-genetically-engineered-diamondback-moth-field-trial/

Invasion of the blob? Giant purple sea slugs slime East Bay beaches


Giant sea slugs called sea hares have been washing up in some East Bay beaches in unusual numbers this summer. (Courtesy of Morgan Dill)

Giant sea slugs called sea hares have been washing up in some East Bay beaches in unusual numbers this summer. (Courtesy of Morgan Dill) (Morgan Dill)

ALAMEDA — A giant purple blob from the sea — a slug — is invading East Bay beaches and waterways this summer to the wonder and curiosity of beach combers and naturalists.It’s no danger to people — unlike the tar-like “Blob” in the classic 1958 science-fiction movie about an alien goo that devours everything in its path.

 These California sea hares are harmless plant eaters, but their big size and unusual abundance this year is turning heads at the shorelines at Crab Cove in Alameda and Miller Knox Regional Park in Richmond, and also Lake Merritt in Oakland and Tomales Bay in Marin County.

One Alameda beach visitor called police to report he had spotted a human heart sprawled in the sand.

Giant sea slugs called sea hares have begun appearing in Lake Merritt in Oakland.

Giant sea slugs called sea hares have begun appearing in Lake Merritt in Oakland. (Ken-ichi Ueda)

Nope, he was told, it was just a California sea hare likely washingonto East Bay beaches, tide pools and inlets more often this year because of unusually warm water hugging the California coast. “We are getting calls from the public asking what the heck is this big weird purple blob,” said Carolyn Jones, a spokeswoman for the East Bay Regional Park District. “It’s native to our area. It’s not endangered, but they are rarely seen other than an occasional one here or there.” Officials have no precise count, but dozens have been seen on some beaches at the same time, and two dozen were spotted last month in an inlet to Lake Merritt in Oakland.

The first ones were spotted last fall, but more have been seen in May and June — including ones that captured the crowd’s attention last weekend at an annual sand castle building contest at Crown Beach in Alameda.The slugs can reach 15 pounds or more and 30 inches in length, although the ones in the East Bay are smaller — about the size of a large fist, croissant, or, for that matter, a heart. They are called sea hares because their thick antennae resemble rabbit ears. They wash up along beaches or sand flats after laying their eggs and dying, naturalists say.

The boom of sea hares may be related to warmer temperatures near coastal waters, said Morgan Dill, a naturalist at the Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda. “We can’t say for sure why we’re seeing so many, but the Bay temperatures are definitely warmer this year,” Dill said.

The warm coastal waters also are linked to the appearance of a small pink slug called Hopkin’s rose nudibranch in Northern California waters this year, said Terry Gosliner, senior curator at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The small slug is typically found much farther south of the Bay Area.

Giant sea slugs called sea hares have been washing up in some East Bay beaches in unusual numbers this summer. (Courtesy of Morgan Dill)

Giant sea slugs called sea hares have been washing up in some East Bay beaches in unusual numbers this summer. (Courtesy of Morgan Dill) ( Morgan Dill )

“We’re seeing more of these kinds of warming events, and I suspect it may be part of long-term global change,” Gosliner said. “These are signals.”

He said the abundance of sea hares also may be related to a periodic population boom in the mollusks.

Read more: http://www.mercurynews.com/my-town/ci_28302227/invasion-blob-giant-purple-sea-slugs-slime-east

 

 

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