Consumers Union says recount on Oregon GMO labeling law a victory for consumers

For Immediate Release:
November 25, 2014

Consumers Union Hails Recount on GMO Labeling Law in Oregon, Calls Close Vote a Major Victory for Consumers

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CU Urges Congress Not to Prohibit Consumer Right-to-Know Laws

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Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Industrial agriculture, Monsanto, Uncategorized

China’s rejection slows U.S. GMO seed releases

China’s decision to bar some U.S. GMO varieties from entering their boarders has halted the release of new genetically engineered seeds by Syngenta AG and Dow AgroSciences, according to an article on Reuters. When unapproved varieties tainted imports into China, the government took a stand against the Big Ag companies, who were none too pleased to have their latest developments shut out of this highly profitable market. The result, for now, has halted the release of new GMO seedlings, but the motivation behind the cut off is still rooted in profits, not in an acknowledgement of the need for change in the global ag market.

Agrochemicals maker Syngenta's logo is seen in front of the company's headquarters in Basel February 6, 2013. Photo: REUTERS/ARND WIEGMANN

Agrochemicals maker Syngenta’s logo is seen in front of the company’s headquarters in Basel February 6, 2013.
Photo: REUTERS/ARND WIEGMANN

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Ebola linked to deforestation and development in West Africa

A young man with Ebola symptoms walks to a van waiting to take away several patients for treatment after the village's chief ordered people to cooperate with medical staff and remove the sick from their homes, in Dandano, Guinea, Nov. 3, 2014. (Photo: Samuel Aranda / The New York Times) via Truthout

A young man with Ebola symptoms walks to a van waiting to take away several patients for treatment after the village’s chief ordered people to cooperate with medical staff and remove the sick from their homes, in Dandano, Guinea, Nov. 3, 2014. (Photo: Samuel Aranda / The New York Times) via Truthout

Jeff Conant interviewed Silas Siakor, director of Sustainable Development Institute/Friends of the Earth Liberia, on the link between the Ebola epidemic and the ruthless exploitation of forest resources in the region.

The devastation of Ebola in West Africa is tied to the region’s deforestation. To generate awareness of the links, Jeff Conant, director of FOE’s international forests campaign, interviewed Silas Siakor of Sustainable Development Institute/Friends of the Earth, Liberia. The interview addresses key topics for us at GJEP and Climate Connections regarding deforestation: logging (illegal and otherwise), industrial agriculture, oil palm, and biofuels.

Deforestation, “Development” Connected to Spread of Ebola in West Africa

By Jeff Conant, Truthout. 24 November 2014.

It is clear that the spread of Ebola in West Africa is directly linked to the region’s deep poverty: Out of 187 countries on the United Nations’ Human Development Index, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone rank 175th, 179th and 183rd, respectively. But, while it is easy to recognize the links between poverty and the spread of the virus, there has been little focus on the root causes of the region’s impoverishment itself.

Read the whole interview here!

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Filed under Africa, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Forests, Illegal logging, Industrial agriculture

Population increase spikes land grabs from Wall Street and China

There are more than 7 billion people on this planet, and our population is growing faster than most projections predicted. According to an article on Farm Land Grab, this means that land and water are becoming more valuable commodities, carrying a future price tag that governments and global businesses are trying to get in on as early as possible. Reporter Brad Plumer explains why population growth has inspired  corporations to jump on international land grabs that destroy ecosystems, devastate indigenous people and further accelerate the destruction of climate change.

Infographic: www.farmlandgrab.org

Infographic: www.farmlandgrab.org

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Change, Land Grabs

DeSmogBlog report on the rapid approval of LNG export terminals

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Photo from EcoWatch: Top 5 Reasons Why LNG Exports are a Very Bad Idea

Truly horrifying new report on the rapid approval of liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminals, the dominant role LNG industry lobbyists have in decision making, and the revolving door between the federal government and the LNG industry.

Introducing “Natural Gas Exports: Washington’s Revolving Door Fuels Climate Threat

By Steve Horn and Lee Fang, DeSmogBlog, 19 November 2014

Current law dictates that LNG export terminals must face broad environmental and public interest review by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). However, the Obama administration has pledged to hasten the regulatory process, while Congress has placed renewed pressure on regulators to streamline approvals. And LNG export applicants face lower regulatory barriers when exporting to countries that have free trade agreements with the United States.

Connecting U.S. natural gas to the global market through LNG exports will raise the price of natural gas for U.S. consumers and provide a powerful new market incentive for expanded domestic fracking. The climate and ecological consequences of such a pursuit are unquestionably dangerous. But most policymakers in Washington have ignored that element of the
debate. Instead of conducting a sober analysis of the costs and benefits of expanding LNG exports, regulators and lawmakers have followed the lead of a multi-tentacled lobbying campaign managed by the shale gas industry.

We’re only about halfway done over here, so there might very well be a part two to this post, or some tweeting in the days to come!

Read the whole this along with us here! 

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Filed under Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Fracking, Natural Gas

Earth Watch: Adam Briggle of Frack Free Denton

imgresOn November 13th, Adam Briggle of Frack Free Denton spoke to Margaret Prescod for Sojourner Truth’s Earth Watch.

On election day, Denton passed a fracking ban, making it the first in Texas to ban further hydraulic fracturing. Only days later, they received push back. Denton is preparing for an extended court battle  — a fight that cities nationwide considering similar laws will likely be watching closely.

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Filed under Fracking, Law, Local Bans/Laws, Victory!

The Climate Connection to the Buffalo Storm

If you are reading this and are familiar with Climate Connections, none of this will be news to you. Climate change and weather patterns are inextricably linked.  The mainstream media is a mixed bag of tepid reporting on climate change. This weekend, in the teeth of one of the worst storms to hit the region in history, the Buffalo News published an article describing how the huge lake effect snowstorm connects to warming global temperatures and climate change.

The storm has turned much of our Buffalo, New York community (home offices of Global Justice Ecology Project)  into a disaster area.

Buffalo News readers were exposed to a rare chance to engage an article that links their current situation with significant climate change issues, including a futures analysis. Even though the article contains the apparently mandatory disclaimer that “[this] doesn’t mean you can attribute last week’s storm to climate change,” the roadmap described makes it clear that you can.

We applaud the Buffalo News and News Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski on this terrific article. We also note and urge you to read the comments section at this linked article. Many, from climate deniers, are both amusing and sadly reflective of how and why we are facing the current spiral that in Buffalo this time has cost human lives and hundreds of millions of dollars.

South Buffalo, New York, 19 November 2014 "My car", photo by Jay Burney

South Buffalo, New York, 19 November 2014 “My Car,” photo by Jay Burney

Winter weather weirdness may be just beginning

By Jerry Zremski, Buffalo News. 22 November, 2014 

Brace yourself. November’s white nightmare could become a recurring bad dream of varying intensity.

While last week’s winter blast appears to be the freak offspring of a typhoon-blasted jet stream and a warm Lake Erie, it’s also part of a long-term pattern that shows no sign of changing.

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Filed under Climate Change, Frontline Communities, Great Lakes, Human made disasters, Media, Natural Disasters

Cultivating Climate Justice: Sustainable Waste & Rebuilding in the Aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda

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This is part 2 of a four-part article series “Cultivating Climate Justice” which tells the stories of community groups on the frontlines of the pollution, waste and climate crises, working together for systems change. United across six continents, these grassroots groups are defending community rights to clean air, clean water, zero waste, environmental justice, and good jobs. They are all members of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, a network of over 800 organizations from 90+ countries.

 This series is produced by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) and Other Worlds.


 

“To anyone who continues to deny the reality that is climate change…. I dare you to go to the islands of the Pacific, the islands of the Caribbean and the islands of the Indian Ocean and see the impacts of rising sea levels; to the mountainous regions of the Himalayas and the Andes to see communities confronting glacial floods, to the Arctic where communities grapple with the fast dwindling polar ice caps, to the large deltas of the Mekong, the Ganges, the Amazon, and the Nile where lives and livelihoods are drowned… And if that is not enough, you may want to pay a visit to the Philippines right now.” – Philippines lead negotiator Yeb Sano addressing the opening session of the UN climate summit in Warsaw, following Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013

 It’s been a year since Super Typhoon Yolanda (often called Typhoon Haiyan in other countries) swept through the , killing more than 6,000 people and destroying the homes of many more. As UN negotiator for the Philippines Yeb Sano explained in his address to the United Nations: for many people, this is what climate change looks like.

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Frontline Communities, Uncategorized, Waste