It is 21 years since the Zapatista Army of National Liberation rose up in Chiapas, Mexico encouraging the mobilization of people around the world against neoliberalism, or global capitalism. They have not gone away, but are continuing to organize in their communities alternatives to the suicidal dominant system.
Last August, the New Yorker published an abusive attack on Dr. Vandana Shiva’s anti-GMO activism. One must presume that this widely circulated article “Seeds of Doubt” by Michael Specter was produced on behalf of the vituperative biotech industry. This may be old news to those of you that followed this story and the reaction by Vandana Shiva and those that share her values and vision.
Dr. Shiva penned a response that was not so widely circulated. Today, Independent Science News has re-published that response. We are pleased to share it with you. Help to get this message out there!
Seeds of Truth: Vandana Shiva and the New Yorker
Dr. Vandana Shiva. Independent Science News. 15 December 2014
(A response to the article ‘Seeds of Doubt’ by Michael Specter in The New Yorker)
I am glad that the future of food is being discussed, and thought about, on farms, in homes, on TV, online and in magazines, especially of The New Yorker’s caliber. The New Yorker has held its content and readership in high regard for so long. The challenge of feeding a growing population with the added obstacle of climate change is an important issue. Specter’s piece, however, is poor journalism. I wonder why a journalist who has been Bureau Chief in Moscow for The New York Times and Bureau Chief in New York for the Washington Post, and clearly is an experienced reporter, would submit such a misleading piece. Or why The New Yorker would allow it to be published as honest reporting, with so many fraudulent assertions and deliberate attempts to skew reality.
Read the whole article here
In the states of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala, a massive natural gas project is underway, complete with two plants and a pipeline. The project – The Morelos Integral Project, or PIM – is a transnational venture, of course, with heavy investment from the Mexican government. The people of Huexca, a central town for the project, are waging a fierce struggle against the project.
In 2012, the women of Huexca, for example, organized a blockade of the plant’s construction.
The women maintained this presence throughout the summer of 2012, halting construction on the plant. “We were there 24 hours. We gave everyone breakfast and lunch each day. There were just two of us cooking. And yes, again it was the women,” observes Sonia.
Martha Pskowski is a writer and researcher based in Mexico City. She is a member of the CIP Americas Program team at www.cipamericas.org. Octavio Morales is a Mexico-based writer. Here’s their report.
In the land of Zapata, a community fights natural gas development
By Martha Pskowski and Octavio Morales, Americas Program. 15 November 2014
General Emiliano Zapata would roll over in his grave. The Morelos Integral Project, or PIM for its initials in Spanish, is a 160-kilometer natural gas pipeline and two thermo-electric plants in the heart of Mexico’s fertile central valleys, and in the shadow of an active volcano, Popocatépetl. The PIM, a partnership between the federal electricity agency, CFE, and Spanish and Italian energy companies, has been pushed through without community consent on the lands of 60 campesino and indigenous communities in the states of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala.
Read the whole article on the CIP Americas Program website.
By Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project
Ayoreo family in the Gran Chaco in Paraguay. This family and their community were relocated from their homeland by groups who want to exploit the Chaco. Photolangelle.org
Global Justice Ecology Project just arrived in Paraguay for two weeks of meetings on the themes of wood-based bioenergy, genetically engineered trees, the impacts of livestock and GMO soy production on global deforestation levels, and the solutions to climate change and deforestation provided by local communities maintaining and caring for their traditional lands.
Looking out of the Asunción hotel room at the wide majestic Paraguay river, and the expanse of forest on the other side, feeling the tropical humidity and listening to the rumble of distant thunder, it is hard to imagine that yesterday my GJEP colleague and I woke up in the midst of a major snowstorm in Buffalo, NY.
International scientists working with the Russian National Association for Genetic Safety (NAGS) have announced the launch of the world’s largest and most comprehensive long-term health study.
The study “Factor GMO” was announced in London earlier this week and will focus on USA based seed and chemical company Monsanto’s GMO maize products. The study is a 3 year $25 million project and will begin next year.
Largest international study into safety of GM food launched by Russian NGO
By John Vidal, The Guardian. 11 November 2014
A Russian group working with scientists is set to launch what they call the world’s largest and most comprehensive long-term health study on a GM food.
The $25m three-year experiment will involve scientists testing thousands of rats which will be fed differing diets of a Monsanto GM maize and the world’s most widely-used herbicide which it it is engineered to be grown with.
Read the Guardian article here.
Biofuelwatch co-director and GJEP partner Rachel Smolker has posted an important article on Bioenergy and Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) at the Washington Geoengineering Constortium website.
Smolker’s piece continues to build on and share her extensive knowledge and critique of bionenergy strategies touted by industry as “climate solutions.” Smolker makes a clear case that these strategies are false solutions to climate change and that environmental thinkers should not naively buy into these strategies.
The Washington Geoengineering Consortium is an initiative of the Global Environmental Politics program in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC. They are concerned with the social, political, and legal implications of geoengineering technologies.
‘UNCERTAINTIES’ IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT, WHEN IT COMES TO BECCS
By Rachel Smolker, Biofuelwatch, 10 November 2014.
In 2012, Biofuelwatch published a report titled “Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage: Climate savior or dangerous hype?” We had long been working to reveal and oppose large scale industrial and commercial scale bioenergy in various forms ranging from ethanol refineries to soy and palm oil biodiesel to coal plants converting over to burn wood. We had argued that corn ethanol would drive biodiversity loss, cause food prices to rise and contribute to chronic hunger, while failing to reduce emissions, as it has in fact done. We argued that burning wood as a substitute for coal would create a new driver of deforestation, even as protecting forests and ecosystems was recognized as a “best line of defense” against climate change. We pointed out that large scale bioenergy was incompatible with the simultaneous push to quantify, commodify and protect land based carbon sinks and their “services” (often for the dubious purpose of providing offsets to polluters…). We highlighted the human rights impacts, as land grabs for bioenergy escalated in Africa and elsewhere. And we argued over and over that the carbon consequences of bioenergy were far from “climate friendly” or “carbon neutral,” a myth that has been perpetuated by industry proponents and even parroted by many naive environmentalists.
Washington Geoengineering Consortium definitions of geoengineering here.
Last January OXFAM International issued a report, “Working for the Few, Political Capture and Economic Inequality“. The report details how just 85 individuals own half of the world’s wealth. Yesterday, Alternet published a piece describing how 47 wealthy Americans own more than half of the wealth in the United States. We think that this is a good reminder for today. This is one day after a major American election that transferred the balance of power in the United States Congress to the Republican Party.
We remind ourselves of the politics and economics that are driving America and the American political process.
Police action morphs Ferguson, MO, from a city in a democracy to a hostage in a military state. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Five Facts About How America is Rigged for a Massive Wealth Transfer to the Rich
By Paul Buchheit, Alternet. 4 November 2014
A recent posting detailed how upper middle class Americans are rapidly losing ground to the one-percenters who averaged $5 million in wealth gains over just three years. It also noted that the global 1% has increased their wealth from $100 trillion to $127 trillion in just three years.
The information came from the Credit Suisse 2014 Global Wealth Databook (GWD), which goes on to reveal much more about the disappearing middle class.
Read the rest of the report here,
As part of our continuing coverage of the Seneca Lake protests and arrests, Climate Connections is giving a little well deserved love to Stefanie Spear and EcoWatch. Spear, founder and CEO of Ecowatch, provides excellent coverage of environment, energy, and anti-fracking news.
The hard news today is that our friends at Seneca Lake continue to face arrest and prosecution for blockading the gates to the Crestwood Midstream gas storage facility, which was recently authorized to store natural gas under Seneca Lake by the FERC. Protests and arrests are also occurring at the DC headquarters of FERC. Yesterday, 15 protesters were arrested at the Seneca Lake Blockade.
We are proud of these people! Fifteen people were arrested this morning blockading the gates of Texas-based Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility, including Martha Ferger, age 90, of Dryden, Tompkins County and Kenneth Fogarty, age 75, of Chenango County. Photo credit: Ross Horowitz
15 Arrested Protesting Gas Storage Facility in NY’s Finger Lakes Region
Stefanie Spear. EcoWatch. 3 November 2014
Fifteen people were arrested this morning blockading the gates of Texas-based Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility on the shore of New York’s Seneca Lake. This action marks the beginning of the third week of protests trying to stop major new construction on the gas storage facility authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
“We’re standing on what used to be a part of my legislative district in Schuyler County. I am embarrassed and saddened to see what is going on here, I’m sad to see that some of the people in this district are actually supporting this endeavor to store gas in a very unstable salt formation,” said Ruth Young of Horseheads, a former member of the Schuyler County legislature and among those arrested today.
Read the whole EcoWatch article here.
Read the We are Seneca Lake Press Release here.
More information at We Are Seneca Lake.
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