Note: Well that should’ve been obvious…
-The GJEP Team
By Jeff Barnard, AP, February 4, 2013. Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Photo: Jeff Barnard
A federal report says removing four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River in Oregon and California and restoring ecosystems will produce a big increase in salmon harvests and boost farm revenues.
The 400-page report was produced by federal scientists to help the secretary of Interior evaluate whether it is in the public interest to go ahead with the $1 billion project, which is considered the biggest dam removal in U.S. history if it goes through as planned in 2020.
“In the long run, all the anadramous fish (salmon, steelhead, and lamprey) benefit from dam removal, according to our analysis,” Dennis Lynch, program manager for the U.S. Geological Survey, who oversaw the report, said Monday.
The report notes that wild salmon runs have dropped more than 90 percent from the dams, overfishing, poor water quality, disease and habitat loss. It said there was a moderate to high probability that removing the dams and restoring the environment would improve water quality, fish habitat, and water quality, and reduce fish disease a toxic algae blooms. The project would also improve the ability of fish to cope with global warming, by opening up more access to cold water.
Note: As our allies with La Via Campesina say, “Small farmers cool the planet.”
-The GJEP Team
By Manipadma Jena, February 1, 2013. Source: Inter Press Service
Traditional paddy seeds are labelled and stored in earthen pots at the Tentulipar community gene-seed-grain bank. Photo: Manipadma Jena/IPS
Last monsoon season, 65-year-old Sunadhar Ramaparia, a member of the Bhumia tribe in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, mixed indigenous crops like ‘para’ paddy, foxtail millet and oil seeds in his upland plot.
The rains came, then played truant for 23 days and in the scorching heat even lowland farmers’ hybrid paddy saplings burnt to dust. But Ramaparia harvested a full crop.
Deforestation and climate change have resulted in erratic rainfall, shrinking water bodies and severe soil degradation in Ramaparia’s hamlet of Tentulipar, located in the Eastern Ghat region of Odisha’s Koraput province, leaving scores of farmers vulnerable to extreme hunger.
But the Bhumia tribe is simply falling back on the wisdom of their 3,000-year-old traditional farming systems to ensure a year-round supply of healthy food.
By Alberto Acosta, translation by Christina Hewitt, January 24, 2013. Source: Upside Down World
After renewed criticism on the issue of development, Latin America finds itself going through an interesting process of rediscovery with its roots. On the one hand, the historical tradition of elaborate critical analysis that was previously at risk of being forgotten has not been lost and has made a recovery. On the other hand, new concepts have flourished, especially ideas that come from the ancient Abya Yala people, which have then merged with concepts from other parts of the planet. While a good part of conventional thought on development and even most current criticism are based on a Western understanding of Modernity, the most recent Latin American proposals tend to veer away from those limitations.
Essentially, these proposals recapture key issues that spring from the knowledge of the ancient peoples. The Constitution of Ecuador and Bolivia are the most well-known in their reflection of these ideas; the first presents the idea of “Good Living” or Sumak Kawsay (in Quechua), and the second, “Living Well” or Suma Qamaña (in Aymara). Similar notions (although, not the same) exist in other indigenous cultures, such as the Mapuche in Chile, the Guaraní in Bolivia and Paraguay, the Kuna in Panama, the Achuar in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and in the Mayan tradition in Guatemala and Chiapas (Mexico), among others.
As well as the Abya-Yala world view, there are many other parts of the planet that have, in their philosophical thinking, close approximations to the search for Good Living from a philosophical, inclusive way of thinking. Sumak Kawsay as a culture of life has been acknowledged and practiced, in various ways and under different pseudonyms, in different periods of the distinct regions of Mother Earth. On the other hand, although it is considered one of the pillars of the questionable Western civilization, in this collective effort to rebuild/build a jigsaw of elements that advocate for new ways of organizing life, even elements of Aristotle’s “good life” can be recovered.
Note: In honor of Christmas, a critique of Capitalism.
–The GJEP Team
This is a recording of a speech made by Arundhati Roy as a part of the 4th series of lecture under the Anuradha Ghandy Memorial Trust Lecture that was delivered on the 20th of January, 2012 at Xaviers college, Mumbai, India.
When: TONIGHT Sat, Dec 08 at 11:57 PM to Midnight
Where: The giant screens in Times Square, NYC
32 years to the day that John Lennon was gunned down, Lennon’s fans will have another way to remember the man who provided the soundtrack to the anti-war movement of the late ‘60s. “Imagine Peace,” a new short film by Yoko Ono, is playing in Times Square nightly throughout December at 11:57 p.m. to midnight. Simultaneously played on more than a dozen huge digital screens, Ono’s “visual message of peace” is written in 24 languages set over the tranquil imagery of a blue-sky background.
Strawberry Fields, meanwhile, is accessible to the public from 6:00 a.m. until after midnight, every day of the year. Located on the west side of Central Park at 72nd Street, the John Lennon memorial is designated as a quiet zone, making it the perfect place to reflect on Lennon’s legacy.
Neither Poetry nor Justice
By Christy Rodgers / November 10th, 2012. Source: Dissident Voice
There’s a lot going on these days, isn’t there? Crisis after crisis, storm after storm. Meanwhile, like rubberneckers at a slow motion car crash, we’ve been fixated on a months-long national orgy of skank, deceit and vituperation that basically served to reconfirm an ineffectual status quo with tweaks. (Thank god that’s over. Now what?) But do we know what it all means? We’ve all got opinions; we’re all shouting them at the top of our lungs. Nobody seems willing to admit there might be a major interpretation deficit in the culture.
How do we decide on the meaning of our reality? It’s not a new dilemma. In fact it’s quite possibly coeval with the emergence of a brain that could form images of things that weren’t actually there. It could “see” animals running on an open plain inside a lightless cave. It could “see” living beings after they had died, and dead things as if they still lived. From a bone or a track it could visualize a whole creature.
Other animals don’t need help interpreting reality. But when the brain is lighting up all the time with so many signals that can’t be dismissed or ignored, and yet much of what they convey is absent to the senses, so that even the reality of what is present becomes questionable, interpretation is required. The nascent mind might have collapsed into stupor from the psychic weight of all this information. But interpreters emerged, in our little wandering forage-groups. They were the ones who took on the full madness of reception: information streaming from both the present and absent world—and returned from their immersion in it with a vision of the meaning it had for the group.
That was a long time ago, but it kept working for us. Time took us (some of us) from shamans to prophets to poets, but they are all on a continuum. They invoke a reality larger than one time, one place, and certainly larger than one person. They invoke the whole reality of culture, with its bonds among people, to nature, across time. Their main mechanism is metaphor, which links disparate things, uniting them, taking you from the known to the unknown in a graceful leap of language or performance. We can all think this way, but our interpreters did it best.