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.
Category Archives: Victory!
Perhaps with the new “red” Congress coming into power, people will cease to think that politicians will fix the climate mess for us. They may be responsible, but that doesn’t mean they will clean up their mess. Time for communities to come together and create new and innovative–not to mention good old fashioned–ways to tackle the climate crisis that are socially just and ecologically responsible.
| November 7, 2014 Source: EcoWatch
Here’s a great article from the Guardian, brought to our attention by Clayton Thomas-Muller, one of the Indigenous leaders in the fight against tar sands extraction.
A new report shows that the Indigenous-led public opposition of tar sands extraction is working in a very important way, by slowing down the industry’s development and making extraction less profitable.
There’s other important aspects of the struggle–politically and culturally on all levels from the local to global–but this is an important sign that it’s working.
Public opposition has cost tar sands industry $17bn, says report
By Arthur Neslen, The Guardian. 3 November 2014
Anti-tar sands campaigns have cost the industry a staggering $17bn (£11bn) in lost revenues, and helped to push it onto the backfoot, according to a study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), and Oil Change International.
Our friends at the ETC Group led this victory at the recently ended UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s Conference of the Parties in South Korea. Synthetic biology, a new extreme form of genetic engineering with researchers building unique organisms designed to facilitate the manufacture of various products, was previously unregulated. Now countries are urged to create regulations over this potentially disastrous Wild West of DNA manipulation.
Regulate Synthetic Biology Now: 194 Countries
SynBio industry’s wild west days are numbered
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA– In a unanimous decision of 194 countries, the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) today formally urged nation states to regulate synthetic biology (SynBio), a new extreme form of genetic engineering. The landmark decision follows ten days of hard-fought negotiations between developing countries and a small group of wealthy biotech-friendly economies. Until now, synthetic organisms have been developed and commercialized without international regulations; increasing numbers of synthetically-derived products are making their way to market. The CBD’s decision is regarded as a “starting signal” for governments to begin establishing formal oversight for this exploding and controversial field.
“Synthetic Biology has been like the wild west: a risky technology frontier with little oversight or regulation,” Jim Thomas of ETC Group explained from CBD negotiations in Korea. “At last the UN is laying down the law.”
“This international decision is very clear,” Thomas added. “Not only do countries now have to set up the means to regulate synthetic biology, but those regulations need to be based on precaution and not harming the environment.”
“The good news is that precaution won the day.”
This decision comes at a critical time. The SynBio industry is bringing some of its first products to market, including a vanilla flavour produced by synthetically modified yeast and specialized oils used in soaps and detergents derived from synthetically modified algae. In December, bay area SynBio firm Glowing Plants Inc. intends to release synthetically-engineered glow-in-the-dark plants to 6,000 recipients without government oversight. The United States is not a signatory to the CBD, making it one of only three countries that will not be formally bound by this decision (the other 2 are Andorra and the Holy See).
Last Thursday, Guatemala lawmakers voted to repeal the so-called “Monsanto Law,” a provision demanded by a trade agreement with the US that would have authorized the privatization of seeds and copyrighting of agriculture.
As this photo posted by GM Watch illustrates, popular resistance, especially from Indigenous communities, played a significant role in pressuring the final decision!
Guatemala strikes down “Monsanto Law”
TeleSUR, September 5, 2014.In a close vote, Guatemala’s Congress rejects genetically modified seeds in country’s agricultural development.
On Thursday, Guatemalan lawmakers voted 117-111 in favor of repealing the ‘Monsanto Law,’ a provision of the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) with the United States.
The ‘Law for the Protection of New Plant Varieties,’ called the ‘Monsanto Law’ for its seed-privatization provisions. The agreement requires signing countries to adopt the law and adhere to the International Convention for the Protection of New Plant Varieties.
A federal judge in Mexico overturned a permit that allowed Monsanto to plant GMO soy when evidence proved that the frankenplants endangered native honeybee colonies.
Victory is sweet!
In his article, “Monsanto in Mexico: Court rules against the Gene Giant in Yucatan,” Devon G. Pena explains the situation:
According to reports appearing in the Mexican print media, a federal district court judge in Yucatán yesterdayoverturned a permit issued to Monsanto, the U.S.-based multinational corporation that is a leading purveyor of genetically modified crops (GMOs). The permit, which had been issued by the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food on June 6, 2012, allowed the commercial planting of GM soy bean in Yucatán. The ruling was based on consideration of scientific evidence demonstrating (to the judge’s satisfaction) that GMO soy crop plantings threaten Mexican honey production in the states of Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán. (Read More)
Across the globe, governments backed by corporate cash call for scientific evidence that GMOs are harmful, but when that proof is placed before them, they dodge reality and keep on pushing their agendas. Mexico revoking Monsanto’s permit shows other governments that it is not too late to turn away from Big Ag and back to the people.
June 26, 2014. Source: Cihan
An administrative court in the Black Sea province of Rize has ruled to halt the construction of a hydroelectric power plant (HES) that was being built on the Andon River, which provides fresh water to at least 3,000 people in the village of Küçükçayır.
Küçükçayır village was declared an environmentally protected site in 2011. The village’s residents held a protest in February against a HES being constructed near the river, closing the main road of the village for hours as part of their protest and not allowing construction equipment to operate at the site. Continue reading