Citizen Journalism – Does this mean you?

Photo by GJEP campaigner Ruddy Turnstone at Flood Wall Street, 21 September 2014 as the people wash pepper spray out of their eyes.

Photo by GJEP campaigner Ruddy Turnstone at Flood Wall Street, 21 September 2014 as the people wash pepper spray out of their eyes.

Citizen journalism is making a big difference in this age of the internet. Individuals can and have documented and circulated events including police murders, demonstrations, military actions, and beautiful things.

Cuteness aside, citizen journalists are a great threat to corporate media in that often, citizens can act independently of cultivated sources that are the corporate or mainstream media reporters, editors, and producers. Make no mistake, sometimes those cultivated sources are very productive. But we would not have the kind of documentation of things like the police murder of Eric Garner in New York City if it wasn’t for a citizen with the cell phone camera, recording it on video and sending it out for the world to see.

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by | December 17, 2014 · 4:00 PM

Breaking News: New York Governor Cuomo Announces Ban on Fracking in New York

For those of us that have worked on this issue for so long, this is both refreshing and somewhat unexpected news. But wowowo! thank-you to all of you that have advocated for this, pressed the governor, and gone head to head with industry reps and talking heads!

Protesters in Buffalo November 2014  photo by Jay Burney

Protesters in Buffalo November 2014 photo by Jay Burney

Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks
By Jesse McKinley, New York Times. 17 December 2014

ALBANY — The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks.

Read the whole article here



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Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Commodification of Life, Confronting Government Agencies, Energy, Fossil Fuel Infrastructure, Fracking

Colorado biomass power plant goes up in smoke

Flames erupted at a Colorado Biomass Facility on Dec. 13, 2014. Photo: Greater Eagle Fire Protection Disctrict

Flames erupted at a Colorado Biomass Facility on Dec. 13, 2014. Photo: Greater Eagle Fire Protection Disctrict

The serenity of Gypsum, a small Colorado town nestled among rolling hills and snow-capped peaks, exploded as fire crews were called in to a three-alarm blaze at a biomass power plant. According to an article in The Denver Post, the plant, which burns beetle-kill timber, was the first in Colorado, having began operation nearly one year before the fire. Currently, the plant is closed.

Fires, explosions, injuries and even death are not uncommon occurrences at bioenergy facilities. In the last few years the smoke screen has been lifted from several these “renewable” sources of energy, including a near-fatal California boiler rupture in 2013. There are many debates about the safety and sustainability of biomass and the dangers involved in wood-burning plants continues to tip the scales.

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Filed under Biiotechnology, Biofuelwatch, Climate Change

Australian climate protesters halt first coal train from Maules Creek mine


Newcastle, Australia: A peaceful blockade has halted the first train load of coal coming from the controversial Maules Creek coal mine on its way to Newcastle’s Kooragang Island coal export terminals this morning.

A group of 22 people met the train this morning. Eight people have occupied and stopped the train and are refusing to leave.

20141215_061108-e1418609338604The train was stopped during the night and delayed for over 6 hours by a protestor who locked onto locomotives needed to push the coal over the Great Dividing Range. The 58 year-old protestor, Bruce, from Northern Rivers, was arrested. Speaking about why he took action, Bruce said:

“Australia’s response to climate change is headed completely backwards. If we can stop this new coal mine we set a precedent for the rest of Australia to stand up.”

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Filed under Climate Change, Coal, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Fossil Fuel Infrastructure

Theo Colburn has died. Thank you for helping us to recover our futures!

When Dr. Theo Colburn published “Our Stolen Future” in 1996 it was a Rachel Carson level revelation.  The book, co-authored by Dianne Dumanoski and John Myers, exposed the devastating depth to which our economic system promotes the creation and distribution of human-made deadly chemicals – for profit.  The poisons exist in virtually all products. This book changed my life.

Yesterday, 15 December 2014, Dr. Colburn passed away at the age of 87. You may remember her for this pivotal book, or her excellent project TEDX- The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, which for many of us has been an essential resource. She may be best remembered for her work on banning BPA from plastic bottles, including baby bottles and toys. She is one of our great heroes. Simply put Theodora Colburn saved a lot of lives. Her substantial legacy will always help us and future generations to recover our stolen future.

Dr. Colburn courtesy Julie Dermansky/Earthworks  2014

Dr. Theo Colburn, courtesy Julie Dermansky/Earthworks 2014

Her friends at TEDX released the following message this morning:

Theo Colburn, 1927-2014

If you ever had the chance to meet her, even once, you knew Theo Colborn. She didn’t have a single hidden agenda. Her commitment to uncovering the truth was out there for the world to see.

For nearly 30 years she dedicated herself to revealing the dangers of endocrine disrupting chemicals to wildlife and humans. More recently she alerted us all to the threats posed by chemicals associated with oil and gas development. She wove the two together beautifully in her statement The Fossil Fuel Connection, which she worked on until the day she died.

Theo’s visionary leadership and passion shone most brilliantly when she made direct connections between new ideas, scientists whose work confirmed them, impacted individuals, and people in positions to change what needed changing. She will be remembered for many generations to come, generations that she worked tirelessly to protect.

Theo often feared that we had already passed the tipping point — that our intelligence and compassion had been so compromised by endocrine disruptors that we could no longer think our way out of the crises we had created.

As the living embodiment of her legacy, we at TEDX say, “No. It is not too late. There are people out there who ‘get it’ and who care — a lot of people — and we won’t let you down Theo.”

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Filed under Commodification of Life, Confronting Government Agencies, Corporate Globalization, EPA, Monsanto, Oceans, Pesticides, Politics, Solutions, Women

Trees won’t be our carbon sink saviors after all (good for them!)

shutterstock via grist article linked below

Shutterstock via Grist article linked below

So, shockingly, nature again won’t do what we want.

A new study challenges hopes that tropical rainforest trees will grow faster with rising CO2 and mitigate climate change.

The study concludes that the “widespread assumption of a Co2-induced stimulation of tropical tree growth may not be valid.” The authors focused on tree rings, and it’s possible that added growth might be in new trees or in other parts besides the trunk, making for increased density, but it still puts the brakes on one line of wishful thinking.

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Filed under Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Forests, Forests and Climate Change

Vandana Shiva responds to “Seeds of Doubt”

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!

Dr. Vandana Shiva, headliner of UO sponsored Food Justice Conference.

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


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Filed under Biiotechnology, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, GMOs, Industrial agriculture, Monsanto

Scientists urge New York to maintain fracking ban

Fracking in New York? No fracking way. As politicians debate whether or not to maintain the moratorium on this highly taboo energy removal technique, scientists, environmentalists and healthcare professionals strongly suggest that the ban remain in place for at least 3-5 more years. According to an article on EcoWatch, scientists are urging the New York state government to wait on the decision and take time to review all of the new findings and research now available.

Concerned Health Professionals of New York assembled results of numerous studies to show why New York should keep its fracking moratorium in place. Photo: Concerned Health Professionals of NY

Concerned Health Professionals of New York assembled results of numerous studies to show why New York should keep its fracking moratorium in place. Photo: Concerned Health Professionals of NY

More than 400 studies, papers and research projects have been released since New York first implemented the ban in 2009. The overwhelming majority of those findings conclude that the negative health and environmental impacts and risks of fracking will continue to increase.

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