Archive for the ‘The Environment’ Category

The Dark Side of the Industrialized Food Chain

The World According to Monsanto:
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There’s nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it – it’s strategic. It’s more powerful than bombs. It’s more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world. The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”. One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company’s vice president for public policy.

Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market. Monsanto’s long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence.

 

Coal Ash is Hazordous Waste – Do not use it in agriculture.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has promised to more strictly regulate coal ash — but it’s still promoting use of the toxic waste on food crops as a soil amendment.

The American Coal Ash Association, the Electric Power Research Institute and others want to “promote appropriate increased use of” coal ash in agriculture but it’s toxic.

The agencies say coal ash can improve the texture and fertility of soil — but coal ash contains contaminants including arsenic, lead and mercury.

“USDA should pull out of the coal ash business tomorrow morning,” says PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. “USDA does American agriculture no favors by duping farmers into spreading hazardous wastes across their fields.”

TAKE ACTION: Sign PEERs Petition to Stop Coal Ash Contamination »

According to an April 2, 2009 letter [pdf] from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service to EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, one of the coal combustion products being applied to crops is what’s known as flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum, which is produced when power plants add lime to remove sulfur dioxide from exhaust gas. The material also contains impurities including arsenic and mercury. As ARS Deputy Administrator Steven R. Shafer wrote:

An important use of FGD-gypsum is as a replacement for commercial gypsum applied to peanuts on Coastal Plain soils in the southeastern US.

Coal ash products are also used in growing corn, tomatoes, alfalfa, and other crops, according to the letter — which goes on to note the uncertainty surrounding the potential environmental risks of applying coal combustion products to crops:

For example, new technology to reduce greenhouse gases and remove sulfur dioxide, mercury and particulates from power plant emissions also increases the metal content, such as mercury and arsenic, in the CCPs. The use of these materials in agriculture may create risks to the environment depending on coal source, technology used, and the land application rate.

According to EPA, agriculture uses more than 180,000 tons of coal ash and other coal combustion products annually. There are currently no federal standards governing the application of such materials on food crops.

“The public does not want its food to come from ‘industrial material recycling’ any more than it wants coal-flavored cauliflower,” Ruch said. “This coal ash re-use campaign is really just a multi-billion dollar backdoor subsidy to the coal industry to relieve it of the true costs of handling its toxic wastes.”

 

Monsanto: Evil of the evilest….

Monsanto has been suing small family farmers, contaminating crops, destroying natural seeds, promoting chemically laden food sources (scientifically proven to be linked to cancer). See a list of Monsanto’s Crimes »

Monsanto: War crimes against us and the planet

Monsanto: Poisoning us and our planet

Genetically engineered crops are causing an economic disaster for farmers in the U.S. Up to 90% of U.S. soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, and sugar beets are now genetically engineered and routinely inserted into human and animal foods with no labels or safety testing.

Approximately 80% of current grocery food items contain GMOs; while according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, the majority of beef, pork, poultry, dairy, and eggs come from CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations).

TAKE ACTION:
Organic Consumers Action Group »

 

More Corrupt Officials Supporting Big Business Coal

What a mess. The city of Lynch in Eastern Kentucky is trying to stop a mountaintop removal coal job nearby. The city is also trying to get some money from the county to help restore an old fire station.

Lynch KY Under threat of mountain top removal - stop the madness

The Mountains around the town threatened - Save Lynch KY

As told in the Harlan Daily Enterprise, the Harlan County Judge-Executive told the Lynch mayor he must negotiate with the coal company or the county would not fund the fire station. The mayor said this amounted to criminal coercion. The Judge said:

“I just told them that the coal companies are where the money comes from. If you’re not willing to work with them and you’re anti-coal, then the fiscal court members are not going to support you. They have already stated that. They don’t feel comfortable helping out cities with coal monies, when the city is not trying to work with the coal company.”

Contact this corrupt official:
Harlan County Judge Executive Office
P.O. Box 956
Harlan, KY 40831
(606)573-2600 (Office)
(606)573-3522 (Fax)

JUDGE/EXECUTIVE:
Joseph A. Grieshop
joegrieshop@harlanonline.net

The residents of this eastern Kentucky town are in the middle of a long fight to halt mountaintop removal coal mining of the hills that surround it.

 

STOP MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL NOW

STOP MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL
Stop Mountain Top Removal

Stop Mountain Top Removal: Destroying Mountains, Rivers, Streams, and Our Childrens Future

Mountaintop removal is the permanent destruction of the ecosystem, the mountains and the people that depend on them. Massey Energy has a plan for Twilight West Virginia, and that plan is destruction – they want to destroy the town. They may promise prosperity but not for anyone but the few at the top. Contact mtrstopshere.com

“they have taken everything away from me and now the final insult is, in what should be my retirement years, Patriot Coal wants to buy our life’s work and destroy it and run me and my family out of Twilight along with everyone else that lives here, just to mine the coal.”
-Frankie Moonie

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SAVE COAL RIVER by Robert Kennedy Jr.

SAVE COAL RIVER by Robert Kennedy Jr.

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Big industry is literally liquidating this state for cash, using these giant machines and 2500 tons of ammonia nitrate they detinate in Appalachia every single day – it’s the equivalent of a Hiroshima bomb once a week. They are blowing the tops off of mountains to get at the coal seams underneath and they take the rock and the debris and the ruble and they plow it into the adjacent river valley and they bury the rivers and they bury the valleys. According to the EPA they have buried 2000 miles of Americas head water streams and river streams. This is a crime. You can not do this in the United States of America. It’s a violation of the clean water act. You can’t take rock and debris and ruble and dump it into a water body without a permit.

We have corrupt public officials who are running this [wva] state. We are not intimidated by this because we know that we live in a democracy and it’s our job to reclaim this democracy, especially for the people of this state and for the children of this state to make sure we hand them a democracy and not a corrupt corporate plutocracy.

Honk if you hate mountaintop removal and if you love America.

You know the polluters and their indentured servants in our political process, the corrupt public officials, the agencies they’ve captured, their slick PR firms, their phony think tanks in Washington D.C. and their phony scientists who say “It’s o.k. to cut down mountains”, we call them Biostitutes. They say, and the people in this agency, they say the same thing. They’ve been very adept over the past few years at saying environmentalists are tree huggers, or radicals, or militants, or pagans who worship trees and sacrifice people. But there is nothing radical about clean air and clean water for our children. And the mountains that God made – leave them like he made them.

We’re not fighting for the environment for the sake of the and the fishes and the birds. We’re fighting for it because we understand that nature is the infrastructure of our communities. If on the other hand we want to do what Massey Coal and the big industry wants us to do, which is to treat the planet as if it were a business in liquidation, convert our national resources (including the state of West Virginia) to cash as quickly possible, have a few years of pollution based prosperity, we can generate an instantaneous cash flow and the illusion of a prosperous economy, but our children are going to pay for our joy ride. And they are going to pay for it with denuded landscape and poor health and huge clean up costs that are going to amplify over time and that they will never ever be able to pay. Environmental injury is deficit spending. It’s a way of loading the costs, selfishly, selfishly, selfishly, of our prosperity onto the backs of our children.

From their own records, EPAs records, 10,000 violations of water quality standards against this industry over the past 10 years – 10,000 violations that they know about and that have not been enforced against. Why? Because the agency as been captured. Well this is real crime. These are dangerous elements and chemicals and poisons that they are putting in our river systems.

“It’s a crime what’s being done to these mountains. It looks like a moonscape not too far from where I live. The streams are being covered over and polluted. The trees are being stripped off, & those trees help make ground water. For years these coal companies treated miners like cattle, now it’s cheaper for them to do this and poison everybody downstream in the process.”

“This man is so intelligent, so eloquent and so patient with us– I just want to extend a heart felt thank you to Mr. Kennedy and to apologize for any rude or attacking comments, as I know he is right. We need to have jobs for these guys that are now working with the big destruction industry– my baby calls them Mountain Eating monsters– education, training and high paying jobs in sustainable industries NOW.”

 

Mattel’s Toy Packaging is Destroying Rainforests. Not for Our Children Please.

Mattel, the manufacturer of Barbie, is using paper packaging for the world’s most famous toy from Indonesia’s most notorious rainforest destroyer Asia Pulp and Paper (APP).

Over Packaging on Our Childrens Toys will Leave Them with No Forests

Over Packaging on Our Childrens Toys will Leave Them with No Forests

Barbie has a nasty deforestation habit – she is trashing rainforests in Indonesia, including areas that are home to some of the last tiger, orang-utans and elephants, just so she can wrap herself in pretty packaging.

Critical wildlife habitat and carbon-rich rainforests and peatlands are being wrecked for cheap, throw-away toy packaging. Creating the future of play, shouldn’t mean no future for rainforests.

Tell Mattel to stop destroying rainforests for toy packaging »

Wow! Activists like you have sent more than 45,000 letters telling Mattel to stop supporting deforestation in Indonesia, nearly 1,000,000 people around the world have watched our video of Ken and Barbie’s break up, and to top it off, two groups of Greenpeace activists unfurled two giant banners at Mattel’s headquarters in Los Angeles.

The pressure is working. Mattel has stated that they will take initial steps to address this issue, but without details or timelines their words alone are not enough.

 

Our Waterways are not protected – Take Action to Help

The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 to protect all of our nations’ waterways from pollution, but more recent Supreme Court decisions have caused confusion over what waterways are protected. Now, over half of the nations’ stream miles and millions of acres of wetlands are at risk.

Support Clean Water Act: Stop Polluting our Rivers and Streams

Support Clean Water Act: Stop Polluting our Rivers and Streams

The Obama Administration recently proposed new guidance that would make it clear that small wetlands and streams do fall under the protections afforded by the Clean Water Act. But, the Administration needs to know now that there is public support for protecting our waters.

We only have until July 1st to let the Obama Administration know of the massive public support for restoring crucial Clean Water Act protections for the wetlands and streams.

TAKE ACTION »

 

Stop Poisoning Our Groundwater: Bad Drilling Pracitices…

stop poisoning our groundwaterOil and gas companies are allowed to inject secret, toxic fluids, directly into our drinking water — and the EPA is currently powerless to do anything about it?
High Pressure Hydrolic Fracturing (or fracking) is a method of drilling for natural gas by pumping a mixture of water and toxic, cancer-causing chemicals deep underground.

It’s already responsible for poisoning the groundwater in states across the country, but thanks to the work of Dick Cheney the EPA can’t currently regulate fracking.

I just signed a petition asking my Senator to co-sponsor the FRAC Act, which would allow the EPA to regulate fracking. Please add your voice and help build the call to pass this vital bill to protect our drinking water.

TAKE ACTION »

more info…

1. Burning Tap Water and More: GASLAND Exposes the Natural Gas Industry,” Treehugger, June 25, 2010.
2. Hydraulic Fracturing 101,” EARTHWORKS.
3. Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers,” New York Times, February 26, 2011

 

Blair Mountain: Protesters March to Save Historic Battlefield

A week long protest calling for the preservation of West Virginia’s Blair Mountain has rehashed conflicts within a coal mining community torn between the need for profits and the desire to preserve the past.

Oprah for Mountaintops

The Power of Oprah Compels you to Stop Mountaintop Removal

The protest, arranged by environmental activist group Appalachia Rising, aims to preserve Blair Mountain, strengthen labor rights, end mountaintop removal mining and invest in sustainable job creation in the Appalachian region. It included a five-day trek that emulated the 1921 march of 10,000 people from Marmet to Blair, an event that ultimately led to a battle over miners’ inability to join labor unions. Over 300 people participated in this year’s march, which spanned a distance of over 50 miles.

FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION AND MEDIA UPDATES ABOUT THE MARCH ON BLAIR MOUNTAIN GO TO WWW.MARCHONBLAIRMOUNTAIN.ORG

More than 1,500 people are expected to ascend Blair Mountain on Saturday for the culmination of the protest. Notable guests expected to attend include environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., actress Ashley Judd, author Denise Giardina and singers Emmylou Harris and Kathy Mattea.

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