Daily Archives: April 9, 2013

Agriculture Gag Rules – New Laws to Constrain Public Access to Information

https://www.google.com/search?q=ag+gag+laws&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a#q=ag+gag+laws&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=z7N&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=univ&tbm=nws&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=QJtkUbuFC8_F4AOatIG4Dg&ved=0CDMQqAI&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.44990110,d.dmg&fp=d59d4b76f1baa2b3&biw=1366&bih=572

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

The UCS Science Network | Union of Concerned Scientists

http://www.ucsusa.org/action/science_network/

Scientists working for a better world

“UCS plays a valuable role in connecting scientists with the public and policy makers.”

Gabriel Filipelli, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Director, Center for Urban Health, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis

Are you interested in using your expertise, knowledge, and dedication to make a difference? The UCS Science Network brings together scientists, engineers, health professionals, and economists with (or working toward) an advanced degree to address some of the most critical challenges of our time.

Why Join?

As a member of the UCS Science Network you’ll receive timely action alerts, issue updates, and invitations to online and in-person events specifically designed for experts like you. You can choose what topics you’d like to receive emails about, and you can update your preferences at any time.

Plus, UCS Science Network members receive special opportunities to get involved directly with UCS staff on exciting policy and advocacy initatives, such as letter writing campaigns, meetings with policy makers, and media training. Sign up now!

Who Can Join

The UCS Science Network is intended for scientists, engineers, health professionals, and economists with (or working towards) an advanced degree. If you don’t fall into any of those categories, and you want to get involved in helping UCS make a difference, we encourage you to become a UCS member.

….(read more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Improving Citizen Access to Government Scientific Information – Full Session


ConcernedScientists

Published on Oct 19, 2012

This symposium, part of the first Lewis M. Branscomb Forum, was co-sponsored by the Center for Science and Democracy and the First Amendment Center. The symposium was held at the Newseum in Washington, DC, on September 25, 2012.

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Improving Citizen Access to Government Scientific Information: Highlights


ConcernedScientists

Published on Nov 5, 2012

A video recap of “Improving Citizen Access to Government Scientific Information,” a symposium held on September 25, 2012 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., as part of the Lewis M. Branscomb Science and Democracy Forum. The Forum was sponsored by the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists in collaboration with the First Amendment Center. A full-length video of the symposium is also available.  See: http://wp.me/p2iDSG-2NW

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

New Seed Legislation Spells Disaster for Small Farmers in Africa

http://www.acbio.org.za/index.php/media/64-media-releases/424-new-seed-legislation-spells-disaster-for-small-farmers-in-africa

Tuesday, 02 April 2013 20:21
Civil society organisations from the SADC region, and around the world have condemned the SADC draft Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (Plant Breeders’ Rights) as spelling disaster for small farmers and food security in the region. These groups, representing millions of farmers in Africa and around the world have submitted their concerns to the SADC Secretariat. They are calling for the rejection of the Protocol and urgent consultations with farmers, farmer movements and civil society before it’s too late.

According

to the groups, the Protocol is inflexible, restrictive and imposes a “one-size-fits-all” plant variety protection (PVP) system on all SADC countries irrespective of the nature of agricultural systems, social and economic development. It is modeled after the 1991 International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 1991), an instrument which was developed by industrialized countries to address their own needs. UPOV 1991 grants extremely strong intellectual property right protection to plant breeders, and disallows farmers from continuing their customary practices of freely using, exchanging and selling farm-saved seeds.

According to Moses Shaha, regional chairman for the East and Southern African small-scale Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF): “The proposed legislation gives big-business breeders significant rights, but in doing so, disregards and marginalizes small farmers and their plant varieties. It fails to recognize that small-scale farmers and their customary practices of freely exchanging and re-using seed for multiple purposes, constitute the backbone of SADC’s agricultural farming systems.”

About half of SADC members are Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and are not currently under any international obligation to put in place any such PVP system. Indeed, the majority of SADC members have limited or no experience with PVP systems, or the impact these systems will have on food security, farmers, farming systems and livelihoods in the region.

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Taping of Farm Cruelty Is Becoming the Crime

http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/445-farm-and-food-policy/16862-taping-of-farm-cruelty-is-becoming-the-crime

Several states have placed restrictions on undercover investigations into cruelty. (photo: unknown)

By Richard Oppel Jr., The New York Times

08 April 13

n one covert video, farm workers illegally burn the ankles of Tennessee walking horses with chemicals. Another captures workers in Wyoming punching and kicking pigs and flinging piglets into the air. And at one of the country’s largest egg suppliers, a video shows hens caged alongside rotting bird corpses, while workers burn and snap off the beaks of young chicks.

Each video – all shot in the last two years by undercover animal rights activists – drew a swift response: Federal prosecutors in Tennessee charged the horse trainer and other workers, who have pleaded guilty, with violating the Horse Protection Act. Local authorities in Wyoming charged nine farm employees with cruelty to animals. And the egg supplier, which operates in Iowa and other states, lost one of its biggest customers, McDonald’s, which said the video played a part in its decision.

But a dozen or so state legislatures have had a different reaction: They proposed or enacted bills that would make it illegal to covertly videotape livestock farms, or apply for a job at one without disclosing ties to animal rights groups. They have also drafted measures to require such videos to be given to the authorities almost immediately, which activists say would thwart any meaningful undercover investigation of large factory farms.

Critics call them “Ag-Gag” bills.
….(read more).

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Science and Democracy: An American Partnership

ConcernedScientists

Published on Feb 12, 2013

For our Founding Fathers, many of them citizen-scientists, it was science that inspired the political ideas and decisions that shaped our nation. For more than two centuries, science has helped build our nation. Throughout our history, policies informed by science have helped make America safer and more prosperous. But in recent years, something has changed.

Find out more: http://www.ucsusa.org/scienceanddemoc…

Video produced by See3 Communications for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Open Climate Network | WRI Insights

http://insights.wri.org/open-climate-network

WRI-Open-Climate

The Open Climate Network is an independent, international partnership that tracks and reports on the progress of key countries on climate change. OCN seeks to accelerate progress toward the low-emissions future by providing consistent, credible information that enhances accountability both between and within countries. …(read more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Lord Nicholas Stern Identifies 3 Obstacles to International Climate Action

http://insights.wri.org/news/2013/04/lord-nicholas-stern-identifies-3-obstacles-international-climate-action

Submitted by Sarah Parsons on April 3, 2013

Lord Nicholas Stern presented at an event hosted by WRI and the International Monetary Fund. Photo credit: James Anderson, WRI

Six years after the release of the landmark Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, Lord Nicholas Stern revealed yesterday the most challenging hurdle ahead for international climate action. Overcoming this obstacle is not a matter of figuring out the scientific or policy pathways needed to curb climate change—nor is it determining what technologies to adopt or what investments must be made. “What’s missing is the political will,” said Stern.

The famed economist elaborated on this problem during an address yesterday hosted by WRI and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “Fostering Growth and Poverty Reduction in a World of Immense Risk.” Dr. Andrew Steer, WRI’s president, and Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, provided opening remarks, articulating the serious economic and human risks climate change poses. Stern focused on the main hurdle to mitigating these risks—political will.

The problem, according to Stern, reflects a lack of understanding in three main areas: climate change’s real risks, the benefits of an alternative pathway, and the need for collaboration and mutual understanding. ….(read more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Oil Devastation in Arkansas — Government Relents and Releases Photos to the Public Slideshow

http://www.alternet.org/environment/oil-devastation-arkansas-government-relents-and-releases-photos-public-slideshow

Oil impacting residential yard. (EPA).   Source: EPA
AlterNet / By Tara Lohan

Take a look at these just-released EPA photos.

April 5, 2013 | After outrcies of media blackouts and Exxon running the cleanup show, today the EPA released photos of the tar sands spill that shocked the Mayflower, Arkansas neighborhood last week. Check out more of our coverage of the spill here and Exxon’s response.

EPA Releases Tar Sands Spill Photos

April 5, 2013 | A week after Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline spilled in Arkansas, the EPA has released photos

Tara Lohan is a senior editor at AlterNet and editor of the new book Water Matters: Why We Need to Act Now to Save Our Most Critical Resource. You can follow her on Twitter @TaraLohan.

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120