Daily Archives: August 26, 2014

Chris Hedges Greatest Speech Ever Made


Chris Hedges

Published on Jul 19, 2014

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Chris Hedges “The World sucks and Why”


Chris Hedges

Published on Aug 24, 2014

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Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
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Tide Turning on Climate Politics

August 26, 2014

 

Recent polling and analysis suggests that the pendulum of public opinion has swung decidedly in favor of climate science and scientists on the issue of climate change.

One would never suspect any of this in reading the recent piece in the Atlantic, “How to Talk about Climate Change so that People Will Listen”, which I will not link to here.

Author Charles Mann, while dutifully reciting a litany of climate denial canards that would be perfectly in context at a Heartland Institute Science denial conference, completely misses the reality that the American people have, in fact, been listening – and a solid majority of Americans now favor decisive action on Climate Change.

Yale Project on Climate Change Communication:

• 88% of Democrats, 59% of Independents and 61% of liberal/moderate Republicans think global warming is happening, compared to only 28% of conservative Republicans;

• 81% of Democrats and 51% of liberal/moderate Republicans are worried about global warming, compared to only 19% of conservative Republicans;

• 82% of Democrats and 65% of liberal/moderate Republicans support strict carbon dioxide emission limits on existing coal-fired power plants to reduce global warming and improve public health, compared to only 31% of conservative Republicans.

in the same study, available here, polling showed that

  • Americans are more than two times more likely to vote for a congressional or presidential candidate who strongly supports action to reduce global warming. Democrats, liberal and moderate Republicans, and Independents are more likely to vote for such a candidate. Only conservative Republicans are less likely to vote for such a candidate.
  • Likewise, Americans are three times more likely to vote against a political candidate who strongly opposes action to reduce global warming. Only conservative Republicans are, on balance, slightly more likely to vote for a candidate who strongly opposes action to reduce global warming.

(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Are US Carbon Emissions Really Down? Methane Leaks Cause for Concern

August 26, 2014

 

A headline that has appeared frequently in mainstream media of late informs us that, in an unexpected turn of good news, US carbon emissions are down to 20 year lows, due to increased use of natural gas in power generation.

My uneasiness with this formulation comes from increasing evidence that the extraction of Natural gas has a a downside – largely unaccounted-for leakage in the system of wells, pipelines and processors that deliver gas to consumers.

Climate Central:

A study of abandoned oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania finds that the hundreds of thousands of such wells in the state may be leaking methane, suggesting that abandoned wells across the country could be a bigger source of climate changing greenhouse gases than previously thought.

The study by Mary Kang, a Princeton University scientist, looked at 19 wells and found that these oft-forgotten wells are leaking various amounts of methane. There are hundreds of thousands of such oil and gas wells, long abandoned and plugged, in Pennsylvania alone, and countless more in oil and gas fields across the country. These wells go mostly unmonitored, and rarely, if ever, checked for such leaks.

A growing list of studiesconducted over the past three years has suggested that crude oil and natural gas development, particularly in shale formations, are significant sources of methane leaks — emissions not fully included in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency greenhouse gas inventories because they are rarely monitored. Scientists say there is inadequate data available for them to know where all the leaks are and how much methane is leaking.

Methane is about 34 times as potent as a climate change-fueling greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a span of 100 years. Over 20 years, it’s 86 times more potent. Of all the greenhouse gases emitted by humans worldwide, methane contributes more than 40 percent of all radiative forcing, a measure of trapped heat in the atmosphere and a measuring stick of a changing climate.

Naomi Oreskes in The Nation:

Gas advocates say that while these worries might be legitimate, US greenhouse gas emissions nonetheless fell between 2008 and 2012, partly because of the way gas is replacing coal in electricity generation. This claim needs to be closely examined. In fact, it seems as if the lion’s share of that decrease was simply the result of the near global economic meltdown of 2007–08 and the Great Recession that followed. When economic activity falls, energy use falls, so emissions fall, too. Not surprisingly, preliminary data from 2013 suggest that emissions are on the rise again. Some of the rest of the 2008–12 decline was due to tighterautomobile fuel economy standards.

But how do we know what our emissions actually are? Most people would assume that we measure them, but they would be wrong. Emissions are instead calculated based on energy data—how much coal, oil and gas was bought and sold in the United States that year—multiplied by assumed rates of greenhouse gas production by those fuels. Here’s the rub: the gas calculation depends on the assumed leakage rate. If we’ve been underestimating leakage, then we’ve underestimated the emissions. Though the converse is also true, few experts think that anyone is overestimating gas leakage rates. This is not to say that emissions didn’t fall in 2008–12. They almost certainly did, again because of the recession. But the claim that there’s been a large decrease thanks to natural gas remains unproven.

Oreskes’ article is longer, packed with info,and well worth a read.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Environmentalists Rally Against New Herbicide For GE Crops

http://www.mintpressnews.com/environmentalists-rally-new-herbicide-ge-crops/195697/
Citing the inevitability of “superweeds” and calling the product a “life preserver” for fatally flawed technology, environmentalists urge the EPA not to register a new Dow AgroSciences herbicide for GE corn and soybeans.
By Phil Zahodiakin | August 22, 2014

(AP/Audrey McAvoy)

Environmentalists warn that an herbicide designed to work with new varieties of genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybeans should not be registered by the Environmental Protection Agency because, like other widely-used herbicides for GE crops, it will gradually promote the emergence of “superweeds” resistant to the new herbicide.

The herbicide at issue is Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist Duo, whose active ingredients are two “old” chemicals: glyphosate (best known by the trade name “Roundup”) and 2,4-D. The herbicide would be applied in fields planted with Enlist Corn and Enlist Soybeans – which Dow has engineered to tolerate the product.

The first commercial applications of 2,4-D date back to the mid-1940s, but the chemical gained notoriety due to its use in a Vietnam War-era defoliant: Agent Orange. Although 2,4-D was not the only herbicide in Agent Orange, the product was contaminated with dioxin — a potent carcinogen — as a byproduct of the production process.

Glyphosate, meanwhile, has long been the dominant herbicide in GE agriculture. Decades of home-and-garden use in addition to agricultural applications have resulted in the inevitable: weeds are becoming resistant to glyphosate, with resistant species having been detected in over half the states.

Killing resistant weeds

The 2,4-D in Enlist Duo is intended to kill all the weeds in a field, whether or not they’ve become resistant to glyphosate. The Agriculture Department is expected to issue a decision “deregulating” Enlist Corn and Enlist Soybeans, which could then be planted anywhere in the United States.

In its April 30 proposal to register Enlist Duo, however, the EPA says it would limit its sale and use (at least initially) to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Those are the states where the agency has enough data, it says, to conclude that the new 2,4-D uses won’t put endangered species at risk.

Because one or more of the seven weed species known to resist glyphosate have turned up in 27 states, growers pushed back against the geographic restriction in comments submitted to thepublic docket, which closed on June 30. Conversely, environmental groups have questioned the adequacy of the EPA’s endangered species finding as well as many other agency conclusions supporting its registration proposal.

…(read more).

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Climate Activists need to demand system change!

http://climate-connections.org/2014/08/25/climate-activists-need-to-demand-system-change/

System Change is needed. Without that, positive impacts on climate change will be a pipe dream

The United Nations is gearing up for the COP 20 Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru in December of this year, and the UN Climate Change Conference/COP21, to be held in Paris, France in late 2015. A primary goal of the Paris Climate Summit is to ratify a new legal agreement aimed at stemming climate change.

Many people across the earth are concerned UN efforts and these summits will come up far short of any meaningful goals. This Inside Climate News article, MIT Study: Climate Talks on Path to Fall Far Short of Goals details some of the concerns.

In preparation for the Paris Summit, on 23 September of this year, the United Nations will hold a one day session on Climate Change. This will garner significant press attention as world leaders including business and political mouthpieces continue to posture for “business as usual” solutions geared toward the potential 2015 legal agreement.

Preceding the one day UN session are two significant events in New York City that you can participate directly in. The Peoples Climate March will be held on Sunday Sept 21, 2014. Organizers are predicting that this will be the largest Climate March in history. Although organizers have not created any demands per se for the goals of the March they feel that press and media attention will go a long way toward establishing public support for change.

An affiliated event, NYC Climate Convergence, will have an opening plenary session Friday night 19 September. The weekend long event that will feature important speakers including Naomi Klein and Vandana Shiva, and is described as a weekend packed with skill-shares, teach-ins, speak outs, and protests. Global Justice Ecology Project, Biofuelwatch, and STOP GE Trees Campaign will be participating in these events. Climate Connections will cover these issues and events. Please send us your thoughts!

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Ebola Showing up the Global Public Health System


NewsClickin

Published on Aug 26, 2014

The Ebola epidemic raging in various parts of Africa has seen over 2000 people already killed by the deadly virus. As the world struggles to deal with and contain further spread of the disease (which has no known cure),we speak to Dr. Satyajit Rath, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, about the reasons for and fallout of the epidemic. What are the chances of the disease spreading even further? Why can’t this Ebola outbreak be contained given that the disease has been known for more than 20 years? Can the epidemic be blamed on the inadequacy of the public health care systems in Africa? Why is there no vaccines or cure for this disease and how complicit are the drug companies who have preferred to concentrate on developing cures for diseases of the affluent? Is the global health care system failing the poor and the less economically developed countries?

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Waltham Fields Community Farm

Waltham Fields Community Farm is the business name of Community Farms Outreach, a 501c3 organization.

Mission

Waltham Fields Community Farm (WFCF) promotes local agriculture and food access through our farming operations and educational programs, using practices that are socially, ecologically, and economically sustainable. We encourage healthy relationships between people, their food supply, and the land from which it grows.

Vision

We envision communities in which sustainable agriculture plays a central role in creating universal access to the food and beauty of local farms.

Strategic Plan

Approach

After revising our bylaws and having them approved by our members at our Annual Meeting on Oct. 30, 2010, we now have a revised mission statement that places our commitment to food access work front and center – see above. In 2011, we built on productive conversations in 2009 and 2010 to formulate our new Strategic Plan for 2012-2014. This plan both serves to guide our daily work as well as articulate goals and ideas for the future.

Our Current Plan: WFCF Strategic Plan 2012-2014.pdf

Previous Plan: Strategic Plan 2007-2009.pdf

Publications      Previous Weekly CSA Newsletters

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

The Unstealable Bike by Yerka Project (Prototype) – Teaser

YERKA Project

Published on Jun 29, 2014

Yerka Project is a bicycle that can´t be stolen without breaking it and is currently being developed by 3 chilean students. This is our first fully functional prototype!

Yerka Project es un proyecto en proceso de desarrollo por 3 estudiantes chilenos consistente en una bicicleta que no se puede robar sin romperla previamente. Este es nuestro primer prototipo funcional!

Visit: www.unstealablebike.com

Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Series United States of Sustainable Food

Let’s be real: The American food system today has some pretty daunting issues. Eve Andrews challenged herself to find someone in every state in the nation who’s breaking the status quo and addressing those issues — but in a way that’s characteristic of, or addresses a particular need in, their home state. Check out the interactive map — or find your state in the list below.

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice