Daily Archives: July 3, 2015

Study: Major World Aquifers Losing Alarming Amounts of Water


Democracy Now!

New satellite data shows the Earth’s largest underground aquifers are losing water at troubling rates. A NASA study finds 21 of the world’s 37 largest aquifers have provided more water than has been replaced, putting them at a sustainability tipping point. Researchers say the water reserves have been depleted by human activity including agriculture, population growth and mining.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Snowden Documents Reveal New Details of “NSA’s Google”


Democracy Now!

The Intercept news site has published one of the largest releases of documents from Edward Snowden to date, revealing new details about the National Security Agency’s program XKEYSCORE. Described as “the NSA’s Google for the world’s private communications,” the program sweeps up emails, voice calls, webcam photos, web searches, logged keystrokes and more. The program is fed by fiber-optic cables which form the “backbone of the world’s communication network,” with hundreds of servers around the world. The system includes traffic from Americans and allows the government to easily make queries based on criteria like nationality or the websites people have visited. One document shows government analysts used XKEYSCORE to obtain U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s talking points before a meeting with President Obama.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Judge Strikes Down GMO Ban in Maui County, Hawaii

Democracy Now!

A federal judge has invalidated a ban on the cultivation of genetically modified crops passed by voters in Maui County, Hawaii. Passed in November, the ballot measure called for a complete suspension on GMO crop cultivation until studies prove it is safe. Maui County is often called “GMO Ground Zero” because multinational seed producers test products there. Both Monsanto and Dow filed suit against the ban, and on Tuesday a judge ruled Maui County lacked the authority to impose it. Critics of GMOs say they will appeal.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice
Food-Matters

WikiLeaks Publishes Core Text of Massive TiSA Trade Deal

WikiLeaks has published the secret core text of a massive trade pact called the Trade in Services Agreement, which is currently being negotiated by more than 50 countries encompassing two-thirds of the global GDP. The publication comes ahead of the next round of negotiations next week. While it has received less attention, WikiLeaks called the Trade in Services Agreement the “largest component” of the U.S. trade agenda, which also includes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact, or TTIP. Critics of the deal say it would severely restrict governments’ ability to regulate and expand corporate power. Meanwhile, WikiLeaks has also published documents showing the United States did not just tap German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone, it also targeted scores of German officials and their aides, including Merkel’s personal assistant.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Sanders Draws Record Crowd of 10,000 at Wisconsin Rally


Democracy Now!

As Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has raised a record of at least $45 million in its first quarter, another Democratic candidate has broken a different record. Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders drew the largest crowd of any presidential candidate so far this election season when he spoke to 10,000 people in Madison, Wisconsin.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: “Tonight we have made a little bit of history. You may know that there are some 25 candidates running for president of the United States. But tonight, we have more people at a meeting for a candidate of president of the United States than any other candidate.”

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

U.N.: Record Number of Migrants Cross Mediterranean

A record number of migrants from the Middle East and Africa have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in the first half of this year. According to the United Nations, a total of 137,000 people arrived in Europe, an increase of 83 percent from last year. The U.N. said the large majority were refugees fleeing war or persecution, including many from Syria. “Europe is living through a maritime refugee crisis of historic proportions,” the report said.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!: Ralph Nader

“In the cozy den of the large but modest house in Omaha where he has lived since he started on his first billion, Warren Buffett watched the horrors of Hurricane Katrina unfold on television in early September 2005. . . . On the fourth day, he beheld in disbelief the paralysis of local, state, and federal authorities unable to commence basic operations of rescue and sustenance, not just in New Orleans, but in towns and villages all along the Gulf Coast. . . He knew exactly what he had to do. . .”

So begins the vivid fictional account by political activist and bestselling author Ralph Nader that answers the question, “What if?” What if a cadre of superrich individuals tried to become a driving force in America to organize and institutionalize the interests of the citizens of this troubled nation? What if some of America’s most powerful individuals decided it was time to fix our government and return the power to the people? What if they focused their power on unionizing Wal-Mart? What if a national political party were formed with the sole purpose of advancing clean elections? What if these seventeen superrich individuals decided to galvanize a movement for alternative forms of energy that will effectively clean up the environment? What if together they took on corporate goliaths and Congress to provide the necessities of life and advance the solutions so long left on the shelf by an avaricious oligarchy? What could happen?

This extraordinary story, written by the author who knows the most about citizen action, returns us to the literature of American social movements—to Edward Bellamy, to Upton Sinclair, to John Steinbeck, to Stephen Crane—reminding us in the process that changing the body politic of America starts with imagination.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice