Ari Rabin-Havt, -The Agenda/SiriusXM Progress (ch.127)/The Benghazi Hoax, joins Thom. The Transpacific Partnership – or SHAFTA as I like to call it – isn’t the only sweeping trade deal threatening our sovereignty. New documents show that SHAFTA’s Atlantic counterpart might be just as bad for the environment – and just as good for giant corporations. Find out more…
This campaign highlights the destructive environmental and social impacts of unsustainable resource use in the global North and South. We are seeking to defend community territories, protect land rights and increase awareness of corporations’ agendas, strategies, abuses and violations.
Francisco Morosini, Argentina – 8th placeAn elderly woman holds on to the fence separating her land, where she rears goats, from the advancing soya plantations, in Cordoba, Argentina.For centuries, communities have been intimidated to abandon – or forcibly removed from – their land in a seemingly endless battle to control natural resources. Today, these problems still occur and are manifesting in more direct and disturbing ways: multinational corporations occupy large swaths of community land that provides critical supplies for local populations in order to extract profitable resources – including crops for agrofuels, food, carbon offsets or minerals – for the benefit of often quite distant national and international elites.
Driven by greed and materialism, the destruction of local communities and their environments often results in the violation of both human and community rights. We have seen increased militarization and criminalization of communities who resist the appropriation of their communal lands. We have also witnessed severe environmental degradation and the destruction of natural commons for the longevity of communities.
Harvard University has one of the world’s largest endowments, which manages roughly US$30 billion. Some of this money is invested in forestry projects around the world, including a large plantation in Argentina which has wrecked the ecosystem and left many people wanting for work and food.
Harvard owns 87,000 hectares of land in Corrientes, Argentina, which are planted with pine and eucalyptus plantations managed by two companies: Empresas Verdes Argentinas S.A. (EVASA) and Las Misiones S.A. Pine trees consume more water than native plant species, drastically reducing the region’s groundwater. The trees do not provide food for local animals, so the animals’ habitat has also been disrupted. Pesticides are used in the plantation, polluting the air and water.
While the plantation is FSC certified, a visit to the affected area shows extensive damage to the ecosystem. The damage combined with encroachment on lands traditionally managed by local communities has deprived many people of their livelihoods. The land was bought without proper consultation, and workers on the plantations work long hours for low pay in dangerous conditions.
This must stop. We are asking Harvard University to immediately:
Stop expanding the plantations until completing a participatory study of their environmental and community impacts.
Remove all plantations within 2,000 meters from the communities.
Comply with all legally required employment practices, which are currently being ignored.
Daniel Schrag, geochemist and Director of Harvard University’s Center for the Environment, argues that climate change is actually far worse than people are led to believe. Locally, he suggests a feasible project to raise the height of the Charles River Dam, providing Boston with additional protection in the event of future storm flooding and sea-level rise. On the global level, he has cautiously endorsed the study of geoengineering schemes to mitigate or reverse global warming. This lecture is part of the 2008 IDEAS Boston conference.
Dr. Ronald Prinn, TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Science in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science, shares the result of his project measuring the rates of change in atmospheric concentrations of trace greenhouse gases. After more than 30 years of research, he and his colleagues recently noted an unexplained increase in methane concentrations which led them to reconsider the impact of methane vis-a-vis climate change. He outlines those risks in his discussion of “Arctic Warming: Risks for Methane Emissions, Sea Ice Loss, and Ocean Overturn.” This talk is part of Cambridge Forum’s After Copenhagen: Global Climate Change Conference, recorded by Steve MacAusland.
Hear from four leading content makers—from Google, Turbine, American Experience and Hill Holiday—on how they are making content specific to the mobile devices more and more of us are using all the time to listen, learn and play.
According to a new NASA study, a class of widely used chemical coolants known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), found in refrigerators and in home and automobile air conditioners, contributes to ozone depletion by a small but measurable amount, countering a decades-old assumption.
While HFCs are only weak ozone-depleting substances, they are, like CFCs and HCFCs, strong greenhouse gases. If production trends continue, projections show that, by 2050, the amount of global warming by all HFCs could be as large as 20 percent that of carbon dioxide.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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