Daily Archives: April 25, 2016

GOP Megadonor Charles Koch Suggests He Could Back Clinton

April 25, 2016 Headlines

Republican megadonor Charles Koch has said he could support Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over a Republican nominee in November. In an interview with ABC News, Koch said he would only support Republican candidates Donald Trump or Ted Cruz if they change certain proposals, including Cruz’s vow to carpet-bomb ISIS and Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Koch spoke to journalist Jonathan Karl.

Jonathan Karl: “Am I hearing you correctly: You think Bill Clinton was a better president than George W. Bush?”

Charles Koch: “Well, in some ways. In other ways, I mean, he wasn’t an exemplar.”

Jonathan Karl: “Yeah.”

Charles Koch: “But as far as the growth of government, the increase in spending, on restrictive regulations, it was two-and-a-half times under Bush than it was under Clinton.”

Jonathan Karl: “So is it possible another Clinton could be better than another Republican—”

Charles Koch: “It’s possible.”

Jonathan Karl: “—the next time around?”

Charles Koch: “It’s possible.”

Jonathan Karl: “You couldn’t see yourself supporting Hillary Clinton, could you?”

Charles Koch: “Well, I—that—her—we would have to believe her actions would be quite different than her rhetoric. Let me put it that way.”

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Germany: Up to 90,000 Protest TTIP U.S.-EU Trade Deal Ahead of Obama Visit

Ahead of Obama’s visit to Germany, tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest a massive trade deal between the United States and European Union. Critics say the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, would undermine safety and environmental regulations to serve corporate interests. Organizers said 90,000 people attended the rally in the northern city of Hanover Saturday. Protests continued on Sunday.

April 25, 2016 Headlines

Ivo Ivancic: “We should be part of the negotiations. They are creating a second judicial system, sitting in secret rooms with business delegates, deciding behind our backs. And putting governments under pressure with court cases worth billions of dollars because they claim they lose money, that is something which is not OK. And that’s why I am totally against TTIP.”

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Judge Exonerates Mike Duffy, Indicts Stephen Harper And Senate

E120, e130,

The Future Of News Online | On Point

Some say Facebook will completely re-shape the news industry and publishing. In this file photo, a computer screen displays a social media posting by Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

April 25, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Layoffs and shakeups at online news sites, and what that means for the uncertain future of journalism.

How we get the news in the digital era is still a question up for grabs. Newspapers have suffered and shrunk. The latest round of worry? That even digital natives in the news business– Mashable, Yahoo, Buzzfeed Salon and more– are stumbling now. Struggling to find a business model for the news as social media, Facebook, Google suck up eyeballs and ad dollars. This hour On Point: Now, online news cuts. And how exactly is journalism supposed to survive?


John Herrman, David Carr Fellow at the New York Times. Former co-editor and media reporter for The Awl. (@jwherrman)

Mitra Kalita, managing editor for editorial strategy at the Los Angeles Times. Former executive director for Quartz. (@mitrakalita)

Ken Doctor, news industry analyst. Writes the Newsonomics column for Nieman Journalism Lab. Author of Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get. (@kdoctor)

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Urgenci: The International Network for Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture, as a way to contribute to a greater solidarity between urban and rural communities, is equally empowering for both the community and the farmers and offer solutions to common problems facing producers and consumers worldwide:

1. Fair local food systems are an efficient tool to restore local food sovereignty for all regions and communities worldwide.

One of the main roots for the current food crises, as well as for social unrests more generally, is that farmers alone have been shouldering the risks of the increasingly ruthless global market, which has forced millions of them from the land.

CSA offers one of the most hopeful alternatives to this downward spiral, and is the only model of farming in which consumers consciously agree to share the risks and benefits with the farmers.

2. With other short supply chains, CSA schemes are a very efficient way to defend health through food and to fight against many forms of malnutrition.

In establishing direct and trusting relationships between farmers and consumers, people have access to fresh food from an accountable source: organic farmers producing healthy, safe, nutritious and minimally processed food without pesticides and various additives, at an affordable price. This was what first motivated Japanese women in the 1960s, confronted with the dangers of industrial and agro-chemical pollution, to get together with small-scale farmers to create the first Teikeis to distribute food locally.

3. CSA represents a relevant locus for triggering civic responsibility in economic relations and for setting up a social network of solidarity between farmers and consumers, building more socially just and sustainable communities trading on fair terms both with neighbours and with people in distant regions.

Indeed, for CSA to be more than just another direct marketing scheme, the growers and the eaters, as they sometimes call themselves, need to work together to create local social/economic forms, based on trust, which encourage initiative and self-reliance, share the risks of agricultural production, share information, are human-scale and efficient, charge according to needs/costs (not market).

4. Addressing environmental and climate change issues seems to be an almost natural outgrowth of the CSA concept, which is based on cooperation and harmony with nature.

CSAs are part of the economy relocation movement for fewer food miles, less packaging and ecologically sensitive farming, reducing energy waste and pollution. Consumers are supporting the blossoming of organic family-run farms that do not depend on fossil or imported energy, encouraging proper land stewardship by farmers towards low or no chemical inputs, greater biodiversity, conservation of landscapes and cultural heritage, in particular for future generations.

Urgenci’s members are strongly convinced that the flexibility of CSA allows for many inventive and meaningful combinations, building sustainable communities and constructive alliances among as many different groups and perspectives as possible.

Translating CSA to other landscapes and mentalities, which are vastly different in scale, available resources and culture, is a challenge.

The model has certain core principles based on sustainable, fair and ecological practises that are similar no matter where or how it is practiced but at the same time, it is largely an evolving and highly adaptative process.

Especially, Urgenci is eager to engage cooperation with sustainable agriculture/small-scale farming movements from the global South, where shared goals are to empower even the poorest and smallest-scale farmers to become active contributors to and beneficiaries of local sustainable development and to offer continuous education to farmers and other stakeholders in the system.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

10 Years of Fracking: Its Impact on Our Water, Land and Climate


wells across the country released at least 5.3 billion pounds of the potent greenhouse gas methane, as much global warming pollution as 22 coal-fired power plants. Photo credit: Environment America Research & Policy CenterEnvironment America | April 14, 2016 9:30 am
|In a single year, fracking wells across the country released at least 5.3 billion pounds of the potent greenhouse gas methane, as much global warming pollution as 22 coal-fired power plants.

The statistic is one of many in a new study by Environment America Research & Policy Center that quantifies the environmental harm caused by more 137,000 fracking wells permitted since 2005.

“The numbers in this report don’t lie,” Rachel Richardson, director of Environment America’s Stop Drilling program and co-author of the report, said. “For the past decade, fracking has been a nightmare for our drinking water, our open lands and our climate.”

Today’s analysis, an update of a similar 2013 study, paints a frightening picture of fracking’s harms in addition to its global warming pollution—including toxic chemical use and destroyed land.

“In just the last two and a half years, the number of fracked oil and gas wells has increased by 55,000,” Elizabeth Ridlington, policy analyst with Frontier Group and co-author of the report, said. “That growth in fracked wells means more polluted water, more toxic chemicals and more communities at risk.”

The major findings of Fracking by the Numbers: The Damage to Our Air, Water and Climate from a Decade of Dirty Drilling include:

  • During well completion alone, fracking released 5.3 billion pounds of methane in 2014, a pollutant 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over the course of 20 years.
  • Fracking wells produced at least 14 billion gallons of wastewater in 2014. Fracking wastewater has leaked from retention ponds, been dumped into streams and escaped from faulty disposal wells, putting drinking water at risk. Wastewater from fracked wells includes not only the toxic chemicals injected into the well but also can bring naturally occurring radioactive materials to the surface.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, fracking used at least 23 billion pounds of toxic chemicals. Fracking uses of vast quantities of chemicals known to harm human health. People living or working nearby can be exposed to these chemicals if they enter drinking water after a spill or if they become airborne.
  • At least 239 billion gallons of water have been used in fracking since 2005, an average of 3 million gallons per well. Fracking requires huge volumes of water for each well—water that is often needed for other uses or to maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems.
  • Infrastructure to support fracking has directly damaged at least 675,000 acres of land since 2005, an area only slightly smaller than Yosemite National Park. Well pads, new access roads, pipelines and other infrastructure built for fracking turn forests and rural landscapes into industrial zones.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Nuclear: 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Chernobyl

Celine Mergan, Greenpeace International | April 15, 2016 10:30 am

In the early morning of April 26, 1986, reactor four of the Chernobyl nuclear station exploded. It caused what the United Nations has called “the greatest environmental catastrophe in the history of humanity.”

Chernobyl was the accident that the nuclear industry said would never happen.

Twenty-five years later the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan reminded us that the risk of another Chernobyl remains wherever nuclear power is used.The long-lived radionuclides released by Chernobyl means the disaster continues 30 years later. It still affects the lives of millions of people. Here are 15 facts you may not know about the disaster:

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice