Daily Archives: August 18, 2016

Open Up the Debates: Green Party’s Jill Stein Accuses Democrats & GOP of Rigging Debate Rules


Democracy Now!

Published on Aug 18, 2016

http://democracynow.org – While polls show Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are among the least popular major-party candidates to ever run for the White House, it appears no third-party candidates will be invited to take part in the first presidential debate next month. The debates are organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties. Under the commission’s rules, candidates will only be invited if they are polling at 15 percent in five national surveys. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein have both witnessed recent surges in support, but neither have crossed the 15 percent threshold. More than 12,000 people have signed a petition organized by RootsAction calling for a four-way presidential debate. We speak to Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein. Four years ago she was arrested outside a presidential debate protesting her exclusion from the event.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Green Party’s Jill Stein: U.S. Should Stop Funding Israel & Saudi Arabia


Democracy Now!

Published on Aug 18, 2016

http://democracynow.org – Over the last few weeks, the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has killed dozens of civilians and bombed at least one school and one hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders. A number of activists, politicians and news outlets, including The New York Times, are calling on the United States to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the ongoing conflict. But Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein is going even further—calling on the U.S. to stop all funding for Israel and Saudi Arabia. For more, we speak with Jill Stein and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Stopping the Snake: Indigenous Protesters Shut Down Construction of Dakota Access Pipeline


Democracy Now!

Published on Aug 18, 2016

http://democracynow.org – We turn now to a growing protest in North Dakota, where hundreds of indigenous activists have shut down construction on a multibillion-dollar pipeline project. The $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline is slated to carry half a million barrels of Bakken crude from North Dakota to Illinois. But members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe say the pipeline threatens to contaminate the Missouri River, which provides water not only for thousands of residents on the reservation, but also for millions of people living downstream. On April 1, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe launched an ongoing protest camp called Sacred Stone. Since late July, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the pipeline, at least 28 people have been arrested as they have used their bodies and horses to block construction.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Media completely ignores Green Party townhall – FishTank


RT America

Published on Aug 18, 2016

Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka finally got their moment in the spotlight during a CNN Green Party townhall. As expected, the event was ignored by the mainstream media. To discuss what stood out at the event, Carey Campbell of the Independent Green Party joins RT America’s Lindsay France in the FishTank and says Dr. Jill Stein came across as “the best, strongest and smartest candidate for president.” RT correspondent Caleb Maupin then reports on the DNC email scandal and how Democratic leaders may react to future leaks.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Deadly Wildfires to Grow More Intense, Burn Longer Due to Global Warming – YouTube


TheRealNews

Published on Aug 18, 2016

Drought, dead trees, and less snow means fires in the Western U.S. will likely get worse, says Dr. Alyson Kenward from Climate Central

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

UN Admits Role in Haiti’s Cholera Outbreak After Years of Denial


TheRealNews

Published on Aug 18, 2016

A lawyer representing the victims says there needs to be continued pressure on the UN to ensure the safety of the host communities where its missions are deployed

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice
Public Health

Orion Magazine | Dirt First

by Kristin Ohlson

Photograph by Julia Robinson.

Rick Haney, gangly and garrulous, paces in front of a congregation of government conservationists, working the room for laughs before he gets to the hard data. The U.S. Department of Agriculture soil scientist points to an aerial photograph of research plots outside his facility in Temple , Texas. “Our drones took this shot,” he says, then shakes his head. “Kidding. We don’t have any drones.”

Forty sets of shoulders jerk in amusement. Paranoia about the federal government is acute in Texas, and Haney’s audience—field educators from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), part of a corps of around six thousand that works directly with farmers nationwide—hail from around the state. They’re used to suspicious scowls from farmers, who are as skeptical of the feds as they are of the outsiders who dwell on the downsides of agriculture. For the most part, the people in this room are both: feds and outsiders.

But what if those downsides—unsustainable farming practices—are also bad for a farmer’s bottom line? It’s the question Haney loves to raise during training sessions like this one, which the NRCS (today’s iteration of the Dust Bowl–era Soil Conservation Service) convenes around the country as part of a soil health campaign launched in 2012. Haney is a star at these events because he brings the imprimatur of science to something many innovative farmers have already discovered: despite what the million-dollar marketing campaigns of agrichemical companies say, farmers can use less fertilizer without reducing yields, saving both money and landscapes.

“Our entire agriculture industry is based on chemical inputs, but soil is not a chemistry set,” Haney explains. “It’s a biological system. We’ve treated it like a chemistry set because the chemistry is easier to measure than the soil biology.”

In nature, of course, plants grow like mad without added synthetic fertilizer, thanks to a multimillion-year-old partnership with soil microorganisms. Plants pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and create a carbon syrup. About 60 percent of this fuels the plant’s growth, with the remaining exuded through the roots to soil microorganisms, which trade mineral nutrients they’ve liberated from rocks, sand, silt, and clay—in other words, fertilizer—for their share of the carbon bounty. Haney insists that ag scientists are remiss if they don’t pay more attention to this natural partnership.

“I’ve had scientific colleagues tell me they raised 300 bushels of corn [per acre] with an application of fertilizer, and I ask how the control plots, the ones without the fertilizer, did,” Haney says. “They tell me 220 bushels of corn. How is that not the story? How is raising 220 bushels of corn without fertilizer not the story?” If the natural processes at work in even the tired soil of a test plot can produce 220 bushels of corn, he argues, the yields of farmers consciously building soil health can be much higher.

Less than 50 percent of the synthetic fertilizer that farmers apply to most crops is actually used by plants, with much of the rest running off into drainage ditches and streams and, later, concentrating with disastrous effects in lakes and oceans. Witness the oxygen-free dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico or tap water tainted by neurotoxin-producing algae in Ohio: both phenomena are tied to fertilizer runoff. Farmers often apply fertilizer based on advice from manufacturers and university extension agents who are faithful to the agrochemical mindset, using formulas that tie X amount of desired yield to Y pounds of fertilizer applied per acre. Or they apply fertilizer based on a standard test that gauges the amount of inorganic nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus—the basic ingredients of chemical fertilizers, often referred to as NPK—in a soil sample. Or they apply what they put on the year before, or what their neighbor applied, and then maybe a little bit more, hoping for a jackpot combination of rain, sunshine, and a good market.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice