Daily Archives: October 23, 2016

Climate Change and the Structure of the Global Food System: The Transition Toward a Sustainable Agriculture |EV & N – 227 – CCTV

http://ecoethics.net/2014-ENVRE120/20161023-EV&N-227-Link.html

https://www.cctvcambridge.org/node/433071

https://www.cctvcambridge.org/user/3723/history

The changing climate will cause food shortages, but a “quick fix” of more petro-intensive agriculture will not save us.  In fact, the continued growth of petro-dependent agriculture –with its promise of immediate increased yields through the use of “genetically modified organisms” — may hasten the agricultural collapse of many societies.  This is so because their primary production system — that is, their agriculture — is becoming irretrievably tied to the expanded consumption of fossil fuels.  In the coming decades, as humanity passes peak oil production, these fuels are likely to become more and more expensive. Moreover, many communities will not be able to adapt to the changes in climate and severe weather that this increased use of fossil fuels will engender. 

Further, it is unlikely that humanity can survive the biologically impoverished world under the increasingly centralized control of large corporate agribusiness firms.  After all, the primary concerns of these firms has not been food safety, off-farm or downstream impact, ecosystem restoration or even food production itself.  Rather their goal is profit.  As corporations these firms are constituted to make continuous profit for their shareholders. Other concerns are at best secondary or more frequently ignored altogether. 

As many of these firms have demonstrated already, if greater profit can be made from generating bio-ethanol from corn than in providing that corn for human consumption, these firms can be expected to shift their agricultural production away from foodstuffs and toward the provision of fuel for the engines of cars and trucks.  Over time, an agriculture system driven by the concerns of agribusiness alone will inevitably fail to provide food for a growing number of increasingly impoverished and desperate human communities already made vulnerable by severe weather events and the changing climate.

A proper response to climate change will involve devising effective strategies to move beyond petro-intensive agriculture toward regenerative agriculture that can work effectively to sequester carbon to the soil rather than release and expend it.

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Local Communities Dismantling Corporate Rule


peakmoment

Published on Feb 12, 2014

Community Rights educator Paul Cienfuegos explains how “We The People” are exercising the authority to govern ourselves and dismantle corporate rule. When small farmers in rural Pennsylvania wanted to say “no” to a corporate factory farm coming into their community, they learned they couldn’t, because it would violate the corporation’s “rights” and state pre-emption laws. So they did something technically illegal – their town passed an innovative ordinance banning corporate factory farming. It worked! The corporation left town. Pittsburgh upshifted the approach: Rather than define what we don’t want, define what we DO want. Their “Right to Water” stopped natural gas fracking in the city. Ordinances like this have been passed in over 150 communities in 9 states. Tune in to learn how this works. Episode 258. [paulcienfuegos.com, celdf.org,
YouTube channel “Community Rights TV” and
communityrightspdx.org]

Peak Moment TV exists because of viewers like you. Subscribe to news and donate at http://www.peakmoment.tv, right side. Thanks for being in the Peak Moment community.

“I’m not aware of any other social movement going on in the US today that has the power to challenge and win against corporate rule, push back and dismantle corporate rights, and enshrine rights for actual human beings,” asserts Community Rights educator and organizer Paul Cienfuegos.

Local Community Rights ordinances are not only stripping “rights” from corporations, but asserting that nature has rights. Two Oregon counties have submitted a “Right to Local Food Systems” ordinance which forbids genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and protects heritage seeds. Even more, it asserts the right to fully-functioning natural communities, even requiring a corporation to restore whatever it has disrupted.

Are these ordinances being challenged? Yes they are, but Paul explains how corporation leaders who want to sue are forced to do so on the community’s terms – a brilliant strategy. Episode 259. [paulcienfuegos.com, celdf.org, YouTube
channel “Community Rights TV”,
communityrightspdx.org]

Peak Moment TV exists because of viewers like you. Subscribe to news and donate at http://www.peakmoment.tv, right side. Thanks for being in the Peak Moment community.

“In 160 communities in nine states, we’ve been passing rights-based ordinances that strip corporations of their constitutional so-called rights; that enshrine the right of a local community to govern itself by community majority; and ban specific activities which are legal but which the community considers harmful.” Community Rights organizer Paul Cienfuegos notes that the laws they’re passing are illegal: “They’re direct frontal assaults to unjust law, which is how real social change happens,” like the American revolution and anti-slavery movement. He describes two recent laws now being challenged in major lawsuits, saying organizers are positively excited about this opportunity. Episode 274. [paulcienfuegos.com, celdf.org, YouTube
channel “CommunityRightsTV”,
communityrightspdx.org]

To watch more:
Local Communities Dismantling Corporate Rule, part 1 : http://youtu.be/8Prylnj4NQ8

Local Communities Dismantling Corporate Rule, part 2 : http://youtu.be/Smu0x05qs58

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Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

The People of Vermont vs Monsanto and the Feds

by Paul Cienfuegos

Beloved historian Howard Zinn once said, “Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. … Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running and robbing the country. …”

We all know he was right. One of the more tragic current examples of how American social movements continue to fall into this trap of civil obedience is how our anti-GMO organizations have responded to Monsanto Corporation’s proposed DARK Act, which bans states from requiring the labeling of GMO foods, and which our Congress, Senate, and President Obama all passed into law over these last few weeks, even though it was opposed by 90% of Americans. Because the DARK Act is now law, Vermont’s existing law that requires all foods containing GMOs to be labeled, has been struck down and can no longer be enforced.

For years now, the Organic Consumers Association, Center for Food Safety, Food Democracy Now, and other national and state organizations, have been leading the American people down a path of civil obedience, consistently claiming that if they can just get more signatures on their online petitions, if they can just get another wave of donations from their millions of supporters, that they will continue to win against Monsanto Corporation and its allies. If that were actually true, the DARK Act would not have been passed by an overwhelming majority of both Democrats and Republicans, Obama would have vetoed it, and numerous states would have already successfully banned, not labeled, GMO foods. So clearly, something is terribly wrong with the strategy that these anti-GMO groups are asking us to follow. Is there a better alternative? Of course there is!

…(read more).

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Finding Opportunity in Peak Oil


peakmoment

Uploaded on Sep 25, 2008

Peak Moment 128: Molly Brown sees Peak Oil as both a challenge and an invitation to create a better world. After awakening to Peak Oil, she explored her own responses — inner attitude and outer action. Personal changes include creating a vegie garden and bicycling. Noting that individual survivalist mentality is insufficient (“we are all interconnected”), she helped form a local group to awaken and prepare her community. As a therapist, Molly sees this predicament on several levels, noting how crises have the potential to bring out the best in each of us. (www.mollyyoungbrown.com, www.apple-shasta.org)

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Hannah Holleman on environmental justice and ecological imperialism

Posted on October 22, 2016

“The pace and scale of ecological degradation we confront today is unfathomable without understanding the legacy and persistent realities of ecological imperialism.”

Hannah Holleman

Hannah Holleman is an activist and assistant professor of sociology at Amherst College in Massachusetts. Her recent articles include Method in Ecological Marxism Science and the Struggle for Change in Monthly Review (October 2015), and De-naturalizing Ecological Disaster: Colonialism, Racism, and the Global Dust Bowl of the 1930s in The Journal of Peasant Studies (July 2016).

She was interviewed for Left Voice by David Kiely.

You argue in a recent article that predominant conceptions of environmental justice are too shallow and that the environmental movement needs at its center a deeper understanding of, and commitment to, real ecological justice. Can you explain what you mean and why this is so important?

Many focus on environmental injustice as the unequal distribution of outcomes of environmental harm. Colonized or formerly colonized peoples are homogenized and described as “stakeholders” in environmental conflicts. Mainstream environmental organizations, those on the privileged side of the segregated environmental movement globally, and more linked to power, are encouraged to diversify their staff and memberships and pay attention to issues of “justice.” However, the deeper aspects of social domination required to maintain the economic, social, and environmental status quo often are denied, minimized, or simply ignored.

Ignoring the systemic and historical injustice that makes current inequalities possible allows environmentalists and other activists, as Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz writes, “to safely put aside present responsibility for continued harm done by that past and questions of reparations, restitution, and reordering society,” when discussing current, interrelated environmental and social problems. Superficial approaches to addressing racism, indigenous oppression, and other forms of social domination preclude the possibility of a deeper solidarity across historical social divisions. However, this kind of solidarity is exactly what we need to build a movement capable of challenging the status quo and making systemic, lasting change that is socially and ecologically restorative and just.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Climate Change and Sustainable Development: Editor: Ruth Reck

These chapters explore the impact and related policy implications of climate change on our planet. The need for sustainable development is discussed from many different perspectives. It is presented at the upper level of undergraduate higher education, with ideas on how to use this book in the classroom and questions to help students to review the material.

The editor is Dr. Ruth Reck, Professor of Land, Air and Water Resources at the University of California, Davis. In the Preface, Harvard Professor, Michael B. McElroy, says: “This volume offers a comprehensive introduction to the challenge posed by climate change for a sustainable global and specifically human societal future.

The issues are clearly enunciated in the introductory paper by Professor Reck and are elaborated further in the wide-ranging series of papers that follow. Professor Reck makes a persuasive case for the need to introduce upper level undergraduates to this important topic. She offers an imaginative strategy as to how this volume could be used to educate and to stimulate debate following the creative approach implemented in the highly successful course she has taught over the past several years at the University of California, Davis.”

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Park Avenue: money, power and the American dream – Why Poverty?


THE WHY

Published on Jan 5, 2013

How much inequality is too much? To find out more and get teaching resources linked to the film, go to www.whypoverty.net

740 Park Ave, New York City, is home to some of the wealthiest Americans. Across the Harlem River, 10 minutes to the north, is the other Park Avenue in South Bronx, where more than half the population needs food stamps and children are 20 times more likely to be killed. In the last 30 years, inequality has rocketed in the US — the American Dream only applies to those with money to lobby politicians for friendly bills on Capitol Hill.

Director Alex Gibney
Producer Blair Foster
Produced by Jigsaw Productions & Steps International

Why Poverty? http://www.whypoverty.net/en/video/29/

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice