Posts Tagged ‘global warming’

HOW TO FIGHT CORPORATISTS

May 14, 2011
Mr. Pugger at the T.V.

Repeata por favor: WHY?

Word is that jobs – employment – and the economy are the priority.  Global warming and climate change must take a back seat.  However, one isn’t exclusive of the other.  The two are compatible and complementary.

For example, make every roof in the United States white.  Spend bailout money for labor and materials to Re-roof the Nation, changing every single dark-roofed structure in the country, using ONLY U.S. manufactured materials and union family-wage labor.  This simple action will significantly lower the planetary temperature, and start the nation moving on the rehabilatation and restoration of our environment.

Get real.  Quit subsidizing the poisonous consumer culture.  Why do we support a consumption-based capitalist system?  Why are there no options to lifetime indenture to a corporate behemoth?  Why are we dutifully trudging forward on a downward path to oblivion?  Why are we giving up, surrendering individuality, self-sufficiency, and independent living for a voluntary enslavement to a destructive ethos that is killing the planet?

Why are our leaders so clueless?  The facts are plain, the evidence overwhelming, and the results self-evident before our very eyes.  We’ve flunked any “stewardship of the earth” test in favor of an “eat everything in sight” survival panic.  We have overgrazed our range.  Starvation may finally depopulate our habitat.  Climate change may cleanse it via our extinction.  Hopefully, tenacious life will find a new way with a new shepherd who truly minds the flock, instead of one whose only thought is to fleece and eat it.  JL/12-09

Here are some good ways to fight back and unplug from the corporatist state.  

10 Ways to Stop Corporate Dominance of Politics** (Adapted abstract from Fran Korten, YES! Magazine – Link below).

The Supreme Court decision to allow unlimited corporate spending in politics is outrageous.  What can be done?  10 ideas:

1.   Amend U.S. Constitution to declare that corporations are not persons and do not have the rights of human beings.

Congresswoman Donna Edwards and constitutional law professor Jamie Raskin speak out against the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC and call for a mass movement of people to support a constitutional amendment. Visit FreeSpeechforPeople.org to learn more and get involved! READ MORE: http://www.alternet.org/blogs/rights/145361/a_constitutional_amendment_to_wrench_control_away_from_the_corporations/

2.   Require shareholders to approve political spending by their corporations. Britain has required shareholder approval since 2000.

Thomas Paine, American patriot and author warned us to watch, guide, and stop the powerful elite if we want humanity in general to succeed.  Paine proposed that any bill that enriches a corporation or grants a corporate charter should be enacted in one session of the legislature, and confirmed in a second, AFTER A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE, to stop corporate raids on the public treasury.  READ MORE: https://johnlegry.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/independence-day-2009/

3.    Pass Fair Elections Now Act for federal financing for Congressional elections.

4.    Give qualified candidates equal amounts of free broadcast air time.

We need a reformed public ownership of uncensored airwaves, subject to strong democratic citizen oversight.  Free PBS and the Wilson Center!

5.    Ban political advertising by corporations that receive government money, hire lobbyists, or collect most of their revenue abroad.

6.    Impose a 500 percent excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees and corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns.  Representative Alan Grayson (D-Florida) proposes this, calling it “The Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act.”

7.    Prohibit companies from trading their stock on national exchanges if they make political contributions and expenditures.  Another Grayson, which he calls “The Public Company Responsibility Act.”

8.    Require publicly traded companies to disclose in SEC filings money used to influence public opinion.  Grayson calls this “The Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act.”

More details are available on the congressman’s Web site. READ MORE: http://www.alternet.org/politics/145339/grayson%3A_fight_now_or_%27kiss_your_country_goodbye%27_to_exxon%2C_wal-mart

9.    Require the corporate CEO to appear as sponsor of political commercials that his or her company pays for.  A personal favorite: let’s see these sleezebags shill their own dirty work.

10.  Publicize reform options, inform the public of who is making contributions to whom, and activate the citizenry.  Citizens must act.  Grassroots anger at corporate power is high, and when the public is angry, action is inevitable.

** READ MORE: Fran Korten, YES! Magazine http://www.alternet.org/rights/145441/10_ways_to_stop_corporate_dominance_of_politics

10 Ways to Screw Over the Corporate Jackals Who’ve Been Screwing You By Scott Thill, AlterNet.

Tired of getting pushed around by faceless big business? Here are 10 ways to push back!

Our global culture is rife with users, and we just sit back and take it.  No more.  Drop these bombs.  You’ll get change faster than you can say, “Teabag this!”

1. Mortgage underwater? Just walk away from it. Even academia says it’s OK. Move to the city and rent.  You’ll end up there anyway when your suburb runs out of water and malls.  One can have a good credit rating again — meaning above 660 — within two years after a foreclosure.

2. Unplug your cable. The easiest way to kill the so-called news networks is to cut them off at their enablers.  Pull your cable bill’s plug, or shut down your satellite.  Cable companies balk at offering channels on an a la carte basis and instead raise the price of their mediocre bundled offerings.  You don’t need old-school TV anymore.  In our digital age, you can go online for news and entertainment.  Streaming video sites like YouTube, or torrents, which are the future now, offer most favorites.  The BitTorrent protocol houses the people’s media library, dedicated not just to pimping out the same crap seen on network and cable, but often stunning artistry left for dead by the side of the mainstream.  Murdoch and other media asshats will hate you for unsubscribing, but you won’t miss 80 percent of the shit you watched when it’s gone.

3. Kill your landline. Chances are, your carrier is a privacy sellout you’re already paying double.  If you have a cell account, you don’t need a landline, so they’re just jacking you for money.  Nowadays, there are easier ways to chat up your pals, from Twitter and Facebook to Apple’s iChat, for free, riding the Internet.  Bottom line? Landlines are just ways to chain your wallet to the wall.

4. Reacquire your wealth. The easiest way for the Federal Reserve to pick your pocket is through your accounts and investments, which can be liquidated in the blink of a discount window‘s eye.  Withdraw cash, close accounts, and take it somewhere besides Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase or another bailout addict.  Right now, worry about another economic clusterfuck.  Banks left standing after the financial crashes are fatter than ever, hoarding cash instead of lending it to survive the next crisis they have already priced into the market.  Thanks to Congress, the Fed and the last two administrations, they’ve got your cash sitting in their vaults, whistling while they wait.  Take it out.

5. Pacify your portfolio.  Chances are you still own a retirement or investment portfolio. If you haven’t checked it out recently, chances are it’s poisoned by hyperleveraged funds invested in oil, housing, malls, SUVs or a shady Ponzi scheme.  Get out now, unless you want to be a dick about it.  Commodities like oil and food are hot, but they’re infested by destructive speculators.

The easiest way to make change in capitalism is by manipulating your money.  Make sure your retirement isn’t invested in Exxon or worse.  Put your money in solar stocks, and forward-looking investments, if you must fund anything.  In capitalism, you are what you pay for, not what you say about what you pay for.

6. Take credit. If you have more than two credit cards, you’re simply asking for trouble.  Scoring over $38 billion in corrupt overdraft fees and dragging their well-heeled feet on foreclosure modifications, banks aren’t done squeezing the public out of its last pennies.  Stop them, cut off the money.  No extra credit?  Great, no extra crap.  Pay off the cards you keep by any means necessary, and then pay off monthly.  That pisses off credit card companies no end.

7. Avoid CDs and DVDs: At least, stuff that isn’t in collectible form.  There is still a place for material goods in our mounting environmental chaos, but it is shrinking fast, like natural resources.  Discs are wasteful and obsolete; plastic uses oil, paper uses trees and water.  You can get anything you want these days online.  CDs and DVDs are the easiest fat to axe.

8. Stop buying bottled water, factory-farmed beef and new cars, especially hybrids.  The first offense is an oil industry bailout, the second is a climate-change massacre, and the third is a waste of time and money.  Electric cars will be here soon; walk or use public transportation until then.  Have to drive miles to work? Consider how much it costs, and add that to the paycheck you could get closer to home.  Our climate crisis demands that we kill as many emissions as possible to keep the planet from overheating.  A few more degrees and we could be looking at outright extinction of the human race.  Ergo, also decrease the amount of methane farted out by hordes of cows in Cow-schwitzes across America.  If you think carbon dioxide is a killer, it’s nothing compared to methane.  Throw in the heresy of using oil to make plastic bottles to store the same water that’s no more pristine than what’s already in your tap, and you have the hat trick from hell.  If you can do only one thing on this admittedly ambitious list, do these three things for instant impact.

9. Do not watch whiny bitches.  Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and other compromised gossips ranting about everything from Tiger Woods to Barack Hussein Obama are a waste of everyone’s time, except of course the people who pay them to spout their nonsense, and those who watch it to confirm their already mindless prejudices and political objectives.  Spend your time reading and ranting about more important matters.  Like your sex life.

10. Start or join a third party. “You want the puppet on the right or the puppet on the left?”  Our country is run by a single party comprised of political animals assembling on the fence.  They will do whatever they can to stay in power, even if it is madness.

The two-party system you have today is already a three-party system, housing a well-meaning minority, middle-way sellouts and batshit loonies.  Someone needs to babysit all those kids.  Why not you?  Worried about leaving your party?  Don’t be; it already left you.  READ MORE:

http://www.alternet.org/workplace/144679/10_ways_to_screw_over_the_corporate_jackals_who%27ve_been_screwing_you?page=entire

TEABAGGER MEMORIAL


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THIS IS NOT A DRILL

January 26, 2011

The Last Bald Eagle, a Patriot's Dream

This is not a wail of sorrow, but a call to action and the elements of a plan. The Catch-22 is that each one of us, cliché, has to ACT, and oh, I wish it wasn’t so, because it’s nice just lying around, drinking beer, Chablis, so forth, munching chips, caviar, watching Oprah, whatever.

BACK STORY:

I became a genuine environmentalist while in the Navy in the second half of the Sixties. I did some South Seas reef diving and became a bogus shell collector, proud to take only “live” shells, boiling them clean when I got home, thinking that the conches smelled like particularly good seafood. The conches taught me what I needed to know. I found one lying on the sandy bottom, spotted more, and soon harvested five. Score! I took them home, and while they were boiling, did the research – which strikes me as humanity’s general approach to nature, learning about it after we’ve shot, stabbed, strangled and/or overbuilt it. On this occasion I learned that conches eat the brittle star, which eats live coral, exposing the reef to erosion, which exposes the island to the waves, which erode the island – no more island. I had helped to destroy the balance, enabling one species to overwhelm another, breaking the co-dependent chain that sustains all. My ignorance gave the planet deeper grief than could be guessed. Multiplied by a legion of ignorantly indifferent shell collectors, the islands were doomed. Adding greed and superstition to the equation, which institutionalizes and exalts ignorance, we have the entire human race’s approach to the planet today. Personal note, I never took another live shell.

Global warming, global dimming, and overpopulation beset us. We are overheating the planet, interfering with its rainfall, changing the ocean currents, destroying the bottom of the food chain, and breeding like rabbits. But, not to worry, it’s all in some cockamamie book or other; written by ancient nomadic desert dwellers that knew nothing about science, who maintained – unreasonably – that’s it’s all out of our control. Some supreme invisible sky being is “planning” everything for us and in the end, if you believe this drivel, all will come out just hunky-dory. It’s all for the best, just ask Pat Robertson, or any other nut bag right wing true believer.

The rich who benefit most from natural destruction, and all who help them, are intentionally committing high crimes and misdemeanors against life on this planet; they would be felonies if committed against human beings – “but we gotta kill those forests to feed all those babies” (lining fat pockets). Until it ends. Completely.

The numbskulls are corrupting our laws and tossing aside every value other than material profit and individual power, still subdividing farmland, planting high-rise condos on our waterfronts, eating the spoils of the global holocaust, and taking immense pride in their ability to waste gas and ruin the air in a Hummer, which they have somehow mentally transmuted to the end-all of human existence. Well, they’re about to find out how right they are. I hope those Hummers come with deep space life-support.

Many people care more about some redneck bastard’s paternity on Jerry Springer, than the planet’s survival (literally, “some redneck bastard”). Money, sex, drugs, and cheap thrills prevail – as commodity, as constant pastime, as life pursuit. It’s obvious that we’re much too stupid as a species to prevent our own extinction; it’s just too bad we have to take most other species with us when we go – bad sports us.

Alas, it was such a beautiful planet. Now, it’s on its way to becoming a lifeless and barren husk. Don’t think of it as desert, think of it as Palm Springs after all the water runs out. Mars is us.

According to the best science, we’ve got ten years left to take this issue on seriously and save our butts. It may well be less, no one can accurately predict the rate of decay. It will take most of us to accomplish any earthly salvation, but if we don’t confront and dispose of our garbage: religion; overpopulation; short-term economic self-interest; and our ostrich-like tendency to duck and cover in order to avoid seeing our approaching doom, we’re screwed.

We must stop over consumption, kick capitalism into a servant’s status in our democratic life, and curb the excesses of individual and tribal (read also national) self-interest, and put the societal kibosh on religious fanaticism – it is a mental disorder, pure and simple. Impossible, you say? That’s my point: good luck wishes and the spin of prayer are about all we seem willing to invest in our own survival. If it is impossible to resist, I want to use a different word than extinction, which the movies have helped us to accept as, oh, yes, inevitable, that. Suicide must apply, instead – insane self-extermination.

SOME FACTS:

WAYS TO REDUCE CARBON FOOTPRINTS: Abstracted:Not So Carbon FriendlyJennifer Anderson, Portland Tribune. Sound Off – www.portlandtribune.com

ACTION: Measure: Lifetime carbon dioxide saved in Metric Tons)

  • ·        Recycle newspaper, magazines, glass, plastic, and aluminum cans – 17 tons
  • ·        Replace old refrigerator with energy-efficient model – 19 tons
  • ·        Replace 10 incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient ones – 36 tons
  • ·        Replace single-glazed windows with energy-efficient windows – 21 tons
  • ·        Reduce miles driven from 231 to 155 per week – 147 tons
  • ·        Increase car fuel economy from 20 miles per gallon to 30 – 148 tons
  • ·        REDUCE NUMBER OF CHILDREN BY ONE 9,441 tons 

Data from U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s personal emissions calculator and calculations by OSU statistics professor Paul Murtaugh. Annual totals based on lifespan of 80 (female expectancy U.S.) Source: Paul Murtaugh.

Under current conditions, each child in the U.S. adds about 9,4441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the parents’ carbon legacy during his lifetime. That’s 5.7 times more than the average childless person. A child born in China has a fifth of the impact of a child born in the U.S. The carbon legacy and greenhouse gas impact of having a child is almost 20 times more important than other ecologically minded lifestyle choices like driving a fuel-efficient car, recycling or being energy-efficient. The same conclusions roughly apply to fresh water consumption.

MORE RAGING GOOD NEWS:

DROWNING – In 1994, the Smithsonian‘s Wilson Quarterly stated, “Some of the environmental changes may produce irreversible damage to the Earth’s capacity to sustain life.” The island of Tobago in the Caribbean is being inundated by 3-4 feet per year (ten times faster than ten years ago) and is expected to lose 30-40 feet per year in the next ten. “Science and technology may not be able to prevent either irreversible degradation of the environment or continued poverty for much of the world.”

Seven Feet Not Only Possible, But Likely

It’s been widely acknowledged that the IPCC estimates from 2007 are too conservative when it comes to sea level rise. Unofficial updates to that research, publicized in March 2009 at the Copenhagen Climate Congress, said at minimum the world is likely to see half a meter, with more than a meter well within the realm of possibility. A new piece in Yale Environment 360 goes beyond that.

The world’s major coastal cities will undoubtedly receive most of the attention as sea level rise threatens infrastructure. Miami tops the list of most endangered cities in the world, as measured by the value of property that would be threatened by a three-foot rise. This would flood all of Miami Beach and leave downtown Miami sitting as an island of water, disconnected from the rest of Florida. Other threatened U.S. cities include New York/Newark, New Orleans, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Tampa-St Petersburg, and San Francisco. Osaka/Kobe, Tokyo, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, London and Nagoya are among the most threatened major cities outside of North America

Preserving coastal cities will require huge public expenditures, leaving smaller coastal resort communities to fend for themselves. Manhattan, for example, is likely to beat out Nags Head, North Carolina for federal funds, a fact that recreational beach communities must recognize when planning a response to sea level rise.

Which brings up the appalling fact that many cities are developing public housing in floodplains. It may be just in time for property developers to cash in before the land goes under. Will we, the dense public, be invited to bail out subsequently sinking subsidized housing? Will we eventually build seawalls thirty feet high at public expense to protect uninsurable money pits?

SUFFOCATING – We may not have to worry about that. If the Arctic becomes six degrees warmer, half the world’s permafrost will likely thaw, probably to a depth of a few metres, releasing most of the carbon and methane accumulated there over thousands of years say experts on permafrost. Methane is a 25 times more potent warming gas than carbon dioxide (CO2). This why some climate scientists call for a rapid phaseout of fossil fuels, recommending that emissions peak by 2015 and decline three per cent per year.

Meanwhile, energy experts believe a new generation of low-cost, thin-film solar roof and outside wall coverings being made today has the potential to eliminate burning coal and oil to generate electricity – if governments have the political will to fully embrace green technologies. Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/09/20-2

We have to stand up to those fossil fuel giants and make them stand down. They are working against all life as we know it. There is NO excuse for it.

GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT – As to population, experts predict twice as many people in the United States by the year 2050. More babies are being born today than during the so-called “Baby-Boomer” generation and we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet! The ridiculous taboos around the issue of human population – usually “politically correct” arguments of small practical value – are a direct threat to our own dear, precious, misdirected, unthinking selves. We’re breeding ourselves out of room.

No brainer: unchecked growth demands greater and greater amounts of shrinking resources. The scale of many of our dilemmas – e.g. public health and housing – is attributable to too many people competing for too few resources in too small a space. Get a clue! It would seem, therefore, that some education and some action on this issue might be in order. Yet, religious institutions militantly urge membership to procreate, and sponsor armies of child-producing sectarian immigrants. Business leadership focuses on lower wages, larger markets and plentiful cheap labor. Timorous local, state and federal elected leaders bicker over tax-funded population education, and resist tax-funded birth prevention. We argue over sex education, birth control, and abortion while our overcrowded house burns down. But we can get kiddie porn on the Comcast cable monopoly!

The nation has conducted the biggest prison-building program in history, even as the hard crime rate falls. This may be due to “effective community policing,” but it is also systematic suppression of a youthful surplus male underclass without family wage jobs. Statistically, economic development largely benefits a relatively small group of players: nine-tenths of the people grin and bear eroding livability, falling wages and rising prices in a rat race fueled by non-productive speculation. We have, created whole new crimes – e.g. “simple” marijuana possession – and longer “minimum” sentences to keep our disaffected unemployed off our city streets.

For many leaders, there is no apparent alternative. Most business, elected and mainstream media leadership extols an almost mystical faith in “growth,” pursuing mythical future taxes that can never catch up with the infrastructure stresses the growth produces – particularly as corporately manipulated voters cut off tax money via “popular” ballot initiatives, and corporate lawyers run loops around the bureaucrats, do-gooders and the long-suffering public.

HOPE, THOUGH – We can turn the whole thing around right now if we have the courage to do it. We can join action committees, raise our voices in common cause to insist on green jobs, rebuild our decaying infrastructure and repair the damages of unchecked “growth and development;” there’s plenty of money, and posterity in that. Let’s clean up the Super Fund and Brown Sites – there’s work there for generations and we can charge the polluters for the damages – why shouldn’t they pay for their own destructive mess? Franklin Roosevelt improved our National Parks; they all need a spruce up right now. We can make the corporations pay us to reforest the slopes and lands they have butchered in their quest for the almighty dollar. We can make them pay a fair price for the minerals and resources they tear out of public lands for $5 per acre; why are we giving away our gold in the ground without a public cut? Cries for private enterprise are all well and good, but the public has a collective need for a life free from want and fear – have we forgotten that? Why should we let one class of narrow-minded, mean-spirited, selfish people stand in the way of the rest of humanity and planetary survival? What is this, Easter Island all over on a global scale? Let’s build those damned statues, gang, it’s all they’ll remember us by, whoever they may be. What a race of wusses we have become. Bawk-bawk-bawk, hear the chickens squawk.

RELATED:

“We have it in our power to remake the world!” – Thomas Paine, American author, patriot, founder.

NOTABLE FINAL THOUGHTS:

In 1956, C. Wright Mills wrote in the Power Elite:

“Two things are needed in a democracy: articulate and knowledgeable publics, and political leaders who, if not men of reason, are at least reasonably responsible to such knowledgeable publics as exist. Such a public and such leaders – either of power or of knowledge – do not now prevail, and knowledge does not now have democratic relevance in America.”

The rich are generally blind or indifferent to the social consequences of ignoring the welfare of the general citizenry. In the end, we all pay for their selfish indifference. If we, the people don’t get smart pretty quickly, we, the people will perish much sooner than expected, and NOT due to any particular plan, but simply because of plain old human selfishness and self-deception. The rich will succeed in killing us; our only consolation is that we will take them with us. Won’t we?

The time for each one to reach one, each one to teach one, is NOW.

“Act. There may be no result in your lifetime, but without action, there will be no result at all.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

Worthy and Effective Progressive Volunteer Action Groups:

 

  • AVAAZ
  • http://www.moveon.org/?skip=1
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • MOVETOAMEND

     

    Eve of Extinction

     

    IS IT SAFE TO COME OUT, YET?

    July 30, 2010

    OUR SHAME

    Oil Leases Cancelled in Gulf, Atlantic
    The Center for Biological Diversity applauded this Wednesday when the Obama administration cancelled two offshore oil and gas lease sales: one in the Atlantic, off Virginia, and one in the western Gulf of Mexico. The Atlantic lease sale was in a controversial area approved by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for expanded offshore oil development after the Bush administration lifted the Atlantic drilling moratorium. The lease sale in the Gulf was scheduled to take place next month. In cancelling the sales, the government admitted it needs more time to improve the safety of offshore oil and gas development and provide greater environmental protection to  substantially reduce the risk of catastrophic events like another massive oil spill.
    “President Obama’s decision to cancel these lease sales recognizes that risky offshore drilling needs reform,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center. “In light of the BP oil spill, the president should pull back from the entire plan to expand offshore drilling and instead pursue clean energy.”

    Check out our press release and learn the latest on the Gulf disaster. Then take action to tell the administration to end all dangerous offshore drilling.

    LIFE INSURANCE FOR THE PLANET:

    There is no life insurance policy for planet earth.  The fate of our planet is painful to think about.  It is decades since we first became concerned about pollution, water scarcity, wastes, pesticides, overpopulation and erosion.  Under Ronald Reagan the country turned away from such problems, but today they are the problems we fear most.  They are global and potentially irreversible.  They include the build-up of greenhouse gases, the thinning of the ozone layer, destruction of rain forests and accelerating extinctions of other species.  Some would say they are impossible to stop.  The world’s economy is built into them.

    Yet, as Jonathan Weiner writes in The Next One Hundred Years, the changes trouble even those who try to ignore them and worry only about whether the old garage is sagging or the mortgage is due.  A question mark curls above our roofs and makes a mockery of our hopes.  If the earth is falling apart, there go the plans for summer vacation.

    As we locally chop down trees and cover arable earth with concrete, we should bear in mind the ecological limits of what we do.  The same is true of the industry we attract and of the population we propose to support in our regional environment.  In Multnomah County, Oregon, they plan to add more hundreds of thousands of people by deliberate design, less an act of planning than of whistling while walking through the graveyard.

    There are public policy questions that have not been adequately presented and debatedLocal media, elected officials, governmental staff and economic development and business communities have consistently pursued the “cutting edge” of the latest “growth opportunities” without equally weighing the adverse impacts potential in each of these proposed, but too often unrelated developments.  Never has the time for comprehensive and thoroughly cooperative deliberation and action been more urgent.

    Common needs for clean air, clean water and a livable future have been subordinated in the rush to insure our immediate economic well being.  While motives may be benign, it is patently obvious to all but the most self deceiving or self serving that we are in the midst of a global crisis which calls for a philosophy which protects, defends and advances the common interest. In the context of a rapidly diminishing resource pool, in the face of rising and conceivably irreversible environmental damage, it is beyond foolishness to persist in an economic expansionism that degrades and erodes the livability of our common home.

    All local elected officials should plan from a basis which explores the possibility of sustainability, including revenue sharing to decrease conflict over development opportunities and inappropriate public incentives which pit one community against another.  No jurisdiction should function without regard for its neighbors and friends and our shared earth.

    Never in world history has humankind been so powerful in its geophysical impact on the planet.  As hard as the weaning may be, business as usual no longer makes sense.  If we are, as some scientists term us, homo sapiens sapiens, man the doubly wise, let’s prove it before we lose it.

    Choices.

    LET’S HEAR IT FOR BIOMASS!

    “To the massmoss with this wingéd fruitcake!” – The Tyrant, Barbarella.

    Hemp biomass for fuel would be cleaner and more economical than any other source.  Corn is the least efficient and most costly.  Hemp is easily grown almost everywhere, and completely renewable.  It is a carbon sink, cleaning the air.  10,000 acres of hemp yields as much paper as 40,000 acres of wood pulp.  It gives a far greater yield per acre, and is better for the overall health of the land.

    Sources below will tell you what there is to know in great well-documented detail.  Plus, you get to “meet” Jack Herer – a man the mystics call a “great soul.”

    Emperor of Hemp – narrated by Peter Coyote, VHS, DVD, 59 min.  Bill Maher calls it “A triumph for the open-minded.”  The story of Jack Herer, author of:The Emperor Wears No Clothes, best selling book that blows the lid off the anti-hemp conspiracy and explains all there is to know about one miraculous plant.  Available at the web site: www.emperorofhemp.com; Jack Herer’ web site home is athttp://www.jackherer.com/Both are also available through www.Amazon.com

    VIDEO: Obama Preserves Inherited Bush Abuses Friday, July 30, 2010 by The Rachel Maddow Show. http://www.commondreams.org/video/2010/07/30-0

    NEWS FROM THE FRONT

    December 11, 2009
     

     

     

    WHY?

    Word is that jobs – employment – and the economy are the priority.  Global warming and climate change must take a back seat.  However, one isn’t exclusive of the other.  The two are compatible and complementary.

    For example, make every roof in the United States white.  Spend bailout money for labor and materials to Re-roof the Nation, changing every single dark-roofed structure in the country, using ONLY U.S. manufactured materials and union family-wage labor.  This simple action will  significantly lower the planetary temperature, and start the nation moving on the rehabilatation and restoration of our environment.

    Get real.  Quit subsidizing the poisonous consumer culture.  Why do we support a consumption-based capitalist system?  Why are there no options to lifetime indenture to a corporate behemoth?  Why are we dutifully trudging forward on a downward path to oblivion?  Why are we giving up, surrendering individuality, self-sufficiency, and independent living for a voluntary enslavement to a destructive ethos that is killing the planet?

    Why are our leaders so clueless?  The facts are plain, the evidence overwhelming, and the results self-evident before our very eyes.  We’ve flunked any “stewardship of the earth” test in favor of an “eat everything in sight” survival panic.  So we overgraze our range.  Starvation will finally depopulate our habitat.  Climate change will cleanse it via our extinction.  Hopefully, tenacious life will find a new way with a new shepherd who truly minds the flock, instead of one whose only thought is to fleece and eat it.  JL/12-09 

    Zinn’s ‘People’s History’ Masterwork Hits the History Channel By Dave Zirin, AlterNet.

    Don’t miss Howard Zinn’s ‘Voices of a People’s History’ debut on the History Channel on December 13th.

    On December 13th, a date I’ve basically had tattooed on my arm like the guy from Memento, The People Speak finally makes its debut on the History Channel. This is more than just must-see-TV. It is nothing less than the life’s work of “people’s historian” Howard Zinn brought to life by some of the most talented actors, musicians, and poets in the country. Howard Zinn and his partner Anthony Arnove chose the most stirring political passages in Zinn’s classic A People’s History of the United States, creating a written anthology called Voices of a People’s History of the United States. Those “voices” have now been fully resurrected by a collection of performers ranging from Matt Damon to hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco to poet Staceyann Chin.  READ MORE:

    http://www.alternet.org/rights/144486/zinn%27s_%27people%27s_history%27_masterwork_hits_the_history_channel

    Dear Barack, Spare Me Your E-Mails By Robert Scheer, Truthdig.

    Barack Obama’s faux populism is beginning to grate, and when yet another one of those “we the people” e-mails from the president landed on my screen as I was fishing around for a column subject, I came unglued. It is one thing to rob us blind by rewarding the power elite that created our problems but quite another to sugarcoat it in the rhetoric of a David taking on those Goliaths.

    In each of the three most important areas of policy with which he has dealt, Obama speaks in the voice of the little people’s champion, but his actions cater fully to the demands of the most powerful economic interests.  READ MORE:

    http://www.alternet.org/politics/144500/dear_barack%2C_spare_me_your_e-mails

    Supreme Court’s Ruling Would Allow Bin Laden to Donate to Sarah Palin’s Presidential Campaign By Greg Palast, AlterNet.

    I’m biting my nails waiting for the Supreme Court’s ruling in ‘Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission’ — here’s why you should be too.

    Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which could come down as early as Tuesday, at issue: whether corporations, as “unnatural persons,” can make contributions to political campaigns.

    The outcome is foregone: the five GOP appointees to the court are expected to use the case to junk federal laws that now bar corporations from stuffing campaign coffers.

    Technically, there’s a narrower matter before the court in this case: whether the McCain-Feingold Act may prohibit corporations from funding “independent” campaign advertisements such as the “Swift Boat” ads that smeared John Kerry. However, campaign finance reformers are steeling themselves for the court’s right wing to go much further, knocking down all longstanding rules against donations by corporate treasuries.

    Allowing company campaign spending will not, as progressives fear, cause an avalanche of corporate cash into politics. Sadly, that’s already happened: we have been snowed under by tens of millions of dollars given through corporate PACs and “bundling” of individual contributions from corporate pay-rollers.

    The court’s expected decision is far, far more dangerous to U.S. democracy. Think: Manchurian candidates.  READ MORE:

    http://www.alternet.org/rights/144502/supreme_court%27s_ruling_would_allow_bin_laden_to_donate_to_sarah_palin%27s_presidential_campaign

    Center Goes to Copenhagen — Watch Footage and Check Out Our Blog

    This week, the Center for Biological Diversity is at the center of the action in Copenhagen for the United Nations global warming talks, taking a stand for our climate and broadcasting the dire need for President Barack Obama to promote an agreement that will prevent climate catastrophe. On Tuesday, we released a report showing that Obama has clear legal authority — not to mention the obligation — to commit the United States to meaningful greenhouse gas pollution reductions without waiting for Congress to act, and without paying heed to the grossly inadequate cap-and-trade bill currently under debate. The Center’s Climate Law Institute Director Kassie Siegel spoke alongside other legal and policy experts on how Obama can and must return the United States to a position of global leadership on climate change before it’s too late.

    Siegel, Senior Attorney Vera Pardee, and Public Lands Director Brendan Cummings are bringing us exciting daily reports and photos from the scene.

    Check out this video in a New York Times blog and read the Center’s Copenhagen blog, full of photos, more video footage, a slideshow, and daily updates on the most important global negotiations of our time. And check back in tomorrow, when Siegel will give a Copenhagen briefing to bloggers and online media around the world.

    Victory is a state of mind.

    SAVE THE WORLD TO DO LIST

    October 26, 2009

    What?

    Michael Moore’s Action Plan: 15 Things Every American Can Do Right Now By Michael Moore, MichaelMoore.com.

    5 things to demand Obama and Congress to do immediately, 5 things the politicians must hear from us, 5 things we should do to protect ourselves and family.

    Friends,

    It’s the #1 question I’m constantly asked after people see my movie: “OK — so now what can I do?!”  You want something to do? Well, you’ve come to the right place! ‘Cause I got 15 things you and I can do right now to fight back and try to fix this very broken system.  Here they are:

    FIVE THINGS WE DEMAND THE PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS DO IMMEDIATELY:

    1.      Declare a moratorium on all home evictions.

    2.      Congress must join the civilized world and expand Medicare For All Americans. The bill to make this happen is called H.R. 3200 (but only with Rep. Anthony Weiner’s amendment). You must call AND write your members of Congress and demand its passage, no compromises allowed.

    3.      Demand publicly-funded elections and a prohibition on elected officials leaving office and becoming lobbyists. Tell your members of Congress they must support campaign finance bill H.R.1826.

    4.      Each of the 50 states must create a state-owned public bank like they have in North Dakota.  Reinstate all the strict pre-Reagan regulations on all commercial banks, investment firms, insurance companies (Click here for some info about the state-owned Bank of North Dakota.)

    5.      Save this fragile planet and declare that all the energy resources above and beneath the ground are owned collectively by all of us. (For more on this, here’s a proposal I wrote in December.)

    FIVE THINGS WE CAN DO TO MAKE CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT LISTEN TO US:

    1.      Each of us must get into the daily habit of taking 5 minutes to make four brief calls: One to the President (202-456-1414), one to your Congressperson (202-224-3121) and one to each of your two Senators (202-224-3121). To find out who represents you, click here.  Trust me, they will listen. If you have another five minutes, click here to send them each an email. And if you really want to drop an anvil on them, send them a snail mail letter!

    2.      Take over your local Democratic Party.  When you all become the local Democratic Party, send me a photo of the group and I’ll post it on my website.

    3.      Recruit someone to run for office who can win in your local elections next year — or, better yet, consider running for office yourself! Check out examples of regular citizens who got elected.  The list goes on and on — and you should be on it!

    4.      Show up. Picket the local branch of a big bank that took the bailout money.  Make some noise, have some fun, get on the local news.

    5.      Start your own media.  Start a blog! Start a website.  Tweet your friends and use Facebook. The daily papers are dying.  Fill that void.

    FIVE THINGS WE SHOULD DO TO PROTECT OURSELVES AND OUR LOVED ONES UNTIL WE GET THROUGH THIS MESS:

    1.      Take your money out of your bank if it took bailout money and place it in a locally-owned bank or, preferably, a credit union.

    2.      Get rid of all your credit cards but one — the kind where you have to pay up at the end of the month or you lose your card.

    3.      Do not invest in the stock market.  Buy very safe government savings bonds or T-bills. Or just buy your mother some flowers.

    4.      Unionize your workplace so that you and your coworkers have a say in how your business is run. Here’s how to do it (more info here).  Turn your business into a worker-owned cooperative. You are not a wage slave.

    5.      Take care of yourself and your family.  Turn off the TV and the Blackberry and go for a 30-minute walk every day.

    I’m sure there are many other ideas you can come up with on how we can build this movement. Get creative.  And when you act, send me your stories, your photos and your video — and be sure to post your ideas in the comments beneath this letter on my site so they can be shared with millions.

    C’mon people — we can do this! I expect nothing less of all of you, my true and trusted fellow travelers!

    Yours, Michael Moore

    MMFlint@aol.com, MichaelMoore.com

    READ MORE:

    http://www.alternet.org/action/143444/michael_moore%27s_action_plan%3A_15_things_every_american_can_do_right_now?page=3

    Inter Press Service

    American Public More Complacent About Climate Change by Jim Lobe.

    WASHINGTON – Less than two months before a key international conference on curbing climate change, a major U.S. poll has found a sharp drop in public concern about global warming.

    According to the survey by the Pew Research Centre for the People & the Press, 65 percent of the public believes that warming constitutes either a “very serious” (35 percent) or “somewhat serious” (30 percent) problem, down from 79 percent in July 2006 and from 73 percent just 18 months ago.

    The survey also recorded a sharp drop in the percentage of the public that believes that “there is solid evidence the Earth is warming” – down from 71 percent in April, 2008, to 57 percent – and in the percentage that believes global warming is caused primarily by human activity – from 47 percent to 36 percent over the same period.

    The survey of 1,500 adult respondents comes was released just six weeks before the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen where the representatives of 192 nations will gather to hash out the basic principles of a treaty to curb global emissions of greenhouse gases that virtually all climate and atmospheric scientists agree constitute the major cause of global warming.  READ MORE:

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/10/23-0

    Koi Pond

    IT’S GOTTA PEAK BY 2015

    October 19, 2009
    Peaceable Kingdom

    Peaceable Kingdom

    CARBON EMISSIONS MUST PEAK BY 2015: UN Climate Scientist Agence France-Presse

    PARIS – The UN’s top climate scientist on Thursday urged a key conference on global warming to set tough mid-term goals and warned carbon emissions had to peak by 2015 to meet a widely-shared vision.

    Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said the talks in Copenhagen in December must focus on 2020, a far more important target than mid-century.

    “Strong, urgent and effective action” is needed, Pachauri told a meeting of ministers of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris.

    “It is not enough to set any aspirational goal for 2050, it is critically important that we bring about a commitment to reduce emissions effectively by 2020,” he said.

    Pachauri added that over the last two years he had witnessed “a massive explosion of awareness and therefore willingness to take action” in climate change.

    But, he said, the deal in Copenhagen had to be consistent with the findings of scientists, who say greenhouse gases that trap heat from the Sun are already affecting the climate system, and grave potential problems lie ahead.

    The Group of Eight (G8) and other countries have endorsed the target of pegging warming to no more than two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.

    Pachauri said this target “is not without some fairly serious impact.” Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/10/16-0

    The Edge.

    The Edge.

    “This is the hour,

    O my soul,

    The day erased,

    The lesson done.”

    POLLUTER BORN EVERY MINUTE

    September 14, 2009

    Coming to America -Triptych

    [See also POLLUTER BORN EVERY MINUTE reprise for full post]

    TOO DAMNED MANY PEOPLE

    WAYS TO REDUCE CARBON FOOTPRINTS:

    ACTION: (Measure: Lifetime carbon dioxide saved in Metric Tons. Data from U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s personal emissions calculator and calculations by OSU statistics professor Paul Murtaugh.  Annual totals based on lifespan of 80 – female expectancy U.S.  Source: Paul Murtaugh).

    Recycle newspaper, magazines, glass, plastic, and aluminum cans – 17 tons

    Replace old refrigerator with energy-efficient model – 19 tons

    Replace 10 incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient ones – 36 tons

    Replace single-glazed windows with energy-efficient windows – 21 tons

    Reduce miles driven from 231 to 155 per week – 147 tons

    Increase car’s fuel economy from 20 miles per gallon to 30 – 148 tons

    REDUCE NUMBER OF CHILDREN BY ONE  – 9,441 tons

    Under current conditions, each child in the U.S. adds about 9,4441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the parents’ carbon legacy during his lifetime.  That’s 5.7 times more than the average childless person.

    A child born in China has a fifth of the impact of a child born in the U.S.

    The carbon legacy and greenhouse gas impact of having a child is almost 20 times more important than other ecologically minded lifestyle choices like driving a fuel-efficient car, recycling or being energy-efficient.

    The same conclusions also roughly apply to fresh water consumption. Fresh water has been and will continue to be cause for international conflict. The amount of fresh water on planet earth is finite and we’re running out.

    Many children are born to people who are not ready or willing to raise them.

    Many parents are less ecologically responsible out of convenience, e.g. using disposable instead of cloth diapers; buying an SUV instead of a compact (“The family is so much safer.”  Not in the long run, Mom; bad choice for the grand children too, if any).

    Abstracted: “Not So Carbon Friendly” Jennifer Anderson, Portland Tribune.  Sound Off – Comment: www.portlandtribune.com

    TIME IS SHORT

    According to the best science, we’ve got ten years left to take this issue on seriously and save our butts.  It may well be less, no one can accurately predict the rate of decay.  It will take most of us to accomplish any earthly salvation, but if we don’t confront and dispose of our garbage, which includes, but is not limited to: religion; overpopulation; short-term economic self-interest; and our ostrich-like tendency to duck and cover in order to avoid seeing our approaching doom, we’re screwed.

    We must stop over consumption, kick capitalism into a servant’s status in our democratic life, and curb the excesses of individual and tribal (read also national) self-interest.  Impossible, you say?  That’s my point: good luck and the spin of prayer is about all we seem willing to invest in our own survival.

    Homo sapiens, Man the “wise,” we called ourselves; Homo sapiens sapiens, man the “doubly wise” some scientists call us now.  Yeah, right.  First step: pick up the shovel and find a place to pitch in; there’s a lot of work to do quickly, and it must be done well.  No me-first crap, one for all and all for one.  Meet you in the trenches.

    A GOOD Place to Start: Center for Biological Diversity

    Slaughtered Dolphins - Japan

    Japanese fishermen riding a boat loaded with slaughtered dolphins at a blood-covered water cove in Taiji harbor, Japan’s Wakayama prefecture. US environmentalist Ric O’Barry has filmed dolphin hunting at the town of Taiji as an eco-documentary called “The Cove” which has started screening in the US.(AFP/HO/File)

    Published on Friday, September 11, 2009 by Agence France Presse

    Japanese Town Starts Dolphin Hunt Under global Spotlight by Kyoko Hasegawa.

    TAIJI, Japan – To animal rights activists it’s a cruel and bloody slaughter; for Japanese it’s a long tradition: this week fishermen in a picturesque coastal town embarked on their annual dolphin hunt.  Every year, crews in motorboats here have rounded up about 2,000 of the sea mammals, banged metal poles to herd them into a small, rocky cove and killed them with harpoons, sparing a few dozen for sale to marine aquariums.

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/09/11-4

    AMERICAN DUMMIES

    September 5, 2009

    doodoocaacaapoopoo

     RECENT NEWS FROM THE FRONT:

    Published on Thursday, September 3, 2009 by the Associated PressWe Are Heading Towards an Abyss’ U.N. chief tells 150 governments that time running out on climate change.  GENEVA – U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon told a meeting of some 150 governments on Thursday that time is running out for a new climate deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/09/03

    Published on Friday, September 4, 2009 by The Guardian/UK Global Warming Has Made Arctic Summers Hottest for 2,000 Years. The Arctic has warmed as a result of climate change, despite the Earth being farther from the sun during summer months by Ian Sample.  Warming as a result of increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has overwhelmed a millennia-long cycle of natural cooling in the Arctic, raising temperatures in the region to their highest for at least 2,000 years, according to a report.

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/09/04-3

    Published on Friday, September 4, 2009 by The Guardian/UK Current Economic Growth Model Is ‘Immoral’, Says Prescott. With the world’s population growing to nine million by 2050, Britain’s former deputy PM predicts far more crucial and complex talks in Copenhagen than in Kyoto by Jonathan Watts.  John Prescott, the former UK climate negotiator, called on developed nations today to accept a new model of economic growth that would create a more equitable spread of carbon emissions in the world. Speaking to the Guardian in Beijing, Prescott said talks at Copenhagen would probably not be decided until an 11th-hour crisis, but that no global consensus could be reached without a fairer spread of emissions.

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/09/04-8

    Verizon Wireless Faces Ire Over Mountaintop Removal Rally

    Currently, Verizon Wireless is cosponsoring a pro-mountaintop-removal, anti-climate, anti-union Labor Day rally — and the Center for Biological Diversity is leading a pressure campaign to compel a quick about-face. Massey Energy’s “Friends of America” rally, to be held atop a former surface mine in West Virginia next Monday, will cheer for the devastating practice of mountaintop-removal coal mining, which blows up mountains and chokes waterways with debris in Appalachian habitat. The rally, organized by coal giant Massey Energy, will guest-star global warming denier Lord Christopher Monckton, and boasts an on-site anti-climate legislation petition to sign. Further, the rally’s Web site homepage shockingly features the company’s CEO on video accusing “environmental extremists” of destroying jobs by opposing mountaintop removal. (Meanwhile, the rally is competing with the nearby 71st annual United Coal Workers of America Labor Day celebration for attendees.)

    But thanks to the Center’s immediate leap into action and bold national grassroots campaign, Verizon Wireless may be losing more than a few of its 87 million customers: Thousands of them are asking, Can you hear us now? and pledging to spend their money with their conscience. On August 30, the Center notified Verizon Wireless’ CEO in no uncertain terms that Verizon must withdraw support for the rally and mountaintop removal or we’d have to tell our 225,000 supporters why we left their pro-coal, anti-environmentalist, anti-union company. Now we’ve joined forces with CREDO Action, and in just three days our concerned citizens submitted 69,000 letters and made hundreds of phone calls to Verizon telling it to drop the rally.

    Join us in commanding Verizon Wireless to withdraw its sponsorship and read more about our opposition in Advertizing Age. Help submit more than 100,000 letters by Labor Day — join the cause on Facebook, tweet about Verizon, and learn why Grist magazine calls Massey’s CEO “the scariest polluter in America” in this New York Times piece.

    CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY.

    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/

    Tip o' the hat to ALL HAT NO CATTLE: Watching the Cons in Conservatism.

    Tip o' the hat to ALL HAT NO CATTLE: Watching the Cons in Conservatism.

    LEGISLATORS FOR SALE!

    August 5, 2009
    Sly hard sells Louie.

    Sly hard sells Louie.

    WOW!

    Published on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 by Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann

    LEGISLATORS FOR SALE by Keith Olbermann – VIDEO:

    http://www.commondreams.org/video/2009/08/04

    Thank you, Mr. Olbermann.

    Thank you, CommonDreams.org

    http://www.commondreams.org/

    CommonDreams.org is a national nonprofit, progressive, nonpartisan citizens’ organization founded in 1997 by political activists Craig Brown and his late wife, Lina Newhouser.  They are a powerful online voice for change in America.  With millions of monthly readers, they have become one of the top progressive websites.  Check it out.  Here’s a sample of their fare.

    LOCALIZED MAYHEM:

    Published on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 by The Nation

    Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder by Jeremy Scahill.  A former Blackwater employee and an ex-Marine who worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia.  “The two men claim that the company’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company.  the former employee also alleges that Prince ‘views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destructionof Iraqi life.'”

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/08/04-9

    THE GREEN GREEN HILLS ARE BLACK:

    Published on Monday, August 3, 2009 by Canada.com

    Carbon Credits: ‘Cure Worse Than the Disease’ by Kevin Dougherty.  QuebecCarbon credits – to package and trade offsets to greenhouse gas emissions – won’t work, says McGill University economist Christopher Green, “rejecting the argument of Premier Jean Charest who wants the Montreal Exchange to be the carbon market for all of Canada.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/08/03-6

    Published on Monday, August 3, 2009 by Inter Press Service

    The Biggest Shift from North to South: ‘Time to De-Grow’ – Q&A: Claudia Ciobanu interviews economist Serge Latouche.  BUCHAREST –  He calls for “abandoning the objective of growth for growth’s sake, an insane objective, with disastrous consequences for the environment.”  The need for a de-growth society stems from the certainty that the earth’s resources and natural cycles cannot sustain the economic growth that is the essence of capitalism and modernity.

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/08/03-2

    Published on Monday, August 3, 2009 by The Guardian/UK

    Will a Warmer World Make Us Sicker? by Roberta Kwok.  Scientists are piecing together how climate impacts disease, strange patterns are emerging: mosquito outbreaks can follow drought, shorter migrations can make butterflies sick, and more birds (not fewer) can ward off West Nile virus.  From Conservation magazine, part of the Guardian Environment Network.  In the late 1990s, a set of alarming maps created a stir in the scientific community. “Based on predictions by a team of Dutch and Australian researchers and initially published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the maps charted how global warming could increase the risk of malaria in seemingly unlikely locales: northern countries such as Poland, the Netherlands, and Russia.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/08/03-3

    Published on Monday, August 3, 2009 by The Independent/UK

    Warning: Oil Supplies Are Running Out Fast by Steve ConnorCatastrophic shortfalls threaten economic recovery, says world’s top energy economist.  “The world is heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery because most of the major oil fields in the world have passed their peak production, a leading energy economist has warned.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/08/03

    Published on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 by The Globe and Mail (Canada)

    Modified Corn Seeds Sow Doubts by Martin MittelstaedtNext spring, farmers in Canada will be able to sow one of the most complicated genetically engineered plants ever designed, a futuristic type of corn containing eight foreign genes.  “But a controversy has arisen over the new seeds, which were approved for use last month by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency: Health Canada hasn’t assessed their safety.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/08/04-5

    Published on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 by The Guardian/UK

    Crackdown Against ‘Environmental Criminals’ Follows Greenpeace Report by Damian Carrington and Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro.  Shoe Brands Get Tough on Leather Suppliers to Save Amazon Rainforest.  Some of the world’s top footwear brands, including Clarks, Adidas, Nike and Timberland, have demanded an immediate moratorium on destruction of the Amazon rainforest from their leather suppliers in Brazil.

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/08/04-1

    Published on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 by The Guardian/UK

    Obama’s Green Credentials Tested by Battle Against Mountaintop Mining by Suzanne Goldenberg.  James Hansen and Darryl Hannah among those opposing open-cast coal extraction that destroys mountains and forests.  “Like other opponents of mountaintop removal, [they] had been counting on Obama, with his election promises of a clean energy economy, to shift the power balance away from coal. But those hopes evaporated in May when the EPA signed 42 permits for mountaintop removal while turning down only six — a higher ratio even than during the latter part of the George Bush presidency. Some 170 more permits are pending, according to the Sierra Club.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/08/04-2

    Koi Pond

    AVAAZ – “VOICES”

    July 16, 2009

    This is a very interesting group.  They’re doing a lot of good and significant things for the right reasons, using positive methods. 

    ABOUT AVAAZ Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means “voice” in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Buenos Aires, and Geneva.

    Dear friends,

    Here’s a quick report back on recent campaigning at Avaaz. Our community has grown like wildfire and is becoming really extraordinary — the pace and impact of our advocacy is intense. In just the last 8 weeks, we’ve run 9 major national and global campaigns on issues ranging from climate change to Iran to Guantanamo. Much more remains to be done on all these issues — but together we’re contributing in powerful ways. Here are some highlights from the last 8 weeks:

    Brazilian rainforest – Brazilian Avaaz members made 14000 phone calls and sent 30,000 online messages to President Lula’s office in two days(!) and in the 11th hour successfully reversed a law that would hand over much of the Amazon rainforest to agrobusiness for exploitation – this was a major victory on climate change since the Amazon consumes enormous amounts of the greenhouse gasses that are warming the earth.

    G8 Summit – last week 130,000 Avaaz members signed a petition in 48 hours calling for the G8 industrial countries to limit global warming to 2 degrees celsius – focusing on shaming 3 countries who were blocking progress. The petition was delivered at the summit to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown (see image at right), along with giant personalized postcards.

    Outside the summit, Avaaz members stripped down to green underwear in a humorous theatrical delivery of the campaign’s message that generated substantial media coverage (pictured at right). As Avaaz and partners built pressure in Italy and around the world, the blocking countries relented, and the G8 leaders agreed to the 2 degree goal! However, they failed to agree on specific actions to make the goal a reality — our challenge now is to make sure leaders live up to their rhetorical commitments with a binding global treaty at the UN summit in Copenhagen this December.

    Iran Protests – our community rapidly responded to the election crisis in Iran with an opinion poll to gauge the views of ordinary Iranians, a petition to world leaders to withhold recognition of the new President until the crackdown on protests ceased, and a fundraiser to support technology that would allow Iranians to freely access the internet. The rapidly deteriorating security situation has made it difficult to conduct the poll (final word on that coming this week), but the technology fundraiser has raised over a hundred thousand dollars to support the best tools for Iranians to access the internet and communicate freely. The situation in Iran remains uncertain, and we will continue to both support freedom of expression and oppose those who would exploit this crisis to justify military action against Iran.

    Japan climate targets – In Japan, we raised the alarm as the Prime Minister Taro Aso was about to choose a damagingly weak climate targets. Funded by small online donations, Avaaz ran a national opinion poll that showed that 63% of Japanese people wanted strong targets, publicized it in the press, in a full page ad in the country’s largest business newspaper, and one in the Aso’s favourite comic book (see right). Internationally, Avaaz ran a front page ad in the Financial Times, and Avaaz members demonstrated and met with Japanese climate negotiators at summits in Paris and Bonn.

    At last, the Prime Minister announced a target stronger than polluting industries had urged — but far from strong enough to stop catastrophic climate change. So we redoubled the pressure with a widely-covered international press conference dubbing the Japanese leader “George W. Aso” — comparing him to Bush for holding back progress on climate change.


    Free Burma’s political prisoners
    – Over 400,000 of us signed a major petition to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon asking him to make the release of Nobel prize winning political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners his top priority. The petition was delivered in an extended meeting with Moon’s office and in a press conference at the UN in New York. The UN chief issued a strong statement backing the release of Suu Kyi and traveled to Burma to attempt to meet with her, but was rebuffed by Burma’s military junta. International pressure did cause the junta to delay a new show trial to extend Aung San Suu Kyi’s prison sentence, but it will take much more pressure to secure her release.

    United States and Torture – A global fundraiser and petition on stopping torture and closing Guantanamo prison allowed Avaaz to secure a giant, 9 story billboard just blocks from the White House in the heart of Washington DC to deliver our message — but at the last minute the company selling the ad space refused, despite members of the US congress offering to help unveil the billboard in a press conference. Avaaz has now secured an alternative option for delivering our edgy message that will have Washington DC buzzing with our call for justice.

    UN Climate Summit – At a major summit on climate change in Bonn, Avaaz recruited among members in Germany to help our partners organize a massive 500 person aerial photo spelling out ‘Yes You Can’ as a message to leaders discussing climate targets (see right). It helped raise the profile and urgency of these faltering but urgent talks. Avaaz also sent a 16-person lobbying/activist team to the summit negotiations and members in 10 key countries joined “negotiator tracking teams” that are following and responding to urgent needs to press individual country negotiators at these summits.

    Peru – Avaaz arranged with local indigenous and top political allies to deliver a global petition against new laws that would cause massive devastation to the Peruvian rainforest and its people, taking out an ad in the national newspaper (at right). The ad and campaign generated much attention, and the domestic and international pressure worked, for now — the Peruvian congress has revoked the controversial laws!

    Israel – As Prime Minister Netanyahu prepared to make a speech responding to Obama’s historic Cairo address and demand that Israel stop illegal settlements of Palestinian land, Avaaz took out a front page ad in a major newspaper – Haaretz – delivering a joint petition from global and Israeli Avaaz members edgily asking Netanyahu to ‘be more like Obama’ and stop the settlements. Netanyahu has so far refused, but we’re helping to build an unprecedented wave of Israeli and global pressure and attention on this issue.

    The petitions, fundraisers, rallies, and lobbying campaigns our community is doing are having an incredible impact. Avaaz has grown by 50,000 people a week and is now almost 3.6 million engaged citizens in every country of the world — and we’re truly global – operating in 14 languages our community has 25,000 members in Singapore, 35,000 in South Africa, 130,000 in Italy, 50,000 in Mexico… There hasn’t really been a community like ours before, able to rapidly and effectively mobilize people power all over the world to the greatest needs and concerns of all human beings — it’s a reason for hope.

    It’s also an exciting journey — looking forward to taking on the next 8 weeks, and 8 months, and 8 years together!

    With hope,
    Ricken, Alice, Pascal, Ben, Veronique, Paul, Graziela, Brett, Raluca, Luis, Raj, Milena, Paula, Iain, Taren, Margaret and the whole Avaaz team.

    PS – To see some of the highlights of Avaaz campaigning in 2007 and 2008 and leave a comment, click here:
    https://secure.avaaz.org/en/report_back_2/

    And to check out other recent Avaaz campaigning highlights like our climate victory in Germany, our messages to Obama wall in DC, the delivery of our Swine Flu petition to the WHO, our Green Recovery march at G20 Summit in London, or our support to Tibetan organizations to break the blackout on their communications — visit the Avaaz blog: http://www.avaaz.org/blog/en/.

    Click here to learn more about our largest campaigns.

    Don’t forget to check out our Facebook and Myspace and Bebo pages! You can also follow Avaaz on Twitter!