1021 Days After Citizens United: The Election
The world has changed. This is not the democracy you were told you would grow up to inherit, a government of, by and for the people. This is a different world. Here, unlimited sums of cash flow directly into elections thanks to the newly empowered super PACs. A series of court rulings, including the infamous Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court case, unleashed these outside spenders to favor special interests above all else. Over the last two years, these shadowy groups have gotten stronger and stronger, infecting our televisions, radios, websites, newspapers and billboards with messaging that we can’t control or track. On Election Day — 1021 Days Later — this shadowy epidemic will be raging out of control. That’s where you come in.
Shale-Shocked: Fracking Gets Its Own Occupy Movement
by Ellen Cantarow
, Tom Dispatch
This is a story about water, the land surrounding it, and the lives it sustains. Clean water should be a right: there is no life without it. New York is what you might call a “water state.” Its rivers and their tributaries only start with the St. Lawrence, the Hudson, the Delaware, and the Susquehanna. The best known of its lakes are Great Lakes Erie and Ontario, Lake George, and the Finger Lakes. Its brooks, creeks, and trout streams are fishermen’s lore.
"We the People" does not mean we the corporations.
United for the People
The Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. FEC has focused America's attention on the dangerous influence of corporate power in our democracy and the urgency of taking all necessary measures to undo that influence, including amending the Constitution.
Generations of Americans have amended the Constitution over the years to ensure that "We the People" means all the people, not just the privileged few. The Citizens United case, which opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate spending to influence elections at all levels of government, has brought home the importance of amending the Constitution to ensure that "We the People" does not mean we the corporations.
We believe that America works best when our government is of, by and for the people. Although we have differences in scope and tactics, all of us are united in the understanding that the Court's decision in Citizens United must be remedied by amending the Constitution in order to restore the democratic promise of America.
Representation Without Taxation: Fortune 500 Companies that Spend Big on Lobbying and Avoid Taxes [PDF]
These 280 companies spent a total of $2 billion lobbying on tax and other issues between 2008 and 2010.
The report explains why exploiting offshore tax havens is an example of tax dodging at its worst and that at least 22 of the Dirty Thirty reported subsidiaries in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands. Since profit artificially shifted offshore is often counted as “foreign” profits, the data likely underestimates the amount lost due to tax havens.
To stop the abusive use of tax havens, we lawmakers must end rules allowing U.S. companies to defer taxes on their offshore profits. In the meantime, there are concrete steps Congress can take that would stop the worst of the abuses by requiring more honest rules and reporting.
To limit corporate money in elections, lawmakers should:
• Require full and honest disclosure – the public should know who is funding what candidates
• Empower shareholders – the shareholders that own corporations should have a say in how corporations spend their money on elections
• Reverse Citizens United
Methyl Iodide: The Cancer-Causing Chemical Behind Your Food
by Barry Estabrook
When researchers want to intentionally create cancerous cells in laboratories, they often use methyl iodide, a chemical that is also a neurotoxin and causes late-term miscarriages. And it kills soil-dwelling organisms -- which is why farmers (particularly strawberry and tomato growers) fumigate fields with it prior to planting.
Calling it one of the most toxic chemicals used in manufacturing, more than 50 scientists, including five Nobel laureates, wrote a letter (PDF) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) toward the end of the Bush II administration pleading that methyl iodide not be approved for agricultural use. To no avail. They failed in California, too, which sets its own environmental regulations, independent of the EPA. But the state followed the EPA's lead and approved it in 2010, just before Governor Schwarzenegger left office.
Statement by the President on the Keystone XL Pipeline
The White House
Statement by the President on the Keystone XL Pipeline
Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State’s recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.
Resources | Food Industry
Corporations and Health
How do industry practices affect human health?
Industry practices that contribute to unhealthy behavior include product design, marketing (advertising, product promotion, etc.) retail distribution, and pricing. For example, the tobacco industry has targeted advertising at youth and women, increasing their smoking rates; soft drink companies establish contracts that give them exclusive rights to market their products in schools, contributing to childhood obesity; the automobile industry has heavily promoted polluting and accident-prone Sports Utility Vehicles and lobbied against stricter safety and environmental standards; and the pharmaceutical industry has promoted profitable drugs that its own research has shown to be dangerous.
El Casino de la Selva: la defensa del patrimonio II/VI
Documental que narra la defensa por parte de activistas al espacio denominado Casino de la Selva, contra la destruccion de la ecologia, la arqueologia y del espacio cultural perpetuado por la firma comercial COSTCO-Comercial Mexicana y el Partido Accion Nacional (encabezado por el entonces gobernador de Morelos, Mexico. Sergio Estrada Cajigal).
January 20, 2012 – Move to Amend Occupies the Courts!
Move to Amend
Inspired by our friends at Occupy Wall Street, and Dr. Cornel West, Move To Amend is planning bold action to mark the second anniversary of the infamous Citizens United v. FEC decision!
Occupy the Courts will be a one day occupation of Federal courthouses across the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday January 20, 2012.
Time to Stop Being Cynical About Corporate Money in Politics and Start Being Angry
by Bill McKibben
Far from showing any shame, the big players boast about it: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, front outfit for a consortium of corporations, has bragged on its website about outspending everyone in Washington, which is easy to do when Chevron, Goldman Sachs, and News Corp are writing you seven-figure checks. This really matters. The Chamber of Commerce spent more money on the 2010 elections than the Republican and Democratic National Committees combined, and 94% of those dollars went to climate-change deniers. That helps explain why the House voted last year to say that global warming isn’t real.
Almond joy! - Victory for bees
With little fanfare, pesticide manufacturer Bayer has asked California regulators to limit the use of one of their most profitable products, imidacloprid.
Rather than undergo the public scrutiny and cost involved in a state-mandated re-evaluation of the pesticide's impact on bees, emerging reports say the company has requested imidacloprid be restricted from use on almond crops, which honey bees are trucked in from around the country to pollinate each February.
Overturning Citizens United: A Movement Moment
by Marge Baker Executive Vice President for Policy and Program, People For the American Way
It is no secret that our political system is corrupted by the influence of corporate money in elections. Pick any issue - financial regulation, energy policy, healthcare reform - and its problems can be traced back to unspoken quid quo pro agreements between politicians and their campaign backers.
Tar sands have trouble ‘getting to market’ – new report
by Lorne Stockman
, Oilchange International
Our latest report, Getting to Market: Emerging Investor Risks in the Tar Sands highlights the latest challenge facing the tar sands industry and warns investors to look more critically at industry’s ambitious claims.
Download the full report
Tar sands extraction projects are moving forward with increasing pace. The industry ambition is to grow production from today’s level an extraordinary 140 percent by 2025.
Environmental impacts are a concern, particularly greenhouse gas emissions and water. Spills from existing pipelines have put pipeline route communities on high alert. The over 1 million gallons spilt into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in July 2010 is still
Chiquita agrees to avoid fuel from Tar Sands refineries
US Market trend against Tar Sands continues
Chiquita Brands International will work with ForestEthics to eliminate shipping of Chiquita bananas with fuel from refineries that use Canada’s controversial Tar Sands. Chiquita joins a market trend against Tar Sands that now includes 15 publicly confirmed actions by major US companies.
“Canada’s Tar Sands is all risk and no benefit for leading American brands like Chiquita that are resolved to reduce environmental problems, so they are working hard to get Tar Sands out of their transportation footprint,” said Aaron Sanger of ForestEthics.
WalMart for Pres!
Born from humble beginnings, Candidate Walmart opened his first store in Rogers, Arkansas on July 2nd, 1962. Over time, the company would grow from a single store to the largest corporation in the entire country. In fact, Walmart now stands as America’s largest private employer and the world’s largest retailer, with over $480 billion in revenue in 2010.
Judge Orders State and Regional Air Agencies to Regulate Climate Change Pollution from Big Oil
December 2, 2011 Seattle, WA — A federal judge today ruled that the Washington Department of Ecology, Northwest Clean Air Agency, and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency have unlawfully failed to regulate climate change pollution from the five oil refineries operating in Washington State.
Washington Environmental Council and Sierra Club initiated the lawsuit in March of this year. The lawsuit claimed that state agencies have the duty to regulate climate change pollution from oil refineries because this pollution fits within the definition of “air contaminants” in Washington’s State Implementation Plan, which was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and is enforceable under the federal Clean Air Act.
L.A. and Occupy L.A. Agree: It’s Time to End Corporate Personhood
by Brooke Jarvis
On December 3, just two days before Occupy L.A. was evicted by police, the General Assembly of the occupation passed a unanimous resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood.
Today, the City Council of Los Angeles also voted, also unanimously, for a resolution making the same appeal.
Financial Giants Put New York City Cops On Their Payroll
by PAM MARTENS
Videos are springing up across the internet showing uniformed members of the New York Police Department in white shirts (as opposed to the typical NYPD blue uniforms) pepper spraying and brutalizing peaceful, nonthreatening protestors attempting to take part in the Occupy Wall Street marches. Corporate media are reporting that these white shirts are police supervisors as opposed to rank and file. Recently discovered documents suggest something else may be at work.
Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers
Google Earth Tour Reveals How a Global Dam Boom Could Worsen the Climate Crisis - International Rivers and Friends of the Earth International have teamed up to create a state-of-the-art Google Earth 3-D tour and video narrated by Nigerian activist Nnimmo Bassey, winner of the prestigious Right Livelihood Award. The production was launched on the first day of the COP 17 climate meeting in Durban. The video and tour allow viewers to explore why dams are not the right answer to climate change, by learning about topics such as reservoir emissions, dam safety, and adaptation while visiting real case studies in Africa, the Himalayas and the Amazon.
TransCanada pours cold water on rivals’ plans to ship to Asia
by nathan vanderklippe AND shawn mccarthy
, Globe and Mail
As TransCanada Corp. (TRP-T40.79-0.19-0.46%) grows more optimistic about the prospects for its Keystone XL pipeline, the company is casting doubts on plans by its competitors to ship oil to Canada’s West Coast for export to Asia.
TransCanada has been “taking a pretty hard look” at ways to send Canadian crude to one of the country’s coasts, where it could be loaded onto tankers and shipped to offshore markets, Alex Pourbaix, the company’s president of energy and oil pipelines, said Wednesday.
Energy industry set to cut funding for oil sands environmental watchdog
by Nathan Vanderklippe
, Globe and Mail
The oil sands industry is embroiled in a dispute over its plans to trim funding to an environmental advisory and monitoring group, at a time when companies are moving aggressively to persuade the public they care about being green.
For more than a decade, the Cumulative Environmental Management Association, or CEMA, has funded research to draft recommendations on improving the impact of the oil sands on air, land, water and biodiversity. It draws the bulk of its funding from industry, which has funnelled its dollars through the Oil Sands Developers Group.
Helicopter Pilot Blows Whistle On Tuna Industry
A helicopter pilot speaks out about his experiences onboard a number of purse seine tuna fishing vessels operating in the Pacific. His gruesome footage shows how the use of Fish Aggregation Devices is resulting in the bycatch of all sorts of marine life and contributes to the depletion of tuna stocks. Greenpeace is campaigning for more sustainable and less destructive tuna fisheries in the Pacific Ocean.
US: Save the Internet
Right now, Congress is debating a law that would give them the power to censor the world's Internet -- creating a blacklist that could target YouTube, WikiLeaks and even groups like Avaaz!
Under the new law, our government could force Internet providers to block any website on suspicion of violating copyright or trademark legislation, or even failing to sufficiently police their users' activities. And, because so much of the Internet's hosts and hardware are located here in the US, their blacklist would clamp down on the free web for all of us in America and millions across the world.
Keystone delayed: prepare for the industry backlash
by Lorne Stockman
With Keystone XL delayed and almost certainly dead in its current form, the industry is a little upset. What we can expect to see over the next days and weeks and on into the election season is a relentless barrage of misinformation and outright attacks on the green movement, the President and anybody who shares the aspiration to change the wasteful and polluting energy status quo.
The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, that unquestionably objective source of information and analysis on all things oil, has already weighed in with an arrogant and facile statement. The American Petroleum Institute will not be far behind.
The Story of Broke
The Story of Broke - The United States isn’t broke; we’re the richest country on the planet and a country in which the richest among us are doing exceptionally well. But the truth is, our economy is broken, producing more pollution, greenhouse gasses and garbage than any other country. In these and so many other ways, it just isn’t working. But rather than invest in something better, we continue to keep this ‘dinosaur economy’ on life support with hundreds of billions of dollars of our tax money
New Farm Subsidy Database Reveals Individuals Cashing Big Ag’s Federal Checks
New Farm Subsidy Database Reveals Individuals Cashing Big Ag’s Federal Checks
Top ten recipients raked in $5.4 million in direct payments
The Environmental Working Group released a new Direct Payment Database today, giving taxpayers a look inside the complex agriculture partnerships and corporations that got the lion’s share of $4.7 billion in federal direct payments to farmers in 2009. EWG found that the ten agribusinesses receiving the biggest payouts raked in a total of $5.4 million. The biggest payments went to large agribusinesses in the southern states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee and Mississippi.
Keystone pipeline: State Department agrees to investigate charges
by Suzanne Goldenberg,
The State Department has agreed to an independent investigation of its handling of the Keystone XL pipeline, after charges of influence peddling and conflict of interest from environmental groups and members of Congress.
In a memo, the State Department inspector general's office appointed a senior official to review charges that the oil industry exerted too much weight over decisions about the pipeline project.
BENMedia: Communicating with your target
Aaron Sanger, Director of US Campaigns with Forest Ethics recently gave BEN an excellent overview of communicating with campaign targets, and here you can listen to how to acknowledge and obtain commitments.
G20 - People in, corporate sponsors out
It's unbelievable. The G20 -- the most powerful summit of world governments -- meets tomorrow to discuss the global economic crisis, and who is sponsoring the meeting? Banks and corporations!
No wonder the site of the meeting -- the French city of Cannes -- is completely locked down to any ordinary citizens, while banks and large corporate CEOs have all access passes to tell our governments what to do.
Public Comments on Keystone Pipeline Have Disappeared into a Procedural Black Hole
by Lisa Song
, Inside Climate News
State Dept. hearing on Sept. 29 in Atkinson, Neb., on TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL project. Credit: Lisa Song
Five weeks ago, Cindy Myers stood in a high school gymnasium before a crowd of 1,000 and said, "These words could be some of the most important of my life."
Myers was speaking at the Keystone XL oil pipeline hearing in Atkinson, Neb., but her statement could have applied to any of the thousands of people who attended hearings in five other states. Many took a day off work to get in line early; others drove for hours to reach the meetings or spent weeks polishing their testimony. They spoke with passion about jobs and energy security, their fears of water contamination and the risk of an oil spill.
BENNY Award Winners 2011
Campaigns for responsible mineral extraction, fighting dirty coal, protecting workers, and others receive top marketplace activism prizes; Carrie Dann honored for individual achievement
Call for an investigation of the State Department's tar sands scandal
For weeks we've watched the State Department's sham review of Keystone XL unfold, with no calls from congress for corrective action.
The silence was finally shattered this week, as a group of 14 Senators and Representatives, led by Sen. Bernie Sanders, sent a letter to the President and the Inspector General of the State Department, calling for a formal investigation into this scandal.1
This process being conducted by the State Department is a crime in progress. But with a final decision is coming before the end of the year, it's not over yet. This is a crucial moment to amplify congressional calls for an investigation.
Join congressional leaders in calling for an independent investigation of the State Department's tar sands scandal.
Tribes Occupy the Belo Monte Dam Work Site
Early this morning on the Xingu River outside of Altamira, an estimated 600 indigenous people from 21 tribes, as well as fishermen, occupied the construction site of the Belo Monte Dam, demanding a definitive end to the project. Events are very fluid on the ground, and internet has been out in the region, so information is coming in bit by bit. We know that early on, the mobilization declared their intent to not leave the site until the Belo Monte Dam was cancelled for good.
VICTORY!Secure Roadless Rule
Thirteen years after Earthjustice first launched legal action, the nearly 50-million-acre heartland of America’s national forests is secure. A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of the Roadless Rule, virtually ending a politically infested process that pitted resource exploiters against the vast majority of citizens who rely upon these pristine lands for recreation and repose.
Don't Let Auto Dealers Sell Us a Lemon!
The historic new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks that President Obama announced this summer will cut America’s oil dependence, curb global warming emissions, and create nearly 500,000 new jobs. So why are automobile dealers opposing them?
The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is already in Washington, DC, trying to get Congress to stop this proposal from taking effect. Tell your state’s NADA director to support new clean car standards that will clean up our cars, our air, and create new jobs today!
Personalize your letter for maximum effect! Tell your state’s NADA director what clean car standards mean for you and your family.
Click here for more information on this issue.
Europe Labels the Tar Sands “Dirty”
by Andy Rowell
Earlier this year I worked with Friends of the Earth on a report that exposed the extent of Canadian lobbying on the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD), a landmark piece of legislation by the EU which hopes to reduce CO2 emissions from transport fuels.
We detailed how there had been a huge number of lobbying events – over 110 – organised by the Canadians on tar sands and the FQD since September 2009 until now.
Shell oil paid Nigerian military to put down protests, court documents show
by John Vidal
Shell has never denied that its oil operations have polluted large areas of the Niger Delta – land and air. But it had resisted charges of complicity in human rights abuses.
Court documents now reveal that in the 1990s Shell routinely worked with Nigeria's military and mobile police to suppress resistance to its oil activities, often from activists in Ogoniland, in the delta region.
Raise a Stink!!
Pinkwasher: (pink’-wah-sher) noun. A company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.
Pinkwashing has reached a new low this year with Promise Me, a perfume commissioned by the giant of the breast cancer movement, Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Promise Me contains chemicals not listed in the ingredients that: (a) are regulated as toxic and hazardous, (b) have not been adequately evaluated for human safety, and (c) have demonstrated negative health effects.
Asia leads world in child-labour products: US report
WASHINGTON: India, Bangladesh and the Philippines lead the world in the number of products made by child workers, a US government stock-taking of the global scale of underaged labour revealed Monday.
Some 130 types of goods — from building bricks and soccer balls to pornography and rare ores used in cellphones — involve child labour in 71 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the Department of Labour said.
Toy giant Mattel drops paper from APP and other 'controversial sources'
by Jeremy Hance
The world's biggest toy-maker Mattel has pledged to overhaul its paper sourcing policies after a hard-hitting campaign from Greenpeace linked the toy giant to rainforest destruction in Indonesia by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). Today, Mattel pledged to increase the use of recycled paper and sustainably-certified fiber to 70 percent by the year's end, and 85 percent by 2015. In addition, the company has said any 'controversial' company engaged in natural forest destruction will be kept out of its supply line, referring to, but not naming directly, APP. Surprisingly, APP told mongabay.com that it 'applauds' Mattel's new commitments.
Justice Moves Forward, Impunity Presents Obstacles
After 29 years of impunity for crimes against humanity and genocide committed during the internal armed conflict against the Maya People, on Thursday October 13 Judge Carol Patricia Flores indicted one of the intellectual authors of the genocide - José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez - who was the Director of Intelligence (G2) for the military high command from April 1982 to April 1983 in the government of Efraín Ríos Montt.
In 2001, survivors of the genocide launched a case against the 1982-1983 military high command made up of Head of State Efraín Ríos Montt, Minister of Defence General Oscar Humberto Mejía Víctores and General Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes.
Tomgram: Bill McKibben, Obama and the Corruption of Big Oil
by Bill McKibben
, Tomgram - Tom Dispatch
At the Occupy Wall Street campgrounds in lower Manhattan, you can find just about anything. Like the sign held by a Marine vet wearing a "Don't Tread on Me" t-shirt (with a "Ban Fracking Now" sticker on one sleeve) and military pants: "2nd time I've fought for my country, 1st time I've known my enemy." It could give you chills. And then there were the older women who cornered me on a visit to the encampment. They were noticeable in part because Zuccotti Park is largely a stakeout for the young and in part because they were insistently shoving a petition at me. It was a call to stop fracking -- the practice of injecting water and potentially dangerous chemicals into rock formations to release natural gas, which can poison local drinking water. (I signed.)
Help Improve the White House's Gulf Restoration Strategy
Last week, the White House's Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force released its preliminary strategy on how to restore the Gulf in the wake of BP's oil drilling disaster. The strategy does a good job of laying out the basic prescriptions of what it will take to restore the Gulf, yet it unfortunately lacks many of the specifics we had hoped to see.
Please use the form below to submit strategic comments on improving the plan to all the members of the Task Force and the President. It is encouraging to see such engagement from the federal government, but there is much to do to ensure their efforts realize full potential. You can help restore the Gulf by taking action today.
Los Angeles Times: Proposed Keystone XL oil project draws a divisive line
by Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
, tcktcktck / LA Times
Some might have been surprised to hear that plans to build a 1,700-mile oil pipeline through the Midwest to the Gulf Coast — a source of new oil and thousands of jobs — would drive an emotional fault line down the middle of the conservative heartland. But any skepticism would have quickly evaporated here in the noisy bleachers of the West Holt High School gymnasium.
Satellite imagery confirms Dole destroying national park land for bananas
by Jeremy Hance
Environmental NGOs in Sri Lanka have accused US food giant Dole of illegally growing bananas in Somawathiya National Park, however Dole has denied the charge saying the land in question is 'not in the [park]'. Mongabay.com has received the coordinates of the Dole plantation from an anonymous source in Sri Lanka familiar with the issue, and using Google Earth has found that the plantation in question is clearly inside park boundaries.
Koch Industries stands to profit off Keystone XL
by Sarah Laskow
Every step the Obama administration takes towards approving the Keystone XL pipeline means a step towards putting more money into the pockets of Koch Industries. Although the company has denied having an interest in the pipeline (it has "nothing to do with any of our businesses," company reps have told Rep. Henry Waxman's staff), Inside Climate News has uncovered documents proving that a Koch Industries subsidiary has a business interest in the approval of the pipeline.
"State of the Gulf" Released by Gulf Coast Waterkeepers!
Save our Gulf - waterkeepers alliance
The "State of the Gulf: A Status Report from the Gulf Coast Waterkeepers in the Wake of the BP Oil Disaster" report lays out seven key findings over one year after the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil disaster from the prespective of Waterkeeper organizations on the Gulf Coast. In the report Save Our Gulf Waterkeepers discuss the results of initiative’s Environmental Monitoring Project from Louisiana to Florida and calls for long term environmental monitoring on the Gulf Coast to ensure full restoration and recovery
Say No to the Keystone XL
Unless good sense intervenes, it looks increasingly likely that the State Department will approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry a coarse, acidic crude oil from northern Alberta in Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas. That would be a mistake.
After protracted campaign, Girl Scouts pledges to cut out some palm oil
by Jeremy Hance
Girl Scouts USA has announced that it will lessen palm oil in its ubiquitous cookies by using alternatives when possible and cutting overall usage. The organization also committed to purchasing GreenPalm certificates for all of its palm oil in order to financially support more environmentally sustainable palm oil, even if the palm oil in the cookies is not.
Groups look to rein in corporate power after Citizens United
by Eartha Jane Melzer
, Michigan Messenger
Last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission granted corporations (and unions) the right to directly and expressly back political candidates, and triggered an enormous new wave of political spending. Now watchdog groups are trying to find ways to make sure voters can see who is funding which candidates.
Palm oil, poverty, and conservation collide in Cameroon
The vulnerability of the region raises the question: why here? Why not choose an area where the forest is gone? After meeting briefly with Herakles Farms, director of World Resources Institute's (WRI) Global Forests Initiative, Dr. Nigel Sizer, said that one of the issues raised with the company was that there are two billion-plus hectares of land that are "in some sense degraded, open for improved use [and] improved productivity, according to our latest analysis"
Tar-sands pipeline ‘safety conditions’ are smoke and mirrors
by Anthony Swift, National Resources Defense Council, 19 Aug 2011
Proponents of the Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline are using a disingenuous argument to avoid further scrutiny of TransCanada’s proposed pipeline. They argue that the concerns of landowners, farmers, and first responders regarding the safety of Keystone XL are unreasonable because TransCanada has agreed to 57 conditions suggested by pipeline safety regulators that will make it safer than other pipelines.
ConAgra Sued Over GMO '100% Natural' Cooking Oils
by Michele Simon Food Safety News, August 24, 2011
If you use Wesson brand cooking oils, you may be able to join a class action against food giant ConAgra for deceptively marketing the products as natural.
Can CSR ratings help improve labour practices?
The spread of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) rating systems in recent years shows an increasing interest by companies, ethical investors, civil society and consumers in identifying ways to measure a company's environmental and social performance in order to reward those companies that are making genuine improvements, and avoid those that are not.
Four Arrested in Idaho Fighting Exxon and the Megaloads
In the early hours of this fine Friday morning, folks in Moscow sent a direct message to Exxon and all future shippers of oversize tar-sands related equipment that no road should accept the movement of equipment being used in the genocide of First Nations communities and environmental destruction in Northern Alberta. In light of Exxon’s recent shift to using alternative Idaho roads and trucking smaller pieces of equipment, the protest in Moscow is a significant one. The issue isn’t simply just the beauty and integrity of Highway 12, but the need for all peoples to stand in solidarity with each other as we face the increasing torrent of environmental destruction here and around the world.
State Dept. Endorses Dirty Tar Sands Monstrosity
Washington, D.C. – Today the Obama Administration released its final Environmental Impact Statement on foreign oil corporation TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline to transport high corrosive and toxic tar sands oil through America’s heartland.
In response, Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director, issued the following statement:
Learn how to campaign like Coal-Free UNC!
As a new organizer, what fundamental campaign tools and organizing principles did you rely upon? How did you and other campaigners use these fundamentals in the campaign? What different kinds of personal skills do teams use successfully? What are the lessons that other activists, no matter their level of experience, can take from this campaign to win against powerful and entrenched special interests?
The Big PR Lesson Companies Still Need to Learn about Facebook
by Amy Westervelt,
Corporate communications folks, listen up. Nestle fell on its social networking sword to teach you this lesson, but apparently you still haven’t learned: If people are posting unwanted links or information on your Facebook wall, you need to address it. What you emphatically do not need to do is shut down your wall. Or get pissy with Facebook “fans”. Or delete or hide wall posts or comments.
Freedom and Justice for Atenco
Lead Groups: Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra, Servicios y Asesoría para la paz (SERAPAZ), Servicios Legales y Estudios Jurídicos.
Thirty Thousand Bottles of Drinking Water Provided to Kentucky Community Affected by Methane-Contaminated Well Water
About Appalachian Voices
Appalachian Voices is an award-winning, environmental non-profit committed to protecting the land, air and water of the central and southern Appalachian region, focusing on reducing coal's impact on the region and advancing our vision for a cleaner energy future. Founded in 1997, they are headquartered in Boone, N.C. with offices in Charlottesville, Va. and Washington, D.C. Since they believe working in concert with others produces maximum results, they are proud members of the Alliance for Appalachia, Waterkeeper Alliance, Wise Energy for Virginia, and Repowering NC coalitions. The Resource Renewal Institute recognized Appalachian Voices with a 2010 River Warrior award for our work to protect and improve water quality, fish, wildlife and river ecosystems. We were also awarded a 2010 BENNY Award by the Business Ethics Network for our role as a supporting organization in Rainforest Action Network's Global Finance Campaign. E, the Environmental Magazine recently listed Appalachian Voices as one of their top five favorite ways to become environmentally active. They have also been recognized as a Google Earth Hero for their work on the website, iLoveMountains.org, which was also named one of the first ever GOOD 100 "people, ideas, and organizations changing the world for good" by Good Magazine. For more information, visit http://appvoices.org.
Jobs Claims For Keystone XL Don’t Stand Up To Scrutiny
by Ryan Salmon
, NAtional Wildlife Federation
Canadian oil giants are trading on Americans’ insecurity about the U.S. economy to sell us their risky Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Their job claims amount to little more than snake oil and won’t cure what ails our economy. Today, they got a hand from the American Petroleum Institute (API), which held a tele-press conference to defend TransCanada’s proposed pipeline in advance of the State Department’s release of a Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project, which is expected any day.
Tell Campbell's Soup to Replace Toxic BPA!
Campbell’s has been silent about the issue of BPA, a chemical linked to hormone disruption and breast cancer, in its can linings. Ask them to take action now and replace BPA with a safe alternative!
Pipeline Through Paradise
by By Bruce Barcott
, National Geographic
The Queen of the North was the pride of the BC Ferries fleet—right up until the night she sank. On March 22, 2006, during a routine run from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy, the ferry exited the narrow 45-mile Grenville Channel just past midnight. Then something went wrong.
Walmart Losing its Grip on Key Shopper Segment
by Adam Blair
Walmart's self-branding as the Every Day Low Price retailer has been an essential element of its success. But a recent survey of Walmart shoppers indicates the vast majority – a whopping 86% – no longer believe Walmart offers the lowest prices. With the nation's economic recovery sputtering, this "identity crisis" is cause for concern at the Bentonville Giant. It also offers an explanation for why Walmart's U.S. stores have suffered seven consecutive quarters of same-store sales declines, most recently a 1.1% dip for the quarter ending April 29, 2011. (Walmart will announce its Q2 results later this month.)
White House Collusion with Biotech & FOI Lawsuit Filed
WASHINGTON – July 21 – In an effort to boost exports, the Obama White House has entered into a joint venture with the agricultural biotechnology industry to remove barriers to the spread of genetically engineered (GE) crops, even on national wildlife refuges, according to documents posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Today, PEER sued the White House Trade Representative, Office of Management & Budget (OMB) and the State Department to force release of documents detailing their partnership with industry.
Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline
Americans Against BigOil Ripoffs
TransCanada plans to raise gas prices by building the Keystone XL pipeline. The company claims that the pipeline will create jobs and enhance energy security, but its real goal is to raise crude oil prices for Canadian producers of tar sands oil in Alberta.
Oil sands critics target a new concern – pipelines
by Nathan Vanderklippe
, Globe and Mail
The crude oil that is pulled from Canada’s oil sands is thick and heavy, a black tar-like substance that takes large amounts of energy and effort to make into end products like gasoline and diesel. Even some people in the Alberta energy industry describe it as “nasty” stuff.
U.S. Chamber Launches Effort To Support Bringing Dirty Tar Sands Oil Down South
by Daniel Kessler, Oakland, CA
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has long served as a brake on progress when it comes to creating a new economy that is fueled by renewable energy. The secretive organization (it doesn't reveal its membership) has opposed climate and energy action at every turn, and now it has its sights on the Keystone XL pipeline, a controversial proposed 1700 mile-long pipeline that would carry bitumen from Canada's tar sands all the way to Texas.
ExxonMobil shifts focus away from Highway 12 megaload route
by Dennis Bragg (KPAX/KAJ Media Center)
After months of fighting with environmental groups, ExxonMobil is changing plans to ship "megaloads" of oil field equipment across Lolo Pass, opting instead to ship the equipment on Interstate highways.
Monday's decision by ExxonMobil and Imperial marks a major development in the on-going fight over how the companies will get gear to the Tar Sands oil fields in Alberta.
Fake Followers and Twitter Astroturf: It's Sorta Social, Demented and Sad, But Social
by Celia Alario
"It's sorta social, demented and sad, but social."
I couldn't help but think of that great line from the brat pack classic The Breakfast Club when I read on Mother Jones and Rainforest Action Network's Understory blog about last Thursday's discovery that Big Oil has resorted to creating fake Twitter accounts in order to fabricate an illusion of 'grassroots' support for the controversial Keystone pipeline project. If approved by the Obama administration, Keystone XL would bring Canadian tar sands oil from Alberta down to the lower 48. Find out why this is a really bad idea here.
Teach the TAP
Engage and mobilize young people to take action in their schools and communities.
While the simple decision to stop at the water fountain rather than the vending machine can make a real difference, students can make a a much bigger impact by becoming experts and advocates for the right to clean, safe, and affordable tap water.
The lessons have been designed around middle school standards from the four core subject areas —English, Math, Social Studies & Science — but many of them are flexible to be used across the curriculum.
Cannibal Animals - Video must be submitted by October 15th, 2011!
Did you know that much of our country’s beef, pork, poultry and dairy industries exploit a stomach-churning method of including animal byproducts in feed?? This unsettling reality becomes even scarier when you learn that these techniques are resulting in dioxin – a carcinogen- building up in our food.
We’re talking blood, bones and animal tissue. With today’s unreasonably high profit expectations, farming operations all over are employing this practice. This is a huge problem. There’s no telling how many cow parts are in your steak or in your glass of milk. As one animal eats another, a cannibalism chain grows over time, and the toxins in our food accumulate.
Officials Acknowledge XL Tar Sands Pipeline Skipped on Safety
by Tony Iallonardo
House and Senate Make Hopeful Progress Amidst Rash of Spills.Emerging from talks with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird late this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated that the State Department is getting ready to approve the dirtiest, largest pipeline ever to be built in the U.S. The diplomatic-speak whereby Mr. Baird said he wanted a fast decision, while Mrs. Clinton said they had agreed to some safety enhancements seemed to signal the permit process is drawing to a close.