A Proverb

Find out why the rainforest is being destroyed in the name of “organic,” “sustainable” and “conservation”…. READ: Way Beyond Greenwashing: Have Corporations Captured Big Conservation? 

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FYI: Composting Technology

Company Touts 24-Hour Composting Technology

April 2, 2013

by Patricia Escarcega 04/02/13 No Comments Tweet

Photo: Kessner/Wikipedia Commons

A new company has developed an organic waste recycling system that it says is capable of converting organic waste into premium grade fertilizer within 24 hours.

This would make the Rapid Thermophilic Digestion System, developed by Singapore-based Biomax Technologies, the fastest known composting process in the organic waste treatment industry.

“Traditional composting methods take around six months to process plantation waste due to its generally fibrous nature,” the company says on its website.

According to Biomax, the Rapid Thermophilic Digestion System uses a special cocktail of BM1 enzymes that are activated at very high temperatures to accelerate the natural composting process.

“The Biomax system of accelerating aerobic digestion through the introduction of carefully selected and cultured microorganisms seems to offer a genuine breakthrough in terms of rapidly treating biowastes at the point of production,” the company says.

The company hopes the system will be used as a one-stop point for waste collection, processing and storage. Biomax says their system has many applications across various industries, including agricultural, livestock and municipal waste treatment.

The company has also developed an automated digestor for use with the BM1 enzyme technology. The Digestor, as the system is known, is designed to produce a highly consistent product that is odorless, pathogen free and rich in organic matter.

“Our system offers a simple solution to the problems faced by many businesses when looking to dispose of organic wastes,” the company says.

Link: http://earth911.com/news/2013/04/02/biomax-24-hour-composting/

New Report Re: Climate Change

New Report Outlines Our Future: Climate Change Set to Make America Hotter, Drier and More Disaster-prone | Alternet

January 14, 2013
January 14, 2013  |   Photo Credit: AFP

New Report Outlines Our Future: Climate Change Set to Make America Hotter, Drier and More Disaster-prone

The National Climate Assessment was just released and provides the fullest picture of the real-time effects of climate change on US life, and the most likely consequences for the future.

Future generations of Americans can expect to spend 25 days a year sweltering in temperatures above 100F (38C), with  climate change on course to turn the country into a hotter, drier, and more disaster-prone place.

The National Climate Assessment,  released in draft form on Friday , provided the fullest picture to date of the real-time effects of climate change on US life, and the most likely consequences for the future.

The 1,000-page report, the work of the more than 300 government scientists and outside experts, was unequivocal on the human causes of climate change, and on the links between climate change and extreme weather.

“Climate change is already affecting the American people,” the draft report said. “Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or intense including heat waves, heavy downpours and in some regions floods and  drought. Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic, and glaciers and Arctic sea ice are melting.”

The report, which is not due for adoption until 2014, was produced to guide federal, state and city governments in America in making long-term plans.

By the end of the 21st century, climate change is expected to result in increased risk of asthma and other public health emergencies, widespread power blackouts, and mass transit shutdowns, and possibly shortages of food.

“Proactively preparing for climate change can reduce impacts, while also facilitating a more rapid and efficient response to changes as they happen,” said Katharine Jacobs, the director of the National Climate Assessment.

The report will be open for public comment on Monday.

Environmental groups said they hoped the report would provide Barack Obama with the scientific evidence to push for measures that would slow or halt the rate of climate change – sparing the country some of the worst effects.

The report states clearly that the steps taken by Obama so far to reduce emissions are “not close to sufficient” to prevent the most severe consequences of climate change.

“As climate change and its impacts are becoming more prevalent, Americans face choices,” the report said. “Beyond the next few decades, the amount of climate change will still largely be determined by the choices society makes about emissions. Lower emissions mean less future warming and less severe impacts. Higher emissions would mean more warming and more severe impacts.”

As the report made clear: no place in America had gone untouched by climate change. Nowhere would be entirely immune from the effects of future climate change.

A heatwave swept across the US in 2011, with temperatures reaching over 110F (43C). Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP

Some of those changes are already evident: 2012 was by far the hottest year on record, fully a degree hotter than the last such record – an off-the-charts rate of increase.

Those high temperatures were on course to continue for the rest of the century, the draft report said. It noted that average US temperatures had increased by about 1.5F since 1895, with more than 80% of this increase since 1980.

The rise will be even steeper in future, with the next few decades projected for temperatures 2 to 4 degrees warmer in most areas. By 2100, if climate change continues on its present course, the country can expect to see 25 days a year with temperatures above 100F.

Night-time temperatures will also stay high, providing little respite from the heat.

Certain regions are projected to heat up even sooner. West Virginia, Maryland and Delaware can expect a doubling of days hotter than 95 degrees by the 2050s. In Texas and Oklahoma, the draft report doubled the probability of extreme heat events.

Lake Erie Bird & Fish Dieoff!

Thousands of Birds and Fish Found Dead in Lake Erie

Monday, September 10, 2012

Another mystery involving the mass death of animals has occurred, this time on Wednesday at Lake Erie. At the lake, tens of thousands of dead seagulls and dead fish appeared. A member of Provincial Parliament for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, Rick Nicholls, said,

“First thing that crossed my mind, is there any potential danger to humans from a health point of view? Secondly, as I got more and more into it, what’s the cause of this sudden fish kill in the lake?”

The dead fish and dead birds have been sent out to be tested to find out what happened. The Ontario Ministries of the Environment in Canada is looking into the possibility of a spill that could have changed the ecosystem. The other theory is that of an inversion, which occurs naturally when cold water hits the surface of the lake. The cold water, which has low oxygen levels, suffocates the fish.

“Essentially it’s a rolling over of the lake,” Ontario Ministry of the Environment spokeswoman Kate Jordan said. “Something – whether it be a storm, or cooler temperatures at night, or strong winds – triggers a temperature change in the lake.”

Those who have tested the water in Lake Erie have yet to find any abnormalities in the pH, temperature or oxygen levels. “We did not observe any spill or pollution impacting the lake,” Jordan said. The dead fish that were discovered included suckers, carp, catfish, sheepshead and perch.

The medical officer of health for Chatham-Kent, Dr. David Colby, said, “All kinds of people were woken out of a sound sleep by a stench and it was like a septic tank was backing up.” Colby also proposed the theory of a fish disease known as viral hemorrhagic septicemia and Type E botulism. Colby did clarify that these are not harmful to humans.

Link: http://www.jdjournal.com/2012/09/07/thousands-of-birds-and-fish-found-dead-in-lake-erie/


15 Ways to Recycle Plastic Milk Jugs

15 Ways to Recycle Plastic Milk Jugs

May 8, 2012

Milk, jugs, recycleDid you know that there are millions of plastic items floating around out there in landfills? Kind of a sickening thought, huh? In my tiny town of 385 people, we have a recycling

milk, jugs, recycle

transfer station and for the items we don’t reuse, my husband takes them in about once a month. Hey, it’s a tiny house and even though I try, I just can’t use everything.

You can keep your plastic milk jugs out of the garbage and the landfills by reusing them for everyday household organization and storage, in your yard and garden and basic toys for your kids. Try out some of these i deas.

Make a cheap, easy and convenient bird feeder.

Use them as a seed starting container by cutting off the jug about 3 inches from the bottom and poking small holes in the bottom for water drainage. Fill with potting soil and some seeds.

Poke holes in the bottom of the jug and use as a watering can for your garden plants and flowers.

Cut into strips and use a permanent marker to make plant markers.

Cut the bottom and part of the handle off and use as a scoop.

Cut off the bottom of the jug, poke a hole at the top of the handle and thread heavy wire through into the soil and use as a protector of your plants from the hot sun or inclement weather.

Use as floaters for your kids when they are swimming or in the water. Tie a string to each handle and then tie around your child.

Cut the bottom off and use the top as a funnel.Cut a hole opposite the handle and use as a storage container for almost anything. Works great for storing golf balls, nails, screws, and rubber bands and probably a thousand other things.

Cut out a hole opposite the handle and use to store your plastic bags.  Save them for when you need water. This works great for me when we forget to let the water drip in the winter and wake up to frozen pipes. I just run down to a friends house or to my dads house and fill up the empty jugs with water. Sure beats melting  snow, cause you don’t want to know how much snow it takes to make a gallon of water!!

Cut the top off and use the bottom as a catch all container for things that don’t have a permanent home.

Cut a hole near the top and use to store your toilet brush.

Use to store dry goods such as rice, coffee, and sugar.

Cut a 1/4 inch slit near the top of the milk jug and use as a piggy bank. Decorate your new penny saver however you wish.   (LEARN MORE)

Monsanto Is Bad for the Bees and Bad for Us


Monsanto Is Bad for the Bees and Bad for Us

Submitted by mark karlin on Tue, 04/24/2012 – 12:10pm.

  • Did you know that the United Sates bee population maybe on the verge of collapse, and this could be an environmental and food supply disaster?

    What would cause the deaths of so many bees?

    According to Beeologics, a firm that is attempting to restore a healthy and growing bee population, it is due to a syndrome called Colony Collapse Disorder:

    Collapse Disorder (CCD) of honey bees is threatening to annihilate US and world agriculture. Indeed, in the recent outbreak of CCD in the US in the winter of 2006-2007, an estimated 25%, or more than 2.4 million, honey bee hives were lost because of CCD. An estimated 23% of beekeeping operations in the US suffered from CCD over the winter of 2006-2007, affecting an average of 45% of beekeepers’ operations.

    According to the Beeologics website, a couple of possible sources include “large scale monoculture [that] has resulted in a lack of natural weeds, and all too often pesticide-laden crop forage.”

    These were similar possible causes cited in a recent informative documentary on the problem called “The Vanishing of the Bees.” In fact, on the film’s website there is an appeal: “Help secure funds for a systematic review of the impact of pesticides on our most important pollinators.”

    Who might be the world’s biggest producer of GMO mono crops and pesticides that reduce organic crop forage? Why, Monsanto, of course.

    But rather than risk restrictions on GMO crops and mega-toxic pesticides such as Monsanto’s Roundup, Monsanto purchased the company looking into saving bee colonies. Yes, Monsanto purchased Beeologic without much fanfare late last year.  In short, a company that was independently looking at the collapse of bee colonies and believing that pesticides and GMO development may be a contributory factor is now owned by the primary multi-national company that creates those products likely contributing to the bee die-off.

    Maybe, the beekeepers in Poland have the correct reaction to this cynical move to protect the threat Monsanto poses to bees, agriculture and life itself:

    On March 15, over 1,500 beekeepers and anti-GMO protesters marched through the streets of Warsaw, depositing thousands of dead bees on the steps of the Ministry of Agriculture in protest of genetically modified foods and their pesticides which are together largely responsible for the killing off of bees, butterflies, moths and other beneficial pollinators in great numbers.

    Later that day the Minister of Agriculture, Marek Sawicki, announced plans to ban MON810, which has already produced millions of hectares of pesticide resistant “superweeds” in the US.
    The Polish Beekeepers Association organized the protest, joining forces with International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside (ICPPC) and the Coalition for a GMO Free Poland.  Targeting Monsanto’s MON810 GM corn in particular, they also called for a complete ban on all genetically engineered crops as well as the pesticides found to be most damaging to the environment (and particularly to bees).

    Too bad, the White House appointed the former Monsanto vice president for publc policy, Michael Taylor, as second in charge at the Food and Drug Admimistration.

    Bad for the bees; bad for us.

BP Blamed for Ongoing Health Problems

BP blamed for ongoing health problems

April 22, 2012

Cross-posted from Al JazeeraGulf Coast residents and clean up workers have found chemicals present in BP’s oil in their own bloodstreams.
Ocean Springs, Mississippi -
- Not long after BP’s oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico began on April 20, 2010, Lorrie Williams knew something was very wrong with her health.She began getting frequent headaches, was experiencing shortness of breath, her eyes were burning, and she was having nightmares.

Williams, her husband Bud Waltman, and their 10-year-old son, Noah, have all tested positive for having chemicals in their blood that are also present in BP’s oil. Her 25-year-old son has been to the emergency room twice for hemorrhaging blood from his nose, and several of their neighbors also have experienced ongoing respiratory problems.

Her two-year-old granddaughter has been sick constantly.
Lorrie Williams and Bud Waltman have both tested positive for having chemicals present in BP’s oil in their bloodstreams [Erica Blumenfeld/Al Jazeera]

Williams and Waltman, both crab fishers, live less than a kilometer from the Mississippi coast, and blame the illnesses in their family on exposure to chemicals from BP’s oil and the dispersants used to sink it.

“I’m really sick, and I fear that I’m not gonna be here in a year,” Williams told Al Jazeera. “There are days that I can’t get up, and I can’t eat. And I can’t do the things that I used to do, with Bubba, and my grandbaby. And Noah. And then I worry about my mom. And I have nothing to leave them but a crab boat and some crab pots.”

Williams stated that she and her family are not alone.

“There are now dozens, if not hundreds, of other Gulf Coast residents and former oil clean up workers that have also tested positive for having BP’s chemicals in their blood,” she added. “And for many of us, the problem seems to be getting worse with time.”

Volatile organic chemicals

The 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf last year was the largest accidental marine oil spill in history, affecting people living near the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Seemingly compounding the problem, BP has admitted to using at least 1.9 million gallons of toxic dispersants, which are banned by many countries, including the UK. According to many scientists, these dispersants create an even more toxic substance when mixed with crude oil.

Dr Wilma Subra, a chemist in New Iberia, Louisiana, has tested the blood of BP cleanup workers and residents.

“Ethylbenzene, m,p-Xylene and hexane are volatile organic chemicals that are present in the BP crude oil,” Dr Subra explained to Al Jazeera. “The acute impacts of these chemicals include nose and throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, lung irritation, dizziness, light-headedness, nausea and vomiting.”

The NIH has launched a 10-year study of 55,000 oil clean-up workers, many of whom did not use protective equipment [Erika Blumenfeld/Al Jazeera]Dr Subra explained that exposure has been prolonged enough to create long-term effects, such as “liver damage, kidney damage, and damage to the nervous system. So the presence of these chemicals in the blood indicates exposure.”

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Artical Link:  http://www.opednews.com/articles/BP-blamed-for-ongoing-heal-by-Dahr-Jamail-120421-91.html

Climate on Steroids: Coverage of Extreme Weather and Climate Change

Climate on Steroids: More Mainstream Media Coverage of Extreme Weather and Climate Change

Stephen Lacey
Think Progress / News Analysis
Published: Sunday 15 April 2012
The March heat wave finally caught the attention of major television news outlets like ABC, NBC, PBS,
and the Weather Channel.
Article image
The March heat wave finally caught the attention of major television news outlets. In recent weeks, ABC and NBC have run stories linking the “unprecedented” heat wave to climate change. They join PBS, which has been the only network consistently drawing the connection between extreme weather and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The Weather Channel has also picked up on the story, featuring a number of stories about the influence of human activity on extreme weather. One of the best segments featured meteorologist Stu Ostro, who explained why “data and science, not politics” changed him from a skeptic to someone very concerned about the problem.

Add a new piece from the Weather Channel to the mix of growing coverage. This piece features the “steroids in baseball” analogy that journalists are starting to pick up on — proving the value of a concise, easy-to-understand metaphor.  (Read Full Article)

U.S. Inaction on Climate is “Criminal”, Activists Say | NationofChange

U.S. Inaction on Climate is “Criminal”, Activists Say | NationofChange.

U.S. Inaction on Climate is “Criminal”, Activists Say
By Kanya D’Almeida

The United States’ delegation at the 17th annual Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCC) in Durban, South Africa has come under heavy fire from civil society leaders and activists around the globe for standing in the way of real solutions to climate change.

Between 15,000 and 20,000 farmers, unionists, teachers, peasants, students, garbage pickers, transport workers and other indignant citizens gathered outside the U.N. consultation chambers in Durban on Saturday calling for “system change, not climate change”.

Many of these protestors marched to the U.S. embassy, demanding that the “world’s biggest polluter” start supporting climate solutions that benefit the 99 percent.

In solidarity with their African counterparts, citizens in 20 cities across the U.S. rallied against the eco-destructive actions of the “one percent” as part of the Dec. 3 global day of action to save the planet and “occupy the climate”.

Spearheaded by the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJA), a national network of grassroots organizations, along with the North American chapter of the 200 million member international farmers’ movement, La Via Campesina, Saturday’s events were an attempt to draw together disparate climate-related struggles under one banner.

“We are mobilizing to denounce quick fix solutions being promoted by governments and corporations – like carbon markets, REDD++, and geo- engineering – all of which are just creative ways for corporations to continue profiting at the expense of the people and Mother Earth,” said Dena Hoff, a Montana-based member of the National Family Farm Coalition.

“As stewards of the land, feeding the world’s people, we can’t stand by as our ecosystems are destroyed for corporate greed,” she added.

“U.S. government and corporations are the one percent responsible for the majority of pollution affecting the 99 percent of the world,” Francisca Porchas of the LA-based Labor Community Strategy Center, said Saturday. “We demand that the U.S. immediately reduce carbon emissions to 50 percent of current levels by 2017, and stop obstructing progress towards paying climate debt and forging an internationally binding deal.”

Actions in the U.S. kicked off Friday, when a delegation representing leaders from hundreds of Native American tribes presented President Barack Obama with the Mother Earth Accord, a document stating their opposition to the development of the bitterly contested TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline through Indian country.

“Recognizing that the pipeline would stretch 1,980 miles, from Alberta, Canada to Nederland, Texas, carrying up to 900,000 barrels per day of filthy tar sands crude oil,” the Accord roundly condemned the project as “suicidal” for scores of Native communities and sacred sites as well as for the Ogallala Aquifer, which currently sustains millions of people and irrigates huge swathes of farmland throughout the heartland of the United States.

The U.S. government’s indecision on the project, despite reported evidence of numerous spills and irrefutable data on the pipeline’s impact, is indicative of its overall indifference to social movements and civil society’s demands, activists say.

The U.S. delegation in Durban, led by special envoy Todd Stern and his deputy Jonathan Pershing, have remained immune to civil society pressure by continuing to push its agenda of promoting new “climate financing” systems to mitigate the impacts of carbon emissions and global warming.

This, despite the fact that a 2011 World Bank report, prepared for this year’s G20 meeting in France and leaked to the British Guardian in September, confessed that global carbon markets are in deep trouble.

“The value of transactions in the primary CDM market declined sharply in 2009 and further in 2010 … amid chronic uncertainties about future mitigation targets and market mechanisms after 2012,” the report said.

The failure of financial markets to regulate themselves, much less the climate, notwithstanding, Stern and Pershing have blocked even the most watered down proposals on the negotiating table in Durban, such as the establishment of a Green Climate Fund, endorsed by most developing nations as well as the Eurozone.

“The U.S. is putting the cart before the horse in terms of the climate fund by refusing to sign onto something before the details have been worked out,” Jen Soriano, communications coordinator for the Durban delegation of the GGJA, told IPS. “In fact, nothing can be concretized until countries like the U.S. commit to the fund in the first place, so this is the perfect stall tactic.”

“It reflects the administration’s total inability to take the lead, even over a proposal that would essentially be managed by (controversial) for-profit actors like the World Bank,” she added.

“The U.S. delegation also told a gathering of NGOs in Durban yesterday that they would absolutely not re-ratify an updated version of the Kyoto protocol until 2020… proving that there is no scientific basis to the U.S.’s agenda,” Soriano said.

In fact, every noteworthy document on climate change, from the landmark Cochabamba People’s Agreement signed last year in Bolivia to the U.N.’s own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) 2011 report, predict catastrophic results if industrial countries don’t limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius and follow the basic conditions laid out in the Kyoto protocol.

The signatories to the Cochabamba Agreement stressed, “Between 20 percent and 30 percent of species would be in danger of disappearing, large extensions of forest would be affected, droughts and floods would affect different regions of the planet, deserts would expand, and the melting of the polar ice caps and the glaciers in the Andes and Himalayas would worsen.

“Many island states would disappear, and Africa would suffer an increase in temperature of more than three degrees Celsius. Likewise, the production of food would diminish and the number of people in the world suffering from hunger would increase dramatically, a figure that already exceeds 1.02 billion people.”

Meanwhile the 220 scientists who comprise the U.N.’s IPCC noted last month that “extreme weather events” would likely suck billions out of national economies and destroy millions of lives, particularly in Africa.

“We have to think not only in terms of loss of life but also climate displacement, the loss of homes, separation from families and poverty,” Jill Johnston, programs coordinator of the Southwest Workers Union, told IPS.

In fact, the World Bank said back in February that an additional 44 million people were pushed into poverty this year as a result of rising food prices and millions more could be hungry by the end of 2012 if current trends continue.

“Viewed against this backdrop, the U.S. has been incredibly irresponsible at these talks. Its negligence in finding real solutions to the climate crisis often borders on criminal,” Johnston added.

This article was published at NationofChange at: http://www.nationofchange.org/us-inaction-climate-criminal-activists-say-1323099635.

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