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Chevron’s Revenge – November 19, 2013

Oil giant pursues a “scorched earth” campaign against its most dogged critic

Steven Donziger is getting smashed into the concrete like a spent cigarette butt.

photonameChevron claims Steven Donziger and Ecuadorian
villagers attempted to extort billions of dollars
from the oil giant.

Since Donziger is a lawyer — and lawyers aren’t always the most sympathetic of characters — you might be excused for not caring too much about his fate. There are other things to worry about, after all: accelerating climate change, the people suffering in the Philippines, the mass extinction of plants and animals. But if you care about the health of the planet, you should pay attention to Donziger’s plight, because it’s a… more

by: Jason Mark

(2) Comments

A Lesson from Washington’s GMO Labeling Initiative – November 6, 2013

Want GMO labeling? Then drive a wedge between Big Food and Big Ag.

They’re still counting the votes in Washington, but it appears that people in the Evergreen State have voted down Initiative 522, a measure that would have required a label for foods containing genetically modified ingredients. (Mail-in ballots could turn the tide, but it seems unlikely.) Food system reformers look to be 0-for-2 in their efforts to require GMO labeling, having lost a similar referendum last year in California. A defeat in Washington would force “good food” activists to step back and reevaluate their strategies for creating a more transparent food system. Among other takeaways from the latest food fight, it seems to me there is a… more

by: Jason Mark

(3) Comments

What’s Fueling the Demand for the Palm Oil Destroying the Rainforests of Indonesia? – October 9, 2013

Health concerns and well-meaning efforts to cut GHGs, it turns out

Today Rainforest Action Network released an emotional video that reveals the horrible costs of our growing appetite for palm oil. The two-minute film shows that industrial palm plantations in Indonesia are driving to extinction the last populations of orangutans, a great ape that possesses a sentience like few other animals (you can watch the video below). The video is a follow-up to a report the group put out last month about “Conflict Palm Oil” and the latest salvo in its campaign to force major food brands to reform the palm oil industry.

photo of a devastated tropical landscapemore

by: Jason Mark

(3) Comments

The Plight of the Pollinators – October 2, 2013

The decline of native bumblebees, butterflies and moths poses a bigger threat for pollination than the loss of honeybees

It appears we may be on the verge of a new silent spring, a season marked, not by the absence of birdsong, but by the lack of insect buzzing. A range of flying invertebrates – from the iconic monarch butterfly, to moths you've never heard of, to a number of once-common bumblebees – are suffering significant declines. Some biologists are warning that the losses could have serious consequences for the food web and for human agriculture, especially since native pollinators are far more important for food crop pollination than the domesticated European honeybee.

Monarch Butterflyphoto by steveburt1947, on Flickrmore

by: Jason Mark

(2) Comments

Ecuador’s Yasuni Initiative: Down in Flames – September 12, 2013

Failure of conservation effort raises question about cash-for-land schemes

When it was announced in 2007, Ecuador’s Yasuni ITT-Initiative to protect an area of the Amazonian rainforest from oil drilling was hailed as a historic conservation effort. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said he wouldn’t allow oil extraction in parts of Yasuni National Park if international donors agreed to reimburse Ecuador for half of the lost revenues of the estimated 846 million barrels of oil underneath the forest. This is how Earth Island Journal reporter Jean Friedman-Rudovsky explained the importance of the plan in a 2007 story titled ‘Money for Nothing’: “Ecuador’s move is, technically speaking, unprecedented. Though similar to programs that have sold acres of rainforest to avoid deforestation, this… more

by: Jason Mark

(1) Comments

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