Conservationists say the decision by the Obama administration to allow drilling in the Beaufort Sea repeats Bush era mistakes...
- Ed Pilkington in Anchorage, Alaska - guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 20 October 2009
By Emily Badger, Miller-McCune.com. Posted Oc. 19'09 - Alternet
On the Colorado Plateau farming has been an unbroken cultural tradition for at least 4200 years. The Navajo, Zuni, Apache, Hopi, Paiute and Tewa have cultivated the most diverse annual crop assemblage in the New World north of the Tropic of Cancer.
The Wayana's Cultivated Eden
The farming system of the Wayana society of French Guyana is based on diverse and flexible cultivation, with characteristically high biodiversity. Organic agriculture and permaculture form a rich, biologically complex system of food production, complimented by wildcrafting, fishing, and hunting. In Wayana, there is no artificial separation between cultivated and wild areas, which is the basis for what we call permaculture.
The Milpa System and 20,000 Varieties of Corn
Few regions in the world have an organic farming system as sustainable and productive as the traditional milpa or "three sisters" organic corn fields of Mexico and Central America. The Mayan milpa tradition is the planting of heirloom varieties of corn in mounds or raised beds, intercropped with biologically complimentary species such as beans and squash, fertilized through natural processes, weeded, harvested and hulled by hand and tended individually. The ancient milpa tradition, in fact, has produced traditional varieties that are healthier and more pest-resistant than modern chemical and water-intensive hybrid and GMO varieties. There are over 20,000 varieties of corn in Mexico and Central America. In southern and central Mexico approximately 5,000 varieties have been identified. In one village in Oaxaca, researchers have identified 17 different micro-environments where 26 varieties of corn are growing. Each variety has been cultivated to adapt to elevation levels, soil acidity, sun exposure, soil type, and rainfall. Unfortunately Monsanto's genetically engineered corn - forced on Mexico by the Bush, Clinton, and Obama administrations - has begun to contaminate traditional Mexican corn varieties, while industry and consumer-induced global warming has spawned drought, pestilence, flooding, and killer hurricanes.
Andean Terraced Potatoes, With Thousands of Varieties
In the Andean region of South America, generations of farmers have domesticated thousands of potato varieties. Today, farmers cultivate up to 50 varieties on their farms. In the biodiversity reserve of the Chiloé archipelago in Chile, local people cultivate about 200 varieties of native potato. They use farming practices transmitted orally by generations of mainly women farmers. A long list of cultural and agriculture treasures from the Inca civilization has been carefully preserved and improved over centuries to guarantee living conditions over 4000 meters above sea level. Although grassroots opposition has stopped Monsanto's attempted invasion on the Andes and other regions of the Americas with its genetically engineered potatoes, constant vigilance and struggle will be required.
One of the most important and sustainable features of Andean agriculture is the terracing system used to capture water and prevent soil erosion. Terraces allow cultivation on steep slopes and in different altitudes. From a range of 2800 to 4500 meters, three main agricultural systems can be found: maize is cultivated in the lower areas, potato mainly at medium altitudes. Above 4,000 meters the areas are mostly used as rangeland, but can still be cultivated with high altitude varieties as well. In the high plateau, around Lake Titicaca, farmers dig trenches (called "sukakollos") around their fields. These trenches are filled with water, which is warmed by sunlight. When temperatures drop at night, the water gives off warm steam that serves as frost protection for several varieties of potato and other native crops, such as quinoa.
Learn more about indigenous peoples in the Americas and their contribution to sustainable agriculture here!
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Nursing a baby in a wellness clinic. (The Nestle corporation has a long and dubious history of discouraging women to breast-feed, so they can peddle their own baby formula and pad their bottom line.)
La Via Campesina is appalled by the arrogance of the private sector and especially Nestlé in pretending to...
By Antonia Juhasz, AlterNet. Posted November 14, 2009.
Influence wielded by coal-producing states - 25 of them - is the big reason the U.S. is a climate-change laggard
Jeffrey Sachs - Sachs is a professor of economics and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
“To me, the tar sands are Canada’s Mordor. The air is foul, the water is being drained and poisoned and giant tailings ponds line the Athabasca river” – Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians Chairperson and Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the UN General Assembly
Canada's Sorry Climate Change Policies - Sierra Club Canada
“Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government, Canada has become an international pariah at climate change summits.”
Posted: 10 Nov 2009 06:02 PM PST
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 10, 2009
WASHINGTON – A new EPA study shows concentrations of toxic chemicals in fish tissue from lakes and reservoirs in nearly all 50 U.S. states. For the first time, EPA is able to estimate the percentage of lakes and reservoirs nationwide that have fish containing potentially harmful levels of chemicals such as mercury and PCBs.
“These results reinforce Administrator Jackson’s strong call for revitalized protection of our nation’s waterways and long-overdue action to protect the American people,” said Peter S. Silva, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “EPA is aggressively tackling the issues the report highlights. Before the results were even finalized, the agency initiated efforts to further reduce toxic mercury pollution and strengthen enforcement of the Clean Water Act – all part of a renewed effort to protect the nation’s health and environment.”
The data showed mercury concentrations in game fish exceeding EPA’s recommended levels at 49 percent of lakes and reservoirs nationwide, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in game fish at levels of potential concern at 17 percent of lakes and reservoirs. These findings are based on a comprehensive national study using more data on levels of contamination in fish tissue than any previous study.
Burning fossil fuels, primarily coal, accounts for nearly half of mercury air emissions caused by human activity in the U.S. , and those emissions are a significant contributor to mercury in water bodies. From 1990 through 2005, emissions of mercury into the air decreased by 58 percent. EPA is committed to developing a new rule to substantially reduce mercury emissions from power plants, and the Obama Administration is actively supporting a new international agreement that will reduce mercury emissions worldwide.
The study also confirms the widespread occurrence of PCBs and dioxins in fish, illustrating the need for federal, state and local government to continue efforts to reduce the presence of these harmful chemicals in our lakes and reservoirs and ensure that fish advisory information is readily available.
It is important that women of child-bearing age and children continue to follow the advice of EPA and the Food and Drug Administration on fish consumption as it relates to mercury. This study is also a strong message to state and local governments to redouble their efforts in looking for opportunities to reduce mercury discharges, as well as developing fish advisories, especially to reach those in sensitive and vulnerable populations.
Results from the four-year National Study of Chemical Residues in Lake Fish Tissue show that mercury and PCBs are widely distributed in U.S. lakes and reservoirs. Mercury and PCBs were detected in all of the fish samples collected from the nationally representative sample of 500 lakes and reservoirs in the study. Because these findings apply to fish caught in lakes and reservoirs, it is particularly important for recreational and subsistence fishers to follow their state and local fish advisories.
EPA is conducting other statistically based national aquatic surveys that include assessment of fish contamination, such as the National Rivers and Streams Assessment and the National Coastal Assessment. Sampling for the National Rivers and Streams Assessment is underway, and results from this two-year study are expected to be available in 2011. Collection of fish samples for the National Coastal Assessment will begin in 2010.
(At bottom, please also read emails I sent regarding this issue. l.p.)
(Narrative source, below, unknown)
Denmark is a big shame.
The sea is stained in red and in the mean while it's not because of the climate effects of nature.
It's because of the cruelty that the human beings (civilised human) kill hundreds of the famous and intelligent Calderon dolphins.
This happens every year in Feroe iland in Denmark. In this slaughter the main participants are young teens.
To show that they are adults and mature.... BULLLLsh
In this big celebration, nothing is missing for the fun. Everyone is participating in one way or the other, killing or looking at the cruelty "supporting like a spectator"
Is it necessary to mention that the dolphin calderon, like all the other species of dolphins, it's near instinction and they get near men to play and interact. In a way of PURE friendship
They don't die instantly; they are cut 1, 2 or 3 times with thick hocks. And at that time the dolphins produce a grim extremely compatible with the cry of a new born child.
But he suffers and there's no compassion till this sweet being slowly dies in its own blood
We will send this mail until this email arrives in any association defending the animals, we won't only read. That would make us accomplices, viewers.
Take care of the world, it is your home!
Editor's note: If they really want to prove their manhood, perhaps they should try the same thing with sharks! l.p.
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
Government of Canada
Dear Honourable Ms. Shea,
Would the Government of Canada consider using its good offices to
speak out about the inhumane and destructive practice of slaughtering
endangered and defenseless dolphins off a Danish island each year?
Perhaps this could be done through the United Nations and/or Canada's representative(s) at a Law of the Seas conference?
I hope you will visit the site (see active link below) for more details of this shameful practice.
I would appreciate a response at your earliest convenience.
Dear Peter, (Mansbridge),
I wonder if The National would consider covering the annual slaughter of defenseless and endangered dolphins (see photo attached) which apparently happens each year off a Danish Island (see active link below for details).
Secondly, perhaps Rex could provide us with another commentary in support of this ritual, as he did for the Newfoundland seal hunt. (I'd recommend he looks at the numerous photos of this event before he does this.)
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