The Environmeddlers brings the world of environmental protest from monkey wrenching to the digital age. In this high-spirited adventure, Clovis, a reformed Sierra Club organizer, teams up with an animal rights advocate, an unrepentant defender of raw wilderness and a Taoist computer geek to make a difference in an uncaring world where industrial growth, pollution, and habitat destruction continue unchecked.
Logging companies keen to exploit Brazil’s rainforest have been accused by human rights organisations of using gunmen to wipe out the Awá, a tribe of just 355. Survival International, with backing from Colin Firth, is campaigning to stop what a judge referred to as ‘genocide’
Gilmour says that when he first contacted Geunther Castillion, Goose Project Manager, Castillion told him the cutting was just for thinning and fire management. But Gilmour says he quickly learned the project was “massive,” including road-building and spraying of herbicides. It means the cutting of enough timber to fill 9,000 logging trucks in an area rich with elk deer, grey fox, black bear, bobcats and cougars.
I hope everyone saw ex-Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chief Sheila Bair’s editorial in the Washington Post, entitled, “Fix Income Inequality with $10 million Loans for Everyone!” The piece might have set a world record for public bitter sarcasm by a former top regulatory official.
In it, Bair points out that since we’ve been giving zero-interest loans to all of the big banks, why don’t we do the same thing for actual people, to solve the income inequality program? If the Fed handed out $10 million to every person, and then got each of those people to invest, say, in foreign debt, we could all be back on our feet in no time
Repair didn’t used to be so neglected. It used to be the norm. (Ask your grandma, or even your mom, what she did when something broke when she was growing up.) Once there were 120,000 shoe repair shops in the United States. Today there are only 7,000. The numbers of appliance and electronics repair shops have also been in long-term decline (although they’ve had a slight resurgence in the current recession).
The world’s pre-eminent environmental organizations, widely perceived as the leading advocates for rainforests and old growth, have for decades been actively promoting primary forest logging. Groups like Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network (RAN), The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, World Wide Fund for Nature/World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Environmental Defense Fund actively promote industrially logging Earth’s last old forests. Through their support of the existing “Forest Stewardship Council” (FSC), and/or planned compromised “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation” (REDD), they are at the forefront of destroying ancient forests for disposable consumer items — claiming it is “sustainable forest management” and “carbon forestry”.
Can today’s $65 trillion world economy be sure it will have the energy it needs to be a $130 trillion economy in two decades? And to what degree can such an economy, which depends on carbon fuels for 80 percent of its energy, move to other diverse energy sources?
Last year, Citizens for Tax Justice found that 30 major corporations had made billions of dollars in profits while paying no federal income tax between 2008 and 2010. Today, CTJ updated that report to reflect the 2011 tax bill of those 30 companies, and 26 of them have still managed to pay absolutely nothing over that four year period:
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Montana are seeking to have a mountain peak listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the hope of calling attention to a copper and silver mining company’s plans to burrow beneath it. The tribe has traditionally used the site, Chicago Peak, for praying, fasting and seeking visions.
ere we go again. Another round of the game we call Congressional Creep. After months of haggling and debate, Congress finally passes reform legislation to fix a serious rupture in the body politic, and the President signs it into law. But the fight’s just begun, because the special interests immediately set out to win back what they lost when the reform became law.
Despite overwhelming public support and support from a clear majority of Vermont’s Agriculture Committee, Vermont legislators are dragging their feet on a proposed GMO labeling bill. Why? Because Monsanto has threatened to sue the state if the bill passes.
Best management practices by farmers could help reduce levels without much additional cost
A U.S. Forest Service plan to “reduce wildfire danger” [what a Crock! TGH] in McKenzie Bridge has angered the people it aims to protect.
The tell-all defection of Greg Smith, a former Goldman Sachs executive, provided an insider’s view of the moral corruption of the Wall Street banks that control of much of America’s economy and politics. Smith confirms what insightful observers have known for years: the business purpose of Wall Street bankers is to maximize their personal financial take without regard to the consequences for others.
The EU’s emissions reduction target for 2020 could be facing an unlikely but grave obstacle, according to a growing number of scientists, EU officials and NGOs: the contribution of biomass to the EU’s renewable energy objectives for 2020.
Bank of America didn’t pay a dime in federal taxes last year. Or the year before. In fact, they got a $1 billion refund last year. They claimed it was because they had pretax losses of $5.4 billion in 2010. They paid out $35 billion in bonuses and compensation that year. You do the math.
The recent start of a “scoping period” finds the Bureau of Land Management beginning a large-scale update of its plans to manage 2.5 million acres of forestland in Western Oregon, according to that agency’s Mike Campbell.
Over the years we’ve been reporting on how power is monopolized by the powerful. How corporate lobbyists, for example, far outnumber members of Congress. And how the politicians are so eager to do the bidding of donors that they allow those lobbyists to dictate the law of the land and make a farce of democracy. What we have is much closer to plutocracy, where the massive concentration of wealth at the top is protects and perpetuates itself by controlling the ends and means of politics. This is why so many of us despair over fixing what’s wrong: we elect representatives to change things, and once in office they wind up serving the deep-pocketed donors who put up the money to keep change from happening at all.
Almost from the moment Occupy Wall Street protesters were evicted from their camp in Zuccotti Park last November, observers have speculated whether the movement was finished, or if it would somehow rebound in the spring.
NOTE: Baby “Old Growth” is as important, if not more so, than the big and old “old growth” to the future forest, something the industry’s PR firms’ language would deceive us all about. With so much already logged already with unconscionable results, hundreds of millions of acres of stump graveyards, Stop Logging and Save What’s Left, let God and Nature do the recovery. Money worshiping corporations and industry lackeys certainly can’t be trusted to do it. Never have yet in the history of the human race. As Teddy Roosevelt said so often so long ago, the timber industry barons and their lackeys are primarily liars, cheats and thieves. How can killing some of the oldest and biggest of the Grand Canyon’s trees be “restoration?” The simple and honest truth is it can’t. Destroying a village doesn’t save it. Logging by any name doesn’t save a forest, doesn’t restore a forest, doesn’t help the forest in any way and 200 years of history proves that the industry is exactly what Teddy Roosevelt says it was – LIARS, CHEATS and THIEVES. Today that even includes those Gang Green Collaborators that aid and abet any further logging, under any justification, regardless of the nice, kinder, gentler logging labels they put on it. Thanks to Jay Lininger for this short overview. But one negative to keep in mind, the organization Jay works for, CBD, collaborated in and wrote the largest logging plan in the lower 48, called the Four Forests plan, logging or brutally “thinning” 2.5 million acres of trees 18 inches and under (the baby and future old growth) to protect 40,000 big old trees. What a Crock! And the public subsidies are also massive. We don’t have to thin the forest, just let nature’s insects, fire and disease play their proper and vital role. They are honest and effective. Fireproofing homes and structures is easy, it’s cheap and it’s effective. It’s impossible to fireproof a forest, unless you cut it all down, plant lawns, install sprinklers and water it twice a day. TGH
The city of Eugene has paid $232,000 to cover the legal fees of an environmental activist who prevailed in his lawsuit against the city and a police sergeant who forcefully arrested him in 2009, newly filed court records show.
Meanwhile, the city paid a Eugene law firm’s attorneys another $187,000 to defend it and Sgt. Bill Solesbee in the civil rights suit filed by Josh Schlossberg, city spokeswoman Jan Bohman said Monday.
FUENTES DE ANDALUCIA, Spain — A unique thermosolar power station in southern Spain can shrug off cloudy days: energy stored when the sun shines lets it produce electricity even during the night.
The U.S. Forest Service released its new final rule to govern the nation’s 193-million-acre national forest system. The new rule significantly weakens longstanding protections for fish and wildlife species on national forests. While the Forest Service was previously required to ensure the viability of those populations, the new rule largely defers to local Forest Service officials.
In February, Time magazine broke the news that the Sierra Club, an old and respected environmental defender, had, for three years, accepted $25 million from Chesapeake Energy, one of the largest gas-drillers in the world. (In 2010, Michael Brune, the Sierra Club’s new executive director, refused further donations from the company.) The story prompted Steingraber to write an open letter to the Club, posted below. We invite you to read the letter, which testifies to the confusion, fear, and outrage that’s pouring out of communities in gasland — but which is also, importantly, a bold call to courage.
This puts quite a light on much of the cause of what’s happening to us, here and now. This is somewhat long but a very interesting MUST READ by Arundhati Roy. She exposes and explains much of what’s happening in our world as well as in India. She in one way or another ties together much of Disaster Capitalism, Predatory Capitalism, Shock Doctrine, and Rogue, Outlaw Capitalism. And closes with, “Perhaps it’s time for us to take back the night.” What do you think she means?
Draft documents show the great majority of BLM land in Lane County would be opened to cutting
Corporate power is behind the politics of climate denial, Wall Street bailouts, union busting, and media consolidation, to name just a few. And policies advocated by the 1 percent are bankrupting the middle class. But real people have power, too. Here are some of their most successful strategies.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has prepared a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a permit under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for an experiment to test the effects of barred owl competition on northern spotted owl populations through removal of barred owls from select study areas. Comments on the draft EIS are due June 6, 2012.
Oakeshott’s motion has once more shown how Australian forests are at the crossroads. The challenge for conservationists is to make trees more profitable alive than dead. Should they be left standing for posterity, or should they go up in smoke for short-term prosperity?
The new animated feature film The Lorax is both a fable, with a young ingenue hero on a quest to win a princess and save civilization, and an animated comedy full of slapstick and throwaway one-liners. In other words, it fits right into the mass-market animation mold.
But it is also an impressively gutsy political satire about a world where corporate rights and unchecked progress — “biggering and biggering”, in Dr. Seuss parlance — have overwhelmed all other values. The movie’s call to action is clear and cogent as well as entertaining, and I think Dr. Seuss, the author of the environmentalist children’s book on which it is based, would be pleased.
Three of our Oregon congressmen are proposing a bill to place the majority of federal Bureau of Land Management public lands in Western Oregon in a trust controlled by timber companies and rural politicians. With this move, they are buying into myths that have worked their way into our public discourse.
Hell will already be full of people who collaborated with the timber companies, and those who support commercial timber sales under the guise of forest health on public lands will occupy the lowest level.
NOTE: The public notice aspect of these sales could be easily resolved by requiring every district office to maintain it’s primary management maps in a public place, their dynamic map of the forest watershed (ie., they look like Google Earth or Bing Maps and are easily and visually informative and understandable) with all the sales marked, indicated, platted, that are sold but uncut and those that are in the planning stages for future sale and logging, so everyone could see for themselves, both in the office and online, what’s going on and whether they or their watershed are in danger and to what degree.
Continued FBI surveillance of environmental activism amidst expanding definitions of ‘eco-terrorism’
The U.S. Forest Service this spring will be taking a second look at the impacts of logging on deer habitat for 17 timber projects it’s already approved on the Tongass. The re-evaluation is a result of a court ruling that addressed just four Tongass logging plans, but the federal agency has agreed with litigants that 13 other projects also need more consideration.
Award-winning UO researcher and Creswell-boy-made-good Shannon Boettcher ’03 is searching for a planetary game changer: A solar-power storage system that is as smart as your basic dandelion.
Why did Iowa succumb to the zombie threat first? Well, for one, it’s the largest hog and egg producer in the country. It’s also where two of the highest-profile undercover videos – one of chicks being ground up alive and another of mistreated pigs – were shot. And it helps to have a governor who believes that undercover videos revealing animal abuse, rather than the abuse itself, are “a problem that should be addressed,” as Iowa’s Gov. Terry Branstad (R) does.
House Bill 4175, approved Monday, allows counties to tap road fund money to pay for sheriff’s patrols. Passage was crucial to counties that have lost millions with the end of federal forest payments and are struggling to provide basic services. At the same time, many of those counties have large road fund reserves that came from the same source — a share of federal timber harvest revenue — that by law couldn’t be used for anything but roads.
Voters in at least three dozen Vermont towns want Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to make clear that corporations aren’t people.
They adopted a nonbinding resolution on Town Meeting Day asking that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision be overturned.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew a previous direct and final rule to amend the Renewable Fuel Standard on March 5 after environmental groups, including Friends of the Earth, submitted comments about the agency’s failure to address land use change and greenhouse gas and invasive species impacts in its analysis of four new biofuel feedstocks.
It’s not only toxic — it’s driven by a right-wing billionaire who profits more from flipping land than drilling for gas.
Eagle owl at 1000 frames per Second flying towards a camera
For nearly a decade, Sen. Lisa Murkowski has failed to move legislation through Congress that would change the locations where Sealaska Corporation may select its final 132 square miles of entitlements under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
Hooray for Oregon Wild. In spite of his many false claims, what DeFazio doesn’t say is most important. He doesn’t tell you that his bill sells off, in its essence, over one million acres of publicly-owned BLM/O&C lands to the timber industry (in the form of a logging first “TRUST”) for little or nothing in return. That his bill does indeed return to the good old days for the Big Timber barons as it triples logging in the region, levels that were unsuststainable in the 80s and are far from reasonable or sustainable even more so today since so much of the forest has been lost since then. Nor does he admit that his bill will continue to increase the degradation of our watersheds with its dishonest and destructive logging levels of already horribly overcut publicly owned forest watersheds and much of the trees being cut now and that will be cut in the future in his bill (along with Senators Wyden’s and Tester’s) will be for the export markets (as chips, logs, pulp and pellets) and will do little or nothing for our local mill workers. We already have Senator Wyden’s bill and Senator Tester’s bill, and now we have Congressman DeFazio’s bill all of which do nothing for the environment and most if not everything for the dishonest and destructive, strip-mine logging industry, and no matter what they call it — restoration, forest health, fire risk reduction, thinning, or even green alternative energy — it’s still logging at double or triple today’s already destructive levels, Climate and People be damned. If we are going to subsidize jobs, or corporate “profits” let them be ones that build or improve, not destroy. Let them be honestly and full-costed instead of dishonest and fraudulent. DeFazio’s bill still kills the trees. It still hurts the forests. It still hurts the watersheds.
ON OCTOBER 9, 2011, South Carolina’s largest newspaper published a lengthy expose on an alternative energy power plant at the University of South Carolina (USC).
The plant, which used biomass gasification technology, had been racked by explosions and malfunctions. In March 2011, only four years after opening, it had to be closed down completely. USC is now waiting to recoup its $20 million investment.
UBC is about to open a $27 million biomass power plant in partnership with Nexterra Systems Corp., the same company that supplied the technology to the USC power plant.
A federal judge has yet again issued a ruling that effectively questions the validity of scores of foreclosures in Oregon, a crisis the Legislature could resolve in the mortgage industry’s favor this week if bank lobbyists and House Republican leaders have their way.
The plan also would permit logging in critical owl habitat for the first time
One popular new lie is that U.S. oil production is suddenly so robust that America is about to become a leading world oil exporter again — which is completely untrue. The lie arises at the intersection of wishful thinking and the willful misuse of statistics. It was trumpeted by the appallingly credulous Tom Friedman in his Sunday New York Times column, of all places, and it shows how effective the oil and gas industry’s propaganda campaign has been.
Gilmour was surprised, but as a part-time resident, he figured maybe he’d just been out of the loop. He did some investigating on the Internet and found the description and documents relating to the Goose Project, a 2,134-acre timber sale that will produce 38 million board feet of lumber, enough to fill 7,000 log trucks.
Then Gilmour drove to Edgar Exum and Claudette Aras’ house, which rises from a meadow in the shadow of Lookout Ridge on 20 acres that also border the national forest. Had they heard about the Goose Project? They hadn’t. Nor had any of the neighbors they wound up asking. Not even the publisher of the local newspaper, the McKenzie River Reflections, had heard about it.
Our top 1% do well, but the rest of us are headed for a Lesser America. Ask any struggling small business owner the Henry Ford question, “Which would you rather have, lower wages or prosperous customers?” They want prosperous customers!
Our problem is political. Civil society has lost political influence to the top 1%.