User: flenvcenter Topic: Sustainability-National
Category: Environmental Justice :: General
Last updated: Jul 31 2015 02:50 IST RSS 2.0
 
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The Pope's Call to Action 31.7.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
I confess -- no pun intended -- to not being the best practicing Catholic. So maybe it was Catholic guilt that propelled me to read the Pope's entire encyclical on environmental and social responsibility while on vacation recently. I did read it -- and when you take the time to read the entire document, you realize that the totality of what he discusses goes far beyond the sound bites that both supporters and detractors have used to advance their respective agendas. The encyclical is more than pontification, more than a religious treatise. It is a document that speaks clearly to contemporary social and environmental challenges in a secular world and the role of individuals, civil society and institutions to address them. The core message of this encyclical is best captured by a single quote within it: Today, however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the ...
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The Land Battle: 15 Organizations Defending Land Rights 30.7.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
The increasing trend of international land grabbing--when governments and private firms invest in or purchase large tracts of land in other countries for the purpose of agricultural production and export--can have serious environmental and social consequences. Investors claim that land grabs can help alleviate the world food crisis by tapping into a country's 'unused' agricultural potential, but such investments often do more harm than good, disrupting traditional land use and leaving half a billion family farmers vulnerable to exploitation. According to the Land Matrix, approximately 130 million hectares of land (or more than 52.7 million football fields) has been acquired globally in settled and impending land deals over the last 15 years. In South Sudan, the country with the most transnational land acquisitions, land has been sold for as little as US$0.025 cents per hectare. Approximately 60 percent of the food grown on acquired lands is intended for export instead of feeding local communities, ...
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Mass Die-Off of Fish Underscores Dangers of Palm Oil Industry in Guatemala 29.7.2015 Truthout - All Articles
Help Truthout keep publishing stories like this: They can't be found in corporate media! Make a tax-deductible donation today. Crossing the River Pasión today, nothing would appear out of the ordinary: Boats ferry people across the river while a woman washes clothing in the murky brown water. But a little over a month ago, the scene was different. On May 30, residents of the municipality of Sayaxché, in the Guatemalan department of Petén, awoke to find tens of thousands of fish floating in the river. For residents, it was clear who was responsible for the die-off: the local palm company, Reforestadora de Palma del Petén (REPSA), a member of the powerful Olmeca Group. "We rely on the river for fish and our water," Hermelindo Choc, a resident of Arroyo Santa Maria, one of the towns most affected by the contamination, told Truthout. "But now we are afraid to drink the water and to eat the fish. The palm company has left us with nothing." "We are afraid to drink the water and to eat the fish. The palm ...
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Pan Am medals win gold in unethical sourcing, say advocates 17.7.2015 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 Barrick Gold's gold, silver and copper mines for the Pan Am medals are under fire for alleged environmental and human rights violations. Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming. When Meaghan Benfeito and Rosaline Filion won gold for Canada in women's 10-metre synchronized diving, the pair's smooth pike and entrance into the water mesmerized viewers. What wasn't being talked about were the two pieces of hardware each diver had won. One gold apiece for the paired event, another silver for Filion and a bronze for Benfeito from the individual 10-metre dive. All were provided by Barrick ...
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After EPA Ignored Environmental Racism for Decades, Communities Fight Back 16.7.2015 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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In Its 5th Citizenship Report, KKR Reaches Beyond ESG 15.7.2015 Main Feed - Environmental Defense
By Tom Murray This post is part of an EDF+Business ongoing series on sustainable finance, highlighting market mechanisms and strategies that drive environmental performance by engaging private capital. EDF is actively engaging leaders with the capital and expertise needed to catalyze sector-wide changes—from accelerating investment in energy efficiency and clean energy, to protecting tropical forests, restoring depleted fisheries and saving habitats of endangered species. Sustainability pioneer and inspiration to many of us at EDF, Ray Anderson frequently talked about his company’s efforts to scale the seven faces of Mount Sustainability and develop a more responsible company along the way. Summiting a mountain is a good analogy for a company’s journey to improve its environmental performance. To succeed you need a plan, commitment, resources, and the ability to change direction if there are obstacles in your path. In the case of a private equity firm like KKR & Co. L.P. – with over 56 portfolio ...
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Burlington, VT: Recognized by the United Nations as a Model of Sustainability 15.7.2015 Switchboard, from NRDC
Hannah Robinson, Urban Solutions Program Assistant, Washington, D.C.: What comes to mind when you think of Vermont? Beautiful landscapes? Maple syrup, craft beer or Ben and Jerry's, perhaps? On my first visit to the Green Mountain State, I was excited to experience all of these. But the main...
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14 Climate Leaders to Watch 14.7.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Last month, Echoing Green announced the 14 recipients of the 2015 Climate Fellowship , built in partnership with The ZOOM Foundation. This Fellowship, which recognizes emerging social entrepreneurs working around the world, is specifically targeted for next-generation leaders committed to working on innovations in mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The threat of global climate change is one of the greatest humanitarian and economic challenges of our time. Most recently, Pope Francis called for a "bold cultural revolution" to combat climate change, and according to new research by an international team of researchers published in the journal The Lancet, climate change poses a potentially "catastrophic risk" to public health due to increased risk of the spread of disease, food insecurity and air pollution, among many other things. "When climate change is framed as a health issue, rather than purely as an environmental, economic, or technological challenge, it becomes clear that we are facing a ...
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The Best Quotes (and Key Themes) from the Pope's Environmental Manifesto (Part II) 9.7.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Yesterday, I posted a piece about the Pope's "encylclical" on the environment , released last month. I summarized what I saw as the key themes and takeaways. I also provided the first half of my list of the best quotes from the essay. Yesterday's excerpts covered climate science (and denial), environmental ills in general, and the Pope's critique of modern technological society. Today is the moral and social side of the argument. The Pope provides a moving and profound view on the deep connection between environmental and social issues, between humans and animals, and between spiritual and practical. He also hits head on the contentious issue of man's "dominion" over Nature -- many have interpreted the Bible to indicate that man should conquer nature. The Pope explains how wrong that reading is. The most powerful call for me is the discussion of the role of every individual and a belief in the common good. We have seen a pendulum swing in the U.S. in particular toward a "you're on your own" philosophy ...
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'Favoring Capitalist Interests Above All Else,' Europe's Parliament Backs TTIP 8.7.2015 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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The Best Quotes (and Key Themes) From the Pope's Environmental Manifesto (Part I) 8.7.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
I doubt you missed last month's release of Pope Francis' powerful "encyclical" on the environment . It's sure to be considered a very important document in the history of sustainability - perhaps a turning point in the debate on climate change. I highly recommend reading the whole thing. But it is a 180-page pdf (albeit with smallish pages and large font), and contains nearly 40,000 words (part of the reason this blog is a few weeks late). My goal here was to pull some critical and fascinating quotes, perhaps cutting the reading by 80 to 90% for you. But first, a few key takeaways and what I see as his big themes. My takeaways The Pope is trying to appeal to everyone. I can't say I read a lot of papal proclamations, so maybe this isn't unusual, but the language here is extremely accessible and fairly secular (or at least Judeo-Christian). Here's a word cloud of the top 50 words in the document. Yes, "God" appears frequently (with a third of the mentions tucked into the final chapter), but "human" is the ...
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Dutch Court Breaks Political Stalemate Over Climate Action 8.7.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
In an unprecedented action, a court has ruled that the Dutch Government must reduce its greenhouse emissions by 25%. The landmark case was initiated by some 900 Dutch citizens and the verdict offers a legal breakthrough in a longstanding political stalemate, underlining the potential power of a well-informed grassroots lobby group in the environmental policy area. The ruling now obliges the Dutch government to assume a 'duty of care' in protecting against irreversible climate change. It is commonly agreed that it is mitigation (greenhouse gases cuts) that will help reduce the probability of future (irreversible) change in the climatic system. The main controversy in international policy-making arises, however, from the question as to how to share the burden of these cuts and how to enforce those UN-led internationally agreed cuts. Why 25%? The Dutch government is already committed to the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement on greenhouse gas reductions agreed in 1997. In the most optimistic ...
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Thousands in Toronto for Historic #JobsJusticeClimate Mobilization 5.7.2015 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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Corrupted Idealism: Bolivia's Compromise Between Development and the Environment 5.7.2015 Truthout - All Articles
Bolivian President Evo Morales in Cochambamba, Bolivia, April 22, 2010. (Photo: The City Project ) June 8 marked a decisive policy shift for Bolivian President Evo Morales' government: lawmakers passed legislation allowing for increased hydrocarbon exploration in the country's few remaining "protected areas," most notably the Madidi National Park. [1] Transnational and foreign petroleum concessions already overlap 75 percent of Madidi National Park, prompting fears over increased environmental degradation in the country. [2] The controversial implications of such a law have precipitated a debate over whether President Morales has prioritized economic growth over a previous emphasis on environmental and indigenous preservation. The unprecedented growth and stability under the administration of Morales and his party, Movement for Socialism (MAS), give legitimacy and support for such environmentally dangerous legislation. Most noteworthy, extreme poverty has shrunk from 35 percent of the population to just ...
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Two remarkable global victories deserve attention in Canada 3.7.2015 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Friday, July 3, 2015 In the past week the IMF released a report admitting strong pro-capitalist politics don't work and a dutch judge sided with citizens to slash carbon emissions. Chip in to keep stories like these coming. Two remarkable developments in the past week that could have a significant impact in many countries are worth a lot more attention in Canada and the United ...
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Hacking the food chain, Silicon Valley style 3.7.2015 Yahoo: Top Stories

California-based Beyond Meat uses soya and pea protein for its products, including Beyond Beef Crumbles, which can be used to make tacosA wave of Silicon Valley-style disruption is hitting the food industry. This new group of startups is essentially hacking the food sector with new ideas and technologies about food and with strong ties to Silicon Valley. More deals appear to be cooking, with participation from major Silicon Valley players like Google Ventures and equity firm Andreessen Horowitz.


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How the Pope Is Revving Up Climate Action in LA's Most Polluted Neighborhood 2.7.2015 Truthout - All Articles
Two young men performed their songs on acoustic guitars in Spanish while the rally chanted along in front of St. Basil Catholic Church in Los Angeles. Even though not everyone in the crowd of around 30 people knew Spanish, the message transcended language: protect the most vulnerable from the effects of climate change. After the June 18 release of "Laudato Si," Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment and humanity's responsibility to protect it, young Catholics decided to host a rally to spread awareness of climate change's effect on the poor, particularly Latinos in Southern California. Some Catholics are hopeful that events like this, inspired by the encyclical, will spread and lead to a new emphasis on climate action within the faith. Members of the youth group Pastoral Juvenil of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles gathered in front of St. Basil on the morning of June 27 to share what was written in the encyclical and encourage onlookers to participate. "When I started working on the issue of ...
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Turn Independence Day July 4 into Inter-Dependence Day 2.7.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
July 4 has traditionally been a day to celebrate the U.S. and there is much to celebrate in the goodness of this wonderful country, even while acknowledging all of the nation's problems. Yet a focus on what is good in the U.S. too often slips into chauvinist nationalism. So we need to reframe the celebrations this July 3-5 weekend as Inter-Dependence Day, avoiding all the implications of thinking that somehow it is possible to be independent of the global economy, culture or environment. Taking a leap toward recognizing our connection to all other beings does not preclude also celebrating the U.S., but not only celebrating ourselves! We spiritual progressives invite people of all faiths, as well as the nonreligious, to avoid celebrating "bombs bursting in air" and all other displays of American nationalist chauvinism that imply that we are "number one" and others are lesser. Instead, let us transform the July 3-5 holiday to celebrate our interdependence with all human beings on this planet and our ...
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Special-interest groups are given unfair priority over maritime industry 1.7.2015 Seattle Times: Opinion
The Seattle Times’ recent Editorial “Give maritime industry a fair hearing on Shell’s oil-rig lease” [Opinion, June 28] is appreciated by the Washington Maritime Federation, which represents maritime businesses and the men and women of the working waterfront. The controversy surrounding the Port of Seattle’s lease with Foss Maritime has revealed a troubling reality about […]
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Which Woman Should Adorn the $10 Bill? 28.6.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
In a speech last year in Kansas City, President Barack Obama said he received a letter from a nine-year-old girl that included a list of possible women to put on America's paper bills and coins, "which I thought was a pretty good idea." This March, Barbara Ortiz Howard and Susan Ades Stone started a campaign called Women on 20s to demand that the government replace former President Andrew Jackson's image on the $20 bill with a woman from history. Now, the Obama administration is following through, although not in the way that the two women and the many followers they galvanized had hoped. Last week, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that in 2020 -- the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote -- a woman will appear on the $10 note, not the $20 bill. Lew explained that the $10 bill was already scheduled to be redesigned to deal with counterfeiting threats. The new currency will feature state-of-the-art security and composition features and will include a tactile element ...
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