The battle for sustainability is crystalizing on two fronts: energy and agriculture. Over the next 10 days, major rallies are planned for both.
Another Protest Against Keystone, Dirty Fuels
This Saturday, May 17, over 100 events are planned across the country to keep the fight against tar sands and other dirty fuels front and center, letting our representatives know we want to switch to renewable energy Now.
"We invite activists across the nation to organize rallies, marches, and vigils that call on the president, state and local leaders to reject KXL and other tar sands pipelines, say no to dirty fossil fuel projects that endanger our local communities, and accelerate the shift to clean, renewable energy such as wind, solar and energy efficiency.
Whether it’s seismic blasting, Arctic and offshore drilling, mountaintop removal coal mining, dangerous tar sands pipelines, fracking, exporting liquid natural gas, or shipping crude by rail through our hometowns, we all have reason to be concerned," say the organizers, Tar Sands Coalition and Hands Across the Sand / Hands Across the Land.
Three weeks after the week-long encampment in Washington DC, "Reject and Protect," the Cowboy Indian Alliance will symbolically close the border where the Keystone XL pipeline would cross from South Dakota into Nebraska.
Miami is expected to have one of the biggest events where rising sea levels are already becoming obvious. The focus will be on climate deniers, with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in the spotlight for his comments this week. Like so many in his party, just a few years back he spoke strongly about the need to address climate change. Now, he says humans aren’t the cause and the solutions would wreck the economy.
Examples of other events:
East Chicago: Rally is at the site of the recent BP tar sands refinery oil spill near Lake Michigan. It will feature a speaker from Kalamazoo, which has been dealing with the tar sands spill since 2010.
Los Angeles: Hands Across the Harbor will gather at a refinery to say no to fracking and the export of tar sands through the Port of Los Angeles.
Minneapolis / St. Paul: Participants will join hands across the iconic Old Stone Arch Bridge that links the Twin Cities to symbolically block yet another planned tar sands pipeline, Alberta Clipper, which would cross the Mississippi twice.
Portland, ME: The mayor and others will speak out against the proposed tar sands pipeline through the state of Maine.
March Against Monsanto
This annual event takes place next weekend, May 24 – calling for an end to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and other harmful agro-chemicals.
Protests will simultaneously take place in more than 400 cities in 52 countries – and in 47 US states. The event grows bigger every year – last year it was in 286 cities in 36 countries.
If you’re in St. Louis, you can march to Monsanto headquarters.
GMO cropland has grown 100-fold since first commercialized in 1996, the fastest adopted agricultural technology ever, reaching 420 million acres in 2012.
Still confined to 28 countries, a handful are home to 90% of the crops: US (40.8%); Brazil (21.5%); Argentina (14%); Canada (6.8%) and India (6.3%). Dominant GMO crops are soybeans (47%); maize (27 %) and cotton (13%).
"GMOs are not adequately monitored to ensure public safety. Long term, independent, peer reviewed studies were not conducted before GMOs were introduced for human or animal consumption. In the USA, the revolving door between Monsanto employees, government positions, and regulatory authorities has led to key Monsanto figures occupying positions of power at the FDA and EPA. Monsanto has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to obstruct all labeling attempts; they also suppress any research containing results not in their favor. The scientifically established health risks include, but are not limited to: organ damage, sterility, infant mortality, birth defects, auto-immune conditions, allergies and increased cancer risks," say the organizers.
GMOs have been partially banned in 16 countries and are labeled in 62 countries. Factory farm animals throughout the world are fed GMOs.
China’s army just banned GMOs and a country-wide ban is expected in the next two years.
The latest GMO crop the USDA may approve is the first genetically engineered tree – a eucalyptus tree developed by ArborGen that would be used for pulp (to make paper) and for fuel.
"Invasive GE eucalyptus, planned for deployment across the U.S. South, would irrevocably devastate native ecosystems, exacerbate droughts and lead to catastrophic firestorms. This must be stopped before it is too late," says Keith Brunner with the Global Justice Equality Project.
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