Thank you for posting this. I had no idea this was going on. It seems to me that dehumanizing and oppressing anyone eventually leads to dehumanizing and oppressing everyone. 😦
Thank you Jean!
As an Ascension Guide, I hear many stories of the frustration and heartbreak of the awakening phenomenon. Its affect on relationships can be difficult, especially with family or friends.
Thank you for posting this!
Thank you Laura!
Richard Smith, Truthout: The results are in: no amount of “green capitalism” will be able to ensure the profound changes we must urgently make to prevent the collapse of civilization as a result of the catastrophic impacts of global warming.
Candice Bernd, Truthout: As a deadly polar vortex moved across the United States this week, cities scrambled to shelter the homeless, who can face additional problems once in the shelter system. And the hacker collective Anonymous worked to provide additional aid networks for those in need.
Sarah Page, Truthout: As The Hunger Games trilogy gains popularity in bookstores and the box office, its themes of extreme class inequality, poverty, class warfare and oppression gain prominence in reality across the globe.
Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company: Big money has moved North Carolina far to the right politically, but citizen protesters are fighting back against “extremist policies.” The conflict unfolding in North Carolina could be a testing ground for what’s to come in every state.
Jill Richardson, OtherWords: The phony justification for banning hemp because someone might secretly grow pot makes even less sense than it did before Colorado and Washington state legalized marijuana.
Justin Doolittle, Truthout: Israel’s decision to wait until Secretary of State John Kerry left the region before announcing it will pursue settlement expansion in the West Bank grabbed the headlines. It’s the existence of the settlements, not the timing of the announcement, that should concern the media.
The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Program: Guns, like cars, can be dangerous, and anyone who owns a gun should be required to have liability insurance, so if they injure or kill somebody, the victim or the victim’s family will receive monetary damages.
Michael T. Klare, TomDispatch: The explosive development of shale oil and other unconventional fuels in the United States seemingly discredited the idea that oil production was on the decline. But before obituaries for peak oil theory pile up too high, let’s take a careful look at these assertions.
Ingrid Burrington, Waging Nonviolence: Among the banal office complexes of Fort Meade, Maryland, artist Ingrid Burrington investigated many of the private contractors that feed off of the National Security Agency surveillance empire.
In today‘s On the News segment: Two MIT students have created a program to help you understand the digital trail you leave behind every day; in a survey, 80 percent of Americans polled (including conservatives and libertarians) support progressive policies like raising the minimum wage and providing public assistance for nutrition and child care; more waves of radiation are hitting our nation from the Southwest; and more.
Richard D. Wolff, Economic Update / Truthout: Today, major discussions of conservative inequality denials and of the significance of “productivity” statistics. Also, a response to question on the nature, origin and meaning of “profit.”
Republican Voter Identification Falls to New Low Point as Independent Voters Surge
Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: Neither political party should take heart in a new Gallup poll that indicates a surge in self-identified independent voters. It still remains unclear if this presages a serious threat to the two-party national governance monopoly.
Congress Working to Give Obama Fast-Track Trade Authority Ahead of TPP Deal
Has the Federal Government Given Up on Solving the Jobs Crisis?
A Return to Prohibition? As David Brooks Says, “Been There, Done That”
Is Fracking Bad for Babies? New Data Suggest Yes
Until Republicans Stop Hating the Social Safety Net, Poverty Will Continue To Grow
The Third Battle of Fallujah
DoJ Files Motion To Block Release of NSA Info
2014-01-09 20:02 UTC CME Has Arrived
The coronal mass ejection (CME), originally expected to arrive around 0800 UTC (3:00 a.m. EST) today, January 9, was observed at the ACE spacecraft just upstream of Earth at 1932 UTC (2:32 p.m. EST). It’s too early to see much with respect to the magnetic structure of this CME, but short-term, high-confidence warnings will be issued as this event plays out. The original forecast continues to be for G3 (Strong) Geomagnetic Storm activity on January 9 and 10. Aurora watchers may be in luck for tonight. The ongoing Solar Radiation Storm, currently at S2 (Moderate) levels, is seeing a modest enhancement with this shock passage but remains below S3 (Strong) threshold at this time. Updates here as this event unfolds.
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Current Space Weather Conditions
Polar Vortex and Climate Change: Why Rush Limbaugh and Others Are Wrong
By Terrell Johnson Published: Jan 9, 2014, 10:44 AM EST weather.com
Here’s some news for people on all sides of the climate change debate: Winters still get cold, often unbearably cold, especially if you live in a place like Crane Lake, Minn., which hit 38 below zero this week.
But no matter how low the temperature dropped in your area today, that doesn’t mean global warming isn’t happening.
So as Americans debate whether a warming planet can still have punishing winters and try to figure out what a “polar vortex” is – with everyone from Rush Limbaugh to the Drudge Report and a few other commentators talking about it – we’d like to add a dose of science to the conversation.
Let’s look at the claims skeptics are making one by one:
1) “Polar vortex” is a concept “created to make you think winter is caused by global warming.”
Yesterday on his radio program and website, Rush Limbaugh called a “hoax” the claim that global warming was causing the cold weather snap, and that the media had invented the term “polar vortex” to explain it all away.
Actually, the term “polar vortex” is not a new one. It’s used by meteorologists to describe a pattern of winds that swirl around the North Pole, as Weather Underground’s Dr. Jeff Masters describes it in a blog post today:
“In the winter, the 24-hour darkness over the snow and ice-covered polar regions allows a huge dome of cold air to form. This cold air increases the difference in temperature between the pole and the Equator, and leads to an intensification of the strong upper-level winds of the jet stream. The strong jet stream winds act to isolate the polar regions from intrusions of warmer air, creating a ‘polar vortex’of frigid counter-clockwise swirling air over the Arctic.”
For a historical perspective, here’s an article from the August 1950 issue of the scientific journal Tellus, describing a lab experiment that replicated the effects of the polar vortex.
2) Winters as cold as this one prove that global warming isn’t real.
On Monday, U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) appeared on the floor of the U.S. Senate and said this:
(Please click the link below this article to see this video on the Weather Channel site)
We include this example not to pick on Inhofe, but to share one of the latest and highest-profile examples of claims about global warming and climate change that have spread around the mainstream national media in recent years.
In the video, Inhofe cites several examples of frigid cold and winter snowstorms from recent years, including one that he says “snowed out” a planned rally on global warming that was to be led by U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in March 2009.
No scientist argues that long-term global warming means that we won’t still experience winter, even bitterly cold winters like this year’s has become. The changes to the climate that scientists who are concerned about global warming point out are exactly that: long-term. Individual weather events don’t mean that the trend isn’t taking place.
(It’s also important to point out that the United States makes up less than 2 percent of the Earth’s surface. So even when we see heavy snow events and blasts of Arctic air like this week’s, there are many parts of the world experiencing record heat, such as Australia.)
3) The ship that got stuck in Antarctica proves polar ice isn’t melting.
Since Christmas, nearly every day has brought reports of the Russian ship carrying researchers and adventure tourists that got stuck in sea ice on its way to Antarctica.
After a few aborted attempts, the passengers on board were finally rescued, but a pair of icebreaker ships remained stuck in ice-clogged Commonwealth Bay off the coast of Antarctica.
ANDREW PEACOCK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
This photo, taken by passenger Andrew Peacock on Dec. 29, 2013 shows a thin fresh coat of snow on the trapped ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy as it waits to be rescued. Passengers on the Russian research ship, then trapped in thick Antarctic ice, were facing an uncertain wait for one last icebreaking attempt.
To climate change skeptics, the episode has made for entertaining talk-show fodder. On his radio show Monday, Rush Limbaugh said this:
“Well, obviously there is no melting of ice going on at the North Pole. If they’re gonna tell us the polar vortex is responsible for this cold, that means record cold is also happening in the North Pole, which means there isn’t any ice melting, and we know about the global warming expedition that went down to the South Pole, Antarctica, to prove that the ice is melting, and they got stuck, and then the rescuers got stuck, and then the people rescuing the rescuers got stuck, but never mind that.
“They were just exploring the Antarctic, the news said. No; what they were doing was going down to prove the ice was melting, and they got stuck in it because they ran into ice where they didn’t expect to find any. So no matter how they go at this, they’re losing.”
When it comes to Antarctic sea ice, Limbaugh isn’t off the mark. Last September, the amount of sea ice that surrounds Antarctica reached the largest extent on record since measurements began in the late 1970s. It’s a development that has puzzled climate scientists, because it’s occurred even as the world’s air and oceans have warmed significantly during the same time period.
But Limbaugh spoke in the show section quoted above about the North Pole – the Arctic. There, the trend since the 1970s has been unequivocally downward:
Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent in November, 1978-2013
Including 2013, the linear trend in November ice extent is –4.9 percent per decade relative to the 1981 to 2010 mean, or a loss of about 20,700 square miles per year. (Courtesy National Snow and Ice Data Center)
Though the Arctic’s sea ice extent did rebound this year from 2012, when it shrank to an all-time record low for summer, the long-term trend of declining sea ice in summer continues.
This year was still the sixth smallest sea ice extent on record, and older, thicker Arctic sea ice continues to rapidly melt away. You can see more at the Arctic Report Card released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in December.
4) The planet hasn’t warmed for the past 15 years, so climate change isn’t real.
Technically, this isn’t really true. Though surface temperatures haven’t gone up by as much as climate models predicted they would by now, they’ve still been rising slightly throughout the decade.
Starting with its first report in 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projected that the planet would warm by about 0.15 to 0.3°C per decade, if greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere continued at their current pace.
That projection held true for years until about 1998, one of the planet’s hottest years on record. Since then, despite ever-increasing emissions, global temperatures have risen by only about 0.05°C per decade.
Why this is happening is something climate scientists still are trying to figure out. Many point to the world’s oceans, which are absorbing most of the increase in both heat and carbon dioxide, while others note that our most-cited historical temperature observation recordsleave out large parts of the planet, including the poles.
Still, it’s undeniable that a long-term warming trend remains in place, as this temperature trend map from 1960 to 2013 shows:
Trends in mean surface air temperature from 1960 to 2013. Notice that the Arctic is red, indicating that the trend over this 50-year period is for an increase in air temperature of more than 2°C (3.6°F) across much of the Arctic, a larger increase than in other parts of the globe.
As the map above shows, warming doesn’t occur at the same rate worldwide. Some places, like the tropics, have warmed at a much slower pace than the higher latitudes, where warming has been most pronounced.
And the world hasn’t stopped experiencing dramatic warming: the past decade has been one of “unprecedented” climate extremesaccording to the World Meteorological Organization, while 2013 brought the world’s hottest November in more than 130 years of record-keeping, and 2012 was the hottest year on record for the U.S.
If global warming is indeed on “pause,” we can only hope it doesn’t resume.
TOP NEWS OF THE WEEK
Revealed: Big Food’s New Plan to Kill GMO Labeling Laws
The food industry is going door-to-door on Capitol Hill, seeking lawmakers willing to sponsor a bill [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29044.cfm ] to preempt state mandatory GMO labeling laws by substituting a weak federal “solution.”
The “solution” Big Food has in mind, revealed [http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29040.cfm ] on Jan. 7 by POLITICO, would limit the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) power to require mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It would also wipe out states’ rights to enact mandatory labeling laws, and would guarantee companies the right to use the word “natural” on products that contain GMOs.
Big Food’s plan also would likely try to appease consumers by including weak FDA guidance on voluntary labeling of GMOs-guidance that would exempt common ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, canola oil and others. And require little or no independent verification for claiming a product is GMO-free.
It’s not as though we didn’t see it coming.
Last week, after learning that the Grocery Manufacturers Association (Big Food’s lobbying group), had petitioned the FDA to allow food makers to use the word “natural” on GMO-contaminated foods, we predicted [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_28998.cfm ] a treacherous road ahead for the anti-GMO movement in 2014.
In 2013, we warned [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_28376.cfm ] about a letter to the FDA asking the agency to finalize its 2001 guidance on voluntary labeling of GMOs-a move we suggested then, and still believe, would preempt state and federal mandatory labeling of GMOs.
In a recent op-ed [ http://articles.latimes.com/2013/dec/19/opinion/la-oe-glickman-organic-gmo-foods-20131219 ] in the Los Angeles Times, two former government officials floated the idea of a compromise that would include allowing specific amounts of GMOs, and/or exemptions for certain ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup or canola oil, where processing has made it impossible to detect GMO ingredients. The authors also reiterated industry’s argument that if consumers want GMO-free, they can buy organic. In response, one scientist told the OCA:
“That is a smokescreen that allows the biotech industry to avoid taking responsibility for the harm caused by their patented, transgenic creations. Without mandatory GMO labeling, there is no way to understand public health impacts or conduct epidemiological research on diets containing GMOs.”
After decades of quietly profiting by contaminating food products with cheap, unsafe GMO-contaminated ingredients, the food industry sees those profits at risk. They’ve spent millions to defeat laws that are common in 60 other countries. Now, in an effort to undermine state laws, and subvert the democratic process, Big Food wants to cut a deal with Congress and the FDA. A deal that will provide no meaningful protection for consumers, and hand industry yet another free pass to poison and pollute.
Consumers have been clear. More than 90 percent of us want mandatory GMO labeling laws. No voluntary schemes. No watered-down regulations. No compromises. Please sign our petition [ http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50865/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12702 ] to the FDA asking the agency to reject any federal law that is weaker than the state laws already passed in Maine and Connecticut, and proposed in Vermont and other states.
Read the Politico article [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29040.cfm ]
Read the GMA Draft Bill [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29044.cfm ]
Tell the FDA: Don’t Cave
The FDA made the wrong decision [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25582.cfm ] in 1992 when it caved in to Monsanto, and ruled that genetically engineered foods were “substantially equivalent” to non GE foods.
Now the food industry, led by its multi-billion dollar lobbying arm, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), wants the FDA to protect Big Food’s profits by ruling against mandatory GMO labeling laws.
It’s time for the FDA to protect consumers, not corporations.
TAKE ACTION: Tell the FDA: No Watered-Down, Voluntary Federal GMO Labeling Rules! [ http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50865/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12702 ]
No Cheers for Cheerios
General Mills has so far spent almost $2 million to keep GMO labels off its GMO-contaminated products. Now the junk-food cereal maker hopes to cash in on a new label on its original Cheerios that touts, of all things, “no GMOs.”
Last week (Jan. 2) General Mills announced [http://www.blog.generalmills.com/2014/01/the-one-and-only-cheerios/ ] on its website that its “familiar yellow boxes of original Cheerios now say “not made with genetically modified ingredients.” Why the change? “We did it because we think consumers may embrace it.”
We think they did it to make more money. (The non-GMO foods market is forecast [ http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/11/prweb11304490.htm ] to grow 13 percent annually, and make up about 30 percent of food and beverage sales-totaling $264 billion-by 2017, according to Packaged Facts).
But we also think their reasons were more complicated than that. We think the move is part of the food industry’s scheme [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29040.cfm ] to preempt state labeling laws with a voluntary, weak, watered-down federal “solution” to GMO labeling.
General Mills has no plans to provide independent third-party verification that Cheerios is now GMO-free. You, and millions of consumers, are just supposed to take their word for it.
This is what “voluntary” GMO labeling will look like if Big Food gets its way in Washington D.C. No testing or verification. No legal definition of “trace amounts.” And most likely, a long list of exempted ingredients.
TAKE ACTON: Tell General Mills and Cheerios: Please Label All of your Products that Contain GMOs. Better Yet, Get GMOs Out of All your Brands! [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/ocaactions.cfm?actionnum=12684 ]
Cheerios on Facebook [ https://www.facebook.com/Cheerios ]
SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF
Lucky for Us
We’re barely a week into the new year, and Monsanto and the food industry have already signaled that 2014 will be a decisive year for GMO labeling.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association, representing more than 300 food manufacturers and trade groups, is pressuring the FDA and Congress to pass a law that would preempt mandatory and state GMO labeling laws.
Lucky for them that both the FDA and Congress have consistently caved in to industry demands.
Lucky for us, consumers like you have made it clear that you’ve had enough.
This will be the year that consumers fight back with a vengeance against politicians who work for Monsanto and Coca-Cola, not the citizens who elected them.
This will be the year that we come out in numbers never before seen, to fight for a right so basic that nearly every country except the U.S. recognizes it. The right to a simple label that tells us whether or not our food has been contaminated with genetically modified organisms.
Big Food has thrown down the gauntlet. It’s up to us to make them sorry they did.
Thank you for all you have already done. And for all that we will do together in 2014.
Donate to the Organic Consumers Association [https://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50865/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=10174 ] (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)
Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund [https://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50865/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=10369 ] (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in Washington, Vermont and other states)
Forecast Is Hot, with a (Good) Chance of More Hot
They’ve looked at clouds from both sides now. And what scientists have found is that the clouds predict drastic increases in global temperatures. Increases they say [ http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/31/planet-will-warm-4c-2100-climate ] would be “catastrophic rather than simply dangerous.”
New research published in Nature [ http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7481/full/nature12829.html ] predicts global temperatures will rise by at least 4°C by 2100 and potentially more than 8°C by 2200 if carbon dioxide emissions are not reduced and serious actions by governments and society are not taken.
The study’s lead author, Steven Sherwood of the University of New South Wales’ Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, based his conclusions on research related [ http://phys.org/openx/www/delivery/lg.php?bannerid=301&campaignid=160&zoneid=64&loc=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fphys.org%2Fnews%2F2013-12-cloud-mystery-global-temperatures-4c.html&cb=832b824c8c ] to the role of cloud formation in global warming.
Entire study available for purchase here [ http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7481/full/nature12829.html ]
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Out of the Mouths of Babes
So it’s a little staged. And the delivery a bit stilted. But the message comes through loud and clear: If your potatoes aren’t organic, they’ve been sprayed with chlorpropham [http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_28845.cfm ] . . . a toxic chemical that doesn’t just sit on the vegetable’s skin, but permeates the entire potato. Chronic exposure of laboratory animals to chlorpropham has caused [ http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/carbaryl-dicrotophos/chlorpropham-ext.html ] “retarded growth, increased liver, kidney and spleen weights, congestion of the spleen, and death.” And it’s toxic to honeybees.
Watch the video [ http://www.upinspire.com/inspire/555/this-3rd-grader-shocked-everyo ]
Sign-Up Deadline for Cuba Trip: January 15
“Life changing! I gained a perspective of the social, economic and political conditions in Cuba so valuable for understanding sovereignty and justice in a globalized world.” – Member of the November travel group
The OCA, Vía Orgánica and the Center for Global Justice are offering another chance to leave winter behind and explore the history, culture and agricultural beauty of Cuba. Space is limited, and the deadline for signing up for the 10-day trip (February 14-24) is January 15.
This trip is open to all who have a professional interest. Estimated cost of $1500 plus airfare (from either Miami or Mexico City) includes dormitory-style accommodations and all meals (at the MLK Center), plus translation, guide, transportation and a full program of activities. Cost does not include flights, visa, health and travel insurance, tips, airport exit tax ($30 USD), or souvenirs and other personal items.
Application and non-refundable $100 deposit due by January 15. Limited scholarships are available.
For applications and further information, contact cuba [ mailto:cuba ]
Essential Reading for the Week
Natural Ways to Help Fight Flu [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29035.cfm ]
Grass, Soil, Hope: How Organic Farming, Carbon Ranching, and Land Restoration Reverse Climate Change [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29008.cfm ]
Here’s How Young Farmers Looking for Land Are Getting Creative [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29018.cfm ]
Lost Hooves, Dead Cattle before Merck Halted Zilmax Sales [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29006.cfm ]
Living on Earth: What to Expect in 2014 [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29025.cfm ]
The Fight for $15: Campaign for Living Wage Readies National Push [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29022.cfm ]
[ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_28577.cfm ]
MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSORS
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