Global Warming and Environmental Politics Stories of the Day

Ronald Reagan: Your advocate for a dirty lifestyle and dirty energy.

From the last day or so, other than what we’ve covered, here are some top global warming and environmental politics stories:

Monsanto and the USDA, Sittin’ in a Tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G

OK, maybe not the best way to start this, but it is almost Valentine’s Day & that did get your attention.

The USDA recently approved the growing of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) alfalfa and GM sugar beets. There are a large number of health, environmental, legal, and democratic reasons why this is a problem. I went into some of them over on EatDrinkBetter yesterday (link above), and Jeremy over on Red, Green, and Blue posted the reactions from a number of leaders in the organic movement and industry as well. Jeremy’s has had a number of good pieces on this topic recently, including one on GM crops being planted in National Wildlife Refuges, and I know EatDrinkBetter has another big one publishing today.

Koch Brothers Pull Another to Their Science-Denial Side

One of the eight Republicans to vote for sweeping climate legislation in 2009 was Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA). However, holding a party and political planning session for billionaires from the Republican far right in her district seemed to change her mind about climate change and our need to urgently stop burning fossil fuels. Mack is now supporting the Inhofe-Upton Pollution Act. Here’s a little more on the proposal:

The Upton-Inhofe bill is a radical act of science denial on behalf of fossil polluters, preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from even “taking into consideration the emission of a green- house gas due to concerns regarding possible climate change.” It would reverse not only efforts to track and limit greenhouse pollution, but reverse the Supreme-Court-mandated scientific finding that global warming is dangerous to the American public.

The Curious Case of Fred Upton

Wondering who the Upton guy who is co-sponsoring the bill above is? Erich Pica had a good piece on who Mr. Fred Upton is over on TheHuffingtonPost recently (no, not today or yesterday, but tied to the story above, and it’s a great piece).

Chevron’s Insidious Denial, Legal Approach

In a long, long case on Chevron’s toxic dumping and abuse of Ecuadorian lands, which has significantly harmed Ecuadorian people, the oil giant is claiming it has done nothing wrong. Amazon Watch writes:

Chevron has found that dumping of billions of gallons of toxic waste into Ecuador’s Amazon didn’t harm a single person or the environment, according to the company’s final argument submitted to the Ecuador court hearing the historic environmental case.

Chevron denies in the 292-page document that there are damages despite admitting during the trial that it dumped billions of gallons of chemical-laden “water of formation” into the streams and rivers of the Amazon that indigenous groups relied on for their sustenance. The indigenous groups are now decimated because of the toxic waste, according to evidence submitted to the court…. (read more via the link above)

Working to Stop the Belo Monte Monster Dam

In addition to this fight with Chevron, Amazon Watch and numerous others have been fighting to stop a monster dam in Brazil. I just got word via email (not seeing this info anywhere online) that they will be delivering a petition from over 500,000 people and holding a protest today. Here’s more:

When: Tuesday, February 8 at 9:30 am (Brasilia time)
Where: Outside the Brazilian National Congress, Brasilia, Brazil
What: Petition Delivery and Protest

More than 500,000 people in Brazil and abroad have signed a petition calling on the Dilma Rousseff administration to halt the Belo Monte Dam, the world’s third largest, planned for the Xingu River in the Amazon. The petition, organized by the international online advocacy organization Avaaz, will be delivered to the Brazilian government during a colorful demonstration against the dam organized by diverse organizations in Brasilia, including theMovimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre.

Who: The protest will be attended by more than 150-200 dam-affected people and indigenousKayapo, Juruna, Arara and Xipaya, living near the site of proposed construction as well as in the regions of Altamira Ourilândia do Norte, Tucumã, São Félix do Xingu and the state of Mato Grosso. The protest will be attended by representatives of Brazil’s Movement of Dam-Affected People and dozens of social and environmental activists.

Among the confirmed attendees are Kayapó chief Megaron Txucarramãe from Mato Grosso state; Sheyla Juruna, Juruna leader from the municipality of Altamira; Chief Ozimar Juruna, from Paquicamba village in Altamira; Josinei Arara, leader of Arara village in Altamira; and Antonia Melo, coordinator of the Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre. Brazilian singer and songwriter Marlui Miranda is expected to attend and perform at the demonstration. Brazilian actor Marcos Palmeira and other well known Brazilian artists will be attending in support.

The demonstration is being organized by the Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre, theConselho Indigenista Missionário (Missionary Indigenous Council), the Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (MAB, or Movement of Dam-Affected People), the Coordenação das Organizações Indígenas da Amazônia Brasileira (COIAB, Indigenous Organizations Coordination of the Brazilian Amazon), Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) and is being promoted globally by Amazon Watch, International Rivers and Avaaz.

And here’s a video from Amazon Watch on this topic as well:

High Cost of Food One Reason for Protests in Tunisia and Egypt

I’ve covered this a little bit here on Planetsave, but been meaning to go into much more depth on it. Until then, Joe Romm of Climate Progress has done a great job of this, covering stories from The Economist, the NYTimes, the Guardian, and more in the process. The bottom line? Food price increases were a clear factor triggering the protests in Egypt and Tunisia. And food price increases are clearly linked to extreme weather events (which are clearly linked to climate change, of course).

How Reagan Crippled America

For some odd reason, many Americans think of Reagan as some kind of saint. Guess it is his movie-star smile or something. But if you look at things a little more closely, Reagan was a “a serial tax raiser” and “nearly tripled the federal budget deficit” and he did a ton to cripple our clean energy economy and harm the environment.

Photo Credit: x-ray delta one

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