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Steps Toward a Global Uprising
#254, December 9, 2010
In this issue:
Quote of the Week
Bill McKibben: Climate Summit Like a Family Reunion Aboard the Titanic
"[The COP 16 Climate Summit Meeting here in Cancun is] just like a family reunion aboard the Titanic. We can’t keep doing this. Until we can build some power outside of these arenas to actually push these guys...it’s not about how well people are communicating or how great the policy papers are. It’s on who has the power. And at the moment, that power rests in the hands of the fossil fuel industry and their allies in governments around the world. And until we build some independent outside movement power to push back, then…we’re going to get scraps from the table, at the very best."
-Bill McKibben, December 7, 2010, Interview with Democracy Now!
Letters From Cancun
The Road Ahead: Steps Toward a Global Uprising
by Ronnie Cummins
So how do we take down the climate criminals, Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Agribusiness, Monsanto, and the Military-Industrial Complex? How do we build a fierce and formidable climate conservation corps that can radically alter the dynamics of the marketplace and our suicide economy? How can we mobilize grassroots forces, alternative technology, and progressive public officials to fundamentally change the laws and public policies that are driving us to the brink of disaster? How do we scale up our organic, sustainable, equitable, climate-friendly projects and communities past the 'tipping point' so that we become the norm, not just the alternative?
Letters From Cancun
Working Fast to Slow Climate Change: Farmers Inspire Hope & Action
by Alexis Baden-Mayer
The earth's atmosphere is polluted with 390 ppm of CO2, well past the dangerous tipping point of 350 ppm.
If the world's 12 billion acres of farms and pastures were transitioned to organic, we could pull 50 ppm of that carbon down from the atmosphere and store it safely in the soil.
Putting CO2 back where it belongs in the soil could mitigate greenhouse gas emissions at a rate of 6 billion tons of carbon per year.
Here's how it works:
Compost, Not Chemicals
Synthetic fertilizers destroy soil life and release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Organic farming uses natural fertilizers to restore soil health and clean greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Forage, Not Factory Farms
Animals packed into factory farms generate oceans of greenhouse gas polluting waste. Animals that forage on pasture fertilize the soil with their waste and encourage the growth of deep-rooted perennial grasses that draw carbon down from the atmosphere.
Farmers' Movements, Not Monsanto
The world's 1.5 billion family farmers and 1 billion farm workers are the caretakers of the skills, knowledge and biodiversity needed to make the great transition from fossil-fuel fertilizers and factory farms to organic farming and ranching. But, their power will be lost if we can't stop transnational corporations like Monsanto from genetically engineering their plants and animals, forcing them to buy expensive chemical pesticides and fertilizers, enslaving them with debt, pushing them off their land, and stealing their water.
Zero Waste, Zero Emissions
The number one issue for farmers -- and the key to drawing carbon down from the atmosphere to slow climate change -- is soil fertility. If farmers are going to switch from fossil fuel fertilizers to organic compost, compost has to be less expensive and in greater supply. Food scraps and yard waste make great compost, there's tons of it, and it's free. We just need to rescue it from the landfills, incinerators and power generators. We can do it ourselves and we can pass local laws to make composting mandatory.
Alert of the Week
Stop Factory Farmed "USDA Organic" Chicken and Eggs!
Take Action By December 13
The federal organic law's requirement that all animals have access to the outdoors and be able to exhibit their natural behaviors has kept the worst aspects of factory farms out of organic - you won't find battery cages in an organic hen house - but the USDA has turned a blind eye to less cruel forms of confinement.
The USDA has allowed large-scale "organic" producers to get away with keeping thousands of chickens squished into huge sheds where the only access to the outdoors is through tiny doors to small, bare patches of ground or caged "porches" with no dirt at all.
The USDA has never enforced or even described a "natural behaviors" standard for chickens. If they were to address that aspect of the law honestly, they would have to admit that chickens need to be able to scratch and peck for worms and insects and munch on leafy greens.
The organic law also requires farmers to minimize negative effects on the environment, but the USDA has never outlined or implemented rules that direct farmers to control their greenhouse gas emissions.
The chicken manure and urine soaked sawdust that piles up at the large-scale confined animal farming operations that dominate organic chicken and egg production are the source of potent nitrous oxide, methane and carbon emissions.
Please take action to press the USDA to require access to pasture for organic chickens and hens.
OCA Needs Your Help to Fight Monsanto and Spread the Organic Revolution
OCA and our growing network of organic consumers and farmers understand that we have a positive life-affirming solution for the global food, health, and climate crisis: organic food, farming, and ranching. But to fight Monsanto and Food Inc. and get out our all-important message we need your support. Please send us a tax-deductible donation today and we'll send you a free "Millions Against Monsanto" bumper sticker so you can help spread the word in your community.
Note: please put "Monsanto Bumper Sticker" in the comment field to receive yours. Thanks!
Stop Big Ag’s Food Safety Bill!
The Organic Consumers Association cannot support the federal food safety bill as currently written because it fails to fully address the root cause of food borne illness, which is the factory farming of meat, eggs and milk.
Nevertheless, we do support amendments that would protect small, local, and organic food producers from the worst aspects of the bills' one-size-fits all approach to managing the food safety hazards facing the largest producers.
The House of Representatives has just passed another version of the food safety bill and it's headed back to the Senate for a final vote.
Please ask your Senator to stop the food safety bill, but, if that's not possible, to mitigate its damage by supporting amendments that protect small, local and organic producers.
Stop Organic Cosmetics Fraud!
The organic movement won't be able to rapidly scale up market demand for climate-friendly organic products if well-meaning consumers continue to be tricked by unscrupulous cosmetics companies who stick organic labels on shampoos, make-up, and other personal care products with primarily petrochemical and synthetic ingredients.
The Federal Trade Commission is accepting comments until December 10 on what to do about falsely labeled organic products.
Video of the Week
COP 16 March for Life & Climate Justice
Winning the Battle on GMOs in the United States
Oral Contraceptives are Not a Major Estrogen Source in Drinking Water - Agriculture Is
TransFair USA Eyes a Brand Makeover
The New Agtivist: Root Cellars
US Imperial Militarism, Climate Change, and Extinction
LOCAL [[State]] NEWS OF THE WEEK
[[State]] - Get Involved Locally
- Learn more about OCA related action alerts and other news in [[State]] here.
Message from our Sponsors
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