the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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ny, pa, oh: fracking waste allowed to be spread on roads as de-icer

Farmers! Did you know that New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania permits the use of brine from fracking operations to be applied to roads as a deicer? If not properly controlled, this waste can run off into adjoining property and ultimately could contaminate rivers, streams, and underground aquifers that feed local drinking water supplies. Government entities, as well as private companies, that wish to use production brine for road spreading must get permission from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to use the brine by applying for a Beneficial Use Determination (BUD).  Some local governments in New York have also prohibited the practice by passing ordinances banning fracking and waste disposal.

Click HERE to read more, start the path towards getting informed, and attending your local town governance meetings. 


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arkansas farmers say syngenta tainted grain supply to promote gmo

(Original photo by Bob Coleman)

At least a dozen Arkansas farmers have joined hundreds of farmers in 19 other states in almost 800 lawsuits against Swiss seed maker Syngenta over genetically modified corn seed, a case that has been widely reported in the media.

But one of the lawsuits, filed on behalf of two Newport farms, contains a previously unreported twist: an allegation that Syngenta, a global agribusiness, has engaged in a criminal conspiracy to contaminate the U.S. corn crop to force China, other nations that buy U.S. corn and U.S. farmers to accept genetically modified corn.

The suit, field by the Emerson Poynter law firm, which has offices in Little Rock and Houston, alleges that Syngenta violated the Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, which is usually used to fight organized crime.

Emerson Poynter filed the class-action suit in January on behalf of Kenny Falwell and Eagle Lake Farms, farming operations in Newport. It, like at least eight other lawsuits against Syngenta over its genetically modified corn seed, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

These lawsuits joined hundreds of other lawsuits filed by U.S. farmers since the fall against Syngenta, the Swiss developer and marketer of seeds and agricultural chemicals. To read more, CLICK HERE!


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the green, sharing, making economy

In 2014, the Green Economy — dominating the media enviro beat and UN negotiations since well before the 2012 Rio Earth Summit – merged and morphed into the Sharing Economy and the Maker Economy to offer us a vision of Transformative Transnationalism. But, is this really a new Triple Bottom-line or just the same old Triple-Bottom Feeders? ETC Group takes an irreverent look at what was new in 2014 – and what only claimed to be. The full article can be found HERE but you can also read excepts below!

The Green Economy: The food and beverage industry probably spent more time in the halls of the UN than most governments did, trying to persuade policymakers that they are on the Green cutting edge of a new paradigm in food, health and the environment. PepsiCo’s lobbyists, for example, told everybody who would listen that more and more of its bottles are being made from bioplastics and touted what they are doing to reduce hunger in Mexico (the same country where PepsiCo is sidestepping new sugar taxes by manipulating package size; a third of Mexico’s population is obesei). At a UN meeting in Bonn, civil society groups told Pepsi that the issue is less the questionable bioplastic bottles than the stuff inside.

The Sharing Economy: Closely linked to the Green Economy, 2014 saw an explosion in interest in the Sharing Economy (a.k.a. On-Demand Economy). A year earlier, in the 2013 holiday season, more people stayed in AirBnBs than could sleep in all the hotels in Las Vegas at full capacity. By Christmas 2014, AirBnB had 1 million beds on offer – 300,000 more than its nearest rival, Intercontinental Hotels (IHS). What began a few years ago as a clever use of social media to post affordable accommodation by renters and homeowners hoping to make a little extra cash, AirBnB (short for “air bed” and sometimes – but rarely – “breakfast”) can now also mean rooms, suites, whole houses or a ranch in Brazil for $3000 a night. (ETC suggested AirBnB change its name to Earth Flat Society.)

The Maker Economy: DIY 3-D printers and DIY Bio (gene synthesizers) arguably made 2014 the “Meet Your Maker” Year. In more than 98 cities and 56 countries (including over 200,000 people in New York and San Francisco), Makersix met and made things – everything from DIY pistols (to DIY for) to senseless glowing plants – but mostly really ugly fridge magnets, junk jewelry and bad beer. Even public libraries (wondering what to do with their reference rooms post-Wikipedia) are setting up 3-D printing shops and every incubator and accelerator from Barcelona and Bangalore is making space for biohackers to either beat Ebola or (better still) brew natural botox. The 3-D printers and the biohackers have even joined forces to print out skin, blood vessels, and organ parts. Fridge magnets aside, the Makers see themselves on the threshold of a truly liberating Industrial Revolution. Click HERE to read this article in detail!


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it is our human right to save seed and distribute it for free. minnesota doesn’t think so

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)

The Duluth Seed Library is under fire from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture for illegally distributing seeds.

The seed library, located within Duluth’s Public Library has been operating for about a year, distributing seeds for gardeners to grow, harvest the produce, and return new seeds to the library.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture contacted the Seed Library in Mid-September to notify it that the law prohibits the transfer of ownership of seeds without proper labeling and testing of seeds to make sure they germinate.

The Seed Library has said they do not receive enough seeds of certain varieties to allow for accurate testing. The MDA has stated the law is intended to create a level playing field for seed companies and to protect consumers.

“Humans have been exchanging seeds for thousands of years and the idea that even if I grew something in my garden and saved a handful of seeds and passed them over to you, that would be illegal, just seems not very reasonable” said Duluth Public Library Manager, Carla Powers. To view this article, click HERE.

 

The Greenhorns are in total support of world-wide seed sovereignty. These threats are on a humanitarian level. If you would like to see how you can help mobilize and support your local seed sources, please contact Eliza: egreenman (at) gmail (dot) com.


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how factory farming ravages the earth

These feedlots confine thousands of animals in small spaces before they are slaughtered, leading to a litany of abuses: the confinement inflicted on the animals, the use of preventive antibiotics to control the spread of diseases in such close quarters, poor working conditions and worker abuse, destruction of rural communities, small towns and family farms, overconsumption of resources, legendary “manure lagoons” stinking up the countryside holding animal waste unsuitable for fertilizer because of the way they are raised and fed, and climate change-inducing greenhouse gases they produce. Click HERE to read more from EcoWatch.com, Anastasia Pantsios, and Mishka Henner.

 


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2011 US glyphosate (roundup) usage: graphic and statistics

Glyphosate use in 2011Source

Glyphosate is the chemical name for “Roundup,” which is now sold in many non-Monsanto, non-Roundup formulations.
Statistics for Glyphosate usage in the USA:
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Roundup Ready crops – glyphosate-treated acres
Corn and soybeans: 160 million acres
Cotton: 9-10 million acres
Sugarbeets and canola together: 2 to 3 million acres
Alfalfa: about 6 million acre
Total about 180 million acres
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Major non-Roundup Ready crops:
Wheat: 20 million acres
Summer fallow: 7-8 million acres
Sorghum: 2-3 million acres.
Rice: 1 million acres
Total about 30 million acres


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AG GAG and other thoughts, by john ikerd

10 Reasons to Oppose ‘Right to Farm’ Amendments

 I grew up on a dairy farm and currently live in a small town in a farming area. I have spent my 50-year professional career working in agriculture, mostly with farmers and people in rural communities. I think farmers have the same “right to farm” as other Americans have to pursue any other professional occupation. However, I don’t think real farmers deserve, need, or even want special constitutional privileges. Here are ten reasons for opposing “right to farm amendments.”

1. Agricultural producers already benefit from special right to farm “legislation in all agricultural states. These laws protect farmers from frivolous nuisance suits brought by uninformed or intolerant neighbors who have moved into traditional farming communities.

2. People in rural communities who have the greatest concern for the future of family farms and rural communities are opposing right to farm amendments. National organizations, such as the Humane Society of the U.S. and the Sierra Club, support rural opponents because they don’t think agriculture should be exempt from public accountability for their actions.

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