Archive for September 17th, 2011

Gathering for Mother Earth

Gathering for Mother Earth

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Posted 16 September 2011, by Muguntan Vanar, The Star (Star Publications (M) Bhd), thestar.com.my

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KOTA KINABALU: Environmental groups are planning a major gathering to endorse the Earth Charter aimed at creating a sustainable global society.

Dubbed Himpunan Hijau, or Green Gathering, the organisers are expecting some 10,000 people to turn up for the event, which will be held at Balok Beach in Kuantan on Oct 9.

Organising committee chairman and Sabah Environmental Protection Association (Sepa) president Wong Tack said some 80 NGOs and civil society groups had expressed their support for the campaign.

“The committee is looking for partnerships with all groups, be they cultural, religious, educational, business or governmental, to champion the movement.

“The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental ethical principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society in the 21st century,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

Wong said former United Nations General Assembly president Tan Sri Razali Ismail was among those involved in the formation of the global charter.

He added that the organisers planned to hold the gathering on an annual basis, on the second week of October.

On the event in Kuantan, Wong said participants would stamp their handprints on hundreds of metres of black cloth to register their presence, which will symbolise the stamping away of darkness in their lives and welcoming a new era.

“The cloth will be stitched together and handed over to next year’s host, Sabah,” he added.

 

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http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/9/16/nation/9514500&sec=nation

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Mending Mother Earth’s Garment of Protection

 

Mending Mother Earth’s Garment of Protection

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Posted 16 September 2011, by Nafeesa M P, Daijiworld (Daijiworld Media Pvt Ltd), daijiworld.com

 

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We see every new cosmetic brand guaranteeing protection from the sun, is it not the same sun our elders were faced with each day while working hard in their fields? Is it not the same sun which keeps us warm and sources energy for all the processes on the earth? Answer for these questions is a harsh reality which tells us the tale of pollution we have inflicted. The consequences of so called industrial development have reached the skies damaging the ozone layer which protects us from sun radiations. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and other Ozone depleting substances containing the chemicals chlorine and bromine are the culprits.

Ozone is the layer of ozone gas that is set 15 to 30 kilometers above the earth and serves as a shield to protect the earth dwellers from the harmful Ultra Violet B (UVB) rays beamed out from the sun. Ozone is a highly reactive molecule containing three oxygen atoms, which is constantly being broken and formed above the atmosphere in a region called Stratosphere.

Scientist in the 1970’s discovered that the layer was thinning and as a result of the release of CFC’s, and consequently, the Ozone Hole developed. CFCs, which are used as industrial refrigerants and found in aerosol sprays have caused the breakdown of the ozone layer for last 50 years. The CFCs reaching the upper atmosphere are exposed to UV rays which causes them to break down into Chlorine substances. This chlorine reacts with oxygen which in turn depletes the ozone. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency one atom of chlorine destroys more than a hundred thousand ozone molecules.

The ozone above the Antarctic has been impacted due to pollution since mid-1980s, low temperature in the region speeds up the conversion of CFCs into Chlorine. During the southern summer when the sun shines for longer periods in the region the ozone break down occurs on a massive scale that is up to 65 percent. This is called ‘Ozone Hole’, whereas in other regions ozone is depleted up to 20 percent.

It is a bitter fact that more than 130,000 new cases of Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer are reported each year around the world. The disease can also be caused by excessive exposure to the Ultra Violet B (UVB) rays beamed towards the earth from the sun. The extra UVB radiation which is reaching the earth due to ozone depletion inhibits the reproductive cycle of many single celled organisms, which are the root of the food cycle. Researchers have also found variations in the reproductive cycles of fish and other under water species.

Since 1995 on September 16 each year the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is observed. The day is observed to focus on the protection of the ozone layer at global, national and local level. The day has been designated by the UN General Assembly to commemorate Montreal Protocol.

Nations around the world convened at Vienna in 1985 to develop a framework for co-operative activities to protect the Ozone layer and the agreement became known as the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) monitors programmes of the international treaties aimed at eliminating the production and use of ozone-depleting substances.

The Montreal Protocol which was agreed upon on September 16, 1987 at the Headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal stipulated that production and consumption of compounds that deplete ozone in the stratosphere are to be phased out by the year 2000. A Multilateral Fund (MLF) has been established as a financial instrument of the Montreal Protocol, which assists developing countries in the implementation of the protocol.

India acceded to the Montreal Protocol September 17, 1992 India’s per capita consumption of Ozone Depleting Substances is at present less than 3 grams and did not cross 20 gms as against 300 gms permitted under the Protocol.

As of now about 90 percent of the CFCs present in atmosphere were emitted by developed countries in the northern hemisphere including US and Europe. The amount of chlorine in the atmosphere dropped down following the ban of CFCs in these countries in the year 1996. But scientific estimates still predict that it will take another 50 years for the chlorine levels to reach natural level.

 

http://www.daijiworld.com/chan/exclusive_arch.asp?ex_id=1706

 

Bees, Gardens and Beekeeping – Providing a Pollinator Habitat in Your Yard

Bees, Gardens and Beekeeping – Providing a Pollinator Habitat in Your Yard

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Posted 16 September 2011, by Spectrum Generations, Village Soup, villagesoup.com

 

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Opening a beehive at the Vose's

In light of the growing concern over the recent loss and disappearance of honeybees across the country, many backyard devotees are rediscovering a relatively simple and fun way to assist essential pollinators.  By providing a pollinator habitat in your yard, you can increase the quality and quantity of your garden fruits and vegetables.  While many may prefer butterflies, moths and birds paying visits to their gardens, bees should also be welcomed as they are such important pollinators of many crops in our food supply.

On September 21, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. Dick and Jean Vose will open their Nobleboro yard for a talk about gardening to attract pollinators – the “good bugs” as well as butterflies, moths and hummingbirds.  The original homestead was established in 1910 and features a farmhouse of that era bounded by 10 acres of open field.

Their gardens feature vegetables, herbs, ornamental grasses and shady spots.  And, they have a garden just for beneficial insects/pollinators.  Jean is a master gardener and an advocate for companion planting.  Most of the gardens have been established for about 10 years.  After benign neglect over the past 5 years due to other commitments, they have worked this summer to bring back and improve the existing gardens while adding new ones.

The Voses have been backyard beekeepers since 1986.  They began with one hive in their backyard and quickly expanded to 10 hives located across Worcester County, Massachusetts.  They were active in both their local county beekeeping association and the Massachusetts Beekeeping Association.

They relocated to the mid-coast area of Maine in October 1998 bringing one hive with them.  After finding no local bee school or beekeeping association in their area, they started a beekeeping school in 2001.  From this school, the Knox-Lincoln County Beekeepers (KLCB) was established in 2003. At present, they keep 4 hives in their backyard apiary.  They are managed for pollination and honey.  For this presentation, an observation hive will be available in the garage area for close up viewing.

The Voses will give a short talk about honeybees, the gardens, and answer questions.  Demonstration tables with beekeeping equipment will be featured.  This year, KLCB piloted the “Plant a Spot for Honeybees” project with 5 local nurseries.  This project identifies plants to help our pollinators.  More information and brochures will be available.   In addition, many brochures about bees, native pollinators and flowers will  also be  available.   Advanced Registration is Required.  To register and for directions to the Vose’s home in Nobleboro please call 563-1363 by September 20.

Spectrum Generations

Coastal Community Center

521 Main Street

Damariscotta, Maine 04534

Spectrum Generations helps people live their best lives by fostering independence and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Our centers are located in Belfast, Damariscotta, Hallowell, Rockland, Skowhegan, Topsham and Waterville.

Consumer Helpline: 1-800-639-1553

www.spectrumgenerations.org

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http://waldo.villagesoup.com/business/offer/education/bees-gardens-and-beekeeping-providing-a-pollinator-habitat-in-your-yard/446270

Fibershed Project – artist urges local clothing

Fibershed Project – artist urges local clothing

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Posted 10 September 2011, by Esha Chhabra (Special to The Chronicle), SFGate (San Francisco Chronicle), sfgate.com

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Liz Hafalia / The Chronicle Rebecca Burgess picking Coreopsis tinctoria to use for her dye in Lagunitas. The artist started a project of using only garments made within 150 miles.

When textile artist Rebecca Burgess embarked on a challenge to wear only clothes that were 100 percent locally sourced for one year, she found herself dressing in one outfit for three weeks.

Her Fibershed Project, as it was named, began gaining momentum in spring 2010 with the support of a grassroots fundraising campaign that drummed up $10,000. Pieces began trickling in that summer, allowing Burgess to officially start the nonprofit effort last September. By then, more than three dozen farmers and designers had agreed to design pieces for her yearlong wardrobe of bioregional clothing.

Burgess was determined to pay farmers, mills, pattern-makers and others fairly for providing garments made, start-to-finish, within 150 miles of her home in Marin County. The goal: to illustrate that regional, organic clothing is still possible in today’s globalized climate.

“For three months, I would tell designers, ‘Please give me sleeves. I wish I had sleeves,’ because it was beginning to get cold,” Burgess said with a laugh, as she tended to indigo plants on her small farm in Lagunitas recently. “There was a time when I just had one outfit, and at that point, I had to ask myself, ‘Is this going to work?’ ”

It did.

Burgess began with a team of about 40 people, including farmers, designers, seamstresses and volunteers. By the end of the year, she had three times as many folks working with her.

Now they’re building an online Fibershed Marketplace – set to go live this month – where shoppers will be able to purchase fibers, cotton and dyes from within that 150-mile radius.

Researched dyes

Prior to Fibershed, Burgess spent more than two years researching bioregional dyes throughout the country. Her work appeared in an internationally circulated book, “Print and Production Finishes for Sustainable Design,” and most recently in her own book, “Harvesting Color.” She also works with Santa Rosa’s Post Carbon Institute, developing curriculum. She has coupled her artistry with an environmental philosophy that calls for not only a resurgence of local craftsmanship but also a reduction of the carbon footprint in the textile industry.

In her blog, Burgess often marks the carbon footprint for the pieces produced for her. For instance, a pair of organic cotton fleece pants, sourced by a local cotton farm and crafted by Thara Srinivasan, a UC Berkeley scientist with an interest in sewing, has a carbon footprint of approximately 5 miles of driving.

But Burgess believes the project has the capacity to have a broader impact than just being environmentally savvy: It can help revive local economies.

Her neighborhood of West Marin, for example, has a 13 percent unemployment rate. By bringing production back to the community, the local economy is likely to benefit, she said.

For instance, she recently hired an out-of-work neighbor to help tend her small indigo farm, which she started a year ago to produce organic natural dyes for her clothing. Demand for the indigo dye has increased in the past year, and if this trend continues, she will need more hands to help.

Then there’s Sally Fox, who resides on an organic cotton farm in Guinda (Yolo County).

“If she hires just even a few more people to help on the mill, say four or five,” Burgess said, that’s a significant boost. “Those are rural jobs. But even in urban areas, the designers have been so inspired by the materials that we’re seeing little small businesses starting, specializing in this.”

Yolo connection

Fox, who has been growing organic, naturally colored cotton for more than 25 years, accepted Burgess’ request to contribute to the Fibershed project a year ago and is now working with her to develop a line of denims. Fox, though, embodies what has happened to American textiles as a result of foreign imports and cheap labor.

“My dream is to have a mill on the farm. But right now most of the mills left in the country are research mills because of their size. They’re not production mills. But maybe one day,” Fox said.

Burgess’ denim project, an effort to create everyday wearable jeans from Fox’s organic cotton, is under development and will help determine whether there is enough interest in bioregional clothing.

There is already significant commercial interest in the Fibershed project, but Burgess is focusing on smaller quantities of high-quality artisan products from local designers.

Sustainability is key

After all, sustainability and community are at the center of the Fibershed model: adjusting profit margins to account for the artisan work of the farm and the designer, eliminating waste and excess transportation costs, reconnecting farmers with local designers and experimenting with natural fabrics to avoid polluting waters with chemical dyes.

“This is what we talk about when we say community-building. It’s more than just a few local meals together. It’s about shifting the whole material culture. There’s a sweet intimacy between me and my community,” Burgess said. “They’re responsible for my well-being and I’m responsible for theirs.”

Read more about Fibershed at fibershed.wordpress.com.

E-mail the writer at business@sfchronicle.com.

(Ed Note: Please visit the original site for another photograph associated with this article. As well, the website Rethink Social has re-posted this article with another, different, photograph from The Fibershed Project.)

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http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/10/BULQ1L1CD3.DTL

Kishanganga hydel power project threatens an ancient culture


Kishanganga hydel power project threatens an ancient culture

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Posted 17 September 2011, by Iftikhar Gilani, Tehelka (Anant Media Pvt. Ltd.), tehelka.com

 

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The Dard Shin tribe of Gurez, speakers of the Shina language, are to be uprooted to Srinagar. But what is a pastoral hill community to do in the city, asks Iftikhar Gilani

Imagine the kind of uproar civil society and rights groups would have created had the Centre decided to shift the indigenous Jarawas from their native Andaman and Nicobar Islands to New Delhi. However, no such noise has been made so far even as the Dard-Shina tribe, said to be the last of the original Aryans living in the remote Gurez region is being robbed of its hearth and home. The tribal community will be relocated to Srinagar, making way for the 330-MW Kishanganga hydro-electric project in Kashmir. Away from the high-profile land acquisition cases of Bhatta Prasaul and Nandigram, this scenic place on the north-western tip of the Valley has hardly had anyone crying foul after the Centre announced relocation plans.

Since there is no land in this heavily militarised region close to Line of Control (LoC), the Government has decided to rehabilitate the tribals to Srinagar. Hyder Ali Samoon, a sub-inspector, a resident of Badwan village looks at his ancestral house with a sense of foreboding. The water from the dam will submerge what has been home to him and his ancestors. Pointing towards a nearby graveyard, where his ancestors lay buried, Samoon tells his sons and grandsons to engrave and store images of the house and the picturesque beauty of the village in their minds so that they can, at least, pass on their heritage to the future generations.

Nearly 300 families belonging to three villages of Badwan, Wanpora and Khopri are being relocated to Srinagar city. Against their peers across the Kanzalwan mountains in Bandipora, these villagers are getting a compensation of Rs 5.75 lakh per kanal (a unit of area). The farmers in Bandipora, on the other hand, with more fertile lands are being paid only Rs 2.25 lakh per kanal. Why this difference? Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir Asghar Samoon, who incidentally was touring the area, told TEHELKA that Gurez tribes are being paid more because they are not only losing land but also their culture, civilisation, and will probably become extinct over the next few decades, thanks to the hustle and bustle of Srinagar.

The controversial Kishanganga project, which envisages diverting water from the Kishanganga river through tunnels to the Wullar Lake in Bandipora district of Kashmir Valley has not only come to focus due to Pakistan’s opposition invoking the clauses of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) to complain against India to the World Bank but the project has drawn enough attention to itself for being ambiguous about its nature. What is intriguing is that the National Hydel Power Company (NHPC) officials have kept the voluminous environmental assessment report of Kishanganga undertaken by the Centre, for Inter-disciplinary Studies of Mountain and Hill Environment, close to its chest. Not only has it refused to share it with the state government, but it also did not accede to the request of former Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz, when as a minister he wanted to see the report, before it went to the Cabinet.

Ed Note: Please visit the original site for a photo gallery associated with this article. Click on the image above to go to the original site.

The Rs 3642.04-crore power project will displace 362 families and consume a total of 4280 kanals (535 acres) of land. The Centre and the NHPC’s move to relocate the displaced families outside Gurez Valley were influenced by several factors. For instance, land in the mountainous valley is very limited. Some 27 revenue villages, inhabiting the region with a population of 31,900 (latest census) houses around 26,000 troops. Total land under Army occupation is 2802 kanal, out of which 918 kanals are unauthorised. Out of 1883 authorised occupation, the Army provides rent for 1140 kanals. The LoC fencing has consumed 339 kanals.

The local magistrate of Gurez Mohammad Ashraf Hakak said that the only land that was available on the foothills of mountains was prone to avalanches. Therefore, the Government, with the help of the NHPC, decided to shift the affected families to Mirgund, around 16 km from Srinagar.

At the core of this rehabilitation exercise stands the Dard Shin tribe of Gurez. Speakers of the Shina language, the rare tribals will be cut off from their culture, livelihood and roots if moved to Srinagar. Many historians and anthropologists claim that the Dard Shin people are pure Aryans.

For more than six months Gurez remains cut off from the rest of the world. Until Jammu and Kashmir was divided between India and Pakistan, Gurez was part of the Gilgit state.

“Relocating people outside Gurez is an attempt to divide and rule the people of Gurez,” said the chairman of J&K Dard-Shin tribal minorities, Mir Hamidullah. Unhappy with the plan, he said that in order to preserve their culture and language, the people of Gurez should be provided land and rehabilitated in Gurez itself. “Shina language is the mother of Sanskrit. We are a people with our own history and relocating our people outside Gurez will hurt the community,” said Mir.

The price of development:

Apart from jeopardising their cultural identity, the move to rehabilitate them will also risk the state of cultivable land in the area, which will be shrunk further by the dam. “This project will affect whatever little agricultural land is left in our village,” said Abdul Khaliq Ganie of Tarbal, the last village near LoC, about 20 kms from Gurez town. “We have been losing our cattle to the minefield areas every year, and now this project has added to our worries as this village remains cut off from the Kashmir Valley for most part of the year,” he added.

Known for its scenic beauty, Gurez is separated from the Valley by the north Kashmir mountain range that runs west of Zojila Pass. For more than six months Gurez remains cut off from the rest of the world. Until Jammu and Kashmir was divided between India and Pakistan, Gurez was part of the Gilgit state. The taxes would be paid at Drass, which happens to be the only area on this side of the LoC that shares its language, culture and customs with Gurez.

The compensation being offered to the people for their homes and land, the locals say, is too little. “They are giving me one lakh rupees for one kanal of land, but how am I going to survive on this little amount along with my nine children,” rued a resident of one of the affected villages in Gurez.

According to civilian officials, the NHPC has promised (under the new relief and rehabilitation plan) to pay Rs 5.57 lakh to the families whose houses will be affected by the project and construct a new house per household outside Gurez. The powerhouse will be located in Kralpora village of Bandipora. Waters from a fast flowing Kishanganga—from Teetwal to Gurez—would be stored at Gurez and diverted to the Bandipora power station. The water will then go into the Bonar Madhumati and eventually flow into the Wullar Lake.

“Shina language is the mother of Sanskrit. We are a people with our own history and relocating our people outside Gurez will hurt the community,” Slug: Kashmir

Pakistan has raised objections over the water diversion part of the project as it believes the inter-tributary transfer amounts to a violation of the IWT of 1960. Pakistan is worried that the diversion of the river will leave thousands of acres of its rice fields, fed by Neelum (that’s what Kishanganga is known as in Pakistan) dry, and impact Mangla Dam and the viability of its upcoming Neelam-Jhelum power project.

Environmental experts say that the rise in water level of Kishanganga will adversely affect the ecology of Gurez, submerging substantial plantation and leaving an impact on its agricultural land and wildlife. The dam will also affect the breeding cycle of trout fish, found in Kishanganga. “There will be no breeding of trout fish because of this dam as they need fast running water to breed,” said an official from the fisheries department. The dam will also lead to an extreme winter in Gurez, which already has a long winter, as the river will freeze because of the dam, some experts said. “There is a danger of floods too as the water level increases and this will affect other adjoining villages as well,” revealed a government official.

Work flows, unhindered:

However, despite many pitfalls, work on the power project continues on both sides of Gurez and Bandipora. The Hindustan Construction Corporation (HCC) has been allotted the EPA contract by NHPC for implementing the project. An amount of Rs 269.96 crore has been spent until March 2010, sources said.

Conceived in 1996, the work on the project began in 2007. HCC is constructing a 37m-high rock-filled dam, and a 23.50 km headrace tunnel to take water to three turbines (110 MW each) for generating 1,350 million units of energy a year. The HCC, last winter, spent a crore on the helicopter service to reach the dam site in Gurez.

In addition to the various problems associated with the project, the HCC has been accused of discriminating against Kashmiri engineers and employees. The HCC authorities, locals alleged, are forcing families in the affected villages to vacate their houses and land even before providing them with compensation.

“The affected families are asking the HCC authorities to give compensation before they vacate their lands,” said a Kashmiri engineer working for the HCC site in Bandipora. “People of Kralpora, which is the most affected village, were recently beaten up by the HCC authorities for protesting and demanding land compensation,” he added. The HCC and NHPC officials, however, refused comment.

Local labourers alleged that they are paid less than the outsiders. “NHPC did not employ the people from the villages that will be submerged because of the dam. They should have been given preference, but the project authorities brought employees from outside the valley,” a government official said.

Minefield of historical wealth:

The region with its unique history is littered with gems of archaeological interest. Archaeologists believe that there are many sites in Gurez, which have inscriptions in Kharoshthi, Brahmi, Hebrew and Tibetan. Experts are of the opinion that an archaeological investigation of Gurez valley will give further insight into the history of the Dard Shin people and about Kashmir in general.

Incidentally, Gurez valley falls along the section of the ancient Silk Route, which connected Kashmir valley with Gilgit and Kashgar. Archaeological surveys in valleys north of Gurez along the Silk Route, particularly in Chilas, have uncovered hundreds of inscriptions recorded in stone. The Kishanganga project will also affect this route, which has traditionally been crucial for trade in Central Asia. One of the three villages that will also be affected by the project is Kanzalwan, which is believed to be an archaeological site of historic importance. The last council of Buddhism is said to have been held in this village, and further down the stream, the ruins of ancient Sharada University lie preserved along the Neelum.

The toll the project is going to take on the local population is heavy. It will mostly hit people who are entirely dependent on agriculture and allied activities for their livelihood. “Those families whose livelihood is entirely dependent on agriculture will be affected more as they have to look for other avenues of employment after their land compensation is exhausted,” said a government official in Gurez.

Iftikhar Gilani is Special Correspondent with Tehelka.com.
iftikhar@tehelka.com 

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http://www.tehelka.com/story_main50.asp?filename=Ws170911Kishanganga.asp

First Recycler Indicted for Exporting Toxic E-Waste

First Recycler Indicted for Exporting Toxic E-Waste

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Posted 16 September 2011, by Staff, Environment News Service, ens-newswire.com

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DENVER, Colorado, September 16, 2011 (ENS) – In the first case where criminal charges have been brought against an electronic-waste exporter, the federal government today charged two executives of Executive Recycling Inc., a Denver, Colorado electronics recycling firm, with multiple crimes.

Executive Recycling CEO Brandon Richter and Tor Olson, vice president of operations, were indicted on 16 counts, including wire and mail fraud, environmental crimes, exportation contrary to law, and destruction, alteration, or falsification of records.

The charges were brought in conection with shipments of e-waste going to developing countries. Informal processing of e-waste without safety provisions can cause serious health and pollution problems. Some electronics, such as the cathode ray tubes of old computer monitors, contain lead, cadmium, beryllium, and others may contain brominated flame retardants.

The federal government first became aware of the alleged violations following an investigation by Basel Action Network, BAN, a Seattle-based toxic trade watchdog.

After 30 months of investigations, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations team and a team from the U.S. EPA Criminal Investigation Division laid charges today.

The investigation was brought to public attention when BAN worked with CBS’s 60 Minutes news magazine in an episode entitled “The Wasteland.”

In 2007 and 2008, BAN volunteers photographed 21 sea-going containers at Executive Recycling’s loading docks that they tracked across the world, with most ending up in China.

BAN then alerted the Government Accountability Office and 60 Minutes, and together the groups documented U.S. businesses posing as responsible electronics recyclers but instead shipping e-waste to developing countries where it was processed in what BAN calls “deadly, polluting operations.”

Electronics waste collection point in the Denver suburb of Highland Ranch, August 2008 (Photo by Steve Scheer)

According to the federal grand jury indictment, Executive Recycling was responsible for at least 300 such exports, including shipments of more than 100,000 toxic cathode ray tubes that netted the company $1.8 million.

“This is a major victory for global environmental justice,” said BAN Executive Director Jim Puckett.

“Even before we have a U.S. law in place to explicitly prohibit this dumping on developing countries, the U.S. government’s criminal justice system has recognized the massive toxic trade we first discovered in 2001 as fraudulent, as smuggling, and as an environmental crime,” said Puckett. “Now these sham recyclers are warned: their shameful practices can land them in jail.”

Legislation has been proposed in both the House and the Senate to prohibit the export of toxic electronic waste to developing countries.

Such an export prohibition already exists in Europe.

In 2008, the U.S. Government Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, criticized the EPA and uncontrolled e-waste exports in a strongly worded report. EPA enforcers themselves have said that the United States lacks clear laws to combat the global e-waste dumping practice.

“Sadly, Executive Recycling is just the tip of the e-waste iceberg,” said Puckett. “They are but one of hundreds of fake recyclers who sell greenness and responsibility but in fact practice global dumping.”

Puckett advocates passing federal legislation to ban dumping e-waste in developing countries. He urges anyone disposing of electronic waste to use only Certified e-Stewards® Recyclers who will not export old toxic computers and TVs to a developing country.

Executive Recycling still operates in the Denver area and has had e-waste recycling contracts with the cities of Denver, Boulder, and Broomfield and the El Paso County and Jefferson County governments.

The company is registered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as a “Large Quantity Handler of Universal Waste.”

The United States is the world leader in producing electronic waste, tossing out about three million tons each year.

China already produces about 2.3 million tons (2010 estimate) domestically, second only to the United States. And, despite having banned e-waste imports, China remains an e-waste dumping ground for developed countries.

According to a report by UNEP titled, “Recycling – from E-Waste to Resources,” the amount of e-waste being produced – including mobile phones and computers – could rise by as much as 500 percent over the next decade in some countries, such as India.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2011.

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http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/sep2011/2011-09-16-094.html

Permaculture (How to Design Systems for Sustainable, Community Living) – Bill Mollison

 

Permaculture (How to Design Systems for Sustainable, Community Living) – Bill Mollison

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Posted16 September 2011, by Staff, Sterling Insights, sterlinginsights.com

 

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WHAT IS PERMACULTURE?

Permaculture (permanent agriculture/culture) is the use of Ecology as the basis for designing integrated systems of food production, housing, technology, & community development. The objective is to produce an efficient, low-maintenance, productive integration of plants, structures & people, to obtain on-site stability & food self-sufficiency in the smallest practical area.

See also: http://www.heathcote.org/PCIntro/2WhatIsPermaculture.htm

WHO IS BILL MOLLISON?

Bruce Charles ‘Bill’ Mollison (born 1928 in Tasmania, Australia) is a researcher, author, scientist, teacher and naturalist. He is considered to be the ‘father of permaculture‘, an integrated system of design, co-developed with David Holmgren, that encompasses not only agriculture, horticulture, architecture and ecology, but also economic systems, land access strategies and legal systems for businesses and communities.

He received the Right Livelihood Award in 1981 with Patrick van Rensburg.

Bill Mollison, father of Permaculture, gives insight into the techniques, practices and benefits of the most important interdisciplinary earth science of our age.  Watch the following videos to learn about his concepts:

THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofKTgmW_FAg

THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0v3jrjEtUI&feature=watch_response

THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwZiikke5HI

 

THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNKuF7VZFVY&feature=related

THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCvmffZbDOk&feature=related

THE PERMACULTURE CONCEPT – Part 6

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2_EdEOYLiQ

 

DRYLAND PERMACULTURE STRATEGIES – Part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W15RRvKyJSk&feature=related

DRYLAND PERMACULTURE STRATEGIES – Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIelsCmdTA8&NR=1

DRYLAND PERMACULTURE STRATEGIES – Part 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGotaEnwqic

 

BILL MOLLISON BIBLIOGRAPHY:

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http://www.sterlinginsights.com/insights/latest-insights/permaculture-bill-mollison