Posts Tagged ‘weather’

A Message From Occupied Wall Street (Day Seven)

A Message From Occupied Wall Street (Day Seven)

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The resistance continues at Liberty Plaza, with free pizza 😉

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Posted 24 September 2011, by , Occupy Wall Street, occupywallst.org

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This is the seventh communiqué from the 99 percent. We are occupying Wall Street.

On September 21st, 2011, it rained. We organized what shelter the police would allow us and thought. We thought about everything that is wrong with this country, with this world. We talked. We talked about everything that is wrong in this world. There has been no real conversation in this country and this world about wealth and the way it is misused. We are that conversation. Join us and make your voice heard. What is your one demand?

Our voice will no longer be ignored. There are too many things wrong with this world for our voices to be silenced. You know this. We know this. This is why we are here, why we grow every day.

Occupy your homes. You own your home, a callous bank that split ownership of your home into hundreds of parts, redistributing them across the world under false ratings does not own your home. Fifty times as much speculative trading as commercial trading goes on each day in America. You are in debt to people who make money by moving money from place to place using computers.

You have a right to shelter. No one can take that right from you.

Banks are able to restructure settlements constantly, they receive billions and billions of dollars so that they can stay afloat for long enough to steal your property from you. Do not let them. Do not leave your house. If the police come to steal your house and deliver it to the 1 percent film them and show the world and then join us. If we are not already occupying your city, your town, bring a sleeping bag, a pillow, and contact us. We will help you find food. We will help you sue for shelter. We will find each other. We will grow. We will build – city by city, block by block.

We stand in solidarity with homeowners across the country and the world whose homes are in the process of being stolen by faceless conglomerations motivated only by profit. We are the 99 percent. We will not let you steal our homes. We will not let you deprive us of a basic right, shelter, so that you can buy a home you do not use. We are here. We are growing. And we will not be moved.

We stand in solidarity with Madrid, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Madison, Toronto, London, Athens, Sydney, Stuttgart, Tokyo, Milan, Amsterdam, Algiers, Tel Aviv, Portland, Chicago and Palestine. Soon we will stand with Phoenix, Montreal, Cleveland, Atlanta, Kansas City, Dallas, Orlando and Miami. We’re still here. We are growing. We intend to stay until we see movements toward real change in our country and the world.

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https://occupywallst.org/article/day-seven/

Fresh flood submerges 600 villages in Orissa


Fresh flood submerges 600 villages in Orissa

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Posted 23September 2011, by Staff, The Times of India (Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.), timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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BHUBANESWAR: Flood condition worsened in Orissa on Friday with four major rivers submerging around 600 villages in the state.

Fresh flood in Brahmani, Baitarani, Budhabalang and Subarnarekha rivers following a heavy downpour wrecked havoc in Jajpur, Keonjhar, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Balasore and Mayurbjanj districts, officials said.

“Jajpur was cut off from rest of the state as a portion of 120-year-old bridge on Baitarani river at Sathipur caved in,” District Collector Anil Samal said.

“Vast stretches of national highways connecting Panikoili to Keonjhar, Keonjhar-Jashipur and Kamakhyanagar-Bhubana were inundated in flood waters, paralysing vehicular movement,” Works Secretary S K Ray said.

Also several state highways in Bhadrak, Keonjhar, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Kendrapara and Mayurbhanj were submerged in many places, throwing traffic out of gear.

Meanwhile, chief minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the flood situation at a high-level meeting here and deputed three senior officials to worst-hit Jajpur, Bhadrak and Kendrapara to monitor and supervise rescue and relief work.

Helicopters available with the state for anti-Naxal operation will be pressed into service for air dropping of relief materials for the marooned people from tomorrow, Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra said. .

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http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Fresh-flood-submerges-600-villages-in-Orissa/articleshow/10091137.cms

BP oil is not degrading on floor of Gulf of Mexico, study says

 

BP oil is not degrading on floor of Gulf of Mexico, study says

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Posted 22 September 2011, by Jay Reeves (Associated Press), New Orleans Net (NOLA), nola.com

 

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Tar balls washed onto Gulf of Mexico beaches by Tropical Storm Lee earlier this month show that oil left over from last year’s BP spill isn’t breaking down as quickly as some scientists thought it would, university researchers said Tuesday. Auburn University experts who studied tar samples at the request of coastal leaders said the latest wave of gooey orbs and chunks appeared relatively fresh, smelled strongly and were hardly changed chemically from the weathered oil that collected on Gulf beaches during the spill.

Melissa R. Nelson, The Associated Press archive. Tar balls are seen among the seashells at Gulf Islands National Sea Shore near Pensacola Beach, Fla., on Sept. 14.

The study concluded that mats of oil — not weathered tar, which is harder and contains fewer hydrocarbons — are still submerged on the seabed and could pose a long-term risk to coastal ecosystems.

BP didn’t immediately comment on the study, but the company added cleanup crews and extended their hours after large patches of tar balls polluted the white sand at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach starting around Sept. 6. Tar balls also washed ashore in Pensacola, Fla., which is to the east and was farther from the storm’s path.

Marine scientist George Crozier said the findings make sense because submerged oil degrades slowly due to the relatively low amount of oxygen in the Gulf’s sandy bottom.

“It weathered to some extent after it moved from southern Louisiana to Alabama … but not much has happened to it since then,” said Crozier, longtime director of the state sea laboratory at Dauphin Island.

Crozier said remnants of the spill are “economically toxic” for tourism, but he doubts there is much of an environmental threat. The oil lingering on the seabed is of a consistency and chemical composition somewhere between crude oil and tar, he said.

The company refused a request by the city of Gulf Shores to expand the latest cleanup efforts to include heavy machinery.

Auburn analyzed tar balls dredged up by Lee at the request of the city of Orange Beach with outside funding from the city, the National Science Foundation and the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium. The study wasn’t reviewed by outside scientists before its release.

Jay Reeves of The Associated Press wrote this report.

 

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http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2011/09/bp_oil_is_not_degrading_on_flo.html

Learn about beneficial rain gardens at free workshop

 

Learn about beneficial rain gardens at free workshop

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Posted20 September 2011, by Brenda OReilly, West Lake/Bay Village Observer, westlakebayvillageobserver.com

 

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A rain garden is an attractive landscaped area planted with perennial native plants which don’t mind getting “wet feet.” Built in a bowl shape, a rain garden is designed to increase infiltration allowing rain and snowmelt to seep naturally into the ground. Benefits of rain gardens are multiple: they recharge groundwater supply, prevent water quality problems, provide habitat for birds and butterflies and are great-looking landscape features.

Amy Roskilly of the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District and the Bay Village Green Team are partnering to sponsor a FREE rain garden workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Bay Community House, 303 Cahoon Rd. To register, call Amy at 216-524-6580, ext. 22, or email aroskilly@cuyahogaswcd.org.

Recent studies have shown that up to 70% of the pollution in our streams, river and lakes is carried there by run-off from practices we carry out in our own yards and gardens. Some of the common “non-point source pollutants” from our yards that end up in our local waterways include soil, fertilizers, pesticides, pet wastes, grass clippings and other yard debris.

Planting rain gardens is an effective way to help our communities “bloom,” as we work to protect the health of our watersheds. Learn about the importance of planting a rain garden and how to site it for your yard in this workshop as we work through the Rain Garden Manual for Homeowners.

For more information, please visit the Events section at www.bayvillagegreenteam.com.

Brenda OReilly, Co-Chair of the Bay Village Green Team

 Read More on Nature & Environment

 

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http://www.westlakebayvillageobserver.com/read/2011/09/20/learn-about-beneficial-rain-gardens-at-free-workshop

A Message From Occupied Wall Street (Day Four)

A Message From Occupied Wall Street (Day Four)

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Posted 21 September 2011, by easilydistr, Occupy Wall Street, occupywallst.org

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This is the fourth communiqué from the 99 percent. We are occupying Wall Street.

On September 18th, 2011, we were awoken by police bullhorns around seven in the morning, they objected to us protecting ourselves from the rain. They told us that the tarps suspended above us had to be taken down. We held a General Assembly to determine how to respond. We decided that we would hold the tarps over ourselves and our possessions. The police ripped the plastic away from us. We then scrambled to protect our possessions, primarily the media equipment streaming our occupation to the world. The police were also mostly interested in our cameras, it seems like they don’t want you watching us.

Before we say more about what happened to us it seems important to point this out: we do not think the police are our enemy. They have jobs, how could we fault them for that, when one sixth of America lives in poverty? when one sixth of America can’t find work? The police are part of the 99 per cent.

The police informed us that the tarps over our equipment counted as a tent, and were therefore illegal. We objected to this interpretation of the law. One of us sat on top of the tarp to keep the police from extralegally removing our possessions. This is what happened next – it is graphic:


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In the first video you can clearly see a senior police officer hurling a protester face first toward the ground. Luckily the protester’s blow was cushioned, but that didn’t keep him from losing a piece of his tooth.

In the second video police drag a protester across the ground, cutting his hands. You can clearly hear a police officer say that the young man will receive medical attention – in spite of this, it was our medics who bandaged him when he was released. Later, you can see the police deny a young man an inhaler during an asthma attack which the crowd explains may kill him.

After these events the police continued pressuring protesters with extralegal tactics by stating that a protester on a bullhorn was breaking a law. The protester refused to cease exercising his first amendment rights and was also arrested. Then the police began to indiscriminately attempt to arrest protesters, many unsheathing their batons, in spite of the protest remaining peaceful. In the end the police arrested seven of our members, holding five without charge for more than twelve hours. Liberato’s Pizza graciously offered to donate 20 pizzas for every hour a protester was held without charge.

In spite of these gross occurrences, we had work to do. After the abrupt end of our General Assembly we split ourselves into our normal working groups, and went about our tasks. Our outreach group organized a community march for Thursday at five in the afternoon. Our food group organized a group dinner. Our arts and culture group lifted our depressed and insulted mood. Our media outreach group was very busy.

Around three in the afternoon we reconvened our General Assembly. There was a brief discussion on how the Assembly worked due to the new members that were among us. We work as an ordered democratic body that passes proposals through a modified-consensus. Anyone can speak, but there is a list, we call it a stack. Our stack isn’t first come first serve – socially marginalized voices are given priority. We use hand signals to express assent (wave your hand high), dissent (wave your hand low), points of process (make a triangle with your forefingers and thumbs), and blocks (make an X with your forearms). A point of process indicates a query or an objection, or, rarely, a valued interruption. A block is used to indicate that the Assembly is disobeying its principles. A block voices its principled objection and the Assembly votes again, a vote of 90%+1 can overturn a block.

The General Assembly heard many proposals, here are some that were approved: the trade union group will attend a meeting with the Teamsters; the arts and culture group are organizing a benefit concert to be held in two or three weeks; our outreach group is heading to marginalized communities; next Saturday is devoted to you, to us, the 99 percent. We also came to consensus on how to respond to the morning’s police aggression.

At 4:30 we stood in solidarity with Troy Davis, an innocent man that the state of Georgia wants to murder today. We were joined by the International Action Center.

Afterward we heard a rousing speech from one of our released members, and then broke bread together. At seven we reconvened our General Assembly, which lasted until nine. Among other things, we designated talking spaces and quiet spaces, and we solidified our schedule. We’re still here. We intend to stay until we see movements toward real change in our country and the world.

We speak as one. All of our decisions, from our choice to march on Wall Street to our decision to continue occupying Liberty Square in spite of police brutality, were decided through a consensus based process by the group, for the group.

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https://occupywallst.org/article/a-message-from-occupied-wall-street-day-four/

Climate change hits coffee industry

Climate change hits coffee industry

A farmer inspects her coffee plants. Photo/FILE

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Posted 18 September 2011, by Staff, Business Daily (Nation Media Group), businessdailyafrica.com

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Global warming has increased the spread of pests in key farming regions with coffee exports facing the strain from the berry disease.

Scientists at the Nairobi based International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) predict increased incidences of coffee berry borer in coffee zones over the next 40 years due to changing climatic patterns.

The incidence of coffee berry borer, a small beetle recognised globally as the most destructive of coffee pests, will be higher in central and eastern regions of the country, the key producers of the country’s export coffee, states ICIPE.

Even small increases in temperature will lead to serious consequences on the number of generations, as well as the latitudinal and altitudinal range of the borer, adversely affecting coffee production in East Africa and parts of South America.” ICIPE said in a statement released last week.

This report comes as a shock to government that has been mulling plans to revive an industry that once served as the country’s foreign exchange earner.

Fluctuating temperatures and rainfall, the hallmarks of climate change, have already led to the spread of thrips (tiny insects known to destroy coffee beans by puncturing and sucking up their contents) in the coffee growing districts, lowering farmer’s output.

“There is serious thrips outbreak in most coffee regions which is likely to worsen after the end of the cold (July, August) season,” Dr Joseph Kimemia, managing director of the Coffee Research Foundation, said in an industry alert issued in July.

In spite of the good international prices government statistics indicate that coffee production dropped by 22.2 per cent in 2010 to 42,000 tonnes, leading to forex earning of Sh16 billion compared to peers like tea (Sh97 billion) and horticulture (Sh78 billion).

While the coffee prices have remained higher in the international market in the first half of this year, production decline has persisted in Kenya with deliveries to the marketing board declining in the first quarter of 2011 by 28 per cent to 11,300 tonnes.

Of late, farmers have alarmingly been abandoning coffee and turning their plantations to real estates, citing corruption and mismanagement that has undermined confidence in the industry.

The National Economic and Social Council, the country’s top policy organ wants the government to fight corruption and mismanagement in the industry to prevent farmers from abandoning coffee for other ventures .

“The council noted that coffee production has continued to decline while global prices are favourable and recommends that Kenya’s comparative advantage be leveraged to provide farmers with more incentives,” NESC said in a press release issued after the full Council meeting held on September 10.

The government may however have to rethink the proposed incentives as the ICIPE study encourages investment in climate adaptation measures to cushion the industry from further losses.

The first ever global map of future distribution of the coffee berry borer drawn by ICIPE scientists and colleagues from the UK, US and Germany indicate that most of today’s coffee growing zones will not sustain the crop in coming years.

The study says Africa’s arable land will shrink by 60 to 90 million hectares by 2050 as the impact of climate change sets in.

“Moreover, soil conditions at higher altitudes might not be suitable for Arabica coffee under the anticipated high temperatures,” the scientists said, adding that shade trees should be introduced in coffee plantations to improve microclimate that favours the growth of coffee.

omondi@ke.nationmedia.com

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http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Climate+change+hits+coffee+industry++/-/539546/1238694/-/mfjyb9/-/

“Ethical Oil” is Not an Oxymoron

Ethical Oil” is Not an Oxymoron

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Posted 08 September 2011, by , No Unsacred Place, nature.pagannewswirecollective.com

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As a follow up to John’s recent coverage of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, below is a video of a speech given at the Tar Sands Action protests in Washington D.C. this past weekend by Naomi Klein, an activist and author of books such as The Shock Doctrine and No Logo:

I have never seen anything quite as audacious as the campaign to rebrand the Tar Sands “Ethical Oil.” Do you know that Bill McKibben was on a debate with one of these guys on BBC, and he compared the Tar Sands oil to fair trade coffee and free range chickens? Do you know that they’re running ads on Oprah’s Network saying that by buying Tar Sands oil, you’re helping to free women in Saudi Arabia?

I mean, I’m from Canada, and let me tell you something. We don’t have ‘ethical oil’ in Canada. We have Tar Sands oil, which is like regular oil, but a whole lot dirtier. It ravages the earth as it is extracted. Ravaging bodies, ravaging the land as you just heard from our brothers and sisters from the Indigenous Environmental Network. And it ravages the earth at the point of combustion. When all of that carbon, three times as much carbon, three times as much greenhouse gas is emitted as it takes to produce a regular barrel of crude. And all of that carbon enters the atmosphere, and destroys and threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions of people around the world. And it also threatens the earth when it is transported in pipelines like the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. It threatens waterways, drinking supplies, ranches, the land that people and animals depend on.

“Ethical Oil” is not an oxymoron. It is an outrage. It is an insult.

Meanwhile, today over on Spirituality and Ecological Hope, Margaret Swedish asks if we can still talk about “hope” in a culture that seems so hell-bent on denial, self-destruction and environmental devastation:

But, seriously, how is it possible to approach the challenging concept of hope in a nation of this much cultural denial, media manipulation, and irrational religious extremism (you know, the kind where God gave us brains and then demands that we not use them), in a nation in which we have allowed a few very wealthy billionaires and mega-corporations involved in fossil fuel production to make off with the truth about our situation? […] I long ago gave up equating ‘hope’ with a belief that we can still keep very bad stuff from happening. Bad stuff is already happening and more bad stuff is going to happen, and we still can’t address our reality like adults fully cognizant of the danger we are in.

So what are we hoping for? What does it mean to hold on to hope in the face of on-going environmental disasters, heat waves, droughts, floods, raging fires and ever-larger storms. For Klein, hope is a stubborn commitment to keep fighting and working towards a better way of life:

As we gather today, new tropical storms are gathering, and people are in that familiar state of huddling by their television sets, wondering, wondering if they will be safe. We don’t really have summers anymore, we have disaster season. And disaster season just seems to be longer and longer. […] We are here because we don’t want to live this way, careening from disaster to disaster. […] We are here because we know that we can do better. That we do not have to attack our earth with ever greater violence in order to live happily and fulfilled. We know that there are energy sources based on renewing and amplifying life, not sucking it dry. And that on this path there are tens of millions of safe and dignified jobs, jobs that workers can be proud to go to every day.

For Swedish, hope rests on the evolving ecological concept of conviviality — living in “good company” with the earth and with each other, accepting and embracing a lifestyle of responsibility and limits as a first step towards greater abundance for everyone.

After a long summer of disasters and bad news for the environment — how do you hold on to hope? And what do you do to pass it on to others?

Categorized: Nature in the News.

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http://nature.pagannewswirecollective.com/2011/09/08/ethical-oil-is-not-an-oxymoron/