“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose…” We don’t even have to provide the score for you to hear this song clearly in your head. “The Christmas Song” written in 1945 by Bob Wells and Mel Tormé is a classic. However, by that time in history, the American chestnut (Castanea dentata) trees had almost completely vanished. They had fallen victim to an airborne fungus introduced by the import of an ornamental chestnut from Japan.Read More
Almonds: Growth of an Industry Contributes to California Water Woes Industrial agriculture in California has been facing one crisis after another for more than a decade. Water battles between cities and rural farming areas has escalated as populations in cities increases and new mega-farms spring up across the Central Valley. Stakeholders in the allocation of water resources include not only cities and farms but precious watersheds where endangered species became endangered due to ever increasing water demands draining resources away from these habitats. Biodiversity has been greatly diminished as rainfall totals decrease and groundwater reserves are diverted to meet...Read More
On occasion of September 21st, International day of Struggle against Tree Plantations, women from several countries from West and Central Africa have taken the initiative to release simultaneously the petition we enclose below.
The petition is an urgent request from women in Africa to stop the suffering and the violent impacts the expansion of industrial oil palm plantations is creating on womens´ lives, that affect women in and outside the African continent: Violence, sexual abuses, rape, harassment, persecution, destruction of their means of livelihoods.Read More
ArborGen, a leading biotech corporation specializing in supplying hybrid tree seedlings for the commercial forestry industry is ready to offer a genetically engineered freeze tolerant eucalyptus tree to their customers in the U.S. Southeast.Read More
Even as the United States government continues to push for the use of more chemically-intensive and corporate-dominated farming methods such as GMOs and monoculture-based crops, the United Nations is once against sounding the alarm about the urgent need to return to (and develop) a more sustainable, natural and organic system.That was the key point of a new publication from the UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)Read More
by Orin Langelle and Anne Petermann THE RESURGENCE IS COMING Trump is waging a war on both communities and the environment. The forests of the U.S. are going to be hit hard at the hands of Trump and his ultra-right wing band of robber barons. At the same time, the forest protection movement in this country has fragmented and communication amongst us has quieted since its height in the 1990s. With this in mind, we have reached a critical moment for the movement for forest protection in the U.S. These combinations of factors are leading many in the movement to begin conversations about regenerating and unifying forest protection efforts across North America. That is what we plan to discuss at a workshop at the 2017 Heartwood Forest Council in May. It is time to rejuvenate this movement: bring in new energy, consolidate and coordinate existing campaigns and efforts and create a movement powerful enough to stop further devastation of these crucial ecosystems and begin the process of healing. This will not be simple. Reality is tough and it is going to get tougher. We are led to believe Trump and his thieving cronies are climate change deniers. Most are anything but. While they are portrayed as climate change deniers, in reality they do their best to build their fortunes while exacerbating the climate crisis. There is good money in...Read More
Biofuels consumed today are usually ethanol made from the sugar in sugar cane (or sugar beet) or they may be made from starch in grains. In the US this is mostly corn starch. Alternatively, biodiesel may be made from plant oils such as soybean or canola oil. Cellulosic biofuels, on the other hand, are biofuels made from crop residues (e.g. corn stover), wood, or whole plants, especially grasses (e.g. switchgrass). Cellulosic biofuels include cellulosic ethanol (made by isolating, breaking down and then fermenting the complex sugars in the cell walls of plants), as well as ‘drop in biofuels’. These biofuels are chemically almost identical to fossil-fuel based kerosene, diesel or gasoline.Read More
A new study out of the Geos Institute in Ashland, Oregon concludes that selectively logging or “thinning” forests for bioenergy can increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and exacerbate climate change. The study, “Thinning Combined With Biomass Energy Production May Increase, Rather Than Reduce, Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” by D.A. DellaSala and M. Koopman, challenges bioenergy and timber industry assertions that logging forests will aid in the fight against climate change.Read More
Are you worried about genetically modified trees replacing what was once known a nature? Protection groups from around the globe have unified to publicly condemn the US government for allowing the first genetically modified tree to be legalized with zero government or public oversight and zero environmental risk assessments. What’s more, the decision was made despite overwhelming public opposition. A letter from the USDA to GE tree company ArborGen dated last August was recently exposed by scientist Doug Gurian-Sherman of the Center for Food Safety. It appears that the USDA, in all its glory, decided to allow ArborGen to pursue unregulated commercial cultivation of a genetically modified loblolly pine for altered wood composition. These trees could be planted anywhere – without you knowing.Read More
Will declaring a ‘climate emergency’ help to finally prompt radical action to address climate change? A growing number of campaigners as well as scientists think so and hope that a major wakeup call about unfolding climate disasters will spur governments and people into action. Whether a lack of scary-enough facts about climate change has been holding back real action is questionable. After all, it requires a fair amount of psychological denial to not be alarmed by the escalating heat waves, droughts, floods and destructive mega storms.Read More
A two-week-long, multi-million-dollar courtroom battle ended last Thursday with closing arguments by lawyers for the Boston-based, internationally owned entity known as Gainesville Renewable Energy Center and lawyers for a more-than-three-decades-old, family-owned Gainesville biomass recycling business, Wood Resource Recovery. While the two sides await a judgment by the court, not expected until June, GREC is proceeding apace with new and separate litigation with a different opponent and different warriors. That second legal battle, initiated by GREC in March against the city of Gainesville and Gainesville Regional Utilities, is being fought by a different group of GREC lawyers. This new legal team, based in Boston, wants to force GRU to make millions of dollars in payments above and beyond the $60 million to $70 million annually GRU is already paying GREC — paying not for electricity, but for the right to purchase GREC electricity in the event GREC ever sells its electricity at a price equal to or less than the market rate.Read More
The International Campaign to STOP GE Trees urges the Brazilian government and CTNBio to refuse Futuragene’s request to plant GE trees in Brazil.
The Campaign to STOP GE Trees, including Biofuelwatch, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, Global Justice Ecology Project, Indigenous Environmental Network, World Rainforest Movement, released the following statement in support of the “Open Letter to CTNBio”: The Campaign to Stop GE Trees, an international coalition founded in 2004, supports a global ban on commercial deregulation of genetically engineered trees (also known as genetically modified trees) based on serious concerns about their impacts on biodiversity and human rights. The Campaign supports the position expressed herein, in solidarity with the “Open Letter to CTNBio” from Brazilian and Latin American groups, that calls upon CTNBio to reject the request by the Futuragene corporation for commercial approval of GE trees in Brazil.Read More
Indigenous peoples are now facing continued and new forms of exploitation in the guise of renewable, sustainable and green development from genetically engineered trees for energy production. The other experts on this panel present the government, academic and private entities involved and others have presented the science-based reasons that the insertion and proliferation of GE trees into our natural world will further threaten both environmental and human health. Read More