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California High Speed Rail -- A boondoggle in search of a Pork Barrel
There is a railroad boom going on right now in the San Joaquin Valley. At least there is a boom going on in the newspapers about railroads, fast and not so fast.Read More »
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Vandana Shiva on Int’l Women’s Day: "Capitalist Patriarchy Has Aggravated Violence Against Women"
AMY GOODMAN: We continue our conversation on this International Women’s Day with world-renowned feminist, activist, thinker from India, Dr. Vandana Shiva. India witnessed nationwide protests earlier this year following the brutal gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student in Delhi in December. The rape brought attention to other instances of sexual violence in India, where one woman is raped every 20 minutes, according to the national crime registry there. The conviction rates in the rape cases in India have decreased from 46 percent in 1971 to 26 percent in 2012.
To talk more about the significance of International Women’s Day, we go to Los Angeles to speak with Vandana Shiva, where she’s on tour right now. She’s the author of many books, including Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace, Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development. Her most recent book is Making Peace with the Earth.
Vandana, welcome to Democracy Now! As you travel in the United States from India right now—you’re an environmental leader, you’re a feminist, you’re a scientist—what is your message on this International Women’s Day?
New York Times
Global Temperatures Highest in 4,000 Years
By JUSTIN GILLIS...3-7-13
Global temperatures are warmer than at any time in at least 4,000 years, scientists reported Thursday, and over the coming decades are likely to surpass levels not seen on the planet since before the last ice age.
Previous research had extended back roughly 1,500 years, and suggested that the rapid temperature spike of the past century, believed to be a consequence of human activity, exceeded any warming episode during those years. The new work confirms that result while suggesting the modern warming is unique over a longer period.
Even if the temperature increase from human activity that is projected for later this century comes out on the low end of estimates, scientists said, the planet will be at least as warm as it was during the warmest periods of the modern geological era, known as the Holocene, and probably warmer than that.
That epoch began about 12,000 years ago, after changes in incoming sunshine caused vast ice sheets to melt across the Northern Hemisphere. Scientists believe the moderate climate of the Holocene set the stage for the rise of human civilization roughly 8,000 years ago and continues to sustain it by, for example, permitting a high level of food production.
A brilliant article on UC's genetic engineering patents and its legal shenanigans. -- BLJ
UC: A University, or a Biotech Company?
Last month the University of California intervened in a high stakes U.S. Supreme Court case on the side of the agribusiness giant Monsanto Company by filing an amicus brief stating that the university would be harmed materially if Monsanto doesn’t prevail. On the receiving end of UC’s legal argument is Vernon Bowman, a 75 year-old grain farmer from southern Indiana who has been battling Monsanto in court for several years now. It was already a David v. Goliath kind of fight, pitting an elderly guy in overalls against a global corporation with a bottomless pocket for legal expenses; the entry of UC into the court’s deliberations makes that two Goliaths.
Yet, according to a large consensus of government and private sources, by far the largest oil shale formation, the Monterey, is largely located in the south San Joaquin Valley. So, suddenly who owns subsurface rights to public as well as private lands becomes a major issue for people not eager to have their already record-breaking bad air quality get worse, have their groundwater polluted with chemicals the very names of which are proprietary to the companies that inject them thousands of feet into the ground, and there is a minor seismic issue, which we will take up later. -- BLJRead More »
If you've ever studied the label on a container of pesticide it will tell you the "active ingredient" and then, usually an overwhelmingly large percentage of the contents is listed as "inert."
These inert ingredients are jealously guarded as company secrets but they aren't always that inert. There is for example the curious story of the best poison oak medication on the market, made from an "inert" ingredient found in many pesticides, the "sticker" or very light oil that allows the pesticide to stick to the leaves and fruit after being sprayed. Tests done by a government agency losing too many man hours to poison oak discovered that the sticker was the thing that floated the oils off the skin.
But the ingredients discussed below are not beneficial. They may very well prove to be the product of criminal irresponsibility of the manufacturers of GMO pesticides, companies in collusion with the US government which have used the entire population of the United States as largely ignorant guinea pigs in a vast chemistry experiment.
We are grateful as always for the tireless work of Thomas Wittman at the GE News division of the Ecological Farming Association in Watsonville for this and many other articles on genetically engineered pesticides, especially RoundUp, used more and more in the Valley as the price of corn is driven ever higher by ethanol production and market speculation here in the land of the free and the yo-man farmer.
Badlands Journal editorial board
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