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The NZ Electricity Authority has just made a dangerous decision that threatens the future of solar power in New Zealand and we must respond. It has ruled that a controversial move by Hawke’s Bay lines company, Unison, to charge its solar users an extra fee – essentially a tax on sunshine – was not in breach of any regulations.

We must push back on this – Sign and share the solar tax petition now.
The Authority was forced to investigate Unison’s solar tax after widespread public backlash, numerous formal complaints, and a Greenpeace petition which collected more than 30,000 signatures in just three weeks.

The Electricity Authority has conceded that it sees solar as a direct threat to dirty coal and gas generation (1). A blatant admission that it supports power providers that use dirty fuel over someone’s right to choose clean energy.

So the NZEA, our watchdog has decided to pick a fight with New Zealanders and side with the big power companies, their dirty energy and their high profits by discouraging people from adopting solar, simply because it could threaten private profits.

And this is not just about Unison and the Hawke’s Bay – solar users around the country may now be penalised. The ruling means that every lines company in New Zealand could implement a similar solar tax in their region without fear of being challenged. We’ve already heard that many lines companies are anxious to do so.

Greenpeace plans to challenge the NZEA every step of the way.  Help get this petition going viral. Let’s stop these big energy companies from stomping on the small but growing group of New Zealanders who are leading the solar revolution for us all.
Here’s the link again: Sign it and share it far and wide.

(1) Newstalk ZB: Authority rules electricity company allowed to introduce solar tax

Thanks,

The Trans-Tasman review into labelling irradiated food has meet a mixed response

While most industry groups and corporations that produced submissions to Food Standards Australia New Zealand were supportive of removing the labeling, all but one of the private citizen submissions were against the idea.

The body will not propose a removal of the current labelling requirements at this stage, but asked respondents whether they thought the countries’ approach to signalling irradiated food was effective or necessary at present.

Irradiation, which is used as both a pest control method and way of extending food’s shelf life, is a rare practice in the two countries, used mainly as a final quarantine measure to prevent the spread of fruit flies.

Five FSANZ studies over the last 15 years and numerous World Health Organisation reports have found the irradiation process is safe, but food manufacturers are required to add a label informing consumers food has been processed in this way.

The wording of the labelling is not proscribed, though manufacturers can add an optional Radura symbol, the internationally recognised identifier of irradiated food.

Consumer NZ, Friends of the Earth and New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries made submissions against removing the label requirements, arguing consumers were in favour of greater levels of information about the origin and processing of their food. They were joined by Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis (pictured above), who in a submission as a private citizen said “any process that alters the ingredients of a product should be labelled“.

“It is not the responsibility of government or government endorsed bodies to decide on behalf of the individual what they should or should not know is in their food,” he said.

Source – Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/national/irradiation-food-labelling-review-draws-mixed-response-20160523-gp1pi5.html#ixzz4ACrPum2q

 

Clinton Exposed

Clinton: Yet More High Profile Blood

When she was Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton green-lighted a violent Right-wing coup (2009) against the democratically-elected president of Honduras. She then worked to tirelessly to discredit its critics. One of those critics, Berta Cáceres, an articulate human-rights and environmental activist, just got a bullet in the head a few weeks ago. Cáceres wasn’t shy about mentioning Hilary Clinton by name.

Now, during the presidential primary and election season, she won’t be saying anything.

Since the Honduran coup more than 5,000 peasants have been imprisoned, including 1,700 peasant women, and over 140 women and men peasants have been assassinated in conflicts involving land tenure or the defence of territory.


Murder of Gaddaffi: Clinton Exposed

A recently declassified email exchange between Hillary Clinton and her adviser Sid Blumenthal shows that Clinton (while US Secretary of State) was up to her eyeballs in the conspiracy to kill off Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi (2011) and his Pan-African “Gold Dinar” currency. This woman has no conscience and should face trial for her crimes against humanity instead of being rewarded by her handlers with the ultimate damage control career.

Gaddaffi: The truth.

Remembering Berta Cáceres

In 1993, Berta co-founded the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, or COPINH. For years, the group faced death threats and repression as they stood up to mining and dam projects that threatened to destroy their community. Last year, Cáceres won the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s leading environmental award. We hear Cáceres in her own words and speak to her nephew, Silvio Carrillo, and her longtime friend Beverly Bell.

Congratulations Maxima for stopping this destructive gold and copper mine

This was a difficult and dangerous 5-year battle, led by Máxima Acuña. Thanks to her and her friends, the sources for five rivers, four mountain lakes, and hundreds of hectares of wetlands will be safe — and members of the community won’t lose their homes.

Máxima has faced harassment and threats to her life in her efforts to stop the mine and now she is being recognised for her work. To top off the victory, today Máxima will be awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for her tireless work standing up to Newmont. The Goldman Prize, known also as the ‘Green Nobel Prize’, honours ordinary citizens who’ve taken great personal risks to safeguard the environment and their communities — and Máxima’s tireless work is no exception.

“I would like to thank everyone from around the world who signed the petition in support of my case. In truth I am fighting with my family for something just, to defend my land, whatever it has cost me. For this I thank you because your support has given me the strength to continue fighting.”

But our fight isn’t over — Newmont are still planning lawsuits against Máxima and as of last week, her family continues to be harassed by security contractors.

Slain Peasants Commemorated Worldwide

April 17th 1996, is commemorated by millions of peasants around the world as The International Day of Peasant’s Struggle – to memorialise the massacre of 19 landless farmers in Eldorado dos Carajás, Brazil, and to continue the struggle for land and life.

Two decades after that incident took place peasants and peasant leaders continue to be assaulted and killed for defending their rights. The killing of Honduras activist, Berta Caceres, and other peasants in Columbia, Philippines and Brazil in recent weeks and the criminalisation of social protest and many other forms of human rights abuses still continue.

2016-03-27-Internet-Affiche-Via-Campesina-EnglishThe New Zealand Peasants’ Association denounces all forms of injustice that affect the peasant way of life, an important heritage of the people at the service of humanity.

Constant attempts are being made to advance the agribusiness model that imposes the practice of monoculture which privatises land and natural resources in order to increase profit, denying their preexisting appropriation by society for the common good. Monocultural farming destroys biodiversity, uses more and more toxic inputs, drives peasants off their land, and forces governments and nation states to bow to the industry’s will.

While our government continues to build repressive alliances with big businesses to promote profit taking, Peasants NZ believes the time has come to build an economy based on an equality between humanity and nature, and founded on Food Sovereignty principles.

“It’s unacceptable that in 2016 farmers are still being killed for defending the very basis of life: the nature and the right to grow food” said Elizabeth Mpofu, General coordinator of La Via Campesina.

With hundreds of actions taking place peasants and their allies are united in solidarity to defend their land and to push back the frontal assault on artisanal farmers in all parts of the world. The actions, led locally by peasant member organisations of La Via Campesina and by many other groups, collectives and organisations, involve reclaiming grabbed lands, demonstrations against agribusiness models, food sovereignty fairs, seed exchanges, video screenings, conferences and more.

Monsanto Faces Insider Rebellion

Monsanto assumes that most of its victims — especially poor famers in the developing world — will never be able to confront it.

In just two weeks, a group of SumOfUs members will file an official shareholder resolution at Monsanto’s annual meeting demanding the company change the way it does business. Last year Monsanto tried to shut down support for the resolution before the meeting even started. This time around they were ready for us — and we’re expecting the company to send a letter full of misinformation to every shareholder urging them to oppose our resolution.

Monsanto wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t worried. We have them on the run–but now we need to respond. If we can raise just $50,000 this week, we’ll be able to back up these SumOfUs members at the meeting.

Chip in to help stand up to Monsanto.  Together, we can finally hold it accountable.

Here’s what they’ve got in store for Monsanto:

  • Mobilising SumOfUs members who are most affected by Monsanto’s practices to attend the annual meeting
  • Getting prime media coverage to help make Monsanto feel the pressure
  • Using a short, shareable video on the shareholder resolution to communicate the value of the motion to Monsanto’s owners
  • Get a team on the ground at the AGM to promote the motion to Monsanto shareholders face-to-face

Monsanto won’t listen to the public — but it has to listen to their shareholders. And because of this brave group of SumOfUs members and Monsanto shareholders, we have an opportunity to finally force change at Monsanto.

Companies are watching with intense interest at how it goes this year.Almost no other campaigning groups are using this tactic to force change from within companies. Stand with these SumOfUs members as they head into “shareholder season” as one of the pioneers of this new revolution.

Chip in to help stand up to Monsanto.

Sign the Pact for the Earth

On the afternoon of World Soil Day – December 5, 2015 – on the occasion of COP21, leaders in defense of life and of our planet, representatives of seed savers – community supported agriculture, spiritual leaders, artists and concerned citizens gathered at La Villette in Paris and planted a ‘Garden of Hope’ as a reminder that our seeds, our soils and our biodiversity, kept in the hands of local farmers and caring citizens, are solutions to climate change, to which Industrial globalised agriculture makes a significant contribution.

Seed Freedom and Food Freedom are the keystones to a prosperous and secure future for our Earth and for humanity.

As Earth citizens, we launched a Pact with the Earth and with each other to defend our commons – our seeds, soil, water, biodiversity, air and climate systems – essential to building climatic resilience, and to affirm that in ecological organic agriculture and local food systems lie the answers to the food, nutrition and health crisis, water and climate crisis, and the creation of millions of climate refugees.


Read and Sign the Pact for the Earth

‘Terra Viva’ — Our Soil, Our Commons, Our Future

COP 21: A Fraud

Fraudulent Science at COP21: Who Benefited?

Why has virtually every COP21 media article repeated the mistaken idea that the only strategy to fight climate change is the failed one to stop burning fossil fuels?

Big Ag, the giants of the industrial agriculture industry, including Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer, McDonald’s and the entire synthetic fertiliser industry—have miscounted and misrepresented America’s agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Sadly, thanks to Big Ag’s backroom political dealings in Washington, DC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have agreed on the ludicrous statement that agriculture contributed only about 10 percent of U.S. GHG emissions in 2013, when in fact it was more than 25 percent.

When this erroneous conclusion is corrected and the formerly hidden facts are well understood by policy leaders and the public, we’ll be able to shift policies toward more regenerative, soil-honouring practices and then we’ll see sales of pesticides and chemical fertilisers plummet.

It’s plain to see why Monsanto and friends, via their high-level political appointees, influenced the U.S. and United Nations delegates at COP21. They eliminated agriculture and soils from the COP21 agenda and thus the final agreement—despite overwhelming evidence that soil sequestration (carbon farming) is the number one solution to stop the rise of CO2.

It is modern farming that is largely to blame

An article in the Washington Post (Barker & Pollan 4/12/15), describes how “a third of the carbon in the atmosphere today used to be in the soil and modern farming is largely to blame.” They point out that “practices such as the overuse of chemicals, excessive tilling and the use of heavy machinery disturb the soil’s organic matter, exposing carbon molecules to the air, where they combine with oxygen to create carbon dioxide. Put another way: Human activity has turned the living and fertile carbon system in our dirt into a toxic atmospheric gas.”

 

Luckily, There’s a Secret Weapon

“It’s possible to halt and even reverse this process,” the writers add, “through better agricultural policies and practices.” They go on to explain how “restoring carbon to the soil is not nearly as complicated as rethinking our transportation systems or replacing coal with renewable energy.”

Ronnie Cummins and Katherine Paul of the Organic Consumers Association pursued this same point in their recent piece How World Leaders Can Solve Global Warming with Regenerative Farming. They describe how the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) set out to achieve “a legally binding and universal agreement to make sure the Earth doesn’t get warmer than 2C above pre-industrial levels.

 “To meet that goal, the French government launched the 4/1000 Initiative which, distilled to simplest terms, says this: If, on a global scale, we increase the soil carbon content of the soil by .04 percent each year for the next 25 years, we can draw down a critical mass of excess carbon from the atmosphere and begin to reverse global warming.”

Is the French 4/1000 Initiative realistic?

Yes, even by conservative estimates. Industrial, degenerative farming practices—which include tilling, deforestation, wetlands destruction and the use of massive amounts of synthetic and toxic fertilisers and pesticides—have stripped 136 billion tons of carbon out of the soil and sent it up into the atmosphere. Using the French government’s modest estimates, we can transfer, via enhanced plant photosynthesis, 150 billion tons of this carbon back into the soil in the next 25 years.

For some reason, Greenpeace, 350.org and the climate movement think putting close to 100% of our policy and educational efforts into shutting down oil is our one last hope to stop climate change. This is madness. Can they really believe that fewer people will be driving cars in 2020 than in 2015? And don’t they realise that every new hybrid or 100% electric car in its making will contribute almost as much greenhouse gas emissions as would driving a five-year-old Toyota?

More: | EcoWatch; Soil not Oil Coalition

World Bank Pushes Water Privatisation in India

A Campaign against the World Bank

Water is our most essential public resource, and it is vital that it be managed by public utilities for the public interest, not private profit. The World Bank continues to promote and fund water privatisation despite the failure of this model around the globe.

For years, the World Bank has promoted a failed water privatisation project in Nagpur, India as a “success” to be repeated worldwide. And now it is backing new plans for hundreds of Indian cities to follow the privatisation model that has been disastrous in Nagpur.

The World Bank continues to promote and fund water privatisation despite the failure of this model around the globe, in cities from Nagpur to Manila, Cochabamba to Paris – advancing corporate interests at the expense of human rights, workers’ rights, public health, the planet, and democratic principles.

Corporate Accountability International claims that the the World Bank shouldn’t get away with the propaganda and the false promises about water privatisation. So they are partnering with Indian allies to expose the truth behind the World Bank’s spin and demand strong, democratically-controlled water systems.

Stand with the p
eople of Nagpur today and tell the World Bank to stop pushing its dangerous water privatisation schemes.

Water privatisation is proven not to work in poorer countries. Inevitably, the private sector doesn’t find it profitable to invest in the level of infrastructure really needed to ensure that communities have access to clean and affordable water.  That is done more effectively by the public sector than by private corporations

It has had disastrous consequences for the poor in Nagpur,  India; including lengthy project delays, service failures, inflated bills, labour abuses, and the shut-off of scores of connections. While problems persist for the people of Nagpur, the scheme remains lucrative for global water privatising giant Veolia.

Despite these persistent failures, the World Bank Group continues to promote Nagpur as a so-called “success story” as it supports privatisation of water systems in hundreds of other Indian cities.

Working with media, international allies, labor, and community groups in Nagpur and throughout India, Corporate Accountability International are challenging the expansion of the dangerous private water industry by exposing the World Bank and industry lies.

Furthermore, financing by the International Finance Corporation (IFC – World Bank Group), which is both investor and adviser on these projects, poses a conflict of interest. On the one hand, the IFC is advising governments to privatise the sector; on the other, it is investing in the corporations that are getting those contracts. When the IFC was established in 1956, it was expressly prohibited from purchasing corporate equity to avoid this sort of conflict, but the board amended this rule a few years later, allowing these kinds of deals.

Download: “SHUTTING THE SPIGOT ON PRIVATE WATER: The case for the World Bank to divest”

MOBAY Returns with Mustard

Monsanto and Bayer have a long history. They made explosives and lethally poisonous gases and sold them to both sides of both the World Wars. Bayer was part of IG Farben, Hitler’s economic power and pre-war Germany’s highest Foreign Exchange earner, with offices in the United States and Switzerland.

The Biotech Industry – the Chemical-Military-Industrial complex of our times – is a singular global entity. They have no concern for what happens to the farmers crop once they have made the sale of their seeds and chemicals. Unless, of course, the farmer hasn’t used their seeds and their seeds have managed to pollute the farmer’s farm – then they sue the farmer! This was the case with Australian organic farmer Steve Marsh, whose field was contaminated by his neighbour’s GM Canola (Mustard family but lacking the medicinal properties of Mustard). The neighbour was later found to have been paid by Monsanto. These are not people interested in feeding a growing number of people on this planet with limited resources.

In 1998, the WTO forced India to remove it’s Quantitative Restrictions on agricultural imports, which were necessary for India’s food sovereignty. The removal of these protections allowed for US-subsidised GMO Soya Oil as ‘Edible Oil’ to be dumped into the Indian market – in violation of India’s laws which do not allow the import of GM food, and the required labelling of the imports. The reduction of cultivation of pulses and oilseeds because of the expansion of rice and wheat monocultures, during the first Green Revolution, and the spread of GM cotton and hybrid corn during the second Green Revolution, has created price rises.

Scarcity of oilseeds and pulses created by Green Revolution Monocultures being used to impose GM mustard 

The Green Revolution, a brilliant marketing strategy to keep companies of war in business, was given the Nobel Peace Prize.  Chemical agriculture had short-term successes but has been a long-term failure in every way imaginable. It has left India’s soils in ruin, and Indian farmers in debt, destroying 93%  of that country’s food diversity.

Once more and more farmers began planting monocultures of cotton, rice, wheat and sugar-cane, India’s productivity and exports of these commodities increased due to the increased cultivation – not because of the chemically-intensive Green Revolution. Unfortunately the production of pulses and oil seeds – like mustard – decreased due to decreased cultivation. Mustard is India’s most cultivated oilseed, the biggest market, hence the corporate push for commercialisation of GM mustard, hiding behind public institutions. GM Mustard, like Bt-Cotton has been, will be a noose around the necks of India’s farmers.

Industry is now using the deficit in production of oil seeds to justify the illegal trials of their illegal technology. They say Pental’s GMO Mustard (DMH-11) will increase mustard yields. This is false. The yield comes from the original planting material used not from the GM transformation. GM transformations merely introduce tolerance to proprietary toxic herbicides (Ht), make the entire plant toxic (Bt) or create sterile seeds (Terminator). In the Dhara trials, the only traits that have been introduced into the original hybrid are GURT/Terminator and Herbicide Tolerance. The GMO Mustard trials are shrouded in secrecy because they are illegal, breaking multiple laws.

Help protect India from this Corporate Imperialism

Sign the Petition to stop illegal trials of GMO Mustard on Change.org

Sign the Pact for the Protection of the Planet – http://bit.ly/Pact4Earth

Making Peace with the Earth – A Message from Dr Vandana Shiva


Related Campaigns

 

Sarson Satyagraha – Civil Disobedience against GMO Mustard