Monday, July 23, 2012

Do Urban Farms Reduce Violence?

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July 23, 2012



Do Urban Farms Reduce Violence?

A growing body of research suggests that urban farming and greening not only strengthen community bonds but also reduce violence. To read an essay by Alex Kotlowitz on how it works—plus see photos of urban farming projects in Chicago—click here. [READ MORE]



Beyond Foxconn: More Dirt on the Factories Making Your iPhone

A recent China Labor Watch report highlights the abuse and exploitation of dispatch laborers throughout Apple's supply chain. [READ MORE]

PHOTOS: 90 Percent of Lemurs Are Threatened

In Madagascar, habitat destruction and hunting is driving these critters to the brink of extinction. [READ MORE]


Mother Jones


Is Science the Answer to Global Warming?

Hard to say. But it's probably the best chance we have. [READ MORE]


Minnesota Historical Society Press



Vaccines on Chicken Farms Create Supervirus

Two viruses from poultry farm vaccines in Australia have combined to create a new virus. Oops. [READ MORE]



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Friday, July 20, 2012

Rolling Stone Mobile - Politics - Politics: Global Warming's Terrifying New Math

Titanic Banks Hit LIBOR Iceberg: Will Lawsuits Sink the Ship?

This is probably the single most important story of 2012. This is the noose that has been strangling local governments, non-profits, universities, unions, pension funds and the like GLOBALLY. This IS the housing crisis, the local services crisis, and the pension crisis at their common root.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Extend The Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit For Ten Years


Tell Congress to stop with the financial yo-yo effect in the renewable energy industry, and give clean energy suppliers a predictable tax regulation environment for the next decade. The federal PTC is the biggest factor in renewable energy development, and its impending expiration and year-by-year on-off nature us causing boim and bust cycles in the entire industry. This could mean the difference between a domestic manufacturing base, or more foreign imports.

That's why I created a petition to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama, which says:

"Dear Federal Government, please end regulatory and financisl uncertainty in the renewable energy industry; renew the PTC for a solid ten years, and let America become a true renewable energy leader!"

Will you sign this petition? Click here:


Thursday, July 12, 2012

600-year-old trees

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Emma Pullman," <>
Date: Jul 12, 2012 4:37 PM
Subject: 600-year-old trees
To: "Daniel Stafford" <>

IKEA claims it's committed to sustainability, but is carving up 600-year-old trees to make furniture.

Tell IKEA to stop clear-cutting Russia's ancient forests.

Tell IKEA to stop destroying Russia's last old-growth forests before it's too late.

Click to Send a Message


The roar of a chainsaw shatters the peaceful calm of the Karelia forest in Northwestern Russia. A logger carves into an exquisite giant -- a 600-year-old tree -- with expert precision. Within minutes, he has masterfully sliced through tree rings, added the felled tree to a growing pile, and moved on to the next.

These trees -- part of Russia's last remaining old-growth forests -- will be chopped up to make cutting boards, wooden spoons and other items for IKEA. IKEA has built a reputation around sustainability and tells its customers, literally, "We Love Wood", and that the furniture they buy will not contain wood from old-growth forests. But a new report shows that IKEA is clear-cutting Russia's remaining ancient forests and destroying hundreds of thousands of unique animal species for profit. If it doesn't stop now, there may be no trees left.

Send a message to IKEA CEO Mikael Ohlsson telling IKEA to stop clear-cutting Russia's ancient old-growth forests.

IKEA is the third-largest purchaser of wood in the world, behind Home Depot and Lowe's, and roughly 60 percent of the products stocked in IKEA's 300 department stores across the globe contain wood of some form. IKEA already decimates 1,400 acres of forest a year -- that's why it purchased this enormous swath of over 740,000 acres of Russia's Karelia lush boreal forests -- for expansion.

IKEA is trying to convince customers that it adheres to the strictest environmental standards, and only uses wood sourced in economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable ways. But a Swedish conservation group discovered that IKEA's wholly-owned subsidiary, Swedwood, is clear-cutting the last of Karelia's old-growth forests from areas of high conservation and devastating invaluable forest ecosystems in the process. This directly violates the minimum requirements IKEA has set for its timber.

IKEA truly cares about its sustainable image and internationally-known brand and is especially vulnerable to public pressure from members. That's why it is important we send a strong message now.

As a world leader in the furniture industry and one of the world's largest companies, with over $30 billion in profits between 2000 and 2008, IKEA has the means to make its forestry practices more ecologically friendly and needs to stop misleading its customers.

Tell IKEA's CEO to prove he really loves wood and to stop clear-cutting Russia's remaining ancient forests. Send a message now.

Thanks for loving trees,

Emma, Taren, Kaytee and the rest of us



Why are old-growth forests so important?
Russia's lush, old-growth forests perform vital functions for life on Earth. They help to stabilize the climate by locking carbon in the soil -- which helps safeguard our climate. In addition, old-growth forests have much greater biodiversity than managed plantations, and are home to literally hundreds of thousands of unique animal and plant species, like rare species of lichens, mosses and other plants and animals. These species cannot survive in secondary forests.

But because of logging, only 10% of Russia's old-growth forests remain.

NGOs claim that IKEA, through Swedwood, is helping to destroy ecosystems that are home to endangered species by clear-cutting already depleted old-growth forests. In Karelia, only isolated tracts and pockets of old-growth forests remain.

In Russia, Swedwood Karelia LLC owns a logging concession of over 740,000 acres. And with Russian markets increasingly opening to the global market, and World Trade Organization (WTO) membership likely, environmentalists fear the worst damage to Russia's forests is yet to come.

Further Reading:

IKEA under fire for ancient tree logging, The Guardian. May 29, 2012.

SumOfUs is a world-wide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy. You can follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

If you don't want to receive emails from us anymore, you can remove yourself from our list by clicking here. But just know, we'll miss you!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012


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July 01, 2012
East Coast Cities Face Rising Seas
New York

Sea levels are rising faster and higher in a 620-mile stretch of the U.S. east coast—including major cities such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. —than elsewhere around the world, federal researchers have found. For over two decades, sea levels in…

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Is Your Beach Safe?

Last week, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released their 22nd annual "Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches" report, bringing government beachwater testing results from more than 3,000 locations nationwide into an extensive, easily…

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Good Vibes
The Gathering of the Vibes Aims to Shed Some Green Light
ken hays

If you ask Gathering of the Vibes festival founder Ken Hays how his brainchild helps the environment, he says, "Straight up, it doesn't."

"People are flying in on planes from all over, driving thousands of miles, and all the while burning nonrenewable energy…

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Forging New Connections for Palestinian Farmers
Palestine Hopes to Make Its Mark as the Home of World-Class, Organic Olive Oil

The annual harvest festival falls in early November outside the northern West Bank city of Jenin, Palestine. Hundreds of farmers and their families come out to celebrate the end of another season of organic, fair trade, extra virgin olive oil production. It's their…

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Trim Your Waste
5 Simple Steps to Rid Your Life of Excess Packaging

You can't typically see it from a boat or via satellite. But floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is a manmade formation, twice the size of the continental United States. And for the past 50 years, it's been growing fast. A sub-surface garbage patch consisting of…

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How Green Is That ... Baseball Stadium?

The Natural Resources Defense Council has made major strides in greening America's favorite pastime through its Major League Baseball (MLB) Greening Program. Stadium upgrades include improved energy efficiency, concession operations, water use, recycling and cleaner…

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Fight of the Mountain People
A review of Stand Up That Mountain: The Battle to Save One Small Community in the Wilderness Along the Appalachian Trail by Jay Erskine Leutze

A simple phone call from a concerned community member prompted Jay Erskine Leutze to change his life purpose. Paul Brown, president of Clark Stone Company was going to "pull that whole mountain down," the caller said. And she wanted Leutze, a lawyer, to intervene.…

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Risk From Tsunami Debris

Dear EarthTalk: Is there any environmental risk from all that Japanese tsunami debris that is starting to wash up on the U.S. west coast?

—Bailey Thigerson, Seattle, WA

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Is Natural Gas the Automotive Fuel of the Future?

Dear EarthTalk: I recently saw an article extolling the virtues of natural gas as an abundant, inexpensive and domestically produced automotive fuel. Is this going to be the automotive fuel of the future and how green is it?

—Jason Kincaide,
New Bedford, MA

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July/August 2012

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