Tuesday, October 30, 2012
By Eric Holt-Giménez, executive director, Food First
I was invited to give a talk onFood Crises, Food Sovereignty and Rural Development at the IV International Congress on Rural Development in Villahermosa, capital of the torrid state of Tabasco, Mexico. Between the plenary presentations and work sessions what struck me was how much the idea of rural development has changed since the 1970s when I worked as a rural development volunteer in Mexico.
Basically, few people believe in Development anymore.
I suppose this is understandable.Forty years of failure—of the Green Revolution, of Integrated Rural Development Projects and of government programs to end poverty in the countryside—followed by NAFTA’s widespread destruction of rural markets and the unregulated explosion of extractive industries (mining, dams, agrofuels, etc), has identified Development with rapacious capitalism rather than with the improvement of people’s livelihoods.
September 25, 2012 9:31 PM
71,010 employees blocked from tweeting Oprah about Supreme Court murder case
Houston, TX (October 2, 2012) — Early Monday morning, 71,010 Shell employees received an email from the company's "Grassroots Employee Empowerment Division" providing information on Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, a pivotal human rights case being argued in the U.S. Supreme Court. The email contained links to news stories, as well as a tool to help employees tweet their feelings about the case at key US news anchors (and Oprah Winfrey).
The only thing is, Shell has no "Grassroots Employee Empowerment Division," and they don't want publicity for the case. The email was in fact the work of an activist group called People Against Legalizing Murder (PALM), who received the list of Shell emails from what they believe to be a group of disaffected employees. (A similar leak occurred two years ago.)
Within minutes of the email being sent out, Shell internallyblocked the site, preventing employees from accessing it. "I would love to participate, but access is denied to all links you sent out," wrote one employee among many. The 71,010 employees were informed this morning of the situation and the site's new URL.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) wants to allow coal plant operators to dump huge amounts of toxic coal ash directly into active and abandoned coal mines.Because these mines aren't designed to safely hold this waste, this dumping poses a serious risk of contaminating drinking water and making people sick.The Obama administration is in the process of creating rules for the safe disposal of coal ash, with final rules expected to be announced next year.
Fall colors in the Loyalsock State Forest
by Ralph Kisberg and Morgan MyersAlthough Responsible Drilling Alliance has been aware of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation's plans to develop gas rights in and around the Old Loggers Path, Rock Run, Pleasant Stream and other Lycoming and Loyalsock Creek headwater streams for some time now, the plans have yet to be revealed to the public. Apparently such information can be considered "proprietary" despite the fact that the development will take place on public land.
"As kids and teachers head back to school, we wanted to turn away from questions about politics and unions and money and all the regular school stuff people argue about, and turn to something more optimistic — an emerging theory about what to teach kids, from Paul Tough's new book How Children Succeed. Photo: Theo takes the marshmallow test."
Check out this episode of This American Life,"Loopholes" "Only the clever need apply. This week, stories of people acting on a technicality in the face of some of life's toughest regulators: financial regulators, parents and God."
Check out this episode of This American Life,"The Convert" "In 2006, a new convert showed up at a mosque in Orange County, California, eager to study the Koran and make new friends. But when he started acting odd and saying strange things, those friends got suspicious. To them, he was Farouk al-Aziz. But his real name was Craig Monteilh, and he was working undercover for the FBI. (Read the update to this story here.)"