Tag Archives: trees

If you don’t want Monsanto to own the world’s apples and apple trees, submit a comment

GMO apple
Source: Inquistr
Monsanto and companies like it that produce GMO (aka GE) seed want to own all the food produced in the world. They are working towards this goal bit by bit, using GMO seeds as an inroad to accomplish it. Don’t let them! If you believe in people owning our food supply as opposed to major corporations owning it and deciding when, where and how much we can eat then you need to submit a public comment saying so by 12 Sept 2016.

Submitting a public comment has become a very easy process and is fast. You can feel free to speak from your own heart or to use any part of my statement that you like. Additional information and facts are also available at Food Safety News.

Submitted by Kimi Wei on 27 August 2016:

Dear Sirs and Mesdames,

It’s absurd to even think of giving in to the whims of a public which, due to ignorance, concern themselves more with appearance than their own health and the consequences of being deprived of the right to eat good, healthy food and build communities around this simple human need.

GMO products give control over food sources to major corporations, as they control the sales of GMO seed and eventually, can even prevent farmers from using traditional seed – this is happening in several countries around the world. GMO seed also is much costlier than traditional seeds are.

While people may choose to be ignorant of the facts, there’s no excuse for government officials to fail in this area. You need to ensure that Americans continue to enjoy food sovereignty; that we not risk planet and personal health crises by using GMO products which may cause unforeseen negative long-range impacts; that food production is not turned over to entities concerned with profit at the expense of humanity; and that the planetary and natural protections offered by small-holder farmers who practice natural planting and growing are not replaced with Big Ag monoculture crops that are always highly destructive to planet and people.

Furthermore, in the United States GMO seed and plant producers have used GMO seeds as an excuse to steal away smaller farmers’ lands by claiming that seeds that invade adjacent farms by the wind or birds carrying them over are in fact being stolen by the smaller farmers. Successful legal claims have been made stating that the only remedy for this theft is for the GMO planters to take possession of farmers lands that were invaded by their seed. The fact that the farmers didn’t want GMO seed and were advocating for it to be blocked from invading their land, meant nothing to the GMO plant growers, or the courts.

To submit a comment by USPS mail (snail mail), send to:
Docket No. APHIS-2016-0043
Regulatory Analysis and Development
PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

Thanks Howard Vlieger for sharing the opportunity to comment.

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Become a Newark treekeeper this summer with 3 free classes at Weequahic Park!

Newark Treekeepers 2016
Source: NJ Tree Foundation
NJ Tree Foundation’s FREE TreeKeepers workshops are back this June at Weequahic Park! Learn all about trees and how to properly care for them.

Tools and a light dinner are provided at each workshop. My sons and I took the workshop in 2014 and it was awesome.

The 3-session workshop series is free but you must RSVP to Elena. Seats are limited, so why not do it now?

The sound of tree talk is music

Years playing on phonograph
Source: Bartholomäus Traubeck
Since I became aware a few years ago that trees audibly mourn when a neighboring tree is cut down, I have wondered what is the sound that a tree makes. In the tree-cutting study I read, the tree’s sound was tracked only by vibration levels, but not sound. Now I’m one step closer to knowing.

In a project called “Years”, artist Bartholomäus Traubeck cut thin slices of tree trunk and assigned to each type of pattern in them, a sound. As a camera mounted on a phonograph machine in the position of needle plays over the patterns, they are translated into sound and my gosh, those sounds are marvellous. Listen …

Traubeck explains:

A tree’s year rings are analysed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as basis for a generative process that outputs piano music based on the year ring data. Those are analyzed for their thickness and growth rate and are then mapped to a scale which is again defined by the overall appeareance of the wood (ranging from dark to light and from strong texture to light texture). The foundation for the music is certainly found in the defined ruleset of programming and hardware setup, but the data acquired from every tree interprets this ruleset very differently.

Protecting old growth forests & reducing livestock will hugely mitigate climate change

Biodiversity Plan & Aichi TargetsI was just reading a fact sheet on the contributions that Aichi (Japan) Biodiversity Targets can make to land-based climate mitigation. My son Ivan Wei brought it back from COP21 – the Paris climate talks that happened in December 2015. It brought out some quite interesting points:

  • Old growth forests provide better greenhouse gas mitigation than newly planted ones. Meaning, let’s take care of our trees.
  • Organic, eco-friendly agriculture is a great way to sequester carbon and get it out of the air, where it causes climate change.
  • 1/3 of food is being lost to spoilage and waste. By sharply reducing food waste, we will reduce the amount of new cropland that gets planted, which will in turn dramatically mitigate climate change.
  • We need to manage livestock growing much better and probably reduce our meat consumption.

The facts are pulled from the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, a multi-country 10 year framework adopted by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Here’s the full Aichi Targets & Biodiversity Plan Synopsis.

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You can help the arctic birds of the Boreal Forest

Snowy Owl by Brian Hansen
Snowy Owl by Brian Hansen

Boreal means bird. The National Wildlife Fund’s Gaby Chavarria explained in a 2004 article, the largely untouched Boreal Forest haven is under threat from logging, mining and drilling for gas and oil. It is, “one of the largest intact forests on the planet — the size of more than 10 Californias.” What’s being destroyed?

Billions of birds rely on the boreal forest – the sweeping expense of trees across Canada – for critical breeding grounds and summer residences. Unfortunately, clear cutting is taking its toll, as environmentally sound forestry practices are not commonplace here.

Much of the resource development in the boreal is spurred by the United States, which is the leading importer of Canadian wood products. Driving the demand for cheap pulp is junk mail, advertising inserts, newsprint, toilet paper, magazines and catalogs. In fact, according to the American Bird Conservancy, more than a third of all newsprint used in the United States originates from boreal forests.

Protecting these forests requires action on many fronts. Some retail companies such as IKEA, The Home Depot and Staples, have already vowed to avoid purchasing wood products from there.

And here’s how you can help save the forest:

You can do something, too. Besides seeking out products made from post-consumer recycled paper, recycling and being resourceful with the paper products you absolutely have to have, call or write to the magazines, newspapers and catalogs that you receive and tell them you want them to print only on post-consumer recycled paper. Or request delivery of these publications in electronic format, when available. Then sit back and enjoy all the warblers, finches, flycatchers and sparrows that fly back to your yard this spring, and know that you worked to help them make it. ~ Heidi Ridgley

To learn more about the Boreal Forest and conserving it, visit borealbirds.org

See NWF’s favorite fotos of 2014

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Ashéninka activists killed protecting Peru’s forests

A naturalist and expedition guide stands on a pile of timber illegally logged from the rainforest.
Anti-logging native Peruvian activists Edwin Chota Valera, Jorge Ríos Pérez, Leoncio Quinticima Meléndez were killed 01 September 2014 by illegal loggers. Take Part comments:

National Geographic described Chota as “a charismatic activist who opposed drug traffickers and criminal timber syndicates that have come to operate with a sense of near-total impunity across broad swaths of Peru’s isolated borderlands.” All four men were leaders in Alto Tamaya–Saweto, a community of the Ashéninka indigenous Amazonian tribe. Although the Peruvian government has made three arrests in the case, other Ashéninka activists have told reporters of receiving death threats in the wake of the assassinations.

In The Guardian, Alex Soros shares more about this story and tells of an important financial assistance program being offered to Peru by Norway. After the Ashéninka activists’ deaths, Norway signed a contract with the Peruvian government to pay USD$300 million over 6 years if deforestation is “curbed”. The annual Alexander Soros Foundation Environmental Defenders prize was awarded to the activists in 2014.

CUATRO ASHANINKAS ASESINADOS EN PERU POR MADEREROS ILEGALES
El pasado 01 de setiembre se murieron cuatro activistas indígenas Peruanos protegiendo al territorio de su gente y país.

Edwin Chota Valera, Jorge Ríos Pérez, Leoncio Quinticima Meléndez y Francisco Pinedo, asháninkas pertenecientes a la comunidad de Alto Tamaya-Saweto en la región Ucayali, fueron asesinados la semana pasada. Los presuntos autores del crimen serían madereros ilegales de la zona … el líder indígena Edwin Chota y otros dirigentes de su comunidad han denunciado en repetidas oportunidades la presencia de madereros ilegales en sus tierras.

CALL TO ACTION
Sign petition to Attorney General of Peru calling for protection of indigenous community from violence and investigation of the murders of four native anti-logging activists.

LLAMADA A LA ACCION
Firmar petición de Amnistía Internacional pidiendo al Fiscal de la Nación y al Ministro del Interior Peruanos que aseguren una investigación imparcial e inmediata de los asesinatos de los activistas asháninkas … y exigiendo protección para los demás miembros de su comunidad.

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Green Drinks in 3 Environmental Justice cities in January. And sustainable activities.

GreenDrink logo with wordsGreen Drinks is about Environmental Justice and Sustainability, not green colored drinks. Green Drinks is just our name! We meet monthly in three north Jersey cities. Our gatherings are informal and held in friendly spaces to bring people together to chat over food about green and sustainable issues relevant to our lives and communities.

Green Drinks meetings are open. Everyone is welcome and there is no admission fee. Discussions are ultimately shaped by the attendees who are sitting around a table chatting together, but each month we propose certain topics to get the conversations going. Admission is free – you just pay for the food and drinks you order at the locations where we meet. We scout out friendly places with good food at moderate prices. More info at greendrinks3.org.

Discussion themes this month

  1. Is there room for a community garden in Hackensack?
  2. How does Big Money in general elections impact the environment?
  3. How are proposed development changes in downtown Hackensack going to affect the overall community?
  4. How Green can you or your business get?
  5. Preventing school closures in Newark and other NJ EJ communities

3 EJ Green Drinks every month

Green Drinks Newark 1st Mondays | 7-9pm
January: Mon 06 JAN 2014
Agave Mexican Restaurant
118 Pacific St, Newark, NJ | 973-732-4168
Street parking

His dad was 1st signer on Brown v Education. He'll talk about his family's experience. Great speaker! Hope you can make that. 10:54 PM +13132694551: Unbelievable. That will be a great evening 10:58 PM
Green Drinks Hackensack July 2013

Green Drinks Hackensack 2nd Mondays | 7-9pm
January: Mon 13 JAN 2014
Villa de Colombia
12 Mercer Street, Hackensack, NJ
Parking if restaurant lot is full:
Weekdays after 7 across street in jewelry business parking lot
Weekends in Salvation Army lot on the corner of Mercer & State Streets

Green Drinks Clifton-Paterson (this location has no fixed date or spot for now)
January: Wed 22 JAN 2014 | 7-9pm
Sultan Restaurant
429 Crooks Avenue, Clifton NJ (on the Paterson border)
Safe street parking

Other green/sustainable activities & events

Tu B’Shvat (New Year for the Trees)
Wed nite 15 JAN 15 – Thurs eve 16 JAN 2014
ABCs of Tu B’Shvat

MLK Jr. Day of ServiceMartin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Activities
Around Mon 20 JAN 2014
mlkday.gov
We’ll let you know which activities we’re participating in. Feel free to find an activity on your own through the search tool on this page.

Newark Councilman Ras Baraka convenes
a mass community meeting to stop school closures

Wed 15 JAN 2014 | 6:30 pm
Hopewell Baptist Church
17 Muhammad Ali Avenue, Newark NJ
(Entrance on corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd & Muhammad Ali Ave)
https://www.facebook.com/events/192985397571982/
Panel Discussion Moderated by Councilman Ras Baraka with questions and answers from the Community. Councilman Ras Baraka wants to bring everyone to the table to organize, discuss, and plan a strategy to fight against and stop the Closures of 15 Newark Public Schools … for more information call 973-733-3794 or 973-803-8233

Sign to stop elephant slaughter
More than 30,000 elephants were slaughtered last year for their tusks, which are used to make ivory trinkets and carvings, which are sold in black markets around the world, including in the US. But it’s important to stop this illegal trade. There may be only 250,000 elephants left in the wild. Sign to show you care

Nate Briggs of Brown v. Education comes to Bergen Community College
Thu 20 FEB 2014 | 12:30-2 pm
BCC NAACP brings to speak at BCC for Black History Month. Mr. Briggs’ father was the first signer on the lawsuit that became Brown v Education. He will talk about his family’s experiences, and he’s a great speaker!

People’s Organization for Progress (POP) meets weekly in Newark
The People’s Organization for Progress meets
Every Thursday | 6:30pm
Abyssinian Baptist Church
224 West Kinney Street, Newark, NJ

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Help protect national forests – sign petition

America’s national forests provide essential habitat for lynx, grizzlies and other wildlife — and clean water for millions of Americans. Yet new rules could threaten the sanctity of these special places, paving the way for more logging and more destructive development on our national forests. Help protect these special places. Sign the petition online at: http://dfnd.us/vYt93D