“Today’s situation clearly illustrates what we have been saying for weeks, that this protest is not peaceful or lawful,”said Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier. “It was obvious to our officers who responded that the protesters engaged in escalated unlawful tactics and behavior during this event. This protest was intentionally coordinated and planned by agitators with the specific intent to engage in illegal activities.”
In a case of taking “the grass is always greener” a bit too literally, American homeowners have long strived to make their lawns brighter, lusher, and more velvety than their neighbors’. But all that competition has a devastating environmental impact. Every year across the country, lawns consume nearly 3 trillion gallons of water a year, 200 million gallons of gas (for all that mowing), and 70 million pounds of pesticides.
You may also know that turf grass, however welcoming it looks for our bare feet, provides virtually no habitat for pollinators and other animals and plants that make up a healthy, diverse ecosystem. In fact, these lawns can do substantial harm to the environment and to both vertebrates and insects. Birds, for instance, may ingest berries and seeds that have absorbed pesticides from the ground. Likewise, rainwater runoff from lawns can carry pesticides and fertilizers into rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans via the sewer system. This can poison fish and other aquatic animals and harm humans who swim, surf, and eat seafood that may be contaminated. And then, of course, lawn mowers can pollute the air.
Luckily, today more Americans are ready for a change. “We’re on the cusp of a transition that will likely take place over the next 10 to 15 years, away from the conformity of mowed turf,” says Ed Osann, senior policy analyst and water efficiency project director with NRDC’s Water program. He adds that eradication of all grass isn’t the goal. “We’re not declaring war on turf or suggesting that we remove every square foot of it. But we want to encourage people to think about whether there are places in their yards that can be converted to allow for a more diverse and sustainable landscape.”
The No-Mow Movement
A growing number of homeowners are converting part or all of their lawns to a less thirsty form of landscape. These no-mow yards fall into four categories: 1) naturalized or unmowed turf grass that is left to grow wild; 2) low-growing turf grasses that require little grooming (most are a blend of fescues); 3) native or naturalized landscapes where turf is replaced with native plants as well as noninvasive, climate-friendly ones that can thrive in local conditions; and 4) yards where edible plants—vegetables and fruit-bearing trees and shrubs—replace a portion of turf. (According to the National Gardening Association, one in three families now grows some portion of the food they consume.)
Making the Change
A successful lawn conversion depends on climate, terrain, and of course individual taste. Of the four main no-mow strategies, Osann says, native or naturalized landscaping is likely your best option. It’s adaptable to any part of the country and offers gardeners an infinite range of design possibilities. If you want to join the no-mow movement, here are some pointers to get you started:
- Get expert advice. Begin by talking with a landscaper who has experience with lawn conversions, or even a neighbor who has naturalized all or part of his yard. A landscaper can help remove existing grass and recommend native plants to use in its place. Depending on water and weather, a low-growing turf lawn will “green up” about two weeks after seeding. Another alternative is a wildflower garden grown from seed. (Just make sure you choose a wildflower mix that fits your climate, and weed out existing vegetation that would compete for moisture and sun.) After the seeds germinate and the flowers bloom (in 6 to 12 weeks), they don’t require watering unless there’s a prolonged drought.
- Do your weeding. Invasive plants like ragweed, thistle, and burdock can crowd out their native neighbors and may run afoul of local ordinances (as noted below). For most no-mow advocates, the payoff in natural beauty and habitat are well worth the effort.
- Check for incentives. Not surprisingly, western states such as Arizona and California, which have been in the throes of extreme drought for more than four years, have taken the lead in spurring homeowners to do lawn conversions. California, in fact, launched a turf replacement initiative that offers rebates of up to $500 per yard for homeowners who convert turf lawns to native, drought-resistant xeriscaping. On a more grass-roots level, organizations like the Surfriders Foundation, a national environmental group made up of surfing aficionados, have helped transform turf lawns in Southern California parks and homes into ocean-friendly gardens, using succulents and other indigenous plants along with hardscape materials like rocks and gravel that increase filtration, conserve water, and reduce runoff.
- Check the rule books. The no-mow movement may sound idyllic, but some practitioners have faced a surprising stumbling block: the law. In one example, Sarah Baker, a homeowner and scion of a family of horticulturalists in St. Albans Township, Ohio, decided to let her turf grass yard grow wild. Last year, she was forced to mow when authorities from her township deemed her garden, which had become a naturalized but well-tended landscape, a nuisance. Sandra Christos of Stone Harbor, New Jersey, says that after she replaced turf grass with native plants, she was delighted that cormorants, night herons, and kingfishers made themselves at home alongside “every kind of butterfly you can imagine.” But since receiving a letter from the town clerk, Christos has had to tame the mallow, bayberry, clethra, and rosa rugosa along her walkway—or pay a fine.
A recent white paper by students from Yale’s forestry and law schools, in collaboration with NRDC, surveyed legal obstacles to various forms of no-mow and concluded that, for sustainable landscaping to achieve wider adoption, some municipalities will need to adjust their policies.
That change can happen if residents push for it. Montgomery County, Maryland, for example, amended its nuisance laws to allow for naturalized lawns after locals made the case that their wild gardens improved air and soil quality and reduced stormwater runoff.
Moving away from water-guzzling and chemical-hungry lawns and cultivating yards that are diverse and self-regulating is a matter of mounting urgency worthy of that kind of community organizing. As global temperatures rise and droughts drag on, the demands of turf grass are likely to become untenable.
“Our existing lawns are going to get thirstier and their water requirements will increase,” Osann says. Fortunately, with an evolving toolkit of sustainable landscaping strategies, home gardeners can avoid such effects and help nurture the health of the planet—right in their own backyards.
Sourced from: nrdc.org
Outrage is the only word for what people are feeling after a tug and fuel barge, owned by Texas-based Kirby Offshore Marine, crashed on rocks in the heart of B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest on October 13. It’s been leaking 200,000 litres (59, 024 gallons) of diesel fuel into the sensitive marine ecosystem ever since.
The People Take on Monsanto for Crimes Against Humanity in International Tribunal
October 13, 2016
Starting tomorrow, 30 witnesses and legal experts from five different continents will testify before five international judges at the three-day Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. Their testimonies will attempt to hold the agrochemical giant accountable for their alleged “crimes against humanity” and destruction of the environment, or “ecocide.”
Monsanto Tribunal organizers have called Monsanto’s Roundup “the source of the greatest health and environmental scandal in modern history.”
This symbolic trial, which will be live streamed from Oct. 15, 8:30 a.m. GMT+2 on the tribunal website, will follow guidelines of the United Nations’s international court of justice and will have no legal standing. Rather, its purpose is to gather legal counsel from the judges as well as legal grounds for future litigation.
“The aim of the tribunal is to give a legal opinion on the environmental and health damage caused by the multinational Monsanto,” the tribunal organizers state on their website. “This will add to the international debate to include the crime of Ecocide into international criminal law. It will also give people all over the world a well documented legal file to be used in lawsuits against Monsanto and similar chemical companies.”
Monsanto, which is inching closer to a $66 billion takeover from German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer, has faced a never-ending slew of health and environmental controversies over its products since, well, the beginning of the twentieth century.
Monsanto’s historical line-up of products includes banned and highly toxic chemicals such as 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (a dioxin-containing component of the defoliant Agent Orange); PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl); and Lasso, a herbicide banned in Europe. Glyphosate, the controversial main ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling weedkiller RoundUp, is the most widely used pesticide in the world. Monsanto is also the world’s largest genetically modified (GMO) seed maker, giving them a major hand over the world food supply.
The trial, which will proceed on the same weekend as World Food Day, is organized by Organic Consumers Association, International Foundation for Organic Agriculture (IFOAM) Organics International, Navdanya, Regeneration International, Millions Against Monsanto as well as dozens of global food, farming and environmental justice groups.
Tribunal organizer Vandana Shiva is an outspoken critic of Monsanto. “Monsanto has come to be seen as one of the most dangerous corporations on the planet,” the physicist, author, activist and founder of Navdanya said in a statement.
“It has earned this reputation through a history of producing products toxic to humans and the environment, as well as well-documented manipulation of scientific evidence, disingenuous PR efforts and applying relentless political pressure worldwide to promote its products. Life, society and democracy are under threat. We refuse to allow this future to unfold.”
Andre Leu, president of IFOAM, said, “Monsanto is able to ignore the human and environmental damage caused by its products, and maintain its devastating activities through a strategy of systemic concealment: by lobbying regulatory agencies and governments, by resorting to lying and corruption, by financing fraudulent scientific studies, by pressuring independent scientists, and by manipulating the press and media. Monsanto’s history reads like a text-book case of impunity, benefiting transnational corporations and their executives, whose activities contribute to climate and biosphere crises and threaten the safety of the planet.”
Monsanto will not be present at the trial, calling it a “staged” event organized by the organic food industry “where the outcome is pre-determined.”
“As this is a stunt staged and supported by the International Foundation for Organic Agriculture (IFOAM)—an umbrella organization of organic agriculture organizations, and their associates such as Navdanya and others who are fundamentally opposed to modern agriculture—we will not participate,” states an open letter signed by the company’s Human Rights Steering Committee.
“To address these ever increasing challenges collaboratively and advance our commitment to human rights, we welcome a genuine constructive conversation with diverse ideas and perspectives about food and agriculture production,” the letter also states. “These conversations are much needed to help find sustainable solutions to those challenges.”
Tribunal organizers have responded to Monsanto’s allegations of a mock court. “Other similar tribunals have found both for and against corporations,” Damien Short, director of the Human Rights Consortium at London University, told The Guardian. “This is a test of international law. It has moral force and the tribunal’s decision will be evidence-based. Peoples’ tribunals are testing the law.”
“Under existing [international] law, it is impossible to bring criminal charges against a company like Monsanto or its management, for possible crimes against human health and the integrity of the environment,” Lucy Rees, speaking on behalf of End Ecocide on Earth, also told the publication.
Greenpeace has been a vocal supporter of the tribunal. “The industrial scale of agriculture today has broken our food system,” the environmental group said. “Giant agri-businesses fail to take into account the health of the environment and the communities who depend on it. Monoculture and dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides are taking its toll on the planet, animals and us.”
According to a tribunal newsletter, witnesses and experts who will be present at the trial includes health experts, “victims” and representatives from communities affected by the spraying of pesticides in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Sri Lanka and Paraguay; farmers and seed savers from Australia, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Canada, France; beekeepers from Yucatan, Mexico; and scientists from Brazil, Germany, France, the UK and the U.S. Former UN special rapporteur on the right to food Olivier De Schutter will also testify.
Armed police swarm Native Americans praying along North Dakota road:
Police keep threatening protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Armed police officers representing eight police departments recently surrounded and threatened to arrest unarmed Native American Water Protectors who were praying beside a road in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The response is the latest confrontation between police and nonviolent protesters who say the Dakota Access Pipeline could destroy indigenous land in the near future.
Native News Online reports that five Water Protectors left a pipeline protest and stationed themselves on the side of a road in Cannon Ball. Soon after, roughly 40 officers from three states and eight departments arrived at the site to disband the group. Many of those officers were clad in riot gear, and equipped with firearms, batons, an acoustic weapon, and an armored vehicle. As officers blocked the road, one informed the praying men that they were unlawfully protesting, threatening to arrest them for doing so. The Water Protectors ultimately dispersed after praying for about ten minutes.
The incident is the latest face-off between law enforcement and members of the growing resistance movement to block the pipeline’s construction, which would cut through federal land that’s considered sacred by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
For months, thousands of indigenous people and allies from around the country have set up protest camps on the Standing Rock reservation in opposition to the proposed 1,172-mile line. The underground pipeline would transport millions of barrels of crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. According to the tribe, the $3.8 billion project would threaten its water supply and damage its cultural and religious ties to the land.
Officers equipped with military-grade weapons and gear have been cracking down on protesters — the majority of whom are nonviolent — by arresting them on charges of trespassing, possession of stolen property, or resisting arrest. But demonstrators have also been attacked by dogs and pepper sprayed by a private security officers hired to guard the land.
Approximately 100 protesters have been arrested so far, including nonviolent Water Protectors attempting to pray.
Sourced from: Thinkprogress.org
The US Army Corps of Engineers is refusing to authorize the resumption of the construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline. Further to that, the Corps reiterated its request to the company to “voluntarily stop work” on private land in the area.
The North Dakota protest site at the reservation of the Standing Rock Sioux has grown into “the largest gathering of Native Americans in more than 100 years,” reports the BBC.
The protectors, who have gathered together from multiple tribes, and other supporting the cause, say they are taking a stand for future generations against the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline Project.
The gathering is “historic,” Judith LeBlanc, director of the New York-based Native Organizers Alliance, told ABC News, adding,
“There’s never been a coming together of tribes like this.”
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe is worried that the pipeline will negatively impact water quality on its reservation and imperil cultural heritage sites. The Departments of Justice, the Interior, and Army issue a second joint statement, again refusing to authorize construction permits and requesting that ETP cease construction voluntarily.
The tribe wrote in its lawsuit that it is concerned “with impacts to the habitat of wildlife species such as piping plovers, least tern, Dakota skipper, and pallid sturgeon, among others. The Tribe has a particular concern for bald eagles, which remain federally protected and play a significant role in the Tribe’s culture, and which would be adversely affected by the proposed pipeline.
The Tribe is greatly concerned with the possibility of oil spills and leaks from the pipeline should it be constructed and operated, particularly into waters that are of considerable economic, religious, and cultural importance to the Tribe.”
“Weather forecasters” are now little more than script reading actors in a grand production that is completely orchestrated by those pulling the strings at the top. The military/industrial/climate engineering/media complex now controls the weather, and they control the weather “forecasters”. “Mostly Sunny” now generally means heavily sprayed skies with few natural clouds. The meteorological community, and especially the TV weathermen, are literally towing the line for the “collective insanity”. Their job is to convincingly put out the official narrative, to explain the completely engineered weather as if it’s completely natural. All of us need to contact and peacefully confront local meteorologists with credible data. Keep track of the information you are passing on and let the weathermen know you are making a record of the fact that they have been officially made aware of the climate engineering issue. Eliminate any excuse they might someday give that they just did not know, it’s time to hold them all to accountability. Radio show personality David Tulis has put more light on this subject in the excellent article below that he has just penned, my thanks to David for helping us to sound the alarm.
It’s perfectly rational for Barys, other weathermen to ignore sky striping
Source: Nooganomics, article by David Tulis
To keep their integrity, forecasters who created this chart at a Chattanooga TV station disregard weather-altering activities of Uncle Sam.
Governments talk up ways to “combat climate change” and have manipulated the weather with hazy factory skies for years. So why do weather forecasters reject sky striping as a developing “good government” or “environmental” story? To be men of integrity.
If they give 1 percent credence to chemtrailing as a story and an influence on the weather, that becomes the story and they lose their jobs. If they try to account for stratospheric aerosol geoengineering in the slightest, they have to inject into their forecast a human (anthropocentric) unknown outside their job description. As it is, weather forecasting is tricky enough, with no accurate forecast possible more than three days out. Sky striping is weather modification on a grand scale that creates cloud banks, dries up rainfall, tosses weather systems left and right. To attempt to account for jet traffic that manipulates weather patterns is ludicrous for the professional in front of the camera. It’s a separate story, coverable by the news department if any credible sources or interviews from officials emerge (none do, as officials insist weather control is merely theoretical).
Other points are in favor of rejecting the striking aerial visuals of sky striping. Most people, the forecaster knows, offhandedly reject or discount weird doings in the sky, the perpetual hazes, the magnification of the sun through layers of mist, the blurring out of your own shadow on sidewalk or wall, the whitening of sunlight. Hardly a soul notices. There is no cost socially or professionally to denying visible effects of sky striping. No stigma attaches to one who ignores solar radiation management and keeps it out of his daily weather storytelling.
To be a man of honor who supports his family, his employer and meets the expectations of his TV and radio audience, my city’s top forecaster has to pretend no irrational and no unpredictable human factor exists in his forecasts. He has to pretend that the only computer-aided tea leaf sifting he does is upon nature itself. Implied in his stolidity is the hope that God owns nature, God owns the weather — and by His agency has charge over wind and drought. The forecaster’s job is to discern trends based on existing cloud and rain patterns using his best judgment. His presupposition is that nature exists and rules, that it is not “over,” as one commentator on weather modification put it in Time magazine in 2012. Paul Barys, David Karnes and Patrick Core — the three main TV forecasters in Chattanooga — suppose an organized universe, an orderly creation that stands apart from mankind and is not subject to his whim. Weather may mystify, but not because some federal joker is wobbling a joystick.
Sky striping as a meteorological cause raises the margin of error to an unknown level, and makes any reasonable professional forecaster realize that he has an impossible task. To intellectually account for U.S. weather control programs in the stratosphere, thus, injects an element into his professional career that is irrational, dangerous to his income and estate, and disruptive of his routines and personal studio and production relationships.
Weather forecasts routinely ignore the biggest weather story that in my hometown I am attempting to cover. This blindness is lamentable, perhaps. But we can understand it and assume no bad faith or ill will on the part of the meteorological clan. Their inputs are consistent, their premises orderly; the great narrative of the war on global climate, instead, is breaking on other media platforms.
Source: Nooganomics, article by David Tulis
Sourced from: Geoengineering Watch