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Gasp, check it out: 86,242 activists have signed the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance.


This is just the latest round of Keystone XL-related arrests at the White House that began in 2011. Not likely to be the last. More than 86,000 people have taken the CREDO pledge to be arrested, if necessary, in opposition to the pipeline. President Obama is expected to announce his decision on whether to approve construction sometime after May 1, but the "after" could be days, weeks or months.


Sign the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance


86,242 activists have signed the pledge
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Mon Mar 3, 2014, 03:24 PM (1 replies)

NRDC: Final environmental review for Keystone XL tar sands pipeline acknowledges significant climate


NRDC: Danielle Droitsch’s Blog

Final environmental review for Keystone XL tar sands pipeline acknowledges significant climate impact and sets stage for rejection
Posted January 31, 2014

The State Department has released its final environmental review acknowledging for the first time Keystone XL could accelerate climate change, adding the equivalent of 5.7 million new cars to the road. There is already compelling evidence that approval of Keystone XL would expand the tar sands industry and cause unacceptable climate impacts. This is a significant change to previous State Department analyses which have failed to acknowledge the role of the pipeline to facilitate tar sands expansion. When considering these climate impacts with the overwhelming evidence that the pipeline would create few jobs, bring tar sands to the Gulf for refining and export, and put communities and fresh water at risk, there is no other choice than to reject the pipeline. This dirty energy project fails the national interest test. In his recent State of the Union address this week, President Obama noted the enormous opportunity the country has to develop clean energy. Serving our national interest means embracing clean and renewable energy, reducing oil demand, and facilitating cleaner transportation. This means rejecting Keystone XL.

The pipeline will have a significant climate impact

In this final environmental review, the State Department concedes the pipeline will enable the expansion of tar sands production in a scenario assuming lower oil prices and little or no growth in pipelines. In this scenario, the State Department has now conceded that the possible climate impact of the pipeline could be upwards of 27.4 MMTCO2e annually which is equivalent to the tailpipe emissions from 5.7 million passenger vehicles. While the State Department downplays the likelihood of this scenario, they clearly acknowledge the project could pose a significant climate impact. The International Energy Agency (IEA), futures markets, and the World Bank are all projecting lower global oil prices over the coming years. According to the environmental review, “the total direct and indirect emissions associated with the proposed Project would contribute to cumulative global GHG emissions.”

Already, there is plenty of recent evidence from the investors, the Canadian government, and the tar sands industry acknowledging that the pipeline is critical to expansion. The International Energy Agency has confirmed the close connection between large pipelines including Keystone XL, and the tar sands industry’s expansion plans. Investment banks like the Royal Bank of Canada and Goldman Sachs have acknowledged the role of Keystone XL in driving tar sands expansion. In fact, we know that rail is not a feasible alternative to replace the capacity of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. In short, Goldman Sachs finds that without Keystone XL, lower tar sands prices and higher transport costs will result in the cancelation or deferment of tar sands expansion projects. We know that rail won’t be a replacement for moving tar sands oil.

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Mon Mar 3, 2014, 02:24 PM (1 replies)

Smith University student: "We cannot sit idly by, or we will not have a future to fight for."


Published on Sunday, March 2, 2014 by Common Dreams

#XLDissent: Students Overtake DC to Demand Climate Action

Smith University student: "We cannot sit idly by, or we will not have a future to fight for."

- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Day of student-led action kicks off with a rally in Georgetown before over a thousand demonstrators march to the White House. (Photo: @350/ Twitter)

Over 500 students are risking arrest Sunday as they handcuff themselves to the White House fence, placing their bodies on the line in what many say may be a "watershed" moment for a generation. Under the banner XL Dissent, over one thousand college students are descending on the White House to force President Obama to face the individuals whose future is imperiled by current U.S. climate policy.

"Our generation is going to be stuck with the reality of decisions made now about whether to invest in destruction or the future," Smith College student Aly Johnson-Kurts told Common Dreams ahead of the demonstration. "We are realizing we cannot sit idly by, or we will not have a future to fight for."

Beginning at 10 AM with a rally in Georgetown, the demonstrators will march to Lafayette Park, beside the White House, where they will hold a rally. En route, the protest will stop in front of Secretary of State John Kerry's house to display a banner that reads “Sec. Kerry: Don’t Tar Your Legacy,” in reference to the pending Keystone XL tar sands pipeline decision, which has become a major flashpoint for the climate movement.

Follow #XLDissent updates on Twitter: see link.

During the protest, demonstrators will also drop a 40 by 60 foot banner, cut to look like an oil spill, right on Pennsylvania Ave.

According to Jamie Henn, a co-founder of 350.org, upwards of 500 people are preparing to get arrested for handcuffing themselves to the White House fence. In preparation, many of the demonstrators took part in a mass civil disobedience training Saturday night.

In what promises to be the largest student-led civil disobedience action at the White House in a generation, many are saying that XL Dissent could become a watershed moment for a generation whose lives are guaranteed to be impacted by current climate change inaction.

“We’re building a culture of resistance,” Tufts University junior Evan Bell told Todd Zimmer of the Rainforest Action Network.

"The students taking part here in XL Dissent see their democratic responsibilities as extending beyond the voting booth," Henn wrote on the eve of the action. "If anything, the Obama administration seems to have solidified the impression that even the most youth-friendly candidates need to be pushed, protested, and forced into living up to their rhetoric."


Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Mar 2, 2014, 07:05 PM (1 replies)

Backstory, IMO.


June 25, 2013 (100 degrees in the shade)
(Outdoor) Remarks by the President on Climate Change

Georgetown University
Washington, D.C.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you! (Applause.) Thank you, Georgetown! Thank you so much. Everybody, please be seated. And my first announcement today is that you should all take off your jackets. (Laughter.) I’m going to do the same. (Applause.) It’s not that sexy, now. (Laughter.)

It is good to be back on campus, and it is a great privilege to speak from the steps of this historic hall that welcomed Presidents going back to George Washington.

I want to thank your president, President DeGioia, who’s here today. (Applause.) I want to thank him for hosting us. I want to thank the many members of my Cabinet and my administration. I want to thank Leader Pelosi and the members of Congress who are here. We are very grateful for their support.

And I want to say thank you to the Hoyas in the house for having me back. (Applause.) It was important for me to speak directly to your generation, because the decisions that we make now and in the years ahead will have a profound impact on the world that all of you inherit.


Actually, it was 94 degrees ( http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KDCA/2013/6/25/DailyHistory.html ) and the students in the audience waited for this historic speech outside for hours in the extreme heat.

Think these college students also might remember the following, read between the lines, and extrapolate to climate? The requirement that the public play its role in the heavy-lift the administration faces?


President Obama at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Dinner: "March with me and press on"
Erin Lindsay
September 25, 2011


THE PRESIDENT: (...) "Throughout our history, change has often come slowly. Progress often takes time. We take a step forward, sometimes we take two steps back. Sometimes we get two steps forward and one step back. But it’s never a straight line. It’s never easy. And I never promised easy. Easy has never been promised to us. But we’ve had faith. We have had faith. We’ve had that good kind of crazy that says, you can’t stop marching. (Applause.)

Even when folks are hitting you over the head, you can’t stop marching. Even when they’re turning the hoses on you, you can’t stop. (Applause.) Even when somebody fires you for speaking out, you can’t stop. (Applause.) Even when it looks like there’s no way, you find a way — you can’t stop. (Applause.) Through the mud and the muck and the driving rain, we don’t stop. Because we know the rightness of our cause — widening the circle of opportunity, standing up for everybody’s opportunities, increasing each other’s prosperity. We know our cause is just. It’s a righteous cause.

So in the face of troopers and teargas, folks stood unafraid. Led somebody like John Lewis to wake up after getting beaten within an inch of his life on Sunday — he wakes up on Monday: We’re going to go march. (Applause.)

Dr. King once said: “Before we reach the majestic shores of the Promised Land, there is a frustrating and bewildering wilderness ahead. We must still face prodigious hilltops of opposition and gigantic mountains of resistance. But with patient and firm determination we will press on.” (Applause.)

So I don’t know about you, CBC, but the future rewards those who press on. (Applause.) With patient and firm determination, I am going to press on for jobs. (Applause.) I’m going to press on for equality. (Applause.) I’m going to press on for the sake of our children. (Applause.) I’m going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I am going to press on. (Applause.)

I expect all of you to march with me and press on. (Applause.) Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. (Applause.) Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on. We’ve got work to do, CBC. (Applause.)

God bless you, and God bless the United States of America." (Applause.)
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Mar 2, 2014, 05:41 PM (1 replies)


Georgetown Students protest the Keystone XL Pipeline
March 2, 2014



POLITICO Photo Gallery:
Scores gather in Georgetown before marching to the White House as a protest against the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, March 2.

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Mar 2, 2014, 04:14 PM (3 replies)

BINGO - 'Unacceptable Ingredients: How many groceries sold @Walmart would be banned by Whole Foods?'

Feb 19
Last year revenue at Walmart equalled $466.1B; the largest retailer in the WORLD! Unfortunately, they are selling... http://fb.me/6Ik7Lmc4O


“Unacceptable Ingredients”
How many of the groceries sold at Walmart would be banned by Whole Foods?

By Ben Blatt
FEB. 18 2014 11:37 PM

Whole Foods, one of the largest health-conscious grocery stores in America, maintains a list of “Unacceptable Ingredients for Food.” The store’s blacklist is 78 ingredients long and contains many well-known villains in the eyes of health-conscious eaters—aspartame, MSG, and high fructose corn syrup, to name a few. Though Whole Foods has grown over the years—it currently boasts more than 300 locations nationwide—it’s still a small operation in comparison to Walmart, which runs more than 3,000 food-selling supercenters in the U.S., making it the largest grocery store in the country and indeed the world. Walmart does not ban any of the ingredients on Whole Foods’ restricted list. In fact, approximately 14 percent of food items sold at Walmart could not be stocked on the shelves of Whole Foods simply because they contain high fructose corn syrup. When all 78 ingredients banned by Whole Foods are taken into account, roughly 54 percent of food items sold at a Walmart would be prohibited at Whole Foods.

Walmart posts on its website the ingredients of 19,900 food products it carries in its grocery sections. To create my data set, I matched the ingredients of each product against Whole Foods’ “Unacceptable Ingredients for Food” list. It should be noted that while 19,900 products constitutes a large sample, it does not represent the totality of Walmart’s food offerings, as there are many products for which the chain does not provide nutritional information on its website, and other products it doesn’t list at all. The Food Marketing Institute estimates that the average supermarket stocks approximately 42,000 items. When I asked a Walmart spokeswoman via email if the 42,000 figure held true for its stores, she responded that the number varies from store to store, based on format, and declined to provide an average.

Many of the ingredients banned by Whole Foods are ones that frequently show up in processed foods, products that have been prepared and packaged in a way that allows them to be sold on a mass scale at a later date. Given the popularity of processed foods among American shoppers, and the disdain for preservatives in health food circles, it’s perhaps not surprising that one out of every two products sold at Walmart has an ingredient banned by Whole Foods. Consider the soft drink category. Of the soft drinks sold at Walmart, approximately 97 percent contain ingredients that Whole Foods considers “unacceptable.” High fructose corn syrup and the preservative sodium benzoate, both on Whole Foods’ banned list, are in the majority of Walmart’s soft drinks.

If you’re trying to avoid unnatural ingredients you may not be a soda drinker. But let’s look at the seemingly more natural category of water. More than 36 percent of drinks that Walmart labels as “water” also have ingredients that disqualify them from Whole Foods’ shelves. While standard Aquafina and Aquafina FlavorSplash Lemon Water have similar packaging and might even be sold on the same shelf, the latter contains four ingredients (sucralose, calcium disodium EDTA, acesulfame potassium, and potassium sorbate) that would prohibit its sale at Whole Foods.


You learn something new every day. BTW, SLATE's 'analysis' is nothing I could agree with and serves to muddy the waters unnecessarily.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Feb 25, 2014, 08:54 PM (0 replies)

ProPublica: Big Pharma’s Big Fines


Big Pharma’s Big Fines

by Lena Groeger, ProPublica
Feb. 24, 2014

Last year, five pharmaceutical companies agreed to pay nearly $5.5 billion to resolve U.S. Department of Justice allegations of fraudulent marketing practices, including the promotion of medicines for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Here are summaries of some recent large settlements.


MORE: http://www.propublica.org/series/dollars-for-docs
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Feb 25, 2014, 04:50 PM (0 replies)

WSJ, Front Page: Drugged as Children, Foster-Care Alumni Speak Out


Drugged as Children, Foster-Care Alumni Speak Out
Use of Powerful Antipsychotics on Youths in Such Homes Comes Under Greater Scrutiny

Updated Feb. 23, 2014 2:44 p.m. ET
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Mon Feb 24, 2014, 07:58 PM (0 replies)

What nonsense as anyone who reads can see. On this thread alone are citations to AAP, EWG, ASRM...

American Academy of Pediatrics
Environmental Working Group
American Society for Reproductive Medicine and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Robyn O'Brien
Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Pesticide Action Network
Cornucopia Institute

I urge you to read them.

And more on this linked thread, http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024502342

The Lancet Neurology

Friends of the Earth

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
Harvard School of Public Health

Toxic Baby Movie
Green Sisterhood


I'm strongly analytical, always have been, and tenacious especially when the subject is difficult.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Feb 19, 2014, 09:39 AM (1 replies)

Informative articles.


By Saundra Young CNN

Debate rages about chemicals, effects on young brains
Report cites new chemicals; others say the warning is overblown

UPDATED 12:25 AM PST Feb 15, 2014


The American Chemistry Council, meanwhile, called the review a "rehash" of the authors' first review.

"This iteration is as highly flawed as the first, as once again the authors ignore the fundamental scientific principles of exposure and potency," said council spokesman Scott Jensen.

"What is most concerning is that the authors focus largely on chemicals and heavy metals that are well understood to be inappropriate for children's exposure, are highly regulated and/or are restricted or being phased out. They then extrapolate that similar conclusions should be applied to chemicals that are more widely used in consumer products without evidence to support their claims. Such assertions do nothing to advance true scientific understanding and only create confusion and alarm."

Landrigan and Grandjean now say all untested chemicals in use and all new chemicals should be tested for developmental neurotoxicity.

This is not a new concept. In 2007, the European Union adopted regulations known as REACH -- Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals -- to protect human health from risks posed by chemicals. REACH covers all chemicals, placing the burden of proof on companies to prove that any chemicals they make are safe.

"We are behind right now and we're falling further behind," Landrigan said. "... I find it very irritating some of the multinational manufacturers are now marketing products in Europe and the U.S. with the same brand name and same label, but in Europe (they) are free of toxic chemicals and in the U.S. they contain toxic chemicals."



The ‘silent epidemic’ of chemical toxins hurting our children

The Globe and Mail

Published Sunday, Feb. 16 2014, 6:30 PM EST
Last updated Sunday, Feb. 16 2014, 6:30 PM EST

Two of the world’s top toxicology experts are calling on governments around the globe to crack down hard on the widespread use of industrial chemicals which they say are hurting the development of children’s brains.

“Countries need to transform their chemical risk-assessment procedures in order to protect children from everyday toxins that may be causing a global ‘silent epidemic’ of brain development disorders,” says a new study published Friday in the medical journal The Lancet Neurology.

The report’s authors, Dr. Philippe Grandjean, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and Dr. Philip Landrigan, of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, say the number of recognized chemical causes of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia and cerebral palsy, has doubled from six to 12 in the past seven years. During the same time period, they say the list of unregulated chemicals found in everyday items such as toys, furniture and clothing, and known to damage the human brain, has expanded from 202 to 214.

In a phone interview from Copenhagen late last week, Grandjean said the European Union has been proactive in banning and regulating certain chemicals that are known to harm children’s and adults’ health, but that the United States and Canada lag far behind. “Until manufacturers are legally required to prove that all existing and new industrial chemicals are non-toxic before hitting the marketplace – similar to the EU’s reformed chemical law REACH – we are facing a pandemic of neurodevelopmental toxicity,” warns Grandjean, who adds that children’s brains are often impacted in the womb by toxins that pregnant mothers are exposed to. (REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals.)

Maggie MacDonald, toxic program manager at Toronto-based Environmental Defence, says the study is particularly troubling because of:: “How prevalent these chemicals are in our environment, our homes and our bodies. Babies are being exposed to pollutants before they are even born,” says MacDonald, whose organization did a recent study testing umbilical-cord blood of newborns and found lead, methylmercury, pesticides, PCBs and PFCs (chemicals found in non-stick coatings), among other toxins. “This is a very serious problem that needs to be dealt with urgently, for the sake of children everywhere.”

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Feb 18, 2014, 03:26 PM (0 replies)
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