Fundamental Human Rights

The Right to a Sustainable Future [Filtered & blocked by Google!]

Posts Tagged ‘greenhouse gases’

Stop Flying in the Face of the Poor!

Posted by terres on July 18, 2008

Use Videoconferencing!

Following our organization’s strong condemnation of the United Nations and its Secretary General for their “addiction” to the “carbon habit,” getting endless fixes through flying tens of millions of miles each year, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has now taken the lead on condemning the business world’s unbridled flying habits.

Tutu condemned businesspeople who contribute to global warming by taking flights rather than using video conferencing, thereby “condemning millions of the world’s poorest people to death.”

He wants developed countries that have caused global warming to take the lead slashing emissions of climate changing greenhouse gases.

“It is the countries which are the least responsible for causing climate change that are paying the heaviest price,” he said in a video message to a meeting of the World Development Movement lobby group Thursday.

“Do not fly in the face of the poor by allowing the emissions produced by endless and unnecessary business flights to keep growing.” He said, adding that scientists predicted as many as 185 million Africans would die this century because of climate change.


Desmond Tutu (Former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town. (Photo date: 2004)

Tutu, a Nobel Peace laureate who campaigns tirelessly for global justice and equality, said: “Climate change is for real. As I speak, famine is increasing, flooding is increasing, as is disease and insecurity globally because of water scarcity,” he said.

“As an African I urgently call on ordinary people in rich countries to act as global citizens, not as isolated consumers. We must listen to our consciences, and not to governments who speak only about economic markets.

“These markets will cease to exist if climate change is allowed to develop to climate chaos,” he added.

“In South Africa we confirmed that if we act on the side of justice we have the power to turn tides,” Tutu said.

“I urge you … to work together with campaigners in the global South and call for strong climate change laws in your own countries in the North, as well as internationally.” (Source: Reuters).

Related Links:

    >

    Advertisements

    Posted in bush, china, Eco-Terrorism, environment, GENOCIDE, Global Warming, human rights, politics, US | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

    Fueling Food Shortages

    Posted by terres on April 27, 2008

    Fueling Food Shortages
    By Ralph Nader

    Where is Harry Chapin when you need him? The popular folk singer (Cat’s in the Cradle), who lost his life in an auto crash 27 years ago, was an indefatigable force of nature against hunger—in this country and around the world.

    To hear Harry speak out against the scourge of hunger in a world of plenty was to hear informed passion that was relentless whether on Capitol Hill, at poverty conferences or at his concerts.

    Now the specter of world hunger is looming, with sharply rising basic food prices and unnecessary food shortages sparking food riots in places like Haiti and Egypt. Officials with the U.N.’s World Food Program (WFP) are alarmed. The WFP has put out an emergency appeal for more funds, saying another 100 million humans have been thrown into the desperate hunger pits.

    Harry would have been all over the politicians in Congress and the White House who, with their bellies full, could not muster the empathy to do something.

    Directly under Bush and the Congress is the authority to reduce the biggest single factor boosting food prices—reversing the tax-subsidized policy of growing ever more corn to turn into fuel at the expense of huge acreages that used to produce wheat, soy, rice and other edibles.

    Corn ethanol is a multifaceted monstrosity—radiating damage in all directions of the compass. Reducing acreage for edible crops has sparked a surge in the price of bread and other foodstuffs. Congress and Bush continue to mandate larger amounts of subsidized corn ethanol.

    Republican Representative Robert W. Goodlatte says: “The mandate basically says [corn] ethanol comes ahead of food on your table, comes ahead of feed for livestock, comes ahead of grains available for export.”

    Corn growing farmers are happy with a bushel coming in at $5 to $6—a record.

    A subsidy-laden, once-every-five-years farm bill is winding its way through Congress. The bill keeps the “good-to-fuel” mandates that are expanding corn acreage and contributing to a rise of global food prices.

    Of course, more meat diets in China, futures market speculation, higher prices for oil and some bad weather and poor food reserve planning have also contributed to shortages and higher prices.

    But subsidized corn ethanol gets the first prize for policy madness. It not only damages the environment, soaks up the water from mid-west aquifers, scuttles set asides for soil conservation, but its net energy equation qualifies for collective insanity on Capitol Hill. To produce a gallon of ethanol from corn requires almost as much energy (mostly coal burning) as it produces.

    Designed to alleviate oil imports, hold down gasoline prices and diminish greenhouse gases, corn ethanol has flopped on all three scores.

    Princeton scholar Lester Brown, an early sounder of the alarm of global food shortages and higher prices, writes in Science Magazine “that the net impact of the food-to-fuel push will be an increase in global carbon emissions—and thus a catalyst for climate change.”

    Can Congress change course and drop its farm subsidy of corn ethanol this year? Observers say, despite the growing calamities and the real risk of severe malnutrition, even starvation in Africa, Congress will do nothing.

    Farm subsidies, once installed, are carved in stone—unless there is enough outcry from food consumers, taxpayers and environmentalists. They are paying from the pocketbook, from their taxes and health. That should be enough motivation, unless they need to see the distended stomachs of African and Asian children on the forthcoming television news.

    Unless we wake up, we will continue to be a country stuck in traffic—in more ways than one.

    Don’t rely on the election year political debates to pay attention to destructive corn ethanol programs. For years I have been speaking out against this boondoggle, while championing the small farmer in America, but no one in positions of Congressional leadership has been listening.

    They must be waiting for the situation to get worse before they absorb a fraction of Harry Chapin’s empathy and care.

    END.
    ———————————————————————

    Tell your friends to visit Nader.Org and sign up for E-Alerts.

    To unsubscribe, e-mail: alerts-unsubscribe@lists.nader.org
    For additional commands, e-mail: alerts-help@lists.nader.org

    Posted in America, ecosystems, environment, ethanol, food riots, human rights, hunger, poor, UN, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »