Archive for the ‘Sustainable Living/Communities’ Category

Protesting Gold Mines in Peru Pays Off

30/11/2011

Successful Gold Mining Protestor

Copper and gold mine project in Peru suspended in face of protests
LIMA, PERU, AND BOGOTA, COLOMBIA — Faced with increasingly violent local opposition, the developers of the giant Conga gold and copper mine in northern Peru suspended the project late Tuesday night, saying they were bowing to a demand from the government of President Ollanta Humala.

Much of the northern district of Cajamarca has been paralyzed the last six days by general strikes called by Conga opponents that closed businesses and schools. Residents were concerned that the massive gold and copper mine could pollute the region’s water supply, a charge the mine’s operators, led by Colorado-based Newmont Mining, strenuously denied.

The situation became more violent Tuesday, as protesters burned an office at the site of the proposed mine and clashes between protesters and police in the area left 17 injured and two arrested. Thousands of demonstrators massed in the central square of Cajamarca, the region’s largest city.

As proposed, Conga would be a giant open pit gold mine similar to the Yanacocha mine 20 miles to the north, which is also operated by Newmont. But it would include a copper mine and smelter.

Newmont has proposed investing $4 billion in the new project, which could produce between 580,000 and 680,000 ounces of gold a year. The government had projected it would receive royalties and taxes totaling $800 million annually once the mine was fully operational after 2014, income the left-leaning Humala government was counting on to finance social and infrastructure project. Read the rest of this story..

Obama Legalizes Horse Slaughter for Human Consumption

30/11/2011

Don't Eat Horses

Obama Legalizes Horse Slaughter for Human Consumption
By Madeline Bernstein

Horse slaughter plants are legal again in the United States. Restrictions on horse meat processing for human consumption have been lifted.  courtesy of Google Images

In a bipartisan effort, the House of Representatives and the United States Senate approved the Conference Committee report on spending bill H2112, which among other things, funds the United States Department of Agriculture.  On November 18th, as the country was celebrating Thanksgiving, President Obama signed a law, allowing Americans to kill and eat horses. Essentially, one turkey was pardoned in the presence of worldwide media while in the shadows, buried under pages of fiscal regulation, millions of horses were sentenced to death.

Horse slaughter has been prohibited in the United States as funding for inspections of horses in transit and at slaughter.. Read the rest of this story..

Ending the Corporation as a Legal Person

29/11/2011

The Corporation as Person

If We End Corporate Personhood We Can Define the Terms of a New Economy
by: Thom Hartmann, Berrett-Koehler Publishers | Book Excerpt

The prevalence of the corporation in America has led men of this generation to act, at times, as if the privilege of doing business in corporate form were inherent in the citizen; and has led them to accept the evils attendant upon the free and unrestricted use of the corporate mechanism as if these evils were the inescapable price of civilized life, and, hence, to be borne with resignation.

Throughout the greater part of our history a different view prevailed. (more…)

Protecting “The Uncontacted” – Peru

22/10/2011

The Mashco Piro Indigenous People

Gov’t Takes Measures to Protect the Uncontacted Mashco Piro People
By Andean Air Mail & PERUVIAN TIMES

Peru’s government has said they are taking measures to protect an uncontacted tribe located in the south-east Amazon rainforest, nonprofit organization Survival International said in a press release.

“Government authorities in Peru have responded to Survival’s call to protect uncontacted Indians who have recently appeared on riverbanks near a popular tourist destination,” the organization said Wednesday.

The Indians are believed to be from the Mashco-Piro tribe in the Manu area. Tourists who visit the nearby national park have recently been leaving clothes on the riverbanks to “entice the Indians out of the forest,” Survival said.

The group has sent warnings to outsiders to stay out of their area. They recently hit a park ranger with an arrow with the tip removed as a warning sign, Survival said.  “Uncontacted Indians lack immunity, Read the rest of this story.. 

Snatam Kaur on Yoga/Meditation

29/09/2011

From: Snatam Kaur’s Blog

Snatam Kaur on Yoga

Life has such an ebb and flow. One minute you can be riding the wave, the next minute you are under the wave. One minute you can feel safe and secure in your life, and the next minute you can feel totally threatened by something.

I find that when I meditate it helps me to separate myself from the sting of something to realize that it is all coming from God’s Divine Will. Usually the most emotionally charged things aren’t really that big of a deal anyway. (more…)

Here’s an Idea: Shweeb

29/09/2011

The Shweeb: Where's the passing lane? Aside from that, sign us up!

Shweeb’s bike-powered 200 meter monorail, pitched as an adrenalin-fueled sky cycling adventure in Rotorua, New Zealand, may be headed for bigger tracks. Google, who found out about it a few years ago,  has been so enamored with the system, in which users are suspended form the track in transparent pods to cycle around the landscape a t speeds of up to 45 km per hour, they’ve invested 1.05 million in developing the technology. I t could be the future for alternative transportation, so Google claims.  What one would do about traffic jams is something to ponder, but that’s a minor speed-bump compared to running fossil fuels till we’re extinct.

The Bro Code

27/09/2011

How Contemporary Culture Creates Sexist Men

An important documentary - see it.

The Media Education Foundation does it again with another solid documentary, although this one, The Bro Code,  is a bit hard to watch. The sad fact, that we all know, is that men are indoctrinated from day one to act and behave a certain way, especially towards women. This film lays bare the ways in which men get trapped into the tunnel vision of how they fit into the world.

In MEF’s powerful new release, The Bro Code, filmmaker Thomas Keith takes aim at the forces in male culture that condition boys and men to dehumanize and disrespect women. Keith breaks down a range of contemporary media forms that are saturated with sexism — movies and music videos that glamorize misogyny; pornography that trades in the brutalization of women; comedy routines that make fun of sexual assault; and a slate of men’s magazines and cable TV shows whose sole purpose is to revel in reactionary myths of American manhood. The message he uncovers in virtually every corner of our entertainment culture is clear: It’s not only normal — but cool — for boys and men to control and humiliate women. By showing how there’s nothing natural or inevitable about this mentality, and by setting it against the terrible reality of men’s violence against women in the real world, The Bro Code challenges young people to step up and fight back against the idea that being a real man means disrespecting women.  Featuring interviews with Michael Kimmel, Robert Jensen, Shira Tarrant, J.W. Wiley, Douglas Rushkoff, Eric Anderson, and Neal King. To see the trailer click here..

A Bright Idea

21/09/2011

Waterbottle Light - A Bright Idea

In the slums of Manila, an innovative project is shedding light on the city’s dim and dreary shanties. Plastic bottles jut from the roofs, bringing light to the dark dwellings below. The technology is as simple as it could be. Each bottle contains water and bleach. When placed snugly into a purpose-built hole in the roof, the home-made bulb refracts and spreads sunlight, illuminating the room beneath. Eco-entrepreneur Illac Diaz is behind the project. “What happens is, the light goes through the bottle, basically a window on the roof, and then goes inside the water. Unlike a hole which the light will travel in a straight line, the water will refract it to go vertical, horizontal, 360 degrees of 55 watts to 60 watts of clear light, almost 10 months of the year.” The initiative, known as “A liter of light”, aims to bring sustainable energy practices to poor communities, an idea originally developed by students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The bottles are designed to emit clear light for about five years, as the bleach prevents algae from building up in the water. For Erlinda Densing, a mother of eight, the technology has made a big difference to her small home.

“‘That’s only water?!’ my neighbors were asking. ‘That’s only water!’ I said to them. Basically, the sun’s rays are really bright. A lot of neighbours came and got curious. They were like, ‘can we see? can we see?’. Maybe they also wanted to have lights installed. ‘It’s really bright,’ I said.” The device can be built and installed in less than an hour. A sheet of corrugated iron serves as a support structure to hold the bottle in place, and prevent any leakage. “Liter of Light, lights up the house, saves a lot, but at the same time improves the standard of living across the board, of the bottom 90 per cent of this country.” Working with low-income communities, local governments and private partners, the project has installed more than 10,000 bottle lights across Manila and the nearby province of Laguna. Rey del Mundo is a volunteer.

“This is very important. Because at present, we’re too dependent on fuel that we don’t produce. Although we have some local production, it’s not sufficient for our needs. So if we strive to develop alternative sources of energy, which are the energy sources, this will help our country a lot.” For residents, it means less money spent on electricity to power lights during the daytime, and more money on food. While for Diaz and his volunteers it’s quite simply a bright idea.

Indigenous Rights Supported by Peru President

09/09/2011

Humala at Bagua Convention

Humala Signs Prior Consultation Law During Jungle Ceremony
by Andean Air Mail & PERUVIAN TIMES

President Ollanta Humala enacted the prior consultation law on Tuesday during a ceremony in the north jungle town of Bagua.

The bill was unanimously approved by Congress and has been strongly supported by international and national rights organizations. It is intended to ensure that Peru’s local laws are in compliance with the International Labour Organization’s Convention 169.

The convention requires the State to consult indigenous people prior to adopting administrative and legislative measures, as well as investment projects and development plans, that could affect their communities.

“This law has the objective of [promoting] development for native peoples, of the Amazonian communities and the entire region,” Humala said. “That is the spirit of this law.”

“Today we have taken an important step in the construction of a nation, the construction of a republic,” Humala added.

Ex-President Alan Garcia rejected a similar prior consultation bill during his recent term, expressing worries that the legislation would provide veto powers to indigenous communities that could deter mining and energy projects.

Humala and members of his Gana Peru party have said the new law will help address the more than 200 social conflicts in Peru that have impacted projects in the extractive industries.

The president’s signing of the law in Bagua was a clear sign Read the rest of this post…

Spirit of the Mapuche People

30/08/2011

The Mapuche are an indigenous people living in central Chile. Their cultural center is the town of Temuco. This film was voted the People’s Choice on Culture Unplugged. To view the

Voice of the Mapuche People