Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

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..

Machu Picchu’s Capacity to Withstand Tourism

21/11/2011

Peruviians on a Balcony - In the '90's

I took my first clients to Peru, on our first program ever for Mountain Spirit Institute in 1998. Who would have thought there would be the numbers at Machu Picchu that there are now. Who would have imagined the wholesale tour companies, that have transformed sleepy little islands such as Amantani, could change things so much. Being there in ’98 was sure different that it is today. It was right after the Shining Path and been put down. Back then, one didn’t need guides to do the Inca Trail, and the prices were affordable. So what to do? Hmmm. I love Peru, but I think we’ll have to go more into the bush, back beyond the hordes, shy away from the beaten path, or “Gringo Hiway” as they call it. There is much to see in Peru and like any popular place, go an hour or two off the beaten path, and you’re in “no-man’s land”. Also, see my post on Amantani in this blog.
R. Richards, Editor

One Million Tourists Visit Machu Picchu in 2011
by Andean Air Mail & PERUVIAN TIMES
The ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, uncovered from overgrowth and obscurity 100 years ago by U.S. explorer Hiram Bingham, will have received at least one million tourists by the end of this year, according to Percy Canales, president of the National Chamber of Tourism, Canatur.

The number of visitors represents a 30 percent hike over last year — when 660,000 people visited the site— and is undoubtedly due in part to the mass promotional campaign surrounding the centennial.  Of the total, 70 percent will have been foreign travelers and the remainder Peruvians, particularly school groups.  The larger number of foreigners were visitors from the United States, Spain and Japan.

Canales said that the number of tourists was expected to increase read the rest of this story..

We Need Your Help, Spread the Word!

08/09/2011

Mountain Spirit Institute’s Blog – Reader’s Appeal to Google News

If you like what you’ve been reading on Mountain Spirit’s blog since 2008, please help us spread the news by suggested they list us on their search site. Here’s how you can help.

Help our Non-Profit org, Suggest: blog.mtnspirit.org - Thanks!

Since we at Mountain Spirit Institute started our blog, 64,000 people have stopped by to read our posts and see our videos. By helping us build a broader base, we’ll not only get more readership and exposure, but possible needed revenue  from advertising like-minded organizations on our site, as well as exposure to potential donors.

Started in 1998, Mountain Spirit’s mission is to facilitate one’s connection to the natural world, each other and a deeper connection to one’s self, through a wide variety of programs in the U.S. and abroad, ranging from wilderness programs to workshops.

Peru: Social Conflicts & Environment Linked

03/08/2011

Peru's Enviro Minsiter Sr. Giesecke

Environment Minister says tackling social conflicts is “urgent”.
From Andean AirMail & Peruvian Times

Peru’s Environment Minister Ricardo Giesecke said Monday that tackling social conflicts in the country will be an “urgent” task in his portfolio, state news agency Andina reported. Social conflicts sky-rocketed during the Alan Garcia’s administration.

When Garcia took office in 2006, Peru’s ombudsman – the Defensoria del Pueblo – reported about 80 social conflicts in the country. Towards the end of his term, which wrapped up last Thursday, there were over 200 social conflicts, of which an overwhelming number are related to socio-environmental issues in the extractive industries.
In addition to delaying projects and investments, the conflicts have cost numerous lives and cost millions of dollars in collateral damage Read the rest of this story…

Don’t Buy It

17/06/2011

Selling Success Thru Consuming

A recent full page ad on the inside front cover of New Zealand Alpine Club‘s The Climber* Magazine shows a truly burly shot of climber Alex Honnold in Borneo, doing a dyno move on what looks like a long potential fall on a big wall. Granted the sequence is impressive, (let’s be clear, I can’t do that), but the ad states, “ALEX IS DRY, His Meru Goretex Paclite Jacket allows him to focus on the next move.”

OK, ok, stop the music. Does this make we want to rush right out and buy a Meru Paclite Jacket? Not. But if  the Meru Paclite jacket allows him to focus on that dyno, maybe it will allow ME to focus on my next move too, just like the ad in the picture.  My criticism is albeit a cliche, nevertheless, I don’t buy it.

Kiwis are known for being a self-depreciating, humble bunch. They seem to buy used whenever possible, plus it blends into the backcountry better. Have you ever heard the saying, “Don’t go climbing with someone who has new gear?”  This doesn’t mean to avoid climbing and teaching new to the sport, but more it means watching out for a poser.

The Kiwi quietude is making me, in my conditioned Americanism,  feel downright goofy. I feel I may be tooting my own horn without even knowing . Mind you, I consider myself on the humble side, but New Zealanders make me look like Donald Trump.   I wonder however, how many climbers reading that magazine are taken by the ad. I would suspect a few more of my fellow Yankees stateside might be taken in. What do you think? Comment below.

Don’t buy it – buy used. Even though I’m able to buy on pro-purchase programs, I just bought a pair of Karhu BC skis on Craigslist, and it feels good. Did I even need them in the first place, yes. Maybe a step further, and a pair from the Salvation Army here in Queenstown for $40 would have sufficed. We can always improve.

Buying this Book? Share it.

Nope, I wouldn’t buy a used rope, or even cams,  but buying  most other stuff used just helps the planet, and you look better in a used jacket anyway. It’s another dirtbag move for the planet. Madison Avenue and the big corps who now own The North Face, (and now Karhu) don’t like guys like us. We’re terrible consumers – Have you joined the crowd?

According to a new book by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers, What’s Mine is Yours, The rise of Collaborative Consumption, the trend is huge – to buy less, buy used and share. I’ll write more about this book after I finish it. So far it’s fascinating.

*This is no way meant to be a slam on The Climber advertising policies, in fact the author encourages readers to support the magazine by supporting its advertisers, appropriately. A tricky one, eh?

By the way, nice move Alex.

Conscious Eating

19/07/2010

Food Matters

Food Matters – A Guide to Conscious Eating

In this book, Mark Bittman explores the links among global warming and other environmental challenges, obesity and the so-called lifestyle diseases, and the overproduction and overconsumption of meat, simple carbohydrates, and junk food. It offers a plan for responsible eating that’s as good for the planet as it is for your weight and your health.

Sustainable Eating

With over 75 recipes and meal plans, this book will help you became accustomed to a style of eating that will cut back on your greenhouse gas production and teach you how to become less reliant on animal products and nutritionally worthless food.

To find out more, go to Food Matters.

Send Chevron a Message

21/05/2010

Chevron's Logo?

Please sign this petition to Chevron’s CEO, Mr. Watson asking that Chevron finally do the right thing in Ecuador. (En español aquí)

Dear Mr. Watson:

As the new CEO of Chevron, climate change and the environmental and human rights impacts of Chevron’s operations are the two issues that will define your tenure at the helm of one of the world’s largest oil companies. Chevron has fallen behind other businesses and many political leaders already taking a leadership position on climate change. Furthermore, your company is drawing increasing criticism for failing to rectify its massive human rights and environmental disaster in Ecuador. Taking the following steps will demonstrate a true commitment to environmental responsibility and respect for human rights – which will only strengthen your company’s future.

We the undersigned call on Chevron CEO John Watson to:

* Clean up Chevron’s toxic legacy in Ecuador, compensate affected communities for health and environmental impacts, and provide affected people real access to health care and potable water.
* Develop a global environment and human rights policy that will prevent similar tragedies in the future.
* Adopt aggressive strategies to provide clean energy to a carbon-constrained world.

Bottled Water: The Real Story

04/01/2010

The Real Story

Too many bottles, The new faux pas

I recently received a flyer in the mail from Food and Water Watch, with the title: “America’s water should belong to each of us, not the companies that bottle and sell it. Not the corporations that want to privatize is. Take the pledge to protect your right to clean safe drinking water. Here’s what I’ve learned.

American consumers drink more bottled water every year, in part because they think it is somehow safer or better than tap water. They collectively spend hundreds or thousands of dollars more per gallon for water in a plastic bottle than they would for the H20 flowing from their taps.

Rather than buying into this myth of purity in a bottle, consumers should drink from the tap. Bottled water generally is no cleaner, or safer, or healthier than tap water. In fact, the federal government requires far more rigorous and frequent safety testing and monitoring of municipal drinking water. Read more

Bottled Water: Illusions of Purity : Not safer than tap water
Bottled water manufacturers are good at implying things. With glossy ads and labels depicting quiet mountain streams, a consumer is led to believe what they’re drinking is healthier than what comes from the tap. But chances are it’s not. In fact, municipal water is more tightly regulated than bottled water. (more…)

Health Care or The Environment.

30/10/2009
Which Comes First?
A look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
By: Craig Cimmons
450px-Maslow's_Hierarchy_of_Needs.svg

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

As an environmentalist, I paid close attention to the candidate’s environmental stances and solutions during the Presidential election of 2009. However, the more I listened, the more apparent something became. American citizens are not going to devote their full attention to the needs of the environment until their own needs are met. With America’s health care system in need of desperate repair, the average citizen is worrying about problems closer to home then the large scale, hard to understand, global environmental problems.

Families that are losing everything they own to fight a disease, (or live in fear of this happening) do not have any resources (time, energy and money) to devote to anything outside of these problems.  A family that is watching cancer slowly consume their loved one (and their life savings) should never be expected to fight enormous problems like global warming, peak oil and the steady decrease of drinking water.

(more…)

Reduce Plastic Bottles

24/08/2009

Buy this product!

Buy this product!

By Randall Richards
We have been using the Pristine Water Bottle with filter in Peru for about two months now, and we’re ready to endorse this product with no reservations. We have cut our plastic bottle footprint by 95%. We still buy the occasional bottle water con gas, as a treat, but even then we’re about ready to stop that practice.
Another benefit of using this product is, I’ve never had a healthier stay in Peru. I have heard of bottled water sometimes having tampered caps, and this is the first time I’ve not had some sort of stomach upset.  I am pulling water right out of the tap here in Cusco, and it’s working well.

Although I like the Katadyn external water filter that I’ve had for years, which works well for high altitude and fail-safe longer trips, I have to say their water bottle filter is too heavy and takes up too much room (within the bottle for any water)  for my liking.

This thing works. SteriPen Classic

This thing works. SteriPen Classic

Another product we’re using, which although is new for us, but is working well,  is the SteriPen UV water purifier. It too has been easy to use and working without a hitch, also to purify drinking water from the tap. We recommend the Classic model as it takes standard Lithium or NiMH batteries.

Buy these products, cut out the plastic bottles, whether in South America or anywhere in the world.