Late last month, the Boston suburb of Brookline became the first East Coast city to ban oil and natural gas infrastructure in new construction projects. The bylaw, which the town’s legislative body passed Nov. 20 by an overwhelming 207-3 vote, prohibits gas hookups in new buildings and large renovations beginning in 2021 ― a move proponents say will help the suburb of 58,000 people achieve its ambitious goal of zeroing out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. There was little organized opposition to the measure following its introduction in August, local elected officials said.
Berkeley has become the first city in the United States to ban the use of natural gas in new low-rise buildings, and it isn't the only California community looking for ways to shift its buildings away from burning fossil fuels. Cities and towns across the state are considering measures to encourage developers to use only electric appliances in new buildings—and skip installing natural gas lines for stoves, furnaces and water heaters. Ken Davies, interim deputy director of Climate Smart San Jose, a unit within the city of San Jose's environmental services department, estimates about 60 cities and towns across the state—including San Jose...
Legal wins against herbicides and pesticides are often just the beginning of more battles – and could fall short of the necessary change to protect our land and our soil. Next, the number of refugees worldwide is the highest its ever been, since the the UN started keeping track some 70 years ago. As the US perpetuates war, climate change and bolsters fascism here at home, we can not turn away from the reality we are creating. Finally, Vanessa Beck with Black Alliance for Peace joins us to talk about the 1033 program and the empire's militant home game.
Following the recent bans on the use of glyphosate-based herbicides by cities and institutions in the U.S., including Key West, Los Angeles, the University of California and Miami, Sustainable Pulse decided to research which countries around the world have banned or restricted the use of the world’s most used herbicide. This research has led to the discovery that there is a growing swell of government level support worldwide for bans on glyphosate-based herbicides for both health and environmental reasons. 17 countries have now banned or restricted the use of this carcinogenic herbicide.
Vietnam has announced that it has banned the import of all glyphosate-based herbicides with immediate effect following the latest cancer trial verdict from San Francisco, in a move which has shaken Bayer’s Asian market for its top-selling product. Hoang Trung, Director of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, stated Saturday to Tuoi Tre newspaper that the import and trans-national trading of herbicides containing glyphosate would be banned immediately. Glyphosate herbicides are currently widely used in Vietnam.
The Uptown People’s Law Center and the MacArthur Justice Center filed a lawsuit on October 17 that alleges Illinois prisons are censoring correspondence and publications that have been mailed to prisoners by Black and Pink, a prisoners’ rights organization focused on supporting incarcerated LGBTQ and HIV-positive people. Jason Lydon founded Black and Pink in 2005 after his own incarceration and was the national director of the group until 2017. “Prisoners are entitled to communication with people on the outside and are entitled to knowledge and stories that validate their humanity,” Lydon told Truthout. “This lawsuit is about ensuring that.”
Last Sunday, an audience of more than 1,500 gave courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning a standing ovation at the conclusion of her hour-long appearance at Australia’s Sydney Opera House, part of its three-day ANTIDOTE festival. The enthusiastic response revealed the yawning gulf between the new right-wing Morrison government’s move to ban Manning from entering the country and the appreciation of ordinary people for her commitment to exposing the realities of war and the unending crimes and conspiracies of the US government. Just days before her scheduled talks in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, followed by Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand, the Morrison government attacked Manning’s right to speak in public about her experiences by issuing a “Notice of Intention to Consider Refusal” to deny her an entry visa.
WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the harmful pesticide chlorpyrifos within 60 days. The court’s ruling is being seen as a major victory for environmentalists and public health activists, who have been fighting to ban the agro-chemical for well over a decade, and comes a few months after Hawaii passed the country’s first state-wide ban of the substance. The chemical, which numerous studies have shown causes significant damage to the nervous systems of children and infants, was banned for household use by the EPA in 2000, but the regulatory agency has largely resisted banning its use in agriculture. Yet efforts to ban the chemical had seemed to pay off when the EPA under the Obama administration proposed banning the substance for agricultural use in 2015.
The Government approved the transposition of an EU Directive, which will enable Ireland to opt out of cultivation of GMO crops approved for cultivation elsewhere in the EU. This will happen on a much wider range of policy grounds than had previously been the case. These grounds include where such cultivation would be contrary to environmental policy objectives, town and country planning, land use, socio-economic impacts, avoidance of GMO presence in other products, agricultural policy objectives and public policy. Announcing the Cabinet’s decision today, The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten said it was a very significant development.
June 6 will mark 10 weeks since the Ecuadorian government blocked all communication by WikiLeaks’ editor Julian Assange with the outside world, including personal visitors. Assange has been trapped inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, when Quito granted him asylum in the face of a legal witch-hunt by the governments of the United States, Britain and Sweden. Britain was moving to extradite Assange to Sweden on trumped-up allegations of sexual abuse as the first step in transferring him to the US to face charges of espionage, which carry a possible death sentence. Washington had vowed to punish Assange for having exposed before the world war crimes committed by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as US intrigues against other countries.
The Netherlands will not give out any permits for the exploration for shale gas in the Netherlands, economic affairs minister Erik Wiebes has confirmed to parliament. ‘Shale gas is not an option in the Netherlands any more,’ Wiebes said. ‘We are not doing it. It is over and done with.’ The previous economic affairs minister Henk Kamp introduced a five-year moratorium on drilling for shale gas which expires in 2020. Shale gas is ordinary natural gas that has been trapped in dense shale beds deep underground. It is extracted using a controversial process known as fracking, which involves drilling a hole deep into the shale and pumping in water mixed with sand and chemicals. A number of local councils, water boards and even brewing groups like Heineken have come out against the production of shale gas in the Netherlands because of the risk of pollution.
On a clear July morning three years ago, dozens of environmental activists pushed their kayaks into the Willamette River in Portland while others rappelled 400 feet from the top of St. Johns Bridge in an attempt to block a Shell Oil ship and its drilling equipment from leaving the port and entering Alaskan waters. A key piece of Shell’s arctic drilling fleet, the vessel had arrived in Portland for repairs but its departure was delayed by protesters chanting “coal, oil, gas, none shall pass!” during two days of civil disobedience that became known as Summer Heat. By the time the vessel finally sailed, the stage had been set for what would be a yearlong battle, culminating in an ordinance that banned construction and expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in the city.
By Ruth Milka for Nation of Change - In a great victory for environmentalists and the people of Ohio, the Ohio Supreme Court struck down a provision that restricted citizen’s efforts to vote locally on banning fracking. The ruling is a turn around from earlier rulings that prevented residents from placing county charters and a city ordinance to ban fracking from appearing on ballots. In 2015, after the movement against fracking had progressed enough to include new county charters to elevate the rights of local residents and ecosystems, the Supreme Court ruled that the state has “exclusive authority” over oil and gas drilling. This meant cities and counties no longer had the right to ban or regulate fracking through any restrictions. Ohio’s Secretary of State Jon Husted supported the ruling, claiming he had “unfettered authority” to remove county charters from ballots, even if the people had gathered enough signatures. And it’s no wonder, as Husted is deeply tied to the Ohio Oil & Gas Association, who fundraise for him. Since 2015, Husted and his team of appointed county boards of elections, along with the state Supreme Court, have removed 10 proposed fracking-related county charters from Ohio ballots. Earlier this year, the city of Youngstown, Ohio spent $185,000 promoting anti-hydraulic fracking ballot measures, regardless of the state’s law. Even though city lawyers deemed that any regulation or ban that was passed with a vote would “not be enforceable,” the environmentalist group Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, are pushing on.
By Sabrina Shankman for Inside Climate Change - Hundreds of miles from the nearest oil field or fracking well, the answer to this question is playing out here, as a longrunning David-and-Goliath battle over plans to pipe tar sands oil from Canada to Maine for export nears a pivotal moment. On one side is South Portland, a picturesque waterfront city of 25,000, which approved an ordinance in 2014 to outlaw heavy crude exports from its harbor in an overwhelming City Council vote. On the other is the Portland Pipe Line Corporation, the company behind the project, and its allies, including the American Petroleum Institute, whose members include most major oil and gas companies. API spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat a ballot measure in 2013 that would have blocked the project. The City Council approved the ordinance a year later. The Portland Pipe Line Corporation is now suing the city, with support from API and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, arguing the ban was unconstitutional. A federal judge is expected to rule in the coming weeks. A decision in favor of the company could effectively open a gateway for the flow of carbon-heavy tar sands oil to one of the East Coast's largest oil ports. For other cities seeking to restrict oil and gas activities, South Portland's four-year fight to fend off the oil industry offers perhaps a cautionary tale.
By Staff of Tele Sur - The addition of North Korea and Venezuela broadens the restrictions from the original, mostly Muslim-majority list. U.S. President Donald Trump has announced that Venezuela and North Korea will be added to the list of countries banned from traveling to the United States. The order outlines different restrictions for each country on the list. In the case of Venezuela, the new decree is aimed at "certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members," according to the White House press office. The new directive prevents Venezuelan officials involved in state security, law enforcement and migration functions from entering the United States. Immediate family members' ability to enter the U.S. as nonimmigrants on business, tourist and tourist/business visas will also be suspended. The proclamation names ministries and state bodies involved in "screening and vetting procedures," including the Ministry of the Popular Power for Interior, Justice and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration and Immigration; the Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigation Service Corps; the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service; and the Ministry of the Popular Power for Foreign Relations.