Monday, March 16, 2009

Your Milk on Drugs

clipped from
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This is my favorite beverage. I am very distressed over the thought of giving this up.

I am growing tired of Corporafascist destroying my favorite foods just so they can make more money. Monsanto is an evil organization and should be heavily restricted with the ultimate goal of disbanding them.

They just keeping repeating their party line hoping consumers will continue to buy into it despite scientific evidence contrary to their findings.

Saving the World From Death by Coal

Right in the heart of our nation's capitol is a coal fired power plant which kills. This is not unusual, all coal power plants kill. They are the largest anthropogenic source of the CO2 emissions (over 40%) which have now reached high enough levels of concentration in our atmosphere that many of the world's leading experts in climate change fear the tipping point may have already been reached and catastrophic climate change may now be inevitable.
There is no such thing as clean coal
The is no such thing as safe coal
Coal may very well end life on this planet as we know it. We absolutely must stop burning coal and we must do it yesterday
We are now creating a world vastly different from the one which has been so conducive to the biological diversity and global ecosystem which allowed the human species to evolve and human civilization to flourish
In the last twelve months the number of climate change lobbyists on the Hill has increased 300%
So what's a person to do
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I know this is a bit dated, but it bears repeating for those who missed it.

A group of over 2,500 people from all across the country marched on the coal fired power plant in our nation's capitol which for over 100 years has supplied heat and electricity to Congress by burning coal.

More actions in the form of civil disobedience directed against coal power plants are planned in the near future. As the world prepares for the UN COP15 Conference in Copenhagen this December, it is a critical year for, as Bill McKibben said, "creating a political space for a climate treaty to be finalized."

Time's up.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

ALERT!! HR1105….Another Bill to Force NAIS

Every Thursday for the past 6 Months, Government Officials have raided homes and businesses. Sometimes at gunpoint, sometimes with a warrant, and sometimes with nothing more then the burly bodies that intimidate those about to be oppressed.

The intent of these raids is to gain control of the distribution of such seemingly innocuous ‘weapons’ as raw milk, vegetable seed, cattle and other farm animals. It is nothing more than collusion between the FDA, Department of Agriculture and Monsanto to force small farmers out and to stifle organic farming. The result so far is to terrorize small farm owners and their families. It has also alerted those of us who are sensitive to any attempt by our federal government to control our actions and to force compliance with laws attempting to give up control of time-honored family-owned farming traditions. Once the family-run farm is ‘under control’ they will next cone after backyard gardeners.

Here in the US, Monsanto goon squads routinely trespass onto privately owned land, take samples of privately owned crops and then claim Monsanto’s frankenseed crops are being grown illegally, their patents have been violated. According to Monsanto, these are “unauthorized seeds”. Those two words are a harbinger of things to come and should give you an idea where all of this is headed.

Courts have ruled that if Monsanto’s seeds sprout in a ditch near the uncontaminated natural crops of a farmer who refuses to grow gmo, the crop belongs to Monsanto along with fines and penalties.

The following is a list of those at the vanguard of this very under-reported war:
John Stowers Farm LaGrange, Ohio. Crime: They run a private, members-only food co-op.

Greg Niewendorp, Michigan. Crime: refusing to participate in the NAIS

Steve Hixon, Illinois. Crime: cleaning seeds

Paul-Martin Griepentrog, Wisconsin. Crime: refusing to participate in the NAIS

Democrats are submitting one bill after another in the House and Senate in response to the massive backlash against the National Animal Identification System, making sure that as one bill is exposed and opposed, another quickly takes its place. As farm and ranch groups respond angrily to the overt attempts to end family farming and ranching in favor of industrialized frankenfood factory farms, as Monsanto and other GMO developers gain ever greater ownership of food production and supply, USDA and FDA acting in concert with local law enforcement are raiding farms and ranches.

It was discovered that funding for these bills which have not even been passed, is already underway.

Today, Thursday of course, H.R. 1105 is awaiting assignment to Committee in the Senate. It stands poised to allocate $289 million to APHIS for the implementation of the National Animal Identification System. It also outlines the time frame to implement in 2009 the tracking of 33 species.

We as voters do not go to the polls to elect officials to represent Multi-National Corporations or Lobbyists paid by groups attempting to get their piece of the pie. We elect officials to protect us, the consumer.

If a dozen or more terrorists held two women, 10 children, toddlers and a baby hostage for six hours, the event would be televised nationwide and on the front pages of newspapers the next day. Unless, of course, the perpetrators are members of our federal government.

I find it very disturbing that our main-stream-media has chosen not to report these raids. The only way to learn of them is through blogs, websites, and word of mouth.

I write about this topic from time to time in an attempt to do my part in keeping as many people as possible aware of the progress that Monsanto and other GMO advocates are making toward owning all seed companies. In 2005 Monsanto’s seed/genetic trait holdings were primarily in corn, cotton, soybean, and canola. That year they purchased Seminis, the world’s largest vegetable seed company (see And We Have the Seed) specializing in seed for vegetable field crops.

Now their takeover of the vegetable seed sector continues, as they have announced the intent to purchase the Dutch breeding and seed company, De Ruiter Seeds. This purchase diversifies Monsanto’s seed holdings in vegetable field crops (Seminis) to “protected culture” fruits and vegetables (primarily tomatoes and cucurbits produced greenhouse, hothouse, etc). Analysts from Bank of America say that this gives Monsanto 25% of the world vegetable seed market, but I believe that this is a low estimate.

Meanwhile, Monsanto is taking many other steps to keep farmers and everyone else from having any access at all to buying, collecting, and saving of normal seeds:
1. They’ve bought up the seed companies across the Midwest.
2. They’ve written Monsanto seed laws and gotten legislators to put them through, that make cleaning, collecting and storing of seeds so onerous in terms of fees and paperwork that having normal seed becomes almost impossible.
3. Monsanto is pushing laws that ensure farmers and citizens can’t block the planting of GMO crops even if they can contaminate other crops.
4. There are Monsanto regulations buried in the FDA rules that make a farmer’s seed cleaning equipment illegal because it’s now considered a “source of seed contamination.”

Monsanto has sued more than 1,500 farmers whose fields had simply been contaminated by GM crops.

Still think they don’t have a plan to own every seed in the world?

Further Reading:
Everything you need to know about NAIS


Monsanto’s Position on Seed Patent Infringement

Who Own’s Your Tomato?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cellulosic Ethanol Gets a Boost

Range Fuels of Colorado has partnered with Emerson Process Management to form one of the first commercial cellulosic biofuels plants in the U.S. The plant is capable of producing more than 100 million gallons of ethanol and methane annually at its Soperton Georgia plant. The target date for production is 2010 and will beat the goal of 2012 by two years of producing a commercialized basis from non-corn or non-food based sources.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently awarded Range Fuels an US $80 million loan guarantee, the first ever for a cellulosic ethanol plant.

Cellulosic ethanol is referred to as advanced biofuels or second-generation biofuels because it does not use corn as its feedstock. The base is made up of switch grass, corn stover, forest waste, fast-growing trees, wood chips and other plant material.

The first demonstration-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in the U.S. opened in 2008 in Jennings, Louisiana. The verenium biorefinery produces 1.4 million gallons a year with agricultural waste left over after sugarcane production.

Existing corn ethanol plants should be converted into second generation biofuel plants as soon as possible. This may be difficult on a technical level, but it can be done. The major stumbling block toward making this happen has to do with politics. The farm lobby is very good at hanging onto subsidies even after they have outlived there usefulness. When food prices are low, they ask for subsidies, when prices are high (as now), they ask for more. So who knows if the fat corn ethanol subsidies will ever be repealed?

Here’s a list of Cellulosic Ethanol plants either opersting or under construction in the U.S.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Improved Purification Method for Hydrogen

Hydrogen has been labeled by some as the ‘perfect fuel alternative’. It is considered the best pollution-free alternative to batteries and hydrogen-powered fuel cells hold enormous promise as a power source for a future generation of cars.

The biggest hurdle in using hydrogen as a fuel source is it’s purification.

Northwestern University chemist Mercouri G. Kanatzidis, together with postdoctoral research associate Gerasimos S. Armatas, has developed a solution. A new porous material shaped like a honeycomb. This porous honeycombed like structure is very effective at separating hydrogen from gas mixtures. The materials used in constructing hydrogen purification structure are a new family of germanium-rich chalcogenides.

The typical approach to ‘purifying’ hydrogen, i.e., separating the molecules from carbon dioxide and methane, has been based on the size of the molecules. Hydrogen is smaller than these other two gases and while that fact alone allows hydrogen to be separated, the process involves several steps as all three molecules do eventually pass through the same membrane.

Kanatzidis and Armatas have decided to skip the membrane filtration method in favor of a polarization method. Hydrogen molecules have a less affinity to the honeycomb material than do other gases and therefore pass through more readily. This process involves fewer steps therefore making the process more efficient.

According to Kanatzidis, another advantage of the process is “convenient temperature range.” which varies from zero degrees Celsius to room temperature!