Lois Arkin | 9 May 17:48 2006

[Fwd: [Greenbuilding] Building code-free opportunity]

Perhaps this announcement might be of interest to someone out there or 
someone you know.
From: Dorethy Hancock <dorethyhancock@...>
Subject: [Greenbuilding] Building code-free opportunity
Date: 2006-05-09 15:02:12 GMT
Hello, natural builders,
I'm offering a great opportunity for someone who would like to continue a
project which was intended to become a healing retreat center, or it could
just be a farm.  Located 20 miles north of Topeka, Kansas, on the Potawatomi
Indian Reservation, I have a finished cob cottage with a complete solar
system (w/components housed in another cob building); rural water, radiant
heat; septic for blackwater; branched drain graywater system; and a second
unit (to be a living room) begun last summer of post-&-beam, roofed with
clay tile but as yet no strawbale walls.  This second unit also has a
Faswall block basement, and is two stories high (for balcony or second
floor).  These are on 30 acres: 20 are timber and 10 tallgrass prairie in a
conservation reserve program earning about $500 per year.

I'm a retired woman and enjoyed building & living in the cob cottage; but
labor on the second unit was by local guys who had no natural building
experience, and I'm out of money and out of patience to be a builder, when I
need to "play" a while, pursuing other artistic endeavors and simply
(Continue reading)

carring | 10 May 07:04 2006

Re: [Fwd: [Greenbuilding] Building code-free opportunity]

I ran out of years long since; I am so sorry that money patience and 
thrust have combined for a while - good luck in finding a successor -
 what really intrigues me is how on earth did I come to be on your 
mailing list -  find me enough money for learning - like a really 
gprdo lottery ticket and I will take over and create an anschool .  

/Quoting Lois Arkin <crsp@...> on Tue, 09 May 2006 08:48:20 -

Perhaps this announcement might be of interest to
someone out there or
someone you know.

eKit - the global phonecard with more!

Spend less on overseas calls, receive messages worldwide.
Visit http://www.ekit.com/ for details.

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T | 11 May 22:52 2006

Tribal Lands Homestead

Tribal Village Lands
This is a very private and sunny 10 acre piece of land with a view that
would make a great Self Sustainable Homestead for someone who
wanted to start putting some roots down in one place and to build
their own natural home on.
The land is nicely situated way up high on a grassy
hilltop overlooking the beautiful Kettle River valley. It is
just about 5 miles north of the historic little town of Curlew on
highway 21 and near tribal lands and other good folks in the local community.

It is about a mile up from the main highway. You can get
a good feel for the way the land is situated just from looking at it
on the map which I can send to you free if you respond to me
directly outside this group.
This place of peace is hidden way up in Ferry County in
North East Washington State.

Take a trip on up there and see for
yourself. It is very close to National Forest lands.

At a relatively Low Elevation of only 2500 feet
which means you can grow anything there in a greenhouse.
Here's a link to a slideshow of the local Barter Faire:


This is just to give people a taste of the spirit of the local family tribal culture.

This homestead is in an area that is not too far from the home of Chief Tonasket.
Please write to me outside this group at Temeluch at yahoo dot com if you want me to send you maps and details.
I don't mean to exploit this group but as a sustainable community focalizer I do need some support now just to keep my head above water so I can keep on working towards creating an EcoVillage in Belize.  - T


Blab-away for as little as 1¢/min. Make PC-to-Phone Calls using Yahoo! Messenger with Voice.
Attachment (Hilltop Homestead.doc): application/msword, 388 KiB
forest | 13 May 00:08 2006

The Answer to High Gas Prices

I'm sorry, I received this and couldn't resist forwarding it...forest


forest | 14 May 14:43 2006

8000 mpg car uses real gas

not sure what to make of this article, but it sounds hopeful....aloha, f

Go To


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Anne D McGee | 14 May 18:26 2006

Re: 8000 mpg car uses real gas

Thank you, Forest!  I sent it everywhere!

Annie and Lee, Portsmouth, NH

On Sun, 14 May 2006 05:43:58 -0700 forest <forest@...> writes:
> not sure what to make of this article, but it sounds 
> hopeful....aloha, f
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> Go To
> 0MPG%20CAR
> ------------------------------------------------
> To subscribe or unsubscribe to ecobalance go to:
> http://www.ecovillage.org/ecobalance/index.html
> ------------------------------------------------

To subscribe or unsubscribe to ecobalance go to:

Godo Stoyke | 14 May 19:31 2006

Re: 8000 mpg car uses real gas

Hello all!

These vehicles are essentially three-wheeled bicycles with a tiny gasoline engine and a carbon fibre shell.

I wouldn't exactly call them a car, as they have a single seat, a minimum average speed of 30 km/h at the competition, and no cargo space. The current record is actually 10,750 mpg.

Nevertheless, I can see modified versions of these having great potential as commuter vehicles, maybe even in their own lanes, two or three abreast.

If it were possible to drive on the equator, you could circle the globe for something like CAN$7.13.  Not bad  :-)

The official web site is at: 


Godo Stoyke, M.Sc., LEED A.P., President, Carbon Busters Inc. 
17205 - 107 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5S 1E5, Canada
Ph. (780) 437-0023, FAX (780) 437-1500, Email: godo-LAmhJaI7qNuI702x4sptydi2O/JbrIOy@public.gmane.org, Web: www.carbonbusters.org

Carbon Busters was awarded 2003, 2004 and 2005 Gold Champion level reporting status by the Canadian 
GHG Challenge Registry. We are Canada's leading education-based energy efficiency consultant 
for school and municipal buildings, with nearly $20 million in client savings around the world.

Support the Livia Stoyke Charitable Foundation! www.livia.ca  www.spin24.ca May 12th and 13th!

On May 14, 2006, at 6:43 AM, forest wrote:

not sure what to make of this article, but it sounds hopeful....aloha, f

Go To


To subscribe or unsubscribe to ecobalance go to:



Godo Stoyke, M.Sc., LEED A.P., President, Carbon Busters Inc. 

17205 - 107 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5S 1E5, Canada

Ph. (780) 437-0023, FAX (780) 437-1500, Email: godo-LAmhJaI7qNuI702x4sptydi2O/JbrIOy@public.gmane.org, Web: www.carbonbusters.org


Carbon Busters was awarded 2003, 2004 and 2005 Gold Champion level reporting status by the Canadian 

GHG Challenge Registry. We are Canada's leading education-based energy efficiency consultant 

for school and municipal buildings, with nearly $20 million in client savings around the world.

Support the Livia Stoyke Charitable Foundation! www.livia.ca  www.spin24.ca May 12th and 13th!

Attachment (Godo Stoyke.vcf): text/directory, 566 bytes


(to add this vCard to your contact list, drag and drop onto your address book)

forest | 21 May 14:01 2006

nanotech showdown

in the event you ever wish to be removed from this group e-
mailing, please click on reply and put the words "On Vacation" in
the subject line.....  you will be removed from the group mailing and will
not be placed back on again UNLESS you send me another e-mail with the
words. "Off Vacation" in the subject line.....feel free to remind me if for
some reason i forget.....all e-mailings will be sent out as blind copies.
aloha, f

From: Rachel's Democracy & Health News #855, May 18, 2006


By Tim Montague

Just in time for summer, a group of eight environmental and public
interest groups have petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) to recall nanotech sunscreens from supermarket shelves. This
will force FDA to finally decide whether nano particles are something
radically new or not.

Nano particles are named for their small size (a nanometer is a
billionth of a meter), and nano particles are smaller than anything
humans have ever put into commercial products before. Their tiny size
changes their characteristics completely. If they didn't represent
something new, they wouldn't have the commercial world excited. At
present something like a goldrush mentality surrounds nanotech.

Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the International Center for
Technology Assessment on May 17 demanded of FDA "that nanoparticles be
treated as new substances; nanomaterials be subjected to nano-specific
paradigms of health and safety testing; and that nanomaterial products
be labeled to delineate all nanoparticle ingredients." In other words,
they are asking the FDA to wake up to the consensus of respected
scientific bodies like the British Royal Society who concluded in
their 2004 report that nano particles are different from anything
humans have ever created before and that we need to take a
precautionary approach.

The petition to FDA says, "Engineered nanoparticles have fundamentally
different properties from their bulk material counterparts --
properties that also create unique human health and environmental
risks -- which necessitate new health and safety testing paradigms."
And this is confirmed by scientists like Gunter Oberdorster who has
written text books on the subject and a recent review of
'nanotoxicology'. Until now, FDA (like U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) have
remained oblivious to all nanotech health risks. Their position is
that carbon is carbon regardless of the size of its particles, zinc is
zinc, and titanium is titanium. Size does not matter, says FDA.

But every physicist knows that size matters a great deal. The smaller
an object is, the larger its surface is in relation to its volume.
Thus nano particles have an enormous surface to volume ratio, which
renders them biologically active. Oberdorster says, "This increased
biologic activity can be either positive and desirable (e.g.,
antioxidant activity, carrier capacity for therapeutics, penetration
of cellular barriers for drug delivery) or negative and undesirable
(e.g., toxicity, induction of oxidative stress or of cellular
dysfunction), or a mix of both."

Now public interest organizations are asking the FDA to "Declare all
currently available sunscreen drug products containing engineered
nanoparticles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as an imminent hazard
to public health." The petition (2.8 MB) and a related report (4
MB) by Friends of the Earth (FOE) expose the dark underbelly of the
health and beauty industry that has joined the nanotech gold rush
without much thought for the short or long term consequences to nature
or human health. But how could they? The structure of the modern
corporation doesn't allow for ethical perspectives or precautionary
action if they might significantly limit the bottom line.

Next time you (or your kids) want to slather up with your favorite
sunblock, remember that the active ingredient in the sunscreen --
typically zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide -- could very well be a
nanomaterial. There are now hundreds of sunscreens, moisturizers,
cosmetics and other personal care products containing sub-microscopic
materials that we simply don't understand. And because the FDA doesn't
require labeling, consumers are left in the dark -- a vast experiment
with only one winner, and that isn't you or me.

We aren't talking about the same zinc oxide that you knew as a youth
on lifeguard's noses. Nanoscale engineered materials (smaller than 100
nanometers in diameter -- iron, aluminum, zinc, carbon, and many
others) are measured in billionths of a meter. A human hair is 80,000
nanometers wide. A strand of DNA is 3.5 nm across. The nanoworld is
quite a different place -- a world where particles can pass directly
from the environment into your bloodstream, tissues, cells and
organelles. The nano revolution has burst upon us for just that reason
-- nanomaterials take on new and unique properties that make them
attractive as drug delivery vehicles, chemical sponges and nano-robot
("nanobot") building blocks.

There are three typical ways in which nanomaterials get into our
bodies -- we breathe them, ingest them or absorb them through our skin.
And despite the evidence that nanomaterials cause lung, liver and
brain damage in animals, our Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is
treating nanomaterials like their standard or bulk sized counterparts
of yesteryear.

In March, 2006, Jennifer Sass of the Natural Resources Defense Council
(NRDC) summarized the state of regulatory affairs for nanotechnology
thus: "The Toxic Substances Control Act is the most obvious law for
regulating nanomaterials. But the law does not require manufacturers
to provide safety data before registering a chemical, instead placing
the burden on the government to demonstrate that a substance is
harmful. If the government does not follow up on potential risks with
a new product application within several months, the company can
proceed to sell its product. Other laws on the books also are
inadequate. The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act [giving FDA regulatory
power] includes only feeble safeguards for cosmetics, which already
promise to be a major use of nanomaterials. Likewise, the poorly
enforced Occupational Safety and Health Act fails to address nano-
specific worker protections."

As we reported in Rachel's #816, the British Royal Society
(approximately the equivalent of our National Academy of Sciences)
issued a report in July 2004 recommending a series of precautionary
actions based on their review of the scientific literature on the
possible health effects of nanomaterials:

** "The evidence we have reviewed suggests that some manufactured
nanoparticles and nanotubes are likely to be more toxic per unit mass
than particles of the same chemicals at larger size and will therefore
present a greater hazard."

** "There is virtually no evidence available to allow the potential
environmental impacts of nanoparticles and nanotubes to be evaluated."

** Therefore, "the release of nanoparticles to the environment [should
be] minimized until these uncertainties are reduced."

** And, "until there is evidence to the contrary, factories and
research laboratories should treat manufactured nanoparticles and
nanotubes as if they were hazardous and seek to reduce them as far as
possible from waste streams."

At the heart of the health and safety concerns is the tendency for
nanoparticles like fullerenes, nanotubes, and nanoparticle metal
oxides to produce free radicals -- charged atoms that are highly
reactive and which can cause oxidative stress, inflammation, and
subsequent damage to cells and tissue. A recent study by Duke
University found that fullerenes (Buckyballs) cause brain damage in
large mouth bass.

The FOE report says "Because of their size, nanoparticles are more
readily taken up by the human body than larger sized particles and are
able to cross biological membranes and access cells, tissues and
organs that larger sized particles normally cannot." Once in the blood
stream, nanomaterials can affect all of the organs and tissues of the
body including the bone marrow, heart, lungs, brain, liver, spleen and
kidneys. But little is known about what dose may cause harmful effects
or how long different nanomaterials remain in various tissues.

It is known that nanoparticles can inhibit the growth of and kill
kidney cells. At the cellular level, unlike larger particles,
nanomaterials can pass into organelles like the mitochondria -- the
power plant of the cell -- and cell nucleus where they can cause DNA
mutation and cell death.[1 p. 7]

Nanoparticles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide -- widely used in
sunscreens and cosmetics -- are photo active, "producing free radicals
and causing DNA damage to human skin cells when exposed to UV
light."[1 p.7] Although there is conflicting data on just how much
nanoparticles can actually penetrate human skin and enter our blood,
there is no doubt that what we put on our skin will end up in our air,
food, and water. A recent report in Environmental Science &
Technology found fish throughout Europe are contaminated with UV-
filter-chemicals -- from sunscreen -- (4-methylbenzylidene camphor or
4-MBC; and octocrylene or OC) which are known hormone disruptors. What
we rub on our bodies washes into the lakes and rivers, and then gets
into the food chain.

Even nanotech industry professionals themselves are skeptical about
the safety of these materials. Speaking about the incorporation of
fullerenes into skin-care products, Professor Robert Curl Jr. -- who
shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his co-discovery of
fullerenes -- expressed concern: "I would take the conservative path
of avoiding using such cosmetics while withholding judgment on the
actual merits or demerits of their use."

And when a scientist at an international nanotoxicology meeting asked
200 of her colleagues whether they would feel comfortable using face
cream that contained fullerenes, fewer than ten indicated that they
would.[1 p.8]

The scientists who specialize in nano materials don't trust the stuff,
yet thousands of workers and consumers are being exposed every day in
the manufacture, transport and application of skin care and many other
products from tires to computer hard drives and skis.

There is very little known about current levels of workplace exposure.
The US National Science Foundation estimates that by 2015 2 million
workers worldwide will be directly employed in nanotechnology
industries. This means the total number of exposed workers will
certainly be much larger.[1 p. 10]

While the evidence continues to pile up that nanomaterials pose
significant health risks to consumers and workers, the federal
bureaucracy turns a blind eye concerned mostly with fostering economic
growth at all cost. Of the "$1.3 billion budget for the US National
Nanotechnology Initiative, only $38.5 million (less than 4%) was
earmarked for the study of the health, safety and environmental
impacts of nanotechnology. Conversely, the US Department of Defense
received $436 million (33.5% of the nanotechnology budget)." We are
spending more than ten times as much on nanotech warfare technology as
we are investing on basic health and safety research.

By their nature, corporations cannot regulate themselves -- by law
they are only allowed to do one thing: return a decent profit to
investors using every legal means available. But judging from the
chemical, nuclear and biotechnology industries, government is not up
to the task of regulating corporations to protect human health. So,
while our tax dollars are doing relatively little to bring health and
safety research into the public domain, corporations are ploughing
forward, constrained only by consumer tastes and trends. We don't want
a visible white paste on our bodies (nanomaterials help the sunscreen
disappear fast), therefore we must want nanotech.

Now public health advocates are calling for a "moratorium on the
commercialization of nanoproducts until the necessary safety research
has been conducted." And they specifically call on a precautionary
approach which shifts the burden of proof onto industry to demonstrate
product safety, calls for product labeling and transparent peer-
reviewed health and safety studies that become part of the public

In March 2006 the EPA issued 'voluntary' reporting guidelines (you've
heard this one before) which give no incentive to industry to invest
in product safety research much less reveal what little they may
actually know about the health effects of their nano-products. Time
and time again -- remember tobacco, asbestos, and lead? -- the profit
motive will always drive corporations to release products into the
market (our air, food, water and soil) even if they know the product
is dangerous to human health and the environment.

As reported in Rachel's #816, the insurance industry is deeply
concerned about the environmental and health effects of these largely
untested technologies. They understand that nanomaterials could be the
next asbestos liability debacle. It would be interesting to see a full
cost accounting (see Rachel's #765) of the potential benefits and
costs not only to industry but to the public that currently shoulders
the burden of proof with their tax dollars, endangered health and
degraded environment.

As the pharmaceutical industry has demonstrated -- operating within a
precautionary framework -- a better safe than sorry approach can work
for investors and consumers alike. Big pharma has been hugely
succesful under a system that demands precautionary pre-market testing
-- so successful that it's now under constant attack for using its
financial influence to corrupt the regulatory system. When industry
and the current regulatory agencies tell us they fear a precautionary
approach will 'stifle innovation', they really don't have a leg to
stand on.

In the meantime, I'll be heading for the fantasy nano-free section of
my supermarket for some non-nano sunscreen.

[1] Nanomaterials, sunscreens and cosmetics: small ingredients big
risks. Friends of the Earth, Washington, D.C. May 17, 2006 available
here and at www.foe.org


email address: fairness@...

website at: http://earthreleaf.htohananet.com/

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forest | 21 May 14:03 2006

the rotten side of organics

in the event you ever wish to be removed from this group e-
mailing, please click on reply and put the words "On Vacation" in
the subject line.....  you will be removed from the group mailing and will
not be placed back on again UNLESS you send me another e-mail with the
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some reason i forget.....all e-mailings will be sent out as blind copies.
aloha, f


The Satya Interview with Ronnie Cummins

Many compassionate consumers believe that buying organic food is the
only way to go. The label "organic" means refuge from pesticides,
chemicals and the damaging practices of the commercial food industry.
High-quality, mouth-watering, nutrient-rich produce -- all harvested
fresh from the farm, right? We tend to assume organic food producers
are all small farmers who combine ecologically sound farming practices
with a political agenda to promote and develop local sustainable food
systems. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) formed in 1998 after organic
consumers criticized the U.S. Department of Agriculture's proposed
national regulations for organic certification of food. Today the OCA,
a nonprofit public interest organization, strives for health, justice
and sustainability, and takes on such crucial issues as food safety,
industrial agriculture, corporate accountability and fair trade.

The OCA has been able to rally hundreds of thousands of consumers to
pressure the USDA and organic companies to preserve strict organic
standards. Kymberlie Adams Matthews had a chance to talk with OCA
founder and National Director, Ronnie Cummins about uniting forces to
challenge industrial agriculture, corporate globalization, and
inspiring consumers to "Buy local, organic, and fair made."

KAM: Can you discuss the corporate takeover of the organic food

RC: Well the good news is there is a huge demand on the part of health
conscious and environmentally conscious consumers for organic
products. On the downside, right now there is a shortage of organic
foods and ingredients in the marketplace. And unfortunately,
corporations are noting this huge demand and are not only moving into
the organic sector, but doing it in a way which is not helping
American farmers and ranchers go organic. Instead, they are basically
degrading organic standards, bending the rules and starting to
outsource from slave labor and exploitive nations such as China for
organic foods and ingredients.

KAM: What kind of impact is this having on our food?

RC: Well the most glaring example presently is the blatant disregard
for organic standards in the dairy sector. Right now 40 percent of
organic milk is coming from Horizon Organic and Aurora Organic,
producers who are both practicing intensive confinement of farmed
animals, allowing them no access to pasture. They are also regularly
importing calves from industrial farms and simply calling them
organic. These heifers have been weaned on blood, administered
antibiotics, and fed slaughterhouse waste and GMO grains. Again, this
is not helping thousands of humane family-scale farmers make the
transition to organic. Instead they are changing the rules and
allowing industrial agriculture to call it organic.

And then there is the corporate takeover of organic food brands.
This is a major trend, all the way from Unilever taking over Ben and
Jerry's to General Mills taking over Cascadian Farms and Muir Glen.
These transnationals deliberately conceal the names of the parent
corporation on the label because they know those corporations have
such a terrible reputation that consumers would be unlikely to want to
buy the products. Also, for the most part, they do not list the
country of origin on the label. So organic consumers continue to buy
their products, while remaining in the dark about who produced them
and where they were produced. For example, people who buy the top-
selling soy milk Silk, don't know that Silk is actually owned by Dean
Foods, the $10 billion dairy conglomerate notorious for bottom line
business practices such as injecting their cows with bovine growth
hormone and paying the lowest prices possible to dairy farmers. They
also don't know that the soy beans in Silk are likely coming in from
China and Brazil rather than the U.S. or North America.

What about the organic standards in China? Are they the same as here?
There has been a lot of criticism that Chinese organic products are
not really organic. But certainly the most incontestable fact about
Chinese organics is that the workers are paid nearly nothing for their
work. It is slave labor.

KAM: That's madness! What can we do about this?

RC: We are going to have to stop companies from outsourcing the
organic foods and ingredients that they can buy here. One way to do
that is to pressure companies to put the country of origin on their
label. Congress actually passed a law three years ago -- after
receiving a lot of pressure from consumers -- requiring country of
origin labels.

Unfortunately, they turned around and listened to corporate
agribusiness and never allocated the money for labeling enforcement.
Then last fall in the waning days of the Congressional session, they
passed a rider that would delay the country of origin labeling law for
at least two more years.

How important is food safety to American consumers today?

Eighty percent of American consumers tell pollsters they are very
concerned about food safety issues while the majority says they are
more concerned than they were last year! It's understandable. We have
alarming levels of food poisoning -- 87 million cases a year --
leading to
thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations. And
that's only the short-term damage. Consumers are becoming more and
more aware of the long-term damage -- the chronic sickness and illness
derived from the cheap food and junk food paradigm.

There was a story in the London Times that reports high levels of
benzene in soda pop! Nearly every day there is a story regarding mad
cow disease, pesticide levels, and toxic chemicals; yet the federal
government wants to restrict food labels. Two-thirds of organic
consumers say food safety is the primary reason for paying a premium
price for organic foods. The natural food and organic food market is
growing enormously. Ten cents out of every grocery store dollar is now
spent by consumers on products labeled either natural or organic.

KAM: I'm curious, what is the difference between "natural" and

RC: "Natural" is mainly a marketing tool. It simply means that there
are not supposed to be any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
in the product. But a lot of consumers are still learning about food
safety and they believe that "natural" products, like organic
products, are safer than foods that don't bear that label.

There has been a steady dynamic in the marketplace over the past ten
years. Companies that market "natural" products are tending to move to
"made with organic ingredients" and products marketed with "made with
organic ingredients" move on to "95 or 100 percent organic." There is
no doubt that within 5-10 years the majority of products in grocery
stores are going to bear a label that says "natural" or "organic." And
within 10 or 15 years most things will have an "organic" label on

KAM: But with the way things are going, what will the standards mean
by then?

RC: Well, that is what we are facing right now. If we allow
corporations to take over the organic sector and degrade organic
standards, then most organic products will be coming from China and
sold at Wal-Mart. And you will not be able to trust the label. We are
going to have to get better organized than we are now, both in the
marketplace and politically and make some fundamental changes in
policies. For example, right now there are no subsidies helping
American ranchers and farmers go organic. This is ridiculous given the
huge demand. So we are going to have to stop the $20 billion annual
subsidies going to industrial agriculture and intensive confinement
farming and start subsidizing the transition to organic.

We also obviously need to subsidize farms being able to adopt
renewable energy practices and to develop and expand local and
regional markets. Studies indicate that 25 percent of greenhouse
gasses in the U.S. are generated by industrial agriculture and long-
distance food transportation. We need to switch over to sustainable
practices if we are going to slow down and stop the climate chaos that
is accelerating. To fund this we're also going to have to stop the
administration's insane project for world domination and begin
dismantling the military-industrial complex.

KAM: In terms of transportation and its effects on the environment,
what is your take on local vs. organic produce?

RC: The Organic Consumers Association launched a long-term campaign
last fall called Breaking the chains: Buy local, organic, and fair
made. We believe it is time to raise the bar on organic standards. We
need to recognize that the label USDA Organic is a good first step,
but it is just the beginning. We have got to start reducing food miles
and reducing the greenhouse gas pollution by creating a food system
similar to what we had 60 years ago -- local and regional production
for local and regional markets. Family sized farms need to become the
norm again and not the exception. We also to need to think hard about
things, like 80 percent of the world's grain is going to feed animals,
not people, and begin eating lower on the food chain if we are going
to survive.

KAM: Fair made, I like that. Will the campaign touch on labor
practices on organic farms? People think organic means humane
treatment of workers, but that is not always the case.

RC: Thirty years ago, the roots of the new organic movement came out
of an anti-war, pro-civil rights, pro-justice movement. As the
founders of the new wave of food coops in the late-1960s, we believed
that organic meant justice as well as health and sustainability.
Unfortunately, the federal organic standards that the USDA passed in
2002 did not incorporate the demands of groups like the Organic
Consumers Association who said that social justice had to be criteria.
So they passed a very narrow definition of "organic" that just
included production methods in terms of pesticides, synthetic
chemicals and the impact on the environment. They didn't take into
consideration the treatment of small farmers or farm workers. So it
has been left to us as consumers to exert pressure in the marketplace
to make sure that organic means justice too.

We have seen a strong growth the last few years in the fair trade
movement which is now a $600 million market globally. And finally the
fair trade movement and the organic movement are starting to work
together. We are involved in a long-term project with a number of
organic companies and farm organizations to create a new Fair Trade or
Fair Made label, which will be both certified fair trade and certified
organic. We think this is necessary. Until we can get the USDA and the
government to see things the way we do, we need to have our own label
and be able to point out to consumers that the USDA label doesn't
include social justice as a criteria.

KAM: What do you think is the main problem facing the organic movement

RC: Part of the overall problem is that our social change and
progressive movement has been fragmented for the last 30 years.
Perhaps this fragmentation or specialization was initially beneficial
or necessary to understand and focus on all the issues and types of
oppression in our particular sectors and organize our sectors, but it
is time we start to bring it all together in a great synergy. The
movements for health, justice and sustainability must work together in
this age of Peak Oil, permanent war, and climate chaos.

If the organic community does not unite its forces with the anti-war
movement, with the movements for environmentalism, social justice,
animal rights, then we are not going to make any changes. As we say
increased market share for organic and fairtrade products in the age
of Armageddon and climate chaos is not going to count for very much.

We really have to stop thinking single issues and start thinking
movement building. For this reason, every one of the OCA's campaigns
is trying to reach out to other movements and show them that we are
willing to work in a holistic way to raise consciousness over the full
range of issues, and we are asking them to do the same.

For example right now I have been participating in a series of
national conference calls with the Climate Crisis Coalition. It is
very good to see that the climate crisis leaders understand that 25
percent of global greenhouse gasses are coming from industrial
agriculture and long-distance food transportation, and that we are not
going to stabilize the climate unless we convert global and U.S.
agriculture production to local and regional production. So they are
willing to help us as we lobby to change the farm bill and the yearly
agriculture appropriations.

KAM: It is so true. All of the movements are linked.

RC: It doesn't do any good to buy local, organic and fair made if you
then hop on an airplane or jump into a gas-guzzling car without
thinking . We have to take on the climate crisis issue together --
this is the number one issue in the world. If we don't stop this,
there isn't going to be any food period -- much less organic food for
the future generations. The same thing with the anti-war movement. We
have to start talking about solutions to permanent war. Not just bring
the troops home from this particular war. The reason we are in Iraq,
the reason we are probably going to start a war in Iran shortly, is
because of oil. We are going to keep having these wars until we have
energy independence -- until we convert our economy into something
that is renewable and sustainable. And we are not going to do this
with the organic community, the environmental community, the animal
rights community and the anti-war communities working on our different
issues in isolation. We have to create synergy between them all.

KAM: How did you get involved in the organic food movement?

RC: I grew up in Texas. In the 1960s I got involved in the civil
rights movement and in the anti-war movement. And part of what all the
participants in those movements understood at the time was that we had
to create one big movement to deal with all the interrelated issues.
Food and coops were a strategic part of what we called the New Left
and the counter-culture. Many consumer food cooperatives and the new
wave of the organic movement came out of the anti-war movement.

Frances Moore Lappe laid it out for a lot of us in Diet For a Small
Planet, "The act of putting into your mouth what the earth has grown
is perhaps your most direct interaction with the earth." In other
words, what you do with your knife and fork has a lot to do with world
peace and justice.

For more information visit www.organicconsumers.org.


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forest | 21 May 16:22 2006

email and website adjustments....

well, i am still using forest@... email address to send messages,
due to older outlook express formating problems with new account, but you
can now email me at the new address listed below, and soon that may be the
only address i will be able to receive emails from, so make sure to add that
new email address to your address book....

also earth releaf web site is now up again at a new url address listed
below....also if ever interested in what i am up to, you may now access
"natural life and health" discussion group archives without being a
member.....or if you like, feel free to join and contribute.....aloha and

email address: fairness@...

website at: http://earthreleaf.htohananet.com/

natural life and health discussion archives at:

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