Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Ecorazzi recently posted about a new line of faux fur, Imposter, which has received tons of celebrity support. Each faux piece sports a blinging "IM" embellishment, indicating it's an Imposter. I suppose that only means something for people who know what Imposter is...

The faux doesn't look faux at all. I know there is a movement against faux fur, which holds that its use encourages the use of real fur. But if you want to sport some fur without taking it from an animal, Imposter is a great way to go. You can also pick which animal charity you would like a portion of your payment to go to.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Skin Trade: what's your skin worth?

Check out this documentary coming out on the fur industry:

Admittedly, the trailer is kind of odd. What's with the intro and weird background music?

Visit Skin Trade The Movie for more info

Thursday, February 18, 2010

eco woes: Obama continues to disappoint

If you've been following Obama Watch: The Environment on The Colonic, it should come as no surprise that my profound disappointment in Obama only grows. (Note my shock that the League of Conseravtion Voters rated him a B+...more on this in another post).

Earlier this week, Obama announced a loan guarentee of $8.3 billion for the construction of two nuclear reactors in Georgia.

In his speech, Mr. Obama portrayed the decision as part of a broad strategy
to increase employment and the generation of clean power. But he also made clear
that the move was a bid to gain Republican support for a broader energy

...Don Stewart, a spokesman for the Republican Senate leader, Mitch
McConnell, said that Mr. McConnell had repeatedly praised Mr. Obama for favoring
additional loan guarantees for nuclear power plants. But, he said, this would
not translate into support for a cap on carbon dioxide emissions.

“It won’t cause Republicans to support the national energy tax,” Mr.
Stewart said. He added that Republican and Democratic ideas on energy policy
overlapped in some areas, but that much of Mr. Obama’s energy program did not
fall into those areas. full article

In short, 3 things have happened:

a) Obama has taken a step backward in clean energy and conservation.
b) The regression will not even have the added benefit of garnering Republican support for energy reform.
c) Environmentalists are not happy.

Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, whose political arm endorsed
Mr. Obama’s candidacy for president, said that Mr. Obama’s recent policy
emphasis amounted to “unilateral disarmament.”

“We were hopeful last year; he was saying all the right things,” Mr. Pica
said. “But now he has become a full-blown nuclear power proponent, a startling
change over the last few months.”

“I think we all had higher hopes,” said Bill Snape, senior counsel for the
Center for Biological Diversity. “We expected a lot in the first year, and
everyone agrees they didn’t quite live up to it. But there is recognition that
he and the whole administration will get another stab at it.”
Mr. Snape said
his group was particularly disappointed that the administration did not
designate the polar bear as endangered by global warming and that it could not
push a climate change bill through Congress.

“You can’t get anything right,” he said, “unless you get the polar bear

Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, one
of the administration’s most stalwart supporters up to now, also expressed
disappointment in the president’s new focus on nuclear power and his mention in
the State of the Union address of “clean coal technologies.” full article

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sea Shepherd activist sneaks onto whaling boat to execute citizens arrest

Ecorazzi reports:
Both the Sea Shepherd and the Institute of Cetacean Research are reporting that Pete Bethune, captain of the sunk Ady Gil, earlier today boarded the Japanese whaling security vessel that hit his boat.

According to Paul Watson, Bethune boarded the Shonan Maru No 2 under the cover of darkness using a jet ski — most likely the same one that was on-board the Ady-Gil. “His mission is to attempt a citizens arrest of the skipper of Shonan Maru No 2 for the destruction of the Ady Gil and attempted murder of six Ady Gil crew,” Captain Watson said.

He said Mr Bethune had a bill for $3 million to present to the Japanese boat’s skipper and a demand for surrender.

Watson added that he anticipated Bethune would be kept as a prisoner — but more likely is the fact that there’s no easy way to return him. In a press release, the ICR noted that a similar stunt by the Sea Shepherd two years ago ended when an Australian ship acted as a mediator and returned two activists that had illegally boarded.

“In this latest incident, there is no vessel available to act as a go between to return Mr Bethune,” the press release concluded.

More details as we get them.

[UPDATE: From a Sea Shepherd release]

Captain Bethune boarded the whaling ship under cover of darkness from a Jet Ski as the Shonan Maru 2 was travelling at 14 knots in the Southern Ocean. His first attempt failed when he fell into the frigid waters, but despite this the crew of the Shonan Maru 2 failed to see him and he successfully boarded the whaler without detection.

Captain Bethune’s breaching the security of the whaling fleet security vessel remained undetected for one and a half hours.

At 0800 Hours, once the sun had risen, Captain Bethune calmly knocked on the bridge wing door, entered the wheelhouse, and presented himself to the Captain of Shonan Maru 2 where he informed the skipper that he was under arrest for the sinking of the Sea Shepherd ship Ady Gil on January 6th, 2010.

All radio communications with Peter Bethune ceased at 0805. The Shonan Maru 2 did acknowledge that Bethune was onboard.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

toilet sludge growing your food

As if hormones, genetic modification, nutritional deficiency, and unsustainable agricultural practices weren't bad enough, here comes sewage sludge. The following information is made available by the Organic Consumers Association and the Institute For Agriculture and Trade Policy:

Several million dry tons of sewage sludge, also known as biosolids, are used as fertilizer on agricultural lands and given away or sold for use by homeowners and landscape contractors annually in the U.S. Sewage sludge is the semi-solid to solid matter left over following municipal wastewater treatment. It commonly contains nutrient-rich fecal matter along with bacteria, viruses, parasites, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and other chemical contaminants—many known to cause health effects.

For farmers, sludge is a less expensive alternative to synthetic fertilizers, but use of sewage sludge as fertilizer for food production increases our risk of exposure to sludge
contaminants and their associated health effects. Due to the persistent nature of some of these contaminants, repeated applications to the same piece of land can increase soil contaminant levels and possibly food contaminant levels for centuries to come.

What’s in sludge?

Though the types and levels of contaminants in sludge are
variable, sludge contaminants fall into three main groups,

1. Disease-causing microbes. Sewage treatment reduces but does not eliminate disease-causing microbes in sludge. Those commonly found in sludge include: 18 human-excreted viruses, including Hepatitis A and Polio; 19 parasites, including Cryptosporidium and Giardia; and 31 bacteria, including strains causing food poisoning (Salmonella and E. coli 0157:H7), as well as more virulent, antibiotic-resistant strains.

2. Synthetic chemicals. More than 500 synthetic chemical compounds, typically derived from fossil fuels, have been identified to date in various sludges, including chemicals from medicines and consumer products such as antidepressants, steroids, flame retardants, detergents, fragrances, disinfectants and more. Other chemicals still detectable in present-day sludge, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), have been banned from use for decades.

3. Heavy metals. Arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury and other heavy metals are commonly detected in sludge, though concentrations have decreased for some metals over time. Also, radioactive material, both naturally occurring and from human-made sources (such as feces and urine from people undergoing radiation therapy), can be found in sludge.

While I took this information verbatim from the OCA, please follow the link to reach the PDF if you are curious about sources behind these facts (Click on "read more" under "Smart Guide on Slude Use and Food Production").

What can we do about sludge? I will be posting on this more to come, but for now: buy certified organic when possible, get to know farmers at local markets and inquire as to their farming practice, plant your own food (urban/community gardening), and get in touch with your elected officials. I will be posting sludge campaign information as it comes to my attention.

More on the history of sludge.