G7 Summit to Be Hosted at Trump’s Miami Resort and ‘Climate Change Will Not Be on the Agenda’
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney made two controversial announcements about the 2020 Group of Seven (G7) summit: it will be hosted at one of President Donald Trump's golf resorts in Miami and it won't feature any discussion of the climate crisis.
"Climate change will not be on the agenda," Mulvaney told reporters, as The Guardian reported.
Mulvaney's announcement isn't particularly surprising, The Washington Post pointed out. Trump skipped the session on climate at the G7 meeting in France this August and only sat in on the UN Climate Action Summit for 14 minutes in September. Anonymous White House advisers have also told The Washington Post that Trump had gotten annoyed when the topic came up at past summits and said he did not want to attend such meetings.
Trump is equally hostile to domestic climate change discussions. He told reporters he didn't "believe" his government's own National Climate Assessment report last year, and his administration has repeatedly moved to roll back Obama-era regulations designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
But the omission of climate from the 2020 G7 agenda is ironic considering the other controversy surrounding it — the fact that it will be hosted at the Trump National Doral Miami.
Ethics experts have called out the decision as corrupt, CNBC reported. The Doral's revenue has fallen 18 percent since Trump took office. Mulvaney countered charges that the president would benefit from the decision by saying the resort would host the summit "at cost," but that didn't satisfy critics.
"What is left of the executive branch ethics program if this is ok?" former director of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub tweeted.
Mulvaney is subject to @OfficeGovEthics regs that say “Employees shall not use public office for private gain” and “act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.” What is left of the executive branch ethics program if this is ok? https://t.co/HcEqjc5Pxx— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) October 17, 2019
But for climate advocates, the summit's location raised a different issue. Florida is already experiencing both stronger hurricanes and sea level rise, according to The Guardian. Miami in particular is seeing both record heat and "sunny-day flooding" as rising sea levels boost high tides, The Washington Post pointed out.
"It's deeply ironic that the US state most vulnerable immediately to climate change impacts will host a meeting at which global leaders will be forced by the US to largely ignore the topic," climate advisor to Bill Clinton Paul Bledsoe told The Guardian.
It’s 2073.— Librarianshipwreck (@libshipwreck) October 17, 2019
Some survivors paddle their raft over the ruins of a resort that was swallowed up by the rising seas of the climate catastrophe.
Leaning upon the till, the navigator says “I heard they held a G7 here, but climate change wasn’t on the agenda.”https://t.co/T0w8UJN8Dg
However, Bledsoe said that the president couldn't stop other leaders from raising the issue.
"The other nations will no doubt bring up climate change in both an economic and security context," Bledsoe told The Guardian. "The issue is going to come up frequently because it is increasingly a matter of public safety, national security and the economic costs of impacts."
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Returning the ‘Three Sisters’ – Corn, Beans and Squash – to Native American Farms Nourishes People, Land and Cultures
By Christina Gish Hill
Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.
Abundant Harvests<p>Historically, Native people throughout the Americas bred indigenous plant varieties specific to the growing conditions of their homelands. They selected seeds for many different traits, such as <a href="https://emergencemagazine.org/story/corn-tastes-better/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">flavor, texture and color</a>.</p><p>Native growers knew that planting corn, beans, squash and sunflowers together produced mutual benefits. Corn stalks created a trellis for beans to climb, and beans' twining vines secured the corn in high winds. They also certainly observed that corn and bean plants growing together tended to be healthier than when raised separately. Today we know the reason: Bacteria living on bean plant roots pull nitrogen – an essential plant nutrient – from the air and <a href="http://www.tilthalliance.org/learn/resources-1/almanac/october/octobermngg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">convert it to a form that both beans and corn can use</a>.</p><p>Squash plants contributed by shading the ground with their broad leaves, preventing weeds from growing and retaining water in the soil. Heritage squash varieties also had spines that discouraged deer and raccoons from visiting the garden for a snack. And sunflowers planted around the edges of the garden created a natural fence, protecting other plants from wind and animals and attracting pollinators.</p><p>Interplanting these agricultural sisters produced bountiful harvests that sustained large Native communities and <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/eam.2015.0016" target="_blank">spurred fruitful trade economies</a>. The first Europeans who reached the Americas were shocked at the abundant food crops they found. My research is exploring how, 200 years ago, Native American agriculturalists around the Great Lakes and along the Missouri and Red rivers fed fur traders with their diverse vegetable products.</p>
Displaced From the Land<p>As Euro-Americans settled permanently on the most fertile North American lands and acquired seeds that Native growers had carefully bred, they imposed policies that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1086/ahr/87.2.550" target="_blank">made Native farming practices impossible</a>. In 1830 President Andrew Jackson signed the <a href="https://guides.loc.gov/indian-removal-act" target="_blank">Indian Removal Act</a>, which made it official U.S. policy to force Native peoples from their home locations, pushing them onto subpar lands.</p><p>On reservations, U.S. government officials discouraged Native women from cultivating anything larger than small garden plots and pressured Native men to practice Euro-American style monoculture. Allotment policies assigned small plots to nuclear families, further limiting Native Americans' access to land and preventing them from using communal farming practices.</p><p>Native children were forced to attend boarding schools, where they had no opportunity to <a href="https://doi.org/10.5749/jamerindieduc.57.1.0145" target="_blank">learn Native agriculture techniques or preservation and preparation of Indigenous foods</a>. Instead they were forced to eat Western foods, turning their palates away from their traditional preferences. Taken together, these policies <a href="https://kansaspress.ku.edu/978-0-7006-0802-7.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">almost entirely eradicated three sisters agriculture</a> from Native communities in the Midwest by the 1930s.</p>
Reviving Native Agriculture<p>Today Native people all over the U.S. are working diligently to <a href="https://www.oupress.com/books/15107980/indigenous-food-sovereignty-in-the-united-sta" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">reclaim Indigenous varieties of corn, beans, squash, sunflowers and other crops</a>. This effort is important for many reasons.</p><p>Improving Native people's access to healthy, culturally appropriate foods will help lower rates of <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/aian-diabetes/index.html" target="_blank">diabetes</a> and <a href="https://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/ethnicity-health/native-american/obesity" target="_blank">obesity</a>, which affect Native Americans at disproportionately high rates. Sharing traditional knowledge about agriculture is a way for elders to pass cultural information along to younger generations. Indigenous growing techniques also protect the lands that Native nations now inhabit, and can potentially benefit the wider ecosystems around them.</p>
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