Pro Surfers vs. GMOs: New Film Explores Hawaii's Growing Anti-GMO Movement
Some of the world’s greatest surfers—including Kelly Slater, John John Florence, Sebastian Zietz and Dustin Barca—convened on the North Shore of Oahu last December to protest the operations of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) on the Hawaiian Islands, according to Surfing For Change.
Filmmaker Kyle Thiermann, host and creator of Surfing For Change, released the short documentary Pro Surfers vs. GMOs last week, which documented the longboard uprising and explored the surfers' objections.
While on Oahu, Thiermann interviewed casual beach-goers at the Pipeline Pro surf contest, met up with pro surfers and activists to get their perspective on GMOs, joined a march against Monsanto in Haleiwa with hundreds of protestors and ventured to Ma'o Organic Farms on the West Side of Oahu to document solutions for a more sustainable food system in Hawaii.
"There's such an unknown with the longterm effects of all the pesticides, and the herbicides and genetically modified seeds," said 11-time surfing world champion Slater. "Humans are kind of messing with science and just because you can doesn't mean you should."
The anti-GMO surfer initiative is part of a larger battle gaining momentum in the U.S. and other countries between critics who say GMO crops and the toxic pesticides used on them contribute to health and environmental dangers and proponents who argue genetically engineering crops are essential to increasing global food production.
"There's no research done that says they're good," said pro surfer and MMA fighter Barca. "When you look into most of the pockets of these scientists who are fighting for GMO, they're usually bought off by [GMO] companies and have a biased opinion."
Hawaiian islands are a popular experimentation and testing ground for biotech crops for many companies due to an ideal year-round climate, said Thiermann.
Visit EcoWatch’s GMO page for more related news on this topic.
By Itai Vardi
A recent intensification in protests against Williams Partners' planned Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania prompted a state senator to propose legislation aimed at limiting demonstrations.
Last month, Pennsylvania Sen. Scott Martin (R-Norman) announced his intention to introduce legislation that would pass the costs of law enforcement responding to protests onto the demonstrators. Martin also helped introduce a different bill that would criminalize protests at natural gas facilities.
The so-called "first and last mile" problem is one of the biggest hurdles with public transportation. How do you encourage more people to take Earth-friendlier commutes when their homes are miles away from the train or bus station?
One solution, as this Estonian electric scooter company proposes, is to simply take your commute with you—literally. Tallinn-based Stigo has developed a compact e-scooter that folds to the size of a rolling suitcase in about two seconds.
[Editor's note: I'm still in shock after hearing the news that Lucia Grenna passed away in her sleep last week. When we first met in April of 2014 at a Copenhagen hotel, I was immediately taken by here powerful presence. We spent the next couple days participating in a Sustainia climate change event where Lucia presented her audacious plans to connect people to the climate issue. I had the chance to partner with Lucia on several other projects throughout the years and work with her incredible Connect4Climate team. I was always in awe of her ability to "make the impossible possible." Her spirit will live on forever. — Stefanie Spear]
It is with a heavy heart that Connect4Climate announces the passing of its founder and leading light, Lucia Grenna. Lucia passed peacefully in her sleep on June 15, well before her time. We remember her for her leadership and extraordinary ability to motivate people to take on some of the greatest challenges of our time, not least climate change.
By Stacy Malkan
Neil deGrasse Tyson has inspired millions of people to care about science and imagine themselves as participants in the scientific process. What a hopeful sign it is to see young girls wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the words, "Forget princess, I want to be an astrophysicist."
As Trevor Noah noted during The Daily Show episode last night (starts at 2:25), the real reason Trump has these rallies is to "get back in front of his loyal crowds and feed of their energy." Noah believes that "Trump supporters are so on board with their dude he can say anything and they'll come along for the ride."
By Katie O'Reilly
Two years ago—long before coal became one of the most dominant and controversial symbols of the 2016 presidential election—Bloomberg Philanthropies approached production company RadicalMedia with the idea of creating a documentary exploring the U.S. coal mining industry. Last spring, they brought on Emmy-nominated director Michael Bonfiglio, tasked with forging a compelling story out of the multitudes of facts, statistics and narratives underlying the declining industry.