Even Climate Denier Glenn Beck Calls Trump's New Chief Strategist Steve Bannon 'Terrifying'
Donald Trump's selection of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist and senior advisor is "terrifying" for many reasons. Stories published under his watch as executive chairman of the alt-right website Breitbart News include racist, homophobic and sexist rhetoric and headlines. Not only that, Bannon's role as the president-elect's top White House advisor is a major red flag to the climate movement.
Trump's War on the Green Blob Will Make (Almost) All of Us Richer, Happier, and Freer https://t.co/Vci4NkrZeU https://t.co/WsUV7gEM9a— Breitbart London (@Breitbart London)1479145980.0
"President-elect Trump's choice of Steve Bannon as his top aide signals that white supremacists will be represented at the highest levels in Trump's White House," a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said about the former Goldman Sachs investment banker.
Even climate-denier Glenn Beck warned that Bannon "is a guy who wants to tear this system down and replace it with a new system. He is a frightening … no, he is a terrifying man. A terrifying man."
While Bannon hasn't specifically talked about his climate plans, he bragged to Mother Jones in July that his site had become "the platform for the alt-right." Well, this platform harbors a clear disgust for environmentalists and environmental policy.
Let's take a look at some of the anti-climate stories and sample quotes published by Breitbart writers.
- Sample quote: "Once other countries see the effects of Trump's anti-renewables, pro-fossil-fuel revolution, they'll find it harder to justify to their electorates the massive costs of the lunatic green energy policy by which the West has been held to ransom these last few decades."
Trump—who believes climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese and literally said, "The wind kills all your birds" and solar is "not working so good"—has made no bones about his support of fossil fuels and vows to undo "all job-destroying Obama executive actions" such as the Clean Power Plan.
#StephenHawking + 374 Top Scientists: #Trump's Climate Denial Would Have 'Severe, Long-Lasting' Consequences https://t.co/P8eOvvmHNm— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1474467831.0
- Sample quote: "The whole global warming scare isn't really about 'the science' and never was about 'the science.' Always, but always, it has been about the cynical exploitation of mass crowd hysteria and about the sly manipulation by activists and crony capitalists of the political system in order to advance the cause of global governance ... None of the people involved in this scam deserve the merest scintilla of respect. They are pure scum. They have not a single redeeming quality and everything they do is worthless—as I shall not hesitate to remind them from now on."
Just yesterday, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced at the Morocco climate summit that 2016 will most likely be Earth's hottest year and that "long-term climate change indicators are also record breaking." The organization deemed October's Hurricane Matthew as its "most significant" weather event due to the sheer number of casualties in Haiti (546 confirmed deaths and 438 injured as a result of the hurricane) and the major damage it caused in Cuba, Bahamas and in the U.S. southeastern coast.
"Because of climate change, the occurrence and impact of extreme events has risen. 'Once in a generation' heatwaves and flooding are becoming more regular. Sea level rise has increased exposure to storm surges associated with tropical cyclones," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
- Sample quote: "The latest survey conducted by Washington-based Pew Research Center shows only 27 percent of Americans think that 'almost all' climate scientists hold human behavior responsible for climate change, and only 48 percent think global climate change is 'due to human activity.' ... This clashes with the frequent media assertion that Americans readily trust the so-called overwhelming 'consensus' on climate change."
Hey, polls are polls (and there are always conflicting ones, at that). Despite the near-scientific consensus that human activity causes climate change, the unfortunate truth is that most Americans give environmental issues low priority. Climate change was all but ignored at the presidential debates, after all. Per the Washington Post: "Here's a depressing statistic if you're worried about climate change: 63 percent of Americans say they're concerned about the issue, but only 47 percent think the government should do anything about it."
With Bannon and a climate-denier-in-chief steering our ship, looks like any environmental regulation is getting tossed overboard. For the sake of our human existence, we can't let that happen.
10 Biggest Threats to Human Existence http://t.co/zb31nJV6a9 @AlterNet #climate @metoffice @350— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1406594716.0
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By Gwen Ranniger
In the midst of a pandemic, sales of cleaning products have skyrocketed, and many feel a need to clean more often. Knowing what to look for when purchasing cleaning supplies can help prevent unwanted and dangerous toxics from entering your home.
1. Fragrance – Avoid It<p>One of the fastest ways to narrow down your product options is immediately eliminating any product that promotes a fragrance, or parfum. That scent of "fresh breeze" or lemon might initially smell good, but the fragrance does not last. What does last? The concoction of various undisclosed and unregulated chemicals that created that fragrance.</p><p>Many fragrances contain phthalates, which are linked to many health risks including reproductive problems and cancer.</p>
2. With Bleach? Do Without<p>Going scent-free should have narrowed down your options substantially – now, check the front of the remaining packaging. Any that include ammonia or chlorine bleach ought to go, as these substances are irritating and corrosive to your body. While bleach is commonly known as a powerful disinfectant, there are safer alternatives that you can use in your home, such as sodium borate or hydrogen peroxide.</p><p>While you're at it, check if there are any warnings on the label – "flammable," "use in ventilated area," etc. – if the product is hazardous, that's a red flag and should be avoided.</p>
3. Check the Back Label<p>Flip to the back of the remaining contenders and check out that ingredient list. Less is more, here. Opt for a shorter ingredient list with words you recognize and/or can pronounce.</p><p>You may notice many products do not have ingredient lists – while this doesn't necessarily mean they contain toxic ingredients, transparency is key. Feel free to look up a list online, or stick to products that are open about their ingredients.</p>
4. Ingredients to Avoid<p>We already mentioned that cleaners containing fragrance or parfum, and bleach or ammonia should be avoided, but there are other ingredients to look out for as well.</p><ul><li>Quaternary ammonium "quats" – lung irritants that contribute to asthma and other breathing problems. Also linger on surfaces long after they've been cleaned.</li><li>Parabens – Known hormone disruptor; can contribute to ailments such as cancer</li><li>Triclosan – triclosan and other antibacterial chemicals are registered with the EPA as pesticides. Triclosan is a known hormone disruptor and can also impact your immune system.</li><li>Formaldehyde – Causes irritation of eyes, nose, and throat; studies suggest formaldehyde exposure is linked with certain varieties of cancer. Can be found in products or become a byproduct of chemical reactions in the air.</li></ul>
Cleaning Products and Toxics: The Bottom Line<p>Do your research. There are many cleaning products available, but taking these steps will drastically reduce your options and help keep your home toxic-free. Protecting your home from bacteria and viruses is important, but make sure you do so in a way that doesn't introduce other health risks into the home.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.ehn.org/how-to-shop-for-cleaning-products-while-avoiding-toxics-2648130273.html" target="_blank">Environmental Health News</a>. </em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649054624#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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Twenty-five years ago, a food called Tofurky made its debut on grocery store shelves. Since then, the tofu-based roast has become a beloved part of many vegetarians' holiday feasts.
By Jessica Corbett
A leading environmental advocacy group marked Native American Heritage Month on Wednesday by urging President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Kamala Harris, and the entire incoming administration "to honor Indigenous sovereignty and immediately halt the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Line 3 pipelines."
- Climate Crisis: What We Can Learn From Indigenous Traditions ... ›
- 10 Organizations Honoring Native People on Thanksgiving ... ›
- Biden Vows to Ax Keystone XL if Elected - EcoWatch ›
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>
By Jake Johnson
Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.