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2015 has been declared the International Year of Soils by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Dr. Vandana Shiva, who has been at the forefront of the food democracy movement, wants to take the momentum from the victories for food sovereignty in 2014 and make 2015 an even bigger year.
Shiva recaps how food activists reclaimed seed freedom by rolling back seed laws that made it illegal to save seeds in Europe and Colombia, and how a judge overruled the arrest of farmers in Indonesia who saved their seeds. Proponents of GMO got desperate, suing Vermont, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island in Hawaii for wanting to know what's in their food.
A longtime crusader against multinational corporations' push for industrial, chemical farming, Shiva offers regenerative agriculture as the solution. "Organic farming and ecological agriculture is the answer to the havoc that has been created by fossil fuels."
Shiva compares us all to seeds, saying "for a while we might lie underground, but at the right moment we germinate and burst out with all of our potential." She said, "In the year of soil, let us celebrate the connections between Mother Earth and ourselves. We are, after all, of the Earth. We are all made of soil ... Let us stay united, let us stay strong, let us stay joyful."
Watch Dr. Vandana Shiva's new year message:
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The world awakened to the hole in the ozone layer in 1985, which scientists attributed it to ozone depleting substances. Two years later, in Montreal, the world agreed to ban the halogen compounds causing the massive hole over Antarctica. Research now shows that those chemicals didn't just cut a hole in the ozone layer, they also warmed up the Arctic.
Formosa Plant May Still Be Releasing Plastic Pollution in Texas After $50M Settlement, Activists Find
On the afternoon of Jan. 15, activist Diane Wilson kicked off a San Antonio Estuary Waterkeeper meeting on the side of the road across from a Formosa plastics manufacturing plant in Point Comfort, Texas.
After Wilson and the waterkeeper successfully sued Formosa, the company agreed to no longer release even one of the tiny plastic pellets known as nurdles into the region's waterways. The group of volunteers had assembled that day to check whether the plant was still discharging these raw materials of plastics manufacturing.
Malaysia Sends Plastic Waste Back to 13 Wealthy Countries, Says It Won’t Be 'the Rubbish Dump of the World'
The Southeast Asian country Malaysia has sent 150 shipping containers packed with plastic waste back to 13 wealthy countries, putting the world on notice that it will not be the world's garbage dump, as CNN reported. The countries receiving their trash back include the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada.