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It has been a common household name in over-the-counter pain relief for more than 50 years. But the popular painkiller drug Tylenol is getting a major labeling makeover following a string of personal injury lawsuits. According to the Associated Press (AP), so many Tylenol...
There are parts of the world less free than others, but apparently, these days, the tyranny in the United Kingdom can begin before you're even born. Incredibly, according to British reports, government social workers have forcibly removed a baby from its mother, all...
Chick-fil-A announces major changes in 2014, eliminating HFCS, artificial dyes and butane derivative
The growing fast food company Chick-fil-A, boasting over 1,700 stores in 39 states, has announced major changes coming in 2014. Moving in the right direction, Chick-fil-A is preparing to change some of the ingredients used in their fast food. High-fructose corn syrup...
A mother of three has met the brutal hand of the insanely powerful biotechnology industry, which recently sent a duo of thugs to literally beat her relentlessly after earlier threatening to murder her. GM Watch reports that Sofia Gatica, who has successfully spearheaded...
Americans in state of shock as 80 million more health insurance cancellations now expected under Obamacare
In the days of Richard Nixon, amidst the chaos and scandal of Watergate, the president uttered this most famous of all political quotes in an interview with the Washington Post, the newspaper that broke the story: "I am not a crook." Well, of course, it turns out...
The World Health Organization reports that 121 million people worldwide are clinically depressed. This number includes one in ten Americans. Alarmingly, depression is increasing at a rate of 20% annually. Why has depression become such an issue? Here are eight...
Cold weather, low humidity levels and wind are factors that can really dry out and damage your skin, especially when central heaters are used at home. How can one alleviate dryness and help skin stay moist and healthy through the coldest months of the year? Moisturize...
It is a fact that, legal or illegal, marijuana will always be around. Those that grow, sell and buy it will always find a way to, well, grow, sell and buy it, no matter how the government feels about the issue. The question is, do the individual states want in on this...
What if you thought your salads were giving you lots of nutrients, and your fruit was rewarding your body with vitamins, and you drank lots of water all the time? Wouldn't you assume that you are fairly healthy? You could be eating dead food that sounds healthy and heading...
A new Chinese meta-analysis study has found a huge increase in breast cancer risk for women after having an abortion and that the risk appears to continue to increase after each subsequent abortion. In the study, researchers found that the overall risk of developing...
Most Americans realize there is waste, fraud and abuse in virtually all government programs. That includes the government's various and sundry welfare programs. But when you actually hear someone who is living large on your dime say without a morsel of guilt or regret...
Garlic, which has been grown and cultivated for more than 5,000 years, is a highly respected food medicine in various cultures. It drives away bacteria, fights infections and preserves food from outside contaminates. Garlic - ancient medicine known for "warding off...
Over the last 30 years, childhood obesity has doubled in young children and tripled in teens. Approximately one out of every three children are overweight or obese in the United States today, and children in the African American and Hispanic community are experiencing...
In the age of fast-moving technology and automation comes now another concept that is sure to kill more jobs while raising the level of concern about privacy in the 21st century. A California company, Knightscope, has developed a small robot that it plans to market...
Few Long-Lasting Impacts Found
The latest independent monitoring report, plus $2m of Government funding to help improve New Zealand’s maritime response capability, coming two years after the wreck of MV Rena, is welcome news. The report shows few long-lasting impacts on Bay of Plenty maritime habitats. MV Rena, a Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned container ship that grounded on Otaiti (Astrolabe Reef) just 7 km off the coast of Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty on the North Island.
According to University of Waikato Chair in Coastal Science Professor Chris Battershill, “While there is still some evidence from time to time of heightened Rena-sourced contaminant levels in kaimoana (seafood) species on some of the beaches, and northern parts of Motiti [Island], the vast majority of kaimoana and other species have survived, and no evidence has been found of any catastrophic die-off,” he said.
The monitoring is part of the Government’s $2.4 million Rena Long Term Environmental Recovery Plan. The 460-page report’s main goal is an unusual one in the existing world view, which generally focuses on the monetary aspects of any major project that involves government agencies, NGO’s, the public and especially, indigenous people.
In this case, it is heart-warming and in keeping with New Zealand’s strong environmental consciousness. The Report’s opening paragraphs spell it out.
“The Rena Long-term Environmental Recovery Plan sets the goal and objectives of the long-term environmental recovery following the grounding of Rena on Otaiti (Astrolabe Reef). It describes the environmental issues and outlines the action that will be undertaken to address them.‘Toitu te Moana a Toi. Toitu te Iwi’: if the mana (force) of Te Moana (the sea) a Toi (summit) is restored, so the mana of the iwi (tribe) is strengthened. The Long-term Environmental Recovery Plan is critical to restoring the affected environment, including its people. ‘Whakarongo ki a Tangaroa. He tohu.’ Listen to Tangaroa (god of the sea). He will give a sign. This saying means you must stay in touch with the environment.”
Initially, when MV Rena hit the rocky, sacred Maori reef, spewing containers and heavy fuel-oil into the sea, killing hundreds of birds and sending the oil creeping onto the pristine beaches, the Motiti Islanders were devastated. Their island was inundated with press, workers on the salvage rigs and government officials all wanting to see for themselves. Their traditions and their matauranga (traditional wisdom) were ignored all the while their sacred reef was being damaged by the wreck and debris.
That changed over the first few months, as iwi from around the area independently went ahead cleaning beaches and helping in the restoration work, using their innate knowledge of the sea, the area and their culture. Coordinating entities began asking for advice and when the Recovery Plan was presented on 26 January 2012, it was clear the authorities had been listening. Dr Kepa Morgan, a bi-cultural Professor at the University of Auckland launched the project “How do we return the mauri (life principle of the area) to its pre-Rena state?”
Dr Morgan has developed a Mauri Model that “assesses the environmental impact of decision choices as indicators grouped in four equally weighted mauri dimensions: environmental, cultural, social and economic well-being. The impact upon mauri is determined as the change in life supporting capacity of the indicator being considered.” The model combines both scientific knowledge and cultural aspects in equal parts.
Although this model is still not used extensively throughout the New Zealand government, with the Rena Long-term Environmental Recovery Plan, there is hope that these principles will soon be included in many more projects as the results provide proof over the years, that incorporating the Mauri Model, in whatever culture it is used, is beneficial to all.Some Rena Facts Courtesy Maritime New Zealand
- At the height of the response, around 800 people were involved in the oil spill response team, including members of the incident command centre (ICC), and beach clean-up and wildlife response teams.
- Around 500 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel were involved at the height of the response.
- Around 8,000 volunteers joined the response, contributing more than 19,000 hours to the clean-up.
- Around 150 local businesses and organisations provided support to the response.
- Beach clean-up crews collected more than 1,000 tonnes of oily waste from the coastline.
- A team of about 90 salvors from Svitzer and SMIT were actively engaged in the operation.
- 1,733 tonnes of heavy fuel oil (HFO) on board Rena when it grounded, with around 350 tonnes estimated to have been lost overboard in the first week and further smaller amounts subsequently.
- 1368 containers were listed on the original manifest. Salvors have recovered 1039, with 329 unrecovered, either trapped in inaccessible parts of the wreck or lost to the sea.
- Oiled wildlife treatment and rehabilitation facility set up by The National Oiled Wildlife Response Team, led by Massey University, capable of housing 500 birds.
- 407 birds in care at the facility at the peak of the response,
- A total of 375 little blue penguins cleaned and released in a staged process from 22 November 2011.
- 60 endangered New Zealand dotterels were pre-emptively caught to protect them from oil, and progressively released from 25 November 2011.
- A total of 2030 dead birds collected, of which 1367 were oiled.
With this new ordinance we are conveying that instead of global agribusiness corporations, we want to encourage and support community-based farming and ranching.
Superstorm Sandy caused unprecedented damage along large areas of the Jersey Shore. Many areas were flooded, not by the ocean, but by rising waters in the bays behind the barrier islands. These waters inundated towns causing damage that is still being repaired. Was this severe storm an anomaly, or can we expect more in the future? Geoscientists at Rutgers and Tufts universities estimate that the New Jersey shore will likely experience a sea-level rise of about 1.5 feet by 2050 and of about 3.5 feet by 2100 – 11 to 15 inches higher than the average for sea-level rise globally over the century. That would mean, the scientists say, that by the middle of the century, the one-in-10 year flood level at Atlantic City would exceed any flood known there from the observational record, including Superstorm Sandy.
Author Ken Saro-Wiwa spear-headed the resistance of the Ogoni people of the Niger Delta against environmental devastation from oil drilling and ruptured oil pipelines. He was executed in 1995. Dr Laurence Cox introduces his last letters.
Last month, the White House Rural Council released a report highlighting the economic importance of reauthorizing the Farm Bill, the United States' primary food and agriculture policy tool. The bill—which impacts food prices, environmental conservation programs, international trade, agricultural research, food and nutrition programs, and the well-being of rural communities—has been stalled in congress for over a year, in part due to disagreement over reductions to the food stamp program. House Republicans aim to cut $40 billion in food stamp funds over the next 10 years, while Senate Democrats aim to cut only $4 billion.
Campaign groups from over 30 countries have condemned the tactics of the US and other rich countries at the WTO talks in Bali this week -accusing them of 'holding the summit to ransom' by opposing a fairer deal on agriculture for developing countries.