Jun 7, 2013

Rent a Goat !!! Rent a Ruminant!!! New Business Model!!!

Tammy Dunakin has created a goat-based lawn care business, offering a green (and quiet!) alternative to gas-powered mowers. Major corporations like Google are already taking part in this lawn care revolution -- will you?


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My goats are your garden's best friend - YouTube

China’s Growing Hunger for Meat Shown by Move to Buy Smithfield | EPI


JUNE 06, 2013
Janet Larsen

Half the world’s pigs—more than 470 million of them—live in China, but even that may not be enough to satisfy the growing Chinese appetite for meat. While meat consumption in the United States has fallen more than 5 percent since peaking in 2007, Chinese meat consumption has leapt 18 percent, from 64 million to 78 million (metric) tons—twice as much as in the United States. Pork is by far China’s favorite protein, which helps to explain the late-May announced acquisition of U.S. meat giant Smithfield Foods Inc., the world’s leading pork producer, by the Chinese company Shuanghui International, owner of China’s largest meat processor. China already buys more than 60 percent of the world’s soybean exports to feed to its own livestock and has been a net importer of pork for the last five years. Now the move for Chinese companies is to purchase both foreign agricultural land and food-producing companies outright.

Full Article: Data Highlights - 39: China’s Growing Hunger for Meat Shown by Move to Buy Smithfield | EPI

Restoration of the Gulf of Mexico can’t wait - The Washington Post

By Bob Graham and William K. Reilly, Published: May 31

Bob Graham is a former governor and U.S. senator from Florida. William K. Reilly was administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during the George H.W. Bush administration and is a past president of the World Wildlife Fund. They co-chaired the National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

Almost daily, some mention is made of the billions of dollars in fines and penalties that might come from BP and its contractors in resolving the litigation that resulted from the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

What the American people don’t hear about is the unacceptably slow progress in repairing the damage to one of the world’s most productive natural resources. Although oil and gas production is important, the United States also depends on the gulf for much of its seafood (half the production in the lower 48 states), and many residents along the coast depend on a healthy gulf for their livelihoods in fishing, recreational industries and tourism.

Jun 6, 2013

Mark Shepard, New Forest Farm and Forest Agriculture Enterprises - YouTube

Published on May 30, 2013

Shepard's latest book, Restoration Agriculture has a trade mark management technique, STUN, Sheer, Total, Utter, Neglect.

Time to start working with nature, not against it | Iowa City Press Citizen | press-citizen.com

Jun. 2, 2013
Written by
Jan Glendening

Iowa is filled with river towns. And yet again we are seeing these rivers rise to heights that should be seen only once in a lifetime.

Our instincts tell us to control and defy these costly floods, and then get back to normal as quickly as possible. Local, state and federal policies support this approach. That makes sense on the surface, but this has become a vicious cycle.

After 20 years of unmanageable and costly floods, we know that nobody wins with our current land management. Floods are among the most expensive natural disasters, resulting in billions of dollars of damages in the U.S. every year. We need to stop repeating the mistakes of the past and make a conscious effort to invest in our future.

So how do we do this?

First we need to realize that record breaking floods are becoming more frequent and how we use our land is a contributing factor. Economic forces have resulted in a dramatic loss of pastures, grasslands and hay production in favor of corn and soybean production. These changes have reduced the overall water holding capacity of our soil and are contributing to flood events even during relatively light precipitation events. With conservation practices in tandem with agricultural land use changes, scientists predict the most damaging floods will become more frequent in coming decades.

It’s time for a different approach. We must be proactive and innovative. We need an approach that addresses the needs of farms, communities and the environment simultaneously. Such an approach can reduce damages while improving the health of soil and rivers. There is a payoff: a study by the National Institute of Building Sciences estimated that for every dollar we spend on flood mitigation, we save $4 in future damages.

Working with nature, not against it, will provide multiple benefits. We need flood walls and levees, but nature is an essentialpart of the solution, too. Many of the natural solutions that can alleviate the impacts of flooding will provide benefits for all people: improved water quality, hunting and fishing and soil quality for farming are just a few. Strategically targeted areas of flood compatible land along our rivers and streams allow floodwater to spread out across the landscape without causing significant damage. Wetlands hold water on the landscape — one acre of wetland can store one million gallons of water.

We also would benefit from widespread adoption of flood reduction practices on our farm land. Cover crops, which are grown to protect exposed soil in the winter, are a practice that can be used on all agricultural land and have been shown to increase soil water holding capacity. Likewise, conservation tillage can save farmers time and money while increasing soil water holding capacity. Both practices allow more water to be held on the land, thus reducing flooding downstream.

Implement solutions. We need to move beyond talking about flooding and begin to actually implement solutions on the landscape. The Nature Conservancy is working to do just that. We’ve protected and are working to restore nearly 2,300 acres of floodplain on the Cedar River north of Columbus Junction, providing much needed flood storage capacity on the lower end of the river. We are about to complete a mapping project to identify additional areas throughout the Cedar River Basin where flood storage can be achieved. In the Boone River Watershed we’ve worked with farmers to get more than 5,000 acres of cover crops out on the landscape.

Iowans continue to be hurt by major floods, yet we’ve made few substantial investments in long-term solutions. The Nature Conservancy’s hope is that the lessons we learn from this flooding will not be forgotten.

We need to invest in solutions that work with nature to benefit farms, communities and people.

Jan Glendening is the Iowa state director for The Nature Conservancy.
Time to start working with nature, not against it | Iowa City Press Citizen | press-citizen.com

Jun 5, 2013

Monsanto Legal Risks Linger With Suit as Wheat Futures Rebound

Monsanto's Rogue Wheat Seed at Center of Mystery - Businessweek

Monsanto's Rogue Wheat Seed at Center of Mystery - Businessweek

David Suzuki speaks out against genetically modified food - Digital Archives - CBC Player - YouTube

Published on Apr 20, 2013

David Suzuki speaks out against genetically modified food
Canada's foremost environmental conscience says GM food is bad science.
David Suzuki speaks out against genetically modified food - Digital Archives - CBC Player - YouTube

Monsanto Stock Prices Have Fallen 10% in the 2 Weeks

Monsanto's Roundup Herbicide—Featuring the Darth Vader Chemical - is now linked to "autism ... gastrointestinal issues such as inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, colitis and Crohn's disease, obesity, cardiovascular disease, depression, cancer, cachexia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and ALS, among others." --- YouTube

Published on May 10, 2013

It was "supposed" to be harmless to humans and animals—the perfect weed killer. Now a groundbreaking article just published in the journal Entropy points to Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, and more specifically its active ingredient glyphosate, as devastating—possibly "the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies."

That's right. The herbicide sprayed on most of the world's genetically engineered crops—and which gets soaked into the food portion—is now linked to "autism ... gastrointestinal issues such as inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, colitis and Crohn's disease, obesity, cardiovascular disease, depression, cancer, cachexia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and ALS, lyme disease, among others."

Enjoy this videotaped guided tour of Jeffrey Smith interviewing co-author Stephanie Seneff, PhD, a Senior Research Scientist at MIT.

It was “supposed” to be harmless to humans and animals — the perfect weed killer. Now a groundbreaking article (520kb PDF) just published in the journal Entropy points to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, and more specifically its active ingredient glyphosate, as devastating — possibly “the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies.”

Further Reading:
Why Glyphosate Should Be Banned – A Review of its Hazards to Health and the Environment

THE TRUTH ABOUT GMO CROPS!!! --- Professor Don Huber: Messing with Nature ~ The Perverse Effects of GMO's 4-5-2012 - YouTube


Extensive BIO of Dr. Don Huber ---> http://www.nvlv.nl/downloads/Dr_Huber_bio.pdf

Professor Don Huber: Messing with Nature ~ The Perverse Effects of GMO's 4-5-2012 - YouTube

Huge proposed Alaska mine could be next big environmental controversy for Obama | Grist

Robert Glenn KetchumBristol Bay.

By Claire Thompson

While environmental groups have been pouring energy into opposing the Keystone XL pipeline, a less talked-about fight in Alaska is bubbling over into what The Washington Post says “may be one of the most important environmental decisions of President Obama’s second term”: whether to allow construction of a massive mine near Bristol Bay, one of the most productive salmon fisheries in the world (supplying half the world’s sockeye salmon) and home to potentially vast reserves of gold and copper.

Politico explains:
The focus of this fervor is buried near the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushagak rivers, where massive deposits of gold, copper and molybdenum lie in a watershed that feeds into Bristol Bay. The Pebble Partnership, which owns the land, wants to dig an open-pit mine that could stretch for miles and would need roads, a power plant and a port.

In a 2006 feature, Mother Jones elaborated on what that would look like:
The proposed Pebble Mine complex would cover some 14 square miles. It would require the construction of a deepwater shipping port in Cook Inlet … and an industrial road—skirting Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and traversing countless salmon-spawning streams—to reach the new harbor. At the site’s heart would be an open pit measuring two miles long, a mile and a half wide, and 1,700 feet deep. Over its 30- to 40-year lifetime, the Pebble pit is projected to produce more than 42.1 million ounces of gold, 24.7 billion pounds of copper, 1.3 billion pounds of molybdenum—and 3 billion tons of waste.

Not only would the Pebble mine be North America’s biggest, it would be 20 times larger than all other mines in Alaska combined. And the companies behind it aren’t even American. The Pebble Partnership is a joint venture between Anglo American, a British mining firm currentlyfacing a class-action lawsuit from South African gold miners, and Northern Dynasty, a Canadian company whose interest in the Pebble Partnership is its principal asset.
Nick HallThe Pebble Mine threatens the area’s important fishing industry.

Opposition to the project has united the fishing industry and local tribes, two groups often at odds. Mother Jones said the Kvichak is “known to anglers as the most abundant salmon stream on the planet and as home to some of Alaska’s most gargantuan rainbow trout.” For native communities, the hunting and fishing supported by this watershed provide a crucial source of food and a link to traditions.

As oil production, long a profitable mainstay of Alaska’s economy, has slowed in the state, leaders are increasingly turning to mineral extraction as a less-lucrative but better-than-nothing supplement. But that doesn’t make it an easy sell, even to impoverished rural villages desperate for sources of income. Polling by mine opponents found 58 percent of Alaskans overall, and 80 percent of Bristol Bay residents, do not support the project — a sharp contrast, Politico noted, to the majority who support drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. You just don’t mess with salmon. The notoriously conservative Seattle Times editorial board recently came out against the mine, pointing out how Alaska’s fishing industry is intertwined with Washington state’s economy (many companies that process Alaskan seafood are based in Seattle).

In a report [PDF] released last week, Pebble Partnership stated that the operation would generate almost 5,000 jobs in Alaska during construction and at least 2,750 permanent ones. But Tim Bristol, the aptly named director of Trout Unlimited’s Alaska program, told The Washington Post that 14,000 jobs depend on a healthy salmon fishery, and that Pebble has “a well-established track record of … exaggerating the benefits” of the mine.

Concern about mining in the area has intensified since 2005, when the Alaska Department of Natural Resources reclassified much of the Bristol Bay area’s state-owned land to make it more open to mining. Pebble leases the mineral rights of the land it currently occupies from the state, but has held off on securing other permits necessary to forge ahead with mining.

In 2010, at the request of six Alaskan tribes, the Environmental Protection Agency took the unusual step of launching an assessmentof the impacts of mining in the watershed, even though Pebble has yet to apply for a federal permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. ThePost reports:

In an early environmental assessment, the EPA estimates the mine would probably cause the loss of between 54 and 89 miles of streams and between four and seven square miles of wetlands. Any accidents, the assessment continued, could result “in immediate, severe impacts on salmon and detrimental, long-term impacts on salmon habitat.”

In May 2012, EPA submitted its initial findings to a peer review panel, which released an updated assessment in April basically confirming what the agency had already found. Comments on the revised assessment are now being accepted through June 30.

Mine opponents want EPA to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to block the project — something the agency has only done 13 times since 1972, and only once during the Obama administration.

Both sides are already spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year lobbying; Pebble has spent at least $450,000 each year since 2008. Stakeholders are anxiously waiting for Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) to come down on one side or the other, but Begich, who faces a tough reelection fight next year, has been cagey aside from offering the opinion, shared by his fellow Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), that EPA shouldn’t preemptively veto the mine.

Pebble says it hopes to apply for a federal permit this year.

Claire Thompson is an editorial assistant at Grist.
Full Article: Huge proposed Alaska mine could be next big environmental controversy for Obama | Grist

Talks@Google APAC Presents: Lenny Ravich - YouTube

Published on Jun 4, 2013

At the age of 76, Lenny still travels the world, facilitating workshops and lectures on the subject of "Humor and Laughter for Happier life, Improved Self Esteem and Peak Performance". Lenny stop by Google Singapore for an afternoon of humor, relaxation and tips on how to be happier. This event happened took place on May 22nd, 2013.

Lenny is considered one of the world's leading spiritual leaders with a rare combination of mastery in Gestalt , humor and lifetime experiences as an educator and an actor. Lenny is also certified as a Laughter Leader by the World Laughter Tour and is a member of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.

Robert Macphee Mastering the Art of Living a Purpose Driven Life

Published on Jun 4, 2013

Come learn about how to master the art of living a purpose driving life from Robert MacPhee. Books available on order.

* What is required to truly master anything?
* What really is my purpose?
* What keeps me from living on purpose?
* How can I avoid burnout and overwhelm?

About Robert MacPhee:
Author of ""Manifesting for Non-Gurus, How to Quickly and Easily Attract Lasting Results"", and he is the former Director of Training for Jack Canfield, the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series and the author of The Success Principles. Robert is a Founding Member of the Transformational Leadership Council and the Southern California Association of Transformational Leaders. He lives and works in San Diego, California.

More info:
Authors@Google presents: Robert Macphee Mastering the Art of Living a Purpose Driven Life - YouTube

Iowa copes with nitrate surge in drinking water - Houston Chronicle

Photo By Charlie Neibergall

Des Moines Water Works CEO and general manager Bill Stowe stands in the Nitrate Removal Facility at the Water Works treatment plant, Thursday, May 16, 2013, in Des Moines, Iowa. The rain that soaked much of the upper Midwest in April helped replenish the soil parched by last year’s severe drought but rain fell so rapidly that it also washed tons of manure and fertilizer sitting on farm fields into rivers. That has boosted the nitrate level to record highs creating problems for cities like Des Moines and Cedar Rapids which draw their drinking water from the rivers. Photo: Charlie Neibergall

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — For much of last year, Iowa's most pressing agricultural problem was a drought that baked farm fields and parched crops, turning them brown and crumbly. Then the skies finally opened up, providing one of the soggiest springs on record.

But the rain has created a new, unexpected problem: The deluge is washing fertilizer off the farms and into rivers that provide drinking water to much of the state. Public officials say the problem will pass, but others worry about the potential risks of a compound called nitrate, which has reached levels never seen in Iowa.

"These numbers are so high that they're not only problematic from an ecological standpoint for the rivers, lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, but they become a real issue for human health," said Bob Hirsch, a research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey who studies long-term changes in river water quality.

Nitrate levels have soared because drought-withered corn plants didn't suck up all the nitrogen spread on fields last year. The drought was followed by Iowa's wettest April in 141 years, and that rain washed unused fertilizer into rivers, the primary source of drinking water for 45 percent of the state's population.

Nitrate in water is an issue throughout the Midwest, but Iowa is especially vulnerable because about 90 percent of the state is dedicated to agriculture. Corn requires an abundant supply of nitrogen, which must be added to the soil through the application of nitrogen fertilizer or manure.

The Environmental Protection Agency requires nitrate in drinking water be kept at less than 10 milligrams per liter. Above that level can be deadly to infants younger than 6 months because the chemical can reduce the amount of oxygen carried in their blood. Pregnant women are advised not to drink water above the EPA limit, as well as adults with reduced stomach acidity.

Scientists have collected conflicting evidence regarding whether nitrate or nitrites are associated with cancer in adults and older children, the EPA said.

The Raccoon River upstream from Des Moines was at a record 24 milligrams of nitrates per liter last month, and the Des Moines River posted a record high reading of 18.

"This is the worst we've ever seen," said Bill Stowe, manager of Des Moines Water Works, which serves about 500,000 customers in central Iowa. Both rivers are used as water sources for the Des Moines plant.

The agency had asked residents to limit irrigation so it could supply drinking water from reservoirs and other sources and not take it straight from the rivers. The heavy rain eliminated the need for irrigation and lowered water demand, but constant farm runoff continues to elevate nitrate levels, Stowe said.

In Cedar Rapids, officials have had similar problems. The Cedar River reached one of its highest recorded nitrate levels at 18.5 milligrams per liter upstream from the city's water treatment plant, city spokeswoman Megan Murphy said.

By blending river water with water from other sources, the city was delivering tap water at a level of 7.6. If water exceeds the EPA standard, water customers would have to consider other options, such as bottled water. Boiling water does not remove nitrates.

Public water suppliers are required to notify the state if nitrate levels top 10 milligrams per liter, and so far none have reached that level, said Shelli Grapp, chief of the Department of Natural Resources Water Quality Bureau.

The situation isn't entirely new. But it's made worse by last summer's drought and by drainage tiles that have been installed beneath many farms to channel excess water away from fields and into streams.

"The speeding up of the water runoff means it's moving quickly from field to stream, which eliminates any opportunity for the system to naturally absorb anything," said Neil Dubrovsky, a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist who studies nitrate levels.

Iowa and Illinois rivers typically have some of the nation's highest nitrate levels, but other top corn states also have issues, including Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin and the eastern portions of Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Nitrate levels in those states have been rising since the 1950s but leveled off in the 1980s. In the last five years, they've been climbing again as high corn prices have driven farmers to plant near-record corn acres, Hirsch said.

"In essence what we're doing is subsidizing cheap food," paying for it through the high cost of cleaning up our water after it's contaminated by fertilizer, Dubrovsky said. "There is a price to pay, and the price will go up as the groundwater contamination continues because that's our alternative water supply."

To keep the nitrate level in check, Des Moines had to switch on a $4 million nitrate-removal system for the first time since 2007. The equipment costs $7,000 a day to run.

At least five Minnesota communities have nitrate-removal systems, and they pay a price for the costly equipment. For example, residents of Ellsworth, Minn., pay $5.71 per 1,000 gallons of water, and Clear Lake residents pay more than $4.30.

Typically, water without high nitrate levels can be provided at around 5 cents to 10 cents per 1,000 gallons, according to a recent state report.

Groups such as the Iowa Environmental Council are pushing the state to implement more specific pollution-reduction goals and timelines, but Iowa officials defend the state's largely voluntary process.

Gov. Terry Branstad said the state's 90,000 farmers have strong incentives to use the least amount of fertilizer necessary, and they don't want to see it wash away. He said the nitrate levels will drop as the weather dries out.

"We constantly monitor it and see what we can learn from these incidents," said Branstad, noting he drinks tap water without concern.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said a regulatory approach mandated by a distant state official won't help. What works for one farmer may not for another because of land slope, soil type and other variables.

He called for encouraging farmers to find their own solutions "instead of fighting agriculture and trying to have a one-size-fits-all policy."

Arlo Van Diest farms 2,300 acres near Webster City, about 75 miles northwest of Des Moines. For a decade, he has left plant stalks, leaves and other residue on the field after harvest. That reduces soil erosion and the need for as much fertilizer.

Van Diest also plants rye grass in his cornfields as a cover crop that stays on the field all winter, pulling additional nitrogen from the soil that the corn didn't use.

"We have a keen interest in anything we can do environmentally that withstands the economics of it," he said. "This is our business. We like to farm, but we also like to make money at it."
Iowa copes with nitrate surge in drinking water - Houston Chronicle

Jun 4, 2013

Humus - the essential ingredient: Graeme Sait at TEDxNoosa - YouTube

Published on May 12, 2013

Learn all about Humus, the layer of soil essential for healthy food production which is being gradually depleted by unsustainable farming practices. Graeme Sait a lifelong human and soil health educator explains how 467 billion tonnes of carbon has been released from the soil into the atmosphere, and that we urgently need to return that carbon to the soil, and start replenishing the humus in order to reverse the impact.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Humus - the essential ingredient: Graeme Sait at TEDxNoosa - YouTube

Kansas Wheat Farmer Sues Monsanto for Gross Negligence Following Discovery of Unauthorized... -- WICHITA, Kan., June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

WICHITA, Kan., June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A Kansas wheat farmer today filed a civil lawsuit against Monsanto alleging gross negligence and other causes of action following press reports last week of the discovery of unapproved genetically modified wheat in an 80-acre field in Oregon. The farmer seeks compensation for damages caused by the discovery, which sent wheat export futures prices spiraling downward. The case may be the first of many Monsanto faces over alleged wheat contamination.

Susman Godfrey, one of the nation's leading trial firms, along with co-counsel the Murray Law Firm and Goldman Phipps, PLLC, filed the case before the Honorable Monti Belot, in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.

"Monsanto has failed our nation's wheat farmers," said Stephen Susman , Susman Godfrey's lead attorney on the case. "We believe Monsanto knew of the risks its genetically altered wheat posed and failed to protect farmers and their crops from those risks."

After news broke of the discovery of the unapproved wheat, Japan and South Korea suspended some imports of American wheat, and the European Union, which imports more than 1 million tons of U.S. wheat a year, said it would ensure its "zero tolerance" policy against genetically modified crops was maintained. Kansas exports about 90 percent of its wheat.

According to Martin Phipps , who litigated similar contamination claims involving the U.S. rice crop over the past several years, the reaction in Asian and European markets does not come as a surprise. "Our agricultural trading partners have little tolerance when it comes to genetically modified foods. Contamination of non-GMO crops presents a huge risk to our agricultural economy."

Monsanto developed and planted the experimental wheat in open fields from 1998 to 2005. The company engineered the wheat to be resistant to glyphosate, the key ingredient in its own weed killer, Roundup. However the company never submitted the wheat to federal agencies for commercial approval when it became apparent that world markets did not want any form of genetically modified wheat.

Given the size of the wheat crop, farmers may face significant damages. New Orleans trial lawyer Stephen Murray stated: "The full extent of the damage Monsanto has caused is not yet known, but we are committed to helping farmers as the extent of the wheat contamination becomes clear."

Stephen Susman , founder of Susman Godfrey, along with Warren Burns , Terry Oxford , and Daniel Charest make up the Susman Godfrey team representing Plaintiff Ernest Barnes. Susman Godfrey's co-counsel include Stephen Murray and Arthur Murray of the Murray Law Firm and Martin Phipps of San Antonio's Goldman Phipps.

About Susman Godfrey LLP

For more than 30 years, Susman Godfrey has focused its nationally recognized practice on just one thing: high-stakes commercial litigation. It is one of the nation's leading litigation law firms with offices in Houston, Dallas, Seattle, Los Angelesand New York. For more information, visit www.susmangodfrey.com.

SOURCE Susman Godfrey LLP
Kansas Wheat Farmer Sues Monsanto for Gross Negligence Following Discovery of Unauthorized... -- WICHITA, Kan., June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Is Kraft Mac & Cheese Made With Illegal GMO Wheat? (VIEW WARNING LABEL) - YouTube

Published on May 31, 2013

Read the full story here: http://foodbabe.com/2013/05/30/illega...No one should be eating Kraft Mac & Cheese with a warning label like this. Please share this info with your friends and family - especially those with children. Thank you for spreading the word.

Flo visited Tesco Extra in Ponders End, Enfield, North London to demonstrate there are boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese that are imported into the United Kingdom from the United States that require a special warning label to alert consumers of potentially harmful ingredients that Kraft is using in their products. The US boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese sold in the UK. have 2 different warning labels required by UK law.

Warning #1: This Product May Cause Adverse Effects On Activity And Attention In Children

This warning label is required because The US version of Kraft Mac & Cheese has artificial food dyes yellow #5 and yellow #6 which are proven to be linked to hyperactivity in children.

Warning #2: GMO Declaration: Made from genetically modified wheat. (May contain GMO)

This warning label is required because the US version of Kraft Mac & Cheese contains GMOs.
Note: GMO wheat is illegal in the US and not approved for human consumption.

Is Kraft Mac & Cheese Made With Illegal GMO Wheat? (VIEW WARNING LABEL) - YouTube

Jun 2, 2013

IPS – Peak Water, Peak Oil…Now, Peak Soil? | Inter Press Service

By Stephen Leahy

Healthy soil looks dark, crumbly, and porous, and is home to worms and other organisms. It feels soft, moist, and friable, and allows plant roots to grow unimpeded. Credit: Colette Kessler, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

REYKJAVÍK, Iceland, May 31 2013 (IPS) - Soil is becoming endangered.This reality needs to be part of our collective awareness in order to feed nine billion people by 2050, say experts meeting here in Reykjavík.

And a big part of reversing soil decline is carbon, the same element that is overheating the planet.
"Soils are like a bank account. You should only draw out what you put in." -- Rattan Lal of Ohio State University

“Keeping and putting carbon in its rightful place” needs to be the mantra for humanity if we want to continue to eat, drink and combat global warming, concluded 200 researchers from more than 30 countries.

“There is no life without soil,” said Anne Glover, chief scientific advisor to the European Commission.

“While soil is invisible to most people it provides an estimated 1.5 to 13 trillion dollars in ecosystem services annually,” Glover said at the Soil Carbon Sequestration conference that ended this week.

The dirt beneath our feet is a nearly magical world filled with tiny, wondrous creatures. A mere handful of soil might contain a half million different species including ants, earthworms, fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms. Soil provides nearly all of our food – only one percent of our calories come from the oceans, she said.

Soil also gives life to all of the world’s plants that supply us with much of our oxygen, another important ecosystem service. Soil cleans water, keeps contaminants out of streams and lakes, and prevents flooding. Soil can also absorb huge amounts of carbon, second only to the oceans.

Related IPS Articles
Forestry Programmes Bogged Down in Latin America
Fresh Water “More Precious Than Gold” in Bangladesh
Stressed Ecosystems Leaving Humanity High and Dry

“It takes half a millennia to build two centimetres of living soil and only seconds to destroy it,” Glover said.

Each year, 12 million hectares of land, where 20 million tonnes of grain could have been grown, are lost to land degradation. In the past 40 years, 30 percent of the planet’s arable (food-producing) land has become unproductive due to erosion. Unless this trend is reversed soon, feeding the world’s growing population will be impossible.

The world will likely need “60 percent more food calories in 2050 than in 2006″, according to a new paper released May 30 by the World Resources Institute. Reaching this goal while maintaining economic growth and environmental sustainability is one of the most important global challenges of our time, it concludes.

Urban development is a growing factor in loss of arable lands. One million city dwellers occupy 40,000 hectares of land on average, said Rattan Lal of Ohio State University.

Plowing, removal of crop residues after harvest, and overgrazing all leave soil naked and vulnerable to wind and rain, resulting in gradual, often unnoticed erosion of soil. This is like tire wear on your car – unless given the attention and respect it deserves, catastrophe is only a matter of time.

Erosion also puts carbon into the air where it contributes to climate change. But with good agricultural practices like using seed drills instead of plows, planting cover crops and leaving crop residues, soils can go from a carbon source to a carbon solution, he said.

“Soil can be a safe place where huge amounts of carbon from the atmosphere could be sequestered,” Lal told IPS.

When a plant grows it takes CO2 out the atmosphere and releases oxygen. The more of a crop – maize, soy or vegetable – that remains after harvest, the more carbon is returned to the soil. This carbon is mainly found in humus – the rich organic material from decay of plant material. Soil needs to contain just 1.5 percent carbon to be healthy and resilient – more capable of withstanding drought and other harsh conditions.

“Healthy soils equals healthy crops, healthy livestock and healthy people,” Lal said.

However, most soils suffer from 30 to 60 percent loss in soil carbon. “Soils are like a bank account. You should only draw out what you put in. Soils are badly overdrawn in most places.”

Farmers and pastoralists (ranchers) could do “miracles” in keeping carbon in the soil and helping to pull carbon out of the atmosphere and feed the world if they were properly supported, Lal said.

The world’s 3.4 billion ha of rangeland and pastures has the potential to sequester or absorb up to 10 percent of the annual carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels and cement production, estimates Ólafur Arnalds, a soil scientist at the Agricultural University of Iceland.

Eliminating overgrazing and using other pasture management techniques will reduce the number of animals on the land in the short term but it is better for the long term health of grazing lands. While these practises can help with climate change, there many other good reasons to adopt them, Arnalds told IPS.

That view is echoed by many here since determining exactly how much carbon a farm field or pasture can absorb from the atmosphere is highly variable and difficult to determine.

Proper land management can help with climate change but in no way does it reduce the need to make major reductions in fossil fuel use, said Guðmundur Halldórsson, a research co-ordinator at the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland, co-host of the conference.

And using farmland or pastures as a ‘carbon sponges’ will lead to all sorts of problems, Halldórsson told IPS.

“The real key is adopt practices that enhance soil health to improve food productivity,” he said.

That approach is much more likely to help in improve local livelihoods, protect water resources, improve biodiversity, reduce erosion and help put carbon back into the ground where it belongs, he said.

“Iceland overexploited its lands, trying to squeeze more out of the land than it could handle. We call it ‘killing the milk cow’. We can no longer live off the land as we once did.”

Situated in the North Atlantic, the windy island was once mostly covered by forests, lush meadows and wetlands when the first settlers arrived nearly 1,000 years ago. By the late 1800s, 96 percent of the forest was gone and half the grasslands destroyed by overgrazing. Iceland became one the world’s poorest countries, its people starved and its landscape remains Europe’s largest desert.

Of necessity, Iceland pioneered techniques to halt land degradation and in restoration. And for more than 100 years the Soil Conservation Service has struggled but the gains are small and very slow in coming. Today at least half of the former forests and grasslands are mostly bare and subject to severe erosion by the strong winds.

“We’re still fighting overgrazing here,” Halldórsson said.

Iceland relies far less on agriculture now and the harsh lessons of poor land management of the past are irrelevant to the 90 percent of Icelanders who now live in urban areas.

“The public isn’t supporting land restoration. We’ve forgotten that land is the foundation of life,” Halldórsson said.

Critical message which farmers are not heading!!!  Monte Hines

IPS – Peak Water, Peak Oil…Now, Peak Soil? | Inter Press Service

Under Our Skin: A Health Care Nightmare » TV Programs on Iowa Public Television

Program Description: This gripping tale of microbes, medicine and money exposes the hidden story of Lyme disease.
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Under Our Skin: A Health Care Nightmare

This gripping tale of microbes, medicine and money exposes the hidden story of Lyme disease. [86 minutes]

Sun, June 2, 8:00 AM on IPTV World
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7 Companies Polluting the World Without Consequences | Care2 Causes

(Image: Polluting factory via Shutterstock)

The only thing more horrifying than rampant industrial pollution is pollution without consequences. Yet, companies across the globe freely dump toxic substances into the environment and get off with minimal punishments, sometimes even walking away from a pollution incident without being held accountable. That leaves residents, and governments, with the bill for cleaning up potentially life-threatening environmental pollution, a process that may take decades. Take a look at some of the worst offenders.

Full Story: 
7 Companies Polluting the World Without Consequences | Care2 Causes

Cooperative Economics: Replacing a Capitalism in Collapse | Occupy.com

Carl Gibson, Occupy.com: With a nation fully engaged in a society where cooperative resident-owned housing and cooperative, worker-owned labor is the norm, public banking and hyper-localized economies will also become the new norm, says Carl Gibson.

Read the Article: Cooperative Economics: Replacing a Capitalism in Collapse | Occupy.com

California ‘Oil and Ag’ Face Rift on Fracking - NYTimes.com

Emily Berl for The New York Times
Oil companies are moving into agricultural areas like Shafter, Calif.
Published: June 1, 2013

SHAFTER, Calif. — Scattered on either side of Shafter Avenue just north of the town center here, new oil pump jacks, some bobbing and others thrusting, tower above this corner of California’s prime farmland. 
FULL STORY: California ‘Oil and Ag’ Face Rift on Fracking - NYTimes.com

Noam Chomsky on Democracy and Education in the 21st Century and Beyond

Noam Chomsky. (Photo: Andrew Rusk / Flickr)

Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, political critic and activist. He is an institute professor and professor emeritus in the department of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. History educator Daniel Falcone spoke with Chomsky in his Cambridge office on May 14.

Great Interview!  Monte

See Full Article Link: Noam Chomsky on Democracy and Education in the 21st Century and Beyond

The New Farm Bill Shows What's Wrong With U.S. Food | Care2 Causes

by Kristina Chew
May 31, 2013

Thomas Jefferson believed that the U.S. ought to be a nation of small farmers, each owning his own land, independent and self-sufficient. But the new farm bill is all about what’s wrong with food production in the U.S. now. A quick review of the $1 trillion 2013 farm bill — it’s actually the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012; Congress didn’t get around to passing it last year — not only makes it clear how small farmers are second-class citizens, but also pushes for chemical sugar substitutes and GMO food and fails to take provisions to prepare American agriculture for climate change.

If that’s not enough, the bill also cuts food stamps to the poor by about $20.5 billion.

Cuts to Food Stamp Program

It is the case that food stamp usage is up by at least 70 percent since the financial crisis in 2008. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is spending an estimated $70 billion on the program this year.

The new farm bill, which every Republican on the House Agriculture Committee has approved, will cut some $20 billion in food stamps over the next decade. That means nearly two million people, mostly from low-income working families with kids and older Americans, will be hungry and that as many as 210,000 children could lose access to free school lunches and breakfasts due to their eligibility for these being linked to their family’s food stamp benefits.

In addition, the new bill would eliminate food stamps for anyone who has ever been convicted of a crime, a provision that will fall disproportionately on those in poor, urban areas. Some lawmakers have also wanted to cut the program due to people using food stamps for things like energy drinks, overlooking the fact that it’s just not possible to find fresh, healthy food in many of America’s cities.

Sugar Substitutes and GMO Seeds Get the Go-Ahead

Not that the new farm bill goes out of its way to promote healthy food.

The bill in effect pushes for the use of chemical sugar substitutes as it sets a minimum price for sugar. As a result, U.S. companies will seek out cheaper chemical-based sugar substitutes, including high-fructose corn syrup, which has clearly been implicated as a factor in obesity rates among Americans.

A rider in the bill, The Monsanto Protection Act, is very aptly named. This act lets large agriculture companies sell GMO seeds before they are tested, bypassing the USDA requirement that the seeds first be tested for any harmful effects on humans. What’s more, the act would keep the USDA from not letting companies from selling these seeds, should they be found dangerous to our health.

Climate Change? What’s That?

Last summer, we saw image after image of farmers standing beside desiccated crops. Drought continues to plague much of the U.S.; floods and changes in rainfall have also been taking their toll. Yet the new farm bill makes very few provisions for helping U.S. farmers prepare for climate change, via funding for clean, renewable energy. The House bill designates no mandatory funding for promoting the use sustainable energy; only about 11 percent of the Senate bill provides outlays for such over the next five years.

The House is debating the new farm bill in June; it is not yet clear when the Senate will.

Only about 12 percent of American farms have sales of more than $250,000. Indeed, fewer than 1 in 4 of U.S. farms in this country produces more than $50,000 in revenues. Larger farms do more damage to the environment through pesticide and fertilizer runoff, plus their mammoth size makes it impossible for consumers to learn more about their food than what’s printed on the label. But the new bill continues to promote large-scale industry farming via crop subsidies — that is, the new farm bill is really about the U.S. farming industry and is about as far from the “nation of farmers” that Jefferson envisioned as can be imagined.

The New Farm Bill Shows What's Wrong With U.S. Food | Care2 Causes

United Front Against Austerity (UFAA)

Genetically-modified (GM/GMO/GE) food, once seen as the answer to world hunger, is now widely considered a scourge to the health of humans, the environment and farming around the world.

Beneath the campaign of silence by the western media, food and farming activists are fighting harder than ever to expose these dangers and remove GMOs from the food supply.

But for all their efforts, these activists have missed the central point: economics.

US grain production, chiefly GM corn and soybeans, is not only a HUGE business – think not just food, but animal feed, ethanol and industrial uses – it is a strategic weapon of Wall Street. By keeping US grain cheap, and using GM patent protection, the agro-industrial complex – Cargill, Monsanto, DuPont, ADM, Potash, Caterpillar, etc. – has been able to dominate US agriculture AND hold the developing world ransom. Our "cheap" grain is exchanged for crippling economic "conditionalities" that prevent India, Mexico, Egypt and similar countries from achieving economic independence.

Why is grain cheap?

1. Incredible efficiency with hidden costs. No crops are biologically equipped to be grown in 1,000+ acre monocultures. Without untold quantities of fertilizer, pesticides and other chemical agents, our food supply would collapse under the weight of disease and insect damage. These artificial methods have put our soil, groundwater and biological diversity in grave danger.

2. Wall Street and Welfare. The farmer is paid on average 40% of his costs for a bushel of wheat. The other 60% comes from the commodity futures markets (which make the farmer dependent on contracts from the Cargill-controlled grain cartel), direct taxpayer assistance from the Farm Bill, and the farmer's own debt.

3. GMOs. With the incredible economic pressure on farms to get big, grow every square of land and cling to Wall Street for protection, GMOs have been seen as a necessity, replacing careful management with indestructible poison factories that look like corn and soybeans.

Is there a better way?

Despite the well-intentioned efforts of food activists, GMOs are under no threat as long as these economic pressures exist. People are too poor to buy organic food, and the incentives are too powerful to close the political revolving doors and allow the science to be heard.

We need to follow the lead of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and fight for PARITY. This is still a permanent US law that requires NO LEGISLATION to be passed. A simple order from President Obama to Ag. Secretary Tom Vilsack, spurred on by a campaign of political pressure, is all we need.

Under the system of Parity, the Federal government guarantees any US farmer last year's average cost of production to grow this year's grain.

It costs $18.30 to grow a bushel of wheat. We want the Dept. of Ag (with a loan guarantee from the Federal Reserve) to guarantee the purchase of any and all major, storable grains – wheat, corn, soy, rice, oats – at or near that $18.30.

Parity (as proven in the 1940s) has the following effects:

1. Proliferation of family farms.

You are setting a minimum wage for production. Anyone capable of beating the average production cost can now go into the farming business with little debt or risk. We need 1 million new, family farms, and with Parity we'll have them.

2. Smaller, more diverse farms.

With the economic pressures of mega-farming removed, farmers can now work on a manageable scale, combining grain cash crops with hay, meat, milk and vegetables.


Under Parity, there is no opportunity for Monsanto or Cargill to exist in their current form. What farmer, guaranteed enough to grow organic grain, will persist in growing GMO? And what farmer will engage in a commodity futures contract when Uncle Sam has already guaranteed a fair price? The commodity markets closed for lack of business throughout the 1940s, and the same will happen.

If we must deny parity prices to GMO grain, then we'll need a new law and let's make it happen.

4. A small increase in food prices, but a reduction in taxes and vast increase in employment.

The National Organization for Raw Materials (NORM), the group who maintains the parity history and records of the 1940s, estimates under full parity an average increase of ~15% in food prices. Essentially, if you're buying non-organic, you're going to be paying somewhere between that and organic food. Organic food prices would likely not increase.

BUT – we can eliminate much of the current Farm Bill, and better yet – when you pay farmers a fair price, your economy grows. Instead of 60% of your food costs going to predatory financial speculators, they go to family farms. Those family farms need tractors, houses, grain silos, labor, rural infrastructure, etc. etc.

The Parity records of the 1940s show a 7:1 relationship between the national economy and the income of farms. Add another 60% to farm income, and imagine the possibilities.

In conclusion:

Knowing what we now do, nobody wants GMOs except the powerful agro-industrial complex. They're too powerful to defeat directly, so attack their vulnerability – give farmers a fair price so they don't have to deal with the devil to stay in business! Support Parity now!

Read more at http://www.againstausterity.org/program/parity-agriculture

United Front Against Austerity (UFAA)

Parity Agriculture | United Front Against Austerity

The UFAA Program for Economic Recovery

1. Emergency Measures
1% Wall Street Sales Tax
Freeze Foreclosures and Student Loans
2. National Banking
Nationalize the Federal Reserve
Wall Street Bankruptcy and Re-Regulation
3. Economic Protections
10% Protective Tariff
Parity Agriculture
4. Economic Rights
Full Employment
Medicare for All
Strengthen Social Security

New Deal agriculture policies were based on the standard ofParity. Under this system, the US Federal Government stood between the farmer and the grain merchant, offering a guarantee to buy storable grain at or near Parity – essentially the average cost of production. With this floor under farm prices, the merchant was compelled to pay the farmer what his product was worth to the nation, not today's market rate, which is set by Wall Street. The ability to issue such loan guarantees is still a feature of permanent US law (US Code Title 7, Sections 601 & 602).

Today the price of wheat, for example, is around $8.40/bushel, but the real cost to produce wheat is $18.30. To the extent that farmers do stay in business, the shortfall in income is made up by commodity speculation and debt. In real terms, most farmers are producing at a loss of about 60% of the value they've produced. That loss is not America’s gain. If the farmer is not profiting by his labors, there is a deficit of credit entering channels of trade at the most fundamental sector of the economy.

We can not let economic depression stand as an argument for "cheap food". The only cheap thing is the price paid to farmers. Commodity speculators and the grain cartel take the rest. It is estimated by the National Organization for Raw Materials that food prices at full parity would rise only about 15%. Compare this to the effect of doubling wages, which the record of the 1940s shows to be a conservative expectation. With federal support for fair pricing, the commodity futures market will close its doors and the burden of food speculation be lifted, as it was during the Second World War.

Lastly, we must contend with the real human and environmental costs of our cheap food economy – from the proliferation of the GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) monopoly to the loss of topsoil, biological diversity, rural populations and the increase of chronic disease.
We Demand:

1. Full Funding for Food Assistance

The needs of the hungry at home and abroad must not be held hostage by the needs of Wall Street. Food Stamps, Food for Peace, emergency aid, school lunch and similar programs must funded at improved levels.

2. Loan Guarantees at Parity

The Secretary of Agriculture must issue non-recourse* loan guarantees at or near parity for major storable commodities. These are to include corn, soy, wheat, oats and rice.

*non-recourse: The commodity is the sole collateral for the contract. The USDA has no recourse to collect other property from the producer.

3. No Parity for GMOs

Genetically-modified (GMO) food – which currently represents the vast bulk of American corn, soy and sugar beets – must be denied parity support. From the clear evidence of harm to human health and the environment, to the danger of a global monopoly power over food, to the net decrease in productivity, to the fact that other nations are increasingly denying the growth and importation of GMOs (including Japan, Egypt and Russia), ending the failed GMO experiment has become a matter of economic necessity. Free credit for production and assistance on the model of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) must be extended to farms to transition toward more productive and sustainable methods.

4. Rebuild Emergency Grain Reserves

Today the US effectively has no strategic reserves of grain. This puts our nation and much of the world at risk of famine. If Parity increases total production, surplus can be directly purchased and stored by the Federal government; to be used to as emergency supply, to regulate supply in years to come, and as continuing foreign aid to countries transitioning to their own self-determination in agriculture.

5. Assistance to New Farmers

A parity system will tend to bring the size of farms in line with the realities of nature. What this year required 1,000 acres might require 50 in the future. While much of this transition will be determined in "the market," we must deal with the dearth of skills and human capital in the farm economy, and the distorted ownership of American farmland. We need federal and state funding to educate and equip new family farmers for success, and we need land reform to make cropland available to farmers and prevent a monopoly of speculators.

Parity Agriculture | United Front Against Austerity

Exposed: Canadian Oil and Gas Workers, Many Unions, Now Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline | Occupy.com

WED, 5/29/2013 - BY PETER RUGH

As President Obama weighs whether to give the Keystone XL pipeline his approval, climate scientists have warned that the volume of greenhouse gases released by the pipeline could push the planet over a climate tipping point. Proponents of the pipeline — which would pump 900,0000 barrels a day of bitumen crude from Alberta's boreal forests to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico — promise that the economic benefits far out weigh whatever environmental damage ensues. Touting jobs numbers that have long been debunked, a large portion of American labor leadership is still providing working-class cover for the project's corporate backers.

Amidst the ongoing jobs-vs-environment debate, however, one voice is noticeably absent: the bitumen workers in Canada who are largely against long-term tar sands extraction and the building of the pipeline.

“We're diametrically opposed to the construction of it,” said David Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP), which represents 35,000 Canadian oil and gas workers, including thousands laboring in the country's tar sands. “The Keystone XL is not good for the economy, it's not good for the environment, it violates all kinds of First Nations rights.”

Coles says the union also opposes “the unfettered expansion” of tar sands extraction, saying “it's not in the best interest of Canada and it's not in the best interest of our members.” Coles and members of his staff were arrested in 2011 during a series of sit-ins in front of the White House to protest the pipeline. He says the CEP planned to send a delegation to subsequent rallies opposing the project, but called off plans after U.S. construction unions threatened to picket them.

A lifelong trade unionist who describes the jobs-vs.-environment debate as a “mug's game," Coles is the last person Jobs for the 99 wants you to hear from. America's Building Trades Unions along with the Oil and Natural Gas Industry Labor-Management Committee launched the pro-pipeline campaign two years ago. Condemned by Occupy Wall Street for appropriating the movement's signature number, the corporate website demands that “Hollywood’s elite 1% stop flying to DC and speaking out against jobs that help the other 99% of America!”

It also claims the pipeline will establish “20,000 immediate private sector jobs that do not rely on any government funding.”

The alleged 20,000 figure was first pushed by TransCanada, the company slated to build the pipeline should President Obama approve it. The company boldly insists the XL will spur another 119,000 auxiliary jobs.

But a comprehensive study by Cornell Global Labor Institute casts severe doubt on these numbers. Researchers point out that half of the steal used for the pipeline will be manufactured abroad, most of the jobs that the pipeline creates will be temporary, and 85% to 90% of those jobs will go to workers from outside the U.S. states which the pipeline passes through.

The study also discredits the input-output calculation model used by Ray Perryman, the Texas-based consultant who helped generate the lauded jobs numbers for TransCanada. Using the same economic model, Perryman was once quotedprojecting that “dancers, choreographers and speech therapists” would land jobs if a proposed windmill project went forward.

In reality, the pipeline would actually hinder job growth. According too the Cornell study, the Keystone XL could cause the price of gasoline in the U.S. to rise 10 to 20 cents per gallon, due to the pipeline diverting large amounts of oil — which currently supply refineries in the midwest — to “be sold at higher prices to the Gulf Coast and export markets.” The pipeline would also damage the U.S.'s green economy which, as of the study's 2011 publication, had “already generated 2.7 million jobs in the US and could generate many more.”

The State Department's Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL, which was released earlier this year, has been roundly condemned for relying on consultants with direct ties to TransCanada. Still, the study that was designed to help President Obama make up his mind found that the pipeline would create only 35 permanent and 15 temporary jobs. Based on testimony that backers of the pipeline delivered to Canada's National Energy Board, Coles even estimated the number of jobs created could be as low as seven.

Meanwhile, Sean Sweeney, who authored the Cornell study, says that for the pipeline's union backers “the issue ultimately is not the number of jobs this particular pipeline will create.” They want to forge an alliance with oil and gas corporations “so that they can be their hired mercenaries and build more and more pipelines, forever.”

In a maneuver that observers say was meant to avoid alienating their environmental allies while appeasing builders unions, the AFL-CIO recently issued a statement that did not explicitly mention the XL but endorsed “expanding the nation’s pipeline system” in general. The statement failed to mention that the union representing 11 million U.S. workers already signed a project labor agreement with TransCanada to work on the pipeline.

Obama, too, appears to have swallowed the jobs pill, stating in a speech in April, “You may be concerned about the temperature of the planet, but it’s probably not rising to your No. 1 concern. And if people think, well, that’s shortsighted, that’s what happens when you’re struggling to get by.”

A small but growing number of U.S. unions, however, remain unconvinced.

Bruce Hamilton, president of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1700, joined a rally in New York earlier this month where several hundred anti-pipeline demonstrators confronted Obama at a $7,000 to $32,000 per plate fundraiser, in Manhattan's Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Hamilton said that millions of jobs are needed — and could be created — by moving America off fossil fuels and on to renewable energy; upgrading the transportation infrastructure so that fewer people drive cars, and getting "all these buildings retrofitted so we can reduce the amount of carbon we release into our atmosphere.”

The Transport Workers Union also opposes the Keystone project, and an increasing number of health worker unions are joining them in the fight. National Nurses United published a statement earlier this year warning of the “significant impact” the pipeline would have on the health of communities along its route and that it will “exacerbate climate change which affects public health much more broadly even than the widespread direct impacts of the tar sands industry.”

“You cannot separate the environment, jobs, the economy, human rights,” said Coles of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union. “It's a four-legged stool and it's falling over.”

“The thing that liberals and progressive minded people have not yet come to terms with is what do we do about an economic system that continually puts the health, environment and standard of living of workers at risk. Occupy Wall Street got it right," he added. "One or two percent of society gets it all and the rest of us, the middle-class, the working-class, the poor, are all going down.”

Mass protests for the past several years have thus far kept the Keystone XL at bay. Obama delayed his confirmation of the project, late in his first term in office, after thousands encircled the White House calling on him to halt it. Demonstrators again returned to Washington, DC, in even larger numbers last February in what organizers described as “the largest climate rally in U.S. history.” Obama was reportedly away golfing during the demonstrations, literally teeing-up with oil and gas executives while tens of thousands marched on the nation's capitol demanding that he veto the project.

For those fighting the pipeline, the argument is clear: organized labor has much more to gain by joining the coalition to defeat the Keystone XL — a coalition that is comprised of environmentalists, indigenous groups, students, unions, landowners and many others — than by teaming up TransCanada and their tar-stained bidders.

Exposed: Canadian Oil and Gas Workers, Many Unions, Now Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline | Occupy.com