Archive for the ‘Happenings’ Category

Fukushima in a Nutshell

In 1979 it was fiction...

In 1979 it was fiction…

“They think ‘China Syndrome’ has happened at one or several of these reactors. Nuclear engineers don’t know what to do. No way they can contain it… there is nothing to do. The truth is, scientifically, they will never clean it up. It’s impossible.”

– Dr. Helen Caldicott

See the video interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott on: Running ‘Cause I can’t Fly


With the events at Fukushima, I cannot for the life of me understand why some countries are even contemplating nuclear power.

It may already be too late.

Chernobyl was merely a warning, Fukushima maybe the final act in the play of Humanity.

In our ignorance and arrogance we have blindly trodden  the path of nuclear power for decades, thinking that we knew what we were doing.

It appears that we don’t!

And now we have to pay the price.

What happens when you steal from nature

The last two hundred years technology has gone ahead in leaps and bounds, but now some are paying the price.

An example, we have always considered water to be plentiful, but now we are finding it’s not.

I read a post yesterday, that shows how we waste when we have plenty, then cry when the plenty runs out.

Turning Kansas into a desert

“In west-central Kansas, up to a fifth of the irrigated farmland along a 100-mile swath of the aquifer has already gone dry. In many other places, there no longer is enough water to supply farmers’ peak needs during Kansas’ scorching summers. And when the groundwater runs out, it is gone for good. Refilling the aquifer would require hundreds, if not thousands, of years of rains.”Running ‘Cause I Can’t Fly

The farmers have used nature’s reserve water supply and now they have nothing. The water from the aquifers is not to be used, it is what keeps the planet healthy and once it’s gone, it’s gone, for good.

This is not only happening in Kansas, but in Colorado and Texas as well.

Earth Hour Came and Went

Image from ECOCRED blog

There has been considerable debate over the effectiveness of Earth Hour. From my own perspective it merely raises awareness rather than actually doing something physical. Everybody who participates turns off their lights, then they light candles or use some fossil fuel lamp for illumination. Does the production of carbon not remain roughly the same?

Certainly as a publicity campaign it must be rated as a success.

A good post on the subject from ECOCRED about sums up Earth Hour.


I forgot to add the link to ECOCRED’s current post.

Grunge Rock… Green???

Navicula to campaign for orangutan, tropical rainforest in Canada

Navicula – Grunge Rock band from Indonesia

The orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), one of Indonesia’s most endangered species, deserves and requires attention from all parties in the country as they are facing a variety of threats that could lead to their extinction.

Navicula is one of the most concerned groups of young musicians in the country. The grunge rock band is actively launching campaigns to protect and preserve the rare animal through their musical endeavors.

“The orangutan’s habitat in Sumatra and Kalimantan has been gradually destroyed by the expansion of palm oil plantations,” the band’s guitarist, Gede Robi Supriyanto, said.

The massive development of palm oil plantations has also degraded tropical rainforests on both islands.

“Forest destruction is the most crucial environmental issue we are now facing,” he said.

To launch their campaign internationally, the band will perform a song entitled “Orangutan” at the international music festival Envol et Macadam, one of the most prominent annual alternative rock, punk, grunge and metal music festivals in the world, in Quebec, Canada, on Sept. 7 and 8.

Read more

Warning: Some of the images in this video clip are a little disturbing.

Now grunge rock is not entirely my ‘thing.’ In fact, it is about as far removed from being my ‘thing’ as is possible.

But the band is to be applauded for its conscious awareness on this issue.

Good luck at the music festival!

Good luck di musik festival yang!

And another species leave the planet

Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni



Last Pinta giant tortoise Lonesome George dies

Lonesome George, a giant tortoise, was believed to be the last of his subspecies

Staff at the Galapagos National Park in Ecuador say Lonesome George, a giant tortoise believed to be the last of its subspecies, has died.

Scientists estimate he was about 100 years old.

Park officials said they would carry out a post-mortem to determine the cause of his death.

With no offspring and no known individuals from his subspecies left, Lonesome George became known as the rarest creature in the world.

For decades, environmentalists unsuccessfully tried to get the Pinta Island tortoise to reproduce with females from a similar subspecies on the Galapagos Islands.

Park officials said the tortoise was found dead in his corral by his keeper of 40 years, Fausto Llerena.

While his exact age was not known, Lonesome George was estimated to be about 100, which made him a young adult as the subspecies can live up to an age of 200.

Lonesome George was first seen by a Hungarian scientist on the Galapagos island of Pinta in 1972.

Environmentalists had believed his subspecies (Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni) had become extinct.

Lonesome George became part of the Galapagos National Park breeding programme.

After 15 years of living with a female tortoise from the nearby Wolf volcano, Lonesome George did mate, but the eggs were infertile.

He also shared his corral with female tortoises from Espanola island, which are genetically closer to him than those from Wolf volcano, but Lonesome George failed to mate with them.

He became a symbol of the Galapagos Islands, which attract some 180,000 visitors a year.

Galapagos National Park officials said that with George’s death, the Pinta tortoise subspecies has become extinct.

They said his body would probably be embalmed to conserve him for future generations.

Tortoises were plentiful on the Galapagos islands until the late 19th century, but were later hunted for their meat by sailors and fishermen to the point of extinction.

Their habitat furthermore suffered when goats were introduced from the mainland.

The differences in appearance between tortoises from different Galapagos islands were among the features which helped the British naturalist Charles Darwin formulate his theory of evolution.

Some 20,000 giant tortoises of other subspecies still live on the Galapagos.

Source: BBC News

Are we fighting a loosing battle?

Cambodian environmental campaigner shot dead by police

Chut Wutty is said to have angered many influential people while campaigning for Cambodia's forests

A leading Cambodian environmentalist who investigated illegal logging has been killed in a confrontation with police, officials say.

Chut Wutty was shot dead while travelling in a threatened forest region in the south-west.

Details of the incident are unclear, but police say an officer was also killed in the exchange.

Mr Wutty had been helping indigenous people organise protests against the exploitation of protected forests.

Chut Wutty was driving through a remote area of Koh Kong province with two journalists from the Cambodia Daily newspaper at the time of the incident.

The BBC’s Guy De Launey in Phnom Penh says there have been suggestions that military police ordered the reporters to delete images from their cameras and that Mr Wutty objected.

Precisely what happened next is unclear, but shots were fired, and the environmental activist was fatally wounded.

A military police commander said one of his officers was also killed, while “doing his duty”.


Mr Wutty was one of the most outspoken activists in Cambodia. One of his colleagues told the BBC that he had angered many influential people.

He had received death threats in the past and sometimes carried an AK-47 rifle in his car.

The campaign group Global Witness says he had been one of the “few remaining Cambodian activists willing to speak out against the rapid escalation of illegal logging and land grabbing”.

It says that corruption and violence around Cambodia’s forests have been “well documented”, and that the killing of Mr Wutty’s demonstrates that “those who take on these vested interests face intimidation and even death”.

Source: BBC News Read more


There are so many incidents like this, many that don’t make international headlines. Here in Brazil it happens with an alarming frequency.

There are so few who are prepared to stand up and fight.

Just another example of money talks. It must be obvious to all, that the police were doing the bidding of the criminals. Why else would they stop and question a journalist who was doing THEIR job?

Pink Slime – Updating the Update

Could ‘pink slime’ be rebranded?

This is NOT ground beef*

Three out of the four US factories making “lean beef trimmings” are to be shut down following a public outcry. Is “pink slime” – as critics call it – finished or could it be relaunched under a new name?

The look on shoppers’ faces as Jamie Oliver sloshed ammonia into a bowl of what he calls “pink slime” said it all.

They were horrified. They appeared to have no idea that the burgers they had been buying all these years contained anything other than prime cuts of beef.

But here was a TV chef showing them, in a 2011 edition of his US show Jamie’s Food Revolution, how their burgers are bulked out by meat that in previous decades would have been used for dog food, and is only made fit for human consumption by being treated with household bleach.

Job losses

The decision by major US supermarkets, fast food restaurants – and some public schools – to stop using food that contains Lean Finely Textured Beef, to give “pink slime” its official name, is a victory for Oliver and online campaigners who railed against it.

But the resulting loss of 850 meat processing jobs, at a time when America is suffering high unemployment, has angered many – and turned Jamie Oliver into a hate figure on some message boards.

He probably did more than anybody to bring “pink slime” to mainstream attention in the US, although the social media campaign to kill it off did not take off until last month, when ABC World News with Diane Sawyer ran an expose.

The US Department of Agriculture has now allowed schools to remove products containing “pink slime” from their cafeteria menus after Texan blogger Bettina Elias Siegel gathered more than 200,000 online signatures in nine days.

For the meat processing industry, it has been a bruising lesson in public relations and transparency in the age of social media.

Industry fight-back

It might also be the first example of a food ingredient being withdrawn not because of any safety fears, but because people have decided it sounds disgusting.

Industry chiefs are furious about what they see as a media-led smear campaign against a product that has been used in the US since the early 1990s and meets federal food safety standards.

Earlier this week, they launched a fight back – unveiling a new slogan “Dude, it’s beef” and enlisting the help of Texas governor and former presidential candidate Rick Perry, who dutifully chowed down on a burger containing the stuff on a visit to a processing plant in South Sioux City, Nebraska.

To British eyes, this stunt contains echoes of Conservative government minister John Gummer feeding his young daughter a beefburger, in front of the TV news cameras, at the height of the “mad cow disease” controversy in 1990.

But unlike the BSE outbreak no-one is seriously suggesting “pink slime” is dangerous – or even that burgers containing it are significantly less tasty or nutritious than other beef products.

The industry has launched a website,, to emphasise this – although Gary Martin, president of brand-naming consultants Gary Martin Group, believes they are missing the point.

“Who cares whether it’s 100% beef and who cares whether it’s lacking bacteria, if it’s something that you find disgusting?” he says.


He describes what has happened to the company driven out of business by the “pink slime” controversy as a tragedy.

The meat processing industry has launched a fight-back

But he says it was caused, in part, by the lack of a registered brand name for their main product.

“They didn’t brand themselves so someone else did,” he explains.

Lean beef trimmings have never marketed to the public as a product in their own right so it’s doubtful the companies making them would have thought that they needed a brand name.

But, says Martin, if they had been thinking ahead, they might have called the product something consumer-friendly like “Pro-leana”.

It might not have prevented the media backlash, but it might have helped them deal with it better, he argues.

Consumer anger

But, like most experts, he believes it is far too late to rebrand the product now, as it would be seen as a marketing “ploy”, which would further inflame consumer anger.

“Pink slime” is, in any case, a far more powerful brand name than anything the industry could come up with.

“It is a powerful image. To try to replace that image with something else might be tough,” says EJ Schultz, a food marketing writer with Advertising Age magazine.

He believes consumer anger has been driven by a lack of transparency.

“People are wondering ‘why didn’t I know about this before? Why wasn’t this labelled?’ People want everything labelled these days.”

Jason Karpf, who teaches public relations and marketing, also believes the food industry has got a lot to learn about modern consumers.

He says: “The heightened nature of consumer awareness means that food manufacturers must look at every component of their end user product and imagine public reaction to it. Predict and prepare for public reaction.”

The next ‘pink slime’?

Butchers across America have spotted a marketing opportunity

Meat processors have been adding beef scraps to burgers and other products since the 1970s to keep costs down – but they will now have to come with a replacement “that can withstand lay person scrutiny,” says Mr Karpf.

“They are going to have to think about the product itself before they try to come up with a name, and a campaign, that – dare I say – the public will swallow.”

Source: BBC News Read more

*My caption


After my Pink Slime – Update on 27th March there was a lengthy comment posted, that was blatantly industry initiated, by Before replying I checked the site out, it was pure damage control.

But, not being churlish, I allowed the comment to stand and wrote a rebuttal. I have even given you the link to see for yourself.

The fact that “Meat processors have been adding beef scraps to burgers and other products since the 1970s to keep costs down…” only serves to tighten the noose already around the neck of the pink slime producers. Because it shows that for 40+ years the industry has got away with pulling the wool over the eyes of the consumers. The industry never had a brand name for this product, because the moment they had would have highlighted the products inclusion as an additive. So this wasn’t an oversight by the industry, it was pure deception.

This product or any future facsimile of the same will never succeed in this day and age of social media where you have a whole new generation of more aware people. In the past you could bluff your way through almost anything, even bribe the mainstream media not to mention it (governaments do that all the time).

Social media has put an end to that.

Jason Karpf (above) is right, the food industry, and all other producers, have a lot to learn about the new consumer. You can’t dodge issues as in the past, the game isn’t baseball anymore, it’s a whole new ball game.

I certainly feel sorry for the 850 workers who have lost their jobs, especially in these times of economic woes. But the blame can be squarely placed on the companies whose lust for profits have put them on the dole (unemployment, not sure if Americans use the term ‘dole’) line. There is no fault with Jamie Oliver, nor anyone who has spread the word.

As advice to anyone in the job market, you can see that there are now  new consideration; is the company honest? Do I want to work for a company that is not transparent? Is the product safe? Moral issues, instead of I need a job, any job will do.

The fate of pink slime should serve as a lesson to other food manufacturers. You can’t hide it anymore, come clean, clean up your act, or go out of business.

Basically, the answer to the question is, if it is rebranded the news would spread like wildfire, so best not to try. Forget it, put it in the too hard basket, find another way to make money.

NB: I am still uncertain about the possibility of ammonium hydroxide, that innocent sounding little ‘puff’ to kill bacteria, lingering in pink slime. “So, I cannot say that ammonium hydroxide is a bad thing in meat.  I can say that no one should be claiming it’s been proven to be a good thing.”Alternative Holistic Health Answers is a good article to read.

Pink Slime – Update

‘Pink slime’ beef production put on hold

Beef Products Inc insists its products are healthy and safe, but public distrust persists

A US company that makes a beef product often referred to as “pink slime” is suspending production at three of four plants amid concern about the product.

Beef Products Inc said it hopes business will return once fears about the product die down.

Officially known as “lean, finely textured beef”, so-called “pink slime” is made from left-over cuts and is up to 97% beef, a spokesman said.

US schools have been allowed to stop serving the food at mealtimes.

“We feel like when people can start to understand the truth and reality then our business will come back,” Beef Products spokesman Chris Letch said.

Federal regulators say the beef ingredient meets food safety standards, but critics say the food is unappetising and possibly unsafe.

The beef is heated and spun in a centrifuge to separate the meat from the fat, before the final product is treated with a puff of ammonium hydroxide gas to kill any bacteria.

Earlier this month a social media campaign against the use of the food was followed by an announcement by the US agriculture department that schools would be allowed to choose alternative beef supplies.

Some school districts and retailers have already chosen to stop using it.

The three Beef Products Inc plants being wound down are located in Amarillo, Texas; Garden City, Kansas; and Waterloo, Iowa. Together they produce about 900,000lb (408,000kg) of the beef product per day, the company says.

Source: BBC News


Hopefully production will never return in these plants, and the fourth will die a natural death.

The question remains, who are still using pink slime in their products?

My guesses are the military, care for the elderly providers, hospitals, prisons, just to name a few.

The “truth and reality” is that this is just one more insidious attempt to make a profit from rubbish. “97%” beef, when they are using off cuts and tissue that they can’t sell as meat is not beef! Hell, it’s not even offal! It’s rubbish.

Looks like ‘people power’ has won this battle, but not the war, yet.

Certain Death

A street catador of cardboard

A street 'catador' of cardboard

I am a catador. I know it sounds like an AA confession; and I know it is an addiction. The verb catar in Portuguese means to ‘pick up’ or ‘scoop up’ and is used to describe people who collect useful, recyclable items from other people’s rubbish. These catadores are present everywhere. They collect cardboard, plastic, scrap metal, anything that is not nailed down and sell-able.

I have just read a story about a catadora (f) saving a plant that had been thrown away by someone else and relocating it outside her door on Good Girl Gone Green. Bells rung, lightbulbs flashed (the new CFLs don’t do this) and I realised that I had a post for today.

Espada de São Jorge

I have survived the last three years by ‘picking up’ useful stuff on the street. A few months back I saw a lovely plant Espada de São Jorge (St George’s sword) lying discarded on a pile of rubble. Someone had had a clean out. I was on the way to a private lesson, on the way back, it was still there; quite a clump the roots were just beginning to dry. I picked it up and walked the half hour home and put in a bucket of water to recover saving it from a certain death. Being quite a hardy plant, it did and I have long since replanted it in one of my elegant paint tins. The one shown is not mine, still lacking batteries for my camera.

My plant is ready to be divided and spread around a .bit.

I have no idea what the plant is called in English, if anyone has an idea, please leave a comment.


During my search for an image I found this and thought it appropriate…

A catadore's hand cart


The Portuguese reads: “I recycle, and you?” and “My car doesn’t pollute!”


Demand product labeling, correct labeling, full labeling, listing all products or ingredients used.

It is time that manufacturers were forced to the the TRUTH!


We, the people need this information to make an informed choice!

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