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vive-veg:

Palm oil is a type of edible vegetable oil that is derived from the palm fruit, grown on the African oil palm tree. Oil palms are originally from Western Africa, but can flourish wherever heat and rainfall are abundant. Today, palm oil is grown throughout Africa, Asia, North America, and South America, with 85% of all palm oil globally produced and exported from Indonesia and Malaysia; but most of the time not using sustainable measures.

The industry is linked to major issues such as deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty and indigenous rights abuses in the countries where it is produced, as the land and forests must be cleared for the development of the oil palm plantations. According to the World Wildlife Fund, an area the equivalent size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared each hour to make way for palm oil production. This large-scale deforestation is pushing many species to extinction, and findings show that if nothing changes species like the orangutan could become extinct in the wild within the next 5-10 years, and Sumatran tigers less than 3 years. 

In total, 50 million tons of palm oil is produced annually, supplying over 30% of the world’s vegetable oil production. This single vegetable oil is found in approximately 40-50% of household products in countries such as United States, Canada, Australia and England. Palm oil can be present in a wide variety of products, including: baked goods, confectionery, shampoo, cosmetics, cleaning agents, washing detergents and toothpaste.

Source: Say No To Palm Oil

The world’s first official climate refugees land in New Zealand | Grist

rjzimmerman:

Excerpt:

As of now, climate change and sea level rise are not officially recognized as legitimate causes of displacement by the International Refugee Convention. And while the case of this Tuvalu family’s application featured other circumstances — the family had lived in New Zealand since 2007 and had strong ties to the community — environmental lawyers have watched the situation closely, curious as to the case’s larger implications.

“I do see the decision as being quite significant,” Environmental law expert Vernon Rive told the New Zealand Herald. “But it doesn’t provide an open ticket for people from all the places that are impacted by climate change. It’s still a very stringent test and it requires exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian nature.”

free-leonard-peltier:

Let’s stop feeling so guilty about global warming

Emma Thompson is currently in the Arctic aboard the Greenpeace ship Esperanza. She wrote these words after walking out onto the fragile sea ice for the first time alongside her 14 year old daughter Gaia.

We’re told that it is all our fault, global warming — we want the fuel, we want our cars, and that the oil industry is merely responding to the needs of a greedy public. But that’s simply not fair. Most of us want to live cleaner lives, but our governments don’t make these things easily available.

The changes we need, that the Arctic needs, must come from the top as well as the bottom. We need electric cars to be cheaper and more accessible. We want safer bike lanes in every big city. We want plastic bags to be banned for good. We need governments to stand up to the dirty industries that have for so long funded and controlled them, and to give us all an affordable chance to live our lives in a more sustainable way.

Yes, keep recycling; keep using your own shopping bags, taking transit and using your bike. But also use your voice. Know that you have power and you can make your government listen. Above all, I hope that people stop feeling so guilty and powerless about climate change. That’s the lie that keeps us paralysed when really together, we are so much more powerful.

But bear in mind that politicians often lose sight of issues that aren’t in front of them all the time. They can end up ignoring even something like climate change, which is possibly the most pressing challenge of our time. So we all need to be bold. Attend a rally, write to your local leaders. If tens of millions of us just wrote to our leaders demanding action on the Arctic and climate change, well – that could change everything.

Please join me, and five million others so far. Visit www.savethearctic.org/emma

We’re in the early days of Earth’s sixth great extinction, say biologists

An international team of scientists cautions that the loss and decline of animals is contributing to what appears to be the early days of the planet’s sixth mass biological extinction event.

Since 1500, more than 320 terrestrial vertebrates have become extinct. Populations of the remaining species show a 25 percent average decline in abundance. The situation is similarly dire for invertebrate animal life…

EarthSky.org (July 29, 2014)

greenthepress:

From Forecast the Facts: 

They called Neil deGrasse Tyson a “nerd.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson is busting climate denial and giving the public the facts they need on climate change, and some conservatives are taking aim at him. Stand up for great science communicators by adding your name to our thank you card for Dr. Tyson! http://bit.ly/teamndt

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