Wednesday, 19 September 2007

*Climate of change for supporters of GM crops

Letter to The Guardian by Michael Meacher:

So the biotech industry is having another try. Having been defeated comprehensively in 2004 after the GM field-scale trials I set up, they have the gall to suggest(like the nuclear industry)that climate change might provide the way back in. Your report says an unnamed "senior government source" claims the tide will turn because, allegedly, GM crops are higher-yield and hardier to
help feed the world's increasing population and will help provide biofuels to limit climate change. These claims are bunkum.

The most authoritative study on crop yields - by Charles Benbrook, an independent US scientist - found that over a five-year period yields actually fell and pesticide use increased to deal with superweeds. The real answer to feeding a growing world population, in addition to more widespread family planning, is reversing the gross maldistribution of land in developing countries, phasing out the US and EU agricultural subsidies that wreck the market for
developing-world farmers, and ending the rich countries' discriminatory trade policies. Any role for GM is, by comparison, piffling.

The claim that GM will assist production of biofuels is equally mischievous. If it did this (which is unlikely),it would actually diminish the world's
food supply,given the competition for land. If government officials were genuinely concerned about combating climate change, they wouldn't be making Monsanto's case to raise biotech's profits by cornering the world's food supply;they would be increasing the use of renewable energy, not expanding airports,and signing up industry to much tighter annual CO2 reductions.

Michael Meacher MP
Former environment minister


Florida Student Andrew Meyer Tazered - Footage Not Seen on TV

U of F student Andrew Meyer is tazed by police after being escorted away from the microphone at a campus forum.

It's after the insurance ad on the clip. Look at it until the end.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

*AUCTION at Green Party Conference.

The Green Party Annual Conference takes place from to-morrow Sept. 13th until Sunday next at The Cornerstone building of Liverpool Hope University, at Haigh Street, Liverpool L3 8QB.

I am conducting a fundraising auction for our GLA election campaign.

The event takes place on Friday evening at 8pm.

Here are a few of the items for sale:

1) Have your housekeeping done by Darren Johnson, London Assembly Member.

2) Tea for three and a tour of the House of Lords plus seats for a debate. Donated by Lord Beaumont.

3) Tony Benn's pipe - autographed by him.

4) An original ballot paper from the first free elections in South Africa, 1994, features Nelson Mandela etc.

5) Self portrait sketch and autograph by David Baddiel.

6) A genuine ROMAN COIN of the Emperor Constantius 11 (337-361 a.d.)

I am now accepting bids on the above. Please ring me on 07961 44 1722 or reply to this e-mail up to Wednesday night.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

*Blogging goes Green – Blog Action Day.

Last week saw the launch of Blog Action Day, an international initiative aiming to unite thousands of blogging voices and have them talk about one specific issue on one specific day – with the aim being to further global awareness of that issue and so contribute to bringing about positive change.

The inaugural Blog Action Day is scheduled for October 15th 2007, and the issue that its organisers are asking bloggers from around the world to focus on is the environment.

As well as dedicating that day’s posts to reporting on issues relating to the environment, bloggers who make money from their sites are also being asked to donate the day’s earnings to environmental charities.

Add your voice to this innovative global initiative by adding your blog. As of to-day there are 4,597 blogs signed up.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

*Plastic bags.

The Scottish Executive recently calculated that the oil used to manufacture eight plastic carrier bags would power an average car for a kilometre.

Monday, 3 September 2007


The world's biggest philanthropic foundation is reaping huge profits investing in companies responsible for causing the problems it tries to solve. Its grant-giving is also doing more harm than good in undermining health and agricultural systems, distorting national and global priorities, and preventing the necessary paradigm change that could help secure the future of the planet, says an article for ISIS at

The Los Angeles Times reports: "... the Gates Foundation has holdings in many companies that have failed tests of social responsibility because of environmental lapses, employment discrimination, disregard for worker rights, or unethical practices." The Gates Foundation has spent at least US$75 million on biotech projects so far, many of which appear to involve genetic engineering. These include not only GM crops but GM mosquitoes, which are supposedly designed to fight malaria and dengue fever but which are an unproven approach.

Sunday, 2 September 2007


Song by James Connolly, Scots/Irish Socialist.
Executed by the British Army in 1916.

We only want the Earth.

Some men, faint hearted, ever seek
Our programme to retouch
And will insist, whene’er they speak
That we demand too much
‘Tis passing strange, yet I declare
Such statements give me mirth,
For our demands most moderate are
We only want THE EARTH

“Be moderate,” the trimmers cry,
Who dread the tyrants’ thunder.
“You ask too much, and people fly
From you aghast in wonder.”
‘Tis passing strange, for I declare
Such statements give me mirth,
For our demands most moderate are:
We only want THE EARTH.

Our masters all – a godly crew,
Whose hearts throb for the poor –
Their sympathies assure us too,
If our demands were fewer.
Most generous souls! But please observe,
What they enjoy from birth
Is all we ever had the nerve
To ask: that is, THE EARTH.

The “labour fakir,” full of guile,
Base doctrine ever preaches,
And while he bleeds the rank and file
Tame moderation teaches.
Yet, in this despite, we’ll see the day
When, with sword in its girth,
Labour shall march in war array
To seize it’s own, THE EARTH.

For labour long, with sighs and tears,
To it’s oppressors knelt,
But never yet, to aught save fears,
Did heart of tyrant melt.
We need not kneel, our cause no dearth
Of loyal soldiers needs,
And our victorious rallying cry

“No revolutionary movement is complete without its poetical expression”
James Connolly.