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Dec 17, 2007
Focus: Health
Action Request: Various
Location: United States
Government and media propaganda hoax continues as parents in Maryland hoodwinked and threatened into believing it is the law to vaccinate kids, error-strewn Fox news report relays disinformation
Paul Joseph Watson & Steve Watson
Prison Planet
Wednesday, November 14, 2007

News networks and state authorities are once again engaging in mass public deception by claiming that vaccines for children are mandated by law and that parents will go to jail if kids do not take their shots. In reality, there is no law that says you have to vaccinate your children and waiver forms for personal or religious exemptions are freely available.
A situation in Prince George's County, MD. has attracted media attention and once again provided the platform for a propaganda push that falsely implies it is the law for children to be vaccinated with mass produced big pharma shots that are often not stringently tested and have been linked with dangerous side-effects.
More than 2300 children in Prince George's County have been expelled from school for up to a month and a half because they have not received their shots for chicken pox and hepatitis B. This Saturday the parents of more than 1600 children have been ordered to attend Circuit court, where medical officials will be on standby to forcibly inject their children in a scenario befitting of a science fiction horror movie.

School officials have said the parents will receive a verbal reprimand from the judge and be ordered to have their children immunized in the courthouse. The students would then be allowed to return to school. Parents who refuse to comply will get fines and could be jailed for ten days.

"If the child is not here Saturday, then we will move on with the process, meaning that the PPWs and the counselors will put together the packet to take before the state's attorney's office, asking, requesting that criminal charges be implemented," Dr. Betty Despenza-Green, the chief of student services, said from the courthouse Tuesday.

"We can do this the easy way or we can do this the hard way, but it's going to have to get done. I'm willing to move forward with legal action." said State Attorney Glenn Ivey.
Letters ordering the parents to show up at Prince George's Circuit Court for a court hearing and a free vaccine have been issued with the warning "unexcused absences by your child may subject you to a criminal charge."


The report is completely riddled with errors and distortions from beginning to end.
The Fox reporter states "A new law was passed last year requiring children from 5th through to 10th grade to have the vaccine". This is completely untrue. The vaccine has been mandated by the state but there is no law in the U.S. that requires mandatory vaccinations of any kind. The report mentions the waiver forms only after claiming that it is the law. How can there be a waiver form that allows someone to break a law?

This is why the parents who do not comply will be charged not under vaccination laws (because there aren't any) but under truancy, neglect or child in need of supervision laws, which state that the parent is culpable after 30 days of a child's unexplained absence from school.

The school itself triggered the truancy violation by unfairly kicking the kids out of school, and failing to inform parents about vaccine waiver forms.

The news report quotes befuddled members of the public, who claim that kids not getting vaccinations endangers those that have had them. How on earth can that be the case if the vaccination is supposed to provide immunity against the disease? In reality, the vaccinated kids are more dangerous to others, considering the plethora of cases where vaccines have induced debilitating side-effects as levels of autism soar to unprecedented levels.

There is no law in America, aside from those applying to medical workers, that says you or your child has to take any vaccine whatsoever, no matter what any executive order, requirement, mandate or policy dictates, there is no situation where you can go to prison for refusing a government vaccine under the U.S. constitution and the law of the land.
As in the case of all other vaccines, executive orders and court mandates merely state that the vaccine is "recommended," yet the mass media drumbeat constantly conditions people to believe that if they don't take their shots they will be kicked out of school, arrested and thrown in jail. This trick will continue to hoodwink Americans into taking all manner of dangerous and untested vaccines, the number of which rises every year, until they realize that there is no law that forces them to take any vaccine.

Here is an example of a vaccine waiver form, this particular one is for Maryland, the state in question in this case, proving that enforced vaccination is not the law and that personal and religious objections are applicable. - Here you can find vaccine exemption forms online by state or country.

The good news is that concerned parents across the U.S. are leading a nationwide revolt against unnecessary, untested and dangerous vaccines as CDC records show a growing amount of religious exemptions on vaccine forms.

Earlier this year we reported on the furor surrounding the HPV vaccine, which experts have slammed as untested and has continues to be linked to dangerous side-effects. A media propaganda campaign along with an executive order issued by Texas governor Rick Perry has had parents in Texas and other areas of the country fooled into believing the vaccine is now the law and young girls must take it. Merck Pharmaceuticals are capitalizing on this fraud by making obscene profits from a crony deal with Governor Rick Perry, while children are put at risk.

Vaccines and drugs that are not stringently tested and are instead foisted upon populations for the purposes of making obscene profits have a clear history of deadly consequences.

Consider the case of Bayer Pharmaceuticals, who deliberately dumped a vaccine that was known to be contaminated with AIDS virus on the European and Latin American market after it killed people in America. Thousands died from an action that the U.S. government allowed to happen through the FDA.

Peruse the plethora of examples where vaccines containing mercury, live HIV virus, live cancer and other horrors have wrought misery after victims were bullied into taking them by government mandates that they were deluded into thinking was the law.

The history alone, a legacy that led former director of the National Institute of Health Dr. James R. Shannon to state, "The only safe vaccine is one that is never used," implores us to stand up and expose this hoax and ensure that similar executive orders and mandates are not passed elsewhere in the country as a result of cynical greed driven lobbying and corporate crony payoffs.

More parents across the country should rally to denounce this development, which sets the pretext for the state to dictate the health of their children, as well as moving us closer to legislation which would allow Americans to be forcibly vaccinated at gunpoint against their will during a time of manufactured crisis, such as in the case of a human to human bird flu pandemic.

Listen to Alex Jones' analysis on this topic here.

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Posted: Dec 17, 2007 9:01am
Oct 18, 2007
Name: freegans
Type: Tribute (for the living)
To Honor: Individual(s)
Location: , United States
They eat food they find in bins and are driven by conscience, not financial need. Meet the freegans.

There's no such thing as a free lunch, so the saying goes, but freegans beg to differ.

They only eat food they can scavenge for free from supermarket dustbins. Most is only just past its sell-by date, some is still within it but the packaging has been damaged.

The freegan philosophy of "ethical eating" is a reaction against a wasteful society and a way of highlighting how supermarkets dump tonnes of food every year that is still edible.


They argue capitalism and mass production exploit workers, animals and the environment. For the most extreme proponents, freeganism - the name combines free and vegan - is a total boycott of the economic system.

The "urban foragers" do not like to reveal the exact location in which they operate so as not to alert store managers to their after-hours work. In America they call it "dumpster diving" and when the shops shut, that's what they do.

Freegans Paul and Bob operate in a suburb of Manchester and have a network of bins that provided rich pickings.


For them it is a lifestyle choice. They have money and could buy food if they wanted, but as a protest against supermarket waste they choose to live a freegan life.

"There's so much waste it's just unbelievable," says Bob. "While that continues I can't see my freegan lifestyle changing."

On a night out with them, the pair delve deep into their first bin of the night to see what they can salvage. It's a good start - yoghurts, a cauliflower, eggs, mushrooms and some ready meals.

Raiding a second bin they discover it's full of bread, loaf after loaf and many of them still in date. But the haul is nothing compared to their best-ever bin raid a few months ago.

Barbed wire

"We got 75 bottles of beer, 100 frozen chickens and all sorts of things like that," says Paul.

"We found so much food we went out and bought ourselves a big deep freeze and filled it with chickens, meat and all that."

To get from bin raid to bin raid they use a converted post office van. It's where they store all their food and also where they now live - a mobile home in the truest sense.

Not every raid delivers. One major supermarket chain has secured its bins behind fencing and barbed wire, an effective way of keeping the freegans out.


Each item raided from a bin is washed and the packing wiped over with disinfectant. Then it's opened up and cooked even if its past its sell by date. Seafood is banned if not in date but they'll give everything else a try and are rarely ill.

Many supermarkets now give their leftover food to charity and while waste has been cut, a lot of food is still thrown out. So what do they think of freegans?

"As a responsible fresh grocery retailer we cannot condone this behaviour," says a spokesman for Somerfield. "We have reduced our wastage levels by improved processes and by giving our stores the opportunity to markdown products earlier to ensure that they are sold within their use by dates."

But it's not just supermarkets who are to blame. Figures from the Waste Resources Action Programme - which works with businesses and consumers to cut waste - claim households in Britain are among the most wasteful in the world.

Each year 6.7 million tonnes of food is thrown out. Half is perfectly edible and in a lifetime its estimated that each of us wastes up to £24,000 worth of food.

It's figures like these that are the reason Paul and Bob live life the freegan way.


Here is a selection of your comments.

We were doing this 20 years ago. A major Supermarket chain used to dump food in palladins on the day that the expiry date expired. I remember one summers afternoon sitting in the garden of my North London squat eating chocolate eclairs and fresh strawberries. I was looking forward to my evening meal of fillet steak. Unfortunately, now I have appearences to keep up so I have to pay for my self-indulgence
Nick, Hackney


A superb idea. I'm tempted to dive for cans of mushrooms myself. A friend of mine worked for a supermarket and was fired for eating a sandwich that was destined for the dumpster!
James, Berkhamsted, UK


I can't afford to throw good food away, but I wouldn't even if I was rich. It is so easy to cook up raw food into a stew, pie or curry and have it a day or two later. Raw or cooked food can be put in the freezer so easily. Just wrap it well. Only rule there is never refreeze without cooking in between. Of course the easiest thing is don't buy too much in the first place. I do feel that someone who throws out a significant proportion of what they buy has got to be too stupid to run a household. People who do that are mad and ultimately selfish. There is only so much food in the world - while I don't recommend posting packets of mash to Drafur - you could always buy less and give the money to charity? Retailers should have to distribute any edible waste. Only disposing of fully out of date stuff.
Sandy, Derby, UK


Freegans are such hypocrits. You can afford to buy the food yet choose not to, so it's thrown out, then you scrub through a bin for it. You may as well be stealing it from the shop. You're causing the waste by not buying the food in the first place. Sounds like a poor excuse for being tight fisted to me, not a protest against supermarkets.
Kirsty, Leeds


Years ago I was very skint and had to eat like this to survive. I don't agree with the waste and think that homeless charities could be given more by the supermarkets earlier so the food is still edible. Also marking the food down by more than the odd 20p would encourage people to buy the nearly out of date food in the store so it doesn't end up in the bin. The supermarkets were aware that some people were scavenging from the bins when I was doing it and would purposely pour bleach or washing powder on the food to render it inedible. I hope that they feel ashamed.
Naomi, Bristol


Scroungers. Why don't they go in to the store and look for the reduced items that will end up in the bin and BUY IT! Strewth everybody wants something for nothing. I bet if this lot hurt themselves whilst getting the food they'll sue the supermarkets!
Ed, Cardiff


Good for you! I think this is a fair way for showing that so much food is thrown out, but hasn't gone off - I have only just taught my other half that 'Best before' doesn't mean that at the stroke of midnight the food will instantly go 'off' but that it may taste better before this date. Our society is such a 'throw away' society and needs to find out that there are other ways to recycle and save the planet, such as this (not wasting good food).
Shazbhatt, Sheffield, UK


Good luck to Paul, Bob and others who follow this trend. I'm not sure Ild do it myself, but I think they are certainly proving a point that far too much good food is wasted. The only point I would like to disagree on is the term 'freegan' which has apparently been made up from the words free and vegan. As Bob and Paul will eat meat and other animal products they have foraged for, they are not vegans.
2PennyWorth, Dudley


Why would anyone not condone Freeganism? If the food is going to waste, and the Supermarkets have not arranged for it to go to a good cause - something which i understand M&S does - then, in my opinion, it's up for grabs! If Somerfield doesn't like their bins being raided, then they should get rid of unnecessary packaging, and donate left over food to charity.
Hazel, edinburgh


Buying and using a huge deep-freeze big enough for 100 chickens when you don't really need to isn't particularly environmentally sound.
Rachael, Cambridge


I know everyone is looking for the best way to express themselves but I prefer food from grocery stores than from neighbourhoods bins.
Tom Sikorski, Bradford, West Yorkshire


You can justify it all you like. You can sugar coat it. But it's EATING FROM A BIN.
Matthew MacGregor, Inverness, Scotland


I used to work in the foodhall of a department store and every night when we closed they would get all the loaves of very expensive fresh bread, all the cream cakes, buns and pastries and shove them all into bin bags ready for the bin. When I once asked if we could have any to take home, I was told 'of course, at full price'. It used to really bother me that as I left work there was always homeless people outside the store - why the company couldn't - and still don't - donate this food to charity I don't know. It is such a waste!
Liz, Manchester





Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/08/09 09:21:18 GMT

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Posted: Oct 18, 2007 8:15pm
Sep 25, 2007
Focus: Peace
Action Request: Visit - in person
Location: United States


It is becoming increasingly clear that current government policies and corporate "business as usual" are leading us straight toward ecological disaster and climate chaos. The inconvenient truth is that there will be no organic or sustainable future unless health-minded organic consumers and farmers all over the world take up the banner of "No War, No Warming." As nearly all of the world's scientists are now warning us, in order to avoid catastrophic global changes, we must keep atmospheric greenhouse gas (primarily CO2) pollution below 450 parts per million and launch a trillion dollar program of greening the U.S. and global economy--including making local and regional based organic food and farming the norm--and reducing greenhouse gases by at least 10% in 2010, and 90% in 2050. We must stop the trillion dollar war for oil in Iraq, stop all future wars, and end our addiction to fossil fuels. We must shift $680 billion in annual military expenditures to rebuild urban and rural communities. We must go green and promote environmental and organic justice with new jobs and a new food and farming system in a clean energy economy. These are the demands of No War, No Warming, a broad network, spearheaded by the Organic Consumers Association and dozens of other groups, that has come together over the last six months. On Monday, October 22nd, No War No Warming activists will converge on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to engage in mass nonviolent civil disobedience. You can find out more and sign up for the D.C. action or for local actions at

To stay in touch with daily developments, turn off your TV and the corporate controlled mass media, and tune in to the Organic Consumers Association website, especially our Planting Peace and Environment & Climate news and action sections

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Posted: Sep 25, 2007 8:17am
Aug 24, 2007
Focus: Health
Action Request: Visit - in person
Location: United Kingdom
Calling all UK raw food fans...and all health seekers, vegans, green living enthusiasts and anybody else interested in creating a fairer, kinder future. If you haven't already, mark the weekend of September 1 and 2 in your diary and come along to the 4th annual Festival Of Life. What is it? It's a celebration of compassionate lifestyles and sustainable living. It's also London's biggest and best raw food gathering; a weekend of fantastic speakers, fabulous food and shopping, and a great opportunity to meet like-minded people.

The Fresh Network will be there selling a range of raw food staples, gourmet ingredients, superfoods and supplements. We'll also be offering samples of products from the One Lucky Duck range, including the best raw chocolate macaroons, crackers, granola and spicy nuts you've ever tasted! Better still, we'll be offering a 20% discount on everything we sell on the day, and 10% off any orders for products we don't have with us, including books and kitchen equipment.

For an overview of the weekend's raw shopping and eating opportunities click here.

There is a truly fabulous line-up of over 50 talks and workshops on all aspects of health, nutrition, ecology and spirituality, featuring, among others, Jess Michael, Angela Stokes, Dr Gina Shaw and Matt Monarch. Food demos include Gina Panayi, author of The Raw Greek, and Liz Bygrave's raw desserts and chocolate class. For the full program, click here. In addition, there'll be an outside play area and lots of activities for children.

Having been to many such events, including those we've hosted ourselves, we know that the single most valuable thing they offer is the chance to meet and spend time with like-minded people, who often turn into life-long friends. Say the organisers: "A natural diet creates a profound shift in consciousness and we don't all have the opportunity to connect with others on the same wavelength every day - for many people it can be a lonely path. The Festival exists to fill that gap."

The Festival Of Life will run from 11am to 7pm on Saturday September 1 and Sunday September 2. There will be a Conscious Dance Party on the Saturday evening from 6pm to 10pm. The event will take place at St Paul's Steiner Project, 1 St Paul's Road, Islington, London N1. For directions and a map, click here.

Cost: £12 for a weekend ticket or £8 per day (concessions £5). Under 16s free. Saturday evening party £3 (£5 on the door). No additional charges for talks and workshops.

For all other information contact the organisers on 0870 7344 888 or email

We do hope to see you there!

The Fresh Team
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Posted: Aug 24, 2007 9:10pm
Jul 24, 2007
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Various
Location: United States
by Ralph Nader
Here they go again. After thirty years without a firm order, the atomic power companies are pushing their radioactive, costly technology for a comeback on the backs of you the taxpayers.
The old argument in the Seventies was that nuclear powered electricity would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. With only three percent of our electricity coming from burning petroleum, the pro-nuke lobby is now jumping on the global warming bandwagon. Uranium, they argue, does not release greenhouse gases like coal or oil.
What nuclear lobbies ignore is all the coal and oil that needs to be burned to enrich uranium, to transport radioactive wastes with protective highway and rail convoys and provide security since they would be a priority target for sabotage.
Apart from that, let's start with the technological insanity of the nuclear fuel cycle-from uranium mines and their deadly tailings, to the refining and fabrication into fuel rods, to the multi-shielded dome-like nuclear plant, to the necessity for perfect operation of the facility, to the still unresolved problems of the location and containment of hot radioactive wastes and contaminated material for the next 200,000 years!
All this for one objective-to boil water into steam. A pretty complex chain of events in order to boil water. There are far better, cheaper ways to meet the electricity needs of today's generation without burdening future generations for centuries with the deadly waste products.
Back in the Seventies, before the public rose up and said no to nuclear power, helped by Wall Street's reluctance to finance these trouble-prone plants, the Atomic Energy Commission projected the construction of 1000 atomic power plants in the U.S. by the year 2000. There are today 103 plants.
Placing the predicted 100 plants up and down the California coastline would have been an act of peerless recklessness, especially given the earthquake faults.
Just this week, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Kashiwazaki, Japan and disabled a gigantic nuclear power plant which the New York Times reported, "raised new concerns about the safety of the nation's accident-plagued nuclear industry." It turns out that this plant, owned by Tokyo Electric Power, may be sitting directly above an earthquake fault line.
Each day, reports show damage greater than believed the day before, including radiation leaks, damage to exhaust ducts, burst pipes and other "malfunctions" beyond the fires. Several hundred barrels of radioactive waste were toppled.
The problem with nuclear power is that it gets one bite of the apple.
Just one major meltdown could provoke a demand to close the industry down by overwhelming adverse public outrage. You see, way back in the Fifties and Sixties, the Atomic Energy Commission, a booster-regulatory agency for atomic power plants, estimated that an "area the size of Pennsylvania" would be contaminated in such a disaster.
Remember, Chernobyl in Ukraine is still surrounded by vacant towns and villages following the 1986 tragedy. Radioactivity found its way as far as sheep in England, nuts grown in Turkey and elsewhere.
Do you know any other industry producing electricity that has to have specific evacuation plans for miles around it, is inherently a national security risk, cannot be privately insured without Congress mandating severe limited liability in case of massive casualties and requires massive taxpayer subsidies?
A most concise, authoritative case against the electric atom was recently released titled "Why a Future for the Nuclear Industry is Risky" by a group of environmental health and social investment groups. (See
In the introduction to the report, the case against nuclear energy was summarized this way: "Wind power and other renewable technologies, combined with energy efficiency, conservation and cogeneration can be much more cost effective and can be deployed much sooner than new nuclear power plants."
Yes indeed, efficiency or conservation, with a national mission, can cut in half the waste of energy, using currently available technology and know-how, before the first privately capitalized nuclear plant opens. One scientist once described the primary output of electric generating plants as "heating the heavens."
If this insensitive industry cannot be revived by Uncle Sam's tax treasury, Wall Street certainly has given no indication that private investment would take on the risk. Investment money is pouring presently into wind power, solar and other renewables and this is just the early springtime for these benign sources of energy.
The International Energy Agency sees a 25% cost reduction for wind power and a 50% cost reduction for solar photovoltaics from 2001 to 2020. Without Wall Street's private capital and with rising construction and operating costs in other countries, the prospect for nuclear power being competitive, even deducting decommissioning costs, and the many
millennia of waste storage costs, is not there.
Add a major accident and you'll see, in addition to casualties and contaminated land and property, every private investor running for cover while the bill is passed on to taxpayers.
Here is a suggestion to put the industry's propaganda to rest. Will any high nuclear industry executive debate physicist Amory Lovins at the National Press Club filled with electric company leaders? If so, please visit and contact Mr. Lovins.

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Posted: Jul 24, 2007 6:39am
May 31, 2007
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Think About
Location: United States

Consume Like There’s No Tomorrow

Would someone please tell the Sierra Club Exec Board that the idea of an “environmentally friendly car” makes as much sense as a “non-violent death penalty?”  While the vast majority of those concerned with global warming consider reduction of unneeded production to be at the core of a sane policy, the Sierra Club has endorsed a plan that includes virtually no role for conservation.

In January 2007, the American Solar Energy Society (ASE released the 180 page document, Tackling Climate Change in the U.S.  Typical of big enviro analyses, it assumes a corporate dominated growth economy.  Its novelty is its highly technical studies which claim to compute how much CO2 emissions can be offset by energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy.

Teaming up with ASES to present the study to Congress, the Sierra Club enthusiastically wrote that “energy efficiency and renewables alone can achieve a 60–80% reduction in global warming emissions by 2050.”  Adding the key word “alone” in the first paragraph of its release indicated that the Sierra Club wanted to be sure that politicians and corporate donors understood that it has no intention of criticizing the large quantity of unnecessary junk created by corporate America.

What ain’t there

Solar power, wind power and energy efficiency (EE) play vital roles in reducing CO2.  The rub is the role of conservation, or reduction of total production.  For “deep greens,” the most basic goal is social change that would foster the reduction of energy.  For “shallow greens,” conservation is, at best, something to give lip service to while tunnel visioning on eco-gadgets.

More blatant than the typical corporate enviromental analysis, the ASES/Sierra report trivializes conservation as “doing without” or “deprivation.”  It presents a vast array of technological playthings, some of which are quite good and some of which are less than environmental.  What is most revealing is what it does not include.  It discusses transportation without using the word “bicycle” or “walking.”

It looks at efficient building design with no discussion of using empty buildings or designing buildings to last longer than 50 years.  The report that Carl Pope boasts is “now the official Sierra Club global warming strategy” has an extended discussion of home heating and cooling without mentioning the word “tree.”  George Monbiot’s recently-published Heat concludes that manufacturing a ton of cement creates a ton of CO2 , a fact not emphasized by proponents of EE buildings.

In the analysis of energy efficiency, the phrase “organic agriculture” never appears and there is no mention of the massive use of petrochemicals or factory farms and there is zero concern with the fact that the average American food item travels 1300 miles from farm to plate.  The strange approach to EE does not question the cancerous growth of household appliances, planned obsolescence, or corporate creation of artificial desires for unneeded products. 

The authors have no comment on enormous waste in medical care or huge insurance buildings which drain energy while creating nothing of value.  The chapters on transportation, such as plug-in hybrid electric cars, ignore the fact that air traffic in the United Kingdom will double by 2030, at which time it will have more effect on global warming than automobiles.  The call for a 10 fold increase in biomass says nothing about effects of monocultures, deforestation, genetic engineering or pesticide usage. 

Those approaches left out of the big enviro plan for energy efficiency share something: they are common sense low tech or no tech solutions which involve reducing the quantity of production and energy use with no decrease in the quality of life.  They have something else in common: they do not involve the swelling of corporate profits via increased manufacture.

When is energy efficiency not efficient?

Almost as much as solar and wind power, energy efficiency is becoming the unquestioned mantra of solutions to global warming.  Refrigerators that use 75% less energy are a plus.  Even better would be the German-designed Passivhaus, which is so well insulated that it has zero heating and cooling systems.

EE is good.  But projections about what it can offer sometimes border on hallucinations.  This is the case with the ASES/Sierra claim that EE can offset global warming by 57%.

The first limitation on EE is the old maxim that the more parts there are to a system, the more parts there are to break.  The ASES/Sierra report reads like an encyclopedia of techno-fix gadgets for buildings, cars and holes in the earth.  Each item involves increased industrial interdependence.  As resources come to be in short supply from exhaustion or wars or hoarding, the future is likely to see a decline in the ability to patch up interconnected systems.  Becoming more dependent on them more begs for industrial breakdown. 

Another factor that works against EE is the law of diminishing returns.  Joseph Tainter explained that societies begin to collapse when resources are drained to meet the needs of increasing complexity.  Similarly, the biggest impact of discoveries come when they are first introduced.  That’s when there is the greatest energy returned on energy invested.  Additional refinements tend to cost more and yield less.  Oil was cheap and easy to obtain when it oozed to the surface.  As time goes on, oil becomes more expensive to pump, the available quantity decreases, and the quality worsens.  The biggest impact of drugs came with antibiotics.  Now we are bombarded with ads for new drugs that cost more to research but have fewer advantages over the previous generation of drugs.

Technocrats tend to have faith in unlimited potential for EE.  The truth is that we have probably seen most of the largest efficiency impacts and future changes will mainly be refinements that offer less and less improvement.

The most important difficulty for EE is the market economy, which corporate environmentalists love so much and understand so little.  Corporations do not compete to make less money.  They compete to increase their profits.  Market forces compel each corporation to expand production as rapidly as possible.  When more efficient heating is available, corporations selling it will encourage customers to turn up their thermostats and run around in their underwear in the middle of winter. 

People live commuting distances from work.  The automobile has lengthened that distance.  Fuel efficient cars will do nothing to affect that distance or the expanding miles of road, the loss of habitat that accompanies road construction, space for parking or energy used in manufacturing cars. 

It is not hard to visualize yuppies feeling so smug about their EE apartment in New York that they buy an EE home in Phoenix, an EE condo in Chicago, a hybrid car for each city, and a helicopter modified to run on biofuels for shuttling between cities.  Energy efficiency is not efficient when some individual items are more efficient, but the overall quantity of items increases so much that the total mass of energy used goes up instead of down.  Like it or not, that is the irredeemable compulsion of market economics.

This is not to say that EE plays no role in preventing the planet from frying.  It is to say that EE must be accompanied with an intense program of conservation, economic redesign and governmental regulation.  Without these, EE in a market economy is not merely worthless, but will likely result in expanded production and increased global warming.

Invasion of the techno-babblers

Anyone who has ever fought an incinerator, cement kiln or coal plant knows that you’ve lost the struggle if you ever let industry suck you into an argument about which pollution control device should be tacked on after toxins have been created.  The only genuine solution is the easy one — to prevent the creation of the poisons in the first place.

If someone tries to sell an incinerator or an EE system that’s too complicated to understand, that could indicate it’s a bad idea.  Making things simple is typically the route of greatest efficiency.

A narrow focus on technology seeks to replace a gee-gaw with a doo-dad, and when that doesn’t work, come up with a gizmo.  Techno-babble sputters forth from the belief that social problems can be solved in a quest for the ultimate gadget.  Oblivious to social reasons for global warming, the ASES/Sierra report claims that whatever greenhouse gas problems remain after EE can be solved with six renewable technologies: “concentrating solar power, photovoltaics, wind power, biomass, biofuels and geothermal power.”  The last three of these are techno-babble.

“Biomass” is largely an effort to turn whatever wildlands remain on this planet to energy crop monocultures.  Not surprisingly, the word “ecology” does not appear in the biomass chapter.  What is surprising is the subsection on “Urban residues” which discusses the use of municipal solid waste as feedstock for heat conversion to electricity.  This is a polite way of saying that environmentalists should endorse spewing incinerator poisons into city air and abandon the notion of not generating waste.

“Geothermal power” does not have such offensive associations.  But less than 0.1% of geothermal energy is within three kilometers of the surface, which makes it currently recoverable.  Suggesting that yet-to-be-perfected techniques of recovery might allow geothermal to provide 20% of US energy is pure speculation.  It cannot be part of a serious energy strategy.

One of the more shameful chapters of the report concerns “Biofuels.”  It has nothing against corn ethanol.  It only rejects using corn grain to produce ethanol on the basis that the 10 million gallons of ethanol which could be manufactured from US corn would represent only 5% of this country’s gasoline demand.  It pays no attention to issues brought up the same month in a Scientific American article that (1) refining ethanol uses more energy than it produces, and (2) ethanol requires “robbing food crops to make fuel.”  The lack of concern with either ethanol efficiency or world hunger renders the Sierra-endorsed report as less ecologically-minded than Scientific American, the prototype of techno-hype publications.

The chapter clings to the hope that ethanol could be produced if, instead of using corn grain, “residues from corn and wheat crops” made up the feedstock.  There are several problems with this “cellulose” strategy.  First, as with geothermal, making ethanol from cornstalks is so highly speculative that it has no place in long term projections.  If it could be done, it would be from genetically engineering corn to make it more amenable to separating sugars from lignin.  There has already been plenty of genetic contamination of foodstocks.  Additional genetic engineering is exactly what agriculture does not need.

The biggest problem with cellulosic ethanol is that it assumes that soil should be nothing more than a sterile medium for growing crops and that “residue” has no part in replenishing soil.  Just as the Forest Service under Bill Clinton brought us “salvage logging” based on the belief that decaying wood has no significance for forest ecosystems, Hillary Clinton might usher in the concept that decaying cornstalks have no contribution to soil ecosystems.

Those who fixate on biofuels don’t seem to grasp that keeping natural fertilizers out of the soil means relying more on petrochemical fertilizers.  With a straight face they are proposing to reduce oil use in cars by increasing use of oil-based fertilizers.

Hard questions/Tough reality

Perpetual motion machines, biomass and biofuels will not halt species extinction caused by climate change.  Again, efficiency and solar and wind power are critical components of a sustainable society.  But focusing on them diverts attention from the real issues that need to be addressed — how to dramatically reduce energy production while improving the quality of life.  This is the basis for the hard questions that corporate environmentalists avoid.

For example, the US needs to reduce the number of cars on the road by at least 95% and make sure the few that are manufactured are hybrids.  How can the US economy be reorganized so that auto workers and refinery workers have jobs comparable to jobs that they now have?

Many poor countries depend on destructive industries such as oil.  How can the world economy be reorganized so they increase their standard of living while altering what they produce?

It is well known that greenhouse gas reduction requires population reduction, which can best be accomplished by reducing the gap between rich and poor and achieving equality for women.  How do we reverse the right wing pattern of increasing disparity?

The global economy is increasing production of high-energy goods such as roads, cars, airplanes, fast food, meat and endless mountains of consumer crap.  How do we change this to production of low-energy goods that people actually need, such as locally grown organic food, preventive health care and clothes and homes that endure?

The creation of artificial wants for new objects is exploding like genetically engineered diseases in a bio-defense lab.  How do we convince big enviro that it is not “sacrifice” or “deprivation” to focus on manufacturing items that people actually need and will last?

We all want to believe that our checks to Sierra or the Nature Conservancy do some good in the long run and that they are just a little slow to do the right thing.  The tough reality is that big enviro is doing bad things that lead in the wrong direction.

The most basic task for stopping global warming is having a moral, ethical and spiritual revolution based on the belief that excessive crap is bad.  Reduction of unnecessary production is the antithesis of what corporations are all about.  However destructive it is for the planet, corporations must seek to convince people to consume more and more. 

Enter big enviro telling people that excessive consumption is not bad at all because it gives the consumer the ability to affect change with purchasing power.  The erudite techno-magician waves his wand, uttering “Don’t look at the mounds of discarded junk that go into landfills.  Look over here at the fabulous eco-gadgets of our corporate friends.”

Big enviro may be doing more to preserve the ethos of self-devouring consumerism than big corporations could ever do.  What a surprise to learn that the Sierra Club has a history of obtaining funds from Chemical Bank, ARCO and British Petroleum.  Big enviro just may deliver to big oil what it most needs — faith that a market economy can protect the planet.

Karl Marx once said something to the effect that if there were only two capitalists left, they would compete to see which would sell the rope to hang the other one.  A modern version might be that if the planet was so roasted that only two big enviro groups remained, they would compete to see which could get a grant from big oil to show that what was left of the world could be saved by consumer choices.

Don Fitz is editor of Synthesis/Regeneration: A Magazine of Green Social Thought, which is sent to members of The Greens/Green Party USA.  He can be reached at


Heinberg, R. The party’s over. New Society Publishers, 2003.

Kutscher, C.F. (Ed.) Tackling Climate Change in the U.S.: Potential Carbon Emissions Reduction from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by 2030.  American Solar Energy Society, 2007. change

Monbiot, G. Heat: How to stop the planet from burning. South End Press, 2007.

Sierra Club, Renewable energy experts unveil report. Sierra club press release, January 31, 2007. Contact Josh Dorner,

Tainter, J. The collapse of complex societies, Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Tokar, B., Earth for Sale. South End Press, 1997.

Wald, M.L. Is ethanol for the long haul? Scientific American. January 2007.
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Posted: May 31, 2007 3:54am
Jan 26, 2007
Focus: Peace
Action Request: Petition
Location: United States
Incredibly enough, while everyone else is saying that we should end the war in Iraq and talk with Iran and Syria, President Bush is now sending more troops to Iraq, and clearly preparing, in words as well as actions, to launch a military strike against Iran. (Or let Israel do it for him.)

A wider war in the Middle East would be a catastophe unlike any we've seen before, and could very possibly usher in a third World War. I signed the "No War with Iran!" petition, which is being organized by the group Peace Action, and would recommend it to you as well. You can sign the petition by cutting and pasting the following url into your internet browser:

Thanks for joining me in signing the "No War with Iran" petition!

You can find out more about Peace Action at their website,
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Posted: Jan 26, 2007 7:31am
Jan 18, 2007
Focus: Business
Action Request: Boycott
Location: United States

Conflict diamonds – diamonds that help finance war and terrorism at their origins in Africa and beyond – have seen their profile rise in the minds of consumers, due in part to the  recent Leonardo DiCaprio film Blood Diamond, and an early-January documentary on the History Channel with the same name.

Co-op America's most recent editorial takes this opportune moment to remind consumers that they have the power to demand that entire industries change.  We tell you how many jewelry stores say they have policies on conflict diamonds, and give you solutions, showing you what consumers (and Congress) can do about the problem. 

If you would like other readers to have access to this or any of Co-op America's editorials, please forward this e-mail to the editor of your local paper, with instructions contact us for reprint permission.  (All of Co-op America's editorials are available to reprint.)

Also, to help you make responsible jewelry purchases, check out our Real Money articles on gold and precious gems, with links to green and Fair Trade jewelry retailers, as well as our National Green Pages™.

And stay tuned – our next issue of the Co-op America Quarterly, due out next month, will focus on economic actions for Africa – how you can use your consumer and investing choices in partnership with people in Africa working for a better future.
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Posted: Jan 18, 2007 1:20am
Nov 21, 2006
Focus: Business
Action Request: Various
Location: United States



THE ULTIMATE REFUND: On November 24th and 25th -- the busiest days in the American retail calendar and the unofficial start of the international Christmas-shopping season -- thousands of activists and concerned citizens in 65 countries will take a 24-hour consumer detox as part of the 14th annual Buy Nothing Day, a global phenomenon that originated in Vancouver, Canada.

From joining zombie marches through malls to organizing credit card cut-ups and shopoholic clinics, Buy Nothing Day activists aim to challenge themselves, their families and their friends to switch off from shopping and tune back into life for one day. Featured in recent years by the likes of CNN, Wired, the BBC, and the CBC, the global event is celebrated as a relaxed family holiday, as a non-commercial street party, or even as a politically charged public protest. Anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending.

Reasons for participating in Buy Nothing Day are as varied as the people who choose to participate. Some see it as an escape from the marketing mind games and frantic consumer binge that has come to characterize the holiday season, and our culture in general. Others use it to expose the environmental and ethical consequences of overconsumption.

Two recent, high-profile disaster warnings outline the sudden urgency of our dilemma. First, in October, a global warming report by economist Sir Nicholas Stern predicted that climate change will lead to the most massive and widest-ranging market failure the world has ever seen. Soon after, a major study published in the journal Science forecast the near-total collapse of global fisheries within 40 years.

Kalle Lasn, co-founder of the Adbusters Media Foundation, which was responsible for turning Buy Nothing Day into an international annual event, said, "Our headlong plunge into ecological collapse requires a profound shift in the way we see things. Driving hybrid cars and limiting industrial emissions is great, but they are band-aid solutions if we don't address the core problem: we have to consume less. This is the message of Buy Nothing Day."

As Lasn suggests, Buy Nothing Day isn't just about changing your habits for one day. It's about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment to consuming less and producing less waste. With six billion people on the planet, the onus if on the most affluent - the upper 20% that consumes 80% of the world's resources - to begin setting the example.


For more information and media interviews contact

TELEPHONE NUMBER: 604-736-9401


Editor's Notes

[1] For more information on Adbusters, Buy Nothing Day, or to watch Kalle Lasn's 2004 Buy Nothing Day interview with CNN visit

[2] Buy Nothing Day facts:
-The first BND was organized in Vancouver in September 1992, an idea by artist Ted Dave, as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption.
-In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanksgiving, which is the busiest shopping pre-Christmas weekend in the US. Outside of North America, BND is usually celebrated on the following Saturday.
-Despite controversies, Adbusters managed to advertise BND on CNN, but many other major TV networks declined to air their ads.
-Soon, campaigns started appearing in US, UK, Israel, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, and Norway. Participation now spans over 65 nations.

[3] Shopping and consumption facts:
-Per capita consumption in the U.S. has risen 45 per cent in the last 20 years.
-Although people today are, on average, four-and-a-half times richer than our great-grandparents were at the turn of the century, Americans report feeling "significantly less well off" than in 1958.
-A recent article in New Scientist featured research suggesting that the more consumer goods you have the more you think you need to make you happy. Happiness through consumption is always out of reach (New Scientist, 4th October 2003, Vol.180, Issue 2415, p44. Available online after registering at


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Posted: Nov 21, 2006 6:35am
Apr 13, 2006
Focus: Death Penalty
Action Request: Read
Location: United States
The Interview: Nathan Winograd from No Kill Solutions goes up against PETA's pro-killing stance of Pound Animals

He's vegan. His attitude is enlightened and revolutionary towards pound animals. His successes to date have been remarkable. Nathan Winograd is the guru of no-kill sheltering in the world today. He once said, "Once a fringe movement dismissed by the status quo, the no-kill movement is now only the legitimate standard for animal sheltering". No Kill is also the only legitimate standard for the animal rights movement to embrace as well. If the AR Movement refuses to embrace
No-Kill options for all animals then not only will it have a credibility problem on its hands but also, if neglected, this one thing alone will plant the seed for the destruction of the continuance of the animal rights movement. Here he speaks with the Abolitionist.


Here's a taste of what's in store:

"I am an ethical vegan and I don't think that's necessary to be a shelter director but you really want people who love animals and who hurt by the killing and if you hurt by the killing you will stop at nothing to save lives."

"I don't think most people know about PETA's position. I have a copy of a postcard Ingrid sent me back in 1992/3 where she says she does not believe in 'a right for life' for feral cats and she does have a policy against No-Kill shelters and there's the whole thing about the pitbulls."
"Her position is these animals should be dead even in the face of life saving alternatives. Because of that, PETA have stopped making sense to us as vegans, as animal rights people, as animal lovers and we have chosen to focus on other groups that have a more enlightened stance when it comes to cats and dogs."

"{PETA} have a policy against No-Kill shelters and, my best guess is, that their founder Ingrid Newkirk rose from the ranks of animal control at the Washington Humane Society and actually spent a good part of her career killing animals instead of protecting them."

"As early as the mid- 1970's the Humane Society of the United States (HSU and all those large groups were opposing the very types of efforts that made San Francisco so incredibly successful. In fact right after San Francisco did achieve success the HSUS started vilification campaigns against no-kill. I believe there's a body count attached to their anti no-kill rhetoric and positions."

Also the Corrine Daws Interview: Making Sydney No-Kill

"In the last 10 years since my pound has been no-kill I have not once looked at a dog and thought, "You are a horrible dog. You don't deserve a home. You deserve to die"".
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Posted: Apr 13, 2006 3:26am


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