July 5th, 2012
By Kate Fried
The dollars you drop at the grocery store have a direct impact on your health and the health of the planet. But try to tell that to Nestlé Pure Life, a brand of bottled water sourced from municipal tap water supplies, which recently launched its “2012 Hydration Movement.” In choosing tap water (rather than bottled tap water) you reject the commodification of a vital, increasingly limited, natural resource (and the extra expense) and choose water that hasn’t been left to languish for months or even years in chemical-leaching plastic bottles.
Nestlé’s latest attempts to put a positive spin on its products by marketing bottled water as the obvious replacement for soda inspired the following satire. Read this blog in your best late-night television infomercial voice. Remember that here at Food & Water Watch, we are all for replacing bad habits with healthy ones; but bottled water is not the key to a healthier planet or a healthier you.
Read the full article…
July 3rd, 2012
By Rich Bindell
Some good news to kick off your Independence Day! In Las Cruces, New Mexico, local citizens rallied to defeat an unfair city policy that would have blocked citizens with unpaid traffic tickets from having the right to water.
If you recall, Food & Water Watch issued an unofficial citation to the city council for violating the right to water. Just a few weeks later, the council backed off and declared that the city would seek alternatives to punishing violators.
This is a wonderful victory for the local citizens of Las Cruces! It’s nice to be able to report to volunteers, organizers and our supportive social media community that their voices were heard!
Food & Water Watch Volunteer Jason Burke, who lives in Las Cruces, said it best… Read the full article…
June 25th, 2012
By Mitch Jones
With the failure of governments to provide a vision for sustainability at Rio+20, some environmental leaders are looking to other stakeholders—mainly the private sector—to develop a green economy. But we know that corporations are, by nature, profit-seeking entities, and when you bring them to the table at a multilateral forum, they will come representing their shareholders—to whom they have a fiduciary responsibility. But with government leaders like Barack Obama and David Cameron AWOL at Rio, who was representing the rest of us and the planet?
Hopefully not guys like Robert Johnson, executive director of the Institute on New Economic Thinking. Here’s what he said at a recent event at Bard College, which was also posted on Andrew Revkin’s Dot Earth blog:
Water and air are priced at zero…. On the other hand, if you cut off my air and water I would be willing to pay to get it turned back on. So there’s something amiss in a theory of value that doesn’t value these common resources, the common pool on which we all base our lives. Read the full article…
By Seth Gladstone
For the polluting natural gas drillers and corporate lobbyist hucksters that have come under his exposing lens, the investigative filmmaker Josh Fox has become a primary target. Since his 2010 documentary film Gasland opened the eyes of an uninformed nation (and Academy Awards nominators) to the horrific realities of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the fossil fuel industry has recognized the threat Fox poses to its bottom line. That’s why it set about disparaging Fox and denying the conditions exposed in Gasland immediately upon the film’s release. But thankfully, Fox wasn’t deterred by the personal attacks and outrageous claims made against his work. He’s back, and in his latest anti-fracking expose, he’s honed his message for an audience of one: Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The Sky is Pink, Fox’s 18-minute short film released last week, is a concise and timely update on the battle against fracking that has been waged by countless families for years, and on the latest efforts of the gas industry to misinform the public and community leaders on the issue. But its focus is squarely on the latest front in the fight: New York State. As the Cuomo administration publically ponders a fracking future for the state, Fox uses his punchy, fact-driven piece to update the public – and one key governor – on how the debate has evolved and what real science and data on the issue actually tell us.
Read the full article…
June 21st, 2012
Watch a video explaining the financialization of nature.
By Darcey O’Callaghan and Gabriella Zanzanaini
The distance between the official UN Conference on Sustainable Development (or CSD, where heads of state, corporate stakeholders and NGOs convened this week) and the People’s Summit (an official venue for grassroots solutions) mandated between a one and two and a half-hour commute, which prohibited any meaningful dialogue between the two spaces. There were—literally and figuratively—several mountains between the two summits.
The final text for heads of state to consider makes no commitments, as evidenced by word counts. “We will” was used five times whereas “we support” was used 99 times.
It was continuously stated by the U.S., Canada, and other powerful countries that this is “not a pledging conference,” thus setting the tone for negotiations throughout the week and lowering expectations for outcomes. Read the full article…
Posted in Activism
,Right to Water
June 15th, 2012
By Katherine Boehrer
This week we are celebrating two big successes in Ohio and Alabama, where citizens worked together to protect their public lands and water from the dangers of fracking operations. The victories came after local groups and environmental organizations banded together to demand more public involvement in local decision making regarding shale gas drilling.
Thanks to a dedicated group of activists in Ohio, the Muskigum Watershed Conservancy Board announced that they would not be considering water sales for use in fracking operations until a study is completed by the USGS and the Board reviews its water sale policy.
After a recent sale of 11 million gallons to Gulfport Energy, the grassroots group Southeast Ohio Alliance to Save our Water enlisted the help of activists from Food & Water Watch, the Sierra Club, the Buckeye Forest Council, the Ohio Environmental Council, and other grassroots groups to go before the board’s governing panel of judges, demanding more citizen participation in the water sale process and expressing their concern about the use of public water for fracking. After hearing what they had to say, the judges and the board expressed interest in having more public involvement in decision making in the future. Later that week, they made the announcement that they would halt water sales for use in fracking until more information is gathered. Read the full article…
June 6th, 2012
By Seth Gladstone
Just when you thought the Big Oil and Gas lobby’s slick and aggressive marketing efforts couldn’t get any more absurd, they come out and top even themselves. In a sly reference to New York State’s iconic “I Love NY” tourism promotion campaign, the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York gives us this: a sad attempt at humor (we think) that fails miserably.
Indeed, New York State has long been a mecca for local, domestic and international tourists seeking the plentiful array of wonderful outdoor activities – from skiing in the Catskill Mountains, to apple picking in the Hudson Valley, to waterskiing on the Delaware River – that make the state a truly unique year-round destination. Certainly the thousands of small business owners throughout the state that rely on the tourism industry to make a living value the well-earned reputation New York has garnered as a traveler’s delight.
To think that the oil and gas lobby might attract tourists to New York State with the image of an obtrusive, polluting gas rig dominating the horizon couldn’t be more ridiculous. Their cluelessness – or perhaps their arrogance – must not go unnoticed by the residents and elected officials of New York.
That’s why we’re asking you to join us in letting Governor Cuomo know that we are looking to him to protect New York’s valuable tourist industry from fracking. Urge Governor Cuomo to ban fracking in New York.
June 4th, 2012
Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
By Wenonah Hauter
Sometimes life is scarier than a post-collapse science fiction thriller. Such was the case of the first ever Global Water: Oil & Gas Summit that was held in Dubai last week. While Wall Street was dithering about the failed promise of the Facebook IPO, the oil and water technology industries were plotting about profiting from a thirsty future. Representatives from some of the most powerful companies in the world – Shell, Dow, GE, Veolia, CH2MHILL, AES – met to consummate an unholy alliance focused on using (and polluting) trillions of gallons of water to frack and drill for every last drop of oil and gas.
Dubai was a fitting location for the outlandish and irresponsible group-think that marked the Summit. As the temperature outside soared to 104 degrees, the temperature indoors was kept at an arctic chill – exemplifying the wanton over-consumption that’s driving us to the brink of the climate disaster and the world water crisis. Built on the riches accrued from oil, the city vaunts its 40 shopping malls, 70,000 hotel rooms, and dozens of tall skyscrapers and over-sized resorts. Here in the Arabian dessert, tourists can buy a fur coat, ride in boats on a wide artificial canal, visit the world’s tallest building or stay in a sail-shaped hotel on an artificial island. But, venture outside into sizzling heat and your eyes may burn from the toxic cocktail of ozone, benzene fumes, volatile organic chemicals and dust. Read the full article…
May 30th, 2012
By Mark Schlosberg
We have a wonderful opportunity to grow the movement to ban fracking and here’s why we need your help today: for every dollar donated before June 10, a generous donor will match your donation so we can continue our work to fight fracking.
Food & Water Watch was the first national organization to fight for a ban on fracking, and we’ve worked with communities in Colorado, Ohio, New York, Alabama, California and beyond to stop this dangerous practice that threatens human health, our communities, and our environment. Vermont recently became the first state to introduce, pass and enact into law a bill to ban fracking. It’s also exciting to note that over 200 communities now have passed measures against fracking.
But there is much more to do. Read the full article…
May 25th, 2012
By Seth Gladstone
The groundswell of opposition to the dirty and dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in New York has come from all corners of the state and from all types of people. Parents have raised alarm over the prospect of fracking just feet from their children’s schools and playgrounds. Business owners have voiced concern over a loss of revenue from tourists and local patrons who could be frightened off by the drilling. Farmers wonder what will become of their pristine fields and pastures, and New Yorkers of all stripes are fearful of the potential for chemical spills, contaminated drinking water and even earthquakes - all sad symptoms of fracking in neighboring states.
But mixed in with all these concerned voices are a few that really hit home – those of children. Among the thousands of letters that Governor Cuomo has received asking him to ban fracking in New York, those from the young campers at the Eden Village Camp in Putnam Valley stand out.
“Dear Governor Cuomo,” begins one letter, handwritten, and not without the occasional spelling mistake. “I have just a moment ago learned about fracking. I just want to ask you, do you like digging holes in the ground? Are you okay with filling the ground, lakes and rivers with chemicals?” The letter concludes asking Cuomo to “bring awareness to this, and make the state, country and world a little happier and healthier.” Sometimes kids just say it the best. Read the full article…