Round white moon on one side, pink streaks shooting from a glassy sea on the other, and in between a flock of fat ruddy turnstones, running along wet sand as fast as their little legs will carry them until they lift off in fluttering flight.
Seems like a lot of mainland reporters are taking flights to Kauai these days, and apparently even more are planned. The Media Consortium has launched a “two-year collaborative project involving ten news organizations that will send reporters to Kauai to cover issues regarding pesticide-based pollution, GE food, corporate influence and other important topics,” according to an announcement by the Food Integrity Campaign. The release goes on to state:
This effort mirrors FIC's mission, which seeks to enhance overall food integrity "by strategically working to alter the relationship of power between the food industry and consumers; protecting the rights of those who speak out against the practices that compromise food integrity; and empowering industry whistleblowers and citizen activists."
It's sponsored by the Media Consortium, whose website maintains:
Millions of Americans are looking for honest, fair, and accurate journalism-we’re finding new ways to reach them.
I'll be curious to see how the Media Consortium manages to satisfy both its mission and FIC's agenda.
I've also been curious about the fascinating alliance that formed between the biotech industry, the federal government and environmentalists, leading to a push for ethanol as part of the “green energy” movement to slow global warming.
As a lengthy Associated Press piece reports, ethanol has been extremely effective at boosting corn prices — which in turn drives up food costs — and selling lots of GMO corn and soy seeds. Those are the two crops most commonly used to produce ethanol in the U.S.
Though it's been great for biotech seed sales and corn farmers, who planted 15 million more acres of corn last year than before the ethanol boom, it's had devastating ecological impacts:
As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies, an Associated Press investigation found.
Five million acres of land set aside for conservation — more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined — have vanished on Obama's watch.
Landowners filled in wetlands. They plowed into pristine prairies, releasing carbon dioxide that had been locked in the soil.
Sprayers pumped out billions of pounds of fertilizer, some of which seeped into drinking water, contaminated rivers and worsened the huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico where marine life can't survive.
Hawaii imposed an ethanol mandate supposedly to boost biofuel production in the state, but as we all know, there is no local production. Which means we're importing GMO-based ethanol to add to the gasoline here. Kinda crazy, huh?
As Henry Curtis of Life of the Land notes in a blog post::
Ethanol is green in the sense that, after factoring in all of the generous state and federal tax breaks and subsidies, a lot of money could be made.
It's time to end the ethanol mandate for gasoline — if the Hawaii Legislature is willing to tackle the issue. Sounds like a natural cause for the pro-2491 movement to take on, another way to hit biotech in the pocketbook.
And finally, Mayor Carvalho has responsed to Councilman Gary Hooser's allegation that his staff — namely communications director Beth Tokioka — was texting Councilmembers “in an attempt to influence the vote and actions of members of the Council on Bill No. 2491, Draft 2.”
Though Carvalho acknowledged some texts were exchanged between Beth and Councilmembers JoAnn Yukimura and Nadine Nakamura, he said there was no attempt to influence their decisions.
Both JoAnn and Nadine ultimately voted to approve the bill, though the mayor had sought a deferral.
The mayor went on to note that the County Attorney had checked with the Office of Information Practices and was told it's not a violation of the Sunshine Law for texting to occur between members of the Administration and the Council during meetings. Furthermore, texts sent from a personal phone are not considered public records.
Council Chair Jay Furfaro also announced at last Saturday's meeting that texting is not prohibited by the OIP. Furthermore, texting is not prohibited by Council rules – the same rules Gary used to recess the vote on the 2491 override and bring in a new member to vote his way.