Monday, May 26, 2008

Johannesburg Anglicans' environmental initiative

Contact Online Weblog: "Johannesburg Diocese has established a new initiative in the field of environmental care.

What is JAEI?

JAEI has been formed to:

* an awareness among Johannesburg Anglican Christians of environmental concerns
* Encourage parish environmental projects
* Develop the concept of the eco-congregation among parishes
* Network widely with all groups concerned with sustainable development and environmental issues
* Be a resource to the Christian community in terms of environmental issues
* Encourage environmental education
* Develop position papers on major environmental issues to serve as guidelines for theological reflection and diocesan advocacy"

Friday, May 23, 2008

Greenpeace May newsletter

We did it! Within 72 hours of our exposé of corruption in the whaling industry and embezzlement of whale meat, 40,000 Greenpeace supporters wrote to Japanese officials demanding an investigation.

Despite denials from the company that runs the whaling ship that the stolen whale meat was just "souvenirs" the Tokyo public prosecutor's office agreed there were grounds for an investigation. It's working!

By law, the sale of whale meat outside the official "scientific whaling" programmme is not supposed to happen -- all proceeds are supposed to offset the taxpayer-subsidized whaling. This means the entire whaling programme is illegal and needs to have its permits revoked and subsidies cancelled -- let's get 80,000 messages in the NEXT 72 hours demanding that!

Please write to the Japanese Government here


Toxic tech: Video game consoles

Nintendo's Wii. Sony's PlayStation 3 Elite. Microsoft's Xbox 360. They promise a whole new generation of high-definition gaming, but when it comes to the crunch, it's the same old story. As our search for greener electronics continues, it was time for the game consoles to go to our labs for scientific analysis -- and all of them tested positive for various hazardous chemicals.

Got a games console, or know somebody who has? Then take action:
Send Sony a message
Send Microsoft a message
Send Nintendo a message


G8: Rock in Rio, Energy [R]evolutionaries everywhere

At the massive Rock in Rio festival coming up in Lisbon, May 30-June 6, we'll be launching a petition to the world leaders who will attend the G8 summit in Japan. We're asking fans of Joss Stone, Alanis Morissete, Bon Jovi, Lenny Kravitz, Apolcolyptica, Rod Stewart, and the dozens of other bands that will be there to declare themselves Energy [R]evolutionaries, and to demand that the G8 leaders do the same.

Sign the G8 petition


Invite your friends to join in, because it works

Why forward this email to friends, inviting them to join in? It's simple: In the past three weeks we've had as many campaign successes, and every time it was massive public pressure that made the critical difference.

This month we moved Unilever, the massive corporation behind products like Dove soap, in just two weeks. The Paradise Forests of South East Asia can be saved. European Commissioners don't seem so unreachable anymore, now that they answered public pressure (and scientific opinion!) to vote against GMOs. And this week, the campaign to end whaling took a great chunk out of Japan's "scientific" whaling facade.

These are our successes, we did them together. With more people we know we can do much more.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

End of the road for Blogger?

For more than a year now I’ve had a blog on Blogger and one on WordPress, and have posted about equally on both. I found it hard to decide which platform I preferred, but this just about clinches it.

Tried to log in to my Blogger blog a few minutes ago, and got this charming message:

We’re sorry…

… but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can’t process your request right now.

We’ll restore your access as quickly as possible, so try again soon. In the meantime, if you suspect that your computer or network has been infected, you might want to run a virus checker or spyware remover to make sure that your systems are free of viruses and other spurious software.

If you’re continually receiving this error, you may be able to resolve the problem by deleting your Google cookie and revisiting Google. For browser-specific instructions, please consult your browser’s online support center.

If your entire network is affected, more information is available in the Google Web Search Help Center.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope we’ll see you again on Google.

If I can't read the blog, obviously I cannot respond to comments, so any comments should be posted on my WordPress blog.

If that’s lasts any longer, you certainly won’t be seeing me again on Blogger.

I don't know what will happen to this blog -- it's not mine, it belongs to SAFCEI.

So it will be up to SAFCEI to decide what they want to do with it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Good news from Greenpeace

Spread the good news! European Commissioners yesterday overturned the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) "safe to eat" verdict for three new GM crops -- two varieties of GM maize and one variety of GM potato.

This means the agro-chemical companies can't commercialize these crops in Europe for now. BASF's GM potato was only one European Union vote away from being released commercially. But the Commission has sent it to the back of the authorization queue.

For the first time, the Union's most senior lawmakers have publicly doubted the safety of GM crops. The EU Observer paper explains: "The European Commission normally adopts decisions based on the opinion of EFSA, which anti-GMO campaigners complain bases its investigations on data provided by the GM industry itself. It has always declared any GM crops it has studied to be safe."

We didn't get exactly what we wanted from today's meeting (i.e. EU decision to reject these GMOs outright), but public pressure and the weight of scientific opinion got us something that will send the agro-chemical industry and pro-GMO politicians reeling.

Anybody who knows the Commission can tell you: It wouldn't have happened without public pressure. All those postcards to Commissioner Dimas, emails to all the Commissioners, the petitions, the blog comments and the many actions these past six months -- they worked.

What's more, Wednesday's decision means that the EFSA's GM crop evaluation process is broken -- so sending GM crops back to the same body over and over isn't good enough. There's more to do clearly, but this decision is an historic milestone for the movement, and a stumbling block for the GMO industry.

Many of you have been putting pressure on the industry and politicians about GMOs for years, others joined in only weeks or months ago. It's been a pleasure and an honour to journey with you all. It'll be a while still before we're rid of GMOs for good, but we'll get there.

The European Commission is so opaque, we'll never know who voted what way. International, collective action can feel a bit like like that -- which is why it's so important to keep at it, keep sharing, and learning. Greenpeace can't do campaigns like this without financial support from 2.8 million people all over the world just like you. If you'd like to support our work with a donation, you can give now online.

Stay in touch, and spread the great news!

Best wishes,

Everyone at Greenpeace

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 Cosmic Grace, Humble Prayer: The Ecological Vision of the Green Patriarch Bartholomew I: John Chryssavgis: Books

This book announcement may be of interest to some: Cosmic Grace, Humble Prayer: The Ecological Vision of the Green Patriarch Bartholomew I: John Chryssavgis: Books:
Cosmic Grace, Humble Prayer: The Ecological Vision of the Green Patriarch Bartholomew I (Hardcover)
by John Chryssavgis (Editor) 'This Ecumenical Throne of Orthodoxy-as protector and proclaimer of the centuries-long spirit of the patristic tradition and as faithful interpreter of the eucharistic and liturgical...'

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Call for Papers: Synchroblog on Christianity and the environment

A group of Christians from around the world are planning a "synchroblog" on Christianity and the Environment, which may be of particular interest to Christian members of SAFCEI.

The is a monthly synchronised posting by a group of Christian (mostly) bloggers, who blog on the same general theme on the same day, with links to one other’s posts.

Anyone can join in, and if you would like to take part, just let Phil Wyman know a couple of days beforehand. He will need to know (1) Your name, (2) The URL of your blog and (3) the Title of your post. If you can give the URL for your actual synchroblog post, so much the better.

There is also a Synchroblog Mailing List. It is worth subscribing to it if you plan to participate regularly in the synchroblogs, since it is where we discuss what topic to have each month and when to actually post. If you want to see what synchroblog posts look like, click here for a list of previous synchroblog posts.

This post is a “Call for papers”, and not the actual synchroblog posting itself. When it is available, I’ll add the list of links to the posts below.

When you post, people in Australasia and east Asia should post on the evening of the 16th. People in Europe and Africa should post about midday, and people in the Americas should post in the morning. That should get things more or less synchronised.

I'm not sure how many members of SAFCEI have their own blogs (if any do, it would be nice to have links to them here) but I am sure that all will be welcome to participate in this month's synchroblog. Though most of the members of the synchroblog group are Christian, non-Christians have participated in the past, and I'm sure all bloggers who are SAFCEI members would be welcome to participate as well.
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