Air Wells, Fog Fences & Dew Ponds Methods for Recovery of Atmospheric Humidity

Note from Friend Nature: Water is a world concern. I am building a small fog screen and locating it next to my vegetable garden. I am currently watering my garden with recycled water, but I am implementing this design for a time when we might not have any water in California to recycle.

By Robert A. Nelson    Copyright 2003

 Fog Fences (El Tofu Mountain) Chungongo, Chili

http://www.rexresearch.com/airwells/airwells.htm#dewponds

Today nearly two people in ten have no source of safe drinking water according to the U.N. Millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation, and hygiene each year. But in some desert areas, where there is very little rain, fog and dew are abundant sources of humidity that are being harvested to produce fresh water.

Fog or dew collection is an ancient practice. Archaeologists have found evidence in Israel of low circular walls that were built around plants and vines to collect moisture from condensation. In South America’s Atacama Desert and in Egypt, piles of stones were arranged so that condensation could trickle down the inside walls where it was collected and then stored. by

Since the late 1980s there has been considerable research and development of fog collectors around the world, pioneered by Dr Robert Schemenauer and Prof. Pilar Cereceda (Univ. of Chile). The Canadian organization FogQuest (http://www.fogquest.org) is the international leader in this admirable effort; Dr Schemenauer now serves as a research scientist with the organization.

Prof. Pilar Cereceda: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Pilar_Cereceda/publications

Fog contains from 0.05 gram of water per cubic meter, up to 3 grams. The droplets are 1 to 40 microns in diameter. Fog has a very low settling rate, and it is carried by the wind wherever it may go. Fog collectors therefore require a vertical screen surface positioned at right angles to the prevailing wind. The collector must be a mesh because wind will flow around a solid wall and take the fog with it. A fog collector captures about half of the water passing through it. The efficiency of fog collectors depends on the size of fog droplets, wind speed, and the size of mesh (about 1 mm is optimal), which should fill up to 70% of the area. Two layers of ultraviolet-protected mesh, erected so as to rub together, cause the minute droplets to join and drain into PVC pipes attached to the bottom of the nets. The lifetime of the mesh is about 10 years. It costs about 25 cents or more per square meter.

Fog

(Photo source: http://www.fogquest.org)

            The ideal location for fog collectors are arid or semi-arid coastal regions with cold offshore currents and a mountain range within 15 miles of the coast, rising 1,500 to 3,000 feet above sea level. Collection varies with the topography and the density of the fog. Ocean or lowland fog usually lacks sufficient water or wind speed to yield a substantial amount of water, so careful evaluation studies must be made to determine the suitability of any particular microclimate. This is done by monitoring a number of 1 m2 collectors for a period of months.

Fog fences have the advantages of being passive, requiring no artificial energy input for operation. They  are simple to design and can be constructed quickly and easily with little skill. The system is modular, easy to maintain, and can be expanded as demand increases or money allows. Investment costs are low — much less than conventional sources in the areas where this technology can be applied. The water quality usually is good, though some treatment may be necessary for human consumption.

Mesh fog collectors are limited by the local conditions of climate and topography. The yield is affected by season and weather, included macro-systems such as El Nino and La Nina. Dust can cause high levels of metals and low pH. High humidity can promote the growth of microflora, and other sources of contamination (i.e., insects and birds) must be considered. Unless the collectors are close to the consumers, the system requires uneconomical pipelines that also present hydraulic problems. The site must be easily accessible and have clear ownership. Site security also may be an issue. Management of the water distribution must be fair, efficient, and self-sufficient.

A very successful pilot project was established at Chungungo, Chile in 1987. Over a period of 5 years, 94 fog collectors were constructed atop 2,600 ft. El Tofo Mountain, collecting up to 2,000 gallons daily (mean yield: 3 liters/m2/day).  The villagers call it “harvesting the clouds”. Walter Canto, regional director of Chile’s National Forest Corporation, said:

“We’re not only giving Chungongo all the water it needs, but we have enough water to start forests around the area that within 5 or 6 years will be totally self-sustaining.”

The fog collectors on El Tofo have fallen into a sad state of disrepair. In 2002, only 9 collectors remained of the 94 that once shrouded the mountaintop.

The success of the fog collectors at Chungongo actually contributed to the failure of the project. The new supply of water stimulated local development that tripled the population to 900 inhabitants while reducing the amount of water available to each family. It would have been a simple matter to increase the number of fog collectors, but a political decision was made to construct a pipeline (costing ~ US$1M) to bring water from Los Choros. Dr Schemenauer, who directed the original project, said that 400 collectors (many more than enough to meet the need) could be built on the mountain at a much lower cost than that of the pipeline. But the villagers were not significantly involved in the original project, so they had little understanding of water economics and what was required to maintain the collectors over a period of years; they were taken for granted.

The International Development Research Center (IDRC) that sponsored the original project reported that local officials “regard water from fog as an unreliable, irregular, and insufficient source for providing drinking water for Chungongo”.

Dr Schemenauer maintains that the original project was not designed to supply water to the community. It was intended to perfect the technology and use the water for a reforestation project on the mountain. The local community lobbied to divert water to the village instead, and it was done. The obvious lesson is that the local people must be involved and committed to long-term maintenance and development, adding more fog collectors if the need arises.

Another 21 sites (1,000 acres total) in Chile and on the Pacific coast of Latin America also have fog collectors that continue to provide water for agricultural and forestry projects. Some of the locations have become self-sufficient because the trees have become large enough to collect fog for themselves, just as the ecosystem did before settlers disrupted it. Precarious “lomas” fog-forest ecosystems survive on droplets of water collected by their leaves. Some such forests, surrounded by deserts, have been sustained by fog for millennia. Very little cutting is necessary to initiate gradual but complete destruction.

In the past few years, FogQuest has conducted several successful projects in Yemen, Guatemala (Lake Atitlan), and Haiti (Salignac Plateau). More are being planned in the sultanate of Oman, Ethiopia, and Nepal. The Yemen project is in the mountains near Hajja, where there is virtually no rainfall in the winter months. There is, however, sufficient fog to justify the construction of large fog collectors. The best sites produce about 4.5 liters/m2/day.  The yield at the best sites in Haiti is about 5.5 liters/m2day. In other words, each square meter of mesh produces about 165 liters/month. A large collector (50 m2) would produce about 175 liters daily, which is sufficient to supply the needs of nine people.

Fog collectors in the Sultanate of Oman have yielded as much as 70 liters/sq meter/day! A 48 m2 collector there yields over 3000 liters/day. Each village requires 30 to 80 collectors (cost: ~ US$400 each) to provide its needs.

The many forms of atmospheric dehumidifiers offer real hope for thirsty humanity. Countless lives can be saved and improved by this elegant technology. The quantity of water thus produced may even meet the needs of large-scale agriculture if used in a conservative manner, such as drip-feeding.

THE EARTH INSTITUTE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY http://water.columbia.edu/

Links: http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2011/03/07/the-fog-collectors-harvesting-water-from-thin-air/

***

Link to a YouTube Video about Dr. Schemenauer’s project in Ecuador.
Published on Sep 10, 2013

With an ingeniously simple technology, Dr. Bob Schemenauer extracts fresh clean drinking water from fog for remote villages in Ecuador, replacing the thick brown water from polluted aquifers — literally, a life saver.

https://youtu.be/v6TIzcFruXk

***

US National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3357847/

***

Microsoft Word - Fog_resubmission_AMBIO

Three mesh types for fog collection. The Raschel mesh (35% shading, left panel, www.marienberg.cl) has been successfully applied for many years in 35 countries in five continents. It is used double layered in SFC and LFC (only one layer is shown here). The middle panel shows a robust material with a stainless mesh, co-knitted with poly material (http://www.meshconcepts.co.za), which has been employed in South Africa. The right panel shows a newly proposed design of a three-dimensional net structure (1-cm thickness) of poly material (http://www.itv-denkendorf.de). Note that no overall comparison of mesh collection rates and technical performance has been conducted yet. The edge lengths of mesh sections shown are 6.5 cm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3357847/figure/Fig2/

***

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN article: FOG FOR A THIRSTY PLANET

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fog-for-a-thirsty-planet/

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California Oil Wells Pumped Waste Into Aquifers

California State shuts 12 oil company wells that pumped waste into aquifers By David R. BakerMarch 3, 2015 Updated: March 3, 2015 8:54pm

California State shuts 12 oil company wells that pumped waste into aquifers
By David R. BakerMarch 3, 2015 Updated: March 3, 2015 8:54pm

Photo: Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

State shuts 12 oil company wells that pumped waste into aquifers

March 3, 2015 Updated: March 3, 2015 8:54pm

State officials have ordered oil companies to shut 12 more wells that injected oil-field wastewater into drinkable aquifers beneath California’s drought-stricken Central Valley, regulators reported Tuesday.The wells, used to dispose of water left over from oil production, are clustered in Kern County, the heart of the state’s petroleum industry. All have pumped water laced with oil and trace chemicals into aquifers that could be used for drinking or irrigation in the valley’s fields and orchards.

They are the result of three decades of bureaucratic confusion among state and federal regulators that allowed oil companies to drill hundreds of disposal wells into aquifers that were supposed to be protected by law. The problem was the subject of a Chronicle investigation in February.

Each of the 12 wells recently ordered closed was found to be injecting wastewater within a lateral mile and 500 vertical feet of a drinking-water well, prompting the shutdown order from the state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources.

RELATED

File – This Jan. 16, 2015, file photo shows pumpjacks operating at the Kern River Oil Field in Bakersfield, Calif. California is proposing broad changes in the way it protects underground water sources from oil and gas operations, after finding 2,500 instances in which the state authorized oil and gas operations in protected water aquifers. State oil and gas regulators on Monday, Feb. 9, released a plan they sent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week for bringing the state back into compliance with federal safe-drinking water requirements. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, file) State pledges to stop oil firms from tainting aquifers Aletha, center, and Tom Frantz, right, and family friend Judy Reed, left, plant new almond trees as P.D., the dog, wanders by Jan. 29, 2015 on Frantz’s land in Shafter, Calif. Frantz is a fourth generation farmer who recently inherited his father’s land and currently has 4,000 almond trees. Frantz is concerned about the quality of his future water supply. State let oil companies taint drinkable water in Central Valley
‘A significant step’

“As we’ve said before, the protection of California’s groundwater resources — as well as public health — is paramount, particularly in this time of extreme drought,” said Steven Bohlen, the division’s supervisor. “Halting injection into these wells is a significant step toward that goal.”

So far, no drinking wells have been found to be contaminated by the underground wastewater injections.

“We intend to keep it that way,” Bohlen said.

The companies that own 10 of the injection wells voluntarily relinquished their well permits, Bohlen said. The division has filed cease-and-desist orders against the two companies that own the two other wells, demanding that injections stop within 24 hours. All of the companies will be required to test water quality in the affected aquifers and check for contamination in nearby drinking-water wells.

Eight other injection wells shut down by the state last year remain closed.

California produces more oil than any state other than Texas and North Dakota, and its petroleum reservoirs hold far more water than crude. Last year, oil companies extracted 205.3 million barrels of petroleum from the ground, along with 3.3 billion barrels of salty water, according to the division. Once it has been separated from the oil, most of the water is pumped back underground, sometimes into the same formation it came from, sometimes elsewhere — including usable aquifers.

A Chronicle review in February found 171 cases in which the division allowed oil companies to inject “produced water” into high-quality aquifers that were supposed to be protected under federal law. Another 253 injection wells went into aquifers whose water could have been used with more extensive treatment.

In addition, the division improperly issued permits for 2,021 other wells that are injecting water or steam into aquifers that also contain oil, usually as a way of squeezing more petroleum out of the ground.

The wells recently ordered closed are owned by California Resources Corp., Chevron U.S.A., E&B Natural Resources Management, Linn Operating Inc., Modus Inc. and Western States International Inc. Modus and Western States received cease-and-desist orders from the division.

“It’s encouraging to see them take immediate action when they see a threat,” said Andrew Grinberg, oil and gas program manager with the Clean Water Action environmental group. “Obviously we have concerns about all the wells that remain open.”

Series of foul-ups

The problem dates to 1982, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted the division authority to enforce the federal Safe Drinking Water Act in California’s oil fields. Through a tangled series of snafus, the two agencies developed different lists of aquifers that were considered suitable for wastewater disposal. As a result, the division started issuing injection permits for some aquifers that should have been protected, a problem that persisted undiscovered until 2011.

According to a report issued Tuesday by state environmental regulators, the federal EPA and the division adopted two agreements on which aquifers to use, one in 1982 and the other the following year. But the signature page of the second agreement, including the date, was photocopied from the first, adding to the confusion.

3 shut wells reopened

The problem first sprang into public view last year when the division abruptly shut down 11 injection wells in Kern County, fearing that they had breached aquifers already used for drinking or irrigation. The owners of three of those wells were later allowed to resume pumping after they proved to state officials that their wells had not accessed drinking-water aquifers after all.

The division is now examining all of the disputed injection wells and has warned oil companies that injections into potentially drinkable aquifers must stop by Oct. 15.

David R. Baker is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: dbaker@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @DavidBakerSF

David R. Baker
David R. Baker
Business Reporter

BBC Program on Fracking, featuring Professor Iain Stewart.

ReBlogged from Lack of Environment: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond

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Professor Iain Stewart

***

Letter written to Professor Stewart by Lack of Environment, author Martin Lack: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond

Herewith appended below is an email I sent today to Professor Iain Stewart (and copied to all those named in it).

Dear Professor Stewart,

I wanted to express my appreciation for the sensitive way in which you handled the issues in last night’s Horizon programme and for all the facts, figures and research findings it contained.  I was particularly interested in the evidence that shale gas has escaped from poorly-constructed wells in the USA.  Even if the UK can improve on the 6 to 7% failure rate in the USA, 100% success (i.e. no failures) is highly improbable.  Therefore, if fracking must be pursued (for whatever reason), this would make it imperative that the BGS establish baseline monitoring for methane as soon as possible. Would it be possible to get a copy of the transcript of the programme (or a list of References)?

Given my geological background and my MA in Environmental Politics, I have written a great deal about Fracking and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) on my blog.  However, having started out very much opposed to both Fracking and CCS, my position has evolved as a consequence of ‘exchanges of views’ I had last year with Professor Peter Styles (Keele) and with Professor Robert Mair (Cambridge/Royal Society).  As a result of these exchanges – summarised or linked to here on my blog – I would agree with Peter that we probably need shale gas.  However, I believe Peter also agrees with me that we probably cannot afford it*.  I also understand that the remit of the Royal Society specifically excluded the long-term sustainability implications of pursuing fracking.

Nevertheless, this leaves me wondering whether you could encourage the BBC to do a second programme to address the consequences of humans burning all the Earth’s fossil fuels simply because they are there; and/or the need for ‘Western’ per capita energy consumption to be drastically reduced?  Having read David MacKay’s book, Sustainable Energy: Without The Hot Air, I think our biggest problem is that most people do not think holistically about the problems we face or, even worse, they seem to think concepts such as ‘ecological carrying capacity’ are just eco-Marxist propaganda.  However, although it would seem that CCS is now going to be essential in order to minimise anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD), I think it is also the biggest obstacle to getting politicians to take decisive action to decarbonise our power generation systems.

Even if such a second Horizon programme is not likely, I remain very appreciative of all you have done – and are doing – to raise the profile of ACD as an Earth Science issue that should be of concern to all.

Kind regards, [etc]

ReBlogged from Lack of Environment: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond

* If fracking becomes the new energy boom, it is very hard to see how CCS will ever be able to be rolled-out on a global scale to keep pace with unabated CO2 emissions.

Join Congresswoman Jackie Speier, in support of the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (STOP Act) to end military rape.

English: Jackie Speier (D-CA), Member of the U...

Below is an email from Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Courage Campaign. Congresswoman Speier started a petition on the MoveOn website, where anyone can start their own online petition.


Congress: Support the STOP Act to end military rape. 
Sign the Petition!

Dear MoveOn member,

Sexual violence in the U.S. military is a crisis.The Pentagon estimates that sexual assaults increased from 19,000 in 2011 to 26,000 in 2012. That’s 71 sexual assaults EVERY DAY, and in roughly 56% of cases, the victims are men.

Making matters worse, each branch of the armed forces has its own judicial system, and it’s currently legal for base commanders to overturn a jury’s guilty verdict, as happened at Aviano Air Force Base in February 2013.

The STOP (Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention) Act takes the prosecution, reporting, oversight, investigation, and victim care of sexual assaults out of the normal military chain of command—which has proven grossly ineffective—and places jurisdiction in an autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office.

That’s why I started a petition to the United States Congress, which says:

I stand with Congresswoman Jackie Speier in support of the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (STOP Act) to end military rape.

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.

Thanks!

–Congresswoman Jackie Speier

This petition was created by the Courage Campaign on on MoveOn Petitions Political Action Edition, which is licensed to and paid for by MoveOn.org Political Action. We are not responsible for the contents of this or other petitions posted on the site. The Courage Campaign didn’t pay us to send this email—we never rent or sell the MoveOn.org list.

Want to support our work? We’re entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.


How does your garden grow? Flower remedies for healing…

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The Pomegranate tree (Punica granatum)

This tree was planted by my grandmother in 1955.

 Last year the fruit went into making jam,  grenadine, and vodka.

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Yarrow (Achillea millifolium)

 The flower of invulnerability. 

Achillea commemorates the Greek hero Achilles, who used yarrow to heal wounds.

Throughout history until the early part of the 20th century it was used in treating wounds,

and to staunch bleeding.

Its oils are anti-inflammatory and antiseptic,

the tannins are astringent and stop bleeding,

the silica promotes tissue repair.

An infusion is good for and eyebath, as skin lotion for varicose veins.

Good for the digestive tract, stimulates appetite.

*

Yarrow stalks were used in China, to reawaken the spiritual,  I Ching used yarrow stalks for divination.

Last year I made Yarrow Beer. 

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Angelica (Angelica archangelica)

The flower of inspiration.

In ancient history it was a protective herb against illness, as well as evil spirits.

It stimulates the circulation, and is good for people who feel the cold.

It warms and invigorates the stomach, it is used for nausea, poor appetite and weak digestion.

It detoxifies the blood and protects against infection.

The oil is antibacterial and anti-fungal, a disinfectant uses to preserve food (wrap in leaves).

It relieves period and premenstrual pain.

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Apple tree, Yarrow, Borage, Chamomile, Lemon balm, Lavender, Rue, Chrysanthemum, Sage, and Thyme.

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Morning Glory with Feverfew.

Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium, Tanacetum parthenium)

The flower of relief.

“Feverfew is ruled by Venus and hath commended it to succour our sisters to be a general strengthener

of their wombs, and to remedy such infirmities as a careless midwife hath there caused;

if they will be pleased to make use of her herb boiled in white wine,

and drink the decoction, it cleanseth the womb, expels the afterbirth

and doth a woman all the good she can desire of a herb”.

                                                               Culpeper

It is currently a remedy for headaches and migraine. Research and clinical trials

have shown that intractable migraines in 70% of sufferers improved after taking feverfew.

One in three had no further attacks. Can be eaten fresh, makes a bitter tea.

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Echinacea (Echinacea augustifolia) Purple coneflower.

The flower of wholeness.

Three of the nine species are native to North America, and have medicinal benefits.

Purple coneflower was one of the most important medicinal plants

known to the native Americans.

Applied externally to wounds, burns, insect bites and swollen lymph glands,

taken internally for headaches, stomach aches, coughs and colds, to treat measles and gonorrhoea.

From 1895 to 1930 American doctors proved the effects of E. angustifolia in healing boils and abscesses,

blood poisoning, postpartum infection, malaria, typhus and TB.

German studies in the last 60 years have proved the remedy for septic conditions,

rheumatoid arthritis, antibiotic resistance, whooping-cough in children,

flu, catarrh, chronic respiratory track infections, gynecological infections,

urinary infections and skin infections.

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Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

The flower of bees.

Lemon balm influences the limbic system in the brain which is concerned with

mood and temperament. A sedative, enhancing relaxation and inducing natural sleep,

calming tension and anxiety, and even mania and hysteria,

lemon balm is also restoring.

It can be taken as a tea frequently during the day or night.

Good for the digestive system, a bitter tonic support to stimulate the liver and gall-bladder.

A strong infusion in a warm bath will help calm you.

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Rue (Ruta graveolens)

The herb of grace.

Rue is a powerful remedy and low doses are the rule.

It is used in the treatment of strained eyes and headaches caused by eyestrain.

It is useful for nervous headaches and heart palpitations.

It is an antispasmodic, and is used in treating the nervous system for indigestion.

The rutin strengthens fragile blood vessels and varicose veins.

An ointment containing rue is good for gouty, rheumatic pains

and for sprained or bruised tendons.

In Chinese medicine rue is specific for snake and insect bite.

The tea expels worms.

CAUTION: Do not use during pregnancy. It can cause a rash.

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Borage (Borago officinalis) and Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

Borage

The flower of courage. 

Borage has a relaxing effect, and is said to dispel grief and sadness.

Modern research shows that borage stimulates the adrenal glands, the organs of courage,

increasing the secretion of adrenaline.

The hormonal properties of borage are present in the seeds which contain gamma linoleic acid.

The oil from the seeds can be used for menstrual problems,

allergies such as eczema, hay fever, and arthritis.

Borage tea can be taken to clear boils and skin rashes,

for arthritis and rheumatism, during infections to bring down a fever.

The mucilage in borage has a soothing action to

relieve sore throat and to sooth cough.

***

Chamomile 

The flower of equilibrium.

The famous physician Dioscorides recommended it as a medicine for fevers in 900 BCE.

The Egyptians revered chamomile for its medicinal virtues, for its power to cure acute fever,

and dedicated it to the sun god Ra.

It was one of the nine sacred herbs of the Saxons who used it as a sedative.

German and Roman chamomile’s are similar, and serve the same uses.

It relaxes and relieves tension and spasm, and recommended

for colic in babies, abdominal pain, and any digestive upsets.

***

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Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)

The flower of elation.

Clary sage is a relaxing tonic to the nervous system, and excellent for stress.

A tea helps headaches, asthma, migraine, insomnia and indigestion.

It has an antispasmodic action and can relieve muscle tension, abdominal pain and constipation,

reduce period pains and ease childbirth.

It will help lift the spirits in depression.

Used topically, it can be applied to the skin to draw out inflammation and infection.

Aromatherapy Oil

Clary sage oil can produce a heightened state of elation or

euphoria, deeply relaxing and sleep-inducing.

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Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

The flower of survival.

Used in medicine in Ancient Greece and was praised in herbals in the Middle Ages.

Taraxacum is from the Greek word, taraxo, meaning pain or remedy.

The leaves are edible, and may be used in salads, or cooked like spinach.

This plant is highly nutritious, rich in vitamins C and B, and pro-vitamin A,

and minerals potassium and iron.

Dandelion is a spring tonic, it expels toxins, wastes and pollutants through the liver and kidneys,

cleaning the blood.

***

Garden and vegetables…to keep me alive and healthy…grown from seeds.

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Sources:

Flower Power, by Anne McIntyre, 1996, Henry Holt and Co. NY.

The New Age Herbalist, Editor Richard Mabley (1941), 1988, Simon and Schuster Inc. Gaia Books Ltd., London.

Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) in Scotts Valley...

Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) in Scotts Valley, CA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Feverfew

Feverfew (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Trouble in Monsanto Nation

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On Wednesday, May 15, an amendment to the House version of the Farm Bill, inserted under the guise of protecting interstate commerce, passed out of the House Agricultural Committee. If the King Amendment makes it into the final Farm Bill, it would take away states’ rights to pass laws governing the production or manufacture of any agricultural product, including food and animals raised for food, that is involved in interstate commerce. The amendment was proposed by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), largely in response to a California law stating that by 2015, California will allow only eggs to be sold from hens housed in cages specified by California. But policy analysts emphasize that the amendment, broadly and ambiguously written, could be used to prohibit or preempt any state GMO labeling or food safety law.

monsanto2

Will the King Amendment survive the Senate? No one can be sure, say analysts. However few doubt that Monsanto will give up. We can expect that more amendments and riders will be introduced into the Farm Bill–even if the King Amendment fails—over the next month in an attempt to stop the wave of state GMO labeling laws and initiatives moving forward in states like Washington, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut and others.

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NO GMO IN FRANCE!

Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) have admitted privately that they’ve “lost the battle” to stop GE food labeling at the state level, now that states are aggressively moving forward on labeling laws. On May 14, Maine’s House Ag Committee passed a GMO labeling law. On May 10, the Vermont House passed a labeling bill, 99-42, despite massive lobbying by Monsanto and threats to sue the state. And though Monsanto won a razor-thin victory (51 percent to 49 percent) in a costly, hard fought California GMO labeling ballot initiative last November, biotech and Big Food now realize that Washington State voters will likely pass I-522, an upcoming ballot initiative to label GE foods, on November 5.
If Monsanto can’t stop states from passing laws, then the next step is a national preemptive measure. And all signs point to just such a power grab. Earlier this year, Monsanto slipped its extremely unpopular “Monsanto Protection Act,” an act that gives biotech immunity from federal prosecution for planting illegally approved GE crops, into the 2013 Federal Appropriations Bill. During the June 2012 Farm Bill debate, 73 U.S. Senators voted against the right of states to pass mandatory GE food labeling laws. Emboldened by these votes, and now the House Ag Committee’s vote on the King Amendment, Monsanto has every reason to believe Congress would support a potential nullification of states’ rights to label.
The million-strong OCA and its allies in the organic and natural health movement are warning incumbent Senators and House members, Democrats and Republicans alike, that thousands of health and environmental-minded constituents in their Congressional districts or states will work to recall them or drive them out of office if they fail to heed the will of the people and to respect the time-honored traditions of shared state sovereignty over food labels, food safety laws, and consumers’ right to know.
Trouble in Monsanto Nation

 

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Reliable sources in Washington D.C. have informed the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) that Monsanto has begun secretly lobbying its Congressional allies to attach one or more “Monsanto Riders” or amendments to the 2013 Farm Bill that would preempt or prohibit states from requiring labels on genetically engineered (GE) foods.

In response to this blatant violation of states’ rights to legislate, and consumers’ right to know, the OCA and a nationwide alliance have launched a petition to put every member of Congress on notice: If you support any Farm Bill amendment that would nullify states’ rights to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs), we’ll vote – or throw – you out of office.

On Wednesday, May 15, an amendment to the House version of the Farm Bill, inserted under the guise of protecting interstate commerce, passed out of the House Agricultural Committee. If the King Amendment makes it…

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Sierra Club: Send a message, say no to fracking and Lone Pine Resources!

Re-blogged from the Sierra Club.

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Take Action: Oppose Environmental RoadblocksTake Action: Tell U.S. Gas Company to Stop Trying to Frack Canada

When the people of Quebec spoke out against fracking, a dangerous and dirty drilling practice that can contaminate water and put entire communities at risk, the Quebec government listened and put a moratorium on the controversial practice. Now, a U.S. gas company, Lone Pine Resources, has threatened to sue Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On top of that, the company is demanding $250 million in compensation for Quebec’s moratorium, which it says violates Lone Pine’s “right” to frack!

Take Action
Tell Lone Pine Resources to respect citizens’ rights to clean air and water and to drop its challenge.

Send a message and say no to fracking!.

English: Québec Province within Canada. Españo...

English: Québec Province within Canada. Español: Provincia de Quebec en Canadá. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A North American Free Trade Agreement...

English: A North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Logo. Español: Logotipo del Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte (TLCAN). Français : Logo de Accord de libre-échange nord-américain (ALENA). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)