tagged w/ Vietnam
WHACKO-TV’s Video Travel Blog is back with a look into Vietnam from our new Pacific Rim Reporter, Dong Ho. Dong takes a look at how Vietnam has progressed since the end of that war thing they did in the sixties. It looks like Vietnam is a swell place to travel to and is warmer than North Korea in so many ways. Take a few minutes to see Vietnam through the eyes of a man with a Fu-Manchu.WHACKO-TV’s Video Travel Blog is back with a look into Vietnam from our new... more
Dow Chemical is engaged in constant misinformation and misdirection on the issue of Bhopal – they are desperate to whitewash their image and refuse any responsibility for the ongoing suffering of the people of Bhopal. Here is an excerpt from a recent interview with Dow’s CEO – we will interrupt that broadcast to fill in the gaps that Andrew Liveris is trying to gloss over.
The interview text is from here: http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2012/s3464938.htm
MARK COLVIN: Now before you go I have to ask you; it’s an Olympic year, the Olympics are only a few months away. The Indians are threatening to boycott because Dow is a major sponsor. What are you saying to them?
ANDREW LIVERIS: Well I mean the issue that they’re all inflamed about is not the Dow issue, it’s an Indian government issue and that’s basically what we’re saying to them.
MARK COLVIN: Why? I mean you bought Union Carbide, which caused the Bhopal disaster.
ANDREW LIVERIS: The Indian government settled with Union Carbide in 1989. Settled and reaffirmed by their Supreme Court three times. So it’s got nothing to do with Dow and that’s in the legal agreements and all the bright lines. They’re trying to drag us in because we have deep pockets and that’s clearly what they want to do.
I would also note by the way the IOC supports us fully. There are lots of other corporate brands that support the Olympics that have had issues over time and boycotts don’t tend to work; they hurt a nation, they don’t hurt the Olympics.
ANDREW LIVERIS: But do you think that the settlement with Union Carbide was fair; there are an awful lot of people still suffering aren’t there?
ANDREW LIVERIS: Well you don’t have to ask me what I think; I think you have to go to the Indian Supreme Court and ask them what they think; they ratified it three times.
MYTHBUSTING #1 – UNION CARBIDE
Union Carbide (UCC) is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical. As UCC explains, their business activities “comprise components of Dow’s global operations rather than standalone operations” (UCC’s 2010 Securities and Exchange Commission filing).
‘Successor liability’ means that when one company merges into another, it gains BOTH its assets AND its liabilities. So, in gaining UCC’s wealth, Dow also gained UCC’s responsibility for the ongoing tragedy in Bhopal.
MYTHBUSTING #2 – THE SETTLEMENT
The settlement reached in 1989 – $470m –was 15% of the original claim for $3bn. $470m is roughly equal to £600 per survivor, none of whom were consulted. This money is not even enough to pay for the ongoing treatment that many survivors need.
The Indian government has recognised the settlement deal as an “irremediable injustice” and is now challenging its legitimacy in the Supreme Court.
The case for compensation is far from closed.
MARK COLVIN: So you bought it on a purely legalistic basis, knowing that you would have nothing more to pay?
ANDREW LIVERIS: There are companies being bought and sold all over the world all the time. Legacy issues and liabilities are a rule of law; rule of law speaks to bright lines and so that’s the topic here.
MYTHBUSTING #3 – LIABILITIES
The ‘polluter pays’ is a rule of law – it is a legal principle adopted by India and the US: if a company creates pollution, they must pay for it. Any damage the pollution causes is the company’s responsibility. Cases in both Indian and US courts are trying to make the polluter – UCC – pay to clean up and decontaminate the site of the disaster, and deal with the water contamination.
When UCC merged into Dow in 2001, Dow became responsible for UCC’s ‘polluter pays’ liabilities. Dow even recognised this by accepting UCC’s asbestos-related liabilities in the US which date back to before the Bhopal gas disaster. Dow set aside $2.2 billion to resolve these claims in the US, yet they refuse to accept liability in Bhopal.
The message from Dow and LOCOG is that ‘it is now the Indian government’s responsibility to clean up the site’ in Bhopal. But the government did not pollute the site, UCC polluted the site. Moreover, if the Indian government was to clean up the site, the money would come from Indian taxpayers, some of whom live in Bhopal.
Dow is asking the victims of the gas disaster and water contamination to pay up.
The polluter should pay, not the victims.
MARK COLVIN: Do you think the Indian team will boycott?
ANDREW LIVERIS: I don’t know what the Indian team will do. I think it’ll be a tragedy for India but that’s their decision.
MARK COLVIN: Is it damaging your company?
ANDREW LIVERIS: Absolutely not.
MARK COLVIN: How come?
ANDREW LIVERIS: Our company is a company that wins awards on sustainability. We’re named one of America’s most sustainably enriched company in terms of ethics….
(see Dow’s ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’ record here: www.athletesagainstdowchemical.wordpress.com)
MARK COLVIN: But in India I mean. There is clearly a depth of feeling about it.
ANDREW LIVERIS: It doesn’t hurt us in India. We have a great reputation in India. Look activist groups exist not just in India, they exist all around the world and people will have their views. It’s a free economy in India and they’ll have their views.
MYTHBUSTING #4 – DOW’S REPUTATION
There is widespread, international outrage at Dow’s involvement in the London Olympics.
Expressing that they are “dismayed” at Dow’s sponsorship of the Olympics, Indian officials refuse to endorse Dow Chemical and will boycott the opening and closing ceremonies in protest:
Meredith Alexander resigned from her position in the ethics committee for the London Olympics in protest.
Hindu groups from all over the UK met to rally their opposition to Dow’s involvement.....
More at the linkDow Chemical is engaged in constant misinformation and misdirection on the issue of... more
American veterans and the entire country of Viet Nam affected by Agent Orange have been shafted beyond imagination due to corruption within the US government and US courts. US courts have protected Monsanto and Dow Chemical from liability and criminal prosecution. The US government has shielded Monsanto and Dow from the massive cost of medical treatment for victims and environmental remediation cleanup costs that would drive these corporations into bankruptcy.
Before we delve further into the issue, it’s important to detail what exactly dioxin is. Dioxin has a half life of 100 years or more when it is below the surface, leached into soil or embedded in river or stream sediment. Dioxin was generated as a byproduct of herbicide 2,4,5-T made by Monsanto and Dow, the top 2 producers of Agent Orange. It causes cancer, birth defects, liver damage and other major health problems.
Monsanto & Dow’s 2,4,5-T dioxin laden-herbicide was used in the US for agricultural purposes in the 1940′s before it was used for chemical warfare in Viet Nam from the early 1960′s through 1971. It was phased out in the late 1970′s. Now, let’s discuss the political situation behind this carcinogen.
US Government and US Court Dioxin Cover-Ups
•President Reagans’s administration, in cahoots with the CDC, thwarted a $43 million Congressional Study of Agent Orange in 1987 to protect itself and its corporate pals Monsanto & Dow from accountability to US veterans and the people of Viet Nam.
•US Courts dismissed veterans’ Agent Orange lawsuits based on a Supreme Court precedent, known as the Feres Doctrine, freeing the government of responsibility for deaths and injuries related to military service.
•The Supreme Court refused to hear American and Vietnamese victims’ lawsuits against Monsanto, Dow and other Agent Orange manufacturers on 3 separate occasions. Remember that the Supreme Court collects their checks from the federal government.
Atrocious Criminal Acts By Monsanto & Dow
•Agent Orange makers hide behind government contractor immunity, despite the fact that dioxin contaminated herbicide 2,4,5-T was produced long before they were contractors for the government (50 million tons of the herbicide was sprayed in the US per year). No modifications were used for Monsanto & Dow’s herbicide — half the ingredients in Agent Orange — so the immunity defense falls flat.
•Boehringer, a German 2,4,5-T herbicide producer notified Dow in 1957 about dioxin hazards and that dioxin could be eliminated by slow cooking the herbicide for about 12 hours. It appears that Dow and Monsanto continued cooking 2,4,5-T quickly in 45 minutes. Higher output led to higher profits. Monsanto’s formula contained high levels of dioxin and was dirtier than Dow’s product.
•Monsanto was not only aware in 1950 that dioxin was a health danger, but they also created a fraudulent health study.
•In 1965 Dow met in secret with other Agent Orange manufacturers to discuss the toxicity hazards of dioxin and their fear over a government investigation and restrictive regulations.
US Veterans Shafted By the Kangaroo Court
Judge Jack Weinstein of the US Federal Court of the Eastern District of New York committed the following offenses in several class action suits filed by veterans against Monsanto & Dow:
•Weinstein appointed attorneys to represent the veterans and then intimidated the attorneys into agreeing to a ‘nuisance’ settlement of $180 million- nowhere near enough money to cover the medical treatment of hundreds of thousands of injured vets.
•Weinstein rejected the veterans’ expert studies, instead of allowing a jury to decide on the credibility of the expert witnesses; Weinstein created a new rule of law from the bench.
•Weinstein based his ruling on Monsanto’s expert study that was later proven to be fraudulent.
• Weinstein dismissed all other veterans’ lawsuits against Monsanto and Dow.
• Weinstein took over a case that was unlawfully transferred to his federal court as it had been filed in the state of Texas. He dismissed that case.
• Astonishingly, Weistein created a second new rule of law to protect Monsanto and Dow. Weinstein invented immunity for government contractors!
Weinstein’s excuse for the government contractor defense was that if contractors were made to pay, they would pass the cost on to the government, so they were therefore immune. Weinstein’s new law was created from the bench instead of law passed through Congress!
Weinsteins’s law has now been extended to all government supply contractors (even non-military contractors) in the courts.
Approximately 11 million gallons of Agent Orange was dumped on Viet Nam between 1962 to 1970. It is estimated that Agent Orange is responsible for 400,000 deaths, 3 million victims of disease and 500,000 children born with birth defects.
Over 14 million acres of Vietnamese forests were sprayed. Agent Orange was also dumped in water supplies.
In 2004, Vietnamese victims filed a lawsuit against Dow, Monsanto and other manufacturers of Agent Orange. Judge Weinstein (yes, the same Judge Weinstein) presided over this case and dismissed it. Weinstein used the excuse that Monsanto and Dow had government sovereign immunity that extended to them because they were government contractors. He also ruled that Agent Orange was not considered a poison during that period, under international law.
The Supreme Court refused to hear this case, too.
The stated purpose of using Agent Orange was to deny the enemy cover in forested areas through defoliation. However, the US Army did contract studies in 1943 of the effects of 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D (the other ingredient of Agent Orange) on cereal grains, including rice, and developed the concept of using aerial herbicide spraying to destroy enemy crops to disrupt the food supply. Obviously, poisoning the enemy, farmland and civilians was a chemical warfare strategy used by the US government.
Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/white-house-us-courts-and-epa-shaft-veterans-to-protect-monsanto/#ixzz1mZIi85a7
http://www.salem-news.com/stimg/february132012/agent_orange_the_last_battle.jpgAmerican veterans and the entire country of Viet Nam affected by Agent Orange have... more
Monsanto ready to sell GM crops and weed-killing chemicals in Vietnam; Many outraged
- Common Dreams staff
Multinational agricultural biotech corporation Monsanto, known as the creator of chemical weapon Agent Orange, is attempting to infiltrate Vietnam once again -- this time as GMO dealer.
Agent Orange, used for chemical warfare in the Vietnam War, is estimated to have killed 400,000, deformed 500,000 and sickened another 2 million.
"BA VI, VIETNAM: Handicapped orphans are fed by the medical staff at the Ba Vi orphanage. These young children represent the 3rd generation of Agent Orange victims more than 30 years after the war in Vietnam, where a battle is still being fought to help people suffering from the effects of the deadly chemical." - Global Post (Photo Paula Bronstein / AFP/Getty Images)
"Between 2.1 to 4.8 million Vietnamese were directly exposed to Agent Orange and other chemicals that have been linked to cancers, birth defects, and other chronic diseases during the war that ended in 1975, according to the Vietnam Red Cross," Thanh Nienn News writes.
30 years after the war, three generations have suffered from the effects of Agent Orange.
Now, as Monsanto seeks to reap profits in Vietnam once again, this time through agribusiness, many are speaking out against the corporation as well as the potential effects of the GM seeds and herbicides that Monsanto seeks to sell.
* * *
Thanh Nienn News in Ho Chi Minh City reports:
No biotech company has yet got the official green light for selling genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but it does not assuage the fears that Vietnam could end up with another tragic legacy from a company that once caused many deaths in the country, environmental activists say.
It would be ironic if Vietnam becomes a willing party to a “lethal” product made by the same US company that manufactured Agent Orange, the toxic defoliant used during the Vietnam War.It would be ironic if Vietnam becomes a willing party to a “lethal” product made by the same US company that manufactured Agent Orange, the toxic defoliant used during the Vietnam War, they pointed out. [...]
In 2006 the government approved a blueprint that envisaged covering between 30 percent and half of the country’s agriculture lands with the controversial gene-altered crops by 2020.
Only three companies – Monsanto, Syngenta, and Pioneer – have been licensed to carry out lab research and tests in Vietnam, the minister’s statement said.
Monsanto accounts for almost one-quarter (23 percent) of the global proprietary seed market.
[Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Rinh, former deputy defense minister, chairman of the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange] is also worried about the weedkiller Roundup Monsanto plugs for use along with its crops.
“By introducing [GMOs] paired with toxic weed killers, the tragic legacy of Agent Orange might repeat itself,” he warned. [...]
The U.S. Airforce spraying 'Agent Orange' defoliant over the countryside of Vietnam. Originally termed "Operation Hades," the spraying program was renamed "Operation Ranch Hand" to improve public relations. Jeffrey Smith, author of the bestseller Seeds of Deception and founder and executive director of the California, US-based NGO Institute for Responsible Technology, said: “It is not inconsequential that a new genetically modified corn up for review is designed to be tolerant to the herbicide 2,4-D, a component of Agent Orange.
“This means that much higher amounts of toxic 2,4-D will drench the agricultural lands where this new crop is planted.
“It would be a harsh and ironic consequence if Vietnamese people suffer from birth defects from both of these Monsanto products, Roundup and Agent Orange.”
* * *
The Global Post reports:
Monsanto is, of course, highly aware of Agent Orange's reputation and has fought numerous lawsuits filed by chemical's victims both Vietnamese and American. The chemical, commissioned by the U.S. military, was dumped over jungles to kill vegetation and rout communist forces.
In Monsanto's own primer on the Agent Orange era, it casts the chemical as patriotic -- it was meant "to save the lives of U.S. and allied soldiers," Monsanto says -- and contends that the matter "should be resolved by the governments that were involved."
Keeping Monsanto out of Vietnam already appears to be an uphill fight.
A Vietnamese legislator and former deputy defense minister has, according to Thanh Nien, faced evasion when he tried to raise the issue with the [government].
More at the linkMonsanto ready to sell GM crops and weed-killing chemicals in Vietnam; Many outraged... more
The London 2012 Olympic Games were embroiled in further controversy last night as Meredith Alexander, a Sustainability Commissioner and Ethics Adviser for the games, resigned live on the BBC’s flagship news program Newsnight. In an interview with Jeremy Paxman she announced that her position at the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 (CSL) was no longer tenable in light of the LOCOG’s continued relationship with and defence of the Dow Chemical Company.
She stated, into TV cameras; “By coming on air tonight, I’m taking the decision to resign my position and stand up for my principles… I feel that I was part of a body that has been used to legitimize Dow’s involvement in the games.” She went on to state that while Dow Chemicals have an ‘army of PR people’ she hoped that her resignation could bring some attention to the continuing plight of victims in Bhopal.
The Dow Chemical Company took over Union Carbide corporation in 2001, but neither company have addressed the ongoing issue of water and soil contamination in Bhopal that continues to kill thousands and inflict even more with chronic illnesses. Lord Coe and LOCOG have been criticised for allowing Dow Chemical’s the opportunity to sponsor the London 2012 stadium.
Dow Chemical is currently a named respondent in two court cases pertaining to the Bhopal disaster and Dow’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Union Carbide, is involved in a US court case relating to the ongoing contamination. Union Carbide is also still wanted on criminal charges in India and the Indian courts have stated that Dow is ‘harbouring fugitives from justice’.
Further into the Newsnight interview, Ms. Alexander hinted at a developing crisis within the CSL regarding the Dow issue and stated that some of her fellow commissioners were also “very concerned” but she would not comment on the prospect of further resignations.
More at the linkThe London 2012 Olympic Games were embroiled in further controversy last night as... more
-- As the trial begins in a major toxic pollution lawsuit against Monsanto Co., jurors won't be allowed to tackle a key issue: Should the company pay to clean up dioxin it allegedly spewed across the city of Nitro?
Experts won't testify about the need for property remediation. Lawyers won't argue about the issue. Jurors won't be asked to force Monsanto to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars such a project could cost.
Judges O.C. Spaulding and Derek Swope issued rulings in July and November that threw out that part of the case.
As a result, Putnam County jurors will decide only if current and former Nitro residents should receive medical monitoring to detect diseases potentially caused by exposure to Monsanto's dioxin. They won't be able to do anything to clean up homes and businesses, ending the toxic exposure.
Lawyers for thousands of residents and property owners in the class-action suit appealed the decisions by Spaulding and Swope. They say the rulings left a huge gap in their efforts to deal with the legacy of Monsanto's chemical-making operations.
"The current presence of dioxin contamination in the class area is a public-health hazard," the lawyers argued in court documents. "It makes little sense to initiate a medical monitoring program for a population without first eliminating that population's exposure to the toxin at issue."
The West Virginia Supreme Court isn't likely to even begin considering the appeal until April. By the time a decision is made, the trial on the medical monitoring question will probably be over.
The situation has left insiders and observers scratching their heads, as lawyers for Monsanto and Nitro residents prepare to head into one of the biggest civil trials in the Kanawha Valley in years.
"It doesn't make any sense from the standpoint of the impact on the community," said longtime Nitro lawyer Harvey Peyton.
Peyton is a former law partner of Charleston attorney Stuart Calwell, who is the lead lawyer for Nitro residents in the case.
Twenty-eight years ago, Calwell and Peyton were among the lawyers who lost in a landmark effort to get jurors to hold Monsanto responsible for dioxin-linked illnesses among Nitro plant workers.
Today, the science showing dioxin's dangers is much more advanced. The law has created some new ways -- such as medical monitoring cases -- to address these issues. Industry has also gotten much better at fighting citizen and worker lawsuits, and at the lobbying and public relations efforts that can block tougher regulations or expensive cleanups.
For decades, chemical plants like Monsanto's provided Kanawha Valley residents with thousands of good-paying jobs. The industry has been in a long decline, and the bulk of those jobs have disappeared. The Monsanto plant went through several ownership changes and then closed in 2004.
Generations of workers put food on their tables and sent kids to college with a chemical plant paycheck. But the industry's legacy also includes tough questions about long-term health effects on workers and plant neighbors.
More than 40 years after Monsanto stopped making 2,4,5-T, the Agent Orange ingredient blamed for much of the plant's dioxin pollution, it's not clear if Nitro residents are any closer to getting answers to such questions.
In the beginning
Nitro was born as a literal World War I boomtown, the location of one of the federal government's large gunpowder plants. The name "Nitro" came from the chemical term Nitro-Cellulose, which was the type of gunpowder to be produced.
When the war ended, private companies took over the government buildings and converted them into chemical plants. Among the companies was Monsanto, which began making rubber chemicals for the tire industry.
In about 1947, Monsanto's agricultural division designed a new molecule called 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacidic acid, or 2,4,5-T. This new substances killed plants by making their roots outgrow their leaves. Plants destroyed themselves through defoliation.
Monsanto began making this powerful herbicide ingredient in Nitro in 1949. Workers cooked batches of it in large pots, called autoclaves, rather than making it through a continuous production stream.
Monsanto made 2,4,5-T in Nitro for more than 30 years. In its best-known form, 2,4,5-T was used as an ingredient in Agent Orange, the defoliant deployed widely in the Vietnam War.
But 2,4-5-T was contaminated. Every batch of it contained 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin. This chemical is also known as 2,3,7,8-TCDD, or more commonly, simply as dioxin.
Dioxin has been linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities, endometriosis, infertility, and suppressed immune functions. The chemical builds up in tissue over time, meaning that even small exposures can accumulate to dangerous levels.
An early sign of dioxin's effects came in March 1949. A massive explosion rocked the Nitro plant when a pressure valve blew on a 2,4,5-T cooking container. More than 220 workers got sick.
Years later, more than 170 workers sued Monsanto, alleging dioxin exposure at the plant had made them ill. Cases involving seven of the workers went to trial in federal court in 1984.
After an 11-month trial, a jury awarded one of the workers, John Hein, $200,000 for bladder cancer he contracted because of exposure at the plant to another chemical, para-aminobiphynol, or PAB.
Jurors found that dioxin had made the other workers sick and that Monsanto had not acted diligently in seeking to determine the possible impact of exposure on worker health.
More at the link-- As the trial begins in a major toxic pollution lawsuit against Monsanto Co., jurors... more
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Thursday came out in open against Dow Chemical's sponsorship of the 2012 London Olympics and has decided to lodge its protest to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
At its general body meeting in New Delhi, the IOA decided that it would seek the removal of Dow Chemical, which bought Union Carbide, responsible for the thousands of deaths during the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. However, the issue of boycotting the event did not even come up for discussion.
Acting IOA president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the IOA will convey the sentiments of Indians to IOC chief Jacques Rogge and London Games Organising Committee chief Sebastian Coe.
"It is IOA's considered opinion that the sponsorship by Dow Chemical is against the spirit of the Olympic ideals. Olympic Games showcase the best of human endeavour, sporting spirit and camaraderie, and to have Dow Chemical even as one of the sponsors negates all these lofty values," said Malhotra.
"IOA's views not only reflect the concerns of the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy but the feelings of millions of people all over the world and it is not a partisan demand.
"We in fact are making IOC aware of the feelings of the people who have suffered due to that tragedy. It is not only the Indians who are protesting this sponsorship; there has been an outcry against this world over from various NGOs and other bodies. It is no longer a local issue."
There has been a huge outcry in India over Dow's involvement with the Games. Olympians and the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy have demanded either Dow's sponsorship be withdrawn or India boycott the event.
Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/ioa-to-lodge-protest-over-london-olympic-sponsor-dow/1/164530.html
More at the linkThe Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Thursday came out in open against Dow... more
New species of frog sings like a bird
December 12, 2011
If you're trudging through the high-altitude forests of northern Vietnam and you hear bird song, you might want to check the trees for frogs. Yes, that's right: frogs. A new species of tree frog has been discovered in Vietnam that researchers say has a uniquely complex call that makes it sound more like a bird than a typical frog. Discovered in Pu Hoat Proposed Nature Reserve, the new species, dubbed Quang's tree frog (Gracixalus quangi), dwells in the forests at an altitude 600-1,300 meters (nearly 2,000-4,265 feet).
"Quang's tree frog [...] has a hyperextended vocal repertoire—in other words, it doesn't just repeat the same call over and over, but has a number of types of calls. In fact, no two calls that I recorded were exactly the same, with each frog mixing clicks, whistles and chirps in no apparent order! It is the most variable frog call that I've heard of, and sounds a lot more like a bird song than a frog call," lead author Jodi Rowley with the Australian Museum in Sydney told mongabay.com.
Unlike Quang's tree frog, Rowley says the majority of frog species stick to one note to attract females.
"[Most male frogs] call to attract females with a rather repetitive call (eg. the familiar "croak, croak, croak" or "chirp, chirp, chirp", for example). While each species has a different call (it helps prevent females attracting frogs of the wrong species!), most frog advertisement calls are of roughly one type of call, repeated until they get the girl."
Quang's tree frog belongs to the Rhacophoridae family, which currently contains over 300 species. A few of these have also evolved a more elaborate communication range, though none as complex as Quang's. Researchers are unsure why the frogs make so many sounds.
"While it's all just speculation at this stage, it may be that some parts of the call (eg. clicks) communicate to other males (eg. 'back off!'), and others (eg. whistles) are especially attractive to females," Rowley explains. "It makes sense that the species is territorial, as they lay their eggs on the tips of leaves overhanging shallow water, and there's only a certain number of good leaves around."
Rowley says they are uncertain at this point whether or not the new species is threatened.
"This is the case for a large number of Southeast Asian frogs, which remain listed as 'Data Deficient' under the IUCN Red List categories (rather than Least Concern, Endangered, etc). The new species was discovered in a remote, protected area, so we believe that the species is safe at the moment, at least in that area. We believe it does occur in a larger area, though, but only further surveys will reveal just how widely distributed it is."
Rowley has been involved in discovering ten new amphibians in Southeast Asia over the last few years, but says she can't pick a favorite. She adds, however, that "for some reason I am quite fond of the tiny brown frogs that live leaf-litter and sound like crickets (frogs in the genus Leptolalax)."
Globally, the world's amphibians are facing an extinction crisis. It's believed that at least 120 amphibians have gone extinct in the last 30 years, while 41 percent of the world's 7,000 known amphibians are considered threatened with extinction by the IUCN Red List. Deforestation, wetland loss, pollution, overexploitation, the pet trade, invasive species, and climate change have all taken a toll on these sensitive creatures, which have been dubbed by many ecologists as "canaries in a coal mine" for their ability to point out environmental degradation. In addition, a deadly fungal disease called chytridiomycosis has wiped out whole species even in pristine environments.
Bordering Laos, Pu Hoat Proposed Reserve was at one time home to Indochinese tigers (Panthera tigris corbetti), Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and the only-recently discovered saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis). However all three of these species are now believed to be extinct from the area. Still the forest is home to the wild cattle, gaur (Bos gaurus), which is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List; the Assam macaque (Macaca assamensis) listed as Near Threatened; and one of Vietnam's only populations of the conifer, Cunninghamia konishii, which is listed as Vulnerable. It is also home to disputed species of muntjac—a type of small Asian deer. A survey of lower elevation birds in the 1990s found 142 species. Although the forest is currently protected, it has not yet gained full Nature Reserve status.
PHOTO: The male Quang's tree frog has uniquely complex vocalizations. Photo by: Jodi J. L. Rowley/Australian Museum.
CITATION: Rowley, J. J. L., Dau Q. V., Nguyen T. T., Cao T. T., & Nguyen, S. V. (2011). A new species of Gracixalus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) with a hyperextended vocal repertoire from Vietnam. Zootaxa 3125: 22-38.
Read more: http://news.mongabay.com/2011/1212-hance_frog_puhoat.html#ixzz1gMeJol8y
.mongabay... . New species of frog sings like a bird Jeremy Hance... more
Dow Chemical acquired Union Carbide as a wholly owned subsidiary in 2001. They are therefore responsible for the clean up of the former Union Carbide Factory site in Bhopal, India. The area around the factory is densely populated and continues to be heavily contaminated by chemicals and toxins produced by the factory which Dow, despite their evident responsibility, have thus far refused to clean up.
The situation in Bhopal is a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe that continues to affect tens of thousands of people today. For further information see www.bhopal.org
The organisers of the Olympic Games claim that they are committed to organising a sustainable and environmentally friendly event. It is therefore completely unacceptable for Dow Chemical to be sold rights to print their logo all over the the fabric wrapping of the olympic stadium.
More at the link
Please sign this petition for all who have been victims of these environmental crimes.Dow Chemical acquired Union Carbide as a wholly owned subsidiary in 2001. They are... more
Humanity faces a daunting battle against corporate forces that have historically proved willing to employ any means necessary to preserve an evil system. The police brutality and corporate funding aimed at crushing Occupy Wall Street hint of the savagery unleashed by corporations in countries around the world over the past 150 years. Yet the recent crackdown has provided our rebellion with an extraordinary public relations weapon by demonstrating the veracity of our charges against a ruthless system that despises democracy and justice.
The movement sweeping America is our link to a world-wide chain of rebellion. The majority of the world’s population, which for half a century has borne the brunt of neoliberal policies, is finally determined to stop the onslaught of global capitalism, which is the force sustaining most brutal systems on the planet, from the military dictatorships in the Middle East to the neo-feudalist societies now permeating industrial nations.
Since World War II the United States has expanded its ever-present imperial quest to entail global domination. Our government has used nearly every method imaginable to ensure a world order that benefits big multi-national corporations. It dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even though officials such as General Eisenhower knew Japan was about to surrender, to send a message. That message was the same as the one sent in Vietnam—do as we say or suffer a holocaust... Continue reading: http://thebloodycrossroads.com/464/occupy-wall-street-and-the-history-of-corporate-fascism/Humanity faces a daunting battle against corporate forces that have historically... more
Cambodia's worst floods in over a decade have killed 167 people, a disaster official said Wednesday, as efforts intensified to provide aid to tens of thousands of families.
Sixty-eight children were among those who died in nearly two months of flooding caused by heavy rainfall that has also seen the Mekong River overflow, said Keo Vy, spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management.
Some 300,000 hectares (740,000 acres) of rice paddies have been inundated and more than 23,000 families had to be evacuated to higher ground in provinces across the country, he added.
"The government and the Red Cross are giving the necessary help to those affected," Keo Vy said, adding that aid, including food deliveries, had so far reached 40,000 families.
He estimated that nearly 230,000 families across the impoverished nation had been affected by the unusually severe floods but he indicated the situation was under control.
"As Prime Minister Hun Sen has said, we are not appealing for aid but we welcome any assistance," he said.
International relief organisation Oxfam, which has started handing out hygiene kits in some areas, has urged all relevant agencies in Cambodia "to urgently deliver food, clean water, sanitation supplies and shelters".
In neighbouring Thailand, the worst monsoon floods in decades have left more than 220 people dead.Cambodia's worst floods in over a decade have killed 167 people, a disaster... more
Via Alternet; Thanks Mike.
http://www.alternet.org/story/152331/michael_moore%3A_why_i_became_anti-war/Via Alternet; Thanks Mike.... more
Another day in history.
WWH) The difference between a war story and a fairy tale? Fairy-tales begin “Once upon a time…” War stories start: “No shit, man, I was there…”WWH) The difference between a war story and a fairy tale? Fairy-tales begin... more
On the FB pages linked with this blog–and I gather also here, though not recently–there is an on-going discussion of what the key term of the designation of this site–”hippy”–means. In a way, it’s like the term “gay.” And, like gay cultures with whom we “hippies” are often compared for our malignOn the FB pages linked with this blog–and I gather also here, though not... more
In its brief history, it's easy to see why Hip Hop has quickly become the cultural paradigm that it is. With its visceral yet fragmented sonic aesthetics and verbally self-aggrandizing, masculinized freedom of expression, it correlated and accentuated precisely a new American perspective growing up and being groomed in a Reaganomics-MTV-Tech Age on the cusp of hitting next gear.
And we haven't looked back since. I mean, we have, but only to commodify and fetishize nostalgia. But that's for another time. Bad pun. Anyway, our way of life sped up and Hypercapitalism and Hip Hop were both the harbinger and beneficiaries of this culture shift. But times change and musical styles evolve self-reflexively.
Obviously, in America, we're relearning a little humility these days. And though the bravado is still there, because we are after all American, the best Hip Hop artist today (if you still even want to asininely categorize into genres) counter the next line with a self-effacing yearning. Kanye or Drake, for example. There's a wave of younger dudes doing it with an R&B tinge a la Frank Ocean and The Weeknd , and that softening points to a much welcome reactive tempering to the overt masculinization cultivated over the last 25 years.
But as Hip Hop has traveled the sea and trickled onto different shores, the influences have not necessarily varied. Rather, I suppose, like any other paradigm that has peaked and transcended boundaries, its reductive elements penetrate first.
Not avoiding anthropologically speculative generalization, there's distinctive qualities in which Hip Hop has reached and influenced different Asian regions. To note, it's fascinating in itself the susceptibility that Asian cultures as a whole are drawn to the Hip Hop bravado. But, perhaps, there is something enmeshed in each individual culture that draws out a different idiosyncratic manifestation. For the Japanese, is it similar to their sexuality, a means of outward expression in a traditionally repressed culture? In some way, most likely. And why is the love of basketball so closely intertwined with Hip Hop in Japan? (There is the obvious answer there. For that, simply watch ESPN's 30 for 30 on the Fab 5).
Juxtaposed with that is Vietnam. A country just unshackling some of its inhibitions. In their case, more ideological and economical. It's a little newer to the world game. The stringency of the older generations' (or at least those that subscribed the communism) are seeing their wall of economical status quo being 808'd by the sheer attractive force of Capitalism and, more importantly, its weaponization of Freedom of Expression.
So Hip Hop in an older form has taken center stage amongst Vietnamese youth today. And B-boy culture instead of Hoops is the intermediary. ... it's true, intrinsically, the Vietnamese just have more flava than most Asian cultures.
I don't have any conclusive argument here. I also apologize for how poorly written this is. A Saturday morning blurb. But, I do wonder about Freedom Of Expression moving forward. I wonder, with fingers crossed, as our society is moving away from Hypercapitalism to a yet-to-be defined sustainable model, if Freedom Of Expression in a world that has all the information at its distracted fingertips can find something sincere and extricate itself from all the saturated, unfiltered talk that hypercapitalism has allowed to infiltrate our train of thought.
I also hope that the many that are seen wearing Spike Lee a la Mars Blackmon tees go watch Spike Lee flicks. HollatchaboiiiiIn its brief history, it's easy to see why Hip Hop has quickly become the... more
A new Trivia Question will be posted every Friday at 8:00 pm (EST).
You can post your answer in the comments section below the question and be entered into a chance to win a WWH Bumpersticker!A new Trivia Question will be posted every Friday at 8:00 pm (EST). You can post... more