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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Howard students are at the front lines of the most influential city in the world, at the brink of a green revolution that could change all facets of American life.  This group looks to discuss those initiatives on campus, around the Beltway and the world.



Former green jobs advisor to the President, Van Jones, 'keeping it real' at Howard University, fall 2010.

Jay-Z once famously said, "I check cheddar like a food inspector." It was a brilliant coupling of the hip hop and dairy industries that has yet to be rivaled… till now.

Video stats: Over 777,000 views in just 20 days!
Allow me to reintroduce you to Yeo Valley Farms (pronounced Yo!). Yeo Valley is an organic farm and dairy business in the U.K. with a unique and youthful vision. This family-based company started producing organic yogurt back in 1993 and their line has grown from there to include butter, cheese, milk and ice cream.
Buzz is also growing around this new video ad (now available on itunes!). Deftly designed to draw a young, hip to the green scene, Yeo Valley called in some heavy duty help to shape their message into a music video. They enlisted music video director Julien Lutz (best known for his work with artists like Usher, Alicia Keys, Mystikal, The Ying Yang Twins and Rihanna) and Yeo Boyz to create an authentic organic anthem.
With tractors bumpin like cadillacs on hydraulics and beat-laden production it was hard to go wrong. The lyrics are delivered with skill and don't come off forced at all even with a strong conservation message:
"This isn’t fictional farming
It’s realer than real
You won’t find milk maidens
That’s no longer the deal
In my wax coat and boots
I’m proper farmer Giles
Now look
You urban folk done stole our style"

Did they succeed? I'll let you be the judge. Drop your comments below!
Related links:
BBC: Pump up Milk Production by Pumping up the Volume!

Yeo Valley Organic

The Message Remixed

Hip Hop and Tree Music on Planet Harmony

Image from Dr.

More than 30 years ago the United States banned the use of the metal lead in gasoline and household paint. While overall exposure to lead in this country is dropping, there is still plenty of lead dust on the ground from its previous use in fuels and paints. Adults are relatively immune to small exposures in their environment, but even minute amounts of lead can have devastating effects on young children.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that lead paint poisoning affects more than 1 million children today.  That is why the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is focusing their National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW), October 24–30, 2010 efforts too raise awareness of lead poisoning in children.

Research shows that even low-level lead poisoning, in young people causes a variety of adverse health effects, including high blood pressure, hypertension, and reproductive problems.  There is also strong evidence suggesting lead exposure in the womb and early childhood limits brain development and can lead to lower IQs and violent crime later in life. In our investigation of lead exposure in Cincinnati we found that young adults suffering from high levels of lead exposure were 650 times more likely to die in violent crime than the average American.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson acknowledges this tragedy but views it as preventable, "if we take the right steps to raise awareness and give every family the tools they need to protect against lead exposure.” In a press release from her agency she adds that “it’s vital that we help educate parents and caretakers on the importance of safeguarding children from the dangers of lead in their homes."

This year's NLPPW theme, Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future, underscores the importance of testing your home and your child, and getting the facts about how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects. Here's how to start:

    •    Get your home tested. Have your home inspected if you live in a home built before 1978.
    •    Get your child tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead.
    •    Get the facts.Visit http://www.leadfreekids.org or call 1-800-424-LEAD.
  
More information on lead: http://epa.gov/lead/pubs/lppw2010.htm

       The Seventh DC Green Festival co-sponsored by Green America and Global Exchange packed the Washington Convention Center with metropolitan residents and festival-goers from all around the world.
        Events at the two-day festival included an award ceremony for businesses presented with the “Green America Seal of Approval;” talks from world-renowned speakers such as Ralph Nader and climate change negotiators from South America, and panels to help festival-goers live more sustainable lives.
         In 1985, the first Green Festival was held in San Francisco but soon expanded to include stops in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle.  The Green Festival remains the “largest sustainability event in the world.”  In DC, the festival occupied an entire floor of the convention center with more than 300 exhibitor booths.
         Festival organizers aim to bring together environmentally-conscious people, businesses, and organizations and provide an opportunity for them to find solutions to “help make our lives healthier – socially, economically, and environmentally.”  


 Green America’s Alem on the Green Festival: “It keeps growing every year.”

        The festival also allows the global community of “green-minded” individuals to meet and form connections with each other which will later help to organize international campaigns for environmental issues exemplified by two recent events: American green groups’ push for congressional climate bills that eventually stalled in the Senate and international groups rallying together for last year’s failed Copenhagen talks.
           But Green Festival speakers and attendees see the failure of those previous measures as motivation to push even harder now.
          Four-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader’s closing remarks during his presentation highlighted the benefit of having “green” festivals. Nader said that such festivals allow people to realize the growing number of solutions that exist to “"to turn this country around and make it into a global humanitarian superpower,” instead of just being the world’s second largest greenhouse gas emitter.
          Speeches delvered by Nader and other keynote speakers took place at the festival’s Center Stage, located adjacent to the organic food and wine garden.
          Green vendors filled the convention center including an eco-fashion runway stage, and a Green Kid’s zone. Some of the pavilions spotlighted fair trade, urban farming, green homes, green business, and yoga.
         The festival organizer’s sectioned off the exhibitors by 14 different fields including community action, conservation, green office, organic food, and renewable energy.
         Alongside well-known organizations such as Greenpeace and PETA, there were lesser known companies with interesting green products. One such company is Mr. Ellie Pooh, helps office go green by making paper out of elephant dung. 
         According to the company’s official website, the use of an “innovative” recyclable paper source greatly reduces waste on the planet: 44% percent less energy and paper from recycled sources produce 38% less greenhouse gas emissions.
         Reducing global greenhouse gas emissions was a center focus of festival speakers such as Pablo Solón, Bolivia’s United Nations ambassador.  Ambassador Solón said future climate change negotiations still depend upon the United States’ involvement. 
         Ambassador Solón said that some developing nations follow the United States’ example, even if that means the failure to act on climate change: if the United States does not drastically reduce its emissions why should they.
 “If the US raises its level of commitment, then things can move in a positive way in Cancun,” Solón said, “if not, the possibility of prolonging negotiations for a year or more can be the real outcome of Cancun.”
       The next UN Climate Change summit  will be held in Cancun, Mexico from November 29 to December 10.
 
Watch Green America's Mohammed Alem discuss the history of the organization and the Green Festival:

Essence Mag reports on the growing numbers of African American women who are getting cosmetic surgery, especially nose jobs, body fat reduction and breast augmentation. Expensive and risky, but many say they'll take the chance and pay the bill. 
Why do people think this is necessary? How often is this a good choice? What does this say about people loving themselves? Is the love in making a change, or is the love in accepting oneself as already good enough?
http://www.essence.com/entertainment/real_housewives_of_atlanta/nene_leakes/is_plastic_surgery_the_new_black_for_bla.php

NIGHTMARE ON ENO ROAD: ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM KILLS THE DICKSON COUNTY (TENNESSEE) LANDFILL AND THE HARRY HOLT FAMILY

By Robert D. Bullard, Ph.D.

CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS

Dickson, Tennessee is a town of 12,244 located about 35 miles west of Nashville. Dickson County was 4.5 percent black in 2000. Dickson’s mostly African American Eno Road community has been used as the dumping ground for garbage and toxic wastes dating back more than six decades. The black neighborhood was first used as the site of the Dickson “city dump” and subsequent city and county Class I sanitary landfills, Class III and IV construction and demolition landfills, balefills, and processing centers.

The Dickson County Landfill consists of 74 acres off Eno Road, 1.5 miles southwest of Dickson. The landfill contains four parts, the City of Dickson Landfill, the County Landfill Expansion, and the balefill; which are all now closed. For years, drums of toxic industrial waste solvents were dumped at the landfill which later contaminated the groundwater. Dickson County operates a recycling center, garbage transfer station and a C&D landfill at the Eno Road site—where 20-25 heavy-duty diesel trucks enter the sites each day—leaving behind noxious fumes, dangerous particulates, household garbage, recyclables and demolition debris from around Middle Tennessee. The garbage transfer station alone handles approximately 35,000 tons annually.

Dickson County covers more than 490 square miles—an equivalent of 313,600 acres. However, the only cluster of solid waste facilities in the county is located just 54-feet from a 150-acre farm owned by the Harry Holt family, African American landowners that have lived in the Eno Road community for five generations—turning this family’s American dream into a hellish nightmare. After slavery, dozens of black families acquired hundreds of acres of land—not part of the empty “40 acres and a mule” government promise—and lived a quiet and peaceful existence in Dickson’s historically black Eno Road community. That is, until their wells were poisoned by the county landfill. The black family has been especially harmed by the toxic assaults of the city and county landfills and by government inaction.

Harry Holt – Prostate cancer, bone cancer, Type 1 diabetes, hypertension, kidney failure (died on January 9, 2007)

Beatrice Holt – Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, cervical polyps Sheila Holt-Orsted – Breast cancer, diabetes, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorder Bonita Holt – Arthritis, colon polyps, hypertension, gastrointestinal disorder Demetrius Holt – Diabetes, gastrointestinal disorder Patrick Holt – Immune disorder, arthritis

A press release on Tuesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed John Hankinson, Jr. as the new director for New Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson appointed Hankinson, a Florida native, who has served in the private, public and non-profit sector fighting environmental issues for more than 30 years.
An executive order was signed by President Obama this month to implement restoration programs and projects for those affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Lisa Jackson was appointed chair of the task force. 


Source:blogs.seattleweekly.com

“We’re pleased that John has accepted this responsibility and is willing once again to step up and serve the people of the gulf coast. He will play an instrumental role in fulfilling our commitment to a full and lasting restoration of this area,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said in the press release.
John Hankinson's qualifications:

  • Served as regional administrator of EPA region 4 from 1994-2001
  • Directed the development and implementation of water quality protection plan for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
  • 10 years experience with overseeing the St. Johns River system in Florida
  • Currently serves as environment and conservation lands consultant


What will be Hankinson's duties?
Hankinson will report directly to Administrator Jackson, coordinate interagency initiatives, oversee staff and efforts, develop an ecosystem restoration strategy and make sure science is included in each initiative by the task force. 

What's next for the task force?
Administrator Jackson will hold the first meeting of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force on November 8 in Pensacola, Fla.
Read press release…
http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/a3eed3169f05a324852577c70066b1fd?OpenDocument

Source: EPA

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson 

Here is a Florida A&M University and Florida State University PSA!

Joining forces to produce a greener Tallahassee by starting with each campus!

Newly-renovated Tucker Hall at Florida A&M has an eco-friendly touch with sensor lights, low energy tiles and windows and vinyl flooring.

Tucker Hall gets an eco-friendly makeover

Author: Alaura Carter 

Published: October 26,2010
Excerpt:

     "All these new upgrades came because of a push from the staff at Plant Facilities and Planning as well as the FAMU Environment and Sustainability Council, which created a list of accepted standard building products.

     'At Tucker Hall, I served as the project manager, and was able to make sure that the efforts to make the building as energy efficient and maximize the use of green products during design and construction while providing the students the best environment possible, both indoors and outdoors,' Smith said."


Read more… http://www.thefamuanonline.com/news/tucker-hall-gets-a-more-eco-friendly-makeover-1.2383106

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University was established October 3, 1887 on "the highest of seven hills" in Tallahassee, Florida. More than 100 years later, students from the largest historically black college have decided to rethink their lifestyle and consistently incorporate "green efforts" in their everyday life. Whether it's recycling, beautifying the campus through tree planting or engaging students to commit at least one eco-friendly action in their life, FAMU will fight for environmental justice and continuously inform students about environmental issues. This group is committed to report facts concerning the university and its efforts to help students become more eco-conscious. Journalists from the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication will submit facts through multimedia and interactive platforms to help you better understand our southern region!

What's our PH? Neutral…We will always look at both sides of an issue!

Give us feedback!
We would love to hear from you.
FAMUPH@gmail.com
 
 

Erica Butler
Campus Rep
FAMUPH@GMAIL.COM