Sunday, June 20, 2010

What is Corexit 9500?

Have you heard of Corexit 9500?  Well I found out today that this is one of the brilliant "solutions" currently being used in the Gulf of Mexico to "solve" the oil spill problem.

BP with the approval of the US government have dumped more than a million gallons of Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527 into the Gulf of Mexico.  

So what is Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527?  (By the way, this stuff is toxic that some countries have banned it's usage under any circumstance).  It's a chemical oil dispersal agent.  Dispersal of oil does not eliminate oil, it does not decrease the toxicity of the oil.  What does it do?  It just breaks up the oil into small particles so that it becomes less visible ... How is this a solution?  It isn't!  But I guess from the perspective of BP it does solve some problems.  Namely, when something's out of sight, it's out of mind.  Hiding the effects of this oil spill will mean public attention will slowly focus elsewhere. 

Meanwhile the sea animals that are killed by the combination of the toxic oil and even more toxic dispersant will sink (another effect of Corexit) and disappear rather than wash up onto the shore where the the public can see the disastrous affects.  Just imagine the outcry!  But that can't be allowed to happen.  The public cannot be allowed to see what's really going on there!

Furthermore, not only does Corexit make the oil less visible, it also becomes pretty much impossible to collect.  To disperse the oil means it will never be cleaned up!  Instead, it will spread throughout all the oceans of the world, polluting everywhere, killing everything in the water and affecting everyone using the water.  The implications of this are huge!  Huge for marine life.  Huge for the environment.  Huge for the human race....

This makes me so sad.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A day on the farm

The other day, Kaya and I did a bit of exploring around the farming neighbourhood....

This last picture is a shot of the complex in which we live.  Besides the giant, but occasionally-used football stadium beside the complex (in the right of the picture), we're completely surrounded by farms.  Ahh ... a peaceful life.  

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Why I Boycott Nestle

There are a number of companies my family actively boycott including Monsanto (the most evil company on the planet!!), Coca-Cola, Nike, MacDonalds and BP, but the one company that has really offended me especially since I became a mum, is Nestle.

Isn't it interesting that Nestle aggressively and unethically promotes infant formula for babies in third world countries as being "protective" and yet it continues to utilise child labour and slavery in the manufacturing of it's chocolate products?  It goes without saying that they do not care about protecting children at all!  

By the way, Nestle's latest strategy of telling mothers its infant formula "protects" babies from disease or malnutrition is a big fat lie.  Nestle knows that babies fed on formula are more likely to become sick than breastfed babies, and in poor settings they are more likely to die.  In fact, UNICEF and WHO have estimated that by improving breastfeeding practices and reducing the use of infant formula in the developing world, the lives of some 1.5 million innocent children could be saved every year!  1.5 million children!!!

Some other reasons to boycott Nestle:
  • Nestle is not a fair trade company.  Less than 1% of its cocoa is certified fair trade.
  • Nestle has not kept its 2001 promise to end child slavery in its cocoa supply chain.
  • Nestle violates the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes more than any other company.
  • Nestle is a HUGE user of palm oil and knowingly purchases its palm oil from companies that are destroying Indonesia's rainforests and peatlands and causing the critical endangerment of Sumatra Orangutans. 
Meanwhile, Ky continues to enjoy his breastmilk whenever he can get it (which is just about every time he notices me sitting down ...) and up until now we've thankfully never had to resort to formula for any reason.  Did you know the WHO encourages breastfeeding at least until the age of 2?  For all the benefits to both bub and mum, I think it's a shame that so many women wean their babies before this age.  I also think it's a shame that so many women in our society wean their babies because of pressure they feel from others.  Regardless of the stares or tsk tsks I might receive, I plan to continue breastfeeding until at least another 6 months.