Humane Issues in the News...

Each week we post links to news about humane education & humane living, and items connected to humane issues, from human rights to environmental preservation, to animal protection, to media, consumerism and culture.

Teen to walk 1,100 miles, stay in shelters to bring attention to plight of homeless children - Orlando Sentinel (6/15/09)
”The idea for the walk took form late last year at Lee Middle when David learned that nearly 70 of his classmates were homeless. He began researching the national picture, and what he discovered made him want to make a difference.”

Corporations take Pennsylvania town to court for trying to ban coal mining rightsCommon Dreams (6/15/09)
”The township has gone further than any of the 120 U.S. municipalities -- most of them in Pennsylvania -- that have passed ordinances to curb corporate activity such as factory farming or spreading sewage sludge, said its lawyer, Tom Linzey of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.”

Human rights activists protest outside NBA games, other venues, to bring attention to Russell-gear/products sweatshop link - Huffington Post (6/14/09)
”The NBA is only one of several targets of USAS’ campaign to draw attention to Russell’s human rights abuses. The campaign has heated up in recent months, with activists bringing their crusade to universities that do business with Russell, retail stores that sell Russell clothing, Berkshire Hathaway stockholders, and even the U.S. Congress.”

Baking the way to a better worldFrederick (6/13/09)
”While these boys have worked hard to ensure the success of Share Our Strength's ‘No Kid Hungry’ program, they reminded that everyone can do their part to save lives. ‘It's not just our job,’ Damon said. ‘The whole U.S. has to help out. You can't just count on three little boys to save the world.’"

Some cities look at reducing size, returning “burbs” to natureAlternet (6/13/09)
"’The real question is not whether these cities shrink – we're all shrinking – but whether we let it happen in a destructive or sustainable way,’ said Mr Kildee. ‘Decline is a fact of life in Flint. Resisting it is like resisting gravity.’"

Is increased unemployment increasing people’s empathy?Chicago Tribune (6/12/09)
”Most of us, he agreed, don't have empathy until we go through the experience.’People walk around talking about these people, those people and they're lazy and all of a sudden it's, “Oops, I am unemployed and I am not lazy, so it must be something else that causes people to fall on hard times.”’ "
Thanks, Ode Magazine, for the heads up.

Eco-consultants on the riseNew York Times (6/10/09)
”Environmental savings can be elusive, and the benefits and costs confusing. To help households wade through the information, consultants armed with stepladders and gadgets are selling advice on energy efficiency, indoor air quality and even methods for creating an eco-conscious wardrobe.”

One man’s trek to follow his trash (and recyclables)Mother Jones (6/10/09)
”To find out whether my city's phenomenal recycling success was actually real, I asked San Francisco's waste contractor, Sunset Scavenger, if I could track one week's worth of my own trash in real time. It agreed, and so began my odyssey into a world of waste.”
Thanks,, for the heads up.

Shell settles Nigerian human rights case for $15.5 million - New York Times (6/9/09)
”In a statement, the company said the agreement ‘will provide funding for the trust and a compassionate payment to the plaintiffs and the estates they represent in recognition of the tragic turn of events in Ogoni land, even though Shell had no part in the violence that took place.’”

LA high school goes bright (6/9/09)
”When education issues make headlines in Los Angeles, the subject’s often bad nutrition and obesity at best and deleterious budget cuts at worst. So visiting Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale, Calif., is like stepping into an unexpectedly healthy green oasis — with organic fruit trees, compost bins for food waste and a healthier vending machine with lots of organic options!”

Life, health insurance companies investing in tobaccoThe (6/5/09)
”Major U.S., Canadian and British life and health insurance companies have billions of dollars invested in tobacco companies, says a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.Wesley Boyd, the study's lead author, found that at least $4.4 billion US in insurance company funds are invested in companies whose affiliates produce cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco.”
Thanks, PR Watch, for the heads up.

Forest certifications battle over “nature-friendly” title; which is greenwashing? - The (6/3/09)
”What both certification programs have in common is that their respective logos -- appearing on books and 2x4s and everything between -- carry a promise of 'sustainability;' both indicate that eco-conscious buyers can relax and know they are buying a product that they can feel good about. What the rivals do not share, is a common vision of what sustainability looks like on the forest floor, and whether the differences between certification standards matter at all.”

Industry strategizing to block ban of toxic BPA chemicalWashington Post (5/31/09)
”According to internal notes of a private meeting, obtained by The Washington Post, frustrated industry executives huddled for hours Thursday trying to figure out how to tamp down public concerns over the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA. The notes said the executives are particularly concerned about the views of young mothers, who often make purchasing decisions for households and who are most likely to be focused on health concerns.”

Activist turns tide for turtles in Trinidad - (5/28/09)
”Gradually, her message of conservation turned the tide of public opinion, and after nearly two decades under Baptiste's leadership, Nature Seekers has largely won its battle. Today, the leatherbacks' survival rate on Matura Beach is virtually 100 percent.”
Thanks, Good News Network, for the heads up.

New book says many animals possess “sense of morality” - Telegraph (UK) (5/23/09)
”But Prof Marc Bekoff, an ecologist at University of Colorado, Boulder, believes that morals are ‘hard-wired’ into the brains of all mammals and provide the ‘social glue’ that allow often aggressive and competitive animals to live together in groups. He has compiled evidence from around the world that shows how different species of animals appear to have an innate sense of fairness, display empathy and help other animals that are in distress.”
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