July 1, 2011
Thank you to Blue Nile!
It s that time of the year when the wild salmon are making their annual epic journey from the ocean up into the headwaters of Alaska s Bristol Bay to spawn. It s an amazing force of nature on average some 40 million salmon strong! And, it s the economic engine for the region - supplying some 50% of the world s commercial supply of wild sockeye salmon!
No wonder there s so much support for protecting this sustainable salmon fishery, and the communities and hardworking commercial fishermen who rely on it, against the proposed Pebble mine. The Pebble gold and copper mine, proposed by UK-based Anglo American, would dispose of up to 10 billion tons of toxic mine waste in the Bristol Bay Fishery Reserve.
Responsible jewelers across the company have lined up in support of Bristol Bay protection, pledging not to source gold from the Pebble mine, should it be developed. The most recent signatory is on-line jeweler Blue Nile Inc. It joins over 50 other jewelers in making this commitment towards responsible gold sourcing. Check out the full list of jewelers at http://www.ourbristolbay.com/pledge-signee.html
We thank them for it. And, 40 million salmon do too!
By Gwen Lachelt
July 1, 2011
Earthworks Oil & Gas Accountability Project (OGAP) cheers the activists who spoke out yesterday challenging the STRONGER review of Colorado s hydraulic fracturing rules. Citizen engagement of all types will only improve the process.
STRONGER (State Review of Oil and Gas Environmental Regulations) was created by federal agencies to review and validate state regulations as a means to fill the void left by oil & gas industry-won loopholes in federal environmental law. It should not exist. For decades, we have worked to close the loopholes that created it. And, in the absence of strong federal oversight, we continue to work diligently at state and local levels to enact strong safeguards because federal regulations continue to fall short.
Earthworks participates Wilma Subra, our board member and Bruce Baizel, our senior staff attorney in STRONGER because we work through all available avenues to protect communities and the environment from the destructive impacts of mining, digging and drilling. STRONGER is an imperfect process in need of improvement. But it will exist with our participation or not. Without our presence, communities would have little or no voice at all.
Earthworks OGAP believes that hydraulic fracturing should only be permitted if it can be done safely. Whether that is possible remains an open question and will remain so as long as industry and its allies stonewall those who wish to answer it.
For more information:
By Nick Magel
June 30, 2011
Costco's public face on Facebook is taking a beating this week. Customers are fed up with Costco's inability to sign on to the No Dirty Gold Campaign s Golden Rules .
Why isn't Costco supporting clean gold? We don't know. We assume it isn't because they don't care about children working in mines or cyanide spills poisoning communities' drinking water. Maybe it is because they think their customers don't care. Well they are showing them this week that that is the furthest from the truth.
By Nick Magel
June 29, 2011
8pm Monday, as every Monday, saw Channel 4 broadcast its programme Dispatches . Only this week, it was called The Real Price of Gold and looked at where the gold for jewellery comes from.
Presenter and businesswoman Deidre Bounds was shown visiting a number of high street jewellery retailers encountering a storm of confusing and inaccurate sales patter from staff at high street jewellery stores about where their gold comes from.
Next we saw her travel to Honduras and Senegal to witness the process of how gold is mined. Footage showed a 14 year old boy in Senegal, working in an illegal mine, and handling toxic mercury with his bare hands. Then we saw children suffering health effects, which villagers near the Goldcorps mine in the Siria Valley in Honduras, link to mining. Here, a 14 year old boy was shown with headaches, sores on his skin, and hair loss. Tests found that he had more than double the safe limit of lead in his blood.
So what about the solutions? The programme highlighted Fairtade and Fairmined Gold where workers have safer working conditions and are guaranteed a fair wage. But at present just some 20 designer makers have access to this gold.
By Alan Septoff
June 24, 2011
Earthworks is part of the Clean Water Not Dirty Drilling coalition that works to protect New York's water from irresponsible drilling.
Recently, a few famous New Yorkers got together to help out.
Zo Saldana, Nadia Dajani, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Charles, Ethan Hawke and Amy Ryan made this spot to encourage New Yorkers to speak out against dirty drilling -- and for the water upon which tens of millions of people rely.
After you watch the video, head on over to Clean Water Not Dirty Drilling to spread the word.