Yes, you can make a difference!

I received the newsletter (copied below) from the good people at Food and Water Watch – a watchdog site in the USA that enable people like you and me to make a difference on matters that concern us – safe food and water for the generations to come as well as ourselves. Being an “armchair acitivist” is easier with the internet, however it still takes an effort and requires us to pay attention, to read relevant information and to not become so overwhelmed that we feel as though it’s all too much and we then give up. That’s why I love sites like Food and Water Watch and Avaaz – they encourage and allow me to make a difference without becoming overwhelmed, I don’t give up and I can make a difference, so can you!


Let’s keep on doing it – together WE DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

FOOD AND WATER WATCH NEWSLETTER

As I prepare to share Thanksgiving with my family this year, I’ve been thinking about the many things I am truly thankful for, and you’re at the top of the list. Thank you for all that you do to protect your food and water.

When I started Food & Water Watch just seven years ago, I knew that we would face many challenges, and I could only hope that our then-tiny organization would be able to tackle them. Now, seven years later, while the challenges are still great, I am confident that thanks to our nearly 80 staff around the world, and half a million dedicated supporters like you, we can truly stand up and fight back to protect our essential resources.

The power of you and your neighbors working together has shown us throughout this past year that we can take on the corporate control of our food and water, and together we can win.

From shutting down Walmart’s support lines asking them not to carry genetically engineered sweet corn to helping Longmont, Colorado, become the first city in the state to ban fracking, you’ve shown both politicians and corporations that together we are strong and committed to fighting for what’s right. Additionally, supporters like you have helped us move our work forward on the state and federal level by:

  • Taking over 1 million actions online, from asking state legislators for fracking bans to demanding that the FDA investigate pet food-related deaths
  • Making nearly 40,000 phone calls to local, state, federal and corporate decision-makers
  • Hosting over 350 events in communities all across the U.S., from film screenings and activist meetups to rallies and petition deliveries

As a result of all of this amazing work, we’ve shared many victories that our organizers are very excited to celebrate with you in the coming month. But, before we begin discussing all of the things we’ve accomplished, I wanted to take a moment and recognize the people who made our victories possible. It’s people like you, from Maine to California, who work tirelessly alongside our organizers to help advance our goals. You don’t do it for personal recognition, or money, but because you believe, like I do, that we must fight for the kind of world we want and not just settle for the best that we can get.

You inspire me every day, and help me see the incredible future that lies ahead for our movement. In fact, it was you that I had in mind when I wrote my latest book, Foodopoly, which is being released in December. You and I know that the food system is broken, and it didn’t happen by accident. A handful of corporations now control most of the food on store shelves, and we aren’t going to be able to shop our way out of this system.

I have often said that I wish I could thank each of you in person, and as I travel around the country in 2013 for my book tour, I hope that I will have the opportunity to meet many of you. But in the meantime, during a season that is predicated on giving thanks, I can think of nothing else that I am more thankful for than your involvement with Food & Water Watch, and nothing that I look forward to more than working with you in the coming years.

Thank you from all of us,

Wenonah Hauter
Executive Director
Food & Water Watch
act(at)fwwatch(dot)org

What the frack is going on?

I don’t tend towards exageration however I have to say that we are on the edge of environmental disaster here in the North West of Ireland. We are about to allow a few large shale gas mining corporations, using hydraulic fracturing drilling methods, to waltz in here and destroy our watertables, our aquifers – in fact we have given them licence to do just that, we have given them a licence to frack our local environment.

I know that we have been asleep, these licences were given some time ago and most of us never noticed. I know now that in many parts of the world ordinary people have had their lives disrupted, their farms destroyed, their livestock sickened and their own health damaged by shale gas extraction in their areas.

Rivers, streams, ponds and lakes have been damaged so that fish and other aquatic wildlife die. Watertables are damaged so that drinking water wells are now unusable, people are having to buy bottled water in order to cook, wash, water their vegetables, water their livestock etc. In some areas the tap water has become inflammeable – you can light it on fire!

The threat to our environment is overwhelming in scale and I am having great difficulty in coping with this new element in my life. In the past I was a very angry teenager and young woman, in my twenties and early thrities I was able channel that anger through involvement in certain environmental and community activism. To be an activist I found that the anger I felt was put to good use, it was useful to be angry, it gave me the energy to be commited in campaign work, it helped me to feel motivated and I was passionate about the issues in which I was involved.

Everything changed in my mid-thirties, my life was thrown upside down and I began to work on myself, I began to heal the anger. It was a long and hard journey at first and as anyone who has been on a recovery or healing path knows – nothing remains the same, the pain eased and the anger became explained, I could see why it was there and I could work on not needing or feeding it anymore. I am still on that path, I still work hard at being emtionally healthy, having healthy relationships with myself and others.

Now I have a life partner and we are making a home for ourselves in a beautiful unspoilt part of rural Ireland. We are building our home using our own hands and constantly learning new skills along the way, both life-skills and building skills. I am fortunate in having soul sisters (the word friends doesn’t quite cut it), with whom I have very good relationships and we support each other in very honest and gentle ways- that took hard work too. I have a life that I never dreamt possible, it’s a simple life, it’s not easy, we have very little money and face many challenges and I would not change it for all the money in the world.

It has changed now.

These changes are outside my control – as life is. I need to find a way to challenge what is happening to our environment without loosing myself. I don’t want to go back to living with anger in every cell in my body, I have to find a way to live with what is happening and how I feel about it without becoming lost in it.

I have a lot of work to do…

Safe Water For All

Safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights, the United Nations General Assembly declared in July this year, voicing deep concern that almost 900 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water.

Reading through this report blew my mind – I know that water is a growing concern for many people in the world, including myself as we don’t have access to our own well, however looking at some of the numbers that are mentioned in the report is really shocking –

An estimated 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water

A total of more than 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation

About 1.5 million children under the age of five die each year and 443 million school days are lost because of water- and sanitation-related diseases

We are lucky enough to have ready access to clean water without much effort on our behalf. As I said we don’t have out own well however we are lucky enough to have a neighbour with a good well and he is a great neighbour who generously allows us to use his well for drinking water.

We collect rain water for sanitation and usually we have enough rain water for our purposes, Ireland being a rainy country has it’s advantages. If we run out of water we can drive to a nearby town which has a canal system running through it and has drinking water available at the mooring piers.

We are mindful of our water use and try to avoid having to go to town to fill up water containers however the fact that we can just drive to town and get clean water makes us luckier than 884 million other people who do not have access to safe drinking water.

If you would like to do something to change this situation then please have a look at the petition badge on the left hand side of the blog and click on “sign petition”. Ask your friends to sign too, post it on facebook and tweet about it.

Safe water should be available to everyone…