Essays by Ronnie Cummins
Welcome to Degeneration Nation 2018.
The frightening truth is that our “profit-at-any-cost” economy and global empire, run by and for the one percent and multi-national corporations, aided and abetted by an out-of-control Congress and White House, is threatening our very survival.
Our system of democracy, global co-existence, our physical and mental health, and the health of the living Earth—our climate, soils, forests, wetlands, watersheds, and oceans—is rapidly degenerating. The rhythms of nature—the atmosphere, the soil carbon cycle, the water cycle and the climate—are MORE
Last week the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) rejected the pleas of organic activists, farmers and many businesses to “keep the soil in organic” by voting to allow growers of hydroponic vegetables to label their produce “organic.”
The NOSB's vote did little to shore up consumer faith in the USDA Organic label, especially after well-publicized news reports earlier this year that accused a few high-profile organic brands of giving "organic" a bad name by skirting the rules. And it had some industry pioneers so angry and disheartened, that according to the Washington Post they MORE
The most important thing we can do today as conscious consumers, farmers and food workers is to move away from industrial, GMO and factory-farm food toward an organic, pasture-based, soil-regenerative, humane, carbon-sequestering and climate-friendly agriculture system.
What’s standing in the way of this life-or-death transformation? Rampant greenwashing.
Perhaps no company personifies greenwashing more than Vermont-based Ben & Jerry’s. Ben & Jerry’s history—a start-up launched by two affable hippies, from a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vt., —is legendary. MORE
One of the most politically charged debates today, especially in the U.S. and Europe, is the so-called “immigration crisis.” There are approximately 250 million (3 percent of the world’s 7.6 billion people) migrants in the world today. About 20 percent, or 47 million of those, live in the U.S. Another 35 million live in Europe.
At the recent regional Summit on Migrants and Returnees in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala, October 20-21, a new and promising solution to the global “immigration crisis” emerged: the creation of local, grassroots-powered economic development projects based MORE
After years of single-issue campaigning against America’s degenerate food and farming system, with real but limited success, it’s time for a change of strategy and tactics.
By connecting the dots between a range of heretofore separate issues and campaigns, by focusing on some of the major weaknesses or vulnerabilities of the system, we can speed up our transition to an organic and regenerative food and farming system before our health, environmental and climate crises turn into full-blown catastrophe.
Surveys indicate that Americans are increasingly alarmed about MORE
A growing corps of organic, climate, environmental, social justice and peace activists are promoting a new world-changing paradigm that can potentially save us from global catastrophe. The name of this new paradigm and movement is regenerative agriculture, or more precisely regenerative food, farming and land use.
The basic menu for a Regeneration Revolution is to unite the world’s 3 billion rural farmers, ranchers and herders with several billion health, environmental and justice-minded consumers to overturn “business as usual” and embark on a global campaign of cooperation, MORE
Grassroots mobilization and mass protest against the Trump junta have reached an all-time high. Yet our growing Anti-Trump resistance is still rather weak in terms of explaining exactly what it is we are fighting for.
Are we talking about a return to Establishment Democratic Party rule, a slight revision of the status quo we experienced during the Obama and Clinton administrations? Or are we talking about a genuine grassroots “Political Revolution” as called for by Bernie Sanders, now the most popular politician in the U.S.?
It’s time to work for something MORE
Given the importance of clothing and fashion in American culture and the economy, there are a number of rarely discussed, yet crucial issues we need to consider—health, environmental, and ethical—before we pull out our wallets to purchase yet another item of clothing or a textile product.MORE
Over the past three decades, organic food, farming, and products in the U.S. have grown into a $50-billion-a-year powerhouse, representing more than 5 percent of all retail grocery sales. This growth has been achieved with little or no help from the White House, Congress or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and that’s been true no matter which party, Democrat or Republican, has been in power.
Although the majority of consumers—no matter whether they voted for Hillary (65 million), Trump (62 million), or stayed home and didn’t vote (92 million)—tell pollsters that they know MORE
Millions of Americans have no health insurance. More than 50 million are woefully underinsured.
Meanwhile Big Pharma and profit-obsessed HMOs and hospitals are focused mainly on selling you overpriced (often hazardous) prescription drugs, on running expensive tests, and on keeping you on permanent health maintenance, rather than preventing the diseases that are so costly to treat.
We can't afford to provide universal healthcare for all as long as our medical model is focused on treating the evermore serious and widespread sicknesses of the body politic (for example obesity MORE
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