Once slow-moving threat, global warmi...

Once slow-moving threat, global warming speeds up, leaving litt...

There are 63855 comments on the Newsday story from Dec 14, 2008, titled Once slow-moving threat, global warming speeds up, leaving litt.... In it, Newsday reports that:

When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, global warming was a slow-moving environmental problem that was easy to ignore.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Newsday.

SpaceBlues

Houston, TX

#40231 Oct 4, 2013
The United States imports about 220,000 tons of sugar annually from the Dominican Republic, a relatively small amount compared to other countries and the single-nation high of 1.9 million tons imported in 2012 from Mexico, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Yet the Dominican Republic's export quota to the United States is greater than the five other nations ‚?? Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua ‚?? that are part of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR).

The Dominican government, prior to publication of the labor department's report, responded to specific questions about Hartley's submissions by calling them "allegations that are far removed from the actual status of workers in the agriculture sector and the protections afforded their rights.‚?¶ The unsubstantiated allegations presented by Father Hartley are the unfortunate consequence of a personal agenda."

Officials at the Dominican Republic's embassy in Washington, D.C., did not respond to repeated requests for comment after the report's release. However, a leading U.S. importer of sugar did respond Thursday to the report's findings.

"Our company is committed to ethical sourcing, and we are spending time reviewing the Department of Labor's findings concerning the Dominican Republic," Brian O'Malley, president and chief executive of Domino Foods, Inc., said Thursday in a statement released by the Florida-based company.

Domino Foods is part of ASR Group, the world's largest sugar refining company, which imports sugar from many countries, including the Dominican Republic. Domino Foods is the sales and marketing company that sells sugar in the United States under the brand names Domino, C&H and Florida Crystals.

O'Malley said it is the company's understanding that the report does not claim violations by the Dominican Republic of labor regulations in the CAFTA-DR.

"Working conditions and workers' safety are of paramount importance to us," he said, "so we are encouraged by the fact that although the Dominican sugar industry disputes the report's finding, it has said it will consult with its organized labor unions and the Dominican government to develop an effective response to any genuine issues reflected in the report, such as assuring that all wages, hours and benefits are accurately documented for follow-up analysis by the U.S. government."

Still, said Hartley ‚?? who remains widely vilified in the Dominican Republic ‚?? the labor department report is proof of migrant worker exploitation there and should serve as a reminder to Americans that the workers' plight is not a distant phenomenon.

"I think most Americans would be ashamed to know at what price they put sugar in their coffee every morning," he said. Sugar workers "are real people, real children, with hopes and dreams of a better future and of a dignified existence."
SpaceBlues

Houston, TX

#40232 Oct 4, 2013
The land of opportunity?

About 460,000 expatriated Haitians live in the Dominican Republic, according to the 2013 Dominican National Survey of Immigrants, released in July.

About half of Haitians in the Dominican Republic live largely in isolation in bateyes. They are clumps of company housing or free-standing huts in the middle of cane fields, most often lacking adequate sanitation, electricity, potable water, schools and medical care. Homes surround a crude town square in which the only businesses are lottery booths and privately owned corner stores ‚?? known as colmados ‚?? stocked with liquor and food stuffs such as rice, at which workers and their families run up mounting debts, according to the new Labor Department report.

The healthiest and strongest workers can cut 3 to 4 tonnallata ‚?? about 2,200 pounds each ‚?? in a 12-hour shift, usually 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. A ticketer labels the load. A cutter can earn 120 pesos per tonnallata, currently about $2.82 U.S. So in 12 hours of hard labor, the most productive worker will earn between $11 and $12, advocates say.

Even this process, worker advocates say, has been changed to benefit sugar companies and take from workers. Sugar fields are dotted with dozens of abandoned and rusting weigh stations, where wagons filled with cut cane would be hauled and the cane weighed at the end of the day. Now cane is weighed privately -- out of sight of the worker who cut it -- and first allowed to dry overnight, which makes the cane lighter and less costly.

"What is clear is that the worker has no guarantee that he will be paid fully for his work," said Maria Victoria Mendez Castro, an attorney in San Pedro de Macoris and associate of Hartley's.

Yet compared to Haiti, where adult unemployment estimates range from 67 percent to 75 percent, something is better than nothing.

Johnny Young, 28, left Haiti four years ago. On a mid-July day he cut stalks and loaded them onto a wagon with Pierre Johnson, a man born of Haitian parents in the Dominican Republic. He has worked since he was 17.

"I am sorry I came. I am sorry I left my country," Young said. "I left looking for work and a life. I found my death."

Johnson is among the estimated 2.5 million of the 8.9 million people living in the Dominican Republic who do not have a birth certificate. Those without one are either Haitian by birth or the second- or third-generation children of at least one Haitian parent.

"I would like to learn to drive a truck some day," said Johnson, 24, who has not attended school and cannot read or write. "I don't have any paper.'

In the Dominican Republic, the prized paper is the cedula, the state ID card that essentially is a driver's license that also allows people go to school, register their children for school and get medical care and insurance.

"I am not free on the streets, I can not go to school and can not work, I can not marry legally or travel," said Isidro Belique, 24, who lives on the batey Canutillo near the town of Quisqueya. "Inside my own country, I cannot move. Civilly, I am dead."
SpaceBlues

Houston, TX

#40233 Oct 4, 2013
Worker advocates focus on pension, documents

Native-born Haitians and their children are at the bottom of a racial caste system in the Dominican Republic, where the standard citizen is considered a mulatto. Dislike and distrust between Haitians and Dominicans run deep in these former French and Spanish colonies on the shared island of Hispaniola.

The Dominican government defends its policy not to grant rights to children of Haitian parents born on its soil, children who are nonetheless "fully entitled to Haitian citizenship and as such ought not to be considered stateless," a government spokesman said on condition of anonymity. Half of children born in Dominican hospitals in border regions are to Haitian mothers and are a major reason that 15 percent of the Dominican national health budget goes to treating the migrant population, the government says.

Yet the Dominican and Haitian governments are working together with religious organizations to help children born of a Haitian parent in the Dominican Republic receive a Haitian birth certificate and passport. The Scalabrinian Association, a Catholic order dedicated to helping migrants and refugees, receives money from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the European Union to work with illiterate workers to fill out forms that are processed by the Haitian consular office. In 2012, 2,000 Haitians received documentation, a number that could reach 5,000 this year, said Idalina Bordignon, a Brazilian nun and the the group's director in the Dominican Republic.

Cane cutters are most concerned with money ‚?? what they earn and the government pension they are required to pay into at a rate of 2 percent of their earnings. Most often, sugar companies do not contribute their 7 percent portion of the pension for sugar workers, said Bordignon and other worker advocates.

"On the bateyes, with these conditions, what do the workers have?" Bordignon said. "All the worker owns is his work."

Francisco Roberto Luisa, 69, left Haiti in 1964 and cut cane until 2006, when poor eyesight forced him to retire. The injury occurred when he reached down into the field and a sharp cane stalk pierced his left eye.

"I had headaches, and the company took me to a clinic," Luisa said. "They gave me glasses. It doesn't help."

He stopped working and moved off the batey into a small house with other retired or disabled workers. Luisa said he plants a small garden to feed himself.

"I am still waiting for my pension," he said.

Leon La Fontain, 79, receives a pension of 5000 Dominican pesos a month, or about $125 U.S. Born in the Dominican Republic to Haitian parents, he cut cane for 57 years. He supplements his income by cleaning and doing maintenance work in a medical clinic run by a foreign religious organization.

"I know I am very fortunate," Fontain said. "It was the intervention of God."
SpaceBlues

Houston, TX

#40234 Oct 4, 2013
Labor department: Allow workers to organize

The U.S. Department of Labor, in its recent report, makes a dozen recommendations to the Dominican government to improve the enforcement of its labor laws and to better identify and address labor and human rights violations that affect sugar workers. The labor department will review the status of recommendations in six months and again one year from now.

Even with the victory that the labor department report represents, the majority of Haitians or Haitian-Dominicans living and working in the Dominican Republic don't have documents and won't live to see their pension.

Lucner Pierre, achingly thin except for his muscled arms and hands, says he doubts he will receive a pension or documents in his lifetime.

Inside his darkened room, he described how he uses his machete to cut sugar cane and his hoe to remove weeds. He stopped speaking when he heard children play outside in a poured concrete well. Then they ran off to kick a homemade soccer ball made of knotted rags across a dirt yard. Maybe life will be better for them.

Pierre walked to the wall opposite the window, where he pointed to count the bloody, smeared hash marks of bloated bed bugs he had killed with his fingers.

"During the day, you lose blood working in the sugar fields," said Pierre, his eyes and voice both flat and without emotion. "And at night, the bed bugs come and get what's left of you."

---

Mark Curnutte, who covers social issues for The Cincinnati Enquirer, traveled for two weeks in July to Haiti and the Dominican Republic on an international social justice reporting grant.
SpaceBlues

Houston, TX

#40235 Oct 4, 2013
super steve wrote:
<quoted text>
Finally, fat Al gets one right!!!!
Gulf Coast braces for Tropical Storm Karen
NEW ORLEANS (AP)ó From a tiny, vulnerable island off the Louisiana coast to the beaches of the Florida Panhandle, Gulf Coast residents prepared Thursday for a possible hit from Tropical Storm Karen, which threatened to become the first named tropical system to menace the United States this year.
Associated Press
How many years did it take?
I don't know who's fat Al. But the hurricane season is not over yet.

Good luck to all.
SpaceBlues

Houston, TX

#40236 Oct 4, 2013
super steve wrote:
<quoted text>
What about those poisonous batteries?
What about them?

The sun is free. No radioactive water is bubbling on their roofs. Sure, you can reprocess/recycle battery waste unlike the nuclear waste..

Waste not, want not..

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#40237 Oct 4, 2013
Mothra wrote:
<quoted text>
"Last updated: 28 September 2009"
That was before he bought his California beach mansion.
No hate... just pointing out hypocrisy.
Just points out your hypocrisy.

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#40238 Oct 4, 2013
super steve wrote:
<quoted text>
The system is disparaged, being a christian doesn't require you to support the lazy, the indolent, the swindlers, we have too many of those and the system encourages them. EVERYTHING in the bloated federal budget needs to be cut.
How about the rest of the unfortunates. Would you give them your coat?

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#40239 Oct 4, 2013
super steve wrote:
<quoted text>
Give me one example of what you claim and some proof. Does Apple desire cheap, uneducated labor? Microsoft? GM? IBM?
You might check out the packing houses or perhaps the construction industry for starters.
Mothra

United States

#40240 Oct 4, 2013
Patriot AKA Bozo wrote:
<quoted text>
Just points out your hypocrisy.
I'm not the one touting the 'science' of global warming.
SpaceBlues

Houston, TX

#40241 Oct 4, 2013
Stage 1: Deny the Problem Exists

Often when people are first faced with an inconvenient problem, the immediate reaction involves denying its existence. For a long time climate contrarians denied that the planet was warming. Usually this involves disputing the accuracy of the surface temperature record, given that the data clearly indicate rapid warming.

In the 1990s, Christy and Spencer created a data set of lower atmosphere temperatures using measurements from satellite instruments. These initially seemed to indicate that the atmosphere was not warming, leading Christy, Spencer, and their fellow contrarians to declare that the problem didn't exist. Unfortunately, it turned out that their data set contained several biases that added an artificial cooling trend, and once those were corrected, it was revealed that the lower atmosphere was warming at a rate consistent with surface temperature measurements.

Most climate contrarians have come to accept that the planet has warmed significantly. Unfortunately many have regressed back into Stage 1 denial through the new myth that global warming magically stopped 15 years ago (most recently exemplified by David Rose in the Mail on Sunday). The error in that argument involves ignoring about 98 percent of the warming of the planet, most of which goes into heating the oceans. When we account for all of the data, global warming actually appears to be accelerating.

“BET DAP”

Since: Feb 09

GOOM BOWN

#40242 Oct 4, 2013
SpaceBlues wrote:
The United States imports about 220,000 tons of sugar annually from the Dominican Republic,
"I think most Americans would be ashamed to know at what price they put sugar in their coffee every morning," he said. Sugar workers "are real people, real children, with hopes and dreams of a better future and of a dignified existence."
Woe is me.....the price humanity must pay for renewables. And to think the US actually subsidizes this kind of thing. You do know sugar cane is considered a source for cellulosic biofuel, don't you? Sugar cane is one of the main feedstocks in (green energy) ethanol production!

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#40243 Oct 4, 2013
Mothra wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm not the one touting the 'science' of global warming.
Nope, you are the one touting the unbased denial.
Mothra

United States

#40244 Oct 4, 2013
Patriot AKA Bozo wrote:
<quoted text>
Nope, you are the one touting the unbased denial.
LOL

Left to your own original thinking, you're incoherent.

Please don't try again. My divining rods are worn out trying to make sense of your rambling posts.

“Happy, warm and comfortable”

Since: Oct 10

Mountain retreat, SE Spain

#40245 Oct 4, 2013
The weird thing about this thread, apart from Bozo, is that it's almost 5 years old and Glowbull warming hasn't speeded up for well over 15 years, which makes an even bigger mockery of this thread than Bozo's presence.
Mothra

United States

#40246 Oct 4, 2013
SpaceBlues wrote:
You do know that even without all your cut/paste posts from government websites (closed by Obama as non-essential during the shutdown), you're still spewing more CO2 into the atmosphere, don't you?

Hypocrite.

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#40248 Oct 4, 2013
Earthling-1 wrote:
The weird thing about this thread, apart from Bozo, is that it's almost 5 years old and Glowbull warming hasn't speeded up for well over 15 years, which makes an even bigger mockery of this thread than Bozo's presence.
It hasn't cooled down either, grandpa. The last decade is the warmest on record.

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#40249 Oct 4, 2013
Mothra wrote:
<quoted text>
LOL
Left to your own original thinking, you're incoherent.
Please don't try again. My divining rods are worn out trying to make sense of your rambling posts.
Empty words are all you contribute. Mostly whining about Al Gore since you have little other arguments to contribute.
Mothra

United States

#40250 Oct 4, 2013
Patriot AKA Bozo wrote:
<quoted text>
Empty words are all you contribute. Mostly whining about Al Gore since you have little other arguments to contribute.
If you were paying attention, my questions about Al Gore have everything to do with his alleged belief on the 'science' of global warming, while not adhering to the same advice he's giving others.

Do keep up. I don't mind repeating the point, but at some time, I expect you'd be embarrassed at having to have it said to you over and over again.

And let's not forget President Obama. Another proponent of the 'science' of global warming who is so convinced he has his dog flown on separate flights to family vacations.
Mothra

United States

#40251 Oct 4, 2013
The IPCC Has A Fever

Even with all their data tampering, NASA, NOAA and the IPCC canít get temperatures up to Hansenís zero emissions Scenario C

Red shows AR5 temperature overlaid on Hansenís 1988 forecasts.

And after all these failures, they keep increasing their confidence assertions.

This whole global warming scam has sunk to such pathetic levels, it defies comprehension.

http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/10/02...

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