Climate Change, Food Ethics 101

February 2015
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Meal Plan Pick-up 

2/06: MP2

2/13: MP3

2/20: MP4

2/27: MP1

Please call 536-9680 

to order your meals.

farmers markey pic sept 2011
Licious-ness at the Farmer's Market

Link: Hawaii Farmer's Bureau


5 - 7:30 pm
(Every Thursday)

2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 2/26 

(Long's Drug Store Parking Lot. We're the first booth)



(KCC) Farmer's Market
7:30 - 11 am
(Every Saturday)

2/7, 2/14, 2/21, 2/28 

(We are at our new spot next to Ma'o Organic.)



4 - 7 pm
(Every Wednesday) 

2/4, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25

(Located in front of the Concert Hall on King Street. Free Parking!



8 am - 12 noon
(Every Saturday)

2/7, 2/14, 2/21, 2/28 

At Ward Warehouse

Parking lot along Auahi Street.



9 am - 1 pm

(First Wednesdays)


2015 Climate Change:
Risky Business or
Strange Bed Fellows


 Credit: Thomas Fuchs

Headlines from The New York Times' February 1st, 2015 Sunday Business, "The Climate Bottom Line: Flooded properties. Lower crop yields. Stalled trains. Climate Change is predicted to have big economic costs, and an influential group wants business to be ready." Please note my interjections in red.

In survey after survey (Pew, Gallup, New York Times, Stanford University, Resources for the Future) in 2014, 83% of Americans agreed that without emissions reductions, global warming will be a problem in the future, but they ranked climate change at or near the bottom of pressing issues, far behind jobs, the economy and health care.  As long as carbon emissions are viewed as the main cause of Climate Change, people will think they have all the time in the world to deal with it.

Meanwhile powerful lobbies, i.e., fossil fuel groups, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, prevent regulation with fear of government overreach.


In this context a committee started in June (2014) to promote a study called, "Risky Business:  The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States," has evolved into a loose knit committee publicizing the ominous data far and wide.  On January 23, 2015 they created a second chapter, "The Midwest: "Heat in the Heartland."  A report on California is next.

Henry Jacoby, professor at the Sloan School of Management, M.I.T. and a climate policy researcher, Hal Harvey, CEO Energy Innovation a green policy firm, environmentalist Bill McKibben, politicalist strategists John Podesta and Chris Lehane, and Kate Gordon NextGen nonprofit, gathered other committee members.  The leaders are the first three men named below:

Tom Steyer (Hedge fund Billionaire)

His super PAC, NextGen Climate Change spent $73 million last year attacking Republicans who denied climate change. Inspired by a British report called the Stern Review (2006) which concluded that the price of curbing global warming paled compared with the costs of doing nothing, Senior VP, Kate Gordon, of Steyer's nonprofit Next Generation, pitched Steyer to create an American version, "...(seeing) the dollars-and-cents research as a way to neutralize conservatives' arguments that environmental regulation always hurts business.


Henry M. Paulson Jr.  Former Treasury Secretary under George W. and former chief executive of Goldman Sachs, wants companies to implement and regulators to enforce disclosure rules regarding climate risk and carbon emissions for publicly traded companies.


Michael R. Bloomberg, former mayor New York City and billionaire founder of financial information company Bloomberg LP., views the work as a way to spur city governments and local businesses to work together on climate issues and not "kick the can down the road," he said.


The rest of the committee, Greg Page of the Cargill conglomerate (see below), Henry Cisneros, former HUD secretary under President Clinton, and Robert Rubin, former Goldman Sachs executive and Secretary of Treasury under Clinton.

Greg Page (Billionaire owner of the Cargill conglomerate) "It would be irresponsible not to contemplate it.  I'm 63 years old, and I've grown up in the upper latitudes.  I've seen too much change to presume we might not get more."  He doesn't know or particularly care-whether human activity causes climate change.  But over the last nine months, he has lobbied members of Congress and urged farmers to take climate change seriously.  Crop yields will mostly fall, costs of cooling chicken farms will rise, frequently flooded railroads... He wants American agribusiness to be ready.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Page figured it would be best to be involved in any report that planned to say something about his industry, especially one with such prominent backers.  He didn't want the "Risky Business report to terrify the U.S. population about its food supply." At a meeting, in response to Cargill's scientists' argument that the agriculture industry was well prepared to adapt to changes, Mr. Bloomberg peppered Mr. Page with questions: Do these technologies exist? Page maintained that adaptation was more a matter of execution for the food industry, not R&D.

He gracefully kept research and development about his meat business at bay.

Mr. Paulson speaks to local groups bringing data tailored to their county; their industry, and their family.  Mr. Cisneros uses a soft touch with real estate groups, warning them to budget for spiraling insurance premiums in coastal states, and hard-to-acquire water permits in California's Central Valley.  When addressing farmers' groups, Mr. Page takes a circuitous route, asking, "Would you like universities to suspend research on seeds that grow in higher temperatures?  Of course not! That's all I'm saying!" He gets a micro-acknowledgement, not a macro-acknowledgment.  Jon Doggett, executive vice president of the National Corn Growers Association was skeptical of the report's influence on farmers who need immediate cost savings versus an economic benefit 15 years from now.  Dale Moore, executive director of the American Farm Bureau Federation, agreed with Page that climate seemed to be in a "more extreme cycle" but its members remain skeptical that humans cause climate change. They oppose the EPA's limitation on coal-fired power plants.

Though they can sense they may be in the midst of irreversible Climate Change they don't realize that clamping down on carbon emissions alone will not reverse this trend enough to reverse it.  It's interesting to hear that Mr. Cisneros was quoted as saying, "We've made progress on things like civil rights, smoking, gay marriage and other things that seemed impossible to move when business people joined the silent majority.  Congress tends not to act until the broad mainstream, including business, is aboard."  They'll act when the movement takes to the street.



What a great way to start our first MEET-UP.  With a roomful of awesome people (approximately 37) and a wonderful Vegan Pot Luck, we'll be glad to host another!


February 22, 2015

(Last Sunday of Every Month)

12noon - 2pm


Sea Shepherd Paul Watson

Inteviewed by Bill Maher


RSVP:  536-9680

Vegan Potluck (bring a Vegan Dish)

(Please carpool if possible) 


Keoni's Sprouted Coconut was a Hit!


When I told my son that I planned on doling out actual newspaper articles I saved in a pile at our next Meet-up, he took action (yeaaaa Trav!) and dragged me into the 21st Century, with a new Facebook Page where I could share the articles online.  "Mom.  No one reads the newspapers anymore! (Except me and Dad.)  Everything's online.  In fact this is the first time I've touched a newspaper in two years," he said incredulously.  Wow!  It's cool.  I'd love to share the articles that catch my eye with you all.  I love to read, and most of it is within the realm of Food Ethics, food, health, science, genomes and the black hole.  So go ahead and Like my page, and I'll start filling 'em up with stuff from the NY Times, Bloomberg, Star-Advertiser, You Tube, and dig into past articles too.


I saw this awesome article on Bloomberg Magazine, perhaps excerpts from his interview with Stella McCartney on Charlie Rose on Bloomberg TV, Weeknights at 7p.m.:  The fashion designer discusses her refusal to use leather, her label's appeal in Asia, and her parents, Paul and Linda.  You will find this interview article on my new Food Ethics 101 Hawaii Facebook Page


Stella says, "We're asking questions, challenging the system a little bit.  It means we're unconventional in our manufacturing.  (We ask) a lot of questions on sourcing, including the fact that there are over 50 million animals a year killed in the name of fashion."  I love that of Stella. 

I've done that too.  Recently I signed up to support the Localicious ("Buy Local") campaign to get Veggie U agricultural kits into 4th grade classes.  I supported it whole-heartedly and was successful in donating a kit to a class at Wilson School last year by preparing a dish made of 100% local produce; donating $1/dish sold.


This year, I asked a bunch of questions prior to agreeing to participate in the Localicious campaign about Monsanto's role with the Hawaii Agriculture Foundation.  While I was assured there wasn't a connection, I saw this article in the Star-Advertiser Island Voices on 1/22/15.  "Monsanto wants to build sustainable agriculture in Hawaii."


I had to withdraw from the Localicious campaign because I could not see myself being associated with Monsanto as a participant in the Hawaii Agriculture Foundation's campaign, like they used the farmers and jobs issue during this past election year as a pro-GMO issue.  I could not see Greens & Vines being used as political capital by Monsanto, indirect or direct.  No way.


And, anyway, just for the record.  Just buying local does not make a restaurant Sustainable, any more than Monsanto's claims that they are part of the 2% of farmers feeding the rest of the 98% of non-farmers in the islands. What?  Seed corn?  NOT!  So I had to draw a line in the dirt, pull out of the Localicious campaign and take the high road.




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Sylvia Thompson
Licious Dishes