Monday, May 20, 2013

  • Coalition of Immokalee Workers Targets Wendy’s in Fair Food Campaign to Improve Wages, Conditions

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    Hundreds of farm workers and their supporters are in New York City ahead of Wendy’s shareholder meeting to demand improved working conditions for those who pick its tomatoes. The fast-food giant — which has nearly 6,600 restaurants in the U.S. and around the world, ranking second only to McDonald’s — is the latest target in the Fair Food Campaign organized by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. So far, McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King and Taco Bell have all joined the White House-recognized social responsibility program, agreeing to pay an extra penny per pound of tomatoes to raise wages and only buy from fields where workers’ rights are respected. We speak with CIW farm worker and organizer, Gerardo Reyes-Chávez.

  • Geoengineering: Can We Save the Planet by Messing with Nature?

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    As the carbon dioxide in the air hits 400 parts per million for the first time in human history, some are arguing that the best way address climate change is to use the controversial practice of geoengineering — the deliberate altering of the Earth’s ecological and climate systems to counter the effects of global warming. Supporters of geoengineering endorse radical ways to manipulate the planet, including creating artificial volcanoes to pollute the atmosphere with sulfur particles. Many scientists and environmentalists have raised concerns about geoengineering technologies designed to intervene in the functioning of the Earth system as a whole. We’re joined now by Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia. Hamilton’s new book, "Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering," lays out the arguments for and against climate engineering, and reveals the vested interests behind it linking researchers, venture capitalists and corporations.

  • Seattle Teachers, Students Win Historic Victory Over Standardized Testing

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    After months of protest, teachers, students and parents in Seattle, Washington, have won their campaign to reject standardized tests in reading and math. In January, teachers at Garfield High School began a boycott of the test, saying it was wasteful and being used unfairly to assess their performance. The boycott spread to other schools, with hundreds of teachers, students and parents participating. Last week, the school district backed down, announcing that the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP test, is now optional for high schools, but those refusing the test must find another way to gauge student performance. We speak with Jesse Hagopian, a high school history teacher and union representative at Garfield High School.

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