Written by John F. Akwetey (RAN Ghana) In line with the government’s election campaign promise of a better Ghana Agenda, licences are given to multinational companies to mine in our forest reserves without proper consideration of its consequences after submitting a signed "Statement of Policies on Natural Resource and Environment,’’ to the European Commission. These multinational mining companies use their money and power to deceive our leaders to allow them mine in our forest reserve after they have destroyed the off reserves areas in the country by polluting water bodies, violating human rights, and intimidating communities. Many of our forest reserves across the country are home to endangered species of plants and animals, in addition to containing precious minerals like gold, diamond and bauxites which the mining companies have targeted for their activities. Examples include Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District where a mining company from Australia has started their operation, Agyenuapepo Forest Reserve in the Birim North area of the Eastern Region, and Newmont Limited who want to mine royal cemeteries in the Akyem Kotoku Traditional area. The mining companies intimidate communities by using violence that results in death of Indigenous youth. In this year, at least seven or more death of community people have being recorded. Newmont Limited polluted several communities' water bodies and kept it secret from the communities and the government until a local NGO raised the issue. These mining corporations are ready to pay their way out to have whatever they want, however we cannot rule out the payment of bribery by these mining companies to our leaders, since they protect their interest. These mining companies falsified documents claiming that the Indigenous communities have agreed with the mining activities in their area. RAN Ghana would challenge any mining corporations that destroy the environment and violate human rights of Indigenous mining communities especially the youth who end being killed. We would also subject for advocacy in this direction to ensure that human rights of mining communities are not trampled on. Finally, I would like to call on the government to stop granting mining concessions to these mining companies particularly in forest reserve.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Chris Noth hosting the RAN event! "][/caption] On Thursday, April 29th, Sex and the City star (and RAN's newest Honorary Board member) Chris Noth threw RAN a fabulous birthday bash at Manhattan's (Le) Poisson Rogue. Chris Noth has been a supporter of Rainforest Action Network for over 20 years now and started throwing a yearly NYC benefit party a few years back. These big apple parties always bring together New York's finest celebrities, eco-gliteratti, musicians, and long-time RAN volunteers and supporters. This year's party really kicked off RAN's 25th anniversary year in style! The unforgettable moment of the night was a completely hilarious and raucous live auction that raised a ton of money to support the critical work RAN does to defend forests, fight climate change, and support Indigenous rights. Party co-hosts Chris Noth and the fabulous Trudie Styler kicked off the auction with a lively bidding war for two backstage passes (and a lil' something extra) to Sting's July shows at the Met with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Other lucky party-goers grabbed work-out sessions with Chris's personal trainer (and a year's membership to Nimble gym) and a private dinner with 'Mr Big' himself. And for all of you waiting, Cosmos in hand, for the Sex and the City sequel, Chris helped nab 2 tickets to the World Premiere of Sex and the City 2 and sweetened the deal with a gorgeous stay at Le Hotel Plaza Atheene. Besides being a fantastic fundraising event, the party was also a fantastic way to connect and engage on the issues we are fighting everyday. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Trudie Styler"][/caption] Rainforest Action Network's Acting Executive Director Rebecca Tarbotton gave a rousing speech about the breadth of our campaign work and our 25 history of pressuring (and inspiring) some of the world's largest corporations to transform their social and environmental practices. As she spoke about our recent recent successes to get Indonesia fiber out of high-fashion bags I saw Barney's Fashion Director Julie Gilhart nodding and eco models (and activists) Summer Rayne Oakes and Kate Dillon cheering along. When Trudie Styler - who has traveled and worked extensively in the Amazon rainforest where Chevron is responsible for massive oil contamination - spoke about the environmental and health disaster in the region, the crowd was gasping and asking for ways to get involved in our campaign to Change Chevron. With such a star-studded and perfect event, what was my favorite celebrity sighting of the night? It wasn't anyone you'll read about in People magazine. Pablo Fajardo and Luis Yanza, the two courageous men, who have been defending the 30,000 impacted people in Ecuador to force Chevron to do the right thing and clean up the oil pollution, made a surprise appearance. Speaking with Pablo and Luis reminded me why we do this work, and why the support of so many people have kept RAN going strong for 25 years. Want to join the community of support? Become a monthly sustainer today. We can't offer you backstage passes to Sting, but we can guarantee that your donation will help protect forests, fight climate change, and support human rights. Click here for more photos of the event!
Last week was a busy one for General Mills, finding themselves increasingly under public scrutiny. Not only are hundreds of children across the country now pressuring the company to get the palm oil out of their Cheerios, but during the 2010 Edison Awards in New York while receiving a gold award for their "Gluten Free Betty Crocker Cake Mix," local New York activists disrupted the gala ceremony to bring attention to the irony that the company was receiving an award for innovation meanwhile destroying rainforests. Is rainforest destruction and willingly supporting practices that are making orangutans extinct really innovative? On Wednesday April 28 several children descended upon General Mills Headquarters in Golden Valley, MN, to deliver the over 400 Earth Day posters that young school children produced nation-wide, asking General Mills to get the dead orangutans out of their breakfast cereal. They just don't understand why General Mills insists on putting rainforest destruction-tainted palm oil in over 100 of their products including brands such as Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, and Hamburger Helper. [caption id="attachment_6619" align="alignleft" width="195" caption="Elementary school student Amina in Dexter, MI expresses her concerns about General Mills"][/caption] This came just days after General Mills released its 2010 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, which clearly showed that the company is not making the issue of palm oil a priority as it appeared in a brief paragraph on page 97 out of 102. The children delivering the posters asked General Mills to show a true commitment to sustainability, not just one that looks good on paper. The following day, on Thursday April 29, the New York Action Network used creative tactics to disrupt two different sessions of the annual Edison Awards, a prestigious award that honors companies for their innovation. As a finalist for their Betty Crocker Gluten Free cake mix, activists made sure to be there at both the leadership panel at the NY Academy of Sciences and at the evening ceremony in the event that the company earned an award so as to shed some light on the company's negligent practices: continuing to purchase palm oil from Cargill even though we've proven that Cargill is clearing and burning threatened rainforests in South East Asia, making irreplaceable species like Sumatran tigers and elephants extinct, and displacing millions of Indigenous communities. I encourage you to hear the story from the brave New York activists themselves and check out their photos. The pressure isn't only mounting nationally - locally we're making a big splash too. Last night over 150 people attended the RAN-sponsored art and activist event at Tarnish & Gold Gallery in NE Minneapolis. Artists were asked to use local food corporations with shoddy human-rights and sustainability track records for inspiration, and the gallery walls were covered in images like the Pillsbury Doughboy walking among flaming forests, and General Mills logos on destroyed land. Winning artists received amazing awards from local businesses! [caption id="attachment_6631" align="alignleft" width="194" caption=""Rainforest Doughstruction" from palm oil in General Mills' Pillsbury products!"][/caption] But we're not stopping there! Today is the infamous May Day parade here in Minneapolis, where we will march amongst thousands with a 6 ft. orangutan, Cargill chainsaws and oil palm trees to educate the public about the impact that local food and agriculture giants General Mills and Cargill are having on peoples, forests and species around the globe. Join our movement to demand responsible palm oil today!
[caption id="attachment_6589" align="alignright" width="500" caption="Rally at the RBS Shareholder Meeting. Credit Ric James"][/caption] We've been going after the Royal Bank of Canada for bankrolling the tar sands for some time now. Today, we went after the other Royal Bank--the Royal Bank of Scotland--with our friends across the pond. RBS ranks 7th globally among banks backing tar sands operators, but first in the UK where taxpayers now own more than 80% of the bank. Hundreds converged on the Bank's Annual Meeting of Shareholders and more than 15 bank branches across the UK. Tomorrow RAN's own Eriel Deranger meets with RBS Chairman Sir Phillip Hampton (more on that here). Will he pull the plug on companies destroying water and habitat and recognize the basic rights for Indigenous communities like other leading banks have done? We're hoping he can out-do the "maybe" we heardfrom COO Barbara Stymiest in February. World Development Movement has a great set of pictures from the demo today in Edinburgh. So does Ric James. Also, check out press coverage from the Caledonia Mercury, The Independent, Politics.co.uk, The Scotsman and a mention over at the BBC and the Financial Times.
RAN supported the community of Grassy Narrows in Ontario, Canada with a $3,000 grant facilitated through our role as an advisor to Global Greengrants Fund for 2 public events in Toronto on the 40th anniversary of when the community was poisoned by mercury from an upstream pulp mill (which continues to make people sick today). The events were successful in bringing attention to Grassy Narrows' grievances, with the Premier publicly acknowledging that the Province has a "heavy responsibility" to get to the bottom of the issue. There was a lot of media coverage, including several print articles and this very strong 10 minute piece on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLAVH89lpsM
This morning my email inbox was full of advocacy groups commemorating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. As the ecological systems that support life are reaching their brink, there is certainly a good reason to use this opportunity to shine a spotlight on a range of issues and challenges. But activist organizations aren't alone in commemorating today. Today I was struck even more by corporations trying to capitalize on Earth Day to green their images. As Becky Tarbotton observed in the Huffington Post, the New York Times summarized the situation well: "So strong was the antibusiness sentiment for the first Earth Day in 1970 that organizers took no money from corporations and held teach-ins 'to challenge corporate and government leaders'... Forty years later, the day has turned into a premier marketing platform for selling a variety of goods and services, like office products, Greek yogurt and eco-dentistry." [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="192" caption="Photo by Diana Pei Wu"][/caption] Against this backdrop, World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba today is a breath of fresh air. The Indigenous Environmental Network celebrated today by explaining that "this morning Bolivian President Evo Morales was joined by representatives of 90 governments and several Heads of State to receive the findings of the conference on topics such as a Climate Tribunal, Climate Debt, just finance for mitigation and adaptation, agriculture, and forests. The working group on forests held one of the more hotly contested negotiations of the summit, but with the leadership of Indigenous Peoples, a consensus was reached to reject REDD and call for wide-scale grassroots reforestation programs." Jason Negrón-Gonzales of Movement Generation elaborated on how they do Earth Day in Cochabamba: "...from now I’ll be talking to my children and 2010 will be remembered as the year that Earth Day took on new meaning. It will be the year that humanity turned a corner in our relationship to Mother Earth and began struggling along a new course...more than politics, the conference in Cochabamba brought to the table humanity’s relationship with Pachamama. This question, raised most pointedly by the Indigenous communities present, was reflected in the project of creating a declaration of Mother Earth Rights, but also went way beyond it. Can we really reach a sustainable relationship with the Earth unless we stop looking at it as something to be conquered or fixed that is outside of us? How would it change our lives and our struggles if we thought, as Leonardo Boff of Brazil said, 'Todo lo que existe merece existir, y todo lo que vive merece vivir (Everything that exists deserves to exist, and everything that lives deserves to live)'? Or if we understood the Earth as a living thing that we are a part of and that, 'La vida es un momento de la tierra, y la vida humana un momento de la vida (Life is a moment of the earth, and the human life is a moment of life)'?” [caption id="" align="alignright" width="190" caption="Photo by Diana Pei Wu"][/caption] And the politics do matter. The cross-pollination of grassroots social movements in Bolivia are charting a course and global program that articulates both an analysis of the state of play of the United Nations negotiations as well as a set of solutions moving forward. Jason helped outline the core points of the ABC's of the Climate Negotiations distilled from analysis coming out of the Cochabamba conference:
1. The key question (aside from decreasing emissions) in negotiations is how to divide up the atmospheric space left for emissions given that the US and other developed countries already used up most of the space that there was for greenhouse gas emissions. This then leads to the obvious follow-up question of whether or not the same countries that overused already should get the overwhelming share of what’s left. The obvious answer that most children would tell you is that no – that isn’t fair, or for that matter, just or equitable. Yet when a country like the US says it can’t or won’t cut emissions to the level it demands of others, that’s what happens. 2. Many countries in the Global South, and certainly the Bolivian government, believe that when developed countries like the US need to decrease their emissions that we should do it domestically, in US industries and the US economy, instead of creating carbon markets that let the US pollute away while paying someone else to decrease for them. This makes sense because history has shown that the projects that are supposed to “offset” emissions in the US or EU are often dubious, or might have happened anyway, or cause other problems for the people who live where they are happening (like with dams). 3. Regardless of the above points, the rich nations pushing the current arena of international negotiations are not seeking to get industrialized countries to decrease their own emissions by their fare share. Right now there are two competing options for a global framework to address climate change– a backroom deal the US is trying to move called the Copenhagen Accord, and the continuation of the international negotiations that have been happening according to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process since the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997. You read that right. The US-backed “Copenhagen Accord” has no relationship to the ongoing global negotiations process. As Angelica Navarro, one of the UN climate negotiators from Bolivia told the story, “It (the Copenhagen Accord) was given to us and we were told we had an hour to decide if we would support it enough. How are we supposed to make a decision about the future of the earth in an hour?” 4. The Kyoto Protocol, adopted through the UNFCCC as the global plan to set targets and mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in 1997 has lots of well documented problems: a carbon market has allowed developed countries to avoid making real reductions to their emissions, a “clean development mechanism” which has spurred all kinds of destructive projects in the Global South, and the use of offsets which lead to continued pollution in communities of color in industrialized countries while paying projects elsewhere to cut their real or planned emissions. However, on the positive side Kyoto has: shared legal limits on emissions that are (at least prospectively) based on science; the concept of “common but differentiated responsibilities” meaning that those who have polluted the most should have a different burden than those who haven’t; exceptions for Global South countries with the intent of not restricting their development; and an enforcement mechanism if targets aren’t met. 5. The Copenhagen Accord, on the other hand, has: voluntary limits set by each country, no process to reconcile or pressure countries that offer less regardless of responsibility, no enforcement, continued carbon markets with offsets, etc., and an overall target set not by what science says in necessary, but only representing the total of what all the countries offer up. A study done by the EU estimated that if the Copenhagen Accord was approved with the existing commitments by countries it would optimistically only decrease emissions by 2%, probably locking us into a 3.9 degree Celsius temperature increase globally (this comes from a recent MIT study) – which would be a serious disaster.Just as companies are using Earth Day to green their images, the Copenhagen Accord was an attempt to pretend a lot more is being done than it really is. It gets worse. This Earth Day comes on the heels of the leaked U.S. Government document trying to "Reinforce the perception that the US is constructively engaged in UN negotiations in an effort to produce a global regime to combat climate change," "managing expectations" of the UN Climate talks in order to undercut critics. Though the story has predictably gotten little attention in the U.S., the 40th anniversary of Earth Day is framed by extremes filling my email inbox: the predatory opportunism of corporations and some governments on one side, and real solutions proposed by Indigenous groups and other front-line communities on the other. Today, I'm grateful for the 15,000 people making history down south. To keep up with the summit: For photos and video, check out Diana Pei Wu's site. Global Justice Ecology Project's Climate Connections Blog Evelyn Rangel-Medina of Ella Baker Center Check the Weather Grassroots Global Justice Alliance Indigenous Environmental Network World People’s Conference on Climate Change Carwil James’ Blog, Carwil Without Borders Bolivia Rising Blog Twitter hashtags to follow: #cochabamba, #wpccc, #cmpcc, #climatejustice, #climate
Last night eleven activists stormed the downtown Chicago Marriott Hotel, site of the 2010 FUSE industry conference, to warn General Mills that they must stop delaying and protect endangered orangutans now! But what do endangered orangutans or Sumatran tigers have to do with General Mills, anyway? This year's FUSE Conference brought over 400 industry leaders together for 3 days of "Reclaiming the Future." Conveniently, many of Cargill's palm oil customers such as General Mills, Kraft and Hershey's, were in attendance. Over 400 industry leaders awoke this morning to find colorful educational postcards under their door, reading "General Mills: Rainforest Destruction Guaranteed," "Lucky Charms is Magically Destructive" and "Cheerios: Rainforest Destruction in every spoonful." If the industry leaders didn't understand after reading our materials over breafast how General Mills is displacing Indigenous peoples, exacerbating climate change and threatening rainforest species like the orangutan by using palm oil products in their cereal, they definitely did once they got to the conference's first session of the day. At 10am as General Mills finished up it's panel on design and marketing, several activists, dressed in suits, joined General Mills, Kraft and other Cargill palm oil customer staff for a networking break. Introducing themselves as Cargill interns wishing to share new corporate materials, the activists were greeted with warm handshakes and friendly smiles. "Cargill interns" handed out the new corporate materials, which were pamphlets hi-lighting Cargill's role in rainforest destruction, gross human rights abuses, and species extinction. After enough jaws had dropped and after making sure every speaker podium in the Conference had a Cargill postcard, the palm oil activists called it a day.
[caption id="attachment_6429" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Indigenous Activist Protests RBC Waterloo Branch"][/caption] An activist was arrested this afternoon at the Waterloo Branch of RBC Bank. Mark Corbiere was charged with mischief for hanging a banner reading "Boycott RBC" and "Stop the Tar Sands" from the roof of the branch, located in uptown Waterloo. The protest was one of eight "Fossil Fools Day" protests at RBC branches across Canada. For the last five years, activists around the world have adopted April Fools Day as a day of pranks and protest against fossil fuels and climate change. According to Bloomberg, RBC is a top arranger of financing to companies operating in the tar sands. Those present report that Corbiere was joined by 10 supporters chanting and holding banners in front of the bank branch during the protest. CTV cameras were on scene to catch the action. After an hour of negotiations, police removed Corbiere from the roof and confiscated his banner.
From Maryam in Toronto:
In the spirit of Fossil Fools day, 13 Cities in Canada have taken action and pulled creative pranks and tricks on tar sands supporters. 8 communities in Canada: London, Toronto, Waterloo, Peterborough, New Westminster (BC), Duncan (BC), and Victoria all targeted RBC as the top financier in dirty tar sands projects. In Waterloo, one indigenous activist was arrested after a banner drop at a local branch of Royal Bank of Canada. [caption id="attachment_6343" align="alignright" width="300" caption="photo: Tristan Glenn"][/caption] In Montreal, 70 people staged a bike bloc protest shutting down the roads in and out of Montreal’s oil refining sector with clean, green people power. A banner was hung in front of the Enbridge Trailbreaker Pipeline stating “Changeon le System, Pas le Climat. Trailbreaker=Tar Sands” where cyclists blockaded the road to draw attention to the downstream, destructive effects of the Athabasca Tar Sands. “The east end of Montreal is a seldom seen and discussed region, but it is the largest urban oil refining center in Canada,” says Cameron Fenton, a member of Climate Justice Montreal. ”It is a vast wasteland of oil, gas and chemical storage tanks, threatening the health of local residents and all Montrealers. If completed, the Trailbreaker would bring the direct effects of the Tar Sands right here.” In Edmonton and Calgary, local residents delivered “awards” in the shape of Black and Gold ducks to Premier Ed Stelmach and Environment Minister Jim Prentice respectively. In Halifax, local youth called out Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Environment Minister Jim Prentice and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in front of CBC radio for failing to respect the rights of first nations communities affected by tar sands development, and suspending the popular ecoEnergy retrofit program yesterday. “Harper doesn’t grasp the science [of climate change] let alone the moral issues,” says Emily Rideout, student at Dalhousie University. “I’d like to see Canada adopt a science-based target, pull out of the tar sands – or at least put a moratorium on development. Instead, we’re cutting eco-energy programs and funding.” “Fossil Fools Day is an international day of action to hold dirty politicians and industries accountable for expanding a fossil fuel industry that is fast destroying our planet and our communities,” said Fenton. “In Canada, the biggest Fossil Fools are tar sands developers, investors and political supporters. It’s time they stop the foolery, stop the tar sands, and start building the green economy we want to leave for the next generation.” The group is calling for a global response to ensure that we respect Aboriginal title and peoples and avoid catastrophic climate change. “Tar sands projects are destroying our forests, our water systems, and are endangering people in Canada,” says Skye Augustine, student at the University of Victoria. “As a member of the G8 and the G20, we have the resources to look for alternatives and create a clean, green energy economy that protects people and the planet.” Worldwide, Fossil Fools Day is promoting strong, just climate legislation, corporate responsibility and a clean renewable energy future. “It is time that Canada cleans up its dirty energy addiction,” said Kimia Ghomeshi, National G20 and Climate Organizer for the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition. ”People in Canada are ready for change. We need to stop providing subsidies to dirty fossil fuel industries, make substantial investments into the renewable energy sector, and provide a just transition for workers in the tar sands. This is what real climate justice looks like.” In the lead up to the G8 and G20 meetings taking place in Canada in June 2010, climate justice activists are raising the profile of the tar sands industry in Canada as the key reason the Canadian government is refusing to do its fair share to set deep and binding greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and tarnishing Canada’s international reputation as a result. For details of days of action leading up to the arrival of the G20 in Toronto, visit http://g20.torontomobilize.org For photos, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/climatejusticecanada/ For nomination and action videos, visit www.youtube.com/canadaclimatejustice For more information on Fossil Fools Day actions, visit http://canadaclimatejustice.wordpress.com/
Last week Nestle joined the ranks of other major food conglomerates to cancel their palm oil contracts from Sinar Mas, Indonesia's largest palm oil and wood pulp producer and notorious rainforest destroyer. Responding to the movements against Sinar Mas, Cargill also made an announcement on Sinar Mas last week; unfortunately Cargill chose to delay action and pass the burden of responsibility to the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil rather than live up to their own corporate responsibility statements and act immediately to remove Sinar Mas' dirty and dangerous palm oil from their supply chain. Kraft, Unilever, and Sainsbury's have also ended their direct palm oil contracts with Sinar Mas yet Cargill continues to stand behind their longstanding relationship with Sinar Mas. As palm oil production destroys forests, endangers forest peoples, and threatens the global climate, Cargill has met calls from Rainforest Action Network to end their support of Sinar Mas with stonewalling, inaction, and silence. The company has refused to disclose the size of their palm oil contract with the Indonesian multinational, all the while maintaining that they are committed to transparency and sustainability. The evidence out against Sinar Mas is known, but perhaps the palm oil Cargill buys from Sinar Mas and resells in Europe and the US is just too profitable, or Cargill does not truly care about Indonesia's forests, or they are not concerned about the underlying sustainability of the palm oil industry. Whatever the reason, Cargill's lack of action is unacceptable and violates their own commitments to sustainable production and environmental stewardship. [caption id="attachment_6241" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Sinar Mas has the world's largest landbank for palm oil production - much of it threatened rainforests"][/caption] Kraft, Nestle, and Unilever are all Cargill customers, and until Cargill removes Sinar Mas palm oil from their supply chain, these companies will not be able to live up to their very public commitments to disassociate with Sinar Mas. Under significant pressure from this powerful group of companies, Cargill last week finally made an announcement regarding Sinar Mas: "If the RSPO validates the allegations of improper land conversion or illegal planting in deep peat land as alleged in the Greenpeace report and Sinar Mas does not take corrective action, we will delist them." This public statement was long overdue, but falls far short of the actions of Cargill's customers and peers. Rather than cancel with a dirty and dangerous supplier, Cargill has passed the burden of responsibility to a powerless, controversial, and politically compromised Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) - an initiative of palm oil producers, traders, buyers, and NGOs. Unlike other companies that took unilateral action, Cargill is hoping to hide behind the decisions of the RSPO, who have up to this point been unable to hold their members accountable for unsustainable and destructive production practices. And then the clause 'Corrective Action' - Sinar Mas has been destroying rainforests for at least 20 years, and their wood pulp arm, Asia Pulp and Paper, is such an egregious rainforest destroyer that almost all the major US outlets of paper and cardboard have canceled their contracts with Sinar Mas (Office Depot, Unisource, Target, etc). Unilever conducted an expensive audit of Sinar Mas' impacts, a publicly available document of Sinar Mas' destruction, and NGOs have released countless reports documenting Sinar Mas' actions on the ground. Are we to believe, as Cargill tells us, that the allegations against Sinar Mas are still unproven and that Sinar Mas can take corrective action to gain back Cargill's and their customers' trust? The time is now for Cargill to face up to their responsibility as a major palm oil producer, trader, and supplier and eliminate Sinar Mas palm oil from their supply chain and chain of custody. Today. Without statements passing on responsibility to powerless trade groups, and without any if's, but's, or when's.