Earth Watch: Adam Briggle of Frack Free Denton

imgresOn November 13th, Adam Briggle of Frack Free Denton spoke to Margaret Prescod for Sojourner Truth’s Earth Watch.

On election day, Denton passed a fracking ban, making it the first in Texas to ban further hydraulic fracturing. Only days later, they received push back. Denton is preparing for an extended court battle  — a fight that cities nationwide considering similar laws will likely be watching closely.

Adam Briggle is Vice President of the Denton Drilling Awareness Group, which led the Frack Free Denton campaign to successfully ban hydraulic fracturing in the city limits of Denton, Texas. He is also an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Faculty Fellow at the Center for the Study of Interdisciplinarity at the University of North Texas. He is writing a book about fracking and Denton for Liveright Press.

In the interview, Briggle explained what led to the ban and what they expect to happen next. Regarding what others might take away from this victory in Denton, Briggle defended the rights of  communities to make decisions: “Those most vulnerable to the harm should have the greatest say.”

Earth Watch is coordinated by GJEP in partnership with KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show with Margaret Prescod.

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Filed under Fracking, Law, Local Bans/Laws, Victory!

The Climate Connection to the Buffalo Storm

If you are reading this and are familiar with Climate Connections, none of this will be news to you. Climate change and weather patterns are inextricably linked.  The mainstream media is a mixed bag of tepid reporting on climate change. This weekend, in the teeth of one of the worst storms to hit the region in history, the Buffalo News published an article describing how the huge lake effect snowstorm connects to warming global temperatures and climate change.  The storm has turned much of our Buffalo, New York community (home offices of Global Justice Ecology Project)  into a disaster area.  Buffalo News readers were exposed to a rare chance to engage an article that links their current situation with significant climate change issues including  a futures analysis. Even though the article contains the apparently mandatory disclaim that “This doesn’t mean you can attribute last week’s storm to climate change,” the roadmap described makes it clear that you can. We applaud the Buffalo News and News Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski on this terrific article.  We also note and urge you to read the comments section at this linked article. Many, from climate deniers, are both amusing and sadly reflective of how and why we are facing the current spiral that in Buffalo this time has cost human lives and hundreds of millions of dollars.

South Buffalo, New York, 19 November 2014 "My car", photo by Jay Burney

South Buffalo, New York, 19 November 2014 “My Car”, photo by Jay Burney

Winter weather weirdness may be just beginning

Buffalo News   22 November, 2014 Jerry Zremski   News Washington Bureau Chief

Brace yourself. November’s white nightmare could become a recurring bad dream of varying intensity.

While last week’s winter blast appears to be the freak offspring of a typhoon-blasted jet stream and a warm Lake Erie, it’s also part of a long-term pattern that shows no sign of changing.

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Filed under Climate Change, Frontline Communities, Great Lakes, Human made disasters, Media, Natural Disasters, Uncategorized

Cultivating Climate Justice: Sustainable Waste & Rebuilding in the Aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda


This is part 2 of a four-part article series “Cultivating Climate Justice” which tells the stories of community groups on the frontlines of the pollution, waste and climate crises, working together for systems change. United across six continents, these grassroots groups are defending community rights to clean air, clean water, zero waste, environmental justice, and good jobs. They are all members of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, a network of over 800 organizations from 90+ countries.

 This series is produced by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) and Other Worlds.


“To anyone who continues to deny the reality that is climate change…. I dare you to go to the islands of the Pacific, the islands of the Caribbean and the islands of the Indian Ocean and see the impacts of rising sea levels; to the mountainous regions of the Himalayas and the Andes to see communities confronting glacial floods, to the Arctic where communities grapple with the fast dwindling polar ice caps, to the large deltas of the Mekong, the Ganges, the Amazon, and the Nile where lives and livelihoods are drowned… And if that is not enough, you may want to pay a visit to the Philippines right now.” – Philippines lead negotiator Yeb Sano addressing the opening session of the UN climate summit in Warsaw, following Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013

 It’s been a year since Super Typhoon Yolanda (often called Typhoon Haiyan in other countries) swept through the , killing more than 6,000 people and destroying the homes of many more. As UN negotiator for the Philippines Yeb Sano explained in his address to the United Nations: for many people, this is what climate change looks like.

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Frontline Communities, Uncategorized, Waste

Sandra Steingraber’s Letter from Chemung County Jail, 21 November 2014

Sandra Steingraber is a New York State anti-natural gas activist extraordinaire, teacher, eco-biologist, author, and parent. She is also a cancer survivor–a cancer linked to drinking water contamination. She has written several books including Living Downstream: an Ecologists Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment, and Raising Elijah: Protecting Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis. The book is named after her son and is about all of our children, ourselves, and our friends and families that are being raised and living on the contemporary earth. In it she reminds us that there are thousands of human made toxic chemicals, including at least 200 known brain poisons that flow freely.

Today Steingraber is in jail, again, standing up for all of us. She is defending us against a corporate economic culture that cares about profit and expansion and not much else. A few years back, when she was in the Chemung County Jail, that time over an “Earth Day” remembrance, she said about her choice to go to jail:  “A heroic narrative is a substantial one. Against all odds, it is possible that standing up can make a difference. Every person has the opportunity to have a heroic narrative in their lives, and so when our children ask- Are we going to die, it is the beginning of a heroic narrative to say, No–I am on the job, I will help make a difference.”

Sandra Steingraber wrote this letter for EcoWatch from the Chemung County Jail this morning to share with our readers and beyond.

Sandra Steingraber wrote this letter for EcoWatch from the Chemung County Jail this morning to share with our readers and beyond.

Steingraber published a new letter from the Chemung County Jail in EcoWatch on 21 November 2014. An excerpt from “Why I am in Jail” is below.

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Filed under Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Fracking, Frontline Communities, Uncategorized

Can the bulldozers in Indonesia be stopped?

Back in September, world leaders and major corporations joined the New York Declaration on Forests at the UN Climate Summit. From Germany to the U.S., Nestle to Kellogg’s, the signatures on this no-deforestation policy, according to an article on Earth Island Journal, definitely raise a few eyebrows.

But are they really doing anything to stop razing the land?

An estimated 80 percent of forest destruction in Indonesia between 2000 and 2012 was illegal. Palm plantations were responsible for three-quarters of this illegal deforestation. Photo: Rainforest Action Network

An estimated 80 percent of forest destruction in Indonesia between 2000 and 2012 was illegal. Palm plantations were responsible for three-quarters of this illegal deforestation. Photo: Rainforest Action Network

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Filed under Climate Justice, Palm Oil

We are Seneca Lake

Seneca Lake is one of New York State’s  Finger Lakes. The ecology of the area makes this a distinct bio-region. This is a popular tourist area, an important agricultural area (wine and grapes), and an area of both subtle and dramatic beauty. These lakes in west central New York were the heart of the Haudenosaunee homeland. It was defended from European colonization until the 18th century when the 1779 Sullivan Expedition slashed, burned and murdered its way through the territory and effectively ended the reign of the people.


Later, the region became home to various civil rights activists including Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony. Seneca Falls, located between Seneca and Cayuga lakes, is birthplace of the women’s suffrage movement and has always been a place of activism. It was also the model for Bedford Falls, portrayed in Frank Capra’s iconic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Ithaca, New York, home to Cornell University and Ithaca College, is nearby.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Fracking, Pipeline

Follow updates on Burnaby Mountain from Earth First! Newswire and the land defenders


The Earth First! Newswire is doing an excellent job reporting on the Burnaby Mountain land defenders. Read here for their account and follow the Burnaby Mountain Updates on Facebook, which also includes ways to support the land defenders.

Burnaby: New Lockdown after Tree-sitter Shot with “Less Than Lethal” Round

from Earth First! News, 20 November 2014, in the afternoon.

Local activist and video journalist Devin Gillan has reported that RCMP officers admit shooting the tree-sitter with a “less-than-lethal” shotgun round. (The same thing occurred when police extracted protestors from the Willits tree-sit in California.)

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Indigenous Peoples, Pipeline

The Perils of Wood-Based Bioenergy: Paraguay Blog Post #2

By Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project, 20 November 2014

Global Justice Ecology Project is in Paraguay for two weeks of meetings to strategize means to address the impacts of wood-based bioenergy, genetically engineered trees and livestock on deforestation levels, and the solutions to the climate change and deforestation crisis provided by local communities maintaining and caring for their traditional lands.

Ada from the Solomon Islands.  If biomass energy is not stopped, her islands will continue to drown.  Photo credit: GJEP-GFC

Aydah from the Solomon Islands speaks at the meeting. If biomass energy is not stopped, her islands will continue to drown. Photo credit: GJEP-GFC

Today’s meetings included the participation of activists from throughout Africa, Asia, the South Pacific, North and South America and Eastern and Western Europe.  The topic at hand was the problem of wood-based bioenergy–specifically electricity derived from cutting down forests, destroying biodiversity, polluting the atmosphere and displacing forest-based Indigenous and local communities.

Biomass also comes with an enormous cost in waste. In the Drax UK biomass plant, Biofuelwatch has calculated that of every three trees burned, two are wasted as heat. Half of one UK power station takes more wood than the entire UK produces every year and supplies only 4.6% of the country’s electricity demand. These power stations require co-generation with coal, so increased use of biomass = increased use of coal. Without the biomass conversion, this Drax plant would have had to close by 2016. The conversion to co-generation with biomass is allowing it to stay open, enabling continued and increased use of coal.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Climate Change, Climate Justice, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Pollution, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests