Pardon our dust!

After months of discussion, and as part of our ongoing evolutionary process, Global Justice Ecology Project has decided to redesign and rethink the mission and purpose of our Social Justice Media Program. As we do so, we will not be posting new news to Climate Connections.

Climate Connections will, however, soon post a list of sources where important movement news can be found. This will eventually include a new and improved GJEP blog, which will, among other things, provide information and updates regarding the campaigns, issues and programs of GJEP and our allies.

Thanks for being patient.

The GJEP Team

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CIC’s environmental and social justice photography contest open for entries

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Attention photographers! The Critical Information Collective (CIC) has just announced it’s first annual environmental and social justice photography contest will be accepting entires until 28 February 2015. The categories include: Buen Vivir (life in harmony), Our Changing Climate, Hungry for Change (food sovereignty) and Energy Justice for All. The competition asks for a small entry donation, which will be applied to CIC’s basic operating costs throughout the year.

Photography is one of the most effective ways to raise awareness about social and ecological injustice in the world.

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Filed under Climate Change, Events, Food Sovereignty

FBI Harassing Activists in Pacific Northwest

Alex Reid Ross over a Bark wrote this excellent article, originally posted on Defending Dissent, detailing the recent harassment of environmental activists in the Pacific Northwest. Clearly, this increased harassment comes because the stakes are so high for everyone and because groups like Rising Tide are doing such amazing work. The last paragraph definitely gets at that idea:

“My [attorney] was not able to find out what or why they were bothering my sweet folks, but I will tell you why,” one activist whose parents were visited wrote. “Its [sic] because Portland Rising Tide is outreaching, training, and organizing hundreds of Pacific NWers of all age groups to engage in a level of civil disobedience not seen in decades. We are going to do it to save our neighborhoods, our communities, our salmon, and our climate. And that scares the shit out of the powers that be.”

Ross does a great job working through individual stories that show the effects of harassment on people’s lives, and also provides the larger context of the movement as it continues to evolve.

 

 

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Global Justice Ecology Project Executive Director Anne Peterman on the GE American Chestnut

Protesters denounce GE trees at a meeting of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative in 2011 (image by Anne Petermann/Global Justice Ecology Project)

Protesters denounce GE trees at a meeting of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative in 2011
(image by Anne Petermann/Global Justice Ecology Project)

The Global Justice Ecology Project’s Executive Director Anne Peterman was interviewed by Joan Brunwasser on OpEdNews yesterday on the dangers and drawbacks of the GE American chestnut tree being developed by researchers at SUNY Syracuse.

Is GMO Chestnut Tree Monsanto’s Trojan Horse?

Interview by Joan Brunwasser, OpEdNews. 5 January 2015

JB: You’re up in arms against the humble chestnut tree. You recently wrote This Holiday Season say NO to GMO Chestnuts , a strong OpEd piece against it. I admit that I don’t know much about this subject and many of our readers are probably in the same boat. Would you educate us on the subject, please?

AP: Let me be clear first that my background is in forest protection. I have been working to protect the forests of the Northeast US and the world for the last 25 years. I started working on the threats posed by GE trees in 1999 because I worried about their impact on forests. The further I dug, the more concerned I became. So when we talk about the American chestnut tree, we need to understand that this tree was once a key part of the forest ecosystem in the Eastern US. There is an understandably strong desire to return it to that ecosystem. However, I do not agree with replacing wild American chestnut trees with genetically engineered facsimiles.

The reasons for concern about the GE chestnut are many, but one of the main problems is that the GE chestnut has been engineered with foreign DNA from wheat, a process which damages the genome and leads to numerous mutations. This means the engineered tree will likely have unanticipated and unpredictable consequences when released into a forest ecosystem. As we’ve seen time and again with GMO crops, these unanticipated consequences can be very damaging to biodiversity and wildlife, not to mention people. Just take a look at the iconic Monarch butterfly–it’s population is crashing due to the chemicals applied in abundance to herbicide resistant GMO crops. These herbicides are killing off the main food of the butterflies.

Read the entire interview here

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Filed under Biiotechnology, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Forests, GE Chestnut, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, GMOs, Uncategorized

Zapatistas Host Festival of Resistance and Rebellion

It is 21 years since the Zapatista Army of National Liberation rose up in Chiapas, Mexico encouraging the mobilization of people around the world against neoliberalism, or global capitalism. They have not gone away, but are continuing to organize in their communities alternatives to the suicidal dominant system.

Zapatistas host world festival of resistance and rebellion
By Leonidas Oikonomakis, December 21, 2014, Roarmag.org

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Corporate Globalization, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Victory!

GMO Chestnuts Draw Scrutiny this Holiday

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During the holidays, a time of the iconic roasting of chestnuts, scientists and activists are raising alarms about these efforts to genetically engineer and widely release GE American chestnuts into U.S. forests. Syracuse.com recently reported in “Breakthrough at SUNY-ESF” that researchers at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry are growing 10,000 genetically engineered (GE) American chestnut trees to be distributed widely when approved.

The GMO chestnuts produced by these trees would be a new GMO food when concerns about GMOs and labeling are mounting.

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Filed under Biiotechnology, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Climate Justice, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, GMOs, Greenwashing, Uncategorized

Photo Essay: The Pillaging of Paraguay

Woman holds photo of baby whose condition is blamed on agrotoxins, during rally in Asunción, Paraguay, 3 Dec 2014.  PhotoLangelle.org

Woman holds photo of baby whose condition is blamed on agrotoxins, during rally in Asunción, Paraguay, 3 Dec 2014. PhotoLangelle.org

“All signs show that Paraguay, both its territory and its population, are under attack by conquerors, but conquerors of a new sort. These new ‘conquistadors’ are racing to seize all available arable land and, in the process, are destroying peoples’ cultures and the country’s biodiversity — just as they are in many other parts of the planet, even in those areas that fall within the jurisdiction of ‘democratic’ and ‘developed’ countries. Every single foot of land is in their crosshairs. Powerful elites do not recognize rural populations as having any right to land at all.” – Dr. Miguel Lovera

Photographs by Orin Langelle. Analysis at the end of the essay by Dr. Miguel Lovera from the case study: The Environmental and Social Impacts of Unsustainable Livestock Farming and Soybean Production in Paraguay. Dr. Lovera was the President of SENAVE, the National Plant Protection Agency, during the government of Fernando Lugo.

To view the entire photo essay click here.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biiotechnology, Biodiversity, Food Sovereignty, Frontline Communities, Genetic Engineering, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Pesticides

Greenpeace Chooses Marketing Over Ethics in Peru Action

Once again Greenpeace chose marketing over ethics in a deeply offensive and destructive action at a sacred site in Peru last week.

While Greenpeace ED Kumi Naidoo has made a videotaped apology for this action, I don’t buy it.

I personally witnessed Kumi’s questionable tactics at the UN Climate talks in Durban where he orchestrated a fake “arrest” with UN security so that the media would run photos of him being led out of the talks in handcuffs — another marketing ploy.  How do I know this was a fake arrest?  Because a colleague and I engaged in civil disobedience at the same action, refusing to comply with UN security, and were carried out of the talks and banned permanently from all future talks. But there were no handcuffs.

Kumi, on the other hand, worked hand in hand with security throughout the youth-led action to ensure the youth left in an orderly fashion.

For my report from this incident, read my post “Showdown at the Durban Disaster: Challenging the Big Green Patriarchy.”

–Anne Petermann, GJEP

Greenpeace May Have Permanently Damaged An Ancient, Sacred Site. Now What?

Greenpeace International set off a firestorm in Peru last week, and not the kind it had hoped for. After a few of its members damaged, perhaps irreparably, one of the most important cultural heritage sites in the country, a debate is beginning over how to interpret the environmental groups offensive actions.

Read the rest of the story here

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