Note: Thanks to our readers for another excellent year! Below are the top 10 Climate-Connections blog posts from 2013. Over the course of the year we saw nearly a quarter of a million viewers from 206 countries. Thanks for being one of them. And if you are not following this blog, please do–and feel free to share them around.
Also included below are GJEP’s other Media Program accomplishments from 2013. Check them out!
-The GJEP Team
Top 10 Climate Connections blog posts
10. Photo essay: Three brutally arrested protesting GE trees at industry conference. (May 30)
All photographs by Orin Langelle/ photolangelle.org for GJEP
9. Transgenic DNA from GMOs in Chinese rivers – Why is it suddenly there? (March 25)
By Kurt Heidinger. Source: Biocitizen
UC Berkeley microbiologist Dr Ignacio Chapela has discovered “the escape and establishment of transgenic DNA from GMOs” in rivers in China.
That’s not good news. The introduction of new kinds of DNA into the bios creates new forms of life and diseases, as Dr. Chapela reports. Continue reading here
8. Explosion at West Virginia frack site seriously injures four (July 11)
By John Upton. Source: Grist
Federal investigators are trying to figure out what caused an explosion at a West Virginia fracking site over the weekend. The blast injured at least seven people, including four workers who were sent to a hospital with life-threatening burns.
Residents and activists have long complained about safety practices by frackers operating in the state, where they draw natural gas from the Marcellus shale formation. Traffic accidents involving trucks traveling to and from frack sites in the state are common, and explosions can be deadly. Continue reading here.
7. Fracking equipment set ablaze in Elsipogtog, New Brunswick (June 26)
Source: Earth First! Newswire
Halifax Media Co-op reports that a piece of drilling equipment was set ablaze on the 24th, by person or persons unknown. This comes amidst escalating resistance to hydraulic fracturing by indigenous peoples in Elsipogtog, “New Brunswick”.
This comes after numerous direct actions, the midnight seizure of drilling equipment, and a local man being struck by a contractor’s vehicle. Continue reading here.
6. Breaking: Protesters arrested at genetically engineered trees conference. (May 27)
Source: Global Justice Ecology Project
(Asheville, NC) As the Tree Biotechnology 2013 conference kicked off early Monday, two Asheville residents were arrested after disrupting a major presentation by Belgian tree engineer Wout Boerjan entitled, “Engineering trees for the biorefinery.”
The protestors said that if legalized, GE trees would lead to the destruction of native forests and biodiversity in the US South, and be economically devastating to rural communities. Continue reading here.
5. Breaking: University of Florida threatens to arrest anti-GMO presenters and bans them from campus. (October 28)
Source: Global Justice Ecology Project
Gainesville, FL–The University of Florida, a leading institution researching genetically engineered (GE) trees, threatened to arrest activists from the Campaign to STOP GE Trees when they arrived on campus Saturday to prepare for a presentation to highlight critical perspectives on tree biotechnology that was scheduled for tonight. The police informed the group that their presentation had been cancelled, and warned them that they were banned from University of Florida (UF) property for three years. Continue reading here.
4. US farmers may stop planting GM’s after poor global yields. (February 7)
By Robyn Vinter. Source: Farmers Weekly
Some US farmers are considering returning to conventional seed after increased pest resistance and crop failures meant GM crops saw smaller yields globally than their non-GM counterparts.
Farmers in the USA pay about an extra $100 per acre for GM seed, and many are questioning whether they will continue to see benefits from using GMs. Continue reading here.
3. Three responses to Bill McKibben’s new article, “Global warming’s terrifying new math”. (July 24 2012)
By Anne Petermann, Rachel Smolker, and Keith Brunner. Source: Global Justice Ecology Project
Bill McKibben, in his new Rolling Stone article, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math” does an effective job at summarizing the hard and theoretical numbers that warn us of the devastating impacts of continuing to burn the Earth’s remaining fossil fuel reserves–yet it somehow falls short of its stated goal to help mobilize a new movement for climate action.
While the article is full of facts and figures and the future they portend, it falls into several traps common to US-based environmentalists, which undermine its movement-building objective. Continue reading here.
2. How Facebook may secretly foil your activist plans. (September 16)
By Kevin Mathews. Source: Care2
In recent years, Facebook has become an unexpectedly crucial tool for activism. The social media platform allows activists to efficiently connect and communicate with one another in order to arrange meetings, protests and boycotts. Unfortunately, activists who once found that Facebook helped make organizing easier are now encountering obstacles – and the resistance is coming from Facebook itself. Continue reading here.
1. Vermont: Protestors remove American flags at 9/11 memorial in act of solidarity. (September 12)
Source: Climate Connections
Middlebury College, VT — At 3:00PM on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, five protesters removed thousands of flags desecrating occupied Abenaki lands. The U.S. flags were part of a 9/11 memorial established by Middlebury College students.
Amanda Lickers, a member of the Onondowa’ga Nation, states, “In the quickest moment of decision making, in my heart, I understood that lands where our dead may lay must not be desecrated. In my community, we do not pierce the earth. It disturbs the spirits there, it is important for me to respect their presence.” Continue reading here.
New Voices on Climate Change Speakers Bureau
The mission of GJEP’s New Voices on Climate Change program is to amplify voices from traditionally underrepresented communities and front line activists engaged in various environmental justice struggles.
Part of this work involves our Speakers Bureau, which features social movement leaders from North America, Latin America, Africa and the South Pacific. In 2013, we helped facilitated over 95 connections for activists in the Speakers Bureau, including:
- Requests for interviews with major media outlets like CBC, Russian Television, New Internationalist, and Yes! Magazine;
- Requests to speak at universities including Middlebury College and Tufts University, major academic climate change proceedings like the International Association for Impact Assessment, and social justice events like the Democracy Convention in Madison, WI;
- Opportunities for grant and fellowship support to environmental justice organizers, and
- International connections between activists and organizers.
KPFK Pacifica Earth Watch collaboration
GJEP collaborates with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK Pacifica radio on weekly Earth Minute segments and Earth Watch interviews. The Sojourner Truth show is a nationally syndicated public affairs show drawing out how women, communities of color, and those most impacted by systems of oppression are responding.
In 2013, we coordinated 24 guests for the Sojourner Truth show, including live report-backs from the World Social Forum in Tunisia and COP 19 climate summit in Poland, interviews from international and community-led struggles against fracking, tar sands, and coal mining; and analysis of developments like the release of the Obama administration’s climate action plan.