Orin Langelle, director of Langelle Photography, a project of the Global Justice Ecology Project, has been shooting images from the front lines of international social and climate justice events and protests for decades. As a concerned photographer and Missouri native, he is especially moved by the riots, protests and police brutality erupting in Ferguson, MO. The situation reminds him of a demonstration at the National Governors’ Association Conference in Burlington, VT, in 1995.
Two protesters are arrested attempting to blockade President Bill Clinton’s motorcade during the National Governors’ Association Conference in Burlington, VT in 1995. They were protesting to draw attention to the impending execution of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Langelle will soon open a new gallery, ¡Buen Vivir! in Buffalo, NY, featuring images he has taken from the front lines of the fight against social and environmental injustice. Read his original post here.
Earth Minute is written and recorded by GJEP Executive Director Anne Petermann in partnership with KPFK.
Listen to Anne Petermann’s Earth Minute for this week:
Synthetic biology, or “extreme” genetic engineering, is, without any warning, on its way to a supermarket or coop near you. Yeast and algae have been bioengineered to produce vanilla, stevia and saffron, palm and coconut oil substitutes.
“Green” Companies like Ecover are moving to incorporate this controversial new technology into everyday products even though truly natural alternatives–like coconut oil–are readily available and can be sustainably sourced.
So what is synthetic biology? According to Friends of the Earth, “Synbio involves stripping organisms of their natural genes and replacing them with digitally created DNA codes to create new forms of life.”
Learning from the anti-GMO movement, however, food and biotechnology companies are attempting to replace the terms “synthetic biology” and “synbio” with words like “nature-identical” and “sustainable.”
But with companies like Monsanto, DuPont, BP, Chevron, Cargill and others in the mix–calling synthetic biology sustainable or natural is not only dangerous, it is just plain ridiculous.
For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Anne Petermann, from Global Justice Ecology Project.
The Earth Minute is written and recorded by GJEP Executive Director Anne Petermann in partnership with KPFK.
Neonicotinoids, or Neonics, an insecticide nerve poison widely used in homes, gardens and farms, have been found to be 5,000 to 10,000 times more toxic than DDT, and are contributing to shocking declines in bees, pollinators, earthworms, birds and bats.
They also known to contaminate streams, ponds, rivers.
Not surprisingly, the pesticide lobby-influenced Environmental Protection Agency and US Department of Agriculture are misrepresenting or remaining silent about the dangers of neonics.
But a major study by the American Bird Conservancy last year clearly documented the “massive impacts on American songbirds” from these pesticides and criticized the EPA for failing to act.
Ole Hendrickson, a member of the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides explained the danger, “Instead of wiping out the top of the food chain, killing hawks and eagles as DDT did, neonics are wiping out the bottom of the food chain. […] Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson once said if we wipe out the world’s insects, we will soon follow them to extinction.”
For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project.
Yesterday, about 80 activists formed a blockade to halt construction of a tar sands strip mine in the Book Cliffs of eastern Utah. The mine is being built by US Oil Sands, a Canadian company, and would be the first in the US. The action was led by the Climate Justice Summer Camp, which was holding a two-week direct action camp nearby.
The mine is located on traditional Ute hunting lands and in the Colorado River Basin, which provides drinking water to 40 million people. As Peaceful Uprising argues,
Tar sands and oil shale mining and refining, if allowed to begin in the U.S., would rob us of our water rights. The Colorado’s flow is diminishing, not increasing, and these mining and refining processes require massive amounts of water. This inescapable reality would cause widespread conflicts over water, as water rights were seized from farmers and communities. We will not allow tar sands and oil shale profiteers to seize the water that rightfully belongs to everyone.
Tom Goldtooth (left, white shirt) presenting at the start of Mesa III: Social Participation in Decision Making
Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network and Grassroots Global Justice delegate to Venezuela, spoke to Margaret Prescod (KPFK) from the Social PreCOP on Margarita Island.
Goldtooth spoke about the goals for the Social PreCOP, the vital importance of the inclusion of Indigenous peoples in climate discussions and action, the Indigenous-rooted concept of good living (buen vivir), and the need for real, sustainable climate action that does not accept false solutions like REDD.
Listen to the interview here, from the July 17th Sojourner Truth show.
I am recording this week’s Earth Minute from the Venezuelan Island of Margarita. The Venezuelan government has assembled hundreds of organizations from around the Americas and across the world under the theme of “Changing the System, Not the Climate.” The idea of this meeting is to begin to develop justice-based strategies and discussions to inform a peoples’ position at this year’s UN Climate Conference in Lima Peru in December.
“System Change not Climate Change” originally emerged as the demand from civil society organizations protesting the northern-dominated and pro-corporate UN Climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009. There UN delegates and observers staged a massive “Reclaim Power” march out that attempted to meet with thousands of activists marching toward the conference. The idea was to come together for a Peoples’ Assembly, where real peoples’ solutions to the climate crisis would be advanced. While that action was met with severe repression and violence from the Danish Police, the powerful concept of “System Change not Climate Change” continues to carry forward.
For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project reporting from Venezuela.