Category Archives: BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING: Industry hype and misdirected science undercuts real energy and climate solutions

Note: In response to a recent media frenzy about poplars genetically engineered to create biofuels and “greener” paper, Global Justice Ecology Project, Biofuelwatch, Center for Food Safety and Canadian Biotechnology Action Network issued the following statement today.

To sign GJEP’s petition calling for a global ban on GE trees, click here.

-The GJEP Team

April 9, 2014. 


Scientists and environmentalists today condemned a recent press release by researchers at the University of British Columbia announcing they have created genetically engineered (GE) poplar trees for paper and biofuel production, opening the prospect of growing these GE trees like an agricultural crop in the future.

The poplars were genetically engineered for altered lignin composition to supposedly make them easier to process into paper and biofuels. Groups, however, warn that manipulation of lignin, and the potential contamination of wild poplars with that trait, could be extremely dangerous.

Lignin is a key structural component of plant cell walls and a major component of soils.  It is also the product of millions of years of natural selection favoring sturdy, healthy and resilient plants. GE poplars with altered lignin could have devastating effects on forests, ecosystems, human communities and biodiversity.

Poplars include at least 30 species, are widespread throughout the Northern Hemisphere and have a high potential for genetic dispersal.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, BREAKING NEWS, Climate Change, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering

Breaking: Earth First! disrupts Florida Power and Light in protest over proposed power plant near Seminole reservation

February 24, 2014. Source: Earth First! Newswire


Photo: Earth First! Newswire

Juno, FL – Activists with Earth First! groups from across the country converged at the Florida Power and Light (FPL) Headquarters this morning. Five protestors have chained their arms together at the entrance, disrupting business operations at the second largest energy company in the nation. Their primary concern is a proposal to construct a fossil fuel power plant in Hendry County, on the border of the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation.

“Stop FPL and others who destroy the environment and resources, for the sake of our future generations,” says Sam Tommie, a Seminole tribal member who opposes the project.

“This proposal is an act of environmental racism against indigenous people and an attack on the Everglades. If we stand by and do nothing, we are also complicit in this injustice,” says Christian Minaya of Everglades Earth First!, a group based in Palm Beach County.

The signs and banners of Earth First! demonstrators include messages regarding threats to panther habitat, water quality and the practice of gas fracking—a controversial extraction technique that will likely be a source of fuel for the facility. Last year FPL also announced that it would be partnering with Spectra, a major transporter of fracked gas, to build a new pipeline across Northern Florida. Continue reading


Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, BREAKING NEWS, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Green Economy, Hydrofracking, Indigenous Peoples, Pollution

Breaking: Pete Seeger, Songwriter and Champion of Folk Music, Dies at 94

Note: Orin Langelle and Anne Petermann of Global Justice Ecology Project had the privilege to see one of Pete Seeger’s last concerts in Buffalo, NY on November 9th.  Orin took photos of the event which he posted on his website.  You can view them here.  Pete Seeger was a powerful voice for change and part of the incredible uprising of the 1950s-1970s that helped end a war and stop some of the worst racist abuses in this country.  ¡Pete Seeger Presente!

–The GJEP Team

By JON PARELESJAN. 28, 2014, Source: New York Times

Pete Seeger performs in Buffalo, NY in November 2014.

Pete Seeger performs in Buffalo, NY in November 2014.

Pete Seeger, the singer, folk-song collector and songwriter who spearheaded an American folk revival and spent a long career championing folk music as both a vital heritage and a catalyst for social change, died Monday. He was 94 and lived in Beacon, N.Y.

His death was confirmed by his grandson, Kitama Cahill Jackson, who said he died of natural causes at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Mr. Seeger’s career carried him from singing at labor rallies to the Top 10 to college auditoriums to folk festivals, and from a conviction for contempt of Congress (after defying the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s) to performing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at an inaugural concert for Barack Obama.

For Mr. Seeger, folk music and a sense of community were inseparable, and where he saw a community, he saw the possibility of political action.

In his hearty tenor, Mr. Seeger, a beanpole of a man who most often played 12-string guitar or five-string banjo, sang topical songs and children’s songs, humorous tunes and earnest anthems, always encouraging listeners to join in. His agenda paralleled the concerns of the American left: He sang for the labor movement in the 1940s and 1950s, for civil rights marches and anti-Vietnam War rallies in the 1960s, and for environmental and antiwar causes in the 1970s and beyond. “We Shall Overcome,” which Mr. Seeger adapted from old spirituals, became a civil rights anthem.

Mr. Seeger was a prime mover in the folk revival that transformed popular music in the 1950s. As a member of the Weavers, he sang hits including Lead Belly’s “Goodnight, Irene” — which reached No. 1 — and “If I Had a Hammer,” which he wrote with the group’s Lee Hays. Another of Mr. Seeger’s songs, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” became an antiwar standard. And in 1965, the Byrds had a No. 1 hit with a folk-rock version of “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” Mr. Seeger’s setting of a passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes.

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Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Climate Change, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, Politics, Vietnam War

Missoula woman arrested for blocking megaload oil field equipment

By Kathryn Haake, January 22, 2014. Source: The Missoulian

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The 350-foot-long megaload that rolled through Missoula on Wednesday morning on its way to the Alberta tar sands is now parked at the old mill site property in Bonner, where the load is being reconfigured for Canadian highways. MICHAEL GALLACHER/Missoulian

A 71-year-old Missoula woman was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for peacefully protesting on Reserve Street as a megaload of oil field equipment passed by early Wednesday.

Carol Marsh was charged with the misdemeanor when she sat down in the middle of Reserve Street near the Kent Avenue intersection and refused to move.

Missoula Police Detective Sgt. Travis Welsh said protesters along Reserve Street were generally peaceful and obeying laws as Omega-Morgan moved the behemoth equipment through town.

But as the megaload neared Kent Street at about 12:40 a.m., Montana Highway Patrol officers accompanying the rig called city police and said a protester was sitting in the street, in front of the trucks.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, BREAKING NEWS, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Oil, Women

Explosion leaves Mississippi biodiesel plant in flames

Note: Biomass mill explosions, biodiesel explosions, Bakken shale oil train explosions.  Toxic chemicals used in coal refining spilling into groundwater.  Maybe the time has come for a re-think on United States’ massive overconsumption of energy…

GJEP will be posting on the ground coverage of the ongoing water contamination crisis in West Virginia and have staff there participating in the deliveries of fresh water to victims of the spill.

– The GJEP Team

January 22, 2014.  Source: Reuters

Plant Fire

In this photo provided by the Mississippi Highway Patrol, a fire at a biodiesel facility near New Albany, Miss., burns early Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. The fire was so hot that firefighters could not get close enough to fight it, the Mississippi Highway Patrol said. The plant is located near New Albany on Mississippi Highway 15, which has been closed to traffic. Firefighters are letting it burn out. (AP Photo/Mississippi Highway Patrol via The Mississippi Department of Public Safety)

A fire raged at a biodiesel complex after an explosion that was felt miles away in northern Mississippi on Wednesday, the Highway Patrol said, but to its knowledge, all workers at the plant had been accounted for.The fire at the plant, some 3-4 miles north of New Albany, the Union County seat, broke out at about 5:30 a.m. CST (1130 GMT) after an explosion that was felt and heard miles away.

“The fire is still burning and they haven’t started trying to fight it yet because of the intense heat,” Trooper Ronny Hall, Mississippi Highway Patrol, said by telephone from the scene of the fire.

He spoke at around 10:00 CST, almost five hours after the fire began.

“At this time, we have had no injuries reported and all of the workers have been accounted for as far as we know,” Hall said, adding he did not know who the owners of the plant were.

Earlier, in an interview with local television station Action News 5, Hall said the fire may burn for as long as two days.

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Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, BREAKING NEWS, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Water

Breaking: A century in jail for an attempt to protect rivers?

Mongolia–On January 21, in the outskirts of Ulaan Baatar in detention center #461, the famous Mongolian environmental activist, leader of  Union of the Mongolia  Rivers and Lakes Ts. Munkhbayar and  his  four friends from “Fire Nation” Movement were sentenced to 21 years in prison each, cumulatively more than one century of imprisonment.

They are charged with “terrorism” for an armed protest in front of the Parliament building on September 16 2013. The protest focused on preventing weakening amendments to the Law<>”To prohibit mineral exploration and mining operations at headwaters of rivers, protected zones of water reservoirs and forested areas”, which has been outstanding contribution of the Mongolian state to the nature conservation and sustainable development. The Law adoption was spurred by destruction of river valleys in the process of placer gold mining, which is most harmful and inefficient technology.

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Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Climate Change, Political Repression, Water

Erie County, NY approves fracking ban!


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by | January 11, 2014 · 1:19 pm

Fracking chemicals disrupt hormone function

December 16, 2013. Source: The Endocrine Society

A controversial oil and natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses many chemicals that can disrupt the body’s hormones, according to new research accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, are substances that can interfere with the normal functioning of the endocrine system. EDCs can be found in manufactured products as well as certain foods, air, water and soil. Research has linked EDC exposure to infertility, cancer and birth defects.

“More than 700 chemicals are used in the fracking process, and many of them disturb hormone function,” said one of the study’s authors, Susan C. Nagel, PhD, of the University of Missouri School of Medicine. “With fracking on the rise, populations may face greater health risks from increased endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure.”
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Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Hydrofracking, Pollution

Fate of Pro-Terminator Bill Uncertain

Brazil’s Judiciary Commission in Confusion: Charges, Counter-Charges and Confrontations

11 December 2013

Confronted with 35,000 institutional and individual signatures on a petition growing by several hundred an hour, Brazil’s Judiciary Commission agreed to take the Pro-Terminator Bill off the agenda this week leaving open the possibility that the bill will not be passed until Congress reconvenes in early February. However, the Judiciary Commission also determined to sit again next Tuesday and could continue meeting even Wednesday and Thursday before adjourning for Christmas. The Chair of the Commission has reiterated his commitment to block the contentious bill but CSO observers understand that a majority of Commission members are in favor of the suicide seed legislation and could, regardless of a formal agenda, call for a vote at any meeting. Brazilian allies both in the Commission and among the civil society organizations attending the negotiations say that representatives and government officials have been shocked by the scale in ferocity of global opposition to the proposed legislation.

“There is no reason to trust this process or reduce our pressure,” says Maria José Guazzelli of Centro Ecológico, “although the government and commission have been taken aback by our opposition, they could pass the bill at almost any moment. If the vote doesn’t come before Friday, December 20, we will have a breathing space until February but anything could happen next week and everything could happen in February.”

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, BREAKING NEWS, Climate Change, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Greenwashing, Latin America-Caribbean, Politics, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests

Bullying and Blackmailing in Bali

IBON International Update #14

BALI, Indonesia, 3 December 2013 – The Ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) commenced today with trade ministers and officials from over 160 countries seeking a deal that would salvage the image of what was once the vanguard institution for globalization.

In his opening remarks, the WTO’s new director general, Roberto Azevedo of Brazil said that “the future of the WTO and the Multilateral Trading System is in the balance.” This was echoed by the Chair of the Ministerial Conference, Mr. Gita Wirjawan of Indonesia who said that an agreement in Bali would “send a strong message to the rest of the world that the multilateral trading system works; that the WTO remains the pre-eminent forum for negotiating new trade rules; and that it can deliver tremendous economic benefits to all its Members.”

These remarks underscore that the WTO has in fact been languishing for the last 12 years with no progress in the so-called Doha Development Agenda (DDA). The DDA is the latest round of trade negotiations under the WTO that was supposed to improve the trading prospects of developing countries. A breakthrough in Bali, according to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, would break the impasse in the DDA and save multilateralism itself.

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Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Political Repression, Politics, WTO