Category Archives: Climate Justice

Friday paean to us, love the earth!

This little video poem is shared to us from David Suzuki and the Blue Dot Tour.  The tour is criss-crossing Canada and is designed to bring together informed individuals to build a powerful force for positive change.

Here we find the intersections between art, love, humanity, and the natural world of the blue dot.

“Shoulders” by Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long.

More on the Blue Dot Tour here

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Justice, Independent Media

Sewage treatment plants demonstrated to help create and circulate new mutant microbes

Last July David Cameron warned that the world could be soon cast back into the dark ages of medicine if we do not find a way to deal with newly evolving bacteria that is becoming resistant to antibiotics.

One has to make the connection between antibiotic resistant microbes and the increasing changes of life forms, including important ecosystem supporting microbes, to genetically engineered (Round-up ready, etc.) food crops and experimental GE Trees. These products are designed to boost the so called “green” economy and are untested rapidly expanding  dangers. These frankenplants are modifying ecosystems and the biosphere in ways that we have not even begun to understand. Ok, well maybe we have begun to understand.

Cameron has urged the world’s drug companies to “accelerate” the discovery of a new generation of antibiotics.

One can be sure that this will be done in the context of profitability.  Disaster capitalism knows no boundaries except profit, -not even when that conflicts with human health and sustainability. This is the same context that corporate influenced governments are using to rush to develop so called “green” strategies to climate change. Profit is the first principle–and unfortunately this is viewed through the smoked glasses of the near term quarterly reports. Complex science problems can be overwhelming even for the most talented and diligent scientists, engineers, and thinkers. We know that we don’t know enough. We know that we are moving along into a dark tunnel. We also know that many of us are organized to strongly advocate for common sense as opposed to simplistic economic growth without a thorough analysis of the consequences..

We urge a precautionary approach as a real first step in all science and in what we work for–stopping release of potential synthetic ecosystems, or radically out of control synthesized ecosystems,  without a whole lot more research. We believe our species has a responsibility to do adequate risk assessments for any developing product. We demand these concepts  be first. We do not endorse nor wish to endure watching humanity follow the money like a moth drawn to a candle. We hope that Cameron can help us find our way through the dire delima that is described below, but we have our doubts.  We know, as you do, that these issues are barging into where you live and have proven to treat humans unkindly. The dark ages of medicine is just one way to characterize our future. Shouldn’t we be demanding system change? should’t we at least demand a ban on all GE Trees? The answer to both is yes.

The article below is from July of 2014,  and helps to contextualize the out of control mutations issues that we face with the release of GE crops.

Discovery in the UK reveals role of sewer plants in creating mutated microbes that are resistant to antibiotics

UK discovery reveals role of sewer plants in antibiotic-resistant microbes (Keith Williams, Creative Commons via The Independent)

 

Drug-resistant bacteria: Sewage-treatment plants described as giant ‘mixing vessels’ after scientists discover mutated microbes in British river

Steve Connor  The Independent

Superbugs resistant to some of the most powerful antibiotics in the medical arsenal have been found for the first time in a British river – with scientists pinpointing a local sewage-treatment plant as the most likely source.

Scientists discovered the drug-resistant bacteria in sediment samples taken downstream of the sewerage plant on the River Sowe near Coventry. The microbes contained mutated genes that confer resistance to the latest generation of antibiotics.

The researchers believe the discovery shows how antibiotic resistance has become widespread in the environment, with sewage-treatment plants now acting as giant “mixing vessels” where antibiotic resistance can spread between different microbes.

A study found that a wide range of microbes living in the river had acquired a genetic mutation that is known to provide resistance to third-generation cephalosporins, a class of antibiotics used widely to treat meningitis, blood infections and other hospital-acquired infections.

Read the whole piece here 

 

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Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, False Solutions to Climate Change, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, GMOs, Greenwashing, Human made disasters, Synthetic Biology, Water

Indigenous Organizers Lead Climate Critiques in NYC

Here’s a set of articles and videos highlighting the key role played by Indigenous organizers, many good friends of GJEP’s, in critiques leading up to and coming out of the Climate events of last week.

First, Indigenous Rising posted a video of Kandi Mossett, Climate Campaign organizer for Indigenous Environmental Network, describing her experience within the UN Climate Summit and her frustration at the lack of urgency in world leaders and at how even the few members of civil society allowed in were sidelined. “The planet is going to go on with or without us. It’s up to us to decide if we’re going to be here or not.”

Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Justice, Fracking, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Tar Sands

Langelle Photography opens new gallery, launches updated website

Concerned photography — it’s about doing more than just documenting the world; it’s about educating and changing the lives of those who live in it. Instead of just being a passive observer behind a camera, concerned photographers are active participants with a camera in hand.

That’s what international photojournalist and social and environmental activist Orin Langelle has been doing for decades. His newest exhibit, Climate Change: Faces, Places & Protest – photos from the front lines, kicks off the October 3 grand opening reception of ¡Buen Vivir!, a new climate and social justice themed art gallery in Buffalo, NY. The event is open to the public and will include wine, live music and hors d’oeuvres.

Gallery-Poster-CC

Langelle Photography, a project sponsored by the Global Justice Ecology Project, documents the “struggle for societal transformation toward justice, equity and ecological balance.” This new exhibit focused on climate change continues that piercing look into the ramifications of corporate green washing on both the land and people. Photos featured span 5 continents, and range from the aftermath of hurricanes to protests and demonstrations during UN Climate Conferences. Langelle Photography recently launched an updated website, as well as new Facebook and Twitter feeds. 

¡Buen Vivir! Gallery Opens in Buffalo, NY, on 3 October
by Langelle Photography, 1 September 2014

A new gallery in the historic Allentown district in Buffalo, NY, ¡Buen Vivir¡, opens its doors Friday 3 October 2014 with an exhibit “Climate Change: FACES PLACES & PROTEST – photos from the front lines,” that showcases more than two decades of work by photojournalist and gallery curator Orin Langelle.

The opening reception is on Friday, 3 October, from 6 to 9 p.m., and the exhibit closes on 19 December. The gallery is located at 148 Elmwood Avenue.

The climate crisis was chosen as the theme for the gallery opening due the impacts it has on communities, ecosystems and human rights struggles. The theme is also timely. The exhibit begins shortly after the 21 September climate march and the 23 September UN Climate Summit hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in New York City, and ends just after the UN Climate Conference and Peoples’ Climate Summit, in Lima, Peru in December.

Read the full article here.

 

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Filed under Climate Justice, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle

Chris Hedges on the coming climate revolt

Chris Hedges has a weekly column at Truthdig.  Last Monday after participating in a variety of events and talks during the activist weekend in NYC including participation in a panel discussion titled “The Climate Crisis: Which Way Out?” with Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben,  Naomi Klein and Ksama Stewart.  The Real News Network and Producer Jaisal Noor posted a piece about it HERE. Hedges made the remarks partially posted below at that panel discussion.  The full Truthdig piece “The Coming Climate Revolt”  can be found here.

Photo by Ruddy Turnstone at Flood Wall Street, 21 September 2014 as the people wash pepper spray out of their  eyes.

Street medics wash pepper spray out of the eyes of protesters during the Flood Wall Street actions on Monday, 22 September.  Photo by Ruddy Turnstone

 The Coming Climate Revolt

by Chris Hedges   Truthdig    21 September 2014

We have undergone a transformation during the last few decades—what John Ralston Saul calls a corporate coup d’état in slow motion. We are no longer a capitalist democracy endowed with a functioning liberal class that once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible. Liberals in the old Democratic Party such as the senators Gaylord Nelson, Birch Bayh and George McGovern—who worked with Ralph Nader to make the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Mine Safety and Health Act, the Freedom of Information Act and the OSHA law, who made common cause with labor unions to protect workers, who stood up to the arms industry and a bloated military—no longer exist within the Democratic Party, as Nader has been lamenting for several years. They were pushed out as corporate donors began to transform the political landscape with the election of Ronald Reagan. And this is why the Democrats have not, as Bill Curry points out, enacted any major social or economic reforms since the historic environmental laws of the early ’70s.

We are governed, rather, by a species of corporate totalitarianism, or what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin describes as “inverted totalitarianism.” By this Wolin means a system where corporate power, while it purports to pay fealty to electoral politics, the Constitution, the three branches of government and a free press, along with the iconography and language of American patriotism, has in fact seized all the important levers of power to render the citizen impotent.

The full Truthdig piece “The Coming Climate Revolt”  can be found here.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Carbon Trading, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, COP21 Paris 2015, Corporate Globalization, Events, False Solutions to Climate Change, Greenwashing, Human made disasters, Idle No More, Occupy Wall Street, Uncategorized

Climate-Smart Agriculture fueled by corporate greed

The UN Climate Summit did little to alter the direction of climate change. Empty promises ensure increasing corporate profits. In many ways, the event was a way for corporations to show off their superficial green agendas, which, beneath the surface, only really support one green — money. The Inter Press Service outlines this corporate green washing in “Climate-Smart Agriculture is Corporate Green-Washing, Warn NGOs,” a recent article by reporter Thalif Deen.

Critics say the agrochemical and biotechnology markets are dominated by a few mega companies that have a vested interest in maintaining monoculture farming systems which are carbon-intensive and depend on external inputs. Photo: Patrick Burnett/IPS

Critics say the agrochemical and biotechnology markets are dominated by a few mega companies that have a vested interest in maintaining monoculture farming systems which are carbon-intensive and depend on external inputs. Photo: Patrick Burnett/IPS

The Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture, a cohort comprised of mostly governments and self-serving Big Ag corporations, proposes solutions to climate change that will only worsen the situation. From genetically engineered crops and trees to monoculture farming systems, Climate-Smart Agriculture is set to increase carbon emissions and threaten indigenous communities.

“The proposed Global Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture seems to be yet another strategy by powerful players to prop up industrial agriculture, which undermines the basic human right to food. It is nothing new, nothing innovative, and not what we need,” critics say.

Can we really trust the ethics of an alliance when Monsanto and Walmart are sitting at the table?

Climate-Smart Agriculture is Corporate Green-Washing, Warn NGOs

by Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service, September 24, 2014

On the sidelines of the U.N.’s heavily hyped Climate Summit, the newly-launched Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture announced plans to protect some 500 million farmers worldwide from climate change and “help achieve sustainable and equitable increases in agricultural productivity and incomes.”

But the announcement by the Global Alliance, which includes more than 20 governments, 30 organisations and corporations, including Fortune 500 companies McDonald’s and Kelloggs, was greeted with apprehension by a coalition of over 100 civil society organisations (CSOs).

It is a backhanded gesture, warned the coalition, which “rejected” the announcement as “a deceptive and deeply contradictory initiative.”

“The Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture will not deliver the solutions that we so urgently need. Instead, climate-smart agriculture provides a dangerous platform for corporations to implement the very activities we oppose,” the coalition said.

Read the rest of Deen’s article here.

 

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Filed under Climate Justice, False Solutions to Climate Change

Flood Wall Street Shuts Down Broadway, Over 100 Arrested

The polar bear set free early this morning after being arrested at Flood Wall Street! From #FloodWallStreet twitter.

A polar bear set free early this morning after being arrested at Flood Wall Street! From #FloodWallStreet Twitter feed.

Yesterday, thousands of protesters wearing blue sparked a national conversation about the role of corporate power in climate politics when they shut down portions of lower Broadway. Following the Stock Exchange closing bell, an estimated 100 people were arrested by the NYPD in the Flood Wall Street action which was organized to hold corporations and banks accountable for their role in creating the climate crisis. Support the bail and legal fund by clicking here.

This Gothamist article provides a decent account, although it suggests that pepper spray is a one of the “softer means” of crowd control, which is patently false (whatever “softer means” are anyway).

Photos: Over 100 Arrested After Flood Wall Street Shuts Down Broadway
By Christopher Robbins. The Gothamist. September 23, 2014.

Several thousand climate protesters shut down a 10-block stretch of lower Broadway yesterday for nearly seven hours as part of the Flood Wall Street actions, which culminated in the arrests of 102 demonstrators.

Those arrests occurred at around 7 p.m., long after organizers had planned on surrounding the Charging Bull statute on Broadway. During similar demonstrations under the Bloomberg administration, protesters could count on being detained by the NYPD minutes, if not seconds after stepping into the road and blocking traffic (or for doing nothing at all).

Read the whole article here.

 

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Justice

Breaking: Pepper Spray at Flood Wall Street Direct Action

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Pepper spray flying as protesters march toward Wall Street.  Cops form barricade.

For up to the second updates and photos from the actions at Flood Wall Street, check out their twitter feed: https://twitter.com/hashtag/FloodWallStreet?src=tren

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice