Category Archives: Climate Justice

Can the bulldozers in Indonesia be stopped?

Back in September, world leaders and major corporations joined the New York Declaration on Forests at the UN Climate Summit. From Germany to the U.S., Nestle to Kellogg’s, the signatures on this no-deforestation policy, according to an article on Earth Island Journal, definitely raise a few eyebrows.

But are they really doing anything to stop razing the land?

An estimated 80 percent of forest destruction in Indonesia between 2000 and 2012 was illegal. Palm plantations were responsible for three-quarters of this illegal deforestation. Photo: Rainforest Action Network

An estimated 80 percent of forest destruction in Indonesia between 2000 and 2012 was illegal. Palm plantations were responsible for three-quarters of this illegal deforestation. Photo: Rainforest Action Network

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Filed under Climate Justice, Palm Oil

The Perils of Wood-Based Bioenergy: Paraguay Blog Post #2

By Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project, 20 November 2014

Global Justice Ecology Project is in Paraguay for two weeks of meetings to strategize means to address the impacts of wood-based bioenergy, genetically engineered trees and livestock on deforestation levels, and the solutions to the climate change and deforestation crisis provided by local communities maintaining and caring for their traditional lands.

Ada from the Solomon Islands.  If biomass energy is not stopped, her islands will continue to drown.  Photo credit: GJEP-GFC

Aydah from the Solomon Islands speaks at the meeting. If biomass energy is not stopped, her islands will continue to drown. Photo credit: GJEP-GFC

Today’s meetings included the participation of activists from throughout Africa, Asia, the South Pacific, North and South America and Eastern and Western Europe.  The topic at hand was the problem of wood-based bioenergy–specifically electricity derived from cutting down forests, destroying biodiversity, polluting the atmosphere and displacing forest-based Indigenous and local communities.

Biomass also comes with an enormous cost in waste. In the Drax UK biomass plant, Biofuelwatch has calculated that of every three trees burned, two are wasted as heat. Half of one UK power station takes more wood than the entire UK produces every year and supplies only 4.6% of the country’s electricity demand. These power stations require co-generation with coal, so increased use of biomass = increased use of coal. Without the biomass conversion, this Drax plant would have had to close by 2016. The conversion to co-generation with biomass is allowing it to stay open, enabling continued and increased use of coal.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Climate Change, Climate Justice, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Pollution, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests

Cultivating Climate Justice: Brazilian Workers Leading the Charge Toward Zero Waste

This is part 1 of a four-part article series “Cultivating Climate Justice” which tells the stories of community groups on the front lines of the pollution, waste and climate crises, working together for systems change. United across six continents, these grassroots groups are defending community rights to clean air, clean water, zero waste, environmental justice, and good jobs. They are all members of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, a network of over 800 organizations from 90+ countries.

 This series is produced by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) and Other Worlds.

Cultivating Climate Justice: Brazilian Workers Leading the Charge Toward Zero Waste                                      

The streets of Belo Horizonte were filled with singing, dancing, chanting, and marching. It was not a holiday or an election day or a soccer game. The chant was: “We don’t want incineration! Recycle! Recycle!”

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Frontline Communities, Pollution, Solutions, Waste

One dead, two injured in fracking blast

Three Halliburton employees were injured in a blast that occurred as they tried to thaw out a water pipe at an oil well site, the Denver Post reported on 13 November 2014. Two of the workers are being treated for serious injuries, but the third, however, died during the accident.

Fracking uses water pressure mixed with chemicals to break deep into rock to release energy reserves, such as natural gas and brine. The workers were warming the pipe when the rupture occurred.

The Halliburton fracking site where one person was killed and two others were injured Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. Photo: Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

The Halliburton fracking site where one person was killed and two others were injured Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. Photo: Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Fracking blast kills one Halliburton worker, injures 2 in Weld County
by By Jesse Paul and Mark Jaffe, The Denver Post, 13 Nov. 2014

MEAD — One worker was killed and two were seriously injured Thursday when a frozen, high pressure water line ruptured at a Weld County oil well site.

The workers were trying to thaw the line when the accident occurred, officials said.

The Anadarko Petroleum Corp. well was being hydraulically fractured, or fracked, by the Halliburton Co. and the workers were Halliburton employees.

Get the full story here.

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Filed under Climate Justice, Energy, Fracking, Hydrofracking

Breaking: Indigenous and tribal groups sue US gov’t over tarsands pipeline

GJEP’s partners at the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Center for Biological Diversity are taking the offensive over the US drive to advance tarsands pipeline development in the US.

Activist groups sue over border pipeline

By David Shaffer, Star Tribune, November 12, 2014 

Tribal and environmental groups alleged the State Department should not have approved a temporary pipeline change allowing more Canadian oil to flow into Minnesota.

File photo of construction on the Alberta Clipper in 2009. Photo Enbridge

Tribal and environmental groups have sued the U.S. State Department for approving a temporary plan by a Canadian pipeline company to increase the flow of heavy crude oil from Alberta into Minnesota before a federal environmental study is finished.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, alleges that the State Department violated the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws in approving the temporary increase in oil flow and in not releasing information about it. The suit seeks an injunction to halt the project.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Indigenous Peoples, Keystone XL, Oil, Pipeline, Pollution, Tar Sands

Peace on the 11th Day of the 11th Month

Today is Veterans Day in the United States. Many of us have ourselves or have family members that for one reason or another have served in military capacities.

Maybe today is a good day to reflect not only on those that have fought and sacrificed but also a renewed context to think about what we have fought for and where this is to go.

Originally, the 11th day of the 11th month was known as Armistice Day. The original Congressional Resolution said “this date should be commemorated with…excercises designed to perpetuate peace…” Today, we will see images and messages commemorating flag waving patriotism and young weaponized people in full combat dress embracing engagements of violence and conflict. Today we may not be able to think much about peace.

No question, the struggle for human survival has entered an intensified stage. Today’s metastasizing wars continue to exploit economic domination strategies that engulf literally every human, every ecosystem, every space.

The horrors of war are very real. Can we find ways to stop depleting the earth? Can we stop just harvesting it to complete depletion? Can we work on in nurturing nature?  Human warring against the earth or for parts of the earth is not a winning strategy. Not for humans anyway.

Today, on the 11th Day of the 11 Month we share two resources with you. They both motivate us to think of peaceful solutions.

From Common Dreams, an excerpt from Randall Amster’s excellent new book about re-imagining what is possible in this age of conflict and crisis, driven by the increasing scarcity of natural resources. Read it here: Peace Ecology: Deep Solutions in an Age of Water Scarcity and War.”

And, a video message created over a decade ago by some people that are no longer with us. The message, which is thousands of years old, will resonate for as long as there are people to listen to it.

Created by Anders Fredblad in 2008 and includes narration by Red Crow Westerman and Oren Lyons.

 

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Filed under Biodiversity, Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Confronting Government Agencies, Corporate Globalization

More Fracking madness–Bush financing and protests

Keeping with the financing schemes of the oligarchy which we have posted about this week (here) and (here), another excellent DeSmog Blog post by our friend Steve Horn reveals who is pulling more of the strings.

It seems that the recent overwhelming electoral decision by residents of Denton, Texas to ban fracking in that community is not sitting well with the .01%.

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Image Courtesy David Kowalski, Re-Energize Buffalo

Bush Family and Its Inner Circle Play Central Role in Lawsuits Against Denton, Texas Fracking Ban

Steve Horn, DeSmog Blog. 6 November 2014

On November 4, Denton, Texas, became the first city in the state to ban the process of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) when 59 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of the initiative. It did so in the heart of the Barnett Shale basin, where George Mitchell — the “father of fracking” — drilled the first sample wells for his company Mitchell Energy.

As promised by the oil and gas industry and by Texas Railroad Commission commissioner David Porter, the vote was met with immediate legal backlash. Both the Texas General Land Office and the Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA) filed lawsuits in Texas courts within roughly 12 hours of the vote taking place, the latest actions in the aggressive months-long campaign by the industry and the Texas state government to fend off the ban.

Read the whole DeSmog Blog article here

In a related matter posted by our friend David Kowalski at Re-Energize Buffalo:

Local Groups to Protest Anti-Environmental Keynote Speaker Outside Gas Lobby Meeting in Buffalo

The Independent Oil & Gas Association of NY (IOGA-NY) is the chief oil and gas lobbying organization in New York, spending millions backing fracking and natural gas development in the state and opposing environmental safeguards.

IOGA-NY will hold their 2014 Annual Meeting in Buffalo on November 11th and 12th. This year the keynote speaker is Jack Hubbard who will present a talk titled “Big Green Radicals: Winning Public Opinion, Undermining the Activist’s Credibility and Changing the Debate.”

Hubbard works for a Washington D.C.-based consulting firm, Berman & Co., which specializes in undermining the work of environmentalists on behalf of the natural gas industry.

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The New York Times published a secretly recorded a speech given by Hubbard’s colleague, Richard Berman, in which he solicited up to $3 million from oil and gas industry executives to finance the “Big Green Radicals” PR campaign.

Berman said in his speech, that industry executives must be willing to exploit emotions like fear, greed and anger and turn them against the environmental groups. “You can either win ugly or lose pretty,” he said.

Read the whole Re-Energize piece here which details more about what Hubbard says and does and how he is out to hurt you and I.

 

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Energy, Fracking, Local Bans/Laws

American wealth transfer to the rich is breathtaking

Last January OXFAM International issued a report, “Working for the Few, Political Capture and Economic Inequality“. The report details how just 85 individuals own half of the world’s wealth. Yesterday, Alternet published a piece describing how 47 wealthy Americans own more than half of the wealth in the United States. We think that this is a good reminder for today. This is one day after a major American election that transferred the balance of power in the United States Congress to the Republican Party.

We remind ourselves of the politics and economics that are driving America and the American political process.

Police action morphs Ferguson, MO, from a city in a democracy to a hostage in a military state. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Police action morphs Ferguson, MO, from a city in a democracy to a hostage in a military state. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Five Facts About How America is Rigged for a Massive Wealth Transfer to the Rich

By Paul Buchheit, Alternet. 4 November 2014

A recent posting detailed how upper middle class Americans are rapidly losing ground to the one-percenters who averaged $5 million in wealth gains over just three years. It also noted that the global 1% has increased their wealth from $100 trillion to $127 trillion in just three years.

The information came from the Credit Suisse 2014 Global Wealth Databook (GWD), which goes on to reveal much more about the disappearing middle class.

Read the rest of the report here,

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Filed under Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Green Economy, Human made disasters, Political Repression