Category Archives: Ending the Era of Extreme Energy

Poland uses Ukraine crisis to push coal

By Claudia Ciobanu, April 20, 2014. Source: Inter Press Service

 Environmentalists protesting against coal outside the Polish Ministry of Economy. Photo: Claudia Ciobanu/IPS.


Environmentalists protesting against coal outside the Polish Ministry of Economy. Photo: Claudia Ciobanu/IPS.

A European ‘energy union’ plan proposed by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk as an EU response to the crisis in Ukraine could be a Trojan horse for fossil fuels.

On account of Poland’s proximity and deep historical ties to Ukraine, the country’s centre-right government led by Donald Tusk has assumed a prominent position in attempts to ease the crisis in Ukraine. Notoriously, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski helped negotiate a February deal between then Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders of Euromaidan, the name given to the pro-EU protests in Kiev.

 The Polish government’s assertiveness came with quick electoral gains. According to a poll conducted in early April by polling agency TNS Polska, Tusk’s Civic Platform for the first time in years took a lead in voters’ preferences over the conservative Peace and Justice Party of Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

“Not only is Civic Platform back in the lead, but also more Poles are ready to vote and vote for the government,” Lukasz Lipinski, an analyst at think tank Polityka Insight in Warsaw, told IPS. “All opposition parties now want to move the debate [ahead of the May 25 European elections] to domestic issues because on those it is much easier to criticise the Civic Platform after six years of government.”

Yet Tusk’s executive insists on Ukraine because of the benefits the topic can still bring. In the last weekend of March, the prime minister announced a Polish proposal for a European energy union that would make Europe resilient to crises like the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

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Filed under Climate Change, Coal, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Green Economy, Politics

Four years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Gulf is still suffering

By Katie Valentine, April 20, 2014. Source: Think Progress

PJ Hahn, Coastal Zone Manager for Plaquemines Parish, examines oil along the shoreline of Bay Jimmy, which was heavily impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in Plaquemines Parish, La., Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. Photo: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

PJ Hahn, Coastal Zone Manager for Plaquemines Parish, examines oil along the shoreline of Bay Jimmy, which was heavily impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in Plaquemines Parish, La., Friday, Sept. 27, 2013.
Photo: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

In his 34 years living in Louisiana, Ryan Lambert can’t remember ever seeing young, dead dolphins on his trips out in the Gulf. In just the last few months, however, he says he’s seen two.

Lambert, who owns a charter fishing company in Louisiana, told ThinkProgress he’s worried that the dying dolphins he’s still seeing point to lingering effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which four years ago killed 11 people and spewed 210 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

“We still see little telltale signs,” he said. “There’s crabs with holes in their shells we’re seeing that we haven’t seen before, and I’ve never seen baby dolphins die.”
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Filed under Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Oceans, Oil

Study: Fuels from corn not better than gas

By Dina Cappiello, AP, April 21, 2014. Source: Yahoo News

Photo: AP Photo/The University of Nebraska

Photo: AP Photo/The University of Nebraska

Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration’s conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change.

 A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline.

While biofuels are better in the long run, the study says they won’t meet a standard set in a 2007 energy law to qualify as renewable fuel.

The conclusions deal a blow to what are known as cellulosic biofuels, which have received more than a billion dollars in federal support but have struggled to meet volume targets mandated by law. About half of the initial market in cellulosics is expected to be derived from corn residue.
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Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Industrial agriculture

Obama administration delays decision on Keystone XL pipeline

By David Lauter and Lisa Mascaro, April 18, 2014. Source: LA Times

Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) calls for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline at a news conference in March on Capitol Hill. (Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images / March 25, 2014)

Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) calls for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline at a news conference in March on Capitol Hill. (Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images / March 25, 2014)

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has delayed a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project, perhaps until after November’s midterm election.

A further delay in the evaluation of the pipeline, which already has lasted more than five years, is necessary because of a Nebraska state court decision in February that invalidated part of the project’s route, the State Department said in a statement.

Shortly after the court ruling, administration officials had said the Nebraska case would not have an impact on their deliberations. But in the new statement, the State Department said federal agencies could not evaluate the pipeline’s impact until the “uncertainty created by the ongoing litigation” is resolved.

That could take awhile. Nebraska officials have appealed the case to the state Supreme Court but have said they do not expect a ruling until late this year at the earliest. Continue reading

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Filed under Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Oil, Tar Sands

University sit-in targets world’s largest private coal company

April 17, 2014. Source: The Real News Network

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Coal, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Youth

The first climate justice summit: A pie in the face for the global north

Note: Building off of the energy at COP6, Global Justice Ecology Project helped co-found Climate Justice Now! at COP13 in Bali with a call to take the struggle for system change to the streets — check out the founding statement here: http://www.climate-justice-now.org/category/events/bali/

-The GJEP Team

By Frederika Whitehead, April 16, 2014. Source: The Guardian

Huaorani Indian children play with scarlet macaws in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador, where oil companies want to drill. Photograph: Steve Bloom Images / Alamy

Huaorani Indian children play with scarlet macaws in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador, where oil companies want to drill. Photograph: Steve Bloom Images / Alamy

Today it is accepted, but 20-30 years ago campaigners were struggling to even get an acknowledgement that climate change was happening, let alone that it was manmade. It would have been hard to imagine that one day we might hold the developed nations responsible and start talking about redress for victims of climate change, as we did in 2000.

The nub of “climate justice” is the idea that the developed world made the mess and therefore the developed world should pay the price for fixing the problem.

The first climate justice summit was organised to coincide with Cop 6 – the sixth session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference at the Hague in 2000. It was put together by the Rising Tide network as a radical alternative to the official talks.

Roger Geffen was at the summit as a civil society activist. He says: “the message we wanted put out was that what’s going on at [Cop6] was the wrong ideas being discussed by the wrong people.

“There were all these people in the developing world who were the real victims of climate change who had not got a voice in the process.” Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy

Canadian corporation plans tar sands strip mining in Trinidad and Tobago

By Macdonald Stainsby, April 11, 2014. Source: Upside Down World

Photo: Upside Down World

Photo: Upside Down World

‘Mining tar sand will destroy Govt’ read the headline in April of 2012. The statement was made to Trinidad and Tobago’s Express newspaper by well-known environmental campaigner Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh to the news that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar had made statements about working with Canada’s Harper Government to start development of tar sands for oil in Trinidad’s southwest peninsula. If anyone could make such a bold statement stick in Trinidad and Tobago, it would be Kublalsingh, a veteran of multiple struggles against what he and community members believe to be ill-advised industrial projects.

Oil is hardly new to the twin island nation. Trinidad was among the very first oil producing countries in history. Industrial developments have been the driving force of Trinidad and Tobago being the richest country (per capita) in the Caribbean. However, concerns over environmental and social impacts have led mobilizations that involved Kublalsingh to ultimately prevent the construction of two aluminum smelters, a steel mill, and proposed industrial ports. Over the last couple of years, perhaps the greatest test for the current coalition government has been the Highway Re-route Movement (HRM). HRM is a group made almost entirely of families fighting eviction, as well as wetland disruption, for a segment of an industrial highway into the oil-rich region. Continue reading

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Filed under Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Latin America-Caribbean, Tar Sands

SWN returning to New Brunswick as Mi’kmaq plan renewed resistance

By Jorge Barrera, April 15, 2014. Source: APTN News

People round dance around burning tires on the highway during demonstration last fall against SWN Resources Canada’s shale gas exploration work.  Photo: APTN/File

People round dance around burning tires on the highway during demonstration last fall against SWN Resources Canada’s shale gas exploration work. Photo: APTN/File

Another round of battles loom between the Mi’kmaq in New Brunswick and a Houston-headquartered energy firm exploring for shale gas deposits in the province.

SWN Resources Canada has submitted two proposals under the province’s environmental impact assessment process to drill exploratory wells in separate parts of New Brunswick. The projects were registered with the provincial environment department on Monday, according to an official.

The company plans to drill one well in Chipman, which is in central New Brunswick, and a second well near Richibucto, which is in an area that saw intense demonstrations against shale gas exploration last autumn.

The Mi’kmaq community of Elsipogtog is only about 17 kilometres west of Richibucto and its War Chief John Levi said SWN should again expect resistance.

“We are just getting ready to go back out there and stop them. It’s going to be rough,” said Levi. “It ain’t no game. This is our livelihood that is at stake. We are not going to allow it. It’s like they are trying to kill us slowly.” Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Fracking, Indigenous Peoples, Water

Take action to stop the Energy East pipeline!

April 15, 2014. Source: Idle No More

TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling (2nd L) announces the new Energy East Pipeline during a news conference in Calgary, Alberta, August 1, 2013. (TODD KOROL/REUTERS)

TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling (2nd L) announces the new Energy East Pipeline during a news conference in Calgary, Alberta, August 1, 2013.
(TODD KOROL/REUTERS)

Last year, TransCanada announced their intention to build a 4,500 km pipeline from the tar sands in Alberta, already devastating many Indigenous communities, to New Brunswick, where communities like Elsipogtog had to fight to stop dangerous fracking last year.

A group of concerned Indigenous activists recently met in Winnipeg to discuss how Indigenous Peoples across Canada could work together to stop this pipeline (watch them on APTN here).

This pipeline passes through major cities including Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Montreal, but also through the territory of over 150 Indigenous communities.Mi’qmaq women took action against the #EnergyEast pipeline proposal and shut down the Maritime Energy Association meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia on March 31, with the support of hundreds of young peoples who were converging for the  PowerShift Atlantic conference. Check out the photos here and read their press release here. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Tar Sands

Rich and poor nations spar ahead of climate report release

By Lauren McCauley, April 13, 2014. Source: Common Dreams

Members of the IPCC in Berlin announced te findings of the third installment of their landmark climate study. (Photo: Getty)

Members of the IPCC in Berlin announced te findings of the third installment of their landmark climate study. (Photo: Getty)

The ongoing debate as to how much responsibility rich nations should take for their outsized contribution to global warming was reignited this week as the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) prepared to release the third installment of their landmark report.

Delegates from 194 countries met in Berlin for negotiations prior to the Sunday release of the IPCC’s “Summary for Policymakers” of solutions to fight global warming. In addition to the text itself, reporting of the interactions between officials highlighted critical insights regarding countries’ commitment to climate change.

According to the Guardian, objections from rich nations saw the “complete removal” of a section that recommended that “hundred of billions of dollars a year would have to be paid by developed countries to developing countries, to ensure they grow their cities and economies in a non-polluting way.”

Another dispute erupted, the Associated Press reports, over whether to include charts that showed emissions from large developing countries, such as China and India, are rising the fastest as they expand their economies. Continue reading

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