Category Archives: False Solutions to Climate Change

SUNY Syracuse College of Environmental Science and Forestry Receives $3 Million DOE Grant to Promote Ecologically Dangerous Biofuels

In case any are wondering why a State University of New York “environmental” college would be working on a major project to develop genetically modified chestnuts to introduce a population of GE Chestnuts to native and fragile forest ecosystems, an announcement last week by the college provides a valuable clue.

The college announced on 15 December that they have received a $3 million grant to support bioenergy development.

Harvesting Shrub Willow- Photo SUNY ESF

Harvesting Shrub Willow- Photo SUNY ESF

 

The release by ESF states:

“The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded up to $3 million to the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) to develop and demonstrate ways to reduce the cost of delivering woody bioenergy feedstocks to biorefineries.

Specifically, the grant will be used to lower the delivered cost of short-rotation woody crops; rapidly, accurately, and reliably assess feedstock quality; and improve harvest and preprocessing operations to produce feedstocks that meet key biorefinery partner specifications. ESF will work with partners including Case New Holland Industrial (CNHi), GreenWood Resources, University of West Virginia, Applied Biorefinery Sciences, Idaho National Lab and others to complete the project.

Dr. Timothy Volk, a research scientist who leads the willow project for ESF, said the ultimate goal is to make renewable biomass feedstocks more affordable.”

Read the whole ESF release here

Climate Connections and our partners at Biofuelwatch, GJEP, and The Campaign to STOP GE Trees do not hesitate to make the connection between the trojan horse of GE chestnut research and funding (which includes ArborGen, Monsanto, and a variety of bioenergy related grants by New York State and federal agencies) and the development of bioenergy products which are proven as false solutions to climate change and drivers of social disparity, land grabs, and a general decline of the human capacity to survive on planet earth.

We think that you should be aware of how many state educational systems including New York’s, are driven by private profit, private investment, and an industry agenda that is clearly not as green as some would like us to believe.

 Additional Links:

Frackademia

Institute’s Gas Drilling Report Leads to Claims of Bias and Concern for University’s Image

public accountability initiative (PAI)

public accountability initiative on the closing of the SUNY Buffalo Shale Institute

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Biiotechnology, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, GE Trees, Uncategorized

GMO Chestnuts Draw Scrutiny this Holiday

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During the holidays, a time of the iconic roasting of chestnuts, scientists and activists are raising alarms about these efforts to genetically engineer and widely release GE American chestnuts into U.S. forests. Syracuse.com recently reported in “Breakthrough at SUNY-ESF” that researchers at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry are growing 10,000 genetically engineered (GE) American chestnut trees to be distributed widely when approved. The GMO chestnuts produced by these trees would be a new GMO food when concerns about GMOs and labeling are mounting.

BJ McManama is the GE trees campaigner for the Indigenous Environmental Network. She is based in the mountains of North Carolina, a central location for potential release of GE American chestnuts. In October she organized an Indigenous Peoples’ Action Camp against GE trees in Cherokee, NC.

She said, “As Indigenous Peoples we know that GE trees will threaten our cultural heritage, tradition, sovereignty and health. Even today, many of our people survive through subsistence methods — hunting, gathering, fishing and even our shelters are obtained from our forests. Trees are sacred. They are the children of our mother and our nurturer. We cannot stand idly by as the American chestnut, on which our people depend, is engineered into something that could wind up poisoning the land, air, water and the people. Forests are the source of our spiritual life and knowledge, and we wholly reject any attempts to change the sacred ancient blueprint of these trees — to destroy their spirit.”

Anne Petermann is the executive director of Buffalo, NY-based Global Justice Ecology Project and the coordinator of the International Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees, which includes organizations, scientists, Indigenous Peoples and activists from around the world and is dedicated to preventing the commercial release of all genetically engineered trees. The majority of the research into GE American chestnuts and most of the outdoor test plots are located in New York State.

Petermann said, “GE trees pose unique and potentially disastrous risks to forests due to their longevity, the vast distances over which they spread pollen and seeds and their intricate relationship with complex forest ecosystems, but these GE American chestnut trees are even more dangerous. They are also completely unnecessary. They will supposedly be resistant to the blight that wiped out American chestnut trees in the last century, but the truth is blight resistant chestnuts are being developed through non-GE traditional breeding. But if fertile GE chestnuts are released into Eastern U.S. forests, which is the plan, they will contaminate both wild chestnuts and hybrid chestnuts. The impacts are unknown, but it will certainly ruin decades of work done by American chestnut breeding programs. This GE American chestnut tree is a Pandora’s box of potential disasters best left closed.”

Smolker is an evolutionary biologist and a steering committee member of the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees. She is based in Vermont, one of the first states to mandate the labeling of GMO food.

She said, “These GE American chestnut trees are nothing more than a Trojan horse intended to smooth the way for commercial release of a host of other dangerous engineered trees, including GE eucalyptus and GE poplars. The tree biotechnology industry­ — companies like ArborGen — are faced with severe public opposition, so now they are trying to use chestnut tree ‘restoration’ as a cover to gain broader public acceptance of GE trees. GE chestnuts and other trees are an unnecessary, undesirable, and hazardous product of the techno-obsessed mindset that assumes genetic codes are like Lego sets that can be engineered to our specifications. But nature just doesn’t work that way. The impacts of these engineered chestnuts will be completely unpredictable. I certainly do not want to be roasting GE chestnuts over an open fire this holiday season.”

 

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Filed under Biiotechnology, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Biofuelwatch, Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, GMOs, Greenwashing, Uncategorized

Vandana Shiva responds to “Seeds of Doubt”

Last August, the New Yorker published an abusive attack on Dr. Vandana Shiva’s anti-GMO activism. One must presume that this widely circulated article “Seeds of Doubt” by Michael Specter was produced on behalf of the vituperative biotech industry. This may be old news to those of you that followed this story and the reaction by Vandana Shiva and those that share her values and vision.

Dr. Shiva penned a response that was not so widely circulated. Today, Independent Science News has re-published that response. We are pleased to share it with you. Help to get this message out there!

Dr. Vandana Shiva, headliner of UO sponsored Food Justice Conference.

Seeds of Truth: Vandana Shiva and the New Yorker

Dr. Vandana Shiva. Independent Science News. 15 December 2014

(A response to the article ‘Seeds of Doubt’ by Michael Specter in The New Yorker)

I am glad that the future of food is being discussed, and thought about, on farms, in homes, on TV, online and in magazines, especially of The New Yorker’s caliber. The New Yorker has held its content and readership in high regard for so long. The challenge of feeding a growing population with the added obstacle of climate change is an important issue. Specter’s piece, however, is poor journalism. I wonder why a journalist who has been Bureau Chief in Moscow for The New York Times and Bureau Chief in New York for the Washington Post, and clearly is an experienced reporter, would submit such a misleading piece. Or why The New Yorker would allow it to be published as honest reporting, with so many fraudulent assertions and deliberate attempts to skew reality.

Read the whole article here

 

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Filed under Biiotechnology, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, GMOs, Industrial agriculture, Monsanto

Lima Climate COP Fails (of course)

The biggest shame about the latest round of UN talks about addressing climate change that just ended in Lima, Peru was not that it failed, but some people actually thought something useful would come of it.

Global Justice Ecology Project only attended the UN Climate COPs from 2004-2011, when we quit them for good, as it was painfully clear from the onset that these were corporate-dominated trade shows designed to promote profit-making false solutions.

Fortunately, more and more people (except for the big green NGOs) recognize that these climate COPs will never get it done and are organizing peoples’ summits where grassroots climate activists, Indigenous Peoples and impacted community members can gather to discuss what to do about climate change from the bottom up, as with the Lima People’s Climate Summit last week.  The outcomes from this event are not yet available, but we will post them when they are.

Burning the Planet, One Climate COP at a time

Mary Lou Malig, Peoples’ Forest Rights, December 13, 2014

For the third year in a row, a typhoon wreaked havoc on the Philippines during a Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In 2012, during the UNFCCC COP 18 in Doha, Qatar, Typhoon Bopha, the strongest ever to hit Mindanao, the southern area of the Philippines, left more than a thousand dead and thousands more homeless. In 2013, during the COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland, Typhoon Haiyan, a super typhoon of levels never seen before in the Philippines, made landfall and devastated millions of families, displaced an estimated 4 million people, and, left in its wake at least 6,100 dead, making it the deadliest typhoon to ever hit the country. Storm surges brought by the super typhoon violently washed away entire communities. This year, 2014, during the COP 20 in Lima, yet again another super typhoon made its way to the Philippines. Initially a category 5 super typhoon, Typhoon Ruby, weakened to a category 3 once it made landfall. Its path however included the communities still reeling from devastation of Typhoon Haiyan the year before.

Although the Philippines is no stranger to typhoons, seeing 15-20 typhoons a year, the scale of these recent super typhoons hitting the country has inflicted damage never before seen. Scientists have been making these warnings for several years now, warmer waters and warmer air temperatures are combining to produce more volatile and extreme weather including super typhoons of record-breaking magnitudes. One would think that with the vivid and horrific reality of massive loss and damage in countries like the Philippines, happening exactly at the same time as representatives of 192 governments come together to discuss actions needed to address the crisis of climate change, that these decision-makers would at least be compelled to take genuine action. Instead, it has been the complete opposite.

Read the entire post here

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, COP21 Paris 2015, False Solutions to Climate Change, UN, UNFCCC

Indigenous Amazon Leader Denounces REDD on Democracy Now!

Another blow to REDD: a false solution to climate change that is giving big polluters license to continue polluting, as well as displacing Indigenous Peoples around the world from their lands. For more on the dangers and impacts of REDD on Indigenous Peoples, watch this important interview on Democracy Now!

Brazilian Indigenous Leader: Carbon Trading Scheme “REDD” a False Solution to Climate Change

Democracy Now!, 11 December 2014

The controversial carbon trading scheme known as REDD, or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, has set off protests not only in Africa, but also in South America, especially in the Amazon region. We speak to Chief Ninawa Huni Kui, president of the Federation of the Huni Kui, an indigenous group in Brazil. He has traveled to the U.N. climate summit in Lima to voice his opposition to REDD.

Click here to view the interview on Democracy Now!

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Filed under Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD

Nature Rights Tribunal finds corporations, United Nations and governments guilty

http://indigenousrising.org/

http://indigenousrising.org/

The UN Climate Conference’s alternative spaces and events are much more interesting that the supposed main event.

Here’s a major example:

Last Friday and Saturday (December 5 & 6) in Lima, Peru, the International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature judged twelve international and domestic cases, examining the violation of the rights of peoples and nature committed by corporations, the United Nations, and government entities. The judgments reference the legal framework of the Rights of Nature and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth made in Bolivia in 2010.

Report from Indigenous Rising:

According to Alberto Acosta, president of the tribunal and former president of the Constitutional Assembly of Ecuador, the rights of nature must have a universal validity. “As long as nature is seen as property in law, there can be no justice for communities, the climate or nature.”

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Filed under Climate Justice, Court Decision, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Fracking, Indigenous Peoples, REDD

The Green Economy, Forest Peoples and Territories: Rights Violations in Acre, Brazil

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – As officials from California EPA and members of the California Air Resources Board attend the United Nations Conference of Parties in Lima, Peru this week, they should consider the negative social and economic impacts of linking California’s carbon markets with forest protection efforts in Acre, Brazil, suggests a new report from the Brazilian Platform for Human, Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples

Selling off forests is a business for the Peruvian government

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New report finds that Peruvian government is failing to address the real causes of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon while undermining Indigenous peoples’ efforts to protect their forests.

LIMA, PERU (4th December 2014) – On the eve of the arrival of negotiators at a crucial UN conference on climate change, a new report shows that, despite public commitments to protect Peru’s forests, the first Amazonian host of the UN COP is ignoring the real drivers of deforestation and failing to safeguard the rights of indigenous peoples. This, despite the fact that these peoples occupy approximately one third of the Peruvian Amazon and offer the best chance of defending the country’s precious forests.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, Frontline Communities, Indigenous Peoples, South America