Category Archives: Media

Greenpeace Chooses Marketing Over Ethics in Peru Action

Greenpeace activists stand next  to massive letters delivering the message "Time for Change: The Future is Renewable" next to the hummingbird geoglyph in Nazca in Peru, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. The Nazca peoples' ancient geoglyphs are one of the country's cultural landmarks.

“Greenpeace May Have Permanently Damaged An Ancient, Sacred Site. Now What?”. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/RODRIGO ABD

Once again Greenpeace chose marketing over ethics in a deeply offensive and destructive action at a sacred site in Peru last week.

While Greenpeace ED Kumi Naidoo has made a videotaped apology for this action, I don’t buy it.

I personally witnessed Kumi’s questionable tactics at the UN Climate talks in Durban where he orchestrated a fake “arrest” with UN security so that the media would run photos of him being led out of the talks in handcuffs — another marketing ploy.  How do I know this was a fake arrest?  Because a colleague and I engaged in civil disobedience at the same action, refusing to comply with UN security, and were carried out of the talks and banned permanently from all future talks. But there were no handcuffs.

Kumi, on the other hand, worked hand in hand with security throughout the youth-led action to ensure the youth left in an orderly fashion.

For my report from this incident, read my post “Showdown at the Durban Disaster: Challenging the Big Green Patriarchy.”

–Anne Petermann, GJEP

Greenpeace May Have Permanently Damaged An Ancient, Sacred Site. Now What?

Greenpeace International set off a firestorm in Peru last week, and not the kind it had hoped for. After a few of its members damaged, perhaps irreparably, one of the most important cultural heritage sites in the country, a debate is beginning over how to interpret the environmental groups offensive actions.

Read the rest of the story here

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Filed under Big Greens, Media

The Climate Connection to the Buffalo Storm

If you are reading this and are familiar with Climate Connections, none of this will be news to you. Climate change and weather patterns are inextricably linked.  The mainstream media is a mixed bag of tepid reporting on climate change. This weekend, in the teeth of one of the worst storms to hit the region in history, the Buffalo News published an article describing how the huge lake effect snowstorm connects to warming global temperatures and climate change.

The storm has turned much of our Buffalo, New York community (home offices of Global Justice Ecology Project)  into a disaster area.

Buffalo News readers were exposed to a rare chance to engage an article that links their current situation with significant climate change issues, including a futures analysis. Even though the article contains the apparently mandatory disclaimer that “[this] doesn’t mean you can attribute last week’s storm to climate change,” the roadmap described makes it clear that you can.

We applaud the Buffalo News and News Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski on this terrific article. We also note and urge you to read the comments section at this linked article. Many, from climate deniers, are both amusing and sadly reflective of how and why we are facing the current spiral that in Buffalo this time has cost human lives and hundreds of millions of dollars.

South Buffalo, New York, 19 November 2014 "My car", photo by Jay Burney

South Buffalo, New York, 19 November 2014 “My Car,” photo by Jay Burney

Winter weather weirdness may be just beginning

By Jerry Zremski, Buffalo News. 22 November, 2014 

Brace yourself. November’s white nightmare could become a recurring bad dream of varying intensity.

While last week’s winter blast appears to be the freak offspring of a typhoon-blasted jet stream and a warm Lake Erie, it’s also part of a long-term pattern that shows no sign of changing.

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Filed under Climate Change, Frontline Communities, Great Lakes, Human made disasters, Media, Natural Disasters

Ayotzinapa’s Uncomfortable Dead By Charlotte María Sáenz, Other Worlds

Image: Open Source #IlustradoresConAyotzinapa

Image: Open Source #IlustradoresConAyotzinapa

Vivos se los llevaron y vivos los queremos. “Alive, they were taken, and alive we want them back,” became the national and international public’s rallying cry for the 43 disappeared male student teachers attacked by municipal police and then handed over to the Guerreros Unidos drug gang on September 26, 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. This remains the rallying cry even after the official press conference of the Attorney General (PGR)[2] announced last Friday that those missing had most likely been executed and burnt to ashes as detailed in the suspected assassins’ video testimonies shared at the press conference alongside maps and photographs of suggestive evidence. However, there is no conclusive proof yet and so the 43 missing remain undead. Their parents refuse to accept this verdict, and in doing so, reveal the state’s incompetency, not only to deliver justice, but also to act with any kind of legitimacy or credibility before a populace to whom it has become ever more clear that the federal government is in fact deeply implicated in the violence it claims to oppose.

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Filed under Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, Media, Political Repression

Net Neutrality Advocates Blockade FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s Georgetown Home

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Demand Full Reclassification under Title II, No Hybrid Plan

This is the beginning of a week of actions to Save the Internet. To stay up to date and join in, click here to take the pledge.

Advocates for net neutrality blockaded FCC Chair Tom Wheelers driveway this morning, Monday, November 10, 2014, just as the Chairman was getting into his car. Six people participated in the blockade with a large banner that read “Save the Internet.” They also held signs demanding that Wheeler listen to the people. They chanted “Don’t let the Internet die. Time to reclassify!” and sang “Which side are you on Tom? Are you with the people or with the Telecoms?”

The protest, which kicked off at 6:55 am, is organized by PopularResistance.org, the same group that Occupied the FCC from May 7 to May 15. They are demanding that Wheeler drop plans to advance so-called “hybrid” rules that fail to protect free speech, and fully reclassify the Internet as a common carrier under Title II.

“We’re blockading Tom Wheeler’s driveway because he’s made it clear that when he goes to work, he’s not working for the public, he’s working for Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T, the companies that used to pay his salary when he was a lobbyist for the Cable industry,” said Kevin Zeese, co-director of Popular Resistance, “The future of the Internet is a life or death matter for marginalized people all over the world. We cannot in good conscience allow this corrupt official to carry on with business as usual.”

“The Internet is an essential tool in all of our lives for many reasons such as the growing citizen’s media, information sharing and access to goods and services. All people must have equal access to content without discrimination. Wealthy corporations should not get faster Internet delivery service than start-ups and citizens’ groups,” said Margaret Flowers, MD, co-director of Popular Resistance.

Zeese added, “The FCC received a record number of comments, with more than 3.7 million responding to the rulemaking proceeding on the future of the Internet; 99% of those comments favored net neutrality and reclassification. How dare Chairman Wheeler ignore the overwhelming majority of the people in favor of corporations like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T. Tom Wheeler is playing with fire. We will be escalating our protests if he continues down the path of ignoring the people. If Wheeler is unable to fulfill President Obama’s promise to protect net neutrality, then he should resign or be removed from office.”

Wheeler served as the top lobbyist for  cable TV and telephone corporations before becoming chair of the FCC. “This is a crisis of democracy. The people have clearly spoken and Wheeler is supposed to represent the public interest, not the interests of Comcast and Verizon. It is time for him to listen to the public and reclassify the Internet as a common carrier so it can be regulated like a public utility,” added Flowers.

Popular Resistance is urging people to join them at a Vigil to Save the Internet tonight, November 10th, at Tom Wheeler’s Georgetown home. Journalists or activists interested in attending should contact Margaret Flowers or Kevin Zeese at info@popularresistance.org. Following successful nationwide protests last week, the group is also working with other net neutrality advocates to hold a Dance Party to Save the Internet at the White House on Thursday evening, November 13th, at 6 PM in Lafayette Park.

 

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Confronting Government Agencies, Independent Media, Law, Media, Political Repression, Politics

¡Buen Vivir! Review of Gallery Opening by University at Buffalo Student

This fall it has been my pleasure to work with interns from the State University of New York at Buffalo  and through a local Buffalo/Western New York organization called the Western New York Environmental Alliance. I am a board member of that organization and serve as the Chair of the Habitat and Natural Resources Work Group. One of the interns that I have been working with, Amber Potter, visited the Grand Opening of the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery opening in October. Below is her review of the opening, posted today at GROWWNY, the Western New York Environmental Alliance’s website.

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¡Buen Vivir! – Climate Change: Faces, Places & Protest

by Amber Potter, GROWWNY Intern

In October, I had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of Orin Langelle’s gallery, ¡Buen Vivir!, which showcased the exhibit “Climate Change: Faces, Places & Protest – Photos from the front lines.” The gallery proved to be a very powerful, eye-opening experience about the effects that climate change has upon people all the world over.

The name of the gallery, ¡Buen Vivir!, is a concept stemming from indigenous Latin American culture. ¡Buen Vivir! means life in harmony between humans, communities, and the Earth – where work is not a job to make others wealthier, but for a livelihood that is sustaining, fulfilling and in tune with the common good.

According to Langelle, “This is a concept slowly spreading northwards and I am helping bring it to Buffalo through the images in my photography gallery.” Langelle Photography, a project sponsored by the Global Justice Ecology Project, documents the “struggle for societal transformation toward justice, equity and ecological balance.”

Read the whole review here

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Media, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle

“Too much ice is really bad for polar bears”: Give yourself a real scare with this great video of Koch-financed disinformation

Jeff Parker political cartoon.

Jeff Parker political cartoon.

Brendan DeMelle of DeSmogBlog drew my attention to this great video by Brave New Films. He wrote:

The Koch brothers have spent far more than even ExxonMobil to spread doubt and misinformation about the 97% scientific consensus on climate changein recent years—over $67 million on climate denial, in fact. Out of 13,950 peer-reviewed scientific journals, only 24 reject global warming. But the Kochs and the extensive, well-funded network of front groups and media echo chambers would prefer that we ignore our responsibility […] so that the Koch brothers and their friends can continue to profit from pollution-based enterprises.

The video does a great job tying the seemingly crazy climate change denial given space in mainstream media with very specific organizations funded by the Koch brothers. There’s even a little Exorcist-like music for this Halloween.

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Filed under Climate Change, Media

Update: 64 Arrested at VT Governor’s Office, Demanding End to Pipeline

Image on Aljazeera story, taken from 350 Vermont Twitter feed.

Image on Aljazeera story, taken from 350 Vermont Twitter feed.

Montpelier, Vt. – Sixty-four people were arrested last night, after occupying Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin’s office for over six hours, demanding a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure and that the governor stop supporting a fracked gas pipeline in the western part of the state.

Half the group occupied the governor’s office, while the other half stayed in the main lobby of the building.  500 people attended a rally outside of the building, supporting the sit-in.

“We are fed up with a broken, unaccountable, and biased process that is ignoring the clear and present danger of expanding fossil fuel infrastructure so that Gaz Metro and International Paper can increase their profit margins,” said Jane Palmer, a landowner in Monkton along the Phase 1 pipeline route. “The Shumlin administration is ignoring the thousands of Vermonters, including impacted landowners and over 500 ratepayers, who know we can’t afford this project.”

Demonstrators from across the state are concerned that the Shumlin administration, including the Public Service Department, are promoting dirty fracked gas as a climate solution, despite the well known climate impacts of extracting and burning fracked gas.

Dr. Maeve McBride, coordinator of 350 Vermont, said, “Today, hundreds of grassroots Vermonters are sitting in to call for a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure, including Vermont Gas/Gaz-Metro’s proposed fracked gas pipeline, and to demand energy and climate solutions that are transparent, accountable to our communities and put people and the planet first.  As the Governor said himself, these solutions need to come from the grassroots, not from the top down.”  McBride was among those arrested.

Supporting arguments made before the Public Service Board over the past two years, the demonstration focused on how, despite industry rhetoric, fracked gas may actually be worse for the climate than other fossil fuels.

“The science is clear – whether the goal is avoiding CO2 emissions or sparking a transition to an emissions-free energy system, the fracked gas boom and this pipeline are no substitute for ambitious energy and climate policies, weatherization, efficiency and decreased consumption,” said Dr. Rachel Smolker, a Hinesburg resident. “Once the gas bubble pops, ratepayers are going to be stuck with higher bills, paying the cost of this pipeline for years to come and still struggling to heat their homes.”

After police issued a final dispersal order, sixty-four people stayed in the building. All were removed from the building by Vermont State Police, and cited with criminal trespassing.

The coalition planning the event is also calling for a blockade at the Vermont Gas Pipeyard in Williston, Vt., this coming Saturday at 9 am.

Other Media

Aljazeera covered the event, including great photos reposted from Twitter.

Margaret Prescod will interview Dr. Maeve McBride on tomorrow’s Earth Watch Segment, which is coordinated by GJEP in partnership with KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show with Margaret Prescod.

Maeve was one of the organizers and media spokespeople for Oct 27th occupation and sit-in of Vermont Governor Shumlin’s Office. Maeve was one of the 64 protesters arrested yesterday at the governor’s office opposing the fracked gas pipeline project and the build out of new fossil fuel infrastructure.

 

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Filed under Actions / Protest, KPFK, Media, Pipeline

Two stories of committed environmental journalists who lost their lives in Mexico and Cambodia, and one story of others who risked theirs in Brazil

Illegal Logging in Para State, Brazil. Photo by: © Greenpeace via mongabay.com

Illegal Logging in Para State, Brazil. Photo by: © Greenpeace via mongabay.com

Sometimes, there’s a few related stories to share in the morning. For example, there’s two important related stories today from the WW4 Report about committed environmental journalists who lost their lives:

Cambodia: reporter slain documenting illegal logging

and

Mexico: dam opponent slain during radio broadcast

For the second one, it’s important to note that it was during his radio show, which he did alongside his organizing work against a dam.

Finally, here’s a story of local activists who risked their lives to get out the story of illegal logging in Brazil. They courageously attached GPS monitoring to the trucks of illegal loggers to document the operations that happen in the middle of the night. They collaborated with Greenpeace, and were able to use hi-tech surveillance to not only document the illegal logging but to prove that loggers falsify records.

Daring activists use high-tech to track illegal logging trucks in the Brazilian Amazon

By Jeremy Hance, Mongabay.com. October 15, 2014

Every night empty trucks disappear into the Brazilian Amazon, they return laden with timber. This timber —illegally cut —makes its way to sawmills that sell it abroad to places like the U.S., Europe, China, and Japan using fraudulent paperwork to export the ill-gotten gains as legit. These findings are the result of a daring and dangerous investigation by Greenpeace-Brazil that had activists hanging out with truckers and illegal loggers, all the while surreptitiously tagging trucks with GPS locator beacons. The high-tech equipment allowed the organization to track where the logging trucks went.

Read the whole story by Jeremy Hance here!

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Filed under Forests, Illegal logging, Media