Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK radio for a weekly Earth Minute and Earth Watch interview.
Category Archives: Oceans
Note: While Global Justice Ecology Project maintains that climate change is more about systems of economic and social domination and oppression than parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere, the below article provides some sobering statistics. Social movements will not create the change needed to deal with and avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change with a compelling data set alone, but it surely helps when the science is on our side.
It is also important to remember that, often, the economic and political elite will try to use such dire climate science forecasts to justify absurd, dangerous, untested false solutions like geoengineering the atmosphere and oceans to absorb greenhouse gases. This may be an even greater threat facing the world today.
-The GJEP Team
By Dahr Jamail, December 17, 2013. Source: Tom Dispatch
Since a nuclear weapon went off over Hiroshima, we have been living with visions of global catastrophe, apocalyptic end times, and extinction that were once the sole property of religion. Since August 6, 1945, it has been possible for us to imagine how human beings, not God, could put an end to our lives on this planet. Conceptually speaking, that may be the single most striking development of our age and, to this day, it remains both terrifying and hard to take in. Nonetheless, the apocalyptic possibilities lurking in our scientific-military development stirred popular culture over the decades to a riot of world-ending possibilities.
In more recent decades, a second world-ending (or at least world-as-we-know-it ending) possibility has crept into human consciousness. Until relatively recently, our burning of fossil fuels and spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere represented such a slow-motion approach to end times that we didn’t even notice what was happening. Only in the 1970s did the idea of global warming or climate change begin to penetrate the scientific community, as in the 1990s it edged its way into the rest of our world, and slowly into popular culture, too.
Still, despite ever more powerful weather disruptions — what the news now likes to call “extreme weather” events, including monster typhoons, hurricanes, and winter storms, wildfires, heat waves, droughts, and global temperature records — disaster has still seemed far enough off. Despite a drumbeat of news about startling environmental changes — massive ice melts in Arctic waters, glaciers shrinking worldwide, the Greenland ice shield beginning to melt, as well as the growing acidification of ocean waters — none of this, not even Superstorm Sandy smashing into that iconic global capital, New York, and drowning part of its subway system, has broken through as a climate change 9/11. Not in the United States anyway.
July 23, 2013.
Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK Pacifica Los Angeles for a weekly Earth Minute each Tuesday and a weekly Earth Watch interview each Thursday.
Note: This is a very good overview regarding the ‘Mega Canal’ project in Nicagraua from our friends, Wales Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign – Ymgyrch Cefnogi Nicaragua Cymru, a Welsh group doing solidarity work since 1986. They are also struggling to maintain the the Welsh language, a hard task considering that the British and the English language ‘control the British Isles.’ But that is another story. The Welsh group brought me to Wales in 2002 for a speaking tour that also traveled through England, and Ireland. The tour also addressed the Plan Puebla Panama–a series of massive development schemes and transportation corridors running from Puebla, Mexico to Panama–which was a major target of solidarity activists internationally.
I have travelled to Nicaragua many times and have always been a critic of proposed Dry or Wet Canals in that country as well as the Dry Canal planned for the Isthmus of Tehuantepec for two major reasons: 1) the indigenous peoples and the community organizations we spoke to were against it, and 2) it will have an unimaginable impact on the ecology of the region. A debate is well underway in Nicaragua.
There is a lot at stake for the leftist Sandinista Nicaraguan government, indigenous sovereignty, autonomy and of course the environment itself. This is an important topic that spans many issues of neoliberal globalization, including climate change. Ironically the following quote in this article points out, “Nicaragua’s dream of building the canal might now be too late to work in practice. One of the clear effects of climate change is the opening up of the Northwest Arctic passage, which might make both the Nicaraguan and Panamanian canal uneconomical for part of the year.”
-Orin Langelle for the GJEP Team
June 28, 2013. Source: Wales Nicaragua
Following our last post, the world has suddenly woken up to a new story about Nicaragua – the inter-oceanic canal. The Guardian carried its second story in as many weeks about the project (see here). Though the idea of the canal might be new to most of the media, it isn’t new to the Campaign.
Anyone who knows the history of Nicaragua will know that the country was in the frame to be the original crossing for the isthmus. That it eventually ended up in Panama had much to do with the geo-politics of the time – and what the United States decided was in its best interests. Throughout the following century, a second canal has been proposed, usually through Nicaragua, sometimes through Mexico. It also has undergone many different permutations – a canal, pure and simple; a canal to Lake Nicaragua, and then make use of a natural waterway; or a ‘dry canal’, Pacific and Atlantic ports connected by a railway. Or, indeed, various combinations of the three.
The last bout of ‘canal fever’ started to gather pace at the end of the 90s. The Plan Puebla Panama was envisioned as a grand mega-project, linking the telecommunications, energy and road networks of Central America (for an unusual take on the PPP, see here for the Beehive Collective). It stemmed from an off-the-cuff remark by the Mexican President. It soon turned into multi-billion dollar plans, backed by the international finance institutions and various Western governments, who could smell the contracts. One of the proposals on the table was the canal. At the time (at the beginning of the noughties) the most probable route was going to be a dry canal, making use of the port of Bilwi in the North Caribbean, or in another variation, Monkey Point in the South Caribbean. The Campaign spent many months (and years) following the proposals, highlighting the deficiencies of the Plan Puebla Panama in general, and the dry canal in particular. During that time there were no serious proposals to build the canal. To the Campaign it looked to be a means of land speculation along its proposed route, something which would effect indigenous lands particularly.
Note: Chinese investment in Canadian mega-projects is nothing new. Plan Nord, an $80 billion mining, logging and hydroelectricity project in northern Quebec will rely heavily on Chinese and other foreign investment. As reported by GJEP and Rising Tide Vermont this past July, during the 36th Annual Conference of New England Governor’s and Eastern Canada Premiers, indigenous Innu and Abenaki representatives were denied access to the conference at the same time Chinese investors were meeting inside with the governors and premiers. In Canada-and the US-money speaks louder than rights.
-The GJEP Team
By Bob Weber, December 30, 2012. Source: The Tyee
Some time in the new year, four federal ministers are to decide how to conduct an environmental review for the Izok Corridor proposal. It could bring many billions of dollars into the Arctic but would also see development of open-pit mines, roads, ports and other facilities in the centre of calving grounds for the fragile Bathurst caribou herd.
“This is going to be the biggest issue,” said Sally Fox, a spokeswoman for proponent MMG Minerals, a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned Minmetals Resources Ltd.
It would be hard to exaggerate the proposal’s scope. Centred at Izok Lake, about 260 kilometres southeast of Kugluktuk, the project would stretch throughout a vast swath of western Nunavut.
Izok Lake would have five separate underground and open-pit mines producing lead, zinc and copper. Another site at High Lake, 300 kilometres to the northeast, would have another three mines.
MMG also wants a processing plant that could handle 6,000 tonnes of ore a day, tank farms for 35 million litres of diesel, two permanent camps totalling 1,000 beds, airstrips and a 350-kilometre all-weather road with 70 bridges that would stretch from Izok Lake to Grays Bay on the central Arctic coast.