Category Archives: Posts from Anne Petermann

Holiday Photo Essay: Buffalo Winter – Snow, Rain and Ice

Dear Friends,

Instead of the usual news and reporting we have on this blog, for today and tomorrow we offer this photo essay.  Western New York received an unusually large amount of snow earlier this month, which recently melted during a warm spell and heavy rain, which was followed by freezing temperatures and ice.  This provided some beautiful photo opportunities which we share with you here.  Best wishes for a peaceful Holiday and New Year.

–Anne Petermann, for the GJEP Team

Buffalo, NY Winter: From Snow to Rain to Ice

Scene:  Delaware Park, Hoyt Lake, near Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.  PhotoLangelle.org

After the rain: Delaware Park, Hoyt Lake, near Albright-Knox Art Gallery.  PhotoLangelle.org

Berries and wrought iron.  Photo: Petermann

After the Ice: Berries and wrought iron. Photo: Petermann

Icy tunnel of trees.  Photo: Petermann

Tunnel of trees. Photo: Petermann

Ice curtain. Photo: Petermann

Ice curtain. Photo: Petermann

Berries, Ice and Orange wall.  Photo: Petermann

Berries and Orange wall. Photo: Petermann

Icy park and wrought iron. Photo: Petermann

Icy park and wrought iron fence. Photo: Petermann

Icy leaves and wrought iron. Photo: Petermann

Leaves and iron. Photo: Petermann

Holiday tree. Photo: Petermann

Holiday tree. Photo: Petermann

Tree at Kleinhans Music Hall.  Photo: Petermann

Kleinhans Music Hall. Photo: Petermann

Black and white berries. Photo: Petermann

Black and white berries. Photo: Petermann

Ivy and berries. Photo: Petermann

Ivy and berries. Photo: Petermann

Light post and ice. Photo: Petermann

Light post and ice. Photo: Petermann

icy berries and ivy 2

Holiday colors. Photo: Petermann

1897 Church roof and ice. Photo: Petermann

1897 Church: slate, copper, and ice. Photo: Petermann

Comments Off on Holiday Photo Essay: Buffalo Winter – Snow, Rain and Ice

Filed under Climate Change, Forests, Posts from Anne Petermann

Earth Minute: Chilean coup 40 years ago and the impact on the Mapuche People

Note: GJEP has worked with the Mapuche in Chile to stop genetically engineered trees.

GJEP teams up weekly with Margaret Prescod and the Sojourner Truth show for an Earth Minute and a 12-minute EarthWatch interview every Thursday covering front line environmental news from across the globe.

Comments Off on Earth Minute: Chilean coup 40 years ago and the impact on the Mapuche People

Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Earth Minute, Forests, GE Trees, Independent Media, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Posts from Anne Petermann

Obama’s plan for the climate: Greenwash our way into oblivion

By Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project

_Obama_DSC_0005

Image captured from The Weather Channel

At 1:45 today, President Obama announced his new Climate Action Plan in a nationally televised speech.

He described the emerging climate crisis and its impacts–both past, present and future, while be suffered the heat of an abnormally warm June day in Washington, DC. His arguments for climate action were compelling and hard to argue with.  Unfortunately his actions do not match his words.

Unlike Bill McKibben, I do not believe that “the solutions agenda [Obama has] begun to advance moves the country in a sane direction.” (Did you read the actual Climate Action Plan, Bill?!?)  No, what I read in Obama’s Action Plan was a rehashing of the same old dangerous false solutions that many of us have been fighting for years and years.  But what’s really criminal is that even though Obama clearly understands both the science and implications of climate change, he still pushes an agenda that will drive us all over the climate cliff.

First the plan’s “Case for Action” reiterates Obama’s pledge to decrease carbon emissions by a paltry 17% below 2005 levels by 2020–but only if all other major economies agree to do so as well. Climate scientists are not calling for 17% reductions by 2020. In fact, countries like the US need to reduce our emissions by 80-90%.  And not in seven years, but immediately.  Last year preferably.

The main takeaway from Obama’s greenwashed nonsense? We can continue our unsustainable way of life indefinitely with just a few key tweaks.

“Deploy Clean Energy.” Ain’t nothin’ clean about this.  Obama’s “clean energy” plan includes more fracking, more oil, more nukes, more biofuels and “clean coal.”  Yes, Obama wants to stop climate change by screwing over rural communities through promotion of more hydrofracking and increased natural gas exports; expanding domestic oil production–including the hellish Bakken shale oil fields (but don’t worry, it will be clean Bakken oil­–no really, that’s in there); devoting more land to growing feedstocks for plant-based liquid fuels (i.e. less land for biodiversity, growing food or for peasant communities to survive on); protecting forests that store carbon while cutting down trees to burn for electricity production; building more nuclear power plants (apparently never heard of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl or Fukushima); and maintaining the fantasy of that wonderful oxymoron “clean coal.” Sane direction?

Spur Investment in Advanced Fossil Energy Projects. Like “clean” coal, we can burn our fossil fuels and stop climate change too!

Maintain Agricultural Sustainability. For this one, Obama wants us to trust the vehemently pro-GMO US Department of Agriculture to “deliver tailored, science-based knowledge to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.”  ‘Climate ready’ GMO crops anyone?

Negotiate Global Free Trade in Environmental Goods and Services. Right, cuz global free trade has served biodiversity, ecosystems and the 99% so well!

But the most ludicrous item is the last on the menu: “Leading efforts to address climate change through international negotiations.”  (I know, I know, stop laughing)

This section excels in Orwellian newspeak. It highlights the disastrous 2009 UN Copenhagen Climate Conference as “historic progress,” and insists that the secretly negotiated Copenhagen Accord (that was booed even by reporters when Obama announced it late in the negotiations) was a breakthrough in developing “a new regime of international transparency.” Omitted is the fact that this Accord was never actually consensed upon, but merely “noted” by the official body.  Well history is “his story” after all…

The section goes on to trumpet the accomplishments of the equally disastrous UN Climate Conference in Durban in 2011–about which Nature Magazine wrote “It is clear that the science of climate change and the politics of climate change, now inhabit parallel worlds.”

Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International similarly condemned Durban’s outcomes, “developed countries, led by the US, accelerated the demolition of the world’s international framework for fair and urgent climate action. And developing countries have been bullied and forced into accepting an agreement that could be a suicide pill for the world. An increase in global temperatures of four degrees Celsius, permitted under this plan, is a death sentence for Africa, small island states, and the poor and vulnerable worldwide. This summit has amplified climate apartheid whereby the richest 1% of the world have decided that it is acceptable to sacrifice the 99%.”

But Obama’s Climate Action Plan insists Durban was “a breakthrough”–because countries agreed to come up with some kind of new climate agreement that would not go into force until 2020.

Gee, guess who won’t be in office anymore in 2020…

Comments Off on Obama’s plan for the climate: Greenwash our way into oblivion

Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Copenhagen/COP-15, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Greenwashing, Oil, Pollution, Posts from Anne Petermann, UNFCCC

On Not Attending the UN Climate Conference in Doha

By Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project

Christina Figueres, Executive Director of the UNFCCC

Christina Figueres, Executive Director of the UNFCCC at the Durban Climate COP in 2011.  Photo: Langelle/GJEP

For the first time since 2004, Global Justice Ecology Project did not sent any representatives to the annual UN Climate Conference (COP).  There were numerous reasons for this decision, one of which was a letter sent to us by Ms. Christina Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) “suspending” three Global Justice Ecology Project activists from participating in Doha.  The list includes Lindsey Gillies, Keith Brunner and me–Global Justice Ecology Project’s “Head of Delegation.” We were officially banned from participating in any of the UNFCCC negotiating sessions in 2012 as well as any future sessions unless we sign a document agreeing to their terms to abide by their special “code of conduct” for observers.  Right.

Figueres page 1

Figueres page 2

Our crime?  Direct action.   Unpermitted, disobedient direct action in both Cancun and Durban designed to highlight the mounting repression against non-corporate observers.  (We also worked for over a year to help organize the amazing Reclaim Power action and Peoples’ Assembly at COP 15 in Copenhagen, which exposed the ineffectiveness of the UNFCCC and called for people to take their power back–though the letter did not mention that).

Over the years we have watched the UNFCCC become more and more like the World Trade Organization that we and many anti-corporate globalization organizations rose up against in the latter 1990s and early 2000s.

Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Actions / Protest, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Copenhagen/COP-15, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, GE Trees, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Political Repression, Posts from Anne Petermann, REDD, UNFCCC

As international talks stall, Romney, Obama omit climate change from debates

Note: Free Speech Radio News interviewed Executive Director Anne Petermann of Global Justice Ecology Project for this story.  –The GJEP Team

October 23, 2012. Source: Free Speech Radio News

In the final debate between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, the conversation veered from Middle East foreign policy to education to the upcoming threat of a budget sequester. But despite a campaign season marked by droughts, natural disasters, resource-driven conflicts and failed global carbon negotiations, both candidates were completely silent on climate change. Some environmental experts say the increasingly unstable climate will impact nearly every major issue the next president must tackle, including key decisions in US foreign policy. FSRN’s Alice Ollstein reports.

Comments Off on As international talks stall, Romney, Obama omit climate change from debates

Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Earth Radio, False Solutions to Climate Change, Independent Media, Posts from Anne Petermann

Rio Earth Summit: tragedy, farce, and distraction

By Anne Petermann, September 2012.  Source: Z Magazine

As I flew to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 12 for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)—the 20-year anniversary of the historic “Rio Earth Summit”—I read an article in the Financial Times titled “Showdown Looms at OPEC After Saudi Arabia Urges Higher Output.” The article explained that Saudi Arabia was urging OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) to increase their output of oil in order to ensure that the global price of oil would not exceed $100 per barrel in order to “mitigate the risks that high oil prices pose to the global economy.”

The article pointed out that ensuring the health of the global economy requires expanding oil production. This, as we know, will worsen the climate crisis. The takeaway message of the article, therefore, is that the global economy will only thrive by destroying the life support systems of the planet.

At the Rio Earth Summit, this was also the underlying logic of the so-called “green economy” proposals that have polarized and paralyzed the talks since the first preparatory meeting for Rio+20 in May 2010.

According to Jim Thomas of the ETC Group, who wrote about the Rio+20 summit’s preparatory meetings for the Guardian back in March 2011, “Far from cooking up a plan to save the Earth, what may come out of the summit could instead be a deal to surrender the living world to a small cabal of bankers and engineers. Tensions are already rising between northern countries and southern countries…and suspicions are running high that the…‘green economy’ is more likely to deliver a greenwash economy or the same old, same old ‘greed’ economy.”

At the Rio+20 summit, industrialized countries and multinational corporations, accompanied by institutions like the IMF and World Bank, led the push for development of the green economy—that is, to use the very ecological devastation caused by global capitalism to create markets in so-called “environmental services” by turning them into tradable commodities. These new markets would help prop up the global economy in a greenwashed version of business as usual.

“Environmental services,” provided by intact natural ecosystems—which include such things as the storage of carbon, the purification of air and water, and the maintenance of biodiversity—would be given a monetary value in the market, enabling them to be purchased and supposedly protected. In reality, however, it would allow companies to destroy a biodiverse ecosystem in one area, by purchasing the protection of an equivalent ecosystem.

Continue reading

Comments Off on Rio Earth Summit: tragedy, farce, and distraction

Filed under Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Events, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Land Grabs, Posts from Anne Petermann, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Rio+20

Audio: Earth Minute – corporations try to advance the green (greed) economy in Rio

Global Justice Ecology Project partners with Margaret Prescod and the Sojourner Truth show for weekly Earth Minutes and weekly Earth Segment interviews.

To listen to or download this week’s Earth Minute on KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show, click on Earth Minute 27 June 2012.

Text from this week’s Earth Minute:

Last week, government leaders convened in Rio de Janeiro for the UN’s Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.  One of the goals: develop a Green Economy built on so-called “green growth” basically–a greenwashed version of the same Greed Economy that has trashed communities and ecosystems to enhance the profits of a very few.  In response, social movements, Indigenous Peoples, organizations and Southern countries stood fast in Rio to oppose this Greenwash Economy.
Continue reading

Comments Off on Audio: Earth Minute – corporations try to advance the green (greed) economy in Rio

Filed under Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Earth Minute, Green Economy, Posts from Anne Petermann, Rio+20

Rio+20 Photo Essay: Peoples’ march takes over the streets of Rio

by Anne Petermann, reporting from the streets of Rio, 20 June, 2012

Occupy activists march in Rio. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

“Against the dismantling of national environmental policy.” Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Indigenous 11 Year old Ta’Kaia Blaney of British Columbia protests the tar sands. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

La Via Campesina, the international movement of small farmers, had a large presence in Rio at the Peoples Summit. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

“Against Amazonian Genocide. Xingu (Afro-Brazilian freedom fighter) Lives Forever.” Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Can’t have a march in Latin America without Che. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Funeral for Brazil’s national environmental policy. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Comments Off on Rio+20 Photo Essay: Peoples’ march takes over the streets of Rio

Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Posts from Anne Petermann, Rio+20