Category Archives: Rights, Resilience, and Restoration

Radical Anthropology 2012 on Commodification of Life, Occupy and more

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Cover photo: March for climate justice in Durban, South Africa December 2011 by Anne Petermann, Global Justice Ecology Project

To download the PDF of the current edition of Radical Anthropology, click here

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Africa, Biodiversity, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration

Making Contact Radio: Saving or Selling the Planet? REDD, Climate Change and Indigenous Lands | National Radio Project

Note: This episode of Making Contact is based upon the Global Justice Ecology Project DVD “A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests,” produced earlier this year.

To order a copy of the DVD, which includes two bonus features, email: info@globaljusticeecology.org

To listen to the Making Contact episode, click the link below:

making contact

Saving or Selling the Planet? REDD, Climate Change and Indigenous Lands | National Radio Project.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Carbon Trading, Chiapas, Climate Change, Earth Radio, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Illegal logging, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration

Earth Minute: Why Doha is not where climate justice will happen

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.

This week’s Earth Minute addresses the UN climate talks in Doha, Qatar, and why many climate justice organizations have decided not to attend this year’s climate conference, and are organizing with social movements and communities instead.

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Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Earth Minute, Earth Radio, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Geoengineering, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Oil, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Synthetic Biology, UNFCCC

Special Report! KPFK Earth Watch: GJEP’s Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle, and Clayton Thomas-Muller of Indigenous Environmental Network

Note: Global Justice Ecology Project Executive Director Anne Petermann, Board Chair Orin Langelle, and Board Member Clayton Thomas-Muller are on the ground in Los Angeles today for a special one hour nationally-aired episode of the Sojourner Truth show.

-The GJEP Team

GJEP executive director Anne Petermann, GJEP board chair and photojournalist Orin Langelle, and GJEP board member and Indigenous Environmental Network’s Tar Sands Campaigner Clayton Thomas-Muller join Sojourner Truth for a special Earth Watch.  They discuss the interlinkages between climate change, indigenous rights, tar sands, genetically engineered trees, and the global struggle for climate justice.


Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show for weekly Earth Minutes every Tuesday and Earth Watch interviews every Thursday.

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Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Earth Radio, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Tar Sands

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.

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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

Direct Action for Climate Justice: Confronting False Solutions to Climate Change

by Anne Petermann,  Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project

23 August, 2012, Source: Daily Kos

Over August 9-12, fifty participants and trainers gathered in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom for a Climate Justice Direct Action Training Camp.  The camp, organized by Red Clover Climate Justice and co-sponsored by Global Justice Ecology Project provided essential direct action skills including formation of affinity groups, blockading tactics, legal rights as a protester, a history of non-violent civil disobedience, strategic planning for direct action, and the nuts and bolts of media work to ensure actions and their messages are seen as widely as possible.

Climate justice involves taking real and just action to address the root causes of the climate crisis, and transforming the system that is driving it. Direct action has a rich history of achieving the unthinkable, of changing “the impossible.” It is defined as action to directly shut down the point of production.  In the case of climate change, it would be action to shut down the point of destruction.  With the climate crisis worsening exponentially with every passing day, shutting down the point of destruction is critical.

It was with this in mind that the direct action training camp was organized.  Coincidentally, it came just two weeks after the 36th Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers in Burlington, Vermont.  A major focus of that conference was energy.  Vermont, which has an image of pristine greenness, relies on dangerous and dirty energy sources.  This includes its aging Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant; hydroelectricity from massive dams on Indigenous Peoples’ lands in northern Quebec; and large-scale biomass electricity, which dumps more pollution into the air than coal.

Although these various mega-projects do not rely on fossil fuels as the main source of their energy, they are still “false solutions.”  They cause vast ecological and social destruction and can worsen the climate crisis.  Their primary function, in fact, has nothing to do with the climate.  It is to maintain business as usual.  While the climate crisis demands a radical re-think of how we live on and with the Earth, a fundamental changing of the system, “false solutions” are specifically designed to prevent real change.  They enable the Global Elite–“the 1%” –to maintain their power and profits in the face of mounting social and ecological crises.


Activists disrupt the Northeast Governors’ Conference cruise in protest of Hydro-Quebec.  Photo: Will Bennington

Hydro-Quebec plans to build a series of new mega-dams on First Nations land in northern Quebec. They will drown forests, pollute fresh water, and displace villages and release huge amounts of methane–a greenhouse gas 35 times more potent than CO2.
In response, a delegation of Innu people came to the Governors’ Conference to raise awareness about and protest these new mega-dams. When the Innu delegation tried to enter the Governors’ Conference to speak with the decision-makers, however, they were refused entry.

The Governors’ Conference was emblematic of the unjust system that must be changed if we are to successfully address the climate crisis.  A group of privileged white males sat down to make decisions that would irrevocably impact the lives of First Nations peoples in Canada, as well as rural communities throughout the region.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Events, False Solutions to Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Political Repression, Pollution, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Solutions, UNFCCC

Earth Minute: Extreme Weather, Climate Change, and Taking Action

Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with the Sojourner Truth show every Tuesday for an Earth Minute and every Thursday for an Earth Segment interview with front line activists from around the world.

This week’s Earth minute focuses on the extreme weather that has been taking its toll on the US and asks what we can do about it.

To listen to or download the show, click on the link below:

Earth Minute, July 10, 2012

The text from this week’s Earth Minute is below:

Increasing numbers of people across the US experienced the impacts of extreme weather last week–from the immense wildfires devouring Colorado, to the heatwave that broke 4000 records across the country, to the wild and freakish derecho storms that left millions without electricity.

The National Weather Service is warning that dryness and drought will continue to increase both in extent and intensity across much of the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, the Corn Belt region, the middle and lower Mississippi Valley, and much of the Great Plains.

These impacts were predicted by climate scientists.  That they are now real should be enough to shove our collective consciousness into high gear to find real and just solutions to the climate crisis.

That there will be a great shift in the way humans live on this planet is not in question.  The question is, will we be proactive in developing a new way to live in harmony with the earth, or will we do nothing, and hope that our children can survive on a decimated planet?

For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project.

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Earth Minute, Natural Disasters, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Solutions

Rio+20 Breaking News: GJEP and Biofuelwatch disrupt industry event with Richard Branson

For Immediate Release 21 June 2012

Activists Disrupt Sir Richard Branson at Avoided Deforestation Rio +20 Event

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil–Activists from Global Justice Ecology Project and Biofuelwatch disrupted Virgin Airlines owner Branson’s speech with chants and placards at the Rio+20 Earth Summit event titled “Advancing Public-Private Partnerships for Deforestation-Free / Sustainable Agriculture” today at the Windsor Barra hotel in Rio.

“We came here to interfere with this event because we recognize that the negotiations inside the UN’s official Rio+20 Conference are essentially irrelevant,” stated Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project. “The real negotiations that will determine the fate of the planet are being held outside of the UN space at these industry-sponsored events,” she added.

Ambassador Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator of USAID was clear on this point when he stated during his presentation at the event, “these [public-private partnership] events are not side events, these are the main events.”

“Biofuelwatch took part in this action because of Richard Branson’s key role in promoting large-scale biofuels for aviation, geo-engineering and other destructive techno fixes,” stated Almuth Ernsting. “Branson is responsible for vast carbon emissions from his airline to which he now wants to add space tourism – his ‘solutions’ include more destructive monoculture plantations which harm forests, peoples and climate.”

Parallel to the negotiations that have been going on around Rio+20, the UN Climate Conferences and other UN forums, industry is coming together with countries like Norway to create ways to implement highly controversial market-based approaches like REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) that cannot be passed in the multilateral meetings.

Participants in the event included executives from Coca Cola and Unilever, both of which are implicated in serious human rights abuses and environmental destruction.

“We took this action in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples, local communities and small farmers whose livelihoods are threatened by the privatization of their lands for Green Economy-style projects”, stated Keith Brunner of Gears of Change and Global Justice Ecology Project. “Public-private partnerships, such as those discussed here, are driving a vast transfer of wealth, resources and land into private hands–from the 99% to the 1%.”

After the disruption, participants in the action left the premises.

Contact: Anne Petermann, Global Justice Ecology Project +55.21.8079.0538

Email: anne@globaljusticeecology.org

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Rio+20