Category Archives: Rio+20

Three responses to Bill McKibben’s new article, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math”

The following three pieces, by Anne Petermann, Dr. Rachel Smolker, and Keith Brunner were written in response to Bill McKibben’s new article in Rolling Stone magazine, titled, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math: Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe – make clear who the real enemy is.

The System Will Not be Reformed

Response by Anne Petermann

Bill McKibben, in his new Rolling Stone article, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math” does an effective job at summarizing the hard and theoretical numbers that warn us of the devastating impacts of continuing to burn the Earth’s remaining fossil fuel reserves–yet it somehow falls short of its stated goal to help mobilize a new movement for climate action.

While the article is full of facts and figures and the future they portend, it falls into several traps common to US-based environmentalists, which undermine its movement-building objective.

The first and most obvious trap is relying on math to mobilize a movement. Environmentalists, often worried about attacks on their credibility, or afraid they will be labeled “emotional” by industry, tend to focus on statistics, mathematical analyses and hard science to make their case.  Unfortunately statistics like “565 Gigatons or 2,795 Gigatons” do not inspire passion.

While McKibben is focusing on Gigatons and percentages and degrees Celsuis, however, corporations like Shell are running multi-million dollar ad campaigns with TV commercials that feature families having fun, hospitals saving lives, children getting good educations, because of fossil fuels.  Coal = energy security; natural gas = maintaining the American way of life.  And as Dr. Rachel Smolker of BiofuelWatch points out below, some of these very same companies are moving into the bioenergy realm–wreaking yet more havoc on communities and ecosystems in the name of supposedly “clean, renewable energy.”  They are playing both sides of the field in the effort to ensure Americans do not feel their way of life is in any way threatened–ensuring them that they can have their cake and eat it too.  For while China may have surpassed the US in total annual carbon emissions, the US still leads, by far, the per capita release of CO2 emissions.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Land Grabs, Rio+20

Audio: Michael Dorsey on the 1992 Earth Summit vs the 2012 Earth Summit

Lindsey Gillies, for Climate Connections Earth Audio, interviews Michael Dorsey, professor at Dartmouth College.  Dorsey was a youth delegate at the original Earth Summit in 1992. He talks about his experiences in 1992 and looks at pressing issues at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Michael Dorsey

To listen to the interview or to download the podcast, click here

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

Earth Audio Podcast: Ta’kaia Blaney and Jeff Conant on KPFK Sojourner Truth Show

Interview with Ta’kaia Blaney, 11-year-old indigenous activist from the Sliammon nation, and Jeff Conant of Global Justice Ecology Project on KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show, June 20, 2012.

Global Justice Ecology Project partners with Margaret Prescod and the Sojourner Truth show for weekly Earth Minutes every Tuesday and Earth Segment interviews every Thursday–as well as daily interviews during international gatherings such as the Peoples’ Summit in Rio.

Click here to listen/download

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Filed under Climate Change, Earth Radio, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Rio+20, Tar Sands

Earth Audio podcasts: Achim Steiner of UNEP and Pat Mooney of the ETC Group at the Rio+20 Peoples’ Summit

Achim Steiner, head of UNEP defends his model of the Green Economy while ETC Group’s Pat Mooney looks on.

At a panel session at the Peoples’ Summit, Pat Mooney of the Canadian technology watchdog organization ETC Group challenges UN Environment Program Director Achim Steiner’s concept of the green economy. Mooney says the model would hand control of the world’s biomass over to the same corporations and financial institutions responsible for the current ecological and financial chaos. June 16, 2012.

click here to listen/download

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Filed under Earth Radio, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Rio+20

KPFK Audio: GJEP’s Anne Petermann reports from Rio on the Rio+20 Earth Summit and Alternative Peoples’ Summit

Today as the official negotiations continue in preparation for the upcoming Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development–also known as the Rio+20 Earth Summit–KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show interviewed Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) Executive Director Anne Petermann, who is on the ground in Rio about the Rio+20 summit, which starts on 20 June, as well as the alternative Peoples’ Summit, which starts on 15 June.

To listen to the 15 minute interview, click here: Rio+20 interview with GJEP Executive Director Anne Petermann on KPFK

Global Justice Ecology Project will be in Rio to report on and campaign around both the official UN meetings and the alternative Peoples’ Summmit, from 15 June to 23 June. Stay tuned to this blog for daily news and reports.  Beginning Tuesday, 19 June GJEP will be partnering with the Sojourner Truth show to provide daily interviews on the events in Rio.

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Earth Radio, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Posts from Anne Petermann, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Rio+20