This week’s “Earth Watch” segment on KPFK features Dr. Rachel Smolker, Co-director of Biofuelwatch, who weighs in on President Obama’s proposals on climate change in his State of the Union Address.
Tag Archives: false solutions
by Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project
23 August, 2012, Source: Daily Kos
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.
NOTE: In the two articles below, we find the same old propaganda we’ve heard about GM trees (also called GE trees or GMO trees) since the late 1990s. In the first article about GM poplars, there is once again there is no attention paid to the ecological impacts of the inevitable and irreversible genetic contamination of native poplar trees with the engineered traits from these “successful” GE poplars. They are low-lignin, meaning they have been genetically engineered to supress natural lignin production. So? Well, no problem, except that lignin is what protects trees from disease, insect infestation, animal browsing, wind, etc. Will these trees have so-called “stacked” genetic traits that also make them resistant to disease or insects? If so, these trees could have a host of unpredictable effects, even on human health. The health impact of inhaling pollen from trees genetically engineered to produce insecticide in every one of their cells has not been adequately studied. Preliminary findings, however, reveal potentially serious problems.
Article two trumpets about the promise of GE eucalyptus for biofuels. Again, no attention paid to the ecological impacts of releasing an invasive, flammable and water-sucking tree into the environment by the millions.
These “scientists” are very good at playing up the successes, but so very bad at assessing the risks–both ecological and social.
–Anne Petermann for the GJEP Team
From GENET News
TITLE: INITIAL FIELD TEST RESULTS GM POPLARS: BIOETHANOL YIELD ALMOST DOUBLED
SOURCE: Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie, Belgium (VIB) http://www.vib.be/en/news/Pages/Initial-field-test-results-GM-poplars-bioethanol-yield-almost-doubled.aspx
SUMMARY: “The yield of bio-ethanol from the wood of GM poplar trees from a VIB field trial is up to 81% higher than non-modified poplars VIB-UGent researcher Wout Boerjan presented these results at the international conference “Bioenergy Trees” in Nancy, France. “This is just the beginning. The results of the field test confirm that we are on the right track. Further research will allow us to select poplar varieties that are even better suited for bio-ethanol production,‰ said Wout Boerjan from VIB and Ghent University.”
INITIAL FIELD TEST RESULTS GM POPLARS: BIOETHANOL YIELD ALMOST DOUBLED
Nancy, France, May 19, 2011 – The yield of bio-ethanol from the wood of GM poplar trees from a VIB field trial is up to 81% higher than non-modified poplars VIB-UGent researcher Wout Boerjan presented these results at the international conference “Bioenergy Trees” in Nancy, France.
“This is just the beginning. The results of the field test confirm that we are on the right track. Further research will allow us to select poplar varieties that are even better suited for bio-ethanol production,” said Wout Boerjan from VIB and Ghent University.
To read the entire post, go to: http://globaljusticeecology.org/stopgetrees.php?tabs=2&ID=558
Aired on July 21st, 2010. Anne discusses a variety of topics including GE trees, wood-based bioenergy and false solutions to climate change.