Note: Global Justice Ecology Project collaborates with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK each week for an Earth Minute on Tuesday and an EarthWatch segment on Thursday.
Tag Archives: pollution
On June 16, as part of the Rio+ 20 Peoples’ Summit, organizers in Rio de Janeiro organized a “toxic tour” of communities in the city overburdened by industrial pollution and associated health and social problems. In the videos that follow, two members of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance share their impressions from the tour.
Naeema Muhammed tells of her visit to the community of Santa Cruz.
Lottie Spady of East Michigan Environmental Action Council speaks about the toxic burdens faced by marginalized communities in Detroit and in Brazil.
Throughout the week, Climate Connections will be posting short videos of participants in Rio+20 Earth Summit and the alternative Peoples’ Summit.
Global Justice Ecology Project partners with Margaret Prescod and the Sojourner Truth show at KPFK Pacifica in Los Angeles for weekly Earth Segments and weekly Earth Minutes.
This week’s Earth Segment features Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria, West Africa, on the Niger Delta oil disaster and on the move to replace fossil fuels with biofuels.
To listen to the Earth Segment, go to the following link and click on minute 15:35.
KPFK Pacifica Los Angeles Interview with GJEP Executive Director Anne Petermann on the Durban Disaster
Global Justice Ecology Project Executive Director Anne Petermann was interviewed on the Sojourner Truth show with Margaret Prescod on KPFK on Thursday, January 5 about the outcomes from the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa and the civil society protests there.
To listen, click on the link below and scroll to minute 37:56:
Global Justice Ecology Project partners with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK Los Angeles for a weekly Earth Minute every Tuesday and weekly interviews with activists on key environmental and ecological justice issues every Thursday. In addition, during major events such as the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa, we organize daily interviews Tuesday through Friday.
Burlington, VT–Global Justice Ecology Project’s Anne Petermann, Orin Langelle and Jeff Conant along with Keith Brunner and Lindsey Gillies will give a report back from last month’s controversial UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa on Wednesday, January 11, at the Fletcher Free Library Community Room in Burlington, Vermont from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. All five presenters were in Durban for the climate negotiations.
Fletcher Free Library is located at 235 College Street in Burlington, VT. Burlington Action Against Nukes and the Environmental Action Group of Occupy Burlington are sponsoring the event, which is free and open to the public.
“The Durban disaster marks the lost decade in the fight against climate change,” said Anne Petermann, Executive Director of GJEP, whose international office is in Hinesburg, VT. “These talks accomplished nothing except to delay any implementation of a UN plan to stop climate change until 2020,” she stated.
Both Petermann and Brunner were carried out of the talks by UN security, ejected from the UN grounds and turned over to the South African police for staging an unpermitted sit-in protest of the corporate take-over of the negotiations.  Gillies was also ejected.
Earlier that week, photojournalist Orin Langelle, on assignment for Z Magazine, had his camera shoved into his face by a UN security officer because Langelle was taking a photograph of the officer ejecting a person who was giving an interview to the media following a UN-approved Global Justice Ecology Project press conference. This incident led Langelle to file a formal complaint against UN security.  Langelle will show his documentary photographs of the “Durban Disaster” at the upcoming event.
Jeff Conant, Global Justice Ecology Project’s Communications Director who was also present in Durban, will take part via live-stream from the GJEP Oakland, CA office to discuss the perspectives of other climate justice groups on the Durban negotiations.
The entire two weeks in Durban were marred with controversy, which included the corporate takeover of the UN climate talks, heavy handed security measures to prevent civil society participation in the talks, and the attempt by “Big Green” Non Governmental Organizations (i.e. Greenpeace and 350.org) to control a major “Occupy” protest there. This attempted control of dissent prompted Petermann to write a controversial critique of the big NGOs, titled “Showdown at the Durban Disaster: Challenging the Big Green Patriarchy.” 
 Global Justice Ecology Project Director Anne Petermann Ejected from COP17 http://wp.me/pDT6U-3hX
 Formal Complaint Filed Against UN Security Actions in Durban http://wp.me/pDT6U-3jy
 Showdown at the Durban Disaster: Challenging the ‘Big Green’ Patriarchy http://wp.me/pDT6U-3iE
Note: Anne Petermann and I went to our first UNFCCC COP (Conference of the Polluters) in 2004 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. One of my first observations was that this was a bizarre trade show–from ‘clean coal’ to ‘clean nuclear’ to a clean way to get fucked. Smile. I was not impressed. Well, going into the exhibition center was more exciting than the plenaries packed with, for the most part, suited charlatans. Fast forward to Montreal, Nairobi, Bali, Poznan, Copenhagen, Cancún and now all the way to Durban, South Africa; and guess what?–the 1% have been and still are in control (for now). But one of the good things that has happened over these years is that the resistance has risen from a couple of handfuls of us to thousands. It is evident to GJEP that the COP process is nothing more than the rich figuring out how to make more money off Mother Earth and her inhabitants under the guise of addressing climate change. So this photo essay, with text by Anne Petermann, is my parting shot to this entire unjust, racist, classist, land-grabbing COP crap. No to the next meeting in Dubai and yes to mobilization for the Peoples Summit during Rio +20. GJEP will continue to support the social movements, Indigenous Peoples and those who struggle for justice. Please enjoy the trade show photos and note that the last two photos in this series show the discrepancy between the 1% and the 99%. Orin Langelle for the GJEP Team.
All photos: Langelle/GJEP Captions: Anne Petermann
“Ohm…no Fukushimi…Ohm…no Fukushima…”
What the World Bank said…
“We magically transform ancient tropical forests into biodiesel plantations!. Birds love ’em! (F*#k the orangutans).”
People need nature to thrive–which is why we have to protect nature from them!
“Screw you anti-capitalist NGO bastards. Market-based schemes like the CDM are the best solution to climate change! So what if they don’t reduce carbon emissions. Piss off.”
How the 1% live. The pretentious Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel in Durban was host to the World Climate Summit, 3-4 December, which was a high-level and high-security event where business, finance and government leaders met to celebrate the glory of their green-ness with events like “The Gigatonne Award” for whatever company’s PR campaign was the biggest pile of “green” manure.
The following week the corporate conference sponsors offered side events for UN government delegates on the theme of “Advancing Public-Private Partnerships for REDD+ and Green Growth” i.e. how to ensure profit-making as usual in the face of ecological collapse and rising public outrage.
How the 99% live. This tent was where the delegation met that came to Durban with La Via Campesina, the world’s largest peasant organization. Their slogan, Small Farmers Cool the Planet, confronts the myth that governments and the UN will take care of climate change for us and promotes the idea that bottom up, small scale, community-controlled and bioregionally appropriate solutions are what is needed. The building behind the tent was where La Via slept and ate meals–not as pretentious as the Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel, but the people were real.
December 13, 2011 – Indigenous leaders returning from Durban, South Africa condemn the fiasco of the United Nations climate change talks and demand a moratorium on a forest carbon offset scheme called REDD+ which they say threatens the future of humanity and Indigenous Peoples’ very survival. During the UN climate negotiations, a Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities against REDD+ and for Life was formed to bring attention to the lack of full recognition of Indigenous rights being problematic in the texts of the UN climate negotiations.
“It was very disappointing that our efforts to strengthen the vague Indigenous rights REDD safeguards from the Cancun Agreements evaporated as the Durban UN negotiations went on. It is clear that the focus was not on strong, binding commitments on Indigenous rights and safeguards, nor limiting emissions, but on creating a framework for financing and carbon markets, which they did. Now Indigenous Peoples’ forests may really be up for grabs,” says Alberto Saldamando, legal counsel participating in the Indigenous Environmental Network delegation.
Berenice Sanchez of the Mesoamerica Indigenous Women’s Biodiversity Network says, “Instead of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 80% like we need, the UN is promoting false solutions to climate change like carbon trading and offsets, through the Clean Development Mechanism and the proposed REDD+ which provide polluters with permits to pollute. The UN climate negotiation is not about saving the climate, it is about privatization of forests, agriculture and the air.”
Tom Goldtooth, Director of Indigenous Environmental Network based in Minnesota, USA does not mince words. “By refusing to take immediate binding action to reduce the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions, industrialized countries like the United States and Canada are essentially incinerating Africa and drowning the small island states of the Pacific. The sea ice of the Inupiat, Yupik and Inuit of the Arctic is melting right before their eyes, creating a forced choice to adapt or perish. This constitutes climate racism, ecocide and genocide of an unprecedented scale.”
Of particular concern for indigenous peoples is a forest offset scheme known as REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). Hyped as a way of saving the climate and paying communities to take care of forests as sponges for Northern pollution, REDD+ is rife with fundamental flaws that make it little more than a green mask for more pollution and the expansion of monoculture tree plantations. The Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities against REDD+ and for Life, formed at the Durban UN climate negotiations, call for an immediate moratorium on REDD+-type projects because they fear that REDD+ could result in “the biggest land grab of all time,” thus threatening the very survival of indigenous peoples and local communities.
“At Durban, CDM and REDD carbon and emission offset regimes were prioritized, not emission reductions. All I saw was the UN, World Bank, industrialized countries and private investors marketing solutions to market pollution. This is unacceptable. The solutions for climate change must not be placed in the hands of financiers and corporate polluters. I fear that local communities could increasingly become the victims of carbon cowboys, without adequate and binding mechanisms to ensure that the rights of indigenous peoples and local forested and agricultural communities are respected,” Goldtooth added.
“We call for an immediate moratorium on REDD+-type policies and projects because REDD is a monster that is already violating our rights and destroying our forests,” Monica González of the Kukapa People and Head of Indigenous Issues of the Mexican human rights organization Comision Ciudadana de Derechos Humanos del Noreste.
The President of the Ogiek Council of Elders of the Mau Forest of Kenya, Joseph K. Towett, said “We support the moratorium because anything that hurts our cousins, hurts us all.”
“We will not allow our sacred Amazon rainforest to be turned into a carbon dump. REDD is a hypocrisy that does not stop global warming,” said Marlon Santi, leader of the Kichwa community of Sarayaku, Ecuador and long time participant of UN and climate change meetings.
NO REDD Resources http://noredd.makenoise.org/
Today: ACTION IN FRONT OF THE U.S. CONSULATE: “THE U.S. MUST STOP OBSTRUCTING CLIMATE JUSTICE FOR THE 99%”
A festive and peaceful action in front of the U.S. Consulate in Durban, as part of the 1000 Durbans Global Day of Action for Climate Justice. The action will feature speakers who will testify to the impacts of U.S. government and corporate pollution on their communities and land. Speakers will also share recommendations to the U.S. government and speak out against the positions that Jonathan Pershing and the State Department have taken thus far. The action will also feature powerful visuals for photographers and the broadcast media.
People from impacted communities within the U.S. and the Global South. Organized by the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) www.ggjalliance.org, a multi-sector alliance of U.S.-based community organizing groups building an international movement for peace, democracy and a sustainable world. Speakers Include:
Ahmina Maxey, Zero Waste and the East Michigan Environmental Action Coalition (Detroit) Francisca Porchas, Labor Community Strategy Center and the Bus Riders Union (Los Angeles) Chavanne Jean-Baptiste, Peasant Movement of Papaye and La Via Campesina (Haiti) Francois Paulette, Smith’s Landing Treaty 8 Dene First Nation, Indigenous Environmental Network (Alberta, Canada)
“We won’t let the U.S. off the hook,” says Ahmina Maxey of the East Michigan Environmental Action Coalition, a lead organization of GGJ. “As members of communities disproportionately affected by U.S. pollution and land grabs, we will be holding dirty U.S. corporations and the State Department accountable for the global mess they have made,”
“The U.S. government and associated corporations are the 1% responsible for the majority of pollution affecting the 99% of the world, including the 99% in Los Angeles,” says Francisca Porchas of the LA-based Labor Community Strategy Center, another lead organization of GGJ. “We will be taking action to demand that the U.S. immediately reduce carbon emissions to 50% of current levels by 2017, and to stop obstructing progress towards paying climate debt and forging an internationally binding deal.”