Tag Archives: brazil

Modified Stands: Will genetically engineered trees help save the climate or will they alter forests forever?

Note: Global Justice Ecology Project coordinates the International Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered (GE) Trees.  To support GJEP’s ongoing efforts to build resistance to the GE tree industry in the southeastern US, check out this short campaign video: http://bit.ly/stop-ge-trees

-The GJEP Team

By Maureen Nandini Mitra, September 3, 2013. Source: Earth Island Journal

Image: Lilli Keinaenen

Image: Lilli Keinaenen

In late May, forest biologists, geneticists, and forestry industry officials from across the world gathered at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina to discuss ongoing research in tree genetics. One of the key sessions at the weeklong “Tree Biotechnology 2013 Conference” dealt with the “different aspects of the use of transgenics, including gains in productivity, gene flow, and societal acceptance.” The last point, it turned out, would be the attendees’ biggest hurdle.

As convention participants sat in the four-star hotel’s conference rooms discussing how genetically engineered (GE) trees could meet the growing demand for “sustainable, renewable sources of biomass, in the face of climate change,” several hundred demonstrators gathered on the streets outside in one of the largest protests ever organized against genetically engineered trees. Anne Petermann, coordinator of the “Campaign to STOP GE Trees,” says their message to the tree biotech industry and its investors was simple: Expect resistance.

The protestors had converged in Asheville for their own weeklong “counter-conference.” Their key intention was to highlight concerns over the United States government’s pending approval of a genetically modified eucalyptus tree. The proposal, by the South Carolina-based company ArborGen, is currently being considered by the US Department of Agriculture. If approved, it would be the first time a transgenic tree is authorized for commercial production in the country.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering

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

GMO trees and the green economy: Green deserts for all?

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil–In advance of the UN’s Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, the international STOP GE Trees Campaign is demanding a global ban on the release of destructive and dangerous genetically engineered trees (also called GE trees, GMO trees or GM trees) into the environment.

A major focus of the UN summit is so-called “renewable” or “sustainable” energy, and Ban Ki Moon, Executive Secretary of the UN has launched a highly controversial “Sustainable Energy for All” (SEFA) Initiative. This initiative includes use of trees to produce electricity or liquid agrofuels and there is an emphasis by industry to genetically engineer trees as feedstocks for this bioenegy production, and Brazil is one of the most active countries promoting this.

“Much of the research on GE trees in Brazil is focused on eucalyptus trees, which are being engineered for faster growth, and for modified wood qualities–such as increased cellulose and decreased lignin content.  These engineered traits will facilitate the production of wood-based bioenergy,” stated Isis Alvarez of Global Forest Coalition.

“The dramatic and dangerous impacts of non-GMO industrial eucalyptus plantations are well documented and include invasiveness, desertification of soils, depletion of water, increased threat of wildfire and loss of biodiversity,” stated Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project and Coordinator of the STOP GE Trees Campaign.  “Eucalyptus trees are not native to the Americas and they inhibit the growth of native vegetation.  In Brazil, these plantations are called Green Deserts because nothing can grow in them.  Now they want to engineer them, which will make them even more destructive,” she added.
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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Green Economy, Rio+20

Three hundred people breach earthen dam, free Xingu River from Belo Monte mega-dam project

Cross-posted from Amazon Watch via Earth First Newswire

June 15, 2012, Belo Monte, Brazil. While the Brazilian Government prepares to host the Rio+20 United Nations Earth Summit, 3,000 kilometers north in the country’s Amazon region indigenous peoples, farmers, fisherfolk, activists and local residents affected by the construction of the massive Belo Monte Dam project began a symbolic peaceful occupation of the dam site to “free the Xingu River.”


In the early morning hours, three hundred women and children arrived in the hamlet of Belo Monte on the Transamazon Highway, and marched onto a temporary earthen dam recently built to impede the flow of the Xingu River. Using pick axes and shovels, local people who are being displaced by the project removed a strip of earthen dam to restore the Xingu’s natural flow.

Residents gathered in formation spelling out the words “Pare Belo Monte” meaning “Stop Belo Monte” to send a powerful message to the world prior to the gathering in Rio and demanding the cancellation of the $18 billion Belo Monte dam project (aerial photos of the human banner available upon request).
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Filed under Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Latin America-Caribbean, Rio+20

Brazil: Peoples’ Alternative Summit to Boycott Gov’t “Dialogues” prior to Rio+20 Summit

Note: Climate Connections will be in Rio in June to cover the activities inside and outside of the Rio+20 Summit and the Peoples’ Alternative Summit.
Against the Green Economy and the Commodification of Nature!
–The GJEP Team
The Summit will not participate in Rio+20 preparatory event organized by the Brazilian government
Cross-Posted from Cupula dos Povos
Regarding the invitation made to the Brazilian Civil Society Facilitation Committee at Rio+20 (CSFC) to participate to the Dialogues for Sustainable Development (DSD), we inform that :
During the last decades, networks and entities that compose the CSFC and organize the People’s Summit during Rio+20 for the Social and Environmental Justicehave fought – and keep on doing it – for the opening of participative and dialogue spaces aiming to conquest public policies improving the democratization of States, Social and Environmental Justice, and fair distribution of incomes and wealth.
Thanks to the social participation and to the dialogue between State and society, we have won important victories, that can be found in certain programs and policies that answer, although still weakly, to the people historical demands to fight inequalities. That is why we believe and invest in dialogue as one of the fundamental methods to push forward our demands. We will keep on trying to set up dialogues aiming at pressuring the Brazilian government, in order to respond our demands, as we are conscious that the Brazilian society is penetrated by conflicts of interest and that the role of each sector is to express their interests, while the government’s is to take these pressures into account and to make choices in terms of investments and policies.
According to us, the method set up by the DSD does not match this dialogue dynamic that we are trying to push forward. The DSD proposal was built up in a top-down approach, as the Brazilian government chose the themes, participants and facilitators, clearly showing that the Dialogues and their results would be controlled by the government itself. Conscious that the debated themes are objects of conflicts and heterogeneous visions, the method that consists in defining three recommendations per theme, chosen in a closed way, clearly means taking exclusive positions in a context in which we have no chance to influence the decision-making process. To take part to this dynamic means giving a free hand to the “civil society recommendations”, on whose results we wouldn’t have had the minimum impact.
The People’s Summit in Rio+20 for the Social and Environmental Justice during Rio+20 is an autonomous space, critical of the Official Conference’s agenda, and of the big corporations.
We have resistance positions and proposals regarding all the themes set up by the DSD, that express the accumulation of the organizations and Brazilian and international social movements fighting over rights, environmental justice, and against inequalities in Brazil and in the world. We will give our visions as much visibility as possible, for them to be seen and heard, using all sort of media. We hope that the proposals of the people who will be present at the Peoples’ Summit will be heard by society and the heads of state present at Rio+20.
The Civil Society Facilitating Committee at Rio+20
Rio de Janeiro, 02d of May 2012

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Filed under Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Rio+20

Statement: The Peoples’ Summit of the Americas vs the UN Rio+20 Summit

Statement of Teotihuacan 2012

Cross-Posted from the Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de México

lunes 7 de mayo de 2012

 The Peoples’ Summit, parallel to the United Nations Rio+20 Summit, 20 years after Rio92 – the so-called United Nations Earth Summit-, will take place in Rio de Janeiro from June 15 to 22, 2012.

Meeting in the Sun and the Moon pyramids; in the Teotihuacan great house, a group of Mexican activists from various social groups and organizations concerned with the contempt shown by modern industrial societies for Mother Earth, the ancient cultures and the vernacular world vision that integrate the human being with nature and the universe, we want to share our word with all peoples and nations of the world.

To make economic growth into a dogma provokes the accelerated destruction of the essentials for life on this Earth.

Perennial snows areas, ancient forests, animals, plants and landscapes that marvel us are quickly vanishing; the air that we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat, grow worst everywhere. Seas, rivers, mangroves, jungles, lakes, coral reef are dying. Water tables, fishing areas, springs deplete seriously. Fields are being poisoned by industrialized agricultural & farm business, megaprojects and urban sprawl; cities are becoming hellish places due to automobile traffic and conglomeration. Like cancerous bodies, cities annihilate the countryside and seas situated many kilometers apart from them; they turn into the epicenter of all modern evils. Human conviviality is dying along with the soaring growth of all kind of violence: domestic or intra-family, at school, at work, among communities, states, nations, worldwide.

Horror, tragedy, dwells at almost every corner of the world, in the places where poor people live: all the people devalued in fact by the economy growth and techno-science: indigenous people, peasants, laborers. Violence against Earth’s gifts is identical to that exerted against the oppressed communities, peoples and nations. Environmental disasters go hand in hand with social catastrophes. Peoples’ minds are impoverished every day by the false values introduced since infancy, both by the State and the Market. Schools, television broadcasts and the daily indiscriminate consumption of technologies colonize minds and annihilate peoples’ will. Power, greed, individualism, excess, consumerism, competition, spectacle, speed, exploitation of the human being by the human being, have become supreme values throughout the world.

Banks, multinational corporations, governments, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations, the media, the schools, colleges and universities conspire in order to boost an economic growth which destroys at great speed Mother Earth’s gifts, the fabric of society and the vernacular cultures, and which benefits solely the 1% who control those businesses and institutions. Banks, markets and economic growth have become so sacred to governments, that they have no qualms about applying radical measures of violence against a society bothered and discontent with the universal catastrophe generated by the economic dogma, both through abusive political publicity saturating the media, and ever-increasing expenditure in the army, paramilitary and law-enforcement forces and in espionage on citizens. Economic growth devastates people’s wealth and results in the extinction of humanity.

Powerful governments, headed by the U.S.A., are preparing a big coup against the Environment and Mother Earth during the United Nations Rio+20 Summit.

In a desperate bid to solve the worldwide economic crisis, powerful governments, led by the United States, prepare a new strike against Mother Earth’s gifts and the Environment during the United Nations Rio+20 Summit, which they have had sequestered since many years ago. Together with Big Banks and multinational corporations, they want an ominous world policy on economics approved. Something like the so called sustainable development introduced in the Earth Summit, Río 1992 that has so gravely undermined Nature. They now have agreed to launch globally the Green Economy scheme presenting it as the major global solution to the environmental and social disasters that we are undergoing; as a perverted response to social demands in favor of a real clean environment and the preservation of Nature’s gifts. They want to open great business opportunities by applying false solutions to these predicaments, aiming, specifically at promoting and legitimating carbon markets, environmental services, biodiversity markets, REDD+ Programs, CDM, Clean Development Mechanisms, among other seedy “environmental” dealings which incorporate the true meaning of the term Green Economy.

The Mexican government, subdued to U.S government and the world’s financial centers rule, has delivered not only our oil, minerals, aquifers, soil and markets to the international pirates; it also participates in the conspiracy to impose the Green Economy.  It is concealing its support to such pirates and to this abominable policy under “a war on drug trafficking and organized crime” –which it neither wants to win nor is able to win- as well as under an extremely costly national media campaign.
The increasing convergence of governments with multinationals’ intentions worsens and deepens another process currently observed, which is the increasing loss of legitimacy or representativeness of both governments and political parties in most nations, who rather than consulting their peoples to resolve ecological, economic and social issues, devote their best efforts to defend the owners of economic power. Too many politics now turn into compulsive thieves, enemies of their peoples and obstacles to the comprehensive solutions to national and international problems.
During the last five years, Mexican government has waged a war against the poor and Mother Earth’s Gifts under the guise of “disciplined” finance and Macro Economy, war on drugs and programs of investments in infrastructure, development and poverty eradication. The outcome of this new war: 10 million people thrown to extreme poverty, thus joining the previous 20 million; 70,000 deaths and 20,000 “disappeared” persons as a result of violence carried to a horrid extreme, as well as a terrible ecological destruction resulting from the abusive extraction of oil, minerals, water and soil, the impacts of new infrastructure, the application of new technologies, and the production and distribution of psychotropic drugs.
The new technologies and megaprojects exacerbate social disruption and contamination, and annihilate the peoples’ natural and cultural treasures.
Techno-science, builds every day the social and ecological catastrophes of our time. Techno-science facilitates and allows the construction and operation of nuclear plants; oil extraction from deep waters, shale and tar sands; open-air extraction of minerals, using great amounts of water, dynamite and cyanide; transgenic crops of trees, corn, soya, cotton; huge cattle runs and breeding stalls; industrialized animal slaughter; the manufacture of weapons, faster motor vehicles, planes and trains; the highly polluting production of food, clothing, housing, buildings, equipment, and instruments harmful for human health; the construction of military bases, dams, water transfers, super highways, freeways, great bridges, ports, tunnels, channels, towers, airports, refineries, landfills, hazardous-waste landfills, tourist developments, industrial cities, and even university cities, hospital cities, entertainment towns, among other megaprojects that over the years imply a exorbitant social and ecological impact.
Driven by universities and scientific research centers, techno-science serves the population’s 1% interests. More than a third of the world’s scientists are engaged in research linked to military aims. The excess of power, loss of moral references, disproportionate greed and the most degrading addictions derange the controllers of Techno-Science. Finance’s cultural misery invades the scientific and technologic world and denigrates art and beauty around the world.
To de-grow serenely rather than de-grow painfully because of the new global policies to boost economic growth; There are efficient ways to face the System’s crisis.
Peoples have always counted with persons, groups and communities who abhor the destruction of forests, jungles, rivers, lakes, wetlands, seas, and the slaughter and debasement of animals, who detest dependency and a bad alienated life, waste and hubris, who oppose to war, oppression and inequality. In millenary cultures there still survive values, customs and techniques that resist the aggressions of the ideology of progress, modernity, development and economic growth. Ancient communities foster self-sufficiency and responsibility. The old age techniques to build roofs, floors, walls, cisterns, latrines, ceramics; to cultivate vegetables, to raise and handle animals, to limit hunt and fishing, to walk great distances and steep hills; for education and the good life, prove most effective in the defense of Nature and by the way, to healthier lifestyles . They promote peace and conviviality among peoples. In Mexico, the Zapatista movement of Chiapas peoples has given to the world one of the most important political initiative to confront cultural, economic and political disaster. Mesoamerican cultures’ vision constitutes a great spiritual wealth of our country given to the world.
For more than fifty years, thousands of groups and millions of persons around the world have studied and experimented with alternatives to industrial technology; they have created ecological techniques to cultivate vegetables and produce food, preserve water and other gifts of Mother Earth, handle residues, build homes, as well as develop health-care, enhance learning and organize ecological communities. These field trials based upon science, together with millenary cultures’ wisdoms, offer efficient ways to confront the present System crisis.
Frugal life, reciprocity, complementarities, solidarity, collaboration, respect towards Mother Earth, all these values that are so present in millennia-old cultures and in some social groups that have emerged during the last centuries, are crucial elements for the resistance to chaotic urbanization and extreme industrialization; to finance, air-conditioned automobiles, consumerism and to the USA lifestyles. Equally, efficient values are the raising of food for family and community consumption, art, festivities and rituals, which halt the spirit of hard competition, egoism, violence and war.
Solidarity networks, civil disobedience and occupation of streets and squares are resources that help curb the suffering and horrors produced by the inevitable economic degrowth that societies sentenced to grow will one near day experience; they are resources that allow to degrow in a serene manner and rescue the genuine good life that restores our relations with Mother Earth.
In the face of worldwide environmental and social catastrophe, we make the call to
-Initiate a process of de-colonization of the social imaginary aimed to eradicate the values imposed on the world by the State and the Market during the last five hundred years; to subvert and reorient the world’s westernization; at turning into heinous practices usury, private accumulation of goods and power, and the radical, irresponsible alteration of Nature. To decolonize the social imaginary, in order to foster a moral regeneration of our societies; to create a new ethics that will introduce in the laws guarantees of respect towards Mother Earth and of protection of society’s most helpless groups. Create a counter-culture that incorporates the best of the past and the present in order to fill with joy our lives and oppose it to the ecocidal, genocidal ideology that rules today’s world.
-Reconceptualize and restructure food production and other basic elements for human survival, including health care, learning and amenities; Regenerate our communities, neighborhoods, quarters, ejidos, towns and cities by means of ecological techniques and practices approved of by all neighbors.
-Strengthen or enhance the autonomy, self-sufficiency and self-management of communities, neighborhoods, quarters, ejidos, towns and borough confederations, and ecological micro-regions (micro-basins or micro watersheds), by means of permanent community assemblies in the public square.
-Set up the bases for a peaceful transition to a society with a low consumption of energy, water and other resources provided by Mother Earth, by means of regional meetings to engage in dialog and reflexive debate, as well as by means of studies and applied research decided by the community.
-Carry out actions in support of local resistances and the worldwide tidal wave of regional revolutions rising from harsh economic conditions imposed by decaying governments. Back the movements of those severely affected by the increasing disorder created by State and Market activities; participate in the Peoples’ summits organized by international networks on environmental and climate justice vis-à-vis official forums like Rio+20; provide support to the revolutions in  production/consumption techniques and practices; in the management of communities, boroughs and cities; accompany both social movements, and urban and peasant revolutions in each ecological or cultural region; endorse the resistance of indigenous populations, fishers, peasants, laborers, workers, migrants, women, unemployed youth, homeless families, landless peasants, and citizens dispossessed or with no degrees or professional qualifications.
-Relocate life and economy, by having most of the community consume what the ecological region produces and produce most what the eco-region consumes. Support the new artisans and the new peasants who adopt, and take advantage of the best from the past and of the present.

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Filed under Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Rio+20

Brazil: Eucalyptus developer begins final GE tree field trial

Note: The article below shows the key role that industry hopes GE trees will play in the development of extreme agrofuels (jet fuel, biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol, what have you), by manipulating the trees’ lignin and cellulose content.  They are trying to sell GE trees to the public as a solution to climate change, when GE trees will actually exacerbate climate change by accelerating the destruction of native forests globally to make room for new plantations of GE trees–which are invasive, flammable and extremely water-intensive.  Brazil and the US are considering commercial approval of these frankentrees, which is why mobilizing to stop this disaster before it is too late is so crucial.

GJEP and the STOP GE Trees Campaign will be in Brazil next month at the UN’s Rio+20 Earth Summit and the Alternative Peoples’ Forum to mobilize against the commercial approval of GE trees.

To learn more about the campaign to stop GE trees and what you can do, including signing the petition against GE trees and donating to the campaign, go to: nogetrees.org.

–The GJEP Team

By Luke Geiver | May 03, 2012

Cross-Posted from Biomass Magazine

  • FuturaGene, a genetic research and development firm focused on enhancing the eucalyptus tree, has been granted approval to begin a fourth field trial of its genetically modified eucalyptus tree in Brazil.

The Brazilian National Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio) granted the company approval for a fourth trial, and in the coming weeks FuturaGene will begin planting. The goal of the field trial, according to the company, is to evaluate plantation agronomic properties and the biosafety aspects of the plantation.

In order for a eucalyptus plantation consisting of genetically enhanced trees to qualify for the CTNBio’s regulatory dossier that allows market approval in Brazil, FuturaGene has to record and present data on the biosafety concerns of the tree. Starting in 2006, FuturaGene, which also has facilities in China and Israel, began a series of test plantations to acquire the necessary data. The first plantation was planted through a partnership between FuturaGene and Brazilian pulp and paper company Suzano, a partnership that resulted in Suzanao acquiring FuturaGene.

The modified eucalyptus tree developed by FuturaGene alters the structure of the plant cell wall. “The plant cell wall is a rigid barrier surrounding plant cell walls,” explained Stanley Hirsch, CEO of the company. “In order for the plant cell to elongate and divide, this wall must relax and then reform in an ordered manner. We effect changes in the plant cell wall which allow this process to occur more rapidly, thus releasing a rate limiting step on plant growth.”

Following the fourth field trial, FuturaGene hopes to deploy the use of the tree on a commercial scale. According to Hirsch, the company has deployment plans for Brazil. “Suzano owns eucalyptus plantations totalling almost 500,000 hectares (1.2 million acres),” he said, adding that FuturaGene has also formed relationships with other entities around the world to address the possibility of planting on more hectares.

The land characteristic requirement for the modified trees is identical to that of a non-modified version, Hirsch said. Certain versions of the tree can produce higher lignin yields, he also said. “But the major energy enhancement comes from producing more biomass per unit of land employed.

Along with private partnership work with Suzano and Bayer CropScience, FuturaGene has also partnered with several academic institutions in the U.S., including Oregon State University, Purdue University, and the University of Arizona. In China, the company has worked with Guangxi Academy of Sciences and the Research Institute of Forestry of the Chinese Academy of Forestry.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Change, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Rio+20, Water

This Week’s Earth Minute: Chevron Executives Charged Over Oil Spill in Brazil

Global Justice Ecology Project partners with Margaret Prescod’s Sojourner Truth show on KPFK–Pacifica Los Angeles radio show for a weekly Earth Minute on Tuesdays and a weekly 12 minute Environment Segment every Thursday.

Go to the link below and scroll to minute 38:42 to listen to this week’s Earth Minute:

KPFK Earth Minute Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Text from this week’s Earth Minute:

On March 10th, Members of the Stop Suncor and Tar Sands Coalition, including the American Indian Movement and other groups, occupied the site of a Suncor Energy oil spill on the shore of Colorado’s Sand Creek.

Suncor Energy boasts of being the first corporation to begin extracting the tar sands in Athabasca, leading to the deforestation of thousands of square miles of Boreal forest and the destruction of First Nations cultures. Suncor produces more than 90,000 barrels of oil per day at its refinery in Commerce City, Colorado.

Tessa McLean of the American Indian Movement said, “the oil that’s being spilled here came from Athabasca, a First Nations community. My people up are suffering there because of the oil we’re refining here.”

Deanna Meyer of Deep Green Resistance Colorado added, “Suncor has so poisoned this land that oil is bubbling up through numerous burst sub-surface pipelines.  Benzene levels in this water—that fish, ducks, geese, beavers and other beings depend on—are 100 times the safety limit.”

While the spill was first reported last November 27th, it is believed to have begun in February 2011.

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Filed under Climate Change, Earth Minute, Energy, Oil, Pollution, Posts from Anne Petermann, Water