Tag Archives: photo essay

Breaking: Pete Seeger, Songwriter and Champion of Folk Music, Dies at 94

Note: Orin Langelle and Anne Petermann of Global Justice Ecology Project had the privilege to see one of Pete Seeger’s last concerts in Buffalo, NY on November 9th.  Orin took photos of the event which he posted on his website.  You can view them here.  Pete Seeger was a powerful voice for change and part of the incredible uprising of the 1950s-1970s that helped end a war and stop some of the worst racist abuses in this country.  ¡Pete Seeger Presente!

–The GJEP Team

By JON PARELESJAN. 28, 2014, Source: New York Times

Pete Seeger performs in Buffalo, NY in November 2014.  PhotoLangelle.org

Pete Seeger performs in Buffalo, NY in November 2014. PhotoLangelle.org

Pete Seeger, the singer, folk-song collector and songwriter who spearheaded an American folk revival and spent a long career championing folk music as both a vital heritage and a catalyst for social change, died Monday. He was 94 and lived in Beacon, N.Y.

His death was confirmed by his grandson, Kitama Cahill Jackson, who said he died of natural causes at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Mr. Seeger’s career carried him from singing at labor rallies to the Top 10 to college auditoriums to folk festivals, and from a conviction for contempt of Congress (after defying the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s) to performing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at an inaugural concert for Barack Obama.

For Mr. Seeger, folk music and a sense of community were inseparable, and where he saw a community, he saw the possibility of political action.

In his hearty tenor, Mr. Seeger, a beanpole of a man who most often played 12-string guitar or five-string banjo, sang topical songs and children’s songs, humorous tunes and earnest anthems, always encouraging listeners to join in. His agenda paralleled the concerns of the American left: He sang for the labor movement in the 1940s and 1950s, for civil rights marches and anti-Vietnam War rallies in the 1960s, and for environmental and antiwar causes in the 1970s and beyond. “We Shall Overcome,” which Mr. Seeger adapted from old spirituals, became a civil rights anthem.

Mr. Seeger was a prime mover in the folk revival that transformed popular music in the 1950s. As a member of the Weavers, he sang hits including Lead Belly’s “Goodnight, Irene” — which reached No. 1 — and “If I Had a Hammer,” which he wrote with the group’s Lee Hays. Another of Mr. Seeger’s songs, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” became an antiwar standard. And in 1965, the Byrds had a No. 1 hit with a folk-rock version of “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” Mr. Seeger’s setting of a passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes.

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Filed under Climate Change, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle

Holiday Photo Essay: Buffalo Winter – Snow, Rain and Ice

Dear Friends,

Instead of the usual news and reporting we have on this blog, for today and tomorrow we offer this photo essay.  Western New York received an unusually large amount of snow earlier this month, which recently melted during a warm spell and heavy rain, which was followed by freezing temperatures and ice.  This provided some beautiful photo opportunities which we share with you here.  Best wishes for a peaceful Holiday and New Year.

–Anne Petermann, for the GJEP Team

Buffalo, NY Winter: From Snow to Rain to Ice

Scene:  Delaware Park, Hoyt Lake, near Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.  PhotoLangelle.org

After the rain: Delaware Park, Hoyt Lake, near Albright-Knox Art Gallery.  PhotoLangelle.org

Berries and wrought iron.  Photo: Petermann

After the Ice: Berries and wrought iron. Photo: Petermann

Icy tunnel of trees.  Photo: Petermann

Tunnel of trees. Photo: Petermann

Ice curtain. Photo: Petermann

Ice curtain. Photo: Petermann

Berries, Ice and Orange wall.  Photo: Petermann

Berries and Orange wall. Photo: Petermann

Icy park and wrought iron. Photo: Petermann

Icy park and wrought iron fence. Photo: Petermann

Icy leaves and wrought iron. Photo: Petermann

Leaves and iron. Photo: Petermann

Holiday tree. Photo: Petermann

Holiday tree. Photo: Petermann

Tree at Kleinhans Music Hall.  Photo: Petermann

Kleinhans Music Hall. Photo: Petermann

Black and white berries. Photo: Petermann

Black and white berries. Photo: Petermann

Ivy and berries. Photo: Petermann

Ivy and berries. Photo: Petermann

Light post and ice. Photo: Petermann

Light post and ice. Photo: Petermann

icy berries and ivy 2

Holiday colors. Photo: Petermann

1897 Church roof and ice. Photo: Petermann

1897 Church: slate, copper, and ice. Photo: Petermann

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Filed under Climate Change, Forests, Posts from Anne Petermann

KPFK Earth Watch Interview: Orin Langelle on WTO Meetings in Bali

Orin Langelle, Founder and Board Chair of Global Justice Ecology Project discusses the WTO meetings in Bali taking place from 3-6 December, as well as several significant anniversaries for the global movement against neoliberal corporate globalization.  He also mentions the photo exhibit he has in Bali at the Peoples’ Camp taking place there parallel to the WTO meetings.  The exhibit can be viewed here: http://wp.me/p2Mr2B-JC

Candlelight memorial for Lee Kyung Hae at the WTO ministerial in Cancun in 2003 where Hae committed suicide in protest of WTO rules on agriculture.

Candlelight memorial for South Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae at the WTO ministerial in Cancun in 2003 where Hae committed suicide in protest of WTO rules on agriculture.  PhotoLangelle.org

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Filed under Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Earth Radio, Events, Industrial agriculture, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, Political Repression, WTO

Photo Essay: Hundreds descend upon Tree Biotech conference, demand ban on GE trees

By Will Bennington, May 28, 2013. Photos by Orin Langelle and Will Bennington.  Source: Global Justice Ecology Project

Just a day after two Asheville, NC residents were arrested for interrupting a talk at the Tree Biotechnology 2013 Conference, hundreds of demonstrators descended upon the conference center, throwing the biggest industry event of the year into utter chaos.

The demonstration – the world’s largest ever against GE trees – lasted four hours, and included speakers, singing, chanting and street theatre.

As part of a international movement against extreme energy extraction, demonstrators included members of Earth First!, Tar Sands Blockade, Mountain Justice and anti-mountaintop removal activists.  Local farmers, grandparents, children and students also participated.

Photo: Langelle/photolangelle.org for GJEP

GJEP Executive Director Anne Petermann addresses a crowd of over 200 on the dangers of GE trees. Photo: Langelle/photolangelle.org for GJEP

The demonstration is a major milestone in the international Campaign to STOP GE Trees.  The USDA is currently considering an application from GE tree company ArborGen to deregulate cold-tolerant GE eucalyptus in seven states in the southeastern US.  Industry and activists alike recognize that massive public opposition is a major threat, influencing the USDA’s decision as well as the willingness of investors to sink cash into a highly controversial sector.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering

Photo Essay: Paraguay Coup Connections

What will happen to the Indigenous Peoples?

Photographs by Orin Langelle/GJEP-GFC

In the Ayoreo settlement of Campo Lorro, Chaco, Paraguay

Paraguay’s right-wing coup that ousted Fernando Lugo’s government two weeks ago hardly made North American news.  Typical.  And how many people care anyway about that small landlocked nation?

Although the photos in this essay were taken in 2009, they show a community and a people struggling for survival.

To me the coup is personal, because I traveled to Paraguay in January of 2009.  I have friends there. GJEP is the North American Focal Point for Global Forest Coalition  which has their southern hemisphere office there.  I had the opportunity to tour Asuncion, the nation’s Capitol, and see where the poor live several hundred meters from the national government buildings. I traveled on long back roads surrounded by immense GMO soybean fields controlled by agribusiness (the soy mafia) and I visited and photographed the Ayoreo indigenous community of Campo Lorro (Parrot Field) in the Chaco region.

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Filed under Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, Political Repression

Rio+20 Photo Essay: Peoples’ march takes over the streets of Rio

by Anne Petermann, reporting from the streets of Rio, 20 June, 2012

Occupy activists march in Rio. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

“Against the dismantling of national environmental policy.” Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Indigenous 11 Year old Ta’Kaia Blaney of British Columbia protests the tar sands. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

La Via Campesina, the international movement of small farmers, had a large presence in Rio at the Peoples Summit. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

“Against Amazonian Genocide. Xingu (Afro-Brazilian freedom fighter) Lives Forever.” Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Can’t have a march in Latin America without Che. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Funeral for Brazil’s national environmental policy. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Posts from Anne Petermann, Rio+20

Reflections on Hurricane Irene and the Climate Connection

The community of Waterbury, VT begins clean-up after Irene hit the state on Tuesday, August 30, 2012. Photo: Langelle/GJEP

Note: Last month I was asked to submit photographs for an upcoming book on Hurricane (Tropical Storm) Irene and its impact on Vermont.  I was requested to provide numerous photos from my Photo Essay from Vermont: The Recovery from Hurricane Irene Begins.  Quite a few of my shots will be published.

I sent the following article along with the photos.  It won’t be published for various reasons, so I thought I should share it with Climate Connections.

Today is April 17, 2012. Two days ago was the normal date for Lake Iroquois, where I live and wrote this piece, to be free of ice.  Yesterday, the temperature here reached the mid-eighties.  It also was my 61st birthday. (I’ve seen a lot in my life so far and I expect life on the Earth to become much more difficult due to climate chaos and the possibility of total ecological collapse.)

I wrote the following for a mainstream readership, so it may not be as radical as our Climate Connections readers have come to expect, but I do believe that the last few paragraphs which touch on community promote the revolutionary concepts of mutual aid and justice.  Those are just a few of the traits necessary to help build a movement to stop the onslaught of the Earth and its inhabitants by the tiny one percent neoliberal criminals.

-Orin Langelle for GJEP

Irene and the Climate Connection

Lake Iroquois, VT   US           March 19, 2012

This is the last official day of winter.  This afternoon I looked at our thermometer and it was 81 F degrees in the shade.

My partner, Anne Petermann, and I have lived in a cottage on Lake Iroquois in Hinesburg, VT for the past fifteen years.  A few years ago the lake’s ice melt was on the 31st of March.  I spoke with some long-time residents about the early ice melt that year and they could not remember Iroquois’ water open that early.  This year, on St. Patrick’s Day, people were water skiing on the lake—they should have been ice fishing or enjoying another winter sport.

Many of us did not go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing this season. We’ve seen some plumes of smoke coming from sugar shacks this month, but suffice it to say people who make maple sugar are not happy.

In the beginning of this month record-breaking tornadoes swept through the US, breaking records for the entire month.

Last year on top of Irene we were hit with floods that washed over many of the shores of Lake Champlain.  Crops were ruined from heavy flooding on VT Rivers.

Besides being the board Chair of Global Justice Ecology Project, I’m a photojournalist.  I’ve been working on climate related issues for years, starting with Hurricane Mitch that struck Nicaragua in 1998.  I’ve covered UN climate conventions since 2004 and listened to first hand accounts of extreme weather globally by people that are feeling its impacts.  We know people in the small islands of the Pacific whose land is disappearing.

Migrations of people and animals are taking place over the Earth right now because of the weather.

We must recognize that extreme weather is occurring.  And its pace is quickening.

I’m originally from Missouri and when the massive EF5 tornado devastated Joplin, MO last May, and for the fact that I’m a photojournalist working on climate, I almost went.  Anne, who also works on climate issues, talked me into staying in VT, saying unfortunately I’d get a chance to photograph extreme weather damage in VT.  Little did we know that it would happen so fast with Irene.

In beginning of the aftermath, the day after in fact, Anne and I photographed and interviewed military personnel from Camp Johnson, where the National Guard was mobilizing and FEMA was beginning to arrive.  We ended up later that day on a road to Grafton, one of the towns that were cut off from ground transportation.  We went as far as we could go.

Between going to Camp Johnson and ending up on a washed out road near Grafton, we spent most of our time in Waterbury.  As you can see [from my photo] essay), most of Waterbury was just beginning recovery from Irene.  People who lost everything were helping each other.  The community was uniting.  The community came together in an emergency.

Was Irene cause by the changing climate?  To me quite certainly, but in the end it is up for you to decide.

The Union of Concerned Scientists states, “Recent scientific evidence suggests a link between the destructive power (or intensity) of hurricanes and higher ocean temperatures, driven…by global warming.”

It is evident to many of us that for far too long industrial civilization has been belching carbon into the atmosphere.  Is it to late to stop the damage that has already been done?  Maybe.  Or maybe not.  But real change needs to start happening now.

Most communities come together in emergencies—all over the world.  It is a shame though that it takes disaster for most people in communities to work hand in hand for their common good. Maybe it’s time for real community to come together–not just when disaster hits–but all of the time.  Maybe then we can find real solutions that we the people talk about and decide.

But maybe real community is just a dreamer’s utopia.  Someone has to dream though, or everyone’s dream may become a nightmare.

Orin Langelle is the board chair for Global Justice Ecology Project and is a photojournalist now editing four decades of his concerned photography.


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Filed under Climate Change, Natural Disasters, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle

Photo Essay from the Tree Biotechnology 2011 Conference Field Trip Hosted by Veracel

On Wednesday, July 29th, around 200 participants divided into 4 groups toured various facilities owned by pulp company Veracel.  This photo essay explains what we learned on the field trip.

Photos and commentary by Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project (Exception: the last two photos are by GJEP Co-Director/Strategist Orin Langelle)

First Stop: Veracel Forest Preserve where children and visitors are “educated” about the importance of eucalyptus pulp and the “greenness” of Veracel.  Note that the human figure in the poster is exhibiting total dominance over the trees.

On the way into the forest preserve, children and visitors are presented with a native forest monster and representations of some of the scary wildlife that live in forests.

Veracel forest monster

Scary forest raptor

On the way through the 6,000 hectare forest preserve (80% of which is forested), a mixture of formerly logged lands and primary forest, participants were treated to a canopy rope bridge and photo shoots with 4 large trees we encountered on the path.  Most of the forest contained very young trees.

canopy rope bridge

one of the four big trees

The primary Mata Atlantica forest once stretched over much of the eastern edge of Brazil.  Large swaths of it have been eliminated and replaced with eucalyptus plantations.  Veracel took us next to the tree nursery where they propogate the 17 million eucalyptus clones they produce annually.  Henry Ford would have been proud.  The nursery was a very efficient assembly line operation.

Taking Cuttings to propagate new clones

"Clonal Garden"

Assembly line for clones 1

Assembly line for clones 2

Assembly line for clones 3

All the happy clones together

The next step for these clones, of course, is to be transformed into large-scale monoculture eucalyptus plantations.  Veracel harvests 11,000 of these 7 year old eucalyptus trees every day for their pulp mill.  Virtually the entire timbering operation is heavily mechanized to employ the fewest people possible, and uses an assortment of chemicals, from a petroleum-based hydrophilic polymer that is planted with the seedlings, to glyphosate-based herbicides that are applied to keep out competition plants, to the insecticides used to control “pests.”  In this way, Veracel can maximize its potential for profits.

The eucalyptus plantation

The mechanical harvester rapidly gobbles up the trees

The jaws of the harvester up close and personal

This employee, clearly bored, awaits his cue to show the visitors how the mechanized planter works

After a couple of tries, they were finally successful in showing how the mechanized planter works

The result. Note the petroleum-based polymer gel at the base of the seedling

Despite several quotes from Rachel Carson, John Muir, Emerson and other naturalists posted at the nature preserve, the plantations rely heavily on chemical applications.  The guide informed me that the trees get three applications of toxic herbicide over their 7 year life span.  As a result, the plantations of non-native trees are devoid of understory plants or biodiversity.  Social movements in Brazil call them “green deserts” for this reason.

the ground beneath the plantation is barren of other life forms

Rachel Carson quote in the Veracel forest preserve. Too bad they don't listen to her.

The ultimate purpose for the clones:

massive pile of eucalyptus chips at the Veracel pulp mill

From standing trees to boiled, bleached pulp in one day

The reason Veracel needs to greenwash their image: their giant stinking, polluting pulp mill

The stench of the pulp mill. "It smells like money".

Veracel's vision for the future: Make more money!

One of the obstacles, according to Veracel, of their achieving maximum productivity, is people breaking into their plantations.  On the way to the plantation, we passed what appeared to be an MST (Landless Workers’ Movement) encampment–black plastic shelters with a red MST flag flying high over them.  Indeed, elsewhere in Brazil, the MST as well as indigenous Tupinikim and Guarani populations, have taken over eucalyptus plantations and found better uses for the land.  In the case of the MST, as encampments for landless peasants.  In the case of the Indigenous Peoples, as a retaking of their ancestral lands from which they were forcibly removed when the timber company was given the land for plantations.  The cases we had previously documented were on Aracruz Cellulose land in Espirito Santo, but it seems to be occuring here in Bahia as well.  Below are photos from the encampments in Esprito Santo:

MST encampment in former eucalyptus plantation. The sign says "Eucalyptus plantations are not forests". Photo: Langelle/GJEP-GFC

Indigenous community re-takes traditional lands, removes eucalyptus plantation. Photo: Langelle/GJEP-GFC

Eucalyptus plantations have been such a smashing success in other parts of the world, that now GE tree company ArborGen is trying to engineer them to be cold-tolerant so that the joy of eucalyptus plantations can be spread to new and untrammeled lands.  In the United States they hope to sell half a billion GE cold tolerant eucalyptus trees annually for plantations from Texas to Florida.  They’re invasive? Flammable?  Dry up ground water and worsen droughts?  So?  What’s your point.  They will make a lot of money for a few powerful people.

To learn more or to sign our petition to the US Department of Agriculture opposing GE eucalyptus in the US, click here

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Change, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Greenwashing, Latin America-Caribbean, Pollution, Posts from Anne Petermann