Archive for January, 2010
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PETTUS, WVa—After blocking Massey Energy’s operations on the Bee Tree Permit for nine days, Amber Nitchman, 19, and Eric Blevins, 28 descended from their respective trees. They had occupied the two oak trees—originally accompanied by a third tree sitter, David Aaron Smith, 23—to protest mountaintop removal and the blasting of Coal River Mountain. Upon descent, they were immediately arrested by West Virginia State Troopers. The sitters’ decision to leave the trees was made in light of the recent drop in temperature.
After a week of Massey security harassing the sitters with deafening sirens and air horns, a call-in pressure campaign was launched by Climate Ground Zero, Mountain Justice and other anti-mountaintop removal groups. The receipt of hundreds of calls from around the country led to an emergency meeting with Climate Ground Zero volunteers, the Raleigh County prosecutor and Governor Manchin. The meeting resulted in the moratorium and a call for an investigation of the abuse.
The tree sit represents Climate Ground Zero’s most sustained intervention in mountaintop removal mining operations since its campaign of nonviolent direct action began last February. Read the rest of this entry »
Black Mesa, AZ – A Department of Interior Administrative Law Judge withdrew Peabody Coal Company’s Life of Mine permit for operations (Black Mesa Complex) on Black Mesa, AZ, handing a major victory to tribal and environmental organizations who appealed the permit decision in January. The permit had been granted on December 22nd 2008 by the Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining (OSM) in one of several fossil-fuel friendly 11th hour decisions by the Bush Administration.
According Judge Robert G. Holt, “OSM violated NEPA [National Environmental Protection Act] by not preparing a supplemental draft EIS [Environmental Impact Statement] when Peabody changed the proposed action. As a result, the Final EIS did not consider a reasonable range of alternatives to the new proposed action, described the wrong environmental baseline, and did not achieve the informed decision-making and meaningful public comment required by NEPA. Because of the defective Final EIS, OSM’s decision to issue a revised permit to Peabody must be vacated and remanded to OSM for further action.”
Wahleah Johns, co-director of Black Mesa Water Coalition, one of the petitioners in the appeal, issued the following statement: “As a community member of Black Mesa I am grateful for Judge Holt’s decision. For 40 years our sacred homelands and people have borne the brunt of coal mining impacts, from relocation to depletion of our only drinking water source. This ruling is an important step towards restorative justice for Indigenous communities who have suffered at the hands of multinational companies like Peabody Energy. This decision is also precedent-setting for all other communities who struggle with the complexities of NEPA laws and OSM procedures in regards to environmental protection. However, we also cannot ignore that irreversible damage of coal mining industries continues on the land, water, air, people and all living things.”
“Coal River Mountain was the last mountain around here that hasn’t been touched and they could’ve been using it for windmills…But Massey wants to get that coal. It seems like they just don’t care about the populace. Just the land and their checkbook.” – Richard Bradford MARFORK, W.Va. – Protestors associated with Climate Ground Zero and Mountain Justice halted blasting on Coal River Mountain today with a three-person tree-sit. David Aaron Smith, 23, Amber Nitchman, 19 and Eric Blevins, 28 are on platforms approximately 60 feet up two tulip poplar trees and one oak tree. They are located next to where Massey Energy is blasting to build an access road to the Brushy Fork Impoundment on its Bee Tree Strip Mine. Their banners state: “Save Coal River Mtn.,” “EPA Stop the Blasting” and “Windmills Not Toxic Spills.” Read the rest of this entry »
Press Release – 1/13/2010:
“Indigenous Peoples are being forced to sign over their territories for REDD to the Gangsters of the Century, carbon traders, who are invading the world’s remaining forests that exist thanks to the knowledge of Indigenous Peoples,” denounced Marlon Santi, President of the CONAIE, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, one of the most powerful native organizations in the world. “Our forests are spaces for life not carbon markets.”
Indigenous leader kidnapped and forced at gunpoint to surrender carbon rights for REDD in Papua New Guinea
New York, USA — As carbon traders hawk permits to pollute at the Second Annual Carbon Trading Summit, Indigenous Peoples denounced that selling the sky not only corrupts the sacred but also destroys the climate, violates human rights and threatens cultural survival.
“Carbon trading and carbon offsets are a crime against humanity and Creation,” said Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network. “The sky is sacred. This carbon market insanity privatizes the air and sells it to climate criminals like Shell so they can continue to pollute and destroy the climate and our future, rather than reducing their emissions at source.”
“This Carbon Traitors’ Summit comes on the heels of the failed UN Copenhagen climate conference which put forests in carbon markets by creating a mechanism called REDD or REDD-plus (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation).” According to Goldtooth, “Most of the forests of the world are found in Indigenous Peoples’ land. REDD-type projects have already caused land grabs, killings, violent evictions and forced displacement, violations of human rights, threats to cultural survival, militarization and servitude.” Read the rest of this entry »
NYC Carbon Trading Protest – Financial District, 1-13-2010
(video by Freddy’s Brooklyn Roundhouse)
Calling carbon traders “climate traitors,” members of the Climate Crisis Coalition, Rising Tide North America, Climate SOS gathered outside the 2nd annual NYC Carbon Trading Summit to demand an end to the market-based trading of greenhouse gas emissions credits and called for just solutions to the climate crisis. The climate justice activists risked arrest to voice their opposition to the financial trading giants at the Summit, including JP Morgan Chase & Goldman Sachs, comparing their carbon trading plans to those that caused the current financial crisis.
From The Nor’easter – by Jason SladeThe Spectacle —- Environmental issues can oftentimes be very complex. Some issues directly relate to climate change, and some do not. However, it is very important to connect the dots between issues because almost all environmental problems are caused, at their base, by capitalist expansion, commodification and privatization. Corporations have used the climate crisis and growing public concern about environmental issues to their advantage. They have learned to use the rhetoric of environmentalism to justify extremely oppressive projects whose sole purpose is to increase their power and to continue the cycle of production and consumption. Incredibly destructive projects, such as hydrofracture natural gas extraction in Upstate New York, are marketed as clean. This absurd spectacle must be stopped.
In Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle, he writes, “The spectacle presents itself simultaneously as all of society, as part of society, and as instrument of unification … The spectacle grasped in its totality is both the result and the project of the existing mode of production.
It is not a supplement to the real world, an additional decoration. It is the heart of the unrealism of the real society. In all its specific forms, as information or propaganda, as advertisement or direct entertainment consumption, the spectacle is the present model of socially dominant life … It is the sun which never sets over the empire of modern passivity. It covers the entire surface of the world and bathes endlessly in its own glory.” And now the light of that sun is green. The green spectacle is confronting the climate crisis with hollow solutions presented to us in a pleasant, prefabricated package that can be bought if we can afford them and allow us to pollute in good conscience. In an absurd twist, these corporate false solutions cause the poor, and those who resist these schemes, to be blamed for destroying the planet. Read the rest of this entry »
1/13/2009 – New York, NY – In the wake of a controversial outcome at the Copenhagen climate talks, a diverse crowd of scientists, Faith congregations, activists, students, and concerned citizens converged in confrontation and protest at the 2nd Annual IGlobalForum Carbon Trading Summit today. The summit is the largest annual meeting place of corporations, banks, and lobby groups to further the agenda of a carbon trading scheme to address climate change. Activists rallied to oppose market-based trading of greenhouse gas emissions credits and call for real solutions to the climate crisis. Dr. Maggie Zhou, from Secure Green Future and Climate SOS, was among the demonstrators who engaged in a nonviolent direct action and risked arrest in an attempt to blockade the venue’s revolving doors, and display a banner decrying carbon trading as a false solution.
Other outraged environmentalists and faith-community activists entered the hotel and disrupted the Carbon Summit luncheon, challenging attendees to consider the future of the planet above their own short-term financial interests and denouncing them as climate profiteers. The private gathering, separated from the central hotel atrium by a tall curtain, was suddenly exposed to activists and other members of the general public when the curtain was torn down.
“The same Wall Street bankers who gave us the global climate crisis are trying to own the sky,” stated Brian Tokar, director of the Institute for Social Ecology and an organizer of this week’s protest events. “Carbon trading is unjust, it will not work, and it is a false solution. It is a dangerous distraction from the urgent measures needed to prevent an ever-worsening destabilization of the climate.”
Speakers at the rally included Dea Goblirsch, organizer with Climate Ground Zero in southern W. VA., Reverend Billy of the Church of Life After Shopping, who delivered a critique with the fire and brimstone of a televangelist; Chaia Heller, Professor of Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College, and Father Paul Mayer, co-founder of the Climate Crisis Coalition and religious community leader.
Participants inside the Carbon Trading Summit included executives from JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Duke Energy and more, as well as polluter-friendly environmental groups like the Environmental Defense Fund and World Wildlife Fund.
“I don’t trust these people to make decisions about the future of humanity,” said one young participant, who wished not to give her name because she will be risking arrest today. “If we follow through with market-based solutions like carbon trading, everyone will regret it. We need to stop believing the corporations’ false solutions and put all our collective energy into getting this conversation onto a track that’s useful.”
Dr. James Hansen, renowned climate scientist, was present outside the Carbon Trading Summit on Tuesday to voice his opposition to carbon trading schemes.
“Cap-and-trade is not a smart approach,” wrote Hansen his book Storms of My Grandchildren. Hansen has stated that current US climate legislation is “worse than nothing” because it relies on risky and ineffective cap-and-trade. He also declared that the failure to reach an agreement in Copenhagen was a better outcome than adopting the carbon-trade-based approach that was being negotiated.
“Carbon trade, which includes cap and trade and offsets, are a dangerous distraction, economically risky, and prone to gaming and speculation,” stated Maggie Zhou. “Offsets allow polluters to simply pay someone else somewhere else to reduce their emissions on your behalf, which in the end does nothing to actually reduce emissions. The climate crisis simply can’t wait!
“Carbon trade is an insidious threat to human rights,” stated Dr. Rachel Smolker from Biofuelwatch and Climate SOS. “It turns rights to pollute the atmosphere, as well as forests, soils and agriculture practices that store carbon into commodities to be bought and sold as excuses for polluters. This is the greatest corporate grab on the “global commons” ever! It is disastrous for most of humanity.
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Climate SOS, Rising Tide North America, Beyond Talk (Climate Pledge of Resistance), Rainforest Action Network, Institute for Social Ecology, The Change You Want to See Gallery and others are behind this effort. To learn more and take a stand for climate justice, for real solutions, and for the future of our planet, please visit above websites, or visit us on Facebook. firstname.lastname@example.org
by Michelle Mascarenhas-Swan,
December 18, 2009 (updated 12/21)
The Copenhagen round of the UNFCCC 15th Conference of Parties has ended in failure It is essential for the future of life on this planet that we achieve a global pact based on sound science and equity soon. But given that the U.S. and its key allies were not willing to consider a fair and binding agreement, it is highly encouraging to see that social movements and many third world nations successfully united behind the slogan, “No deal is better than a catastrophic deal.”
Sadly, the US has been unwilling to put forth real solutions with the speed and scale needed. Instead, Hilary Clinton arrived on Thursday trying to extort an unfair deal by offering a vague package of $100 billion that would amount to a new climate colonialism. At the same time, a UNFCC analysis was leaked showing that the combined offerings of the US and other countries would amount to at least a 3 degree Celsius rise. This would mean the eradication of whole island nations, dire drought for Africa, and massive displacement from increasing storms and flooding in South Asia.
The Obama Administration has offered cuts amounting to 4% from 1990 levels by 2020. To survive, the Island Nations, African Union, and other third world governments such as Bolivia joined with Indigenous People and others to call for industrialized nations to cut emissions by 49% from 1990 levels by 2020. They are demanding real solutions to the dire mitigation and adaptation issues they face.
by Cory Morningstar
The mainstream environmental movement no longer inspires nor leads society to an enlightened existence – it simply bows down to the status quo.
Who Really Deserves the Fossil Fool Award? TckTckTck or us?
In this HAVAS press release TCK HAVAS PAGER we obtained Havas announces their TckTckTck campaign launch. In this release it states:“The objective was to make it become a movement that consumers, advertisers and the media would use and exploit”. After the background text on the TckTckTck campaign itself, the release goes on to state in ‘the results’ the following:
The open- ‐source campaign has been adopted around the world with everything from massive stunts in Central Park by Oxfam, to ad agency Y&R in Brazil creating a Tck Tck Tck TV commercial, to advertisers like EDF including the TckTckTck logo on one of their latest TV commercials, to huge global press coverage.
It then lists the partners that have come on board thus far.
From the release:
The following companies who have already come on board as partners includes Galeries Lafayette, Virgin Group, Yahoo! Music, iTunes, Google, Pernod Ricard, EDF, Microsoft, Zune, YouTube, USA Today, National Magazines, HSBC, M&S, Uniqlo, Lloyds Bank, MySpace, MTV, Bo Concept Japan K.K., Volvo, Kipa Turkey, Claro Argentina, Peugeot, NTV, Universal, Tesco, Sina.com, GDF Suez, Centrica, Oxfam, New Zealand Wine Company, 350.org, Handbag.com, Avaaz.org, Lesinrockuptibles, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, EMap, Greenpeace, Commensal, The Atlantic, Fast Company, News Limited, Tesla, Wired Magazine, and RFM Radio. Read the rest of this entry »
Something is rotten (but not just) in Denmark. As a matter of fact, thousands of people have been considered, without any evidence, a threat to the society. Hundreds have been arrested and some are still under detention, waiting for judgement or under investigation. Among them, us, the undersigned. We want to tell the story from the peculiar viewpoint of those that still see the sky from behind the bars. Read the rest of this entry »