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Posts Tagged ‘false solutions’

by Rachel Smolker (original link at Common Dreams HERE)

It’s downright amazing what people are willing to put their faith in when confronted with a crisis. With ever more dire impacts from a cooking planet, the “biochar worshippers” are doing their best to sell the idea that we can cure just about everything — from global warming to soil infertility, agrichemical runoff, even dirty toilets — by doing a little morecooking. Just cook up some trees, agricultural “wastes and residues” — maybe a few hundred thousand acres of industrial tree monocultures (why not?) and then bury the resulting charcoal in soils to “sequester” it.  This, they refer to as “a powerful tool to fight global warming.” (Footnote: If you think referring to them as “worshippers” is overstepping, see below)

So convinced are they that charred plant matter is the answer to global warming, that the International Biochar Initiative, (IBI), a group consisting of a mix of business, academic and hybrid interests, has spent tons of time and money zealously lobbying to have biochar included in all manner of policies intended to address climate change: from the UN and other carbon trading venues to the proposed “Water Efficiency via Carbon Harvesting and Restoration Act” (WECHAR) bill introduced by Senator Harry Reid from Nevada, which would have us char trees and other “biomass” from National Parks. Read the rest of this entry »

April 21st, 2010 will Mark the fall of the Mainstream Environmental ‘Movement’

For many in the climate justice movement, the growing trend of cozy alliances between many of the mainstream ENGOs with multinational corporate partners has been a toxic recipe; the price of which may be nothing less than complete ecological devastation. The result of these unscrupulous relationships is undeserved legitimacy for transnational corporations, as compromised NGOs run hand in hand with CEOs and executives in a race to the lowest common denominator. The common denominator is money and the finish line is paved in gold – but at what cost? Species extinction is happening at a scale of epic proportions, droughts and storms are happening at unparalleled magnitude; irreversible climate change catastrophe now stares at us in the face. The most inconvenient truth of all – that today – we now stand on the cusp of epic collapse of civilization. Has Earth Day become nothing more than a day of greenwash opportunism and will it mark the fall of the mainstream environmental movement.

Creating Climate Wealth Summit

Invitation from the ‘Earth Day Network’:

“Please join Earth Day Network and the Carbon War Room on April 21, 2010 from 6:00 p.m.-10:00p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building for a celebration on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day! Join Sir Richard Branson, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and celebrities. Join attendees from the Creating Climate Wealth Summit, our keynote speakers Richard Branson and Lisa Jackson, and enjoy a night conversing with other professionals that are making a difference in the climate change market! Held at the beautiful Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, D.C., this night will not only bring together those that are making a difference in the climate marketplace, but it will provide superb dining, excellent entertainment and a night of networking not to be missed! Seats are limited and will sell out; tickets will only be available in advance. Purchase before March 31, 2010 and receive a 10% discount! Ticket prices: $450 – Full Ticket, $295 – Non-profit and Academic, Please contact us regarding government rates. Leadership Celebration Dinner Guests include Richard Branson; Founder and Chairman, Virgin Group Denis Hayes Honorary Chair, Earth Day Network Organizer, Earth Day 1970 Lisa Perez Jackson Administrator, EPA.”

Executive board members of the ‘Carbon War Room’ include CEO of Virgin Unite and former CEO of Richard Branson’s Virgin Mobile (partner of original Havas tcktcktck campaign), and George Polk; currently leading a new $1 billion initiative by George Soros to invest private equity in climate change business models.

Richard Branson is ubiquitous. His corporations Virgin and Virgin Atlantic are partners in ‘The Climate Group’ (comprised of corporations and government) and he has worked with tcktcktck in the past. In 2007, HSBC announced that The Climate Group, along with WWF, Earthwatch, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, would be a partner in the HSBC Climate Partnership, and donated US$100 million to the group – the largest-ever single corporate donation. As of December 2008, The Climate Group coalition includes more than 50 of the world’s largest corporations and sub-national governments, as well as several partner organizations. The Climate Group also works on other initiatives, one being that of the ‘Voluntary Carbon Standard’, a new global standard for voluntary offset projects.

‘Sir’ Richard Branson is presently working with the New Royal Society initiative on ‘solar radiation management’ with “the right stakeholders” to “create a strategic roadmap for governance and regulation” in the geoengineering “battle area.” As well, Branson is fervently developing “tourism ventures into space”. You can book your place in space on Richards “sexiest spaceship ever” at your earliest convenience, because, according to Richard, “Everybody should have the chance to experience space travel one day”. Branson also has massive investments in biofuel research including palm and soy – both of which have had devastating consequences.

Turning food and Displacement into Corporate Profits

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Following closely on the heels of the failed UN Copenhagen climate conference, , the Second Annual Carbon Trade Summit will be convened on January 12-13th in New York City, bringing together representatives of some of the most polluting industries, industry associations, carbon financiers, banks, government officials and corporate “big greens.” Participants will include executives from JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Duke Energy, and many more. (See
Here they will discuss how to take advantage of the emerging carbon markets. Under a veneer of greenwash, they will be determining ways to ensure that marketable allowances for greenhouse gases (a.k.a., “cap-and-trade” schemes) remain the centerpiece of global climate policy.

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by Gopal Dayaneni

The Mess We Are In

Most readers are probably familiar with the 1977 science fiction blockbuster movie, Star Wars. Remember the trash compactor scene? That scene provides a nice metaphor for the state of global economic and ecological crisis. We are all trapped in a global trash compactor. The walls are closing in.
nerf herders
On one side, we have climate chaos with all its myriad consequences. On the other, we have the wall of racial, gender, economic and environmental injustice also closing in on us. In the middle, we have us – everyone. And as the walls begin closing in, what is the first thing you do? You try to push back. Many people concerned over the past 30-plus years with the rapidly increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have been pushing against the wall of climate chaos. Armed with the best science, they have been demanding, and sometimes taking real action to slow the release of carbon into the atmosphere and/or get carbon out of the atmosphere.

Up against the other wall are the communities attempting to push back against the advance of ever increasing inequity, poverty, violence and injustice. Those folks (for the sake of the metaphor, we’ll call them the rebels) are primarily peoples in the global South and indigenous peoples worldwide and poor communities and communities of colour in the North. These are the people who have been the victims of colonisation, environmental racism, destructive development and economic impoverishment in the name of progress. The North (and elites in the South), instead of pushing back, are running to the centre, staying as far away from the walls closing in as they can, buying themselves some time, but only time and not very much of it. As they crowd the centre space, more and more folks are forced up against the walls, allowing those in the centre to ignore both the walls closing in and the folks getting crushed. But we are now at a place in which the walls are so close they can no longer be ignored. So what do we do?
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CONTACT: Center for Biological Diversity
Bill Snape, (202) 536-9351

TUCSON, Ariz. – November 6 – Capping a week in which the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee overwhelmingly passed a weak global warming bill with no Republican support, Center for Biological Diversity Executive Director Kierán Suckling issued the following statement:

“It is a sad day when the lead environmental committee in the Senate passes a bill (S. 1733) that contains pollution-reduction goals far less than scientists tell us are necessary to stem global warming and avert catastrophe. It is even more distressing that this bill contains Clean Air Act exemptions that will eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency’s longstanding duty to reduce greenhouse pollutants based on scientific standards. This is not a time to cheer. The fossil-fuel industry has received what it wants and will now seek more.

There are three fundamental problems with the Senate bill.
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Rising Tide North America, with Carbon Trade Watch and the Camp for Climate Action would like you to join us on the October 24th day of global climate action to spread the word about the biggest financial scam in history – Carbon Trading.

In order to stabilize the climate before billions of people around the world suffer the consequences, it is imperative that carbon-trading schemes are stopped and real, democratically determined solutions are implemented.

We cannot afford to waste any more valuable time and resources relying on such market-driven strategies to deliver science-based goals (such as 350 ppm of CO2) when so many lives and livelihoods are at stake. If we truly wish to protect people and planet, then we must put climate justice before corporate profits.  However, first and foremost, we need to dispel the misguided notion that carbon trading has anything at all to do with climate change mitigation, or the present and future wellbeing of our communities.

We are proud to announce the launch of – a website presenting 350 reasons why carbon trading will not serve to stabilize the climate. A staggering amount of reasons sent in by site visitors was pored over, organized, and consolidated into an upcoming on-site gallery– 35 exemplary ones  are included in the 350 Reasons ‘zine (downloadable below).  Visit for printable format versions

350Reasons ZINE

Online Reading version

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