Credit: Coalition to save Tripa Forest / Handout / 3/05/2012
by Rabb!t / Earth First! Newswire
The Indonesian rainforest is in an unbalanced tug-o-war between corporations and the wild, and the government’s problem – solution/problem – solution/problem dance of reactionary politics is spiraling out of control.
In Indonesia, you have one of the most biologically diverse forests on the planet (ranking third in the world for number of species) being sold to giant conglomerates. Generally, these conglomerates decide to do one of two things with the rainforest: shred it into pulp and paper; or burn it down, in football field-size chunks, and replant the ashen land with palm trees.
Why palm trees? Though I’m sure the smoldering burial grounds of the once-tropical forest will be as good a tourist destination as any once the sea levels and super-storms catch up with atmospheric CO2 levels, these imported palm trees are not being planted for ambiance, but rather being squeezed for their palm oil.
Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA
by Kara Moses / The Guardian
An estimated 200 people occupied Canary Wharf to protest against public spending cuts and lack of action against climate change.
One of London‘s key financial districts saw its biggest ever protest on Friday as an estimated 200 people occupied Canary Wharf to protest against public spending cuts and lack of action against climate change.
Penguin on Antarctic sea ice. Photograph: John B. Weller
by Graham Readfeam / The Guardian
An extraordinarily big thing might happen in the world of marine conservation next month at a meeting in Germany of a little known international commission.
And while you probably haven’t read much about it, the outcome could see the creation of the two largest areas of protected ocean on the planet that would lock out fishing from more than 1.5 million square kilometres of ocean around the Antarctic.
NSA PRISM is motivated in part by fears that environmentally-linked disasters could spur anti-government activism
by Nafeez Ahmed / The Guardian
US domestic surveillance has targeted anti-fracking activists across the country. Photo from tarsandsblockade.org
Top secret US National Security Agency (NSA) documents disclosed by the Guardian have shocked the world with revelations of a comprehensive US-based surveillance system with direct access to Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants. New Zealand court records suggest that data harvested by the NSA’s Prism system has been fed into the Five Eyes intelligence alliance whose members also include the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
But why have Western security agencies developed such an unprecedented capacity to spy on their own domestic populations? Since the 2008 economic crash, security agencies have increasingly spied on political activists, especially environmental groups, on behalf of corporate interests. This activity is linked to the last decade of US defence planning, which has been increasingly concerned by the risk of civil unrest at home triggered by catastrophic events linked to climate change, energy shocks or economic crisis – or all three.
“Water in the Anthropocene” is a three minute film charting the global impact of humans on the water cycle. Evidence is growing that our global footprint is now so significant we have driven Earth into a new geological epoch—the Anthropocene.
Human activities such as damming and agriculture are changing the global water cycle in significant ways.
As datasets build upon one another, the film charts Earth’s changing global water cycle, why it is changing and what this means for the future. The vertical spikes that appear in the film represent the 48,000 large dams that have been built.
by Joe Romm / ThinkProgress
A NASA science team has observed “amazing and potentially troubling” levels of methane and CO2 from the rapidly warming Arctic. Given the staggering amount of carbon trapped in the permafrost — and the fact that methane is a very potent heat-trapping gas — the space agency is now asking: “Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?”
“Permafrost zones occupy nearly a quarter of the exposed land area of the Northern Hemisphere. NASA’s Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) is probing deep into the frozen lands above the Arctic Circle in Alaska to measure emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane from thawing permafrost — signals that may hold a key to Earth’s climate future.” Credit: UNEP
We’ve known for a while that “permafrost” was a misnomer (see “Thawing permafrost feedback will turn Arctic from carbon sink to source in the 2020s“). The defrosting permamelt will likely add up to 1.5°F to total global warming by 2100.
The tar sands are growing out of control, destroying the climate for all Canadians and poisoning the water of everyone living downstream.
On July 5th and 6th, people will come together from coast to coast to join First Nations and Metis in the Healing Walk, a gathering focused on healing the environment and the people who are suffering from tar sands expansion.
Let’s call on the Alberta and Canadian governments to stop the reckless mismanagement of these resources. We need our governments to work with First Nations and bring people together to make wise choices about stewarding the land in ways that are sustainable and fair.
Find out more. | Continue reading
from Earth First! Newswire
When the US Chamber of Commerce was offered a chance to allow there shameful identity as climate change deniers to be improved in 2009 by the Yes Men pranksters’ “Project: Chamber of Commerce Goes Green.” They rejected the opportunity with an unsurprising zeal. Today, it seems they may have chickened-out. The Yes Lab elaborates in their hot-off-the-press release:
Yes Men 2009 US Chamber of Commerce “identity correction”
Washington DC—The Yes Men today implored the US Chamber of Commerce to reconsider their recent decision to withdraw the lawsuit they filed nearly four years ago, in a press conference on the steps of the lobbying giant itself.
“Just as their case against us was finally heating up again, the Chamber decided to drop it,” said former defendant Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men. “The Chamber knew this was our chance to challenge their silly claims and, since they claimed we had ‘damaged’ them, investigate the details of their finances through the discovery process. It’s the height of rudeness to deprive us of this great opportunity.” Continue reading
by Alyce Santoro / truthout
Photo: Bloomsbury Academic
To social ecologists, environmental issues are, at their core, socio-economic issues. The same sense of separateness that justifies our exploitation and domination of one another makes possible similar acts of violence against nature. As long as we remain oblivious to underlying flaws in our collective logic (i.e.: that it is reasonable to endlessly consume non-renewable resources on a finite planet; that peaceful, just societies can emerge out of competitive, hierarchical frameworks) any responses we could devise will be insufficient to significantly alter our current course. A social ecological approach to “saving the environment” would require balancing relationships between humans and other humans, and between humans and all other phenomena. It sounds like a tall order…and it is. In light of the obvious destructive effects of systems within which we are obliged to strive for quantity of goods for one over quality of life for all, we are now faced with two choices: pull off the impossible, or perish.
John P. Clark, a social ecologist/cultural theorist/activist operating out of Loyola University in New Orleans, specializes in the “…potential of apositive practice of social transformation and social regeneration based on nondominating mutual aid and cooperation”; In other words, tall orders. His latest book, titled The Impossible Community: Realizing Communitarian Anarchism, outlines historical cooperative political/social/ecological movements, provides examples of successful initiatives currently in progress, and suggests that the present and future wellbeing of all life on earth is dependent upon grassroots revolution of thought and action. Continue reading
by Kate Galbraith / The Texas Tribune
photo by Jennifer Whitney
Barnhart, a small community in West Texas, has run out of water.
John Nanny, an Irion County commissioner and an official with Barnhart’s water supply corporation, said on Thursday that the situation was serious. When reached by telephone, he was working on pumping operations and hoped to have a backup well in service Friday morning. A load of bottled water was on its way to the community center, he said.
The town has one main well that serves 112 customers, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. But the well stopped pumping quickly enough Tuesday evening, and while there is still some water in it, Nanny said, “We don’t want to get down to the mud.”
Nanny said he had checked for a leak but had not found one. The Barnhart area has been hard-hit by drought, he said, just as surging oil and gas drilling activities have increased local water demands. Barnhart was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal owing to the increase in oil boom-related railroad traffic through the town. (Incidentally, Barnhart’s backup water well was drilled by the railroad in the early 1900s, Nanny said.)