Archive | June, 2012

‘Epic’ Fire Forces Tens of Thousands to Flee in Colorado

27 Jun

Cross-posted from CommonDreams

Predictions of more frequent and intense fires fueled by climate change contained in recent study

– Common Dreams staff

A record-breaking heat wave in Colorado has generated what one local fire chief called a ‘firestorm of epic proportions’ and forced approximately 32,000 people to flee their homes near the town of Colorado Springs.

Fire from the Waldo Canyon wildfire burns as it moved into subdivisions and destroyed homes in Colorado Springs, Colo., June 26, 2012. (AP)Gov. John Hickenlooper, who surveyed the Waldo Canyon Fire, told reporters late Tuesday the damage to property was extensive. “There were people’s home’s burned to the ground. It was surreal,” he said. “There’s no question, it’s serious. It’s as serious as it gets.”

What the nation is now seeing is “a super-heated spike on top of a decades long warming trend,” Derek Arndt, head of climate monitoring at the National Climatic Data Center, told the Associated Press.

Six other wildfires were active in the state, while other large fires continue across the west in Wyoming, Montana, and New Mexico.

A recently released study in the journal Ecosphere suggests that forest fires are likely to become more frequent due to the severe impacts of climate change.  According to ananalysis of the report, most of North America and Europe are expected to see increased frequency of fires with western US states seeing a particularly sharp rise.

“We’ve set ourselves up for some pretty tough situations already, but I think climate change is really going to force us to deal with fire-prone landscapes in a substantial way,” Max A. Moritz, a professor at UC Berkeley and the study’s lead author, told  the Bay Citizen.

“Where and how we build in those higher risk areas, I think that’s something we have to take into consideration … especially as we know there will be significant disruptions to fire activity because of climate change,” he said

Fracking Blockade in Ohio Ends After 6 Hours

27 Jun


Cross Posted from NBC4

ATHENS COUNTY, Ohio — An Athens County woman was arrested Tuesday morning after she chained herself to two barrels of concrete and blocked the entrance of a fracking fluid injection well on Ladd Ridge Road.

Madeline Fitch told reporters she felt compelled to protest the continued dumping of out-of-state oil and gas drilling wastewater into the Athens County injection well site.

“I did this because I’m tired of out-of-state fracking waste being dumped in Ohio and I want state regulating agencies to protect Ohio citizens instead of taking money from the oil and gas industry,” Fitch said.

Attorney Don Wirtshafter, called to the scene to represent Fitch in her act of civil disobedience.

“I think it’s the only way we’re going to get reporters like you down here to look at what’s happening in Ohio and how we’re selling out to these corporations for 30 cents a barrel to bring in these wastes that somebody’s paying $50 to $100 a barrel to get rid of,” Wirtshafter said. 

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Study: East Coast Sea Levels Rising Four Times Faster Than Global Average

26 Jun

by the Center for Biological Diversity

SAN FRANCISCO— Sea levels on the East Coast are rising three to four times faster than the global average, putting several major U.S. cities at increased risk of flooding and storm surges, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. The findings were published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The dramatic acceleration in sea-level rise, which is driven by climate change, poses an enormous threat to Boston, New York and other urban centers, as well as to coastal wetlands, beaches and other vulnerable ecosystems, according to scientists with the Center for Biological Diversity.

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Forest Service Approves Grand Canyon Uranium Mine Despite 26-year-old Environmental Review

26 Jun

by the Center for Biological Diversity

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK— The U.S. Forest Service announced late Monday that it will allow Denison Mines Corp. to begin excavating the “Canyon Mine” this fall without first updating the 26-year-old environmental impact statement for the uranium mine, located due south of Grand Canyon National Park on the Kaibab National Forest. The Service claims no new public review or analysis is needed because there is no new information or circumstances relevant to its original analysis.

“It is impossible to imagine how the Forest Service, with a straight face, can say that no additional environmental analysis is required for Canyon Mine, when the analysis is totally dated — more than 26 years old — and when so much has changed,” said Sandy Bahr, chapter director for the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter. “This mine was and is hugely controversial as it threatens Native American cultural sites, groundwater and ultimately the springs of Grand Canyon, and numerous wildlife species. It is irresponsible to allow it to go forward without looking at these important issues and being honest with the public about the impacts.”

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New Paintings by Marie Mason

26 Jun

Click here to view two more new paintings by Marie Mason.

 

Marie Mason is a loving mother of two and a long-time activist in the environmental and labor movements. In March 2008, she was arrested by federal authorities for charges related to two acts of property destruction that occurred in 1999 and 2000; no one was injured in either of them. She accepted a plea bargain and was sentenced on February 5, 2009 to just under 22 years. She is now serving the longest sentence of any “Green Scare” prisoner.

The “Green Scare” is the name given to the recent arrests of animal rights and environmental activists who have been charged with acts of economic sabotage. Federal authorities have sought outrageous sentences (often Life in prison) and have publicly and legally labeled the activists as “terrorists” – despite the fact that no one has been killed or injured in any of the acts.

Cascadia Earth First! Locks Down, Climbs Flagpoles in State Capitol

25 Jun

10:00am: “We are occupying the Oregon State Capitol in Salem to end widespread clear cutting in state forests! We are currently locked down in the offices of Secretary of State Kate Brown and Treasurer Ted Wheeler, climbers are back on the flag poles and the establishment is generally shaking in its boots.”

2:00pm: 50 protesters remain onsite. Flagpole banner droppers have been arrested descending into applause and leaving banners flying. The people locked down in the office of Kate Brown  have had their support crew removed by police, who are currently bringing in extraction equipment Continue reading

‘Fracking’ — A Protest Song

25 Jun

Download ‘Fracking’ – A Protest Song free!

‘Fracking’ is a song written in opposition to the industrial extraction of fossil-fuel shale gas by hydraulic fracturing, and aims to increase awareness of the many dangers that fracking presents. The protest song has a long tradition across all types of movements and struggles, and it is hoped that this recording can do its small bit to help build community resistance to fracking across the world.

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Photographs of Biodiversity and Extinction

24 Jun

by the EF! Journal Collective

Joel Sartore is a photographer, educator and chronicler of the extinction crisis. Three of his recent collections describe, through vivid images, what we are losing, at a rate of 100 species every day. These are visual reminders of what is at stake if we fail to act. Please take a moment to check out these galleries.

Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species 

The Biodiversity Project

Vanishing: Amphibian Extinction

Captive northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) in a clearcut near Merlin, Oregon. Habitat loss and climate change are the two primary factors leading to the extinction of species. (US: Threatened) (Image ID: ESA001-00037)

 

The new Earth First! Journal is OUT… Almost

23 Jun

Notes about the Beltane 2012 edition, and other updates from your broke but loyal EF!J collective

Rabbits.. Spring.. Get it? (We know, its a little late..) The cover image is also a shout out to our warriors locked in cages. Wait’ll you see the back side, it’ll all make more sense.

The season of Eostar faded into Beltane, and now Beltane has faded into Litha, leaving many of you wondering how the Summer Solstice passed without ever seeing the Spring edition of the Earth First! Journal. Well the good news is that it’s done. In fact it’s been done since Beltane—that’s May Day, for all you commies out there. The bummer news is that we were only able to scrape together money to get it from the printer last week.. And we’re just barely able to cover the cost of getting it out the door to the post office (let alone pay our bills!)

It seems that almost half-a-million visits to the online EF! Newswire—averaging 1,000 a day now—doesn’t translate into economic stability. Ah! The Internet, damned if you do… (I can’t bear to utter the rest of that cliché.) In any case, we want you to see what we’ve been up to.

Revenge of the Nerds
Eco-Defense Goes Digital
-Skylar Simmons

Let the Bad-Assity Begin (Again)
A report from the “Giving EF! a Kick in the Ass” workshop series
-Toby V. Potter

Thinking Long Term
A Proposal for an Earth First! Land Project
-Marie Mason

Twenty Years of Protecting Forest Ecosystems
a Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project Retrospective
-Karen Coulter

Extinction: A Timeline
-Molly Jane

In the Path of the Energy Locomotive
Resisting Colombia’s Quimbo Hydroelectric Project
-Entre Aguas

Click here for some more new articles that we’ve already put online (and to subscribe or make a donation).

See you at the Rondy?

If you haven’t noticed yet, the folks from Marcellus EF! released directions and set up a ride board for the Round River Rendezvous (RRR, er the Rondy). Our goal is to get Journals in the mail in time for subscribers to have them as they walk out the door heading for western PA, so you’ll have something to read on the train, on the side of the road, on the bus, the plane, or while your driving (if everyone else can text and drive, why shouldn’t you be able to read the EF!J?!)

As we mentioned, this is gonna take a little help. And pronto. If making online donations isn’t your thing, you can print out the EF! Journal Summer 2012 fund letter and send it back in with a check or money order, asap. If you don’t see it before leaving for the Rondy, rest assured that you can pick one up when you get there.

Other EF! articles to hold you over

In effort to make amends for our tardiness, here are some links to awesome original articles that we’ve only published online over the last several month:

Volunteer Party & Work Week!

Here in the Loxahatchee River, where the skunk ape works the phones for us…

And last, don’t forget that we’re inviting you to a week of jam-packed volunteer opportunities for the eco-rev, at our Journal office in the Night Heron activist center, and adventuring in the Loxahatchee watershed. Join us the first week after the Rondy here in Lake Worth, FL. Check this link for details.

Oh, and if you’re in the area, come on out this Monday to the Night Heron and help with preparing the mailing.

Deadly Violence Against Environmentalists On The Rise Worldwide

23 Jun

by Scott Parkin

We all stand before history.

—Ken Saro-Wiwa, executed for environmental advocacy, Nigeria, Nov. 10, 1995.

Yolanda “Yoli” Oquely Veliz Leading Resistance Against EXMINGUA Gold Mine

 

What the hell is going on out there?

I know a lot people targeted by our federal government and corporate private security for their organizing work. We’ve got the FBI targeting environmentalists, anarchists and Occupiers as “terrorists.” Homeland Security leads crackdowns on Occupy Wall Street. In Rising Tide circles, we’ve got the feds investigating campaigns fighting fracking and tar sands heavy hauls. Not to mention the shadowy private security surveillance of oil companies and banks watching us.

But, thus far, we’ve not faced with assassination like environmental and human rights organizers, journalists and community members in many parts of the Global South Continue reading