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Russian Ministers try nervously to fulfill Putin’s Arctic shipping goals

Bellona.org - 5 hours 1 min ago

Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin decreed last year that shipping traffic through the Arctic’s Northern Sea Route must increase to a soaring 80 million tons annually within a mere five years, the emperor’s wish has been treated as a reality.

The May presidential decree had the ring of the old-fashioned Stalinist five-year plans, which, throughout the communist era, were the economic yardstick of the Soviet economy. The penalties for coming up short were harsh, with under-producing bureaucrats singled out for public humiliation, the Gulag and worse.

Today’s generation of movers and shakers heard Putin’s message loud and clear. Huge industries, like Rosatom, Russia’s nuclear corporation, have retrained their focus toward Arctic port and infrastructure development. The Yamal LNG project, a $27 billion natural gas endeavor, reached full capacity on the tundra above the Russian Arctic circle a year ahead of schedule, heralding a bustling year-round sea trade with gas markets in Asia and Europe alike.

Moscow’s nuclear icebreaker fleet, already the biggest in the world, is getting a facelift, with three new billion-dollar vessels nearing completion and several even grander ones on the drawing board.

President Vladimir Putin photographed last year at one of Russia's Arctic outposts. Credit: Kremlin Photo

And the Russian state policy on climate change, instead of combatting rising temperatures, seems geared toward letting them heat up. The more the Arctic melts, the Kremlin logic seems to suggest, the more accessible it will become – complete with new Russian hydrocarbon and mineral reserves and more ice-free shipping lanes controlled by Moscow to bear out the bounty.

But a report in the Russian business newswire RBK dailyas reported by the Barents Observer – shows a number of Putin’s ministers are getting a little nervous about how they will deliver on the Arctic plan their boss is demanding – and they’re trying to come up with a way to soften the news.

RBK reports that the Ministry of Natural Resources ­–which bears particular responsibility for boosting shipping weights – has only managed to guarantee a traffic flow of 52 million tons per year by 2024, well short of the 80 million tons Putin is demanding.

The figures were part of a presentation the ministry made to the leaders of nine regions in Russia’s Arctic on Christmas day – and the proceedings were subsequently leaked to RBK.

According to documents, the ministry calculated that by 2024, liquefied natural gas shipments along the Arctic will reach only some 40 million tons, followed by 9.2 million tons of oil, and 3.2 million tons of mineral ores from Norilsk Nickel, one of the world’s largest nickel producers located in Northern Siberia.

The ministry presentation to Arctic leaders singled out promises made by various Russian business magnates to boost their industries’ production – but cast shade on whether they could live up to their claims.

One of these promises came from Dmitry Bosov, one of the heads of VostokCoal, a Russian coal mining company with lavish backing from the Kremlin. Bosov made headlines in November with a commitment to ship out 30 million tons of anthracite coal per year from the Arctic’s Taymyr Peninsula. But the Natural Resources Ministry laid the odds of Bosov fulfilling that goal at only about 1 in 5.

Similarly, Russia’s Neftgaz Holdings, an oil company, has said it will ship out 5 million tons of oil from a field at the mouth of the Yenesei River by 2024. But the ministry rubbished those forecasts as well.

But according to the RBK report, the Ministry might be able to come up with the tonnage Putin promised they would – it could simply, and literally, move the goal posts.

Current measurements of what, precisely, constitutes the Northern Sea Route are set by Russian legislation, and extend from near the Bering Strait in the East to the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago in the West – a distance of about 4,800 kilometers.

But as the reporting from RBK suggests, one way of getting more cargo in the water would be to simply reestablish the boundaries of the Northern Sea Route itself. If its Western terminus were extended beyond Novaya Zemlya to the busier Pechora or Barents Sea, cargo weights would inflate accordingly – doubtless to the president’s pleasure.

In a similar vein, the ministry has rosier predictions if it measures Arctic traffic against a deadline that not as pressing as 2024. If projections are extended to 2042, the ministry then calculates that annual traffic will reach as high as 155 million tons.

But how Putin will take this news is another question. For the moment, many of these issues are sure to come up at Bellona’s Arctic Fuel Menu and Northern Sea Route conference on Wednesday, January 23.

 

The post Russian Ministers try nervously to fulfill Putin’s Arctic shipping goals appeared first on Bellona.org.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Colombian government suspends the granting of mining licenses, a change of direction in mining policies for the new year

Yes to Life no to Mining - 6 hours 37 min ago

Original articles: http://www.elnuevodia.com.co/nuevodia/mundo/colombia/425632-las-claves-del-fallo-que-suspende-el-otorgamiento-de-licencias-mineras and https://www.rcnradio.com/colombia/fallo-del-tribunal-de-cundinamarca-suspende-otorgamiento-de-licencias-mineras

Dec 14, 2018

In the decision, the Government ordered to clarify the limits of natural resource reserves zones

A judgment of the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca orders the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the National Mining Agency and the Ministry of the Environment, to suspend the granting of environmental mining licenses for up to three years. The ruling affects important national and foreign companies -that extract minerals-, until there is a delimitation of the natural resource reserve areas.

According to the decision, the effects of Resolution 484 of 2012 -which reopened the mining window- are suspended until the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development establishes “within a term nor more than three (3) years, the respective delimitations and/ or reserve areas of natural resources, such as wetlands, páramos, natural parks, groundwater and other areas of ecological importance, based on technical studies, suitable, comprehensive, accurate, adequate and effective, must guarantee the preservation of the environment and the natural resources”.

This decision is a result of a popular action that established that the suspension should be extended until “there is certainty in the delimitation of the areas available for the granting of mining titles, sufficient information on environmental impacts and until the capacity is available, and adequate institutional framework to evaluate information on compliance with fiscal and environmental obligations of mining titles in the country”. It also persuades to protect the collective rights to enjoy a healthy environment, the existence of ecological balance, and the defense of public heritage. It orders the suspension of the effects of Resolution 484 of 2012, which created the so-called “mining window”, in which applications for mining concessions and the granting of mining titles were open.

Senator Iván Cepeda, one of the plaintiffs, announced that this is a judicial decision that finally accepts that the mining policy has substantial irregularities that must be corrected.

“The decision of the Court commits the mining and environmental institutions to coordinate and clarify policy gaps before moving forward. It is a structural decision that understands the value of the environment and demands a disciplined planning effort from the State,” Cepeda said.

The judgment also indicates that once these studies have been concluded and the polygons of the areas excluded from mining in the country are specified, the Ministry of Environment shall remit, within a period not exceeding one (1) month, that information to the National Mining Agency. According to the decision of the Court, after receiving the information that limits the areas of natural reserve, the National Mining Agency must update the information of the Mining Cadastre, within a term of no more than one (1) month. The judgment clarifies that this suspension will not apply to oil extraction, to applications for traditional mining legalization, nor those that are granted in the exercise of the priority right of ethnic communities.

Academic institutions made their contributions on matters that dealt with the physical and mental health of the people surrounding the areas where mining is practiced, environmental effects (water, air, flora and fauna ecosystems) and fiscal impacts. “The legality of mining does not guarantee a different treatment to the ecosystem when the mine is in operation -explains one of the sections of the expert of the University of Cartagena-. In the south of Bolivar, it has been documented ‘mines in order’, but have a tube through which, directly, without any type of treatment, highly toxic waste and sediments reach the water sources”.

 

For original article click here

The post Colombian government suspends the granting of mining licenses, a change of direction in mining policies for the new year appeared first on Yes to Life no to Mining.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Black and Hispanic Youth Are Targeted With Junk Food Ads, Research Shows

Organic Consumers Association - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 15:36

Click over to TV programming that caters to black and Hispanic youth and the commercials almost exclusively push fast food, sugary drinks, bad-for-you snacks and candy, a new report shows. Junk food comprised 86% of ad spending on black-targeted programming and 82% of spending on Spanish-language television in 2017, according to the study released Tuesday.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

This Common Preservative in Processed Food May Be Making You Tired

Organic Consumers Association - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 09:35

Is it hard to motivate yourself to get off the couch and go exercise? Well, a common food additive you’re unknowingly consuming in large quantities might be to blame. New research sheds light on inorganic phosphate — an additive and preservative found in up to 70 percent of the foods in the common diet in the United States — and the impact it could be having on your health.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

12 Reasons Why Even Low Levels of Glyphosate Are Unsafe

Organic Consumers Association - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 09:35

Proponents of GMOs and Glyphosate-based herbicides and staunch believers in the EPA have long argued that low levels of glyphosate exposure are safe for humans. Even our own EPA tells us that Americans can consume 17 times more glyphosate in our drinking water than European residents.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

We're Phoning It in on Sustainability. It's Time for a Worldwide Wake-Up Call

Organic Consumers Association - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 09:35

In December last year – a little over three years since world leaders unanimously approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and signed up to the Paris Agreement on climate action – the UN’s latest Climate Change Conference (COP24) came to an end.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Energy Department Hires a Top Cheerleader for Petrochemical Hub Before Issuing Report Favoring It

DeSmogBlog - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 05:35
Read time: 9 mins

Near the end of 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) hired the leading promoter within academia of a massive and multi-faceted petrochemical complex proposed for West Virginia. A month later, the agency issued a report favoring the construction of such a complex.

On November 9, the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) named as its new director former West Virginia University Professor Brian Anderson.

NETL, which spearheads federal energy-related research and development (R&D) efforts, is currently deciding whether to grant $1.9 billion in R&D money toward building out the proposed petrochemical complex, known as the Appalachian Storage Hub. 

Tags: Appalachian Development GroupDepartment of EnergyTrump AdministrationBrian AndersonWest Virginia UniversityRick PerryAppalachian Petrochemical Hubpetrochemicalsfrackingwest virginiaAmerican Chemistry CouncilNational Petroleum CouncilParsons CorporationSteven HedrickNational Energy Technology LaboratoryNETLWVU Energy Institute
Categories: G1. Progressive Green

State wants sewer system fixes to protect Mohawk

River Keeper - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 08:30

https://www.timesunion.com/business/article/State-wants-fixes-at-sewer-systems-Albany-13541579.php

The post State wants sewer system fixes to protect Mohawk appeared first on Riverkeeper.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Climate Advocates Underestimate Power of Fossil Fueled Misinformation Campaigns, Say Top Researchers

DeSmogBlog - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 08:51
Read time: 4 mins

Climate action advocates have underestimated the strength and sophistication of decades-long fossil fuel-funded misinformation campaigns and need a coordinated set of strategies to fight back, say leading academics.

Among those strategies, say the three researchers from Yale and Brown University, are promoting financial transparency, suing misinformers and their funders, and researching the vast networks of think tanks and front groups.

Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, Yale University’ professors Justin Farrell and Kathryn McConnell, together with Brown University’s Professor Robert Brulle, say people working on responses to climate change “cannot afford to underestimate the economic influence, institutional complexity, strategic sophistication, financial motivation, and societal impact of the networks” behind climate misinformation campaigns.

Brulle, who is also an academic at Drexel University, told DeSmog that after conversations with leaders of environment groups and foundations, he had concluded “there is virtually no understanding of the nature or extent of misinformation efforts and organized efforts to stop climate action.”

Tags: robert brulleJustin Farrellmyron ebellsteve milloyHeartland Institute
Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Green New Deal: an Energy Policy, a Climate Movement, or Both?

CleanEnergy Footprints - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 07:01

For more than a decade writers, advocates, and even politicians have been discussing the need for broad-reaching, ambitious policy that addresses climate change in a way that transforms our entire economy. Today the concept of a “Green New Deal” is gaining momentum as a kind of modern reboot of President Roosevelt’s New Deal projects and programs during the 1930s, but this time with a 21st century focus on decarbonization, jobs, and justice.

Spurred in part by dire projections in the recent National Climate Assessment and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, members of Congress and most notably New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have begun speaking in earnest about the importance of big, bold policy action to address climate change by decarbonizing our economy while at the same time making it more fair and more just. If a government program that boosts clean energy development while strengthening the economy sounds familiar, perhaps it is. Some would argue that the stimulus bill, officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, implemented at the height of the recession is a kind of prototype for Green New Deal on a smaller scale. I wrote a brief blog about the clean energy aspects of the stimulus package back in 2009 here.

Fast forward a decade and we have dire warnings from climate scientists about the urgency of slashing carbon pollution as well as growing evidence that communities hardest hit by economic and societal discrimination  – including low-income communities, communities of color, indigenous communities – will suffer the most from the impacts of climate change. Thus the importance of a vision that addresses these critical and interwoven elements: climate, economy, and justice. Furthermore, anchoring a policy proposal with a focus on jobs and justice gives it a broader public appeal than with a singular focus on climate policy alone.

Despite polling that suggests there would be strong bipartisan support for a concept like the Green New Deal, there hasn’t been much coverage in mainstream media yet, though plenty of good in-depth pieces starting with this detailed backgrounded piece from Vox.com and this piece from The Intercept.

But at a regional level, what could a Green New Deal mean for the Southeast and the work SACE does to change the way we produce and consumer energy in this region? Below we will explore some of our region’s unique characteristics, and what implications they may have on how a Green New Deal would influence our Southeastern communities.

The Southeast is Geographically & Socioeconomically Disproportionately Vulnerable to the Impacts of Climate Change 

With thousands of miles of coastline threatened by an already-rising sea, hundreds of coastal communities dependent on tourism, and agrarian economies vulnerable to a changing climate, the Southeast may feel the impacts of climate change more acutely and more quickly than some other parts of the United States. Policies and programs to lower the pollution causing climate change may help decrease the impacts our coastal and rural communities feel.

This chart from an ACEEE report shows Memphis has the highest energy burden in the US.

The Southeast is also home to four of the top 10 highest “energy burden” cities in the country – areas where low-income households pay proportionately more than the average household in energy costs. And nowhere is the burden as great as it is in one Southeastern city: Memphis, Tennessee: ranked as the highest burdened city in the US in a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEE). Our region as whole, and these impacted cities in particular, would benefit greatly from government policies designed to invest in energy efficiency programs, create new jobs to support these programs, and lessen these disproportionate impacts.

Our Region is Ripe for Job Creation

While Southeastern states, on average, mirror the national unemployment rate of 3.7%, people throughout the region (particularly those in Alabama and Tennessee where there was a slight rise in the rate of unemployment from 2017 to 2018) would benefit from growth in 21st century jobs in the clean energy, clean transportation, and new economy sectors – particularly as economists are warning of an economic slowdown or even another recession by 2020 after a decade of growth. It’s worth noting that solar jobs, in particular, pay above the national average, which means Southeastern residents could get better jobs with clean energy.

Southeast Solar Capacity Forecast from SACE’s Solar in the Southeast 2017 Annual Report

The Southeast has Strong Potential for Major Renewable Energy Development

Just ten years ago, the Southeast’s energy portfolio had scarcely any utility-owned solar energy developments and was largely dominated by coal with significant amounts of natural gas and nuclear. However, sound policies like North Carolina’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS), in combination with rapidly-declining solar prices, means that we have witnessed exponential solar growth in the last decade. According to a report issued by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy last year, we could see more than 10,000 megawatts of clean, solar energy powering the Southeast by the end of this year. Even with the projected 15,000 megawatts of clean solar power by 2021, solar will only comprise 3% of electric generation in our region, so there is more potential to fulfill, with jobs and environmental benefits along the way. A Green New Deal would further incentivize renewable energy deployment in our region both to decarbonize our energy sector and to create good jobs.

Challenges to something this bold and ambitious are many. Scientists at the IPCC note the steps required to decarbonize our economy in time to avert climate change’s worst impacts would mean a rapid transition to 100% renewable energy by 2045 (skeptics question whether that’s even possible). Furthermore, there’s no agreed upon roadmap or even policy frame for enacting such a bold vision even among the ideas supporters.

Yet possibilities abound and energy is building. Some of the most vocal proponents of a Green New Deal are young people who are acutely aware that they will have to live with the effects of climate change, and so are demanding a plan that starts off with what is necessary rather than what is currently politically possible. To that end, on November 13, 2018, youth activists staged a congressional sit-in in demanding that Speaker Nancy Pelosi establish a select committee on the Green New Deal instead of (or at least in addition to) a select climate crisis committee that Florida congresswoman Rep Kathy Castor is tapped to chair. Worried that a committee without subpoena power or bill-drafting authority will not have the ability to address climate change issues in the 12-year timeline noted in the recent IPCC report, young activists and some congressional freshmen are demanding bolder steps including direct action as part of a broader movement.

Varshini Prakash is shown at a Sunrise Movement sit-in in Nancy Pelosi’s office on Dec. 10, 2017. Copyright Sunrise Movement.

It’s too soon to know whether congressional committees will take meaningful climate and clean energy action in this Congress or whether climate change will emerge as a top-tier issue in the Democratic primaries or the 2020 general election. But with climate action intertwined with  justice and jobs, the Green New Deal may finally see ‘climate policy’ freed from conference rooms and committees, where many a climate bill has died in the past, into the streets to engage the public and truly build a movement. SACE will continue to support a wide range of policies and programs at the state and federal level that promote clean energy as a solution to climate change, and invite you to join our efforts.

The post Green New Deal: an Energy Policy, a Climate Movement, or Both? appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Life After Mining- Register for 2019 YLNM Webinar Series!

Yes to Life no to Mining - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 03:33

Throughout 2019 the YLNM Network will bring together frontline communities, activists and academics from around the planet in a series of webinars that will ask ‘how can we move beyond extractivism?’ and showcase examples of where this shift has already begun.

Register for the Life after mining webinars here to stay up to date!

Life after mining- Around the world, communities, nature and the climate are being devastated by large scale extraction of minerals and metals. Driven by a growth-obsessed economic system that is exceeding planetary limits and mass overconsumption by the few, the world’s appetite for minerals is growing insatiably, encouraging aggressive corporate tactics and state violence to secure resources.

But can we live without large-scale, destructive mining? And what would a future in which we go ‘beyond extractivism’ look like?

REGISTER HERE for a webinar series exploring the emerging understandings of ‘post-extractivism’, and to hear first hand from communities who have stopped mining and are building alternatives that support, rather than destroy, human communities and the ecosystems we all depend on.

This webinar series will explore the following key questions:

  • What is ‘post-extractivism’?
  • What does a post-extractivist economy look like?
  • How are communities around the world protecting and/or building regenerative rather than extractive systems?

From January to May 2019, this webinar series will take us to North America, South America, Australia, the Pacific, South East Asia and Africa, to hear from academics and local communities who are challenging large scale mining operations and the claim that their expansion is an inevitable part of our future.

Speakers will include representatives of frontline communities who are:

  • Re-wilding post-mining landscapes using traditional knowledge in Finland.
  • Protecting peace territories from mining in Myanmar and the Philippines.
  • Using reforestation and commons-based land reclamation as forms of resistance in Spain.
  • Defending the deep sea from extractivism in Papua New Guinea.
  • Building economic alternatives to mining rooted in agroecology and direct democracy, in Colombia.

The webinars- in English and Spanish depending on location- will culminate in a series of international symposia in later 2019 that will share cutting edge research and case studies that can offer guidance about how to transition to a post-extractive future.

REGISTER HERE to hear about the webinars as their final dates are announced.

For more details, email yestolifenotomining@gmail.com or visit our Facebook. 

The post Life After Mining- Register for 2019 YLNM Webinar Series! appeared first on Yes to Life no to Mining.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Beyond Extractivism: reclaiming peoples’ power, our right to say no!

Yes to Life no to Mining - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 03:22

Shared below is the final movement statement from the Thematic Social Forum on Extractivism, which took place in November 2018. YLNM shares this with gratitude to YLNM’s Regional Coordinators for Latin America and S.Asia, and all others who attended last year’s Thematic Social Forum and helped formulate this powerful statement.

The statement is also available online in English, Portuguese, French etc here: http://www.thematicsocialforum.org/thematic-social-forum-final-declaration/

We, the participants of the Thematic Social Forum on Mining and Extractivist Economy, are gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa to consolidate a broad movement of resistance, to build common struggles for solidarity, to guarantee the integrity of nature and to ensure a better world for present and future generations.

We come from mining-affected communities, trade unions, people’s organizations, the women’s movement, LGBTI people, faith-based groups, indigenous peoples, workers, small scale farmers, fisherfolk, youth, support groups and academics from 60 countries, including from 28 African countries, as well as from the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe.

We celebrate our diversity, recognising our different perspectives and the alternatives that we offer, but understanding that we are bound together by our desire for a future free from the destructive effects of extractivism.

Extractivism is a destructive model based on the exploitation of so-called “natural resources” and people of which mining is a prime case.

Current realities

Over the last decades, we have seen the intensification of this racist, patriarchal and colonial model, based on the fantasy of the possibility of endless economic growth on a limited planet. It is rapidly undermining the conditions that make life possible on earth. In the name of progress and development, it has been devastating and degrading. It has involved the super-exploitation of workers, the systematic dispossession of communities, intensifying conditions of global warming and climate injustice. It subjects local economies to a logic of wealth accumulation that benefits transnational corporations – the new rulers of the world.

As if this was not tragic enough the rise of fascist forces and old and new authoritarianism, are threatening to unleash new waves of violence and repression. Their driving logic is to exploit the crisis through the deepening of the assault of nature, opening up new frontiers for further commodification and financialisation. Oceans, rivers, forests, entire ecosystems are set to be put at the service of profit making. Accompanying this process of recolonization and the scramble to control scarce strategic resources by competing global and regional powers, lies the spectre of new genocidal wars, which will see the extermination of the ‘excluded’ and marginalised.

Peasants, small-scale farmers, migrants, refugees, pastoralists, displaced persons, indigenous and working class women are enslaved by this extractivist patriarchal development model. They work hard to guarantee the survival of family and community under increasingly precarious conditions. Their labour of care, subsistence production, social reproduction and the recreation of fragile threatened ecosystems is invisible, unrecognised and undervalued. Their labour subsidises capital’s profits and serves the interests of patriarchy.

Furthermore, extractivism is leading to the undermining of workers’ rights – where they exist. Health and safety regulations are systematically violated, workers are informalised and wages are being driven down. Militant trade unionism is attacked and only compliant unions are permitted. The so-called fourth industrial revolution of high tech, big data and artificial intelligence, represents another form of extractivism posing a great threat to decent work.

Resistance

We, especially peasant, small-scale farmer communities, indigenous people and others across the world, are currently resisting this systematic attack on our territories that, through displacement, deforestation and the destruction of water sources, threaten to destroy our way of life. Women play a particularly important role in these struggles. Women are demanding the right to say no!

This claim to the right to say NO to extractive activities in our territories, is at the same time a clear YES. YES to other alternative ways of living in harmony with the rest of the web of life. YES to the right to decide how to live our own lives. YES to the recognition that nature cannot be conceived as a collection of so-called resources to be exploited at will in the search of (maximising) profit. YES to valuing the work of subsistence and care over economic growth and profit. YES to production for use and not exchange. YES to valuing of indigenous identity, knowledge and perspectives. YES to a new sustainable economic order, sensitive to social and environmental justice.

And YES, to reparations of the historical, ecological and social debt owed to the peoples of the South and which has gained new relevance through the concept of the climate debt.

We actively support the ongoing Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity. Corporate privilege and power, institutionalised through investment and trade agreements, must be abolished. Therefore, the ongoing negotiations at the United Nations for an internationally legally binding treaty for corporations with regards to human rights and other national and regional initiatives, are particularly critical and the process should be accelerated.

Criminalisation & Militarization of our Territories

Communities resisting destructive extractive projects are divided through corruption and false development promises, and deprived of social goods and public services to force their submission. Community activists are increasingly criminalized, threatened, abducted, assaulted and murdered. When this State and corporate sponsored violence is against women who dissent, it often takes a sexualised form. Even youth and children are targeted. Communities refusing to consent to mining and other extractivist projects, and militant trade unions are attacked by the combined forces of the state and corporations. Generally, the space for resistance is deeply threatened and being closed down.

Alternatives

The planetary emergency rising from centuries of capitalist extractivism requires a deep transformation not just of our energy systems but of how we produce, consume and organise our lives. A ‘just transition’ from the current fossil fuel and extractive based regime is not just necessary to confront the climate crisis but contains the embryo of a new, democratic, eco-feminist, post-capitalist order. It is a myth that stopping climate change and shutting down the polluting extractive industries increases unemployment. On the contrary, decent livelihoods and work can flourish in building the socially owned renewable energy industries, agro-ecological food systems, land and ecosystems restoration, community health and social housing that underpin the just transition.

Just transitions are already alive in the resistances of women to their way of life, of communities resisting mining and nurturing their food systems, and of workers fighting insecurity and privatisation. A just transition should be based on industrial conversion where workers in polluting industries would retrain to do socially and ecologically necessary work. Workers (and individuals) unable to transition to these new livelihoods would be guaranteed an income and essential public services, paid through redirecting existing state subsidies of the extractives industry, by halting illicit financial flows and by taxing transnational corporations and the rich.

Central to the struggles for alternatives is the right to say NO. We say NO to this model of extractivism and converge on the position that all remaining coal, gas and oil reserves must remain underground; circular economies in which minerals and metals are recycled and brought back into production must characterise a sustainable future; moving into new frontiers of extractivism, such as deep sea mining, is a false solution; the excessive consumption of all in the global north and south must be curbed, based on the principles of sufficiency. Productivism, endless growth and accumulation for accumulation’s sake must be reversed. As it was said during the Forum: ‘We do not live to produce but we produce to live’.

The co-option of traditional leaders to facilitate the penetration of extractivism into our territories is rapidly undermining the legitimacy of these structures and calls for the renewal of popular democracy at all levels especially at local community level.

Local initiatives are the foundation for building the necessary counter power needed to challenge the system. In this regard we are convinced of the need for the expansion of the commons. Nature, climate, water, resources and all forms of life are not on sale! They are the commons that we have to protect and share with all peoples and future generations. The right to the commons and respecting its preservation is an ethical imperative and the guarantee for peace and social justice.

In this regard, we are inspired by the perspectives of many of our peoples, indigenous groups and communities who affirm the rights of nature and understand that nature is not a property: Every ecosystem has the right to live and flourish, ‘water has the right to flow and birds to drink and fly’. Rivers and land are rights-bearing entities, and we need to recognize their sacredness.

The convergences and solidarities forged in this Thematic Social Forum provide the inspiration for our collective campaigns, actions, new global alliances and assemblies of the peoples which will guarantee our common future.

The post Beyond Extractivism: reclaiming peoples’ power, our right to say no! appeared first on Yes to Life no to Mining.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

'Everyday People Like It When We Fight for Everyday People'

Organic Consumers Association - Thu, 01/17/2019 - 21:28

Bolstering Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) recent remark that "everyday people like it when we fight for everyday people," a new analysis of social media data published on Sunday found that the freshman congresswoman received more Twitter engagement over the past month than any other Democrat in Congress—and it wasn't even close.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

The Green New Deal: How We Will Pay for It Isn't 'a Thing' - and Inflation Isn't Either

Organic Consumers Association - Thu, 01/17/2019 - 21:28

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s announcement of an ambitious new Green New Deal Initiative in Congress has brought predictable – and predictably silly – callouts from conservative pundits and scared politicians. ‘How will we pay for it?,’ they ask with pretend-incredulity, and ‘what about debt?’

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Scientists Say Microplastics Are All Over Farmlands, but We're Ignoring the Problem

Organic Consumers Association - Thu, 01/17/2019 - 21:28

Microplastics are particles smaller than five millimetres. About 800,000 to 2.5 million tonnes of these tiny pieces of plastic are estimated to end up in oceans each year, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. However, not much is known about the damage these particles cause to landscapes as they make their way to the sea.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Receipts Are Secretly Really Bad - Why Are We Still Using Them?

Organic Consumers Association - Thu, 01/17/2019 - 21:28

If you walk into a neighborhood coffee shop in San Francisco and buy a drink, you’ll probably pay on a Square reader and get your receipt by email. If you walk into the Walgreens next door, you might get a foot-long paper receipt.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

The Women Fighting a Pipeline That Could Destroy Precious Wildlife

Organic Consumers Association - Thu, 01/17/2019 - 21:28

Deep within the humid green heart of the largest river swamp in North America, a battle is being waged over the future of the most precious resource of all: water. On one side of the conflict is a small band of rugged and ragtag activists led by Indigenous matriarchs. On the other side is the relentless machinery of the fossil fuel industry and all of its might.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

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