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EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #131

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, December 17, 2016

News of interest to green unionists:

Canada’s Capstone to hire back laid-off workers thanks to copper price rally - Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, December 13, 2016 - The recent and sustained rally in copper prices has prompted Canadian Capstone Mining (TSX:CS) to attempt hiring back most of the workers it had to lay off in October at its Minto mine, Yukon's only copper operation.

Canada’s Kirkland Lake halts gold mine in Australia, leaves up to 150 jobless - Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.Com, December 12, 2016 - The cease of operations at Victoria's largest gold mine will leave about 150 workers without a job, the company said, adding that it will keep a team of between 15 to 20 people to maintain the site, monitor the environment and continue exploration.

Coal and conflict in the UK - By Richard, London Mining Network, December 7, 2016 - Most of us at LMN believe we have to minimise all kinds of mining. We need to reuse and recycle metals as much as possible and ensure that good design enables more rational use. We have to cut energy use and ensure that the energy we do use is much more efficiently used. The mining industry is enormously destructive, full of corruption, and its critics around the world are subjected to all kinds of violence and harassment. At LMN we honour and support many who are working to stop the world’s mining frontiers advancing, among them African women resisting coal, oil and uranium, whom you can assist in making a film. But there has been much news recently about job losses in the mining industry and their terrible impacts on mine workers and their communities. We have to find ways of halting destructive mining projects while ensuring that mine workers and their communities are not treated like waste material. They also deserve our respect and our solidarity. We need to stand with our friends in global mine workers’ union IndustriALL in their work towards a Just Transition.

Coal Under The Bus, Part Infinity: Trump Likes Rex Tillerson For Sec’y Of State - By Tina Casey, Clean Technica, December 12, 2016 - The Intertubes have been buzzing all weekend with news that Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson has nailed down the position of Secretary of State in the forthcoming Trump Administration, and for good reason. Aside from that one thing about climate change and that other thing about Exxon Mobil’s lobbying on behalf of Russia, Tillerson would be in a good position to pull the rug out from under the global coal industry.

Community Benefits Agreement for Light Rail Transit a model for good jobs through infrastructure development - By Elizabeth Perry, Work and Climate Change Report, December 9, 2016 - A Community Benefits Agreement for the Eglinton Crosstown  Light Rail Transit project in Toronto is expected to create around 300 jobs for youth, women and minority workers from the low income areas the project traverses.

Environmentalism Was Once a Social-Justice Movement - By Jedediah Purdy, The Atlantic, December 7, 2016 - The incoming Trump administration is likely to see the greatest revival of environmentalism as a confrontational, grassroots, sometimes radical movement since at least 1970, when more than a million people took part in the first Earth Day.

For fossil fuel-reliant towns, a solar alternative grows - By Lyndsey Gilpin, High Country News, November 15, 2016 - During his final semester at Delta High School, on Colorado’s Western Slope, Zac Carter enrolled in a new course called Introduction to Photovoltaics, where he could learn the basics of the solar industry. Some of Carter’s family works in the energy industry, and he’s always been interested in electricity. This year, though, he’s watched close family friends struggle to find jobs after being laid off by the nearby West Elk coal mine. By the time he turned 18, he knew a future in fossil fuels wasn’t viable.

Global Solidarity pouring in for Karnataka Farmers demanding loan waiver - By staff, La Via Campesina, December 13, 2016 - On the 30th of November, farmers from across the state of Karnataka in India, took to a unique protest outside “UB City”, one of Bangalore’s most expensive properties owned by controversial businessman Vijay Mallya. The farmers demanded that the commercial complex be auctioned off and the money from the proceeds be used to clear the loans that small farmers owe to cooperatives in the state.

Hundreds of Scientists and Supporters Gather to Rally Against Attacks on Science - By Ashley Braun, DeSmog Blog, December 13, 2016 - On a gray afternoon in downtown San Francisco, hundreds of scientists and supporters held a rally to “champion the role of science in society,” while the news of President-elect Donald Trump's latest cabinet appointment of a fossil fuel industry ally and climate denier, Rick Perry, reverberated through the air like the bells of a nearby church.

Internal Memo Sparks Fears of Climate 'Witch Hunt' Under President Trump - By Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams, December 9, 2016 - President-elect Donald Trump's Energy Department transition team has reportedly been asking for the names of civil servants that have worked on environmental policies under President Barack Obama, sparking fears of a coming "climate purge" by the incoming Trump administration.

IEA cuts coal demand forecast for fifth year in a row - By Megan Darby, Climate Change News, December 12, 2016 - In the US, the world’s third largest coal market, there was a massive 15% drop in consumption in 2015. While the report does not directly address the impacts of Donald Trump’s election to the US presidency, it highlights market factors driving coal off the system. For all Trump’s promise to put miners back to work, those economic trends are not expected to change.

Murdering and bombing of Syrian citizens has to cease immediately: a political solution with the Syrian people has to be found - By staff, La Via Campesina, December 9, 2016 - "We call upon other social movements and organizations to pressure their governments to undertake any effort to stop this war on the Syrian people and build a political process towards the reconstruction and peace and democracy."

New study of Comprehensive Wealth shows Canada’s fossil fuel economy is unsustainable - By Elizabeth Perry, Work and Climate Change Report, December 12, 2016 - In a pioneering report, the International Institute for Sustainable Development in December released the first national study of “comprehensive wealth”, by examining  Statistics Canada data from 1980 to 2013. The concept of comprehensive wealth goes beyond the usual wealth measure of Gross Domestic Product and also includes natural, human and social capital.

Plans falter for West Coast coal terminals - By Sarah Tory, High Country News, December 12, 2016 - Though Chambers applauded Oakland’s decision to ban coal exports, he feels badly for places like Carbon County that hitched themselves to a single commodity. “They’re struggling, too,” he says. West Oakland can empathize. Like Carbon County, it needs jobs — but not, Chambers believes, at the expense of human health.

Qld Government Bill to outlaw 100% FIFO won’t apply to Adani mine: Lock the Gate inquiry submission backs CFMEU push for local jobs - By staff, Lock the Gate Alliance, December 12, 2016 - Lock the Gate Alliance has hit out at the Queensland Government for letting the Adani company get away with proposing a wholly “fly-in fly-out” (FIFO) workforce for its controversial Carmichael coal mine in Central Queensland, despite having a Bill in parliament to prohibit the practice.

Stealth Weather Service Forecasting Downsize - By Kirsten Stade, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, December 8, 2016 - This planned loss of local forecasting would be paired with an increased reliance on a centralized, automated system called “NWS Evolve” which is described as “a collaborative forecast process” based upon a “central, common starting point without local grid editing.” The plan, however, does not explain how centralized forecasting can replace knowledge of local phenomena, terrain and infrastructure which the current network of forecast offices now provides.

SunPower Slashes Its Workforce 25%, Closes Production and Cuts Capital Spend 50% in Restructuring - By Stephen Lacey, GreenTechMedia, December 7, 2016 - This morning, the company said it will shut down its 700-megawatt Fab 2 in the Philippines, shed up to 2,500 workers and cut capital spend by 50 percent. The goal is to generate $300 million in cash by the end of 2017.

"There can be no Declaration on the Rights of Peasants without the right to land" - By staff, La Via Campesina, December 6, 2016 - La Via Campesina speaks for the Right to Land and other Natural Resources in the process of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas

Towards a popular vote on food sovereignty in Switzerland - By staff, La Via Campesina, December 6, 2016 - On the 17 November 2016, Henry Saragih (Serikat Petani – Indonesia, La Via Campesina) and Ramona Duminicioiu (Eco Ruralis – Romania, European Coordination Via Campesina) spoke at the Palais des Nations in Geneva about the reasons why the Right to Land and other Natural Resources is crucial for the Declaration of the Rights of Peasants.

Trade deals threaten peasant farmer’s stewardship of seed biodiversity - By staff, World Rainforest Movement, December 8, 2016 - The good news amidst the decade-long aggressive corporate encroachment on farmers’ control over the seeds they use is that opposition against trade and intellectual property right deals is growing by the day, and mobilisations against the privatisation of biodiversity are a central part of this opposition. In many countries, such as in Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Guatemala, social movements have successfully challenged new seed laws. In others, new trade deals are increasingly being contested from the streets. Here lies our strength to keep biodiversity in the hand of indigenous peoples, peasant farmers and local communities.

Trudeau's pipeline approvals spark protests across Canada - By Jenny Uechi, National Observer, November 30, 2016 - Mike Palecek, president of the National Union of Postal Workers, criticized the prime minister for speaking about Indigenous reconciliation after being elected last year, and approving the Kinder Morgan pipeline despite opposition from a number of key First Nations along the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion route.

UNFCC Report on Just Transition highlights the work of the ACW - By Elizabeth Perry, Work and Climate Change Report, December 9, 2016 - A new technical report by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ( UNFCCC) “will deepen the international community’s understanding of the need to consider the impact of climate policies on workers, and the essential role that labour unions have in combatting climate change,” according to Carla Lipsig Mummé, in a press release  at the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Climate Change (ACW) website.

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