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What the Cowboy-Indian Alliance Means for America and the Climate Movement

By Devon Douglas-Bowers - Occupy.Com, October 8, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

The Cowboy-Indian Alliance made waves in April when participants led a five-day "Reject and Protect" campaign in Washington, D.C., against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The action was prominent and gained notice in the media, although the origins of the alliance haven’t fully been bought to light – nor the historical importance of such an alliance.

Art Tanderup, a Nebraska farmer who has vocally protested against Keystone XL, stated in an April interview that the alliance formed several years ago due to the “common interests between farmers, ranchers and Native Americans in northern Nebraska and southern South Dakota."

"We’ve come together as brothers and sisters to fight this Keystone XL pipeline, because of the risk to the Ogallala Aquifer, to the land, to the health of the people,” he said. The pipeline is a threat to both communities, he added, as the Ogallala Aquifer – the country's largest underground water source, located beneath the Great Plains – not only provides water for 2.3 million people but also “threatens the Missouri River, which provides drinking water for probably a couple 'nother million,” bringing the total number whose water supply is threatened by construction of the pipeline to about 5 million people.

In addition, the aquifer provides water for animals, livestock and irrigation. All of this means that, contrary to oil industry claims, the pipeline in fact imperils the health and economic stability of the Midwest.

For the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Great Sioux Nation, there is also a historical significance to this battle. As Tanderup stated in the interview, part of the pipeline’s route, as well as his own farm, “is on the Ponca Trail of Tears from back in the 1870s, when Chief Standing Bear and his people were driven from the Niobrara area to Oklahoma.”

The extraction processes, such as tar sands mining and the refining and dilution processes used to obtain the oil, are extremely dangerous. Nez Perce activist Gary Dorr noted in the same interview that before the oil extraction started, Fort Chip in Canada had “a negligible cancer rate,” but now they “[have] a cancer rate 400 times the national Canadian per capita average. Every single family [in Fort Chip] has cancer in their families.”

Mapping Climate Justice

By Dr Joanna "Jody" Boehnert - EcoLabs, October 16, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Web Editor's Note: The IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus is featured on the climate map as one of the "climate justice" organizations.

The Mapping Climate Communication Project illustrates key events, participants and strategies in climate communication.

1) Climate Timeline visualizes the historical processes and events that have lead to various ways of communicating climate change. Key scientific, political and cultural events are plotted on a timeline that contextualizes this information within five climate discourses. These reveal very different ideological, political and scientific assumptions on climate change.

2) Network of Actors displays relationships between 237 individuals, organizations and institutions participating in climate communication in Canada, United States and the United Kingdom.

Details about this project can be found in the Mapping Climate Communication: PosterSummary Report. This report can be downloaded here:

 

 

 

The maps reveal how specific details in climate communication are contextualized within complex debates. For example:

  • How does a climate march impact the volume of media coverage of climate change?
  • How does the work of the climate denial industry potentially impact climate policy?
  • Do popular movies and books on climate result in activity in the climate movement?
  • What are the relationships between organizations active in climate communication?

By illustrating key events and actors over time and within five discourses this work makes links between disparate factors and reveals dynamics that contribute to public understanding of climate change.

The project also explores politicised issues in climate communication by using a discourse approach to analyse the various strategies and ideologies held by those organizations, institutions and individuals participating in climate communication in the public realm. This report describes the impact of neoliberal dogma and modes of governance on climate communication as one of the central problems preventing a global response to climate change. Theorizing the impact of neoliberalism on climate change communication and policy is key to an understanding of why emissions continue to rise despite the significant work by the climate science community and the environmental movement over the past four decades.

Twenty Things YOU Can Do To Address the Climate Crisis!

By Patrick Robbins - This Changes Everything, October 6, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Getting your mind around climate change is hard. Confronting it requires us to deal with the ways that coal, oil, and gas have shaped nearly every aspect of our world, from our built environments to our economic systems — even our ideologies and patterns of thought. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t concrete actions each of us can take, right now. Here are 20 examples of things YOU can do (some details are US-specific).

1. Reorganize the mode of production so that surplus and capital is distributed equally throughout society, and workers have decision-making power over their labor.

2. Find out about fossil fuel projects being built or proposed in your neighborhood (most of which can be found in the records of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the Environmental Protection Agency) and mobilize your community against them. Read these excellent resources on how to start organizing your community and spread them far and wide.

3. Understand that while climate change affects us all, there are specific populations who are more vulnerable than others — these are low-income communities, communities of color, coastal communities and communities on the frontlines of fossil fuel extraction. Find a frontline organization near you and offer to support their work. Ask them what kind of help they need and take direction from them.

4. Lay off the policeman, the commodities trader, the real estate agent and the speculator in your head.

5. Read about what the crisis could potentially look like — go HERE or HERE or HERE or HERE or HERE — and think about what this could mean for you personally, or for people and places you love.

When NOT to March (or Rally)

By Andres Willes Garcés - Waging Nonviolence, October 2, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

On an ordinary Tuesday evening in April 2007, dozens of union janitors gathered outside a downtown office building in Sydney, Australia, to celebrate a victory: After a long fight, another cleaning contractor had agreed to sign up with the janitors’ union. Singing “Don’t Stop the Cleaners” to the tune of “Don’t Stop Believin’” and pounding drums and shaking noisemakers, the assembled janitors listened to union leaders talk about their next target: the cleaning contractor of that very office building in front of them, which was still nonunion. After sending this message, cheering and chanting, the group marched back to the union office for a celebratory barbecue.

As this example shows, marches and rallies can be a great way to celebrate a big campaign victory (and gear up for the next one). They’re accessible, often relatively simple to plan, and can easily incorporate participation from many kinds of people. Good marches and rallies have a few functions. They can be a good place to announce you’ve reached a new stage, or otherwise serve as a movement’s marking point, such as the 1963 March on Washington. They can inspire your grassroots base with new energy. Or, ideally, they can move you past the finish line and into your campaign victory lap.

But too often we use marches and rallies in place of any other public action to put pressure on decision-makers and build support for our campaign. They’re good for partying or as a mass mobilization after grassroots support is built — but there are many more effective ways to create low-risk opportunities for gathering people together. On the heels of the People’s Climate March last weekend, where more than 300,000 people gathered to demand international action on climate change, it’s important to take the time to reflect on what marches can accomplish — and what other tactics can be used instead.

The Rewilding Farce

By Apride - Ancestral Pride, October 2, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

I have been seeing a lot of these rewilding, getting back to land based living, going off grid, and healing earth trauma postings and such by settlers. Blogs, websites, a whole movement and its offshoots growing rapidly, now do not get me wrong I am all for allowing Mother Nature to claim back what is clearly hers, and super stoked about helping things along by burning down cities stopping the brutal rape for resources, but my major concern is that these types of groups and movements usually directly IGNORE the indigenous Nations of the so called amerikkkas and the fact that this land was only harmed because of CONTACT, GENOCIDE, AND LAND THEFT in the pursuit of a better life for europeans.

They blissfully ignore the fact that this colonial capitalist society is rooted in modern luxury “advancements” aimed to make life lazier and existing so devoid of meaning as to render technology, fashion, and useless trinkets the ultimate status symbol of “making it” and that this serves to enslave their brethren and negates our inherent rights and title to our land and our Governance over ourselves! Afte visiting a few of these websites and blogs the theme across the board is pretty much based on totally escaping the harsh reality and ugly truths with convenient quotes from environmentalists and ignoring completely that they have the utter privilege of being able to just pitch in and purchase stolen land to set up communal spaces and pat each other on the back for being so forward thinking and clever “We are gonna rewild and heal the shit out of this space!”

Must be nice to sit around fires, in front of cozy cabins or shelters, worry free eating clean rewilded foods and not have to worry about cops wrecking it for you, like in: link —> Oppenheimer parks tent city, or like the indigenous land defenders on the front lines setting up blockades and camps to stop the colonial capitalists from further destroying land and water for profit. Indigenous Nations in so called BC are being threatened and their lives endangered by cops, corporations and govt, meanwhile back at the “freedom” camps of settlers life is pretty damn perfect and tralalalaling on.

Now don’t get me wrong I know there is probably people in these camps that feeeeeel for what’s happening and support front line grass roots from a safe distance but it ain’t enough! What is?! We don’t know! All I know is that this kind of crap is going on all over and I’m sick of the way it makes me feel to see these posts, blogs, sites. Sick of the privilege and the denial that accompanies them, that smug we are better humans than you that denigrates our real time oppression and poverty! Our struggle is real, third and fourth world problems that need attention now!

Video - Save the Climate or Save Capitalism?

By Dennis Trainor, Jr - Acronym TV, October 1, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Corporations Are Not Going to Save Us From Climate Disruption

By Rachel Smolker; image by South Bend Voice - Truthout, September 29, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

This past week in New York saw some remarkable actions around climate change. The massive People's Climate March was perhaps the main media spectacle, but it was not the only, or necessarily the most important event. Another important one: the Climate Justice Summit, which featured the voices and testimonials of people all around the country and the globe who are on the frontlines, bearing the brunt of both ruthless extraction and destruction of their lands and livelihoods, and also experiencing most directly the impacts of climate change itself. Many were tearful as they described lives and lands laid to ruin by tar sands, fracking, coal, uranium mining and more. The brutal, relentless and rapacious greed of corporate profiteers in the fossil fuel industries, big agribusiness and forestry and financial sectors seems almost unfathomable.

Clearly, the United Nations is not going to do what is necessary to change the path we are on, but rather is mired in blame and conflict, relegated to endlessly reenacting and rehashing the history of colonialism, apparently utterly incapable of taking any steps that could be construed as challenging to the economic status quo much less calling out capitalism. Why? Because the UN itself is beholden to corporate puppet masters.

The UN insists on taking its cue from the very corporations who are responsible for degrading the planet, destroying lives and creating the crisis in the first place.

With apparent naïveté, the UN insists on taking its cue from the very corporations who are responsible for degrading the planet, destroying lives and creating the crisis in the first place. This is pervasive throughout institutions and governments across the globe, not only the UN. The reason is money. With a handful of corporations owning and controlling most of the world's wealth, little can be funded and executed on a large scale without the funding, involvement and decision making of the handful of ultra wealthy. Which means ceding control to those corporate interests and doing their bidding. Money is power - but not the only kind!

Confronting White Privilege In The Climate Justice Movement

Article by Dennis Trainor Jr; Image By John Minchillo - Acronym TV, October 1, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Speaking at the opening plenary of the New York City Global Climate Convergence in the days before the People’s Climate March, Nastaran Mohit told the assembled crowd that the revolution “and this (Climate Convergence) movement is not going to be spawned from the activist white community. It is going to be led front and center by marginalized and the most directly affected communities.”

Mohit, a New York City based labor organizer who was instrumental in the success of Occupy Sandy, went on:

“For these communities, Climate Change is not a far off thing, it is right at their backyard. For these communities it is an issue of survival. Climate organizing is not a privilege for them, it is a life and death matter.”

While Mohit characterized the People’s Climate March as an “epic event” that she was “proud to participate in” she was quick to balance that excitement with skepticism over the funding behind the march and “the lack of demands, the parade route” (the parade went no where near the U.N.).

“We also need to be very real when we talk about how scary it is for the big green groups (and) the big corporations for this movement to challenge Capitalism.”

After the People’s Climate March, it is Time to Demand More

Article and Image By Peter Rugh - Waging Nonviolence, September 29, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

The 400,000 people who packed Manhattan’s Central Park West for the People’s Climate March on September 21 have all gone home to their apartments, farms, cabins and lobster boats. They’ve returned to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the Wet’suwet’en territory in British Columbia, to the Philippines and the Pacific Islands. The “U.N. Climate Summit” banner that, last week, formed the backdrop for the impassioned speeches of 120 heads of state — and Leonardo DiCaprio — has been taken down. Debate in the newly renovated General Assembly Hall has turned to terrorism — a different kind of security threat than that posed by drought and rising sea levels. The metal barricades erected against protesters who flooded the heart of global capitalism at last Monday’s Flood Wall Street demonstration have been cautiously removed by the New York Police Department. Frostpaw the polar bear has gone to jail.

The summit convened by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which served as the inspiration for the People’s Climate March and Flood Wall Street, occurred ahead of conferences scheduled for Lima in December and Paris in 2015, where new long-term agreements for reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be hammered out. If we are to believe 98 percent of the world’s scientists, the future of human subsistence on this planet hinges on the strength of the pacts world governments will forge. Precious time will tell what the lasting impacts of the demonstrations will be, but already the protests that shook New York and much of the world (there were over 2,000 People’s Climate Marches globally) appear to have left their mark upon upper echelon spheres of power.

The day following the march, the heirs to John D. Rockefeller, the famed 20th century oil baron, announced they were divesting their $860 million charitable fund from fossil fuels. Addressing the United Nations last Tuesday, President Obama referenced the demonstration, stating, “Our citizens keep marching. We cannot pretend we do not hear them.”

While it might seem like another toothless remark from the president, it at the very least shows that the commotion two days earlier penetrated the inner sanctums of power.

“Often times, what we hear from politicians is that we don’t have the numbers, that people don’t care,” said Phil Aroneanu with 350.org, the environmental organization that helped spearhead the march with thousands of labor, faith and environmental justice groups. “With 400,000 people on the streets Sunday we really feel like we proved otherwise.”

The march was particularly a success, Aroneanu noted, in that it broke down color barriers for an environmental movement that for the past several decades has been highly segregated between white and wealthy and low-income racial minorities.

“Though we still have a long way to go, it was the most diverse of any march we’ve organized so far,” Aroneanu said. “Our partners in the climate justice movement really showed up and took on leadership roles. We have to make sure we are not leaving any of our brothers and sisters behind.”

The climate march, more than any other mass mobilization before it, reflected the faces of those who bear the brunt of climate change.

Ten Points for a Trade Union Strategy Against Climate Change

By Asbjørn Wahl - The Bullet, September 24, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Since each of us gets only a few minutes for our contributions on such a large subject as climate change, I have chosen to put forward ten brief points for a trade union strategy against climate change. Firstly, I will establish some of the important factual basis on which we have to build our strategies and policies.

1. Climate change is not a threat of the future, it is already happening here and now, it is man-made, and the consequences can be catastrophic.

2. The climate threat will have widespread implications for social development – either as a result of climate change itself, or as a result of measures to prevent or mitigate climate change. The way we live and work will thus change considerably, whether we take action or not. Inaction, or postponing action, represents the greatest threat – with disastrous effects.

3. Because measures to combat climate change will require great changes in society, we face a major social struggle. Thus, the struggle against climate change is first and foremost a struggle for social power, a struggle on what kind of society we want. In the current situation, this means that the climate change struggle will have to be unified with the struggle against the effects of, and the driving forces behind, the economic crisis, the crisis of capitalism.

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