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Global Justice Ecology Project

Earth Minute: Biden-Harris Inauguration and Climate Action

By Theresa Church - Global Justice Ecology Project, January 20, 2021

Bloomberg has reported that the COVID relief bill passed last month included a provision to give companies tax breaks for capturing carbon. 

While this may sound positive, it was denounced by Indigenous Environmental Network, as it paves the way for ongoing fossil fuel burning. Rachel Smolker of Biofuelwatch points out most of the captured carbon is bought by oil companies that use it to help pump out oil hard to reach oil, thereby extending the life of old wells. 

Far from changing course, the Biden Administration is expected to roll out plans for climate action that include false solutions widely debunked by U.S. and international climate justice communities—from burning trees for electricity to using forests and oceans as carbon sinks. The purpose of these schemes? Continue business as usual.

Real, just climate action must address the roots of the climate crisis and transform the system that drives it, not subsidize and enable the very same people causing catastrophic climate change to pursue enhanced profits under a green veneer.

For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project.

Earth Watch: IBON International’s Tetet Lauron on COP23

By staff - Global Justice Ecology Project, November 21, 2017

Last week’s Earth Watch guest on the Sojourner Truth Radio show was Tetet Lauron, climate justice program manager for IBON International. Lauron was in Bonn, Germany for the COP23 Climate Talks. IBON’s goal is to contribute to building global mass movements of oppressed and marginalised peoples, to challenging neoliberal globalisation, war and all forms of oppression, and to advancing people’s individual and collective rights, democracy, social justice and equality, ecological sustainability and liberation.

Lauron’s segment is short and there are audio quality issues. It begins at about 52:40 mark.

Earth Watch: Activist Dezeray Lyn on Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico

By staff - Global Justice Ecology Project, November 10, 2017

This week’s Earth Watch guest on the Sojourner Truth Radio Show is Dezeray Lyn. Lyn has been involved in organizing and solidarity work rooted in intersectional struggle for social/climate/economic justice for 16 years.  She spent five months in occupied Palestine documenting and intervening in human rights abuse of Palestinians between 2015 and 2016. 

Lyn co-founded the radical, autonomous Refugee solidarity group Love Has No Borders and have been an active, long time Food Not Bombs Tampa member. She has done autonomous relief work in New Orleans, St Augustine, West Virginia and Puerto Rico as well as across Florida post hurricane Irma. Lyn is preparing to go on tour with Mutual Aid Disaster Relief for 3 months to grow the movement in 40 plus workshops. 

Among the topics discussed are relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the lack of resources available to effected people. Lyn’s interview begins at about the 37 minute mark below.

Berta Is Dead, But The Movement She Started Lives

By Beverly Bell - Global Justice Ecology Project, April 5, 2017

The Convergence of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) has defied all efforts over the past year, by the Honduran government and the DESA dam company, to destroy it. This past Monday, March 27, 24 years after Berta Cáceres cofounded the Lenca indigenous organization, COPINH hosted an anniversary celebration of rebellion and recommitment.

About 150 people from throughout Honduras and at least five other countries joined for a Lenca ceremony; a forum on challenges and advances; a concert; a film festival; and a humble feast of roasted pig, rice, tortillas, and birthday cake. The event closed late at night with an open-air performance of “Ancestras”, a new play by the Teatro Taller Tegucigalpa (Tegucigalpa Theater Workshop) about COPINH’s fight to defend the Gualcarque River, and structural injustice by the government and oligarchy.

COPNH has not only survived, it continues to serve as a source of inspiration for indigenous and other movements throughout Honduras and the world. As with Berta Cáceres’ life work, COPINH’s goes far beyond environmental defense. Its aim is to transform the political, economic, and environmental landscape of Honduras, and – in conjunction with movements elsewhere – of the world.

Gustavo Castro Soto, the director of Friends of the Earth-Mexico and Otros Mundos who was shot and almost killed in Cáceres’ home the night she was assassinated, said, “The death of Berta has not been the death of the struggle. On the contrary, it’s been a wake-up call.”

Don’t Mourn, Organize!

By Anne Petermann, Executive Director - Global Justice Ecology Project, November 9, 2016

Dear GJEP Friends and Family,

While surprised by the turn of the election last night, I was not shocked.  Horrified, but not shocked.

The pundits had all but declared Hillary the winner in the days leading up to the election, but a lot of people who have been crushed by the system over the years stood up to be counted. They fell for the hateful, booming rhetoric of a billionaire businessman and TV star with no political experience-because he promised to stand up for them. He promised “change.”

According to exit polls by CNN, however, more than half of people polled are worried about what will happen in the coming years under a Trump Presidency. Over a third are more than worried, they are scared. The atmosphere is thick with sadness, rage, disbelief, fear.

After the filth of this election campaign, many will want to circle the wagons. To wait for the worst to blow over.

But that is not an option. And the fact is, no matter who won the election, we were on a collective course toward the edge of a cliff. Under Obama-the supposed face of progressive “change”-there has been no real action to address climate change. Activists at Standing Rock are being brutalized by the police for trying to stop a pipeline and protect their sacred water and land. Unarmed black people are being killed by police. Drones are dropping bombs on children in far away lands.

The system is broken, no matter who is at the helm.

Donald Trump and the new Republican held Congress will be nasty. There is no question about that.

But the one possible positive outcome of this spectacular disaster is that there is no such thing as complacency any more. You either organize or you let Trump’s agenda of hate run rampant. There have been galvanizing moments in United States history when injustice was so potent, so undeniable that people came out in droves to be part of the force for change. I believe this can become one of those moments.

There is no political party that will do this for us. It is up to us. It is time to acknowledge that the system doesn’t work and start talking about what we do next. Time to mobilize. Time to take action for real systemic change.

That is our commitment here at Global Justice Ecology Project.  GJEP was founded to address the intertwined root causes of social injustice, economic domination and ecological destruction.  That is our mission. And we will keep organizing and building to strengthen the global movement toward the fundamental, transformational, bottom up change necessary to achieve a sane future on this planet.

I hope you will join us.

Onward!

GE Tree Company ArborGen Found Guilty of Defrauding Workers, Fined $53.5M

By Kip Doyle - Global Justice Ecology Project, January 7, 2015

New York (8 January 2015) – Biotech firm ArborGen, a leader in the research and development of genetically engineered trees (GE trees), has been fined $53.5 million in compensation and punitive damages after a court ruled that it acted to use “trickery and deceit” to “defraud” employees.

Just before the holidays a judge issued the 180 page ruling (linked below) on the case in favor of ten ArborGen workers, and against the company, as well as its timber company founders, International Paper, MeadWestvaco (now WestRock) and New Zealand-based Rubicon, plus several of their Board members.

“It is a shame that this story came out on 29 December, in the middle of a holiday week, and has gone almost completely unreported,” said Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project. “Only two articles have covered this important story in South Carolina papers.

“We have always argued that ArborGen is acting recklessly in their pursuit of the commercial development of unproven and potentially dangerous GE eucalyptus, pine and other trees. Now we find out that ArborGen has lied to and defrauded their own employees. How could anyone possibly believe anything they say about the ‘safety’ of these GE trees?” she concluded.

Climate Activists need to demand system change!

By Jay Burney - Climate Connections, August 25, 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.

System Change is needed. Without that, positive impacts on climate change will be a pipe dream.

The United Nations is gearing up for the COP 20 Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru in December of this year, and the  UN Climate Change Conference/COP21, to be held in Paris, France in late 2015. A primary goal of the Paris Climate Summit is to ratify a new legal agreement aimed at stemming climate change.

Many people across the earth are concerned UN efforts and these summits will come up far short of any meaningful goals.  This Inside Climate News article, MIT Study: Climate Talks on Path to Fall Far Short of Goals details some of the concerns.

In preparation for the Paris Summit, on 23 September of this year, the United Nations will hold a one day session on Climate Change.  This will garner significant press attention as world leaders including business and political mouthpieces continue to posture for “business as usual” solutions geared toward the potential 2015 legal agreement.

Preceding the one day UN session are two significant events in New York City that you can participate directly in. The Peoples Climate March will be held on Sunday Sept 21, 2014. Organizers are predicting that this will be the largest Climate March in history. Although organizers have not created any demands per se for the goals of the March they feel that press and media attention will go a long way toward establishing public support for change.

On Bill McKibben’s ‘call to arms’ for the New York Climate Summit

By Anne Petermann - Global Justice Ecology Project, July 17, 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 September climate march was called for by Big Green NGOs 350.org and Avaaz, who have thrown copious quantities of cash at it. But many environmental and climate justice organizations and alliances based in the New York/New Jersey region and across the US have demanded a seat at the organizing table to ensure that the voices of front line and impacted communities are heard, despite their small budgets.

The demands of the march: there will be none. That’s right. The march will simply bring together an estimated 200,000 people to march through the streets of New York and then…  There will be no rally, no speakers, no strong political demands.  Just people showing up with the overarching message that the world’s leaders should take action on climate change.

Please.

What kind of climate action should be taken is a question that has long been debated by climate justice activists, organizations, social movements and Indigenous Peoples all over the world for decades.   “Climate action” can include things like geoengineering schemes–manmade manipulations of nature on such a massive scale that the impacts can’t possibly be known, but could definitely be catastrophic.  They can also include actions already taking place, such as the building of vast hydroelectric dams that flood vast expanses of land and displace thousands of Indigenous Peoples or land-based communities. Climate action can also include ongoing grabbing of land for the development of vast plantations of oil palm, GMO soy or non-native trees for so-called bioenergy.

So no, not all “climate action” is created equal.  A lack of clear justice-based and ecologically sound demands in this “historic” march will leave a vacuum.  And no vacuum remains empty for long.  It’s simple physics.  The media will not cover a march with no demands. They will find a message.  And likely, as so often happens, those with the connections and the money will win the messaging game.

Earth Minute: July 2, 2014

By Anne Petermann - Global Justice Ecology Project, July 7, 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 the weekly “Earth Minute” Anne Peterman, Executive Director of the Global Justice Ecology Project, discusses Portland Rising Tide’s recent direct action.

The Earth Minute is written and recorded by GJEP Executive Director Anne Petermann in partnership with KPFK FM. 

Click here to listen: 

https://soundcloud.com/sojournertruthradio/sojournertruthradio-7-2-14-2

Earth Minute, June 24, 2014: Detroit’s Water Crisis

By Anne Petermann - Global Justice Ecology Project, June 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.

The shocking water crisis in Detroit: hundreds of thousands of people being denied access to water. 

The Earth Minute is written and recorded by GJEP Executive Director Anne Petermann in partnership with KPFK FM. 

Click here to listen: 

https://soundcloud.com/sojournertruthradio/sojournertruthradio-6-24-14-2

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