Category: Activism


Updated Mon 10 Mar 2014, 7:33pm AEDT

Tens of thousands of Japanese citizens have turned out for an anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo, as the nation prepares to mark the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster.

Demonstrators congregated at Tokyo’s Hibiya Park on Sunday, close to central government buildings, before marching around the national parliament.

They gathered to voice their anger at the nuclear industry and prime minister Shinzo Abe’s government, which has announced its intention to restart the Japan’s nuclear reactors after two years of inactivity.

“I felt it’s important that we continue to raise our voice whenever possible,” Yasuro Kawai, a 66-year-old businessman from Chiba prefecture, said.

“Today, there is no electricity flowing in Japan that is made at nuclear plants.

“If we continue this zero nuclear status and if we make efforts to promote renewable energy and invest in energy saving technology, I think it’s possible to live without nuclear (power).”

Tokyo resident Michiko Sasaki, 80, said Japan’s national priority should be to think about how to end nuclear power and to rebuild the northern region hit by the disaster.

“In this small nation of ours, there are so many nuclear plants. We are prone to earthquakes,” she said.

“Unless we end it now, what will happen in the future? Politicians must think about children of the future.”

 

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JDP

Tokyo anti-nuclear rally brings tens of thousands of protesters as disaster anniversary approaches


Tokyo anti-nuclear rally brings tens of thousands of protesters as disaster anniversary approaches

A few days before the 3rd anniversary of one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents, tens of thousands of anti-nuclear protesters gathered at the Hibiya Park in Tokyo. This was their way of reminding the world about the incident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and the dangers of Japan’s insistence on relying on nuclear energy for its power needs.

The demonstration was also an expression of their anger and disappointment at the the nuclear industry and the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has been pushing for the restart of the country’s 50 nuclear reactors that have been offline due to safety concerns and the strong anti-nuclear sentiment after the 2011 disaster. The protesters believe that the past months when Japan has survived without nuclear power is proof that it can be done. Musicians performed during the rally using electric instruments powered by huge solar panels. One of the performers was composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who played his pieces created three years ago to mourn the more than 15,000 people who perished during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. He emphasized, “The Fukushima accident continues today.”

 

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EcoWatch

New Evidence Submitted in State Department Hiring of Oil Industry Consultant to Write Keystone XL Environmental Review

Sierra Club | February 12, 2014 10:34 am

 

Today Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth submitted evidence to the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General to support the ongoing inquiry into conflicts of interest and mismanagement in the environmental review of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The groups request that the Inspector General takes steps to ensure that the tainted Final Environmental Impact Statement, released on Jan. 31, is excluded from the agency’s National Interest Determination.

 

Untitled

Image courtesy of Friends of the Earth/ 350.org infographic

 

“The State Department hired an oil industry consultant to write the environmental review of Keystone XL without taking steps to guard against industry bias,” said Doug Hayes, Sierra Club staff attorney. “So it’s no surprise that the report attempts to minimize the pipeline’s massive carbon pollution and threats to human health and water quality. This flawed report should have no place in the decision making on this pipeline.”

 

In Aug. 2013, the State Department confirmed that the Office of Inspector General (OIG) had opened an inquiry into the agency’s hiring of the consultant Environmental Resources Management (ERM) to prepare the environmental review of the project. Evidence shows that ERM made false and misleading statements on its application for the contract.

 

“By hiring ERM, the State Department ignored its own guidelines and invited the fox into the hen house,” said Ross Hammond, Friends of the Earth senior campaigner. “ERM has an obvious self interest in making sure Keystone XL is built.”

 

“The process that allowed them to get this contract has been corrupt from day one and the American people deserve better from their government,” Hammond continued. “It’s up to the Secretary Kerry and the Inspector General to restore some integrity and accountability into the review process, not preside over a whitewash.”

 

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NEAT leaders: TransCanada dupes landowners about eminent domain

New concerns over the Keystone XL oil pipeline are prompting leaders of the Nebraska Easement Action Team, or NEAT, to send a letter to President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry and the Unicameral.

The letter expresses worry over TransCanada’s behavior and tactics in pursuing the proposed pipeline.

NEAT president Tom Genung, of Hastings, claims landowners are being misinformed about land seizures.

“Some of the land agents for TransCanada led landowners to believe that if they didn’t sign the initial proposal or the initial easement contracts that eminent domain would be implemented and that basically there would be no compensation,” Genung says, “which is not true at all.”

 

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JournalStar.com

Landowner group warns of perceived plans to bypass federal permit for Keystone XL

February 12, 2014 6:00 pm  • 

A Nebraska landowner advocacy group is warning state legislators and landowners to be aware that TransCanada, the company responsible for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, is offering easement agreements that mention bypassing the need for a presidential permit.

The Nebraska Easement Action Team Wednesday issued a strongly worded resolution condemning what it characterized as a history of deceptive practices by TransCanada and sought to bring attention to a sentence in a letter TransCanada sent this month to a Nebraska landowner.

The letter said if an easement was signed, paperwork wouldn’t be filed with the county recorder until TranCanada gets a presidential permit for the 1,179-mile pipeline or “modifies the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline project in such a way that a presidential permit is no longer required.”

David Domina, an Omaha-based attorney who works with NEAT, said that single sentence changes the narrative TransCanada has put forth for years about building an international pipeline that requires a federal permit from Canada to refineries in Texas and Oklahoma.

“This (NEAT resolution) is intended as an alert to landowners and, frankly, to the members of the Legislature. There is something up. And we don’t know what it is,” Domina said. “This is not about the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline project, this is about something new that isn’t being disclosed and we don’t know what it is.”

TransCanada Spokesman Shawn Howard said the company has no plans to avoid the need for a presidential permit.

 

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EcoWatch

Senior Officials Accused of Skewing Science to Benefit Keystone XL Pipeline

PEER | February 6, 2014 11:44 am

Managers within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) overrode their scientific experts to adopt an inaccurate map based upon a flawed model that significantly shrank the range of an endangered species, according to agency investigative reports released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The managers not only retaliated against scientists who voiced objections but rushed into publication of a bogus scientific journal article to cover their tracks.

abb2004

The American burying beetle is an endangered species threatened by the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

The American burying beetle (ABB), a critically endangered species, has seen its range dwindle from 35 states to the plains of South Dakota, Arkansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma —areas in the proposed path for the $5.3 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Based on complaints from FWS scientists, specially convened Scientific Integrity Review Panels found two “high-level” officials guilty of scientific misconduct. The panels found that Dixie Porter, supervisor of the FWS Oklahoma Ecological services field office in Tulsa, OK, and Luke Bell, FWS Branch Chief for Threatened and Endangered Species and Contaminants:

  • Adopted flawed models that dramatically shrunk the known range of the ABB
  • Compounded their misconduct by improperly rushing an article into publication that both “knowingly impeded” the original panel investigation and also would “further degrade the endangered status of the ABB.…” Despite this finding, FWS has yet retract the paper.
  • Retaliated against line scientists who objected, including imposition of “several staff suspensions.”

This is the first time an Interior agency has upheld a scientific misconduct complaint under its relatively new Scientific Integrity policies. Yet FWS refused to release the reports to PEER under the Freedom of Information Act. PEER obtained them by filing an appeal with Interior’s Office of Solicitor, the administrative step before a lawsuit, and the solicitor ordered release of redacted versions of the reports.

 

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A photo of a whooping crane.

The Canada-to-Texas flight route of the critically endangered whooping crane passes along Keystone XL’s route for hundreds of miles. Conservationists worry about the impact of pipeline power lines.

PHOTOGRAPH BY PAT SULLIVAN, AP

Mel White

for National Geographic

Published February 14, 2014

Climate change has been the focus of much of the opposition to TransCanada‘s Keystone XL pipeline. But many conservationists are also concerned about more immediate environmental consequences.

They’re worried about the pipeline construction’s impact on wildlife and ecosystems, and of possible spills of the heavy crude oil that will flow through the pipeline at the rate of 830,000 barrels a day. (See related: “Interactive: Mapping the Flow of Tar Sands Oil.“)

Some people, seeing a map of the pipeline’s proposed 875-mile route through the Great Plains, may picture the region in the terms of 19th-century explorers who called it the “great American desert”: a barren land lacking in natural-history interest. In fact, though the vast herds of grazing animals that Lewis and Clark saw are greatly diminished, rich ecosystems endure. And while the pipeline route crosses some agricultural land, much of it would traverse natural habitats in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska where harmful effects on native animals and plants could—some say would, inevitably—occur. (See related, “Oil Flows on Keystone XL’s Southern Leg, But Link to Canada Awaits Obama Administration.“)

A photo of the Yellowstone River in Montana

PHOTOGRAPH BY ANNIE GRIFFITHS, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
Rich ecosystems surround the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers (the latter is pictured here). Keystone XL would cross both rivers in Montana.

Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers

The Keystone XL route crosses the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers, two of more than 50 crossings of perennial streams. Both rivers are home to the federally endangered pallid sturgeon, a bizarre-looking fish up to six feet long adapted to life in large rivers with silty bottoms. A serious oil spill has the potential to damage or even destroy habitat for this species. Such a spill could also harm habitat for least terns and piping plovers, two birds that nest along rivers and that have suffered serious declines in recent decades.

And pipelines do fail, conservationists note. The failure in 2010 of an Enbridge pipeline carrying Canadian crude oil triggered the costliest onshore oil spill in U.S. history, contaminating 40 miles of Michigan’s Kalamazoo River and surrounding wetlands. Last year, another pipeline carrying Canadian oil, Exxon-Mobil’s Pegasus line, ruptured in a the small Arkansas town of Mayflower, affecting wetlands connected to the largest man-made game and fish commission reservoir in the United States. (See related, “Oil Spill Spotlights Keystone XL Issue: Is Canadian Crude Worse?”) Officials are still reckoning the lingering environmental damage after massive and expensive cleanup efforts.

In its recent Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, the State Department admits that oil spills will occur and are a danger, but asserts that current technology and rigorous inspections make the odds of a serious spill remote. (See related, “3 Factors Shape Obama’s Decision on Keystone XL Pipeline.”)

Davis Sheremata, a spokesperson for TransCanada, said Keystone will incorporate construction and maintenance techniques more advanced than those of earlier pipelines. Safety measures “are the culmination of six years of consultation between TransCanada, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and many other federal and state environmental agencies,” he said. “The required environmental protection and pipeline safety measures set a new, and very high, standard unequaled by any other pipeline project.”

Whooping Crane

One of the greatest conservation concerns about the immediate effect of the pipeline centers on the critically endangered whooping crane. Most of these tall white birds nest in Canada and migrate through the central United States to and from their wintering grounds on the Texas Gulf Coast. The cranes’ flight route passes directly along the pipeline route for hundreds of miles.

It’s not the pipeline itself that’s of greatest potential danger to the cranes, though. Pumps needed to keep the thick Canadian oil flowing through the pipeline require power lines to supply them with electricity, and conservationists wonder what will happen when more than 300 miles of new power lines appear in formerly wide-open spaces in the birds’ flight path.

“The whooping crane is a species that we’ve really homed in on,” said  Jim Murphy, senior counsel for the National Wildlife Federation. “Power lines account for about 40 percent of juvenile whooping crane mortality, which is a big deal when you’re talking about a bird that has a population of about four hundred in the wild. Those concerns have never really been taken seriously.”

TransCanada’s Sheremata said his company and pipeline contractors “have committed to incorporate a number of conservation measures to prevent potential direct or indirect impacting to the whooping crane.” Measures include installing and maintaining avian markers (conspicuous objects designed to make lines more visible to flying birds) at pump stations “to reduce impacts to whooping cranes from power lines.”

Male Greater Sage Grouse

PHOTOGRAPH BY TOM WALKER, VISUALS UNLIMITED/CORBIS
A male greater sage-grouse does a mating display. The proposed route passes within a few miles of dozens of grouse “leks,” sites where males dance to attract mates.

Greater Sage-Grouse

Although the greater sage-grouse isn’t officially an endangered species, many bird experts believe it should be. They claim it has been kept off the list for fear of political backlash in conservative western states, where farming and ranching might face restrictions.

There’s no question that the grouse has suffered from loss of habitat: 20 of 27 known population groups have declined since 1995. The pipeline route passes within a few miles of dozens of grouse leks (sites where males “dance” to attract mates); ornithologists fear that noise from construction, roads, and pumping stations could affect breeding success of these notoriously shy and easily disturbed birds.

In addition, power-line towers serve as hunting perches for eagles and hawks, which prey on grouse. In treeless areas where grouse live, towers will bring new threats and greater potential mortality by providing raptor lookouts where formerly there were none.

A photo of a Swift Fox.

PHOTORGAPH BY JIM BRANDENBURG, MINDEN PICTURES/CORBIS
A swift fox stands alert in the South Dakota prairie.

Swift Fox

The swift fox, a small canine of grassland regions, is another controversial species that the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity believes belongs on the endangered-species list. The CBD finds it “dumbfounding” that Keystone XL environmental-impact statements fail to address the pipeline’s effects on the fox.

“It’s like they took a map and drew a pipeline along the remaining locations of known bands of the swift fox,” said Amy Atwood, senior attorney for the CBD. “That’s where the fox lives, because those are the areas that are not being used for agriculture and are on public land. That’s where pipeline companies like to site things these days to minimize landowner conflict or having to deal with eminent domain. And that’s where the wildlife is. They’ve been pushed out of other areas.”

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Ogallala Aquifer

 

From Wikipedia:

 

The Ogallala Aquifer is a shallow water table aquifer located beneath the Great Plains in the United States. One of the world’s largest aquifers, it underlies an area of approximately 174,000 mi² (450,000 km²) in portions of eight states: (South DakotaNebraskaWyoming,ColoradoKansasOklahomaNew Mexico, and Texas). It was named in 1898 by N.H. Darton from its type locality near the town ofOgallala, Nebraska. The aquifer is part of the High Plains Aquifer System, and rests on the Ogallala Formation, which is the principal geologic unit underlying 80% of the High Plains.

 

About 27 percent of the irrigated land in the United States overlies the aquifer, which yields about 30 percent of the ground water used for irrigation in the United States. Since 1950, agricultural irrigation has reduced the saturated volume of the aquifer by an estimated 9%. Depletion is accelerating, with 2% lost between 2001 and 2009[ alone. Certain aquifer zones are now empty; these areas will take over 100,000 years to replenish naturally through rainfall.

 

The aquifer system supplies drinking water to 82 percent of the 2.3 million people (1990 census) who live within the boundaries of the High Plains study area.

 

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- Sarah Lazare, staff writer

(Image: Honor the Earth)Native American communities are promising fierce resistance to stop TransCanada from building, and President Barack Obama from permitting, the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.

“No Keystone XL pipeline will cross Lakota lands,” declares a joint statement from Honor the Earth, the Oglala Sioux Nation, Owe Aku, and Protect the Sacred. “We stand with the Lakota Nation, we stand on the side of protecting sacred water, we stand for Indigenous land-based lifeways which will NOT be corrupted by a hazardous, toxic pipeline.”

Members of seven Lakota nation tribes, as well as indigenous communities in Idaho, Oklahoma, Montana, Nebraska and Oregon, are preparing to take action to stop Keystone XL.

“It will band all Lakota to live together and you can’t cross a living area if it’s occupied,” said Greg Grey Cloud, of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, in an interview with Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. “If it does get approved we aim to stop it.”

The indigenous-led ‘Moccasins on the Ground’ program has been laying the groundwork for this resistance for over two years by giving nonviolent direct action trainings to front-line communities.

“We go up to wherever we’ve been invited, usually along pipeline routes,” said Kent Lebsock, director of the Owe Aku International Justice Project, in an interview with Common Dreams. “We have three-day trainings on nonviolent direct action. This includes blockade tactics, and discipline is a big part of the training as well. We did nine of them last summer and fall, all the way from Montana to South Dakota, as well as teach-ins in Colorado and a training camp in Oklahoma.”

“We are working with nations from Canada and British Columbia, as well as with the people where tar sands are located,” Lebsock added.

“As an example of this nonviolent direct action,” explains Lebsock, in March 2012 people at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota held a blockade to stop trucks from transporting parts of the Keystone XL pipeline through the reservation.

In August 2013, members of the Nez Perce tribe blockaded megaloads traveling Idaho’s Highway 12 to the Alberta tar sands fields.

Descendants of the Ponca Tribe and non-native allies held a Trail of Tears Spiritual Camp in Nebraska in November to prevent the construction of the pipeline.

More spiritual camps along the proposed route of the pipeline are promised, although their date and location are not yet being publicly shared.

The promises of joint action follow the U.S. State Department’s public release on Friday of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). This report has been widely criticized as tainted by the close ties between Transcanada and the Environmental Resource Management contractor hired to do the report.

While the oil industry is largely spinning the report as a green-light for the pipeline, green groups emphasize that it contains stern warnings over the massive carbon pollution that would result if the pipeline is built, including the admission that tar sands oil produces approximately 17 percent more carbon than traditional crude.

The release of the FEIS kicked off a 90-day inter-agency review and 30-day public comment period. The pipeline’s opponents say now is a critical time to prevent Obama from approving the pipeline, which is proposed to stretch 1,179 miles from Alberta, Canada, across the border to Montana, and down to Cushing, Oklahoma where it would link with other pipelines, as part of a plan to drastically increase Canada’s tar sands production.

The southern half of the Keystone XL pipeline — which begins in Cushing, passes through communities in Oklahoma and East Texas, and arrives at coastal refineries and shipping ports — began operations last month after facing fierce opposition and protest from people in its path.

“Let’s honor the trail blazers from the Keystone XL south fight,” said Idle No More campaigner Clayton Thomas-Muller. “Time for some action, and yes, some of us may get arrested!”

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global citizen reportCompiled by Rosemary Mason MB ChB FRCA on behalf of a global network of independent scientists, beekeepers and environmentalists

Farm Wars

What are pesticides and medical drugs doing to human health?

Have you wondered why pollinators, birds, amphibians, bats etc. have dramatically decreased in numbers in the last 20-30years? Or perhaps you weren’t even aware of the fact – because the British Media has been silent on the matter.

But you will be aware of the increasing number of diseases that are affecting us all: obesity, type 2 diabetes, autism, Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, various neurological disorders, cancers, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, infertility, birth defects, depression, heart disease, strokes, hypertension etc.

Why has no-one in medicine, public health or medical epidemiology managed to work it out? “It’s difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”1

The answer is simple; but the cure is not. We are slowly, silently being poisoned. Our genes, and those of our children, are being damaged by toxic chemicals.2 Of course it is something of a ‘post-code’ (or water-shed ‘post code’ lottery3) and depends on where you are living. If you live in London and eat organic food, you may not have noticed. But there are pesticide residues (particularly glyphosate) in staple foods that are made from cereal crops, because many are desiccated (dried off) with glyphosate before harvest. Since 2007, most brewers and distillers have permitted pre-harvest desiccation to be done, so it will now be in beer and whiskey. Most of the imports from the US have ingredients contaminated with GM and herbicides (such as glyphosate, 2,4-D, glufosinate, dicamba) in the production process.

In South Wales we have found that glyphosate is present in our tap water.4 This is because large amounts of glyphosate are used on noxious weeds such as Japanese knotweed that are invading previously industrialised areas. Contractors on quad bikes with knapsacks have been spraying Roundup® along kerbs, verges, highways, even in areas of schools, libraries and doctors surgeries. In 2012 the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) instructed the workers not to spray on hard surfaces,5 because there is a lot of run-off into water courses, but I doubt whether a technical instruction posted on a website ever gets passed on to a worker.

Our Assembly Member wrote to the Local Council, but they said that Roundup® was perfectly safe. (This is a Monsanto myth: since 1996 the Corporation has been convicted in courts for fraudulent and false advertising6). Our Council refused to stop spraying until they were instructed to do so by the CRD or Defra. We have spent 3 years writing to these two Government Departments. Both maintain that glyphosateand the neonicotinoid insecticides are perfectly safe if applied in the correct dosages! We remain at an impasse and continue to be poisoned by Government policies.

Unfortunately some members of the British Government, such as the Defra Minister, Environment Minister, Science Minister and their Chief Scientists and a few MPs are ‘in bed’ with the pesticides companies. They, together with NFU Chairman, Peter Kendall, and many scientists from the John Innes Centre have held secret meetings with industry to devise a strategy to try to get GM crops into the UK.7 Paradoxically, at the same time, a significant number of countries are banning them.

Here is a 2012 Report: Combatting Monsanto: Grassroots resistance to the corporate power of agribusiness in the era of the ‘green economy’ and a changing climate.8 It is compiled by La Via Campesina,9 Friends of the Earth International and Combat Monsanto. Many countries have banned GMO crops. This Report also documents many crimes (including murder) committed by the Corporate Industries in their quest for seed and pesticide dominance. Is it significant that the UK has volunteered to take the first stockpile of chemicals from Syria (for the deadline: 31/12/2013) into an unknown British Port for destruction? These precursors are capable of being used by the pharmaceutical industry.10

 

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Citizens in Berlin are fighting to democratize and decentralize the city’s energy system, and they’ve found an unlikely model—in Sacramento, Calif.

Dec 12, 2013

"Pull the plug on Vatenfall."Activists from Energietisch, the organization leading the push to get Berlin to bid for the city’s grid, protest in front of Berlin’s famous Brandenburg Gate. The large yellow sign reads, “Referendum. New Energy for Berlin. Democratic, Ecological, Social.” The small black sign reads, “Pull the Plug on Vatenfall.” Credit: UweHiksch, flickr

BERLIN, Germany—A decision 90 years ago by the people of Sacramento, Calif. to oust a private electric company and start a government-owned utility has been the unlikely inspiration for Berliners trying to wrest control of Germany’s largest grid from a coal-fired utility.

While little known in America, the creation of Sacramento’s Municipal Utility District was the model for a November referendum to give Berlin a municipal utility that would pump more clean energy into the grid. The 1923 vote in Sacramento helped the California city build a rare, green record—constructing the nation’s first big solar plant, voting to shut down a nuclear reactor and approving a goal of slashing climate-changing emissions by 90 percent by 2050.

“Sacramento stopped nuclear with direct elections,” said Stefan Taschner, spokesperson for Energietisch, the group behind the push to take over Berlin’s grid. It provides the “best example of democratic control.”

Berlin’s referendum failed by a tiny margin—but it’s not the end of the story. The contract to operate the grid expires at the end of next year, and the near-approval sent a strong message to the mayor and other officials that the city should buy the contract. The referendum needed 25 percent of Berlin’s 2.5 million registered voters to pass; it missed that mark by less than 1 percent.

It seems unlikely that Berliners would look to Sacramento, or anywhere but their own country, for a model on how to build a greener grid—given that Germany is driving the world’s most aggressive clean energy transformation. But Berlin has been largely left out of the shift, and activists here have been scrambling for tactics to limit influence of corporate fossil fuel interests. Less than 2 percent of the electricity produced in Berlin comes from renewables, compared to 25 percent in Germany overall.

The vast majority of Berlin’s electricity is coal-fired and generated by energy giant Vattenfall, whose parent company won a contract in 1994 to operate the grid for 20 years.

Ending the privatization of energy is a major part of the Energiewende, Germany’s plan to transition to renewables from fossil fuels and nuclear. A 2000 law gave citizens incentives to produce their own clean power and compete with utilities. As a result, 51 percent of the country’s renewable power capacity is now owned by individuals who have built solar on rooftops and wind turbines on farms. That has left Germany’s “Big Four” utilities, including Vattenfall, with just a sliver—6.5 percent—of this burgeoning sector.

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LandfillHarmonic

Published on Nov 17, 2012

If you liked the teaser, will you consider a small pledge of $1 to help make this project a reality? For more info, please visit: http://kck.st/110W8j2 | If we all join together for small amounts, big things are possible…

 

 

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Drilling company seeking extension to injuction as reports of violence, arrests mount along Highway 11 blockade

- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Protesters rally outside the Canadian Parliament building Monday November 2 in support of the Elsipogtog protesters. (Photo: Hml inktomilady/ Twitter)Anti-fracking activists across Canada have taken to the streets Monday, answering a rallying call by the Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq First Nation who have called for an Emergency Day of Action to protest assault on native lands and right to protest.

After a series of weekend anti-fracking blockades where members of the Elsipogtog community and their allies faced off against energy company SWN Resources in New Brunswick, supporters of the indigenous protest movement are rallying outside the Canadian parliament in Ottawa.

Elsewhere, answering a call by the activists known as the “Highway 11 Land Defenders,” supporters across the globe are expressing their solidarity in the ongoing battle between the fossil fuel industry with backing by the provincial government and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and those who are stepping up to protect the land.

“[The Elsipogtog] are standing up against brutal police repression, and continued theft of Indigenous lands and ongoing colonization. Show them they are not alone!” the protesters wrote on their website. “Where possible, highway shutdowns are encouraged however any action of support, such as banner drops, are welcome. #ShutDownCanada

Ahead of the rally, supporters flooded twitter with pictures of banners and other shows of solidarity:

Among other actions, supporters erected a morning blockade at the Port of Metro Vancouver and “photo-bombed” a local news broadcast where Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was interviewed Monday.

In the New Brunswick capital of Fredericton, protesters are gathered outside the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench where drilling company SWN Resources is seeking an extension to the temporary injunction originally granted on November 22.

The injunction prohibits protesters from coming within 20 meters from the side of roads where the company is working and 250 meters from the front or back of its trucks. Updates to the hearing are being tweeted by CTV Atlantic’s Andy Campbell.

Meanwhile, along New Brunswick’s Highway 11, protesters continue to brave cold, slushy weather in their ongoing standoff against the RCMP and SWN Resources trucks. Demonstrators tweeted early reports of arrests and said the “RCMP are going crazy. “

You can watch clips from a live stream from Monday’s blockade here.

“The struggle against exploitations, especially in indigenous lands, is growing. Everywhere the dominant culture demands more land, more resources, at the expense of the locals and the rest of nature. And everywhere, we fight back,” wrote a coalition of Northern European environmentalists and indigenous groups, who themselves have fended off the opening of new mines in traditional reindeer herding areas, gathered in Sweden on Monday to show their support for the Elsipogtog’s struggle.

“Your fighting spirit gives us hope and inspiration,” they added. “Same struggle, different battles.”

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Interview with GP Director Kumi Naidoo

breakingtheset breakingtheset

 

Published on Nov 27, 2013

Abby Martin interviews Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director of Greenpeace about their lawsuit against the NSA, their fight against giant Canadian logging corporations and the status of the “Arctic 30″ protestors.

LIKE Breaking the Set @ http://fb.me/BreakingTheSet
FOLLOW Abby Martin @ http://twitter.com/AbbyMartin

 

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Greenpeace International

Kumi Naidoo accompanies many major NGOs in walking out of the UN climate negotiations

Press release – November 21, 2013

Warsaw, 21 November 2013 – In regards to the massive NGO walk-out today from the UN climate negotiations, Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International said:

“The Polish government has done its best to turn these talks into a showcase for the coal industry. Along with backsliding by Japan, Australia and Canada, and the lack of meaningful leadership from other countries, governments here have delivered a slap in the face to those suffering as a result of dangerous climate change. The EU is being shackled by the Polish government and its friends in the coal industry, and must resume leading on the climate agenda if Paris is going to deliver a treaty that matters.”

 

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RT

 

Published on Nov 23, 2013

Protesting could soon become a thing of luxury at any drill site in the United States – courtesy of new laws co-crafted by the oil lobby. Aside from forcing demonstrators to shell out 5 thousand dollars for a rally permit… the bill would also excuse the federal government from regulating the fracking industry. Gayane Chichakyan reports.

RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air

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Analysis highlights the small number of profit-driven entities that are driving us towards destruction, but can a climate revolution from below challenge their rule?

- Jon Queally, staff writer

ChevronTexaco was the leading emitter among investor-owned companies, causing 3.5% of greenhouse gas emissions to date, with Exxon not far behind at 3.2%. In third place, BP caused 2.5% of global emissions to date. (Guardian)Narrow it down to the real power-brokers and decision-makers—the CEO’s of fossil fuel companies or the energy ministers from the largest petro-states—says climate researcher Richard Heede, and the actual individuals most responsible for the political world’s continued refusal to address the planetary crisis of climate change “could all fit on a Greyhound bus or two.”

In a newly compeleted study by Heede and his colleagues at the Climate Accountability Institute, their analysis shows that a mere 90 companies, some private and some state-owned, account for a full two-thirds of all greenhouse gas emissions that are now driving perilous rates of global warming.

Offered in advance to the Guardian newspaper, which created an interactive representation of the study’s findings, the report comes as climate negotiators from around the world continue talks in Warsaw, Poland this week in the latest (what looks so far like a failed) attempt to solidify an emissions agreeement designed to stave off the worst impacts of climate change this century.

As the Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg reports:

Between them, the 90 companies on the list of top emitters produced 63% of the cumulative global emissions of industrial carbon dioxide and methane between 1751 to 2010, amounting to about 914 gigatonne CO2 emissions, according to the research. All but seven of the 90 were energy companies producing oil, gas and coal. The remaining seven were cement manufacturers.

The list of 90 companies included 50 investor-owned firms – mainly oil companies with widely recognised names such as Chevron, Exxon, BP , and Royal Dutch Shell and coal producers such as British Coal Corp, Peabody Energy and BHP Billiton.

Some 31 of the companies that made the list were state-owned companies such as Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Aramco, Russia’s Gazprom and Norway’s Statoil.

Nine were government run industries, producing mainly coal in countries such as China, the former Soviet Union, North Korea and Poland, the host of this week’s talks.

Though the global public has been flooded with one scientific research paper after another warning of the perils of not addressing the role of carbon emissions, experts agree that the political will on the state, national, and global level has simply not been created.

The reason for that, of course, is the stranglehold that the very profitable fossil fuel companies—whether state-owned  entities or private corporations—retain on the political systems within which they operate. At the global level, that political system is known as the United Nations, but so far the talks taking place in Warsaw are seeing almost no progress on a deal. On Wednesday, the world’s poorest nation’s walked out of the COP19 talks and the wealthiest nations—including the US, Canada, Australia, and the EU states—showing less and less courage despite the increasingly dire warnings from experts and scientists.

Michael Mann, a U.S. climate scientist who spoke to the Guardian about the possible impact of the list, said he hoped it would bring greater scrutiny to the gas, oil and coal companies who are most responsible for past emissions because these are the same companies poised to continue burning the vast carbon reserves still in the ground. “What I think could be a game changer here is the potential for clearly fingerprinting the sources of those future emissions,” he said. “It increases the accountability for fossil fuel burning. You can’t burn fossil fuels without the rest of the world knowing about it.”

And Al Gore added: “This study is a crucial step forward in our understanding of the evolution of the climate crisis. The public and private sectors alike must do what is necessary to stop global warming. Those who are historically responsible for polluting our atmosphere have a clear obligation to be part of the solution.”

The alternative, however—as almost zero progress, and possibly lost ground, has been the result of the last several rounds of international climate talks—is a global uprising from below, led by social justice organizations, environmentalists, and civil society who are willing to act where governments and the private sector have refused.

As Michael T. Klare, an energy expert and professor at Hampshire College, wrote earlier this week at TomDispatch:

If, as is now the case, governments across the planet back an extension of the carbon age and ever increasing reliance on “unconventional” fossil fuels like tar sands and shale gas, we should all expect trouble.  In fact, we should expect mass upheavals leading to a green energy revolution.

None of us can predict the future, but when it comes to a mass rebellion against the perpetrators of global destruction, we can see a glimmer of the coming upheaval in events of the present moment.  Take a look and you will see that the assorted environmental protests that have long bedeviled politicians are gaining in strength and support.  With an awareness of climate change growing and as intensifying floods, fires, droughts, and storms become an inescapable feature of daily life across the planet, more people are joining environmental groups and engaging in increasingly bold protest actions.  Sooner or later, government leaders are likely to face multiple eruptions of mass public anger and may, in the end, be forced to make radical adjustments in energy policy or risk being swept aside.

In fact, it is possible to imagine such a green energy revolution erupting in one part of the world and spreading like wildfire to others.  Because climate change is going to inflict increasingly severe harm on human populations, the impulse to rebel is only likely to gain in strength across the planet.  While circumstances may vary, the ultimate goal of these uprisings will be to terminate the reign of fossil fuels while emphasizing investment in and reliance upon renewable forms of energy.  And a success in any one location is bound to invite imitation in others.

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