Radical Disaster Relief Group Banned from City Destroyed by Tornado

The town of Greensburg, KS was completely leveled by strong tornadoes several weeks ago. Since then relief efforts have been underway to help the community rebuild. One group, Kansas Mutal Aid, has been banned from aiding in this relief work. In the face of increased natural disasters due to climate change, radical emergency relief groups are extremely important in mitigating the climate disasters. Read the Kansas Mutual Aid press release below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joe Carr, Kansas Mutual Aid, 816-805-7133, joecarr@riseup.net May
23, 2007

KC & Lawrence Organizers Banned from Greensburg Return to the Area to Help
Neighboring Communities.

Members of the Lawrence-based community group Kansas Mutual Aid (KMA) have
been making weekly volunteer trips down to Greensburg, KS ever since the
tornado destroyed the city three weeks ago. They will make their third
trip this weekend.

Last weekend, they were in Greensburg volunteering and making arrangements
for future trips when they were detained by police and forced to leave the
city. An Olathe police officer deputized by FEMA, said that anyone
affiliated with the group would be arrested on site if they returned to
Greensburg. He threatened that arrestees could "disappear" in the legal
system, and stated that officials had been monitoring the group's website
and emails. The officer said that this was because of their political
beliefs and their affiliation with "anarchists".

Despite this treatment, KMA will be bringing down tools, supplies, and a
group of 20-30 volunteers from Kansas City and Lawrence this weekend to do
work in the surrounding farms and communities also damaged by the tornado.
They'll also be meeting with Greensburg refugees to determine what more
long and short-term services KMA may be able to help provide.

Journalists are welcome to accompany the group.

Kansas Mutual Aid works in the Lawrence area growing and distributing free
organic food, working against military recruitment, doing prisoner support
work, helping maintain the Solidarity Radical Library and Revolutionary
Center, and supporting other local progressive causes.

For any questions or interviews contact Joe Carr, 816-805-7133, or Jordan
Ferrand-Sapsis, 785-424-3433.

Critical Mass against Climate Change and the G8 Friday June 8, Asheville, NC

Friday June 8th is the International Day of Action Against Climate Change and the G8 (www.risingtidenorhamerica.org for more info). To celebrate this day of resistance Asheville Rising Tide will be hosting a Critical Mass against Climate Criminals. After riding through town we will pay a visit to a climate criminal. Bring a bike, noismakers and flags.

Meet @ 4:30 pm, Aston Park (Corner of Hilliard@ South French Broad)

Call to action against coal industry investors on the International Day of Action against Climate Change and the G8

Call to action against coal industry investors on the International Day of Action against Climate Change and the G8

The G8 leaders meeting in Germany behind their fences and soldier are leading us further towards catastrophic and irreversible climate disaster. The time has come to act.

The international day of action against climate change and the G8 has been called by the international rising tide network. This is a call for autonomous, decentralized actions appropriate to your city or region. Use this day of action to support local struggles against oil refineries, gas pipelines, strip mines, coal fired power plants, airport expansion, new roads, and financial backers. Actions are planned throughout the G8 countries and around the world. For more information including the full call to action check out www.risingtidenorhtamerica.org and www.risingtide.org.uk

The coal industry like, all industries relies on massive investments from Wall Street and international financial institutions such as Bank of America and Citigroup. They fund everything from strip mines, to the newest wave of dirty coal plants. Without these massive influxes of capital, coal companies would be severely restricted in their ability to maintain and expand their destructive extraction operations. Rising Tide North America is calling for actions against the financial backers of coal companies on June 8th in solidarity with the G8 protests in Germany and against the root causes of climate change. Targeting banks and investors is an easy and direct way to lend solidarity to communities fighting against the devastation of their homelands by greedy coal corporations. Below is a by no means comprehensive list of investors:

Bank of America:

Major subsidiaries and brands: MBNA Credit Cards, FleetBoston Bank

2006 Revenue: $117 billion

Headquarters: Charlotte, NC

CEO: Ken Lewis

Website: http://www.bankofamerica.com

Known Recent Financial Involvement with the following coal and power companies:

Alpha Natural Resources, Cleco Corp, Consol Energy (CNX), Florida Power & Light, Foundation Coal Holdings, International Coal Group, Massey Energy, Peabody Energy, WPS Resources.
Citi Inc.

Major subsidiaries and brands: Citigroup, CitiCorp, Smith Barney, Diners Club Credit Cards, CitiCard Credit Cards, Primerica, BanaMex.
Headquarters: New York, NY
2006 Revenues: $146 billion
CEO: Charles “Chuck” Prince
Web Site: http://www.citigroup.com

Known Recent Financial Involvement with the following coal and power companies:

Alpha Natural Resources, Ameren, Arch Coal, American Electric Power, China Coal Energy Company, Consol Energy (CNX), Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Dynegy, Florida Power & Light, Foundation Coal Holdings, LS Power, Massey Energy, Mid-American Energy, NRG Energy, Ohio Edison Electric (FirstEnergy), Peabody Energy, PPL Energy, Rio Tinto, Southern Company TXU, Xcel Energy, WPS Resources.

Credit Suisse:

Headquarters: New York, NY, with parent offices in Zurich, Switzerland
2006 Revenues: $7 billion (US arm only)
CEO: Brady W. Dougan
Web Site: http://www.credit-suisse.com/

Known Recent Financial Involvement with the following coal and power companies:

American National Power (International Power) Duke Energy, Dynegy, LS Power, MidAmerican Energy, Ohio Edison Electric (FirstEnergy), Peabody Energy, PPL Energy, TXU.

Goldman Sachs:

Headquarters: New York, NY
2006 Revenues: $69 billion
CEO: Lloyd C. Blankfein
Web Site: http://www.gs.com/

Known Recent Financial Involvement with the following coal and power companies:

American National Power (International Power), Cleco Corp, Duke Energy, Energy Capital Partners, GenPower Holdings, LS Power, Massey Energy, Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission, Sierra Pacific Resources (Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power), Southwestern Electric Power, (American Electric Power), TXU, Xcel Energy. International Coal Group,

JP Morgan Chase:

Major subsidiaries and brands: JP Morgan & Co. merged with Chase Manhattan in 2000. Merged with Bank One of Chicago in 2004. Pier 1 National Bank

Headquarters: New York, NY
2006 Revenues: $61 billion
CEO: Jamie Dimon
Web Site: http://www.jpmorganchase.com

Known Recent Financial Involvement with the following coal and power companies:

Consol Energy (CNX), Dayton Power & Light, Dynegy, Great River Energy, International Coal Group, LS Power, MidAmerican Energy, Mirant, Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission, Peabody Energy, TXU, Unisource Energy.

Lehman Brothers:

CEO: Richard S. Fuld.

Headquarters: New York City, NY

2006 Revenues: $46 billion

Website: http://www.lehman.com/

Known Recent Financial Involvement with the following coal and power companies:

Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal, Dynegy, Florida Power & Light, International Coal Group, Peabody Energy, Sierra Pacific Resources (Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power) Southwestern Electric Power, (American Electric Power), TXU, Xcel Energy,

Merrill Lynch:

Major subsidiaries and brands: 49% owner in BlackRock Inc, one of the largest investors in climate-damaging energy industries worldwide.
Headquarters: New York, NY
2006 Revenues: $70 billion
CEO: Stan O’Neal
Web Site: http://ww.ml.com

Known Recent Financial Involvement with the following coal and power companies:

Alpha Natural Resources, BlackRock Inc. LS Power, Sierra Pacific Resources (Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power).

Morgan Stanley:

Major subsidiaries and brands: Dean Witter, Discover Credit Card.
Headquarters: New York, NY
2006 Revenues: $76 billion
CEO: John Mack
Web Site: http://www.morganstanley.com

Known Recent Financial Involvement with the following coal and power companies:

Alpha Natural Resources, American National Power (International Power), DPL Inc., Dynegy, China Coal Energy Company, Duke Energy, Florida Power & Light, International Coal Group, LS Power, James River Coal, Peabody Energy, TXU, Xcel Energy, Wisconsin Electric.

Wells Fargo:

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
2006 Revenues: $35 billion
CEO: Richard Kovacevich
Web Site: http://www.wellsfargo.com/

Known Recent Financial Involvement with the following coal and power companies:

Alpha Natural Resources, Consol Energy (CNX), MidAmerican Energy, Peabody Energy, Unisource Energy, Xcel Energy

Deforestation: The hidden cause of global warming

Deforestation: The hidden cause of global warming

In the next 24 hours, deforestation will release as much CO2 into the atmosphere as 8 million people flying from London to New York. Stopping the loggers is the fastest and cheapest solution to climate change. So why are global leaders turning a blind eye to this crisis?

By Daniel Howden

Published: 14 May 2007

The accelerating destruction of the rainforests that form a precious cooling band around the Earth’s equator, is now being recognised as one of the main causes of climate change. Carbon emissions from deforestation far outstrip damage caused by planes and automobiles and factories.

The rampant slashing and burning of tropical forests is second only to the energy sector as a source of greenhouses gases according to report published today by the Oxford-based Global Canopy Programme, an alliance of leading rainforest scientists.

Figures from the GCP, summarising the latest findings from the United Nations, and building on estimates contained in the Stern Report, show deforestation accounts for up to 25 per cent of global emissions of heat-trapping gases, while transport and industry account for 14 per cent each; and aviation makes up only 3 per cent of the total.

“Tropical forests are the elephant in the living room of climate change,” said Andrew Mitchell, the head of the GCP.

Scientists say one days’ deforestation is equivalent to the carbon footprint of eight million people flying to New York. Reducing those catastrophic emissions can be achieved most quickly and most cheaply by halting the destruction in Brazil, Indonesia, the Congo and elsewhere.

No new technology is needed, says the GCP, just the political will and a system of enforcement and incentives that makes the trees worth more to governments and individuals standing than felled. “The focus on technological fixes for the emissions of rich nations while giving no incentive to poorer nations to stop burning the standing forest means we are putting the cart before the horse,” said Mr Mitchell.

Most people think of forests only in terms of the CO2 they absorb. The rainforests of the Amazon, the Congo basin and Indonesia are thought of as the lungs of the planet. But the destruction of those forests will in the next four years alone, in the words of Sir Nicholas Stern, pump more CO2 into the atmosphere than every flight in the history of aviation to at least 2025.

Indonesia became the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world last week. Following close behind is Brazil. Neither nation has heavy industry on a comparable scale with the EU, India or Russia and yet they comfortably outstrip all other countries, except the United States and China.

What both countries do have in common is tropical forest that is being cut and burned with staggering swiftness. Smoke stacks visible from space climb into the sky above both countries, while satellite images capture similar destruction from the Congo basin, across the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo.

According to the latest audited figures from 2003, two billion tons of CO2 enters the atmosphere every year from deforestation. That destruction amounts to 50 million acres – or an area the size of England, Wales and Scotland felled annually.

The remaining standing forest is calculated to contain 1,000 billion tons of carbon, or double what is already in the atmosphere.

As the GCP’s report concludes: “If we lose forests, we lose the fight against climate change.”

Standing forest was not included in the original Kyoto protocols and stands outside the carbon markets that the report from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) pointed to this month as the best hope for halting catastrophic warming.

The landmark Stern Report last year, and the influential McKinsey Report in January agreed that forests offer the “single largest opportunity for cost-effective and immediate reductions of carbon emissions”.

International demand has driven intensive agriculture, logging and ranching that has proved an inexorable force for deforestation; conservation has been no match for commerce. The leading rainforest scientists are now calling for the immediate inclusion of standing forests in internationally regulated carbon markets that could provide cash incentives to halt this disastrous process.

Forestry experts and policy makers have been meeting in Bonn, Germany, this week to try to put deforestation on top of the agenda for the UN climate summit in Bali, Indonesia, this year. Papua New Guinea, among the world’s poorest nations, last year declared it would have no choice but to continue deforestation unless it was given financial incentives to do otherwise.

Richer nations already recognise the value of uncultivated land. The EU offers €200 (£135) per hectare subsidies for “environmental services” to its farmers to leave their land unused.

And yet there is no agreement on placing a value on the vastly more valuable land in developing countries. More than 50 per cent of the life on Earth is in tropical forests, which cover less than 7 per cent of the planet’s surface.

They generate the bulk of rainfall worldwide and act as a thermostat for the Earth. Forests are also home to 1.6 billion of the world’s poorest people who rely on them for subsistence. However, forest experts say governments continue to pursue science fiction solutions to the coming climate catastrophe, preferring bio-fuel subsidies, carbon capture schemes and next-generation power stations.

Putting a price on the carbon these vital forests contain is the only way to slow their destruction. Hylton Philipson, a trustee of Rainforest Concern, explained: “In a world where we are witnessing a mounting clash between food security, energy security and environmental security – while there’s money to be made from food and energy and no income to be derived from the standing forest, it’s obvious that the forest will take the hit.”