By Rising Tide
“Oceans turn increasingly acidic, wiping out calcareous plankton and further hitting surviving coral reefs-much of the marine food chain endangered. One summer in every two has heat waves as strong as the 2003 disaster in Europe, when 30,000 died. Drought, fire and searing heat strikes the Mediterranean basin. Greenland tips into irreversible ice melt, accelerating sea-level rise and threatening coastal cities around the world. Hundreds of millions live in peril of the rising seas. Polar bears, walrus and other ice-dependent marine mammals extinct in the Arctic. Glaciers in Peru disappear, threatening the water supplies to Lima. Declining snowfields also threaten water supplies. A third of species worldwide face extinction as the climate changes-the worst mass extinction since the end of the dinosaurs.”
This rather rosy scenario painted by author Mark Lynas is the reality we can expect to inhabit if the planet heats another 3.6 F degrees. Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? Well unfortunately for us, 3.6 F also happens to be the degree to which our benevolent leaders at the G8 decided is ok to allow our world to heat up. Last month with much fanfare and backslapping the world’s 7 richest nations (plus Russia), who not coincidentally are responsible for the lion’s share of global emissions, set the bar for the collateral damage they are willing to accept in order to preserve their economic stranglehold on our planet.
On Sept 24 and 25th the G20, an outgrowth of the G8, will be meeting in Pittsburgh in an attempt to salvage this global economic order. The G20 includes all the G8 countries plus the next twelve largest economies and “emerging economies.” The G20 countries account for 80% of the world’s global gross national product. Many of the G8 leaders remarked at this year’s summit that it is becoming irrelevant, and that the G20 is where the real decisions will be made. Before this year’s G8 summit German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated, “I think the G20 should be the format that, like an overarching roof, makes decisions about the future.” While the G20 summit in Pittsburgh is largely focused on pumping some blood back into global capitalism, we cannot afford to overlook how the abstract world of global finance has very real world affects when it comes to climate and justice. Continue reading
Week of Action in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples in Peru
Rising Tide North America is calling for a week of action starting Monday June 15th to show solidarity with the indigenous tribes resisting Peru’s attempt to open their lands to the oil, gas, and logging industries.
Last week over 85 people were killed by Peruvian police while protesting the governments plans revoke protections for traditional lands and allow for industrial exploitation of the Amazon. The plans are a part of the new free trade agreement between the US and Peru. Since the Peruvian government announced these plans, tribes around Peru have been blockading roads, oil installations, and other critical infrastructure. But the government has begun to brutally crack down on the unarmed blockades, resulting in last week’s massacre.
There are signs that the protests in Peru, and international pressure, are beginning to work. Peru’s congress just voted to suspend two of the laws in question, in hopes of getting the situation under control. Indigenous communities and labor unions however have made clear that this is not enough, and are continuing the blockades and protests. Continue reading
Denver, CO- Two Earth First! activists were arrested at a Home Depot last week in Glendale, CO. The arrests followed a banner being hung off the roof of a Home Depot store reading “Dam Home Depot, NOT Patagonia!” Supporters of the arrested activists demand that Home Depot cut all ties to companies involved in the HidroAysen megadam project in Patagonia.
The banner-drop action was intended to remind both the public and the company: “We’ve fought The Home Depot before and won.” Almost ten years ago, Earth First! groups around the country joined with Rainforest Action Network and others forced Home Depot to adopt wood product policies that removed old growth from their shelves. But their ongoing economic involvement with the Chilean interests that are proposing to dam wild rivers with the HidroAysen project in Patagonia shows their commitments to ‘green business’ practices to be merely empty Public Relations maneuvering. Continue reading
Protesters clashed with police in Copenhagen this weekend while attempting to disrupt the World Business Summit on Climate Change, a gathering of the worlds largest corporations and, not coincidentally, biggest polluters. Organized by the Danish government, the Business Summit gave corporate interests unprecedented access to the ongoing UN climate talks, including face time with UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon and so called climate “hero” Al Gore.
The group of protestors, lead by a banner reading “Our Climate is not Your Business” attempted to breach police lines in order to disrupt the meeting. The lively group of activists wanted hightlight the damaging and disruptive role that corporations play in the international climate talks. The list of corporations attending included #1 carbon emitter in the world Shell Oil, Duke Energy (#12 at last count), and BP among other climate criminals.
“The Danish government appears to be under the impression that some of the world’s most polluting companies are going to put forward tough measures to tackle climate change,” said Kenneth Haar, a researcher with Corporate Europe Observatory. “But unfortunately this doesn’t seem likely to be the case. The majority of the corporations attending the World Business Summit on Climate Change seem more intent on pursuing business as usual – with the promise that future technologies will resolve the problem at a later date.