Faffed, Knackered… and Knicked(!)*

garageflagReportback from the June 2009 Climate Justice Action meetings in Copenhagen, Denmark

At the end of June, two of us representing Rising Tide North America and the North American Mobilization for Climate Justice attended the international Climate Justice Action (hereafter: CJA) meetings held in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The network convened in an old textile factory turned meeting hall/theatre in world-renowned Freetown Christiania, a 90 acre squat (formerly a military base) that is comprised of many smaller collectives and which has maintained an inspiring and victorious 37 years of autonomous operation. From a slow start with introductions, the meetings quickly crescendoed into a space of tangible possibilities; the atmosphere held a contagious enthusiasm. Continue reading

Activists Drape 25-Foot Banner On EPA Building, Call on EPA to Stop Mountaintop Removal Mining

Photos available soon at risingtidenorthamerica.org! 2a

BOSTON, MA – Activists with Rising Tide draped a 25-foot banner reading, “Mountain Top Removal Kills Communities: EPA No New Permits. MountainJustice.org” on 1 North Congress St., at the intersection of New Chardon Street and Congress Street, at the downtown offices of the Environmental Protection Agency this morning. The group is urging the agency to block over 150 pending permits for mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia.1

“Mountaintop removal is destroying our nation’s most diverse forests and historic communities,” said Alex Johnston, a Rising Tide activist. “President Obama and the EPA need to take immediate action to stop the bulldozers from destroying America’s oldest mountains and Appalachians homes.”
Continue reading

Failed Climate Policy: ACESA needs an overhaul, or to be scrapped

What YOU should know about the American Clean Energy and Security Act
Today, June 26th, House Representatives are expected to vote on ACESA, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES Act), H.R. 2998 (formerly H.R. 2454)
Background: ACESA is a comprehensive national climate and energy legislation that climas to establish an economy-wide, greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade system and critical complementary measures to address climate change and build a clean energy economy. The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 33-25 to approve the ACES Act on May 21. Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-California) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts), chairman of a key subcommittee, introduced the bill on May 15, after floating a discussion draft in March.
ARTICLES of reference ABOUT the failed ACESA policy
GEORGE MONBIOT: Why do we allow the US to act like a failed state on climate change? The Waxman-Markey climate bill is the best we will get from America until the corruption of public life is addressed
It would be laughable anywhere else. But, so everyone says, the Waxman-Markey bill which is likely to be passed in Congress today or tomorrow, is the best we can expect – from America. (continue reading)
KEN WARD: 9 damned good reasons why some U.S. environmentalists should heartily oppose Waxman-Markey
Waxman-Markey just plain sucks and we would be fools to not fight about that fact within our own ranks. I’ve no intention of trying to add to the volumes of data and policy being tossed around on the finer points of the bill. The bottom line is clear enough from any cursory summary: 450 ppm isn’t good, the U.S. ought to be calling for 300-350 ppm; the bill as presently written doesn’t even have a hope of getting us to 450 ppm if it becomes the model for the world (all those offsets, way too late implementation, dropping GFC’s and so on); and—please stretch a bit here—let’s not forget that cap-and-trade was the worst of a bad lot that everyone now touting it used to oppose, for excellent reasons. If we are intellectually honest, then there are more than enough reasons to disagree with the majority opinion here. (continue reading)
Institute for Policy Studies:Good News, There’s a Climate Bill — Bad News, It Stinks
Right out of the starting gate, the bill provides a ridiculous number of giveaways to industry — something President Barack Obama campaigned against as unfair to consumers: Upwards of 85 percent of pollution allowances are being given away for free to the electricity sector, with many of these free permits not phasing out until 2030. This means little to none of the revenues coming into the public coffers from this “cap and trade” scheme will be used to protect low and moderate households from energy price increases, as envisioned by Obama. (continued reading article)

What YOU should know about the American Clean Energy and Security Act

Today, June 26th, House Representatives are expected to vote on ACESA, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES Act), H.R. 2998 (formerly H.R. 2454)

Background: ACESA is a comprehensive national climate and energy legislation that climas to establish an economy-wide, greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade system and critical complementary measures to address climate change and build a clean energy economy. The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 33-25 to approve the ACES Act on May 21. Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-California) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts), chairman of a key subcommittee, introduced the bill on May 15, after floating a discussion draft in March.

ARTICLES of reference ABOUT the failed ACESA policy

GEORGE MONBIOT: Why do we allow the US to act like a failed state on climate change? The Waxman-Markey climate bill is the best we will get from America until the corruption of public life is addressed

It would be laughable anywhere else. But, so everyone says, the Waxman-Markey bill which is likely to be passed in Congress today or tomorrow, is the best we can expect – from America. (continue reading)

KEN WARD: 9 damned good reasons why some U.S. environmentalists should heartily oppose Waxman-Markey

Waxman-Markey just plain sucks and we would be fools to not fight about that fact within our own ranks. I’ve no intention of trying to add to the volumes of data and policy being tossed around on the finer points of the bill. The bottom line is clear enough from any cursory summary: 450 ppm isn’t good, the U.S. ought to be calling for 300-350 ppm; the bill as presently written doesn’t even have a hope of getting us to 450 ppm if it becomes the model for the world (all those offsets, way too late implementation, dropping GFC’s and so on); and—please stretch a bit here—let’s not forget that cap-and-trade was the worst of a bad lot that everyone now touting it used to oppose, for excellent reasons. If we are intellectually honest, then there are more than enough reasons to disagree with the majority opinion here. (continue reading)

Institute for Policy Studies: Good News, There’s a Climate Bill — Bad News, It Stinks

Right out of the starting gate, the bill provides a ridiculous number of giveaways to industry — something President Barack Obama campaigned against as unfair to consumers: Upwards of 85 percent of pollution allowances are being given away for free to the electricity sector, with many of these free permits not phasing out until 2030. This means little to none of the revenues coming into the public coffers from this “cap and trade” scheme will be used to protect low and moderate households from energy price increases, as envisioned by Obama. (continue reading article)

BREAKING NEWS: Activists Risk Arrest, Ascend Dragline to Stop Mountaintop Removal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Thursday June 18th, 2009):

Big John Dragline

Hi-Res Photos, B-roll and Video will be available, www.mountainaction.org.

Activists Risk Arrest to Stop Mountaintop Removal

Activists scaled 20-storey tall mining machinery this morning to call attention to nation’s worst form of coal mining; This is the first time a dragline has been scaled on a mountaintop removal site

COAL RIVER VALLEY, W. VA.—Moments ago, four concerned citizens entered onto Massey Energy’s mountaintop removal mine site near Twilight WV and have begun to scale a150-foot dragline machine to drop a banner that says, ‘stop mountaintop removal mining.’ The climbers plan to stay on the enormous dragline, a massive piece of equipment that removes house-sized chunks of blasted rock and earth to expose coal, until police arrest them. Equipped with satellites phones and a web camera, the climbers will be available for interviews.

This is the first time a dragline has been scaled on a mountaintop removal site, and marks the latest in a string of increasingly dramatic protests in West Virginia by residents and allies from across the country. This act of protest against mountaintop removal comes just days after the Obama Administration announced a plan to reform, but not abolish, the aggressive strip mining practice. Continue reading