Australian Activists Occupy World’s Biggest Coal Port

On February 10th, a coalition of Australian activists took to the high seas in a flotilla of canoes, inflatable craft, and other seaworthy vessels to take action to shut down the world’s largest coal port. Estimates range from 400 to 3000 activists taking part, with best estimates being 200 on sea and another 300 activists on land.

Why Occupy the World’s Biggest Coal Port?

Climate change is the greatest threat to the future of our beautiful planet, to all its’ species diversity, and to human safety, health, peace, and wellbeing.It is up to us all to reduce our own impact and to contribute to broader positive change in whatever ways we are able. As citizens of NSW – a major coal exporter and contributor to the global climate crisis – we can set an example for the rest of the world by supporting a just transition from a fossil fuel based economy to a clean renewable energy future. With plans afoot to double coal exports, Newcastle Port is at the coal face of global ecological disaster. Any expansion of the world’s already largest coal port would be directly opposite to the changes we must make to achieve a positive future for the planet, the people of the world, the people of NSW.At 1pm, February 10th, hundreds of people descended on Newcastle Harbour for a colourful floating community demonstration against NSW coal expansion. We sent a clear message to the parties campaigning for the NSW election in March: NO NEW COAL MINES, NO NEW COAL LOADERS, A JUST TRANSITION TO A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE.

Rising Tide Australia Flotilla

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Activists shut down construction of LNG gas terminal in Milford Haven, UK

PRESS RELEASE 14.02.2007

Protesters against the continued and unrestrained promotion of fossil fuel projects by the UK government have blockaded the main vehicle access route into the new LNG pipeline terminal near Milford Haven, South Wales. Their aim is to highlight the serious environmental and safety issues surrounding this project, and to call for a more sober approach to the impending energy crisis.

Eight people have physically blocked the site access road, south of the village of Herbranston, S. Wales, preventing construction vehicles from entering the giant LNG terminal.
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Take Action Against TXU’s 11 Proposed Coal Plants! Feb. 21 Nationwide

Rising Tide North America encourages you to join Rainforest Action Network
and allies opposed to the new "coal rush" for a day of action across the
country to stop TXU. The targets of this day of action are the lead
financial arrangers of dirty coal development - telling the banks "Stop
Funding TXU's Dirty Energy� and "No New Coal Plants�. The actions will
demand that Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and others stop
funding TXU's dirty coal plants and push them to support clean, renewable
energy. If TXU can't get the $11 billion loans for this project - then
the project is sunk. Let the banks know that they can't bank on climate
destruction! Continue reading

Inuit Accuse US of Destroying Their Way of Life with Global Warming

Inuit Accuse US of Destroying Their Way of Life with Global Warming

[original: ]
Published on Friday, February 9, 2007 by the Independent / UK
by Andrew Buncombe

A delegation of Inuit is to travel to Washington DC to provide first-hand testimony of how global warming is destroying their way of life and to accuse the Bush administration of undermining their human rights.

The delegation, representing Inuit peoples from the US, Canada, Russia and Greenland, will argue that the US’s energy policies and its position as the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases is having a devastating effect on their communities. Melting sea ice, rising seas and the impact on the animals they rely on for food threatens their existence.

The Inuit’s efforts to force the US to act are part of an unprecedented attempt to link climate change to international human rights laws. They will argue before the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights (ICHR) that the US’s behaviour puts it in breach of its obligations. “The impacts of climate change, caused by acts and omissions by the US, violate the Inuit’s fundamental human rights protected by the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and other international instruments,â€? the Inuit argued in a letter to the ICHR. “Because Inuit culture is inseparable from the condition of their physical surroundings, the widespread environmental upheaval resulting from climate change violates the Inuit’s right to practice and enjoy the benefits of their culture.â€?

Indigenous peoples from the Arctic have long argued that global warming was having a dramatic effect on their environment. In 2002, villagers in the remote Alaskan island community of Shishmaref voted to relocate to the mainland because rising sea levels threatened to overwhelm their community. Data has been gathered to support their claims and scientists have recorded how polar regions are the most vulnerable to climate change. The most recent international Arctic Climate Impact Assessment suggested global warming would see temperatures in the Arctic rise by 4-7C over the next 100 years – about twice the previous average estimated increase.

The delegation to Washington will be led by Sheila Watt-Cloutier, the former chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference who was last week nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Speaking yesterday from Iqaluit in Nunavut, Canada, she said: “For us in the Arctic our entire culture depends on the cold. The problem of climate change is what this is all about. At the same time we will be bringing in lawyers to talk about the link between climate change and human rights.â€?

The invitation for the Inuit to give testimony before the ICHR next month comes just days after the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change provided a dire assessment about the threat of climate change. In the Arctic, scientists have estimated that summer sea ice could completely disappear by 2040.

Martin Wagner, of the California-based Earthjustice, said: “There can be no question that global warming is a serious threat to human rights in the Arctic and around the world. The ICHR plays an important role in interpreting and defending human rights, and we are encouraged that it has decided to consider the question of global warming.â€?

The ICHR, an arm of the Organisation of American States, can issue findings, recommendations and rulings. It can also refer cases to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica, though the US has always made clear it does not consider itself bound by the court’s rulings.