New Book Uncovers Critical Climate Change Flaws Ahead of Earth Day


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At a time when governments are rolling out climate change policies around the world, activists and experts from climate and environmental justice groups across North America and globally are explaining why  real climate solutions must go beyond the greening of business-as-usual and require an entirely different framework for addressing the climate crisis. These groups have come together to publish the Third Edition of Hoodwinked in the Hothouse: Resist False Solutions to Climate Change to highlight the need for real solutions that go beyond the profit motive.

Using sharp wit and original artwork, the authors argue that this is a decade of no-turning-back in order to address the crisis. Hoodwinked is an easy-to-read, concise-yet-comprehensive compendium of false corporate promises designed to hoodwink elected officials and the public, leading us down risky pathways poised to waste billions of public dollars on a host of corporate snake-oil schemes and market-based mechanisms. This is not hyperbole. Written by grassroots veteran organizers, movement strategists and thought leaders from across climate, Indigenous, peasant and environmental justice movements, the authors draw on expert data as well as on-the-ground knowledge and experience to show  that corporate and market focused false solutions distract from real solutions that could serve our most urgent needs (see authors and organizations listed below).

As a pop-ed toolbox, Hoodwinked promises to be instructive for activists, impacted communities, social movements, educators and students, and anyone who seeks to engage in a deeper discussion  about climate solutions. It also offers elected officials with a critical lens to examine a complex, technocratic field of climate change policy strategies, from local to national and international arenas.

The second version of Hoodwinked in the Hothouse was released in 2009 as a popular education zine collaboratively produced by Rising Tide North America, Carbon Trade Watch and a number of allied environmental justice, Indigenous and climate action organizers leading up to the 2009 United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen (COP 15). During that mobilization and in years since, Hoodwinked has played a major role in raising awareness across climate movements around the world – both helping organizers in their fights against dirty energy proposals and shifting policy positions of many non-governmental organizations.

With the proliferation of false solutions in the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as national and subnational climate plans, including many emerging from the Biden Administration, the new and updated third edition of Hoodwinked in the Hothouse aims to provide a resource that dismantles the barriers to building a just transition and a livable future. It points to a plethora of ways forward that do not rely on false solutions and are based on Indigenous traditional knowledge, community health, deepening democracy, and respecting the territorial integrity of Mother Earth.

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Interviews and comments: Download our list of experts and authors available for interviews

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Film Review: The Messy World of Movements

The Messy World of Movements

by Ananda Lee Tan

After hearing mixed reviews about “Planet of the Humans” – released by Michael Moore on Earth Day, I had to watch. So, here’s a quick review:

This film has certainly caught some of our Big Green friends with their pants down, and while singling out these groups and individuals was probably unfair, the script is generally quite accurate.

I say unfair because, while many national environmental NGOs have been promoting some shitty things for years, like biomass burning, fracked gas, waste incinerators, carbon trading (and the list goes on), the Sierra Club and Bill McKibben are far from the worst culprits. There are wealthier, more influential NGOs whose hands are far dirtier. And these folks that director (Jeff Gibbs) goes after, have tried in recent years to make up for their past stupidity and misguided (usually misled by funders) support for a number of polluting industries.

That said, I couldn’t help but smile when Gibbs referred to “The Logging Conservancy”, because that’s what some other, very big greens like The Nature Conservancy continue to do – where much of our grassroots movement time is wasted getting them out of the way, so that we can deal with the polluting, extractive industries they provide cover for.

The first half of the movie is flimsy (boring, really), with timeline inaccuracies around the transitions from coal to gas and biomass, some misleading perspectives on wind and solar, as well as some cringe-worthy moments involving hippy academics dropping Malthusian, population bomb mumbo-jumbo.

Perhaps most egregious is what is lacking in the film. Where there are thousands of Environmental Justice organizers from Black, Brown, Indigenous, Migrant and Poor White communities across the U.S. – folks who have, most directly and successfully, been fighting the dirty energy industries on the frontlines for decades, the best Gibbs can do is interview a visiting activist from India? Really? And while Vandana’s brief spot is a good one, this lack of representation from the climate justice movement is the biggest miss of the plot!

Perhaps, if Gibbs had taken the time to meet with our movements working directly on the frontlines of climate chaos, collaborating with allies in labor and social justice movements to advance Just Transition strategies that serve people and planet, he would have discovered a more positive, hopeful and inspiring way to end the film.

Overall, I’d say this Earth Day release is only worth watching if you’re keen to know the complexities, contradictions and internal conflicts of our environmental movement.

However, unless you’re already an activist, don’t look to this film to provide any direction or clarity on the global ecological mess we’re in.

And if you are already active in our movements, I’d recommend skipping to around the 55-min mark where Josh from Energy Justice Network takes the film crew to look at the biomass incinerator in Vermont. The film only starts getting informative after that point..