Archives

Tagged ‘False Solutions‘

Days of Celebration – For Those None The Wiser

Wrong Kind of Green Op-ed

September 8, 2016

by Forrest Palmer

 

 

“Mother Water – don’t they understand that you’re a living being? ” — Hija de la laguna, Peru

13913768_10157278394975554_694571916631775187_o

Photo: Beautiful daughter of a fisherman. Kalri Lake, Pakistan.

 

Did you know that last week (August 28 – September 2) was World Water Week in Stockholm?  It is an annual week where the world is focused on global water issues. This is an acknowledgement that there is a problem with freshwater scarcity at a global level and an attempt to address it accordingly by the Western world. As commendable as this is on the surface, when you look underneath the rug of that which is comprised of mainstream acceptance that the environmental problems are worrisome (with water being one of almost countless others), it seems as if these various activities can best be described as giving a pretense that there is some actual work being done to solve the particular problems at hand. To demonstrate the flimsiness of it all, the average person is given a veritable buffet of choices regarding which particular problem he or she wishes to personally address by action.

water week 2015.

Therefore, if you don’t actually concern yourself with water scarcity, yet you feel as if species extinction and poaching is a problem, then you can focus on World Wildlife Day on March 3rd. If you are abhorred by the amount of deforestation being committed in this world, then there is always the International Day of Forests on March 21st. If you have a problem with the amount of wetlands being destroyed globally, then you can always circle the calendar on February 2nd to “protest” this ongoing loss loss (a “click” of a mouse defining the word “protest” in the West). And here are some more days that the average citizen can choose amongst an abundance of “protest” throughout the ongoing year:

  • World Ocean’s Day – June 8th
  • World Population Day – July 11th
  • Ecological Debt Day – September 8th
  • World Soil Day – December 5th

And the list goes on and on and on.

And after all these events that have been devised by the Western world over the past few decades to focus on all the particular issues, there has been little to no action achieved in having any effect on the ever worsening ecocide. Therefore, by any unbiased, honest opinion, these daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly celebrations that happen annually are just superficial attempts at the establishment giving the semblance of action on all the issues that are plaguing us as a species and nature as a whole. It is sloganeering for a sparse number of people in the Western world to feel as if they are collectively being socially responsible in regards to our ongoing quixotic war with the environment that we will inevitably lose in the most spectacular of fashions. The most insidious aspect of these days of recognition is what it does to individualize all of these particular issues to give the participants the idea that they are not interconnected. For example, World Ocean’s Day gives a person the ability to “protest” the dire state of our oceans while continuing to emit carbon throughout his or her daily lives that is the cause of ocean acidification, which ultimately is one of the primary issues plaguing all sea life and its environment.

Hence, there is no discussion about an actual change in the daily lives of people in the Western world or the smattering of nations that are attempting to replicate Western lifestyles and also act as the manufacturing base of the Global North, such as China and India.

To illustrate the fallacious aspects of these endeavors, let’s look on the fatuousness of World Car Free Day, which is upcoming on September 22nd. This is a day set aside for people in the Western world to not use their cars one day of the year as a sign of how carbon emissions are an environmental problem. In 2015, the global carbon emissions were at 32.1 billion tons. Although there are peaks and valleys of this during an entire calendar year, this is still an average of 87 million metric tons of carbon emissions daily.

In order to combat this egregious emission of carbon which is the basis for our ongoing atmospheric catastrophe (represented most problematically in climate change), these handful of events that leave it up to the volition of the average citizen to partake in are portrayed (or more likely perpetrated) as shining a light on the problem as a way of ultimately solving a particular issue. All evidence points to this as being anything but the case.

But in order to digest how futile this type of endeavor is, the focus must be on the amount of change elicited at a granular level on this one day of sacrifice. As the United States is hands down the worst perpetrator of carbon emissions globally per capita, in this instance regarding passenger vehicles, the data for this country will be utilized as the baseline for determining the worst possible case scenario regarding carbon emissions due to the cars and trucks in which usage is only being asked to be temporarily suspended for a single day. To begin with, the annual carbon emissions per car in the United States is approximately 4.7 metric tons per year, which means that the daily emission per car is about .012 metric tons.  This means that for the estimated 253 million passenger vehicles on the U.S. roadways there is a total daily emission of 3.25 million metric tons that the U.S. population is responsible for daily.

Therefore, utilizing the most extreme data available being that of the typical U.S. citizen and extrapolating the .012 metric tons emissions to every driver across the world committed to biking for a single agreed upon day, the most that could ever be achieved by ceasing all passenger vehicle transportation globally (with an estimate of 1.2 billion as of 2014) would be 14.4 million metric tons per day, which is a paltry 14.5% of the total global emissions from all sources.   And to further illustrate how miniscule that amount is regarding a day that is only symbolic and not substantive, the 14.4 million metric tons that could potentially be saved on Car Free Day would only be an infinitesimal .04% of yearly emissions.

By all evidence, this is the definition of the term “a drop in the bucket”.

Consequently, this clearly illustrates how the few moments per year that are utilized to bring a certain level of consciousness to the lay people are wholly useless. In perpetuating these annual events as a salve, it gives the individual participant in the Global North the false reality that he or she is actually making a difference in their singular choices of “protest” regarding what they personally feel is an issue.

The great black American social activist Audre Lorde said ““There is no such thing as a single issue struggle because we do not live single issue lives.”. This is no more true than when it comes to the environment when individual choices of what is considered important have no effect upon the global structures that are causing the profuse amount of carbon emissions (i.e., the economic system of capitalism, the reliance of fossil fuels for perpetual growth, the industrial basis of Western civilization, et. al.). Until we as a global community are willing to tackle all these issues at a macro level, then the choices we make as single citizens make no difference in the grand scheme of things and are only used to afford us the ability to sleep better at night with the false belief that we are being personally responsible.

As a global community our daily micro choices make a small difference and as long as the overwhelming majority have the ability to partake in all the endeavors that are the cause of carbon emissions, then any individual choices not to contribute in the readily available ability to destroy the Earth through Western comforts will be for naught.  As we have had a mountainous number of celebratory events since the first Earth Day in 1972 and have seen carbon emissions climb exponentially during this interval, we can say definitively that these aforementioned events have been ineffectual in any change in the behavior of the people in the Global North who are almost entirely responsible for the voluminous amount of carbon emissions.

On the flip side, very few understand that 50% of emissions come from 1% of the world’s population [Source: page 77, Kevin Anderson, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research)] Thus, one can legitimately argue that with over 7 billion people on our finite planet, only 1%-25% of the global populace actually has the capacity to slow down global warming – as they are the very ones creating it. But rather than dismantle the systems and western consumptive patterns that keep such disparities and horrific conflicts intact, the NPIC successfully creates discourse. They redirect what would be necessary and critical gestures to promote gestures that collectively will not disrupt current power structures, which are then in turn, glorified by media in tandem with the non-profit industrial complex.

An example of this would be turning off the water while brushing your teeth, ignoring the massive waste of fresh water due to industrial agriculture and nuclear. [Consider that thermoelectric power plants, including nuclear plants, make up 40% of freshwater usage in the US, while agriculture is responsible for 80-90% of US water consumption] In doing so, we collectively we keep the wealth in the hands of the few at the expense of others, many who live unbearably. Well intentioned gestures become empty gestures at best as long as we ignore root causes of our multiple and escalating crises. This very minority (the 1%, that is anyone who can afford to get on a plane) are brainwashed into believing further consumption (under the false guise of “green) will alleviate our climate crisis – which in reality – only accelerates it. This can easily be compared to the false solution of offsets – essentially little more than a green-sanctioned licence to continue polluting and destroying ecosystems, while simultaneously exploiting the world’s most vulnerable, in the rapid race to convert all natural resources, blood and sweat into capital. Far from calling these what they are – crimes against humanity and cultural acquiescence to global-scale progenycide – our society recognizes this as just another day on the New York Stock Exchange.

wwf_5_minute_shower_sand_timer_1

Ultimately, we are past the eleventh hour of doing what is necessary to address all the social changes necessary to combat our ongoing global environmental catastrophe. Time will tell if this will ever be addressed accordingly. Yet, the doomsday clock keeps on ticking. The question is if anyone is listening.

 

[Forrest Palmer is an electrical engineer residing in Texas.  He is a part-time blogger and writer and can be found on Facebook. You may reach him at forrest_palmer@yahoo.com.]

Edited with Cory Morningstar, Wrong Kind of Green Collective.

 

WATCH: Biomass – an Ecological Facade | A Massive Threat to the World’s Forests

WKOG disclaimer: Keep in mind while watching this film that while Dogwood Alliance may publicly denounce Enviva’s biomass (the burning of trees) practices, Dogwood Alliance has partnered with Coca-Cola along with other corporations and NGOs to create the Carbon Canopy Group – a coalition “that seeks to leverage markets for ecosystem services” [Source] and “offset” pollution via carbon credits. More false solutions. In fact, one could easily argue that biomass stands to cut into future profits to be made by the expanding commodification and privatization of trees/nature by Dogwood Alliance, Coca-Cola, Staples et al. (You can read more about this is the upcoming segment of the ongoing Divestment series.)

 

 

On Bill McKibben’s ‘Call to Arms’ for the New York Climate Summit

Climate Connections

July 17, 2014

By Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project

 from the Venezuela Social Pre-COP

peoples climate march3

Today’s blog post is not addressing directly what is happening here in Venezuela at the SocialPreCOP, but something on the minds of many people here–the next step in the series of climate meetings/actions this year.  That is the upcoming climate march planned for New York City on September 21st, two days before UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s UN Climate Summit–a closed door session where the world’s “leaders” will discuss “ambitions” for the upcoming climate conference (COP20) in Lima, Peru. Part of the objective of the Venezuelan government at this SocialPreCOP meeting is to come away with a set of demands from people gathered here that they can take to this exclusive summit.

The September climate march was called for by Big Green NGOs 350.org and Avaaz, who have thrown copious quantities of cash at it. But many environmental and climate justice organizations and alliances based in the New York/New Jersey region and across the US have demanded a seat at the organizing table to ensure that the voices of front line and impacted communities are heard, despite their small budgets.

The demands of the march: there will be none. That’s right. The march will simply bring together an estimated 200,000 people to march through the streets of New York and then…  There will be no rally, no speakers, no strong political demands.  Just people showing up with the overarching message that the world’s leaders should take action on climate change.

Please.

What kind of climate action should be taken is a question that has long been debated by climate justice activists, organizations, social movements and Indigenous Peoples all over the world for decades.   “Climate action” can include things like geoengineering schemes–manmade manipulations of nature on such a massive scale that the impacts can’t possibly be known, but could definitely be catastrophic.  They can also include actions already taking place, such as the building of vast hydroelectric dams that flood vast expanses of land and displace thousands of Indigenous Peoples or land-based communities. Climate action can also include ongoing grabbing of land for the development of vast plantations of oil palm, GMO soy or non-native trees for so-called bioenergy.

So no, not all “climate action” is created equal.  A lack of clear justice-based and ecologically sound demands in this “historic” march will leave a vacuum.  And no vacuum remains empty for long.  It’s simple physics.  The media will not cover a march with no demands. They will find a message.  And likely, as so often happens, those with the connections and the money will win the messaging game.

“25 x 25” is a Big Fat Bio-Massacre

Vote Yes on Proposal 3!

 

For a list of the key groups behind this bill view the 25x25_organization_endorsements. Environmental groups, corporations and regional partners include those such as Environmental Defence Fund, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Monsanto, National Wildlife Federation, World Watch Institute and Chrysler.

 

November 4, 2012

By Jeff Gibbs

Open Mike

“Some of my friends in the professional environmental movement have reacted as expected yesterday when I called them out for having allowed biomass burning to be a huge part of what Michigan is going to get under Proposal 3 or “25 x 25.”  Accusations and anger. It went down the same way when we stopped a local biomass plant from being built in Traverse City a few years ago: we got yelled at, several PR firms were hired to fight us, and most of the paid environmentalists sat on their hands.”

Let me tell you whose funding IS affiliated with fossil fuel money: “25 x 25.” Follow the money. Something called the “Green Tech Action Fund” in San Francisco has put up $1.3 million for the Michigan “25 x 25” campaign.  Who funds the Green Tech Action Fund? That would be “The Energy Foundation.” Who funds the “Energy Foundation?” That would be Pew Charitable Trust in part, which is Sun Oil or Sunoco. Who else helped fund “The Energy Foundation?” The Rockefeller Foundation. Who is the Rockefeller Foundation? That would be Exxon.

 

In Michigan right now ballot Proposal 3 known as “25 x 25” would require our state to get 25% of its electricity from “renewable” sources by the year 2025. “25 x 25” is being sold as all about solar panels and wind mills. It’s not. Far more than anyone suspects, it’s going to ramp up the dirtiest form of energy of all: biomass burning. Incinerating trees in the name of “green energy.” And it must be stopped if we care about climate change, clean air and thriving forests.

Yes that’s right, in the name of saving the planet and renewable energy we are about to make things worse. For those unfamiliar with biomass burning, it releases more carbon dioxide and more harmful particulates than even coal. Logging for biomass can drastically reduce biodiversity and set back a forest’s ability to sequester carbon dioxide for centuries. Most environmentalists oppose it. Or used to.

Michigan environmental groups promoting “25 x 25,” whose goals such as stopping climate change I otherwise support, have insisted there will not be much biomass burning. Their campaign shows images of wind and solar exclusively.

2012-11-05-green1.jpg
Clean Water Action

2012-11-05-green2.jpg
Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs

2012-11-05-green3.jpg
Green Energy Future

But this is what we are actually going to get. I call it a bio-massacre:

 

2012-11-05-bio1.jpg
Massachusetts logging for biomass

2012-11-05-bio2.jpg
Michigan trees chipped for biomass

2012-11-05-bio3.jpg
New Hampshire biomass plant

Don’t believe it? It was hard for me grasp as well. Still, there was that little word “biomass” in the definition of renewable energy. So I decided to check for myself.

Here was my first stunner: the national “25 x 25” Steering Committee seems to be 100% agribusiness and logging interests. Ethanol and biomass. On their bios are found the words cattle, corn, biomass and forestry, not solar or wind.

The national “25 x 25” mission statement reflects this commitment to biofuels and biomass:

25x’25 Vision: By 2025, America’s farms, forests and ranches will provide 25 percent of the total energy consumed in the United States, while continuing to produce safe, abundant, and affordable food, feed and fiber.

When questioned about national “25 x 25” being primarily big ag and big timber, Michigan “25 x 25” supporters responded saying they have little to do with the national organization. Really? That’s odd. Because the national “25 x 25” organization brags on their website that they have influenced state laws and they include Michigan as a place where good things are happening.

And then the Michigan 25 x 25 Jobs and Energy Report was released. It was produced at Michigan State University, our state’s agricultural college. It was written not by the solar and wind department, but by faculty from the Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics Department with a huge vested interest in biomass and biofuels.

The report projects a nearly 300% increase in biomass. The red line on the chart below indicates the projected increase in biomass plant staffing.

2012-11-04-biomassjobyears.jpg The authors of the report also aren’t shy about describing the new opportunities for their friends:

… the impact to the agricultural and forestry sector is anticipated to be… significant. Accounting for direct and indirect impacts due to feed stock procurement, transportation, logistics, storage etc., it is expected that biomass generation under a 25% RPS will result in nearly 12,000 job years.

(Please note: boosters of “25 x 25” routinely turn “job years” into “jobs” – e.g. one job for 25 years is 25 “job years.” This means 75,000 “job years” gets turned into 75,000 “jobs” when it should be more like 3,000.)

And just what is the aforementioned “feedstock procurement?” In large part, logging. Ah, the wonderful green jobs! Logging, trucking, installing air quality control equipment, using bulldozers to move around giant piles of wood chips lest they spontaneously combust like this fire at Biomass One in Oregon, or this entire biomass plant that exploded in flames.

So widely known (except to the public) is this new opportunity for “green energy” that “Biomass Magazine” has already alerted its readers. The magazine cautions though, that making “25 x 25” a constitutional amendment might be a mistake because it could draw “scrutiny and introduce more controversy than legislative action…” Yes that’s right, it’s easier to sell a bio-massacre beyond closed doors.

But there’s more. The burning of woody biomass isn’t all we’re going to get. The chart below reveals a big helping of biogas as well as biomass.

2012-11-04-biomassmarketcapacity.jpg

What are the other biogas and biomass sources besides trees and forests? Confined animal feed operations, landfill gases, burning garbage including old homes and tires, human and agricultural “waste.” All have serious issues and depend on enormous fossil fuel intensive systems. But those are not my main concerns – it’s the burning of the source of our clean air and clean water as “green energy” that is my nightmare. Only two great planetary systems are capable of soaking up the CO2, our forests and our oceans. It makes no sense to destroy either one of them.

But alas the bio-massacre isn’t just in our future. It’s the reality of “renewable energy” right now:

 

2012-11-05-burlington.jpg
Burlington, Vermont biomass plant. Note whole trees looking like matchsticks in this photo prior to chipping.

–In Vermont, the biggest single contributor to climate change and air pollution is their “green energy” facility. An enormous biomass burner that only produces a fraction of the energy of a fossil fuel plant.

–There is at least 15 times more biomass burning RIGHT NOW in Michigan than solar and wind combined. Given this, is it ethical for “Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs” to ONLY show solar and wind on its photo “tour” of Michigan renewable energy? Here is what they won’t show you:

2012-11-05-Cadillac.jpg
Cadillac, Michigan biomass plant
2012-11-05-biomassbenzie.png

Enjoying Michigan’s sustainable state forests
–Michigan State University, the source of the “25 x 25” report, has no wind and almost no solar yet has already obtained a permit to toss 24,000 tons of trees annually into their coal plant to meet their “renewable energy” goals, a feat which will actually increase the CO2 coming from the smokestack.

–In Holland, Michigan the Sierra Club has been fighting to stop a coal plant expansion. But Holland’s “clean energy” plan is in large part biomass burning disguised as “combined heat and power.” (The word “biomass” isn’t mentioned until page 31 in the proposal. That’s not an accident.)

So why are we getting so much burning in the name of green if wind and solar are such miracles? That’s a story for another day. Suffice to say there are issues with solar and wind that cannot be wished away. One major problem is that right now wind supplies only about 0.3 percent of Michigan’s electrical energy. To ramp that up to provide a significant share of our electricity would take tens of billions of dollars and 50 times more wind turbines than currently exist. Anyone think that’s going to happen?

And so it all comes back to cutting and burning our forests for energy. They say we would never denude the land of trees, yet that is the most common way civilizations end. It doesn’t happen in a day or a year, but blow by blow, cut by cut. We went though this once before. The trees are now smaller, stressed, and far less in extent. We won’t survive doing it again.

 

2012-11-05-old1.jpg
2012-11-05-old2.jpg2012-11-05-old3.jpg
Michigan logging scenes from 120 years ago

It makes no sense to stop the tar sands, fight fracking, or end the horror of mountaintop removal to protect the living planet, if we then incinerate the living planet for energy. Let’s get back to our “roots.” Save the trees. Stand with them against any “renewable energy” scheme like “25 x 25” that calls incinerating trees and forests “green energy.”

For more information about biomass burning go www.biofuelwatch.org.uk or to Partnership for Policy Integrity or this article I wrote.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 6TH, 2012, ELECTION DAY:

Some of my friends in the professional environmental movement have reacted as expected yesterday when I called them out for having allowed biomass burning to be a huge part of what Michigan is going to get under Proposal 3 or “25 x 25.”  Accusations and anger.

It went down the same way when we stopped a local biomass plant from being built in Traverse City a few years ago: we got yelled at, several PR firms were hired to fight us, and most of the paid environmentalists sat on their hands. Two people from the Sierra Club did show up a few times out of hundreds of meetings for which we were thankful but by NO means were the drivers of this movement.

The movement was initiated, advanced and completed by citizens. For the Sierra Club to claim otherwise is insulting and wrong. In the end, despite the attacks of biomass supporters, 99% of our community was against biomass burning and the plan was withdrawn.

Now the accusations by biomass supporters are wild and desperate once again. They imply that I, a producer for Michael Moore, producer of a film about the radical environmentalist Paul Watson, might be in bed with or somehow aiding the Koch brothers. It’s a common tactic for those unable to deal with facts to resort to innuendos and slurs.

Perhaps people who live in glass houses should hesitate to pick up stones.

Let me tell you whose funding IS affiliated with fossil fuel money: “25 x 25.” Follow the money. Something called the “Green Tech Action Fund” in San Francisco has put up $1.3 million for the Michigan “25 x 25” campaign.  Who funds the Green Tech Action Fund? That would be “The Energy Foundation.” Who funds the “Energy Foundation?” That would be Pew Charitable Trust in part, which is Sun Oil or Sunoco. Who else helped fund “The Energy Foundation?” The Rockefeller Foundation. Who is the Rockefeller Foundation? That would be Exxon.

Yes BOTH sides of the energy debate are funded by the same people: giant corporations, the 1%, fossil fuel and otherwise.

Now I am not saying that everyone who has accepted money that in part originated with big oil money is automatically up to no good. I AM saying that that the world’s most powerful corporations, their corporate foundations, fossil fuel interests, investment bankers, and the uber wealthy, are NOT going fund the revolution that ends the growth machine that is killing the planet.

But they will fund “renewable energy” that includes biomass, ethanol, biofuels, etc. despite the insanity of burning trees or food or garbage as energy.

To be clear I have zero funding from anyone. I am a citizen doing what a citizen should do: not trusting what I am told by those in systems who think they know better than everyone, but checking for myself. And speaking out.

It was no accident I used facts from “25 x 25’s” own reports because I knew they would try to deny the biomass burning reality of green energy in our state; inquiries about biomass burning have been met with denials every step of the way. But supporters of “25 x 25” cannot refute my core contentions—not without calling their own experts and data wrong.

THEIR forecast for three times more biomass burning comes from THEIR jobs and energy report. One of them is wrong; their experts or those in charge of rhetoric.

THEIR report indicates for at least ten times more biomass burning than solar panels and as much as wind. One of them is wrong; their experts or those in charge of rhetoric.

“25 x 25” also has not answered to why they mislead the public about what’s included in the definition of renewable energy. It’s indisputable that biomass burning is on the ballot proposal.

And if this gets in the Michigan constitution do you REALLY think green groups can control timber and agriculture interests who make billions from biomass and biofuels? Look how hard it is to stop fossil fuel plants, and now we want to add more biomass, biogas and biofuel plants?

“25 x 25” has also not answered why they wildly exaggerated the jobs report by turning “job years” into jobs thus misleading the public.

And I have to tell you that the more I look into the reality of biomass burning in Michigan the uglier it seems. When I heard rumors that toxic creosote laden railroad ties and old houses were being burned as green biomass I thought that be hidden from the public. But no, it’s being bragged about on their website. Apparently railroad ties are being brought in from as far away as Canada, since Canada does not want this toxic stuff being burned in their own backyard.

This should come as no surprise because for a long time the largest green energy facility in Michigan was the giant waste incinerator in Detroit. Instead of “clean coal” we have “clean trash burning.”

There might be a few cases where burning off landfill gases is better than letting it escape but calling this green and subsidizing it as renewable energy is wrong because it subsidizes a giant environmental mistake.

Claims have been made it’s going to be “farm waste” as biomass. Well, in Michigan the reality of biomass burning is indeed 99% burning trees supplemented with “waste” on occasion. But let’s talk about burning to stop climate change for a minute. Burning farm “waste” does indeed like burning anything release CO2. That’s just physics. The concept of turning “waste” to energy is highly flawed and dependent on waste streams from fossil fuel intensive farms and CAFO’s.

Michigan voters should turn down Proposal 3 which will put in BIOMASSS BURNING in our state constitution.  THAT is a green nightmare. And environmental groups paid to promote “25 x 25” ought to learn that attacking citizens who speak out, is the wrong way to go.

United Nation’s Sustainable Energy for All (SEFA) – or Sustained Profits for a Few?

Source: Biofuelwatch

Biofuelwatch factsheet about the Sustainable Energy for All (SEFA) Initiative (June 2012)

Timed with this year’s Rio climate talks, 51 civil society organizations called on governments to reject the United Nations SEFA initiative on June 13th. Read the Open Letter: SEFA-Open-Letter

En Espanol: 

Energía sostenible para todos – ¿O sostenidos beneficios para unos pocos?

(Junio 2012)

NEWS: Rainforest Alliance Looks to Play in (the False Solution of) Carbon Markets

PA Carbon Technical Specialist6-12

665 Broadway, Suite 500 – NewYork, NY 10012
Tel.: 212-677-1900 www.rainforest-alliance.org
POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT
Title: Carbon Technical Specialist – Quality Assurance Unit, RA-Cert Division

Reports to: Quality Assurance Manager – Quality Assurance Unit, RA-Cert Division
Location: Richmond, VT

The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. Based in New York City, with offices throughout the United States and worldwide, the Rainforest Alliance works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers.

RA-Cert, a division of the Rainforest Alliance, supports the organization’s mission by delivering sustainability auditing, verification, validation and certification services based on the best available global standards. RA-Cert conducts its work with the highest integrity, transparency and quality in order to generate positive economic, ecological and social benefits for our clients and worldwide.

Position Summary:

The Carbon Technical Specialist will serve as the RA-Cert auditing and certification division’s global resource for policies, systems, quality monitoring and training for carbon validation and verification services implemented across RA-Cert’s regions and partner organizations. S/he will have oversight of services including maintenance of related accreditations, audit management, auditing, and monitoring of Rainforest Alliance’s global carbon portfolio to ensure consistent implementation of RA-Cert policies and procedures.

SumOfUs are Corporate Whores | Some Of Us Are Not

By Cory Morningstar

 Feb 1, 2012: SumOfUs posts a popular image used by media outlets today to reflect the worker conditions at Chinese “sweatshops.” “Ethical capitalism” is a fantasy embraced and fetishized by the liberal/professional left.

New Delusion for 2012: SumOfUs

 …Like all good Imperialists, the Philanthropoids set themselves the task of creating and training an international cadre that believed that Capitalism, and by extension the hegemony of the United States, was in their own self-interest…. In the United States, as we have seen, corporate-endowed foundations spawned the culture of NGOs…. — Arundhati Roy, Capitalism: A Ghost Story

New to the growing spiderweb of the interconnected non-profit industrial complex is SumOfUs. Behind this web you will find the most notorious players within the so-called movement – an array of bright green “climate wealth” opportunists, believers of the illusory “green” economy.

“SumOfUs is a global movement of consumers, investors, and workers all around the world, standing together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable and just path for our global economy. It’s not going to be fast or easy. But if enough of us come together, we can make a real difference.”

On the twitter account (first “tweet” November 14, 2011), SumOfUs goes one step further, stating:

“We are a movement of consumers, workers and shareholders speaking with one voice to counterbalance the growing power of large corporations.”

SumOfUs states:

“We’ve witnessed again and again what happens when powerful corporations get their way: Environmental and health catastrophes like Fukushima and the BP oil disaster; A global financial crisis that destroys entire economies; Rising food prices and starving children; Families from Kalamazoo to Timbuktu losing their houses and land; Poisons pouring into our air and water. You name it, corporations are behind it. But rather than being held accountable – their CEOs are often walking away with bonuses. And these injustices are largely left to continue unabated. But the world doesn’t have to be this way. And here’s the secret: We own the corporations that are causing all these problems. They rely on us to buy their products. They count on us to buy their stock. They need us to work for them. They need us to continue to elect governments that let them get away with murder. We are SumOfUs, and we’re not going to take it anymore.”

So rather than campaign on citizens divesting, that the rights for corporations be abolished, that private companies become nationalized, that citizens work together to form their own co-operatives, and that society must unite in one goal of starving the corporate machine, SumOfUs believes we further our power as “consumers” by feeding the very system that is destroying us.

All while exclaiming “We’re not going to take it anymore!” SumOfUs would have us believe that “we” – collectively, as “consumers” continuing to purchase the corporations’ products, continuing to purchase their stock, continuing, indefinitely, to work for the corporations destroying us, continuing to re-elect politicians (all controlled by a ruling hierarchy) – that we can, in fact, make the corporations “do the right thing.” This is not only a false premise, it is an assertion of complete grandiose delusion. Further, we have been hearing “we’re not going to take it anymore” from the environmental “movement” for over three decades. In this time, emissions have increased over 40% while we stand on the precipice of irreversible, cataclysmic, accelerating environmental collapse of epic proportions. 

SumOfUs states it is “a new world-wide movement for a better global economy” that stands for: Fair treatment of workers and the right of every human being to make a living, safely and ethically, for themselves and their family; The right of ordinary consumers to products that are produced and marketed ethically, sustainably and transparently; and “Business models that put people and the planet first instead of being driven by shortsighted greed.” They then tell the “consumer”: “Yeah, take that deep breath, close your eyes and imagine what kind of a world that could be – and then crash back to this one.”

What SumOfUs doesn’t tell you and never will tell you, is that 1) this vision is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to achieve under the global industrialized capitalist economic system, and 2) our current economic system is absolutely dependent upon the exploitation of both people and planet to simply continue its existence. SumOfUs wishes to convince you that this suicidal economic system can be reformed. That, like Obama, corporations can be made “to do the right thing” if only we ask nicely. Yet, let’s be clear and cast all denial aside – one cannot reform an abomination.

SumOfUs, along with all the rest in the non-profit industrial complex, is banking on your hopeful ignorance, hoping you will continue to swallow their lies and join them in the game of delusion where fantasy reigns.

“Capitalism is going through a crisis whose gravity has not revealed itself completely yet. Marx said, ‘What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers.’ Capitalism is in crisis. Trickledown failed…. Capitalism’s real ‘grave-diggers’ may end up being its own delusional Cardinals, who have turned ideology into faith. Despite their strategic brilliance, they seem to have trouble grasping a simple fact: Capitalism is destroying the planet. The two old tricks that dug it out of past crises—War and Shopping—simply will not work.” — Arundhati Roy, Capitalism: A Ghost Story

The first campaign for SumOfUs sounds suspiciously familiar.November 29, 2011, “SumOfUs: Petition urges Google to quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce” Excerpt: “[SumOfUs] correctly point out that in 2009 Apple quit the Chamber over environmental concerns, while Nike quit the board of the Chamber shortly after, and Yahoo recently quit over internet censorship legislation.”

The “U.S. Chamber Doesn’t Speak For Me” (http://chamber.350.org/) was spawned from 350.org’s attempt to capitalize on and recruit business. The poster available for 350.org business partners states:

“Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis – to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet. Our focus is on the number 350 – as in parts per million CO2. If we can’t get below that, scientists say, the damage we’re already seeing from global warming will continue and accelerate. But 350 is more than a number – it’s a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.”

“… Make a product with a 350 logo and educate people on the science of 350 – how Camelback did it.

Yet, the “science” of 350 ppm put forward by 350.org is made irrelevant. That 350.org/1sky/Chamber350 refuses to acknowledge that infinite growth, the integral pivotal component of the global industrialized capitalist economic system is not compatible in any way with reversing atmospheric concentration of CO2 is somewhat beyond belief. And yet, we are expected to embrace such illusion. Common sense dictates that industrialized production, most instrumental to the global capitalist economic system, can only further destroy our shared environment. The above Camelback “success,” which 350.org/1sky/Chamber350 highlights as one such “solution” to climate change, clearly demonstrates the outright denial of the very root causes of our multiple escalating crisis by such liberal left “leaders.”

What 350.org/1Sky or the new SumOfUs has never, nor will ever, state is the truth – that 350 ppm (and definitely the pre-industrialized levels of 280 ppm called for by the People’s Agreement and the State of Bolivia) can never and will never be achieved under the global industrialized capitalist system. Further, ethics and the global industrialised capitalist system – whereby violence is inherently built into the system – by way of decimation to the planet and exploitation of those most vulnerable, can never, and will never, co-exist. To believe so is to believe in fairy tales.

The fact is, aside from good publicity for these corporate monoliths, quitting the Chamber of Commerce “over environmental concerns,” in real life, means absolutely nothing. After Apple quit the Chamber of Commerce (considered by 350.org a great victory), the company has continued to break their own records in profits. (January 24, 2012: “Apple profit doubles, thanks largely to 37 million iPhone sales in three months. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company flew past all profit expectations as it reported net income of $13.1-billion (U.S) on revenue of $46.3-billion in its first quarter ended Dec. 31.”) Africa continues to be raped and pillaged for Coltan and other vital components of such technology, which has left approximately up to or more than right million Africans dead. (Top censored story of 2003: American Companies Exploit the Congo; top censored story of 2007: High-Tech Genocide in Congo.)

And while millions continue to anguish over tragic atrocities such as the Holocaust, the Congolese genocide continues unabated. Organizations such as SumOfUs don’t touch upon such uncomfortable truths, especially when the victims are non-white. In the world of RINGOs [1], the continuous and relentless plunder of liberating nations by Imperialist states is simply par for the course. Certainly not a reason to stop consuming items we have lived without for approximately 100,000 years.

The questions SumOfUs will never put forward is this: Would you rather consume beyond your most basic needs, or would you rather live? Would you rather consume beyond your most basic needs, or would you rather your children have a future? Which do you value more – your iPhone or the life of an African? Which do you value more – your iPad or the life of an exploited Chinese worker, whose distress is so great they prefer death over life?

SumOfUs asks “followers” (“consumers”) to demand Joe Trader pays 1 cent per pound more to the farmers who toil in the fields to produce our food, while SumOfUs “followers” purchase $700.00 iPhones. SumOfUs represents a clear division – those who benefit (be it short-term or long-term) by the capitalist system and those who are on the receiving end of the capitalist system: the exploited who reap the fall-out. It is understood, and even embraced as natural, that those who may be so lucky to receive a 1 cent pay increase, thanks to the goodwill on behalf of the white-saviour complex, will never have the means to shop at Joe Traders, let alone purchase an iPhone. Perhaps SumOfUs will have the exploited send SumOfUs members thank you cards at Christmas time, just like World Vision. After all, those who spend their lifetime simply trying to provide the next meal to their family are in no position to decline a 1 cent per hour/per pound pay increase.

The SumOfUs organization/campaign is more than insulting. If it is not bad enough for citizens to be referred to as a “movement of consumers and workers” (why not just refer to the majority of society as proles?), in an authoritative manner the message conveyed is that “consumers” have an important role within the capitalist system – equivalent to that of an investor or shareholder. The message conveyed is that the industrialized global capitalist economic system is one in which we are, and must remain, a partner.

In short, SumOfUs promotes an ideology that stands in stark contrast to our current reality – the absolute imperative of starving/abandoning the industrialized capitalist system, before it systematically kills us.

Excerpt from the SumOfUs “LOCOG: Partner with a Sponsor the Whole World Can Celebrate” campaign:

 LOCOG has promised to stage the greenest games in Olympic history. They are the first games organizing committee to be certified to a sustainability standard called British Standard 8901. Yet, while LOCOG tells us that the London 2012 Olympics will be the greenest games ever, they have accepted the sponsorship of a company that refuses to clean up the pesticide factory in Bhopal where 400 tons of toxic chemical waste remain near a children’s play area. Dow Chemical expects that its $25 million per year Olympic sponsorship will give it a $1 billion dollar sales boost by 2020. Don’t let Dow profit off the “greenest Olympics ever” while they refuse to take responsibility for the worst industrial disaster in human history. Send a message to the London Organizing Committee that if it is committed to sustainability, they have to drop Dow as a sponsor of the games.” (Emphasis in original)

Newsflash: There is no such thing as a “green” Olympics. There is no such thing as a “sustainable” Olympics. There never will be. The “greenest Olympics ever” is perhaps the greatest attempt to greenwash the public under the guise of sustainability. SumOfUs has no intention of educating citizens on the vast social impacts and environmental consequences of an event like the Olympics; rather SumOfUs asks us to join the “Whole World” in the Olympic celebration.

This campaign must be considered an endorsement of the Olympics themselves as “the greenest ever.” One could even consider SumOfUs as advertisers of a new breed. Consider the language behind the “Apple: Is the new iPad made illegally?” campaign. SumOfUs states:

If it is anything like Apple’s past products, the new iPad will be a sleek, gorgeous gadget … Apple says it cares about workers and requires its factories to follow the law. Well, we want to give Apple a chance to prove it. As Apple customers and potential customers, we deserve to know whether the new iPad was manufactured illegally and unethically like past Apple products. (Emphasis in original)

SumOfUs states they “want to give Apple a chance to prove” it cares about workers and requires its factories to follow the law, all while acknowledging in the same paragraph that its products have consistently been made illegally and unethically. Of course, the “consumer” isn’t urged to make the simple decision to not purchase a new iPad, instead, he/she is asked to convey a message to Apple: “We deserve to know whether workers making the new iPad were forced to work illegal and dangerous amounts of overtime.” Of course, Apple workers were forced to work illegal and dangerous amounts of overtime. Anyone with a brain understands that this has been and continues to be the case along with a multitude of other human rights abuses. Further, Apple will never share their monetary wealth with those they exploit. For this is the way of the capitalist system. The SumOfUs petition serves as an instrument to eradicate guilt by simply “clicking” and being made to feel one has performed their ethical duty. Further, under the petition, there is a survey collecting data regarding your patronage of Apple products. It would be interesting to know where this data ends up.

SumOfUs allows society to feel good about their role in the capitalist system. SumOfUs allows one to feel vindicated for one’s purchases and participation in corporate patronage. Like a confession or a prayer prior to or after a bad deed, SumOfUs eradicates guilt, makes one feel heroic, and – most importantly – protects the current economic system and thus the current power structures that exist today.

“You know, I’m an iPhone user myself, I’m an Apple consumer. I love their products. I want to be able to buy their products with pride and not feel like I’m complicit in these abuses that are taking place.” — Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, the executive director and president of the consumer advocacy group SumOfUs, speaking to Keith Olbermann, February 14, 2012

Ignoring Reality | Feeding the Denial Machine

In the March 26, 2012 article, Climate scientists: It’s basically too late to stop warming, the author writes: “Here’s what happens next: Natural climate feedbacks will take over and, on top of our prodigious human-caused carbon emissions, send us over an irreversible tipping point. By 2100, the planet will be hotter than it’s been since the time of the dinosaurs, and everyone who lives in red states will pretty much get the apocalypse they’ve been hoping for. The subtropics will expand northward, the bottom half of the U.S. will turn into an inhospitable desert, and everyone who lives there will be drinking recycled pee and struggling to salvage….”

In the March 26, 2012 article, West Antarctic Ice Shelves Tearing Apart at the Seams, the author writes: “A new study examining nearly 40 years of satellite imagery has revealed that the floating ice shelves of a critical portion of West Antarctica are steadily losing their grip on adjacent bay walls, potentially amplifying an already accelerating loss of ice to the sea.”

Flashback to 2003. From the paper The Discovery of Rapid Climate Change: “How fast can our planet’s climate change? Too slowly for humans to notice, according to the firm belief of most scientists through much of the 20th century.” “Today, there is evidence that severe change can take less than a decade. A committee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has called this reorientation in the thinking of scientists a veritable ‘paradigm shift.’ The new paradigm of abrupt global climate change, the committee reported in 2002, ‘has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policymakers.’ ”

The question must be asked, where the hell do ethical iAnythings fit in a world of total chaos, collapse, death and starvation? We understand the Earth’s resources are finite. So why do we refuse to comprehend, thus ignore, the root cause of our multiple crises, that being the global industrialized capitalist economic system? The non-profit industrial complex protects the interests of their funders – this is a given to be expected. Yet the tragedy is this: today, intelligent citizens are choosing to embrace delusional ideologies that reinforce what they have been conditioned to “want” by the very corporate interests many claim to oppose, instead of choosing to protect their very future and the future of their children by facing our realities dead-on.

SumOfUs fails (purposely) to educate on the fact that corporations are bound by law to increase profits for their shareholders first and foremost. SumOfUs allows “consumers” to continue consuming while eradicating any guilt they may be feeling as the world crumbles beneath our feet. Hey, I signed the petition; I did my part, what more can I do? Truthfully, no sane person can possibly believe that any petition in 2012 can truly change the cataclysmic path we have placed ourselves on. Ten thousand signatures or 10 million, these petitions are meaningless. They are not intended to provoke any meaningful change. Rather their purpose is to influence, sway, and shape and mold public perception. This is understood between the corporate funders (via funding funneled through tax exempt foundations) and the “leaders” at the helm of the global NGO matrix: Avaaz and the Avaaz-affiliated organizations, 350.org/1Sky, and other corporate greens such as Rockefeller-founded WWF.

The Sycophants at the Helm

“… Corporate-endowed foundations administer, trade and channelise their power and place their chessmen on the chessboard, through a system of elite clubs and think-tanks, whose members overlap and move in and out through the revolving doors. Contrary to the various conspiracy theories in circulation, particularly among left-wing groups, there is nothing secret, satanic, or Freemason-like about this arrangement. It is not very different from the way corporations use shell companies and offshore accounts to transfer and administer their money—except that the currency is power, not money.” — Arundhati Roy, Capitalism: A Ghost Story

And of no surprise, this group of elite “leaders” are predominantly white and wealthy. SumOfUs reads like a big tub of dirty laundry, the same names that are continually recycled from one group to another, churned over and over again under a multitude of NGO names that just keep expanding and growing like a cancer. The bulk of foundation money funneled into these entities originates primarily from George Soros foundations, whereas the bulk of foundation money funneled into 350.org/1Sky originates primarily from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation and the William J. Clinton Foundation.

“Two of the minds behind the global advocacy platform Avaaz.org and Australia’s social action network GetUp! are taking what they learned in the non-profit online organizing space and applying it to the world of consumerism.” — TECH PRESIDENT website, May 24, 2010

SumOfUs’s Executive Director and Founder, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, is a dual Australian-American citizen with online organizing on four continents and at the global level, including at Avaaz.org, GetUp.org.au, MoveOn, AccessNow, 350.org, Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection and others. She was born in Australia, and currently lives in Washington, DC.

MoveOn.org is the founder of Avaaz (along with Res Publica). MoveOn is the US version of the Australian GetUp! AccessNow is affiliated with Avaaz co-founders. AccessNow.org is endorsed and supported by Avaaz, MoveOn.org, Witness.org, Blue State Digital and GetUp!

The AccessNow International Advisory Board includes Andrew MacLaughlin, vice president of Tumblr; Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook and director of online organizing for Obama’s Presidential Campaign; Joe Rospars, new media director for Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign and founding partner of Blue State Digital; Scott Heiferman, CEO and co-founder of Meetup; and many other prominent technologically savoir-faire “leaders” in the world of social marketing.

SumOfUs is a 501c(4) non-profit incorporated in Washington, DC, with a 501c(3) fiscal sponsorship arrangement through the New Organizing Institute Education Fund (a George Soros entity).

SumOfUs’s Treasurer, Tate Hausman, is the director of management at MoveOn.org. Previously, he has directed a number of other national political operations such as Vote Today Ohio, a voter mobilization effort that helped swing Ohio to Barack Obama. In tandem with working on congressional campaigns, Hausman has consulted for high-impact organizations like CREDO Mobile/Working Assets and many non-profit organizations.

SumOfUs’s Secretary, Keith Goodman, founded the Repower at Home program at Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, and developed and managed the acclaimed online Neighbor-to-Neighbor program for the 2008 Obama campaign.

The U.S. Advisory Board includes bright greens such as Bill McKibben, co-founder of Rockefeller’s 350.org and Eli Pariser, co-founder and president of the board at MoveOn.org.

The U.S. Advisory Board also includes Betsy Taylor, president of Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions. Taylor is an adviser to several donors and foundations and is on the advisory board of 350.org. Taylor was co-founder and board president of 1Sky, an incubator project of the Rockefellers, partnered and funded by in part by the Clinton Foundation. Taylor also founded and served as president of the center for yet another Soros organization, New American Dream (NAD), which “helps Americans live and consume wisely for a better world.” During her tenure, NAD was featured in the media over 1,000 times, built a network of over 100,000 citizens, and launched the “Responsible Purchasing Network,” an association representing over $50 billion in buying power. She has a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (where Avaaz co-founders Ricken Patel, David Madden and Jeremy Heimans also attended). At the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton announced and personally congratulated the 1Sky team. Rockefeller Brothers Fund president Stephen Heintz, Betsy Taylor, 1Sky chair, and Jesse Fink, Mission Point Capital Partners, joined President Clinton on stage in recognition of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund commitment to 1Sky.

In 2011 1Sky officially merged with 350.org – which was most instrumental in the 1Sky creation. This union, now official, was deemed the “NEW 350” (350/1Sky) in which Rockefeller interests sit on the 350.org board of directors with the likes of McKibben, Naomi Klein, Jay Halfon and Jessy Tolkan. [350.org staff, 350.org international advisory council, 350.org U.S. advisory council].

The SumOfUs EU Advisory Board includes:

  • Paula Hannemann, social media manager, WWF Germany
  • Paul Hilder, former campaign director of Avaaz and Oxfam Great Britain, vice president of global campaigns for Change.org
  • Alice Jay, campaign director, Avaaz.org (Spain)

The SumOfUs Australian Advisory Board includes:

  •  Jeremy Heimans, CEO & co-founder of Purpose, co-founder of GetUp.org.au, Avaaz.org and AllOut.org
  • Brett Soloman, formerly with Avaaz, executive director of AccessNow.org, former executive director of GetUp,org.au.

 “I’d like to use the funds to promote the idea of movement entrepreneurship and to incubate a couple more movements. We’ve been talking in a broader way about the future of consumer activism, of organizing people not as citizens but as consumers.” — Avaaz co-founder, Jeremy Heimans

And of course no organization with the sole duty of promoting green capitalism would be complete without the corporate kiss-ass, Kumi Naidoo, head of the notorious corporate creation, TckTckTck, and Greenpeace International. Naidoo also sits on the International Advisory Council of 350.org, along with Avaaz co-founder and Imperialist puppet, Ricken Patel.

SumOfUs is currently offering an “Operations Fellowship.” Applicants should, among other things have “experience in social change, whether it’s organizing a Save Darfur rally on campus or volunteering for the Obama campaign” while “Big Pluses” are listed as “Grant-writing experience; Experience managing funder relationships; Experience as an office manager or executive assistant; Basic familiarity with 501(c)3/(c)4 election law; Familiarity with the MoveOn/Avaaz model of organizing.”

And like all big greens that make up the non-profit industrial complex, SumOfUs assures us that it is an equal opportunity employer …  Minorities and women are strongly encouraged to apply for this fellowship.” This all sounds good in theory, yet for all the rhetoric thrown around by the big greens supporting “indigenous” rights, values and leadership, try to find one big green NGO with an Indigenous person at the helm. For that matter, try to find one big green that officially supports and refuses to undermine the People’s Agreement (Cochabamba, Bolivia, April 2010) or any other Indigenous declaration.

SumOfUs – A new organization to greenwash the corporations destroying our shared planet. SumOfUs wants you to not only accept the liberal left assertion that corporate power will always dominate, they want you to show respect to the corporate powers destroying us.

Remix: March 28th, 2012

Sum of Selling Out

From the April 18, 2011 article Rockefellers’ 1Sky Unveils the New 350.org | More $ – More Delusion:

 “At the same time of the 10:10:10 launch, 350.org revealed its first order of business – that of business. In 2011, the Green Market website published an article titled “350.org and Business.” The website promotes the 350 campaign to ask businesses to leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in response to climate change; however, it neglected to critically analyze why such a campaign can only fail. The reality is that incrementalism in the face of a planetary emergency dooms humanity to failure. No amount of justification excuses any organization, large or small, to play politics in the face of our daunting climate reality. Yet 350.org is doing exactly that. Many may consider this a strong step and the greenwashing cabal will applaud; after all, if you have the token voice of the climate movement praising sweat-shop driven, mining-dependent Apple, you’ve won the day. However, the reality is this: No matter how many businesses leave the Chamber, they will still be doing what they do. Apple continues to abuse those most vulnerable while simultaneously destroying the environment for the sake of profit. Nike still manufactures shoes in China. A campaign such as this will never extricate these corporations from the business model they worship that enables several barrels of oil to be burned for the sake of the Swoosh through symbolic campaigning and the mighty victory this campaign seeks. No amount of symbolic campaigning will accomplish anything remotely close to a solution to the current planetary emergency. Such a campaign makes for good press for the times; however, in terms of outcomes, it will provide nothing of consequence to the solution set. It’s nothing less than delusion, if not a crime against humanity, that those who understand the science actually believe such campaigns are helpful beyond our psyches. Tragically, this undoubtedly will become more obvious rather soon.”

So, no thanks, SumOfUs. Some of us consider ourselves citizens – not consumers. Some of us are not interested in participating in your delusional dreams of “ethical” and “green” capitalism. Some of us, in the real world, prefer to deal with the realities that you, hand in hand with your funders, continue to deny.

Round and round the delusion goes. Where it stops nobody knows.

The new SumOfUs campaigns urge us to send a message to LOCOG, Apple, Starbucks, Novartis, corporate media conglomerates, Walmart, Carlsberg, Verizon, Microsoft, Google, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Yoplait, Lowes, Trader Joes and Johnson & Johnson. Below are my sentiments in regards to these corporate psychopaths.

Fuck Apple.

Fuck Bank of America.

Fuck Carlsberg.

Fuck Coca-Cola.

Fuck corporate media.

Fuck Google.

Fuck Johnson & Johnson.

Fuck Lowes.

Fuck Microsoft.

Fuck Novartis.

Fuck Starbucks.

Fuck the Olympics.

Fuck Trader Joes.

Fuck Verizon.

Fuck Walmart.

Fuck Yoplait.

And most of all, SumOfUs – fuck you.

 

 

References:

[1] Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, spoke March 19, 2010 at Innovative Philanthropy for the 21st Century: Harnessing the Power of Impact Investing: In this second phase of philanthropic innovation, our Rockefeller Foundation predecessors helped establish the non-governmental organization sector as the missing middle between giving and direct impact. This included support for entities we call them RINGOS, Rockefeller Foundation Initiated NGOs.

 

ADVERTENCIA- ¿INTRODUCE OXFAM EL REDD PLUS EN MÉXICO? (English Translation Follows)

ADVERTENCIA- ¿INTRODUCE OXFAM EL REDD PLUS EN MÉXICO?

Miguel Valencia
ECOMUNIDADES
Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de México
¡DESCRECIMIENTO O BARBARIE!
Acción inmediata frente al Pico del Petróleo y al Cambio Climático
Textos recientes en http://red-ecomunidades.blogspot.com/

Con respecto al comunicado de prensa de OXFAM que abajo viene, quisiera advertir que este comunicado parece esconder la promoción de una de las propuestas más rechazadas, mas denunciadas en la COP-16 de Cancun, por las organizaciones indígenas, la Vía Campesina y la red internacional Climate Justice Now!; me refiero a la propuesta denominada REDD plus  (Reduction Emissions for Deforestation and Degradation), impulsada por el Banco Mundial, los gobiernos poderosos del mundo (EUA, UE, Japon, etc), las transnacionales y el gobierno mexicano, e impuesta a los paises del Sur en las recientes cumbres del clima, por medio de presiones, chantaje, y sobornos..

Esta propuesta REDD+ involucra, como lo dice la Indigenous Environmenal Network, IEN, “el más grande robo de tierras de la historia”, la destrucción de la biodiversidad y un engaño, una Falsa Solución al cambio climático. La participación de las “grandes verdes” o big greens (WWF,  OXFAM, Greenpeace) en la aprobación de este nefasto programa, tanto en Copenhague, como en Cancun, les ha generado  una reprobación mundial a estas organizaciones. El Klimaforum10 ha manifestado su gran inconformidad con la actuación de estas grandes ONGs verdes en estas cumbres, en su Informe y Valuación del Klimaforum10.
En este comunicado de prensa podemos observar como se pretendería introducir en México este turbio programa climático, por medio de una Red Mexicana de Esfuerzos (RIOD-Mexico) que habría que someterla a una rigurosa observación social, ya que hay involucrado un dineral en estas campañas y al parecer estas “grandes verdes” están muy interesadas en sacar una buena tajada del gran negocio que representan las Falsas Soluciones al cambio climáticio, aprobadas en las COP de las Naciones Unidas.  La Unión Europea ha estado muy activa en la promoción de estos programas en los países del Sur. El gobernador Sabines de Chiapas, ya se ha lanzado con estos proyectos REDD plus y, por lo que percibimos en este comunicado, ya empezarían estas organizaciones ambientalistas a involucrar a muchas organizaciones locales en un negocio sucio con el cambio climático.

Quienes deseen contar con mayor información sobre estos programas para reducir la deforestación y degradación de los bosques, se las podemos proporcionar con todo gusto, pues, la organización del Klimaforum10 en Cancun, tuvo tambien como proposito conocer de primera mano los arreglos sobre estos temas que se realizan en estas cumbres del clima.

Saludos

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
COMUNICADO DE PRENSA

La Unión Europea, Oxfam y RIOD-Mex se unen en contra de la desertificación en tierras de Mesoamérica

Anuncian la realización del proyecto “Conservación y manejo sustentable de tierras secas en Mesoamérica” para fortalecer la resilencia y sustentabilidad de comunidades rurales de la región sur de México y el corredor seco de Guatemala ante el cambio climático.
México, D.F. a 16 de junio de 2011-  En el marco de la celebración del Día Mundial de Lucha contra la Desertificación y la Sequía, el día de hoy fue dado a conocer el proyecto “Conservación y manejo sustentable de tierras secas en Mesoamérica”  promovido por la Unión Europea, Oxfam México, Oxfam Gran Bretaña y la Red Mexicana de Esfuerzos contra la Desertificación y la Degradación de los Recursos Naturales (RIOD-Mex) como una acción dirigida a enfrentar los efectos del cambio climático.

Con una aportación conjunta de 900 mil euros, el proyecto será implementado en México y en el corredor seco de Guatemala dentro de comunidades marginadas que están experimentando los efectos del cambio climático, con énfasis en la atención de grupos de mujeres campesinas, indígenas y jóvenes.

Para su instrumentación, el proyecto realizará acciones en localidades de los estados de Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla y Veracruz en México, y el Departamento de Baja Verapaz en Guatemala.

En su metodología, el proyecto considera potenciar y privilegiar los procesos locales de producción agrícola y profundizar sobre conocimientos técnicos y empíricos de las comunidades en cuanto al manejo sustentable de tierras, energía y agua en las actividades productivas y de conservación.

El modelo incluye la transferencia de tecnología, la adopción de mejores prácticas agropecuarias, la gestión técnica y el desarrollo de mecanismos innovadores de financiamiento para la seguridad alimentaria y el impulso de economías regionales como estrategias de mitigación y adaptación ante el cambio climático.

El proyecto tendrá una duración de tres años, periodo en el que se espera se consoliden modelos de Manejo Sustentables de Tierras (MST) entre los primeros 500 productoras y productores rurales que a su vez serán replicadores de sus experiencias para generalizar las prácticas sustentables en ambas naciones.

Este esfuerzo involucrará a las autoridades forestales, agropecuarias y de medio ambiente locales y federales con la intención de que las experiencias recabadas confluyan en políticas públicas para México y Guatemala y en la construcción de una Agenda Mesoamericana.

En México, como parte de las actividades de este proyecto Oxfam y RIOD-Mex han iniciado la firma de acuerdos interinstitucionales con organizaciones sociales como la Unión de Comunidades y Ejidos Forestales de las Cordilleras de los Valles Centrales de Oaxaca, A.C. y Silvícola Ocote Real, S.C. de R.L. de C.V. Estas dos organizaciones se están incorporando con actividades en 30 municipios de los estados de Oaxaca y Puebla.

En 1994, la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas designó al 17 de junio como “Día Mundial de Lucha contra la Desertificación y la Sequía” como resultado de las negociaciones de la Cumbre de la Tierra de Río de Janeiro celebrada en 1992.
–oo0oo—

Sobre la Unión Europea

La Unión Europea está formada por 27 Estados miembros que han decidido unir de forma progresiva sus conocimientos prácticos, sus recursos y sus destinos. A lo largo de un período de ampliación de 50 años, juntos han constituido una zona de estabilidad, democracia y desarrollo sostenible, además de preservar la diversidad cultural, la tolerancia y las libertades individuales.

La Unión Europea tiene el compromiso de compartir sus logros y valores con países y pueblos que se encuentren más allá de sus fronteras.

http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/mexico/index_es.htm

Sobre Oxfam México

Oxfam México es una asociación civil independiente de cooperación internacional y ayuda humanitaria que promueve la organización de las comunidades para mejorar sus condiciones de vida. Trabaja conforme al principio universal de la Equidad Social, a partir de tres causas: Justicia Económica, Construcción de Ciudadanía y Democracia, y Ayuda Humanitaria.
Su operación se financia con las aportaciones económicas de empresas, fundaciones, gobiernos, organismos internacionales y donaciones individuales, que son asignadas a diversas organizaciones de la sociedad civil para auspiciar proyectos de desarrollo sustentable.

http://www.oxfammexico.org/
——————————————————————————–

Contacto para medios Oxfam:

La Bola de Papel, Comunicación

Sara Castellanos R.

2454-0400/ 2454/0404

scastellanos@laboladepapel.com

Spanish to English translation (Google Translation)

Does it introduce OXFAM WARNING-PLUS THE REDD IN MEXICO?

Miguel Valencia
ECOMUNIDADES
Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de México
¡DESCRECIMIENTO O BARBARIE!
Acción inmediata frente al Pico del Petróleo y al Cambio Climático
Textos recientes en http://red-ecomunidades.blogspot.com/

With respect to OXFAM press release that comes down, I realize that this statement seems to hide the promotion of one of the rejected proposals, but reported in the COP-16 in Cancun, indigenous organizations, Via Campesina and the network International Climate Justice Now!, I mean plus the proposal called REDD (Reduction Emissions for Deforestation and Degradation), promoted by the World Bank, the powerful governments of the world (U.S., EU, Japan, etc.), transnational corporations and the Mexican government , and imposed on the countries of the South in the recent climate summit by means of pressure, blackmail and bribes ..

This proposal involves REDD, as stated in the Indigenous Network Environmenal, IEN, “the greatest land theft in history”, the destruction of biodiversity and a delusion, a false solution to climate change. The involvement of “big green” or big greens (WWF, Oxfam, Greenpeace) the approval of this nefarious program, both in Copenhagen and in Cancun, it has generated a global condemnation of these organizations. The Klimaforum10 has expressed great dissatisfaction with the performance of these great green NGOs in these summits, in its Report and Valuation Klimaforum10.

This press release can be seen as an attempt would be introduced in Mexico this cloudy climate program, by a Mexican Network of Efforts (RIOD-Mexico) would have to undergo rigorous social observation, as there are a lot of money involved in these campaigns and apparently these “big green” are very interested in getting a good slice of the big business that represent false solutions to climáticio change, adopted at the United Nations COP. The European Union has been very active in promoting these programs in the South. Governor Sabines in Chiapas, has already launched these projects REDD plus, and what we perceive in this release, and these environmental organizations to begin to involve many local organizations in a dirty business to climate change.

Those wishing to have more information on these programs to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, they can provide you with great pleasure, then, the organization Klimaforum10 in Cancun, was also intended to see first hand the arrangements on these issues are made at these summits climate.
Regards

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

PRESS RELEASE

The European Union, Oxfam and RIOD-Mex unite against land desertification in Mesoamerica

Announce the project “Conservation and sustainable management of drylands in Mesoamerica” ??to strengthen the resilience and sustainability of rural communities in southern Mexico and Guatemala dry corridor to climate change.

Mexico, D.F. to June 16, 2011 – As part of the celebration of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, today was released the project “Conservation and sustainable management of drylands in Mesoamerica” ??promoted by the Union Europe, Mexico Oxfam, Oxfam Great Britain and the Mexican Network of Efforts to Combat Desertification and Degradation of Natural Resources (RIOD-Mex) as an action to address the effects of climate change.

With a joint contribution of 900 000 euros, the project will be implemented in Mexico and Guatemala dry corridor within marginalized communities are experiencing the effects of climate change, with emphasis on the care of groups of rural, indigenous and youth.

For its implementation, the project will conduct activities in locations in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla and Veracruz in Mexico, and the Department of Baja Verapaz in Guatemala.

In its methodology, the project considers the processes promoting and privileging local agricultural production and strengthen technical and empirical knowledge of the communities in sustainable management of land, energy and water in the productive and conservation activities.

The model includes the transfer of technology, adoption of improved farming practices, technical management and development of innovative financing mechanisms for food security and boosting regional economies as mitigation strategies and adaptation to climate change.

The project will last three years, a period which is expected to consolidate models of sustainable land management (SLM) in the top 500 producers and farmers to turn their experiences will be replicated for widespread sustainable practices in both nations.

This effort will involve the authorities forestry, agricultural and local and federal environment with the intention of that experience to come together in public policies for Mexico and Guatemala and construction of a Mesoamerican calendar.

In Mexico, as part of the project activities and RIOD-Mex Oxfam have initiated the signing of interagency agreements with organizations such as the Union of forest ejidos and the Cordilleras of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, AC Real Ocote and Forestry S.C. of R.L. de CV These two organizations are joining with activities in 30 municipalities in the states of Oaxaca and Puebla.

In 1994, the General Assembly of the United Nations designated June 17 as “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought” as a result of negotiations at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

– Oo0oo-

About the EU
The European Union comprises 27 Member States have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Over a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms.
The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and values ??with countries and peoples that are beyond their borders.
http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/mexico/index_es.htm

About Oxfam Mexico
Oxfam is a private Mexico independent international cooperation and humanitarian aid that promotes the organization of communities to improve their living conditions. Work under the universal principle of Social Equity, from three causes: Economic Justice, Citizenship and Democracy Building and Humanitarian Aid.
Its operation is funded by financial contributions from corporations, foundations, governments, international organizations and individual donations, which are assigned to various civil society organizations to sponsor sustainable development projects.
http://www.oxfammexico.org/

————————————————– ——————————

Oxfam Media Contact:
The Ball of Paper, Communication
Sara Castellanos R.
2454-0400 / 2454/0404
scastellanos@laboladepapel.com

Miguel Valencia
ECOMUNIDADES
Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de México
¡DESCRECIMIENTO O BARBARIE!
Acción inmediata frente al Pico del Petróleo y al Cambio Climático
Textos recientes en http://red-ecomunidades.blogspot.com/

In Rubble of Cap-and-Trade, Big Green Taking a Beating

In Rubble of Cap-and-Trade, Big Green Taking a Beating

In the search for what’s next, a range of options including civil disobedience, state-level action, and continued work on Capitol Hill

By Elizabeth McGowan

Nov 23, 2010

WASHINGTON—Barely a week ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid assured West Virginia governor-cum-senator Joe Manchin that any attempt to control greenhouse gases via a cap-and-trade system is dead and six feet under.

Grassroots and left-leaning environmental organizations, however, claim the Nevada Democrat showed up nearly a year late to the funeral of the much-maligned, market-based measure. A majority of them aren’t mourning the evident demise of poor ol’ cap and trade.

For the most part, they abhorred the book-length version of legislation that Democratic Reps. Henry Waxman and Ed Markey of Massachusetts cobbled together and the House eventually passed as the American Clean Energy and Security Act in June 2009. And they cringed at the versions of its evil twin that reared themselves afterward in the Senate.

While they united against compromised legislation, these more progressive green advocates aren’t unified on a single way forward on how to curb heat-trapping emissions—and if SolveClimate News’s interviews of these groups is any indication, consensus will be hard to come by.

Ideas about strengthening the movement are still being floated and vetted. Many agree the focus needs to be outside the Capital Beltway and some want to incorporate civil disobedience into the mix. Others will continue to work the legislative angle in the U.S. Capitol’s corridors.

Sorting Through Cap-and-Trade Rubble

“What needs to emerge from the rubble of cap and trade is a program that makes polluters pay,” Damon Moglen, climate and energy program director for Friends of the Earth said. “Some of the money needs to go to the public and the rest should be used to develop policy and support renewables.”

Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace never jumped on the Waxman-Markey bandwagon. What sticks in the craw of so many of their fellow environmental advocates is that their well-heeled brethren such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council confidently led them down what they promised would be a rosy path toward cap-and-trade nirvana.

And many found it was too late to pull a U-turn when it became clear they were headed for what looked to be a hellish destination that was scientifically unsound and provided Wall Street with alarming amounts of Monopoly money.

“What’s changing now is that the climate movement is no longer willing to follow ‘Big Green,’ which they did before to some degree because they had the power and the money,” explained Tim DeChristopher of Peaceful Uprising in Utah. “There’s certainly an awareness that we need to build a serious movement. We need to use these two years where nothing will happen in Congress to take the focus off Washington and build a social movement.”

EDF and Big Green Take a Beating

Fred Krupp, head of the Environmental Defense Fund, ignited a small-scale firestorm that’s still flaming after writing a 1,700-word missive for The Huffington Post last week vowing to ratchet up the fight for climate legislation by playing hardball with corporate polluters and the fossil fuels industry.

“First of all, that’s EDF being EDF,” Moglen said. “It’s the viewpoint of a single organization and not the voice of the entire environment movement … whatever that is.”

But another climate activist who had frequent dealings with Krupp’s organization—who asked that his name not be used so he could speak freely—was less forgiving.

“This is what Fred always says in front of more left and environmental audiences,” the source said in an interview, pointing out that EDF’s tagline is still, ‘We partner with businesses, governments and communities to find practical environmental solutions.’ “And he acts a certain way when he’s with Republicans. I would roll my eyes if anybody took this seriously.”

While those on Capitol Hill might look at the environmental movement as one entity, he continued, it’s ridiculous to include EDF because it categorizes itself as the triangulator and honest broker seeking common ground. He added that EDF should really be cast in a separate arena as a centrist activist group along the lines of the Democratic Leadership Council.

“People need to understand what EDF is and treat them accordingly,” he said. “If they were the environmental policy arm of Blue Dog Democrats’ caucus, I wouldn’t begrudge them that role.”

Cap and trade and market-based solutions were EDF’s “baby,” because the organization’s staffers had the “policy firepower,” he said, adding that Krupp’s employees are not nearly as well versed on renewable electricity standards and other regulatory solutions.

Calls to the Environmental Defense Fund seeking comment for this article were not returned.

One of EDF’s harshest critics is Rachel Smolker, whose now-deceased father, Robert Smolker, co-founded the organization decades ago during discussions in her childhood home on Long Island.

Smolker, an activist with the United Kingdom-based Biofuelwatch accuses EDF of being extremely cozy with industry and unwilling to listen to grassroots voices outside the nation’s capital.

“Cap and trade is a dangerous approach because it gives control to Wall Street,” she said in an interview from her Vermont office. “It’s the least painful and most profitable route for industry.”

Smolker is also active with Climate SOS, which borrowed a line from James Hansen when labeling the Waxman-Markey bill as “worse than nothing.” Hansen, who has been arrested for climate activism, heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.

“Many grassroots groups have no confidence in Washington,” she said. “Once, the idea of working with markets was a good idea and there were some successes. But attitudes toward cap and trade have changed in the last year.”

Copenhagen a Lost Opportunity

Krupp is correct that the environmental community has an urgent need to mobilize more broadly, Friends of the Earth’s Moglen said. Still, Moglen is flabbergasted that the climate situation has deteriorated so drastically since there was such consensus for action a year ago. Green groups are certainly culpable for losing control of a prime opportunity, he said, but he places the onus on President Obama.

“At the very moment (environmental organizations) created a debate space, this Congress and this president were AWOL,” he said. “The people who flooded into that void were the corporations. Then the flat-Earthers were inhabiting the debate space.”

If Obama had been as vociferous in a call for action at the Copenhagen climate conference in December 2009, as he is being now with the nuclear-arms treaty with Moscow, Moglen is convinced strong legislation would be in place now.

“The president failed on that front,” he said. “He could have gone to Copenhagen and changed the course of human history. It was his moment and he chose to hide behind Congress. Then the whole house of cards came tumbling down.”

Without national legislation, he continued, Obama now has to go to the mat for the Environmental Protection Agency so its authority to regulate greenhouse gases via the Clean Air Act isn’t blocked.

With a fractured House and a weakened Senate, Moglen suspects that cutting-edge solutions to global warming will bubble up from the states instead of trickle down from the federal level.

And as much as other observers see the political spectrum’s left and right as polar opposites, Moglen thinks the two could bond over their opposition to subsidies and tax breaks for the coal and oil industries. That common ground might be a starting point for the beginning of a climate conversation.

“We need to hold the fossil fuels industry accountable,” he said, adding that nobody asked corporations for their help when drafting civil rights legislation in the 1960s. “But we need to hold leaders accountable.”

“(The environmental community) bears responsibility and our leaders bear responsibility for not holding up our end of the bargain.”

Needed: Faster Ship With Bigger Guns

DeChristopher, the Utah activist, said he is encouraged that grassroots groups have finally realized they need to step out of the shadow of large, Washington-centric environmental organizations.

“Watering things down and making allies with corporations that really are enemies hasn’t worked,” he said. “We might as well work for something that will make a difference.”

The Environmental Defense Fund and others in the “Big Green” tent could have garnered support from grassroots groups, he said, if they had thought to admit that they were wrong about how to proceed with climate legislation. But that mea culpa hasn’t come.

The 29-year-old is aware that not everybody is willing to go as far out on a limb as he did in December 2008. He is facing a federal trial and perhaps prison time for disrupting the Bureau of Land Management’s auction of federally owned lands in Utah for oil and gas exploration.

“I’m associated with a certain sort of tactic but this movement needs every type of tactic whether it’s schmoozing with lobbyists or actions on the ground,” DeChristopher said.

He is convinced that citizens will rally around the climate cause if activists demonstrate their commitment to the cause by engaging in acts of civil disobedience.

“Beyond the one-day symbolic actions, the movement hasn’t been heard in a way that rises above the normal hum of politics,” he said. “But more sustained resistance is the activism we’ll see over the next several years.

“Our side will be a lot more willing to go to prison. And we need to escalate things to that level. We don’t need to build a bigger ship, we need a faster one with bigger guns.”

Not One-Click Activism

Though no umbrella group has issued any specifics, DeChristopher said he suspects mountaintop removal surface mining sites and urban areas where coal-fired power plants dirty the air would be prime candidates for protests.

While there’s a sliver of a chance that Congress could choose to grapple with a carbon tax or cap and dividend climate legislation, signs point to the Republicans preferring gridlock.

GOP resistance to engage would serve only to ramp up climate activists’ agenda, DeChristopher said.

“People are ready to be told this battle is not going to be easy,” he emphasized. “This is not one-click activism. We need to stand up and dig out the best in ourselves.”

Even comfortable, rich baby boomers could be motivated to participate, he said, “when they see their kids taking serious risks and see the government waging war against their kids. That wakes those people up.”

Compromise, he said, is not a practical tool when you’re waging a revolution against a country’s power structure because such brokering leads to “small goals and hesitation.”

Smolker, the Vermont activist, is also hopeful that the environmental community loses its “we’ll take whatever we can get” attitude when negotiating the next round of climate legislation.

“I understand that compromise has to occur,” said Smolker, who earned a doctorate in biology. “But if you start with a really weak position on a bill, then you end up with crap. You can’t enter the negotiations whimpering and pandering. You have to come in with a strong position.”

http://solveclimatenews.com/news/20101123/rubble-cap-and-trade-big-green-taking-beating?page=3

REDD | A False Solution | Indigenous Leaders of the Alto Xingu Region

REDD | A False Solution | Documentary Filmmaker Rebecca Sommer with Indigenous leaders of the Alto Xingu Region

Friend and fellow activist / documentary film maker Rebecca Sommer filmed several statements from the Indigenous leaders of the Alto Xingu region. See her videos and photographs below:

Indigenous Peoples Alto Xingu: River poisoned by soy plantations despite complaints

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcOwNvXhI0M

Alto Xingu Indigenous leader Aritana wants to preserve watersheds springs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IMDCPHRW2M

Indigenous Leader Alto Xingu complaints

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa3uRopeLr8

Alto Xingu – and how an NGO is promoting REDD

http://www.youtube.com/user/EARTHPEOPLES#p/u/12/LbRWCZKsfVA

Leader Aritana, Alto Xingu, about BELO MONTE

http://www.youtube.com/user/SommerFilms#p/u/6/b144DnaX4us

The following article on REDD from the ‘Hoodwinked from the Hothouse. False Solutions to Climate Change’. The commentary below has been written by the Indigenous Environmental Network (Tom Goldtooth) (with Rising Tide North America).

Seeing REDD

Within the United Nations’ climate negotiations, a controversial agenda item for climate mitigation called “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation” (REDD) has emerged. REDD is a mechanism for wealthy countries and polluting industries to pay cash-poor countries in the Global South to conserve their forests instead of cutting them down or allowing them to be logged illegally. The forests targeted by REDD include areas heavily populated by Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities whose rights, interests, and livelihoods are at stake.

The World Bank—whose long history of human rights and environmental missteps is the subject of many other publications—runs a similar project known as the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). As the World Bank puts it, this program “provides value,” by monetizing standing forests. Proponents believe it will create an economic incentive to conserve these forests, discouraging clear cutting for timber or to create plantations, including for agrofuels and genetically modified trees.

REDD is still evolving; its final form is uncertain and being negotiated within the UN climate talks. It is likely that carbon credits from REDD will be sold on the market as carbon offsets so that developed industrialized countries, as well as polluting industries, will be able to purchase REDD credits instead of fulfilling emissions reduction requirements as part of national or international climate agreements.

Trees would thus become part of a property rights system, despite very few countries having legislation that recognizes the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local forest-dependent communities to forested areas. These rights have long been a major source of conflict. Safeguards currently proposed for REDD at the UN and for the World Bank’s FCPF do not guarantee REDD projects would avoid human rights abuses. National governments and carbon trading companies stand to make billions of dollars on the sale of forest carbon, while local communities—at best—would receive small cash payments ($25/month/family would be common). At worst, Indigenous and local communities would be given nothing and could be forced off their land, or end up by forced to pay rent on it. This would leave communities without traditional livelihoods, without jobs, and without real access to their ancestral land.

Companies want rights to the carbon in forests to use as greenwash licenses. For big polluters, it will be cheaper to buy permits to pollute through a REDD carbon offset mechanism than to reduce emissions. This will allow them to continue burning and mining fossil fuels from the Alberta tar sands in Canada to the Ecuadorian Amazon, and from the Niger Delta to the Appalachian mountaintops in the US.

With REDD negating existing efforts to mitigate climate change and exacerbating conflicts over the lands of Indigenous and forest peoples, it is clearly not a solution for climate change.

www.redd-monitor.orgwww.ienearth.orgwww.wrm.org.uywww.carbontradewatch.org

The Declaration created at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth clearly condemned REDD, stating that it violates “the sovereignty of our Peoples.”

Will the UN Help Us?

“In December 2009, the UNFCCC in Copenhagen saw people of the world coming together to question the false solutions being negotiated by world governments.

After participating in UN climate negotiations for many years, I have never witnessed the intensity of deception going on behind closed doors by industrialized countries of the North, elites of some Southern countries and of large non-governmental organizations. Even though using forests from developing countries for carbon offsets was rejected in UN climate meetings over ten years back, there has been a well-planned effort by Northern countries in the EU and the US to form an agreement for developing a global forest offset program called REDD and REDD+. The carbon market solutions are not about mitigating climate, but are greenwashing policies that allow fossil fuel development to expand.

As an alternative to the Copenhagen Accords, we are supporting the Cochabamba People’s Accord and the proposed Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth developed by members of social movements and Indigenous

Peoples that came together in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in April 2010.”

– Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environment Network