Tired of Cheap, Toxic Junk from China?
Then try Carbon Karma: The Perfect Last Minute Holiday Gift

By Sandy Klaus

Hinesburg, Vermont–Let’s face it, if you run an earth-destroying corporation, your Carbon Karma is bad.  What you deserve is a lump of fossil fuel in your Christmas stocking.  But if you’re like the rest of us, you can instantly improve your Carbon Karma, as well as that of your family and friends, by giving the gift of a donation to an organization working to promote real solutions to climate change.  Not only is this the perfect last minute gift, you get to skip the chaos of the malls and give something truly meaningful.

Why Carbon Karma, and not Carbon Offsets?  Here’s the deal: ‘Offsetting’ carbon isn’t scientifically proven to make any difference in fighting climate change [1] and therefore, won’t improve your Carbon Karma.  Planting trees doesn’t offset your flight to Vegas.  Trees only store carbon temporarily, since they release it when they die.  The carbon from burning fossil fuels, however, is permanent [2].  Supporting an organization that works with communities to protect native forests is far more useful since deforestation contributes over 20% of global warming emissions annually.

“When considering paying a company to plant trees to offset your carbon emissions, remember that not all tree planting is equal,” says Global Justice Ecology Project’s [3] Anne Petermann [4].  “Industrial tree plantations are not native forests.  Tree plantations harm wildlife, displace communities, and deplete fresh water and soils.  Native forests are important carbon sinks, refuges for biodiversity, home to indigenous communities and help prevent climate chaos.  It’s way better for your Carbon Karma to give that money to a group working to stop climate change,” Petermann continued.

How can you get better Carbon Karma?

•  Support a grassroots organization addressing the root causes of climate change.  Volunteer, donate and spread their information.  Help them find real solutions to climate change.

• Consume less stuff. Everything you buy has a carbon footprint, which may be substantial if it traveled halfway around the globe.

• Support local food producers, farmers markets, etc., and avoid buying food from far away.

•  Ride your bike, walk more, take public transportation, avoid flying.

•  Begin to learn how to live the low carbon, sustainable life that will benefit you, your family and all life on Earth.

All it requires is a commitment toward improving your Carbon Karma.  And this gift doesn’t require batteries and won’t end up in a landfill.

For More Information:

Notes to Editor:

[1] see “Carbon Trading: “A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatisation and Power” by Larry Lohmann (editor), published by Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, Durban Group for Climate Justice and The Corner House.  First Published October 2006.

[2] see C-Commerce, “The Shady World of Carbon Laundering” by Larry Lohmann, published by Taiga News.  First Published May 2000.

[3] https://globaljusticeecology.org/

[4] Ms Petermann can be reached for additional comments at +1.802.482.2689 or mobile +1.802.578.0477.  Additionally she can be reached via email at globalecology@gmavt.net


Photo: Claudio Nogueira

The Role of Eucalyptus in Brazil comes under the Crosshairs of the International Anti-Transgenic Tree Network (June 2, 2023)

Impact of monoculture in territories was the subject of visits led by FASE in Espírito Santo


Note: FASE were co-organizers of the tour to the communities of Espírito Santo.

The article (included below in full) is written by Claudio Nogueira (FASE Communications Coordinator) and originally appeared June 2nd, 2023, on FASE’s website. It is available in both Portugese and English through Google Translate.


The pulp industry writes a sad story in Brazil. Its role in land occupation with eucalyptus monoculture imprints a perverse logic that suffocates traditional communities and goes far beyond false ideas of reforestation and environmental concern. This was the scenario encountered by members of the campaign “Stop GM Trees” (No to Transgenic Trees) and the Alert Against Green Deserts Network, in a tour organized by the FASE Espírito Santo team, visiting locations in the north of Espírito Santo and the extreme south in Bahia, between the 24th and 29th of May.

In all, around 25 people, including popular educators, quilombola and landless leaders, environmentalists and foreign researchers from Canada, the USA, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Ireland, Argentina and Chile were able to verify the impact of eucalyptus plantations on the way of life of family farmers and traditional communities in the region. For three days, the group got to know the experiences of agroecological practices in areas taken over by the Landless Workers Movement (MST) at the Egídio Brunetto Training School and at the Índio Galdino settlement, in addition to hearing reports of the difficulties faced by the quilombola communities of Volta Miúda and Angelim 2 with monoculture plantations. After the visits,

eucalyptus espirito santo

Photo: Claudio Nogueira

For Beto Loureiro, educator at FASE in Espírito Santo, the tour was important for the researchers to realize that the impacts are already terrible, and the transgenic trees are going to be one more aggression in the historical series that monoculture causes in the territories, “since the expulsion of traditional communities, passing through the depletion of water resources and the enormous amount of poisons that they apply now, even by air”. “They are spraying the monocultures by drone, and this poison is spreading, falling on the communities’ plantations, falling on their homes, on their schools. In short, a real chemical war, which takes place here in the green desert, ”he explains.

Transgenic trees, a new threat

Brazil was chosen to host the meeting due to the extension of activities in the paper industry and approval by the company Suzano, in 2021, for the planting of genetically modified eucalyptus trees to tolerate the herbicide glyphosate. This follows the previous approval, in 2015, of FuturaGene’s fast-growing transgenic eucalyptus tree, which was not planted commercially. The country is the only one in Latin America where field tests seem to be taking place today with genetically modified trees.

Genetic engineering directly changes the genetic makeup (DNA) of an organism, bypassing normal plant or animal reproduction to create new traits. Genetic engineering includes techniques that make changes to DNA by inserting genetic material from the same, similar or wholly unrelated organisms, or, with genome editing (also called gene editing), by introducing genetic material that acts as “editor” to change the DNA. Genetic engineering applied to trees is a technical challenge fraught with serious environmental and social risks.

Photo: Claudio Nogueira

Most research is focused on increasing the productivity of planted trees for various industrial purposes. These objectives include pulp, paper and wood production; as well as the use of trees as “bioenergy” crops – to produce biomass and liquid “cellulosic biofuel”. There is also some interest in genetically modifying trees to produce other industrial materials such as pharmaceuticals, using the trees as “biofactories”, as well as experiments to sell carbon credits and proposals to release these trees into the wild to “restor” endangered species. of extinction.

“It made us realize that it is another problem that we will have to deal with”, ponders Beto. “These transgenic eucalyptus trees grow very quickly. Therefore, they must also suck water very quickly, they are resistant to poisons. We can imagine that the burden of poisons in monocultures will increase, and that is what we expect from these researchers: that they return to their countries also understanding that non-transgenic eucalyptus is already a tragedy”, he concludes.

The foreign delegation continued its tour of Brazil with audiences at UnB and Esplanada dos Ministérios, in Brasília, and will continue to Mato Grosso do Sul, also to verify the role of eucalyptus plantations in the environmental imbalance in the state.