This newsletter is a quick update both on GJEP’s endeavors and accomplishments this past quarter and our future plans, as well as a thank you to you all because we simply cannot do this without your support. Click here for our Spring 2008 newsletter. If you haven’t yet made your quarterly donation, you can Donate Securely Now. We look forward to another year together.
Climate Change in the US
With a new era dawning in the political landscape, Global Justice Ecology Project’s commitment to addressing root causes must redouble so that we can capture the attention of both public and the policymakers in the US. Climate change has reached critical mass, and unless we can mobilize a global grassroots effort to identify and implement REAL solutions to climate change, we as a world will be past the tipping point. Though we can feel more confident that this in-coming administration will engage more earnestly towards social and economic goals, we still have much work to do. Ours is a world driven by fossil fuels. This will only change through massive grassroots organizing. We need to hear from the people already affected by climate change, not the theoreticians and far-removed corporations looking for answers within the ‘business as usual’ framework that has continually failed the peoples and ecosystems of this world.
With this in mind, we are launching a New Voices on Climate Change initiative this quarter in an effort to broaden the discussion and inspire different approaches to this issue. Additionally, during this quarter, we have wholly reframed our campaigns under the umbrella of climate change, as no injustice facing our world today is unconnected from it. Under this banner, we will continue our work on GE Trees and Agrofuels, exposing their connectedness to both climate and social injustices.
Spotlight on GJEP Supporter
In this e-newsletter, we will begin this new feature highlighting the contributions of one of our members. This month we thank Hiroshi Kanno for both his personal involvement as an active member of our board and for his fiscal committment to our project – An enormous thank you, Hiroshi! To read more about Hiroshi and his committment to a better world, read his Biography on our website.
New Voices on Climate Change
We are launching New Voices on Climate Change on December 1 – the goal of this new project is to help identify and promote real solutions to climate change by introducing the diverse voices and experiences of peoples around the world who are already directly affected by climate change into the U.S. climate debate, a debate that is notoriously monopolized by white males of privileged means. We have put out a call to participants and the response so far has been very encouraging. We will send out a notice to you all when the initiative is off the ground and you can visit the webpage to hear these stories for yourselves. For a preview, see our Featured New Voice at the end of this Newsletter.
Check out Leo Murray’s video as a great tool for explaining the urgency involved in the climate change challenge.
Wake Up, Freak Out – then Get a Grip from Leo Murray on Vimeo. This video is An Inconvenient Truth in compacted cartoon form, something you can use as a quick conversation starter at house parties and in educational settings to reinforce just how critical a point the climate crisis has reached.
GJEP Celebrates 5 Year Anniversary, 5 September
Global Justice Ecology Project celebrated five years of accomplishments with a party at the GJEP offices in Hinesburg. Supporters from the local community as well as GJEP staff and Board of Directors members joined together for the fiesta and photo slideshow of GJEP’s work over the years. We received congratulations from far-away members and reconnected with those able to join us for the festivities. Over that weekend was GJEP’s annual board meeting.
Biomass South 2008 Industry Conference – Raleigh, NC, 21-23 September
GJEP Agrofuels Campaigner Dr. Rachel Smolker attended an industry conference centered on agrofuels. She gathered information on industry plans for the future, including using U.S. Southeast as the New Middle East for energy by promoting the growth of second-generation agrofuels production and establishing large-scale tree plantations in the area.
Copenhagen Mobilization Meeting – Copenhagen, September
GJEP co-directors Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle attended the first international strategy and mobilization session in Copenhagen, Denmark. A large-scale mobilization around the UNFCCC (COP-15) is scheduled for 30 November 2009, the tenth anniversary of the WTO shutdown in Seattle, WA. The meeting brought together over 100 activists from 21 countries and resulted in a unanimously agreed upon text for this mobilization for climate justice and against business as usual. This Call to Action is 19 languages and is being disseminated throughout the world already.
Other languages: Call to Action
Special thanks to Andrey Laletin for helping facilitate the final version of the Russian translation. Anne played a major role in helping to facilitate the calls final version and she is part of the international coordination group. Orin helped start the international media and propaganda team.
European Social Forum, September
Orin and Anne attended the European Social Forum in Malmo, Sweden. They participated in an agrofuels strategy meeting and presented to the Forum activists on second-generation cellulosic fuels. They also visited the La Via Campesina Youth Camp in Hor, Sweden.
IUCN Conference – Barcelona, October
Orin attended the IUCN conference (International Union for Conservation of Nature) to work on media for the release of Life as Commerce – a new report out from the Global Forest Coalition that critiques market-based mechanisms for conservation. He organized the press conference for the report release and attended various discussions and workshops at the conference. Orin also attended the event as a press correspondent for ZMagazine, networking with press throughout the event.
Leticia Galeano (Movimiento Agrario y Popular) at YEL launch – Burlington, 3 October
GJEP’s New Affiliated Pilot Project, Youth for Ecology Liberation (YEL!) (Frank Smecker – founder) hosted their first event ever. Leticia visited Burlington from Paraguay as a part of a speaking tour through the eastern US to raise awareness about agribusiness soya expansion in Paraguay. She spoke to a group of students from the area on her community’s experiences and on the value of independent, local, sustainable family farming as opposed to the agro-industrial model being implemented now. Anne spoke on anti-globalization and the need for a climate justice mobilization.
New England Grassroots Environmental Fund (NEGEF) Retreat – Amherst, MA, 10-11 October
Colette and Frank attended the NEGEF retreat, participating in workshops on grassroots organizing and fundraising. Being new to the activist movement here in New England, Colette found this retreat a great opportunity for networking and learning about the communities and organizations that are active in GJEP’s area.
Sara Armstrong gets married! – 3 October
Congratulations to Sara Armstrong Donegan, GJEP staffer! Sara and James celebrated with friends and family and lots of homemade goat cheese and pie, yum!
GJEP hosts Rising Tide Northeast Strategy Session – 24-26 October
The eastern Rising Tide North America (RTNA) held their northeastern strategy meeting in Hinesburg, VT. GJEP hosted the three day meeting and in the evenings there were videoconferences between eastern RTNA and the western RTNA meetings being held in San Francisco. Support for Copenhagen mobilization during the COP 15 next year was overwhelming and discussions were started on major solidarity action(s) in the U.S. We’re all very impressed with RTNA as they believe in getting to the root causes of climate change and are working in a various grassroots manner in tackling false solutions with action and education. Unfortunately two indigenous people from Canada coming to the meeting were stopped at the border, U.S. Homeland Security was called and they were not allowed into the U.S.
San Francisco Bay Area Trip and Presentations – November
Anne and Orin visited the Bay Area, 5-14 November where they did extensive networking and strategizing around the Copenhagen 2009, met funders and GJEP board members in the area, did two a radio interview on KPFA (Pacifica), gave a brown bag lunch presentation to Rainforest Action Network about plans to use genetically engineered tree potential in 2nd generation agrofuels, and spoke to a packed house in Oakland at an event entitled Climate Change, False Solutions and the Road to Climate Action. As climate chaos continues at an even more alarming rate, Orin and Anne discussed the escalating global resistance to market-based “false solutions” to climate change. They spoke also of the growing worldwide movement for coordinated global direct action against climate change to coincide with the opening of the 2009 UN Climate Convention in Copenhagen, Denmark on the 10th Anniversary of the WTO Shutdown in Seattle. Thanks to GJEP supporters Suzanne Baker and Diana Bohn for organizing the event and to all members who attended! Thanks to GJEP Board member Karen Pickett for setting up the KPFA interviews.
Environmental Action 2008 Conference, Randolph, VT – 15 November
Rachel attended this conference and was able to educate many local activists about the threats of false solutions that have been gaining momentum in the broader public during a discussion on biomass and energy. She passed out Agrofuels reports, Annual Reports, and caught up with some friends. She reported back that the keynote speaker, Sandra Steingraber gave an excellent presentation on toxics and the environment.
Anne guest lectured at Alexis Lathem’s class at the Community College of Vermont, Interpreting Global Issues this semester, speaking about the international movement for climate justice.
Orin guest lectured at Brian Tokar’s class at the University of Vermont, Radical Environmentalism this semester, speaking about Corporate Globalization and the Roots of the Climate Crisis.
Rachel submitted an article for the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation‘s Development Dialogue Journal. The article is titled The New Bioeconomy and the Future of Agriculture and is due out in a themed issue called “The Future of Agriculture”.
Anne had an article published in the journal Capitalism, Nature Socialism entitled GE Trees, Cellulosic Ethanol and Destruction of Forest Biological Diversity.
Orin had a Letter to the Editor published in the Burlington Free Press as Letters to the Editor “No more advice from authors of crisis” on 5 November, 2008.
Rachel had a Letter to the Editor published in the Vermont Times-Sentinel on Wed. 29 Oct. 2008: “25×25”
Anne and Orin will attend the UNFCCC meeting in Poznan, Poland this December. They will work with other organizations, Indigenous Peoples Organizations, and social movements at the conference and will present on false solutions and the Copenhagen climate mobilization developments. Orin will attend as an accreditied member of the media through ZMagazine.
GJEP Media Developments:
GJEP now has a space on the website for posting all press releases that we send out for GJEP or Global Forest Coalition. You can now see a full listing of GJEP’s press releases, media advisories, and media alerts from March of 2007 to present. These releases have been picked up by media worldwide, as well as by bloggers and peer organizations. You can read any of our releases by visiting our Press Room.
Orin worked with writer Christine MacDonald for an article in Multinational Monitor where affiliate organization Global Forest Coalition Conservation Corp.: Enviros Ally with Big Grain Traderswas quoted.
Orin worked with Oliver Balch from UK’s The Guardian Buenos Aires office on the article about GFC’s Life as Commerce Report. Article: “The ‘win-win’ solution failing the rainforests: Market-based answers to deforestation in Latin America are backfiring, say conservation groups” By Oliver Balch Monday Oct. 20, 2008.
Anne and Rachel gave an interview to a couple of brother filmmakers doing a documentary on Brazilian peasant’s resistance to agrofuels. The film is titled Ciclovida (Lifecycle).
Anne gave an interview to Stacy Pettigrew, Producer of WINGS: Women’s International News Gathering Service about GE trees and agrofuels. WINGS distributes their news features to 300 community radio stations across the US and to others in 15 countries.
Anne gave an interview to Radio Mundial Real at the European Social Forum. She spoke about second generation agrofuels and how genetically engineered trees are only about corporate profit and consolidating more and more lands into fewer and fewer hands.
To listen to the interview, visit:Radio Mundial Real.
GJEP mentioned and Anne Petermann Quoted in E Magazines Nov/Dec 2008 Issue “Rich Enough to Offset:Do Voluntary Carbon Markets Promote Luxury Emissions?”
Anne spoke with KFPA Radio during the Bay Area trip about the Copenhagen mobilization and its significance in terms of climate change. Download the 10 November, 2008 KFPA interview to hear more.
More Press Release Coverage:
IUCN Press Release: “Financial Crisis: Market-Based Conservation Criticized” OR “Global Forest Coalition critiques unreliability of Market-based Conservation Mechanisms”.
eGov monitor – London,UK
EC on ETS carbon Press release: “EC Rejects forest carbon credits in EU emissions trading scheme”
Copenhagen Mobilization Press Release: “Global Gathering in Copenhagen Calls for Action Against Business as Usual at 2009 UN Climate Conference”
CommonDreams.org News Center
Biochar Press Release: “International Biochar Conference Uses False Claims to Promote Dangerous Technology in the name of Climate Change Mitigation”
Biochar and Fertilization (blog)
Italian site, referring to eGov
Hubertus Samangun: Featured New Voice
In his own words:
“As Indigenous person, I know that the Climate Change is not just a scientific or political issue but it is a reality and it happening now and will be worsening in the future. Our Planting and harvesting system in our communities is changing as well as many traditional way of life regarding the climate is very different now comparing to the old condition. Peoples living in big cities with all the expanded technology, do not have the experience about these changes, but we, Indigenous Peoples and other marginalized peoples who are very close to the nature have experienced these change. Thank you for the offer and I am glad to join you and the others by hoping that our effort, whatever small it is will make our voice heard.”
Lookout for out New Voices on Climate Change webpage this week!