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Global Justice Ecology Project

October Update

Please support GJEP’s work to resist GE trees and

other false solutions to climate change!

Barney Bush Presente!

Barney Bush a Shawnee/Cayuga poet, activist and educator passed away Saturday, September 18, 2021. He was one of the keynote speakers at the 2019 North American Forest and Climate Movement Convergence in the Shawnee National Forest. During his welcome, he told the crowd that “anyone who loves my land as much as I do is my brother and sister.”

Barney Bush was born in 1946 in Illinois. He earned a Master’s of Fine Arts in English from the University of Idaho and was known for his poetic works including Left for Dead: Prisoners of the American Dream (1994) and Songs From This Earth on Turtle’s Back.

As an educator, Bush was instrumental in establishing Native American Study Programs across the nation and the Cheyenne Indian School in Oklahoma.

At the convergence Bush told the crowd of his commitment to the environment, and noted that those destroying the Earth really don’t care about protests, suggesting instead that going after their profits made more sense. He also stated that those who despoil the Earth are sociopaths and without a conscience noting that, “The thing we need to figure out is how to deal with people who do not have a conscience.”

During the keynote, he talked about “crossing over” sometime and said, “I’d love to hear that song… I’d love to hear our family song being sung as I go home.”

Barney Bush Presente!

(see more about the Shawnee National Forest and a new documentary about the present and historic struggle to keep it standing below)

Global Justice Media Program

Earth Radio

GJEP’s Earth Radio segments, the Earth Minute and the Earth Watch Interview, happen each week in partnership with Margaret Prescod’s nationally syndicated Sojourner Truth Radio show on Pacifica Radio’s flagship station, KPFK in Los Angeles.

You can find all radio segments here: https://globaljusticeecology.org/earth-radio/

Earth Minute: Carbon Capture Technology

30 Sep 2021-Earlier this month, the world’s biggest carbon capture and storage facility, named Orca, opened in Iceland using direct air capture, a technology that purportedly removes carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere.

Earth Minute: Woolly Mammoth Genetic Engineering

22 Sep 2021-A new company has received $15 million in private funding to recreate the woolly mammoth through genetic engineering. The scientists behind the initiative claim their work could help reverse the effects of climate change and advance genetic engineering.

Earth Minute: Attacks On Land & Environmental Defenders

15 Sep 2021-A new report from Global Witness found that 2020 was the deadliest year yet for land and environmental defenders. They point out that since they began analyzing data on these murders in 2012, evidence suggests that intensification of the climate crisis is escalating violence against those protecting their land and also our planet.

Earth Watch: Ivonne Yanez On Industrial Tree Monocultures

30 Sep 2021-Ivonne Yanez is an Ecuadorian environmentalist and founder member of Acción Ecológica in Ecuador and Oilwatch international. She has been working for more than 20 years on climate change issues and more recently on energy and contributing to the critique of the green economy. She is a member of the World Rainforest Movement advisory committee.

Earth Watch: Fairy Creek Defense With Rainbow Eyes

16 Sep 2021-Over 1,000 arrests as Indigenous peoples and environmental campaigners fight to stop logging on Vancouver Island’s ancient forests. Rainbow Eyes, a pseudonym adopted for her own protection, is an Indigenous land defender with the Rainforest Flying Squad who was recently arrested at the Fairy Creek blockade and released from jail.

Breaking Green Podcast

Produced by Global Justice Ecology Project, Breaking Green is a podcast that talks with activists and experts to examine the intertwined issues of social, ecological and economic injustice. Breaking Green also explores some of the more outrageous proposals to address climate and environmental crises that are falsely being sold as green.

Kartini Samon on Big Agriculture and Climate Change

In this episode of Breaking Green, we talk with Kartini Samon, a GRAIN activist based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Climate change threatens more catastrophic flooding, fires and food insecurity. In response, agricultural companies are promoting what they call climate safe agriculture. Huge agriculture companies claim to be concerned for our collective food future, but as Kartini explains, they are actually leveraging the very real threat of climate change to promote more industrial monocultures, genetically engineered crops and capture markets from smaller, independent and often Indigenous farmers.

Breaking Green is available wherever you get your podcasts or visit: https://globaljusticeecology.org/breakinggreen/

Global Justice Media News

Coming Soon: New Documentary Spotlights Historic Defense of Shawnee National Forest

Fairview Forever (1990)

Earth First!ers (and Ronald Reagan) blockade the Fairview Timber Sale area in the Shawnee National Forest in southern IL by burying themselves up to their necks. Photo: Langelle/Photolangelle.org

Cade Bursell, a professor of cinema and photography at Southern Illinois University Carbondale announced her new documentary, Shawnee Showdown Keep the Forest Standing, is soon to be released. The film documents the struggle by environmentalists to stop logging in the Shawnee National Forest that included a 79-day occupation of the Fairview timber sale in 1990. The years-long campaign ultimately won a prohibition on logging, and oil and gas drilling in 1996 that stood until 2013. GJEP Co-founder Orin Langelle was one of the organizers of the 1990 occupation and documented the protests with photos, many of which are used in the film.

30×30: Voluntary Biodiversity Targets Won’t Protect Biodiversity

27 Sep 2021-Last Wednesday during the UN General Assembly, an announcement was made that donors were committing $5 billion to so-called “biodiversity conservation” under the The Protecting Our Planet Challenge, part of the 30×30 initiative, which claims a goal of protecting 30% of the planet’s most important biodiverse areas by 2030. However, human rights and environmental activists have raised flags about this completely voluntary initiative, its links to bogus offset schemes, and its impact on communities displaced to make room for “protected areas.” Would we really trust Jair Bolsonaro to voluntarily protect the Amazon?

SAVE THE WHALES…from the carbon market

Whales, the biggest mammals of the world, the leviathans of the ocean, are at risk of being reduced to a giant carbon offset business opportunity, which could, in fact, speed up the extinction of whales. Full report and Executive Summary available for download.

Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees

GJEP coordinates the Campaign to STOP GE Trees, a national and international alliance of organizations that have united towards prohibiting the ecologically and socially devastating release of genetically engineered [GE or genetically modified] trees into the environment.

Faces Behind the Campaign

Meet the faces who make up the Campaign to STOP GE Trees. Denis Melican is a member of the American Chestnut Cooperators Foundation and is also on the Campaign to STOP GE Trees North American Coordinating Committee. Here’s what he had to say about working with the campaign.

“Our growing dissatisfaction with The American Chestnut Foundation’s slow moving drift to embrace genetic engineering compelled us to seek out environmental sources of truth that hadn’t been compromised by corporate values. That search brought us to the Global Justice Ecology Project and from there to the Campaign to Stop GE Trees.

“What excites me most is that despite the bleakness of the Trump years in office with the pandemic and the lockdowns, an increasing number of people are asking fundamentally important questions, like how can we stay silent while our most precious rights to healthy forests and clean air are being undermined daily by rogue immoral corporations and their partners in academia.

To continue reading visit: https://stopgetrees.org/about-denis/

Genetically Engineered Trees: No Solution to Climate Change

Download the statement in EnglishSpanishPortuguese and French

“Genetically engineered trees are not a climate solution. They are a dangerous distraction, and a threat to forests and communities that will worsen the climate crisis rather than fix it.”

As concern about the climate crisis intensifies, the science is clear that halting destruction of forests, which includes respecting the territorial rights of communities and peoples who depend on forests, is among the most effective, proven, and available means of removing carbon from the atmosphere, and that undisturbed forests with diverse species, rich intact soils and deadwood store far more carbon than industrial tree plantations.

Despite this established science, the tree biotechnology industry and its allies in academia are cynically capitalizing on the climate crisis to promote their genetically engineered (GE) trees as a climate “solution”.

Yet GE trees and plantations threaten forests, communities and health, and they divert resources from proven effective and equitable solutions. GE trees will not solve climate change but exacerbate it by interfering with efforts to protect and regenerate forests.

Read the full statement. Download it in EnglishSpanishPortuguese and French


Organizational Spotlight

When GJEP identifies a group or organization whose non-for-profit work closely aligns with our mission, we may support their important work by becoming a fiscal sponsor. This helps them minimize bureaucracy so they can focus on their crucial work for ecological and social justice, forest protection and/or human rights. GJEP fiscally sponsors BiofuelWatch, Vermont Street Medics, Save the Pine Barrens, NH PANTHER, A Center for Grassroots Organizing, and REDD-Monitor.

Vermont Street Medics Hotline

The Vermont Street Medics Hotline is a community-led, collectively organized volunteer network based out of central Vermont. They are street medics, clinical herbalists, medical professionals, midwives, first-aid providers, and community organizers. The collective is currently working to support people in Central Vermont without reliable shelter who have questions about coronavirus, general health concerns, and access needs (e.g. to transportation to coronavirus testing appointments, access to food and other basic needs).

Services include: a call-in hotline for coronavirus questions and general wellness needs; access to rides to COVID-19 testing sites; food and supply distribution to houseless community members temporarily sheltered in hotels or camping out; and ground support coordination with other organizations working with the houseless community. They offer this hotline and ground-support services in the spirit of the Good Samaritan law.

For more information about GJEP’s fiscal sponsorship program visit: https://globaljusticeecology.org/fiscal-sponsorship/

Photo of the Month

Copenhagen, Denmark (2009): Tens of thousands of people marched at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, where the UN was to commit to a new round of binding commitments following the expiration of the first round under the Kyoto Protocol in 2012. There were no new binding commitments, however, leading to outrage by people around the globe. By 2009 the UN had already estimated that millions of people had died as a result of climate-induced disasters and that there were more environmental refugees worldwide than refugees from war.

The escalation of extreme weather events driving historic floods, storms, droughts and fires is dramatically increasing the number of environmental/climate refugees worldwide. This refugee crisis is in turn leading to armed conflicts and political destabilization.

Global Warming = Global War.

Photo: Langelle/ GJEP. For the entire climate change photo exhibit visit: https://photolangelle.org/2014/11/climate-change-faces-places-protest/

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