Rise for Climate: Don’t Commodify Mother Earth and Her Forests

Karen Pickett of Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters has been a board member with Global Justice Ecology Project since GJEP’s inception.

Calling tree-huggers, other-species defenders and all manner of biocentrists  and forests activists to Rise Up together as linked affinity groups for the climate convergence and actions in the Bay Area Sept. 8 – 14!  

I’m sure you are aware that a great many individuals, organizations and affinity groups are rising up to say NO to a fossil fuel economy and future, NO to Jerry Brown’s climate policy based on false solutions, and YES to renewable energy, sustainable economies, community justice and sovereignty on Native lands. Much of the discussion focuses around environmental and economic justice,  and just transitions for communities. WE also say YES to equal rights for all species, hands off Mother Earth and wild nature, and YES to standing up for the natural world.

There is a huge and pervasive myth about saving forests through carbon offsets and trading purchase of carbon credits for standing forests, some of them plantation forest mono-crops, some of them displacing indigenous cultures. There is even a myth circulated by the timber industry that clearcuts are good because so many baby trees are planted. Of course, most die, but the trees that are the  true “carbon sinks” are the old growth forests.

All the carbon market saves, ultimately, is corporate profits and the “right” to continue with business as usual. It is a gross example of commodification of the earth and her forests. It is a false solution.

While huge reductions in emissions are needed, the net result of carbon offsets is “running in place” with the worst corporations allowed to pollute more, displacement of forest dwellers—humans and other species alike, while greater pressure is put on other forests for extractive practices. This is climate capitalism in the 21st century.

Carbon trading has been created as a market-based scheme that puts a price on carbon dioxide pollution. It’s true—CO2 emissions are costing us and the earth mightily, but what this scheme allows—or drives—is polluting multi-nationals to trade their right to continue polluting for “reductions” that are not a net reduction at all. Just witness that…things are getting worse, right? There is much more nuance. See the resources below to get the best grasp.

Age and species-diverse Native Forests store as much as 4 times the amount of carbon as plantation forests in some environments. We need to protect and preserve the biodiversity in the native forests that are left for the sake of planetary health, not for corporate profit. We need to fight for old growth forests like the north coast’s Mattole forest, (that we have been telling you about and is) under threat from Humboldt Redwood Co. now!

This historic convergence in Sept. is directed at Jerry Brown because he has appointed himself the hero of climate solutions and is convening the corporateGlobal Climate Action Summit. Our convergence will be larger and more powerful. The message is NO false solutions. The message is forest carbon markets = commodification of the earth. Jerry is the messenger and the corporations carry the same message.

Let’s talk about slogans, signs and banners with forest preservation and earth preservation themes. Let’s figure out ways to stand together and march together as much as we can when the huge numbers converge on the Bay Area and other spots around the planet.

The free market is not our savior; it is simply American capitalism.

No Compromise!

List of events:

Check out the Diablo Rising Tide FB page to find the list of events. There are lots of n-v action preps coming up prior to the kick-off march on Sept. 8.

RSVP to the action here: https://ca.riseforclimate.org/

Also see Solidarity to Solutions (Sol2Sol): https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/sol2sol

Resources:

Learn more about carbon offsets:

System Change, Not Offsets

REDD fact sheet

Green Disaster Capitalism

Indigenous Environmental Network: Carbon Pricing

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