Being car free helps us to be free from tar sands impacts. In the meantime, we are becoming more and more dependent on dirtier and more expensive fossil fuel sources — including Alberta’s tar sands. Relative to conventional oil, tar sands crude has far more intense climate impacts, and the extraction of tar sands drains and pollutes immense amounts of fresh water. There are many terrible impacts.
At the zombie walk, we used a “Turtle Island” tailings pond to catch our oily run-off, before and after the walk.
Across the street we taped up a banner that calls for a better world, where banks don’t invest in tar sands operations. We had this banner up in front of a TD – Canada Trust building.
In addition to photos in the set shown below, more photos from the zombie walk are posted here.
Fracking is a toxic, dangerous, and wasteful form of natural gas extraction that we may see around London, Ontario. The water pollution is the worst of the fracking impacts. Tap water has become flammable after fracking is done to break gas out of nearby shale rock. A stew of toxic chemicals is pumped into each gas well, and radium is one of many underground substances that can be unintentionally released during this extraction.
In spite of all of those dangers, there are plans for shale gas exploration around London - http://stopfrackingontario.wordpress.com/fracking/in-ontario/london/
In addition to water contamination, we also should be concerned about explosion risks, air pollution, water depletion, methane greenhouse gas releases, earthquakes, increased truck traffic, and deforestation.
If you are worried about all of these threats from fracking, please come out to this rally to show your concern, and learn more about what we are up against.
Two sets of photos from the protest can be seen here (on Facebook) and here (on Flickr).
“If you walk instead of drive, you use more calories.
Walking and cycling is healthier for people than driving. Walking and cycling is also healthier for the planet than driving. Use cars less and you get to reduce global warming and be less fat. What an amazingly wonderful synergy.”
Last week, Nick Griffin — the head of the racist and fascist ‘British National’ Party — was given some air time on BBC’s “Question Period.” There were protests, and a lot of controversy.
Here is some selected coverage and commentary -
Brian Wheeler on the BBC web site -
“What did voters make of Griffin?”
(I’m not exactly recommending that article. I’m just pointing it out because I think it captures how the BBC airtime has tended to feed into the BNP.)
“Canadians increasingly live in a confusion of values. A 2008 survey by the Globe and Mail found that while 79 percent of respondents said the tar sands are good for Alberta and Canada, more than half of those respondents (55 percent) said that the sands were not good for the environment. The obvious contradiction can be justified only by minimizing or disconnecting oneself from the importance of [natural environments]. The problem is that global warming and the rapid dying out of species makes this level of self-deception increasingly dangerous.”
“[Throughout human history there have been] many deliberate acts to destroy or exploit the natural environment to achieve military goals. In the 5th century BC the retreating Scythians poisoned the water wells in an effort to slow the advancing Persian army. Roman troops razed the city of Carthage in 146 BC and poisoned the surrounding soil with salt to prevent its future cultivation. The American Civil War saw the widespread implementation of ‘scorched earth’ policies.
In August 1945 the United States detonated atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, resulting in massive loss of life and environmental destruction. During the Vietnam War, the US implemented Operation Ranch Hand, to devastating effect, to destroy vegetation used by its enemy for cover and sustenance, using chemicals such as Agent Orange.
More recently still, who can forget the haunting images of more than 700 burning Kuwaiti oil well-heads which had been deliberately ignited by retreating Iraqi forces during the Gulf War in 1991 a scene that was likened to Dante’s Inferno. Over the following 10 years the Saddam regime built barriers and levees to drain the al-Hawizeh and al-Hammar marshes in southern Iraq.” “This effectively destroyed the livelihood of the 500,000 Marsh Arabs who had inhabited this unique ecosystem.
Acts of significant and deliberate environmental destruction, exploitation and contamination during armed conflict have continued in more recent times, including the use of cluster bombs and weapons containing depleted uranium by US and British forces in Iraq.
This post introduces the U.S.-based Mobilization for Climate Justice, as well as similar critiques and activism associated with that Climate Justice coalition. As I indicate, the organizers in and around that coalition also address a range of energy & carbon issues (including tar sands pollution, and biofuel land grabs) — along with interrelated and more apparent global warming concerns. Their approach to these ecological issues is based on prior environmental justice critiques and activism, as well as wider opposition towards corporations, and other international market structures.
Climate Justice Action is another “climate justice” coalition. They seem to be a lot more connected with countries outside of North America — whereas The Mobilization for Climate Justice is very U.S.-based.
The phrase “climate justice” also is used by various other people — some of whom probably wouldn’t know anything about Climate Justice Action or the Mobilization for Climate Justice. The concept of climate justice was around for years before those two coalitions were formed, so the phrase has wider traction. Of course, the actual uses of that term are somewhat inconsistent; there is no absolute consensus about what ‘climate justice’ is.
“In their desperation to keep the American economy afloat, government and business will be tossing overboard any proposals for real environmental protection. No time for such romantic foolishness when there are investments to be protected.”
“Not that we won’t be hearing about the environment; indeed, the next [commercial expansion] spurt, if it comes, is likely to be clothed in a green as green as the felt on a blackjack table.”
“For more than 30 years, The Body Shop and its CEO, self-styled anti-capitalist capitalist Anita Roddick, avidly cultivated a corporate image as pioneers of high business ethics. But The Body Shop has been dismissed by critics as no more than a world leader in pale-green consumerism.”
In this post, I’ll be sharing photos, videos, and a write-up about Switch Off Hazelwood anti-coal campaign rallies and interventions in Australia, earlier in September. I also will be offering a little commentary.
(This post isn’t about breaking news. But I happen to think that we should remember and continue to talk about previous actions — well after a couple of weeks have passed.)
That video is an introduction to the overall campaign — in relation to a wider movement against fossil fuel consumption (which activists are just beginning to bring together — in Australia, and elsewhere). The video calls for proactive activist responses to mounting global warming threats — above all.