Bus from the Triangle to the People’s Climate March Leaving Sep 20

On Saturday, Sept. 20th, buses will be leaving from Charlotte and the Triangle, headed to New York City for a massive convergence (The People’s Climate March) happening on Sunday the 21st, two days before a UN Global Climate Summit. 

Want a ride from Charlotte or the Triangle? RSVP now!

Buses will drive through the night, reach NYC in time for the march, then carry passengers back home to NC, arriving some time late Sunday night/early Monday morning.  There will be stops for food.

If you’re interested, you can RSVP here. If you’d like more information, please direct any questions to me by responding to this email or at luis@actionnc.org

Action NC · Charlotte, NC 28212, United States

Ditching the Big Greens

 

 

Uprooting The Liberal Climate Agenda

 

by SCOTT PARKIN

 

“You can’t hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree.”

― Malcolm X

Somewhere between the Bay Area’s environmental non-profit bubble and multi-million climate march planning in New York City, 21 people in the Utah desert took action to shut down the first tar sands mine in the United States.

They’d been part of a larger encampment on the eastern plateau, where local organizers educated over 80 student climate activists about the Utah tar sands as well as trainings on organizing, direct action and anti-oppression. Utah tar sands fighters have spent the summer living in the area as a constant protest against Canadian-based company U.S. Oil Sands’ extraction efforts on the plateau. Every night, black bears raided the camp looking for food and every day local and state police agencies harassed the camp with veiled threats and innuendo derived through Facebook stalking. Despite the harassment and surveillance by the state, actions happen. This particular arrest action gained lots of national media attention and a number of larger environmental organizations put out statements of support of the activists. It also included a number of escalated felony charges on some of the activists.

Utah tar sands fighters living on the ground on the plateau, in Moab and in Salt Lake City live and breathe the campaign against the Utah Tar Sands. They strategize and organize it the same way that Appalachian mountain defenders organize the struggle against mountaintop removal coal mining. They live it the same way that the Tar Sands Blockade lived the campaign against the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline in east Texas and Oklahoma. In all of these campaigns, it’s been an alliance of unpaid radical organizers working with local landowners and community members fighting to save homes, forests, water supplies and more. Furthermore, these campaigns have defined risk and sacrifice.

In Appalachia, after numerous actions on strip mine sites, coal companies filed lawsuits against those participating in civil disobedience actions. West Virginia law enforcement imposed huge bails to further deter actions on mine sites. In Texas, TransCanada sued numerous individuals and three grassroots organizations for over $20 million after the same sort of action. The Canadian oil giant also compiled dossiers on noted organizers and briefed local and federal law enforcement agencies with possible crimes and charges for stopping work on its work sites. Texas law enforcement obliged TransCanada’s hard work with felony charges and violent brutalization of peaceful protestors.

In each of these campaigns, bold and effective organizing against oil, gas and coal companies has created moments to stop egregious practices and projects at the points of destruction only to be abandoned or ignored by the larger environmental establishment. In the wake of that abandonment, hundreds of Appalachian Mountains have been leveled while oil flows through the Keystone XL pipeline from Cushing, OK to the Gulf Coast, and ground is now broken on the first tar sands mine in the United States.

The liberal reform agenda of the environmental establishment continues to dominate the climate movement. Organizations sitting on millions of dollars in resources and thousands of staff are now engaged in a massive “Get Out The Vote” style operation to turn out tens of thousands to marches before the September 23rd United Nations’ Climate Summit in New York. Their hope is to impact the summit framed as U.N. Secretary General Bai-Ki Moon’s dialogue with global politicians on climate change in the lead up to the 2015 climate talks. Civil society’s demands include passing meaningful climate legislation and signing binding agreements on carbon regulation.

History continues to repeat itself as the environmental establishment had similar demands in Copenhagen at the 2009 climate talks. After spending millions of their donors’ dollars and thousands of hours of staff time, successes included an email campaign that got President Obama to travel to Denmark and personally witness the failure of those climate talks. Almost simultaneously, legislation to regulate carbon emissions failed in the U.S. Congress as well. After outspending the climate liberals 10 to 1, the political will of Big Oil and Big Coal remained unbreakable. Meanwhile, these same companies continue to drill, mine, frack, pollute, poison, build pipelines and burn coal in neighborhoods and communities from coast to coast.

However, there is recent precedent for movements to effectively confront power-holders that moves beyond traditional liberal solutions of compromise and polite advocacy with grassroots organizing, direct action and meaningful solidarity with communities seeking clean and just solutions to pollution and exploitation.

In 1999, the North American anti-corporate globalization movement partnered with peoples’ movements in the Global South to literally end business as usual at the World Trade Organization (WTO) talks in Seattle. A grassroots spirit dedicated in solidarity with anti-austerity, human rights and environmental movements around the world spread like wildfire. Rooted in direct action, direct democracy and anti-capitalism of movements both in the U.S. and abroad, the global justice movement had been built over decades to stop the privatization of labor, environmental and human rights protections across the globe. The Seattle shutdown happened in defiance of Democratic politicians, Big Labor and other large organizations dedicated to reaching agreements with Corporate America in the WTO talks.

In 2011, after decades of pickets and strikes, of budget cuts, layoffs and evictions, the movement for economic justice in the United States rose to a new level as Occupy Wall Street began to occupy parks and public spaces across the nation. This happened after decades of politicians creating policies that benefited the rich and powerful while harming poor and working people. These occupations against the power of the “1%” created such a dramatic tension that the Dept. of Homeland Security coordinated a massive crackdown that ended many Occupy camps.

Throughout the Global South, they fight back against the polluters and the profiteers as well. In states across India, residents living near coal plants regularly engage in direct action and street fighting against authorities defending the right of corporations to poison their communities. In China’s Hainan and Guandong provinces, tens of thousands have taken to the streets in resistance to coal polluting their air and water. In 2011, Bolivia passed the rights of mother earth into law in defiance of companies in western democracies profiting from destroying the planet for financial gains.

While the liberal climate agenda is rooted in compromise with policy-makers and playing nice with corporations, a radical climate agenda must take the small disparate pieces of the existing climate movement and grow them exponentially to become a fierce counterbalance to the fossil fuel industry. It must include strategies that create an environment so toxic for the climate pollution industry, its executives, its politicians and the financial institutions that back them that business as usual becomes impossible. Furthermore, this agenda must be rooted in principles of justice and ecological sanity as well. Lastly, it must be willing to take risks, do jail time and say what doesn’t want to be heard by friends and enemies alike.

People are hungry to do more than send emails to President Obama asking him, once again, to do the right thing or march in a permitted march. Real change won’t come from professional activists rooted in the existing political and economic system; it’ll come from a mobilization of people willing to engage in risk and sacrifice.

Scott Parkin is a climate organizer working with Rising Tide North America. You can follow him on Twitter at @sparki1969

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Southern Forests Are Being Exported to Europe

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NC fracking hearings will follow strict ‘no talking’ rules for hearing officers

jmurawski@newsobserver.com August 8, 2014

  • Aug. 20, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., N.C. State University’s McKimmon Center, Raleigh

    Aug. 22, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., Wicker Civic Center, Sanford

    Aug. 25, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., Rockingham County High School, Wentworth

    Sept. 12, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., Bardo Fine & Performing Arts Center, Cullowhee

The N.C. Mining and Energy Commission spent Friday working out final details for four statewide hearings that will be the public’s last opportunity to weigh in on proposed fracking safety standards before the state’s fracking moratorium is lifted next year and drilling gets underway.

The commissioners advised each other to hold their tongues when talking to the public in the weeks leading up to the hearings so as not to appear biased on a highly sensitive issue.

The hearings, to be held later this month in Raleigh, Sanford and other locations, could be packed with hundreds of people lining up for their chance to speak for a maximum of 3 minutes. They will include a security presence to dissuade protests and disruptions, which are expected given the emotional nature of shale gas exploration.

The commission also extended a deadline for public comments to Sept. 30 as commissioners prepare more than 100 fracking rules for the state legislature by January.

“We’re going to get thousands and thousands of comments,” Commissioner James Womack said. “This is perhaps the most challenging aspect of what we’ve done to date.”

In an unexpected move Friday, the commission narrowed the format of the upcoming hearings in such a way that may create an impression that commissioners don’t care a great deal what the public has to say on the issue. For example, commissioners will not answer questions from public speakers, and no more than seven of the 14 members will attend any of the four public hearings.

The reason for the restrictions: The state’s administrative procedures establish different rules for public hearings and public meetings. A meeting requires taking minutes, requires a quorum and involves voting on policy decisions.

A hearing, on the other hand, is a way to collect public statements on an issue of public interest without any deliberations or decisions. If more than seven commissioners were to show up at a hearing, that could be legally construed as a meeting that is skirting procedural rules.

“This will be a public hearing, which means there is no response from any of us, about anything,” Vikram Rao, commission chairman, explained during Friday’s meeting.

The hearings will be run by three commissioners who will be called hearing officers. The hearing officers will introduce the proceedings by reading a statement from a script, which will be prepared ahead of time.

Up to four commissioners will be able to attend as audience members. To make sure no more than four show up at any given hearing, the commissioners will sign up on a schedule and agree not to come unannounced.

Even as they agreed to the format, the commissioners took turns expressing concerns that the public could find the process off-putting.

“We have to be mindful of the public relations impact this has and the political sensitivities as well,” Womack said. “There is an impact when you don’t show up at hearings or it’s perceived that you don’t care.”

Commissioners also noted that public comments about specific proposed rules will be more effective than general comments denouncing or endorsing fracking. They assured no comment would be ignored.

“The process is going to be: The hearing officers do not participate, they do not talk back,” Commissioner Amy Pickle said. “It is important for us to be clear about our openness and recapitulating that every single comment we receive will get all due consideration.”

Womack and Pickle will be hearing officers at all four public hearings, along with Ken Taylor, the state geologist.

After the hearings are held and public comments received, the commission will sift through all the remarks and recommendations and consider making changes in the proposed rules. The rules will be sent to the Rules Review Commission in November or December, then forwarded to the state legislature.

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Concerns On Proposed Pipeline Discussed At Randolph County Commission Meeting

Posted: Aug 07, 2014 11:02 PM EST Updated: Aug 07, 2014 11:50 PM EST
 
 
 
ELKINS – Dominion Resources proposed building a 550-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from the Appalachian basin to markets in Virginia and North Carolina.

The Randolph County Commission meeting was packed on Thursday. The commission heard about concerns and support regarding construction of proposed 42-inch pipeline and compressor station.

“It was a continuation of our educating the officials and the public on the issue of the proposed pipeline, at this point there has been no discussion by the gas officials in our state,” said Lauren Ragland, of WV Wilderness for Lovers versus Proposed Pipeline.

Concerned citizens feel Dominion’s Southeast Reliability Project, that would run a Dominion Transmission pipeline in Harrison County to Virginia and North Carolina would endanger the quality of life.

“We the people should ask of our officials to what they should do, and that’s protect our quality of life. There are 42 inch pipelines in America, but through the plains incredibly different through the Alleghenies,” Ragland said.

Geologists also spoke about a need for a water resources protection ordinance. They feel county commissions are the only legal authority to protect the resources available in this state.

The commission didn’t provide any comment at this time, but said they would need to hear from gas companies like Dominion before taking any action.

“We haven’t met with the gas companies or representatives or anybody yet. So we’re going to try to get with the gas company, Dominion or which ever gas company they are, and get some more information into what’s exactly going on,” said Chris See, Randolph County Commission president.

The Associated Press said Dominion hasn’t decided whether to build the pipeline.

A route for the pipeline hasn’t been identified. The company is notifying land owners that it will begin surveying for a route as early as this summer.

Rick Webb with the University of Virginia’s Department of Environmental Science is concerned about the pipeline’s impact on the environment. Webb said it would do long-term damage to the Allegheny Highlands.

Screening of The Ghosts In Our Machine

Vegan Night Out Dining in Chapel Hill+Screening of The Ghosts In Our Machine

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

6:30 PM

 

Varsity Theater

123 East Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC (map)

  • I will be in the theater lobby at 6:15 to meetup with our group for the film. Dinner details – location and time TBD but likely at 5pm and within walking distance to theater.
  • Vegan Night Out comes to Chapel Hill, NC!

    Whether you are vegan, transitioning to veganism, or just veggie-curious, enjoy vegan dinner and a movie with this fun community event. First, enjoy special discounts and offerings of vegan fare at local restaurants from 4-7 PM. (More details on participating restaurants will be forthcoming; once the list of participating restaurants is known, I will post the dinner location and time.)

    Then, join us for the FREE North Carolina premiere of the film The Ghosts in Our Machine.

    Where: Varsity Theatre, 123 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill. Time: Film starts at 7 PM; lobby opens at 6:30 PM for free vegan food, door prizes, literature, and more!
    I will be in the lobby at 6:15 to meet up with our group participants
    Cost: FREE

    Wherever you are on your journey towards a vegan lifestyle, Vegan Night Out will help you experience the power of vegan community and positive energy.

    This event is hosted by Triangle Chance For All - E-mail them at [masked] if you have any questions or for additional information. 

Protesters Storm VT Statehouse

from Earth First! Newswire

Following the North East Regional Climate Justice Gathering/ The Make more than 200 people accompanied by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra and the Bread and Puppet Theater marched through the Statehouse on August 11 demanding a moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure and proposed budget cuts. Currently under construction is a pipeline that would bring fracked gas from Alberta to service a paper mill in New York state.  State Street, one of the main thoroughfares in Montpelier, was blocked for two hours by the procession after exiting the Statehouse. No arrests were made.

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Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Now the Size of Connecticut

Originally posted on Don Lichterman:

We Need To Move Away From allowing these private oil companies to continue the Drilling In OUR Oceans (I assume Everyone Gets that our Gulf’s and Sea’s are part of what our the “Oceans” BTW).

en.wikipedia.org

Wiki pic - Natural Society

oil spill gulf 263x165 Horrific: Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Now the Size of ConnecticutThe BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is mostly to blame for the dead zone’s growing size in the Gulf. Scientists now say that the dead zone is the size of Connecticut – a startling 5,052 square miles. The dead zone started forming, though, in our own backyards.

A joint NOAA-EPA statement announced that scientists supported by the agencies have mapped the oxygen-poor dead zone between July 27 and August 2, 2014. This is within the predicted area that was forecast of between 4,633 and 5,708 square miles based on NOAA models.

How do we contribute to the dead zone? Phosphorous and nitrogen fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals that we use to encourage…

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WNC hearing scheduled on draft fracking rules

by Anna Oakes

The N.C. Mining and Energy Commission recently agreed to hold a public hearing on proposed fracking regulations in Western North Carolina, in addition to three previously scheduled hearings in the Piedmont.

The meeting is tentatively scheduled from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12, at the Bardo Fine & Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.

The N.C. Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources, on behalf of the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission, is seeking public comments from July 15 through Sept. 15 on a set of proposed rules to regulate oil and gas exploration and development.

Additional public hearings are scheduled for Aug. 20 in Raleigh, Aug. 22 in Sanford and Aug. 25 in Reidsville.

An organization called Clean Water for North Carolina was among those that lobbied for a hearing to be held in the western part of the state.

“Whether or not fracking comes to the mountains, Western North Carolina will feel indirect statewide impacts from fracking in North Carolina, from infrastructure and pipeline development, cost of road repairs, wastewater disposal and more,” the organization said.

Session Law 2012-143 charged the commission with developing regulations for managing oil and gas exploration and development. The General Assembly passed a law this year setting Jan. 1, 2015, as the deadline for adopting the regulations so that permits can be issued to developers.

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” involves drilling a well vertically and then horizontally into the shale formation. The natural gas production company perforates the well and then pumps fracturing fluid (composed of 98 to 99.5 percent sand and water,  plus chemical additives) into the well under pressure to fracture the shale.

The proposed regulations include sections on definitions, administrative rules, exploration and geophysical surveys, drilling units and well spacing, permitting, financial assurance, well site construction, well construction and completion, chemical disclosure, environmental sampling (baseline and subsequent sampling), water acquisition and use, waste management, reclamation and operation and production.

Known locations of natural gas resources in the state include the Deep River Basin, which extends from Granville County south to Union County, the Dan River-Danville Basin in Stokes and Rockingham counties and the Davie Basin, which straddles Yadkin and Davie counties.

But the General Assembly has also authorized a study of potential presence of shale gas in the Western North Carolina counties of Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain.

According to a fact sheet prepared by the organization Clean Water for North Carolina, “We don’t know the likelihood of natural gas or oil in the mountains of North Carolina. Though some geologists have expressed skepticism that there is any significant amount, state geologist Ken Taylor thinks it is a possibility.”

Clean Water for North Carolina noted that “much of the land that could possibly be fracked in Western North Carolina is public land — state and national forests.”

The U.S. Forest Service acknowledged the potential for oil and gas exploration in the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests in a July 11 statement.

“In 2008, the Bureau of Land Management completed a 10-year forecast and did not predict any oil or gas wells, or surface disturbance,” USFS said. However, a document called the “Preliminary Need to Change the Existing Land Management Plan” for the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests, dated March 4, 2014, indicated, “There is a need to update plan direction to address potential commercial oil, gas and hard rock mineral exploration and uses.”

The March 12 notice of intent to revise the forest plans said, “No decision regarding oil and gas leasing availability will be made in the revised Forest Plan, though standards will be brought forward or developed that would serve as mitigations should an availability decision be necessary in the future.”

Citizens are not required to attend public hearings to provide input on the proposed North Carolina fracking regulations. Written comments may be submitted through Sept. 15 by mail to the Mining & Energy Commission, ATTN: Oil and Gas Program, 1612 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699; by email to oil&gas@ncdenr.gov; or online at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mining-and-energy-commission/public-comment-meetings.

Citizens are asked to reference specific rule sections in the subject line.

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Cowspiracy, The Film

Tugg - Cowspiracy in Durham, NC on Thursday, August 14,  6:30PM

Promoted by Dilip Barman, Triangle Vegetarian Society

Thursday, August 14 6:30PM – 8:31PM

at AMC Southpoint 17 + IMAX
8030 Renaissance Pkwy suite 975, Durham, NC, 27713 (map)
$11.00 General

Pending This event will only happen if 18 more people reserve a ticket.
Going

61

Deadline: August 07

03days 3h 35m 47s

The Event Program

  • Introduction
  • Movie presentation of Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

    COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following an intrepid filmmaker as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it. As eye-opening as Blackfish and as inspiring as An Inconvenient Truth, this shocking yet humorous documentary reveals the absolutely devastating environmental impact large-scale factory farming has on our planet.

    Read more +

  • Q&A

Event Info

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret” on the big screen. Reserve your tickets now!

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