Ecology

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20 Theses against green capitalism Tadzio Mueller and Alexis Passadakis 1. The current world economic crisis marks the end of the neoliberal phase of capitalism. ‘Business as usual’ (financialisation, deregulation, privatisation…) is thus no longer an option: new spaces of accumulation and types of political regulation will need to be found by governments and corporations to keep capitalism going 2. Alongside the economic and political as well as energy crises, there is another crisis rocking the world: the biocrisis, the result of a suicidal mismatch between the ecological life support system that guarantees our collective human survival and capital’s need for constant growth 3. This biocrisis is an immense danger to our collective survival, but like all crises it also presents us, social movements, with a historic opportunity: to really go for capitalism's exposed jugular, its need for unceasing, destructive, insane growth 4. Of the proposals that have emerged from global elites, the only one that promises to address all these crises is the ‘Green New Deal’. This is not the cuddly green capitalism 1.0 of organic agriculture and D.I.Y. windmills, but a proposal for a new ’green’ phase of capitalism that seeks to generate profits from the piecemeal ecological modernisation of certain key areas of production (cars, energy, etc.) 5. Green capitalism 2.0 cannot solve the biocrisis (climate change and other ecological problems such as the dangerous reduction of biodiversity), but rather tries to profit from it. It therefore does not fundamentally alter the collision course on which any market-driven economy sets humanity with the biosphere.
"The Climate Camp at Kingsnorth" Shift Mgazine The Climate Camp at Kingsnorth was great! These were our initial thoughts on arrival at the first German climate camp in Hamburg, which took place just one week after Kingsnorth. The Hamburg camp seemed less organised, there were far fewer people and the lack of a clear neighbourhood structure meant that we aimlessly walked around the site for a good half hour before finally pitching the tent in the ‘anti-barrio’ barrio.
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Guilty Verdict in Tacoma Ecoterror Arson Trial A federal jury in Tacoma has found Briana Waters guilty of arson for the 2001 ecoterror fire at the University of Washington. The 32-year-old from Oakland, Calif., faces a prison term of 5 to 20 years when she is sentenced May 30. Waters was convicted today on two counts, but the jury deadlocked on three other charges of conspiracy and using a destructive device in a crime of violence, which would have carried a minimum 30 years in prison.
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EXXON PROPOSES BURNING HUMANITY FOR FUEL IF CLIMATE CALAMITY HITS

Imposters posing as ExxonMobil and National Petroleum Council (NPC)
representatives delivered an outrageous keynote speech to 300 oilmen
at GO-EXPO, Canada's largest oil conference, held at Stampede Park in
Calgary, Alberta, today.

The speech was billed beforehand by the GO-EXPO organizers as the
major highlight of this year's conference, which had 20,000
attendees. In it, the "NPC rep" was expected to deliver the long-awaited
conclusions of a study commissioned by US Energy Secretary
Samuel Bodman. The NPC is headed by former ExxonMobil CEO Lee
Raymond, who is also the chair of the study.

In the actual speech, the "NPC rep" announced that current U.S. and
Canadian energy policies (notably the massive, carbon-intensive
exploitation of Alberta's oil sands, and the development of liquid
coal) are increasing the chances of huge global calamities. But he
reassured the audience that in the worst case scenario, the oil
industry could "keep fuel flowing" by transforming the billions of
people who die into oil.

"We need something like whales, but infinitely more abundant," said
"NPC rep" "Shepard Wolff" (actually Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men),
before describing the technology used to render human flesh into a
new Exxon oil product called Vivoleum. 3-D animations of the process
brought it to life.

Colony Collapse: Do Massive Bee Die-Offs Mean an End to Our Food
System as We Know it?

Scott Thill, AlterNet

The joke may have fallen flat, but this time no one could blame Bill
Maher. Sure, it happened on the May 4, 2007 installment of his show
Real Time With Bill Maher, but CNN personality and senior medical
correspondent Sanjay Gupta was the one delivering the punch line, and
it seems he was the only one in the room who believed the issue of
Earth's mysteriously vanishing honeybees was a joke.

And while some
may argue that he stayed on message, promoting his May 19 documentary
called Danger: Poison Food, he nevertheless fumbled for answers when
Maher asked him about what could be killing a major component of the
nation's food supply.

The Sick Planet

Guy Debord (1971)

Today "pollution" is in fashion, exactly in the same manner that revolution is:
it takes hold of the entire life of society, and it is illusorily represented in
the spectacle. It is boring chatter in a plethora of erroneous and mystifying
writings and discourses, and in reality [dans les faits] it gets everyone in the
throat. It reveals itself everywhere as ideology and it gains on the ground as
real process. These two [mutually] antagonistic movements — the supreme stage
of commodity production and the project of its total negation, equally rich in
internal contradictions — grow together. They are the two sides through which a
single historical moment (long-awaited and often foreseen in inadequate partial
figures) manifests itself: the impossibility of the continuation of the
functioning of capitalism.

Kevin Smith writes:

"The Carbon Neutral Myth:
Offset Indulgences for your Climate Sins"

Carbon Trade Watch


Carbon offsets are the modern day indulgences, sold to an increasingly carbon conscious public to absolve their climate sins. Scratch the surface, however, and a disturbing picture emerges, where creative accountancy and elaborate shell games cover up the impossibility of verifying genuine climate change benefits, and where communities in the South often have little choice as offset projects are inflicted on them.


This report from Carbon Trade Watch, a project of the Transnational Institute, argues that offsets place disproportionate emphasis on individual lifestyles and carbon footprints, distracting attention from the wider, systemic changes and collective political action that needs to be taken to tackle climate change. Promoting more effective and empowering approaches involves moving away from the marketing gimmicks, celebrity endorsements, technological quick fixes, and the North/South exploitation that the carbon offsets industry embodies.

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Solve et Coagula writes: "It seems 'their' silly, poisonous and useless chemtrails didnt work out neatly, hmm!?!?! When do human beings realize/accept that we're part of Nature itself, to see the entire Cosmos as a lovely, caring Being where everything is in its perfect place for good reason, and when are we humble enough to start benefiting from these eternal forces..."

US Urges Scientists To Block Out Sun

David Adam and Liz Minchin

The US wants the world's scientists to develop technology to block sunlight as a last-ditch way to halt global warming.

It says research into techniques such as giant mirrors in space or reflective dust pumped into the atmosphere would be "important insurance" against rising emissions, and has lobbied for such a strategy to be recommended by a UN report on climate change, the first part of which is due out on Friday).

The US has also attempted to steer the UN report, prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), away from conclusions that would support a new worldwide climate treaty based on binding targets to reduce emissions. It has demanded a draft of the report be changed to emphasise the benefits of voluntary agreements and to include criticisms of the Kyoto Protocol, which the US opposes.

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Eye on ELF: Were Eco-Radicals Illegally Wire-tapped?

Kera Abraham

On Aug. 22, federal judge Ann Aiken demanded to know whether the government used National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance to indict three eco-sabotage defendants. Just a week earlier, a federal judge in Detroit had ruled NSA surveillance illegal on the grounds that it violates the Fourth Amendment freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. If it's found that warrantless wiretapping was used to indict the eco-tage defendants, the entire case could be thrown out.


With the high-profile prosecution of 14 radical environmentalists for a slew of eco-sabotage acts across the West between 1996 and 2001, the federal government broadened the definition of "terrorist" to include members of the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, monkeywrenchers who like to set wild horses free and burn SUVs in defense of the planet. Although the eco-tage defendants haven't been charged with terrorism per se, prosecutors' frequent use of the label has given them access to counter-terrorism tools such as the Joint Terrorism Task Force, "enhanced" sentences and gobs of taxpayer money.

Signs of the Times

Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

Using a statistical lens, two just-released books shed light on the
ravages of corporate globalization.


Vital Signs 2006–2007 from the Washington, D.C.-based WorldWatch
Institute contends that "the health of the global economy and the
stability of nations will be shaped by our ability to address the huge
imbalances in natural resource systems."


The Least Developed Countries Report 2006, issued by the United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), argues that while there
have been relatively higher rates of economic growth in the Least
Developed Countries (LDCs, a UN-designated group of the world's poorest
50 countries), it is "not translating into poverty reduction and
improved human well-being."


Here are 20 factoids from the reports, the first 10 from Vital Signs,
the second 10 from The Least Developed Countries Report:

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