Deny Climate Deniers Some Business!

Hi All,

This new app is making the rounds on social media, but here’s a blog from my friend Connor Gibson at Greenpeace explaining how YOU can avoid buying products from the Koch Brothers!

Avoid buying Koch Industries products with new phone app!

Posted on May 15, 2013 by 

Here’s a cool new toy. popular article on Forbes today details a new smart phone app called “Buycott,” which is catching the attention of shoppers who want to make sure their money spent on groceries and other basic products isn’t enriching corporations with bad records on social and environmental responsibility.

Take Koch Industries. Greenpeace has written extensively about the Koch brothers’ $67 million in support for groups that deny climate change science and promote industries that pollute our air and water, our politics, and our health. The millions of dollars going to groups like ALEC and the State Policy Network also serves to break unions, privatize education, and water down healthcare reform.

Those are good reasons not to give a dime to the multi-billionaire Koch brothers, who own the vast majority of Koch Industries’ private stock. Yet many consumers may not realize that buying products like Quilted Northern toilet paper or Brawny paper towels contributes to Koch profits through their giant pulp and paper subsidiary, Georgia-Pacific. Nor perhaps did the incoming Obama Administration realize that the 2009 inaugural carpet was made by a Koch subsidiary called INVISTA. What a crummy business deal–the President buys your carpet, then you coordinate hundreds of millions of dollars from billionaires determined to defeat his re-election bid…if only there had been an app!

Read the rest of Connor’s Blog here

At Greenpeace Action Camp, a vision of the movement we want

Hi All,

Here’s a crosspost of a blog by Dave Pomerantz at Greenpeace on last week’s Action Camp. I hope to see increasing discussion of a more collective movement!

John

Title: At Greenpeace Action Camp, a vision of the movement we want

Activists and trainers from Greenpeace's Coastal Canyons Action Camp

For a long time, corporations and governments have used the tried and true tactic of divide and conquer: they’ve tried to convince us that the immigrant rights struggle is different from the worker rights struggle, which is different from the climate justice struggle, to name just a few of the efforts to make the world a more sustainable place.

Of course, those divisions are false and self-serving: all of those struggles are linked by both cause and effect. The corporations, institutions and systems that caused environmental destruction by prioritizing the wealth of the few over the health of the many are the exact same ones that have trampled the rights of workers, immigrants, and the poor. And environmental crises like climate change promise to hit immigrant and poor communities the hardest.

Last week, Greenpeace hosted an Action Camp in Southern California for 160 activists where we focused intently on pushing back against those false divisions.

Continue reading ‘At Greenpeace Action Camp, a vision of the movement we want’

BREAKING: Student Activists Hang Banner at MSU

Today Michigan State students took action to push their school to go 100% renewable. Here’s what my friend David Pinsky had to say about their situation last week:

The Michigan State University (MSU) T.B. Simon coal plant is the largest on-campus coal plant in the country.

The MSU coal plant burns 200,000 tons of coal every year, and is one contributor to the 31 annual deaths in the Lansing area due to coal-fired power plants.

Since 2009, hundreds of MSU students have been waking up and saying “today I am going to shut down our campus coal plant!” For nearly three years, two student groups, MSU Greenpeace and MSU Beyond Coal, have been working tirelessly to pressure their administration to shut down the coal plant and transition to 100% clean energy.

Following relentless grassroots organizing from students, the administration finally responded – with an unambitious energy transition plan that calls for 40% clean energy by 2030. The plan also contains false solutions such as burning biomass and natural gas. Greenpeace and Sierra Club energy experts have concerns about the methodology used to create the plan. The ultimate goal of the plan is 100% clean energy. However, with a current timeline that extends to 2030, meeting not even half of the 100% goal, MSU students are calling on the MSU Board of Trustees to reject the current energy transition plan.

On April 13th, the MSU Board of Trustees has the power to reject this unambitious plan and demonstrate leadership on clean energy…. ” Read the rest of Davids blog on Quitcoal.org

This is part of a week of action and students around the country are taking action in solidarity, you can too.

You can tweet about this using the hashtag #quitcoalmsu

VICTORY: Midwest Generation and GenOn Announce Coal Plant Closures

Well, folks, it seems the fight to phase out coal-fired electric generation is starting to work. Today, Midwest Generation announced that they will be closing their two dirty coal plants in Chicago, the Fisk coal plant in Pilsen will shut down in 2012 and the Crawford coal plant in Little Village will shut down by 2014. As if this wasn’t enough good news, GenOn has also announced that it will be retiring 8 of it’s plants, 7 coal and 1 oil.

These plants are some of the dirtiest in the nation, and are probably part of the reason I, and so many others, grew up with asthma. What’s more, their impact on the climate will shortly be eliminated and I hope that means the demand drives further renewable energy production.  Below are many links where you can learn more, but a huge debt of gratitude goes out to the organizations who have been fighting these, and for those who mobilized the American public to get stronger rules at EPA. In particular, the communities of Pilsen and Little Village have been dealing with the health effects of Fisk and Crawford and have been fighting for their closure for some time.

Here’s more: P.E.R.R.O, Washington Post, Greenpeace , Sierra ClubChicago CBS, Chicago Sun Times, Reuters, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

BREAKING: NC Activists Occupying Duke HQ in 20′ Tripods!

UPDATE: the six activists have been arrested. Local news all over the place.

From the Greenpeace website:

“Breaking news: This morning, six North Carolinians built and ascended two 20-ft tall tripods in front of Duke Energy’s headquarters with a banner between them that read “Duke Energy: no dirty rate hikes” wearing t-shirts that said, “Be a good neighbor.”

The protest follows yesterday’s announcement from Greenpeace Executive Director Phil Radford that the organization has opened a campaign against Duke Energy, and a dramatic protest on top of the 400-foot stack of an Asheville coal plant earlier this week. Earlier this month, Greenpeace flew an airship over Cincinnati with the message “Dump Duke.” In Cincinnati, residents are deciding whether to keep buying energy from Duke, or explore cleaner alternatives.”

Images on Flickr

From one of the activists, Monica Embrey:

“…I have never lived in a community where so many people are suffering from the health impacts of coal. From children who have to miss recess because of the severity of their asthma to the parents who are battling cancer, the impact of the four dirty, coal fired power plants that surround Charlotte is unacceptable.

Continue reading ‘BREAKING: NC Activists Occupying Duke HQ in 20′ Tripods!’

BREAKING: Activists Scale Coal Plant in Asheville, NC

UPDATE:  The 16 activists who pulled off 4 actions at the same plant have now left the site and been taken into custody. What an amazing job they did,  let’s all hope they are safe and well and get out of jail soon.

Early this morning Greenpeace activists entered the coal-burning Asheville Power Station owned by Progress Energy (soon to be owned by Duke Energy). Activists have locked down to the coal loader and have scaled the 400 foot tall smoke stack. Banners read: Duke and Progress Energy:  Stop Destroying Mountains.

Images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenpeaceusa09/sets/72157629244871679/with/6869572913/

Follow the Action: http://quitcoal.org/

WATCH: SMOKESTACK BANNER:
http://vp.mgnetwork.net/viewer.swf?u=434e0a46a7ce102faba2001ec92a4a0d&z=SPA&embed_player=1
Continue reading ‘BREAKING: Activists Scale Coal Plant in Asheville, NC’

Climate Activist Punks Big Oil’s “Vote4Energy” Commercial Shoot

Posted on Behalf of Connor Gibson, Greenpeace Activist.

If you had the chance to talk to Big Oil directly to its big oily face, what would you want to say?

I recently had such a chance at a commercial shoot run by the American Petroleum Institute, the major lobbying and public relations front for the oil industry (ie ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell, TransCanada and just about every major oil company). Here’s what I had to say:

Through recorded audio, we got to expose API’s upcoming “Vote4Energy” campaign, which debuts January first on CNN during major political programs. Audio recordings from inside the Vote4Energy commercial shoot can be found on the Greenpeace website, and on Yahoo News. More can also be found at the Checks and Balances Project, where Deputy Director and youth climate leader Gabe Elsner has more recordings from inside the shoot.

Continue reading ‘Climate Activist Punks Big Oil’s “Vote4Energy” Commercial Shoot’

BREAKING: Student Activists Risking Arrest Inside University President’s Office

 

Reposted from Dan Schreiber at http://www.quitcoal.org

This afternoon, seven student activists marched into President Simon’s office at the Hannah Administration building at Michigan State University to ask MSU to transition to 100% clean energy.

Activists walked in wearing Greenpeace Quit Coalt-shirts and surgical masks to display the health risks of burning coal.
Today’s protest comes after two years of attempting to work with MSU’s Administration to transition the campus from burning coal to 100% clean energy.
Michigan State University has the largest on-campus coal plant in the nation, burning over 200,000 tons of coal each year. The energy supplied by this plant powers only the campus, but its pollution spews out into the community of East Lansing, and far beyond. Incidences of asthma, sudden infant death syndrome, lung disease, and emphysema are drastically higher in areas near coal-fired power plants. Coal pollution causes 31 deaths annually in East Lansing. Not only are there serious immediate health risks, but coal pollution is also the single greatest contributor to climate change in the United States.
“Coal is harmful to our environment and us, but not everyone knows. I think it is important to raise awareness of the problem so it can be fixed and the damaging effects of coal can be stopped,” said student activist Kendra Majewski who is currently inside President Simon’s office.

No More Fukushimas

The situation at the damaged nuclear reactors in Fukushima is dire. Two days ago, three workers were exposed to water containing radioactive materials 10,000 times the normal level in the basement of Reactor No. 3.  This reactor is especially dangerous because it contains MOX fuel, a mixture of uranium and plutonium.  And, things got worse yesterday.  The Japanese authorities have now said that the reactor vessel in unit 3 may have breached, which means that much greater amounts of radiation from the MOX fuel could be released.

Here in the United States, the nuclear industry’s lobbyists and propagandists work to downplay concerns.  “Earthquakes of that magnitude would never happen here.”  “We’ll do a thorough safety review.” “Nuclear power needs to be part of our energy future.”  And so on. What they aren’t saying is that that massive public subsidies to bring this old reactors online would go 7-10 times further if spent on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Nuclear energy development is one of the biggest blockages to and energy revolution that can slow climate change. 

The federal government has failed for years to provide appropriate oversight of nuclear reactors, but fortunately, two states are leading the fight to shut down their dangerous old nuclear reactors.  In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been a longtime critic of Indian Point, and has called for a safety review of the reactors.  In Vermont, where the state legislature voted overwhelmingly last year to close Vermont Yankee as scheduled in 2012, over 600 people gathered outside the reactor on Sunday to show solidarity with the people of Japan and call for the plant to be shut down.

This Monday, March 28, people across the country will be showing their support for the people of Japan and calling for a world free of nuclear disasters.  Please sign up to host or join a vigil near you, and let’s fight for an energy future with no more Fukushimas.  To find a Stand with Japan vigil near you, go to: www.greenpeace.org/usa/vigilsforjapan.

Coal Smoke Over the Ohio River

There are many ways to view the communities impacted by industrial activity. Brett Ciccotelli is paddling a kayak solo from Pittsburgh, PA to New Orleans, LA for the next couple of months. He plans to document the impact of energy, in particular coal, on that watershed and its communities. I will occasionally cross post his updates for this community. If you have a chance to stop and see him along the way, he will be taking out at towns along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

Coal smoke over the Ohio River.

On December 2, 1875 Nathaniel H. Bishop launched a small boat into the Monongahela (Mon) River in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After several hours the Mon joined the ice covered Allegheny and the two rivers below his “sneakbox” the Centennial Republic became a third, the Ohio. Three years later he published an account of his trip from Pittsburgh to the Gulf of Mexico. In it he describes the region around Pittsburgh:

“The use of the soft bituminous coal in the towns along the river, and also by the steamboats navigating it, filled the valley with clouds of smoke. These clouds rested upon everything. Your five senses were fully aware of the presence of the disagreeable, impalpable something surrounding you. Eyes, ears, taste, touch, and smell, each felt the presence. Smoky towns along the banks gave smoky views. Smoky chimneys rose high above the smoky foundries and forges, where smoke-begrimed men toiled day and night in the smoky atmosphere.”

And later in Wheeling, West Virginia he writes of smoke and soot that coated his small boat and of an oily shine that covered the river for miles downstream.

One hundred and thirty-six year later dark clouds no longer linger over Pittsburgh or blacken the fresh snow…

Read the rest of the article here: http://banksofthebasin.com/2011/03/11/coal-smoke-over-the-ohio-river/

Continue reading ‘Coal Smoke Over the Ohio River’


John Deans


John Deans is a Greenpeace campaigner working on Toxics issues, but he got his start in activism working to stop climate change and still participates when able.

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