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Toxic Tar Sands Exposed at Earth Day Event

Got Tar Sands? Similar to the got milk ads about our health, communities across the country are questioning why oil refineries are asking for permits to expand their refinery. The answer: to milk dry the most toxic oil reserve in the world, the tar sands. Located in Canadian Boreal forest, the tar sands contain some 2 trillion barrels of oil and with the worst extraction process ever gaining the title of “the most destructive project on earth”. From extraction to refinement, tar sands is the worst type of oil for the climate, environment and the health of our...

What is Bank of America doing for Earth Day?

I spent this past weekend in Charlotte, NC - the headquarters of Bank of America. Their annual shareholder meeting is this Wednesday, and I've also been attending a number of Earth Day events around town - helping answer the question: What IS Bank of America doing for Earth Day? More than a few people came to our table somehow thinking we were actually from Bank of America - before seeing giant posters of mountain-top removal and coal-fired power plants. Sadly - this is the reality of what BoA...

Oil Palm Devastating Indigenous Communities

I just returned to Kuching after visiting with seven Indigenous communities in northern Sarawak (in Malaysian Borneo). What we saw was a tragic and infuriating picture of collusion between the state government and oil palm and logging companies to cheat, harass, intimidate, arrest and displace the people who have lived on and cultivated this land for generations. In one community, about a hundred people greeted us and the headman gave a speech saying we were “like gods sent from heaven” to help them. Community 1 had six houses destroyed by a logging company that had been granted a license...

Justicia Now! Shame on Chevron!

This week has filled me with immense pride for work of the Indigenous and campesino communities who have been waging a campaign for social and environmental justice in the Ecuadorian Amazon since 1993. On Monday, Luis Yanza and Pablo Fajardo were awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize along with 5 other environmental leaders from all corners of the globe. Luis Yanza has been at the forefront of the campaign and lawsuit to hold Texaco, now Chevron, accountable for the destruction it caused as a result of its operations in the Ecuadorian Amazon from 1964 to 1992. Pablo Fajardo is the very humble lead Ecuadorian lawyer representing 30,000 people who have been affected by Chevron's destructive operations. They have put their heart and soul, as well as their lives on the line, to ensure that justice is brought to their communities and the once-pristine northern Ecuadorian Amazon. It brings me...

RAN Exposes Weyerhaeuser to Shareholders

Update: better quality video of the event is here. Update: pictures from the event are here. This morning, RAN activists gave Weyerhaeuser shareholders an idea of what the company is really about (not the greenwashing lies it posts on its website). About 20 of us descended on the company's annual shareholder meeting with a 20-foot banner equating the "American Dream" (of big, new homes) with a "Native Nightmare" of flattened forests and eviscerated ecosystems. Three activists locked themselves to the HQ's front entrance and declared that they wouldn't leave until Weyerhaeuser got out of Grassy Narrows. Weyerhaeuser had a regular SWAT team of police officers at the ready, and the activists were removed...but not before they ruffled some shareholder feathers by letting them know where--and how--the company gets their quarterly dividends. (Quick review for those of you not familiar...

On a mission to expose the human costs of palm oil

I just arrived in Kuching, Malaysia, after 20 grueling hours of travel from San Francisco. I’m here to take part in a fact finding mission organised by Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA), Tenaganita, People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) and Pesticide Action Network Asia-Pacific (PAN AP). Over the next week, we’ll be visiting communities threatened by proposed palm oil plantations to learn more about what’s happening and find out what we can do to help. We’ll also meet with Malaysian advocacy groups and hold a couple of press conferences to call attention to the threats posed by palm oil expansion. During my trip, I had lots of time to do some background reading. Here’s what I found out: Between 1990 and 2000,...

Some pretty darn good tips for greening your money

Here's a good post on Grist, 'Any Portfolio in a Storm' about environmentally friendly investing - or if you don't have any investments, but might one day - where you can go to get advice on how to put your money someplace that doesn't...

Climate Activists Blockade Dominion HQ

Blue Ridge Earth First! blockaded Dominion Resources HQ in Richmond Va today. EARTH FIRST! BLOCKADES DOMINION HEADQUARTERS IN RICHMOND IN PROTEST TO COAL PLANT: YOUTH FROM WISE CO. TO NORTHERN VIRGINIA OPPOSE DOMINION'S DIRTY ENERGY...

Rebirth of a Dream

I coauthored this with Amy Ortiz, a student activist from the RAN network, who also works with Southern Energy Network. This past weekend, April 4-6th, something historic took place in Memphis, Tennessee. During the same few days where people from across the nation gathered...

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