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Bank of America: You Can't Bail out a Dead Planet

Coal and climate activists have really been stepping it up in Charlotte and North Carolina. Between Duke Energy building a 800 NW new coal plant in Cliffside, NC and Bank of America funding every coal related enterprise under the sun, the Tarheel state is really seeing activist things happen. Today it happened again, Bank of America was besieged by climate activists inside and outside their annual shareholders' meeting. But before the meeting, RAN began mixing it up in Charlotte by running an ad in the local alt weekly "Creative Loafing" with an ad saying "You Can't Bailout a...

When "Responsible" Just Isn't Enough

The voices are growing louder. In recent weeks declarations released by social movements, as well as social justice and environmental NGO’s internationally have pronounced: there is no such thing as responsible soy. The very nature by which soy monoculture is produced, taking up vast swaths of land throughout South America, using massive amounts of water resources, depending upon chemical and synthetic fertilizers and pesticide inputs, and leaving a trail of contaminated and/or displaced communities in its wake, precludes it from ever being classified as responsible. Soy plantation in Alto Parana, Paraguay

I got a date with Citi! (or, Inside the Citi AGM)

I’m about to hop on a plane to Charlotte, but I wanted to capture some of the excitement from Citi’s Annual Shareholder Meeting. It was an amazing day – there were over 50 activists outside on the streets making sure that every shareholder that entered the meeting had absolutely NO doubt that Citi is funding coal and why it should stop. The New York crew were amazing – as always, creative and kick-ass every last one. Appalachia’s own Maria Gunnoe and I went inside the meeting on proxies...

How many trees are cut down every year?

When you work for a group like RAN, you get lots of questions about deforestation. Here's a recent Q&A. "Statistics lie"  you say? Commentary on our conclusions are welcome encouraged! Where can I get hard facts on global deforestation? The UN FAO State of the World's Forests 2007 gives the most current comprehensive world view, but lacks much detail. The latest detailed look at global deforestation rates is available from the FAO's Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005. An easy-to-navigate summary of key findings of the 2005 report is available at http://www.greenfacts.org/en/forests Note that the FAO defines forests as land with a tree canopy cover of more than 10 percent and an area of more than half a hectare. FAO says that “forest” includes natural forests and forest plantations<–monoculture tree farms that most would not recognize as “forests” in the traditional sense. So when you hear industry brag...

Hey Citi, Coal is Over! Start Funding Wind and Solar!

Today is Citi's annual shareholders' meeting. It's the day where the company executives give a report on the state of the company (which is pretty bad for Citi right now, $5.1 billion loss 9,000 more about to be laid off). It's also a day where we're reminding Citi about how their investments in dirty energy will not go silent. They are funding some of the dirtiest companies in the carbon intensive world. They fund coal from the cradle to the grave. Not only creating an investment friendly atmosphere for global warming, but also financing bombing campaigns and cultural genocide in Appalachia. This morning, we had about 50 people show up to let Citi’s shareholders know what we thought about their funding of coal. Folks from Students for a Democratic Society, Theater of Social Change, Code Pink,...

Appalachian resistance comes to NYC for Citi shareholder's meeting

This week I am in New York for the Citi shareholder's meeting. Mostly because Citi is the biggest funder of coal from the cradle to the grave. They fund mountaintop removal throughout Appalachia. Companies like Arch Coal, Massey Energy and Alpha Natural Resources are clients of Citi. These companies, and Citi by proxy, are destroying communities throughout the region. They explode to tops off of mountains to get at seams of coal. They bury rivers, streams and creeks with the waste and debris from the blasting. They pollute local communities with coal processing plants. They poison the groundwater with the waste from the coal processing. It's a pretty ugly situation in places like West Virginia and Kentucky. A spiriting growing resistance to mountaintop removal and the coal industry is sprouting up all over the country. In Appalachia, the industry is pretty indignant that people are actually complaining about their...

Malaysia: State Agency Could Use PR Training

This morning, our international fact finding team in Malaysia was scheduled to meet with officials from the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra), the state agency that officially works to alleviate poverty and improve the socio-economic status of rural communities, but in reality...

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...

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...

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