Calamities are familiar to the people of Pakistan who have struggled through several catastrophic earthquakes, including those in 2005, 2013, and 2015 (to name the most damaging), as well as the horrendous floods of 2010. However, nothing could prepare the fifth most populated country in the world for this summer’s devastating events, which began with high temperatures and political chaos followed by unimaginable flooding. Cascading frustration with the Pakistani state defines the public mood. Taimur Rahman, the general secretary of the Mazdoor Kisan Party (‘Workers and Peasants Party’), told Peoples Dispatch that after the 2010 floods, there was ‘enormous outrage about the fact that the government had not done anything to ensure that… when there is an overflow of water, it can be controlled’.
The frequency and extent of wildfires are increasing all over the world. In South America, Brazil has had the highest incidence of forest fires in recent years. In 2019, during the first year of Jair Bolsonaro’s government, fires in the Amazon made headlines around the world. For the first time on record, the smoke from the forest fires in the Amazon reached São Paulo, the largest city in South America, more than 1,600 miles to the southeast of the burned regions. And in 2020, one third of the Pantanal wetlands biome was burned (11 million acres), leaving an estimated wildlife death toll of over 17 million animals. Despite the large fires of 2019 and 2020 associated with higher deforestation rates in the Amazon, the Brazilian government has not instituted any additional public policy to fight forest fires.
In his speech at COP26 on November 2, British prime minister Boris Johnson announced that more than 100 countries had joined the Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, which seeks to halt and reverse the alarming levels of global deforestation by 2030. The declaration also emphasizes the need for countries to facilitate sustainable trade and development policies, promote food security through sustainable agriculture, and “accelerate the transition to [a green] economy.” To that end, more than $19 billion in public and private funds have been pledged for the plan, backed by countries including Brazil, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Russia, and the United States.
Animal Rebellion protesters have barricaded a McDonald's factory in Scunthorpe in a move to get the burger chain to switch to an entirely "plant-based food menu by 2025." The ‘animal and climate justice’ movement said that around 100 protestors set up a blockade using trucks, tents, bamboo structures in the early hours of Thursday morning to stop the facility from distributing burgers. Trucks with the sign “McMurder” stood outside the factory while police vans encircled the area. The campaigners, urging others to join in, said they will stay as long as it takes until McDonald’s commits to changing towards a plant-based menu. Accusing the global fast-food chain of poor labour conditions and wreaking havoc on the environment, the activists said that they would end the blockade if McDonald’s makes the first step towards this goal by committing to becoming 20 per cent plant-based within one year.
As global banking giants and investment firms vow to divest from polluting energy companies, they’re continuing to bankroll another major driver of the climate crisis: food and farming corporations that are responsible, directly or indirectly, for cutting down vast carbon-storing forests and spewing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. These agricultural investments, largely unnoticed and unchecked, represent a potentially catastrophic blind spot. “Animal protein and even dairy is likely, and already has started to become, the new oil and gas,” said Bruno Sarda, the former North America president of CDP, a framework through which companies disclose their carbon emissions. “This is the biggest source of emissions that doesn’t have a target on its back.”
“Zero deforestation” pledges are one more idea in the list of voluntary initiatives created in the past 10-15 years to supposedly address the negative impacts of industrial agriculture commodity crops. Oil palm plantation companies have responded to pressure from global food corporations such as Unilever, Nestle and Mars and made a commitment to “zero deforestation”1. Global food corporations are major buyers of palm oil and they, as well as the financial backers of oil palm companies...
The Washington Post recently published an article that “Jet Blue plans to go completely carbon neutral on all U.S. Flights.” While this sounds like a delightful and guilt-free way to keep on flying, this move by Jet Blue is nothing short of a ploy to manufacture a green veneer for their very UN-green activities. For an excellent analysis of the language behind “green” schemes such as this that actually accelerate environmental destruction and human rights abuses, please listen to the Earth Minute above and then read this piece from the latest World Rainforest Movement Bulletin.
Meat isn't good for you – even if it's good for you. Next, the charred reality driving deforestation and greenwashed consumer products in your markets. Plus, Fight Toxic Prisons joins us to talk direct action, solidarity with prisoners and the layers of toxicity in the prison industrial complex.
While the world watches in horror as fires rage on in the Amazon, activists are shining a light on the big businesses destroying what’s popularly known as the “lungs of the Earth.” On September 5, people around the globe stood in solidarity with the rainforest’s indigenous communities by partaking in the Global Day of Action for the Amazon, staging protests and singling out the bad actors profiting off deforestation. In Washington, D.C. protesters chanted “Put out the flames, we name your names — politicians, corporate vultures, you’re the ones we blame,” as they marched from the White House to the Brazilian Consulate.
The country and this project are aiming to do their part in the current climate crisis by tackling the ever-growing issue of deforestation and climate change. Ethiopia broke records with this recent tree planting day that occurred Monday. State employees were given the day off and encouraged other citizens to play their role in the project. “I think we demonstrated the capacity for people to come together collectively and deliver on a shared vision,” said Billene Seyoum, Abiy’s press secretary. India held the previous world record for the most trees planted in one day standing at 50 million.
A palm oil supplier to Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever is destroying rainforests in Papua, Indonesia, a new investigation by Greenpeace International has revealed. Satellite analysis suggests that around 4,000 hectare of rainforest were cleared in PT Megakarya Jaya Raya concession between May 2015 and April 2017—an area almost half the size of Paris. Photos and video (below) taken in March and April 2018 show massive deforestation in PT MJR, a palm oil concession controlled by the Hayel Saeed Anam Group (HSA), including in an area zoned for protection by the Indonesian government in response to the devastating forest fires in 2015. Development is prohibited in these areas. The footage is being released soon after Greenpeace revealed that these leading global brands are falling behind in their publicized commitments to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains by 2020.
Nearby residents witnessed logging trucks entering the Yellowwood State Forest Back Country Area today -- verifying that Governor Eric Holcomb is choosing to let the commercial logging of a 300-acre forest -- one of the most popular in the state for wilderness recreation -- go forward. “This is the people’s forest, not the loggers’” said Jeff Stant, executive director of the Indiana Forest Alliance. “It’s atrocious to sell off public forests this way, against the advice of scientists, economists, tourism leaders -- and against the will of thousands of citizens who have spoken out in favor of saving this forest.” “We’re not against responsible logging on private land,” he continued. “If the Department of Natural Resources is going to log public land, they should have a balanced policy, not a ‘log 97.5% of it’ policy.
By Adam Carey for The Age - Environmental activists have set up a blockade at a remote old-growth forest in East Gippsland in a last-ditch attempt to disrupt logging plans. Harvesting of native timber is due to begin as soon as Wednesday in a previously untouched part of the Kuark Forest near Orbost, even as environmental lawyers take legal action to have logging in the area ruled illegal. State-owned enterprise VicForests this week told lawyers for Environmental Justice Australia that it would begin harvesting the "Princess Cut" coupe in the Kuark forest on November 1. The decision was made after the Andrews government approved the work with tougher new conditions imposed on VicForests, which will likely reduce the number of large old trees the agency can harvest. Any tree with a diameter of more than 2½ metres will be off-limits to loggers, as will habitat trees that provide a home for native animals and help plant life flourish below the forest canopy. Compliance officers with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will inspect the forest this week to make sure the new limit is adhered to, the government said. Harvesting will not begin until the inspection is complete and large old trees and areas of habitat in and around the coupe have been protected.
By Jessica A. Knoblauch for Earth Justice - A decades-long fight over a landmark rule protecting wild forests nationwide took another successful–and possibly final–turn last week after a U.S. district court threw out a last-ditch attack by the state of Alaska against the Roadless Rule. Adopted in the closing days of the Clinton administration, the Roadless Rule prohibits most logging and road construction in roadless areas of national forests. These lands, today equaling about 50 million acres or about the size of Nebraska, are some of the wildest places left in America. Upon its passage, the rule was overwhelmingly popular with the American people, including those who like to hike, camp, fish and recreate among the trees in wild, unmarred areas. The Forest Service also liked the rule, since, at the time, the agency had a multibillion-dollar backlog on maintenance for more than 400,000 miles of existing roads, and it wasn’t eager to add even more to its workload. Yet, despite its popularity, state political leaders with ties to the logging and timber industries hated the new rule. Even before President Clinton left office, they began their attack. The Bush administration, which took office just eight days later, failed to come to the rule’s defense. “It created this vacuum,” says Earthjustice attorney Tom Waldo, one of the legal architects of the organization’s Roadless Rule strategy. “So Earthjustice stepped in.”
By Sadie Levy Gale for Independent - Norway has become the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation. The Norwegian parliament pledged that the government’s public procurement policy will become deforestation-free, last month. Norway is a major funder of forest conservation projects worldwide and also supports human rights programmes for forest communities.