Solidarity With Resistance To Extraction

People the world over are opposing fossil fuel extraction in an incalculable number of ways.  It is now clear that burning fossil fuels threatens millions of Life forms and could be laying the foundation for the extermination of Humanity.  But what about “alternative” energy?  As progressives stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those rejecting fossil fuels and nuclear power, should we despise, ignore, or commend those who challenge the menace to their homes and their communities from solar, wind and hydro-power (dams)?  The Gateway Green Alliance gave its answer with unanimous approval of a version of the statement below in May, 2021. The monumental increase in the use of energy is provoking conflicts across the Earth.  We express our solidarity with those struggling against extraction, including these examples.

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Lithium, Cobalt, And Rare Earths

Thanks to its very name — renewable energy — we can picture a time in the not-too-distant future when our need for non-renewable fuels like oil, natural gas, and coal will vanish. Indeed, the Biden administration has announced a breakthrough target of 2035 for fully eliminating U.S. reliance on those non-renewable fuels for the generation of electricity. That would be accomplished by “deploying carbon-pollution-free electricity-generating resources,” primarily the everlasting power of the wind and sun.

With other nations moving in a similar direction, it’s tempting to conclude that the days when competition over finite supplies of energy was a recurring source of conflict will soon draw to a close. Unfortunately, think again: while the sun and wind are indeed infinitely renewable, the materials needed to convert those resources into electricity — minerals like cobalt, copper, lithium, nickel, and the rare-earth elements, or REEs — are anything but.

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What Would A Deep Green New Deal Look Like?

The Green New Deal has attracted perhaps the greatest attention of any proposal for decades. It would guarantee Medicare-for-All, Housing-for-All, student loan forgiveness and propose the largest economic growth in human history to address unemployment and climate change.

But the last of these hits a stumbling block. Creation of all forms of energy contributes to the destruction of nature and human life. It is possible to increase the global quality of life at the same time as we reduce the use of fossil fuels and other sources of energy. Therefore, a “deep” GND would focus on energy reduction, otherwise known as energy conservation. Decreasing total energy use is a prerequisite for securing human existence.

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The Origins Of Anti-Extractivism

In the social science literature, there’s this sense that countries or states that rely on mining or oil for their revenues are doomed to some kind of pathology: they’re going to be authoritarian, or stuck in underdevelopment. There’s a related notion that resource politics are an elite affair: that what governs the global oil economy is corporations, or the members of OPEC, or oil ministers—and likewise for mining. What I learned doing ethnographic research in Ecuador is that resource politics is much more contested and interesting.

Focusing on resource politics as this vibrant field of contention gives a different view of the stakes of…

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Social Movements Denounce Violent Repression In Ecuador, Support General Strike

To the government of the Republic of Ecuador and the national and international community:

We sign this statement to express our deep concern for the events occurring in Ecuador. As professors, students, investigators, artists, activists and companions of diverse social processes, we reject the state of exception and, specifically, the militarization and disproportionate use of police and military force across the country, since the 3 rd of October, 2019. The violence used in social repression has been excessive. Military forces are using rubber and conventional bullets, as well as tear gas. Hundreds of Ecuadorians are wounded, more than 490 have been detained, 12 are missing, and at least two people have died, to-date (October 7th).

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Mining Corporations Flagrantly Plunder the Global South Without Consequence

The big driver of the world economy is a plundering process where powerful corporations loot the natural resources of low-income countries.

These highly influential multinational corporations (MNCs) facilitate the expatriation of profits and natural assets from resource-rich but capital-poor countries by engaging in a wide range of morally egregious profit maximization practices. Predatory practices carried out by MNCs deprive developing countries of being able to benefit equitably from their own natural resource supply and ultimately undermine their pursuit of emancipatory economic development policies.

How do systematic underdevelopment and exploitation of developing countries and their peoples occur? Two common strategies of corporate plunder through global extractive industries are rent-seeking and wage exploitation.

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6,000 Amazon Employees, Including A VP And Directors, Are Now Calling On Jeff Bezos To Stop Automating Oil Extraction

On Monday, a group of Amazon employees began circulating an open letter that calls on CEO Jeff Bezos and the board of directors to adopt a companywide plan to address climate change. By Wednesday, over 3,500 Amazoners had signed on. By Friday, that number had surpassed 6,000—meaning a number equivalent to about 1/10th of the company’s entire corporate workforce had publicly added their names. And those names are still rolling in. One of the latest names belongs to Tim Bray, a VP and Distinguished Engineer who, per his LinkedIn profile, is “an AWS geek at”

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The People’s Caravan From Cleveland RNC To Philadelphia DNC

By Staff for the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. There are three major defining factors of this moment: white rage and misogyny escalated by the presidential elections; extractive dig-burn-dump economies promoted by politicians; and rising militarism at home & abroad applauded by the electorate.

We believe that no matter who becomes the next US president, these growing norms will have serious long-term implications for Black, Latin@, Arab and Muslim peoples, Indigenous Peoples, Asian & Pacific Islander, working class White folks, women and trans people… long after the next president is elected.

We are building a diverse and interconnected movement that has the roots we need to weather the storms our communities face and change the systems that cause us harm.

This July 2016, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) is organizing a People’s Caravan from Cleveland to Philadelphia of 40-50 frontline community leaders from the US and Honduras.

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Newsletter: Global Solidarity Is Rising

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. A key ingredient of previous successful campaigns to stop ‘free trade’ agreements is cross-border solidarity. Uniting struggles globally, as well as locally, is critical for other issues as well. Via Campesina, a movement started by peasants in 1993, has grown to become a global movement that recognizes the intersectionality between food security, land rights, the climate crisis and transnational corporate power. They work together to both resist harmful policies and to create necessary alternatives by organizing seed exchanges and impacting public policy. Similarly, global solidarity is increasing around the climate crisis.

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Mining Corps Leave Behind Human Rights, Environmental Damage

By Scott Price for IC Magazine – While much of the controversy surrounding Canada’s extractive industry centers on oil and gas projects like SWN Resources’ drilling plans in New Brunswick, Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline and the widely felt impact of Tar Sands extraction in Alberta, there is a significant lack of debate concerning Canada’s larger and much more influential mining sector. It’s estimated that 75% of the world’s mining and exploration companies are based in Canada. Collectively, they account for 42 billion dollars of Canada’s gross domestic product, making mining and exploration one of Canada’s most economically powerful sectors.

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Protect Apache Sacred Land From Copper Mining

There will also be new huge toxic waste tailings from the new mine extending many square miles in a fifty foot high pile. The collapse of the surface of old high desert land, ancient oak trees and sacred Native American land into the rubble of a huge pit is not necessary. It still can be stopped if Congress would make a small correction …or if protests and actions are necessary.

The bottom line is simply that the rape of the land by foreign corporations makes no sense. It thrives on confusion and greed. Politicians also thrive in the related financial lobby support and must be corrected.

Native Americans have come together in the face of another assault. They welcome support from others. The problem comes from within the structure of the United Sates, not sovereign Native American Nations. Recently the hint of occupation of the religious site has apparently started low flights of official airplanes buzzing the homes of the Tribe. The U.S. Forest Service has spied on the new events at Oak Flats but seems to be avoiding even consultation. A threat of eviction of the religious site has occurred and will possibly be faced in the coming few days.

Attempts at intimidation must not be allowed. A move backward in the United States history of relations with Native Americans must not occur. Sensible people must speak and act now.

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Series Of Mobilizations In Build Up To Climate Meeting

Frustration is increasing among representatives of grassroots organizations that are marginalized by the COP deliberations and the hierarchical global political and economic structure. At so-called ‘side-events’ of the parallel People’s Summit in Lima, indigenous people, youth, women and residents of island states faced with climate related disasters (for example, Tuvalu and the Philippines) criticized ‘Corporate Takeover’ of the UN Climate Summit and called for system change. Their motto is:’Change the System, not the Climate’. Groups such as Leave it in the Ground are calling for a moratorium on fossil fuel extraction; activists from the global North and the South working together, especially the youth, are calling on governments to provide subsidies for renewable energy instead of the fossil fuel industry. Indeed, as scientists point out, clean, efficient and renewable sources, such as, solar and wind can provide all the energy the world requires. The grassroots activists are also calling for the development of public transportation, community-based agriculture and food security emphasizing systemic change needed to tackle the interrelated issues ofenvironmental sustainability and social justice.

A series of mobilizations involving civil disobedience, boycotts and creative community alternatives are being planned to lay the groundwork for the People’s Global Climate Strike in December 2015 to coincide with the Paris UN Climate conference.

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Women Of Action Against Violent Extraction Shuts Down Tar Sands Mine Construction

Women of Action Against Violent Extraction joined the fight against tar sands development on the Colorado Plateau. The group used direct action June 16 to stop the lone bulldozer beginning construction on the US Oil Sands project. Deliveries of more and larger construction equipment are imminent.

U.S. Oil Sands has leased and intends to destroy 32,000 acres of the East Tavaputs Plateau starting at PR Springs where a permanent protest vigil has been established by Peaceful Uprising, Utah Tar Sands Resistance and Canyon Country Rising Tide.

WAAVE released the following statement regarding their action:

“Development of tar sands and oil shale on the Colorado Plateau is a violent and dangerous act requiring a bold defense. The Colorado River system, which provides water to 40 million people in the US, Mexico and many indigenous nations, is already over-tapped and tainted by numerous industrial poisons. Dirty energy kills millions world over at the site of mines, refineries, and in downstream communities. Moreover, extreme extraction like tar sands strip mining threatens our hope for a livable planet.”

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Exhaustion Of Cheap Mineral Resources Is Terraforming Earth

A new landmark scientific report drawing on the work of the world’s leading mineral experts forecasts that industrial civilisation’s extraction of critical minerals and fossil fuel resources is reaching the limits of economic feasibility, and could lead to a collapse of key infrastructures unless new ways to manage resources are implemented.

The peer-reviewed study – the 33rd Report to the Club of Rome – is authored by Prof Ugo Bardi of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Florence, where he teaches physical chemistry. It includes specialist contributions from fifteen senior scientists and experts across the fields of geology, agriculture, energy, physics, economics, geography, transport, ecology, industrial ecology, and biology, among others.

The Club of Rome is a Swiss-based global think tank founded in 1968 consisting of current and former heads of state, UN bureaucrats, government officials, diplomats, scientists, economists and business leaders.

Its latest report, to be released on 12th June, conducts a comprehensive overview of the history and evolution of mining, and argues that the increasing costs of mineral extraction due to pollution, waste, and depletion of low-cost sources will eventually make the present structure of industrial civilisation unsustainable.

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