Greenpeace Blog

Brazilian government to investigate land reform scandal

Posted by jamie — 23 August 2007 at 3:13pm - Comments

A girl from a landless community in Para State, BrazilOur exposé earlier this week about how a Brazilian government agency is handing out areas of the Amazon rainforest to logging companies under the guise of a land settlement programme has set the proverbial cat among the pigeons. The government, has been stressing that deforestation levels are falling but has also said it will launch a full investigation into the situation.

Andre Muggiati, one of our Amazon campaigners, has been doing a slew of interviews for the Brazilian and international media, including the main national radio station in Brazil where he was followed by Guilherme Kassel, the Minister for Rural Development who is responsible for the National Institute of Colonisation and Land Reform (Incra). An impromptu debate ensued during which Muggiati invited the minister to join him on a visit to Santarém to see for himself the impact these underhand deals are having on the rainforest.

20% renewables by 2020? Not without a new energy policy...

Posted by jossc — 22 August 2007 at 12:59pm - Comments
Bad energy: inefficient centralised energy generation is a major contributor to global warming

Bad energy: inefficient centralised energy generation is a major contributor to global warming

Over the next decade, Britain needs to invest tens of billions on renewing its dilapidated energy infrastructure. Many of our current nuclear, coal and gas power stations will close, and the electricity transmission and distribution grids themselves will need replacement.

Which provides us with a once-in-a-generation chance for the government to redesign our energy market. We have the perfect opportunity to go for maximum environmental efficiency, whilst ensuring energy security and reliability of supply.

Amazon forest carved up in resettlement scam

Posted by jamie — 21 August 2007 at 9:18am - Comments

A settlement on the banks of the Amazon

It was almost too good to be true. When the Brazilian government announced last week that deforestation rates in the Amazon had dropped for the third year running, it was certainly a cause for celebration. But it now transpires that one of the government's own agencies is colluding with logging companies so they can gain access to areas of high-value timber that would otherwise be off limits.

Climate camp ends with nationwide protests

Posted by jamie — 20 August 2007 at 4:20pm - Comments

A climate camp protester holds up a banner in front of police

Money isn't everything © Gavin Austin

The climate camp's 24 hours of action has drawn to a close and it's been a rare old time with protests springing up all over the country, not just around Heathrow. When I left the camp last night, a large group of people were camped outside BAA's offices near the airport and thanks to Indymedia's rather excellent Twittering, my mobile has continued to deliver updates about what was going on.

Warning - this story contains nudity

Posted by tracy — 20 August 2007 at 9:36am - Comments

Spencer Tunick installation on Swiss glacier

That was bound to get your attention. And that is precisely what 600 volunteers thought when they took off their clothes on a glacier in the Swiss Alps to call for action against climate change.

The nude volunteers posed for our Swiss office and renowned installation artist Spencer Tunick on the Aletsch Glacier. Known around the world for his installations, Spencer Tunick wants people to know that global climate change is not an abstract issue, but a hazardous threat which affects us all.

Climate camp update: send in the clowns

Posted by jamie — 19 August 2007 at 3:17pm - Comments
According to the update board in the climate camp info tent, the various groups of protesters have had various degrees of success, not least a troupe of clowns. They're among the campers who have made it to the BAA offices at Heathrow, although apparently they've been penned in by police. Other teams have also made it, despite a heavy police presence, and 250 are currently coralled behind the BAA building. Others remain at large. Elsewhere, a group have been in Sipson village marking out where the planned third runway will be.

Action stations at climate camp

Posted by jamie — 19 August 2007 at 2:25pm - Comments

Right now, a group of two hundred or so climate campers are marching across a field on their way to Heathrow in an attempt to blockade the BAA offices. Needless to say, huge numbers of police - some in riot gear - are in their way.

Climate camp - your one-stop campaigning workshop

Posted by jossc — 17 August 2007 at 4:03pm - Comments

Runways to ruin - climate camp

Anyone for a workshop on Sustainable Activism?

Go, Gore, go

Posted by jamie — 17 August 2007 at 3:49pm - Comments

It's a shame the New York Times only allows subscribers to see their stories online (don't get any ideas, UK press moguls) because there was an absolute corker in yesterday's edition that's been sent round on email. Al Gore, when talking to columnist Nicholas Kristof, advocated a programme of direct action to tackle climate change:

"We are now treating the Earth's atmosphere as an open sewer," [Mr Gore] said, and (perhaps because my teenage son was beside me) he encouraged young people to engage in peaceful protests to block major new carbon sources. "I can't understand why there aren't rings of young people blocking bulldozers," Mr. Gore said, "and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants."

Is this the first sign of a change for the man who used to be the Next President of the United States? Will he shake off the mild-mannered lecturer schtick, going underground to lead troops of young activists into confrontation with police, power companies and politicians? Will there be a resurgence of grass-roots politics where our elected officials through off the trappings of state to take their lead from the people?

Nah, maybe not. Besides, I don't think a beret and beard would suit Al. Still, Kristof ended his column with a rather salient point:

Critics [of climate change] scoff that the scientific debate is continuing, that the consequences are uncertain - and they're right. There is natural variability and lots of uncertainty, especially about the magnitude and timing of climate change.

In the same way, terror experts aren't sure about the magnitude and timing of Al Qaeda's next strike. But it would be myopic to shrug that because there's uncertainty about the risks, we shouldn't act vigorously to confront them — yet that's our national policy toward climate change, and it's a disgrace.

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