Brussels – Despite considerable opposition by some governments, in the early hours of Friday morning EU leaders agreed three targets for carbon emission reductions, renewable energy and energy efficiency for 2030. But these targets are too low, slowing down efforts to boost renewable energy and keeping Europe hooked on polluting and expensive fuels, said Greenpeace. Next year, the new European Commission, led by Jean-Claude Juncker, is expected to table legislation which will make these targets a reality in EU countries. This legislation will have a profound impact on energy bills, energy security and efforts to cut emissions across Europe.
A dozen people put their bodies on the line today in a last-resort protest to stop a major gas storage expansion project that has been authorized to begin construction tomorrow on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes. The protesters formed a human blockade in front of the Texas-based Crestwood Midstream company gate, shutting down the Finger Lakes facility from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. A larger rally and the continuation of the human blockade and protest will take place tomorrow, Oct. 24, starting at 10 a.m. at the gates of the Crestwood compressor station site on Seneca Lake. The “WE ARE SENECA LAKE” actions are taking place to protest the methane gas storage expansion project that will store highly pressurized, explosive gas in abandoned salt caverns on the west side of Seneca Lake.
Police arrested 10 climate change activists who refused to leave the Minerals Council office in Forrest on Tuesday morning. The protesters were part of a 15-strong group of Canberrans and Pacific Climate Warriors from Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Fiji who “peacefully” occupied the office in an attempt to meet with the industry body’s director Brendan Pearson, the group’s spokesman Josh Creaser said. He said the group had hoped to tell the Minerals Council how fossil fuels were negatively affecting the lives of people across the Pacific region and were surprised at the reaction.
A major study recently published in New Scientist found that “scientists may have hugely underestimated the extent of global warming because temperature readings from southern hemisphere seas were inaccurate,” and said that ACD is “worse than we thought” because it is happening “faster than we realized.” As has become predictable now, as evidence of increasing ACD continues to mount, denial and corporate exploitation are accelerating right along with it. Climate Disruption Dispatches The famed Northwest Passage is now being exploited by luxury cruise companies. Given the ongoing melting of the Arctic ice cap, a company recently announced a 900-mile, 32-day luxury cruise there, with fares starting at $20,000, so people can luxuriate while viewing the demise of the planetary ecosystem.
At 78 and on full-time oxygen, Grzinzic says she can’t make it out to the township meetings to comment about the appeal, or down to Williamsport for a deposition with Chesapeake’s lawyers. So she gave a letter to Carolyn Knapp, from neighboring Ulster Township, to take to the Smithfield board that designated Knapp as her representative at public meetings. “I just can’t sit and do nothing about it. This is my home,” Grzinzic says. “We bought nightcrawlers for the kids to feed to the fish, because they’re pets, and now we’re going to lose that too.” But when Knapp presented the letter from Grzinzic to the supervisors at the October Smithfield Twp. meeting during public comment, supervisor Russel Burkett refused to allow Knapp to speak, stating that she’s not a taxpaying resident of Smithfield. Knapp and Burkett made emotional exchanges, and Knapp informed him she had a legal standing to speak.
The wind power boom in Nordic countries is making fossil fuel-fired power plants obsolete and is pushing electricity prices down, according to reporting by Reuters published Friday. Power prices in Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have dropped sharply as renewable energy floods the market, efficiency measures lower energy use overall, and growth remains stagnant, reporter Nerijus Adomaitis writes. This, in turn, will lead to the “mothballing” of 2,000 megawatts (MW) of coal capacity in Denmark and Finland over the next 15 years, a Norway-based consultant tells Adomaitis. According to the article, “Pushing fossil-fueled power stations out of the Nordic generation park is part of government plans across the region.”
UNITED NATIONS, Oct 18 2014 (IPS) – Climate Change Warriors from 12 Pacific Island nations paddled canoes into the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle, Australia, Friday to bring attention to their grave fears about the consequences of climate change on their home countries. The 30 warriors joined a flotilla of hundreds of Australians in kayaks and on surfboards to delay eight of the 12 shipsscheduled to pass through the port during the nine-hour blockade, which was organised with support from the U.S.-based environmental group 350.org. “Fifteen years ago, when I was going to school, you could walk in a straight line. Now you have to walk in a crooked line because the beach has eroded away.” — Mikaele Maiava
Two gunmen walked into a radio station and killed a local activist while he was presenting his weekly radio programme, prosecutors in the northern Mexico state of Sinaloa said. It was the first on-air killing in recent memory in Mexico. The victim, Atilano Román Tirado, headed a group of about 800 farm families whose lands were flooded by dam construction several years ago. His group, the Displaced Persons of Picachos – named after the dam – has been demanding compensation for the land. Román Tirado had a weekly variety programme on Fiesta Mexicana,a local radio station in the Pacific port of Mazatlan. In past years the Picachos movement had staged blockades and protest marches, which had resulted in arrests. Sinaloa state prosecutors said two men walked into the station on Saturday and asked for Román Tirado. The station is in a building that also houses the newspaper El Sol de Mazatlan.
MOORINGSPORT, La. (KTBS) – Raw oil is coating around a four mile section of Tete Bayou in Caddo Parish after a major spill Monday, around 8 AM. It happened just southwest of Mooringsport. Three families have been displaced because of the environmental disaster. The burst oil pipe belongs to Sunoco Logistics, which says the exact cause of the spill is still under investigation. Sunoco faces a long cleanup. The company estimates for now that around 4,000 thousand barrels worth of oil poured from the pipe, which carries oil from Texas to Ohio. At a press conference Saturday, it was announced around 1,900 barrels have already been cleaned up so far. Louisiana State Police say the three families were not forced out but asked to leave because of the oil’s fumes.
For me, this story began at Lake Superior, a place that is sacred to the Anishinaabeg, the source of a fifth of the world’s fresh water. I rode my horse with my family, my community and our allies, from that place, Rice Lake Refuge, to Rice Lake, on my own reservation. Those two lakes are the mother lode of the world’s wild rice. Those two lakes—in fact, the entire region—are threatened by a newly proposed pipeline of fracked oil from what is known as the Bakken Oil Fields of North Dakota, from the homeland of those Arikara people. The pipeline proposed is called the Sandpiper. We rode, but we did not stop. Driven to go to the source, we traveled to North Dakota. That is this story. Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara territory lies along the northern Missouri River, a land of gentle rolling hills, immense prairie diversity and the memory of 50 million buffalo.
Boise, ID — An oil and gas lease auction on Oct. 15, 2014 by the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) was delayed for about 30 minutes as protesters went back and forth with state officials concerning their right to silently protest the event. Reporters at local EnviroNews Idaho have witnessed similar silent protests in the past conducted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (IRAGE) during IDL’s oil and gas tract auctions without incident. Previous auctions have been held at the IDL’s office in Boise but this oil and gas tract sale was hosted by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, due to it’s larger conference room. According to video taken by WIRT and given to EnviroNews, activists who were confined to a “protest area” were told their signs were disruptive to the auction and would have to be taken outside.
Declaring themselves “Pacific Climate Warriors,” representatives from a dozen Pacific Island nations—sitting atop traditional outrigger canoes, kayaks, and other small boats—staged a full-day blockade of the Newcastle Coal Port in Australia on Friday as they sent a message to the government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the world that they will not sit idly by as the activities of the fossil fuel industry and its backers continue to threaten the existence of their low-lying homes. “The coal which leaves this port has a direct impact on our culture and our islands. It is clear to us that this is the kind of action which we must take in order to survive. Climate change is an issue which affects everyone and coal companies may expect further actions like this in future.” —Pacific Climate
In Washington, D.C., next month, environmentalists who’ve made their way across the country are planning to pressure the Obama administration to stop using fossil fuels. They’re part of the Great March for Climate Action that started in March in Los Angeles. One sunny Saturday afternoon this October, the marchers met with local fracking activists in Diamond Park, across from the Butler County Courthouse. The event was part of the Global Frackdown, one of many protests worldwide against fracking for oil and gas. Lisa DeSantis, from Lawrence County, describes herself as an activist clown. She’s painted tears of oil dripping down her face for this protest. She thinks fracking should be banned because it can contaminate water.
Washington, D.C. — Environmental and community groups took the first step late yesterday in a likely legal battle against a controversial liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility. On behalf of Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Sierra Club, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, Patuxent Riverkeeper, and Potomac Riverkeeper the environmental law organization Earthjustice filed a motion for rehearing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), demanding the agency withdraw its approval of an LNG export facility proposed at Cove Point in southern Maryland. The filing positions the groups to sue the agency to challenge FERC’s inadequate environmental review of the project. Groups also filed a motion for a stay, urging FERC to halt further construction on the $3.8 billion project.
CROSS LAKE, Man. – Protesters from a northern Manitoba First Nation are occupying the grounds around a generating station and have issued an eviction notice to Manitoba Hydro for what they say is a violation of their treaty rights. More than 100 protesters from the Cross Lake First Nation north of Lake Winnipeg marched to the hydro dam Wednesday and some have refused to leave the grounds. In a letter to Hydro president Scott Thomson, Chief Catherine Merrick said the First Nation is taking control of its traditional territory and evicting the Crown corporation. “You do not respect our rights,” she wrote in the letter dated Oct. 6. “You do not even respect or acknowledge who we are as people. Money and profit — that which you make off our traditional territory and people — is apparently all you care about.”