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EJ : the roots of Climate Justice

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Johanna de Graffenreid

on 26 June 2013

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Transcript of EJ : the roots of Climate Justice

Environmental Justice 101
Energy : Extraction to Disposal
33% of total GhG Emissions
Coal : 28.3% of US GhG Emissions in 2010

Oil : More consumed, per capita, worldwide

Natural Gas : Only 30% of natural gas is produced from "fracking"

Uranium : 500 abandoned mines remain on Navajo land...
Carbon Sinks : 14% Offset of US GhG Emissions : The Dark Side of Conservation & Biomass Resistance
Agriculture :
8% of US GhG Emissions
how erosion, depletion of carbon sinks, industrial subsidies, and lack of food access are all contributing to injustice...
"Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies... It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work." EPA
Source : US EPA
Percentage of US GhG
Provision of Goods : 29 %
Provision of Food : 13%
Disposal of Waste : 1-5%
The Institutionalization of
Environmental Justice
Warren County
PCB Landfill
31 years later, we're still struggling with NIMBY...
83 % of waste cites are in metro areas, which means :
28% of all coal is in the US.
72% comes from 5 states: Kentucky, West Virginia, Wyoming, Texas, and Pennsylvania (IEA)
Late 1960's- Early 1980's
Anti-Strip Mining Movement
Culminates in Knott County KY with the occupation of a strip mine 1972.
20 women from the group "Save the Land and the People" occupied the mine for 15 hours
1980's to Present
Anti-Mountaintop Removal Movement
The root of climate justice is at the source:
67 % of coal comes from Surface Mining
(US EPA, 2005)
June 2011 : Hundreds march to protect labor history & stop MTR on Blair Mountain
Birth defect rates are 42% higher in counties with Mountaintop Removal. (ilovemountains.org)

68% of all African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal fired power plant.
NW Coal Exports
Some estimate that the CO2 emissions from this project would be worse than the XL Pipeline...
NW Coal trains loose 500 lbs of coal, per car, per trip. (BNSF train company)
August 2012 :
Montana Coal Export Action
Almost 100 ranchers, land owners, solidarity activists, and first nations peoples risk arrest at state capitol.
April 2013 :
NW indigenous communities across te NW unite against export terminals.
The Lummi Nation is demanding that their treaty rights be respected, rather than building the largest coal export terminal in US History on Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point, Bellingham WA).
Coal Ash
Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
70% of coal ash ponds are in areas where the family income is lower than the national median.
There are NO federal regulations on coal ash or its disposal...
coal ash contains mercury, lead, arsenic, and other pollutants.
2013 Victory!
77% of waste from the BP gulf oil spill was dumped in landfills with surrounding communities that had higher proportions of people of color than the host county. (Facing South)
Risk levels for pollutants were 35% higher in low income communities near tar sands oil refineries than the general public. (US EPA)
US & Canada
Linked by Tar Sands Oil Pollution
Canyon Lands Rising Tide & Idle No More Unite!
July 21st-28th Utah Action Camp
Tar Sands Oil releases 3x the GhG of Conventional Oil
Colorado River contamination adversely effects Navajo Nations
US Communities stand up to Tar Sands Oil Refineries
April 26th, 2013 :
Marshal Plant in Detroit : Marked the first protest of US oil refineries processing tar sands oil...
XL Pipeline Resistance
Beyond the Sierra Club...
Peaceful Uprising & Idle No More : Moccasins on the Ground Camp June 15-17th
Tar Sands Blockade: Dozens of Actions & the longest tree sit in TX History.
Offshore Oil Protests:
Hands Across the Sand
February 2010 :
10,000+ People at 90 beaches along the Florida Coast.
Natural Gas Resistance
Community-Based Solutions
Climate Resiliency & Environmental Solutions from the ground up!
First event was 2 months BEFORE the BP Gulf Oil Spill
Marcellus Shale Communities Stand Up
Dozens of communities & organizations, across the NE, have stood against fracking...
July 12, 2012 :
Earth First! staged the first tree sit against Fracking
June 4th-June 7th, 2013
Mi'Mi’kmaq, Maliseet first nations fight against fracking on indigenous lands in New Brunswick
Riverdale Mobile Home Park
June 2012
Residents & solidarity activists refused to leave the property, under threat of arrest, for 2 weeks. Families mobile homes were purchased far below market price under emminent domain after the mineral rights were sold from under them...
As of 2013, 13% of US natural gas wells are on native lands
Occupy the Pipeline
The pipeline would run through NYC, including in Sandy Survival Zones...
September 12, 2012 Activists were arrested for occupying the Spectrum Pipeline property in the Rockaways
Uranium Extraction & Nuclear Resistance
500 uranium mine sites, homes, and water sources on Navajo land remain to be cleaned up under EPA programs.
Four Corners Nations Resist
Nuclear Regulatory officials predicted 25 new mine applications by the end of 2013.
These new projects could contaminate the source of drinking water for 15,000 Navajo community members
Clamshell Alliance
August 22nd, 1977
1,141 were arrested for occupying the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant site.
They refused bail, acting in solidarity, and remained in jail for up to two weeks
The National Park model, which Roosevelt proposed after meeting John Muir (founder of the Sierra Club) made one primary assumption, that the land belonged to no one.
Even the US's first national park, Yellowstone, was sacred land occupied not by one indigenous nation- but shared by three separate plains nations.
Mount Rushmore : a Sacred Site Defaced by faces...
Mount Rushmore was originally a sacred site of the Lakota Sioux Nation.
In response to the defacing of the mountain, the Lakota Sioux Nation is carving & creating Crazy Horse Memorial Park
Idle No More & First Nations Independence
A grassroots movement of First Nations throughout North America have banded together to address justice issues (including environmental justice) facing their communities.
In addition to Idle No More, many First Nations have been formally claiming independence from colonialist nations/states since the 1970's
Outdoor Recreation :
Earth Liberation Front Radical Resistance
Veil Ski Resort Arson :
Protect the Peaks!
Snowbowl Ski Resort has been proposed on a site held sacred by 13 separate Nations
Snowbowl would be the only ski resort to use waste water for fake snow, a seemingly positive use which could have very harsh environmental impacts.
Biomass : Resisting a False Solution
Source : International Energy Agency
Redwood Summer :
Earth First! :
Hunreds of activists participated in tree sits & resistance to logging in the pacific NW
GE Trees : Earth First! Resists tree farming for biomass production

May 21st - June 1st, 2013
Dogwood Alliance
Protecting Appalachian Forests
Waste to Energy : Concerns over trash to electricity generators
Low income communities may face greater air quality & health risks...
USDA : Racial Bias Against Black Farmers
From the 1900 to the present African American Farmers have seen consistent discrimination from the US Federal loan program.
In the 1920's 1/7th of farms were run by African Americans.
In 1992 1/100 farms were run by African Americans
Urban Food Deserts :
the Food Sovereignty Movement
If you are a person of color you are 15% more likely to live in a food desert than not.
One factor increases likelyhood of being in a food desert more than any other : average household income in your community...
Seed Rights :
Food Democracy Now! Defending Local Farmers
Monsanto currently owns 90% of seed & has prosecuted hundreds of local farmers. The US Congress just passed the "Monsanto Protection Act" - stripping the USDA of GMO regulatory potential
28% of GhG Emissions

From 1936-1950 General Motors, Firestone Tire, and 3 others purchased over 100 electric street car companies in over 45 cities...
While they were sued for conspiracy to monopolize, GM won the case in 1946, leading to our current lack of street car infrastructure.
I-69 Protests
The interstate is being built to support international industrial agriculture & CAFTA.
Earth First!
Stood with Amish & local land owners who were being evicted to build the project
No Idling :
Fighting for Justice & Air Quality
Diesel exhaust is responsible for 125,000 Cancer cases nation-wide
Low Income communities are often the pathways for diesel trucks.
Organizations like the Clean Air Coalition of Western NY are fighting diesel bus depots in their communities due to high asthma rates.
Frontline Response & Resilience
Communities facing sea-level rise & natural disasters
Disaster Relief :
Increase of natural disasters from climate change due to higher temperatures, rising surface ocean temperatures and increased water vapor.
Hurricane Katrina
Common Ground Collective
Occupy Sandy
2005- Present
2012- Present
Occupy Oklahoma
2013- Present
Sea Level Rise
First Nations Communities Face the First Impacts
Kingdom of Hawai'i and Yup'ik Eskimo of Alaska
Community owned power localizes the grid, creates profit for towns & cities, and allows for direct control of renewables.
40% of all construction materials are already being reused through local landfill programs (EPA)
Several major US cities, including San Francisco and New York, are implementing city-wide composting initiatives
American Public Power Association already provides energy to 14% of the US population
By 2007 over 12,540 farms reported creating profits from Community Supported Agriculture programs
Urban farm education programs are filling the gaps of food deserts
Organizations are working across the country to increase access to public transit for all communities
Bike Collectives also serve to provide free bycicles & training to local folks. Thousands exist all around the world.
Building Grassroots Coalitions across Movements
Idle No More & Sovereignty Summer
Earth First!
Summer of Solidarity & Fearless Summer
Rising Tide North America & International
Full transcript