earth day, every day.

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

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getcher grist ecard here!

Call be an eco-grouch, but I’m finding it hard to get into the Earth Day spirit this year. I woke up feeling a bit ambivalent; caught a bit of Living with Ed during breakfast, and then discovered that HGTV’s airing a slate of “green” programming all day. Crank level rose. “Ooooo, if I’m near the teevee at 6, I can watch some yuppie couple shop for an ‘environmentally friendly’ vacation home (Um, is there such a thing? Doesn’t the sheer wastefulness of owning a second home trump the recycled cork floors?) in Hawaii.” Like, O-M-F-G. (That one’s for you, Mike Galanos. Your fainting couch should be arriving via Fed-fucking-Ex any day now.)

Time for work. While shuffling some files around and otherwise procrastinating, caught this blog post over at The Boiling Point.

If I see one more article about a gazillion pieces of fancy overpriced “organic” or “recycled” designer crap we can cram into our lives to pretend we’re doing something significant to save the planet, I’m going to shoot some (organic!?) steam out my ears.

With every Earth Day there comes a flood of special newspaper and magazine “Green Issues,” all generally pushing the same deluded feel-good idea that if only we replaced non-green products with slightly more green products, we’d really Make a Big Difference and Save the Planet. We don’t really need to change our consumer culture or hold corporate polluters accountable or enact sweeping and drastic environmental legislation–we just need to change our lightbulbs and wear organic cotton T-shirts. […]

Anyway, here’s the thing: buying more fancy stuff you don’t need (no matter how organic or recycled it is) is fundamentally an anti-green act. If you replace your perfectly good couch with some fancy organic or more sustainably produced designer creation, that does not mean you are saving the planet. It means you are buying a nice couch that is slightly less destructive than another couch. You’re still consuming, and you’re still creating waste. You are not a hero, and you are not an activist, you’re just a less destructive shopper.

And shopping is not a substitute for action. Buying a red sweatshirt or red iPod that donates 1% of its profits to a poorly-run AIDS charity that spends all its money advertising red sweatshirts or red iPods is not real action for change. A lot of this feel-good, do-nothing shopping as “activism” (ActivismTM) crap is just an excuse to give yourself an excuse to BUY MORE CRAP YOU DON’T need.

Ambivalence clear now.

(More below the fold…)

Ecological Internet: Stop WWF’s Betrayal of the Earth’s Last Ancient Forests

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Note: Previous related alerts available here.

Via Ecological Internet / The Rainforest Portal:

Stop WWF’s Betrayal of the Earth’s Last Ancient Forests

For many years the international conservation group WWF has supported Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification that first-time logging of ancient primary and old-growth forests is “sustainable”. Millions of hectares of intact, large rainforest ecosystems have been and are being heavily industrially logged for the first time with WWF and FSC’s stamp of approval. Ecological Internet (EI) recently reported upon Samling of Malaysia’s activities in Guyana under the name of Barama (1.3 million ha/3.2 million acres), which received significant international bank financing based upon assurances provided by WWF and an FSC certificate of good forest management.

Sadly, WWF’s partnering with this particular rainforest destroyer in Guyana is not at all unique. Similar large-scale, often illegal and highly socially and environmentally destructive logging of ancient forests in the Congo basin countries, Russia, and Indonesia continue with the blessing of WWF and FSC as their official policy. WWF’s greenwashing, and propagation and subsidizing of the myth of “sustainable ancient forest logging”, may be the greatest threat to the world’s remaining ancient forests.

WWF’s unquestioning support for certified logging of ancient forests has placed them in the highly controversial position of supporting loggers against local protests, as well as at odds with ecological science’s requirements for global forest and climate sustainability. Their efforts go well beyond promotion, as WWF’s “Global Forest and Trade Network” (GFTN) program is highly likely accepting undisclosed amounts of money from industrial loggers to promote their certification to FSC standards. And they continue to advocate on their behalf even when these standards are not met. As evidence questioning their basic premise that industrial logging of millions of years old ecosystems is environmentally desirable or even possible continues to build, WWF has resorted to trying to cover-up the depth to which they are driving the ancient forest logging business. Indeed, WWF is acting like a Public Relations agency for destructive and criminal logging. […]

WWF is betraying the global ancient forest protection movement. Its embrace of questionable certifications provides greenwashing to allow industrial ancient rainforest logging to continue. WWF and other ancient forest logging apologists must commit to working to End Ancient Forest Logging — a complete cessation of industrial development in the world’s remaining primary and old-growth forests. This is a global imperative given looming climate change, species extinction and continued indigenous abuses by rapacious “legal” and illegal industrial loggers. Ultimately, just like any big multinational corporation, as it seems to be only money that now interests WWF, we have to make it cost them more to have these deals with logging companies than they get from the deals themselves. Protest against a World Without ancient Forests (WWF) and demand they cease their support for industrial scaled logging of primary and old-growth forests.

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RAN: Will PEFC support real sustainable forest practices?

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

Via the Rainforest Action Network:

Will PEFC support real sustainable forest practices?

The Pan European Forest Council (PEFC) recently gave in to pressure from the Australian government to accept the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) as a legitimate certification for sustainable forestry. AFS was intentionally designed to provide a legal loophole for the lumber company Gunns, Ltd, so that it can continue clear-cutting Tasmania’s 200-year-old trees and wrecking a landscape that is truly a natural treasure.

Send a message to PEFC Chairman Michael Clark that he must renounce the AFS policy and stand up for real sustainable certification policies, not those engineered by the logging industry to greenwash their destructive practices.

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