September 8, 2000

Subject: Green Files #12: The Big Meltdown: More heat and less ice up north could spell danger for Canada and the whole planet + Cyber voices against climate change + Convention on Climate Change: The future of humanity is not tradable and more from the WRM Bulletin + FIGHTING FOR POOR, OPPRESSED OIL CONGLOMERATES EVERYWHERE + FOES NO MORE + Al Gore: The Other Oil Candidate + Tangled Up in Blue: Corporate Partnerships at the United Nations + THAT REALLY HITS THE SPOT + THE CHEMICAL BOTHERS + PANDORA'S BOOKS + A comment on The Military Legacy

Hello everyone

As there are considerable protests in France against the ever increasing gas prices, it is fitting to remember that oil is one of the main contributors to global warming. This past week, I saw a special one-hour PBS TV report on the terrible consequences of global warming which are already being felt around the world and I also read the excellent coverage of this global threat in Time magazine - some of the most relevant *and sobering* excerpts are included below for your review. The main unexpected conclusion of the latest findings is that the rapid melting of ice on land and in the Arctic sea could very soon shut down the Gulf Stream and plunge Europe and North America into a deep freeze. Quite chilling, isn't it!

So the rising oil prices (which will soon skyrocket anyway as the available oil fields become increasingly depleted) should be prodding us all to think different big time and reinvent our civilization so as to quickly easy ourselves away from our dependency of dirty and polluting oil as a transportation and heating energy source.

This whole compilation is almost exclusively devoted to this critical issue.

I hope you will consider it worth your full undivided attention and worth passing on to others

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

"We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility."

- Albert Einstein

P.S. If you receive this as a forward and would like to continue receiving such fact-filled compilations on all kinds of subjects, simply send an email to with "Add me to the ERN list" in the subject field of your email.

The Earth Rainbow Network (ERN), founded in February 1997, has an extensive list of more than 1800 people in approximately 50 countries sharing information, visions and feedbacks on a broad range of subjects as a way to expand and deepen global awareness and the sense of forming a global spiritual community gradually empowering itself to contribute in shaping the future of this world.

The Big Meltdown: More heat and less ice up north could spell danger for Canada and the whole planet


If surface-water temperatures in the high Arctic rose just a few degrees, the sea ice could disappear entirely, but even a partial melting could devastate the climate. A combination of melting ice, increased precipitation and runoff from melting glaciers on land could leave a layer of freshwater floating atop the denser saltwater at a spot in the North Atlantic where water ordinarily cools and sinks. The warmer freshwater wouldn't sink. This would interrupt the vertical circulation at a crucial point in the cycling of heat. The effect, said one scientist, could be "like grabbing a conveyor belt and slowing it down."

This is how warming could produce a cooling. One driver of the conveyor is the pull generated by masses of water sinking in the North Atlantic. When this pull diminishes, the movement of warm water north in the Gulf Stream could slow or stall, driving down temperatures in Europe and North America, and possibly elsewhere.

It has happened. Roughly 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age, a natural warming sent freshwater from melting glaciers flowing out of the St. Lawrence River into the North Atlantic, all but shutting down the Gulf Stream and plunging Europe into a 1,300-year deep freeze. The more that becomes known about this period, named the Younger Dryas (after a tundra plant), the more scientists fear that the rapid melting of ice could cause the catastrophe to recur. This would involve, writes Richard Alley in The Two-Mile Time Machine, "dropping northern temperatures and spreading droughts far larger than the changes that have affected humans through recorded history." Colder air is dryer air, and Alley points out that during the Younger Dryas, the monsoon weakened in Asia and the Sahara expanded. Harvey Weiss, a Yale archaeologist who has studied the role of climate in human history, notes that "it is not changes in temperature that bring down civilizations, but changes in precipitation." Would this be "the end of humanity? No," says Alley. "An uncomfortable time for humanity? Very."

Protecting civilization is the goal of the Kyoto Protocol, but the treaty allows 12 more years for implementation. That assumption looks shaky in light of studies of deep underground ice layers in Greenland. They comprise a thorough record of climate changes over hundreds of thousands of years. The evidence shows that major shifts, like the onset of the Younger Dryas, can come abruptly--within a few decades.

It probably won't be possible to avoid some degree of climate change in the 21st century, up or down--and there is still a chance that the earth's systems will compensate for any change that occurs. But the possibility that climate may change rapidly and unpredictably should spur nations into doing whatever is practical to reduce the use of fossil fuels--as quickly as possible.

At the entrance to the Churchill Northern Studies Centre, the base for many investigations of regional climate change, stands a rusting rocket, a reminder of the complex's earlier life as part of Canada's defense against Soviet nuclear attack. That threat never materialized. Despite the clear and present danger that climate change poses, the resources devoted to studying this problem--and combatting it--are inconsequential compared with the trillions spent during the cold war. Twenty years from now, we may wonder how we could have miscalculated which threat represented the greater peril.

The following was forwarded by "Leigh Tremaine" <>


Cyber voices against climate change
22 August, 2000

Gland, Switzerland - As the days count down to November's crucial climate
summit in The Hague, a coalition of leading environmental organizations
today launched the first international web-based initiative to give citizens
around the world a voice in demanding a halt to global warming.

The website has been launched by 16 organizations,
including WWF, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. The site aims to send 10
million messages from the public to world political leaders demanding that
they use the November summit to reduce the pollution that causes global

"It is now 10 years since the international scientific community issued its
first warning about the threats the world faces from climate change," said
Andrew Kerr, of WWF's Climate Change Campaign. "That's why we're aiming for
10 million messages - one million for each year that governments have
failed to take action. It is scandalous that available solutions to this
problem have been so thoroughly neglected."

In 1990, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its
first scientific report on rising levels of global warming gases and their
implications for the future. Though impacts characteristic of global warming
have since become increasingly evident on every continent and in most
nations, governments have failed to act to turn down the heat. On the
contrary, many of the leading polluters, such as the United States, have
allowed their emissions to increase while pressing for effective
international measures to be watered down.

"Climate change is increasingly touching all of our lives. Food production,
water supply, shelter, public health, disaster relief, and nature
protection - all of these will be in the firing line," said Roger Higman,
Senior Campaigner with Friends of the Earth. "We urgently need the
intervention of top politicians to give this problem the priority it

At visitors can e-mail world leaders expressing their
concern about global warming. The first targets on the site will be European
Union Heads of State and Prime Ministers. Visitors can also download a
petition that can be signed and sent off-line. They can then send a cyber
postcard to friends encouraging them to join the campaign. The site is being
launched in English today. Versions will follow in French, Spanish and

At November's climate summit, officially the Sixth Conference of the Parties
to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, governments must meet
their deadline for finalizing rules for operating the Kyoto climate treaty -
the only international agreement for reducing emissions of global warming
gases from the industrialized world. Failing to agree in November would make
it questionable whether nations would be able to achieve the Kyoto timetable
for reducing emissions in the coming decade. This would set the worst
possible example for stopping global warming in the 21st century.

"It's time world leaders recognized that the people who voted them in care
about a cleaner, safer future for their families," said Karl Mallon of
Greenpeace's Climate Campaign. "People want action now to combat global
warming. November's climate summit - the first of the 21st century - is the
time for politicians to show they listen."

For further information:
Andrew Kerr, WWF Climate Change Campaign. Tel: +31 6 5161 9462
Roger Higman, Senior Campaigner (Climate and Transport), Friends of the
Earth. Tel: +44 20 7566 1661
Karl Mallon, Climate Change Campaigner, Greenpeace International, Tel: + 31
20 523 6291


The call from the public Visitors to can sign on to the
following text:

"I believe the pollution that causes global warming should be reduced.
Otherwise the impacts could be devastating for people and creatures around
the world.

"I don't think we should be running these risks when solutions are at hand.
"Please use the opportunity of November's climate summit in The Hague,

- to reduce your country's global warming pollution
- to agree a fair and effective Kyoto global warming treaty"

Kyoto climate treaty

The Kyoto climate treaty would require industrialized countries to reduce
their emissions of global warming gases 5 per cent below the level of 1990
by around 2010. Environmental groups want the main polluters to use
November's climate summit to enact tougher domestic measures. But if global
warming is to be solved in coming decades, all nations have a stake in
ensuring the Kyoto treaty provides a fair and effective international basis
for action. This depends on governments working to close rather than exploit
loopholes in the treaty that would allow industrialized nations to meet
their targets on paper without actually having to reduce emissions. Along
with at least 60 nations, environmental organizations want to see an
effective treaty come into force no later than 2002.

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000
From: Teresa Perez <>


International Secretariat Oxford Office
Maldonado 1858, CP 11200 1c Fosseway Business Centre
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Ph +598 2 403 2989 GL56 9NQ United Kingdom
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Web page: EMail:


In this issue:


- Convention on Climate Change: The future of humanity is not tradable


- CDM: Clean Development Mechanism or Carbon Dealers' Market?
- A truly Clean Development Mechanism
- Tree plantations as sinks must be sunk
- Can CDM money be acceptable for forest conservation?
- Carbon sink plantations: Those who stand to benefit
- Putting the carbon debt on the negotiations table


- Africa: Carbon sinks and money needs
- Asia: Carbon plantations may prove to be problematic
- Oceania: A matter of survival
- Central America: To the rescue of the U.S. and Canada
- South America: The push for carbon sink plantations


- Climate-related WRM Bulletin articles
- WRM Declarations
- The Carbon Shop: planting new problems


- Convention on Climate Change: The future of humanity is not tradable

The Conference of the Parties of the Framework Convention on Climate
Change -preceeded by a meeting of its Subsidiary Bodies in September in
Lyon- will take place in The Hague in November. The obscure language used
in the climate talks -and the even more obscure objectives of many
governments and businesses- make it necessary to translate what's being
negotiated into understandable concepts in order to facilitate very much
needed public participation in the debate. As a contribution to that end,
we have focused this issue of the WRM Bulletin entirely on this matter, of
vital importance for the future of humanity as a whole.

The solution to climate change -which is already happening and being
suffered by millions of people around the world- is in theory quite
simple: to substantially reduce emissions of greenhouse gases,
particularly carbon dioxide. Where do carbon dioxide emissions come from?
The majority result from the use of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural
gas), whose carbon was safely stored under the earth's surface. The
extraction of vast and increasing volumes of fossil fuels are at the core
of the current climatic crisis. There are other sources of greenhouse gas
emissions, among which deforestation -which releases the carbon dioxide
held in the woody biomass of the forest- which also need to be addressed,
but by far the major cause is fossil fuel use.

The way to reduce the use of fossil fuels is to replace them as quickly as
possible with environmentally-friendly sources of energy. Such a solution
is technically feasible, but very powerful forces -such as the oil
industry- and a number of industrialized-country governments are opposing
this approach, claiming it to be too expensive.

However, given that the public is increasingly concerned over climate
change, those same forces and governments need to give the world a
positive message to the effect that they are dealing with the problem. In
1997, industrialized-country governments finally committed themselves to
reduce emissions in the Kyoto Protocol of the Climate Change Convention.
Although those commitments were far from the emission cuts needed to
adequately address the problem, they were at least something. But they
simultaneously invented the so-called "Clean Development Mechanism" (CDM)
in order to avoid compliance with even those insufficient commitments.

While the experts meet and talk about mechanisms basically aimed at
avoiding compliance with emission reduction commitments, there are
organizations and communities implementing real mechanisms to address the
excessive use of fossil fuels. Among these, we wish to highlight the
struggle of indigenous peoples opposing oil exploration and extraction in
their territories. Within the context of climate change, this is the
perfect example of a truly Clean Development Mechanism: the no oil option.

However, corporate interests involved in the climate negotiations and
their experts are blind to realities such as these and are instead
inventing clever schemes which avoid the real issues. Among the cleverest
is the creation of a global "carbon market" involving the use of forests
and tree plantations as carbon sinks.

Regardless of how absurd those clever schemes may be, they seem to be
receiving increased support from a number of actors that have much to gain
if they are approved by the upcoming Conference of the Parties.

Many governments are also supporting the carbon sink-trading initiative.
For some Northern governments, it is an easy and cheap way to avoid
compliance with emission cuts. For some Southern governments, it is seen
as a means to earn some cash through the sale of carbon garbage dump
services. However, Southern governments would have much more to win if
they were to hold the North accountable to its accumulated "carbon debt",
which by far exceeds the conventional debt of the South.

In sum, civil society has a crucial role to play in putting pressure on
governments to induce them to change course. People need to bring some
reason to a Convention on Climate Change which seems to have forgotten
that its role is to ensure that future generations will inherit a livable
planet. That true solutions need to be agreed upon and implemented now.
That the Convention is not a market to trade carbon credits but a forum to
address a very real problem. That the future of humanity is not tradable.


- A truly Clean Development Mechanism

While climate change experts are trying to find "economically-viable"
(meaning cheap) ways out of the climate mess created by Western-style
economic development, indigenous peoples and local communities in many
countries are in fact implementing a truly Clean Development Mechanism:
they are banning oil and gas exploitation in their territories.

There is no discussion regarding the major role that fossil fuels have on
climate change. It follows that humanity needs to switch its prevailing
energy system --highly dependent on fossil fuels-- to another one based on
clean, renewable and low impact energy sources. Local peoples preventing
oil extraction are not only paving the way for such transition, but are at
the same time keeping the carbon contained in fossil fuels safely stored
under the earth's crust. They are not inventing ways to solve the effects
of fossil fuel consumption; they are directly attacking the root cause of
the problem: the extraction of oil and gas.

These peoples are benefiting humanity, but instead of receiving money for
the service they are providing, what they usually receive is repression.
They may be branded as enemies of the Motherland, or as subversives or
simply as terrorists. Many have been murdered, imprisoned, tortured. They
are not acceptable within the "carbon market" elite in spite of being the
ones that truly act to prevent climate change. Every barrel of oil which
is not extracted is a positive contribution to climate change and millions
of barrels are still under the earth as a result of their struggle. What
follows are a few examples of what some of these peoples have achieved so

In Colombia, the U'wa indigenous peoples have so far prevented oil
extraction from their territory by Occidental Petroleum. They are
currently preventing the exploitation of the Samore Block, with an
estimated 1.5 billion barrels of oil.

In Ecuador, the Cofan people closed down the Dureno well in Amazonia,
containing some 1,265,370 barrels of oil.

In Venezuela, the Warao people managed to get British petroleum out of
their territory, containing an estimated 820 million barrels of oil.

Also in Ecuador, the Huaorani people managed to halt for a number of years
the implementation of the ITTI (Ishpingo, Tambacocha, Tiputini, Imuya)
project within the Yasuni National Park, with an estimated 265 million
tons of oil and part of the territory has been now declared intangible and
therefore closed to oil extraction activities.

In Nigeria, the Ijaw people closed down the existing oil wells in their
area, in an operation carried out by the Ijaw youth in January 1999, which
they named "Climate Change". A tentative estimate of the oil and gas
thereby prevented from being extracted is difficult, but can be estimated
at some 6 billion barrels.

There are many more examples of struggles, some of which have at least
managed to delay oil or gas exploitation --such as the Chad-Cameroon
pipeline, the Yadana pipeline, the Peruvian Camisea gas project-- while
others are struggling against the combined forces of governments and oil
corporations to defend their territories against oil exploitation.

Are not all those struggles an example of a truly Clean Development
Mechanism? Should there not be a mechanism to compensate countries for not
extracting oil and gas? Should not local communities preventing oil
exploration be compensated for keeping fossil fuels safely stored in
perpetuity? Should not the Convention on Climate Change support a
moratorium on new oil and gas exploration? These are all questions which
many climate negotiators will try to avoid, precisely because they target
the main issue: fossil fuel extraction. Many will try to concentrate on
how to mitigate the effects, but will not be willing to address the true
cause of climate change. They must not be allowed to get away with that.

CLIP - to read the rest of this bulletin, please go at

September 5, 2000
News summaries from GRIST MAGAZINE

Texas Gov. George W. Bush announced on Friday that as president he
would "empower" oil producers and welcome offshore oil and gas
development off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas. He says more
drilling is needed in the U.S. to decrease dependence on foreign oil.
Al Gore, for his part, has promised to clamp down on offshore
drilling in federal waters.

straight to the source: San Francisco Chronicle/Examiner, Associated
Press, Walter R. Mears, 09.01.00

read it in Grist Magazine: Bush's cozy ties to the oil industry --
in our Best of the Rest column

catch it in Grist Magazine: George W. talks oil with Zed, the last
of his species

Friends of the Earth (FoE), which endorsed Bill Bradley in the
Democratic primary and had hinted that it might support Green
candidate Ralph Nader in the general election, is officially
endorsing Al Gore today. FoE President Brent Blackwelder said the
group agonized over the decision because it has been disappointed in
the Clinton-Gore administration and because it shares Nader's views
on important issues such as trade. But the group concluded that
Gore's environmental positions are far better than those of George W.
Bush. Blackwelder: "We're looking at the reality here. In the
United States, third parties do not get elected to the presidency."
Many other enviros are also lining up behind Gore as the presidential
race heats up. "The initial disappointments the environmental
community had with the Clinton-Gore administration have faded, and
there is an almost total coalescing behind Gore," said Kristin
Hyde-Block, a spokesperson for Environmental Media Services.

straight to the source: New York Times, James Dao, 09.05.00

straight to the source: Los Angeles Times, Jack Nelson, 09.03.00

From: "Corporate Watch" <>
Sent: Sunday, September 03, 2000
Subject: Al Gore: The Other Oil Candidate

The Watchdog on the Web

September 2, 2000

Al Gore: The Other Oil Candidate

Candidate Gore rails against "big oil." But he's cozy with Occidental
Petroleum -- a major environmental and human rights violator. This
investigative report looks at how Oxy is trampling the rights of
indigenous peoples in the US and Colombia. It also explores Gore's
family ties to the corporation which date back to his father, Al Gore, Sr.

Tangled Up in Blue: Corporate Partnerships at the United Nations

As world leaders gather for the Millenium Summit in New York, "We The
Peoples" of the United Nations are asking a momentous question: Will
corporations rule the world or will they be subordinated by governments
and civil society to the universal values of environmental, labor and
human rights?

Or, to ask it another way, are McDonald's, Nike and Disney companies
that represent universal educational and cultural values? Do giant oil
companies like Shell, BP and Chevron hold the keys to sustainable
development? This just released, in-depth report by Corporate Watch
parent organization TRAC attempts to answer some of these questions.

Teach-In: Economic Globalization and the Role of the United Nations

Can the United Nations Be Salvaged? This forum organized by the
International Forum on Globalization and co-sponsored by TRAC, brings
together activists and intellectuals from around the world to question
and challenge the role of corporations in the UN.

Held at New York's town hall on Spetember 5th as the Millenium UN
General Assembly opens. Get your tickets now! 1-888-629-9269

August 21, 2000
News summaries from GRIST MAGAZINE

We could preserve a sizable chunk of the world's plant and animal
species by protecting a mere 1.4 percent of the earth's land surface,
or 25 biologically rich "hot spots," says Oxford ecologist Norman
Myers. The estimated price tag is $5 billion over 10 years, and
efforts are underway to raise the necessary funds. Harvard biologist
E. O. Wilson says a campaign to save the hot spots should become a
major goal of the conservation community, a challenge on par with the
human genome project or the moon landing. This week, World Bank
President James Wolfensohn is scheduled to announce a new
multimillion-dollar global fund aimed at protecting hot spots.
Conservationists are also looking to high-tech billionaires and other
wealthy folks to pony up money to save these areas. Meanwhile,
scientists say Brazil's Amazon rainforest is being destroyed at more
than twice the rate officially reported.

straight to the source: San Jose Mercury News, Paul Rogers, 08.20.00

straight to the source: New York Times, Philip M Boffey, 08.21.00


August 28, 2000
News summaries from GRIST MAGAZINE

Phthalates, a family of chemicals used in everything from plastics to
beauty products, have been detected in humans at levels that some
scientists believe are worrisome. Researchers at the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention tested urine samples from people
around the U.S. and were surprised to find phthalates at much higher
levels than other pollutants routinely detected in people, such as
PCBs. Phthalates, which may cause birth defects and disrupt hormonal
systems, have been banned from use in baby toys in Europe, and some
American manufacturers have voluntarily removed them from baby items.
But this latest research, which is expected to be published in a
peer-reviewed journal this fall, could prompt calls for a broader
crackdown on the chemicals.

straight to the source: Hartford Courant, Daniel P. Jones, 08.24.00 id=2965994&ck=&ver=1.41


Organochlorines -- a dangerous class of chemicals that includes DDT,
dioxin, PCBs, CFCs, and Agent Orange -- should be completely phased
out of use and replaced by safer alternatives, argues Joe Thornton in
a new book entitled "Pandora's Poison." Thornton, a research fellow
at Columbia University and former Greenpeace biologist, says that the
current approach to regulating the chemicals, which have contributed
to everything from the thinning of the ozone layer to the Love Canal
disaster, is utterly inadequate to the task. Not surprisingly, the
chemical industry, which makes organochlorines for use in a wide
array of products such as pesticides and plastics, argues that the
chemicals have not been proven problematic. Thornton lays out reams
of evidence to the contrary, and argues that the burden of proof
should be placed on industry to establish the safety of its products.

read it only in Grist Magazine: Agent organochlorine -- a review in
our Books Unbound column


To subscribe to DAILY GRIST, send a blank email message to <>

From: "Marilyn E." <>
Subject: Re: The Military Legacy & Some Perspectives on the Criminalization of U.S. Society
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2000

Jean: I do not know how I got on your list and have been tempted on a number of occasions to ask to be removed. However, I commend you on the recent very informative, lengthy e-mail you sent below.

Can fasting really help a situation? Can going to our president or presidential hopefuls help anything? I see in so many instances - the military mindset, those producing pharmaceuticals, big food conglomerates, and within the present ruling factions behind the UN, etc, etc. there is a
lack of conscience, a lack of soul. Those so-called leaders, those who have and are causing the problems of destruction to the Earth and its peoples perhaps cannot be reached if they are lacking in conscience and have no soul connection. And as many are awakening, - most I would say, are still closed down in their minds that such evil, shall we say, is being perpetrated against us.

We can awaken the populace by sending our prayers and God's Light to them and even awaken and turn around many in the military/industrial complex - but a true release cannot come about without Divine Intervention. I have long been told an intervention is at hand and is the only answer to a true release. We must continue to awaken, pray, and enlighten as many as possible to the truth of our circumstance - but the real release of the negative faction will come about through a divine intervention.



I've read some people saying "We are the Ones we have been waiting for all along" and I believe there is a kernel of truth in this. As long as we wait from some outside Source to come fix our problems or heal what needs to be healed within us, we self-create the most potent block preventing the manifestation of our own divine infinite healing abilities. The other saying reminding us that "Faith can move mountains" also points out to our inner Infinite Source of Divine Will and Wisdom that lies dormant within most of us, including those who seem so bent on doing so-called evil things. I have the intimate knowledge that there is a shining Spark of the Infinite Source of All That Is in all of us and that, as soon as we recognize our True Nature through spiritual awakening and complete identification with Who We Really Are, we then initiate a process through which we can gradually co-create with other self-awakening Sparks of God the new conditions that in due time can but manifest what some are fond to call "Heaven on Earth" - which is simply the natural harmony of Self-aware Expressions of the Life Forces with all that lives around us, just as all other living species on Earth do when left in their natural environment without external intervention.

So in short, and as stated on the Earth Rainbow Network homepage, "There is nothing to do but to be... When we are in the "doing" mode, it is mostly the ego that is trying to drive the game, whereas when we are in the "being" mode, it is mainly the inner Divine soul that is radiating its all-encompassing frequency of Love which naturally soothes and heals everything and guides us onto the best path of action, the ideal wording and the optimal thinking and feeling."

And as Mahatma Gandhi said "Be the change you want to see in the world."