Rising Tide

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Jabberman
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Joined: 6-11-07
Jul 2 2008 22:12
Rising Tide

I feel that this is important since ecological issues are often put on the back burner.

What is Rising Tide?

Rising Tide is an international network born out of the conviction that corporate-friendly and state-sponsored “solutions” to climate change will not save us. As a matter of survival, we must decrease our dependence on the industries and institutions that are destroying the planet and work toward community autonomy and sustainable living.

Who is Rising Tide?

Rising Tide is a grassroots network of groups and individuals who take direct action to confront the roots causes of climate change and promote local, community-based solutions to the climate crisis. Rising Tide was formed in the Netherlands in 2000 to bring a more radical voice to the COP6 (UN Conference of the Parties) climate talks that attempted (unsuccessfully, largely due to the efforts of the US delegation) to salvage what of substance was left of the Kyoto Protocol. Employing popular education and direct action to address the root causes of climate change with a focus on climate justice, Rising Tide now spans three continents.

Rising Tide North America’s strategy is based on a no-compromise approach of stopping the extraction of more fossil fuels and preventing the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure. Equally important, we must phase out our current fossil fuel use and make a just transition to sustainable ways of living. What this means in terms of local organizing depends on the specific conditions unique to each town and bioregion. Rising Tide’s tactics are diverse and creative, taking a bottom-up approach to connecting the dots between oil, war, capitalism, coal, and the destabilization of the global climate.

Changes will be made by people, not institutions. For this movement to succeed, local communities need to take initiative and make this global struggle relevant to their towns and bioregions. We need to start thinking strategically about how to spark a nationwide uprising against the fossil fuel industry that not only disrupts business as usual, but inspires widespread resistance.

Practical solutions exist; it’s time we start using them and making them more widely accessible. We must dismantle the systems of oppression that permeate our culture and ourselves, and work toward real solidarity across lines of race, class, gender and sexual orientation. When we begin to build a culture of mutual aid and community autonomy, we demonstrate that we don’t need the government, and certainly not giant corporations, to survive. We just need a livable planet.

Climate Justice

As we have witnessed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the people most affected by climate change are the same people who have been exploited and oppressed throughout the history of civilization - those outside the dominant race and class. On a global level, the regions expected to be hit the hardest by severe droughts, storms and rising sea levels are generally places with the least fossil fuel infrastructure - in other words, the people least responsible for creating climate chaos.

The potential for environmental racism on a scale we’ve not yet seen is downright scary; we got a taste of the future in New Orleans, where environmental refugees attempting to flee a drowning city by crossing the Crescent City bridge to the un-flooded and affluent suburb of Gretna were turned back by gunshots by the remnants of the suburb’s police force. Such an environmental future cannot be allowed to pass; it’s high time we step up our efforts to build real relationships with poor people and people of color who stand the most to lose from climate change.

RTNA aims to build strong links with those who are already being affected by climate change, and to ally ourselves with environmental justice groups fighting pollution from refineries, power plants and coal processing facilities.

Principles

Rising Tide North America (RTNA) is a decentralized network of groups and individuals organizing against the root causes of climate change.

We are committed to Earth-centered, community-based solutions to the climate crisis that foster local autonomy and self-sufficiency. We are part of the global movement against climate chaos and for social and environmental justice. We believe climate change can only be addressed by exposing the intersections between the oppressions of humans and the earth. The “natural” disasters caused by climate change amplify the injustices inherent in a capitalist, racist, and patriarchal society; we must respond to these disasters in ways that do not continue that oppression.

We do not believe that the dominant, business-friendly means of addressing climate change will have any significant impact preventing catastrophic global warming. Market-based “solutions” like carbon offset schemes - whereby corporations are allowed to profit from their “sale” of greenhouse gas pollution - create social and ecological problems of their own, and serve to reinforce the same unsustainable system that got us into this mess. Power hungry politicians, communities disconnected from each other and the planet, and an economics based on money making and careless consumption are fundamentally at odds with the concept of environmental sustainability.

We reject the weak, corporate-designed and oriented half-measures in the Kyoto Protocol such as carbon trading and the “Clean Development Mechanism”. Kyoto, with it’s seriously insufficient goal of 5.2% emissions reductions, has become a distraction rather than a solution. Scientists have estimated that even a 70% reduction in emissions by 2050 would result in a devastating 3.6 degree F. change. CO2 levels must be reduced as dramatically and quickly as possible. To this end, we believe in an immediate end to all new fossil fuel exploration and extraction, and a just, rapid transition away from the burning of fossil fuels.

We also reject nuclear energy and dams; these unsustainable mega-projects often result in the devastation of local bioregions and the displacement of both their natural and human communities. Rather, we advocate a drastic increase in energy conservation and support a transition to clean energy sources such as wind, solar, and micro-hydro power.

Tragically, many of the most well publicized and funded green initiatives are being directed by the very companies most responsible for carbon emissions, most guilty of environmental problems and fossil fuel related social injustices, and with the most to gain financially by stalling any large-scale transition away from a fossil fuel-based economy.

Any hope for a livable future rests not with these companies, but instead with communities organizing themselves to take control of their lives and their land, and with finding more simple ways of living in which we are not dependent upon the highly centralized industries that are destroying the Earth’s life-support systems as well as more sustainable and traditional cultures. In addition to challenging the root causes of climate chaos, we actively support these real and viable solutions.

Ecosystem preservation, recovery and restoration is essential to sequestering carbon and curbing the exponential rate of species extinction. Our agricultural systems also must be made to work more in harmony with the Earth’s systems; it’s time to abandon industrial agriculture in favor of small-scale, local food sources.

RTNA is committed to keeping environmental racism and the struggle for environmental and climate justice in the forefront of our thought and actions. The people hardest hit by climate-induced natural disasters have been and will continue to be those most disenfranchised by our society and least responsible for the emission of greenhouse gases: the poor, women, and people of color. RTNA is committed to challenging all forms of oppression.

RTNA supports direct action and encourages individuals and organizations to carry out autonomous actions that are in line with these principles, whether it’s directly obstructing the fossil fuel industry or establishing grassroots solutions to climate change like permaculture gardens and community-run bike shops.

All Rising Tide groups should organize in an anti-oppressive and empowering manner with regard to race, class and gender. Groups using the name Rising Tide do not engage in sabotage or acts of violence.

http://www.risingtidenorthamerica.org/