Friday, September 30, 2011

BOLIVIANS BLAST EVO OVER VIOLENCE AGAINST INDIAN PROTESTS

Morales_frena_obras_carretera_le_enfrenta_grupos_indigenas

No doubt about the fact that large projects of infrastructure development are needed to promote the Bolivia's Brazilian-financed model of globalization and economic growth. There is also no doubt that the benefits of these projects arrive at the cost of much destruction... and the local Indians know it. What is new is that they are gaining supporters in the cities and from the labor movement and Evo Morales is being challenged to make his deeds match his promise to defend Pachamama.


THE DAILY VIEW: Waiting

Waiting
Waiting -- photo by Lou Gold

DAM(N) GOOD NEWS

AMAZING!!! There are TWO good developments to report:


Work must halt on Brazil's monster dam, Belo Monte


Work halted on divisive Myitsone hydro project in Mayanmar

Thursday, September 29, 2011

THE DAILY VIEW: São Miguel

São Miguel
São Miguel -- graffiti by Tiago Tosh

Crumbling wall art from a Rio Branco graffiti chapel for the Day of Saint Michael.

VIVA! São Miguel Arcanjo

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

UPDATE: PROTESTS SPREAD ACROSS BOLIVIA



As protests spread to the cities and a Bolivian labor federation calls strikes in sympathy with the Indians, the march against the road is resuming.

You can offer support and TAKE ACTION at Amazon Watch or AVAAZ.

BOLIVIA SUSPENDS AMAZON ROAD PLANS AFTER INDIANS AND POLICE CLASH

Police blockade road in Bolivia preventing Indian protesters' route to La Paz
Police blockade road in Bolivia preventing Indian protesters' route to La Paz

Survival International reports, "Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has suspended plans to build a major highway through indigenous peoples’ land in the Amazon rainforest. His decision follows a 40-day protest march, which was brought to an abrupt halt on Sunday, when police used tear gas and truncheons to dispel 1,000 protesters."

Several government ministers have resigned as more protests erupt. There is an
AVAAZ petition gathering 500,000 signatures in support the indigenous people.

More news and analysis here and here.

IS THIS HOW THE GREAT DISRUPTION BEGINS?



Trader Alessio Rastani, in a BBC interview that has gone viral, says that the Eurozone market is going to crash. I don't think than one has to has a Nobel in economics to see that it's a distinct possibility as governments struggle to achieve a rescue plan that many see as "too little and too late".

REVOLUTION

Revolution

THE DAILY VIEW: Delicacy of the Orient

Delicacy of the Orient
Delicacy of the Orient -- wall painting by babu

At the Rio Branco restaurant Delicias do Orient a piece of babu's mural depicts the dragon's view of a possible meal.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

WANGARI MAATHAI -- "I WILL BE A HUMMINGBIRD"



On Sunday night Wangari Maathai -- the greatly loved and world renown Kenyan carrier of the message of the hummingbird -- passed from among us after a struggle with cancer. She was a passionate advocate for justice, protection of nature and women's rights, which she saw as bundled together in a spiritual environmentalism. She was the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her efforts in Kenya which linked forests, justice and empowerment of women in the (now-global) Greenbelt Movement.


THE DAILY VIEW: Oracle

Oracle
Oracle -- image by Lou Gold

Sunday, September 25, 2011

MOVING PLANET WAS AMAZING

Moving Planet was a worldwide day to move beyond fossil fuels, with over 2000 events in more than 175 countries! Have a look.

THE DAILY VIEW: Night-rider

Night-rider
Night-rider -- photo by Lou Gold

Saturday, September 24, 2011

CLASSIC QUOTE

PIGS-1-articleLarge
photo -- Allen Brisson-Smith for The New York Times

LAFAYETTE, Minn. — A rash of thefts has law enforcement officials stumped. Among other challenges, the missing hogs are difficult to single out. “They all look alike,” said a sheriff.

THE DAILY VIEW: Night Colors

Night Colors #1
Night Colors #1 -- photo by Lou Gold

Two versions of this one because I could not decide which I liked best. The second one is over the jump.


Friday, September 23, 2011

IDIOCY AND ADVOCACY

idiocy

Some good commentary from Timothy Egan....

THE DAILY VIEW: A Rain of Color

A Rain of Color
A Rain of Color -- photo by Lou Gold

I've often commented on and displayed the extraordinary use of color in Rio Branco. It is said that "color expresses the Acreano will toward happiness." Now, the national oil company Petrobras seems to be using color to express the late-in-the-dry-season desire for rain. Or, perhaps the colors express the happiness that will be felt when the rains finally return. Or, more likely, it's to celebrate Children's Day in Brazil. Either way, it surely reaches for happiness.

[Update - 24 September 2011 -- We had a blessed serious rain last night.]

Thursday, September 22, 2011

FLOODING AND STEALING OUR FUTURE

Flooding our Future - press conference
Chief Almir Narayamoga Surui, leader of the Suruí tribe of the Madeira River Basin, Brazil.

Chief Almir Narayamoga Surui is the leader of the Surui people in Rondonia where infrastructure development such as roads, large hydro projects and deforestation are threatening ancestral peoples of the land. On Equinox -- the moment of balance between light and dark -- he spoke to the UN about the imbalance that is spreading across Amazonia.

POETRY COMBINES WITH POLITICS AGAINST THE DAMN DAMS

Poetry from Mayanmar's U Maung Sein Win inspires the global struggle against the damn dams:

Whole forests are cleared and
mountains laid bare

Sand bars emerge at the narrows

Not so far in the future, Myanmar’s people may disappear

Did we drink our own blood?

This is the frightening thought

That one day the river might be dead.

THE DAILY VIEW: No Parking

No Parking
No Parking -- photo by Lou Gold

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

THE DAILY VIEW: Terminal

Terminal
Terminal -- photo by Lou Gold

Equinox day and the sun is passing directly above the equator. Like the buses in the terminal, its arc will turn around for another run.

Here in the Brazilian Amazon the turn of the arc of the sun is toward summer and cooler rainy weather that will be much appreciated after the long hot and dry winter season.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY IS MORE THAN TALK

PIRATES-articleLarge
Members of the Pirate Party at the state parliament in Berlin on Monday. The party won 8.9 percent 
in elections in the city-state.     photo: Hannibal Hanschke - European Pressphoto Agency

September 19 was International Talk Like a Pirate Day but in Berlin the pirates were THE talk.

LEAP

THE DAILY VIEW: Bike, Bus and Bush

Bike, Bus and Bush
Bike, Bus and Bush -- photo by Lou Gold

Monday, September 19, 2011

FOOD FOR THOUGHT



OK, here I am living in and surfing the Internet world from Brazil's Acre State which holds both one of the world's epicenters of biodiversity and is a hub of fast-paced development that is changing everything. One of the reasons that I chose to be here (and love it) is that it seems to contain all of the contradictions. There are meat-eating environmentalists, rubber-tappers raising cattle, ranchers against deforestation and, of course, their opposites -- all of which gives a tree-hugging guy like me a lot to think about. And, it generally turns out to be -- as the Brazilians like to say -- "COMPLICATED" way beyond the sound-bites of the media.

THE DAILY VIEW: Love Embrace

kahlo_love_embrace
Love Embrace -- painting by Freida Kahlo

One of my favorites, the full title is "The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Me, and Senor Xolotl." View more of Frieda Kahlo's paintings at Mark Harden's Artchive and at WikiPaintings.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

NO DOUBT ABOUT IT

No Doubt About It

Despite the concerted efforts of the merchants deceit to spin a web of doubt over the climate issue, American public opinion is not buying it. According to a new poll by Reuters/Ipsos, the percentage of Americans who believe the Earth has been warming has risen to 83 percent and 71 percent of the Americans who believe warming is happening think that it is caused either partly or mostly by humans.

Deeper than the problem of deceptive advertising and media manipulation is the fact that the Congress driven by lobbyists and corporate campaign contributions does not represent the opinion of the scientists or the public.

TAKING DOWN THE DAMS

Elwha Dam Removal
Elwha Dam -- photo by Keith Thorpe (AP)

The destruction of Washington state's Elwha Dam began yesterday 17 September 2011. The removal of the dam and a companion will allow salmon to swim upriver for the first time in a century. Some errors of the past can be corrected. Indeed, restoration may become the new "great work" of humans on earth.

Will the forces now planning more than 140 dams for Amazonia heed the lesson?

THE DAILY VIEW: Seeing Red

Red
Seeing Red -- photo by Lou Gold

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

EARTH RIGHTS ARE DIFFICULT TO DEFEND IN ECUADOR

ECUADOR INDIGENOUS PROTEST
Ecuador Indigenous Protest 08 April 2010. -- Photo: EPA/JOSE JACOME

Three years ago, I posted enthusiastically about Ecuador's new constitution which accords rights to nature. Realizing the promise has turned out to be most difficult. What's new, according to Manuela Pycq writing at Al Jazeera is, "...that a leftist president - who has repeatedly fallen back on ethno-politics to increase his legitimacy - is using forms of martial law inherited from past military regimes to destroy indigenous calls for environmental justice".

THE DAILY VIEW: Color Weave

Color Weave
Color Weave -- Image by Lou Gold

For a change, something different. Just playing with some filters.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

TAR SANDS ACTION IS STICKING IT TO OBAMA

alberta-oil-sands

So good to see that action is following the big media event in DC. Here is the latest report from Duncan Meisel at Tar Sands Action:

THE DAILY VIEW: Fast Forward

Untitled
Fast Forward -- photo by Lou Gold

[UPDATE: Thanks to fast responses from Lenny Kolm and Jerry Boyle at my Facebook page, I've changed the title to "Fast Forward" because, as high tension lines and electrification spread across urban and rural areas, Acreanos are "fast-forwarding" in the future.]

I shot this one yesterday from the bus and liked it but I don't know what what to call it. I considered "No Parking" and "Rear View Mirror" but somehow neither worked for me. Got any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CROWD-SOURCING OUR INTERDEPENDENCE



DotSub, the great open source video translator has a brilliant project to give meaning to our interdependence via cyberspace. Please click here to see how you can help put the film DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE into 100 languages.

IS IT WEIRD ENOUGH YET?

Burning Man 2010 - Photo by Scott London
Burning Man - 2010 -- photo by Scott London -- more of his incredible Burning Man photos here

As the world heats up toward more extremes of politics, weather and general craziness, the Burning Man festival turns it into artistic statements -- and, the real world gets even weirder...

THE DAILY VIEW: I Am the Shine of the Sun

I Am the Shine of Sun
I Am the Shine of  the Sun -- photo by Lou Gold

This one is for Christopher Howe who walks this way a lot.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

FLAGS OF CHANGING TIMES

Bric Nations

According to the Wall Street Journal, Brazil and other BRICS may join on aid for Europe. A token gesture, for sure, but quite likely a harbinger of changing times.

PERU PRESIDENT SIGNS INDIGENOUS RIGHTS ACT INTO LAW

Ollanta Humala campaigning in indigenous dress
Ollanta Humala campaigning in indigenous dress

Rising above the fear-mongering of the global reactionary Right, Peru's President Ollanda Humala is taking the first concrete steps toward dealing with the devastating impact on indigenous people of Peru's rapid development which is based largely on extraction of it's vast natural resources often located on ancestral lands.

THE DAILY VIEW: The Portal

Portal
The Portal -- photo by Lou Gold

Monday, September 12, 2011

THE GIFT OF LIGHT




Emmanuel's story is deeply moving and, of course, it produces many reactions. Here's mine:

THE DAILY VIEW: Getting Green Again

Greening Again
Greening Again -- photo by Lou Gold

We've had some blessed rain across recent days and the plants really seem happy. We are too! Let's hope that the 2011 drought will not be as severe as was feared.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

LAND OF THE FREE: HOME OF THE POOR



Where would you choose to be?

BILL MCKIBBEN'S RESPONSE TO ANDREW REVKIN

Bill Mckibben Arrested in Front of the White House
Bill McKibben being arrested in a anti-Keystone pipeline action in front of the White House

Andy Revkin opened his Dot Earth blog to reactions to his support for the Keystone pipeline. Bill McKibben brilliantly states the case against it.

THE DAILY VIEW: Mistura da Amazônia


"PIEDADE AMAZÔNICA" -- painting by Clementino

Brazil seems (to me) to be distinctly different from the US pluralistic multicultural "melting pot" in that it presents as a national characteristic and goal an actual blending in addition to a mere cultural mix. In the words of world musician and ex-Minister of Culture Gilbert Gil, "Brazil is the world's miscegenist culture." The cultural (and, often, biological) goal is a great blending, or as a Brazilian might say, "uma mistura grande e bonita".

Friday, September 09, 2011

THE DAILY VIEW: The Earth is Flat

The Earth is Flat
Guest Shot: "The Earth is Flat by Porter Yates, on Flickr"

Looking onto Andean fields near Simiatug, Ecuador. My vantage point was from ~ 13,000 ft. The clouds filled the valley below as the sun began to set. I had never seen a sky quite like this.
via boingboing.net

Thursday, September 08, 2011

ANDREW REVKIN PROPOSES NEW STRATEGY OF LOOKING AT OTHER PEOPLE'S BACKYARDS

cop15protestRevkinCopy-500x374
On the sidelines covering the protest march at the climate talks in Copenhagen (credit: Andrew Revkin)

Andrew Revkin, has given this blog wonderful coverage (see here and here and here) at his NY Times Dot Earth blog but, when he recently took a pro-Keystone pipeline stand, he definitely crossed my line.

No! It's not a moral line, or a scientific line, or even a specifically tar-sand line. It's something way more practical.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

THE DAILY VIEW: The Tar Sands Trade-Off

I want to depart from the usual "daily view" format today to present my "visual reaction" to the "rational" argument that there is a "reasonable trade-off" that favors the building of the Keystone XL pipeline from Northern Alberta to Texas refineries in order to feed America's oil addiction while waiting for some better non-fossil fuel technology to come online. This is the position of the US State Department, of Energy Secretary Steven Chu and is now also supported by Andrew Revkin of the NY Times.

I see the "trade-off" as working more like this:

boreal-oxbow-forest-summer-riv-DAN9800-copy
Northern Alberta Forests and Ox-Bow Lakes

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

THE DAILY VIEW: Santo Daime on the Wall

Santo Daime on the Wall
Santo Daime on the Wall -- photo by Lou Gold

The Rio Branco graffiti artist is Tiago Tosh. The scene appears to be from Colonia Cinco Mil.

Monday, September 05, 2011

PEOPLES OF THE FOREST




It feels so good just to know that they exist.

As companions for the video I encourage you (very much!) to read Hold a Blossom to the Light and to follow some of the latest developments at Peoples and Forest News and Survival International.

THE DAILY VIEW -- Where is the Forest?


Where is the forest?
Where is the Forest? -- photo by Lou Gold

On this Amazon Day, in the midst of a severe drought and smoke-filled skies, graffiti artists Claudeney and Tiago Tosh ask, "onde esta a floresta?"

Sunday, September 04, 2011

JOHN TRUDELL and CRAZY HORSE




John Trudell is a true voice of Crazy Wisdom -- the kind that cuts through the illusion, the kind that may once again rise from the streets. Give a listen to his words from the street.




MELLOW FREAK-OUT




Japanese psych to end the summer with Yuya Uchida & The Flowers covering "Summertime" from their 1968 album, Challenge!.

Via boingboing

WHEN THINGS SEEM TOUGH FOR THE FOREST

I think of the beija-flor




and the one who became one...


THE DAILY VIEW: "In the room the women come and go talking of Michelangelo"


"In the room the women come and go speaking of Michelangelo"
"In the room the women come and go talking of Michelangelo" -- collage by Lou Gold     


The title is a line from a great TS Eliot poem, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock". After Obama's recent dreadful decision to do nothing on ozone pollution and smog and his persistent backing down on the environment, Prufrock's lament (written in 1920) seems to fit almost too perfectly...

Saturday, September 03, 2011

A SCARY AMAZON DAY: Rio Branco, Acre 2011


IMG_0362_edit2

The Brazilian Amazon Day holiday occurs on Monday (05 September) but the school children of many neighborhoods in Rio Branco, Acre hold their local parades today in sort of an advance announcement.

In the photo above, it's 8am under a cloudless sky but everything seems dark because of the smoke that has been drifting over Acre from fires to the Southeast in Bolivia.

A MEDITATION: The logic of insanity.




Now watch Nobel Prize-winning US Energy Secretary Steven Chu offer his "rational" explanation...

THE DAILY VIEW: Through the Glass


Through the Glass
Through the Glass -- photo by Lou Gold

Bus window reflections sure are fun.

Friday, September 02, 2011

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Christopher Howe has made it to Mapia


Cristopher Howe

When I last saw Christopher Howe, he was chewing on a straw, shining a big shine and embarking on the final leg of his epic walk that started nearly three years and many 1,000s of miles ago in Los Angeles, California.

THE DAILY VIEW: Towels

Towels
Towels -- photo by Lou Gold

Laundry can be a neighborhood decoration in Rio Branco.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Big News Day: Tar Sands Action Endorsed by Al Gore, Tops Google News


Screen-shot-2011-08-31-at-3.15.49-PM

LATE BREAKING...

MARIA LUCIMAR PEREIRA -- Happy 121st Birthday


maria-lucimar-pereira

Thought to be the world's oldest living person, Acre resident Maria Lucimar Pereira will have passed 121 full sun circles in the forest on Saturday. PARABENS! and much health and happiness to Maria Lucimar, her family and her people.

WHY I FIND THE TAR SANDS ACTIONS SO INSPIRING

Why do I find the tar sands actions so inspiring despite the sober analysis that they will probably be ignored by Obama?

I believe that it's because I sense that a whole different kind of movement is emerging that is bringing the mature professionals out of their offices and young idealists beyond election campaigns to the work of creating an actual WE in the streets. This WE is not just of and for the USA -- the forests that are threatened belong to Canada and the climate that is being threatened belongs to everyone. And, because I live in Brazil, it offers an important message that Americanos are not just demanding that the people of developing economies save places like the Amazon rainforest.

Here are a couple of moving examples:

THE DAILY VIEW: Me and my camera


Me and my camera
Me and my camera -- photo by Lou Gold

At the Library of the Forest in Rio Branco.