Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jeffrey Free Luers: Taking Power

—By Jeffrey Free Luers – January 13, 2009

Alongside protecting the wild and fostering respect for our planet, one of the tenets of this movement is creating a sustainable future for our communities. In doing so, we must develop communities that have the ability to provide food, water, sanitation, resources and energy in a decentralized and autonomous manner.

We use energy everyday. It is easy to dismiss our use of electricity with romantic notions of primitivism or dismantling the capitalist system by dismantling the electric grid. But, these thoughts do not reflect the reality that over a third of all energy use in this country is residential.

Residential buildings alone consume 35% of all electricity in the U.S.(1). Of that, water heaters account for 15-30% of a households total energy consumption (2). Then there is lighting, computers, and appliances that consume energy even when not in use.

Even if people were willing to stop using computers and the internet, willing to stop taking hot showers, or cooking on a stove, and willing to start washing clothes by hand – something I highly doubt, considering dedicated and hardline radicals have failed to make these changes – we would still need a source of energy.

Consider this, if people did not have gas or electricity to cook with, the world would be forced to resort to cooking fires. If you think that’s better than using electricity, imagine the entire city of Los Angeles cooking with fire 3 meals a day, releasing millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and particulate matter into the air. Not to mention the havoc and destruction the consumption of fire wood would have on the Angeles National Forest and other forested areas. And what about other community necessities that need electricity to function like hospitals?

As a movement we made mistakes romanticizing militant direct action without developing a structure to support prisoners and militant actions. We paid for that mistake with long prison sentences and traitors in our ranks. If we fail to develop a localized sustainable energy source, our failure could cost human lives.

In developed countries such as the U.S., solar power, though expensive, represents one of the greenest alternative energy sources. In fact, by covering an area 291×291 square miles with solar cells, we could supply all of the world’s present energy needs (3). That represents just 0.15% of the Earth’s land mass. Because of the versatility of photovoltaic cells, solar collection can be as simple as wiring buildings and houses for solar power with excess power being fed back into the community.

Again, while individual cost is prohibitive, corporations and local governments can be pressured to help fund solar conversion. Especially if they realize that doing so can save their community millions of dollars a year and put them on the path to energy self-reliance.

Likewise, wind power has the potential to drastically reduce CO2 emissions. In order to generate the same amount of electricity as a single megawatt wind turbine for 20 years, 26,000 tons of coal or 87,000 barrels of oil would have to be burned (4). A single one megawatt wind turbine displaces 2,000 tons of CO2 each year (based on current average U.S. utility mix) (5).

Moreover, wind power is a relatively cheap source of do it yourself electricity. While a fair amount of mechanical skill and knowledge of electrical systems is required to build a turbine, small scale turbines can be designed from recycled bicycle parts and neodymium magnets scavenged from computer hard drives for under $50 (6). Like photovoltaic systems, wind turbines can be attached to buildings or homes. They can also be placed in community gardens or other accessible areas.

In areas where wind or solar are not an option, electricity may be produced from biomass. Unfortunately, biomass can be a source of severe air pollution if not processed carefully. However, an area of promise is methane digester systems that break down animal or human waste into useable methane – a natural byproduct of decomposition. While methane is a greenhouse gas 20-times more potent than CO2, when it is burned to create electricity it breaks down into CO2 in levels lower than coal.

While methane’s release of CO2 is less than desired, through the natural breakdown of waste, methane would be produced and released. By harnessing this methane for electricity it can then broken down into a less potent greenhouse gas. The use of biomass may therefore be an effective and environmentally friendly way of treating raw sewage as opposed to the water intensive method currently used.

By failing to work toward alternative energy methods in our communities we are virtually guaranteeing the continued use of fossil fuels and rising global temperature. We also continue to allow energy giants to make decisions for us.

Aside from initial investments and hard work, solar, wind and biomass energy is free. Governments do not control the sun, wind, or how much we shit. While some may argue that embracing alternative energy is a compromise that we shouldn’t make, these same people continue to use electricity. By not developing alternative energy in our own backyards, we are just allowing energy giants to conduct business as usual.

Certainly, we need to reduce our use of energy. The best way to do that is to stop using appliances we don?t need, and unplug the ones we do when we aren’t using them. But, like it or not, since humans first used fire, we haven’t stopped – electricity is an extension of that. The sort of thing we can do is to create the cleanest, safest, sustainable, local applications of electricity production as possible. We, literally, need to take power out of government and corporate hands and put it in our own.


(1) U.S. Dept. of Energy, Office of Building Technology and Community Programs. RTS Core Databook. U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2000. Charts I. 1.2 and I. 1.3.

(2) David Johnston and Scott Gibson, Green From the Ground Up. The Taunton Press. 2008. Pg. 156.

(3) Bjorn Lomborg. The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World. Cambridge University Press. 2001. Pg. 131.

(4) and (5) David Johnston and Kim Master, Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time. New Society Publishers. 2004. Pg. 85.

(6) Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew, Toolbox for Sustainable City Living. South End Press. 2008. Pg. 163.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Eco-Anarchist Sabotage in Mexico City

During the week of Tuesday the 25th to Friday the 28th of November, the following sabotages took place:

—Half a dozen Molotov cocktails were thrown at installations of the tren férreo (metro rail) in Mexico City, causing damage to roads, electricity poles and walls of facilities.

—Incendiary sabotage against a ‘control box of telephone lines,’ property of Telmex; the box exploded and hundreds of lines were left unusable, 7 public telephones also owned by Telmex were sabotaged leaving them unusable, 1 public phone burned.

—In the early hours of the last day, a ‘Banamex’ bank was sabotaged, leaving the ATM unusable, thanks to the abolitionist fire of a Molotov.

We claim these actions as a form of ‘protest’ against the construction of a new rail line (line 12), in Mexico City (D.F.) and Mexico State; already because of its construction many trees were cut down, entire families evicted and land expropriated with large hectares of green areas subsequently deforested.

At the same time we claim these acts in ‘solidarity’ with the anarchist prisoners in France who were held after investigations into the sabotage of high-speed train lines. (mainstream media report)

Our slogan has changed, we do not like conformism, now we say: ‘if they touch one… all respond.’

Revolutionary solidarity is manifested in the streets, attacking in a direct way those responsible for the imprisonment of our comrades, for the destruction of the planet and of the killing of animals.

Revolutionary solidarity is manifested in the form of rage and action.

How beautiful it is to see revenge of the exploited and the oppressors squeezed!

How beautiful is the fire that frees!

How beautiful is the abolitionist fire of the anti-authoritarians!

No to metro line 12!

Stop the deforestation and the displacement of entire families!

For every eviction or abuse of power… fire in the streets!

We claim these actions as:

Eco-anarchist cell for direct attack….

Mexico… November 28, 2008

We are not the vanguard… it is only strategy!”


“Durante la semana del martes 25 al viernes 28 del presente noviembre, se realizaron los siguientes sabotajes:

—Se arrojaron media docena de cocteles molotov contra instalaciones del tren férreo (metro), en mexico d.f., causando daños en las vías, postes eléctricos y muros de dicha instalación.

—Sabotaje incendiario contra una “caja de control de líneas telefónicas” propiedad de Telmex, la caja exploto y se dejaron inutilizables cientos de líneas, 7 teléfonos públicos también propiedad de Telmex fueron saboteados dejándoles inutilizables, 1 teléfono publico quemado.

—Por la madrugada del ultimo día se saboteo un banco tipo “Banamex”, dejando inutilizable el cajero automático, gracias al fuego abolicionista de una molotov.

Estas acciones las reivindicamos como forma de “protesta” contra la construcción de una nueva línea de metro (la línea 12), en mexico d.f. y el estado de mexico, ya que para su construcción se están talando muchos arboles, desalojando a familias enteras, y expropiando predios con grandes hectáreas de aéreas verdes para posteriormente deforestarlas.

Al mismo tiempo reivindicamos estos actos como “solidarios” con lxs anarquistas presxs en Francia tras las investigaciones sobre los sabotajes a las líneas del tren de alta velocidad.

Nuestra consigna ha cambiado, no nos gustan los conformismos, ahora nosotrxs decimos: “si tocan a unx…todxs respondemos”.

La solidaridad revolucionaria es la que se manifiesta en las calles, atacando de manera directa a lxs responsables del encarcelamiento de nuestrxs compañerxs, de la destrucción del planeta y del asesinato de animales. La solidaridad revolucionaria es la que se manifiesta en forma de ravia y acción.

Que hermoso es mirar la venganza de lxs explotadxs y oprimidxs contra lxs opresorxs!!!

Que hermoso es el fuego que libera!!!

Que hermoso es el fuego abolicionista de lxs anti-autoritarixs!!!

¡No a la línea 12 del metro!!!

¡Alto a la deforestación y al desalojo de familias enteras!!!

¡Por cada desalojo o abuso del poder…fuego en las calles!!!

Reivindicamos estas acciones como:

Celula eco-anarquista por el ataque directo….

Mexico …28 de noviembre 2008-11-29

No somos la vanguardia…solo es estrategia!!!

Burn the Rich! Eco-Arsonists Torch Home of Syncrude President & CEO Jim Carter

This Edmonton house belonging to former Syncrude president Jim Carter was destroyed by a fire that police said was deliberately set on Saturday night. (CBC)

From our comrades at Bombs & Shields:

Edmonton, Canada – The luxury home of former Syncrude president and CEO Jim Carter was burned down by an arsonist Saturday night. Investigators believe that environmental concerns may have been the motive. The building was struck by two molotov cocktails and was quickly consumed by flames, before firefighters had a chance to control the blaze. Damages were estimated at $850,000. Carter—who has ties to the oil and gas industry—was out, as were his family members, at the time of the incident which took place at approximately 8:15 PM. No one was injured fighting the fire.

Former Syncrude president and CEO Jim Carter speaks to reporters Monday near the charred remains of his Edmonton home. (CBC)

Former Syncrude executive arson target:

From CTV Calgary

Investigators say a home that was gutted by a massive blaze Saturday evening in Edmonton was deliberately set on fire, and some neighbours suspect the homeowner was being targeted because of his ties to the oil and gas industry.

[end excerpt]

click here to read more » » »

Arson blamed as former oilsands executive’s home destroyed:

From CBC Canada

The fire that destroyed the home of a former oilsands company executive on Saturday night was caused by Molotov cocktails, Edmonton police said Monday.

Nobody was in the home owned by former Syncrude president and chief operating officer Jim Carter, who retired in 2007.

[end excerpt]

click here to read more » » »

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Underground Eco Publication: WilderPress! - Call for Submissions

This is the first communiqué by WilderPress!, a new homegrown, grassroots, underground publication dedicated to defending the Earth and all things wild. This is a call to action in the name of the natural world we so deeply cherish and in defense of a world that is under attack…

The environment is in peril. The ecological chaos caused by human civilization is taking its toll on the planet and its inhabitants. The time has come for a change in philosophy and a change in the way we swing our allegorical axe. The feeling is there…it is penetrating…it is known by almost all: from grassroots environmentalists to the corporate hacks that pillage the land for all it is worth—we all know the importance of the natural world. However, some choose to look the other way. We cannot expect this planet to sustain human civilization for much longer. We cannot expect the Earth to forever withstand our enslavement and exploitation of the land and the millions of other species with whom we share this home we call Earth. The time has come to raise our voice in defense of the natural world, in defense of the plants and animals, in defense of the rivers and mountains…the canyons and alpine meadows. The time has come to raise our voice in the defense of the environment, and in defense of our mother—our home, and the only one we have. The health of the land, the water, and the air lies in our hands and you would be hard pressed to find another organism on this planet that bites the hand that feeds as painfully hard as we bite our own.

Industrial civilization is systematically destroying and poisoning the environment upon which human beings and all other living things depend. We are currently causing, and in the midst of, the largest and most rapid mass extinction and collapse of biodiversity that the planet has ever seen. Every living system on the planet is currently in decline. We have fundamentally altered the chemical and molecular composition of the oceans, soil, and atmosphere of the entire planet. Something must be done. Inaction in the face of this culture of death (and our status as beneficiaries of exploitation) is tantamount to complicity with it. The responsibility is ours and ours alone… We have the ability, and hopefully the heart and mind, to reverse the ways of the past and enter the 21st century with a different mindset: a mindset that supports the environment and its health, and one that in turn supports the health of humans and the other organisms that share our fate should we choose to continue down our current path. To make this happen we need more talking, more arguing, and most importantly more doing. That is the point of all this: a place where people can talk, and a place where people can act. The more we do so, the better the ideas, and the more effective the solutions. For the first time in human history, we face a problem that challenges every man, woman and child on this planet. No longer does economic status, religious affiliation, political standing, ethnic background or geographic location determine where we stand. We are all living beings, and we all need a healthy Earth in order to survive. Everyone is affected equally by the degradation of the environment, and everyone will pay the price should we choose to continue… This is truly the greatest challenge in human history. However, at the same time, never has an opportunity for humans to shine been so great. We have the chance, right now, to reverse or at least minimize the affects of past ignorance and abuse towards the land. How will you choose to act? Not only do we have the chance, we have the responsibility.

We at WilderPress! can think of nothing more important than protecting the natural world—the earth that gave us birth, and has since raised us. Our blood and flesh is a product of nature and someday our cold, dead bodies will return to the soil, to the rivers, the canyons and the mountains we so deeply treasure, to become food so that others may live. This is the greatest revolution of our time. We cannot let the fate of the natural world come down to the ignorance of our choices, the careless actions of a few greed filled corporations, and the money hungry pockets of a few ill-motivated men and women. It is time to stand up as a people in defense of the environment. Many have been fighting this battle for a long time (and we do not fear to call it a battle, for that is what it is), and for others, environmental activism and eco-defense are totally new. To you we say: What better place to start than here? What a better time than now? We have the ability to make conscious decisions in favor of the Earth, the plants, the animals—in favor of the great rivers and greater mountains. We have the ability to make these decisions outside of our own needs and wants; to be able to understand the intrinsic value of nature, the value of wild places and wild people in and of themselves, and the benefits this understanding can provide to us. This enlightenment would be the greatest Renaissance of our time.

Environmentalism is about saving our home—the only one we have—at whatever cost, and by any means necessary. It’s about survival, pride and justice: survival of our species, survival of the natural world; pride for ourselves and our decisions: what we have overcome, what we have yet to overcome; and justice for those who have no voices with which to speak. It’s about knowing that we are better and smarter than this; that we evolved into the thinkers and actors we are for a reason; that we aren’t ignorant enough to continue destroying—and allowing to be destroyed—our habitat, and the habitat of others.

If you don’t think this discussion involves you, think again… Everyone is an environmentalist, for we all need the environment. We all breathe the same air, drink the same water, and sustain ourselves from the same soil. We are amidst a great struggle of two worlds that used to be one. We need to find in ourselves the desire and ability to return to a mutual relationship with the natural world, and be a part of what we once were: responsible members of a diverse and interconnected community of living beings. We drastically need a reinterpretation of the way we live, think, and act. As we begin the pages of a new century, let us put to rest the mistakes we have made—let us look back on our actions and wonder, truly, “What were we thinking?” We must take a moment to simply breath and remember that not a hundred years ago we lived simpler and richer lives. Wilderness and the natural world are just as important to life as it is for a place to play. It is a place to take your kids, as our parents took us, raised on their shoulders—a place where the clock can’t tame your life, your job can’t destroy the sunset, and a place where the forces of man seem minuscule in comparison.

We need wilderness for more reasons than we stand to list…for beauty, for a place to live, a calm place to die, for us, for our children, for our sanity, for the knowledge that we can do better, that we have restraint in our actions. The wild Earth sustains us, and gives us life. We need wilderness for itself, so that someday our kids don’t have to learn about these places in a book. We literally depend on it for our very existence. Most importantly, the natural world itself is inherently valuable, and needs to exist for its own sake, independent of human utility. Let us vow to take the responsibility to change the way we treat ourselves and the way we treat the environment, for as much as we may like to think them separate, they are very much together. We are creatures of this Earth. Let us vow to take the time every day to change something about the way we live, the way we treat others, and the way we treat the land. Let us vow to never let our children use the word wilderness in the past tense…

The time has come to rise up in defense of Mother Earth, in resistance against those who are willfully enslaving and destroying the natural world, and in solidarity with those who know humans cannot continue on our current path of destruction. We must reclaim our place as responsible members within the greater community of living beings upon this planet, and act accordingly. This means taking action against the systematic ecocide perpetrated by industrial civilization and resisting the destruction of the Earth by any means necessary. The future of all life on Earth—human and non-human alike—depends on a healthy land base. The sooner the destruction is stopped, the better. Inaction is complicity. Complicity is abhorrent. We must come together in the name of something greater than ourselves. For our children, and our children’s children… The time to resist has come… Join us.

We are currently seeking submissions for the first issue of WilderPress!, scheduled to go to press in February. We are looking for articles written by other wild folks dedicated to protecting this planet. We at the WilderPress! Editorial Collective recognize and praise all forms of environmental protection, from direct action to education, from eco-defense to legislation. Please help by sharing your stories. To submit articles please email them to WilderPress[at]hushmail[dot]com. You may remain anonymous if you wish.

Carry on…and remember No Compromise in Defense of Mother Earth!