Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Earth Day 2010: Love and life by Chuck Baclagon

Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment.

22 April 2010: Earth Day

It is almost midnight.

Earth Day is only minutes away from being over. Another day, has passed and like in so many things that are subject to time, this day now becomes part of  my memories and are now recorded as a chapter in my life.

I am more than glad that this remembrance of Earth Day was done with the celebration of the life of a dear person with whom I count myself fortunate to have as a friend .

Perhaps it is safe to say that in as far as speaking about Earth Day and the need to uphold the urgent struggle of safeguarding the environment, the celebration of Earth Day and the work for those in the environmental movement must always be reflected in the context of love for life –and I am not talking here about token sentimentally about Mother Nature, nor am I simply being a bleeding heart for the cute and cuddly animals, nor am I romanticizing my love for the outdoors –far from it!

While it is true that the aforementioned things are part of the things that bear weight in my decision to commit myself to my work with Greenpeace, a larger part of me recognizes the resolute urgency of taking action for the environment lies in the love that can be found in life that is shared in relationships –relationships that can be found in that of parents, grandparents, children, siblings, relatives friends, comrades, kindred spirits and lovers.

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notes from climate ground zero by Chuck Baclagon

Rodora Angeles, Greenpeace Southeast Asia (Philippines) Actions Coordinator ©Greenpeace / Ardiles Rante

Writing you all a quick message from Indonesia.

Internet is limited and oftentimes connection is difficult. We are after all, at the heart of the Indonesian rainforest.

Sharing with you the ongoing activities here at the Climate Defenders Camp in Kampar Peninsula in Indonesia, where massive forest destruction is still taking place despite the global call to stop climate change. Indonesia is the third biggest carbon dioxide emitter, next to the US and China.

This is because of the deforestation taking place in one of the last remaining paradise forests in the whole world. Up to this day, and yep, as I write this email, active clearing of forest areas is still happening, just a stone’s throw away (ok, that’s exaggerating it….just a few kilometers actually) from where we are…yep, up to this very second. By whom and for what you may ask?

By large companies of palm oil and pulp and paper products that we use everyday! Palm oil is used in chocolates, soap and almost every thing that we use. Pulp and paper products…well you know what we all use them for.

Forests contain huge amount of carbon dioxide, more especially Indonesian forests that sit on peatlands. When the trees are cut, it releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and lessens the area of forests that absorbs the carbon dioxide. Think about all that carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere every second. Think about how that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere affects us all. There is no more argument. The experts have already spoken that the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is the cause of destructive climate change. We would be stupid to still deny that. And even more stupid to not do anything about it.

I’ve been here at the Climate Defenders Camp for more than two weeks now, greeted by several flights of hornbills (yes, hornbills!) every morning and some eagles and kites occasionally, I’ve never felt more strongly about being here. Climate change affects us all. No doubt about that. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, the destruction it has caused and the lives it has claimed so far. I’ve talked to the people affected by it, I’ve heard their stories. It’s not fiction. It’s real. And it’s happening NOW.

Anyway, those hornbills and their sounds are amazing to hear every single morning! Can you imagine the habitat loss for these creatures when these trees are felled? And birds just give us, well, a bird’s eye view of the biodiversity loss and the collapse of ecosystems the forest supports. Isn’t that reason enough to stop these horrendous acts?

Sabi nga ng isang kakilala ko, kung di kikilos ngayon, kelan pa? Sino pa ba ang kikilos, kundi tayo?

I encourage you…no, I URGE you to follow the stories of the volunteers and the activities here at camp.
Hopefully, you will think about what that next roll of toilet paper really means.




Climate Global Day of Action around the world by Chuck Baclagon
October 25, 2009, 9:25 am
Filed under: Stop climate change | Tags: , , ,

Yesterday was the climate change global day of action. People all over the world had been preparing and recruiting for the occasion for weeks.

According to the grassroots climate campaign website, there were over 5,200 events all told, in 181 countries. That makes it easily the most widespread environmental action day to date. The website contains a slideshow of some of the more photographable activities from around the world.

The whole bit about “three hundred and fifty parts per million” (350ppm) may have confused onlookers a bit, but these sort of events are about galvanising the movement itself more than recruiting many more people to it. We have a hard struggle ahead of us between now and Copenhagen, so the timing (if not the messaging) is spot-on.


Imagining a world without cars by Chuck Baclagon

Car-Free Day encourages motorists to give up their car for a day.

Every September 22, people from around the world get together in the streets, intersections, and neighborhood blocks to remind the world that we don’t have to accept our car-dominated society.

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Greenpeace goes to the G8 by Chuck Baclagon
July 8, 2009, 7:13 am
Filed under: Stop climate change | Tags: , , , ,

From Making Waves

We’re at the G8, and a lot of other places in Italy as well. Follow our occupation of four coal fired power plants here.

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A Time Comes: What it means to take action by Chuck Baclagon

The six Greenpeace activists who shut down a coal power station last year made history when a UK jury agreed that they were acting to safeguard property from the impacts of climate change. A new documentary takes you behind the scenes of that action, and into the heart of what Greenpeace and non-violent direct action is all about.

5 of the Kingsnorth 6 who in a landmark court case in September 2008 were acquitted of causing criminal damage by painting on a smokestack at the Kingsnorth coal power station, on the grounds of lawful excuse

5 of the "Kingsnorth 6" who in a landmark court case in September 2008 were acquitted of causing criminal damage by painting on a smokestack at the Kingsnorth coal power station, on the grounds of "lawful excuse"

The Kingsnorth Six were accused of causing £30,000 of criminal damage to Kingsnorth power station.  Their defence of “lawful excuse” was accepted by the jury, which supported the right to take direct action to protect the climate from the burning of coal.

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This is the road to Copenhagen! by Chuck Baclagon
April 27, 2009, 6:13 am
Filed under: Stop climate change | Tags: , , ,

From Making Waves

A busy day for team Greenpeace in Belgium yesterday. At 8 in the morning activists blocked traffic on the Ring around Brussels, the busiest traffic ‘knot’ in the country. After safely re-routing traffic, 30 of them unrolled a 180 square meter green carpet on the road and used it to visualise the alternatives for the planned road expansion of the Flemish government. In the run up to regional elections in June, they wanted to put these road expansion plans on the political agenda.

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Bailing out the planet- Video by Chuck Baclagon

From Greenpeace Making Waves

Here’s some video from the inspiring action today in Brussels. More than 340 activists were arrested and the activists were able to block the exits of the building for more than 2 hours. All of the activists have been released from jail and while some of the activists need to be hospitalized because of police brutality, there we no serious injuries. Thank you the activists that came from 20 different countries to take action and to all of you that followed the action and offered your support. Read more and see photos here.

Eco History by Chuck Baclagon

When the first Greenpeace boat sailed across the Gulf of Alaska in 1971 toward the U.S. nuclear test site in the Aleutian Islands, the crew and their supporters in Canada had no idea that the campaign would launch a global organization. Irving Stowe, Quaker leader of the Don’t Make a Wave Committee that launched the campaign, belonged to a dozen such groups and believed that after a campaign the group should disband. His idea of keeping things simple and grassroots has merit, but as we know, that’s not how things turned out.

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Looking back at Masinloc by Chuck Baclagon
November 10, 2005, 8:12 am
Filed under: Greenpeace, Life at work, Stop climate change | Tags: , , ,
Chuck Baclagon, Greenpeace New Media Campaigner outside the Masinloc coal plant.

Chuck Baclagon, Greenpeace New Media Campaigner outside the Masinloc coal plant.

By this time numerous papers have already published the explicit photo of the injured Greenpeace activist Jens Leowe as he was being tended to by Debra Pristor. Many articles have been in circulation depicting the action at varying angles and at the end of it all the question as to why they were there remains to be an issue that has been kept on the sidelines.

This piece is but an attempt to speak about the very issue addressed by the which is about coal plants and its role on climate change. But before anything else let me just remind you that this one would be of significant difference than the other pieces that have already been written about the violence that has transpired other than the fact that I was there when it happened. But also because in a way this piece is written under a predisposition of partiality to the activists that were hurt and detained since I personally know them and most of them I’ve spent lighter moments with . This is just a simple telling of my account of the event. But this is the story of those who dared to make a difference last November 10, 2005 for their bravery and dedication to the fight for clean energy has earned them the title of ‘energy revolutionaries’.

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