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Bullying’ BAA seeks Heathrow protest injunction

Alison Benjamin, OnPOint, Guardian
The Heathrow operator, BAA, will today seek “the mother of all injunctions” at the high court to prevent thousands of people affiliated to environmental organisations from attending a protest at the airport.

BAA wants to ban the Camp for Climate Action demonstration planned at Heathrow from August 14 to 21.

The company says it wants to “protect the airport and the safety of passengers and staff against the planned direct action by environmental activists”.

But environmental groups accuse BAA of “corporate bullying” designed to shut down peaceful protest.

“They are trying to bully over 5 million people who are critical of their plans to massively increase their output of greenhouse gases,” said Joss Garman of the anti-aviation group Plane Stupid, one of the groups named in the BAA court action.

The injunction application, seen by the Guardian, seeks to impose bans on people travelling on the Piccadilly line on the London Underground, on mainline trains and on motorways.
(1 August 2007)
BAA denies seeking blanket ban on airport protest.

Brazil, Alarmed, Reconsiders Policy on Climate Change

Larry Rohter, New York Times
MANAUS, Brazil – Alarmed at recent indications of climate change here in the Amazon and in other regions of Brazil, the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has begun showing signs of new flexibility in the tangled, politically volatile international negotiations to limit human-caused global warming.

The factors behind the re-evaluation range from a drought here in the Amazon rain forest, the world’s largest, and the impact that it could have on agriculture if it recurs, to new phenomena like a hurricane in the south of Brazil. As a result, environmental advocates, scientists and some politicians say, Brazilian policy makers and the public they serve are increasingly seeing climate change not as a distant problem, but as one that could affect them too.

Brazil remains suspicious of foreign involvement in its management of the Amazon, which it views as a domestic matter. But negotiators and others who monitor international climate talks say Brazil is now willing to discuss issues that until recently it considered off the table, including market-based programs to curb the carbon emissions that result from massive deforestation in the Amazon, in which areas the size of New Jersey or larger are razed each year.

“I think things have advanced, certainly, compared to three years ago, when the government simply refused to discuss deforestation in international forums,” said Márcio Santilli, a former government official who helped start the Socio-Environmental Institute, an environmental group in Brasília. “There has been a change of posture which reflects the worries of Brazilian public opinion on this issue, which in turn puts pressure on politicians.”
(31 July 2007)
Also posted at Common Dreams.

Warming of glaciers threatens millions in China

Robert Collier, San Francisco Chronicle
Anyemaqen Mountains, China — More than 3 miles above sea level in these jagged, wind-scoured mountains, there’s little doubt that global warming is endangering China’s future.

The glaciers that ripple off the peaks of Anyemaqen, a mountain range in the western China province of Qinghai, are shrinking rapidly, endangering hundreds of millions of people who depend on the waters flowing eastward through the Yellow River.

With the rest of the country punished by record heat waves, floods and droughts this summer, it’s no wonder that Beijing, which has long viewed global warming as a problem that rich nations should solve, is waking up to the fact that China may be especially at risk.
(1 August 2007)