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Connecting the Dots of the Protests Against Gas Infrastructure

Connecting the Dots of the Protests Against Gas Infrastructure

Power to the People: Building a ‘People’s Atlantic Bridge’
to Fight Climate Change
Connecting the Dots of the Protests Against Gas Infrastructure

Thursday, March 12
Shiffman 219
Brandeis University Campus
*as part of GECS 188 Human/Nature: European Perspectives on Climate Change
**note that the classroom is on the second floor in a building with no elevator
RSVP here.

For many years, so-called “natural” gas was touted as a clean alternative to coal and oil. Not any more. Due to the far more dramatic climate impact of methane, not to mention the many dangers involved in gas infrastructure, scientists and climate activists have been calling for an end to all new fossil fuels, gas included, and climate activists are mounting fights against gas infrastructure across the globe.

This panel will connect the dots between the economic and political impacts of the fracking and pipeline industries, highlighting the fight against the Weymouth Compressor Station here in Massachusetts, the protests against LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) terminals in Northern Germany, and protests against the East/Med project in Israel and other mediterranean regions.

Here in Massachusetts, Enbridge’s Weymouth Compressor Station project (part of their ‘Atlantic Bridge’ – nomen est omen – intended for gas export) has been fought over for over 5 years by local residents and allied climate activists. Although many European countries, including Germany and France have implemented bans on domestic fracking, they continue to make large investments in new gas infrastructure. The German government agreed to build three LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) terminals on the North Sea coast in order to import gas. The North Stream Gas pipeline from Russia has become a major source of tension between Germany and the US. Meanwhile, Greece, Israel and Cyprus signed an agreement to build an undersea pipeline to ferry natural gas from offshore fields in the eastern Mediterranean to Europe.
As activists, educators, and climate protectors, our panelists are involved in campaigns to stop these projects.

Andy Gheorghiu, Policy Advisor at Food and Water Europe [via Zoom]
Nathan Phillips, Boston University
Ya’ara Peretz, Head Of Government Relations and Policy at Green Course, Israel [via Zoom]

Moderator: Sabine von Mering, Director, Center for German and European Studies (CGES)

About the panelists:

Nathan Phillips is Professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University. He holds a Ph.D. from Duke University and a BS in Physics from California State University in Sacramento. His research is focused on Climate Science, Physiological Ecology, Global Change Biology, Natural Gas, and Infrastructure Ecology. He is a climate activist and recently received a lot of attention for his two-week hunger strike in protest of “the ill-conceived Weymouth Compressor Station” (see his article in Commonwealth Magazine and this interview in Inside Climate News).

Ya’ara Peretz is an activist from Israel, working for Green Course as the climate organizer and campaigner. As part of her work with Green Course, she also works with and provides support for the student movement – Strike 4 future Israel – that is leading the school strikes in Israel as part of the Fridays for Future movement. She is also one of the founders of the Extinction Rebellion branch in Israel.

Andy Gheorghiu works as a full-time freelance campaigner, consultant, and activist for climate and environmental protection and also serves as Policy Advisor at Food and Water Europe. A former public servant, he became involved in the anti-fracking movement when an international oil and gas company requested a permission license for shale gas development in North-Hesse, Germany, where he lives. He contributed as a researcher and co-author to the Friends of the Earth reports “Fracking Frenzy” and “Fracking business (as usual).” See his blog post “Frackers Don’t Give a Frack About Human Rights” here.

Legislative Actions

Time critical actions:

Municipal Sustainability Checklist

We have created a municipal “sustainability checklist” that can help towns compare what they are doing with other towns, as well as get ideas and encourage collaboration. For residents, the checklist helps understand what towns are doing and not doing, as well as set priorities for local advocacy. For organizers, the checklist is an excellent tool to organize local groups around, and to build networks of people who care about sustainability.

Click here for details.