We begin this month’s climate disruption dispatch with comments from NASA’s Earth Observatory about the extreme juxtaposition of temperatures we are experiencing in North America this summer. “If you live in the northern hemisphere, the past few weeks have been strange,” NASA states. “In places where it should be seasonably hot – the eastern and southern United States and western Europe – it’s just been warm. In places where weather is usually mild in the summer – northern Europe, the Pacific coast of North America – it has been ridiculously hot.” NASA continues: Records for high temperatures (mid-30s°C, mid-90s°F) were approached or broken in Latvia, Poland, Belarus, Estonia, Lithuania, and Sweden in late July and early August. Searing temperatures also dried out forests and fuelled wildfires in Siberia; in the U.S. states of Oregon, Washington, and California; in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Northwest Territories; and even in Sweden. At the same time, cool air moved from high northern latitudes into much of the U.S., setting record-low daytime and nighttime temperatures as far south as Florida and Georgia. Temperatures dropped to the winter-like levels in the mountains of Tennessee.
Campaign Nonviolence is a new movement building a culture of peace by mainstreaming active nonviolence and by connecting the long-term nonviolent global struggles to abolish war, end poverty, reverse climate change, and challenge all violence. Campaign Nonviolence will launch this long-term movement September 21-27, 2014 by taking nonviolent action in hundreds of local cities across the United States and beyond. At a moment when the horror of war is palpably clear—and the ongoing violence of poverty and climate change wreaks havoc across our planet—we have a chance to say with one voice that we are ready to join together for a better way. This is the vision and foundation of Campaign Nonviolence. Campaign Nonviolence is now organizing in 50 states and the District of Columbia with 115 nonviolent actions planned for September 21-27 in every part of the country, and new ones are being posted every day. Campaign Nonviolence actions include marches, rallies, vigils, nonviolent direct action or other forms of public witness.
There is an overwhelming consensus among expert scientists studying climate change that man-made pollution is the main cause of global warming. But the media may be skewing its coverage of the issue by persistently seeking out the views of a contrarian minority, according to a new study. In an opinion survey of nearly 1,900 scientists, 90 percent of the respondents with more than 10 peer-reviewed articles to their name “explicitly agreed with anthropogenic greenhouse gases being the dominant driver of recent global warming,” the study found. It was written by scientists in the Netherlands and Australia, and published in Environmental Science and Technology. The degree of the consensus was not surprising, as scientists said they basically agreed with findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, which has itself generated exhaustive consensus documents. Surveys of published literature have likewise demonstrated the breadth of the scientific consensus on man-made climate change. “We are confident that most of the main players in climate science were invited” to respond to the survey, the authors said.
During his speech at West Point Military Academy earlier this week,President Barack Obama described climate change as a “creeping national security crisis” that will require the armed forces to “respond to refugee flows, natural disasters, and conflicts over water and food.” The speech emphasised that US foreign policy in the 21st century is increasingly being honed in recognition of heightened risks of social, political and economic upheaval around the world due the impacts of global warming. A more detailed insight into US military planning could be seen in thereport published a couple of weeks earlier by the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) Military Advisory Board, written and endorsed by a dozen or so senior retired US generals. Describing climate change as a not just a “threat multiplier,” but now – even worse – a “catalyst for conflict”, the study concluded that environmental impacts from climate change in coming decades: “…. will aggravate stressors abroad, such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.”
Popular Resistance will be organizing a contingent that brings together our various projects. Look for more on that in later updates and emails. In addition, Popular Resistance is helping to organize the New York City Climate Convergence: People, Planet and Peace Over Profit on September 19-21. The objective is to build and strengthen an environmental movement that addresses the root causes of the climate crises; a social-economic system that values profits above people, planet and peace. As the corporate captured UN proposes false solutions like carbon trading and sets meager greenhouse reduction targets, we will show the world what tackling global warming from the bottom up looks like
Rising Tide North America is part of the global movement against climate chaos and for social and environmental justice. We believe climate change can only be addressed by exposing the intersections between the oppressions of humans and the earth. No effort to create a livable future will succeed without the empowerment of marginalized communities and the dismantling of the systems of oppression that keep us divided. As such, we condemn the Israeli military’s attacks on the Palestinian people in Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank. We reject any attempt to isolate the attacks on the Palestinian people and the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza from the intersectional global fight for climate justice. As the broad-based climate movement prepares to march in New York City, we call upon other groups and organizations committed to fighting the climate crisis to condemn publicly the Israeli military’s assault on Palestine. In New York City, we will march with communities and groups who are working daily for community resilience against climate events like Superstorm Sandy and for food and environmental justice. We believe that from Palestine to New York City and beyond, our struggles for climate and social justice are all related.
This video provides the best explanation I have ever heard of how increasing carbon in the atmosphere changes the weather. It helped me understand the carbon-climate connection at an all new level. It also explains why the release of arctic methane is an important tipping point. For those of you who enjoy learning from the world’s top scientists about something that will change your life and the future of your children and grandchildren, this is an important video to watch. Please watch it and then share it with others. Arctic Emergency: Scientists Speak On Melting Ice and Global Impacts (1080p HD). This film brings you the voices of climate scientists – in their own words. Rising temperatures in the Arctic are contributing the melting sea ice, thawing permafrost, and destabilization of a system that has been called “Earth’s Air Conditioner”. Global warming is here and is impacting weather patterns, natural systems, and human life around the world – and the Arctic is central to these impacts.
Under the banner of a campaign called “Our Power,” participants hail from dozens of organizations representing indigenous peoples, people of color, and working-class white communities that collaborate through the Climate Justice Alliance. Three days of conversations and strategizing will conclude Saturdaywith a day of action to highlight local alternatives to fossil fuel dependence. This is the first national gathering of Our Power and, according to organizers, builds from an intense season of mobilization, including a gathering of youth and young adults that took place in Detroit in June, as well as ongoing preparation for the the Peoples Climate March and Summit, to take place in September in New York. Those convened in Richmond are ultimately shooting for a big goal: connecting local, national, and international struggles of the marginalized and dispossessed to chart a “just transition” to a new economy.
The world is in crisis. The economic recovery never happened for the large majority of people in the United States. Conflicts in Israel and Gaza and the Ukraine along with huge stand off’s by major global powers heralds a possible World War 3. Not in decades has the need for a People’s Movement for justice, equality, human rights and democracy been more painfully obvious. And the US Social Forum is gearing up in multiple regions of the country to help catalyze the movement that must be built. To connect and give national voice to these diverse emerging struggles, the US Social Forum announces the US Social Forum 3 in June 2015 as a polycentric social forum. It will be held in Philadelphia, PA, Jackson, MS, and San Jose, CA.
The People’s Climate March will surge through Manhattan on September 21 with an expected quarter million individuals in attendance. Times Square will be the site of the historic gathering as many will travel from across the country to support UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s ambitious goals to reduce global warming pollution. The People’s Climate March will take place during a UN meeting on climate change attended by delegates from 168 countries.“The UN Secretary General has asked world leaders to finally make some real progress on climate change,” said Robert Orr, UN Assistant Secretary General. The UN conference, scheduled for September 23, will hail experts on the risks for not acting now. “Time is not on our side,” said Moon. Organizers at 350.org have joined with over 490 groups, including unions, ecumenical groups, and grassroots organizations. The plan is an “all-inclusive family oriented event” for everyone, says Paul Getsos, National Coordinator with 350.org. “We want to engage a wide range of constituencies and communities,” he said. Getting national coverage is the key to building on foundations already laid down by environmental groups. “We want to be in Times Square because there are huge media markets that look there,” said Getsos.
Opponents of Vermont Gas’ fracked gas pipeline, including ratepayers, marched on the Williston pipe yard this morning and blocked the front driveway with a peaceful sit-in, demanding an end to construction of the pipeline. A Stop Work Order was issued to management on site, informing Vermont Gas and its subcontractors that they were to stop all construction immediately. Jen Berger, a Burlington ratepayer, said, “Last week ratepayers and Addison County residents were shut out of the Public Service Board offices. Today, we are taking our demands directly to Vermont Gas, telling them they do not have permission to build this dirty pipeline.” Berger referenced an incident last Tuesday, when dozens of ratepayers and Addison County residents were barred from entering the Public Service Board office to deliver a petition signed by 500 ratepayers, calling on the Board to suspend construction of the pipeline.
Greenpeace USA has released a major new report on an under-discussed part of President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan and his U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carbon rule: it serves as a major endorsement of continued coal production and export to overseas markets. “Leasing Coal, Fueling Climate Change: How the federal coal leasing program undermines President Obama’s Climate Plan” tackles the dark underbelly of a rule that only polices coal downstream at the power plant level and largely ignores the upstream and global impacts of coal production at-large. The Greenpeace report was released on the same day as a major story published by the Associated Press covering the same topic and comes a week after the release of another major report on coal exports by the Sightline Institute that sings a similar tune. The hits keep coming: Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson framed what is taking place similarly in a recent piece, as did Luiza Ch. Savage of Maclean’s Magazine and Bloomberg BNA. But back to Greenpeace. As their report points out, the main culprit for rampant coal production is the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which leases out huge swaths of land to the coal industry. Greenpeace says this is occurring in defiance of Obama’s Climate Action Plan and have called for a moratorium on leasing public land for coal extraction.
Think of it as history’s biggest haymaker — after a decadeslong windup, sea-level rise is gearing up to clobber American coastal cities from Miami to D.C., as two recent scientific warnings make clear. First came the federal National Climate Assessment’s disturbing finding that global warming is already increasing dangers from floods and Hurricane Sandy-style storm surges. Then came two studies showing that huge Antarctica glacier clusters have started a long-term collapse that could cause far greater sea-level increases. So why isn’t President Obama proposing a more serious solution to the greenhouse gas emissions from our nation’s power plants — the largest source of the pollutants disrupting our climate and paving the way for rising oceans to redraw America’s coastlines? The president’s Clean Power Plan, which is the focus of public hearings in four cities around the country this month, has generated tremendous hype and confusion. But the bottom line is simple: These rules just don’t do enough to cut planet-warming pollution from existing power plants.