By Juan Cole in The Nation – At the Asia Pacific Resilience Innovation Summit held in Honolulu, Hawaii, this week, Governor David Ige dropped a bombshell. His administration will not use natural gas to replace the state’s petroleum-fueled electricity plants, but will make a full-court press toward 100 percent renewables by 2045. Ige’s decisive and ambitious energy vision is making Hawaii into the world’s most important laboratory for humankind’s fight against climate change. He has, in addition, attracted an unlikely and enthusiastic partner in his embrace of green energy—the US military. Ige said Monday that LNG (liquefied natural gas) will not save the state money over time, given the plummeting prices of renewables. Moreover, “it is a fossil fuel,” i.e., it emits dangerous greenhouse gases. He explained that local jurisdictions in Hawaii are putting up a fight against natural gas, making permitting difficult.
By Lee Fang in The Intercept – Christopher Horner, an attorney who claims that the earth is cooling, is known within the scientific community for hounding climate change researchers with relentless investigations and public ridicule, often deriding scientists as “communists” and frauds. Horner is a regular guest on Fox News and CNN, and has been affiliated with a number of think tanks and legal organizations over the last decade. He has called for investigations of climate scientists affiliated with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and NASA, and inundated climate researchers at major universities across the country with records requests that critics say are designed to distract them from their work.
By Emma Howard in The Guardian – Desmond Tutu, Vivienne Westwood, Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky are among a group of high-profile figures who will issue a mass call to action on Thursday ahead of the UN’s crunch climate change conference in Paris in December. They call for mass mobilisation on the scale of the slavery abolition and anti-apartheid movements to trigger “a great historical shift”. Their statement, published in the book Stop Climate Crimes, reads: “We are at a crossroads. We do not want to be compelled to survive in a world that has been made barely liveable for us … slavery and apartheid did not end because states decided to abolish them. Mass mobilisations left political leaders no other choice.” Bill McKibben, founder of environmental movement 350.org, which has launched the project with the anti-globalisation organisation Attac France, described the move as a “good first step” towards Paris.
By Ad Crable in Lancaster Online – Some 33 faculty members from three colleges in Lancaster County have sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that stresses the validity of climate change and endorses President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution at coal-fired power plants. The 33 from Franklin & Marshall College, Elizabethtown College and Millersville University also urged the EPA to adopt strong rules to capture methane pollution from oil and gas drilling, which they said was quickly becoming a major driver for climate change. “Without a planet that can sustain us, nothing else matters,” said Sarah Dawson, director of the Wohlsen Center for Sustainable Environment at F&M.
By Filiberto Nolasco Gomez in Elhuateque.com. Washington, DC – Responding to what they believe to be an illegal backroom deal between John Kerry’s State Department and pipeline company Enbridge activist’s have staged at protest at the home of Secretary of State John Kerry. Protesters argue that the pipeline deal would allow the Alberta Clipper tar sands pipeline expansion to proceed without any federal environmental review. Protesters appear to have there arms linked in plastic tubes in order to stage a sit in and risk arrest.
By Lindsay Abrams in Salon – Low-income and communities of color are on the front lines of climate change. They have, for that matter, been disproportionately shouldering the burden of our reliance on dirty energy since the beginning: nearly 40 percent of the people living and breathing in the vicinity of coal-fired power plants are people of color; not unrelatedly, asthma rates for African Americans are 35 percent higher than they are for Caucasians. Fighting climate change, and the energy revolution that doing so requires, is for many such communities a question of environmental justice. It’s also, Rev. Abrose Carroll tells Salon, an incredible opportunity. Carroll is the founder of Green the Church, a movement that’s “tapping into the power and purpose of the black church” as a moral and social leader on climate issues.
By Tish O’Dell in Alternet. Columbus, OH – With the oil and gas industry already reveling in a recent Ohio Supreme Court decision stripping local control on fracking and other extraction activities away from communities, the Secretary of State has now handed the industry another victory, opening the door for fracking infrastructure projects to spread even faster across Ohio. In a decision issued August 13, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted blocked citizens from voting on Home Rule Charter initiatives which include provisions on fracking infrastructure development.
By Lori Chandler in Big Think. Shell has received the final permits to drill off the coast of Alaska,courtesy of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). Many in the oil industry are timid, citing the many high risks involved from both a business and environmental perspective. One expert even predicts that oil demand is set for a long-term decline. If that’s true, drilling in the Arctic would be an epic miscalculation — and a poor business decision. Former BP executive John Browne has publicly warned Shell of the potentially disastrous consequences of their decision, saying, “I think you’ve got to be careful what you do, and cost includes your long-term reputation.” I
By Kieran Suckling in The Huffington Post – When many people think of America’s public lands, they think about pristine, wide-open spaces in the West. But lurking beneath them is a massive carbon bomb that we unleash at our own peril. A new report released Wednesday finds that unleased fossil fuels on public lands and offshore areas – publicly owned fossil fuels controlled by federal agencies – hold up to 450 billion tons of greenhouse gases. If we allow that coal, oil and natural gas to be developed, we’ll cripple America’s ability to meet its obligation to cut carbon and avoid the worst effects of the global climate crisis. That’s why it’s never been more clear that President Obama – and whoever comes after him in the White House – needs to pledge to ban new fossil fuel leases on U.S. public lands and offshore coastal areas.
By Capitalism vs Climate. NORTH WINDHAM, CT – In celebration of his 75th birthday today, Middletown resident Vic Lancia locked himself to two giant “birthday cakes”—actually concrete-filled barrels decorated with candles and frosting— on the sole road leading up to a site where Spectra Energy stores construction equipment and materials for use across Connecticut. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reports posted at capitalismvsclimate.org confirm what local residents have seen: Spectra trucks regularly using the facility to expand fracking infrastructure. By blocking Spectra workers from accessing the site, Vic aimed to disrupt Spectra’s ongoing construction of it’s “AIM Project”, a billion dollar fracked-gas pipeline expansion affecting communities across the State.
By Various in The Shalom Center – Islamic leaders from 20 countries today launched a bold Climate Change Declaration to engage the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims on the issue of our time. The Declaration presents the moral case, based on Islamic teachings, for Muslims and people of all faiths worldwide to take urgent climate action. It was drafted by a large, diverse team of international Islamic scholars from around the world following a lengthy consultation period prior to the Symposium. It has already been endorsed by more than 60 participants and organisations including the Grand Muftis of Uganda and Lebanon. The Declaration is in harmony with the Papal Encyclical and has won the support of the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace of the Holy See.
By Climate Mama – The difference today, in 2015, is that we have a massive, building wave of public pressure demanding and creating action on climate change. While we did have public pressure in Copenhagen the lead up to Paris is infinitely more powerful; and a wave that can’t be stopped. The “Road to Paris” is being paved with hard work and action, and the road beyond Paris with bonds that will be unbreakable. We will be bringing you regular updates and ways to engage in the coming months. Today, join us, raise your voice, and sign petitions to world governments from two of our allies, demanding climate justice and climate action, now! The results of these petitions will be delivered to governments in Paris this coming December.
By Patrick Mazza in Cascadia Planet – It’s time for everyone who works on climate or cares about it to admit the truth – We can’t say we are protecting our children’s future unless we are doing what science says we must do to recover climate stability. And we are not. So far, everything we are doing or proposing is falling far short. Fortunately, the kids are calling us out and making it impossible to ignore the facts. Twenty-one youths filed an Oregon US District Court lawsuit last Wednesday seeking a court order “declaring that the Federal Government has violated and is continuing to violate the fundamental constitutional rights of youth and future generations to life, liberty, property, and public trust resources by causing dangerous CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere and dangerous government interference with a stable climate system . . .”
By Sarah “Steve” Mosko – It’s common knowledge that polar bears, and their primary prey the ringed seal, might go extinct this century as the Arctic sea ice melts because rising levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHG) are warming the planet. Hearing this news, many Americans likely felt something akin to, “Gee, that’s a shame,” but the country did little more than shrug its collective shoulders before getting back to business as usual. But news keeps coming about species threatened by climate change via habitats becoming unlivable or collapsing of food webs. The latest sting came from Canadian researchers at the University of Ottawa who concluded that dozens of bumblebee species in North America and Europe could be headed for extinction because the southern reach of their habitat is becoming too hot. The study appeared in the July 10 issue of Sciencemagazine.