$2 billion have been spent on creating that spin of lies and disinformation that keeps the fossil wheels turning today, just in the United States alone, according to a new study. So one wonders what the total global figure could be, say, if we knew how much has been wasted on this destructive, selfish and greedy cause in all the other countries around the world as well?
This is what makes me so angry about the uncontrolled carbon emissions mess which a bunch of corrupted politicians and greedy oil-coal-gas millionaires – men most of them – have brought onto the world: a world where we now begin to see properties and ecosystems destroyed and people killed because of it.
“Humanity is largely to the blame for our deteriorating environment and worsening climate change. Yet for years, congress has killed any meaningful attempt to course correct. And according to a new study, their obstructionism had been highly lucrative. Climate action is being drowned by a devastating flood of money from the fossil fuel industry — nearly $2 billion in lobbying since 2000 alone.”
» Think Progress – 19 July 2018:
Fossil fuel industry spent nearly $2 billion to kill U.S. climate action, new study finds
“Industry has out-lobbied environmentalists 10-to-1 on climate since 2000.”
Power without accountability – how much longer?
This is the bit about the climate emergency that I find the hardest to accept: The global climate disaster – this tragic crisis of human drama, economic loss and death with the entire biosphere collapsing around us – which we are only seeing the first sporadic signs of today, but which supposedly, according to climate scientists, have so much more horror, devastation and conflict in the pipeline for us in the coming decades and centuries, didn’t just happen by accident. There are a small number of extremely cruel, cynical and selfish people on this planet who have been financing it, in the American case putting $2,000,000,000 dollars on the table in an attempt to protect their own investments and profits in the fossil fuel industry for as long as they possibly can, knowingly disregarding and even ridiculing the dire consequences.
— Act on Climate Vic (@ActOnClimateVic) July 21, 2018
Unlike most criminals, who operate in the dark, we know the names, addresses and faces of these people. So far our court systems have been letting them get away with murder. Literally. But this is going to change in the coming years.
The American Center for Climate Integrity wants to change that. The centre supports victims who want to hold these climate criminals accountable.
Executive director Richard Wiles explains:
“Time is short to slow accelerating climate impacts, with perhaps 15 years or less remaining to stabilize climate change before self-reinforcing feedbacks and irreversible tipping points increase impacts to catastrophic and perhaps even existential proportions. Current climate policy is inadequate, and opposition from major fossil fuel companies is a key reason. Judicial enforcement of the “polluter pays” principle against the companies whose products are the central cause of global warming addresses both the need to deal fairly with the consequences of their past conduct and the need to encourage fossil fuel companies to change their behavior going forward.”
State government versus the fossil fuel industry
On 2 July 2018, the American state Rhode Island filed a lawsuit at the Superior Court against 21 major oil companies, accusing them of contributing to climate change that is damaging infrastructure and coastal communities in the state.
This lawsuit is not the first to specifically allege that fossil fuel companies have acted with negligence over climate change. In the US, several cities and counties have filed suits, including New York City and two cities in California. Similar court cases have been launched in Europa and Asia as well.
The California suits were thrown out earlier this year by a judge who said that the specific compensation measures sought in the suit — building coastline defences, for example — had to be decided by politicians, not judges. The judge said that there wasn’t a case to answer over the so-called “public nuisance” the energy companies had caused.
The Rhode Island lawsuit also argues that there is a public nuisance, but this is the first time a state government has specifically challenged energy companies on what the Attorney General says are the manifest real-world harms of the companies’ actions.
The critical question is whether the Rhode Island lawsuit can gain traction and convince judges of the direct line of harm. The irony here is that, by the time more concrete evidence of these alleged misdeeds do surface, for example dramatic sea level rise as well as land erosion and more, it will be impossible to reverse or properly manage them.
» Rhode Island Government Press Release – 2 July 2018:
Rhode Island Attorney General Kilmartin Files Lawsuit Against Fossil Fuel Companies for Costs and Consequences of Climate Change
» Grist – 19 July 2018:
Think the climate change lawsuit is dead? It’s just beginning
“Baltimore has suffered two thousand-year storms in the last couple of years. This is not right, this is not something we should go uncompensated for.”
~ Baltimore City Solicitor Andre M. Davis, announcing together with Mayor Catherine E. Pugh that the city will take legal action against a number of oil and gas companies over damages related to climate change and unprecedented weather events that have impacted the East Coast’s fifth-largest city and surrounding metro area
» Think Progress – 20 July 2018:
Baltimore sues Big Oil over climate change, is undeterred by NYC ruling
“Similar efforts in NYC and California have been so far unsuccessful, but that isn’t stopping the movement.”
From a #StoryChange point of view, this is Story Change big time. Historians, take note of 2018. This was the year when fossil fuel companies’ social licence to pollute and destroy our global commons, the climate, started to crumble as lawsuits and court cases spread a new, appropriate ‘climate criminal’ perspective into the public debate.
And there is more interesting news from America…
Youth-led American movement – with demands
Today in Washington DC and around the United States, youth-led Zero Hour marches are taking to the streets to call for serious climate action under the banner of Zero Hour.
The young people leading this march know that time is up. They know their future is deeply threatened, and are fighting back for survival.
Thus Zero Hour has delivered the strongest demands yet seen from a major climate march. The demands include:
• Reducing emissions 10% per year, over 10 years to eliminate GHG emissions in 10 years,
• Drawing down carbon through natural methods, and
• Banning new fossil fuel infrastructure and factory farms.
The mission of the Zero Hour movement is to center the voices of diverse youth in the conversation around climate and environmental justice. They write on their home page:
“Zero Hour is a youth-led movement creating entry points, training, and resources for new young activists and organizers (and adults who support our vision) wanting to take concrete action around climate change. Together, we are a movement of unstoppable youth organizing to protect our rights and access to the natural resources and a clean, safe, and healthy environment that will ensure a livable future where we not just survive, but flourish.
The Zero Hour movement started with our founder, 16-year-old Jamie Margolin, a fierce climate justice advocate, who has been working tirelessly for the last few years to move her home state of Washington to adopt common sense climate change laws. Frustrated by the inaction of elected officials and the fact that youth voices were almost always ignored in the conversation around climate change and the profound impact that it would have on young people, Jamie started gathering several of her friends in the summer of 2017 to start organizing something big, something hard to ignore!
Jamie was inspired by the mass mobilizations like the Women’s March that had occurred in early 2017 and realized that a national day of mass action, led by youth, would be an ideal platform to ensure that young voices were not only centered in this conversation, but that elected officials and adults would hear their voices loud and clear!
By the end of the summer, young activists from across the country, from diverse backgrounds, had joined the team and the Zero Hour movement had started taking shape.”
Zero Hour’s vision
“Enough is enough. We, the youth, believe that #thisisZeroHour to act on climate change. We cannot afford to wait any longer for adults to protect our right to the clean and safe environment, the natural resources we need to not just survive, but flourish. We know that we are the leaders we have been waiting for!
We believe that every individual, from every community should have access to clean air, water, and public lands. We believe in putting the needs and health of our communities before corporate gain.
We believe that the leadership of youth in this space is essential since we have inherited a crisis that we had no hand in creating. We will strive to hold our adults and elected officials accountable for their legacy of destruction and inaction when it comes climate change. We believe in a solutions-based approach that addresses the real needs of our communities.
While climate change is a phenomenon that will impact all of us — if it has not already — we believe that the impact of the climate crisis is profoundly unequal. Frontline communities across the globe and within the United States have been directly impacted by climate change to a degree greater than others. We believe, however, that those closest to the problem are also often closest to the solution. These communities have been actively working to create just solutions and transitions. Our goal is to center the unique wisdom, experience, and leadership of these communities in our efforts to make impactful change.
We also recognize that a movement for climate and environmental justice cannot be successful without building meaningful coalitions and cross-sector alignment with other movements for social justice. We believe in harnessing the power of youth-led organizing and leadership by youth from different backgrounds and experiences in forging our path towards a more equitable and safe future for all of us.”
Zero Hour’s letter to politicians
“Dear Elected Officials,
We, the youth, demand that you reject the corrupting monetary influence of fossil fuel executives, lobbyists, or their front groups, and commit to protect our health, climate, and democracy instead.
The pledge is just the beginning. Read below to understand the actions you must take as elected officials starting now. This list is not exhaustive but each action is essential to meaningfully address the climate crisis and protect the future of the youth.
□ Recognize and protect First Nation treaty rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
□ Recognize the constitutional right of youth to a livable climate, support youth lawsuits.
□ Declare a climate emergency and establish a fully-funded federal climate emergency department that would focus on pre-disaster planning and also address post-disaster clean up according to recommendations from climate justice groups.
□ Make climate justice education part of the Department of Education guidelines based on recommendations from communities of color and Indigenous climate justice groups.
□ Immediately eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies, including indirect subsidies such as the public healthcare costs from air and water pollution.
□ Heavily tax corporations who have historically emitted the most greenhouse gases, and invest that money into solutions that curb carbon pollution and help communities adapt to climate change.
□ Mandate the strictest possible fuel economy standards, and develop a nation-wide network of EV stations to ensure their wide adoption.
□ Ensure that any new legislation or climate solution does not disproportionately burden communities of color and low income communities through greater cost or displacement.
□ Fully fund protection for all endangered species.
□ Plant the natural infrastructure by 2030 in order to sequester 100 Gigatons of carbon this century through extensive restorative forestry, local, organic, perennial agriculture and permaculture, and soil conservation.
□ Ban all new fossil fuel infrastructure and make massive investment in local solar and wind energy companies.
□ Ban all new concentrated animal feeding operations and factory farms, and shift all agriculture towards zero greenhouse gas emissions.
□ Require that new buildings and retrofits be affordable for low income people and follow the six principles of radically sustainable building.
□ Require all new appliances to meet stringent energy efficiency standards while investing in local, green, durable manufacturing.
□ Massively invest in mass transit that is accessible for people with disabilities for all towns and cities.
□ Pass legislation that all cities be re-designed to prioritize and encourage biking and walking as well as be accessible for people with disabilities.
□ A complete Just Transition away from the fossil fuel economy towards sustainable local economies that are based in equity, human rights, workers’ rights, racial justice, gender justice, and that uplift youth, Indigenous, communities of color, and frontline communities, reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to negative emissions, with a goal to return to no more than 350 parts per million.
2040 is just 22 years away. This is ZERO HOUR.”
» Download Zero Hour’s letter to politicians (PDF)
» Follow Zero Hour’s newsstream on Twitter via the hashtag #ThisIsZeroHour
» Zero Hour‘s home page: www.ThisIsZeroHour.org
Climatic clippings increasingly critical and dramatic
Africa’s highest registered temperature
News stories highlight the consequences of this deadly global carbon crime on a daily basis. Record high temperatures have been set across much of the world this week as an unusually prolonged and broad heatwave intensifies concerns about climate change. The past month has seen
• Algeria has experienced the hottest temperature ever reliably registered in Africa: 51.3°C – on 5 July 2018.
• An unprecedented heat wave in eastern Canada killed around 70 people.
• Weather fronts – hot and cold – are being blocked more frequently due to climate change. This causes droughts and storms to linger, amplifying the damage they cause. This was a factor in the recent devastating floods in Japan, where nearly 200 people died after rainfall up to four times the normal level.
• USA: Power shortages and wild fires in California as record heat forced a surge of demand for air conditioners.
• Wildfires rage in Arctic Circle with Sweden worst hit as hot, dry summer sparks an unusual number of fires, with at least 11 in the far north and 60 around the country.
• Britain has experienced its third longest heatwave, melting the roof of a science building in Glasgow and exposing ancient hill forts in Wales.
• The Western Siberian Hydromet Center has issued storm warnings after temperatures of more than 30°C for five days. Climate watchers fear this will accelerate the melting of permafrost, releasing methane – a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.
• South Africa: A new report from scientists at the World Weather Attribution group indicates that manmade climate change and its effect on rainfall made the recent Cape Town drought three times more likely.
» Washington Post – 3 July 2018:
Red-hot planet: All-time heat records have been set all over the world during the past week
» CNN – 6 July 2018:
Blistering heat wave claims 54 lives in Quebec
“A blistering heat swept through parts of Canada this week, killing 54 people in the province of Quebec, according to health officials. Twenty-eight of the deaths were in Montreal, said Marie-Claude Lacasse with the Ministry of Health. Many of the victims were older than 50, male, living alone and had no air conditioning.”
» The Guardian – 14 July 2018:
Heatwave sees record high temperatures around world this week
“From Europe to Africa, extreme and widespread heat raises climate concerns in hottest La Niña year to date on record”
» Reuters – 16 July 2018:
Over a billion people struggle to stay cool as Earth warms
“Heavy rains and widespread flooding killed nearly 200 people in western Japan; meanwhile, an unprecedented heat wave in eastern Canada killed around 70 people last week. Against this background, climate researchers are warning that casualties related to extreme weather events could increase if greenhouse gas emissions remain unchecked. Extreme weather-related events are increasing worldwide, reminds Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).”
Is the global heat wave caused by climate change?
“It’s not: ‘Climate change flooded my house’. It’s: ‘Climate change changed the chances of flooding my house’.”
~ Michael Wehner, senior staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA, being careful not to frame his field of climate science as a magic bullet for assigning undisputable blame to individual weather events
The strongest evidence for global warming isn’t isolated events like particularly hot days: A single hot day doesn’t prove global warming just like a single cold day doesn’t disprove it. Rather, it’s an ever-growing compendium of global climate data showing consistent, undeniable trends. Though climate change is slow on a human scale, it’s happening at a blistering rate from the perspective of the Earth. If allowed to go on unchecked, it will eventually have real, dire, consequences for people and for the environment.
The findings of attribution studies on heat waves, however, are consistent: “Heat waves are easy. For pretty much everywhere in the world … climate change has increased the severity of heat waves,” explains Michael Wehner.
It’s helpful to think about it through a simplified analogy. There’s a bucket full of balls: Some are blue, and some are red. If we draw a blue ball, the weather will be moderate. If we draw a red ball, the weather will be extreme. Before global warming, the bucket contained almost entirely blue balls with a handful of red ones mixed in. Global warming is slowly swapping a few blue balls for red ones. If today there’s a hurricane, we know that a red ball was drawn. But we don’t know if it was one of the original red balls or one of the new ones contributed by climate change. What extreme event attribution does allow us to do is estimate how many red balls were added to the bucket.
» Slate – 24 July 2018:
Can We Blame the Summer Heat Wave on Global Warming?
» DW – 13 July 2018:
Will extreme weather become even deadlier?
“Flooding in Japan and a heat wave in Canada have killed hundreds. With extreme weather causing unimaginable disasters, and extreme weather events on the rise, some experts believe many more could die if nothing is done.”
» The Verge – 9 July 2018:
This video of a Greenland glacier fracturing is a close, scary look at sea level rise
“Climate shapes suicide”
» CityLab – 24 July 2018:
Climate Change May Cause 26,000 More U.S. Suicides by 2050
“Unusually hot days have profound effects on mental health and human physiology.”
For almost two centuries now, scientists have noticed a place’s suicide rate bears troubling links to the changing of the seasons and the friendliness of its climate.
In 1881, the Italian physician Enrico Morselli noted that suicide rates peak in the summer, deeming the effect “too great for it to be attributed to chance of the human will.” Two decades later, the French sociologist Emile Durkheim noticed the same effect—though he also found the suicide rate was higher in Scandinavian countries.
Even today, CDC data confirms that suicides peak in the United States in the early summer.
Now, scientists have identified one more way that climate shapes suicide — and, worryingly, they have projected that it will only become more pronounced as suicide rates rise in a rapidly warming world.
Note, it already started – but we don’t hear about it in the media because those who know about it don’t want to talk about it. They don’t want to risk that it would inspire others.
History will judge our politicians and energy company CEOs: to which extent is this blood on their hands?
211 million people affected over 13 years
Between 2000 and 2013, 211 million people were affected by extreme and catastrophic disasters. Developing countries continue to bear the brunt of the effects of climate change. Add to that figure the millions who have been affected in the last five years…
This situation we are in now could have been avoided, if politicians had put the right policies in place decades ago. They were beginning to do so back in the late 1980s – but then the fossil fuel industry intervened.
Increasingly, those decision makers who are responsible for letting this immoral destruction and killing of life continue, have blood on their hands, and must be held accountable for this crime against humanity.
“Catastrophic ecosystem collapses has hit Australia”
» The Independent – 18 July 2018:
It might be too late to save these Australian ecosystems from climate change
“A series of sudden and catastrophic ecosystem collapses has hit Australia – and researchers think they may be irreversible.”
» The Guardian – 18 July 2018:
Asthma deaths rise 25% amid growing air pollution crisis
“Doctors urge ministers to act as 1,320 killed by asthma in England and Wales last year.”
Significant news of goodness
In the light of what is happening to our planet as we are passing irreversible tipping points and feedback-loops in the environment, it’s imperative we take a much more clear and firm stand on this issue, just like the Zero Hour youth group is doing it in the United States today. A protest walk in the streets will not do. That firm stand of ours must reflect every financial choice we make, and it must guide how we vote at every election from here on. Also, it should inspire us to work on taking others with us on the journey – influencing and educating our family members and those who are close to us.
Politicians in Ireland have recently shown the world what all responsible leaders must do: they have collectively rejected investing any more public money in dirty energy. They are starting to wash the blood of their hands:
» The Guardian – 13 July 2018:
Ireland becomes world’s first country to divest from fossil fuels
“Bill passed by parliament means more than €300m shares in coal, oil, peat and gas will be sold ‘as soon as practicable’.”
» New York Times – 12 July 2018:
Ireland Moves to Divest From Fossil Fuels
“A bill passed in the lower house of Parliament was a victory for the global divestment movement.”
This is significant. It means that more countries will follow Ireland’s climate leadership example soon. It is an inevitable development. Those in denial about this – many Australians included – will suffer serious economic consequences and economic depression when “suddenly” the wealth and investments of the fossil fools turns into a huge graveyard of stranded assets.
Speaking of investments, have you checked where your super fund has your pension money invested?
» Global Banking and Finance Review – 13 July 2018:
Climate action is an equity issue
“A report calls on the Bank of England to place climate change front and centre of its mandate in order to encourage investment for low-carbon transition.”
“At an international conference of financial supervisors, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney described the ‘transition in action’ underway as central banks and the financial sector at large begin to address climate change. Positive Money’s new report, released today, argues that while the initiatives so far represent welcome progress, policymakers should go further.”
» Positive Money – 15 May 2018:
New report: A green bank of England
33 per cent green power growth in three years
Germany’s renewable energy revolution shows an inspiring pathway because its community-driven and decentralised nature:
» The Independent – 2 July 2018:
Germany produces enough renewable energy in six months to power country’s households for an entire year
“Country’s green power output has grown by a third in three years.”
Calling out the lies
So who or what is going to make Australians stop believing the lies from the coal-hugging government and the constant stream of anti-renewables letters to the editor in local newspapers around the country when they repeatedly warn the population about renewables because renewables are “expensive” and will make electricity bills go up, and on top of that are deemed “unreliable”.
Stop being fooled by fossil criminals’ lies and self-interested propaganda for the gas and coal they want you to keep buying. Here are some new developments to be aware of:
Clean energy: cutting costs
Major businesses in the US and in Australia have already begun to purchase renewable energy directly to cut costs, either by themselves in the case of large corporations such as Apple, Google and Telstra, or in a collective like the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project. And some smaller businesses and agricultural operations have been installing their own renewables for years.
An analysis by Frontier Economics for the Federal Government found that the additional renewables being built under the Renewable Energy Target will reduce the average power bill by hundreds of dollars a year.
» Clean Energy Council – 23 November 2017:
New renewable energy will lower power prices: Government analysis
» Clean Energy Council – 16 July 2018:
Renewables lowering power prices for industry, but more work still required
“New analysis released by the Australian Industry Group says major projects being built under Australia’s Renewable Energy Target are already helping to reduce bills for energy users across the country.”
» Vox – 13 July 2018:
Clean energy is catching up to natural gas much faster than anyone thought
“Natural gas plants built today could be rendered uncompetitive well before their rated lifespan. They could become ‘stranded assets’, saddling utility ratepayers and investors with the costs of premature decommissioning.”
Renewables: actually reliable
Denmark, which runs 30 per cent on renewables by now, has one of Europe’s most stable and secure electricity grids, which runs securely 99,99% of the time.
Denmark powered 100% on wind in 317 hours of 2016
“We were once afraid of what would happen when wind energy generation reached 5% of the total consumption. We then worried about approaching 10% – would the system be able to cope? Some years later, we said that 20% had to be the absolute limit! However, in 2016, Danish wind turbines produced more than the total electricity consumption for 317 hours of the year, and we barely give this any thought.”
~ Peter Jørgensen, Vice President Associated Activities, Energinet.dk
» RenewEconomy – 19 June 2018:
The fake arguments against 100% renewable energy
“Bright future for renewables”
Here is a great indication of where large-scale solar is heading in Australia:
» RenewEconomy – 12 July 2018:
Two new big solar farms to begin construction in NSW “in coming weeks”
» Financial Review – 19 July 2018:
Biggest solar deal: BlueScope to use 500,000 solar panels
“BlueScope Steel will sign the largest solar power purchasing deal ever by an industrial energy user in Australia, to lock into cheap renewables generation…”
Isn’t it strange that these projects never seem to get a mention in the current political ‘debate’?
This isn't just hot air. It's happening. Wind and solar projects are going up across the state – and soon, we'll generate enough energy to power every home in Victoria. All 2.5 million of them. Welcome to the future. pic.twitter.com/uMdbCeVyOJ
— Daniel Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) July 18, 2018
Market Operator recognises the clear energy future
In its Integrated System Plan, released earlier this week, the Australian Energy Market Operator has confirmed renewable energy has a positive future in Australia, reported the Alternative Technology Association which monitors closely what is happening on the renewable energy horizon in Australia. They wrote:
“It heartens us that, despite this country’s continuing reliance on dirty coal, more and more major institutions including the Australian Energy Market Operator are recognising that renewables are the clear energy future.”
The ATA works actively to spread and promote renewables. One exciting project they are doing is the Solar in Not-for-profits program. Here is a video about it, produced by their project partner, the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation:
Martina Linnenluecke, Professor of Environmental Finance, also read AEMO’s report and agrees that it confirms that the electricity sector is in the midst of an unprecedented transformation: As existing generation infrastructure grows older, we are witnessing a shift to renewables, battery storage and lower demand growth. On top of that, Australia needs to consider how to meet its internationally agreed climate targets.
But she is disappointed that the AEMO report shows no understanding of how to successfully retire unsustainable infrastructure early and move rapidly to adopt cleaner technology. “Quite the contrary, in fact,” she states in her article in The Conversation:
“The Integrated System Plan, unveiled this week by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), has been billed as a cohesive energy plan for Australia. In reality, it falls seriously short.
Australia needs to accelerate its energy transition and give businesses and investors the support they need to seize economic opportunities from clean energy. Instead, AEMO’s analysis calls to exploit the economic life of high-polluting infrastructure such as the Eraring and Bayswater coal-fired power stations.
In seeking to prolong coal-fired power for as long as feasible in the name of cheap energy, AEMO’s supposedly comprehensive plan overlooks two crucial facts: first, there is serious money to be made from clean energy; and second, coal is not as cheap as it sounds when we factor in the indirect social costs.”
This is the argument that is missing in the debate about energy and costs, because it is either being forgotten or deliberately left out: The indirect social costs of continuing to burn coal, gas and petrol are currently not factored in.
Neither the NEG nor the AEMO formula meets the environment and the economic imperatives of the next couple of decades. These energy policy panaceas that claim to meet all needs smell of political expediency. They need to be called out at every opportunity.
» The Conversation – 20 July 2018:
AEMO’s ‘cohesive’ energy plan falls short because it omits two key economic facts
24 million new jobs by 2030
“Climate change provides a major threat to more than a billion workers, as well as opportunities to create employment for millions around the world if addressed correctly, according to a new report. The World Employment and Social Outlook 2018 released in May by the International Labour Organization (ILO) claimed that at least 1.2 billion people rely on a healthy and sustainable environment in their work – particularly those in agriculture, fisheries and forestry.”
» Asian Correspondent – 12 July 2018:
Combatting climate change could create 24 million jobs by 2030
Unsustainable, unethical, irresponsible
Global energy consumption is on the rise, and as much as renewables are seen by many as the future for energy, the world as a whole continues to invest more money in fossil fuel projects than in renewables projects, according to the International Energy Agency.
Nuclear is down and coal consumption has possibly peaked and is falling, but oil use is rising, and gas even more so.
» MongaBay – 12 July 2018:
Extractive industries threaten a million square kilometers of intact tropical forests around the globe
“According to a recent report, mining companies currently have claims on 11 percent of all intact rainforests left in the world, meaning 590,000 square kilometers (227,800 square miles) of pristine tropical forest ecosystems are at risk. That’s an area larger than France.”
» The Guardian – 16 July 2018:
Politicians ‘failing to rise to the challenge of climate change’
“Sea levels could rise by six metres”
“Sea levels could rise by six metres or more even if the world does meet the 2 degree target of the Paris accord.”
“2 degrees can seem very benign when you see it on paper but the consequences are quite bad.”
~ Katrin Meissner, University of New South Wales
» The Guardian – 6 July 2018:
Global temperature rises could be double those predicted by climate modelling
“Researchers say sea levels could also rise by six metres or more even if 2 degree target of Paris accord met.”
Science journalists can't be the only ones covering climate change. This is EVERYONE'S beat. It affects every aspect of life. Please PLEASE report on how climate change impacts social justice, politics, money and markets, every aspect of life. We can't tell this story this alone. https://t.co/qugtRu7TZw
— Erin Biba (@erinbiba) July 9, 2018
“Change the system”
So folks, no more sitting around and asking “what are we going to do?” We need to get to work, and we know what must get done! There are numerous to-do lists and manifestos similar to Zero Hour’s letter to the politicians, and they all have more or less the same content.
It will not be an easy task. Many experts around the planet, including economist Nicholas Stern, Canadian author Naomi Klein and a Norwegian climate group are convinced it is the entire system in our societies that we have to change:
» Medium | We Don’t Have Time – 27 June 2018:
F**k the system — and save the planet
“Switching to renewable energy won’t be enough to meet the goals of the Paris agreement. We need to do something far more complicated. We need to change the system.”
“We can build a new form of growth and poverty reduction that is clean, sustainable and inclusive. It is an economic path that is much more attractive, robust and lasting. The world is starting to realise the attractiveness of the new growth model, as well as the risks of unmanaged climate change. We can see what needs to be done, that it can be done, and that it is very attractive. If we act wisely, we can create cities in which we can move and breathe, ecosystems that are robust and fruitful, and living standards that can continue to rise. The alternative route would lead to severe disruption and poverty for many.”
~ Professor Nicholas Stern, president, Royal Economic Society
» World Economic Forum – 11 July 2018:
Climate change will force us to redefine economic growth
On leadership and public good, misconduct and challenges
In a climate emergency, leadership at national level means identifying the biggest challenges to emissions reductions, then mustering the fortitude to address precisely those challenges. Our privileged chiefs obviously need a reminder of what it means to be a leader. 115 years ago, the American president Theodore Roosevelt said,
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt, American president
He also wisely said:
“Our aim is not to do away with corporations; on the contrary, these big aggregations are an inevitable development of modern industrialism. … We are not hostile to them; we are merely determined that they shall be so handled as to subserve the public good. We draw the line against misconduct, not against wealth.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt in his State of the Union address in December 1902
“You often hear people speaking as if life was like striving upward toward a mountain peak. That is not so. Life is as if you were traveling a ridge crest. You have the gulf of inefficiency on one side and the gulf of wickedness on the other, and it helps not to have avoided one gulf if you fall into the other.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt in his State of the Union in May 1904