Tag: Climate Change

Africa presents united front and calls for action at COP22

The 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) kick-started Monday, 7 November in Marrakesh (Morocco).

A collaborative partnership between the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) established the Africa Pavilion in the blue zone of the COP22 village, dedicated to engagement, networking and dialogue. The Pavilion also aims to provide a platform for the voices of the continent to be heard.

The Pavilion embodies the united front of an Africa “speaking with one voice” in articulating its interests given the high stakes of climate change negotiations

Deputies From Wisconsin And Elsewhere Leave North Dakota, Refuse To Return As Millions Join Movement

Widespread outrage over both the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and violent police crackdowns rages on. That outrage is spreading even to police agencies now returning from deployment to the reservation. Two departments have already refused to return, citing personal and public objections. As if that wasn’t enough, an army of sympathizers is re-purposing social media to combat police efforts in Standing Rock.

Minnesota’s Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department is among that group. Lawmakers, according to MPR News, found police activities in Standing Rock “inappropriate”. It’s to the point where they’re considering rewriting legislation to avoid future deployments to incidents like the pipeline resistance.

Police officials, of course, declined to comment on their return from North Dakota or their feelings on what’s happening there. It’s also made the task of rebuilding trust with the community an even loftier uphill battle. “I do not support Sheriff Stanek’s decision to send his deputies to North Dakota”, says LT. Governor Tina Smith, “nor did we approve his decision to begin with. I do not have any control over the Sheriff’s actions, which I think were wrong, and I believe he should bring his deputies home if he hasn’t already.”

Reporter Amy Goodman’s Dakota Access Charges Dropped, State Surveillance And Violence Escalating

Authorities have only amplified an already ultra-militarized presence against water protectors at Standing Rock. Supporters and journalists are targeted, arrested, and charged with various crimes on a daily basis including renowned reporter Amy Goodman. Amy’s charges were recently dropped, but surveillance and abuse continue without halt by the government.

Democracy Now! has been on the forefront of Dakota Access coverage since construction of the pipeline began. The $3.8 billion dollar project has already destroyed sacred Native American lands and threatens water supplies. Although focus on water tainting revolves around native communities, they certainly aren’t the only one’s in danger. Dakota Access also flies in the face of pleas by climate scientists that literally no more oil or gas can be harvested from the earth, if we want to prevent climate catastrophic.

A different kind of bank

The fossil fuel divestment movement argues that where we invest our money either helps move toward a cleaner future or props up polluting industries that are driving climate change.

Now government agencies are taking that idea to the next level by proactively encouraging investment in renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects. Called green banks, they are not banks as we typically think of them. They do not accept deposits from individuals, and they aren’t private institutions. Instead, green banks are government run and aim to leverage limited public funds by attracting private capital to these projects.

The Clean Power Plan and Inequality

An appeals court will rule on the legality of Obama’s plan, which could narrow economic gaps by lowering energy costs and creating jobs.

Lawyers for a coalition of states and businesses reliant on fossil fuels made their case September 27 to a federal appeals court that President Barack Obama’s plan to curtail climate-warming greenhouse gases is an unlawful power grab.11830516643_561ab36dd5_m-2

The Clean Power Plan is by no means perfect, but it has the potential to benefit American families, especially low-income people and people of color. These households are disproportionately affected by fossil fuel-fired power plants and the effects of climate change.

Dakota Access Black Out: Praying Protesters Raided By Military-Style Police, Facebook Access Blocked

Don’t let headlines pacify you into tuning out of the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Why? Well, because authorities just conducted a military-style raid on peaceful protesters. This is a story quickly being censored, with few beyond those on the ground really certain what’s happening.

The targeted group were actually in a prayer circle when authorities ambushed them. Several sources, including Native American Here, report police in military-style gear and vehicles held prayer goers at gunpoint. At the ends of shotguns and rifles were they arrested, despite the efforts of protesters nearby. Those who attempted to film the “crackdown” stated their Facebook access was blocked.

Standing with Standing Rock

The Native Organizers Alliance has been supporting tribal leaders as they develop strategies to counter the powerful economic elites behind the Dakota Access pipeline.

At the center of the Dakota Access pipeline fight are some of the country’s most impoverished and most economically powerful people.

One section of the four-state pipeline would run through North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux reservation, where 41 percent of 8,200 residents live below the poverty level and nearly a quarter are unemployed. Thousands of people have joined the Standing Rock tribe in opposing the pipeline over concerns it will contaminate their water supply and damage sacred sites and cultural artifacts.

Scientific Consensus: Why Should We Accept It?

Scientific consensus isn’t reached only through whipping up votes. It’s actually born out of an overwhelming agreement between scientists of varying fields of study regarding a particular issue at hand.
As if providing a systematic framework for understanding how everything in the cosmos works wasn’t enough, science is often found in the realm of the social — how people relate to each other as they live out their everyday lives. Across the world, arguments about bills and policies that govern entire countries cite “scientific facts” for support before they are passed into law. Companies convince their customers to purchase their products with appeals based on “scientific facts.”

Hopes high for global climate deal’s early entry into force

Hopes for the early entry into force of the universal climate Paris Agreement will be boosted this week with a special meeting at the UN on 21 September where at least 20 countries are expected to announce they have ratified the agreement, and others will commit to ratifying it before the end of 2016.

The agreement requires 55 member countries representing 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions to ratify it before it can enter into force. In an unprecedented show of political will, more than 175 countries signed the agreement in April and more than 29 countries representing around 40 per cent of global emissions have ratified it to date.

Commenting on this, Regine Guenther, interim leader of WWF International’s Climate and Energy Practice said all actions which escalated climate action were welcome and necessary.

The surprising link between the tapirs of Costa Rica and climate change

New studies suggest that protecting tapirs and other large seed-eating mammals is key to preserving carbon storage in rain forests.

Esteban Brenes-Mora has been obsessed with tapirs — large, pig-like jungle dwellers — for as long as he can remember. It started with a sticker book his grandfather gave him as a child, and continued through zoo visits and into his university studies.

“I’ve always been passionate about tapirs,” he says. “When I studied biology I was aiming for tapirs, and since I graduated I’ve been looking for ways to study them.”

As Nations Reject Monsanto Sketchy GMOs, Focus Shifts To Once Lucrative Vietnam

Despite Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) being touted as saviors, nations worldwide restrict or outright ban their use. That gouges their champion corporation–Monsanto– with deep profit wounds. That paradigm forces the company to get creative, and test all manner of boundaries. As agra-advancement demand grows, with GMO’s failing to catch on, Monsanto turns to countries like Vietnam to welcome its product.

The agra-giant once found success in Vietnam during 20th century struggles against colonialism. During the Vietnam War, the Vietnamese countryside drowned in massive amounts of the toxin known as Agent Orange across lush jungles. It acted as a kind of augmented herbicide, officially used to clear dense bush for troops. It was also useful for destroying food supplies, and tainting drinking water. A Vietnamese man interviewed for the 1975 documentary Hearts And Minds, who built coffins of a living, claimed many countryside children died due to the poison.

Terraforming And Geoengineering: A Climate Change Silver Bullet, Or Dormant Blowback?

Adaptive technologies have begun creeping into center stage recently in the global climate conversation. Some of those technologies are radical, however, and pose nagging questions. For instance, researchers now considering using geoengineering and terraforming to reverse CO2 emissions now explore the line between earth guardians and god players.

The UN-affiliated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently announced it’s condonment of terraforming. Simply put, humanity’s collective greenhouse emissions must staggeringly decline immediately. If this doesn’t happen, TVN reports, then warming may rack worldwide societies with unmanageable disasters.

Louisiana’s Floods: Climate Change Crying To The US

Louisiana’s shores are once again swelling to devour homes and businesses, streets and roads. Record flooding interrupted the lives of thousands, killing at least 13 in the process. As rescue operations continue, onlookers realize that climate change can’t be closeted anymore. Will this most recent lash from nature shake Americans into responding to the crisis? Or is nothing to be learned?

Over two feet of rainfall drowned Louisiana last week, emptying over just three days. The “historic flooding” was spawned after a low pressure system combined with record amounts of atmospheric water vapor, Washington Post reports. The disaster has displaced untold thousands, and killed around a dozen people. Those figures are expected to rise.

Tackling Climate Change Equitably

Climate disruption is inextricably linked to economic inequality. Serious climate solutions must be, too.

This year’s Democratic platform has the fingerprints of progressive movements all over it. A $15 minimum wage, a pathway to cannabis legalization, improvements to Social Security, police accountability, and financial reforms — including a tax on speculation — all make an appearance.

The platform also highlights the critical link between climate and the economy. In particular, it argues that “carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases should be priced to reflect their negative externalities.”

What We Need To Learn From Native Cultures About Climate Adaptation

When it comes to climate change, now is the time to react and develop defenses. Unfortunately, very few western resources are allocated to prepare for future environmental challenges. That’s not the case in areas inhabited by indigenous peoples, who’re already dealing with environmental changes. Recent months have seen adaptation techniques field tested in indigenous areas, for eventual use elsewhere. One of the many questions going forward, however, is whether progress itself is sustainable.

As important as the actual technologies is including as many voices as possible in climate conversations. Climate change affects humanity more than any war, or plague. In fact, grimmer predictions for the future suggest it may eventually cause those things. According to Glacier Hub, whereas indigenous peoples occupy 65% of earth’s land, they’re rarely included in climate debate.