After this stunning banner drop, the working group set up by University of Glasgow to consider divestment has recommended full divestment from fossil fuels. A final decision should be approved in October 2014 by the University Court, just 12 months after Glasgow students launched their incredible campaign.
Today, UC Berkeley and most institutions are financially invested in destroying our future.
This may sound a little bit surprising to some — even unfounded. Let me explain. When it comes to climate change, the scientific community has presented a clear, unambiguous message: Human burning of fossil fuels — coal, oil and natural gas — is putting our world at risk.
And this, in fact, is a needless risk. By immediately reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we can reduce the damages that we are currently on the path to creating. Typhoon Haiyan, Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina and many of the costly recent fires and droughts around the world have been exacerbated — caused, to one degree or another, by the changes in the climate that our reliance on fossil fuels has caused. Click here to read Dr. Kammen’s full Op Ed.
Sheldon Whitehouse, Democratic Senator for Rhodes Island, is a climate hero. He tirelessly pushes back against the heavily-polluter-funded deniers in the Senate and elsewhere, presenting the scientific facts and the risks of climate inaction. Here is Senator Whitehouse presenting on the Senate House floor last week, talking about what’s at stake. He says:
“…many of the answers carry stakes so high, that they plead for prudent and rational choices. The down side is so deep, that the balance has to be towards precaution, if we are indeed a rational species.”
Ready or not, painful or not, we are in the middle of a huge shift from an oil dependent economy to one that is run on renewables, the Great Transition. Our governments and the corporations that control them – the people and structures that have become out-of-this-world wealthy from the way we do things now and are heavily invested in maintaining the status quo – are willing to bet the farm, and clean water, clean air, and a stable climate, on new pipelines that will carry more dirty fuel across agricultural land and aquaducts across the Turtle Island (the First Peoples’ name for North America). It’s up to citizens to stop the insanity. Fractracker.org has compiled the available data on U.S. pipeline incidents – publicly available from Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) – and it’s startling. There were 1,887 incidents in the gathering and transmission, distribution, and hazardous liquids pipelines between January 1, 2010 and March 29, 2013, or an average of 1.6 incidents per day. Only addicts who have lost the perspective of the big picture along with a sense of responsibility for the future would be willing to “roll the dice” on this bad bet.
Canadian lawyer, Robert Shirkey, is Executive Director of a new nonprofit organization, Our Horizon, that has launched an ambitious and well-coordinated campaign to have warning labels placed on every gasoline pump in this country This can be done, the campaign asserts, by having the 4,000 municipalities in Canada pass bylaws instituting this rule. The group’s website provides a database of all the contact information for every municipal councillor in Canada, along with a easy to fill out letter that you can send to your local representatives asking them to do the right thing. It reads (in part):
Our municipality can use its licensing powers to pass a by-law that requires gasoline retailers to place warning labels on gas pump nozzles. These labels would advise consumers of the harms associated with the consumption of fossil fuels and would be similar to those found on tobacco packaging. Please visit www.ourhorizon.org to learn more about the by-law and to get access to the legal opinion for our jurisdiction.
Hats off to Mr. Shirkey & friends, for an absolutely brilliant idea! I for one am going to get to work on this in my own municipality once I’m home again (just started on a two-week road trip to the West Coast).
To find out more, and send letters to your own representatives, go to OurHorizon.org and go to the “contact your councillor” link.
It’s a snowy and cold Earth Day morning in northwestern Ontario. On this Earth Day, Joe Romm over at Think Progress muses about renaming Earth Day – after all, it’s really humans and our civilization that is in peril at this point by our feckless, reckless and cavalier treatment of the ecosystem that gives us life.
Gaia, this amazing planet, has survived mass extinction events before – five other ones before this sixth one, that humans are on the verge of causing:
The culprits for the biodiversity loss include climate change, habitat loss, pollution and overfishing, the researchers wrote.
“Most of the mechanisms that are occurring today, most of them are caused by us,” Ferrer said.
So can we fix it? Yes, there’s time to cut dependence on fossil fuels, alleviate climate change and commit to conservation of habitat, the study scientists say. The more pressing question is, will we?
Barnosky and Ferrer both say they’re optimistic that people will pull together to solve the problem once they understand the magnitude of the looming disaster. Jablonski puts himself into the “guardedly optimistic category.”
“I think a lot of the problems probably have a lot more to do with politics than with science,” Jablonski said. (Read the full article on LiveScience.com)
Wondering where we’re at with climate change on Earth Day 2013? 350.org has just released “Do The Math – the Movie”, and that’s how my family and I spent 45 minutes of our Earth Night yesterday. It was as inspiring to watch the movie as it was to see Bill McKibben live in Seattle when the Do The Math tour launched last November. If you’re wondering whether or not we can still make a difference at this late stage of the game, when we’re already feeling the effects of a destabilized climate, please take the time to watch it. If you’re feeling confused about the whole climate debate, and are wondering how to make sense of the science, as well as the accusations that the scientists raising the warning about climate change are “in it for the money”, please take the time to watch this movie. If you have children and/or grandchildren, or nieces and nephews that you care about, please take the time to watch this movie. If you are alive on planet earth at this moment in history, please take the time to watch this movie!
Get outside and spend some time with Mother Earth on this Earth Day!
If you think this ad should get on television, go to ExxonHatesYourChildren.com and donate some money (I did – and it brightened my day!).
Doug Grandt, climate warrior and friend of 350orbust, is inviting Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon and Eagle Scout, to become a climate hero. The world is desperately in need of visionary leadership from business leaders as well as political leaders, as we stand on the cusp of catastrophic climate change. Here is Doug’s recent video letter to Mr. Tillerson, Challenge of a Lifetime:
Please join me in encouraging Eagle Scout — and Boy Scouts national President and Exxon Mobil CEO — Rex Tillerson to play a prominent role.
I have asked him to change the course of human history with true climate solutions leadership this year.
Eagle Scouts should live by “We leave our campsites cleaner than we found them” as well as the Scout Law and Scout Oath. We share reverence for God; our family, neighbors and society; and our environment, which supports life for all species. Read more on Think Progress: My Word: Who Better Than an Eagle Scout To Show Bold Initiative On Carbon Pollution.