THE GROUND- ANSWERS, NOT PROBLEMS . . March 27- April 2, 2015

 

QUOTE
“Governments are wasting precious time squabbling
over emission cuts that are nowhere near where science demands.
Could (the drop in oil cost) be the shock that we harness for our big shift?
We can introduce a fair and meaningful carbon tax now,
which is much harder to do when petrol is expensive.
If public money is going to be spent for energy jobs,
it has to be for the jobs that will save us, not cook us.
In truth we have to wind down the parts of our economy that are fueling climate change, and
the price shock helps with that, too.
Now is the perfect time to unite behind bold demands to “Keep it in the ground”!

Let’s not blow what may be our last best chance to avoid catastrophic climate change.”

NaomiKleinKickOilvideoWB

Naomi Klein, author New York Times bestseller This Changes Everything

Let’s kick oil while the price is down

Climate change should be a catalyst for a major change, but we’re not treating it as a real emergency. Naomi Klein believes that capitalism is at war with the climate, but she says sometimes it gives us a gift – the sudden drop in oil prices. So let’s not blow what could be our best chance to prevent catastrophic global warming.
Powerful 4 minute video- please share
For more on her book 
For the organization that uses the theme “Shocks, slides, and shifts”

noAtlanticdrillingWBACTION: Stop approval for coastal oil drilling

Scientists are warning us that to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we need to leave ¾ of proven oil, gas and coal reserves in the ground. It’s not too late to take action. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is auctioning off drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico today, and comments on the proposed Atlantic drilling plan are due on March 30. Sign here for No Atlantic drilling

 

QUOTE
“We’ve known for decades that coal posed serious health and environmental risks.
Investors have been pushing for coal and other fossil fuel companies to face the facts and
adapt their business models to thrive in a carbon-constrained world.”

CERESLoganquoteWB

Andrew Logan, director of the oil and gas program at Ceres

US coal decline a warning for fossil fuel investors

The study explains that the slump in coal prices over the last three years have driven at least two dozen coal companies into bankruptcy. Furthermore, many companies have lost 80% of their share value in the same period.
Blue and Green article
and
For the Carbon Tracker report- The US Coal Crash- Evidence for Structural Change

 

- Existing coal plants must be closed down, but how to switch to renewables? Years ago Climate Today wrote effusively about High-Voltage DC (HVDC) cables transforming our power system because HVDC could, without controversial towering above ground high transmission lines, and without loss of significant amounts of power along the way, carry remote renewable energy long distances to where the power was needed. Now the barriers are finally breaking down. Yes! – Editor

mostpollutingcoalplantWBAn ‘extension cord’ remedy for coal plant retirements

If all goes as planned, a virtual 1,000-megawatt power plant will “open” for business near Erie, Pa., in 2019. It would be just in time to help fill the void left by some of the coal-fired plants that are shuttered or scaled back in response to U.S. EPA’s climate and environmental rules. The power will originate not in Pennsylvania, but in Ontario, Canada, transmitted beneath Lake Erie on a billion-dollar, high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) power line. The project illustrates the potential of DC transmission lines to address some of the challenges of EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan, experts say.
EE News article 

 

While solutions vary by location, we can shift to sanity! We need to act and create the political will! – Editor

CanadaActingonClimatereportWBCanada Could Go 100 Percent Renewable By 2035 If Its Government Gets Serious About Climate Change

Canada can be a world leader in emissions reductions and renewable energy use, but only if its federal government decides to take climate change seriously, according to a new report. The report recommended that the federal government implement a nationwide price on carbon and eliminate subsidies to Canada’s fossil fuel industry — particularly, its tar sands industry.
Think Progress article 
For the report Acting on Climate Change- Solutions from Canadian Scholars

 

- Double your bang for the buck! Agriculture and food systems must change to both drastically reduce emissions while creating adaptable eco food systems. The importance of this pocketful of seed and soil articles may slip by many, yet safe, non-GMO, non-corporate, non-toxic seed research using heirloom seeds for climate adaptation is of utmost urgency. These are not GMO seeds! Our food plants evolved during past climatic conditions, yet we are swiftly moving to what plants must view as a different planet. For many years, Climate Today has shared articles about the importance of heirloom seeds and when farming, we’ve used many seeds from Native Seed/SEARCH, including these invaluable tepary beans. Try them! – Editor

SteveeebeinplotWBHopes grow for climate-proof beans (No GMOs Needed)

A breakthrough in the development of temperature-resilient beans could help sustain a vital source of protein for millions of people around the globe. Typically, beans are not grown in environments where the night temperature is above 18C (64F). Night temperatures are especially critical because the bean flower pollinates itself during night hours and the pollination process is very sensitive to temperature.

BBC article
and
Fastco article 
Additional article

 

- This video is fabulous! A must see and share! Diversity is the only way to protect future food supplies! We as individuals CAN help prevent this crisis! The way to ensure a balanced food supply in a world with changing climates is to protect heirloom varieties of food sources now, which vicious corporations do not want us to do. Once diversity is lost, you can’t get it back! Getting involved can reverse this frightening trajectory. – Editor

OpenSesameStoryofSeedsWBACTION: Buy and share the movie Open Sesame – The Story of Seeds

Maintaining seed biodiversity allows us to breed new varieties that are resistant to pests or thrive in temperature extremes. This is essential in a changing climate.
For the movie 
For a short clip 
and
- Our planet is getting warmer and drier and their precious, specialized seed banks are truly invaluable to a warmer and drier climate!Donations are very welcome and needed! – Editor
Preserved in our seed bank are nearly 2,000 varieties of arid lands-adapted seeds, many of them rare or endangered. The tepary bean, nicknamed heat-beaters, could help maintain a valuable source of protein and iron for almost half a billion people as the world warms, if researchers are able to get seeds to farmers.
Native Seed 
– For a great read, even more relevant today- Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine by Gary Nabhan

OpposeDarkActWBACTION: Oppose the Dark Act

Congress is considering the Deny Americans the Right to Know – or DARK – Act, which would not only block all states from labeling genetically engineered foods, but make it much harder for the FDA to ever mandate national labeling – despite the fact that over 90 percent of Americans support it! Let’s make it crystal clear to Congress that we MUST protect the right to label GMO foods.
Sign 

 

 

 

- The major trait put into genetically modified crops is resistance to poison, which means farmers are using far more poisons on GMO crops today than just 5 or 10 years ago! Even casual observers can see the health of Americans is deteriorating- obesity, diabetes, kids having problems in school, and more, and research implicates both GMO’s and their companion poisons. Superweeds are now going to be handled by adding yet another Agent Orange herbicide, even scarier! Eating strictly organically helps climate change, while also protecting both biodiversity and your family’s health! – Editor

New Report Shows That The Most Popular Weed-Killer In The U.S. Probably Causes Cancer

The most popular weed-killer in the United States — and possibly the world — “probably” causes cancer, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO). The Lancet Oncology’s report focuses on a chemical called glyphosate, invented by Monsanto back in 1974 as a broad-spectrum herbicide. It’s the active ingredient in Roundup. Aside from debate over its cancer-causing effects, the active ingredient in Roundup has been shown to be harmful to humans in other ways. When exposed to heightened levels long-term, the EPA says glyphosate can cause kidney damage, and could have harmful reproductive effects. Acute exposure can cause congestion of the lungs and an increased breathing rate, according to EPA.
Think Progress article

For the medical journal Lancet report  

 

 

snowwhitefromnowonwebuyorganicWB

– Get a good laugh from Snow White, but really, such an astonishing increase in nasty poisons used on our food has serious impacts on human, soil, and ecological health. The hard thing to understand is the invisibility- food of today typically looks like the food of prior decades but, in reality, it is far more toxic! Protect your family and the earth- buy heirloom seeds and grow organic food! – Editor
The annual increase in the herbicides required to deal with tougher-to-control weeds on cropland planted to GE cultivars has grown from 1.5 million pounds in 1999 to about 90 million pounds in 2011.
Science Daily 

 

QUOTE
Upon this handful of soil our survival depends.
Husband it and it will grow our food, our fuel, and our shelter and surround us with beauty.
Abuse it and the soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it”
From Vedas Sanskrit Scripture – 1500 BC

NigerwomanfetcheswaterWB

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification UNCCD

 

- On the radio, author Courtney White was asked what would be the one thing he’d recommend to impact climate change. The answer: “Stop tilling.” Soils should have massive amounts of carbon, but tilling kills the fungi and bacteria, which then releases vast amounts of carbon. Even no-till using poisons is not long-term beneficial, because poisons do kill microorganisms. Many, many non-toxic techniques are now possible to restore carbon in our soils. Let’s use them and buy our food from people who build soil, not destroy it! – Editor

We’re treating soil like dirt. It’s a fatal mistake, as our lives depend on it

Tractor ploughingThis is the International Year of Soils, but you wouldn’t know it. Landowners around the world are now engaged in an orgy of soil destruction so intense that, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, the world on average has just 60 more years of growing crops. This is what topples civilisations. War and pestilence might kill large numbers of people, but in most cases the population recovers. But lose the soil and everything goes with it. Almost all other issues are superficial by comparison. What appear to be great crises are slight and evanescent when held up against the steady trickling away of our subsistence.
While it now seems that ploughing of any kind is incompatible with the protection of the soil, there are plenty of means of farming without tilling.
InternationalYearofSoil2015WBGuardian article

and

The International Year of Soils

 

 

- Back in 1939, Lowdermilk traveled the world and studied why civilizations failed- fascinating reading! Tilling, erosion, poor animal management, and deforestation have plagued humanity for a long time! – Editor

Conquest of Land Through Seven Thousand Years

W. C. Lowdermilk, former Assistant Chief, Soil Conservation Service discovered that soil erosion, deforestation, overgrazing, neglect, and conflicts between cultivators and herdsman have helped topple empires and wipe out entire civilizations. At the same time, he learned that careful stewardship of the earth’s resources, through terracing, crop rotation, and other soil conservation measures, has enabled other societies to flourish for centuries.
Document

THE BIGGEST STORY IN THE WORLD . . March 20- 26, 2015

QUOTE
Keep It In the Ground
We feel that if we did not mount a serious journalistic response to the biggest issue of our age,
it would be a dereliction of editorial duty.”
GuardianKeepitinthegroundblog
and
The usual rule of newspaper campaigns is that you don’t start one unless
you know you’re going to win it.
This one will almost certainly be won in time: the physics is unarguable.
But we are launching our campaign today in the firm belief that
it will force the issue now into the boardrooms and inboxes of
people who have billions of dollars at their disposal.”
Guardian campaign 

AlanRusbridgerEdGuardianWB

Alan Rusbridger, Editor-in-chief, The Guardian

 

- We all need to get out of our day-to-day boxes and take a strong stand against climate change. Our only regret in the future will be that we didn’t follow our particular path sooner! What would your particular “dereliction of duty’ be?
Now the editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, of The Guardian newspaper in England, has taken his action- to start a powerful campaign against fossil fuels. The Guardian has 6 to 7 million readers, so this hero’s path is clear. This vital Keep It In the Ground campaign started Monday and is evolving rapidly! Exciting! Take advantage and join in. – Editor

ACTION- Keep it in the ground- sign the petition to Bill and Melinda Gates

KeepinGroundGuardianWBJoin us and more than 95,000 others in urging the world’s two biggest charitable funds to move their money out of fossil fuels
Guardian campaign
Sign the Keep It in the Ground petition
Subscribe to The Guardian
Why we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground | Keep it in the ground
Watch this 2 minute video and share on Facebook, etc.

 

Here is your carbon-free flight to an exciting conversation in King’s Cross, London. Discussions with bright, aware people can lead to exciting actions! – Editor

thebiggeststoryintheworldLOGOWBThe biggest story in the world- a new Guardian podcast series

Alan Rusbridger is looking for a new way to tell the story of climate change – but what does that actually mean? This week the team gathers to thrash out ideas. Some in the room believe a global problem needs a global political solution. But proposals of carbon budgets and auctions have proved hard to implement, summits fruitless and the fossil fuel companies are hugely powerful. Perhaps a people’s movement might work better. Would a divestment campaign have more success?
Guardian audio

 

Climate change is the biggest story journalism has never successfully told. The Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, has decided to change that. This podcast series follows Rusbridger and his team as they set out to find a new narrative on the greatest threat to humanity
Guardian article 

 

QUOTE
“Even the term climate change- the language is stultifying, technocratic, and boring.
It also completely fails to capture what we are looking at.
It’s a bit like calling a bomb an unexpected delivery or an invading army an unwanted visitor.
We’re facing climate breakdown, catastrophic failure of the system that has permitted civilization to exist.”

GerogeMonbiotGuardianWB

George Monbiot, columnist

- Now send this petition to everyone you can! – Editor

Revealed: Gates Foundation’s $1.4bn in fossil fuel investments

Analysis of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s most recent tax filing reveals huge investments in the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies. The charity run by Bill and Melinda Gates, who say the threat of climate change is so serious that immediate action is needed, held at least $1.4bn (£1bn) of investments in the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies, according to a Guardian analysis of the charity’s most recent tax filing in 2013.
Guardian article 

 

QUOTE
“We support divestment as it sends a signal to companies, especially coal companies, that
the age of ‘burn what you like, when you like’ cannot continue.
Everything we do is based on science and the science is pretty clear that
we need a world with a lot less fossil fuels.
We have lent our own moral authority as the UN to those groups or organisations who are divesting.”

Nick_Nuttallpic2WB

Nick Nuttall, spokesman for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

UN backing fossil fuel divestment campaign

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is backing the sweeping fossil fuel divestment from pension funds, universities, and cities campaign, lending its “moral authority” in the lead up to a major UN climate summit in Paris later this year.
BlueandGreen article 

Gagorder2WBFlorida’s Climate Change Gag Order Claims Its First Victim

Florida’s Republican governor Rick Scott had directed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to stop using terms like “climate change” and “global warming”. According to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), that gag order has now claimed its first victim.
Barton Bibler is a long-time DEP employee attended a Florida Coastal Managers Forum at which climate change and sea-level rise were discussed. Mr. Bibler’s official notes on this meeting reflected that discussion. He was directed to remove explicit references to climate change, and then was given a letter of reprimand for supposedly misrepresenting that the “official meeting agenda included climate change,” and told to not return to work for two days. Two days later he received a “Medical Release Form” requiring that his doctor supply the DEP with an evaluation of unspecified “medical condition and behavior” issues before being allowed to return to work.
Desmog article

LouisianaBobbyJindalWBFEMA to States- No Climate Planning, No Money

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is making it tougher for governors to deny man-made climate change. Starting next year, the agency will approve disaster preparedness funds only for states whose governors approve hazard mitigation plans that address climate change. Over the past five years, the agency has awarded an average $1 billion a year in grants to states and territories for taking steps to mitigate the effects of disasters. Among those who could face a difficult decision are Republican Governors Rick Scott of Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Greg Abbott of Texas and Pat McCrory of North Carolina—all of whom have denied man-made climate change or refused to take action. The states they lead face immediate threats from climate change.
InsideClimate article

 

- People want to rely on reports, yet this is not the only case where “mistakes” in reports lead to the opposite conclusion, thus falsely influencing people and seriously misguiding decision-makers. Must be that dollar signs block 20-20 vision? In New Mexico, we have had a very important energy “report” that once clearly erroneous numbers were corrected, the opposite conclusion was reached! – Editor

Once errors corrected, Koch professor’s study shows economic benefits of renewable portfolio standards

Randy Simmons, the “Charles G. Koch” Professor at Utah State University and a major recipient of funding from the fossil fuel industry billionaires, released a study earlier this week attacking the jobs and consumer benefits of state renewable policies in Kansas and elsewhere. When major errors in the study’s methods are corrected, the study’s results actually confirm that state Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (RPS) like those in Kansas create hundreds of jobs and save consumers tens of millions of dollars. A recent analysis by AWEA found that wind is providing billions of dollars in gross savings for consumers in Kansas and neighboring states.
AWEA article

 

- The bounty of fabulous vegetables, fruits and nuts in our New Mexico grocery stores is in large part because of California, especially in the freezing winter. With over $2 billion dollars already lost by California farmers because of the drought, and the increased expenses when water has to be pumped from deeper and deeper into the ground, it is past time to get serious, really serious, about local food using high, safe production and low water methods providing a far higher percentage of our food! It takes years to develop effective food systems! Start yesterday! – Editor

droughtstatusmapsWB

Image 

California has about one year of water left. Will you ration now?

NASA data reveal that total water storage in California has been in steady decline since at least 2002, when satellite-based monitoring began, although groundwater depletion has been going on since the early 20th century. Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing. California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain. In short, we have no paddle to navigate this crisis.
LA TIMES article 
and

How CA drought will impact the entire US

HOW CA drought will impact entire US WB

Chart  

 

and for a long list of California produce:

California: A Major Producer of Vegetables and Melons

USDA chart

 

Trying to stuff the evils of fossil fuels into the back closet is not limited to the U.S.! – Editor

underthedomeWBIn Reversal, Chinese Government Bans Pollution Exposé

Over the course of a weekend in early March, more than 175 million people in China tuned into a highly personalized and unprecedentedly science-driven documentary about the country’s debilitating smog problem. “Under the Dome” caught the Chinese public at a moment of intense focus on the wide-ranging impacts of air pollution from coal-fired power plants and vehicle emissions. A few days later, the government ordered media outlets to “absolutely discontinue coverage of the documentary.” When foreigners express anger over the ban, Chinese figures of authority get upset over what they see as foreign meddling.
ThinkProgress article
and
ChinaDigital article

CHANGING THE RULES TO SAVE THE DAY . . March 13- 19, 2015

QUOTE
“We need to plan for a primarily renewable system.
We want to pay [utilities] for doing things we want,
rather than paying for their return on investment for the things they build.”
johnFarrellInstitutelocalselfrelianceWB
John Farrell, director, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, which advocates for breaking up the old utility model as a key solution to climate change.

- Brilliant! Powerful opposition creates dangerous delays, so change the rules and get the opposition on our side! New York has just rewritten antiquated utility rules that hopefully will solve a major barrier to renewables swooping in to save the day! Other states need to follow! – Editor

20140923_zaf_v61_047.jpgNew York Just Showed Every Other State How to Do Solar Right

Until recently, the business model of electric companies hadn’t changed much since it was created a century ago. Even the most ardent climate hawks agree that we can’t afford for utilities to go out of business altogether. Someone needs to maintain and manage the grid. Now, under New York’s most recent reform, a utility’s revenue will instead be based on how efficiently and effectively it distributes power, so-called “performance-based rates.” This, finally, provides the incentive utilities need to make decisions that jibe with the state’s climate goals, because it will be to their advantage to make use of distributed energy systems. The change in New York could become a model for other states. “Everyone is watching to see what’s happening here.”
Climate Desk article
For the fabulous Institute for Local Self-Reliance 

TexassolarWBSolarCity Bringing Full Net Metering To Texas- This Is Big

In Texas (until now), most electricity providers have set limits on credits for solar energy “produced” — and/or have required homeowners/leasers to forfeit “unused” solar energy at the end of the month. The new partnership, though, will change this — with MP2 Energy not implementing any kind of cap for its program, and allowing customers to carry forward any excess generation to subsequent monthly bills. Otherwise known as “full” net metering, finally making solar a viable option for residential customers. With an average of 240 sunny days per year, Texas is often considered a sleeping giant when it comes to its potential for solar power, and unlocking this state has huge implications. To date, solar has only worked where there are local incentives. We are making solar a practical option for residential customers in Texas.
CleanTechnica article

Renewable energy is a California success story

All the leading utilities in the state have signed contracts ensuring the state will get more than 33% of its electricity from renewables by 2020. The Department of Energy’s federal loan guarantee program, it too has proved to be a win for taxpayers. The interest payments from the successful projects have brought in more money than what was lost. Today, the program is $30 million in the black.
LA Times article 

QUOTE
“It’s important to recognise that the countries which have ratified the Kyoto Protocol are roughly on track to hit their targets by the standards it sets out.
But, as these figures show, there is a flaw in the accounting,
because the rich countries are not held accountable for
effectively exporting emissions to the developing world.
BobWardWB
Bob Ward, policy and communications director, London School of Economics Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

 

Changing these rules is critical. Embodied energy in goods we consume is massive! – Editor

What are ‘outsourced emissions’

Cuts in carbon emissions by developed countries since 1990 have been cancelled out many times over by increases in imported goods from developing countries such as China, according to the most comprehensive global figures ever compiled.
Guardian article 
and

NaturalGasGambleUCUSAreportWBCarbon cuts by developed countries cancelled out by imported goods

Kyoto protocol means carbon footprints are calculated for the countries producing goods, not those consuming them. Our study shows for the first time that emissions from increased production of internationally traded products have more than offset the emissions reductions achieved under the Kyoto Protocol. Most developed countries have increased their consumption-based emissions faster than their territorial emissions.
Article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Also Guardian article Climate change: why the Guardian is putting threat to Earth front and centre- The Guardian just launched a major climate change project

The Natural Gas Gamble A Risky Bet on America’s Clean Energy Future

The dramatic expansion of natural gas leads to complex risks that should not be ignored. Our analysis shows that investing more heavily in renewable energy and energy efficiency offers a smarter, faster, and less risky means of achieving a more affordable, reliable, and diversified electricity system that delivers not just short-term economic and environmental gains but also long-term reduction of emissions causing climate change.
For the report

QUOTE
If I talk with people about climate change, and they’re 40 and under,
it’s not hard for me to establish their interest in sustainable investing.
They know they and their children aren’t going to survive
if there’s not a greater adoption of sustainable investing.”
ClemDinsmoreWB
Clem Dinsmore, a financial adviser at Oppenheimer & Co. in Washington, D.C

You Can Now Invest In Solar Bonds Through Your Retirement Account

Investing in solar energy through a retirement account just got easier, thanks to a new initiative.
Major solar provider SolarCity announced Monday that it was partnering with securities and investment firm Incapital to allow Americans to invest in Solar Bonds through their IRAs or financial advisers.
Think Progress article 
Sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI) assets have grown 76 percent in just two years and account for more than one out of every six dollars under professional management in the U.S. New offerings such as Solar Bonds make it possible for even more individuals to choose investments that serve both their financial and social goals.
NASDAQ article

QUOTE
The crisis in energy is going to be huge, is a clear and present danger right now (for those with the eyes to see), and is arguably going to grow into the biggest story ever:
not just in business and economy, but in the history of civilisation,
given the way the climate dimensions threatens the human future.”
JeremyLeggettWB

- Leggett is really worth following- an opportunity here! – Editor

Jeremy Leggett- world can win the ‘carbon war’

Jeremy Leggett’s new book ‘The Winning of the Carbon War’ is downloadable for free. The ten part series will see a new section published every month in the run up to UN climate talks set to take place in December in Paris. The climate negotiations have been described as a last chance for action that will curb dangerous levels of climate change.
Blue and Green article
Leggett website
To download Winning the Carbon War for free

NEATMichiganwindturbineWBMichigan town has ‘NEAT’ idea to go 100 percent renewable

A group of residents in Leelanau Township are finalizing a goal of becoming a 100 percent clean energy community. A Renewable Energy Community Plan for the area (total population of about 2,000), is meant to be a template for other small towns to use. A team of graduate students from the University of Michigan are working with the Northport Energy Action Taskforce, a local nonprofit known as NEAT, started seven years ago by residents.
Article
For Northport Energy Action Taskforce- NEAT
and

Byron shire aims to lead Australia on zero emissions community plan

Byron Shire – in the northern rivers region of New South Wales – is aiming to become the first region in Australia to become “net zero emissions”, with a goal to reduce emissions from energy, transport, buildings, waste and land use to zero within 10 years. It is clear that leadership on renewable energy will not happen at the federal level in Australia, and will have to occur from bottom up, rather than the top down approach.
Renew Economy article
and

QUOTE
It’s wonderful that we’re having a report that is brave enough to
raise these sorts of issues and tackle them at their source.”
referring to climate change, future food production,

land clearing, biodiversity loss, financial strain for farmers and suicide rates.

SenatorLarissaWatersAustraliaWB

Senator Larissa Waters

 

- Land use has significant and complex implications for greenhouse gas emissions, including critical recapturing. – Editor

Launched in Brisbane: Zero Carbon Australia Land Use report

The Zero Carbon Australia Land Use: Agriculture and Forestry report was launched at the University of Queensland in Brisbane in December 2014. The research report delves into the realm of trees, fires and cattle – the land use sector. This is the only sector that can take us to below zero emissions, through carbon sequestration.
Below Zero Emissions
For an 18 minute no mincing-of-words, fed up with denial talk- “And what a really, really tragic day to be part of this parliament” – by Australian Senator- Video  and
Senator Waters talk

 

EarthDayon themallWB

ACTIONS: Earth Day- Meet the world on the National Mall April 18th

Global Citizen site
Or if you don’t want to travel, celebrate at home- Speak up! Host your own Earth Day event- use our Leadership Guide
Sign the climate petition to save the planet

WINNING AGAINST GIANTS . . . . March 6- 12, 2015

QUOTE
Why Direct Action?
If we are in touch with our love for people and for our world, we won’t be satisfied with
just speaking our mind or just voting for what we want.
We’ll feel a deep need to reflect it in our practice.

Direct action allows us to feel like whole human beings, and
it gives our words greater residence because
there isn’t such a gap between what we believe and what we are doing.”

MichaelGagneactivismWB

Michael Gagne, Eco-Justice Organizer, from 2 minute video
EQAT Why Direct Action
Video
and
We call on people of all faiths to confront boldly those who would profit from the destruction of nature, and who think nothing of endangering human health and well-being.”

EQATlogoWB

About EQAT

 

Learn the array of simple, nonviolent tactics used. Guts, year-after-year determination, firm commitment to nonviolence mixed with charm can win the day! The techniques are great! – Editor

EQUAT2015-03-01WBSmall Quaker Group Takes Aim at Big Bank and Wins

Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) is not the kind of group you’d expect to break the resolve of the seventh largest U.S. bank, but that’s what happened today when, after five years of our pressure, PNC released a policy phasing out their financing of companies engaged in mountaintop removal coal mining. This news is especially significant because it is such a classic David and Goliath story: EQAT with an annual budget of $100K vs. PNC with profits over $4.2 billion last year. Such bold tactics helped us grow over the past few years from a small band of Philadelphia Quakers to a multi-faith, intergenerational network that last December pulled off 31 actions against PNC in 13 states. The reason PNC’s policy reversal is so important–in addition to further undermining the despicable practice of mountaintop removal–is that it proves that people working together can force the hand of even the biggest institutions. It’s why people need to keep telling the David and Goliath story. As we fight to protect our communities and the climate, we all need to remember that, when we use unconventional tactics, ordinary people can win against giants.
Huffington article
For press release
For Earth Quaker Action Team website
To follow on Facebook
To donate
For amazing Training for Change workshops

 

QUOTE
After interviewing local officials who protect local industries because they create jobs-
“Ten years ago I asked what that smell in the air was, and I got no answer.
Now I know. It’s the smell of money.
Even the strongest governments on earth cannot clean up pollution by themselves.
They must rely on each ordinary person like you and me, on our choices and on our will.”
And
“In Beijing in 2014, I could only take (my daughter) out when the air was good.
There were 175 polluted days last year.
That means that for half of the year, I had no choice but to keep her at home,
shut in like a prisoner.”

chaijingChinapollutionWB

Chai Jing, an investigative reporter and anchor at state broadcaster China Central Television

 

– Guts, perseverance, and total commitment motivated this angry mother of a sick daughter, and now she lights a global fire! Strong parental survival instinct needs to spread to the global issues that are threatening our kids now! – Editor

China Smog Documentary Goes Viral With 200 Million Views in 5 Days

Under the Dome, a documentary about China’s massive air pollution problem, has been viewed more than 200 million times since it was released last Saturday. It’s being hailed as China’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and an eye opener for the Chinese public. Chai used $160,000 of her own money and one year to make the documentary.
EcoWatch article
For 3 minute NPR audio
For Under the Dome, the hour and 43 minute video

 

- Nuclear plants have current and far into the future risks that never get added to proposed costs. Government subsidies are ignored, such as providing insurance when no insurance company would sanely take on such extreme risks, and now it is clear that the costs of decommissioning just escalate. How many wind turbines and solar systems could we have for nearly $70 billion? – Editor

sellafieldnuclearplantWBBritish Nuclear Power Plant Sellafield cleanup costs rise by £5bn (over $7.5 billion) in year, says watchdog

The expected cost of decommissioning and cleaning up Britain’s biggest and most hazardous nuclear plant, Sellafield, has increased by £5bn in a year, to £53bn (over $69 billion!) The increase in its lifetime cost estimates is mainly because it now has a better understanding of the scale and nature of the risks and challenges. “In particular, it reflects an improving understanding of the challenges, potential technical solutions and uncertainties still involved in the decommissioning projects and programmes to retrieve, package and store high risk, hazardous materials.
Guardian article

 

LAKOTA NATIVE AMERICAN PROPHECY
“Someday the Earth will weep. She will cry with tears of blood.
You will make a choice-
if you will help her or let her die.
And when she dies, you, too, will die.”
John Hollow Horn, 1932
And

QUOTE
It’s like Mother Earth against Father Greed.
You’re either for uranium or against it.
There is no middle ground.
and
“This film will help tell our truth to the world, all over the world water is in shortage, there are droughts or floods, or water is so contaminated it cannot be ingested by humans.
We tell our truth based on our love of our generations.”

DebraWhitePlumeWB

Debra White Plume, a frontline activist challenging Canadian mining giant

 

Here is another angry mother- an Oglala Lakota Native American- with a very ill daughter and poisoned water. Remember, nuclear power plants begin with uranium mining. – Editor

PineRidgekidillmovieWBIt’s Mother Earth vs. Father Greed in New Pine Ridge Uranium Documentary

Uranium mining may be doing irreversible damage to the Ogallala Aquifer.
Elisha’s quest to determine the cause of her daughter’s birth defects leads her to the water on her homeland. Majoring in geology, she is mentored by Dr. Hannan LaGarry, a geology professor and author of 5 year study on hydrology the Ogallala Aquifer who teaches her to study water and uranium outcroppings on her homeland as a possible cause of the high number of birth defects and stillborn babies on Pine Ridge. “My little girl’s story is too big not to tell,” Yellow Thunder said. Water brought Elisha together with Debra White Plume, a frontline activist who is challenging Canadian mining giant Cameo, who operates the Crow Butte uranium mine near Crawford, Nebraska, near the Pine Ridge reservation.
Indian Country article
For the film Crying Earth Rise Up and pending DVD
For Facebook
For a short video clip showing of Lakota Natives, including a 92 year old woman, blocking tar sands trucks illegally driving through their land 

- If it takes one year to review 176 wells, then with 2,553, it’s more than 14 years before the obvious drinking water sources are protected. Probably more for PR purposes. What damage is there in the meantime? – Editor

California orders 12 oil-field wells shut to protect groundwater

California officials, responding to concerns about groundwater contamination, are closing 12 wells in the Central Valley used to dispose of chemical-laden water from oil and gas production. California has about 50,000 underground injection wells, and 2,553 are in areas with aquifers that have been or could be a source of usable water. State regulators have been focusing their review on 176 wells and expect to complete their study in the next three months. It’s inadequate. They’ve allowed decades of injections into these aquifers that should have been protected. Even now, they’re still dragging their feet.
L.A. Times article

and
- Is it disingenuous to act surprised that there are hundreds of revolting “unidentified” “ponds” this huge in just one county that have no permit? Really? Any satellite photo could clearly document all of these! – Editor

pitswithfrackingwasstewaterWBHundreds of illicit oil wastewater pits found in Kern County

Water officials in Kern County discovered that oil producers have been dumping chemical-laden wastewater into hundreds of unlined pits that are operating without proper permits. Inspections completed this week by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board revealed the existence of more than 300 previously unidentified waste sites. The water board’s review found that more than one-third are operating without permission. The pits raise new water quality concerns in a region where agricultural fields sit side by side with oil fields and where California’s ongoing drought has made protecting groundwater supplies paramount. Currently, linings for pits are not required. 

L.A. Times article
and

Can Fracking Pollute Drinking Water? Don’t Ask the EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency embarked in 2010 on what was intended to be a definitive study to find out. The answer could prove critical to future U.S. regulation of the multibillion-dollar fossil fuel sector and to ensuring water safety for millions of Americans. But after five years of fighting with the oil and gas industry, the agency may still be unable to provide a clear answer when a draft of the study is published this spring. The EPA has been unable to collect the data it needs from the multibillion dollar oil and gas sector, which has stymied a five-year federal study. Legally EPA couldn’t demand companies do things. It all speaks to the influence that industry has over EPA.
Inside Climate article

QUOTE
You can’t have true intergenerational reporting
without examining global warming and pollution from fossil fuels.”

Christine Milne calls for ebola help

Christine Milne, Australian Greens leader

 

- Australia’s Intergenerational Report focuses on the implications of demographic change for economic growth and assesses the financial implications of continuing current policies over the next four decades. How can anyone ignore climate change? Even if one just included 3 factors of climate change- impacts on food supply, costs of extreme weather, and pressing immigration from already desperate islanders and others, the picture is vastly different. Another example of politics blatantly ignoring science! – Editor

JOE HOCKEY INTERGENERATIONAL REPORTIntergenerational report- climate change silence in 2015 a stark contrast to 2010

This year’s IGR is mostly silent on the economic effects of climate change, which the 2010 report declared a ‘severe’ threat to the economy. Five years ago the 2010 intergenerational report declared that “climate change is the largest and most significant challenge to Australia’s environment. If climate change is not addressed, the consequences for the economy, water availability and Australia’s unique environment will be severe.” But the 2015 report has struck a markedly different tone. It is silent on the economic consequences of climate change.
Guardian article
and for the report

Climate is an intergenerational issue, but the report ducked it

The past five years of toxic and partisan climate politics have made such reasoned discussion almost impossible, yet this remains vitally important. Its task seems too political to be handled by Treasury. Let’s instead hand the IGR process over to an independent body, which might be brave enough to raise unpalatable issues for us to consider. Only then will we be get proper warning about threats to our intergenerational prospects, before those issues hit us in the face.
Conversation article

QUOTE
“I discovered that there were groups who are paid by the fast-food industry and the soft-drink industry to
prevent you from knowing what’s in your food.
It was this total Orwellian world.
And then I found a hundred other such groups. Save Our Forests, which is all about trying to get us to log. Groups that were all doing the opposite of what they were stating.
Everything was this Orwellian opposite, and I thought, ‘That is wild.’”
and
“I think the key line in the film is, ‘Once revealed, never concealed.’
Once you know how the trick is played, you’ll know what to look for.”

RobertKennermovieWB

Robert Kenner

 

- While we as a society are ignoring the physical and biological sciences, big money is tapping into the social sciences with great aplomb! Maybe it’s time to reread Orwell’s 1984. Do see this movie reveal the techniques for creating confusion and apathy in the midst of the obvious. – Editor

MerchantsofDoubtmovieWB‘Merchants of Doubt’ shows how spin doctors operate

The shills and confidence men are on parade in “Merchants of Doubt,” a film that does not throw a spotlight just on them but also on the so-called think tanks that exist purely to add a sheen of respectability to their activities, a compliant (and sometimes complicit) news media, legislative bodies that provide them with platforms, and the plutocrats and industries that fund them.

San Francisco Chronicle article
A captivating feature film that exposes the ugly world of climate denial like never before!
For a trailer
For finding where playing

REVOLUTION TO BE GREAT ANCESTORS . . . February 27- March 5, 2015

QUOTE
We have a decision to make, and we don’t have much time.
This is no longer about just saving the oceans. It is about saving ourselves.
The oceans have the potential to go belly up in the next twenty years.

RobStewartmovieRevolutionWB

Rob Stewart

 

– Last night, the Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute presented an amazingly powerful, exquisitely beautiful, award-winning movie- Revolution. For years now, Climate Today has shared articles explaining how important the collapse of our oceans really is. Now in this film, scientists from around the world are desperately trying to explain how close we are to the edge because of this hidden chemical shift in oceans! Can we even survive if we lose our oceans? The loss of living oceans can be viewed as even more important than what is happening on land! This is a must see and must share movie! After the viewing, several great local activists spoke about how we can join the fight to end our local electricity being powered by coal. Revolution is a great resource! Use it! – Editor

RevolutionmovieWBRevolution- A Story 3.5 billion years in the making

Filmmaker Rob Stewart brings us Revolution, a full-length feature film that is inspiring humanity to change the world and save our planet. Along with world renowned experts, he learns that past evolutions can help solve some of our current and future environmental problems. Startling, beautiful, and provocative, Revolution has already won awards at international film festivals and shows us that we can make a difference.
Revolution Movie
For the beautiful and powerful 2 minute trailer
For support and materials- Education- Awareness Changes Everything
Revolution Movie

Satellite link puts sharper focus on ocean acidity risesatellitemeasuringoceanacidityWB

Climate scientists are looking for a new perspective on the increasingly acidic oceans through a suite of satellites 700 km out in space, watching over parts of the seas that research ships cannot reach. Ocean acidity levels have risen by 26% over the last 200 years. The changes could almost certainly affect fisheries in the short term, and in the long term could possibly alter the continuous and vital exchanges between atmosphere and ocean that controls the climates of continents.
ClimateNewsNetwork 

QUOTE
How do we defend a sacred, alive world within the confines of
a system that has no concept of the sacred,
which instead sees the world as a collection of non-living resources?
By telling stories which refuse devastation, and which say yes to alternate narratives that transcend the supposed duality between economic progress and ecological protection.”

CaitlinSislin

Caitlin Sislin, Strategic Consultant to social organizations

On Being an Environmental Lawyer: Storytelling with a Purpose

 

Once you truly let the realities of today’s world into your heart, it’s not easy! Nothing will change if we putter around the edges- there simply isn’t time! Words of wisdom are essential- how do we deeply accept and move on? SEHN shares profound, helpful thoughts. - Editor

At the Threshold of a Dark Wood: to the activist who needs a game changer

To the activist who is alone, stuck; who knows the game is rigged; who needs a game changer: Three keys to doors for the journey and for the soul: the transformative power of grief; a new theory of agency – the authority to act; and, a new theory of power – the power of communion.
Grief, anger, and despair are normal responses to what you are witnessing: These are worthy emotions. How can an individual who is aware of the magnitude and complexity of our problems not also feel helplessness at the stark contrast to their individual impact? But facing this kind of cognitive and emotional dissonance is precisely how to break out of it. True power is communion. One way of cycling out of grief and despair is to make common cause with people in our communities to support each other in addressing the grief and anger around environmental matters. None of this work is ours alone, but borne out of and shaped by ancient headwaters, complex histories, and an abounding work already underway.
SEHN article
For the thoughtful February issue of Science and Environmental Network’s (SEHN) Networker- The Transformative Power of Storytelling in Law, Science, and Organizing
For The Story of the Elm Dance, by Joanna Macy

 

- What an important concept! How will we be viewed as ancestors? Think about this! - Editor
Becoming Great Ancestors – for a profound 15 minute TEDX talk by Carolyn Raffensperger, one of the founders of the Precautionary Principle and head of SEHN

Video

AustraliaCuttheSkyperformanceWBHow Indigenous philosophy could help us understand climate change

Indigenous Australians are always thinking “if we don’t keep that balance, there will be consequences.” Cut the Sky, a new dance work premiering at the Perth festival, draws on Indigenous Australian traditions to help audiences apply emotion, rather than cold logic, to climate change. Together they share the difficult task: how to artistically engage with the issue of climate change. Pigram says the climate change discussion is dominated by “a lot of people coming from logic and science.Cut the Sky attempts to access a very complex, global problem using a different language, of theatre and dance. And at its core the work is about “valuing an Aboriginal perspective of looking at country.” It becomes clear that it’s no easy feat. The non-linear storytelling also shakes the audience free from their default mode of logic, instead opening up their ability to feel.
Guardian article

 

 

 

QUOTE
“Consider the situation of London, which is protected against coastal floods through the Thames Barrier.
There was concern that rapid sea-level rise would not allow sufficient time to upgrade the Barrier because
such large engineering tasks require 25–30 years for planning and implementation.”

DrJochenHinkelWB

Dr. Jochen Hinkel, Global Climate Forum

ThamesBarrierWBIPCC sea-level rise forecasts “not fit for purpose” for high-risk coastal areas

The sea-level rise scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) do not necessarily provide the right information for high-risk coastal decision-making and management, according to new research, as they exclude the potential for extreme sea-level rises. This missing information is crucial for a number of policy processes. The IPCC scenario range is not the right piece of information, because there is a 0–33 per cent probability of sea-level rise lying outside of this range. Such a high residual risk is not tolerable from the perspective of protecting major cities from sea-level rise.
Clickgreen
For the article Sea-level rise scenarios and coastal risk management behind paywall

 

- Boston’s Living with Water contest is totally amazing! First, actually facing the threat of 30% of your city being under water and giving it a matter-of-fact name Living with Water, and creating a new field- “blue architecture” that carries a positive attitude is without precedent. Would we know where Atlantis is now if they had done this? Second, planning can require huge bundles of money and typically limits ideas to just the firm hired. Here, for a relatively small fund, the City is getting creative ideas from a large number of sources, feeding this new field of “blue architecture” while paying modest prizes for 9 possible winners, each for $1,000. Every city should be following this process! Every city faces various climate challenges, and this innovative contest structure can be duplicated anywhere! Now we know, too, that the IPCC report is dangerously optimistic. – Editor

BostonLivingWithWatercontestWBDesigners Imagine Creative Ways That Boston Can Live When It’s Mostly Underwater

As climate change raises sea levels, many cities face the near certainty of flooding in the future. Take Boston. By 2100, forecasts show water levels climbing by five to six feet in its Harbor area, meaning that 30% of the city could be inundated. The designs here are some ideas for how it might cope. They’re all submissions to a city sponsored competition called Boston Living With Water, and they represent a useful primer to the field of “blue architecture.”
Fastcoexist
The Boston Harbor Association, City of Boston, Boston Redevelopment Authority, and Boston Society of Architects are pleased to host Boston Living with Water an international call for design solutions envisioning a more resilient, more sustainable, and more beautiful Boston adapted for end-of-the-century climate conditions and rising sea levels.
Boston Living with Water
and

Sea levels in Northeast jumped 5 inches in just 2 years, study finds

Mashable  and Nature

 

- People must understand the human impacts of climate change that are happening NOW. The BBC news shows tens of thousands of desperate refugees risking their lives to escape the horrors of the Middle East conflicts to reach places like Italy. Losing food and water tied to your ancient home can lead to dangerous instability. – Editor

ISISHow Climate Change Helped ISIS

Many in the West remain unaware that climate played a significant role in the rise of Syria’s extremists. A historic drought afflicted the country from 2006 through 2010, setting off a dire humanitarian crisis for millions of Syrians. Yet the four-year drought evoked little response from Bashar al-Assad’s government. Rage at the regime’s callousness boiled over in 2011, helping to fuel the popular uprising. In the ensuing chaos, ISIS stole onto the scene. If more Americans knew how glacial melt contributes to catastrophic weather in Afghanistan — potentially strengthening the Taliban and imperiling Afghan girls who want to attend school — would we drive more hybrids and use millions fewer plastic bags? There is no shortage of nations whose political stability and climate are both vulnerable. When we fail to get the facts right about greenhouse gas emissions, we may unwittingly enable ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, and other extremist groups to flourish. As we consider our personal positions on climate change, it is important to understand all that is at stake in our interconnected world.
Article
and some good things. Let’s get all U.S. religious groups to do the same-JordanmosquessolarpowerWB

Jordan’s 6,000 Mosques Will Soon All Have Rooftop Solar

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is collaborating with the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs to implement the project, which entails installing such systems at the country’s 6,000 mosques.
Jordan Times and

Think Progress

 

 

 

 

 

- Everything our cities do from now on must free us from fossil fuels and be based on conservation and renewable energy independence. Here’s a creative change that will be seen by 7,000,000 people a year! – Editor

EiffelTowerwindturbineWBEiffel Tower’s Custom-Painted Micro Wind Turbines Will Wow Millions

Last fall, France’s iconic Eiffel Tower completed its “most ambitious” makeover in 30 years, except for one piece of the puzzle: a pair of new micro wind turbines installed right within the tower itself. Now, the two turbines are in place and humming along, generating enough renewable electricity to power all of the commercial areas in a spectacular renovation that sees 7,000,000 visitors yearly. Together they are capable of churning out 10,000 kWh annually. They literally are parked inside the Eiffel Tower at about 400 feet above ground level. We’re thinking that some of those 7,000,000 visitors will come away from their Eiffel Tower tour with a new appreciation for micro wind turbines.
CleanTechnica
The two vertical axis wind turbines were specially painted to match the iconic tower, and are located 400 feet above ground level to maximize energy production.
Urban Green Energy 
For a cool 14 second video showing the turbines harnessing wind power from inside the Eiffel Tower

 

- Showing Revolution would be a great, and getting projects with the creativity of Living With Water could make a huge difference. Think big and deep! – Editor

EarthDayWBACTION: Earth Day April 22: It’s Our Turn to Lead

Great events take time to organize so here is some good support- the Leadership Guide for Earth Day April 22, 2015. Topics include: How to Organize a Memorable Event. Tools for leading the movement online. A Billion Acts of Green. Plan a Day of Conversation in Your town. Climate Education Toolkit.
Leadership Toolkit 

WHO ARE THE GOOD GUYS? . . . . . February 20- 26, 2015

QUOTE

“We need energy choice and freedom.
Many times the customer’s voice is drowned out by big money contributing to political campaigns.
This ballot initiative is extremely important because
the legislature has not acted the past few years to open up the market for solar.
We are taking our voice to the people
Free market principles should not be cherry-picked by groups
who have donors that have interest in fossil fuels.
A monopoly is not a free market!
This ballet initiative is about giving consumers the freedom of choice.”
DebbieDooleyfreechoiceforsolarWB
Debbie Dooley, Founder of the Conservatives for Energy Freedom
GreenTeaCoalition

- Such an encouraging article in the New Yorker! Do read and share it- amazing how she reflects the similar ideas of solar and climate activists, yet comes from a different view point! – Editor

Greening the Tea Party

Dooley had teamed up with the Sierra Club to form the Green Tea Coalition. Later, that coalition helped defeat an effort by Georgia Power to impose heavy fees on customers with rooftop solar systems. “If you mention climate change, they’re going to tune you out.” She meant her Tea Party compatriots,
Rooftop solar makes it harder for terrorists to render a devastating blow to our power grid,” she said. “There’s nothing more centralized in our nation. If terrorists were able to take down nine key substations, it would cause a blackout coast to coast.”
New Yorker article 

BewareCarbonbubbleWB

Beware the #carbonbubble #divest now

Protesters blocked the entrance to the International Petroleum Conference
where Ben Van Beurden, Shell’s CEO, was due to make a speech.
Article 

 

- You don’t think of Nepal as a tony Wall Street investing neighborhood, but they went to the streets there, too! – Editor

DivestmentDayNepalprotestWBGlobal Divestment Day Was A Huge Success

At over 450 events in 60 countries, people around the world declared that it’s wrong to wreck the climate — and it’s wrong to profit from wrecking it. “From the Pacific Islands to South Africa, from the United States to Germany, we stood up to demand that our governments, universities and financial and religious institutions stop investing in the rogue industries that are destroying our planet. According to numbers provided by the Fossil Free, the group behind the campaign, an estimated $50,000,000,000 (that’s 50 billion) have been divested from fossil fuels to date. Over 181 cities, universities, and other institutions have committed to divestment.
Between February 9 and 15, 97,270,000 social impressions were tracked as well.
Website 
For video
and some continue to fight for the wrong side of their responsibility-
Harvard prepares to fight fossil fuel divestment case in court
Lawyers for Harvard University will appear in court on Friday afternoon to fight off attempts to force the world’s richest university to dump coal, oil and gas companies from its $36bn (£23bn) endowment.
Guardian article 

 

QUOTE
By disinvesting from (fossil fuel) shares, Church and other charitable and public investors may have great influence on the future of the planet, greater even than governments and the United Nations.
A small minority of consumers, who choose to buy wind power or not to fly, have little influence.
But a small minority of investors who disinvest from fossil fuel stocks
can have enormous influence on energy markets,
since they can influence the behaviour of the corporations which extract and market energy.”
MichaelNorthcottquoteWB
Michael Northcott is Professor of Ethics in the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh
For BrightNow paper in U.K.

 

Operation Noah is an ecumenical Christian charity providing leadership, focus and inspiration in response to the growing threat of catastrophic climate change.
OperationNoah
Is it ethical for the Church to invest in fossil fuels? For a paper discussing the ethics
LentenCalendarcarbonfastWB
For a calendar of many actions we can take to reduce carbon, see Lenten Carbon Fast 2015- 40 days of Lenten green living 
MomentamoviecoalWB- Get people together to see this! – Editor

 

 

Watch Critically-Acclaimed ‘Momenta’
Momenta, a film which EcoWatch ranked as one of the 10 best documentaries of 2013, is now available online for free. The film brings awareness to a Pacific Northwest coal project that could threaten the global environment on a scale larger than the Keystone XL pipeline.
EcoWatch film

 

USNavyfloodingWBThe Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk

Naval station Norfolk is the headquarters of the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic fleet. The land that the base is built upon is literally sinking, meaning sea levels are rising in Norfolk roughly twice as fast as the global average. There is no high ground, nowhere to retreat. There are 29 other military bases, shipyards and installations in the area, and many of them are in just as much trouble. Since 2008, Republicans have worked hard to undermine any connection between climate and national security (and) when the GOP turned into a subsidiary of Koch Industries.
Deniers in Congress have gone after the Pentagon where military officials feel it most: their budget. Last year, House Republicans tagged an AdmiralandInhofetalkWBamendment onto the defense appropriations bill that prohibited the Pentagon from spending any money implementing recommendations from the latest report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
And
Adm. Samuel Locklear correctly foresees that a world of climate-driven chaos is already upon us, and it’s only going to get worse. And we need to start talking about it now, because not only will the threats multiply, so will the questions we have to address. It’s one thing to plan for the invasion— it’s quite another to plan for being the rescue squad for the entire planet.
RollingStone article
and

Whenever another officer or a congressperson corners Rear Adm. White and presses him about why he spends so much time thinking about climate change,
he doesn’t even try to explain thermal expansion of the oceans or ice dynamics in the Arctic.

QUOTE
“I just take them down to Norfolk.
When you see what’s going on down there, it gives you a sense of what climate change means to the Navy — and to America. And you can see why we’re concerned.”

RearADMJonWhiteWB

Rear Adm. Jonathan White, the Navy’s chief oceanographer and head of its climate-change task force

US Navy Reacts To Blockbuster Rolling Stone Climate Change Story

The Navy’s climate change post starts off with a forceful declaration of support for the Rolling Stone article, it includes the subtitle “The leaders of our armed forces know what’s coming next – but deniers in Congress are ignoring the warnings,” and caps it off with the rather dramatic illustration from the publication.
Cleantechnica article 

ACROSS THE BORDER QUOTE
“There is a growing, highly organized and well-financed anti-Canada petroleum movement that consists of peaceful activists, militants and violent extremists who are
opposed to society’s reliance on fossil fuels.
If violent environmental extremists engage in unlawful activity,
it jeopardizes the health and safety of its participants, the general public and
the natural environment.”

RCanadianpoliceWB

From a secret intelligence memo prepared by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

 

- The total and absolute destruction of magnificent forests, rivers, and livelihoods from tar sands development, not to mention increasing climate change, is not a threat to “the natural environment,” but the people who care and want to stop this destruction are a threat to “the natural environment?Really? – Editor

tarsandsCanadaWBCanadian mounties’ secret memo casts doubt on climate change threat

The US security establishment views climate change as real and a dangerous threat to national security. But Canada takes a very different view, according to a secret intelligence memo prepared by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).The memo, stamped “Canadian eyes only”, repeatedly casts doubt on the causes of climate change – the burning of fossil fuels – and its potential threat. The memo warns: “Violent anti-petroleum extremists will continue to engage in criminal activity to promote their anti-petroleum ideology”.
Guardian article 
and
Globeandmail article 

stockholmsbikeparkinggarageWB

Stockholm’s Newest Parking Garage Is Only For Bikes

When it’s built, the newest parking garage in Stockholm won’t hold any cars at all. It’s designed to hold 700 bikes instead. Unlike a regular parking garage, it’s a place where people might actually want to spend time. The garage, near a major train station, is being designed from the ground up for cyclists. Instead of doors with handles, entrances will automatically slide open, so cyclists can ride in directly from the adjacent bike path or street. The designers also plan to include a bike repair shop and changing rooms where commuters can shower, dress for work, and leave their helmets in lockers. The garage will be part of a building that also has almost 60 apartments. None of the residents are expected to own a car.
Fastcoexist article 
and for a higher tech solution for safely parking bikes in Japan, watch this surprising 40 second video

 

 

 

 

- WOW! Let’s make this happen across the U.S.! – Editor

More Electric Car Charging Stations Than Gas Stations In JapanMoreChargingthangasstationsJapanWB

The establishment of an infrastructure to support electric and plug in cars is proceeding rapidly in Japan. Nissan says there are now 40,000 public and private charging stations in Japan versus only 34,000 gas stations.
Gas2 article 

PG&E Corp., owner of California’s biggest utility, asked regulators Feb. 9 for permission to build a network of about 25,000 chargers in public areas over a five-year period.  Automakers have recognized that oil companies are unlikely to install plugs next to gasoline pumps, and are building their own networks.

Bloomberg article 

THEN YOU WIN . . . . . February 13- 19, 2015

ACTION: JOIN Global Divestment Day Friday and Saturday

GandhithenyouwinWBThe first ever Global Divestment Day kicks off today and Saturday 14 February. To(day)’s going to be huge — we’re talking epic – with more than 450 events spanning 58 countries on six continents.
And it seems you’ve already put the fossil fuel industry on the backfoot before we even get started! Earlier this week we got word that a Big Oil PR company released a, frankly, hilarious cartoon as an attack against Global Divestment Day. You know what that means? We’re really starting to rattle them, so let’s keep pushing until we win.
Website
Even if you can’t make it to a Global Divestment Day event next week, you can still be part of this movement and this moment. Here’s how:
1. Make sure your friends and family know that you’re standing with the fossil fuel divestment movement. The orange square has become an international symbol of solidarity and resistance against the fossil fuel industry. We’ve put together this handy tool to help you make your own orange square meme and then swap out your profile photo on Facebook.
2. Use the #divest hashtag on social media all next week. Let’s blow the conversation up online even as we’re out in the streets! We’ve more ideas on how to amplify the Global Divestment Day message.
3. Pledge to divest your own money. Make sure your values and your assets are in the same place. Join the thousands of individuals who have pledged to divest themselves from fossil fuels.
This week we got word that Norway’s sovereign wealth fund — at $850 billion, the world’s largest — is divesting from coal and tar sands companies on climate grounds. Last week, the New School in New York announced that they would divest from fossil fuels. So far, this movement has divested more than $50 billion.
We live in a profoundly altered world. It’s up to us to make sure that it changes for the better.
From 350.org email, February 8, 2015

 

QUOTE
Fracking is hurting our communities.
It is sucking our drought-ridden state of precious water resources,
contaminating our groundwater in a region where 25 percent of the nation’s food is grown, and contributing to the impending climate crisis.
Oil companies had made California citizens feel powerless and silenced,
for our governor seems to only be listening to their money!”
EvaMalisUCBerkeleyWB
Eva Malis, UC Berkeley student

 

- If California might seem far away from you so this isn’t relevant, how much of the fruits and vegies in your grocery come from bountiful fields of California? Your kids’ food could be being contaminated right now. And with water scarcity, how much should we take water away from growing our food? – Editor

Thousands march and rally in Oakland to call for ban on fracking

"MARCH FOR REAL CLIMATE LEADERSHIP"Thousands of people from up and down California marched in Oakland on Saturday for the largest protest to date against the state’s use of hydraulic fracturing to harvest oil and natural gas. Environmentalists say fracking wastes millions of gallons of fresh drinking water and puts public health at risk in communities where fracking occurs by threatening groundwater and eroding air quality.
Article
and

 

 

 

 

QUOTE
“Given that California is also experiencing its worst drought in 1,200 years,
it’s hard to overstate
just how thoroughly the regulatory system has failed to protect this extremely precious resource.”
BriannaNRDCWB
Briana Mordick, scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council

California’s Wastewater Injection Problem Is Way Worse Than Previously Reported

For every barrel of oil produced in California — the third largest oil-producing state in the nation, behind Texas and North Dakota — there are 10 barrels of wastewater requiring disposal. California produces roughly 575,000 barrels of oil a day, meaning there are nearly 6 billion barrels of wastewater produced in the Golden State on a daily basis — a massive waste stream that state regulators have utterly failed to manage properly.
Article

 

nodivingfrombridgeWB

It’s sad. Diving from this bridge when there was water in the river was a far less serious threat that agriculture not having water! This picture says a lot! – Editor

US harvest threatened by water-intensive oil and gas boom

The recent World Economic Forum Global Risks report identifies the 10 “biggest threats to the stability of the world”, (listing) water crises as one of the top global risks.
The US has a significant influence on the global food trade. The ongoing water crisis in California – the country’s largest agricultural producer – may threaten the price and availability of certain commodities worldwide. Electric utilities consume 11 times more water than all other industries combined.
Guardian article

For the World Economic Forum report 

 

G20 Governments are Spending $88B Each Year to Explore for New Fossil Fuels. Imagine if Those Subsidies Went to Renewable Energy?

FossilFuelBailoutreportWBGovernments across the G20 countries are estimated to be spending $88 billion every year subsidising exploration for fossil fuels. Their exploration subsidies marry bad economics with potentially disastrous consequences for climate change. In effect, governments are propping up the development of oil, gas and coal reserves that cannot be exploited if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change.

Article
Read and share this Fossil Fuel Bailout report 

 

 

 

 

QUOTE
“Our marine economy is at stake here.
The lobster fishery alone is worth $1 billion.
No one comes to the Maine coast to eat a chicken sandwich.
We lose our lobster, we lose our clams? We’ll lose tourism as well.”
MickDevinMaineWB
Maine Rep. Mick Devin (D)

 

- Fossil fuels not only destroy vast amounts of water essential for growing food on land, but pollution from them is also causing major threats to ocean life which feeds the world’s peoples over 100 million tons of rich protein a year! Very hard to replace! - Editor

Maine Report Warns Of ‘Urgent’ Need To Address Ocean Acidification

MainelobsterWBMaine will soon need to make “hard decisions” on what to do to protect its rapidly acidifying waters, according to a new report. Maine’s fishermen used to fish for multiple species throughout the year, but depleted stocks have forced fishermen to become heavily reliant on lobster. The problem is, if something now happens to the lobster, there’s a lot of communities that are totally reliant economically on lobsters.
Richard Nelson, a Maine lobsterman and member of the commission, is not only worried about lobsters themselves. He said he’s concerned about the entire ocean food chain, especially the creatures at the bottom of it, like plankton, that have a hard time building their shells in an overly-acidic environment.
Article
For the report
and
- Understanding such massive global changes isn’t easy. Here some scientists worry that ocean ecosystem collapse can occur even faster from “saturation” than from acidification. There is so much at stake here. – Editor

Is pH a Red Herring for Ocean Acidification?

oysterssaturationpointWBLow pH harms shellfish, most significantly by altering the internal chemistry of adult shellfish. But saturation state caused declines that will occur decades to centuries ahead of any pH-induced declines because saturation state is more sensitive to increasing CO2 than is pH and several coastal regions in the Pacific Northwest are already dangerously close to the saturation state threshold for oysters and other bivalves. Essentially, saturation state matters most and it matters first, says the team. As at Whiskey Creek, a dip in saturation state, even for as little as two days, during a crucial stage of shell development is enough to lose an entire population.
Article

 

 QUOTE
Eating, it turns out, is
the most significant interaction most of us have with the environment.
ChrisYingfoodmagazineWB
Chris Ying, Founder, food magazine Lucky Peach

We all need to get to net-zero carbon, restaurants included. Great progress here- inspire your restaurants locally to join this movement! When the private sector makes great progress towards net zero, government leaders are more willing to get serious, too. – Editor

How can you get more restaurants to go carbon-neutral? A: Make a lot of money at it!

restaurantgreenWBThe food system, including farming, shipping, cooking and food waste, accounts for 30 percent of carbon emissions worldwide. The food magazine’s founder, Chris Ying, has argued climate change directly concerns all people whose job it is to serve food.
Every decision at the Founding Farmers restaurant chain is intentionally made to connect diners to the Farmers Restaurant Group- which is run in part by the North Dakota Farmers Union- and to all small farmers who cultivate food. The desired product is a farm-to-table experience and to provide it in an environment that has a carbon footprint close to zero.
Article
For the article Knowing Is Half the Battle 

 

- The real issue is speed of change- can we reduce emissions before major collapses such as ocean food production? – Editor

Seven Reasons Cheap Oil Can’t Stop Renewables Now

riserenewableschartWBHere are seven reasons why humanity’s transition to cleaner energy won’t be sidetracked by cheap oil. (Check out the first 6 reasons.) 7. Global Investment in Clean Energy Keeps Flowing
There are too many forces pulling (for direct investments in energy projects). Global investment in clean energy increased 16 percent last year, to $310 billion. The U.S. and China, the world’s biggest emitters, reached a historic deal in November to rein in greenhouse gases. Pope Francis is preparing a papal encyclical on climate change, a letter to the world’s bishops that will formalize the church’s moral position on the issue for 1.2 billion Catholics. He may also convene a summit of the world’s top religious leaders in advance of global climate talks in Paris in December. Those talks represent the world’s last best chance to mitigate the damage from climate change. National policies to reduce carbon pollution would speed up the adoption of clean energy. Even in their absence, the global energy shift away from fossil fuels has begun, and we know how it will end.
Bloomberg article
and
For a good report on how to bring in renewables to the grid more easily – Easing the Transition to a More Distributed Electricity System-The Changing Roles of Consumers, Utilities and Regulators Within the Regulatory Compact

FORGET UNDERNEATH- LOOK UP . . . . February 6- 12, 2015

GETTING IT RIGHT
cartoonignoringthesunWB
Why are we poisoning our land, water, and people
when there’re safe answers, including shining right above us and in the wind?

QUOTE
“The Keystone is in the basket of issues that other countries are watching to see
whether the U.S. is prepared to walk the walk on climate change.
For almost 20 years, there’s been this perception that the U.S. is telling other countries to act on climate change while not moving at home….
Keystone XL is another sign of whether [Obama] is serious and will lead the world.”
JakeSchmidtWB Jake Schmidt, international climate policy director, Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C.

How The Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Will Influence UN Climate Change Talks In Paris

President Barack Obama’s decision will have broad political impact outside the U.S. and Canada and could bolster — or undermine — the United States’ ability to influence global climate change talks later this year. Nearly 200 countries are expected to negotiate an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a United Nations-led conference in Paris in December.
International Business Times article

 

 

QUOTE
“California’s drinking water aquifers shouldn’t be garbage dumps for the oil industry.
It’s legally required and just common sense that
every well injecting wastewater illegally be shut down immediately to avoid further damage.

KassieSiegelWB

Kassie Siegel, Director Climate Law Institute, Center for Biological Diversity

 

- Across our nation when the victims of these massive toxic contaminations finally get heard, entire industries can shift quite rapidly. We need renewables in place asap! – Editor

EPA Urged to Shut Down Hundreds of Oil Industry Wastewater Wells Threatening California Aquifers

The Center for Biological Diversity today called on the Environmental Protection Agency to immediately shut down hundreds of injection wells that are illegally dumping oil industry wastewater into scores of California aquifers, including some that supply water for drinking and farming irrigation. “In the midst of an unprecedented drought and when so many Californians lack access to safe, clean drinking water, it is outrageous to allow contamination of drinking and irrigation water to continue. It is never acceptable to allow the contamination of drinking and irrigation water with industrial wastewater,” the letter says.
Article

 

How does a mother feel when she finally realizes that the tap water she’s been giving her children for years is loaded with carcinogens? Watch the video. OMG. – Editor

The Coal Industry Owns The CourtscancerclustercoalashvictimsWB

During the 2014 midterm elections, the state of North Carolina — Duke Energy’s base of operations — became a hotbed for judicial campaign spending. In total, an unprecedented $800,000 was spent on judicial elections, with more than $300,000 of that total coming solely from Duke Energy.
A recent report by the Center for American Progress (CAP) shows that elected judges are far more likely to vote in favor of corporations (those who funded their elections) than non-elected judges, explaining Duke Energy’s desire to pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into this campaign.
Article
CAP has put together an important 6 minute film explaining the plight of local residents who have been poisoned by coal ash and its water contamination. The map above illustrates the large number of people who got cancer- about 70- living near the coal ash. No wonder health care is so expensive in the U.S. – people are being poisoned. Watch Dirty Water, Dirty Money: Coal Ash and the Attack on North Carolina’s Courts

Report

 

In a just world, does anyone have the right to poison others now and for generations into the future, since these toxic dumps destroying underground water cannot be cleaned up? – Editor

FrackingFailuresWBFrackers In Pennsylvania Violate Health And Environmental Regulations On A Daily Basis

According to a new report by Environment America, ever since four companies “told the public they would adhere to higher standards” in 2013, they have collectively committed as many as 100 violations of Pennsylvania’s existing oil and gas regulations. “In Pennsylvania, fracking companies violate rules and regulations meant to protect the environment and human health on virtually a daily basis. Between January 1, 2011, and August 31, 2014, the top 20 offending fracking companies committed an average of 1.5 violations per day.” (This includes) Endangering drinking water through improper well construction. Dumping industrial waste into local waterways. Allowing toxic chemicals to flow off drilling sites and into local soil and water.
The top violator companies have fracking operations or own mineral rights in 23 other states. So what can states do? Of course, the most prudent measure is to ban fracking before it even begins, as Governor Andrew Cuomo did in New York.
Article
For the report Fracking Failures-Oil and Gas Industry Environmental Violations

FrackingWBWe can’t bail out fracking if it turns into another housing crisis

Governments have to decide whether to rescue oil and gas firms or admit they got energy policy wrong. (The alternative energy) vision had morphed beyond recognition. It was no longer about renewables, but about more fossil fuels. The unlikely hero was fracking natural gas, and investments poured in. Saudi Arabia and Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ overt strategy is to put big shale out of business, producing enough crude to keep prices below $75-80/bbl. They seem eminently comfortable doing so because their production costs are closer to $5/bbl. The bit that we don’t know is how much money governments will waste this time, shoring up this latest economic failure because they now think that oil and gas companies are also “too big to fail”. (Don’t) resort to throwing public resources (read: your taxes and mine). I have a simple request for governments in 2015: please do not rescue those who have made bad economic decisions yet again, just let them fail. It will be good for the economy and jobs, and even better for our safe planetary existence.
Article

 

Imagine how startling these charts would be if all subsidies and all health and environmental impacts of fossil fuels were included! – Editor

windcheaperWB6 charts that show renewable energy is getting cheaper

Things are changing very quickly in the world of renewable energy. The conventional wisdom — that renewables are expensive, that they depend on subsidies, that it’s too costly to integrate them into the grid — is rapidly being rendered anachronistic, though no one seems to have told U.S. policymakers and pundits. The myth that renewables are “too expensive” has outlived its accuracy. A range of renewables are now competitive with fossil fuel power, without subsidies, and are only going to strengthen their position in coming years. It’s a new world out there.
Article

Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014: An Overview

Dramatic falls in cost are making renewable energy competitive with fossil fuels across the world, and the least-cost option in a growing number of markets. For example, solar energy has already become cheaper than diesel generation, with clear benefits for communities in areas far away from the electricity grid. Regional, weighted average costs of electricity from biomass for power, geothermal, hydropower and onshore wind are all now in the range, or even span a lower range, than estimated fossil fuel-fired electricity generation costs. Because of striking Levelised Cost Of Electricity reductions, solar PV costs also increasingly fall within that range.
For the International Renewable Energy Agency report
Fossil fuels take huge amounts of water! Another International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report this month highlights how renewable energy can help address the world’s pressing water, energy and food challenges. – Renewable Energy in the Water, Energy and Food Nexus

Water report

 

QUOTE
This could be the single most significant piece of legislation to affect our existing building stock in a generation, affecting a huge swathe of rented properties.
Government deserves huge credit for sticking to its guns.”
JohnAlkerUKBuildingWB
John Alker, Acting CEO of the UK Green Building Council

 

- Mayor Gonzales of Santa Fe, New Mexico, gave his wonderful State of the City talk, the first part about various social justice programs. The second part was about climate change actions. Community solar is one solution he offered for both issues. Here is another powerful idea! Stopping waste needs to become the foundation upon which to build progress. – Editor

greendealhomeWBLandlords to be banned from renting out energy inefficient properties

New regulations making it illegal for landlords to rent out the most energy inefficient homes and properties could be the “single most significant piece of legislation in a generation” affecting existing buildings, the UK Green Building Council said today. Fuel poor households living in the least efficient privately-rented homes already need to spend on average around £1,000 (over $1,500 in US dollars!) more to keep warm compared to the average home. Financial support is available through the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation, which together have improved over 1 million homes in less than two years.
Article
- Yet again, I was asked yesterday how to responsibly invest money in today’s troubled world. I explained my lack of financial expertise, then the divestment movement for fossil fuels, then gave several references- one the Green Money Journal , and the other a smart financial advisor friend who now has co-authored a brand new book- The Resilient Investor: A Plan for Your Life, Not Just Your Money that I just ordered from my local bookstore. Learn more about CERES and its Investor Network on Climate Risk, too. Every dollar you spend can harm the planet, or fritter away money, or help save the planet. All our resources- our time and money need to reflect how serious climate change is! This 2 minute video hits the topic well- definitely worth watching!!! – Editor

Fossil Free Indexes Outperformed S&P 500 By 1.5% In 2014

The Fossil Free Indexes US (FFIUS) had a banner year in 2014, and even managed to beat the S&P 500 by a pretty substantial margin — outperforming the benchmark by 1.5%.
Article
and for a critical topic that cannot be ignored-

Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR)

The Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) is a network of 100 institutional investors representing more than $13 trillion in assets committed to addressing the risks and seizing the opportunities resulting from climate change and other sustainability challenges.
Website
For a 5 minute video 

http://fossilfreeindexes.com/

For the book The Resilient Investor: A Plan for Your Life, Not Just Your Money (H. Brill, Kramer, Peck), will be published in February 2015 by Berrett-Koehler. Here, we look at investing with a wider lens, including not only our financial investments, but also our personal and social assets (skills, relationships, community) and tangible assets (homes, shared infrastructure, ecological systems).
Website Natural Investing 
and to order from Powell’s Bookstore  
and for a great short video really worth thinking about-
Top 10 Stakeholder Issues Report of 2015
Video
and for the details 

EARTH, JUSTICE, and BANK ACCOUNTS . . January 30- February 5, 2015

QUOTE
“I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms
in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.
If they can get off, onto another planet, some of them would.”
and
A lot of wealthy and powerful people are quite afraid right now –
they see us on an unstable trajectory
noting that the failure of political institutions to be representative
is causing strain on the system.

economistRobertJohnsonWB
Robert Johnson, president of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, speaking in Davos
Listen to this 1 minute statement- worth the trip to Switzerland’s Davos!

Elite Are Afraid of Ferguson-Style Riots

Article
and

As inequality soars, the nervous super rich are already planning their escapes

Article

- This little peek into the minds of the super-rich should awaken the rest of us! They know we are at a cusp yet continue insatiable avarice that feeds both social injustice and destruction of our precariously balanced Earth. Even the not super wealthy have asked me where to flee to get away from climate change.
How can “we the people” allow our only earth’s destruction and massive injustice to continue? Billionaires buy clever social psychologists, conniving political strategists, and media space to convince enough people to actually vote against both their own rights and against the earth’s indispensable life support systems. When will the super-rich realize eco-system collapse means everyone, regardless of long rows of numbers in secret bank accounts? – Editor

Can Koch Brothers Lock In Fatal Climate Delay For $889 Million In 2016 Election

TeaPartydenial70pc,nontea30pcChartWBThe multi-billionaire Koch brothers are planning to spend a staggering $889 million in the 2016 election cycle, more than double what they spent in 2012. Politico called it “a historic sum that in many ways would mark Charles and David Koch and their fellow conservative megadonors as more powerful than the official Republican Party.”
Remember, the Koch family put together the Tea Party movement and much of the modern right-wing infrastructure. Koch Industries surpassed Exxon Mobil in funding climate science disinformation and clean energy opposition years ago. They have already become the biggest force for anti-science politicians at every level of government.
Article
and
New York Times Article

That Book About Inequality That’s Sold Out of Bookstores? Here’s What It Means

ThomasPikettyeconomicsbookWBIn his analysis of tax records, Piketty shows how capitalists have run away with capitalism and left the workers behind.
Just take a look at how our oligarchs—oops, I’m sorry—our “wealth generators” have benefited. The top 25 hedge fund managers took in an average $134 million in 2002. By 2009, their earnings went up to a billion dollars (that’s right: they each made a billion dollars a year!). The market “correction” didn’t send them back to zero or to Sing Sing. Rather, by 2012, they were still making tons more than in 2002: $537 million. In fact, in 2010, these top 25 managers together made four times as much as the CEOs of the top 500 Standard and Poor companies—combined.
Article

France economist Thomas Piketty rejects Legion D’Honneur

French economist Thomas Piketty, the best-selling author of Capital in the 21st Century, has turned down France’s top award, the Legion D’Honneur. His book examines income inequality in society and became a surprise hit, topping the bestseller list in the US.
BBC article

- We have solutions to climate change, poor health caused by pollution, and environmental destruction caused by fossil-fuels! Should we blindly accept claims that we cannot have renewable energy, net zero buildings, clean air, or clean water, can’t protect kids from getting asthma, can’t work on social justice and alternatives to prisons, and more because it costs “more money”? Or does it really mean less money for rich fossil-fuelers? Reports from the New Building Institute are worth sharing! Data are showing we can do this! – Editor

QUOTE
“The findings in this report are eye-opening.
It presents us with a policy framework that will help us achieve our goal to
slash energy use to half of what it was in 2010 by 2032, and
provides us with the data to back it up.”

BillUpdikebuildingDCWB

Bill Updike, green building specialist, District of Columbia Department of the Environment

Cost Study Finds Over 30% ROI for Zero Net Energy

As momentum for zero energy buildings grows, there is more interest in better understanding the costs. A series of studies have come out including one that shows the District of Columbia could save up to 60% on energy use in new commercial building developments by adding just 1-3% to the cost of construction. In addition to the energy use savings, key financial savings include: The return on investment for deep energy efficiency is 6 percent to 12 percent and rises to 33 percent to 36 percent when modeled for net zero energy using solar power. Advanced water conservation measures cost 1 percent to 3 percent, conserve 45 to 60 percent of the water usage and have a return on investment of 5 percent to 10 percent.

Article 
For the New Buildings Institute study
For the NBI Getting to Zero Buildings Database

conferenceGettingtoZeroWB

ACTION: Go to the 2015 Getting to Zero National Forum
Zero energy is an ultra-efficiency building performance goal!

February 1-3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Sign up!

 

 

 

 

 

OKEarthquakeschartWB
- A burglar taking your $300 TV set can go to jail for years, and not be able to get a job when he’s out, but what happens if your house suffers thousands of dollars of damage from a large corporation fracking near you? Does justice apply to corporations these days? – Editor

Court Will Decide If Fracking Companies Can Be Held Responsible For Earthquakes

househarmedbyearthquakeWBOklahoma’s Supreme Court will decide whether two oil companies should be held financially responsible for injuries suffered by a woman during a 2011 earthquake thought to have been caused by drilling activity. If the woman’s lawsuit is successful, it could set a legal precedent for future earthquake claims against oil and gas companies in Oklahoma. Scientists increasingly believe that the large amount of water that is injected into the ground after a well is fracked can change the state of stress on existing fault lines to the point of failure, causing earthquakes.
Article
and it is not just Oklahoma-

Texas Town at Center of Latest Earthquake Swarm Questions Fracking Impact

Article

Thousands Of Montanans Can’t Drink Or Cook With Tap Water Because Of Oil Spill

YellowstoneRivercontaminatedWBThe estimated 50,000 gallons of crude oil that spilled from a pipeline into Montana’s Yellowstone River Saturday has forced truckloads of water to be shipped in to one Montana city, after traces of the oil were found in the city’s water supplies. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock declared a state of emergency Monday morning in Dawson — where Glendive is located — and Richland counties. Glendive City Council member Gerald Reichert said that he didn’t believe the reports of odors coming from residents’ taps until he smelled it in his own home. “Suddenly at our house there was a definite smell. It was a diesel smell,” Reichert said. The EPA also said in the statement that it was working to limit the spill’s spread by placing containment structures about 30 miles downstream from the spill site. It’s also trying to clean oil from the ice-covered parts of the river, but those icy conditions are making it difficult to find the oil that may have made its way underneath the ice.
Article
and it’s not just there-

Water pollution from fracking confirmed in multiple states

Article
and it’s not just the water that is contaminated-

First infrared analysis of oil and gas air pollution shows communities’ health risk

infraredreveealsairpollutionWBMaking visible normally invisible pollution, the study revealed that the communities of Lost Hills and Upper Ojai are exposed to at least 15 distinct toxics released by oil and gas development.
Article
For the report Californians at Risk: An Analysis of Health Threats from Oil and Gas Pollution

 

 

 

For a useful group very concerned about the health dangers from toxic air pollution- Medical Advocates for Healthy Air (MAHA) 

 

NEW NURSERY RHYME?

Diesel in our water,
diesel in our air,
our kids are sick,
is that fair?

 

Parents, Teachers and Students Ask School Districts to Go 100% Renewable Energy

solarschoolsWBNow that solar is cheaper than electricity from the grid in 42 of 50 largest U.S. cities, it’s no wonder that a coalition of education, health, labor and environmental organizations launched a campaign to encourage North Carolina’s public school districts to transition to 100 percent renewable energy. The coalition also stresses the health benefits of going solar. They report that more than 50,000 students across the North Carolina suffer from asthma, making it the leading cause of missed school for children with chronic diseases.
Article
For Repower Our Schools in North Carolina
For the very useful national report Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in US Schools- this report was produced to: (1) help K-12 schools understand the motivations and successes of current solar schools; (2) provide insight into the basic technical and financing aspects of these systems; (3) provide the most comprehensive baseline to date of K-12 schools with solar, providing a means for tracking future solar/school installation progress, and; (4) supply prospective solar school stakeholders with actionable information and lessons learned from previous projects so they can “go solar” with greater confidence.

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS- IT CAN BE DONE!
Oregon Tech campus is the first U.S. university to meet
all of its energy needs with renewable electricity,
replacing the equivalent of $1 million a year in heating and electricity costs
from its on-campus geothermal and solar facilities.

 

Wash., Ore. Could Vastly Expand Renewable Power Production

PoweringUpOregonreportWBSolar, wind, hydropower, biomass, geothermal, and waste-to-energy electricity production could account for 98 percent of Oregon’s and Washington’s electricity needs in just 15 years, according to two new reports.
Article

 

POWERING UP OREGON: A REPORT ON THE ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY DEVELOPMENT
In a “High Renewables” scenario, Oregon has the potential to deploy as much as 7,864 megawatts (MW) of additional installed renewable electricity capacity by 2030 (enough to supply over 98 percent of overall state electricity use). Our report finds that this deployment would:
• Create almost 140,000 additional local jobs and over $8 billion more in wages and benefits during construction.
• After construction and during its operation, this new renewable energy would create nearly 2,500 additional annual jobs and nearly $150 million in annual wages and benefits.
Report 

BOTH WAYS, REALLY? . . . JANUARY 23- 29, 2015

 – Major paradigm shifts create battling and conflicting beliefs. Obama and the Pope are smart enough to recognize profound problems, yet cling to obsolete, destructive beliefs. Driving with brakes on doesn’t win the race! First from Obama in his State of the Union address- “No challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” Then “And today, America is number one in oil and gas. The typical family this year should save $750 at the pump.” We can have it both ways- really?-  Editor
State of the Union address 2015 transcript

QUOTE
“We need to see, with the eyes of faith, the beauty of God’s saving plan, the link between the natural environment and the dignity of the human person. Men and women are made in the image and likeness of God, and given dominion over creation.
As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we betray that noble calling.”
AND
“Some think that, excuse me if I use this word, that in order to be good Catholics,
we have to be like rabbits.
No. Responsible paternity- that is clear.”

Pope responsible paternity quote WB

Pope Francis on the plane

 

- Next are the Pope’s conflicting paradigms. He clearly sees the “ravages” of both environmental and social impacts caused by unconstrained population growth. Yet modern contraception and abortion are forbidden! We will not solve the climate problem if numbers of people keep growing. – Editor

Polluting the planet is a betrayal of God, says Pope Francis

In comments made to reporters on board his flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, Pope Francis said that the “majority” of climate change is man’s fault, and that he had been disappointed at the political response in Lima.
Article
and

Pope: ‘Catholics do not have to be like rabbits’

Pope Francis has supported the right of parents to choose the size of their families, saying good Roman Catholics did not have to keep having children. He told reporters on his flight home from the Philippines that the church supported safe, responsible parenthood.
BBC News
Follow-up

climatedenierCatholicsWBPope Francis Says Humans Cause Climate Change. These Catholic Members Of Congress Disagree

Thirty-five of those members of Congress are self-identifying Catholics, 12 of whom have used the tenets of Catholicism to justify certain policy positions.
Article

 

 

49 pc of U S Senate just voted against basic climate science

It’s pretty sad what hundreds of millions of dollars in oil money will do to a democracy. Maybe a vote on gravity is next?
Facebook 

Senate49agntclchWB

New Senate Environment Chair Gets His Gavel, Goes On Rant Arguing Climate Science Is A Hoax

Wednesday was a big day for Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK). In the morning, he officially took the gavel as chairman of the Senate’s Environment Committee. In the afternoon, he took the Senate floor for a long speech about how human-caused climate change is fake.
Article
but
- Of course, Sen. Inhofe is from Oklahoma, where fracking for fossil fuels is worrying Oklahomans because of “incredible surges” of earthquakes! Wind and solar should be viewed as a blessing for this one reason alone- no creating unstable, quaking ground! – Editor

Vestas Signs On To 298 MW Oklahoma Wind Project

Danish wind energy juggernaut Vestas Wind Systems has announced it will be providing 149 wind turbines to the Kingfisher Wind project in Oklahoma.
Article

 

- With solar and wind zooming forward, storage and 24/7 power are becoming more pivotal. Here’s one intriguing new system for 24/7 power generation! So many cities need to work on their pipes anyway, this could be invaluable! Get your city to review this! - Editor

electricityfromwaterpipesWBPortland Now Generating Hydropower In Its Water Pipes

A Portland start-up has tapped the city’s water pipes as a new source of renewable hydropower that doesn’t disrupt fish migration or stream flows. Lucid Energy has installed a series of small hydroelectric generators inside a pipe that carries drinking water to the city. It’s the first of its kind in the country. Lucid Energy CEO Gregg Semler said his company’s in-pipe system offers a way to generate hydropower without environmental impacts. Plus, he said, it’s constant – unlike solar and wind energy. The Lucid system taps the power of gravity in the city’s water system. “There’s a huge amount of potential for this,” he said. The company is already working on possible projects in California, Arizona and Las Vegas.
Article
For an encouraging 2 minute video

 

SIGN OF INSANITY

(London’s) Financial Times Stock Exchange’s 100 chief executives had surpassed
the average employees wage by their second day at work this year.
Article

 

- Social justice is related to climate change. Power in the hands of a few who make addictive amounts of money from fossil fuels and other obsolete destroyers clearly isn’t working! – Editor

Richest 1% on track to own more than all the rest by 2016

Global inequality has been labelled as “simply staggering” after it was revealed that the wealthiest 1% is set to own more than the rest of the population combined by 2016. A report published by charity Oxfam, entitled Wealth: Having it all and wanting more, found that the wealth gap is continuing to widen, despite the issue rising up the global agenda. The study has been released to coincide with the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Article
For the report

 

- Every time it gets cold, climate deniers say “See?” This simple graphic shows why our air temperatures have not risen as much as some expected- it is the oceans that are taking in the most energy. Definitely serious because some feel there might be ways to get CO2 out of the atmosphere, but no way to get it out of the oceans! – Editor

oceanholds90percentWB

The oceans are warming so fast, they keep breaking scientists’ charts

NOAAChartWBGlobal warming is properly viewed as the amount of heat contained within the Earth’s energy system. The energy stored within the ocean (which is 90% or more of the total “global warming” heat), increased significantly. We can now say that the 2014 Earth had more heat (thermal energy) than any year ever recorded by humans. We can also say that the folks at NOAA will likely have to rescale their graph to capture the new numbers.
Guardian article
For the image, go to slide 2
For general audience article

- Many corporations are making commitments and claims about reducing environmental impacts. Measuring emissions is critical but needs accuracy and consistency. These new standards are key to comparing corporations and really understanding progress. Send this report to corporations! – Editor

For corporations- The new GHG Protocol- What you need to report now

GHGProtocolsScope2GuidanceWBBusinesses consume half of all the electricity produced, and generation of electricity, steam, heating and cooling accounts for 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. But an increasing number of companies are supplanting the energy purchased from nearby utilities with purchases of more solidly renewable sources. Given that the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard is used by most large companies the world over, with 86 percent of Fortune 500 companies responding to a Climate Disclosure Project survey about emissions using the GHG Protocol to report them, it’s likely to have a big impact
To standardize greenhouse gas emissions, the World Resources Institute released an updated Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard. The new GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance covers electricity purchases of various stripes.
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We are seeing the accelerated impact of climate change. Last year was the hottest on record. That matters. Extreme weather is real.
It’s a complete no brainer to move towards cleaner, more livable cities.
The key is coming up with a vision of
how we are going to finance mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
If we can find ways of being creative, particularly on funding,
we are more likely to find agreement.”
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Jim Kim, president of the World Bank

Davos 2015: World Bank chief makes climate action plea

The president of the World Bank has urged the international community to help developing nations cope with a warming planet as the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos was dominated by calls to make 2015 a year of action on climate change.
Al Gore launched an initiative to get the world’s population behind climate change ahead of crucial United Nation talks scheduled to begin in November by teaming up with pop star Pharrell Williams. A 24-hour-long live music extravaganza is to be held in June.
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Al Gore and Pharrell Williams at Davos 2015- When I first felt how powerful Pharrell’s song Happy was (it’s hard to sit still), I immediately asked why we didn’t have music and popular icons as a powerful tool to grasp the hearts of the public on climate change. Looks like stiff Gore got the idea of using this upbeat cultural icon to reach those who bogey rather than dive into scientific reports. YES! Smart move! Bring on the singers, artists, pop stars of all genres to get people moving on stopping emissions and living the new life! – Editor
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Transforming the way the world feeds itself
“One acre of lettuce in California requires about 190 million gallons of water to bring it to market.
If you grow that hydroponically or aquaponically, you could save about 163 million gallons of water.
If you multiplied that out across the state’s production of lettuce,
this one step would solve the state’s water crisis.
Traditional food production right now is a leading cause of climate change
and a leading cause of habitat destruction.
We simply can’t keep doing it this way and feed more people.
The leading cause of habitat destruction is expanding agricultural needs. ”
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Bill Toone
Ecolife Conservation Foundation
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As water becomes less available and weather more extreme, the safest food supply can be the one requiring little water and protected indoors that you can also walk to. Every city needs large, productive urban ag programs, for both emissions reductions and adaptation- being prepared when, for example, California stops sending enough vegies in because their water has run out!The price of California vegies does nothing but get more and more expensive. – Editor