Ohio and Colorado Voters Adopt Community Bills of Rights

- Millions of Americans are beginning to realize that their rights as citizens in their own communities are shockingly minimal, with corporate infringement growing daily. Fracking, with its destruction of water supplies, is one big example. These Democracy Schools teach citizens how to better maneuver to enact a Community Bill of Rights. This burgeoning movement could make both a real improvement in your community’s health while also contributing to solving the climate problem. – Editor

Democracy School Community Bill of Rights

Democracy Schools
The Daniel Pennock Democracy Schools are a key piece of our community organizing.  Named for a boy in Pennsylvania who died after exposure to sewage sludge, the Democracy Schools are one to three-day intensive seminars that examine how communities across the U.S. are beginning to assert local control to protect the rights of their residents, their communities, and nature.
- Here are examples of how two communities are working to protect their environment. This takes time, so get organized before a crisis hits. Check the website to see what’s going on in your area. – Editor

On Election Day, voters in an Ohio and a Colorado community enacted Community Bills of Rights to  secure the right to local self-government and to protect the right to clean air, pure water, and the rights of ecosystems to exist and flourish. By a margin of 70.56%, voters in Oberlin, OH, approved their citizen-initiated ordinance. In Lafayette, CO, where citizens petitioned to amend their city home rule charter, the winning margin was 60.16%.

Germany Solar PV Report A Must-Read

- This report gleans good news about the power of solar in Germany where solar has become so pervasive. – Editor

What’s really needed is to cut slow, inflexible, baseload power from coal and nuclear power plants in order to move.
For the report-

David Suzuki issues ominous warning for damaged Fukushima plant

- It’s tempting to hope that nuclear power will save the day. The latest information on Fukushima is profoundly disturbing. If there is any problem moving the highly radioactive rods, far more radiation will escape, causing massive irreparable damage. The problem has not even begun to be solved. – Editor

There are things that are important enough that you don’t tolerate any risk.
Risk estimates don’t work for rare but catastrophic events.

Dr. David Schindler, University of Alberta’s highly acclaimed scientist
Fukushima is the most terrifying situation I can imagine.
Dr. David Suzuki, renowned scientist and host of The Nature of Things
Fukushima warning Suzuki and Schindler
Do watch the short 4 minute video-

David Suzuki has issued an ominous warning about the state of Fukushima’s nuclear power plant.
“Three out of the four plants were destroyed in the earthquake and in the tsunami. The fourth one has been so badly damaged that the fear is, if there’s another earthquake of a seven or above that, that building will go and then all hell breaks loose. And the probability of a seven or above earthquake in the next three years is over 95 per cent,” Suzuki said.
He added that a recent study found another earthquake could require evacuation of the entire North American coast ” and as for Japan ” “bye bye,” Suzuki said.
For video on Youtube-
Also- Radiation from Japan nuclear plant arrives on Alaska coast
Is the food supply safe? I don’t think anyone can really answer that definitively.

Elevated radiation claimed at Tokyo 2020 Olympic venues Citizens’ group carries

We found caesium-137 at almost every place we carried out tests,
and there was no caesium here before the accident at Fukushima
Mitsuo Tanaka, activist with
Citizens’ Group for Measuring Radioactive Environment at Facilities for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

- Were the lies about how safe the Fukushima situation is believed when Tokyo was selected to host the 2020 Summer Olympics? Wishful thinking doesn’t keep people healthy. My Japanese friend with family in Tokyo has seen their health weakening since Fukushima blew, deeply worrying her. – Editor

radioactive land in Tokyo

A citizens’ group in Tokyo has found elevated levels of radioactivity at sporting facilities that will be used in the 2020 Olympic Games and is warning that competitors and the hundreds of thousands of people expected to flock to the city for the event will be putting themselves in danger.
We believe the money spent on having the Games in Tokyo should have been spent on helping the 80,000 people who have had to leave their homes close to the Fukushima plant.”
For the citizens group-
Radiation fears spread to Tokyo drinking water
Japan readies additional $30 billion for Fukushima cleanup

No one knows where to put radioactive waste, and we never will.
Dr Helen Caldicott
Dr. Helen Caldicott

Revolt and Change Our Lives


I have long been leery of politicians. But now local politicians are coming to us.
They know change needs to happen- really big change- but to do it, they need constituents
to ask for it and to give it rational, calculated, steady support.

Joanne Poyourow TransitionUS
Joanne Poyourow, TransitionUS in Los Angeles

- In preparation for the United Nation’s climate meeting in Warsaw next week, four  very, very dire reports have been prepared. Political commitment to radically cut emissions is desperately needed, yet we are disappointed over and over again by wishy-washy words, with no real action. Emissions are actually rising, not falling!
Many are now advocating street action, which provides pieces of the puzzle. But here is another point, not in contradiction but in addition. Where are the models to point to as solutions? Will politicians commit to plans to redesign society if there are no living models of what that looks like?  We need every action, but personal and community examples are the light that other actions can point to. – Editor

So once the protestors have stopped the drilling and the pipelines, who’s going to teach citizens the ways of an oil-free lifestyle? Right now we don’t have powerdown infrastructure in place. Once the protesters have slowed the conventional economic machine, what will we have left? We need to have a new economy in place. And somebody’s got to build it.

Joanna Macy sagely reminds us that there are three paths of action to help further The Great Turning.  Macy’s first is Stopping Action, stopping further destruction.
Macy’s second type of action is Creating New Structures, creating that which will be in place to replace the old.
Macy’s third type of action to help further The Great Turning: Change in Consciousness. Joanna Macy describes this as changing the stories we tell each other, our cultural stories, our inner stories. Redefining who we are, and how humanity fits into the cycles of this small planet.
For TransitionUS-

The Great Turning

- I have spent an amazing day in a workshop with Joanna Macy, and if we could get our political leaders to do this, so many of the barriers stuck in people’s brains would dissolve into this deeper consciousness. What if all the delegates in Warsaw had attended The Great Turning workshop? We need to ask ourselves if this profound consciousness isn’t, indeed, the FIRST step, rather than the third. And if so, how do we achieve it? - Editor

Joanna Macy

The Great Turning is a name for the essential adventure of our time: the shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization.
The ecological and social crises we face are inflamed by an economic system dependent on accelerating growth. This self-destructing political economy sets its goals and measures its performance in terms of ever-increasing corporate profits- in other words by how fast materials can be extracted from Earth and turned into consumer products, weapons, and waste.
A revolution is underway because people are realizing that our needs can be met without destroying our world.
Three Dimensions of the Great Turning
1. Actions to slow the damage to Earth and its beings
2. Analysis of structural causes and the creation of structural alternatives
3. Shift in Consciousness

Climate Talks in Poland Will Open Amid Flurry of New Scientific Warnings

It is not tomorrow. It is not the day after tomorrow.
Now is the time, and
Warsaw needs to show that we have understood that now is the time

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN convention
Warsaw building for climate meetings 2013

As delegates from around the world descend on Warsaw for talks toward a new climate treaty, scientists are issuing more and more dire warnings that time is running out to avoid dangerous global warming.
In the past week, several new reports echoed the common theme that urgent action is required to reverse emission trends. Otherwise, greenhouse gas accumulations will surely break through the threshold that scientists say will lock in unacceptable warming”with the attendant droughts, floods, storms, sea rise and damage to ecosystems.
The negotiations, under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, seek to achieve a binding treaty in Paris in 2015 that will put the world on course to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. Decisions in Warsaw and actions in 2014 are considered crucial to achieving any such treaty. But few would contend that the world’s emissions trend can be readily reversed.
For information on the conference-

Amount of greenhouse gases in atmosphere reach record high, says UN agency

We need to act now, otherwise we will jeopardize the future of
our children, grandchildren and many future generations.
Time is not on our side.
This year is worse than last year, 2011. 2011 was worse than 2010.
Every passing year makes the situation somewhat more difficult to handle,
it makes it more challenging to stay under this symbolic 2 degree global average.
If the world pursues its “business as usual” trajectory,
it will probably hit the 2 degree mark in the middle of the century.”

Michel Jarraud, WMO Secretary-General
Michel Jarraud, WMO Secretary-General

- Two  of the new U.N. reports have come out- one giving us how much greenhouse gases are in our atmosphere, reported by the World Meteorological Organization. The other is by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) documenting how much of a gap there is in controlling world GHG emissions. – Editor

Greenhouse Gas Bulletin WMO

The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2012, continuing an upward trend which is driving climate change and which will shape the future of the planet for hundreds and thousands of years, according to the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The agency’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin shows that between 1990 and 2012, there was a 32 per cent increase in radiative forcing “ the warming effect on the climate “ because of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping long-lived gases such as methane and nitrous oxide. The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reports on atmospheric concentrations “ and not emissions “ of greenhouse gases. Emissions represent what goes into the atmosphere, the agency pointed out. Concentrations represent what remains in the atmosphere after the complex system of interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere and the oceans.

Emissions Gap Report

At the same time, the Emissions Gap Report 2013, involving 44 scientific groups coordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), urges wide-ranging global action to close the emissions gap. If the international community fails to take action, the report warned, the chances of remaining on the least-cost path to keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius this century will quickly diminish and open the door to a range of challenges.
The Emissions Gap Report 2013
The Copenhagen Accord called on parties to the UNFCCC to submit voluntary emission reduction pledges for the year 2020. But are the pledges for 2020 enough to keep the world on track to meet the 2°C target? Or will there be a gap between ambition and reality? This report highlights that there is a gap and suggests options for bridging it.
The atmospheric increase of CO2 from 2011 to 2012 is higher than the average growth rate over the past 10 years. As it becomes less and less likely that the emissions gap will be closed by 2020, the world will have to rely on more difficult, costlier and riskier means after 2020 of keeping the global average temperature increase below 2° C.

Hopes for Strong 2015 Climate Deal Fade, as Risks Grow

U.N. climate talks, with senior officials and environment ministers from almost 200 nations in Warsaw on November 11- 22, will be the first meeting since the U.N.’s panel of climate scientists, the main guide for government action, in September raised the probability that climate change is mainly man-made to 95 percent from 90 and said that “substantial and sustained” cuts in emissions were needed.

A leaked draft of a second report by the panel, due in March 2014, suggests climate change will cause heat waves, droughts, disrupt crop growth, aggravate poverty and expose hundreds of millions of people to coastal floods as seas rise.
For a list of Twitters covering the talks in Warsaw-

Climate Change 2013 The Physical Science Basis- Summary for Policymakers

For the IPCC report that was approved in September, and will not be totally official until January, 2014-  Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis- Summary for Policymakers
AND this important report was leaked, and will be covered later in Climate Today.
Global food supply at severe risk from climate change, warns leaked study by UN-created panel
For the draft of the leaked report Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability- Summary for Policy Makers-

Anti-fracking measures win in (3 Colorado towns)

fracking near home

Aversion to the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing became apparent Tuesday as residents in three cities along the Front Range voted to put a halt to the energy extraction method within their borders. Cliff Willmeng, who led the fight against fracking in Lafayette, said “The voters are saying that they don’t buy the idea that corporate interests are superior to public health, property values, quality of life and democratic self-determination.” Bans on hydraulic fracturing proliferated this year as drilling activity continued to creep closer to residential areas throughout the state. Fracking opponents have been heavily outspent.
More Than 15 Million Americans Now Live Within One Mile Of A Fracking Well
The natural gas boom has led to an unprecedented industrialization of many Americans’ backyards, an analysis from the Wall Street Journal has found. At least 15.3 million Americans have a natural gas well within one mile of their home that has been drilled since 2000. It’s not surprising that many towns and cities are concerned about the dangers of fracking. Fracking has been tied to a range of health effects in people and livestock, and it also greatly increases truck traffic around wellsites, leading to an increase of noise and fumes.