ACTION: JOIN Global Divestment Day Friday and Saturday
The 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.
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
“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!”
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
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.
“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.”
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.
– 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.
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?
Governments 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.
“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.”
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
Maine 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.
For the report
- 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?
Low 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.
– 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!
The 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.
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
Here 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.
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