ELLIOT NEGIN – For more than two decades, Koch-controlled foundations spent more than $160 million to stymie government action on climate change
PAUL GUNTER and LINDA PENTZ GUNTER – The near disaster at Europeâ€™s largest nuclear power plant shows why activists fought for decades to end these risks â€” and why mass action is needed once again.
BRIAN TERRELL – NATO boasts of â€œSteadfast Noon,â€ betraying the arrogant conviction of the Allied Heads of State and Government that despite a â€œdeteriorating security environment,â€ through annual displays of brute force and profligate waste of fossil fuel, the darkness can be held at bay forever and the exploiters of the earth and its people will bask in the everlasting light of noon. The scholars at The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists who have kept a â€œDoomsday Clockâ€ since 1947, propose instead that the planet is actually closer to midnight, the hypothetical global catastrophe. The Bulletinâ€™s Clock is now at 100 seconds before midnight and humanity is closer to its destruction than ever before, because “the dangerous rivalry and hostility among the superpowers increases the likelihood of nuclear blunder… Climate change just compounds the crisis.â€
SONALI KOLHATKAR – A better takeaway from our current economic situation is that there is nothing natural about being at the mercy and whims of an economy designed by corporate profiteers for corporate profiteers.
APRIL M. SHORT – The free access event, Festival of What Works (November 2-7), highlighted solutions for communities to adopt.
NICK ENGELFRIED – Simply teaching kids about the science of the climate crisis isnâ€™t enough. To prevent feelings of disempowerment, they need to see how they can make a meaningful impact.
MICHAEL CARRIGAN and PETER BERGEL – Our country continues to expend nearly half its discretionary budget on its military might. That leaves only half for everything else. The perennial explanation given to defend this lopsided priority is that the military guards our national security. If only that were true!
MARK ENGLER and PAUL ENGLER – The importance of grassroots organizing is still being underestimated.
REBECCA SOLNIT – While Covid ravaged across the world, air pollution killed about three times as many people. We must fight the climate crisis with the same urgency with which we confronted coronavirus.
RIVERA SUN – If a conservative Kansas grain farmer and a potato-picking farm girl from Maine can see eye-to-eye on the climate crisis, maybe thereâ€™s hope for the rest of the country. The future of humanity depends on it.
BARBARA PETERSON – The Strike Down Coal campaign provides a COVID-safe form of disobedience, building on more than a year of direct actions to shut down Merrimack Station. Activists protest the continued burning of coal in New England by refusing to pay utility bills, and mailing coal to the utility company instead. (Facebook/No Coal No Gas)
JOHN EAGLE SR. – â€œOur experience is that the U.S. does not honor the treaties of their grandfathers,â€ writes the Standing Rock Sioux Tribeâ€™s historic preservation officer.
FRIDA BERRIGAN – Forty years ago, the Plowshares Eight sparked a movement of nuclear disarmers that continues to take responsibility for weapons of mass destruction.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Although there is not much time left before the world succumbs to one or more catastrophes, human beings have been able to alter their behavior and institutions. Letâ€™s hope they will rouse themselves and do so again.
CAM FENTON – All around the globe, governments are starting to move forward with reopening plans that lift some degree of COVID-19 social distancing. With that comes talk of recovery and rebuilding. While some of the attention is on green stimulus and a range of progressive demands for just and equitable recoveries, the only way we can win any such advances is through movements that are prepared to take on the fight.
GEORGE LAKEY – People trust a system that reliably supports security, solidarity and individual freedom to make major life choices. They learn that trust â€” or donâ€™t â€” through how well the system comes through for them. The contrast between Nordics and Americans these days reveals their contrasting systems.
ARNIE ALPERT – While New Hampshire seeks to prosecute #NoCoalNoGas campaigners for â€œbad behavior,â€ activists continue their struggle against the regionâ€™s worst offender.
SARAH FREEMAN-WOOLPERT and ARNIE ALPERT – By escalating from symbolic actions to obstruction, the #NoCoalNoGas campaign is mounting a serious challenge to the fossil fuel industry with a growing network of climate activists.
NICK ENGELFRIED – It began as a call to action from a group of youth activists scattered across the globe, and soon became what is shaping up to be the largest planet-wide protest for the climate the world has ever seen. The Global Climate Strike is the result of a whole new generation taking bold action and could be the turning point for grassroots resistance to fossil fuels.
NORMAN SOLOMON – Bernie Sanders wrapped up a weekend campaign swing through California with a Sunday afternoon speech to 16,000 of us a few miles from the Golden Gate Bridge. News coverage seemed unlikely to convey much about the event. The multiracial crowd reflected the latest polling that shows great diversity of support for Bernie, contrary to corporate media spin. High energy for basic social change was in the air.
GEORGE LAKEY – The growth of white supremacy and fascism has been noticeable in a number of countries lately, prompting the question: What can we learn from each other? Each country might find â€œbest practicesâ€ elsewhere that could be applied at home, in addition to learning from its own past successes.
NORMAN SOLOMON – In the obvious contrasts with Kamala Harris and in the less obvious yet significant contrasts with Elizabeth Warren on matters of economic justice as well as on foreign policy, Bernie Sanders represents a different approach to the root causes of — and possible solutions to — extreme economic inequality, systemic injustice and a dire shortage of democracy.
KATE ARONOFF – Democratic socialism will be defined by what its most public adherentsâ€”people like Sanders, Tlaib, and Ocasio-Cortezâ€”are able to accomplish once they have the opportunity. At least in the short term, turning their ambitious bills into law will mean prying open the Overton window in policy debates to accommodate what might elsewhere be considered fairly basic social-democratic demands. But with just 12 years left to prevent a total climate catastrophe, time is a luxury that progressives simply donâ€™t have.
PAUL STREET – Given the current state and rate of environmental destruction, the continuing advance in the destructive power of nuclear weapons systems, and the likelihood of pandemics in a warmer and more globalized world, there are good reasons to wonder if a human civilization with historians will exist a century from today. We may well be standing near the â€œend of history,â€ and not the glorious bourgeois-democratic one that Francis Fukuyama imagined with the end of the Cold War.
EMILY JOHNSTON – Itâ€™s such an astonishing honor to live in this moment, knowing that we probably still have the power to set the world back onto a stable path, and thereby make life better, or at least possible, for countless people and other beings. I cannot imagine anything more meaningful. Uncertainty is possibility. In the uncertainty before us, in the sacrifices and joy of our connections with each other and every living thing, we have been given overwhelming abundance. In this darkness, we have begun our real journey.
CAM FENTON – As climate activists prepare to stop a tar sands pipeline in British Columbia, history offers an important lesson on fighting a restrained and measured opponent.
MARK WILLACY – Rising seas caused by climate change are seeping inside a United States nuclear waste dump on a remote and low-lying Pacific atoll, flushing out radioactive substances left behind from some of the worldâ€™s largest atomic weapons tests.
THE REAL DEAL (South Florida Real Estate News) – Credit rating agency Moodyâ€™s Investor Services Inc. warns that it may downgrade the ratings of U.S. states and cities that fail to prepare for the impact of climate change.
FODAY DARBOE – Violence is a profound threat and it is likely exacerbated by climate chaos. Global warming as an important effect on civil conflicts has been recently debated by many scholars and policymakers. Scholars from backgrounds as diverse as economics, climate science, peace studies, and political science have explored the adverse effects of climate change and ecological changes on civil conflicts.
ANDREW RESTUCCIA – President Donald Trumpâ€™s abrupt turnaround on U.S. climate policy is fueling tension with several of Americaâ€™s closest allies, which are resisting the administrationâ€™s demands that they support a bigger role for nuclear power and fossil fuels in the worldâ€™s energy supply.
LAURA PARKER – A pioneering lawsuit against the U.S. government on global warming won the right to a trial. Now Trump wants an appeals court to cancel it.
ALEX STEFFEN- You canâ€™t understand what Trumpâ€™s doing to America without understanding the â€œCarbon Bubble.â€
DAVID SUZUKI – Recent events in Canada have shown not only that change is possible, but that people wonâ€™t stand for having corporate interests put before their own.
ROBERT F. DODGE, M.D. – The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has just announced its latest nuclear Doomsday Clock moving ahead the minute hand to three minutes till midnight. The clock represents the count down to zero in minutes to nuclear apocalypse – midnight. This significant move of two minutes is the 22nd time since its inception in 1947 that the time has been changed.
DEIRDRE FULTON – ‘As the world increasingly limits carbon emissions, and moves to alternative energy sources, investments in fossil fuels…may take a huge hit,’ predicts one of Europe’s oldest banks
EVAN J. MANDERY – Climate change is our eraâ€™s defining challenge, but most of Americaâ€™s universities are planning to sit this one out. Though students and faculty members at more than 400 colleges have called for administrators to divest from fossil-fuel energy companies, fewer than 20 have committed to doing so. Stanford recently divested from coal, but none of the other schools had endowments within the 150 largest in 2013.
NAOMI KLEIN – Once every five or 10 years, Naomi Klein publishes a book that changes the way we see things. With No Logo, published in 1999, she explored corporate power in a globalized world and the movements springing up to resist it. The Shock Doctrine, published in 2007, showed how governments collude with big corporations to take advantage of natural and human-made disasters to push through deeply unpopular change.Her newest book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate is another transformational book.
DEIRDRE SMITH – It was not hard for me to make the connection between the tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri, and the catalyst for my work to stop the climate crisis.
GLEN MARTIN – A Stanford University professor’s calculations indicate that wildfires and other types of fires involving plant matter play a much bigger role in climate change and human health than previously thought. It has long been known that biomass burning — burning forests to create agricultural lands, burning savannah as a ritual , slash-and-burn agriculture and wildfires — figures into both climate change and public health. But until the release of a new study by Stanford University Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Mark Z. Jacobson, the degree of that contribution had never been comprehensively quantified.
REGISTER-GUARD EDITORIAL – Eugene city councilors can find plenty of excuses Monday to walk away from an ordinance committing the city to an aggressive strategy for reducing local contributions to climate change. Amid the hubbub over a proposed paid sick leave law, an abdication of leadership on climate change might be little noticed. But the council should reject all excuses and approve the ordinance.
OZZIE ZEHNER – Every day, the news about climate change and the harms that are sure to accompany it gets worse and worse. To many environmentalists, the answer is simple: power shift. That is, shift from fossil fuels to clean, green, renewable, alternative energy. Well-meaning concerned citizens and activists have jumped on the bandwagon. The problem with this simple solution: Things arenâ€™t as simple as they seem.
TOM ZELLER JR – If his goal was to capture attention by tweaking the nose of clean-energy enthusiasts everywhere, Ozzie Zehner might well have succeeded. His new book, published last month and provocatively titled “Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism,” takes on what Zehner considers the sacred cows of the green movement: solar power, wind power and electric vehicles, among others.
GEORGE MONBIOT – To succeed is to destroy ourselves. To fail is to destroy ourselves. That is the bind we have created. Ignore if you must climate change, biodiversity collapse, the depletion of water, soil, minerals, oil; even if all these issues were miraculously to vanish, the mathematics of compound growth make continuity impossible. Economic growth is an artifact of the use of fossil fuels.
WINSLOW MYERS – The two-in-one of climate change and nuclear abolition is not something to be addressed after supposedly more immediate brush-fires are extinguished; by viewing it instead as a single challenge, an opportunity for cooperative prevention based in planetary self-interest, success will become a model for resolving more local conflicts without violence.
K.C. GOLDEN – Having aligned myself against a battalion of seemingly irresistible forces over the years, I’ve become a student of “inevitability.” How do environmentally destructive choices become inevitable? Near as I can tell, it starts when the people who will benefit from these choices simply begin to assert their inevitability. We’re especially receptive to inevitability right now.
SEAN MCELWEE – Both last month’s Senate Climate Talkathon and Tom Steyerâ€™s $100 million dollar pledge to back environment-friendly candidates indicate the same thing: Democrats are getting serious about global warming again. But even when Democrats have managed to close ranks behind previous legislative efforts like Waxman-Markey, Republicans have stymied them. Can the left forge a coalition to tackle the problem?
GOVERNOR JOHN KITZHABER – The future for Oregon and the West Coast does not lie in nineteenth century energy sources. The 21st century will mark the transition to clean energy sources, and the regions that lead this transition will be the places where our families will find the jobs of the future. I intend that this will be one such region.
KEN MCCORMACK – For Earth Day, April 22, letâ€™s vow to take responsibility. Our careless behavior has changed Earth much faster than predicted. We are living through a global crisis, and the United States is largely responsible. There are good economic reasons, of course, to deny what has happened. ExxonMobil is recording higher profits than ever. Expensive disinformation campaigns are spreading doubt. Governments and corporations are urging â€œmore growth.â€ That is, â€œmore for us!â€ But in our hearts we know. Endless growth is impossible, and its pursuit is immoral.
REBECCA SOLNIT – If you’re poor, the only way you’re likely to injure someone is the old traditional way: artisanal violence, we could call it â€“ by hands, by knife, by club, or maybe modern hands-on violence, by gun or by car. But if you’re tremendously wealthy, you can practice industrial-scale violence without any manual labor on your own part.
ALAN NEUHAUSER – Hundreds of evangelical Christians gathered across the country Thursday for a â€œDay of Prayer and Actionâ€ on climate change. The event, made up of vigils, speeches and discussions, was part of a weeklong series being held on 20 Christian college campuses this week, all geared toward spurring churches and local communities to reduce harmful carbon emissions, educate local residents about the effects of climate change, and fight the rise of temperatures and greenhouse gases worldwide.
TIM DONOVAN – The world as we know it is ending, and the indifference by Americans, politicians and mainstream press is maddening.