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.
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.
NAOMI KLEIN – What does #BlackLivesMatter, and the unshakable moral principle that it represents, have to do with climate change? Everything.
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.
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.
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.
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.
LISA F. FRIEDMAN – The Obama administration is quietly working on new greenhouse gas emissions targets to deliver to the United Nations, even as it struggles to craft regulations that will enable the United States to meet its current carbon-cutting goals.
ERIC HOLTHAUS – So itâ€™s come to this. Last year, a researcher presented a paper on climate change at the American Geophysical Unionâ€™s meeting entitled â€Is Earth F**ked?â€ which advocated â€œenvironmental direct action, resistance taken from outside the dominant culture, as in protests, blockades and sabotage by indigenous peoples, workers, anarchists and other activist groups.â€
KENT D. SHIFFERD – There are other ways to make electricity, namely solar, wind, geothermal, and hydro dams, and there is always conservation. Why would anyone in their right mind risk going nuclear as a way to deal with global warming?
KEVIN ANDERSON and ALICE BOWS-LARKIN, interviewed by AMY GOODMAN – A pair of climate scientists are calling for what some may view as a shocking solution to the global warming crisis: a rethinking of the economic order in the United States and other industrialized nations. Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows-Larkin of the influential Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in England say many of the solutions proposed by world leaders to prevent “runaway global warming” will not be enough to address the scale of the crisis. They have called for “radical and immediate de-growth strategies in the United States, EU and other wealthy nations.”
JEFFREY RUBIN – Global temperatures are the hottest since the last ice age and the planet is only getting warmer. . . . A warming planet clearly holds profound consequences for us all, but one group that should by paying particular attention are the world’s energy producers.
DAMIAN CARRINGTON – Climate change poses as grave a threat to the UK’s security and economic resilience as terrorism and cyber-attacks, according to a senior military commander who was appointed as William Hague’s climate envoy this year. In his first interview since taking up the post, Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti said climate change was “one of the greatest risks we face in the 21st century,” particularly because it presented a global threat.
EBAN GOODSTEIN – Itâ€™s hot. Itâ€™s going to get hotter. And despite the politics of the moment, extreme weather will eventually drive a national consensus on climate action. What can each of us do to insure we get there soon, rather than too late? There are three answers. The first is to build political power. Elect clean-energy champions at the municipal, state, and national levels who can pass policies enabling a clean-energy revolution. The second is to stop expansion of the global carbon infrastructure. This will cut pollution â€” some â€” but will also build the morally grounded movement that must ultimately drive a strong clean-energy politics. Answer three? Grow the green shoots of the emerging sustainable economy.
ROBIN MCKIE – Sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected, according to data from the first purpose-built satellite launched to study the thickness of the Earth’s polar caps. Preliminary results from the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 probe indicate that 900 cubic kilometres of summer sea ice has disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year.
PETER BERGEL – In my email this morning was a message from one of my favorite organizations, the League of Conservation Voters, that began: â€œWe just won a major victory…”but I have to admit that my reaction was â€œreally?â€
NICKOLAS C. ARGUIMBAU – This is a response to Bill McKibben’s Rolling Stone article, “Warming’s Terrifying New Math: Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe – and that make clear who the real enemy is,” Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math. Bill McKibben has once again put his heart and soul into an attempt to stop global warming. That’s more than most of us can say, and I’m afraid much more than I can say. Remember that. He is, like every living, breathing being on this earth, our friend. The stunningly well-written call to arms has apparently at this time already been read 450,000 times on-line and received 3105 written comments.
JOE ROMM – This heat wave has broken thousands of temperature records. Climate Central reported Satuday, â€œIn many cases, records that had stood since the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s have been equaled or exceeded, and this event is likely to go down in history as one of Americaâ€™s worst.â€
TAMATA STATON, LAURA CARVER & PHILIP CARVER -An economically efficient policy would place a price-adder (tax) on fossil fuels based on their carbon-content. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) has introduced legislation to price carbon emissions — the Save Our Climate Act of 2011, H.R. 3242. Revenue is collected at the point of first sale or import. In the first ten years, the IRS would return 80 percent of the revenue to the public on an equal, per-person basis. The other 20 percent would go toward deficit reduction.
MICHAEL T. KLARE – Welcome to an edgy world where a single incident at an energy â€œchokepointâ€ could set a region aflame, provoking bloody encounters, boosting oil prices, and putting the global economy at risk. With energy demand on the rise and sources of supply dwindling, we are, in fact, entering a new epoch — the Geo-Energy Era — in which disputes over vital resources will dominate world affairs.
TIM RINNE – Skeptics of human-caused climate change unremittingly contend that the science is inconclusive and the debate still is unsettled. The U.S. military, on the other hand, entertains no such doubts.
PAUL LOEB – It seemed like the afterthought in the payroll tax cut extension fight, a small consolation prize to the Republicans on what should have been the easiest of bi-partisan votes. But the two-month clock is now ticking on whether Obama will approve the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada’s environmentally disastrous tar sands. If we want him to make the right decision and deny the permit, maybe it’s time to Occupy Exxon, with creative protests at local Exxon/Mobil stations.
PETER FRUMHOFF AND KERRY EMANUEL – One of us is a Republican, the other a Democrat. We hold different views on many issues. But as scientists, we share a deep conviction that leaders of both parties must speak to the reality and risks of human-caused climate change, and commit themselves to finding bipartisan solutions.
DAVID FOGARTY – A new plan to curb global warming risks becoming a battleground between rich and poor nations and could struggle to get off the ground as negotiators battle over the fate of the ailing Kyoto climate pact.
ANDREW MARSZAL – Coral reefs are on course to become the first ecosystem that human activity will eliminate entirely from the Earth, a leading United Nations scientist claims. He says this event will occur before the end of the present century, which means that there are children already born who will live to see a world without coral.
SCOTT THILL – Scientists have been predicting for years that global warming would produce record-breaking extremes on either side of the thermometer. This past winter, America survived its so-called snowpocalypse, and now that summer has arrived, we’ve got a heat dome.
BILL MCKIBBEN – Ainâ€™t eBay grand? For $10 you can buy a sack of 50 assorted Obama â€™08 buttons, and thatâ€™s what Iâ€™ve been doing. If you look closely, you might see them this weekend on the lapels of some of the global warming protesters holding a sit-in outside the White House.
MARTY ESSEN – As a professional speaker, Iâ€™ve spent much of the past four years performing at colleges across the country. While the subject of my show is rare and interesting wildlife on all seven continents, I also address the effects of global warming.
STEVE CONNOR – Scientists are to end their 20-year reluctance to link climate change with extreme weather â€“ the heavy storms, floods and droughts which often fill news bulletins â€“ as part of a radical departure from a previous equivocal position that many now see as increasingly untenable.
BILL MCKIBBEN – This will be a slightly longer letter than common for the Internet age — it’s serious stuff. The short version is we want you to consider doing something hard: coming to Washington in the hottest and stickiest weeks of the summer and engaging in civil disobedience that will likely get you arrested.
FIONA HARVEY – The world should agree to limit global warming to just 1.5C instead of the current target of 2C, the United Nations’ climate chief has said, in remarks that shocked the governments of developed nations.
EUGENE REGISTER GUARD – The science of climate change is more controversial in the United States than in most other countries â€” skeptics reject the evidence that temperatures are rising due to increased levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases or, if they accept the data that point to global warming, claim that a link to human activity is unproven.
ALEC LOORZ – I am 16 years old. This morning I filed a lawsuit against the United States of America, for allowing money to be more powerful than the survival of my generation, and for making decisions that threaten our right to a safe and healthy planet.
PETER BERGEL – I was among the 800 or so who turned out in Salem, OR on Feb. 26 to support preservation of Wisconsin public employeesâ€™ collective bargaining rights and protest the increasing domination by corporations of our political and economic system. It was one of those heady moments when ordinary people scent the distant fragrance of â€œthe power of the people.â€ With the rest of the crowd, I cheered the speakers, smiled at my fellow demonstrators and agreed with others that something seems to be happening at last.
MARGOT ROOSEVELT – The United Nations has long courted celebrities for its peace-keeping and anti-poverty efforts, from Mia Farrow and Ricky Martin to George Clooney and Angelina Jolie.
It is a mutually beneficial arrangement. Hollywood stars grasp at gravitas; the U.N. pushes for publicity.
Now the beleaguered multi-national agency, fresh from a disappointing round of climate negotiations in Cancun, wants something more concrete: actual story lines in movies, television and social media drawing attention to the dangers of global warming.
PETER BERGEL – On January 31 I met with Representative Kurt Schrader to find out what his attitudes were on several of Oregon PeaceWorksâ€™ issues. Here are the questions I asked him followed by my notes on his answers.
CLIFF BOYER – A great New Yearâ€™s resolution would be to take the 5% Solution pledge to reduce your carbon footprint 5% in 2011. Scientists say that 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the safe limit to support human life on earth. Right now we are at 388 parts per million (check out Bill McKibbenâ€™s web site at www.350.org for more information). The need to act is becoming more urgent every day. We canâ€™t rely on the federal government to address this issue meaningfully anytime soon. It is up to each and every one of us to take the steps necessary to change our behaviors and make conscious and deliberate choices about how we individually impact the environment.
PETER BERGEL — Two days ago, The PeaceWorker published an explanation by Rep Peter DeFazio of his recent votes on funding the war in Afghanistan. This article was encouraging in that it expressed the misgivings many of us have about the war and those prosecuting it. It also explained in a cogent way what the â€œbest thinkingâ€ in liberal Congressional circles is these days concerning how to extricate ourselves from the Vietnam-like mess which the Afghanistan situation has become. At the same time, the article revealed why the peace â€œmovementâ€ needs so desperately to rethink its overall strategy.
LOUISE GRAY — A new climate change report from the Met Office [meteorological and climate change forecasts for the UK and worldwide] and its U.S. equivalent has provided the “greatest evidence we have ever had” that the world is warming. It is the first time a report has brought together all the different ways of measuring changes in the climate. The report brings together the latest temperature readings from the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean
PHYSORG.COM: A new University of California, Davis, study by a top ecological forecaster says it is harder than experts thought to predict when sudden shifts in Earth’s natural systems will occur — a worrisome finding for scientists trying to identify the tipping points that could push climate change into an irreparable global disaster.
BRIEFING REPORTS ON: 1) Federal Debt vs. the Current Deficit; 2) Social Security; 3) The Federal Debt; 4) Obama’s Energy and Global Warming Plans; and 5) Tethered Wind – Emerging but Ignored by the Feds.
TED GLICK: Thereâ€™s a famous quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi: â€œFirst they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.â€ However, according to Wikipedia, it may be that this concept was first expressed by a U.S. labor leader, Nicholas Klein of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, in 1914.
PHIL CARVER: While the outcome of Copenhagen negotiations on limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was disappointing, 2009 saw good progress on restricting emissions.
PETER BERGEL: The government and the Pentagon are right. Our national security is definitely at risk. Afghanistan? Iraq? Al Qaeda? Small potatoes. Yemen? Iran? Even smaller. Nope, the big threats are not military. Nor can they be addressed by the military.
CLIMATE CHANGE: The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will more than wipe out any reduction in carbon from the government’s proposed climate measures …
PETER BERGEL: Helping you and encouraging you to cut your carbon footprint is a major purpose of OPWâ€™s 5% Solution to the Climate Crisis project. In addition to the information provided in this PeaceWorkerâ€™s focus topic articles, you will find a great deal more about this subject on OPWâ€™s website, www.oregonpeaceworks.org. On our homepage, click the 5% Solution link.
PETER BERGEL: On November 9, a delegation organized by Oregon PeaceWorks met with Oregonâ€™s 5th District congressional representative Kurt Schrader. On the agenda were the wars in the Middle East, global warming and health care. The meeting included representatives from OPW, Veterans for Peace, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Fellowship of Reconciliation and Physicians for Social Responsibility.