NICK GOTTLIEB – Ecuador just showed the world what it means to take climate change, biodiversity loss, and Indigenous sovereignty seriously, all with one national referendum, and at significant cost in a country wrestling with the challenging reality of being a resource producer in the Global South.
REYNARD LOKI – In September 2022, climate journalist and native Oregonian Emma Pattee wrote in the New York Times that “[c]limate scientists estimate that the frequency of large wildfires could increase by over 30 percent in the next 30 years and over 50 percent in the next 80 years, thanks in large part to drought and extreme heat caused by climate change.” That is a frightening prospect not just for humans but for the countless nonhuman animals with whom we share this planet.
CHARLIE WOOD – Bringing more people into the climate struggle starts with transforming movement culture and opening diverse paths to entry.
TOM CONWAY – Workers at Blue Bird Corporation in Fort Valley, Georgia, launched a union drive to secure better wages, work-life balance, and a voice on the job. The company resisted them. History defied them. Geography worked against them. But they stood together, believed in themselves, and achieved a historic victory that’s reverberating throughout the South.
RIVERA SUN – Nature’s way of correcting itself right now is embodied by the students walking out of school on Fridays, pleading with older generations to take action to ensure their future. Nature is correcting itself through climate scientists publishing well-documented facts about this crisis. Or through activists blocking pipelines or pushing universities and retirement funds to divest from fossil fuels. Earth is speaking through city councils declaring climate emergencies, churches switching to solar and wind, businesses cleaning up their act, and much more.
CHARLIE WOOD – By prioritizing large-scale climate responses we might be missing out on the kind of bottom-up solutions most aligned with bringing the world back within its limits.
PAUL ENGLER – Music is making a comeback in movement spaces, as organizers rediscover how song culture strengthens the capacity to create social change.
RICHARD HEINBERG – We need a realistic plan for energy descent, instead of foolish dreams of eternal consumer abundance by means other than fossil fuels. Currently, politically rooted insistence on continued economic growth is discouraging truth-telling and serious planning for how to live well with less.
CHARLIE WOOD – Climate activists can start to build a stronger culture of care by taking burnout seriously and understanding its root causes.
BILL MCKIBBEN – For decades now, when asked about the point of one climate protest or another, I’ve usually said something to the effect of: we fight to change the zeitgeist, people’s sense of what is normal and natural and obvious. Yes, we fight to block this pipeline or divest that pension fund, and each of those is important: but they add up to something more, a slowly moving weight that eventually shifts from one side to the other. That’s what happened last night when Joe Manchin caved. Now the Senate finally—for the first time in more than three decades—seems set to pass actual serious climate legislation.
SONALI KOLHATKAR – Billionaires and the politicians who enable their wealth gathered for several days at a luxury resort in Switzerland to offer their puzzled concerns about why they keep getting richer at everyone else’s expense.
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.