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Related Scary Tags:
anthropogenic change  ~ climate impacts  ~ carbon emissions  ~ oil issues  ~ capitalist greed  ~ global warming  ~ corporate malfeasance  ~ sustainability  ~ health impacts  ~ renewable energy  ~ smart policy  



Fri, Aug 21, 2015
from NASA-funded report, via the National Post:
March, 2014: The utter collapse of human civilization will be 'difficult to avoid,' NASA funded study says
After running the numbers on a set of four equations representing human society, a team of NASA-funded mathematicians has come to the grim conclusion that the utter collapse of human civilization will be "difficult to avoid." The exact scenario may vary, but in the coming decades humanity is essentially doomed to some variant of "Elites" consuming too much, "resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society." That is, unless civilization is ready for one of two "major policy changes": inequality must be "greatly reduced" or population growth must be "strictly controlled."... The study starts by reducing human civilization into four easy-to-toggle factors: Elites, Commoners, nature and wealth. The paper explains that this was done because "ecological strain" and "economic stratification" are the only two things that consistently plague collapsing societies.... "We could posit that this buffer of wealth ... allows Elites to continue 'business as usual' despite the impending catastrophe," it continues, suggesting that these kind of "oblivious elites" destroyed the Mayans and the Romans. The only two scenarios that do not kill everyone, in fact, are the ones in which birth rates are either strictly controlled or "resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion." ...


What part of "reasonably" didn't we understand, in 2014?

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Jul 10, 2015
from Esquire:
Climatologists' Psyches: When the End of Human Civilization Is Your Day Job
... I wanted to meet Box to find out how this outspoken American is holding up. He has left his country and moved his family to witness and study the melting of Greenland up close. How does being the one to look at the grim facts of climate change most intimately, day in and day out, affect a person? Is Box representative of all of the scientists most directly involved in this defining issue of the new century? How are they being affected by the burden of their chosen work in the face of changes to the earth that could render it a different planet?... Among climate activists, gloom is building. Jim Driscoll of the National Institute for Peer Support just finished a study of a group of longtime activists whose most frequently reported feeling was sadness, followed by fear and anger.... And many scientists now think we're on track to 4 or 5 degrees--even Shell oil said that it anticipates a world 4 degrees hotter because it doesn't see "governments taking the steps now that are consistent with the 2 degrees C scenario." That would mean a world racked by economic and social and environmental collapse. "Oh yeah," Schmidt says, almost casually. "The business-as-usual world that we project is really a totally different planet. There's going to be huge dislocations if that comes about." But things can change much quicker than people think, he says. Look at attitudes on gay marriage. And the glaciers? "The glaciers are going to melt, they're all going to melt," he says.... And the rising oceans? Bangladesh is almost underwater now. Do a hundred million people have to move? "Well, yeah. Under business as usual. But I don't think we're fucked." Resource wars, starvation, mass migrations . . . "Bad things are going to happen. What can you do as a person? You write stories. I do science. You don't run around saying, 'We're fucked! We're fucked! We're fucked!' It doesn't--it doesn't incentivize anybody to do anything." ...


"We're fucked" just isn't scientific.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Jul 1, 2015
from New York Times:
Oklahoma Court Rules Homeowners Can Sue Oil Companies Over Quakes
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that homeowners who have sustained injuries or property damage from rampant earthquakes they say are caused by oil and gas operations can sue for damages in state trial courts, rejecting efforts by the industry to block such lawsuits from being decided by juries and judges. ... ...


Okla-frackin'-homa, you just changed the game!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jun 29, 2015
from Rolling Stone:
What's Killing the Babies of Vernal, Utah?
...an alarming number of babies were dying in Vernal -- at least 10 in 2013 alone, what seemed to her a shockingly high infant mortality rate for such a small town... in Vernal, a town literally built by oil, raising questions about the safety of fracking will brand you a traitor and a target... Suspect One: the extraordinary levels of wintertime pollution plaguing the Basin since the vast new undertaking to frack the region's shale filled the air with toxins. ...


Stillborn: my new band name.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jun 29, 2015
from New York Times:
The Pope's Ecological Vow
...But there is something more profoundly subversive about Laudato Si' than what it says on climate change. On the day it was published, the pope privately told his closest advisers in Rome that the encyclical was not really an environmental document at all. Global warming is merely a symptom of a deeper malaise. Advertisement Continue reading the main story Advertisement Continue reading the main story Advertisement Continue reading the main story The real problem, he insists, is the myopic mentality that has failed to address climate change to date. The rich world's indifference to the despoliation of the environment in pursuit of short-term economic gain is rooted in a wider problem. Market economics has taught us that the world is a resource to be manipulated for our gain. This has led us into unjust and exploitative economic systems that support what Francis calls "a throwaway culture," one that treats not just unwanted things but also unwanted people -- the poor, the elderly and the unborn -- as waste. ...


Let's not throw away this last opportunity to make things right.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jun 29, 2015
from London Guardian:
Dalai Lama tells Glastonbury of the need to speak out on climate change
The Dalai Lama has endorsed the pope's radical message on climate change and called on fellow religious leaders to "speak out about current affairs which affect the future of mankind"... The Dalai Lama, who will turn 80 next Monday, called for more pressure to be put on international governments to stop the burning of fossil fuels and mass deforestation and invest more in green energy sources. ...


I bet we could figure out how to turn love into a renewable energy source.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Jun 10, 2015
from London Guardian:
Record boost in new solar power continues massive industry growth
A record amount of solar power was added to the world's grids in 2014, pushing total cumulative capacity to 100 times the level it was in 2000. Around 40GW of solar power was installed last year, meaning there is now a total of 178GW to meet world electricity demand, prompting renewable energy associations to claim that a tipping point has been reached that will allow rapid acceleration of the technology. ...


Weird. It's as if we have the will to survive.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jun 4, 2015
from Grist:
California Senate candidate: "We're all going to die"
...Barbara Boxer's decision to step down from her Senate seat in 2016 has brought a host of potential contenders for her seat. (California Attorney General Kamala Harris and U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez are believed to be the current frontrunners.) But only one candidate, Beitiks, promises to talk about absolutely nothing but climate change. His campaign photos have captions like, "We're literally going to die" and "Why aren't we all screaming?" ...


"My fellow doomed Americans..."

ApocaDoc
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Tue, May 19, 2015
from Reuters:
Protesters gather in Seattle to block access to Shell oil rig
May 18 About 200 protesters gathered at the Port of Seattle on Monday to block access to a Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig headed for the Arctic this summer to resume exploration for oil and gas reserves... Environmental groups have planned days of demonstrations over Shell's plans, saying drilling in the icy Arctic region, where weather changes rapidly, could lead to a catastrophic spill that would be next to impossible to clean up. They also say drilling would threaten the Arctic's vast layer of sea ice that helps regulate the global temperature and that they say has already been disappearing as a result of global warming. ...


Don't drill, baby, don't drill!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, May 19, 2015
from London Guardian:
Charlize Theron: Mad Max landscape awaits unless we tackle climate change
The actor Charlize Theron, who takes a leading role in the new Mad Max movie as a one-armed warrior driving five sex slaves to safety, has expressed her fears that a bleak future awaits the planet unless global warming is addressed. ...


In this bleak future, commerce will cost us our arms and legs.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, May 19, 2015
from Cedar Rapids Gazette:
Man making pipeline prostitution allegation plays secret recording for reporters
IOWA CITY -- A southeast Iowa landowner claiming a land agent offered him a prostitute in exchange for letting a pipeline cross his property allowed reporters to listen Wednesday to an audio recording he said he secretly made of the conversation.... A voice matching Tweedy's starts by reminding another man, purportedly the agent, of previous talks in which the agent hinted at hiring him a prostitute. The man suggests they go to St. Louis, where he can hire two or three 19-year-old prostitutes for $1,200. The man also mentions an escort service. ...


Puts a whole new twist on "crude" oil pipelines.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, May 19, 2015
from InsideClimate News:
Pennsylvania High School Students Convince School to Divest From Coal
A Pennsylvania high school just made history. George School in Newtown announced April 27 that it would divest its $150 million endowment of holdings in coal mining companies, likely becoming the first secondary school in the nation to join the global movement to rid investment portfolios of fossil fuel stocks. The decision was prompted by a student petition. "I was thrilled that the kids were active and concerned and brought this to the board--and that the board was respectful," said head of school Nancy Starmer. ...


Sounds like twilight for the fossil fuel industry.

ApocaDoc
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Sun, Mar 1, 2015
from Reuters:
Most Americans see combating climate change as a moral duty
A significant majority of Americans say combating climate change is a moral issue that obligates them - and world leaders - to reduce carbon emissions, a Reuters/IPSOS poll has found. The poll of 2,827 Americans was conducted in February to measure the impact of moral language, including interventions by Pope Francis, on the climate change debate. In recent months, the pope has warned about the moral consequences of failing to act on rising global temperatures, which are expected to disproportionately affect the lives of the world's poor.... Two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) said that world leaders are morally obligated to take action to reduce CO2 emissions. And 72 percent said they were "personally morally obligated" to do what they can in their daily lives to reduce emissions. ...


I know. Let's stop voting for deniers.

ApocaDoc
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Want more context?
Try reading our book FREE online:
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
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Mon, Feb 2, 2015
from New York Times:
Most Republicans Say They Back Climate Action, Poll Finds
An overwhelming majority of the American public, including half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future. In a finding that could have implications for the 2016 presidential campaign, the poll also found that two-thirds of Americans said they were more likely to vote for political candidates who campaign on fighting climate change. They were less likely to vote for candidates who questioned or denied the science that determined that humans caused global warming. ...


Wonder what party the Koch Brothers belong to? The ApocaParty?

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Jan 9, 2015
from Grist:
Challenging the divine right of big energy
... The new calendar that renamed 1792 as Year One had, after all, been created to start society all over again. In that little junk shop on a quiet street in San Francisco, I held a relic from one of the great upheavals of the last millennium. It made me think of a remarkable statement the great feminist fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin had made only a few weeks earlier. In the course of a speech she gave while accepting a book award she noted, "We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings."... As it happens, the planet's changing climate now demands that we summon up the energy to leave behind the Age of Fossil Fuel (and maybe with it some portion of the Age of Capitalism as well). ...


This sounds as if the Age of Constant Growth might be coming to a close!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Dec 29, 2014
from Sheffield, University of:
Switch from cattle fields to 'carbon farms' could tackle climate change, save endangered animals cheaply
Changing cattle fields to forests is a cheap way of tackling climate change and saving species threatened with extinction, a new study has found. Researchers from leading universities carried out a survey of carbon stocks, biodiversity and economic values from one of the world's most threatened ecosystems, the western Andes of Colombia. The main use of land in communities is cattle farming, but the study found farmers could make the same or more money by allowing their land to naturally regenerate. ...


I'm raisin' a whole herd of carbons.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Dec 18, 2014
from Youth Power Indiana:
A Message from Santa's Elves
...


How am I supposed to believe in elves, when Rudolph is missing?

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Dec 11, 2014
from BBC:
Global group of Catholic bishops call for end to fossil fuels
Catholic bishops from around the world are calling for an end to fossil fuel use and increased efforts to secure a global climate treaty. Catholics, they say, should engage with the process leading to a proposed new deal to be signed in Paris next year. The statement is the first time that senior church figures from every continent have issued such a call. ...


A global mea culpa.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Oct 29, 2014
from Washington Post:
Maybe you can change people's minds about climate change after all
...climate science education may well work to counteract political ideology after all -- at least if you get to kids when they're young enough, before ideological views have become crystalized. ...


And the youth shall inherit the (ravaged) earth.

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Oct 3, 2014
from George Monbiot, in The Guardian:
It's time to shout 'stop' on this war on the living world
... We care ever less for the possessions we buy, and dispose of them ever more quickly. Yet the extraction of the raw materials required to produce them, the pollution commissioned in their manufacturing, the infrastructure and noise and burning of fuel needed to transport them are trashing a natural world infinitely more fascinating and intricate than the stuff we produce. The loss of wildlife is a loss of wonder and enchantment, of the magic with which the living world infects our lives.... A system that makes us less happy, less secure, that narrows and impoverishes our lives, is presented as the only possible answer to our problems. There is no alternative - we must keep marching over the cliff. Anyone who challenges it is either ignored or excoriated. And the beneficiaries? Well they are also the biggest consumers, using their spectacular wealth to exert impacts thousands of times greater than most people achieve. Much of the natural world is destroyed so that the very rich can fit their yachts with mahogany, eat bluefin tuna sushi, scatter ground rhino horn over their food, land their private jets on airfields carved from rare grasslands, burn in one day as much fossil fuel as the average global citizen uses in a year.... Is this not the point at which we shout stop? At which we use the extraordinary learning and expertise we have developed to change the way we organise ourselves, to contest and reverse the trends that have governed our relationship with the living planet for the past 2m years, and that are now destroying its remaining features at astonishing speed? Is this not the point at which we challenge the inevitability of endless growth on a finite planet? If not now, when? ...


But what if you shouted "STOP" in a crowded theatre, and everybody came?

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Sep 30, 2014
from Cedar Rapids Gazette:
Iowa farmers criticize Ernst on climate change, RFS
A super PAC backing Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley enlisted a pair of central Iowa farmers to criticize his Republican opponent, Joni Ernst, for a lack of leadership on renewable fuels and climate change -- issues they said hit home with Iowa ag producers. Bill Gannon, who has been farming for six decades, said flooding was rarely a problem until 1993. Since then, the Mingo farmer has seen crop damage and soil loss nearly every year due to flooding. "Serious rain events cause great losses for farmers who are trying to make ends meet," Gannon said on a conference call sponsored by NextGen Climate. The group is working to elect Braley of Waterloo, who has served eight years in the U.S. House. Gannon believes "climate change is a given." ...


The unimportance of being ernst.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Sep 22, 2014
from E&E Publishing:
U.S. schools quickly climbing learning curve in solar power
America's K-12 schools are among the fastest adopters of solar power in the United States, with an estimated 3,000 new solar installations coming online between 2008 and 2012, a fivefold increase, according to a new study from the Solar Foundation and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The output from today's 3,752 solar-equipped schools is on the order of 490 megawatts, enough to power tens of thousands of classrooms while offsetting nearly 443,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, according to the solar organizations, whose findings were published yesterday in a nationwide survey. Moreover, the findings suggest that schools and school systems have shaved millions of dollars from their utility bills by installing solar panels, allowing for greater investment in textbooks, teachers and educational programs. ...


Might as well be walkin' on the sun.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Sep 22, 2014
from Media Matters:
Sunday News Shows Ignore Historic Climate March
Sunday news shows on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and Fox failed to cover the People's Climate March, a massive protest against climate change being held September 21 in New York City in conjunction with events in more than 150 countries worldwide. Meet the Press, Face the Nation, State of the Union, and Fox News Sunday ignored the event, which is being touted by participants as "the largest mobilization against climate change in the history of the planet." The Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel briefly mentioned the march on ABC's This Week while arguing that national security concerns surrounding climate change are not receiving adequate attention. ...


The revolution will not be televised.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Sep 17, 2014
from Midwest Energy News:
In fight against pollution, nurses union on the front lines
...a growing mission among nurses nationwide: the pursuit of environmental justice, fueled by a growing awareness of the environmental factors that could be linked to, causing or exacerbating the cancers, respiratory ailments or other conditions that affect their patients. Nurses have individually become increasingly aware of the role of the environment in health, and over the past two years the National Nurses United labor union has launched a concerted campaign to mobilize on environmental justice issues -- including the role of fossil fuels in both local pollution and climate change. ...


We always listen to nurses.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Sep 9, 2014
from Common Dreams:
Are You Ready to 'Disrupt'? Climate Movement Readies Global Mobilization
On Sunday night, a new documentary film highlighting the intertwined story of the climate crisis and the growing social movement which has grown in response to it was released online for national screenings that took place in people's home and public meeting spaces. At just under an hour long, the film--titled 'Disruption'--was produced with a stated goal to "galvanize a new wave of climate action and climate leadership" across the globe and comes just weeks before the 'People's Climate March' being organized for New York City that will take place on Sunday, September 21. ... "This is the history we'll tell the next generation -- about the end of fossil fuels, about how the world was in crisis, about how we started to turn it around together." ...


Y'know, if civilization was saved, but updated? That might not be such a bad thing.

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Aug 9, 2014
from Guardian:
Sales of shark fin in China drop by up to 70 percent
... The trade in shark fins, a symbol of wealth in China and other parts of Asia, has led to the decline in some shark populations by up to 98 percent in the last 15 years. An estimated 100 million sharks are killed each year with up to 73 million used for their fins. China became the world's largest market for shark fin due to its rising wealth and desire for luxury goods. However, sales of shark fin have fallen from 50-70 percent, according to a report by WildAid, a US-based organisation focusing on reducing demand for wildlife products. According to data collected by WildAid, sales of shark fin in Guangzhou, considered to be the centre of the shark fin trade in China, have dropped by 82 percent. The report complied data from a number of different sources including news reports, online surveys, undercover interviews with traders in China and trade statistics from Hong Kong, once considered to be the global hub for trade in shark fin.... The more people learn about the consequences of eating shark fin soup, the less they want to participate in the trade, said Knights. Pressure from conservationists has also influenced big businesses. A number of large hotel chains have stopped serving shark fin soup and more than 20 airlines have agreed not to transport it. Last year, it was reported that the owners of factories that process sharks in Puqi, a seaside town in Zhejiang province blamed such awareness campaigns for a drop in their business. ...


That's tantamount to asserting that humans can use knowledge to predictively avoid catastrophe. I mean, come on.

ApocaDoc
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You're still reading! Good for you!
You really should read our short, funny, frightening book FREE online (or buy a print copy):
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
We've been quipping this stuff for more than 30 months! Every day!
Which might explain why we don't get invited to parties anymore.
Fri, Aug 8, 2014
from The Register-Guard:
Goals for carbon reduction become law in Eugene
The Eugene City Council voted Monday to put some teeth into previously approved goals to reduce the city's fossil fuel use and carbon emissions. The so-called "climate recovery ordinance," which passed on a 6-2 vote, seeks to cut communitywide fossil fuel use by 50 percent by 2030, compared with 2010 usage. It also calls for city government operations to be entirely "carbon neutral" by 2020, either by reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions or by funding local emission reduction projects.... Mayor Kitty Piercy responded that "science" was the motivation for the ordinance. "What's the cost of not doing something?" she asked. ...


The scientific revolution, now hundreds of years in the making, continues.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Aug 6, 2014
from Call Newspapers:
Mehlville board to consider resolution against coal energy
If hundreds of Oakville residents who have written to the Mehlville Board of Education get their wish, the board could become the first elected body in Missouri to adopt a resolution against coal energy Thursday.... Since the board's first discussion of the resolution in May, Ameren's board of directors voted to close the Meramec plant in 2022, or perhaps a few years earlier, and the Sierra Club and CLAW have turned their attention to urging Ameren to close the plant sooner. The resolution asks Ameren to completely phase out coal as an energy source and emulate Kansas City Power & Light in using more renewable forms of energy. Power & Light has taken the lead on the use of wind as a power source, according to the resolution. ...


The children are our (imperiled) future.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jun 2, 2014
from The Hill:
Survey: Majority favor renewable energy over coal, despite costs
... a new survey from an environmentally-friendly business group finds a majority of people would support efforts to overhaul the nation's electric power grid to make room for more renewable forms of energy. The Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) survey found that two-thirds of people said it is a good idea to "modernize" the nation's power system, while three in four respondents said they would like to use electricity more efficiently in order to reduce the need for old power plants. But 58 percent of people believe say they would like to move from old power sources like coal to new renewable forms of energy like wind, solar, and hydropower, even if it costs more to do so. ...


Imagine the numbers when people realize renewable energy is cheaper!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, May 27, 2014
from MSNBC:
Pope: Destroying the Earth is a sin
Pope Francis made the biblical case for mitigating the effects of climate change, speaking to a massive crowd in Rome. In his brief speech, Francis issued a dire warning about the effects of climate change. "Safeguard Creation," he said, according to Think Progress, "because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!" "Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude," Francis said. In the address, the Pope said destroying the Earth is a sin. ...


mea maxima culpa

ApocaDoc
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Tue, May 13, 2014
from New York Times:
A Lesson in Farming, Classroom to Cafeteria
Beyond a stack of hay bales, past the site of Indiana's first soil-judging contest, high school students in this tiny eastern town stroll down a grassy slope to reach their newest classroom: a fenced-in field of cud-chewing cattle. Starting in the next academic year, the cattle, which arrived last month and have names like Ground Round and Honey Bear, will be fed by students enrolled in an agricultural science class. Then, when the animals are fat enough, they will be fed back to their caretakers -- as beef patties on lunchroom trays... Small-town schools across the country are turning to hands-on agricultural classes that also supply cheaper, healthier food for their cafeterias. ...


Survival 101

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Wed, May 7, 2014
from London Guardian:
Religious leaders should divest from fossil fuels, says UN climate chief
Religious leaders should pull their money out of investments in fossil fuel companies and encourage their followers to do the same, according to the UN's climate chief. Christiana Figueres, who is speaking at St Pauls Cathedral on Wednesday night, urges faith groups to "find their voice" and "set their moral compass" on climate change, in an article published in the Guardian. Students and other groups have been campaigning in the US and Europe to encourage universities, local authorities and investors to divest from fossil fuel interests. ...


Amen

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Fri, May 2, 2014
from The Stranger:
Seattle High Schoolers Are Risking Arrest In A Downtown Sit-In Against the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline
So pay some goddamn attention, President Obama! Erasmus Baxter, a senior at Garfield High School, tells me by phone that police at the Federal Building in downtown Seattle are currently "just standing off to the side and watching," rather that moving in to make arrests--even though the students plan to block the entrance for an hour. "The effects of climate change aren't just abstract. It's something that's going to affect us and our children. And we need to make a concrete step," Baxter says. About few dozen of them marched from Cal Anderson Park down to the building. ...


And the teens shall inherit the earth.

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Sat, Apr 26, 2014
from The Nation:
Youth Are Taking the Government to Court Over Its Failure to Address Climate Change
In an unprecedented federal court case that has made it to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, young people from California are suing the EPA and Departments of Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Energy and Defense under the historic public trust doctrine for failing to devise a climate change recovery plan. In their legal brief, they argue, "Failure to rapidly reduce CO2 emissions and protect and restore the balance of the atmosphere is a violation of Youth's constitutionally protected rights and is redressable by the Courts."... Conventional efforts to harness climate change through litigation have failed. The public's trust in government to tackle climate change has been squashed. The agencies the youth are suing have come up short on the issue of the millennium. We're clearly in need of some precedent-setting litigation. ...


Youth ... arise!

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Thu, Apr 17, 2014
from NPR:
Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'
A group of scientists and food activists is launching a Thursday to change the rules that govern seeds. They're releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new "open source pledge" that's intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners and plant breeders to share those seeds freely. It's inspired by the example of open source software, which is freely available for anyone to use but cannot legally be converted into anyone's proprietary product... , director of intellectual property for the seed company HM Clause and the incoming president of the American Seed Trade Association, says his company may avoid using open source seed to breed new commercial varieties "because then we'd ... have limited potential to recoup the investment." That's because the offspring of open source seeds would have to be shared as well, and any other seed company could immediately sell the same variety. ...


This will make Big Ag gag!

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Thu, Apr 17, 2014
from Midwest Energy News:
Southeast Chicago residents take petcoke fight to the streets
Feeling that elected officials have betrayed them in the battle over piles of petroleum coke on the Southeast Side of Chicago, residents have vowed to take the fight to the streets and into their own hands... residents are furious that at the April 1 City Council meeting where the zoning committee was to vote on the ordinance, a substitute ordinance was introduced that allows continued increased petcoke storage provided the material is burned on-site... "I assure you over the next few months we'll get a lot more people involved," Esquivel said. "A lot of people still don't really know or care. But we've been educating ourselves, and hopefully we will be able to open their eyes and get them mad. We have to keep getting louder and louder and stronger and stronger. Because this is not a dumping ground, this is our home." ...


These folks are mad and they're not going to take it anymore!

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Tue, Apr 15, 2014
from St. Louis Business Journal:
Washington University students continue Peabody protest
Washington University students continue their on-campus sit-in today, protesting the school's ties with Peabody Energy. Today marks the seventh day of the protest. Between 20 to 40 students are sleeping outside the school's administration building. The students want Greg Boyce, Peabody Energy's president and CEO, to be removed from Washington University's board of trustees. ...


You might call it a boycecott.

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Tue, Apr 8, 2014
from The Daily Beast:
Can Generation Hot Avoid Its Fate?
...As a journalist who has reported on climate change from dozens of countries since then, I can't say I was surprised by the IPCC's report. Most of its findings were familiar to anyone following the subject; I mentioned many of them in my 2011 book, HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years On Earth. But the report did provoke other emotions, because I read it not only as a journalist, but also as a father. And as a father, I felt grief, fear, rage, frustration and, finally, a determination to resist. One emotion I never permit myself, however, is despair. For despair only paralyzes at a time when action is urgently needed. My daughter Chiara, the central character in HOT, is turning nine this weekend. Her current obsession is Harry Potter, so the guest of honor at her birthday party will be a make believe Hermione Granger. I sometimes wish Chiara had Harry and Hermione's magic skills; they'd come in mighty handy in the future the IPCC is projecting. ...


We muggles need to become part of the solution.

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Fri, Apr 4, 2014
from London Guardian:
Japan's biggest online retailer, Rakuten, ends whale meat sales
The Japanese online retailer Rakuten is to end all online sales of whale and dolphin meat by the end of April after the international court of justice ordered Japan to immediately halt its annual whale hunts in the southern ocean. The decision by Rakuten comes soon after the UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) exposed the company as the world's biggest online retailer of whale products and elephant ivory. ...


Just so I can still get my dolphin sticks.

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Mon, Mar 3, 2014
from Environmental News Service:
Hundreds Arrested Protesting Keystone XL at The White House
Police arrested more than 370 young people who tied themselves to the White House fence on Sunday to protest the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. Called XL Dissent, the protest was organized by college and university students to urge President Barack Obama to reject the northern leg of TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which needs presidential approval because it would cross an international border on its way from the Alberta tar sands to refineries in Texas. ...


Generation KXL

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Mon, Feb 10, 2014
from Reuters:
Chinese villagers mob police in environmental spat: Xinhua
Around 100 villagers attacked a police station in southwestern China on Friday as part of an environmental protest, state media said in a rare report about what are increasingly common demonstrations.... There are tens of thousands of unreported protests in China each year, a rising number of which are over environmental disputes in a country where rapid economic growth has taken its toll on the air, water and land. ...


Here, we just post angry diatribes on Facebook.

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Tue, Feb 4, 2014
from East Lansing Journal:
Enbridge pipeline protesters found guilty
Three protesters who attached themselves to excavators last summer at an Enbridge Inc. pipeline construction site were convicted Friday on obstruction and trespassing charges. An Ingham County Circuit Court jury deliberated about nine hours over two days before finding Lisa Leggio, Barbara Carter and Vicci Hamlin guilty of misdemeanor trespassing and resisting and obstructing police, a maximum two-year felony. ...


And the pipeline owners shall inherit the toxic earth.

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Mon, Feb 3, 2014
from tcktcktck:
Divestment Goes Mainstream as Major Funds Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit
With a shift of nearly two billion dollars away from fossil fuels, the divestment campaign has moved into new territory. Last week, seventeen of the world's largest philanthropic foundations announced commitments to pull their money out of fossil fuel companies and reinvest it in the clean energy economy... The announcement is seen as a signal that the divestment movement is no longer limited to progressive cities and college campuses. Now, a wide range of some of the world's largest foundations including the Park Foundation, Russell Family Foundation, Educational Foundation of America and John Merck Fund are taking a stand for the climate by aligning their investments with the values of their charitable missions. ...


Sounds like the beginning of a bad day for fossil fuels.

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Wed, Jan 15, 2014
from Battle Creek Enquirer:
Charges dismissed against pipeline protester
Charges were dismissed Monday against a man who spent a day inside an oil pipeline and is now running for the U.S. Senate. Christopher Wahmhoff, 35, of Kalamazoo, walked out of a Calhoun County Circuit Court Monday morning after a judge dismissed charges of resisting police and trespassing. He spent a day last summer inside a new pipe to protest against the Enbridge Inc., the company building the pipeline. ...


Spending a day in a pipe should be a requirement to run for office.

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Sun, Jan 12, 2014
from Scientific American:
About that consensus on global warming: 9136 agree, one disagrees.
It's worth noting how many authors agree with the basic fact of global warming - more than nine thousand. And that's just in a single year. Now I understand as well as anyone else that consensus does not imply truth but I find it odd how there aren't even a handful of scientists who deny global warming presumably because the global warming mafia threatens to throttle them if they do. It's not like we are seeing a 70-30 percent split, or even a 90-10 percent split. No, the split is more like 99.99-0.01 percent. Isn't it remarkable that among the legions of scientists working around the world, many with tenured positions, secure reputations and largely nothing to lose, not even a hundred out of ten thousand come forward to deny the phenomenon in the scientific literature? Should it be that hard for them to publish papers if the evidence is really good enough? Even detractors of the peer review system would disagree that the system is that broken; after all, studies challenging consensus are quite common in other disciplines. So are contrarian climate scientists around the world so utterly terrified of their colleagues and world opinion that they would not dare to hazard a contrarian explanation at all, especially if it were based on sound science? The belief stretches your imagination to new lengths. ...


It's surprisingly hard to not hear 99.99 percent of the noise.

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Mon, Dec 30, 2013
from InsideClimate News:
Public Outrage Over Climate Inaction Reaches Fever Pitch in 2013
Frustrated by years of waiting on politicians to reduce American dependence on climate-changing fossil fuels, an unprecedented number of citizen activists rallied to send a message in 2013: Enough is enough. Thousands of chanting marchers took to the streets, from Washington D.C. to San Francisco, urging policymakers to take action against global warming. They wanted Congress to end the inertia that has built-up over climate policy. They wanted help protecting themselves from climate threats like Superstorm Sandy. They also wanted President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline... ...


About time.

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Mon, Dec 30, 2013
from Triple Pundit:
How Bike Lanes Increase Small Business Revenue
Magnolia Street in Fort Worth is the sort of story that urban planners dream of. In 2008, this mixed used street was re-striped. The street had featured two lanes in each direction, both of which had been mainly used by cars, plus a few fast and fearless cyclists. In its new incarnation it still had four lanes, one in each direction for cars, and one for bicycles. "It was the first 'road diet' of its kind in Fort Worth, and has been a genuine success," Kevin Buchanan, a local musician and author of the Fort Worthology blog, told me. The best measure of this success was in the bottom line: after the road was rearranged, restaurant revenues along the street went up a combined total of 179 percent. ...


Biking makes one hungry.

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Fri, Dec 27, 2013
from London Guardian:
Arctic 30 protester: 'Russia owes me a medal'
The first environmental activist to leave Russia after more than two months of detention said that Russia owed him a medal rather than a pardon for his work to protect the environment. Dima Litvinov, a Greenpeace campaigner, was the first member of the Arctic 30 to be allowed to leave. His fellow activists are expected to leave Russia in the coming days... Speaking from a train to Helsinski, Litvinov said the Arctic 30 had been warmly received by ordinary Russians, but treated as criminals intent on destroying Russia by government officials. ...


The difference between a hero and a criminal is a fine line.

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Thu, Dec 26, 2013
from London Guardian:
Teenager sets record for fastest trek from Antarctic coast to south pole
A 19-year-old student has set a new record for the fastest journey from the coast of Antarctica to the south pole. Parker Liautaud, who went to school at Eton, is the youngest man to have skied to the pole, having completed the expedition in 18 days. The teenage environmental campaigner has been on three expeditions to the north pole, the first when he was just 15. He said he had set off for the 561km trek on 3 December with two main goals: "The first was to undertake scientific research and collect data samples. nd the second was to reignite the dialogue on climate change by creating a story that people can engage with and be a part of." ...


Generation Y not?

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Sun, Dec 8, 2013
from InsideClimate News:
Worst-Case Scenario for Oil Sands Industry Has Come to Life, Leaked Document Shows
As environmentalists began ratcheting up pressure against Canada's tar sands three years ago, one of the world's biggest strategic consulting firms was tapped to help the North American oil industry figure out how to handle the mounting activism. The resulting document, published online by WikiLeaks, offers another window into how oil and gas companies have been scrambling to deal with unrelenting opposition to their growth plans. The document identifies nearly two-dozen environmental organizations leading the anti-oil sands movement and puts them into four categories: radicals, idealists, realists and opportunists -- with how-to's for managing each. It also reveals that the worst-case scenario presented to industry about the movement's growing influence seems to have come to life. ...


A fifth category: people who care about their children and grandchildren.

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Mon, Dec 2, 2013
from Politico:
A green movement of all stripes
In Appalachia, greens are banding together with the Tennessee Conservative Union to oppose mountaintop mining. In Georgia, the Sierra Club and Atlanta's tea party have formed a Green Tea Coalition that is demanding a bigger role for solar power in the state's energy market. Elsewhere, veterans of the George W. Bush administration are working with the Environmental Defense Fund on market-based ideas for protecting endangered species... some activists -- particularly outside the Beltway -- see potential for the kinds of coalitions that used to get big things done, back in the days when Theodore Roosevelt was creating national parks and George H.W. Bush's administration was taking on acid rain. ...


Strange bedfellows make for even stranger showermates.

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Mon, Nov 25, 2013
from London Guardian:
Reverend Billy faces year in prison for JP Morgan Chase toad protest
An actor who uses comic theatre and music to persuade corporations to address climate change faces a year in prison after the largest bank in the US took offence. In June, Billy Talen and eight members of the Church of Earthalujah choir walked into the lobby of a Manhattan branch of JP Morgan Chase in New York. Dressed as central American golden toads, a species that has been made extinct as the result of climate change, they told the staff that they were about to perform "expressive politics"... The bank is one of the largest funders of mountaintop removal mining and other major fossil fuel projects around the world. ...


Earth bless Reverend Billy.

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Sat, Nov 23, 2013
from Somerville Journal:
Tufts students in Somerville fast to raise awareness of effects of climate change
The dining hall may be tempting, but 20 Tufts students have avoided it for the past two weeks to call attention to the destruction caused by climate change. "It's a very small price to pay for us to give up a few meals if that can in some way help more people know what's going on," said junior Evan Bell, who fasted during daylight hours last week and Wednesday and Thursday this week to raise awareness about climate change in the wake of typhoon Haiyan, which slammed into the Philippines two weeks ago and has killed more than 5,000. Some students fasted for longer. Junior Ben Weilerstein fasted for five days, drinking water and juice. He broke the fast once, to eat a banana in preparation for an exam. ...


Imagine the impact if these college kids decide to give up beer.

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Wed, Nov 20, 2013
from Bloomberg News:
Coal Seen as New Tobacco Sparking Investor Backlash: Commodities
About $8 trillion of known coal reserves lie beneath the earth's surface. The companies planning to mine and burn them are being targeted by a growing group of investors concerned with the greenhouse gases that will be made. Storebrand ASA (STB), which manages $74 billion of assets from Norway, sold out of 24 coal and oil-sands companies since July including Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU), the largest U.S. coal producer, citing a desire to cut fossil-fuel industry holdings. This month Norway's opposition Labour Party proposed banning the country's $800 billion sovereign wealth fund from coal investments...The movement is an offshoot of a campaign by more than 70 investors to pressure all fossil-fuel industries on climate change. It harks to the 1990s anti-tobacco push and is gaining help from unlikely partners. The International Energy Agency, a 28-nation group promoting energy security, is lobbying increasingly to limit the release of heat-trapping gases. ...


I'd rather fight than switch.

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Tue, Nov 19, 2013
from Planet Ark:
Russian court bails two of 30 Greenpeace protesters
A Russian medic and a freelance journalist who were among 30 people arrested for a Greenpeace protest against offshore Arctic drilling were granted bail on Monday in a case that has drawn fierce criticism abroad. Colin Russell, an Australian, was denied bail by a separate court earlier on Monday. He was a radio operator on the Arctic Sunrise, the Greenpeace ship used for the September 28 protest. Western leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel have expressed concern to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the case and Western celebrities have voiced support for the Greenpeace campaigners. Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney has asked Putin to help secure their release. The 30 arrested over the protest, in which activists tried to scale the offshore Prirazlomnaya oil rig that is crucial to Russia's drive to tap Arctic energy resources, face up to seven years in jail if convicted of hooliganism. ...


Working for Mother Earth is serious business.

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Tue, Nov 12, 2013
from CommonDreams:
Philippine Rep Makes Plea for 'Global Solidarity' to Fight 'Climate Madness'
"What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness," Sao told the assembly, describing the massive devastation and thousands feared dead following Typhoon Haiyan, the "strongest in modern recorded history." "We can stop this madness. Right here in Warsaw," he added, appealing to the representatives of nearly 200 countries who assembled in a bid to reach a new agreement to replace the Kyoto protocol that expired last year. Many anticipate the talks will only amount to a 2015 agreement for new limits on greenhouse gas emissions.... To climate change deniers, or those countries who are less impacted by the effects of global warming and therefore are less motivated to enact meaningful change, Sao challenged them before the Warsaw assembly, saying, "I dare them, I dare them to get off their ivory towers and away from the comfort of their armchairs." ...


(Sigh). Another enviro-nazi with facts on his side.

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Tue, Nov 5, 2013
from Omaha World-Herald:
UNL plans separate state report that will include human impact on climate change
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln said it will issue a report that includes the role of humans in climate change -- now that the state's climate committee apparently plans to exclude the impact of humans in a separate study. University officials on Friday said that they will complete their own unrestricted study by September 2014 so that its publication coincides with anything released by the state. ...


Academia, as usual, out of step with the mainstream.

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Thu, Oct 31, 2013
from New Statesman:
Naomi Klein: How science is telling us all to revolt
Is our relentless quest for economic growth killing the planet? Climate scientists have seen the data -- and they are coming to some incendiary conclusions....Serious scientific gatherings don't usually feature calls for mass political resistance, much less direct action and sabotage. But then again, Werner wasn't exactly calling for those things. He was merely observing that mass uprisings of people -- along the lines of the abolition movement, the civil rights movement or Occupy Wall Street -- represent the likeliest source of "friction" to slow down an economic machine that is careening out of control. We know that past social movements have "had tremendous influence on . . . how the dominant culture evolved", he pointed out. So it stands to reason that, "if we're thinking about the future of the earth, and the future of our coupling to the environment, we have to include resistance as part of that dynamics". And that, Werner argued, is not a matter of opinion, but "really a geophysics problem". ...


You had me at friction.

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Mon, Oct 21, 2013
from Alternet:
Can We Change the World Just by Changing Our Own Actions?
...Picking up litter, carrying reusable bags to the store, biking instead of driving--all these are good things to do and there are many reasons to do them. They demonstrate our concern to those around us, hopefully providing inspiration and social proof for friends and neighbors to follow our lead. Greening our small daily acts brings into alignment our values and our actions, which feels good. As political science professor Michael Maniates says, "Small, everyday acts of green consumption are important moments of 'mindful living': they serve as daily reminders of our values, and of the larger struggles before us. But these individual actions are puny when compared to the challenges before us, and can't achieve the kind of change we desperately need today." ...


You mean I can't recycle my way out of this?

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Tue, Oct 15, 2013
from Yes! Magazine:
Pro-Coal Kids' Pages Pulled from Government Site as Public Pressure Increases
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has removed coal-related educational sections from its website, less than two weeks after the launch of a grassroots campaign demanding that the pages be taken down. The website sections were supposed to educate children about energy, but had been widely denounced because they focused on misleading pro-coal messages. It wasn't just environmentalists who objected to the way Illinois was talking about coal to kids. Last month, a state-commissioned evaluation of the Illinois coal education program determined that the curriculum, including the website, was "biased towards a positive image of coal." ...


Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!

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Mon, Oct 7, 2013
from Climate Progress:
College Student Sues Alaska Over Climate Change
In remote northern Alaska, a college freshman has taken fossil fuel divestment campaigns a step further by suing the state for failing to adequately address climate change. University of Alaska Fairbanks freshman Nelson Kanuk is from Barrow, a small town at the top of the world where melting ice and permafrost are reshaping land and life. Because of his grave concern for the impacts of climate change on his family's homeland, Kanuk and six other young adults have sued the state of Alaska, arguing that the state has not adequately addressed carbon emissions and global warming. Kanuk first sued the state last year when he was a senior in high school but the lower court dismissed the case, saying that policy decisions should be left to the legislative and executive branches. Kanuk and the others appealed. ...


Kanuk can do!

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Mon, Sep 23, 2013
from Lincoln Journal Star:
Barn goes up in pipeline's path
It was a windy day Sunday for an outdoor event, but Terri Harrington wasn't complaining. "I think God is trying to tell us to do something with the wind," Harrington said as she celebrated the completion of a barn-raising on her land 65 miles west of Lincoln that features both wind and solar energy generation. Another attraction of the new barn, as she sees it, is that it's directly in the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. ...


Now that's a barn-raisin' we all should celebrate.

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Tue, Sep 10, 2013
from New York Times:
Young Students Against Bad Science
Your parents may have had to walk uphill, both ways, to get to school. But as ideological warfare threatens the teaching of climate science and evolution in many schools, it is clear that today's students face their own obstacles on the road to a respectable science education -- and some are speaking out. For his high school senior project, Zack Kopplin started a campaign to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act, a 2008 law passed in his home state that opens a "back door" to teaching creationism in public schools, he says. ...


And the ignorant shall inherit the earth.

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Fri, Sep 6, 2013
from Midwest Energy News:
In unlikely alliance, Wisconsin Libertarians back solar plan
A group of conservative Tea Party activists in Atlanta turned heads this summer when they announced a partnership with the local Sierra Club chapter to help pressure Georgia's largest electric utility to boost its investment in solar power. Six weeks later, solar power picked up another unexpected supporter in Wisconsin, where on Aug. 20 the state's Libertarian Party endorsed a clean energy group's proposal to let customers lease solar panels and other small renewable generators. ...


Who says there's nothing new under the sun?

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Wed, Sep 4, 2013
from Huffington Post:
'War On Coal' Campaign Against Obama Has Failed, Coal Lobby Concedes
The leading lobbying group for coal companies has acknowledged that the industry's relentless "War on Coal" mantra used to attack the Obama administration has been a failure politically. In a screed against alleged regulatory overreach by federal judges in Washington, Luke Popovich, spokesman for the National Mining Association, writes that the "War on Coal" refrain used to criticize environmental regulation simply failed to resonate with voters during 2012. ...


Perhaps it failed because it's coal we should be at war against!

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Wed, Sep 4, 2013
from PR Watch:
More Corporations Drop Off ALEC's Conference Brochure
An examination of the promotional brochure for the Chicago meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) reveals that the meeting -- where corporate lobbyists secretly vote as equals with legislators on model bills at ALEC task force meetings -- has fewer corporate sponsors willing to tell the public they bankroll ALEC's operations. This news comes in the aftermath of 48 corporations and six non-profits leaving ALEC after the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) connected the dots between "Stand Your Ground" legislation and ALEC, and coalition of organizations pressed for corporations to stop funding ALEC.... Only Reynolds American, the global purveyor of cancer-causing cigarettes, was willing to be listed as ALEC's top sponsor. ...


Big tobacco has nothing to be embarrassed about.

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Tue, Aug 13, 2013
from Grist:
A Tea Party leader explains why she's teaming up with the Sierra Club to push for solar power
...If an individual wants to harvest the sunlight that's falling on their property and sell it for a profit, that's their American right. There are now programs in other states that allow people to lease solar panels for their roofs with no up-front cost, enabling them to become local energy entrepreneurs who can sell their solar energy back into the grid and power their homes for less. Georgians are currently and unjustly denied this opportunity, and will continue to be unless a law is passed to change the system. That is why the Atlanta Tea Party supported Senate Bill 401 in the past legislative session. Georgia Power opposed it and it never made it out of committee. We will try again when the Georgia legislature reconvenes in January 2014. All states should allow their citizens the opportunity to generate and sell their own solar power. ...


The eco-apocalypse inspires strange bedfellows.

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Sun, Aug 11, 2013
from Peruvian Times:
Ten Year Ban on Genetically Modified Seeds and Foods Takes Force Thursday
A 10-year ban on genetically modified foods in Peru came into effect this week, state news agency Andina reported. Peru's executive has approved the regulations for the law that prohibits the importation, production and use of GMO foods in the country. Violating the law can result in a maximum fine of 10,000 UIT tax units, which is about 36.5 million soles ($14 million). The goods can also be seized and destroyed, according to the norms. The law, which was approved by President Ollanta Humala last year, is aimed at preserving Peru's biodiversity and supporting local farmers, Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar Vidal said. ...


Where's the agribusiness in that?

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Thu, Aug 1, 2013
from Bloomberg:
Harvard Endowment Hires Environment Head Amid Divestment Demands
Harvard University hired Jameela Pedicini as vice president for sustainable investing, a position created in the wake of student activist calls for the world's richest school to purge its holdings of fossil-fuel companies. Pedicini, who most recently was the investment officer for global governance at the California Public Employees' Retirement System, will work for Harvard Management Co., the university-controlled investment arm that oversees more than $30 billion of assets. ... In the last year, students at hundreds of campuses, including the eight Ivy League schools, have joined a fossil-fuel divestment movement led by activist group 350.org. They are demanding that schools purge their endowments of investments in 200 publicly traded companies with the largest reserves of oil, gas and coal in recognition of their contribution to climate change. ...


Boy, those college kids are smart!

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Mon, Jul 15, 2013
from Bloomberg:
China Protest Forcing Nuclear Retreat Shows People Power
Protests in a southern Chinese city last week that forced local authorities to abandon plans for a uranium-processing facility highlight the growing willingness of ordinary people to challenge the state on environmental issues. The proposed Longwan Industrial Park project won't be approved "in order to fully respect the opinion of the masses," the government of Heshan, Guangdong province, said in a statement on its website on July 13. A "social-stability risk assessment" of the proposal that was released for public awareness generated "much opposition," it said. ...


Wait'll they all get TVs and cars, the Chinese will stop complaining.

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Mon, Jul 15, 2013
from OccupyMonsanto:
Monsanto Patent Rejected by Indian Government and Rejection Upheld, Saving Small Farmers
On 5th July, Hon Justice Prabha Sridevi, Chair of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board of India, and Hon Shri DPS Parmar, technical member, dismissed Monsanto's appeal against the rejection of their patent application to the Patent office for "Methods of Enhancing Stress Tolerance in plants and methods thereof." The title of the patent was later amended to "A method of producing a transgenic plant, with increasing heat tolerance, salt tolerance or drought tolerance".... 270,000 farmers in India have committed suicide in India in the last decade and a half. Most of these suicides are in the cotton belt. Monsanto now controls 95 percent of the cotton seed supply through its GMO Bt cotton, and the associated Intellectual property claims. Costs of cotton seed jumped 8000 percent with the introduction of Bt cotton. In defining seed as their creation and invention, corporations like Monsanto shaped the Global Intellectual Property and Patent Laws so that they could prevent farmers from seed saving and sharing and force them into dependence on their patented GMO seeds. This is how the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) Agreement of the World Trade Organization was born. ...


8,000 percent seems pretty reasonable to me.

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Mon, Jun 3, 2013
from Associated Press:
Tea party targeting Southern Co. power monopoly
The Southern Co. makes billion-dollar decisions that affect millions of people in Georgia, yet it has attracted little political scrutiny -- until now. Leaders of the Atlanta Tea Party are challenging Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power over the monopoly's reluctance to increase its use of solar power, the ballooning costs of building a new nuclear power plant and even its legal right to monopoly status. ...


Dang! Now I have to rethink everything.

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Mon, Mar 25, 2013
from London Guardian:
Greenland government falls as voters send warning to mining companies
The race for resources in the frozen wastes of the Arctic has brought down its first national government, leaving foreign oil and mining companies shivering about the future. Voters in Greenland feared that ministers were surrendering their country's interests to China and foreign multinationals and called an end this week to the government of prime minister Kuupik Kleist. ...


Whaddaya know! Greenland's being green!

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Fri, Mar 22, 2013
from Reuters, via Yahoo:
Canadian and U.S. natives vow to block oil pipelines
An alliance of Canadian and U.S. aboriginal groups vowed on Wednesday to block three multibillion-dollar oil pipelines that are planned to transport oil from the Alberta tar sands, saying they are prepared to take physical action to stop them. The Canadian government, faced with falling revenues due to pipeline bottlenecks and a glut that has cut the price for Alberta oil, say the projects are a national priority and will help diversify exports away from the U.S. market.... "Indigenous people are coming together with many, many allies across the United States and Canada, and we will not allow these pipelines to cross our territories," said Phil Lane Jr, a hereditary chief from the Ihanktonwan Dakota in the state of South Dakota. "Along with every single legal thing that can be done, there is direct action going on now to plan how to physically stop the pipelines," he told a news conference in Ottawa. ...


The Natives are restive, thank goodness!

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Tue, Mar 12, 2013
from Truthout:
Tar Sands Resistance Escalates in Massachusetts
The national week of actions against the Keystone XL pipeline called for by the nonviolent direct action group Tar Sands Blockade is supposed to run from March 16-23. Activists in Massachusetts decided they wanted to turn up the heat a little early. On Monday, March 11, 2013, at about 10:30 AM, over 100 protesters stormed the Massachusetts offices of TransCanada, the company that stands to profit most from the pipeline's construction. After two hours, 26 people were arrested for handcuffing their bodies together, blockading the entrance and refusing to leave until the pipeline project was abandoned. The action was billed as a Funeral for Our Future and included somber songs, construction paper flowers and a homemade coffin. This was the third protest as part of an escalating direct action campaign in Westborough, Massachusetts, targeting the TransCanada offices there. ...


It's getting hot in here so take off all your clothes.

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Mon, Mar 11, 2013
from Orion Magazine:
A Moral Atmosphere
...Here's the math, obviously imprecise: maybe 10 percent of the population cares enough to make strenuous efforts to change -- maybe 15 percent. If they all do all they can, in their homes and offices and so forth, then, well . . . nothing much shifts. The trajectory of our climate horror stays about the same. But if 10 percent of people, once they've changed the light bulbs, work all-out to change the system? That's enough. That's more than enough. It would be enough to match the power of the fossil fuel industry, enough to convince our legislators to put a price on carbon. ...


Count us 'Docs in!

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Mon, Mar 11, 2013
from New York Times:
Major Grocer to Label Foods With Gene-Modified Content
Whole Foods Market, the grocery chain, on Friday became the first retailer in the United States to require labeling of all genetically modified foods sold in its stores, a move that some experts said could radically alter the food industry. A. C. Gallo, president of Whole Foods, said the new labeling requirement, to be in place within five years, came in response to consumer demand. ...


I'll bet the Frankenfood Grocery chain won't follow suit.

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Mon, Mar 11, 2013
from New York Times:
No to Keystone. Yes to Crazy.
I HOPE the president turns down the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Who wants the U.S. to facilitate the dirtiest extraction of the dirtiest crude from tar sands in Canada's far north?) But I don't think he will. So I hope that Bill McKibben and his 350.org coalition go crazy. I'm talking chain-themselves-to-the-White-House-fence-stop-traffic-at-the-Capitol kind of crazy, because I think if we all make enough noise about this, we might be able to trade a lousy Keystone pipeline for some really good systemic responses to climate change. We don't get such an opportunity often -- namely, a second-term Democratic president who is under heavy pressure to approve a pipeline to create some jobs but who also has a green base that he can't ignore. So cue up the protests, and pay no attention to people counseling rational and mature behavior. ...


We're already crazy in love with Mother Earth!

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Mon, Feb 25, 2013
from Politico:
Sierra Club goes bolder in climate fight
After 121 years of lobbying, letter-writing campaigns and law-abiding protests, the Sierra Club is retooling itself for the flash-mob age -- and showing an increasingly aggressive edge. That edge was on display last week, when the Sierra Club's two top leaders and 46 other climate activists zip-tied themselves to the White House gates to protest the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline. The organization called it the first time it had suspended its decades-long policy against club-sanctioned civil disobedience. ...


Mother Earth approves of this kind of disobedience.

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Mon, Feb 25, 2013
from Rolling Stone:
The Case for Fossil-Fuel Divestment
It's obvious how this should end. You've got the richest industry on earth, fossil fuel, up against some college kids, some professors, a few environmentalists, a few brave scientists. And it's worse than that. The college students want their universities to divest from fossil fuel -- to sell off their stock in Exxon and Shell and the rest in an effort to combat global warming. But those universities, and their boards, have deep ties to the one percent: combined, their endowments are worth $400 billion, and at Harvard, say, the five folks who run the portfolio make as much money as the entire faculty combined... But here's my bet: the kids are going to win, and when they do, it's going to matter. In fact, with Washington blocked, campuses are suddenly a front line in the climate fight -- a place to stand up to a status quo that is wrecking the planet. ...


Me, I graduated from the University of Carbon Emissions!

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Wed, Feb 20, 2013
from Huffington Post:
Obama Golfed With Oil Men As Climate Protesters Descended On White House
On the same weekend that 40,000 people gathered on the Mall in Washington to protest construction of the Keystone Pipeline -- to its critics, a monument to carbon-based folly -- President Obama was golfing in Florida with a pair of Texans who are key oil, gas and pipeline players. Obama has not shied away from supporting domestic drilling, especially for relatively clean natural gas, but in his most recent State of the Union speech he stressed the urgency of addressing climate change by weaning the country and the world from dependence on carbon-based fuels.... on his first "guys weekend" away since he was reelected, the president chose to spend his free time with Jim Crane and Milton Carroll, leading figures in the Texas oil and gas industry, along with other men who run companies that deal in the same kinds of carbon-based services that Keystone would enlarge. ...


At least he wasn't racing Hummers with them.

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Tue, Feb 19, 2013
from Indiana Living Green:
Forward on Climate march draws tens of thousands
Tens of thousands of earth inhabitants converged upon the capital of the United State of America for the Forward on Climate march, Sunday, Feb. 17. Organized by the Sierra club, 350.org, and the Hip Hop Caucus, among others, the march had a two-fold purpose, intimately connected. One, to support President Obama's dramatic remarks addressing climate change in his State of the Union address. Two, specifically, to encourage him to prevent the Keystone XL pipeline from coming to fruition. Speakers included 350.org's Bill McKibben, Sierra Club's Michael Brune, Van Jones and Rev. Lennox Yearwood. It was a frigid day, fodder for the climate change deniers farting into their Barcaloungers at home. ...


Better farting into Barcaloungers than flying to Florida and golfing with Tiger!

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Mon, Feb 11, 2013
from Reuters:
New group seeks to save near-lawless oceans from over-fishing
The high seas that cover almost half the Earth's surface are a treasure trove with little legal protection from growing threats such as over-fishing and climate change, according to a new international group of politicians. "High levels of pillage are going on," David Miliband, a former British foreign secretary, told Reuters. He will co-chair the Global Ocean Commission, which will start work this week and give advice to the United Nations on fixing the problems. Over-fishing and environmental mismanagement cost the world economy $50 billion a year and about three-quarters of world fish stocks are over-fished or fished to the maximum, according to World Bank and U.N. data. ...


So much for there being so many fish in the sea.

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Mon, Feb 4, 2013
from EcoWatch:
BREAKING: Oklahoma Resident Locks Herself to Equipment to Protest Tar Sands Pipeline
Early this morning, Norman, Oklahoma resident Elizabeth Leja locked her neck to equipment used in constructing the Keystone XL pipeline. Citing concerns for Oklahoma's waterways and their importance for the health of future generations, her actions have halted construction at the site on Highway 62, just North of the North Canadian River, for the day. The Gulf Coast Project is the Southern segment of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, a $7 billion project by multinational TransCanada.... The tar sands mining project in Northern Alberta is the largest industrial project in the history of humankind, which when fully realized will have destroyed pristine boreal forest and left a toxic wasteland the size of New York State. ...


This is not nearly as big as our main industrial project which is to wreck planet Earth!

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Tue, Jan 15, 2013
from London Guardian:
Ecuadorean tribe will 'die fighting' to defend rainforest
In what looks set to be one of the most one-sided struggles in the history of Amazon forest conservation, an indigenous community of about 400 villagers is preparing to resist the Ecuadorean army and one of the biggest oil companies in South America. The Kichwa tribe on Sani Isla, who were using blowpipes two generations ago, said they are ready to fight to the death to protect their territory, which covers 70,000 hectares of pristine rainforest. Petroamazonas - the state-backed oil company - have told them it will begin prospecting on 15 January, backed by public security forces. Community members are launching a last-ditch legal battle to stop the state-run firm assisted by a British businesswoman, who is married to the village shaman, and who was recently appointed to run the local eco lodge. ...


Hollywood, are you paying attention?

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Tue, Jan 1, 2013
from Inter Press Service:
Bicycles No Longer Mere Recreation in Argentine Capital
A programme launched in Buenos Aires three years ago to encourage the use of bicycles has already brought results: the use of this environment-friendly means of transport has increased fivefold in the Argentine capital. ...


Good for the air, too.

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Thu, Dec 20, 2012
from E&E Publishing:
The mother behind kids' long-shot legal crusade
For Julia Olson, it all started with "An Inconvenient Truth." The then-thirtysomething environmental lawyer watched Al Gore's climate change documentary while eight months pregnant with her second child. By her own admission, she "cried through the whole film" and spent several sleepless nights plotting a way to increase public awareness of climate change. Her initial idea was to plan public marches on Washington, D.C., but she ending up launching a national legal campaign aimed at forcing government action on climate change. Enlisting children as plaintiffs, she advanced the novel legal theory that the atmosphere is a "public trust" under common law and that the states and federal government have a duty to preserve it. ...


I can breathe to that.

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Wed, Dec 19, 2012
from Bloomberg News:
Keystone Protesters Pay Price for Camping in Texas Trees
Protesters trying to save the world by sitting in trees or blocking equipment used to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline are learning that environmental activism can be a ticket to lengthy jail time in East Texas. Matthew Almonte, Glen Collins and Isabel Brooks landed in jail in Tyler on Dec. 3, charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass, resisting arrest and illegal dumping, following efforts to stop work on the TransCanada Corp. (TRP) pipeline. Each has asked for a reduction in the $65,000 bond that must be posted to get out pending trial, without success.... "Gangs of tree sitters who trespass and defecate on landowners' property don't understand Texas values and culture," Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said in an essay posted on his website in October. He called the protesters "a bunch of out-of-state, self-appointed eco-anarchists." ...


Texas values = me making my money.

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Thu, Dec 13, 2012
from ThinkProgress:
AGU Scientist Asks, 'Is Earth F**ked?' Surprising Answer: Resistance is NOT Futile!
In sum, the dynamics of the global coupled human-environmental system within the dominant culture precludes management for stable, sustainable pathways and promotes instability.... Active resistance by concerned groups of citizens, analogous to the anti-slavery and civil rights movements of the past, is one of the features of the planetary system that plays an important role in his model. If you think that we should take a much longer view when making decisions about the health of the "coupled human-environmental system" -- that is to say, if you're interested in averting the scenario in which the Earth is f**ked -- then, Werner's model implied, resistance is the best and probably only hope. Every other element -- environmental regulation, even science -- is too embedded in the dominant economic system. ...


Why does it really matter if Earth is 'finked'?

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Wed, Dec 5, 2012
from New York Times:
To Stop Climate Change, Students Aim at College Portfolios
... In recent weeks, college students on dozens of campuses have demanded that university endowment funds rid themselves of coal, oil and gas stocks. The students see it as a tactic that could force climate change, barely discussed in the presidential campaign, back onto the national political agenda. ... Students who have signed on see it as a conscious imitation of the successful effort in the 1980s to pressure colleges and other institutions to divest themselves of the stocks of companies doing business in South Africa under apartheid. ...


Nice metaphor: instead of whites vs. blacks it's people vs. nature.

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Mon, Dec 3, 2012
from New York Times:
Solar Industry Borrows a Page, and a Party, From Tupperware
... Environmentalists, government officials and sales representatives have been trying to get Americans to go solar for decades, with limited success. Despite the long push, solar power still represents less than 1 percent of electricity generated in the United States. Home solar panel setups, which typically run $25,000 or more, are considered by many consumers to be the province of the rich or idealistic. So now solar companies are adhering to a path blazed by Tupperware decades ago, figuring that the best sales people are often enthusiastic customers willing to share their experiences with friends and neighbors -- and perhaps earn a referral fee on any sales that result. ...


Sounds like a ponzi scheme!

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Tue, Oct 23, 2012
from The Daily Climate:
Bill McKibben's campus crusade for climate
Bill McKibben is lanky, soft-spoken, scholarly and engaging. He may also be the closest thing the U.S. environmental movement has to a leader. And he's in show business now. Still soft-spoken, but very, very angry. On a crisp night earlier this month, a mostly-Gen Next crowd filled the University of Vermont's Allen Chapel to see the dress rehearsal of the coast-to-coast road show that McKibben hopes will ignite a campus movement. "Do the Math" will visit 20 cities starting Nov. 7. It mixes McKibben's grim analysis with a little inspiration and hope, with a goal of inspiring America's youth to righteous anger, and to lead where the grown-ups have utterly failed. ...


That bus better be solar-powered.

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Mon, Oct 22, 2012
from LJWorld:
14-year-old Lecompton girl sues Brownback administration over CO2 emissions
Topeka -- A 14-year-old northeast Kansas girl has sued Gov. Sam Brownback's administration in hopes of forcing it to impose limits on carbon dioxide emissions. Samantha Farb of Lecompton filed the lawsuit Thursday through her parents in Shawnee County District Court. It's part of campaign launched last year by environmentalists to file such lawsuits in all 50 states. The effort is led by a nonprofit Oregon group called Our Children's Trust. ...


Let the wild rumpus begin!

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Tue, Oct 9, 2012
from The Daily Climate:
Churches deliver a jolt of energy to Michigan renewables measure
DETROIT -- A renewable energy initiative on Michigan's ballot is finding support in an unlikely place -- churches. "As a pastor, I look at the call in the first book of Genesis, to care for the Earth, and to the gospels' call to love thy neighbor," said the Rev. Terry Gallagher, a pastor at Sacred Conversation in Trenton, Mich. "If we don't change energy paths, we're dooming the future of the Earth." The Renewable Energy Amendment would mandate that Michigan get 25 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2025. The proposal was filed by Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs, a coalition of state businesses, labor organizations and health care advocates. The amendment has drawn national attention because it would make Michigan the first state to have a renewable energy standard in its constitution. Now some churches in the state have lent their support. ...


Thank God somebody cares...

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Tue, Sep 25, 2012
from Houston Chronicle:
Activists climb trees in Keystone XL's Texas path
A group of environmentalists standing on tree platforms and branches attempted Monday to head off work in northeast Texas for the southern portion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Stationed as high as 80 feet above the ground on land near Winnsboro, the eight protesters held a banner reading "You Shall Not Pass" as they waited in the path of contractors for TransCanada, which is building the pipeline. ...


Perhaps everyone can get together and watch Avatar.

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Tue, Sep 25, 2012
from Midwest Energy News:
Environmental group hopes to empower communities facing fracking
As hydraulic fracturing for natural gas has taken off, communities have scrambled to control fracking within their borders, while the oil and gas industry has fought in state legislatures and courts to stop communities from hampering their operations. The Natural Resources Defense Council hopes its new legal and policy defense fund, which was announced last Friday, will boost communities in their efforts...NRDC Community Fracking Defense Project, as the group calls it, will employ 12 NRDC staffers, including geologists, health experts, policy advocates who work with state legislatures, and "a corps of lawyers," Henderson said. ...


Ideally, they'll throw some superheroes into the mix as well.

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Tue, Sep 11, 2012
from Charleston Gazette:
Anti-mountaintop-removal activist Larry Gibson dies
Renowned environmentalist and mountaintop removal opponent Larry Gibson died of a heart attack Sunday afternoon while working on Kayford Mountain -- the place he dedicated his life to protecting. Gibson spent decades rallying against the coal industry's impact on Appalachia and was named one of CNN's "Heroes" in 2007. He appeared on ABC's 20/20, traveled the country speaking out against mountaintop removal mining and testified before the United Nations with his signature slogan "Love 'em or leave 'em, just don't destroy 'em." ...


RIA: Rest in Activism

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Mon, Sep 3, 2012
from Associated Press:
Arctic becomes cold war zone
Global warming has ignited a rush to exploit Arctic resources -- and Greenpeace is determined to thwart that stampede. Employing the same tactics it has used against nuclear testing or commercial whaling, the environmental group is now set on preventing oil companies from drilling for oil near the Arctic's shrinking ice cap ... Greenpeace officials said 1.6 million people since June have signed the group's online petition urging world leaders to declare the Arctic a global sanctuary, off limits to oil exploration and industrial fishing. Dozens of celebrities, including Robert Redford, Paul McCartney and Penelope Cruz have announced their support, said Greenpeace activist Sarah North. ...


If this works, let's declare the globe a global sanctuary.

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Mon, Aug 20, 2012
from PhysOrg:
World must brace for higher food prices, experts say
With drought parching farms in the United States and near the Black Sea, weak monsoon rains in India and insidious hunger in Africa's Sahel region, the world could be headed towards another food crisis, experts say.... "We have had quite a few climate events this year that will lead to very poor harvests, notably in the United States with corn or in Russia with soja," warned Philippe Pinta of the French farmers federation FNSEA. "That will create price pressures similar to what we saw in 2007-2008," he added in reference to the last global food alert, when wheat and rice prices nearly doubled. In India, "all eyes will be on food inflation - whether the impact of a weak monsoon feeds into food prices," Samiran Chakraborty, regional head of research at Standard Chartered Bank was quoted by Dow Jones Newswires as saying. ...


If you can't eat it, what's the point?

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Mon, Jul 30, 2012
from China Daily:
Pipeline canceled after thousands protest
A water discharge project was canceled in the coastal city of Qidong, Jiangsu province, because of strong protests from residents. In the early hours of Saturday, thousands of people gathered in front of the government office and in adjacent streets to protest a water pipeline project, an investment of Japan's Oji Paper Group... Ding Dawei, Party chief of Nantong, which administers Qidong, said later on Saturday that the wastewater pipeline will be canceled permanently and that the public should trust the government. ...


What a topsy-turvy world we live in... Successful protests in China! Governments you can trust!

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Tue, Jul 10, 2012
from London Guardian:
Canada's PM Stephen Harper faces revolt by scientists
Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper, faces a widening revolt by the country's leading scientists against sweeping cuts to government research labs and broadly pro-industry policies. The scientists plan to march through Ottawa in white lab coats on Tuesday in the second big protest in a month against the Harper government's science and environmental agenda. Harper is accused of pushing through a slew of policies weakening or abolishing environmental protections -- with an aim of expanding development of natural resources such as the Alberta tar sands. ...


Scientists, marching? What's next, break dancing?

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Mon, May 21, 2012
from TIME:
Does Organic Food Turn You into a Jerk?
Are these strawberries organic? Is this omelette made with free-range eggs? Can you swap out the rice for quinoa? Is this kale locally sourced? Pesticide-free? Fair trade? Are the hazelnuts local? The onslaught of questions from an enlightened eater can test the patience of even the calmest restaurant server. And a new study shows that organic foodies' humane regard for the well-being of animals makes some people rather snobbish. The report, published last week in the Journal of Social Psychological & Personality Science, notes that exposure to organic foods can "harshen moral judgments." ...


I pledge to be a jerk for the earth.

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Wed, May 9, 2012
from The Atlantic:
An Inconvenient Lawsuit: Teenagers Take Global Warming to the Courts
Alec Loorz turns 18 at the end of this month. While finishing high school and playing Ultimate Frisbee on weekends, he's also suing the federal government in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The Ventura, California, teen and four other juvenile plaintiffs want government officials to do more to prevent the risks of climate change -- the dangerous storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, and food-supply disruptions that scientists warn will threaten their generation absent a major turnabout in global energy policy. Specifically, the students are demanding that the U.S. government start reducing national emissions of carbon dioxide by at least six percent per year beginning in 2013. "I think a lot of young people realize that this is an urgent time, and that we're not going to solve this problem just by riding our bikes more," Loorz said in an interview. ...


Generation Apocalypse

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Fri, Apr 13, 2012
from ScienceDaily:
Gulf Coast Residents Say BP Oil Spill Changed Their Environmental Views
About one-fourth of our respondents said that as a result of the spill, their views on other environmental issues such as global warming or protecting wildlife had changed," said Lawrence Hamilton, professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. "This proportion rose to 35 percent among those most affected economically by the spill. People reporting changed views also expressed greater concern about sea level rise due to climate change, more support for a moratorium on deepwater drilling, and were more likely to favor alternative energy rather than increased oil exploration," Hamilton said. ...


All it takes is a big enough catastrophe to make us believe in reality!

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Fri, Mar 30, 2012
from Washington Times:
Churches step up environmental activism
God is going green. With a Bible in one hand and a protest sign in the other, many religious activists are now moving in lockstep with the environmental movement in the fight against oil and gas drilling. Stewardship of the Earth is hardly a new concept in Christian thought -- it's mentioned in Genesis -- but a growing school of theological thought leaders are getting out of the pew, marching on the picket line, and becoming specific-issue activists. ...


Amen!

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Mon, Mar 12, 2012
from Washington Post:
As eco-terrorism wanes, governments still target activist groups seen as threat
Ben Kessler, a student at the University of North Texas and an environmental activist, was more than a little surprised that an FBI agent questioned his philosophy professor and acquaintances about his whereabouts and his sign-waving activities aimed at influencing local gas drilling rules. "It was scary,” said Kessler, who is a national organizer for the nonviolent environmental group Rising Tide North America. He said the agent approached him this past fall and said that the FBI had received an anonymous complaint and were looking into his opposition to hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking." The bureau respected free speech, the agent told him, but was "worried about things being taken to an extreme level." ...


Beware of extreme free speech!

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Sat, Feb 18, 2012
from CBC:
Muzzling of Canadian federal scientists
Canadian government scientists are still being hampered from talking to the media about their taxpayer-funded research and that's bad news for the public, say groups representing both journalists and federal scientists. The groups appealed to delegates at an international meeting of scientists in Vancouver on Friday, arguing that democracy depends on citizens having access to research so they can make informed decisions about government policy.... Munro said that during much of her career, it was easy to reach federal scientists to talk about their published research, but in recent years that has changed dramatically. Now, the government is taking control to "quite incredible extremes," she said, citing her own recent experiences and the information she obtained by filing access to information requests about the problem. ...


But if we let scientists just, y'know, speak, who knows what they'd tell!

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Wed, Feb 15, 2012
from Desmogblog:
DenialGate: Heartland Institute strategy, budget documents leaked
An anonymous donor calling him (or her)self "Heartland Insider" has released the Heartland Institute's budget, fundraising plan, its Climate Strategy for 2012 and sundry other documents (all attached) that prove all of the worst allegations that have been levelled against the organization. It is clear from the documents that Heartland advocates against responsible climate mitigation and then uses that advocacy to raise money from oil companies and "other corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies." Heartland particularly celebrates the funding that it receives from the fossil fuel fortune being the Charles G. Koch Foundation. Heartland also continues to collect money from Philip Morris parent company Altria as well as from the tobacco giant Reynolds American, while maintaining ongoing advocacy against policies related to smoking and health. ...


Maybe they'll see the light, and rename themselves Heaarthland Institute.

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Tue, Feb 14, 2012
from Washington Post:
Monsanto found liable for weedkiller poisoning in France
Memory loss. Headaches. Stammering. French farmer Paul Francois says he suffered all three neurological problems after inhaling a weedkiller made by biotech giant Monsanto in 2004. On Monday, a French court found Monsanto legally responsible for poisoning Francois and ordered the company to compensate him "entirely," Agence France-Presse reports. The decision could affect more than just Francois; it marks the first time a farmer has successfully sued the company over claims of the health problems caused by pesticides... Francois's suit accuses Monsanto of not providing adequate health warnings on the label of the weedkiller, Lasso, as well as keeping the product on the French market even though it had been banned in Canada, Britain and Belgium. ...


Seems à propos to moi.

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Mon, Feb 6, 2012
from Toronto CTV:
Artificial glaciers helping combat climate change
Artificial glaciers are being built in the Himalayas to combat the growing affect climate change is having on natural glaciers. Chewang Norphel creates the fake ice mounds in his village, where the water supply is dwindling because of receding glaciers. Norphel builds the artificial glaciers by diverting seasonal runoff and trapping it in stone pens. The ice, now two metres thick, will melt in April when farmers sow their only crop of the year. ...


That dude must have channeled MacGyver.

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Tue, Dec 27, 2011
from Daily Record:
Religion and environment: World faiths united on need to save Earth, research shows
The world's religions may differ in subtle and profound ways, but according to research by the New Jersey chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby, when it comes to caring for the earth and addressing global warming, the world's major religions are in agreement: Human beings are responsible for the environment, and time is running out... the Vatican report calls for three immediate actions: "Reduce worldwide carbon dioxide emissions without delay, using all means possible; reduce the concentrations of warming air pollutants; prepare to adapt to the climatic changes . . . that society will be unable to mitigate.” ...


By "all means possible" except birth control.

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Wed, Dec 21, 2011
from National Journal:
EPA Unveils Long-Awaited Mercury Rule
Appearing at Washington's Children's Hospital with public health leaders at her side, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson on Wednesday unveiled the nation's first-ever national standards for mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants. The sweeping regulations -- mandated by Congress in 1990 and delayed by prolonged litigation, lobbying, and legislative battles --will require utilities to cut at least 90 percent of their emissions of mercury, a neurotoxin known to cause brain damage and other health problems, particularly in developing fetuses and young children...EPA says the rule will prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths and prevent thousands of respiratory illnesses, which could translate into $90 billion in health and economic benefits a year. ...


What will we do with all this extra health and money!? Squander it, mindlessly, I suppose...

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Tue, Dec 20, 2011
from Associated Press:
Thousands of residents protest Chinese town's planned coal power plant, clash with police
Thousands of people besieged a government office in a southern Chinese town Tuesday and blocked a highway to demand a halt to a planned coal-fired power plant because of concerns about pollution, protesters said. Riot police used tear gas in an attempt to disperse the protesters at the highway in the town of Haimen in Guangdong province, and the demonstrators hurled rocks, water bottles and bricks in return... ...


In the US, only the cancellation of a beloved TV show would engender such protest.

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Wed, Dec 14, 2011
from London Guardian:
Cycle like the Danes to cut carbon emissions, says study
Europe could cut its transport greenhouse gas emissions by more than 25 percent if every population cycled as regularly as the Danes, according to a pioneering study which tracks the environmental impact of cycling down to the extra calories consumed by riders. If the EU cycling rate was the same as it is in Denmark, where the average person cycles almost 600 miles (965km) each year, then the bloc would attain anything from 12 percent to 26 percent of its targeted transport emissions reduction, depending on what forms of transport the cycling replaced, according to the report by the Brussels-based European Cycling Federation (ECF). This figure is likely to be a significant underestimate as it deliberately excludes the environmental impact of building road infrastructure and parking, or maintaining and disposing of cars. ...


As long as I can text while I bike, I'm in!

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Thu, Dec 1, 2011
from London Guardian:
Alaskan community revives legal bid for global warming damages
A native American community in remote Alaska this week revived legal efforts to hold some of the world's largest energy companies accountable for allegedly destroying their village because of global warming. The so-called "climigration" trial would be the first of its kind, potentially creating a precedent in the US courts for further climate change-related damages cases. Attorneys acting for the 427 Inupiat people living in Kivalina made representations before an appeals panel in San Francisco on Monday, to claim climate change-related damages from Exxon Mobil, BP America, Chevron, Shell, Peabody Energy, the world's largest coal provider, and America's largest electricity-generating companies including American Electric Power and Duke Energy. ...


Watch out, Goliaths; you may have met your match.

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Sat, Oct 15, 2011
from CNN:
Green sidewalk makes electricity -- one footstep at a time
Paving slabs that convert energy from people's footsteps into electricity are set to help power Europe's largest urban mall, at the 2012 London Olympics site. The recycled rubber "PaveGen" paving slabs harvest kinetic energy from the impact of people stepping on them and instantly deliver tiny bursts of electricity to nearby appliances. The slabs can also store energy for up to three days in an on-board battery, according to its creator. In their first commercial application, 20 tiles will be scattered along the central crossing between London's Olympic stadium and the recently opened Westfield Stratford City mall -- which expects an estimated 30 million customers in its first year. ...


Consumers ... giving back? Now that's an antidote for the apocalypse.

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Tue, Sep 27, 2011
from Washington Post:
Keystone pipeline opponents pin hopes on Nebraska
Environmentalists hoping to block a proposed underground oil pipeline that would snake 1,700 miles from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico have pinned their hopes on an unlikely ally -- the conservative state of Nebraska. Few states are as red as Nebraska, which hasn't supported a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964. But opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline has risen steadily since the project was proposed three years ago... Many in the public are hostile to the idea, too. When a pipeline company logo was displayed on a stadium screen during a recent Nebraska Cornhuskers game, boos rained down from the crowd of 85,000. ...


Soon this pipeline will be nothing but a pipedream.

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Thu, Sep 22, 2011
from Mongabay:
Indigenous Peruvians blockade river against 'murderous' oil company
Over the weekend more than 100 Shuar indigenous people, also known as Wampis, blockaded the Morona River in Peru in an effort to stop exploratory oil drilling by Canadian-owned Talisman Energy. The blockade in meant to prevent oil drilling in an area of the Peruvian Amazon known as Block 64, home to four indigenous tribes in total and the Pastaza River Wetland Complex, a Ramsar wetland site. "We do not consider the oil company as a creator of jobs but instead as murderous, criminal and abusive. We do not want Talisman in the Wampis territory," a statement from the Shuar reads pointing to Talisman Energy's track record in Peru as well as alleged human rights abuses in Sudan during the nation's civil war. The company sold off its Sudan holdings in 2003 after international criticism, while a lawsuit in the US against Talisman was thrown out due to sufficient admissible evidence. The US Supreme Court refused to hear the case. ...


Just build 'em condos, feed 'em HoHos, and they'll shut up.

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Wed, Sep 21, 2011
from New York Times:
For Obama, Peer Pressure from Nobel Laureates
With his approval rating among American voters at an all-time low, President Obama could use a little support from his peers. But this month nine fellow recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and the Dalai Lama, sent the president a letter urging him to veto the construction of a huge pipeline that would bring bring crude oil to the United States from Canada. On Monday, the letter was published as an advertisement in The Washington Post. It reads in part: "The night you were nominated for president, you told the world that under your leadership -- and working together -- the rise of the oceans will begin to slow and the planet will begin to heal. You spoke of creating a clean energy economy. This is a critical moment to make good on that pledge." ...


Obama may be tarred and feathered by these otherwise peaceful souls.

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Tue, Sep 20, 2011
from Los Angeles Times:
China closes solar-panel plant after protests
Authorities ordered a solar-panel manufacturing plant in eastern China to close after four days of protests by hundreds of villagers who have accused the facility of causing air and water pollution, Chinese media reported Monday. The decision is an indication of the growing power of environmental protesters to sway government policy in China. As many as 500 villagers participated in the protests near Haining, an industrial city of 640,000 in coastal Zhejiang province. The plant's operator, JinkoSolar, a New York Stock Exchange-listed company, issued a public apology Monday. ...


Iconoclastic renegade Americans could learn a thing or two from the docile Chinese.

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Fri, Sep 2, 2011
from PAFOA:
The Grey Man: Invisibility
The Grey Man NEVER draws attention to himself by word, dress, action, or mannerism. The Young Grey Man is dismissed as a wimp, the Older as a doddering old fool. The Grey Man derives great inner satisfaction from having this portrayal of himself accepted by all he meets, for it means he is succeeding in his disguise of his actual persona. The Grey Man is a private man. He practices with his weaponry in private, or only with his fellow Grey Men, always in a secluded location. If he must resort to use of a public facility, he schedules his practice for times when he is likely to be the only one there. At such times he would probably wear bright clothing, to be remembered only as 'that guy in the red jacket and sunglasses', a quite different person from his usual persona. If right-handed, he would always occupy the leftmost station on a NRA bullseye pistol range, with his back to an observer, or the rightmost one for riflery or combat pistol practice. He would not have his name emblazoned on clothing or equipment, nor would he have any noteworthy affiliation proclaimed on his cap. "He's just a guy. Comes every Wednesday morning for his coffeebreak. Always pays cash."... It helps the Survivor to build up this persona of The Grey Man gradually and over time. The anti-gun sheeple neighbors will quickly rat out the 'Patriot' who is always loudly declaiming about his 'Rights' and 'what will happen if they try to take my guns'. The Grey Man goes far out of his way never to offend anyone, imitating the duck which appears calm on the surface of his pond whilst paddling like hell under the surface.... Making the other guy waste precious time in assessing the situation is a big part of staying alive. Practice being grey now, while there's time to build your skills. ...


I think I'd rather be a "green man."

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Tue, Aug 23, 2011
from Toronto Globe and Mail:
Dozens arrested outside White House during oil sands protest
A Canadian woman was among as many as 50 environmental activists handcuffed and taken to jail Sunday on the second day of peaceful White House protests against TransCanada Corp.'s controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Fifty protesters are already in a downtown D.C. jail following their arrests outside the White House on Saturday, the opening day of a two-week civil disobedience campaign.... President Barack Obama will decide by the end of the year whether to allow Calgary-based TransCanada to build the controversial, $7-billion (U.S.) pipeline. It would transport millions of barrels of Alberta oil sands crude a week through the American heartland and to Gulf Coast refineries. Opponents say Keystone is an environmental disaster waiting to happen, pointing to a number of recent spills along pipelines. They also oppose Alberta's oil sands due to their high greenhouse gas emissions. Advocates, meantime, say the pipeline will create thousands of American jobs amid a lingering recession, and will also help end U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern oil. ...


Someday soon, we'll all have jobs dying of the heat.

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Tue, Aug 16, 2011
from Michael Stafford, on DailyWorld:
A conservative's conversion on climate change
I am a "climate change convert." Like many conservatives, I was traditionally skeptical of the science supporting anthropogenic global warming. Today, I am skeptical no longer. Like conservative blogger D.R. Tucker, on this issue, I was ultimately "defeated by facts."... In my own case, I finally reached a point where I could no longer in good conscience deny the implications of the cumulative weight of so large a corpus of evidence. That body of evidence is extensive, and growing. For example, in 2010 the National Academy of Sciences issued what its president, Ralph J. Cicerone, deemed "the most comprehensive report ever on climate change." The report echoes many of the same findings as the earlier 2007 IPCC report that played a key roll in Tucker's conversion but includes five additional years' worth of evidence and data. And in 2010, the Pentagon identified climate change as a threat to our nation's security in its Quadrennial Defense Review for the first time.... In the end, my own reading and research made the following conclusions inescapable: today, there is no debate in the scientific community about whether the Earth is warming -- it is. There is also a nearly unanimous consensus that human activity is responsible for this warming. Given the foregoing, addressing climate change today is an ethical and moral imperative. Failing to do so is a repudiation of our responsibilities both to each other, and most particularly, to future generations. It is a breach of faith, trust, and duty, of enormous magnitude. ...


That's... so... beautiful....

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Mon, Aug 8, 2011
from AlterNet:
Do We Need a Militant Movement to Save the Planet (and Ourselves)?
A new book called Deep Green Resistance, by Aric McBay, Lierre Keith and Derrick Jensen, says that we likely won't have enough people interested in saving the planet before we run out of time. So, they're calling for a change in strategy. You may know Jensen from his many books, including Endgame. McBay is the author of Peak Oil Survival: Preparing for Life After Gridcrash, and Keith is the author of The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability. The three longtime activists have teamed up to offer a more radical approach to our environmental crisis.... Each day 200 species go extinct, Jensen writes in the preface. And if you can't wrap your head around that number, how about "90 percent of the large fish in the ocean are gone, there is ten times as much plastic as phytoplankton in the oceans, 97 percent of native forests are destroyed, 98 percent of native grasslands are destroyed..." and Jensen continues with the bad news from there.... And so how do we save the world (and along with it ourselves)? Well, naturally we take down industrial civilization, they say.... "Every cell in my body wants there to be a voluntary transition to a sustainable way of living, but I'm not going to base the future of the planet on that anymore than I am going to base it on unicorns jumping over the moon and farting pixie dust. It is just not going to happen. Those in power are insatiable. They are insane. They care more for increasing power and making money than life on the planet. I can't bear to live in a world being murdered, and I can't understand how anyone who even remotely considers themselves a living being can not oppose this with every bit of energy that they have, through whatever means are necessary to save life on the planet. I don't understand why it is even controversial to talk about dismantling industrial civilization when it has shown itself for 6,000 years to be destroying the planet and to be systemically committing genocide. I mean this is not even a new idea." ...


A strong eco-militancy may be the best defense.

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Wed, Jul 27, 2011
from Los Angeles Times:
Activist who faked Utah energy lease bids sentenced to 2 years
A Utah man lionized by environmentalists for crashing a 2008 government auction of energy leases near two national parks was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $10,000 on Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Dee Benson in Salt Lake City ordered Tim DeChristopher taken into custody immediately. "I'm not saying there isn't a place for civil disobedience," Benson said. "But it can't be the order of the day." In a roughly 35-minute address to the court, DeChristopher, 29, said his actions were necessary to highlight the threat that climate change poses to the planet. "My intent both at the time of the auction and now was to expose, embarrass and hold accountable the oil and gas industry, to point that it cut into their $100-billion profits," he said. ...


Thankfully, the status quo of complicity with our planet's destruction has been preserved.

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Wed, Jul 27, 2011
from London Guardian:
Sea Shepherd could be forced to sell Steve Irwin in bluefin dispute
The Sea Shepherd director has been convicted in absentia in Norway, spent 80 days in a Dutch prison, and has had the Japanese, Icelandic and Danish navies trying to arrest him for trying to defend whales, seals and fish. But now the animal rights and environmental activist Paul Watson faces the ignominy of having the flagship of his fleet, the Steve Irwin, sold by Scotland unless he raises nearly £1m in the next two weeks. Watson, a co-founder of Greenpeace and the director of the Sea Shepherd conservation society based in California, was about to leave Lerwick in the Shetland isles en route for the Faroes last week when Maltese company Fish and Fish lodged a complaint against him in the Scottish courts over alleged damage sustained when Sea Shepherd freed hundreds of bluefin tuna from the company's nets in a a clash off the coast of Libya last year. The Steve Irwin was impounded by the court on 15 July and now the man described by the Japanese as a pirate has just days left to post a bond for £860,000. ...


The Steve Irwin has been stung by the stingray of capitalism.

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Thu, Jul 21, 2011
from Post Carbon Institute:
The Peak Oil Crisis: Reality On Hold
As much of America bakes in some of the highest temperatures ever recorded and while Washington argues interminably over taxes, budget cuts and debt caps, one is struck by the unreality of it all. When the House of Representatives votes to preserve the incandescent light bulb for a while as a symbol of personal freedom, it is as if we have entered a wonderland where black is white, up is down and as a nation we have lost touch with reality.... At last count there were at least a dozen mega dangers looming on the horizon all of which have the potential to change the nature of global civilization in profound ways. Yet the body politic seems to take little or no notice and concerns itself largely with issues that will soon be swept away by change. These dangers range from the depletion of our fossil fuel and mineral resources, to shrinking food and water supplies, to rising oceans, to political upheavals.... so long as a lot of us believe that we can reestablish economic growth, and wait for the return of the climate to "normal" our politicians will try to satisfy or at least say they will try to satisfy these aspirations. Change will only come when enough people realize that a return to life-as-we-knew-it a few years back is no longer possible or is at least unlikely. Unfortunately most of our media starts with the assumption that our current woes are only temporary and if we only wait long enough economic growth will resume has it always has in living memory and climate change will not turn out to be so bad as alarmists fears. ...


As long as we stay drunk, we won't have a hangover, right?

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Mon, Jul 18, 2011
from Huffington Post:
'Citizen Scientists' To Help Gauge Wild Bee Population
Scientist Gretchen LeBuhn is trying to save the nation's wild bee population. But to achieve her goal, she's resorting to some unconventional means, namely the help of ordinary citizens from across the country. On Saturday 100,000 'citizen scientist' volunteers will spend about 15 minutes counting the number of bees that visit "lemon queen" sunflowers they've planted following instructions on LeBuhn's website, www.greatsunflower.com. Participants will monitor the flowers for bees twice monthly through the end of the summer, uploading the information into a central database.... Though researchers have reported a drastic decline in the populations of domesticated honeybees since at least 2006, the statistics on wild bees have remained more elusive.... "The Western bumblebee disappeared from all over the Western U.S. and nobody noticed," she told HuffPost in an interview Thursday. "I find that amazing that you can have the biggest, fuzziest, most common, cute bee disappear and people didn't even know." ...


Clearly those bees didn't have the right agent.

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Fri, Jul 15, 2011
from Earth Island Institute, via Huffington Post:
Humpback Whale Thanks Those Who Saved Her
The group came upon a stranded humpback whale who was so tangled in a mesh of nylon netting that she was beginning to drown, and as Fishbach noted in this video, was possibly an hour from death. The crew worked tirelessly for more than an hour to free the stranded whale and, to their elation, eventually succeeded. Then, magic happened. For miles on their ride home, the whale put on a beautiful show -- perhaps to say "thank you" to her rescuers?... This isn't the first time that a whale has put on a show in front of humans. Just last month, a group of whale watchers got an unexpected treat when they witnessed a twirling finback whale. Take a break from work and enjoy this hearty slice of human kindness (or jump to 6:40 if you're short on time). ...


Those eight minutes of video are a whale of a good time.

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Tue, Jul 5, 2011
from UEA, via ScienceDaily:
Evaluation of Climate Policy Is Skyrocketing but in an 'Undeveloped and Unsystematic' Way, Says Study
Published in the international journal Policy Sciences, a meta-analysis by a team of researchers from across Europe offers the very first systematic cataloging of the emerging patterns of policy evaluation undertaken in different parts of the European Union. In the last decade or so the politics surrounding the development of new policies has attracted unprecedented attention. Many new targets and policies have been adopted. But a lot less is known about what is being done to check that the resulting policies are actually delivering on their promises. The findings reveal that a culture of evaluation is emerging: the number of evaluations produced has grown spectacularly in recent years. Data collected for six EU states and for the EU as a whole reveal an eightfold increase in the number of reports produced between 2000 and 2005.... "The most striking finding of our analysis is just how undeveloped and unsystematic are most current evaluation practices. Great efforts have been made to inform and understand policy making procedures in Europe, but most policy evaluation remains piecemeal and non-consultative." As the political pressure on policy makers to describe and explain what is being done to tackle climate change increases, calls will grow for evaluation to be undertaken in a more open and transparent fashion. "At present, policy systems in Europe seem ill-prepared to rise to that challenge," said Prof Jordan. ...


I just evaluated it systematically.

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Tue, Jun 14, 2011
from change.org:
Calls Escalate for a US National Fracking Ban
America's early fracking frenzy has subsided into a rolling boil of controversy in states where the controversial natural gas drilling technique now threatens to expand its reach. Seeing the disaster that fracking has become in places like Texas and Pennsylvania, citizens and environmentalists are pushing state legislatures and the U.S. Congress to stop it now. This doesn't mean wait-and-see. This doesn't mean letting drillers frack-up more rivers and aquifers, and then regulate later. This means, Ban fracking now. Food & Water Watch has launched a campaign on Change.org asking Congress to do just that. They are already gaining momentum around the country, and have released a report today making their case.... More than 1,000 cases of water contamination have already been reported near fracking sites, and in the past 18 months, at least 10 studies by scientists, Congress, investigative journalists and public interest groups have documented environmental problems with fracking, according to Food & Water Watch. ...


You can't tell us what to do. We own you.

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Mon, Apr 25, 2011
from Toronto Star:
Activists embark on five-day walk to protest 'mega quarry'
Farmers, ranchers and First Nations groups embarked on a 115-kilometre trek to Melancthon Township on Friday to show their opposition to a "mega quarry" planned for the region. The group departed on foot from Queen's Park, where roughly 200 people had gathered to discuss the project's potentially negative impact on the region's water, farming and quality of life.... "It's going to be the second-largest quarry in North America["]...The application for the project, put forward by The Highland Companies, says the limestone quarry planned for Dufferin County will use 600 million litres of groundwater every day... ...


Sometimes, just getting up off your butt is the hardest part.

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Mon, Apr 25, 2011
from Edinburgh Scotsman:
Greenpeace activists hijack Scots oil rig bound for Greenland
GREENPEACE activists climbed aboard an oil rig off Turkey yesterday to prevent it leaving for Greenland to begin deep-water drilling in the Arctic. Eleven activists used speedboats to intercept and then climb on to the Leiv Eiriksson after it had left a port in Istanbul. They climbed the rig's derrick, unfurling a banner that read: "Stop Arctic destruction" and "Go Beyond Oil, Choose Clean Energy." The platform, bound for Greenland's Baffin Bay, did not stop and stayed on course, heading towards the Dardanelles strait with the activists on board, Deniz Sozudogru, a Greenpeace spokeswoman said. ...


This has all the makings of an ongoing drama.

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Fri, Mar 25, 2011
from Leader-Post:
Counting down to 2011 Earth Hour
Major landmarks across Canada -from the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver to the MontRoyal Cross in Montreal -will stand in darkness Saturday as more than 100 countries pledge to turn their lights off as a call to action for climate change. Earth Hour started as a simple conversation between The World Wildlife Federation (WWF), Chicago-based advertising agency Leo Burnett and the Sydney Morning Herald about climate change and how to raise and demonstrate public support. But that discussion sparked an idea that led to the now-annual, hour-long, lights-off event. ...


At my house, we're having Earth Night!

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Sat, Mar 12, 2011
from Living on Earth:
Can a Hollywood Producer inspire Americans on Climate?
...Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and the organization's climate chief Christiana Figueres... urged film and TV industry bigwigs to pitch in and put their talents to use to raise awareness about global warming. Among the 400 Hollywood celebs in the audience was Marshall Herskovitz - the producer of the TV series "thirtysomething" and "My So Called Life." He also produced a dozen films, including "Blood Diamond" and "I am Sam." Now, Marshall Herskovitz has two new projects underway dealing with climate change in which he says he's going to put many of the Hollywood tricks-of-the-trade to use....GELLERMAN: Well, isn't that the idea: that you don't hit people over the head with the message, but you weave the message into the motion picture. HERSKOVITZ: Well, yes, it's the idea, except for the fact that we are either in a planetary emergency or we're not. (Laughs). And it's fine to say, 'don't hit people over the head,' but in fact, we need to hit people over the head. We need people to act right now, and we need people to act in a huge manner. It's very hard to get across to people the scale at which we have to act. ...


That's funny. I've been saying this for years!

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Wed, Mar 9, 2011
from NUVO Newsweekly:
Greening the faith
... Last Saturday, leaders from 16 Christian denominations, along with Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Unitarian leaders, gathered at First Baptist Church of Indianapolis to celebrate the inauguration of Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light. The organization is an affiliate of the national Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) organization, founded in 1998, which considers itself the "religious response to global warming." Its goal is to educate religious congregations on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and conservation. "The first goal of Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light is to reduce our carbon use, our energy use, within our places of worship," explained Luke Gascho, board chair of the new organization and director of the Merry Lea Environmental Center at Goshen College, to the gathering of about 200 Indiana church leaders.... "Every mainstream religion that I know of has a mandate to care for the earth," said Interfaith Power & Light's founder Rev. Bingham. "For Christians who are commanded to love God and love our neighbors, it could not be clearer... If you love your neighbor, love one another, you don't pollute your neighbor's air and water." ...


I don't believe in God, but I believe in Reverend Bingham.

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Sat, Mar 5, 2011
from The Nation:
The Story of 'Citizens United' vs. the FEC
This is the best short history of the growth of corporate power I've ever read, heard or seen. It's also a primer on exactly why the Supreme Court's closely divided Citizens United decision is incompatible with basic notions of democratic governance. Created by the good folks at The Story of Stuff project, founded by Annie Leonard to creatively amplify public discourse on environmental, social and economic concerns, The Story of Citizens United v FEC explores the crisis in American democracy sparked by the Court decision that gave corporations the right to spend unlimited funds to influence elections... The ultimate solution is the Free Speech for People Amendment to the US Constitution. Corporations are not people, they do not vote, and they should not be able to influence election outcomes. ...


The revolution will be animated.

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Sat, Mar 5, 2011
from Grist:
How bicycling will save the economy (if we let it)
Imagine getting a $3,000 to $12,000 tax rebate this year. Now imagine it coming again and again. Every year it grows by around a thousand dollars. Imagine how this would change your daily life. Sounds like a teabagger's wet dream, but it's actually a conservative estimate of how much you'd save by ditching your car, or even just one of your cars -- and getting on a bicycle instead. ...


One teabagger's wet dream is another teabagger's swollen prostate.

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Thu, Mar 3, 2011
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Your own private Wisconsin
Chances are, if you're like me, if you're like most Americans, if you're paying reasonable amounts of thoughtful attention, you know spectacular things are afoot, urgent things, things that make politicians wail and envoys grumble, pundits furrow and ambassadors panic as various dictators and sultanates spontaneously combust.... Maybe you aren't exactly prepared to zip on over to Yemen, grab a burning Molotov and march. Hell, maybe you don't really care about the fat sheiks in Bahrain because what the hell do those billionaire misogynists have to do with the price of a decent dental plan for your kids? Nevertheless, you know the cause is just. Do not miss this ride. Do not let the opportunity swirl by untapped. Harness this moment like it's a goddamn wild horse and make changes in your own world, push back against boundaries and regimes, oppressive dogma and deception. Why not? Hold up a sign. Support a local organization. Seek release. Live authentically, love intently, push back again the injustices immediately around you. Sound simple? Sound obvious? Sure it is. I dare you. ...


Uh-oh. Sedition like this gets one, um, noticed.

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Wed, Feb 16, 2011
from AP, via HuffingtonPost:
Sea Shepherd Activists Prompt Japan To Suspend Whaling
Japan has temporarily suspended its annual Antarctic whaling after repeated harassment by a conservationist group, a government official said Wednesday. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ships have been chasing the Japanese whaling fleet for weeks in the icy seas off Antarctica, trying to block Japan's annual whale hunt, planned for up to 945 whales. Japan has halted the hunt since Feb. 10 after persistent "violent" disruptions by the anti-whaling protesters, said fisheries agency official Tatsuya Nakaoku. So far, the attacks have not caused any injuries or major damage to the vessels, he said, but the protesters are throwing rancid butter in bottles and once the protesters got a rope entangled in the propeller on a harpoon vessel, causing it to slow down. "We have temporarily suspended our research whaling to ensure safety," he said. The fleet plans to resume hunting when conditions are deemed safe, he added, but declined to say how long the suspension is planned for. ...


The "science" in "scientific whaling" needs more study.

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Tue, Feb 15, 2011
from Mongabay:
Chevron found guilty, ordered to pay $8.2 billion in epic oil contamination fight
It was the environmental legal battle that some believed would never end (and they may still be right). But today in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, after 18 years of an often-dramatic court case, Chevron was found guilty of environmental harm and ordered to pay $8.2 billion in damages, however the oil giant says it will appeal the ruling. The lawsuit was filed by indigenous groups in the Ecuadorian Amazon who argue that poor environmental safeguards from Texaco in the 1970s and 80s led to widespread oil contamination and high rates of diseases, including cancer, among the populace. In 2001 Chevron purchased Texaco and inherited the legal fight. For its part, Chevron has dubbed the ruling "illegitimate" and with an appeal will drag the case on longer.... "Today's ruling in Ecuador against Chevron proves overwhelmingly that the oil giant is responsible for billions gallons of highly toxic waste sludge deliberately dumped into local streams and rivers, which thousands depend on for drinking, bathing, and fishing," two organizations Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch said in a joint release. ...


Once again those indigenes are hurting the economy.

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Sun, Jan 23, 2011
from Agence France-Press:
Climate change: Dogs of law are off the leash
From being a marginal and even mocked issue, climate-change litigation is fast emerging as a new frontier of law where some believe hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake. Compensation for losses inflicted by man-made global warming would be jaw-dropping, a payout that would make tobacco and asbestos damages look like pocket money. Imagine: a country or an individual could get redress for a drought that destroyed farmland, for floods and storms that created an army of refugees, for rising seas that wiped a small island state off the map. In the past three years, the number of climate-related lawsuits has ballooned, filling the void of political efforts in tackling greenhouse-gas emissions. ...


That won't be a problem here in the United States where climate change is an ideological issue.

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Sun, Jan 2, 2011
from NEF, via Guardian:
Blast from the Past: Aug 1, 2008: 100 months to save the world [today we're now at 71]
If you shout "fire" in a crowded theatre, when there is none, you understand that you might be arrested for irresponsible behaviour and breach of the peace. But from today, I smell smoke, I see flames and I think it is time to shout. I don't want you to panic, but I do think it would be a good idea to form an orderly queue to leave the building. Because in just 100 months' time, if we are lucky, and based on a quite conservative estimate, we could reach a tipping point for the beginnings of runaway climate change. That said, among people working on global warming, there are countless models, scenarios, and different iterations of all those models and scenarios. So, let us be clear from the outset about exactly what we mean.... We found that, given all of the above, 100 months from today we will reach a concentration of greenhouse gases at which it is no longer "likely" that we will stay below the 2C temperature rise threshold. "Likely" in this context refers to the definition of risk used by the IPCC. But, even just before that point, there is still a one third chance of crossing the line.... But does it have to be this way? Must we curdle in our complacency and allow our cynicism about politicians to give them an easy ride as they fail to act in our, the national and the planet's best interest? There is now a different clock to watch than the one on the office wall. Contrary to being a counsel of despair, it tells us that everything we do from now matters. And, possibly more so than at any other time in recent history. ...


Hmmm. So reading something 29 months old might matter?

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Sat, Jan 1, 2011
from Associated Press:
Japanese whalers, activists clash off Antarctica
SYDNEY - Japanese whalers shot water cannons at anti-whaling activists on Saturday, the conservationist group's founder claimed, hours after the activists tracked down the hunting fleet in the remote and icy seas off Antarctica. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is chasing the fleet in the hopes of interrupting Japan's annual whale hunt, which kills up to 1,000 whales a year. The two sides have clashed violently in the past, including last year, when a Sea Shepherd boat was sunk after its bow was sheared off in a collision with a whaling ship.... New Zealand-based Glenn Inwood, spokesman for Japan's Tokyo-based Institute of Cetacean Research, which sponsors the whale hunt, said he had no comment. ...


I'd like to do a little "research" on their asses.

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Wed, Dec 15, 2010
from Associated Press:
Environmentalists sue ExxonMobil over air laws
The largest oil refinery in the United States released more than 8 million pounds of illegal pollution in the past five years, violating the federal Clean Air Act thousands of times, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by environmental groups in Texas. The lawsuit against ExxonMobil is the latest by Sierra Club and Environment Texas as part of their campaign to rein in what they call "illegal emissions" by dozens of refineries and chemical plants that operate in the Texas Gulf Coast. In recent months, the groups have reached multimillion-dollar, out-of-court settlements with Shell and Chevron Phillips after filing similar suits. ExxonMobil denied the allegations and said it would fight the lawsuit... Texas has more oil refineries, chemical plants and coal-fired power plants that any other state and is the nation's leader in greenhouse gases. The state produces more than 20 percent of the nation's oil and one-third of the country's gas is refined along the Texas Gulf Coast. ...


Oil is the lifeblood of Uhmerica and it's the heart of Texas that pumps it.

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Mon, Dec 6, 2010
from FutureStreet:
Wikileaks, the blueprint, and openness
With every day, with every passing hour, the power of the state mobilizes against Wikileaks and Julian Assange, its titular leader. The inner processes of statecraft have never been so completely exposed as they have been in the last week. The nation state has been revealed as some sort of long-running and unintentionally comic soap opera. She doesn't like him; he doesn't like them; they don't like any of us!... Has Earth become a sort of amplified Facebook, where an in-crowd of Heathers, horrified, suddenly finds its bitchy secrets posted on a public forum? Is that what we've been reduced to? Or is that what we've been like all along?... A few months ago I wrote about how confused I was by Julian Assange's actions. Why would anyone taking on the state so directly become such a public figure? It made no sense to me. Now I see the plan. And it's awesome.... Assange gets to be the scapegoat, the pinup boy for a new kind of anarchism. But what he's done can not be undone; this tear in the body politic will never truly heal. Everything is different now. Everything feels more authentic. We can choose to embrace this authenticity, and use it to construct a new system of relations, one which does not rely on secrets and lies. A week ago that would have sounded utopian, now it's just facing facts. ...


Are you implying that sunshine is the best disinfectant?

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Sat, Nov 27, 2010
from Associated Press:
Iceland elects ordinary folk to draft constitution
Iceland's getting a new constitution -- and it's really going to be the voice of the people. The sparsely-populated volcanic island is holding an unusual election Saturday to select ordinary citizens to cobble together a new charter, an exercise in direct democracy born out of the outrage and soul-searching that followed the nation's economic meltdown....Icelanders debated their values and turned to questioning the foundations of their society, including those that had facilitated the boom. Anger grew as more instances of misdeeds and incompetence in the private and public sector were exposed. Icelanders woke up to the harsh fact that their country, which had consistently been at or near the top of the Transparency International anti-corruption index, was, in fact, steeped in corruption. That was ultimately confirmed in a 2,000-page report following a special parliamentary investigation. That report showed that the foundations of Icelandic society were decayed and that a sweeping revision of the social framework was needed. ...


Imagine other governments turning to their own people?

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Fri, Nov 26, 2010
from London Guardian:
Copenhagen climate activists found guilty
Two Danish activists who took part in the Copenhagen climate demonstrations last December have been found guilty of organising and instigating violence and vandalism, and have both been given four-month suspended sentences. One of the three judges in the case disagreed with the verdict. Tannie Nyboe and Stine Gry Jonassen were both spokespeople for the Climate Justice Action group, part of the network involved in some of the demonstrations in Copenhagen during the UN's COP15 climate summit. They have been convicted of four charges, including inciting violence against the police, serious disturbance of the police, interfering with police in the course of their work and destruction of property. The case against them was based, controversially, on evidence gathered by tapping their phones before the conference, and also on video footage taken during the "Reclaim Power" demonstration on 16 December. ...


Too bad the chilling effect this might have on protest doesn't also chill the warming earth.

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Thu, Nov 18, 2010
from CNN:
Climate project calls for citizen scientists
An international team of climate scientists is calling on the public to help with a new initiative aimed at predicting how the climate will change during the 21st century. Using the collective power of ordinary home computers, scientists from the United Kingdom, United States and South Africa will run thousands of regional climate modeling tests which would otherwise take much longer to complete, even on the most up-to-date supercomputers... With the help of the public's PCs scientists will now start running regional climate models for the western United States, Europe and southern Africa. People interested in signing up to the project can visit http://climateprediction.net/weatherathome/ where they can download all the necessary tools to start running regional climate models from their own computers. ...


C'mon kids let's put on a show!

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Wed, Oct 20, 2010
from Live Science:
End of the Earth Postponed
It's a good news/bad news situation for believers in the 2012 Mayan apocalypse. The good news is that the Mayan "Long Count" calendar may not end on Dec. 21, 2012 (and, by extension, the world may not end along with it). The bad news for prophecy believers? If the calendar doesn't end in December 2012, no one knows when it actually will - or if it has already. A new critique, published as a chapter in the new textbook "Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World" (Oxbow Books, 2010), argues that the accepted conversions of dates from Mayan to the modern calendar may be off by as much as 50 or 100 years. ...


Something else to worry about: We don't know which day is doomsday!

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Mon, Oct 18, 2010
from AP:
Canada-US pipeline on hold amid oil's recent woes
The steel is staged, and crews are waiting to lay the last and most expensive leg of TransCanada Corp.'s multibillion-dollar pipeline network that would carry Canadian oil to refineries along the Gulf Coast. Yet final U.S. government approval for the massive project, once assumed to be on a fast track, is now delayed indefinitely, with little official explanation. The company had hoped to begin laying pipe by the end of the year, but those prospects have dimmed.... The massive pipeline network - about five times the length of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline - is designed to move 1.5 million barrels of Canadian oil daily to U.S. refineries.... Opponents of the Keystone XL project describe the 1,980-mile pipeline as an ecological disaster waiting to happen, and land owners are angry that TransCanada has threatened to use eminent domain to obtain the easements it needs for the project. ...


"Eminent domain"!? That pipeline carries the blood of a tyrant.

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Sun, Oct 10, 2010
from 350.org:
It's happening TODAY.
Dear friends, It's happening--and it's even bigger than we thought it would be. From what we can tell from reports streaming in from East Asia and Australia and New Zealand, 10/10/10 is going to be the biggest day of climate action ever--from one end of the planet to the other, people are already hard at work. If you haven't already figured out which event to join, visit the map on our website to find a work party in your community--and be sure to check out the front page of 350.org, which has transformed into an amazing showcase of today's events. ...


There is still time to turn this horror around!

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Tue, Oct 5, 2010
from Climatewire:
Developing Countries Could Sue for Climate Action -- Study
A new study out says vulnerable countries could sue the United States and other industrialized nations for action on climate change. The report, published by the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD), based in the United Kingdom, says small island nations and other threatened countries have the right and likely the procedural means to pursue an inter-state case before the United Nations' International Court of Justice. "Some of these countries are getting increasingly desperate," Christoph Schwarte, the paper's lead author, said. With little movement toward a new global climate change treaty, he said, many leaders are looking for ways to make the United States and others understand the threats they face from rising sea levels, droughts and storm surges. ...


Other than the fact this judicial process would probably take decades this is an outstanding idea!

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Fri, Oct 1, 2010
from Addison County Independent:
Groups gear up for global climate work day
On Sunday, Oct. 10, Bill McKibben is hosting a party, and everyone is invited. But don't expect to find finger foods or karaoke at this shindig -- party games will include building a solar panel out of soda cans, planting a community garden or even converting cars to run on vegetable oil. The "10/10/10 Global Work Party" is a way for McKibben and 350.org, the international organization devoted to solving climate crisis, to encourage people, worldwide, to get busy and get to work in their own communities on solving the global warming issue. ...


We're gettin' busy, jokin' it up at ApocaDocs. Click on the 350 logo and start quipping!

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Tue, Sep 28, 2010
from 350.org:
Philippines Kicking Off 10 Action Plans Leading Towards 10/10/10!
I [350.org's Abe Woo] just got a email update from our great organizer, Marjorie from the Philippines. Marj and her group of youth leaders are busy and getting to work now with their 10 action plans leading towards 10/10/10 Global Work Party. Here is an update of their event: It's still two weeks before 10/10/10 but the everywhere around the globe, people are already busy doing actions for the climate, not to mention the preparations for actual day of the Global Work Party. Here in the Philippines, Agham Youth initiated the build-up activity for 10/10/10 through the gREen Thumbs for the Climate. This signature campaign that will run from September 22-30 aims to raise awareness on the effects of coal on our climate. It is also designed provide information on the vast renewable energy resources of the Philippines that can be utilized to help reach 350ppm. The signatures supporting the use of carbon-free renewable energy resources in the Philippines as alternative to coal were made in the form of green thumb marks on the leaf-less trees. As the supporters increased, so did the leaves of the trees, symbolizing the rehabilitation of our environment through the organized efforts of the people to save our planet. ...


And you can join our 10/10/10 action by joking it up with us! Let's get to work/play!

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Mon, Sep 27, 2010
from Newcastle Herald:
Activists shut down Newcastle coal exports
Climate activists brought Newcastle's billion-dollar coal-loaders to a grinding halt yesterday, suspending themselves midair to effectively shut down the world's largest coal export operation. Police arrested 41 members of the Rising Tide group, which launched a simultaneous protest at three coal-loader sites at dawn yesterday. The group said it was staging an "emergency intervention" into the main cause of global warming in Australia. Nine protesters dressed in high-visibility work clothing, similar to employees at the loaders, breached security at the Carrington and Kooragang Island sites about 5am. Five of the group used climbing equipment to scale coal-loaders and suspend themselves in midair, unveiling banners and forcing the immediate shutdown of machinery. ...


They sound like angels!

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Sun, Sep 26, 2010
from New Haven Register:
Zombie Dump: 'Tire Pond' land fill rising from the dead on Hamden-North Haven line
Only a few pieces of rubber poke out of the ground at the 27-acre expanse that once was a pond choked with millions of old tires. The tires are now buried underneath about 1.4 million cubic yards of soil and sedimentation that since 2002 have been poured into the 140-foot deep clay pit on the Hamden-North Haven line known as the tire pond.... "We are slowly closing in on the final prize, which is the complete closure of the site," said William J. Sigmund III, an environmental analyst with the state Department of Environmental Protection.... But the state-controlled tire pond is far from dormant. Trucks recently began rumbling through the gates, full of waste that has nowhere else to go. Tons of contaminated waste from the Newhall clean-up project in Hamden are arriving daily at the tire pond. Nearby residents in Hamden and North Haven who had hoped the tire pond was dead and buried are nervous it's rising up again, like a toxic zombie ready to leak contaminants into the groundwater and soil. ...


On Golden Tire Pond, with Zombies.

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Sat, Sep 25, 2010
from SolveClimate:
Conservationists Go Funny With Online Videos
But while satirists like Colbert provide some of the most stinging commentary on the political scene today, conservationists are often categorized as too uptight, singularly focused or angst-ridden to yuk it up. Two prominent environmental organizations are evidently laughing off that criticism this campaign season. Both the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) released irreverent online videos this week that bite back at conservative climate deniers and the Tea Party movement. LCV's quirky and animated "Tea Time with Sarah Palin" features the former governor--a "patriot as pure as Alaska snow"--as a talk show host on a "network" called Flat Earth TV praising seven Republican Senate candidates for their skepticism about the science of global warming.... The two-minute Sierra Club spot, "Rand Paul: In His Own Words," strings together snippets of the Senate candidate's insights about coal mining, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and how limiting greenhouse gases would mean a regulatory agency run amuck and an end to capitalism. Palin makes a cameo appearance as an endorser.... Humor disarms, Palmer said, and makes people more open to being influenced. The video won't change many minds but it will interest, excite and motivate people who accept the science behind climate change, he added. ...


A fine beginning. Now let's see if we can shift away from ad hominem humor, shall we?

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Thu, Sep 16, 2010
from Guardian:
An alternative to the new wave of ecofascism
It is time to acknowledge that mainstream environmentalism has failed to prevent climate catastrophe. Its refusal to call for an immediate consumption reduction has backfired and its demise has opened the way for a wave of fascist environmentalists who reject democratic freedom. One well-known example of the authoritarian turn in environmentalism is James Lovelock, the first scientist to discover the presence of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere. Earlier this year he told the Guardian that democracies are incapable of adequately addressing climate change. "I have a feeling," Lovelock said, "that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while." His words may be disturbing, but other ecologists have gone much further. Take for example Pentti Linkola, a Finnish fisherman and ecological philosopher. Whereas Lovelock puts his faith in advanced technology, Linkola proposes a turn to fascistic primitivism. Their only point of agreement is on the need to suspend democracy.... Humanity can avert climate catastrophe without accepting ecological tyranny. However, this will take an immediate, drastic reduction of our consumption. ... Only by silencing the consumerist forces will both climate catastrophe and ecological tyranny be averted. Yes, western consumption will be substantially reduced. But it will be done voluntarily and joyously. ...


I bet Wall Street gets behind this plan!

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Thu, Sep 9, 2010
from ProPublica:
Do "Environmental Extremists" Pose Criminal Threat to Gas Drilling?
As debate over natural gas drilling [1] in the Marcellus shale reaches a fever pitch, state and federal authorities are warning Pennsylvania law enforcement that "environmental extremists" pose an increasing threat to security and to the energy sector. A confidential intelligence bulletin [2] sent from the Pennsylvania Department of Homeland Security to law enforcement professionals in late August says drilling opponents have been targeting the energy industry with increasing frequency and that the severity of crimes has increased. ...


"Environmental extremists" = people who give a shit about the planet.

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Mon, Aug 30, 2010
from Discovery:
9 Essential Clothing Repair Skills - Make Your Clothes Last Longer!
One of the best ways to buy less stuff is to buy fewer, but higher quality items, and to keep them in good repair. This is very true for clothing, and by learning a few simple skills, you can keep your clothes looking and fitting great, longer. These skills are also important to learn if you have kids -- the things they manage to do to clothes are just amazing sometimes. Save money, save your clothes -- here are nine simple skills to learn. ...


I thought clothes had no user-serviceable parts!

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Fri, Aug 27, 2010
from Planet Green:
Mobile Farm Trucks Bring the Produce to the People
[I]t isn't surprising that some clever entrepreneurs are capitalizing on both trends by bringing farm fresh produce to those in both urban and rural areas. They are calling themselves Mobile Farm Trucks or Mobile Farmers' Markets, and they don't just cater to high-end shoppers, but provide low-income residents with affordable, fresh produce, grown using sustainable and/or organic methods. For example, in New York City, the Holton Farms Mobile Farm Truck has taken to the streets. Not a mobile farm stand, but a CSA on wheels. As they say on their site, "... The Farm Truck allows us access to neighborhoods throughout the Five Boroughs without having to open a store." The Farm Truck is run by sustainable farmers who partner with other farms and artisan producers to bring other products to its members including ice cream, cheeses, breads, coffee, grains, and soaps. They are still working on getting the appropriate permits to sell to non-CSA members and they are also accepting Food Stamps and discounting their prices by 20 percent for low-income New Yorkers.... Last year, Maine's Jordan Farm started a Mobile Farm Stand that travels to senior housing sites in South Portland and to Portland and Scarborough businesses. Using a renovated school bus, they offer the same fresh produce that is available at their farm stand in Cape Elizabeth. Like Holton Farms, Jordan's Farm uses sustainable farming practices, and also brings products from other producers in their area, including eggs, cream, butter, meat, cheese, pasta, honey, and maple syrup. ...


This story has wheels.

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Thu, Aug 26, 2010
from Church of England, via Christian Ecology:
Bellringing for Biodiversity, Sept. 22
Church bells across the country will ring in tune with the United Nations next month to mark crucial international talks on biodiversity. As the bells toll at the UN headquarters in both New York and Nairobi, bell ringers from small parish churches to large cathedrals and minsters are being encouraged to ring on September 22. 2010 is the UN's International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) and the Church of England is one of the official partners in the UK. The UN General Assembly will discuss for the first time ever the crisis affecting the world's biodiversity on September 22, underlining the importance of how plants, animals and life as we know it are all linked and the loss of one species through human actions can affect many others.... "Ringing the church bells is a great way for the wider community to be reminded and to celebrate the beauty of creation. Rural churches are at the heart of village life and their churchyards are part of the collective history and memory of that community. Celebrating the biodiversity of countryside and churchyard will bring a community together and ringing the bells is a very prominent way of doing it." ...


Ring it in the morning, ring it in the evening, all over this la-and.

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Tue, Aug 17, 2010
from American for Psychological Science, via EurekAlert:
People who cannot escape a system are likely to defend the status quo
...[P]eople who are told that their right to emigrate will be restricted have what could be considered a strange reaction: they respond by defending their country's system.... The researchers interpret that to mean that people who feel trapped in their country are more likely to try to justify the country's system and rationalize away its dissatisfactory elements. "We focused on policies, but there are a lot of other reasons that make it hard for people to leave. One of these is poverty," says Laurin. "It's a depressing thought that the poor, the very people who are put in the worst position by a particular system, might be the ones that are the most motivated to defend that system." ...


Thank goodness we live in the best of all possible worlds.

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Sun, Aug 15, 2010
from Miami Herald:
Tiny toxic town takes on a corporate Goliath
A Florida hamlet where parts for nuclear weapons were made is fighting both an environmental calamity and a major defense contractor... Environmental contamination threatens to destroy this historic black town and its heritage. In one of the nation's most emotional environmental divides, the residents find themselves pitted against giant defense contractor Lockheed Martin, Manatee County, and the state of Florida. The divide takes root at the former American Beryllium Company plant, anchoring five acres at 1600 Tallevast Road across from a community church. Opened in 1961 and shuttered in 1996, the plant manufactured machine parts for nuclear weapons using beryllium-containing metals. Workers inhaled hazardous dust and handled a toxic degreaser that cleaned machine parts. ...


They better have some bad-ass slingshots.

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Wed, Aug 4, 2010
from Bill McKibben, in TomDispatch:
We're Hot as Hell and We're Not Going to Take It Any More
I'm a mild-mannered guy, a Methodist Sunday School teacher. Not quick to anger. So what I want to say is: this is fucked up. The time has come to get mad, and then to get busy.... The task at hand is keeping the planet from melting. We need everyone -- beginning with the president -- to start explaining that basic fact at every turn.... Step two, we have to ask for what we actually need, not what we calculate we might possibly be able to get. If we're going to slow global warming in the very short time available to us, then we don't actually need an incredibly complicated legislative scheme that gives door prizes to every interested industry and turns the whole operation over to Goldman Sachs to run. We need a stiff price on carbon, set by the scientific understanding that we can't still be burning black rocks a couple of decades hence.... That undoubtedly means upending the future business plans of Exxon and BP, Peabody Coal and Duke Energy, not to speak of everyone else who's made a fortune by treating the atmosphere as an open sewer for the byproducts of their main business. Instead they should pay through the nose for that sewer, and here's the crucial thing: most of the money raised in the process should be returned directly to American pockets.... Which leads to the third step in this process. If we're going to get any of this done, we're going to need a movement, the one thing we haven't had. ...


I'll give you your movement from the back end of my Hummer.

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Tue, May 18, 2010
from London Independent:
Eco anarchists: A new breed of terrorist?
Until last month the small market town of Langnau in the rolling Swiss hills had two claims to fame; it was both a centre for the production of Emmental cheese and also one of the sunniest places in Switzerland. Today, thanks to a routine police traffic inquiry, it has the dubious honour of being the location where one of Europe's biggest alleged acts of eco-terrorism was foiled. On the night of 15 April local officers pulled over a car on one of the town's quiet streets. Inside the vehicle they found a large cache of explosives, primed and ready to detonate. The three people in the car are alleged to have been members of the murky Italian anarchist group Il Silvestre, who were reportedly on a mission to blow up the nearby unfinished 55m [pounds] IBM nanotechnology facility. The apparent attack is believed to be part of a new co-ordinated wave of eco-terror on the continent. ...


There will be (green) blood.

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Sun, May 9, 2010
from Reuters:
U.S. schools add fresh food without busting budgets
Thousands of U.S. public school districts are teaming up with local farmers to put more fresh fruits and vegetables on lunchroom menus, without breaking budgets or getting any help from celebrity chefs. The schools are taking early steps toward adding more fresh and homemade foods as advocated by British chef Jamie Oliver, who led a campaign to improve school lunch in his country. But inexpensive, processed foods still dominate U.S. school menus. Proponents including U.S. President Barack Obama are pushing for a bigger investment in school meals that feed some of the country's neediest children. The aim is to establish healthier eating habits and curb obesity rates that are driving nearly $150 billion in medical costs each year. Nearly a third of U.S. children are obese or overweight and public health experts are warning that this generation of youth may be the first to live shorter lives than their parents. The problem is so severe it has caught the attention of the U.S. military. Last month, two retired generals said in a Washington Post column that being overweight or obese was now the top medical reason recruits were turned down for military service, and that obesity rates were threatening the future strength of the military. ...


How skinny do you have to be to push a button and launch a drone missile?

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Mon, May 3, 2010
from The Daily Climate:
Surprising common ground emerges in climate policy
The ad was ominous: A stern portrait of Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with a missile launching skyward behind his right shoulder. Below were the logos of the entire continuum of Jewish organizations in the United States, 17 in all, including all four major denominations. The message was clear - national security and Israel's safety are at risk. The threat? U.S. energy policy. The full page advertisement in Friday's New York Times was simply the latest example of diverse groups rallying together for and against climate policy. Organizations from across the American political spectrum, from hunters to retirees to evangelical Hispanic clergy are finding common ground on an issue that has left the Capitol - and many state legislatures - polarized and paralyzed. ...


As the bed burns hotter, the bedfellows will get stranger.

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Sat, May 1, 2010
from The Boston Globe:
Concord fires first shot in water battle
CONCORD -- For years, Jean Hill has been reading about the environmental consequences of the countless plastic bottles filling landfills and polluting local waters. She has watched as other towns around the country have cut purchases of bottled water, which she views as a wasteful, environmentally damaging alternative to tap water. This week, after lobbying neighbors and local officials for months, the 82-year-old activist persuaded them to take more drastic action than perhaps any other municipality in the country: At Town Meeting on Thursday, Concord residents voted to ban all sales of bottled water....And the $10 billion bottled-water industry quickly reacted. "We obviously don't think highly of the vote in Concord,'' said Joe Doss, president of the International Bottled Water Association, a trade association that represents bottlers, suppliers, and distributors. ...


She better be careful, lest the head of a reverse osmosis filtration system be found in her bed.

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Wed, Apr 28, 2010
from HandsOffMotherEarth:
Hands off Mother Earth
Hands Off Mother Earth (H.O.M.E) is a global campaign to defend our one precious home, Planet Earth, against the threat of geoengineering experiments. The HOME campaign provides a common platform for organizations and individuals around the world to register their opposition to geoengineering experiments. The campaign asserts that the seas, skies and soils of our home planet should not be used as a laboratory for these unjust and risky technological fixes. The HOME campaign was launched in April 2010 at The World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba Bolivia by a coalition of international civil society groups, indigenous peoples organizations and social movements. These groups invite other organizations worldwide as well as individuals to sign up in support of the campaign. ...


Aw, c'mon. WE understand Nature better than Nature does.

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Tue, Apr 13, 2010
from Agence France-Press:
7,500 due for alternate climate conference in Bolivia
The alternative "people's conference" on climate change called by socialist Bolivian President Evo Morales is expecting 7,500 delegates from more than 100 countries, officials said Monday. Among those set to attend the gathering in Cochabamba April 20-22 include Presidents Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, according to Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca. Named the People's World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth Rights, the gathering is intended to "give a voice to the people" on climate change after the perceived failure of the United Nations-sponsored Copenhagen summit on the same issue, organizers say. ...


I bet the parties are going to rock more than Copenhagen, too!

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Mon, Mar 8, 2010
from City of Edinburgh Council:
Edinburgh is first UK city to launch BT carbon club initiative to tackle climate change
A network of carbon clubs could be launched across Edinburgh to enlist citizens in the battle to save energy and tackle climate change. The City of Edinburgh Council is the first local authority in the UK to adopt an innovative carbon club scheme pioneered by BT.... BT has created a web site where council employees can form their own clubs and will manage the site during the pilot. Club members can access a library of information and energy savings tips, build their own micro-sites and pledge to undertake actions that will reduce their impact on the environment.... BT's carbon club initiative was launched in June 2007 as a way to bring people together to work on carbon reduction initiatives. The company now has more than 130 clubs in operation and more than 14,000 pledges have been made. The clubs are involved in an array of initiatives, from recycling and saving money through greener living to running a light bulb library and smart meter lending service, working with wildlife and community groups and providing electric scooters for use at one of its larger sites. ...


And just how does neighbors helping neighbors save energy grow the economy?

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Wed, Sep 10, 2008
from Guardian (UK):
Climate scientist aims to get 1million students to vote on presidential candidates' green energy records
Renowned climate scientist James Hansen today lent his voice to a US voter organising drive with an ambitious goal: enlisting 1m students who will cast their vote for the presidential candidate with the greenest energy record. The organising push, dubbed Power Vote, aims to harness young people's unprecedented engagement in the US elections and keep enthusiasm high for stronger action against climate change. Power Vote plans to dispatch organisers to college campuses across America, educating students about climate policy and capturing their information for mobilisation to the polls in November. ...


A million here, a million there...
Pretty soon you're talking real change!

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Tue, Aug 26, 2008
from Canadian Press:
Slow Food movement could finally be picking up speed in the United States
Slow Food USA is about to make its first major foray into the U.S. cultural and political scenes. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend Slow Food Nation over Labour Day weekend in San Francisco, a Woodstock-like festival and symposium meant to underscore the connection between planet and plate. It's the first serious test of whether Slow Food - a philosophy born in Europe and often hobbled by a snob factor - can evolve into a movement capable of altering the appetite of the average American.... ...


Can I get my slow food to go, please?
I'm in a hurry.

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Mon, Aug 4, 2008
from London Guardian:
Anger at police raid on green camp ahead of coal protest
"Environmental campaigners and politicians criticised the police last night after around 200 officers raided a climate camp, seizing hundreds of items that they claimed could be used to break the law. Activists at the camp, which starts today with a series of workshops on sustainable energy and social justice, said the raid aimed to disrupt legitimate protest.... officers ... found bolt cutters, superglue and climbing ropes in the raid at the end of last week." ...


So these activists are into a little arts & crafts. What's so wrong about that?

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Sat, Jul 26, 2008
from Sociological Quarterly, via EurekAlert:
Wealth Does Not Dictate Concern for the Environment
It has been a long-held assumption that poor nations will not support efforts to protect the environment since their citizens are too preoccupied with meeting basic needs, such as food and housing. However, a new study in The Sociological Quarterly reveals that citizens of poorer nations are just as concerned about environmental quality as their counterparts in rich nations. ...


Funny -- I thought it was the rich countries who didn't give a shit.

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Sun, Jul 13, 2008
from The Independent (UK):
We've seen the future ... and we may NOT be doomed
Humanity stands on the threshold of a peaceful and prosperous future, with an unprecedented ability to extend lifespans and increase the power of ordinary people but is likely to blow it through inequality, violence and environmental degradation. And governments are not equipped to ensure that the opportunities are seized and disasters averted.... [T]he 2008 State of the Future report runs to 6,300 pages and draws on contributions from 2,500 experts around the globe. Its warning is all the more stark for eschewing doom and gloom. "The future continues to get better for most of the world," it concludes, "but a series of tipping points could drastically alter global prospects." ...


If governments can't do it, who can?
Oh yeah, us.

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Thu, Jul 10, 2008
from New York Times:
Global Warming Talks Leave Few Concrete Goals
"The statement issued by the industrialized Group of 8 pledged to "move toward a carbon-free society" by seeking to cut worldwide emissions of heat-trapping gases in half by 2050. But the statement did not say whether that baseline would be emissions at 1990 levels, or the less ambitious baseline of current levels, already 25 percent higher. Mentions of mandatory restrictions on emissions were carefully framed. Caps or taxes were endorsed where "national circumstances" made those acceptable. The statement urged nations to set "midterm, aspirational goals for energy efficiency." ...


Makes you wonder if the right people are in charge.

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Wed, Jul 2, 2008
from Earth Policy Institute:
Lester Brown: Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization
In this greatly revised edition, Brown outlines a survival strategy for our early twenty-first century civilization. The scale and complexity of the issues facing our fast-forward world have no precedent. Brown outlines an ambitious plan that includes cutting carbon emissions 80 percent by 2020, achievable with existing technologies. The choice is yours and mine. ...


But what about increasing shareholder value?

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Wed, May 14, 2008
from New York Times:
A City Cooler and Dimmer, and, Oh, Proving a Point
"JUNEAU, Alaska Conservationists swoon at the possibility of it all. Here in Alaska, where melting arctic ice and eroding coastlines have made global warming an urgent threat, this little city has cut its electricity use by more than 30 percent in a matter of weeks, instantly establishing itself as a role model for how to go green, and fast.... the 31,000 residents ... are not necessarily doing it for the greater good.... Electricity rates rocketed about 400 percent after an avalanche on April 16 destroyed several major transmission towers that delivered more than 80 percent of the citys power from a hydroelectric dam about 40 miles south." ...


It takes a village avalanche to make the necessary changes.

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Wed, Apr 23, 2008
from The Post (Pakistan):
Villagers protest against chemical factory owners
SHEIKHUPURA: The residents of Amoki on Wednesday took out a protest rally against the administration of a local chemical factory. The villagers told The Post that the chemical factory located near their village was emitting poisonous gases in the air. As a result, three buffaloes of a villager Muhammad Latif died due to poisonous gases, besides the inhabitants were suffering from fatal diseases due to the toxic waste and smoke of the factory. ...


Note to corporations: start messing with villagers' buffaloes, and the people may revolt.

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Sun, Mar 30, 2008
from Associated Press:
Cities switch off lights for Earth Hour
"From the Sydney Opera House to Rome's Colosseum to the Sears Tower's famous antennas in Chicago, floodlit icons of civilization went dark Saturday for Earth Hour, a worldwide campaign to highlight the threat of climate change. The campaign began last year in Australia, and traveled this year from the South Pacific to Europe to North America in cadence with the setting of the sun." ...


Next year, to get even more people involved, a special Earth Half-Hour will be offered -- especially for Americans who might be intimidated by an entire hour of lights-out.

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Thu, Mar 27, 2008
from Newark Star-Ledger:
On Saturday, hit the lights for Earth Hour
"Coca-Cola's iconic sign in Times Square will go dark this Saturday night. Lights will switch off along downtown San Francisco's skyline. McDonald's arches in Chicago will power down. These are just some of the large-scale lights-out efforts planned for Earth Hour, an event the World Wildlife Fund started last year in Sydney. During Earth Hour, observed between 8 and 9 p.m. local time on Saturday, individuals and businesses around the world will turn off their lights in the name of energy conservation and global warming awareness. Dan Forman, a spokesman for Earth Hour, said millions are expected to participate." ...


Sounds like something we could do every evening.

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