Climate chaos is here right now. It’s not something off in the future like fast food restaurants selling bug patties, emotionally fulfilling sex with robots, or a lab-created dinosaur accidentally getting loose in a shopping mall. New floods, wildfires, and droughts hit communities around the world everyday but the most obvious solutions to this crisis are rarely even discussed. So what can be done? To begin with, the Biden administration could actually fund action on climate change. Congress recently passed $840 BILLION for the war machine. They sent $52 Billion to semiconductor chip manufacturers and President Biden is proposing $37 Billion to fund our impressively brutal police nationwide.
Humanity is, according to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, “just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation.” The warning , made at the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, arrives at a time of alarmingly heightened tensions around the world. Just a few days after Guterres made that statement, Nature Food published a harrowing scientific paper that drove home the UN Secretary General’s message: “Global food insecurity and famine from the reduced crop, marine fishery and livestock production due to climate disruption from nuclear war soot injection.” The paper (which you can read in full here) was written by a handful of leading experts who have spent years studying the potential impact of nuclear war on food supplies. The results are stark.
No matter your specific organizational or ideological affiliation, anyone who cares about climate change today ought to understand the critical connections between war, imperialism, and the climate crisis. In the 21st century, where conflicts between the world’s rich and powerful are often waged via the lives of the poor, we have to look at the human and environmental impacts of war and refuse any claims that war is ever a necessary evil. We’ve seen again in recent months how the United States and other powerful nations use military power to gain control over resources, particularly oil, and capital. While issues such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are incredibly nuanced, with much blame to go around for both Putin and NATO’s aggression over time, it is important to remember that those who suffer in times of war are poor and working-class people.
The CPC's new list of executive order recommendations is broad in scope, aiming to address a variety of pressing issues including sky-high drug prices, the worsening climate emergency, the coronavirus pandemic, mounting student loan debt, and a rigged tax system—priorities that Biden vowed to tackle on the campaign trail in 2020. While Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the CPC chair, has said she would prefer ambitious legislation such as the Build Back Better package to more limited executive orders, that bill is dead in the Senate due to opposition from Republicans and corporate-backed Democrats such as Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), leaving the president with few other options to advance his popular agenda.
"The Enbridge terminal expansion is planned to be constructed in the ancestral settlement and land of the Karankawa Kadla, where thousands of sacred Karankawa artifacts remain and ceremony and prayer have continued for the past 2,000 years,” said a news release from the Indigenous Environmental Network. The release also included a simple line asking for “accountability from Enbridge and Bank of America". That word “accountability” shifts the protest to another kind of action, one based on ESG standards; a metric that includes Environment, Social and Governance as well as the planning for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Both Bank of America and Enbridge say they have ESG plans and are on track to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Al-Naqab — On Sunday, roughly 200 activists demonstrated outside Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office in Jerusalem against the Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) tree-planting project in al-Naqab, maintaining the forestation is an attempt to displace the indigenous Bedouin population. Contracted by the Israeli government, the JNF razed fruit trees and seeded fields in al-Naqab in January to “make the desert bloom” with non-native plants. The purported environmental project has been met with fierce protest from the local villagers, with more than 60 Bedouin arrested in the last few weeks. JNF maintains that its actions in al-Naqab encourage sustainability, but other organizations disagree. The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel took the JNF to the Supreme Court last year after its research found that JNF’s afforestation will harm the area’s biodiversity.
Duncan Meisel used to help climate activists tell their stories, as a communications adviser to environmentalists trying to convince the public that oil and gas companies must change to avert a climate crisis. Now he is putting pressure on consultants shaping those industries’ own messages. Clean Creatives, the group Meisel helped found, is at the vanguard of a new tactic in the environmental movement: to target advisers who, activists claim, help fossil fuel companies continue polluting and slow government action by distorting climate debates. Last September, Clean Creatives published an “F-List” of advertising and public relations groups it accused of spreading “climate misinformation” on their clients’ behalf.
With over 80 percent of the world’s population experiencing extreme weather linked to climate change, university endowments have become a focal point for students, faculty, and community members eager to snuff out their schools’ support for the fossil fuel companies most responsible for fueling the climate crisis. Major universities, including Boston University, the University of Minnesota, and Harvard University — which boasts the largest endowment of any school in the world — are among the latest to commit to pull billions from fossil fuel funds. In their wake, others are following suit. In July, Maine became the first U.S. state to legally require divestment of public funds from fossil fuel assets.
Washington - More than 360 climate, tribal, religious and conservation groups petitioned the Biden administration today to use its executive authority to phase out oil and gas production on public lands and oceans. The petition provides a framework to manage a decline of oil and gas production to near zero by 2035 through rulemaking, using long-dormant provisions of the Mineral Leasing Act, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the National Emergencies Act. Without such action, it will become increasingly difficult for the United States to meet its pledge to help avoid 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming and its unprecedented social, environmental and economic damage.
"Dixie did far more than take out entire forests. It razed Greenville, my hometown since 1975. It reduced house after house to rubble, leaving only chimneys where children once had hung Christmas stockings, and dead century-old oaks where families, spanning four generations, had not so long ago built tree forts. The fire left our downtown with scorched, bent-over lampposts touching debris-strewn sidewalks. The historic sheriff’s office is just a series of naked half-round windows eerily showcasing devastation. Like natural disasters everywhere, this fire has upended entire communities."
Kaziranga is also a World Heritage site recognized by UNESCO and listed as a global hotspot of biodiversity by the IUCN. However, all that is under threat thanks to an increasingly militarized form of conservation. This is being promoted by the Indian Forest Department, in a feudal, colonial setup, assisted by large international and national NGOs. A flawed and exploitative idea has emerged: the plan to turn 30 per cent of the world’s surface into Protected Areas by 2030 (30x30). This idea, being pushed by the IUCN, has been greenwashed, whitewashed and sold to the world, alongside ‘nature-based solutions’ (NBS), as a way to solve climate change.
The protesters at the Glasgow march represented various groups, including indigenous organisations, frontline communities, trade unions, youth groups, peace and anti-war groups, communist and left organisations, and different environmental organisations. Despite a broad spectrum of platforms, the protesters were "united around the recognition that without system change, there is no way to take the urgent necessary measures to save the planet and advance climate justice." About 100 climate change protests and demonstrations were held in other cities of the UK. Similar actions also took place in another 100 countries as part of the global day of action.
World leaders are meeting in Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference, but the minimal promises made at these gatherings are not kept and are not enough. Communities in the Global South are demanding real and meaningful change -- an entire system change away from profit-driven, rather than people-driven, governments. Mozambique-based activist Dipti Bhatnagar discusses the conditions that the Global South is grappling with (from the climate change that the West is largely responsible for), and the dire necessity for real change. Bhatnagar is climate justice & energy coordinator with Friends of the Earth International, based in Justiça Ambiental (FoE Mozambique).
Protests and actions by civil society organizations are stepping up at the COP26 conference as the event enters its second week in Glasgow, Scotland. Thousands of climate activists from all over the world have arrived demanding genuine change. Young people and others, both inside and outside of the United Nations climate talks, are telling world leaders to hurry up and get it done, that concrete measures to avoid catastrophic warming can’t wait. On Friday, during a news conference shared via Zoom organized by It Takes Roots, several Indigenous and people of color leaders attending COP26 expressed impatience with the lack of substantive action by world leaders.
In his speech at COP26 on November 2, British prime minister Boris Johnson announced that more than 100 countries had joined the Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, which seeks to halt and reverse the alarming levels of global deforestation by 2030. The declaration also emphasizes the need for countries to facilitate sustainable trade and development policies, promote food security through sustainable agriculture, and “accelerate the transition to [a green] economy.” To that end, more than $19 billion in public and private funds have been pledged for the plan, backed by countries including Brazil, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Russia, and the United States.