It felt more party than protest as hundreds of people paddled into the Port of Newcastle on kayaks, surfboards and pontoons in what organisers hope will be the biggest civil disobedience action in Australia’s history. On shore people stood shoulder to shoulder on Saturday, waving at the protesters, who will occupy the channel for 30 hours to stop coal exports from leaving Newcastle. Some were dancing along to a band and waving Extinction Rebellion flags. Others gave the protest a comical air, such as Helen Child, who dressed up as Clive Palmer with a sign that said “Let Them Eat Coal”. But for all its frivolity, the message the organisers Rising Tide hope to send to the government is serious.
A new report warns that oil and gas production in the United States is expected to rise under Biden’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), even as the legislation helps to moderately lower fossil fuel demand through billions of dollars in clean energy investments. The report, “Biden’s Fossil Fuel Fail: How U.S. Oil and Gas Supply Rises under the Inflation Reduction Act, Exacerbating Environmental Injustice,” details how, despite the IRA’s significant spending on renewable energy, electric vehicles, and batteries, the policy will not be enough for the U.S. to meet its 2030 climate target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels.
A new report from Oxfam International reveals alarming disparities in carbon emissions, underscoring a stark contrast between the wealthiest 1% of people and the rest of the planet, with the poorest percentage of the population left to bear the brunt of the environmental damage. The report titled, “Climate Equality: A Planet for the 99%,” makes clear the impact of such emissions, stating that in 2019, the emissions of the super-rich 1% “are enough to cause 1.3 million deaths due to heat.” Violations and disparity in emissions are also highlighted in the report, including the 1% burning through twice as much of the carbon budget as the poorest half of humanity combined in the last 30 years.
Along, narrow bridge spanning the East River in New York City is the sole link between two realities. To the south, the familiar city skyline stands tall. To the north, walls of barbed wire enclose the site of an ongoing human rights crisis: the Rikers Island jail complex. This bridge, known to justice-impacted New Yorkers as “the bridge of pain,” is a constant reminder of their isolation from loved ones. Rikers, located on an island between the boroughs of Queens and the Bronx, is one of the largest jail complexes in the United States. It houses nearly 6,000 people, the vast majority of whom are pretrial defendants who have not been convicted of a crime.
Our analysis shows that effective implementation of the IRA, the infrastructure act, and state policies would enable the United States to make significant progress toward achieving its near-term climate goals and yield substantial economic and public health benefits at the same time. Taken together, these federal and state initiatives could help cut total US heat-trapping emissions 34 percent below 2005 levels in 2030 and 53 percent by 2035, which would fall short of our 2030 targets but meet them a few years later. The IRA will stimulate most of the near-term private investment in clean energy and related infrastructure to decarbonize the US economy, spurring more than a trillion dollars in capital investments through 2035.
A new United Nations Climate Change report says that current climate action plans by nations are not enough to limit the average global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius and meet Paris Agreement targets. The report shows that countries need to take much more action immediately, even though some have been making increased efforts, in order to speed up the transition away from fossil fuels and avoid the worst climate change impacts, a press release from the United Nations said. “Today’s report shows that governments combined are taking baby steps to avert the climate crisis. And it shows why governments must make bold strides forward at COP28 in Dubai, to get on track,” said Simon Stiell
Players in the carbon dioxide pipeline industry canceled major pipeline projects in recent weeks, marking an inauspicious start to President Biden’s ambitious plans to develop carbon capture infrastructure as a key emissions mitigation tool. It is welcome news to CO2 pipeline opponents, however, which have included a wide spectrum of interest groups united in their concerns over pipeline safety. “I think what the cancellation shows is that people have had enough of fossil fuel infrastructure being forced upon them,” said Lorne Stockman, research co-director with Oil Change International. “It doesn’t surprise me that communities are standing up to these projects and occasionally winning.”
From Oct. 24-26, a coalition of ecoactivist groups, including Extinction Rebellion Northeast, Extinction Rebellion DC, or XRDC, Scientist Rebellion, and Climate Defiance, engaged in three days of nonviolent actions against the gas industry in Washington, D.C. They disrupted the industry’s biggest annual event in North America, temporarily shut down construction on a major pipeline project, and built bridges of inter-movement solidarity by joining in protests for a ceasefire in Gaza. The week of action began by disrupting the North American Gas Forum to demand an end to the gas industry’s lies that are accelerating climate chaos and endangering billions of lives around the globe.
In the 1970s, Dr. Bernard Goldstein, a young professor at the New York University School of Medicine, researched the health impacts of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) produced by gas stoves. In a series of studies, Goldstein and his colleagues identified a higher incidence of respiratory problems among schoolchildren from homes with gas stoves. Fifty years on, Goldstein, now emeritus professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh, recently told NPR “it’s way past time that we were doing something about gas stoves.”
Webster County, WV — Early Friday morning 11/3/23, pipeline fighter Jerome locked himself to a Mountain Valley Pipeline drill at the Elk River crossing in Webster County, WV. Jerome prevented construction for over 3 hours, at which time he was extracted by law enforcement and arrested. He was charged with 4 misdemeanors, and has been released from jail. A banner at the site of Jerome's blockade read "Doom to the pipeline!" "I am the father of 3 daughters and the grandfather—soon—of 5 grandsons," Jerome stated. "I am horrified by what climate change is already doing to all life here on Earth. And I'm even more horrified that we still envision and construct projects like MVP which will only worsen the warming and deepen the chaos.
Food systems are responsible for at least 15 percent of all global fossil fuel consumption, according to a major report launched ahead of the COP28 climate summit. The analysis shows that the production, transport, and storage of food are driving greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of the EU and Russia combined. Ultra processed foods like snacks, drinks and ready meals, along with chemical fertilisers made from natural gas, are singled out as major sources of pollution. Published today (Thursday), the research comes weeks before global leaders gather in Dubai to discuss ways to limit catastrophic global heating.
Like many utilities, Southern Company, the second-largest gas and electric company in the United States, has a “net zero” climate pledge. A page on its website features gleaming solar panels pointing toward a blue sky, where the utility acknowledges the importance of the Paris Agreement. “Key to Southern Company’s environmental initiatives,” the company offers, “is a net-zero transition focusing on greenhouse gas emissions reductions, decarbonization, and a Just Transition.” Apparently, Southern Company’s green energy keywords haven’t translated into actual policy. All the company’s subsidiaries—Alabama Power, Georgia Power, and Mississippi Power, which together serve 9 million customers— get an F on a national report card.
Mikayla Gingrey, a flourishing film maker, and her talented assistant, her mother Marya Gingrey are both descendants of the Apache nation. I have been invited to introduce and write accompanying articles about the upcoming docuseries, Facing the Storm: The Indigenous Response to Climate Change, an Aminata Multimedia Group docuseries. Mikayla is using her talent to highlight and document the important stories that often get overlooked, the struggles, the heartbreaking losses, along with the love, and sometimes overlooked triumphs of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. These films will highlight indigenous leaders, activist, and community members who are working towards our collective future here.
A new editorial published in more than 200 health journals challenges health professionals and world leaders to look at global biodiversity loss and climate change as “one indivisible crisis” that must be confronted as a whole. The authors of the editorial call separating the two emergencies a “dangerous mistake,” and encourage the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a global health emergency, a press release from The BMJ said. “The climate crisis and loss of biodiversity both damage human health, and they are interlinked. That’s why we must consider them together and declare a global health emergency.
A coalition of research organizations and civil society, the Forest Declaration Assessment, has conducted a new study that evaluates the progress toward eliminating deforestation by nations, companies and investors, as well as restoring 865 million acres of degraded land, by the end of the decade. The report, “Off Track and Falling Behind,” shows that last year, progress worldwide on restoring and protecting forests worsened in some cases and moved too slowly overall. “The world’s forests are in crisis. All these promises have been made to halt deforestation, to fund forest protection. But the opportunity to make progress is passing us by year after year,” said Erin Matson.