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Environment

In Malay, Orangutans Means ‘People Of The Forest’

The dust has settled at the resorts in Sharm el-Shaikh, Egypt, as delegates of countries and corporations leave the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The only advance made in the final agreement was for the creation of a ‘loss and damage fund’ for ‘vulnerable countries’. However, despite being hailed as a breakthrough, the deal is little more than the financing of the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage agreed upon at the COP25 in 2019. It also remains to be seen whether this new financing will in fact be realised. Under previous agreements, such as the Green Climate Fund established at the COP15 in 2009, developed countries promised to provide developing countries $100 billion per year in financing by 2020, but have failed to meet their stated goals.

Will Lithium Mining Turn Salton Sea Into A Green Energy Sacrifice Zone?

Salton Sea, California - An October storm of noxious dust sweeps across the desert, turning the sky sepia and choking out residents. Like water bodies across the West, the 340-square-mile saline lake known as the Salton Sea is drying up as drought, fueled by climate change, further dwindles its inflow from the Colorado River basin. As the lake evaporates, its solution of pesticides, chemicals and heavy metals grows more concentrated. Winds whip the hazardous lakebed dust into the air, and more children here than anywhere else in California visit emergency rooms or are hospitalized with asthma-related illnesses. It’s an environmental disaster with a decades-long history.

UNEP: Meeting Global Climate Goals Requires ‘Rapid Transformation’

The world faces a “rapidly closing window” to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals, warns the latest “emissions gap” report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The report, which explores the impact of new pledges and the “gap” toward meeting the Paris targets, finds that while progress has been made in recent years to mitigate emissions and deploy more clean energy, it is insufficient to put the world on a path to limit warming to well-below 2C or to 1.5C this century. Despite ambitious pledges, there has been “limited progress” in the year since COP26, it says. In a stark warning, the new UNEP report says that incremental change is “no longer an option” and that avoiding dangerous levels of warming will require a “wide-ranging, large-scale, rapid and systemic transformation”.

Hoopa Valley Tribe Sues Over Water Contracts In California

California - Today, the Hoopa Valley Tribe renewed a 2020 lawsuit it had filed against the Trump Administration for financial misconduct, environmental depredation, and violation of tribal sovereignty and fishing rights in California’s Trinity River fishery. For more than a year, the Tribe made repeated attempts to have the Biden Administration hold the  Bureau of Reclamation accountable for illegally waiving at least $400 million owed to the Treasury by contractors who use water and power from Reclamation’s massive Central Valley Project in California, and falsely claiming that federal programs to restore environmental damage caused by industrial farming  operations and other actions were both complete and successful.

Climate Crisis: Blocking Roads Isn’t Crazy – It’s Our Last Hope

Cop27, the United Nations’ annual climate conference attended by world leaders, kicked off in Egypt at the weekend in the midst of a wave of civil disobedience actions in the UK. The protests have been led by environmental groups such as Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion and come as oil giants have announced massive profits from surging energy prices caused by the Ukraine war, and new reports show catastrophic climate change is soon to reach a tipping point, becoming irreversible. Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary general, warned on the eve of the summit that the world would be “doomed” if rich, heavily carbon-dependent economies could not reach an agreement with poorer countries. New figures show temperature rises across Europe have risen twice as fast as the global average, leading to increasingly unstable weather.

‘Loss And Damage’ Is Officially On The Agenda As Cop27 Kicks Off In Egypt

Over 45,000 people from 196 countries, including 120 heads of state, are gathering in the city of Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt as the 27th iteration of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP27, began on Sunday, November 6. “We are gathering this year at a time when global climate action is at a watershed moment,” stated Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister and COP27 President Sameh Shoukry, as the country took over leadership of the summit from the UK. “Multilateralism is being challenged by geopolitics, spiraling prices, and growing financial crises, while several countries battered by the pandemic have barely recovered, and severe and depleting climate change-induced disasters are becoming more frequent.”

UN Chief Says We Are On ‘Highway To Climate Hell’

The latest round of UN climate change negotiations began in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt with an urgent warning about the necessity of acting rapidly to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. The conference, otherwise known as COP27, kicked off Sunday, November 6, with a procedural opening followed by the World Leaders Summit that launched Monday and concludes Tuesday, according to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) website. It was on the first day of this gathering of heads of state that UN Secretary-General António Guterres delivered an uncompromising speech about the consequences of failure. “We are in the fight of our lives and we are losing. Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing. Global temperatures keep rising. And our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible,” Guterres said, according to a UN transcript.

President Maduro Calls For Summit In Defense Of The Amazon

On Saturday, November 5, the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, announced the proposal for a South American summit in defense of the Amazon rainforest. Upon his arrival in Egypt to participate in the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), President Maduro said that he discussed the issue with his Colombian counterpart, Gustavo Petro, and the president-elect of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. “We have proposed to Petro and Lula to soon hold a South American summit in defense of the Amazon and to reactivate the Defense Treaty Organization to make concrete proposals so that humanity and governments commit to finance the recovery of that region,” he explained.

‘Drop Fossil Fuels,’ Over 400 Scientists Tell PR Firm Handling UN Climate Talks

Ahead of the COP27 UN climate summit, hundreds of scientists are calling on the PR firm in charge of the event’s communications, Hill+Knowlton, to cut ties with its fossil fuel industry clients, which include major oil companies Aramco, ExxonMobil, and Shell as well as an industry coalition called the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative. “These clients have not taken the fundamental steps necessary to address the climate emergency and sharply rein in fossil fuels,” states an open letter to Hill+Knowlton signed by over 420 scientists. “Instead, they have used Hill+Knowlton and other PR agencies to spin, delay, and mislead, in order to continue expanding fossil fuel production and thereby increasing heat-trapping emissions.”

A Economist That Future Economists — And Societies — Will Dare Not Ignore

Great thinkers, down through the ages, have regularly had to watch the movers and shakers of their epochs shrug off their core insights. One of our contemporary great thinkers who suffered that fate — the 84-year-old economist Herman Daly — died just last week. Daly did not, to be sure, go totally unrecognized during his lifetime. In 1996, he won the “alternate Nobel Prize,” Sweden’s annual Right Livelihood Award. “Herman Daly redefined economics, forging a way forward that does not include the destruction of our environment for economic gain,” Ole von Uexkull, Right Livelihood’s executive director, noted after Daly passed. But Daly’s death has, by and large, gone unnoticed. No obit has so far appeared in the New York Times or Washington Post or any other major mass publication.

UN Report: Nations Aren’t Doing Enough To Prepare For Climate Impacts

As extreme weather events this year from flooding in Pakistan to historic global heat waves make clear, the climate crisis is already with us. Yet nations are not doing enough to adapt to this new normal, especially when it comes to funding adaptation projects in the most vulnerable countries. That’s the conclusion of the UN Environment Programme’s Adaptation Gap Report 2022, released Thursday ahead of the COP27 climate conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6 to 18. “Adaptation needs in the developing world are set to skyrocket to as much as $340 billion a year by 2030. Yet adaptation support today stands at less than one-tenth of that amount. The most vulnerable people and communities are paying the price.

Epic Drought Hits US, Solutions Ignored

Environmentalists have been saying for decades that the climate crisis would impact us all, and the mainstream media has essentially ignored it. And if you’re thinking, “Mainstream media covers climate change all the time!” No, they actually don’t. They cover the impacts of climate change like droughts, fires, and hurricanes. But they don’t connect it to climate change. In fact, most of the time they won’t even say the words “climate change.” For example, take Hurricane Ida just last year, which destroyed parts of Louisiana. As reported in The Guardian, in their coverage, “Six of the biggest commercial TV networks in the U.S. – ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and MSNBC – ran 774 stories about Ida from 27 to 30 August, an analysis by the watchdog group Media Matters found.

Noam Chomsky: Ukraine, Climate Crisis, And Declining Empire

World-renowned linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, essayist, and political activist Noam Chomsky joins The Chris Hedges Report for the first of a two-part interview. Chomsky has been a vocal critic of the $47 billion dollars in military aid the US has sent to Ukraine—an amount that equals the total budget of the State Department and exceeds the paltry amounts the country has committed to the fight against climate change. In a wide-ranging discussion, Chomsky and Hedges discuss the current war, the rising tide of global fascism, the climate catastrophe, and the role left to public intellectuals in an increasingly restrictive and censored media environment. Noam Chomsky is the author of more than 150 books on topics that include linguistics, the press, the inner workings of empire, and the war industry.

Fossil Fuel Production Subsidies Rose To Record Levels In G20 Countries

The report found that, not only had emissions rebounded in these countries following the coronavirus pandemic, but fossil fuel subsidies had reached record levels. “Too much public finance for energy in the G20 is still skewed towards the fossil fuel industry. Sixty three percent of G20’s public finance for energy went to fossil fuels in 2019-2020,” ODI senior research fellow and report finance lead Ipek Gençsü said, as BusinessGreen reported. “Last year, the G20 reaffirmed its 2009 commitment to ‘phase out and rationalise, over the medium term, inefficient fossil fuel subsidies,’ but I think we can safely say we are now in that ‘medium term’ and it’s clear the G20 has failed to deliver, instead continuing to use public funds to distort the market in favour of fossil fuels.”

Cancer Alley Activists Hold DC Funeral March; ‘Declare Climate Emergency’

Cancer Alley, Louisiana - Environmental justice activists from "Cancer Alley" on Monday held a funeral procession in Washington, D.C. to remember victims—overwhelmingly Black people—killed by petrochemical industry pollution and to demand that U.S. President Joe Biden declare a climate emergency and do more to stop deadly fossil fuel projects. Activists led by the frontline action group RISE St. James held a second-line march—the procession, replete with brass band musicians and parasol-toting dancers, that rallies behind relatives of the deceased in a traditional New Orleans funeral—to the White House, where they held large photos of dead cancer victims and pleaded with Biden to take action to protect their lives and their environment.
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