Archive | April 2016

350 Madison Plans Protest March to Demand that University of Wisconsin Divest from Fossil Fuels, Noon, Friday

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The organization 350,Madison.org has announced it has scheduled the following:
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MARCH FOR FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT!
April 29, 2016, 12:00–1:00pm
Randall St. at Union South, UW–Madison

Please join us on Friday, April 29, in marching to the UW Foundation and presenting the governing board with an open letter urging divestment from fossil fuels. We also will be presenting the board with a large “check” representing $7,000 in donations diverted from the Foundation and invested instead in fossil-free funds.

Let’s come together to call on the governing board of the UW Foundation to divest from fossil fuels and develop new investment strategies that prioritize renewable energy sources and clean technologies!

WHAT: March for Fossil Fuel Divestment
WHEN: Friday, April 29, 12:00pm
WHERE: Gather outside Union South (Randall St. entrance). We’ll march down University Ave. to hold a rally in front of the UW Foundation (1848 University Ave.).

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It’s Now or Never – Please Join the Movement to Save Our Planet from Runaway Global Warming by Signing “Preserve Our Climate” Petition

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It’s now or never, folks. What’s wrong with making extra income by helping to save our planet from run away global warming? If not for us, how about for today’s and tomorrow’s children? How about as an alternative to the federal government raising the minimum wage?

Our USA spends over $600 billion a year on military defense, and plans to spend trillions of dollars upgrading its nuclear weapons (see yesterday’s story on this at http://www.democracynow.org). This week, the U.S. Armed Services Committee of the House of Representative voted to approve 3 new combat ready naval ships, one more than the Navy had asked for!

In addition, our President Obama signed a multi-billion dollar spending bill on December 3, 2015 funding a major and costly rebuilding and expansion of the capacity of the country’s highway system, providing for millions of cars and trucks burning fossil fuels, free of charge. And rebuilding highways puts more millions of tons of greenhouse gases from the cement making process and large equipment emissions into our and future Earth inhabitant’s atmosphere and oceans, again, free of charge.

And next up is Congress’s continued funding of the nation’s aviation system, to provide the flying public with greater airport capacity, meaning more pavement of the landscape and more people flying, adding million more tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and oceans, again, free of charge. All of these billions of tons of emissions may be free of monetary charge, but they are certainly not “free” of cost. The ultimate cost of degrading the planet’s atmosphere, oceans and all growing things is insurmountable  —  upholding the status quo is clearly very, very costly – to us now and to all those who will have no choice but to live on the earth bequeath them.

It’s no wonder today’s children are getting increasing worried about what is reported to be happening to their future of their planet. They have good reason to be concerned, don’t you think? I know I do, and have said so for the last 16 years of my life, to my former employer (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – as a whistleblower), to my family,  to public and community radio , and to our area’s newspapers readers.

I also helped formed the nonprofit “Preserve Our Climate” with two area women, working to the inform Madison area people about the issue in the first few years of this century, holding workshops, funding a play at the University of Wisconsin Theater, and trying to keep “Kites of Ice” possible in Madison – the organizers ultimately decided the reliability of our Madison area lakes to have safe ice all winter long was no longer the case, thanks to a warming climate caused by an increasingly stronger “blanket” of greenhouse gases since Earth’s human population started burning ever greater quantities of fossil fuels in power plants, transportation, agriculture and in the construction industries.

Others concerned about the future of Earth’s climate have tried to change things, as well. But unfortunately, all the efforts have been to little avail, because the “powers that be” want to keep things the way they are, promoting the increased burning of fossil fuels often for frivolous activities. They are not only fools, what they are doing is criminal. Things will never be the same – they can never be.

But we have to do what we can to prevent a worldwide catastrophe of unimaginable dimensions. You can sign the Preserve Our Climate petition here. Then IMAGINE a world the famous peace activist and musician John Lennon believed was possible, until his life was taken.. And speaking of John Lennon, we need to “Give Peace a Chance”., and stop funding the militarism of the world as the famous civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower warned us about .  Peace is what most everyone who doesn’t profit from war wants; and not the continuing destruction of the planet and death and injuries to so many of Earth’s human and other populations.  Peace on Earth  is what all civilized beings need and deserve, not more “investment” in war.

Governments Everywhere Should Ban ALL Future Oil Drilling – ASAP

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The Obama Administration is right now assessing whether to permit commercial oil companies’ to do offshore drilling for oil in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

Why is our government wasting the nation’s dwindling middle and lower incomes after taxes (rich folk seldom pay taxes to the U.S. Government) on assessing whether to allow oil drilling in the oceans? That is LUDICROUS!

Not only is drilling for oil in the oceans ill-advised (certainly they must not have forgotten BP’s massive oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico which occurred 6 years ago in 2010?), the public’s burning of all that extra oil (a fossil fuel) could make the world’s best climate change predictor’s WORST GLOBAL WARMING NIGHTMARE FOR THE EARTH NOT ONLY COME TRUE BUT BE HERE SOONER!

Considering all the changes which have already begun occurring and expected to accelerate in future years to the earth’s climate, its massive but shrinking (rapidly) ice sheets, the rises in sea temperatures, acidity and continuing rises in the elevation of the oceans everywhere, and the increasingly costly and dangerous (stronger storms) submerging populous shoreland areas in the U.S. and elsewhere, the Obama and other nation’s administrations, worldwide, ought be considering permanent BANS ON ALL OIL DRILLING – BOTH LAND AND SEA – AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

“The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around.” – Gaylord Nelson

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Gaylord Nelson at Wisconsin’s Governor Nelson State Park (undated photo)

Fly Like An Eagle (The Steve Miller Band)

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Naomi Klein: “We’re out of time on climate change. And Hillary Clinton helped get us here.”

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Naomi Klein shared her latest conclusions on how close Earth is to the “tipping point” on global warming and climate change in an April 7, 2016 opinion piece in The Guardian.com, and Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton actions that have made things worse, not better.

Unfortunately, there are so many other federal and state politicians, virtually all so-called public and commercial-funded  media sources, and others who have also “helped” us get where we are now –some have even shown they understood and were aware of the significance of the problem being created (oil industry, possibly auto, truck and airline industries, highway, bridge and airport building industries, coal mining industry, possibly others) yet, almost unbelievably,  chose to continue selling the fuel despite knowing the the significance and potential for calamity for current and future generations.

The path to achieving sustainability on Earth for humans and most other species living on our planet is, unfortunately, rapidly narrowing. It could soon close, say the great many of IPCC climate scientists, and as a result jeopardizing the lives of children living today and in the future. Indeed, there are far too many people in the U.S. and most other developed countries who have not seen fit to overcome their dependence on fossil fuels for activities such as driving motor vehicles, flying jetliners, using products and services made more readily available because of subsidized fuel costs, conserving energy in their homes and mansions, and their choice of a lifestyle which is grossly overdependent on the burning fossil fuels in spite of the now widely accepted crisis which the president of the United States appropriately calls “urgent”.

In short, our continuing with our “business as usual” economy – one centered around the philosophy that we should “eat, drink and be merry” now, while throwing caution to the wind; a philosophy that we can eat our cake and still have it for tomorrow – is unfairly going to saddle the children of today and tomorrow with a planet that is, for all intents and purposes, dying, and thus less likely to sustain life in the not too distant future.

When you place a large kettle of cold water on a hot stove burner, one would not expect to see the water immediately come to a boil. It would take several minutes of heating for the water to reach the boiling point of 212 degrees F.. So it is with adding more greenhouse gases to the volumes of such gases already present in the atmosphere. At some point, scientists predicted the surface waters of Earth’s oceans would begin to show warming. Such warming has now been measured, along with the increase in sea level from thermal expansion and the melting of glaciers, worldwide. The warming of the oceans is increasing, ever so slowly because of the tremendous volume of water the Earth’s 5 oceans, but increasing at a faster rate with the continuing accumulation of more and more atmospheric greenhouse gases, which are cumulative over time

Clearly, our burning such vast quantities of fossil fuels in transportation and for electricity today, while paying nothing for the great harm being inflicted on future generations, is a monumental injustice. The damage being created by the present and recently passed generation’s fuel burning activities is undoubtedly huge and devastating to future societies and animal life – stronger and more deadly storms, worse flooding, longer droughts, hotter heat waves, and impairments to water and other life-sustaining resources and infrastructure.  Calling this anything other  than a crime against humanity seems too kind. The human and economic cost linked to people and animals who will be more exposed to degraded living conditions and more dangerous weather extremes is very real and predictable. Those of our society set on continuing to uphold the status quo of “business as usual”,  as our earth continues to warm under the blanket of a thicker greenhouse gas laden atmosphere have chosen the wrong path.

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the international bestsellers, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate (2014), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and No Logo (2000). Each book has been translated into over 25 languages worldwide. She is a contributing editor for Harper’s and reporter for Rolling Stone, and writes a regular column for The Nation and The Guardian that is syndicated internationally by The New York Times Syndicate. Additionally, her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, The Globe and Mail, El Pais, L’Espresso and The New Statesman, among many other publications.

Naomi is a member of the board of directors for 350.org, a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. She is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics. In 2004, her reporting from Iraq for Harper’s won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. In 2014 she received the International Studies Association’s IPE Outstanding Activist-Scholar award and in 2015 she received The Izzy Award honoring outstanding achievement in independent journalism and media. She holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of King’s College, Nova Scotia. (Photo by Kourosh Keshiri.)

White House Study: Increasing Number of Deadly Heat Waves Inevitable with More Global Warming

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A new U.S. government study is predicting tens of thousands of people in the United States will die prematurely each year from heat waves and other extreme weather events like hurricanes and floods unless the world takes urgent steps to address the climate crisis said the United States President Barack Obama’s senior science adviser,\John Holdren, on Monday, April 4, 2016 at the White House in Washington D.C..

Said Holdren: “The report projects that under middle-of-the-road emissions scenarios, we can see from thousands to tens of thousands additional heat-related deaths in the United States each summer. And the numbers are really very striking.”

Man-made global warming is making America sicker, and it’s only going to get worse, according to a new federal government report.

The 332-page report issued Monday by the Obama administration said global warming will make the air dirtier, water more contaminated and food more tainted. It warned of diseases, such as those spread by ticks and mosquitoes, longer allergy seasons, and thousands of heat wave deaths.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy said if that’s not enough, climate change affects people’s mental health, too.

“It’s not just about polar bears and melting ice caps. It’s about our families. It’s about our future,” McCarthy said at a White House event unveiling the report.

Climate change affects more people in more ways than anything doctors have seen in the past, said Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. He said the report allows doctors to better quantify “the sheer number of pathways through which climate affects health.”

That includes air pollution worsened from power plants, pollen and even wildfires, he said.

“Not being able to breathe is one of the most frightening experience” for people, Murthy said. “We’re talking about scary moments for parents and children.”

Asthma is already the No. 1 cause of children going to the hospital and “now we’re seeing it worsening because of the heat, the allergens,” and air pollution, said Lynn Goldman, dean of the George Washington University’s public health school.

White House science adviser John Holdren highlighted heat waves, saying that even with some reduction in emissions of heat-trapping gases globally, “we can see thousands to tens of thousands of heat-related deaths in the United States each summer.”

Centers of Disease Control and Prevention computer simulations of 209 cities show that extra summer heat deaths will outweigh fewer winter cold deaths from climate change, said CDC’s Shubhayu Saha, a study lead author.

Holdren said the report is based on more than 1,800 published scientific studies and new federal research, and was reviewed by the National Academies of Sciences.

“The report  clearly establishes that climate change is a major threat to public health in the United States,” said Howard Frumkin, dean of the University of Washington’s public health school, who wasn’t part of the report. He said the government isn’t doing enough. “There is a vast disconnect between the magnitude of the problem, as outlined by this report, and the response of government health agencies”, he said.

Source: from an AP news story by Seth Borenstein, AP science writer – Washington D.C..

Meanwhile, Tensions Rise Between Sanders and Clinton over Fossil Fuel Financing …

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Fossil fuel money being used to finance presidential campaigns? Does that surprise anyone? During an event at State University of New York at Purchase last week, Hillary Clinton accused the Sanders campaign of lying about her when she was confronted by a Greenpeace activist, who asked whether Clinton would continue to accept money from fossil fuel companies. In response, Sanders called on the Clinton campaign to apologize during a rally in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: “The truth is that Secretary Clinton has relied heavily on funds from lobbyists working for the oil, gas and coal industry. According to an analysis done by Greenpeace, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and her super PAC have received more than $4.5 million from the fossil fuel industry. In fact, 57 oil, gas and coal industry lobbyists have directly contributed to her campaign, with 43 of them contributing the maximum allowed for the primary. And these are not just workers in the fossil fuel industry, these are paid registered lobbyists. Secretary Clinton, you owe our campaign an apology. We were telling the truth.”

Source: http://www.democracynow.org/

Antarctica at Risk of Runaway Melting, Scientists Discover

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Penn State climate scientist David Pollard, along with University of Massachusetts–Amherst professor Robert DeConto, in their latest climate change report, published by Climate Central, “Antarctica at Risk of Runaway Melting, Scientists Discover”, addressing rising sea levels, predict that, without major reductions of greenhouse gases BY EVERYBODY, ocean levels impacting the U.S. are expected to increase up to 6 feet in elevation by 2100! Antarctic melting is predicted to be the main cause of the rise in ocean levels that are expected to impact the U.S..

Climate Central is an independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about the changing climate and its impact on the public.