• On Climate Strike Eve, 450+ Activists and Groups Urge United Nations to Back Global Fracking Ban
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/19/climate-strike-eve-450-activists-and-groups-urge-united-nations-back-global-fracking
    Jessica Corbett, staff writer

    On the eve of a global climate strike and just days before a major United Nations climate summit, more than 450 environmental activists and organizations sent an open letter Thursday to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres urging him to support a global ban on fracking for fossil fuels, highlighting growing concerns about public health and the climate emergency.

    "As you are aware, man made climate change is the biggest and most comprehensive existential threat humanity has ever faced—apart from a nuclear war," the letter reads. "However, at a time when global forces must be combined to combat the foreseeable and enfolding mass extinction of our planet, the oil and gas industry—backed by many irresponsible governments—bets on a fossil fuels extraction technique that will destroy the joint forces of humanity: hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking."

    Organized by the U.S. advocacy group Food & Water Action, its European arm Food & Water Europe, and Pennsylvania-based air quality group the Breathe Project, the letter lays out the oil and gas industry's contributions to methane emissions, how hydraulic fracturing supports the plastics industry, and the environmental, health, and human rights implications of fracking.

    Food & Water Action @fwaction
    We wrote a letter to the @UN to ask them to finally call to #banfracking everywhere.

    Over 400 people and orgs have signed it, including @MarkRuffalo and Emma Thompson!

    RT pls — it's time to stop endangering our future so oil execs can turn a profit! https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/news/mark-ruffalo-emma-thompson-among-400-call-un-demand-ban-fracking?ms=some_tw_09182019_letter-UN-landing&oms=some_tw_09182019_letter-UN-landing

    Mark Ruffalo, Emma Thompson Among 400+ To Call On UN To Demand A Ban
    On the eve of the youth-led climate strikes that will pack the streets and cities all across the globe, actors Mark Ruffalo and Emma Thompson and inspiring authors like Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben
    foodandwaterwatch.org
    8:57 AM - Sep 19, 2019

    Letter signatory Robert Howarth, a Cornell University professor of ecology and environmental biology whose research on methane leaks has exposed climate impacts of fracking, explained Thursday that "over the past decade, methane levels have been rising rapidly in the atmosphere, contributing significantly to the unprecedented global climate disruption seen in recent years."

    "Over 60 percent of the increased global methane emissions are from the oil and gas industry, and shale gas development in North America is responsible for one-third of the increased emissions from all sources," Howarth said in a statement. "Fracking for shale gas is a climate disaster."

    As actress and U.N. Human Rights Champion Amber Heard put it: "Every well and every pipeline adds more methane and carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and pushes us closer to the edge of the climate cliff. The science demands, and our children demand, a global ban on fracking."

    Biologist Sandra Steingraber, a longtime critic of fracking, pointed out that "a decade ago, when there were only nine scientific studies on the impacts of fracking, some political leaders suggested that fracking might serve as a bridge to a stable climate. Now there are 1,800 studies, and the science is clear."

    "Fracking is making the climate crisis worse," said Steingraber. "Fracking is destroying drinking water and undermining human rights around the world. Fracking is harming health through toxic air pollution and supporting a polluting plastics industry that is killing our oceans. Our planet is on fire, but fracking is not an evacuation bridge nor a fire extinguisher. Fracking is an arsonist that needs to be stopped everywhere and right now."

    Dr. Sandra Steingraber @ssteingraber1
    Proud to be a signatory on this letter to UN Secretary General. #Fracking is incompatible with climate solutions and is a public health menace. #AsktheSG: There's #NoRoomForGas in the Carbon budge. To stop the #ClimateCrisis we must #BanFrackingNow https://twitter.com/ssteingraber1/status/1174693879779643392
    Dr. Sandra Steingraber @ssteingraber1
    On the Eve of Global Climate Strikes and Summit, Celebrities, Advocates and Grassroots Groups Call on UN to Endorse Worldwide Fracking Ban https://www.foodandwatereurope.org/pressreleases/on-the-eve-of-global-climate-strikes-and-summit-celebrities-advocates-and-grassroots-groups-call-on-un-to-endorse-worldwide-fracking-ban/
    9:40 AM - Sep 19, 2019

    Concerned Health Professionals of New York—which Steingraber co-founded—and Physicians for Social Responsibility in June published a comprehensive analysis of nearly 1,500 scientific, government, and media reports detailing the various health and climate consequences of fracking. The analysis noted with alarm that U.S. oil and gas production, backed by President Donald Trump's administration, "has spurred a massive build-out of fracking infrastructure."

    Without increased public opposition and government regulation, that build-out is only expected to continue throughout the United States. A first-of-its-kind report released in June by Food & Water Watch showcased more than 700 recently built or proposed facilities across three industries that benefit from and help fuel the U.S. fracking boom: the petrochemical and plastics industries, gas exporters building liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, and natural gas-fired power plants.

    Wenonah Hauter—founder and executive director of Food & Water Watch, Food & Water Action, and Food & Water Europe—noted in a statement Thursday that U.S. opponents of fracking have had some success in reining in related industries.

    "In more than a decade of fighting fracking in the U.S., we've banned it in multiple states and made great progress elevating the issue globally. But there is much more work to do," she said.

    "The fracking surge in the U.S. has been a boon for the polluting petrochemical industry, which turns fracked gas into plastics. Our planet and our oceans are drowning in plastic and fracking companies are profiting," Hauter added. "This needs to stop once and for all. We need a global ban on fracking."

    The letter to Gutteres makes the case that "directly affected regions and communities all over the world rely on a strong and bold public position of the United Nations on this significant and existential issue." Signatories call on the U.N. chief "to accept this climate champion role" and vocally support a worldwide fracking ban.

    Groups backing the letter include the Break Free From Plastic Movement, Friends of the Earth, Oil Change International, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Alianza Mexicana contra el Fracking, Support Centre for Land Change South Africa, and SumOfUs. Individuals include activists Karenna Gore, Naomi Klein, and Bill McKibben; human rights attorney Jennifer Robinson; children's singer Raffi; fashion icons Vivienne Westwood and Joe Corré; and actors Emma Thompson and Mark Ruffalo.

    "The climate emergency is a casting call for heroes, and we need everyone to show up," said Ruffalo. "Step one is to stand up and say, loudly and clearly, that there is no place for fracking on a climate-destabilized planet."
    On Climate Strike Eve, 450+ Activists and Groups Urge United Nations to Back Global Fracking Ban https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/19/climate-strike-eve-450-activists-and-groups-urge-united-nations-back-global-fracking Jessica Corbett, staff writer On the eve of a global climate strike and just days before a major United Nations climate summit, more than 450 environmental activists and organizations sent an open letter Thursday to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres urging him to support a global ban on fracking for fossil fuels, highlighting growing concerns about public health and the climate emergency. "As you are aware, man made climate change is the biggest and most comprehensive existential threat humanity has ever faced—apart from a nuclear war," the letter reads. "However, at a time when global forces must be combined to combat the foreseeable and enfolding mass extinction of our planet, the oil and gas industry—backed by many irresponsible governments—bets on a fossil fuels extraction technique that will destroy the joint forces of humanity: hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking." Organized by the U.S. advocacy group Food & Water Action, its European arm Food & Water Europe, and Pennsylvania-based air quality group the Breathe Project, the letter lays out the oil and gas industry's contributions to methane emissions, how hydraulic fracturing supports the plastics industry, and the environmental, health, and human rights implications of fracking. Food & Water Action @fwaction We wrote a letter to the @UN to ask them to finally call to #banfracking everywhere. Over 400 people and orgs have signed it, including @MarkRuffalo and Emma Thompson! RT pls — it's time to stop endangering our future so oil execs can turn a profit! https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/news/mark-ruffalo-emma-thompson-among-400-call-un-demand-ban-fracking?ms=some_tw_09182019_letter-UN-landing&oms=some_tw_09182019_letter-UN-landing … Mark Ruffalo, Emma Thompson Among 400+ To Call On UN To Demand A Ban On the eve of the youth-led climate strikes that will pack the streets and cities all across the globe, actors Mark Ruffalo and Emma Thompson and inspiring authors like Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben foodandwaterwatch.org 8:57 AM - Sep 19, 2019 Letter signatory Robert Howarth, a Cornell University professor of ecology and environmental biology whose research on methane leaks has exposed climate impacts of fracking, explained Thursday that "over the past decade, methane levels have been rising rapidly in the atmosphere, contributing significantly to the unprecedented global climate disruption seen in recent years." "Over 60 percent of the increased global methane emissions are from the oil and gas industry, and shale gas development in North America is responsible for one-third of the increased emissions from all sources," Howarth said in a statement. "Fracking for shale gas is a climate disaster." As actress and U.N. Human Rights Champion Amber Heard put it: "Every well and every pipeline adds more methane and carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and pushes us closer to the edge of the climate cliff. The science demands, and our children demand, a global ban on fracking." Biologist Sandra Steingraber, a longtime critic of fracking, pointed out that "a decade ago, when there were only nine scientific studies on the impacts of fracking, some political leaders suggested that fracking might serve as a bridge to a stable climate. Now there are 1,800 studies, and the science is clear." "Fracking is making the climate crisis worse," said Steingraber. "Fracking is destroying drinking water and undermining human rights around the world. Fracking is harming health through toxic air pollution and supporting a polluting plastics industry that is killing our oceans. Our planet is on fire, but fracking is not an evacuation bridge nor a fire extinguisher. Fracking is an arsonist that needs to be stopped everywhere and right now." Dr. Sandra Steingraber @ssteingraber1 Proud to be a signatory on this letter to UN Secretary General. #Fracking is incompatible with climate solutions and is a public health menace. #AsktheSG: There's #NoRoomForGas in the Carbon budge. To stop the #ClimateCrisis we must #BanFrackingNow https://twitter.com/ssteingraber1/status/1174693879779643392 … Dr. Sandra Steingraber @ssteingraber1 On the Eve of Global Climate Strikes and Summit, Celebrities, Advocates and Grassroots Groups Call on UN to Endorse Worldwide Fracking Ban https://www.foodandwatereurope.org/pressreleases/on-the-eve-of-global-climate-strikes-and-summit-celebrities-advocates-and-grassroots-groups-call-on-un-to-endorse-worldwide-fracking-ban/ … 9:40 AM - Sep 19, 2019 Concerned Health Professionals of New York—which Steingraber co-founded—and Physicians for Social Responsibility in June published a comprehensive analysis of nearly 1,500 scientific, government, and media reports detailing the various health and climate consequences of fracking. The analysis noted with alarm that U.S. oil and gas production, backed by President Donald Trump's administration, "has spurred a massive build-out of fracking infrastructure." Without increased public opposition and government regulation, that build-out is only expected to continue throughout the United States. A first-of-its-kind report released in June by Food & Water Watch showcased more than 700 recently built or proposed facilities across three industries that benefit from and help fuel the U.S. fracking boom: the petrochemical and plastics industries, gas exporters building liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, and natural gas-fired power plants. Wenonah Hauter—founder and executive director of Food & Water Watch, Food & Water Action, and Food & Water Europe—noted in a statement Thursday that U.S. opponents of fracking have had some success in reining in related industries. "In more than a decade of fighting fracking in the U.S., we've banned it in multiple states and made great progress elevating the issue globally. But there is much more work to do," she said. "The fracking surge in the U.S. has been a boon for the polluting petrochemical industry, which turns fracked gas into plastics. Our planet and our oceans are drowning in plastic and fracking companies are profiting," Hauter added. "This needs to stop once and for all. We need a global ban on fracking." The letter to Gutteres makes the case that "directly affected regions and communities all over the world rely on a strong and bold public position of the United Nations on this significant and existential issue." Signatories call on the U.N. chief "to accept this climate champion role" and vocally support a worldwide fracking ban. Groups backing the letter include the Break Free From Plastic Movement, Friends of the Earth, Oil Change International, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Alianza Mexicana contra el Fracking, Support Centre for Land Change South Africa, and SumOfUs. Individuals include activists Karenna Gore, Naomi Klein, and Bill McKibben; human rights attorney Jennifer Robinson; children's singer Raffi; fashion icons Vivienne Westwood and Joe Corré; and actors Emma Thompson and Mark Ruffalo. "The climate emergency is a casting call for heroes, and we need everyone to show up," said Ruffalo. "Step one is to stand up and say, loudly and clearly, that there is no place for fracking on a climate-destabilized planet."
    On Climate Strike Eve, 450+ Activists and Groups Urge United Nations to Back Global Fracking Ban
    "Our planet is on fire, but fracking is not an evacuation bridge nor a fire extinguisher. Fracking is an arsonist that needs to be stopped."
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  • 'Total Massacre' as U.S. Drone Strike Kills 30 Farmers in Afghanistan
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/19/total-massacre-us-drone-strike-kills-30-farmers-afghanistan
    Eoin Higgins, staff writer

    A U.S. drone attack killed 30 pine nut farmers and wounded at least 40 others in Afghanistan Wednesday night, the latest killing of innocent civilians by American forces as the "war on terror" enters its 19th year.

    The farmers had just finished work and were sitting by a fire when the strike happened, according to tribal elder Malik Rahat Gul.

    "Some of us managed to escape, some were injured, but many were killed," said farm laborer Juma Gul.

    Reuters reported that there may be more farmers missing:

    Haidar Khan, who owns the pine nut fields, said about 150 workers were there for harvesting, with some still missing as well as the confirmed dead and injured.

    A survivor of the drone strike said about 200 laborers were sleeping in five tents pitched near the farm when the attack happened.

    In a statement, Colonel Sonny Leggett, the spokesman for the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan, said the attack was aimed at "Da’esh (IS) terrorists in Nangarhar" province.

    "We are aware of allegations of the death of non-combatants and are working with local officials to determine the facts," said Leggett.

    However, Leggett said, the blame for the massacre is squarely on IS and the Taliban—not U.S. forces.

    "We are fighting in a complex environment against those who intentionally kill and hide behind civilians, as well as use dishonest claims of noncombatant casualties as propaganda weapons," Leggett said.

    Human rights group Amnesty International, in a statement, said that the strike was "unacceptable and suggests a shocking disregard for civilian life."

    "U.S. forces in Afghanistan must ensure that all possible precautions are taken to avoid civilian casualties in military operations," said Amnesty.

    In a tweet, journalist Emran Feroz said his reporting from the region indicates that the reality of U.S. policy with respect to attacks in Nangarhar is different than Leggett's claims.

    "Seems that recent drone strikes in Nangarhar's Khogyani district ended in a total massacre killing far more than 30 civilians," said Feroz. "When I visited Khogyani in 2017, locals told us that drone strikes against farmers and other civilians are taking place regularly."

    Rita Siemion, the director of National Security Advocacy at Human Rights First, told Common Dreams that the U.S. military cannot allow strikes to kill innocent civilians.

    "Mistakes can happen, but this strike is part of a pattern that suggests that there are serious flaws in the Pentagon's targeting processes that need to be addressed," said Siemion. "Knowingly using a process that fails to adequately distinguish between civilians and combatants would violate the laws of war and be detrimental to the overall mission."

    In a tweet, The Intercept's Mehdi Hasan noted just how little attention the massacre perpetrated by the U.S. military was likely to receive.

    Amnesty International said bombing "suggests a shocking disregard for civilian life."

    MSNBC host Chris Hayes tweeted Thursday that Americans should pay attention to the attack and try to put themselves in Afghan shoes.

    "It is so easy to read this and be upset or shake your head and still see it as an abstraction," said Hayes. "But take a second to play through a missile from, say, Iran landing in Iowa and killing 30 farmers and what that would do to domestic politics."
    'Total Massacre' as U.S. Drone Strike Kills 30 Farmers in Afghanistan https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/19/total-massacre-us-drone-strike-kills-30-farmers-afghanistan Eoin Higgins, staff writer A U.S. drone attack killed 30 pine nut farmers and wounded at least 40 others in Afghanistan Wednesday night, the latest killing of innocent civilians by American forces as the "war on terror" enters its 19th year. The farmers had just finished work and were sitting by a fire when the strike happened, according to tribal elder Malik Rahat Gul. "Some of us managed to escape, some were injured, but many were killed," said farm laborer Juma Gul. Reuters reported that there may be more farmers missing: Haidar Khan, who owns the pine nut fields, said about 150 workers were there for harvesting, with some still missing as well as the confirmed dead and injured. A survivor of the drone strike said about 200 laborers were sleeping in five tents pitched near the farm when the attack happened. In a statement, Colonel Sonny Leggett, the spokesman for the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan, said the attack was aimed at "Da’esh (IS) terrorists in Nangarhar" province. "We are aware of allegations of the death of non-combatants and are working with local officials to determine the facts," said Leggett. However, Leggett said, the blame for the massacre is squarely on IS and the Taliban—not U.S. forces. "We are fighting in a complex environment against those who intentionally kill and hide behind civilians, as well as use dishonest claims of noncombatant casualties as propaganda weapons," Leggett said. Human rights group Amnesty International, in a statement, said that the strike was "unacceptable and suggests a shocking disregard for civilian life." "U.S. forces in Afghanistan must ensure that all possible precautions are taken to avoid civilian casualties in military operations," said Amnesty. In a tweet, journalist Emran Feroz said his reporting from the region indicates that the reality of U.S. policy with respect to attacks in Nangarhar is different than Leggett's claims. "Seems that recent drone strikes in Nangarhar's Khogyani district ended in a total massacre killing far more than 30 civilians," said Feroz. "When I visited Khogyani in 2017, locals told us that drone strikes against farmers and other civilians are taking place regularly." Rita Siemion, the director of National Security Advocacy at Human Rights First, told Common Dreams that the U.S. military cannot allow strikes to kill innocent civilians. "Mistakes can happen, but this strike is part of a pattern that suggests that there are serious flaws in the Pentagon's targeting processes that need to be addressed," said Siemion. "Knowingly using a process that fails to adequately distinguish between civilians and combatants would violate the laws of war and be detrimental to the overall mission." In a tweet, The Intercept's Mehdi Hasan noted just how little attention the massacre perpetrated by the U.S. military was likely to receive. Amnesty International said bombing "suggests a shocking disregard for civilian life." MSNBC host Chris Hayes tweeted Thursday that Americans should pay attention to the attack and try to put themselves in Afghan shoes. "It is so easy to read this and be upset or shake your head and still see it as an abstraction," said Hayes. "But take a second to play through a missile from, say, Iran landing in Iowa and killing 30 farmers and what that would do to domestic politics."
    'Total Massacre' as U.S. Drone Strike Kills 30 Farmers in Afghanistan
    Amnesty International said the bombing "suggests a shocking disregard for civilian life."
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  • Video Featuring Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot Details Magical Solution to Climate Crisis: Nature
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/19/video-featuring-greta-thunberg-and-george-monbiot-details-magical-solution-climate
    Jessica Corbett, staff writer

    Youth climate leader Greta Thunberg and writer and environmentalist George Monbiot explain in a short video published Thursday by The Guardian how the world can tackle the human-caused climate crisis by harnessing nature's restorative powers.

    "We are living in the beginning of a mass extinction. Our climate is breaking down. Children like me are giving up their education to protest," says 16-year-old Thunberg. "But we can still fix this—you can still fix this."

    Watch: [https://youtu.be/-Q0xUXo2zEY]

    The short film, produced by Tom Mustill of Gripping Films, was released ahead of the youth-led global climate strike and the United Nations Climate Action Summit—where it will be shown to experts and heads of state, according to The Guardian.

    Monbiot is a Guardian columnist and a leader of the Natural Climate Solutions campaign. Launched in April by activists, experts, and writers, the bold campaign calls for battling climate and ecological breakdown by not only transitioning the world away from fossil fuels to renewable energy but also "drawing carbon dioxide out of the air by protecting and restoring ecosystems."

    In the new video, Monbiot and Thunberg discuss the climate and ecological crises—touching on issues such as melting Arctic ice, declining biodiversity, and deforestation of rainforests—and the scientifically established ways that nature can help.

    "There is a magic machine that sucks carbon out of the air, costs very little, and builds itself. It's called a tree," Monbiot says. "Mangroves, peatbogs, jungles, marshes, seabeds, kelp forests, swamps, coral reefs, they take carbon out of the air and lock it away. Nature is a tool we can use to repair our broken climate."

    As the world endured sweltering temperatures this summer, the journal Science published a study which found that planting billions of trees and restoring forests to capture atmospheric carbon would be the "most effective" strategy for battling the climate emergency.

    While Monbiot lays out the major potential for natural climate solutions in the film, Thunberg points out that "right now, we are ignoring them."

    The pair also highlights the huge disparity between how much taxpayer money governments pour into fossil fuel subsidies compared with nature-based solutions.

    "We need to stop funding things that destroy nature," says Monbiot, "and pay for things that help it."

    "It is that simple," adds Thunberg. "Protect. Restore. Fund."

    GeorgeMonbiot @GeorgeMonbiot
    Launched today: @GretaThunberg presents a beautiful, powerful short film, calling for massive deployment of #NaturalClimateSolutions - essential for preventing climate breakdown. Made by the brilliant @tommustill. Find out more: #naturenow https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/19/greta-thunberg-we-are-ignoring-natural-climate-solutions

    Greta Thunberg: ‘We are ignoring natural climate solutions’
    Film by Swedish activist and Guardian journalist George Monbiot says nature must be used to repair broken climate

    theguardian.com
    7:19 AM - Sep 19, 2019

    Reporting on the video Thursday, The Guardian noted that "global carbon emissions must be halved in the next decade to avoid serious impacts from global heating, but they are still rising. It is therefore near certain that carbon dioxide will have to be removed from the atmosphere, and technology such as burying CO2 underground has not been demonstrated at scale."

    As Shyla Raghav of Conservation International—which helped fund the film—put it: "The fact is, we simply will not succeed in avoiding climate breakdown without nature."

    Preserving nature is incredibly popular across the globe, according to a new poll by the National Geographic Society and Ipsos, which surveyed 12,000 adults in Australia, Brazil, China, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. The majority of respondents said they support a proposal—made famous by biologist E.O. Wilson—to set aside half of the planet as nature to safeguard biodiversity and prevent mass extinction.

    Responding to the significant public support for the Half-Earth plan, National Geographic Society executive vice president and chief scientist Jonathan Baillie concluded, "People want what is scientifically needed for us to have a secure future."
    Video Featuring Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot Details Magical Solution to Climate Crisis: Nature https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/19/video-featuring-greta-thunberg-and-george-monbiot-details-magical-solution-climate Jessica Corbett, staff writer Youth climate leader Greta Thunberg and writer and environmentalist George Monbiot explain in a short video published Thursday by The Guardian how the world can tackle the human-caused climate crisis by harnessing nature's restorative powers. "We are living in the beginning of a mass extinction. Our climate is breaking down. Children like me are giving up their education to protest," says 16-year-old Thunberg. "But we can still fix this—you can still fix this." Watch: [https://youtu.be/-Q0xUXo2zEY] The short film, produced by Tom Mustill of Gripping Films, was released ahead of the youth-led global climate strike and the United Nations Climate Action Summit—where it will be shown to experts and heads of state, according to The Guardian. Monbiot is a Guardian columnist and a leader of the Natural Climate Solutions campaign. Launched in April by activists, experts, and writers, the bold campaign calls for battling climate and ecological breakdown by not only transitioning the world away from fossil fuels to renewable energy but also "drawing carbon dioxide out of the air by protecting and restoring ecosystems." In the new video, Monbiot and Thunberg discuss the climate and ecological crises—touching on issues such as melting Arctic ice, declining biodiversity, and deforestation of rainforests—and the scientifically established ways that nature can help. "There is a magic machine that sucks carbon out of the air, costs very little, and builds itself. It's called a tree," Monbiot says. "Mangroves, peatbogs, jungles, marshes, seabeds, kelp forests, swamps, coral reefs, they take carbon out of the air and lock it away. Nature is a tool we can use to repair our broken climate." As the world endured sweltering temperatures this summer, the journal Science published a study which found that planting billions of trees and restoring forests to capture atmospheric carbon would be the "most effective" strategy for battling the climate emergency. While Monbiot lays out the major potential for natural climate solutions in the film, Thunberg points out that "right now, we are ignoring them." The pair also highlights the huge disparity between how much taxpayer money governments pour into fossil fuel subsidies compared with nature-based solutions. "We need to stop funding things that destroy nature," says Monbiot, "and pay for things that help it." "It is that simple," adds Thunberg. "Protect. Restore. Fund." GeorgeMonbiot @GeorgeMonbiot Launched today: @GretaThunberg presents a beautiful, powerful short film, calling for massive deployment of #NaturalClimateSolutions - essential for preventing climate breakdown. Made by the brilliant @tommustill. Find out more: #naturenow https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/19/greta-thunberg-we-are-ignoring-natural-climate-solutions … Greta Thunberg: ‘We are ignoring natural climate solutions’ Film by Swedish activist and Guardian journalist George Monbiot says nature must be used to repair broken climate theguardian.com 7:19 AM - Sep 19, 2019 Reporting on the video Thursday, The Guardian noted that "global carbon emissions must be halved in the next decade to avoid serious impacts from global heating, but they are still rising. It is therefore near certain that carbon dioxide will have to be removed from the atmosphere, and technology such as burying CO2 underground has not been demonstrated at scale." As Shyla Raghav of Conservation International—which helped fund the film—put it: "The fact is, we simply will not succeed in avoiding climate breakdown without nature." Preserving nature is incredibly popular across the globe, according to a new poll by the National Geographic Society and Ipsos, which surveyed 12,000 adults in Australia, Brazil, China, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. The majority of respondents said they support a proposal—made famous by biologist E.O. Wilson—to set aside half of the planet as nature to safeguard biodiversity and prevent mass extinction. Responding to the significant public support for the Half-Earth plan, National Geographic Society executive vice president and chief scientist Jonathan Baillie concluded, "People want what is scientifically needed for us to have a secure future."
    Video Featuring Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot Details Magical Solution to Climate Crisis: Nature
    "We need to stop funding things that destroy nature and pay for things that help it."
    WWW.COMMONDREAMS.ORG
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  • 'Young People Are Correct to Be Outraged': Seattle City Council Urges Public Schools to Let Students Join Global Climate Strike
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/17/young-people-are-correct-be-outraged-seattle-city-council-urges-public-schools-let
    Jake Johnson, staff writer

    The Seattle City Council on Monday unanimously approved resolutions to establish a Green New Deal Oversight Committee and urge the city's public schools to excuse students who wish to take part in the global climate strike on Sept. 20.

    The latter resolution, sponsored by socialist councilmember Kshama Sawant, also affirms the right of city employees to request leave for a day of conscience to participate in the strikes, which organizers say could bring millions of people into the streets around the world.

    In a letter to the Seattle City School Board after the passage of her resolution, Sawant urged the body to "respect Seattle students' right to participate in the global climate strike and excuse them from classes on Friday, September 20th, to do so."

    "After decades of inaction by corporate politicians and a recent report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change giving humanity just 12 years before surpassing a critical threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming," wrote Sawant, "young people are correct to be outraged, and they have no choice but to take action."

    "Seattle Public Schools should stand with the global climate justice movement," Sawant added, "and excuse students so they can participate in the global climate strike on September 20th."

    Sawant noted that thousands of Seattle students are likely to participate in the strike, whether or not the school board excuses their absences.

    Grace Lambert, a 17-year-old Seattle student and the Washington State co-lead for U.S. Youth Climate Strikes, said in a statement Monday that she is taking part in the mass action "because it is my future on the line here."

    The Seattle City Council's vote comes just days after New York City's public school system announced it would excuse absences for students participating in the global climate strike.

    NYC Public Schools ✔ @NYCSchools
    .@NYCschools will excuse absences of students participating in the #ClimateStrike on Friday 9/20. Students will need parental consent. Younger students can only leave school with a parent. https://twitter.com/NYCMayor/status/1172186872560410636

    Mayor Bill de Blasio ✔ @NYCMayor
    .@NYCSchools will be sharing guidance with parents, educators and students on how students will be able to participate in next Friday’s events in the next few days. #ClimateStrike https://twitter.com/nycmayor/status/1172186264075984896
    11:54 AM - Sep 12, 2019

    In addition to the Seattle City Council's vote in support of the climate strikes, environmentalists celebrated the passage of a measure establishing a Green New Deal Oversight Committee, which would map out the implementation of the city's Green New Deal resolution and ensure input from community leaders.

    "Comprised of 11 representatives of environmental justice organizations and frontline communities, three people with professional backgrounds in climate pollution reduction strategies, two labor union representatives, and a workforce development specialist, the Green New Deal Oversight Committee will ensure that community members from communities most impacted by economic and environmental injustice are centered in the city's decision-making on Green New Deal policies," 350 Seattle said in a press release on Monday.

    Councilmember Mike O'Brien, the lead sponsor of the resolution establishing the committee, said the body "gives climate leaders a platform to deliver solutions that both solve the climate crisis, provide new economic opportunities, and do it in a way that justly transitions us from a fossil fuel-dependent economy."

    "We have ten years to radically transform our city and our economy to eliminate fossil fuel use if we want to stem the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, including asthma hurting households and the relocation of tribal communities affected by sea level rise," said O'Brien. "Seattle's Green New Deal will get us there.
    'Young People Are Correct to Be Outraged': Seattle City Council Urges Public Schools to Let Students Join Global Climate Strike https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/17/young-people-are-correct-be-outraged-seattle-city-council-urges-public-schools-let Jake Johnson, staff writer The Seattle City Council on Monday unanimously approved resolutions to establish a Green New Deal Oversight Committee and urge the city's public schools to excuse students who wish to take part in the global climate strike on Sept. 20. The latter resolution, sponsored by socialist councilmember Kshama Sawant, also affirms the right of city employees to request leave for a day of conscience to participate in the strikes, which organizers say could bring millions of people into the streets around the world. In a letter to the Seattle City School Board after the passage of her resolution, Sawant urged the body to "respect Seattle students' right to participate in the global climate strike and excuse them from classes on Friday, September 20th, to do so." "After decades of inaction by corporate politicians and a recent report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change giving humanity just 12 years before surpassing a critical threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming," wrote Sawant, "young people are correct to be outraged, and they have no choice but to take action." "Seattle Public Schools should stand with the global climate justice movement," Sawant added, "and excuse students so they can participate in the global climate strike on September 20th." Sawant noted that thousands of Seattle students are likely to participate in the strike, whether or not the school board excuses their absences. Grace Lambert, a 17-year-old Seattle student and the Washington State co-lead for U.S. Youth Climate Strikes, said in a statement Monday that she is taking part in the mass action "because it is my future on the line here." The Seattle City Council's vote comes just days after New York City's public school system announced it would excuse absences for students participating in the global climate strike. NYC Public Schools ✔ @NYCSchools .@NYCschools will excuse absences of students participating in the #ClimateStrike on Friday 9/20. Students will need parental consent. Younger students can only leave school with a parent. https://twitter.com/NYCMayor/status/1172186872560410636 … Mayor Bill de Blasio ✔ @NYCMayor .@NYCSchools will be sharing guidance with parents, educators and students on how students will be able to participate in next Friday’s events in the next few days. #ClimateStrike https://twitter.com/nycmayor/status/1172186264075984896 … 11:54 AM - Sep 12, 2019 In addition to the Seattle City Council's vote in support of the climate strikes, environmentalists celebrated the passage of a measure establishing a Green New Deal Oversight Committee, which would map out the implementation of the city's Green New Deal resolution and ensure input from community leaders. "Comprised of 11 representatives of environmental justice organizations and frontline communities, three people with professional backgrounds in climate pollution reduction strategies, two labor union representatives, and a workforce development specialist, the Green New Deal Oversight Committee will ensure that community members from communities most impacted by economic and environmental injustice are centered in the city's decision-making on Green New Deal policies," 350 Seattle said in a press release on Monday. Councilmember Mike O'Brien, the lead sponsor of the resolution establishing the committee, said the body "gives climate leaders a platform to deliver solutions that both solve the climate crisis, provide new economic opportunities, and do it in a way that justly transitions us from a fossil fuel-dependent economy." "We have ten years to radically transform our city and our economy to eliminate fossil fuel use if we want to stem the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, including asthma hurting households and the relocation of tribal communities affected by sea level rise," said O'Brien. "Seattle's Green New Deal will get us there.
    'Young People Are Correct to Be Outraged': Seattle City Council Urges Public Schools to Let Students Join Global Climate Strike
    "Seattle Public Schools should stand with the global climate justice movement and excuse students so they can participate in the global climate strike."
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  • 'There Is an Awakening Going On': Greta Thunberg Honored With Amnesty's Top Award Days Before Global Climate Strikes
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/17/there-awakening-going-greta-thunberg-honored-amnestys-top-award-days-global-climate
    Jake Johnson, staff writer

    In a speech upon receiving Amnesty International's top human rights award Monday night, 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg credited the work of thousands of her fellow youth climate campaigners for heightening global awareness of the existential threat posed by the ecological crisis and the need for bold action.

    "I think there is an awakening going on," Thunberg said during an award ceremony in Washington D.C. "Even though it is slow, the pace is picking up and the debate is shifting. This is thanks to a lot of different reasons, but it is a lot because of countless activists, especially young activists."

    Thunberg and the youth-led Fridays for Future climate movement she inspired were honored with Amnesty's 2019 Ambassador of Conscience Award for their efforts to bring the planetary emergency to the forefront of global attention and force world leaders to act.

    The event came days before millions of people are expected to take part in climate strikes in over 130 countries across the globe on Friday.

    "We, who together are the movement Fridays for Future, we are fighting for our lives," said Thunberg. "But not only that, we are also fighting for our future children and grandchildren, for future generations, for every single living being on earth, whose biosphere we share, whose biosphere we are stealing, whose biosphere we are ruining. We are fighting for everyone."

    "Activism works," Thunberg added. "So, what I'm telling you to do now is to act. Because no one is too small to make a difference. I'm urging all of you to take part in the global climate strikes on September 20th and September 27th."

    Bloomberg TicToc ✔ @tictoc
    Climate activist Greta Thunberg has won @amnesty's Ambassador of Conscience Award.

    In her acceptance speech, the 16-year-old said "every single one of us must push from every possible angle to hold those responsible accountable"
    Embedded video: [https://twitter.com/tictoc/status/1173899069573537792]
    4:58 AM - Sep 17, 2019

    Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty's secretary general, said in a statement Tuesday that Thunberg and youth climate leaders around the world have "laid down the challenge" for the rest of humanity.

    "In an apathetic world drifting towards calamity, they have stood up as our collective conscience and said, 'enough is enough,'" said Naidoo. "They have demanded that we stop ignoring the magnitude of the crisis and stop making excuses, and instead start mobilizing."

    "Now it's time for every single one of us to follow them," Naidoo said. "A mass movement is needed if we want to force governments and corporations into long-overdue action."
    'There Is an Awakening Going On': Greta Thunberg Honored With Amnesty's Top Award Days Before Global Climate Strikes https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/17/there-awakening-going-greta-thunberg-honored-amnestys-top-award-days-global-climate Jake Johnson, staff writer In a speech upon receiving Amnesty International's top human rights award Monday night, 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg credited the work of thousands of her fellow youth climate campaigners for heightening global awareness of the existential threat posed by the ecological crisis and the need for bold action. "I think there is an awakening going on," Thunberg said during an award ceremony in Washington D.C. "Even though it is slow, the pace is picking up and the debate is shifting. This is thanks to a lot of different reasons, but it is a lot because of countless activists, especially young activists." Thunberg and the youth-led Fridays for Future climate movement she inspired were honored with Amnesty's 2019 Ambassador of Conscience Award for their efforts to bring the planetary emergency to the forefront of global attention and force world leaders to act. The event came days before millions of people are expected to take part in climate strikes in over 130 countries across the globe on Friday. "We, who together are the movement Fridays for Future, we are fighting for our lives," said Thunberg. "But not only that, we are also fighting for our future children and grandchildren, for future generations, for every single living being on earth, whose biosphere we share, whose biosphere we are stealing, whose biosphere we are ruining. We are fighting for everyone." "Activism works," Thunberg added. "So, what I'm telling you to do now is to act. Because no one is too small to make a difference. I'm urging all of you to take part in the global climate strikes on September 20th and September 27th." Bloomberg TicToc ✔ @tictoc Climate activist Greta Thunberg has won @amnesty's Ambassador of Conscience Award. In her acceptance speech, the 16-year-old said "every single one of us must push from every possible angle to hold those responsible accountable" Embedded video: [https://twitter.com/tictoc/status/1173899069573537792] 4:58 AM - Sep 17, 2019 Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty's secretary general, said in a statement Tuesday that Thunberg and youth climate leaders around the world have "laid down the challenge" for the rest of humanity. "In an apathetic world drifting towards calamity, they have stood up as our collective conscience and said, 'enough is enough,'" said Naidoo. "They have demanded that we stop ignoring the magnitude of the crisis and stop making excuses, and instead start mobilizing." "Now it's time for every single one of us to follow them," Naidoo said. "A mass movement is needed if we want to force governments and corporations into long-overdue action."
    'There Is an Awakening Going On': Greta Thunberg Honored With Amnesty's Top Award Days Before Global Climate Strikes
    "What I'm telling you to do now is to act. Because no one is too small to make a difference. I'm urging all of you to take part in the global climate strikes on September 20th and September 27th."
    WWW.COMMONDREAMS.ORG
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  • So-Called "Limited" Nuclear War Would Actually Be Very Bad and Kill Tens of Millions, Warns New Report
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/17/so-called-limited-nuclear-war-would-actually-be-very-bad-and-kill-tens-millions
    Eoin Higgins, staff writer

    Even a limited nuclear war would be catastrophic and kill millions, a new study finds, despite the belief of the Pentagon that the U.S. military could effectively and safely use nuclear weapons in a conflict.

    The report, which Princeton University's Science and Global Security Lab presents in video form, affirms the position of anti-nuclear war activists that no use of nuclear weapons is sensible—or safe.

    "This terrifying new video shows how just one tactical nuke can trigger a U.S.-Russian war that kills tens of millions," Daryl G. Kimball, the director of the Arms Control Association, said in a tweet. "We urgently need sensible action to reduce and eliminate nuclear risk."

    Reaction to the video of the lab's findings emphasized the importance of the information, especially in a world where the U.S. military is considering using nuclear weapons as part of its conventional war strategy.

    "The whole world needs to see this video," tweeted John Hallam, a campaigner at Australia's People for Nuclear Disarmament.

    Watch the video: [https://youtu.be/2jy3JU-ORpo]

    The lab developed the scenario after the Pentagon published, and shortly thereafter removed, a new draft of the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations (pdf) on June 11.

    As Common Dreams reported at the time, the document raised questions from observers and antiwar advocates concerned over the hubris of the Pentagon to assume it could win a nuclear war.

    That document, combined with the scrapping of arms control treaties, led the researchers to develop testing for a scenario wherein the U.S. and Russia engage in a limited conflict.

    The results point to a devastating cost in lives in short order.

    "It is estimated that there would be more than 90 million people dead and injured within the first few hours of the conflict," the site reads.

    The scenario envisions a back and forth between the U.S. and Russia. The conflict begins with Russia striking the border of Germany and Poland in an effort to dissuade NATO aggression—but the reaction from the U.S. is to strike Kaliningrad, Russia's small territory on the Baltic Sea. From there, things get worse as both countries launch ever-increasing barrages of bombs at one another. Within hours, over 34 million people are dead and over 57 million are injured, to say nothing of the ongoing effects from radiation and nuclear winter.

    The study is "based on independent assessments of current U.S. and Russian force postures, nuclear war plans, and nuclear weapons targets," according to the lab.

    "It uses extensive data sets of the nuclear weapons currently deployed, weapon yields, and possible targets for particular weapons, as well as the order of battle estimating which weapons go to which targets in which order in which phase of the war to show the evolution of the nuclear conflict from tactical, to strategic to city-targeting phases," the lab's summary reads.
    So-Called "Limited" Nuclear War Would Actually Be Very Bad and Kill Tens of Millions, Warns New Report https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/17/so-called-limited-nuclear-war-would-actually-be-very-bad-and-kill-tens-millions Eoin Higgins, staff writer Even a limited nuclear war would be catastrophic and kill millions, a new study finds, despite the belief of the Pentagon that the U.S. military could effectively and safely use nuclear weapons in a conflict. The report, which Princeton University's Science and Global Security Lab presents in video form, affirms the position of anti-nuclear war activists that no use of nuclear weapons is sensible—or safe. "This terrifying new video shows how just one tactical nuke can trigger a U.S.-Russian war that kills tens of millions," Daryl G. Kimball, the director of the Arms Control Association, said in a tweet. "We urgently need sensible action to reduce and eliminate nuclear risk." Reaction to the video of the lab's findings emphasized the importance of the information, especially in a world where the U.S. military is considering using nuclear weapons as part of its conventional war strategy. "The whole world needs to see this video," tweeted John Hallam, a campaigner at Australia's People for Nuclear Disarmament. Watch the video: [https://youtu.be/2jy3JU-ORpo] The lab developed the scenario after the Pentagon published, and shortly thereafter removed, a new draft of the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations (pdf) on June 11. As Common Dreams reported at the time, the document raised questions from observers and antiwar advocates concerned over the hubris of the Pentagon to assume it could win a nuclear war. That document, combined with the scrapping of arms control treaties, led the researchers to develop testing for a scenario wherein the U.S. and Russia engage in a limited conflict. The results point to a devastating cost in lives in short order. "It is estimated that there would be more than 90 million people dead and injured within the first few hours of the conflict," the site reads. The scenario envisions a back and forth between the U.S. and Russia. The conflict begins with Russia striking the border of Germany and Poland in an effort to dissuade NATO aggression—but the reaction from the U.S. is to strike Kaliningrad, Russia's small territory on the Baltic Sea. From there, things get worse as both countries launch ever-increasing barrages of bombs at one another. Within hours, over 34 million people are dead and over 57 million are injured, to say nothing of the ongoing effects from radiation and nuclear winter. The study is "based on independent assessments of current U.S. and Russian force postures, nuclear war plans, and nuclear weapons targets," according to the lab. "It uses extensive data sets of the nuclear weapons currently deployed, weapon yields, and possible targets for particular weapons, as well as the order of battle estimating which weapons go to which targets in which order in which phase of the war to show the evolution of the nuclear conflict from tactical, to strategic to city-targeting phases," the lab's summary reads.
    So-Called "Limited" Nuclear War Would Actually Be Very Bad and Kill Tens of Millions, Warns New Report
    "We urgently need sensible action to reduce and eliminate nuclear risk."
    WWW.COMMONDREAMS.ORG
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  • Lisbon treaty amendments.

    1: The UK along with all existing members of the EU lose their abstention veto in 2020 as laid down in the Lisbon Treaty when the system changes to that of majority acceptance with no abstentions or veto’s being allowed.

    2: All member nations will become states of the new federal nation of the EU by 2022 as clearly laid out in the Lisbon treaty with no exceptions or veto’s.

    3: All member states must adopt the Euro by 2022 and any new member state must do so within 2 years of joining the EU as laid down in the Lisbon treaty.

    4: The London stock exchange will move to Frankfurt in 2020 and be integrated into the EU stock exchange resulting in a loss of 200,000 plus jobs in the UK because of the relocation. (This has already been pre-agreed and is only on a holding pattern due to the Brexit negotiations, which if Brexit does happen, the move is fully cancelled - but if not and the UK remains a member it’s full steam ahead for the move.)

    5: The EU Parliament and ECJ become supreme over all legislative bodies of the UK.

    6: The UK will adopt 100% of whatever the EU Parliament and ECJ lays down without any means of abstention or veto, negating the need for the UK to have the Lords or even the Commons as we know it today.

    7: The UK will NOT be able to make its own trade deals.

    8: The UK will NOT be able to set its own trade tariffs.

    9 The UK will NOT be able to set its own trade quotas.

    10: The UK loses control of its fishing rights

    11: The UK loses control of its oil and gas rights

    12: The UK loses control of its borders and enters the Schengen region by 2022 - as clearly laid down in the Lisbon treaty

    13: The UK loses control of its planning legislation

    14: The UK loses control of its armed forces including its nuclear deterrent

    15: The UK loses full control of its taxation policy

    16: The UK loses the ability to create its own laws and to implement them

    17: The UK loses its standing in the Commonwealths

    18: The UK loses control of any provinces or affiliated nations e.g.: Falklands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar etc

    19: The UK loses control of its judicial system

    20: The UK loses control of its international policy

    21: The UK loses full control of its national policy

    22: The UK loses its right to call itself a nation in its own right.
    23: The UK loses control of its space exploration program

    24: The UK loses control of its Aviation and Sea lane jurisdiction

    25: The UK loses its rebate in 2020 as laid down in the Lisbon treaty

    26: The UK’s contribution to the EU is set to increase by an average of 1.2bn pa and by 2.3bn pa by 2020

    And YOU want to stay?
    Why?
    Lisbon treaty amendments. 1: The UK along with all existing members of the EU lose their abstention veto in 2020 as laid down in the Lisbon Treaty when the system changes to that of majority acceptance with no abstentions or veto’s being allowed. 2: All member nations will become states of the new federal nation of the EU by 2022 as clearly laid out in the Lisbon treaty with no exceptions or veto’s. 3: All member states must adopt the Euro by 2022 and any new member state must do so within 2 years of joining the EU as laid down in the Lisbon treaty. 4: The London stock exchange will move to Frankfurt in 2020 and be integrated into the EU stock exchange resulting in a loss of 200,000 plus jobs in the UK because of the relocation. (This has already been pre-agreed and is only on a holding pattern due to the Brexit negotiations, which if Brexit does happen, the move is fully cancelled - but if not and the UK remains a member it’s full steam ahead for the move.) 5: The EU Parliament and ECJ become supreme over all legislative bodies of the UK. 6: The UK will adopt 100% of whatever the EU Parliament and ECJ lays down without any means of abstention or veto, negating the need for the UK to have the Lords or even the Commons as we know it today. 7: The UK will NOT be able to make its own trade deals. 8: The UK will NOT be able to set its own trade tariffs. 9 The UK will NOT be able to set its own trade quotas. 10: The UK loses control of its fishing rights 11: The UK loses control of its oil and gas rights 12: The UK loses control of its borders and enters the Schengen region by 2022 - as clearly laid down in the Lisbon treaty 13: The UK loses control of its planning legislation 14: The UK loses control of its armed forces including its nuclear deterrent 15: The UK loses full control of its taxation policy 16: The UK loses the ability to create its own laws and to implement them 17: The UK loses its standing in the Commonwealths 18: The UK loses control of any provinces or affiliated nations e.g.: Falklands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar etc 19: The UK loses control of its judicial system 20: The UK loses control of its international policy 21: The UK loses full control of its national policy 22: The UK loses its right to call itself a nation in its own right. 23: The UK loses control of its space exploration program 24: The UK loses control of its Aviation and Sea lane jurisdiction 25: The UK loses its rebate in 2020 as laid down in the Lisbon treaty 26: The UK’s contribution to the EU is set to increase by an average of 1.2bn pa and by 2.3bn pa by 2020 And YOU want to stay? Why?
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  • To Critics Who Say Climate Action Is 'Too Expensive,' Greta Thunberg Responds: 'If We Can Save the Banks, We Can Save the World'
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/10/critics-who-say-climate-action-too-expensive-greta-thunberg-responds-if-we-can-save
    Jake Johnson, staff writer

    During an event in New York City Monday night with author and environmentalist Naomi Klein, 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg had a simple message for those who claim it is "too expensive" to boldly confront the climate crisis with sweeping policies like a Green New Deal.

    "If we can save the banks," said Thunberg, "we can save the world."

    "If there is something we are not lacking in this world, it's money," she added. "Of course, many people do lack money, but governments and these people in power, they do not lack money. And also we need to have the polluters... actually pay for the damage they have caused. So, to that argument, I would not even respond to that argument, because it has been said so many times, the money is there. What we lack now is political will and social will to do it."

    Watch: [https://youtu.be/Vw58ckJdDmI]

    Thunberg arrived in New York late last month after nearly two weeks of sailing across the Atlantic. The young environmentalist made the journey ahead of the Sept. 20 global climate strikes, which she helped inspire through persistent activism that has included directly confronting world leaders and elites over their role in the planetary emergency.

    The strikes, which are expected to bring millions to the streets in over 150 countries, will coincide with the United Nations Summit on Climate Change on Sept. 23rd in New York.

    "I want September 20 to be a tipping point," Thunberg said Monday night. "I want world leaders to feel like they have too many people watching them."
    To Critics Who Say Climate Action Is 'Too Expensive,' Greta Thunberg Responds: 'If We Can Save the Banks, We Can Save the World' https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/10/critics-who-say-climate-action-too-expensive-greta-thunberg-responds-if-we-can-save Jake Johnson, staff writer During an event in New York City Monday night with author and environmentalist Naomi Klein, 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg had a simple message for those who claim it is "too expensive" to boldly confront the climate crisis with sweeping policies like a Green New Deal. "If we can save the banks," said Thunberg, "we can save the world." "If there is something we are not lacking in this world, it's money," she added. "Of course, many people do lack money, but governments and these people in power, they do not lack money. And also we need to have the polluters... actually pay for the damage they have caused. So, to that argument, I would not even respond to that argument, because it has been said so many times, the money is there. What we lack now is political will and social will to do it." Watch: [https://youtu.be/Vw58ckJdDmI] Thunberg arrived in New York late last month after nearly two weeks of sailing across the Atlantic. The young environmentalist made the journey ahead of the Sept. 20 global climate strikes, which she helped inspire through persistent activism that has included directly confronting world leaders and elites over their role in the planetary emergency. The strikes, which are expected to bring millions to the streets in over 150 countries, will coincide with the United Nations Summit on Climate Change on Sept. 23rd in New York. "I want September 20 to be a tipping point," Thunberg said Monday night. "I want world leaders to feel like they have too many people watching them."
    To Critics Who Say Climate Action Is 'Too Expensive,' Greta Thunberg Responds: 'If We Can Save the Banks, We Can Save the World'
    "If there is something we are not lacking in this world, it's money. Of course, many people do lack money, but governments and these people in power, they do not lack money."
    WWW.COMMONDREAMS.ORG
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  • Urgently Investing $1.8 Trillion to #AdaptOurWorld and Avert 'Climate Apartheid' Could Yield $7.1 Trillion in Benefits, Analysis Shows
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/10/urgently-investing-18-trillion-adaptourworld-and-avert-climate-apartheid-could-yield
    Jessica Corbett, staff writer

    Warning that the world is at risk of experiencing a "climate apartheid," a report released Tuesday by the Global Commission on Adaptation found that spending $1.8 trillion globally over a decade on adaptation could yield $7.1 trillion in net benefits.

    The commission's report, Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience (pdf), outlines the human, environmental, and economic imperatives of investing in adaptation to the human-caused climate crisis. The report highlights the "triple dividend" of urgent, coordinated action: it would avoid future losses, generate positive economic gains, and deliver additional social and environmental benefits.

    The proposed $1.7 trillion investment in climate adaptation and resulting $7.1 trillion in benefits are based on significant spending in five key areas—early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure, improved dryland agriculture, mangrove protection, and making water resources more resilient—between 2020 and 2030. The systemic transformations called for in the report particularly aim to address global inequalities that are increasingly exacerbated by the climate emergency.

    UN Climate Change ✔ @UNFCCC
    The #AdaptOurWorld report released today shows:
    Investing $1.8 trillion in climate adaptation could generate $7.1 tn in benefits.

    Leaders around the 🌍 are calling on governments & businesses to urgently act on climate adaptation.
    Report 👉🏼 http://bit.ly/2lII1mp
    View image on Twitter
    5:23 AM - Sep 10, 2019

    The commission that produced the new analysis is chaired by former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva. The trio wrote in the report's forward that, in terms of adaptation, "so far the response has been gravely insufficient. Meanwhile, the climate crisis is here, now: wildfires ravage fragile habitats, city taps run dry, droughts scorch the land, and floods destroy people's homes and livelihoods."

    Investing in adaptation "is a moral imperative," Patrick Verkooijen, chief executive of the Global Center on Adaptation, which co-manages the commission with the World Resources Institute, told The Washington Post.

    "Even if we were to live in 1.5 degree world we would need massive adaptation," said Verkooijen, referring to the Paris climate accord goal of limiting average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. "Investing in adaptation is not a tradeoff with mitigation. We need to do both."

    Absent global adaptation efforts, the report estimates that by 2050, declines in agricultural yields would most seriously impact the world's 500 million small farms, the number of people lacking sufficient water could soar beyond five billion, and rising seas and devastating storms could force hundreds of millions people from their homes—costing coastal urban areas over $1 trillion per year.

    Though the climate crisis is one of the greatest threats humanity faces and it impacts all sectors of society, as the report put it, "people who did the least to cause the problem—especially those living in poverty and fragile areas—are most at risk."

    "We risk a climate apartheid where the wealthy pay to escape, while the rest of the world is left to suffer," Verkooijen warned. "Without bold adaptation action, climate change becomes a life sentence to poverty and suffering for already vulnerable and marginalized people."

    The report comes as the Bahamas is in the beginning stages of what is expected to be a drawn out recovery process after being devastated by Hurricane Dorian, which made landfall on the islands as a Category 5 storm early this month. In what one critic decried as "eco-apartheid," hundreds of Bahamian refugees who lacked a U.S. visa were ordered off a ferry headed for Ft. Lauderdale, Florida this weekend.

    The destruction in the Bahamas spotlighted climate scientists' warnings about the connection between extreme weather—including hurricanes, heatwaves, and fires—and rising temperatures from human activities that produce greenhouse gas emissions. When it comes to hurricanes, for example, experts warn that research suggests the warming world will see an increase in intense storms.

    "We tend not to invest in resilience and climate adaptation efforts until after a disaster has happened, until a lot of the damage has been done," Rob Moore, a policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), told InsideClimate News—which graphed the costs and benefits of the new report's recommendations.

    How adaptation efforts can pay off

    Outlining major barriers to global adaptation efforts, the report says that "in addition to knowledge gaps and short-term biases, fragmented responsibilities, poor institutional cooperation, and lack of resources hinder action. Governments lack incentives and funding for agencies to grapple with knowledge gaps, collaborate across silos, and implement innovative solutions."

    NRDC's Moore noted that "these types of investments are things that pay off over the long term, not over a single election cycle."

    Ban, who served as the U.N. chief from January 2007 to December 2016, emphasized the importance of global collaboration on adaptation efforts in a statement Tuesday.

    "Climate change doesn't respect borders: it's an international problem that can only be solved with co-operation and collaboration, across borders and worldwide," he said. "It is becoming increasingly clear that in many parts of the world, our climate has already changed, and we need to adapt with it."

    "Mitigation and adaptation go hand-in-hand as two equally important building blocks of the Paris Climate Change Agreement," Ban continued. "Adaptation is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do to boost economic growth and create a climate resilient world."

    Along with events across the globe Tuesday to launch the report, contributors and supporters shared its findings and suggestions on social media with the hashtag #AdaptOurWorld.


    World Resources Inst ✔ @WorldResources
    Today, we call on leaders around the globe to #AdaptOurWorld. #Climate impacts are here now, and adaptation is critical to creating stronger, safer, thriving communities. Join us in calling others to act with unprecedented courage, resources & commitment! http://ow.ly/iKDA50w4lJt

    View image on Twitter
    10:12 AM - Sep 10, 2019

    The commission has produced a series of videos about adaptation efforts around the world—from Costa Rica and India to the Netherlands and New York City—which were shared on social media with the hashtag Tuesday:
    Urgently Investing $1.8 Trillion to #AdaptOurWorld and Avert 'Climate Apartheid' Could Yield $7.1 Trillion in Benefits, Analysis Shows https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/10/urgently-investing-18-trillion-adaptourworld-and-avert-climate-apartheid-could-yield Jessica Corbett, staff writer Warning that the world is at risk of experiencing a "climate apartheid," a report released Tuesday by the Global Commission on Adaptation found that spending $1.8 trillion globally over a decade on adaptation could yield $7.1 trillion in net benefits. The commission's report, Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience (pdf), outlines the human, environmental, and economic imperatives of investing in adaptation to the human-caused climate crisis. The report highlights the "triple dividend" of urgent, coordinated action: it would avoid future losses, generate positive economic gains, and deliver additional social and environmental benefits. The proposed $1.7 trillion investment in climate adaptation and resulting $7.1 trillion in benefits are based on significant spending in five key areas—early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure, improved dryland agriculture, mangrove protection, and making water resources more resilient—between 2020 and 2030. The systemic transformations called for in the report particularly aim to address global inequalities that are increasingly exacerbated by the climate emergency. UN Climate Change ✔ @UNFCCC The #AdaptOurWorld report released today shows: Investing $1.8 trillion in climate adaptation could generate $7.1 tn in benefits. Leaders around the 🌍 are calling on governments & businesses to urgently act on climate adaptation. Report 👉🏼 http://bit.ly/2lII1mp View image on Twitter 5:23 AM - Sep 10, 2019 The commission that produced the new analysis is chaired by former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva. The trio wrote in the report's forward that, in terms of adaptation, "so far the response has been gravely insufficient. Meanwhile, the climate crisis is here, now: wildfires ravage fragile habitats, city taps run dry, droughts scorch the land, and floods destroy people's homes and livelihoods." Investing in adaptation "is a moral imperative," Patrick Verkooijen, chief executive of the Global Center on Adaptation, which co-manages the commission with the World Resources Institute, told The Washington Post. "Even if we were to live in 1.5 degree world we would need massive adaptation," said Verkooijen, referring to the Paris climate accord goal of limiting average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. "Investing in adaptation is not a tradeoff with mitigation. We need to do both." Absent global adaptation efforts, the report estimates that by 2050, declines in agricultural yields would most seriously impact the world's 500 million small farms, the number of people lacking sufficient water could soar beyond five billion, and rising seas and devastating storms could force hundreds of millions people from their homes—costing coastal urban areas over $1 trillion per year. Though the climate crisis is one of the greatest threats humanity faces and it impacts all sectors of society, as the report put it, "people who did the least to cause the problem—especially those living in poverty and fragile areas—are most at risk." "We risk a climate apartheid where the wealthy pay to escape, while the rest of the world is left to suffer," Verkooijen warned. "Without bold adaptation action, climate change becomes a life sentence to poverty and suffering for already vulnerable and marginalized people." The report comes as the Bahamas is in the beginning stages of what is expected to be a drawn out recovery process after being devastated by Hurricane Dorian, which made landfall on the islands as a Category 5 storm early this month. In what one critic decried as "eco-apartheid," hundreds of Bahamian refugees who lacked a U.S. visa were ordered off a ferry headed for Ft. Lauderdale, Florida this weekend. The destruction in the Bahamas spotlighted climate scientists' warnings about the connection between extreme weather—including hurricanes, heatwaves, and fires—and rising temperatures from human activities that produce greenhouse gas emissions. When it comes to hurricanes, for example, experts warn that research suggests the warming world will see an increase in intense storms. "We tend not to invest in resilience and climate adaptation efforts until after a disaster has happened, until a lot of the damage has been done," Rob Moore, a policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), told InsideClimate News—which graphed the costs and benefits of the new report's recommendations. How adaptation efforts can pay off Outlining major barriers to global adaptation efforts, the report says that "in addition to knowledge gaps and short-term biases, fragmented responsibilities, poor institutional cooperation, and lack of resources hinder action. Governments lack incentives and funding for agencies to grapple with knowledge gaps, collaborate across silos, and implement innovative solutions." NRDC's Moore noted that "these types of investments are things that pay off over the long term, not over a single election cycle." Ban, who served as the U.N. chief from January 2007 to December 2016, emphasized the importance of global collaboration on adaptation efforts in a statement Tuesday. "Climate change doesn't respect borders: it's an international problem that can only be solved with co-operation and collaboration, across borders and worldwide," he said. "It is becoming increasingly clear that in many parts of the world, our climate has already changed, and we need to adapt with it." "Mitigation and adaptation go hand-in-hand as two equally important building blocks of the Paris Climate Change Agreement," Ban continued. "Adaptation is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do to boost economic growth and create a climate resilient world." Along with events across the globe Tuesday to launch the report, contributors and supporters shared its findings and suggestions on social media with the hashtag #AdaptOurWorld. World Resources Inst ✔ @WorldResources Today, we call on leaders around the globe to #AdaptOurWorld. #Climate impacts are here now, and adaptation is critical to creating stronger, safer, thriving communities. Join us in calling others to act with unprecedented courage, resources & commitment! http://ow.ly/iKDA50w4lJt View image on Twitter 10:12 AM - Sep 10, 2019 The commission has produced a series of videos about adaptation efforts around the world—from Costa Rica and India to the Netherlands and New York City—which were shared on social media with the hashtag Tuesday:
    Urgently Investing $1.8 Trillion to #AdaptOurWorld and Avert 'Climate Apartheid' Could Yield $7.1 Trillion in Benefits, Analysis Shows
    "Without bold adaptation action, climate change becomes a life sentence to poverty and suffering for already vulnerable and marginalized people."
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  • Poverty in America a Literal 'Death Sentence,' Says Sanders, Following Devastating GAO Report
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/09/poverty-america-literal-death-sentence-says-sanders-following-devastating-gao-report
    Jake Johnson, staff writer

    A comprehensive Government Accountability Office study commissioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders and published Monday found that low-income Americans have significantly shorter lives than the rich, leading the Vermont senator to declare that poverty in the world's wealthiest nation is a "death sentence."

    "Poverty is a life-threatening issue for millions of people in this country, and this report confirms it," Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said in a statement. "We are in a crisis never before seen in a rich, industrialized democracy."

    To determine the relationship between wealth—or lack thereof—and life expectancy, the GAO examined a representative sample of Americans born from 1931 through 1941, making them between 51 and 61 years of age in 1992.

    "The same individuals have been re-interviewed every two years since, provided they continued to participate in the survey, and the most recent complete data is from 2014, when those who were still alive were 73 to 83 years old," according to the GAO.

    The agency found that just 48 percent of those in the bottom 20 percent of the wealth distribution were still alive in 2014. By contrast, over 75 percent of those in the wealthiest 20 percent were still alive, indicating that—in the words of the GAO—"income and wealth each have strong associations with longevity."

    "For three straight years, overall life expectancy in the wealthiest nation in world history has been declining, often driven by deaths of desperation and despair: liver disease, drug overdoses, and suicide," Sanders noted.

    The Vermont senator stressed that only immediate and transformative action will be enough to close the growing and deadly gap between the rich and poor.

    According to the GAO, the average wealth of the richest 20 percent of older U.S. households more than doubled between 1989 and 2016. Meanwhile, between 1989 and 2013, the average wealth of older households in the bottom 20 percent fell from $4,500 to negative $4,300.

    "We must put an end to the obscene income and wealth inequality in our country, and ensure living wages, quality healthcare, and retirement security for our seniors as human rights," sand Sanders. "If we do not urgently act to solve the economic distress of millions of Americans, a whole generation will be condemned to early death."
    Poverty in America a Literal 'Death Sentence,' Says Sanders, Following Devastating GAO Report https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/09/poverty-america-literal-death-sentence-says-sanders-following-devastating-gao-report Jake Johnson, staff writer A comprehensive Government Accountability Office study commissioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders and published Monday found that low-income Americans have significantly shorter lives than the rich, leading the Vermont senator to declare that poverty in the world's wealthiest nation is a "death sentence." "Poverty is a life-threatening issue for millions of people in this country, and this report confirms it," Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said in a statement. "We are in a crisis never before seen in a rich, industrialized democracy." To determine the relationship between wealth—or lack thereof—and life expectancy, the GAO examined a representative sample of Americans born from 1931 through 1941, making them between 51 and 61 years of age in 1992. "The same individuals have been re-interviewed every two years since, provided they continued to participate in the survey, and the most recent complete data is from 2014, when those who were still alive were 73 to 83 years old," according to the GAO. The agency found that just 48 percent of those in the bottom 20 percent of the wealth distribution were still alive in 2014. By contrast, over 75 percent of those in the wealthiest 20 percent were still alive, indicating that—in the words of the GAO—"income and wealth each have strong associations with longevity." "For three straight years, overall life expectancy in the wealthiest nation in world history has been declining, often driven by deaths of desperation and despair: liver disease, drug overdoses, and suicide," Sanders noted. The Vermont senator stressed that only immediate and transformative action will be enough to close the growing and deadly gap between the rich and poor. According to the GAO, the average wealth of the richest 20 percent of older U.S. households more than doubled between 1989 and 2016. Meanwhile, between 1989 and 2013, the average wealth of older households in the bottom 20 percent fell from $4,500 to negative $4,300. "We must put an end to the obscene income and wealth inequality in our country, and ensure living wages, quality healthcare, and retirement security for our seniors as human rights," sand Sanders. "If we do not urgently act to solve the economic distress of millions of Americans, a whole generation will be condemned to early death."
    Poverty in America a Literal 'Death Sentence,' Says Sanders, Following Devastating GAO Report
    "If we do not urgently act to solve the economic distress of millions of Americans, a whole generation will be condemned to early death."
    WWW.COMMONDREAMS.ORG
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