Climate Change

The Real Threat To The Green New Deal—And The Planet—Comes From Corporate-Owned Neoliberal Democrats

A party that responds to a challenge of this magnitude with stratagems, political calculations, cynicism, and half measures will not inspire voters; one that leads us toward a literal salvation, will. By John Atcheson Common Dreams (2/16/19) Predictably, Trump came out against the Green New Deal with a bombastic – and ill-informed – rant in a campaign style rally in El Paso. Here’s what he had to say: “I really don’t like their policy of taking away your car, of taking away your airplane rights, of ‘let’s hop a train to California,’ of you’re not allowed to own cows anymore!” Meanwhile,…

Read More

The (Un)scientific Method: Courageous Govt. Contract Scientist Who Resisted Censorship Of Climate Report Lost Her Job

  Caffrey said she asked her supervisor at the park service, “Is this because of the climate change stuff?” She said he told her, “I don’t want to answer that.” By Elizabeth Shogren Reveal /Center for Investigative Journalism (2/14/19) For several years, climate change scientist Maria Caffrey led a trailblazing study outlining the risks of rising seas at national parks. After Friday, she’ll be out of a job. Caffrey, who worked under a contract with the National Park Service, resisted efforts by federal officials to remove all references to human causes of climate change in her scientific report. After Reveal…


The End Of Ice: Journalist Dahr Jamail On The Climate Disruption Crisis From The Melting Himalayas To Insect Extinction

“The future that we’ve all thought was going to be so much further down the line, or 2100, and catastrophic, it’s already happening now.” Democracy Now! (2/12/19) A new report finds at least a third of the Himalayan ice cap will melt by the end of the century due to climate change, even if the world’s most ambitious environmental reforms are implemented. The report, released by the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment earlier this month, is the culmination of half a decade’s work by over 200 scientists, with an Things are happening. They’re accelerating. And it’s very, very clear where we…


Ambassadors From Our Climate Crisis: 50 Polar Bears Searching For Food Invade Russian Town, Terrifying Residents

    By Carla Baranauckas HuffPost (2/12/19) In what is being called a consequence of climate change, more than 50 polar bears have invaded a Russian settlement in the Arctic, forcing terrified residents to stay in their homes, according to news reports. The settlement, Belushya Guba, is on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago off Russia’s northeast coast and has a population of about 2,500. Officials declared a state of emergency on Saturday after reports of bears attacking people and entering homes, CNN said. “People are scared,” local administrator Alexander Minayev told CNN. “They are frightened to leave homes, and their daily routines…


Opportunities & Benefits Of Wisconsin Clean Energy Production: The Economic & Health Benefits Of 100% In-State Energy Production

By David Abel & Katya Spear COWS (2/4/19) Wisconsin has a current energy spending deficit of $14.4 billion ($14.4 billion in expenditures leaves the state annually). With no substantial in-state fossil fuel resources, reliance on fossil fuels is hurting the Wisconsin economy. Transitioning to in-state energy resources would bring dollars and jobs back to the state of Wisconsin and provide a win-win-win strategy for economic growth, social well-being, and environmental protection. Full report here. From the report by David Abel and Katya Spear. Prepared for Nick Nichols, Sustainability Coordinator for the Office of Sustainability, La Crosse County, Wisconsin. Link to Article & PDF Link (Commoner Call…


Time For Bravery: Dear Democrats, On Health Care & Climate Change Stop Substituting The So-Called “Possible” For What’s Morally Necessary

    By John Atcheson Common Dreams (2/3/19) In a recent column in the New York Times, David Leonhardt cites a Kaiser survey on Medicare for all, and concludes that supporting it would be an “unforced error” for Democrats. Sherrod Brown, a genuine progressive, made the same observation. Richard Eskow, writing in Common Dreams last week shows why Kaisers’ survey is flawed. But there is a bigger flaw embedded in Leonhardt’s and Brown’s assumption—specifically, the entire notion that Democrats should only run on things that poll well. This perspective is shared by the party’s leadership, by most of the media, and virtually all of the political consultants and contributors….


Bipartisan Ethical Conflict: Members Of House Committee Overseeing The Environment Have Millions Invested In Fossil Fuels

By Alex Kotch Sludge (1/30/19) The House Committee on Energy and Commerce oversees environmental protection, clean air, climate change, energy policy, and drinking water safety. But many of its members appear heavily conflicted: nearly half are personally invested in companies that produce, distribute, or facilitate the distribution of oil, gas, and coal—fossil fuels that are among the biggest threats to the health of the planet and the future of the human species. A Sludge analysis of financial documents has found that 22 of the 55 members of the 116th Congress’ Energy and Commerce Committee have disclosed investments in fossil fuel…


Doomsday Scenario Of Foreign Power Shutting Down Power System Or Natural Gas During A Future Polar Vortex

“The Russians and Chinese are in our networks and they can shut things down if they wish to.” — Rebecca Smith, Wall Street Journal energy reporter. By Bob Brigham The Raw Story (1/30/19) MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday showed video of a parking lot light pole “shivering” as a fatal polar vortex grips the upper midwest. “Now imagine — imagine the impact — if in these conditions somebody hostile to the United States decided to knock out the power and the heat on purpose, and they wouldn’t turn it back on,” Maddow said. Maddow reported on the World Threat Assessment…


Empty Words & Emptier Action: Majority Of Congressional Democrats Support GOP Climate Crisis Deniers

The Democrats are afraid to treat climate change as the crisis it is. We must make them afraid not to. By Branko Marcetic Jacobian (1/28/19) Imagine for a second that the scientific community has just told the world in no uncertain terms there is a meteor headed to Earth that will almost certainly wipe out most, if not all, life on the planet. One of the major political parties in the US is skeptical. They cast aspersions on the scientists, call the whole thing a hoax, repeat meteor-denying propaganda even as the enormous space rock becomes more visible in the…


A Commoner Writes: Media Mum On Any Questions Regarding Corporate Line On Decommissioned Genoa Nuke Plant

  It’s always amazing to me how reporters can take company press releases that have been massaged and sterilized to reduce concerns about a viable risk to human and environmental health and reduce that threat to the equivalent of eating a hot dog: “No foul, no risk, but we are required to report.” From the Monday (1/28) La Crosse Tribune: Report: Source of radioactive groundwater located; no contamination of drinking water, Mississippi River. I wonder how the people of Genoa feel? The workers at the plant? Were there any real questions to people outside the self-interested PR department of Dairyland Power…


A Message To Davos Oligarchs: Act As If Our House Is On Fire. Because It Is.

(Image: World Economic Forum)   By Greta Thunberg Common Dreams (1/25/19) The following is a slightly edited version of remarks delivered by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Friday, January 25, 2018. Our house is on fire. I am here to say, our house is on fire. According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), we are less than 12 years away from not being able to undo our mistakes. In that time, unprecedented changes in all aspects of society need to have taken place, including a reduction of our CO2…


The Climate Crisis: We Already Have What We Need To Begin The Transition To Sustainability Now

  We need to grow inward and find value in what we have been ignoring. By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (1/21/19) Combating climate change will definitely mean changing some of our regular activities. We need to start making different choices. Our society has been based on carving up a new frontier, draining the resources and moving on to virgin territory. That era of outward growth is over. We need to grow inward and find value in what we have been ignoring. A new sustainable society needs to be fashioned from where we are and what we have been wasting….


The Trump Administration Pressures Our Park Service To Silence Climate Crisis Science

  Reveal & CPRX / Center For Investigative Journalism (1/5/19) President Donald Trump says he doubts humans have much of a role in climate change. His administration has downplayed the science of climate change and sought to silence scientists working for the federal government. In this hour, Reveal’s Elizabeth Shogren details the pressures one researcher faced as she worked on a project for the National Park Service. DIG DEEPER Read: Wipeout: Human role in climate change removed from science report Read: Democrats ask Interior to investigate climate change edits Read: Zinke grilled about edited science report Read: National parks report on climate change finally…


Depressed & Then Diagnosed With Autism, 15 Year-old Greta Thunberg Explains Why Hope Cannot Save Planet But Bold Climate Action Still Can

“Yes, we do need hope—of course, we do. But the one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere.” By Jon Queally Common Dreams (12/19/18) As youth climate campaigners in the U.S. city of Brooklyn on Wednesday plan to continue a climate strike at least partly inspired by the ongoing vigil begun by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg in Sweden earlier this year, a new TEDx Talk released this week reveals that what inspired the Swedish teenager to take action was as simple as it was profound: she fell into sadness as she saw the leaders of…



Bill McKibben Calls FBI Tracking Of Environmental Activists “Contemptible”

  By Steve Hanley Clean Technica (12/14/18) As the result of a Freedom of Information suit brought by The Guardian, the FBI has revealed it maintained an open investigation of 350.org — the climate activism group founded by Bill McKibben — and its members as part of an ongoing anti-terrorism campaign. “Trying to deal with the greatest crisis humans have stumbled into shouldn’t require being subjected to government surveillance,” McKibben says. “But when much of our government acts as a subsidiary of the fossil fuel industry, it may be par for the course.” He added the FBI’s apparent failure to distinguish between…


Winona LaDuke Calls For Indigenous-Led “Green New Deal” As She Fights Minnesota Pipeline Expansion

  [Editor’s Note: Wow, Ojibwe leader Winona LaDuke is amazing! Unlike so many on the left, LaDuke is bold, declarative and able to make an argument in a compelling manner. — Mark L. Taylor] Democracy Now! (12/7/18) While world leaders converge in Poland for the U.N. climate change summit, we look at the indigenous-led fight against destructive oil pipelines and the revolutionary potential of the Green New Deal with Winona LaDuke, Ojibwe environmental leader and executive director of the group Honor the Earth. She lives and works on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota. Link to Story, Transcript and…


By Now It’s More Than Clear, Climate Denial Equals Mass Murder

“Sometimes it seems as if I’ve banged out a trillion words over the last half-century in news dispatches, books and assorted screeds. None, I believe, are more important than these.” By Mort Rosenblum Readers News Service (12/6/18) PARIS – Let’s be clear before it is too late. Any government leader or corporate executive who flouts irrefutable evidence of climatic shifts is complicit in murdering the human race. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman called willful denial of climate change “depravity” in a New York Times essay on heedless greed and hubris. That’s not the half of it. Bill McKibben, in The New Yorker,…



‘We Have Not Come Here To Beg World Leaders To Care,’ 15-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Tells COP24. ‘We Have Come to Let Them Know Change Is Coming’

Time to hand over the baton. By Jon Queally Common Dreams (12/4/18) Striking her mark at the COP24 climate talks taking place this week and next in Poland, fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden issued a stern rebuke on behalf of the world’s youth climate movement to the adult diplomats, executives, and elected leaders gathered by telling them she was not there asking for help or demanding they comply with demands but to let them know that new political realities and a renewable energy transformation are coming whether they like it or not. Thunberg said that she was not asking anything of…


Climate Catastrophe — This Is How Capitalism Kills Us

  By Hamilton Nolan Splinter News (11/18/18) On Meet the Press yesterday, Utah Senator Mike Lee said about our climate change crisis, “all the proposals I’ve seen so far that would address any of these issues would devastate the U.S. economy.” This is considered a reasonable explanation of maintaining the status quo. This is the insanity built into capitalism. Lee was specifically explaining why he would not support a carbon tax, the single most direct, rational, and market-friendly way of restricting carbon emissions. The context for the question was the release on Friday of a reportfrom the US government itself saying that, within a century, climate change…


Really Want To Save The Climate & Heal The Planet? Break Up The Big Banks

  By Oscar Reyes Inequality.org (11/9/18) A stark new United Nations climate report warns that humans have about 12 years to slash global emissions by nearly half. Unfortunately, that’s going to be extremely challenging without deep changes to the global financial system. Despite regularly claiming new commitments to “green finance,” the big banks continue to lend billions to the fossil fuel industry every year—including for the most extreme climate-damaging activities, like exploiting tar sands oils and burning coal. Continuing to invest in fossil fuels goes against all of the evidence about what needs to be done to tackle climate change. An…


What’s Not In The Latest Terrifying IPCC Report? The “Much, Much, Much More Terrifying” New Research On Climate Tipping Points

By Jon Queally Common Dreams (10/9/18) If the latest warnings contained in Monday’s report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—which included pronouncements that the world has less than twelve years to drastically alter course to avoid the worst impacts of human-caused global warming and that nothing less than keeping all fossil fuels in the ground is the solution to avoid future calamities—have you at all frightened or despondent, experts responding to the report have a potentially unwelcome message for your already over-burdened heart and mind: It’s very likely even worse than you’re being told. After the report’s publication there were…


Fire, Flood & Drought: America’s Era Of Mass Climate Disaster Migration Has Begun

  By Oliver Milman The Guardian (9/24/18) After her house flooded for the third year in a row, Elizabeth Boineau was ready to flee. She packed her possessions into dozens of boxes, tried not to think of the mold and mildew-covered furniture and retreated to a second-floor condo that should be beyond the reach of pounding rains and swelling seas. Boineau is leaving behind a handsome, early 20th-century house in Charleston, South Carolina, the shutters painted in the city’s eponymous shade of deep green. Last year, after Hurricane Irma introduced 8in of water into a home Boineau was still patching up from…


Your Future Home Could Be In A Flood Zone — And There’s No Legal Protections Required To Inform You

  By Greta Mora Grist Magazine (9/20/18) Olga McKissic lives in an airy, white-brick home with a pillared porch, the kind where you might sit and watch fireflies late in the night. The only issue is that every few years, the rising waters from a nearby river pour into her Kentucky home, ascending the porch like an uninvited guest. Her home flooded in 1997, 2006, 2013, and 2015. “That property that we purchased back in 1986, that we thought was such a wonderful, tranquil, lovely place — it’s a nightmare to live here with the thought that it is going…


A Commoner Writes: Rollback Of DNR Wetland Protections Set Stage For Recent Flooding

  Major rollbacks of DNR wetlands protections quietly set the stage for massive flooding destruction without precedent this August and September in Sauk, Dane, and other counties. Many rollbacks came in unorganized knee-jerk pieces over Walker Administration’s eight years.  Policies determined by the people changed to policies wanted by corporations or rich campaign contributors. In April 2016, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with sponsorship by Wisconsin’s Senators Leah Vukmir and Frank Lasee and Representative Adam Jarchow enacted SB459 into Law.  SB459 caused wide-ranging deregulation of wetlands and navigable waters that removed protections controlling wild forces-of-nature and allowed man-made foolishness. This major repeal…


Dear Carolinas: You Can’t Outlaw Storm Surges & Climate Crisis Because Physics Isn’t Interested In Your Silly Laws

“The GOP’s reassurance that if only you don’t mention it in the newspapers, climate change won’t happen, may be goofy and endearing to some, but for most of the people in the world it ruins their chances of taking the climate crisis seriously and doing something practical about it.” — Juan Cole, “Dear Carolinas: You Can’t Outlaw Storm Surges and Climate Crisis; Physics Isn’t Interested in Your Laws.” Read the Rest and 3-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


‘Hothouse Earth’ Co-Author Says ‘People Will Look Back On 2018 As The Year When Climate Reality Hit’

  By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (8/17/18) Amid a flurry of “breathless headlines” about warnings in a new study that outlines a possible “Hothouse Earth” scenario, one co-author optimistically expressed his belief that “people will look back on 2018 as the year when climate reality hit.” In an interview with the Guardian on Friday, Stockholm Resilience Center executive director Johan Rockström declared, “This is the moment when people start to realize that global warming is not a problem for future generations, but for us now.” Rockström’s study has received an “unprecedented” amount of global attention in the past week—270,000 downloads and counting. “Yes, the…


Pay Up, Suckers! Fossil Fuel Industry Evokes Anger For Audacity To Seek Taxpayer Money To Protect Itself From The Climate Crisis It Created

  By Jon Queally Common Dreams (8/23/18) Climate justice advocates and green groups are calling foul on the fossil fuel industry and their GOP backers in Congress over an effort to secure tens of millions of public taxpayer dollars to fund a giant offshore “spine” of seawalls and other barriers to protect Gulf Coast refineries from the threat of sea-level rise and increasingly powerful storms that scientists have explained are the direct result of the very global warming and climate impacts these interests continue to deny even exist. Like other oceanfront mitigation projects, the Associated Press reported late Wednesday night, “…this one would protect…


Really, All The Way Back In 1973 … Can’t Say We Weren’t Warned!

  ABC News (Australia) (8/6/18) In 1973, Australia’s largest computer predicted trends such as pollution levels, population growth, availability of natural resources and quality of life on earth. ABC’s This Day Tonight aired this story on 9 November, 1973. Link to 10-Minute Video (Commoner Call art by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )



A Climate Scientist Talks To A Psychologist: The Best Medicine For My Climate Grief

  “I actively work to be hope-oriented.” By Peter Kalmus Yes! Magazine (8/9/18) Sometimes a wave of climate grief breaks over me. It happens unexpectedly, perhaps during a book talk, or while on the phone with a congressional representative. In a millisecond, without warning, I’ll feel my throat clench, my eyes sting, and my stomach drop as though the Earth below me is falling away. During these moments, I feel with excruciating clarity everything that we’re losing—but also connection and love for those things. Usually I don’t mind the grief. It’s clarifying. It makes sense to me, and inspires me to…


Historic Ruling Against Monsanto Finds Company Acted With “Malice” Against Groundskeeper With Cancer

  Democracy Now! (8/14/18) California jurors have awarded $289 million in a historic verdict against Monsanto in the case of a school groundskeeper who developed cancer after using its weed killer, Roundup. We speak with Brent Wisner, the lead trial counsel for Dewayne Lee Johnson, who has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Doctors say he is unlikely to live past 2020. Johnson’s was the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging glyphosate causes cancer. Filed in 2016, it was fast-tracked for trial due to the severity of his illness. Link to Story, Transcript and 17-Minute Video With Merger Pending, Bayer Shares Plunge After…


SOLD! Democrats Reverse Ban On Donations From Fossil Fuel PACs

  ‘Absolute Failure’ By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (8/10/18) Just two months after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was celebrated by environmentalists for banning donations from fossil fuel companies, it voted 30-2 on Friday to adopt a resolution from Chair Tom Perez that critics said effectively reverses the ban and represents “an absolute failure by the DNC.” The Huffington Post‘s Alexander Kaufman tweeted Friday: @AlexCKaufman Replying to @AlexCKaufman UPDATE: resolution passed in a 30-to-2 vote. from DNC epic: “After hearing concerns from Labor that this was an attack on workers, this resolution acknowledges the generous contributions of workers, including those in energy, who organize and donate…


Experts Warn That If We Don’t Stop Climate Change, CA Fires “Will Seem Mild In Comparison To What’s Coming”

  [Editor’s Note: One of the guests in this Democracy Now! interview provides an excellent description of how the impact of climate change in the Arctic is changing the jet stream, which is having direct impacts on our weather and the wildfire situation this summer. — Mark L. Taylor] Democracy Now! (8/9/18) The Mendocino Complex Fire in Northern California is now the largest wildfire ever recorded in California’s history. It started burning in July—the state’s hottest month on record. Of the 20 largest wildfires in California history, 15 have occurred since 2000. This year’s fires have already burned nearly three…


‘Climate Change…In Real Time’: California’s Frightening Fires Are The Nightmare Scientists Long Predicted

  By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (7/31/18) As deadly wildfires continue to rage in California—destroying hundreds of homes, threatening thousands more, and forcing tens of thousands of residents to evacuate—experts believe the blazes are part of “the new reality” that climate scientists have warned about for decades. “This past month shows climate change for real and in real time,” The Fresno Bee declared in an editorial published Monday. The ferocious California fires, the Guardian reports, have “spawned bizarre pyrotechnics, from firenados to towering pyrocumulus clouds that evoke a nuclear detonation. These events are not aberrations, say experts. They are California’s future.” “More acres are burning,” Michael Wehner, a…


The Empire Files: The History Of Worldwide Tyranny Of Big Oil

“The oil industry is our government. There is no difference.” — Greg Palast, Investigative reporter. By Abby Martin The Empire Files / teleSur (1/15/16) The oil industry is a powerhouse with control over land, resources, politics and more. In this episode of The Empire Files, Abby Martin uncovers big oil’s strong-arm reach–its growth, its crimes, its power and its impunity. Featuring interviews with two investigative journalists who have covered oil disasters on-the-ground–Antonia Juhasz, author of “Black Tide: The Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill”, and Greg Palast, author of “Vulture’s Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pig, Power Pirates, and…


‘Earth Overshoot Day’ Hits August 1: World Resources Consumed In Ever Greater Destructive Pace

“Munch, munch…”   By Jonathan Watts The Guardian (7/22/18) Humanity is devouring our planet’s resources in increasingly destructive volumes, according to a new study that reveals we have consumed a year’s worth of carbon, food, water, fibre, land and timber in a record 212 days. As a result, the Earth Overshoot Day – which marks the point at which consumption exceeds the capacity of nature to regenerate – has moved forward two days to 1 August, the earliest date ever recorded. To maintain our current appetite for resources, we would need the equivalent of 1.7 Earths, according to Global Footprint Network, an international research…


Missing The Story: Climate Change Is Behind Global Heat Wave. So Why Won’t The Media Say So?

The science is clear. Journalists need to start using it. By Leah C. Stokes The Los Angeles Times (7/15/18) Last week’s heat wave brought record temperatures to Southern California. Hot winds blew fire into my community in Santa Barbara County, ripping through a dozen homes and threatening hundreds more. I tuned into the local news channel, where reporters reminded viewers that we had just finished a record-breaking fire season. They strained to list all the fires we’d had over the past decade. There were too many to recall. Fires are happening a lot more often across California. You can’t accurately…


Fossil Fuel Industry Outspent Environmentalists & Renewables By 10:1 On Climate Lobbying, New Study Finds

“The common good is not represented. By Itai Vardi DeSmogBlog (7/18/18) Industry sectors based on fossil fuels significantly outspent environmental groups and renewable energy companies on climate change lobbying, new research has found. In a study published today in the journal Climatic Change, Drexel University sociologist Robert Brulle shows that between 2000 and 2016, lobbyists spent more than $2 billion trying to influence climate legislation in the U.S. Congress. Analyzing data from lobbying reports made available on the website OpenSecrets.org, Brulle found that electric utilities spent the largest sums during this timeframe followed by the oil, gas, and coal industries, and transportation sector, respectively. Overall, lobbying…