Climate Change

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…

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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…


Cool New Gadgets Yoked To Tired Old Thinking Will Not Save Us

  By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (7/5/18) Can technology be the answer to saving our Eco system? Having grown up in the “plastics” age as showcased in the 1967 classic “The Graduate”, many of us were conditioned to think that technology would solve humanity’s problems. Clearly the green revolution fed a bunch of people, but that has also proven to be unsustainable as the technology to mass produce food has required multiple forms of fossil fuels and chemicals with their accompanying “side effects” of runaway pollution, genetic adaptation of weeds requiring stronger chemicals, and climate changes brought upon us by…


Researchers Stunned By Sudden Die-Off Of Africa’s Ancient Baobab Trees

    Agence France-Presse (6/11/18) Some of Africa’s oldest and biggest baobab trees — a few dating all the way back to the ancient Greeks — have abruptly died, wholly or in part, in the past decade, researchers said Monday. The trees, aged between 1,100 and 2,500 years and some as wide as a bus is long, may have fallen victim to climate change, the team speculated. “We report that nine of the 13 oldest… individuals have died, or at least their oldest parts/stems have collapsed and died, over the past 12 years,” they wrote in the scientific journal Nature…


DNC To Ban Fossil Fuel Company Donations

  By Lorraine Chow EcoWatch (6/13/18) The Democratic National Committee (DNC) voted unanimously over the weekend to no longer accept campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies, Huffington Post reported. The proposal was reportedly introduced by Christine Pelosi, a member of the DNC and the daughter of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. “Climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels represents an existential threat to civilization,” the text states, “and Democrats committed in our 2016 Platform to curbing the effects of climate change, protecting America’s natural resources, and ensuring the quality of our air, water, and land for current and future generations.” The resolution cites President Obama’s…


TransCanada’s New ‘Best-In-Class’ Gas Pipeline Blows Up In Fiery Blast Mere Six Months After Completion

  By Sharon Kellly DeSmog.blog (6/7/18) This morning [6/7/18], residents of Marshall County, West Virginia, awoke at 4:15 a.m. to a major natural gas rupture and explosion on TransCanada’s Leach XPress pipeline on Nixon Ridge — a quickly built pipeline only half a year old. The fire was visible for miles, local TV news reported. Police warned anyone who could see the flames to evacuate — and the Emergency Management Agency director of neighboring Ohio County said officials had received dozens of 911 calls from locals able to see the fire, which was extinguished roughly four hours later. The blast was so powerful that…


Naomi Klein: 4,645 Deaths In Puerto Rico From Hurricane Maria Were “State-Sponsored Mass Killing”

  Democracy Now! (6/6/18) We look at Puerto Rico as it continues to recover from Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island last September. Researchers at Harvard recently revealed the death toll from Hurricane Maria may be a staggering 70 times higher than the official count. The official death toll still stands at 64, but the new study estimates a death toll of at least 4,645, with some projections topping 5,700. The Harvard study found that “interruption of medical care was the primary cause of sustained high mortality rates in the months after the hurricane, a finding consistent with the widely…


Pentagon Watered Down Realities Of Climate Report For Trump-Era Publication

  By Olivia Rosane EcoWatch (5/11/18) A Department of Defense (DOD) report on the potential impacts of climate change on U.S. military infrastructure paradoxically downplayed the importance of climate change, an earlier draft of the report obtained by The Washington Post and publicized Thursday revealed. The earlier, more urgent draft was written in 2016, while Barack Obama was still president, while the final was published in January 2018, a year into the presidency of Donald Trump. The differences suggest that the military is altering its tone to avoid antagonizing an administration that went so far as to remove mentions of climate change from its national security strategy. According to…


Smothered: Trump White House Quietly Cuts Off NASA Research Verifying Greenhouse Gas Cuts

  By Paul Voosen Scence (5/9/18) You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The adage is especially relevant for climate-warming greenhouse gases, which are crucial to manage—and challenging to measure. In recent years, though, satellite and aircraft instruments have begun monitoring carbon dioxide and methane remotely, and NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10-million-a-year research line, has helped stitch together observations of sources and sinks into high-resolution models of the planet’s flows of carbon. Now, President Donald Trump’s administration has quietly killed the CMS, Sciencehas learned. The move jeopardizes plans to verify the national emission cuts agreed to in the Paris climate…


Concerns Of ‘Catastrophic Collapse’ Grow As Gulf Stream Weaker Than It’s Been In 1,600 Years

  By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (4/11/18) New research published Wednesday in the journal Nature raises alarm about how global warming is impacting the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream System, and how weakening ocean currents could influence extreme weather in Western Europe and sea level rise along North America’s East Coast. Although the two studies draw different conclusions about timing and causation, researchers agree that the system of ocean currents called Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) has notably weakened in recent decades. This key takeaway, as Damian Carrington at the Guardian notes, throws into question “previous predictions that a catastrophic collapse of the Gulf Stream…


Don’t Sweat The Apocalypse: A Tour of Fun, Amenities-Stuffed Bunkers For The 1% In The Middle of Kansas

“A ‘Wow experience’ — Winner of multiple industry awards.” By Daisy Luther The Organic Prepper It’s time for another episode of Doomsday Bunkers of the Rich and Famous. You can find the last article about a doomsday neighborhood in Germany right here. This time, we’ll travel a bit closer to home – right in the middle of…Kansas. In the small town of Glasco, Kansas, population 473, lies the ultimate in luxury bunker destinations: Survival Condos. Basically, they prep for you and you only have to learn some stuff. So, if you’re curious about how the other half intends to ride out the…


But Of Course! Thoreau’s Walden Pond Is Being Killed By PEE-ople

  By Corky Siemaszko NBC News (4/6/18) If Henry David Thoreau were alive today, he might re-title his most famous work “On Golden Pond.” And he would be pissed. That’s because Walden Pond, the once-pristine jewel that inspired the American naturalist and philosopher in the mid 1800s, has been befouled by generations of swimmers urinating in the water, according to a new study. So much so that it is wrecking the ecosystem and devastating the fish population of the pond some 25 miles west of Boston that Thoreau immortalized in his best-known work, “Walden; or, Life in the Woods.” “These findings suggest that, although…


Plummeting Cost For Wind & Solar Means Economic Case For Coal & Gas Is ‘crumbling’

  By Joe Rom Think Progress (3/29/18) Prices for solar, wind, and battery storage are dropping so rapidly that renewables are increasingly squeezing out all forms of fossil fuel power, including natural gas. The cost of new solar plants dropped 20 percent over the past 12 months, while onshore wind prices dropped 12 percent, according to the latest Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report. Since 2010, the prices for lithium-ion batteries — crucial to energy storage — have plummeted a stunning 79 percent (see chart). “The economic case for building new coal and gas capacity is crumbling,” as BNEF’s chief of energy…


Here’s How To Battle Climate Change Without Washington DC.

Frack oil train running alongside the vulnerable Mississippi River.    By Bill McKibben The Guardian (2/1/18) he most telling item in Donald Trump’s State of the Union address may have been what wasn’t there: any mention of climate change, the greatest problem the world faces. And just as telling was the fact that official Washington seemed barely to notice. Understandably preoccupied with his vile attacks on immigrants (or cheering his ability to actually stay with one task for one hour), press, pundits, and other politicians treated the omission as not even worthy of note. The Democratic response from Representative Joe Kennedy didn’t touch on…


Mass Extinction Of Wildlife Species Also Endangers World Food Supplies

    By Damian Carrington The Guardian (9/26/17) The sixth mass extinction of global wildlife already under way is seriously threatening the world’s food supplies, according to experts. “Huge proportions of the plant and animal species that form the foundation of our food supply are just as endangered [as wildlife] and are getting almost no attention,” said Ann Tutwiler, director general of Bioversity International, a research group that published a new report on Tuesday. “Plant and animal species that are the foundation of our food supplies are as endangered as wildlife but get almost no attention, a new report reveals.” “If there…


Some Hope: New Study Showing Ozone Recovery Hailed As Model For Tackling Climate Crisis

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (1/5/18) Hailed as an example of how concerted global action can help solve a planetary crisis, a new study conducted by NASA scientists documented the first direct evidence that an international effort to ban chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) has led to the recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole. Published in the journal Geophysical Research Letterson Thursday, the study uses satellite observations to demonstrate that the decline in atmospheric chlorine that resulted from the implementation of the Montreal Protocol, enacted in 1989,has led to “about 20 percent less ozone depletion during the Antarctic winter than there was in 2005—the first year that measurements of chlorine and…


50 Ways 100% Clean Energy Won In 2017

  By Jodie Van Horn Sierra Club (12/30/17) We’d never argue that 2017 was a great year, but some really great things did happen. Here are 50 ways (yes, 50!) that clean energy kept winning in 2017 despite Trump’s attempts to roll back the country’s progress. 1. The Republican Mayor Championing 100% Renewable Energy in Louisiana Republican Mayor Greg Lemons made his small town of Abita Springs the first municipality in Louisiana to commit to 100% clean energy. Mayor Lemons said his 100% renewable energy vision for Abita Springs, which has a population of 2,900, aligns with the conservative values of his community—and it…


Oil Giants’ $180 Billion Investment In Plastic Factories Feeds Global Waste

  By Matthew Taylor Th Guardian (12/26/17) The global plastic binge which is already causing widespread damage to oceans, habitats and food chains, is set to increase dramatically over the next 10 years after multibillion dollar investments in a new generation of plastics plants in the US. Fossil fuel companies are among those who have ploughed more than $180bn since 2010 into new “cracking” facilities that will produce the raw material for everyday plastics from packaging to bottles, trays and cartons. The new facilities – being built by corporations like Exxon Mobile Chemical and Shell Chemical – will help fuel…