There is a pressing need for a coherent left strategy on climate change and in relation to the planetary environmental threat in general. The current scientific consensus indicates that we have at best several decades before the earth’s average surface temperature rises by 2°C, viewed as the point of irreversible climate change. This means that decisive action must be taken quickly if the world is not to go off the planetary climate cliff.
Environment and development groups together with young people, trade unions and social movements will walk out of the UN climate talks on Thursday in protest at what they say is the slow speed and lack of ambition of the negotiations in Warsaw. Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam, 350.org, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union confederation and ActionAid have all said they will leave the talks and not return.
After the Philippines lead climate negotiator, Naderev "Yeb" Saño, delivered an emotional speech to delegates at the U.N. climate summit, he was greeted by youth activists who held up a banner that read, "2012 Bopha 1,067; 2013 Haiyan 10,000+?" As a result, they were banned from the climate conference for their action. We speak with one of of the activists, 23-year-old Clémence Hutin from Push Europe, and get Saño’s response.
A human chain spanned Manhattan’s West Side Highway. The group carried a highway-wide yellow banner that proclaimed, “Stop the Pipeline” and sang the old civil rights anthem, “Which Side Are You On?” This act of peaceful civil disobedience last Saturday stopped traffic on the three-lane highway and resulted in 13 arrests, enacted in an orderly and non-violent fashion by both the protesters and the NYC police. A white-haired woman in a wheelchair was among those handcuffed and transported to a nearby police station for booking.
FIVE years ago the world was in the grip of a financial crisis that is still reverberating around the globe. Much of the blame for that can be attributed to weaknesses in human psychology: we have a collective tendency to be blind to the kind of risks that can crash economies and imperil civilisations. Today, our risk blindness is threatening an even bigger crisis. In my book The Energy of Nations, I argue that the energy industry's leaders are guilty of a risk blindness that, unless action is taken, will lead to a global crash – and not just because of the climate change they fuel.
VANCOUVER, UNCEDED COAST SALISH TERRITORY – On Sunday morning, activists with Rising Tide-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories set up a 15-foot mock fracking rig on Premier Christy Clark’s lawn and announced that “Because the Premier loves fracking, we figured we would save her the hassle of trying to take over other peoples’ homes and bring it right to her!” says Jacquelyn Fraser, an activist with the group. “We are just so worried about all the water that is being used and polluted in northeastern B.C. for fracking.
In December 2012, a pink-haired complex systems researcher named Brad Werner made his way through the throng of 24,000 earth and space scientists at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held annually in San Francisco. This year’s conference had some big-name participants, from Ed Stone of Nasa’s Voyager project, explaining a new milestone on the path to interstellar space, to the film-maker James Cameron, discussing his adventures in deep-sea submersibles. But it was Werner’s own session that was attracting much of the buzz.