With the folly of the human race—and perhaps its unconscious lust for self-annihilation—on display at the U.N. Climate Talks in Warsaw, it is easy to succumb to despair. The world’s elite, it is painfully clear, will do little to halt the accelerating destruction of the ecosystem and eventually the human species. We have, through our ingenuity and hubris, unleashed the next great mass extinction on the planet.
An actor who uses comic theatre and music to persuade corporations to address climate change faces a year in prison after the largest bank in the US took offence. In June, Billy Talen and eight members of the Church of Earthalujah choir walked into the lobby of a Manhattan branch of JP Morgan Chase in New York. Dressed as central American golden toads, a species that has been made extinct as the result of climate change, they told the staff that they were about to perform "expressive politics".
The 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) is now underway in Warsaw, Poland, where thousands have gathered in the streets calling upon UN delegates to agree to drastic reductions in carbon emissions in order to stave off the harshest results of climate change and preserve human life on this planet. That’s why I was a little distressed in reading Roy Scranton’s recent opinion piece in The New York Times, “Learning how to die in the Anthropocene.” The words of the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky came to mind.
The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests. The companies range from investor-owned firms — household names such as Chevron, Exxon, and BP — to state-owned and government-run firms. The analysis, which was welcomed by the former Vice President Al Gore as a “crucial step forward,” found that the vast majority of the firms were in the business of producing oil, gas, or coal.
The trend in annual damages from global disasters is rising and almost broke $200 billion in 2012, according to World Bank figures released Monday. And three-fourths of the losses are due to extreme weather. The report, which makes the case for greater global investment in climate resiliency and disaster risk management, found that worldwide losses from such events have been steadily rising since at least 1980.
Organic Consumers Association, OCA, November 14, 2013
Recently Wikileaks offered a reward for the text of the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A people's hero must have stepped forward because today Wikileaks released the full text of the chapter on Intellectual Property Rights. Click here to see their report. The TPP has been kept secret by the Obama Administration for nearly 4 years because they know that if people find out what is in it, they will strongly oppose it.
In 2011, the top 11 richest carbon emitters spent an estimated $74 billion on fossil fuel subsidies, or seven times the amount spent on fast-track climate financing to developing nations, according to a recent report by the Overseas Development Institute. Worldwide, nations spent over half a trillion dollars on fossil fuel subsidies in 2011 according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). "The status quo encourages energy companies to continue burning high-carbon fossil fuels and offers no incentive to change," said the report's author Shelagh Whitley.
An international conference in Edinburgh aimed at conserving wildlife is coming under attack from campaign groups for trying to "sell off nature" to multinational corporations. The first World Forum on Natural Capital on 21-22 November is due to attract business and conservation leaders to debate how to give natural resources a monetary value to try and protect them. The first minister, Alex Salmond, will deliver a speech to delegates.
The cradle-to-grave cost to Canadian taxpayers to acquire new warships will exceed $100-billion, the federal government says – tens of billions of dollars more than Ottawa has previously disclosed. It is the first time the federal government has gone public with its best guess on the full life-cycle cost of up to 15 surface combat vessels. The political demand for transparency has changed in Ottawa since a controversy over the true cost of a plan to buy F-35 fighter jets, and the Harper government feels pressure to open the books.