International News

Climate Adaptation, but Only for the Rich

Climate Crocks - March 21, 2019 - 8:58pm
New Statesman: In November, as wildfires ripped through California, Kim Kardashian hired a squad of private firefighters to protect her $50m estate in Calabasas. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Blackwater security guards defended the houses of the hyper rich against feared hordes of looters while their occupants were quietly helicoptered to safety. […]
Categories: International News

Africa’s Katrina

Climate Crocks - March 21, 2019 - 5:22pm
It’s going to be a long century. Jeff Masters in Weather Underground: Over 400 are dead and countless more are at grave risk, huddled on rooftops or clinging to trees, in the horrifying aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Idai in Mozambique. In scenes reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, aerial survey teams photographed […]
Categories: International News

La Bombagenesis: More on Land Cyclones

Climate Crocks - March 21, 2019 - 1:58pm
A western Nor’Easter. Nothing to see here. By the way, what the heck is a bomb cyclone? Two takes. The new word I learned from this one wasn’t “bombogenesis” – but “Kentuckiana”.
Categories: International News

20 Years of Harassing Science

Climate Crocks - March 21, 2019 - 12:50pm
With the 20 year anniversary of the publication of the hockey stick graph, time for a review. Above, a history of science denial, from tobacco to climate change, finds that the same characters keep showing up. Below, in recent years, the attacks on science have become more focused and threatening, as fossil fuel interests have […]
Categories: International News

The next chapter in the fight against coal in Germany: the fight for villages

350.org - March 21, 2019 - 11:07am

The fight against coal in Germany that culminated in months of fierce protests to stop coal company RWE to raze the old-growth Hambach forest made headlines around the world.

 

Protests to protect the Hambach forest in October 2018 Photo: Tim Wagner/ Ende Gelände

 

The movement celebrated a moratorium on logging last year and the government has committed to a coal phaseout since, but the currently proposed level of ambition and timeline of the coal exit are, to borrow Greta Thunberg’s words, ‘shameful and unacceptable’.

Even under the weak phaseout scenario recommended by the government-tasked coal commission, the Hambach forest and the villages that are threatened to be eaten up by expanding mines, can be spared, as scientific studies have confirmed.

RWE has continued to demolish houses and chop down trees regardless. But the growing resistance and success of the anti-coal movement has given the inhabitants of the villages new hope.

In the short video above (in German) Marita Dresen who lives on a farm in the village of Kuckum, which is threatened by RWE’s lignite mine Garzweiler says:

“I had pretty much given up until about half a year ago. When the movement has halted the logging of Hambi for now, that has given me personally a huge boost.

I joined the fight in Hambi a few times as well and thought to myself, we have to put up the same kind of fight for the people here in these villages.

It gives me a lot of strength to see that it’s possible to protect our homes when a lot of people are standing with us and we show the public how badly RWE is treating us.”

Marita has joined a new coalition of people whose homes are threatened by coal mining around the country and climate justice activists. The name of the coalition Alle Dörfer Bleiben (‘all villages stay’) has become the new banner that the anti-coal movement is getting behind, building on the success of last year when the movement came together around the battleground of the Hambach forest under the slogan Hambi bleibt (‘Hambi stays’).

The coalition demands an immediate end to all demolitions, forced displacements, logging and the destruction of farmland, as well as a rapid coal phaseout in line with the 1.5°C limit of the Paris Agreement. They see themselves as part of the global fight for climate justice.

There are several mobilisations coming up over the next few months to keep the diggers out of the villages starting with a protest march connecting threatened villages in the Rhineland this Saturday, 23 March. Ende Gelände, the German climate justice grassroots coalition has also announced a mass action to block lignite mining in the Rhineland in solidarity with the local communities this summer from 19 to 24 June.

The reignited opposition by local communities on the frontlines of coal mining and a new movement of youths stepping up in school strikes across the country have built on the momentum of Germany’s anti-coal movement. They are standing together to make sure that no more trees and no more villages are sacrificed for the last breaths of Germany’s dying coal industry.

Categories: International News

Cost of Virginia’s Coal Ash Cleanup Could Fall to Electricity Customers

Inside Climate News - March 21, 2019 - 10:50am
WTOP

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed a measure to clean up the toxic coal ash stores in Dominion Energy ponds across the states. The bill calls for millions of cubic yards of coal ash to be recycled or stored in landfills, with costs that can be passed along to Dominion customers. Read more from ICN about the widespread problem of coal ash contamination of groundwater.

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Categories: International News

After Years of Rejection, Missouri Regulators Give Nod to Wind Power Transmission Line

Inside Climate News - March 21, 2019 - 10:40am
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Missouri's Public Service Commission finally gave a nod Wednesday to the Grain Belt Express transmission line, a project aiming to bring Kansas wind energy east to Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, and then into the grid beyond. Though Missouri had long been the only holdout, another hurdle arose last year in Illinois.

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Categories: International News

The Fight to Tame the Swelling Missouri River With Dams Outmatched

Inside Climate News - March 21, 2019 - 10:20am
The New York Times

Rising waters on the Missouri River led to a difficult choice: hold back the river but risk destroying a major dam or relieve pressure by opening a spillway, adding to the flooding for hundreds of miles. The dams were built for a different era, a time before climate change and the extreme weather it can bring.

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Categories: International News

From Tiny Cove Point on the Chesapeake, Tankers Take Natural Gas Around the World. At What Cost?

Inside Climate News - March 21, 2019 - 10:10am
Baltimore Sun

The nation's booming natural gas industry has established an unlikely foothold in a quiet pocket of southern Maryland. For a year now, natural gas extracted from shale formations below Pennsylvania and other states has been piped across Maryland to a new $4.4 billion gas export terminal in the woods beyond Cove Point Beach.

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Categories: International News

Some Solar and Wind Firms Wary of ‘Green New Deal’

Inside Climate News - March 21, 2019 - 9:40am
Reuters

The companies behind solar and wind energy would seem to have a lot to gain from the rapid decarbonization called for in the Green New Deal, but many of them are withholding support for the plan.

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Categories: International News

Minnesota’s Famed Winter Isn’t What It Used to Be

Inside Climate News - March 21, 2019 - 9:20am
Associated Press

Winter just isn't the same in Minnesota these days. The state is among the fastest warming in the country, and Minnesota's winters are warming faster than its other seasons, leading resident to change their lifestyles.

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Categories: International News

The Hockey Stick at 20

Climate Crocks - March 21, 2019 - 9:11am
Replicated now many times, the Hockey Stick graph of global temperatures has withstood the test of time.  Only dead enders argue about it any more. But the war on science and fact that followed climate findings like this has deeply degraded our public dialogue, one of the most toxic and tragic legacies of climate denial, […]
Categories: International News

One of America’s Biggest Oil Companies Wants to Be ‘Carbon Neutral’ — Eventually

Inside Climate News - March 21, 2019 - 9:00am
CNN

Occidental Petroleum's CEO told the Financial Times she wants her oil company to eventually be "carbon neutral." The No. 5 U.S. oil company by market value is looking at ways to capture greenhouse gases that are equivalent to the emissions of its operations, but it's doubtful this would include offsetting the carbon released when customers burn the company's products. Read more about what oil companies are saying about climate change.

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Categories: International News

Holy Grail? Judge Blocks Drilling, Cites Climate Change

Climate Crocks - March 21, 2019 - 8:56am
Don’t pop the Champaign yet, but this new court ruling might be part of a trend. AP via CBS: BILLINGS, Mont. — A judge blocked oil and gas drilling across almost 500 square miles in Wyoming and said the U.S. government must consider climate change impacts more broadly as it leases huge swaths of public […]
Categories: International News

How you can help those affected by Cyclone Idai

350.org - March 21, 2019 - 6:48am

Southern Africa is facing devastation this week.

Cyclone Idai ripped through villages and towns in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe over the last few days, taking over 1000 lives and leaving a trail of destruction. With winds of 195 km/h accompanied by lashing rains, Idai has already affected millions of people, causing floods, landslides and ruining crops and roads.

More than two million people could have been affected across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, and the real death tolls may not be known for many months as the countries deal with a still-unfolding disaster. The port city of Beira, in Mozambique, was hit the hardest, with nearly 80% of homes and public infrastructures destroyed.

For a continent already wracked by its severe impacts, this is another chilling reminder of the reality of the climate crisis and the urgency with which we need to phase out fossil fuels and accelerate the transition to a just, clean energy economy in Africa and globally.

The number of cyclones and extreme floods in Southern Africa is increasing due to the change in weather patterns caused by global warming. Despite knowing that the impacts of global warming are devastating Africa, fossil fuel companies continue to expand across the continent, treating it as an open field.

If you are able to help those affected by the cyclone’s devastation, you can donate here to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent who are already on the ground in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, and here to Doctors Without Borders, who are responding to the most urgent needs they see in the affected countries, and aiming to develop a better understanding of where assistance can have the most impact, and then scale up their help.

Header image: Volunteers bring donated goods to be transported to Chimanimani and other affected areas by Cyclone Idai, March 19, 2019. Credit: Columbus Mavhunga/VOA [Public domain]

Categories: International News

In love and solidarity on International Day for the Elimination of Racism

350.org - March 21, 2019 - 5:30am

Friday’s tragedy affirmed that in our fight for climate justice, we must confront this rise of racism. We know that climate change impacts black, Indigenous and people colour — particularly in the global south — first and hardest. And, we know that around the world, the same political forces defending fossil fuels are also escalating attacks on migrants and refugees. There is no justice for our planet without justice for people.

Hoda Baraka, Global Communication Director for 350.org, put it beautifully when she said,

“In a world being driven by fear, we are constantly being pitted against the very things that make this world livable. Whether it’s people being pitted against each other, even though there is no life without human connection, love and empathy. Or fear pitting us against the very planet that sustains us, even though there is no life on a dead planet. This is why fighting against climate change is the equivalent of fighting against hatred. A world that thrives is one where both people and planet are seen for their inextricable value and connectedness.”

Much of this has been already said by our colleagues in social justice movements, but again, some things we can all do right now are:

  • In our workplaces, community groups, and social circles commit to upholding a Safer Spaces Policy (here’s 350 Aotearoa’s), so that everyone is aware of the ways in which we hold privileges and power, and to not use those privileges to impinge on other people’s space.
  • Raise and amplify the voices of our Muslim community. Make space for the voices of the affected communities to be heard. Take on board their words, lived experiences and critiques.
  • Talk with your friends about ways in which you can address, learn and combat everyday racism within ourselves and our communities. We must not be bystanders to “casual” racism because this only emboldens hatred and gives rise to violence of white supremacy. There are many resources available, but we’re looking at this handbook written by Muslim woman, Laya F. Saad.
  • Call out all levels of racism and hate on social media, and call on social media platforms to be more responsible when it comes to hosting public conversations.
  • Keep standing up for what’s right.

We hold great collective power when we stand united in fierce love with a shared commitment to building a better future. The student strikes are a tribute to the fact that even in the most devastating circumstances, beauty arises from unity and love.

Let’s demonstrate that kind of power again today.

Categories: International News

Federal Judge Casts Doubt on Trump Drilling Plans Because They Ignore Climate Change

Inside Climate News - March 20, 2019 - 10:48am
Washington Post

A federal judge ruled late Tuesday that the Interior Department violated federal law by failing to take into account the climate impact of its oil and gas leasing in the West. The ruling temporarily halts drilling on 300,000 acres in Wyoming.

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Categories: International News

Climate Challenge Will Require Harder Choices Than Most People Realize, JPMorgan Executive Warns

Inside Climate News - March 20, 2019 - 10:45am
Bloomberg

Cutting carbon emissions will require far harder choices than most people realize, a senior executive at J.P. Morgan Asset Management wrote in a report to clients this week. Michael Cembalest, chairman of market investment and strategy, said in his annual energy outlook that the U.S. needs to reduce its use of carbon much faster than it's now doing.

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Categories: International News

States Send Colorado River Drought Plan to Congress, but Salton Sea Fix Not Included

Inside Climate News - March 20, 2019 - 10:43am
Arizona Republic

The seven Colorado River Basin states signed a letter to Congress on Tuesday requesting approval of their complex plan for conserving the river's water to keep Lakes Mead and Powell from dropping to critically low levels. Read more from ICN on how the watershed may be reaching a climate tipping point.

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Categories: International News

Cyclone Shows Climate Change’s Deadly Impact on Poor, Urbanizing Nations

Inside Climate News - March 20, 2019 - 10:42am
Wall Street Journal

The tropical cyclone that tore through Mozambique and other Southern African nations has spotlighted how the combination of rapid urbanization and climate change is turning deadly in some of the world's poorest places.

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Categories: International News

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