Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

The Dalai Lama on Global Warming

I was in the same room as his Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama for approximately 1.5 hours this afternoon. He made a visit to Toronto, Canada to address a crowd of over 30,000 in what could be summarized as a lesson of kindness.

What emerged from his mouth, however, reached issues including global warming and climate change. He affirmed his thoughts that humans make contributions to global warming, and dug a little deeper than most have:

These tragedies are not natural disasters, they are human disasters. They are man-made tragedies,” he said when explaining the impacts of climate change. “It is our own carelessness,” he concluded.

His observation of progress of the United Nations climate talks was clear: “The United Nations is [telling us that] national interest is of greater importance than the global interest,” as he described the inability to come to a global consensus in Copenhagen. “This is too narrow-minded. We must broaden our perspective.

His Holiness wove these concepts mindfully with discussing the utmost strength and importance of truth, openness, sincerity and honesty – all which he defines as necessities of building resolution. Simultaneously, he discussed the basis of working for the good of humanity, with the recognition that we all crave resolution and dislike conflict.

“Destruction of your neighbour is destruction of yourself.  Don’t remain at a distance [from each other]. Meet. Listen. Develop a spirit of dialogue. Create a sense of caring for the wellbeing of others.”

May the United Nations, countries, and individuals alike heed the Dalai Lama’s advice, because, as he says, the solutions “will not fall from the sky. It [will come] from our own action.”

G8 + G20: Only Got 2 Minutes to Save the World

2 minutes in English. Quick explanation summary of how the G8/G20 can address climate change at the upcoming Toronto G8 & G20 summits.

2 minutes en francais. J’explique comment les dirigeants peuvent aborder le suject des changements climatiques pendant les sommets de G8 & G20 a Toronto.

(English) (Francais)

Pushing the Politics of Possibility

This Earth Day I was torn between excitement and disappointment. With thousands of people convening at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change in Bolivia and hundreds of thousands of people on the National Mall for a Climate Rally I could see the movement out in force calling for bold change. But then the news broke that Senator Lindsey Graham was further delaying his long-awaited climate bill. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not particularly excited about the bill, it’s woefully inadequate. But the further delay speaks to how the urgency and science are not aligning with the politics. We need to drastically reshape the political landscape of this country through innovation new tactics and visionary youth leadership that pushes what I like to call the politics of possibility.
It is time for our government to match the compassion and leadership that young people are demonstrating on our campuses and in our communities. We have been making progress, but it’s not enough. Let’s look to Senator Lindsey Graham as a prime example. Though he is waffling now, he credits young people for bringing him to climate consciousness, when he told the New York Times in February; “I have been to enough college campuses to know if you are 30 or younger this climate issue is not a debate. It’s a value.” He is feeling the popular pressure but still isn’t listening to the details of our message.  So youth in South Carolina and around the country are responding:

U.S.A. and Norway Lead on Climate at Arctic Meeting

Maritime shipping regulations, oil-spill cleanup capabilities and search and rescue capabilities topped the agenda at today’s Arctic Ocean’s Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Chelsea, Canada, held immediately before the opening of the G8 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Gatineau, Canada.

While these top-line issues make headlines, at the core of all these emerging Arctic issues, is climate change. These meetings were based on the Ilulissat Declaration of 2008, which recognizes – and is largely based on – the quickly changing Arctic due to climate change. Today’s meetings showed us which international players are thinking and acting on issues of climate. Continue reading ‘U.S.A. and Norway Lead on Climate at Arctic Meeting’

Coal River Tree Sit Day 5: Inside the Action

It’s been five days since authorities escorted Josh Graupera and Isabelle Rozendaal away from the Bee Tree site on Coal River Mountain where the two were supporting the ongoing tree sit against mountaintop removal.  Since their arrest and incarceration for trespass and conspiracy, the two have been released from jail at a bail of $1,500 each, and not without special thanks to those who contributed donations at http://www.climategroundzero.org!

Josh Graupera, 19, Lancaster PA before the action started.

Climate Ground Zero activists and others are initiating a call-in to Massey Energy headquarters in Richmond today regarding the safety of the tree sitters and the overall dangers of MTR.  More information is available at the end of this post.

Josh Graupera is a 19-year-old resident of Lancaster, PA, and has agreed to share some of his experiences about the action and his arrest.  Josh explained the role he and Isabelle shared in the action was to “ensure the safety of the sitters, and communicate with first-responding security and police, making sure confrontations don’t escalate out of hand.”

Continue reading ‘Coal River Tree Sit Day 5: Inside the Action’

Thinking About Running for Office? “Just Do It!” Says One of Oregon’s Youngest Legislators

This is an excerpt from a podcast and interview I just posted with Oregon State Representative Jules Kopel-Bailey. A young, passionate and pretty brilliant legislator, Representative Bailey is a clean energy and climate champion and recently completed his first full legislative session in Oregon.

While it seems like all eyes are focused on Washington D.C. and the battles raging around Congressional climate and energy legislation, all has been far from quiet on the state front. In the full interview, exclusively at theEnergyCollective.com, I speak with Jules about the Pacific Northwest state’s clean energy leadership and get a recap on the 2009 Legislative Session, including the many clean energy victories, battles, and efforts yet in store in Oregon.

This excerpt seemed particularly relevant to our young readers here…

[Jesse Jenkins]: Jules, you hold what I continue to be a distinguished position, as one of the youngest members of the Oregon House of Representatives, is that right?

[Oregon State Representative, Jules Kopel-Bailey]: Second youngest, yes.

Do you have any particular advice for young Oregonians – or others in other states – who are looking to have an impact on the state political process, really engaging at the grassroots level, or are even thinking about running for office themselves someday?

Well, I’ll support the old Nike slogan and say, Just do it!
Continue reading ‘Thinking About Running for Office? “Just Do It!” Says One of Oregon’s Youngest Legislators’

Update from Canada’s Lead Negotiator

michael martin zoe caron

Yesterday’s online conversation with Canada’s Chief Negotiator, Mr Michael Martin. Read below for both the actual and the between-the-lines versions of this exchange. If you have questions you would like to ask him, email adoptanegotiator@campaginhub.org .

The questions:

  1. What was Canada aiming to achieve with the intervention made in the Finance sub-committee [yesterday]?
  2. What is the primary objective for the Canadian delegation this week?
  3. Is the Canadian delegation going to (or want to) give the chair/facilitators a mandate to revise the text?

Continue reading “Update from Canada’s Lead Negotiator” here…


Freedom From Oil: Tar Sands Resistance Tour with Propagandhi

Hi there. Recently Rainforest Action Network teamed up with two of the most prolific independent rock bands on the planet, Propagandhi & Strike Anywhere, the organization Substance, with help from Indigenous Environmental Network to do a tour of the midwest US and Canada to educate, organize, and mobilize people to take action against the Tar Sands dirty oil expansion. While on tour we made a small series of two minute webisodes called the Freedom From Oil Tour Diaries. Wanted to share them here. Below are the two most recent ones – the grand finale, and an interview with Clayton Thomas Muller. Below the cut is the whole series in order! See adventures, organizing, behind the scenes rocking, me breaking my neck, band interviews and more.

Continue reading ‘Freedom From Oil: Tar Sands Resistance Tour with Propagandhi’

Interview with Hip-Hop Duo Dead Prez: “Green is Not White”

Checktheweather.net recently got the opportunity to sit down with legendary rap duo, Dead Prez. You may remember them from songs like “It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop” and “Mind Sex”. The dynamic Florida raised, Brooklyn based duo are back again with their latest album The Pulse of the People: Turn off the Radio Vol. 3. During our conversation with M1, we discussed the concept behind Pulse of the People and what makes it a “Green” Hip-hop album.

CTW:What was the concept behind The Pulse of People, What kind of vibe can listener’s expect?

M1: We wanted to catch history being made at a moment. We wanted to catch it from every angle. It is a checking of the pulse of the people at this time; from feel good songs, to hood songs, to Africa.

CTW: What are some of your favorite songs on the Album?

M1: I really love the Africa Hot song.The chorus is hot and on the hook we got people speaking in arabic and swahili. I also like Warpath we rap from the identity of police officers who murder and continue to murder Africans in our community it’s like a rock song. Another song was Summertime, really like the vibe.

CTW: What makes this album a “Green” Album?

M1: Green in many ways not only are we using this as a way to know more about ourselves the concept of green in this country has not been made totally for the african community that’s why we make songs like healthy. We also printed the album on recycled paper and included 5 hood reasons to “Go Green”.  One of the main reasons being because it’s healthy. The album was also produced by our comrade DJ Green Lantern.

CTW: Where do you see this Green Movement going for people of color around the world?

M1:Well at this time I think we have to translate it. It should hit you from a emotional standpoint, but also from an economic aspect,  African people have to get on and see it as a way of economic development. Also how it relates to our general health; that’s why we die so soon. We have to really make it relevant because we are the ones being hurt the most. We need to use this as a way to open up avenues and make it work for working class people.

(editor’s note: CTW had more questions but M1 had to dip to finish filming Dead Prez’s new video which is sure to drop SOON. Check back with us soon for the update on this story)

Visit Checktheweather.net to listen to tracks off their Brand New Album and find out the Forecast For Green Justice For All.

Canada’s Targets: X-RATED ?

If G-rated is suitable for children, Canada’s climate change plan is far from it. Up until today, Canada had committed to, and I quote “X %” of emission reductions by the year 2020. In one sarcasm-induced word: Awesome.

Mr. Michael Martin, Canada’s lead negotiator, joked at our last meeting that, “The X stands for 79.2% reductions.” Part of me wishes he hadn’t been joking. The stark reality is that Canada is suggesting that it commit to just under -2.7% below 1990 levels by 2020. To put this in perspective, that is less than half the size of our original Kyoto Protocol commitment, with triple the length of time frame.

I am unbelievably keen to read the text of the submission that Canada made to the UN Secretariat that explains why Canada thinks this target is a good idea. I certainly can’t think of a reason on my own, though I do trust that the government works in the best interest of the people, so this submission must have something solid in it to back this up. It must, right?

Continue reading Canada’s Targets: X-RATED?


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