Archive for the 'News and Media' Category

Climate Crisis: Radical Action or a New Battlefront in the War on Nature?

Climate change is happening, but geoengineering schemes are not the solutions we need

by Rachel Smolker and Almuth Ernsting
(cross-posted from Common Dreams)

Will declaring a ‘climate emergency’ help to finally prompt radical action to address climate change?  A growing number of campaigners as well as scientists think so and hope that a major wakeup call about unfolding climate disasters will spur governments and people into action.

The planet needs a break from humanity's assault, not a new 'war' on nature in the form of geoengineering schemes.

The planet needs a break from humanity’s assault, not a new ‘war’ on nature in the form of geoengineering schemes.

Whether a lack of scary-enough facts about climate change has been holding back real action is questionable.  After all, it requires a fair amount of psychological denial to not be alarmed by the escalating heat waves, droughts, floods and destructive mega storms. Continue reading ‘Climate Crisis: Radical Action or a New Battlefront in the War on Nature?’

The Spring edition of Rising Tide’s newsletter, Burning Issues, is out!

Burning Issues - Spring 2011

The Spring Edition of RTNA’s newsletter, Burning Issues, is out!  Click the image above, or HERE to download.  This season’s pieces include:

  • direct action halting of heavy-haulers carrying tar-sands equipment shipments through Montana
  • updates on Tim DeCristopher, his trial, and the next phase of resistance
  • the resistance’s Nuclear Reaction- false dichotomies of energy, false solutions of nuclear, and where to go from there
  • Kentuckians occupying their governor’s offices to demand the abolition of MTR4-20 Day of Action Against Extraction!
  • shutdowns of the National Coal Council’s meeting in St. Louis
  • Canadian resistance to the tar sands, including a takeover of trade ministerial office
  • Olympia RT’s kickass campaign to stop a biomass power at Evergreen State College
  • the March on Blair Mountain, and reports from the Coalfields
  • a one-year lookback at the Gulf, from disaster to resumption of drilling
  • and much more– take a look!

Need a green job? Check out Climate Careers

It is that time of year and many of our readers on campus are looking towards graduation or the end of the semester with trepidation. What are you going to do? Your parents may be bugging you for your summer plans and balancing exams with cover letters and resumes.

Well, we are here to help. It is a tough economy and jobs are scarce. Jobs that allow you to continue doing groundbreaking work on solutions to the climate crisis are even scarcer.

However, we are debuting a new section of It’s Getting Hot in Here to provide you with a one-stop shop to find many of those jobs, or at least where you can go to start looking. Climate Careers hosts the EAC jobs board widget, which streams headlines of the most recent jobs sent to the list. Sign up to get jobs in your inbox. Recent jobs listed are:

Executive Director of the Southern Energy Network (Athens, GA)
Campaign Director at Corporate Accountability International
…and for the more technically-minded: Application Engineer_Utility SCADA systems – SmartGridCareers

That isn’t all. We are also providing links to jobs boards at leading websites and environmental and climate organizations. Instead of Googling through a host of nonprofit websites, check it out and use it for a homebase when you are looking for the next internship or that job out of college. Even if you are an experienced campaigner, it is a good place to start looking for the next green job.

If you are looking to hire some of the top talent coming out of the youth climate movement, send your job description here: eac-jobs-board@googlegroups.com

Please, let’s makes this a resource for both job seekers and those looking to hire all you smart, capable It’s Getting Hot in Here readers, so tell me if I am missing jobs boards or what resources you would like to see in the Climate Careers section .

Coal Developer Indicted, Questionable Practices Loom in Georgia

Crosspost from www.GaSmartEnergy.wordpress.com

Plans to construct two coal-fired power plants in middle Georgia were dealt a blow last Thursday as Dwight Brown, CEO of Cobb EMC- one of the nations largest Electrical Members Corporations (EMC)- was indicted on 31 accounts of corporate theft by taking, racketeering, making false statements, and conspiracy to defraud the government entities.  The charges come after 2 years of citizen activism and litigation, and help highlight corrupt business practices that allegedly continue within the organization today- as the EMC proceeds with $4.2 billion coal development plans.

Cobb EMC is the lead financial and logistical supporter of a coalition of electrical corporations called Power4Georgians LLC, attempting to build two 850MW coal plants in middle Georgia, despite the fact that no new coal plants have been started in the United States in the last two years.  In state filings Dwight Brown is identified as the lead “organizer” of the consortium, and is the lead signature in the plants’ permit applications.

The detailed indictment of CEO Dwight Brown lays out criminal business practices in which Brown and other EMC board members of the not-for-profit EMC created a for-profit business called Cobb Energy, and allegedly used EMC membership funds to piggy-bank multi-million dollar salary and compensation packages for Brown and Board.  Mr. Brown, after transferring nearly all not-for-profit assets to the for-profit Cobb Energy, charged the 200,000 person EMC membership an 11% mark-up on services that the EMC previously rendered, used EMC membership data to sell SCANA natural gas services at huge profits for Cobb Energy, and granted Brown a $3 million personal loan- which was soon after forgiven- used to purchased preferred stocks in Cobb Energy.  All of this while Brown lied to and deceived the EMC membership, who in organizational Bylaws are charged with democratically operating and affectively owning the not-for-profit entity.

Yeah, Shady (at best) right?

But it only gets better…

Continue reading ‘Coal Developer Indicted, Questionable Practices Loom in Georgia’

2011 Resolution – Call It “Pollution”

If you’re like me and are already:

  • tired of reading articles like this about what’s going to be hot in 2011 (here’s hoping “the planet” doesn’t make the list)
  • busy breaking those New Year’s resolutions you made

I hope we can all resolve (and actually do it) to make one thing hot in 2011 – calling that icky stuff pouring out of our economy “pollution” instead of “emissions”.

Like “greenhouse gas pollution” instead of “greenhouse gas emissions”, “carbon pollution” instead of “carbon emissions”, etc.

Without making this a big post about messaging and why it matters, I think it’s pretty easy to get that “emissions” sounds neutral or at worst just a little bad, like politely talking about someone’s fart, and “pollution”, well, tells it like it is.

Unfortunately, as the charts below show (make them yourself at Google Fight. Other variations, such as “GHG pollution”, look similarly lopsided.), most people haven’t gotten the message. IGHIH isn’t even doing as well as it could (see for yourself).

Climate terms that use "emissions" are way more common than terms using "pollution", and that's a problem for communicating how serious climate change is. Images courtesty googlefight.com

Climate terms that use "emissions" are way more common than terms using "pollution", and that's a problem for communicating how serious climate change is. Images courtesy googlefight.com

Continue reading ’2011 Resolution – Call It “Pollution”’

UN Agrees Moratorium on Geoengineering Experiments!

Moratorium in Nagoya!
Nagoya, Japan: News Release | 29 October 2010 | www.etcgroup.org

Geoengineering Moratorium at UN Ministerial in Japan

Risky Climate Techno-fixes Blocked

NAGOYA, Japan – In a landmark consensus decision, the 193-member UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will close its tenth biennial meeting with a de facto moratorium on geoengineering projects and experiments.   “Any private or public experimentation or adventurism intended to manipulate the planetary thermostat will be in violation of this carefully crafted UN consensus,” stated Silvia Ribeiro, Latin American Director of ETC Group.

The agreement, reached during the ministerial portion of the two-week meeting which included 110 environment ministers, asks governments to ensure  that no geoengineering activities take place until risks to the environmental and biodiversity and associated social, cultural and economic impacts risks have been appropriately considered as well as the socio-economic impacts. The CBD secretariat was also instructed to report back on various geoengineering proposals and potential intergovernmental regulatory measures. Continue reading ‘UN Agrees Moratorium on Geoengineering Experiments!’

Lone wacko reminds us how sane the environmental movement really is

It looks like a headline from The Onion, but it is entirely true:

Hundreds of Millions Remain Peaceful In Face of Annihilation

As the story of the Discovery Channel hostage-taker makes it’s way through the media, those opposed to the sane management of the earth’s remaining resources will undoubtedly take the opportunity   to disparage all of the millions of environmentalists around the world and their ideas. [Update: they already are] However, I will argue that the opposite interpretation is more appropriate.

Organized by 350.org, October 24th 2009 was "the most widespread day of political action in the planet's history," according to CNN, with 5200 actions in 181 countries. No incidents were reported.

There have always been poor, misguided souls whose mental afflictions have led them to take as their own the cause of some group or another and turn it into something violent. No great effort of people, no movement for justice has ever become large without trapping in it’s gravity the occasional lunatic.

It is not surprising, then, that on Wednesday, one such man did something crazy in the name of environmental stewardship. James J. Lee, strapped with explosives, stormed into the Discovery Channel’s headquarters, took 3 people hostage, and was eventually killed by police. Injuries were limited to the hostage-taker and the types of  ideas he claimed to stand for.

What is surprising, is how starkly Lee’s actions stand out against the backdrop of the efforts of the worldwide environmental movement. Continue reading ‘Lone wacko reminds us how sane the environmental movement really is’

Utah commissions independent clean energy report, hides the findings, crashes my computer

Warning: the Utah Department of Commerce and the state’s major electric utility really don’t want you to know the following information, and they will hijack your computer to keep you from getting it:

The administration of Utah’s former Governor Jon M. Huntsman (now U.S. Ambassador to China) commissioned an independent study to figure out how much, if anything, the state could save by switching to alternative, clean forms of energy.  Utah currently gets almost all of its energy through fossil fuel combustion, 82% of which uses coal.

Coal-fired power plant

Report says these things are dirty and expensive; report get's an "F" from state

It appears the current administration (Gary Herbert) and his coal-burning buddies don’t like what the report had to say:

“This [coal-based] resource mix…results in significant emissions of air pollutants and consumes a large share of Utah’s increasingly valuable water resources. The authors estimate that fossil generation in Utah today:

–consumes about 73,800 acre feet, or 24 billion gallons, of fresh water per year; results in 202 premature deaths per year;
–contributes to 154 hospital visits per year for respiratory injuries, and 175 asthma-related emergency room visits each year.

We estimate that the health and water impacts from Utah fossil generation have a monetary value of between $1.7 and $2.0 billion dollars per year (2008$), or between $36 and $43 per megawatt-hour (MWh) of fossil generation in Utah, a value similar to the direct costs of conventional electricity generation.”

Naturally, at this point, I would include a link to the PDF of the report. But I don’t want to do that to you. Get this: if you surf over to the PDF on the state’s website, a giant pop-up window (disavowing the findings) appears, the rest of the screen goes dark, and there is no way to click out of it. I’m no computer genius, so I had to “ctrl-alt-delete” and restart my laptop  just to finish this post. Sheesh. Continue reading ‘Utah commissions independent clean energy report, hides the findings, crashes my computer’

Hundreds Stage BP “Citizen’s Arrest” – Demonstrate the Power of the People

Cross-posted from EnergyActionCoalition.org

“We want safe jobs and clean energy
No more oil spills – Arrest BP!”

Was the thunderous chant echoing off the monolithic walls of BP’s DC headquarters today when hundreds of protestors turned out in force to deliver them a “Crude Awakening.” From the mouth of our megaphones BP got a strong dose of people power as we rallied and called for a “Citizens Arrest” of CEO Tony Hayward on the charges of criminal negligence.

More than a dozen network news cameras captured our outrage at BP’s criminal negligence to prevent and stop the unfolding disaster in the Gulf. (Check out the initial report from ABC News). Under the hot sun the energy of the crowd was palatable as we chanted and carried images of BP CEO Tony Hayward in a striped prison jumpsuit.

I MC’ed as speakers from Public Citizen, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, and Hip Hop Caucus (video) read aloud the charges against BP that included: polluting the political process, disregard for worker safety, price-gouging consumers and taxpayers, and violations of environmental laws.

The timing of the action couldn’t have been better; this week Attorney General Eric Holder announced he was opening a criminal probe of the oil giant. Holding BP criminally accountable is a bold step toward ensuring that the families on the Gulf get compensation for the vast damages to their lively-hoods.

Continue reading ‘Hundreds Stage BP “Citizen’s Arrest” – Demonstrate the Power of the People’

America Can Do Better

In the wake of the unraveling BP Oil Disaster, the time has come to set a deadline to phase out oil drilling and fossil fuel extraction.

Countless men and women have for generations dedicated their careers -sometimes risking their lives and their health- to power our hospitals, school buses, homes, and businesses. America owes a debt of gratitude to those in the fuel industry for greatly contributing to the early growth and success of our nation. They deserve our respect.  But their welfare remains in peril along with ours until we convert to a clean energy economy.

Aaron Dale Burkeen was a 37 year-old crewmember on the BP Deepwater Horizon oilrig. He died with 10 of his crewmates on April 20th, 2010 when the rig exploded. At his memorial service on May 25th, his family described Dale as a “caring and honorable son, brother, and father.” America can honor him and our many other energy veterans best by creating safe, dignified, and sustainable careers for their children.

Dale is one of many heartbreaking casualties of the BP Oil Disaster. After the deaths of these 11 workers, Americans learned about the scores of crab, oyster, and shrimp fishermen along the Gulf Coast being put out of business, perhaps forever, as a result of the spill. Dolphins, sea turtles, pelicans, and fish are washing ashore dead and soaked in oil. The National Guard and workers are racing against time to erect sandbag walls in hopes of saving miles of fragile wetlands and salt marshes from the oil. Watching aerial video of miles of red streaks across the sea, and giant plumes of oil swirling under the water, it is clear that this nightmare has only just begun.

It didn’t have to be this way..

Continue reading ‘America Can Do Better’


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