The Climate Crisis pits local governments against 19th-century legal doctrine
When the public has direct control over its wealth, we take care in how we use it. That principle could have essential implications for the fight to stop climate change.
SIMON DAVIS COHEN | THISCHANGESEVERYTHING.ORG | 05/20/15 | PP
Public municipal corporations—cities—have little ability to harness private property for public purposes. The comparatively uncontroversial power of private corporations to confiscate property for their own projects, like the laying of pipeline, reveals much about how the legal framework governing corporations has evolved.
'Not For Sale': Foregoing $1 Billion Payout, First Nations Tribe Rejects LNG Project"
Our elders remind us that money is like so much dust that is quickly blown away in the wind," said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, "but the land is forever."
LAUREN MCCAULEY | COMMONDREAMS.ORG | 05/20/15 | E
In a press statement following the vote, the tribe describes the potential threat to fisheries and the refusal by the government and PNW to impose sufficient environmental safeguards on the project, adding that there has been "indifference to the point of negligence or willful blindness, or both."
Governments Giving Fossil Fuel Companies $10 Million a Minute: IMF
Energy companies receive $5.3 trillion a year in funding from governments worldwide, says financial powerhouse
NADIA PRUPIS | COMMONDREAMS.ORG | 05/20/15 | PP
The fossil fuel industry receives $5.3 trillion a year in government subsidies ... That means that governments worldwide are spending $10 million every minute to fund energy companies—more than the estimated public health spending for the entire globe, IMF economists Benedict Clements and Vitor Gaspar wrote in a blog post accompanying the report.
The Arctic is Shell’s New Corporate Crisis
ANDY ROWELL | PRICEOFOIL.ORG | 05/20/15 | E
“The Anglo-Dutch company, which is the most cautious of the major international oil companies, is prepared to soak up the bad publicity”, argues the paper. “It knows that the Chukchi Sea is one of the last remaining regions that contain world-scale oil reserves that can be reached without taking a major geo-political risk.”
Give 'Em Hell, Bernie
Bernie Sanders is more serious than you think
MATT TAIBBI | ROLLINGSTONE.COM | O5/O8/15 | PP
Thus this whole question of "seriousness" – which will dominate coverage of the Sanders campaign – should really be read as a profound indictment of our political system, which is now so openly an oligarchy that any politician who doesn't have the blessing of the bosses is marginalized before he or she steps into the ring.
Why the Planet Is Happy That Bernie Sanders Is Running for President
BILL MCKIBBEN | HUFFINGTONPOST.COM | 05/08/15 | PP
Who showed up in New York for the People's Climate March? Bernie Sanders. Who said, straightforwardly in today's official announcement, "the peril of global climate change, with catastrophic consequences, is the central challenge of our times and our planet." That would be Bernie Sanders.
New Study Links Weather Extremes to Global Warming
“We keep asking people to do something about climate change, they deserve to know what climate change is doing to them”
JUSTIN GILLIS | NYTIMES.COM | 05/08/15 | TS
A 1995 heat wave in Chicago killed hundreds of people, and a 2003 heat wave in Europe killed an estimated 70,000. Scientists believe both were made more likely by the human emissions that are warming the planet, and heat on that scale will become commonplace if emissions are allowed to continue unabated.
Consultants present Oak Bluffs Streetscape master plan
Consensus on broad concepts sought at public meeting
BARRY STRINGFELLOW | MVTIMES.COM | 05/08/15 | OOI
When finalized, the streetscape master plan will provide a framework for future planning, development, and design in downtown Oak Bluffs. “We’re presenting ideas based on what we heard from you,” Jon Ford, civil engineer for Horsley Witten, said. “We’re asking for one more round of input. Are we correct? Is this what you want?”
Anger Translation: Why Obama was Ranting against GOP Climate Policy at Press Dinner
JUAN COLE | JUANCOLE.COM | 05/08/15 | PP
But we’re not demanding sin taxes on deadly hydrocarbons, which are already killing thousands of Americans annually and are poised to kill millions– even though there are inexpensive renewable substitutes for them that could be implemented for a per capita cost of a couple of lattes a month for a few years.
Shift to Renewables Seems Inevitable, But Is It Fast Enough?
KITTY SNAPP | IPSNEWS.NET | 05/08/15 | MP
“The president and Congress have no shortage of reasons to acknowledge renewables are the only path forward when it comes to energy production. If they truly want to keep their own jobs, our elected leaders will soon see ties with coal, oil and gas as a serious political liability.”
Nine Surprisingly Strong Signs of Momentum for Climate Action
UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS | UCSUSA.ORG | 05/08/15 | MP
Pope Francis is laying the foundation for a substantive campaign to combat global warming and environmental degradation, with an imminent Vatican summit meeting and plans for a potentially influential encyclical on the subject this summer. The development shouldn’t be underestimated as a catalyst for change.
From the grid to energy democracy: Making the renewables transition
OLE HENDRICKSON | RABBLE.CA | 05/08/15 | MP
"There's amazing research out of Stanford University by Mark Jacobson that says we could get to 100% renewable energy with existing technologies by 2030. Renewable energy is quite challenging to existing power structures because it's inherently decentralized."
Tesla Surges Ahead on Energy Storage
LAURA WISLAND | UCSUSA.ORG | 05/08/15 | E
If Tesla and other companies can dramatically scale up energy storage production and lower costs, it could be a game changer for renewables; imagine supplies of clean energy that could be stored in the way we store natural gas in tanks, or water behind dams (with the added bonus of being drought-proof).
Created in 1974 by a special act of the state legislature, the Martha's Vineyard Commission occupies an unusual position in the Island’s political hierarchy as a regional planning agency vested with extra regulatory powers to protect and preserve the Island
EDITORIAL | VINEYARDGAZETTE.COM | 04/21/15 | OOI
Adam Turner will become the MVC’s seventh executive director … Commissioners correctly sized up the need for a leader who can generate enthusiasm, trust and a spirit of collaboration as the MVC enters a new chapter. The commission’s choice is a bold one.
Difficult to deny global warming
HUGH BURNS | VAGAZETTE.COM | 04/21/15 | PP
Publicly denying well-established science should be something that disqualifies a person from being elected to public office. If a candidate won't acknowledge our best explanation for how things work, on what would he or she base policy decisions? ... Denial of established science can't be considered a reasonable position anymore--nor should it ever have been.
Man Taketh, Man Must Giveth at Inkwell Beach
In this 21st century, creative and science-based planning is required to protect our shoreline
ELIZABETH DURKEE | VINEYARDGAZETTE.COM | 04/21/15 | OOI
Beaches are this Island’s most valuable recreational and economic resource … now at increased risk of erosion due to the impacts of climate change - more frequent storms, stronger storm surge, flooding and sea level rise. The health of Inkwell Beach is also impaired by a lack of natural sand and by the existence of hard coastal structures.
Big Oil Is About to Lose Control of the Auto Industry
A pollution-free revolution is coming
REED LANDBERG | BLOOMBERG.COM | 04/21/15 | MP
While the U.S. pats itself on the back for the riches flowing from fracking wells, an upheaval in clean energy is quietly loosening the oil industry's grip on the automotive industry … Instead of biofuels … making the internal-combustion engine fit into a world with greenhouse gas limits, wholesale new solutions are coming fast.
Fossil fuel lobby goes on the attack against divestment movement
The speed at which the fossil fuel divestment campaign is growing seems to have rattled its opponents in the coal and oil lobbies
DAMIAN CARRINGTON | THEGUARDIAN.COM | 04/21/15 | DR
With their opponents now taking the threat of divestment seriously, the campaigners will be hoping to they are another step closer to the final stage of Ghandi’s analysis: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Crisis, opportunity and climate austerity in drought-stricken California
KATE ARONOFF | WAGINGNONVIOLENCE.ORG | 04/21/15 | E
it’s about making a blueprint for life in a climate-impacted world that isn’t driven by the logic of austerity … Without a serious course correction, Gov. Brown’s cutbacks may well set the stage for a new and troubling wave of climate adaptation policies that blame individuals for industry’s externalities.
Fracking Waste Puts Public at Risk, Study Says
Three decades after EPA left regulation to states, they're still taking a 'see no evil' approach to oil-and-gas-waste, Earthworks says
DAVID HASEMYER | INSIDECLIMATENEWS.ORG | 04/21/15 | PP/ENV
The report says states disregard the risks because of a decades-old federal regulation that allows oil-and-gas waste to be handled as non-hazardous material … “States have a clear path forward: if the waste is dangerous and hazardous, stop pretending it isn't and treat it and track it like the problem it is."
A review of Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything
MICHAEL BAILEY | HFTF.ORG.UK | 04/21/15 | E
This book, apparently totally untheological, has many resonances with the work of Walter Wink, for example: “When a particular Power becomes idolatrous, placing itself above God's purposes for the good of the whole, then that Power becomes demonic. The church's task is to unmask this idolatry and to recall the Powers to their created purposes in the world.“
MVC Names New Executive Director
OLIVIA HULL | VINEYARDGAZETTE.COM | 04/14/15 | OOI
The town planner for Colchester, Conn. … Adam Turner … will be the next executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission … “I am not coming here to vacation, I am not coming here to swim, I am coming here to work with you all and to move the Island forward.”
Harvard divestment campaigners gear up for a week of action
Hundreds of activists are expected to take part in acts of civil disobedience during ‘Harvard Heat Week’ to increase pressure on the university to cut ties to fossil fuels
EMMA HOWARD | THEGUARDIAN.COM | 04/14/15 | DR
It comes as a new analysis suggests that the world’s richest university would have been $21m (£14m) better off without fossil fuel investments in the period since the divestment campaign began in August 2012. The university has refused calls to divest, saying its responsibility is to generate a healthy financial return for its $36bn endowment.
A federally funded study examines Island beaches
RICH SALTZBERG | MVTIMES.COM | 04/14/15 | OOI
"Sylvia State Reservation is a thin, low-lying barrier beach that protects Beach Road, Sengekontacket Pond and its surrounding marsh, connects Oak Bluffs to Edgartown, and is a treasure in itself. Dissection of the dunes due to breech by storm surge might lead to disintegration of the barrier beach.”
MVC picks Conn. town planner to be next executive director
NELSON SIGELMAN | MVTIMES.COM | 04/14/15 | OOI
“I have worked with town leadership to create a planning division that has become a model in development responses to identified issues,” he said in his cover letter. “For example, we developed new development regulations that are both form/design based as well as focused on the protection of the rural character.”
California faces 'Dust Bowl'-like conditions amid drought, says climate tracker
CHRIS MEGERIAN | LATIMES.COM | 04/14/15 | FW
With a slew of statistics projected on the slideshow behind him, California's state climatologist had a stark warning during a Thursday presentation on the severity of the drought. "You’re looking on numbers that are right on par with what was the Dust Bowl," said the climatologist, Michael Anderson.
Pope Francis Urges Quick Action on Climate Change, Set to Unveil Official Church Position
The pontiff will set out the church's position in a letter this summer
NOREEN O'DONNELL | NBCPHILADELPHIA.COM | 04/14/15 | A
"This has generated more excitement than almost any other papal document that I’ve heard of in the last 10 years"…”The threats that arise from global inequality and the destruction of the environment are interrelated; and they are the greatest threats we face as a human family today."
Media Coverage of Climate Science Is Stunting Climate Action, Especially in US
UN’s IPCC plays an enormous role in shaping how climate science gets translated into policy but so does the media
MIKE GOWORECKI | DESMOGBLOG.COM | 04/14/15 | M
A new report finds that, while the IPCC could have managed the rollout of its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) better, lack of compelling coverage, especially in US media, is leading to less public demand for action and hence political will to adopt policies to deal with climate change.
Florida’s Climate Change Gag Order Claims Its First Victim
FARRON COUSINS | DESMOGBLOG.COM | 04/14/15 | PP
Rick Scott had directed the Florida DEP to stop using terms like “climate change” and “global warming” in any official correspondence or during meetings. According to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), that gag order has now claimed its first victim.
California snowpack fades to shocking record low as water restrictions ordered
As of April 1, California snowpack is a scary-low 5 percent of normal. California governor Jerry Brown (D) has responded by mandating water restrictions across the state to reduce water usage by 25 percent, the first in the state’s history.
JASON SAMENOW | WASHINGTONPOST.COM | 04/03/15 | FW
Officials conducted a manual snow survey today at Phillips Station, a site the Sierra Nevada about 90 miles east of Sacramento. On April 1, the snowpack at this location averages 66.5 inches and is near its peak for the season. Today, there was bare ground. “This was the first time in 75 years of early-April measurements at the Phillips snow course that no snow was found there”
Invasion of the Hedge Fund Almonds
It takes a gallon of water to produce one almond. And that's not the most insane fact about the hedge-fund-fueled race to plant thirsty trees in the middle of a catastrophic drought.
TOM PHILPOT | BILLMOYERS.COM | 04/05/15 | E
The value of the California almond market hit $4.8 billion in 2012 … Only dairy is worth more to the state than almonds and grapes … Almonds, along with California-grown pistachios and walnuts, are becoming so lucrative that big investment funds, eager to get in on the boom, are snapping up land and dropping in trees.
Apostolic Exhortation - Evangelii Gaudium
An excerpt from the section, Some Challenges of Today’s World
POPE FRANCIS | V2.VATICAN.VA | 04/05/15 | BC
To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion … as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.
Florida’s Climate Denial Could Cause Catastrophic Recession
There is now at least $1.4 trillion in property within 660 feet of the U.S. coast, a detailed analysis of the data by Reuters found
JOE ROMM | CLIMATEPROGRESS.ORG | 04/05/15 | E/OOI
While Florida is denying the very existence of climate change … what science told us in the last 12 months about likely sea level rise has been shocking. It’s the kind of news that should have stopped coastal development cold.
Draw the line against tar sands devastation
BEAVER LAKE CREE NATION | GRRROWD.ORG | 04/05/15 | A
Beaver Lake Cree Nation launched a legal action to protect their traditional lands and their constitutionally guaranteed treaty rights … taking a courageous stand against the onslaught of tar sand mining … approval of some 19,000 fossil fuel extraction projects has had devastating impacts on indigenous peoples’ ability to maintain their culture and way of life.
California Gov. Brown’s drought mandate lets Big Ag & Big Oil off the hook
Statement by Food & Water Watch California Director, Adam Scow
PRESS RELEASE | FOODANDWATERWATCH.ORG | 04/05/15 | FW
“Governor Brown should also stop the ongoing contamination of groundwater aquifers by toxic wastewater from oil and gas operations … Given that there is currently no safe way to dispose of toxic wastewater, the Governor should place a moratorium on fracking and other dangerous oil extraction techniques to prevent the problem from getting even bigger.”
After Warmest Winter, Drought-Stricken California Limits Water But Exempts Thirstiest Big Growers
AMY GOODMAN/NERMEEN SHAIKH | DEMOCRACYNOW.ORG | 04/03/15 | FW
One group not facing restrictions under the new rules is big agriculture, which uses about 80 percent of California’s water … "The point here is not to demonize agriculture, or almonds for that matter. The point is, let’s get the pricing right, and let’s treat everyone fairly."
Keeping warming to 2 °C is not enough to save species
FRED PEARCE | NEWSCIENTIST.COM | 04/03/15 | TS
The consensus around the target, which was agreed at climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009, seems to be coming unstuck … Now the target has been denounced as "utterly inadequate", by Petra Tschakert of Penn State University, who has been involved in a UN review of the target. She wants a 1.5 °C target instead.
Guardian Media Group to divest its £800m fund from fossil fuels
GMG becomes largest fund yet known to pull out of coal, oil and gas companies in a move chair Neil Berkett calls a ‘hard-nosed business decision’ justified on ethical and financial grounds
DAMIAN CARRINGTON | THEGUARDIAN.COM | 04/03/15 | DR
“This [need to influence] is a major step in a strategy of managed divestment,” Berkett said. “It is a policy we are proud to have initiated at a time when climate change has become an issue not just for investors, news organizations or UN negotiators – but for all of us.”
The Anthropocene Myth
Blaming all of humanity for climate change lets capitalism off the hook
ADREAS MALM | JACOBINMAG.COM | 04/03/15 | E
How many Americans are involved in the decisions to give coal a larger share in the electric power sector, so that the carbon intensity of the US economy rose in 2013? How many Swedes should be blamed for … their government’s assistance to coal power plants in South Africa?
World Leaders Lack Ambition to Tackle Climate Crisis
The commitments made by the world's governments so far are well below what science and climate justice principles tell us is urgently needed to avoid hitting climate tipping points
DIPTI BHATNAGAR/SUSANN SCHERBARTH | IPSNEWS.NET | 04/03/15 | PP
National plans for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will most likely form the basis of the Paris agreement … meant to indicate a government’s self stated commitment to solve the global climate crisis … the few plans that were announced … show that our leaders lack the ambition to do what it takes to tackle the climate crisis.
Shell’s Arctic Drilling Plan Just Got Presidential Approval
RACHAEL PROKOP | COMMONDREAMS.ORG | 04/03/15 | PP
On Tuesday, the Obama administration announced a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and then followed that up by approving Shell’s climate-killing plan to drill in the Arctic … If drilling happens, oil will spill, contaminating waters that Arctic communities and wildlife depend on ... fast-tracking catastrophic climate change.
Don't Look away Now, The Climate Crisis Needs You
If enough of us decide that climate change is a crisis worthy of Marshall Plan levels of response, then it will become one
NAOMI KLEIN | THEGUARDIAN.COM | 03/31/15 | BC
I denied climate change for longer than I care to admit. I knew it was happening, sure. But I stayed pretty hazy on the details … A great many of us engage in this kind of climate change denial. We look for a split second and then we look away.
Jump in NW Atlantic Sea Level Driving Gulf Stream Water into Arctic, Sea Ice Collapsing
Sea level has jumped off the east coast of north America since March, 2013. The warmest and saltiest water ever seen in the northwest Atlantic is mixing with icy water drained from the Arctic ocean and sinking to the bottom of the Labrador Sea
GEORGE BIRCHARD | DAILYKOS.COM | 03/31/15 | TS
Sea surface heights offshore of north America's east coast have risen to the highest levels ever measured in March when it is usually at an annual minimum because the water column is at its coldest. The saltiest and warmest waters ever found in this region have spawned a series of extreme storms.
US coal crash serves as a warning to investors betting on carbon
CARBON TRACKER INITIATIVE | CARBONTRACKER.ORG | 03/30/15 | E
New York/London, March 24 – The market for thermal coal is in structural decline in the United States. Squeezed out by an abundance of cheap shale gas and ever tightening pollution laws, it may be a harbinger of things to come for other fossil fuel markets globally.
The argument for divesting from fossil fuels is becoming overwhelming
As progressive institutions, the Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust should commit to taking their money out of the companies that are driving global warming, says the Guardian’s editor-in-chief as he launches our climate campaign
ALAN RUSBRIDGER | THEGUARDIAN.COM | 03/31/15 | DR
There are two arguments in favour of moving money out of the biggest and most aggressive fossil fuel companies – one moral, the other financial … finance will eventually have to surrender to physics … there’s a risk calculation to be done by anyone invested in fossil fuels – which, one way or another, is probably most of us.
Russian scientists say climate change to blame for mysterious Siberia craters
The seven holes discovered are not the work of aliens or meteorites, but rather explosions of methane accumulated as underground ice melts
AFP IN MOSCOW | THEGUARDIAN.COM | 03/31/15 | TS
“The phenomenon is similar to the eruption of a volcano,” said Bogoyavlensky. As the ice melts, methane gas is released, which builds up pressure until an explosion takes place, leading to the formation of a crater.
Climate Fight Won't wait for Paris: Vive La Resistance
Pressure is growing. A relentless climate movement is starting to win big, unprecedented victories around the world, victories which are quickly reshaping the consensus view.
BILL MCKIBBEN | THEGUARDIAN.COM | 03/19/15 | A
Copenhagen was a fiasco because environmentalists were hopeful that our leaders would do the right thing. Not this time – we’ll push as hard as we possibly can, and if we do then good things will happen before Paris … and for years to come. Our task is brutally hard and painfully simple: keep the carbon in the ground.
The Only Place It Was Cold This Winter Was The East Coast Of The United States
JOE ROMM | CLIMATEPROGRESS.ORG | 03/19/15 | TS/OOI
If you live on the East Coast of the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released some statistics that may surprise you: Globally, this has been the hottest winter on record, topping the previous record (2007) by 0.05°F … hottest start to any year (January-February) …
UN Head Urges Better Safeguards for Climate Disasters
ELAINE KURTENBACH | ABCNEWS.CO.COM | 03/19/15 | PP
Preventing disaster is "everybody's business," Ban said, urging better help and more safeguards for the world's poorest and weakest people as the threat from climate-related disasters grows. Pacific island leaders are speaking out at the conference about their concerns, as sea levels rise and extreme storms intensify …"The world must act and act fast"
Is This a Blip or a Tip in Humanity's Onslaught on the Climate?
KUMI NAIDOO | COMMONDREAMS.ORG | 03/19/15 | BC
Reports that the growth in carbon pollution paused last year should give heart to climate campaigners and clean energy investors around the world. The figures, from the International Energy Agency, no less, will come as a cold shower to those who still believe that burning fossil fuels is inextricably bound to economic growth.
‣ Earth Care Book Group
‣ Fans of Sunset Lake
‣ Martha's Vineyard Peace Council
‣ Peter Krull & Company
‣ Vineyard Conservation Society
‣ Vineyard Power Cooperative
(more to come ... )