Good and Not So Good News November 2021
Local people in Namibia organized and stopped a dam from flooding their ancestral lands.
Good News. Land protected as parks and reserves has increased four fold . And countries have pledged to protect 30% of their land from development.
Native peoples coexist with and protect their forests.
Forests turn light and combine it with carbon dioxide to make plants and earth, storing carbon. Intact forests store 7 times as much carbon as replanting forests. Endangered and rare species thrive in the ecosystems of intact forests.
10 % of intact forests were damaged in the last 16 years. And the rate of destroying old growth forests is increasing.
The main threats are oil and gas, logging, road building, and mining.
Link - NYT Article - Climate Change Glasgow Deforestation
Insect populations are tumbling- down by 30 to 40 to 75 per cent. the rate of extinction is 10,000 times higher that it was before humans. Insects pollinate, decompose, and support most food chains. Neonicotinoids and other toxic pesticides wipe out insects. Solutions include: planting native plants and trees in yards, parks, and along roads ; and taxing or banning pesticides and fertilizers.
Link - New Yorker - Where have all the insects gone?
Actions Work to Stop Big Oil from Accelerating Climate Disasters.
Protests, non-violent direct action, boycotts, sit-ins, divestment, rallies, Fridays for the Future rallies, marches, lawsuits (civil, criminal, on behalf of endangered species, of future generations, of cities, states and countries, of young people), Congressional hearings and street theater are fun and effective against oil, natural gas, fracking, coal, utility, and pipeline companies, plus their banks and politicians.
Divestment of fossil fuel stock by colleges and pension funds; lawsuits on behalf of young people and future generations ; sit-ins, Fridays for the Future rallies; lawsuits by cities, states, and countries; Congressional hearings; and civil, criminal, and lawsuits over are all effective. RICO ( Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) lawsuits would make oil executives change their ways. RICO lawsuit grounds include: funding climate change denial PR campaigns while knowing that climate change was real and that they were causing it, misleading investors, bribery, fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, and depriving citizens of the honest services of their representatives.
There is also the "necessity" defense for breaking lesser laws in order to stop breaking a higher law. This was used by Katherine Gun, the British intelligence official who leaked papers showing that the US and NSA were bugging the offices of UN diplomats in order to pressure the UN ambassadors to vote for invading Iraq. This was while this invasion was considered illegal by the British attorney general, but Bush, Blair, and Cheney wanted a vote by the UN in favor of invasion. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, and Blair knowingly lied, claiming Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Over 1800 climate lawsuits have been filed since 2015. Major wins have been in Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02424-7 Reasons for the lawsuits are floods, landslides, fires, hurricanes, sea level rise, loss of livelihood, destruction of homes, destruction of ecosystems, killing endangered species, and oil companies funding disinformation PR campaigns, lobbying, and the bribing of politicians while oil companies knew that they were causing climate change. These PR campaigns put out carefully tested and crafted talking points for politicians and spokespersons to claim the climate change wasn't happening; or if it was happening, then it wasn't caused by humans' actions; or it it was caused by humans, it wasn't caused by oil companies; or if it was caused by oil companies, then there were no way to prevent it; or if there were ways to prevent it, then they were too expensive; or if there were inexpensive ways to prevent, then it would decrease jobs; or if it would not decrease jobs, then it would cost union jobs; and if it would not decrease union jobs, then it would harm lower income and minority people. They never mention that stopping oil company plans to burn oil, coal and gas would take away billions in profits from oil companies that oil companies spread amongst politicians, bankers, and lobbyists. but it would save trillions in the costs of climate disasters and public health costs. Of course, the curse is that lower income people, natives, and minorities are the most harmed by oil, coal, and gas production, pipelines, refineries, and by climate disasters!
Colleges and cities have now committed to divest over over $6 trillion of stocks an bonds of fossil fuel companies.
Link - New Yorker - The Divestment Movement is All Grown Up
Link - GoFossilFree.org - What is Fossil Fuel Divestment?
$40 trillion has been divested from oil, coal, and gas stocks. Cities, states, colleges, pension funds, endowment funds, and countries are divesting: Ireland, New York City, Quebec, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Unitarians, Los Angeles. On the other hand, hedge and equity funds have invested $1 trillion into fossil fuels. There are battles to get teachers' pension funds in NY and CA and TIAA to divest.
Link - New York Times - Climate Change Divestment
Think Differently- Solutions: Go for sustainable, local economies- protecting rivers, mountains, animals, and involving community owned utilities, and the struggle of public employees against resource exploitation states like TX, KY, WV, and OK.
Three books show that the focus on economic growth leads to domination, extraction, genocide, depredation, depletion, and climate chaos. One study warns that abillion lpeople may be made into climate refugees for each additional degree of warming. The spoils go to the 1 %, and everything is viewed as something to exploit. The oil companies want to be in charge of fixing the disaster they caused - they claim they can do carbon capture! Or they plan giant sunshades in space or gargantuan dust veils! They are full of follies. Nature and natives are something to be conquered. Right wing parties probably funded by oil companies stoke fears of immigrants, terrorists, Islamic people, black men, critical race theory, along with the real issues for oil companies: preventing regulations, lawsuits, windmills, and photovoltaic farms.
Link - New Yorker - Our Planet is Heating Up