No 1890 Posted by fw, February 10, 2017
“2016 was a dark year for anyone paying attention to the gathering storm of climate change and social breakdown, and the change of calendar year does not mean a change of direction. Perhaps most worryingly, the prospects of averting a fully-blown climate catastrophe are narrowing. According to some counts, we may only have a little over a year of emissions-as-usual left before we lock in 1.5°C warming — beyond which lies global chaos. Only slightly higher chances exist for staying below 2°C warming, as concentrations of carbon dioxide have surpassed 405 ppm…. In spite of the need to end fossil fuel extraction, oil majors have announced a spree of new acquisitions and exploration, while the World Bank continues to intensively fund fossil fuel infrastructure.” —Demand Climate Justice
Below is a repost of the Demand Climate Justice’s incontrovertible evidence of the “gathering storm of climate change”, evidence that Denier-in-Chief, Donald Trump, wilfully rejects. (It must be abundantly clear by now that Trump has adopted Israel’s propaganda tactic of repeating big lies often enough and loud enough until people believe them. Or perhaps, natural liar that he is, Trump discovered this denier’s ploy on his own.)
Accompanying the evidence below are examples of citizen resistance, and, toward the end of the article, a commemoration of lives lost by those who dared resist.
The text of the repost has, in places, been reformatted in bulleted style to accentuate the overwhelming extent of the evidence. To read the original report on the publisher’s website, click on the following linked title.
Prospects of averting climate catastrophe are narrowing
Perhaps most worryingly, the prospects of averting a fully-blown climate catastrophe are narrowing. According to some counts, we may only have a little over a year of emissions-as-usual left before we lock in 1.5°C warming — beyond which lies global chaos. Only slightly higher chances exist for staying below 2°C warming, as concentrations of carbon dioxide have surpassed 405 ppm.
Photo Credit: Timo Lieber. Check out his beautiful but troubling work in the Arctic here
Changes at the earth’s poles are unravelling
At the earth’s poles unseen changes are already unravelling. Human beings have never experienced a world with so little sea ice in the North Pole. The thawing of permafrost in the Arctic is also allowing methane to leak into the atmosphere and buildings to sink into the ground. Mark Serreze, a leading geographer specializing in the Arctic wrote: “I have concluded that what has happened over the last year goes beyond even the extreme.” On the South Pole, growing ice cracks have forced the British Antarctic base to shut down.
Fossil fuel companies are stepping up exploration
In spite of the need to end fossil fuel extraction, oil majors have announced a spree of new acquisitions and exploration, while the World Bank continues to intensively fund fossil fuel infrastructure.
Record forest losses in Brazil, Russia and Canada
In spite of the need to stop deforestation and restore ecosystems, the world’s remaining intact forest is being lost at an alarming rate, with 7% of it cleared since 2000 and with record forest loss in Brazil, Russia and Canada.
Air pollution killed over five million people last year
The human toll is hard to fathom — last year air pollution killed over five million people — and the costs are disproportionately borne by the world’s most vulnerable. Meanwhile, the eight richest men in the world have as much money as the 3.6 billion poorest people.
But even in the darkest hour, hope looms on the horizon. Across the Arctic Circle, Indigenous Peoples are coming together to resist climate change and threats to their culture.
A major mobilization on climate change has been called for April 29th in Washington as the climate movements seek to be part of a new wave of collaborative, intersectional resistance.
Proposed solutions sometimes contribute to the problem – e.g. lithium-iron batteries for electric cars and renewable technology, unemployment for fossil fuel workers
But as the resistance grows, we must also work to make sure that the solutions we pose to the climate crisis do not end up entrenching existing injustices. For example, investigations by the Washington Post into the supply chains of lithium-iron batteries, a crucial component of electric cars and renewable technology, revealed major human rights violations and environmental pollution taking place in Congo, Bolivia, and China.
Similarly, as the oil industry faces a major crisis, with record-low profit margins, and some energy companies drop coal assets, we should support the key demand from labour movements that the rapid transition out of a high-carbon economy ensure justice and security for affected workers and communities.
African countries are experiencing severe drought, extreme famine, inflation, water shortages, increasing suicides, soil depletion
Photo credit: Zim News. Floods in Zimbabwe have killed many crops, leading to increased hunger.
ASIA & PACIFIC
Photo Credit: Guardian. Indigenous activists are gearing up for a major battle against the Carmichael coal super mine, which threatens many communities as well as the dying Great Barrier Reef.
Of course, communities across Asia and the Pacific have been resisting the destruction of their environments and advancing people’s solutions for a long time.
CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
Photo Credit: Kamikia Kisedje. Sonia Guajajara, executive coordinator of Brazil’s Association of Indigenous People (APIB) at a protest in Brasilia.
Even Fortress Europe with all its wealth and expertise is not immune to the impacts of climate change:
Meanwhile, it’s greed motivated business-as-usual elsewhere in Europe
Photo Credit: Ulet Ifansasti/Greenpeace. Forests are cleared in Indonesia by multinational palm oil companies, threatening people, ecosystems, biodiversity, and the climate.
Opposition is strong, however, and everywhere the extractivists show up so does the resistance.
Solutions are on their way:
In US, Pollutocrat-in-chief Donald Trump ramps up fossil fuel projects once thought dead and buried
In a week that shook the world, Pollutocrat-in-chief Donald Trump took office amid the biggest street protests since the Vietnam war. Among a host of other crimes, he has filled his new cabinet with people who are in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry, including former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson.
Already Trump has signed a flurry of executive orders which threaten to send us over the edge into climate chaos, including reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. He is also expected to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. At the same time, the House of Representatives killed an SEC requirement for extractive companies to disclose payments to foreign governments.
Photo Credit: Standing Rock Rising. In Trump’s first week, militarised police moved in to Standing Rock camp as an Executive Order revived both the KXL and DAPL pipelines.
LOSS OF COMRADES
Emilsen Manyoma was stabbed and shot.
2016 was a devastating year of loss for communities leading the resistance against extractive industries. 2017 continued the worrying trend. A new report named Honduras as the most dangerous place to defend the environment. 120 leaders have been killed in Honduras since 2010, with many of the murders being linked to political elites.
Other Latin American countries are not much safer, and this year we have already lost many comrades.
Aldemar Parra Garcia
Afro-Colombian rights defender and peace activist Emilsen Manyoma and her partner Javier Rodallega were found murdered in Buenaventura, Colombia. The activist death toll continues to rise in Colombia where eight people have been killed this year. Among them: Olmedo Pito Garcia, an indigenous Nasa land defender; Aldemar Parra García, a community leader who worked to resist impacts of multinational coal mining in Cesar; Yaneth Alejandra Calvache, Hernán Enrique Agámez Flórez, and José Yimer Cartagena Úsuga, all campesino organizers.
Isidro Baldenegro Lopez won the Goldman Prize in 2005 for his defence of ancient forests.
In Guatemala, Laura Leonor Suarez, an environmentalist and anti-mining campaigner was shot dead in her home; and Sebastián Alonso, a 72-year-old activist, was murdered by paramilitaries who attacked a peaceful protest against mining. In Mexico Isidro Baldenegro Lopez, an indigenous activist and winner of the Goldman environmental prize, was shot dead at a relative’s house.
Veronico “Nico” Lapsay Delamente was only 27.
Other regions also pose grave threats to environmental defenders. In Asia, forest defenders are often targeted with impunity, and many beloved activists had already been taken from us in 2016 — some of whom are remembered in the photo exhibit “For Those Who Died Trying.” Veronico Delamente, a Mamanwa tribal leader and anti-mining activist, was gunned down in the Philippines this month, while five Indigenous Orang Asli anti-logging activists were attacked and arrested in Malaysia.
Finally, though he died of natural causes, the loss of Arthur Manuel, a tireless defender of Indigenous rights, will be acutely felt in Secwepemc Territory (British Columbia).
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