Citizen Action Monitor

“Global warming a Chinese hoax,” tweeted America’s Denier-in-Chief

A survey of evidence reveals devastating climate change impacts worldwide, evidence that Trump wilfully ignores.

No 1890 Posted by fw, February 10, 2017

red-flag“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

chinese-hoaxBelow 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.

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A Crisis Felt Around the World  by Demand Climate Justice, Medium.com, February 7, 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.

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.

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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.

RESISTANCE

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.

RESISTANCE  

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.

AFRICA

African countries are experiencing severe drought, extreme famine, inflation, water shortages, increasing suicides, soil depletion

  • As a continent, Africa is disproportionately impacted by climate change. 2016 saw many African countries suffer crippling droughts and these have persisted into 2017,
  • with much of Eastern Africa currently experiencing severe drought, leading to dire food shortages.
  • The UN has already warned of a possible famine this year in Somalia as a result.
  • In Madagascar, many families are already in slow starvation with over one million people in need of emergency food assistance.
  • To make matters worse, inflation in Uganda is expected to rise along with the price of staple foods.
  • Under such circumstances, Kenyan mothers have been forced to boil wild tubers — which are toxic — for hours on end, simply to give their children the hope of some relief from their hunger.
  • Some herdsmen have run out of hope as the drought kills their livestock:
  • there are harrowing reports of suicides which echo the widespread practice of destitute Indian farmers. The situation looks to be getting worse as industrial agriculture and tourist resorts use valuable water resources, leading to a mass die-off of livestock and wildlife.
  • Although the people and the land thirst for water, when the rains come they actually lead to further hunger. In Zimbabwe heavy downpours followed the worst drought in 25 years, washing out nutrients from soils meant for growing the staple crop maize and the cash crop tobacco.
  • In general a coping mechanism is to restore wetlands and reduce deforestation, but countries like Uganda and Senegal are struggling to do so. Instead, the acquisition of lands for oil development and carbon trading schemes further threatens the food supply of local populations.

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Photo credit: Zim News. Floods in Zimbabwe have killed many crops, leading to increased hunger.

RESISTANCE

ASIA & PACIFIC

  • Following the shocking news last year that much of Great Barrier Reef is bleached beyond recovery,
  • this month new research claims that almost 75% of Japan’s biggest coral reef has died from bleaching.
  • In India, climate change is depleting groundwater storage and the states of Jammu and Kashmir are bearing the brunt of the most prolonged drought in years.
  • In Thailand, powerful floods submerged entire villages, taking the lives of 25 people
  • while in the Philippines, torrential rain triggered floods in Cagayan De Oro.
  • While massive human displacement as a result of climate change is often seen as a future problem, in Mongolia the confluence of climate change and economic factors has already driven hundreds of thousands of people from the country’s steppe.
  • Half a billion people in China are blighted by devastating air pollution and as a result thousands of “smog refugees” are already fleeing. This follows plans from the government to relocate over 1.4 million people away from geological disaster hotspots.

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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.

RESISTANCE

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

  • Gargantuan fires have caused one of the worst disasters in Chilean history, swallowing entire villages and taking eleven lives. Vineyards, forests, farmlands and lives have been ravaged by the flames. Temperatures have regularly surpassed 40°C, smashing the country’s all-time heat record by reaching 45°C.
  • In Argentina, similarly beset by forest fires, reports have emerged showing how agribusiness has fuelled a boom in deforestation.

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Photo Credit: Kamikia Kisedje. Sonia Guajajara, executive coordinator of Brazil’s Association of Indigenous People (APIB) at a protest in Brasilia.

RESISTANCE

  • In Brazil’s north, inhabitants of quilombos (autonomous communities descended from freed slaves) are resisting monoculture eucalyptus plantations from taking their land and creating a “green desert”.
  • Elsewhere in the country the Guajajara and Ka’apor peoples are stepping up the fight against illegal logging and mining.
  • Meanwhile, the government has ceased its formal demarcation of land for Indigenous communities, a cause for concern as extensive land-grabbing is contributing to mounting violence across Central America.
  • In some good news from the struggle against top-down “development” projects, Costa Rica’s supreme court has struck down a hydroelectric project over its failure to consult with Indigenous populations,
  • while a Guatemalan court halted the construction of a dam in Alta Verapaz over a similar failure.
  • Similarly, the Colombian government has denied a permit for oil drilling in the area of Putumayo, after concerted opposition from local Indigenous communities, and in
  • Ecuador, the Ministry of the Environment ruled against the Ministry of the Interior, blocking the shutting down of the environmental organization Accion Ecologica. Ecuadorian Indigenous leaders also won a case in Canadian courts to sue Chevron for $12 billion in damages; the company had previously been ordered by Ecuadorian courts to pay $8 billion but refused to comply.

EUROPE

Even Fortress Europe with all its wealth and expertise is not immune to the impacts of climate change:

  • a new study has forecast that glaciers in the Alps and Pyrenees will melt, while drought and crop failure plague the Mediterranean and severe storms and floods batter the Atlantic coast.

Meanwhile, it’s greed motivated business-as-usual elsewhere in Europe

  • In spite of this, the European Parliament voted in favour of advancing an EU-Canada “free” trade agreement, named CETA, which many opponents say will help weaken environmental legislation and facilitate the export of tar sands, allowing the CEOs of fossil fuel corporation to earn even more money, as BP’s Bob Dudley did — making £14 million, roughly double what BP contributes towards climate change solutions. For all their greenwashing, big European banks are still funnelling millions into destructive palm oil projects, fuelling deforestation.

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Photo Credit: Ulet Ifansasti/Greenpeace. Forests are cleared in Indonesia by multinational palm oil companies, threatening people, ecosystems, biodiversity, and the climate.

RESISTANCE

Opposition is strong, however, and everywhere the extractivists show up so does the resistance.

  • In England, Robin Hood’s army has returned from medieval times to defend Sherwood Forest against the fracking barons hoping to drill, while protests greeted the annual meeting of Lonmin, the mining company responsible for the Marikana Massacre.
  • Nigerian communities continued their fight against Shell in a London court, hoping to eventually be able to sue for damages arising from oil spills caused by the company.
  • After a long struggle from villagers and campaigners, Romania’s government is now seeking UNESCO World Heritage status for Rosia Montana, a Carpathian village under threat from gold mining.
  • In yet more examples of government giving in to public pressure, the Irish Parliament voted to divest public money from fossil fuels,
  • German legislators have voted to ban the internal combustion engine by 2030, and
  • Sweden has pledged to phase out greenhouse gas emissions altogether by 2045.
  • Private institutions are also feeling the pressure. In France, Société Générale has pulled out of financing the controversial TJB2 coal project and Crédit Agricole face pressure to follow suit. The world’s largest museum, the Louvre, has come under pressure for its sponsorship by oil and gas major Total.

Solutions are on their way:

NORTH AMERICA

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.

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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.

RESISTANCE

LOSS OF COMRADES

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Arther Manuel

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