Daily Archives: March 18, 2015

China’s ‘Silent Spring’ Moment?

Why ‘Under the Dome’ Found a Ready Audience in China

Tom Jay

By DANIEL K. GARDNER, March 18, 2015

It has been a dizzying few weeks for “Under the Dome,” the TED-like documentary about China’s overwhelming air pollution crisis produced and narrated by Chai Jing, a former investigative reporter at CCTV, China’s national television network. On Saturday, Feb. 28, the People’s Daily website and other outlets posted the film, along with an interview with Ms. Chai. The next day, the newly appointed minister of environmental protection, Chen Jining, praised the video as China’s “Silent Spring” moment and declared, “Chai Jing deserves our respect for drawing the public’s attention to the environment from a unique public health perspective.”

Then, two days later, the Shanghai Propaganda Department issued these instructions: “Media and websites of all types and levels … must absolutely discontinue coverage of the documentary ‘Under the Dome’ and its creator.”

But even as the fate of Ms. Chai’s environmental exposé was beginning to shift, Premier Li Keqiang would tell the National People’s Congress on March 5, “Environmental pollution is a blight on people’s quality of life and a trouble that weighs on their hearts. We must fight it with all our might.”

Then the next day, Beijing ratcheted up its earlier order: “Video websites are to delete ‘Under the Dome.’ Take care to control related commentary.”

The very same day, President Xi Jinping, wanting to be emphatically clear about his stalwart commitment to the environment, said, “We are going to punish, with an iron hand, any violators who destroy ecology or the environment, with no exceptions.”

Confused? Why all the flip-flopping? In part, it shows that, contrary to what many outsiders assume, some in Beijing recognize that pollution has become a crisis of widespread popular concern and must be addressed. But, in the end, behind all the contradictory messages lies this reality: Party leaders fear the political consequences should environmentalism blossom into an organized national movement.

(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

What motivates you to take action?


GreenpeaceVideo

Published on Mar 18, 2015

Johno, Jens, Miriam, Aliyah, Andreas and Zoe are preparing to take bold action to give this fragile Earth a voice. They’re determined – but they don’t know whether what they plan to do will succeed. They will definitely need your help, so stay tuned!

Here they talk about what motivates them and where they find their courage.

Not everyone could do what these six are about to do, but making the change we need to see in the world takes all kinds of courage. Take our quiz now to see what sort of courage you have: http://grnpc.org/IgePP

The question isn’t how courageous are you, it’s how are you courageous?

What motivates you to take action? Tell us in the comments.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Reporting From Pakistan on the Flood Crisis


PBS NewsHour

Published on Mar 18, 2015

Hari Sreenivasan talks to Jeffrey Kaye about his upcoming reports from flood-ravaged Pakistan.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice
Health

Greg Barker: Envoy on Climate of Conservative Prime Minister in U.K.


RTCC

Published on Mar 18, 2015

COP20 (04/12/2014) –

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

The Right-Wingification of the World…


thomhartmann

Published on Mar 18, 2015

Thom Hartmann shares how Right-wing billionaires are taking control through the media.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice
Media

GUIDE FOR RESPONSIBLE CORPORATE ENGAGEMENT IN CLIMATE POLICY: A Caring for Climate Report

The Positive Role of Business in Accelerating Climate Change Policy Action

This report is not designed to make the case that climate change—or global warming—is the greatest threat facing the world today. Climate scientists from across the globe, as well as military and economic analysts, have already established the severity of the issue and the scale of the challenge.1

And neither is this report designed to make the case that policy responses are needed, or what those policies should look like. More than 190 countries have already agreed—starting back in 1992—that a response to climate change is urgently needed.2 In 2009, countries further agreed to “take action” to limit warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

Instead, this report is designed to help companies inform and accelerate the policies most urgently needed to support a stable global economy. And it is designed to help businesses engage in national and international debates, with a view to contribute to political progress on reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and adapt to disruptions in the global climate system.

Business support and policy endorsements are powerful. They provide trusted perspectives on the economic costs and benefits of policy options. They can also influence others within their industry, supply chain, or customer base.

In the 20 years since countries first recognized the need to act on climate change, many companies and industry groups have engaged in subsequent national and international policy debates. Some have taken defensive positions, protecting business-as usual.

(read more).

Jim Hightower | Corporate coup d’etat

Jim-Hightower

http://exposethetpp.org

Look out America – here comes the Trans Pacific Partnership! Dubbed “a corporate coup d’etat” by Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, it’s a grandiose grab for power masked as a trade deal, allowing an unprecedented level of global corporate rule over Americans. Let’s take a quick look at what we’ll be getting into.

The trade hoax. Of the document’s 29 chapters, only five address tariffs and other actual trade matters. The other 24 consist of various ways to “free” corporations from any accountability and from any responsibility to the world community’s common good.

Bye-bye “Buy American.” TPP dictates that all corporations based in any member nation must be given equal access to the public dollars that any government spends on equipment, food, highway projects, etc. Thus, our own national, state, and local governments would no longer be free to give preference to suppliers of our choice. “Buy American” and “Buy Local” programs could be challenged by private corporations.

…(read more).

See also:

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?

http://benthamopen.com/contents/pdf/TOASCJ/TOASCJ-2-217.pdf

The Open Atmospheric Science Journal , 2008, 2: 217-231
James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Pushker Kharecha, David Beerling, Robert Berner, Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Mark Pagani, Maureen Raymo, Dana L. Royer, James C. Zachos

NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY 10025, USA.

Electronic publication date 31 10 2008
[DOI: 10.2174/1874282300802010217]
Abstract:

Paleoclimate data show that climate sensitivity is ~3°C for doubled CO2, including only fast feedback processes. Equilibrium sensitivity, including slower surface albedo feedbacks, is ~6°C for doubled CO2 for the range of climate states between glacial conditions and ice-free Antarctica. Decreasing CO2 was the main cause of a cooling trend that began 50 million years ago, the planet being nearly ice-free until CO2 fell to 450 ± 100 ppm; barring prompt policy changes, that critical level will be passed, in the opposite direction, within decades.

If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm, but likely less than that. [emphasis added] ]The largest uncertainty in the target arises from possible changes of non-CO2 forcings. An initial 350 ppm CO2 target may be achievable by phasing out coal use except where CO2 is captured and adopting agricultural and forestry practices that sequester carbon. If the present overshoot of this target CO2 is not brief, there is a possibility of seeding irreversible catastrophic effects.

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

A safe operating space for humanity : Nature

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7263/full/461472a.html

Nature 461, 472-475 (24 September 2009) | doi:10.1038/461472a; Published online 23 September 2009

See associated Correspondence: Cribb, Nature 476, 282 (August 2011)

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

TPP Sale Echoes Broken NAFTA Promises


Ring of Fire Radio

Published on Mar 10, 2015

In the 1990’s, Americans were promised a future with better wages, more jobs, and greater freedom in purchasing products and hiring workers. That future, we were told, would be made possible by a little piece of legislation known as NAFTA. The reality of NAFTA is far different than the rosy picture painted for us by the Clinton administration.

We’ve seen a decline in worker protections, hundreds of thousands of jobs shipped out of the country, and stagnant wages. But still today you can hear those exact same talking points being thrown around by the Obama administration as they sell us the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice