Daily Archives: March 30, 2015

U.S. wildfires increasing because of Climate Change – Arizona Chief Firefighter


ClimateState

Published on Jul 1, 2013

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Intensity of U.S. wildfires increasing over decades
The federal government’s chief of fire operations, Tom Boatner says climate change may have made U.S. wildfires stronger and more dangerous. Scott Pelley reports.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Silencing Dissent: U.N. Bars Climate Protesters from Putting “Keystone,” “Kerry” or “U.S.” on Signs

democracynow

Published on Dec 12, 2014

http://democracynow.org – We speak with youth activist Alyssa Johnson-Kurts of the group SustainUS about rules at the United Nations Climate Change Conference that require protesters to submit banners and slogans for approval. She says the regulations bar mention of specific names, officials and projects. “We tried to submit a banner that would have an arrow with Keystone XL in one direction and a liveable future in the other direction, and they rejected that proposal,” Johnson-Kurts says. Civil society faces increasing separation from what takes place inside the conference. “The irony of course is that very few restrictions are placed on the fossil fuel companies that come here,” notes our guest Jamie Henn, co-founder and communications director of the climate group 350.org.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

The Death of American Universities

Prof. Noam Chomsky, linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist and activist. (photo: Va Shiva)

By Noam Chomsky, Jacobin, 30 March 15

As universities move towards a corporate business model, precarity is being imposed by force.

That’s part of the business model. It’s the same as hiring temps in industry or what they call “associates” at Walmart, employees that aren’t owed benefits. It’s a part of a corporate business model designed to reduce labor costs and to increase labor servility. When universities become corporatized, as has been happening quite systematically over the last generation as part of the general neoliberal assault on the population, their business model means that what matters is the bottom line.

The effective owners are the trustees (or the legislature, in the case of state universities), and they want to keep costs down and make sure that labor is docile and obedient. The way to do that is, essentially, temps. Just as the hiring of temps has gone way up in the neoliberal period, you’re getting the same phenomenon in the universities.

The idea is to divide society into two groups. One group is sometimes called the “plutonomy” (a term used by Citibank when they were advising their investors on where to invest their funds), the top sector of wealth, globally but concentrated mostly in places like the United States. The other group, the rest of the population, is a “precariat,” living a precarious existence.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Faust Disapproves of Divest Harvard’s February Occupation

By Theodore R. Delwiche, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER

University President Drew G. Faust said she strongly disapproved of activist group Divest Harvard’s occupation of Massachusetts Hall last month, arguing that the group does not “have the right to stop University business.”

“I thought that it was unfortunate they had turned to these coercive tactics, which were very upsetting to the woman at the desk who was trying to stop them from getting in, were very disruptive of our work in the building that day, and I think signaled a movement away from the principles of exchange and legitimate free expression that are part of this campus and are part of what we believe in,” Faust said in an interview Friday.

Last month, more than 30 Divest Harvard members and supporters occupied the first floor of Mass. Hall—home to Faust’s and other top administrators’ offices—and a subset of about 14 stayed for roughly 24 hours. The group is also planning a week long protest, dubbed “Harvard Heat Week,” in mid-April that aims to draw alumni supporters to campus.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Boston Snow Storms and Climate Change

Global warming can cause record winter storms. It may sound counterintuitive, but it’s no snow job. When the oceans warm, more water evaporates into the air.

MANN: “And what that means is there’s more precipitation. Water is cycling more vigorously through the atmosphere, and that gives us more extreme weather.”

That’s Michael Mann, a professor of meteorology at Penn State University. He says in summer, an unusually warm ocean can strengthen storms like Hurricane Irene.. but in winter, the evaporation from a warm ocean collides with cold arctic air and turns to snow.

…(read more)

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Divestment Reaches the NYU Senate

Today, divestment made it to the University Senate floor.
Our 30+ supporters outside and our allies on the Senate saw right through the anti-divestment working group proposal.

This morning, the Senate Financial Affairs Committee Divestment Working Group, which spent the past year considering divestment largely behind closed doors, presented a report to the NYU University Senate, claiming that divesting from fossil fuels was “not financially prudent”.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

The Harvard Divestment Controversy in its Historical Context

Selected programs from Cambridge Community Television concerning market valuation, the need for investment in energies beyond fossil fuels, and the emergence of the divestment movement at Harvard and beyond.