Daily Archives: December 3, 2015

Paris (and the World) Is Burning

By Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan

PARIS—The candles still burn across this city at the massacre memorials to the more than 130 people killed by armed militants identified with the Islamic State (which, many Muslims point out, is neither Islamic nor a state), from the Bataclan theater to the restaurants attacked nearby and the national stadium. Flowers, messages, French flags, photos and mementos of the dead, reproductions of the now-iconic peace sign with the embedded Eiffel Tower—all are arranged in a heartfelt outpouring of grief where these acts of violence occurred.

It is in this context that one of the most significant global summits in history is happening: COP 21, the 21st “Conference of Parties” to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Here, almost every nation on the planet is represented as negotiators attempt to forge a treaty by Dec. 11 to stave off irreversible, catastrophic climate change.

COP 21 is supposed to be a culmination of more than two decades of work at the U.N. to transform society, ending the fossil-fuel era and shifting to renewable energy and drastically reduced greenhouse-gas emissions. A mass march was organized in Paris for Nov. 29, the day before the climate summit was to begin, with more than 400,000 people expected. But French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency after the attacks, banning all demonstrations. Many critics say that the warming planet is another state of emergency–and that dissent is the only thing that will save us.

…(read more).

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Climate Change and Inequality Are Driving War and Catastrophic Conflicts from Syria to Africa

As Democracy Now! broadcasts from the U.N. Climate Summit in Paris, France, we examine the connection between a warming planet and increasing conflicts around the globe. “If we want to deal with the issues of conflict, go to the root cause: inequality and climate change,” says Asad Rehman, former national organizer of the Stop the War Coalition in the UK, who now serves as Head of International Climate for Friends of the Earth. He notes that from 2006 to 2011, Syria suffered from five years of the worst drought ever in the country’s history. Nearly two million people moved from rural to urban areas, and 80 percent of livestock died. Asad compares this to the Arab Spring, which was driven in part by an agricultural collapse that prompted food prices to triple and generated mass social unrest.

…(read more).

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Bill McKibben | The Biggest Climate Challenge: Leaving Carbon in the Ground – Scientific American

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Science shows that safeguarding the climate will require us to leave most fossil fuels in the ground. Can we restrain ourselves?

We have a couple of advantages when it comes to dealing with climate change. For one thing, the parameters of the problem are remarkably clear: We can see the Arctic melting, the ocean acidifying, the mercury steadily rising. Droughts and floods reinforce daily our understanding of our predicament.

More, researchers have made it relatively simple to understand what we can and can’t do going forward. If the planet is to hold its temperature increase to two degrees Celsius—and almost every nation agreed to that target in 2009 at the international talks in Copenhagen—then we simply have to leave most of the carbon we know about underground; it can’t be burned. In fact, a powerful article in Nature last January listed all the carbon deposits that would need to go untouched: places like the tar sands of Canada or the oil and gas reservoirs beneath the Arctic. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)

So: easy—or not. Pres. Barack Obama, for instance, traveled to Alaska in early September to draw attention to climate change. He visited native villages, checked out melting glaciers, said all the right things. But the week before he’d given final permission to Shell Oil to drill in the Arctic—exactly the sort of thing that scientists say will make global warming worse.

In so doing Obama exemplified our dilemma. He simply couldn’t bring himself to stand up to the forces that want to dig up every last lump of coal, drill every last drop of oil.

For politicians, this lack of restraint has a simple source: the power of the fossil fuel industry. It is the richest industry on the planet, and it’s historically gotten absolutely everything it wanted. That Obama rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline is a singular display of courage; it was literally the first time a world leader said, “Here’s a project we can’t build because of its effect on the climate.” But usually Big Oil is just too—Big.

Two things might change the equation.

One is the emergence of a real climate movement. It’s getting big, too: Last fall 400,000 demonstrators marched through the streets of New York City, which was the largest demonstration about anything in the U.S. in a very long time. Increasingly this global effort is persuading banks to stop financing the next round of extraction. In midsummer, for instance, the company planning to build the world’s largest coal mine in the Australian desert pulled the plug, their credit lines severed by persistent activism.

But there’s another factor, too. In the past six years the price of solar panels has fallen by 75 percent. That makes renewable energy the cheapest alternative in much of the world. If we committed ourselves, Stanford University professor of environmental engineering Mark Jacobson and his team have shown, every state in the union (and every country on the planet) could supply their needs with clean, reliable electricity by 2030 at an affordable price.

…(read more).

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Do or Die: The Global Climate Summit in Paris – Scientific American

World leaders at the U.N. climate conference are trying for the 21st time to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Here’s how they can finally reach meaningful agreements

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China Carbon Forum | 中国碳论坛

China Carbon Forum’s Vision

Greater trust and more effective cooperation among China’s stakeholders to achieve a low carbon and climate resilient society.

China Carbon Forum’s Mission

To provide an independent, neutral, and not-for-profit platform of services to foster relationships, build understanding, and share information among China’s stakeholders involved in climate change action including local and international organizations, government, industry, academics, consultants, policymakers and others.

To accomplish its vision and mission China Carbon Forum engages in the following activities:

Events: Using CCF’s neutral discussion platform, CCF implements high-level events on climate change topics important to China and the world. The events are delivered under non- attribution reporting rules to allow speakers to freely exchange ideas and information. The format of the events varies. The events also provide opportunity to build meaningful network links to enhance cooperation. VALUE PROPOSITION: Networking and information sharing.

Research: Undertake specific survey and other research by tapping CCF’s professional network to aggregate opinions. Reporting and analysis shared with Chinese government and other stakeholders.
VALUE PROPOSITION: Knowledge production.

Workshops and Training: Use experts and local organisations to prepare and convene focused training and up-skilling workshops at central, municipal and provincial levels. VALUE PROPOSITION: Skill building.

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Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, and Francis Fox Pivens FULL


ömer bozdogan

Published on Jan 18, 2014

Left Forum, 2010 – The Center Cannot Hold: Rekindling the Radical Imagination, Pace University

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Record Number of Leaders Attend COP21 Paris Climate Summit


climateconference

Published on Dec 1, 2015

More than 150 Heads of State and Government were present at COP21 on 30 November 2015. The Leaders Event was organized at the invitation of the President of France, François Hollande and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France and President of the COP 21/CMP 11, Laurent Fabius.

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