Donald Trump. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
By Bill McKibben November 17
Bill McKibben is the Schumann distinguished scholar in environmental studies at Middlebury College and founder of the global climate group 350.org.
President-elect Donald Trump has already begun to back off some of his promises: Maybe not all of Obamacare has to go. Maybe parts of his wall will actually be a fence. Maybe it’s okay to have some lobbyists running the government after all.
But I fear he won’t shrink from the actions he has promised on climate change: withdrawing the United States from the Paris accord, ending President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and okaying every new fossil-fuel plan from the Keystone XL pipeline on down. He won’t back down because those are hard-to-hedge choices and because he’s surrounded by climate-change deniers and fossil-fuel insiders who will try to ensure that he keeps his word.
So let’s be entirely clear about what those actions would represent: the biggest, most against-the-odds and most irrevocable bet any president has ever made about anything.
It’s the biggest because of the stakes. This year has been the hottest year recorded in modern history, smashing the record set in 2015, which smashed the record set in 2014. The extra heat has begun to steadily raise sea levels, to the point where some coastal U.S. cities already flood at high tide even in calm weather. Global sea ice levels are at record lows, and the oceans are 30 percent more acidic. And that’s just so far. Virtually every scientific forecast says that without swift action in the next few years to cut carbon emissions, this crisis will grow to be catastrophic, with implications for everything from agriculture to national security that dwarf our other problems.
Published on Nov 4, 2016
The documentary ‘Before the flood’ is produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese, presented by the actor and directed by Fisher Stevens ( ‘The Cove’). National Geographic and Fox will donate a dollar to environmental organizations every time the #BeforeTheFlood hashtag is used on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
This campaign will be held until 18 November.
Climate change is the single greatest threat to a sustainable future but, at the same time, addressing the climate challenge presents a golden opportunity to promote prosperity, security and a brighter future for all.”
BAN KI-MOON – Secretary General, United Nations
Published on Nov 12, 2016
I can’t not believe that there are still people Who Do not believe in climate change, and what we can expect to Donald trump, candidate for USA presidency, is not interested in this great problem just for their economic interests ..
This is a reality is a Responsibility of all, there is no time
Join Leonardo DiCaprio as he explores the topic of climate change, and discovers what must be done today to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet.
By The Economist
Attitudes to the environment split along party lines in North America , but not as starkly as between the two presidential candidates. The majority of voters accept that climate change is happening. But Republicans and Democrats disagree about the causes, according to the Yale Programme on Climate Change Communication, a research group. Half of Mr Trump’s supporters reckon natural causes explain it, whereas three in four of Mrs Clinton’s backers say—as do most climate scientists—that man-made emissions are to blame.
Mr Trump has promised to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the most robust deal yet on curbing global carbon emissions, which was adopted in 2015. The agreement aims to limit global warming to “well below” 2ºC above pre-industrial temperatures. It will almost certainly take Mr Trump more than a single term to wrangle his way out of its many provisions. Moreover America is already more than halfway to meeting a target of lowering carbon-dioxide emissions by 26-28% by 2025 (measured against 2005 levels), which it promised in Paris. To manage this, the Obama administration unveiled the final version of the Clean Power Plan last year, which proposes the country’s first national standards to limit carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. Mr Trump opposes the Clean Power Plan, instead arguing for “a top-down review of all anti-coal regulations”.
Mrs Clinton supports both the plan and more greenery in America. She wants to make the country “a clean-energy superpower” by installing half a billion solar panels in her first term. By 2027 she plans for a third of electricity to come from renewables.
Mrs Clinton may struggle to get these and other bold measures past Congress. She would probably have to use her executive authority to enact policies, just as Barack Obama did to ratify the Paris deal. But what one president enacts, the next can tear up. Mr Obama’s reliance on executive action leaves the door open for Mr Trump to stall and perhaps reverse environmental policies if he becomes president. Yet whoever wins will be at the mercy of the markets: a glut of fossil fuels means that coal production has declined by almost a quarter since the highs of 2008. And the cost of solar and wind power, and of the storage needed to smooth out their variations, will keep dropping. This could thwart Mr Trump’s smoky plans, or give Mrs Clinton’s green ones a needed boost.
Published on Sep 28, 2016
Before the Flood Trailer 1 (2016) Leonardo DiCaprio Documentary Movie HD [Official Trailer]
Published on Nov 9, 2016
Published on Nov 10, 2016
Four Horsemen is a 2012 British documentary film directed by Ross Ashcroft. The film criticises the system of fractional reserve banking, debt-based economy and political lobbying by banks, which it regards as a serious threat to Western civilisation. It criticises the War on Terror, which it maintains is not fought to eliminate militant organizations, but to create larger debt to the banks. As an alternative, the film promotes a return to classical economics and the gold standard. Among those interviewed are Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist at the World Bank; Noam Chomsky, linguistics professor; John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man; Herman Daly, economy professor and former economist at the World Bank; and Max Keiser, TV host and former trader. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 14 March 2012. A book based on the film has been published.
In Time Out London, Derek Adams wrote: “Instead of bombarding us with sensational imagery and scaremongering, this competently narrated, intelligibly structured and cleverly illustrated film presents its case via a succession of insights from a group of smart, rational orators. … This is a film perhaps better suited to DVD, simply because there are thoughts here of such profundity you might feel the need to reach for the rewind button. I, for one, have been left substantially enlightened.” Peter Bradshaw wrote in The Guardian: “In these parlous times, there can never be enough criticism of bankers and tame politicians enjoying what Milton Friedman called socialism for the rich. Ashcroft’s documentary lands some punches, but it is hampered by a PowerPoint-style presentation. … Ashcroft unveils some bold cures at the end, but we need more specifics.”
Democracy Now! reports on the U.N. climate summit taking place in Marrakech, Morocco.
Will Trump’s climate-destroying policies make the United States a global pariah like Putin’s Russia? CREDIT: AP/David Goldman
And the trade war he campaigned on will be all but guaranteed.
Dr. Joe Romm is Founding Editor of Climate Progress, “the indispensable blog,” as NY Times columnist Tom Friedman describes it.
The vast majority of U.S. voters and policymakers have no clue how cataclysmic it will be for this country when Trump keeps his promise to exit the landmark Paris Climate Agreement. (But then why would they, when much of the media also has no clue about the existential nature of the climate fight after a quarter century of ignoring the warnings of scientists?)
It is not “if” he keeps his promise, it is “when,” since the Trump team is already looking to quit Paris as fast as possible, perhaps within a year, according to “a source on his transition team,” Reuters reported Sunday. Another reason to take Trump seriously: He appointed fellow climate science deniers to top positions in his transition team and administration — while the media normalizes his radical words and deeds.
Since the United States was a leader in making Paris happen, when the country pulls out (and then works to kill climate action at home and abroad), it will suddenly become a global pariah. Think of the sanctions against Putin’s Russia — or, think about a massive, global boycott, like the one against apartheid South Africa, times 10.
Consider how a United States exit will look.
The world will rightly blame the United States for destroying humanity’s last, best hope to avoid catastrophic warming. We will be blamed for the multiple ever-worsening catastrophic climate impacts that befall the planet in the coming years (and decades and beyond). And why not? We’re the richest country and the biggest cumulative carbon polluter, and the pledge we made for Paris was just about the weakest we could offer. And now we aren’t even going to do that.
From the world’s perspective, U.S. voters just elected a man who actively campaigned on a plan to kill the Paris agreement, undo all U.S. climate action, boost coal and fossil fuel use, and zero out funding for all international climate-related aid, domestic climate science, and clean energy R&D. Oh, and he thinks global warming is a hoax, and he has named a well-known climate science denier to run the EPA transition (if not the EPA itself) — and another to be his top White House aide and chief strategist.
It bears repeating that on October 26, Trump promised, “I will also cancel all wasteful climate change spending from Obama-Clinton, including all global warming payments to the United Nations. These steps will save $100 billion over 8 years.”
Not only is Trump appointing hard-core climate science deniers to high level positions, but even everyday Republicans — like Trump’s newly appointed Chief of Staff Reince Priebus — are critical of climate action. Indeed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders have actively lobbied other countries against the Paris climate deal and lobbied states to disregard the EPA’s Clean Power Plan standards for electricity generation.
So there’s every reason to believe Trump will keep his climate campaign promises, making the United States a pariah nation, and potentially triggering carbon taxes and environmental tariffs.
On Sunday, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy (2007–2012) said Europe should “adopt a carbon tax at the borders of Europe, a tax of 1 to 3 percent for all products that come from the United States.” The center-right Sarkozy, who is running to get his old job back, explained, “We cannot find ourselves in a situation where our businesses have [environmental] obligations but where we continue to import products from countries that meet none of those obligations.”
An Isis video released through the group’s Amaq news agency reportedly shows fighters in Mosul Reuters
Foreign policy advisor John Bolton proposes carving out a Sunni state in northern Iraq and eastern Syria. As a recipe for deepening the conflict in the region, it could scarcely be bettered
Isis is under pressure in Mosul and Raqqa, but it is jubilant at the election of Donald Trump.
Abu Omar Khorasani, an Isis leader in Afghanistan, is quoted as saying that “our leaders were closely following the US election, but it was unexpected that the Americans would dig their own graves.” He added that what he termed Trump’s “hatred” towards Muslims would enable Isis to recruit thousands of fighters.
The Isis calculation is that, as happened after 9/11, the demonisation and collective punishment of Muslims will propel a proportion of the Islamic community into its ranks. Given that there are 1.6 billion Muslims – about 23 per cent of the world’s population – Isis and al-Qaeda-type organisations need to win the loyalty of only a small proportion of the Islamic community to remain a powerful force.
The COP21 climate agreement reached last December in Paris entered into force Nov. 4, 2016. | Photo: Reuters
Published 7 November 2016
The Paris COP21 climate agreement entered into force earlier than expected, forcing world leaders to rush to write the rule book.
The world’s largest social movement blasted world leaders Monday for promoting “false solutions” to the global environmental crisis and disguising ongoing crimes against humanity as a commitment to climate action as the COP22 world climate meeting kicked off in Marrakech, Morocco, on the heels of last year’s Paris summit.
Ahead of the launch of the conference Monday, United Nations chief climate official Patricia Espinosa announced Sunday that 100 out of the U.N.’s 197 member nations have signed on to the COP21 climate agreement reached in Paris last December. Though world leaders heralded the deal — which entered into force last Friday — as a “historic” achievement for climate action, critics slammed it as a farce that failed to steer away from fossil fuels and locked the planet into a future of catastrophic global warming.
Espinosa expressed confidence that more countries will get on board the Paris agreement in coming days during the COP22 summit, which runs until Nov. 18, on route to the U.N. goal of “having every country on earth translating this global agreement to a legal commitment.” But many prominent environmental groups and leaders have argued that even if adopted by all countries, the most critical parts of the deal are not binding, while approval of massive free trade deals like the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership would directly undermine the commitments outlined in the Paris accords.
La Via Campesina, an international social movement representing some 200 million peasants and campesinos around the globe, argued in a statement Monday that the Paris climate agreement and other U.N.-promoted and market-based climate solutions “are underpinned with an approach that places the commercial and financial interests of multinational corporations and the world economy ahead of respect for human rights.”
Similarly, Friends of the Earth, a leading environmental organization that rejected the Paris deal as a “sham” last December, argued that the response to climate change must shift toward a focus on equity and justice, together with an urgent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. “We’re only seeing more of the same,” Geoffrey Kamese, senior program officer of Friends of the Earth Uganda, said in a statement. “Old and indeed new dirty energy projects — oil, coal gas and big dams, fracking, even tar sands — continue to devastate communities.”
Meanwhile, the U.N. Refugee Agency has brought the issue of environmental refugees into the spotlight, a global challenge that is already a reality and will only continue to worsen with unchecked climate change. According to the organization, 21.8 million people have been displaced by sudden extreme weather around the world every year since 2008. Climate change and its impact on resources is also a factor in conflicts such as in Syria and Somalia, another major driver of migration. While the Paris agreement makes passing reference to migration, the COP22 discussions may prove pivotal in determining whether concrete actions are taken to address the growing global refugee crisis.