Daily Archives: August 13, 2019

We Are Now All Migrants on a Burning Planet: There is No Place to Hide and No Other Place to Go | EV & N 322 | CCTV




YouTube Version

The “Climate Change and Land” Special Report of August 2019 from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  has indicated that fossil-fuel-driven climate change is displacing farmers in the Global South which will lead to hundreds of millions and perhaps as many as a billion potential climate refugees.  Nation-states — already demonstrating an inability to manage their borders effectively — may well be overwhelmed by these climate-induced social changes in the coming months, years and decades.

The evidence for the close and precarious link between agriculture and a changing climate is not new.  For decades social scientists have underscored the built-in violence and vulnerability of the “green revolution”  to climate change because of its substantial fossil fuel subsidies.  The massive expenditure of fossil fuels required by this type of agriculture has contributed substantially to the build-up of atmospheric carbon, thereby further accelerating the pace and scope global climate change in a viscous self-destructive cycle of environmental degradation.


Bill McKibben has voiced a deep understanding of our new global circumstance emphasized in the latest IPCC Special Report.   With empathy and compassion he has demonstrated the kind of moral leadership that will now be needed.

Bill-Mckibben-1This cannot be ignored because it will be driven by hundreds of millions of potential climate refugees forced to leave flood-soaked or drought-stricken lands that can no longer support agriculture as changes in the climate become more severe.

Bill-Mckibben-2As the volume of climate refugees mounts all over the world, we will need to come to the realization and learn to accept the fact that from now on we are all in some sense migrants on a burning planet.

See related:

as well as:


With further related discussions at:


Related information on activities of agribusiness firms promoting the expansion of  petro-intensive agriculture:


For a longer-view critique of post-World War II “development” practices based on petro-intensive agricultural strategies see:



How Southern black farmers were forced from their land, and their heritage

Published on Aug 13, 2019
African Americans have lost millions of acres of farmland across the South during the last century, in a trend propelled by economic forces, racism and white economic and political power. Most of the losses occurred since the 1950s. John Yang talks to Vann Newkirk of The Atlantic, which highlights the story in its September issue, about the origins of what Newkirk calls “the great land robbery.”

What we have now is a culture war filled with conspiracy theories

Published on Aug 13, 2019
In this clip, The Randi Rhodes show discusses the changes to the public charge policy for legal immigrants renewing their applications, and the conspiracy theories that are filling the interwebs in light of Epstein’s death.

Trump’s Profits Will Tear Web of Life Apart

Published on Aug 13, 2019
Donald Trump and his billionaire, oil drilling buddies are trying to get rid of the Endangered species Act. Biodiversity is the foundation on which all life depends, including human life. Biodiversity provides for our water, food, shelters, and health. It’s the air we breathe, the nutrients we take in and the soil that our food is grown on. Now, with Trump’s attack on the Endangered Species Act, the web of life is more at risk than ever before.

France 24 Speaks To The Team Behind The Ebola Vaccination Breakthrough

Published on Aug 13, 2019
Subscribe to France 24 now: http://f24.my/youtubeEN

FRANCE 24 live news stream: all the latest news 24/7 http://f24.my/YTliveEN

In tonight’s show; we talk with team behind the breakthrough vaccination that brings a cure for Ebola one step closer, a new report backs-up 2015 France 24 reporting that Rwanda’s government may have altered statistics on poverty in the country and an Israeli billionaire is set to stand trial for allegedly paying $10 million in bribes to win mining contracts in Guinea.

How our food is grown and consumed is making climate change worse. What can we do?

PBS NewsHour

Published on Aug 8, 2019

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is warning of a devastating global feedback loop around how humans produce and consume food. A new report urges immediate action on agricultural practices that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, which exacerbate climate change and, in turn, make soil less productive. William Brangham talks to the World Resources Institute’s Janet Ranganathan.

Scientists Upset With Moving Two USDA Research Agencies

Wochit Politics
Published on Dec 18, 2018

According to Science Magazine, Agricultural scientists are deeply unhappy with a plan by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to move two of its research agencies out of Washington, D.C. On 9 August, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced plans to relocate the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in Washington, D.C., and the Economic Research Service (ERS), its major in-house research and statistical office. Perdue said the move would bring those agencies closer to the farmers and ranchers and claimed the move would save money through cheaper rent and enable the USDA to attract and retain top scientists now repelled by the high cost of living in the nation’s capital. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/…

Trump Purging HUNDREDS Of Scientists

The Majority Report w/ Sam Seder
Published on Jul 16, 2019

Donald Trump is about to displace a BUNCH of USDA scientists. Sam Seder and the Majority Report crew discuss this.

Protesting Immigration Policy, and Why I Decided to Get Arrested | Bill McKibben | The New Yorker

By Bill McKibben

August 9, 2019
Toward the end of this hideous week of gun massacres and Presidential tantrums, I found myself manacled at the ankle to a bench in a holding cell in the basement of a police station in the upstate New York city of Glens Falls, wondering if it was a useful place to be.

On Thursday morning, I’d left my house in the Adirondack forest and driven an hour out of the mountains to Glens Falls. It’s not a glamorous city—it built its prosperity on paper mills—but I’ve always felt at home there. My daughter was born in the Glens Falls Hospital; I researched parts of my first book in the stacks of its fine Crandall Public Library; it is “town” in this part of the world. But it’s not Vermont, where I now live most of the year, or Brooklyn, or San Francisco, or the other sorts of places where people are more likely to engage in civil protest. Warren County, which it anchors, is classic rural red: Trump territory in the 2016 election, and by a fairly sizable margin.

So, when friends told me that there’d be a protest in support of the immigrants being held in detention centers on the southern border, I wondered if anyone would show up. About seventy-five people were gathered in leafy City Park when I arrived, which seemed to me a good turnout, even if many of them had driven north half an hour from the considerably hipper city of Saratoga Springs. For an hour, people listened to earnest speeches—including one from a Skidmore professor recently back from Texas with grim tales of separated families—and to folk songs, and to a rabbi blowing a shofar with considerable vigor.

And then we walked three or four blocks through the center of town, chanting, “No More Hate!,” until we were outside the office of Representative Elise Stefanik, a Republican, who represents New York’s Twenty-first Congressional District. When we arrived, a crowd perhaps a third the size of our group was already in place, carrying Trump banners and chanting their own slogans: “Americans before illegals,” “Build the wall,” and “Four more years.” (One woman was holding a sign that just said “CAPITALISM,” and only because she was wearing a MAGA hat could I be sure of her politics.) It was tense, especially since the local police—unaccustomed, I think, to this sort of thing—simply stood by and let the two sides face off. There was a certain amount of middle-fingering from the Trump contingent and tut-tutting from our side. Mostly, it was noisy, because the leader of the Trumpists had a bullhorn that he could (and did) set to siren mode, largely drowning out the earnest attempts to sing “This Land Is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful.” After a little while, our group decamped back to the park, and mostly dispersed.

Six of us, however, went back to the Stefanik’s office and sat in the reception area, telling the pleasant receptionist that we were planning to stay until we could talk to the congresswoman—over the phone, or via Skype, or some such. She said she was phoning Washington, and then told us that Stefanik was unavailable, and then announced that the office was closed, and then that she was summoning the police, which was more or less what we’d guessed would happen. While we sat there waiting, I ate a number of butterscotch candies that had been put out in a bowl on a side table, and admired a map of the district, which runs from Saratoga to the Canadian border and west across the mountains to Lake Ontario. I know that country as well as I know any place on earth, and I love it more deeply than any other—it is the great wilderness of the East, bordered by cities, rivers, and farms, and set somewhat apart from the bustle of the rest of the world.

A detective in a sports jacket soon arrived, and, after huddling with the receptionist and a nice young man spending a college summer as an intern, he told us that we would have to leave, or we would be put under arrest. “I don’t see why it would do you any good to be arrested,” he said, which, actually, was a reasonable point. I doubted that it would change anyone’s mind if we were carted away. And yet it seemed, somehow, like a necessary, if modest, gesture of solidarity with the people sitting for months on end in holding pens in the desert.

For me, immigration, in particular, has become a larger and more pressing issue over the years. That’s because I mostly work on the question of climate change, and it’s become very clear that a rapidly heating planet is already driving many people to move. In Central America, for instance, recent reporting has made it clear that drought and heat have made it hard to grow food in the highlands of Honduras and Guatemala, starting many farmers on the journey that eventually takes them to the U.S. border. These people did not pour into the atmosphere the carbon that raised the temperature, causing their woe. (That was us.) And, as this week’s report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (I.P.C.C.) makes clear, there will be infinitely more of them as the century grinds hotly on. The U.N. estimates that we can expect somewhere between two hundred million and a billion climate refugees on the move around the world. We have to try to slow down that heating, of course, but we also have to come up with ways to help our fellow-humans endure this new world. Cages and walls—and ranting about “invasions”—are as ugly as they are pointless.

And so the perfectly professional Glens Falls police officers cuffed us and took us to the station, where we were chained by the ankle and, eventually, processed and released, and told to return to court in a couple of weeks to answer to charges of criminal trespass in the third degree. A legal-aid lawyer said that the possible sentence was a term of three months, which I devoutly hope is not the case—a few hours was dreary enough. But it’s a good reminder that there are many people effectively sentenced to terms like that on the border—people who can’t find their children, people who have no real home to go back to. We can’t be like them, those of us who have options and resources and connections. But we can, in some small way, be with them.


McKibben, a former New Yorker staff writer, is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org and the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in environmental studies at Middlebury College. His latest book is “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?

Climate Change Threatens the World’s Food Supply, United Nations Warns – The New York Times

Cattle grazing outside Sokoto, Nigeria, where large-scale farming is in conflict with local communities. CreditCreditLuis Tato/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

By Christopher Flavelle

Aug. 8, 2019

The world’s land and water resources are being exploited at “unprecedented rates,” a new United Nations report warns, which combined with climate change is putting dire pressure on the ability of humanity to feed itself.

The report, prepared by more than 100 experts from 52 countries and released in summary form in Geneva on Thursday, found that the window to address the threat is closing rapidly. A half-billion people already live in places turning into desert, and soil is being lost between 10 and 100 times faster than it is forming, according to the report.

Climate change will make those threats even worse, as floods, drought, storms and other types of extreme weather threaten to disrupt, and over time shrink, the global food supply. Already, more than 10 percent of the world’s population remains undernourished, and some authors of the report warned in interviews that food shortages could lead to an increase in cross-border migration.

A particular danger is that food crises could develop on several continents at once, said Cynthia Rosenzweig, a senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and one of the lead authors of the report. “The potential risk of multi-breadbasket failure is increasing,” she said. “All of these things are happening at the same time.”

…(read more).