There’s two times more carbon in the earth’s soil than in all of its vegetation and the atmosphere — combined. Biogeochemist Asmeret Asefaw Berhe dives into the science of soil and shares how we could use its awesome carbon-trapping power to offset climate change. “[Soil] represents the difference between life and lifelessness in the earth system, and it can also help us combat climate change — if we can only stop treating it like dirt,” she says.
In his new memoir “Permanent Record,” whistleblower Edward describes what he learned from within the American intelligence apparatus that convinced him to blow the whistle on unchecked government surveillance. While working as a contractor for the CIA and NSA, Snowden laid the groundwork for many of the cybersecurity protocols under which the agencies currently operate. Eventually, Snowden came to believe the NSA’s surveillance practices were betraying public trust in the government and violating the constitution. “When you think about what the NSA doe … you’re at least supposed to think that they spy on bad guys,” he says. He later came to the realization that “the systems that I built, the systems that my generation had built, I had produced a system that instead spied on everyone.”
On Capitol Hill, freshman Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released a sweeping policy package Wednesday aimed at tackling poverty and inequality. The plan, titled “A Just Society,” would offer full social services to formerly incarcerated people and undocumented immigrants, cap annual rent increases, push government contractors to improve benefits, and update the way the government tracks poverty by taking into account geographic location and healthcare and child care access. This is Representative Ocasio-Cortez introducing the legislative plan.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “America today is at its wealthiest point than in its entire history. And, in fact, many would argue that today the United States represents one of the richest societies in global history — except, among all these record profits, 40 million Americans are living in poverty, and 18.5 million Americans are living in extreme poverty, which is measured as less than $2 a day. That’s why I’m so excited to introduce a suite of legislation, including five bills and one resolution, that begins to chip away at our issues of economic injustice. And we’re calling it ‘A Just Society.’”
In San Francisco, California, police arrested seven protesters who locked themselves together to blockade an entrance to a Wells Fargo building Wednesday. The protesters joined more than 100 climate activists who shut down part of the city’s financial district, blocking traffic to demand banks and government institutions divest from fossil fuels.
Image Credit: Extinction Rebellion London
Sep 26, 2019
In London, England, four medical doctors superglued themselves to a government building in the latest Extinction Rebellion protest against climate change. The group plans to shut down parts of Central London for two weeks in October to demand urgent action on the climate.
In Bolivia, environmental groups warned Wednesday that more than 2 million wild animals, including jaguars and pumas, have died as fires continue to ravage the country’s grasslands and forests. The fires began in May but intensified in August, completely devastating Bolivia’s tropical savanna and destroying at least 10 million acres of forest and grassland. More than 200,000 fires have burnt in the Amazon Basin this year, destroying at least 29 million acres of rainforest — mostly in Brazil.
Italian authorities have evacuated communities and closed roads around Mont Blanc, warning the mountain’s glacier is at risk of collapse, with 9 million cubic feet of ice set to break away. This is Stefano Miserocchi, mayor of the town of Courmayeur, which was partially evacuated.
Mayor Stefano Miserocchi: “This risk of collapse is definitely due to global warming. The average temperatures in the mountains keep getting higher, and there is less rain in the winter, therefore all the glaciers are in crisis.”
This comes after the Northern Hemisphere experienced its warmest summer on record, and all five of the hottest summers on record have occurred in the last five years.
Six years ago, Edward Snowden leaked a trove of secret documents about how the United States had built a massive surveillance apparatus to spy on Americans and people across the globe. Snowden was then charged in the U.S. for violating the Espionage Act and other laws. As he attempted to flee to Latin America, Snowden became stranded in Russia after the U.S. revoked his passport. He has lived in Moscow ever since. Snowden just published his memoir, “Permanent Record,” in which he writes about what led him to risk his life to expose the U.S. government’s system of mass surveillance. From Moscow, he speaks to Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman and Juan González about his life before and after becoming an NSA whistleblower.
As a whistleblower complaint filed against President Trump rocks Washington and threatens Trump’s presidency, one of the world’s most famous whistleblowers, Edward Snowden, joins us from Moscow, Russia. Earlier this month, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Snowden alleging that his newly released memoir, “Permanent Record,” violates the nondisclosure agreements he signed with the federal government when he was a National Security Agency employee. The Justice Department also argued that they are entitled to all of Snowden’s book profits. Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman and Juan González speak with Snowden about the lawsuit.
US President Donald Trump is lashing out at House Democrats amid an impeachment investigation and a whistleblower complaint over his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden. (Sept. 26)
NOTE: If you need captions, please click the CC button on the player to turn them on. The annual Celebrate the Gulf Marine Education Festival in Pass Christian, Mississippi, aims to educate residents and visitors about the importance of the Gulf of Mexico. It collaborates with more than 37 environmental groups, which are encouraged to use it to publicize activities related to the wise use, preservation, or conservation of our valuable aquatic and marine resources. The booths offer hands-on exhibits, live animal shows, free rides on the historic Biloxi Schooner to experience the Gulf first-hand, a Student Science Showcase with young scientists presenting projects, a juried environmental art contest, and a children’s art contest.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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