Daily Archives: April 28, 2020

The Heat: COVID-19 Pandemic- Global Impact


CGTN America

Published on Apr 28, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic which has caused over 216 million deaths across the world is also having a massive economic and geo-political impact. The Heat’s Anand Naidoo speaks with a global affairs commentator and a doctor.

How Nancy Pelosi’s “one-woman Congress” undercuts the progressive agenda

Democracy Now!

Apr 24, 2020

Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the sole Democrat to vote no on the House’s new $484 billion relief bill, saying it falls far short of adequately protecting frontline workers and small businesses. David Dayen, executive editor of the American Prospect, says that Republicans mostly set the terms of the bill with acquiescence from more moderate Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “There’s no real pressure on Nancy Pelosi. [She] has been a one-woman Congress for the last month or so,” he says. Dayen hopes that with the next package, progressive lawmakers pressure Pelosi to “guarantee upfront” key items on the progressive agenda like rent relief, payroll support, and vote-by-mail in the upcoming elections.

Top U.S. & World Headlines — April 28, 2020 – Democracy Now

Democracy Now!
Apr 28, 2020

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Small asteroid zips by Earth at about 23,000 miles away

VideoFromSpace

Apr 28, 2020

A small asteroid, named 2020 HS7, flew about 23,000 miles (36,400 km) from Earth on April 28, 2020. The space rock is about 4-8 meters (13-26 feet) in diameter.

Full Story: https://www.space.com/small-asteroid-…
Credit: Space.com / orbit animation: NASA/JPL-Caltech / produced & edited by Steve Spaleta (http://www.twitter.com/stevespaleta)

Life After Carbon: The Next Global Transformation of Cities – Smart Growth Online


Apr 28, 2020

Smart Growth Online

70 subscribers

Recorded April 28, 2020

Presenter’s Slide Deck

A new model for urban development is emerging as cities worldwide are responding to climate change.

The Maryland Department of Planning and the Smart Growth Network held this webinar on April 28, as Peter Plastrik, author of Life After Carbon, outlined a model that is transforming how cities design and use physical space, generate economic wealth, consume and dispose of resources, exploit and sustain the natural ecosystems, and prepare for the future.

This model is already being built out in cities large and small dubbed “climate innovation labs.” — places like Copenhagen and Melbourne, Austin and Vancouver, where city government, business and community leaders are working together to transform core systems. Plastrik explained how climate disasters can become urban opportunities and shape the next transformation of cities worldwide.

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Climate experts call for ‘dangerous’ Michael Moore film to be taken down | Environment | The Guardian

Planet of the Humans, which takes aim at the green movement, is ‘full of misinformation’, says one online library

A new Michael Moore-produced documentary that takes aim at the supposed hypocrisy of the green movement is “dangerous, misleading and destructive” and should be removed from public viewing, according to an assortment of climate scientists and environmental campaigners.

The film, Planet of the Humans, was released on the eve of Earth Day last week by its producer, Michael Moore, the baseball cap-wearing documentarian known for Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine. Describing itself as a “full-frontal assault on our sacred cows”, the film argues that electric cars and solar energy are unreliable and rely upon fossil fuels to function. It also attacks figures including Al Gore for bolstering corporations that push flawed technologies over real solutions to the climate crisis.

Planet of the Humans has provoked a furious reaction from scientists and campaigners, however, who have called for it be taken down. Films for Action, an online library of videos, temporarily took down the film after describing it as “full of misinformation”, though they later reinstated it, saying they did not want accusations of censorship to give the film “more power and mystique than it deserves”. A free version on YouTube has been viewed more than 3m times.

A letter written by Josh Fox, who made the documentary Gasland, and signed by various scientists and activists, has urged the removal of “shockingly misleading and absurd” film for making false claims about renewable energy. Planet of the Humans “trades in debunked fossil fuel industry talking points” that question the affordability and reliability of solar and wind energy, the letter states, pointing out that these alternatives are now cheaper to run than fossil fuels such as coal.

Michael Mann, a climate scientist and signatory to Fox’s letter, said the film includes “various distortions, half-truths and lies” and that the filmmakers “have done a grave disservice to us and the planet by promoting climate change inactivist tropes and talking points.” The film’s makers did not respond to questions over whether it will be pulled down.

Planet of the Humans has been shown at Moore’s Traverse City film festival, where the producer said it was “perhaps the most urgent film we’ve shown in the 15-year history of our film festival”. Jeff Gibbs, who wrote and directed the film, has suggested that unrestrained economic and population growth should be the target of environmentalists’ efforts rather than technological

Climate activist Bill McKibben, one of the targets for the film for allegedly being influenced by corporate money and for supporting the burning of biomass such as wood chips for energy, said the characterisations are untrue. McKibben has previously changed his views on biomass energy, which he now sees as being detrimental to climate action, and claims he has “never taken a penny in pay” from any environmental group.

“I am used to ceaseless harassment and attack from the fossil fuel industry, and I’ve done my best to ignore a lifetime of death threats from rightwing extremists,” McKibben said. “It does hurt more to be attacked by others who think of themselves as environmentalists.”

…(read more).

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Michael Moore Presents: Planet of the Humans | Full Documentary | Directed by Jeff Gibbs

Michael Moore

Apr 21, 2020

Michael Moore presents Planet of the Humans, a documentary that dares to say what no one else will this Earth Day — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the environmental movement’s answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. It’s too little, too late.

Removed from the debate is the only thing that MIGHT save us: getting a grip on our out-of-control human presence and consumption. Why is this not THE issue? Because that would be bad for profits, bad for business. Have we environmentalists fallen for illusions, “green” illusions, that are anything but green, because we’re scared that this is the end—and we’ve pinned all our hopes on biomass, wind turbines, and electric cars?

No amount of batteries are going to save us, warns director Jeff Gibbs (lifelong environmentalist and co-producer of “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Bowling for Columbine”). This urgent, must-see movie, a full-frontal assault on our sacred cows, is guaranteed to generate anger, debate, and, hopefully, a willingness to see our survival in a new way—before it’s too late.

Featuring: Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Richard Branson, Robert F Kennedy Jr., Michael Bloomberg, Van Jones, Vinod Khosla, Koch Brothers, Vandana Shiva, General Motors, 350.org, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Nature Conservancy, Elon Musk, Tesla.

Music by: Radiohead, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Blank & Jones, If These Trees Could Talk, Valentina Lisitsa, Culprit 1, Patrick O’hearn, The Torquays, Nigel Stanford, and many more.

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Website: https://planetofthehumans.com/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/PlanetoftheH

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Website: https://planetofthehumans.com/
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Why “Planet of the Humans” is crap – EcoEquity

April 23, 2020 by Tom Athanasiou

Why “Planet of the Humans” is crap

Mostly, Planet of the Humans is just so fucking bad. So bad that its good points are useless. It does have some good points – there seem to be a lot of rock festivals in Vermont that claim, incorrectly, to be running on solar. They totally deserve ridicule. But you would never recommend this film to anyone. You’d be carrying water for the fossils if you did. So it’s a failure on its own terms, since it wants, or pretends to want, to bring the truth about renewables to the green movement. And it may even, judging from the ending, where both Bill McKibben and the Sierra Club are said to clarify their positions, make us a bit more careful about our tactical alliances. But boy oh boy does this guy—Jeff Gibbs is his name—know less than he thinks.

It’s too bad, because his central complaint, that the environmental movement is looking to green tech to save us, and believing quite a bit of nonsense in the process, is pretty legit, though it’s less legit every year, and you wouldn’t know it from this film. Anyway, this kind of techno-optimism is and has always been a huge mistake, and it throws us to the mercies of the snake-oil salesman and, in general, to the corruptions of capitalist realism. This is an excellent point, and it could have been made well. Gibbs could have built a good bit of teaching around it. But instead he threw so many cheap shots and so much old news into the bucket that it ruined, and I mean *ruined*, the mix. The truth is that he doesn’t have the slightest idea about how to make his critique in a helpful way.

Once you get beyond the pro-solar rock-concert bullshit, Gibbs’ rap against renewables is embarrassingly wrong. Not all of it, but most of it. Moreover, it is fantastically dated. He seems to not even know that the net-energy analysis of renewable energy systems is a thing. Which is odd, because Richard Heinberg is an expert in this field, and Gibbs embeds him at the center of his narrative. Heinberg, alas, has long been pessimistic about the potential for renewables to produce net energy on the scale we’ll need, and here he says that “we’re getting, in some cases, no energy from these potential options,” which is just what Gibbs wanted. *

…(read more).

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Smart Growth Online

Smart growth is development that supports economic growth, strong communities and environmental health.

“Smart growth” covers a range of development and conservation strategies that help protect our health and natural environment and make our communities more attractive, economically stronger, and more socially diverse.

Development decisions affect many of the things that touch people’s everyday lives — their homes, their health, the schools their children attend, the taxes they pay, their daily commute, the natural environment around them, economic growth in their community, and opportunities to achieve their dreams and goals. What, where, and how communities build will affect their residents’ lives for generations to come.

Communities of all sizes across the country are using creative strategies to develop in ways that preserve natural lands and critical environmental areas, protect water and air quality, and reuse already-developed land.

  • They conserve resources by reinvesting in existing infrastructure and rehabilitating historic buildings.
  • They design neighborhoods that have homes near shops, offices, schools, houses of worship, parks, and other amenities, giving residents and visitors the option of walking, bicycling, taking public transportation, or driving as they go about their business.
  • They provide a range of different housing types to make it possible for senior citizens to stay in their neighborhoods as they age, young people to afford their first home, and families at all stages in between to find a safe, attractive home they can afford.
  • They enhance neighborhoods and involve residents in development decisions, creating vibrant places to live, work and play.

The high quality of life makes these communities economically competitive, creates business opportunities, and strengthens the local tax base.

Based on the experience of communities around the nation that have used smart growth approaches to create and maintain great neighborhoods, the Smart Growth Network developed a set of 10 basic principles to guide smart growth strategies:

  • Mix land uses.
  • Take advantage of compact building design.
  • Create a range of housing opportunities and choices.
  • Create walkable neighborhoods.
  • Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place.
  • Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, and critical environmental areas.
  • Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities.
  • Provide a variety of transportation choices.
  • Make development decisions predictable, fair, and cost effective.
  • Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration in development decisions.

Life After Carbon: The Next Global Transformation of Cities: Peter Plastrik & John Cleveland

 

The future of our cities is not what it used to be. The modern-city model that took hold globally in the twentieth century has outlived its usefulness. It cannot solve the problems it helped to create—especially global warming. Fortunately, a new model for urban development is emerging in cities to aggressively tackle the realities of climate change. It transforms the way cities design and use physical space, generate economic wealth, consume and dispose of resources, exploit and sustain the natural ecosystems, and prepare for the future.

In Life After Carbon, urban sustainability consultants Pete Plastrik and John Cleveland assemble this global pattern of urban reinvention from the stories of 25 “innovation lab” cities across the globe—from Copenhagen to Melbourne. A city innovation lab is the entire city—the complex, messy, real urban world where innovations must work. It is a city in which government, business, and community leaders take to heart the challenge of climate change and converge on the radical changes that are necessary. They free downtowns from cars, turn buildings into renewable-energy power plants, re-nature entire neighborhoods, incubate growing numbers of clean-energy and smart-tech companies, convert waste to energy, and much more. Plastrik and Cleveland show that four transformational ideas are driving urban climate innovation around the world, in practice, not just in theory: carbon-free advantage, efficient abundance, nature’s benefits, and adaptive futures. And these ideas are thriving in markets, professions, consumer trends, community movements, and “higher” levels of government that enable cities.

Life After Carbon presents the new ideas that are replacing the pillars of the modern-city model, converting climate disaster into urban opportunity, and shaping the next transformation of cities worldwide. It will inspire anyone who cares about the future of our cities, and help them to map a sustainable path forward.

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