This Year’s May Day Protests Aren’t Just About Labor – BRANDON E. PATTERSON APR. 30, 2017 6:00 AM


Activists of all stripes are teaming up to resist Trump’s policies.

Following the election of Donald Trump, groups affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement set out to expand their focus beyond criminal justice issues and build partnerships with outside advocacy groups. May Day will be the first big test. On May 1, International Workers’ Day, a coalition of nearly 40 advocacy groups, is holding actions across the nation related to workers’ rights, police brutality and incarceration, immigrants’ rights, environmental justice, indigenous sovereignty, and LGBT issues—and more broadly railing against a Trump agenda organizers say puts them all at risk.

“We understand that it’s going to take all of our movements in order to fight and win right now.”

This massive effort, dubbed Beyond the Movement, is led by a collective of racial-justice groups known as the Movement for Black Lives. Monday’s actions will include protests, marches, and strikes in more than 50 cities, adding to the efforts of the labor organizers who are leading the usual May Day protests.

Beyond the Moment kicked off officially on April 4, the 49th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech. In that speech, delivered in New York City in 1967, King addressed what he saw as the connection between the war in Vietnam and the racial and economic oppression of black Americans. Both, King argued, were driven by materialism, racism, and militarization—and he called upon the era’s diverse social movements to work together to resist them. (Exactly one year later, King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, where he’d traveled to meet with black sanitation workers organizing for higher wages and better conditions.)

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How US negotiators ensured landmark Paris climate deal was Republican-proof | US news | The Guardian


White House officials at COP 21 helped craft a deal congressional Republicans would not be able to stop – and the effort required major political capital

Source: How US negotiators ensured landmark Paris climate deal was Republican-proof | US news | The Guardian

Environmental groups demand inquiry after Exxon ‘misled public’ on climate | Business | The Guardian


In call for attorney general to investigate, top activists say company acted deceptively despite knowing about climate change ‘as early as the 1970s’

Source: Environmental groups demand inquiry after Exxon ‘misled public’ on climate | Business | The Guardian

What everyone gets wrong about the link between climate change and violence – Updated by Brad Plumer on November 15, 2015, 10:20 a.m. ET


During the Democratic presidential debate on Saturday night, CBS moderator John Dickerson brought up the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and then asked Bernie Sanders if he still believes climate change is our greatest national security threat. (Sanders had said as much in a previous debate.)

(John Cantlie/AFP/Getty Images)

During the Democratic presidential debate on Saturday night, CBS moderator John Dickerson brought up the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and then asked Bernie Sanders if he still believes climate change is our greatest national security threat. (Sanders had said as much in a previous debate.)

Sanders didn‘t back down:

Absolutely. In fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism. And if we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say, you’re going to see countries all over the world — this is what the CIA says — they’re going to be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops, and you’re going to see all kinds of international conflict.

Much snickering ensued on Twitter, especially over that bolded sentence, with the prevailing sentiment that Sanders’ argument was self-evidently silly.

I’d say Sanders’ reply was a little off-base — but the outraged reaction was absurd. The truth about climate change and conflict is far more complex and nuanced than a short soundbite can allow, but it’s foolish to dismiss the entire topic out of hand.

Sanders was going too far when he said that climate change is “directly related” to the growth of terrorism. It’s hard to find any climate or security experts who would make that strong or straightforward of a causal link.

But it’s fine to raise the broader issue. What experts will often say — and what the Pentagon has been saying — is that global warming has the potential to aggravate existing tensions and security problems, by, for instance, making droughts or water shortages more likely in some regions. That doesn’t mean war or terrorism will be inevitable in a hotter world. Climate will typically be just one of many factors involved. Still, climate change could increase the risk of violence, which is why many military officials now take it seriously.

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http://www.vox.com/2015/11/15/9738342/climate-change-conflict-terrorism

NASA Tracks Global Carbon Dioxide – By Brian Kahn and Climate Central | November 13, 2015


The space agency is trying to balance the planet’s carbon budget using satellite monitoring

Carbon dioxide, or CO2 for short. It’s simple gas that makes up a small part of our planet’s atmosphere. And yet it’s at the root of one of the biggest problems of the 21st century (that would be climate change, for the record).

Carbon dioxide is a simple gas that makes up a small part of our planet’s atmosphere. ©iStock.com

Carbon dioxide is a simple gas that makes up a small part of our planet’s atmosphere.
©iStock.com

NASA scientists have been keeping an eye on the movement of CO2 across land, air and sea in an effort to zero in on the changes in store for our planet.

CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are the highest they’ve been in 400,000 years. Despite the commitments to try and rein in carbon pollution, there’s still little sign human emissions will slow anytime in the near future, let alone drop to zero.

That has the world on track to cross the symbolic atmospheric CO2 threshold of 400 parts per million (ppm) permanently this year or early next year. And it also means that the climate will continue to change leading to warmer temperatures, higher and more acidic oceans, and shifts in extreme weather.

Yet CO2 and corresponding impacts would be a lot higher if it weren’t for plants, like giant sequoias to microscopic plankton, that absorb about half of all human CO2emissions in a given year. That’s why NASA is interested in monitoring the world’s greenery or what they’ve termed the “other half” of the carbon equation.

CO2 from wood burning and urban sources.
Credit: NASA

Factors such as El Niño, drought and warm weather in the Arctic all affect how much CO2 is taken up by the natural world. Scientists are beginning to understand those, but what they’re even more curious about is how human-influenced warming could further change plants’ ability to absorb CO2.

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http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nasa-tracks-global-carbon-dioxide/

 

What California wildlife tells us about ‘Godzilla’ El Niño – November 10, 2015


 

 

While California communities await the worst, El Niño is already taking a toll on local wildlife

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at Nov 15, 2015 2.29

As West Coast communities brace for what many are calling “Godzilla” El Niño, scientists are looking beneath the waves to learn more about the upcoming storm season. And if this year’s wildlife anomalies are any indication, this El Niño could be the strongest in decades. In this America Tonight excerpt, Joie Chen looks at what could be the strongest El Niño on record.

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/2015/11/what-california-wildlife-tells-us-about-godzilla-el-nio.html

VICE News Wants To Hear From You About Climate Change – Vice News Published on Nov 13, 2015


Ninety-seven percent of qualified scientists say that the earth is getting hotter and human activity is to blame. Data shows that the global mean temperature is now 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. If humanity continues this course, we can expect more frequent and more intense extreme weather events, rising seas, and an unprecedented impact on humanity.

World leaders will be meeting in Paris later this month to try to come up with a international climate agreement. While the overwhelming majority of the world’s economies have laid out plans to cut their carbon emissions, they’re still short of the goal the United Nations has set for holding the line on global warming.

Ahead of the conference, VICE News wants to hear your thoughts on climate change.
-What do you think should be done to address climate change?
-What changes can individuals make to make a difference? How do you think individual actions can make a difference?
-What message do you want to send to world leaders?

Send us a Skype video message with your thoughts. Here’s how: http://bit.ly/1Nvt08k

Climate Change Is Throwing Ocean Food Webs Out of Whack – CHELSEA LEU. 11.12.15. 2:00 PM


For a whole month this year, the world’s atmosphere contained more than 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide, on average. That’s more CO2 than the atmosphere has seen for hundreds of thousands of years, and those levels just keep going up.

All that carbon in the atmosphere means hotter global temperatures and more severe weather, of course. But scientists have less of an idea of what climate change will do to the ocean—a complex, difficult-to-study realm that’s due for huge chemical and ecological shifts. And that’s worrying, because the oceans are also a big carbon sink and the source of sustenance for most life on Earth.

Some changes are pretty certain, says Charlie Stock, a climate modeler at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab. The ocean of the future will be warmer than it is today. And its structure will also be different—less-dense warm water will stack on top of a layer of cold water, with less mixing between the two. “Ocean productivity is basically bringing together nutrients and light,” Stock says. Deeper water has more nutrients; the surface gets more light. If less often the twain shall meet, overall productivity could go down.

And a warming ocean jumbles up where animals can survive. Fish tend to follow the water that’s just the right temperature for them, so eventually, Stock says, tropical fish could end up in normally temperate waters. Some species’ habitats will get squeezed—especially animals adapted to very specific conditions at the poles. And critters at the equator have to deal with ocean temperatures that are warmer than they’re used to.

Article continues:

http://www.wired.com/2015/11/how-climate-change-is-affecting-the-worlds-oceans/

 

World only half way to meeting emissions target with current pledges – Fiona Harvey, a Friday 6 November 2015 03.30 EST


Governments will need to increase efforts to limit carbon emissions in order to stop climate change, says UN report ahead of Paris summit

Open cast coal mine

Current global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions leave about half of the reductions needed still to be found, according to a new analysis by the UN.

The report suggests that governments will have to go much further in their pledges to limit future carbon dioxide emissions, which have been submitted to the UN ahead of the crunch conference on climate change taking place this December in Paris.

Ways for governments to ramp up their commitments in future are one of the key components of the Paris talks.

The UN Environment Programme (Unep) published a report showing that global emissions levels should not exceed 48 gigatonnes (GT) of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2025, and 42 GT in 2030, if the world is to have a good chance of holding global warming to no more than 2C on average above pre-industrial temperatures. The 2C threshold is regarded by scientists as the limit of safety, beyond which the ravages of climate change – such as droughts, floods, heatwaves and sea level rises – are likely to become catastrophic and irreversible.

But current pledges, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), are likely to lead to emissions of 53 to 58 GT of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2025, and between 54 and 59 GT in 2030.

This means that emissions in 2030 are likely to be about 11GT lower than they would have been without the INDCs. But, according to Unep, they need to be about 12GT lower than that to give the world a two-thirds chance of avoiding more than 2C of warming. This leaves a large “emissions gap” to be made up.

Article continues:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/06/world-only-half-way-meeting-emissions-target-with-current-pledges