Tag Archives: Climate change denial

This Changes Everything – The Film

Repost from thefilm.thischangeseverything.org
[Editor:  This excellent film was shown nearby recently.  You can find out where it is showing now, or arrange to have it shown in your community here.    Check out the TRAILER and read more below!  – RS]

This Changes Everything

What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?

“Purposely unsettling… Ultimately encouraging”
Variety Magazine

“Genuinely moving”
-Entertainment Weekly

“The realization that a solution is possible, well, that changes everything”
– Globe & Mail

“Klein and Lewis paint a picture of a post-fossil-fueled, post-capitalist future that seems not only within reach, but like a place where we actually want to live”
– YES Magazine

“Klein and those impassioned protesters provide something that has been in short supply in the predecessors — namely, a modicum of hope for the future”
– LA Times

What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?

Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.

Over the course of 90 minutes, viewers will meet…

Crystal, a young indigenous leader in Tar Sands country, as she fights for access to a restricted military base in search of answers about an environmental disaster in progress.

Mike and Alexis, a Montana goat ranching couple who see their dreams coated in oil from a broken pipeline. They respond by organizing against fossil fuel extraction in their beloved Powder River Basin, and forming a new alliance with the Northern Cheyenne tribe to bring solar power to the nearby reservation.

Melachrini, a housewife in Northern Greece where economic crisis is being used to justify mining and drilling projects that threaten the mountains, seas, and tourism economy. Against the backdrop of Greece in crisis, a powerful social movement rises.

Jyothi, a matriarch in Andhra Pradesh, India who sings sweetly and battles fiercely along with her fellow villagers, fighting a proposed coal-fired power plant that will destroy a life-giving wetland. In the course of this struggle, they help ignite a nationwide movement.

The extraordinary detail and richness of the cinematography in This Changes Everything provides an epic canvas for this exploration of the greatest challenge of our time. Unlike many works about the climate crisis, this is not a film that tries to scare the audience into action: it aims to empower. Provocative, compelling, and accessible to even the most climate-fatigued viewers, This Changes Everything will leave you refreshed and inspired, reflecting on the ties between us, the kind of lives we really want, and why the climate crisis is at the centre of it all.

Will this film change everything? Absolutely not. But you could, by answering its call to action.

 

U.S. Senators introduce “Keep It In the Ground Act”

Repost from the Independent Journal

Bernie Sanders Announces Plan to Strangle the Booming Fossil Fuel Industry in America

By Michael Hausam, November 5, 2015
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, center, and Sen. Jeff Merkley (l) announce new climate legislation, Nov. 4, 2015, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Photo: AP)

The just-introduced “Keep It In the Ground Act,” co-sponsored by Bernie Sanders, would halt new oil and gas exploration on federal lands and offshore waters. It also would terminate any existing leases that aren’t currently producing.

The bill is also sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

In an announcement at the Capitol in D.C., Sanders said that the end result of the legislation would be to make sure that:

“over 90 percent of the potential carbon emissions from oil, gas and coal on our federal lands and federal waters (would stay) underground forever.”

The motivation for the bill is to combat climate change. In Sanders’ statement at the rally, he took a shot at his Republican opponents, whom he characterized as deniers:

“But somehow — somehow! — when it comes to climate change there are massive attacks on scientists who tell us the truth about climate change. Worry less about your campaign contributions, worry more about your children and grandchildren. The debate is over.”

Of course, this bill only addresses the supply side of fossil fuels and does nothing about addressing the demand for oil and gas – other than via necessarily driving up the costs of gasoline, electricity, and others that depend on their availability.

Stopping the availability of using federal lands for fossil fuels is a key priority for the anti-fossil fuels movement.

With roughly half of the remaining unexploited fossil fuels in the U.S. being on those lands, according to Grist, the jobs and fuels from this battle will make a huge difference for groups warning about global warming, as well as people who care about cheap fuel for economic growth and prosperity.

 

Governor Jerry Brown ties ruinous fires to climate change

Repost from the San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate)

Governor ties ruinous fires to climate change

By C.W. Nevius and Peter Fimrite , August 6, 2015 12:54 PM
Gov. Jerry Brown is flanked by firefighters in Lake County as he addresses reporters, warning that “California is burning.” Leah Millis / The Chronicle

CLEARLAKE, Lake County — The imminent danger from the devastating Rocky Fire in Lake County diminished Thursday and hundreds of residents began to return to their evacuated homes, but Gov. Jerry Brown made clear in a visit to the area that California is still in danger.

Brown traveled to the scorched hillside at Cowboy Camp, just off fire-ravaged Highway 20, and, as helicopters circled nearby, said the fire illustrates that climate change is both real and destructive.

“California is burning,” he said. “What the hell are you going to do about it?

“This is a wake-up call. We have to start coming to our senses. This is not a game of politics. We need to limit our carbon pollution. These are real lives and real people. This problem cannot be solved year by year.”

Nearly 3,600 firefighters have been fighting the fire, which was 45 percent contained Thursday and had burned 69,600 acres. Full containment is expected by late next week, but the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection began letting roughly 800 of the more than 1,400 people who had been evacuated back into their homes.

Evacuation orders were lifted in the Wilbur Springs area on the northeastern side of the fire, off Highway 20. Only residents with identification will be allowed access to Wilbur Springs Road, near the border between Lake and Colusa counties, Cal Fire officials said. Residents on the south side of the fire, east of Highway 29 to West Jerusalem Valley Road, were also allowed to return home, officials said.

Still more evacuees, forced from their homes in the Spring Valley area, would probably be allowed back Friday morning, officials said.

Closures continue

Highways 16 and 20 remained closed Thursday except for a small portion of Highway 20 at Wilbur Springs, which is accessible only coming from the east off Interstate 5, officials said.

“Weather conditions across California are significantly improved compared to last week,” said Daniel Berlant, Cal Fire spokesman, who warned that the relief could be just a temporary phenomenon. He said weather forecasters are “expecting changing weather conditions over the next couple of days, with thunder systems moving in across Northern California.”

Red-flag warnings have been issued for dry lightning and gusting winds over the next couple of days, he said.

Brown received a briefing from officials overseeing the blaze, which has been burning for more than a week in Lake County and has spread to Yolo and Colusa counties. Forty-three homes have been destroyed and thousands of others threatened, and hundreds of local residents remained evacuated from their homes Thursday, according to Cal Fire.

While veteran firefighters said their efforts were business as usual, many stressed that this year’s blazes are out of the norm. The persistent drought, extremely hot weather and blustery winds all have the feel of something new and more dangerous.

Governor’s warning

“We are now in an extreme weather event,” Brown cautioned. “This is not the way these fires usually behave. If it continues year after year, California can literally burn up.”

Brown said he had talked to a resident who said he not only lost his home but also would find it difficult to rebuild because he had no insurance. Apparently, that’s not unusual. Insurance carriers sometimes decline to cover property in the steep, wooded canyons in the area.

The Rocky Fire is so pervasive that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District warned Thursday that smoke from the wildfires might impact areas in Marin, Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties. Air quality, however, is expected to be in the “good” or “low moderate” categories and is not expected to exceed air quality health standards.

Although climate change can be a hot-button political issue, Brown continues to use the California fires as an object lesson for climate change deniers. This isn’t theory, he said, gesturing to the moonscape scene behind him.

“This is credible enough to change some minds,” he said.

Mark Repetto, a firefighter from Sacramento’s Metro Fire Department, said the fire was a perfect storm of the worst conditions.

“Hot, dry and windy,” Repetto said. “Today is a little cooler, which means the humidity is higher. Monday the humidity was in the teens. That and hot weather pre-heat the fuel. It’s already hot before the fire gets there.”

Surge still possible

Although fire officials predict the Rocky Fire will be fully contained by next week, another hot, windy, low-humidity day could easily spark another fiery surge. Along Highway 20, hot spots still sent up plumes of smoke.

Brown said the worst is yet to come.

“We have people acting like (if the Rocky Fire is contained) it’s the end,” he said. “Unfortunately, we know that historically August and September are worse than July. So fasten your seat belt.”

Over the weekend, Cal Fire reported more than 100 dry-lightning-sparked fires in remote reaches of Northern California. In Humboldt County alone, 75 blazes have burned more than 4,000 acres since July 31, with just 35 percent containment reported Thursday.

The cause of the Rocky Fire has not been determined. Fire officials fear lightning could prompt additional lands to burn and complicate the suppression effort.

Conditions around California are ripe for a lightning fire after four dry years, said Daniel Swain, a Stanford University researcher studying climate.

“Things will ignite even if they get a little water from the storm,” Swain said. “This is a concern over the next 48 hours.”

San Francisco Chronicle staff writers Hamed Aleaziz and Kurtis Alexander contributed to this report.  C.W. Nevius and Peter Fimrite are San Francisco Chronicle staff writers.

As California pumps out oil, Gov. Brown says world must cut back

Repost from The San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate)
[Editor:  The San Francisco Chronicle ran three (!) stories on the Vatican Conference on climate change, including two rather stiff challenges to California Governor Jerry Brown.  See below for one.  See also: Editorial-A climate pilgrimage, …and Mayor touts city’s green vehicles at pope’s event.  – RS]

As California pumps out oil, Gov. Brown says world must cut back

By David R. Baker, July 21, 2015 4:02 pm
Gov. Jerry Brown delivers his speech during the conference at the Vatican. Photo: Gregorio Borgia, Associated Press
Gov. Jerry Brown delivers his speech during the conference at the Vatican. Photo: Gregorio Borgia, Associated Press (1st of 10 images – click for more).

One-third of the world’s oil must stay in the ground if humanity hopes to avoid the worst effects of global warming, Gov. Jerry Brown told a climate conference at the Vatican Tuesday.

“We are going to have to set a clear goal,” Brown told a crowd of mayors and public officials from around the world. “And that goal is almost unimaginable. One-third of the oil that we know exists as reserves can never be taken out of the ground. Fifty percent of the gas can never be used and over 90 percent of the coal. Now, that is a revolution.”

For an American politician of Brown’s stature, it was a rare statement. Even those who acknowledge the threat of climate change prefer not to address the idea that tapping all of the world’s known fossil fuel reserves would trigger catastrophic levels of warming, a notion widely embraced in the environmental movement.

But Brown’s comment was particularly noteworthy for another reason.

California, for all its efforts to fight climate change, remains America’s third-largest oil producing state, out-pumped only by Texas and North Dakota. And while Brown wants to cut California’s use of oil by 50 percent in the next 15 years, he has generally supported oil production within the state’s borders.

Brown has for years refused to ban hydraulic fracturing, preferring to regulate it instead. He has argued that finding a way to tap the oil trapped within California’s Monterey Shale formation could produce an economic boom for the state. His stance has infuriated many environmentalists, even as they laud his efforts to boost renewable power and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

So Brown’s comments, at the Vatican global symposium on climate change and modern slavery, raised a few eyebrows back home.

“We agree, fossil fuels need to stay in the ground,” said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the environmental groups pushing for a fracking ban. “That’s why Gov. Brown can’t be a climate leader and expand fossil fuel production in his own state. Climate leaders do not frack.”

Brown urged the gathered mayors to push for climate action within their own countries, saying they needed to “light a fire” under their national leaders. And he took aim at opponents of such action, saying they were “bamboozling” the public with a well-financed disinformation campaign.

“We have very powerful opposition that, in at least my country, spends billions on trying to keep from office people such as yourselves and elect troglodytes and other deniers of the obvious science,” Brown said.