Fifty years ago, on April 22, 1970, people around the world marked the first Earth Day. Thousands gathered to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our beautiful planet for future generations.
This has been the hottest decade on record and last year was the second hottest ever. Since the bushfire season began in November, fires in Australia have killed 25 people, wiped out over a billion animals, and blanketed cities across the country with historic levels of air pollution. Floods in Indonesia have killed more than 66 people and displaced 400,000 more. These are among the countless signals of climate change — the crisis is here.
Now is our time to come together and be unified in our demand for change. On September 20, 2019, over 650,000 people across the United States, and 7 million worldwide, participated in the largest youth-led climate mobilization the world has ever seen.
However, marching and striking for a day is just a start. It’s now time to take it to the next level and sustain this momentum over time. Indigenous youth and youth of color, who are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis, have claimed their rightful seat at the table. We are uniting all youth and adults across nations and movements. We call upon everyone — every single one of you — to join us as we strike for climate justice on Earth Day.
Indigenous elders and leaders have issued warnings for decades. They told of a time when the black snake would rise, and that time has come. Scientists agree that the climate crisis is no longer a future dystopian threat. It’s happening before our eyes, and it’s going to get worse. If no action is taken, the fires will become more frequent, the floods more deadly, and the heat waves more extreme. More lives will be lost and more homes will be destroyed.
It’s not too late to turn things around. Solutions exist. All we need now is the will. We must make the choice, each of us, to join the growing movement and protect our lives while at the same time fighting for everyone — no matter what the color of their skin, where they were born, or their economic standing — to have fresh and healthy food at our tables; clean, safe drinking water running from the taps; and access to a good, meaningful job.
The 2020 strikes will begin on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Fifty years ago, 20 million people took to the streets on April 22 to demand a cleaner, healthier environment. This historic day of action led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passing of many laws to safeguard clean air and water, and protect the natural world.
Wednesday, April 22nd, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, will be the launch of one of the most powerful civic actions for environmental protection in our history. It will provide an opportunity to listen to Indigenous peoples’ wisdom, reflect on our connections to this earth, and serve as an invitation for everyone to make the decision to join us and commit to making climate change action a top priority. It will kick off three days of mass actions, including rallies, marches, strikes, teach-ins, and protests.
Thursday, April 23, will be a day focused on community action. College students at dozens of campuses across the country will be calling on their colleges to stop profiting off of the destruction of our land and climate and to divest from fossil fuels. Adults will be targeting their place of work as well as demanding that our everyday institutions — like Wells Fargo, Chase Bank, Liberty Mutual, and other banks and businesses — take money out of fossil fuels. This is the day that we must reach out to everyone we know and ask them to step up with us.
Finally, on Friday, April 24, we as a country will demonstrate our unity through mass mobilization. This is the day we strike. Led by young people, we are calling on everyone who can to strike from school or work, and take to the streets. We are united in our demands for immediate action to address this existential threat of climate change. This is our time to stand together and use our collective voice to demand action.
This decade may be our final chance to turn things around. As we approach critical elections here in the US, the climate and how it will impact our future must be at the top of every voter’s mind. This is why we are striking for three days. Come November, we need to see a record turnout of young people at the polls, and the Earth Day Strikes will kick off the countdown.
From April 22nd to April 24th, we need all hands on deck to send a message that we refuse to go to school and work while inaction, fueled by greed and profit, threatens our planet. We need everyone — young, old, and in between — to join us.
The three days of action are an open invitation to anyone who believes our generation, and all generations that come after us, deserve a future safe from climate catastrophe.
The time to act is now. This must be the decade of climate action, and this must be the year it begins. We hope you consider this your invitation to join the movement to save our lives, and add your name to Strike With Us.
Read the full Commentary together with the many signers at:
Last September in 2019, hundreds of thousands of students across the United States, and 7 million worldwide, walked out of schools across the world and took to the streets, to demand urgent action to address the climate crisis.
7 Million World Youth &
11,000 Scientists Declare Climate Emergency
Thousands of activists also protested at three coal mines in eastern Germany. BERLIN: PICTURE ALLIANCE / GETTY IMAGES
Climate Action Now! Future Generations Depend On It
Our children face a terrifying future. Greenhouse gases continue to pour into earth's slim life-giving atmosphere. Now at 415 PPM, the highest level in millions of years, still soaring towards 450 PPM and beyond. Dire predictions that earth’s surface temperature will be unlivable by 2100 obscure the reality that deadly heat waves, droughts, fires, melting polar icecaps, rising sea levels, tornadoes, typhoons, hurricanes, super-storms, floods, and mudslides around the world, are rendering many areas unlivable today.
No relief is in sight on our present trajectory of reliance on fossil fuels for energy. The increasing frequency and intensity of catastrophic weather conditions is accelerating.
Looking to the future, young people around the world who will inherit the earth clearly see the urgent need to take climate action, and the suicidal existential consequences of inaction.
It's time to mobilize decisive action!
Photo: 350 EECCA Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: Organisers in Kiev were thrilled to report their strike was the largest climate mobilization yet. The first of three consecutive strike days kicked off in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi with others planned across the region.
In more than 150 countries around the globe, youths are taking to the streets as part of the Global Climate Strike with the aim of getting leaders around the world to take more aggressive action against climate change. Around the world, over 7 million people went on Climate Strike, shattering previous records in turnout numbers, and telling elected officials and world leaders that we need swift climate action now.
BIG OPENING FRIDAY, 20 SEPTEMBER 2019: The total number of strikes in Germany topped 500 — with over 270,000 strikers in Berlin. Turnout was in the millions today. 1.4 million strikers in Germany alone! Many more strikers in countries including Italy, Portugal, and the Netherlands held their main strikes on Friday, 27 September.
Millions of youth rallied across India, Germany, Austria, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, the U.K. and U.S., in all over 150 nations, with more than 800 strikes planned in the United States.
"This is the biggest day of climate action in planetary history," said 350.org founder Bill McKibben on Friday as images and videos began to pour in from around the world:
Wellington, New Zealand
From 20th to 27th of September, over 7.6 Million People Demanded Climate Action:
1.5 million people took to the streets in Italy, 1.4 million in Germany,
800,000 in Canada, over 500,000 in the United States, 500,000 in Spain, over 350,000 in Australia and over 350,000 in the United Kingdom,
195,000 in France, 170,000 in New Zealand, 150,000 in Austria,
over 100,000 in Chile, another 100,000 in Switzerland, 50,000 in Ireland,
70,000 in Sweden, 42,000 in the Netherlands, 20,000 in Brazil,
21,000 in Finland, 15,000 in Peru, 13,000 in Mexico, 13,000 in India,
10,000 in Denmark, 10,500 in Argentina, 10,000 in Turkey, 10,000 in Pakistan,
6,000 in Hungary, 5,000 in South Korea, 5,000 in Japan, 5,000 in South Africa,
3,000 in the Pacific, 2,500 in Ecuador, 2,000 in Singapore and much more, since many locations are still striking and the final count was not yet confirmed.
The school strike movement began with Greta Thunberg, who began sitting alone outside Sweden’s parliament building every Friday back in August 2018. 15 months later, her solo strike was joined by millions. Greta joined strikers in New York, where she delivered a passionate speech to world leaders at the U.N. Climate Action Summit condemning their inaction, reminding them of their responsibility in creating the crisis, and demanding action at emergency speed on behalf of her generation.
Greta Thunberg tells world leaders In New York, ‘You are failing us!’, as nations announce new
Greta Thunberg spoke directly to dozens of Heads of State and Government, business leaders, and senior representatives from civil society from around the world. “You are failing us! The eyes of all future generations are upon you."
The build-up to the Summit has included the latest U.N. report of catastrophic global warming and massive demonstrations for climate action.
Launching the Summit, the U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres demanded that world leaders come to New York with “bold action and much greater ambition. We have had enough talk."
“This is not a climate negotiation summit. You don’t negotiate with nature.
With record-breaking turnouts in Melbourne and Sydney, over 400,000 people turned up across the country. In Sydney, major roads in the city center were shut down. About 380 ship dock workers walked off the job in Hutchinson Port, according to the Maritime Workers Union.
Lima - Peru
People's Climate March - Lima, Peru - Over 15,000 Call For Action in the Biggest March in Peru in 20 Years Photos: Christian Clément / Oxfam
More than 7 million people participated in the Global Climate Strike. The Climate Strike actions were locally organized in cities throughout the world as part of the largest climate action in history. They were the result of months of organizing by thousands of local groups, many led by young people of color and indigenous leaders. More than 4,500 strikes were planned worldwide, organized by The Climate Strike Coalition, in advance of the United Nations Climate Action Summit, September 21-23.
James Hansen, the former NASA scientist who helped raised the alarm about climate change, said both 1.5C and 2C would take humanity into uncharted and dangerous territory because they were both well above the Holocene-era range in which human civilisation developed. But he said there was a huge difference between the two: “1.5C gives young people and the next generation a fighting chance of getting back to the Holocene or close to it. That is probably necessary if we want to keep shorelines where they are and preserve our coastal cities.”
USA: New York City kicked things off strong in the Western Hemisphere with a whopping 300,000 strikers marching downtown. They ended the day with a huge rally at Battery Park, where youth activists from around the world took the stand — from Artemisa Xakriabá of Guardians of the Forest in the Amazon to Greta Thunberg of Sweden.
The strikers are calling for immediate action from the world’s governments to halt global warming, reduce fossil fuel consumption and avert environmental catastrophe.
New York City turned out in force with 300,000 strikers on the streets.
DEMOCRACY NOW: Voices from some of the hundreds of actions happening around the world as part of today’s Global Youth Climate Strike. One of the flagship protests is in New York City, just days ahead of Monday’s United Nations Climate Action Summit taking place here as part of its U.N. General Assembly meeting.
Puerto Rico, USA
New York’s strike was held jointly with a Puerto Rico Day of Action; Friday, 27 September 2019 marked the second anniversary of Hurricane Maria, which experts estimate killed at least 2,975 people on the island.
Swedish youth climate activist Greta Thunberg, center in blue, joins other young climate activists Friday for a climate strike outside the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. She spoke at the UN Summit on Monday. Susan Walsh—AP https://time.com/5677409/greta-thunberg-protest-white-house/
Greta Thunberg also addressed the massive protest in New York City, where public school students were allowed to attend as long as they have a permission slip. Democracy Now! was on the streets with them. Tens of thousands of people turned out for the strikes with climate group 350.org estimating that as many as 300,000 attended.
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."
-- Native American Proverb
The collective power of youth and climate activists is incredible but our work is just beginning. Across the US, there are many more actions planned to build on our momentum. If you're not signed up for regular global updates yet, subscribe to Fossil Free News.
Vanuatu - Oceania
Vanuatu, Oceania. Photo: Dan McGarry
Sunrise over the Pacific: The Solomon Islands kicked off the day, with protestors rowing to shore in Marovo to perform a traditional warrior dance. “We stand in solidarity with the global community of strikers by sharing our frontline truths in a way that resonates with Pacific Island people — through music, folklore, art, and storytelling.” Over 30 events rolled on across the Pacific.
"We have no choice but to act when the alternative is to sit and watch our world burn. We have no choice but to act when the alternative is extinction." —Vic Barrett
In Pakistan, Amnesty International issued an unprecedented “urgent action” saying Lahore’s 10 million residents are at risk of having their health and human rights violated by hazardous smog that is engulfing Pakistan’s second largest city.
Over 70 events across India brought loads of color and energy into the day. In Nepal, a rally highlighted climate impacts on the Himalayas and opposed the government’s plan to start seismic tests for oil and gas drilling. In Ghoti, Pakistan, temperatures soared to 41˚C as people called out for justice.
A woman holds a poster reading ’I am climate” during a climate demonstration Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 in Paris. In Canberra and Kabul, Cape Town and Berlin, and across the globe, hundreds of thousands of people took the streets Friday to demand that leaders tackle climate change in the run-up to a U.N. summit. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo: Survival Media Agency
South Africa: A peaceful march in Johannesburg kicked off to push for a just transition towards a renewable energy future without coal. It's the start of a week of positive climate action in communities, from beach clean-ups to urban gardening and recycled art workshops. The South African Federation of Trade Unions, which organizes 800,000 workers, supports the strikes.
Climate Emergency Declarations as a Key Demand
Strikers demand a complete phase-out of fossil fuels, the end of burning and deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and Indonesia, and an immediate transition towards just and equitable 100% renewable energy.
Climate protesters march through the streets to the Arch and back to St. Louis City Hall during the Climate Strike protest in St. Louis on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Hundreds of protesters took part in the St. Louis protest that was part of a coordinated series of Climate Strike protests that took place in cities around the world. Photo by David Carson, PHOTO GALLERY:
The Global Climate Strike is supporting youth strikers and the demand to end the age of fossil fuels. The co-hosts of the Columbia event were Sunrise Movement and Climate Leaders at Mizzou. Heather Belser is the Hub Coordinator for Sunrise Movement in Columbia and helped organize the strike. "It's our future. Some of us might not be old enough to run for office, some of us might not even be old enough to vote - yet. But us being here is showing we care, its our future." Rory Butler is the outreach director for Climate leaders at MU and helped organize the days events with Belser. He said this global strike is pulling students from classes who demand action. "We're standing in solidarity with probably a couple million kids around the world."
Lindsey Oberly is student at Hickman High School. She left third block to join the demonstration in Speakers Circle."This affects our future with the decisions adults are making right now," she said. And she wasn't alone. "There's a group of 15 to 20 students from Hickman here."
James Owen, Executive Director at Renew Missouri noted, "Theres a lot of energy and a lot of excitement here. We want to be out there talking about why wind is good. Why its good for the economy, why its good for the environment. Why we should be building that in Boone County rather than running it off." Owen's work includes contacting state and local legislators. "We're seeing progress but were also seeing things at a global level getting worse. This is really going to be a factor in young people's future, so they should be concerned about it."
Live updates from strikes happening around the world are being posted to the Global Climate Strike website.
We need decision-makers to understand what we expect:
Bold climate action with climate justice at its heart.
Surrounded by more than 400 environmental activists, Barb Kuensting stood in Speakers Circle at the University of Missouri with a bullhorn in one hand an a scarlet macaw named Luna on her other arm. Kuensting spoke to the crowd about the dangers her pet bird’s cousins and thousands of other animal species face as the Amazon rain forest burns unchecked. “They face endangerment and extinction if nothing happens,” said Kuensting, a member of Climate Leaders at Mizzou.
"Humans also face extinction," she said. “It is the earth’s lungs,” she said of the rain forest. “Billionaires depend on the exploitation and the burning of the natural world,” Kuensting said. MU students are calling on the University of Missouri System to divest from its investments in fossil fuel companies.
MU and UM System spokesman Christian Basi said in an email the university will not divest from fossil fuels. “We currently do not feel that there is a persuasive or compelling argument suggesting divestment will have a meaningful impact on the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy,” Basi said.
MU does have a commitment to the environment, including its buildings with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. “We share a commitment to environmental sustainability, and our campuses have been working very hard to reduce their carbon footprint,” Basi said. “For example, over the past few years, MU has reduced its energy use by 21 percent through conservation efforts and our greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 51 percent. “MU currently has 13 buildings that are LEED certified,” Basi said. “Six have gold certifications and five buildings have platinum certifications."
More than 20 Hickman High School students skipped classes to participate. They wore green and orange neon vests They were not excused from class, but Bella McGarity, a 15-year-old sophomore, said in an interview the future of the planet was the priority. Bella has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Brazil. “As high schoolers, this is the world we’re growing up in,” she said.
“I can’t express how much pain we’re all in knowing the this is the future left for us,” Bella said.
Giovanna Fernandes, an exchange student at Hickman from Brazil, said in some parts of her country sunlight is blocked by the smoke from the burning Amazon.
“I left AP history to be here today,” said Celena Schmolzi, 16, a junior at Hickman, through the bullhorn, referring to an advanced placement class. “You’re making history,” someone in the crowd yelled back.
"Almost two-thirds of the state’s energy is from coal. This is an emergency,” Celena said. “It requires action now.”
“No one understand the existential threat of global change as we do,” said Dany Dakhlallah, 16, a Hickman junior. “My future depends on the decisions you as adults make.”
In just two years, he and his friends will make decisions in the ballot box and candidates who don’t support climate justice won’t get their vote, he said. “We want zero emissions, zero excuses and we have zero time to waste,” Dany said.
Other groups involved in Friday’s event included Mizzou Democrats and the Sunrise Movement CoMo, political candidates, and long-time activists.
“The fossil fuel industry has sold our country out from under us” aided by Republican lawmakers, said Sadie Jess, president of Mizzou Democrats.
Kari Chesney, Democratic candidate for the 50th District Missouri House seat currently held by state Rep. Sara Walsh, R-Ashland, said in an interview that the size of the crowd shows how important the community views the environment.
Mark Haim, leader of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, has been involved in efforts to fight nuclear power, nuclear weapons and the organization of the annual Earth Day celebration. “The issue has reached a critical mass,” he said in an interview. He’s pleased to see the heavy involvement of young people, he said. “It’s what’s needed right now,” Haim said. “They have the most at stake.”
Children from Wild Folk Farm and Forest School, a nature school, were
participating, carrying signs they had made in school “Our youth are going to inherit the climate crisis more than anyone else,” said Polina Malikin, a school organizer.
System change is needed at every level of the economy and society, said Rory Butler, rally organizer with Climate Leaders at Mizzou.
“We need a Green New Deal, and more,” he said. “Political change is needed. It will be expensive and it will be challenging,” Butler said of solving global climate change. Failure will be much worse and much more expensive.
The event was held starting at noon at People’s Park in West Plains and was organized locally by Indivisible: Heart of the Ozarks, a local offshoot of the progressive movement that arose following the 2016 election of Republican President Donald Trump.
The international “Global Climate Strike” event was held to demand action to reverse the damage made by climate change. Scientists have warned that planetary warming will subject Earth to rising seas and a host of other weather-related hazards including heat waves, flooding, droughts, powerful storms, and other problems.
Camdenton - Missouri
A big shout out to the organizers of the Climate Strike in Camdenton - Keep up the good work! Let people know their voices are vital to leave our children and grandchildren a livable world!
Missouri S&T Solar House Design Teams designed and completed six solar-powered homes for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competitions of 2002, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2015. The houses have been placed permanently on campus at two locations.
Using these homes for campus housing gives the students a unique opportunity to experience the benefits of alternative energy living. Cutting-edge research continues in the area of energy microgrids, performance, intelligible response systems and environmental protection. This is all in an effort to demonstrate the benefits of solar living! https://care.mst.edu/research/facilities/architecturallabs/
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A global climate strike had participants right here in the metro Friday. Attendees said climate crisis is at a critical point and addressing it is a priority for them.
“You might think that we’re in the heartland and we’re, you know, not doing anything about this," Stephen Melton with Citizens’ Climate Lobby said. "But really, we’re a leader in the country and in the world in renewable energy and in doing the right thing to lower our carbon footprint.” He said he marched Friday for his 9-month-old granddaughter because he cares about her future.
Amy Ramirez drove in from Springfield for Friday’s strike. She heads the Sunrise Movement there. “We know that we’re a young movement but we’re here to support the movements that have been fighting for these things for 100 years now."
Here are some of the organizations participating in Kansas City:
The Sierra Club, Extinction Rebellion, MoveOn, Indivisible, 350, the Service Employees International Union Local 1, Missouri Interfaith Power & Light, Fossil Free UMKC, KC Vegans for Climate Justice, Climate Council of Greater Kansas City, Bridging the Gap, Kansas City Tenants, the UMKC Geology Club, StandUp KC, UMKC Women in Science, the Battery Tour, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City Mountain Movers, March for Our Lives Kansas City and Metropolitan Energy Center.
On white-crested swells under leaden skies, the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has set sail from Plymouth on arguably her most daunting challenge yet.
A two-week crossing of the Atlantic during hurricane season in a zero-carbon yacht – harnessing wind, sun, and hydro power – is the first obstacle. But it is unlikely to be the toughest in an odyssey through the Americas over many months.
This will be both the ultimate gap year and a journey into the heart of climate darkness: first to the United States of president Donald Trump, who has promised to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, and then down to South America, possibly including Brazil where president Jair Bolsonaro is overseeing a surge of Amazon deforestation.
In between, the 16-year-old Swede will add her increasingly influential voice to appeals for deeper emissions cuts at two crucial global gatherings: the Climate Action Summit in New York on 23 September and the the UN climate conference in Santiago in early December...
Youth climate activists file UN complaint against Argentina, four other nations
16 young climate activists, led by Greta Thunberg, accuses Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey of failing to uphold their obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed 30 years ago.
After global street protests demanding action on climate change, Greta Thunberg and 15 other young activists on Monday filed a complaint at the UN against five countries for not doing enough to ward off global warming. Buenos Aries Times -
The complaint accused Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina and Turkey of failing to uphold their obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed 30 years ago.
The complaint, filed by the 16-year-old Swedish activist and 15 other petitioners from 12 different countries aged between eight and 17, accused the five countries of violating children's rights by failing to take adequate and timely action against climate change. It was filed after Thunberg delivered a searing attack on world leaders for their slow response to climate change at a special session kicking off the UN General Assembly in New York.
Every member of the United Nations except the United States has ratified the convention to protect the health and rights of children.
WATCH: In Landmark UN Complaint, 16 Children Accuse Nations of Failing to Protect Them from Climate Change
Pope urges politicians to take 'drastic measures' on climate change
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis challenged governments to take “drastic measures” to combat global warming and reduce the use of fossil fuels, saying the world was experiencing a climate emergency.
Pope Francis sends video message to UN Climate Action Summit:
"While the situation is not good and the planet is suffering, the window of opportunity is still open. Despite everything. Let us not let it close. Let us open it with our determination to cultivate integral human development, to ensure a better life for future generations. “Although the post-industrial period may well be remembered as one of the most irresponsible in history, nonetheless there is reason to hope that humanity at the dawn of the twenty-first century will be remembered for having generously shouldered its grave responsibilities."
"With honesty, responsibility and courage we have to put our intelligence "at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral", capable of placing economy at the service of the human person, building peace and protecting the environment.
"The problem of climate change is related to issues of ethics, equity and social justice. The current situation of environmental degradation is connected with the human, ethical and social degradation that we experience every day. This forces us to think about the meaning of our models of consumption and production, and the processes of education and awareness, to make them consistent with human dignity. We are facing a "challenge of civilization" in favor of the common good. This is clear, just as it is clear that we have a multiplicity of solutions that are within everyone's reach, if we adopt on a personal and social level a lifestyle that embodies honesty, courage and responsibility.
Three Billion Birds In North America Have Vanished
Endangered - Tim Flach is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society - Bringing to life the complexity of the animal kingdom, his work ranges widely across species, reflecting an insight into how we better connect people to the natural world. https://timflach.com/work/endangered/
A new study estimates that North America is home to nearly three billion fewer birds today compared to 1970 — a mere half a century. The study published in the journal Science, marks the first time experts have tried to estimate sheer numbers of avian losses in the Western Hemisphere. Typically, conservation studies focus on a specific species, habitat, region, or type of threat. By taking a higher-level view, the study highlights that many birds we still consider common, ranging from Baltimore Orioles to Dark-eyed Juncos to Barn Swallows, are actually posting heavy population losses over time.
The research team — including collaborators at the American Bird Conservancy, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, U.S. Geological Survey, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and other institutions — analyzed the breeding population of 529 species by pooling data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey, Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service waterfowl surveys, and 10 other datasets. They also analyzed more recent data collected by weather radar technology that can track large groups of birds as they migrate to estimate their numbers.
Grasslands are among the most threatened biomes on the planet. Loss of habitat to urban and agricultural development, along with liberal pesticide use, has had detrimental effects on the birds that rely on these habitats. The study found that grasslands have lost nearly 720 million birds since 1970—a greater than 40 percent decline. ...
California Wildfires Could Be Even Worse This Year
Wildfires have been burning for weeks in the western U.S., well before summer officially started just before noon Eastern time today. As bad as last year’s wildfire season was, this year could be even worse according to some federal and state officials.
The Worldwide Threat Assessment prepared by former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats added to a swelling chorus of scientific and national security voices in pointing out the ways climate change fuels widespread insecurity and erodes America's ability to respond to it.
"Climate hazards such as extreme weather, higher temperatures, droughts, floods, wildfires, storms, sea level rise, soil degradation, and acidifying oceans are intensifying, threatening infrastructure, health, and water and food security,"
What Trump's Lack of Generals Means for National Security
By the end of 2018 the axis of adults–Kelly, Mattis, McMaster and Tillerson–had all departed. The generals who had once guided his national-security policies were all now long gone from his Administration.
Trump was now surrounded with yes-men and was running his Cabinet as he had run his real estate company, as a one-man show.
A global team of more than 11,000 scientists from over 150 countries officially declared that the world is in a "climate emergency," according to a new paper published in BioScience.
The scientists warn that the world’s people face “untold human suffering,”
without deep and lasting shifts in human activities causing greenhouse gas emissions and other factors related to climate change.
“To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live. This entails major transformations in the ways our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems.”
There Is No Time To Lose
There is no time to lose, scientists say: “The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity.”
Published in the journal BioScience on the 40th anniversary of the first world climate conference, which was held in Geneva in 1979. At that conference, scientists from 50 nations agreed that alarming trends tied to climate change required urgent action, and since then, similar warnings have been made at the 1992 Rio Summit, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement, according to the article, which claims that the world has conducted "business as usual" since then and has largely failed to address the issue.
“Despite 40 years of major global negotiations, we have generally conducted business as usual and are essentially failing to address this crisis,” said William Ripple, a professor of ecology at Oregon State University and co-lead author of the paper. “Climate change has arrived and is accelerating faster than many scientists expected.”
“Scientists have a moral obligation to warn humanity of any great threat,” said Thomas Newsome of the University of Sydney, one of the paper's authors, in a statement. “From the data we have, it is clear we are facing a climate emergency.”
They set out a series of urgently needed actions:
Use energy far more efficiently and apply strong carbon taxes to cut fossil fuel use
Stabilise global population – currently growing by 200,000 people a day – using ethical approaches such as longer education for girls
End the destruction of nature and restore forests and mangroves to absorb CO2
Eat mostly plants and less meat, and reduce food waste
Shift economic goals away from GDP growth
“The good news is that such transformative change, with social and economic justice for all, promises far greater human well-being than does business as usual.”
The United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP25, is opened in Madrid, Spain, on December 2, 2019. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and 14 other Democratic lawmakers were part of a delegation to the summit. It was supposed to be held in Santiago, Chile, but the Chilean government canceled the conference amid massive protests against economic inequality and austerity. Ahead of the summit’s opening, scientists released a number of reports warning that only drastic and unprecedented reductions in greenhouse gas emissions could avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. May Boeve, the head of 350.org, said the reports show “the science is screaming.”
This was U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres speaking ahead of the conference’s opening:
“What is still lacking is political will, political will to put a price on carbon, political will to stop subsidies on fossil fuels, political will to stop building coal power plants from 2020 onwards, political will to shift taxation from income to carbon, taxing pollution instead of people. We simply have to stop digging and drilling and take advantage of the vast possibilities offered by renewable energy and nature-based solutions.”
Hosting COP25 is an excellent opportunity for Spain to showcase progress made on the energy transition since the socialists (PSOE) came to power in June 2018. Spain’s Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, is determined to use the COP to advance both international and domestic action on climate change. After years of stagnation in renewables development under the previous government, Spain now has a lot to share with the world.
The European Union Environmental Agency is warning wide swaths of Europe could face annual extreme heat waves unless urgent action is taken to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avert the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. This is Hans Bruyninckx of the European Union Environmental Agency, which released its new report this week amid the U.N. Climate Change Summit in Madrid, Spain.
Hans Bruyninckx: “Things are indeed urgent. We need to bend the trends in the next decade, it’s a critical decade. We already see irreversible damage, climate change is happening, biodiversity is lost, species are disappearing, our oceans are changing fundamentally.”
As the figure below from 2018 shows, if emissions were to peak in 2025, they would have to decline to zero globally in a mere 10 years. Even a 2020 peak still requires net-zero global emissions 20 years later in 2040.
According to a report prepared by Carbon Tracker in London, the Climate Action Tracker consortium, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, should emissions continue to rise beyond 2020, or even remain level, the temperature goals set in Paris would become almost unattainable. The UN Sustainable Development Goals that were agreed in 2015 would also be at grave risk.
Mission 2020 is the global initiative launched by former UN climate chief,
Christiana Figueres, at the signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in December 2015. The aim of Mission 2020 is to bring “new urgency” to the “global climate conversation” with a call to begin “rapidly declining” global greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
If global warming is to be limited to between 1.5C and 2C by 2100, global emissions must peak before 2020 and then begin to rapidly decline.
Over the past three years, global CO2 emissions have leveled off, driven in part by large declines in coal use in China and the US. While it is likely too early to say for certain if CO2 emissions have peaked, there is a reason to be cautiously optimistic. However, peaking global emissions is in many ways the easy part. Scientists say that to stave off potentially dangerous levels of warming later in the century, global emissions need to decline quickly to near-zero.
In the absence of geoengineering or large-scale deployment of negative emission technologies, peaking global emissions after 2020 would provide too little time to transform the global economy.
Global temperatures could rise 1.5° C above preindustrial levels by as early as 2030 if current trends continue, but trees could help stem this climate crisis. A new analysis finds that adding nearly 1 billion hectares of forest could remove two-thirds of the roughly 300 gigatons of carbon humans have added to the atmosphere since the 1800s.
The latest report from the United Nations’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommended adding 1 billion hectares of forests to help limit global warming to 1.5° C by 2050. Ecologists Jean-Francois Bastin and Tom Crowther of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and their co-authors wanted to figure out whether today’s Earth could support that many extra trees, and where they might all go.
J. BASTIN, ET. AL., SCIENCE 365, 76, 2019
Two Brazilian Indigenous Leaders Killed
In Brazil, two indigenous leaders were killed Saturday. Firmino Guajajara and Raimundo Guajajara were shot and killed by unidentified gunmen. The two were killed while riding on a motorcycle returning from a meeting with Brazil’s electric utilities company Eletronorte and the Brazilian National Indigenous Foundation, where they had been advocating in defense of indigenous rights.
The next years are crucial to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, and that means drastically cutting global emissions of greenhouse gases. But while the planet heats up and entire communities lose their lives and livelihoods, fossil fuel companies keep profiting from coal, oil and gas. On September 23rd, 350.org and partners unfurled a giant banner reading “ExxonKnew: Make Them Pay” outside the summit, to expose the responsibility of big companies fueling the crisis.
New Haven, Connecticut
In Photos: The Climate Strike at Yale Yale University students and faculty held a climate strike rally Wednesday to protest Yale's investments in the fossil fuel industry and the Puerto Rican debt crisis exacerbated by climate catastrophe.
The upheaval comes as the US territory is struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria and trying to restructure part of $70 billion in debt amid a 13-year recession in this territory of more than three million American citizens who do not have full representation in Congress or a vote for president. The fragile economy as the island rebuilds from Maria, a Category 4 storm that caused more than an estimated $100 billion in damage.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, climate activists from all across the U.S. are planning 72 hours of school strikes on April 22, 23, and 24 of this year. To announce the Earth Day Strikes, a group of activists including Jane Fonda and John Kerry co-wrote an op-ed for MTV news. The team behind the strike, known as Strike With Us, is made up of a coalition of youth organizations and a coalition of adult organizations. In the letter, they explain how the three strikes will differ, why indigenous youth and youth of color will be at the forefront of this protest, and why "inaction is not an option."
The Global Climate Strike Continues!
"We have had enough of the inaction of government and business leaders. Now is our time to come together and be unified in our demand for change," the op-ed reads, pointing to some of the successful strikes over the past year. "However, marching and striking for a day is just a start," the letter continues. "It’s now time to take it to the next level and sustain this momentum over time." For that reason, the activists behind the strikes have come up with a plan to maximize all three days.
A large focus of the strikes will be looking to the wisdom of indigenous people. "Indigenous youth and youth of color, who are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis, have claimed their rightful seat at the table," the letter reads. "We are uniting all youth and adults across nations and movements. We call upon everyone — every single one of you — to join us as we strike for climate justice on Earth Day."
Earth Day, which is Wednesday, April 22, will be a day to "listen to Indigenous peoples’ wisdom, reflect on our connections to this earth, and serve as an invitation for everyone to make the decision to join us and commit to making climate change action a top priority." Earth Day will also launch "three days of mass actions, including rallies, marches, strikes, teach-ins, and protests."
The following day, Thursday, April 23, will focus on community action. Organizers will encourage students to demand their colleges divest from fossil fuel investments, and encourage adults to demand their employers, banks, businesses they frequent, and more to divest from fossil fuels as well. "This is the day that we must reach out to everyone we know and ask them to step up with us," the letter reads.
And on Friday, April 24, youth leaders will lead massive strikes and protests in cities all across the country. "Led by young people, we are calling on everyone who can to strike from school or work, and take to the streets," they write. "We are united in our demands for immediate action to address this existential threat of climate change. This is our time to stand together and use our collective voice to demand action."
It's fitting that the mass strikes will fall on a Friday, aligning well with Greta Thunberg's Fridays for Future movement. Greta has been striking every Friday since August 2018 to spread awareness for the climate crisis, and she has mobilized millions of people all over the world to join her.
The Earth Day Strikes are a countdown to the U.S. presidential election this coming November. "The climate and how it will impact our future must be at the top of every voter’s mind," the op-ed declares.
If you want to participate in the Earth Day Strikes this April, the organizers recommend signing your name to show support for the movement and to receive email updates about the strikes.
From the forest fire in Amazon to the cutting of trees in Aarey forest in Mumbai and the destruction of the Aravallis in Haryana, the young generation of India said the development comes at the cost of their future.
"I am fighting for my right to live because my policymakers have denied me my future, ad my right to enjoy my planet. Because once I lose my planet, that is not something that I will get back. They are entitled to give me my environment and trees back. India is already in a bad state when it comes to the climate emergency. The internationally accepted standard is 33 percent forest cover, but India has just 22 percent. I come from Haryana, which has only 5 percent of forest cover. On top of that, there are many laws that are attacking the only forest that we have, which is Aravalli. In Maharashtra, the Aarey Forest is under attack. We need to do something and take some strict action." 15-year-old Veer, who was at the Climate Strike told India Times.
Endangered - Tim Flach is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society - Bringing to life the complexity of the animal kingdom, his work ranges widely across species, reflecting an insight into how we better connect people to the natural world. https://timflach.com/work/endangered/
"All things share the same breath -- the beast, the tree, the man. The air shares its spirit with all the life it supports."
-- Chief Seattle
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