Dear friends, 2011 was an unprecedented year for social change. The Arab Spring, the “indignados” of Spain, anti-corruption campaigning in India, Moving Planet, Occupy Wall Street, the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States — on and on I could list the extraordinary citizen mobilizations that have sprung up to challenge the […]
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This cartoon was inspired by the Washington Post article, “Energy industry shapes lessons in public schools.” Big Coal may be molding our youth with pro-coal propaganda, but worry not, Big Coal also offers a “green” video to teachers called “The Greening of Planet Earth,” which says that “our world is deficient in carbon dioxide, and […]
Coal is a dirty, dirty energy source. If you count it’s harmful effects on our health, it’s probably the most expensive. Even not counting those, though, it is going to be a smaller and smaller part of our energy mix due to its rising costs and renewable energy’s fast-falling costs. Nonetheless, the billion-dollar industry […]
The influence of coal money on politics is more than a shame — it’s a crime. But politicians seems more or less immune to paying the consequences of their criminal action. To help bring more attention to their criminal behavior though, there are always (well, sometimes…) activists! “In Kentucky, a state where mountaintop removal […]
http://youtu.be/5vdncZbkmsw The Chinese are getting more and more into the “Occupy Earth” movement. The latest news is that about 30,000 have “occupied” a highway to stop a coal power plant (video above). “Tens of thousands of residents in China’s southern Guandong Province gathered in the streets yesterday, occupying a highway to demonstrate against the […]
Coal is one of the top contributors (if not the top contributor) to global warming and climate change. However, coal is also just plain dirty. It harms us in numerous ways. One of the latest findings is that arsenic (nasty stuff) is leaking into groundwater from coal ash disposal sites. “The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) has […]
We’ve covered the Greenpeace campaign urging Facebook to dump (or ‘unfriend’) coal power since it started about a year and a half ago. Luckily, we’ve got some great news to share, Facebook is switching to renewable energy! (Took ’em long enough.) Andrew Burger of sister site CleanTechnica has the full story: Greenpeace Facebook Campaign Results […]
Believe it or not (and it would be hard not to believe it), extreme weather is increasing in the U.S., and around the world, due to global warming. And 2011 was a record year for extreme weather. Wet and dry extremes hit an all-time high, as you can see in the chart above. Unfortunately, […]
Despite declaring he would veto a tax cut bill if it comes to his desk with horrible anti-environment riders mentioned in my previous post, Obama’s administration has actually been far too friendly to the coal industry. “The disconnect between the Obama administration’s approach to managing federal coal resources in Wyoming and its rhetoric on climate […]
House GOP Infiltrates Bi-Partisan Tax Cut Bill with Anti-Clean-Air and Other Anti-Environment Riders, Threatens Government Shutdown (Take Action)
The House GOP, despite saying last year that “riders” were an underhanded way of pushing political issues, and saying it wouldn’t use them, is sticking very unpopular anti-environment riders into a highly-wanted, bi-partisan tax cut bill. Scott Slesinger, legislative director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, issued the following statement in response: “Leaders of both parties […]
Guest column by Catherine Semcer, Senior Washington Representative for the Sierra Club Resilient Habitats Campaign. I started fishing when I was 8. I remember my father took me to a lake near our home in New Jersey, baited a hook, and showed me how to cast it into the water. I’ll always remember how proud […]
#1: Ringling Circus Gets Largest Fine of Its Kind for Animal Cruelty — Thank USDA & PETA! From PETA: “Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, must now pay the largest settlement of its kind in U.S. history―$270,000―for alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) dating back to 2007.” More […]
A number of NGOs have ranked the world’s ‘top’ banks on how dirty they are, based on how much money they give to coal projects. The report released by the NGOs is titled, “Bankrolling Climate Change.” Can you guess the top contributors to climate change?
1. Activists occupied KFC on two continents last week. More from the Dogwood Alliance: “Colonel Sanders and various woodland creatures made appearances at over 150 KFC restaurants across the country and various locations in Europe to deliver a message, ‘Stop destroying Southern forests for your throwaway packaging.’ The iconic KFC bucket and other KFC […]
Here are a number of big environmental and energy policy stories from recent weeks compiled and posted over on sister site CleanTechnica: Cleantech Policy News (16 Stories) (via Clean Technica)
iLoveMountains.org and many Virginians are now fighting to save a Ison Rock Ridge Standing. Why would it come down? Well, have you heard of mountaintop removal coal mining? This week, “Virginians who live at the base of Ison Rock Ridge, a mountain threatened by a pending mountaintop removal permit, have been joined by hundreds from […]
Bank of America was once considered an environmental “leader” (at least for one thing), as it announced in 2008 that it would stop investing in companies that engage in mountaintop removal coal mining — I was surprised! Technically, they committed to “phase out financing of companies whose predominant method of extracting coal is through […]
Well, this has been a week of big news for environmentalists — big good news and big bad news. On the bad news side, we can see that Americans used more fossil fuelsagain in 2010, after falling to a 12-year low in the midst of the economic recession, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Annual […]
More on all things coal From OpenSecrets.org: Coal Mining: Top Recipients (and MUCH more) From Second Nature: Coal-Fired Plants Linked to Asthma (and the disprportionate amounts of coal-related asthma cases in the black community) From Grist: We could replace coal power with geothermal—10 times over From OnEarth: Coal on a Roll From CoalTattoo: Jeff Goodell: […]
There’s no denying it — reports of massive earthquakes have been rocking the news lately. All this recent seismic activity has caused many to wonder: has the earth always been this shaky? Or is human activity causing some of these earthquakes? While some earthquakes are due to the shifting of tectonic plates above the earth’s […]
Tar Sands activists in the US and UK weren’t the only ones fighting climate change and bringing awareness to its causes this weekend. Greenpeace activists near Johannesburg, South Africa chained themselves to the gates of a coal power plant construction site and climbed a construction crane last night to protest overuse of coal, a main […]
Today is “Bank Transfer Day.” There are a lot of reasons to join the 650,000 people who switched from a big corporate bank to a credit union last month, and one of them we’ve written about for years is to help stop mountaintop removal coal mining. While some banks have cut some of their involvement […]
The Internet uses more electricity than the entire auto industry’s production of cars and trucks combined. IT companies and users need to discover renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power to provide electricity for the Internet.
Everything is connected: the things we do, the things others do, affect people’s lives. The aura of our material planet is a body of energy that is part of us and extends around us from the inside out. This connectivity is showing up willfully in our streets. Bill Mikkiben points out: “We cannot solve the carbon problem until we solve the power problem.” He also acknowledges the good timing of now-linking movements of activism. The time of putting positive energy into a collective force is in action now as a space to heal these gaping wounds in culture and environment unfolds.
Big oil gets big money from the government — as CleanTechnica readers may remember, $4 billion was awarded to big oil in the form of tax breaks in 2011 alone. Given that subsidies worldwide rose to at least $470 billion worldwide in 2010 — according to International Energy Agency analysts — that is perhaps more surprising than it should be.
This is a truly excellent piece from the good folks over at Skeptical Science that I have to share in full. I’m sure they’re happy to get the message out. Check it out:
Here are three good activism stories I wanted to cover in more depth this week but never found the time to:
A few weeks ago we were sorely reminded of the extremism of the majority of the current Republican candidates. Among many other alarming things said, Republicans suggested eliminating or privatizing: FEMA, NASA, the EPA, the Federal Labor Relations Board, Medicaid and food stamps. Herman Cain promised not to appoint any Muslims who want to kill Americans to his cabinet. Michele Bachmann supports states’ rights on gay marriage, but also supports a constitutional amendment outlawing it. Rick Santorum wants to “a system of discipline” to “punish” gay soldiers, which suggests that his problem with pornographic Google results is not likely to abate. Tim Pawlenty views Iraq as “one of the shiniest examples of success in the Middle East.”
This is a truly wonderful post from The Oil Drum by Goddard College’s Charles Eisenstein (licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 U.S. License). Giving more depth to peak oil than the good infographic on that presented yesterday, but also delving deeply into the problems of our economy and how they are linked to our energy and environmental crisis, this 3-pager is my recommended reading of the month, at least. The concentration of power (increasingly obvious to us) and how that is linked to our energy infrastructure is, in particular, a very interesting part of it all for me, and piggy-backs on John Farrel’s excellent pieces on democratizing our electricity system.
I was just listening to this great cover of a great Rolling Stones song — Bitter Sweet Symphony — while reading this and thought it was actually a good match for the piece, so let’s start off with that:
Tar Sands activism and arrests continue at the White House, and activists around the world are now joining in from a distance in solidarity. Check out this note and call-to-action from 350.org that I received yesterday (and then more activism stories of the past day or so below that):
The Tea Party’s got a number of mistakes to its name. And the #1 mistake really depends on who you’re talking about when you’re talking about the Tea Party — the citizens or the political leaders. In this case, I’m referring to Tea Party citizens.
Ride BART! (If you’re in the area and it’s an option, that is.) It’s a great green living option. But also get out and voice your concern about BART’s lack of interest in democracy when you get the chance! Tons of BART riders and protesters did just that yesterday…