“Climate change pits the rich and powerful against the young and unborn” – NASA Scientist James Hansen

One the world’s most acclaimed climate scientists, NASA’s James Hansen was handcuffed and arrested in front of the White House yesterday.

Hansen and hundreds more were urging the US government to end the coal industry practice of blowing off the tops of mountains to mine coal. Such practices are extremely damaging to the environment and local communities he says. Moreover to prevent catastrophic climate change coal must stay in the ground Hansen said.

Excerpts of Hansen’s speech in front of the White House:

“… government is failing to protect the future of young people, knowingly allowing and even subsidizing actions that benefit the few at the expense of the public and at the expense of all life sharing this Earth. Continue reading

Oil Companies and Special Interests Spend Half a Billion Dollars to Defeat US Clean Energy – Study

“Big oil companies and other special interests have spent millions of dollars in lobbying and campaign contributions to defeat clean energy and global warming legislation, according to a new analysis released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

The study “Dirty Money” found that the top 35 spending companies and trade associations invested more than $500 million in lobbying and campaign contributions from January 2009 to June 2010 to defeat clean energy legislation. This political pressure spending convinced enough senators to oppose clean energy measures that would have created jobs, reduced oil use, and cut global warming pollution.”

[Source: The Center for American Progress Action Fund is the sister advocacy organization of the Center for American Progress. ]

My Articles on same topic:


Oily Politics of Influence: 3 of 4 oil and gas lobbyists used to work for US govt

Every Day Governments Give an Estimated $2 billion to Oil, Coal & Gas Industry

Fossil Fuel Subsidies Are 12X (more like 20X) Support for Renewables, Study Shows

New $Billion Cash Hand Out To Fossil Fuel Companies Under ‘Green’ Economic Stimulus Plans

The Future of Journalism: Adopt a Muckraker

I’m pretty damn angry that media companies are putting profits ahead of truth.

The media are deeply broken… That’s a real threat to democracy.”

— Stanford University climate scientist, Stephen Schneider

 

Renowned Swiss journalist Daniel Wermus and Director of the Media21 Global Journalism Network  discusses my launch of Community Supported Journalism in this article. — Stephen

“Should you and I pay for the kind of accurate news reporting that is needed to fill us in on what is happening to the planet?

If we’re not willing to pick up the tab to stay better informed, who will?”

Frontline Earth: Adopt a Muckraker?

By Daniel Wermus

“I meet international freelance journalists quite often. Most make it clear that budget cuts have made it increasingly difficult for just about anyone, especially freelancers, to get into print. It is usually the freelancers who are most willing to risk their lives to get the stories that need reporting the most. If the day arrives when they can no longer carry out their professions, we will all have a serious problem.

Muckraker: A reporter or writer who investigates and publishes reports involving a host of social issues, broadly including crime and corruption

Stephen Leahy, a Canadian, and one of the world’s best-known investigative reporters on environmental issues, has launched a challenge: if corporations won’t pay for the news, then it is up to communities and the public to fill the gap. A free society needs journalism, even if reporting the news is not commercially profitable.

Leahy’s model for supporting the news has the journalist make his pitch over the internet. The completed article can then be distributed by news agencies or magazines that are low on funds but high on public interest. That could be IPS, Reuters-Alertnet, Commondreams, InfoSud, The Essential Edge or any number of other publications and news outlets.

[edit: Wermus concludes]

Leahy observes that: “Many people tell me, we need individuals like you to get real information out.”

It may be too early to tell whether this really signals a new citizen’s approach to the need for hard information that may be crucial to society. In the best of all worlds it could bring together both consumers and media for promoting a better planet. The danger is that it could also produce yet another quagmire of holier-than-thou preaching.”

Learn more about Community Supported Journalism in the Public Interest

Adopt a Muckraker for only $10 a month

Update: Community Supported Journalism is working. However 50 people helping out has to become 500 so we all can get the crucial information we need.  Please consider becoming one of the 500. Thank you. — Stephen

 

Arctic Ice in Death Spiral, Thaws Permafrost — Risks Climate Catastrophe

2 degrees C of warming could spark runaway global warming

By Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Sep 20, 2010 (IPS)

The carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels have melted the Arctic sea ice to its lowest volume since before the rise of human civilisation, dangerously upsetting the energy balance of the entire planet, climate scientists are reporting.

“The Arctic sea ice has reached its four lowest summer extents (area covered) in the last four years,” said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in the U.S. city of Boulder, Colorado.

The volume – extent and thickness – of ice left in the Arctic likely reached the lowest ever level this month, Serreze told IPS.

“I stand by my previous statements that the Arctic summer sea ice cover is in a death spiral. It’s not going to recover,” he said.

Is this article of interest? It exists thanks to contributions from readers. Please click here to learn more about Community Supported Journalism.

Continue reading

Record Heat Killing Caribbean and Indian Ocean Corals

By Stephen Leahy*

[There hasn’t been much news about the impacts of the record warming of parts of the world’s oceans but severe coral bleaching in the Indian ocean resulted in widespread coral death. Sadly the Caribbean also at high risk this month with record high water temps. My article connects that reality with how a new approach to protecting corals may give them the best chance to survive in hotter, more acidic oceans. — Stephen]

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Sep 13, 2010 (Tierramérica)

The waters of the Caribbean Sea are the warmest on record and the region’s imperilled corals are bleaching and beginning to die, experts warn.

This year many corals are already bleached and dying in the southern Caribbean Sea, especially in the Lesser Antilles, according to Mark Eakin coordinator of Coral Reef Watch at the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Is this article of interest? It exists thanks to contributions from readers. Please click here to learn more about Community Supported Journalism.

The waters are even warmer than they were in 2005 when a severe bleaching occurred across much of the Caribbean. More than 60 percent of corals around the U.S. Virgin Islands died, Eakin told Tierramérica.

Water temperatures in this region reach their annual peak between September and October.

The area affected by bleaching and dying corals will likely extend to the region east of Nicaragua, past the island of Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic) to Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles, and south along the Caribbean coasts of Panama and South America, according to a warning issued by Coral Reef Watch last month.

“There is the potential that this will be worse than 2005, unless some tropical storms come through and mix the warm surface water with deeper, cooler water,” Eakin said.
Continue reading

“Drug War” Policies Need a Stint in Rehab – Makes Societies More Violent Not Safer Studies Show

DEA raid on a medical marijuana dispensary in ...
Image via Wikipedia

Drug Wars Make Societies More Violent Not Safer Studies Show

By Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Apr 29, 2010 (IPS)

The war on drugs is a complete failure everywhere, according a comprehensive review of 20 years of scientific literature released at the Harm Reduction 2010 conference in Liverpool, England that wraps up Thursday.

The war on drugs does not work, period,” said Dr. Julio Montaner, president of the International AIDS Society.

“We must take an evidence-based approach to dealing with the drug market, because current strategies are not working and people are paying for ill-considered policies with their lives,” Montaner said in a release.

Is this article of interest? It exists thanks to contributions from readers. Please click here to learn more about Community Supported Journalism.

An examination of all English-language scientific literature dating back more than 20 years reveals that drug law enforcement dramatically escalates drug-market violence. Contrary to conventional wisdom, a startling 82 percent of the studies found the various wars on drugs in countries and internationally simply increase violence. Continue reading

Flee or be Made Homeless by Climate Change? Powerful New Film (video)

Three people in a unique Pacific Island community face the first devastating effects of climate change, including a terrifying flood.  Will they decide to stay with their island home or move to a new and unfamiliar land, leaving their culture and language behind forever?

Ultimately the documentary “There Once was an Island” is about what makes us who we are and what we all stand to lose as climate change unfolds. — Stephen

Related articles by Stephen Leahy:

Drowning Country: Tuvalu Symbol of Catastrophe and Hope

Canada Reneges on Kyoto Climate Change agreement

Extinction Tourism — See It Now Before Its Gone