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Tue, 2011-05-24 11:00Bill McKibben
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No Need to Worry: Record Tornadoes, Raging Fires, Mega Floods, & Crop-Killing Droughts Are NOT What Climatologists Predicted

This op-ed originally appeared in the Washington Post.

Caution: It is vitally important not to make connections. When you see pictures of rubble like this week’s shots from Joplin, Mo., you should not wonder: Is this somehow related to the tornado outbreak three weeks ago in Tuscaloosa, Ala., or the enormous outbreak a couple of weeks before that (which, together, comprised the most active April for tornadoes in U.S. history). No, that doesn’t mean a thing.

It is far better to think of these as isolated, unpredictable, discrete events. It is not advisable to try to connect them in your mind with, say, the fires burning across Texas — fires that have burned more of America at this point this year than any wildfires have in previous years. Texas, and adjoining parts of Oklahoma and New Mexico, are drier than they’ve ever been — the drought is worse than that of the Dust Bowl. But do not wonder if they’re somehow connected.

Tue, 2011-05-10 19:39Brendan DeMelle
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350.org Launches Crowd-Funded Ad Campaign To Hold Polluter-Friendly Politicians Accountable

350.org and CREDO Mobile are testing a new tactic to turn up the heat on polluter-friendly politicians who receive large campaign contributions from dirty energy interests and then turn around and vote against public health and the environment. Kinda like the Senators who recently voted to gut the Clean Air Act, like Scott Brown (R-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), for example.

Making phone calls and signing petitions to Congress are tried and true grassroots organizing tactics, but there are other tools that might have an even greater impact. That’s why 350 and CREDO are experimenting with crowd-sourcing - asking a few Senators’ constituents to crowd-fund ads connecting the dots between their Senator’s vote to gut the Clean Air Act and their campaign contributions from polluters.

Fri, 2011-04-08 12:54Bill McKibben
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People Power: How We Can Fight Back and Win Against Powerful Polluter Interests

Guest post by Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein, originally published at AlterNet.

Not for forty years has there been such a stretch of bad news for environmentalists in Washington.
         
Last month in the House, the newly empowered GOP majority voted down a resolution stating simply that global warming was real: they’ve apparently decided to go with their own versions of physics and chemistry.
         
This week in the Senate, the biggest environmental groups were reduced to a noble, bare-knuckles fight merely to keep the body from gutting the Clean Air Act, the proudest achievement of the green movement. The outcome is still unclear; even several prominent Democrats are trying to keep the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.
         
And at the White House? The president who boasted that his election marked the moment when ‘the oceans begin to recede’ instead introduced an energy plan heavy on precisely the carbon fuels driving global warming. He focused on ‘energy independence,’ a theme underscored by his decision to open 750 million tons of Wyoming coal to new mining leases. That’s the equivalent of running 3,000 new power plants for a year.

Wed, 2010-10-06 11:46Brendan DeMelle
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Maldives President Nasheed Installs Solar on Official Residence, Knocks Ignorance of Climate Deniers

Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, who once famously held a cabinet meeting underwater to draw attention to climate change, is installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on his official residence this week.

Donated by Sungevity, an Oakland, California based solar company, the Maldives’ PV system is grid-connected and will generate about 15,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per annum, providing half of the residence’s power needs, according to Sungevity founder Danny Kennedy, whose company donated and designed the installation for the Maldives’ presidential palace. South Korean company LG donated the PV modules, while the three inverters were provided by Germany manufacturer Kaco, and the mounting hardware by Ironridge

Sungevity estimates the system will save the Maldives $300,000 over its 25-year expected lifespan.  The system will go online tomorrow.

Kennedy’s company has made a similar bid to put solar on the U.S. White House for free, and started the Globama petition that garnered over 50,000 signatures.  The petition and offer were hand-delivered to President Obama last month by 350.org founder Bill McKibben, who traveled to Washington with a group of students from Maine’s Unity College in an attempt to return one of former President Jimmy Carter’s solar panels to the White House roof.  They were rebuked at that time, although yesterday the White House did finally announce plans to put solar back on the roof at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the near future.   

Maldives President Nasheed says his country could not afford to delay another minute, with climate disruptions already impacting the tiny island nation 200 miles south southwest of the Southern tip of India.  Its highest point is only 2.4 meters above sea-level, leaving residents at extreme risk from rising sea levels caused by global climate change.

Fri, 2009-09-11 10:52Kevin Grandia
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There Will Be Bells - the Global Climate Wake-Up Call

There will be a lot of noise around the world on Sept. 21st when people all over the globe - from New York to Guatemala to Dakar - join together in a Global Climate Wake Up Call.

Organized by the amazing folks at Avaaz, Oxfam, Greenpeace and 350.org the Global Wake-Up Call , will see people from all walks of life get together in public places to sound the alarm and urge our political leaders to stand up and take bold action at the Copenhagen Climate Treaty Summit scheduled for December of this year.

These will be peaceful, spontaneous “flash mobs” in public places where people will sound the alarms on their mobile phones, flood their governments with phone calls urging climate action, and make a tremendous noise. The images, sounds, and videos will be stitched together overnight for presentation to world leaders at the United Nations the next day.

To say that the Copenhagen Summit is a key moment in our history would be the understatement of the century. At this meeting our government representatives will decide the path we will take for the next decade: Will we continue to allow the unabated burning of dirty fossil fuels like coal and oil? Or will go down a path that starts to reduce this over reliance on fossil fuels and begins to take full advantage of clean, healthy, cheap and unlimited power sources like the sun and the wind?

Fri, 2009-04-24 10:14Leslie Berliant
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CO2 Speaker's Corner Makes Atmospheric CO2 Data Accessible

 

Atmospheric greenhouse gases are a bit of an abstraction. We can’t see them, we can’t smell them, and we can’t immediately tell when there is a change in concentration.

The site CO2Now is trying to change that by showing current data for atmospheric CO2 and helping people understand the relationship between current trends of rising CO2 levels and the effects of climate change. “The site puts atmospheric CO2 out in front where it needs to be,” says website founder Michael McGee. “It’s a simple thing that no other website is doing. I started posting atmospheric CO2 data in December 2007 when I realized it was a way I could add value to the climate conversation.”

 

The site also helps explain the factors that effect climate, the relationship between climate and weather and the effects of climate change like ocean acidification and reductions in global land ice. “Atmospheric CO2 is a big picture metric that hardly gets talked about outside of scientific circles,” adds McGee. “CO2Now.org was created so anyone on the internet can see the changes in the atmosphere as they happen. It presents the trend information so people can see whether or not we are doing enough to end global warming.”

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