Posts Tagged "earth"

People’s Climate March: Ubuntu: We Have a Duty to Persuade Our Leaders

Posted by on Sep 21, 2014

 “Never before in history have human beings been called on to act collectively in defence of the Earth.”

 “Who can stop climate change?

We can. You and you and you, and me.

And it is not just that we can stop it, we have a responsibility to do so that began in the genesis of humanity, when


God commanded the earliest human inhabitants of the Garden of Eden,

“to till it and keep it”. To “keep” it;

not to abuse it, not to make as much money as possible from it, not to destroy it.”

— Desmond Tutu —

http://peoplesclimate.org/


Extracts  from an article by Desmond Tutu writing in the Observer on the day of the biggest global call-to-action on Climate Change in history.

Marches and protests took place worldwide. Organisers in Manhatten said some 310,000 people joined the march, including Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.

“This is the planet where our subsequent generations will live,”
Mr Ban said: “There is no ‘Plan B’ because we do not have ‘Planet B’.”

The People’s March has been organised just ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit in New York next week. Campaigners are demanding curbs on carbon emissions along with changes in law which would prevent a continuation of the unprecedented levels of damage currently being done to humans and the environment by unfettered psychopathic and antisocial corporate greed.
(Comment by RZ, not Desmond Tutu)


The complete article can be read here: Desmond Tutu: We fought apartheid. Now climate change is our global enemy

“As responsible citizens of the world – sisters and brothers of one family, the human family, God’s family – we have a duty to persuade our leaders to lead us in a new direction: to help us abandon our collective addiction to fossil fuels, starting this week in New York at the United Nations Climate Summit.”

“Just as we argued in the 1980s that those who conducted business with apartheid South Africa were aiding and abetting an immoral system, we can say that nobody should profit from the rising temperatures, seas and human suffering caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

We can boycott events, sports teams and media programming sponsored by fossil fuel companies; demand that their advertisements carry health warnings; organise car-free days and other platforms to build broader societal awareness; and ask our religious communities to speak out on the issue from their various pulpits. We can encourage energy companies to spend more of their resources on the development of sustainable energy products, and we can reward those companies that demonstrably do so by using their products to the exclusion of others.”

We can encourage more of our universities and municipalities, foundations, corporations, individuals and cultural institutions to cut their ties to the fossil fuel industry. To divest, and invest, instead, in renewable energy. To move their money out of the problem and into the solutions.

People’s Climate March Design Contest

Contest Finalists

Winners

We can urge our governments to invest in sustainable practices and stop subsidising fossil fuels; and to freeze further exploration for new fossil energy sources. The fossil reserves that have already been discovered exceed what can ever be safely used. Yet companies spend half a trillion dollars each year searching for more fuel. They should redirect this money toward developing clean energy solutions.

We can support our leaders to make the correct moral choices and to avoid undue industry influence that blocks the political will to act on climate change. Through the power of our collective action we can hold those who rake in the profits accountable for cleaning up their mess.”

The good news is that we don’t have to start from scratch. Young people across the world have identified climate change as the biggest challenge of our time, and already begun to do something about it.

Once again, it is a global movement led by students and faith groups, along with hospitals, cities, foundations, corporations and individuals. It is a moral movement to persuade fossil fuel companies away from a business model that threatens our very survival.

My prayer is that humankind takes its first tangible steps in New York this week – as a collective – to move beyond the fossil fuel era.

“There is a word we use in South Africa that describes human relationships: Ubuntu. It says: I am because you are. My successes and my failures are bound up in yours. We are made for each other, for interdependence. Together, we can change the world for the better.”

 

People’s Climate March Design Contest Winning Designs
The contest had two winning designs which  will form the basis of a creative NYC subway ad campaign that will highlight both the depth of the climate crisis facing us, and the hope that organized people power can push our governments to take bold action. The winners are:

 James Jean with “Winds of Change”, and Ellie and  Akira Ohiso with “The Next One won’t be Biblical”

Climate March Poster Design Contest Winner - Winds of Change
Climate March Poster Design Contest Winner - The Next One Won't Be Biblical

 

 

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Your Name on the Arctic Sunrise

Posted by on Jun 2, 2014

 The Arctic Sunrise belongs to you.

It belongs to all of us.

Don’t let them destroy it.  

PUT YOUR NAME ON THE ARCTIC SUNRISE – HERE

Help protect this important and unique environment and its inhabitants by supporting Greenpeace with a donation to help fund their work. After months without proper maintenance while in Russian custody, their ship the Arctic Sunrise requires a thorough overhaul and refitting  including the replacement of equipment removed by the Russian authorities. 

 The names of all donors will be permanently recorded on their ship,

The Arctic Sunrise so when she sails into the sunrise, we all sail with her. 

People who care about the planet believe that there should be a global sanctuary in the Arctic, which will help preserve its unique wildlife and habitat and allow the Arctic to continue to help stabilise the world’s climate.

More Information Available on SaveTheArctic.org

What’s this Campaign about?

What’s a Global Sancuary?

Why does the Melting of the Arctic Sea Ice Matter to Me?

More info on SavetheArctic.org

 

 

 

Rosneft is a massive Russian company whose pipelines spill over 2,000,000 tons per year. Now it’s moving into Arctic waters, where it plans to build over 100 rigs.

Together with Exxon, Rosneft plans to drill in an area overlapping the Russian Arctic National park, a sanctuary for polar bears, walrus and narwhals.

The Arctic could be devastated.

 All for a few last drops of oil.

Environmental Activist

As an exemplary environmental activist, The Arctic Sunrise has taken part in  campaigns and protests across the world, from withing 450 miles of the North Pole, to Antarctica’s Ross Sea, and it has Navigated both the Congo and the Amazon rivers, raising awareness of issues threatening the areas. Among other things, it has campaigned to stop whaling, taken part in protests in support of sustainable fishing, taken action to stop North Sea trawlers fishing cod towards extinction and campaigned against the Star Wars weapons programme.

The Arctic Sunrise is classified as a “1A1” Icebreaker – the second highest ice strengthening notation at the time of her construction in 1975. She was originally used as a seismic survey vessel, named Polarbjørn (“polar bear”) and was later used by the French Government. Greenpeace purchased the ship in 1995, having resorted to forming a “shell company” called “Arctic Sunrise Ventures Ltd” through which it made the purchase as the previous Norwegian owners had refused to sell the ship to Greenpeace. 

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Gasland, the Fracking Truth

Posted by on Aug 22, 2013

It’s amazing that what took mother nature millions of years to buid can be destroyed in a few hours with heavy machinery” – Josh Fox

Gasland: The Movie

“The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a “Saudia Arabia of natural gas” just beneath us.

 When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown.”

 

 

Gasland-  Reviews  (at bottom of page

The Oil Industry has tried to discredit the film and the issues it raises via a disinformation campaign, including a video in direct response to the film .
Gasland replied to its accusations in detail on its website.

Green MP Caroline Lucas Arrested in Fracking Protest
Why would Green Party Member of Parliament be willing to face arrest in order to demonstrate against the process of fracking in the UK?

Caroline Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion said:

“Along with everyone else who took action today, I’m trying to stop a process which could cause enormous damage for decades to come. People today, myself included, took peaceful non-violent direct action only after exhausting every other means of protest available to us.

Despite the opposition to fracking being abundantly clear, the government has completely ignored the views of those they are supposed to represent. When the democratic deficit is so enormous, people are left with very little option but to take peaceful, non-violent direct action.”

The Department o Energy and Climate Change did not respond to requests for comment on the protests. 

When one reads documentation concerning the effects of Fracking and the Oil Industry on human health and the environment, it becomes very clear why this issue is one worth protesting about.  


THE ENDOCRINE DISRUPTION EXCHANGE

“To date, no chemical in use has been thoroughly tested for its endocrine disrupting effects. Traditional toxicological testing protocols were not designed to test for endocrine disruption and to test at ambient or low exposure levels.”

The Endocrine Disruption Exchange is one of the few organisations that has studied the effects of  products and chemicals used in the Oil/Gas industry.

Its findings are very disturbing.

Extract:
T he technology to recover natural gas depends on undisclosed types and amounts of toxic chemicals.

A list of 944 products containing 632 chemicals used during natural gas operations was compiled. Literature searches were conducted to determine potential health effects of the 353 chemicals identified by Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) numbers.

  • More than 75% of the chemicals could affect the skin, eyes, and other sensory organs, and the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. 
  • Approximately 40-50% could affect the brain/nervous system, immune and cardiovascular systems, and the kidneys; 
  • 37% could affect the endocrine system; and 
  • 25% could cause cancer and mutations. 
  • These results indicate that many chemicals used during the fracturing and drilling stages of gas operations may have long-term health effects that are not immediately expressed. 
  • In addition, an example was provided of waste evaporation pit residuals that contained numerous chemicals on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) lists of hazardous substances. 
  • The discussion highlights the difficulty of developing effective water quality monitoring programs. 
  • To protect public health we recommend full disclosure of the contents of all products, extensive air and water monitoring, coordinated environmental/human health studies, and regulation of fracturing under the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act.  

Extracting, processing, and burning fossil fuels (natural gas, oil and coal) introduces huge volumes of harmful chemicals into our environment. These chemicals, and the tens of thousands of chemical products synthesized from them, are now present in every environment on earth, including the womb. Extremely low concentrations of many chemicals can damage the endocrine system of our bodies by interfering with the intricate, delicate network of natural chemical interactions critical to healthy development and normal function.

n 1991, an international group of experts stated, with confidence, that “Unless the environmental load of synthetic hormone disruptors is abated and controlled, large scale dysfunction at the population level is possible.” 

They could not perceive that within only ten years, a pandemic of endocrine-driven disorders would begin to emerge and increase rapidly across the northern hemisphere. Today, less than two decades later, hardly a family has not been touched by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, autism, intelligence and behavioral problems, diabetes, obesity, childhood, pubertal and adult cancers, abnormal genitalia, infertility, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s Diseases.

TEDX’s findings confirm that each of these disorders could in part be the result of prenatal exposure to chemicals called endocrine disruptors. TEDX has also confirmed that the feed stocks for most endocrine disrupting chemicals are derived from the production of coal, oil, and natural gas. It is clear that endocrine disruption, like climate change, is a spin-off of society’s addiction to fossil fuels. Setting aside the effects of endocrine disruptors on infertility, and just considering their influence on intelligence and behavior alone, it is possible that hormone disruption could pose a more imminent threat to humankind than climate change

 


 

Fracking and Hazardous Waste

Many people and animals have fallen ill since fracking started in their area. The process of fracking pumps toxic chemicals at high pressure into the earth in order to cause minor earthquakes that loosen deposits of natural gas that have been trapped in the rock for millions of years. The process threatens to pollute  groundwater and an estimated 30% to 70% of poisoned water is estimated to resurface and continue to surface for the life of the well (20 – 30 years)

Why is this Allowed?

Many of the chemicals used in the process of fracking are considered hazardous waste. 

Why are these toxins being allowed to be pumped into the earth all over the USA when they are a real danger to drinking water supplies?

“In his second week in office, George W. Bush created the energy task force, officially known as the 
National Energy Policy Development Group, with Vice President Dick Cheney as chairman. In
its mission, NEPDG aimed to: “develop a national energy policy designed to help the private
sector. . . .”

Only when pressed by EPA chief Christie Todd Whitman did Cheney remove a recommendation to
exempt fracturing from the task force’s final report. Whereupon, the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill of
2003 included a provision to exempt fracturing from EPA drinking water regulation — but Congress
removed the provision from the final draft.

Whereupon, in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Congressmen James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Joe
Barton of Texas inserted language to:

Amend the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996 to exempt
hydraulic fracturing related to oil and gas production . . . and, thus, exclude this practice from . . .
regulations related to the protection of underground sources of drinking water.”

– Steve Coffman (on Gasland’s official reply to the Gas Industry’s attempt to discredit the film.)

 

BBC Horizon Documentary on Fracking

The BBC Program: Horizon made a documentary examining the process of Fracking which questions whether there were indeed (as the Oil/Gas companies would have us believe) no risks involved to people living near the the Fracking wells.

Communities did appear to be experiencing high levels of illness. It seemed strange that so little was understood about the causes of the illnesses. One factor may have been that many people had received compensation and had signed gagging clauses which did not allow them to discuss their situation.

Plenty of people did seem willing to talk about  afflictions to themselves and animals in the area that appeared since fracking began. 
The reason for lack of clarity about the cause became apparent when the rights of industry to avoid transparency was raised. 

Money is More Important than the Health of USA Citizens.

Drilling companies in the USA are allowed to keep the chemicals used in their procedures a secret, even when they may be causing a health risk.  This makes it almost impossible for people to know what might have be causing the illnesses that have occurred since the fracking  began in their areas. 

Medical doctors have managed to get special permission to be request this information from the companies. 

Doctors Can’t Tell Their Patients

One doctor  has treated people with leisions to their faces that she thinks might be related to chemicals from fracking . The drilling companies only allow her access to the information  about chemicals they use, under the strictest of conditions. They insist the doctors sign a confidentiality statement which means they are unable to tell their patients what they have discovered are causing their illnesses.

If a doctor (that has been given the information about the chemicals) has now been able to diagnose the cause of the medical problem  decides they need to refer the patient to another medical specialist, they are not allowed to pass on the information to the other doctor or medical specialist.

 “for physicians in order to take care of your patients, there needs to be transparency and this completely breaks that down, so yes it’s very upsetting for us because we want people to get better, but if you can’t explain to someone what’s happening to them, how do you get them better… and then how do you find out if other members of their family may have been exposed .. or other people in the area may have been exposed because no one can talk about it. So it really goes against any type of modern medicine

 

 Reviews of Gasland

Robert Koehler of Variety referred to it as “one of the most effective and expressive environmental films of recent years… Gasland may become to the dangers of natural gas drilling what Silent Spring was to DDT.”[18]

Eric Kohn of IndieWire wrote, “Gasland is the paragon of first person activist filmmaking done right… By grounding a massive environmental issue in its personal ramifications, Fox turns Gasland into a remarkably urgent diary of national concerns.”[19]

Stewart Nusbaumer of the Huffington Post wrote “Gasland… just might take you from outrage right into the fire of action.”[20]

Gasland currently holds a 97% rating on the film site Rotten Tomatoes based on 37 reviews.[21] Mark Kermode of BBC Radio 5 Live gave it a generally positive review, criticizing its similarity to other recent oil documentaries, yet praising its “extraordinary visual kick”. He said “it is a very interesting story which is made better by the fact that the visuals of it are very poetic, very lyrical”, and felt that its themes and ideas were relevant and well presented.

The Denton Record Chronicle said “Fox decides that his own backyard in Pennsylvania isn’t his exclusive property… Set to his own banjo music and clever footage, Gasland is both sad and scary… if your soul isn’t moved by the documentary, yours is a heart of shale.”[22]

Bloomberg News critic Dave Shiflett wrote that Fox “may go down in history as the Paul Revere of fracking.”[23]

Chicago TimeOut gave Gasland four out of five stars.[24]

In Australia, film critic Julie Riggs called the documentary a “horror movie, and a wake-up call.”[25][26]

Fort Worth Business Press writer John-Laurent Tronche talks about the growing number of documentaries “that aim to shed a light on what they call a dirty, destructive practice: shale gas exploration. And although oil and gas supporters have labeled the motion pictures as radical propaganda, a local drilling activist said they’re part of a larger, critical look into an ever-growing industry.”[27]

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Earth Day 2013 – Share Your Photos

Posted by on Apr 21, 2013

Every year on April 22, more than one billion people take part in Earth Day. Across the globe, individuals, communities, organizations, and governments acknowledge the amazing planet we call home and take action to protect it.

Earth Day 2013: The Face of Climate Change

Climate change has many faces.

A man in the Maldives worried about relocating his family as sea levels rise, a farmer in Kansas struggling to make ends meet as prolonged drought ravages the crops, a fisherman on the Niger River whose nets often come up empty, a child in New Jersey who lost her home to a super-storm, a woman in Bangladesh who can’t get fresh water due to more frequent flooding and cyclones…


And they’re not only human faces.

They’re the polar bear in the melting arctic, the tiger in India’s threatened mangrove forests, the right whale in plankton-poor parts of the warming North Atlantic, the orangutan in Indonesian forests segmented by more frequent bushfires and droughts…

These faces of climate change are multiplying every day.

For many, climate change can often seem remote and hazy – a vague and complex problem far off in the distance that our grandchildren may have to solve. But that’s only because they’re still fortunate enough to be insulated from its mounting consequences. Climate change has very real effects on people, animals, and the ecosystems and natural resources on which we all depend. Left unchecked, they’ll spread like wildfire.

Luckily, other faces of climate change are also multiplying every day.

Every person who does his or her part to fix the problem is also a Face of Climate Change: the entrepreneurs who see opportunity in creating the new green economy, the activists who organize community action and awareness campaigns, the engineers who design the clean technology of the future, the public servants who fight for climate change laws and for mitigation efforts, the ordinary people who commit to living sustainably…

On April 22, 2013, more than one billion people around the world will take part in the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. From Beijing to Cairo, Melbourne to London, Rio to Johannesburg, New Delhi to New York, communities everywhere will voice their concerns for the planet, and take action to protect it. We’ll harness that power to show the world The Face of Climate Change. And we’ll call on our leaders to act boldly together, as we have, in this pivotal year.

Between now and Earth Day, we’ll collect and display images of people, animals, and places directly affected or threatened by climate change – as well as images of people stepping up to do something about it. We’ll tell the world their stories.

But we need your help. We need you to be climate reporters. So, send us your pictures and stories that show The Face of Climate Change.

On and around Earth Day, an interactive digital display of all the images will be shown at thousands of events around the world, including next to federal government buildings in countries that produce the most carbon pollution. The display will also be made available online to anyone who wants to view or show it. Together, we’ll highlight the solutions and showcase the collective power of individuals taking action across the world. In doing so, we hope to inspire our leaders to act and inspire ourselves to redouble our efforts in the fight against climate change.

 

 

http://www.earthday.org/2013/about.html

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Rebirth of Gaea: A Visual Love Letter

Posted by on Apr 1, 2013

Artist Jesse Michael Newman calls the “REBIRTH of GAEA” “A visual love letter for my daughter.”

“This video provides a layer-by-layer deconstruction of “Flowing Meditation,” a small part of REBIRTH of GAEA.”

See an excerpt from the video on vimeo.com/36092192

“REBIRTH of GAEA is an epic visual tapestry delicately interweaving reflections on the environment and spirituality through the rich imagery of Greek Mythology. My daughter Emma has had a deep connection to the environment for as long as I can remember. As she grew older and became enchanted with Greek Mythology, I decided to show my support for her interests by creating REBIRTH of GAEA, depicting her as the Goddess of Earth.”

As Newman immersed himself in Greek Mythology, his eyes were opened to a seemingly endless supply of wonderfully vivid inspiration. The scope of the project slowly evolved from a few-week-exploration into an all-encompassing creative undertaking spanning six years so far. Since the project began, Emma welcomed two younger siblings who dovetailed perfectly as other figures in the piece: her brother as EROS (The God of Love) and her sister as the NEBULAIC EMBRYO (the Birth of the Universe).

Newman hadn’t originally considered that Rebirth of Gaea would be seen outside of his daughter’s bedroom and was caught off-guard when some close friends wanted to purchase a print. They encouraged him to show it publicly, which he did for the first time in 2012. Ultimately, he aims to continue transforming the passion he has for his children into a way of life, with his artistic expressions allowing his love for them to echo long after he is gone.

The incredible music, “You’re Too Late Satan” by Worm Is Green, is available on iTunes and Amazon.

Above Artwork: “Chaos” by Jesse Newman

“Before all things came CHAOS, the vacant and infinite spacewhich existed previous to the creation of the world and from which all gods and men arose Anthropomorphized by Newman using his wife as a model, the universal energy forms the mind of the cosmos.”

Some of the highlights of his career that he notes on his website are:

—– Accepted into permanent collections of the MOMA and Whitney Museums
—– Academy Award short list, Best of Show at SIGGRAPH, Official selection for Cannes, Sundance and LA Film Festivals (ONE RAT SHORT – lead flame artist)
—– Best Visual Effects by AICP (MMs Kaleidoscope – lead flame artist)
—– BDA Gold for SciFi “If” and Paramount’s “Unexplained Mysteries”
—– Feature Film work includes FLUBBER and ARMAGEDDON — nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects
—– BFA in DESIGN, UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME

New York-based artist JESSE MICHAEL NEWMAN has built a career as a visual effects artist on award-winning projects including many films. Since turning his focus to his personal art and premiering at the International Art Expo in March 2012, he has been recognized by Art Business News as a Top 50 Emerging Artist and his art is now in private collections on four continents.

Location: New York, NY

http://www.jessenewman.com/gaea/
Website: http://www.facebook.com/Rebirth.of.Gaea
http://www.whoscreative.com/jessenewman

 

 

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