Power Shift Youth Summit 2

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 02 Nov 2007 04:00:00 GMT

On November 2, 2007, thousands of young adults will converge on Washington, D.C. for Power Shift 2007, the first national youth summit to solve the climate crisis. Youth of all backgrounds will use their experience from local and state level climate change movements to create a fresh, positive, and inspiring vision of the future, one focused on our potential to overcome the challenges of the 21st century, build a clean energy economy, achieve energy independence, create millions of green jobs, increase global equity, and revitalize the American economy.

Power Shift will take the climate movement to new levels. At this conference, leaders of our generation will share ideas, learn new skills, make new connections, establish a national voice for our generation, and send a united message to our national leaders: we are moving beyond the same old special interests, empty promises, and inadequate results to embrace a new paradigm that leverages our strengths and achieves what is possible for our future. Something incredible is happening.

Our organizing committee has set out three ambitious goals:
  1. Make the U.S. Presidential candidates and Congress take global warming seriously. It is widely accepted that the next U.S. president must make global warming a priority for us to solve the crisis before we reach a point of no return. With youth voting rates on the rise, we have the opportunity to drastically affect the 2008 Presidential Election and ensure our next president puts us on a path to stopping climate change.
  2. Empower a truly diverse network of young leaders. The organizers of Power Shift understand the limitations of mainstream environmentalism and its history of engaging primarily white, highly educated, privileged citizens on the left while leaving behind other communities. We must diversify our movement to include every community in America and shift our culture towards one of sustainability and justice for everyone, addressing traditional racial, ethnic, geographic, and ideological divisions.
  3. Achieve broad geographic diversity. We want this convergence to represent nearly every Congressional district in the United States in order to demand scientifically based solutions from all who represent us. Only when this fire is burning in every state of the union with broad awareness and pointed activism from the ground up, will we have the political power needed to take on the fossil fuel industry.

That’s where you come in. To reach our goal of uniting thousands of young people at Power Shift, we need your help. Please share this message with at least ten friends and help grow our movement. The shift starts with you. Become a Campus Coordinator!

Garrison Institute Climate Leadership Retreat 2

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 23 Oct 2007 04:00:00 GMT

Influential leaders will gather for a U.S. Leadership Retreat on Climate Change & a Green Energy Future. This is the second leadership retreat convened by the Garrison Institute designed to help a broad cross-section of leaders and organizations strengthen ties, build the capacity to actually reverse global warming, and coalesce around a positive vision of a prosperous, green and more equitable future.

The emerging climate movement does not lack ideas, leaders, or organizing capacity. It lacks coherence and collective power. Inhibited by institutional imperatives and political constraints, we have not yet aligned ourselves (let alone America!) behind solutions as big as the problem. At the same time, leaders seldom have the chance to pull back from campaigns and projects to take stock of the larger picture together. This retreat has three primary objectives:

  • To create an opportunity for some of the most innovative leaders working on global warming & a green economy to meet, share, and explore new opportunities for mobilizing America for real climate solutions;
  • To shape, develop and advance the 1Sky campaign to its next stage of development;
  • To provide leaders with time to slow down and explore practices that can help deepen vision, gain perspective, and sustain commitment, energy and hope in the face of immense loss.

The retreat will be facilitated by Robert Gass, one of the most gifted facilitators and leadership coaches in the country.

National Conversation on Climate Action 8

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 04 Oct 2007 04:00:00 GMT

On October 4th, mayors and other local government leaders across the U.S. will convene meetings in their communities to discuss the science and what is needed to solve global warming as part of the first annual National Conversation on Climate Action, an initiative sponsored by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, an international membership association of local governments dedicated to advancing sustainable development and climate solutions through local action; Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers, an organization of science centers and museums dedicated to furthering the public understanding of science among increasingly diverse audiences.

Toyota vs. NRDC and Markey on CAFE Standards 12

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 03 Oct 2007 16:39:00 GMT

Toyota, maker of the 46 MPG Prius*, is lobbying against the Markey-Platts fuel-economy bill (HR 1506), which calls for 35 MPG by 2020, and for the significantly more industry-friendly Hill-Terry (HR 2927) as part of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. (An AAM rep has even commented on this site).

NRDC is challenging Toyota on its blog and with its How Green is Toyota? campaign, which asks people to email the Toyota North America president and stop opposing Markey-Platts.

Irv Miller, Toyota North America’s VP of corporate communications, promoted Hill-Terry on the Toyota blog in July and fired back at NRDC in September.

Today, from Thomas Friedman in the New York Times:
Representative Edward Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat who heads the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, said to me that Toyota could meet a 35 m.p.g. standard in Japan and Europe today, “but here — even though they bombard Americans with ads about how energy efficient Toyota is — they are fighting the 35 m.p.g. standard for 2020.”

Mr. Markey said he has tried to persuade Toyota that “a lot of people have bought Priuses or Camry hybrids to fight global warming and reduce our dependence on foreign oil” and “they would be shocked to find out” that Toyota is lobbying against the highest m.p.g. standards for America.

  • The 55 MPG figure was based on the old mileage test. Average real world mileage is 46.8 MPG.

See the blogswarm in action at Hybrid Cars Blog, Green Car Congress, EcoGeek.

Climate Conference Protest Rally 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 28 Sep 2007 16:00:00 GMT

In a clearly manipulative move, George Bush is inviting top leaders from around the world to Washington, D.C. on Sept. 27th and 28th to officially convey his “deep concern” about global warming. His proposed fix: more useless “voluntary” measures and huge subsidies for “clean coal” and nuclear energy. The event is clearly meant to undermine real international efforts now underway to achieve mandatory greenhouse gas cuts under the Kyoto process.

Join other concerned Americans in protesting this cynical conference on September 28th from noon-1:00 p.m. We’ll be holding a rally downtown next to the State Department, in the park at intersection of 21st St. and Virginia Ave. NW between D and E.

Register for the rally.

Sponsored by: Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Energy Action, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International, SustainUS, the U.S. Climate Action Network, and the U.S. Climate Emergency Council.

Climate Organizing Leadership Development Training 2

Posted by Brad Johnson Sun, 16 Sep 2007 04:00:00 GMT

The 2008 legislative session is only 5 months away. Do know what you need to do to save the climate?

You need to get COLD, the Climate Organizing Leadership Development. Starting in September the Chesapeake Climate Action Network will kick off an advanced global warming activist training series designed to empower new climate leaders in Maryland, DC and Virginia.

The training series will feature expert speakers, guest trainers, and will provide you with the valuable skills that you need to become the lead climate organizer in your area. The COLD trainings will capitalize on the years of experience of some of the most respected organizers in the region to help give you the insider information that you need to stand up to even the most powerful of foes.

Trainings will be located in Baltimore, Richmond, Falls Church, and Washington DC. There will be five trainings in all, once a month from September to January 08.

For more info on the DC trainings, email: dctrainings@chesapeakeclimate.org or apply here.

For more info on the Baltimore trainings, email mdtrainings@chesapeakeclimate.org or apply here.

For more info on the Richmond trainings, email richmondtrainings@chesapeakeclimate.org or apply here.

For more info on the Northern Virginia, email novatrainings@chesapeakeclimate.org or apply here.

Health Consequences of Global Warming

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 14 Sep 2007 18:00:00 GMT

A Conference: Health Consequences of Global Warming: Examining the Links; Breaking the Chains

Friday – Sunday September 14 – 16, 2007

Hotel Veto Conference Center 201 S. Linn St Iowa City, IA

Jointly sponsored by: The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and Physicans for Social Responsibility, in cooperation with the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, Global and Regional Environmental Research, and College of Public Health.

Introducing the Challenge: Halting Climate Change Addressing Health and Human Rights Links

  • Introducing Climate Change Science and Wedges, Jerry Schnoor PhD
  • Introducing Human Rights Issues, Burns Weston LL.B, JSD
  • Introducing Public Health Concerns, Jim Merchant MD PhD
7:00 PM Dinner Speaker:
  • Michael McCally MD PhD, Executive Director, National PSR, Challenge of Global Warming to Preserving Global Health
8:00 PM Concurrent Roundtables
  1. Redefining Security, Catherine Thomasson MD
  2. Introducing Student Groups’ Responses to Global Climate Change
  3. How Cuba Survived Peak Oil. Film, Maureen McCue MD PhD
  4. Faith Based Responses to Goobal Warming, Mark Kresowik & Lynn Heuss
  5. Invoking the Precautionary Principle, Carolyn Raffensperger JD
  6. UNA Process on Global Warming, Katy Hanson, Kate Karchay, Douglas Taylor PhD & Jerry Schnoor PhD

Saturday, September 15

9:00 AM Opening Keynote
  • Michael A. McGeehin PhD MSPH, Climate Change, Myriad Threats to Global Health: From Malaria Movement & Complex Disasters to Failing Food Production

9:45 AM Plenary Panel II

Linked Threats to Health and Environment: Current Energy Sources
  • Health Threats of Auto-Centered Cities, Catherine Thomasson MD
  • Ports, Trade & Transit: Health Threats to Workers, Neighborhoods, and the Global Climate, Andrea Hricko MPH
  • Nuclear Power’s Insurmountable Risks, Arjun Makhijani PhD

11:30 AM Plenary Panel III

Collateral Damage: Overlooked Health Costs of Disasters
  • Disasters–Loss and Mental Health–Challenge, Curt H. Drennen PsyD
  • Disasters–Challenges to Maintaining Research and Care, Tyler Curiel MD MPH
  • Unstable Climate–Challenges to Global Food/Water Security, Douglas Taylor PhD

1:15 PM Luncheon Speaker:

  • Michael Klare PhD, Blood and Oil–Further Dangers and Consequences of Dependency on Petroleum
2:15 PM Concurrent Roundtables
  1. “Low Carbon Diet”– Food Production with Low Carbon Emissions, Rich Pirog
  2. Consumption, Denial, and Fear, Fred Myer MA and Carolyn Raffensperger JD
  3. Iowa’s Uniquely Unhealthy Energy Options (Coal, Bio-fuels, Nuclear), Mark Kresowik BA, Alana Stamas, and Michele Kenyon Brown
  4. Healthy Sustainable Businesses–Incorporating Environmentally Friendly Practices, Peter Barnes MA, Fred Kirschenmann PhD, Geoff Willming, Matt Bulle
  5. Environmental Ethics, Voluntary Initiatives vs. Legal Imperatives to Heal Our Planet, Burns Weston LL.B, JSD and Andy Jameton PhD
  6. War, Global Warming, Public Health, and Opportunity Costs, Victor Sidel MD and William Hartung

3:30 PM Plenary Panel IV

Global Warming, Health and Human Rights Links
  • The Arctic Bellwether–Impact of Energy Extraction, & Use on Health and Human Rights of World’s Indigenous, Marginalized & Poorest, Donald Goldberg JD
  • Healthcare of Poor, Minorities, Marginalized Before, During, After Katrina, Ravi Vadlamudi MD
4:30 PM Plenary Panel V Halting and Reversing Global Warming: Affordable, Attainable, Sustainable Solutions
  • Promoting and Attaining a Healthy, Rights Based Paradigm, Michael Dworkin JD
  • Confronting Coal, Bruce Nilles JD
8:00 PM Concurrent Workshops
  1. Concerned Scientists, Health Care Providers, Arjun Makhijani PhD and Catherine Thomasson MD
  2. Student Groups—Student PSR, AMSA, ESW, Global Pulse Leader
  3. Concerned Business Leaders, Peter Barnes MA, Fred Kirschenmann PhD, Geoff Willming, Matt Bulle
  4. Faith Based/Religious Leaders, Ben & Cathy Webb, others
  5. Law Makers, Rights Based, Andy Jameton RN PhD, Carolyn Raffensperger JD, and Ed Fallon BA
  6. Indigenous Peoples, Minorities, Labor, Mike McCally MD PhD, Ravi Vadlamudi MD MPH, and Dan Holub JD

Sunday, September 16

9:00 AM Opening Inspirational Remarks
  • Imperatives of Tikkun Olam, Gerald Sorokin
  • Cool Congregations–Compelling Commitments, Rev. Ben Webb
9:30 AM Closing Keynote
  • Peter Barnes MA, Introducing the Sky Trust to Protect the Atmosphere

10:15 AM Plenary Panel VI

Good News: Cases of Humane Healthy Living Through Sustainable Energy
  • How the West Coast is coming Clean & Green, Catherine Thomasson MD
  • Cool Cities, Mark Kresowik BA and Frank Cownie (invited),
  • UCS, Assessing the National Legislative Frontier: The Good Bad, and Nonexistent, Rich Dana

11:30 AM Plenary Panel VII

Developing Coalitions, Learning from Others, Working Together Toward a Healthy, Secure, Sustainable Future, Saturday Workshop Leaders Report Results & Consult Audience Members

Architecture 2030 7

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 07 Sep 2007 14:12:00 GMT

Architecture 2030 is an initiative started by architect Edward Mazria (The Passive Solar Energy Book) with two components: the 2030 Challenge, which calls for all new buildings and development to be carbon-neutral by 2030, starting at 50% of the regional energy consumption; and the 2010 Imperative, which calls on all design schools to be carbon neutral by 2010 and achieve complete ecological literacy in design education.

Architecture 2030 is also running ads with the message of no more coal, stating:

Without coal, all the positive efforts underway can make a difference.

Over an 11-year period (1973-1983), the US built approx. 30 billion square feet of new buildings, added approx. 35 million new vehicles and increased real GDP by one trillion dollars while decreasing its energy consumption and CO2 emissions. We don’t need coal, we have what we need: efficient design and proven technologies.

Today, buildings use 76% of all the energy produced at coal plants.

By implementing The 2030 Challenge to reduce building energy use by a minimum of 50%, we negate the need for new coal plants.

So Others Might Eat: The Climate Emergency Fast

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 04 Sep 2007 04:00:00 GMT

As global warming rapidly intensifies, the prospect of much more extensive hunger worldwide becomes increasingly likely, especially in poor countries, due to drought, Katrina-like storms, glacial melting and sea level rise. These impacts will lead to crop failures and economic and social disruption on a massive scale.

To draw attention to this threat and its moral implications, the U.S. Climate Emergency Council is calling on thousands of caring citizens to voluntarily give up food for one day on September 4th, 2007. Other participants will fast even longer beginning on that date, some for weeks. Give up food for one day now to draw attention to the fact that all of us may have no food tomorrow unless we halt global warming.

Shareholders Pressure Exxon on Global Warming

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 14 Aug 2007 17:32:00 GMT

In Resolved: Public Corporations Shall Take Us Seriously, the New York Times Magazine describes the rising tide of shareholder resolutions on climate change against ExxonMobil:
The ring tone on Sister Patricia Daly’s cellphone is the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s “Messiah,” which makes every call sound as if it’s coming from God. On the particular May afternoon, however, David Henry, who handles investor relations for the ExxonMobil Corporation, was on the line. Henry wanted to know if Daly planned to attend the annual shareholder meeting later that month — a rhetorical question, really, since Daly had been at every one of them for the past 10 years. At each she posed roughly the same question: What is ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, planning to do about global warming?

The article makes reference to Citigroup’s influential climate change investment report from the beginning of the year, Climatic Consequences: Investment Implications of a Changing Climate, and the May 2007 Greenpeace report ExxonMobil’s Continued Funding of Global Warming Denial Industry.

Further excerpts:
Yet global warming does seem to be an area in which social and fiscal concerns overlap. Recent reports by Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Lehman Brothers have reinforced the notion that climate change has the potential to affect a company’s bottom line, and shareholder resolutions have been remarkably effective at getting companies to take global warming seriously. After the Connecticut state treasurer’s office filed three consecutive climate resolutions with American Electric Power, the nation’s single-largest producer of carbon dioxide, the company agreed in 2004 to study the impact on its operations of various carbon cap-and-trade proposals, whereby companies must either limit their carbon emissions or purchase emissions credits from other companies that pollute less. Today American Electric is one of the companies calling for mandatory carbon constraints. Other companies singled out by shareholder activists, like Home Depot, Ford, Prudential, Cinergy, Chevron Texaco, Apache and ConocoPhillips, have variously agreed to disclose their greenhouse-gas emissions, study the impact of climate change on their businesses, invest in renewable energy sources or support a mandatory carbon cap.

The exception, as Daly notes, is ExxonMobil. For years the company denied that global climate change was occurring. According to a Greenpeace report in May, ExxonMobil funnels more than $2 million a year to groups that dispute the reality of global warming. The company’s current C.E.O., Rex Tillerson, made headlines in February when he admitted that the risks from climate change “could prove to be significant,” but he continues to emphasize the uncertainty of the science. In May he said: “I know people like to boil it down to something very simple — the polar ice caps are melting, the planet is seven-tenths of a degree centigrade warmer. It’s really not that simple of an equation.” And while BP, Shell and ConocoPhillips have joined the United States Climate Action Partnership, which is lobbying for mandatory carbon limits, and are investing in renewable energy sources like wind, solar and biofuels, ExxonMobil remains coy about which, if any, carbon constraints it would support and has stated unequivocally that the company will not be putting money into renewables.

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