Christ The Redeemer Turns Green In Solidarity With People’s Climate March

Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue got a makeover to honor climate activism as the UN’s Climate Summit approaches on Tuesday.

Typically stark grey, the 98-foot Christ statue glowed green above Rio in solidarity with the Sunday People’s Climate March as a warning of the dangers climate change poses.

climate march

The statue has already had a colorful month, as just a week prior it was illuminated yellow to bring awareness to human trafficking in Brazil. In July it alternated blue and red hues for the Argentina and Germany teams during the World Cup games.

With its green shading, Christ the Redeemer joins a prominent religious voice in the climate action community which will be out in full force at Sunday’s march to call attention to the moral imperative to care for the earth.

from Green – The Huffington Post

Prayer Flags Fly In Solidarity With People’s Climate March

Thousands are gathering in New York City for the People’s Climate March on Sunday, but thousands more will be marching, praying, hiking and gathering in solidarity around the United States.

That is why two faith activists, Hannah Sohl and Claire Curran, joined forces from across the country to initiate the Prayer Flags for the People’s Climate March project. People far and wide are invited to make their own flags with prayers for climate change, which are being featured on the project’s blog.

Sohl, who is involved with her local United Church of Christ (UCC) in Ashland, Oregon and with the Central Pacific Conference Climate Action Network, said her groups often use art to encourage conversations about climate change and sustainability — and the prayer flags are a perfect example.

“Our mission is to bring communities together for cleaner energy, sustainable jobs, and a healthy environment,” Sohl told HuffPost. “This project is really personal. Each person gets to put their story, their hopes, their dreams into the flag, and then when each of the flags joins together the image of all the flags fluttering in the wind represents how much stronger we are together.”

Curran is the Campaign Coordinator for the Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light and is leading a bus tour with 50 people traveling to the march. She made her flag ahead of the trip:

“It says: ‘I’m marching for a just and sustainable world for all.'”

Check out a sampling of flags below!

from Green – The Huffington Post

Mass of seaweed coats Colombian coastline – video

A thick layer of seaweed coats Colombia’s San Andres island coastline on Friday, preventing tourists and locals from swimming in the area. The seaweed first appeared on Thursday and prompted an investigation by local authorities. According to residents, seaweed is common on the island, but rarely grows to this extent Continue reading…

from Environment | The Guardian

Climate Crisis Is Every Working Person’s Crisis

In recent weeks, working people have taken to the streets to stand up for higher wages, protesting corporations that make big profits but pay poverty wages. This Sunday, thousands of us will be out in the streets again, this time to take our place in history by standing strong at the People’s Climate March in New York.

It’s projected by some to be the largest global mass protest ever, with an estimated 100,000 people expected in New York alone and 150 related events planned worldwide. Thousands of working people — union and non-union alike — will be there because the global climate crisis is a working person’s crisis.

Everyone knows that when extreme weather caused by climate change hits our communities, working people are our first line of defense — as police, firefighters, paramedics, nurses, doctors, transit workers and emergency aid workers.

And while all of us feel the impact when climate disasters hit close to home or affect those we love, it’s projected that 70 percent of the those hardest hit will be people who are poor and people of color: working people whose low wages can make them exceptionally vulnerable.

When disaster strikes, they are most likely to bear the brunt and may even become “climate refugees.” They lose their homes, their jobs or weeks and weeks of work and pay. Our union brothers and sisters who hail from countries like Guyana and the Philippines have seen the carnage and the costs first hand.

Although it doesn’t grab headlines the same way as floods and wildfires, millions suffer each year from childhood asthma or breast cancer diagnoses that have been firmly linked to urban air pollution. And hard-working, low-income people are also more likely to live in or near an area subject to current pollution — and to suffer the health consequences.

Will we leave the children we love a safer, healthier planet than the one that was handed off to us? Will they breathe clean air, swim in the ocean, find jobs in healthy communities and a healthy economy? This is why we march.

Though not a single working person is immune from the climate crisis, all of us will benefit if we band together to solve it.

Together with our allies in the environmental movement, union members have concluded we need a wartime-like effort to shift to a clean energy economy, with working people as empowered partners in this change.

Union members — including SEIU sisters and brothers — are already addressing climate change, with truck drivers advocating for cleaner driving standards, construction workers championing green building standards and janitors using green cleaning products. Many of our communities are home to businesses in the solar and wind energy sectors, which are growing much faster than the U.S. economy itself.

We won’t let national and global leaders off the hook. We will hold them accountable if they align with big corporations that put their bottom line over human health and well-being. They would have us all believe the big lie that economic growth and job growth are at odds with cleaner communities.

We know the facts, though. It is time for our leaders to head the call of working people for bold action on climate. When we stand strong and united, we will deliver on our vision of a clean energy future and on its promise of more jobs, better jobs and stronger communities.

from Green – The Huffington Post

Leo DiCaprio: ‘Nearly All Life On Earth Could Go Extinct Because Of Man-Made Climate Change’

green world rising

The short film above, “Last Hours,” is the second episode in the Green World Rising series narrated by actor Leonardo DiCaprio and created by Tree Media. Ahead of next week’s U.N. climate summit, DiCaprio was named this week a U.N. Messanger of Peace.

By Leila Conners — Tree Media

We have reached a milestone this year, exceeding a 400 parts per million level of carbon in the atmosphere. While it was reported, has the trajectory we are on been fully understood? In an era where we are still dealing with climate deniers amidst the biggest self-made global catastrophe facing humankind, it is time that the equivocating stop and the media move beyond climate denial.

The reason is simple. The late Dr. Stephen Schneider often reminded us of that we buy insurance for a less than one percent chance that our house will burn down. And yet, we are waiting for 100 percent certainty on climate science even though the very life support system of our planet is at stake. And the science is showing that Earth’s life support system may be truly at stake. Per Dr. Michael Mann and others, business-as-usual emissions could possibly threaten the whole web of life. It is our obligation to take every precaution in our power to prevent that calamity.

The web of life has collapsed several times in the past, including the Permian Mass extinction, during which over 95 percent of all life on Earth perished. We are, with our accelerated burning of fossil fuels, creating conditions similar to those that triggered the Permian Mass extinction. Last Hours, the second film in our Green World Rising series, explains why.

Given the state of the climate debate in this country, we may face consternation that we have told this story. But as Dr. Schneider said, why risk the very life support system of our planet? I believe that people should be treated as adults and be told the truth, even if it is strong medicine. Scientists themselves often have to pull back from sobering conclusions for fear that they get reprimanded. But given the levels of carbon in the atmosphere, it is time to comprehend the whole story. We must all take heed and listen.

The European Union adheres to the notion of the precautionary principle. The burden of proof rests with the state or corporation to prove a specific action or product is not harmful before implementing it. The burden there does not rest on the public or civil society to prove that an action or product is not harmful. In the case of climate change, this is prudent law and much worth implementing here in America.

Here, the fossil fuel industry undermines, obfuscates and threatens those who speak out. This should no longer be acceptable to the media even if it does sell ads. The debate is over. Climate change is happening due to human activity and the burning of fossil fuels. It is time to move on to a sustainable new world.

This new world would be stable and viable. We will show that a world powered by renewable energy resources will allow for a more equitable distribution of income and stable energy prices. Less carbon will be released into the atmosphere, pollution will be reduced and overall health will increase. We need to start putting this world in place immediately, and we are glad to see that it is starting to happen.

To companies sitting on gigatons of still-buried carbon reserves: Please start massively moving into this new world of sustainable energy. Citizens can do what they can, individually, like plant urban gardens, turn off the lights, compost and recycle. But we need companies and bigger players to step up and build the cars that run on electricity (thank you, Elon) and biofuel from non-food resources; make the planes that run on biojet fuel; and create the systems that power our homes and industry with solar, wind and geothermal.

As my late father said, who worked in the fossil fuel industry: Do not burn fossil fuels but rather, use them to make life-sustaining products. The oil molecule and others like it have many undiscovered properties and unlocked potential: burning them is the least interesting and most destructive.

A world based on fossil fuels has no future; so stop fighting for it. And if companies don’t want to invest in this sustainable, economically robust future; that’s fine; but don’t create barriers that prevent all of us from building this world; please step out of the way.

Humanity still has a bright future if we move as quickly as possible to a world based on renewable energy. Let’s fight for this world, and stop giving credence to the deniers and their junk science that has for so long kept us back and created our current state of peril. It’s time for all of us to work in harmony with nature to build this new world.

from Green – The Huffington Post

One Woman’s Amazing Work for Wilderness

We’re right in the middle of Wilderness Week, and this year it’s a special one because we just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act — which is still a high-water mark for the protection of our most precious wild places. On Wednesday night, I attended a big gala in Washington, D.C., along with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and plenty of other political, movement, and environmental big shots.

For me, though, the real star of the evening was Vicky Hoover, the humble, unassuming Sierra Club volunteer superhero who received  the “A Wilderness-Forever Future” award. Nobody I know has put our motto “explore, enjoy, and protect” to better use. Vicky has done all of those things, with a zest and ageless energy that radiates from her. When I see her well-used blue commuter bike locked up in front of our headquarters, I know stuff is gonna get done.

Like so many wilderness champions, Vicky started by falling in love with the wilderness experience. She took up backpacking in the mid-sixties, after she already had two young children. She and her husband brought them along, much as my wife and I do with our kids today. Soon their whole family was climbing Sierra peaks and, by 1981, Vicky had summited all 247 peaks on the Sierra Peaks Section list. You can find her own version of that story here.

But one thing anyone learns about Vicky in a hurry is that she’s not content to be a follower. As I said, she’s a doer. Very quickly, she graduated from outings participant to trip leader — mostly in the Sierra Nevada, but also in Alaska, Utah, and even New Zealand.  She may have been born in Manhattan, but I’d bet her wilderness skills and Sierra knowledge would match even old John Muir’s. And word has it she’s a much better cook.

Another thing she shares with the Sierra Club’s founder is a deep appreciation of the mountains and meadows she’s explored. Eventually, that led her to realize that someone must have worked to make sure those places were protected. Vicky was also quick to figure out that wilderness exploration is a gateway to wilderness protection. “When I started leading trips, I took it for granted that these wild places were just there,” she once said. “But all those years of leading outings made me think that I should try to get more places protected.

She did a lot more than try.

Vicky had already volunteered with her local chapter’s office, but in 1985 she stepped up her game. She got a part-time job in the national Sierra Club office as an assistant to Dr. Edgar Wayburn, himself one of the greatest wilderness activists of all time. She started working hard for Dr. Wayburn’s Alaska Task Force — and has kept going for almost three decades.

She also began serving on local and then national wilderness committees. One of the great conservation campaigns at that time was to pass the California Desert Protection Act. Right away, Vicky was in the thick of it. She started leading outings to some of the Southwestern lands that would be affected by the act — so she could be an even more effective advocate. When President Clinton signed the bill in 1996, the American people gained two national parks (Joshua Tree and Death Valley), as well as more than half a million acres of Wilderness Area in the new Mojave National Preserve. I doubt Vicky even paused to catch her breath before plunging into the next campaign. That California and Alaska are the states with the highest percentage of their lands set aside as wilderness is in no small part thanks to Vicky Hoover.

Vicky finally retired as a Sierra Club staffer four years ago, but her idea of “retired” isn’t one you’ll find in a dictionary. She still chairs the Club’s California/Nevada Wilderness Committee (also serving as its newsletter editor). As co-chair of Wilderness50 — a coalition of federal agencies and nonprofit organizations — she’s also spent the past four years using the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act as a way to publicize and promote wilderness to as broad and diverse an audience as possible. Oh, and she continues to lead outings — including five service and other outings already this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

Over the years, Vicky’s received lots of awards for the incredible work she’s done, including the Club’s highest honor, the John Muir Award, in 2004. But as much as she deserves this latest accolade, I know it’s only a small measure of how much all of us who love wilderness owe to this remarkable woman. What’s the best way we can really thank her? Get out and experience some wilderness!

And while you’re at it, take a moment to ask Congress to continue the 50-year legacy of the Wilderness Act by passing some of the current wilderness bills with bipartisan support that have been stuck in gridlock for years. Hey, not even Vicky can do it all single-handed!

from Green – The Huffington Post

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