Inside Out with the Climate Summit
The Global Climate Summit held in San Francisco from Sept. 11–14th, 2018, showcased Jerry Brown who had just signed the bill which mandates that California’s becomes a carbon free economy by 2045. Outside, a gathering of nearly a thousand activists, some locked down to barricade the main entrance to Moscone Center, connected to each other by mock ups of oil barrels. They, and their fellow demonstrators, were drawing global attention to the governor’s hands, because while his right may have signed the bill, his left continues to grant leases and otherwise support fracking and drilling for oil in the State of California, the world seventh greatest economy.
The two-faced Janus game played by this governor does not reflect that time is running short. With California plagued by mega fires reducing whole towns to moonscapes, with mega storms affecting the coast of the Carolinas, waiting is no longer an option. More than 4,000 people. businesses, activists and officials convened at the Global Climate Action to step up climate action for Mother Earth. At last, it seems that the do-it-yourself movement of climate change may be reaching critical mass. For example, Mayor Garcetti proposed a program of discounts for electric cars; a fleet of hydro-buses, and scaled up public transportation, setting the benchmark for cities nation- and world-wide. The French group, Charbon 14 and EcoVia dissected corporate behavior, emphasizing shareholder and political pressure tactics. Indigenous people and folks from Polynesia streamed live, many of them deeply concerned by sea-level rise. Nordstroms top floor housed an exhibit by Dutch designers displaying solutions including roadway solar panels. Other groups addressed agricology, carbon sequestration, ocean carbon sink, and agroforestry, framing their discussions around eco-friendly approaches to soil, forest, and water remediation.
Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji and COP23 president, and Jerry Brown hosted a high-level Talanoa Dialogue on the rapid transition to net-zero emission societies. Fiji has sold a substantial area of its lands to Kiribati, (the Gilbert Islands) in some places a mere 2 feet above sea level, which are preparing for the necessary evacuation of their home as sea levels obliterate their islands. Twenty-nine philanthropists pledged $4 billion, including $600 million by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, over the next five years to combat climate change, their giving primarily directed to cities and states propounding new initiatives, and with the anticipation that their movement will inspire on-going action toward climate mitigation.
Powering Past Coal Alliance announced 10 new members, among them New York State, Minnesota, Connecticut, and the cities of Honolulu, and Los Angeles, as well as whole territories in 4 foreign countries. UN climate change presented a revamped version of its Climate Action Portal. For example, some studies indicate that already by 2030, global greenhouse gas emissions can be lowered by as much as 1.5. to 2.2 gigatons of CO2 every year.
Continued global leadership includes:
Over 100 mayors, state and regional leaders and CEOs committing to becoming emissions neutral by 2050 at the outside and in line with the 1.2 degree goal of the Paris Agreement;
488 businesses setting science-based targets to ensure they are part of the climate solution;
More than 60 CEOs state and regional leaders and mayors committing to delivering a 100% zero-emission transport future by 2030, putting us on an irreversible road towards decarbonization;
38 cities, major businesses, state and regional governments committing to net-zero carbon buildings, cutting emissions equivalent to more than 50 coal-fired power stations;
More than 100 indigenous groups, state and local governments, and businesses launching a forest, food, and land-focused coalition to deliver 30% of climate solutions needed by 2030; and
Nearly 400 investors, with $32 trillion under management, working to ensure a low-carbon transformation of the global economy with the urgency required to meet the challenge.
The top solutions heard at the Global Climate Action Summit:
Empowering young people to fight for their future.
Respecting indigenous rights.
Many U.S. States stepping up commitments to the Paris Agreement.
Pushing businesses to go green.
Accelerating momentum for electric vehicles.
Harnessing forests and lands to meet the Paris Agreement.
Record-breaking investing for climate action.
Inside, both at the Moscone Center venue, and at the affiliate event venues about town, notably those in the Mission District where Soil Not Oil held its two-day events, we heard another story. It was the narrative of people belonging to associations and groups which seem finally to have realized Governments weren’t going to lift much weight other than adjusting their microphones, and that despite all the fine talk at Doha, and other venues as the years of climate devastation continue to take their toll, waiting for them to take decisive steps is not an option.
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Oyster Creek, nation’s oldest decaying NPP shuts down permanently.
San Clemente City demands answers to “serious near miss” at San Onofre.
National Environmental Coalition files legal challenge against Holtec/ELEA mega-dump for irradiated nuclear fuel and its proposal to transport high-level radioactive waste by truck, train and barge through most states.
Feds agree to a $925.000 safety settlement, improving Hanford worker safety as they clean up the polluted Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Following a public outcry, ACLU stops a $1 billion dollar funding increase for ICE to expand immigrant detention and enforcement.
Pressured by activists, California defeats A.B. 813, a bill that would have given up California’s control over its energy grid to outside states and to the administration.
German citizens squat in Hambacher Forest to protest the mining of coal which destroys whole villages and the health of human beings.
Immigrant rights advocates, some holding their children’s hands, others carrying babies in their arms, walked out of a Senate Homeland “Security” and Government Affairs Committee hearing in protest of the Administration’s effort to keep migrant children detained indefinitely.
Judge blocks Monsanto subpoena to collect activists’ personal information.
Landowners file constitutional challenge to Bay Bridge’s claim to eminent domain in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin.
Austin, TX becomes the latest major city to declare itself a freedom city, protecting undocumented immigrants and people guilty of minor misdemeanors.
Verizon cuts its ties with ALEC.
For the third time, community activists and indigenous leaders install solar panels in the path of Keystone XL pipeline.
Harvard students, arguing that his tenure is prejudicial to women law students, demand that the school investigate Kavanaugh before allowing his return.
A million press for independence, demanding the release of political prisoners and the return of exiles and demanding a free Catalonia.
First hydrogen trains begin rolling in Germany.
Carbon fee makes Washington State ballot.
Global Fossil divestment movement reaches $6.24 trillion in assets under management. Up from $53 billion four years ago, nearly 1000 institutional investors including insurers, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds, commit to divest from fossil fuels, .
The 2 MG prototype turbine off Orkney generates more electricity in its first 12 months than Scotland’s entire wave and tidal sector.
Musim Mas, one of the world’s largest palm oil traders, cuts ties with Conflict Palm Oil producer, Indofood.
In the mountains of the Dominican Republic, the farming village of Los Martinez creates an innovative model for the global transition to regenerative organic agriculture.
The Canadian Peace Congress, the U.S. Peace Council, and the Mexican Movement for Peace and Development at their fourth meeting declare their opposition to foreign interference, use of economic blackmail, threats of aggression, conspiring to carry out “regime change” and direct military intervention.
Tucson, AZ, protests for peace against Raytheon Missile Systems.
Thanks to grassroots activists, the heads of government of both North and South Korea agree that the era of ‘no war’ has started, including the end of military drills, missile sites closing down, mines dug up, road and rail lines link both Koreas, and they will jointly propose hosting the 2032 Summer Olympics.
The European Parliament passes resolution calling for ban on lethal autonomous weapons.
Civil, Human and Voting Rights
Supreme Court rules that groups that have been able to hide the source of their funding for issue-based campaign ads before and during and after campaigns will have to make that information available before voters go to the polls.
Prisoners’ Legal Advocacy Network mounts legal responses to widespread and nationally coordinated prisoner abuses in aftermath of 2018 national prison strike.
Ossining’s Emergency Tenant Protection Act is the largest expansion of rent stabilization in New York State in over three decades.
A DC District Court judge orders the FCC to disclose previously unreleased information to assist the public in understanding how millions of fake comments were submitted to the FCC using stolen names and addresses during the 2017 proceedings to repeal net neutrality.
Prompted by activists, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) System unanimously adopts a surveillance transparency ordinance, the first transit agency to do so in the nation.
California is on the cusp of the nation’s strongest statewide Net Neutrality bill, requiring only the signature of Governor Brown.
Texas prosecutor targets Border Patrol Agent, Isidro Alaniz for shooting four women in the head.
In major development, as many as 1,000 migrant parents may get a second chance at asylum.
A select group of House and Senate lawmakers agreed to a spending package that includes funding for all of public media programs which the Senate subsequently approved.
Legislation in support of employee ownership names worker cooperatives as a priority for the Small Business Bureau.