The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia

EarthSolidarity!™

Sunday, 10 December 2023 08:30

EarthSolidarity! quest announced

Dec. 10, 2023 — Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ 75th anniversary

EarthSolidarity!™ is a grassroots appeal by the Foundation for Global Sustainability. It challenges everyone to become active, or even more engaged, in humanity’s exigency to stem the demise of our planet’s life-support systems. The gist of it is summarized in two sentences:

Ask not what Mother Earth can do for you.

Ask what you and those next to you can do to keep our planet inhabitable.

 

That meme addresses the global polycrisis — with a hat tip to President John F. Kennedy for borrowing the notion from his 1961 inauguration speech. (Then the Cold War was approaching the boiling point of the Cuban missile crisis. And incidentally, human rights had improved little yet for the majority of the world’s population.)

The global polycrisis is brought about by the pernicious entanglement of many systems that keep civilization ticking. Relatively small disturbances in one system may reverberate through other systems. When necessary corrections trigger a self re-enforcing feed-back loop, previously unimagined break downs that affect multiple systems can happen. Recent examples are the disruptions of world supply chains by the COVID-19 pandemic; then again by a single ship stranded in the Suez Canal.

Cascade polycrisis systems v2Inter-system categories.  From: ‘What is a Global Polycrisis?’ by the Cascade Institute

Increases in the frequency and severity of calamities, such as catastrophic floods, hurricanes and tornados, extensive droughts, debilitating heat waves, widespread forest fires, or episodes of abominable air quality often result in disruptions of supply chains, diminished availability of critical services, reduced job security and hikes in cost of living expenses. In less developed areas of the world, water or food shortages may lead to armed conflicts and waves of refugees.

CostOfLivingReport Paul BehrensAn example of how climate impacts combine with other shocks to increase cost of living. The baseline shows an average cost without the impact of climate change against two scenarios going forward — current policies and adaptation & mitigation — to indicate the increase in cost of living over time as climate impacts accumulate. As the cost of living increases, the colored dashed lines show the potential for societal tipping points or volatile transitions, from strikes to political instability. (Behrens, P., 2023)

Monday, 27 November 2023 01:17

EarthSolidarity!

Everyone makes a difference

The EarthSolidarity! (ES!) project is building a regional portal and model program that will support community members in developing strong individual and cooperative initiatives to adopt more sustainable and resilient ways of consumption, production, operation, interaction and exchange.

ES! initiatives may range from the personal to the global level

The action emphasis focuses on local or regional implementation, yet not without a clear awareness and idea of how it will contribute to the solution of a concerning planetary problem.

By following the Think Globally, Act Locally ethos of solidarity with Mother Earth, all its people and all other forms of life, participants can identify immediate, practical, locally adapted opportunities to achieve more effective improvements than governmental mandates could and would.

Averting planetary catastrophes

For decades, concerned citizens have urged governments to take action preventing global environmental crises. With minimal success!

With every day it becomes clearer how we are already engulfed in an incipient polycrisis.

It is high time for everyone to do their best by themselves as well as with their family, neighbors, coworkers and everyone else they can motivate and engage!

Hellbender Press provides background information on local and regional issues. It emphasizes their implications for ecosystems and the global commons, and it highlights sustainable solutions.

Governmental regulations tend to be heavy-handed, cumbersome, difficult and slow to take effect. They often are too general to take advantage of unique local opportunities to do better and to avoid unanticipated hardships that could be effectively circumvented by stakeholder cooperation on the ground.

Sunday, 22 October 2023 17:51

October 24 is United Nations Day

united nations day

 

Despite strong US popular support for the UN, House Appropriations Bill wants to eliminate UN funding

NEW YORK — In a poll of nearly two thousand registered voters, 73% of respondents from across the political spectrum support America’s engagement with the United Nations.

Conducted by Morning Consult in August 2023, the survey finds that roughly two-thirds of Republicans and 86% of Democrats believe it’s important for the U.S. to “maintain an active role” in the UN.

UN favorability stood at 52%, with a plurality of Republicans saying they view the UN in a positive light.

More than half of all voters support paying full dues to the UN’s regular budget, and an even greater percentage (nearly 60%) are in favor of paying dues to the UN’s peacekeeping budget.

These numbers reflect similar nationwide data — including a 2023 survey by Pew Research — noting strong UN favorability among Americans.

What’s at stake?

The House budget proposal recommends eliminating funding for the UN regular budget — for the first time in history. That would cause the U.S. to lose its vote in the UN General Assembly!

Why that would be a grave and costly mistake is well explained by Jordie Hannum, Executive Director of the Better World Campaign.

This UN Day, make sure to tell your members of Congress that you support the UN’s mission.

Here are easy to follow help and sample scripts for your call and for leaving voice mail. Or, send them a customizable email message.

“As Congress considers making drastic cuts in U.S. contributions to the UN, this is a powerful reminder that Americans value the institution and want the U.S. to stay involved,” said Peter Yeo, President of the Better World Campaign. “The UN is a critical space for the U.S. to demonstrate our global leadership and support our allies. Americans clearly understand that it’s in our best interest to nurture this vital relationship.”

Exxon Mobil refinery Baton Rouge, LA ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge, LA refinery, Feb. 11, 2016. Later that day, shortly before midnight, a massive fire broke out, bathing the night sky in an orange glow visible for miles around.  Creative Commons Mark BY 2.0 Jim Brown/Flickr 

Generations of Black Americans have faced racism, redlining and environmental injustices, such as breathing 40 percent dirtier air and being twice as likely as white Americans to be hospitalized or die from climate-related health problems.

AMERICA TODAY — This week, NPR’s Living on Earth podcast and illustrated transcript elucidates how relevant the broader meaning and historic context of Juneteenth is for all American citizens and residents.

Host Steve Curwood discusses with Heather McTeer Toney her new book, ‘Before the Streetlights Come On: Black America’s Urgent Call for Climate Solution.’

McTeer served as the Southeast Regional Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in the Obama administration and is now Executive Director of Beyond Petrochemicals. She argues that the quest for racial justice must include addressing the climate emergency and that the insights of people who experienced the negative health and socio-economic impacts of the petrochemical industry must be tapped to develop solutions that will work on the ground.

Saturday, 15 October 2022 23:35

Food myths hurt Mother Earth

 Save money and our planet with tips from  Cheddar News

The average American family of four annually spends more than $2,000 on food they never eat!

Nearly one in nine people suffer from hunger worldwide.

Agriculture contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and soil degradation.

Climate change increases crop losses.

One third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted.

It’s not just the food that’s wasted.

Consider the energy wasted to grow, process and transport it.

That all contributes to climate change, food shortages and to the rising costs of food, energy and health care.

Food waste stresses our environment, humanity and the economy.

— EarthSolidarity™

The Economist The global food crisis explained
The global food crisis, explained. a 12-minute video by The Economist raises awareness of how global crises combine with intricate national and international issues to precipitate local predicament.
(It is unclear why this video has become age-restricted by YouTube — after being available unrestricted for quit a while. Some facts and brief clips of destitute people or riots seem little more disturbing — not just to young minds — than what’s often seen on daily TV news. Parental guidance is recommended.  — Ed.)
 

MOTHER EARTH — Scarcity of food, lack of safety nets and paucity of solidarity lead to famine. This explainer by The Economist elucidates much of the detrimental interdependencies of the global economy which resulted in bottlenecks that can not withstand unanticipated shifts in supply and demand.

PV Magazine & BO Klima: Berlin macht Solardächer zur Pflicht

The rooftop solar law, passed on June 16, says every new building and substantial renewal of an existing building’s roof must be equipped with solar panels covering at least 30 percent of the roof surface.

The German capital — which is on the same latitude as Labrador City — intends to become more climate friendly. It wants to act as a role model for other municipalities and states in how to accelerate the energy transition. It aims for solar to cover 25% of its electricity consumption.

The city contends, the solar potential of its roofs has gotten inadequate consideration and expects the new law will create many future-proof jobs in planning and trades.

Building owners may opt to use solar facade panels or contract with third parties to build and operate equivalent solar capacity that fulfills the mandate elsewhere in the city. But critics of the law say it does not address how to optimize its implementation with present practices, regulations, and tariffs. They predict, this law will be inefficient and costlier than other methods to stimulate renewable energy generation.

Bavaria, for example, launched an incentive program that awards combined new solar and battery storage installations. Applications for that program have multiplied quickly and now are deemed likely to surpass the 100,000 installations mark by the end of its third year.

Germany, whose entire southern border is farther north than Quebec City or Duluth, has a long history of technology and policy leadership in renewable energies. In 1991 the German Electricity Feed-in Act was the first in the world that mandated grid operators to connect all renewable power generators, pay them a guaranteed feed-in tariff for 20 years and prioritize these sources.

Published in Feedbag
Friday, 18 June 2021 17:52

Outrage + Optimism

Global Optimism: “We Have to Be At War With Carbon”

The first 15 minutes of this podcast analyze the Shortcomings of the G7 Summit.

The second 15-minute segment is a conversation with the CEO of Rolls Royce about its goal to make long-distance flights Net Zero by 2050.

Thursday, 17 June 2021 13:48

Save Our Future Act introduced in Senate

CCL: Sweeping carbon pricing bill

On Wednesday, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Brian Schatz (HI) introduced the Save Our Future Act, comprehensive legislation that dramatically reduces emissions and protects environmental justice and coal communities.

In a statement, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Executive Director Mark Reynolds said, “The Save Our Future Act would place an ambitious price on carbon to reduce America's emissions, but it doesn't stop there. This legislation would also address long-standing environmental justice concerns by directly pricing emissions of fossil fuel co-pollutants in frontline communities, and it would invest in coal communities to support them through the transition to a clean energy economy.”

The bill is drawing positive comments from unions and environmental justice organizations.

In the House, the number of representatives cosponsoring the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act has grown to 68 already.

Published in Feedbag
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