John Foran has published an analysis showing why any “official” outcome at the Paris Climate COP (“Conference of Parties”–and party they do) at the end of November will be a success in stopping catastrophic global climate change. He follows with suggestions of actions/strategies that might actually propel the Climate Justice Movement forward. See his full article: “Just Say ‘No’ to the Paris COP: A Possible Way to Win Something for Climate Justice.” Or see this 2-page pdf summary.
For more information on this upcoming gathering at UC Santa Barbara, see the 21st century ecosocialism conference schedule. Some highlights: of the opening evening and first morning:
Friday October 9th
8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Opening Event at the Pollock Theater: World Premiere of Climate Deadline Paris, 2015 (documentary, 65 minutes, directed by Richard Widick). Introduced by John Foran and Richard Widick. Q and A with Richard Widick, followed by reception.
Saturday October 10th
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Welcome, Opening, and Conference Overview. Girvetz 1004.
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Plenary Session 1: The Road to Paris. (Confirmed speakers include Nicolas Haeringer, Jeremy Brecher, John Foran, Ben Manski, Patrick Bond, and Emily Williams).
2013 Berkeley Divestment Protest
Sept. 9, 2015: During the Committee On Investments meeting, the University of California announced it is divesting from coal mining and tar sands companies.
After a huge student and community push, this is serious headway. Now the motto is: #DivestTheRest!
For details see this article in the Sept. 9, 2015 LA Times: “UC sells off $200 million in coal and oil sands investments.”
UC Fossil Free activist Emily Williams comments: “This is the day … when our decision makers listen to common sense and logic, and show their streak of humanity, when they realize betting against the future is not an investment and conflicts with the mission of our very institution, and when. we. win.”
Recent research shows what Fox “News” has proven over and over: a simple message repeated over and over has the best chance of shaping public opinion. This applies to the science of global warming as well: “It is unlikely that a single exposure to a scientific agreement message will result in complete belief updating; however, … simple clear messages, repeated often, by a variety of trusted sources is an effective framework for public communication.” – See more at: http://portside.org/2015-08-14/why-public-doesnt-believe-climate-change
photomontage: Big Oil’s influence on the California statehouse
This Portside analysis argues that California Democrats are beholden to Fossil Fuel Lobby funding: “How Democrats Mixed Oil and Water, Killing Environmental Bill.”
Unfortunately, Das Williams’s AB 356 went down in defeat in the supermajority democratic state assembly.
“Hopes were high among environmentalists when a bill designed to protect California’s drinking water was introduced in the state Assembly earlier this year. After all, California has passed some of the most far-reaching environmental laws and regulations in the nation, and the state legislature is dominated by the Democratic Party, whose members are generally inclined to vote for tougher environmental standards. It never had a chance.”
Solar panels on row house roofs.
Bill McKibben’s recent article “Power to the People,” in the June 29, 2015 New Yorker magazine, addresses the reasons why some of the US’s 1100 power companies–mostly public utilities– are reticent to support decentralized solar programs. He argues that utilities aren’t inherently evil; rather that they need to be given incentives to invest in forward-directed technologies, instead of making money with the same old tried and true dinosaur-burning methods they were created to sell. With a “hats off” to Elon Musk’s “Powerwall” batteries and his cousin’s Solar City business.