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Why 24 Hours of Reality Matters
Twenty-four hours of seriously thought-provoking conversations on climate with world leaders, business icons, and celebrities from Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to California Gov. Jerry Brown to Mustafa Ali to Ellie Goulding to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and more in a list so long it could wrap around the New York studio.
Twenty-four hours of presentations from former Vice President Al Gore and performances from the hottest artists in nearly every genre of contemporary music from Ryan Tedder to G.E.M. to Jay Park to Shawn Mendes to Now United. Twenty-four hours of caffeine-fueled social media corner shout-outs from the one and only Calum Worthy and his crew of accomplices.
But here are the numbers that really matter. More than half a billion households reached on television. Over 32 million views online and more than 4,000 people using their social media platforms to share the program, making 24 Hours of Reality the world's largest social broadcast on climate.
Why do these numbers matter?
Because what it tells you is that no matter what's happening with the latest outrage or fossil fuel giveaway from the White House, the people of the world are in this together. These numbers tell you that your friends, neighbors, colleagues and more are with you. That we're tired of powerful corporations and their friends in office polluting our atmosphere and transforming our climate—and getting away with it.
Because momentum is with us. Because together, if we speak up, we have the numbers to win. But here's the thing: all those big names on the show and the millions and millions of people who watched it, that's just the starting point.
We said it over and over again on the show: We've got to fight like our world depends on it—because it does. It's up to us now to speak up and share the message of 24 Hours of Reality—We must change. We can change. We will change—with everyone we know. It's time to put our leaders on notice that we're not going to just sit by and let them give away our planet and our future.
No one else is going to do it for us. Wherever you are, whoever you are, there are many ways you can make a difference. But you have to act. Learn how by downloading our climate action kit Be the Voice of Reality: Twelve Ways to Make a Difference and get started today.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Patti Lynn
2018 was a groundbreaking year in the public conversation about climate change. Last February, The New York Times reported that a record percentage of Americans now believe that climate change is caused by humans, and there was a 20 percentage point rise in "the number of Americans who say they worry 'a great deal' about climate change."
England faces an "existential threat" if it does not change how it manages its water, the head of the country's Environment Agency warned Tuesday.
By Jessica Corbett
A new analysis revealed Tuesday that over the past two decades heat records across the U.S. have been broken twice as often as cold ones—underscoring experts' warnings about the increasingly dangerous consequences of failing to dramatically curb planet-warming emissions.
By Madison Dapcevich
Ask any resident of San Francisco about the waterfront parrots, and they will surely tell you a story of red-faced conures squawking or dive-bombing between building peaks. Ask a team of researchers from the University of Georgia, however, and they will tell you of a mysterious string of neurological poisonings impacting the naturalized flock for decades.
The initial cause of the fire was not yet known, but it has been driven by the strong wind and jumped the North Santiam River, The Salem Statesman Journal reported. As of Tuesday night, it threatened around 35 homes and 30 buildings, and was 20 percent contained.
The unanimous verdict was announced Tuesday in San Francisco in the first federal case to be brought against Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, alleging that repeated use of the company's glyphosate-containing weedkiller caused the plaintiff's cancer. Seventy-year-old Edwin Hardeman of Santa Rosa, California said he used Roundup for almost 30 years on his properties before developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"Today's verdict reinforces what another jury found last year, and what scientists with the state of California and the World Health Organization have concluded: Glyphosate causes cancer in people," Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement. "As similar lawsuits mount, the evidence will grow that Roundup is not safe, and that the company has tried to cover it up."
Judge Vince Chhabria has split Hardeman's trial into two phases. The first, decided Tuesday, focused exclusively on whether or not Roundup use caused the plaintiff's cancer. The second, to begin Wednesday, will assess if Bayer is liable for damages.
"We are disappointed with the jury's initial decision, but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer," Bayer spokesman Dan Childs said in a statement reported by The Guardian. "We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto's conduct has been appropriate and the company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman's cancer."
Some legal experts said that Chhabria's decision to split the trial was beneficial to Bayer, Reuters reported. The company had complained that the jury in Johnson's case had been distracted by the lawyers' claims that Monsanto had sought to mislead scientists and the public about Roundup's safety.
However, a remark made by Chhabria during the trial and reported by The Guardian was blatantly critical of the company.
"Although the evidence that Roundup causes cancer is quite equivocal, there is strong evidence from which a jury could conclude that Monsanto does not particularly care whether its product is in fact giving people cancer, focusing instead on manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns about the issue," he said.
Many regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, have ruled that glyphosate is safe for humans, but the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer found it was "probably carcinogenic to humans" in 2015. A university study earlier this year found that glyphosate use increased cancer risk by as much as 41 percent.
Hardeman's lawyers Jennifer Moore and Aimee Wagstaff said they would now reveal Monsanto's efforts to mislead the public about the safety of its product.
"Now we can focus on the evidence that Monsanto has not taken a responsible, objective approach to the safety of Roundup," they wrote in a statement reported by The Guardian.
Hardeman's case is considered a "bellwether" trial for the more than 760 glyphosate cases Chhabria is hearing. In total, there are around 11,200 such lawsuits pending in the U.S., according to Reuters.
University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias told Reuters that Tuesday's decision showed that the verdict in Johnson's case was not "an aberration," and could possibly predict how future juries in the thousands of pending cases would respond.