40 Communities Worldwide Organize Actions to Protest Dirty Energy and Highlight Urgent Need to Address Climate Change
Solidarity actions are taking place in more than 40 communities around the world protesting dirty energy and spotlighting an urgent need to address the climate crisis during the week of action Nov. 14 to Nov. 20. Following a summer of unprecedented extreme weather and the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy the Tar Sands Blockade, a sustained direct action campaign based in Texas against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, has called for this week’s actions.
The closing of the hottest year on record and this summer’s dangerous extreme weather demonstrate that communities all across the world are already experiencing the effects of a rapidly destabilizing climate system. These actions are part of a burgeoning movement of activists who are self-organizing in their neighborhoods, schools and community centers to draw the connections between the ever-more reckless extraction of energy by the profit-driven fossil fuel industry and climate impacts already on their doorsteps. They are building the resilient and resistant communities needed to ensure all people and the planet are healthy and thriving.
Climate change continues to put a disproportionate burden on low income communities and communities of color around the world, and this weeks events highlight this struggle as locals rise up to defend their homes from climate chaos. These events serve as a reminder that we are part of a growing movement to demand climate action. Get ideas for your own local action here.
“Communities around the world are working together to expose the threat that the fossil fuel economy poses to families everywhere,” said Arielle Klagsbrun of Missourians Organizing for Empowerment and Reform. “As extractive industries grow increasingly desperate for profits, corporations like Peabody Coal and TransCanada are resorting to the most dangerous of energy reserves, like hydro-fracking, tar sands exploitation and mountain top removal coal mining.”
On Nov. 14, nine members of Rising Tide Vermont interrupted a Shell Oil executive while he was speaking on a panel about Big Oil in the Niger Delta. Activists shared testimony from Niger Delta community members suffering the impacts of Shell Oil operations on their homeland. Shell Oil has a long-standing relationship with Nigeria’s various military dictatorships and has been implicated in the genocidal devastation of ecosystems and communities in the Niger Delta. They also read statements from members of communities in Nigeria, Alberta, facing toxic tar sands extraction.
On Nov. 14, more than 30 people gathered in Helena, Montana’s Constitution Park to support the venerable U.S. tradition of civil disobedience. Immediately before an omnibus court hearing for the 23 people arrested during last August’s peaceful protests against coal exports at the Montana State Capitol in Helena, the group gathered with signs reading “Support the Coal Export Action 23” and “No More Coal Exports.” Several people addressed the crowd, including some of the 23 who had been arrested in August. “I came to Helena, to my own statehouse and got arrested because it looks to me like there is no more time for writing reasoned letters to the editor or having meetings with the politicians,” said Linda Kenoyer, describing why she participated in last summer’s civil disobedience. "The time has come to put my body on the line, to risk my safety and clean record if that’s what it takes to get someone’s attention.” View more photos and read about the action on Coal Export Action’s blog.
On Nov. 14, hundreds marched through the streets of Manilla, Philippines toward the U.S. Embassy to call for urgent action on climate change. Rising sea levels caused by climate change are a matter of survival for the thousands who live along the coastline of this island nation. Marchers connected the dots on climate change and other climate super powered storms like Hurricane Sandy with their signs. The march featured street theater and giant puppets organized by the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice as part of the Global Week for Climate Justice, which listed Tar Sands Blockade’s Mass Action on Monday Nov. 19 as part of their global week of action.
On Nov. 15, four people were arrested for shutting down an American Petroleum Institute luncheon in the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. Yesterday's action, in solidarity with Tar Sands Blockade, was in response to Hurricane Sandy and the newly approved Parkway Oil Pipeline that would endanger the cities beloved Lake Pontchartrain. New Orleans residents understand what the impacts of climate change mean for the health and safety of their community. The climate super powered storm of Hurricane Sandy serves as an all too familiar reminder of the devastation these more frequent storms will bring to the most vulnerable families around the globe. Yesterday, more than a dozen organizers marched in the streets and shut down the American Petroleum Institute's luncheon to protest Big Oil’s stranglehold on our economy and our livable future. They chanted: “No pipeline! No tar sands! No destruction of Louisiana land!”
Here is a sampling of upcoming events this week:
Sunday, Nov. 18: More than 3,500 people are expected to rally at the White House to call on President Obama to reject the permit for the Keystone XL northern segment. Event organized by 350.org, Sierra Club and other allies.
Monday, Nov. 19: Dozens of community members will rally in Nacogdoches, Texas to oppose the construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline from endangering their homes. Tar Sands Blockade will be taking nonviolent direct action to halt its construction.
Monday, Nov. 19: Community organizations in St. Louis are taking action to target JP Morgan Chase for bankrolling the tar sands extraction. Event organized by Missourians Organizing for Empowerment and Reform, and Climate Action St. Louis.
Monday, Nov. 19: Residents of Salt Lake City are performing theatrical exhibitions outside the Bureau of Land Management for its approval of public lands for the first tar sands mine in the U.S. Event organized by Peaceful Uprising and Utah Tar Sands Resistance.
Tuesday, Nov. 20: In London, UK Tar Sands Network, Rising Tide UK and others will protest a meeting of Canadian Tar Sands executives, banking industry representatives and government leaders meeting to discuss further expansion of Alberta tar sands extraction.
More events are on the map in these locations: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; Norman, OK; Charlotte, NC; Denton, TX; Eugene, OR; Middlesex, NY; Corvallis, OR; Seattle, WA; Fairfax, CA; Bridgeport, CT; Bloomington, IN; Burlington, VT; Helena, MT; Nashville, TN; Cincinnati, OH; Port Townsend, WA; Jefferson, NH; Santa Clarita, CA; Albany, CA; Burlington, VT; New Orleans, LA; Salt Lake City, Utah; Austin, TX; Eureka, CA; Portland, OR; Denver, CO; Minneapolis, MN; New York, NY; London, UK; Minisk, NY; Astoria, OR; Wilton, NH; Swarthmore, PA; Philadelphia, PA … and counting!
“It’s encouraging to see these solidarity actions spring up across the globe in response to the escalating devastation of climate change,” said Nicole Browne of Tar Sands Blockade, who helped put out the call for the solidarity actions. “From the Alberta tar sands to the forests of East Texas and all around the world, these actions give hope to people everywhere who are defending their homes from reckless energy extraction that is fueling climate chaos.”
Clearly widespread adoption of renewable energy must be a top priority for all nations. Help encourage the U.S. Congress to expedite renewable energy by signing EcoWatch's petion that demands our leaders take seriously the energy and climate crisis, and immediately work to implement the policies to move our country toward a sustainable future.
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Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.
<div id="dadb2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa2ad8cb566c9b4b6d2df2693669f6f9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1357796504740761602" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍 Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, ban… https://t.co/Nco050ztBA</div> — USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWS Pacific Region)<a href="https://twitter.com/USFWSPacific/statuses/1357796504740761602">1612558888.0</a></blockquote></div>
By Hui Hu
Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.
Comparing rime ice and glaze ice shows how each changes the texture of the blade. Gao, Liu and Hu, 2021, CC BY-ND
Ice buildup changes air flow around the turbine blade, which can slow it down. The top photos show ice forming after 10 minutes at different temperatures in the Wind Research Tunnel. The lower measurements show airflow separation as ice accumulates. Icing Research Tunnel of Iowa State University, CC BY-ND
While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
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