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Cher: Spending One Day in Beijing is Now the Equivalent of Smoking 40 Cigarettes
The Sierra Club and RYOT launched their second joint virtual reality video experience yesterday, viewable on the RYOT-VR mobile app, Facebook 360 and YouTube 360. The immersive experience, narrated by legendary singer/actress Cher, highlights the dirty, dangerous effects of coal pollution from power plants and the industries that buy their power China.
The video focuses particular attention on a small group of 21 individuals who are responsible for more than 10 percent of China's CO2 emissions. Just one day before the start of the Paris conference, Beijing was shrouded by smog again forcing the authorities to issue their highest smog warning so far this year, underscoring the need for China to act immediately.
“Spending one day in Beijing is now the equivalent of smoking 40 cigarettes," Cher says during the video. “Poisonous air causes the premature deaths of more than 4,000 people each day and two birth defects a minute. The Chinese people suffer in heartbreaking ways at the hands of these 21 polluters. The Chinese people are bound to lives in masks, beneath apocalyptic, smog-filled skies."
The video aims to not only highlight the devastating effects of coal use on the climate and air of China and the world, but also to urge Chinese leaders to take meaningful action. As part of the launch, the video will be launched by RYOT in Paris during the ongoing COP21 negotiations.
“China now produces more CO2 emissions than the U.S. and Europe combined, which is why it is more important than ever that we turn our shared commitments into action in Paris," said Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director. “Together, the U.S. and China must leave coal and other dirty fuels behind and turn our commitments into even further climate and clean energy action, because no country is immune from climate change and no country can meet the challenge alone."
“Virtual reality is the perfect way to tell this important story," said Molly Swenson, COO of RYOT and an executive producer of the film. “It's one thing to hear about the dramatic levels of air pollution, but being transported into a place where people live with it every day makes you understand the headlines. Virtual reality can help make sure everyone is aware of how critical action on climate change is. If you woke up every day and had to breathe this air wouldn't you want leaders in Paris this week to step-up and help you?"
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Tuna auctions are a tourist spectacle in Tokyo. Outside the city's most famous fish market, long queues of visitors hoping for a glimpse of the action begin to form at 5 a.m. The attraction is so popular that last October the Tsukiji fish market, in operation since 1935, moved out from the city center to the district of Toyosu to cope with the crowds.
gmnicholas / E+ / Getty Images
Kristan Porter grew up in a fishing family in the fishing community of Cutler, Maine, where he says all roads lead to one career path: fishing. (Porter's father was the family's lone exception. He suffered from terrible seasickness, and so became a carpenter.) The 49-year-old, who has been working on boats since he was a kid and fishing on his own since 1991, says that the recent warming of Maine's cool coastal waters has yielded unprecedented lobster landings.
The climate crisis is getting costly. Some of the world's largest companies expect to take over one trillion in losses due to climate change. Insurers are increasingly jittery and the world's largest firm has warned that the cost of premiums may soon be unaffordable for most people. Historic flooding has wiped out farmers in the Midwest.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
'We Should Be Retreating Already From the Coastline,' Scientist Suggests After Finding Warm Waters Below Greenland
By Johnny Wood
The Ganges is a lifeline for the people of India, spiritually and economically. On its journey from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, it supports fishermen, farmers and an abundance of wildlife.
The river and its tributaries touch the lives of roughly 500 million people. But having flowed for millennia, today it is reaching its capacity for human and industrial waste, while simultaneously being drained for agriculture and municipal use.
Here are some of the challenges the river faces.
By Jake Johnson
As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.
AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."
Big Oil is now using its political power to try and criminalize protests of oil & gas infrastructure.— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) August 19, 2019
"This legislation has potential to punish public participation and mischaracterize advocacy protected by the First Amendment."https://t.co/bmiHjONEhy
The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.
"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.
As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."
"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."
Many of the state bills restricting the right to protest have been "drafted by companies and passed through groups like ALEC, the secretive group of corporate lobbyists trying to rewrite state laws to benefit corporations over people." @greenpeaceusa https://t.co/ZxpTjWdrwT— Stand Up To ALEC (@StandUpToALEC) May 6, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.