The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Occupying McConnell's Office, Hurricane Survivors Demand Action Over Denial
By Andrea Germanos
Rebuking Republicans' climate denial, survivors of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma occupied the office of Sen. Mitch McConnell on Wednesday morning to denounce the fossil fuel industry's impacts on their communities and demand a just transition to a clean energy future.
Led by leaders of two organizations from recently hard-hit states—the Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services and the New Florida Majority—the group held a banner reading "Fossil Fuels → Stronger Hurricanes," and delivered almost 200,000 petition signatures demanding Congress take urgent climate action.
Explaining why they were targeting the Kentucky Republican, Yvette Arellano of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services said from the occupied office that McConnell "is not only the leader of the majority. He's also the leader of climate change denial."
The activists are there "not as victims," she said. "We stand here as survivors, as champions in the climate justice movement because our communities are the most vulnerable. Our communities are those that are disproportionately impacted by the effects of the fossil fuel industry and all of its infrastructure."
"We stand here demanding a transition over to 100 percent renewable energy, for a just transition," she said.
"Mitch McConnell, you can no longer ignore us," Arellano added. "Climate denial is not climate change policy."
Valencia Gunder with the New Florida Majority also spoke, and described the situation of frontline communities thusly: "First world country, second class citizens, third world problems."
"We want change when it comes to climate justice issues," she declared.
The time for debate, she said is over. Political leaders should "simply do your job, and stand up for what the people need."
"100 percent renewable energy ... is the only way our world will survive," Gunder said.
To those in Washington, DC, she warned, "We will not be quiet. We will not be pushed out."
Climate mobilization 350.org captured scenes of the action on Twitter:
"We'll never be prepared for disasters like Harvey, Irma or Maria while climate deniers are still in office, pushing dangerous fossil fuel projects forward," added 350.org executive director May Boeve in a press statement.
"Public officials like Mitch McConnell have been putting profits before people from the start, leaving communities in the path of destruction," she said. "The fossil fuel industry has a hold on our government, and we are taking it back. Today is a line in the sand, drawn by communities dealing daily with the impacts of the climate crisis. Real climate action isn't just saying the right words, it's standing up to the fossil fuel billionaires and building a clean energy future that works for all."
The "climate champions," meanwhile, appeared to leave McConnell's office peacefully after chanting, "We are the masses, the might mighty masses, fighting for climate and for our people everywhere we go."
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Dan Gray
- Research shows that 16 weeks of a vegan diet can boost the gut microbiome, helping with weight loss and overall health.
- A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A plant-based diet is the best way to achieve this.
- It isn't necessary to opt for a strictly vegan diet, but it's beneficial to limit meat intake.
New research shows that following a vegan diet for about 4 months can boost your gut microbiome. In turn, that can lead to improvements in body weight and blood sugar management.
By Jeff Turrentine
Nearly 20 years have passed since the journalist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term tipping point, in his best-selling book of the same name. The phrase denotes the moment that a certain idea, behavior, or practice catches on exponentially and gains widespread currency throughout a culture. Having transcended its roots in sociological theory, the tipping point is now part of our everyday vernacular. We use it in scientific contexts to describe, for instance, the climatological point of no return that we'll hit if we allow average global temperatures to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. But we also use it to describe everything from resistance movements to the disenchantment of hockey fans when their team is on a losing streak.
By Mark Mancini
On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.
By Alex Schwartz
Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.
I’m a Psychotherapist – Here’s What I’ve Learned From Listening to Children Talk About Climate Change
By Caroline Hickman
Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?