Report Chronicles International Grassroots Fight Against Coal in 2013
The Sierra Club’s International Climate Program released a report yesterday detailing international victories against coal and in favor of clean energy in 2013. The report points to a worldwide movement demanding a move beyond dirty coal. The 24-page report includes grassroots success stories from the U.S., Germany, China, Australia, India, Indonesia and Bangladesh that spotlight the defeat or slowdown of exports, power plants and mines.
“The coal industry’s prospects in the U.S. are on the decline, thanks to strong grassroots activism to defend our health, air and water,” said Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director. “And as these coal companies look to peddle their dirty fossil fuel abroad, communities worldwide are banding together to say no to toxic coal and polluted air and water."
"We are committed to moving beyond coal in the U.S. and supporting partners, colleagues and communities abroad that are stepping up to stop the expansion of dirty coal.”
Over the years, the Sierra Club has worked with a growing international network of activists around the globe. These activists and the communities they represent are organizing to defeat power plants and mines that pollute air and water and cause harm to the health and safety of the environment and workers. Their efforts are making a difference.
“The Sierra Club’s International Climate Program is proud to tell the stories of local, grassroots activists who have tirelessly defended their communities, health and livelihoods from dirty coal,” said John Coequyt, director of the Sierra Club’s International Climate Program. “From contaminating drinking water to polluting the air, forcing evictions and destroying local economies, big coal is stooping to every low possible to force their dirty fuel on communities."
"Thankfully," Coequyt continued, "they haven’t been successful.”
On top of the grassroots struggles detailed in this report, governments and multilateral banks have helped the world move beyond coal in 2013. President Obama’s Climate Action Plan included a call to end financing for overseas coal projects and was echoed by five Nordic countries, the UK, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, and most recently, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Visit EcoWatch’s COAL page for more related news on this topic.
California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.
High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.
Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.
California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.
As reported by AccuWeather:
In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.
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