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Hundreds of Thousands of Students Prepare for Global #ClimateStrike: Here Are 5 Ways You Can Help
In 92 countries and counting, hundreds of thousands of students are planning to skip school on March 15 as part of the "School Strike 4 Climate" — a growing movement of young people demanding that policymakers worldwide take urgent and radical steps to battle the climate crisis.
For the past several months, students around the world have joined the #FridaysForFuture school strike launched last year by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, whose solitary protests outside her country's parliament — inspired by the Parkland students advocating for stricter gun laws in the U.S. — generated headlines that helped spur the global youth climate movement.
"I think we are only seeing the beginning. I think that change is on the horizon and the people will stand up for their future," Thunberg told The Guardian about the mass mobilization planned for March 15. "It's going to be very, very big internationally, with hundreds of thousands of children going to strike from school to say that we aren't going to accept this any more."
Here's how to get involved:
- Visit FridaysForFuture.org for more information.
- Find a protest near you (U.S. protests here).
- Plan and register your own protest.
- Check out this 350.org resource page: "5 ways you can support the school climate strikes."
- Spread support on social media with the hashtags #FridaysForFuture, #ClimateStrike, and #SchoolStrike4Climate.
Students striking for climate action in Melbourne, Australia on Nov. 30, 2018.
Stop Adani / CC BY 2.0
Although the movement has elevated public demands for coordinated global efforts to cut planet-warming emissions generated from human activity, Thunberg added: "I am not more hopeful than when I started. The emissions are increasing and that is the only thing that matters. I think that needs to be our focus. We cannot talk about anything else."
We are striking because our world leaders have yet to acknowledge, prioritize, or properly address our climate crisis," declares a mission statement from the U.S. organizers. "We are striking because marginalized communities across our nation — especially communities of color, disabled communities, and low-income communities — are already disproportionately impacted by climate change."
"We are striking because if the social order is disrupted by our refusal to attend school, then the system is forced to face the climate crisis and enact change," the statement continues. "We are striking for the Green New Deal, for a fair and just transition to a 100 percent renewable economy, and for ending the creation of additional fossil fuel infrastructure."
In addition to the Green New Deal, which Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced to Congress as a resolution last month, the U.S. movement calls for declaring a national emergency, pointing to recent warnings from experts that "we have 11 years to avoid catastrophic climate change."
The lead organizers of U.S. climate strikes are Alexandria Villaseñor, a 13-year-old from New York City; Haven Coleman, a 12-year-old from Denver, Colorado; Maddy Fernands, a 16-year-old from Edina, Minnesota; and Isra Hirsi, the 15-year-old daughter of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
The students' strike has been enthusiastically supported by major environmental organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity, Extinction Rebellion, Greenpeace, March for Science, Sierra Club, the Sunrise Movement and 350.org.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
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Global Banks, Led by JPMorgan Chase, Invested $1.9 Trillion in Fossil Fuels Since Paris Climate Pact
By Sharon Kelly
A report published Wednesday names the banks that have played the biggest recent role in funding fossil fuel projects, finding that since 2016, immediately following the Paris agreement's adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.
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.