Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Summer Heat: Mass Actions to Stop the Climate Crisis

Climate
Summer Heat: Mass Actions to Stop the Climate Crisis

350.org

By Bill McKibben, Sandra Steingraber, Naomi Klein, Winona LaDuke and Rev. Lennox Yearwood

For the last two years, all across the country, people have said the same thing to us: “We’re ready to fight.”

And as the planet lurches past 400 parts per million concentrations of carbon dioxide, the moment has come, the moment to ask you to do hard, important, powerful things. The last two weeks of July are, statistically, the hottest stretch of the year. This year we want to make them politically hot, too. Which means we need you, out on the front line. We need some of you to risk going to jail, and all of you to show up and speak out. If you want to cut to the chase, you can find the list of actions on the event site.

We’re calling this next phase of the fight Summer Heat. Over the course of the final weeks of July, from the Pacific Northwest to the coast of Maine, from the Keystone XL pipeline route to the White House where the administration has broken its promise to put solar on the roof, to the Utah desert where they’re getting ready for the first tar sands mine in the U.S., we’re going to try and get across the essential message: it’s time to stand up—peacefully but firmly—to the industry that is wrecking our future.

We believe that mass action can breathe life into even the most hardened political fights, and so these actions will all aim to bring thousands of people to stand together—perhaps sometimes on the wrong side of the law.

For people on the front lines of fossil fuel extraction, these fights are often, properly, about the local immediate impacts. And now all of us, even those fortunate enough to live without that daily trauma, need to add the weight of our anger and hope as well. It’s one big fight. Front-line communities need and deserve reinforcements, pouring in to help the people who have been carrying these struggles as they begin to impact us all.

It won’t be just July, of course. In June friends are organizing Fearless Summer protests at mining and drilling sites around the country. In Canada, First Nations connected to the Idle No More movement are hatching plans for a Sovereignty Summer, which could see “coordinated nonviolent direct actions” on Indigenous lands that are in the midst of fierce anti-extraction battles. Meanwhile, our colleagues at CREDO continue to collect names pledged to civil disobedience should Keystone XL move forward. But Summer Heat will be a powerful focus—a chance for thousands of us to show the courage we need to lower the temperature.

We’ve got to go on offense elsewhere, and in the last few months young people have been showing us how. The rapid spread of the divestment movement across college campuses should provide courage to everyone: we got goose bumps when the students at Rhode Island School of Design, occupying their president’s office last week to demand divestment, lowered a banner out the window: “We May Be Art Students, But We Can Still do the Math.”

Look, this movement isn't made up of professional protesters. For the most part, it's students, teachers, retired people, civil servants, farmers, businesswomen, fisher folk, artists, mailmen, ministers and more. It's people whose homes were demolished by Hurricane Sandy, or who just had an oil pipeline burst in their backyard.

Just the other day Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson went on TV and declared: “My philosophy is to make money.” And he lives that philosophy by compromising the future of the Earth. And so those of us who have a more complicated philosophy need to stand up. We can’t outspend him, but we have other currencies to work in: passion, creativity, spirit and sometimes we have to spend our bodies.

Here’s how it works. This is a list of the actions planned so far. A few more may be added in the weeks ahead as we keep working with allies. Find the one nearest you. Start making plans to show up. Be there when the time comes.

We’ll have people there to train for the actions—in every case there will be options for people who don’t want to risk arrest, but if you’re ready to take it to the next level, there will be lawyers and such on hand to help. This will be peaceful, dignified, but firm. We’re serious.

Our hope is that this summer will be a historic show of solidarity not just with the Americans who suffer most from the fossil fuel industry, but with the people across the planet whose lives are at risk as the world warms—and indeed with the planet itself, beleaguered but still so worth fighting for.

If you weren't needed, we wouldn't ask. But in a fight this big, we are all needed, now more than ever.

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

——–

Click here to tell Congress to Expedite Renewable Energy.

Eating too much black licorice can be toxic. Nat Aggiato / Pixabay

By Bill Sullivan

Black licorice may look and taste like an innocent treat, but this candy has a dark side. On Sept. 23, 2020, it was reported that black licorice was the culprit in the death of a 54-year-old man in Massachusetts. How could this be? Overdosing on licorice sounds more like a twisted tale than a plausible fact.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sustainable t-shirts by Allbirds are made from a new, low-carbon material that uses a mineral extract from discarded snow crab shells. Jerry Buttles / Allbirds

In the age of consumption, sustainability innovations can help shift cultural habits and protect dwindling natural resources. Improvements in source materials, product durability and end-of-life disposal procedures can create consumer products that are better for the Earth throughout their lifecycles. Three recent advancements hope to make a difference.

Read More Show Less

Trending

There are many different CBD oil brands in today's market. But, figuring out which brand is the best and which brand has the strongest oil might feel challenging and confusing. Our simple guide to the strongest CBD oils will point you in the right direction.

Read More Show Less
A net-casting ogre-faced spider. CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics / CC BY-SA 3.0

Just in time for Halloween, scientists at Cornell University have published some frightening research, especially if you're an insect!

The ghoulishly named ogre-faced spider can "hear" with its legs and use that ability to catch insects flying behind it, the study published in Current Biology Thursday concluded.

"Spiders are sensitive to airborne sound," Cornell professor emeritus Dr. Charles Walcott, who was not involved with the study, told the Cornell Chronicle. "That's the big message really."

The net-casting, ogre-faced spider (Deinopis spinosa) has a unique hunting strategy, as study coauthor Cornell University postdoctoral researcher Jay Stafstrom explained in a video.

They hunt only at night using a special kind of web: an A-shaped frame made from non-sticky silk that supports a fuzzy rectangle that they hold with their front forelegs and use to trap prey.

They do this in two ways. In a maneuver called a "forward strike," they pounce down on prey moving beneath them on the ground. This is enabled by their large eyes — the biggest of any spider. These eyes give them 2,000 times the night vision that we have, Science explained.

But the spiders can also perform a move called the "backward strike," Stafstrom explained, in which they reach their legs behind them and catch insects flying through the air.

"So here comes a flying bug and somehow the spider gets information on the sound direction and its distance. The spiders time the 200-millisecond leap if the fly is within its capture zone – much like an over-the-shoulder catch. The spider gets its prey. They're accurate," coauthor Ronald Hoy, the D & D Joslovitz Merksamer Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior in the College of Arts and Sciences, told the Cornell Chronicle.

What the researchers wanted to understand was how the spiders could tell what was moving behind them when they have no ears.

It isn't a question of peripheral vision. In a 2016 study, the same team blindfolded the spiders and sent them out to hunt, Science explained. This prevented the spiders from making their forward strikes, but they were still able to catch prey using the backwards strike. The researchers thought the spiders were "hearing" their prey with the sensors on the tips of their legs. All spiders have these sensors, but scientists had previously thought they were only able to detect vibrations through surfaces, not sounds in the air.

To test how well the ogre-faced spiders could actually hear, the researchers conducted a two-part experiment.

First, they inserted electrodes into removed spider legs and into the brains of intact spiders. They put the spiders and the legs into a vibration-proof booth and played sounds from two meters (approximately 6.5 feet) away. The spiders and the legs responded to sounds from 100 hertz to 10,000 hertz.

Next, they played the five sounds that had triggered the biggest response to 25 spiders in the wild and 51 spiders in the lab. More than half the spiders did the "backward strike" move when they heard sounds that have a lower frequency similar to insect wing beats. When the higher frequency sounds were played, the spiders did not move. This suggests the higher frequencies may mimic the sounds of predators like birds.

University of Cincinnati spider behavioral ecologist George Uetz told Science that the results were a "surprise" that indicated science has much to learn about spiders as a whole. Because all spiders have these receptors on their legs, it is possible that all spiders can hear. This theory was first put forward by Walcott 60 years ago, but was dismissed at the time, according to the Cornell Chronicle. But studies of other spiders have turned up further evidence since. A 2016 study found that a kind of jumping spider can pick up sonic vibrations in the air.

"We don't know diddly about spiders," Uetz told Science. "They are much more complex than people ever thought they were."

Learning more provides scientists with an opportunity to study their sensory abilities in order to improve technology like bio-sensors, directional microphones and visual processing algorithms, Stafstrom told CNN.

Hoy agreed.

"The point is any understudied, underappreciated group has fascinating lives, even a yucky spider, and we can learn something from it," he told CNN.

Financial institutions in New York state will now have to consider the climate-related risks of their planning strategies. Ramy Majouji / WikiMedia Commons

By Brett Wilkins

Regulators in New York state announced Thursday that banks and other financial services companies are expected to plan and prepare for risks posed by the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch