Quantcast
Climate

Women of the World Call for Urgent Action on Climate Change

Apart from those imprisoned in a fortress of science denial, 69 percent of Americans give credence to the 95 percent of climate scientists who agree on the reality and trajectory of human-induced climate change.

Nevertheless, the levers on its supersized drivers don’t seem to be within our grasp. Americans live with this looming threat, without knowing if , when or how it will overtake our lives. Even when it shows up on our doorsteps—such as direct hits like Katrina and Sandy or compound hits like floods and fracking in Colorado or tsunamis and nuclear meltdowns like Fukushima—it doesn't derail American life from business as usual.

Not everyone is waiting for more tragedy to occur before working on solutions to climate change. Last month, the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit took place in Suffern, NY, with 100 women delegates, top-level policymakers, grassroots organizers and indigenous chiefs from around the world. From the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, to the forests of the Congo, to the foothills of Himalayas, organizers and indigenous tribal leaders from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America assembled, speaking different languages, wearing different garbs, embedded in different cultures, but all devoted to the health of the Earth and future generations.

They came from afar to do what women do, talk and listen, share and support, as well as organize, strategize and plan concrete ways to support the continuation of human life on Earth.

“We need to value the expertise of women, who have cultivated the land to feed their families, to counter a form of expertise that only knows how to destroy the Earth, to exploit and reward the exploiters,” said Dr. Vandana Shiva at the conference.

Listening to each others stories, participants were confronted by what first world people rarely see, climate chaos, the ecological destruction of lands, oceans and water sources, the uprooting of homes and communities, the despoiling of food and water, all of which strike at the life supports of peoples in nearly every region of the Earth. Not decades from now, but today.

For Americans, an interruption in cell phone service is tough. Yet in many parts of the world, there is no electricity, water or food. 

“We used to have rain from the river to water the maize and now we don’t have the rain and the river has dried up,” Rosemary Enie from Tanzania told the other delegates.

The delegates’ accounts of rainfalls that no longer come, food crops that wither, felled forests that turn to deserts, snow caps that melt, species that die out and insect populations that run rampant, brought the distant damage to our doorstep. Even seemingly innocuous changes, like Japan’s cherry trees blossoming three weeks earlier, signify ecological shifts.

“The snows of Kilamanjaro were famous worldwide, now they’ve melted,” Jane Goodall said in conversation with Dr. Shiva and Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman.

Dr. Vandana Shiva, left, and Dr. Jane Goodall, both are delegates to the International Women's Earth and Climate Summit, talk before the opening of the summit. Photo credit: Lori Waselchuk

The conference was yet another reminder that the U.S. is inextricably bound by multinational corporations. Many corporations appropriate the Earth’s limited resources without real accountability to any nation, people or law. “They used to be contained by the rules of democracy and they have knocked off those rules—bit by bit,” Goodall said.

“Civilized people in all parts of the world act wisely by looking to the effects of current activities for seven generations. Uncivilized people rape the earth for today,” said Dr. Shiva.

It’s one thing to know that systemic dilemma, and it’s another to meet women whose families, communities and regions are taking the first hit. Their commitment is formidable. Hearing the Earth’s tale told by diverse voices, in distinct accents, but all with a common theme, broke my heart. Because their faces, their voices, their accounts of their beloved regions awoke me from the distant but still abstract notion of climate change. In their hearts and minds, they brought the lived and embodied experience of global warming. And in encountering them, I grasped it.

The summit organizers sought to gather women because women are more impacted by climate change, more motivated to address it, and yet, are minimally represented at climate negotiations.

“You are the women willing to take a stand,” conference organizer Osprey Orielle Lake told the delegates before they signed a joint climate declaration that states:

We are gathering to raise our voices to advocate for an Earth-respecting cultural narrative, one of “restore, respect, replenish” and to replace the narrative of  “domination, depletion and destruction” of nature.

We are committed to a transition from a future of peril to a future of promise, to rally the women around the world to join together in action at all levels until the climate crisis is solved.

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
Rice University marine biologist Adrienne Correa takes samples at a reef in Flower Garden Banks. Jesse Cancelmo / Rice University

Hurricane Harvey Runoff Threatens Coral Reefs

Hurricane Harvey's record rains didn't just unleash a torrent of floodwaters into the Gulf of Mexico—this freshwater could be harming coral reefs which require saltwater to live, according to new research.

After Harvey dumped more than 13 trillion gallons of rain over southeast Texas, researchers detected a 10 percent drop in salinity at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, located 100 miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas.

Keep reading... Show less

Pruitt Wants to Make the EPA Less Accountable to the Public

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) breaks the law by missing deadlines, allowing polluters to violate regulations that protect our health and environment, one way the public holds it accountable is by taking the agency to court. Scott Pruitt and his corporate polluter allies see this as a problem, so Monday, the administrator moved to curtail the agency's practice of settling lawsuits with outside groups, making it easier to skirt the law.

"Pruitt's doing nothing more than posturing about a nonexistent problem and political fiction," John Walke, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate and Clean Air program said in reaction. "His targeting of legal settlements, especially where EPA has no defense to breaking the law, will just allow violations to persist, along with harms to Americans."

Keep reading... Show less
Oil on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. Julie Dermansky

Nearly 400,000 Gallons of Oil Spews Into Gulf of Mexico, Could Be Largest Spill Since Deepwater Horizon

Last week, a pipe owned by offshore oil and gas operator LLOG Exploration Company, LLC spilled up to 393,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, reminding many observers of the Deepwater Horizon explosion seven years ago that spewed approximately 210 million gallons of crude into familiar territory.

Now, a report from Bloomberg suggests that the LLOG spill could be the largest in the U.S. since the 2010 BP blowout, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

Keep reading... Show less
Shutterstock

Big Food Is Worried About Millennials Avoiding Animal Products

By Nathan Runkle

Hundreds of leaders from fast-food chains, marketing agencies and poultry production companies recently gathered in North Carolina for the 2017 Chicken Marketing Summit to play golf and figure out how to make you eat more animals.

One session focused on marketing chicken to millennials. Richard Kottmeyer, a senior managing partner at Fork to Farm Advisory Services, explained to the crowd that millennials are "lost" and need to be "inspired and coached." His reasoning? Because there are now "58 ways to gender identify on Facebook." Also, because most millennial women take nude selfies, the chicken industry needs to be just as "naked" and transparent.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

Strange Days: Ex-Hurricane Ophelia Batters Ireland Under Orange Skies

By Dr. Jeff Masters and Bob Henson

Ex-Hurricane Ophelia hit Ireland hard with full hurricane-like fury on Monday, bringing powerful winds that caused widespread damage and power outages. At least two deaths have been reported from trees falling on cars, and The Irish Times said at least 360,000 ESB Networks customers lost power in Ireland because of the storm.

Keep reading... Show less
GMO
PBouman / Shutterstock

EPA Limits Use of Problematic Herbicide Dicamba—But Is That Enough?

By Dan Nosowitz

Dicamba has been in use as a local pesticide for decades, but it's only recently that Monsanto has taken to using it in big, new ways. The past two years have seen the rollout of dicamba-resistant seed for soybean and cotton, as well as a new way to apply it: broad spraying.

But dicamba, it turns out, has a tendency to vaporize and drift with the wind, and it if lands on a farm that hasn't planted Monsanto's dicamba-resistant seed, the pesticide will stunt and kill crops in a very distinctive way, with a telltale cupping and curling of leaves, as seen above. Drift from dicamba has affected millions of acres of crops, prompting multiple states to issue temporary bans on the pesticide. Farmers have been taking sides, either pro-dicamba or anti, and at least one farmer has been killed in a dispute over its use.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Runoff from a farm field in Iowa during a rain storm. Lynn Betts / U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Drinking Water for Millions in Rural America Contaminated With Suspected Carcinogen

Drinking water supplies for millions of Americans in farm country are contaminated with a suspected cancer-causing chemical from fertilizer, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group.

The contaminant is nitrate, which gets into drinking water sources when chemical fertilizer or manure runs off poorly protected farm fields. Nitrate contaminates drinking water for more than 15 million people in 49 states, but the highest levels are found in small towns surrounded by row-crop agriculture. Major farm states where the most people are at risk include California, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Kansas.

Keep reading... Show less
www.youtube.com

Trump's Approval Rating on Hurricane Response Sinks 20 Points After Puerto Rico

President Trump's approval rating for overseeing the federal government's response to hurricanes fell by 20 points after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, a CNN poll conducted by SSRS revealed.

Trump's approval rating for responding to hurricanes Harvey and Irma stood at 64 percent in mid-September. Just a month later, the rating dropped to 44 percent.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

Get EcoWatch in your inbox