GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:
- This last weekend Rainforest Action Network (RAND) held a public memorial for their executive director Rebecca (Becky) Tarbotton who passed away in an accident late last year. The service was very powerful and I want to share some takeaways for all advocates and activists for our environment:
To quote Becky, "The work of our time is bigger than climate change. We need to be setting our sights higher and deeper. What we're really talking about, if we're honest with ourselves, is transforming everything about the way we live on this planet."
Environmentalism is fused with human rights. We are trying to create a better world for ourselves and since we live in our environment there is no separation between environmentalism and human rights. Maria Gunnoe of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition spoke at the event about working with Becky on the issue of coal mining and mountain top removal in Appalachia. While destroying hundreds of beautiful mountain tops the health of thousands of beautiful humans are also being destroyed. To paraphrase Maria; do not join us in fighting mountain top removal, join is ending the fight to stop mountain top removal.
Becky exemplified an improved way of fighting for the environment; fighting as a human for humans. This means that when we encounter supposed enemies we need to connect with them on a human level and help them see that we are fighting for a mutual interest. Since environmentalism is about human rights we need to convert everyone to allies, leaving no enemies to fight, because in this fight we are missing the point if we think we can defeat our enemies. Becky accomplished this with Disney and led a successful campaign to get them to stop using paper from endangered forests for their children's books.
- The Stern review has been used to play down the risk of global warming - Lord Stern has now admits he "got it wrong on climate change," saying it is "far, far worse" than he previously estimated. Stern is bringing his message to the world in the World Economic Forum in Davos.
- Without Washington DC leading us on the climate change issue State governments have to push us forward, and they are. Hopefully Obama's second term will bring the federal support that the issue requires, especially because doubt on the scientific foundation of climate change is no longer viable. Denial is futile: global warming is real.
- Greenland is an important component of the threat of global warming. Since the ice is sitting on land instead of floating in water the melt will add to sea level rise in a big and serious way.
- The market for cellulosic ethanol is not developing very quickly. On Friday, a federal appeals court overturned an EPA Biofuels Mandate to incorporate cellulosic fuel into gasoline has been ended by a federal court.
- The US navy ship ran aground on a previously untouched coral reef in the Philippines, oops.
- Regulation of oil and gas drilling in Texas has been insufficient and run by dinosaur technology. Now, the commission is being revamped and will hopefully start to regulate the industry in a meaningful way.
- The future of renewable energy is reliant on developing better battery technology; research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory helps lead the way.
- The army is moving forward with increasing their renewable energy capacity. The US Military usually leads the charge on the development of the technology of the future so it is encouraging to see them ahead on this issue.
- Since global warming deniers lack an interest in real science they misunderstand how cold spells interact with global warming. Here is a 90 second video from the Climate Desk that explains it all.