Earth911 Reader: The Biden Era Arrives With Dramatic Climate Action

January 23, 2021 by  
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The Earth911 Reader collects and comments on useful news about … The post Earth911 Reader: The Biden Era Arrives With Dramatic Climate Action appeared first on Earth 911.

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Earth911 Reader: The Biden Era Arrives With Dramatic Climate Action

How the Sunrise Movement is changing the climate activism game

January 21, 2021 by  
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Climate change has remained a central topic internationally for some time. Although a few non-believers still dismiss the idea, science has repeatedly shown the damaging effects of human activity on the  environment . The Sunrise Movement represents a growing force that encourages all citizens to work towards better balance for the planet at an individual, governmental or corporate level.  It’s a grassroots movement with feet on the ground across the nation. Members attend organized events, talk with people on the street and even spread their message door to door. The group’s ongoing efforts lead to a continued increase in numbers, which has helped publicize their mission to advocate for the environment. This membership allows the Sunrise Movement to make a statement in large groups, which proves especially powerful since one of the group’s guiding principles is to remain non-violent at all times. Related: Kids are hungry for books about eco-activists, in what publishers call ‘the Greta effect’ The Sunrise Movement is unique in several ways, the main one being that most members are under the age of 30. Youth, passion and concerns for their futures as citizens of the planet drive the group of teens and young adults. Members unite to educate citizens, but also take activism to a political level by encouraging the election of leaders willing to work towards the health and well-being of the planet and its citizens. They regularly organize campaigns for candidates who support the cause and demonstrations against representatives who don’t. Most recently, members contacted over 6.5 million voters to drive the largest youth turnout in history. Additionally, the Sunrise Movement presented president-elect Joe Biden with a comprehensive climate mandate that includes specific candidate recommendations for cabinet picks. Members also outlined the installation of a new executive called The Office of Climate Mobilization to focus on reversing climate change as a national project. Although the Sunrise Movement originally endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2020 presidential election, the group shifted behind president-elect Biden after his primary win. The organization also targets fossil fuel executives to draw attention to and eliminate their influence on policy. Members refuse to step away due to pressure or fear of retribution. Instead, they make their voices heard in one-on-one scenarios as well as at very public events. For example, in February 2020, middle and high school students demonstrated in the U.S. Capitol Building. Twenty of them, one as young as 13, were arrested during the event. Those not arrested stood, arms linked or holding signs, peacefully addressing lawmakers who have failed to implement action to heal climate change. Specifically, that group at the capitol and the movement as a whole are focused on implementing The Green New Deal , a set of principles aimed at reversing climate change, eliminating poverty and creating sustainable jobs for working Americans. Although the group applies direct pressure at the governmental level, an equally-important mission is to encourage the masses to push through legislation in alignment with The Green New Deal at a local, city, county and state level. Although some members aren’t even old enough to vote, their message shines through conversations within classrooms, churches and communities across the country. Tapping into the youthful members’ energy and focus offers a unique opportunity to empower the voices people often disregard. The movement provides youths with a chance to share their ideas and speak out for policies critical to their futures. By coming together as a larger unit, they not only create a bigger vision and louder voice but also create a tidal wave of energy that continues to gather momentum. Members proudly display this energy via banners that read, “Our Time to Rise.” Their mission is focused, and they are determined to rattle the doors of every politician failing to take action. Although peaceful, the Sunrise Movement refuses to be ignored. As stated on the Sunrise Movement website, “Our generation is done asking nicely.” Even with members in every state and Puerto Rico, it’s sometimes difficult to be heard. This difficulty motivated the group to adopt a tactic from the past century, inspired by the Wide Awakes, a pro-abolition mass youth movement in the 1860s. The group began gathering at the doors of politicians and shouting, chanting, and singing to wake them up both physically and to the reality of the world’s climate crisis . Since there is no formal membership, the Sunrise Movement’s number of activists is estimated at around 80,000 who have participated in some way, from making phone calls to sending mailings. Around 15,000 members are estimated to have attended events in person. Not a bad beginning to an army that only began forming three years ago. Perhaps more powerful than the number of members is the strength of the mindset. The Sunrise Movement is wholly dedicated to the mission of forcing open the eyes of politicians who refuse to see the same future they see for themselves. Where some young adults their age look forward to a decade of career building, the Sunrise Movement sees a closing window of opportunity. As the deadline set by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change outlines, 2030 represents the point of no return for the world to drastically lower emissions or suffer the effects of a climate catastrophe. + Sunrise Movement  Via Vox and Teen Vogue   Images via Hailey Asquin, Nelson Klein, Evan McEldowney, Ken Schles, Kell Schneider, Rachael Warriner and Josh Yoder

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How the Sunrise Movement is changing the climate activism game

Reindeer herders in Norway take a wind farm to court

January 21, 2021 by  
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Reindeer herders of the Sámi Indigenous community have moved to a court of appeals in Norway to challenge a proposed wind power project. The Øyfjellet wind farm is one of the largest onshore wind projects in Norway and is expected to help the country move away from traditional fossil fuels. But reindeer herders have maintained that the project will negatively impact their animals and cultural practices by illegally blocking reindeer migration paths. “The Sámi people are not the ones who have contributed the most to climate change, but we seem to be the ones who have to carry its greatest burden,” said Gunn-Britt Retter, the head of the Arctic and environmental unit at the Sámi Council. “That’s not climate justice , that’s climate injustice.” Related: Hydropower demand is damaging Indigenous lands The Sámi community lives in Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia. They traditionally made their living through herding reindeer, and this practice is now protected by law. Only about 10% of the Sámi people still practice reindeer herding full-time in Norway. Even so, herding remains important to the community. Members of the community lament that if wind farms are built on their lands, the turbines will greatly affect the available area for herding the animals . “Studies and Indigenous knowledge show that reindeer don’t go near wind turbines,” said Áslak Holmberg, the vice-chair of the Sámi Council. “These areas are lost from use to the herders.” In September 2020, a court ruled against the reindeer herders, giving the project the green light. The herders have now opted to take the case to the court of appeals, with the hope of stopping the project or having some aspects revised. “From our client’s point of view, it seems that the government will go far to protect the construction of a wind power plant that has been given concession and that this trumps the rights of the Indigenous people,” said Pål Gude Gudesen, the lawyer representing the reindeer herders. Both Tony Christian Tiller, state secretary of the Energy Ministry in Norway, and Eolus, the company behind the proposed wind farm, have said they hope to see that the reindeer and the wind turbines can coexist. But the Sámi community said that both the government and energy companies are not taking Indigenous concerns into account. “It’s a paradox, really,” Retter said. “You are squeezed between the impact of climate change and the impact of green energy , which is the answer to climate change.” Via The Guardian Image via Bo Eide

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Reindeer herders in Norway take a wind farm to court

Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac: ‘Every day is a chance that will not come again’

March 7, 2020 by  
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As the U.N. negotiators behind the Paris Agreement, Figueres and Rivett-Carnac have done a lot of work together. We caught up with them about their latest collaboration, a book called “The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis.”

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Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac: ‘Every day is a chance that will not come again’

Finding a natural sense of urgency to act

February 21, 2020 by  
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In solving the climate crisis, we must find a way to survive by mimicking nature: changing quickly while establishing firm roots for long-term survival.

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Finding a natural sense of urgency to act

Dear David Attenborough: The bears are at the door

January 24, 2020 by  
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The sense of crisis is growing, along with the actual climate crisis.

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Dear David Attenborough: The bears are at the door

How can large asset owners make the most of nontraditional risks?

January 24, 2020 by  
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The new world of risk includes the physical and economic impact of climate change and the unknown path of future technology.

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How can large asset owners make the most of nontraditional risks?

Luzinterruptus turns plastic waste into Death by Plastic eco-art for COP25

January 21, 2020 by  
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Frustrated with the “ludicrous charade” of the COP25 World Climate Summit in December, Spanish design collective luzinterruptus turned to visual protest by creating the temporary guerrilla art piece, “Death by Plastic.” Made from plastic waste and transparent fabric, the glowing environmental art installation depicts a crime scene-like visual with a series of people-shaped sculptures lying on the ground. Held in Madrid, Spain in the beginning of December, the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference became the target of social unrest by protestors frustrated with the inactions of the negotiators on the climate crisis . Members of luzinterruptus also joined the protest and, disappointed by the adopted resolutions at the end of the event, wrote a statement to express their anger. Related: Archstorming announces winning proposals for a school made of recycled plastic in Mexico “The people from the Climate Summit are already leaving with bowed heads (by taxi or by plane) without having reached any significant agreements, as we all expected,” they said. “Everything was just a mirage. Few effective resolutions and big business opportunities for those who parade the flag of sustainability around. Let’s try again next year, perhaps with lengthier political speeches, but never listening to the scientific community or the citizens. And always under the sponsorship of the most polluting companies, which are always happy to take this opportunity to clean up their image. For now, the ‘climate crisis’ is officially postponed until the most environmentally unfriendly countries find a better time to deal with it. We are ashamed for having provided the scenario for such a ludicrous charade.” To further illustrate their frustrations, the artists installed Death by Plastic, an eco-art piece located near the COP25 gathering at the close of conference. Using plastic waste generated from the Christmas shopping along one of Madrid’s busiest retail areas, the artists created large-scale, people-shaped sculptures illuminated from within. The artists also drew a chalk outline around each of the plastic “bodies” to denote a crime scene. The guerrilla installation was displayed for a few hours, after which the artists removed the artworks. The art pieces have been stored away for future use. + luzinterruptus Photography by Melisa Hernández via luzinterruptus

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Luzinterruptus turns plastic waste into Death by Plastic eco-art for COP25

CRA proposes reconfigurable roads and a floating garden to revitalize Luganos waterfront

January 21, 2020 by  
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Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) and Mobility in Chain (MiC) have unveiled a technologically savvy plan to better connect the Swiss city of Lugano with the beautiful Lugano Lake. Informed by studies on mobile and traffic data, the proposed regeneration of the waterfront will introduce dynamic public spaces that can take over parts of the roads, which can be reconfigured with zero, one or two lanes at different times of the day. This new, reconfigurable road system would be combined with smart signage, responsible street furniture and even renewable energy-generating infrastructure to facilitate a greener and more pedestrian-friendly environment. Currently, Lugano suffers from a disconnect to its lake due to a busy thoroughfare along the waterfront. To visually and physically provide pedestrians with better connections to the lake, the architects propose overhauling this main traffic artery with the addition of a dynamic road system that can turn sections of the street into pedestrian-only public spaces, such as playgrounds, a basketball court or other social gathering areas. At the same time, the intervention aims to preserve the historical value of the lakefront as designed by Pasquale Lucchini in 1863. Related: CRA grows a sustainable pavilion out of mushrooms in just 6 weeks The architects have also proposed a floating, rotating island for the lake that would be accessible to the public via a series of boardwalks. A garden would be planted on the floating island to highlight and preserve the biodiversity and native flora of Lake Lugano. The dynamic waterfront would also includes smart signage, responsive street furniture, heat-absorbing renewable energy technology and a series of mobility hubs that promote shared transit. “Lugano is committed in redesigning the front lake and the city center for the future citizens, focusing on a growing attention to dynamic public spaces , the coexistence of different mobility vectors, the development of green areas, the role of the water in city life, the impact of the landscape and much more,” said Marco Borradori, mayor of Lugano. “The path began in 2018, when the municipality went public with its vision and objectives, identifying innovation as one of the key points for urban development. The next step will hopefully be an open competition to create a new masterplan for the city of tomorrow. Our wish is that the vision could soon take the form of a realized project.” + Carlo Ratti Associati Images via Carlo Ratti Associati

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CRA proposes reconfigurable roads and a floating garden to revitalize Luganos waterfront

Taking a stand against climate change, the Golden Globes goes vegan

January 7, 2020 by  
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This weekend, the 77th annual Golden Globes, which took place at the Beverly Hilton in California’s celebrated Beverly Hills, made history by becoming the first major awards show to go vegan . Only two weeks ago, the previewed menu was set to feature the customary sea bass course, but a last-minute switch changed the course to feature 100 percent plant-based fare in an effort to “raise environmental awareness about food consumption and waste ,” according to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). “We had the menu with fish. Then we got together with the HFPA, and they wanted to make this change to send a good message,” said Matthew Morgan, Beverly Hilton’s executive chef. “It’s definitely the first Golden Globes that has gone vegan.” Related: Study shows how plant-based catering can greatly reduce events’ carbon footprints What was on the revised meatless menu? The appetizer was chilled golden beet soup with chervil and amaranth. For the new entree, king oyster mushrooms cooked to resemble “scallops” was served on wild mushroom risotto alongside roasted baby purple carrots, Brussels sprouts and pea tendrils. The dessert was a vegan version of an opera cake. Other sustainability touches were also championed by the HFPA during the Golden Globes. For instance, the HFPA has been reusing its red carpet at other events. The organization has also partnered with Icelandic Glacial, a naturally alkaline and sustainably sourced natural spring water supplier. The water was served in glass bottles, with paper straws available, to help reduce single-use plastic waste. “The climate crisis is surrounding us, and we were thinking about the New Year and the new decade. So we started talking between us about what we can do to send a signal,” explained Lorenzo Soria, the HFPA president. “We don’t think we’ll change the world with one meal, but we decided to take small steps to bring awareness. The food we eat, the way it is processed and grown and disposed of, all of that contributes to the climate crisis.” A fair share of Hollywood celebrities are already vegan, vegetarian or following raw vegetable-based diets, and they were supportive of the plant-based menu. With the Golden Globes being the first big awards show of the year, it will be exciting to see the eco-conscious precedent it will set for the rest of 2020. Actor Mark Ruffalo tweeted, “Our industry leads by example. Vegetarian food is delicious and healthy and reduces greenhouse gases about as much as driving electric cars. The HFPA should be commended for this, and all the other awards shows should follow suit.” + Golden Globes Via TreeHugger , Hollywood Reporter and Associated Press Image via Shutterstock

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Taking a stand against climate change, the Golden Globes goes vegan

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