Environment

Environment

Environmentalist Bill McKibben’s Note to Tikkun and the NSP

The fossil fuel companies aren’t normal companies. In the last few years we’ve come to understand that they have five times as much carbon in their reserves as we can safely burn if the world is to meet its agreed climate target of limiting rises in temperature to below 2 degrees. That is to say, if they carry out their business plan, the planet tanks. What this means in turn is that if you hold these stocks you in effect are wagering that the planet will do nothing to limit climate change.
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Environment

Trusting the Water Again: Understanding the West Virginia Chemical Spill

On the morning of January 9, 2014, Charleston residents noticed that the air smelled like licorice and that the water tasted like it too. Inspectors soon traced the odor and taste to a chemical storage facility owned by a company called Freedom Industries. There, near the bank of the Elk River, inspectors discovered that a 48,000-gallon tank was leaking an industrial chemical called MCHM (methylcyclohexane methanol) used to cleanse coal.
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Environment

Rights of Nature and an Earth Community Economy

The “Rights of Nature” approach promotes a structure of law that recognizes that our living planet has rights of its own. If a Rights of Nature legal framework were implemented, activities that harm the ability of ecosystems and natural communities to thrive and naturally restore themselves, would be in legal violation of nature’s rights.
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Global Capitalism

A Conversation with Jeremy Rifkin on His New Book The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World

The sun shines everywhere on the world, every day. The wind blows around the planet every day. Everywhere we check there is a geothermal core of energy, heat energy underneath the ground. And in the rural areas, we have agricultural foraging waste that can be converted to energy. On the coastal areas, the ocean tides and waves come in every day for energy. Wherever we have garbage, it can be bioconverted back to energy. So these are energies that are found literally in every square inch of the world in some frequency or proportion, enough to provide us till kingdom come.
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Climate Change

Occupy the Climate Emergency: Reflections on Climate, Empathy, and Intergenerational Justice

We cannot sacrifice civil society or future generations to satisfy the greed of those intent on altering the chemical composition of our atmosphere. The urgency of our situation requires us to act. Shall we “occupy” this climate emergency instead of denying it—until the urgent truth of our situation is acted upon?
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Economy/Poverty/Wealth

Occupy’s Message to the Food Movement: Bridge the Class Divides

The food landscape and its correlation to class is complicated and rife with contradiction. This is partly because our modern-day American food system is brand new—it’s only been in existence for about sixty years.
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Global Capitalism

Localization: The Economics of Happiness

One of the most destructive effects of globalization is that it eliminates diversity. In order to grow and to provide the “economies of scale” that huge transnational corporations require, whole populations are induced to want the same consumer goods. Economic localization has been described as the economics of happiness.
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Eco-Spirituality

Earth Democracy and the Rights of Mother Earth

The ecological and economic problems we face are rooted in a series of reductionist steps, which have shrunk our imagination and our identity, our purpose on the earth, and the instruments we use to meet our needs. We are first and foremost earth citizens.
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Environment

The Loss and Recovery of Relatives

The headwaters of both the Mississippi and Red River watersheds emerge from our territory, here at Anishinaabe Akiing, and from these same waters come our sturgeon. The most majestic of fish lived well with our people, and sustained us through many of the coldest winter months. It was, however, not to last.
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Environment

We Are All Facing Extinction

We live in a society that pits the needs of human beings against nature. Over and over again, through advertisements and public pronouncements, we’re urged to sacrifice forests, mountaintops, rivers, wholes species, or even the quality of the air we breathe so we can have energy, jobs, economic well-being. But the conflict that is conjured by corporate interests between what we need and the needs of the earth should not be confused with the human condition.
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Environment

Transforming the Economy: Linking Hands Across the Social and Environmental Divide

Climate change and extinction are both too narrow. We need to move beyond ecological concerns to reach out to the ever-larger proportion of society focused on eradicating injustice and poverty. We need to reach out to those who now live in fear of losing their livelihoods and homes.
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Environment

A Community Perspective on the Rights of Nature

Although we live two continents and nearly 11,000 miles apart, as community organizers, Desmond D’sa and I look at climate change from similar perspectives — with our eyes on the ground in the places where we work. From these places, we see the results of the market-based global economic system as it transforms our communities and ecosystems into sacrifice zones for corporate profit.
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Environment

Why Extinction Matters at Least as Much as Climate Change

The center of the ecological crisis is not the weather but the ongoing and wholesale destruction of life. We are in the midst of Earth’s sixth mass extinction spasm, accompanied by unfathomable figures such as three to ten species, many of them millions of years old, being extinguished daily.
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Food/Hunger

Obama’s Deregulation of GMO Crops

Early this spring, while the world was distracted by Egypt’s uprising, President Barack Obama pushed the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deregulate genetically engineered alfalfa and sugar beets in the United States. The USDA came through as he directed, totally deregulating these Monsanto-patented genes in early February.
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Environmental Activism

Shasta and Goliath: Bringing Down Corporate Rule

Mt. Shasta, a small northern California town of 3,500 residents nestled in the foothills of magnificent Mount Shasta, is taking on corporate power through an unusual process — democracy.
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