Chicago Area Peace Action on Huffington Post yesterday on Do the Math Climate Crisis Tour

November 21, 2012

Great piece by Roxane Assaf of Chicago Area Peace Action on Huffington Post yesterday.

Fossile Fuel Fury: Climate change Activist Barnstorms Through 21 Towns Inciting Fiscal Revolution

If Noam Chomsky is right that there’s no way the ordinary citizen could possibly understand the threat of climate change by getting their news from mainstream media, no worries.  350.org‘s revered enviro-guru Bill McKibben makes housecalls.  Assuming McKibben gets his point across the way he hopes to, his sold-out barnstorming tour through 21 U.S. cities will come to be regarded as the historic beginning of a divestment campaign like the one that buckled apartheid South Africa.

2012-11-18-McKibbenDotheMathNYCNaomiKlein.jpgDo the Math New York City

On opening night of his “Do the Math” tour, one day after President Obama’s victory speech got its loudest applause at the mention of global warming, McKibben said backstage, “We’ve got to reduce the power of the fossil fuel industry.”  Do the Math was designed to “spark the movement that will begin to cut the power of this industry before they raise the temperature of the earth just too high for any of us to deal with.”

Writing for the Huffington Post, Tom Zeller lays out the terms of the impending crisis, but he notes that Washington isn’t doing much.  McKibben blames fossil fuels. “They’ve been able to block every significant piece of legislation in Washington for decades,” he said. “The fossil fuel industry has bought one party, and they’ve scared the other one.”

So local groups like Chicago Area Peace Action (CAPA), host of the Chicago engagement of Do the Math, is poised to carry the torch to its constituency. “The fossil fuel industry and its attendant power elite will not go quietly into the night,” said CAPA Board President David Borris.  “But a broad-based global social movement that we can and will be a part of has the power to move public policy and lead to a more just and sane energy policy that can sustain us far into the future.”

Taking their cues not only from McKibben’s acclaimed Rolling Stone article “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math” but also from author/activist Naomi Klein’s piece in the Nation “Capitalism vs. the Climate,” CAPA members are prepared for a battle to win minds.  CAPA’s Michael Lynn said he wants to be “a prophet of the social transformation necessary to move from a consumer society to a sustainable one.”

But is anybody listening?

Chomsky asserts that as long as the news is framed in such a way that climate-change denialists like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin get equal time with climate scientists, the public is fed an illusion that there’s an authentic argument pro and con.  Such news-crafting shields people from the vast scientific consensus proving that the course we’re on does indeed spell the end of life on earth as we know it.

Nevertheless, HuffPost’s Alana Horowitz reported the November 2012 results of a Rasmussen poll finding that 68% of likely voters in the US do believe global warming to be a serious problem.  Furthermore, McKibben’s focus on student activism using the apartheid model has already proven well placed, as the trustees of Unity College in Maine have voted to divest that school’s endowment of all stock in the fossil fuel industry.

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu would be proud.  And he is.  He appears on the 350.org site as a boisterous endorser, as do Naomi Klein, Josh Fox and Rev. Lennox Yearwood.  Other notables keeping the drumbeat steady are Obama’s former specialist on green jobs Van Jones and actor/activist John Cusack who both use Twitter to combat climate skeptics and raise awareness.

Does Obama care?

“The real first test for the president is going to come when he decides whether or not to approve the Keystone pipeline,” McKibben said of the plan to complete a crude oil delivery system between Canada and U.S. destinations from Illinois to Texas.  “He put it off for a year, and that year has seen the warmest year in American history.  It has seen the catastrophic melt of the Arctic.  It’s seen epic drought across the Midwest.  And it saw a storm so powerful that it flooded our greatest city.”

In light of all that, McKibben said he couldn’t imagine the president agreeing to “a giant straw stuck into that toxic milkshake up there.”


11th Annual Human Rights on the Hill! Schedule of events and speakers 8/15-17

August 14, 2012

I’m speaking Thursday at 1:30 but look at the whole terrific lineup of speakers on peace, justice, human rights and environmental issues below!

The Eleventh Annual University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law International Human & Peoples’ Rights Law Program – Human Rights on the Hill – in collaboration with the Hawaii Institute for Human Rights and the Four Freedoms Forum, will take place from August 13 – 18, 2012 at the UDC Law School Building, 4340 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington DC 20008 (Van Ness/UDC Metro)

August 15  Wednesday

*9:00 a.m.

Building Movements for the Just Transition to an Ecologically Sane Economy

Janet Redman

Co-Director Sustainable Energy & Economy Network

Institute for Policy Studies

*10:30 a.m.

Human Rights in Asia:

The Case of Uyghurs Campaign for Dignity & Self-Determination

Rebiya Kadeer

World Uyghur Congress

Uyghur Human Rights Project

*12:00 p.m.

8th Annual Human Rights Film Festival

Rio+20 Global Perspectives on Sustainable Development

Conversations with the Earth Indigenous Voices on Climate Change

WITNESS Testify! & Youth on Climate Change

*1:30 p.m.

The Universal Periodic Review in the United States of America

Kelly C. Landry

Foreign Affairs Officer

U.S. Department of State

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

*3:00 p.m.

Climate Change & Human Rights

Siobhan McInerney-Lankford

Senior Policy Officer, Institutions, Law and Partnerships for Human Rights

The World Bank

*4:00 p.m.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:

Potential for Ratification & Realization for Children’s Rights in America

Mark Engman

UNICEF USA

August 16  Thursday

*9:00 a.m.

The Right to Water at Rio+20 &

The Rights of Nature Movement in International Law

Darcey O’Callaghan

International Policy Director

Food and Water Watch

*10:30 a.m.

Local Human Rights Lawyering:

Bringing the Global Human Rights Movement

Home to Our Grassroots Community

Lauren Bartlett

Local Human Rights Lawyering Project Director

Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

American University Washington College of Law

12:00 p.m.

8th Annual Human Rights Film Festival

Rio+20 Global Perspectives on Sustainable Development

Miss South Pacific Beauty and the Sea

*1:30 p.m.

America’s Foreign Policy Rooted in Peace, Human Rights & Rule of Law:

A New Direction from End of Empire to Era of Multilateral Engagement for Democracy

Kevin Martin

Executive Director, Peace Action

*3:00 p.m.

Connecting with Disenfranchised Communities in the United States of America &

Around the World to Promote Human Rights:

The Role of a Peacemaker

Global Citizenship:

Roles & Responsibilities

Michael Beer

Executive Director, Nonviolence International

4:30 p.m.

A Conversation Across the Country of a Midterm Analysis

of the Universal Periodic Review of the United States of America

Joshua Cooper

Director, Four Freedoms Forum

August 17 Friday

*9:00 a.m.

The Organization of American States: Human Rights in the Americas

Luis Toro

Senior Legal Officer

Department of International Law

*10:30 a.m.

Nonviolence in a Time of War

Colman McCarthy

Director, Center for Teaching Peace

Columnist, The Washington Post

12:00 p.m.

8th Annual Human Rights Film Festival

Rio+20 Global Perspectives on Sustainable Development

Taking Root The Vision of Wangari Maathai

*1:30 p.m.

Oceans & Human Rights at Rio+20

Phil Kline

Greenpeace USA

*3:00 p.m.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities:

The Steps Toward Ratification of a UN Convention in Summer 2012

*4:30 p.m.

8th Annual Human Rights Film Festival

Rio+20 Global Perspectives on Sustainable Development

Special Feature on Local Visions of Self-Determination

August 18

Excursion of Empowerment

Around Washington D.C.

Roundezvous at National Museum of the American Indian


Taking Back the Budget Debate – Sept. 20 in Silver Spring, MD

August 18, 2011

TOWN HALL MEETING

Taking Back the Budget Debate
Sept. 20, 2011, 7:30 p.m.
Silver Spring Civic Center

One Veterans’ Place (Fenton & Ellsworth)

 

We need you to help fix the PRIORITIES CRISIS in Washington and Annapolis! Plan to come to a Town Hall meeting and help organize for real, progressive solutions. Speakers include Rep. Donna Edwards, State Senator Roger Manno, and others. Be there!

Our Money . . . Our Voices . . . Our Budget Priorities

Sponsored by the MD Coalition Fund Our Communities, Bring the War Dollars Home
http://www.OurFunds.org


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