William Connolly. If everyone lived in an ‘ecovillage’, the Earth would still be in trouble

Difficult – and important – reading.

“But personal action is not enough. We must restructure our societies to support and promote these “simpler” ways of living. Appropriate technology must also assist us on the transition to one planet living. Some argue that technology will allow us to continue living in the same way while also greatly reducing our footprint.

However, the extent of “dematerialisation” required to make our ways of living sustainable is simply too great. As well as improving efficiency, we also need to live more simply in a material sense, and re-imagine the good life beyond consumer culture.

First and foremost, what is needed for one planet living is for the richest nations, including Australia, to initiate a “degrowth” process of planned economic contraction.

I do not claim that this is likely or that I have a detailed blueprint for how it should transpire. I only claim that, based on the ecological footprint analysis, degrowth is the most logical framework for understanding the radical implications of sustainability.”

via If everyone lived in an ‘ecovillage’, the Earth would still be in trouble.

Arctic Methane Emergency Group – AMEG – Arctic Sea Ice – Methane Release – Planetary Emergency

Arctic Methane Emergency Group – AMEG – Arctic Sea Ice – Methane Release – Planetary Emergency.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

TIME: Thursday, December 4, 2014, 12:00-12:30 PM

SUBJECT: Arctic meltdown: a catastrophic threat to our survival
AMEG calls for rapid refreezing of the Arctic to halt runaway melting

WHO: John Nissen, Chair AMEG, supported by Professor Peter Wadhams, Cambridge University, co-founder of AMEG and world-renowned expert on Arctic sea ice, with Paul Beckwith, AMEG blogger.

SUMMARY:
There is strong evidence of advanced acceleration in: 
• Arctic warming and sea ice decline in a vicious cycle
• Substantial ice loss in Greenland with potential massive loss due to unstable glaciers
• Disruption of jet stream behaviour, with abrupt climate change leading to crop failures, rising food prices and conflict in the Northern Hemisphere
• Rapid emissions of methane from the Arctic seabed, permafrost and tundra.

The tipping point for the Arctic sea ice has already passed.


Our conclusions are:
 

• The meltdown is accelerating and could become unstoppable as early as Sept 2015 
• Immediate action must be taken to refreeze the Arctic to halt runaway melting
• Greenhouse gas emissions reduction, however drastic, cannot solve this problem
• Calculations show that powerful interventions are needed to cool the Arctic 
• Any delay escalates the risk of failure
• Arctic meltdown is a catastrophic threat for civilisation.

Center for Planetary Culture | TOWARD REGENERATIVE SOCIETY: A RAPID TRANSITION PLAN

“Today, humanity faces our greatest challenge, and our most precious opportunity.  Our activity as a species has put the Earth in jeopardy. We can directly observe that our use of resources must change.  We are threatening the ability of the biosphere to support our continuity, and the future of all complex forms of life. We appear to have reached one of those rare, extraordinary junctures in human history when a thorough transformation of society, culture, and consciousness is necessary. Climate change is the most urgent of many impending threats. As individuals, we must understand and accept the critical nature of our time. For the sake of future generations, we can become part of a wave of awakening and of action, that grows exponentially.

Under this extreme time pressure, there is great potential to quickly develop and distribute a new social model based on an ethos of global citizenship and planetary stewardship. For this to happen, humanity must act upon our unique capacities for self-awareness and foresight. We must fully activate the prefrontal cortex – the brain structure that makes us uniquely human, which developed in the last forty thousand years. We must envision a new model for planetary civilization, then design and manifest it.”

via Center for Planetary Culture | TOWARD REGENERATIVE SOCIETY: A RAPID TRANSITION PLAN.

Naomi Klein: “we are not who we were told we were” | ROAR Magazine

On the eve of the publication of her new book, Naomi Klein talks about the things that give her hope in a world that can sometimes feel very bleak.Naomi Klein rose to international acclaim in 1999 by explaining how big corporations were exploiting our insecurities to convince us to spend money we didn’t have, on stuff we didn’t need No Logo. In 2007 she masterfully dissected the ways those steering the global economy use moments of social and environmental crisis to justify transferring public wealth into the hands of the ultra-rich The Shock Doctrine. Less-known though are the alternatives Klein spends much of her time witnessing, documenting, and digging into, from the spread of fossil fuel divestment, to community-owned energy projects and resistance to tar sands pipelines.On the eve of the publication of her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate, Klein sat down with Liam Barrington-Bush at the Peoples Social Forum in Ottawa, to talk about where she finds hope in a world that can sometimes feel very bleak. She reminds us that in a culture that treats people as consumers and relationships as transactions, ‘we’re not who we were told we were.’::::::::::::::::::::::LBB: In a recent piece in the Nation, you wrote: “Because of the way our daily lives have been altered by both market and technological triumphalism, we lack many of the observational tools necessary to convince ourselves that climate change is real — let alone the confidence to believe that a different way of living is possible.” What has helped you to believe that a different way of living is possible?NK: I think part of it is just having been lucky enough to have seen other ways of living and to have lived differently myself. To know that not only is living differently not the end of the world, but in many cases, it has enabled some of the happiest times of my life.I think the truth is that we spend a lot of time being afraid of what we would lose if we ever took this crisis seriously. I had this experience when I had been living in Argentina for a couple of years; I came back to the US because I had agreed to do this speech at an American university. It was in Colorado and I went directly from Buenos Aires, which was just on fire at that moment; the culture was so rich, the sense of community was so strong. It was the most transformative experience of my life to be able to be part of that.So I end up staying at a Holiday Inn, looking out at a parking lot, and it’s just so incredibly grim. I go to this class and I do my spiel. I was talking about Argentina and the economic crisis. At this point the US economy’s booming and nobody thinks anything like this could ever happen to them. And this young woman says, “I hear what you’re saying, but why should I care?”

via Naomi Klein: “we are not who we were told we were” | ROAR Magazine.

How a 3-Minute Film Is Making a Long-Term Difference on Climate Change | Lyn Davis Lear

This is the story of how a three-minute film watched by over 120 world leaders at the United Nations this morning was produced by a newly empty nested mother of three who had never produced a minute of film before.It began 26 years ago when my friend, Cindy Horn, and I were pregnant with our first born and concerned about what the scientific community was telling us about the man-made threat to the planet that was soon to welcome our innocent babies.Our concern soon translated into the start of the Environmental Media Association, whose mission was to get writers, producers and directors to include environmental issues into the content of their stories. We are proud of founding and nurturing EMA, with our husbands, over so many years and of the leadership, now led by President Debbie Levin that made it so successful.Three years ago, my husband and I had Bill McKibben to our home. I had known Bill, the founder of 350.org, for years. Bill was just starting to tour colleges and universities to inform students about the serious nature of the climate crisis and its impact on their future.I will never forget our home being filled to the brim that day with electric conversation. This was a turning point in my life. Of course, I knew our climate problems were serious, but like most, I chose to keep from acknowledging the degree of the crisis. We gave a lot of money every year to different environmental causes — we had even founded an NGO. However, once that “ah ha” moment comes and you get how critical this crisis is, you cant turn back.This was the most exciting time to be alive, but also the most frightening. Every week there seemed to be new evidence of global warming from methane ice melting in Siberia, to new irreversible glacier melting in Antarctica. The situation seemed so dire. The media wouldnt pay attention to the issue, and no one seemed to care about climate change. Even the movement seemed depressed.But then, a little over a year ago, there seemed to be a sea change in the air. It was as though everything lightened up. Everyone in our movement, including Al Gore, felt a tipping point had begun. Solar, wind and organic products were becoming less expensive. We had reasons to feel optimistic. Even as extreme weather events began to worsen, we felt there was a way forward.

via How a 3-Minute Film Is Making a Long-Term Difference on Climate Change | Lyn Davis Lear.

Peoples Climate Mobilisation – Join – 350

In September, heads of state are going to New York City for a historic summit on climate change. With our future on the line, we will take a weekend and use it to bend the course of history.To make this moment count, we need to act — together.All around the world, people will be coming together for a weekend of historic action on climate change. Our collective demand is for Action, Not Words: take the action necessary to create a world with an economy that works for people and the planet.Find a Peoples Climate Mobilisation event near you and join.Want to host an event? Click here.Find an event near you:City/ZIP/Postal & CountryShare on FacebookTweetLINK:

via Peoples Climate Mobilisation – Join – 350.

A life of activism gives you hope, energy and direction | rabble.ca

Maude Barlow received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from York University in Toronto yesterday morning. Here are her speaking notes for the Convocation ceremony.Chancellor Gregory Sorbara, President Mamdouh Shoukri, the Senate of York University, and all the graduation students, It is a great honour to share this convocation with you today. I am moved by your grace, energy and hope on this lovely June day.In the few minutes I have to share with you I would like to urge you all, no matter what your education specialty, what vocation you choose, or where you live, to give some of your precious life energy to the great environmental challenges that face us today.

….

via A life of activism gives you hope, energy and direction | rabble.ca.

The Cause Is Us: World on Verge of Sixth Extinction | Common Dreams

Not ‘on the verge”: we are there..

A new study showing that the human activity has driven current rates of species extinction to 1,000 times faster than the natural rate is “alarming” and “should be a clarion call” to work towards greater conservation efforts, an environmental group charges.The study, published Thursday by the journal Science and led by conservation expert Stuart Pimm, also warns that without drastic action, the sixth mass extinction could be imminent.

via The Cause Is Us: World on Verge of Sixth Extinction | Common Dreams.

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math | Politics News | Rolling Stone

If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

via Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math | Politics News | Rolling Stone.