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Climate Change
#51

Climate Change
"We don’t recommend taking personal actions like limiting plane rides, eating less meat, or investing in solar energy because all of these small tweaks will build up to enough carbon savings (though it could help). We do so because people taking action in their personal lives is actually one of the best ways to get to a society that implements the policy-level change that is truly needed. Research on social behavior suggests lifestyle change can build momentum for systemic change. Humans are social animals, and we use social cues to recognize emergencies. People don’t spring into action just because they see smoke; they spring into action because they see others rushing in with water. The same principle applies to personal actions on climate change."

https://slate.com/technology/2018/10/car...y5ADTz-PPc
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#52

Climate Change
Stop biodiversity loss or we could face our own extinction, warns UN

The world has two years to secure a deal for nature to halt a ‘silent killer’ as dangerous as climate change, says biodiversity chief

Show ContentSpoiler:
“We drift down time, clutching at straws. But what good's a brick to a drowning man?” 
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#53

Climate Change
(11-09-2018, 05:52 PM)Vera Wrote: Stop biodiversity loss or we could face our own extinction, warns UN

The world has two years to secure a deal for nature to halt a ‘silent killer’ as dangerous as climate change, says biodiversity chief.

Unfortunately, coral reef ecosystems and the Amazon rainforest, each of which nurture an especially wide range of species, are both particularly vulnerable to low end temperature changes due to global warming.  They are therefore under threat this century, and may largely disappear.  Coral reefs will die from ocean warming and acidification, and the rainforest could largely become a savanna due to shifting rainfall patterns.

https://www.iucn.org/resources/issues-br...ate-change

http://wwf.panda.org/knowledge_hub/where...ge_amazon/
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#54

Climate Change
"While total fertility rates fell across all 195 countries and territories in the data, they were split roughly down the middle between those below replacement level and those above, Murray said. 'Replacement' describes the total fertility rate 'at which a population replaces itself from generation to generation, assuming no migration,' which comes out to about 2.05 live births, the authors say."

"A United Nations report last year predicted that the world population would swell to 9.8 billion by 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100. That report forecast that over half of the expected growth between 2017 and 2050 is likely to occur in Africa."

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/08/health/gl...index.html
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#55

Climate Change
(11-10-2018, 11:09 PM)Yonadav Wrote:
(11-10-2018, 10:29 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote: At this point, China and India are big contributors to climate change, just as you say.

Also:

"Black carbon, or soot, is making a much larger contribution to global warming than previously recognised, according to research.  Scientists say that particles from diesel engines and wood burning could be having twice as much warming effect as assessed in past estimates.  They say it ranks second only to carbon dioxide as the most important climate-warming agent.  The research is in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres.  Black carbon aerosols have been known to warm the atmosphere for many years by absorbing sunlight. They also speed the melting of ice and snow."

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-21033078

China and India burn a lot of coal on our behalf. A significant part of their carbon footprint is actually our carbon footprint.  How nice for us. 

The wood fires thing is half red herring. In terms of carbon, the fuel is part of the carbon cycle. Forrest fires probably emit more carbon and black carbon aerosols than intentional human wood burning. Even if we stopped people from burning wood for heat and cooking, 40 million Californians will still be setting their forests on fire on a regular seasonal basis. Here's an article to give it some perspective:

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/wester...ek-n810421

And why are China and India building more coal power plants instead of converting to wind or solar?  China gets 80% of its electricity from burning coal.  The U.S. gets 30% of its electricity from coal.

The black carbon issue is very real, and can be solved by using more efficient, low-cost stoves. It's not a greenhouse gas issue, as you say, it's because of the heat-absorbing properties of black particulates.  And yes, we need to fight forest fires too.  We need to tackle climate change on multiple fronts simultaneously.
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#56

Climate Change
(11-11-2018, 02:13 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:
(11-10-2018, 11:09 PM)Yonadav Wrote:
(11-10-2018, 10:29 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote: At this point, China and India are big contributors to climate change, just as you say.

Also:

"Black carbon, or soot, is making a much larger contribution to global warming than previously recognised, according to research.  Scientists say that particles from diesel engines and wood burning could be having twice as much warming effect as assessed in past estimates.  They say it ranks second only to carbon dioxide as the most important climate-warming agent.  The research is in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres.  Black carbon aerosols have been known to warm the atmosphere for many years by absorbing sunlight. They also speed the melting of ice and snow."

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-21033078

China and India burn a lot of coal on our behalf. A significant part of their carbon footprint is actually our carbon footprint.  How nice for us. 

The wood fires thing is half red herring. In terms of carbon, the fuel is part of the carbon cycle. Forrest fires probably emit more carbon and black carbon aerosols than intentional human wood burning. Even if we stopped people from burning wood for heat and cooking, 40 million Californians will still be setting their forests on fire on a regular seasonal basis. Here's an article to give it some perspective:

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/wester...ek-n810421

And why are China and India building more coal power plants instead of converting to wind or solar?  China gets 80% of its electricity from burning coal.  The U.S. gets 30% of its electricity from coal.

The black carbon issue is very real, and can be solved by using more efficient, low-cost stoves.  It's not a greenhouse gas issue, as you say, it's because of the heat-absorbing properties of black particulates.  And yes, we need to fight forest fires too.  We need to tackle climate change on multiple fronts simultaneously.

We have discussed this quite a few times. China's coal burning is a monster of our own creation. China doesn't have natural gas, like we do.  They are poised to become the world's largest importer of natural gas. We have made them the manufacturing backbone of the world, and they simply don't have the energy resources to support that level of production. It really isn't fair to compare their sources of energy to ours, since they don't have natural gas and they are the manufacturing backbone of the world, and we don't manufacture so much anymore. 

We can bitch about China and India until we are blue in the face; but we are the ones who keep buying from them.
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#57

Climate Change
(11-11-2018, 03:26 PM)Yonadav Wrote: We can bitch about China and India until we are blue in the face; but we are the ones who keep buying from them.

I asked: "And why are China and India building more coal power plants instead of converting to wind or solar?"

What exactly would you recommend?  It seems to me that anything short of a global carbon tax would be insufficient to curtail such problems.

(BTW, as I am sure you have noticed, I discuss a lot of different aspects of climate change.  I don't think I single out China and India for any special abuse, and am quite aware that a lot of China's emissions are from manufacturing goods for us.  So you seem to be posting with someone else in mind.)
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#58

Climate Change
(11-11-2018, 10:03 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:
(11-11-2018, 03:26 PM)Yonadav Wrote: We can bitch about China and India until we are blue in the face; but we are the ones who keep buying from them.

I asked: "And why are China and India building more coal power plants instead of converting to wind or solar?"

What exactly would you recommend?  It seems to me that anything short of a global carbon tax would be insufficient to curtail such problems.

(BTW, as I am sure you have noticed, I discuss a lot of different aspects of climate change.  I don't think I single out China and India for any special abuse, and am quite aware that a lot of China's emissions are from manufacturing goods for us.  So you seem to be posting with someone else in mind.)

I can't answer your question with any certainty. They have a 15 year waiver from compliance with climate accords. I personally have never believed that they have any intention of compliance. The waiver gives them 15 years to further build up their manufacturing competitive advantage. An overwhelming competitive advantage strengthens their hand in negotiations concerning their non-compliance. Coal is a faster, easier, and less expensive way of building up that competitive advantage.

The Chinese use slave labor, harvest organs from living donor banks, manipulate their currency, dump manufactured goods at below cost, and have no respect for intellectual property. So why would anyone believe that they had any intention of complying with climate accords?

India might not be as amoral in their dealings as China, but if China is going to spend 15 years aggressively building up its competitive advantage, then India can't afford scruples. So India is also going to build up their competitive advantage quickly and on the cheap.
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#59

Climate Change
(11-11-2018, 11:08 PM)Yonadav Wrote: The Chinese use slave labor, harvest organs from living donor banks, manipulate their currency, dump manufactured goods at below cost, and have no respect for intellectual property. So why would anyone believe that they had any intention of complying with climate accords?

"Modern slavery is a multibillion-dollar industry with estimates of up to $35 billion generated annually.  In 2013 the United Nations estimated that roughly 27 to 30 million individuals are currently caught in the slave trade industry.  According to Walk Free Foundation, there were 46 million people worldwide enslaved in 2016 in the form of 'human trafficking, forced labor, bondage from indebtedness, forced or servile marriage or commercial sexual exploitation', with an estimated 18 million of those in India.  China is second with 3.4 million, followed by Pakistan (2.1 million), Bangladesh (1.5 million), and Ukbekistan (1.2 million). By percentages of the population living in slavery Uzbekistan tops with 4% of its population living under slavery followed by Cambodia (1.6%), India (1.4%) and Qatar (1.4%). Although these figures have also faced criticism for its inconsistency and questionable methodology."

"The Walk Free Foundation reported in 2018 that slavery in advanced democratic nations is much more common than previously known, in particular the United States and Great Britain, which have 403,000 and 136,000 slaves respectively."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in...st_century
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#60

Climate Change
"Increasing demand for home air conditioning driven by global warming, population growth and rising incomes in developing countries could increase the planet's temperatures an additional half a degree Celsius by the end of the century, according to a new report by the Rocky Mountain Institute. The demand is growing so fast that a 'radical change' in home-cooling technology will be necessary to neutralize its impact, writes RMI, an energy innovation and sustainability organization. The problem with air-conditioning comes from two sources: the amount of energy used, much of which is still powered by carbon-emitting coal, oil and gas generation, and the leaking of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) coolants, which are short-lived climate pollutants many times more potent than carbon dioxide."

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/11112...qCEbBln09I
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#61

Climate Change
At the time of the Paris Climate Accord, all the participating nations knew that their pledges were inadequate to keep the global average surface temperature below the targets of 1.5 C or even 2.0 C. In other words, everyone knew that the goals would have to be tightened later, just as the goals of the Montreal Protocol were tightened later to restrict CFCs and HCFCs.

Now a new study has determined just how far those goals were off, and the linked article offers a summary:

"China, Russia and Canada’s current climate policies would drive the world above a catastrophic 5 C of warming by the end of the century, according to a study that ranks the climate goals of different countries. The US and Australia are only slightly behind with both pushing the global temperature rise dangerously over 4 C above pre-industrial levels says the paper, while even the EU, which is usually seen as a climate leader, is on course to more than double the 1.5 C that scientists say is a moderately safe level of heating."

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/...I8uD7CIBTo
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#62

Climate Change
Wealth cannot save you from Climate Change

Ryan Cooper - The Week

[Image: 05328-F1-C-E7-A4-4-C8-C-9-ADE-4-A8-EFD25-D195.jpg]
Illustrated | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images, Gordan1/iStock
November 19, 2018




Money and power can protect you from many things in life. In some cases, they can even protect you from individual climate change-fueled natural disasters like the fires ravaging California. The Woolsey Fire in Southern California, for instance, burned down much of the wealthy city of Malibu — but not the home of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, who hired private firefighters to save their $60 million home, and also those of everyone on their street. Many pointed to this as evidence for a popular argument that when it comes to climate change, wealthy people and countries will be able to basically escape the worst effects.

This is not the case. The dangers of climate change are broad and largely indiscriminate.


To wit: Jeff Bezos is the world's richest man, with a net worth of perhaps $130 billion, and most of his money comes from selling to a mass consumer market. That market requires a population with at least a modicum of purchasing power, reasonably functional public infrastructure to deliver its products, stable governance, and so forth. His company also gets direct public subsidyin the form of a sweetheart deal with the U.S. Postal Service, big defense contracts, and most recently, huge bribesfrom Virginia and New York to locate its new headquarters there.

If there were a very severe climate crisis that seriously disrupted the U.S. economy and government, Bezos' whole business could easily go bankrupt, and his wealth — which is mostly Amazon stock — would disappear.


Now, it may well be possible for rich people to build some sort of prepper fortress that would allow them to survive a climate cataclysm indefinitely. But this would mean losing most of their wealth, require careful advance planning, and be a lot more difficult than they probably suspect.

Wealth might just buy you a comforting blanket of denial — that even if everything goes horribly wrong in Bangladesh, surely wealthy Americans won't be allowed to suffer. Right up until the flames crest the ridge behind your house.


https://theweek.com/articles/808106/weal...ate-change
You know, living in hell is a lot more boring than I thought it would be.
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#63

Climate Change
As long as we are discussing wealth and environmentalism, here is a fantastic Vox article.

From the article: And second, “environmental self-identity did not predict overall energy use or carbon footprint.” In fact, energy use and carbon footprints were slightly higher among self-identified greenies. D’oh!

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environme...ate-change
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#64

Climate Change
Well, at least USA Today says we're all fucking doomed. I guess I'll choose to look at it in a positive way. At least, there will be less pressure to be successful in life. Shy
________________________________________________
A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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#65

Climate Change
(11-23-2018, 10:56 PM)Kim Wrote: Well, at least USA Today says we're all fucking doomed.  I guess I'll choose to look at it in a positive way.    At least, there will be less pressure to be successful in life.   Shy

I believe the report is predicated on the business-as-usual scenario, which means we basically continue burning fossil fuels as if nothing is happening.

However, so many countries are working toward reducing their CO2 emissions at this point that such a scenario is no longer the most likely one.  Further, the high-end emissions scenario also depended on the availability of economic fossil fuels to continue burning.  Those will likely disappear before the end of the century, forcing our conversion to renewables even if it's too late to stop climate change.  The third factor is that renewables are so much cheaper now that they are becoming competitive with fossil fuels for electricity generation even now.  When more affordable car batteries come to market early in the next decade, people will switch to electric cars because of the economics alone.  Running an electric car will be like paying $1 per gallon of gas if all else is equal.

However, that's not to say we are no longer in trouble.  One assessment I read stated that we have to reduce global emissions 50% by 2050 to have a 50/50 chance of keeping total warming below 2C.  If we go far above 2C, then all bets are off since natural positive feedbacks would likely take climate change out of our hands, at least until we scaled up our ability to pull CO2 directly from the atmosphere to sequester it again.

As for being successful in life, we are overdue for our standards to change in that regards.  I would guess that those people suffering from future climate change caused by us will revise their estimates of our "successes" considerably.
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#66

Climate Change
Living in a scientifically-literate, educated, wealthy country,  Americans
should be mortified by this pie chart of global CO2 emissions, by country:


[Image: gw-graphic-pie-chart-co2-emissions-by-country-2015.png]
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#67

Climate Change
(11-24-2018, 10:51 AM)SYZ Wrote: Living in a scientifically-literate, educated, wealthy country,  Americans
should be mortified by this pie chart of global CO2 emissions, by country:

Americans are responsible for a large hunk of the emissions from China as well, and yes, I am mortified.  I am doubly mortified that we invented much of climate science and many renewable technologies too.

But in a way it makes perfect sense that the U.S. is lagging behind, since historically we are responsible for something like 30% of all CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.  We have to shift from thinking of ourselves as heroes to potential villains, so many prefer denialism instead.  We have more psychological issues to overcome.
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#68

Climate Change
(11-11-2018, 03:26 PM)Yonadav Wrote:
(11-11-2018, 02:13 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:
(11-10-2018, 11:09 PM)Yonadav Wrote: China and India burn a lot of coal on our behalf. A significant part of their carbon footprint is actually our carbon footprint.  How nice for us. 

The wood fires thing is half red herring. In terms of carbon, the fuel is part of the carbon cycle. Forrest fires probably emit more carbon and black carbon aerosols than intentional human wood burning. Even if we stopped people from burning wood for heat and cooking, 40 million Californians will still be setting their forests on fire on a regular seasonal basis. Here's an article to give it some perspective:

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/wester...ek-n810421

And why are China and India building more coal power plants instead of converting to wind or solar?  China gets 80% of its electricity from burning coal.  The U.S. gets 30% of its electricity from coal.

The black carbon issue is very real, and can be solved by using more efficient, low-cost stoves.  It's not a greenhouse gas issue, as you say, it's because of the heat-absorbing properties of black particulates.  And yes, we need to fight forest fires too.  We need to tackle climate change on multiple fronts simultaneously.

We have discussed this quite a few times. China's coal burning is a monster of our own creation. China doesn't have natural gas, like we do.  They are poised to become the world's largest importer of natural gas. We have made them the manufacturing backbone of the world, and they simply don't have the energy resources to support that level of production. It really isn't fair to compare their sources of energy to ours, since they don't have natural gas and they are the manufacturing backbone of the world, and we don't manufacture so much anymore. 

We can bitch about China and India until we are blue in the face; but we are the ones who keep buying from them.
Everyone buys from China. Not just Americans.
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#69

Climate Change
(11-24-2018, 10:51 AM)SYZ Wrote: Living in a scientifically-literate, educated, wealthy country,  Americans
should be mortified by this pie chart of global CO2 emissions, by country:


[Image: gw-graphic-pie-chart-co2-emissions-by-country-2015.png]

That pie chart is a pretty bizzare way of grouping countries. It splits up the EU. Disguise the fact that Canada and Australia produces the same C02 per capita as the US. Really it seems like propaganda.
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#70

Climate Change
(11-24-2018, 03:31 PM)Capn Awesome Wrote:
(11-11-2018, 03:26 PM)Yonadav Wrote:
(11-11-2018, 02:13 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote: And why are China and India building more coal power plants instead of converting to wind or solar?  China gets 80% of its electricity from burning coal.  The U.S. gets 30% of its electricity from coal.

The black carbon issue is very real, and can be solved by using more efficient, low-cost stoves.  It's not a greenhouse gas issue, as you say, it's because of the heat-absorbing properties of black particulates.  And yes, we need to fight forest fires too.  We need to tackle climate change on multiple fronts simultaneously.

We have discussed this quite a few times. China's coal burning is a monster of our own creation. China doesn't have natural gas, like we do.  They are poised to become the world's largest importer of natural gas. We have made them the manufacturing backbone of the world, and they simply don't have the energy resources to support that level of production. It really isn't fair to compare their sources of energy to ours, since they don't have natural gas and they are the manufacturing backbone of the world, and we don't manufacture so much anymore. 

We can bitch about China and India until we are blue in the face; but we are the ones who keep buying from them.
Everyone buys from China. Not just Americans.

We brought them into the WTO, though. And we are their largest trading partner.
https://www.theatlantic.com/internationa...es/567526/
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#71

Climate Change
(11-24-2018, 03:33 PM)Capn Awesome Wrote:
(11-24-2018, 10:51 AM)SYZ Wrote: Living in a scientifically-literate, educated, wealthy country,  Americans
should be mortified by this pie chart of global CO2 emissions, by country:


[Image: gw-graphic-pie-chart-co2-emissions-by-country-2015.png]

That pie chart is a pretty bizzare way of grouping countries. It splits up the EU. Disguise the fact that Canada and Australia produces the same C02 per capita as the US. Really it seems like propaganda.

I thought that it looked like propaganda, too. The correlation between wealth and carbon footprint is more interesting. There is a chart in the article that I linked to earlier which is certainly worth looking at.  If you don't feel like reading the whole article (which is a very interesting article that slams green signaling a bit), then you can just scroll to the chart.

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environme...ate-change
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#72

Climate Change
(10-25-2018, 03:10 PM)Kaneda Wrote: Here’s the infographic that was making rounds in the wake of the latest IPCC report. Conspicuously absent are non-linear state shifts from all those major interactive feedbacks you like to remind us about.

[Image: 9-F63-CE02-4-D77-4384-AA1-F-CBF74-B5-E6487.jpg]

3.0C by mid-century is fine. I didn’t want to live to see old age anyway.

I'm enjoying the world.
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#73

Climate Change
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#74

Climate Change
(11-30-2018, 02:06 PM)Yonadav Wrote: (TED Talk)

That was a fascinating lecture.

TL;DR:  The only way to restore desertified grasslands, and to use them for carbon sequestration to help climate change, is by restoring the conditions under which they evolved.  That means large herds of grazing animals rotating through the landscapes.  The herds fertilize the lands, but the main reason this works is that without the herds reducing the growth of grasses, they dry out during the dry seasons and prevent younger plants from growing during the wet seasons, thus leading to the loss of the grasses. This seemingly counter-intuitive method has been demonstrated to work again and again.

So land management is a key component for fighting climate change.  That includes stopping desertification and deforestation, and promoting reforestation as well as using smarter agricultural methods to sequester carbon.  However, I doubt such methods could stop climate change all by themselves, as the speaker implied, but could only work along with a wide number of other strategies.
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#75

Climate Change
Has anyone here been following the news surrounding COP24 these past couple weeks?

Hundreds of Activists Stage Sit-in Against Big Polluters on Final Day of COP24 U.N. Climate Talks

Democracy Now!
December 14, 2018

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the U.N. climate summit in Katowice, Poland, on Friday, demanding bolder action from world leaders on climate change. The action was organized by the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice. Demonstrators filled the staircase inside the conference center holding banners reading “Which side are you on?” and “People Not Polluters” and “System change not climate change.” As protesters marched out of U.N. climate talks, Democracy Now! spoke with Maya Menezes, Canadian climate activist and member of the Canadian Youth Delegation with the climate justice organization The Leap. She is a migrant rights organizer with No One Is Illegal.

AMY GOODMAN: Yes, we are broadcasting from the U.N. climate talks in Katowice, Poland, where hundreds of demonstrators are gathered just beyond our set demanding bolder action from world leaders on climate change, the actions organized by the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice. Protesters have filled the staircase inside the convention center. They’re holding banners saying “Which side are you on?” “People not polluters,” “System change not climate change.” This is Rita Uwaka of Friends of the Earth Nigeria.

RITA UWAKA: We are here to denounce false solutions by big polluters, who are acting as saints at this COP. We are here to promote solutions that are sustainable, that are people-powered. We are here to expose the inequities of corporations at COP, that are causing devastating environmental, social consequences in communities around the world.
In the Niger Delta, where I live and come from, I know that there are a lot of oil pollutions, that is devastating community lives and livelihoods. Water polluted. Our soils are polluted. Our farmlands are polluted. Women are suffering. Communities at the front line have been victimized by these corporations, who have brought human rights abuses, who is causing a lot of scarcity of food in our communities, who is destroying our local food system, destroying our forest and causing a lot of climate change in communities, affecting people and our climate.

We say no. We are here to denounce the activities. We are here to promote solutions that are sustainable. We’re here to kick them out and let the people in.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Rita Uwaka of Friends of the Earth Nigeria. And as we broadcast today from the U.N. climate talks, right next to us, hundreds of people are walking out with their hands up in a fist sign.
We are now joined by one of the demonstrators. Maya Menezes is a Canadian climate activist, member of the Canadian Youth Delegation here at the U.N. climate talks, senior manager of development at climate justice organization The Leap, a migrant rights organizer with No One Is Illegal.
It’s great to have you with us. Describe for us what you’re seeing right now right behind you, Maya.

MAYA MENEZES: Well, we’ve got in a really incredible coalition of climate activists from across the Global South, but also their allies in the Global North, who are calling for the decorporatization of the COP and for a climate justice movement that centers people, not polluters.

AMY GOODMAN: And what does that mean? And are you concerned about what’s come out of these talks? Though they’re continuing until tomorrow. What are you demanding has to happen?

MAYA MENEZES: I think we’re demanding that we want to see people’s rights and protection for marginalized peoples at the core of how we have these climate discussions, which we know just never happens. It’s not in the interests of wealthy corporate elites to make sure that marginalized people’s voices are heard. And that’s why community organizers have to mobilize in the way that we do, to ensure that that message reaches the public. And that’s what we were calling for today.

AMY GOODMAN: According to some projections, one-fifth of the world’s population in 2100—that’s 2 billion people—could become climate refugees. That’s by the end of the century. Have U.N. climate talks here addressed this staggering number that we’re talking about? You are particularly focused on migrants. And what does climate migrants mean?

MAYA MENEZES: These talks never have that discussion at the core of them. In fact, a lot of the ways that we talk about migrant and refugee issues actually uses language that makes it very easy for right-wing extremism to navigate the space in a way where we start to call people and we refer to them as “illegals.” A lot of the conversations around migrants and refugees center things like “regular” migration, “safe” migration. And it allows a lot of space for that language suddenly to be used to call people “illegal,” “irregular” crossings. And that’s what I organize against in Toronto.

Right now we’re seeing, of course, a lot of people on the move with the migrant caravan waiting, many people who have applied for asylum in the United States, many people whose claims will be denied. A lot of the organizing that we do when we leave the COP spaces and when we go home is fight for things like the Safe Third Country Agreement to be rescinded in Canada. The Safe Third Country Agreement is basically a piece of law that bars people who have applied for asylum in the U.S. and been denied access to apply for asylum in Canada. Migrant rights activists having been calling in Canada for this to be rescinded for a very long time. It basically says that the U.S. is a safe country. We know that the U.S. has rampant xenophobia and that this will actually serve to bar people who are in the migrant caravan from being able to get access to Canada. And that’s something we want to see removed immediately.

AMY GOODMAN: We just reported in our headlines about the 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who came over the border with her dad. She has just died of dehydration and shock—we just learned this—while in the custody of U.S. Border Patrol. They didn’t take her to the hospital until her temperature peaked over 105 degrees. This treatment of migrants and what this bodes for the future, and where you think the kind of activism you’re involved in can play a role?

MAYA MENEZES: I think we actually need to invest in organizers who are fighting this idea that migrants and refugees are seen as dangerous in our society. It’s a very, very frightening common theme that we’re seeing across the COP and that we’re seeing at home, this language that has allowed people—I guess, actually, a story is, when we found out about the caging of migrant children and the removal from their families in the U.S., there was of course international days of action, where people occupied outside of U.S. consulates calling for this to end. When I was going through the crowd afterwards—I spoke at that rally, and I was going through the crowd later talking to parents who were there with their children, who were saying—you know, I said, “Why are you here? What draws you here? We know these children are being traumatized. They’re being treated so inhumanely. And we need an end to detentions, and we need an end to deportations.” And many family members who were there said, “Well, I don’t actually believe that people shouldn’t be imprisoned. I just think families should be in jail together.” And that’s a very scary thing. It’s a very scary thing to be faced with.

So, what we’re trying to organize on the ground against is actually a rejection that some people are deserving of basic dignity and rights, and some are not. In the global climate crisis, we understand that most of the world either will be turned into a desert or will be uninhabitable, due to temperature, storm changes. We need to make sure that a climate plan that talks about decreasing emissions also has an open conversation that the borders must be open and people must have clear avenues to status and citizenship and safety in wherever they want to move to.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you quickly talk about the Canadian role right here at the U.N. talks? One of your representatives, her event was just disrupted.

MAYA MENEZES: Yes, definitely. Well, Canada has an interesting role. We are touted as a very progressive government, and at the same time we push some of the harshest refugee and migrant laws out there. Right now we’re talking about—there was an event, of course, that we heard about between, I think it was, Claire Perry, and Catherine McKenna was on that panel, as well.

AMY GOODMAN: And explain who they are.

MAYA MENEZES: Claire Perry, I believe, is the U.K. environment minister. Catherine McKenna is the Canadian minister of environment and climate change. And it was a conversation about getting off coal, which is all fine and great, but the Canadian government right now—80 percent of oil and gas emissions, largely coming out of the tar sands, are going to be exempt from the federal carbon pricing plan, which is outrageous. That’s a complete oxymoron to say that we care about the climate and reducing emissions, but then exempting 80 percent of oil and gas from that carbon pricing plan. And so the role of Canada is interesting in that regard. But we’re here to basically call out domestic policies that are completely out of sync with what Canada says on the international stage, from migration and refugee issues to carbon emissions plans that don’t hold polluters accountable at all.

AMY GOODMAN: The United Nations formally recognized climate migration for the first time this week, with more than 160 nations agreeing to the United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration at a meeting in Marrakech, Morocco. The compact asks nations to, quote, “provide basic services for migrants, whether they enter a country legally or illegally,” and “facilitate access to procedures for family reunification for migrants at all skill levels” and “establish mechanisms for the portability of social security entitlements,” unquote. The United States did not sign on to the agreement. In a statement, the U.S. State Department said, “The United States proclaims and reaffirms its belief that decisions about how to secure its borders, and whom to admit for legal residency or to grant citizenship, are among the most important sovereign decisions a State can make, and are not subject to negotiation.” Maya, your thoughts?

MAYA MENEZES: I think something that really bothers me about all of this language is, when countries—and, of course, the context for me being Canada—when countries like us sign on to these agreements, I think that’s fantastic in a lot of different ways, but also we have domestic policies that completely fly in the face of it. In Canada, for example, with the Safe Third Country Agreement, we know that people who are applying for asylum in the migrant caravan, many of whom have come from Central and South America, are on the move not because of tsunamis, but because of war and destabilization. We know that Canada supported the coup in Honduras in 2009 in order to continue Canadian mining practices and to expand their reach. We know that the many Hondurans that are in the migrant caravan, who have applied for asylum in the United States, are not going to be able to apply for asylum in Canada because of the Safe Third Country Agreement. This is war and mining profiteering that Canada is championing in Central and South America. And then, of course, when these people are on the move because of political destabilization, we deny them at the border. And this is a climate issue. And it’s not taken up in these documents the way that it should be, and it’s not taken up by the Canadian government the way they need to be accountable for it.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you so much for being with us, Maya Menezes, Canadian climate activist, member of the Canadian Youth Delegation here at the U.N. climate talks, senior manager of development at climate justice organization The Leap, also a migrant rights organizer with No One Is Illegal.




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