Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Climate Summit in Copenhagen opens today and runs through December 18

DECEMBER 7-18 U. N. CLIMATE SUMMIT IN COPENHAGEN December 7, 2009, Compiled by Dick Bennett. Another in a series of Climate Change Newsletters by OMNI’s Climate Change Task Force.

Friday December 11 Vigil
FSTV/Amy Goodman
Bill McKibben
Art Hobson
Naomi Klein
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Vulnerable Nations


At the behest of our great ally Bill McKibben of 350.org, the OMNI Center's Climate Change Task Force & 1Sky Arkansas are collaborating to bring a meaningful candle light vigil to our community on Friday, Dec 11th- 7pm at the Fayetteville Town Square near the Town Center's Peace Fountain. The vigil will feature speakers & a moment of silence for the current & future victims of climate change throughout the world.

Please join us for this commemoration to those of us already suffering the outcomes of climate change, such as, West Africa, the Philippines, Thailand and the Gulf of Mexico. There will be vigils around the world on December the 11th. These vigils call attention to the global citizens' cry to our global leaders in Copenhagen. This cry is for decisive, compassionate, bold objectives that will protect humanity's future. We can't afford to compromise for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry's bottom line.

Climate change is a social justice and a peace issue. We will share the light of our candles symbolizing our shared global future and...shared hope.

Sincerely, Joanna Pollock

Climate Change Task Force, Omni/Climate Precinct Captain, 1sky



Join Thousands of Activists in Copenhagen at the 15th U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP15) December 7-18, 2009

Free Speech TV and Greenpeace have joined forces to bring you a commercial-free, front-row seat to this historic event!

On December 7, delegates from 192 countries, including 100 world leaders, gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark for the most important climate negotiations the world has ever seen. An unprecedented number of countries are pledging long-term reduction of their carbon emissions, while environmental activists are demonstrating all over the world to persuade the rest of the COP15 participants to join them in developing the most ambitious climate deal in history.

Free Speech TV has proudly joined forces with Greenpeace to bring breaking coverage of the events - Your own front-row seat at COP15! This exclusive programming is also a call to action for our supporters to join Greenpeace and Free Speech TV in our effort to distribute this special programming to millions more people. Our hope is that all viewers become inspired to actively participate in this crucial debate.

Environmental coverage has always been one of Free Speech TV's programming hallmarks. Over the last few weeks, Democracy Now!, GRITtv and the Thom Hartmann Show have been covering events leading up to COP15 and will continue to follow the events closely, until the new deal is reached. Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman will be reporting live from Copenhagen!(EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING 7 TO 8 AM CAT CH 18). Make sure you tune in for the coverage or go to our website, where you can catch up on the conference and share your favorite clips with your friends.

Best,Giselle Campagna Development Director

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“Copenhagen Strategy - Action Not Rhetoric” by Bill McKibben

Dear Friends,

Here's our sense of what will be happening at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen, and why we're hoping some of you will start or join a candlelight vigil at a strategic or iconic location in your community 7 TO 8 P.M. Town Center on Dec. 11th

The weekend for these vigils falls smack in the middle of the two-week Copenhagen talks…. We need to send a signal to say that speeches and prizes are good, but action is what's really required--enough action to head us back towards 350 parts per million.

Obama will bring an emissions target to the table in Copenhagen, a bittersweet development in this political drama. Sweet because having any sort of commitment from the U.S. increases the chances of global collaboration on a climate deal, bitter because US emissions target represents a paltry 3% reductions below 1990 levels--far from the ambitious cuts scientists say are necessary to get back to 350….

The timing here is crucial: the vigils are part of a huge mobilization on the weekend of December 12th, mid-way through the negotiations. The climate talks will build to a head a few days later, as our allies and champions--people like President Nasheed of the Maldives--struggle to get a document that represents "a survival pact, not a suicide pact." …..

Here's the deal: the huge day of action on October 24 was a tremendous start, and it's hard to believe that it was only a month ago that you created what's being called "the most widespread day of political action in history." It took the most important number on earth and made it one of the most well-known.

Copenhagen continues that process--with the whole world paying attention, we need to remind our leaders that we don't need rhetoric, we need change. Fast.

Onwards, Bill McKibben, 350.org

“Copenhagen climate talks” by Art Hobson Dec. 1, 2009

This month's Copenhagen summit meeting was called to draw up a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on global warming (GW), which 187 nations (but not the USA) signed and ratified. But, even before iT begins, leaders have agreed to punt most of the difficult issues to a later meeting in Mexico City.

Don't blame this breakdown on the world, or political leaders, at large. The GW logjam is caused primarily by one nation, namely us. But it's not due to President Obama, who has done everything he could to move the U.S. off its horrible long-term policy. For example, he's appointed two of the world's most knowledgeable and progressive scientists as Presidential Science Advisor (John Holdren) and Secretary of Energy (Steven Chu). I know both of them. Both put GW at the top of their priorities, and so does Obama.

The problem lies very specifically with the U.S. fossil fuel industry: coal, oil, gas, the automotive industry, and their suppliers. The worst example was the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), which reached a new low in American morality. Led by Exxon, the GCC spent wads of cash on advertising, lobbying, and on a few scientists who were willing to propagandize Congress and others in order to manufacture doubt about the reality of global warming. It was pseudoscience for a profit, at its worst. These scientists' "research" consists of searching for support for their preconceived conclusion that global warming is some sort of liberal plot. It was on a par with the tobacco industry's disinformation campaign about cigarettes and cancer. Even though the GCC collapsed several years ago as its members withdrew until Exxon was isolated, the same bunch continues its full-page newspaper ads and lavish lobbying.

Don't blame the Europeans. They've done surprisingly well at starting a cap & trade system, but they're looking to the world's largest economy for leadership, leadership that Obama has a hard time providing without more support from Congress. And don't blame nations like China and India, who are looking to the rich nations for leadership, since it's the rich nations who caused the problem by exploiting fossil fuel and by our continuing thoughtless growth.

The problem is a specific segment of U.S. business: the fossil fuel industry. They are killing the planet.

Some good will come of Copenhagen: Publicity about global warming, the attendance of Obama and other world leaders, Obama's announcement that he will work for meaningful U.S. emissions reductions, and plans that can be carried out later when the reality of global warming finally seeps through Americans' skulls.

That threat will soon become clear: Temperatures are likely to go up rapidly in the next 5 years, because a variety of factors (a "quiet" sun, changing ocean currents) have caused temperatures to level off for the past decade while greenhouse gases have increased faster than ever. Temperature rise will soon resume, with a vengeance. Sea level rise, ocean acidification, melting glaciers, Arctic Ocean melting, droughts, and other impacts are proceeding faster than the most extreme scenarios had predicated just a few years ago. Environmentalists will win this debate, i.e. the fossil fuel industry will soon be seen to have criminally misled us, because all the propaganda in the world can't fool nature. But the question is, will we win it in time to ward off catastrophic climate changes? Art Hobson


Klein, Naomi. “Copenhagen: Seattle Grows Up.” The Nation (Nov. 30, 2009). This one-page report anticipates what climate-justice advocates will do in Copenhagen. Klein says that progressive activists in Copenhagen will argue that our climate is changing not only because of unregulated capitalism but because of the underlying logic of capitalism, which values short-term profit and perpetual growth above all else. This same logic (commodifying carbon) cannot be harnessed to solve the climate crisis. Rather, market-based carbon-trading will privatize the atmosphere, and offsets and sinks will provide a colossal resource grab, which will deepen poverty and inequality around the world. But the difference between Seattle and Copenhagen in the global justice movement will be that activists in Copenhagen will not simply say no, but will advance solutions that reduce emissions and inequality: local, sustainable agri, decentralized power, respect for indigenous land, leaving fossil fuels in the ground, subsiding green tech, paying for the sustainable future by taxing financial transactions, and canceling 3rd-world debts. One of the slogans you will hear and we might cheer: “If the climate were a bank, it would have been saved,” not abandoned to the market. (Summary by Dick)

Rabbi Arthur Waskow to jbennet

The Shalom Center: A Prophetic Voice in Jewish, Multireligious, and American Life “Lighting the Candles of Hanukkah Hope To Light the Path at Copenhagen “--

Broad-based Jewish call for climate action

Dear folks, At the initiative of The Shalom Center, a broad spectrum of American Jewish leadership has issued the following statement about Hanukkah and Copenhagen:

"Hanukkah for Humanity"

The traditions of rabbinic Judaism have long celebrated the Hanukkah miracle in which one day's oil met eight days' need. In that spirit, we join in urging the world community to include in our Hanukkah celebration this year a call to all the peoples of the earth. We encourage Jewish communities, wherever possible, to gather in public one Hanukkah evening to light their menorahs with this message:

That the human race deeply reduce our burning of fossil fuels as a step toward healing the climate crisis that threatens our future. The world's governments are convened in the Copenhagen conference as we light the lights of Hanukkah at a time of the darkness of the moon and sun. We especially call out to them, that together all humanity light the lights of a sustainable future in the midst of a dark and difficult passage through history…..

One example of carrying "Hanukkah for Humanity" into action: The Shalom Center, with support from a wide variety of Philadelphia synagogues, other Jewish organizations, and several interfaith groups and activists, is sponsoring a vigil for action to heal our endangered climate from "global scorching"…..

That vigil will be connecting with hundreds of candle light vigils around the globe on the weekend of December 11-13, calling on the negotiators in Copenhagen to take the actions needed to save our eco-system. The call to that action came from Bill McKibben.

Shalom, salaam, shantih -- Peace! Arthur


UN presses for disaster aid at climate talks, AFP, 12/03/09. A senior UN official said on Thursday the Copenhagen climate summit next week needed to take action against growing weather-related disasters linked to climate change. "The disasters are there, there are more of them, more people are being affected, it's costing more money, it's having a longer term effects on poverty... so that's the immediate issue," Margareta Wahlstroem, UN assistant secretary-general for disaster risk reduction said. Wahlstroem said the UN summit on climate change in Danish capital should pledge at least 100 billion dollars (66 billion euros) a year to start to help the most vulnerable nations adapt to disaster risks. Finance for adaptation is a core issue for Copenhagen, to help poorer nations, such as low lying islands, coastal regions or those afflicted by water shortages, adapt to their changing environment with floods, storms or other weather shifts.

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Week of 11.27.09

Climate Crisis
Desperate efforts to keep climate change from drowning entire nations.

The Maldives, a nation of roughly 1200 low-lying islands in the Indian Ocean, could be underwater by the end of this century if feared climate change causes ocean levels to rise. On the eve of the big climate summit in Copenhagen, the country's president, Mohamed Nasheed, is warning of a massive exodus from the Maldives if drastic global action is not taken. This week, NOW talks with President Nasheed about the climate crisis and why he compares it to genocide.

Could the same calamity be coming to a coast near you?

NOW Reports on Coastal Countries at Risk

Water World
Is a coastal catastrophe approaching, and what should we be doing about it?

Paradise Lost
Climate change crisis: An entire nation risks being washed away.

Washed Up?
See how the remote island nation of Niue is relying on new techniques—and some old ones—to save itself.

Ocean Tipping Point?
The world's oceans face a global-warming catastrophe. What can we do about it?

Related Links

350.org: Climate change petition
350.org, an environmental group, will deliver this "survival pact" with the names and messages of those who signed the petition to President Nasheed at the Copenhagen Climate Talks.

Hopenhagen: U.N. climate petition and "Spread Hope" campaign
Hopenhagen aims to "build a better future for our planet" and provide a platform from which to act.

U.N. Climate Change Conference
Official website of the conference, to be held from December 7 - 18, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

News and Background

CIA: World Factbook: Maldives

BBC: Maldives cabinet makes a splash

New York Times Magazine: Wanted: A New Home for My Country

Dick Bennett

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