A combination of a carbon tax on food and a tax on sugary drinks in the UK could lead to health benefits, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and raise up to GB£3.6 billion revenue, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Public Health. Lead researcher, Adam Briggs from the University of Oxford, said: “Agriculture is responsible for up to 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions and those arising from food production have negative effects that aren’t borne by the individual buying the food, but by society as a whole. Examples include the health effects of global warming from extreme weather, changing global disease patterns, and airborne pollution, as well as changes to food production patterns and overall availability of energy resources. Read
This week Guy and Mike are joined by independent journalist Cory Morningstar as they discuss and analyze the words of prominent writer Naomi Klein, author of the 2014 book about anthropogenic climate change, This Changes Everything. Thanks to our listeners for providing examples, and also for calling in during the show. Guy adds a brief climate-change update.
Eleanor LeCain talks about the Paris agreement on climate change, the end of the fossil fuel era, and the renewable energy revolution with Michael T. Klare, Director of the Five College Program on Peace and World Security based at Hampshire College.
The weak, non-binding and dishonest Paris Climate Agreement will have delighted climate criminal and war criminal nations likeSaudi Arabia, the US and US lackey Australia, but has betrayed our children, grandchildren, future generations, the Developing World, Humanity and the Biosphere – the target of 1.5 to 2 degrees C is both unavoidable and catastrophic and key matters are non-binding. The Paris betrayal demands a peaceful, world-wide Climate Revolution involving Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all people, politicians, parties, companies, corporations and countries disproportionately involved in climate criminal and terracidal greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution. According to the BBC: “The measures in the agreement included: (1) To peak greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and achieve a balance between sources and sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century. (2) To keep global temperature increase “well below” 2C (3.6F) and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5C. (3) To review progress every five years. (4) $100 billion a year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020, with a commitment to further finance in the future” . Read
Paris — THE climate news last week came out of Paris, where the world’s nations signed off on an agreement to finally begin addressing global warming. Or, alternately, the climate news came out of Chennai, India, where hundreds died as flooding turned a city of five million into an island. And out of Britain, where the heaviest rains ever measured over 24 hours in the Lake District turned picturesque villages into lakes. And out of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, where record rainfalls flooded atolls. In the hot, sodden mess that is our planet as 2015 drags to a close, the pact reached in Paris feels, in a lot of ways, like an ambitious agreement designed for about 1995, when the first conference of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change took place in Berlin. Read
As the United Nations climate talks in Paris near their end, global activists on Thursday said people power needs to step in where governments are failing while announcing plans for upcoming mass mobilizations that aim to “keep fossil fuels in the ground and accelerate a just transition to 100% renewable energy.” Acts of civil disobedience scheduled for May 2016, slated to occur in at least a dozen countries across the globe from the U.S. to Nigeria to Australia, are necessary, the organizers write on the breakfree2016.org website. “Our actions must reflect the scale and urgency of this crisis in a way that governments can no longer ignore.” Among the groups organizing the Break Free from Fossil Fuels mobilization are 350.org, Attac, Greenpeace International, and the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice. From their statement: Read
The COP21 climate talks in Paris reached their halfway point on Saturday, but a deal that experts and global justice campaigners would consider acceptable remains a long way off as the fossil fuel industry and wealthy nations maintain their powerful grip on the direction of the international summit. Given the troubled history of the UN-sponsored talks, most members of civil society headed to Paris acknowledging the two-week gathering was unlikely to yield the kind of agreement that either the science of global warming, or the movement for climate justice, would find acceptable. “At the core of this failure are the obstinate negotiating positions of the US and other Global North governments who are bent on deregulating the global rules applying to them and advancing the financial needs of big business over the survival needs of people.” —Tamar Lawrence-Samuel, Corporate Accountability International Read
‘What we call the eternal ice of Antarctica unfortunately turns out not to be eternal at all,’ says lead author of new study A new study published Monday warns that “unstoppable” melting in West Antarctica could make a three-meter increase in sea level “unavoidable.” According to researchers at Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the vulnerable Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica “has most likely been destabilized.” They point to recent studies indicating that this area of the ice continent is “the first element in the climate system about to tip.” Read
History has been so fascinated with oil and its price movements that it is indeed hard to imagine our future without oil. Over the last few months, we have witnessed how oil prices have fluctuated from a 6 year low level of $42.98 per barrel in March 2015 to the current levels of $60 per barrel. It is interesting to note that, in spite of the biggest oil cartel in the world deciding to stick to its high production levels, the oil prices have increased mainly due to falling US crude inventories and strong demand. However, the current upward rally might be short lived and there may yet be another drop in the international oil price when Iran eventually starts pumping its oil into the market at full capacity, potentially creating another supply glut. In these endless price rallies, it is important to take a holistic view of the global energy industry and question which way it is heading. Are the dynamics of global energy changing with current improvements in renewable energy sources and affordable new storage technologies? Can the oil age end in the near future? Will we ever stop feverishly analyzing the rise and fall of oil prices?
DENVER—The maniacal drive by the human species to extinguish itself includes a variety of lethal pursuits. One of the most efficient is fracking. One day, courtesy of corporations such as Halliburton, BP and ExxonMobil, a gallon of water will cost more than a gallon of gasoline. Fracking, which involves putting chemicals into potable water and then injecting millions of gallons of the solution into the earth at high pressure to extract oil and gas, has become one of the primary engines, along with the animal agriculture industry, for accelerating global warming and climate change. The Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers who are profiting from this cycle of destruction will—once clean water is scarce and crop yields decline, once temperatures soar and cities disappear under the sea, once droughts and famines ripple across the globe, once mass migrations begin—surely profit from the next round of destruction. Collective suicide is a good business, at least until it is complete. It is a pity most of us will not be around to see the power elite go down. Read