Month: June 2018

“This is a fight for justice” Adrian Burragubba #StopAdani #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol

Watch Adrian Burragubba traditional owner of the land where Adani wants to build the world’s largest coal mine.

Join the movement to demand justice for his people.

Adrian wants a solar future for his people.

Help protect the inland water ways of Queensland.

Help protect the Great Barrier Reef from climate change.

We will #StopAdani #NoNewCoal #auspol #qldpol Stop #ClimateChange Draw The Line!

For all the climate heroes who will draw the line on coal today and tomorrow right across Australia.

Leave it in the ground

Leave it in the ground

Leave it in the ground

No more gas, oil or coal!

Leave it in the ground.

We need a #GreenNewDeal #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani Stop #ClimateChange Congratulations Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The Surprising Origins Of What Could Be The ‘Medicare For All’ Of Climate Change

Insurgent progressives are reclaiming a term used, then forgotten, by centrists who seem more concerned about balanced budgets than rising seas.

Alexander C. Kaufman

Ji Sub Jeong/HuffPost

The man who popularized the phrase that left-leaning Democrats now use to describe a vision for a radical government spending plan to combat climate change is a self-described centrist “free-market guy” with a New York Times column.

It was Thomas Friedman who in 2007 started calling for a “Green New Deal” to end fossil fuel subsidies, tax carbon dioxide emissions and create lasting incentives for wind and solar energy. At the dawn of the global financial crisis, the “New Deal” concept that Franklin D. Roosevelt coined 76 years earlier to describe the labor reforms and historic spending on infrastructure and armaments that pulled the United States out of the Great Depression proved attractive.

Friedman’s ideas made it into the mainstream the following year when presidential candidate Barack Obama added a Green New Deal to his platform. In 2009, the United Nations drafted a report calling for a Global Green New Deal to focus government stimulus on renewable energy projects. A month later, Democrats’ landmark cap-and-trade bill ― meant to set up a market where companies could buy and sell pollution permits and take a conservative first step toward limiting carbon dioxide emissions ― passed in the House with the promise of spurring $150 billion in clean energy investments and creating 1.7 million good-paying jobs.

But, by 2010, austerity politics hit.

The cap-and-trade bill, known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act, died in the Senate.

In Britain, the Labour Party, acting on a proposal that a team of economists calling themselves the Green New Deal Group drafted, established a government-run green investment bank to bolster renewable energy ― only for the conservative Tories to sweep into office months later and begin the process of privatizing the nascent institution. Balanced budgets and deficit hysteria became the dogma of governments across the developed world. Talk of a Green New Deal withered on the vine.

Today the phrase is making a comeback among the ranks of Democratic insurgents running on left-leaning platforms in 2018 primaries across the country. Far from serving as shorthand for middle-of-the-road climate policies, the decade-old slogan is being reborn as the kind of progressive platform that increasingly looks like the only policy approach capable of slowing the nation’s output of planet-warming gases and adapting to a hotter world.

Sean Zanni via Getty Images

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman started calling for a “Green New Deal” in 2007.

Progressive activists have long complained that there is no climate change version of a “Medicare for all” bill ― legislation that serves both as a vehicle for sweeping reform and a litmus test for how far a Democratic candidate is willing to go on an issue. Yet the Green New Deal seems to be filling that three-word void.

Defining A ‘Green New Deal’

From the beginning, there were competing definitions of what “Green New Deal” meant.

Friedman’s version focused on policies that compelled the “big players to do the right thing for the wrong reasons.” He liked a lot of what Obama enacted ― including $51 billion in “green stimulus” and a $2.3 billion tax credit to clean energy manufacturing ― even after the administration shelved the Green New Deal rhetoric after the midterm election.

Sure, big-ticket policies like a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system and sunsetting the $20 billion in subsidies to oil, gas and coal each year never came to fruition. Even the regulations the administration did achieve ― like tightening fuel economy standards and incentivizing utilities to produce more renewable energy ― disintegrated as soon as the Trump administration took over.

Subsidies for wind, solar and battery technology managed to survive proposed cuts in the tax bill Congress passed last year because Republicans in states that have come to rely on those burgeoning industries saved them. For Friedman, that is proof that lasting climate policies are ones that make private renewable energy companies powerful enough to sway politics.

“The more the market does on its own, the more sustainable it is,” he said. Even as the Trump administration dismantles Obama’s climate legacy, Friedman feels the battle shouldn’t be for more aggressive government intervention to wean the economy off fossil fuels, but on messaging that focuses on the patriotic, nation-building aspects of greening the economy.

“We are the true patriots on this,” said Friedman. “We’re talking about American economic power, American moral power, American geopolitical power.

Green is geostrategic, geoeconomic, patriotic, capitalistic.”

There’s so many jobs out there that the private sector won’t create that would literally help protect our planet and save us from impending climate doom. Hawaii state Rep. Kaniela Ing

But then there’s Richard Murphy, a British tax scholar who also claims to have coined the phrase “Green New Deal” around the same time as Friedman. “I don’t even know who Tom Friedman is. If he used the term, it’s complete coincidence,” he says.

In 2007, Murphy, a political economy professor and founder of the London-based Tax Justice Network, started meeting with a cadre of newspaper editors, economists and environmentalists to discuss the coming financial crisis and how any fiscal stimulus issued in response could be used to tackle the ecological crisis already underway.

This “two-birds-one-stone” approach proposed an aggressive spending plan that called for investing public funds in renewable energy, building a zero-emission transportation infrastructure, insulating homes to conserve energy and establishing training programs to educate a national corps of workers to carry out the jobs.

Murphy’s cadre, which named itself the Green New Deal Group, was more ambiguous on how to fund all this green development. He said they supported “straightforward deficit spending” ― meaning government money that’s borrowed rather than already raised through taxes ― as well as quantitative easing, a strategy in which the government buys bonds to inject money straight into the economy. Rather than buying bank bonds to prop up private financial institutions, Murphy suggested instead establishing a green infrastructure bank that would issue bonds the government could then buy back ― a policy with enough leftist bona fides to be nicknamed the “people’s quantitative easing.” He also proposed closing tax loopholes.

The ideas caught on, and in 2010 the ruling Labour Party established a green infrastructure bank. But later that year the conservative Tories swept into office, sold the bank and scaled back renewable and energy-efficiency subsidies.

“The austerity narrative took over,” Murphy said by phone. “This is the polar opposite of the austerity narrative.”

Revival Of An Idea

Talk of a Green New Deal went quiet for years in the U.S. and Britain.

But a new wave of progressive candidates, spurred by the organizing that went into Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Democratic presidential bid, began reviving the term in the past year.

It could be a winning strategy. Polls show that Americans overwhelmingly support efforts to reduce climate pollution and increase renewable energy capacity, even if it comes with a cost.

Sixty-one percent of Americans who voted for Obama in 2012 and then for Trump in 2016 supported requiring a minimum amount of renewable fuels even if it increased electricity prices, according to Cooperative Congressional Election Study’s 2016 survey results analyzed for HuffPost by Data for Progress, a left-leaning think tank.

That increased to 76 percent among voters who picked Obama in 2012 but sat out the 2016 race, and it surged to 85 percent among those who voted for both Obama and, in 2016, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The data showed similar support for strengthening enforcement of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, even if it cost U.S. jobs.

Fifty percent of Obama-Trump voters said they would support such regulations, increasing to 77 percent among voters who picked Obama then sat out the 2016 election, and 83 percent for Obama-and-Clinton voters.

Some have called for federal spending plans similar to the World War II economic mobilization to bolster renewable energy and rebuild roads and bridges to make them more resilient in extreme weather.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Socialists of America-backed challenger who trounced Democratic Rep.

Joe Crowley Tuesday night in a working-class Bronx and Queens district in New York City, outlined a similar vision. She called the Green New Deal proposed in Obama’s 2008 platform a “half measure” that “will not work.”

“The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan,” she said by email. “It will require the investment of trillions of dollars and the creation of millions of high-wage jobs. We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy but this time green energy.”

Others suggested tying such a plan to a federal job guarantee, a policy that has recently gained traction among a similar cadre of candidates.

“Our infrastructure is crumbling,” said Democratic candidate Randy Bryce, a union ironworker and Army veteran running to succeed House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District. “We need to reinvest in our country. I can’t think of a better way than to have that be a future that’s reliant on renewable sources.”

At the heart of this policy is a call for 100 percent renewable energy.

Among this group, Kaniela Ing, a state representative running in Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District, stands out as a candidate from the only state so far to adopt a 100 percent renewable energy mandate. To him, a Green New Deal provides a mechanism for meeting that goal.

“The backbone of this proposal will be a jobs guarantee, something like what FDR proposed in the Second Bill of Rights,” he said by phone. “There’s so many jobs out there that the private sector won’t create that would literally help protect our planet and save us from impending climate doom.”

Other candidates were more vague. Kevin de Leon, the California state senator and union-backed progressive who is facing off against U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a fellow Democrat, did not identify specific proposals for federal spending policies on climate. But he hinted that he would support large-scale federal spending to bolster a renewable infrastructure push, agreeing that Republican concerns over the deficit ― the wellspring of austerity politics ― proved bogus as the GOP-controlled Congress passed a massive tax cut law last year.

Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the Tornillo-Guadalupe port of entry gate on June 24 in Tornillo, Texas. She was part of a group protesting the separation of children from their parents under the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy.

Left-leaning visions for a Green New Deal have even gained traction in state-level races. Abdul El-Sayed, the underdog progressive running in Michigan’s gubernatorial race, proposed a green infrastructure bank to start building renewable energy projects across the state, and he said he’d use his bully pulpit to push for federal action.

“We’re thinking about it at the state level, which both gives us a level of concreteness that is helpful and also allows us to be very specific about solving these challenges encapsulated under the umbrella of Green New Deal,” he said.

“We’ve watched as our infrastructure has crumbled,” he added. “We understand the responsibility to stand up against climate change, create jobs and rebuild that infrastructure ― it’s a clear, crystalline opportunity.”

Still, some climate activists see the term as trite and ineffective. Some climate organizers say it’s time to abandon the phrase “new deal” and embrace something newer and more forward-facing.

But for others, the phrase offers a helpful entry point to a policy program that would, in essence, buck with the last 40 years of neoliberal market-based solutionism and government spendthrift.

“The Green New Deal is a great framing, and I’m glad it’s catching on, but this whole thing needs to be at least as comprehensive as the New Deal,” said Ashik Siddique, who serves on the Democratic Socialists of America’s climate working group. “We are talking about the need to transform the physical infrastructure of every sector of the economy.”

“It’s very clear that something possibly even bigger scale than that is necessary now. Getting people used to thinking of it in those terms is welcome,” he said, then he laughed. “Even Tom Friedman is talking about it.”

Press link for more: Huffington Post

Young to pick up #climatechange bill #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #Neoliberalism = Intergenerational theft.

Young will pick up climate change bill, advisers warn

By Roger Harrabin BBC environment analyst

Getty Images

Transport pollution is rising

Young people will be left to pick up the bill for climate change because politicians are dodging the issue, a UK report warns.

The government must act faster to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from road traffic, homes and farming, the Committee on Climate Change says.

Without action, the coming generation will have to pay much more to curb emissions in a heating world.

The government says it is committed to being a world leader on climate change.

It will introduce its low-carbon transport plan soon.

Why does this matter?

The advisers are “acutely concerned” at the UK’s lack of progress in cutting the carbon emissions overheating the planet.

The committee says the UK made a good start with the power industry but emissions cuts have effectively stalled in the past five years.

Members say it will be much cheaper, for instance, to begin a steady changeover to electric cars now than to have to rush the technology in years to come.

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A manifesto to save Planet Earth (and ourselves)

What’s doing well, what’s doing badly?

• Power: The electricity industry is a star performer. Emissions from power generation have more than halved (-55%)

(Meanwhile in Australia)

• Waste: Emissions from waste are down by almost a quarter (-23%)

• Farming: Emissions from farming have barely dropped (-3%)

• Transport: The villain is transport, where emissions have actually gone up (+3%)

Why is the power industry best?

Since 2012, 75% of emissions cuts have come from power.

Coal power stations in the UK are being phased out – they are the worst polluters.

Renewables have proved far cheaper than anyone thought.

The government has banned subsidies for onshore wind – even though analysts say that will add to energy bills. In addition, communities have been given the say as to whether they can go ahead or not. This means that just a few objections are needed to block the progress of wind projects.

But the committee says onshore wind and solar will be even cheaper than burning gas for electricity in the 2020s.

How has the waste industry cut emissions?

If it’s dumped in a landfill, food and plant matter will rot and create methane, which contributes to climate change.

Councils have been asking people to separate food and garden waste from general waste.

Now, companies are increasingly trying to capture methane from food waste and harness it to make useful biogas.

But after a good start, emissions cuts are stalling.

Emissions from transport have bucked the trend and gone up

What’s up with farming?

Making fertiliser emits greenhouse gases. And so does spreading animal dung on the fields to help crops grow.

Farm machines pollute. And cutting wood for farms is problematic for the climate too, because trees soak up CO2.

The government says it will help more farmers combat climate change.

Why are transport emissions going up?

People are buying bigger and heavier cars.

The government removed the fuel duty incentive for low-pollution cars, so now a Porsche can be taxed at the same rate as a clean Toyota Prius.

What is more, concern about pollution from diesels has shifted some drivers to petrol cars.

They create less pollution but more greenhouse gases.

The committee says sales of electric cars and installation of charging points are both too slow.

What are the other challenges?

Getting people to insulate their homes to save wasting heat is a big challenge.

The committee says insulation rates in homes are 95% lower because of grants cuts.

It wants ministers to insist that all new homes are zero-carbon.

We also have to start experiments on a large scale with actually capturing the CO2 gas from industry and storing it in rocks underground, it says.

Why is the government struggling to cut emissions?

The committee says part of the problem is that responsibility for cutting emissions is split between various government departments.

They don’t all see tackling climate change as a key priority.

But a spokesperson for the UK government said: “We’ve proven ourselves to be world-leaders in tackling climate change – cutting emissions faster than any other G7 country and producing record levels of low carbon energy.

“We’re confident of cutting emissions across the wider economy to meet our carbon budgets while seizing the economic opportunities of clean growth.”

What can you do if you are concerned about the climate?

People committed to personally tackling climate change can avoid flying and eating meat – two of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases.

They maybe walk or cycle instead of taking the car – and they try to insulate their homes or turn the heating down.

They recycle too – but that probably helps less with the climate than many people think.

Follow Roger on Twitter.

Press link for more: BBC.COM

Warming of 2C ‘substantially’ more harmful than 1.5C – draft UN report #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani Stop #ClimateChange @ANZ_AU @CommBank #Divest

Warming of 2C ‘substantially’ more harmful than 1.5C – draft UN report

Karl Mathiesen, Megan Darby and Soila Apparicio

Published on 27/06/2018, 11:07am

Walrus use sea ice to rest while hunting. But at 2C the Arctic is “very likely” to be ice-free one year in ten, scientists have found (Photo: Brad Benter/USFWS)

Latest version of major UN science report concludes the upper temperature goal of the Paris Agreement does not represent a climate safe zone

A leaked draft of a major UN climate change report shows growing certainty that 2C, once shorthand for a ‘safe’ amount of planetary warming, would be a dangerous step for humanity.

The authors make clear the difference between warming of 1.5C and 2C would be “substantial” and damaging to communities, economies and ecosystems across the world.

In 2015, the Paris Agreement established twin goals to hold temperature rise from pre-industrial times “well below 2C” and strive for 1.5C.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has since been working to assess the difference between those targets, with a view to publishing a sweeping analysis of all available research in October this year.

The report summary, which Climate Home News published on Wednesday, is a draft and subject to change. The IPCC said it would not comment on leaked reports. An earlier draft from January was also published by CHN.

CHN has compared the January and June drafts. The new version builds a stronger case for governments to rapidly cut carbon pollution. It also strikes a marginally more optimistic tone on the attainability of the 1.5C target.

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In January, authors said every 0.5C added to today’s level of 1C of warming would “increase” the risks of various impacts. That wording has been beefed up throughout the new summary, which now predicts “substantial increases” in those risks.

Bill Hare, a physicist and CEO of Climate Analytics, said the new draft had made big steps forward in clarifying the difference between the two Paris temperature goals.

“If one looks across many parts of the report there are really very substantial improvements since January,” he said.

Since the first draft was circulated, a number of studies focusing on the differing impacts of 1.5C and 2C warming have been published. New evidence on the impacts on species, the economy, physical systems and invasive pests has been incorporated in the report.

report released in April allowed the IPCC to predict that at 2C it was “very likely that there will be at least one sea ice free Arctic summer per decade”, whereas this would happen just once per century at 1.5C.

The draft was also changed in line with new research on economic impacts, finding “growth is projected to be lower at 2C than at 1.5C of global warming for many developed and developing countries”.

Leaked: final government draft of UN 1.5C climate report – in full and annotated

The major outstanding question about the 1.5C target is: is it feasible? In the new draft, the scientists write “there is no simple answer”.

On current levels of pollution, the world is warming roughly 0.2C each decade. If that continues, the 1.5C threshold will be crossed in the 2040s, the report says.

However comparison of the drafts reveals a significant increase in the “carbon budget” – the total mass of greenhouse gases that can be emitted before the world will be committed to warming past 1.5C.

The January draft found a maximum of 580 gigatonnes of CO2 would give a 50% chance of limiting warming to 1.5C. In the new draft, that number has been increased by a third to 750GtCO2.

In January, authors wrote scenarios that gave a 66% chance of staying under 1.5C were “already out of reach”. That language has been dropped, although the new draft does not say these higher probabilities are now considered feasible.

A coal power plant in Tianjin, China. Primary energy from coal must be reduced by two thirds by 2030 for 1.5C to be possible, the draft says (Photo: Shubert Ciencia)

CHN asked IPCC authors and scientists not directly involved in the summary to help explain the difference between the budgets. None were willing to comment on the record.

One researcher said the process for calculating the budget was “highly intransparent”.

The calculation of carbon budgets relies on assumptions and different approaches produce numbers that vary by “more than 50%”, according to the new draft. That covers a real world set of emissions cuts that range from virtually unachievable to challenging but possible.

The first draft of the special report was released for feedback from researchers in January. After receiving tens of thousands of comments it was revised and on 4 June a new draft was sent to governments for review.

The final government draft summary published on this website contains detailed annotations by CHN reporters on many of the changes made between the first and second drafts of the report.

Both versions of the report find the 1.5C goal requires CO2 emissions from electricity to reach net zero by mid-century.

The second draft adds a note that: “The political, economic, social and technical feasibility of solar energy, wind energy and electricity storage technologies increased over the past few years, signalling that such a system transition in electricity generation may be underway.”

The latest draft summary places more emphasis on efforts to cut emissions before 2030. This mirrors many countries’ pledges to the Paris Agreement, which set emissions targets for that year.

Pressure is growing for these promises to be increased. On Monday, 14 EU countries called on the European Commission’s long term climate strategy, which is under development, to align with the 1.5C limit.

Climate commissioner: EU can increase 2030 pledge to Paris Agreement

The summary elaborates on what a “rapid and far-reaching” transition looks like for different sectors.

Renewables deployment needs to accelerate further for 1.5C to be possible, the draft says, with primary energy from coal falling two thirds by 2030. For comparison, the International Energy Agency forecasts coal use increasing slightly over the period, based on existing and signposted policies.

It calls for sustainable management of competing demands on the land. This includes “diet changes” – code for the rich eating less steak – and “sustainable intensification” of farming, which is viewed with suspicion by many environmentalists.

Radical emissions cuts are also needed in industry, transport and buildings, where it says technology exists but faces economic and social barriers.

The final section deals with sustainable development and how efforts to meet the 1.5C limit interact with goals like eradicating poverty.

In the first summary, the authors warned there was a “high chance” the 1.5C target “might not be feasible” because efforts to remove carbon from the atmosphere, through tree-planting or use of carbon capture with biofuels, can conflict with other development priorities and take up land used for food production.

This language has been toned down, instead concluding the feasibility of such methods “depends on scale, [and the] implications for land, water and energy use”.

Press link for more: Climate Change News

Australia deemed a world laggard in energy efficiency #auspol #qldpol #ClimateChange #StopAdani

By Angela MacDonald-Smith

Angela Macdonald-Smith writes on energy specialising in gas, oil, electricity. Based in AFR Sydney newsroom, Angela is chief of staff for resources and energy.

More efficient power use would cut bills. Mark Piovesan

Australia has gone into reverse on energy efficiency and now ranks behind India, Indonesia and China in what is a huge, largely untapped opportunity to cut energy bills and carbon emissions.

In a 2018 international ranking on energy efficiency, released overnight, Australia ranks 18th among the world’s 25 largest energy users, down from 16th in 2016 and at the bottom of the list of major developed economies.

Italy and Germany tied for top place, scoring almost double Australia’s points, while Saudi Arabia was last.

Without stronger measures to improve, it will be “impossible” for Australia to meet the carbon reduction goals necessary to cap global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, said report author Shruti Vaidyanathan at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

It will also be more expensive, said Australian Energy Efficiency council chief Luke Menzel, pointing to CSIRO research last year that found ambitious improvements in energy productivity would cut household energy bills and reduce wholesale power prices.

“We are a way behind our international competitors in terms of the energy efficiency and productivity of our economy but that means there are a lot of fairly straightforward options and opportunities that we have to bring down energy bills pretty quickly by pursuing those demand-side savings,” Mr Menzel said.

Wake-up call

“It’s a bit of a wake-up call and hopefully a timely reminder that the NEG [National Energy Guarantee] is not the only game in town. There’s a whole other conversation we need to have about what’s happening behind the meter.”

The strongest score for Australia was in building energy efficiency, the only area where it outperformed the median thanks to building codes, its commercial building labelling program and appliance labelling.

But in industrial and transport energy efficiency, Australia ranks near the bottom. In industrial energy efficiency it was particularly poor, putting it 22nd out of 25, with the report highlighting the absence of accords with the manufacturing sector on efficiency or requirements for regular energy audits at sites.

In transportation Australia also lags behind, being the only developed economy without fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles and a low use of public transit. Australia invests only about 26¢ in rail transport for every dollar on road construction, it noted.

Australia has a national energy productivity plan which aims to lift productivity by 40 per cent between 2015 and 2030, but implementation of the goals are seen as “slow”.

“Our global competitors are saving energy and money with smart energy-efficiency policy and investments, while Australia lags at the back of the pack,” Mr Menzel said.

Press link for more: AFR.COM

Ocasio-Cortez’s #Climate Plan matches scientific consensus #auspol #qldpol #GreenNewDeal #StopAdani wins New York primary

Ocasio-Cortez’s climate plan is the only one that matches scientific consensus on the environment

Zoë Schlanger

In a major upset on Tuesday night, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Latina democratic socialist from the Bronx, beat out the longtime US representative Joe Crowley in the New York primaries. In the overwhelmingly Democratic district, she is practically certain to win a seat in Congress during the general election in November.

Ocasio-Cortez’s climate-change platform would become the most progressive of that of any sitting Congressperson in the Democratic party—and her primary victory catapults that platform into the mainstream.

“We need more environmental hardliners in Congress,” she told In These Times magazine earlier this week. “We need a Marshall Plan for renewable energy in the United States. The idea that the Democratic Party needs to be moderate is what’s holding us back on this.”

Ocasio-Cortez wants to make the US run 100% on renewable energy by 2035. Scientists warn that the window of opportunity for staving off dangerous levels of climate change is rapidly closing, and dramatically (and quickly) reducing emissions is the most direct route to avoiding potential environmental catastrophe. Rapidly decarbonizing the US economy by completely shifting to renewables is the best and maybe only way to actually make a difference in climate-change mitigation; any milder approach will almost certainly lead us to miss that window.

The Huffington Post points out that Ocasio-Cortez’s 100%-renewable plan puts her in agreement with a coalition of US mayors who have committed to the goal of complete decarbonization within their own cities. But Ocasio-Cortez, who has an economics degree, also couples that plank with an economic plan she is calling the Green New Deal.

“The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan,” she told the Huffington Post. In short, Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal would temporarily redirect the US economy towards avoiding catastrophic climate change. “We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy, but this time green energy,” she said.

You can read Ocasio’s climate platform in full below:

In order to address runaway global climate change, Alexandria strongly supports transitioning the United States to a carbon-free, 100% renewable energy system and a fully modernized electrical grid by 2035. She believes renewable fuels must be produced in a way that achieves our environmental and energy security goals, so we can move beyond oil responsibly in the fight against climate change. By encouraging the electrification of vehicles, sustainable home heating, distributed rooftop solar generation, and the conversion of the power grid to zero-emissions energy sources, Alexandria believes we can be 100% free of fossil fuels by 2035.

Furthermore, Alex believes in recognizing the relationship between economic stability and environmental sustainability. It’s time to shift course and implement a Green New Deal – a transformation that implements structural changes to our political and financial systems in order to alter the trajectory of our environment. Right now, the economy is controlled by big corporations whose profits are dependent on the continuation of climate change. This arrangement benefits few, but comes at the detriment of our planet and all its inhabitants. Its effects are life-threatening, and are especially already felt by low-income communities, both in the U.S. and globally. Even in NY-14, areas like Throgs Neck, College Point, and City Island are being affected by erosion and rising sea levels. Rather than continue a dependency on this system that posits climate change as inherent to economic life, the Green New Deal believes that radically addressing climate change is a potential path towards a more equitable economy with increased employment and widespread financial security for all.

Climate change is the single biggest national security threat for the United States and the single biggest threat to worldwide industrialized civilization, and the effects of warming can be hard to predict and self-reinforcing. We need to avoid a worldwide refugee crisis by waging a war for climate justice through the mobilization of our population and our government. This starts with the United States being a leader on the actions we take both globally and locally.

Press link for more QZ.COM

#ClimateChange a big issue in the next U.S. election. #auspol #qldpol 100% #renewable by 2035. #StopAdani #GreenNewDeal

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Will Be The Leading Democrat On Climate Change

The progressive newcomer and avowed Democratic Socialist is likely to win in November on the most ambitious climate platform of anyone in her party.

Alexander C. Kaufman

QUEENS, N.Y. ― Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning primary victory over powerful U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley in the working-class New York district stretching from the Bronx to Queens is likely to propel her avowedly left-wing platform into the Democratic mainstream as the 2018 midterm elections heat up.

But her detailed proposals to deal with climate change could prove among the most influential at a time when the Democrats have failed to rally around any policy that could feasibly reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically enough to make a difference.

Ocasio-Cortez outlined plans to transition the United States to a 100 percent renewable energy system by 2035. It’s a goal hailed by environmentalists as the last best hope of staving off the most catastrophic effects of human-caused planetary warming, and it’s one already adopted by a coalition of mayors representing 42 percent of U.S. electricity use and representing major cities such as Atlanta and St. Louis.

What sets Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal apart is her plan to meet the target by implementing what she called a “Green New Deal,” a federal plan to spur “the investment of trillions of dollars and the creation of millions of high-wage jobs.” Though the slogan harks back to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1930s New Deal program of infrastructure spending and labor reforms, she compared the program she envisions to the tens of billions of dollars spent on armaments manufacturing and the rebuilding of Europe after World War II.

“The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan,” she told HuffPost by email last week. “We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy, but this time green energy.”

The 28-year-old ― who has a degree in economics and seems likely to defeat Republican Anthony Pappas in November in the overwhelmingly Democratic district ― suggested that storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, still struggling to regain reliable electricity nearly a year after the deadliest hurricane in modern U.S. history, could be a testing ground for such a policy.

“Our fellow Americans on the island have suffered horrendous losses and need investment at a scale that only the American government can provide,” she said.

Xavier Garcia/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A power plant in Puerto Rican could be replaced with a more modern facility that relies on renewable energy under Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal.

She criticized the Green New Deal rhetoric then-candidate Barack Obama deployed in 2008 to describe moderate, so-called market-based policies to start to incentivize companies to pollute less, such as the cap-and-trade program Democrats failed to pass in 2010, and the solar and wind tax credits that have helped the renewable industry grow.

“Half measures will not work,” she said. “The time for slow and incremental efforts has long past.”

In an interview with In These Times, she called herself an “environmental hardliner” and suggested running on aggressive policies that take seriously scientists’ increasingly dire warnings on climate change can help win back working-class Americans who voted for President Donald Trump in 2016.

“It’s kind of ironic, because the areas of the district that are experiencing the worst of climate volatility right now are actually pockets of Democrats who voted for Trump,” she said. “They may have voted for Trump, but they are screaming at the top of their lungs that their elected officials aren’t rebuilding the crumbling seawall.”

It’s a bold policy prescription at a time when, even across the city, Democratic hopefuls who received support from the national party are ignoring the issue. Max Rose, an Army combat veteran favored to win the Democratic primary in the district stretching from Staten Island to South Brooklyn, where Trump won in 2016, barely mentioned climate change in his platform, noting only under his jingoistic proposals for preserving “American leadership” that he supports rejoining the Paris climate agreement.

We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy, but this time green energy. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The issue faces similar neglect even in deep-blue states. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) failed for a second time in March to pass a carbon tax ― a relatively conservative policy so widely accepted that big oil companies and a handful of Republicans are now pushing a similar policy proposal nationally. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) failed for a third time this month to pressure Republicans in the state Senate to hold a vote on the Climate and Community Protection Act, a bill that requires the state to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 and mandates that state funding for energy projects go to low-income communities and union-wage projects.

On the federal level, even the most purportedly hawkish Democrats on climate change have proposed conservative policies.

Last July, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced a carbon tax bill alongside companion legislation by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.). The bill, announced at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, proposed using part of the $2.1 trillion it projected generating in the first decade to lower corporate taxes by 6 percent. In February, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) proposed yet again a nearly decade-old cap-and-dividend bill that would put a price on CO₂ emissions and establish auctions for pollution permits, returning the proceeds to Americans in the form of a rebate.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) introduced a companion bill in the House. But the legislation excludes emissions from meat production, which, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates, makes up a growing portion of the 9 percent of U.S. greenhouse gases that come from agriculture.

There are some exceptions. In April 2017, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) rolled out a bill to all but end fossil fuel use by 2050. Last September, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) proposed the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act ― considered one of the most progressive climate bills yet introduced ― which calls for ending oil, gas and coal use by 2035, cutting all subsidies to drilling, mining and refining companies, and providing funding to workers to transition into new industries.

Ocasio-Cortez’s ambition and embrace of left-wing economic ideas aren’t the only ways in which she breaks with most of her party on climate change. She rose to prominence in progressive circles in part by calling for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the 15-year-old agency widely condemned as a paramilitary force now executing Trump’s ruthless immigration agenda. Rather than spending the final weekend before her primary in New York, Ocasio-Cortez traveled to a child-detention center in Texas, demonstrating, as Time put it, that she “keenly saw the debate about President Trump’s border policy as a way to energize voters in a primary that had a remarkably low turnout” and “set herself apart from Crowley.”

On Tuesday, the Democratic Socialists of America cemented Ocasio-Cortez’s approach as the platform issue for its climate and environmental justice working group.

“Immigration justice is climate justice,” the organization said on Twitter, linking to its latest petition. “We are calling on all climate justice organizations to mobilize to #AbolishICE.”

Press link for more: Huffington Post

50+ RELIGIOUS LEADERS CALL ON ADANI TO INVEST IN SOLAR, NOT COAL #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani Stop #ClimateChange #NoNewCoal

For our common home

Dear Mr Adani,

We are leaders from many faith traditions and communities across Australia. We are writing to you to ask you to abandon your proposed mine and instead use the same money to invest in solar energy in North Queensland.

Our common home, the Earth, is now in great danger due to the effects of our actions as human beings on the climate. On this point the scientific community is united. Today, we too are united as people of faith.

Let us be clear. We are not merely opposed to this one mine. We are opposed to all new coal development in the Galilee Basin. We are at a crossroads. One way lies destruction; the other way, sanity. We need to turn immediately in the direction of a stable and compassionate future based on ambitious investment in renewable energy.

We wish to stress that we strongly support good local jobs. Yet people need jobs with a realistic future. Grasping at short-term profits from a thermal coal industry in worldwide structural decline will not provide this. Meanwhile, investment in renewables is booming. And the evidence shows that investment in renewable energy creates far more jobs per dollar than coal does. Coal communities need serious investment to make the transition from the dirty energy of the past to the clean energy of the future.

This mine would also create far fewer than the 10,000 jobs you have claimed. Your own economist stated under oath in the Queensland Land Court that the average number of new jobs per year would be around 1464. Likewise, your Australian CEO has said that “everything will be autonomous from mine to port”. This is no recipe for jobs.

We are very concerned that there is nothing approaching a broad acceptance of the use of the land for the mine from the indigenous peoples in the area. This is abundantly clear from the longstanding legal opposition on the part of the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council.

We know that this mine would use huge volumes of scarce water from the Great Artesian Basin. This ‘Pearl of Great Price’ is an ancient and precious source of water and must not be squandered. The effects on farmers and on our ecosystems would be too great.

For thousands of years, our traditions have taught us to care for the Earth. This responsibility is now extremely urgent. And it is those least responsible for this threat that suffer the greatest impacts of a warming climate.

Here in Australia this moral responsibility is inescapable. By itself, the amount of carbon dioxide from burning the coal in the Galilee Basin would be one tenth of what the whole world can ever emit if we are to avoid the safe upper limit in temperature before many island nations and coastal cities start to disappear (1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels). This is already starting to happen. Australians in the Torres Strait Islands are already suffering serious inundation as are our close neighbours in Kiribati and Tuvalu. It would lead to many more bushfires, droughts, cyclones and floods both here and all over the world. Already we see the impending loss of the famous Great Barrier Reef, a place of magnificent beauty, full of life and astonishing colour, which has experienced back-to-back yearly coral bleaching. The single largest and overriding cause of this is climate change. The reef is World Heritage listed – and the world is watching. Such an increase in temperature also poses serious security risks as world civilisation starts to feel the strain of so many natural disasters.

Your own mine would emit a staggering five billion tonnes of CO2.

Our love and concern for the wellbeing of people, other forms of life and our planet leaves us convinced that building this mine would be a giant leap in a very dangerous direction. We therefore call on you to abandon it and to work instead with state and federal governments to invest in good local jobs in solar and wind. You have the capacity to do enormous good.

Protecting our common home and all those who live here is an essential part of each of our faiths. We each ask the faith communities to which we belong to join us in creating this future. An easy first step is to support the Sun Powered Queensland campaign for an ambitious target for solar energy. We also ask our communities to contact the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, who have organised this letter, to help them in their work.

Yours in peace,

Bishop Philip Huggins, Anglican Church, President, National Council of Churches, Australia

Dr Rateb Jneid, President, Muslims Australia

The Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt, Dean of St. John’s Anglican Cathedral, Brisbane

Jeffrey B. Kamins OAM, Senior Rabbi, Emanuel Synagogue, Woollahra

Sheik Riad Galil OAM, Senior Imam, West Heidelberg Mosque

Bhante Sujato, Project Leader, Sutta Central

Reverend Dr Denis Edwards, Professorial Fellow, Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University, Adelaide Campus

The Right Reverend Professor Stephen Pickard, Executive Director, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Charles Sturt University

Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, Jewish Ecological Coalition, Board member, ARRCC

The Reverend Dr Jo Inkpin, Lecturer in Theology & Senior Tutor and Anglican Priest, St Francis College, Brisbane

The Reverend Dr Patrick McInerney, Columban Coordinator NSW

Professor Gerard Moore, Academic Dean, United Theological College, Associate Head of School of Theology, Charles Sturt University

Rev Brian Vale, Regional Director, Missionary Society of St Columban, ANZ Region

Associate Professor Mehmet Ozalp, Islamic Sciences and Research Academy Australia (ISRA)

Reverend Dr Jason John, Uniting Earth Ministry, Uniting Church NSWACT

Reverend Dr Ormond Rush, Associate Professor and Reader, Institute for Religion & Critical Inquiry, Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University

Dr Neil Ormerod, Professor of Theology, Institute for Religion & Critical Inquiry, Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University

Father Claude Mostowik MSC, President, Pax Christi Australia, Director, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Justice and Peace Centre (Australia)

Pastor Darren Cronshaw, Head of Research and Professor of Missional Leadership, Australian College of Ministries, Pastor, Auburn Life Baptist Church

Reverend Alex Sangster, Uniting Church Minister, Fairfield

Reverend Rex Graham, Uniting Church Minister, Wollongong

Pastor Jarrod McKenna, Cornerstone Church, Perth

Reverend John Brentnall, Chairperson, Uniting Eco Group

Sister Barbara Daniel PBVM, Presentation Sisters

Sister Elizabeth Young RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Elaine Wainwright RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Caroline Vaitkunas RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Claudette Cusack RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Mary Tinney RSM, Sisters of Mercy, Earth Link

Sister Marie Britza RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Veronica Lawson RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Julie O’Brien RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Barbara Bolster RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Tricia Nugent RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Sister Ruth Wyatte RSM, Sisters of Mercy

Ana Freeman, Rahahim Ecology Centre

Dharmachari Arthacarya, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmachari Aryadharma, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Buddhankapali, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Dantachitta, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmachari Dharmalata, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmachari Dharmamati, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Dharmamodini, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmachari Dharmananda, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Hrdayaja, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Khemayogini, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Maitripala, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Nagasuri, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmachari Nandavani, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Prakashika, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmachari Saddhavijaya, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Samacitta, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Shubhavyuha, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmachari Siladasa, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Sudaya, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmachari Tejopala, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Vimoksalehi, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Vimuttinandi, Triratna Buddhist Order

Dharmacharini Moksavajra, Triratna Buddhist Order

Ms Thea Ormerod, President, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC)

The public is invited to contribute to ARRCC’s current fund-raiser. Click here to view the video and donation page.

Press link for more: ARRCC.ORG

Open Letter to Shayne Elliot CEO ANZ Bank #auspol #qldpol #ClimateChange #StopAdani #NoNewCoal #Divest from fossil fuels. @ANZ_AU

Dear Mr Elliot

We congratulate the ANZ’s decision to stop investing in new coal.

As you know Australia has signed the Paris Climate Agreement to keep global warming below 2C degrees. Every nation on earth has now signed up to this agreement even though the U.S. under President Trump may withdraw.

The science is clear we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition rapidly to a zero emissions economy to avoid catastrophic climate change.

According to this chart recently produced by Market Forces the ANZ still has $7.387 billion invested in fossil fuel.

The emissions from such investments are adding to climate change and air pollution.

The Great Barrier Reef has suffered from back to back bleaching in 2016 & 2017, most of the coral north of Cairns is already dead. With an El Niño year predicted latter this year more of the world heritage coral will die.

Sea level rise is a concern for Cairns with predictions as high as two metres by 2100.

The World Health Organisation has recently released this report on air pollution

2 May 2018, Geneva – Air pollution levels remain at dangerously high levels in many parts of the world. New data reveals that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. like black carbon which penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system.

WHO estimates that around 7 million people die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air that lead to diseases such as stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia.

It’s time for your bank to draw the line on fossil fuels and invest in the transition to clean energy and a sustainable economy.

John Pratt

Spokesman for Stop Adani Cairns