Saturday, December 10, 2011

Capitalism, Energy, and Climate Change (Occupy Boston FSU)

Climate change is one of the most dangerous effects of corporate greed. Huge profits result from the ever-growing use of coal, oil, and natural gas, supported by a business-environment. Yet if current trends are allowed to continue, global warming will cause rising temperatures and sea levels, and increasingly frequent extreme weather events, undermining the environment that our lives depend on. Climate "tipping points," leading to abrupt, irreversible harm, could occur within the lifetime of today's young adults. There is an urgent need for radical change, for reconstruction of the economy to meet human needs and protect the earth's environment.

This class discusses:

What's the problem?
  • Review of scientific aspects of climate change

Why is it so profitable to destroy the environment?
  • Subsidies to energy industries
  • Failure to make polluters pay for pollution
  • History of industrialization leads to bias in favor of dirty technologies

What do we need to build a sustainable economy?
  • The potential for efficiency and renewable energy
  • Electricity without fossil fuels
  • Rethinking and rebuilding transportation

What will it take to get there?
  • Defeating the energy industry and it's supporters in Congress
  • Building a clean energy infrastructure
  • Global agreement
  • Cooperation and funding for spreading best practices and most advanced technologies around the world

What will it cost?
  • Very little, compared to the cost of ever-increasing environmental destruction!

Frank Ackerman is a senior economist and director of the Climate Economics Group at the Stockholm Environment Institute's U.S. Center, a research institute at Tufts University. He is the author of numerous books, articles, and reports on climate, energy, and environmental policy; his latest book is: "Can We Afford the Future? The Economics of a Warming World." He was a founder and editor of Dollars & Sense magazine, and is active in Economists for Equity and Environment (E3 Network). He has a PhD in economics, Harvard University. He writes for Triple Crisis, Grist, and other blogs.

Amy Goodman on Up w/Chris Hayes Discusses Climate Change

democracy now's amy goodman dicusses global warming with chris hayes, from the convention on climate change in durban, south africa.

What happened to the urgency about Climate Change? No interest of Politicians and Media?!

As countries negotiate a climate change treaty in Durban, South Africa, North American media and politicans appear to have little interest in the problem.

Newt Gingrich was pro-Climate-Change in 2007

Newt Gingrich, at a 2007 forum with Senator John Kerry, talks about the need for ugency in addressing global climate change.

Alstom at COP17: Highlighting the role of business in the climate change challenge

Alstom highlights the role of business in addressing the climate change challenge at the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Durban from November 28 to December 9, 2011. 

The European Climate Foundation's principles for systemic change

The necessary principles for systemic change and action on climate change according to Johannes Meier, CEO of the European Climate Foundation, who was speaking at the Carbon Disclosure Project's 2011 Global Forum. To view event highlights, or the CDP Global Forum in its entirety, please visit

Rich Polluters — Including U.S. — Should Face Sanctions for Rejecting Binding Emissions Cuts

Talks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference are in their second to last day, but little progress appears to have been made on the key issues of extending the Kyoto Protocol or forming a Green Climate Fund. The United States is refusing to accept any deal involving binding emissions cuts before the year 2020 despite dire warnings that the world can't afford to wait. Democracy Now! gets analysis from Pablo Solon, Bolivia's former ambassador to the United Nations and former chief negotiator on climate change, and from Patrick Bond, a South African climate activist, professor and author. "The main issue is the figure of emission reductions of rich countries is not really being raised," Solon says. "It is very, very low... You cannot be silent when you see the genocide and ecocide that is going to happen because of this kind of decision." Solon also says the U.S. "blackmails" developing countries into dropping demands for binding cuts by threatening to withdraw climate aid. Bond says the next round of climate talks should include the idea of sanctions against major polluters, like the United States, that reject binding cuts.

See also:

Pres Obama is the best friend of climate change deniers, delaying effective climate change policies

On Wednesday, a group of climate change deniers praised the Obama administration's refusal to support an extension of the Kyoto Protocol or an agreement on binding emissions cuts. Democracy Now! caught up to Marc Morano, publisher of the Climate Depot, at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa. "They [the Obama administration] have kept the exact same principles and negotiating stance as President George Bush did for eight years," Morano says. "Obama has carried on Bush's legacy. So as skeptics, we tip our hat to President Obama in helping to crush and continuing to defeat the United Nations process. Obama has been a great friend of global warming skeptics at these conferences." Democracy Now! gets a response from Pablo Solon, Bolivia's former ambassador to the United Nations and former chief negotiator on climate change, and from Patrick Bond, a South African climate activist, professor and author.


Oxfam on Climate Change politics at COP17

OxfamUK takes a look at the policy work that goes into tackling climate change at UN Summits. In 2011 Oxfam was at COP17 in Durban and they want to show you the politics, the thinking and how to get out ideas out there from inside the conference centre.

From the youth of the world to the rest of us - SOLVE CLIMATE CHANGE NOW

We have five years MAXIMUM to avoid irreversable climate change.  But the climate change conference currently underway in South Africa is trying to be "reasonable" or "politically possible" with a goal of 10 years to make serious change.  The climate change conference is about to fail (or has already failed) to make a proper agreement, and the Kyoto Protocol (as flawed as it is) is about to start expiring.

Anjali Appadurai, a student at the College of the Atlantic in Maine, addressed the UN climate conference on behalf of youth delegates.

The snippet is from Democracy Now as broadcast on Dec 9, 2011