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Lois Barber, the executive director of EarthAction, has been featured in the “The What Now Interviews,” a podcast by Ken Rose. Featuring scholars, writers, artists, and teachers with expertise ranging from climate change to ethical global markets, this podcast seeks to inform listeners about issues pertaining to the “global life crisis.”
From Amherst Media:
According to Ken, the focus of each show is to “serve [and facilitate discussion about] the work of the guests.” Each podcast episode features a different scholar, thinker, writer, or artist and provides a space for them to share their knowledge and work. “…[I want to] flood the world with the cream of human intelligence and we can do that,” says Ken.
The emphasis of the show is to help listeners broaden their understanding of global issues impacting their lives and the lives of others in order to effect meaningful change for the future. “…I think it’s a good idea if we all start to turn our attention to the [people] in this world who are actually doing the hard work of studying our problems…and trying to see what we can do or how we can change that would be win-win-win all over the place.” To hear previous podcast episodes and learn more about Ken’s work, visit whatnowsolutions.org.
Lois Barber, EarthAction’s Executive Director, is a member of the Coordinating Committee for the following important event set for April 2015. You are invited to join this global movement to make us all safer and more secure from the threat posed from the world's 16,000 nuclear weapons. Now’s the time for action.
Press Release: December 8, 2014
- International NGO Network Launches Plans for 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. Demands Fulfillment of NPT through Commencement of Negotiations for Complete Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.
Vienna and New York City -- On the occasion of the third International Conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons being held in Vienna, a broad international network of NGOs has announced plans for a major mobilization in the run-up to the critically important Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. The NPT Review Conference will be held at UN headquarters in New York City in April and May 2015. The Vienna conference, with more than 150 governments and 200 representatives of civil society participating, is designed to build momentum for a successful Review Conference.
Quoting the Call to Action, which was released today (see attached), Dr. Joseph Gerson of the American Friends Service Committee and a co-convener of the network said, “A nuclear weapon-free world can and must be achieved.” He continued, “The dangers of nuclear war didn’t disappear with the end of the Cold War. The United States and Russia have engaged in potentially catastrophic nuclear weapons drills during the continuing Ukraine crisis. ‘All options’ remain on the table threatening stability with Iran. In addition, the U.S. has flown simulated nuclear attacks against North Korea. Scientists now tell us that an exchange of between 50 and 100 of the world’s more than 16,000 nuclear weapons would result in a global famine leading to an estimated two billion deaths.”
- by Patrick Mazza
by Patrick Robbins
Getting your mind around climate change is hard. Confronting it requires us to deal with the ways that coal, oil, and gas have shaped nearly every aspect of our world, from our built environments to our economic systems — even our ideologies and patterns of thought. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t concrete actions each of us can take, right now. Here are 20 examples of things YOU can do (some details are US-specific).
1. Reorganize the mode of production so that surplus and capital is distributed equally throughout society, and workers have decision-making power over their labor.
2. Find out about fossil fuel projects being built or proposed in your neighborhood (most of which can be found in the records of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the Environmental Protection Agency) and mobilize your community against them. Read these excellent resources on how to start organizing your community and spread them far and wide.
3. Understand that while climate change affects us all, there are specific populations who are more vulnerable than others — these are low-income communities, communities of color, coastal communities and communities on the frontlines of fossil fuel extraction. Find a frontline organization near you and offer to support their work. Ask them what kind of help they need and take direction from them.
4. Lay off the policeman, the commodities trader, the real estate agent and the speculator in your head.
6. After you’ve read about the crisis, let yourself feel grief. Don’t ignore your feelings, either through resignation or through forced optimism. Feel what you feel.
7. Talk about your feelings with your family and friends. Talk about what matters to you, about what the climate crisis threatens in your life. And when they are ready, talk with them about taking action. You will learn things that you didn’t know about your loved ones, and you will discover allies in unexpected places.
8. Find out if your local politicians have ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Call out any politician that participates in or is a member of groups designed to give corporations the power to write the law.
9. Become an active voice in your community, writing letters to the editor in local papers and building an internet presence to spread information.
10. Do not fall into the trap of feeling contempt for your fellow human. These feelings are guaranteed to undercut your work. If you encounter resistance, consider carefully where that resistance comes from. Radical empathy is not only good for the soul, it will actually make you a more effective activist.
11. Look in the mirror. Do you see someone with job security? Someone who is in a position of privilege within your society? Think about how you can use this privilege to destroy the systems that created it — for instance, you may have less to lose than others by getting arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience.
13. Build resilience — support spaces that are growing food, going off-the-grid, or supplanting the capitalist state in providing for our basic human needs. If you are able to do so, consider building these spaces yourself.
14. Don’t blame the poor — don’t blame the worker whose industry job is the only job he could get, don’t blame the woman who buys carbon-intensive food for her family because that’s all that her budget and her neighborhood has to offer, don’t blame the big family in the developing world that doesn’t have access to family planning. The poor are not the problem. If you need to blame anyone, blame the ruling class that controls the options available to poor people in the US and around the world, and whose policies, consumption habits and ideology are far, far more responsible for the crisis.
15. Again — don’t blame the poor. Seriously.
16. Walk by yourself at night under the dark sky. Recognize that you only have one life, that you have more power than you realize, and that there is a grace and a joy that comes from using that power for something bigger than yourself.
17. Recognize that the climate crisis is complicated — no one person is going to solve it by themselves, and any “list” that suggests as much is probably lying, or at the very least advancing an individual-based value system that sounds suspiciously like advertising.
18. Go ahead and make changes to your consumption habits. But also remember that no slave was ever freed by individuals choosing to purchase products that are free from slave labor.
19. Truly addressing the crisis will require building people power on a scale that the world has never seen before.
20. Build that power. I wish you so much more than luck.
Patrick Robbins is a writer, researcher and activist based in Brooklyn. He is currently working with Sane Energy Project toward the goal of an entirely renewable New York, and was an active member of Occupy The Pipeline from 2012 to 2014.
This articles was originally posted on This Changes Everything.
Image source: WWF
World War I, known at the time as the Great War, was thought to be the war that would end all future wars. All sides suffered an incredibly high number of needless deaths, and the war devastated an entire generation. In fact, the sheer amount of destruction and death has only been eclipsed by World War II.
Since it ended, all countries involved have held memorials to remember their fallen dead who sacrificed their lives for the good of their country. This fact is all the more so in England, where nearly a million people lost their lives. What they've done to commemorate their fallen soldiers is truly beautiful, while also helping us understand the true scope of these soldiers' sacrifice. Even a hundred years later, we should not forget their incredible acts of heroism.
Regardless of why their countries went to war, we should never forget the selfless acts of these brave men. Please share their story, and help remember their lives.
- On the heels of the September 21 People’s Climate March, a broad international network of NGOs is marking the first United Nations-led International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons by announcing plans for a major mobilization in the run-up to the critically important Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. The NPT Review will be held at UN headquarters in New York City in April and May 2015.
Quoting the Call to Action, which was released today (see attached), Dr. Joseph Gerson of the American Friends Service Committee and a co-convener of the network said that “A nuclear weapon-free world can and must be achieved.” He continued, “The dangers of nuclear war didn’t disappear with the end of the Cold War. The United States and Russia engaged in potentially catastrophic nuclear weapons drills in the first days of the Ukraine War. ‘All options’ remain on the table threatening Iran, the U.S. has flown simulated nuclear attacks against North Korea, and scientists now tell us that an exchange of between 50 and 100 of the world’s more than 16,000 nuclear weapons would result in a global famine resulting in an estimated two billion deaths.”
Jackie Cabasso of the Western States Legal Foundation and also a co-convener of the international network, said: “The nuclear powers have refused to honor their legal and moral obligation to begin negotiations to ban and completely eliminate their nuclear arsenals. As we have seen at the United Nations High-Level Meeting for Disarmament and at the Oslo and Nayarit Conferences on the Human Consequences of Nuclear Weapons, the overwhelming majority of the world’s governments demand the implementation of the NPT. “We are working with partner organizations in the U.S. and other nations to mobilize international actions to bring popular pressure to bear on the 2015 Review Conference.”
The Spring 2015 Mobilization will highlight the inextricable connections between preparations for nuclear war, the environmental impacts of nuclear war and the nuclear fuel cycle, and military spending at the expense of meeting essential human needs - with $100 billion spent annually on nuclear weapons. The network demands that “the parties to the NPT …use the 2015 Review Conference to immediately, without delay, develop a time-bound framework for negotiating the elimination of their nuclear arsenals” and that the “four states outside the Treaty that have nuclear arms, India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan….join any such negotiations.” Additional demands are to address the causes of climate change, and to cut military spending to meet human needs and to create green jobs.
"We have never faced a crisis this big, but we have never had a better opportunity to solve it."
- Presented to world leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York, this short inspirational film shows that climate change is solvable. We have the technology to harness nature sustainably for a clean, prosperous energy future, but only if we act now. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, it calls on the people of the world to insist leaders get on the path of a livable climate and future for humankind.
Learn more about climate change and take action at http://takeaction.takepart.com/
EarthAction's mission is to inform and inspire people everywhere to turn their concern, passion, and outrage into meaningful action for a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.