Earth Day will come and go…

But the overwhelming challenges facing our only inhabitable planet will not.  Those will still be here tomorrow.  So let’s get louder.  Today, tomorrow and the next… until we are heard:

Tell Mayors, Prime Ministers, Presidents, too, how very important the Earth is to you.

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Earth. The only gift that will ever truly matter in the lives of our children. Avaaz. 32 million strong and growing.

big-tree-looking-upI wish I had a happier post today.  This is not a very happy post. Nevertheless, this is reality and this is the future. Except (surprise!) the future has already arrived.

Now that the Xboxes and American Girls have been ribboned and wrapped and are all safely tucked under the tree, for frig sake can we all please spend those last few dollars on the only gift that will ever really and truly matter in the lives or our children?  Because it’s almost too late.  I’m going to say that again.  It. Is. Almost. Too. Late.  And unfortunately I am not an alarmist.  I’m going to say that again, too.  I. Am. Not. An. Alarmist!

It’s simple. Extremely big changes need to happen and they need to happen extremely quickly.  Period. The scientists, not the tree huggers, have told us this in no uncertain terms.  I’m going to say that again.  The. Scientists. Have. Told. Us.   Avaaz has been listening. They (we) are powerful… 32 million strong (and growing).  But this can’t wait until next Christmas, nor until tomorrow. Once again. This. Can’t. Wait. Until. Tomorrow.  You, me and everybody else: do this one very doable thing.  Right now. It will make all the difference in the world. Literally.  As below:

Dear Avaaz community,

 

This may be the most important email I’ve ever written to you.

Scientist Julienne Stroeve has studied Arctic ice for decades. Every summer she travels to north to measure how much ice has melted. She knows that climate change is melting the ice fast, but on her last trip, she was amazed by what she saw. Vast areas of Arctic ice have disappeared, beyond our worst expectations.

This is what the experts warned us about. As the earth warms, it creates many “tipping points” that accelerate the warming out of control. Warming thaws the Arctic sea ice, destroying the giant white ‘mirror’ that reflects heat back into space, which massively heats up the ocean, and melts more ice, and so on. We spin out of control. In 2013 everything — storms, temperatures — was off the charts.

We CAN stop this, if we act very fast, and all together. And out of this extinction nightmare, we canpull one of the most inspiring futures for our children and grandchildren. A clean, green future in balance with the earth that gave birth to us.

Scientist Julienne Stroeve has studied Arctic ice for decades. Every summer she travels to north to measure how much ice has melted. She knows that climate change is melting the ice fast, but a recent trip surprised even her. Vast areas of Arctic ice have disappeared, beyond our worst expectations.

Meighan — Click to pledge what you can, we’ll process your donation only if we reach our goal of 50,000 sustainers: 

YES, I’LL PLEDGE $6 A WEEK 

YES, I’LL PLEDGE $7 A WEEK 

YES, I’LL PLEDGE $10 A WEEK 

YES, I’LL PLEDGE $12 A WEEK 

YES, I’LL PLEDGE $14 A WEEK 

To pledge an amount other than the ones listed above, click here.

Fatalism on climate change is not just futile, it’s also incompetent. The hour is late, but it is still absolutely within our power to stop this catastrophe, simply by shifting our economies from oil and coal to other sources of power. And doing so will bring the world together like never before, in a deep commitment and cooperation to protect our planetary home. It’s a beautiful possibility, and the kind of future Avaaz was born to create.

Facing this challenge will take heart, and hope, and also all the smarts we have. Here’s the plan: 

1. Go Political: Elect Climate Leaders

       — 3 crucial countries have elections in the next year. Let’s make sure the right people win, and with the right mandate. Avaaz is one of the only major global advocacy organizations that can be political. And since this fight will be won or lost politically, it could be at some points just us vs. the oil companies to decide who our politicians listen to.

2. Make Hollande a Hero

       — French President Francois Hollande will chair the Paris summit – a powerful position. We have to try every tactic and channel — his personal friends and family, his political constituency, his policy advisors — to make him the hero we need him to be to make the summit a success.

3. Take it to the Next Level

       — The scale of this crisis demands action that goes beyond regular campaigning. It’s time for powerful, direct, non-violent action, to capture imagination, convey moral urgency, and inspire people to act. Think Occupy.

    4. Out the Spoilers

         — Billionaires like the Koch brothers and their oil companies are the major spoilers in climate change – funding junk science to confuse us and spending millions on misleading PR, while buying politicians wholesale. With investigative journalism and more, we need to expose and counter their horrifically irresponsible actions.

    5. Define the Deal

         — Even in the face of planetary catastrophe, 195 governments in a room can be just incompetent. We need to invest in top quality policy advice to develop ingenious strategies, mechanisms, and careful compromises so that when the summit arrives, a critical mass of leaders are already bought in to a large part of the deal, and no one can claim that good solutions don’t exist.

    We need tens of thousands of us to pledge small donations to blast out of the starting gate on this plan. The amount doesn’t matter as much as much as the choice – to hope, and to act:

    YES, I’LL PLEDGE $6 A WEEK 

    YES, I’LL PLEDGE $7 A WEEK 

    YES, I’LL PLEDGE $10 A WEEK 

    YES, I’LL PLEDGE $12 A WEEK 

    YES, I’LL PLEDGE $14 A WEEK 

    To pledge an amount other than the ones listed above, click here.

    At the last major climate summit in Copenhagen 2009, we played a pivotal role in German and Japanese ‘climate’ elections, in shifting Brazilian policy, and in helping win a major global deal on financing, with rich countries promising $100 billion per year to poor countries to help them address climate change. Back then, Avaaz was 3 million people. After Copenhagen, we reflected that we needed to be a lot bigger to meet the challenge posed by climate change. Now, we’re 32 million, and growing by 2 million per month.

    Climate change is the ultimate global collective action problem, requiring cooperation from every government in the world. And Avaaz is the ultimate collective action solution, with millions of us united in common vision across every nation. This is our time, to build a world for our children whose beauty matches our dreams. Let’s get started.

    With hope and appreciation for this amazing community,

    Ricken and the entire Avaaz team

    MORE INFORMATION:

    With Arctic sea ice vulnerable, summer melt season begins briskly (The Christian Science Monitor)
    http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2013/0501/With-Arctic-sea-ice-vulnerable-summer-melt-season-begins-briskly-video

    Arctic sea ice levels to reach record low within days (Guardian)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/aug/23/arctic-sea-ice-record-low

    Five Reasons We Need a New Global Agreement on Climate Change by 2015 (Switchboard NRDC)
    http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jschmidt/five_reasons_we_need_a_new_glo.html

    The Doha climate talks were a start, but 2015 will be the moment of truth (The Guardian)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/10/doha-climate-talks-global-warming

    Arctic sea ice melt disrupts weather patterns (NBC News)
    http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/30/18631374-arctic-sea-ice-melt-disrupts-weather-patterns?lite

    The Arctic Ice “Death Spiral” (Slate)
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/05/28/arctic_sea_ice_global_warming_is_melting_more_ice_every_year.html

    UN climate talks near end with money at issue. And so it goes.

     “We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap.” – Kurt Vonnegut

    Kurt Vonnegut LA Times

    Kurt Vonnegut survived the WWII Allied firebombing of Dresden, Germany, when he was a prisoner of war. (Caption and photo Los Angeles Times)

    U.N. Climate Talks Near End, With Money at Issue

    By David Jolly

    Published: November 22, 2013

    WARSAW — The United Nations climate conference ambled toward a conclusion on Friday, with delegates

    saying that the meeting would produce no more than a modest set of measures toward a new international

    agreement two years from now. As usual, the biggest dispute was over money.  (Entire article here.)

    Can’t See The Forest For the Trees…

    In this case the trees are dollars and the forest is the future of our children.

    images-2

    I live in town where Helen Keller once lived.  The middle school is named for her and there are reminders of her peppered throughout the school and the town.  I think of her often.  It’s difficult to imagine the challenges she faced.  We all know her story.  She was both deaf and blind but that did not stop her from being able to see or from being able to hear.  Or from being able to speak her wisdom.

    Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”  –  Helen Keller

    All of you folks at the UN climate talks (that includes you, Australia, and you, America and Japan and Canada and the list goes on)… listen up.  Here is the latest report card on your progress (or lack thereof).

    It’s not good enough. Not even close.

    From the Voice of America
    FINANCIAL DISPUTES HAMPER UN CLIMATE TALKS
    Pamela Dockins

    November 21, 2013

    WASHINGTON — Disputes over finances have hampered progress at U.N. climate talks in Poland as delegates debate how to best provide aid to help developing countries fight global warming.
     
    Meanwhile, a small group of protesters outside the talks expressed displeasure over how financial issues have bogged down efforts to prevent climate change.
     
    Developing countries are challenging wealthy nations to follow through on a pledge to allocate $100 billion a year to help them deal with climate change. The commitment is supposed to be in place by 2020, yet there is concern that industrialized nations are not living up to that promise, according to Simon Bradshaw, a climate change spokesman at Oxfam.
     
    “The worry is that developed countries just have not delivered fast enough on the finance commitments that were made right back in 2009. We have seen very little new money on the table this year and we have not seen strong, credible plans from any country on how they are going to scale up their contributions,” said Bradshaw.
     
    The talks on climate change are taking place as the Philippines continues to reel after being devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
     
    The World Bank estimated that global economic losses causes by extreme weather — such as this storm — have risen to nearly $200 billion annually and could continue to rise as climate change worsens.
     
    However, the talks have come at a time when many industrialized nations are trying to spur growth in their stagnant economies.
     
    “We cannot have a system where there will be automatic compensation whenever severe weather events are happening in one place or other around the planet.  You can understand why this is not feasible,” said Connie Hedegaard, the European Commissioner for Climate Action.
     
    Mary Sering, the Philippine representative at the talks, criticized the lack of an agreement on greenhouse gas emissions.
     
    “If we are to review our progress, would it be right for me to conclude that we failed miserably?  Looking at science and how it manifested itself, not only at Typhoon Haiyan but also other events, like Katrina in the United States, the heat wave in France, the wildfires in Australia, and other extreme events occurring after observed increased warming, should we not be all ashamed being here?” asked Sering.
     
    The conference continues through Friday. The group hopes to lay the groundwork for a 2015 climate agreement.