Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough

The BBC set up an Skype interview between Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough.

It was late December, 2019.  She was 16, he was 93. You can hear the respect each has for the other. This isn’t a super bang speech, instead it is just interesting to listen to two of the most influential people of our time “saying hello”.

Click the link for an 8 minute listen: Greta and Attenborough.m4a
.

Greta’s father was interviewed by BBC the same day.

Click the link for about 9 minutes: Gretas Father.m4a


Our Jamie speaks out about the Climate Crisis

Climate activist Jamie Minden wrote an Op-Ed for the publication SanJoseInside Sept 18, 2019 which is linked here. Jamie is a local high school student, is an active member of the Sunrise Movement and was co-lead of the Silicon Valley Youth Climate Strike that occurred Sept 20, 2019. Following these links is the full text of her editorial.

GoTo SanJoseInside

Here is a link to a news bulletin by ABC News about the topic.

GoTo ABC News

“Hi, I’m Jamie Minden. I’ve been an environmental activist for a few years now, and it’s worked out pretty well for me. But most people who want to get involved (because they don’t want to live on a dying planet) have trouble knowing where to start in activism.

“I understand that the idea can be daunting. But rest assured: you don’t have to drop out of school, give up your job, stop wearing shoes or move to San Francisco to become a climate activist. You can if you want, of course, but you don’t have to.

“There are plenty of easy things you can do that can work around your schedule. Look up groups like Sunrise Movement, Youth Climate Strikes, 350.org, and Citizens Climate Lobby, and if there isn’t a group in your area, find a few friends and start one.

“If you’re not all that into community organizing, how about changing your lived environment into something more sustainable? Replace your gas-burning water heater with an electric one. Explain to your cousin that climate change doesn’t mean the end of snowstorms, it means that the global temperatures are rising at a pace that will eventually make many parts of the Earth uninhabitable.

“What about your workplace? Are there ways for you to steer your company in a more sustainable direction? Forbes predicts that the United States’ renewable energy business is worth $3 trillion. Why not cash in on a more sustainable future?

“The reality is that grassroots movements have been the cause of virtually all progress on the issue. Pardon my French, but most national governments haven’t done sh*t. So every bit of climate action you see—from recycling collection to the Green New Deal—is the direct result of the tireless work of scores of passionate climate activists. Just normal people like you and me who want to make a difference.

“To backtrack slightly, I want to recognize that communities of color have been shunted aside in all of this, too. People of color are disproportionately affected by ecological issues, and yet they have always been the unrecognized leaders of this fight.

“People of color defend endangered species from poachers, risk their lives to protect the rainforests, and are arrested in our very own country for protesting developments that threaten to destroy sacred landmarks.

“If you’re a person of color who wants to get involved in the climate movement, I want you to know that we hear you. Yeah, you might have to work a little harder to make your voice heard. I’m not going to sugar-coat it: this country has a history of environmental racism and a dishearteningly whitewashed climate movement. But that’s simply why your voice is more important than ever.

“Yeah, I’m a white girl, but I stand behind you. Groups like Sunrise and people like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stand behind you. Your voice is important. You deserve to be heard. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

“We only have 11 years left, so let’s make them count. Let’s give it our all, and put up a good fight. Because once our emissions go past the tipping point, we cannot go back. Our chance is now. Every living person has a responsibility to do their part, no matter how small. Climate change will be the struggle that defines every generation alive today.

“While the “greatest generation” had to stand up and fight two world wars head on, we now have no choice but to play the cards we’ve been dealt, and fight for our futures. Look at this from a patriotic standpoint, and do your part for our country. Do your part for our world. I want you to join the climate protection movement.

“We hope to see you at our next strike at 2:45pm Friday as we fight for our future. Please visit svyouthclimatestrike.org for more information.”


Greta Thunberg at the U.N. in Sept 2019

Climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed the U.N.’s Climate Action Summit in New York City on September 23, 2019. Here’s a YouTube of the speech, followed by the full transcript.

“My message is that we’ll be watching you.

“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

“For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.

“You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.

“The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius], and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.

“Fifty percent may be acceptable to you. But those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice. They also rely on my generation sucking hundreds of billions of tons of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist.
“So a 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us — we who have to live with the consequences.

“To have a 67% chance of staying below a 1.5 degrees global temperature rise – the best odds given by the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] – the world had 420 gigatons of CO2 left to emit back on Jan. 1st, 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatons.

“How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just ‘business as usual’ and some technical solutions? With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than 8 1/2 years.

“There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.

“You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.

“We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.

“Thank you.”


No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference

Greta Thunberg’s speeches have been collected and published by Penguin into a small book available at Amazon in the USA for $8. This is a very important book, in the “must read” category. All profits from the sales are going to charity.

Buy it, read it and then join her team. She needs and wants our help in solving this crisis.

“She is an incredibly clear-eyed child, speaking to adults … This is an invitation to get up and join in. There is hope in these pages, not just doom and gloom.”

Wanted: No War

The longer other countries, such as Iran and North Korea, are not allowed to have nuclear energy, the longer they are dependent on oil!

As The Guardian said “The establishment assumes that Iran can never possess nuclear weapons, yet the United States lives with nuclear-armed adversaries like Russia and China and aligns with the nuclear-armed military dictatorship in Pakistan.”

The Climate Crisis almost demands that we enable the building of more nuclear power plants. We have learned from our mistakes how to build them safely now. We should offer to build nuclear facilities for any country that wants them! Especially Iran and North Korea.

But Big Oil, with their fossil fuels lobby, holds tremendous economic power and influence on politics, particularly in the United States. They continue to scare the public over anything nuclear.

We need to fear Climate Crisis more than War. Iran having the ability to build a nuclear warhead is not nearly as dangerous as Trump having control of the US arsenals.

Gas powered cars are no longer practical

The other day, Elon Musk posted a Twitter message that triggered thoughts about real life cars. See picture below.

Nowadays many people keep cars until they are 10 years or more older. And nowadays most cars sold are gas powered, the percentage for hybrid, electric and hydrogen powered are small.

The climate crisis scientists are now predicting that we only have 10-11 years to turn things around or we are doomed. People aren’t yet worried enough to change their habits.

But just think – if they are right, then imagine how little the gas powered car bought today will be worth in 10 years! It will be not only worthless, people will think negatively about anyone driving one. They will stone ya’ll, because eventually people will get mad when their quality of life declines.

Financially speaking, if you are going to buy a new car now, hybrid or electric is the only smart purchase. The price of gas and oil is just going to increase. And in 10 years, there might not be any available.

Thanks for the practical thinking, Elon.

Climate Crisis: Time to Ration Meat and Flying

The following excerpts are from an article in The Guardian today, written by Sonia Sodha, the chief leader writer at the Observer. Given the seriousness of the Climate Crisis, it is time that we get serious about how we are going to solve the problem. Rationing might seem “over the top” to those who are addicted to the meat of 4 legged animals and flying, but it is time to get serious..

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/01/sin-taxes-on-meat-or-flying-wont-change-a-climate-hypocrite-like-me-rationing-might/

“Rationing to tackle the climate crisis could be given a modern-day makeover. People could be allocated polluting credits to cover activities such as meat eating and flying that they can sell and buy in an online marketplace. If you’re short of cash, or not that bothered about eating meat or flying abroad, you can feel smug as you sell your credits to someone who is, which makes this far more equitable than green taxes. And setting a population-level limit on something such as meat consumption would create huge incentives for companies to invest more in the production of things such as environmentally friendly, lab-grown meat.”

and

“A decade on, it’s surely an idea whose time has come. The climate school strikes show the next generation is hungry for more radical action. Sure, the hypocrite-hunters will balk at the prospect of rationing to save the planet. But I’m optimistic that more of us will come to see that it’s going to take something more drastic than trying to persuade people to voluntarily scale back to whip us into shape.”


“A question cannot be answered until it is asked, and once asked, it cannot be unasked.” – Anthony Aguirre