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Kids & Climate Change: The Legal Route

From iMatter via Vimeo:

In an unprecedented legal filing, seven iMatter youth who sued the US government earlier this year, filed a “Preliminary Injunction” requiring the EPA to take immediate action to protect our nation’s youth who are in imminent danger because of climate change. 
They are calling upon the Courts to to compel the U.S. government to put in place “Climate Recovery Plans” that will protect the atmosphere for their future. This video was submitted to the courts to tell the story of one of the plaintiffs, 17 year old Alec Loorz, who introduces himself and his fears about the effect climate change will have on his future.

More here and here.

Infographic | Climate Change and Fossil Fuels: What Do You Think is More Likely? 
(Source: I Heart Climate Scientists)
* I’ve got one quibble with the infographic. It’s actually 97% of climate scientists, not 90%, that agree that human activity (i.e. burning fossil fuels, deforestation) is driving global climate change. 

Infographic | Climate Change and Fossil Fuels: What Do You Think is More Likely? 

(Source: I Heart Climate Scientists)

* I’ve got one quibble with the infographic. It’s actually 97% of climate scientists, not 90%, that agree that human activity (i.e. burning fossil fuels, deforestation) is driving global climate change. 

Bill McKibben: ‘Notes on the Climate Fight’ 

From The Terry Global Speaker Series @ UBC:

Though many have come to accept the scientific consensus around climate change, political realities still stifle the hope of real climate action. To help address this political impasse, Bill McKibben will share his invaluable experience mobilizing global grassroots activism. He will share stories from the front lines of the climate fight – from every corner of planet, including our own backyard. Of particular interest to Canadian university students, he will address the Keystone XL pipeline and Alberta Tar Sands development. Some stories are hopeful, some are not, but one thing is certain: we finally have a movement, and Bill would like you to be a part of it.

You can read about his UBC talk and visit to Vancouver here.

Sustainability on Film: ‘Surviving Progress’

From the National Film Board of Canada:

Surviving Progress is a stunning new feature documentary that connects the financial collapse, growing inequity, and the Wall Street oligarchy, with future technology, sustainability, and the fate of civilization. Inspired by Ronald Wright’s bestseller A Short History of Progress, filmmakers Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks dig deep into human nature and patterns of history to challenge and redefine the very idea of progress.

The tragedy of our present civilization is that it became dependent on marginal energy sources. The marginal energy sources are fossil sources, fossil resources and nuclear, based on the raw material uranium. The gigantic energy potential is the renewable energy potential always all coming from the sun, including its derivates, like wind and the photosynthetic-produced—photosynthetically produced materials, organic materials, plants, hydro-base. And the sun offers to our globe, in eight minutes, as much energy as the annual consumption of fossil and atomic energy is. That means to doubt—the doubtings if there would be enough renewable energy for the replacement of nuclear and fossil energies, this argument is ridiculous. There is by far enough.

It is a fight. This is a structural fight. It is a fight between centralization and decentralization, between energy dictatorship and energy participation in the energy democracy. And because nothing works without energy, it’s a fight between democratic value and technocratical values. And therefore, the mobilization of the society is the most important thing. And as soon as the society, most people, have recognized that the alternative are renewable energies and we must not wait for others, we can do it by our own, in our own sphere, together in cooperatives or in the cities or individually. As soon as they recognize this, they will become supporters. Other—this is the reason why we have now a 90 percent support against all the disinformation campaigns. They have much more money and possibilities to influence the public opinion, but they lost this. They lost this conflict. In the eyes of the people, they lost the conflict. They are the losers already.

Hermann Scheer (1944-2010), economist, politician, solar advocate and champion of Germany’s groundbreaking Renewable Energy Act, in one of his final interviews. You can read the rest of the interview over at Energy Bulletin.

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(Image: The world’s first commercial solar tower in Sanlúcar La Mayor, Spain. Source: Walrus Magazine)

We have an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy earth in real time rather than renew, restore, and sustain it. You can print money to bail out a bank but you can’t print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product. We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it. We can either create assets for the future or take the assets of the future. One is called restoration and the other exploitation. And whenever we exploit the earth we exploit people and cause untold suffering. Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.

~ Author Paul Hawken (e.g. The Ecology of Commerce, Blessed Unrest) in his commencement talk to the University of Portland’s Class of 2009

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(Image credit: Cradle to Cradle Portal)