Slouching towards Extinction | How The Fossil Fuel Industry is Attempting to Buy the Global Youth Climate Movement | Even Greta is not Radical Enough

There is a LOT to read here – I was going to summarise it, but ran out of time and energy and was overtaken by a feeling of urgency!
*Slouching towards Extinction at COP25 Climate Talks*

*Please watch the 23 minute video, linked above, to completion. It shows an interview of Dr. Peter Carter (Director: Climate Emergency Institute, IPCC expert reviewer, Co-author in 2018 of Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival ). This interview was conducted at COPS25 (“this is set up to fail”) in Madrid, Spain, on 10 December 2019.*
In the interview, Carter gives a vividly clear, trenchantly concise summary of the state of Earth’s climate; the increasing acceleration of all the phenomena that drive global warming – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions – the obdurate denial of the climate emergency, and the opposition to any action in response to it by the high carbon-emitting fossil fuel-loving nations: the United States, Russia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, at the very least. *How the Fossil Fuel Industry is Attempting to Buy the Global Youth Climate Movement*

*Alleen Brown The Intercept 13 December 2019*
The same day that 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg gave a stirring speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September, in which she criticized delegates for “stealing my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” the architects of the climate crisis welcomed select youth participants from the summit to dine.
CEOs from fossil fuel corporations including BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Norway’s Equinor were attending the annual gathering of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) in New York, which includes industry leaders who claim to be committed to taking “practical” action on climate change.
On the agenda for lunch was to “explore options for long-term engagement” with young people the industry could trust.
Student Energy, a nonprofit based in Alberta, near Canada’s tar sands region, helped organize the event, which included time for students to grill the CEOs about their inaction on climate change.
Tension in the room was high, Student Energy’s executive director, 30-year-old Meredith Adler, told The Intercept.
“The whole discussion started off with one of our participants talking about why youth don’t trust oil and gas companies,” she said.
But by the end of the meeting, Adler tweeted that she was “very impressed” with OGCI. “I don’t feel they had all the answers or strong enough answers but they are really listening,” she wrote.
The students’ questions may have been tough, but the event was great PR for the fossil fuel industry.
Gone are the days when CEOs openly questioned the existence of climate change.
Today, industry leaders are feigning a sense of climate urgency while pushing forward proposals for climate action that will allow companies to keep harvesting carbon-emitting products well into the future.
Subjecting themselves to a cohort of skeptical students was an opportunity for oil and gas executives to boost their credibility in an era when many young activists will only engage with them with picket signs.
Young activists say they’re seeing more of this “youth-washing” as the global youth climate movement gains momentum, including at the U.N. annual climate conference, known as COP 25, which is wrapping up in Madrid this week.
With “youth” becoming synonymous with climate action, corporations and politicians are increasingly using young people to portray themselves as climate serious…
*CONTINUE READING >>>* *The old made our climate mess. And the young will get us out of it*

If we are to survive, we must follow the demands and examples of the next generation

*Rebecca Solnit Guardian UK 11 December 2019*
World leaders are meeting in Spain to decide whether or not to bother with preventing the destruction of the earth, like people in a vehicle speeding toward a cliff deciding whether to brake or swerve or just chat about other things.
Powerful senior citizens in the United States – Trump, Giuliani, Biden – are trading playground insults, and the middle-aged people who make a lot of decisions about how to handle this emergency seem incapable of thinking beyond the singularly imagination-killing criterion of short-term profit.
I began writing this column at a Youth v Apocalypse demonstration in San Francisco. The protest, which was led by teens, of course, as well as some of the 20-something members of the Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion, took place in front of Black Rock, the world’s largest investor in fossil fuels.
There was a little cluster of mothers at the demonstration too, with babies and toddlers whose life expectancy, barring catastrophes, extends into the 22nd century.
It was a Fridays for Future demonstration taking place all over the world, with half a million mostly young people in Madrid.
Sometimes I think that our species was for most of its history a child: it had limited capacity to harm and thus limited responsibility to do no harm. We could kill each other, but we did it without napalm and nuclear weapons that kill a lot of other things.
We could think small because we acted small, mostly; we were altering the earth with hunting, grazing, farming, foraging, building, but most of our traces would vanish and most of our impact left no lasting damage.
With the industrial revolution and its reliance on fossil fuels and with technologies capable of changing the earth on a more profound scale, childhood harmlessness faded into the past for those who wielded those powers and used those tools and benefitted from it all.
Humans ceased to be human-scale, but our imaginations and ethics lagged behind our impact.
We have for two centuries been in a sort of wild adolescence, too reckless and impatient to pay attention to consequences or to listen to the Rachel Carsons and Vandana Shivas when they point out that there are consequences.
Because, really, environmentalism has been to no small degree about shouting “don’t break that” and “clean up your room” at corporations and governments.
We are on the brink, and part of what that brink is, I believe, is the necessary end of that adolescence.
As a species we must act with restraint in the face of consequences, must consider the other species with us now, those of our own not yet born, and those currently facing ultimate climate vulnerability around the world from floods, fire, sea level rise, crop failure, superstorms and more…
*Even Greta Isn’t Radical Enough*

People are waking up to the climate crisis, but two sobering reports this week are a reminder of the enormity of the problem

*Jeff Goodell Rolling Stone 11 December 2019*
A few years ago, when I told strangers that I wrote about the climate crisis , they often looked at me as if I’d just told them I wrote about the mating habits of porcupines.
Interesting in a freakish sorta way, maybe, but far from urgent.
That’s changed. Now, even in places like Texas, where I’ve been spending a lot of time recently, everyone wants to talk about the Green New Deal or the best places to live in the future or whether electric cars really emit less carbon (yes , but what the world really needs is way fewer cars and way more mass transit. Are you listening, Austin?).
And now 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg is Time’s Person of the Year, an honor she totally deserves, and one that would have been unimaginable a few years ago.
As Greta herself points out , she is just one of thousands of climate activists rising up in what is by far the most hopeful sign that humans are waking up to the climate emergency.
There are lots of other signs of cultural change, too: bankers warning about the risk of financial collapse in the climate crisis, great climate scientists like Andrea Dutton winning MacArthur “genius” awards, Oxford dictionaries naming “climate emergency” as its 2019 Word of the Year.
Although the number of voters who think global warming should be a “very high priority” for the president and Congress has stayed flat among Republicans over the past decade, it has roughly doubled among Democrats.
In California, climate change is the number one priority of voters in the 2020 presidential campaign.
With all this, it’s easy to feel optimistic that we are nearing some kind of a cultural tipping point, and that maybe the only thing keeping the world from taking dramatic action is our mad-king climate-denying president.
But then you look at the heat and fire and toxic smoke that is choking Australia right now, or you see that global greenhouse gas pollution will hit another record high this year (“we’re blowing through our carbon budget the way an addict blows through cash,” one climate scientist said ), and you realize how far the 7 billion citizens of planet Earth are from grasping the scale of transformation that is necessary to confront the crisis.
The critical issue, as writer Alex Steffen succinctly put it, is this: “When it comes to climate, speed is everything.”
The longer we wait to cut emissions and adapt to our rapidly changing world, the more difficult those changes will be, the more they will cost, and the more people will suffer and die.
It is as simple as that.
Two reports this week really capture the disconnect between the speed and scale of the changes in the natural world and the speed and scale at which humans are addressing the problem…
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