Gen Z for Change Leader Interrupts Biden Press Secretary to Demand Climate Action

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Original article by Julia Conley republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

Elise Joshi, executive director of Gen Z for Change, interrupted White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at an event on July 27, 2023 to demand climate action from the Biden administration. (Photo: screenshot/Gen Z for Change)

“Asking nicely hasn’t worked out,” said Elise Joshi as she stood up during the White House press secretary’s remarks.

Shortly after U.S. President Joe Biden angered climate campaigners by failing to mention fossil fuels in his remarks about new protections for millions of people facing extreme heat, the executive director of a youth-led advocacy group decided to address the administration directly about officials’ refusal to end support for the planet-heating oil and gas industry.

Elise Joshi, 21, stood up as White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was addressing a crowd at an event hosted by the voter engagement group Voters of Tomorrow. The campaigner spoke about Gen Z for Change’s long-stated demand that Biden declare a climate emergency—a move that would unlock numerous resources to fight the climate crisis and expedite the shift away from oil and fossil gas.

“Excuse me for interrupting, but asking nicely hasn’t worked out,” said Joshi. “A million young people wrote to the administration pleading not to approve a disastrous oil drilling project in Alaska, and we were ignored. So I’m here channeling the strength of my ancestors and generation.”

An event staffer approached Joshi, but Jean-Pierre urged them to “let her talk,” allowing the campaigner to demand that Biden “stop approving new oil and gas projects and align with youth, science, and frontline communities.”

When Joshi was finished speaking Jean-Pierre acknowledged that she had brought up the Willow project, an oil drilling operation that was approved on public land in Alaska this year. The project is expected to produce more than 600 million barrels of crude oil over the next three decades—releasing about 280 million metric tons of heat-trapping carbon emissions.

Joshi also noted that the Biden administration has approved drilling projects at a faster rate than the Trump administration.

As other Gen Z for Change campaigners called on the White House to “declare a climate emergency,” Jean-Pierre defended Biden’s record by saying he has “taken more action on climate change than any other president,” and said she would speak to Joshi privately after the event.

“We can talk through all that he has done and all that he wants to do, and we can also listen to you,” said the press secretary.

The White House can show it is listening to young people, said the advocacy group Sunrise Movement, by declaring a climate emergency.

U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.), who has also called for far-reaching climate action and at 26 is the youngest member of Congress, applauded Joshi for speaking out.

“I join the movement in asking the president to declare a climate emergency,” said Frost.

Original article by Julia Conley republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

Continue ReadingGen Z for Change Leader Interrupts Biden Press Secretary to Demand Climate Action

John Kerry examining likely impact of new UK coalmine

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John Kerry, the US climate official, has said he is closely examining the UK government’s approval of a new coalmine, over concerns that it will raise greenhouse gas emissions and send the wrong signal to developing countries.

Kerry, Joe Biden’s special envoy for climate, said he was taking a close interest in the mine, the first to get the go-ahead in the UK for 30 years, and that he would speak out publicly against the approval if it did not meet strict criteria.

“I’m asking my people to give me a better download on exactly what the emissions implications are going to be,” he said in an interview on Friday evening.

“Coal is not exactly the direction that the world is trying to move in, or needs to move in. What I want to know is the level of abatement here [such as whether the resulting greenhouse gases will be captured and stored] and the comparison of this particular process in the production of steel,” he said.

Continue ReadingJohn Kerry examining likely impact of new UK coalmine

Earth Day 2022

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It occurs to me that this could be a dangerous time for politicians and others failing to address the climate crisis. We have the most recent IPCC report identifying necessary action including an immediate stop to all new fossil fuel use and it’s ignored. Climate change is seen and experienced, it’s beyond controlling the narrative. The people that have warned of the growing crisis will be gaining power and influence, [ed: in a few years … ] we may well have laws that are applied retrospectively – and why shouldn’t they be? [ed: Why shouldn’t they be held responsible for their actions or – potentially recognised as criminal – neglect? Had the power to address severe climate destuction but chose not to …]

Climate Group Calls Biden’s Earth Day Order for Old-Growth Forests ‘Grossly Inadequate’

U.S. President Joe Biden’s reported plan to protect old-growth forests—which help combat global temperature rise by storing planet-heating carbon—is “grossly inadequate,” one climate advocacy group said Thursday.

Biden will mark Earth Day in Seattle on Friday with an executive order on the issue, according to The Washington Post, which cited five unnamed sources briefed on the plan.

Responding in a statement, Food & Water Watch national organizing manager Thomas Meyer declared that “President Biden seems to think we’re celebrating the first Earth Day in 1970, rather than in [the] depths of the climate crisis in 2022.”

“Protecting forests without addressing the root cause of the climate crisis, namely the continued extraction and burning of fossil fuels, will do very little to slow global warming,” he warned.

“The president has many effective tools at his disposal to address the climate and public health impacts of fossil fuels in a serious way,” Meyer added. “He should start by following through on his pledge to end fracking on public lands and stop offshore drilling, and directing his agencies to reject all new fossil fuel infrastructure.”

US Mobilization Planned to Demand ‘Livable, Just, and Healthy Planet for All

Over 20 advocacy organizations are planning a nationwide “Fight for Our Future” mobilization for Saturday to demand climate action from the Biden administration and Congress.

On the heels of Earth Day, demonstrators plan to gather in Washington, D.C., and communities across the United States to reiterate the necessity of pursuing bold policies to combat the fossil-fueled planetary emergency, citing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released earlier this month.

The organizing comes not only in the midst of the climate emergency but also as Russia’s war on Ukraine and price gouging by fossil fuel giants—in the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic—drive up the cost of gas.

Sierra Club president Ramon Cruz in a statement that “in this unprecedented moment of climate crisis, rising prices, energy insecurity, and racial and environmental injustice, it’s vital that our leaders fight to establish a livable, just, and healthy planet for all.”

“The latest IPCC report made clear that we not only have an imperative to address the climate crisis, but also the means to do so—doing so just requires the political will to make transformational investments at the scale and speed the crisis demands,” he added. “There’s a clear path forward for critical investments in climate, care, jobs, and justice, and Congress must seize this crucial opportunity to truly ensure the future we all deserve.”

Continue ReadingEarth Day 2022

New Year’s Message: We need to stop the destroyers of our planet

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It's getting desperate and urgent. Our climate is getting destroyed, countless species are becoming extinct while politicians cling to the system that is destroying our planet, reproducing and accelerating that senseless destruction. 

We have a good idea who they are that are destroying the planet: It's the insane ultra-rich space tourism developers Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, it's the same and other insane ultra-rich cnuts with their climate-destroying superyachts, privately-owned islands, private jets and jetset lifestyles, it's the insane petrochemical and coal industries, it's the insane media magnates, it's insane politicians pursuing the destruction of the planet - Boris Johnson and Joe Biden included. 

The planet, the people of this planet, it's plants and animals can't afford these absolutely climate-destroying cnuts. We need a clean break so that this world is managed sustainably to survive instead of being run for the benefit of a few super-rich cnuts, much less than 1% really.  

May be altered, extended or elaborated

28/2/22 Artic tourism
Continue ReadingNew Year’s Message: We need to stop the destroyers of our planet