NewEnergyNews: GUEST POST: THE FOSSIL FUEL RESISTANCE

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, December 8:

  • TTTA Thursday- The Record Of The New EPA Head
  • TTTA Thursday-The Undeveloped New Energy
  • TTTA Thursday-Walking On New Energy
  • TTTA Thursday-Electric Tractor For Emissions-Free.Farming
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Turning Distributed Energy From Threat To Opportunity
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Solar Policy Action Heats Up
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Maine’s Almost Solar Policy Breakthrough
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: How To Balance Competing Solar Interests
  • QUICK NEWS, December 6: Sliver Of Hope? Al Gore In Climate Change Meet With Donald Trump; The Opportunity In New Energy; Google Seizing New Energy Opportunity
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • TODAY’S STUDY: A Way For New Energy To Meet Peak Demand
  • QUICK NEWS, December 5: Trial Of The Century Coming On Climate; The Wind-Solar Synergy; The Still Rising Sales Of Cars With Plugs
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • Weekend Video: Trump Truth And Climate Change
  • Weekend Video: The Daily Show Talks Pipeline Politics
  • Weekend Video: Beyond Polar Bears – The Real Science Of Climate Change
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Aussie Farmers Worrying About Climate Change
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Solution At Hand, Part 1
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Solution At Hand, Part 2
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy And Historic Buildings In Europe
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • WEEKEND VIDEOS, December 10-11:

  • A Climate Change Denier’s Lies Exposed
  • The Good News Numbers On The EV Boom
  • “This Is Just The Beginning”

    Thursday, July 04, 2013

    GUEST POST: THE FOSSIL FUEL RESISTANCE

    Obama’s Lincoln Moment?

    Ted Glick, June 30, 2013 (Grist)

    “Those of us in positions of responsibility will need to be less concerned with the judgment of special interests and well-connected donors, and more concerned with the judgment of our children.” (Barack Obama, June 29 national radio address)

    I’ll admit it—I was moved several times as I watched and listened to President Barack Obama’s major speech on the climate crisis on June 25th. As much as I have been angered so many times over the last 4 ½ years since he came into office by the weakness of many of his actions and his pretty-close-to public silence on climate, it is no small thing that the U.S. President, an essential actor if we’re to have any chance of avoiding worldwide, catastrophic climate change, has clearly turned a corner and come out rhetorically strong.

    To have Obama speaking for 50 minutes on the subject—to hear him put forward a solid analysis of why this is such a critical issue—to hear him go aggressively after the climate deniers (“we don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society”)—and to hear him say, unexpectedly, about the Keystone XL pipeline that it should be built “only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution,” which of course it does, big time—to hear all of this was a very big deal.

    What about his specific plans? A number of them are important, without a doubt: directing EPA to come up with a regulatory regime to reduce CO2 from all, both new and existing, power plants; active government support for the spread of renewable energy; a strengthening of energy efficiency; support to communities in their efforts to adapt to a changing climate; advocating, again, a phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies; an end, or close to it, of government funding of overseas coal plants; and more.

    But here’s the thing, the very big “but” about Obama’s speech: it was the speech of an incrementalist on climate. His plans are not even close to what is needed. A goal of a 17% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2005 by 2020 is weak, very problematic. And the most problematic of all: in his speech Obama projected as the #1 thing we should be doing to reduce emissions the “strengthen[ing] of our position as the top natural gas producer” in the world. He did this even though in his plan of action he identifies the reduction of methane leakage into the atmosphere as one of his objectives. About 90% of natural gas is methane, and there’s a huge problem of leakage all throughout the lifecycle of gas, especially fracked gas. Talk about a contradiction!

    We don’t need incremental action on climate. We need action that is appropriate to the deepening crisis. Even the head of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, Christiana Figueres, politely criticized Obama’s speech: “I think the fact remains that compared to what the science demands, no country is doing enough.” ‘

    For years a number of people who have closely studied this issue and who have had the courage to speak out and take action—Al Gore, James Hansen and Bill McKibben, most prominently—have said that what is needed is the kind of society-wide mobilization on this issue that we saw right after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. We need a nonviolent, World War-type mobilization for a renewable energy revolution.

    To move the United States and other laggard nations of the world toward this level of urgency, it is going to take a mass movement of many millions, and fortunately we’ve got one developing. You don’t bring 40,000-plus people to D.C. in the middle of the winter, as happened four months ago on Feb. 17, unless there’s something at work at the grassroots.

    As distinct from Obama’s incrementalism, this movement is about resistance, resistance to the fossil fuel industry, oil, coal and gas, as well as, for a growing number of it members, resistance to false solutions like biomass, the industrial cutting down and burning of trees (see more on this issue at http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2010/06/11/wood-power-worse-polluter-than-coal).

    One month after Obama’s speech, during the statistically hottest time of the year, this fossil fuel resistance movement will take action in a coordinated way across the USA via 350.org’s Summer Heatcampaign. Over the last 10 days of July, major, day-after-day actions all over the country will show the dedication and growing tactical sophistication and creativity of the fossil fuel resistance. Strategically, it’s happening at a key time given not just Obama’s speech but the continuation of an extreme-weather-events dynamic that has weakened the climate deniers and opened the minds of more and more US Americans to the climate issue.

    One of the Summer Heat actions that I’m involved with is a nine-day walk from Camp David via Harpers Ferry to Washington, D.C. On that ninth day, Saturday, July 27th, there will be a rally at the White House in late morning to keep the pressure on Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline and step up his game on climate. Among those speaking at that rally will be Bill McKibben.

    As we engage in these and future actions, it’s important that the fossil fuel resistance continue to engage with Obama and other incrementalist Democrats (and Republicans), pushing them to go past where they are right now.

    It seems to me that there’s a potential analogy between Obama and the 3 ½ years he has left as President and Abraham Lincoln after the Civil War broke out. To Lincoln at the beginning of his term, the war was not about the abolition of slavery; it was about the preservation of the union. At that point in time he might have been willing to end the war if the Confederacy had agreed to stop fighting with a compromise of no spread of slavery beyond the South. But as the war developed, as Black people took direct action by leaving the plantations and migrating to Union-held territory, as the North had difficulty in subduing the South, Lincoln’s thinking evolved, leading to the Emancipation Proclamation and, in early 1865, his successful push for a Constitutional amendment outlawing slavery.

    The world needs to see a similar evolution with Barack Obama when it comes to the climate crisis, and after his June 25th speech there’s reason to believe it could happen. Between the extreme weather events that will keep hitting us and the growth of the fossil fuel resistance movement, there’s little question that the pressures will intensify for action on climate at the scale of the crisis.

    It’s impossible to know exactly how this might play itself out. But what we do know is what we need to do if it’s to have a chance of happening:

    -Realize that mass movements that succeed are made up of people who have a common goal but varying ideas on how to get there and who are at different places as far as what they are willing to do.

    -Keep building the fossil fuel resistance, from the grassroots up to the national and international levels.

    -Keep engaging as is possible with Obama and other incrementalists, pushing them to realize the necessity of stronger action than they think is politically possible right now.

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