“The BC and Federal Governments have abruptly stepped away from talks that were scheduled for this week as the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary chiefs justly stated they would not ask other Nations to stand down as a precondition to having Nation to Nation talks.
“Powerful actions and a widespread will to struggle against injustice have proliferated in response to the raid on Tyendinaga as anger grows at the Government’s use of force and steadfast refusal to negotiate in good faith.
“The Government’s demand that blockades end for talks to begin illustrate how powerful this movement is and how afraid they are of widespread and sustained Indigenous resistance. The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary chiefs have asked for people to continue to act in support of their demands.
“… people have risen up in defiance of colonial injunctions and set up new rail and road blockades across the country: Over 500 people shut down rail traffic in Toronto, The Port of Vancouver was shut down for over 24 hours, Kahnawake Mohawks reinforced their barricades in response to an injunction, Indigenous youth retook the BC Legislature vowing to stay until Nation to Nation talks occur, and new rail blockades went up in Chase, Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, Hamilton, Gitxsan territory, Lennoxville among many other incredible actions.
“As police begin to act more aggressively towards new blockades many people have made tactical temporary retreats avoiding arrests and setting themselves up to continue to struggle in a sustained fashion.”
(Yinka Dini – People of this Earth) Unis’tot’en – People of the Headwaters
The Unis’tot’en (C’ihlts’ehkhyu / Big Frog Clan) are the original Wet’suwet’en Yintah Wewat Zenli distinct to the lands of the Wet’suwet’en. Over time in Wet’suwet’en History, the other clans developed and were included throughout Wet’suwet’en Territories. The Unis’tot’en are known as the toughest of the Wet’suwet’en as their territories were not only abundant, but the terrain was known to be very treacherous. The Unis’tot’en recent history includes taking action to protect their lands from Lions Gate Metals at their Tacetsohlhen Bin Yintah, and building a cabin and resistance camp at Talbits Kwah at Gosnell Creek and Wedzin Kwah (Morice River which is a tributary to the Skeena and Bulkley River) from seven proposed pipelines from Tar Sands Gigaproject and LNG from the Horn River Basin Fracturing Projects in the Peace River Region
The Unist’ot’en Camp is an indigenous re-occupation of Wet’suwet’en land in northern “BC, Canada.” The Camp is on high alert in response to the Coastal Gaslink’s application for an injunction, as well as served notice for a civil lawsuit to claim financial damages for “occupying, obstructing, blocking, physically impeding or denying access” against the Camp on their own unceded territory and denying the collective hereditary leadership of the Wet’suwet’en.
The Unist’ot’en Camp has been a beacon of resistance for nearly 10 years. It is a healing space for Indigenous people and settlers alike, and an active example of decolonization. The violence, environmental destruction, and disregard for human rights following TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) / Coastal GasLink’s interim injunction has been devastating to bear, but this fight is far from over.
Coastal GasLink is a project of TransCanada Pipelines Ltd., the same subsidiary of TransCanada behind the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The 420-mile Coastal GasLink pipeline would carry fracked gas from northeast British Columbia to LNG Canada, a massive proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal that exemplifies the sector’s climate and human rights impacts.
Bank of Montreal
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Divestment is the opposite of investment. It is removing your funds, benefits, capital and stock from companies and approaching institutions asking them to remove their money out of companies for either ethics and/or financial reasons.
In this era of “reconciliation”, Indigenous land is still being taken at gunpoint. INVASION is a new film about the Unist’ot’en Camp, Gidimt’en checkpoint and the larger Wet’suwet’en Nation standing up to the Canadian government and corporations who continue colonial violence against Indigenous people.
Fossil fuels have been utilized as our primary energy source since the industrial revolution in the mid 18th century. Fossil fuels have provided jobs as well as heat and electricity before and during our lifetimes. The problem is that the extraction process and burning of fossils fuels have caused extreme pollution of low income (indigenous, Black and People of color) communities, threatened sensitive ecosystems and is causing green house gases to climb at all-time highs. The world is now heating at an unprecedented rate: storms, hurricanes and other natural disasters are becoming more frequent and powerful than we have ever seen. In the midst of the 6th mass extinction and overall threat of climate change, we need to oppose all future fossil fuel expansion projects, and make a just and fast transition to renewable energy.
This week’s post was made in response to the lens-artist’s challenge by Viveka – capital. It was created to advance global awareness of the Costal Gaslink Project.
The heat of a warming planet, like an artist’s palette knife on a canvas, etches its way across Western forests, slowly altering ecosystems that have flourished for centuries. cited: Climate change is transforming Western forests. Mark Jaffe, The Colorado Sun July 25, 2019
“As ecosystems change, there are going to be winners and losers,” said Thomas Veblen, a biogeographer and distinguished professor at the University of Colorado. “The regulator function of the forest could diminish … leading to more runoff and flash floods. With a reduction of the forest canopy, we are going to see the potential for greater erosion. The question is how much of the forest will fail to regenerate.”
Coasts, oceans, ecosystems, weather and human health all face impacts from climate change, and now valuable soils may also be affected. Climate change may reduce the ability of soils to absorb water in many parts of the world, according to a new study. And that could have serious implications for groundwater supplies, food production and security, stormwater runoff, biodiversity and ecosystems. cited: Climate change may cut soil’s ability to absorb water. Rutgers University, Science Daily, September 11, 2019
… a study published in the journal Nature last year showing that regional increases in precipitation due to climate change may lead to less water infiltration, more runoff and erosion, and greater risk of flash flooding.
The Arctic Ocean could become ice-free in the summer in the next 20 years due to a natural, long-term warming phase in the tropical Pacific that adds to human-caused warming, according to a new study: cited: Ice-free Arctic summers could happen on earlier side of predictions. American Geophysical Union, Science Daily,February 27, 2019.
There are different climate models used by researchers to predict when the first ice-free Arctic September will occur. Most models project there will fewer than 1 million square kilometers of sea ice around the middle of this century, but projections of when that will occur vary within 20-year windows due to natural climate fluctuations.
A global study has found a paradox: our water supplies are shrinking at the same time as climate change is generating more intense rain. And the culprit is the drying of soils, say researchers, pointing to a world where drought-like conditions will become the new normal, especially in regions that are already dry. cited: The long dry: Why the world’s water supply is shrinking. University of New South Wales, Science Daily, December 13, 2018.
“It’s a double whammy,” said Sharma. “Less water is ending up where we can store it for later use. At the same time, more rain is overwhelming drainage infrastructure in towns and cities, leading to more urban flooding.”
“It was no ordinary lunch break for a group of eight students from Aspen School District and Aspen Country Day School. They came to the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners with a list of climate-saving suggestions and a request that the county declare a climate emergency.
“While the climate emergency would serve as a symbolic label for the students’ efforts, they also provided a number of action items such as reducing or eliminating single-use plastics, adopting the use of solar energy systems and reducing consumption of animal protein.
“The students said their future will be impacted by climate change, and the need for action is urgent.
“‘We only really have ten to twelve years to reverse it before it’s too late,’ said Willow Poschman. ‘So we need to act now.’
“The group seemed hopeful that their requests would not fall on deaf ears, but one student said they will not lose steam if adults are not listening.
“’If they don’t believe us at first,’ Willow Poschman said. ‘We’re going to keep doing it. Show them that, yeah, we do care. We’re going to make change whether you like it or not.’
“In their call to action, the students urged others to join them in a climate strike on September 20, when they’ll take part in a global school walkout demanding action on climate change.”
“Many of us have forgotten that we are one with the Earth. The Earth is not a separate entity from us. We are part of the Earth, and the Earth is part of us. The Earth is not a resource for us to exploit at our will. The Earth is us; we are intimately interconnected with the Earth, just as we inter-are with all other species on Earth, too. Our spiritual ancestors have taught us about the law of interdependent co-arising: this is because that is. We are here because the Earth is here. All species are our brothers and sisters; we are all children of the Earth.
“When we see our deep interbeing with the Earth and with all species, we will see what to do—and what to stop doing—to help the situation. We will have the clarity and compassion we need to help change the situation, so that a future can be possible for us all.
“…Mother Earth has been crying out for so long. She has never stopped giving us whatever we needed: food, water and shelter, allowing us to flourish in her abundance, never asking for anything in return. …”
~Sister Chan Khong “Can You Hear Mother Earth?” July 2016 Plum Village
UN Secretary-General at UN Climate Change Conference
On Sept. 20-27, climate action organizers are planning a Global Climate Strike, with hopes that massive and consistent turnout will make a difference. If you’d like to join the 2019 Global Climate Strike, there are lots of ways you can get involved. And if there isn’t a strike planned in your city, the organizers want to help you plan one yourself.
“The climate crisis is an emergency but we’re not acting like it,” the strike’s official website reads. “People everywhere are at risk if we let oil, coal and gas companies continue to pour more fuel on the fire.” And yes, though past strikes have focused on students, adults are welcome and absolutely encouraged to take part, too.
A lazy buzz phrase – ‘Is this the new normal?’ – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it’s worse than that – we’re on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.
We have known since the 1980s what’s in store for us. Action taken then to reduce emissions by 20 per cent by 2005 might have restricted the global temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius. But nothing was done, and the welter of climate data mounting since then only confirms and refines the original predictions. So where are we now?
Last November, the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn reported that warming by 3°C by 2100 is now the realistic expectation. With no check on emissions, we are on course to see preindustrial levels of CO2 double (from 280 to 560 ppm, or parts per million) by 2050 – and then double again by 2100. In short, we’ll be generating climate conditions last experienced during the Cretaceous period (145-65.95 million years ago) when CO2 levels reached over 1,000 ppm. What might that mean, given that we already achieve such levels of CO2 in bedrooms at night and in poorly ventilated crowded places, and when we know that, under sustained conditions of such high carbon-dioxide concentration, people suffer severe cognitive problems?
As it happens, the Cretaceous is one of my favourite geological periods. It gave us the great chalk hills and cliffs that straddle Europe. It gave us figs, plane trees and magnolias. It nurtured little mammals, who suddenly blossomed when the then-lords of creation – Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus and their cousins – went extinct at the end of the period. It was also very warm, with global temperatures 3-10°C hotter than preindustrial levels.
Should it come to pass, any new era with a Cretaceous-like climate wouldn’t precisely mirror the original. For a start, the continents were then in very different positions: India was an island still thousands of miles south of its union with Asia; a broad ocean separated Africa (with South America still attached) from Eurasia. But in a Cretaceous rerun, there would very likely be no ice at the poles once again, and sea levels would be about 216 feet (66 metres) above current levels. We would also see the creation of vast warm shallow seas with mineral deposits similar to those that produced 1,300 ft (400 metre)-thick chalk strata in the old Cretaceous; while, in place of the larger mammals that would become extinct, reptiles might radiate across the globe and grow large in form – a fitting dinosaur revenge?
The only way I can possibly conceive of humans living in a New Cretaceous age is as a rump of scientists and technologists working in artificial, protected shelters, rather like the denizens of the novelist Italo Calvino’s invisible city of Baucis, in which people live up on stilts above the clouds ‘contemplating with fascination their own absence’.
We have recently become aware of a red line that humans are going to hit long before we approach Cretaceous conditions. In 2010, researchers showed that our species cannot survive for more than six hours at what’s called a ‘wet bulb’ temperature of 35°C (95°F). Wet bulb here means 100 per cent humidity, so it’s not 35°C as we know it. But in the great Indian agricultural belts of the Indus and Ganges, high-40s temperatures combined with 50 per cent humidity (which equates to that wet-bulb temperature of 35°C ) are going to prevail within decades.
While this is happening in hot agricultural regions, the urban world will face a perhaps even greater catastrophe. The UN’s most-likely temperature-rise prediction of 3°C would see forests growing in the Arctic, and entail the loss of most coastal cities through irreversible sea-level rise by the end of the century.
It is now widely accepted, by scientists at least, that human beings have become geological agents, hence the assignment of a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. Human inputs into the environment, including artificial nitrogen fertilisers as well as CO2, now outstrip the natural cycles. The popular idea that geology and human concerns are totally incommensurate is belied by the fact that at times the Earth has moved very fast. Two great warming events – with a long cooling period in between – ended the last Ice Age 12,600 years ago, around 9,600 BCE. Both produced 10-degree spikes in Greenland ice cores. The first happened over only three years; the second, which ushered in the relatively stable conditions of the Holocene, happened over a period of around 60 years.
A lesson for today is that such a sudden and lasting change to the climate has consequences lasting thousands of years. That first warming caused an enormous lake to spread across North America as the Laurentide ice sheet melted, then eventually burst, leading to large-scale sea-level rise, and forming the Great Lakes and Niagara Falls some 2,500 years later. Britain was finally sundered from Europe 3,500 years after the start of the Holocene; and as the northern ice sheets melted, the land beneath them rose. This continues today in Sweden at a rate of almost 1cm a year.
This epoch, our epoch, is technically an interglacial one, and it was always going to end. The Earth has generally been violently unstable, or stably hostile, for long periods, either too hot or too cold for human civilisation. Had we not forced global temperatures upward through CO2 emissions, we would most likely now be facing a new Ice Age; as it is, the Holocene is ending as fast as it began with a new temperature spike occurring during normal human lifetimes.
So while we prattle about ‘the new normal’, we need to recognise that there was nothing ‘normal’ about the Holocene. Expert analysis of how human civilisation developed during the Holocene’s 10,000-year benign spell is only now becoming common knowledge. The geneticist David Reich leads the way, with his myth-busting accountWho We Are and How We Got Here (2018), using research based on ancient DNA to link human movement with language development. Such deep knowledge of the period argues that our problem is not confined to post-industrial-era CO2 emissions (global warming, in any case, probably began with forest clearance for early agriculture), but insists that the Holocene was a freakish gift to humanity that we have exploited and taken for granted. We are now assisting at its funeral.
If we are to avoid coming to grief on the road to a New Cretaceous, this awareness needs to extend way beyond the geologists and biologists who have taught us where we came from and where, unless we change, we are headed.
This article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons.