Tag Archives: climate crisis

The People Say Stop the XL Pipeline – Will Obama Listen? Does He Care?

By Michael Collins

(Washington, DC 1/17)  The nation’s capital hosted over 40,000 citizens assembled to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.  The crowd urged President Obama to bring to reality his lofty words on climate change in the inaugural address just days ago.  By stopping the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, the president would deal a blow to the rogue energy companies who, by their actions, are ready to sacrifice everything to transport oil from Alberta, Canada’s tar sands, across the United States, for refinement in Houston, Texas and shipment to China.

The broader concern of the gathered citizens and march sponsors, 350.org, and the Sierra Club, represents the existential issue of our time.  We need to get very real, very soon on the manifest threat to the earth’s climate posed by fossil fuels and the threat to the human species embodied by insane ventures like the Canadian tar sands project.  The verdict of science is clear.  As leading climate scientist James E. Hansen said, the full exploitation of tar sands oil and use by China, or any nation, is “game over for the climate.” Continue reading

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Universal Environmental Rights: In Honor of the 2009 UN Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change

Guest Blogged by Diane Perlman

On December 10, 2009:

  • It will be the 61st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human RIghts, spearheaded by Eleanor Roosevelt in the aftermath of World War II;
  • President Barack Obama will be receiving his Nobel Peace Prize;
  • It will be the fourth day of the UN 2009 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, with 240 NGO events and 2,000 other events scheduled during the two week conference; and
  • The streets in Copenhagen and around the world will be filled with people, in the biggest demonstration of global unity calling for a sound treaty and global actions to remedy the greatest crisis ever faced by humanity.

As the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change coincides with Human Rights Day, let’s consider whether our 2009 world calls for amending the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and whether it is appropriate to elevate our basic needs for survival to the level of universal human rights.
 
Here is a draft proposal to amend the UDHR in honor of Copenhagen. Suggestions, endorsements or strategies for its use are most welcome in comments.  Continue reading