Sunday, September 23, 2018

Inside Out with the Climate Summit


The Global Climate Summit held in San Francisco from Sept. 11 – 14th, 2018, showcased Jerry Brown who had just signed the bill which mandates that California’s becomes a carbon free economy by  2045. Outside, a gathering of nearly a thousand activists, some locked down to barricade the main entrance to Moscone Center, connected to each other by mock ups of oil barrels. They, and their fellow demonstrators, were drawing global attention to the governor’s hands, because while his right may have signed the bill, his left continues to grant leases and otherwise support fracking and drilling for oil in the State of California, the world seventh greatest economy.


The two-faced Janus game played by this governor does not reflect that time is running short. With California plagued by mega fires reducing whole towns to moonscapes, with mega storms affecting the coast of the Carolinas, waiting is no longer an option. More than 4,000 people. businesses, activists and officials convened at the Global Climate Action to step up climate action for Mother Earth. At last, it seems that the do-it-yourself movement of climate change may be reaching critical mass. For example, Mayor Garcetti proposed a program of discounts for electric cars; a fleet of hydro-buses, and scaled up public transportation, setting the benchmark for cities nation- and world-wide. The French group, Charbon 14 and EcoVia dissected corporate behavior, emphasizing shareholder and political pressure tactics. Indigenous people and folks from Polynesia streamed live, many of them deeply concerned by sea-level rise.  Nordstroms top floor housed an exhibit by Dutch designers displaying solutions including roadway solar panels. Other groups addressed agricology, carbon sequestration, ocean carbon sink, and agroforestry, framing their discussions around eco-friendly approaches to soil, forest, and water remediation.


Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji and COP23 president, and Jerry Brown hosted a high-level Talanoa Dialogue on the rapid transition to net-zero emission societies. Fiji has sold a substantial area of its lands to Kiribati, (the Gilbert Islands) in some places a mere 2 feet above sea level, which are preparing for the necessary evacuation of their home as sea levels obliterate their islands. Twenty-nine philanthropists pledged $4 billion, including $600 million by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, over the next five years to combat climate change, their giving primarily directed to cities and states propounding new initiatives, and with the anticipation that their movement will inspire on-going action toward climate mitigation.

Road-based solar panels
Powering Past Coal Alliance announced 10 new members, among them New York State, Minnesota, Connecticut, and the cities of Honolulu, and Los Angeles, as well as  whole territories in 4 foreign countries. UN climate change presented a revamped version of its Climate Action Portal. For example, some studies indicate that already by 2030, global greenhouse gas emissions can be lowered by as much as 1.5. to 2.2 gigatons of CO2 every year.

Agricology

Continued global leadership includes:
Over 100 mayors, state and regional leaders and CEOs committing to becoming emissions neutral by 2050 at the outside and in line with the 1.2 degree goal of the Paris Agreement;
488 businesses setting science-based targets to ensure they are part of the climate solution;

 
More than 60 CEOs state and regional leaders and mayors committing to delivering a 100% zero-emission transport future by 2030, putting us on an irreversible road towards decarbonization;
38 cities, major businesses, state and regional governments committing to net-zero carbon buildings, cutting emissions equivalent  to more than 50 coal-fired power stations;
More than 100 indigenous groups, state and local governments, and businesses launching a forest, food, and land-focused coalition to deliver 30% of climate solutions needed by 2030; and
Nearly 400 investors, with $32 trillion under management, working to ensure a low-carbon transformation of the global economy with the urgency required to meet the challenge.

The top solutions heard at the Global Climate Action Summit:
Empowering young people to fight for their future.
Respecting indigenous rights.
Many U.S. States stepping up commitments to the Paris Agreement.
Pushing businesses to go green.
Accelerating momentum for electric vehicles.
Harnessing forests and lands to meet the Paris Agreement.
Record-breaking investing for climate action.

Inside, both at the Moscone Center venue, and at the affiliate event venues about town, notably those in the Mission District where Soil Not Oil held its two-day events, we heard another story. It was the narrative of people belonging to associations and groups which seem finally to have realized Governments weren’t going to lift much weight other than adjusting their microphones, and that despite all the fine talk at Doha, and other venues as the years of climate devastation continue to take their toll, waiting for them to take decisive steps is not an option.




Sign the petition to #seizethegrid for 100% clean energy by 2030.



Make sure you are on the voter rolls in time for the 2018 election.




Nuclear

Oyster Creek, nation’s oldest decaying NPP shuts down permanently.

San Clemente City demands answers to “serious near miss” at San Onofre.

National Environmental Coalition files legal challenge against Holtec/ELEA mega-dump for irradiated nuclear fuel and its proposal to transport high-level radioactive waste by truck, train and barge through most states.

Feds agree to a $925.000 safety settlement, improving Hanford worker safety as they clean up the polluted Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Resistance

Following a public outcry, ACLU stops a $1 billion dollar funding increase for ICE to expand immigrant detention and enforcement.

Pressured by activists, California defeats A.B. 813, a bill that would have given up California’s control over its energy grid to outside states and to the administration.

German citizens squat in Hambacher Forest to protest the mining of coal which destroys whole villages and the health of human beings.

Immigrant rights advocates, some holding their children’s hands, others carrying babies in their arms, walked out of a Senate Homeland “Security” and Government Affairs Committee hearing in protest of the Administration’s effort to keep migrant children detained indefinitely.

Judge blocks Monsanto subpoena to collect activists’ personal information.

Landowners file constitutional challenge to Bay Bridge’s claim to eminent domain in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin.

Austin, TX becomes the latest major city to declare itself a freedom city, protecting undocumented immigrants and people guilty of minor misdemeanors.

Verizon cuts its ties with ALEC.

For the third time, community activists and indigenous leaders install solar panels in the path of Keystone XL pipeline.

Harvard students, arguing that his tenure is prejudicial to women law students, demand that the school investigate Kavanaugh before allowing his return.

A million press for independence, demanding the release of political prisoners and the return of exiles and demanding a free Catalonia.

Energy

First hydrogen trains begin rolling in Germany.

Carbon fee makes Washington State ballot.

Global Fossil divestment movement reaches $6.24 trillion in assets under management. Up from $53 billion four years ago, nearly 1000 institutional investors including insurers, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds, commit to divest from fossil fuels, .

The 2 MG prototype turbine off Orkney generates more electricity in its first 12 months than Scotland’s entire wave and tidal sector.

Ecology

Musim Mas, one of the world’s largest palm oil traders, cuts ties with Conflict Palm Oil producer, Indofood.


In the mountains of the Dominican Republic, the farming village of Los Martinez creates an innovative model for the global transition to regenerative organic agriculture.

Peace

The Canadian Peace Congress, the U.S. Peace Council, and the Mexican Movement for Peace and Development at their fourth meeting declare their opposition to foreign interference, use of economic blackmail, threats of aggression, conspiring to carry out “regime change” and direct military intervention.

Tucson, AZ, protests for peace against Raytheon Missile Systems.

Thanks to grassroots activists, the heads of government of both North and South Korea agree that the era of ‘no war’ has started, including the end of military drills, missile sites closing down, mines dug up, road and rail lines link both Koreas, and they will jointly propose hosting the 2032 Summer Olympics.

The European Parliament passes resolution calling for ban on lethal autonomous weapons.

Civil, Human and Voting Rights

Supreme Court rules that groups that have been able to hide the source of their funding for issue-based campaign ads before and during and after campaigns will have to make that information available before voters go to the polls. 

Prisoners’ Legal Advocacy Network mounts legal responses to widespread and nationally coordinated prisoner abuses in aftermath of 2018 national prison strike.

Ossining’s Emergency Tenant Protection Act is the largest expansion of rent stabilization in New York State in over three decades.

A DC District Court judge orders the FCC to disclose previously unreleased information to assist the public in understanding how millions of fake comments were submitted to the FCC using stolen names and addresses during the 2017 proceedings to repeal net neutrality.

Prompted by activists, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) System unanimously adopts a surveillance transparency ordinance, the first transit agency to do so in the nation.

California is on the cusp of the nation’s strongest statewide Net Neutrality bill, requiring only the signature of Governor Brown.

Texas prosecutor targets Border Patrol Agent, Isidro Alaniz for shooting four women in the head.

In major development, as many as 1,000 migrant parents may get a second chance at asylum.

A select group of House and Senate lawmakers agreed to a spending package that includes funding for all of public media programs which the Senate subsequently approved.

Legislation in support of employee ownership names worker cooperatives as a priority for the Small Business Bureau.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Home Insurance


“Our life, tradition and culture are very much dependent on nature and its habitats, and we are determined to protect them. We don’t want our folklore [with] names of so many wild species of birds, plants, animals, and wild flowers to become meaningless to our future generations.”

Nagaland, a far north state of India, is home to the Angami tribe. Although hunting was once their important source of livelihood, and had been their practice for hundreds of years, some 20 years ago they gave up this culturally-entrenched practice. Although their muzzle-loading guns and traps were weapons requiring skill and courage, and were passed down through the generations as a sacred practice, they understood that by giving them up they could create a more stable ecosystem for future generations.

76-year-old former hunter
Not only was it their tradition; they killed animals for their own sustenance. The tragopan, a grey pheasant, especially valued for its meat, became endangered. In 1993, when they discovered its future was threatened, some tribespeople started a campaign to stop hunting altogether. Yielding to pressure, the village council decided to cordon off a 20-square-mile area now closed to hunting, which became known as the Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary in 1998. Some tribal members, like Chaiyievi Zhiinyii, (see above)  a skilled hunter all his life, was able to give it up when he was 59 years of age, with years of successful hunting still left to him. 

The depth of their tribe’s sacrifice might be akin to people in the U.S. giving up their cars. In 2011 I did just that. Now I get around on foot, by public transportation, and when the occasion requires it, either because of time constraints or the remote location of my destination, I take a cab. I admit to the sometime inconvenience  of my choice (I am now 86) but I remind myself that I made my decision because life on Mother Earth is endangered and it needs all of our attention now. And I’ve reduced my transportation costs to 33% of what they were when I maintained a car.

Khonoma Village
The Angami tribe is also known for relinquishing logging, jungle burning and the kinds of operations exploiting natural resources and the surrounding forests. Their ecological awareness is reflected in their practice of avoiding the use of pesticides and fertilizers on their exquisitely terraced farm lands, bringing them higher yields. 

Interior Decoration
What is remarkable about the Angami, who still keep the heads of hunted animals inside their homes, is that theirs is no simple sacrifice. It contradicts everything they have known for centuries about living in their world, a knowledge that has come down with them through many generations, whereas for us, the car only became an addiction some time after 1906.

What fossil-fuel-powered, water-guzzling conveniences are we prepared to sacrifice to prolong life on Mother Earth?









Immigration

In a mere three weeks, a new GoFundMe effort raises over $80,000 for DACA renewals.

Responding to deportation policy,  Californians open their homes to asylum seekers.

Resistance

Kaepernick signed a multi-year deal with Nike as a part of their 30th anniversary celebration of the “Just Do It” campaign with the slogan: “Believe in something, even if it costs you everything.”

Nike’s sale skyrockets 31%

San Francisco guerilla gardeners are turning ornamental trees into free fruit producing surprises.

The Mexican town of Cheran, Michoacan, reverted to an indigenous form of government and kicked out the cops and politicians. Seven years later they experience the lowest crime rates in Mexico.

Pima, Arizona, the largest border county, cancels federal grant requiring collaboration with border patrol.

Atlanta mayor signs order ending relationship with ICE saying “We will no longer be complicit.”

Healthcare advocate block Chicago streets demanding care.

Supported by ILO Convention, 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples and the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, indigenous demonstrators gathered to protest the San Francisco Global  Climate Action  Summit.

Prison Strike ends on the anniversary of Attica Prison Massacre.

Protesters disrupt Gov. Jerry Brown’s San Francisco Summit pointing up his hypocrisy supporting more drilling and fracking and corporate casrbon trading.

Unionized judges and public defenders demand due process for immigrants.

Environment

Governor Brown of California signs bill mandating 100% renewables by 2045 into law.

China and California announce plan to collaborate to combat climate change.

The new Spider Solar Project puts the University of Richmond, VA., on a fast track for carbon neutrality.

San Francisco holds the largest climate march in keeping with 748 other climate events around the globe.

In a stunning victory for First Nations, Canada halts Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

State and local officials announce a $119.5 million settlement of Aliso Canyon in SoCal with SoCalGas, which bears responsibility for a massive gas blowout that is still making people sick.

A legal challenge halts construction of Bayou Bridge Pipeline.

New York divests its pension funds from fossil fuels. Mayor de Blasio calls for unity at the S.F. Climate Summit.

Wood Mackensie Power & Renewables announces despite tariffs, solar contracts exploded in 2018.

Oxnard, California’s existing gas-fired plants have proposed to shut down decades before their expected retirement.  

The California Public Utilities Commission pressed Pacific Gas & Electric to replace three gas-fired plants with energy storage, paving the way for the retirement of the large Metcalf Energy Center in San Jose, and the Feather River Energy and Yuba City Energy Centers in Yuba City.

Federal judge extends an injunction blocking a planned grizzly bear hunt in and around Yellowstone.

Jadav Payeng nurtures 1,360 acres of forest in what was once barren landscape, planting one tree per day for forty years.

Domestic Politics

Representative Pramila Japayal launches Medicare for All PAC.

New NPR/Marist poll shows support for Congressional Republicans collapsing in the Midwest.

Booker releases ‘committee confidential’ Kavanaugh e-mail, risking suspension from the Senate.

Over two hundred national security veterans demand investigation into release of CIA operative’s file.

Ayanna Pressley defeats Rep. Mike Capuano, positioning her to become the first Massachusetts woman of color in Congress.

Following a huge Democratic turnout, Progressives John Liu, Jessica Ramos, Zellnor Myrie, Robert Jackson, and Alessandra Biaggi lead in the New York primaries.

Oakland Police consider less intrusive policy in an effort to reduce warrantless searches.

A student loan lawsuit brought by 19 states defeats Betsy DeVos.

Sanders calls for the establishment of a new international Left.

L.A. is the first city in the nation to put establishing a public bank on the ballot.

Oakland takes a step closer to establishing  a public bank with unanimous committee vote.

Philanthropy

Research funders from 11 European countries announce plan to make scientific work free to read by 2020.

San Diego school cafeteria worker feeds homeless seven nights a week.

Bezos pledges $2 billion fund to homeless and pre-schools.

Environmental group pledges $60 million to green candidates.

A group of philanthropic organizations commits up to $459 million  in support of land-based solutions to climate change in forest restoration and in recognition of indigenous peoples’ and traditional communities’ collective land rights and resource management through 2022.

Human Rights

Indian Supreme Court rules the criminalization of gay sex unconstitutional.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

There IS no Planet B


 

Full of exuberance and ingenuity, yesterday's San Francisco’s Market Street was the site of a giant stream of people marching for the climate. The day was punctuated by a 2.8 quake as some 30,000 climate marchers, lead by a contingent of indigenous people from such far flung places as the Brazilian Amazon and Exxon-befouled Ecuador, underscoring how First Nations People are spearheading the movement for recognizing and respecting the rights of Mother Earth because the very survival of their cultures is at stake. Later this week, they will participate in the Climate Summit. The crowds converged at Civic Center where all surrounding streets were painted in circular mandalas in clay, and water based non-toxic paint.

 

The street was a place where, amidst the noise and chaos, people got to embrace one another, disseminate information, and exchange ideas and addresses. Contingents from labor, the sanctuary movement, the anti-nuclear movement (led by Women’s League for Peace and Freedom, and Western States Legal Foundation) Code Pink, Refuse Fascism, and many other organizations took part. Some signs mimicked solar panels; some mimicked white dove-like wind turbines. And one solitary man cupped a papier maché Earth nested in the petals of a giant paper sunflower, balancing it precariously. 

 

But the Market Street on which we marched is a palimpsest of the historical record of a people existing at the limit: recently, green-painted bike lanes to acknowledge that the time for riding vs. driving has come at last, cratered sidewalks attesting to—as Chris Hedges puts it—of a country being hollowed out from the top.

Where are the government regulations that issue license plates allowing driving only on alternate days? Or which ban cars in the inner cities? or subsidize public transportation, or better yet, offer it “free” to all inner cities riders? If other countries can issue such regulations, why can’t the United States? And if the U.S. government can’t do it, why can’t the people of this country set up the parallel government needed to this country get organized?

Without such regulations backing them, at best, climate marches such as yesterday’s are feel good rituals lacking backbones.


You know what to do.  Now it’s up to you.


Environment

California passes a historic bill for 100% clean energy by 2045. 

California Gov. Jerry Brown signs a pair of bills that would effectively prevent new drilling projects off the state’s coasts.

DHUMA, a Peruvian cultural and human rights organization, forces the Peruvian government to withdraw the Bear Creek permit to mine in their area.


South Africa’s Energy Minister announces his government will drop plans to boost electricity supply from nukes in favor of increasing renewable energy as ZA reduces its reliance on coal.


Ugandan farmers emerge victorious after monthlong occupation of UN office.


Formerly polluted town, Vaxjo, Sweden is recognized by the EU as the greenest city in Europe.

California bans drift gillnets.

Maine South Portland’s tar sands ban upheld in a 'david vs. goliath' pipeline battle.


New Caledonia votes to protect coral reef.

New York City takes Historic Step Toward Cutting Its Top Source of Climate Pollution in big buildings.

Thirty-eight environmental, public-health and community groups called on the Senate to reject a bill provision that would lift the ban on civilian supersonic flight over U.S. soil.

Fracking makes the Colorado ballot.

California State Senate passes AJR-30 and -33, which now go to Governor, Jerry Brown for his signature. When signed and passed on to Washington, California will go on record as a supporter of nuclear disarmament and against first strike use of nuclear weapons

A California bill that would have created a new organization to run electricity grids across the West dies in the legislature as Sacramento lawmakers fear sharing control with coal-dependent states.

Politics Not as Usual

DNC strips superdelegates of first-ballot votes on presidential candidates, meaning that the grassroots CAN win.

Senator Hirono cancels Kavanaugh nominee meeting citing Trump as ‘unindicted co-conspirator.’

Center for Constitution Rights joins 78 other civil rights, environmental, labor, government reform, and other advocacy organizations in signing a letter urging 20 of the largest corporate funders of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to cut ties with the organization.

January Contreras win Arizona primary, bringing her one step closer to flipping  attorney general seat blue. 

Ayanna wins the Democratic ticket for Massachusetts’ 7th District unseating 20-year Democratic incumbent, Mike Capuano.

Former combat veteran Martha McSally defeats Kelli Ward and Joe Arpaio in Tuesday’s Republican primary in Arizona,

Working Families Party-endorsed David Garcia is declared the winner of his Democratic primary for governor in Arizona.

A federal court again sides with the Common Cause v. Rucho lawsuit, striking down North Carolina’s blatantly gerrymandered congressional map as unconstitutional.

Raquel Teran wins bid for Arizona State Representative.

Poverty

Ninth Circuit affirms right of homeless persons to sleep in public.

Florida court rules as constitutionally protected the Ft. Lauderdale activists who feed the homeless.

A waffling Obama now says he favors “medicare for all.”

Denver’s equity specialists, deal-makers, and policy folks equity specialists, created a first-of-its-kind initiative with $1.2 million in city funding brings hundreds of 21,000 brand-new, vacant apartment units within financial reach of severely rent-burdened families..

Student loan watchdog resigns after rebuking Trump Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for only serving the nation’s most powerful financial companies.

San Francisco erases $32 million in criminal fees for 21,000 people.


Criminal Law

Crowd blocks San Francisco Hall Of Justice to protest police brutality.

California Legislature passes major police transparency measures on internal investigations, body cameras.

Texas police officer Roy Oliver was sentenced for murdering 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, breaking a 45-year paradigm in Dallas County, which has not seen a conviction against an officer in a police-perpetrated shooting death since 1973.

Abused Asylum-Seekers Launch Legal Battle Against ICE And Its “Concentration Camp” Prisons


Federal judge orders Trump to restore DACA.

Engineers say "no thanks" to silicon valley recruiters, citing ethical concerns over immigration.

Federal judge in Seattle grants a nationwide injunction against the Trump Administration, blocking efforts to give felons, domestic violence abusers, and terrorists access to undetectable, 3-D-printed guns. The injunction is in place as long as the case is ongoing.
Labor

NAACP wins victory in  landmark lawsuit alongside Fight for $15 activists in Alabama, where fast-food workers filed a case after the state legislature blocked the City of Birmingham from implementing a law to increase the city’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. 

Alarmed over school privatization, educators in Los Angeles, the second largest school district in the country, voted 98 percent to 2 percent to authorize their first strike in nearly 30 years.

Farm Workers Union signs contract with D’Arrigo Bros.

Privacy

California’s state Assembly approves bill that would not just restore the net neutrality protections enacted under President Obama, but go beyond them, potentially creating the strictest rules in the country. 


Resistance

FANG shuts down ICE, continues campaign of escalation


Angry French farmers sow Chinese-owned field in investor protest.


Peace activists in St. Charles, Missouri block the entrance to a weapons facility run by arms manufacturer Boeing to protest of the joint US-Saudi war on Yemen.

Peace

California State Senate passes AJR-30 and -33, which now go to Governor, Jerry Brown for his signature. When signed and passed on to Washington, California will go on record as a supporter of nuclear disarmament and against first strike use of nuclear weapons

Democratic lawmakers announce new effort to revoke American support for the "catastrophic" Yemen conflict that has produced the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

International Court of Justice (ICJ) hears Iran lawsuit to have U.S. sanctions lifted.

Spain cancels  $10.6 million arms sale to Saudi Arabia.



Saturday, September 1, 2018

Block Kavanaugh

Because it seems to me that right now, the most urgent task before us is to block Kavanaugh, I want to devote this issue of the newsletter entirely to why we need urgently to do that, and how it can be done.


 
That is what Kavanaugh’s record shows. But here is the clincher: the National Archives lacks the capability to release all the thousands pages of his records to the Senate until early October. That’s how massive they are.  But the hearing is scheduled for just after Labor Day, September 4.

If that weren’t cause enough to delay this hearing until after the November elections, there are now 132 indictments so far, implicating Donald Trump in crimes and misdemeanors, some of them in violation of election rules. He must be defanged of his “presidency” before wreaking any more disaster on this nation.

And of course, there’s the matter of the Republicans blocking Obama’s nomination to the Supreme Court, not to mention that the Donald has already taken his own swipe previously in that effort.

Under the influence of Indivisible‘s post card campaign, I wrote 100 e-mail letters to the Senate yesterday. It ate up maybe one and a half hours of my time. Here’s how you can do it too, or if you are a person of busy consequence, you may want to confine your efforts to writing only to the seven wafflers in the Senate.

Here’s the link to the five column spread sheet breaking the list down (left to right) into those who oppose the nomination (26) those who “lean” toward opposing it (18), the wafflers (7), those who tend to support (14) and those who support the nomination (34).

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IhksP1EBXbIxirXRILNBOjTH89drJp8im3d2ELnvlSg/edit#gid=1913565360

Please click on the names of as many Senatorial aids as you wish, then copy the name. Paste it onto a blank e-mail, putting Sir: or Madam: (or if you can’t quite determine gender from the name) Sir or Madam: on the subject line.

And finally, if you wish, copy/paste the letter you have generated for all, except the 26 true blue Senators, sign it, include your address, mention that you are a U.S. citizen, and send it off. Please forward this newsletter to all your lists. Send as many letters as you have time and conscience (and genuine alarm) to do. And, if you prefer, please at least consider writing to the 7 Senatorial wafflers.

I include sample letters I sent off yesterday, plus one today to the Wafflers:

To Columns 2 through 5 (see link to spread sheet):

Date

Please convey this message to your Senator:

Senator:

Allow me to remind you that Sandra Day O’Connor whose pivotal vote selected George Bush as an American President, some time later speculated she may have made a mistake.

No one is infallible. For that reason it is critical for you to exercise extreme discretion in evaluating the next Supreme Court Justice, a nomination that may distort American Democracy for years to come.

Let me remind you of Kavanaugh’s qualifications:

He will protect Trump from accountability for the crimes in which he is now implicated.

He will overturn Roe vs. Wade, guaranteeing that millions of American women will be forced into back alley abortions, resulting in many deaths, among them those of women with children, creating many orphans.

He will dismantle what shredded environmental protections remain,  guaranteeing that life on this planet has a limited time left to exist.

He will sabotage the Affordable Care Act at a time when nearly 70% of Americans favor Medicare for All.

He will side with people of wealth over the well being of working people, people on whom this country’s prosperity rests.

Because I know you care about the well being of your country, I strongly urge you to do all in your power to reject his nomination.

Sincerely,


Name
U.S. Citizen
Address

and to those true blue Senators opposing his nomination:

Date

Please convey my message to your Senator:

Dear Senator:

You are one of 26 Senators opposing the nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States Brett Kavanaugh. Between now, August 30 and the hearing slated for September 4, little time remains.

My question is: why is Trump, who is now implicated in a total of 132 indictments, still empowered to nominate people like Kavanaugh to the bench? I urge you please to do all in your power to abort a nomination which will only intensify the Trump disaster that has already reduced our country to a laughing stock.

I don’t need to remind you of Kavanaugh’s qualifications:

He will protect Trump from accountability for the crimes in which he is now implicated.

He will overturn Roe vs. Wade, guaranteeing that millions of American women will be forced into back alley abortions, resulting in many deaths, among them a large proportion those of women with children, creating many orphans.

He will dismantle what shredded environmental protections remain, this in the face of the Sixth Extinction, guaranteeing that life on this planet has a limited time left to exist.

He will sabotage the Affordable Care Act at a time when nearly 70% of Americans favor Medicare for All.

He will side with people of wealth over the well being of working people, people on whom this country’s prosperity rests.

I urge you to aggressively horse trade with those Senators waffling over this critical nomination urging them to grow some spine: Donnelly, Heitkamp, Jones, McCaskill, Manchin, Collins, and Murkowski.

Because you care about the well being of our country, I strongly urge you to do all in your power to reject his nomination.

Sincerely,


Signature
U.S. Citizen
Address

and a sample letter tailored to send to the 7 wafflers:

August 31, 2018

Please convey the message below to your Senator:

Dear Senator:

I urge you to reject the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the SCOTUS. As one of seven Senators whose minds are not yet made up, I want to raise two important questions:

You will be considering a nomination proposed by a president implicated by a total of 132 indictments (so far), among them election law violation.

Doesn’t this circumstance appear ever so slightly aberrant? Or is your hesitation a matter of maintaining parlor room decorum in the face of presidential high office, even if it happens to be occupied by a racketeer?

There is also the matter of Republicans refusing to consider Obama’s nomination for the Supreme Court in an election year.  Yet, 2018 is also an election year, one to whose consequences the Republicans imagine they are quite immune.

I urge you to do all in your power to oppose a nomination that will drive the decisive coffin nail in the United States’ pretensions of remaining a democratic state.

I need not remind you of Brett Kavanaugh’s qualifications:

He will protect Trump from accountability for the crimes in which he is now implicated.

He will overturn Roe vs. Wade, guaranteeing that millions of American women will be forced into back alley abortions, resulting in many deaths, among them  those of women with children, creating many orphans.

He will dismantle what shredded environmental protections remain, guaranteeing that life on this planet has a limited time left to exist.

He will sabotage the Affordable Care Act at a time when nearly 70% of Americans favor Medicare for All.

He will side with people of wealth over the well being of working people, people on whom this country’s prosperity rests.

Should the Senate, flying in the face of popular sentiment, confirm this nomination, unpleasant surprises await in 2019.

I strongly urge you to do all in your power to reject his nomination.

Sincerely,


Name
U.S. Citizen
Address

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Call Your Senators to Stop [Mass] Extinction

You may wonder if I’ve lost my mind.  But no, let me reassure you. My mind’s intact or reasonably so, and my sense of humor hasn’t yet evaporated. This message was one of the 500 or so I received August 10th. I was going to include it under my Sunday Funnies, but I had to save it because it deserves a headline all its own.  And besides, the newsletter doesn’t have a Reverse Chutzpah section yet.



Your senators are probably the very people whose greed and insouciance may have put us on track to trashing all life forms on this little speck of dust in a universe that’s probably full of other such specks of dust, with—hopefully—more rational creatures inhabiting them.


 

How else to explain the headlines culled from the past fortnight:

Rivers have become too warm to effectively cool Electricite de France reactors


Degrading plastics revealed as source of greenhouse gases

Sea water used to cool Finland’s Loviisa nuclear reactors has become too warm


Pacific Ocean Warming and Possible California hurricanes

Wild Science: The startling New Science of permafrost..and more


Help Support Those Impacted by the Wildfires











“A smokestorm is Imminent”: Spokane’s hazardous Air Now Worse then Beijing and Delhi combined


Greenhouse Gasses Continue Their Massive Rise.

Hurricane Lane is Heading for Hawaii as a Dangerous Category 5 Storm


“A Global Emergency.” (Dahr Jamail writing for Truthout.)


We Are Climbing Out of Humankind’s Safe Zone: New Report Warns


Your Climate Change Survival Plan


Dire Climate Warnings Not Be Dire Enough (look it up in Common Dreams) and





If you’re on the same page I am, you might want to express outrage: how can humanity trash its own 4.58 billion-year-old planet in a mere 350 years? And while you might not grab the Polyannish straw of the last headline, you might want to entertain some shred of hope, install solar panels, maybe stop driving, maybe take up walking, maybe stop heating your home, maybe use sweaters instead. I thrive on telling stories, and here’s one I offer:



Every tree that is here is a seed I planted. Here began the history of Pouso do Rochero, Brazil. My name is Antonio Vicente. I am 83 years old. When I was a child, I used to tell my neighbors that the water was going to run out.  In 1973, when I bought [land] here, this was all cattle pasture. The water springs [had] dried up and never returned. So what did I do? I left the countryside to go to the city. I worked very hard to buy this land. And I started replanting, and then the water springs started coming back.


Today I have 76.7 acres of land here all reforested with   native plants. [Today] there are eight waterfalls here that have all been recovered. 

So this was what I wanted to do. This is my family!



This is our Family, too: the water, the soil, the trees, the animals, even if some of them are human beings who need drastic psychotherapy right about now to help them deal with their delusions.



Oppose militarism.

Oppose Urban Shield in your city.

Turn out against Kavanaugh nomination.

Divest from fossil fuels.



Small Iowa town, hosting one of 15 immigration bond projects nationwide, frees 21 immigrants.

Massachusetts’ Sanctuary in the Streets supports dozens of families and individuals facing deportation.

Scientists discover way to accelerate formation of magnesite which stores carbon as it crystalizes.

California prisoners help develop a remedy to unjust detention conditions.

San Francisco becomes first city on U.S. to open  a Safe Injection Site. 

San Antonio becomes 33rd U.S. city to vote 9-2 to pass a sick leave ordinance.

As part of a broader effort toward economic and racial justice, Public Bank, N.Y.C. launches campaign to create municipal public bank.

Incarcerated People declare national prison strike to demand humane living conditions and an end to slavery in prisons throughout the U.S.

After years of advocacy, NYC’s Council’s Environmental Committee Chair announces he will push toward reducing pollution from  large buildings by over 60% by 2050.

Top-ranking Michigan official order to do jail time over Flint water crisis.



Landmark Seventh Circuit decision says fourth amendment applies to smart meter data.

Amid backlash, Georgia officials defeat racist plan to eliminate polling places in Randolph County, a black-majority county.

Sierra Club launches ad campaign against Trump administrations effort to bail out dirty coal plants.

Internet activists turn up the heat on Salesforce over border patrol contract.

Judge slams Energy Transfer Partners for baseless lawsuit against Earth First!

Yemeni man granted Muslim B an waiver, reunites with family after 17 years.

Wales lets people build their own eco-homes in the countryside.

Center for Biological Diversity wins restraining order to save wolf’s life from Washington State officials.

Mudgirls work to spread the word that even  new mothers can build their own home off the grid.

Hundreds of immigrant kids and parents join rapper Logic onstage to shine a light on the struggles of separated families.

Militant N.Y.C, taxi drivers union wins landmark legislation forcing Uber and Lyft to pay drivers a living wage.

Supreme Court declines to suspend proceedings in landmark case pitting a group of youth plaintiffs against the federal government for dragging its feet re: climate change.

L.A. tenants lead largest rent strike in history.

University of North Carolina students topple monument to white supremacy.

As Trump military parade canceled, peace parade goes forward.

Lucas Aerospace plans conversion from military to peaceful production.

National Association of Letter Carriers urges congress to pass legislation reducing pollution  of the atmosphere causing global warming.

AB2772, creating a statewide grant program for school district to pilot ethnic studies, moves our of Senate Appropriations Committee to go on State Senate floor.

Berkeley’s 1951 Café helps refugees by allowing them to practice English while serving customers, and placing them in job after their training.

Court stops North Carolina GOP from stripping candidate of party affiliation just to win judicial race.

Urged by advocacy, senators pass AB 2923 out of committee helping to insure denser housing is built next to transit hubs.

Circuit Court orders EPA to stop delaying and implement the chemical disaster rule.

Chase Iron Eyes, one of the Native leaders of Standing Rock,  has his serious charges dismissed, and will not face six years in prison.

Federal Court rules against Ohio’s gerrymandered districts.

Legislative committee indefinitely postpones hearing on extending the California State Water Project contract.

In  Vermont governor’s Democratic primary results transgender candidates win.

Gaza fisherman  battles poverty (and Israeli restrictions) with plastic bottle boat.

Israel allows Gaza mom to accompany toddler to cancer treatment.
Demonstrations in solidarity with the prison strike take place in Tacoma,  Washington as supporters march through the University of Washington which has contracts with Correctional Industries.

Activists try successful anti pipeline strategy developed in N.Y. State in Oregon.

California net neutrality bill SB 822 clears committee hearing to speed to gull Assembly vote.

Women win the Democratic primaries at twice the rate of men.

Under legal pressure from the Center for Biological Diversity, Siskiyou County suspends its contract with Wildlife “Services”, an entity that managed to kill 28,000 animals in the county over the past decade, and 3 million nationwide every year.

Ninth Circuit rules that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services refusal to protect the grayling is unlawful, failing to consider climate impacts.

The Trump administration agrees to a settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity requiring federal agencies to prepare management plants to keep California rivers free-flowing and wild within three years of their designation.

A new set of principles known as the Toronto Declaration aims to put human rights front and center in the development and application of machine learning technologies.

Full U.S. Senate approves fiscal year 2019 public media funding.

After fatal shooting of Antwon Rose, East Pittsburgh ponders eliminating entire police force.

Ride-sharing app teams up with nonprofits to provide discounted election day rides to the polls.

Jackie Hill is the first African American woman in history to be elected in Blount County Tennessee.

More than 20 U.S. cities issue IDs to protect undocumented immigrants.

Floating tidal stream turbine off Orkney produces more green energy in year than Scotland’s entire wave and tidal sector produced in the 12 years before it came on line.

Young Kerala girl give up all her savings to help Kerala flood victims.

Last week in L.A., the national TPS Alliance along with Mayor Garcetti, launched the TPS journay for Justice,, a bus traveling cross country visiting over 50 cities in 12 weeks to save TPS.

Federal judge orders Trump to restore DACA.

Federal court rules that unaccompanied children immigrants should be able to apply for visas without the participation of their absent parent.

Jury wallops North Carolina hog farm again for its negative impact on neighboring residents.

Portuguese administrative court rules in favor of the Algarve Fossil Free platform’s injunction, and suspends license for ENI/GALP consortium to drill for oil off Aljezur.