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Is it time for a movement for direct action on climate change?

And if so,what will it look like? I'm working with some people from Vancouver and the Island to help get the ball rolling. Details below -- if you are interested, I invite you to join us. Cheers Kevin.


We've all heard the news: melting ice caps, extreme weather, drought, fires, climate refugees, conflict.... a planet-wide disaster is unfolding in slow motion all around us.

Global warming is happening, and if we don't work hard to stop it now the results will be catastrophic.

If you are like us, you're frustrated that governments do nothing about this, or, worse yet, say they care but then recklessly encourage more of the things that cause the problem -- things like oil and gas development, and coal mining and export. We're hurtling down the wrong track and it seems like government has its foot on the gas.

If you are like us, you've donated money, written letters, attended rallies and signed petitions. These are all important, but they are clearly not enough given the scale of the emergency we're facing. The future of civilization is at risk, and the responses of government and environmental groups can seem pretty underwhelming.

We need a radical response if we are going to change direction on this, and it's going take people who care to step forward to make that change happen.

Are you one of those people?

We are British Columbians who think that it's time for personal and direct action. We think it's time to get together in our communities to push for an end to the things that cause global warming.

Our first goal: stop the mining and export of BC coal by 2015.

Why coal? It's our province's biggest mining export and the dirtiest fossil fuel going. When the coal that is dug up here is burned overseas it doubles our province's total global warming pollution. So much for being a "Green Leader."

Too big an issue? Too complicated? Too hard? Try telling that to your kids, or your nieces and nephews. If we are going to survive on this planet coal can't be part of our future. It's that simple.

We stopped coal fired power plants here in BC, and we can stop the production and export of coal too. Plus, we're not alone -- right now people in Ontario, Australia, in the US, and in the UK are working to do the same.

Are you with us? Are you interested in finding out more? Visit http://stopcoal.ca and take the direct action pledge.

We're organizing our first Stop Coal action in Victoria on January 25th. Please visit the website and take the pledge to find out more.

We also want to help you organize and promote events in your community. We'd like to foster and promote "1,000 actions to end the age of coal" across BC. Talk to your friends and neighbours and plan an event in your community. Be creative, have some fun and help make a difference. Get in touch with us and we'll help you make it happen.

If there is interest, we'll also help organize climate action training camps in different communities across the province.

Our situation is urgent, but we think it's not too late -- if people who care enough get to work right away. Do it for the kids, for your community, for your favourite hiking or kayaking place. If we all do our part we can end the coal age and stop global warming.

Onwards,
Kevin

for the Stop Coal Team
(Jane, Kevin, Caitlyn, Cliff, Will, Peter, Matt)
stop.coal.bc@gmail.com

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Imagine if all of the food you buy in a year had to be eaten in one month, only by you.  How would this feel?

 

You are the earth, and our global economy is forcing this debilitating gluttony...and your subsequent starvation.  

You would not let this happen to you, so why force it on the earth, your only home.

 

There are clear arguments for leaving coal in the earth, at least until we get a handle on our "overweight" society.

 

NOW BE HONEST, AND TAKE THIS RIGHTFUL ACTION TO DEFEND THE EARTH TO THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP.

 

This exported BC coal is destined for places where hydro power is not so plentiful in relation to the population being served, mostly China.  Consider how your ancestors lived before hydro power was tapped--with all its ecological impacts to BC's once plentiful fisheries and numerous keystone species.  Our ancestors burned peat and whale oil and then coal and oil to survive and build the culture we enjoy today.  They did everything we are complaining to China about, including destroying our fisheries.

 

How can we cut off the supply of power to people trying to build the same "advanced" culture (read as "wastefully consumerist") as we have enjoyed for over a century since the start of the industrial, aka petroleum, age?  What role model did we create?  And what spendthrift model do we still follow, in spades, today?  

 

ALL of us need to set an example to the developing world of far lower consumption, and the material "wealth" that derives from such consumerism.  

 

BEFORE WE EVEN DARE TO ENCOURAGE OR ENFORCE CONSERVATION ON OTHERS  AND SAVE THE EARTH BY BLOCKING THEIR ACCESS TO COAL, WE MUST ALSO TAKE RIGHT, ACTION RIGHT HERE AND TODAY.

 

Get active in VV, and help yourself and your community to reduce, reuse, refuse, and recycle!

 

To do otherwise is pure hypocrisy, self-dealing and narcissist behaviour that crassly denies others the wealth that we just happened to steal from the earth first.  

 

WE IN THE WEST CREATED CLIMATE CHANGE, AND THE GLOBAL, CAPITALIST, AND PETROLEUM-BASED ECONOMY THAT HAS HOOKED HUMANITY ON UNSUSTAINABLE GROWTH. 

 

We stole first the bounty of our earth and milked it to exhaustion.  

 

We let the genie out of the bottle.

 

Now we want THEM to put it back in, all while we hop in our overpowered cars and drive off into the sunrise.

 

Every resident of BC MUST commit to reducing his or her ecological footprint TO THAT OF THE AVERAGE CHINESE PERSON (an unsustainable 7.0 down to a "less unsustainable" 2.2--wikipedia data), and only then will this clearly important protest and group action take on the credible and undeniable weight of moral legitimacy.

 

It's time for a diet in the west.  It time to be an ant, rather than a grasshopper.  It is time to stretch out our food supplies for the future, for our children, and for the world's poor and hungry.  

 

Only in this context do we rightly and necessarily demand that the BC people and government act to curb the global consumption of our coal.  So, go out and demonstrate, but walk, bike, or use public transportation to the event, AND make sure when you return home that you focus on lowering your carbon footprint.

I strongly agree, Randy! Perhaps you are already familiar with this book and this updated document. (See links below my message.) They directly address all the important issue you brought up. Using the proposals found in the "Greenhouse Development Rights Framework"  and the book "Dead Heat: Global Justice and Global Warming," we can rapidly reduce our global carbon emissions while also enabling developing countries to leapfrog over and beyond fossil fuels (the terrible mistake that we made), directly into renewable energy and alternative fuels for their own nations to develop without adding more carbon to the atmosphere that we all share. The industrialized countries owe a debt to developing countries. The book and the document below describe exactly how this global justice cooperation can become a reality. Please give them a read and let me know what you think. I didn't have anything to do with creating these, I only studied such ideas in university and find them quite heartening and brilliant. Wishing you all the best, Randy. :-)

 

Please check out this updated and AMAZING document called "Greenhouse Development Rights Framework."

 

http://www.ecoequity.org/docs/TheGDRsFramework.pdf

 

It's based on the ideas in a book called "Dead Heat: Global Justice & Global Warming" by Tom Athanasiou & Paul Baer.  This small book is only about 100 pages, short but powerful. It is BRILLIANT with rational ways to solve the global climate change problem by proposing that the "northern" industrialized nations (hat have already used more than our fair share of the fossil fuels and the atmosphere for dumping our carbon) provide the green energy technology to enable the developing countries to LEAP-FROG past the polluting carbon development that we used, directly into renewable energy and alternative fuels. Ultimately, any carbon that any country releases into the atmosphere mixes up with everyone else's emissions and adds to the climate changes that we do not need nor want.The north and south, west & east, industrialized, emerging, and developing nations must ALL work together. We need to lower total global carbon emissions while helping developing nations to develop using CLEAN & GREEN sustainable energy. Perhaps it would be best to read the small book (Dead Heat) as a primer and then to read the EcoEquity online document :GDRS Framework" next because it has refined and improved the ideas within Dead Heat.

 

Please download this 100 page article (it's large print) onto your computer. Then enjoy the brilliant ideas within this amazing document, the result of many years of research and brainstorming on reducing global warming while also helping the world's developing nations to develop in an environmentally and socially responsible and sustainable way. Thanks for reading!

 

http://www.ecoequity.org/docs/TheGDRsFramework.pdf

Point of clarification:  the coal exported from BC is metallurgical -- it's used to make steel. Mostly in Japan and Korea, also in China, and to a less extent in the EU.  We all know the rest of the story: it's then made into stuff that gets shipped back to BC, which we buy, and so on.

 

Which ties into your 1st and 3rd All Caps Paragraphs above -- we indeed need to look at core issues of consumption.  That includes confronting the fact that BC exports it's dirty work to Asia, so that we can buy back shiny new consumer items in blissful ignorance.  

 

I posted this here because I know that folks involved with VV are tuned into those issues.

 

Further details on some of the issues involved in stopping coal at http://stopcoal.ca/blogs

 

By the way, I just saw Story of Stuff again with my kids, and again I'm struck by the claim that 99% percent of all we buy is in the trash within six months.  Holey Moley

 

Thanks for the good information, Kevin! And how great that you watched the "Story of Stuff" with your kids. That's fantastic to educate them about such things. I wish all parents would do the same. And "holey moley" is right about the amount of resources we simply waste. Things must change. WE must change. Thanks again, Kevin. :-)

i agree wholeheartedly.

 

the problem is this: the next most accessible 'green' solution for power being solar power, is either a) not efficient enough given the amount of power that we need to exist as a first world nation unless we ALL produce more than we use and or b) not affordable enough for the common person to utilize.  there are a heck of a lot more 'common people' in the world than millionaires, and until it becomes cost efficient to be more 'green', regular people are going to be resistant to the idea...especially with today's economy.  the government had a good thing going with the limited time eco-energy refit grants for us as canadians; if we pushed for this process to continue with emphasis on solar power, and with the large combined purchasing power of all of canada, it would spur manufacturers to produce more (and therefore less costly and hopefully more efficient) solar solutions.  the 3rd world generally gets our castaways, however unfortunate it seems, but if we have enough green solutions in the 1st world countries to overflow into the 3rd world it would be better all around.

 

(the reason why i have disregarded nuclear energy is due to the radioactive and unuseable byproducts, wind energy due to limited locations with sufficient wind, and geothermal due to limited locations with proximity to geo currents to supply the demand.  the sun is everywhere.)

 

if we can rely on an alternate source of power for our homes/vehicles with no toxic byproducts (read: using rechargeable batteries in conjunction with the solar panels), we would eliminate the need for gas products and would reduce the amount of its byproducts (read: plastics etc etc).  if the 1st world countries are using this system, if gives the 3rd world something better for the environment to envy.

 

this in conjunction with curbing global consumption of coal gives an alternative instead of cutting developing countries (and ourselves!) off at the knees.

Excellent post, Kevin! I completely agree with you on every point. Thank you for taking the time to write this! :-) Karen

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