Opinion | New York State’s Divestment Threat Is a Victory for Climate Activists – By Bill McKibben – The New York Times

Mr. McKibben is a founder of the climate advocacy group 350.org and a leader of fossil fuel divestment efforts.

Credit…Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times

“New York State’s comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, announced on Wednesday that the state would begin divesting its $226 billion employee pension fund from gas and oil companies if they can’t come up with a legitimate business plan within four years that is aligned with the goals of the Paris climate accord. Those investments have historically added up to roughly $12 billion.

The entire portfolio will be decarbonized over the next two decades. “Achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 will put the fund in a strong position for the future mapped out in the Paris Agreement,” he said in a statement.” . . .

Thank you Bill McKibbon.

Here is denier comment, followed by my response to it:

Jonathan Katz
St. Louis56m ago

It may be a victory for climate activists, but it’s a defeat for humanity. Fossil fuels are the reason we aren’t living like medieval peasants in cold smoky (burning biofuels) huts. Climate change is real, and anthropogenic, but it isn’t hurting us. Net, it is probably beneficial, extending growing seasons, making it easier and cheaper to keep warm in the winter, enriching the atmosphere with CO_2 that plants need, and increasing rainfall in arid regions. I am a professor of Physics, and understand much more about greenhouse gases than Mr. McKibben. I am interested in the welfare of humanity, not in McKibben’s mystical pre-industrial Eden.

3 Replies7 Recommend

 
David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval
@Jonathan Katz You start off so well, I didn’t expect you to argue that we are not being hurt. Have you spoken to anyone from the Gilbert Islands in the South Pacific. One Virginia think tank that does work for the Pentagon reported in the last year or two, that Iran will probably run out of water in the next 50 years. About 3 years ago, Johannesburg, South Africa almost ran out of water completely. The UN High Commission on Refugees estimates that we have 30 million climate change refugees now, and several hundred million in a a the next 30 years. (We do need to refresh or check these numbers, but they are staggering.) God bless you Sir, but beware of Dante’s inferno. 7.7 billion people now on the planet, Scientists are saying we are the meteor causing the 6th extinction of species, going on now.
David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion” and blogs at InconvenientNews.net.

Opinion | Want to Do Something About Climate Change? Follow the Money – By Lennox Yearwood Jr. and Bill McKibben – The New York Times

By Lennox Yearwood Jr. and 

“WASHINGTON — If you asked us why a dozen people sat on the floor next to the A.T.M. in a Chase Bank branch on Friday, waiting for the police to arrest us for this small act of civil disobedience, we would come up with the same answer as the famous robber Willie Sutton: “Because that’s where the money is.”

We don’t want to empty the vaults. Instead, we want people to understand that the money inside the vaults of banks like Chase is driving the climate crisis. Cutting off that flow of cash may be the single quickest step we can take to rein in the fossil fuel industry and slow the rapid warming of the earth.

JPMorgan Chase isn’t the only offender, but it is among the worst. In the last three years, according to data compiled in a recently released “fossil fuel finance report card” by a group of environmental organizations, JPMorgan Chase lent over $195 billion to gas and oil companies.

For comparison, Wells Fargo lent over $151 billion, Citibank lent over $129 billion and Bank of America lent over $106 billion. Since the Paris climate accord, which 195 countries agreed to in 2015, JPMorgan Chase has been the world’s largest investor in fossil fuels by a 29 percent margin.”

Opinion | Let’s Agree Not to Kill One Another – by Bill McKibben – NYT

“But then the commenters went at it. One said: “Anybody got Bill McKibben’s home address? Let’s see how he really feels about ‘civil disobedience’ if it shows up at his front door.” Another added, “Give him a smack for me.” One or two tried to calm people down. But there was also this comment, from someone named “gnomish:” “There is a protocol worth observing: S.S.S. It stands for shoot, shovel and S.T.F.U. Hope that saves you some trouble.”

This “protocol” was left over from the right-wing fight against endangered species laws. If, say, a protected woodpecker was on your land, the “Three S’s” doctrine held that you should kill it, bury it and keep your mouth shut about it. It was, in this case, a public call for someone to murder me, and not long afterward another commenter, “Carbon Bigfoot,” supplied my home address.”

Does he know? Do they Know? By David Lindsay Jr.

Does he know? Do they Know?        By David Lindsay Jr.      April 24, 2017

“Do they know?” is the refrain of a famous song by Gian Carlo Menotti in Amahl and the Night Visitors. The crippled boy’s mother laments: Do the rich have any idea how hard it is it be poor and starving? Amahl is a terrific light opera.

Does he know? This is my question for President Trump, after reading Bill McKibben’s insightful op-ed in the New York Times, 4/23/17, titled, “The Planet Doesn’t Have Time for This.”

McKibben writes, “. . .  we only have a short window to deal with the climate crisis or else we forever lose the chance to thwart truly catastrophic heating.” His essay should be required reading for all Americans, especially politicians.

Does he know? Does Donald Trump know that if he slows the fight to mitigate the worst outcomes of global warming, climate change, and increased population growth, there will be billions of people who become climate change refugees. Billions will probably die prematurely due to the dislocations and wars that ensue. Millions of plant and animal species will become extinct. Does he know that this is what he will be remembered for?

Edward O. Wilson, the famous Harvard entomologist, predicts that if we do not change course on carbon dioxide and other green house gas emissions and human population growth, in the next eighty-five years, the earth will probably lose roughly eighty percent of our species diversity. The Washington Post reported that one scientific study estimated there are roughly 8.7 million species on earth. E.O. Wilson predicts then that we will lose roughly 7 million out of 9  million species. Elizabeth Kolbert, in her book, The Sixth Extinction, reports that many scientists claim that even if we do everything possible immediately to mitigate the human causes of climate change, we will still probably lose 50% of the worlds’  species. 7.5 billion humans and their pollution are crowding out many other forms of life.

Does he know? Do they know? Do Donald Trump and his team understand that if these dire outcomes, which they are currently exacerbating, come to pass,  historians will call these men mass killers of humans and other species, and from at least an environmental perspective, more damaging than Adolf Hitler and the Nazis of Germany’s Third Reich.  Trump and his apparently clueless, climate change denying advisors will kill more humans than all of the earth’s famous warlords, dictators, and mass murderers combined. They will exacerbate the Sixth Extinction:  the extinction going on now of 50% to 80% of non-human animal and plant species.  Do they know that this is how they will probably be remembered, if they continue to deny the science and facts that 98% of the scientific community support, and are asking them to pay serious attention to. Does Donald Trump know that this will be his historical legacy?

Trump’s Stupid and Reckless Climate Decision – by Bill McKibben – NYT

“Those changes, and similar ones agreed to by other nations, would not have ended global warming. They were too small. But the hope of Paris was that the treaty would send such a strong signal to the world’s governments, and its capital markets, that the targets would become a floor and not a ceiling; that shaken into action by the accord, we would start moving much faster toward renewable energy, maybe even fast enough to begin catching up with the physics of global warming. There are signs that this has been happening: The plummeting price of solar energy just this spring persuaded India to forgo a huge planned expansion of coal plants in favor of more solar panel arrays to catch the sun.

China is shutting coal mines as fast as it can build wind turbines.And that’s precisely the moment President Trump chose to make his move, a bid to undercut our best hope for a workable future in a bizarre attempt to restore the past. A few fossil-fuel barons may be pleased (Vladimir Putin likely among them, since his reign rests on the unobstructed development of Russia’s hydrocarbons), but most of the country and the world see this for the disaster it is. Majorities in every single state, red and blue alike, wanted America to stay in the accord.”

The Planet Can’t Stand This Presidency – by Bill McKibben

“President Trump’s environmental onslaught will have immediate, dangerous effects. He has vowed to reopen coal mines and moved to keep the dirtiest power plants open for many years into the future. Dirty air, the kind you get around coal-fired power plants, kills people.

It’s much the same as his policies on health care or refugees: Real people (the poorest and most vulnerable people) will be hurt in real time. That’s why the resistance has been so fierce.But there’s an extra dimension to the environmental damage. What Mr. Trump is trying to do to the planet’s climate will play out over geologic time as well. In fact, it’s time itself that he’s stealing from us.

What I mean is, we have only a short window to deal with the climate crisis or else we forever lose the chance to thwart truly catastrophic heating.”

Please click on the title in box above to read the entire article at the NYT.

 

Does he know? Do they Know?        By David Lindsay       4/24/2017

“Do they know?” is the refrain of a famous song by Gian Carlo Menotti in Amahl and the Night Visitors. The crippled boy’s mother laments: Do the rich have any idea how hard it is it be poor and starving? Amahl is a terrific light opera.

Does he know? This is my question for President Trump, after reading Bill McKibben’s insightful op-ed in the New York Times, 4/23/17, titled, “The Planet Doesn’t Have Time for This.”

McKibben writes, “. . .  we only have a short window to deal with the climate crisis or else we forever lose the chance to thwart truly catastrophic heating.” His essay should be required reading for all Americans, especially politicians.

Does he know? Does Donald Trump know that if he slows the fight to mitigate the worst outcomes of global warming , climate change, and increased population growth, there will be billions of people who become climate change refugees. Billions will probably die prematurely due to the dislocations and wars that ensue. Millions of plant and animal species will become extinct. Does he know that this is what he will be remembered for?

Edward O. Wilson, the famous Harvard entomologist, predicts that if we do not change course on carbon dioxide and other green house gas emissions and human population growth, in the next eighty-five years, the earth will probably lose roughly eighty percent of our species diversity. The Washington Post reported that one scientific study estimated there are roughly 8.7 million species on earth. E.O. Wilson predicts then that we will lose roughly 7 million out of 9  million species. Elizabeth Kolbert, in her book, The Sixth Extinction, reports that many scientists claim that even if we do everything possible immediately to mitigate the human causes of climate change, we will still probably lose 50% of the worlds’  species. 7.5 billion humans and their pollution are crowding out many other forms of life.

Does he know? Do they know? Do Donald Trump and his team understand that if these dire outcomes, which they are currently exacerbating, come to pass,  historians will call these men mass killers of humans and other species, and from at least an environmental perspective, more damaging than Adolf Hitler and the Nazis of Germany’s Third Reich.  Trump and his apparently clueless, climate change denying advisors will kill more humans than all of the earth’s famous warlords, dictators, and mass murderers combined. They will exacerbate the Sixth Extinction:  the extinction going on now of 50% to 80% of non-human animal and plant species.  Do they know that this is how they will probably be remembered, if they continue to deny the science and facts that 98% of the scientific community support, and are asking them to pay serious attention to. Does Donald Trump know that this will be his historical legacy?