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Huge ‘dead zone’ predicted in Gulf of Mexico; climate disaster ever increasing
June 21, 2013

The massive Midwestern drought of 2012 reduced rainfall and fertilizer carried into the Gulf of Mexico by runoff, meaning the algae blooms that cause the Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone were unusually small. 2013 will be different. (Source - Time)

Heavy rainfall in the Midwest this spring has led to flood conditions, with states like Minnesota and Illinois experiencing some of the wettest spring seasons on record. And all that flooding means a lot more nitrogen-based fertilizer running off into the Gulf. According to an annual estimate from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sponsored modelers at the University of Michigan, Louisiana State University and Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, this year’s dead zone could be as large as 8,561 sq. miles—roughly the size of New Jersey. That would make it the biggest dead zone on record.And even the low end of the estimate would place this year among the top 10 biggest dead zones on record. Barring an unlikely change in the weather, much of the Gulf of Mexico could become an aquatic desert.

  • Emails reveal that Exxon Mobil misled the public about the extent of contamination in Lake Conway from the recent Pegasus pipeline oil spill in Arkansas. (Source - TreeHugger)
  • Migratory seabirds are starving to death, a problem biologists are linking to climate change and overfishing. (Source - Washington Post)
  • Rolling Stone has compiled the ten dumbest things ever said about climate change. (Source - Rolling Stone)
  • The Obama administration is preparing to impose limits on existing power plants as part of his soon-to-be-released plan to combat climate change, the White House’s energy and environment adviser said Wednesday. (Source - New York Times)
  • Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer is launching a new online campaign to press President Obama to do more on climate change and to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.(Source - SFGate)
  • A new report by the Center for American Progress finds the federal government spends far more on cleaning up after storms than it does on preparing communities for extreme weather. (Source - Los Angeles Times)
  • The unseasonably hot, dry weather in Alaska has helped spurn wildfires in part of the state. (Source - Washington Post)
  • About 350 Walgreens stores will soon be equipped with solar power. (Source - Chicago Tribune)
  • BP is trying to convince lawmakers to keep current rules mandating the use of renewable fuels, instead of abolishing them. (Source - Bloomberg)
  • New Zealand’s worst drought in decades has hurt the country’s economic growth. (Source - Wall Street Journal)
  • Despite a wet spring, drought conditions are returning to Northern Colorado (Source - The Coloradoan)
  • Within five years natural gas could challenge oil as the world’s dominate transportation fuel, according to the International Energy Agency. (Source - Market Watch)
  • Clean Technica updated their rankings of the top wind power countries per capita, drawing from the Global Wind Energy Council’s latest numbers. (Source - Clean Technica)
  • And here’s their latest ranking of all 50 U.S. states by policies friendly to solar power, taken from Solar Power Rocks. (Source - Clean Technica)

Source

We have to resist! It’s time for a #Fearless Summer.

So, at a national anti-fracking summit in Dallas, the keynote speaker was a green capitalist. Some things that were said, “Warren Buffet is investing in solar.” (Ok? We’re all mostly broke. hydrological fracturing tends to affect rural & poor communities, and people of color) “Your membership are our customers. You give us customers & we donate to your NGOs.” (Kickbacks from capitalists? Nah, you not gonna get that. We don’t sell you our people.) “Solar is cheap because German factories are locked into making them, and now there’s too many in the market. Sure it causes some people to hurt, but it’s a nessisary sacrifice.” (I guess some people are loosing their jobs in green energy but there exploitation is needed right?) And my personal favorite, “There may or may not be slavery involved in silicone production but I haven’t seen it & even if there was, that’s a trade off I’m willing to make.” Just…what? This man just advocated for SLAVERY? REALLY? Not even a, “pretty sure no but we naturally want to use union workers, and we should make sure the jobs created are jobs with justice.” Nope. Room full of people, and advocating slavery & talking about China like it’s fully of stupid barbarians. Like there weren’t countries like, oh, America more than happy to exploit them until they’re in dire straits. So. This is what socialists look like during that talk. We’re basically flooding their twitter & trying to get the mic.

http://escla2013.wordpress.com/

Ecosocialist Conference, Los Angeles 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013 at the Mayme Clayton Library and Museum  from 10 am-8 pm.

Registration will begin at 9:00 am. Opening plenary will begin at 10 am.

For our current list of panel topics, click here.

If you agree with the Ecosocialist Statement and are interested in building, endorsing, or participating in this effort, please send us an email at ecosocialismla@gmail.com

Background:

This year marked the beginning of a new epoch in human history. For the first time since the Pliocine (2.6-5 million years ago), CO2 levels have reached 400 ppm. The implications of this are sobering, to say the least. The current manifestations of climate change disproportionately affect women, people of color, poor folks, and members of the “developing” world. The Democrats and Republicans are incapable of addressing this crisis. Only the self-activity and self-organization of the masses can bring about the necessary transformation needed to avert a climate catastrophe.

What defines social ecology as social is its recognition of the often-overlooked fact that nearly all our present ecological problems arise from deep-seated social problems. Conversely, our present ecological problems cannot be clearly understood, much less resolved, without resolutely dealing with problems within society.

-Murray Bookchin, Ecological Problems are Social Problems

The Ecosocialist Conference is a project of Left collaboration in Los Angeles.  Inspired by the rad organizing efforts of various Left groups/individuals on the east coast (for more background, see: this), members of the Los Angeles Socialist Party USA, Green Party, Democratic Socialists of America, International Socialist Organization, and Valley College Socialists are attempting to build a space for discussion, critical reflection, and future collaboration.

Any individuals or organizations seeking to endorse, build, or participate in the conference–please send an email to ecosocialismla@gmail.com.

As with so many other ecological challenges, the battle over the Keystone project shows that the climate justice movement has to confront not only a free-market system where the short-term interest of maximizing profits rules, but a political power structure that is warped by corporate influence. The Ecosocialist Conference to be held this weekend in New York City will be a forum for understanding why system change is needed to stop climate change—and discussing the steps needed to get there.
4

Povo! Vem aí a People’s Climate March, importantíssima mobilização da sociedade civil global, que irá tomar as ruas de dúzias de cidades ao redor do mundo em 21 de Setembro. É urgente e ultra necessário que se consiga realizar um evento que faça a diferença! 

Segundo os ecosocialistas da organização System Change Not Climate Change; the Ecosocialist Coalition, que conheci durante o Fórum Social 2014 (Canadá), as ruas durante a “Climate March” estarão botando a boca no trombone para exigir que os líderes mundiais se comprometam a tomar medidas drásticas para lutar contra a crise:

É preciso diminuir drasticamente as emissões de CO2, parar por completo o desflorestamento, a poluição ambiental, a obsessão com combustíveis fósseis, as práticas econômicas extrativistas e insustentáveis, a perseguição etnocida contra populações indígenas etc., antes que a Terra seja envolvida pelo Caos de catástrofes naturais seriais (secas, furacões, tsunamis etc.). 

Esta promete ser a maior mobilização global já realizada sobre a urgentíssima problemática da crise climática planetária que vivenciamos em nossos dias e que, se nada for feito, ameaça-nos com um futuro tenebroso - se não fizermos nada, e deixarmos a coisa rolar, “business as usual”, estaremos legando às futuras gerações um planeta “invivível”.

No Brasil, a marcha ocorrerá no Rio de Janeiro, 21/09, partindo de Ipanema. Espalhe, compareça, mobilize! A inação, a indiferença, o dar-de-ombros, são crimes contra Gaia. Faça nada e você estará fazendo o jogo de quem está serrando o galho onde a Humanidade está sentada… 

Confira algumas das últimas notícias sobre o Aquecimento Global: 

* SLATE - Why I’m a Climate Change Alarmist:http://slate.me/1s05eI3.

* VICE - Climate Change Has an Outrage Problem:http://bit.ly/1zV4Eyn.

* VOX - 7 reasons America will fail on climate change:http://bit.ly/1kxyNkK.

* MOTHER JONES - 5 Terrifying Facts From the Leaked UN Climate Report: http://bit.ly/1vT6nnl.

COMPARTILHAR NO FACEBOOK

On December 1, 2012, the Parti de Gauche (PdG, Left Party), organised a roundtable in Paris to discuss the ecosocialist project. This gave the opportunity to debate a new ecosocialist manifesto (Premier manifeste 18 thèses pour l’écosocialisme) around 18 themes. [PdG is a key part of the Front de Gauche, or Left Front (FdG), which is led by the PdeG’s Jean-Luc Melenchon.]

We now know that human emancipation cannot be achieved by never-ending growth: the ecosystem does not allow it. This forces us to reconsider our production and trading system, and generally speaking the entire social and political organisation. Under these circumstances, we propose ecosocialism as a new reading of our strategy for the future of humanity.

Ecosocialism implies the use of practical radicalism, environmental planning and a citizens’ revolution. Its means are based on a redistribution of wealth that would take into account environmental constraints, the rejection of all kinds of domination and oppression, and popular sovereignty within a democratic, republican and secular state.

Watch on losarchivosdeltaller.tumblr.com

35 Years Taller: Ness Villalobos & The Ecosocialists

The Ecosocialist Conference

Saturday, April 20th 2013 @ Barnard College (118th & Bway), New York City

Suggested donation: $5-20, no one turned away for lack of funds. Free childcare provided upon request. Please contact michaelware1205@gmail.com to reserve or for more info.

Registration opens at 9:30am. Opening plenary at 10am followed by three workshop sessions and a closing plenary from 6-7:30pm. Post-conference dinner and drinks (unfortunately not included) immediately afterward.

Download the 11″ x 17″ conference poster (pdf)

REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE ONLINE!

Conference Schedule and Speakers

9:30 – 10am: REGISTRATION

……………

10 – 11:30am: OPENING PLENARY

Why Capitalism Is Killing the Planet

Jill Stein, 2012 Green Party presidential candidate

Richard Smith, author and independent socialist

……………

11:30am – 1pm: WORKSHOP SESSION 1

1) Agriculture and food: sustainable or profitable?

  • Fred Magdoff, Monthly Review, author
  • Brian Tokar, Institute for Social Ecology, author and activist
  • Nancy Romer, Coordinator, Brooklyn Food Coalition
  • Dianne Rocheleau, agroecologist/geographer and author
2) Fossil Fuel Divestment: Student Power in the Climate Justice Movement

  • Joe Shortsleeve, Barnard Columbia Divest
  • Hannah Forrester, ISO Columbia, Barnard Columbia Divest
  • Belinda Rodriguez, NYU Divest, 350.org
3) Free of Tar Sands and Fracking

  • Cecile Lawrence, Green Party of New York State, social justice activist, author
  • John Riddell, author, Canadian anti-tar-sands activist
  • awaiting confirmation from additional speakers

……………

1 – 2:30pm: LUNCH

……………

2:30 – 4pm: WORKSHOP SESSION 2

1) The Fight for Indigenous Rights

  • Brian Ward, ISO DC
  • awaiting confirmation from additional speakers
2) Race, Gender and Environment Justice

  • Heather Kangas, ISO Baltimore
  • Abbie Bakan, author and activist
  • awaiting confirmation from additional speakers
3) Lessons from Super-storm Sandy

  • Peter Rugh, journalist, environmental activist
  • Nastaran Mohit, immigrant rights activist and Occupy Sandy Health Outreach coordinator
  • awaiting confirmation from additional speakers

……………

4:15 – 5:45pm: WORKSHOP SESSION 2

1) Natural Allies: The Labor & Climate Justice Movements

  • Jeremy Brecher environmental labor activist
  • Sean Sweeney, labor activist
  • Steve Downs, Solidarity, member of TWU Local 100
2) Carbon Taxes and Market Approaches: Can Capitalism Be Sustainable?

  • Daniel Piper, Socialist Action
  • Howie Hawkins, Solidarity, the Green Party of New York State
3) Both Red and Green: A History of the Green Left

  • Richard Greeman, ecosocialist author, teacher and activist
  • Josh, Deep Green Resistance NYC

……………

6 – 7:30pm: CLOSING PLENARY

What is EcoSocialism and How Do We Get There?

  • Chris Williams, ISO NYC, author of Ecology and Socialism
  • awaiting confirmation from additional speakers

……………

8pm – ??: Dinner and drinks to follow, location TBA

Please check back soon for updates.

To endorse and participate in conference planning, contact ecosocialistconference@gmail.com

Supporting Organizations

—–

The extreme weather of 2012 and recent news that climate change is worse than previously thought have made it a front-page issue again. The Obama campaign’s silence on the issue and worldwide government paralysis have added to activists’ frustration and fueled participation in 350.org’s historic February 17th demonstration and campus fossil fuel divestment campaigns. This has also opened the door to a more radical analysis of global warming and environmental destruction.

For a radicalizing and substantial fringe of people touched by the ideas of Occupy, an ongoing economic crisis and growing ecological crisis, they recognize that it’s not enough to limit your analysis to only fossil fuel corporations (though that’s a good start) or absolve politicians based on the lobbying power of those particular companies. And if that’s the case, then we need far bigger goals than just limiting their investment opportunities with college endowments (though again, it’s a good place to start). Ecosocialists must quickly offer a more holistic explanation that centers round the operation of capitalism and therefore helps to explain why Obama isn’t our ally and why we need an entirely different society.

Everything about the world is driving people toward a socialist critique of the ecological crisis and the need to form alliances with workers to take on the system, rather than Democrats and billionaires.

To that end, the Ecosocialist Contingent is hosting the Ecosocialist Conference on Saturday, April 20, 2013 in New York City. We are looking for groups who agree with the Ecosocialist Statement to endorse, build and participate. The conference, like the February 17th action, represents a move to a more collaborationist left. We hope this conference and this network of left groups and publications grow into something visible enough to attract thousands of new activists towards socialism and powerful enough to push the climate justice movement toward revolutionary conclusions.

This past Saturday, April 20th’s Ecosocialist Conference at Barnard College in NYC I would say was a massive success. Over 240 people showed up, when organizers would have be pleased if just 100 had, and 29 different socialist organizations, groups, parties and periodicals cosponsored the event. This is a massive step forward in rebuilding a stronger, more collaborative and more united far-left in an area of dire importance, environmental justice. There were some very minor issues – namely in areas of facilitation of speakers and talks and some other organizational problems for the conference – but for what this was, a big step forward in a number of different socialist organizations working together on a common event for the first time, I really can’t imagine how it could have been any better. Minor mistakes are to be expected, but in all this was a huge success and all the organizers should be incredibly proud of it.

In terms of the talks given, I think what we saw was a real cross-section snapshot of what the current state of ecosocialist thought is at the moment. We have a number of different socialist groups, organizations, parties and periodicals who have up until now, in whatever capacity they have been thinking about ecological-socialism, have been doing so largely parallel to each. For essentially the first time during the Conference we got to see where everyone is at and what we are all thinking. A lot of people have very interesting ideas, unique ways of phrasing and conceptualizing ecosocialism. But we also see that in a number of areas – specifically such as areas of gender, sexuality and race in regards to ecosocialism, along with the more scientific angle of how could we feasibly solve many of these environmental problems – our work up until now is still a little shallower and in need of further development. But that was the good thing about this conference, we got to see that all out in the open for the first time and are now able to carry on our theoretical developments from here and more collectively.

So that comes to that all important question, where do we go from here with this thing we have created. We started with a handful of groups coming together in a Ecosocialist Contingent at the Forward on Climate March. That was a huge success, so then it was thought we should have a Ecosocialist Conference. A far larger number of groups and individuals joined in on the work for this, and that was a massive success. An obvious next step is that we should try to replicate the success of the Ecosocialist Conference in other major U.S. cities such as San Francisco and Chicago, and see how that goes. But that is (relatively) easy at this point, the real question is not on just putting on a another ecosocialist conference (though we should) its about building up our ecosocialist praxis and activity.

Up until now we have had minor baby steps towards this direction of a more effective alliance and coalition between socialist groups, organizations and parties in this area of environmental work, with first the contingent then the conference. All of these different groups have a fair amount of political baggage and bad blood between us, so the fact that we haven’t descended into outright sectarianism as of yet and have built this working relationship is a huge accomplishment. So there is an argument, in my view, of taking the next big step for forming a closer alliance of ecosocialists in the US and beyond.

But this is not because of some grand notions of a great fusion or big tent organization of all of the socialist groups as of yet. Its rather related to a very key fact of the current political moment. All practice comes from theory and most be related to the needs of the current political situation. That present situation is that firstly the natural world is dying fast (and us with it) due to capitalism, and there is a severe urgency to stop that by any means necessary. The second big aspect of the current political moment is that there is now a very real environmental mass movement in this country and there is a pertinent need to relate to this movement as anti-capitalist ecosocialists.

There are millions of individuals in groups like 350.org or involved in movements to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, hydro-fraking, mountaintop removal and other pertinent ecological issues, who are angry and desperate in trying to save the planet, and we need to be all working together to relate to them. It is very easy to imagine a situation where this growing movement is brought under the total control of the Democratic Party, like so many others before it, and is then smothered by that corporate backed party. So it is all but certain at this point that Obama will approve the Keystone XL pipeline. We need to be in the environmental movements as ecosocialists right now making arguments in a non-sectarian way for independence from the Democrats, and warnings about this impending betrayal of Obama. So that the moment when he does approve the last leg of the pipeline the immediate reaction of the movement isn’t to give up, but to explode and fight back.

Collaborating together closely in a loose alliance or as a tighter coalition, and combining our efforts as ecosocialists could be a huge help in this work to help push the environmental movement forward and to the left, to a more anti-capitalist direction. But those are just my thoughts on the matter. The devil will always be the detail in stuff like this. But the time to have such discussions about what it is that we want from this Ecosocialist Contingent and Conference is now. Check the website to learn more: http://ecologicalsocialists.com/

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