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Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General, your excellencies, ladies and gentleman, and distinguished guests.

I’m honored to be here today, I stand before you not as an expert but as a concerned citizen, one of the 400,000 people who marched in the streets of New York on Sunday, and the billions of others around the world who want to solve our climate crisis.

As an actor I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems.

I believe humankind has looked at Climate Change in that same way: as if it were a fiction, happening to someone else’s planet, as if pretending that Climate Change wasn’t real would somehow make it go away.

But I think we know better than that. Every week
, we’re seeing new and undeniable Climate Events, evidence that accelerated Climate Change is here now. We know that droughts are intensifying, our oceans are warming and acidifying, with methane plumes rising up from beneath the ocean floor. We are seeing extreme weather events, increased temperatures, and the West Antarctic and Greenland ice-sheets melting at unprecedented rates, decades ahead of scientific projections.

None of this is rhetoric, and none of it is hysteria. It is fact. The scientific community knows it, Industry and Governments know it, even the United States military knows it. The Chief of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear, recently said that Climate Change is our single greatest security threat.

My Friends, this body - perhaps more than any other gathering in human history - now faces that difficult task. You can make history…or be vilified by it.

To be clear, this is not about just telling people to change their light bulbs or to buy a hybrid car. This disaster has grown BEYOND the choices that individuals make. This is now about our industries, and governments around the world taking decisive, large-scale action.

I am not a scientist, but I don’t need to be. Because the world’s scientific community has spoken, and they have given us our prognosis, if we do not act together, we will surely perish.

Now is our moment for action.

We need to put a price tag on carbon emissions, and eliminate government subsidies for coal, gas, and oil companies. We need to end the free ride that industrial polluters have been given in the name of a free-market economy, they don’t deserve our tax dollars, they deserve our scrutiny. For the economy itself will die if our eco-systems collapse.

The good news is that renewable energy is not only achievable but good economic policy. New research shows that by 2050 clean, renewable energy could supply 100% of the world’s energy needs using EXISTING TECHNOLOGIES, and it would create millions of jobs.

This is not a partisan debate; it is a human one. Clean air and water, and a livable climate are inalienable human rights. And solving this crisis is not a question of politics. It is our moral obligation - if, admittedly, a daunting one.

We only get one planet. Humankind must become accountable on a massive scale for the wanton destruction of our collective home. Protecting our future on this planet depends on the conscious evolution of our species.

This is the most urgent of times, and the most urgent of messages.
Honored delegates, leaders of the world, I pretend for a living.

But you do not.

The people made their voices heard on Sunday around the world and the momentum will not stop. And now it’s YOUR turn, the time to answer the greatest challenge of our existence on this planet… is now.

I beg you to face it with courage. And honesty. Thank you.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Addressing the 2014 U.N. Climate Change Summit. DiCaprio was recently named U.N. Messenger of Peace by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who participated in NYC’s Climate March on September 21, which brought in over 400,000 people.

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Our lovely blue planet, the Earth, is the only home we know. Venus is too hot. Mars is too cold. But the Earth is just right, a heaven for humans. After all, we evolved here. But our congenial climate may be unstable. We are perturbing our poor planet in serious and contradictory ways. Is there any danger of driving the environment of the Earth toward the planetary Hell of Venus or the global ice age of Mars? The simple answer is that nobody knows. The study of the global climate, the comparison of the Earth with other worlds, are subjects in their earliest stages of development. They are fields that are poorly and grudgingly funded. In our ignorance, we continue to push and pull, to pollute the atmosphere and brighten the land, oblivious of the fact that the long-term consequences are largely unknown. A few million years ago, when human beings first evolved on Earth, it was already a middle-aged world, 4.6 billion years along from the catastrophes and impetuosities of its youth. But we humans now represent a new and perhaps decisive factor. Our intelligence and our technology have given us the power to affect the climate. How will we use this power? Are we willing to tolerate ignorance and complacency in matters that affect the entire human family? Do we value short-term advantages above the welfare of the Earth? Or will we think on longer time scales, with concern for our children and our grandchildren, to understand and protect the complex life-support systems of our planet? The Earth is a tiny and fragile world. It needs to be cherished.
— Carl Sagan, Cosmos (1980)

Read it all. And keep in mind, as we move forward with our lives beyond this important (and hopefully historic) moment in our developing history, that Carl would have not only been right alongside those protesting around the world for global climate action, he would have most certainly been one of the key featured speakers at the 2014 U.N. Climate Summit.

For my Econ class I have to interview 15 people on which economic goal they think is most important. Can you guys tell me which you think is and why? Also give your name please, and I'll promote you!!
  • Freedom:ability to make our own economic decisions without interference from the government.
  • Efficiency:Ability to make the most out of society's resources, allowing consumers to get what they want with the least amount of waste.
  • Equity:Fair and just distribution of society's wealth
  • Growth:Produces more and better services because over time it leads to a better standard of living.
  • Security:Society seeks to provide it's less fortunate members with the support they need in terms of food, shelter, and healthcare to live decently.
  • Stability:Society strives to decrease uncertainty and attempts to ensure that the goods and services we rely on are there when we need them.
Lesson learned: Canadian Government & Rights

I learned last night that other than the census you are not legally obligated to participate in any other survery issued by the government. 

I didn’t know.

A lady came to our house with her badge and all the documents with government insignia and said that I was required to participate in this government survey. She said a letter had been delivered to our house. I didn’t have the letter and figured one of my roommates had picked it up. [Afterwards one of them told me the chances are high that they read it, ripped it up and threw it out]. She entered our house and began asking me a battery of questions regarding my personal life/work/housing. 

Following which I went to go get my other roommate who was home and said “It’s your turn”
Him: “Tell her I do not wish to participate”
Me: “You can tell her yourself”

….I didn’t want his aggressive bullshit. All I wanted was this invasive stranger out of my house. I was in the middle of making dinner.

He proceeded to argue with her that it was against the Canadian Statistics Act for her to demand personal information on behalf of the government if it was not legally required. That if it is not a part of the census then it is not required. She disagreed and then said that she would leave the head office number and he could talk to them.

She ended with “All four residents in this house must complete the survey or call head office. Otherwise I will continue to return until the survey is completed.

So basically it means that my personal space is going to be encroached upon until my three other roommates do their end by either saying they will not participate or answer the questions. It makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable and in a way violated.

The reason why I’m telling you this is so you know that it is important to know your rights. You do not have to devulge any information to the government unless it is legally required. You are allowed to deny government workers from entering your home. Unless they hold a warrant to search the property, for arrest, or any legal documents which allow them to enter. Otherwise you can ask them to leave a phone number/contact information for head office to discuss your participation. 

Know your rights. No matter where you live in the world. Know your rights.

~ Va-J-J 

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Not like anyone needs a reason to share this video anytime, but in the wake of the 2014 UN Climate Summit, this segment by John Oliver (featuring Bill Nye) perfectly communicates one of the major factors in the United States’ science illiteracy problem….communication of science itself.

Watch, laugh, then realize that this is hardly humorous. Our future is being throttled at the helm of capitalism and the corrupt industries who rely on climate change denial think-tanks which have PR departments whose 9am-5pm grind focuses on taking advantage of others’ ignorance.

Have a chuckle, because we all need a laugh, but share this and pay it forward, because there are far too many people still relying on mainstream media as their primary source of information and education.

A Pennsylvania lawmaker is renewing his efforts to pass an LGBT-inclusive hate crime law in the wake of a brutal attack on a same-sex couple earlier this month. State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia) tells Philly.com he plans to push to get his bill passed as early as Tuesday…

Venezuela: Dangerous Inertia

Caracas/Bogotá/Brussels  |   23 Sep 2014

The end of street protests does not mean the end of Venezuela’s crisis. Rising economic problems and unaddressed political demands could lead to renewed violence and threaten national stability.

Violent protests on Venezuela’s streets have calmed down, but the government’s perceived victory over the opposition belies simmering political dissent. Opposition demands, such as to restore independence to the justice system and other key institutions, have not been heeded. Most of the killings during the protests remain unsolved. The economic recession and a critical shortage of basic goods, including food and medicines, require urgent action, which the government delays. Internal dissent on both sides has also contributed to a reluctance to resume the negotiations that stalled in May. The International Crisis Group’s latest briefing, Venezuela: Dangerous Inertia, outlines ways to address the root causes of the crisis that, if left to fester, might well worsen, with repercussions beyond Venezuela.

The briefing’s major findings and recommendations are:

  • Any solution to Venezuela’s long political crisis must go hand in hand with the development of autonomous rule-of-law institutions capable of applying the law impartially. The government and opposition must therefore agree on a viable timeframe and trustworthy mechanism to appoint new members of the Supreme Court, the National Electoral Council and other key institutions.
  • The international community should supervise and assist in this process to validate the integrity of the selection of personnel and to ensure that civil society actors, free from political pressures, participate in the selection as provided for by the constitution. The opposition clearly requires an impartial observer able to offer reassurances, while the government would benefit by bringing in credible external actors to bolster it in some of the difficult decisions it faces.
  • The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) seems best placed to play this role, but as a relatively young organisation it might benefit, itself, from support. Other actors, like the UN, should, where needed, offer technical and political assistance. This might initially focus on, for example, reinforcing the capacity of UNASUR to produce analysis and policy recommendations and helping to design a credible framework for talks.
  • UNASUR and the international community should likewise promote a return to negotiations and support calls for a release of those detained for non-violent political protest.

“The roadmap for addressing the crisis does not need to be drafted from scratch, it is available in the constitution” says Javier Ciurlizza, Latin America Program Director. “Venezuela’s neighbours and the broader international community have a crucial role in bringing both sides back to the negotiation table and reforming Venezuela’s political system. If they don’t succeed, the quiet on Venezuela’s streets might be the calm before the next storm”.

FULL BRIEFING 

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