System Change, Not Climate Change: Monthly Climate Crisis News Roundup


Some things change, some things don’t.  Yet.  Slowly, but steadily, the impact of global warming is becoming so visible and understandable that masses of people are recognizing a problem exists.  But as  entire countries and populations experience unending devastations, capitalist governments such as Australia, India, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the U.S. and China plan to increase fossil fuels by 120 percent by 2030.  Heads in the sand; palms in the till.

See it before it vanishes, comfortably. National Geographic is offering “expeditions” to “treasured places” in order to fund the Society’s efforts to create “more opportunities to work toward a planet in balance;” translation, please.  The pain of travel we are told will be assuaged by a specially-outfitted luxury jet, a gourmet chef overseeing meal and wine offerings, a selection of “handpicked lodges,” and a private physician in attendance. Prices range from $78,945 for double occupancy to $92,595.

We also heard an arc was being built next door.  In New Orleans, at the inspiration of nuns whose convent was badly damaged in Hurricane Katrina, the grounds will become a 25-acre urban wetland, one of the largest in the United States. The Mirabeau Water Garden will have the capacity to intercept, store and slowly release almost 10 million gallons of stormwater runoff from the surrounding neighborhood, thus preventing storm drains from becoming overwhelmed during climate-induced super-storms.  Should we pray that this will help, or just get on the boat?

Signs of the Times, Part 2.  In Peshawar, Pakistan, one climate protestor’s sign lamented: “Snow is melting.  The earth is crying,” while in Lausanne, Switzerland, a sympathizer with the plight of Australia’s climate crisis publicized her admonishment: “Wake Up and Smell the Bush Fires!”

Hey friend, can you spare a billion or two for climate?  Since 2016, immediately following the Paris Agreement’s adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.  The top four banks that invested most heavily in fossil fuel projects are all based in the U.S., and include JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America.  JPMorgan led the pack with a whopping $196 billion poured into fossil fuels between 2016 and 2018.

Solar panels are popping out all over. Greenpeace climate activists in London temporarily shut down British Petroleum (BP) headquarters. It seems 100 or so folks blocked entrances to the building by installing 500 solar panels in front of the doors and chaining themselves to oil barrels. Not at all appreciative of the suggestion that BP actions are contributing to climate change, company executives had a number of the demonstrators arrested.

Has the military been informed?  The Mayor of New York has announced the City’s intent to stop all new fossil fuel projects within and serving the city as part of a planned switch to renewable sources. Such action on the part of the largest city in the U.S. will lead the way for many other cities to follow suit, climate experts maintain. It is not known for sure if the U.S. Military, the largest single user of fossil fuels in the world, has requested copies of the Mayor’s memo.

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[Editor’s note: We reprint this article by the Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM). In 1989, the Bastille Appeal was launched, inviting popular movements throughout the world to unite in demanding the immediate and unconditional cancellation of the debt of the so-called developing countries. This crushing debt, along with neo-liberal macro-economic reforms imposed on the global South, has led to an explosion of worldwide inequality, mass poverty, flagrant injustice and the destruction of the environment.


CLIMATE CRISIS STRIKES PAKISTAN — To aid the millions of Pakistanis suffering from the catastrophic floods: send donations through ESSF (Europe solidaire sans frontières)