November 11, 2016
Dear SCI Activists,
This past week saw many developments which challenge our global struggle towards building a culture of peace. Donald Trump
will be the only world leader who doubts the reality of climate change
and he will be leading the world's second-largest greenhouse gas emitter. Dakota Access Pipeline
construction is supposed to be continued, despite mass protests and the request from the US government to delay the works. Fortunately the world does not end there
and you can still find examples of amazing and inspiring solutions being introduced in different parts of the planet. Lift your spirit by learning how even small change to soil management can make a huge difference to the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere
- something volunteers can contribute to as well!
And remember, as Martin Luther King Jr. said: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
Let’s be motivated by these obstacles which are put in front of us as a reminder that there is always more contribution we can make towards our common vision!
Climate negotiations and US elections
A globalized world comes with many consequences - one of them being that election results in one country can influence global politics. In his presidential campaign, the next president of the United States made racist and sexist remarks and continued to deny climate change. That last feature is extremely relevant, as the 22nd session of global climate negotiations started last monday in Morocco and in his campaign Trump said he would “cancel” the Paris Agreement, which just entered into force one week ago.
Negotiators in COP22 are very cautious about the future, but at the same time they are hoping that Trump’s extreme populism will not turn into actual policies. It would be legally very difficult for the US to back out of the international pact, however it might be more than enough to stall progress, which is more and more urgent with every passing day. Hopefully the economic opportunities and global rise of the renewable energy sources will prevail over Trump’s campaign promises (“Trump Can't Stop the Energy Revolution”, Bloomberg
). “Trump Victory in Presidential Race Stuns Climate World” (Inside Climate News)
The election results were immediately followed by calls to action coming from 350.org
, Post Carbon Institute
, Climate Reality Project
and other US-based and international organizations. This shift is a huge setback, but at the same time it can be transformed into even stronger civil society action. For each and every one of us globally, it poses a big question: what can we, as SCI activists, do to counteract the spread of a culture of hate and detachment from one another? Have your eyes open and remember, our “Deeds and Words” are building the world we want to see!
Resistance to Dakota Access Pipeline
The Dakota Access pipeline construction operator, Energy Transfer Partners, chose the day of the US presidential election to announce that the final phase of its controversial construction project will begin in two weeks – marking a bold escalation in its response to the Native American protests. The company said it would not halt construction, despite requests by federal agencies to delay the project as the US government reassesses permits and considers possible reroutes. The construction company is still waiting on two construction permits to start the process of drilling underneath the Missouri river. “Dakota pipeline operator to defy Obama and push on with final phase of drilling” (The Guardian)
Remember how Bill McKibben pointed to the Dakota Access Pipeline investors as the right place to put pressure and attempt to stop the project (Resilience.org)
? Well, a Norwegian bank, DNB, issued a statement on their website and here is a part of it:
"DNB is concerned about how the situation surrounding the oil pipeline in North Dakota has developed. The bank will therefore use its position as lender to the project to encourage a more constructive process to find solutions to the conflict that has arisen. If these initiatives do not provide DNB with the necessary comfort, DNB will evaluate its further participation in the financing of the project." If the bank pulls out, the project would face serious financial shortages. (“Norway's Biggest Bank Is 'Reconsidering Its Participation' in Funding the Dakota Access Pipeline”, EcoWatch
And yes, Trump’s victory is a game changer for Dakota Access protesters and might even mean re-opening of the Keystone XL project. “Trump victory a new challenge for Dakota pipeline protesters” (Reuters)
This space can be yours, too!
Too much bad news already? We’ll be more than happy to publish updates from your amazing workcamps and projects here! Send your texts or ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s make it more inspiring together.
The solution right under our feet
Pulling greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere may actually be significantly easier than reducing emissions. According to a steadily increasing number of studies, it turns out we can blow by the goal of slowing climate change and actually reverse it. While we’ve all been looking to the atmosphere and the amounts of CO2 we emit into it for the answer, the solution itself may be right under our feet. In the dirt.
Anywhere from one-third to one-half of manmade CO2 in the atmosphere comes from industrial agriculture. That’s more than all the emissions from the burning of fossil fuels worldwide. Transforming even a small part of industrial agriculture land to healthier, regenerative methods can lead to sequestering more than 100% of current CO2 emissions in just three years. Just think about all the SCI workcamps in eco farms and community gardens happening already! “Nature Wants Her Carbon Back” (The Huffington Post)