CLIMATE CHANGE provides space for lengthy pieces which elaborate IMAGINATIVE ACTION

 

NEW YEAR 2021

Dear Readers,

A call to every one of us, to WAKE-Up, has been The Imagination Acts’ CALL.

Our part in the global call is timely.

THE CRISIS of our time is not the Covid Virus. It is Climate Change.

And it is a stupefying phenomena that the former completely overshadows the latter…in an alarming totalitarian form of “power- over” injunctions.

Anne and Sally are having hopping up- and- down planning wails, as we commit ourselves to firming- up the website’s vision for its role in solidarity with (we trust) myriad voices challenging the Climate Change white-wash in the dominant media.

 

UN CLIMATE CHANGE COP 26

The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow on 1 – 12 November 2021.  The climate talks will bring together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change.

SEE HERE – UK Government – COP 26

 SEE HERE –  UK COP 26 website – Together for our planet

 Sign up for UK’s COP’s newsletter

 

******************************************************

”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  Margaret Mead 

******************************************************

Dizzying pace of Biden’s climate action sounds death knell for era of denialism

 

Joe Biden speaks about the climate crisis in the State Dining Room of the White House on Wednesday. Photograph: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Analysis: The new president has framed the challenge of global heating as an opportunity for US jobs, saying: ‘We have to be bold’

The vision laid out in the actions signed by Biden on Wednesday, however, was transformative. A pathway for oil and gas drilling to be banned from public lands. A third of America’s land and ocean protected. The government ditching the combustion engine from its entire vehicle fleet, offering up a future where battery-powered trucks deliver America’s mail and electric tanks are operated by the US military.

The dizzying list of actions demonstrated the breadth and depth of the climate crisis. Biden’s administration will spur new climate-friendly policies for farmers while also devoting resources to the urban communities, typically low-income people of color, disproportionally blighted by pollution from nearby highways and power plants. In all, 21 federal agencies will be part of a new, overarching climate body. “This isn’t time for small measures,” Biden said. “We need to be bold.”

The first 10 days of Biden’s presidency have represented a startling handbrake turn from Donald Trump’s term, where climate science was routinely disparaged or sidelined and policies to cut planet-heating emissions were jettisoned. A complete rewiring of the economy is now needed to avert what the president calls an “existential threat” to civilization. US emissions dropped by about 10% last year but only because of pandemic shutdowns, and similar cuts will be required each year. “We can’t wait any longer – we see it with our own eyes, we feel it in our bones,” Biden implored.

“It truly is a new day for climate action,” said Carol Browner, former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Bill Clinton. “President Joe Biden is taking unprecedented actions and sending an unmistakable message to the world that the United States is back and serious about tackling the climate crisis.”

READ HERE – Joe Biden – Climate Change action

Oliver Milman  @olliemilman     Sat 30 Jan 2021

******************************************************

MPs pile on the pressure: Bank of England must do more on climate action – reports Positive Money

 

A cross-party group of MPs agree with Positive Money’s recommendations: the Bank of England missed a vital opportunity to green their corporate bailout scheme, and must do more to prevent further climate breakdown. 

Our work to improve the Bank of England’s green credentials have been given extra clout with new support from Parliament’s Environment Audit Committee (EAC). This week they wrote to the Bank’s Governor Andrew Bailey to highlight the failures of their corporate bailout scheme and demand greater action to tackle the climate emergency.

While the EAC commended the Bank for its leadership on climate risk disclosure, this cross-party group of MPs agreed that more work is needed to ensure its future actions promote the UKs economic recovery whilst reducing our contribution to climate breakdown. The committee’s bold move, alongside our efforts to push them towards this course of action, caught media attention with coverage from BBC, FT, Guardian, Times, Yahoo Finance and Business Green.

READ HERE – Positive Money – Bank of  England must do more on climate action

January 26, 2021

******************************************************

In conversation with Tim Mead –  podcast from Sustainable Food Trust

 

In this week’s podcast, Patrick talks to Tim Mead, founder and CEO of Yeo Valley – the UK’s largestorganic dairy brand, based just outside of Bristol, at Holt Farm. As well as manufacturing organic dairy products, the family farm in Somerset farms a regenerative organic mixed farming system with two dairy herds along with beef and sheep spanning 2,000 acres.

During the conversation, Tim shares some of the changes that the dairy industry has faced over the past few decades and the affects these change have had on smaller farms. However, by strengthening the market for organic dairy, he hopes to encourage more environmentally sustainable and financially viable farming methods, on a wider scale.

They discuss the topic of soil carbon, which Tim has been carefully studying on his own farm. ‘The potential for soil to store carbon is immense’, Tim explains, pointing out that it can store three times more carbon than plants and trees combined. The implications of his analysis indicate that by looking after the soil, regenerative farmers have a unique opportunity to sequester carbon from the air and store it in the ground. These farming methods are paving the way for a new narrative around livestock – one which works in harmony with nature, rather than against it.

 

 

******************************************************

Precarity, populism, and prospects for a green democratic transformation – Open Democracy

 

Green is in. The European Commission, that infamously undemocratic executive arm of the European Union has made the European Green Deal its flagship policy, which comes at the back of a renewed commitment to ‘social Europe’ with the inauguration of the European Pillar of Social Rights in 2017.

Most recently, Chantal Mouffe has urged the Left to rally around a Green democratic transformation, along the lines of the Green New Deal policy project advanced by the radical wing of the US Democratic party. This indicates the emergence of a broad societal consensus for an epochal paradigm shift, akin to the shifts that enabled the post-WWII welfare state and that of neoliberal capitalism in the late twentieth century.

 

 

READ HERE – Open Democracy – Green democratic transformation

18 January 2021

******************************************************

UN global climate poll: ‘The people’s voice is clear – they want action’

 

The survey shows people across the world support climate action and gives politicians a clear mandate to take the major action needed, according to the UN organisation that carried out the poll.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) questioned 1.2 million people in 50 countries, many of them young.

While younger people showed the greatest concern, with 69% of those aged 14-18 saying there is a climate emergency, 58% of those over 60 agreed, suggesting there is not a huge generational divide.

 

Even when climate action required significant changes in their own country, majorities still backed the measures.

In nations where fossil fuels are a major source of emissions, people strongly supported renewable energy, including the US (65% in favour), Australia (76%) and Russia (51%).

READ HERE – Global Climate poll- ‘Peoples’ voice is clear : they want action’

******************************************************

Plastic petition by UK nine-year-old gains over 70k signatures in under a week

 

A container shipped from Britain is inspected in Brazil. The contents, improperly labeled as recyclable plastic, were household waste, and the container was among 41 returned to the UK. Photograph: Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty

After studying how microplastics damage the oceans, schoolgirl Lizzie wants the government to stop sending waste to developing countries

A petition by a nine-year-old schoolgirl calling on Boris Johnson to stop shipments of plastic waste to developing countries has received more than 70,000 signatures in less than a week.

Lizzie A*, who is studying plastic pollution in year 4, said she began the petition because sending Britain’s unsorted plastic waste to poorer nations is “unfair” and wrong. She took action last week after her mother, Esther, showed her a piece in the Guardian’s Seascape series, revealing the UK will continue to ship plastic waste to developing countries despite an EU ban on the practice from this month.

Lizzie, who wants to be a marine biologist or ecologist, said: “At school, we’ve learned about how plastic damages the environment and what happens

Lizzie A’s petition is calling on Boris Johnson to stop shipments of plastic waste to developing countries.

to it over many years. It breaks down into microplastics and they harm marine life. I’m passionate about the ocean and I was upset at how plastic ends up in the ocean because of the exports.”

Waste that cannot be recycled usually ends up being illegally burned or dumped in landfills or waterways, from where it finds its way into the ocean.

She was particularly upset, she said, after learning that the practice will continue, albeit under new regulations, despite a Tory party manifesto promise to stop the shipment of unsorted plastic waste to non-OECD countries.

“I was very surprised about how Boris Johnson made a promise and he hasn’t done what he said,” she said. “We’re really lazy in not dealing with our own plastic ourselves. It’s a large amount of plastic. It’s 300 tonnes of plastic every day. When we send it to communities that can’t deal with it they burn it and lot of the smoke gets in the air and that can harm people.”

 

 

******************************************************

Indigenous people against the maredera industry – Maró Indigenous Territory

Ednei: This Is Maró Indigenous Land

 

 

Ednei, a young indigenous man, poses for a portrait on the tracks of wooden trucks that pass through the limit of his territory. Right-. remains of 26 trees felled by an illegal logger in Maró Indigenous Territory, seized by the surveillance group of which Ednei is a member.

An old boat engine, a Brazilian-made two-cylinder Diesel Yanmar, on a truck chassis, a few welded steel plates, and a solid wooden rear box make up a precarious looking vehicle, but powerful in all its simplicity.

The four Borarí and Arapiun indigenous communities in Maró Indigenous Land (TI Maró) have been using it for over a year now. On it they can cover the entire perimeter of their territory in just a few days. On foot, as has they had been doing since the beginning, it takes much longer – about two weeks.

The Borarí indigenous group came only recently to this remote territory, in which the Arapiun had been living for centuries. They were fleeing poverty from Alter do Chao, a predominantly Borarí land, about 30 kilometers to the west of Santarém, the capital city of the Lower Tapajós, in the Brazilian Pará. They went along the Arapiuns River right up to its headwaters and, from there, they followed the course of the small Maró River, which gives the territory its name.

The group is rather small, about 300 people spread over 3 villages: Novo Lugar, Cachoeira do Maró, and

Sao José. But the territory is relatively large: some 42.000 hectares of primary forest – that is, intact, never cut-down Amazonian forest.

To an inexperienced observer, the whole Amazonian forest may look the same, but there is a fundamental difference between a virgin forest such as this and a forest which has been exploited. In the first phase of logging, the trees that hold the most valuable tropical timber – quoted in international markets – are felled.

Vigilantes of the Maró Indigenous Territory during their regular tour to prevent the presence of illegal loggers

The second phase consists in exploiting the remaining wood. And the third and last phase is the total elimination of vegetation, generally for purposes related to industrial agriculture or extensive livestock farming. Even though the jungle can recover in due course the space that has been destroyed, the original biodiversity is extinguished forever.

In Brazil, the devastating advance of illegal deforestation seems unstoppable. But communities like the Maró are resisting, and their very presence has come to be a guarantee of conservation – not without having to overcome many difficulties, and mobilizing against aggression. But with Bolsonaro coming to power in January of this year things are changing very rapidly.

This new reality means that an even greater threat is now looming: the threat posed by those who feel protected by the president’s aggressive discourse against the indigenous peoples and the Amazon as a whole. Many of Bolsonaro’s followers believe that they can finally do exactly what they please, taking atface value Bolsonaro’s assertion that the natives are an “obstacle to agro-industry”.

Bolsonaro got elected on the strength of his racist discourse, his attacks on minorities, blacks and indigenous peoples, all of whom, he said, should be “integrated” into the dystopian, uniform, “productive” Brazil that he envisions.

The idea that indigenous territories must be preserved, their lands dermarcated and their rights respected is now over – even though it is enshrined in the Brazilian constitution.

Aerial view of the Maró Indigenous Territory

Bolsonaro puts in the same basket environmentalists and human rights and civil rights activists. In his

famous fake homemade video campaign speech in the backyard of his house, he made his intentions clear: “either they go away, or they go to jail”.

We were able to see for ourselves to what extent some people do feel protected by Bolsonaro’s discourse and encouraged to act on their own on our trip to the hinterland of the Maró territory. Driven by Dadá Borarí – the second cacique of the territory, whose great uncle is the first -, the improvised vehicle took us along the road that marks the perimeter of the indigenous territory, a road hindered by obstacles and dangers which the vigilantes face, however, with enthusiasm and resolve.

Ever since the loggers’ incursions into their territory became more aggressive a few years ago, and following the recommendation of the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI – the public body in charge of the indigenous peoples of Brazil), a group of men elected by the villages have organized themselves as a

vigilante unit to watch over the territory. They go around its perimeter regularly, in rounds that usually last about ten days.

Indigenous people of the Borari and Arapiun ethnic groups during the monthly inspection of the territory to prevent the presence of illegal loggers.

These experienced men, who have grown up here and know the jungle well, inch by inch, recently included in the group Ednei, a young Arapiun from Cachoeira do Maró, the village next to Novo Lugar, who had also recently been elected coordinator of the Tapajós-Arapiuns Indigenous Council (CITA), which represents 45 villages where 13 different indigenous peoples live in the Lower Tapajós, the Arapiuns River, the Maró River and the Santareno Planalto.

Ednei, who has just turned twenty, is a man of few words but great resolve. He has a clear sense of what the role he has been assigned involves and is determined to carry it through with all the courage of his youth.

Incorporating young people to the vigilante group is key to the continuity of its mission. It is essential

that young people acquire the necessary knowledge and experience for the defense of a territory which finds itself under pressure from a hostile and greedy environment that seeks to extract its many riches.

The pressure comes, most of all, from the loggers operating in the region and from poachers too, who come to steal wood or hunt down the rich fauna that is part of the villages’ livelihood.

The latter are, quite often, people from neighboring lands who sold their forests and are now impoverished and have no other option but to try to get some food from the Maró Indigenous Land, which is still intact.

Apolonildo poses on the 26 logs that were seized from an illegal logging company that operated in their territory

The surveillance rounds are lengthy and conditions in the jungle hard, but the beliefs of these natives provide them with both the necessary wisdom and courage to ensure the success of their expeditions. The Indigenous Land Maró, says Dadá, in addition to providing sustenance, hosts sacred places, fresh water

sources (known as igarapés) that flow into the Maró river, herbs and medicinal plants and, above all, it is the place where Curupira dwells.

The concept of Curupira can possibly be translated as “the protective spirit of the jungle”- although its meaning for the natives is much deeper, and enigmatic. As a sacred entity, its magical powers ultimately determine what ends up happening to those who get into the jungle. The mission that the indigenous people have is to respect and protect the jungle and, in so doing, they respect and protect themselves.

Learning to defend the land is one of the important challenges that young Ednei, who is also in his first year at the University of Santarém (a half-day trip by boat from the village) studying climate science, has to face.

Led by Dadá, we go into the jungle with Ednei and the Maró IT group of vigilantes for a reconnaissance round. On route we find the remains of stolen wood – 26 large, already numbered valuable tree trunks –

A large tonnage truck transports wood through a border road with the Maró Indigenous Territory.

which a logging company could not finish removing because it went bankrupt: a sad cemetery of trees which were felled before the territory managed to get its demarcation as indigenous land protected by law.

 

 

 

This new generation, already raised and educated in self-affirmation, is beginning to make use of the tools of activism in order to fight for its rights – hopefully, with the necessary efficiency to resist what is to

come.

Ednei and his people know, as do so many other Brazilian indigenous communities which have survived genocidal waves, that the mere fact of existing is resisting.

Too many things however depend on us looking the other the other way.

 

Indigenous people from the Arapiun and Borarí groups pose in front of the house built by a logger on indigenous land with a hand-painted sign: “Here is Maró Indigenous Territory”. .

Ednei points out threatening messages written by the logger who built the house in the Maró Indigenous Territory: “Indian thief. Do not enter. Cursed Thief. Go steal from hell. ” And the name of the current president of Brazil, misspelled: “Bonsonaro”.


Members of the vigilante group that protects indigenous Maró territory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

READ HERE – Pulitzer Center  : Ednei  Maro Indigenous Land

SEE PHOTOS HERE

Images by Pablo Albarenga. Brazil, 2019. 

 

******************************************************

 

PREVIOUS CLIMATE CHANGE

May 2019

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE

The Red Thread Project

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE

Places of Belonging

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE

Equality Teaching

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE –

Tales of Constancy

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE –

Doing nothing is not an option

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE –

War Horse

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE –

Permaculture

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE –

Friend’s Tales

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE –

From Holyhead to Hollywood
– the journey of Graham Wyn Jones :
Storyboard Artist

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE –

Shoulder to Shoulder: With Victims

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE –

The Lighthouse Story

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE –

The beginning of “Wells for India’

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE –

I Paint

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE –

The Circle Works – Celebrating 30 Years

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE –

Alert Ascot

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE –

Ascent Festival

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE –

Aching and yearning for the wild: The experience of children in the garden

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE –
Just Walk to Jerusalem

Click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE – ‘The NHS Crisis or Opportunity’

click here to read more

PREVIOUS TALE – ‘Take Two’

click here to read more