December 3, 2019
The news is full these past few weeks of dire warnings of the fragile state of an increasingly unstable climate. And of various shell games being played by corporations with much to lose if we all come to our senses and opt not to be driven over the cliff of climate crisis.
But first the news.

But First, News Of a Revolution at The Banner

Yogi Berra famously said of a restaurant in New York, “Nobody eats there any more. The food’s lousy and the portions are too small.” We’ve had the inverse criticism about this publication. The news is valuable but there is too much of it for many to even consider reading at all. So, at long last, the editor has been persuaded to make a revolutionary change.

This is a trial of a new format, featuring smaller news items with just a few lines to tempt you, if you have time, to go to the full article online. And a Table of Contents showing the major ‘sections’ of the news covered, so you can go to articles about specific sections. The first section will always be Activist News from the Northeast, Eastern Seaboard, around the nation and across the world.

Each article will be followed by a link “Back to the Top” which will take you back to the Table of Contents. The various sections’ articles will be interspersed with articles from other sections, not all in a block, to entice you into unexpected interests.

We will be very interested in how this new format suits our readers, so please email editor@thebanner.news with kudos, rotten tomatoes, “what took you so long??” etc. And now the news!…


Table of contents


Activist Alerts & News
Hungry for Change

The Extinction Rebellion Global Hunger Strike has come to a close. After 4 days of occupying Nancy Pelosi’s office on hunger strike and 9 arrests, most of the XRDC hunger strikers have ended their fast. But two brave strikers have vowed not to eat until Pelosi agrees to meet with them. We are deeply grateful for their courage and sacrifice.

As always, there’s still much to be done. There are two major actions coming up over the next few weeks.

On Friday, December 6, in addition to supporting the Shutdown DC coalition at the Fire Drill Fridays Rally, Extinction Rebellion DC will be participating in a morning rush hour disruption around the UN World Bank Complex. We will attempt to bring business-as-usual to a standstill while calling on the World Bank and IMF to end their financial support for fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure.

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/444350316474581/

We are also taking this action in solidarity with Extinction Rebellion activists from Europe, who will be protesting at the COP25 UN Climate Conference in Madrid, which is taking place from December 2-13. We add our voices to the global movement demanding that our world leaders adopt legally binding commitments to limit global heating to 1.5°C.

On December 6, we will be meeting at 730am at University Yard on the GWU campus. Once rush hour is over, we will march to Franklin Square at 10am to rest and eat brunch, before the Fire Drill Fridays Rally starts at 11.

When taking mass action, XRDC organizes into affinity groups. These groups of 5-20 activists form the core units for our disruptions. The affinity group structure allows us to maximize our tactical effectiveness, as well as the safety of participants. We strongly encourage anyone who wants to participate in this action to join an XRDC affinity group! Please visit https://xrdc.org/joinag for more information.

To prepare for the morning shutdown, we will be holding a Roadblock Training on Tuesday, December 3 from 630-9pm at 1525 Newton St NW. We’ll go over how to safely move in and out of streets, make quick decisions as a group, and de-escalate tense situations. If you’ve never blocked a road before, this is a great way to get experience before the real deal!

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/444350316474581/

If you would like to learn the basics of Extinction Rebellion’s philosophy, strategy, and organizational structure before the action, we encourage you to attend our Introduction to XRDC Session on Thursday, December 5 from 7-8pm at the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave NW.

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/476925946259674/

Last but not least, XRDC will be supporting the Fridays for Future Black Friday “Funeral for our Future”, starting at 1230pm on the East Side of the US Capitol. Join youth climate leaders in DC as they mourn all that has been already lost to the climate crisis. You can find more information here: https://bit.ly/FutureMourn

If you cannot make it to any of these actions, but still want to support climate activism, consider donating to XRDC to help us cover the costs of props, space rental, and food: https://xrdc.org/donate

Day by day, week by week, our movement is growing stronger. Our leaders continue to ignore us at their peril! See you in the streets!

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In NYC the Youth are Strking for Climate, And We’re Joining them!

As you may already know, on Friday, December 6th, students around NYC are once again walking out of their classes to call for urgently needed action to combat the ever-expanding climate crisis.

The Dec. 6th strike coincides with the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference that was scheduled to take place in Chile but the explosive situation that started with a metro-fare increase and ended in a call for resignation caused the U.N. to move the annual event to Spain. A key component of the Dec. 6th strike will be solidarity with the people of Chile, as well as pressuring the world leaders attending COP25.

What: 12/6 Youth Climate Strike
When: December 6, 2019. 12PM-3PM
Where: City Hall Park, NYC

Can you help spread the word?

Below is an email the Peoples Climate Movement-NY recently sent out. We hope you will share this with your own lists, use your social media platforms or do whatever you can to let people know about the Dec 6th strike. This will not be on the scale of the Sept. 20th massive strike, but with your help we can support the young people as they continue their efforts and do the hard work of building their movement. Led by young people, there is every reason imaginable for adults to also turn out and support.

  1. RSVP to join the Strike now
  2. Circulate the below example email to your lists. We need lots of people!
  3. Share the graphic on social media to spread the word
  4. Sign up to be a Strike Marshal

Thanks for whatever you can do to help make sure people in every corner of NYC know about the Dec. 6th strike. We hope to see you on the streets!

Best,
Jessie Bluedorn
350.org

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Rochester Area Youth Strike for Climate Action

On December 6th, as world leaders gather in Madrid for the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference, millions of youth from across the United States will walk out of their schools in protest of continued government inaction on the climate crisis. Building off the momentum created by the Global Climate Strikes from September 20th-27th, the largest mass mobilization of people for environmental action in history, the U.S. National Climate Strike aims to push our leaders to take a firm stand in mitigating the effects of climate change.

Rochester area youth will be joining this movement of young people as we demand rapid and comprehensive climate action by our local, county, and state governments and continue the momentum from the September 27th Rochester Climate Strike where over a thousand concerned Rochestarians of all ages demonstrated.

Brighton students will march from the middle and high school to Twelve Corners Plaza at 3:00 PM to join with fellow youth from across the region. Although entirely youth organized, this event is open to concerned citizens of all ages so join us as we make ourselves heard and strive to preserve the future for posterity. 

WHO: Rochester Youth Climate Leaders, Brighton High School Climate Club, New York Youth Climate Leaders, Webster Thomas Earth Club, Rochester Earth Guardians, Honeoye Falls-Lima Green Team, School of the Arts Green Crew, McQuaid Climate Club 

WHAT: Rochester Climate Strike

WHEN: 3:00 PM on December 6th 2019

WHERE: The Gazebo at Twelve Corners Plaza (Intersection at Winton & Elmwood, Rochester NY).

This event is supported by the New York Youth Climate Leaders, a recently formed policy-driven coalition of youth organizations from across New York State dedicated to combating the global climate crisis

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Want Not, Waste Not? Fracking’s Wastewater Issue

Pennsylvania’s unconventional oil and gas industry is producing incredible amounts of toxic waste. Where does it all end up?

Drilling for methane and other fossil fuels is an energy-intensive process with many associated environmental costs. In addition to the gas that is produced through high volume hydraulic fracturing (“unconventional drilling,” or “fracking”), the process generates a great deal of waste at the drill site. These waste products may include several dozen tons of drill cutting at every well that is directionally drilled, in addition to liner materials, contaminated soil, fracking fluid, and other substances that must be removed from the site.

In 2018, Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry (including both unconventional and conventional wells) produced over 2.9 billion gallons (nearly 69 million barrels) of liquid waste, and 1,442,465 tons of solid waste. In this article, we take a look at where this waste (and its toxic components) end up and how waste values have changed in recent years. We also explore how New York State, despite its reputation for being anti-fracking, isn’t exempt from the toxic legacy of this industry.

Waste that comes back to haunt us

According to a study by Physicians, Scientists and Engineers, over 80% of all waste from oil and gas drilling stays within the state of Pennsylvania. But once drilling wastes are sent to landfills, is that the end of them? Absolutely not!

Drilling waste also gets into the environment through secondary means. According to a recent report by investigative journalists at Public Herald, on average, 800,000 tons of fracking waste from Pennsylvania is sent to Pennsylvania landfills. When this waste is sent to landfills, radioactivity and other chemicals can percolate through the landfill, and are collected as leachate, which is then shipped to treatment plants.…—Karen Edelstein, “Want Not, Waste Not? Fracking’s Wastewater Issue,” FracTracker Alliance, 10/3/19

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Action Alert! Stopping Tacoma LNG — for good.

 While permitting for the Tacoma LNG fracked gas facility inches forward, there’s still a lot that we can do to ensure that this climate-wrecking project never goes into operation.

From putting pressure on Washington State decision-makers to educating our communities, amplifying on social media to fundraising, there are lots of ways YOU can join the grassroots effort to stop dirty fracked gas in Washington.

Get the latest on the fight against Tacoma LNG and plug in at our LNG Resistance Gathering for Seattle-area volunteers this Thursday, December 5. Hosted by 350 Seattle, Sierra Club, Washington Environmental Council, and the Power Past Fracked Gas Coalition, this is a great opportunity to learn, connect, and explore how you can take action from Seattle.

What: LNG Resistance Gathering
When: THIS Thursday, December 5th, 6-8pm
Where: University Friends Meeting House, 4001 9th Ave NE, Seattle, Washington 98105

RSVP here so we can plan for enough food!

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There are many reasons to oppose Tacoma LNG: this dirty fracked gas project threatens our region’s clean air, clean water, and stable climate future. It puts thousands of Tacoma residents, and over 1500 people detained in the nearby NW Detention Center, at risk of life-threatening fire and explosions. And it’s being built on the ancestral land of the Puyallup Tribe despite their opposition.

Whether you are called to join the fight against Tacoma LNG for climate action, for treaty rights, for environmental justice, or for all of these powerful reasons to stop this dirty fossil fuel project for good — now’s the time to get involved.

Join us on Thursday to learn how you can get involved.

In solidarity,
Stacy

Help get the word out by sharing on Facebook!

You can also keep up with 350 Seattle on Twitter or FacebookDonations always appreciated and put to good use.
350 Seattle

1127 10th Ave. East #1
Seattle, WA 98102
United States
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With Giant Oil Tanks on Its Waterfront, This City Wants to Know:
What Happens When Sea Level Rises?

Residents already worried about fumes from the more than 100 giant petroleum storage tanks want to know what happens in the event of a disaster.

Episode 6: The Fumes in South Portland. The sixth in an ongoing first-person series by InsideClimate News reporter Sabrina Shankman about the growing fears of residents in South Portland, Maine, as they try to solve a mystery: Are the fumes emanating from the storage tanks of the nation’s easternmost oil port harming their kids?—”With Giant Oil Tanks on Its Waterfront, This City Wants to Know: What Happens When Sea Level Rises?, Sabrina Shankman, InsideClimate News, 11/27/19

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Tipping Points & Shell Games

Point of no return” is hurtling towards us, says UN head

The world is facing a climate crisis – and the point of no return is hurtling towards us. That’s the verdict of UN Secretary General António Guterres.

Speaking on the eve of the COP25 climate conference, he’s calling on world leaders to take concrete steps to confront the problem:

“What is still lacking is political will, political will to put a price on carbon, political will to stop subsidies on fossil fuels, political will to stop building coal power plants from 2020 onwards, political will to shift taxation from income to carbon, taxing pollution instead of people.”…—”‘Point of no return’ is hurtling towards us, says UN head,” Euronews|Reuters, 12/1/19

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Playing a Shell Game With Climate Change Science

Oil and gas companies want us to believe that they are changing for the better. On the surface, their efforts appear sincere and substantial. But a closer look reveals that the only “green” these companies care about are the profits from their planet-wrecking products.Playing a Shell Game With Climate Change Science,” Marc D. Grossman, Sanders Phillips Grossman, 10/5/19

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Judge won’t dismiss lawsuit challenging
Trump’s shrinking of Bears Ears National Monument

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s power to shrink Bears Ears National Monument. In an order issued Monday night in Washington D.C., U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan denied the Trump administration’s request to dismiss the litigation. She did allow the U.S. Department of Interior to renew its request once a coalition of tribal and environmental groups filed an amended lawsuit.

Further reading San Juan County drops out of Bears Ears lawsuit
FOX 13, other news organizations weigh in on open meetings lawsuit

The judge set an Oct. 7 hearing to discuss the future of the lawsuit and any pending legal motions.…—Ben Winslow, “Judge won’t dismiss lawsuit challenging Trump’s shrinking of Bears Ears National Monument,” Fox13 Now, 9/30/19

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Climate Tipping Points Are Closer Than We Think,
Scientists Warn

From melting ice caps to dying forests and thawing permafrost, the risk of ‘abrupt and irreversible changes’ is much higher than thought just a few years ago.

Humans are playing Russian roulette with Earth’s climate by ignoring the growing risk of tipping points that, if passed, could jolt the climate system into “a new, less habitable ‘hothouse’ climate state,” scientists are warning ahead of the annual UN climate summit.—”Climate Tipping Points Are Closer Than We Think, Scientists Warn“,” InsideClimate News, 11/27/19

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How things got so fracking bad in Ohio

Hydraulic fracturing, savior or sin? That depends on who you ask.

Ohio’€™s natural gas production has swelled more than 2,200 percent in just seven years.

The fossil fuel industry and its proponents tout fracking’s economic benefits as this oil and gas extraction technique has led the march toward the nation’s energy independence. But as our understanding of the technique grows, so too does our knowledge of its many drawbacks. Nowhere is this dynamic more apparent than in Ohio, at the vanguard of the nation’s fracking boom thanks to the Utica and Marcellus shale reserves to the east of the state, which have sparked something of a fossil fuel industry feeding frenzy over the past decade.…—Daniel Ross, “How things got so fracking bad in Ohio,” Salon, 10/26/19

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Four Climate Scientists
on How to Take On Climate Change Today

“Every single person can make a huge difference, and when we come together to work, anything is possible.”

Talk about ecological and climate despair! First came last October’s news that we were on track to lose 1 million species to extinction. Then a long-awaited climate report from a U.N. scientific panel whose findings, U.N. chief António Guterres said, showed we were “running out of time.” Three months later,  news stories announced an imminent insect apocalypse and last month, the U.N. released dire findings on the world’s land and food systems. Then their report on the world’s oceans slated for release September 25 leaked and, yes, it was bad.

“When boomers reminisce about their youth, I wonder what it was like to live young without impending climate chaos,” Amita Kuttner, an astrophysicist born in 1990 tweeted July 26.…—Terri Hansen, “Four Climate Scientists on How to Take On Climate Change Today,” YES! Magazine, 9/20/19

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Welcome to the Global Rebellion Against Neoliberalism

As distinct as the protests seem, the uprisings rocking Bolivia, Lebanon, and scores of other countries all share a common theme.

Something—someone—keeps knocking at the door. It’s cold out there and getting colder, but the people inside are cozy on the sofa with the TV on and a blanket on their laps. But there’s that knock again: at the front door now, then the side door, then the back. Maybe it’s the wind. Now there’s knocking at the windows and the roof and the walls of the house—who knew they were so thin? It’s hard to understand: How could so many people be knocking all at once?…—”Welcome to the Global Rebellion Against Neoliberalism,” Ben Ehrenreich, The Nation, 11/25/19

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How one man’s mission to power his hometown
by wind created a Northwest Missouri boon

The town of 1,200 was the first in the country to be able to power all of its electricity from wind resources. Now, the county is booming in wind production.

HUTCHINSON COUNTY, MISSOURI — In the early 2000s, Eric Chamberlain was leading a funeral procession toward southern Minnesota when he saw several wind turbines spinning slowly over the low Iowa bluffs.—”Road to 100: How one man’s mission to power his hometown by wind created a Northwest Missouri boon,” Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive, 11/21/19

Related reading The future of energy storage is here: An inside look at Rocky Mountain Power’s 600-battery DR project
Electric trucks may be the future, but waste and recycling market still charging up
What Would It Take to Decarbonise the Global Economy?
The unknown costs of a 100% carbon-free future

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Mile after mile, in the northernmost part of Arizona, the beautiful desert is now taking advantage of the sun.

The power generated from Kayenta one and Kayenta solar panels not only lights up the Navajo Nation, but it sends electricity to all corners of the state.—”Navajo Nation getting more electricity through SRP solar panel initiative,” Karla Navarrete, ABC15 Phoenix, 9/20/19

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How climate change affects your mental health

“For all that’s ever been said about climate change, we haven’t heard nearly enough about the psychological impacts of living in a warming world,” says science writer Britt Wray. In this quick talk, she explores how climate change is threatening our well-being — mental, social and spiritual — and offers a starting point for what we can do about it.—”How climate change affects your mental health,” Britt Wray, TED Talk, May, 2019

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Stunning Footage of Sperm Whales
Attempting to Communicate With Freedivers Using Clicking Noises

In 2014 James Nestor, free-diver and author of the book DEEP: Free-diving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves, gave a fascinating talk entitled “Humanity and the Deep Ocean” at The Interval at Long Now in San Francisco.—’Stunning Footage of Sperm Whales Attempting to Communicate With Freedivers Using Clicking Noises,” Lori Dorn, Laughings Squid, 2/8/18

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And That’s A Wrap! Thanks to everyone who sent in news, action announcements and comments this week. Send kudos, rotten tomatoes and your story ideas, your group’s action events, and news of interest to intrepid climate change and environmental justice warriors! Send to editor@thebanner.news.