Monday, November 17, 2014

VIDEO: Into the Streets (People’s Climate March + Flood Wall Street)

Click HERE to watch this excellent video on the People's Climate March and Flood Wall Street as directed by Meerkat Media Collective (

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change and Clean Energy Cooperation | The White House

FACT SHEET: U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change and Clean Energy Cooperation | The White House

From The White House:

Building on strong progress during the first six years of the Administration, today President Obama announced a new target to cut net greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.  At the same time, President Xi Jinping of China announced targets to peak CO2 emissions around 2030, with the intention to try to peak early, and to increase the non-fossil fuel share of all energy to around 20 percent by 2030. 
Together, the U.S. and China account for over one third of global greenhouse gas emissions.  Today’s joint announcement, the culmination of months of bilateral dialogue, highlights the critical role the two countries must play in addressing climate change.  The actions they announced are part of the longer range effort to achieve the deep decarbonization of the global economy over time.  These actions will also inject momentum into the global climate negotiations on the road to reaching a successful new climate agreement next year in Paris.
The new U.S. goal will double the pace of carbon pollution reduction from 1.2 percent per year on average during the 2005-2020 period to 2.3-2.8 percent per year on average between 2020 and 2025.  This ambitious target is grounded in intensive analysis of cost-effective carbon pollution reductions achievable under existing law and will keep the United States on the right trajectory to achieve deep economy-wide reductions on the order of 80 percent by 2050... 
News items on this announcement:

U.S., China Unveil Ambitious Climate Change Goals

The U.S.-China Deal Won’t Stop Climate Change. But It’s Exactly What We Needed.

Questions Over China’s Climate Change Plan

Politicians and Climate Experts React to U.S.-China Emissions Pact

Earth Initiative Meeting at Zen Center of NYC on November 16 at 1 pm

[NOTE: Below is a message from Green Dragon Earth Initiative]

Hello everyone,

We hope you're enjoying this wonderful Autumn air and sky. This coming meeting (on Sunday, November 16 at 1 pm) is an important one as we'll begin our next area of study: Fire / Energy. During this coming year we'll focus our Earth Initiative work towards various subjects and actions that relate to energy. We'll form several 'action groups' that will each concentrate on different topics that will be suggested and chosen by all of us. 

Some possible areas of focus were provided through our meeting last month with Clare Donahue and Kim Fraczek from Sane Energy Project. They spoke about their work to diminish our reliance on fossil fuels and to encourage renewables on local, national and global levels, and how we might want to collaborate with them. We'll discuss this in more detail at our next meeting.

We want to continue to build from the great energy created at the People's Climate March, as the realities of climate change and our need to live together in a better way on this Earth become clearly apparent to more and more people around the world. The Earth Initiative is a wonderful way of merging our Dharma practice with our love and stewardship of the planet and all its humans and creatures. We are also exploring possibilities of working together with some of the other NYC-based Buddhist centers, and will share these developments on the 16th.

So do try to attend and offer your ideas and energy to our work together. It's just a couple of hours that you can offer in service to the Earth, which supports us in every moment.

Thank you for caring,

Shugen & the EI Planning Group

Green Dragon Earth Initiative
Zen Center of NYC Chapter
500 State Street, Brooklyn  NY 11217
Tel: 718-875-8229   email:

Sunday, November 2, 2014

NY Times article: U.N. Panel Warns of Dire Effects From Lack of Action Over Global Warming

Here are some excerpts from this 11/2/14 NY Times article by Justin Gillis:

COPENHAGEN — The gathering risks of climate change are so profound they could stall or even reverse generations of progress against poverty and hunger if greenhouse emissions continue at a runaway pace, according to a major new United Nations report.

Despite rising efforts in many countries to tackle the problem, the overall global situation is growing more acute as developing countries join the West in burning huge amounts of fossil fuels, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said here on Sunday.

Failure to reduce emissions, the group of scientists and other experts found, could threaten society with food shortages, refugee crises, the flooding of major cities and entire island nations, mass extinction of plants and animals, and a climate so drastically altered it might become dangerous for people to work or play outside during the hottest times of the year.

If governments are to meet their own stated goal of limiting the warming of the planet to no more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2 degrees Celsius, above the preindustrial level, they must restrict emissions from additional fossil-fuel burning to about 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide, the panel said.

Appearing at a news conference in Copenhagen Sunday morning to unveil the report, the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, issued an urgent appeal for strong action in Lima.

“Science has spoken. There is no ambiguity in their message,” Mr. Ban declared. “Leaders must act. Time is not on our side.”

Yet there has been no sign that national leaders are willing to discuss allocating the trillion-ton emissions budget among countries, an approach that would raise political and moral questions of fairness. To the contrary, they are moving toward a relatively weak agreement that would essentially let each country decide for itself how much effort to put into limiting global warming, and even that document would not take effect until 2020.

“If they choose not to talk about the carbon budget, they’re choosing not to address the problem of climate change,” said Myles R. Allen, a scientist at Oxford University in Britain who helped write the new report. “They might as well not bother to turn up for these meetings.”

“Human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water cycle, in reductions in snow and ice, and in global mean sea-level rise; and it is extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” the report declared.

A core finding of the new report is that climate change is no longer a distant, future threat, but is being felt all over the world already. The group cited mass die-offs of forests, including those in the American West; the melting of land ice virtually everywhere in the world; an accelerating rise of the seas that is leading to increased coastal flooding; and heat waves that have devastated crops and killed tens of thousands of people.

The report contained the group’s sharpest warning yet about the food supply, saying that climate change had already become a small drag on overall global production, and could become a far larger one if emissions continue unchecked. The reported noted that in recent years the world’s food system had shown signs of instability, with sudden price increases leading to riots and, in a few cases, the collapse of governments.

Another central finding of the report is that climate change poses serious risks to basic human progress, in areas such as alleviating poverty. Under the worst-case scenarios, factors like high food prices and intensified weather disasters would most likely leave poor people worse off. In fact, the report said, that has already happened in some places.

Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist at Princeton University and a principal author of the new report, said that a continuation of the political paralysis on emissions would leave society depending largely on luck.

If the level of greenhouse gases were to continue rising at a rapid pace over coming decades, severe effects could be headed off only if the climate turned out to be much less sensitive to those gases than most scientists think is likely, he said.

“We’ve seen many governments delay and delay and delay on implementing comprehensive emissions cuts,” Dr. Oppenheimer said. “So the need for a lot of luck looms larger and larger. Personally, I think it’s a slim reed to lean on for the fate of the planet.”