Tag Archives: 350 ppm

Fracking protest message at Denver 350 rally cuts through nebulous “Forward on Climate” theme


DENVER, COLORADO- Score another success for Colorado Fractivists who crashed this weekend’s climate rally with their unequivocal anti-fracking message. The February 17 event was intended to urge President Obama “Forward on Climate”, to borrow his most recent campaign vagarity, but when official speeches began, and the prefab signs were distributed, it became unclear who might be trying to co-opt whom.

Gas
The 350.ORG sponsored march, coinciding with a rally and civil disobedience in DC, called specifically for a halt to the Keystone XL Pipeline and Tar Sands extraction which climate scientists have dubbed “game over” for hopes of averting climate disaster, but the dominant signage spoke vaguely of “Climate Action” and “It’s Time to Cut Carbon” and “Big Coal Makes Us Sick”, all of which are slogans used by proponents of natural gas. 350-ORG has been raising awareness of the imperative to reduce carbon emissions, while recognizing that the groundswell driving environmentalists across the country is opposition to oil & gas hydraulic fracturing.

It’s all the same fight to reduce burning of fossil fuels, but moderate allies like the Sierra Club haven’t been prepared to denounce their new-found bed partners urging consumers to get “Beyond Coal.” To her credit, local 350-ORG coordinator Micah Parkin incorporated fractivist groups into the Feb 17 rally, but Democratic Party panderers didn’t get the memo. A representative read a letter of support from Senator Michael Bennet and was able to sneak past: “I stand with Obama” and even “in favor of US energy independence” although that’s code for oil & gas exports, dependent on construction of the XL pipeline. But when Mark Udall’s representative referred to “clean burning natural gas” the crowd booed. Even as he pleaded “we’re on your side,” the crowd wouldn’t relent, making sure his takeaway would be that fracking compounded global warming, among its other horrors.

The highlight of the rally occurred immediately afterward when the master of ceremonies, a twelve-year-old rapper and member of the Boulder based Earth Guardians, thanked Udall’s rep affably but then assured the audience that “of course there’s no such thing as clean natural gas!”


Occupy
A word about Occupy Denver’s part in Sunday’s march. Occupiers took the black-tie invitation to heart and turned up in black bloc attire with bandanas and balaclavas. OD then pushed the envelope to the consternation of parade marshals, stepping into the street at one point, blocking cars at another, in the spirit of their banner which read “ONLY DIRECT ACTION WILL STOP THE PIPELINE.”

To what end, creating friction during an event otherwise running smoothly? Who knows. The demonstration was uneventful and garnered scant media attention. Mixing it up might have helped, or not. The turnout was large but not up for a confrontation. Occupy didn’t push it.

The irony of 350-ORG supporters being upset by the antics of the Occupiers, was that behind the masks were many activists who’d actually gone to Texas to stop the XL pipeline, who’d gotten arrested, some out on $25,000 bond. How unfortunate that those troublemakers weren’t recognized from the stage. It was a real missed opportunity, this having been a rally to, um, STOP THE PIPELINE. These rowdy boring-party crashers were actually its unsung, veritable heroes. What the crowd wanted to mistake for infantile grandstanding, was really the infantile audacity that stops pipelines. Yes you get in trouble if you step off the sidewalk. Do you think the police are going to let you stop the pipeline?

McKibben denounces COP15 as sham

Are talks in Copenhagen stalled? Did Hillary’s offer of US aid ford the turbulance in time for an Obama second coming? The Guardian has obtained a COP15 internal note which reveals that negotiators know their stated goals do not add up. Poor nations want a temperature rise limited at 1.5°C, rich nations are offering measures to max at 2°C, but know confidentially their best offer will produce a disastrous 3°C. Bill McKibben of 350.ORG declares conference an elaborate sham.
Confidential preliminary assessment-internal-note-secretariat

Forget yelling at the First World Annex I delegates. They know. Forget too, the goal of 350 PPM. While government representatives pretend their best efforts will cap atmosphere carbon levels at 550 parts per million, their own calculations predict we’ll reach 770.

The developing nations (the non-Annex I Parties) who will suffer the most by climate change want the damage limited to 1.5°C and they need pledges of countermeasures and disaster relief commensurate to those expectations. But the First World negotiators are offering half the money needed to address a rise of 2°C, knowing warming will get as bad as 3°C.

Here’s the document’s conclusion (highlighting mine):

VI. Conclusions

The pledges made by a number of Annex I Parties for emissions reductions below base year levels and announcements made by a number of non-Annex I Parties for voluntary actions to address emissions in the lead-up to the COP in Copenhagen could bring significant emission reductions and help to reduce the gap between the current reference emission levels in 2020 and the required level of global emissions of 44 Gt in the same year which is estimated at around 10.5 Gt. Even if Parties agreed to deliver in accordance with the upper range of their pledge, this will leave a gap of around 1.9 to 4.2 Gt.

Unless the remaining gap of around 1.9 to 4.2 Gt is closed and Parties commit themselves to strong action prior and after 2020, global emissions will peak later than 2020 and remain on an unsustainable pathway that could lead to concentrations equal or above 550 ppm with the related temperature raise around 3°C. equal or above 550 ppm. This in turn will reduce significantly the probability to stay within a temperature increase of 2°C.

If you’re tracking Treehugger or Grist for the lowdown on Copenhagen, grab a yardstick from 350.org. Bill McKibben, by the way, wrote The End of Nature in 1989, one of the earliest books to address global warming for a general audience. The American Museum of Natural History’s Nature Defense Fund published Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast in 1992. Columbia professor Wallace Broecker coined the phrase in the 1970s –for deniers who thought the conspiracy was a recent one.

By the way, COP15 is not named like the G8 or G20, for 15 key players meeting, by coincidence in Copenhagen. COP15 stand for the 15th international gathering of the Conference Of the Parties. The parties, non-Annex I and Annex I, we know now as the plaintiffs and the liars.

cop15-graph-350org-climatescoreboard

And from the Climate Score Board:

350ppm means energy conservation

350-chart-co2-ppm-atmosphereWhat was the environmental palaver yesterday about “350” and the Oct. 24th day of action to focus on global warming, as the international community prepares for talks in Copenhagen. Addressing Global Warming is no longer about slowing the effects of pollution, but rolling back; not an about face, but backing up; not new energy, but conservation.