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Three Issues to Watch During the Durban Climate Summit – November 28, 2011

From the Winter 2012 Earth Island Journal

The International Climate Negotiations roadshow is rolling into Durban, South Africa this December and the big question – at least for the diminished audience still watching – is what we can expect out of the latest episode of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The performance that took place in Copenhagen two years ago was a disaster. Last year’s installment, which occurred in Cancun, Mexico, was a pleasant surprise, but only because expectations had been set so low. The red-hot intensity that used to greet the performances has cooled to a lukewarm. If the negotiations were just entertainment, that would be bad enough. But this… more

by: Richard Graves

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Power Shift 2011: the End of Business as Usual – April 22, 2011

Ten thousand young activists descended on Washington, D.C. and just as suddenly left, leaving behind a trail of protest signs, guerrilla posters on the tar sands on virtually every street corner in Chinatown, and a number of summons for court dates for direct actions. Those activists are taking with them their crash training in the grassroots organizing skills and storytelling that propelled much of the field operation of the 2008 Obama campaign, as well as new connections and a flurry of new Facebook friends. However, the lasting legacy of Power Shift 2011 will be declaration that the youth climate movement is no longer willing to play by the rules,… more

by: Richard Graves

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Devil’s Bargain: How the BP Disaster Sank the Climate Bill – August 9, 2010

A Sneak Peek from the Autumn 2010 Issue

A week after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, entertainer Rush Limbaugh suggested that environmentalists had caused the disaster in order to pass cap-and-trade legislation that wouldn’t include new offshore drilling or loan guarantees for the nuclear industry. A massive environmental disaster, on the eve of the fortieth Earth Day celebration, right before the planned introduction of the Senate climate bill — the timing, as Limbaugh noted, seemed too pat. And, in fact, toward the end of the failed Copenhagen climate talks last December, some despondent green campaigners privately confided to each other that they thought only a major disaster could build the public pressure to enact policies sufficiently ambitious to… more

by: Richard Graves

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