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350 Pilipinas went out to coordinate relief efforts for Bayawan City today. Several communities in the Philippines are underwater! Bayawan City is under a state of calamity. Seven communities suffered from the 12-hour heavy rainfall resulting to landslides and floods washing out houses, destroying bridges, and damaging crops for food. Death tolls are increasing and rescuers continue to search for missing people. Shortly after, Zamboanga City suffered one of the worst flood! Water have reached to the largest evacuation site hosting 11,979 families (71,265 individuals) in Zamboanga City.
 
The ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) brought enormous amount of water strong enough to disarm a city to a state of calamity. Indeed! Warmer weather holds more moisture.
 
I am now HOME-- something that others do not have anymore today...a home! But if we start changing our system beginning with our hearts and minds while expanding to our collective political will and action to change a dysfunctional system that is unwilling to see a new way, then and only then will we all begin to see our houses safe from the flash floods of climate change. 
 
 
The relief operation in Bayawan City will continue for food, clothing, and sanitary supplies for families specially women and children.
 
On Sunday, October 13 at 7-9pm at Hayahay, we will Connect the Dots as we join together for Bayanihan Para sa Bayawan. This is not just about relief operations– we want to prevent more disasters like this! Join us Connect the Dots between the flooding incidents in Bayawan and Zamboanga to the climate crisis as we turn our energies into positive action. 
 
 
 
 
Let us organize and shift power! Onwards to Climate Justice!
 

 

 

Reclaim Power!

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You have likely noticed that a huge amount of our global 350 work of late has been focused on Global Power Shift (GPS). And suffice to say, GPS is getting really exciting! All you have to do is check out the beautiful, growing timeline of GPS plans to get a sense of how it is developing: http://globalpowershift.org/timeline. Or stay updated on Facebook here.

Today we are excited to write about another related, collaborative, global effort initiated by our friends at the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice — Reclaim Power — a global month of action on energy.

NO to dirty and harmful energy!

YES to renewable energy for people and communities!

October 11 to November 11, 2013

There are a wide range of mobilisations, campaigns, and events woven into Reclaim Power, and we encourage you to plug in to the efforts taking place near you. (That might include some of the GPS plans taking place during the month too!) You can read the full call to action here: http://reclaimpower.net/call-to-action.

One of the earliest efforts being planned is a day of action this Saturday, 12 October, called Power 4 People. Led by our friends at International Rivers this will be a day for demanding the World Bank and other international financiers shift funding away from destructive projects like fossil fuel power plants to clean local energy. Part of the days action will be on social media, so anyone with internet can join in online. Click here for more details.

Throughout the month there may be an action or mobilization being planned close to you. If not, you can plan and register your own activity. Check out Reclaim Power today — it starts this Friday! www.reclaimpower.net

 

Join the #climate twangout

We sent this email out to our network in India. The team there is organizing a twangout (twitter+hangout) for anybody who has questions on climate change (impacts, perceptions, solutions..) with relevant experts from the region. The call will predominantly be focused on the Indian context but anyone around the globe can join the call on October 18th, 11:30 GMT by signing up on the links below. 

Check out these recent headlines from India's leading newspapers: 

1. Planet heading towards 2 degree celsius temperature rise: UN Report - Times of India, September 30th

2. Despite the hiatus, Global Warming is unequivocal - The Hindu, September 30th

3. Impact from greenhouse gases could linger for centuries - Financial Express, September 28th

All of them are speaking of the IPCC report that 800 respected scientists put together on global warming. Their verdict last week was very clear: manmade greenhouse gas emissions are the main reason behind the rising temperatures around the world. And this temperature rise, they say, will result in more extreme weather.

If you're interested in learning more about this report or climate change, join us for a chat on October 18. It will be your opportunity to have any questions answered and learn how to speak more convincingly about the climate crisis.

A few weeks back, we asked you and many others to tweet or write to Indian celebrities, asking them to connect the devastating floods in Uttarakhand to global warming. We did not hear back from them. We realized that global warming still isn't a mainstream issue in India. We have corruption, poverty, energy and other crises to deal with and we should.

But here’s the crucial challenge, as shown by a large survey done across India: people are already experiencing the severe impacts of global warming. It's making poverty and other issues worse across the country. People want the government to act, but they feel helpless. For some of us, who are privileged enough to avoid global warming's impacts a little longer, we have a responsibility to call out our leaders to act.

But the first step to that is education. We are trying to answer some of the queries that you have about climate change.

Sign up here for a lively online chat with environmental experts on October 18th at 5 PM IST. The topic is global warming but you set the agenda with your questions about the issue

"Education is the strongest weapon to change the world"- Nelson Mandela.

Sources:

1. BBC Climate Asia Survey across South Asia. Out of over 8000 respondents in India, 90% felt the impacts of climate change and 71% expected the Governemnt to support them. 

 

Update - Global Day of Solidarity for Greenpeace’s Arctic 30 #FreetheArctic30

The 30 Greenpeace activists seized by Russian authorities after peacefully protesting against dangerous oil drilling in the Arctic are now officially charged with piracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years. Greenpeace’s director Kumi Naidoo described the charges as “an outrage and represents nothing less than an assault on the very principle of peaceful protest. Any claim that these activists are pirates is as absurd as it is abominable”.

He’s right. Peaceful activism is vital when governments fail to respond to catastrophic climate change, and that’s exactly what thousands of people sending messages to Russian embassies think too.

We’re joining the call for a global day of solidarity tomorrow to stand with our brave friends in a global vigil. You can find the nearest event in this map and join. The Arctic 30 took a stand to protect the Arctic and our climate. Now they need you to take a stand for them and for our planet.

 

Car Free Day in Moscow

Inna Kim, an extra-curricular school teacher from Moscow, became familiar with international climate movement in 2010 during the Global Work Party. Ever since, she continuously initiates climate actions in her school encouraging students to take the leading roles in organizing. They send us this post which we devote to the thousands of tireless educators who spread the word and nurture new generation of leaders around the world. 


On the 21st  September 2013, the annual action "Me FIRST!" was held in Ochakovo-Matveyevsky district of Moscow. It was dedicated to the International Day without a car!

Students of the school № 97 and their parents, as well as the residents of our district, took an active part in this action. Although we were not lucky with the weather (all day long it was raining cats and dogs), but still they came, followed by parents, brothers and sisters. We did not do as much as we planned, there were 40-45 people. Some of them came on bicycles, and someone took rollers. But such rallies are necessary and important.

The organizers of the action (the activists of the organization "Earth-ECOHOME") made a greeting, stressing the importance of this event and benefit shares. Inna Kim, the head of the organization, told about the movement 350.org, about the significance of the number "350" and how you can reduce the maximum amount of CO2. Guys acquainted the participants with the environmental features of the area  we live in, have shown a presentation of "350" and a clip of Michael Jackson. It was a great climate lesson!

We lined up in the rain the number «350» and arrow... but it didn’t turn out as nicely as we had planned! The most of us had taken a race on rollers and Bikes on the school territory. In the framework of the event we made the poster contest and the motto contest.

Despite the weather we succeeded! Nature itself has forced many people abandon the car!!! Next year we plan to hold this wonderful campaign and attract more residents to the issue of pollution and make their choice for alternative transport. We are for clean district! We are for a green Moscow! We are for green planet!

The impressions:

"We hold this project for already 4 years. Such events are not only interesting for me and our children, they should be interesting to EVERYONE! I am always ready to support such initiatives and aspirations. It is wonderful that our guys were involved in the issues of ecology". (Kotovich K.A., Principal Deputy)

"I woke up - it was raining. But I'm here, and the guys in my class came too, although I didn’t invite them to support, to participate. I am glad to see that I am not alone, that there are people who do care that children who is not indifferent. They grow up and do what we could not do. I have a healthy lifestyle! I am for a healthy planet!" (Kiselev was appointed teacher of Russian language and literature)

"I came today with my two granddaughters who are studying in this school. But when I saw the presentation of the clip, I was horrified, I was appalled. I understood that it all globally and very scary. Now I'll do everything to protect our planet from destruction for the sake of our grandchildren and other children, because they live here! I plant flowers, trees in the garden, but this is not enough. I am definitely going to do something!" (Karbysheva T.V., grandmother of  Kharchenko Wiki and Violetta, students of the 2nd form)

"We came to support the initiatives of the guys. We are for clean city, for clean world! We conduct a healthy way of life, ride our bicycles, roller skates and go to the country on Saturdays. We are not indifferent to our planet! And tomorrow we will go biking to Krylatskoe, there will also be some promoes" (Sviridyuk Masha, 11 years old and mother Tatiana)

"I participate in this action for the second tim because it is interesting for me, because we will live here on this planet. I want to be a journalist, and I will do everything to make everybody know the problems of our Earth. This year I have participated in the organization of the campaign, we drew a poster, I came up with several mottos." "A car is for lazy people. I am for clean planet", "Our motto is – WE ARE FOR GREENPEACE. We are for clean planet" and the other idea to make the badges on colored paper with these mottos and distribute to all participants and passers-by. Maybe reading them, they will become our allies." (Pestryakova Irina,the activist of the "Earth-ECOHOME")

"I had not participated in the action. This year I was inspired by my friend to help her in the organization. It is a pity that we could not arrange master-classes. But we still will do it the next week when the sun come out. Personally I am planning to make a master class in dancing" (Salakhian Raisa, 10th form)

 

Energy Price vs Cost

This is a post from Renuka Saroha, a 350 staffer, writing as she visits coal impacted communities and people across Eastern India

So if someone asks you 'who pays for your electricity?' What would your answer be?

Until recently my naive answer was, ‘my father pays for electricity’. But then I had a conversation with Shree Dhaneshwar Lal from Sikri village of Hazaribagh District in the state of Jharkhand, India.  His story made me realize who and what cost is being paid for the electricity we use. 

Shri Dhaneshwar Lal used to own little less than 1/3 hectares of fertile  agricultural land in Sikri. However in year 2011 he was forced to give his ancestral agricultural land, unwillingly to National Thermal Power Corporation(NTPC).  “What use is independence for us? Our grandfathers were forced to cultivate Indigo for British and now we are forced to cultivate coal for the Government.  This is not democracy, this is dictatorship.” His family was one of the first families who refused to leave their land for a proposed coal mine by NTPC.  His relatives near villages of Jharia in Hazaribagh, had narrated enough horror stories of life near a coal mine. He has attended enough funerals of young members of his family to realize the truth behind  the development proposed by NTPC  and  the state.  However, his resistance was not encouraged by many others in his village as they have seen atrocities of the police and company sent goons on people refusing to give up their land. They knew that ultimately the land would be taken away by any and all means. Moreover, any uprising in the village might threaten their chance of getting timely compensation.  

It’s now been 2 years since Dhaneshwar Lal's family lost legal rights to their agriculture land for a small price of Rs 262,500 (4300 USD). As he signed the papers selling his land to the corporation he was promised a job in the upcoming mine. Though 3 members of his family lost livelihood while giving away the land only one was promised a job soon. Till this day the entire village is waiting to hear from NTPC about the job opportunities.

In May 2011, the Coal Ministry deallocated five coal blocks under NTPC— Chatti Bariatu, Chatti Bariatu (S), Kerandari, Brahmani and Chichiro Patsimal — as it could not develop the mines within the stipulated timeframe. After immense pressure from state government and NTPC the ministry reallocated 3 coal blocks back to NTPC in January 2013. The company has now said it would start production in these block only after 2017.  The coal extracted from these mines would be transported to its various power plants in the country, which would then sell electricity to various states in country. Meanwhile, villagers have lost their land but operations and jobs are a distant dream. 

Story of Dhaneshwar and his fellow villagers is not one in isolation. India’s ever increasing energy needs are creating a dark future for people living in coal-rich belts or those living close to water resources.  Many villagers in India spend each day of their lives in fear of losing their land for a mine or a power plant. Farmers across states of Maharashtra, Chattishgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh are complaining of decrease in water table. Few decades ago  they were displaced to build irrigation dams for farms and now the water from these very dams is diverted to coal power plants, coal mines and other industries being set up. These families are yet to see the bright future promised by our leaders and industrialists. These are the families who are paying the true cost for the electricity we consume.  These are the families who live in the darkest corners of the energy hubs of India. 

Today we have reached a situation  where we need take a step back and assess the true cost of energy.  Since independence India has witnessed mass displacement for energy and infrastructure projects (an estimated 60 million). People who use electricity only to light a bulb or two end up paying the highest electricity bill. It’s time that as an electricity consumer, people living in urban cities understand our role in solving this energy mess.  We know we need immediate and drastic policy changes to reduce India’s dependence on coal. We know we have power to demand justice for our fellow citizens and support them in their struggles.  We have to stand with millions of families like that of Shri Dhaneshwar and challenge the existing energy situation in India.  The fight for democratic and decentralized energy solutions needs to start from us.

A farmers rally in Jharkhand against land acquisition for coal mining. Courtesy: The Hindu

 

300 People Come Together To Build Local Solar Project

This is a gueat blog from our good friends at RE-volv, a community-based solar energy company.


RE-volv is pleased to announce the completion of its first solar project, made entirely possible by individuals who care about renewable energy and climate change, and seek to positively impact the environment with their dollar.

300 people from 26 states and 5 countries came together and donated to make our first solar installation possible. (Check out a video of the install above!)  Thanks to our supporters, the nonprofit Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley, CA is now entirely powered by the sun!  The 10kW project will not only save the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center thousands on their electrical bill, but their lease payments will be reinvested to finance four additional solar energy projects.

The idea behind RE-volv is simple: Let’s all get together, chip in a few bucks, and create a society powered by renewable energy. RE-volv, a nonprofit organization, finances local community-based solar projects through the Solar Seed Fund—a revolving fund for solar projects that raises money through crowdfunding.

We are fueled by the dedication of the local communities we serve and the global community alike, to accelerate the renewable energy movement. As we move forward onto our second project (to be announced in the coming weeks), we invite you to join the movement!  Connect with us on facebook and learn more about our efforts at www.re-volv.org.

 

 

 

"Unequivocal"

We just sent out this email to our friends in the USA. Not on our email list yet? Sign up here to receive crucial updates from the climate movement. 


Dear friends,

An important new climate science report was just released, and the results aren’t exactly cheerful.

The new report is long and dense, so we thought we'd boil it down. Since we’re quite fond of science and numbers at 350.org -- after all, we're named after the safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere -- we wanted to share a few of the key numbers from the new climate report:

  • 95-99%: that’s the level of certainty that scientists have that humans are causing the world to heat up. To put that into context, that’s the same level of certainty scientists have that cigarettes cause cancer. That’s what scientists call “unequivocal”. The debate on the basics of climate science is over.

     
  • 1 Trillion: the global “carbon budget” in metric tons. That’s the amount of CO2 we can release into the atmosphere while keeping global warming under 2 degrees Celsius -- what many scientists have identified as a red line for our planet. We’ve already burned through about half of that carbon budget.  Translation: we need action. ASAP.

     
  • 1,2,3: the ranking of the last three decades in the “warmest decades in recorded history.” In other words: the planet is heating up, and we’re breaking new climate records every day.

But there are a few numbers you should know about climate change that aren’t in the latest report -- numbers that give us reason for hope:

  • 100%: that’s the expected growth in global installed solar power over the next two and a half years! That's a doubling our solar capacity in a mere 30 months. The renewable energy revolution has begun.

     
  • 20,000: that’s the number of events, protests, and rallies we’ve organized at 350.org. We added over 200 to that number last year with our "Draw the Line" day of action. We’re everywhere, and we’re active.

     
  • 100,000: that’s the number of new activists to have joined 350’s global network in the last few months. We’re growing -- and fast.

I believe in people power. I think social movements can force the kinds of major societal changes needed to halt climate catastrophe. That’s why I'm so proud of what we’re doing at 350.org with our partners all over the world.

But we're not doing enough. To scale this movement to truly meet the challenge of the climate crisis, we need your help. We've got big plans that we'll be rolling over the coming months -- but to make them work, we need to be able to cover our costs. 

Can you pitch in to support this movement's growth? Click here to make a donation. 

This new climate report has made one thing completely clear: we need to act boldly, quickly, and all together. 

Let's do it, 

May Boeve for the whole team 350.org

P.S. Our social media team just made this great graphic about the new report -- can you take a moment to share it on Facebook?


One important note: some scientists criticize these reports for being both too conservative and behind the curve. The group behind the report -- the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” or “IPCC” -- is a collaboration of 800 climate scientists around the world. The body is considered the foremost global authority on climate science, and integrates the research of more than 9,000 studies. But because of the size, scope, and consensus-based nature of these reports, they are often “lowest common denominator” science, and there’s a pattern of them underestimating the scale and severity of climate change and its impacts. You can learn more about this at this Wikipedia article.

More Info and Resources 

U.N. Climate Panel Endorses Ceiling on Global Emissions - The New York Times

What 95% certainty of warming means to scientists - AP Article

IPCC climate report: human impact is 'unequivocal' -  The Guardian

Chart: 2/3rds of Global Solar PV Has Been Installed in the Last 2.5 Years - GreenTech

Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis - IPCC