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'This Is Zero Hour': Youth-Led Marches Across the Globe Demand Immediate and Ambitious Climate Action


#1

'This Is Zero Hour': Youth-Led Marches Across the Globe Demand Immediate and Ambitious Climate Action

Jake Johnson, staff writer

This post will be updated with images and videos as marches and demonstrations take place around the world.


#2

“Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, got to love one another right now.”

Especially, your mother.

Mother Earth.


#3

This is one issue that must be addressed or else yet it is getting the same political treatment as all other issues. Even in the face of seemingly certain destruction in the long term nothing changes. Yes, progress is being made but the pace is far too slow to be meaningful. And in the alternative right wing universe the there is only denial. So far unlike in science fiction movies where human work together when faced with an existential threat in real life it is not happening. For several decades fossil fuels have accounted for about 80% of energy and this number never seems to be significantly reduced.


#4

I agree with you LRX. Climate change/climate justice must be elevated to the highest priority in, among many other things, the fall election, with consequences for those who won’t take a position on bold action. Establishment Dems need to get over themselves and get on board. It can be a winning issue.

Of course, there is the other 80% of things we all can do that don’t involve politics.


#5

Yes, keep marching. And keep acting. And act together. Acting means making both material and behavioral changes that promote the transition and transformation.

Equity, justice, resilience, regeneration.


#6

When it comes to climate action, there really is as John Lennon wrote: IMAGINE THERE ARE NO COUNTRIES.


#7

I believe most establishment Democrats have been on board with this issue for years. This includes the Clintons, Obama, Schumer, Pelosi, etc. The main exceptions are those in states with economies that are heavily dependent on fossil fuel production. However, so far it has not been a good campaign issue. Polls have found that people list it low when given a chance to list environmental issues according to priorities. Protecting drinking water is usually high on the list. People are particularly concerned about how toxic pollutants can affect their health.


#8

Lip service. None of them are willing to act boldly. To beholden to the corporate banksters and worried about the effect of the kinds of actions needed on the capitalist economy.


#9

I’m 65, have been an activist most of my life, and I find it refreshing to see the youth of this country finally coming together and standing up to monumental corruption from city hall to congress to the White House. It isn’t easy fighting big oil money. The Koch brothers pour millions into local elections, state elections, and national elections. Democrats have been corrupted by PAC money, and there are millions of idiots brainwashed by Fox News and hate radio who support the big orange bag of gas. There will be big losses along with some wins, but young people have everything to lose if they don’t fight back. Keep fighting for your lives!


#10

The dems. have been playing that shell game for a long time. And sadly, it is a shame that they have been able to con so many well meaning, albeit naive people for many years.


#11

That is not a metaphor; but is literally true!


#12

Older folks need to join them as well.


#13

Many of us older folks were there marching in the sixties and have been voting and trying to make our voice heard for the decades since Reagan set the pendulum swinging in the wrong direction. Lots of us are still taking to the streets. We (well, me anyway) always wondered “Where are the young people?” Lots of them bought into the trickle down bullshit but now it looks like they are starting to open their eyes.


#14

Get rid of Trump first…and things will start to go back to semi normal!


#15

“Climate change is our last chance to either fix colossal systems of inequality or reach a chaotic state where your privilege ultimately decides if you live or die.”

It would be more accurate to say “where your privilege may allow you to live a little longer”. Climate catastrophe is the great equalizer. The rich won’t be able to escape it either. If the heat doesn’t get them first, the angry mobs will.

Or they could go to Mars to join Musk and Bezos. Not a bad idea, actually. Good luck up there.


#16

We must do all we can to not only stop completely the spewing of CO2 into the atmosphere, but also to save all the endangered species.

The ecosystem could be likened to the human body. Every part is important. We are not the superior separate selves we think we are. Like one of trillions of cells in the human body so are we in the whole of the ecobody. What happens in any part of the body affects each and every cell. Life is not the same if we lose an eye or a foot or a lung or part of the colon, etc. Sure, we can keep losing species, but each loss is our loss. And as the losses add up, the end result is death and ultimate extinction of all life on the planet. The solar system doesn’t need another Venus, thank you.


#17

We’ve had all the same problem before Trump, he just is in your face with them.

Dream ON.


#18

I think these efforts are good because they inspire the next generation of people to speak their mind about issues and seek understanding of new technology to benefit society. However, when you grow a movement you soon understand that there differences between advocacy and policy making. The message of this movement is good, but I highly question the feasibility of this movement’s platform.

If youre a scientist or engineer and want the US congress or DOE to support your technology you don’t just throw your best case scenario demands during an interview. These discussions demand recognition of feasibility. So while these kids are inspiring, if they truly believe in their platform they need to understand the likely repercussions of their ideas and why these demands are very unlikely to be met.

  1. " Declare a climate emergency and establish a fully-funded federal climate emergency department that would focus on pre-disaster planning and also address post-disaster clean up according to recommendations from climate justice groups by 2020."
    Given that we are already facing issues from climate change it would seem that this demand is for storms that have a major effect on our country. However these government agencies already exist in FEMA and the NOAA. Im not sure how creating a new agency would create additional benefit, and seeing as funding is decreasing for these departments I fail to see how funding is going to be received for a new agency.

Also what is the action of pre-disaster planning? If we recognize that hurricanes will become more powerful this would likely mean that coastal cities have to construct larger seawalls and create city codes for coastal flooding. Not only does this create the need for more taxation, but it also increases insurance rates for coastal areas. This is in turn increases costs, which has the benefit of making a safer area, but also harming communities facing economic burdens. Does this agency take into consideration these issues? Has your organization even considered these economic concerns? Does your organization have a decent understanding of the likely economic burden in terms of potential cost for communities affected by meteorological disasters?

  1. “Urge the USDA to adjust dietary guidelines to be plant-first with plant-based being optimal, by 2020.”
    Now considering the fact that a lot of Americans don’t really adhere to USDA dietary guideline anyways this isn’t a huge issue. You could potentially look to change school meals to provide plant-based diets, but then you also need to convince kids that fruit and veg is delicious. My larger concern is that in low income communities the availability of fruits and vegetables rich in nutrients is extraordinarily low, and one of these reasons is because these plants typically cost more to sell.

  2. “Immediately eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.”
    While this sounds great on paper and would essentially incur a massive cost on fossil fuels leading to greater likelihood of low carbon electricity, heating and transportation; claims like these fail to recognize what is included with all fossil fuel subsidies. If you include all fossil fuel subsidies you are not just increasing costs for the oil and gas and transportation industries. You are also increasing the costs for agriculture, pharmaceutical, medical, aeronautical, manufacturing, chemical production, construction, textiles etc.

In electrical and transportation industries we have alternatives that are ready to enter the market, but this cannot be said for other industries. Other industries do not use crude oil or natural gas, but they do use a significant amount of petrochemicals to make their products. The problem is we don’t have current market solutions for products that use petrochemicals. Zero fossil fuel subsidies would translate into a higher cost of living for the entire country.

  1. “Heavily tax corporations who have historically emitted the most greenhouse gases, and invest that money into solutions that curb carbon pollution and help communities adapt to climate change by 2020.”
    The problem with this act is that youre taxing a company based on the history of emissions, which is essentially a ex post facto law- these are unconstitutional by Article 1, Section 9, Clause 3 of the US Constitution.

This means you have to tax the companies based on their current emissions or sue them for their past emissions (which as we are finding is very difficult). A carbon tax would be very beneficial, but the rate of the tax can have major implications on the economy for similar reasons as discussed in #3. The best type of taxation like this is to provide a social dividend to protect consumers from these costs, but this also means the government has less funding for investment of new technology.

5.“Mandate the strictest possible fuel economy standards, and develop a nation-wide network of EV stations to ensure their wide adoption, by 2020”
If you want a nationwide network to compete with gasoline we would have to construct and install 149,000 EV stations in two years that is over 15 times as many stations constructed over the last five years. Also you can only mandate the strictest possible fuel economy standards based on the average fuel economy of manufactured vehicles over some period of time. If you make these standards too high then the majority of amercians can no longer drive their vehicles. You may think this sounds great, except that now everyone has to purchase at a minimum a new $30,000 car. There are a lot of people who are not able to do this.

Also you would likely damage car manufacturers severally leading to a significant loss of jobs.

  1. “Ensure that any new legislation or climate solution does not disproportionately burden communities of color and low income communities through greater cost or displacement”
    Well unfortunately your platform calls for changes that would disproportionately effect low income communities because they attack products that are disproportionately used by these communities.

  2. " Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10% every year for the next 10 years by 2030."
    First of all this plan is based on the Jacobson plan, but wants to transition the US energy portfolio 20 years faster than its own evidence.
    Second of all there are considerable problems with the Jacobson plan, namely its extensive reliability on hydropower reserves the USA does not have. http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/early/2017/06/16/1610381114.full.pdf
    Thirdly, this plan does not discuss the current CO2 crisis facing the loss of nuclear power. If you want to reduce CO2, then not talking about nuclear is humungous problem. By 2022 5 nuclear plants worth 55,100 GWh are scheduled to decommission. Even with New York’s HVDC line the loss is 47,600 GWh. According the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Lifecycle Harmonization Analysis, Natural Gas produces 450g CO2/KWh more than nuclear. There are currently no plans made by the states of decommission nuclear to replace the generation with anything besides primarily natural gas.

1GWh = 1,000,000 Kwh

47,600 x 1,000,000 x 450 = 21,420,000,000,000 grams or 10,710,000,000 TONS of CO2 per year following 2022.

Jacobson’s plan does not address this concern. If you allow natural gas to replace nuclear in the 2020s, it is statically impossible for the USA to meet 10% reduction emission standards by 2030.


#19

This is great.

In a rigged “all or nothing” system, these kids stand to be coopted into parties and representative government instead of direct democracy. It will be almost impossible to get the money out of politics unless all the people rule instead of corruptible representatives.


#20

Intense Heat, drought, wildfires, and deluge are increasing exponentially all over the globe. How bad will conditions have to get before populations are willing to wake up to the collapsing biosphere and the global climate engineering operations? The latest installment of Global Alert News is below. This news alert is well worth your time were it gives you news about weather and climate from around the world.