Hundreds of Elephants Die as Drought Grips Southern Africa

H9 southern africa drought zimbabwe elephants dying climate change

Wildlife has been affected, too. Tinaapi Madiri, Zimbabwe’s national elephant manager, said more than 200 elephants have died of dehydration and starvation in recent weeks.

Tinaapi Madiri: “Going into the future with the increased droughts due to climate change and other phenomenon, we are likely to experience more and more of this drought, which could possibly impact significantly on our elephant population.”

“A Worldwide Revolution Is Underway.”

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By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan

Puerto Rico. Hong Kong. Ecuador. Haiti. Lebanon. Iraq. And now, Chile. People are rising up around the world against austerity and corruption, defying police forces unleashed to suppress them. Many of these mass movements share a fierce critique of capitalism. In Santiago, Chile, more than 1 million people flooded the streets last weekend, and mass protests continue. There, the brutal Pinochet dictatorship from 1973-1990, during which thousands of progressive activists and leaders were tortured, disappeared and murdered, was followed by decades of neoliberal policies, with rampant privatization, union busting, stagnant wages and increased costs for education, health care, transportation and other services. Chile, among the richest countries in South America, is also one of the most unequal. At least 20 people have been killed during recent protests there, further angering and emboldening the crowds.

These global protests also occur at a critical inflection point in history, with as few as 10 years remaining for humanity to transition from a fossil fuel economy to one powered by renewable energy. On Wednesday, Chile’s embattled, billionaire president, Sebastian Pinera, abruptly announced that his country was cancelling plans to host two major international summits, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in mid-November, and the United Nations climate summit, the 25th “Conference of the Parties,” or COP25, in the first two weeks of December.

Carolina Schmidt, Chile’s COP25 president-designate, said, “The citizens have expressed in a strong way their legitimate social demands that require the full attention and all efforts from the government.”

Chile’s cancellation of the COP could be a setback for global action on climate. But climate activists should take heart: This renewed spirit of rebellion around the world signifies a rejection of the status quo, and could portend accelerated, grassroots mobilization to avert irreversible, catastrophic climate change.

“Social injustice and the climate crisis have a common root cause,” the Climate Action Network said in a release not long after Chile’s COP cancellation. “Climate justice and solidarity is fundamentally about the protection of human rights and a better quality of life for all.”

The climate crisis touches everyone, first and most forcefully the world’s poor. The mass uprising in Puerto Rico that forced the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rossello was the culmination of decades of frustration with Puerto Rico’s colonial status and the more current exploitation by Wall Street vulture funds. But the discontent was fueled by the utter devastation of the back-to-back hurricanes Irma and Maria two years ago. “The austerity policies that have been implemented have put the people of Puerto Rico in a position of vulnerability. Social inequality has increased to levels that we have never seen here,” Manuel Natal, a member of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, said on the “Democracy Now!” news hour days before Rossello’s resignation. “We need more democracy, not less democracy. We are on the brink of a political revolution here.” Rossello’s ouster was the first time in U.S. history that a governor was forced from office by popular protest.

Indigenous people are also leading the way, often at the front lines, confronting resource extraction with disciplined, nonviolent resistance. Hundreds of indigenous and campesino social leaders in Colombia have been murdered in recent years, simply for standing up for justice and environmental protections.

The Paris climate agreement specifically notes the importance of climate justice, and pledges to work “in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.” One of the enduring conflicts that has hampered international climate negotiations has been the refusal by wealthy nations, principally the United States, to accept the simple premise that “polluters pay.” The United States is the wealthiest nation in human history because, in part, it has polluted its way to the top, using cheap, dirty power: coal-fired power plants, diesel locomotives and now, so-called clean-burning fracked gas.

The Green Climate Fund was supposed to raise billions of dollars to finance renewable projects in poorer countries. The fund’s pledging conference last week fell short of its goal, primarily because the Trump administration reneged on the U.S.’s $2 billion commitment. Australia and Russia followed suit, refusing to make contributions.

A new study by Climate Central, a news and science organization, shows that climate-induced coastal flooding will likely be far worse than previously predicted, forcing between 200-600 million people, rich and poor, to flee their homes later in the century. Climate change-fueled wildfires are now raging across California, with hundreds of thousands of people evacuated from their homes and at least 1 million people without power.

Popular uprisings are also spreading like wildfire, though, against corrupt autocratic leaders, austerity and inequality. People are also flooding the streets, globally, linking the movements against inequality with the fight for a just, sustainable world powered by renewable energy.

Maine Local Weather Forecast: Cold rain and wet snow Tuesday!

download (5)Author: Todd Gutner

We’ll have more clouds than sun, with highs in the 50s today. It will be warmest in central and northern Maine, coolest in southern and coastal Maine, with a breeze coming in off the ocean.

Rain moves in tonight. It’ll be cold enough in the mountains of western Maine for wet snow to fall, and accumulate. 1 to 3 inches of snow is likely in the mountains. As heavier precipitation moves in Tuesday morning, it’s possible the cold rain flips to wet snow even closer to the coastline. Coatings are possible in spots. Tuesday will remain chilly with periods of rain and highs only in the low 40s.

Clouds linger Wednesday with a few showers. Highs in the upper 40s to low 50s.

We’ll see a return to some sun and highs around 60 Thursday.

Have a nice day.

Todd

Top climbers Jess Roskelley, Hansjörg Auer and David Lama die in Canadian avalanche

Jess Roskelley, Hansjörg Auer and David Lama on what is believed to be the summit of Howse Peak on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, a day before they were reported missingFrom left: Jess Roskelley, Hansjörg Auer and David Lama on what is believed to be the summit of Howse Peak last Tuesday a day before they were reported missing

Three professional mountaineers have been found dead after an avalanche at Canada’s Banff National Park.

Austrian climbers David Lama, 28, and Hansjörg Auer, 35, and US citizen Jess Roskelley, 36, had been attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peake.

The group were reported missing last Wednesday and later presumed dead, but recovery efforts were hampered by weather conditions.

The men were part of a team sponsored by outdoor clothing line North Face.

Canadian authorities said air rescuers had seen “signs of multiple avalanches” where they were found.

In a statement, Parks Canada said it “[extended its] sincere condolences to [the men’s] families, friends and loved ones”.

“We would also like to acknowledge the impact that this has had on the tight-knit, local and international climbing communities,” it added.

During their expedition, the group had been taking a route up Howse Peake, known as M16, which has only been climbed once before.

Howse PeakHowse Peak, Banff National Park

Family members of the climbers told Parks Canada they believe the trio did summit the mountain, and that they descended Howse Peak along a similar route.

Rescue efforts were delayed by the weather, and the three climbers were not wearing avalanche beacons when they were found.

“In this case the outcome wouldn’t have changed, but it would have expedited the search and recovery,” said Parks Canada incident manager Shelley Humphries.

It took 28 staff members about five days to recover the bodies, which were located using a specially-trained avalanche dog attached to a long line from a helicopter.

The bodies were located with the help of a specially-trained avalanche dogThe bodies were located with the help of a specially-trained avalanche dog

Brian Webster, safety manager for Parks Canada, said the three men were undoubtedly skilled enough to make the climb, but that an avalanche of that magnitude would be difficult to recover from.

Parks Canada believes it was a level-3 avalanche, which is strong enough to knock over trees, bury vehicles or demolish small wooden buildings.

All three were renowned within the mountaineering community.

Mr Lama was part of a duo that carried out the first free ascent of Cerro Torre’s Compressor route in Southern Patagonia.

Recently, Mr Auer had also completed a solo ascent of Lupghar Sar West, a 23,559ft (7,181m) peak in Pakistan’s Karakorum range.

Jess Roskelley with his wife Alli in January 2019Jess Roskelley with his wife Alli in January 2019

In 2003, Mr Roskelly became the youngest American to climb Mount Everest – the world’s highest peak – aged 20 at the time.

His father, John, was also a mountaineer and climbed Howse Peak via a different route in the 1970s.

“It’s just one of those routes where you have to have the right conditions or it turns into a nightmare,” he said in an interview last week with The Spokesman-Review newspaper.

“This is one of those trips where it turned into a nightmare.”

“A Message from the Future with AOC”: New Film Imagines World Transformed by the Green New Deal

APRIL 18, 2019

As the push for the Green New Deal builds momentum in the United States, The Intercept has released a short illustrated video imagining a future shaped by the progressive environmental movement. It’s titled “A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.” The New York congressmember narrates the film to envision an America that has been transformed by the Green New Deal policies, including a just transition of jobs, Medicare for all, and a total overhaul of the country’s energy system. The result is a vision of radical hope and transformation. The film features stunning artwork by award-winning illustrator Molly Crabapple. It is presented by The Intercept and Naomi Klein, co-written by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Avi Lewis, and co-directed by Kim Boekbinder and Jim Batt.

62 Arrested After Extinction Rebellion Stages Die-In Outside NYC City Hall to Demand Climate Action

APRIL 17, 2019

Protesters shut down traffic outside New York City Hall Wednesday, partially blocking access to the Brooklyn Bridge, staging a die-in to demand radical action on climate change and remaining in the streets until the police arrested at least 62 people. The protest was just one of a series of demonstrations being staged around the world this week by Extinction Rebellion, a global movement taking direct action to demand drastic government action to combat the climate crisis. Protesters say the demonstration is just the beginning of a growing resistance movement, and more actions can be expected later this week.

Bill McKibben: Green New Deal Is a Chance to “Remake Not Just a Broken Planet, But a Broken Society”

APRIL 15, 2019

President Trump signed two executive orders last week to facilitate the approval of pipeline projects at a federal level, limiting states’ ability to regulate such projects. The move is intended in part to clear the way for permitting on the northeastern Constitution pipeline, which has stalled after New York invoked the Clean Water Act to reject the project on environmental grounds. We speak with Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org and the author of the new book “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?”

How Maine Senators have voted on this issue so far:

Maine Senator Susan Collins:

March 26, 2019 S J Res 8 A joint resolution recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal Cloture Invoked – Senate Nay

Maine Senator Angus King:

March 26, 2019 S J Res 8 A joint resolution recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal Cloture Invoked – Senate Nay

Keep an eye on how your elected officials are voting at: https://votesmart.org