‘Don’t vote German anti-climate parties CDU, SPD’


This 24 May 2019 video from Germany says, translated:

This is an open letter. A statement. From a large part of the Youtube scene. This weekend are the European Union elections and it is important to vote. But it is equally important to make a rational choice decision that is consistent with logic and science.

There are many important political issues, but according to the risk hierarchy, the potential destruction of our planet obviously has the highest priority. Every other topic is less important.

The irreversible destruction of our planet is unfortunately not an abstract scenario but the calculable result of current policies. We do not say that, that’s the overwhelming consensus in science. The experts clearly say that the CDU/CSU and SPD

the current German coalition government

course is drastically wrong, leading us into a scenario where the earth is constantly getting hotter, no matter what we do. In this world, not only many animal species become extinct, but also many humans. Illnesses will be on the rise for the survivors, trillions of economic losses are being created, and hundreds of millions of refugees will be coming; who will not have to stay in another country for a few years, but forever.

Therein science is certain. This is not about individual expert opinions, because you can always find them. No, it’s an overwhelming consensus among scientists based on countless independent studies and research. Anyone who denies this consensus, like the [extreme right German climate denialist party] AfD, or does not act on it, like the current government, has nothing to do in the leadership of an enlightened country.

There are ‘centre-right’ parties like the CDU/CSU in many countries. Often, they are scared of losing votes to Donald Trump-style far-rightists, like the neo-fascist AfD in Germany. Usually, they don’t say that global warming is a ‘Chinese communist hoax’, like Trump does. But they say: don’t pay too much for solving this problem; don’t make corporations like Volkswagen, Shell or Exxon pay; make instead poor people pay; etc. And don’t go any further than the Paris climate agreement (which is not enough according to most scientists). In the USA, left-wing Senator Sanders says that ‘centrist’ Democrat Biden’s ‘middle ground’ approach to the climate crisis would ‘doom future generations’.

And then, there are ‘centre-left’ politicians like in the German SPD. Who in theory have better climate policies. But who say: we are in a coalition government with the centre-right. And continuing for us to be ministers is more important than stopping global warming disasters.

Maybe ignorance is the reason for this misconduct, maybe they [the German government parties CDU/CSU and SPD] do not have the strength or the decency to put science and reality above the money and influence of big corporations and lobbies. In any case, we must ensure that parties have an incentive to act according to science. And the obvious incentive we can create is that they lose votes in the elections. Because only then would they have a reason to change their behaviour.

Therefore, we ask everyone: Do not vote for the CDU/CSU, do not vote SPD. Do not choose any other party that does little according to logic and science, and, according to scientific consensus, destroys our future. And certainly do not vote for the AfD, which even denies this consensus.

This is not about different legitimate political opinions. It’s about the irrefutable need to do everything to drastically change the course as soon as possible. That’s what more than 26,000 German-speaking scientists call for. This is demanded by the IPCC, which screens and summarizes the thousands of scientific publications. And we stand on the side of the experts. Because if we stay this course for the next few years, we may not have a chance to stop the destruction.

Finally, dear politicians: Of course you now have the opportunity to discredit us again. You can blame us for not having a plan on what we’re talking about. You will say that we are lying. That we participate in fake news campaigns. Are instrumentalized. That we are bought and paid and so on. All of these disrespectful techniques have been used against us, against your own people, this year. And we speak for many citizens when we say: You have not made friends with that.

Among the signatories:

[film maker] Julien Bam, [beauty vlogger] DagiBee, Vik, Emrah, Anni the Duck, Mirellativegal, Oğuz Yılmaz, Fynn Kliemann, Rezo, Tim Jacken, Toni Pirosa, DeChangeman, Rick (SpaceFrogs), Steven (SpaceFrogs), Aaron Troschke, Greeen, Katja Krasavice, Malwanne, [gamer] Luca Concrafter, Unge, Jana Nell, Alexi Bexi, Alycia Marie, Diana zur Löwen, Marti Fischer, Jodie Calussi, Mii Mii, Julia Beautx, CrispyRob, Simon Will, Rewi, Taddl, Trymacs, Phil Laude, Izzi, Nia, Fräulein Chaos, Heider, Soja (SophieDoesRandomStuff), Gordon, Aljosha, Jonas (Simplicissimus), David (Simplicissimus), Tilo Jung, OpenMind, Kiko, Gong Bao, Sturmwaffel, Barbara Sofie, Hendrik Rettkowski, David Hain, Fabian Siegismund, Ambre Vallet, LeFloid, Naomi Jon, Klengan, Kayla Shyx, Luna F. Darko, dyzzy, Nhi, Marius (Angeschrien), Sonny Loops, Ischtar Isik, Jonas Ems, Paul (Ultralativ), Fynn (Ultralativ), Danergy, Lenny (Lennyficate), 2Bough, Domino Kati, Marie (Snukieful), EasyAlex, Kelly, GermanLetsPlay, Maxim Markov, Alexander Straub, Jolina Mennen, Firegoden, Keanusworld, Doktor Whatson, Silvi Rockstar, Vincent Lee, Krancrafter, MrTrashpack, Tomary, Masterjam, BinaBianca, Kupferfuchs, Philip Steuer, JF not Kennedy, Mizeb, Ralph Ruthe.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Well-known German youtubers are calling not to vote this Sunday for the country’s two largest parties in the European elections because they do too little about climate change. “We ask all of you: do not vote for CDU/CSU, do not vote for SPD”, almost a hundred of them say in a video. …

The call comes a week after the 26-year-old vlogger Rezo opened the attack on the established parties. Under the title Die Zerstörung der CDU [The destruction of the CDU], he explains in almost an hour what is wrong with current policy.

This is Rezo’s 18 May 2019 video Die Zerstörung der CDU.

In addition to climate change, he also criticizes the growing gap between rich and poor and German governmental help for US American wars. The video has now been viewed almost 9 million times.

Meanwhile, over 9 million.

The CDU ruling party did not have an adequate answer to all these allegations. First, the party’s Secretary-General called the video “a mix of pseudo-facts“, but because that reaction only increased criticism, he admitted the day after that Rezo had used proper sources. …

In addition, the young [CDU] Bundestag [parliament] member Amthor would come up with a reply video yesterday, but that response did not come. …

Coalition party SPD did come up with a response. “Your criticism has reached us”, said Young Socialist Chairman Klingbeil in a video. … Klingbeil, however, also emphasized that compromises are needed in politics.

British students urge ministers to ‘teach the future’ about climate change: here.

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Climate change, science and activism


This 23 May 2019 video from New Zealand says about itself:

Students skip school for climate change strike

Thousands of children called on adults to get real about climate change in mass protests around the country today

From Penn State university in the USA:

Marching [against] climate change may sway people’s beliefs and actions

May 23, 2019

Americans have a long tradition of taking to the streets to protest or to advocate for things they believe in. New research suggests that when it comes to climate change, these marches may indeed have a positive effect on the public.

A team including Penn State researchers found that people tended to be more optimistic about people’s ability to work together to address climate change and have better impressions of people who participated in marches after the March for Science and the People’s Climate March in the spring of 2017.

Janet Swim, professor of psychology at Penn State, said the findings suggest that climate change marches can have positive effects on bystanders.

“Marches serve two functions: to encourage people to join a movement and to enact change,” Swim said. “This study is consistent with the idea that people who participate in marches can gain public support, convince people that change can occur, and also normalize the participants themselves.”

Swim added that recent research has shown that marches are becoming more prevalent in the US, not just [against] climate change but for many issues. She and her coauthors, Nathaniel Geiger from Indiana University, and Michael Lengieza from Penn State, were interested in learning more about whether marches are effective at changing psychological predictors of joining movements.

“There are several measures that predict people engaging and taking action in the future,” Swim said. “One of those is collective efficacy — the belief that people can work together to enact change. People don’t want to do something if it’s not going to have an effect. We were interested in whether marches increased this sense of efficacy, that once you see other people do something, you might think yes, it’s possible.”

For the study, the researchers recruited 587 bystanders — people who did not participate in the march but observed it through the media. 302 participants completed a survey the day before the March for Science held on April 22, 2017, and 285 completed a survey several days after the People’s Climate March held on April 29, 2017.

The surveys asked participants how much they knew about the marches, their impressions of the people who participated in the marches, and whether they believed people could work together to reduce climate change, among other measures.

“Activists are often seen negatively — that they’re arrogant or eccentric or otherwise outside of the norm,” Swim said. “There’s a fine line between marchers and other activists expressing themselves and raising awareness of their cause, while also not confirming negative stereotypes. So, one of our questions was whether marches increase or decrease people’s negative impressions of marchers.”

Because the researchers were also interested in how media coverage contributed to outcomes, they also noted the participants’ preferred news sources and coded whether the sources were generally more conservative or liberal.

The researchers found that after the People’s Climate March, study participants were more optimistic about people’s ability to work together to address climate change — referred to as collective efficacy beliefs. They also found that study participants had less negative opinions of marchers after the march.

Additionally, the researchers found that participants who regularly consumed news from conservative media had more collective efficacy beliefs and intent to take action after the marches. Those who regularly got news from liberal media tended to have less negative impressions of marchers, particularly among those who reported having heard about the marches.

Swim said that because they controlled for such factors as political affiliation and beliefs, these changes were likely due to the way their preferred media sources portrayed the marches before and after the events.

“If conservative news sources only talk the march after the fact, that might be why their viewers have more efficacy afterwards, because they didn’t know about it before,” Swim said. “Additionally, a more liberal news source may portray marchers as more sympathetic, which may be why their viewers had more favorable impressions of marchers.”

In future, Swim said she would like to further study how news and other media sources contribute to people’s beliefs about climate change. For example, a content analysis that helps tease apart whether it is how much coverage a march gets that contributes to changes in beliefs or whether it is how the marches and marchers are portrayed that matters.

Nathaniel Geiger, Assistant Professor of Environmental Communications from Indiana University, Michael L. Lengieza, graduate student in Psychology from Penn State, and also participated in this work.

This video is called Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment. Documentary 2018 HD.

From the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center in the USA:

GRACE data contribute to understanding of climate change

Expanded investigation through 2021 to be highly dependent on TACC supercomputing systems

May 23, 2019

The University of Texas at Austin team that led a twin satellite system launched in 2002 to take detailed measurements of the Earth, called the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), reports in the most recent issue of the journal Nature Climate Change on the contributions that their nearly two decades of data have made to our understanding of global climate patterns.

Among the many contributions that GRACE has made:

  • GRACE recorded three times the mass of ice lost in the polar and mountainous regions since first beginning measurements — a consequence of global warming.
  • GRACE enabled a measure of the quantity of heat added to the ocean and the location for said heat that remains stored in the ocean. GRACE has provided detailed observations, confirming that the majority of the warming occurs in the upper 2,000 meters of the oceans.
  • GRACE has observed that of the 37 largest land-based aquifers, 13 have undergone critical mass loss. This loss, due to both a climate-related effect and an anthropogenic (human-induced) effect, documents the reduced availability of clean, fresh water supplies for human consumption.
  • The information gathered from GRACE provides vital data for the federal agency United States Drought Monitor and has shed light on the causes of drought and aquifer depletion in places worldwide, from India to California.

Intended to last just five years in orbit for a limited, experimental mission to measure small changes in the Earth’s gravitational fields, GRACE operated for more than 15 years and has provided unprecedented insight into our global water resources, from more accurate measurements of polar ice loss to a better view of the ocean currents, and the rise in global sea levels. The mission was a collaboration between NASA and the German Aerospace Centre and was led by researchers in the Center for Space Research (CSR) in UT’s Cockrell School of Engineering.

UT’s Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has played a critical role in this international project over the last 15 years, according to Byron Tapley, the Clare Cockrell Williams Centennial Chair Emeritus in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics who established the Center for Space Research at UT in 1981 and who served as principal investigator of the GRACE mission.

“As the demand for the GRACE science deliverables have grown, TACC’s ability to support these demands have grown. It has been a seamless transition to a much richer reporting environment,” he said.

By measuring changes in mass that cause deviations in the strength of gravity’s pull on the Earth’s various systems — water systems, ice sheets, atmosphere, land movements, and more — the satellites can measure small changes in the Earth system interactions.

“By monitoring the physical components of the Earth’s dynamical system as a whole, GRACE provides a time variable and holistic overview of how our oceans, atmosphere and land surface topography interact,” Tapley said.

The data system for the mission is highly distributed and requires significant data storage and computation through an internationally distributed network. Although the final data products for the CSR solutions are generated at TACC, there is considerable effort in Germany by the Geophysics Center in Potsdam and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The final CSR analysis at TACC starts with a data downlink from the satellites to a raw data collection center in Germany. The data is then transmitted to JPL where the primary measurements are converted into the geophysical measurements consisting of GPS, accelerometer, attitude quaternions, and the high accuracy intersatellite ranging measurements collected by each satellite during a month-long observation span.

“The collection of information from this international community are brought together by the fundamental computing capability and the operational philosophy at TACC to undergo the challenging data analysis required to obtain the paradigm-shifting view of the Earth’s interactions,” Tapley said.

Despite being a risky venture operating on minimal funding, the GRACE mission surpassed all expectations and continues to provide a critical set of measurements.

“The concept of using the changing gravimetric patterns on Earth as a means to understanding major changes in the Earth system interactions had been proposed before,” Tapley said. “But we were the first to make it happen at a measurement level that supported the needs of the diverse Earth-science community.”

One of the remarkable benefits of working with TACC, according to Tapley, is the ability to pose questions whose solutions would have not been feasible prior to TACC and to find the capability to answer the questions.

“As an example, when we began the GRACE mission, our capability was looking at gravity models that were characterized by approximately 5,000 model parameters, whose solution was obtained at approximately yearly analysis intervals. The satellite-only GRACE models today are based on approximately 33,000 parameters that we have the ability to determine at a daily interval. In the final re-analysis of the GRACE data, we’re looking to expand this parameterization to 4,000,000 parameters for the mean model. The interaction with TACC has always been in the context of: ‘If the answer to a meaningful question requires extensive computations, let’s find a way to satisfy that requirement,'” Tapley said.

Now that the GRACE Follow-On mission, which the CSR will continue to play a role in, has launched successfully, the chance to continue the GRACE record for a second multi-decadal measurement of changes in mass across the Earth system is possible. Engineers and scientists anticipate that the longer data interval will allow them to see an even clearer picture of how the planet’s climate patterns behave over time.

US Democratic Biden’s inadequate global warming policy


This 11 May 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Joe Biden‘s Failure On Climate Change

Joe Biden is going centrist on climate change. Cenk Uygur, Ramesh Srinivasan, and Brooke Thomas, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

In the USA, Senator Sanders says that ‘centrist‘ Democrat Biden’s ‘middle ground’ approach to the climate crisis would ‘doom future generations’.

GREEN NEW DEALERS FIND VILLAIN IN BIDEN’S ‘MIDDLE GROUND’ The former vice president may call himself by the affectionate nickname “Middle-Class Joe,” but for proponents of the Green New Deal, “Middle-Ground Joe” could become an epithet. [HuffPost]

2020 RIVALS RIP BIDEN’S CLIMATE ‘COMPROMISE’ Three of former Vice President Joe Biden’s rivals in the Democratic presidential race took issue with his approach to combating climate change following a report that he plans to pursue a “middle ground” to reduce carbon emissions. [HuffPost]

VIDEO SHOWS BIDEN ONCE RAILED AGAINST ‘ILLEGALS’ In a newly unearthed speech from November 2006, Joe Biden touts his support for a 700-mile southern barrier, warns of “tons” of drugs pouring in from “corrupt Mexico” and calls for a crackdown on American employers who hire “illegals.” [HuffPost]

Climate change kills British frogs


This BBC video from England says about itself:

Common frogs on Springwatch (2016)

Common frogs (Rana temporaria) breed in the spring and this clip looks at this activity from all angles including the perils.

From the Zoological Society of London in England:

Climate change responsible for severe infectious disease in UK frogs

Compelling research reveals fatal spread of Ranavirus will increase if carbon emissions are not reduced

May 10, 2019

Climate change has already increased the spread and severity of a fatal disease caused by Ranavirus that infects common frogs (Rana temporaria) in the UK, according to research led by ZSL’s Institute of Zoology, UCL and Queen Mary University of London published today in Global Change Biology (10 May 2019).

Historic trends in mass-mortality events attributed to the disease were found to match the pattern of increased temperatures recorded over recent decades, with disease outbreaks predicted to become more severe, more widespread and occurring over a greater proportion of the year within the next few decades, if carbon emissions continue at their current rate.

The research conducted by international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London), UCL, Queen Mary University of London and University of Plymouth used a three-pronged approach involving cell cultures, live models and historic data from the Met Office and Froglife’s Frog Mortality Project, with the research demonstrating that warm weather where temperatures reach 16°C, dramatically increases the risk of Ranavirus causing a disease outbreak in common frogs.

The findings help explain the seasonality of the disease, with incidence peaking during the hottest months of the summer, showing that climate change could see outbreaks becoming more frequent from April to October. Disease outbreaks in the spring could result in the deaths of large numbers of tadpoles, which could have repercussions for population survival. Up to now, Ranavirus disease has been largely restricted to England, but as average monthly temperatures increase to exceed 16°C in more areas over longer periods, as predicted by the IPCC’s high carbon-emission model, the disease is likely to spread across most of the UK in the next 50 years.

Dr Stephen Price, lead author from ZSL’s Institute of Zoology and UCL said: “Climate change isn’t something that’s just happening in faraway places — it’s something real and present that’s already had hard-to-predict impacts on wildlife in our own back gardens here in the UK.

“A number of scientists have already alluded to the fact that climate change could increase the spread of disease, but this is one of the first studies that provides strong evidence of the impact of climate change on wildlife disease, and helps to explain how it may facilitate the spread of Ranavirus across the UK.”

ZSL scientists suggest that frogs may be better able to cope with infection if they have areas in which they can cool down — adding log piles, vegetation or nearby shady patches as well as keeping ponds deep will help reduce the level of sun exposure frogs receive, and thus reduce the growth rate of the virus.

Professor Trenton Garner at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology said: “Many studies in amphibian disease cannot do much beyond saying ‘we have a problem’. This research offers a number of options for mitigation; however, this is only a short-term solution of course — if we don’t eventually slow and reverse human-driven climate change, we unfortunately can only expect things to get worse for our amphibians.”

To find out more about ZSL’s amphibian health work, visit here.

Young Australians demonstrate against climate change


Part of the Melbourne, Australia pro-climate rally

From the World Socialist Web Site in Australia:

Australian youth speak out against climate change

By our reporters

6 May 2019

On Friday, thousands of students and youth around Australia took part in a “national day of action” against climate change. Rallies were held in regional centres and capital cities across the country.

The events followed worldwide March 15 protests, in which tens of thousands of young people throughout Australia participated. …

Mia

In Melbourne, high school student Mia said: “I think it’s good that children are getting out there. It shows that it’s an actual problem and it needs to be dealt with.”

Asked if she thought the major parties would act on climate change, Mia responded: “I think they’re all in it for themselves, for their own profit. I feel like they have things that they deem more important than the futures of their children and their grandchildren on their minds. Whatever is going to make them the most money is what they deem most important.”

Theo

In response to the program of the IYSSE, Theo—a year nine student from inner Melbourne—said: “Creating an international organization of the youth that will take action on climate change is a really good idea because there is a lot of us and we are all really passionate and we will get it done.”

Katerina and Georgia, journalism students at Melbourne’s La Trobe University, initially attended the rally as part of an assignment.

However, Katerina explained: “I knew what it was about and the causes. It blew my mind to see so many children with nothing to lose protesting today. I think the politicians need to listen.” She agreed that none of the major parties would do anything about climate change, saying “if you look at their track records, they’ve all gone back on their word. They might win us over with election promises, but no doubt this will keep going.”

Georgia and Katerina with SEP candidate Tessa Pietsch (right)

They were buoyed to hear of the SEP’s campaign putting forward a socialist alternative to the capitalist profit system and were excited to meet SEP Victorian senate candidate, Tessa Pietsch—whose statement they were reading—at the rally.

Year 11 students Zara, Heyma and Saskia took part in the rally in the regional New South Wales city of Newcastle, attended by around 200 students.

Heyma said that students were protesting “because we thought it was important to voice our views about climate change and the lack of government action. This is a pressing issue, and the world is waking up to it. People are beginning to realise that they need to get involved in this. We need to get involved in strikes like this, get involved in politics and make sure we’re informed.”

Zara, Heyma and Saskia

Zara explained she thinks “governments haven’t taken any steps to resolve climate change because it’s an economic issue. The government just wants the rich to make heaps of money, they don’t care about the environment that they’re leaving behind for us, the younger generation. They only care about making profits. They only think about the short-term gains.”

“We want to spread awareness that we’re ready to fight for this,” Saskia added. “We’re fighting to protect the environment and our future. The whole of society needs to change, not just particular policies. The fact that this movement is international is important—it also shows the power of social media, in spreading movements like these and uniting young people, who are thinking about these things and want to take action.” …

Aiden and Jackson

KyleKyle, a year 10 student who attended the inner-Sydney Marrickville protest said he thinks climate change “is one of the most important issues we face seeing as it involves the whole planet.”

“I’m anti-capitalism in general. A lot of people say that you have to make changes in yourself, but there is a big problem with the way companies are working. They are not changing what they are doing. They are telling us that we can change, but they need to change what they are doing in a big way.”

Galapogos giant tortoises and climate change


This 23 March 2019 video says about itself:

Tracking Giant Galapagos Tortoises | BBC Earth

From the Ecological Society of America:

Giant tortoises migrate unpredictably in the face of climate change

Unlike many migratory species, Galapagos giant tortoises do not use current environmental conditions to time their seasonal migration

April 18, 2019

Summary: Researchers use GPS to track the timing and patterns of giant tortoise migration over multiple years. The tortoises often take the same migration routes over many years in order to find optimal food quality and temperatures. The timing of this migration is essential for keeping their energy levels high, and climate change could disrupt a tortoise’s ability to migrate at the right time.

Galapagos giant tortoises, sometimes called Gardeners of the Galapagos, are creatures of habit. In the cool dry season, the highlands of the volcano slopes are engulfed in cloud which allows the vegetation to grow despite the lack of rain. On the lower slopes, however, there is no thick fog layer, and vegetation is not available year round. Adult tortoises thus spend the dry season in the higher regions, and trek back to the lower, relatively warmer zones where there is abundant, nutritious vegetation when the rainy season begins.

The tortoises often take the same migration routes over many years in order to find optimal food quality and temperatures. The timing of this migration is essential for keeping their energy levels high, and climate change could disrupt a tortoise’s ability to migrate at the right time.

In the Ecological Society of America’s journal Ecology, researchers use GPS to track the timing and patterns of tortoise migration over multiple years.

“We had three main goals in the study,” says Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau, lead author of the paper. “One was determining if tortoises adjust their timing of migration to current environmental conditions. Two, if so, what clues do they use to adjust the timing, and, three, what are the energetic consequences of migration mis-timing for tortoises?”

The researchers expected the migrations to be timed with current food and temperature conditions because many other migratory species operate that way. Bastille-Rousseau says “many animals, such as ungulates, can track current environmental conditions and migrate accordingly — what researchers sometime refer to as surfing the green-wave.”

Contrary to the researchers’ expectations, however, migration is weakly associated with current conditions such as fog, rain, and temperature. For instance, if it is unseasonably arid, it appears the tortoises do not take that variation into account when deciding it is time to migrate. It is unclear at this point whether they are basing their migration decisions on memories of past conditions or if they are simply incorrectly assessing current local conditions.

Bastille-Rousseau says the team is surprised by the mismatch, stating “tortoise timing of migration fluctuated a lot among years, often by over two months. This indicates that migration for tortoises may not just be about foraging opportunities. For example, female tortoises have to make decisions related to nesting, and we still have a lot to learn about migration in giant tortoises.”

Fortunately, this sub-optimal timing may not yet have critical impact on tortoise health. Potentially due to their long lives of up to 100 years and large body size, bad timing of migration has smaller consequences for giant tortoises compared to small, short lived animals. Giant tortoises can go up to a year without eating and survive, while other migrating species must eat more regularly to sustain their energy levels.

Giant tortoises are important ecosystem engineers in the Galapagos, responsible for long-distance seed dispersal, and their migration is key for many tree and plant species’ survival. How the tortoises’ variation in migration timing will affect the rest of the ecosystem is still unclear. Because tortoises do not seem to be tracking annual variation in environmental conditions, it is quite possible that the mistiming of migration will keep increasing in the future.

“One concern is that at some point in the future,” Bastille-Rousseau adds, “migration may not be an optimal strategy for tortoises. There may be a reduction in the number of individuals doing these long-distance movements. This would likely have cascading consequences for the whole ecosystem.”

THE CLIMATE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT The last five years were the five hottest on record. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has soared past 410 parts per million. As many as 150 species die off each day. As the call for action grows louder, the youth climate movement ― which scientists say has moved the needle on action to address the climate emergency ― is taking center stage. [HuffPost]

HAWAII BEACHES MAY SOON BE UNDERWATER Hawaii’s iconic Waikiki Beach could soon be underwater as rising sea levels caused by climate change overtake its white sand beaches and bustling city streets. State lawmakers are trying to pass legislation that would spend millions for a coastline protection program. [AP]

A new Stanford University study shows global warming has increased economic inequality since the 1960s. Temperature changes caused by growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere have enriched cool countries like Norway and Sweden, while dragging down economic growth in warm countries such as India and Nigeria: here.

British Conservative government represses climate change protesters


This 17 April 2019 video from Britain says about itself:

Extinction Rebellion: The People Risking Their Freedom To Stop Climate Change | HuffPost Reports: UK

In the midst of unprecedented warnings of climate breakdown, a new, radical protest group emerged in the UK in 2018 – Extinction Rebellion. Focusing on direct action and civil disobedience, Extinction Rebellion aim to disrupt daily life and confront government inaction on climate change. From their launch last year, we followed the group and witnessed its expansion.

By Laura Tiernan in Britain:

UK home secretary demands climate change protesters face “full force of the law”

20 April 2019

Mass arrests of climate change protesters continued in London yesterday, after the Conservative government’s Home Secretary Sajid Javid demanded police “use the full force of the law.”

More than 682 protesters have been arrested since Monday.

“No one should be allowed to break the law without consequence,” Javid tweeted Thursday morning. He called on police to “take a firm stance” against “any protesters who are stepping outside the boundaries of the law” and “significantly disrupting the lives of others.”

Javid’s statement followed well over 100 additional arrests in the centre of London Wednesday, after Scotland Yard demanded protesters be cleared from Parliament Square. Social media footage showed hundreds of police marching in formation from Millbank, with protesters later dragged away.

Javid issued his threats despite the peaceful tactics of protesters who have occupied public spaces including Parliament Square, Piccadilly Circus, Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Marble Arch. While hundreds have been arrested, just 10 people have so far been charged with any offence.

After widely publicised protests in London yesterday, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that 106 arrests were made. At Oxford Circus, actress Emma Thompson addressed demonstrators from a pink wooden boat in the middle of the road. “We are here in this little island of sanity and it makes me so happy to be able to join you all and to add my voice to the young people here who have inspired a whole new movement,” she said. Rings of police surrounded the boat before moving in to make arrests.

On Thursday evening, London Metropolitan Police issued a statement confirming more than 1,000 police had been mobilised and restating that under Section 14 orders, protests at Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Parliament Square were “illegal.” The statement followed a meeting between Javid and Met Chief Cressida Dick.

The Met responded to demands by Javid and others for tougher police action by explaining they were operating within legal constraints and with resources stretched to breaking point: “We have been asked why we are not using tactics such as containment—physically and forcibly stopping the protesters from moving around. The simple answer is we have no legal basis to do so. These are peaceful protesters; while disruptive their actions are not violent towards police, themselves or other members of the public.”

The media responded with demands for stepped-up repression, as urged by Javid.

On Thursday, Sky News presenter Adam Boulton attacked protesters for “fascistic disruption” in a clear attempt to redefine and criminalise the right to protest.

Boulton was articulating the stance of large sections of the media and political establishment. On Wednesday night, the Daily Mail carried a comment written by former Labour Home Secretary, now Sir David Blunkett. He railed, “Why hasn’t the full force of the law been used against these eco-anarchists who fill me with contempt?

“As Home Secretary between 2001 and 2004 I had to deal with the anti-globalisation protests and the Reclaim the Streets movement. I had to make decisions as to how far you allow these protests to go.”

Blunkett accurately described Labour’s draconian and anti-democratic response at the time: “What I learned was that you had to be tough. The full force of the law needs to be used against those who have been warned and yet who persist with their anti-social protests.”

On Thursday night, the Met warned that protests planned the following day at Heathrow Airport would be met with “firm action … We have requested mutual aid from other police forces to support our operation.”

The next morning dozens of police lined the streets around Heathrow Airport and surrounded a small group of protesters from Extinction Rebellion Youth. The 10 teenagers occupied a traffic island and did not impede entry to the airport. They held a banner that read, “Are we the last generation?”

Samar Faraj, 14, told reporters, “In 30 years’ time, I don’t want to be looking back on this and regretting not doing everything I could do to help prevent the disasters we’re facing.” Her fellow-protester Nathan Hunter, 15, said, “I’m protesting today because I don’t want to wake up in 15 years and regret that I didn’t do more to stop the climate crisis. I don’t want to live in a future defined by an unstable climate; A world where future generations may not be able to live happy, healthy lives—or even have lives at all.”

This week’s protests were organised by Extinction Rebellion (XR), attracting support from students and disparate sections of the middle-class, including retirees and professionals. An XR protest outside oil giant Shell’s corporate headquarters was joined by leading environmental lawyer Farhana Yamin, who helped draft the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. Yamin superglued herself to the footpath outside Shell, telling reporters, “the legal process is pretty broken right now. And we’re having to break law rather than make law, because of the inaction of 30 years now of these companies.”

A press release issued by XR explained that their members had deliberately caused more than £6,000 of damage to Shell property to ensure their case is heard by a Crown Court jury (rather than a magistrate), where they hope to publicise their concerns over the activities of Shell.

XR’s protest actions, including blocking roads and light rail networks, are based on appeals to the capitalist state. XR is calling on the government to declare a climate emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025, and create a Citizens’ Assembly on ecological justice. XR explains such an assembly would comprise “randomly selected” members of the public who would supposedly “work together” on a “non-partisan basis” to solve the climate emergency.

While most climate change protesters arrested this week were released under investigation and without charge, the Met confirmed Thursday that they would “be brought back to be formally interviewed and charged as appropriate in due course.”

The statements by Sajid Javid, Blunkett and the vitriolic media attacks are a foretaste of how the state will respond to any movement in the working class. The arguments being deployed to justify police repression—including “disruption” and “inconvenience” to the public—will be used tomorrow to demand mass arrests and repression against striking railway workers, bus drivers, pilots and cabin crew, or NHS staff.

Monday, April 22, 2019: Over a thousand Extinction Rebellion protesters arrested in past week. Environmentalists stage a ‘die-in’ at the Natural History Museum while others consider whether to continue direct action: here.

UK: Defence minister’s sacking escalates Tory crisis amid rising UK/US tensions: here.