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    Reflections on Occupy Wall Street, with photos, fun, and good wishes for the future. eBook, Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened? (Only $.99 !) In the eBook, the Occupy movement is explored through original reporting, photographs, cartoons, poetry, essays, and reviews.The collection of essays and blog posts records the unfolding of Occupy into the culture from September 2011 to the present.  Authors Kimberly Wilder and Ian Wilder were early supporters of Occupy, using their internet platforms to communicate the changes being created by the American Autumn.

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Climate News & Reminder – LICSN Meets Tonight!

Meeting Location: Unitarian Universalist Society of South Suffolk
28 Brentwood Road , Bay Shore, Long Island , NY 11706-8011 • (631) 968-0667
Park on Brentwood Rd!!!
Do not park in the Church Driveway or the adjacent parking lots. You risk being ticketed or towed!!!!

Added to LICSN.org web site:
September News
Visit UN DPI (http://www.un.org/dpi/ngosection/conference/ ) for videos from this exciting Climate Change Conference. 
For a great video by Tavis Smiley on Inter-dependence. Visit http://blip.tv/file/375203  
NEW TEACHER RESOURCE – National Wildlife Federation’s new ClimateClassroom.org features age-adapted sources of useful curricula, a downloadable slide presentation for kids, presenter’s guide, and more.
Check the Calendar for upcoming local events.


Northwest Passage in Arctic Now Navigable for the First Time in Recorded History. BBC News, September 14, 2007. “The most direct shipping route from Europe to Asia is fully clear of ice for the first time since records began, the European Space Agency (ESA) says. Historically, the Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans has been ice-bound through the year. But the agency says ice cover has been steadily shrinking, and this summer’s reduction has made the route navigable. The findings, based on satellite images, raised concerns about the speed of global warming. The Northwest Passage is one of the most fabled sea routes in the world – a short cut from Europe to Asia through the Canadian Arctic. Recent years have seen a marked shrinkage in its ice cover, but this year it was extreme, ESA says… The Northeast Passage through the Russian Arctic has also seen its ice cover shrink and it currently ‘remains only partially blocked,’ ESA says. Scientists have linked the changes to global warming which may be progressing faster than expected. The opening of the sea routes is already leading to international disputes. Canada says it has full rights over those parts of the Northwest Passage that pass through its territory and that it can bar transit there. But this has been disputed by the US and the European Union. They argue that the new route should be an international strait that any vessel can use.”

Alison Benjamin, The Guardian, Wednesday September 12 2007. Corals and seaweed have joined the ranks of threatened species, and more apes and reptiles are now facing extinction according to the World Conservation Union, which warns of a ‘global extinction crisis’. The conservation group’s annual Red List of threatened species, published today, found that the extinction crisis had escalated in the last year with 16,306 species now at the highest levels of extinction threat, equivalent to almost 40% of all species in the survey. A quarter of all mammals, a third of all amphibians and one in eight birds on the 2007 IUCN Red List are in jeopardy. IUCN director general Julia Marton-Lefèvre warned that this year’s list showed how efforts to protect species were inadequate and that a concerted effort by all levels of society was needed to prevent their widespread extinction. ‘The rate of biodiversity loss is increasing and we need to act now to significantly reduce it and stave off this global extinction crisis,’ she said. ‘We’re at code red,’ said Dr Mark Wright, chief scientist at WWF-UK. ‘The plight of the world’s species is a mirror on the state of the planet. Species are under enormous pressure as we systematically destroy their habitat or overexploit them for our increasingly demanding lifestyles. We urgently need to reverse this trend and start living within the planet’s natural resources – not just for the wellbeing of these threatened species but also for our own’.”

Clean Up the World Weekend: September 14-16. Press Release, UNEP, September 11, 2007. “Community-based action on climate change involving an estimated 35 million people across the planet in 2007 will culminate in the Clean Up the World Weekend on 14-16 September. More than 650 non-government organisations, community groups, local councils and other agencies in 115 countries are currently working on projects in 2007 to improve the health of the environment. The focus of many community activities around the world has been on limiting the impacts of climate change though activities such as waste reduction and recycling, water and energy conservation, and revegetation. On Clean Up the World Weekend, organisations will engage volunteers to take part in activities designed to clean up, fix up and conserve their local environment. The Australian founder and chairman of Clean Up the World, Ian Kiernan, said communities in many countries are demonstrating that simple actions can make a real and lasting difference… The Clean Up the World campaign is in its 15th year and has the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The 2007 theme ‘Our Climate, Our Actions, Our Future’ channels community action towards addressing the causes of climate change.” Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, Urges Public Participation in Clean Up the World Campaign Weekend (podcast, September 11, 2007.)

U.N. Warns of Unrest as Food Price Inflation Hits Developing Countries. By Javier Blas, The Fanancial Times ( UK ), September 7, 2007. “Developing countries face serious social unrest as they struggle to cope with soaring food prices, the United Nations’ top agriculture official has warned. Jacques Diouf, director-general of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, said surging prices for basic food imports such as wheat, corn and milk had the ‘potential for social tension, leading to social reactions and eventually even political problems’. Mr. Diouf said food prices would continue to increase because of a mix of strong demand from developing countries; a rising global population, more frequent floods and droughts caused by climate change; and the biofuel industry’s appetite for grains… Mr Diouf said although the biofuel industry directly increased the consumption of only a handful of agricultural commodities, such as corn and rapeseed, its effect spread to other food products because less acreage was devoted to non-biofuel crops and the cost of feeding livestock with grain was pushed up. ‘The biofuel industry is a new factor creating demand for food for a non-food use,’ he said.”

Building Codes Lag Behind NYC Mayor’s Vision. By Anthony DePalma, The New York Times, September 16, 2007. “Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s ambitious sustainability plan for New York ‘s future (PlanNYC 2030) makes expanding the use of alternative power sources a top priority. It specifically calls for more small rooftop electricity generators that burn cleanly and reduce peak demand on Con Ed. But a plan, no matter how visionary, means little until the nuts and bolts of building codes and regulations have been put into place. And as David Birnbaum, the president of a Manhattan telecommunications firm, has discovered, bureaucratic delay and red tape can endlessly snarl a project, even one so encouraged by the administration. Mr. Birnbaum’s company, Public Interest Network Services, hired a local engineering firm last year to install a state-of-the-art, natural gas-fired 65-kilowatt microturbine on the roof of the company’s building on West 17th Street in Chelsea . The new unit, installed in February, provides exactly the kind of distributed power generation called for in Mr. Bloomberg’s 25-year plan for a greener city, which was released in April. It will supply all the company’s electricity, and the surplus heat it generates will run a chiller to keep the business’s computers and telecommunications hardware cool. But Mr. Birnbaum has been unable to turn on his $1 million worth of new equipment because the city still is caught up in regulatory procedures. All that is missing on the new setup is two feet of pipe where the natural gas meter should go, and it cannot be installed until the city gives its final approval. Although there are thousands of these microturbine generators around the country, Mr. Birnbaum’s would be among the first to be legally installed in New York City . ‘It’s been a horribly painful and expensive process,’ Mr. Birnbaum said. The seven-month delay has been costly for his company and its customers, mostly nonprofit groups and nongovernmental organizations, he said.”

New York Attorney General Subpoenas 5 Energy Companies. By Felicity Barringer and Danny Hakim, The New York Times, September 16, 2007. “Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York has opened an investigation of five large energy companies, questioning whether their plans to build coal-fired power plants pose undisclosed financial risks that their investors should know about. Mr. Cuomo, using the same state securities law wielded by his predecessor, Gov. Eliot Spitzer, to investigate corruption on Wall Street, sent subpoenas late Friday to the top executives of the five companies, seeking internal documents. The companies, which have projects in various states, are AES Corporation, Dominion, Dynegy, Peabody Energy and Xcel Energy. It is rare, if not unique, for a securities law to be used for an environmental purpose, in this case the fight against new coal-fired power plants.”

President Bush’ Science Advisor Says Man-Made Global Warming is Unequivocal. By Roger Harrabin, BBC News, September 16, 2007. “The US chief scientist has told the BBC that climate change is now a fact. [Stony Brook University] Professor John Marburger, who advises President Bush, said it was more than 90% certain that greenhouse gas emissions from mankind are to blame. The Earth may become ‘unliveable’ without cuts in CO2 output, he said, but he labelled targets for curbing temperature rise as ‘arbitrary’. His comments come shortly before major meetings on climate change at the UN and the Washington White House. There may still be some members of the White House team who are not completely convinced about climate change – but it is clear that the science advisor to the President and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy is not one of them. In the starkest warning from the White House so far about the dangers ahead, Professor Marburger told the BBC that climate change was unequivocal, with mankind more than 90% likely to blame.”

Let’s Do it Right: Cap-and-Recycle. Commentary by Peter Barnes, StepItUp07.org, September 11, 2007. “In theory, a descending economy-wide carbon cap is the single most effective way for the U.S. to fight climate change. Such a cap could decline 2 percent a year for 40 years and get us where we need to go — to an 80 percent reduction by mid-century. But not all carbon caps are the same, and it’s important to understand the differences. Carbon capping comes in three varieties: cap-and-trade, cap-and-auction, and cap-and-recycle… In cap-and-trade, permits are given free to historic polluters. This is called ‘grandfathering.’ The more a company polluted in the past, the more permits it gets in the future — not just once, but year after year. As the descending cap raises the price of fossil fuels, everyone pays more, and the com­panies that get free permits keep this extra money. In Europe , a carbon cap-and-trade program with grandfathered permits hand­ed billions of Euros in windfall profits to a few large utilities. In the U.S., an MIT study (PDF, 71 pages) estimates that grandfathering permits to American utilities would give them hundreds of billions of dollars in extra profits every year for several decades… In cap-and-auction, permits are sold to polluters, not given away free. Permit revenue goes to the government rather than to private companies. What government does with the money is then up to public officials… In cap-and-recycle, permits are also sold, not given away free. However, the revenue doesn’t go to the government — it goes to all of us, one person, one share. The model here is the Alaska Permanent Fund, which pays equal dividends to all Alaskans from state oil income. This kind of cap is sometimes called a sky trust… The kind of cap you prefer depends on your starting assumption. If you assume the atmosphere belongs to whichever companies grab it first, then cap-and-trade makes sense. If you assume the atmosphere belongs to government, then cap-and-auction is your choice. If you assume the atmosphere is a gift to everyone, then cap-and-recycle follows… The appeal of cap-and-recycle is more than philosophical — it’s the only approach that protects our disposable incomes as energy prices rise.  That’s because, as the price of carbon permits rises, so will the dividends that come from selling them. This difference will mean hundreds to thousands of dollars every year for every American. And it will assure that the middle class supports a descending carbon cap for 40 years — something it might not otherwise do when energy prices soar. The right climate legislation hasn’t yet been introduced.  But citizens across the country are gearing up to fight for real solutions that are fair to everyone. That fight could culminate in 2009, when a new President and Congress take over. That’s why, if ever there was a time to engage in climate politics, that time is now.” Peter Barnes, former president of Working Assets and a fellow at the Tomales Bay Institute, is the author, most recently, of Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons.

Governors Seek Action on Global Warming. By H. Josef Hebert, The Associated Press, September 12, 2007. “Governors want to expand state regulation of greenhouse gases in hopes of increasing pressure for federal action on global warming, the chairman of the National Governors Association said Wednesday. Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn., said in an Associated Press interview that getting more states to limit greenhouse gases is a priority among clean energy issues for the group. Others include spurring energy conservation and broadening use of renewable fuels such as ethanol. ‘We have a federal government that doesn’t seem to want to move as fast or as bold as many would like’ on these issues, Pawlenty said. If enough states act to curtail greenhouse gases, ‘it becomes a de facto national policy,’ he said. A dozen states have adopted plans to require a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles and three other states are considering similar action. Auto companies complain that the limits would require increases in average mile-per-gallon standards that may not be achievable… At a news conference with Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas , Pawlenty discussed how states can promote conservation and alternative fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, and accelerate development of clean energy technologies. The association announced a task force, headed by eight governors, to advance clean energy development at the state level and potentially ‘alter the landscape of clean energy policy in the United States .’ The Energy Department said it will provide $610,000 to support the association’s effort.” NGA Officially Launches Clean Energy Initiative. Press Release, NGA, September 12, 2007. “NGA is committed to promoting clean energy policies across the country. NGA Chair Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius officially launched the Securing a Clean Energy Future initiative.”

Turning the Ride to School Into a Walk. Commentary by Jane E. Brody, The New York Times, September 11, 2007. “Forty years ago, half of all students walked or bicycled to school. Today, fewer than 15 percent travel on their own steam. One-quarter take buses, and about 60 percent are transported in private automobiles, usually driven by a parent or, sometimes, a teenager… Cities and communities throughout the country are trying to encourage more children to walk or bike to school. The only way this can occur is if children can travel there safely. That means more sidewalks and clearly marked bike lanes or paths separated from roadways, lower traffic speed on school routes, safer crosswalks, well-trained crossing guards at all corners near schools and adult supervision.”

Higher Gasoline Price Seen Trimming Down Americans. Reuters, September 11, 2007. “Higher U.S. gasoline prices may slim more than just wallets, according to a new study from Washington University in St. Louis . Entitled Silver Lining? The Connection between Gas Prices and Obesity, the study found that an additional $1 per gallon in real gasoline prices would reduce U.S. obesity by 15 percent after five years. The report, written by Charles Courtemanche for his doctoral dissertation in health economics, found that the 13 percent rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to falling pump prices…Higher gasoline prices can reduce obesity by leading people to walk or cycle instead of drive and eat leaner at home instead of rich food at restaurants.”

Nobel Peace Laureate Calls for Lifestyle ‘Traffic Rule’ to Fight Warming. Agence France-Presse, September 14, 2007. “The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus called for a worldwide lifestyle change, saying global warming is ‘a matter of life and death’ for low-lying nations like his own country Bangladesh . In a keynote speech to a symposium [in Seoul] on climate change, Yunus suggested a ‘traffic rule’ under which products bear red, yellow or green markings to indicate the extent to which they come from renewable sources. Yunus, honoured for his creation of the Grameen Bank which grants microcredit to the poor, said his country is bearing the brunt of climate change, with 40 percent of its land mass less than one metre (3.3 feet) above sea level. Sea levels are rising an average three millimetres a year, he said, and Bangladesh ‘s 150 million people are already confined to living on around 144,000 square kilometres (55,598 square miles). ‘Floods and Bangladesh are becoming synonymous,’ Yunus said, adding that their frequency and intensity are increasing year by year. ‘For many people around the world this is an issue of concern but for us it’s an issue of life and death.’ He called for global lifestyle changes to make the world a better place… Yunus said the lesson was that the world could not continue a lifestyle at the cost of the planet itself. ‘So we have to find a lifestyle which is consistent with our principle or decision — we should leave the world safer than we found it’.”

Dirty Energy Threatens Health of 2 Billion Poor People. By Ben Hirschler, Reuters, September 14, 2007. “The health of about 2 billion of the world’s poor is being damaged because they lack access to clean energy, like electricity, and face exposure to smoke from open fires, scientists said on Thursday. Dangerous levels of indoor air pollutants from badly ventilated cooking fires are a common hazard, while lack of electricity deprives many of the benefits of refrigeration. Paul Wilkinson of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said the world’s richest populations use up to 20 times more energy per head than those from poor countries, posing a challenge to improve energy supply without pollution. Writing in the Lancet medical journal, Wilkinson and colleagues estimated 2.4 billion people worldwide were exposed to pollution from inefficient burning of solid fuels like wood, coal and dried cow dung. This causes around 1.6 million premature deaths each year — roughly double the level of deaths from air pollution in cities — and many more non-fatal cases of respiratory diseases. At the same time, around 1.6 billion people worldwide have no electricity. ‘Paradoxically, the poor are using much less energy but they are getting all the adverse effects,’ Wilkinson said in an interview. ‘We in the more developed countries have access to clean energy and are using much more of it and are contributing to the global problem of climate change, where the main adverse effects are likely to fall, once again, on lower-income countries.”

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