18 September 2019   Leave a comment

On Friday many in the world will begin to participate in a climate strike in order to force actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Students are being asked to skip class on Friday and there are a large number of demonstrations planned for Saturday. The strike is planned to place pressure on participants in the UN Climate Action Summit which begins on 23 September. One of those demonstrations is planned for Boston on 20 September and the schedule for the Boston event is as follows:

10am – 11:30am: Community Events at City Hall Plaza
11:30am – 1pm: Rally at City Hall Plaza
1pm – 1:30pm: March to Massachusetts State House
1:30pm – 2:30pm: Action at Massachusetts State House

The Daily Hampshire Gazette ran an article about the activists in Western Massachusetts and interviewed several people about their concerns. One of those interviewed was Naomi Johnson, 17, at Amherst-Pelham Regional High School :

Why are you going to the climate strike?
I’m going because I have faith that huge strike actions can rile the public and bring climate change to the forefront of government policy. Climate change’s greatest adversary is ignorance; there are millions of people in the United States who see rising temperatures and increasing natural disasters, but simply don’t see the connection between these events and the climate crisis, or possibly simply deny that climate change is a problem or real. Activists have done a lot in the past by striking — the New Deal, the civil rights movement. I believe that can happen again.

When it comes to climate change, what issue or issues are you most focused on and why?
I’m most focused on the corrupt corporations side of climate change and convincing our government to take action against big business. Modern climate change denial is fueled by a heartless desire for fossil fuel industry profit, and those industries relentlessly bribe politicians to ensure that their interests stay a top priority over the welfare of the people.

Just 100 companies are responsible for 70 percent of all carbon emissions; just imagine the changes we could make if we forced those companies to become sustainable through government action.

Do you worry about how your future could be affected by climate change?
I try to stay calm about my future by completely avoiding the topic. Sure, I can tell you about where I want to go to college, but don’t ask me about my career in 10 years. All I can think of then is the unimaginable suffering we’re facing without drastic action, the sacrifices I’ll have to make as I fight — because I will never stop fighting — and how much hope we’ll have left if nothing gets done now. I want kids, but won’t have them if the apocalyptic future we face comes to fruition. Hopefully the future I’m imagining will never come to pass.

Ironically, today US President Trump revoked “California’s power to enforce more stringent limits on vehicle carbon pollution than the federal government.” Under such obstreperous resistance, activism is probably the only course of action available to US citizens.

Israel’s election was so close that we probably will not see a government formed for several weeks. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s party and coalition partners failed to achieve a clear majority. But the opposition parties, led by Benny Gantz and the Blue and White Party, also failed to gain a solid majority in the Knesset. Time describes the deadlock:

“As pre-election polls had predicted, Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party together with allied right-wing nationalist and religious parties fell well short of securing the 61 seats required for a parliamentary majority. But so did his principal opponent Benny Gantz, who leads the nominally centrist party Blue and White. With 91% of the votes counted, Blue and White had 32 seats, with Likud on 31. It remains to be seen which of the two leaders Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, who occupies a largely ceremonial role, will ask to form a coalition.”

The uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the election is undoubtedly having an effect on President Trump’s decision-making process on Iran. Netanyahu has been a strong advocate of attacking Iran, but, absent some blatant act by Iran, such strong action would be difficult to justify.

Posted September 18, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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