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September 17 2019

Statement of scientists and scholars concerning the protests for more climate protection

The concerns of the young protesters are justified

At present, many young people are demonstrating persistently for climate protection and the preservation of our natural resources. As scientists and scholars, and based on robust scientific evidence, we declare: these concerns are justified and supported by the best available science. The current measures for protecting the climate, biodiversity, and forest, marine, and soil resources, are far from sufficient.

The Paris Agreement of 2015 (UNFCCC 2015) obliges countries under international law to keep global warming well below 2°C. In addition, all countries have promised efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 °C.

It is critical to immediately begin reducing net CO2 emissions and to eliminate them to zero worldwide between 2040 and 2050 at the latest (IPCC 2018). A more rapid reduction would increase the probability of not exceeding the 1.5°C limit. The use of coal should be nearly ended by 2030, while the burning of oil and natural gas should be reduced simultaneously until all fossil fuels have been replaced by climate-neutral energy sources. Considering global climate justice, Europe must achieve this transistion more quickly (IPCC 2018, Global Carbon Project 2018).

While the need for participation and discussion remains, action must be taken now. Discussion and action are not mutually exclusive. Many social and technological innovations already exist which can maintain quality of life and improve human well-being without destroying our natural resources (e.g. Klima-Allianz Deutschland 2018, WBGU 2011).

In all German-speaking countries, neither the necessary scale nor speed of change are being achieved in the restructuring of the energy, food, agriculture, resource, and mobility sectors. Germany will fail to meet the climate protection targets it has set itself for 2020 (UBA 2019), and the achievement of the goals of the German Sustainability Strategy for 2030 is at high risk (German Council for Sustainable Development SRU, 2018). Moreover, there is still a lack of an effective climate protection law. Austria has set itself goals in its climate and energy strategy that do not in any way do justice to the Paris Agreement (CCCA 2018, Wegener Center für Klima und Globalen Wandel 2018, Schleicher and Kirchgast 2019) and even for this purpose, neither the necessary measures nor the financial means are provided (CCCA 2018). At the same time, soil degradation and surface coverage per person and year in Austria are the highest in Europe (UBA 2018). Switzerland has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions only slightly since 1990; at the same time, emissions caused abroad have increased considerably (BAFU 2018). In the first parliamentary debate on the total revision of the CO2 Act, the lower house proposed to abolish domestic reduction targets and to offset Swiss emissions abroad. In effect, the law has failed for the time being (Schweizer Parlament 2018).

The young people rightly demand that our society should prioritize sustainability and especially climate action without further hesitation. Without far-reaching and consistent change, their future is in danger. This change means, among other things: we will introduce renewable energy with new courage and the necessary speed; we will consistently implement energy-saving measures; and, we will fundamentally change our patterns of nutrition, mobility, and consumption.

Politicians in particular have a responsibility to create the necessary framework conditions in a timely manner. In particular, climate-friendly and sustainable action must become simple and cost-effective, while climate-damaging action must become unattractive and expensive, for example, through effective CO2 pricing (e.g. EFI 2019), elimination of subsidies for climate-damaging actions and products, efficiency regulations and social innovations. A socially balanced distribution of the costs and benefits of change is essential.

The enormous mobilisation of the Fridays for Future/Climate Strike movement shows that young people have understood the situation. As scientists and scholars, we strongly support their demand for rapid and forceful action.

As people who are familiar with scientific work and deeply concerned about the current developments, we consider it as our social responsibility to point out the consequences of inadequate action (see also Ripple et al., 2017).

Only if we act quickly and consistently can we limit global warming, halt the mass extinction of animal and plant species, preserve the natural basis for life and create a future worth living for present and future generations. This is exactly what the young people of Fridays for Future/Climate Strike are calling for. They deserve our respect and full support.

Note: This statement has been published (both in English and German) in a scientific publication in GAIA and is available here. It includes a list of facts (also available here) and has as a supplement the complete lists of initial and final signatories attached. All scientific references can be found here.
G. Hagedorn, T. Loew, S. I. Seneviratne, W. Lucht, M.-L. Beck, J. Hesse, R. Knutti, V. Quaschning, J.-H. Schleimer, L. Mattauch, C. Breyer, H. Hübener, G. Kirchengast, A. Chodura, J. Clausen, F. Creutzig, M. Darbi, C.-H. Daub, F. Ekardt, M. Göpel, J. N. Hardt, J. Hertin, T. Hickler, A. Köhncke, S. Köster, J. Krohmer, H. Kromp-Kolb, R. Leinfelder, L. Mederake, M. Neuhaus, S. Rahmstorf, C. Schmidt, C. Schneider, G. Schneider, R. Seppelt, U. Spindler, M. Springmann, K. Staab, T. F. Stocker, K. Steininger, E. von Hirschhausen, S. Winter, M. Wittau, J. Zens 2019.  The concerns of the young protesters are justified. A statement by Scientists for Future concerning the protests for more climate protection.  GAIA, 28/2, 79-87.

March 27 2019

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Martin Sonneborn hat nun freundlicherweise die Liste der deutschen Abgeordneten im Europaparlament UND ihres Abstimmungsverhaltens zum EU-Urheberrecht geliefert.

February 18 2019

EU-Copyright-Reform: Der "Mob" erhebt sein Haupt gegen Upload-Filter

Die Initiatoren der Petition gegen die "Zensurmaschine" übergeben Justizministerin Barley knapp 4,8 Millionen Unterschriften und fordern sie zum Widerstand auf.

...[weiter]...

Reposted fromdarksideofthemoon darksideofthemoon

October 31 2018

August 21 2018

July 25 2018

July 06 2018

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A New Politics for an Age of Crisis | George Monbiot

A toxic ideology rules the world – of extreme competition and individualism. It misrepresents human nature, destroying hope and common purpose. Only a positive vision can replace it, a new story that re-engages people in politics and lights a path to a better world.

June 23 2018

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April 30 2018

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… They must have seen this disaster unfolding – slowly starving to death and forced to live in caves for shelter – right up until they felled the last palm. It was all because of a myth, but a myth so powerful that, despite knowing its madness, they could not resist it.

To Save The Economy, We Have To Break Its One Sacred Rule

We must stop worshiping the false god of GDP growth.

Reposted fromgingerglue gingerglue

April 13 2018

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3sat nano

Heute ist Weltwassertag. Nicht überall ist die Wasserversorgung so gut wie bei uns. Schwere Wasserkästen brauchen wir auch nicht zu schleppen.

Reposted fromswissfondue-interim swissfondue-interim viabalu balu

April 01 2018

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Reposted fromsusannenueckel susannenueckel viabalu balu

March 25 2018

Hope.
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney joins #MarchForOurLives in memory of John Lennon. "One of my best friends was killed in gun violence."
Adam Savage: It means everything to me to exercise my civic duty & stand strong w/those who share a vision for a world out of balance. #marchforourlives

March 09 2018

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January 06 2018

September 30 2017

September 26 2017

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Seth Abramson:

This is a post about DONALD TRUMP.
If what it says conforms with how you feel, I hope you'll consider sharing it.

1. We need to never again discuss this man with respect to policy—it's become more than clear in nine months that he holds no policy positions.
2. So if you support Donald Trump because of any view you claim he holds, I don't ever want to hear about it. The man holds no views.
3. There is no position Donald Trump has ever taken that he has not, at some point in the past or present, taken the opposite position to.
4. We mustn't ever discuss this man as someone "challenging the system" or any similar bromide. His White House is the most corrupt ever.
5. Not one story of honorable conduct has emerged from this White House. Instead, it's been lies, deception, corruption, graft, propaganda.
6. But the most important thing is this: this is the first U.S. president to systematically and willfully terrorize his own populace daily.
7. His changeability is intended to keep us anxious and on guard. In fact, he's admitted publicly, many times, that this is a tactic of his.
8. His corruption is equally studied: his business model has always been "get away with what you can," and that's exactly how he's governed.
9. He saw that he had a GOP Congress—and knew that his worst-case scenario was not getting re-elected to a job that he never really wanted.
10. That's why he hasn't eliminated his conflicts of interest, delivered on his promises, "drained the swamp," acted as any kind of leader.
11. His presidency is a criminal enterprise designed to enrich his family and give him the attention his father clearly denied him as a kid.
12. He has no beliefs, no ambitions, no morals, no principles, no guidelines, no plans, no expectations. He simply needs to sow chaos daily.
13. What Trump knows better than most is that America is a chaos machine—you feed it and it spits out attention, headlines, sometimes money.
14. I want to be very clear here: Donald Trump is a toxic human with a toxic public presence and—worst of all—he wants to poison his people.
15. His reign will go down not just in U.S. history but human history as a reign of uncommon cruelty in the democracies of this millennium.
16. It's *more* than that he'll go down in our history as the worst president we'll ever have—he'll go down as one of our greatest villains.
17. Benedict Arnold tried to betray America for a prior sovereign—Trump is trying to *torture* a nation that was good to him his whole life.
18. Have you noticed a change in your mood since January? I mean a change you can't seem to escape? Anxiety, anger, fear, confusion, doubt?
19. The most ubiquitous man in your nation is trying to poison you daily—because it gives him power—and no one's stopping him from doing it.
20. I'm not using hyperbole: you're under attack. A deliberate, unprovoked, systematic, and—yes—evil attack. And it's working. We're losing.
21. When humans are endangered, confused and hopeless, there are certain things we turn to—all of which Trump is deliberately stealing away.
22. Our fight or flight instinct—which Trump activates—can be quelled if we're given respite, which is why Trump ensures we have no respite.
23. That's why his tweets—which are intended to terrorize, and *do*—come in a daily barrage of needless conflict, warmongering, and cruelty.
24. He must never stop tweeting, because his tweets now activate our culture in a way so *inescapable* that we're almost like his prisoners.
25. You think he's attacking North Korea in his tweets? No—he's trying to terrorize *you*. The NFL? You. Segments of America? No—all of us.
26. When humans are confused, we seek the stability of truth, trusted institutions, neighbors. He's destroying those anchors systematically.
27. "Fake news" isn't about getting re-elected—it's about controlling your fight-or-flight instinct by giving you no safe harbor in "truth."
28. Every institution we like or trust, he's undermined. The media. Government. Unions. Hell—even the NFL. Veterans (when he feels like it).
29. He's enabled by the GOP—but he's no Republican. He wants to destroy any politics or politician whose world he's not at the center of.
30. He's a malignant narcissist, and his *only* ambition is to spread his toxicity nationwide in whichever ways feed his perverse pathology.
31. If you're a Trump voter, by all means laugh it up. You'll be caught in wars, recessions, and international collapse like the rest of us.
32. He has 35% support because Americans love to be right and see fools suffer—and Trump voters think they're on the right side of the equation.
33. Time will show that we were *all* the fools—and whatever temporary satisfaction the Right got from annoying the Left wasn't worth America.
34. Because the last thing—of the three I mentioned—humans look for in a crisis is hope, and he's systematically taking *that* away as well.
35. We don't have hope future elections will be fair. We don't have hope our government is working in our interests. We don't have hope we can trust and love our neighbors and they'll trust and love us back. And we don't have hope things will start to make sense again.
36. But only a fool fails to see that the pain and suffering that comes from having a madman as a leader is soon coming for every one of us.
37. Things are going to get very bad. And many fools will say, "Well—that's America." And America *is* deeply flawed. But we weren't *this*.
38. Once in every few generations in the West, a leader arises *so vile* that he can draw out the evil from his population and weaponize it.
39. Trump is *not* Hitler. There was only *one* Hitler. But Trump is the *sort* of Hitler that America in 2017—at its very worst—can breed.
40. Everything evil a man can do to a country like this, at a time like this, in a span of four or eight years, Donald Trump will try to do.
41. He'll try to make the vulnerable live in fear. He'll position himself as unreviewable by the media and government. He'll sow confusion.
42. And when his crimes are uncovered—and he's been a villain and criminal his whole adult life—he'll try to stoke violence to save himself.
43. Trump is the most dangerous American of all our lifetimes—he's so dangerous we can't fully apprehend the danger or how to respond to it.
44. He's an actually evil presence that hangs over your life—and the life of the nation you love—every single day. And he may be unstoppable.
45. Is there any reason to trust future election results—now that we know Russia is hacking and interfering and Trump is doing *nothing* to stop it?
46. And is there any reason to think the damage Trump has done to our political system can be solved in just a single American generation?
47. And as he plunges us deeper into our Longest War and tries to start World War III in Asia, can we be certain lasting doom isn't ahead?
48. My point: there is only one fight in America today that matters, because all other fights are ultimately a direct corollary to this one.
49. If we want to save ourselves—and our country—Trump must be legally, peacefully and transparently removed from a position of power. ASAP.
50. It's *okay* to finally indulge the idea that everything is as bad as you think it is if hitting rock-bottom gives you the courage to *fight*.

(NB: This post originally appeared as a Twitter thread on my Twitter feed, @sethabramson.)
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