Climate Justice League Strikes Merrill Lynch in Asheville, NC

Originally found posted at www.infoshop.org:

Climate Justice League Strikes Merrill Lynch
April 13th Asheville, NC

In a daring daylight raid, members of the Climate Justice League struck a blow against Merrill Lynch, a major financier of global climate change. At approximately 11am two masked avengers entered the Merrill Lynch building in downtown Asheville, NC dumping a bag of coal in the lobby, throwing fliers into the air which read “Merrill Lynch, stop funding climate change!”, and locking the main entrance shut with a bike lock.

Merrill Lynch was targeted as part of a national day of action against the financial backers of the fossil fuel industry. Merrill Lynch is currently helping to seal the deal on 3 new coal plants in Texas being built by TXU. In the face of devastating global climate change we cannot allow companies such as Merrill Lynch to continue funding massive fossil fuel infrastructure. Merrill Lynch has previously been involved in funding coal companies such as Massey Energy, which is one of the largest companies involved in mountaintop removal coal mining. As long as Merrill Lynch and their ilk continue to invest in and support the fossil fuels industry, the Climate Justice League and others around the country will continue to target them.

For a fossil fuel free future, CJL

Airport Runway Seized By Activists

The following communique was received by Rising Tide North America.

AIRPORT RUNWAY SEIZED BY CLIMATE ACTIVISTS

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On 14 April, activists broke into Bromma Airport in Stockholm to occupy the
runway for half an hour. The scheduled flight to Gothenburg – a short distance
indeed – was delayed, and some planes had to divert their landing. The ten
activists, linked by chains and carrying a huge banner which read “Stop domestic
flights”, managed to enter the airport and runway without being detected. After
some five minutes, police arrived to the scene, but refrained from violent
intervention. When the blockade had been carried to its planned end, the
activists were arrested and informed of the formal charge of aggravated
trespass. The most likely punishment is some heavy fines, but prison terms are
possible.

The action was carried out by Climax, a group in Stockholm formed two weeks ago.
It is the seed of a direct action-movement against the root causes of climate
change in a country which has just recently woken up to the facts of ongoing
global warming. Climax is inspired by Plane Stupid and Rising Tide. The action
of 14 April, coinciding with the enormous National Day of Climate Action in the
U.S., was the first of its kind to occur in Sweden. More is bound to follow
soon. Check for updates (and pictures of the recent action) at klimatet.org.

Global action against global warming!

Klimax-Stockholm

2007-04-15

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Supreme Court rules in favor of greenhouse gas regulations

High Court Rebukes EPA on Emissions, Environment

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California Attorney General Jerry Brown welcomed the Supreme Court's decision .

Eric Risberg

California Attorney General Jerry Brown welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from cars. AP Photo

All Things Considered, April 2, 2007 · The Supreme Court stood up for the environment in two major court rulings Monday. One gives the Environmental Protection Agency the go-ahead to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The second ruling sends a rebuke to the owners of dirty coal-fired power plants.

It was kind of like when Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz learned she always had the power to go home. The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency does, in fact, have the authority to regulate the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Bush administration officials had argued that the agency didn’t have that power – and so the EPA couldn’t require cars to reduce emissions. Several states and environmental groups sued the EPA, arguing that the agency did have that power and should use it.

Law professor Lisa Heinzerling from Georgetown University represented the states. She says the ruling has implications not just for car emissions but for power plants, factories and other sources of greenhouse gases.

“It’s a huge deal, it’s hard to overstate the importance of this,” Heinzerling said.

The ruling does not require the EPA to regulate. But Heinzerling says for the EPA to avoid regulating, it would have to show that these emissions don’t endanger public health or welfare.

“I think it will be extremely difficult, and I would venture to say impossible for them to conclude based on the scientific evidence we have that you cannot anticipate that greenhouse gases will endanger public health or welfare,” Heinzerling said.

EPA officials declined an interview with NPR. An EPA press release says the agency is reviewing the court ruling. The ruling could put the EPA in a difficult position because so far, President Bush has rejected mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

In the meantime, environmentalists and state officials say the ruling opens the door for states to move ahead with regulating greenhouse gas emissions from cars. A dozen states, led by California, have adopted or are in the process of adopting such rules. They need the EPA’s OK to go ahead. And Heinzerling says the Supreme Court ruling will make it hard for EPA officials to say no.

“I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t,” she said. “I don’t see any legal basis for refusing to allow California and other states to enact standards after this ruling.”

The main auto industry trade group wouldn’t comment on the ruling. But Dan Riedinger from Edison Electric Institute says his industry doesn’t want the EPA to set standards.

“If greenhouse gases are going to be regulated, and obviously a lot of people think that’s inevitable, we would far rather that come from the U.S. Congress,” Riedinger said.

The other big Supreme Court decision could also have a big impact on power plants and their pollution. Attorney Blan Holman from the Southern Environmental Law Center worked on the case for environmental groups.

“The case is all about old coal-fired power plants and what happens when you rebuild them,” Holman said. “Do you have to put air pollution controls on them or do you not?”

Holman’s talking about the equipment that filters out fine particles and smog from smoke stacks. They cause thousands of early deaths and many emergency room visits every year.

The EPA, environmental groups and states are suing several power companies for failing to install pollution controls. In this case, the Supreme Court decided against Duke Energy.

“It’s a major set back to the case and it’s something that is regrettable to us, but it is not shutting down the case by any means,” said Tom Williams, who represents Duke.

The Supreme Court was deciding whether annual emissions or hourly emissions are the deciding factor when measuring if emissions have increased and thus pollution controls should be installed. The Supreme Court says annual emissions are what matters. But the power companies have other ways to defend their actions.

“It’s our contention in this case that we did nothing wrong in the first place, and that is why we’re going to continue to press this in the lower courts,” Williams said.

But environmentalists say the ruling will provide a strong incentive to clean up many of the dirtiest coal-fired power plants in the country. And they say that both rulings together suggest that the Supreme Court is far greener than anyone realized.

World’s poorest countries will be worst hit by climate change, warn UN scientists

The world’s top climate scientists gathered in Brussels on Monday to hammer out the summary of a massive report that predicts dire consequences from global warming, especially for poor nations and species diversity.

Even if dramatic measures are taken to reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that drive warming, temperatures will continue to climb for decades to come, the experts are set to conclude.

By 2080, according to the report, it is likely that 1.1 to 3.2 billion people worldwide will experience water scarcity, 200 to 600 million will be threatened by hunger and each year an additional two to seven million will be victims of coastal flooding.

The report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be unveiled on Friday after 400 experts, meeting behind closed doors, approve a roughly 50-page summary for policymakers.

‘The scientific findings are stronger than ever’


A final draft of the 1 400-page main document obtained by AFP assesses the past and future impact of rising temperatures on the planet’s physical and ecological systems and inhabitants, and evaluates the ability to cope with the predicted changes.

It warns that the brunt of the problems will fall squarely on to the world’s poorest inhabitants, who are least to blame for the fossil-fuel pollution that drives global warming.

Hundreds of millions of people living in more than three dozen deltas – including the Nile in Egypt, the Red River in Vietnam and the Ganges-Brahmaputra in Bangladesh – are likely to find themselves wedged between rising sea levels and more frequent flooding.

Tropical diseases are likely to spread as well.

Green groups urged industrialised countries, especially the United States, which accounts for a quarter of global carbon emissions, to step up action.

“The scientific findings are stronger than ever,” said Friends of the Earth International’s Catherine Pearce.

“This report is likely to confirm that not only are we seeing the impacts of climate change around us already, but worse is yet to come and the world’s poorest people are being hardest hit.”

“The devastating impacts of climate change are beginning to affect us today,” said Lara Hansen, chief scientist with WWF’s Global Climate Change Programme.

“Forest fires, coral bleaching, failed crops and species disappearing are all signs of worst things to come. While cutting emissions, governments must address these impacts and protect people and nature.”

In February, the IPCC issued a first volume of its latest review with an assessment of the scientific evidence for global warming. It predicted temperatures would probably rise between 1.8 to 4.0 C (3.2-7.2 F) by century’s end.

But a rise of as much as 6.4 C (11.5 F) could not be ruled out if carbon emissions and low-efficiency energy use rise unabated and the world’s population continues to surge, it said.

A final volume, due to be released in early May, will discuss how warming can be mitigated.

Besides the impact on human society, climate change will also have far-reaching consequences for the planet’s biodiversity, the Brussels report will say.

It predicts that 20 to 30 percent of species will be threatened with extinction if temperatures rise 1.5 to 2.5C, on the lower side of end-of-century warming forecasts.

If temperatures rise by 4C, “few ecosystems will be able to adapt,” says the report.

Compiled to help governments make policy choices, the report will probably sharpen debate on global warming.

The big issues include demands for funds to help poor countries cope with the stress of climate change – and how such spending should be balanced against financial demands for slashing the fossil-fuel emissions that stoke the warming.

Set up in 1988, the IPCC, gathering 190 countries, is charged with giving impartial and accurate information about climate change.

This is its fourth so-called assessment report since its inception; the last was in 2001, but the evidence for man-made global warming, and the scientific techniques for monitoring it, have grown hugely since then.