Recently, I’ve been listening to The Lost Birds: An Extinction Elegy, by American composer Christopher Tin. [Video below] It is an arrangement based on the poems of Emily Dickinson, Sara Teasdale, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Christina Rossetti. It is sung beautifully by Voces8 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Tin composed this marvelous arrangement as a memorial to various bird species that have been driven to extinction by habit loss, pollution and encroachment. The pieces soar and dive in a powerful rollercoaster of emotion, especially when one has been a student of extinction for as long as I have.
On Monday, the frenetic gossipy world of nonsense and distraction that, rather sadly and shamefully, constitutes most of what passes for news and culture these days paused for a moment to reflect upon the publication of the most significant document that will be published this year — the latest climate change report prepared by the climate scientists of the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the United Nations body founded in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide “regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.”
In a jam-packed program full of abundant insight, Ralph first welcomes back Dahr Jamail to discuss his work We Are the Middle of Forever: Indigenous Voices from Turtle Island on the Changing Earth about what we can learn from indigenous people who have survived incredible disruptions to the climate to their families and to their way of life.
March 3 — While the giant U.S. energy corporations and banks seek out every way to profit from the climate change emergency that they inflicted on the world, extreme weather events are becoming the new normal.
After years of catastrophic droughts, deadly storms have put 90% of Californians under flood watch. The torrential rainstorms in the state have created deadly flooding and mudslides that have killed 17 and left hundreds of thousands without power. The flooding in California, along with the deadly winter storm that ravaged much of the US through Christmas, is part of the long-predicted impacts of climate change.
Every so often, the World Bank puts out a paper that calls for better social protection or at least a somewhat better deal for working people. The public relations people there evidently believe we have very short memories.
“Ducey insists Arizona holds sole or shared jurisdiction over the 60-foot strip the containers rest on and has a constitutional right to protect residents from ‘imminent danger of criminal and humanitarian crises.’”
Justice, it seems, is hard to find. Thousands of grassroots organizations across the country seek justice for their concerns. In the US, some 13,785 nonprofits work for civil rights and social justice. Organizations focused on international justice such as peace, refugees, and international aid number 23,532. There are 27,402 environmental groups.
On October 30th, Brazilians voted in a presidential runoff election that was won by Luiz ‘Lula’ Ignacio Da Silva. It was a victory by the narrowest of margins, although in fairness, the president elect’s opponent had the clear support of the federal highway patrol, which reportedly set hundreds of roadblocks in areas of the country that had supported the former president in the first round of voting.
This has become, sadly, a yearly ritual by now. The world’s governments gather together to discuss what should be done about global warming, and finish their time together by issuing statements of concern while doing little concrete to actually solve the problem. And so it is with COP27.