GOOD

Forward from Copenhagen

The following is an excerpt from a piece by Tom Athanasiou from the Earth Island Journal's Spring 2010 issue. I will say this:...

The following is an excerpt from a piece by Tom Athanasiou from the Earth Island Journal's Spring 2010 issue.


I will say this: Almost two decades after I started working on climate change, I was happily astounded to witness the crystallization, on the streets of Copenhagen, of a grassroots movement that was both energetic and sophisticated, and to see global civil society groups working in solidarity with the leaders of the world's poorest and most vulnerable nations to press a collective agenda. And I can tell you something else: Our chances of preventing climate catastrophe rests in large part on the ability of this new alliance to communicate to the world's richest and most powerful peoples that the emissions emergency is, above all things, a crisis of justice.As everyone knows, the Copenhagen talks failed to catapult us into the ambitious global mobilization we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But this was never going to happen anyway. What did happen, as the veteran Bangladeshi policy activist Saleemul Huq put it, was "a shaking of the traditional pieces of the global geopolitical puzzle and their landing in a new and unfamiliar configuration." In this sense, the question of success and failure is moot. The real question is whether the new configuration offers us fresh ways forward.This question cannot be answered by the usual logic of environmental campaigning. Now is a time for reflection-not for pushing forward one more meeting, one more demonstration, one more demand. Of course we need action, and we need it fast. But we also need strategy, because Huq's "unfamiliar configurations" are going to settle in the midst of another big year that will culminate with another major December climate showdown, this time in Mexico City. If 2010 is major, 2011 and 2012 promise (or threaten) to be just as important, as do the other years in the brief time ahead-the post-Copenhagen era in which we must begin to act.This piece appears in the Spring 2010 issue of Earth Island Journal.Illustration by Doug Chayka, courtesy of Earth Island Journal
Articles
via National Nurses United/Twitter

An estimated eight million people in the U.S. have started a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for their own or a member of their household's healthcare costs, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The poll, which was conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, also found that in addition to the millions who have launched crowdfunding efforts for themselves or a member of their household, at least 12 million more Americans have started crowdfunding efforts for someone else.

Keep Reading
Health
via Library of Congress

In the months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the military to move Japanese-Americans into internment camps to defend the West Coast from spies.

From 1942 to 1946, an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans, of which a vast majority were second- and third-generation citizens, were taken from their homes and forced to live in camps surrounded by armed military and barbed wire.

After the war, the decision was seen as a cruel act of racist paranoia by the American government against its own citizens.

The internment caused most of the Japanese-Americans to lose their money and homes.

Keep Reading
Communities

Step by step. 8 million steps actually. That is how recent college graduate and 22-year-old Sam Bencheghib approached his historic run across the United States. That is also how he believes we can all individually and together make a big impact on ridding the world of plastic waste.

Keep Reading
The Planet