All Eyes On Climate Change: N.H. Reacts To The U.N. Summit

Sep 30, 2014

Last week, more than 100 world leaders attended the United Nations summit on climate change in New York City.  Described as the largest gathering ever on climate change, the event followed a spate of sobering news from scientists: record growth in concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and record-breaking global average temperatures.  Some major momentum seemed in evidence in New York, with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators streaming through city streets, boisterously calling upon leaders for real reform, and dozens of corporations pledging to divest holdings in 200 of the world’s oil and gas producers.  However, as the last echo of declarations leave the U.N. assembly chambers, the last placard of passionate protesters, recycled, the carbon count still rising, we’re left this week wondering, ok, so now what?

Credit Michael O'Brien / Flickr/CC

GUESTS:

CALLOUT:

  • Doug Whitbeck – climate activist with 350NH, he helped organize a trip to the climate demonstrations in New York. He’s from Mason.

LINKS:

  • Blog post about the People's Climate March by a N.H. activist, including pictures: 'The New Hampshire contingent was organized largely by 350 NH, the local arm of the international action group.  Riding back on the bus, fellow travelers with  internet access reported march organizers were saying there had been more than 300,000 marchers.  From her seat on the bus, Sarah Hubner commented, “I just hope somebody was listening.”'
  • CBC report: is the UN Climate Summit a 'game-changer' for global warming?: "But promises in the hot media glare — and mass demonstrations — of New York are one thing. There’s still the matter of whether the steps needed to mitigate global warming will actually be taken after the summit wraps up and all the brouhaha fades."
  • Ban Ki-moon's final summary of the UN Climate Summit: "An unprecedented number of world leaders attended the Summit, including 100 Heads of State and Government. They were joined by more than 800 leaders from business, finance and civil society. This Summary details their most significant announcements."
  • Heirs to Rockefeller oil fortune divest from fossil fuels over climate change: But the Rockefellers’ decision to cut their ties with oil lends the divestment campaign huge symbolic importance because of their family history. The divestment move also helps bring a campaign launched by scrappy activists on college campuses into the financial mainstream.
  • A look at the ways that how we talk about climate change could cause inaction: On the one hand, the transformation of the Antarctic seems like an unfathomable disaster. On the other hand, the disaster will never affect me or anyone I know; nor, very probably, will it trouble my grandchildren. How much consideration do I owe the people it will affect, my 40-times-great-grandchildren, who, many climate researchers believe, will still be confronted by rising temperatures and seas? Americans don’t even save for their own retirement! How can we worry about such distant, hypothetical beings?