go to the mirror, a poem by Charles W. Martin

as i
left
a public park
following
a rally
on
climate change
i saw
the brown bag prophet
with
a questioning look
on
his face
so i asked
if he had
a problem
with
the event
he
said
now
don’t get me wrong
i’m all
for
saving
the planet
and
sustainability
but
nothing’s
gonna change
until
we’ve admitted
to
our own history
and
our current
complicity
in
environmental crimes
for
to change
one
must see
what
is

 

Greta Thunberg on the power of a movement, PBS interview

Off Season, a poem by Leela Soma

Off Season

a summer in spring confused flora and fauna,
a summer suspended early, flowers
buds deep in earth, interred as autumn reds,
gold scarred dead leaves of burnished browns
a harvest of fruit and berries unoffered

glaciered infernos, carbon foot on planet
Earth fossilised, horizons blink in wild rage as sun,
Moon and stars dip into the sea,
neither morning nor night
a midnight within a midnight.

© 2019, Leela Soma

The BeZine, Vol. 6, Issue 3, September 2019, Social Justice

Social Justice
as the world burns and wars rage

Global protest actions on the Climate Crisis have been scheduled for September, as fires rage from the Arctic to the Amazon [1]. Potential conflicts in the Middle East seem on the verge of flaring into their own wildfires, most prominently as I write this: Taliban-US, Iran-US, Israel-Hamas-(Hezbollah-Iran), and Pakistan-India-Kashmir. Underlying and entwined with these huge, tangled problems, the pressing need to address injustice, inequality, and huge economic disparity, which smolder or burn throughout the world. Big words cover what we wish for in place of these problems: Sustainability, Peace, and Social Justice. In order to understand the complex dimensions of each of these pressing global problems, The BeZine has focused in our first two issues of 2019 on Peace and Sustainability—and now, the Fall Issue of The BeZine focuses on Social Justice.

As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.

—Martin Luther King, Jr.
(Source: “The Most Durable Power,” Excerpt from Sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church on 6 November 1956
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford)

In this time of Orwellian language-logic and fake news (aka propaganda and lies), science denial (aka lies and distortions), nationalistic-populism, vitriolic debate, and self-serving and greedy leadership in the financial and governmental towers of power unmoored from ethics or morality (aka high crimes and misdemeanors)—with all of this, I ask you to reflect on these words of Martin Luther King, Jr.—”Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence.”

I find myself at times of despair drawn to the idea of violence as the only solution, but each time remind myself of the repulsiveness of that solution. We must find a way to bring justice into the world, to immediately address the climate crisis, and to foster peace, without contributing to the bitterness, pain, and murder so rampant now, fueled as it is by the rhetoric and actions of government and corporate powers. If we stoop to the level of those men (and women) in power, we will end up only fanning the destructive fires they have lit and spread.

As the Reverend King goes on to say: “If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.”

Sometimes I feel that we already are reaping that legacy with this reign of chaos surrounding us today. I fervently hope that, if so, it is not an endless inferno.

Glimmers of hope emerge—Greta Thunberg and her activism shines like a bright light. Her language makes clear that the climate crisis is an issue of social justice for our children and grandchildren. It is also a social justice issue for indigenous peoples, migrants, the poor, and less “developed” countries. The climate crisis and wars contribute to the issue of justice for migrants, creating a flow of refugees that other countries refuse to shelter. Racism, unfettered capitalism, gender biases all create injustice, and those oppressed in the system that produce hate are most likely to suffer in war and the climate crisis. Our contributors touch on these intersections while exploring social justice in their work.

In the end, the hope has to come from us—from our acting, responding, striking if necessary. Yes, avoiding violence. But also, demanding change now. We need to seek the abstract “social justice” through social ACTION. And we need to see and act on the links between issues, rather than dividing ourselves and fighting over which issue is more important. They are all important, and they all need to be addressed holistically.

We all need to work together, because there are no jobs on a dead planet; there is no equity without rights to decent work and social protection, no social justice without a shift in governance and ambition, and, ultimately, no peace for the peoples of the world without the guarantees of sustainability.

—Sharan Burrow
(Cited in: “To transform the world, we need a revolution in our priorities and values.”
The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies. Aug. 24, 2019.

Michael Dickel, Contributing Editor


 With this issue of the Zine, Global 100,000 Poets and Others for Change (100TPC), Read A Poem To A Child week, and The BeZine Virtual 100TPC we share our passions and concerns across borders, we explore differences without violence or vindictiveness, and we sustain one another.  These activities endow us with hope, strength, and connection.

Our thanks to and gratitude for the members of The Bardo Group Beguines (our core team), to our contributors, and to our readers and supporters who come from every corner of the world. You are the light and the hope. You are valued.

Special thanks to Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion for the gift of 100TPC and Read A Poem To A Child week, to our resident artist Corina Ravenscraft for our beautiful 100TPC banner, and to Michael Dickel for pulling the Zine together this month, moderating Virtual 100TPC on September 28, and for his technical support and innovations.  And to Terri Stewart, much appreciation for our stellar logo, and for our ultra-fabulous name: The BeZineBe inspired … Be creative … Be peace. … Be …

Our theme for the December 15 issue is “A Life of the Spirit.”  John Anstie will take the lead and submissions will open on October 1 and close on November 15.  Look for revised submission guidelines soon.

In the spirit of love (respect) and community
and on behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines,
Jamie Dedes, Managing Editor


The BeZine 100TPC Virtual—Live Online 28 September 2019

The global 100TPC initiative on Saturday, September 28, 2019, puts forward poetry, music, art, and more, that promote Peace, Sustainability, an Social Justice. The BeZine will again offer a virtual, online event on that date. Please stop by, leave links to your own writing, art, or music, leave comments… We welcome your participation.


Table of contents

How to read this issue of THE BeZINE: You can read each piece individually by clicking the links in the Table of Contents or you can click HERE and scroll through the entire Zine.

TRANFORMATION

“There must exist a paradigm, a practical model for social change that includes an understanding of ways to transform consciousness that are linked to efforts to transform structures.” ― bell hooks, Killing Rage: Ending Racism

Poetry
Peace, Benedicta Boamah
Five from Faruk Buzhala, Faruk Buzhala
Pushing through Utopia, Linda Chown
TimeInWar, Linda Chown
Don’t Be Stupid, DeWitt Clinton
Rising Up, You Poets, Jamie Dedes
One Dark Stand, Mark Heathcote
request…, Charles W. Martin
The Long Dark Night, Tamam Tracy Moncur
Ju$t d1$$1m1l@r, Sunayna Pal
Don’t Hang the Poets, Mike Stone

Art and Photography
Social Justice, Anjum Wasim Dar
In solidarity, documentary photographs, Christopher Woods

Essay
Using Social Interactions to Create Change, Kella Hanna-Wayne

RE-MEMBERING THE PAIN

“There are times when so much talk or writing, so many ideas seem to stand in the way, to block the awareness that for the oppressed, the exploited, the dominated, domination is not just a subject for radical discourse, for books. It is about pain–the pain of hunger, the pain of over-work, the pain of degradation and dehumanization, the pain of loneliness, the pain of loss, the pain of isolation, the pain of exile… Even before the words, we remember the pain.” ― bell hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black

Poetry
Sounding Bugles, Sheikha A.
Silent Courage, Lorraine Caputo
“Nights with Ghosts,” a poem from a child in Zimbabwe, Jamie Dedes
Change, Michael Dickel
After the 2016 Election, Rachel Landrum Crumble
The Poor, Rachel Landrum Crumble
Substituting Life, Sunayna Pal
Flow Gathering Springs, Linda Shoemaker
War and Peace (Rime Royal), Clarissa Simmens
Women in Woad, Clarissa Simmens
I Never Knew I Was So Numb, Anjum Wasim Dar

Fiction
Boots, DC Diamondopolous
The Dogs of Midnight, Mike Scallan
Time Never Waits, Anjum Wasim Dar

INEQUALITY

“We live in a system that espouses merit, equality, and a level playing field, but exalts those with wealth, power, and celebrity, however gained.” ― Derrick Bell, Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth

Poetry
Control, Elvis Alves
The Long History of Genocides, Elvis Alves
dissecting the Geneva Convention, mm brazfield
Scary People and Madmen, Bill Gainer
Humanity is often a place of forgetfulness, Mark Heathcote
Chicken Little to Testify Before Congress, Rachel Landrum Crumble
Logging-Out of Bullying School, Marta Pombo Sallés
False Economy, Mantz Yorke

Essay
Dictators, Desperados, and Democracy Revisited, John Anstie
Radicals Are In Charge, Rob Moitoz

SEEKING

“In the unceasing ebb and flow of justice and oppression we must all dig channels as best we may, that at the propitious moment somewhat of the swelling tide may be conducted to the barren places of life.” ― Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House

Poetry
Embrace, Lorraine Caputo
Epistle, Lorraine Caputo
Our Evolving, Jamie Dedes
Silent Life, Jamie Dedes
How I Park My Car, Bill Gainer
Awake at Night, Leela Soma
Places I Have Never Been, Ellen Wood

 


Notes:

[1] In support of these, The BeZine blog has been posting about the Climate Crisis, and will continue to do so throughout September (2019), in addition to our Sustainability Issue this past Summer [back].


The BeZine: Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be (the subscription feature is below and to your left.)

Daily Spiritual Practice: Beguine Again, a community of Like-Minded People

Facebook, The Bardo Group Beguines

Twitter, The Bardo Group Beguines

SUBMISSIONS:

Read Info/Missions StatementSubmission Guidelines, and at least one issue before you submit. Updates on Calls for Submissions and other activities are posted on the Zine blog and The Poet by Day.

U.S. Citizens: U.S. House Select Committee Requests Input on Climate Policy from Key Stakeholders

The U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis launched a formal request for information as it drafts policy recommendations for Congress. The committee’s questions for stakeholders are posted at climatecrisis.house.gov/inforequest.

The committee is slated to submit legislative recommendations to Congress in March of 2020 and a final report by December. It requests feedback by November 22, 2019.

116th Congress.

Editorial note: Stakeholders are defined as: local, state, and tribal governments, businesses, academic institutions, non-profits, and all residents of the United States, including a rising generation of young people who are demanding climate action now.

Cushion Moss, a poem by Myra Schneider

A cushion plant growing on Mount Ossa, Tasmania courtesy of Bjørn Christian Tørrissen under CC BY-SA 3.0 license

The sad paragraphs in the paper offer
no answers but they fade a little once I’m outside
although there’s rain in the air and the sudden sun
silvering naked twigs as I enter the park
doesn’t last. I’m in the copse where rooks
are flapping in quarrel as usual, when it stops me
in my tracks: moss cushioning a fallen tree.
The green fabric is so vibrant it’s almost luminous.
It awakens grey branches and untidy brambles
emerging from clots of darkness. Hard to believe
this green is natural but no manmade process
could possibly create such soft brilliance.
It’s not water meadow green, not nettle green,
lime green, olive, not glossy laurel,
not intense Lorca green. It’s a green spawned
by the damp bedded in rotting logs and deep
leaf mush, a green that’s been so mothered
by light it banishes lightlessness, a green
more potent than the science which explains it,
a green which fills my mind, feeds my arteries,
a green that urges: never give up.

© 2019, Myra Schneider

Acknowledge to Envoi Magazine

Windfarm, a poem by Leela Soma

Dotted like a navy formation, moving like a flotilla,
the waves deceive the eyes, spinning like dervish.
Our planet- green and beautiful may vanish.

Offshore, the white blades against the blue sea,
clean energy, harnessing wind, God given and free.
Will no birds soar towards the azure sky?

Under the noctilucent clouds, a lifetime of night
passed; the antemeridian promise, now made light.
Watching the destruction, holding on to a chimera

Inevitable as anaretic hour unfolds the truth of the sutra?

© 2019, Leela Soma

Being Greta Thunberg, a poem by Linda Chown

Thunberg in front of the Swedish parliament, holding a “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (transl. School strike for the climate) sign, Stockholm, August 2018 courtesy of Anders Hellberg  under CC BY-SA 4.0 license

to be like Greta Thunberg
you must become yourself
completely as though there
were no prison of skin to stay inside
no ego to say don’t try
no doors to close
the kind of bravery that moves
lives is not second hand
it is the ultimate it’s like an
we can do it trip
the magic liberation of person
we’ve been dreaming for
the closeness of fish in water
pure semiosis and pre-verbal closeness

© 2019, Linda Chown

Don’t pollute my future! The World Health Organization reports on the impact of the environment on children’s health

Editors note: While this piece does not directly relate to climate change, we do know that climate change is creating varied effects that impact access to clean water and food.  Thus it is important to include “Don’t pollute my future!” in our September series on climate change and its impact. 

In 2015, 5.9 million children under age five died. The major causes of child deaths globally are pneumonia, prematurity, intrapartum-related complications, neonatal sepsis, congenital anomalies, diarrhoea, injuries and malaria. Most of these diseases and conditions are at least partially caused by the environment. It was estimated in 2012 that 26% of childhood deaths and 25% of the total disease burden in children under five could be prevented through the reduction of environmental risks such as air pollution, unsafe water, sanitation and inadequate hygiene or chemicals.

Children are especially vulnerable to environmental threats due to their developing organs and immune systems, smaller bodies and airways. Harmful exposures can start as early as in utero. Furthermore, breastfeeding can be an important source of exposure to certain chemicals in infants; this should, however, not discourage breastfeeding which carries numerous positive health and developmental effects (4). Proportionate to their size, children ingest more food, drink more water and breathe more air than adults. Additionally, certain modes of behaviour, such as putting hands and objects into the mouth and playing outdoors can increase children’s exposure to environmental contaminants.

Download

Other languages

Report Finds Global Banks Poured $1.9 Trillion into Fossil Fuel Financing Since the Paris Agreement; Financing on the Rise Each Year

To download the full report: ran.org/bankingonclimatechange2019


A report released by the Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Sierra Club, and Honor the Earth, and endorsed by over 160 organizations around the world, reveals that 33 global banks have provided $1.9 trillion to fossil fuel companies since the adoption of the Paris climate accord at the end of 2015. The amount of financing has risen in each of the past two years.

Of this $1.9 trillion total, $600 billion went to 100 companies that are most aggressively expanding fossil fuels. Alarmingly, these findings reveal that the business practices of the world’s major banks continue to be aligned with climate disaster and stand in sharp contrast to the recent IPCC special report on global warming. That report, Global Warming of 1.5 °C, clearly outlined the critical need for a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels and estimates that the world’s clean energy investment needs are $2.4 trillion per year up to 2035.

Banking on Climate Change 2019 is the tenth annual fossil fuel report card and the first ever analysis of funding from the world’s major private banks for the fossil fuel sector as a whole. Expanded in scope, the report adds up lending and underwriting to 1,800 companies across the coal, oil and gas sectors globally over the past three years. The report also tracks fossil fuel expansion by aggregating data on which banks are financing the 100 companies most aggressively expanding fossil fuels.

Banking on Climate Change 2019 reveals that the four biggest global bankers of fossil fuels are all U.S. banks — JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America. Barclays of England, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) of Japan and RBC of Canada are also massive funders in this sector. Notably, JPMorgan Chase is by far the worst banker of fossil fuels and fossil fuel expansion — and therefore the world’s worst banker of climate change. Since the Paris Agreement, JPMorgan Chase has provided $196 billion in finance for fossil fuels, 10% of all fossil fuel finance from the 33 major global banks.

JPMorgan’s volume of finance for fossil fuels 2016-2018 is a shocking 29% higher than the second placed bank, Wells Fargo. The bank stands out even more from its peers in its volume of financing for the top companies expanding fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure: since the Paris climate agreement, JPMorgan Chase’s $67 billion in finance for the expanders is fully 68% higher than that of Citi, in distant second place.

With Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs in 11th and 12th places respectively in the fossil fuel financing league table, all of the big six U.S. banking giants are in the top “dirty dozen” bankers of climate change. Together, U.S. banks account for 37% of all global fossil fuel financing. Collectively, the U.S. banks are the biggest source of funding for fossil fuel expansion since the Paris Agreement was adopted.

Barclays, the top European banker of fracking and coal, leads as the worst European bank, with $85 billion poured into fossil fuels and $24 billion into expansion. Japan’s worst fossil fuel bank, MUFG, funded $80 billion in fossil fuels overall and $25 billion in fossil fuel expansion. RBC, the world’s top banker of tar sands, leads in Canada, banking fossil fuels at $101 billion. The world’s top banker of coal power, Bank of China, qualifies as China’s worst banker of fossil fuels, with $17 billion funneled into expansion from 2016-2018.

The report also grades banks’ future-facing policies regarding specific fossil fuel sectors and fossil fuels overall. In assessing restrictions on financing for fossil fuel expansion, no banks scored above a C-range grade, and most bank grades were in the D range. No banks have made commitments to phase-out fossil fuel financing in alignment with a 1.5°C-aligned Paris-compliant trajectory, despite the fact that numerous banks and bankers — including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon — have declared their support for the Paris Agreement.

The report also analyzes the banks’ unacceptably poor performance on human rights, particularly Indigenous rights, as it relates to the impacts of specific fossil fuel projects, and climate change in general. The case studies detailed in the report — from the Indigenous-led opposition to each of the three major proposed tar sands oil pipelines in North America, to the fragile Arctic National Wildlife Refuge under threat from drilling, to German utility RWE’s plans to expand an open-pit lignite coal mine while destroying the 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest — all highlight that banks lack effective energy and human rights policies to prevent them from financing these highly problematic projects and the companies behind them.

Statements:

Alison Kirsch, Climate and Energy Lead Researcher at Rainforest Action Network:

“Alarming is an understatement. This report is a red alert. The massive scale at which global banks continue to pump billions of dollars into fossil fuels is flatly incompatible with a livable future. It’s an insult to logic, to science and to humanity that since the groundbreaking Paris Climate Agreement, financing for fossil fuels continues to rise. If banks don’t rapidly phase out their support for dirty energy, planetary collapse from man-made climate change is not just probable — it is imminent.“

Johan Frijns, Director of BankTrack:

“We’re faced with ever worsening climate change impacts worldwide, and the latest IPCC report provides a stark 2030 deadline for the deep cuts in global CO2 emissions needed to avoid full climate breakdown. Yet banks continue to throw their billions at the fossil fuel industry, while announcing minor policy tweaks here and endorsements of the latest toothless ‘responsible finance’ initiative there. One wonders what on earth it will take for banks to finally change course and fully abandon the fossil fuel sector. Campaigners will be demanding exactly this at this year’s upcoming bank AGMs, armed with this report’s shocking new findings.”

Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network:

“These banks are funding a future that will cost the well-being of the next seven generations of life and beyond. Indigenous prophecy now meets scientific prediction. Mother Earth and Father Sky are out of balance. Indigenous knowledge and western science both clearly demand that we must rapidly divest from fossil fuels in order to avoid complete climate disaster. Any financial institution that refuses to take action should be stripped of its social license to operate and be held accountable for its investments.”

Stephen Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International:

“We’re deep in a hole on climate. There are people making ladders, and they think we can make it to the top – but – there are also people making shovels, and every day they dig the hole deeper. The people with the ladders don’t think they’ll be able to reach the top if the hole gets much deeper. The banks in this report are funding the people with shovels, devoting billions to the expansion of fossil fuel reserves which, when burned, will ensure the failure of the Paris Climate Agreement. Financing the expansion of any part of the oil, gas, or coal industry is now clearly climate denial, and we demand that it stop.”

Ben Cushing, Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign Representative:

“At a time when science tells us we need to rapidly transition to clean energy, major American banks are placing themselves on the wrong side of history by continuing to offer a blank check to the fossil fuel industry. The global outcry for financial institutions to stop financing climate destruction will only grow louder and more powerful until these banks get the message and pull their support for dirty fossil fuels once and for all.”

Tara Houska, Campaigns Director of Honor The Earth:

“Financial institutions are funding the destruction of our planet. Climate crisis is a reality that will be shared by every living being — we need change, we need it now. It is a question of our shared survival that banks must respond to. We cannot drink money.”

 

Rainforest Action Network has a 30+ year history challenging corporate power and systemic injustice to preserve forests, protect the climate and uphold human rights through frontline partnerships and strategic campaigns.

The Indigenous Environmental Network works with Indigenous Peoples nationally and globally on a rights-based approach addressing environmental, economic and energy injustices of an extractive economy and developing the power and capacity for a just transition for building sustainable indigenous communities.

BankTrack is the global tracking, campaigning and NGO support organisation targeting the operations and investments of commercial banks.

Oil Change International is a research, communication, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the ongoing transition to clean energy.

The Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation.

Honor The Earth is an indigenous women-led organization focused on protecting Mother Earth through the arts, music, advocacy, supporting grassroots efforts and empowering tribal nations with renewable energy solutions.

Becoming Plastic, a poem by Myra Schneider

 


  
This infographic shows that there will (predicted) be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050 / courtesy of Thomastastic under CC BY-SA 4.0 license

The morning starts with a tiresome battle to slit
and peel skin that fits smoothly as a seal’s.
It’s encasing two tubs of vitamin capsules

but my fingers can’t find leverage and anger
blazes as the sleek containers continue to cling
in their see-through wrapping like inseparable lovers.

Nowadays, everything arrives cosied in plastic:
sultanas, tissues, pears, jumpers, knickers,
the mattress that was tricky to manoeuvre upstairs,

those newly-erected six-storey flats I scanned
yesterday as I walked over Regent’s Canal, each
swaddled in the stuff as if it couldn’t cope with rain.

In the night I dreamt I struggled through a wild sea
to an island of unrotted rubbish and weakling palms.
A sound of laboured breathing rose from the debris

and I knew plant roots underneath were striving
to survive. A dead grouper stared from a pram
which had lost all its wheels, someone screamed.

I turned, was just in time to see a woman
on a bed with legs parted and a midwife plucking
from her womb a baby sheathed in plastic sheeting.

© 2019, Myra Schneider

Acknowledge to Acumen magazine

Approaching the City by Bus, a poem by Urmila Mahajan

Dense smog blankets Connaught Place, New Delhi wili hybrid courtesy of  Lokantha https://www.flickr.com/photos/wili/295189351/  under CC BY 2.0 license

A painted watercolour sky is
pristine clean in the early sun
smudges of fiery gulmohur chase
the sprawling hills into a blur of dust
A vital landscape seemingly unspoiled

Intricately coloured country birds
perched on highly strung power lines
preen and warble warnings as
the disintegrating farmer meddles
with the earth, sealing their lives

Smoggy frames come hurtling
with purple plumed skies
billboards flash urgent signs
that smash into a million excuses
which keep us from listening

to the eloquent eucalyptuses
whispering the same tale

repeatedly

in an instinctive language
we all recognise

Instead

we choose to watch the scene fade
like a memory crumbling at the edges
like a last goodbye

© 2019, Urmila Mahajan

The Memories of Trees, a poem by Melissa Rendlen

A young red pine (Pinus resinosa) with spread of roots visible, as a result of soil erosion courtesy Emery under CC BY-SA 2.5 license

Summer predawn looms long,
grey creeps, lightens,
promises a sun slow to come.

Loon cries give way
to the call of song birds,
as the reluctant day dispels the night.

Sunlight on water creates it’s own magic,
awakens attention to the moment,
even as the past drips like dew

from trees whose memories
reach back, before
my grandmother’s birth.

Will their future outlast mine,
or has our presence ended theirs?

© 2019, Melissa Rendlen

The Faint, a poem by Iulia Gherghei

This image shows one consequence of forest clearing in the Amazon: thick smoke that hangs over the forest. / Jesse Allen and Robert SimmonNASA Earth Observatory / public domain photograph

I didn’t write for sometime
Didn’t feel the urge to do it
Overwhelmed by the reality flow
The muses fainted
The cracks from the floor swallowed them
Another layer of dust lavishingly spread at my feet

 

Vacuum, void, nothingness
Powerless, exhaustion
Mainly, emptied and knocked down by the atrocities of these times
The bad news are followed by more bad news
Fake or true, an instrument of manipulation
The muses got swirled under this tsunami wave called reality
No wish for survival left
In their foggy eyes I saw the doom
With the next wave poetry will leave too
The curtain of smoke from the Amazonian forests will envelope slowly our poetry buds
The lungs will succumb in desperate attempts to form a rhyme or to keep the rhythm in this intricate nightmare
The muses, already dust under our paved ways, can’t save us anymore
They donated us the last amount of oxygen
Their last breath, already
We are left intoxicated with our egoes
We will fall, one by one as the trees of that far away forest did

© 2019, Iulia Gherghei

Climate Change Conversation Can Be Difficult for both Skeptics and Environmentalist

Reinforcing trust in science, focusing on perseverance may shift views, inspire action, according to studies.

Texas Corn Crops effected by drought. / Bob Nichols, USDA / Public Domain

Having productive conversations about climate change isn’t only challenging when dealing with skeptics, it can also be difficult for environmentalists, according to two studies presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

The first of the studies found that reinforcing belief and trust in science may be a strategy to help shift the views of climate change skeptics and make them more open to the facts being presented by the other side.

“Within the United States, bipartisan progress on climate change has essentially come to a standstill because many conservatives doubt the findings of climate science and many liberals cannot fathom that any rational human can doubt the scientific consensus on the issue,” said Carly D. Robinson, MEd, of Harvard University, who presented the research. “These opposing perspectives do not create a starting point for productive conversations to help our country address climate change. Our goal was to find an intervention that might change the current situation.”

Though previous research has shown that social pressure to disbelieve in climate change stems from the political right and that conservatives’ trust in science has eroded, Robinson and her colleagues theorized that most people would find at least some branches of science credible. Leveraging those beliefs could lead climate skeptics to shift their views, they said.

“When people are faced with two or more opposing beliefs, ideas and values, it tends to create discomfort, which can lead people to becoming more open-minded about a particular issue,” said Christine Vriesema, PhD, of the University of California, Santa Barbara and a co-author of the study.

The researchers surveyed nearly 700 participants from the U.S. Half were given surveys about their belief in science (e.g., “How credible is the medical data that germs are a primary cause of disease?” and “How certain are you that physicists’ theory of gravity accurately explains why objects fall when dropped?”) and their belief in climate science (e.g., “How credible is the climate science data that ocean temperatures are rising?” and “How certain are you that global warming explains many of the new weather patterns we are seeing today?”). The other half was only surveyed about their belief in climate science. All participants reported if they considered themselves politically liberal, moderate or conservative.

“As we predicted in our pre-registration, conservatives reported a greater belief in climate science if they were asked questions first about their belief in other areas of science,” said Robinson. “For climate skeptics, it likely became awkward to report on our survey that they believed in science while at the same time, denying the findings of climate science. That dissonance led many to adjust their beliefs to show greater support for the existence of climate change.”

The findings showed that beliefs in climate science are malleable and not fixed, said Robinson.

“We were pleasantly surprised that a brief, two-minute survey changed skeptics’ views on climate change,” said Robinson. “It is exciting to know that in real-world settings, we might be able to have more productive climate conversations by starting from a place of common belief.”

The second study showed that igniting a sense of resilience and perseverance can increase action and engagement around climate change for people who work in aquariums, national parks and zoos.

“Many educators working at these institutions reported wanting to talk about climate change and visitors reported wanting to hear about it, yet many educators still felt uncomfortable bringing the topic into their conversations because they were worried about being able to communicate effectively,” said Nathaniel Geiger, PhD, of Indiana University who presented the research.

The study included 203 science educators from zoos, aquariums and national parks who were part of a yearlong communication training program from the National Network of Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation designed to build participants’ confidence in talking about climate change. The training consisted of study groups, group assignments, readings, discussions and weekend retreats. During the last six months of the program, participants worked to integrate what they had learned into their jobs.

Survey data were collected one month before and one month after the training program and again six to nine months later.

Geiger and his colleagues examined two components of hopeful thinking to see which one might lead to the success of the training program: agency (e.g., enthusiasm, a sense of determination) and pathways (e.g., resilience and perseverance strategies) and how those influenced participants’ reports of engagement about climate change.

Participants rated their “agency thinking” (e.g., “I energetically do all I can do to discuss climate change” and “I anticipate that efforts to discuss climate change will be pretty successful”) and their “pathways thinking” (e.g., “I can think of many ways to discuss climate change”) in each survey. The science educators also reported the frequency with which they discussed climate change with the general public and visitors to their institutions, ranging from never to daily.

Geiger and his team found that pathways thinking was more successful at inspiring conversations about climate change than agency.

“Our findings suggested that portions of the training that taught how to persevere and be resilient in the face of difficult climate change conversations may have been the most effective at promoting discussion,” Geiger said.

The training program also increased the frequency with which the science educators spoke about climate change with visitors, from less than once per month prior to the training to more than two or three times per month afterward, he said.

“We found it uplifting that the training program showed such a robust effect at promoting these difficult discussions,” said Geiger. “We believe that climate change advocates and educators will find this work helpful toward meeting their goal of crafting more effective training programs to boost climate change engagement.”

Leveraging Cognitive Consistency to Nudge Conservative Climate Change Beliefs

Hope-Based Interventions and Climate Change Engagement

Presentations are available from the APA Public Affairs Office.

Eco-Tourism and Jungle Law

We were grateful for bug screens on our trip to the Amazon, but the natural world often defies human-made barriers.

For instance, we shared The Hammock Room at the Research Center with a tarantula. He wasn’t as interested in us as we were in him.

It was a reminder to shake out our shoes each morning before getting dressed. Insects and critters found their way into our little sanctuary, but it was the ones I couldn’t see that bugged me.

We ventured into the jungle with Orlando, our guide. In spite of the heat and 90+ percent humidity, we covered as much skin as possible with clothing, and sprayed the rest with repellant. Nighttime mosquitoes carry malaria, daytime ones dengue fever, and I forget which ones carry yellow fever, but I didn’t want to be breakfast for anybody.

Below are a few of my own unofficial rules of the jungle for the timid traveler.

Rule of the Jungle #1– bring mosquito repellent!

Fallen trees and leaves, mud, and overnight storms in the tropical rainforest made hiking challenging.

We wore rubber boots to keep our feet dry.  Bea stepped in a puddle deeper than anticipated, and water poured into her boot.

Rule of the Jungle # 2–Watch your step!

Orlando uprooted several small trees, and cut the trunks off with his machete to make tea from the bark to relieve his mother’s arthritis.  He replanted the roots in the fertile soil, so the tree would survive.  Maybe the tea really was for his mom, but it was a tactful way of providing us with walking sticks to help balance on slippery walkways.

Rule of the Jungle #3–Take the hand extended to you, and be grateful for kindness in any form or guise.

So many trees and leaves were poisonous, covered with harmful insects or razor-sharp edges.  Another guest at the Research Center slipped and braced herself on a porcupine tree.  It left dozens of venomous barbs in in her hand, which swelled up painfully.  The nearest doctor was hours away, so her guide cut the barbs out with pins and a knife, and gave her anti-biotics.

Rule of the Jungle #4–Don’t touch ANYTHING!

Rule of the Jungle # 5–There are exceptions to any rule.

Orlando caught Olive Whip Snake with his bare hands.

He showed us how to handle a snake without getting bitten…

Orlando’s grandfather was a shaman. “My grandfather said if you can get a snake to wrap around you, it will become gentle and give you its energy.”  As soon as it wrapped around him, the snake grew calm, and then Orlando released it into a tree.

Rule of the Jungle #6–Be as open to new experiences as you can without endangering yourself or others.

Rule of the Jungle #7–Bring your camera!!

We caught many tantalizing glimpses of wildlife, but they were often quicker than I was when it came to focusing the camera.

However, some critters obligingly held still for me.

Occasionally I would be rewarded with a shot like this.

Or this….

Or this…

 

Or this…

 Or this…

Rule of the Jungle #8–Only you can know what it requires for you to glean the most meaning and satisfaction out of your jungle experience or your life.  Do no harm, be respectful, but make up your own rules, and break them whenever necessary.

All images and words copyright 2013 NaomiBaltuck

Global forest wildlife population in significant decline, new WWF report Shows

Conservation group calls to declare a planetary emergency and act to keep forests standing and healthy in the fight against the climate crisis.


Amazon Rainforest in South America courtesy of Phil P Harris under CC BY-SA 2.5

View of Amazon basin forest north of Manaus, Brazil. Image taken from top of a 50 m tower for meteorological observations, and the top of vegetation canopy is typically 35 m. The image was taken within 30 minutes of a rain event, and a few white ‘clouds’ above the canopy are indicative of rapid evaporation from wet leaves after the rain.


The first-ever global assessment of forest biodiversity, Below the Canopy, shows that monitored forest-dwelling wildlife populations have shrunk on average by more than half (53%) since 1970. The new report by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) highlights the multitude of threats forest-living species are facing and shows that habitat loss and degradation, primarily caused by human activity, is the cause of 60% of the threats to forests and forest species. Declines were greatest in tropical forests, such as the Amazon rainforest.

The landmark report shows forests, which are home to well over half of the world’s land-based species and one of our most important carbon sinks, are vital to the health of the planet. Forest wildlife, in turn, provides vital functions to keep forests healthy and productive, such as pollinating and dispersing seeds and other crucial roles that affect natural regeneration and carbon storage. If we are to reverse the decline in biodiversity worldwide and avoid climate crisis, we need to safeguard forests and the species that live in them.

WWF is calling on world leaders to declare a planetary emergency and secure a New Deal for Nature and People by 2020 to stop climate breakdown, safeguard our planet’s remaining natural spaces, and make our consumption and production model more sustainable. Protecting and restoring forests must be at the heart of this agreement.

“Forests provide us with the essentials for life on our planet, yet these same forests depend on the wildlife that reside in them to maintain their health and vitality,” said Shubash Lohani, Senior Director, Forests, World Wildlife Fund. “This report is a wake-up call that we can’t stand idle when it comes to protecting our forests and the abundant life that keep nature’s diversity intact. Immediate action is needed on a global scale to protect and restore nature while keeping our forests right side up.”

Remarkably, we know relatively little about real changes to the species that live in our forests at a global level. The Forest Specialist Index, developed by WWF following the Living Planet Index methodology (used within WWF’s flagship Living Planet Report), focuses on species that depend entirely on forests, which means this indicator provides an accurate representation of forest ecosystem health. UNEP-WCMC co-led the analysis and modelling for this report in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). The Forest Specialist Index shows that monitored populations of forest-living birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles declined, on average, by 53% between 1970 and 2014, the most recent year for which data is available. Most of this loss is occurring in the tropics, where there is most wildlife to lose.

“The first step towards protecting threatened wildlife is understanding trends in their populations and what drives their decline. By focusing our well-established Living Planet Index to create a new indicator for forest species, we can look below the canopy to see how wildlife within those forests are faring,” said Louise McRae, Conservation Scientist, Zoological Society of London and report author. “Our analysis does just this, and reveals that many of the animal species that rely entirely on forests are dropping in number. Using this new indicator, we can continue to track forest wildlife and measure progress towards international agreements and biodiversity targets.”

The Forest Specialist Index also assessed whether forest cover alone – the most commonly used indicator globally – was an accurate indication of the health of wildlife below the canopy. The research found that while tackling deforestation and increasing forest cover are both essential to restore nature, these are steps alone are not sufficient.

While the findings of the Forest Specialist Index paint a gloomy picture of the state of forest biodiversity, conservation success stories show us that forest-dwelling animals can recover with the right interventions. From monkeys in Costa Rica to gorillas in central and east Africa, the report highlights a number of solutions that have successfully helped populations of forest animals thrive again.

Protecting wildlife and reversing the decline of nature requires urgent global action. The report points to 2020 as a crucial year for securing international agreements for a New Deal for Nature and People, through a commitment by heads of state at the 75th United Nations General Assembly. World leaders are also expected to review the progress made on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and, crucially, negotiate new 10-year targets for the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Forests need to be front and centre of this New Deal for Nature and People because of their importance for biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and people, through the provision of ecosystem services, such as water and air purification, nutrient cycling, soil erosion control, and supplies of food, wood and other products.

About the Below the Canopy Report

The Below the Canopy report is the world’s first ever global assessment of forest-living species populations. The full report will be available to view here on August, 13 2019.

About World Wildlife Fund

WWF is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in 100 countries for over half a century. With the support of more than 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit http://www.worldwildlife.org to learn more and keep up with the latest conservation news by following @WWFNews on Twitter.

Climate Change, SETI, And Dr. Fermi

There’s certainly a warning here by our esteemed colleague, Jamies R. Cowles. It was originally published on our sister site, Beguin Again. / Jamie Dedes



The recent report on the findings of climatic research into the causes and probable evolution of climate change – a more accurate term than “global warming” – prompted me to consider a possible answer to Enrico Fermi’s classic question “Where is everybody?” Multiple generations of science fiction writers have projected a future in which the Milky Way Galaxy fairly teems with life, rather like Times Square on New Year’s Eve or the tavern in the first Star Wars movie  – so much so that the late Prof. Stephen Hawking has publicly counseled SETI investigators to – not literally STFU – but certainly to exercise due caution in broadcasting the existence of intelligent life on earth to every corner of the Galaxy. (Not that we have a choice by now:  earth’s electromagnetic emissions by now comprise a bubble 200-plus light-years in diameter.)  We do not know, says Prof. Hawking, what sharks may inhabit the interstellar waters. (My analogy, not his.) So far, we have been safe. Except for the never-reproduced “Wow Signal”, for which a serious possible explanation has now been proposed, SETI researchers have so far not found any intelligent signal, using any kind electromagnetic energy, that so much as hints at an intelligent origin. The following is pure speculation on my part, albeit – so I would argue – intelligent and informed speculation, as to this eerie silence. Anyway, I submit the following for your consideration …

“Wow!” Signal

The evolution of an intelligent species – actually, any species – usually takes multiple millions, even billions, of years. I say “often” and not “always” because the speed with which a species evolves can be measured in days, perhaps even hours, if the evolving organism is simple enough.  Consider a flu virus comprising only several dozen base pairs. Add the adjective “intelligent” to the noun “species” and then we really are talking hundreds of millions, most likely billions, of years. It took about 4 billion years for the intelligent species homo sapiens sapiens to make an appearance on Planet Earth.

However … in terms of “boots on the ground” real time, evolution proceeds by fractions of a millimeter, temporally speaking.  The proto-hominid is concerned with finding enough wood to keep her / his family warm tonight, and perhaps for a couple nights in the future. S/He is likewise concerned with finding an area with abundant resources for hunting and gathering for perhaps a week or so in the future. Even when settled agricultural communities evolved, the primary emphasis was on this year’s harvest, and perhaps … maybe … next year’s. What is the point of all this? Only that the fraction-of-a-millimeter-at-a-time nature of evolution militates against anything that could reasonably be considered long-term planning. From the standpoint of survival and the propagation of one’s genes into the future, this is a good thing. A hunter-gatherer of, say, 100,000 years ago who paused to consider the long-term ecological effects of rampant deforestation, the poisoning of the atmosphere by wood smoke, the depletion of the oceans, etc., would probably be devoured by animals – or other hunter-gatherers – before s/he had a chance to reproduce, in which case I would not be around to write this “Skeptic’s” column and you would not be around to read it. At least in terms of earth-like intelligent life, it would appear that individual human beings, and human communities, are not “hard-wired” to reflexively consider The Big Picture. From a “boots on the ground” perspective, evolution has simply not equipped us to think in those terms. We can certainly learn to do so. But it does not come naturally. It is like learning to use your left hand if you are right-handed. Furthermore, this difficulty is reflected in our political institutions and our educational systems. Ditto economics. It is no accident that late capitalism does not encourage long-term planning – defined as time-frames measured in generations at least or centuries. As for millennia, i.e., the time-scale when climate change becomes glaringly, life-and-death critical … well … fugg-id-aboud-it!

Granted, I am referring now to terrestrial life, and to cognates thereof, i.e., to life that evolved on temperate, water-abundant earth-like planets, perhaps on a “super-earth”, orbiting a stable, main-sequence sun-like yellow-dwarf or red-dwarf star like our sun within that sun’s habitable zone. If the evolution of intelligent life on such earth-cognates was anything like the evolution of intelligent life on earth, then the environmental challenges we face on earth today would – so I would speculate – have their equivalents on those extraterrestrial worlds. So, from the standpoint of SETI, there is good news, but there also may be – remember, I am speculating here – bad news. The good news is that it is reasonable to conclude that, in the Milky Way Galaxy, there are around 2 billion earth-like planets (“earth cognates” in my terminology), but perhaps as many as 17 billion or even 100 billion. The bad news is that, for the reasons I have outlined above, the challenges posed for the evolution of intelligent life may be as difficult for beings inhabiting those planets as they are for us. (And remember: this is assuming the existence of intelligent life to begin with, i.e., discounting the “rare-earth hypothesis”, which is by no means a crackpot opinion.) Assuming that the laws of chemistry, physics, and celestial mechanics are the same everywhere, it is reasonable to conclude that our own environmental challenges on earth would have their equivalents on those alien worlds. So the key question in assessing the likelihood of the existence of intelligent life elsewhere in our Galaxy is:  are there evolutionary regimes that result in brains whose “hard-wiring” is more congenial to long-term – as defined above – planning? I mean planning in time-frames commensurate with large-scale changes in the home planet’s environment.

Desert Drought Dry Elephant Global Warming

Forms of socio-political organization also enter the mix. Serious question:  to what extent, if any, is an emphasis on individuality, individual rights, individual liberty – basically, the presuppositions of an “Enlightenment-centric” socio-political culture – compatible with long-term planning for the survival of the species when challenged by incipient catastrophies like climate change? Maybe dealing with these challenges requires that intelligent species develop, if they have not done so earlier, forms of social organization similar to, e.g., the “formics” in the Ender’s Game / Speaker for the Dead cycle of novels, or the Borg Collective of Star Trek, or the Caretakers who used – but did not build – the wormhole subway in Carl Sagan’s incomparable science-fiction novel Contact. Or, less benevolently, the Dark Ones of Babylon 5 or the malignant alien collective that launched the planet-devouring self-replicating Von Neumann machines in Greg Bear’s The Forge of God and Anvil of Stars. Without in any way advocating for such a collectivist polity, a lucidly honest historical assessment would certainly indicate that trying to induce human beings to unite for collective action to confront a common danger is pretty much like herding cats … and feral cats, at that … unless the end-in-view is the apocalyptic and uncompromising destruction of some human enemy. Think “Manhattan Project.” That kind of cooperation we are damned good at! Climate change / global warming? Well … maybe not so much.

Back in the ’60s, the astronomer Frank Drake formulated the by-now-classical Drake equation, which attempts to quantify the number of intelligent species in the Milky Way Galaxy by factoring in quantitative estimates of the various coefficients that combine to produce intelligence in various planets’ species. I like to think of the Drake equation as analogous to the design of a digital circuit, with various “gates” — AND gates, OR gates, NAND gates, XOR gates, etc., etc., — that determine whether a given species achieves intelligence and a technological civilization capable of communicating with other intelligent species inhabiting planets and evolving their own civilizations. Many of the factors in the classical Drake equation are obvious, e.g., the rate of planet formation in a star’s habitable zone (however one might define that), the fraction of planets that actually evolve life, the fraction that evolve intelligent life, etc., etc. The historical trend strongly suggests that we have greatly underestimated the number and type of relevant coefficients in the Drake equation. For example, I would suggest that one such overlooked coefficient — one that I have never seen acknowledged in the literature — is the fraction of planets whose axis of rotation is stabilized by the presence of a large moon and the influence of other, probably gas-giant, planets in the same star-system. (An example of where the absence of these factors is critical is Mars. Mars only has two little pebbles for moons, Deimos and Phobos, and so Mars’ axis of rotation has, over the millennia, precessed perhaps 90 degrees, and the climatic variations would virtually preclude the evolution of intelligent life. By contrast, earth has a very large moon and is farther away from Jupiter, with the result that earth’s axis of rotation is stable enough to ensure a stable climate congenial to the evolution of intelligence.) Bottom line:  it is reasonable to conclude that the proportion of intelligent species capable of taking the long view, of planning for the future in terms, not of years or even of generations, but at least of centuries would have a critical bearing on whether a given “candidate” species achieved intelligence and survived long enough to develop space travel and a sophisticated communication technology. This is perhaps one missing coefficient in the classical Drake equation:  the percentage of species that have evolved intelligence sufficient to engage in long-range planning.

Radio Telescope Antennas Bure Peak

But our response — or lack thereof — to climate change strongly suggests that we may in perhaps a century, maybe less, encounter a break point where our endemic inability to take future centuries, even future millennia, into proper account may render us a footnote in some hypothetical Sagan-esque Galactic survey. We have to overcome the short-sightedness selected into us by the imperatives of evolution. So far, there have been five mass extinction events in earth’s history. We may well be in the middle of the sixth. Granted, some of these were unavoidable, e.g., the end-Permian catastrophe 250 million years ago. Others, if they occurred today, might be preventable, given long-term planning, e.g., the Chicxulub event 65 million years ago. But all would require a capacity for long-range planning for which we humans have thus far shown little aptitude or inclination.

So perhaps now we have the answer to Dr. Fermi’s question of “Where is everyone?”. Perhaps the eerie silence we detect with our radio telescopes is mute testimony to the scarcity of intelligent species that evolved an intelligence, and the accompanying social and political organizations, sufficient to deal with multiple-millennia-long threats to those species’ existence. Maybe the Universe is silent because, thanks to the in-built limitations inherent in evolution, intelligent species’ own short-sightedness caught up with them.

© 2019, James R. Cowles

Image credits

“Wow” signal … North American Astrophysical Observatory … Public domain
SETI logo … SETI Institute … Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
Radio telescopes … Bure Peak Observatory … Public domain
Drake equation … Mohammad Alrohmany … Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Human evolution … Wellcome Images … Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Global warming map … Environmemtal Protection Agency … Public domain
Desert and tree … Max Pixel … Public domain
Two planets … Pixabay … Public domain

U.N. CLIMATE SUMMIT 2019, “A Race We Can Win”

Flag of the United Nations / public domain

The United Nations has opened additional places for civil society groups to participate in the 2019 Climate Action Summit, in recognition of the crucial role of civil society in driving forward urgent climate action.

Successful applicants will join global leaders in the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York on September 23, as well as working meetings across the Summit’s key action areas, to be held on September 21 and 22.

These places are in addition to more than 200 invitations that are already being issued to civil society representatives, including over 100 youth representatives. More than 600 young people will also participate in the Secretary-General’s Youth Climate Summit at UN Headquarters on 21 September.

The announcement is being made in conjunction with the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference, which was held in Salt Lake City from 26 to 28 August, convened by the UN’s Department of Global Communications.

UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Climate Action Summit, Luis Alfonso de Alba said the UN was responding to the overwhelming demand for increased participation from civil society.

“With carbon pollution increasing and the global thermometer rising, we are seeing the impacts of climate change getting worse every day, causing huge damage to people, communities, and ecosystems everywhere. But the movement to tackle climate change is gaining momentum, as people and organizations everywhere are demanding action. The Climate Action Summit will be a moment for civil society to join with leaders from across government and politics to push climate action into a higher gear.  The voices, solutions, and engagement of civil society are more vital than ever.”

HEADS-UP: SEPTEMBER 5 DEADLINE

Civil society groups – in all countries and across all fields – who are working to drive forward positive climate actions and solutions are encouraged to apply for the additional positions by submitting a short written submission by September 5 at https://reg.unog.ch/event/31641/.
Applications will be assessed by a panel consisting of UN representatives leading broader engagement with civil society and experts on the Sustainable Development Goals.

The application review process will take into account gender and regional balance when assessing candidates. Reviewers will also recognize the resilience and leadership of individuals from marginalized and vulnerable communities, including but not limited to indigenous and tribal communities, people living with disabilities, refugees, LGBTQ and otherwise. Candidates must also clearly demonstrate a commitment to addressing the climate crisis and advancing solutions, including through leadership positions, partnerships with other stakeholders, and evidence of impact.

Successful applicants will be notified by September 9.

For media inquiries and interview requests on this announcement, please contact:

Dan Shepard, UN Department of Global Communications: shepard@un.org
Esra Sergi, UN Department of Global Communications: sergie@un.org
For media inquiries on the United Nations Civil Society conference, please contact:

Felipe Quipo, UN Department of Global Communications: queipo@un.org

Follow @ladealba on Twitter for the latest news on the Climate Action Summit.