The Skywriter

Blog & news round-up 11/20: Angry Mermaids, GOOD guides, artistic activism, and more


Blog & news round-up 11/20: Angry Mermaids, GOOD guides, artistic activism, and more

Make Art for Climate - Flushing

The theme of the climate blogosphere this week: Copenhagen is coming. With the UN Climate Conference quickly approaching we saw various countries coming out with their initial statements and environmental news sources providing guides and breakdowns for all the COP15 action.

Although the United States won't have a Senate climate bill ready to take to Copenhagen, work is still being done to make one happen (and to make it not happen, unfortunately). Carol Browner came out swinging at bill-weakening threats by Democratic leadership and 1Sky supporters have been hard at work making their voices heard as seen in this week's video.

As we know, it's not enough that a climate bill pass the U.S. Senate – it has to be a good bill. Some fossil fuel interests are working hard as ever to make sure that whatever bill gets passed is bad for the climate and good for their next quarter's bottom line. To bring attention to the greenwashing and astroturf organizations run by these interests, several corporate responsibility and environmental groups have created the Angry Mermaid Awards. Until Dec. 13 you can go vote for the company or lobby group "doing the most to sabotage effective action on climate change." Go here to vote. If nothing else, it's a good place to get educated on what these groups are up to.

Unfortunately it looks like the U.S. Senate's climate bill is not going to happen in 2009. We could look at this as a setback, OR we could follow's lead and see this as more time to organize the climate movement to make sure the eventual solutions are the right ones.

With that goal in mind, this article from Climate Progress is a good read. The article discusses White House advisor (and former EPA Administrator) Carol Browner's statement that whatever legislation gets made needs to be truly comprehensive. In response to talk of "paring down" the Senate bill to appeal to moderates, Browner argued that such a bill wouldn't be as good for American businesses:

If you only get a little piece of the problem, if we deal with some of our production issues, breaking our dependence on foreign oil, or if we do only a renewable electricity standard, then you’re not going to give industry the predictability and certainty they need to start making the large capital investments they’re eager to make.

The article also has great insights from major legislative players about how the 2010 elections shouldn't prevent major climate legislation from passing.

In preparing for the guides to the Copenhagen conference, it's good to go back to the basics. This week, Grist came out with an entertaining list of their top 25 reasons to give a damn about climate change. These reasons are targeted more at those not active in the climate movement, so share it with your friends!

Getting to the down and dirty about the UN Climate Conference, GOOD magazine lived up to their reputation of making information interesting with a series of posts, the GOOD Guide to COP15. Check out the introduction here, then give yourself some time to look over the other couple of posts in the guide. As usual, they are easy to understand for the lay person.

Infographic of the week: This week's infographic is actually part of the GOOD Guide to COP15. This world map makes it easy to see who is representing many of the major world players and what the "conventional wisdom" is regarding their positions going in.

1Sky Climate Precinct Captains (join here!) are busy lately making art to encourage President Obama to lead on climate action. For this week's video, one CPC in North Dakota recorded a radio interview about their art gathering and made a slideshow to go along with it. Give it a look to see the making of one Make Art for Climate mural:

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