Around the world, activists arrested for protesting coals destruction, including NASA’s James Hansen

UPDATE:  Listen to Hansen LIVE on WPFW in DC, online here, from 10 to 11 am.

Jim Hansen arrest at White HouseYesterday, scientists, youth, and coal-field residents came together to protest the coal industry’s destruction of our future in a global day of action.  Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson has the story.

In Washington, DC, top climate scientist James Hansen, who warned Congress of the coming scourge of global warming in 1989, joined over a hundred others who were arrested at the White House for protesting mountaintop removal, which Barack Obama has called an “environmental disaster.”  The Rainforest Action Network, which helped organize the Appalachia Rising protest, reports on the arrests:

More than 100 people were arrested today during Appalachia Rising, the largest national protest to end mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining. Arrests included Appalachian residents; retired coal miners; renowned climate scientist, James Hansen; and faith leaders. After a march from Freedom Plaza and a rally at Lafayette Park, more than 100 staged a sit-in in front of the White House to demand President Obama follow his own science and end mountaintop mining.

“In a stark reminder of the national connection to the coalfields,” journalist Jeff Biggers described, “the Obama administration officials looked on from their White House offices, as their electricity came from a coal-fired plant generated partly with coal strip-mined from Appalachia.”

Newcastle protestOn the other side of the planet, activists “shut down the world’s largest coal export operation” in Newcastle, Australia:

Climate activists brought Newcastle’s billion-dollar coal-loaders to a grinding halt yesterday, suspending themselves midair to effectively shut down the world’s largest coal export operation. Police arrested 41 members of the Rising Tide group, which launched a simultaneous protest at three coal-loader sites at dawn yesterday.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles hit an all-time record 113°, freak floods hit Minnesota and Wisconsin, and Wall Street remains bullish on coal. On October 10, thousands of people around the world will come together in a global day of activism for clean energy.

JR:  Hansen said, “The science is clear, mountaintop removal destroys historic mountain ranges, poisons water supplies and pollutes the air with coal and rock dust. Mountaintop removal, providing only a small fraction of our energy, can and should be abolished. The time for half measures and caving in to polluting industries must end.”

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51 Responses to Around the world, activists arrested for protesting coals destruction, including NASA’s James Hansen

  1. cervantes says:

    OT — sorry — but I think this deserves notice. “Hurricane Igor will go down in Canada’s record books. Never before has a full-strength hurricane hit Newfoundland. The waters around Newfoundland are usually too cold for a hurricane to maintain its strength and remain tropical, but Hurricane Igor managed it. . . .

    At 1,480 kilometres wide, Igor is also the largest ever Atlantic hurricane by gale force winds diameter, not just in Canada, but ever since Atlantic records have been kept. It reached that size just before striking Newfoundland. Even when just a category 1, Igor’s hurricane force winds extended outward nearly 165 kilometres from the eye! . . .

    Even after it left the waters of Newfoundland and Labrador, Igor continued to produce near-hurricane conditions all the way up to Greenland, where it absorbed the remnants of Julia. The last remnants of Igor finally made landfall near southern Davis Strait, Greenland. In the process, much of south and west Greenland experienced high winds, with late September temperatures rising as high as 18 degrees Celsius right next to a glacier!”

    That’s pretty damn weird, in my opinion.

  2. Bob Doublin says:

    James Hansen: my HERO! (and all the others)

    September has been really weird here in Seattle. I wouldn’t be surprised if the monthly average high was 4 degrees below average while the average lows were 4 degrees ABOVE average. It’s been very rainy,we’re guaranteed to be over 3 times the average for Sept and I can’t help wondering if it’s a monthly record. Yesterday morning at 4:30am it was 65 and high humidity. That’s just 2 degrees below the average HIGH for the date. I have a great view of Elliott Bay and the Sound from my office window and I could watch all morning the surface fog form over the water and the islands to the west.The moisture in the atmosphere is huge,we’ve had a lot of mornings where the fog forms. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next month or two we break the all time rainy day record set just 7 years ago (a little over 5″ in one day)

  3. mike roddy says:

    Thanks, Jim Hansen, for your courage, brilliance, and integrity.

  4. Scrooge says:

    IMO the majority of the worlds population is starting to get it. If we can stop AGW from becoming worldwide catastrophic event Dr Hansen will be remembered as a hero. I can only hope I will be as strong as him if I get the opportunity.

  5. george ennis says:

    I saw this headline in today’s on-line edition of the New York Times.

    “Water Use in Southwest Heads for a Day of Reckoning”

    Can anyone suggest a possible cause?

    On another note:

    As a person born in Newfoundland, I think I can add some additional perspective. Newfoundland is us very familair with storms including high winds and heavy rain. The “extreme” part of this weather event was the rainfall in a 24 hour period which was unprecedented and washed away roads and bridges in many places.

    The Canadian army has been deployed to assist with re-construction efforts.

    Another weater related eventthat has gone un-reported in most media outside Canada is the fact that much of western Candian farmland in the western provinces has received so much rain this past summer that many fields are still flooded. So if you think the food shortfalls from extrem weather in Russia, Pakistan can be made up from Canada you might want to re-think that.

    Grain prices are set to rise and rise dramatically in the next 12 months.

  6. Thanks are Jim Hansen for standing up and speaking out about what he believes to be true.

    Where are the first rank population experts who are willing to stand up and speak out about what they believe to be true regarding human population dynamics? Why are many too many population experts not standing up and speaking out about relatively new and heretofore unchallenged scientific evidence of human population dynamics and human overpopulation of the Earth?

    That silence regarding the science of human population dynamics has been willfully perpetrated by the mass media is to be expected. But for blogmeisters with environmental credentials and top rank scientists to collude in silence with the same people they openly object to when it is politically convenient and economically expedient to do so, that is sad…and sad to say. Small groups of people who are providing a reality-oriented basis for necessary change need a bit of support from people in public positions of power…..from thoughtful leaders and opinion makers capable of speaking truth as they see it and not effectively killing what could somehow be true with their duplicitous and pernicious silence.

  7. Jeff Huggins says:


    Although I wish that the companies in industries that emit huge amounts of GHGs (or push products that do) would stop fooling the public, get responsible, support legislation aimed at addressing global warming, and begin their own transitions to cleaner forms of energy, out of basic human responsibility, that doesn’t seem to be the case in most cases. And the clock is — and has been — ticking. So, in my view, it’s time to use focused demonstrations, including very large ones, to bring attention and pressure to those companies and to their Board members and executive leaders. Companies have had long enough to show real signs of sincere responsibility and change, and many of them haven’t done so.

    ExxonMobil’s products generate well over One Trillion Pounds of CO2 per year when used. That’s ExxonMobil products alone. That’s in one year. That’s One Trillion Pounds. ExxonMobil’s products generate GHGs that weigh more than the entire weight of the human species on Earth today — in other words, more than all 6.8 billion of us weigh, combined.

    We should begin boycotts of, and demonstrations against, ExxonMobil and the API. Personally, I’m going to see how 10/10/10 goes and then try to assess, from my own standpoint, “what to do next”. But one thing is nearly certain, in my view: We’ll need to boycott, and demonstrate against, companies such as ExxonMobil and organizations such as the API. Nor should we forget that these companies are led by people, and its the Board members and CEOs of such companies who make the (often) irresponsible decisions. In the case of ExxonMobil, their leader is Rex Tillerson, and two of their Board members are William George, of Harvard Business School, and Michael Boskin, of Stanford and the Hoover Institution. In my view, students, other faculty members, and community members at Harvard and Stanford should (at this point) be directly appealing to, and pressing, Professor George and Professor Boskin to take prompt responsible action to put ExxonMobil on a MUCH more responsible pathway, one that respects the science of climate change and that adopts a fully ethical and responsible posture towards future generations, other peoples, other species, and a stable climate. Both of those professors have been on ExxonMobil’s Board for quite some time — Michael Boskin is one of ExxonMobil’s longest-serving Board members — yet ExxonMobil is still fooling the public, pushing against responsible legislation, saying one thing and doing another, and generally acting in entirely irresponsible ways, all things considered. So what’s up? It’s time for growing numbers of the public (and press) to ask Rex Tillerson, William George, and Michael Boskin directly.

    Bravo again to James Hansen and to the other folks involved in the coal demonstrations. Good for you!


  8. Scrooge says:

    OK I really applaud Dr Hansen for what he did. But looking at the white shirt and tie made me wonder were the pencil holder for the shirt pocket is.

  9. David Smith says:

    Why aren’t we all out there on the front lines with Mr. Hansen et al…, Only 100?

    I pose this question to myself and to other readers and contributors on CP. If 77% of poled Americans are in favor of government action to control GHG emmissions, why aren’t we showing up in public? We have consensus among climate scientists. The next step is to accomplish demonstrable consensus in the population.

  10. Which news outlets are reporting this story?


  11. catman306 says:

    Paulm, I’ll second that. Nobel for Hansen! His activism is an example for us all. His papers that appeared in Science around 1990 warned us of what we are experiencing today so we know exactly what’s making the weather so strange.

    The coming climate disruption is a threat to everyone, every plant and nearly every creature on our planet, except the climate change denier propaganda network. They can go live on some other planet.

  12. Colorado Bob says:

    cervantes @ 1
    Thanks for the follow up on Igor.

    Mexico Landslide in Oaxaca May Have Killed as Many as 1,000, Governor Says

    The airport at Wilmington , N.C. received 10.33 inches yesterday . Needless to say , that’s a new record. But to set that record they had to beat the old one of 7.49 inches. There is one hell of a lot of water coming out of the sky right now.

  13. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    Bella Coola just got about 9 inches of rain, really bad flooding, drought in the SW, record winds in the NE, landslides, record heat in LA and many other places, etc.. All these unusual climate events are happening all over the place now, and people are starting to take notice.

    Bravo to Hanson for being a hero. We need more like him.

  14. Colorado Bob says:

    The BC event over the weekend , isn’t over. 3 more inches coming in on top of the 8.26 inches ……

    “It was shocking, absolutely shocking how much water has come down here in such a short period of time.”

    He said the local communities were caught completely off-guard.

    “It’s a huge event. It’s going to go on for a long, long time.”

    Waugh said the entire 100-kilometre-long Bella Coola Valley has been affected and several communities are cut off because of the flooding.

    Read more:

  15. Adrian says:

    Bravo to Hansen for bringing his status and name to the effort–but equally, bravo to the 100+ others who were arrested and to the thousands of regular folks who are also in the Appalachia Rising movement. They all are shining examples.

  16. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    Sorry to misspell Hansen’s name above.

    Here’s a Facebook page that has lots of photos of the Bella Coola flooding. It was working last night but seems to be having problems now, hopefully will be up soon. Over 200 photos.

    And two informative blogs:

    From the latter:

    “And now … the entire village of Hagensborg sits with its knees in the water. All the bridges from one end of the valley to the other, are damaged, some entirely gone. A sandbank up-valley caved in, taking a long section of highway with it. The “hill” on the road out to the rest of the world is impassible. Salmon, up the river for the annual spawn, lie dead in driveways. A shop ended up in a stand of trees downstream. The winter’s supply of firewood, so neatly stacked for air drying, floats here and there.

    And it’s not flood season yet! That’s still a month or so away.”

    As Hansen says, we don’t have time to wait for natural disaster after natural disaster before we take notice and take action.

  17. Prokaryotes says:

    His action underline the urgency for action. Climate change is serious and we only can do something about it today – tomorrow it will be to late.

  18. Colorado Bob says:

    The record event report from Wilmington – (NWS always uses caps)



    1. 13.38 – INCHES – 9/15/1999
    2. 10.33 – INCHES – 9/27/2010
    3. 9.56 – INCHES – 8/31/2006
    What used to take a hurricane , now just requires a front coming through.

  19. Mark says:

    As a European who frequently tears his remaining hair out at US policy on climate it’s good to see some of your people beginning to protest. As for Hansen, the man is a hero, and a prophet is not without honour except in his own country

  20. george ennis says:

    This blog has cleared up a few things for me. In the US “democratic” system you arrest people who are speaking the truth and trying to save the planet and those who lie, are scientifically ignorant and have no concern for the futuree beyond their own pocketbook you elect to your Senate.

    [JR: Another satisfied customer!]

  21. It has been the history of this country that nothing gets done until people get arrested, beaten or killed when challenging the economic interests of the power elite. James Hansen is the Martin Luther King of climate awareness and he deserves a Nobel Prize just as much as King did. However, King was joined by thousands and even millions in his demonstrations against the status quo. Nothing will happen with the climate problem until millions join Hansen in demonstrations, boycotts and civil disobedience against the power elites that don’t want to give up their economic gravy trains. The only difference is that King and his followers had time to wait out the intransigence of racists and their government allies. The world’s population doesn’t have such luxury; time is already past to stop the changes which are already occurring with numbing frequency. As already built in changes continue to accelerate, all we can hope for is that we are able to change course before the catastrophes overwhelm us. Everything else in human affairs is already totally irrelevant.

  22. Colorado Bob says:

    The pine bark beetle marches to the top of the highest peaks –

    Old Trees May Soon Meet Their Match

    Now, however, scientists say these ancient trees may soon meet their match in the form of a one-two punch, from white pine blister rust, an Asian fungus that came to the United States from Asia, via Europe, a century ago, and the native pine bark beetle, which is in the midst of a virulent outbreak bolstered by warming in the high-elevation West.

  23. malcreado says:

    Seems if you fit the criteria you could nominate Hansen for the Nobel.

  24. Scrooge says:

    I see that some VIPs will be in front of the White House Oct 10. I wish I could make it but I can’t. I would love to take a trip to DC next spring or summer but would like to schedule it around this type of event and would like the dates out as far in advance as possible. Also please vote in Nov.

  25. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    @george ennis

    Biz as usual for the good old USA. I was once visited by the FBI because I casually knew an environmental activist. Of course, I knew nothing.

    I was 18 years old and a freshman in a state college.

    Our tax dollars at work.

  26. Edward says:

    I went to an EPA hearing in Chicago on 16 September 2010 on the subject of coal ash and cinders. My speech was about the fact that coal ash and cinders are radioactive waste unsuitable for any use except as ore for uranium, thorium and about 25 other elements, including arsenic. Coal contains uranium, thorium and all of the decay products of uranium and thorium.  A 1000 megawatt coal fired power plant puts out at least 4 tons of uranium per year. [1 ppm uranium X 4 million tons per year per 1000 megawatts = 4 tons of uranium. Illinois coal contains up to 103 ppm uranium.]   If they use the coal ash as ore for the contained minerals, probably at a profit, that would involve admitting that coal contains those minerals.   The publicity will cause a great deal of trouble for the coal industry while the litigation is going on. There is no beneficial use for coal ash until these and other harmful elements are removed. Coal ash is radioactive waste under the joint jurisdiction of 3 agencies:  EPA, NRC and RCRA.   EPA ruled in 1984 that none of that uranium or any other radiological species in coal poses a significant hazard. If the 1984 ruling is reversed, it will be difficult to burn coal because the ash will have to be treated as hazardous or radioactive waste. Cinders and ash have been used as building material in the past. That extra profit will stop if the 1984 ruling is reversed. Somebody may have to sue the EPA, NRC and RCRA to get coal ash classified as radioactive waste.

    If you can’t stop coal from the front end, try the back end.

  27. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    @george ennis

    I was in the Alberta canola fields this past August and the mosquitoes were unbelievable from all the rains. Clouds of them everywhere. You couldn’t even get out of your car. I ended up wrapping my tent netting around myself just to be able to get out and walk around.

  28. Gary says:

    Break the mold President Obama, Dr. Steven Chu, Dr. John Holdren and
    join Dr. James Hansen in protest outside of the White House.

  29. If mountain-top coal mining is so terrible for the environment and only accounts for a small percentage of coal mined; then why not hust outlaw it altogether?

    Check out proSeed and let me know your thoughts:

  30. James Newberry says:

    Then, Gary, those four can protest carbon while they endorse uranium as the Atomic Fission Nuclear Bail-out, Bankruptcy, Poisons and Weapons Club.

    Democracy should not be about millionaires and technocrats directing public policy . While Dr. Hansen has provided outstanding leadership and research to the nation, his proposals for “clean energy” leave something to be desired. Clean energy is not about the disease and liabilities of mining poisonous materials like uranium or hydrocarbons (which the administration endorses).

  31. cathy strickler says:

    In response to David Smith asking why aren’t we all out there with Dr. Hansen getting arrested or at least marching: i attended the nonviolent civil disobedience training the day before the march and was seriously considering participating but decided not to. I have read Lappe’s ‘You have the Power: Finding Courage in a Culture of Fear” and Kidder’s ‘Moral Courage’, both necessary reading. I’ve been heavily involved in AGW work. The training was good. I was intellectually but not emotionally ready. I came by myself and didn’t have a long standing support group. Many there who were arrested came with a group. I think this is an important factor to consider and is handled well with youth but I’m 66 and didn’t realize how important that is until this weekend.

    I have been to countless marches in DC, they are important for many reasons. Yesterday was different, not only was there the arrest scene but I had spent the day before with the people being arrested. I identified and felt connected with them, felt love and sadness. I stayed until all the vans and the bus left for the processing center. But I personally didn’t have a buddy and I think that weighed a lot on my decision.

    So to everybody out there who’s afraid to march, get your group or join a group, I think it’s important to just attend marches first to get comfortable with that. Marches are needed and interesting, guaranteed.

    Of course there are countless niches to fill other than marching and getting arrested.

    One unrelated point, I think Dr. Hansen’s clothes added a gravitas to the occasion. It was said by the planners that the people from Appalachia wanted a dignified protest and ‘respectable’ clothes were appreciated.

    I met people from Kentucky, WV and Tennessee that I won’t forget. Just like I did in Biloxi after Katrina. Destruction has a face.

  32. Richard Brenne says:

    So much to comment about, it’s hard to know where to begin:

    Yes! Give James Hansen Nobels – both Science and Peace – make up categories if you have to.

    Looking around the planet, one can’t help but notice the science coming true.

    In temperatures where 17 nations set all-time records, including all-time records in South America (Columbia), Africa and Asia’s all-time heat record of 128 in Pakistan, 126 in Kuwait, 125 in both Iraq and Saudi Arabia, etc.

    Despite denier hype, no nation has set an all-time cold record during 2010.

    Now 113 in L.A. when the thermometer broke, with 117 in Beverly Hills, this despite much of the California coast having a foggy and near-record cool summer, the coolest in Santa Barbara’s history. (Inland heat often draws fog to the coast.)

    Then Kevin Trenberth’s 4% extra water vapor due to a 1 degree F rise in temperatures since 1970 (okay, the water vapor isn’t Kevin’s per se, he’s just alerted us to it more than anyone), with 4% added every time there’s another 1 degree F rise continues to lead to incredible records and phenomenon.

    As Kevin has pointed out, record Sea Surface Temperatures contributed to the jet stream’s high pressure ridge forming over Russia for a five-week record heat wave, when most previous heat waves are only a week.
    Then that together with the record SST contributed to Pakistan’s record flooding and national devastation and rising dissatisfaction with a government that’s been barely hanging on as it is (and remember they have nuclear weapons).

    Then Kevin’s native New Zealand was hit by a storm as big and obnoxious as neighboring Australia!:)

    That’s from one person’s perspective. Here’s my own:

    My step-son is sweltering working 12-hour days in 113 degree or more heat in L.A.

    My daughter just bicycled from Seattle to Squamish, B.C. and got hit by the tail end of the rains that created record flooding in Bella Coola and Port Hardy, two of my favorite towns that are featured rather prominently in my novel about a group of societal elders who try to find a safe place to tell the story of how we got here in a post-Apocalyptic world. I was just wondering if having a hurricane hit that far north was too far-fetched, when September 21 Hurricane Igor hit Newfoundland (see excellent comment #1 above) at the same latitude as most of the Canadian-American border, headed up to Greenland where it continued spinning and warming to 18 degrees C with still-torrential rains, the ultimate ice melter.

    Three days later a storm dropped up to 15 inches of rain in some areas around Bella Coola and 8 to 9 inches estimated as the average throughout the entire 5100 square kilometer drainage in just 36 hours of rainfall. Temperate climates, vegetation, landscapes and infrastructure aren’t designed for tropical storm or monsoonal amounts of rainfall, and the Bella Coola and many rivers were measured at their all-time highs, taking out bridge after bridge. This cut many people off from any road, including the entire community of Bella Coola itself, just as Igor cut Newfoundland in half and isolated 20,000 when a bridge was damaged.
    My daughter’s expertise at staying warm and dry in the best clothing and tent kept her safe and comfortable (and she was on ferries across the Inside Passage during much of the rainiest time), but a father still worries. Three and a half years ago I got to worry about the weather and her safety when she was ski racing at the Junior Olympics in Aspen and they raced at 60 mph plus in slushy conditions due to a record heat wave for Aspen during the second warmest March in Colorado, U.S. and global history – local records are more likely during regional records which are more likely during national records which are more likely during global records.

    The B.C. rains came from an atmospheric river usually not seen for at least a month, and most often in November and December. They came at the end of a dry four-month period that led to another huge fire season in the interior and northern B.C. – a year that would’ve smashed all records just a decade ago, but that are becoming commonplace now.

    All in all, human burning of fossil fuels and other human factors influence all weather every place on Anthro-Earth every day, together with natural variability, as Trenberth says.

    The past year had a fairly moderate El Nino with a minimum of solar input. As the baseline of CO2, temperature, water vapor and energy in the oceans and atmosphere all increase year after year, what will happen in a year with a record El Nino and maximum solar input?

    What will happen with 8 per cent more water vapor than in the atmosphere in 1970 when we add another degree F? Does the intensity of everything double, or do feedbacks and synthesis mean even more than a doubling?

    And the ultra-conservative IPCC Report has 10 degrees F increase possible by 2100, which would mean 44% more water vapor, that I’m guessing would make the climate unrecognizable and storms and droughts unsurvivable for most humans.

    Maybe controlling emissions would be a good idea.

  33. Edward says:

    31 James Newberry: Coal fired power plants put 100 to 400 times as much radiation into the environment as nuclear equivalents are allowed to. Nuclear fuel is recyclable. They will be busy for a long time taking the uranium and thorium out of coal ash from the present stockpile/cinder dump.

  34. Peter M says:

    James Hansen decided to become an activist against fossil fuels over the past 2 years- when our government decided to ignore the threats he predicted 20 years ago.

    I myself have become an activist as well, telling my congressman’s office- and others. It amazes me however even that even with those politicians who are sympathetic to my call- their knowledge of the science is still very lacking. I try and educate them.

  35. In the photo, the banner that’s a bit obscured by police says “Make coal history: renew our future.” Nice to see my slogan on the world’s best climate blog! :-) Painted by my mate Col and carried by his 87-year-old father Bill, the eldest climate activist in Australia. Here’s ABC TV news:

  36. Windsong says:

    I can’t believe this! This is in blatant disregard of the Constitution! We have the right of unrestricted protest, according to the Constitution! What environmentalists need to do is to make sure a lot of other groups know ahead of time when they plan a protest… that way, thousands can join them and they can’t all be arrested… not that they’re supposed to arrested in the first place. This is nothing but Corporation- Rule, not democracy!

  37. Windsong says:

    Ominous Clouds, I’ve also noticed the increase in “pests”. We’ve always have a huge problem with fleas in August (this is usual, at the end of summer). This year, however, was different. In JUNE AND JULY we almost died from all the flea bites; they were awful!!! Then this August, there were none at all! No bugs! (We had a very cool August.) Everything is getting all twisted around, climate-wise.

    Sort of reminds me of what I read in Reinsurance Magazine in 2005: According to them, the Pentagon Report stated, “There is Substantial evidence to suggest that significant global warming will occur during this century… the evidence of an imminent abrupt shift may become clear and reliable within a decade.”

  38. Wit'sEnd says:

    Windsong, I am interested in your comment about no bugs. It could be climate disruption – like the flowers blooming out of season. However I am concerned it may be a sign of overall ecosystem collapse and a disruption of the food chain, from air pollution. I have also noticed many fewer bugs – bees, flies, mosquitoes (I guess they may have all gone north to torture Ominous Clouds), gnats, lightening bugs, and crickets. Even the stink bug invasion has come to an abrupt and premature halt, and the pantry moth that comes in on the parrot food has vanished for the first time in years. Most peculiar.

    If anyone else has bug information I would like to know! Thanks!

    As far as the coal protest, I would have gone had I known in advance. I wish these actions were better coordinated and publicized among environmental and climate groups – there is too little cooperation and too much competition amongst too many organizations. That’s a huge pity.

  39. I am proud of my fellow southern Illinoisans:


    Mountaintop removal coal only provides, in fact, less than 10% of all coal production.

    Fed up with the regulatory crisis and circumventions by outside coal companies, coalfield residents have been rising up against reckless strip-mining practices against the country, from Alaska to Alabama to Arizona.

    In southern Illinois [blog readers, this is where I was born and raised], scores of black crosses were found at coal mines, strip mines, coal-fired plants, coal ash piles, and at the Southern Illinois University [my alma mater] Coal Research Center.

    Citing Illinois as the birthplace of the coal industry, and “ground zero in the Obama administration’s plan to dangerously experiment with carbon capture and storage technologies for coal-fired plants,” a new Black Cross Alliance campaign announced plans to construct symbolic black crosses at coal mining and coal-burning landmarks in the state and across the nation to serve as a public warning: It is no longer acceptable for the Obama administration — and state and regional government officials — to be complicit in maintaining deadly coal mining and coal-burning communities as shameful national sacrifice areas in 2010.

    Invoking William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” speech, the Black Cross Alliance called on the Obama administration and the state of Illinois to halt billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies for multinational coal corporations, and bring an end to the scandalous coal wars in Illinois by re-investing in a sustainable clean energy policy for the future for the coalfield regions.

    The Black Cross Alliance declared: You shall not crucify us any longer upon a cross of coal.

    “While the rest of the nation — and world — launches into the exploding new global market of clean energy development and green jobs,” the Black Cross Alliance asked, “why have the coalfield regions in the country been left out of the renewnable energy movement and slated for a new generation of increased coal production?”

  40. @cathy strickler #32

    The importance of strong friendships (as against Twitter/FB “friends”) for movement-building is well made by Malcolm Gladwell in this week’s New Yorker:

  41. Met Hansen a couple of weeks ago and two things he said made an impression. 1. Politicians have been informed about the risks of climate change but are doing nothing. 2. Civil disobedience is necessary but can only be effective if large numbers of people tear themselves off their couches or away from their computer screens and become directly involved.

  42. Raul M. says:

    App rising on Twitter says that the arrestees were released.

  43. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    Some pretty serious landslides in Mexico and even Colorado Bob did not pick up on them.

    Are all our news outlets trying to bury any climate reporting they possibly can?

  44. Wit'sEnd says:

    Energy Dept. commits $1B to “clean coal” project??

    Rabid Doomsayer…I do realize there are much heavier precipitation events. But I’ll betcha, these landslides have something to do with dead vegetation. The roots aren’t there to hold the soil. just sayin’

  45. Raul M. says:

    In looking at that picture, I noticed that the
    hats don’t appear to have radiant barrier tops.
    Oh, hot in the direct sun. Should have radiant
    barrier tops and vent holes to let out the heat.

  46. Mark says:

    Paulm says:
    September 28, 2010 at 10:39 am
    Nobel for Jim!


    how do you nominate a person.

    this is a very good idea.

  47. fj2 says:

    James Hansen must become a household name in the spirit of Martin Luther King (peace and human rights) and Ralph Nader (consumer protection) in the quest to save human civilization from rapidly accelerating environmental devastation caused by climate change.

  48. Mark says:

    actually, he is probably already a recipient of the prize, as a contributor to the IPCC.

    He’s an outstanding person, I wish there was more support for him, and more, much more PR.

  49. Jeff Huggins says:

    Regarding Stephen Leahy’s Comment 42

    Thanks for the direct and content-full comment, Stephen. I’d agree with Hansen on those two points, and I think that repeating them, genuinely digesting them, coming to grips with them, and acting on them energetically are likely to be the most important tasks at this point.

    Movements have to move. As Bob Dylan said, he not busy being born is busy dying. If our activities become mainly about circulating information on the net, and no more, and if (thus) little real progress is achieved, the circulation of info and complaints on the net, among some percentage of us, will just become part of “the new normal”, and people will lose interest. The status quo will continue — having co-opted and encompassed and (even) commercialized the climate and energy movements just as some of the main messages of rock & roll were co-opted and commercialized, and thus almost entirely neutralized.

    If most of us stay on the couch and in front of our computer screens, I think the battle will be lost — or (rather) we will continue heading over a cliff, and Nature will beat up on us increasingly as time progresses. If we want to avoid that outcome, we’ll need to go outside and use our voices.

    I am entirely out of the loop when it comes to the main plans of the various climate and energy organizations. I’ll be going to 10/10/10 because I feel I should, and I’ll try to help, and I’m also curious about how well it will go: I hope well! I’d like to try to meet with someone from 350 soon after 10/10/10, as I have ideas about how to move forward with some things in California that can help the national movement, I hope. But, whether or not 350 will be interested in talking to me, who knows? Most of the organizations seem merely to want donations or to want people to send e-mails and make phone calls to politicians.

    In any case, thanks for your comment.



  50. Daniel J. Andrews says:

    I have also noticed many fewer bugs – bees, flies, mosquitoes (I guess they may have all gone north to torture Ominous Clouds), gnats, lightening bugs, and crickets.

    @ Wit’s End (39). As far as I know, the lack of bugs this year are not related to bloom times of flowers. It is more temperature related. In northern Ontario hot summers the blackflies are gone by middle of June (they start mid-May). In cool wet summers the little pests can stay around till September. This year it seems they only lasted a couple of weeks and even then they weren’t out in swarming force in the north-central regions of where I usually live.

    Even in the far north, there were only a few spots where they were swarming, but only for part of a day or two. Most of the time I could work just in shorts and not get bitten (which is quite something when you’re working in a bog).

    Late August and September turned cooler and wet, and a colleague who went up then came back and said the bugs were horrible (after I had told him not to worry about them).

    I can’t speak to any of the other insects you mentioned though.