UPDATE: Listen to Hansen LIVE on WPFW in DC, online here, from 10 to 11 am.
Yesterday, 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.”
On 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.”
- Hansen on why he became an activist: “Our planet is close to climate tipping points” and it is “clear that needed actions will happen only if the public, somehow, becomes forcefully involved.”
- Science bombshell explodes myth of clean coal: Mountaintop “mining permits are being issued despite the preponderance of scientific evidence that impacts are pervasive and irreversible and that mitigation cannot compensate for losses.”