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Climate Stew Blog

We’re Here. We’re Queer, and we are concerned about the climate.

I have gotten involved with a new group, Queers for the Climate, which is organizing to take part in the big People’s Climate March on September 20 and 21 in New York City. While lots of LGBTQ people have shown real concern for environmental issues, recycling, and buying eco-friendly products, when it comes to Global Warming, I find that many of my queer peers seem to live on another planet, one that does not see the possible extinction of humans along with a bunch of other species. That is changing, and it is a good thing because we come to the table with lots of experience and skills to help us address Climate Change as the world’s biggest threat to human rights.

We can be funny, irreverent, edgy, and creative in our climate activism. We can also look beyond ourselves to consider the wider world and the intersection of LGBTQ lives affected by the climate change crisis that is upon us.

Here are some memes I created on the theme of Queer Climate Action. Enjoy and share. Yo, Global Warming activism, it’s not just for heterosexuals anymore.

 

gay marriage end of world

drag queen anger

save heterosexuals

penguin meme

chad and lance save world

goats meme

 

 

The Climate Change Movement and Ferguson, MO

Here in the USA we were gripped, shocked (or not so shocked), and moved to anger and action over the shooting death by a white police officer of Michael Brown, an 18 year old Black man in Ferguson, MO. Our own team member, Dr. Keisha McKenzie, wrote about Ferguson and her thoughts and feelings in the post: On #NMOS14, Ferguson, and Rooting for a New World.

At this blog we have been highlighting the intersectional nature of the climate work we are pursuing. We have been learning and sharing about how environmental injustice affects people of color, indigenous populations in North America and Australia, and adds to the disproportionate suffering of people living in the Global South.

Our last article this week: Why the Climate Movement Must Stand with Ferguson, is a powerful essay by Deirdre Smith, 350.org’s Strategic Partnership Coordinator. In it, she helps us see the connections to climate change and on-going discrimination. This gets played out dramatically in times of crisis.

'We are in this together and our fights are connected,' writes Smith. (Photo: flickr / cc / Light Brigading)

‘We are in this together and our fights are connected,’ writes Smith. (Photo: flickr / cc / Light Brigading)

It’s all over the news: images of police in military gear pointing war zone weapons at unarmed black people with their hands in the air. These scenes made my heart race in an all-to-familiar way. I was devastated for Mike Brown, his family and the people of Ferguson. Almost immediately, I closed my eyes and remembered the same fear for my own family that pangs many times over a given year.

In the wake of the climate disaster that was Hurricane Katrina almost ten years ago, I saw the same images of police, pointing war-zone weapons at unarmed black people with their hands in the air. In the name of “restoring order,” my family and their community were demonized as “looters” and “dangerous.” When crisis hits, the underlying racism in our society comes to the surface in very clear ways. Climate change is bringing nothing if not clarity to the persistent and overlapping crises of our time.

Read the entire article here:

Major disasters linked to extreme weather

Now for some disturbing but not surprising news. Major Disasters Linked to Extreme Weather, Climate and Water Hazards on the Rise by Chris Rose for Alternet.  

Far Rockaway, NY after Hurricane Sandy Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

Far Rockaway, NY after Hurricane Sandy
Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

Recently published data collected by the World Meteorological Organization shows there were close to five times as many weather- and climate-change-related disasters in the first decade of this century than in the 1970s.

As many as 1.94 million people lost their lives due to these catastrophic weather events between 1970 and 2012, which cost $2.4 trillion U.S. in economic losses, according to the  Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes (1970–2012).

The 44-page atlas, a joint publication of the Geneva-based UN agency WMO and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) of the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, examined major reported disasters linked to weather, climate and water extremes.

Read the entire article here.

Ebola and Climate Change

Ebola has dominated the news the past few weeks with the largest outbreak in history. Below you will find a link to a story looking at deforestation and extreme weather. Last week the World Health Organization says that the current outbreak, with its highest concentrations in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, could reach up to 20,000 cases, many of those ending in death.

Ebola and Climate Change: How Are They Connected? New research hold climate change accountable for uptick in viral diseases. By Ziona Eyob in Ecowatch (via Alternet)

 A Ugandan man displays a bat he captured for food December 1, 2000 in a cave in Guru Guru, Uganda. Bats are being studied as one possible carrier of the Ebola virus. (Photo by Tyler Hicks/Getty Images)

A Ugandan man displays a bat he captured for food December 1, 2000 in a cave in Guru Guru, Uganda. Bats are being studied as one possible carrier of the Ebola virus. (Photo by Tyler Hicks/Getty Images)

In 2006, a study published in the journal Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene revealed that Ebola, a “ violent hemorrhagic fever that leads to internal and external bleeding,” would be more frequent with global warming due to its intermittent connection to wildlife and climate. In 2008, another study reiterated the same fears, noting that Ebola outbreaks would be among a cluster of other diseases gaining momentum, such as bird flu, cholera, plague and tuberculosis.

South African Anglicans Reflect on Global Warming. Excellent New Resource

Religious institutions have some of the biggest global networks reaching millions on a regular basis. The Anglicans in South Africa have created a new resource for churches to help educate congregants about global warming and provide direction. One message they stress is that environmental work is not just for middle class, a privileged hobby. Rather it is an essential spiritual practice.

Social and Environmental Justice are intimately and profoundly linked. Anglicans in South Africa have produced resources for the Season of Creation. ACNS News

Kenyan environmental and political campaigner Wangari Muta Maathai by Bob Mash

Kenyan environmental and political campaigner Wangari Muta Maathai by Bob Mash

“Sleeper awake!” is the opening call of a new Anglican resource for the Season of Creation, the third in a series published by the Anglican Church in Southern Africa.

The resource has sermon notes and liturgical materials covering the themes of climate change, eco-justice, water, creation and redemption and biodiversity.

It is dedicated to the memory of Professor Wangari Muta Maathai who in 1971 founded the Kenyan Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organization focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and the empowerment of communities.

–snip–

 “There is a danger that care for creation and environmental concern are seen as a luxury for middle class Christians in leafy suburbs. So-called ‘Greenies’ or ‘tree huggers’ are perceived to be more concerned about the plight of the rhino than the plight of the vulnerable child. The connections between social and environmental justice are more intimately and profoundly linked. Ecological justice is relevant to everyone’s life, to everyone’s faith.” (Revd Dr Rachel Mash, Environmental Co-ordinator Anglican Church of Southern Africa.)

Read the entire article here.