Category: Climate Change (Page 1 of 4)

Every Breath We Take

 

Sunrise with the “Blue and Green” Photo by Suzanne Maxx

By Suzanne Maxx ©

Wishing you and your loved ones to be able to breathe in the abundant love that is here for us right now!   Then exhale all fears doubts, and surrender our mind’s idea of life in the past or time. Every breath we take in, can we give out? Can we give back

During this pandemic period, we have realized the key is to go within and notice the “pause” between each breath metaphorically— where we each are in our lives here now.

World Team Now continues to find our truth in nature.  The photo also represents our campaigns beginning with: the blue (ocean and sky), and the green (of nature), and the biodiversity in between. Nature and the highest part of our own human nature need to breathe. How do we take greater consideration in our “global economies” for our future?    Learning to better listen to, not only, our own voices within, but also the rising “collective consciousness” is a task for us all.  To live in consideration of the bigger picture that we are interconnected, and each of our choices matter, as everything changes.

World Team Now has focused on demonstrating solutions, but we have been a small handful of people that planted the seeds around the world: a possible “vision” for the future that might have more in balance with nature.  Our public electric vehicle chargers in California, and solar net meters in New York, were a small start. But the vision has been for a literal “World Team,” and the winning of the human race is to truly realize the potential of our species as human “beings”.

Organizing and acting for things we experience as “wrong” prescribes a judgment, that something is “right” when it is meant to merely raise awareness or move us to choose our truth for action or stillness.  The patterns in movement, of humanity, are changing along with the climate. We propose to rise even above what we “own” whether that be a possession, our own creed, which has carried us through this life journey.  We are being asked to remember or envision what indeed is the inspiration for a deep breath.

World Team Now’s stand is to demonstrate solutions that are nature-based, and we are quite enthusiastic about what has grown during this public health pandemic in relation to what we have organic encounters with now; the Ocean (an educational curriculum emerged) and more campaigns on the blue, the green and the biodiversity in between with dolphins; turtles, mangroves, and islands. Emerging is even a greater perspective of the journey’s story about what happened with people around the world when we tried to actually “tell-a-vision” — for a World Team.

We are enthusiastic about our SOS-IS partnership, even though it is at the beginning of coming together.  Our goals are beyond the construct of time, but ideally in the now we can act for future generations.

This week has many events to consider organized around the UN General Assembly.  A kickoff event on Sunday, September 20th is the New York People Climate Movement’s March for Climate Justice Through Racial Justice. World Team Now fundamentality agrees with the group’s statement and letter, call for justice, but has concerns related to naming-names and prescribing actions related to specific people in political power, and the time frame of these actions with consideration of the collective state of most people.

Statue of Liberty & Lighthouse Ponce Inlet Fl Photos by Suzanne Maxx

To shine the light of awareness now, we can only prescribe to be conscious of our choice, and be grateful. We cannot endorse, prescribe action, what to do, or how this moment will “benefit the public” yet.  We can share some awareness of what had motivated us in the past, now, and for the future we want.  This information is meant to just be shared, again we do not endorse the prescribed approaches or judgments to force law enforcement. Here is what we understand to being organized for the public in New York City locally and virtually:

World Team Now, a public beneficiary nonprofit, had to try to decide what is best for the public at large. Given where we are now geopolitically, this seems to be an impossible choice. That just reminds us that we are all in process of realizing what “I’m possible” means.

We encourage conscious choice.  We have been challenged to know what could truly be of public benefit to you all now, and confess we don’t know.  In the past, it has worked to act on a local level, and now it will take each of us within ourselves to just shine that special something only you can give.

Globally it does start with where we are now.  These above are not legal actions please note that if you choose to go.  The march falls on High Holy Days for many people, but it is your choice.

It’s the United Nations 75th Anniversary, and we do support the concept of having Global Goals aka Sustainable Development Goals!  But the “by when” and “how we will realize the SDGs” is up to us all.   We support the idea of the government’s private sector, corporations, civil society, and each of us coming together for something new.

The question of belief, ideology, and what is justice, comes back to “Just” Us,” each of us.

While our goal is to unite: the divisions can only be bridged through each person’s own truth. While there is a “March” tomorrow we had agreed to support in theory, but it is your choice to engage or not. We can just share the information of what is happening and do not endorse the prescribed approach to go up against the law, or law enforcement.  The consideration as New Yorkers to choose to engage or not, given the public safety, and lack of legal permitting, and prescribed measures, has to be one’s own. Your choice is your gift; the “present” of this moment’s possibility.

Where the theory or the ideology lives into the future world we want, how it meets the present with action with respect of the law is the challenge now—  both the crises and the opportunity.  In the effort to share the information we realize that freedom, equality, and conscious breath matters.  May we each trust in the love that breathes through us, and realize we are in the midst of a painful birthing of a new paradigm and way to be with one another and in the world.

Breathing into a New Paradigm
by Suzanne Maxx

 

The Global Youth Climate Strike

By Suzanne Maxx ©

The social & environmental movement (“The Global Movement”) is gaining momentum from voices growing louder and right now it’s the Youth Movement’s time. As the youth around the world rise today March 15th, I am thankful for sixteen-year-old Swedish Greta Thunberg’s bold voice, courage and stand for our future– demanding action for the global climate crisis, and leading the next generation of activists.  Fridays for Future School Strike for Climate, became replicated by youth around the world, who agreed with the logic, why go to school and learn science, if the adults leading the government would not only just ignore science, but choose to deny the science applied to policy?  Youth are making the choice to protect their future and generations to come, by cutting classes for the day and instead they take part in demonstrating and demand action on climate change.  Hear it from their own voices in this article about their motivating story and more from Greta’s Ted Talk here. On the eve of the climate strike she tweeted; “Tomorrow we school strike for the climate in 1769 places in 112 countries around the world. And counting. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is needed. Let’s change history. And let’s never stop for as long as it takes. #fridaysforfuture #schoolstrike4climate #climatestrike

Global Youth Climate Strike at Columbus Circle

The Youth movement rising is naturally programmed with a generation that seems to prioritize the well-being of the planet, and they also come in wired to embrace technology,  science, biodiversity, and nature. With the inner ability to respond to the urgency, the youth are not just adding their voice to the conversation of nature and humanity’s perceived extinction crisis; the youth have built a movement that is gaining momentum.  The youth movement’s motivation is clear; it’s their future, and they want a planet to call home.

The big story is only beginning.  Greta Thunberg’s recent Noble Peace Prize nomination comes as no surprise, after all, it’s been centuries since a teen, would be positioned to make history leading a revolution, and she just may do that– with a little teamwork.

All are welcome to attend the Climate Strike, adults included; check out the website for more details here.  Find a location near you here. Follow on Twitter to see the ongoing movement through Greta’s eyes here

Meet the youth leaders,  who are organizing the USA national movement for the Youth Climate Strike School Strike for climate and are teaming up globally for this potentially historic event.

With the climate crisis, youth are confronted with a future that their generation may not get a chance to see, living here on planet earth, unless we all make different choices.

Suzanne Maxx with Dani Paz, Sophie Maddon, Tsegaye Griver, Leo Elie and Juan Alvarado at the Global Youth Climate Strike at Columbus Circle

This is the moment not only for world leaders to adopt bold progressive climate policy, commit to 100% renewable energy, but to really hear and take into heart all children’s future.  It is a time not just for governments alone but for all sectors of life to get into action and do everything possible for rapid transformation for the next generation.  The burden lives within each and every one of us to grow this movement and act.

I’ve watched the Youth Movement over the years, but last Fall 2018 they started to grow and gain momentum in the organization. With the Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Meghan Markel as UN Youth Ambassadors, and the United Nations hosting a myriad of youth events  (more on that in an upcoming article) Certain celebrities, VIP, and leaders have contributed inside that framework. But what Greta did was organic and core and the very spark needed to ignite the movement lit up by her commitment.

The Youth, Women, Indigenous Peoples, The Asian/Pacific Islanders, and a multitude of people, are all voices that need to be heard. The global climate crisis is a reality which can no longer be ignored; it’s time for all people to find a role.

The Youth Movement began for me too, as a grade school student, and I have grown up inside the global social environmental movement with the journey to make the World Team project, and with the nonprofit World Team Now, I founded, along with many other NGO’s in the climate movement since 1989. In grade school, I wrote a letter to the President of the USA, because of my deep concern about the environment, and wanted to know what would happen when I grew up? I actually got a letter back which inspired me to believe that I too with one voice, could make a difference. More is written about the journey in World Team Now’s prior blogs, and in addition this is a differentblog here (and soon to be published in a book). That action was the beginning of many youth projects and events covered around the world.

Global Youth Climate Strike at Columbus Circle

Our Mangrove Day ©

By Suzanne Maxx ©

 

Do you know what Mangroves are?  The 26th of July 2018 is what some call the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem.  You are probably thinking what, mangroves?  Our Sustainable  Solutions Ocean Opportunities on Small Island States (SOS_IS) joins the UN Ocean Conference Community of Ocean Action on Mangroves today in celebration.

Our approach to mangroves is not to just design an optimal preservation, but to also explore the best way to better educate ourselves and others about the experiential value of mangroves with their role in all that is rapidly changing.

We’ve also done some replanting with youth in Fiji, along the way for conservation.

We’ve educated tourists about the importance of mangroves, not only for the preservation of islands but also as a nursery for most aquatic life’s early years sheltering a host of marine organisms. We’ve witnessed mangroves to be a safe nursery for baby dolphins and other cetaceans to play and grow. We intend to show how mangroves are a breeding ground for baby sharks and other fish.

We are examining other regions in different parts of the world’s mangrove parks and preserves for design, and how they made use of mangrove trees, with gazeboes, providing canopies for this natural arboretum.

The mangroves root system’s water purification has much we plan to look at more closely for bio-mimicry, design, and observation of nature’s critical ecosystem for public education.

We have updated our SOS-IS‘s website here:  http://sos-is.org

Here is a recent relevant blog post on our World Team Now Bloghttps://worldteamnow.org/blog/2018/06/21/for-the-love-of-the-ocean/

 

 

Feet in the Sand, to Transform Life on an Island in Fiji ©

By Suzanne Maxx 

While Fiji is leading the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) @COP23 in Bonn, GermanyWorld Team Now has our feet in the sand on an outer island in Fiji.

This island is a strong candidate to begin our World Team pilot project.   We are creating life systems that renew an island, build a resilient village that will be a small-scale experiment of an idealistic utopian island, putting the interconnected global goals into action.  This island will be designed to organically be a place that optimizes systems of life that show what is best for human innovation and includes an eco-resort that will do more than using tidal energy.

For those who want to dive into the knowledge of ocean energy, The International Tidal Energy Summit is happening in London tomorrow.

With the USA being the only country to withdraw from the global Paris Agreement,  and as the rest of the world comes together,  our non-profit World Team Now decided it is best to start and be in action on an island, to “be the change you wish to see in the world,” as  Gandhi exclaimed.  We are pleased that our two home states California and New York were represented by true leaders in action, with Governor Jerry Brown, Michael Bloomberg, Arnold Schwartzenegger and a  team of others in Germany at COP23.

This is the first time Fiji, a small island nation (Republic) leads the UNFCCC, and we hope with the innovation on entrepreneurial mechanisms Fiji will lead not just the UN, but actually the people of the world for a more balanced future.  We at World Team Now are starting small hereon an island in Fiji, now.

Here is a little video of our journey to meet with the villagers, made by Ramanu,  from Koro Sun Resort.

Historical Earth Day-15 Ratify, 175 U.N. Members Signed the Paris Agreement ©

By Suzanne Maxx
© 2016 World Team Now

Inside the United Nations looking out- Photo Credit World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

Inside the United Nations looking out- Photo Credit World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

 

New York, New York USA Today at the United Nations 175 Countries signed the Paris Climate Agreement on opening day, Earth Day! Our World Team project is especially grateful for the leadership on the first 15 United Nations members that both signed and Ratified the Paris Agreement by Earth Day.  This is a critical step to have the legal governmental framework for the revolutionary work to move towards our “100% Renewable Energy” global vision.

 

applaud-15

Original design  © 2016 World Team Now

 

The most vulnerable Small Island Developing States (SIDS) know the reality of Climate Change, ironically they have to bare the most severe effects of the most developed regions actions.  Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon’s request for “All hands on deck,” from all U.N. members, comes to relevance especially in places like Fiji.


Fiji’s Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama

Video: UN Web TV footage

 

Just recovering from Tropical Cyclone Winston, with another threat coming at them now, Fiji’s Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama was front and center, contributing and bringing the gravel down to close the day’s session.  Republic of Palau’s President, Tommy Esang Remengesau Jr. captured the spirit of this time proclaiming,   “On days like this you feel like you are part of a team”.

World Team has been on a long journey and search for a location that is eager to make that renewable energy transition.  The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) need all the support we can give, and they hold the most promise for World Team project’s public work. SIDS are the most impacted and have the least. When we realize that over 62,000 people are displaced daily from climate or weather related events, it is stunning. Climate change refugees are growing. The funding coming from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) will help, but that support needs to have been there yesterday.

For the Paris Agreement to come into force, 55% of the UN’s members must sign and ratify it, and this must account for at least 55% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. All members have a year, until Earth Day 2017- but obviously, the sooner the better.

Each country created their own Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) for the Paris Agreement, their status is here. Next we need all the INDC to become Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). These contributions are required to be ambitious and progressive, to be updated, increased, and submitted to the U.N. every five years.

The fundamental step of putting the governmental framework into place is happening; the nations are coming up with determined commitments for our species and our planet to help tackle the climate change challenge.  Although what was started in Paris in 2015 is growing with efforts like the Renewable Energy Innovation Plan for Africa; the 70 Initiatives to find a broader solutions; Mission Innovation for Green Technology, and the Carbon Pricing Leadership.  We all realize that this cannot be done by nations alone.

It will take many sectors to build to the change that is sustainable. The action of the signing sends signals to all markets. Some illuminating information was announced and shared over the course of the day. “Taking climate action to the next level: Realizing the vision of the Paris Agreement” was the title for the afternoon.

Key financial and business pledges are being made by entities teaming up to further the global goals of the Paris Agreement.  Anne Stausboll, representing CalPERS, the largest U.S. public pension fund with almost 300 billion dollars in assets gave the update; watch here. She shared that Ceres, a nonprofit organization leading adoption of sustainable business practices, has joined forces with the CalPERS pension fund, the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, and the Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change. To mobilize the Paris Agreement, 400 investors with 24 trillion dollars in assets have been enrolled. “To achieve the goals of the Agreement, we know the world must invest at least one trillion dollars a year in clean energy for several decades,” she explained, “The Agreement has unleashed an unprecedented opportunity for institutional investors worldwide – a powerful global green light to shape tomorrow’s low-carbon economy.”

The Green Climate Fund which came out of the Paris Agreement is targeted to 100 billion a year in aid to developing countries. President Obama has pledged $3 billion to the GCF over four years. The first $500 million of that pledged amount was transferred. Countries are all together rising to action.  The efforts of the two biggest emitters USA/China is supported by their agreement to one another.

Canada addresses the Opening Ceremony of the High-Level Event for the Signature of the Paris Agreement

Canada addresses the Opening Ceremony of the High-Level Event for the Signature of the Paris Agreement
Credit: UN Photo

 

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, explained his country is committed to helping developing countries, “Since they should not be punished for a problem they did not create.” Canada’s  $2.56  Billion (USD) pledge is good kindling to ignite a fire of support to assist developing countries to grow to be cleaner, and more sustainable.

Hoesung Lee from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shared about how they have accepted the task to integrate science into implementation phase and submit mission reports on “Climate Change and Land Use,” plus reports on “Ocean and Ice”.  In two years they will turn in a report that studies whether emissions targets of 1.5 degrees is the magic number that could halt the growing catastrophic effects of climate change, to see if that is indeed enough action. Private, public, businesses, NGOs financial sectors, and all citizens are all needed to team up, as people come to realize prompt action needs to begin now.

CEO of Unilever Paul Polman highlighted how the business and financial sector are lining up to address climate change:

A report by the New Climate Economy stated 90 trillion will be going to be made over the next 15 years in addressing urbanization and population growth issues and 13.5 trillion is already pledged for clean energy investments, which he said is a “good direction”.

The business and financial sector is making progress with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Unilever’s CEO emphasized that climate change is key to 13 of the 17 SDGs. Now to “level” (pun intended) the playing field with energy sectors.  Positive price signals are needed and a subsidy is a negative price signal. We love that the sentiment from Unilever’s leader who said, “That is a negative price on carbon when we need a positive price.” That statement was echoed throughout Earth Day from many speakers. The message to cut fossil fuel subsides, and create a carbon market was clear, and consistently delivered throughout all sectors on Earth Day.

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and renowned campaigner of human rights and climate justice. It was lovely to see most speakers wearing the pin with the logo of the colorful SDGs.

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and renowned campaigner of human rights and climate justice. It was lovely to see most speakers wearing the pin with the logo of the colorful SDGs. Picture: Captured from UN Web TV footage

 

Mary Robinson declared, “The world must target for 1.5 degrees or below rise and that requires carbon neutrality at, or before 2050. She was empathetic on pointing out that with the Paris Agreement, developing countries now have more responsibility in addressing climate change as each nation has to evaluate their NDCs— the annex 1 or annex 2 countries distinction made in the past is no longer …

Climate Opening

Opening ceremony of Paris Agreement signing
Credit: UN Photo

 

This year’s Earth Day had many events leading up to the big focus of 24 hours of U.N. festivities in New York.  Once again, there were powerful contributions from many of the people instrumental through the World Team journey— champions of the environmental movement over the many years coming together: especially California Gov. Jerry Brown, former US Vice President Al Gore, and even our friend Bertrand Piccard via live web stream from the cockpit of SolarImpulse2  in flight to San Francisco-the next leg of the around the world flight in the solar airplane!  Bertrand said, “More than protecting the environment, it’s the clean technology revolution, the solar airplane is like a smart grid with distributed energy”.  He encouraged leaders saying in the webstream, “Be pioneers for solutions, don’t let resistance take over…”

at the Waldof Astroia during REFF Wall Street in 2013, Andre and Bertrand with World Team Now's Suzanne Maxx.

Andre and Bertrand, pilots of Solar Impulse, with World Team Now’s Suzanne Maxx.

 

Actor, Activist and U.N. Messenger of Peace, Leonardo Di Caprio reminded leaders of their power in choice quoting President Lincoln, “Our case is new, so we must think a new, and act anew.”  He drew the parallel analogy of the defining issue of our time, between being free of fossil fuel, to the past, in being free from slavery. He explained, “Everyone knew it had to end, but no one had the political will to stop it.”  In regards to bold Climate action he exclaimed, “You will either be lauded by future generations, or vilified by them…”


Leonardo Di Caprio inspires leaders to create power for just action.
Video: UN Web TV footage

 

In addition to U.N. member states, states like California are taking significant action on their own. Once again, World Team Now based in New York and California was excited to hear from our Gov. Jerry Brown who spoke about some of the key steps that California has taken and will take— including their own cap and trade program that is also connected with Quebec and Ontario. Al Gore, in comments he made after the afternoon panel Jerry was on, pointed out that California’s leadership under Jerry is from a position of influence— he explained, “If California was a country it would be the 5th largest economy in the world.”


Governor Jerry Brown of California speaks at the Paris Agreement at signing at the United Nations on Earth Day April 22nd.
Video: UN Web TV footage

 

Some of the highlights from New York Mayor de Blasio’s speech shared the commitment to having every new car in New York’s City’s fleet being an electric with the goal of an electric fleet by the year 2025. Retrofits are required in both public and now private buildings and new buildings will have to be 60-80% more efficient than existing buildings.

In India, every light bulb is required to be LED, with the program launched by the government they have driven the cost down for the bulbs by economic demand, and now they are cheaper than other kinds of light bulbs, now priced about 80 cents and about 100 million have been installed  Germany plans to be fossil fuel free by 2050.

President Barack Obama welcomed the signing of the climate agreement and said it will allow all of “our children to inherit a cleaner, healthier, and safer planet.” He said in a statement on Earth Day, “As the world’s second-largest source of  climate pollution, America has a responsibility to act. The stakes are enormous — our planet, our children, our future.

John Kerry Signs Paris Agreement With Granddaughter on Lap High-Level Event for the Signature of the Paris Agreement

John Kerry Signs Paris Agreement With Granddaughter on Lap
High-Level Event for the Signature of the Paris Agreement
Credit: UN Photo

 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, signed the historical agreement, ensuring it be witnessed by future generations by having his 2-year-old granddaughter Isabelle on his lap. Kerry followed up on President Obama’s Announcement which proclaims that the United States “looks forward to formally joining this agreement this year.”

The two largest carbon emitters, China and US have a plan, and together they look to be turning the tide to insure positive change . Regardless of USA domestic politics both countries have signed and plan to ratify the Paris Agreement.

It has been many years of attending these United Nations Climate events (COPs) dreaming that we could come to an agreement, sign it, and move into action. That day has come, it is here. World Team has been active with Earth Day for decades, but this was the first Earth Day that the distant dream for the global action by world leaders is being realized.

What an action packed period of time, this time has been, with record breaking action from countries around the world, and it’s about time. The pace is set we need for climate action, and the global renewable energy revolution, and it is happening, and it can’t happen quick enough. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are all interrelated and helpful to have delineated. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vp3LQrbh-Wo

Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moons called for all hands on deck to: "Turn Aspiration Into Action" - Countries Sign Paris Climate Agreement.
Video: UN Web TV footage

 

It was lovely to see most speakers wearing the pin with the logo of the colorful SDGs. We are enthusiastic about the platform World Team will offer for all people as tool for engagement.  We can see this renewable energy revolution is happening, but it will take a team, all of us. We have much to celebrate, yet much to do for humanity to live in balance with our resources and one another here on earth.


United Nations - "Protecting our Planet and Combatting Climate Change" is part of a UN short film series "The Story You are Shaping" produced by HUMAN, which premiered at the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015.
Video: UN Web TV footage

 

Photo highlights of of the UN High-Level Signature Ceremony for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change can be found here and a text highlights of the ceremony can be found here. Below are some selected UN videos of the Ceremony:

© 2016 World Team Now

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