By Suzanne Maxx
Events around the Global Climate Action Summit 2018, in San Francisco, California to the upcoming 2019 Global Climate ACTION Summit in New York continue to build the societal and environmental movement, and usher in change. Coast to Coast starting in the USA, and around the world virtually and actually—all people have the chance to move into action for global transformation.
It is for our future, and the future the youth want to see. The Youth Movement continues to build on the people’s voice of the “least” heard or respected within society, or even region of the world.
And it is on fire—the fire increases as does the earth’s temperature form our changing climate. Not long after the 2018’s Global Climate Action Summit in California, the 73rd UNGA last year, both the Woolsey Fire and Paradise fires broke out. In 2019 it is not just Brazil and Africa’s fires that continue to burn out of control-Siberia, Indonesia, Spain, France, Turkey, Greece, and Saudi Arabia… In late August, the Brazilian space research agency, INPE, reported more than 72,843 fires (7,192 square miles) in Brazil with more than half in the Amazon region. In Amazonia now, there is more exploitive deforestation than ever. Most fires in rainforests are not natural and are used to clear the land at the cost of trees and releasing CO2. Africa now has five times the amount of fires than the Amazon according to NASA.
This year’s Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) is set off by the Earth Strike, September 20th lead by Greta Thunberg and with Fridays for the Future—the youth movement plans to set the world on fire, with the flames of passion to ignite committed action. The action is not only for youth and students, but everyone and to extend beyond this week’s launch September 20th-27th and adds to the action building towards a critical mass.
The Earth Strike is an international grassroots movement that calls for a global general strike. Builds on the 2015 Climate March after the Paris Agreement was adopted. A large global constituency is building for action, whether it is called an “Earth Alliance” or “World Team,” beyond any name, we, the people’s global action has built a movement towards transformation of our planet, and it is not just the climate that is changing, we are calling for systems change. Events are being organized all around the world for all to join and Strike! Why? Because we humans can organize better systems to live into with one another on this planet now, and for the future.
The Youth Movement invites all people around the world to walk out of schools, workplaces, homes, and join the strike for the end of the age of fossil fuel, and with justice. It is a strike against the systems created to live by globally and to stand for a just and sustainable future for all. Find out where you can join here; https://globalclimatestrike.net
The youth movement is following the lead of Sweden’s Youth Activist, Greta Thunberg, 16 who began Fridays for the Future School Climate Strike over a year ago, and since is engaging the world by her committed action. Greta is an “International Ambassador of Consciousness,” a title and award were given out by Amnesty International and she is a nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
In Washington, DC Greta met with Congressional Leaders, and former President Obama, and she addressed Congress.
Greta tweeted, “We’ll testify at The House Committee on Foreign Affairs. I will support Our Children’s Trust at the Supreme Court.
Then she addressed Members of Congress. She is the youth leader people are following, she is getting the job done. Greta organically speaks straight forward with scientific facts. “Unite behind the Science,” said Greta to Congress.
It’s her voice she refers to as, “the Asperger’s super-power”. This is an Asperger’s advantage to be able to focus on truth, speak bluntly to power and not be trapped by the societal pressure from peers or protocol.
Greta sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in a solar, hydrogen, ocean current energy powered boat instead of flying. Greta explains, “I did it because the enormous impact aviation has on the climate”. It was wonderful to see the sails of the boat supporting her hero’s journey supported by Foundation HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco’s Foundation, continuing his legacy of protecting the ocean continues. “Unite behind the Science” was printed on the sails. This was particularly meaningful for us as Prince Albert was World Team Now’s first honorary President.
It is not just protecting the Climate she is after, she is also standing for equality, justice, and freedom. And with Greta by their side the case where seven young Americans have sued the US government for failing to take action on Climate may win, a more just future for us all. On a youth panel.
We will see more images of Greta with The Statue of Liberty soon, with parallels made to Leonardo Di Caprio’s Titanic, as he will play a critical role in the most important play, for transformation…
Greta’s role at the time is a needed power play is to speak truth to injustice to inspire all to use sensibility to accept the responsibility to become educated to the facts. Greta’s support grows the power play not just as youth around the world rise— her leadership has the support of many besides who are genuinely contributing to the environmental social movement beyond their own positions of power; Pope Francis, His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Former President Obama, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, Actor/ Activist Leonardo Di Caprio, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry, Megan Markel, and Author/Teacher/Activist Leader Bill Mc Kibben among a team of scientists and other non-profit organizations, and more iconic names who we will hear more from very soon. Some of the “Action” for this star-studded leading cast will be rolled out this Fall season during the time of the United Nations 74th General Assembly beginning at the Global Climate Action Summit Opening September 23rd. But the starring role will not support one name, organization or person but a movement to allow the most vulnerable to rise.
This time is meant to pressure leaders of governments to realize their moral obligation to act, and for corporations, to do their part, as the youth take the lead in demonstrating solutions. The Action is to show we all have a role to play to transform the systems for our collective future, and the first step is to commit to understanding the global situation, and embracing the scientific facts, that could be taught in school and enforced in policy and law by adults. According to Reuters another activist on the panel, 17-year-old Jamie Margolin from Seattle, called out lawmakers for taking too long to enact climate change policies.
“The fact that you are staring at a panel of young people testifying before you today pleading for livable earth should not fill you with pride; it should fill you with shame,” she said. The United Nations General Assembly UNGA is for governments but there is a myriad of events from September 20th-27th for us all to be a part of where ever you are in the world.”
The diversity of events from different sectors pulled out “The fear of missing something” as there continues to be so much scheduled simultaneously, it is more than the flood as in waters rising it is like a flood of information, and the youth to combat is indeed inspiring all people to rise. This dizzying mix of sectors and events are needed to engage us all is this existential nexus where consciousness needs to change instead of the Climate…
On Sept., 17th the United Nations 74th General Assembly opened with the new President leader from Africa: His Excellency Tijjani Muhammad-Bande of Nigeria, Africa, in the spotlight–a region the UN has named a “Least developed” Ambassador Mohammad-Bande’s priorities are focused on a future for us all. He shares his key priorities to unite nations in the approach towards; “Open, Inclusive, Transparent, SDGs, Climate Change, Reducing Conflicts, Deficits among Nations, and Human Rights”.
Also lighting the path forward in that region will be The Duke, Prince Harry, and the Dutchess Meghan Markle. Harry and Meghan have a new charity registered in England and Wales under the title “Sussex Royal The Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex” and it is more than a Smart Works clothing that includes a “Smart Set,” and with the large scale plans in motion it will be more than one woman and their own child that will benefit.
Concurrently there is a whirlwind of action in many places around the world but concentrated at United Nations headquarters where a plethora of events happening around the world, and in Climate Week in New York. People are coming together for action, along with the leaders. Sept 21st Youth Day at the UN. The UN Global Compact Leaders Week is Sept 23-26 2019 which includes the Private Sector Forum on Sept 23rd , Sustainable Development Goals Summit 24th-25th Sept 25th SDG Business Forum High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development, but the effects of this momentum is designed to be global and across the USA including Farm Aid September 21, in Wisconsin.
These Bi-Coastal and Global Climate Actions Summits coincided with the annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly, on a path to multi-stakeholder engagement for all of us to participate in the Sustainable Development Goals.
The activities are meant to activate a coordinated global movement beyond countries, and time, for all of us together in different sectors of society. With an effort to get all people engaged in transformation, as planned in 2015 by the UNFCC COP21 United Nations Paris Accord, ratified in 2016, these Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) aka the Global Goals(GG), are set up to be realized by the year 2030, orchestrated through the United Nation working together with multi-sector stakeholders as a team.
These 17 goals are ambitious, interconnected really— and set up to be for us all. With specific targets set in the SDGs, and indicators of goals each entity determines what can be contributed and their approach to achieving the goals. Scientifically based, the initial specific targets need to now be adjusted to realistically abide by scientific facts.
According to the science in the 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC’s report), a universal target of 1.5 degrees Celsius would need to be achieved within 8.5 years— this is the known threshold today to withstand our chance of irreversible damage to our climate systems based on science. The challenge is that these facts are being accelerated.
In 2019, The Climate Action Summit at the start of the United Nations General Assembly has a chance to build on prior UN meetings this year and last year’s efforts of the UN titled 2018 ‘Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies,’ which in turn amplified the 2018 Global Climate Summit in San Francisco.
The People’s Climate Movement in San Francisco’s march anchored over 800 global events taking place in 91 countries, including 260+ in the U.S. across almost 50 states, demanding action on climate change with over 30,00- who joined the march.
This year event plans build significantly on last year’s efforts and the movement’s rising with critical mass and action plans. More is covered in The Guardians article. “How to Stand With Climate Strikers,”, and you can find events in California, Fiji and many places around the world here; https://350.org/support-climate-strikes/
Or a list of local events in the New York area here; https://worldteamnow.org/blog/2019-climate-action-activities-around-unga/
A key to the “Least” 2018 Global Climate Summit theme carried over was with the Indigenous people and Native Lands in the environmental movement. This year with the fires in Amazon some of the Indigenous People we met with last year, their earth land and their living status have changed.
The words echoed in 2018, now in the face of the fires, take on increased meaning. Mirian Cisneros, President of the Kichwa people of Sarayaku, explained,
“I come from where the forests, rivers, and mountains have life. I come from where human beings and Mother Earth live in harmony. I come from Kawsak Sacha, the living forest. I also come from a people that have fought for years and years against the threat of oil drilling. I am here in this large march with brothers and sisters from the whole planet because we understand that we have to leave fossil fuels in the ground in the Amazon rainforest—and everywhere.
“We have 80,000 hectares of forests and once it is gone, we’re gone…
Many people were barefoot on the earth, with Indigenous leaders from Amazonian to initiate in the ceremony prior to the Global Climate Action Summit 2018. We used human bodies and sound to make the “Humming Brid Rising” Aerial Art, which preceded the GCS activities and events in San Francisco last year.
Sapara leader, Manari Ushigua, from Ecuador who participated in Hummingbird Rising explained: “We come from Ecuador to say we must stop the destruction of the Amazon rainforest” “Natural climate solutions are the future, and indigenous rights are key to their success”
Participants co-created an iconic visual message to the world that was filmed from the sky. This artistic ritual, which many of us have done around the world, fueled by people power as they shared their collective intention to support a just transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. This co-created symbol is a message to world leaders of all levels that the climate has changed and so must we. Acclaimed composer and pianist Murray Hidary created his signature MindTravel music experience, providing an immersive soundtrack during the visual formation. year. The event was blessed by the presence of Indigenous leaders from Ecuador and the Ohlone nation.
The aerial art’s message was created to inspire leaders who were a part of the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit to prioritize indigenous rights, keeping fossil fuels in the ground and accelerating a just transition towards a 100% renewable energy future.
Artist John Quigley adapted Colombian artist Jhon Cortés work of art painted with the font of human bodies to make aerial art. The event was produced and directed by /Dancing Without Borders, Spectral Q, and MindTravel in collaboration with leaders of indigenous nations of the Ecuadoran Amazon environmental advocacy groups, youth, local community leaders.
It is a time where events led to the global story narrative that has been carefully organized. The Shephard/Leadership model, which Bill Mc Kibben Founder of 350.org masters, as he goes beyond being an author, or teacher with a way of organizing that empowers people, as demonstrated with 350.org’s coordination of the Peoples Climate Movement were People. His books continue to be relevant and lead the Climate Movement narrative. The Paris Agreement where at the end, the people say the good leadership cliché, “Look what we, the people did”…
“In the last five years, the weather has completely changed. It affects not just our families. It affects our farming cycles. It affects the fish. It affects our drinking water. We in the villages are the first to feel the impact of these changes in the weather, not the people in the cities. We use to grow rice for the whole year. Now our crops only yield rice for three months. We now have to purchase it which we never had to do before.”
“Despite some progress, indigenous peoples all over the world continue to fall behind,” said Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, the Chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. In 2018.
“I call on States to make greater efforts to ensure that the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is not just a piece of paper, but a real and accurate presentation of the rights that indigenous peoples enjoy in real life,” Ms. Aboubakrine emphasized in her closing remarks.
Indigenous peoples’ relationships to their ancestral lands are the source of their cultural, spiritual and social identity; the foundation upon which their traditional knowledge systems have developed; and the cornerstone of their physical and economic well-being.
The Forum also urged United Nations funds, agencies, and programs to incorporate recognition of indigenous peoples’ collective rights to lands, territories, and resources into their policies and programs at the country level.
Olvy Tumbelaka of Perempuan Aman Organization Ayak Benuaq People Indonesia said,
“Indigenous are the knowledge holders. We are the guardians of our people. We are the last people to stand for our forests, our rivers, and the sea. ”
In the last five years, the weather has completely changed. It affects not just our families. It affects our farming cycles. It affects the fish. It affects our drinking water. We in the villages are the first to feel the impact of these changes in the weather, not the people in the cities.
We use to grow rice for the whole year. Now our crops only yield rice for three months. We now have to purchase it which we never had to do before.”
There is gold mining, coal mining, pulp making and monoculture of palm…” Now in 2019 there are fires. In 2018 Indigenous lands makeup around 20 percent of the Earth’s territory, but contain 80 percent of the world’s remaining biodiversity — a clear sign that indigenous peoples are the most effective stewards of the environment, until this year’s fires.
Lynne Twist of Pachamama Alliance explained in 2018 “They depend on the forest and our role is to keep our forest INTACT for the next generations”.
Domingo Peas explained: “Here at the Summit people were discussing how much oil ought to stay in the ground to reduce global warming, but I feel that even if all the energy use in Europe and America changed we will still be in hot water. All the money in the world can not buy back the forests.”
We have to get real on how we do not value people. We have to be real about that pain. Our planet is like a human body. This means that we must not just work for money. We must work together with our minds, intelligence, and our hearts. We must work together without discrimination. We work on behalf of future generations.
Coming into the 2019 summit the key carryovers and developing messaging are: It is a human race, humanity against ourselves, and the present way of the developed life systems that we have organized. The values we prioritize to live within from tribe to community, community to society, to countries at large—and the one body we have organized here on earth to unite us, are undergoing a change. Birthing global transformation is big, not pretty or easy. When we look at the patterns over the history of the earth for mass extinction, the urgency is clear, we are rapidly approaching the 6th mass extinction.
We can better understand the power of each choice, with consideration of the conscious state in which we reside. There cannot be too many people in action during these times it’s an all hands on deck, and there are so many ways that more hands are coming in to carry the weight. Find your role as the story unfolds it is our future, as each of us has a role as, “We, the People”—RISE.