Friday, September 20, 2019

Young adults lead on climate change

Saving our planet is a mission.  And I think young people have always been interested in saving the planet.  I remember my first 'protest.'  We picketed a drive-in (like a Sonic, but not a name) that wouldn't pick up their trash and it was always blowing into the street and into people's yards.  We used tennis racquets and taped notebook paper onto them -- notebook paper that had slogans like stop littering.  We were eight years old.  There are a lot of things that we probably learn to appreciate as years pile up.  But our planet?  I think we get that as children. 

And some young adults -- not children -- really showed they can lead with their Friday actions.


Judy Woodruff:
  • In cities all across the world today, protesters are taking to the streets in record numbers, demanding their leaders reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change.
    William Brangham talked with several young people in this movement to understand what they want and how they're going about it.
    His report, and the conversation to follow, is part of our contribution to Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 300 news outlets to enhance coverage of the climate story.
  • William Brangham:
    From Germany to Australia to South Africa, and even with armed guards in Afghanistan, record numbers of people all over the world are on strike for the climate.
    Angry that their governments won't acknowledge the crisis, and worried about their own future on a warming planet, millions of protesters today demanded immediate action.
  • Aman Sharma:
    The climate crisis in totality is destroying my future. And I don't think we can hope to have jobs or have a nice future when our existence on this Earth is not guaranteed.
  • William Brangham:
    It's a protest unique not only for its size, but for those leading it, young activists, many leaving school today to make their point.
    The movement you see here today began over a year ago, and most of these protesters would credit one Sweden teenager for getting it all started, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg.
    Last fall, Thunberg started skipping school on Fridays to demonstrate outside the Swedish Parliament Building. Her sign read: "School strike for climate."
    Since then, she's become a global celebrity of sorts, quietly leading massive rallies, and confronting world leaders in brutally frank terms, like she did in front of Congress this week in Washington.
  • Greta Thunberg:
    I don't want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists. And I want you to unite behind the science. And then I want you to take real action.

  • Same action, but now reporting from NPR's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED:

    JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

    CORNISH: Describe what you've been seeing out there among the protesters today.

    BRADY: I have seen a lot of people. Turnout for this climate strike has been pretty extraordinary. I've seen people of all ages, of course a lot of young people. And events started with a rally up in Foley Square. It was packed, and protesters were even on nearby streets. It was harder than normal to get around parts of the city today. After Foley Square, protesters marched down past City Hall, here to Battery Park at the tip of Manhattan, for more speakers and some music. And, you know, this is a school strike for climate, so a lot of people missed classes today. They said being here was more important than being in school.
    I talked with Anna Munne. She was here with her daughter. They live over in New Jersey. And I asked her why she came to the city for the protest.

    ANNA MUNNE: We are here in the strike for climate change because we think it's very important, especially for the young generations, to save our world, save the planet. We only have one planet. And if your house was on fire, you would save it, right? So that's why we are here.

    BRADY: I also asked her 7-year-old daughter Aridna - sorry, I'm getting that name a little mixed up there, but Aridna - why she was here, and this was her answer.

    ARIDNA: The fish.

    MUNNE: What happens to the fish?

    ARIDNA: They eat the plastic, and we eat the fish.

    MUNNE: So what do we have to do to avoid that?

    ARIDNA: Save the planet.

    CORNISH: The goal around the world for these protests was, really, to get leaders and lawmakers to take action on climate change.

    And PRI's THE WORLD has an audio story here (a long with a REUTERS text report).  Those leaders showed us all how it's done.  Huge applause for the young adults who put this together and took action.

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
    Friday, September 20, 2019.

    In the United States, the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.

    Younger Black Voters to Their Parents: Break Up With Joe Biden, I’m Bored. An organic effort by black millennials and Gen Z-ers to influence older family members against Mr. Biden may be important in the Democratic primary.

    He's referring to Astead W. Herndon's report for THE NEW YORK TIMES.  The report fails to note that similar efforts took place in previous elections, including in 2008.  There was, for instance, "the great schlep" where voters were encouraged to get their Jewish grandparents in Florida to vote for Barack Obama.  THE NEW YORK TIMES' own reporting of that effort ran October 5, 2008 and was entitled "Sarah Silverman's Message to Your Grandma: Vote Obama."

    From Herndon's article:

    For Mr. Biden, though, students carried mixed feelings. They respected his tenure as Barack Obama’s vice president, but implicitly rejected his campaign’s central premise, that the primary goal of Democrats in the 2020 election should be defeating President Trump.
    They pointed to systemic problems they said the country must address, such as inequality, climate change and gun violence. The Democratic nominee, they said, should embrace progressive proposals like canceling student loan debt, the Green New Deal and gun buyback programs. 

    Most News Now: Younger Black Voters to Their Parents: Break Up With Joe Biden, I’m Bored

    As a voter, you are much more likely to be influenced by someone you know and face-to-face contact is always stronger than any other.  The efforts these activists are undertaking will have some success.  It could be a huge success depending upon how much effort is put into the action.

    Joe Biden wants to lead.  But when has his leadership ever been a good thing?  In last week's debate, Bernie Sanders noted the reality of Joe's 'wisdom.'

    Sen. Bernie Sanders to Joe Biden: "The big mistake, the huge mistake, and one of the big differences between you and me: I never believed what Cheney and Bush said about Iraq." "I voted against the war in Iraq, and helped lead the opposition."  

    . "One of the big differences between you (Joe Biden) and me. I never believed Bush and Cheney on Iraq."
    "Iraq is the biggest foreign policy disaster of at least the past 45 years. Bernie Sanders was completely right about it. Joe Biden was completely wrong. That is something to hammer him over and over again."
    The YUGE difference between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden: Bernie led the fight against the Iraq War. Biden followed Bush and Cheney.
    WATCH THIS: In just one minute defines the difference between his vision & Joe Biden’s on: the Iraq war, disastrous trade deals, Wall St. bailout, the bankruptcy bill, & healthcare as a right. It’s clear, concise, & brilliant. Thank you
    Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders went back and forth on Biden's support for the war in Iraq.
    : I never believed Cheney and Bush. Unlike Joe Biden, not only did I vote against the Iraq War, I led the fight to prevent it.

    Joe's never shown real leadership.  But now, at 76, Joe swears, if you give him a chance, he's finally ready to show leadership.

    Biden is Clinton 2.0. Elite uber wealthy politicians who voted for the Iraq war & sat for . If truly cared about Americans, he’d drop out. You had your time. Pass the torch to someone who can lead us out of this darkness.

    Yesterday on KPFA's FLASHPOINTS, host Dennis Bernstein and guest Norman Solomon discussed Joe's corporate ties.

    On Iraq, Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Zeina Karam (AP) report:

    It is wedged between Saudi Arabia to the south and Iran to the east and hosts thousands of U.S. troops on its soil. At the same time, powerful Shiite paramilitary forces linked to Iran pose a growing challenge to the authority of the central government.
    As the pressure mounts, divisions within Iraq’s pro-Iranian factions have burst into the open, threatening to collapse a fragile government coalition and end a rare reprieve from the violence that has plagued the country for years.
    “Regional challenges facing Iraq will make it even more difficult for Adel Abdel-Mahdi to bring the (militias) under control,” said Randa Slim, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Middle East Institute, referring to Iraq’s prime minister.
    The divisions among Iran’s Shiite allies in Iraq have been spurred by a spate of airstrikes blamed on Israel that have hit weapons depots and bases belonging to the Iran-backed militias, known collectively as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF.

    Why isn't Joe asked every day about how to address Iraq?  He voted for the war that destroyed the country.  That alone should make him responsible for coming up with solutions.  He can't stop bragging that Barack Obama tasked him, as vice president, to deal with Iraq.  If he wants to brag about that, he needs to be asked about that.

    He claims today that Bully Boy Bush tricked him into supporting the Iraq War.  Is Bush still tricking him?  Is he tricking Joe into silence?

    Joe needs to stop his folklore stories and start addressing reality.  If the press isn't up to demanding that from him, they just need to admit that they're worthless.

    The following sites updated: