Blog Archive

Thursday, September 30, 2010

International Day of Climate Action set to break record number of events: message from Bill McKibben

Message from Bill McKibben and

Dear Friends,

I don't quite believe it.
I've been double-checking our numbers, and it's beginning to look like we might shoot past the total of events from last year's International Day of Climate Action.  As I type this message, the counter is at 5203 events.

You might remember that there were 5248 events in 181 countries last year, and you can 
watch the compilation video from that day for a reminder of just how beautiful it was.  And how massive it was: CNN said that it was "most widespread day of political action in the planet's history." I was worried we couldn't top that for the Global Work Party on 10/10/10--in part because "experts" kept saying people were too discouraged after the failure of the UN climate talks in Copenhagen.

But it's looking like "experts" were wrong, and this movement is more energized than ever. When we see our leaders failing, we want to show them how it's done. We want to get to work. We'll let you know the minute we set a new record--you could help by emailing friends far and near to encourage them to take part.

And in case you needed a tiny bit more motivation to spread the word, 
this video just arrived from a friend of ours--Ellen Page.
Ellen is not only a great actress (you may have seen her in "Inception" or "Juno"), she's also a devoted student of permaculture and sustainability. She wrote me the other day to say that Los Angeles had just set a new all-time temperature record, 113 degrees. From Los Angeles to Laos, it seems that we're all in this together.

We'll be in touch soon, but I have the feeling the next bit of news I send will be very, very good indeed.


Bill McKibben for the Team

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Obama Backs Jon Stewart's Sanity Rally

Obama Backs Jon Stewart's Sanity Rally

| 09/29/10 06:27 PM | AP
Obama Jon Stewart
Obama appears on "The Daily Show" in 2008.
RICHMOND, Va. — "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart has won some high-level backing for his "Rally to Restore Sanity" next month in Washington: President Barack Obama.
Stewart says the Oct. 30 rally is for people who think the loudest voices shouldn't be the only ones that get heard.
Obama raised the subject of the rally during a round-table Wednesday with residents of Richmond, Va.
Obama said he was "amused" by Stewart's rally and that it's for people who expect some common sense and courtesy in their daily interactions.
The president said that having those voices lifted up is, as he put it, "really important."

Wall Street Journal lies about McDonald's cutting healthcare plan

Readers, again, you may wonder why this article is posted in a climate science and policy blog.

This sort of behavior by the right-wing Wall Street Journal is the exact tactic used to great effect by the Climate Denial Machine, and it is part and parcel of the attack on anything to do with President Obama's programs or anything to reduce CO2 emissions.

McDonald's and federal heath officials say insurance report false

DETROIT | Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:10am EDT
(Reuters) - McDonald's Corp and federal health officials denied a newspaper report that the fast food chain may cut health insurance for its nearly 30,000 hourly workers.
The Wall Street Journal, citing a company memo, reported that McDonald's might cut the insurance unless U.S. regulators waived a requirement of new healthcare legislation championed by President Barack Obama.
McDonald's officials called the report "completely false."
"This story is wrong," U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Jessica Santillo said in a statement on Thursday. "The new law provides significant flexibility to maintain coverage for workers."
The fast-food restaurant chain is at odds over the new law's stipulation that so-called "mini-med" insurance plans spend at least 80 percent of premium revenue on medical care, the newspaper said on its website on Wednesday.
McDonald's told federal regulators in the memo that it would be "economically prohibitive" for its insurance carrier to continue to cover hourly workers unless it receives a waiver to the 80 percent minimum requirement, the Journal reported. Federal officials say there is no guarantee a waiver will be granted, it said.
"This story is premature as guidance on the new medical loss ratio rules has not even been issued," Santillo said. "The administration is working closely with businesses like McDonald's that are committed to providing health benefits to protect health coverage for their employees."
McDonald's officials previously called the report "purely speculative and misleading."
"McDonald's is committed to providing competitive pay and benefits," Steve Russell, the company's head of human resources, said in a statement.
"We've had the opportunity to speak with regulatory agencies directly to better understand the implications of the law and to share our point of view," he said.
Most of the company's franchisees offer a limited benefit plan and nearly 30,000 employees are enrolled in the medical coverage, with participation more than doubling since 2005, Russell said.
Many McDonald's hourly workers are covered by the "mini-med" policies and pay around $14 per week for a plan capping annual benefits at $2,000 per year, or a similar plan in which they pay $32 per week and annual benefits are capped at $10,000, the Journal said.
The legislation had been designed to limit funds from being used for marketing, executive salaries, and other non-medical uses, according to the report.
The article quoted a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services official as saying officials do not want employers to drop coverage because of the law. The Journal said McDonald's declined to disclose its current medical-loss ratio.
(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

Scientific American prostitutes itself for Shell Oil

Want to get out the head vise?  Scientific American permits Shell Oil to poll on carbon capture and storage, a failed strategy. Nice banner ad and ad on the right side of page.  Worse, links to bogus claims of existing carbon capture and storage (see bottom of post)!

Sponsored Section
In association with:Shell Oil

Energy Poll Results

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