Newsdesk – April 13

The push for Amazon to craft a comprehensive climate strategy began with this small group of Amazon employees who submitted a shareholder proposal… (Rebekah Welch / The Seattle Times)

Nearly 4,500 Amazon employees challenge the company to lead on climate-change policies. The group is asking Amazon to set timelines consistent with a scientific consensus that calls for greenhouse gas emissions to be cut in half by 2030 to avoid ever-greater climate catastrophes. The scientific consensus in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that global greenhouse-gas emissions must be reduced 45% below 2010 levels by 2030 and brought to zero by 2050 to preserve a chance of holding global-average temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius — a level of warming that is still expected to cause major, disruptive changes to the Earth’s climate and widespread suffering and loss of life. The Amazon employees who began the effort created a tool allowing colleagues to read and sign the letter with their names and job titles, said Weston Fribley, a front-end software engineer. “Amazon has the resources and scale to spark the world’s imagination and redefine what is possible and necessary to address the climate crisis,” write the employees, who are from some 28 countries and work in warehouses, data centers, engineering hubs, media studios, and corporate headquarters. “We believe this is a historic opportunity for Amazon to stand with employees and signal to the world that we’re ready to be a climate leader” – The Seattle Times

  • Can women save Planet Earth? 4 women fighting climate change say they can — and must – The Women In The World
  • Electric vehicles are the road to the future – The Sidney Morning Herald
  • Climate change is making allergy season worse – CNN
  • Climate change will crush real estate values for investors who don’t prepare, new report says – CNBC
  • Youth climate change protests across Britain – as it happened – The Guardian
  • Melting Glaciers Causing 25 to 30% of Sea Level Rise – EcoWatch
  • Global warming could create ‘greater migratory pressure from Africa’ – The Guardian
In Bangladesh, the effects of climate change are happening now: It may lose more than 10 percent of its land to sea-level rise within a few decades. Andrea Frazzetta/Institute, for The New York Times

[NY Times Opinion] The Next Reckoning: Capitalism and Climate Change. Fixing the planet is going to be expensive. Can we stomach the bill for human survival? In a healthy democracy, you could expect a rigorous public debate on this question. But such a debate has rarely surfaced in the United States because, as of this writing, only a handful of Republican members of the House of Representatives, out of a caucus of 197, have endorsed the basic concept of a carbon tax — an idea that has its roots in conservative economic thought. The most fundamental question is whether a capitalistic society is capable of sharply reducing carbon emissions. Will a radical realignment of our economy require a radical realignment of our political system — within the next few years? It has become commonplace to observe that in capitalism, corporations behave like psychopaths. They are self-interested to the point of violence, possess a vibrant disregard for laws and social mores, have an indifference to the rights of others and fail to feel remorse. A psychopath gains a person’s trust, mimics emotions but feels nothing and passes in public for human (with a charming Twitter feed, say). The psychopath is calm, calculated, scrupulous. There can be no reasoning with a psychopath. If this indeed is the pathology that we are dealing with when it comes to the climate impasse, then we should be honest about the appropriate course of treatment. Coercion must be the remedy — exerted economically, politically and morally, preferably all at once. The psychopath respects only force – The New York Times

Norway’s parliament is withdrawing support for explorative drilling off the Lofoten islands in the Arctic, which are considered a natural wonder. Photo: Getty

Norway refuses to drill for billions of barrels of oil in the Arctic, leaving ‘whole industry surprised and disappointed’. Norway’s oil industry is largely responsible for the country’s wealth. Norway’s largest political party, the Labour Party has officially withdrawn support for exploratory drilling off of the Lofoten Islands in the Arctic, a move that could leave over a billion barrels of oil in the ground. The Labour Party has created a parliamentary majority against new oil exploration. The Labour Party will still support the oil industry provided Norwegian oil firms can commit to making their operations emissions-free. The move comes days after Norway’s government gave the green light for its $1 trillion oil fund – the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund – to invest in renewable energy projects not listed on stock markets. It is the latest indication that wealth accumulated through fossil fuels is being redirected towards future profits in renewable energy. Greater numbers of industries and countries have begun fossil fuel divestment strategies, citing future risks to their business and economic models  – Independent