Climate Emergency Declaration

[ an earlier version of this image was posted here ]

A catastrophe of unimaginable proportions is unfolding. Life is disappearing from Earth and runaway heating could destroy all life. At 5°C heating, most life on Earth will have disappeared. When looking only at near-term human extinction, 3°C will likely suffice.

Meanwhile, current laws punish people for the most trivial things, while leaving the largest crime one can imagine unpunished: planetary omnicide!

Considering this, a Climate Emergency should be declared, supporting action including:
  • Institutionalization of climate deniers until rehabilitated, where such denial obstructs progress for better products, under national acts such as the U.S. RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act and Sherman Antitrust Act.

  • Holding politicians accountable for ecocide, omnicide and crimes against humanity, and bringing them before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands, especially in cases where politicians obstruct fair implementation of climate justice nationally.

  • Local implementation of action on climate change, with Local People's Courts ensuring that implementation is based on the best-available scientific analysis, to avoid control by politicians who get bought by looters and polluters.

National action

A Climate Emergency Declaration would typically call for action against people who obstruct prospects for products that are better for the climate. In the U.S., there are national acts such as the RICO Act and Sherman Antitrust Act that could apply. In cases where swift action is needed and a climate change denier obstructs progress for better products, institutionalization of such a person until rehabilitated could provide a swift remedy.

International Criminal Court 

People often hope that politicians can and will be held accountable through elections, but politicians can be in a position to legalize crimes such as ecocide and crimes against humanity. Politicians can do this not only by enacting laws, but also by appointing judges, heads of government departments, heads of other government organizations, etc.
Politicians can thus be in a position to legalize crimes such as ecocide and crimes against humanity, while politicians can also be in a position to indemnify themselves nationally for their inadequate action on the unfolding climate catastrophe. Especially where this amounts to crimes of global consequence, and where politicians obstruct fair implementation of climate justice nationally, it makes sense to enable such politicians to be brought before the ICC.

If we accept that crimes against humanity include climate crimes, then politicians who inadequately act on the unfolding climate catastrophe are committing crimes against humanity and they should be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands.

[ from an earlier post ]

Politicians who inadequately act on the unfolding climate catastrophe are not only committing crimes against humanity, but also committing Ecocide or more broadly Omnicide, and for these crimes they should also be able to be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands, given that they may be in a position to obstruct fair implementation of climate justice nationally.

Cost of climate collapse and of delays in taking action

In a January 2021 executive order, President Biden called - among other things - for an update of the 'social cost of methane', to take account of climate risk, of environmental justice, and of intergenerational equity, and to have a dollar figure for agencies to use when monetizing the value of changes in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from regulations and other relevant agency actions.

Of course, it should be painfully clear by now that the unfolding climate collapse is an existential threat, making it obviously and vitally important to act on methane. We simply cannot afford to delay action, we cannot afford to do so financially nor in any other way. So, what can and should be done?

[ from an earlier post and also posted Nov. 9, 2020 at facebook ]
Using executive powers, declaring a Climate Emergency and declaring War on Climate Change could all be instrumental in making rapid and effective progress with climate action. 

Implementation of climate action

Even when issuing a mandate, e.g., for a rapid transition to clean, renewable energy, the question remains how this is best implemented. To what extent could bans help speed up the necessary transition to clean, renewable energy? Examples are banning cars from entering (parts of) cities, banning the construction of new coal-fired power plants, banning fracking and banning natural gas hookups in new construction.

[ Image from the 2014 post Biochar Builds Real Assets ]
The Climate Plan likes local communities to decide what works best in their area, while recommending local feebates as the preferred policy tool.  Indeed, fees that are set high enough can effectively ban specific alternatives.  Furthermore, instead of using money, local councils could add extra fees to rates for land where soil carbon falls, while using all the revenues for rebates on rates for land where soil carbon rises; that way, biochar effectively becomes a tool to lower rates, while it will also help improve the soil's fertility, its ability to retain water and to support more vegetation. 
That way, real assets are built.

Climate action flowchart

For too long have people been let down in their trust in elections. Politicians have proven to be prone to make deals in which they sell out climate action. Politicians have forfeited their chance to influence the process. Politicians should be kept as much as possible out of the climate picture. We, the people, should support communities seeking effective climate action. 
Below is a flowchart showing how climate action can be achieved without politicians.

[ from an earlier post ]

The disregard for science and democracy by those in power has now become so apparent and appalling that we, the people, must agree that the best way forward is to institute Local People's Courts in which randomly-chosen residents administer local feebates, as a superior form of democracy and decision-making.

Elections do allow people to participate in decisions regarding their own lives and future, but elections only give people a single choice every few years between representatives who then take decisions of importance for them. While this can be regarded as a shallow form of democracy, it is now sufficiently clear that elections effectively remove people's participation in such decisions and deteriorate the outlook and future for people and the environment locally and globally.

Residents should participate in decisions regarding their own lives and environment by supporting Local People's Courts that administer local feebates, with fees added to the sales price of polluting products and to rates on degraded land, and with revenue of fees used to fund support for improvements, such as through rebates on cleaner products sold locally or rebates on local rates on improved land. Local People's Courts can best ensure that choices regarding percentages and eligibility of fees and rebates are science-based, while feebates leave the choice as to what to buy or sell to individuals.

The Climate Plan prefers local implementation, with communities deciding what works best locally, provided a community does take sufficient action to achieve the necessary dramatic reductions in each type of pollution. Examples of implementation of some of these lines of action are depicted in the image below, showing examples of how progress can be achieved through local feebates.

[ from this earlier post and this earlier post ]
Where local progress is lacking, swift escalation is recommended as follows:

1. Where a local community fails to make progress, state (or provincial) fees are imposed in that locality.
2. Where a state fails to make progress, national fees are imposed in the state.
3. Where a nation fails to make progress, other nations impose fees on imports from and export to that nation with revenues used to fund clean development in the other nations.

Additionally, as said, politicians who inadequately act on the unfolding climate catastrophe and commit crimes against humanity and Ecocide or Omnicide, should also be able to be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Whether action will happen successfully and rapidly enough is indeed a good question, but that question shouldn't be used as an excuse to delay such action, since taking such action simply is the right thing to do, given what many principles tell us, such as the precautionary principle, moral principles and our duty of care for others including other species on Earth. Our principles should prompt us to support action. As to what action can best be taken, have a look at the post Transforming Society.

Accordingly, everyone is encouraged to support and share this Climate Emergency Declaration. Do support this Climate Emergency Declaration and its call for best-available science to be used in analysis and subsequent policy development, by giving your support in comments and by sharing this page widely!