Environmental Justice, reflection at Cliff's edge

The survival of our species requires action on climate.  It is a moral imperative.  And owing to the magnitude of the problem and the scope of solutions required, climate justice brings with it the opportunity to connect the dots in building a more just, sustainable world.  In point of fact, this will happen regardless.  The question is whether or not the choices of humanity will allow humanity to be a part of that more just, more sustainable world that is in the future.  If you want to join me in this, take the pledge to mobilize:  http://pledgetomobilize.org/cockerham

  • signed Emergency Petition 2016-04-07 18:44:06 -0700


    See the petition and notable signers below


    293 signatures

    We, the citizens of our nation and of our Earth, are endowed with certain rights, powers, and obligations, which demand we act both individually and collectively to protect and preserve the ongoing evolution of life on Earth, including our future generations.

    Based upon a preponderance of scientific evidence we recognize our global climate is rapidly warming and becoming increasingly unstable due to human-caused carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels. If we do not change course before global warming tipping points are crossed, this destabilization of our climate will continue to cause ever-increasing suffering and potentially irreversible devastation for both current and future generations. If left unresolved, it could cause the extinction, or near extinction, of the human species.

    We further recognize that rapidly escalating global warming and its consequent climate destabilization is the greatest currently active threat to the security of all nations, comparable in scope of impact to global nuclear war. Escalating average global temperature rises will lead to destabilization affecting first millions, then billions of people forced to deal with ongoing climate catastrophes, food and other resource depletion, and mass migrations.

    Nearly all of the major problems our world faces today worsen and multiply due to escalating global warming. All of the ecological, economic and political problems listed below will cross-intensify and therefore worsen as average global temperatures rises.

    • Food and resource depletion
    • Severe droughts, floods, and wildfires
    • Rising sea levels
    • Water pollution and water table loss
    • Desertification and deforestation
    • Ocean fish stock depletions
    • Growing economic inequity, poverty, and instability
    • Political instability and injustice
    • War and regional conflicts
    • Increasing potential of pandemics and other health crises

    Despite 30 years of education, study, and discussion about the possible irreversible effects of human-caused carbon and methane pollution of our atmosphere, global warming temperatures have escalated to levels that may have already passed or be close to passing global warming tipping points with impacts that are irreversible. We must immediately reverse the continued rise of average global temperature by decreasing human-caused production of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels.

    Failure to resolve global warming for ourselves and future generations is simply not a survivable option.

    As global citizens of every nation on Earth, we ask you, our national leaders, to initiate the necessary steps to formally declare a national and international global warming State of Emergency, calling for the immediate allocation of the needed research, resources, personnel, and interventions to quickly resolve this State of Emergency and sustainably protect, preserve, and advance the continued evolution of humanity and life on Earth.  

    By signing this petition, I pledge to act together with others as one human family to acknowledge and resolve the escalating global warming-caused climate destabilization crisis.

    When we reach the required number of petition signatures for each area, we will submit the petition with all signatures to: (1) the incoming President and the members of both houses of US Congress, and (2) governing bodies of other nations (if you provide your nationality).




    Vinit Allen, Founder & Executive Director, Sustainable World Coalition

    Steve Bhaerman, Co-author of "Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future and a Way to Get There From Here" and political satirist

    Philip  Bogdonoff,  Director, Washington DC Chapter of Biodiversity for a Livable Climate

    Russell Brockhurst, Project Team Leader, Caterpillar of Australia, Ltd

    Karen Cisler, Secretary-Treasurer, PSR-TN [TN Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility];  member, Air Quality Board, State of TN Department of Environmental Conservation

    Cliff Cockerham, PhD, Chair, TN Chapter of the Sierra Club;  President, PSR-TN; Climate Mobilization Volunteer International Organizer in the Americas

    Siobhan Colombo, Faculty of Science & Engineering,  Queensland University of Technology, Australia

    John Cooksey, Writer/Director/Producer, "How to Boil a Frog"

    Raymond Cummings, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Villanova University

    Kathy Dervin, Senior Consultant, Center for Climate Change & Health

    Soumya Dutta, National Convenor - Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha (translates to - India people's science campaign) and Convenor - Climate & Energy Group, Beyond Copenhagen collective, India

    Rev. Michael Dowd, Pro-Future Evangelist

    Hans Ehrbar, PhD, Professor of Economics - retired, University of Utah

    Duane Elgin, Author of "Voluntary Simplicity"

    Dave Ewoldt, Co-founder & Senior Analyst, Coalitions for Mutual Endeavor

    Peter Fiekowsky, Founder, The Healthy Climate Project; Lead Volunteer & Founder, CCL's 100-Year Planning Group

    Len Finegold, PhD, Professor of Biophysics - retired, Drexel University

    Dr.  Katherine Forrest, MD, MPH, Co-Founder & former President, The Commonweal Institute;  Board Member of The Peninsular Democratic Coalition [PDC] and founding member of PDC's Climate Action Group 

    Len Frenkel, Author, "Will We Survive Climate Change?: One Last Chance"

    Valerie Gardner, Founder & Executive Director, Climate Coalition     

    Russell Greene, President, PDA-People Demanding Action & is the leading climate activist of Progressive Democrats of America who is credited with securing the Climate Mobilization plank in the 2016 Democratic Presidential platform, saying: "There is no time left for gradualism. That window has passed. This is a climate emergency — the moment to make a stand for the future. For each other. For our children."

    Heidi Harmon,  Co-Organizer, "Up to Us Caravan" to the DNC

    Dr. Mary Headrick, MD, Board Member, PSR-TN

    Harold Hedelman, Director of Engagement - Business Climate Leaders at Citizens' Climate Lobby

    Bill Henderson, Freelance Climate Journalist

    Michael Hoexter, PhD, Research Scholar, Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity and Campaign Volunteer for Bernie Sanders 2016

    Allen Johnson, PhD, Professor of Geology - retired, University of West Chester

    John Jorgensen, Biologist-turned Activist/Marcher, Great March for Climate Action

    George Paul Kemp, PhD, Associate Research Professor, Center for Coastal, Energy and Environmental Resources, Louisiana State University; Co-founder & former Executive Director, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

    Rev. Earl Koteen, Environmental Justice Minister and Board Member, Unitarian Universalist Earth Ministry

    Felix Kramer, Founder, Beyond Cassandra and the of Congressional Climate Project

    Cynthia Lukas, Producer, "Heaven on Earth Creations'" and upcoming film "Ghandi's Gift"

    Chloe Maxmin, Co-founder, Divest Harvard

    Bruce Melton, PE, Executive Director, Climate Change Now Initiative

    Debbie Mytels, Associate Director, Acterra: Action for a Sustainable Earth

    Jim Newell, PhD, lobbyist & government relations professional & CEO, ELS, Inc and CEC Lead Volunteer for Government Relations

    Terry Patten, Founder, Bay Area Integral

    Vanessa Rule, Co-founder, Mothers Out Front - Mobilizing for a Livable Climate

    Adam Sacks, Executive Director, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate

    Paul Severance, Chair, Elders Climate Action

    Ezra Silk, Co-Founder and Director of Policy and Strategy, The Climate Mobilization

    Mariana Garcia Solana, Executive Director, The Friends of the Maya Foundation and Climate Mobilization Volunteer Lead Organizer for Mexico

    Susan Soleil, Executive Director, Utah Interfaith Power & Light

    Kristina Turechek, Adjunct Faculty, SUNY College at Oneonta

    Brian von Herzen, PhD, Executive Director, The Climate Foundation 

    Cassandra Wardle, Conservation Researcher, School of the Environment, Griffith University, Australia

    Tom Weis, President, Climate Crisis Solutions


    "I heartily support the Climate Emergency Coalition and its work to shift philanthropy to organizations and initiatives fighting the threats to humanity brought by climate change."   

                                                                                                                                                                                    - Paul R. Ehrlich


    People who have worked with us on earlier breakthrough initiatives beginning in 2014:

    Turner Anderson, Project Engineer at Siemens Energy, Inc.**

    Duncan Callaway, PhD, Associate Professor of Energy & Resources, Division of Electrical Engineering/EECS, University of California - Berkeley**

    William Christopfel, PhD, Director of Scientific Affairs, Bell Pharmaceuticals**

    Simon Dalby, PhD, Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies and CIGI Chair in the Political Economy of Climate Change, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada**

    Robert Dello-Russo, PhD, Research Associate Professor of Anthropology & Director, Office of Contract Archaeology, University of New Mexico**

    William DeMott, PhD, Professor of Biology, Purdue University**

    Paul R. Ehrlich, PhD, Bing Professor of Population Studies and President, Center for Conservation Biology, Stanford University

    Daniela Gioseffi, Editor & Publisher of Eco-Poetry.org & PoetsUSA.com; American Book Award-winning author of 16 books of poetry and prose***  

    Sebastian Groh, PhD, CEO at ME SOLshare Ltd; Assistant Professor at North South University, Bangaldesh**

    John Harte, PhD, jointly appointed Professor in the Energy & Resources Group and the Ecosystem Sciences Division of the College of Natural Resources, University of California - Berkeley**

    Donald Hnatowich, PhD, Professor of Radiology - retired, University of Massachusetts Medical School; Presenter, Climate Reality**

    Andy Hoffmann, PhD, Office of Sustainability working group, University of Utah**

    Daniel Kammen, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Energy, Energy and Resources Group, University of California - Berkeley**

    Rik Leemans, PhD, Professor of Environmental Systems Analysis Wageningen University, The Netherlands**

    Michael Mann, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology & Director of the Earth System Science Center Penn State University**

    Trae Menard, Director of Forest Conservation, Hawaii Chapter - The Nature Conservancy**

    Sergio Pacca, PhD, Research Fellow, University of Michigan Center for Sustainable Systems; Associate Professor of Energy & Sustainability, Sao Paolo University, Brasil**

    Robert Strom, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Lunar and Planetary Lab. and Dept. of Planetary Science, University of Redlands**

    Anders Wijkman, PhD, elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for outstanding services to the environment; Co-President, Club of Rome**

    Cleo Woelfle-Erskine, PhD, Fellow, Energy and Resources Group, University of California - Berkeley; Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society, Austria**

    *   Institutional affiliation listed for identification purposes only
    ** Signers of preliminary sign on letters leading up to the emergency petition.
    Add signature

  • endorsed via 2016-02-14 20:10:45 -0800

    We Face a Climate Emergency

    A substantial gap exists between the Paris Climate Agreement's rhetoric and the reality of what must actually be done to achieve its stated climate stabilization intentions. Besides celebrating that the world’s nations could reach an agreement, the next step is to understand that we are in the midst of a genuine Climate Emergency. Therefore, the world cannot gradually begin to change current fossil fuels’ pathways, nor can it wait to reduce demand and consumption of fossil fuels sometime in the next decade. We need to devote our full attention to phasing out fossil fuels now.

    The Paris Climate Agreement triumphed with the right rhetoric; the world agreed it surely would keep warming “to well below 2°C,”[1] even aspiring to 1.5°C. The reality of what it will take to get anywhere close to the 1.5°C target however, reveals the revolution required to deliver what is necessary to match reality with rhetoric.

    A Declaration of a Climate Emergency is necessary because:

    • The current dominant justifications for emphasizing methane gas as usable fossil fuel relies on dramatically understating and underestimating: (1) methane's near-term heat forcing on the accelerating rate of climate change, and (2) methane's leakage in the process of hydraulic fracturing and distribution for use.[2] Methane use brings us more rapidly toward a climate tipping point.
    • The nations’ INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) from COP21 illustrate the reality/rhetoric gap, precipitating the need for a declared Climate Emergency.[3] Current INDC pathways mean temperature increases far beyond the rhetoric of the Paris Agreement.[4]
    • To meet Paris’s targets, unproven and undemonstrated technological breakthroughs are posited that would “suck carbon” from the atmosphere. However, there is no assurance that these technological “miracles” can ever be demonstrated to work—they must also work economically, at massive scale and in time. Hope is a required virtue, but insufficient action based on implausible technologies entails a risk level that is completely unacceptable. So the collective INDCs of the world do not plausibly achieve climate stabilization within the temperature targets.[5]

    For these and other straightforward reasons, we the undersigned call for a Declaration of Climate Emergency, immediately pointing the way toward rapid reduction in the use of fossil fuels—reductions far exceeding those conceived and intended in the Paris Climate Agreement. We have the technology. And, we are capable of doing better...for ourselves, our children, and our future.

    [1] See  the text of the Paris Agreement here: https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/l09r01.pdf.

    [2] Robert Howarth, “Methane emissions and climatic warming risk from hydraulic fracturing and shale gas development: implications for policy,” Energy and Emission Control Technologies, October 8 2015, Volume 2015:3 Pages 45—54, https://www.dovepress.com/methane-emissions-and-climatic-warming-risk-from-hydraulic-fracturing--peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-EECT.

    [3] Kevin Anderson, “The hidden agenda: how veiled techno-utopias shore up the Paris Agreement,” http://kevinanderson.info/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Paris-Summary-2015.pdf.

    [4] Joe Romm, “Misleading U.N. Report Confuses Media On Paris Climate Talks,” Climate Progress, November 3,2015, http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/11/03/3718146/misleading-un-report-confuses-media-paris-climate-talks/

    [5] Kevin Anderson, “The hidden agenda: how veiled techno-utopias shore up the Paris Agreement.”


  • endorsed via 2015-11-03 12:13:04 -0800

    Climate Emergency Coalition Sign-On
    For Individuals


    The world is in a state of Climate Emergency, and we must slash fossil fuel use now. Climate stabilization, consistent with international goals (1.5-2°C) means a fossil fuel phase-out in about a decade for the US and fifteen years worldwide. Otherwise, the risks of going past 2°C and crossing catastrophic tipping points are unacceptably high. 

    In that light, we need a Declaration of Global Warming State of Emergency so that the people of the United States will demand immediate action. In that way, we meet the most critical moral issue of our time. 

    Therefore, I support a Declaration of Climate Emergency.

    Moreover, I support the responses required to address the emergency. The United States must mobilize to leave fossil fuels. This means we will:

    • Eliminate fossil fuels:
      • Price carbon and remove subsidies. Make fossil fuels account for their true costs.
      • Keep fossil fuels in the ground. Oppose their exploration, development, export, and new infrastructure through collective action.
    • Phase-in renewable energy:
      • Incentivize clean energy development, production, and roll-out as quickly as possible.
      • Assist developing nations with renewable energy so they bypass fossil fuel development.  




  • wants to volunteer 2016-04-07 18:46:18 -0700

    Volunteer with ATL

    Volunteers are crucial for the growth of the movement to take climate action to scale.  Movements are grown through the outreach efforts of participants.

    REACH OUT TO YOUR NETWORK:  Help bring in more ATL supporters to grow the movement for action at scale.  Call on others to think big and bold, share CCBI’s strategy, and educate-align-activate others for our effort.  Reach out through your favored channels:  email, social media, phone, in-person conversation.

    SUGGEST A ROLE:  If you want to suggest a unique contribution, please let us know.

    Become a volunteer

  • endorsed 2015-10-29 16:22:17 -0700


    Climate stabilization under the international consensus 2° Celsius / 3.6° Fahrenheit threshold agreed to in the Copenhagen Accord is the ultimate and necessary goal.

    Warming of 2°C / 3.6°F above pre-industrial levels is widely considered the heat limit to avert the most dangerous effects of runaway climate change and the risk of irreversible tipping points. Our pathway puts us on a course to more than double the internationally agreed limit.

    The US must adopt policies to capture the price of GHGs, accelerate and expand investment in clean energy, and transform our infrastructure. These complimentary measures are needed to help reduce GHG emissions and quickly drive investment away from carbon-intensive practices, towards a clean and efficient energy future.

    By endorsing, you support ATL's call for:

    • Pricing carbon pollution
    • Reducing emissions several percent per year
    • Investing in the conversion to a clean, efficient and resilient infrastructure
    • US leadership

    Speak Out and Lend Your Voice to Urgent Action at Scale

    We are calling on you to personally endorse ATL's call for policy action, and help engage those in your network to also endorse this call to action. Your support is crucial for the success of a broad-scale climate stabilization campaign.

    Note: User must have at least one check box selected (text or email) before leaving the page.


currently president of Physicians for Social Responsibility - TN Chapter; 2015 Chair of the Sierra Club of TN; 2015-17 Past President of TN Interfaith Power & Light


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