James Robert Brooks

Being a climate activist is a lot like being queer in a heteronormative world.

If I ever met Greta Thunberg, I’d tell her this. I mean, I am an indefatigably proud queer, and I’m proud of my work as an activist; the similarity is worth noting. Even though all my elite, left-leaning, coastal friends support my climate activism and think I’m great (I get thanked a lot)- my expérience intérieure isn’t the same as most of them, considering most aren’t climate activists. It seems then, I fear irreversible climatic changes more than they. …

Disclosing the latent climate and public health harms from combusting gasoline to people now, warning labels now appear on Cambridge, Mass., gas pumps. Read more

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Originally published at https://www.staradvertiser.com on February 7, 2021.

That’s (part of) the idea.

James Brooks is founder of the Hawaii-based organization Think Beyond the Pump.

Drew Shindell is Nicholas Professor of Earth Science at Duke University and a coordinating lead author of the 2018 IPCC Special Report on 1.5℃.

This week, the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, became the first in the nation to post bright yellow “warming” labels at gas pumps warning consumers of the latent climate and public health harms that result from gasoline combustion.

The labels are part of a nascent, global effort to generate public buy-in for the policy and behavioral changes we’ll all need to make if we want…

Inspired by Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”. Design by raymondpajek.com.

Notes on a “climate silence” from the perspective of climate activists.

It’s odd to be a climate activist.

I founded a non-profit dedicated to government regulating the fossil fuel industry, and where I commonly talk with lots of other “climate people” just like me. I’ll often see these same people at all the climate marches too.

When we talk to each other, conversations often end with a “thanks for your great work” affirmation. As if we already know such moral support will likely not be forthcoming elsewhere. And that these assurances were part of our collegial obligation.

In contrast to…

Creating a Native Hawaiian Urban Forest Network in my own yard. Restoring the rightful place of native plants in landscaping urban areas.

Halau’Ohi means to give and to receive. Native Hawaiian knowledge of sustainability is not just science; it is a sacred relationship. Restoring the urban forest to help “increase the redundancy, representation and resiliency of existing forests” also restores Native Hawaiian sustainability science that co-exists with ecological systems as beloved family members in which we are continuously dependent now, and into the future.

A planted, “mighty” Kukui Nut tree (photo, below), after construction of a new home. Chosen for…

A right-wing prescription for climate change is more capitalism

Image courtesy of design•in—sync

The first-order agenda of a Trump 2nd term — a consistent right-wing vision of ridding the world of all technocratic control — will finalize the legal removal of the United States from the Paris Agreement, in 2021. Among the many acts of violence Trump and his brand of paleoconservatism has unleashed, this one is likely to be overlooked. As is consistent with climate change initiatives.

And there won’t be any forthcoming “gold-plated” Trump alternatives, either. Like the ones he’s always promising — after the commercial break — that signals to the…

Unless majorities view climate change a higher priority, we can’t really do much about transportation emissions.

Gasoline (and diesel) is our “energy miracle”. Gifting us a virtually unlimited capacity to cover vast distance, it catalyzed global economies. It’s the market heavyweight that emerged in the early 20th Century of democratic countries; an elixir that sealed the deal of a love affair with the private automobile (among other things).

In such a world, wanting affordable mobility for the masses, gasoline provided that scalable ingredient. It was quickly recognized as an ideal fuel for propelling cars; nature’s perfect gift. Infinitely storable, transportable…

Swedish “climate impact labels” on a bio-fuel dispenser courtesy of https://twitter.com/gronabilister?s=20

A remarkable bit of good news about CV-19, albeit with reprehensible economic and social repercussion, is the startling drop in greenhouse gas emissions in the wake of a microscopic pathogen.

What started in North Vancouver in 2016, and quickly became oil industry greenwash, has spread outside the confines of a Canadian policy experiment. City of Cambridge, Massachusetts will soon have its own kind of warning label on gas pumps. One that could state: “burning fossil fuels causes climate change with major health impacts increasing overtime”; according to a newly released article in the British Medical Journal.

“Warming labels” on gas…

The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent. July 2019 was the warmest month in Earth’s recorded history. Average temperatures in some parts of the U.S., including the Los Angeles region, much of the Rocky Mountains, a swath of Michigan, and a densely populated stretch of the Northeast, have risen more than two degrees centigrade since 1895. The warming has already contributed to rising sea levels that threaten the habitability of our coasts and lethal “500-” or “1,000-year” weather events that have repeatedly affected the same location — during just the past few years.

As transportation is the U.S.’s…

James Brooks, M.A.

Founder of the non-profit, Think Beyond the Pump. The group promotes a climate/public health warning label on all points of fossil purchase.

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