Rush Limbaugh Called The Climate Summit Anti-Capitalist. Here’s Why He’s Wrong.

Climate change denialist and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh took to the airwaves on Tuesday to decry world leaders gathering in Paris this week to address the growing threat of our warming world.

Limbaugh, a longtime antagonist to well-established climate science, said he’s given evidence “for 25 years” that liberalism and its associated focus on the environment is actually “an attack on capitalism.”

“Every one of you who support whatever is involved in climate change and limiting American and other Western nations’ use of energy, you ought to be celebrating that, you’re anti-capitalists,” he told the audience of “The Rush Limbaugh Show.” “Oil is the fuel of the engine of freedom.”

He continued his rant against climate action with the popular denialist stumping point that “there isn’t any warming, and certainly no warming that can be laid at the feet of human beings.”

“We’re not warming, there hasn’t been any in 20 years,” he said. “And the temperature record that says [it] has probably been faked.”

Most of the world, which considers climate change among the greatest plights of our time, can laugh off Limbaugh’s comments as pure falsity without any grounding in science. The UN’s leading scientists have unequivocally linked climate change to human action and the burning of fossil fuels, and the planet last year suffered from the hottest year ever recorded. We’re on track to top that milestone again in 2015.

But Americans are largely unconcerned with the issue, and among the 10 leading candidates for the Republican nomination for president, there’s near-universal denial that this is a major problem.

To put the record straight, let’s look at why Limbaugh’s assertions are patently false on several fronts:

— Addressing climate change —> Read More

A New Generation Inherits the Memories of Hiroshima’s Atomic Bomb

Photos by Ari Beser Masaaki Murakami stands at his post in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome with a picture showing the human remains that are still underneath Hiroshima City today.

“Everyone of my friends think I’m strange,” says Masaaki Murakami, 22. “I laugh at that, but I don’t refute it. I know it’s strange. In Japan, no one is interested in the past. But people don’t understand: the past is connected to the future.”

Murakami spends every free day he can as a volunteer guide in Hiroshima’ Peace Memorial Park. He stands at the iconic atomic bomb dome, meters away from the hypocenter of the atomic bomb. He and a few English-speaking Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors in Japanese) share information to park visitors. Some of the details in their pamphlets, they claim, can’t be found in the Peace Memorial Museum.

The youngest member of a group comprised of both first- and second-generation Hibakusha, Murakami has no family connection with the atomic bomb; but he is passionate about spreading the messages of the survivors to what he views as a passive generation of Japanese youth.

“In Japan, we all learn about the old history like the Tokugawa shogunate, and even about the atomic bomb as an evil act inflicted on Japan, but we don’t get a lot of information about other perspectives outside of Japan, like for example the European side of World War II,” he says.

Countless students come to Hiroshima on school trips. Everyday people pose in front of the atomic bomb dome, tour the museum, even play around in the park and potentially miss the point of what happened here. Two years ago I myself was an intern at the Peace Memorial Museum, and I witnessed similar phenomena. Murakami explained to me, “I don’t —> Read More

High Fives Make Big Differences for Big Cats

Shivani Bhalla in the field with Samburu Warriors (Photo courtesy of National Geographic)

Earlier this year, National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative (BCI) asked big cat lovers around the world to High Five Give $5 Save Big Cats to help raise awareness and funds for big cat conservation. The goal was to create a virtual global high five chain for World Lion Day on August 10th, 2015.

Participants shared the virtual high five posts on Facebook and Twitter, and donated a minimum of $5 to the BCI. Participants were encouraged to share their own high-five video with the hashtag #5forBigCats. Celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Paul Stanley, and others donated, participated, and helped spur total donations well in excess of $200,000. The proceeds raised allowed BCI to scale up long-term field conservation projects on the ground in Kenya and Tanzania run by Shivani Bhalla and Amy Dickman.

Shivani Bhalla is the founder and executive director of Ewaso Lions. The primary focus of her work is to reduce human-lion conflict in Northern Kenya and promote coexistence via educational and community-based conservation programs. The BCI has become a key supporter in Ewaso Lion’s Warrior Watch program. This specific program engages the Samburu warriors to become community ambassadors for lion conservation in their region. Ewaso Lions is able to achieve this goal by building upon the traditional protection role of these warriors while encompassing human-carnivore conflict mitigation techniques. The Warrior Watch program has influenced local perceptions toward conservation, increased tolerance of large carnivores, and empowered the warriors.

Shivani Bhalla in the field with Samburu Warriors (Photo courtesy of Ewaso Lions)

The allocated funds from High Five. Give $5. Save Big Cats allowed the Warrior Watch program to greatly expand their numbers and reach. This funding will be used to train more warriors and secure long term sustainability for their field program. Ewaso Lions will —> Read More

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