President Obama halts coal leasing on public lands

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http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/GP0STOIAN_PressMedia.jpg, President Obama halts coal leasing on public lands, send a thank you, https://secure3.convio.net/gpeace/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1911&s_src=hero

Greenpeace and people like you are a people-powered movement fighting for a green and peaceful future for our oceans, forests, food, climate and democracy.

Kayaktivist Flotilla Seattle

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55

Number of countries in which we operate

Kayaktivist Flotilla Seattle

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I felt compelled to help with this film to show the world what extreme weather -- likely linked to climate change -- can do to a community.

In this case, it was my hometown of Wimberley, Texas, which was ravaged by record-breaking flooding that killed 12 people, destroyed hundreds of homes and permanently altered a beautiful riparian environment. After the Memorial Day floods came the stories. The one that haunts me the most is about the Corpus Christi families who rode the river on the roof of their vacation home until it was smashed on the Ranch Road 12 bridge. Eight of the nine people in the home died. They had enough time for Laura McComb, whose two small children were with her, to call and say goodbye to her sister. Can you imagine? Some family friends who live on the river describe watching, in the middle of the night, a car float downstream with its headlights on. They heard neighbors screaming for help, only to see in the light of day that some of the houses were gone, scoured off their slabs. You have to understand, the Blanco River in its usual mood is a placid, peaceful brook, barely a river at all. Only ankle-deep in many places, the gin-clear water moves briskly over fluted, whalebone-white limestone. Under normal conditions, flowing at 100 cubic feet per second or less, it’s a glorified trickle. On its best days, the Blanco is an edenic ribbon of rope swings, seeping cliffs and magnificent cypress trees, some more than 500 years old, that line the river like sentinels. But the river has another side. Central Texas is Flash Flood Alley, home of sudden, awe-inspiring deluges.

Even so, the Memorial Day flooding was unlike anything anyone has ever seen.

The river crested at 40 feet before the gauge broke — seven feet higher than the record set in 1929. Though no official report has been made, some have estimated the flow peaked at 223,000 cubic feet per second, enough to fill 150 Olympic swimming pools every minute. Imagine an ocean in a ditch. To know the river is to be staggered by what it did. A couple of weeks after the flood, a co-worker and I kayaked 14 miles of the Blanco, a stretch I know well, to get a better look at the damage. We unloaded at a private community park where we were greeted by Mitchell, who allowed us to launch our boats but complained of con-artist “sharks” and “lookie-loos” gawking in the disaster zone. He warned that some of his neighbors were ready to “go Cliven Bundy” if FEMA tried to tell them how to deal with the mess. Mitchell said he’d been doing cleanup work 22 hours a day since the flood. He seemed on edge. How do you describe a landscape so changed? It looked like a raw wound, violently scrubbed, unhealed. Canoes wrapped around trees. Forlorn orange life jackets twisting in the trees 30 feet above the waterline. The high bridge at Fischer Store Road reduced to rubble. The few people we saw at the river’s edge spoke the same refrain: “We were lucky. Our neighbors had it worse.” A large cypress tree toppled over after the Memorial Day flooding on the Blanco River The force of the water snapped enormous, centuries-old cypress trees in half. It torqued others over, toppling them like saplings before a bulldozer. The few that still stand have been skinned alive. Imagine Northern California without redwoods, or Vermont without maples. That’s the Blanco without the cypress. It won’t be the same for generations, if ever. One of the remarkable things about the May flooding across Texas was how quickly the state went from extreme drought to extreme flood. Yes, Texas’ climate is best summed as perennial drought occasionally punctuated by flooding. Yes, we’re in an El Niño cycle.

But our climatic twins — drought and flood — have sprouted devil horns thanks to climate change.

Extreme rainfall events are becoming more common; as the planet heats, the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere increases, priming the pump for catastrophic rainfall. Today, climate-related disaster visits Wimberley. Tomorrow, maybe it’s your town. Forrest Wilder is a native of Wimberly, Texas and editor of the Texas Observer. A version of his story originally appeared there in June 2015.  [_body] => field_554d1b057e0cb [quote] => I felt compelled to help with this film to show the world what extreme weather — likely linked to climate change — can do to a community. In this case, it was my hometown. [_quote] => field_554d1f4de4bc4 [quote_source] => Forrest Wilder, editor of the Texas Observer [_quote_source] => field_554e6e67f0d14 [related_content] => 0 [_related_content] => field_555dcb92b0186 [maxgallery_type] => [_yoast_wpseo_opengraph-title] => WATCH: When Climate Disaster Hits Home [_yoast_wpseo_opengraph-description] => We made this film to show the world what extreme weather — likely linked to climate change — can do to a community. In this case, it was my hometown. [_yoast_wpseo_twitter-title] => WATCH: When Climate Disaster Hits Home [_yoast_wpseo_twitter-description] => We made this film to show the world what extreme weather — likely linked to climate change — can do to a community. In this case, it was my hometown. [_yoast_wpseo_metadesc] => We made this film to show the world what extreme weather — likely linked to climate change — can do to a community. In this case, it was my hometown. [post_date_gmt] => 2016-02-05 18:25:19 [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => climate-disaster-hits-home [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-05 14:25:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-05 18:25:19 [post_content_filtered] => [guid] => http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/?post_type=stories&p=51165 [menu_order] => 0 [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [status] => publish [custom] => Array ( [_dwls_first_image] => [_edit_lock] => 1454696585:11 [_oembed_147abd6d77ca524c4074f866e36305aa] => [_oembed_time_147abd6d77ca524c4074f866e36305aa] => 1454695010 [_edit_last] => 11 [superheader] => [_superheader] => field_5539b43b64305 [image_video] => 51166 [_image_video] => field_5539b146b4973 [show_on_page] => false [_show_on_page] => field_558aa7e995c6a [html_page_title] => When Climate Disaster Hits Home [_html_page_title] => field_554d1b87acb28 [subtitle] => [_subtitle] => field_5539b3413c3cf [descriptive_paragraph] => When devastating flooding shook his community — killing 12 people and destroying hundreds of homes — Forrest Wilder knew he had to tell the story. [_descriptive_paragraph] => field_5539b34c3c3d0 [body] => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tou9oGkaFTQ

I felt compelled to help with this film to show the world what extreme weather -- likely linked to climate change -- can do to a community.

In this case, it was my hometown of Wimberley, Texas, which was ravaged by record-breaking flooding that killed 12 people, destroyed hundreds of homes and permanently altered a beautiful riparian environment. After the Memorial Day floods came the stories. The one that haunts me the most is about the Corpus Christi families who rode the river on the roof of their vacation home until it was smashed on the Ranch Road 12 bridge. Eight of the nine people in the home died. They had enough time for Laura McComb, whose two small children were with her, to call and say goodbye to her sister. Can you imagine? Some family friends who live on the river describe watching, in the middle of the night, a car float downstream with its headlights on. They heard neighbors screaming for help, only to see in the light of day that some of the houses were gone, scoured off their slabs. You have to understand, the Blanco River in its usual mood is a placid, peaceful brook, barely a river at all. Only ankle-deep in many places, the gin-clear water moves briskly over fluted, whalebone-white limestone. Under normal conditions, flowing at 100 cubic feet per second or less, it’s a glorified trickle. On its best days, the Blanco is an edenic ribbon of rope swings, seeping cliffs and magnificent cypress trees, some more than 500 years old, that line the river like sentinels. But the river has another side. Central Texas is Flash Flood Alley, home of sudden, awe-inspiring deluges.

Even so, the Memorial Day flooding was unlike anything anyone has ever seen.

The river crested at 40 feet before the gauge broke — seven feet higher than the record set in 1929. Though no official report has been made, some have estimated the flow peaked at 223,000 cubic feet per second, enough to fill 150 Olympic swimming pools every minute. Imagine an ocean in a ditch. To know the river is to be staggered by what it did. A couple of weeks after the flood, a co-worker and I kayaked 14 miles of the Blanco, a stretch I know well, to get a better look at the damage. We unloaded at a private community park where we were greeted by Mitchell, who allowed us to launch our boats but complained of con-artist “sharks” and “lookie-loos” gawking in the disaster zone. He warned that some of his neighbors were ready to “go Cliven Bundy” if FEMA tried to tell them how to deal with the mess. Mitchell said he’d been doing cleanup work 22 hours a day since the flood. He seemed on edge. How do you describe a landscape so changed? It looked like a raw wound, violently scrubbed, unhealed. Canoes wrapped around trees. Forlorn orange life jackets twisting in the trees 30 feet above the waterline. The high bridge at Fischer Store Road reduced to rubble. The few people we saw at the river’s edge spoke the same refrain: “We were lucky. Our neighbors had it worse.” A large cypress tree toppled over after the Memorial Day flooding on the Blanco River The force of the water snapped enormous, centuries-old cypress trees in half. It torqued others over, toppling them like saplings before a bulldozer. The few that still stand have been skinned alive. Imagine Northern California without redwoods, or Vermont without maples. That’s the Blanco without the cypress. It won’t be the same for generations, if ever. One of the remarkable things about the May flooding across Texas was how quickly the state went from extreme drought to extreme flood. Yes, Texas’ climate is best summed as perennial drought occasionally punctuated by flooding. Yes, we’re in an El Niño cycle.

But our climatic twins — drought and flood — have sprouted devil horns thanks to climate change.

Extreme rainfall events are becoming more common; as the planet heats, the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere increases, priming the pump for catastrophic rainfall. Today, climate-related disaster visits Wimberley. Tomorrow, maybe it’s your town. Forrest Wilder is a native of Wimberly, Texas and editor of the Texas Observer. A version of his story originally appeared there in June 2015.  [_body] => field_554d1b057e0cb [quote] => I felt compelled to help with this film to show the world what extreme weather — likely linked to climate change — can do to a community. In this case, it was my hometown. 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[contact_information] => 702 H Street, NW, STE 300, Washington, D.C. 20001 | (202) 462-1177 [_contact_information] => field_55f72cbfe7f3a [action_text] => take action [_action_text] => field_55f72cd8e7f3b [action_link] => actions/ [_action_link] => field_55f72ce1e7f3c [donate_text] => donate [_donate_text] => field_55f72cece7f3d [donate_link] => http://us.greenpeace.org/site/Donation2?df_id=3241&3241.donation=form1&s_src=footer [_donate_link] => field_55f72cfee7f3e [_yoast_wpseo_focuskw_text_input] => Greenpeace [_post_restored_from] => Array ( [restored_revision_id] => 50743 [restored_by_user] => 11 [restored_time] => 1452611976 ) [header_cta_text] => Donate [_header_cta_text] => field_56a67d3a1f9f5 [header_cta_link] => http://us.greenpeace.org/site/Donation2?df_id=3241&3241.donation=form1&s_src=header [_header_cta_link] => field_56a67d571f9f6 [footer_cta_text] => Take action [_footer_cta_text] => field_55f72cd8e7f3b [footer_cta_link] => http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/actions/ [_footer_cta_link] => field_55f72ce1e7f3c [footer_cta_second_text] => Donate [_footer_cta_second_text] => field_55f72cece7f3d [footer_cta_second_link] => http://us.greenpeace.org/site/Donation2?df_id=3241&3241.donation=form1&s_src=footer [_footer_cta_second_link] => field_55f72cfee7f3e [post_date_gmt] => 2015-05-04 20:05:31 [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => home-page [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-05 14:27:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-05 18:27:50 [post_content_filtered] => [guid] => http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/?page_id=296 [menu_order] => 0 [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [status] => publish [custom] => Array ( [_edit_lock] => 1454696867:11 [_edit_last] => 11 [_wp_page_template] => gpusa-home.php [hero_image] => 50799 [_hero_image] => field_5547d46339d5e [hero_title] => President Obama halts coal leasing on public lands [_hero_title] => field_5547d47f39d5f [hero_button_text] => send a thank you [_hero_button_text] => field_5547d48b39d60 [hero_url] => https://secure3.convio.net/gpeace/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1911&s_src=hero [_hero_url] => field_5547d49539d61 [_custom_header_image_id] => [html_page_title] => [_html_page_title] => field_554a53e41514e [featured_actions] => Array ( [0] => 48500 [1] => 50740 [2] => 465 ) [_featured_actions] => field_554d17fe1a757 [featured_blogs] => Array ( [0] => 51156 [1] => 51139 [2] => 51095 ) [_featured_blogs] => field_554d185e78983 [featured_stories_victories] => 51165 [_featured_stories_victories] => field_554d18bd750f0 [background_image] => 48784 [_background_image] => field_554d19cb60809 [articles] => Array ( [0] => 316 [1] => 320 [2] => 324 ) [_articles] => field_554d19f16080a [infographic_narrative] => Nevermind that Shell's plans to drill for oil contribute to the vicious cycle of global warming. The climate in the Arctic can be severe and unpredictable making an oil spill likely-and catastrophic. 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[contact_information] => 702 H Street, NW, STE 300, Washington, D.C. 20001 | (202) 462-1177 [_contact_information] => field_55f72cbfe7f3a [action_text] => take action [_action_text] => field_55f72cd8e7f3b [action_link] => actions/ [_action_link] => field_55f72ce1e7f3c [donate_text] => donate [_donate_text] => field_55f72cece7f3d [donate_link] => http://us.greenpeace.org/site/Donation2?df_id=3241&3241.donation=form1&s_src=footer [_donate_link] => field_55f72cfee7f3e [_yoast_wpseo_focuskw_text_input] => Greenpeace [_post_restored_from] => Array ( [restored_revision_id] => 50743 [restored_by_user] => 11 [restored_time] => 1452611976 ) [header_cta_text] => Donate [_header_cta_text] => field_56a67d3a1f9f5 [header_cta_link] => http://us.greenpeace.org/site/Donation2?df_id=3241&3241.donation=form1&s_src=header [_header_cta_link] => field_56a67d571f9f6 [footer_cta_text] => Take action [_footer_cta_text] => field_55f72cd8e7f3b [footer_cta_link] => http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/actions/ [_footer_cta_link] => field_55f72ce1e7f3c [footer_cta_second_text] => Donate [_footer_cta_second_text] => field_55f72cece7f3d [footer_cta_second_link] => http://us.greenpeace.org/site/Donation2?df_id=3241&3241.donation=form1&s_src=footer [_footer_cta_second_link] => field_55f72cfee7f3e ) [descriptive_paragraph] => )

How It Works

  • Investigate

    We believe in the public’s right to know about what’s happening to our planet. Our investigations expose environmental crimes and the people, companies and governments that need to be held responsible.

  • Connect

    Each one of us can make small changes in our lives, but together we can change the world. Greenpeace connects people from all over the globe. We bring together diverse perspectives, and help communities and individuals to come together.

  • Act

    We have the courage to take action and stand up for our beliefs. We work together to stop the destruction of the environment using peaceful direct action and creative communication. We don’t just identify problems, we create solutions.

Stories & Victories

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From the Environmentalist

A place for breaking news and commentary from Greenpeace

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