United Nations

No Time for Despair: Climate Change

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Your DGB for today is to get in touch with your governor about what steps can be taken at the state level to combat climate change.

Scientists have long been sounding the alarm about climate change and politicians have often lacked the political courage to do what needs to be done to prevent catastrophe. That is, when they weren’t calling it a Chinese hoax or left wing hype. Now a report has come out from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which says in no uncertain terms that unless we take bold steps, like, NOW, we are in deep doo-doo.

We know that the Trump administration isn’t going to do anything about it. It has stripped the federal government of science positions and boards, strangled the EPA, deregulated industry, pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, and generally run roughshod over Mother Earth. In the face of such reckless behavior, states are taking up the cause. In September, 17 governors announced a bipartisan alliance with a set of policies aimed at fighting global climate change.

Your job is to get in touch with your governor. If he or she is part of the alliance (check here), tell them thank you! Politicians need to hear from constituents when they’re doing a good job, too. If he or she is NOT on the list, let them know how unhappy you are about that and why.

And if you, like many of us, get a panic attack at the impossible place we find ourselves in, read this excellent piece in Vox: https://www.vox.com/first-person/2018/10/11/17963772/climate-change-global-warming-natural-disasters


Countdown to Midterm Elections: 27 Days


World Refugee Day

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World Refugee Day comes but once a year.

According to the United Nations, there are 69 million refugees in the world today. To put that into perspective, that’s more than the number of people currently living in the state of California and New York, combined. And even with the state of crisis ongoing in the United States, we are still in a pretty good position to help those fleeing to safety. There’s nothing better for the feelings of constant hopeless rage than doing something tangible for someone else.*

Rescue.org, suggests what you can do for those that have resettled in the United States here: https://www.rescue.org/topic/refugees-america#what-can-i-do-to-help-resettled-refugees

The Refugee Aid App shows people where they can get services and could always use a donation: http://refaid.com

UNICEF has several actions they are asking people to contact their representatives about: https://www.unicefusa.org/help/advocate

Yes, our government is putting children in camps. Yes, they left the Human Rights Council before being kicked out. Let’s show the world that Trump and his minions are not going to stop us from prioritizing human rights.

*Pretty much the entire reason DGB exists.

 

 

Rohingya Crisis

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Your DGB for today is to donate $5 to help Rohingya refugees.

Tragically, there there is no shortage of refugee crises these days. While the media is largely focused on the plight of Syrians, there is another group looking to escape repression and violence: the Rohingya people in Myanmar. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41566561 They are a Muslim ethnic minority in a majority Buddhist country who have been subject to unspeakable atrocities at the hands of their own government. Villages have been reduced to smoking piles of rubble, the military seems to be using rape as a tool of oppression, and children are starving. Right now the bulk of the refugees have ended up in Bangladesh, which does not have the resources to properly care for one million tired and hungry newcomers.

The need is large and growing, but every dollar helps. Here are three good choices for where to send your donation:

 

https://www.unrefugees.org/emergencies/rohingya/

https://www.actionagainsthunger.org/story/rohingya-refugee-crisis-bangladesh

http://www.msf.org/en/donate

 

Our own current government isn’t very friendly towards refugees, especially Muslim refugees. But we, the people, can show a better face to the world. Please give what you can.

 

Famine In Yemen

Your DGB for today is to donate what you can to help alleviate hunger in Yemen.

According to the United Nations, 17 million people in Yemen - a number so big we can’t even wrap our heads around it - are on the brink of famine. That means a staggering ⅔ of the population is facing severe food insecurity. This crisis may only get worse as Trump simultaneously ramps up airstrikes in Yemen and threatens to yank humanitarian funding via cuts to the UN.

We are asking you to choose one meal out of one day and eat rice, a Yemeni staple, instead of your usual fare. Do some back-of-the-envelope math and donate the difference in cost between the meal you would have eaten and the rice to UNICEF, which is desperately working to raise emergency funds.

If rice really isn’t your thing, just donate as generously as you can.

 

The Last of Aleppo

Monday, the ongoing situation in Aleppo reached its lowest point yet as civilians, including women and children, were shot or burned to death in their homes and in the streets and bombing reached critical mass.

The Syria Civil Defence (The White Helmets), Kesh Malek, Independent Doctors Association, and Syrian American Medical Society wrote:

“We are calling on the international community to provide a safe passage out of Aleppo for the remaining ~100,000 people. We know that the UN has a plan to get us out across the four kilometres of Western Aleppo to safety: with a few dozen buses and lorries we could all be evacuated in twenty four hours. However, we need the international community to guarantee the safety of their workers and our own.”
 

Tuesday, Turkey and Russia were finally able to facilitate a ceasefire deal to allow the remaining people in Aleppo to move to safety. Two dozen buses arrived to transport the displaced, as well as the hundreds of injured. Only needing to travel approximately three hours to the Turkish border, or less than an hour to Idlib, we remained hopeful that this was the beginning of the end to this nightmare. Evacuations were set to begin at 5am local time the following morning for a ride that, in a peaceful country, is merely a morning commute but in Aleppo means the difference between life and impending death.

It’s now Wednesday and the people of Aleppo still have no means of escape and nowhere to hide. Although evacuations were set to begin at dawn, residents were unable to leave before shelling began again at approximately 10am. The fragile ceasefire appears to have been broken by parties not included in ceasefire talks and who are now making their own demands. The buses returned to their depots empty today.

Now, there are victims currently dead and dying in the streets and no one to help heal the wounded. They are trapped by violence in a one-square-mile enclave of the city. These crucial evacuations require infrastructure to move people quickly and safely, the secure entry of humanitarian aid workers to help the sick and wounded, and UN observers to report human rights violations.

This is a quickly evolving situation and because of the current siege and how dangerous it is there for journalists, it is difficult to verify facts. DGB has identified one thing you can do immediately to put pressure on the international community to enforce safe passage for the last people of Aleppo.

Call the State Department at 202-647-9572 and the Russian Embassy at 202-298-5700 and say “I am a concerned citizen of the world and I urge you to do anything and everything you can to facilitate the rescue of the remaining people in Aleppo.”

Do this now. Do this often. And please share widely.

Note: these numbers may be busy or have a full mailbox. This is a good thing, but we also encourage you to keep trying.

 

 

“Genocide is the responsibility of the entire world.”

Ann Clwyd