Climate Movement Monday: in support of the young

Welcome back! These Movement Monday posts are intended to educate and inspire readers to take action on behalf of the frontline communities most impacted by the climate crisis. Today I want to focus on the young who, through no fault of their own, are inheriting a legacy of climate crises brought on by past and current generations’ addiction to oil and gas.

And because I’m pressed for time today, I’m going to copy the message from People vs. Fossil Fuels:

Sign the Petition: Tell Attorney General Garland to End Opposition to Youth Climate Justice

It is time for Attorney General Garland to end Department of Justice opposition to the children’s climate case, Juliana v. United States.

In 2015, 21 young Americans filed a landmark constitutional climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, against the U.S. government. Their complaint asserts that the government’s affirmative actions, like fossil fuel energy policies, knowingly cause and worsen the climate crisis. The youth claim that this violates the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, and equal protection of the law, as well as fails to protect essential public trust resources.

These 21 young people are seeking a judicial declaration that the U.S. fossil fuel energy system is unconstitutional and violates their fundamental right to a safe climate. A victory in their case would mean that all current and future U.S. climate and energy policy – whether executive or legislative in nature, and regardless of political majority or party – would need to adhere to the court’s declaratory judgment, protecting the rights of our nation’s children to a safe climate.

Photo by Markus Spiske (pexels.com)

Despite President Biden’s promises to listen to youth and address the climate crisis, his Department of Justice is still actively opposing the Juliana case, denying their rights and seeking to prevent the young plaintiffs from presenting evidence to a judge in open court of how their own government is causing them harm.

For seven years, these 21 young people, from across the United States and including 11 Black, Brown, and Indigenous youth, have waited for their day in court, delayed again and again by tactics employed by the Department of Justice to impede or dismiss their case. And for seven years, young people like these 21 young Americans have suffered from increasingly severe climate harms.

The time for climate justice is now.

Sign the petition today and tell Attorney General Garland that it is time for the Department of Justice to end its opposition to Juliana v. United States proceeding to trial. These young Americans have the right to be heard by their nation’s courts and their claims should proceed like any other constitutional case.

Tell Attorney General Garland Today: Let the Youth Be Heard!

Thank you in advance for signing on in support. Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: MLK and environmental justice

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day which makes this Movement Monday post a no-brainer. Of course I must cite MLK who led the call for environmental justice. I can’t find the particulars surrounding this quote, but his words are powerful and still true today:

“Together we are approaching environmental justice just as what it is: It is a civil rights issue. By examining environmental requirements in conjunction with our civil rights laws, I am confident that we can do a better job of assuring fairness and advancing justice.”

By Trikosko, Marion S.

MLK recognized that people living in racially divided communities are exposed to higher rates of pollution and environmental hazards. These are frontline communities, typically BIPOC and poor people. For instance, the people of St. James Parish in Louisiana who are surrounded by petrochemical plants but scored a major victory when courts ruled against Formosa Plastics building a new plant. The people organized and fought for environmental justice.

In September, I highlighted the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, a predominantly Black community.  Guess what? Their water troubles continue. The people of Jackson are suffering their third water crisis in two years, this time due to pipes freezing and bursting.  They had no running water for Christmas. Last year, the EPA determined the Jackson water system has been in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

As a white woman of privilege, I can’t fathom having to boil water before using it for cooking and bathing. I can’t imagine not having access to bottled water and, instead, using buckets to catch rainfall. As an elderly man quoted in that linked article said, “This is no way to live.”

In 1963, MLK led a civil rights march in Jackson following the murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers.  In honor of MLK’s leadership and the people of Jackson who continue to suffer justice, both civil and environmental, I invite you to check out mutual aid organization Cooperation Jackson and make a donation.

Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Mondays: Dirty Deal AGAIN

UPDATE 12.20.22: Manchin’s dirty permitting deal is NOT included in the omnibus spending bill. This is the power of collective action!!

Welcome back to Movement Mondays in which I share information about frontline communities enduring the worst effects of climate change and what we can do to help them. I started writing a post to celebrate the third defeat of Manchin’s dirty permitting deal last week and then found out (as expected), this zombie legislation hasn’t yet died. Now Manchin and Schumer want to add it to the omnibus spending bills this week.

One of my Denver zombie crawl images from years ago

PLEASE make some phone calls (or emails). Even if these senators aren’t from your state, it’s entirely okay to contact them. I say, “I am a climate constituent from Colorado where we’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of the Marshall Fire that did over $2 billion in damages, and we cannot afford more fossil fuel projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline.” Unfortunately, you all have some climate crisis happening in your own state (drought, flooding, wind damage, etc). If completed, the Mountain Valley Pipeline will affect the climate for everyone, not only those in its path.

 

 

I’m looking forward to celebrating the fourth defeat of coal baron Manchin’s diry deal. Thank you in advance for standing with the people and planet. Solidarity! ✊🏽

 

Climate Movement Monday: petition + phone calls needed

Welcome back to Movement Mondays! Sometimes I feel like a voice in the wilderness, but I can’t stop sharing info and action items in support of those living on the frontlines of the climate crisis. We are ALL in this together. If you love plants, animals, nature, people, clean air & water, you have a stake in climate action.

Image by Filmbetrachter from Pixabay

Today, I’m asking you to:

  1. SIGN A PETITION urging Biden to uphold his pledge to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. I’ve written before about the Willow Project (here & here) and if approved, this project would be a massive carbon bomb. Today, the Washington Post reported this:

    At the northern tip of Alaska, the city of Utqiagvik on Monday reached its warmest temperature ever observed between November and March, when the mercury shot up to 40 degrees — 36 degrees above the norm.

    The record-crushing high temperature was six degrees higher than the next warmest December reading ever measured there, in more than a century of records. It marked yet another exceptional extreme event in a region that is rapidly warming because of human-caused climate change.

    Clearly, we cannot afford the Willow Project.

    2. CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES to stop Manchin’s dirty permitting deal. We’ve beaten it back twice before (here & here) and can do it again!!! From Climate Justice Alliance:

    • Call your Members of Congress (call script below) at 202-224-3121.*If for any reason this doesn’t connect you, find your Senators’ number here.

    Call Script for Democratic Senators: Hi, my name is ____, & I’m from ____. As your constituent I’m calling to demand that you do all you can to stop Senator Manchin’s dirty “permitting” proposal from being attached to any must pass legislation. Protecting our communities and climate is more important and we must transition away from fossil fuels now and protect communities’ rights to be free from harm in the process. Stand with the communities impacted by fossil fuels and the climate crisis and stop this permitting reform from being attached to any must-pass legislation.

    Call Script for Republicans Senators: Hi, my name is ____, & I’m from ____. I’m a constituent in your district calling to ask you to stop democratic Senator Manchin’s side deal on permitting reforms. Citizens and states should have the right to protect themselves. The bill proposed by Senator Manchin infringes upon our rights to protect ourselves by deliberately stripping us of our ability to speak out against toxic projects built near our front door.  Stand with the workers, farmers, and communities that are impacted by dirty energy projects built on their land, and stop Senator Manchin’s dirty “permitting” proposal from being attached to any must-pass legislation

    Thank you in advance for your actions! Solidarity! ✊🏽

     

Rattling doors and windows

It’s yet another windy day here in the Denver metro area and we’re supposed to be out walking with our dog right now because if we wait any longer, the sun will disappear behind the foothills before we return home (and then Tracy will be sad and blue). But if we go now, we’ll have to duck our heads and push into the wind that’s gusting hard enough to rattle this house.

This heavy wind is more and more common as climate change affects weather patterns and a sensible society would make it a priority to harness the wind in place of the fossil fuels that have caused the climate change. But no, this society coddles Senator Joe Manchin, the coal baron who will not let his dirty permitting deal die. We blocked him from attaching it to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) earlier this week and now he wants to either amend the NDAA with that dirty deal or attach it to the year-end spending bill. Note: in an attempt to woo Republican senators, the deal is even worse than before, with the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) still front and center.

CALL TO ACTION:

Call your Senators (connects automatically): 888-997-5380

Call Script: “Hi, my name is ____, & I live in ____. As your constituent OR someone concerned about MVP and environmental justice, I’m urging you to vote NO on any amendment or must-pass legislation that advances Manchin’s Dirty Permitting Deal.

If you have more time, please call Senators on this Priority List:

Senator Kaine (202) 224-4024
Senator Warner (202) 224-2023
Senator Carper (202) 224-2441
Senator Schumer (202) 224-6542
Senator Schatz (202) 224-3934
Senator Murray (202) 224-2621
Senator Reed (202) 224-4642
Senator Leahy (202) 224-4242
Senator Warnock (202) 224-3643
Senator Ossoff (202) 224-3521
Senator Padilla (202) 224-3553
Senator Smith (202) 224-5641
Senator Whitehouse (202) 224-2921
Senator Van Hollen (202) 224-4654
Senator Cardin (202) 224-4524
Senator Klobuchar (202) 224-3244

And if you have any pull with the Wind Goddesses, please ask them to calm it down here in Colorado. 🙂

Climate Movement Monday: support on Giving Tuesday

Welcome back to Movement Mondays in which I provide information and ways to support the frontline communities suffering the worst effects of climate change. Whether we want to face facts or not, the climate crisis is upon us and the sooner we act the better our chances to lessen the impact. Either way, an energy transition will happen. Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday so I’m highlighting organizations working hard on behalf of frontline communities. Donations of any amount (today or tomorrow) are greatly appreciated!

Image by Shameer Pk from Pixabay

Founded in 1997, Appalachian Voices brings people together to protect the land, air and water of Central and Southern Appalachia and advance a just transition to a generative and equitable clean energy economy.

To achieve this, we work to end harmful fossil fuel practices such as mountaintop removal coal mining and construction of unnecessary fracked-gas pipelines. We also strive to shift to clean, 21st-century energy sources including energy efficiency, solar and wind power, and stand up to monopoly utility practices that put profits over people. Our ultimate goal is to establish economic solutions that create community wealth and sustain Appalachia’s mountains, forests and waters.

The NDN Collective Climate Justice Campaign builds power throughout Indigenous communities in order to tackle the climate crisis. Our team runs and supports campaigns aimed at ending extraction, contamination, and violence in our territories. We advance policy changes, coalition building, and advocacy, while supporting the solutions-based work happening across our nations that utilizes traditional ecological knowledge in order to develop climate adaptive solutions that reflect our values of living with respect for all sources of life.

Healthy Gulf’s purpose is to collaborate with and serve communities who love the Gulf of Mexico by providing the research, communications, and coalition-building tools needed to reverse the long pattern of over exploitation of the Gulf’s natural resources.

We are preparing to launch an unprecedented solutions campaign to offer communities around the world a just pathway to 100 percent renewable energy. We need to set up infrastructure and ways of collaborating to bring clean energy access and justice to our systems everywhere. 

Thank you in advance for reading and donating. Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: STOP the Dirty Deal

Welcome back to Movement Mondays in which I share information on how to support the frontline communities living with the worst effects of climate change. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, today’s quick ask involves Senator Manchin’s “Dirty Deal.” Again. This permitting “reform” legislation (that would gut environmental protections (such as Clean Water) and fast-track fossil fuel projects such as the Mountain Valley Pipeline) is Manchin’s pet zombie that refuses to die.

BUT, we defeated Manchin’s attempt to attach the dirty deal to the Continuing Resolution (government funding bill) in late September and we can do it again as he tries to get it passed as part of another piece of funding legislation–such as, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). There are already a number of Senators and Representatives who are speaking out against the Dirty Deal, but we need to let ALL of them know we are opposed to this legislation.

PLEASE, take one OR two actions:

  1. Go here to write one email to send to your Representative and Senators. You may send the template as-is, or personalize your message.
  2. Dial (917) 791-2257 to get connected to your Representative and leave a message (here’s a basic script):

Hi, my name is ____ and I’m from ____. I’m very concerned about climate change and as your constituent, I’m calling to demand you do everything you can to block legislation like the Energy Independence and Security Act. The planet is on fire and you must stand with the communities impacted by fossil fuels and the climate crisis. Please, stop the dirty deal!

Thank you in advance for your actions. Solidarity!✊🏽

 

A little pretty

Our internet was out for much of the day which was a welcome reprieve from election-day reality. I’m headed to the living room for some calming yoga. But first, here’s a little sunflower tableau to brighten the day.

August 4, 2022

Though we may be battered and weary, onward we go.  Keep on shining, people.

Climate Movement Monday: No more oil & gas leases on public lands

Welcome back to Movement Mondays in which I share information, including how to take action on behalf of the frontline communities suffering the worst effects of climate change.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

As I write this, COP27 (United Nations Climate Change Conference) is taking place in Egypt. António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the UN understands the gravity of the situation. This morning he tweeted:

I have just warned global leaders at #COP27: We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator. Our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible. We need urgent #ClimateAction.

Urgent climate action means all fossil fuels must remain in the ground!

That’s why today’s action is aimed at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Because of the “poison pills” in the Inflation Reduction, the BLM is currently preparing oil and gas lease sales in Wyoming, New Mexico, and Kansas.

PLEASE use this form to let the BLM know you strongly oppose the proposed lease sales.  There’s a letter template in place. You can send as-is or personalize. I kept my message brief and to the point.

Thank you for efforts on behalf of the planet’s most vulnerable. Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: NO to the Willow Project

Welcome back to another edition of Movement Mondays in which I offer info on how we can support frontline communities who are enduring the worst effects of climate change. Today, we’re revisiting the Willow Project.

Caribou, geese, loons, salmon, polar bears, whales & 13 communities all call the Western Arctic home. Any threat to this robust ecosystem puts all its inhabitants at risk.

Last summer, a federal judge in Alaska rejected permits for the project. In response, the Biden administration is writing a supplemental impact statement. Once that’s completed, it will decide whether to approve the project. The decision is expected by the end of the year.

If approved, the Willow Project would pump more than 500 million barrels of oil over 30 years from a fragile Arctic ecosystem. This would release more than 250 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to the analysis and estimates by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management.

My ask this week: write to President Biden here and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland here, asking them to “Stop the Willow Project.” 

Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: re-instate ban on crude oil exports

Welcome back to another Climate Movement Monday in which I provide info on how we can support frontline communities (typically BIPOC and poor people) who are suffering the greatest effects of climate change. I’m not going to lie, my climate anxiety is very high these days as we learn the crisis is accelerating beyond earlier predictions. But this does NOT mean it’s foregone and that we can give up. To the contrary, it’s vital we all push for a just transition to renewables.

Below, I’ve pasted an entire Op-Ed (in The Hill) from the climate political director of the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund  that lays out the multiple dangers of being at the mercy of OPEC and relying on fossil fuels.  My ask today is that you contact President Biden:

1) demand he re-instate the ban on crude oil exports
2) demand he declare a climate emergency

Comment line (11A-3P, Tues-Thurs): 1-202-456-1111
TTY/TTD: 1-202-456-6213
Email: Here

Solidarity! ✊🏽

On the same day that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its oil-exporting allies, which include Russia, agreed to raise oil prices with a major supply cut, President Biden was touring Hurricane Ian’s damage in Florida, declaring that it “ends discussion” on the climate crisis. Both show why Biden needs to reinstate the U.S. ban on crude oil exports.

The multidimensional threats from fossil fuels are evident in everything from intensifying superstorms, wildfires and heatwaves to toxic pollution and spiraling energy prices. OPEC’s production cut just before our midterm elections demonstrates how petrostate power threatens both economies and democracy.

Congress lifted the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports at the behest of the oil industry, right as the Paris climate talks drew to a close in 2015. Big Oil wanted the ban lifted so it could reap greater profits from the oil and gas production boom enabled by fracking — the ultra-hazardous extraction technique that exploits new oil and gas sources at the expense of our climate, health and wildlife habitat.

At the time, oil companies promised that the production boom and lifting of the export ban would lead to energy security and lower gas prices. Surprise, surprise — the oil industry lied. Despite record-high U.S. production, Americans face painful prices at the pump, along with record-high inflation driven in large part by fossil fuel energy prices.

OPEC’s announcement that it will cut production to further spike prices shows how deference to oily oligarchs not only sustains fossil-fueled greed but enables petrostate aggression. Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine was only possible due to fossil fuel production revenues. Now, in a world already destabilized by that war, Russia, OPEC and its allies, all but openly aim to influence the tremendously consequential midterm elections by manipulating oil prices.

The way for Biden to protect people from price spikes and profiteering is to accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy and end the fossil fuel era once and for all.

As a life-on-Earth-saving bonus, reinstating the crude oil export ban will help end the fracking free-for-all that has supercharged greenhouse gas pollution and the climate crisis. In fact, 85 percent of planet-warming pollution comes from oil, gas and coal. Scientists have been crystal clear that new fossil fuel production is “moral and economic madness.”

Next Biden must direct his executive branch agencies to comply with existing U.S. environmental law and stop approving new fossil fuel infrastructure and extraction projects — none of which serve the public interest. Most major fossil fuel projects require permits from one or more federal agencies. Just as the Biden administration denied the disastrous Keystone Pipeline as contrary to the public interest, other unsustainable and financially risky fossil fuel ventures should be denied.

The oil, gas and coal in fields and mines that are already in production, or where the capital has already been invested, are more than enough to get us to the other side of the clean energy transition. Indeed, the world cannot afford to burn all the fossil fuels in already developed reserves globally — doing so would push us way past the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit agreed to in the Paris climate treaty to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Kassie Siegel is climate political director at the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund.

Climate Movement Monday: STOP the Dirty Deal!

Welcome back to Movement Mondays! Today my time-sensitive ask is that you make quick phone calls to your representatives AND/OR send emails regarding Senator Manchin’s side deal portion of the Inflation Reduction Act that would gut environmental regulations (Clean Water Act!) and accelerate the federal permitting process for energy projects. This legislation is a gift to the fossil fuels industry and Manchin’s #1 project priority is the Mountain Valley Pipeline.  [NOTE: more background info and links below.]

Basic message: Vote NO to this side deal that will accelerate the climate crisis and is just a gift to the fossil fuel industry.

CALL
917-791-2257 will give you a brief script then connect you to your Senators (thanks to the People vs. Fossil Fuels Coalition).

202-224-3121 is the Capitol Switchboard where you can ask to be connected to your senators and representative.

You may also, of course, call directly to your representatives’ DC and local offices

EMAIL
If you aren’t comfortable making phone calls, you may use your representatives’ email contact form to send your message.

BACKGROUND INFO:

This action is VERY important and phone calls from constituents carry a lot of weight. PLEASE take the time to urge your representatives: NO to the permitting side deal!

Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: in support of farm workers

Today I’m posting to raise awareness about the plight of farm workers who are greatly affected by the climate crisis. They toil in extreme heat in order for us to have food to eat.

             Workers harvest green kale at Ratto Bros. farm west of Modesto, on Friday, July 24, 2020.                                    Photo by Andy Alfaro, Modesto Bee

Here are a few recent updates from agricultural fields in California, via the United Farm Workers’ twitter account.

I lived in Bakersfield for two years and can tell you the San Joaquin Valley is HOT. I struggled living there because of the heat and dusty air, and would not have been able to handle working in the fields. These workers perform back-breaking labor under extreme circumstances (hello, Covid!) and deserve our gratitude, respect, and support.

Right now, there’s legislation waiting for Governor Newsom’s signature. The Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act (AB 2183) would allow workers to vote for or against a union without interference from their employers.

SUMMARY
This bill amends the Agricultural Labor Relations
Act to facilitate the ability of farmworkers to vote
for or against unionization. The bill expands voting
options for farmworkers by allowing them to
choose if they want to vote at a physical location,
or vote by mailing or dropping off a representation
ballot card to the Agricultural Labor Relations
Board (ALRB) office. Farmworkers would be able to
receive assistance in filling out and returning their
representation ballot card as long as the person
assisting them co-signs it, and it is returned to the
ALRB office in a sealed and signed envelope.

President Biden has come out in support of AB 2183: I strongly support California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act (AB 2183), which will give California’s agricultural workers greater opportunity to organize and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. (full statement here)

Some of the workers marched 335 miles last month in blistering heat to gather outside the capitol in Sacramento to urge Newsom to sign the bill. Please call Governor Newsom’s office (916-445-2841) OR email to demand he do right by the people who feed us. Do it for Maria and the others.

Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: supporting Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson is the capital city of Mississippi. The population is 82% Black and, for decades, politicians have kicked the “water” can down the road in terms of financial investment to upgrade the crumbling infrastructure. On August 28, heavy rainfall caused the Pearl River to overflow its banks. The water treatment facility failed and 150,000 people are now without water.

No drinking water.
No cooking water.
No bathing water.
No water to flush toilets.
No water to put out fires.

Flooding on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Canton. wjtv.com

This is a classic example of environmental racism. This type of precarious water situation is happening around the country and will continue to happen to frontline communities in the climate crisis. We need an immediate energy transition that is just and equitable!

Right now, we can all pitch in to help the people of Jackson.

CooperationJackson.org: Donate here.
Immigrant Alliance for Justice and Equity: Donate here.
Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition–Water Fund: Donate here.

Thank you in advance for standing in solidarity with the people of Jackson. ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: in support of Healthy Gulf

Today is the 17th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the 1-year anniversary of Hurricane Ida. These devastating storms destroyed Gulf communities that are still struggling to rebuild. The storms were climate-induced, but the negligent government response was 100% man-made. [Note: Below is a Twitter thread re Katrina along with an article that includes profiles of people in Louisiana coastal parishes fighting to rebuild after Ida. I highly recommend reading both.]

Photo by Jerry Brown (HUD) aerial view of impact of Hurricane Katrina 9/12/2005

Healthy Gulf is a coalition of five states along the Gulf of Mexico. Their core values include Environmental Health: We believe that supporting the environmental health and ecosystem richness of the Gulf region is necessary to secure quality of life, sense of place, economic vitality, and social justice within all Gulf communities.

Today’s climate action is to send a letter demanding no new oil and gas leases in the Gulf. As always, the template is there for you to send as-is, or personalize. The most important thing is to lend your name and voice to this fight.

Here’s the link to some background information and the petition.

Thank you in advance for standing in solidarity with coastal communities. We can and must protect them from further needless pollution and catastrophe. ✊🏽

READ BELOW for eye-opening & heart-breaking personal accounts of living through Hurricanes Katrina and Ida.

https://southerlymag.org/2022/08/29/they-want-us-gone-black-louisianans-fight-to-rebuild-a-year-after-ida/

Climate Movement Monday: stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline

Welcome to the first “Movement Monday” post in which I’ll provide info on how to take quick and direct action in support of frontline communities. As I posted here, the Inflation Reduction Act includes “poison pills” that adversely affect poor communities of color and Indigenous people. It’s vital that privileged people such as myself lend support and voice to their fights. I hope you’ll join me.

Today’s quick action is on behalf of Appalachian people in West Virginia and Virginia who are fighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). The 303-mile natural gas pipeline is billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.**

The Mountain Valley Pipeline under construction in Virginia. Courtesy of Wild Virginia

In the past several months, two separate federal permits were revoked, but they’re expected to be resubmitted to Biden for approval. This is where we come in.

Here’s a link for contacting the Biden administration. A draft letter is supplied and you can add your name and send that letter as-is. You can also rework the letter to  personalize it. The most important messages to send:

  • Cancel Mountain Valley Pipeline’s federal permits
  • NO to Mountain Valley Pipeline

Thank you in advance for your time and energy on this! Solidarity!

**More info available from the POWHR coalition (Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights)

Climate & the Inflation Reduction Act

In case you hadn’t heard, this past weekend the Senate voted to approve the Inflation Reduction Act which contains climate policy. There are good components to that policy, but there are also horrific pieces. No surprise there since coal-baron Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and his fossil fuel buddies pretty much wrote the policy that has Exxon, Shell, and BP executives jumping for joy.  A “climate” bill that makes oil and gas happy is not a good deal for the planet.

For instance: solar and wind projects are contingent upon expanding oil and gas drilling . . . millions of acres on and offshore.  That’s right, the very thing driving the climate crisis — fossil fuels –will be expanded.

And who will suffer most? The frontline communities. The people already impacted by fossil fuel projects are completely abandoned by this climate policy. It is absolutely vital that all of us who care about people and planet show up for them in their fights.

So. Starting next Monday, I’m going to institute “Movement Mondays” in which I post a climate action we can take in solidarity with communities around the country. This might be making a phone call or contributing to public comments about a proposed project. Whatever these communities need, we must add our voices to theirs. Everyone deserves clean air and clean water.

If you’ve read this far . . . solidarity! I hope to see you in the fight.

P.S. Here’s a Twitter thread that contains many of the concerns from many of the impacted communities around the country.

P.P.S. Here’s a bit from Kate Aronoff  in The New Republic:
Multiple things can be true at the same time. The Inflation Reduction Act—the first piece of climate policy to pass the Senate ever—is a historic achievement and vitally important given that Democrats may not get to govern again for a decade. It also consigns more people to living next to more fossil fuel infrastructure for longer; in many cases, that means consigning more people—predominantly poor people, Black people, and brown people—to disease and death. We don’t fully know what the bill will do. The IRA’s passage doesn’t close the book on U.S. climate policy so much as open it. As ever, the best guides to navigating what comes next will likely be the people who won it in the first place, and who’ll have to live the closest to its consequences.

Sunday Confessional: enthusiasm deficit

It’s been a rough day on the heels of other emotionally difficult days this week. Despite ordering one of these Let This Radicalize You (rather than lead you to despair) shirts a few days ago, I confess to tilting heavily toward despair right now. No need for me to list the multiple crises we’re facing because that’ll just make me more sad/angry and give people reason to quit reading.

Instead, I’ll celebrate the fact that I’m no longer withdrawing into myself and am here with a post. HELLO, OUT THERE!

Here’s one of my favorite recent photos:

June 22, 2022

Okay, that’s it for my burst of energy. Sending good wishes to anyone who’s read this far . . . 💚

Independent reading from Haymarket Books

So-called Independence Day is hitting harder than usual today as there are now fewer rights for the people and more rights for corporatists and authoritarians than a year ago. If you’re feeling overwhelmed/angry/scared/powerless, I highly recommend buying a book from Haymarket Books during their “Summer of Struggle” 40% off sale.

Haymarket Books is an independent, nonprofit organization that publishes books for changing the world, and now through August 15, ALL Haymarket books are 40% off. I’ve learned so much by reading Haymarket books and in addition to educating myself, I always feel less alone in the struggle. Do yourself a favor and buy one book. Read that book and expand your worldview, compassion, and commitment to a better life for all people. And if you feel like sharing, I’d love to know what you’re reading.

Solidarity!

Yes I Do Want to Punch

See this squirrel’s clenched paw?

May 15, 2022

That little fist is a result of me tapping on the window to stop it from eating the peanuts we put out for birds* and, for the longest time, I thought it was the same brazen squirrel making a fist at me in response to my tapping. But then I realized it couldn’t be the same squirrel every single day and that ALL squirrels do that. Their immediate reaction to threat is a fist.

I can relate. Maybe I should enlist some squirrels to join me because, Yes I Do Want to Punch / fascists in the face.

*the squirrel food is on the back fence

What’s the plan

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
~ Mary Oliver

June 22, 2022

I don’t know about you, but the events of the past weeks have cranked up my attention-deficit tendencies as my brains thinks “I need to work on that issue which affects this and this issue, and then there’s this other issue which is also connected to this that and the other issue, but they’re all so so important and need immediate attention, so where to focus?”

And that’s how they want it. They’ve intentionally created chaos and hardship in order to grind us down. A whack-a-mole world in which we’re forced to constantly swing our mallets at the problems, diluting our energies and coating us in a thick layer of despair. (Brace yourselves for an upcoming SCOTUS opinion on the EPA and the end of environmental regulations.)

But, as Mariame Kaba says “Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair.” [Note: one of the best books I’ve read, ever, is Kaba’s We Do This ‘Til We Free Us]. And as for my ADD thoughts about where to put my efforts, I found this Twitter thread immensely helpful:

The gist is: keep on doing what you’re doing PLUS be intentional about strengthening ties with other organizations/efforts to create more collaboration. Build on what you’re already doing.

Personally, my current plan is to continue revising my middle grade novel that’s a friendship story set against a backdrop of PIC abolition and restorative justice. Doing that work helps me avoid despair. Creativity has always brought me peace and balance, so add a pinch of radicalism in the content plus weave in some of what I’m continuing to learn, and I’m (currently) feeling solid re my focus in this one wild and precious life.

Please, reach out if you think your efforts/interests might align so that together we can build something bigger and stronger. ☀️

Feathered friends

Today the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued what is basically its final warning to governments (“it’s now or never” regarding greenhouse gas emissions), and my heart is pounding as I type those words. We the people need to rise up and demand radical action. Unfortunately, here in the U.S. our so-called leadership is actually talking about ramping up fossil fuel production. It’s insanity.

And when reality gets to be too much, I turn to nature. Today, it’s birds. Here’s a Limpkin I had the honor of communing with at Kapok Park in Florida:

May 6, 2019

Here’s a petite Bushtit outside my Colorado window:

September 24, 2021

Here’s a Turkey Vulture doing its important clean-up work in Cave Creek Canyon in Arizona:

May 15, 2019

Finally, here’s a Common Grackle singing its song in Nebraska clover:

June 2, 2020

And now I’m going to use the energy I’ve borrowed from those wonderful birds and head out for a run on the trails where I’ll drink up more of this glorious world.