Good governors don’t frack their people

Today there was an anti-fracking rally at the capitol in Denver. As mentioned in this post, rallies are being held around the country this week in honor of climate warrior Joye Braun. Our local rally had lots of good speakers, with an emphasis on fracking in the state of Colorado. I learned that Colorado is now in the “top” four states for fracking and that despite Governor Polis’s talk about climate action, he’s okayed over 5,600 well permits since he took office in 2019 and rejected just one well permit. 

You can see his likeness in the upper center of the above image, smiling away while selling this state’s health and well-being to the oil and gas industry. (There’s talk of him running for president which some think is wonderful since he’s an openly gay Democrat with a husband and children. I’m here to disabuse you of that nonsense. Polis is bad news. He’s a Libertarian who threatens vetos on progressive legislation from the majority-held Colorado legislature. He’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars and paid nothing in federal income taxes from 2013 to 2015 and paid an effective rate of 8.2% from 2010 to 2018, substantially lower than the 19% paid by a taxpayer who made $45,000 in 2018. Trust me, we don’t need this rich guy playing with people’s lives on a national scale.)

But back to the rally. I also learned that despite the PR surrounding the oil and gas industry, it actually accounts for less than 1% of jobs in Colorado. This surprised me because I’d fallen for the fear-based propaganda about how oil and gas provides MANY jobs. The speaker mentioned there are ten Colorado counties in which the industry does account for many jobs and that there needs to be a concerted effort to provide a just transition to clean, renewable energy jobs.

Here I am clutching my signs with my no-grip mittens. I’m anti-incrementalism because we’re witnessing climate collapse and timid, half-measures aren’t going to cut it. Polis is very much into incremental steps which is really the same as being a climate denier.

One of the speakers led us in chants and it was fun imagining our voices disrupting Polis’s “State of the State” address inside the legislative chamber.  At the end, Micah from 350 Colorado led us in song. “Rise Up” was a staple during my time with Sunrise Movement and it filled my heart to sing with other activists again.

People power for the win!

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 Monday: spark some Joye

Welcome back to Movement Mondays in which I share info about frontline communities that are enduring the worst of the climate crisis and the effects of fossil fuel infrastructure.

JOYE BRAUN DAY OF ACTION
Joye was a water protector and pipeline fighter who died in November 2022. Earlier in the year I attended several organizing calls in which Joye spoke and she was absolutely incredible. Joye was funny and knew how to fire up and empower activists. We’re all poorer without her here, but she’d certainly want us to continue the fight. Check out this link to find a climate justice/Indigenous rights action near you in honor of Joye’s work.

Note: Here in Colorado, rather than honoring Joye on January 20th, we’ll gather outside the capitol on the 17th when Governor Polis gives his State of the State address.

I’d love to hear what actions are happening near you so please drop a note in the comments. Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: share a climate victory!

On this final Monday of 2022, instead of asking you to make a phone call or send an email, I’d like you to join me in highlighting positive climate action around the world. The climate crisis can feel overwhelming, but good things are happening and it’s important to maintain hope for a livable future. So this week’s ask:

Share a climate victory in the comments. This can be something from your city or state, or news from another state or country. It can be a climate activist elected to office. If you don’t know of any specific climate victory, share a cool innovation you came across. Basically, I want to hype the endless possibilities for averting the worst effects of the climate crisis. 

I’ll go first.

 

In November, 70% of Denver voters approved the WASTE NO MORE ballot initiative. This will require Denver area construction sites to properly dispose of all waste and materials. It also requires businesses (restaurants, hospitals, apartment buildings, hotels, sporting arenas, festivals, etc.) to provide compost and recycling services.

This is very important because per the USDA “Food loss and waste also exacerbates the climate change crisis with its significant greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint. Production, transportation, and handling of food generate significant Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions and when food ends up in landfills, it generates methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas.”

Per CBS Colorado, data from the Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG) and Eco-Cycle show that despite businesses in Denver generating about 55 percent of the city’s municipal waste, they weren’t required to recycle or compost. And now they are!

That’s one piece of good news here in Colorado!

What’s your good climate news? Please share in the comments to help expand perspectives on what’s possible when people work together for positive change.

Happy Solstice

Today is the shortest day of the year and tomorrow we begin gaining daylight. Despite the incremental change at first, it’s still a huge boost to mental health. And we need it here in Colorado as we brace ourselves for an arctic blast. Tonight it will get down to -12 degrees F and tomorrow’s high will be a whopping -1 degree. And thanks to the climate crisis, we’re also smelling smoke from a wildfire in Boulder County (almost exactly one year after the Marshall Fire last December!) Cold enough to kill people and dry/windy enough to burn everything down. How’s that for messed up?

Anyway, this is some kind of hybrid dragonly/butterfly we found while clearing out my mother-in-law’s house. The six-inch by four-inch, bejeweled curiosity now hangs in my writing room window and I just photographed it as the foothills went dark. The bluish tinge is a result of the Arctic filter I applied, which felt appropriate.

Here’s to more hospitable days. Happy Solstice, everyone!

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: phone calls needed asap!

Welcome back to Movement Mondays in which I share info along with calls to action on behalf of frontline communities that are enduring the worst of the climate crisis.

I’m coming in briefly with this one because the issue moved faster than anticipated.

Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi are in talks to attach Manchin’s Dirty Deal to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Quick summary: this dirty deal is a fossil fuel industry wishlist to fast-track fossil fuel projects, gut bedrock environmental protections, endanger public health, and push Manchin’s pet project, the Mountain Valley Pipeline. WE STOPPED IT IN SEPTEMBER AND WE CAN STOP IT AGAIN!!!

Action: phone calls needed ASAP.

Senate Majority Leader Schumer: (202) 224-6542
Speaker Pelosi: (202) 225-4965
House of Representatives switchboard: (202) 224-3121
Senate switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Message: Do NOT attach Manchin’s “permitting reform” to the NDAA or any other must-pass legislation. Protecting our communities and climate is much more important than  giving another gift to the fossil fuel industry. Stand with the communities impacted by fossil fuels and the climate crisis, and stop the dirty deal! 

Solidarity! ✊🏽

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!✊🏽

 

Climate Movement Monday: innovation

Welcome back to Movement Mondays! I usually share information about frontline communities that are bearing the worst effects of the climate crisis and then include an action item you can take in support of those communities. But this week, as the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) caters to the 600+ fossil fuel lobbyists in attendance (a 25% increase over last year’s COP), I’ve decided to share “good news” innovations from around the world in hopes of expanding your perception of what’s possible.

FRANCE is working on legislation that would require parking lots with 80 or more spaces to install solar panels. This requirement is for new and existing parking lots. The government estimates the panels will generate as much power as ten nuclear reactors.

MEDELLIN, COLUMBIA is the country’s second largest city and now has 30 “green corridors” comprised of native trees and tropical plants. There are over 12 miles of interconnected shady walking and bicycle routes. The vegetation has lessened the air pollution and dropped the urban temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius since 2018.

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS is the site of the first Great Bubble Barrier. This innovation traps plastic in canals, rivers, and streams, and prevents it from flowing into the ocean. Two-thirds of plastic waste in the oceans is transported there by canals and streams.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN has built the world’s first electrified road. A portion of the road connecting to the airport recharges electric vehicles as they drive over it. Sweden has plans to expand this innovation throughout the country.

This is just a tiny sampling of what’s being done around the world. We have the technology to do good things for the people and planet, and it’s on us to push for these innovative practices.

Solidarity! ✊🏽

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: in solidarity with East African protestors

Welcome back to Movement Mondays in which I share info on how to support frontline communities that are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. Before I give you the specifics on this week’s ask, I wanted to share some good news.

Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) has dropped all eminent domain proceedings in North Carolina! This is due to the work of Indigenous and Black communities that fought back. However, the MVP fight continues in  Virginia and West Virginia, although it was dealt a serious blow when Sen. Joe Manchin was forced to pull his “Dirty Deal” permitting reform legislation last month. Organizing works!

Today’s action comes via 350.org and I’m asking for short notes of solidarity for nine climate protestors facing prison time as they fight to #StopEACOP (East African Crude Oil Pipeline). As someone who was briefly jailed for climate protest, I know how important it is to feel supported by those on the outside. Here’s the background via 350.org:

French oil giant Total and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation are building the world’s longest, heated, crude oil pipeline – right through the heart of Africa. This pipeline will devastate communities in Uganda and Tanzania and tip the world closer to climate disaster. If completed, the pipeline will displace 100,000 people from their land and threaten the water 40 million people depend on.

Image Source: Fridays for Future/ Twitter

This year, the UN climate talks – COP27 – will take place in Africa. Now is the perfect time to show world leaders the fight communities in East Africa are leading against this pipeline and for the climate

Here’s the link for signing onto the letter of support. If you can add a short note of support, it will be greatly appreciated. You can find more information about the pipeline and the international fight against the project PLUS sign up for one daily action re EACOP this week here.

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: Indigenous Peoples’ Day reading list

Welcome back to Movement Mondays in which I share info in support of frontline communities that are enduring the greatest impact of the climate crisis. Today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day and I’d like to honor them by acknowledging the disproportionate climate effects indigenous people face as a result of colonialism. A recent seven-year study found “As a result of the near-total loss of their tribal lands, [ ], Indigenous people are forced to live in areas that are, on average, more exposed to climate change hazards like extreme heat and decreased precipitation.” 

So, thanks to an email from bookshop.org  that put many of these titles on my radar, here’s a list of newly released books written by Indigenous authors. I hope you’ll check them out.

Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes Through Indigenous Science
by Jessica Hernandez, PhD.

“In Fresh Banana Leaves, Jessica Hernandez weaves personal, historical, and environmental narratives to offer us a passionate and powerful call to increase our awareness and to take responsibility for caring for Mother Earth.” A must-read for anyone interested in Indigenous environmental perspectives.”

 

No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies: A Lyric Essay
by Julian Aguon (introduction by Arundhati Roy)
Part memoir, part manifesto, Chamorro climate activist Julian Aguon’s No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies is a collection of essays on resistance, resilience, and collective power in the age of climate disaster; and a call for justice—for everyone, but in particular, for Indigenous peoples.

 

Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future
by Patty Krawec, Nick Estes (Foreward)
Settlers dominated and divided, but Indigenous peoples won’t just send them all home. Weaving her own story with the story of her ancestors and with the broader themes of creation, replacement, and disappearance, Krawec helps readers see settler colonialism through the eyes of an Indigenous writer.

And here’s one last title that’s next on my TBR pile:

Night of the Living Rez
by Morgan Talty
In a brash, irreverent story collection, “Night of the Living Rez,” Morgan Talty illuminates life and death on the Penobscot Indian Nation reservation.

 

 

Thank you for reading and I wish you all a good week.
Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: offering support after Hurricane Ian + update re farmworkers

Welcome back to Climate Movement Mondays in which I highlight frontline communities in need of our support as the climate crisis worsens. Last week, Hurricane Ian hit southwest Florida with Category 4 strength (150 mph winds). As of this writing, the death toll is at 100 while the search continues for survivors. Many are without power or drinking water. Here are some organizations to support (remember, any amount helps!):

  • Community Emergency Operations Center (CEOC) is a grassroots disaster relief effort. We serve the most vulnerable populations food, water and assist with restoring resilience after man-made and natural disasters. We believe that your neighbor is your 1st responder. Our goal is to ensure we have all the necessary tools and protocols in place when disaster strikes via emergency mobilization with a rapid response.
    Donate here 
  • World Central Kitchen is already in place, serving hot meals.Staging Relief Teams ahead of landfall, WCK and our local partners were ready to begin serving fresh meals as soon as it was safe to do so. Within hours of the storm’s passing, we began distributing sandwiches and cooking hot, nourishing meals at our Relief Kitchen. Additionally, we have built partnerships with restaurants ready to help us scale immediately.
    Donate here
  • Team Rubicon is a veteran-led humanitarian organization that serves global communities before, during, and after disasters and crises. Your donations go directly to our Ready Reserve Fund which increases the efficiency and capacity of Team Rubicon’s response to crises like this.
    Donate here 
  • Farm Share is a Florida nonprofit that sources leftover fruits and vegetables from farms and distributes them to people across the state. Established in 1991 as a food bank, Food Share partners with 2,000 food pantries, churches, schools, and other nonprofits throughout Florida to distribute food every single day.
    Donate here

Vehicles sit in flood water at the Palm Isle apartments in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Sept. 29, 2022, in Orlando, Fla.  (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Thank you in advance for your support! And I wanted to share a good-news update: California Governor Newsom signed the Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act! This means farmworkers, those hardworking individuals who feed ALL OF US, can now vote for or against a union without interference from their employers. This is the second good-news update for Climate Movement Mondays!

Please note: the climate crisis is worsening and the hurricane season is NOT over yet. The best thing we can do as a society is keep all fossil fuels in the ground and make a just and equitable transition to renewable energy. We need YOU in the fight.

Solidarity! ✊🏽

 

 

Gratitude

This morning started out rough as the weight of all we’re enduring hit me. Sometimes I wish I could live in a happy state of denial (“the pandemic is over and X, Y, Z aren’t happening, either!”), and eagerly greet each new day. Alas, I’m not wired that way.

The good news is, I’m feeling better now.
The birds are singing and the sun is shining.
Gratitude!

Backyard. August 4, 2022

And I’m forever grateful that sunflowers exist.

Update on yesterday’s STOP the Dirty Deal post

Happy news, people! The organizing power of 600+ environmental organizations and frontline community groups has won the day. Because of our calls and emails in opposition to the dirty side deal that would have gutted bedrock environmental laws, eliminate public input, and fast-track fossil fuel projects, Senator Joe Manchin asked Senator Schumer to delete the permitting language from the Continuing Resolution (which is the funding to keep government running) that will be voted on this evening.

Why did he do this? Because his dirty deal did NOT have the votes to pass.

People power for the win!!!!!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Thank you to everyone who called and emailed representatives! You made this happen! Good things happen when people stick together.

Solidarity! ✊🏽

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 Puerto Rico, Western Alaska, + other frontline communities

Welcome back to Climate Movement Monday in which I highlight frontline communities in need of support. The climate crisis is on full display this week with hurricanes and typhoon-related storms causing mass destruction. I’m listing local organizations that accept donations. Every bit helps, no amount too small.

WESTERN ALASKA was hit on Friday and Saturday by the remnants of Typhoon Merbock with hurricane-force winds that put coastal villages and towns underwater.

A massive storm battering Western Alaska brought floodwaters to the steps of the local school in Golovin on Saturday. (Courtesy Josephine Daniels)

PUERTO RICO which still hasn’t recovered from Hurricane Maria (exactly five years ago) is now flooded after Hurricane Fiona caused mudslides that knocked out the power grid. Much of the island has no power (it was privatized one year after Maria) and people are in desperate need of drinking water.

Puerto Rico. Stephanie Rojas/Associated Press

Note: Hurricane Fiona is now causing further devastation in the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.

Also? PAKISTAN continues to suffer from flooding after torrential monsoon rains. The people are bearing the brunt of climate change and must receive climate reparations. “Pakistan, the world’s fifth most populous country, accounts for less than 1% of global carbon emissions but ranks as the eighth most vulnerable to climate change, according to the “Global Climate Risk Index 2021,” published by the nongovernmental organization Germanwatch.”

  • Aghosh USA is the org I donated through right after the flooding began.
    Donate here

Okay, if you’ve read this far, I thank you! If you can donate a few dollars, I thank you again. As you can see, the climate crisis is here and certain vulnerable communities will suffer more than others. We need a just energy transition to an equitable world, and that means fossil fuels MUST remain in the ground.

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/