Climate Movement Monday: MVP update + Cop City testimony

Welcome back to Movement Mondays in which I highlight a frontline community facing the worst of the effects of climate change and then typically offer an action you can take in solidarity with that community. Today, though, I’m just here with an update on the debt ceiling “negotiations” and Mountain Valley Pipeline plus a link to the live public comments in Atlanta as the city council hears from many, many people (again) about the proposed Cop City before voting on funding the project. This follows on the heels of SWAT teams raiding the house from which the Atlanta Solidarity Fund operates, arresting and charging the three people there with charity fraud and money laundering. Those are felony charges! Fortunately, they were released days later on $15,000 bond.)

Image by Tuna Ölger from Pixabay

Confession? I’m exhausted by the horrible decisions and actions taken by those in power. Last week was hard and today I’m watching and listening to the people of Atlanta speak out. It’s powerful testimony from many perspectives and balm for my soul, and I encourage you to check it out. Here’s a tally of those for and against Cop City.

UPDATE: So quickly, in case you didn’t hear, despite the overwhelming pushback on making Appalachia a sacrifice zone, Biden and the Democrats refused to vote for Senator Kaine’s amendment to remove all text related to Mountain Valley Pipeline from the Fiscal Responsibility Act. According to that legislation, ALL permits must be passed without judicial review within 21 days. (Unfortunately, that’s not the only horrific pieces of the so-called negotiations, but I don’t have the heart to list all of it here or even find an article that lays it all out. PLEASE leave a link if you have one!) The good news? People will continue to fight for environmental justice for the Appalachian region and for every other frontline community.)

Now I’m off to continue watching the people of Atlanta. Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement call to action: dirty debt ceiling deal

Remember Sen. Joe Manchin’s Dirty Deal? We keep beating it back ( see here, here, here, here, and here) and Manchin keeps resurrecting it like some climate-bomb zombie that refuses to die, this time with the help of Joe Biden. And now they’re calling it the “Fiscal Responsibility Act” but it’s just the same old giveaway to fossil fuel companies. PLEASE, we need phone calls and emails today and tomorrow! We’ve won before and together we’ll do it again!

Here’s the context from Protect Our Water, Heritage Rights (POWHR): Bipartisan negotiations between President Biden and Speaker McCarthy have resulted in a debt ceiling bill called the “Fiscal Responsibility Act” that forces completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline by requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue permits for the Mountain Valley Pipeline within 21 days and prohibits judicial review of permits, drastically guts core environmental protections like NEPA, hamstrings agencies, shrinks social safety nets and harms communities as part of a manufactured crisis.

The GOOD NEWS is that Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia has submitted an amendment to remove the Mountain Valley Pipeline from the Fiscal Responsibility Act, stating “This provision is completely unrelated to the debt ceiling matter.” And just minutes ago, Rep. Jennifer McClellan (also of Virginia) announced she and the entire Virginia House delegation have submitted their own amendment to remove MVP from the bill. YES!

The following numbered action items come from (POWHR) and are listed in order of priority, but ANY action you can take is appreciated!

Sample script- short version

“Hi __, I’m __ from __. Please oppose the “Fiscal Responsibility Act” and pass a clean debt ceiling bill.

Longer version

“Hi __, I’m __ from __. Please oppose the “Fiscal Responsibility Act” and pass a clean debt ceiling bill. Exempting the Mountain Valley Pipeline from the law and judicial due process is unconscionable and sacrifices impacted communities. Gutting core environmental protections, slashing social safety nets, punishing the working class and forcing completion of the MVP must be rejected. Please reject this and pass a clean debt ceiling.”

  1. Call your representative to demand a Clean Debt Ceiling
  2. Call these Democrats (note: I identify myself as a “global climate constituent):
  3. Call your senator to demand a Clean Debt Ceiling (can also send email via Appalachian Voices action alert)
  4. Call these senators (thank Kaine and ask the others to support his amendment)

The entire POWHR action tool kit containing sample tweets, graphics, and the complete list of numbers to call is here.

Thank you for reading, taking action, and fighting for a livable planet! The Appalachian region is NOT a sacrifice zone. We the people have the power to create a better world. Solidarity! ✊🏽 


Climate Movement Monday: Uinta Basin Railway

Welcome back, it’s another Monday and I’m barely getting in under the wire with this post. 🙂 Each week, I highlight a climate-related issue and the frontline community most affected, and today’s post hits close to home (on a day when air quality is Unhealthy due to wildfire smoke coming down from Canada). Oddly enough, I knew nothing about the proposed Uinta Basin Railway until I attended an anti-fracking rally in January and received this gorgeous flyer.

Per  and its fact sheet: The Uinta Basin Railway would quadruple crude oil production in Utah’s Uinta Basin. The 88-mile railway would go from Myton, UT, to Kuyane, UT, and is predicted to ramp up crude oil production by as much as 400% in the Uinta Basin by providing access to the national rail network and coastal refineries. (See letter from Gulf Coast advocates).

Up to 1,600 loaded oil trains per year leaving the Uinta Basin would travel for 200 miles in Colorado along the Colorado River, source of drinking water for 40 million people and the heart of Colorado’s recreation economy. The heavy, long oil tanker trains used to transport crude oil pose greater risks of derailment and spills than other freight trains, and an increased risk of fire due to derailment and spilling of combustible oil. Further, climate change induced drought, due primarily to burning of fossil fuels, is resulting in more severe wildfires across the West.

It is bonkers to me that this is even being considered a viable plan. Even worse, the railway backers want tax payers to subsidize this train wreck for our climate!  And good old Biden, the “climate president” is fully on board with this oil train nightmare. This article from The Lever is a must-read that lays it all out.


1. Sign the letter to Secretary Vilsack demanding that he revoke the permits for the Uinta Basin Railway AND send an email saying exactly why this matters to you. Email: 

2. Write to Sec. of Transportation (Pete Buttigieg) to urge the Department of Transportation to reject the use of tax-exempt “private activity bonds” for the Uinta
Basin Railway. Email: 

3. Contact your local, state, and federal elected officials. Many city councils and county commissions do not know about this project. Make sure they’re aware so they can state their opposition. NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE, THIS RAILWAY WOULD IMPACT YOUR LIFE BECAUSE OF ITS CLIMATE IMPLICATIONS. (Remember, I’m currently breathing wildfire smoke from Canada).

A couple weeks ago, we drove through Glenwood Canyon which is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and saw an oil train winding its way through the twists and turns. It boggles the mind that in the wake of East Palestine they’re pushing for we the people to subsidize their crude oil trains.  LET’S TELL THEM NO TO THE UINTA BASIN RAILWAY! I appreciate you reading this far and thank you in advance for taking a couple minutes to voice opposition to this plan.

Solidarity! ✊🏽 (P.S. we’re heading out on a camping trip tomorrow in hopes of cleaner air so I won’t be able to respond to comments until the end of the week, but please let me know what you’re thinking about all this!)

Climate Movement Monday: celebrating NY’s Green New Deal

Welcome back to Movement Mondays! The morning after putting up last week’s post, I went camping. But not where intended. We had reservations at Penitente Canyon and Great Sand Dunes National Park, but there were Red Flag Warnings for the area and we didn’t want to risk 50 mph wind gusts and heightened wildfire risk. So we cancelled those reservations and pivoted to Vega State Park where we had a lovely time. Yes, there was some wind and it rained all day Thursday, but we escaped the truly severe weather experienced around the rest of Colorado: tornadoes, 4-inch hailstones, flooding, heavy snows in the Rockies, damaging winds, etc. Unfortunately, Colorado was just one part of the country experiencing extreme weather events (I hope you all remained safe).

This is a climate crisis.

As I searched for today’s blog topic, I became overwhelmed by what’s happening as a result of our addiction to fossil fuels, especially after reading this mother-daughter op-ed “Cancer Alley: Pollution is Making Louisianans Sick” which describes how the ten-year-old girl’s skin is peeling due to pollution along the Gulf Coast. But rather than curling up in the fetal position, I’m taking Zippy’s advice to write about some good news on the climate front: New York passed a publicly funded renewable energy program!

Per independent journalists at The Lever: Last week, New York State took a major step toward realizing publicly-owned 100 percent renewable energy, passing the Build Public Renewables Act in the annual budget. The first-of-its-kind initiative requires the New York Power Authority — the largest state-owned power organization in the country — to provide solely renewable energy by 2030 and transitions all state-owned and municipal properties to renewables by 2035.

Photo by Gabriele Holtermann, AMNY

This victory provides not only a much-needed morale boost, but also provides a road map for winning similar victories around the country. This article from The Nation explains how New York’s Green New Deal was won. Organizing started around a proposed rate hike from private utility company ConEd. The Public Power campaign did research, learning that while ConEd was making $1 billion profit per year, the private utility had threatened to shut off power for 2 million low-income people. ConEd also failed to upgrade the grid which resulted in power outages and blackouts. The Public Power campaign organized around the state, holding town halls in affected areas. The movement grew! And four years later? Victory!

And other good news? As I write this, hundreds of Atlanta citizens have shown up to testify in front of the City Council in opposition to Cop City. As I wrote before, it’s vital we #StopCopCity especially in the face of the escalating climate crisis. It’s a very, very good sign that hundreds have shown up on a Monday to say NO to Cop City.

So while I didn’t include an action this week, I’d still love to hear from you whether it’s to share an action you want me to amplify or to describe extreme/nonextreme weather in your area or to shout-out an environmental victory or to express your feelings after reading the linked articles. Or maybe you have a great camping spot to recommend.  🙂  Whatever it is, I’m here for all of it! Until next Monday, solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: in support of the Climate Justice Alliance

Welcome back to Movement Mondays in which I typically highlight an issue and then offer a quick action or two you can take in solidarity with those most directly impacted. These frontline communities (those enduring the worst effects of the climate crisis) are usually poor people of color because the powerful elite are comfortable riding roughshod over them. They believe poor people don’t have the resources or energy to fight back.  Fortunately, there’s the Climate Justice Alliance which was created to do just that.

From their website: Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) formed in 2013 to create a new center of gravity in the climate movement by uniting frontline communities and organizations into a formidable force. Our translocal organizing strategy and mobilizing capacity is building a Just Transition away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies. We believe that the process of transition must place race, gender and class at the center of the solutions equation in order to make it a truly Just Transition.

If you’ve read any of my previous Movement Monday posts, you know I’m all about people power and solidarity. CJA does amazing work and I encourage you to explore their website. For instance, you can learn about ENERGY DEMOCRACY (a shift from the corporate, centralized fossil fuel economy to one that is governed by communities, is designed on the principle of no harm to the environment, supports local economies, and contributes to the health and well-being for all peoples) and FOOD SOVEREIGNTY which includes CJA’s efforts through community gardens and worker-owned cooperatives. Scroll down to see a clickable list of Participating CJA Members, some of which may be in your own community!

CJA welcomes tax-deductible donations but asks that we first check out their CJA Alliance Members page to see if there are organizations working in our communities so that we may donate locally. I was disappointed to learn there are no member organizations in Colorado, but was glad to donate to Taproot Earth in Slidell, Louisiana (“Our legacy is rooted in the disaster recovery work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when the climate crisis was revealed in full force”) because Hurricane Katrina laid bare the array of injustices inflicted on the people in that community and forever changed the landscape of the region, and they deserve all the support they can get.

I hope you also find a member organization to support OR make a donation directly to Climate Justice Alliance. Our best hope in the face of this climate emergency is all of us coming together to unite for a livable planet. And if you feel like sharing an organization you support or something that you learned via CJA’s impressive site or if you donated to one of the member organizations, I hope you’ll share in the comments.  Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: in support of Kalamazoo, MI

Welcome back to Movement Mondays in which I highlight an issue and the frontline community most impacted, along with suggestions for a quick action or two on their behalf. Today’s focus is on a predominantly Black community in Kalamazoo, Michigan, that I learned about via a Twitter thread from independent journalists at Status Coup News (@StatusCoup). I highly recommend reading that thread plus an earlier one I discovered while researching this post, but here are the basics:

Graphic Packaging is an international paper mill which makes packaging for food and beverages, etc., and it’s been operating in Kalamazoo for over a decade, spewing 30+ toxic chemicals day and night.

Image from journalist Jordan Chariton 2.9.23 Twitter thread

Children do not go outside at recess or play outside in their neighborhood because the smell is so bad. People do not open their windows. The smell worsens at night and those in the neighborhood suffer many health issues, including asthma, COPD, stomachaches, and headaches. Residents in the area suffer chronic lower respiratory diseases and since 2015, 1,950 Black babies (under the age of 1) have died in Kalamazoo. Despite ongoing complaints from the community to Governor Whitmer’s Health and Environmental Department, in 2021 the Whitmer administration approved a $125 million bond deal to help Graphic Packaging expand the Kalamazoo paper mill! Now the toxic air is impacting a predominantly white neighborhood.

Guess what? As of February, the state of Michigan has mandated that Graphic Packaging release data from their air sensors measuring toxic gases at the site. In addition, the multi-billion dollar corporation was hit with a whopping  $109,270 fine.

This is where solidarity comes in: even though the majority of people reading this do not live in Kalamazoo, those communities can use our help. 


If you like phone calls:
leave a message for Gov. Whitmer at 517-335-7858
(tip: press 5, then 2)
Gov. Whitmer requires email via this form

If you prefer email, here are the addresses for the Mayor, Vice-Mayor, and City Commissioners (copy and paste from below):


Here’s what I sent (feel free to modify): Letter re Graphic Packaging

Thank you for reading this far. It’s completely coincidental that last week’s post also focused on Michigan, but I hope you’ll also speak out on behalf of the Kalamazoo communities. And if you want to support Status Coup News, you can do so here.  Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: Line 5 crude oil pipeline

Welcome back to another Movement Mondays post in which I highlight a climate-related issue and the frontline community directly affected, and offer ways to take action on behalf of that community. Today’s post is about Line 5, a crude oil pipeline built in 1953 during the Eisenhower administration by the Bechtel Corporation and now operated by Enbridge Inc.

Per Oil and Water Don’t Mix: “Enbridge’s Line 5 is a 645-mile petroleum pipeline that is part of the larger Enbridge Lakehead System. Line 5 carries oil from Superior, Wisconsin, across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, through northern Michigan, down to the thumb region, and under the St. Clair River to Sarnia, Ontario. Along the way, the pipeline crosses through the Straits of Mackinac, 400 rivers, streams, and wetlands. In northern Michigan, it goes through almost 10 miles of wetlands and runs right next to many of our sparkling inland lakes.”

A diver working on behalf of the National Wildlife Federation inspects the Line 5 pipeline at the lake bottom in the Straits of Mackinac during a July 2013 dive.

Water is needed to sustain life–all life requires it–and it’s insanity to expect 70-year-old corroded pipes to safely carry over a half a million barrels (equivalent to 22 million gallons) of oil and natural gas liquids every single day. To make matters even worse, Line 5 cuts across Tribal lands, including the Bad River Reservation, threatening wild lands, wetlands, and connecting rivers and streams. From the Sierra Club: “The Straits of Mackinac are a series of waterways linking Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. Not only do these lakes supply drinking water to millions of inhabitants and support the region’s recreation and fishing sectors, but they also provide habitats for numerous species of plants and animals. A spill here would be catastrophic. According to University of Michigan hydrologist Dave Schwab, the Straits of Mackinac would be “the worst possible place for an oil spill in the Great Lakes.” Compared to other nearby regions, the complex currents here are particularly strong and shift directions frequently — meaning oil would disperse rapidly and spread across great distances.” 

Line 5 has already spilled more than 1 million gallons over the past 50 years. Per an email from Earthjustice: “In 2019, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa sued Enbridge for trespassing on their reservation in Wisconsin. And two years ago, the State of Michigan ordered Line 5 to stop operating – yet Enbridge continues to operate its pipeline in defiance of that order.”

Line 5 must be shut down. Instead, Enbridge is trying to work around the legal challenge by rerouting Line 5. CONFESSION: I am new to this issue and am struggling to understand the ins and outs, but one thing I know for sure: underwater, corroded crude oil pipelines must be shut down! Biden has the power to do just that. And seeing as how Biden (“the climate president”) is rapidly accelerating the climate crisis with authorization of the Willow Project, the Gulf of Mexico lease sales, the export of liquified natural gas (LNG) in Alaska, and the export of LNG in Texas, he at minimum must shut down Line 5.

PLEASE, take a moment to personalize this letter to Biden and demand he start using his power for good rather than environmental evil. Remember: you don’t need to be long-winded in your letter. Just let him know you want Line 5 shut down! And if you can get a friend or two to also send a letter, that would be awesome!

I love hearing from readers about these climate issues–your thoughts and actions–and hope you share here. Solidarity! ✊🏽


Climate Movement Monday: Not Too Late

Welcome back to another edition of Movement Mondays in which I typically highlight a frontline community that’s bearing the brunt of the climate crisis and then offer an action you can take on behalf of that community. Today, I’m taking a different approach and offering a choose-your-own-adventure. Here is Earthjustice’s Action Alert page listing a number of topics for which you can write a quick letter, such as getting chemicals out of water OR saving the endangered Gulf of Mexico whale from extinction OR supporting Green Energy for Puerto Rico. Remember: brief and to-the-point letters are absolutely fine.

I also want to share an excerpt from a book that arrived in the mail today.

From Rebecca Solnit’s opening essay:
To hope is to accept despair as an emotion but not as an analysis. To recognize that what is unlikely is possible, just as what is likely is not inevitable. To understand that difficult is not the same as impossible. To plan and to accept that the unexpected often disrupt plans–for the better and for the worse. To know the powerful have their weaknesses, and we who are supposed to be weak have great power together, power to change the world, have done so before and will again. To know that the future will be what we make of it in the present. To know that joy can appear in the midst of crisis, and that a crisis is a crossroads. 

NOT TOO LATE: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility (edited by Rebecca Solnit & Thelma Young Lutunatabua) is available for purchase through Haymarket Books at 30% off.

I always love to hear when you’ve taken action, read something inspiring, or just want to high-five across the miles, so please share in the comments.

Here’s to a world in which there’s truly justice for all. Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: Weelaunee Forest & Cop City

Welcome back to Movement Mondays in which I highlight a frontline community that’s disproportionately affected by the climate crisis and then offer an opportunity for you to take action on that community’s behalf. Today the focus is on the South River Forest aka Weelaunee Forest and Cop City in Atlanta, surrounded by a largely Black neighborhood. Note: I started writing my own version of events but realized there was no point in reinventing the wheel. Here, instead, are some handy graphics from Defend the Atlanta Forest to get you up to speed:

Additional info: from 2017-2021, the South River Forest (Weelaunee) was the centerpiece of a proposed 3,500-acre greenspace that would be protected from development. Then Cop City was announced in November 2021. Read the history of the forest that includes stolen Muscogee land and a prison farm (here and here).

Additional info: Cop City would be the largest police training facility in the U.S., training police in urban warfare using firearms, tear gas, helicopters, and explosive devices. Cop City is made possible through donations to the Atlanta Police Foundation from entities such as Amazon, UPS, Delta Airlines, Home Depot*, and Wells Fargo.



Additional info: Dekalb County Commission plans to bulldoze an historic cemetery in an adjacent neighborhood in order to build a $5 million intersection for trucks servicing the movie studio.




Additional info: the Atlanta PD has also charged 42 people with domestic terrorism, the majority arrested while attending a peaceful music festival in the forest. “Domestic terrorism” carries a minimum 5-year sentence and maximum 35-year sentence. Previously, this charge came as result of injury or death to 10+ people, but is now being used in relation to property damage.

In summary, what we’re witnessing here is climate destruction and an escalation of the police state. It’s no coincidence that as conditions worsen for workers and the most vulnerable communities in this country, and as the climate crisis ratchets up, the powerful are pushing to expand and militarize the police. They see the dystopian future in which desperate people will be fighting for food and water, and have decided that rather than invest in people and planet, it’s best to train police in urban warfare in order to suppress uprisings against the ruling elite.

There are many tactics being used to #StopCopCity and while I live in Colorado, I’ve been able to show solidarity by making legal donations, along with phone calls and emails asking contractors to PLEASE earn goodwill in their community that overwhelmingly opposes this project by cutting ties with Cop City.  Defend the Forest offers these suggestions:

There are many ways to get involved. You can support online, help organize your community, show up for actions, or any other number of activities depending on your availability and comfort level. The movement appreciates the need for diverse tactics, meaning many forms of struggle that move towards a common goal. Here’s some more ideas:

  • You can sign up for sporadic text alerts here: 470.606.1212
  • You can Visit the forest at 3251 W Side Place, Atlanta GA 30316.
  • You can donate to on-the-ground forest defense and community groups.
  • You can donate to legal & bail support fund for protestors.
  • You can donate to the lawsuit challenging the Dekalb County movie studio land swap.
  • You can organize protests, send phone calls or emails, or help with direct actions of different kinds to encourage contractors of the various projects to stop the destruction. You can find some of the contractors here:
  • Call Brasfield & Gorrie (678.581.6400), the Atlanta Police Foundation (770.354.3392), and the City of Atlanta (404.330.6100) and ask them to cancel the project and to remain peaceful with tree-sitters and other on-the-ground protesters.
  •  You can form an Action Group in your community, neighborhood, town, city, college, or scene. Together, you can host information nights, movie screenings, potluck dinners, and protests at the offices of contractors, at the homes of the board members, on campus, or elsewhere. You can post and pass out fliers at public places and shows, knock on doors to talk to neighbors and sign them up for text alerts, fundraisers, or actions, or you can innovate new activities altogether.
  • You can conduct independent research about the destruction of the forest, construction projects, their funders, their contractors, or lesser-known details about the project using public records searches or other open source investigation techniques and send your findings to us at defendtheatlantaforest[at]protonmail[dot]com
  • You can organize to join or create a camp in the South River/Weelaunee Forest. Respect people’s space and try to be friendly.
  • Finally, you and friends or your group could organize to caravan down to the forest from near or far during weeks of action.

THANK YOU IF YOU’VE READ THIS FAR! I’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS ON ALL THIS. It’s a lot of information, but it’s important to have this on our radar.

The powerful believe they can stream-roll over people and planet. Me? I believe in people power. Solidarity! ✊🏽

*update: Home Depot Workers United calls for Home Depot to pull their support for Cop City

Climate Movement Monday: U.S. Postal Service edition

Welcome back to Movement Mondays in which I highlight a frontline community that’s suffering the worst effects of the climate crisis and then suggest a quick action you can take on behalf of people and planet. Today my focus is the U.S. Postal Service.

I’ll start by saying I’m a huge fan of the USPS. I think it’s a wonderful government agency that provides a vital service and I’ve enjoyed engaging with our mail carriers over the years. When Larry retired, people in the neighborhood put up signs to thank him and wish him well. Our current carrier is John, a pickleball fanatic who pretends to race me in his truck when he sees me running. John’s postal truck was built in the 1980s which means it guzzles gas and has heavy emissions. John walks as much as he can while delivering but when he drives, it’s with the door open. Imagine breathing in exhaust fumes all day.

The good news: the USPS recently announced the purchase of nearly 10,000 electric vehicles. The bad news: the USPS is also planning to purchase the same number of gas-guzzling, polluting vehicles. Per EarthjusticeBuried in the Postal Service’s press release trumpeting the electric trucks was a paragraph detailing its plans to put nearly 10,000 new polluting trucks into our communities before it even finishes the environmental review its legally required to do. The Postal service could buy close to 18,000 more of these polluting trucks in the coming years.

Why? Well, one big problem is the Postmaster General: Louis DeJoy, a Trump appointee put in place to destroy/privatize the Postal Service (because, among other things, mail-in-ballots). Biden has retained DeJoy despite calls to fire him and appoint someone who actually believes in the USPS mission.

So, today I’m asking you to take 2 quick actions:

  1. Let the Postal Service know you want it to finish its environmental review before it puts any more polluting trucks onto our streets.
  2. Let the USPS Board of Governors know they must make it a priority to fire Louis DeJoy before he destroys the Postal Service.

Thank you in advance for taking action on behalf of this vital institution, the workers, the climate, and our air quality. And remember, if you get a friend to do the same, you will have doubled your impact.

Solidarity! ✊🏽

Climate Movement Monday: STOP the Willow Project

Hello, I’m back with another Movement Monday post and hope you’ll join me in taking action on behalf of people and planet. These posts focus on the frontline communities that bear the worst effects of the climate crisis, but WE ALL HAVE A STAKE in what happens to the planet so it’s imperative we all use our voices to speak out.

Anti-Willow protestors gathered in Lafayette Square, in front of the White House, on Jan. 10, 2023. (Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media)

I’ve written about the Willow Project in Alaska’s western arctic (here, here, and here), and now the Biden administration is getting close to releasing its final decision. WE NEED TO TELL HIM NO  because as People vs. Fossil Fuels points out: “Willow would emit 278 million metric tons of climate pollution over the next 30 years. That’s equivalent to the annual emissions from 74 coal plants — one-third of all remaining U.S. plants.” 

There are 3 ways you can take action:

  • Call the Department of Interior at (866) 834 8040 and tell them: 

“Hi, my name is (X) and I’m calling from (your state). I want you to reject the Willow Project that would worsen the climate emergency. STOP WILLOW.” 

  • Call the White House comment line (Tues-Thurs, 11am-3pm EST) at  (202) 456 1111 and say: 

“Hi, my name is (X) and I’m calling from (your state). I want you to reject the Willow Project that goes directly against your national climate goals. STOP WILLOW.”

P.S. Wondering about this tactic? Because faxes are less frequently used these days, this is way to make sure our messages stand apart and make a bigger splash in White House offices.

(NOTE: all this info is thanks to an action toolkit provided by People vs. Fossil Fuels )

I’d love it if you could let me know in the comments that you took action, so please shout out your awesomeness! In the meanwhile, Solidarity! ✊🏽

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 (

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! ✊🏽

Barnraisers Project

This is last-minute, but I wanted to share this here. I’ve signed up with Barnraisers Project and thought maybe someone reading this might want to join in.

From  their site: “The Barnraisers Project coaches and trains white people to organize their friends, neighbors and colleagues for racial justice and the collective good. We’re nobody’s saviors, but we’re committed to doing our part to help build a better, more just world.”

Registration for the Winter/Spring Cohort closes tomorrow. Click here for information and participant commitments. In summary, there are five 90-minute virtual sessions, beginning the week of January 30th (so, one 90 minute class each on the weeks of January 30th, February 13th, February 27th, March 13th and March 27th).

Image by giografiche from Pixabay

There’s so much going wrong in the world (I just read that North Dakota is considering legislation that would imprison librarians up to 30 days if they don’t remove certain books from their libraries!) and it’s truly an all-hands-on-deck moment. I hope you can join the effort. Solidarity!

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: 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 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 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! ✊🏽


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 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! ✊🏽

Voicing my values

The news out of Colorado Springs is horrific. Yet, we’ve had warnings this could happen because of the hateful rhetoric aimed at the LGBTQ community. Over the past year, the conservatives have ramped up their fear-based campaign and those hateful words resulted in deadly consequences in my state . . . on Transgender Day of Remembrance.

I wanted to share something I saw earlier on Twitter: a woman said that when she worked at a community college, she had posters that reflected her values displayed in her cubicle and at the end of the semester, a student thanked her for the LGBTQ poster that voiced solidarity. The student said the poster signaled that the woman was a safe place for them on campus. Such a small yet powerful action that could save a life.

Another woman replied, saying her trans son sends her pictures when he sees classrooms, people, or businesses that display signs, stickers, pins–anything that signals inclusivity. She said those are a true signal of safety and support for him. He looks and notices. Those shirts and stickers are meaningful to him.

This is a simple thing we can all do. A quick online search brought up this sticker. I’ll buy a some stickers to put on my laptop and car along with a shirt or two. And I’m going to locate the LGBTQ pin I wore years ago and put it on my jacket again.

I hope you’ll join me in these simple acts of solidarity. We must let the LGBTQ community know they are valued and aren’t alone.

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 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

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: 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! ✊🏽