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 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 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 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! ✊🏽

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 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: 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! ✊🏽

 

 

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/

Climate Movement Monday: stop the Willow Project

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

Today’s climate action is in solidarity with Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic (SILA) in their fight against the Willow Project, a massive oil project pushed by ConocoPhillips in Alaska’s fragile western Arctic. (Here’s more background info on the Willow Project).

More then an oil reserve. This land is rich with what has sustained the Iñupiat Peoples since time immortal.
Photo by Keri Oberly

What I’m asking today is for you to take a couple minutes to demand the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) revoke ConocoPhillips’s permits. Here’s where you can find the letter template to submit your comments. As always, it’s okay to send the letter as-is! It’s also much appreciated if you can personalize the letter a bit. (Note: I often rework the first paragraph or two, and then leave the other wording as is or delete it. The point is, you want your message to be “NO to the Willow Project!”)

Thank you in advance for taking climate action on behalf of a frontline community!! ✊🏽

“This project being pushed in our current climate crisis is devastating. The Bureau of Land Management continues to be the yes-people for oil and gas exploitation, no matter the cost to health or our climate. Although oil companies are making record profits, the message being pushed is our administration needs to open more leases to reduce gas prices. We do not have time to debate overseas or domestic oil extraction, we have to transition away from new fossil fuel projects. Biden made a promise to the people who voted him in and is failing at keeping his word. Biden can still be on the right side of history, someone who stood up for a livable earth for future generations.”

– Siqiñiq Maupin; Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic

Climate Movement Monday: stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Climate & the Inflation Reduction Act

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Independent reading from Haymarket Books

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

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

Solidarity!

What’s the plan

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

June 22, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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