Jon Stewart shreds televised coverage of the People’s Climate March and then explains why it’s so ridiculous we need to march in the first place
Try not to fall out of your seat with laughter as Jon Stewart burns the bumbling televised media coverage of the People’s Climate March and uses a cup of water and a bowl of ice to give the high-school science lessons some of us (ahem) clearly never got. This clip from Monday evening’s edition of The Daily Show is a must-see.
Warning: Contains some adult language
Made you laugh? You can thank The Daily Show for that.
Try not to fall out of your seat with laughter as Jon Stewart burns the bumbling televised media coverage of the People’s Climate March and schools the climate-denying House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. This clip from Monday evening’s edition of The Daily Show is a must-see.
Warning: Contains some adult language
Made you laugh? You can thank The Daily Show for that.
There’s a lot you can take away from the People’s Climate March. From one perspective, it taught us the sheer extent of what’s possible when diverse groups rally behind a common vision for the future. From another, it taught us how much that kind of grassroots movement can shift the narrative, and draw focus to an issue that simply doesn’t get its share of media attention.
Put simply, there’s a lot from last weekend that can inspire and teach us as we continue to build our long-term movement for a future without fossil fuels.
But one of the most significant takeaways from The People’s Climate March has to be the impact it’s having on our political dialogue. Before the march even began, we woke up to a story in The New York Times announcing that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $1 billion plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency. That alone was a major victory, and represented one of the strongest steps taken by a major city in recent memory to address climate issues.
But the impacts of the march didn’t stop there. Politico wrote that the People’s Climate March is reflective of a new, modern environmental movement “that’s louder and rowdier than the old-school greens,” one powered by people “brushing aside staid Washington lobbying strategies…” in favor of events like last Sunday’s march that “have created lots of buzz.” MSNBC wrote about the impact of the People’s Climate March on the 2016 presidential race, and The Guardian’s headline blared: “The Global People’s Climate March is a Reason to be a Climate Optimist.”
These are significant effects, changing the media and political landscape on an issue that has long thought to be on the backburner compared with what voters in the U.S. really care about. But if headlines from the People’s Climate March are telling us anything, it’s that that conventional wisdom no longer holds up. Lowering our reliance on fossil fuels, investing in clean energy jobs and technologies — these aren’t issues that matter only to Sierra Club, nor are they just talking points for Silicon Valley Congressional candidates. Meeting the threat of climate change concerns all of us, gravely, and voters are responding in kind.
In the coming months, look out for how climate change plays in key electoral races in the 2014 U.S. miterms, and how it begins to emerge for a defining issue on the left as we vet a crop of prospective Presidential candidates to succeed Barack Obama. My prediction is that this issue will only become more important.
Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner of the Marshall Islands wrote a poem for her daughter, and it brought down the house on Tuesday at the UN Climate Summit in New York.
This 4-minute video is a must-see. Oh, and you might want to grab a tissue (or two).
Courtesy of Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner
Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters
President Al Gore is presenting over 800 fossil fuel divestment commitments by institutions and individuals in a speech to heads of state at the UN Climate Summit in New York today.
Among them, the Church of Sweden is announcing that it has completed its divestment process by ridding itself of its remaining holdings in gas companies. Its assets of $691,292,490 are now completely fossil free. And ,whilst the Church of Sweden was one of the first pioneering institutions to take up divestment from coal and oil, they are no longer alone.
The number of institutions pledging to divest from fossil fuels has more than doubled from 74 to 181 commitments since the beginning of the year according to new research being presented at the UN Climate Summit in New York Today. More than doubled in under a year!
Just take a minute to let that number sink in. Reflect on the rapid pace at which our grassroots movement is convincing major, mainstream institutions to heed our calls for divestment – be they faith-based institutions, universities, local governments, banks, foundations or even major fossil fuel heirs like the Rockerfeller Brothers Fund. We are picking up pace and we’re not stopping.
Staggeringly, the combined asset size of the 837 institutions and individuals committing to divest today amounts to more than $50 billion, with institutions and governments making up 98% of the total asset size.
Gunnela Hahn, Head of Responsible Investment at the Church of Sweden says,
“As a responsible investor we look upon ourselves as owners of the companies we invest in. We do not want to own, and thereby fund, the extraction of fossil fuels. Instead we want to own and fund companies that stand for solutions. Furthermore we see a financial risk in owning fossil fuel companies. Their value consists to a large extent of fossil fuel reserves that risk losing in value, since they cannot be extracted if we are to have a liveable planet.”
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu launched a call for divestment by video during a press conference in New York where the achievements of the divestment movement to date were presented. In addition, 80 theological and religious leaders have released a statement in support of fossil fuel divestment.
The divestment commitments come from a diverse range of institutions such as universities, faith organisations, foundations, medical institutions and local governments. They include the British Medical Association, the World Council of Churches, Stanford University and the Rockefeller Foundation.
“More and more investors are pulling their money out of climate-wrecking fossil fuel companies. This growing movement won’t bankrupt them financially but it can remove their social licence to operate and take away their political power,” says Tim Ratcliffe, Europe Divestment Coordinator at 350.org.
This fossil fuel divestment movement was initiated by students at a handful of US colleges in 2011. Since then it has rapidly spread exponentially to over 500 campaigns globally. And it looks like it won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
Words are rarely enough…except when they are held in front of widespread, history-changing action calling upon the world to be more accountable.
Although divestment signs hailed from the US and Canada to the UK and Germany this past weekend – some hovering over carbon bubbles, others scrawled across a cardboard box – the sentiment was the same: we are all greater than fossil fuels.
Here are some of our favorites:
Yesterday’s People’s Climate Mobilization was transformative. The climate movement took New York by storm — along with Rio, London, Jakarta, Brisbane, and thousands of other cities and towns around the world. The divestment movement was out in force too!
Of the 50,000 students from 400 campuses at yesterday’s march, many of them were fighting for divestment from fossil fuels. Of the hundreds of faith groups, state contingents, and groups carrying banners representing cities or towns, many also wore orange squares representing fossil fuel divestment.
This morning, thousands of protestors descended on Wall Street to call corporate profiteers to account. As I write this, divestment activists are risking arrest as part of the #FloodWallStreet action.
According to the Arabella report, 181 institutions and local governments and 656 individuals representing over $50 billion dollars have pledged to divest to-date. That number includes the $860 million Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which was built on the Standard Oil fortune — a sign of the times? All told, the report indicates that divestment commitments have doubled since January 2014.
Following on yesterday’s mobilization, this new divestment announcement makes one thing crystal clear: civil society knows that climate change is both an urgent crisis and a moral imperative. As one of yesterday’s huge banners proclaimed: We know who is responsible. The fossil fuel industry is driving this destruction, and we refuse to invest in it.
The Divest-Invest coalition plans to announce these new divestment commitments at tomorrow’s U.N. Climate Summit. The message to summit attendees, including 125 heads of state: the climate is changing, yes, but the world is also waking up. It’s time for world leaders to get on board.
Big mobilizations like the People’s Climate March don’t happen in a day — they’re made up of thousands of smaller groups, campaigns, and causes, plus a lot of hard organizing work back at home. That is, they happen because of you.
Both yesterday’s march and today’s $50 billion announcement are YOUR victories. Thank you.
We just sent out this email to our friends around the world. Not on our email list yet? Sign up here to receive crucial updates from the climate movement.Friends,
Today more people took to the streets calling for climate action than on any other day in history. From New York City to Rio, London to Delhi — we were everywhere.
This is what hope looks like:
On Tuesday, more world leaders will gather in New York to talk about climate action than have ever been assembled before — 125 heads of state. They’ll be gathering with the knowledge that more people than ever are demanding action, not just words, and that their political future is on the line — as well as the future of the planet.
We have a plan to bring that message to the top leadership of the UN inside Tuesday’s summit, with a hand-delivered message to top UN climate negotiators. If you stand with the hundreds of thousands of people who marched today around the world, you can tell world leaders that we mean business: act.350.org/letter/ready-for-action/
Today people from the communities where fossil fuels are dug up marched alongside people who live where they are burned. Thousands of workers, the people who stand ready to build a clean, renewable energy system, walked alongside indigenous communities that are already leading with their own climate solutions.
The ripples of the People’s Climate Mobilization are already spreading. A people’s summit outlining the path to a just transition away from fossil fuels starts today, and actions targeting corporate polluters in New York are ramping up.
With your help those ripples can spread further, and strengthen — and on Tuesday, hopefully help rock world leaders into action, where they have only offered words before.
I want you to take a moment to appreciate the importance of what happened today. We are mobilising at the scale that science and justice demand, and it is beautiful in a way we could not have imagined.
Now our work continues — and stronger than ever.
Eduardo, Hoda, Mahir, Payal, and Will for the whole 350.org team
The world is still grasping what happened yesterday on September 21, 2014 as we came together in the largest mobilization around the environment that history has ever seen.
While we find the words to express the enormity, here are some numbers and photos that are helping us along.
400,000: People (with some estimates going even higher) who came out to march in New York City.
2646: Events that were organized and orchestrated around the world.
1,500: Partner organizations who officially supported the NY march.
156: Countries who hosted a climate mobilization event.
20: Photos that we thought best demonstrated one of the great unifying themes of the day – humanity united.
Today, on September 21, 2014, we witnessed something massive across the planet.
Marching together on six continents, we proved that to change everything, we need everyone.
And that includes dogs, too.
In the coming days, we are going to reflect, celebrate, and take action. News is exploding everywhere about the march and we know the road ahead is full of tireless effort.
But tonight, we encourage you all to soak it in and enjoy it. And to help you appreciate the breadth, diversity, and fun of the People’s Climate March, we are providing you with the “Best In Show” of today’s events.
So, without further ado…
“The Don’t Deny It” Dog
The “Solar Good, Fossil Fuels Bad” Dog
The “Sit, Stay, Divest” Dogs
The “Future is Just Over there” Dog
The “Carbon Concerned” Dog
The “Observer” Dog
The “Powered by Flowers” Dog
The “Captain Planet” Dog
The “Global Warming” Dog
The “Photog” Dog
The “Parachute” Dog
The “Can We Save the Planet Now, Please?” Dog
It started — The People’s Climate Mobilisation is happening all over the world!
Just get a sense of what its looking like:
Rallies in Lisbon and Delhi, marches in Istanbul, Manila, Cape Town, Majuro and Papua New Guinea, concerts in Johannesburg — this is true people powered movement: enormous, powerful, diverse and beautiful. People from all backgrounds acting locally, mobilising their communities, shaping the future of our planet. And this is just the first day — tomorrow there’ll be even more in places like London, Rio, Melbourne and Jakarta.
Now it’s time to show these stunning organising images to world leaders — literally. We are collecting photos and videos from actions all over the world, and we will display them on huge screens in New York City so heads of state coming to the city for the climate summit wont miss them.
Please share your images with us — let’s show what Action, Not Words looks like!
- Submit your photos and videos: send them to us following the instructions here. We’ll make sure we’ll display them on screens during the People’s Climate March in New York. We’ll also feature some of them on People’s Climate website.
- Share on social media: You can also share images on social media using the hashtag #PeoplesClimate. We will be tracking and featuring these posts on the People’s Climate Mobilisation website and at the march in New York City — and re-sharing on social media too!
All of us, everywhere, together, demanding Actions, Not Words on climate — and in pictures. There’s no way heads of state will miss that.
Eduardo, Hoda, Mahir, Payal, and Will for the whole 350.org team
PS: If you want to join another People’s Climate Mobilisation action tomorrow (or if you could not make it today) you may still find another action nearby — search for another event here.
Most of us have never met in person. For months, we’ve seen each other’s names on emails and petitions; we’ve made plans and spoken on the phone.
But this weekend, all of that changes.
Right now, on this Saturday morning, you might be reading this post from one of the 500 buses driving from Minnesota, Colorado, or Massachusetts. Or you are on your way to the hundreds of side events happening this weekend in NYC, such as the Student Convergence or the Community Divestment Meet-up, both happening now. But on September 21, 2014 at the People’s Climate March, everyone will be together to meet, to march, to change the course of our future.
Where will divestment be?
Tthis is the most diverse climate march in history. The motto, “to change everything we need everyone,” aims to unite us all in this fight - indigenous peoples, women, elders, student and youth, musicians, beekeepers, veterans, parents, community leaders, and more. Over 1,500 partner organizations are coming together in a march that truly belongs to us all, so how does divestment fit in? As people march with their communities and schools, their tribes and faith groups, divestment might not clearly stand out from the crowd.
But that’s because divestment is present in nearly every block of the march, overlapping with issues from across the climate change movement.
In the “We Can Build the Future” contingent, there will be wide banners held by students pronouncing “Youth Choose Climate Justice.” Standing behind these banners march student divestment groups from Yale, Bowdin, Swathmore, the UC schools, and American University, among many many others. “In the We Have Solutions” section of the march, the NYC and DC Fossil Free campaigns will carry large checks calling on their state comptrollers for pension fund divestment. In the fourth section of the march, “We Know Who Is Responsible,” the NY state divestment group will march next to the fracking group, both fighting for a shift away from fossil fuels. In section five, “The Debate is Over,” faith groups from across the religious spectrum who have called on their congregations to divest will march united. And in the final wave of the march, “To Change Everything We Need Everyone,” community, city, and state divestment groups will rally together for divesting their pension funds. Some of these groups number in the hundreds, such as 350MA who is sending over 30 buses of people; other groups will be a few representatives for their friends and family who are supporting the movement from far away in Hawaii, Alaska, Minnesota, or even New Zealand.
There won’t be one divestment section, and if you look at the march plan below, you won’t see any mention of Fossil Free. But that’s because in this world of currencies and climate change, divestment is present in any and every group. So march with the beekeepers and the musicians, the pastors and the monks, march with the students and the fracking coalition, march wherever you plan to march.
And know that everywhere you are marching, divestment marches with you.
For more details and to RSVP for the People’s Climate March, visit here.
For the first two weeks of September, a flotilla of handmade paper canoes journeyed the improbable waters of the Hudson River from Troy to Manhattan, weaving stories of resistance and resilience on a voyage to the People’s Climate March. The flotilla’s journey wove together many distinct stories of local environmental threats in the context of a common and looming global crisis. Our paper canoes sit low in the water – you feel each wave like a new land rising beneath you, pulling you up and into some improbable future.
We are in the untold times. Some of our species has managed to rocket the planet out of the geologic age we were born into, and to create our own: It is time to create new mythologies for the Anthropocene. For the first two weeks of September, a flotilla of handmade paper canoes journeyed the improbable waters of the Hudson River from Troy to Manhattan, weaving stories of resistance and resilience on a voyage to the People’s Climate March. The flotilla’s journey wove together many distinct stories of local environmental threats in the context of a common and looming global crisis.
As a generation with the mixed fortunes of being alive in an age with both cheap weekend flight packages and rising sea levels, we have no choice but to embrace the improbability of this moment. We are in a tiny window of opportunity within which we can determine if the climate crisis will be merely a major crisis or a complete catastrophe for our planet. This is an improbable situation, and many move straight from denial to hopelessness; but it is not an impossible situation. We must inhabit that sliver of hope, and enact stories inside it.
The past two weeks I have lived this improbable paper story, voyaging the two-water waters of the Hudson River with a band of fellow dreamers. By enacting the dream – we awoke, and saw the magnitude of both the beauty and the danger that surrounds us. We saw the mist that rises over the river at sunrise and the steam that rose from Indian Point’s cooling tower; we heard the sound of a stork’s wings flapping above our heads and the warning whistle of the explosive train-units as they hurtle past intersections; we learned the surface of the water and its depths. I have returned from this journey with a new sense of scale of the danger and an understanding of the depths of what might be lost. In New York we are gambling our entire River: high stakes for another decade of living a dying American dream.
Our route began in Troy – chosen for its forgotten history of paper boat making rather than its name’s epic connotations. Quickly we realized we were inadvertently following the exact route of Global Partners’s proposed “virtual pipeline” that uses a series of trains, barges and trucks to bring crude oil from the Bakken fields of North Dakota through Albany and Newburgh, and down to the New York Metropolitan area. Currently and stealthily, this trickle of oil is flooding along the river: 40 times more crude oil is already being transported down the Hudson than it was four years ago. New proposals have been filed for new heating centers that would allow crude oil and tar sands from Alberta to be processed in Newburgh and Albany, then loaded onto barges and sent downstream. “The problem we’re facing is that with the tremendous and increasing volume of crude oil being transported throughout the Hudson Valley, a spill is inevitable” says Kate Hudson of Riverkeeper. An oil tanker has already run aground in December 2012, carrying about as much oil as spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster, and New York State has seen at least four derailments in the span of just three months. A spill anywhere along this “virtual pipeline” would mean disaster for the river, what doesn’t spill and is burned means disaster for our climate. We are being bribed into a lose-lose situation.
Our very first day of the journey, local organizers in Albany showed us where the long black trains are parked – just yards from housing apartments and playgrounds. Railway workers call these the “Bomb Trains”, because the railcars become pressurized along their journey, becoming volatile and explosive. An explosion in Albany, the like the one in Lac Megantic in 2013, could mean up to 5,000 dead. A retired MetroNorth worker told us such a disaster was only a matter of time, that these were time bombs running along an underfunded and rotting rail infrastructure – an accident waiting to happen. Every night of our journey we camped along side of the river, we were always within range. Many people live with this illegal (for the railcars aren’t rated to take pressurized contents) menace. A rupture in one railcar could set off a chain-reaction across the railcars, could spill into the river, could set the river on fire for days. Our entire watershed could become a casualty to Global Partners’ bottom line.
I shudder to think of a spill: crude oil sinking to where the massive sturgeon feed on the bottom of the river, or the lighter Bakken Crude floating to the top with the herons and lilies bathe in moonlight, and where we swam. In minutes, a spill could erase the decades of devotion that is returning health to the Hudson – a sticky layer of flames pushed to and fro by the river’s two-way tides, the river boiling under a blanket of death. This could happen at any moment. Why do we play this game if the stakes are so high? 250,000 people’s drinking water comes from the Hudson – water is a right, not a privilege; it is the ecological ground for all life, not an unregulated highway for corporate profits. Each day of our journey I fell deeper in love with the beauty of this river-that-flows-both-ways; to risk it seems unbearable.
At night the Aphrodite oil barge, like some ominous pendulum, with 9.6 million barrels of crude in her belly, swings up and down the river at regular intervals, just part of the 25 million gallons of oil that is already making its way down the Hudson River each week. Its name – “Aphrodite”: goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation – scared us in its irony, just as the names of the proposed fracked gas pipelines that cross the Hudson: Algonquin, Iroquois, Pilgrim. The imperialism of greed threatens to reclaim even our past.
Towards the end of the journey, we caught an evening glimpse of Manhattan, its lights shone in the distance like a cubist landscape even from well before the Tappan Zee Bridge; for three days we quietly approached it – the buildings growing slowly in scale until they towered over our small boats. Early on, our journey had adopted the motto: “We All Live Downstream”,acknowledging that all of our waters are connected – they circulate, infiltrate, rain, freeze and flow throughout the ages. What we do to the water, we do to ourselves. Our arrival in Manhattan localized this adage – here we saw not only a city perched on the end of a river, but also a city at the end of a massive and hidden infrastructure. What had been invisible was suddenly all around us. The grandiose immortality of this “city that never sleeps” requires a revising when you have seen the risks required to keep it lit-up and zooming down the avenues. It no longer seems like some autonomous beast, rather an aging boiler that requires constant fueling; a city that has enslaved us to its own designed addictions. Inside the glass buildings, there are businessmen taking grave gambles with things that do not belong to them, raking in rewards but taking none of the risk. They move money to stoke the fires to keep this city from sleeping, but I remember what Sandy did to this city-that-never-sleeps when it opened New York’s skies to the stars again.
On our last day, we paddled quietly down the West Side of the island of Manhattan, watching trees grow into skyscrapers and back down again to humbler brick buildings. As we passed you could see up the streets far into the heart of the city, at 42nd street the neon glow of Times Square blared out even along the water. I wondered what is burned to make the electricity to keep those vital advertisements illuminated. The current whisked us quickly by.
The skyscrapers seem minuscule when you know the size of this ribbon of river that flows the length of our two week journey. We had begun to measure distances in days, and this city is only a day to paddle around. From the water, New York City doesn’t seem so invincible. It hangs low, inviting a brave wave to take a shortcut from the East River across to the brackish Hudson. I had seen the whole downtown darkened by such waters only two years ago – despite the great height of our buildings we will not be able to escape into the sky.
The tasks our generations currently face should not be underestimated, as the organizers of the People’s Climate March state - to change everything it takes everyone. We know this world is changing – chemically, politically, economically, socially, physically – how we react to those changes is the only thing we still control.
If you pay close attention on a tidal river, there are moments when you can feel the sea change beneath you. A split second when the river hovers, unmoving, neither ebbing nor flowing. Your boat lingers in a moment, but only for a moment. By the next time your paddle hits the water everything is in motion again, slowly at first, but surely. We are all in this pivotal moment as a global community. Whether we decide to push on against the current that is flowing increasingly against us, or we change course and let the wise currents pull us easily into the future that wants to be.
Take Action! You are part of this story:
Join us on Monday September 22nd for #FloodWallStreet, a direct action aimed at the economic causes of the ecological crisis.
And/Or tell our government what you think about crude oil transport on the Hudson here.
We only have until September 30th to submit public comments. If we get enough support on this, we could stop this project before it gets out of control.
For more on the SeaChange Voyage visit www.seachange2014.tumblr.com
A number of authors and other public figures from across Canada are supporting the Peoples Climate March this weekend in New York City, check out their statements below. These endorsements were gathered by Toronto350, who are organizing hundreds of people from Toronto to come to the Peoples Climate March in New York, find out more about Toronto350.
“Governments must now do what many cities and towns have been doing on their own: face up to the reality of chemistry and physics. Germany and China are moving. Those who don’t join them risk being left behind with an outdated economic model.” Margaret Atwood
“I am marching on Sunday because climate change is the most pressing global issue of our time. Full stop.” John Vaillant, author of The Golden Spruce and The Tiger
“This is the weekend the world stands up and demands climate action before it’s too late. Be part of history. Get your butt to the nearest march on Sunday! There’s one happening in nearly every corner of the globe, including Toronto!” Adria Vasil @ecoholicnation
“My Prime Minister won’t be there but I will be! Canadians care and we are organizing for a safe climate!” Tzeporah Berman @Tzeporah
“Our generations’ actions define the future of our planet and humanity. Climate change demands bold leadership of the world’s decision makers and for all of us to ensure that happens.” Nicole Rycroft, founder and executive director of Canopy
“As stewards of this earth, our home, our responsibility is to give our children a world that is healthier than the world we inherited. The Peoples’ Climate March on September 21st demonstrates our commitment to this stewardship.” Gail Bowen, author of the Joanne Kilbourn murder mysteries
“World leaders who don’t recognize climate change as the global priority fail to understand their role as leaders.” Valerie Langer, Director of BC Forest Campaigns, ForestEthics Solutions
“We will be marching on Sunday in Montreal with our families and community, in solidarity with people globally, as part of an ongoing force on the issue of climate change. We believe we are at a turning point, where climate awareness is mobilizing social and environmental movements internationally that forge a link towards new ways of being and living together. Our book, Girl Positive, explores the political and cultural issues facing girls today. Our work uncovers how the barriers girls face are also interconnected with the environment —from resource extraction to toxins found in beauty products, to overarching and outdated social, economic and political attitudes. Women and girls are both on the front lines of the environmental fall out, and on the front lines of the avant-garde, innovating and leading pivotal change. We find hope and inspiration in this leadership, as in Indigenous, racialised and marginalised voices, and grassroots innovation. We all have a role to play in turning the tides of environmental peace and justice.” Tatiana Fraser & Caia Hagel, authors of the forthcoming book Girl Positive
“The UN Climate Summit is crucial and desperately overdue. Wherever you find yourself this Sunday, march; it’s all the same planet, and it’s the only one we’ve got.” Alissa York, author of Fauna and Effigy
“If you’re a fan of eating, breathing and non-toxic sunlight—be there.” Mark Leiren-Young, author of The Green Chain and Free Magic Secrets Revealed
“If the scientists are to be believed, if the international panels of the world’s best thinkers—climatologists, biologists, meteorologists, physicists, chemists, statisticians–have got it even half right, we have a serious problem on our hands. Climate change is poised to affect every aspect of life on planet earth. We cannot hope to mitigate this planetary disaster without showing those in power that this issue is gravely important to us and that we care. Please support the UN Climate Summit, and consider joining the People’s Climate March, the largest climate mobilization in history.” Alexandra Shimo, co-author of Up Ghost River and author of The Environment Equation
“Not all marches make or change history, but some do. So many crises have been consuming world leaders’ attention over the past few months (okay, decades) that it’s easy to forget our planetary ecosystems are on a slow boil. Kudos to all who are mustering the resources to go to New York this weekend…please howl for those of us who are with you in spirit.” Arno Kopecky, author of The Oil Man and the Sea
“Communal, diverse, heartful, and spirited actions like The People’s Climate March and the UN Climate Summit are groundswell mobilizers against a big money and large corporation economy which is rampantly and wantonly consuming the earth’s very integrity—its so-called “resources.” It is necessary that the world’s leaders are fully awakened to the realization that the stake in climate issues is not an economic one. Rather the true stake is precisely this: the humanity of our species.” Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, author of All the Broken Things
“All the great writing in the world, from Beowulf to Shakespeare, Austen, Borges, Atwood and beyond ceases to matter on a dead planet. The UN Climate Summit represents a chance to create real change in order to preserve what we have for future generations. I support the march.” Aislinn Hunter, author of The World Before Us
“ Please think about the People’s #climatemarch in NY Sunday, Sept 21st, ahead of UN Climate Summit. Take the kids.” Alix Hawley @alixhawley, novelist, short-story writer and author of the upcoming novel All True Not a Lie In It
In the next 5 days tens of thousands of people around the world will be rallying for climate action from our world leaders. For those of us who work on fracking, we’re especially excited to see how folks are starting to connect the dots between extreme extraction and climate change.
In California, we’re watching folks here battle a historic drought that’s been inextricably linked to climate change. While citizens are being asked to curb their water use with shorter showers and not to water their lawn, we’re also watching fracking for oil get the green light. While this is all happening people like Governor Brown get to ride his own coattails from 20 years ago as a climate champion despite his current actions to give the go ahead to expand extraction.
We know that fracking for gas and oil only makes climate change worse. We know that we’re choosing to frack because we’ve gotten to the end of the line. Outside of just the climate impacts of fracking, we’re watching communities get sick, lose fresh water, and scramble to get answers from those they elected into power.
That’s why those of us who work to fight fracking are using the People’s Climate March as a rallying space for us to make sure our leaders hear stories from communities. We want to make sure on the day after the march, people know that climate leaders don’t frack.
There are events all week leading up to the big rally on September 21st that will give you an opportunity to hear from different folks from all around the world about how fracking has impacted them.
We’re going to be supporting our New York friends on Thursday afternoon and bird dogging the Governor of NY pushing him to keep the moratorium on fracking. More information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/734669846604843/
On Thursday September 18th, we’ll be hosting a panel at the MayDay Arts Space in Brooklyn at 7pm where impacted community members from all over the world will be sharing stories of what fracking looks like on the ground. https://www.facebook.com/events/293948137456267/
On the day before the rally, Saturday September 20th, there are multiple events that will be focused on fracking. Some of our favorites so far are a meet up of folks who’ll be marching in the Fracking Bloc!
We’ll be meeting at Tompkins Square at 3:30pm at the Gaia Tree, which is at the center of the square. The closest address is: 500 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009. For more information you can reach out to email@example.com
There’s also a great panel right after the meet up at the New School hosted by our friends at Idle No More and Frack Action at 5pm. #FRACK OFF: Indigenous Women Leading Media Campaigns to Defend our Climate https://www.facebook.com/events/1465144983761870/
We also want to encourage you to come march with the fracking bloc at the People’s Climate March! We will be lining up between 80th to 81st St with our allies who fight Tar Sands and Mountaintop Removal. Make sure you get to the rally point early, the NYPD may need to close off certain meet up spots after 11am to make sure the march gets moving on time.
Looking forward to seeing all of you in the streets on the 21st!
At a meeting of the full Council on July 14, 2014, a motion proposed by Green Party Councillor Craig Simmons was passed, committing the council to make no direct investments in the fossil fuel industry for moral reasons.
Thanks to hard work from the inspiring local campaign group ‘Fossil Free Oxfordshire’ and dedicated councillors, the motion received near unanimous support and is a cause for celebration.
The group publicly announces the success this week as part of the People’s Climate Mobilisation, the largest mobilisation on climate action ever, ahead of the UN Climate Summit in New York. Hundreds of thousands of people will be demonstrating over the weekend, with more than 2,000 events registered in 150 countries.
Councillor Ruthi Brandt who seconded the divestment motion says, “We are proud that Oxford is the first local authority in the country to highlight the need to stop investing in fossil fuels.This is an industry that should be winding down rather than investing in more and more extreme forms of fossil fuel extraction.”
Al Chisholm, a driving force behind the Fossil Free Oxfordshire campaign says, “We are delighted that the council has publicly recognised that the fossil fuel industry’s business model and activities are harmful and inconsistent with the Council’s mission and values. This move denies the industry the economic and moral support of another public institution.”
Fossil Free Oxfordshire celebrated the move but stressed that the campaign group was committed to going further; todays announcement ‘strengthening their resolve’ to take on the City Councils indirect investment policy, and Oxfordshire County Council, whose pension fund has £42m invested in fossil fuels.
Oxford has been a real hub of divestment activity in the UK, with powerful campaigns across the University and Church community as well. A fossil fuel divestment motion will be taken to the Oxford Diocese in November, increasing pressure on the Church of England to make a firm commitment as churches here and abroad reconsider their relationship with this damaging industry.
Following intense pressure from the Oxford University Fossil Free campaign – including supportive motions from over 50% of college Common Rooms and a letter signed by 64 academics – the Socially-Responsible Investment Review Committee (SRIRC) of the University will also make its first presentation on fossil fuel divestment in November.
Although by no means the end in Oxford, this is a positive step for both the UK and global movement. Already 29 cities, 13 universities and a number of faith groups, foundations and other organisations around the world have committed to end investments in the fossil fuel industry. In the UK organisations such as the Quakers and the British Medical Association are amongst that number, and we hope today’s announcement may spark a ripple of activity in councils across the country.
If you’re interested in encouraging your council to divest from fossil fuels, please do get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org
On September 22nd, I’m skipping school.
At 12:00pm on any normal Monday, I’d be sitting in “The History of Energy” at my small liberal arts school in midcoast Maine, learning about the fossil fuel extraction that got us here and where we’re headed next. The day after the People’s Climate March, however, I’m trading the classroom to confront the board room to stand with the #FloodWallStreet call to action, because the history of energy isn’t in a textbook – It’s on Wall Street.
In my hometown of Deer Park, Texas – just outside of Houston – I’ve seen firsthand how our economic system is tied to the environmental injustice of the fossil fuel industry. Coming from a community financially dependent on companies like Shell, Exxon Mobil, and Dow Chemical, I joined Bowdoin’s divestment campaign this past year because I didn’t want my college investing in and profiting from an industry that polluted the air of my friends and loved ones. I’ve realized, however, that the real battle isn’t against the refineries in Houston, nor against the people who work there to feed their families. The heart of the movement is about changing the system that allows such practices to continue, and by bolstering the extractive economy of fossil fuel companies, Wall Street has entrenched itself in the climate crisis.
It’s hard to dispute the interconnectedness of the fossil fuel industry and Wall Street. The big banks are in bed with the carbon industry, thus financing new extraction projects and collaborating on changing the rules and regulations through lobbying groups like ALEC. But Wall Street isn’t only in bed with the industry – Wall Street firms and fossil fuel companies have entered our institutions of higher education. From big bank big-wigs on university boards of trustees, to the high finance resumes of our college presidents, the connection to our school systems is all too clear. The people in our board rooms are in those offices, and it’s time we address them front and center.
Campaigns across the country have fought to meet with their board of trustees, but this time, we’re not requesting a meeting. We’re flooding Wall Street to say that we believe a “good economy” invests in industries that value the people who sustain it; to call for real investments in a just future for all; and to show our schools, our board members, and the big banks that if investing in an extractive economy is business as usual, business hours are over. We won’t stand any longer for an industry that’s destroying our environment and our lives. It’s time we stand up for our futures by sitting in on Wall Street.
In our class last Wednesday, my professor said that climate change in the History of Energy was “the elephant in the room.” We’re never going to address the topic directly, but climate change affects all aspects of our energy system – where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. While we can’t change the history of energy, my hope for next Monday is to take its future into our own hands. I may be missing class for this, but I think my professor will understand.
Story by Allyson Gross, student at Bowdin College.
Photo by Miles Goodrich.
*Participation in this event is being led by students of the divestment movement.
To attend: Student Divestment Bloc at Flood Wall Street
When: Monday, September 22, 8:30 AM
Where: SE corner of Battery Park, NYC
Why: Student divestment activists will take part in the Flood Wall Street action targeting Wall Street profiteers’ influence on campus and impact on our climate.https://www.dropbox.com/s/9gw5rxgoo4289tf/Flood%20Wall%20Street.mp4?dl=0