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We're mobilizing a global movement to stop dangerous climate change. Join us at 350.org, and take action at an event near you on the International Day of Climate Action, 24 October, 2009.
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A typical president’s daughter probably wouldn’t blockade the world’s biggest coal port, but Milañ Loeak did

Fri, 2014-10-31 23:37

Pacific Climate Warriors did something amazing earlier this month. Using traditional canoes, they paddled out to block the path of coal ships headed toward the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle, Australia. Milañ Loeak, daughter of the president of the Marshall Islands, was among the protestors. Watch her speak out about the blockade and the collective faith and strength of the Pacific Warriors.


Courtesy of Record InFocus

Climate Costumes, from the Good to the Bad to the Koch Brothers

Fri, 2014-10-31 20:11

A joint project of Cat Jaffee and Thelma Young

What do trick-or-treaters and climate activists have in common?

They both aim to organize door to door from the ground up, they enjoy telling the story of a cause or concept through artistic expression, and they look GREAT in orange.

In fact, one of the little secrets of Halloween is that it is actually the unsung holiday of the climate change activist in all of us. Far too often, the hoards of culturally insensitive sexy sports mascots dressed as kitty nurses cloud our vision of the the great potential of Halloween – the creative costumes, the witty slogans, the marching, the chanting, and the chance to bring the issues we care about humorously out onto the streets.

So we’re hear to say “Fear no more!” We have put together THE OFFICIAL CLIMATE CONSCIOUS COSTUME GUIDE to help steer your imagination towards a costume that brings out the true orange toting climate conscious organizer in you.

 

THE GOOD

In the climate movement, we’re all the heroes we’ve been waiting for. But there are a few with more excellent accessories than others. Here are the good, the great, and the GROOT of climate change warriors.

THE PRINCESSES

Most of the evidence gives us reason to believe that a tree’s best fighting chance at surviving on any planet rests in the hands of a princess with a spear. Forest saving princesses of note include, Neytiri the princess in Avatar, San from Princess Mononoke, and Crysta from Fern Gully. These costumes vary in difficulty and the use of face paint, but they share the same spirit “we must protect the forest.”

http://www.designer4help.com/designer.asp

LORAX

If you don’t feel up for fashioning a wolf cape from white faux fur, or donning a red tankini that would make the 90’s proud, the Lorax costume is a low hanging fruit that still delivers on the global need for speaking on behalf of the trees. To be a good Lorax, wear your bright orange extra large “Go Fossil Free” shirt from the People’s Climate March like a full body suit, purchase some orange faux fur to cut in the shape of a bushy mustache, and voila, you have a full costume to fit your mantra to save the trees.

http://pixgood.com/the-lorax-costume.html

 

GROOT

We would be remiss if we didn’t include a tree or two who are out to save planets. Though the character Groot from Guardian’s of the Galaxy doesn’t have much to say, he speaks through his actions as the conscionable, self regenerating mutant tree set on saving lives. If you head the I-want-to-paper-mache-an-entire-body-shaped-tree route, this costume can be fairly labor intensive. Try instead taping some branches to a recycled cardboard box, insert body in box, and yell “I AM GROOT!” while saving the planet. You won’t regret it.

http://www.bustle.com/articles/37602-our-baby-groot-halloween-costume-diy-instructions-will-make-you-the-liveliest-part-of-your-party

 

SOLAR PANEL

Ready to lead by example? The Solar Panel costume is an easy last minute costume to jump on board the climate activist costume flotilla. All you need is recycled cardboard and foam, paint, or reflective plastic. For extra points, team up with a sun costume to complete your ensemble.

ACGC-Costume-Contest-Fall-Summit-300x200

FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT

Imagine this – you’re dressed as a dinosaur, aka, a fossil. But you’re wearing a vest and spending the whole evening taking it off. If that isn’t sexy, I don’t know what is. A de-robing fossil, or fossil fuel divestment, is the costume for the savvy organizer ready to put the pun in fun.

http://seasonalholidayguide.com/dog-dinosaur-costume-for-halloween/

 

THE AVENGERS – DIVESTED

Mark Ruffalo, ie, THE HULK is out to make crime fighting green…SUPER GREEN, by calling on all of the avenger heroes to divest. For this costume, put on your favorite avenger outfit, and add a “go fossil free” orange patch to make yourself a true hero for the planet.

A SUNKEN STATUE OF LIBERTY

Looking for a costume that people will “get” right away? Dig up that old statue of liberty costume you have laying around from that high school presentation on democracy and strap on some scuba gear. A life jacket will also do.

//vtdigger.org/vtdNewsMachine/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/NYCClimateMarchLiberty.jpg

 

THE BAD

There are quite a few climate villains. And far too often, they look like big corporations, banks, and myopic heads of state. But hey, it’s Halloween, people want to get scared, and nothing is more terrifying than neglecting our planet. So here is the bad, the bubble, and two evil brothers for your inspiration.

CARBON BUBBLE

It’s six pm, you’ve got to head to Critical Mass, and all you’ve got is a black trash bag, tape, and a bunch of old newspapers? Ah! Worries be gone! Secure two holes for your head and waist in the trash-bag and then fill that bag with crumpled newspapers to create an orb or a bubble, if you will. For a final touch, label your bag with “CARBON” in tape, and then you’re good to go! Jump on that cruiser and encourage society to help pop the carbon bubble.

(But watch out for the NYPD)

1411424825463_wps_19_Police_destroy_demonstrat

KEYSTONE PIPELINE

This costume is great for “the bro” who just isn’t really into Halloween, but truly thrilled by the prospect of walking into people’s homes and taking what he wants. For this statement, dress up as a jerk (preferably wearing a cylinder shaped from the tears of baby animals) and then march around on people’s land digging erratically and ignoring everyone.

2008-10-27-zombie2

THE GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH

You’ve heard of the cabbage patch kids, but what about the great Pacific garbage patch kids? For this, attach a bunch of garbage to that blue jumpsuit you keep lying around the house and wander aimlessly, amassing garbage throughout the night to stick to your body.

patch

THE KOCH BROTHERS AND THEIR WEB OF ORGANIZATIONS

Do you have a brother who is just about as evil as you are? How about a web of organizations that you will lock into your network of money, deception, and manipulation? This is a wonderful group costume. Dress as two gummy grumpy old men, gather all of your friends, and connect yourself to them through a web of strings laden with currency and lies. Yes, you all will be stuck together, until someone takes the courage to stand up and break off from the Koch brothers, an event that the entire Halloween pantheon would be better off for bearing witness to.

Los Angeles Times

Is there one we’ve missed? Tell us! Tweet us your favorite climate conscious costumes using the hashtag #climatecostume. Happy Halloween!

10 conclusões importantes retiradas dos Relatórios do IPCC

Fri, 2014-10-31 10:04

A última parte do Quinto Relatório de Avaliação (AR5) do Painel Intergovernamental sobre Mudanças Climáticas (IPCC) da ONU tem seu lançamento previsto para o dia 02 de novembro. O Relatório de Síntese serve como uma pedra angular com o objetivo de filtrar, sintetizar e integrar as conclusões encontradas a partir das contribuições dos grupos de trabalho divulgadas ao longo deste último ano.

Ao longo do ano passado, os relatórios dos três Grupos de Trabalho abordaram os dados científicos sobre os aspectos físicos das mudanças climáticas (Grupo de Trabalho 1), a vulnerabilidade aos impactos climáticos e adaptação a eles (Grupo de Trabalho 2), e as estratégias de mitigação para lidar com as alterações climáticas (Grupo de Trabalho 3).

Em sua essência, através destes relatórios o IPCC mostrou que:

  • A mudança climática está aqui, foi provocada pelo homem e já está tendo impactos perigosos em todos os continentes e no oceano;
  • O aquecimento global ainda pode ser mantido abaixo do limite acordado politicamente, de 2 graus Celsius acima dos níveis pré-industriais;
  • Garantir um futuro climático seguro é possível e economicamente viável, se medidas imediatas forem tomadas.

A seguir, uma visão mais detalhada das dez conclusões mais importantes retiradas destes três relatórios:

1. As mudanças climáticas são causadas primariamente por seres humanos. O Grupo de Trabalho 1 descobriu, com 95% de confiança, que os seres humanos têm causado a maior parte do aquecimento observado desde 1951.

ipcc1

2. As mudanças climáticas estão em aceleração. Muitos indicadores das mudanças climáticas estão acelerando: o derretimento das camadas de gelo, o derretimento glacial e a elevação do nível do mar aceleraram mais rápido do que o previsto anteriormente.

Ipcc2

3. As mudanças climáticas estão afetando eventos meteorológicos extremos. Aumentos na frequência e na intensidade de alguns tipos de eventos meteorológicos extremos têm sido detectados atualmente, e projeta-se que outros tipos terão aumentos no futuro.

Ipcc3

4. Ninguém vai ficar imune aos impactos das mudanças climáticas. Em todos os lugares, as pessoas estão vulneráveis a condições climáticas e eventos meteorológicos extremos, enquanto a adaptação e a preparação para eles continuam baixas, o que pode resultar em consequências graves à medida que os impactos aumentarem.

Ipcc4

5. A mudança climática já está prejudicando a produção agrícola, e isso vai piorar.

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6. Mais demora = metas de temperatura serão excedidas. Se nenhuma ação for tomada, a meta de 2º C acordada pelos líderes mundiais em breve estará fora de nosso alcance. Se as emissões de gases do efeito estufa continuarem aumentando no ritmo atual, projeta-se uma temperatura global média entre 2.6 e 4.8º C mais alta até o final do século.

ipcc6

7. A solução é investir em fontes renováveis na transição para uma economia de baixo consumo de carbono. A energia renovável terá de triplicar ou quadruplicar até 2050 para que as metas de temperatura sejam alcançadas. Enquanto isso, o dióxido de carbono gerado por combustíveis fósseis e pela indústria foi responsável por cerca de ¾ da poluição por gases do efeito estufa desde 1970.

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8. Limitar o aquecimento a 2º C é prático e possível de ser alcançado. O custo da energia renovável está caindo, e as taxas de desmatamento diminuíram.

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9. O crescimento econômico será MAIOR se investirmos em energia limpa, e MENOR se nos recusarmos a aumentar os investimentos em energia limpa. O IPCC é claro ao dizer que se seguirmos no caminho convencional dos combustíveis fósseis, os impactos serão catastróficos. Para atingir as metas, os cenários mostram que é necessário um declínio de 30 bilhões de dólares por ano nos investimentos em combustíveis fósseis, um aumento de 147 bilhões de dólares por ano nos investimentos em energia com baixo teor de carbono, e um aumento de 100 bilhões de dólares por ano nos investimentos em eficiência energética. Os investimentos na infraestrutura permanente para combustíveis fósseis serão difíceis e dispendiosos de mudar.

RNS-FOSSIL-FUELS

10. Estamos em uma encruzilhada crucial: podemos ir para o caminho da energia limpa, em que o crescimento econômico é forte, ou continuar no caminho da dependência de combustíveis fósseis, onde o crescimento econômico está ameaçado pelas mudanças climáticas.

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Para análises adicionais: Orientação Climate Nexus do IPCC

The World Is Not As Oil Hungry As They Thought

Thu, 2014-10-30 22:05

By Fossil Free Staff Jay Carmona, Community Divestment Campaign Manager & Cat Jaffee, Digital Divestment Campaigner

As oil prices drop, spectators are ready to jump on the tails of fossil fuel divestment advocates and say, “see…?”

See what?

The recent drop that we are seeing on the price of oil shows that stranded assets are a real financial risk.

Billions of dollars have been poured into energy projects that require long-term oil prices over $80 a barrel to be profitable–this is especially true for expensive Tar Sands and offshore arctic projects. It is increasingly likely these projects will lose a good deal of money, even without a carbon tax. That scares off investors from funding future oil exploration. So, we can say that the volatility of fossil fuel investment shows the financial benefits of divesting.

There is, perhaps, a drawback of low oil prices for divestment, and that is that it can make consumers complacent about transitioning away from fossil fuels. The payback on electric cars, energy-efficient appliances, or installing rooftop solar may not be immediately as enticing for consumers when oil prices are low. This is precisely where leadership and organizing come in: it’s extremely important now to push for investment in solutions, especially community-based solutions, to the climate crisis. Because we can’t wait for the market to transition from fossil fuels by itself, this is where big institutional investors, say, Harvard or the State of California or the State of Vermont can be leaders right now in this transition from fossil fuels and into climate solutions.

Ultimately, low oil prices are just as much about low demand as they are about low supply. This may come as a shock, but the conventional wisdom that assumes that the world has an unquenchable thirst for oil is actually incorrect (sorry Exxon!). The market is oversupplied with oil because demand is less than oil companies expected (hey, good news!). Believe it or not, the industrial world is becoming cleaner and more efficient; China is slowing down the pace of heavy infrastructure projects that gobbled up heaps of oil and the economy is responding.

This theme may repeat itself many times in the coming years, and when it does, remember two things: the world economy isn’t as thirsty for oil as oil companies had hoped, and large institutional divestment and reinvestment is needed to spur an ongoing transition away from fossil fuels at the scale and pace required to hit global environmental benchmarks.

Here are a list of articles for additional references:

 

 

This is what happened when frontline communities tried to make their voices heard at the UN Climate Summit

Thu, 2014-10-30 21:29

When frontline communities tried make their voices heard to leaders assembled at the UN climate meeting, it didn’t quite go how they wanted. They’d gathered for the People’s Climate Justice Summit, right across the street from where global corporate and government leaders met to discuss the future of our planet. Watch the video below to see what happened next.


Thanks to our friends at Our Power!

Denmark pledges to quit coal by 2025

Thu, 2014-10-30 16:13

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meets in Copenhagen to approve its latest report, which will provide the strongest assessment to date of the dangers to life and the planet of burning fossil fuels, Denmark has pledged to examine how it can stop using coal as an energy supply by 2025.

This is five years ahead of previous targets and, as Danish Climate and Energy minister Rasmus Helveg Petersen, said,

It would benefit the climate and it would be a very, very good signal to send“.

Denmark has already set itself the target of meeting 100 per cent of its energy needs with renewables by 2050. Today 30 per cent of the country’s energy supply comes from wind energy and 20 per cent from coal.

Denmark wants wind energy to make up 50 per cent of its overall power supply by 2020. This summer the government’s energy agency declared that onshore wind is now the cheapest form of new electricity generation in Denmark, significantly undercutting coal power.

The coal industry’s future is, and must be, one of decline. The global market price for coal has already collapsed under oversupply. Dark clouds also loom over any significant expansion of the industry as renewables become cheaper and stronger and international action is taken to reduce carbon pollution.

In a report released yesterday, BankTrack showed that major world banks have lent $500bn in support to the coal industry since 2005.   These vast sums of finance illogically being handed to it are keeping it on life support and holding the world back from moving on to cleaner, sustainable technologies.

While coal played a significant role in global development, the era of coal is over. According to the European Commission, wind is already cheaper than coal when external factors such as health impacts are accounted for, and it will only get cheaper, while coal is expected to increase in cost.

Denmark is leading the way with its renewable commitments and pledge to quit coal completely by 2025. Let us hope others see the writing on the wall and follow suit at next year’s COP21 meeting in Paris.

 

10 important findings from the IPCC Reports

Thu, 2014-10-30 12:24

The final instalment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) is due for release on November 2. The Synthesis Report serves as the capstone aiming to distill, synthesise and integrate the findings of the working group contributions released over this past year.

The reports of the three Working Groups over the past year covered the physical science of climate change (Working Group 1), vulnerability to climate impacts and adaptation (Working Group 2), and mitigation strategies to tackle climate change (Working Group 3).

Essentially through these reports the IPCC has shown that:

  • Climate change is here, man-made and already having dangerous impacts across all continents and the ocean;
  • Global warming can still be kept below the politically agreed limit of 2 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels;
  • Securing a safe climate future is possible and economically viable if immediate action taken.
    .

Below is a more detailed overview of the 10 most important findings from these three reports:

1. Climate change is primarily caused by humans. Working Group I found with 95% certainty that humans have caused most of the observed warming since 1951

2. Climate change in acceleration. Many indicators of climate change are accelerating: Ice sheet melt, glacial melt, and sea level rise have all accelerated faster than previously predicted. 

3. Climate change is impacting extreme weather. Increases in the frequency and intensity of some types of extreme weather have been detected today, and other types are projected to increase in the future.

4. Nobody is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change. People everywhere are vulnerable to extreme climate and weather events as adaptation and preparation remains low, which could result in severe consequences as impacts rise.

5. Climate change is already harming agricultural yields, and this will worsen.

6. Further delay = temperature targets to be exceeded.  2ºC target agreed upon by world leaders will soon be out of reach if no further action is taken.  If greenhouse gas emissions continue rising at current rates, average projected global temperature 2.6-4.8ºC warmer by the end of the century. 

7. Solution is renewables in transitioning to a low-carbon economy. Renewable energy will need to triple or quadruple by 2050 to meet temperature targets. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and industry has accounted for about ¾ of greenhouse gas pollution since 1970.

8. Restricting warming to 2ºC is practical and affordable. The cost of renewable energy is falling and deforestation rates have declined.

9. Economic growth will be HIGHER if we invest in clean energy, and it will be LOWER if we decline to ramp up investments in clean energy. The IPCC is clear that impacts on the conventional fossil-fuel path will be catastrophic.  To meet targets, scenarios show a $30 billion/year decline in fossil fuel investment, a $147 billion/year increase in low-carbon energy investment, and a $100 billion/year increase in energy efficiency investments. Investments in long-lived fossil fuel infrastructure will be difficult and costly to change

10. We are at a crucial cross-roads: We can go down the clean energy path on which economic growth is strong or continue in the fossil fuel dependent path where economic growth is derailed by climate change.

 

For further analysis: Climate Nexus IPCC orientation 

2 years later. 2 videos.

Wed, 2014-10-29 19:32

Two years ago, Hurricane Sandy devastated New York communities along with others on the east coast of the United States. The superstorm taught us a painful lesson about the dangers of extreme weather events for coastal cities, but it also taught us about what it takes to build a more resilient future. Watch the videos below to see how some New York communities are recovering.

Retreat from the Water’s Edge, via The New Yorker

Rebuilding After Sandy, via The New York Times

Besides managed retreat and infrastructure rebuilding programs, people impacted by the storm took to the streets for the People’s Climate March and demanded climate justice. Read more about how Sandy survivors are fighting back here.

Share image courtesy of Robert X. Fogarty. To see more inspiring images of people’s messages to the world, go to Dear World.

Sandy Survivors Fighting for Climate Justice

Wed, 2014-10-29 16:53

Two years ago Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast of the United States. I still vividly remember my house shaking from the intense wind, and I’ll never forget the weeks after as people came together to help each other with the destruction, debris and darkness.

With the People’s Climate March happening in New York City, it was a chance for people who had been impacted by the severe storm to take action and demand climate justice.

Here are just a few stories of people who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy and why they marched September 21st:

 

Community organizations like Rockaway Wildfire and the Red Hook Initiative showed up strong to the People’s Climate March — and they will stay strong.

As Rockaway Wildfire just told me: “2 years after Hurricane Sandy Rockaway Wildfire is bringing power back to the frontlines of the climate crisis. Through grassroots leadership development, fighting for local land rights and fighting for climate justice we organize to survive.”

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Watch this video and hear more from them about how they were affected by the storm.

Voices of Sandy from twelve bit media group on Vimeo.

 

For many working families in New York, “Super storm Sandy showed us that climate change is here and that if we do nothing, working families and the most vulnerable will be hardest hit.”>>

Watch Herve Neptune, a New York City Transit bus operator, tell his story about how he was impacted by Sandy and why he was joining the People’s Climate March. TWU Local

His story is clear and strong (and might make you cry and/or get angry at oil companies)

 

Myrtle Williams is a nurse with 1199 SEIU who took care of patients even after the storm came ashore and destroyed so much around her.

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“It was important to march and make my voice heard, but also to do it for those who can’t be heard…I marched for those who are sick and frail and need someone to care for them. There were so many affected in the nursing home around me and they could not go on their own. Going to the march gave me that feeling that I’m not just doing this for my community, but for a whole group of people who need assistance.”

Read more here

 

Are you a Sandy survivor who joined the People’s Climate March?

Share your own story using #PeoplesClimate.

Taller de Acción Fotográfica en Barcelona

Wed, 2014-10-29 15:24

Taller del TAF! en 9Barris

El TAF! (Taller de Acción Fotográfica) coordinado por Oriana Eliçabe, miembro del colectivo Enmedio, estará impartiendo un taller en Barcelona conjunto con 350.org.  En esta ocasión los objetivos serán realizar una acción fotográfica colectiva con una temática muy concreta: el impacto en la salud y en el entorno de la contaminación producida por la incineración de residuos en cementeras.

El TAF! es un taller de fotografía aplicada a la intervención urbana y el activismo social. Está esta ocasión está orientado principalmente a activistas ambientalistas interesados en reforzar aspectos creativos de comunicación y de acción, así como a todo aquél interesado en experimentar con la fotografía como herramienta para la acción en el espacio público.

En sus sesiones teórico-prácticas estudiamos los terrenos menos explorados de la fotografía documental, allí donde se hace inseparable del contexto que le rodea. Analizamos diferentes tipos de intervenciones fotográficas, desde intervenciones en la publicidad o en los medios de comunicación.

Si estás trabajando en esta temática o te interesa unirte a grupos que ya están en ello puedes apuntarte rellenado este formulario a partir del 1 de Octubre.

Para ver experiencias previas del TAF! has click aquí.

Fechas y horario:
14 al 16 de noviembre de 2014.
Viernes 19 a 21.30h
Fin de semana: 10.30h – 18.30h

Duración: 17 horas.
Gratis. Cupo limitado.
Inscripción: Del 1 de octubre al 3 de noviembre rellenando este formulario. El 5 de noviembre notificaremos quiénes han sido seleccionados.
LugarAteneu Popular 9Barris. C/ Portlligat 11-15. Barcelona
Requisitos: conocimientos básicos de fotografía, artes visuales o comunicación. Cámara (la que tengas). Ordenador portátil (si tienes). Asistencia completa al taller.
+ Info: 350barcelona@gmail.com
Desplazamientos Si vives fuera de Barcelona podemos ayudarte, si lo necesitas, con un 50% del total de los viajes realizados.

The 350MoCo Divestment Campaign Responds to “What You Wished You Had Known”

Tue, 2014-10-28 20:26

Community Organizer Peter Murtha has worked with the Montgomery County, MD divestment campaign since 2013, a campaign that has successfully taken off during the last year.We asked him one question:  “What had you wished you had known when you were first starting your campaign?” 

What follows in this post is Peter’s response:

I started working on the fossil fuel divestment campaign in Montgomery County in April 2013.  The idea was to have the trustees for the Montgomery County public employees’ pension fund sell off their investments in the top 200 (by carbon reserves) publicly traded companies.  The idea seemed to be a “no brainer” – the fossil fuel industry was only too happy to spend billions continuing to explore for ever more harmful sources of fossil fuels, knowing full well that their burning would ensure dangerous climate change.  So why would any decent person want to “do business” with them?  I expected to post our petition on my Facebook page and watch the signatures come streaming in – maybe it would even go “viral.”

The reality was entirely different.  Many of even my greenest friends were not ready to sign the petition. Instead of a signature, they would ask the following types of questions (and I would offer the subsequent replies).

  • Isn’t it hypocritical for you to call for divestment when you drive a car? Well no, not when the fossil fuel industry has rigged the game so that clean energy and efficient mass transit are discouraged
  • How do you expect divesting from fossil fuels to hurt the companies when they are so big and have so many people willing to buy their stock? Actually, we are not seeking to hurt their stock prices, but rather to stigmatize them so that their corrupting political influence is weakened and Congress can begin to pass real and meaningful climate legislation.
  • Wouldn’t you be better able to influence the fossil fuel companies to seek lower carbon alternatives if you didn’t sell off their stock? No, shareholder activists have had no success in getting fossil fuel companies to alter their basic business plan of unceasing exploration and development of new fossil fuel sources.
  • What good does signing a petition do? Isn’t divestment unlikely to work? In fact, divestment has registered major victories against deeply entrenched interests, including apartheid in South Africa and tobacco – and, by the way, what’s your better alternative to a gridlocked U.S. Congress that shows no shame in doing the bidding of the fossil fuel industry and no current interest in passing necessary climate legislation?
  • How can you expect to stop using fossil fuels overnight when it will be years before there is enough clean energy? We are not naïve; we don’t expect to stop using fossil fuels in the near future – but it is imperative that we start the transition to clean, renewable energy as soon as possible, and for that to occur with the necessary scale and speed we need greater governmental action.

Rallying support for the petition has required far more labor and a higher level of advocacy than I would have imagined.  That’s one of the reasons we decided to start 350MoCo. As a result of establishing a formal local campaign, we now have an increasing number of determined climate activists, which has allowed us to set a goal of  2,000 Montgomery County signatures  (including several hundred “ink” signatures) – becoming one of the most successful signature campaigns in the country.

Additionally, eight leading local environmental and progressive groups have joined our divestment coalition.  Now, we are aiming to present the Montgomery County Council with 5,000 signatures near the beginning of 2015.  If you know of any Montgomery County residents or are a resident yourself, could you help us out by sharing and/or signing this petition?

We are also looking to add to our ranks and very possibly initiate a statewide divestment campaign.

We would love you to join us!

What had you wished you had known when you were first starting your campaign? Would you like to start a local divestment campaign in your community? Email hello(at)350.org, and thank you Peter for contributing your story.

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A bank is doing something awful with these cute Aussie kids’ money. See how they’re fighting back.

Tue, 2014-10-28 19:46

These “Dollarmites” – a.k.a. Aussie kids with Commonwealth Bank accounts – are not happy about how their pocket money might be invested.

The Commonwealth Bank is funding a project to build the world’s biggest coal port on the Great Barrier Reef. When the kids found out their bank had plans to destroy one of Australia’s national treasures, they were not pleased. Watch the video below, and be prepared for them to melt your heart with cuteness.

Thanks to our friends at the Australia Youth Climate Coalition!

Find out more here: http://www.riskingthereef.org.au/

October Divest Digest: When No One Accepted “No” As A Final Answer

Fri, 2014-10-24 22:22

Hello Fossil Free Friends!

This month, we are introducing the Divest Digest, your update on news, trends, and general updates on what’s been happening in the world of North American Divestment.

So far, October has had one great underlying theme, that student divestment movements don’t accept the word “no” from college and university boards and administrations. Even “maybe in a little bit?” or “how about a sustainability fund instead?” or “what if we divest from  just one fossil fuel?” are responses that many students across the divestment movement are regarding as partial wins, but still pushing against until they get a full divestment victory.

Here are a few summaries of stories and events from across the United States that demonstrate students strength in never accepting “no” as a final answer.

Note: All photos here are taken from the Awesome FaceBook pages of these campus groups. Click on the headings of each of these colleges and universities to go right to their pages and learn more about what these communities are up to.

ON CAMPUS… Bowdoin

Back in 2012, Bowdoin began their campus divestment program, and even faced a full-on rejection for college divestment from their President Barry Mills right from the start. But they never gave up. They now  have the of over 1,200 students across five class years, and 70 faculty members (35% of faculty).  Last week on October 17, Bowdoin students organized to meet the Board of Trustees as they left their meeting, again pushing for divestment after proving that the students will not back down. In support,  70 members of the Bowdoin faculty wrote an open letter to the board calling for fossil fuel divestment

bowdoinstudents1

Stanford

This week, Stanford students and faculty have written a number of powerful op-ed pieces as part of their #StanfordReunion series, pressuring Stanford to “Divest the Rest.” Their arguments are invaluable resources for other campuses considering partial divestment or divestment alternatives. Don’t miss reading some of these stories: Teaching  By Example, Divestment From Fossil Fuels, Fossil Failure: Why Stanford’s Future Depends on Divesting From Dirty Energy, Stanford’s Own Water Depends on Climate  Divestment

stanfordstudents

University of Vermont

Last Friday (October 17), the UVM campus divestment program stood with campus unions to build power collectively and address the corporatization of their university. Over  100 people stood alongside faculty and staff to demand fair contracts, the right to form a union, and fossil fuel divestment. The event, called STOP CORPORATE U, included powerful speakers such as public employees unions and this awesome student organizer.

The upcoming event, Times Up, Rise Up!” will gather together 350 Burlington, VTRising Tide Vermont, the Vermont Workers’ Center and thousands of Vermonters in Montpelier on October 27th will connect community and campus divestment efforts, showing the true solidarity and force of the movement. 

uvmstudents

American University

American University is preparing for a major vote on November 21st to divest their University from fossil fuels. They have held a number of meetings and events over the past few weeks and we are excited to follow their story in the coming days as they campaign their Board of Trustees to move beyond a commitment to be a more environmental campus to being a community that transitions it’s investments fully away from fossil fuels. They are a  coalition of over 30 student clubs and organizations that has been pressuring the AU Board of Trustees to divest from fossil fuels for nearly two years.

AUdivest

Cornell University

The Cornell University community has been rallying together to push their university to become even more ambitious in their plans for carbon neutralization and divestment. Read on about the event they held on October 17, and how they refused to settle. 

NYU

Last week on October 16, dozens of orange-clad students, faculty and staff from NYU Divest laid on the the atrium of Bobst Library  and spelled out “divest” with their bodies. They called on NYU President John Sexton and the Board of Trustees to decrease the university’s investment from the fossil fuel industry.

 

IN COMMUNITIES… Ashland, OR

On October 21,  Ashland, Oregon  joined in the nationwide movement to divest from fossil fuels, becoming  the second city council in Oregon to pass a divestment resolution. “Divestment, like other things that are happening now, bring the discussions about climate change and global warming to an audience that maybe hasn’t heard it… it elevates the concern,” said Kathy Conway with Southern Oregon Climate Action Now. “Small cities like Ashland can realize that they can have a voice also,” she said.

 

ON THE HORIZON…

There have been tons new petitions emerging across North America that you should definitely check out, here are a few editor’s picks from the US South:

Thanks for reading!  Do you want to be featured in the digest? Do you have photos that you would like to share? For photos, email them here with the name of the photographer and where they were taken. We will be sure to feature your best shots wherever we can. For this digest, email our web-team  and we will do our best to get your story out there. 

Have a great rest of the month and divest on!

 

Global Day of Action Against Fracking leaves its mark in Argentina

Fri, 2014-10-24 13:55

By María Cabrera

Vaca Muerta is a geological formation in Neuquén, northern Patagonia (Argentina), where the largest unconventional hydrocarbon hydraulic fracturing extraction in Latin America is taking place. The Neuquén Multisectorial group against fracking, regional groups, and the Mapuche native community formed a caravan which travelled through the desert to reach the operations run by the American oil giant Chevron and the Argentinean national company Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF).

As a member of this caravan, during our tour I was able to witness the obvious effects on the environmentof the fracking well-stimulation technique: large areas contaminated by oil spills, a vastextent of landremoved, intense truck manoeuvringand huge noise pollution.

Over 100 people, including members of social, political and labour organizations, student and feminist groups, human rights associations, the alternative media and Mapuche communities raised their voices once more to say: NO TO FRACKING!

Our caravan arrived in the Vaca Muerta area at around noon, and we met the Campo Maripe community there. These people were in their second day of action, because on Thursday 9thOctober they decided to occupyone well in order to compelNeuquinoStatelisten to their demands and recognise them as aMapuche indigenous community.

Then a presentation was made during which everyone expressed their reasons for joining the battle against fracking and gave support and reinforcement to the community. It was a very emotional and empowering moment that will help to maintain the fight in the future. Finally, a tour was taken to visit some of the wells run by Chevron in association with YPF.

This made it clear to each of us there that the development of unconventional hydrocarbons in Vaca Muerta is becoming increasingly dangerous. But it also made it clear that every day more and more people are raising their voices to say no to fracking. We need to demand an urgent transition to green solutions if we want to stop climate change. We cannot continue to invest in fossil fuel energy and rely on highly aggressive drilling techniques such as fracking, which involve enormous risk and are the largest contributors to climate change.

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Swedish 2nd AP Fund: Important 1st step, a long way to go

Wed, 2014-10-22 22:07

On Monday, one of the Swedish national pension funds called “Second AP fund” announced that they are divesting from 20 fossil fuel companies. They ditched all their investments in coal (12 companies) and pulled their investments out of eight oil and gas companies, citing the financial risk associated with these assets.

CEO Eva Halvarsson said:

By not investing in a number of companies, we are reducing our exposure to risk constituted by fossil-fuel based energy. This decision will help to protect the Fund’s long-term return on investment.

The fund also states  that they do not exclude divestment from more companies in this sector. They are thereby opening up for further fossil fuel divestment.

This is an important first step for the Second AP fund - but there is still a long way to go.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 21.27.01A year ago, Andra AP-fonden had 5,9 billion SEK invested in 103 of the world’s largest 200 fossil fuel companies, according to WWF Sweden. This means they still invest around 5 billion SEK in around 83 of these companies. According to investigations by Hållbart Näringsliv they divested 90% of their investments in the Coal and Consumable Fuels” sector, 33% of their investments in “Oil and Gas Exploration” and 4%  of investments inIntegrated Oil”.

Our call to Andra AP-fonden and to Swedish politicians is clear: It is neither morally acceptable nor financially responsible to invest in the fossil fuel industry. It is their responsibility to promote a clean and safe future, and completely  divest from fossil fuels.

Pension money is meant to secure people’s future and the way it is invested  shapes the future we will live in. The fossil fuel industry belongs to the past, and a responsible investor can choose to promote a future with renewable and just energy production.

This is a great win for the Swedish and global divestment movement, and we will continue to fight for fair fossil free pensions together!

 

A climate activist’s reflection of Ferguson October

Tue, 2014-10-21 16:40

For 73 nights, young people from Ferguson and St. Louis have led nightly protests demanding justice for the killing of Mike Brown. A local tragedy had re-ignited the movement to fight systemic racism, and as the world was watching Ferguson, Hands Up United, Organization for Black Struggle, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, Millennial Activists United, Lost Voices and many local groups invited people to join them in St. Louis for a “Weekend of Resistance”.

I went to Ferguson as part of a contingent of climate activists. I’m convinced that if we’re going to create the kind of change we want to see in the world, the climate movement needs to be firmly and outspokenly anti-racist.

Photo by Yong Jung Cho

At the Saturday March in downtown St Louis

The story of Mike Brown, a black teenager shot and killed by a police officer, is not unique. The experiences of police violence and racial profiling have led to countless deaths of Black and Brown people, and racism is systematically reinforced through incarceration.

As an Asian American and daughter of immigrants, fighting institutional racism and white supremacy is necessary for my own liberation. As a climate activist, first inspired to organize because of urban environmental health issues, the connection between racism and climate injustice is obvious.

On August 14th, a few days after Mike Brown’s death, cities around the country held vigils to remember the victims of police violence. I joined thousands of New Yorkers at Union Square and marched through the streets with our arms raised chanting “hands up, don’t shoot”. I was hesitant to raise my arms and the first moment I did, I was challenged to realize that I never had to fear the police for my or my family’s safety based on the color our skin. If I were Mike Brown, it’s unlikely that Darren Wilson would’ve shot me.

My decision to go to St Louis for #FergusonOctober was easy; I felt compelled to go. Ferguson October was powerful, emotional and inspiring. I felt grateful to listen to stories of local organizers, meet others who travelled to participate in the weekend of action and to support the climate contingent.

It became clear to me that the climate movement has a long way to go. Yet, with the People’s Climate March in our recent memory and increasing intentionality throughout the movement to elevate voices of frontline communities, I think we’re headed in the right direction.

I felt a lot of hope on Sunday night, starting at the Mass Meeting where more than a dozen faith leaders (plus Cornel West) were scheduled to speak. Everyone talked about the courage of the young people who’ve been putting their bodies on the line every night for over 60 days. Every night, they are met by riot police and have been tear gassed, hit with rubber bullets and arrested. However, there wasn’t space for them to speak for themselves. Eventually the hundreds of people in the crowd began chanting, “let them speak!”

The invited speakers sat silently, people in the crowd were having side conversations and the MCs temporarily left the stand to meet with local organizers. It definitely did not go ‘according to plan.’ A small group took the stage and movement elders welcomed them by giving up their seats. We chanted, “This is what democracy looks like.” There was a lot of tension and frustration in the room, but there was also accountability. When others in the audience interrupted with irrelevant and offensive comments, the crowd checked each other and escorted those individuals out. It was beautiful.

The power of that meeting was realized when later that night, one of the largest evening acts of civil disobedience related to Mike Brown and Vonderrick Myers took place. The same energy being carried into the next morning where hundreds of people stood in solidarity in cold, drenching rain with faith leaders and others who were risking arrest at the Ferguson police department and other locations throughout the city.

Photo by Yong Jung Cho

Moral Monday outside of the Ferguson Police department

Tensions will exist not only within, but amongst movements. Solidarity organizing is hard. We must wrestle with and confront privilege, (continue to) provide political education to our base and share resources. But, if we are willing to listen, trust each other and admit when we’re wrong, our individual campaign work will become stronger and we’ll build more power necessary to fight the same systems of oppression.

We know the time for action on climate is now. 2014 has broken records for the warmest May, August, and September ever. With rising sea levels, severe droughts, superstorms, food shortages, extinction of species, large-scale health problems, and more — fighting the climate crisis is urgent. And that can only be done by going to the roots of the problem.

The most marginalized communities in our society — poor communities, communities of color, immigrants, queer and trans people, and the global south — are the most impacted by environmental destruction and the most vulnerable to climate chaos. Yet the most impacted are the least responsible. So, if we ask what the roots of the problem are, the answers are clear to me. Climate chaos will continue and exaggerate the oppression of the same people already forced to fight racism, classism, the patriarchy, xenophobia, and imperialism.

If the climate movement is truly a movement for justice, then standing with Ferguson and embracing anti-racism as a guiding principle in our local campaigns is not a choice, but a necessity for the climate movement to live our truth and build the future we want.

October 22nd is the next national day of action against police brutality. Talk to your friends and organize to see what you can do to support actions and campaigns in your area. Then, share stories and build the relationships needed to do the long-term movement-building work. We know it’s the ongoing campaign-work and solidarity-organizing that drives and directs our movement.

Last weekend, I met Auriel, who was born and raised in St. Louis and currently lives in Wichita. After work every weekend, she drives 6 hours to join the protests. At the end of our conversation she said, “I’m ready to do more.”

Auriel, So am I.

Indigenous peoples were at the frontlines of crisis, so they sounded the alarm. And wow, was it powerful.

Tue, 2014-10-21 10:38

One month ago, 400,000 people took to the streets of Manhattan to demand action on climate, and among them were communities that will be first and most impacted. Not only are these people at the frontlines of crisis; they’re also at the forefront of change. Watch these powerful videos to get a glimpse of indigenous communities sounding the alarm and leading the change at the People’s Climate March.

Thanks to our friends at Idle No More!

This fight is for real.

Tue, 2014-10-21 10:25

We just sent out this email to our friends in the USA. Not on our email list yet? Sign up here to receive crucial updates from the climate movement. 

Dear friends,

For those of us lucky enough to be in Manhattan exactly one month ago today, perhaps the greatest moment of a great day was the surge of sound that followed our moment of silence.

The “People’s Climate Roar” began on Central Park West and then pulsed down Sixth Avenue and crashed through Times Square. That wave of sound symbolized two things:

1) We are sounding the alarm on climate change, the greatest problem the world has ever faced.

2) We are demonstrating the tide of anger, joy, and resolve that is going to do something about it.

And it wasn’t just us who thought it was so important. Here’s what other folks had to say:

“Taking a Call for Climate Change to the Streets”, the front page New York Times story

“Into the Streets”, a gorgeous 9-minute video about the march from our friends at Meerkat Media

“Inside the ginormous, huge-tastic climate march”, a 24-minute radio program from Ben Wikler at The Good Fight

“The Wisdom of the Crowd”, by Hendrik Hertzberg in The New Yorker

“Why you should be hopeful about the climate movement” by Todd Gitlin on Grist

“People’s Climate March”, a short audio story by Bianca Giaever and friends on Cowbird

In the 30 days since the march:

- We’ve seen the greatest fossil fuel fortune on earth commit to divest from coal, oil, and gas — the Rockefellers, with their action, laid down a profound challenge to everyone else on the planet. If the family that built Exxon thinks it’s unwise and immoral to invest in fossil fuels, what excuse does anyone else have?

- We’ve watched divestment spread around the world: from Glasgow University to Australia’s National University, this movement has new beachheads — and new pushback from a scared and peevish fossil fuel industry. (If you ever wondered if divestment mattered, read this, right to the last sentence.)

- We’ve witnessed a rising pitch of action against the dirtiest fossil fuel projects on earth. In Canada they’re battling the Energy East pipeline with wit and savvy. And at the largest coal port on earth in Newcastle Australia, our friends from 12 low-lying Pacific nations used their traditional canoes to block massive coal ships. Check out this incredible picture of the action.

That picture from Australia joins the one from Sixth Avenue among the classic images of this explosive movement. But there are plenty of others, and we’re pretty sure some of them are on your phones and computers. This is a chance to share some of the great pictures from the People’s Climate March before you forget about them.

We all need the inspiration, because this fight is for real. September was the hottest September ever recorded; it looks like 2014 may be the hottest year in history.

The only way to fight that is to make 2015 hotter still — for the politicians and the corporations that will wreck our world if we let them.

Thanks to you, and to the 400,000 in the streets of New York: game on!

Bill McKibben for the team at 350.org

P.S. The basic energy for movements come from people’s hearts and souls and feet — but they run on money too, so if you want to kick in, here’s the place.

Sweden’s national pension fund to divest from 20 fossil fuel companies

Mon, 2014-10-20 16:53

GÖTEBORG, Sweden- The international divestment movement and the Swedish fair pension campaign #schysstapensioner campaign are celebrating a major win today as the Second AP Fund – one of several Swedish national pension funds – announced it would begin divesting from fossil fuels.

In a move designed to reduce the financial risks of its investments in fossil fuel-based energy, the Second AP Fund announced today it will no longer have investments in 12 coal and 8 oil-and-gas production companies. This represents a divestment of holdings with a total market value of about SEK 840 million (€91 million or $116 million).

Following a comprehensive risk analysis of all Second AP Fund holdings in fossil-fuel based energy companies, based on climate impact, the Fund has decided that divestment was the prudent option.

“Our starting point for this analysis has been to determine the financial risks associated with the energy sector. By not investing in a number of companies, we are reducing our exposure to risk constituted by fossil-fuel based energy. This decision will help to protect the Fund’s long-term return on investment,” says Eva Halvarsson, CEO of the Second AP Fund.

The majority of the turnover generated by the coal-production companies identified in the Fund’s analysis derives from the sale of thermal coal. These companies face considerable climate-related financial risk, due to the negative environmental and health impacts of coal, which affect demand. Furthermore, coal-powered electricity production is subject to competition from gas and renewable energy.

In the case of oil-and-gas companies, the Fund had “identified a number of companies featuring substantial exposure in high-cost projects, such as oil-extraction from oil sands. The Fund believes these companies face serious climate-related financial risks and that it is highly likely that these projects may either be stranded or unprofitable”.

The Fund’s holdings in the 20 companies that have been identified amount to a total market value of about SEK 840 million.

“Today’s announcement shows the writing is on the wall for the fossil fuel industry. The Second AP fund has taken an important first step in recognising that it’s  financially irresponsible to invest money that is meant to provide for people’s futures in the very companies fuelling the climate crisis that threatens this future.  All AP Funds need to follow their lead now by phasing out investments in fossil fuels and supporting a just transition to a livable future instead.” Olivia Linander, Fossil Free Sweden campaign coordinator

Coal ships stopped. The Warriors have risen!

Mon, 2014-10-20 11:01

There are some days that leave you changed for a lifetime. Friday was one of those.

The 350 Pacific Climate Warriors paddled out into the Port of Newcastle, followed by hundreds of Australians and came head to head with gigantic coal ships. It truly was David versus Goliath. Here’s how it looked:

Big ship standoff meme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Image: Mike Bowers/The Guardian)
Reuters great photo

(Image: Reuters)

Vanuatu up against Police
(Image: Jeff Tan Photography)

Opening ceremony warriors
(Image: Jeff Tan Photography)

The courage of the Pacific Warriors was on full display as they came face to face with the fossil fuel industry which is threatening their homes.

Using hand carved canoes the Warriors, along with dozens of Australians in kayaks, were able to prevent 10 scheduled ships from passing through the Newcastle coal port. But most importantly, the Warriors stood tall and their message was heard loud and clear: they are not drowning, they are fighting.

The action continues this week, and you can hear the story first hand from the Pacific Warriors this week - at one of the speaking events: in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

For the hundreds of people who joined the Warriors, we thank you. As the Warriors continue their journey, help us tell their courageous story - share the Warrior’s story with your friends and ask them to stand with the Warriors. The Warriors will continue to fight, but they can not do it alone.

Warrior women
(Image: Jeff Tan Photography)
Warrior men
(Image: Jeff Tan Photography)

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