My mom and I standing for climate justice

24 02 2009

For the last 8 months I’ve been spending most of my time organizing what has become the largest demonstration and mass-action to solve the Climate Crisis in history. We’re creating leverage, political pressure, and a sense of urgency around building a clean energy economy. Its called the Capitol Climate Action (CCA) – check out our website at www.capitolclimateaction.org . With 8 days to go, its difficult to believe its actually happening – but it is, on March 2nd in Washington DC at a dirty coal-fired power plant, just blocks away from our congress building – which it literally powers.

We’ve built a coalition of over 70 public health, labor, racial, economic, and social justice, faith-based, conservation, environmental and other advocacy groups (see the list at our website), along with figures like NASA’s Chief Climatologist Dr. James Hansen, and advocates like Vandana Shiva and Bill Mckibben, Rabbis and Reverends (like Rev Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus), members of communities directly impacted by the coal cycle, like miners across Appalachia, urban youth that live next to coal plants, native folks who live near extraction…even celebs like Susan Sarandon and Daryl Hannah who will be joining us and risking arrest in a mass non-violent civil disobedience. Its an exciting action to me because its a huge step for a section of the movement who previously were a little nervous about this kind of action – we’re bringing along groups like the Progressive Democrats of America and reaching out to a really broad tent of the progressive majority in our country right now. Most importantly to me, my mother is coming down too – this is the first action I’ve helped organize that she is coming to, and I’m so excited to share my life with her in that way.

Speaking of sharing my life – Current TV just asked me to do a mini-series for them called “acting up” (no relation to the organization Act Up!) – they gave me a camera and I’m making 2 minute long rough, raggedy, one-take “webisodes” and posting them every day up until the action about what its like to organize it.  Its pretty silly and kinda weird, but you can watch it online. Check out my most recent post here: http://current.com/items/89834592/acting_up_3_from_the_capitol_to_hip_hop_clean_energy_now.htm and you can keep up every day here: http://current.com/topics/88871670/acting_up/default/0.htm This is my first time doing anything like this and it feels awkward! At the end they will get aired on actual TV.

What we’re actually doing: we will be sitting-in at the dirty coal power station that literally powers our congressional building in DC. This Power Station is just blocks from Congress and is a national symbol for the stranglehold dirty energy sources like coal have over our communities, our climate and our future. Coal is the single biggest contributor to global warming and it will be impossible to have a safe and secure future for humankind if we continue to burn it.

With a new administration and a new Congress, we have a window of opportunity in the US. But we have to open it — together. We can’t afford to wait any longer for the slow gears of the political process, while our economy tanks and the planet burns. I believe now is the time for bold action that communicates a message of urgency to build a clean energy economy and climate justice.


We’re also doing a big public conference call you can join to learn about the action which will include a few of us describing the scenario, as well as a presentation from NASA’s Dr. James Hansen. It will be:

Wednesday, Feb 25 at 9pm EST, 6pm PST.
The number is 605-475-6400 and enter the participant PIN: 1088562#.

I’m inviting you to come join me and my mom (RSVP on the website now!) – but even if you can’t make it you can watch live streaming video and constant blog and photo updates on our website (www.capitolclimateaction.org)

. If you do come, you can also get on our twitter text loop by sending a text message to: 40404 with the message: “follow capitolclimate” (without quotes) to get updates sent right to your phone as the day unfolds.

Al Gore has said “I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.” Let’s show him what people are really doing to solve this crisis.

This blog was also up on Znet, and Progressive Democrats of America

Advertisements




Dr. James Hansen calls for Civil Disobedience at the Capitol March 2nd

18 02 2009

Today Climate Scientist Dr. James Hansen released a public service announcement calling on all of us to join the Capitol Climate Action (CCA) on March 2nd. If you haven’t heard, it will be the largest protest on Global Warming in U.S. history.

“It’s time to take a stand on global warming,” Dr. Hansen says in the video. “We want to send a message to Congress and the President that we want them to take the actions that are needed to preserve climate for young people and future generations and all life on earth.”

Dr. Hansen is a world renowned-scientist more accustomed to the lab and the library than the picket line. When he sees a problem so urgent that he is willing to take to the streets in protest, we can be sure it means that the government must act.

Some 2,000 people from across the country are expected to join Dr. Hansen at Congress’s own coal-fired power plant in Southeast Washington, D.C. Over 70 public health, faith-based, labor, racial and environmental justice, and climate groups has endorsed the action along with such leaders and figures as Vandana Shiva, Tom Goldtooth, Daryl Hannah, Michael Franti, Bill McKibben, Gus Speth, Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Noam Chomsky, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Paul Hawken, Adrienne Maree Brown, and Wendell Berry. Grammy Award-winning country singer Kathy Mattea will also join the protest and perform.

Coal-fired power plants are largest source of global warming pollution in the country, and the Capitol plant is widely regarded as a symbol of the country’s dangerous reliance on the fossil fuel. Burning coal also cuts short at least 24,000 lives in the U.S. annually, inflicts catastrophic damage to the landscape and water supplies and jeopardizes the lives of coal miners. Furthermore, coal leads to approximately $167 billion in healthcare costs annually and diverts scarce resources away from energy efficiency and clean energy, which create more than twice as many jobs per dollar as money for coal.

RSVP to be a part of CCA and make history now!





Time Magazine celebrates monkeywrenching; plugs Capitol Climate Action

2 02 2009

See this recent piece in Time Magazine about Tim DeChristopher’s stunts and the upcoming mass action on March 2nd.

To Protect Public Land, Eco-Protesters Get Creative

By Bryan Walsh Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009

Environmental activist Tim DeChristopher tainted an auction of oil and gas drilling leases by bidding up parcels of land by hundreds of thousands of dollars without any intention of paying for them.
Courtney Sargent / Deseret News / Rapport

You may have never heard of the Monkey Wrench Gang—unless you read the 1975 novel by maverick writer and nature lover Edward Abbey, who introduced the world to a fictional collection of green misfits waging a guerrilla war against industrialization in the American West. They sabotage bulldozers and construction sites, burn billboards and destroy dams, all to keep their beloved Southwestern desert pristine. Think of it as muscular environmentalism, a world apart from the wonky work on climate change that now defines the mainstream green movement.

Still, the outlaw spirit lives on in the work of contemporary monkeywrenchers like Tim DeChristopher, a 27-year-old college student who singlehandedly disrupted a multi-million-dollar land auction that would have put hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands in southern Utah in the hands of oil and gas companies. But DeChristopher didn’t use sabotage or homemade bombs—just chutzpah.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which administers America’s public lands, was running the auction on Dec. 19, in the waning days of the Bush Administration. Environmental groups including the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) had been fighting the move, arguing that the energy companies would damage nearby national parks and culturally sensitive areas. But the fight seemed lost, until DeChristopher, an economics student at the University of Utah, arrived at the sale. “I saw this as a very corrupt and fraudulent process, and a threat to my future,” he says.

Read the rest of this entry »