By Emily Johnston for Alternet. This will not be an easy fight. There will be many tragedies. But for a very short period of time, it’s still within our power to avert devastation. We can demand a decent future, one in which we move with the utmost speed and care to clean energy, and with the utmost compassion to manage the displacement that climate change is already causing. My friends and I are willing to spend time in jail to be part of that fight. We think it’s our responsibility—especially because we’re older white people, and thus much less likely to face police violence, and less likely to have our families or professional lives derailed by a conviction. And in every community we’ve spoken to—perhaps most especially the churches—people tell us they’re willing, too. We only have this one chance. We only have a few years. This is the time to ask, what are the ways that you can fight—for your loved ones, and for all the vulnerable people and creatures of this beautiful world? Will you look away, or will you do all you can to save this world?
By Lorne Stockman for Oil Change International – Long before Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway took the phrase ‘alternative facts’ mainstream, a rogue federal agency with authority to ram giant gas pipelines through people’s property against their will has for years pioneered the Trumpian version of reality when assessing the climate impact of natural gas infrastructure. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an “independent” agency that regulates the interstate transmission of gas and electricity, has permitted nearly 200 interstate gas pipeline projects stretching over 6,000 miles since 2009, and rejected only a single application. For each of these permitted projects an environmental impact statement was conducted. Where climate was assessed in these studies, the conclusion has always been the same – “no significant impact”.
By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams – Offering some hope that “reality” will prevail in a political climate seemingly bent on climate destruction, a Washington state jury on Wednesday failed to convict activist Ken Ward on two felony counts stemming from an act of civil disobedience against the fossil fuel industry. The Climate Disobedience Center, which Ward co-founded, declared the mistrial “a resounding recognition of the threat of climate change,” noting that one or more jurors refused to convict Ward on charges of sabotage and burglary for breaking into and shutting down a Kinder Morgan pipeline near Anacortes, Washington last year. Alternately, they were persuaded by his argument that he had acted out of necessity, in defense of the planet.
By Gina Magana, Organizer for Punt the Pipelines. Super Bowl 51 is HERE, in Houston, Texas and we have an opportunity to convey a critical message to millions of people. We must demand an end to a Carbon Based Economy, switch to a Clean Energy Economy, and end all new pipelines to protect our sacred water people, and planet. We need your help. In the air above the stadium we will fly an airplane with an urgent message to divest. On the ground, we will be at the gates of the Super Bowl drawing attention with banners, signs, while we march, drum, dance, sing, and pray to protect our sacred water, people, and planet. Please, donate $1, $10, $100 or whatever you can to help fund this Super Bowl LI Action to Punt the Pipelines for People and Planet. The airplane will reach tens of thousands of people at the game and millions on television and through social media.
By Joy First for National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance. We have a madman in the White House. Yet, unlikely acts of resistance are popping up all over the country from the large “Resist” banner hanging from a construction crane near the White House, to the National Park Rangers in the Badlands creating an alternative Twitter account, to mother’s groups who are putting aside talk of their children while they write letters to Congress, to the 60 programmers and scientists who were gathered at the Department of Information Studies building at the University of California-Los Angeles, harvesting important government data before Trump has a chance to disappear it. There is so much going on and so many ways we can get involved. This is the time we have been waiting for to see real change in the world. What kind of world will we leave for our children and grandchildren? The only way we will bring change is to keep the hope and rise up, rise up together and resist. The time has come and we will prevail in our struggle for peace and justice for all.
By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed executive orders advancing the controversial Keystone XL (KXL) and Dakota Access (DAPL) pipelines, prompting a tsunami of outrage and vows of bold resistance from the Indigenous activists, climate campaigners, and countless others who have fought against these projects. The Associated Press confirmed the orders had been signed after earlier reports citing anonymous officials indicated they were in the works. Many environmental groups who fiercely fought against both projects were quick to condemn the move, declaring, as 350.org did, “We have no alternative but to resist.”Progressive lawmakers and climate groups echoed that promise, issuing a chorus of statements condemning the president for “putting the profits of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the future of the planet.”
By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. An activist walking across the country barefoot died after being struck by an SUV in Florida, authorities said. Mark Baumer, 33, a Rhode Island native, was fatally struck Saturday along Highway 90 in Walton County, in the northwest part of the state. Charges are pending against the driver, Sonja Siglar, and alcohol was ruled out as a factor in the crash, ABC affiliate WEAR-TV reports. Baumer was protesting climate change and raising money for the FANG Collective, which opposes the natural gas industry, during his walk. The FANG Collective released a statement following Baumer’s death. The FANG Collective wrote on their FB page “Mark was an amazingly compassionate, empathetic, humble, joyful, generous, mindful and caring person. He was a talented poet and artist with an ability to tap into the human experience with his work.”
By Matt Maiorana for Disrupt J20. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, a group of over 400 climate justice activists physically blocked a security checkpoint entrance to the Presidential Inauguration for four hours as part of the distributed #DisruptJ20 protests happening in D.C. and around the country. The climate demonstrators peacefully spread out and linked arms across the security checkpoint at 3rd and D streets NW, and refused to move, physically blocking the entrance and denying access to the inauguration grounds. The protest caused a massive disruption of the checkpoint, making the line extend for a half-mile. Once Donald Trump was inaugurated, protesters chose to peacefully disperse, having accomplished their goals. The protesters held signs and large banners reading “Resist Trump: Climate Justice Now” and “Deny Trump, Not Climate.”
By Stansfield Smith for Counter Punch – It should be a scandal that leftists-liberals paint Trump as a special threat, a war mongerer – not Obama who is the first president to be at war everyday of his eight years, who is waging seven wars at present, who dropped three bombs an hour, 24 hours a day, the entire 2016. Here is some of the worst of this anti-Trump hysteria propagated by mouthpieces for liberal Democrats – calling Republicans “fascist” is a favorite left-liberal sport. It is probably true Trump represents “a regime of grave danger,” an “immoral peril to the future of humanity and the earth itself,” by his denial of global warming. Yet Obama was also clearly a grave peril, one many progressives chose not to see clearly.
By Kevin Gosztola for Shadow Proof – During his confirmation hearing, former Exxon Mobil CEO and nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, refused to answer questions about what the fossil fuel corporation knew about climate change. He also refused to talk about Exxon Mobil’s funding of outside organizations in order to create doubt about climate science. Environmental groups are terribly alarmed by the prospect of having Tillerson at the helm of the United States State Department, especially as the threat of climate disruption caused by humans intensifies. Activists organized a “Reject Rex” campaign that includes protests at Tillerson’s confirmation hearing. Democratic Senator Tim Kaine asked Tillerson about journalism…
By Sharon Kelly for Desmog Blog – President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees for the Cabinet began appearing before the U.S. Senate to start their confirmation hearing process on Tuesday — and some of the slots to be filled will have major implications for American climate change policies. Rex Tillerson, who announced his retirement as CEO of ExxonMobil, is scheduled to appear before the Senate on Wednesday, as is Elaine Chao, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Transporation. On Monday, environmentalists nationwide organized protests at senators’ home offices, with organizers calling on their representatives to refuse to confirm Cabinet nominees hostile to combating climate change.
By David Hasemyer for Inside Climate News – “Rex Tillerson seems determined to run US foreign policy like he ran Exxon: deny, evade, and even lie, in order to defend power and certainly without regard to any ‘moral compass’. “The first morning of Rex Tillerson’s testimony showed that Rex Tillerson’s 41 years at ExxonMobil have prepared him for one thing only: to be CEO of ExxonMobil. Tillerson filibustered, dodged, and floundered through questions about Aleppo, Russia, and other imminent global threats. He appears to have lied under oath about Exxon’s lobbying against Russian sanctions. The Boy Scouts should demand that Tillerson return his Honesty Badge.
By Resist AIM. Cortlandt, NY — On Friday morning – in front of a packed courtroom of over 100 New York residents, activists, sympathizers and supporters opposed to Spectra’s “AIM” Pipeline – Cortlandt Town Court Judge Daniel McCarthy issued sentences for nine New York residents (known as the “Montrose 9”) that were arrested for blocking access to a Spectra Energy construction yard in November 2015. Each of the nine of the defendants were fined and sentenced to community service. The defendants had pled the “Necessity Defense,” arguing that their activity was justified because it was done to stop a danger more harmful than the violation of the law, and only after all other legal and regulatory options had been exhausted. The danger they oppose is Spectra’s “AIM” Pipeline, a high-pressure 42-inch gas pipeline that runs within 105 feet of critical Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant safety facilities.