BY Lauren Macauley for Commondreams. Colorado – A group of Colorado teenagers scored a “huge” victory against the state’s fracking industry on Thursday when a three-judge panel ruled that the health of citizens and environment takes precedence over oil and gas interests. The decision, handed down by the Colorado Court of Appeals on Thursday, requires that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) consider a petition from six youth plaintiffs, which asks the board to suspend the issuance of fracking permits “until it can be done without adversely impacting human health and safety and without impairing Colorado’s atmospheric resource and climate system, water, soil, wildlife, and other biological resources.” Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, 16-year-old plaintiff and youth director of the Boulder-based Earth Guardians, declared after the ruling: “Our movement to fight for the rights of people and our environment is evolving.
By Jeremy Brecher for Common Dreams. Is there anything people can do about climate change in the Trump era? The new American president has asserted that global warming is a fraud perpetrated by the Chinese to steal American jobs; threatened to ignore or even withdraw from the Paris climate agreement; and pledged unlimited burning of fossil fuels. Whatever the details, Trump’s agenda will escalate global warming far beyond its already catastrophic trajectory. As we learn that 2016 was the hottest year on record, it sounds like a formula for doom. On October 11 2016, with the presidential campaign still raging, five climate protectors traveled to five secluded locations in North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, and Washington state and turned the shut-off valves on the five pipelines that carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada into the United States. Their action – dubbed “Shut It Down” – blocked 15% of US crude oil imports for nearly a day.
By John Foran for Popular Resistance. First, let’s please just acknowledge there is a crisis. I’m afraid any reasonably educated, rational, and unbiased adult (or younger) can understand what the climate science has been telling us now for two decades: the Earth is warming, slowly but surely (so far by about 1 degree Celsius since 1800), due to humans’ putting carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, mainly through burning fossil fuels (gas, oil, and coal) and the byproducts of large-scale and animal-based agriculture. A good primer on this is Danny Chivers’ No-Nonsense Guide to Climate Change. Second – and it only takes a bit of sociological thinking here – we see that this is already having massive negative effects on people’s well-being: floods, droughts, superstorms, rising sea-levels, loss of biodiversity (species extinction), polluted cities, rivers, and oceans.
Responding to two letters sent by members of Congress urging President Donald Trump to prioritize nominating candidates for vacant Commissioner seats at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in order to restore the necessary voting quorum, 136 organizations representing communities in all 50 states sent a strong letter of rebuke to the Congressional signers of the letters. The two letters, dated February 22, 2017, were signed by a group of 14 House Democrats on one and 92 additional members of Congress on the other. The letters urged Mr. Trump to put forth the nominations in order to restore the FERC Commissioner quorum necessary to take formal action on energy issues. In addition to urging swift action by the President, on one of the letters the Congressional members promised “to do our part”, suggesting that they would likewise take swift action to approve nominees put forth by the President.
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 Popular Resistance. This week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held a ‘public input session’ on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Suffolk, VA. According to Ryan Murphy in The Virginian-Pilot, the ACP is “a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline that would carry as much as 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day from West Virginia’s shale fields to North Carolina and Virginia.” The public input sessions were designed to prevent the public from hearing each other. The FERC has moved to a new format for their public events. Rather than allowing people to be together and hear each other’s testimony, people have to speak with FERC officials one-on-one. In North Carolina, Sierra Club helped promote parallel “people’s hearings” to provide a forum for people to air their views, network, and strategize. In Fayetteville, Wilson, and Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, neighbors and concerned community members people clustered in the hall, in hotel event rooms, and around school cafeteria tables to swap information, share stories, talk to the press, get organized and encourage each other. More hearings are planned.
By Anne Meador of DC Media Group on Facebook. Washington, DC – The public was barred from a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) meeting scheduled for 10 am Thursday. Over 30 Department of Homeland Security police met Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) at the front doors, preventing entry to what organizers are calling a sham meeting with industry insiders. “It’s a ‘denial of citizens rights’ and prevents the public from taking part in Energy policy proceedings,” said organizer Ted Glick, with Beyond Extreme Energy. He called on FERC to be transparent and follow their mandate to put the public interests before oil and gas industry profits. Over 60 persons allied with BXE had planned to attend the meeting to express opposition to an increasing number of fracking energy infrastructure projects.
By Mike Herd for The Guardian. All the major global challenges – climate change, the economy, inequality, the very future of democracy – will be solved in cities. If nations want to succeed with their policies, we must be counted as serious actors on the global stage. I believe national governments are hostages to the momentum of the previous century – but that’s not the real world any more. We live in a world that functions by networking, by faster and more agile contact between cities. Of course, the perfect city does not exist; the democratic city is in permanent conflict and permanent construction. The point is to be really open; to keep innovating, listening to citizens and watching what is done in other cities to make constant improvements. Cities are able to make politics more cooperative, and not so competitive.
By Tim DeChristopher for Beyond Extreme Energy – While our political leaders are pretending that being better than Trump is an adequate response to the climate crisis, the climate movement is boldly stepping up to the unprecedented challenge of climate change with courage and commitment. Just in the past few days since the presidential debate ignored climate change, there have been several bold acts of civil disobedience around the country
By Break Free for Popular Resistance: Break Free is an unprecedented global mobilisation from May 4-15, 2016 – a movement and a global call for action – to leave fossil fuels in the ground. A global wave of peaceful direct actions will take place across six continents targeting the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects, in order to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground. The aim is to demonstrate the global resolve to break free from the shackles of polluting fuels to build a new kind of economy that works for people and the planet, and accelerate the just transition to 100% renewable energy. People worldwide are providing the much needed leadership by intensifying actions through peaceful civil disobedience on a global scale as so much remains to be done in order to lessen the effects of the climate crisis. This includes demanding governments move past the commitments made as part of the Paris agreement signed last month.
By Staff of Occupy – This week, the climate crisis IS a reproductive crisis. The founders of Conceivable Future talk to us about the intersectionality of parenthood and climate change. Next up, the Drug War has wreaked decades of havoc in our country – but what about Latin America? School of the Americas Watch and the Peace, Life & Justice Caravan hi-light this southern path of destruction and invite you to join in the fight against both the drug war and the violent US-backed crusades in South America, Central America and Mexico. Finally, let’s get cozy and dissent. But first, I’d need less money if I had some more…
By PSE Healthy Energy. Oakland, California (January 27, 2016) – New analysis from PSE Healthy Energy and University of California at Berkeley finds that increased deployment of renewable energy is the best way to meet or even surpass Clean Power Plan targets, as recent scientific measurements of methane leaks from natural gas systems have found higher rates of leakage than those recorded in official inventories. States that plan to depend on switching their electricity generation from coal to natural gas under the Clean Power Plan risk failure to achieve meaningful greenhouse gas reductions.
By Staff of Friends of the Earth International. “Despite the hype, the Paris agreement will fail to deliver. Politicians say it is a fair and ambitious deal – yet it is the complete opposite. People are being deceived,” said Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International climate justice and energy coordinator. Jagoda Munic, chairperson of Friends of the Earth International said: “Instead of acting with ambition and urgency, our governments are acting in the interests of powerful lobbies and corporations, but people are taking back the power. History will not be made in the convention centre, but on the streets of Paris and round the globe. The climate justice movement is unstoppable and will continue to expand in 2016 and beyond. A handful of politicians will not stop the energy revolution.”