Earth Week should be about real climate leadership

walk the talk on climateYesterday was Earth Day, and I’m sure you’re getting a million emails asking for money to “Save the Planet” and “stop the pipeline.” There are a lot of awesome groups out there doing great work, and I hope you support a few of them.

This email is a little different. It’s longer, for one thing, but that’s not what matters. What makes 198 methods different (we hope) is our approach. We use digital tools to support direct action campaigns that can really shift the paradigm on climate – moments when by upping the ante just a little bit, we think we can turn the tables on the whole fossil fuel industry.

There are two important examples this week that we’re supporting. Can you chip in to support us while we do? Here’s what we’re doing, because actions speak louder than words:

First, in Albany: We’re supporting the Cuomo Walk the Talk action. Even if you’re not from new York, it’s worth paying attention to – because it’s the latest in a series of campaigns including the occupation of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s office a few weeks ago, and the Brown’s Last chance campaign we’re supporting. All three (and lots of other great work) are aimed at getting Democrats who claim to be climate leaders to really step up. They also all have a common demand: 100% renewable energy, a ban on all fossil fuel infrastructure (especially fracked gas pipelines), and making polluters pay for wrecking our climate.

By Democratic Governors in multiple states like this, there’s a real chance to raise the bar on what it means to be a “climate hawk”. And that’s absolutely essential in this moment. With climate chaos intensifying all around us – Climate disasters cost $307 billion in 2017, more than the entire Republican tax scam and more than $4000/US family of four – It’s no longer enough to “support” renewables or “believe in climate change.” Real leaders in 2018 need to be taking bold actions to stop taking carbon out of the ground, stop transporting it to locations it can be burned, and start a massive and wholistic overhaul of our energy economy.

Tomorrow’s Cuomo Walk the Talk action could be the biggest milestone yet. It promises to be the biggest climate march in Albany’s history. And it lands at a really powerful moment when Cuomo is facing a primary challenge from Cynthia Nixon, who has a much more progressive platform on climate and clean energy, and has already rejected all donations from the fossil fuel industry. I’ve spent all day at the action camp planning a direct action component to this peaceful, powerful march and rally, and it’s going to be amazing.

Even better – if it works, Cuomo could be convinced to take one of the strongest stands on climate action in America, while he’s governor of one of the biggest states in America, and while he’s considering running for President of the United States Of America in 2020 (or as soon as we impeach Trump, read on). There are Two ways you can support this action:

  1. Follow the Hashtag #CuomoWalkthetalk starting at ~12pm Eastern tomorrow, April 22
  2. Check out the Facebook page for updates as well, Drew will post and share several live updates from the March, rally and the Direct Action.
  3. Chip in to support our work – after we cover the cost of the action (like our travel and food costs) we’ll donate all of it to the legal defense fund and local frontline groups in New York.

Cuomo walk the talk

That’s the most urgent news, but maybe not the biggest news this week.

Pruitt to testify April 26. More than 200,000 of us have already signed on to a petition demanding Scott Pruitt be fired for his corrupt, disastrous leadership of the EPA. Now there’s a new report out from the Government Accountability Office that Pruitt’s $43,000 booth actually broke the law. It’s just the latest in a series of scandals that could finally sink his leadership of the EPA, and deny Trump a key surrogate that he was grooming to help him end Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

This Thursday, Pruitt is scheduled to testify to a House Committee about that, and all his other scandals. I’ll be there along with Friends from Beyond Extreme Energy, Friends of the Earth and dozens of other partners. But it wont just be a standard DC rally:

We’re using Pruitt’s presence on the Hill to turn up the heat on Congressional Democrats, in particular – especially ones who claim to care about climate change and the EPA. For too long, these climate peacocks have sent letters expressing their “concern” or “demanding answers” from Pruitt about his outrageous spending, and even more-outrageous attacks on our environment and public health. But even as they’ve called him out and trumpeted their ‘resistance’ to Trump’s agenda, many of those same elected members of Congress have voted to confirm Trump’s cabinet — from Pruitt in 2017 to new climate-denying NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine last week. Not to mention the FERC commissioners who were confirmed on the same day as our action asking Democrats to lead on this issue last year.

Instead of more letters expressing concern, climate leaders in Congress should demand Pruitt be fired right now – and move to impeach him if Trump won’t do it. It’s the same basic process as impeaching a President to Impeach a member of his cabinet – and now that the GAO confirms Pruitt has committed a crime, it’s great practice as well!

That’s why later this week i’ll be in DC to support partners and allies taking action to Demand Congress do more than talk – that they actually take action by impeaching Pruitt.

I’ll send another update later this week with a wrap up on the Albany action and more ways to support the #FirePruitt day of action. For now, if you want to support our work:

  1. follow the #FirePruitt hashtag on social media
  2. Sign and share the petition, if you haven’t already.
  3. And chip in to support all our work.

You see the pattern: We need elected officials to do more than Talk: We need bold action to block Trumps nominees, ban new fossil fuel infrastructure, make polluters pay and move immediately towards a just transition to 100% Renewable energy. And this week, that’s what we’re all about.

UPDATE: The Mercer Family caught again

Days before the 2016 election, a shadowy group called called Secure America Now made an “Islamic States of America“ ad imagining that Syrian refugees had overtaken America. It shows the iconic Hollywood sign changed to say “Allahu Akbar,” the Statue of Liberty wrapped in a burka and Ground Zero in New York City as place where citizens can “celebrate our Islamic victories.​”

It is, without a doubt, some of the most hateful, racist, Islamaphobic stuff I’ve ever seen.

You’ve probably never seen this ad, or heard of the far-right neoconservative nonprofit that paid for it. And that’s exactly how Secure America Now wanted it. They have no employees or volunteers, and their mailing address is a D.C. law firm. But group, had millions of dollars in funding. And they used those vast resources to run this hateful garbage on Facebook and Google with precise targeting to voters in swing states.

Thanks to the researchers at Open Secrets.org, we know that most of the money came from Robert Mercer and the Mercer family. If Mercer’s name sounds familiar, it might be because he and his daughter Rebekah are at the center of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which exploited the Facebook data of almost 100 million people to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election. We told you about the Mercers last month, and thousands of you signed on to this petition demanding Rebekah resign or be removed from the American Museum of Natural history.

If your disgusted and outraged by this latest scandal, here’s three quick ways to help:

  1. Sign the petition, if you haven’t already, to kick Rebekah Mercer out of the American Museum of Natural History. Racist, corrupt, climate deniers have no place in our public science museums.
  2. After you sign, or if you already have, share the petition on Facebook, Twitter or email friends a link to this post to spread the word.
    1. Share on Facebook
    2. Share on Twitter
  3. Chip in to support our ongoing work on this campaign. We’re planning an event with partners to deliver all the signatures to the AMNH next month and we need your support to fund travel, materials, and other logistical costs. We’ll have more info as the action plan develops.

Tell Cuomo to Walk the Talk on Climate

In a time of record-shattering hurricanes, with Congress bought and sold by the fossil fuel industry, and FERC continuing to act as a rubber stamp for the gas industry —  many of us are looking to states and cities to fight climate change. But real leadership is hard to find. Take New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: he talks a good game on climate action – but we need more than words.

In the words of Bonnie Tyler, we need a hero: an elected leaders who’s fast, strong, and fresh from the fight against fossil fuels. Specifically, we need Governors like Cuomo who commit to the following 3 demands:

  • Stop all fracking infrastructure projects.
  • Move to 100% renewable energy.
  • Make corporate polluters pay.

That’s why on April 23rd, we’re teaming up with allies from across New York in Albany to tell Governor Cuomo to walk the talk on climate. There has never been a climate march this big at the Capitol in Albany, and free buses are available from across the region. All we’re missing is you! RSVP now to join us in Albany on April 23rd.


Governor Cuomo says he’s a “leader” on climate change; that it is “gross negligence” not to address climate change; and that he’s taken “decisive action.” But for all his talk, only 3% of New York’s electricity comes from wind and solar and fracked gas pipelines and power plants are being built across the state. We’ve stood many times before with allies at the Sane Energy Project, We Are Seneca Lake, STOP AIM, and other New York Groups. Now, those groups are asking us to stand with them as they take action in Albany

So, this Earth Day, it’s time for Governor Cuomo to walk his talk by:

  1. Stop all fracked gas infrastructure, including pipelines, power plants, and compressor stations. They poison local communities, and further shackle New York to decades more of dirty fossil fuels. If it’s dangerous to frack in New York, then it’s just as bad to import fracked gas from neighboring states.
  2. Move rapidly to 100% renewable energy, with a just transition that creates thousands of good, union jobs, and ensures resources are prioritized to those communities most vulnerable to climate change, especially low-income and communities of color. If Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey can commit to 100%, then so should Cuomo.
  3. Make corporate polluters pay for the pollution they dump into our atmosphere, which damages our health and destabilizes our climate. Then use the money to fund an equitable transition to 100% renewables.

We have the power to make all three of these things happen in New York, but it’s going to take absolutely all of us. RSVP today to join us in Albany for what will be the biggest climate march in our capital ever by our growing movement.

The event will start with an energetic, family friendly march to the Capitol and then pack the building with our collective power. I’ll also be working with some friends to participate in a civil disobedience action. More details on the day of the march will be available soon — RSVP at the link above to get all the details.

Brave climate leadership isn’t going to come from Washington. It’s going to come from us, if we step up and make our Governor work for the people and the climate. See you on April 23rd in Albany!

Sign here to Fire Pruitt as head of the EPA

It’s past time to fire Scott Pruitt, Trump’s head of the EPA. Whether he’s tearing apart climate change regulations or making it easier to spread toxic pesticides, Pruitt stands out as the most dangerous, and effective, members of Trump’s cabinet.

Fire Pruitt to save the EPAYour Representative can demand that Pruitt resign, and even fire him using the same impeachment process as for a President. But they won’t act unless and until we demand it.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with a host of other groups to demand Congress take action NOW. Will you sign on in support so we can deliver your name to Congress while the headlines are still fresh?

Pruitt’s been under fire for months over his bigoted, corrupt, and hurtful administration of our nation’s top Environmental Agency. But in the last week, it’s gotten really intense. The news has been so bad in the last week that when I confronted Republican Chair of the House oversight Committee Trey Gowdy (SC) — he of the Benghazi witch hunt — if he’d ask Pruitt to testify in his on-going investigation, Gowdy said “I’m not sure he’s going to make it that long. It gets worse every time there’s a report in the news.” (Scroll down to see the video my friend Elaine recorded)

Gowdy is already investigating Pruitt over reports that he has traveled first class on multiple trips. New scandals involve Pruitt giving hundreds of thousands of dollars in special raises to his favorite staff, in direct contravention of Whitehouse rules – and possibly lying about it in an on-camera interview with Fox news. That has had Congress seething and democrats, at least, demanding investigations. Pruitt is also under fire for getting a special deal from veteran D.C. lobbyists and longtime campaign contributors for a $50-a-night Capitol Hill Condo rental.

We’ve already seen that Trump will fire senior cabinet officials if they get caught in too big a scandal, or cross him publicly. Remember when Tom Price was fired for wasting taxpayer money on travel?

But Trump has already tweeted his support of Pruitt. And, even more frightening, is said to be considering Pruitt as a replacement for Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Sessions, remember, has recused himself from the Russia investigation. But Pruitt is under no such constraints – and might immediately fire Robert Mueller or otherwise tamper with that on-going investigation in exchange for Trump overlooking all these scandals and promoting him to our country’s top law enforcement official. We simply can’t let that happen. Congress needs to take action, now.

And as my interaction with Gowdy last week shows, it’s possible that even the most conservative Republicans will take action, given the mounting evidence of Pruitt’s corruption and malfeasance. Sign here to demand Congress take immediate action to #FirePruitt.

Your mayor could save Net Neutrality

Late last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) caved to corporate interests and voted to eliminate Net Neutrality; That’s the basic concept that your internet provider cannot slow down your browsing on certain pages, block websites, or charge apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience. All legal content is treated the same.

It’s been crucial to new movements around the world because it ensures activists can share news and ideas at the same speed as corporations and governments. If you streamed a video from Standing Rock, shared a photo of that Greenpeace RESIST banner over the white house, or just shared one of our online petitions with a friend – you’ve relied on Net Neutrality.

The FCC’s massively unpopular decision has sparked a national movement to demand the return of real Net Neutrality. Thousands of us have already spoken out, but there’s a new way to help by asking your Mayor to defend Net Neutrality.

Click here to email your mayor and ask them to sign the Cities Open Internet Pledge.

mayors can save net neutrality

Mayors like Bill de Blasio of New York, Ted Wheeler of Portland and Steve Adler of Austin have already signed the Cities Open Internet Pledge, which requires all internet providers with whom they do business to follow a strong set of Net Neutrality principles. Within a week, more than 20 mayors took the pledge — but some have been slow to act. That’s why we’re asking for your help to call on ALL U.S. mayors to join the Cities Open Internet pledge. But your voice as a constituent is what matters most.

Urge your mayor to stand for Net Neutrality. Click here to send an email to your mayor, asking them to sign the Cities Open Internet Pledge — and join the national movement for an open internet!

Note: Below is a list of mayors who’ve signed onto the Cities Open Internet Pledge already. If your mayor is already on the list, Click here and enter your address on the right -you’ll be redirected to a page with a pre-drafted thank you email to send them instead.

Mayors who’ve signed onto the Cities Open Internet Pledge already:

Mayor Bill de Blasio — New York, NY
Mayor Steve Adler — Austin, TX
Mayor Ted Wheeler — Portland, OR
Mayor Ron Nirenberg — San Antonio, TX
Mayor Sly James — Kansas City, MO
Mayor Mark Farrell — San Francisco, CA
Mayor Catherine E. Pugh — Baltimore, MD
County Board of Supervisors Chair Zach Friend — Santa Cruz County, CA
Mayor Barney Seney — Putnam, CT
Mayor Paul Soglin — Madison, WI
Mayor Sam Liccardo — San Jose, CA
Mayor Jacob Frey — Minneapolis, MN
Mayor Ethan Strimling — Portland, ME
Mayor Steve Schewel — Durham, NC
Mayor Don Boeder — Gaylord, MN
Mayor Tom Feldkamp — Bow Mar, CO
Mayor Pauline Cutter — San Leandro, CA
Mayor Lucy Vinis — Eugene, OR
Mayor Lisa Swain — Fair Lawn, NJ
Mayor Laura Keegan — Edgewater, CO
Mayor Michael Tubbs — Stockton, CA
Mayor Ras Baraka — Newark, NJ
Mayor Steve Fulop — Jersey City, NJ
Mayor Andrew Ginther — Columbus, OH
Mayor Kim McMillan — Clarksville, TN
Mayor David Terrazas — Santa Cruz, CA
Mayor Frank Ortis — Pembroke Pines, FL
Mayor Lowell Hurst — Watsonville, CA
Mayor Shari Cantor — West Hartford, CT
Mayor Rick Davis — City of Tonawanda, NY
Mayor Sal Panto Jr — Easton PA
Mayor Alex Morse — Holyoke, MA
Mayor Michelle Distler — Shawnee, KS
Mayor G. David Gillock — North Ridgeville, OH
Mayor Michael M Vargas — Perris, CA
Mayor Lyda Krewson — Saint Louis, MO
Mayor Bob Scott — Sioux City, IA
Mayor David Martin — Stamford, CT
Mayor Walt Maddox — Tuscaloosa, AL
Mayor Paul Heroux — Attleboro, MA
Mayor Jean (John) Mordo — Los Altos, CA
Mayor Debra S. Lewis — Ashland, WI
Mayor Heidi Harmon — San Luis Obispo, CA
Mayor Miro Weinberger — Burlington, VT
Mayor Zachary Vruwink — Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Mayor Kim Driscoll — Salem, MA
Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer — Alameda, CA
Mayor Marc McGovern — Cambridge, MA
Mayor David M. DelVecchio — Lambertville, NJ
Mayor Adrian O. Mapp — Plainfield, NJ
Mayor Patrick Wojahn — College Park, MD
Mayor Tom Butt — Richmond, CA
Mayor Francis M. Womack III — North Brunswick, NJ
Mayor Dominic Persampiere — Oviedo, FL
Mayor Dan Horrigan — Akron, OH
Mayor Charles Lamb — Edmond, OK
Mayor Catherine Blakespear — Encinitas, CA
Mayor Peter d’Errico — Leverett, MA
Mayor John Heilman — West Hollywood, CA
Mayor Lydia E. Lavelle — Carrboro, NC

Back to FERC with new demands

After almost a year without a quorum, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is back to it’s rubber-stamping ways with four new Trump appointees (three of them Republicans).

Since getting their quorum back, FERC has approved new pipelines, and considered several plans to subsidize coal, gas and nuclear over renewable energy. Thankfully, the rejected a ham-handed attempt by Secretary of (oops) Energy Rick Perry to charge ratepayers billions to subsidize the dirtiest energy in our electric grid. But, despite some groups already declaring victory, FERC’s rejection of Sec. Perry’s plan was not a repudiation of the concept.

And now, there’s a new threat: More than three months ago, FERC’s chairman said he wanted to re-examine the process by which FERC considers and (almost always) approves pipelines. Since then, FERC has been silent on how this review will work, and how the public can participate. But we got a clue to their thinking on March 15 when a three member majority — Chairman McIntyre and Commissioners Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson, all Republicans appointed by Trump — Signaled their intention to crack down on the number of people and groups allowed to formally intervene in pipeline applications. In fact, they specifically called out our allies at the Delaware River Keeper Network and warned them that “going forward…we will be less lenient in the grant of late interventions.” Commissioners LaFleur and Glick, both Democrats, dissented and expressed “serious concerns … particularly as it would apply to landowners and community organizations that lack sufficient resources to keep up with every docket.” But, as we warned Congress last year, their votes are not enough to matter.

Put simply, the three brand new Republicans at FERC, every one of them appointed by Trump, could be about to radically reduce public participation as part of a plan to ram through new fracked gas pipelines. Fortunately, our friends at BXE, Delaware River Keeper Network, and others are headed to FERC this week with a pre-emptive list of demands. They’ll be meeting with one of those Democratic FERC commissioners, and we hope the can hatch a plan together that will delay or disrupt this pipeline review.

Stop FERCSign here and we’ll deliver your comments in person on April 5 to one of the FERC commissioners.

FERC’s pipeline review protocols were last updated in a 1999 Pipeline Policy Statement  — well before the fracking boom. And while we don’t trust FERC to listen to the public or experts on climate, pollution, land rights, and other issues, the pipeline review gives us an opportunity to define what a functioning Federal Energy Regulator could look like.

With that in mind, our friends have put together a multi-point plan calling on FERC to hold no less than six public hearings in affected communities across the nation, as well as engaging in a robust and truly public comment period (not their usual sham). This week, allies will meet face to face with one of the FERC commissioners to deliver the list of demands, AND your comments. But you only have until Wednesday to sign on so we have time to deliver your name and comment! Click here to sign on to the list of demands below. Or click here to read the whole, longer letter with more footnotes and references.

Minimal reforms to the FERC process must include:

Dear FERC Commissioners

As a federal agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has a duty to respect the law and respect the people of the United States of America. As citizens and residents who have experienced and witnessed the FERC decision making process and been impacted by its biased outcomes, we find FERC wanting in these obligations.

FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre announced on December 21, 2017 that FERC would be reviewing both its 1999 Pipeline Policy Statement and its policies on certification of natural gas pipelines. And yet, over three months later, we have no idea how, when or even if this review is actually proceeding and to what degree, if any, the public will be given the opportunity to be involved.

Given that we are unaware of when or how the public can and should give input into this review process, we are taking the liberty of ensuring our voices are heard by volunteering our demands with regards to this review process and the reforms that must come out of it.

  1. It is time that FERC Implement a Pipeline Review Process that Prioritizes the Public Interest Over the Goals of the Pipeline Industry. This Means Giving Proper Priority (i.e. Highest Priority) to People, the Environment, Protection Against Climate Changing Emissions and Protection of Future Generations in Both the FERC Review and Decision-making.
  2. Review and Reform of FERC’s Pipeline Review Process Must Begin with a Series of No Less than Six Public Hearings Held in Affected Communities, and 90 Days for Written Comment, So FERC Can Learn How the Current Process Is Failing and the Public Interest Reforms that Are Needed.
  3. FERC Must Mandate a Legitimate Demonstration of “Need” for a Proposed Pipeline/Infrastructure Project that is Verified by Unbiased Experts, Is Not Comprised of Contracts to Supply Gas to the Pipeline Company Itself or Any of Its Business Counterparts, and Is Not/Cannot be Supplied by Renewable or Existing Energy Sources.
  4. There Must Be a Prohibition on FERC Issuing (a) Certificates of Public Convenience or Necessity, (b) Notices to Proceed with Any Aspect of Construction, Including Tree Felling, and/or (c) Approval for Exercise of Eminent Domain, Until Such Time as an Infrastructure Project Has Secured All State, Federal and/or Regional Permits, Dockets and/or Approvals. This Includes a Prohibition on Conditional FERC Certificates.
  5. FERC Must End Its Strategic Practice of Failing to Affirmatively Grant or Deny Rehearing Requests, But Instead Issue Responses that Provide FERC More Time for Consideration (i.e. a Tolling Order), and as a Result Prevent Pipeline Challengers from Bringing a Legal Challenge in the Courts while FERC Grants the Pipeline Company the Power of Eminent Domain and Approval for Construction.
  6. FERC Must Prohibit the Practice of Hiring Third-Party Consultants to Assist in the FERC Review Process who Have Any Business Contracts (Past, Present or Future) with a Pipeline Company Seeking FERC Approval, and Must Prohibit FERC Commissioners or FERC Staff from Working on or Deciding upon Any Pipeline or Infrastructure Project in which They or a Family Member Have a Direct or Indirect Financial or Employment Interest.
  7. FERC Must End the Practice of Using Segmentation, Allowing Pipeline Companies to Break Up Projects into Smaller Segments in Order to Undermine a Full and Accurate Review of Community and Environmental Impacts.
  8. FERC Must Commit to a Full and Fair Implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act, Including Full and Fair Evaluation of Climate Change Impacts; Induced Fracking/Drilling Operations; Costs of Construction, Operation and Maintenance (not Just Benefits); Health and Safety Impacts; the Full Array of Community, Business and Environmental Impacts that Will Result; and that All Inaccurate, Missing, False or Misleading Data and/or Information Identified by FERC and/or Public Commenters Are Fully, Completely and Accurately Addressed.
  9. FERC Must End the Practice of Allowing Pipeline Companies to Secure a 14% Rate of Return on Equity on All New Pipeline Projects In Order to Ensure the Public Does Not Bear the Burden of Flawed Projects and to Ensure that FERC Does not Incentivize Inappropriate and/or Unwarranted Pipeline/Infrastructure Construction.

In conclusion, if FERC is serious about wanting a full, fair, and properly informed decision-making process for fracked gas pipelines, compressors, LNG export, storage and related infrastructure projects, it will commit to the process and substantive asks laid out in this letter.

Together, we can take action to disrupt or delay FERC’s pipeline review process. And if we succeed, we can create some space for communities on the frontlines fighting frackged gas pipelines to demand changes and a stop to construction. But only if we act fast, and together with our allies.

Sign here and we’ll deliver your comments in person on April 5 to one of the FERC commissioners. We’ll also keep you updated about our plans for a massive mobilization at FERC later this spring, and more ways you can get involved and support us!

PS – got a pipeline fighting group or local organization that wants to endorse the letter? You can sign on as an organization (instead of an individual) here.

Gas Pipeline image from National Parks Conservation Association

Not Guilty by necessity in West Roxbury

Earlier today (March 27) 13 defendants went into the west Roxbury District courthouse to answer charges related to their arrests protesting the West Roxbury (Mass) Lateral Pipeline.

We expected to have charges against them reduced to civil infractions — the equivalent of a parking ticket. While finding no grounds to deny that motion from the prosecution, the judge chose to let each defendant testify on the necessity of their actions. The defendants collectively presented a powerful and comprehensive argument for why they had a necessity to engage in civil disobedience to stop the imminent local and global harms of this fracked gas pipeline. Following their testimony, the judge acquitted ALL the defendants by reason of necessity.

While defendants were still denied a jury trial and the possibility of a full necessity defense, this was the first time (that we know of to date) that defendants were acquitted based on climate necessity. Since then the defendants have had a celebratory lunch together, and met to talk about next steps and future struggles.

We’ll have audio from the courtroom as soon as it’s available (in a few days), but in the meantime Climate Disobedience Center would love your help sharing this news:

  1. Join us tomorrow at 7pm for a live online discussion! Invite your friends and family to join us and learn more.
  2. Share this Facebook live video of all the defendants and their legal team on the steps of the courthouse just after the verdict.
  3. Or share this Twitter video about the same.

You can also read more about this campaign, the defendants and the necessity defense at the Climate Disobedience site here – they’re awesome.

photo by @Peter_Bowden

Kick Climate Deniers out of the Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City is one of the premier institutions for public understanding of science in America. It’s a place children come to learn and develop a sense of wonder about the natural world. And it’s a top scientific institution looking into how our planet and climate have worked for the last million years, and what that means for big issues like climate change.

So what in the world is climate-denying sponsor of Breitbart News, Steve Bannon, and Donald Trump — Rebekah Mercer — doing on the board?!

If Mercer’s name sounds familiar, it might be because she and her father are at the center of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which exploited the Facebook data of 50 million people to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election. Mercer is standing by Cambridge Analytica, where she sits on the firm’s board, despite an ongoing series of reports that the firm lied, stole, used sex workers and more in the service of conservative political campaigns like Trump’s.

Scientists from around the world and inside the AMNH have already asked Mercer to step down. But she shows no sign of bowing to public pressure.

Sign here to kick climate denier Rebekah Mercer out of our science museum. 

The Cambridge Analytica Scandal is only the latest in the Mercer family’s shady, and decidedly un-scientific exploits: The Mercer Family Foundation has spent millions propping up Breitbart.com and their leader Steve Bannon. They’ve supported dozens of climate-denying politicians from Ted Cruz to Roy Moore. And they routinely fund so-called think-tanks like the Heartland Institute, the CO2 Coalition, and the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide that routinely promote junk science denying that climate change is real, urgent, and a danger to our communities.

Clearly, Rebekah Mercer has no place on the board of one of our most famous science museums. But this isn’t just about kicking climate deniers out of our public institutions. It’s about making sure that billionaires can’t use their money to make climate denial and the politicians who support it (like Trump) seem legitimate. From her comfy position on the Board, Mercer can claim the attention, respect and even the tacit support of AMNH staff like Neil deGrasse Tyson.

But by standing together, we know we can win. Two years ago a lot of us engaged in a campaign to kick billionaire climate-denier David Koch off the board of the AMNH, and we won. Now is the time to do the same with Rebekah Mercer.

Sign here to kick climate denier Rebekah Mercer off the board at the American Museum of Natural History.

Sign now: Climate on trial in West Roxbury

In the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, Spectra Energy was building a fracked-gas pipeline off of their existing AIM pipeline. Beginning in October of 2015, Resist The Pipeline began a campaign of climate disobedience, getting in the way of active pipeline construction.

The campaign grew, and eventually 198 people (Serendipity much?) were arrested over the course of a year. Starting March 27, 12 of those defendants, including our friend and Climate Disobedience Center co-founder Tim DeChristopher and Director of the Center for Earth Ethics of at Union Theological Seminary Karenna Gore (daughter of Al) are going to trial.

The activists are committed to mounting a climate necessity defense, arguing that they had no reasonable alternative to putting themselves in the path of the pipeline’s construction. If the jury is allowed to decide whether the defendants’ actions were necessary in order to prevent a greater harm, we’ll have a legal precedent that communities across the country can use in their own resistance to pipelines and other infrastructure.

But mounting a necessity defense isn’t easy, and these activists need our help. I’ll be traveling to Boston later this month to support them at trial, and YOU can help support by signing on at this page. If you do, Climate Disobedience will send you updates and information about the trial.

Activists like Tim and Karenna stood up in front of construction equipment and laid themselves down in the path of destruction. Now, they will stand up for us all in court.

They will tell the jury why their actions were not only justified, but also necessary: the community and their elected leaders fought this pipeline through the regulatory process for years – striking out in appeals with agencies we know well like FERC. But when the system is broken, it takes a sustained campaign of resistance like this to stop destruction. These activists hoped not only to protect their community in West Roxbury, but to spark our collective moral imagination and empower communities to build resistance against pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure everywhere.

This will be the first climate necessity case in the United States in two years, and climate champions and experts, including Bill McKibben and Dr. James Hansen, are planning to testify to make the case that we are in an emergency, and emergency measures – even if they break existing law – are justified in order to prevent a greater harm.

We expect the trial to last up to four days, and we hope you will join us in the courtroom for one or more of those days. Click here to sign on in support of the West Roxbury Climate trial

PS. – To support the trial with expert witnesses, social media and more, Climate Disobedience needs to raise $7,500. We’re almost there, but could use a few more donations before March 27 when the trial starts. You can chip in and support them here (and tell them 198 methods sent ya!)

PPS. – The West Roxbury 12 are Tim DeChristopher, Callista Womick, Dave Publow, Karenna Gore, Nora Collins, Diane Martin, Nathan Phillips, Brown Pulliam, Mike Bucci, Warren Senders, Patricia Martin, and Cathy Hoffman. If you’re able to attend the trial in West Roxbury for a day RSVP here, and share about the trial on Facebook.

 

Last 48 hours to comment on Trump’s offshore drilling plan

Don't let Trump drill our coast!

Apologies if you’ve already submitted a comment opposing offshore drilling in a different way or with a different group. But even if you have, it’s still really important that you submit a comment direct to BOEM using our new form – this will put your message in the fast-lane for BOEM.

This offshore drilling plan is really terrible, and really close to complete. I’ve laid out a bunch of arguments about why we need to oppose it in this earlier blog post​. We’ve also staged actions and delivery events where we spoke out and disrupted BOEM’s process​. And already we’ve helped gather tens of thousands of signatures and public comments opposing the plan.

All that’s missing, as we head into our final 48 hours, is YOU!​ Please click here to send in your public comment now. And if you already have, comment again!