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!

Update on the #NoBBP week of action

Wow! There has been SO MUCH happening this week on the fight to stop the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (#NoBBP) this week (and other stuff too). Here’s a quick roundup of just SOME of the week’s events, and a reminder that it’s NOT TOO LATE to plan an action at a local bank branch, ACOE office, or another target in your town.

As a reminder, this week (Feb 24-Mar 4) we’ve all been asked and invited to host actions in solidarity with the L’eau Est La Vie Camp in Louisiana. That’s the base-camp for resistance to the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (BBP), and you should definitely check out their Facebook page for lots of updates.

The week kicked off with an action in Louisiana led by LA bucket Brigade, 350 NOLA and other local groups and activists. They shut down the construction site for most of the day, and three people were eventually arrested for refusing to move out of the way. Here’s a live stream from part of that action.

Those three activists were released later the same day. You can chip in to support their legal support fund here.

ETP defying federal court injunctionA big focus of the LA activists has been training people to monitor the pipeline construction for possible violations of their air, water, and other permits. As it turns out, a court injunction late last week was supposed to stop construction on the pipeline, at least in the Atchafalaya Basin. But on Tuesday morning, a boat full of pipeline monitors saw the company (the notorious Energy Transfer Partners, ETP, the same company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline and many other environmental atrocities) working on the route with heavy equipment. Monitors called in the observed violation to local police and legal observers, and the court wrangling is continuing all this week. Just TODAY, March 1st, there is another action at the Governor’s mansion to reveal documents that show collusion between the LA government and ETP.

But it’s not just going down in the Bayou. In solidarity with the L’eau Est la Vie Camp and all the water protectors in Louisiana, activists have been taking actions to target the major financiers of the BBP – banks like Wells Fargo, investors like Morgan Stanley and others. These actions are an extension and continuation of the #DefundDAPL and #DefundPipelines actions many of us took last year in solidarity with the Standing Rock protest encampment.

Here’s an action targeting Morgan Stanley in Rhode Island:

and one in Vermont targeting Goldman Sachs:

And there have been lots of others – in Connecticut, Virginia, California, Washington and all over the country. And it’s not too late to join or host an action this week. Grab a few friends this weekend, head down to a local branch of one of these banks, and make some noise! You can hand out flyers, encourage people to close their accounts, and tell the story of the #NoBBP resistance all over the country. If you register your event on this map, we’ll help support you by inviting activists who live nearby and sharing and amplifying your message on social media (check out those posts above, they’ve reached tens of thousands of people).

Send a Message to Duke Energy online

Earlier this week I endorsed a letter calling on Duke energy to take action on climate change with a bunch of other social and environmental justice nonprofits, singers, actors, and other VIPs.

NC Warn, the group that spearheaded the letter, is especially alarmed by a powerful new NASA study linking climate chaos to rapidly rising global methane emissions from the fossil fuel industry. NASA’s findings strengthen arguments that the U.S. fracking boom is linked to record-breaking global heat since 2014, and thus contributing to the acceleration of weather extremes that are devastating communities and wildlife worldwide.

North Carolina residents are in a unique position to back us up: Duke CEO Lynn Good is likely to listen to what you say — IF you say it in public and online. Can you back us up by posting about the letter on Facebook, Twitter or by email?

Click here to share on Facebook

Click here to share on Twitter

Click here to email

It’s not just us climate activists who are alarmed about that new NASA study: Grammy Award winner Bonnie Raitt also called on Duke CEO Lynn Good to take action — so did Hollywood United, a campaign led by actors like Mark Ruffalo, Leonardo Dicaprio, Norman Lear and many more.

But you don’t have to be famous to know that Duke should take action. Communities across North Carolina are already suffering repeated floods, fires, droughts and other climate impacts. And we’ve been taking action with allies who are fighting the massive Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP),3 which would bring even more of this climate-wrecking fracked gas *(methane) from West Virginia through North Carolina, and eventually to South Carolina as well.

Our letter urges Duke’s CEO Good to do two things:

  1. ​Stop venting unburned methane – which is up to 86 times more potent of a climate pollutant than Carbon Dioxide – into the air from all operations involving methane gas; And
  2. Replace all fossil fuel electricity with renewables bolstered by energy storage, efficiency and energy-balancing programs.

This is especially important for Duke energy, since they’re one of the only utilities in the US where greenhouse emissions are rising due to methane venting and leaking from its massive expansion fracked gas.

Take action this weekend, and NCWarn will amplify your call in ads and paid outreach this month to and urge Duke CEO Lynn Good to help avert climate chaos instead of making it worse – with a first step being cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.


BOEM goes the dynamite – your comments in action

When the Bureau of Ocean Energy management (BOEM) came to my town, there was already a great plan in place with rallies, lobby days,and speak outs planned by partners. But I wanted to make sure we did more than show up and record your comments (and mine) as opposed to the Trump administration’s plan.

There’s an important role for direct action in moments like these. First it’s an important way to withhold consent – a critical strategy in the Gene Sharp model of anti-authoritarian organizing we ascribe to.

Second, it helps inspire people to realize they don’t have to obey unjust and destructive dictates from the Trump administration. Across the country, people have been showing up at these BOEM events to speak out and demand a full retraction of this plan. The louder, less orderly, and more disruptive we get, the more Zinke and his team withdrawal. Some in the media are already saying that it looks more like a political stunt than a serious energy plan.

And finally, it helps to correct the media narrative, which tends towards “both side-ism” and false balance by giving drilling opponents, who vastly outnumber drilling supporters, the same amount of coverage as the fossil fuel industry, and paints BOEM as an impartial referee for science. In fact, Trump’s  Interior secretary Ryan Zinke is already ignoring mountains of scientific evidence that offshore drilling is too dangerous for our coasts and economies, and a disaster for our climate. In many cases, they’re ignoring evidence that was just submitted 1-2 years ago as part of the Obama administration process that resulted in a ban on all offshore drilling in the Atlantic and continental Pacific (eg not Alaska) oceans.*

So, when more than 10,000 members and supporters of 198 methods submitted comments opposing the Trump/Zinke offshore drilling plan, we didn’t just want to hand over your names and comments, we wanted to make a ruckus.

And that’s what we did in South Carolina – arguably the Reddest, most Trump-friendly state where BOEM is holding an offshore drilling hearing (and also Drew’s Home turf).  Below is a LONG recap of the day’s events. But if you’re already into our idea to deliver comments in the most loud, non-compliant, media-shattering way possible, then please chip in. There are important hearings happening in the next week in Washington, D.C. and North Carolina that we want to support and play a role in – and we need your help to make it happen.

The Story in South Carolina.

First of all, all respect to the Sierra Club of South Carolina and their Ready for 100% rally and lobby day, which was already planned at the statehouse. This was lead by Minister Leo Woodbury, he’s from the northeast corner of South Carolina. That’s right across the state-line from Robeson county, which we talked a lot about in the live-stream about the ACP and the Rev., in addition to talking a lot about clean power, talked about the dangers of expanding fossil fuel infrastructure including offshore drilling and new pipelines. Here’s a bit of Rev. Woodbury to give you the flavor:

Later in the morning, the big ocean groups- OCEANA, Coastal Conservation League, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, etc – organized a big rally on the statehouse steps that featured equal numbers of democratic and Republican law makers speaking out against drilling. It was a good event, and did a good job highlighting what SC ‘insiders’ view as our most plausible route to stopping drilling in this state: that the issue is so politically toxic, that it might even suppress turnout among Trump’s base voters in 2018. These groups hope that the threat of an electoral back-lash will lead Zinke and team to offer an exemption for SC like they did for FL – but I’m not so sure.

Here’s some video of that rally:

Our local big greens did a great job planning and executing a rally based on conventional political wisdom.  It featured the voices of big politicians like Rep. Mark “Appalachian trail” Sanford and lots of State legislators. But those same reasons, the rally was not very radical  — for example it did NOT connect offshore drilling to pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure, Climate Change was barely mentioned once, nor was an explicit connection to environmental and racial justice made by most speakers (except the Gullah Geechee nation, of course). Still, that was the part of the day that got the most media attention.

After that it was off to the Doubletree — a hotel as far as you can get from downtown and still technically be in Columbia. Seriously, the location has no public transit it sits at the intersection of two interstate highways. Once there it was clear that BOEM was expecting some pushback given the amount of security on site.  To counteract the un-democratic format of the hearing (more on that below) a lot of those same big green groups staged a counter-rally outside the BOEM hearing room, essentially in the ballroom next door. Where the focus of the earlier rally at the statehouse was clearly political – featuring elected officials and politically connected spokespeople – the pre-BOEM rally at the hotel was focussed on the grassroots. Local mayors, business owners, and impacted trade associations like fishermen were the featured speakers. And the clear focus was to get everyone fired up and ready to submit a comment in opposition to the Trump-Zinke plan. Here’s some video of that rally to give you a taste:

About that BOEM process.

The format of the hearings is always the same, they call it a ‘townhall’ but it’s not the format most of us associate with that description – EG one microphone and people get up one at a time to testify in favor or against on the record. What they have are a bunch of table displays, staffed by career BOEM people about the proposed offshore drilling plan. The displays and staff are not explicitly pro-drilling, but they are there to explain the Trump/Zinke proposal, which is very pro drilling. So the information includes things like “why oil drilling is safer than ever” and “Why is offshore oil important to America’s Economy”. There is no display specifically on climate change or pipelines (which will be needed to get oil from offshore rigs to shore, and then onshore to refineries).

If you want to submit a “public comment” at the hearing, you have to sit down, by yourself at a laptop (provided by BOEM) and type your name, address and other personal information into the approved terminal before being allowed to (in complete silence) type your comment into the system.

I wasn’t having it. So, after a few minutes of letting people sign in and mill around, I pulled out a chair, stood on it, and called BS on the whole process.

I’m using the “BS” frame here as an intentional homage to Emma Gonzalez and her speech in Florida on gun violence. There’s something really powerful about having someone call out a lie, and it’s a similar energy I’m hoping to channel into these remaining BOEM hearings – because they’re NOT OVER YET!

In fact there three more weeks to comment on this offshore drilling plan. So before March 9, tell your friends to comment, share the action online, and if you can please chip in to support us getting to as many of these hearings as possible to shout, disrupt, and make our voices heard any way we can.


* We think the Obama rules should have gone farther, and protected the Gulf of Mexico as well. If it’s too dirty and dangerous for the South Atlantic, why is it safe for the Gulf? Answer it’s not, but the Gulf is treated as a sacrifice zone.  But that’s another story.

Act now to Stop the Bayou Bridge Pipeline

Construction has begun on the Bayou Bridge pipeline (BBP). This is the pipeline at connects at the very end of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to bring fracked-oil from North Dakota to export terminals near St. James, Louisiana.

bayou bridge mapAlong the route, the BBP crosses over 700 bodies of water, threatening our water and the local economy. It also lights the fuse on a massive carbon bomb in the Bakken oil formation — America’s Tar Sands — by connecting the dirtiest oil in America to international export market fueled by corporate greed.

Local organizers have been preparing for this moment for months creating the L’eau Est la Vie camp in the path of the proposed pipeline, writing letters, calling elected officials, attending hearings and suing the company to stop this atrocity.5 Now, those on the frontlines of the #NoBBP fight are calling for aid, and we need to respond.

From February 26 – March 4, You are invited to take action along with communities across the globe in solidarity with those fighting the Bayou Bridge on the frontlines. Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind Bayou Bridge and also behind DAPL, must be held accountable. Click here to learn more and sign up to host an action​.

TONIGHT! February 15 at 5:30 PT / 8:30 ET you’re also invited to join a conference call to hear from organizers and residents who are resisting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline on the frontlines. Click here to RSVP and get the call in number so you can hear updates from the ground and learn more about how to plan an action that supports the frontlines.

If you can’t make it tonight, I suggest checking in with to learn more about the financiers and politicians targeted during the week of action​. Lots of you have already signed on to petitions and letter asking these banks to divest. And many of you have attended big days of action targeting these banks (US Bank, Wells Fargo, and others) over the last few months. Even if you can’t plan or attend an event you can close a bank account, hold a rally or just withhold your business and consent from any of these institutions to show solidarity.

But the best thing to do ​right now​ is put up an event on that map – we’ll follow up with more information, sample fliers and more. And of course we’ll send multiple ​emails (along with all the other solidarity partners) to make sure that you get a crowd to back you up. But until someone, like you, steps up to host an event at a local bank branch or similar location, we can’t invite all your neighbors to show solidarity with this important week of action.

So click here to get started hosting your own #NoBBP action between Feb 26 and March 5.

Dearest Justin …

You know you’re jealous of Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau: He insisted on a 50% female cabinet, listens to climate science, and does yoga on the regular. He’s like the opposite of Trump, and he’s right next door!

But as handsome and cool as he is, Trudeau has a serious flaw: he supports Tar Sands pipelines – even though they violate Indigenous rights and make it impossible for Canada to meet its climate commitments.

Click here to send a letterSo this Valentine’s Day, we’re teaming up with friends at Stand.Earth and the Other 98% to send Trudeau a love letter telling him to stop supporting Tar Sands pipelines. Can you sign on too?

The back story:

For years now, Justin Trudeau has supported the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would run through rural communities without the consent of local landowners. And within his first year in office, he approved two major pipelines – Line 3 and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipelinewithout the consent of local First Nations.

That’s just wrong. The Tar Sands are one of Canada’s dirtiest secrets. Producing one barrel of Tar Sands oil creates up to 37% more emissions than conventionally-produced oil and gas. They’re a ticking climate bomb, and by supporting pipelines, Trudeau is playing with fire. Just last year, the Canadian Prime Minister said that “no country in the world would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and leave them there.”

Canada and Trudeau say they’re different than Trump and America. We all want to believe Justin can change, but to do it, he needs to keep fossil fuels in the ground. And to do that he needs to stop these dirty Tar Sands Pipelines.

Trudeau is loved by progressives all over the world. But he needs to know that we’re not going to let him selfie his way out of his promises on climate and Indigenous rights.

Send a message to the Canadian Prime Minister and tell him to cancel his pipelines and to take real action on Canada’s dirty Tar Sands.

Header image by Alex Guibord.
Body image Dearest Justin website

National Dream Act Day of Action Feb 7

You probably remember, less than a month ago, when all but 16 hard-line Dream Heroes in the Senate (not-coincidentally some of our most reliable votes on climate change) voted to re-open the government. They did so based on a promise from Mitch McConell and Donald Trump allow a vote to protect Dreamers before February 8.

This week, the bill for that bad bet comes due. Tomorrow is the 8th and no vote on the Dream act has been scheduled. The Government runs out of money, again, this Friday and we’ve made no progress.

Today hundreds of young Dreamers from across the country have traveled to D.C. to demand that Congress pass a clean Dream ActClick here to check out the live feed of their actions on capitol hill, and then call 478-488-8059 so United We Dream can patch you through to Congress. Tell them to pass a CLEAN Dream Act and protect immigrant youth without harming their families.

As we explained last timethis Dream Act vote is a critical litmus test  for climate change.

It’s also clear that we can’t trust most of the “deals” that have been offered by Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell in recent days. McConell has already broken his promise by not scheduling an up or down vote on immigration, and today’s proposed two year spending plan does nothing to protect Dreamers — giving us us even more reason to distrust him.

Trump’s plan is even worse. He’s actively calling for a government shut down unless Congress gives him a racist immigration plan that a Washington Post analysis confirms will mostly have the effect of making America Whiter, Older, and more poor.6 It’s no surprise that President “shit-hole” isn’t a reliable negotiating partner. But that’s why we need Republicans and Democrats in Congress who claim to agree on immigration (just like many of them claim to agree on the need for climate action) to do their job and VOTE on the issue.

Let your Senators know you demand that Mitch McConell be held to his promise, and that Congress vote on a clean dream act – not a compromise that includes racist policies like an end to family reunification or a border wall – NOW. Call 478-488-8059 right now and tell them to pass a CLEAN Dream Act and protect immigrant youth without harming families.

Images from United we Dream

Live in Raleigh

I’m locked in the North Carolina Governor’s office with a dozen pipeline fighters, so I’ll keep this short:

This morning, in a surprise addition to a planed day of action challenging the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a muti-state coalition of activists stormed the lobby to the governor’s office and are refusing to leave until the governor or his staff will meet with them.
Activists were angered by Governor Roy Cooper’s decision last Friday against all evidence and reason to nonetheless green light ACP construction. Activists have been occupying the office since 8:30 am, and have vowed not to leave until the Governor revokes his approval. Police are allowing the demonstration to continue uninterrupted, resulting in a stalemate where activists are getting food delivered and bringing in sleeping bags, readying themselves to stay all day and into the night potentially.
A few things you can do to help right now!
1) Help feed the team! If you donate here, we’ll get pizza and other gnoshables delivered to the occupation team. The police show no signs of trying to force us out. But Cooper has also shown no signs of reversing his decision. So we’re digging in for the long haul. And our team is hungry!It’s lunch time as I type this, and if you chip in here​, or here on paypal​, we’ll put your donation toward food and other logistics.
2) share share share – the livestream is great. So are the facebook and twitter feeds of the other groups sponsoring this action:​

3) Tell Raleigh NC people to come join us – especially students and anyone free in the middle of the day. The police are making no move to remove us, so we’re digging in to occupy until 5pm when the building closes.

US Bank broke its promise – Defund Pipelines

If you’re one of the nearly 200,000 people who signed a petition calling on the biggest Wall Street Banks to stop financing the Dakota Access Pipeline, and all fossil fuel infrastructure, you need to see this.

US Bank, which had promised to stop funding DAPL and similar pipeline projects, just made millions of dollars guaranteeing a massive credit deal with Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind DAPL, the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, and dozens of other dirty pipelines across America.

Will you sign this petition to US Bank CEO Andrew Cecere to keep his promise to end financial support to oil and gas pipelines with our allies at Climate Truth? If you sign today, they and activists in US Bank’s home town of Minneapolis, MN, will deliver it this week.

Last April, a ton of us praised US Bank when they agreed to demands from Indigenous and climate activists (like us) to stop financing major oil and gas pipelines like DAPL. We warned at the time that US Bank was hedging its bets and hadn’t promised to Divest, yet.

But in the closing weeks of 2017, US Bank committed a major betrayal: They signed onto a $5 billion credit arrangement with ETP, the notorious human-rights abusing, climate destroying, pipeline company behind DAPL and some of the dirtiest pipeline on earth.

The decision is as baffling as it is frustrating. Big banks and finance institutions, from New York City’s pension funds to the World bank are divesting from dirty fossil fuels. European banks like ING and BNP Paribas have announced major divestment moves in the weeks since US Bank’s initial announcement. There’s no reason for US Bank to backslide now.

But there is a good reason to turn up the pressure right now: Next month Super Bowl LII is being played in US Bank stadium in Minneapolis. So we’re working with our friends at Climate Truth and local organizers like MN350 and the folks who organized a banner drop at the stadium more than a year ago, to deliver this message bank executives at a high-profile event during Super Bowl week.

Sign the petition now and we’ll deliver it again during US Bank’s biggest publicity event of the year.