Update from a busy week in DC

It’s been a crazy week of action in Washington, DC, and since a lot of what we’re doing has to do with petitions YOU signed, actions YOU too, and advocacy YOU care about – I thought I’d make a short video all about it:

If you like what you see, click here to chip in and support us!


You can also still take action on these campaigns!

The Case to Fire Zinke

Ryan Zinke is Donald Trump’s racist, corrupt, climate-denying, public-lands-defiling Secretary of the Interior — And it’s time for him to go. It’s time to #FireZinke.

Fire Ryan ZinkeAnd it’s not just me saying so: When Scott Pruitt resigned, there were 16 active investigations into his corrupt actions and abuse of taxpayer funds. Zinke faces 14 federal investigations right now, so he could well be next.

But just like with our #FirePruitt campaign, Zinke isn’t going to just resign without a push. And Trump is only interested in loyalty to himself and the fossil fuel industry. He’s never fired anyone for corruption or bribery (how could he, given his own self dealing?). So, once again, we’re teaming up with a big coalition of progressive groups to pressure Congress to investigate, and if necessary Fire the Secretary of the Interior. Sign on now to support us.

Zinke’s corruption and crimes against the planet are vast, and complicated at times. I said Zinke is racist, corrupt, climate-denying, and public-lands-defiling. Here’s why:

Zinke is a Racist

It’s important to remember that one reason Trump likes Ryan Zinke so much is that they are both “birthers” who alleged that president Obama was not born in the U.S. – a racist lie that’s common to officials in this administration.

In a hearing about oversight of historic sites that used to be Japanese internment camps as historic sites Zinke told Japanese American Congresswoman Rep. Colleen Hanabusa “Oh, konnichiwa.” Hanabusa had been asking Zinke about the sites in relation to her own grandfather’s detention. He defended himself by first asking reporters “How could ever saying ‘good morning’ be bad?” and later by saying he has “friends that were Japanese families.”

But Zinke’s most racist attacks might be reserved for Indigenous peoples and Native Americans. It’s bad enough that Zinke cut tribal governments out of the decision to gut the Bears Ears National Monument  — a substantial reversal from the Obama-era process that created the monument. But when an indigenous woman dared to question him  about his Bears Ears process, Zinke stepped towards her aggressively and told her to “be nice” in a distinctly not-nice manner.

Nor is his prejudice restricted to official land decisions. Only 10 percent of DOI staff identify as indigenous or Native American (too few given that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is a part of DOI). But when Zinke cleaned house and reorganized the Department, one third of the senior staff targeted for reassignment were Native Americans. When that clearly racist decision prompted an investigation, Zinke told staff that “diversity isn’t important.”

But for all his own prejudice, Zinke loves to question other people’s citizenship and loyalty to America. His team has defended use of the term “anchor babies”, he told a fossil fuel event that “I got 30 percent of [my] crew that’s not loyal to the [US] flag.” And when a protester tried to ask Zinke a question about climate, he responded: “You know what? You haven’t served and you don’t understand what energy is. I’d like to see your child have to fight for energy.”

Sign now if you agree it’s time to #FireZinke.

Zinke is Corrupt

Here’s the thing, there are a LOT of smoking guns around Ryan Zinke when it comes to corruption. Just like Scott Pruitt the question is less “how can we prove Zinke is corrupt?” Than “is there any decisions Zinke has made that doesn’t benefit his own family, friends or benefactors in the fossil fuel industry?”

The most blatant example is probably the land deal Zinke’s personal foundation, headed by his wife, struck with the head of Halliburtonwhich donated more than $23,000 to Zinke’s campaigns – that included space for a microbrewery he has always wanted. Not at all by coincidence, the land deal went through just as Zinke and the DOI were approving a whole slew of decisions that benefited Haliburton from opening up more of our coast to drilling to rolling back safety standards for offshore drilling.

Oh and that offshore drilling plan? Only one state was exempted from Zinke’s proposal to open more than 90% of our coastlines to drilling. That was Florida, where key Trump ally Rick Scott is running for Senate and an investigation indicates that Zinke’s teams orchestrated a hasty meeting and press conference in the Tallahassee airport – a possible violation of federal campaign rules, as well.

But there are lot of examples of blatant corruption at DOI: From all the fossil fuel companies that have donated to Zinke, and now have lobbyists running the DOI; To Zinke’s secret meetings with fossil fuel executives and lobbyists; To his “Royalty Policy Committee”,  which is supposed to suggest how much mining and drilling companies have to pay for access to public lands and waters, but Under Zinke is stacked Fossil fuel executives and has recommend payments that are only fraction of their value; To his shady relationship with Whitefish Energy, a two year old company from his hometown with only two full time employees, that somehow won a $300 million dollar contract to restore power in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria (they failed, and people died as a result).

We could go on and on, but we won’t do so here. We’ll just recommend you to the excellent coverage in The New Republic and at the website Department of Influence, created by the Western Values Project.

Sign now if you agree it’s time to #FireZinke.

Zinke is a Climate Denyer

Like racist Birther-ism, denial of Climate change is almost a calling card for the Trump Administration. But Zinke has been especially effective and destructive at wielding the anti-science, pro-fossil fuel line:

There have been numerous documented incidents of the DOI and the  National Park Service removing  climate change research or references to sea level rise from official reports and websites. And Zinke eliminated climate change from DOI’s strategic plan and other plans because that was “inconsistent” with Trump’s energy goals.

He’s also made it personal: One of the 14 investigations into Zinke involves his reassignment of climate scientists. The most famous is whistleblower Joel Clement, the former director of the Office of Policy Analysis who had overseen research into climate impacts for years, and was reassigned to a job collecting royalty payments from fossil fuel companies in apparent retaliation.

Most recently, while wildfires were burning out of control across California, Zinke blamed environmental terrorists and said we need to increase loggingdirectly contradicting common sense, good science, and the policy of CalFire first responders.

Sign now if you agree it’s time to #FireZinke.

Zinke destroys Public Lands

Zinke swore up and down that he would never sell public lands for private profit in his confirmation hearing. But the DOI preferred proposal for gutting Grand Staircase Escalante included a plan to sell off 1,600 acresincluding some parcels that would be sold to corrupt, anti-environment Utah state representative Mike Noel. Zinke backed off that plan, but it wasn’t the first time. He’s also pushing to cut the Bears Ears national monument by 1.15 million acres and open both monuments to fossil fuel extraction and uranium mining.

And in case there was any doubt about who Zinke is working for, it’s not you, me, science or indigenous communities who hold these lands sacred. Zinke proposed nearly tripling fees for some national parks; His plan to gut Grand Staircase Monument would destroy many dinosaur fossil discoveries; His plan for Bears Ears ignores Native American input that they hold these lands to be sacred; and his plan to fast track seismic testing and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), puts the Gwich’in people and other subsistence hunting and fishing communities in rural Alaska at risk.

Sign now if you agree it’s time to #FireZinke.

Why right now

That was a lot of reasons why it’s time to #FireZinke – but I just want to give one last short reason why we should take action right now:

Zinke is vulnerable, and he Trump know it. In addition to the 14 investigations, some Democrats in Congress are demanding answers. So far, they’ve been blocked by Republicans loyal to the Trump administration.

But if the election changes who’s in charge of key committees in the House, Zinke could face months of excruciating hearings and inquiries into each of the items tagged above, and many more. That’s how we got Pruitt to resign earlier this year. And we can do it again if we act together – right now, before the election.

Will you help? Sign here to call on Congress to #FireZinke now, and we’ll make sure your name and signature are delivered before the election. We’ll also keep you up to date on protests, actions, and lobbying activity near you that can hold Zinke and the rest of Trump’s team accountable.

We did #FirePruitt now it's time to fire Zinke

What really happened at the Global Climate Action Summit

Our final day in San Francisco was for the #CommunitiesNotCorporations action at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS/ #GCAS2018). We’d already attended the Rise for Climate Jobs and Justice on Saturday, and an occupation of Gov. Jerry Brown’s forest advisory board before the summit.

At this last event, I was embedded with a group of frontline fighters during a tense stand off with police where we blocked the doors to the summit, and I had a front-row seat to the indigenous, frontline, and communities of color who were locked out of a summit where billionaires and mayors rubbed shoulders to congratulate each other on their elevated climate consciousness.

Before you celebrate the commitments made by Mayors of New York and London, or by corporations with billions in profits, check out our wrap up video – filmed live on the streets outside the Global Climate Action Summit, and edited in South Carolina as hurricane Florence makes landfall. And if you’re moved by our argument about what works, and doesn’t work about Jerry Brown’s market-based approach to climate change. Then chip in to support this kind of work if you can.

I also streamed live for a few hours from the action outside along with our friends at Rising Tide. You can see the street theater performance starting at about 22 minutes in, and you can see the tense stand off with police at about 1:10:00

Thanks again to all our partners and friends who helped organize – especially Beyond Extreme Energy which helped send me and Don to California; Rising Tide and Diablo Rising Tide, who did so much amazing prep and organizing for all these actions; And the It Takes Roots coalition including IEN and other allies who put on the amazing Solidarity to Solutions conference, and provided a ton of logistics for speakers, art, theater and frontline participation. It takes ROOTS ROOTS ROOTS, to weather the STORM STORM STORM – and y’all got mad roots.

Last – thanks to all the 198 methods supporters and everyone else who chipped in to get us to California, and home safe (just in time for Florence to make landfall in South Carolina, where I live). If you appreciate this kind of action, and the coverage before, during and after these action – please consider chipping in $1.98 or more to keep us fighting.

Donate, Rise, Burn, or Drown

Earlier this week I wrote to you about how, even in a time of climate fueled fires, super-storms and destruction, our movement for global climate justice gives me hope. Specifically, I asked you to come out to Rise for Climate Jobs and Justice action near you this Saturday, September 8, and see and feel that movement for yourself. And I still hope you’ll do that.

But I also wanted to ask if you can chip in $1.98 or more to support our work at this weekend’s Rise events and beyond. I’m in California now, and I plan to do more than march. I’ll be rallying with frontline leaders and taking direct action in the streets. Can you make a quick donation to support what we’re doing?

I’ll let you in on a secret: I don’t think another march is going to stop climate change. Big international shows of solidarity are an essential part of the movement – a way that (nearly) everyone can get together and call for change. But if we’re seriously going to change Jerry Brown and other local leaders’ minds, if we’re going to get the solutions we need to stop the climate crisis, we’re going to have to take bold direct action.

And that’s what 198 methods is here for: When the climate movement gets into the streets and takes direct action to force real change, we show up and provide digital tools, material support, and good old fashioned participation to help. That’s why I’m in California – and starting tomorrow, you’ll be able to see a series of videos and reports from Direct Actions happening all this week to create the change we need.

But, I can only be here, and only stream, record an broadcast all this stuff, because of generous supporters. So, if you’re in a position, I’d love it if you can chip in $1.98 or more to keep me going, and my camera rolling.

In Five Days, We Rise, We Burn, Or we Drown

We live in dark times, climate-wise.

California and the West are on fire. The first tropical storm of the season is rolling into the Gulf of Mexico – and the last homes and business Puerto Rico just got power back a few weeks ago. But Donald Trump and team just keep on trucking: appointing climate deniers to key posts, blaming wildfires on environmentalists not climate, and rushing the hearings on climate-killing, justice-denying, Trump-protecting judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Some days, it feels like our only choices are whether to burn in a climate-fueled wildfire, or drown in rising seas. But I’m here to tell you there’s another way. A better way. A way we can Rise above climate impacts, and fight for real solutions and justice.

Our movements light the way at moments like these. And as bad as things look, I’m genuinely hopeful about what we can accomplish if we work together. This weekend’s Rise for Climate Jobs and Justice events are a perfect example: More than 600 actions are being planned in 83 countries and all 50 states here in the US. Will you join us this Saturday, September 8 at an event near you?

California Governor Jerry Brown is convening a conference of sub-national (as in Mayors and Governors) leaders from around the world in San Francisco September 12th – 14th. It’s called the Global Climate Action Summit. But Brown and his desire to be known as a climate-champion and the Anti-Trump are not the real objective.

Activists and protestors are not allowed into the conference, but by rallying outside we can make our demands heard. And with so many leaders in one place, at one time – the opportunity for change is real.

Join us in the streets of San Francisco, San Antonio, and dozens of other cities big and small as we tell the world what real climate leadership looks like:

Rise for climate: No new fossil fuel projects, 100% renewable energy, not a penny more

That’s the new bar for climate leadership. We can’t settle for ‘business as usual’ solutions from our elected leaders. And we can’t be complacent.  We need to show up, speak out, and if necessary shut things down in order to demand real solutions. 

PS – Already planning to attend your local Rise event? Want to do more than march and Rally? Chip in to support 198 methods! We’re headed to San Francisco, and not just to march and rally. Drew will join, support, and participate in a series of non-violent, direct actions during the week of Jerry Brown’s summit.

But we need your support to get our team to California, house them (and other friendly activists visiting) and support a range of logistics in the streets all week from the 8th to the 14th. We’ll send frequent updates via social media, email and online. Please chip in to support us if your can!

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Unite for Justice, and a safe climate August 26

You’ve already heard that Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh is a disaster. He must not be given a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

We know for certain that Kavanaugh would rule to end Roe v. Wade and criminalize abortion, gut healthcare, attack voting rights and LGBTQ rights, slash environmental protections, hand the keys of our government to giant corporations, and further damage workers’ and immigrant rights. He’s already ruled in favor of more mercury in our water, more pollution in our air, and he has it in for the EPA and climate science

Mitch McConnell and his Republican friends thought this would be easy for them — that’s why they’re rushing the process on Kavanaugh. They’ve scheduled hearings for the first week in September, MONTHS before anyone even has a chance to review his full record and the millions of documents he worked on as a senior lawyer and staff secretary for George W Bush.

That’s why we’re joining Friends of the Earth, NARAL Pro-Choice America, MoveOn.org and more than 30 other organizations from across the country to build an August 26th National Day of Action, “Unite for Justice,” to stop Brett Kavanaugh and demand that our senators vote NO on his confirmation. Are you in? Sign up to host or attend an August 26 event near you.

If the Senate votes to confirm Kavanaugh, it would cement into place the worst and most dangerous of Donald Trump’s policies for generations to come. Not only that, but he could use his position on the Supreme Court to rule that Trump is immune from investigation and prosecution, creating a lawless presidency with Trump in control.

On August 26th, events will be held in all 50 states to #StopKavanaugh and #SaveScotus. With so much at stake, can you join us in the streets as we take action? RSVP now for our August 26th national day of action.

Make the call to Stop Kavanaugh

Have you met Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to the supreme court? He’s everything you expect, and more: He’s ruled in favor of more mercury in our water, more pollution in our air, and he has it in for the EPA and climate science.

But there’s something nobody knows about Kavanaugh, something the Washington Post this week called a “nightmare scenario” for the constitution and our country: Whether he would use his position on the Supreme Court to rule that Trump is immune from investigation and prosecution, creating a lawless presidency with Trump in control.

Scared yet? Me too. Call (202) 224-3121 and tell your Senators to vote NO on Kavanaugh.

Not sure what to say? Start here (and feel free to read the links below for lots more context and ideas):

You’ll be connected to the congressional switchboard when you call. Tell them the name of your Senator, or which state you live in. They’ll patch you through to one of your two Senators and you’ll probably get a receptionist or a voicemail. You can just say something like:

“Brett Kavanaugh is a radical, anti-environment justice who’s already said that the President is above the law, Roe v Wade should be overturned, and corporations have the right to pollute our water and destroy our climate. You MUST vote NO on his confirmation. And you should speak out now to demand that no vote be held until we have a chance to see ALL his papers from the George W Bush administration — well after the mid-term elections. Do I have your promise that you’ll oppose this dangerous nomination?”

Don’t forget to call back and tell your other Senator (we all have 2) the same thing!

Robert Mueller is actively investigating Donald Trump and his associates over whether they colluded with Russia to fix the 2016 Presidential Election. Trump’s legal team is stone-walling, refusing to let Trump be interviewed because if he does, they’re worried he’ll perjure himself, lie to the FBI or confess to a crime (as he’s already done on twitter). Mueller therefore is likely to subpoena Trump, setting up an unprecedented legal showdown that can only end at the United States Supreme Court later this fall.

But here’s the scary part –Trump and McConnell have already announced plans to fast track the Kavanaugh nomination, with initial hearings scheduled in the next few weeks. If confirmed, one of his first decisions could be to rule that Trump is above the law, and shut down the Mueller investigation subpoena. We can’t let this happen. Call (202) 224-3121. to your Senators and tell them not to allow Kavanaugh’s nomination to have a hearing or a vote.

It’s not outlandish to think Kavanaugh will protect the president that appointed him to a lifetime term on the Supreme Court. After all, Kavanaugh has already said he thinks the SCOTUS ruling that forced Richard Nixon to hand over the Watergate tapes was a “mistake.” He’s also said that sitting President’s can’t or shouldn’t be investigated (despite the fact that he investigated President Clinton when he was desperate to make a name for himself). And Kavanaugh’s time working for George W Bush shows that he believes a President can pick and choose which parts of the law to enforce, based on his own interpretation of the constitution.

We simply can’t let this happen. Call (202) 224-3121 and tell your Senators to vote no on Kavanaugh, and any Supreme Court Nominee who will rule that Trump is ‘above the law.’

Sit in to make Jerry Brown Stand up for Climate

California Governor Jerry Brown likes to talk a good game on climate. He speaks often about climate action and science, and describes himself as a sort of “Anti-Trump” on climate action.

As a centerpiece of that plan, Brown has invited governors and Mayors from around the world to California Next month for a Global Climate Action Summit. But there’s a fundamental problem with Brown’s climate talk – he’s never been willing to stand up and stop fossil fuel production in his own state.

California extracts about 200 million barrels of oil per year, and Brown has frequently helps the Oil and gas industry get new permits, and allows them to drill very close (within a few hundred feet) of vulnerable communities – especially children, the elderly and communities of color.

For the sake of the climate, to protect our communities, it’s time to say “Enough!” It’s time to escalate and make our message impossible to ignore. Will you join us on August 20th in Sacramento as we SIT IN to demand that Governor Brown STAND UP to big oil?

Brown’s climate leadership is not sufficient to address climate change in California, and is not a model of leadership for the world, yet. The global warming pollution from existing wells and pipelines will take California far beyond safe climate limits, and Brown isn’t doing anything to stop new wells from being fracked either.

Our allies are leading a non-violent direct action to insist that Brown address our concerns, acknowledge the science around extreme extraction and neighborhood drilling, and enact adequate protections to save our communities.

We are making two urgent, specific demands that Governor Brown has the power to meet right now:

  1. No new permits for oil drilling in California, and
  2. Commit California to a managed decline of fossil fuel production beginning with 2,500 foot setback limits to protect frontlines communities from toxic oil and gas drilling, as part of a just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels.

Event Details: (full details provided upon confirmed sign-up) Sign up to sit in to end climate cowardice!

  • Location:  Sacramento CA
  • Sunday Aug 19 Training at 6pm Location:
  • Monday Aug 20 Training at 9am, Action at 11:30

Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice

On September 8th, we’re joining partners from around the world in the streets for the Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice actions.

Our goal is to show our local elected leaders that we demand action on climate change. Will you join us?

When Trump pulled the U.S. out of Paris Climate Agreement, he committed our whole country to a stupid, backwards course of action. We’re now the last country on earth that isn’t signed onto the Paris agreement, and the only country on earth without a plan to fight global warming.

Trump didn’t stop at stupid, either: He and his corrupt cabinet of swamp monsters have proposed dozens of rollbacks and reversals on environmental policy, and proposed opening millions of miles of land and our coasts to new fossil fuel drilling. It’s disgusting and shameful and corrupt. And we can ignore all of it (well, don’t ignore it) if our mayors, Governors and local elected leaders take action.

With the 2018 midterm elections fast approaching, now is the time to engage and mobilize our communities to rise for for climate, jobs, and justice.

California Jerry Brown is converging a summit of sub-national (eg local mayors and governors) leaders from around the world. That Brown is not the leader on Climate that he should be isn’t the point, this time. The point is that thousands of our local leaders will all be in one place this September, talking about plans to fight climate change.

Rise for Climate Jobs and JusticeWe want to spur those local leaders on: Show them that the planet is filled with people who demand real action on climate change, and will applaud them if they get serious (and name and shame them if they don’t). So on September 8th people will take to the streets in hundreds of climate action events across the globe to make three simple demands:

  1. No new fossil fuel infrastructure. No pipelines, no fracking wells, nothing. We’re drawing a line and no elected leader may cross it and expect to be re-elected without a fight.
  2. A swift, just transition to a new 100% renewable energy. We know this vision creates millions of good jobs, and ensures that racial and economic justice are at the core of every community.
  3. Not a Penny More. We need banks, pension funds, and every single citizen, city and bank to #divest from fossil fuels. NOW.

If you’re down with those demands, and ready to take action in the streets. Join us, spread the word, and RSVP to host or attend an action in your community on September 8th.

About to go live in Raleigh for #RiseTogether day 2

I’m about to start another live stream at the Raleigh #RiseTogether rally, so I’ll get right to the point: Can you donate to support these solidarity actions in North Carolina and our ability to help organize them?

Yesterday, I got up super early and drove to Charlotte for the first North Carolina #RiseTogether Action. I’m not a morning person, but it was totally worth it. We marched through downtown Charlotte, a city literally owned by the big fossil fuel banks with a 50 foot inflatable pipeline. We sang and chanted and passed out hundreds of fliers on the doorstep of Bank or America, Wells Fargo, and Duke Energy.

And we tussled (verbally, non-violently) with security at Duke’s headquarters when they forbade us to stand on “their” side of the sidewalk, or even to allow people on “their” side to to take our picture.  But for all the fun and power of this action, it was an entirely volunteer production. So, I have to ask, can you check out the video from day one, and then chip in a few dollars to support our participation in the action and all the time, materials and work that went into it?

Working on this kind of project is exactly why I started 198 methods. Our friends in North Carolina were ready to #RiseTogether in solidarity with our allies in the Gulf. And their participation is so vital! Just as our brothers and sisters in Louisiana are fighting the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (BBP), our friends in North Carolina are fighting the Atlantic Coast (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipelines (MVP). All of these pipelines threaten our communities, our clean water, and our climate future.

So a diverse coalition of NC activists wanted to organize two major actions – On July 30 in Charlotte, and July 31 in Raleigh. But to do it they needed help – they needed digital tools to help recruit more people and connect a big, global, audience to the local actions and demands. I was happy to work with them, and together we’ve already pulled off one action and have a solid plan for today. You can see the video from day one above, and click here to tune in to day two:

But here’s the plain and simple fact: Part of the reason I work with local groups like NC APPPL and other allies, is that they’re under-resourced. These folks work on the front lines with communities of color, indigenous leaders, the faith community, and any one who will stand with them to fight the pipeline. They’ve shown willingness to risk their safety and freedom to stop fossil fuels- like the time we occupied Governor Cooper’s office for more than 8 hours. Or when we barn-stormed into a BOEM hearing to stop offshore drilling and make the people’s voices heard.

Now, they’re rising together with our allies in the Gulf as part of a big, global movement to stop all pipelines and shut down fossil fuels. Can you chip in to support us?

Our Demands are:

But we literally can’t do it without your support. 198 methods is able to work with local groups and step up to support these actions because of small donations from kind people like you. If you’ve watched one of our live-streams, signed on to support our work, or just been looking for a way to help – now’s the time. Click here to chip in and support the North Carolina #RiseTogether actions. We’ll donate all the proceeds to NC APPPL and local groups. Thanks.