Shut. It. Down. Dream Act Now.

There’s a principle in direct action called “shutting things down to open them up.” The basic idea is that since we know “power concedes nothing without a demand,” sometimes you have to shut something down in order to open up a conversation about the moral harm it creates.

This week, there’s a critical opportunity to demand Congress take action – or else shut down the whole government. And we need your help:

Congress has until Friday to pass a spending bill that will keep the government open — including the rogue deportation department called ICE — and we’re working in solidarity with a team that is demanding they say #NoDreamNoDeal and include a clean Dream Act. Anything less is a vote to fund the deportation of hundreds of our brothers and sisters who have lived here their whole lives.

Why is a climate action group working to pass the Dream Act? For two reasons:

  1. It’s about solidarity: In addition to being the right, moral thing to do, climate change and immigration ARE linked issues. As rising seas, extreme weather, and fights political and military create more and more refugees (including here in the US) we’re going to need smart, compassionate laws like the Dream Act. Just as important, these young undocumented Dreamers are essential to the fight to solve climate change — they’re showing up at protests, inventing better and cheaper solar panels, and doing the work we need young people to do.
  2. It’s a test for Congress: Climate change and the Dream Act have nearly identical political problems: huge majorities of voters support action, but Congress is slow to act. And too often, our so-called allies are quick to compromise and delay, when they need to stand and fight. We’ve seen this over and over again in the last 12 months as Congress, including Democrats who claim to be progressives, vote to confirm Trump’s nominees to the EPA, Department of Interior, FERC and other agencies. Just last month, the House Democrats stuck to their guns and refused to pass a spending bill without a Dream Act, but a handful of Senate Democrats buckled under pressure and gave Trump a victory (during which time he held a confused meeting about immigration, then made his infamous “Shithole” remark).We can’t let that happen again. We need to start sending the message to so-called progressive politicians that it’s not enough to talk tough about Trump and ask us to vote for you or your party. We need you to be willing to shut things down in order to make progress — just as we are.

Click here to host or join a #NoDreamNoDeal rally near you this week.
OR

Click here or call 202-224-3121 and tell your Senators and Representative not to vote for ANY spending bill UNLESS it includes a clean Dream Act (the free click to call tool is sponsored by our allies at United We Dream).

Here’s the back-story on the Dream Act

On September 5, Donald Trump repealed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. His decision strips children who were brought here illegally, called Dreamers, of their ability to live, learn, and work. Everyday Congress refuses to act 122 Dreamers lose their protection from deportation.

So this week thousands of us will rise up and demand that our Representatives and Senators across the country make a choice and support Dreamers and a clean Dream Act. Please join us at a Wednesday or Thursday action near you – click here for details and to RSVP. If there’s not one near you, there’s still time to organize a quick rally or photo event with friends. The more visibility we have—even small events—the stronger our voice.

We know that the public does not support the deportation of 800,000 immigrant youth who are doctors, lawyers, activists, and people who make our communities wonderful places to.

Join us to tell our government that we are not bargaining chips – a Clean Dream Act must be part of any spending bill:

Darkest hour

Happy winter solstice – if happy is what you want to call it. It’s been another rough week. Earlier this week the Republicans rammed through a disastrous tax bill that will (among many other bad things) give special tax breaks to pipeline builders, Arctic drillers, and other assorted fossil fueled ne’er do-wells.

As I write this, they’re voting through a short term spending bill without doing anything about the DREAMers – who are at risk of being deported every week Congress refuses to act. All week long brave young people have risked arrest and deportation just to demand Congress vote on the issue. They shut down the Cafeteria today, in solidarity with seven other activists who went on hunger strike in jail. And still, Congress lacks the courage to protect people, not polluters.  

One other wrinkle to this week’s tax bill that you might not haver heard about: The #GOPTaxScam effectively eliminates the tax deductibility of charitable donations, removing the incentive for most people to donate to groups like us. I know that a lot of you will still donate because you care about the mission, not the tax break. But no less than New York Attorney General Schneiderman estimates groups like us could lose $20 billion in 2018 alone.

Can you chip in to support our work before these stupid new rules take effect so we (and you!) can afford to support climate activist?

Here in the darkest hour, it’s also worth remembering the lesson of the solstice: that darkness and light move in cycles, and just when it can’t get any darker – the light starts to come back.

So here’s 4 short gifs to tell you how we’re brining the light and heat to the Climate Justice movement in 2018:

The Thomas fire around Los Angeles is almost out now, which means it’s time to rebuild. Click here to support our plan to build a mobile ClimateDisaster response unit with partners in 2018 so we can be ready for what’s next

It wasn’t just California of course. Much of Puerto Rico is still without power and the death toll hundreds of times worse than the Trump Administration admits. We need to build local resiliance and resistance efforts from coast to coast to coast (there are three in America – Pacific, Atlantic, Gulf). Click here to chip in to support our local community building efforts in 2018.

If fire and water aren’t enough to get your elemental on, how about some atmosphere? Here’s a time lapse showing how carbon Dioxide moves in our atmosphere – if you look close you’ll notice that the rainforests in the global south act like a pair of lungs, constantly inhaling carbon and exhaling oxygen. But the global north is like a chain smoker, filling the shared resource of our atmosphere with more than our share of (red) Carbon and other global warming pollution. Click here to support our work to slash pollution, stop the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, and build out 100% clean, green energy here in North America.

Finally, today is a good day to donate because it’s the solstice. The longest night which turns into a long series of lengthening days, each one a little brighter than the day before. For the next six months we’ll be traveling the east coast – meeting up with frontline activists in the Carolinas, Virginia, DC and points north. We’ll keep a watchful eye on the Bayou Bridge and Keystone XL Pipelines – which thousands of us have signed up to show up and block, if and when we’re asked by local leaders.

One big thing w need to get ready, set, and rowdy for is California Governor Jerry Brown’s big international meeting next September. A lot of Governors, Mayors and other “sub-national” elected officials are expected to show up and talk about climate change, but action is less certain. Just like the Paris Climate Summit 2 years ago – a lot of what is decided in those rooms will hinge on action outside in the streets:

Do we demand a target that protects the most vulnerable (closer to 1.5C and serious action by 2020, instead of 2C and 2050)? Do leaders enact binding action, like state, county, an state-wide bans on new pipelines and fossil fuel infrastructure; Or do we let them get away with another promise to do better? Are conversations lead by communities on the frontlines that are poor, led by People of Color, and otherwise hit first-and-worst by climate impacts; Or does former-Mayor Bloomberg talk about sea walls in Brooklyn, while JP Morgan Chase is talking about not funding pipelines someday. (hint if Bloomberg and JP Morgan Chase are talking, the conversation is not about climate JUSTICE, even if it is about climate CHANGE).

So click here to chip in $1.98, $19.80 or whatever you can afford to help us get ready for 2018. Because today may be dark, but it only gets brighter from here.

PS – All the images and gifs in this message are from NASA’s Earth Observatory program. I mention because you should totally check out ALL their amazing and beutifle videos and images. But also because they’re yet another science-based program that (you guessed it) is set to have their budget radically cut by Trump and Republicans in Congress next year. We’d also love your financial support so we can incorporate a C4 arm that can lobby Congress directly, advocate for and against candidates, and more. Next week I’ll be sending you more of a roadmap and plan for 2018. But in the meantime, Please chip in to support our work.

Specific NASA images and videos we can’t live (or write this post) without:
The entire NASA Earth observatory team:

The coverage of the Thomas Fires in California, in particular

The 2017 Hurricanes and Aerosols Simulation

NASA | A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2

Two pipelines a week

Last week the Army Corps of Engineers gave preliminary approval to the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (BBP). A few days earlier, the Virginia Water Control Board (VaWCB) voted 4-3 to approve the fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), but required a final review of several environmental studies. That second one is actually considered a partial victory, since the week before the VaWCB had voted to approve the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) — another, shorter, fracked gas pipeline — with no such condition.

This not to mention the FCC ripping apart #NetNeutrality and the Republican Congress poised to ram through a tax bill that will steal our healthcare, deport our neighbors and drop a depth charge on the middle class from a luxury yacht. So, yeah, the last week wasn’t great.

But here’s the thing, in moments of crisis this climate justice movement rises to the occasion in ways that never fail to startle and inspire me. So, short version – Can you chip in to support what we’re doing? Even $1.98 helps a lot, and there’s a ton of other (including non-monetary) stuff you can do to help that we’re supporting or participating in below.

Ok – how to help. First, if you haven’t already, you need to sign up to show up. Both the #NoBBP and the #NoKXl movement have launched “pledge to protect” campaigns that encourage you ti sign up to show up – when asked, that’s really important – to support thee campaigned with civil disobedience and direct aid.

If we stop the pipelines, and lose the economy, our democracy, and all our immigrant neighbors though, it wont count for much. So we also need to sign up to show up and stop congress this week. Some of the best organizing going right now is to stop the tax bill, or derail it by forcing a big fight about the DREAM act. All week long, brave young dreamers, people who rely on the Affordable Care Act have been showing up in force. If you can get to D.C. or a local rally and support them you should.

Coincidentally, putting pressure on the Senate might also be the best way to save #NetNeutrality, which some 8,822 (yes we keep count), of you signed up to protect. The FCC voted to shred net Neutrality last week, but the short version is that we can fix it — IF two bulwarks hold:

  1. The lawsuits already introduced in New York, Massachusetts and a bunch of states to overrule the FCC decision because the comment process was to flawed;
  2. Congress votes (in accordance with some 70% of their constituents wishes) to overrule them with a powerful tool called the Congressional Review Act. The CRA gives Congress 60 legislative days to overturn a rule issued by a federal agency with a “resolution of disapproval,”  and it is NOT subject to a filibuster, so it can pass the Senate with just 51 votes.

Last, I want to talk about California, and all the places recently ravaged by climate-fueled super-storms. The fires, now among the largest in California history, are being driven by strong winds and new evacuation orders were issued in the last 24 hoursOne firefighter, Cory Iverson, 32, has been confirmed dead. And like Puerto Rico, we expect the actual toll to be much much worse than the public account.

Some friends have been strategizing about Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, and I think there’s potential fir us to help. But to do so we’ll need a lot of logistics. Training, supplies, some sort of micro-grid on wheels. We need to get ready, and the climate chaos isn’t waiting.

If you chip in now, we’ll put 100% of the funds towards staging actions, protests and relief efforts where they matter. Even better, 100% of your gift is now tax-deductible as we apply for charitable status from the IRS. But I don’t know what the next few weeks will bring — whether there will be another disaster to respond to, another pipeline permitted, or whether the Trump team will order the IRS to disregard all new applications towards protecting the environment the way they told the CDC to stop using words like “fetus” and “science-based” last week.

What I do know is that, together, we can make a difference. But only if we show up however we can. Click any of the links in this email to get connected and show up to say #NoKXL, #NoBBP, #StopGOPTaxScam, clean #DreamActNow, or do stand in solidarity with the victims of #ThomasFire and ALL the #ClimateChanged disasters of the last few months.

Or, click here to chip in and help us fight back.

Photo Credit: Brandon Wu

Call now to stop the Dirty Tax Bill

You’ve probably heard about the Republican Tax Bill being debated in the Senate this week. There is a lot to DIS-like in the bill — from the way it raises taxes on the middle class to give tax breaks to the super-rich and corporations;1 to the way it’s being rushed through with no hearings or due-process;2 to the fact that it undercuts renewable energy, opens new land to oil and gas drilling and threatens our climate.3

It’s a seriously dirty, dangerous, and ugly piece of work. And it’s about to get a final vote in the Senate. Mitch McConnell says he has the votes to pass the bill.4 But it’s incredibly close. So close that the Vice President is standing by to break a tie if even ONE Senator changes his or her mind.

Can you make a quick call to tell your Senators to vote no? Click here for the number and some help on what to say.


There’s still a chance to stop this bill today. And that’s why we should all call now. But even if they DO vote to pass it by a slim margin today, we shouldn’t give up hope. The Senate bill is very different from the house version passed last month.

Most of what the House and Senate bills disagree on is just how, and how much, to hurt our communities and our planet. BUT as long as they don’t agree, they can’t pass a final bill (called reconciliation) before the end of this year.

Like so many things these days, this is a fight to delay even worse things from happening, just long enough that we can build something better to replace them. And the key to delay in this case is to flood every Senator’s line with calls telling them to Vote now. If enough of us call, Democrats will be emboldened to filibuster the bill, Republicans may re-think their support, and staff will be so busy talking to us, that they won’t be able to put out talking points and claim victory.

Click here to make a call and tell us how it went.

Thanks,

Drew and the 198 methods crew.

1 – https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/12/01/the-trump-tax-plan-just-hit-another-snag-the-real-problem-math-and-gop-lies/
2 – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/11/30/im-a-depression-historian-the-gop-tax-bill-is-straight-out-of-1929/?utm_term=.15cca96bb73b
3 – http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/11/the-republican-tax-plan-is-an-assault-on-renewable-energy/
4 – https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/01/us/politics/senate-tax-bill-debate-vote.html

Take on the 17 Banks that finance Tar Sands Pipelines

*Editor’s note* I kept looking for a break in the Trump news to send this email, instead, I emailed out an earlier version of it 20 minutes before a special prosecutor was appointed. *sigh*If you’re still looking for a way to respond directly — by calling for impeachment,  an independent investigation, or a lick of sanity — then follow the links and know that we all say Amen. If you’ve had enough Trump news for a moment, and are looking for something else to do that really makes a difference, read on.

~Drew

The Global Movement to Divest is Working.

Earlier this month in New York and around the world, we saw the power of the Global Divestment Mobilization. Activists rallied in Sweden at the home of the Nobel Peace Prize, at over a dozen Chase Bank branch locations in Seattle, and on the terrace inside of Trump Tower in New York.1

Each action was unique, but they all carried the same basic demand: to have our neighbors, our elected leaders, and our institutions divest from the very fossil fuel companies that are destroying the planet. And we’re not done yet!

Sign here to support an indigenous-lead coalition of over a dozen groups calling for Big Banks to stop financing the Dakota Access pipeline and 4 planned tar sands pipelines, including Keystone XL.

Our work is already having an impact. Last week, US Bank announced that it would stop directly funding FUTURE pipeline projects.2

It’s a good start, though notably US Bank has just renewed its lending to the Dakota Access Pipeline, and to a series of natural gas pipelines in the East,3so clearly, they (and we) have more work to do. And NO US Bank did NOT yet stop funding pipelines.

And this is the perfect time to turn up the pressure on the banks, in particular, for their role in financing the climate crisis. Summer is also the season when most big companies hold their shareholder meetings. And the global divestment movement is putting the screws to companies large and small in demanding that they align their investments with the future of life on earth: US Bank’s announcement came after years of pressure (and an epic banner drop during a nationally televised football game),4 and was made at their shareholder meeting. And at their shareholder meeting a few weeks ago, Citgroup Chairman Mike O’Neill apologized to two indigenous women who’d been leaders in the #NoDAPL fight and said “We wish we could have a do-over on [the Dakota Access Pipeline]”.5 Even Exxon may face a shareholder revolt this month.6

Just as important, the tar sands are actively shopping for new investors right now. Several banks are attempting to round up $5.5 billion (Canadian dollars) in new credit to fund Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. The Keystone XL and Energy East pipelines (both Transcanada projects) will soon be in the same position. It’s time to turn up the pressure, and where possible, move your money.

The black snakes may be filled with oil, but the eat money. And now is our chance to drive them off before they devour sacred lands, defile our water, and poison our climate in the process.

Click here to sign on in support of a growing global community that calls on big banks, elected officials, investment managers and everyone to #DeFundPipelines!

Another sign that we’re making progress: The managers of the biggest public pensions in America are starting to squirm. Earlier this year, thousands of California public employees, teachers, and retirees banded together to demand that CalPERS, the largest public pension fund in America, divest from the companies behind the Dakota Access Pipeline. They responded positively at first – committing to support some of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s demands concerning a re-route and delay of the pipeline.7 But since then, they’ve swung hard in the other direction – putting out an anti-divestment statement from the board and actively shutting down our friends who tried to show up and demand a policy from the pension fund that matches the commitment to #ActOnClimate from California politicians and public employees.8

The story has been similar in New York, where pressure is building on the Comptrollers of New York City and State to align the money in their public pension funds with the claims of politicians like Governor Cuomo and Attorney General Schneiderman who want to stop climate change, investigate Exxon and block new fossil fuel infrastructure.9 Comptrollers DiNapoli and Stringer were specifically called out to take leadership at that Trump Tower last week, and Stringer, in particular has the power to help move NYC’s banking later this week.10 But instead of showing leadership, so far they’ve talked about “engagement” with the fossil fuel companies.11

What CalPERS and the New York Comptrollers are missing is that Divestment isn’t only a financial decision. Divestment isn’t a thing you do because the markets are going to save us from climate change (spoiler alert, capitalism, at least this form of it, is the problem). It’s a thing you do because some things are just too wrong to invest in. There’s money to be made in war, human trafficking and all kinds of things. But no elected official or public pension fund would ever support investing in criminal enterprises.

We’re saying that banking with Wells Fargo, or buying a bond for the KeystoneXL pipeline is morally similar – when you do, you personally as a human are paying to wreck the climate, colonize and brutalize our indigenous neighbors, build pipelines, and physically abuse people. You can say you didn’t know that’s what you were paying for. But once someone has shown you that yes, your money is being used to do evil things, you’re accountable for it.

Lucky for all of us – from the hunred-aire with a Wells Fargo checking account to the New York City Comptroller – that we live in the modern world with stuff like solar panels and community re-investment programs so that you can divest from evil fossil fuels it and still make money, satisfy fiduciary responsibilities to your shareholder/beneficiaries and sleep at night, all at the same time.

If you agree, if you’re ready to #DeFundPipelines, click here and sign on – and make sure to tell us if you bank with one of our 17 target banks.

Drew and the divestment is one of the 198 methods crew.

Illustration courtesy of Mazaskatalks.org.

1 – https://globaldivestmentmobilisation.org/ – https://indypendent.org/2017/05/taketrumptower-teach-ins-reclaim-public-space/ – https://gofossilfree.org/trumptowergdm/ – https://facebook.com/divestinvest/posts/1585381741485913
2 – http://www.ecowatch.com/us-bank-divest-pipelines-2408440397.html
3 – http://lastrealindians.com/no-us-bank-has-not-stopped-funding-pipelines-yet/
4 – http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/01/us/dapl-protester-minnesota-vikings-chicago-bears-us-bank-stadium/
5 – http://www.reuters.com/article/us-citigroup-shareholder-meeting-idUSKBN17R20Y
6 – https://www.breakingviews.com/considered-view/investors-may-impose-a-climate-change-upon-exxon/
7 – http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article131349249.html
8 – http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article144047384.html
9 – http://gothamist.com/2017/05/09/trump_tower_climate_protest.php
10 – https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-the-nyc-banking-commission-to-defunddapl
11 –  https://twitter.com/GoFossilFree/status/864631556102598656

About that Republican Carbon Tax

Editorial boards everywhere are positively swooning over the dulcet crooning of a new boy band called The Climate Leadership Council (CLC). That’s right, the carbon tax band is back together! But as usual, for backers of a carbon tax, the editorial boards are missing a fundamental truth: Climate change will not be solved by a bipartisan consensus of old white men. And we know this is so because 1) We’ve heard all this before; 2) This isn’t a sincere attempt to solve climate change, it’s grandstanding by paid pundits; and 3) Sincere, workable plans to solve climate change exist, but they’re never written by bipartisan old white men from the pundit class.

more “About that Republican Carbon Tax”