Prosecuting climate crime, one state at a time

We’re close to winning a victory in court to hold fossil fuel profiteers like Exxon accountable for their lies. We told you last month about a group of State Attorney Generals and local prosecutors bringing lawsuits against these companies for lying to us since the very beginning of the climate crisis. Now, it’s time to make them pay.

The New York case brought by Attorney General Letitia James against Exxon for fraudulently deceiving investors about its business and climate change just wrapped up and a ruling is expected soon. The US House of Representatives recently held a public hearing into what #ExxonKnew and when they knew it. And as New York’s case wrapped up, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced her state is suing Exxon too; joining prosecutors in Los Angeles, Baltimore, and dozens of other cities.

The dam has officially broken, and climate polluters are being called to answer for their crimes. Next month, a delegation will attend the global climate talks in Madrid, to share evidence, legal strategy and encourage other state, local, and national governments to open their own investigations and lawsuits.

Will you back them up by sending a letter to your U.S. Senators, your Representative in the U.S. House, and then your state’s Attorney General and say: I’m counting on you to hold Big Polluters accountable? Just click here to get started.

It’s time to hold Big Polluters liable — for the losses and damage they’re knowingly causing, and to pay for the solutions we need to transition to a just, sustainable future. It’s time to make them pay.

For decades fossil fuel giants like Chevron, Exxon, and Saudi Aramco made billions in profits, and spent millions funding denial and inaction. In fact, a report in the Guardian showed that just 20 fossil fuel companies are responsible for more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era.

In opening her case against Exxon, New York Attorney General Letitia James said “This fraud reached the highest levels of the company.” And her case is making waves – she compelled former US Secretary of State and ExxonMobil strongman Rex Tillerson to testify in open court. And her case is just the opening shot in what some are calling a legal war that is just beginning.

The fossil fuel industry has caused and is continuing to cause grave damage to people and our planet. And just like we’re not all equally responsible, we’re not all impacted by this crisis equally: Around the world, low-income communities, indigenous people, youth, communities of color, and people in the Global South are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.

And despite what their greenwashing advertising says, climate criminals are still up to no good. Last year the top five oil companies raked in more than $80 billion in profit, while fossil fuels spent more than $125 million lobbying (in the U.S. alone), and invested just 1% in renewables.

For the last few weeks, thousands of us have joined with dozens of organizations to demand world leaders kick Big Polluters out of climate policy, make polluters pay for climate crisis, to fund real, just solutions to address the climate crisis.

Elected officials are clearly paying attention — as the surge in lawsuits and congressional hearings indicates. Now is a critical moment to take action. Before the climate talks start, write to your members of Congress and your state Attorney General and urge them to take action to hold the fossil fuel industry liable for their decades of deception.

North Carolina Climate Resistance Actions this week

Wanted to let you know about a series of upcoming actions in North Carolina to fight back against climate change. There are forums in Charlotte, and other cities this week, and a big march this Saturday, Nov 16, in Robeson County. Check out the details below, or click here to see all the events listed at our Facebook page.

First up, our old friends Beyond Extreme Energy are touring the state as part of a “RoadShow” tour of the southeast. Meet them in Charlotte Tuesday, Nov. 12, to hear about about their vision to replace the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with a Federal Renewable Energy Commission (FREC). This is especially timely as the Senate is debating a new FERC commissioner this month – which we’ve emailed you about earlier. Lots of other events are planned on their tour as well, including some public protest with 350 Charlotte.

Click for Facebook event and please share with others, or click here to learn more about the BXE roadshow. If you can, please also chip in to support them.

Next up, join us Saturday, Nov 16, at the MARCH FOR JUSTICE in Robeson County, NC.

Piedmont Gas (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Duke Energy) is proposing to build a one-billion-cubic-foot Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) storage and processing facility in Robeson County. This is a predominantly indigenous (Lumbee) community within an 8 mile radius of the ACP route, creating a greater risk of explosions, leaks and accidents. And it is 4 miles from the town of Maxton, a predominantly African American town, creating more racism, pollution and perpetuating decades of Environmental In-Justice.

We’re teaming up with a big coalition of local and national groups to oppose the storage facility. And on Nov 16 we will walk together in celebration of our sacred lands and waters.

Join us Saturday, November 16, 2019; from 10am to 4pm – click here to RSVP on Facebook, or click here to download a flier with more info.

The climate crisis isn’t an accident, it’s a crime.

On indigenous peoples day — a holiday that reclaims the memory of this continent and how it was colonized, not discovered, by Europeans — it’s important to also remember that the climate crisis didn’t “just happen”; Like Columbus, this crisis didn’t arrive at random, nor are its impacts felt equitably by all.

So, how did we really get here? For decades fossil fuel giants like Chevron, Exxon and Saudi Aramco made billions in profits, and spent millions funding denial and inaction. In fact, a new report in the Guardian shows clearly that 20 fossil fuel companies are responsible for more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era.

And despite what their greenwashing advertising says, they’re still doing it. Last year the top five oil companies raked in more than $80 billion in profit, while fossil fuels spent more than $125 million lobbying (in the U.S. alone), and invested just 1% in renewables.

We are simply not going to fix the climate crisis by reforming or relying on the fossil fuel industry. There’s only one thing they can do to help – pay up. Add your name to demand that fossil fuel companies like Exxon, Shell, and others pay for the climate crisis.

Last month’s global climate strikes were a moment to behold as millions of people worldwide took to the streets to demand urgent action on the climate crisis in the largest public demonstration in global history.

Our actions proved that we have the real, just solutions we need to address the climate crisis are within reach, many of them are already working in communities on the front lines of the climate crisis. What we’re lacking is political will to enact those solutions on the scale and timetable required. Fossil fuel companies and their dirty money is what’s holding us back.

Help us remove the block on our power – make fossil fuel companies pay for the climate crisis and eliminate the biggest profiteers, and the biggest force for inaction on climate.

Big Polluters can afford to pay for the damage they knowingly caused and are still causing. But they won’t do it unless we make them. Communities around the globe are taking action toward holding polluting industries liable for the damage they have caused. From constitutional amendments that recognize the rights of nature, to US cities like Baltimore that are suing to hold fossil fuel corporations accountable for the climate crisis; or
New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing Exxon for deceiving its shareholders.

The impact of these investigations and lawsuits can be profound. Like the legal actions that exposed Big Tobacco’s abuses and forced the industry to pay billions of dollars for the epidemic it caused and lied about.

But taking down the biggest, most profitable industry on the planet and making them pay for the damage they’ve caused won’t be easy. It will require a global movement to hold fossil fuels liable for the damage they cause. Add your name to the petition and urge decision makers around the globe to hold the fossil fuel industry liable so that we can advance climate justice globally.

Justice for the Bahamas; Justice for climate refugees.

It’s been just over a month since the Bahamas were slammed by Hurricane Dorian. The Category 5 storm killed dozens of people and left more than 70,000 Bahamians homeless.

But when families fled for the US mainland looking for shelter and a safe place to stay while they rebuild, the Trump administration slammed the door. In one instance 119 refugees were forced off a ferry headed to Florida because they didn’t have proper Visas for the Trump administration.

Turning away Bahamian hurricane survivors is cruel and heartless. Sign now to demand that Congress pass legislation to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the Bahamas while the country rebuilds.

The solution is simple: TPS is an immigration program that provides legal status to migrants from countries that have suffered natural disasters, prolonged unrest, or conflict.

It was a standard practice of the US Government to offer TPS to natural (if that’s the right word for climate-fueled super-storms) disasters under the Clinton, W. Bush, and Obama administrations. And at one point, Trump’s own acting Customs and Border Protection chief, Mark Morgan, said it would be “appropriate” to extend TPS to Bahamians in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. But Trump lashed out against the idea, using racist and xenophobic language to block TPS for not just Bahamians, but Venezuelans, Haitians, and others he deemed “very bad people.”

If Trump and team wont act, Congress must. Congress can grant TPS to thousands of Bahamian climate refugees so they can work and live in the United States without fear of deportation. Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9), Stacey Plaskett (D-VI), and Barbara Lee’s (D-CA-13) have introduced the TPS for Victims of Hurricane Dorian Act, and five presidential candidates signed onto similar legislation in the Senate as well.

Storms, droughts and floods will only become more extreme as our planet tips towards climate chaos. And climate disasters are already driving a global wave of migration that will only accelerate in the coming years.

We must join together now to demand that Congress pass legislation that offers a humanitarian response to the growing crisis of mass climate displacement and provides relief to Bahamian hurricane survivors.

Sign the petition: Urge lawmakers to grant TPS to Bahamians displaced by Hurricane Dorian.

No Coal, No Gas. Nobody will shut Merrimack down for us.

The Merrimack Generating Station in Bow, NH, is the last large coal plant in New England without a shut-down date. On September 28th we will gather in Bow for a mass nonviolent direct action to shut down this plant.

Nobody’s going to close this coal plant for us. Continuing to burn coal and build fracked gas infrastructure in New England is immoral. That our political leaders stand idly by, or worse claim to believe in climate science, but refuse to take the actions necessary in the midst of this climate emergency is unconscionable. We must act ourselves.

The action has already started. Activists removed hundreds of pounds of coal from burn pile #BucketbyBucket and delivered it to the doorsteps of the New Hampshire Legislature and other ineffective political leaders.

Now, they’re calling for backup to finish the job: Can you Join us in Bow, NH, on Saturday, September . 28 for a powerful action to stop fossil fuels and climate chaos?

When we took action in DC this week, we chose as our message based on firefighter’s badges: to symbolize that we were the emergency responders coming to the rescue of a planet that’s on fire. In the same way, this week we’re going to show up and remove a little fuel from the fire that is burning our future.

The coal industry/fossil fuel industry has been reaping profits by stealing from our future for generations. They try to tell us that it’s our fault, that we should change our diet, drive less, travel less. But just 100 companies are responsible for 70% of emissions worldwide. And coal kills 13,000 people per year in the US and 800,000 a year globally, plus countless more deaths as a result the climate crisis driven by fossil fuels.  Any nonviolent act that prevents fossil fuels from being burned is an act of reclaiming a small piece of the future that is being stolen from us.

Activists have campaigned for decades to close down Merrimack. But local elected officials are bought by the fossil fuel industry and lack the political courage to confront the climate crisis. Nobody is going to shut down this power plant for us. But by physically carrying away the coal, removing the fuel from the fire, we are reclaiming our power and our future in our own hands.

This moment calls for mass resistance – the status quo is the enemy. On September 28th we will converge in Bow to remove the fuel from the fires of climate catastrophe – even if we have to do it bucket by bucket. Will you join us?

There are two basic ways to join us in action, and you can learn more about both of them at the nocoalnogas.org website:

It is past time to move past comfortable responses to the climate crisis. As Greta Thunburg said in her speech to UN ministers last week:

“For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are nowhere in sight.”

If you’re ready to take the action we need, not simple what is politically feasible, join us in Bow this weekend and take the fuel from the fires that are burning our planet #BucketbyBucket.

Show up to Demand Cooper walk the talk

You remember North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper as the Democrat who promised climate action, but instead approved the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and colluded with Duke energy to mess with our communities and climate. Cooper is a leading example of the climate hypocrisy in the Democratic party.

Cooper’s latest swindle is his so-called Clean Energy Plan, which he’ll present later this week at a meeting of the NC Climate Change Interagency Council. Cooper’s latest plan is more of the same – flowery talk and platitudes wrapped around inaction on two of the biggest sources of climate pollution in North Carolina: fracked gas infrastructure and the wood pellet, or biomass, industry.

Will you turn out with us to hold a climate emergency intervention this Friday, September 27, at 9:30 am?

Governor Cooper was elected on his promise to protect our climate and reverse North Carolina’s shameful history of climate denial. Instead, he swiftly approved fossil fuel projects like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). And it was later revealed that his administration negotiated the approval with Duke Energy and went so far as to overrule his own Department of Environmental Quality. Activists were so mad about it, that they (and we) sat in at Gov Cooper’s office for more than 8 hours demanding he revoke the permit – instead he ordered local police to arrest the protesters.

If the ACP is built, it would cause methane emissions to skyrocket and devastate low income communities and communities of color throughout eastern NC. Real climate leadership requires standing up to Duke Energy, the largest investor owned utility in the country and owner of the ACP.

The Cooper Administration is also ignoring another driver of climate chaos: industrial logging. A new report finds that industrial logging is the state’s third most carbon intensive sector, just after electricity and transportation. Our forests should be protected as a critical climate solution; instead, they are being destroyed and degraded at an alarming rate by Enviva, the world’s largest wood pellet producer, making North Carolina the largest wood pellet exporter in the country.

Governor Cooper recently made headlines and received high praise with the release of the state’s Clean Energy Plan. But until his administration stops approving new fossil fuel infrastructure and starts protecting our forests, we are calling him a climate hypocrite.

Click here to RSVP and show up to tell Cooper it’s time to get serious about climate action!

Locked in at #ShutDownDC

I’m locked arm-to-arm with activists from Rising Tide North America as part of the impressive #ShutDownDC action. Check out me statement and live feeds from more than a dozen blockades below:

I’m doing this because there’s no time left for business-as-usual; the climate crisis is here.  And yet every day of the last 3 years, the Trump administration has been a disaster for our climate and communities. In response, I’m doing what any responsible citizen or emergency responder would do – I’m shutting down the roads to contain the disaster that is Trump’s presidency. 

In this moment of crisis, the status quo IS the enemy. Doing nothing, going on about your life, is allowing more people to be burned in raging fires, drowned in superstorms, displaced by draughts and hurricanes. It’s a death sentence for millions. So it’s essential that we shut down DC and bring the whole dirty, corrupt system to a standstill. It’s even more essential that you join us: honor the strike by not going to work or school today. 

Strike with us

This is it: tomorrow, we strike. Next week, we shut it down – in DC, in North Carolina, in New Hampshire and in lots of places. Remember 3 essential principals for this moment:

  1. Don’t cross the picket lineif there’s a strike in your town, honor it.
  2. Shutting things down is essential.
  3. Take care of each other, but step up now.

Let’s unpack those a little bit:

First, and for a reason, is the reminder not to cross the picket line. This means if there’s a strike planned in your town – you need to go to the strike and not go to work or school like normal. Click here to find a strike near you, there are more than 1000 events planned already.

It’s ok to only come to part of the event – take an hour off, or go in late if you need to. But make sure to honor the sacrifice and courage of all the people, especially young people, who are walking out.

Here’s an awesome video by a young person, that helps explain:

View this post on Instagram

SOUND ON 🔊 Full video is live! Like a lot of kids @HawkeyeHuey is hearing about #ClimateChange and the #ClimateCrisis we are facing, and it's freaking him out! He – and every other child – has the right to a safe environment. In collaboration with Hawkeye and @Bemo_Studio we created this animated short film demanding #ClimateAction from our politicians. . . TOMORROW we are going on strike in solidarity with students around the world. Is your class ready? Are your kids walking out? Support the movement by registering at strikewithus.org (link in bio) and joining the strike! . . Video created in solidarity with the millions of youth leaders striking around the world and @earthguardians @futurecoalition @xiuhtezcatl @youthvgov @350org @gretathunberg #strikewithus #amplifierart #FridaysforFuture

A post shared by Amplifier (@amplifierart) on

To those who have studied the history of the labor movement, in this country and elsewhere, this may seem obvious. But America does not have as strong a labor movement as other countries, and not everyone knows the history of strikes and what they mean. There’s lots more to say and read on the topic and I recommend this new Steven Greenhouse book to you for more, but the short version is that a Strike is a tactic, one of the 198 original methods of disrupting dictatorship listed by Gene Sharp. The point is the mass refusal of employees to work, usually to force management to recognize and comply with a demand. If you’re going to work or school, you’re not observing the strike, and you’re making it harder for all of us who ARE striking to get what we demand.

Second — and extending from the fact that this is a STRIKE, and not a march or a rally or a protest or something else) — The point is to shut things down. You wouldn’t believe how many emails I’ve gotten in the last few weeks warning me that we will ‘lose public support’ if we shut down workplaces or roads. But that’s an argument that has the facts backwards — the vast majority of the public already supports action on climate change. But our government has been polluted by dirty money and taken over by fossil-fuel-fascists.

The simple fact is that the status quo is our enemy. Silence and acquiescence are death. If we don’t stop the fossil fuel machine that’s running, it will literally kill us all. That’s why so many of the actions next week focus on shutting down places like Washington DC, where US climate policy is (not) made; or specific coal fired power plants in New England. Kids are going on strike for their future, and an intergenerational movement is shutting down the the systems and facilities that are destroying our climate. That’s what this moment is about.

Last, take care of each other, but step up now. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. I know (I really do) that it is hard and it is scary to step in front of traffic, or sit down in front of a door that somebody wants to walk through, or just sit down in a politicians office and refuse to move when people ask nice, and when they ask not-nicely.

It’s hard. But in this moment, it’s incredibly necessary. So even and especially if it makes you uncomfortable -step up NOW and take action. Join a protest and risk arrest. Tell your boss you’re not coming in to work “because Climate Change”, Or, if all else fails, just call out a politician like Greta Thunberg did when she said:

“Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people to give them hope. But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful; I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act, I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house was on fire, because it is.”

So there it is – go strike tomorrow. Do what is hard, and help each other. Love, Drew and the 198 methods crew

Trump is coming for the last animals now

In a final act of indignity, Trump’s Department of Interior has proposed catastrophic roll-backs to the Endangered Species Act, a crown-jewel of the environmental movement that has prevented 99% of protected species from going extinct.

For all of us who love wild things and the planet, this is a a final straw, not unexpected; But amounting to a statement that no animal or plant or person is worth as much as a single dollar of polluter greed.

Trump and team won’t listen. They don’t care about people or the planet. But our comments in the public record can help stop this stupid, cruel, and disastrous rollback of our most popular environmental law. We have to believe that our voices count, and can be raised in chorus to drown out hate and extinction.

If you believe: Sign the petition to Protect endangered plants and animals.

First enacted in 1973, the Endangered Species Act has become one of the United States’ most popular laws and has been prevented several species, including the bald eagle, grizzly bear, and gray wolf, from going extinct. We need the Endangered Species Act to protect the most vulnerable plants and animals.

Just last year, a scientific report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services found that up to one million animal and plant species may face extinction within the next few decades due to climate change.

The implications of mass extinction are grave and we cannot afford to wait for the next president to undo Trump’s dangerous action that puts profit over people and the environment. And that’s where our actions, together, right now, can make a difference.

Democrats in Congress and outside advocacy groups are promising to challenge the new rules in Congress and in court. Action now that clearly shows the public is opposed to the Trump team’s rollback in protections is essential. If we speak up now, our arguments can be used by Congress to defund the DOI plan, and as evidence in court proceedings to overturn the Trump plan. But silence now is complicity in the death and extinction of countless of our plant and animal neighbors.

Don’t be silent now in the face of extinction. Sign the petition to demand our lawmakers prevent mass extinction by protecting the Endangered Species Act.

Shut Down DC

UPDATE: We are going to #ShutDownDC in less than three weeks! More than 700 folks have pledged to join us and more than a dozen organizations have endorsed our demands for a Green New Deal, respect of indigenous land, and protection of biodiversity, and more.  If you haven’t already – click here to sign the pledge of resistance and join us in the streets September 23.

Then (or if you want to know more before you commit) RSVP for an organizing meeting September 11 or 18. The organizing meetings will get you briefed and ready, and help connect you to an affinity group to make taking action safe, easy and fun.

If you’re already onboard, use these quick links to share the news with your networks online:

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There’s no time left for business-as-usual; the Amazon and the Arctic are on fire. Greenland is melting and Trump wants to ‘buy’ it. Corruption reigns and the climate crisis is here. Now.

On September 20th, hundreds of thousands of young people around the world will skip school or work to take to the streets and make a stand. Many of them were inspired by the actions and words of Swedish student Greta Thunberg.

They include and will join Indigenous peoples, as well as Black and Brown communities on the frontlines, who have been leading the climate movement and building a regenerative future in the midst of the climate emergency.

In Washington, DC we will be answering the call in a huge way and building on the momentum of the youth climate strikes:

On September 23rd, we are going to shut down DC. Click here or visit StrikeDC.org to join us.

We will block key infrastructure to stop business-as-usual, bringing the whole city to a gridlocked standstill. Parents, workers, college students, and everyone who is concerned about the climate crisis will skip work and school and put off their other responsibilities to take action on the climate crisis.

People around the world are experiencing superstorms, floods, droughts, and wildfires at unprecedented rates, with low-income communities and communities of color hit first and worst. Cruelly, communities and regions being devastated by the worst effects of climate change tend to be the least responsible for its onset. It is not a coincidence that climate impacts strike along the lines of race and class so starkly; climate change itself is a product of the same processes which cement racism and wealth inequality in our country and our world.

To achieve something as monumental as shutting down DC, we are going to need everyone to step up. We need everyone’s creativity, everyone’s energy, everyone’s insights, and everyone’s ideas. Every single person has skills and experience to contribute to the strike.

Take the pledge of resistance to join us, come to a kickoff meeting, and organize or join a squad.

This is the mass uprising that everyone with climate anxiety has been waiting for. This is an uprising for life itself, fighting back against the forces of destruction. This is your chance to take action to save the people, plants, and animals you love. Let’s rise up and shut down DC!