It’s no joke: On April first, frontline Indigenous youth and organizers from the Dakota Access and Line 3 pipeline fights will travel to Washington D.C. to demand that President Biden Build Back Fossil Free by stopping these climate-destroying projects.
Five years ago on April 1st, the Sacred Stone Camp was founded and history was made as thousands of people descended to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). On the anniversary of this important moment of international solidarity, we are bringing the spirit of frontline, indigenous pipeline resistance to Washington DC to demand Joe Biden Build Back Fossil Free by revoking the Army Corps permits for Line 3 and shut down DAPL.
For too long Indigenous communities have carried the weight of our addiction to oil & gas despite their objections. Consultation is not consent. Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) must be the standard for tribal nations impacted by dangerous oil and gas infrastructure.
Join us in the streets, and there will be roles and messages for everyone. We will meet at 11am to gather and make our voices heard at the Army Corps of Engineers national headquarters, and then we will walk a short distance (about 1 mile) to the White House to make sure President Biden gets the message as well.
As most of you know, the Line 3 tar sands pipeline in Minnesota is a disaster for our climate and a gross violation Indigenous and treaty rights.
For weeks, courageous activists on the front line have taken daily direct action to stop the construction of Line 3, including locking themselves inside sections of pipe, blockading entrances to construction sites, and using pianos to stop construction.
More than 130 people have been arrested and are facing charges – and they need backup. We’re asking you to show up – safely, in accordance with pandemic rules – in person to help stop this pipeline and the big banks funding it. Here are two ways you can help:
Big banks ― including as JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, CitiBank and TD Bank ― have loaned billions of dollars to Enbridge so that it can build Line 3. Over the last few weeks oure friends at the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition have sent the CEOs of those banks more than 600,000 emails, calls, and calendar invites demanding that they stop funding Line 3.
We were telling them to cancel a $2.2 billion loan to Enbridge that was due for renewal on March 31st. Last week, we learned that the March 31st loan has been canceled, BUT, in its place, the same banks have given Enbridge an $800 million “sustainability” loan and pledged to continue funding Line 3.
“giving Enbridge a sustainability loan is like giving a weapons manufacturer a “peace” loan; it’s like giving a cigarette company a “health” loan. Even if Enbridge does plan on building a few solar panels with that money, you can’t put a fire out and pour millions of barrels of tar sands on it at the same time.”
Whatever they call it – a loan, a sustainability loan, or a line of credit – these banks are enabling and profiting from the Line 3 pipeline. They are complicit in the pollution, violence and climate chaos. It is up to us to hold them accountable. And we are running out of time – Enbridge says they plan to complete Line 3 by June, which could be possible now thatthe Mississippi river is thawing, clearing the way for crews to begin drilling operations to cross.
Frontline leaders are calling on us all to show up and #DefundLine3 in Minnesota and at branches of the banks funding this toxic pipeline.
When Joe Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, we were elated. After years of fighting this tar sands pipeline, we finally had a President who understood the need to act – and took decisive action on his first day in office.
But KXL wasn’t the only tar sands pipeline we need to stop. KXL’s twin (in size and design) is the Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota. And the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has been operating illegally since the Trump Administration forced it through.
Tomorrow, February 25, we’re joining a virtual rally, bringing together community leaders from fossil fuel impacted communities on the frontlines of stopping Line 3 and the Dakota Access pipelines, and demanding a climate test. Won’t you join us?
One day after our rally, President Biden will travel to Texas to tour the site of the first climate-fueled disaster of his presidency. But we know the recent cold snap wont be the last climate-disaster Biden has to deal with. Building new fossil fuel infrastructure — especially for the dirtiest oil on earth: Tar sands — only makes those disasters more frequent and more deadly, especially for black, indigenous, and other communities of color on the frontlines.
As Energy Secretary, Rick Perry had a duty to act on those plans and proposals in ways that would save lives and fight the climate crisis. Instead, he cashed in a favor to go back to the board room of one of the biggest companies in the world profiting off climate chaos. At Energy Transfer, again, he’ll make big bucks ramping up fossil fuel infrastructure that locks us into decades of further dependence on the fuels that threaten our climate and common home. This cannot go unchallenged.
February brought an old fight back to the fore – the fight to stop Keystone XL. Trump has been trying to build the pipeline, without success, since he was sworn in in 2017. So far court cases and local permits have kept him at bay – but we’re waiting for the moment when Trump’s fossil-fueled-authoritarian tendencies overwhelm those flimsy buffers and they simply begin lighting the fuse of this carbon bomb without proper permits and paperwork.
May also launched our campaign to get disaster relief for Puerto Rico. This became a recurring theme as Congress would appropriate money for disaster relief, but Trump would refuse to sign or disburse the money – IF, and this is a big if, the people helped by the funding were black, brown, or tended to vote for Democrats. Later in the year we broadened this campaign to include climate refugees from the Caribbean and eventually the whole global south.
Climate Strike! That was the big theme in September as we supported hundreds of Climate Strike events here in the US. Greta Thunberg asked the United Nations “How Dare You” and I personally buckled in as part of two beautifully troublesome actions.
So there you have it! A year in photos and images to illustrate all our work. You can also check out our previous post which covers more of the science and policy on how we’re ending 2019. Next week, after the New Year, I’ll write you a message about our plans for 2020 but you can be sure it will continue a few of these themes:
Holding corrupt Trump cronies like Wheeler and Bernhardt accountable;
Working as part of the global Climate Strike movement to demand bold action from our elected leaders;
Pushing US policy makers to adopt a bold, fossil-fuel-free Green New Deal; &
Bringing you great direct-action powered online campaigns at the local, state, and federal level to demand climate action.
This really good thread and podcast discussion by The Hot Take co-founder Mary Annaïse Heglar makes the argument that it’s not hope, but resolve, action, and some other things that are necessary in this moment.
I agree with both parts: that we need more hope, and that the antidote to fear is not hope, but action and conviction in the face of uncertainty. If you agree and are able, I hope you’ll click here to donate.
As has become a tradition, I’m going to tell the story of where our climate and common home is at with a series of charts and graphs. Next week I’ll send you a year in photos so you can look back at some of what we’ve done this year.
The fires in the Rainforest are both a symptom of climate-fueled draught, and also a cause of the loss of Arctic Sea Ice; which in turn is contributing to slower circulation of the Atlantic ocean current; and on and on.
There are a lot of climate emergencies happening all over the planet, and none of them are un-connected. Wherever you are, you’re likely seeing impacts, and your local impacts and emissions are fueling the crisis somewhere else.
That emissions are still rising is probably not a surprise, nor is the fact that we’re not doing enough to combat the climate crisis. If we were, emissions would be going down, right? But the distance between what we need to be doing, and what we say we are doing is also getting wider.
So there it is – the state of the climate movement in 4 charts, and it is NOT good.
We’re approaching a series of interconnected ‘tipping points’ of climate chaos much faster than expected.
That’s because emissions of carbon dioxide and methane are still going up despite years of promises by the world’s governments to reduce them.
Most devastating, the gap between what we say we will do, what we need to do, and what we are doing keeps getting wider.
That U.N. report was described as “Grim,” “Bleak” and “drastic” when it came out. But it was not without hope. The authors of the same report on the ambition gap wrote that, “the political focus on the climate crisis is growing in several countries, with voters and protesters, particularly youth, making it clear that it is their number one issue.”
Next week I’ll be back with a photo and video year in review of some of the amazing work we’e been a part of this year – from challenging Trump’s corrupt, climate denying cabinet; to shutting down DC as part of the global climate strike; and much much more.
But Trump’s incompetence is not a sufficient protection against this pipeline. Activists in North Carolina and Virginia have documented dozens of cases where companies keep on building the pipeline after the Courts order them to stop – especially if they know they’ve got the backing of Trump, FERC or federal agencies like the EPA.
More than 20,000 of us have already signed up through the Promise to Protect website and committed to take peaceful action along the pipeline route. Now we need you to join a training so we can be prepared to resist.
The training covers more than just logistics and theory. Taking place along the pipeline route and in nine cities, these are indigenous led briefings to prepare you to be good relatives and understand the vulnerabilities and opportunities of this and other pipeline projects
At the training, you’ll learn about nonviolent direct action and support roles, protocols for mobilizing in Lakota territory, and how to apply these lessons to local campaigns, which we’ll need in order to create a nationwide wave of resistance against fossil fuel development in our communities.
But there’s also some exciting new info to share from the last few weeks – so without further ado, here’s an updated take on why you should donate, the state of the climate movement, and why I think that world needs one more non-profit environmental group (this one) — all as told through 3 charts and a big picture. Check it out and if you like it, click one of the links below to donate – and if you’ve saved your payment information, your donation will go through immediately:
As you’ve probably guessed – the situation hasn’t improved much under the last 12 months of the Trump Administration. When Obama left office, we’d pledged to cut emissions 50% below 1990 levels. That was a good promise, but we weren’t on pace to do it. And that pace is nowhere near what was needed to keep us below the 2° Celsius goal of the Paris climate agreement.
Here’s an updated chart showing where we were last year, and where we are now:
Chart #2 Still hotter too
Then, last Friday (right about the time everyone was getting their #GivingTuesday emails ready) the US chimed in with their second National Climate Assessment. Again, the news here is bad, but not new. Despite the Trump administration’s attempts to suppress climate science, and Trump and his cabinet’s ongoing climate denial, this report from 10 different US agencies confirms the basics above – The temperature is already rising; We’re causing it; And we need to act fast, and very boldly, if we want to stop it.
If we do nothing, the red line is what we can Temperature increase of 6-8° Farenheit (3-5° Celsius) That would make the planet more or less un-livable, at least for most of us. Seas would drive millions of us off the coasts, wildfires would burn dozens at a time across the west, and pollution (ozone in particular) and heat waves would kill tens of thousands of people every year across the midwest.
The blue line is about what the Paris agreement called for: namely aggressive action to cut US emissions and keep us below the 2° C target. The green line shows the very steep cuts it would take to get to 1.5° C or lower.
Chart #3 It’s not all bad
Here’s the good news though: Despite all Trump’s posturing, things are already turning around. In the developing world (yucky term but most of the world’s people live in the global south, so hang with me a sec) Installations of wind and solar power are actually happening faster than new fossil fuels. There’s a revolution going on around the world, even if we’re not a part of it here in the US (yet). And it totally dovetails with the message we’ve been delivering to so-called climate leaders since this fall’s Global Climate Action Summit: We already have the solutions we need – and the youngest. poorest, and brownest communities with the most to lose from climate change are already showing what’s possible.
That can be terrifying – that the scope of the problem we’re facing is so vast. But it’s also unifying. There’s no more ‘safe harbor’ from climate change in America. You can’t retire to Florida, or emigrate to Canada to avoid it. We will drown, burn, or rise, TOGETHER.
So, now what?
And that’s my main hope – that the presence of climate disaster all around us every day will move people to take real actions to fight the crisis. And we have done some things in the past year:
In particular, I think now more than ever we need digital support for direct action that centers the climate crisis. We saw that over and over again – from protests in North Carolina where we live-streamed the action so more people could participate, to the Global Climate Action Summit, where we used new media tools to super-charge the call for real climate leadership.
Along with an armed police export, they’ve continued to cut all the remaining trees around the tree-sits. It’s unnecessary and illegal, but more importantly it puts the safety of these brave water protectors at risk – because even a tree cut near their fragile, elevated encampments can come down wrong and smash guide wires and other safety equipment.
As L’eau Est La Vie Camp said on their facebook page:
We are heart broken by this reckless destruction of the basin, but we continue to occupy the tree sits and will continue to resist.
L’eau Est La Vie and leaders on the ground are calling for aid, and there are two specific actions you can take to help us #RiseTogether this week:
But while your witness is vital, so is your action. As our friend Cherri said earlier this week: If you’re able to see this message, watch these live-streams or read these emails – you’re connected to a phone or a computer. That means you have the means to make yourself heard.
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.