2020 foresight

2020 and the new decade are not off to a very encouraging start: Australia is on fire. So is the Amazon and there was just a huge oil spill in Brazil. Puerto Rico is being rocked by earthquakes even as it struggles to get the relief money Congress appropriated, and which Trump’s racist administration still wont deliver. Trump might start a war with Iran to distract himself from Impeachment. And the blitzkrieg assault on the planet continues apace: with Trump opening new attacks on (another) one of our oldest and most effective environmental laws: the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).

And that’s just the part of the list from the last two weeks; The first of the 2020s — a decade in which we need radical action to stop the climate crisis on a scale rarely seen in the human endeavor.

But there’s good news too: 88 people chipped in just under $1000 to support this project in December – so we’ve got the funds we need to keep writing and emailing you. New coalitions are launching and re-launching with exciting plans for a 72 hour climate strike in April to honor the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the new generation of climate leaders. And lawsuits are advancing to honor treaty rights and stop Keystone XL, as well as to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline from Crossing the Appalachian trail, and much more. Not to mention the 2020 election – with primaries starting in a few weeks.

A famous phrase notes that the opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creation; And the opposite of fear isn’t courage, it’s action. So with the pre-amble that this is very much a ‘going gets tough’ moment, here’s three key themes of our plans to get going, creating and taking action in 2020:

Redefine radical

One of the big lessons of the last three years is that things that seemed radical now have to become common. Twenty years ago we had time for incremental solutions to the climate crisis – driving less or recycling were appropriate actions for people to take when we ‘only’ needed to cut emissions by 3% a year. Now we need to cut them 15% a year, every year and those actions, any individual action really, just aren’t enough.

What we need now are big changes in big systems – electrify everything, de-carbonize the shipping industry, put millions of people to work building the new energy economy. And we absolutely have to stop building and investing in the fossil fuel projects that are literally killing us all – which means we need to be ready to put our bodies, our lives, and our collective will in the way.

As Rebecca Solnit said in a beautiful essay on the first day of this decade:

I have seen change that was unimaginable until it happened and then became so ordinary-seeming a part of everyday life that people forgot there was a struggle, forgot there was a transformation, forgot how we got here, forgot that we are living in the once-unimaginable. I believe that there are many unimaginables in this moment that will become, must become ordinary, including the end of the era of fossil fuel. Almost no one seems to know that 20 years ago, we literally did not have the solution, because wind and solar were ineffectual and expensive; we have had an energy revolution that now makes it possible to make the transition we need, and it’s not unimaginable now—just unimagined because it’s so overlooked.

https://lithub.com/letter-to-a-young-climate-activist-on-the-first-day-of-the-new-decade/

We’ll try and embody this goal in 2020 by focussing on more & more escalated actions to stop fossil fuels. We’ll still have online petitions for you to sign, from time to time, but we’ll try and pair each and every one with a specific, in-person delivery event. Where possible we’ll also try and have a way for you to participate no matter what zip code you live in. And at big moments like the April climate strikes we’ll focus our attention on the second day of action –

Creation & social media

Another key lesson from the last few years is not to underestimate the value and role of art and creativity in our work, and also the importance of co-creation: of building things together. There’s just something so authentic and powerful about painting a banner together, singing a song together, assembling the lock box together. You’re not just talking about community, you’re literally making it.

By contrast, at the same time we’ve been re-learning the value of creating together, we’ve seen the utter failure of social media as a space for community building. The last few years took us from Tahrir square and digitally-powered movements that toppled dictators, to the Trump administration and the era of paid disinformation as a Facebook ad policy.

As Zeynep Tufekci said in this must-read article from last year:

What is to be done? There are no easy answers. More important, there are no purely digital answers. …The way forward is not to cultivate nostalgia for the old-world information gatekeepers or for the idealism of the Arab Spring. It’s to figure out how our institutions, our checks and balances, and our societal safeguards should function in the 21st century—not just for digital technologies but for politics and the economy in general. This responsibility isn’t on Russia, or solely on Facebook or Google or Twitter. It’s on us.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/611806/how-social-media-took-us-from-tahrir-square-to-donald-trump/

That article was gutting for me because I spent the last 10 years trying to use tech tools to expand democracy and movement building in the US. The original idea of 198 methods was to update Gene Sharp’s anti-fascist methodology to use modern, digital tools like social media.

But we’re going to try and use Tufekci’s advice in 2020 by building the communities we need, not idealizing the ones we could have had. In particular we’re committing to building a curriculum of direct action training tools online. After 2 years of ignoring Facebook and other big social platforms, we’re also going to take another shot at using it to create authentic, multi-directional conversation through live video chats and Instagram stories. And of course we’ll keep, texting, emailing and continuing to reply to all the messages you write (eventually, and not counting the trolls).

Your vote matters, but it’s not enough

Last thought, since this is a very consequential election year, is about the 2020 election. Like social media, we’re forced to admit that we don’t live in the world we want, or have the things we need. But we also see that we can create them.

Specifically, we’re forced to confront these two facts:

  1. Defeating Trump and his corrupt, climate-wrecking administration in 2020 is incredibly important. No single thing will make as much of an impact on the climate as removing this regime from power.
  2. Our election system is deeply broken: Trump won without the popular vote, and millions of our fellow citizens are already disenfranchised by bogus redistricting, an arrest or incarceration record, and lots of other racist features of our system.

We have to vote. Everyone we know has to vote. And we have to spend time and resources (as best we’re allowed as a non-profit group) making sure people are registered, informed, and able to exercise their right to vote. But that simply can’t be the sum of our work.

No politician can be elected to save us. We have to save ourselves.

Too many things need to happen while the campaign is ongoing – from fighting Trump’s NEPA rollback, to pressing Congress and the Courts to act and hold Trump’s corrupt regime accountable, to building intentional and creative communities of action to stop pipelines.

And no matter who is elected at the end of this year, we need to keep pushing – because we only have this one last decade to make big changes in every part of our society. To change everything, it will take all of us, pushing everywhere.

So that’s our plan for 2020 in a nutshell: take radical action that reflects the urgency of the climate crisis; begin again with the project of using digital tools to build creative, connected action with people; And pay attention to the 2020 election and politics, without getting consumed or distracted by it.

2019 in photos

It’s almost 2020 and you look great! Here’s a quick retrospective on the last year of action and work, as told through some of my favorite pictures and memes. Take a gander, and if you’re so-inclined, chip in here to support another year of banner-dropping, Trump-impeaching, arrest-risking, action and fun!

Here’s a little more background on these photos:

January

Emily disrupts the Wheeler hearing
Photo from AJ+

We started the year protesting Trump’s Environmental Record – in this photo my youngest sister Emily is shutting down a hearing with Andrew Wheeler, Trump’s corrupt, climate-denying EPA chief. Ironically this hearing happened during a government shutdown that had furloughed thousands of EPA staff nation-wide. Protesting Trump’s corrupt, climate-denying cabinet is a theme of this year’s actions.

February

A resolution for a green new deal was introduced, call now

Another theme of this year was the Green New Deal – the ambitious proposal to reshape our economy and society in line with what climate scientists tell us are necessary levels of ambition. A resolution was introduced in February by Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen Ed Markey. But we felt it could be stronger, more inclusive – and especially that it needed to tackle fossil fuels. We weren’t alone as hundreds of groups and millions of people rallied to the call for a fossil-fuel-FREE Green New Deal in the coming months.

March

Breaking Tump tries to approve the KXL pipeline, again

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.

March was also the month we kicked off this year’s campaign to undercut the banks and hedge funds who make profit off of climate-chaos. That campaign ramped up a lot in April and May during shareholder season.

April

In April I climbed the three-story awning of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to drop this banner with friends at Beyond Extreme Energy. That campaign, to change FERC into the Federal RENEWABLE Energy Commission (FREC) is ongoing, and if you like it you should chip in to support BXE before the end of the year too!

We fired Zinke and Pruitt, now help block Bernhardt

April was also the month we launched the first of a series of campaigns that targeted David Bernhardt, Trump’s corrupt, climate-denying Interior Secretary. Like Wheeler (see above) he became a recurring character in our fight to stamp out corruption, block pollution, and protect the climate from Trump’s cast of climate conquistadors.

 America Shareholders' Meeting

And finally, I told you it was shareholder season. This photo is a favorite from the Bank of America Shareholder meeting where friends dropped a huge, 2-story call banner telling shareholders the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a financial and climate disaster.

May

Dominion press conference

That shareholder action carried right through into May. Here I am in my home-town of Columbia South Carolina talking to press outside the Dominion Energy Shareholder meeting.

Sign here to support disaster relief for Puerto Rico and all Americans.

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.

We can't fight climate change unless we fix our food and ag sectors

And the mid-year variation on the Green New Deal campaign in May (just in time for planting) was our Green New Deal and Ag work. Agriculture is one of the US’ biggest sources of global warming pollution; And there’s simply no way to fix climate change without addressing our food supply. This campaign also continues today, as we work to get Democrats in Congress to grapple with the entirety of a Green New Deal and climate action, not just the easy bits that don’t offend their donors.

June

Stop Barry Myers NOAA nomination!

One of our most successful petitions of the year was opposing Trump’s nominee to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Barry Myers. It took a while, but Myers eventually dropped out, and NOAA remains a rare bastion of climate research and scientific sanity in the Trump regime. I also really liked this meme of Myers in front of actual NOAA imagery of Hurricane Florence.

July

No More Climate deniers in charge of US climate policy

Less successful was our attempt to block coal-baron Kelly Knight-Craft from being appointed as Ambassador to the United Nations. Our petition and work with partners did generate a lot more “no” votes for her confirmation than normal, but did not succeed in changing the Trump-team’s approach to international climate action.

No rate hike we can't afford more fracked gas

Just a quick one that A) illustrates how a little design and digital recruitment helps local protest campaigns, and B) is solidarity work with allies in North Carolina who are fighting a whole wave of fossil fuel infrastructure including the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, fracked Gas liquefaction facilities, and a corrupt administration that ignores pollution in exchange for big money.

This little meme was made for a rate hike protest in Charlotte near the 4th of July holiday.

August

Trump wants to take away your freedom of Information

Wheeler popped back on our radar this month when he tried to hide government files from public records. I do love using photos of Trump and his Administration cronies against them.

September

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.

In DC I locked myself into a car to and had to be cut out by police with a special saw as we blocked a key bridge at the Shut Down DC action. And then in New Hampshire I was arrested with dozens of friends and allies signing as we peacefully attempted to remove the coal from the last remaining coal plant in New England without a shutdown date.

October

Hurricane Dorian over the Bahamas

October was when we expanded our work to get relief for those impacted by climate chaos to the Bahamas, which had just been hit by Hurricane Dorian. Trump was denying them visas – in one case leading people to be turned off a boat bound for the US – so we spoke up. Later in the year the campaign expanded again to cover all climate refugees. Again, I love using these NOAA hurricane images to illustrate why we need climate action now.

November

Bernhardt is too corrupt to go on

November brought one more campaign targeting Bernhardt as Congress opened (and considered more) investigations into his corrupt conduct. Like I said, targeting these Trump cronies has been a consistent theme of our work for years – and it feels like we’re getting closer to expelling Bernhardt and Wheeler. Like we already won campaigns to expel Zinke and Pruitt.

One other fun update on that Bernhardt campaign – a few weeks later some friends took out this mobile billboard in DC – Corrupt and Corrupter indeed.

Our Bernhardt Billboard is turning heads

December

Strike with us Dec 6

The winder Climate Strike was smaller – but was important because it was timed to connect with the UN climate talks. Another failure, unfortunately.

Impeach

What wasn’t a failure was our turnout for impeachment eve rallies nationwide, and the vote – FINALLY – in the House of Representatives this month that made Trump just the third President in history to be impeached (Nixon resigned first).

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:

  1. Holding corrupt Trump cronies like Wheeler and Bernhardt accountable;
  2. Working as part of the global Climate Strike movement to demand bold action from our elected leaders;
  3. Pushing US policy makers to adopt a bold, fossil-fuel-free Green New Deal; &
  4. Bringing you great direct-action powered online campaigns at the local, state, and federal level to demand climate action.

4 charts and a mission

UPDATE: Since I wrote this earlier, I’ve come across two good discussions on the role of “Hope” in the face of these charts and the overwhelming science of climate change.

  1. This interview with scientists and experts contrasts these same 4 charts with what gives them hope.
  2. 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.

But if you’re already all in – here’s the link to donate, and thanks.

Chart 1 – Tipping points ahead

This first one is from a recent report in Nature that finds that we’re coming up – faster than expected – on a series of global tipping points. How these tipping points work and interact is a bit complicated, as you can tell from all the arrows and points on that map. But the key idea is that none of these items is unrelated from each other.

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’s bad news, and really alarming, because these disasters are happening decades earlier than previously predicted, and they’re compounding at increasingly rapid rates. At the same time, it helps to know that we are all truly in this together – just because my coast is flooded and yours is on fire, or vice versa, doesn’t mean we aren’t facing the same problems.

If you’re ready to fund another year of all-in actions to stop the climate crisis however and wherever it shows up, click here.

Chart 2 & 3 – Emissions still going up

This one, which should be familiar to anyone who has been in this movement for a few years, is from the World Meteorological Association and shows that global concentrations of Carbon Dioxide are still going up.

That goes for emissions of methane too – again according to scientists at the WMO. Methane is the key component in fracked gas, and is up to 80 times more potent at warming the climate and created those interconnected tipping points and indicators in chart #1 above. Which is why we spend so much time protesting at gas pipelines and the people who are supposed to regulate them.

If you agree emissions keep going up, and it’s gone on far too long; click here to chip in and fund the fight for us not to be silent any more

Chart 4 – We’re not acting fast enough.

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.

That was the conclusion of another gut-punch of a report from the United Nations this year, eloquently summed up in our final chart:

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.”

And that’s why I’m asking you to chip in again this year. If you believe, as I do, that while the hour is late and the news is dire, a growing movement of voters and protesters can turn the tide and get us on-track to solve the climate crisis – please consider chipping in $1.98, $1.98/week, or whatever you can afford to keep us fighting.

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.

IMPEACH!

198 methods was born out of the ‘election’ of Donald Trump. It seemed clear, three years ago, that we needed new kinds of action and campaigning. Trump represents all our worst fears of fossil-fueled-fascism.

Now, for a moment, he’s being held accountable for (some) of his mis-deeds. Only two presidents have ever been impeached by the House of Representatives. The evidence against Trump is clear and unequivocal – whatever he and his cronies may spin or say about it on Fox News. This is one of those moments history remembers – and remembers where we were.

So don’t sit on the sidelines. Join the tens of thousands of people on Tuesday, December 17. Together we’ll ensure every member of Congress sees that the public supports impeachment right before they vote.

The quick plan is for people to gather at every congressional office and town square in America. Most of the events are after work – around 5 or 6 local time, and all of them are family friendly, peaceful, and solemn. More than 500 events are planned already, and more keep getting added to the map every hour.

Make sure you R.S.V.P. and then share the event with your friends and family.

This is our last chance to show Congress and Trump that the people won’t stand for corruption, high crimes, or abuse of power before the House votes. Let’s tell Congress to do their duty to impeach and remove Trump because nobody is above the law.

Click here to find an event near you, R.S.V.P., and then invite your friends, family, and neighbors.

Corrupt and Corrupter – an update on Sec. Bernhardt

To help drive home the point that David Bernhard, Trump’s climate-denying Interior Secretary, is one of the most corrupt members of the cabinet, our allies this week are driving a giant billboard around the streets of Washington DC. But, well, you sort of have to see it:

This billboard, which should turn some heads, would be funny if so much wasn't at stake. Check it out and take action at http://bit.ly/StopBernhardt_198m

Posted by 198 Methods on Thursday, December 12, 2019

“This billboard, which should turn some heads, would be funny if so much wasn’t at stake,” said Jayson O’Neill, deputy director of the Western Values Project.

WVP is just one of the allies who’ve helped us gather more than 100,000 signatures so far calling on Congress to investigate Bernhardt. If you haven’t already, you can sign on here or share this message with your friends online to spread the word!

Sign Now to Demand bold protections for climate refugees

If you’re one of nearly 120,000 people who signed our petition demanding justice for climate refugees from the Bahamas, you already know that it’s time to act. Will you sign here to tell Congress to protect climate-displaced communities?

If not, here’s a quick reminder: Last September September, the Bahamas were slammed by Category 5 Hurricane Dorian. The storm killed dozens of people and left more than 70,000 Bahamians homeless.

You probably also remember that in 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by Category 5 Hurricane Maria, killing 3,000 people and leaving over $90 million in property destruction.

If you’re a close watcher of climate news, you might even have seen that, just this month, hundreds of thousands of people in Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan have been displaced due to climate-fueled super storms and the unprecedented flooding that follows.

And yet, Donald Trump’s racist policies seek to turn away climate-displaced peoples from the Bahamas, Kenya, Sudan and other communities. He even denies disaster assistance to communities of color in Puerto Rico and California while protecting his own resorts in Florida.

It’s up to Congress to act: Sign here to tell them to pass a pair of bipartisan bills that will protect climate-displaced people from Trump’s racist policies.

These are only a few recent examples of climate-fueled disasters around the world. Storms, droughts, fires, and floods will all get 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, of course, take bold action at the local, state and federal level to reduce emissions and institute a Green new Deal. But while those solutions are enacted we must pass humanitarian protections so climate refugees are guaranteed safe passage to new communities in the U.S where they can rebuild their lives.

Time and time again, communities of color, the poor, and those in the global south are hit first and worst by climate disasters. Instead of turning away climate refugees — who are often from countries and communities least responsible for the climate crisis,– Our elected officials must step up to meet these climate refugees’ needs.

Sign if you agree: Climate refugees deserve safe passage to the U.S.

Fortunately, lawmakers who see the strong connection between migration and the climate crisis have introduced S. 2565 and H.R. 4732 to support directly-impacted communities. If passed, these two pieces of legislation would both create a designated immigration status for climate-displaced persons and would establish a global climate resiliency fund to provide humanitarian aid and relocation services.

If you’re ready to welcome climate refugees from across America and across the world into your community, please sign this petition and tell Congress it’s time to protect climate-displaced communities.

Tell Congress: Bernhardt is Too Corrupt to Continue

We’ve told you before about David Bernhardt, Trump’s latest (not the first) corrupt, climate-denying Secretary of the Interior.

Last time we updated you, Bernhardt had just been confirmed despite nearly 200,000 of signatures opposing his nomination. The vote was largely along party lines, with the same three same Democrats who voted against the Green New Deal — Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) — voting for Bernhardt.

But now there’s a new opportunity to take down another Trump Administration official, like we did with Zinke, Pruitt and others before. Congress is considering opening an investigation into Bernhardt’s cozy relationship with his former lobbying clients. Can you help us encourage them to do so?

Add your name to tell Congress to investigate David Bernhardt’s corrupt connections to his past lobbying clients.

Just like Trump’s impeachable conduct with the Ukraine – there’s real evidence and legal basis to remove Bernhardt. One of his first acts upon being appointed to Secretary of Interior was to engineer the largest rollback of the Endangered Species Act in history.

And in the last few weeks, Bernhardt’s DOI gave one of his largest former clients, the Westlands Water District, a special deal to use more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which supports many threatened and endangered species.

Bernhardt has spent his entire career working for climate profiteers who make a killing off of killing our climate and environment. But he may have gone too far in doing favors for the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA).

The IPAA is a group of oil and gas producers like Shell, ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil that have multibillion dollar stakes in exploiting previously protected lands and waters. They also have a track record of harming working class communities and communities of color. But earlier this year they boasted about having “unprecedented access” to Trump administration officials, including “direct access” to Bernhardt himself.

Even for the Trump administration, this is naked, brazen corruption. And it’s up to Congress to investigate, and eventually remove Bernhardt from office — just like they’re doing with the impeachment investigation.

Sign here to tell Congress they must investigate Bernhardt and determine whether he is using his cabinet-level position to promote the interests of past clients – and if so, they need to impeach him too.

Trump’s newest FERC nominee is just as corrupt as you think.

We’ve written before about how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rubber stamps new pipelines and fossil fuel infrastructure, locking us into decades fo climate chaos. And in particular how Trump’s FERC has acted again and again to prioritize fossil fuel profits over the health, safety and civil rights of American citizens.

So, in context, Trump’s latest FERC nominee James Danly doesn’t look all that surprising. But in this case, dangerous things come in bland packages:

Danly, who currently serves as the general counsel to FERC claims to be a “humble regulator.” But what he actually means:

Danly’s credo draws on core tenets of the Federalist Society, an influential group of conservatives and libertarians … said several attorneys who practice before FERC

https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060534923

That’s right, Danly wants to take control of America’s energy infrastructure the same way Brett Kavanaugh and Trump’s other wildly unqualified, super-conservative, almost-always-white-male judges are taking over the judiciary. And, not surprisingly, he wants to get there in a similar way to how Kavanaugh got on the court.

Our best chance to stop Trump’s latest ultra-conservative nominee is to bottle up his nomination in a committee hearing. Can you sign here to tell the Senate Energy Committee to vote no on James Danly, Tump’s latest climate-denying FERC nominee?

Here’s the short version of how we got here: FERC has seen record turnover since Trump was elected. With the departure of Democratic Commissioner Cherly LaFleur earlier this summer, there are only three commissioners left, two Republicans and one Democrat). That’s barely enough for a quorum, and gives the last remaining Democrat, Richard Glick extra leverage to block votes or halt projects by refusing to participate.

At the same time, there’s been an explosion in protests and opposition to pipelines. Inspired by campaigns against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, activists have been rising up to resist fossil fuel infrastructure from coast to coast. We’ve been part of a number of those campaigns and I know you have been too. At the same time, our allies have been suing every pipeline they can to slow them down and stop the approval process. And in a few very important instances, the combination of those tactics – the lawyers suing and the people protesting – have combined to stop big projects like Keystone and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

So the fossil fuel companies are getting nervous. They’ve been enthusiastically backing Trump’s attempt to pack the court, and are betting billions of dollars that the Supreme Court will back them where lower courts have consistently sided with landowners, the environment, and climate action.

And that’s where Danly comes in: Fossil fuel profiteers and their cronies in the Trump Administration can only win in court if they have regulators who ignore the lower courts. They’ve succeeded in firing or driving out thousands of civil servants at the EPA and Interior Department, and replaced them with lifelong fossil fuel cronies like Andrew Wheeler and David Bernhardt. Those guys were put in charge because they were corrupt, but not cartoonish, as their predecessors Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke had been.

Just like Wheeler is a less-ridiculous but equally-evil alternative to Pruitt, Danly is a less flamboyant version of Bernard McNamee – the Republican FERC nominee who drew unanimous opposition from Senate Democrats just about 1 year ago. Danly claims to be more moderate, but he’s the legal mind behind FERC’s refusal to even consider the climate impacts of pipelines and projects it reviews.

And, just like Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Danly’s nomination follows a Republican campaign to stack FERC with their preferred commissioners. FERC commissioners are usually nominated in pairs – one Democrat and One Republican – to maintain the legally required balance on the commission. But Danly marks the third Republican nomination in a row, and comes even as a Democratic Nominee to replace LaFleur is waiting for consideration. It’s part of a continuing trend to pack the FERC with Trump-style fossil fuel allies.

Danly’s first hearing is tomorrow, but he wont get a vote in the full Senate for a few weeks. So sign now and we’ll deliver your name to the Senate ASAP!

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.