“I’m 15-years-old and scared about what rising carbon levels mean for my generation. Currently, there are two bills in Washington’s Legislature that propose targets for reducing carbon levels — but they have critical differences.”
July 14th, 2016
24 people have fasted for 3 days in advance of today’s public hearing on Washington’s Department of Ecology Inadequate Draft Clean Air Rule! Please come and speak out! Current information is available from this Facebook page:
Here are various news media articles about the fasting and today’s events:
- KUOW: http://kuow.org/post/inslee-carbon-cap-critics-protest-fast-capitol-steps
- Cascadia Planet: http://cascadiaplanet.blogspot.com/2016/07/hungry-for-climate-justice-fasting-at.html
- The Stranger: http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/07/12/24334414/sixteen-people-are-fasting-on-the-capitol-steps-to-protest-the-governors-draft-clean-air-rule
- Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2016/07/13/hunger-fast-grows-outside-governors-office
On Twitter look for:
You can also get some updates and pictures from:
Aji had to roll out of bed in the middle of the night to record this interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. Along with Julia Olson, director of Our Children’s Trust, Aji describes the 2 lawsuits in which he is a plaintiff suing for #ClimateRecovery on behalf of all living things.
Watch to the very end to hear Aji’s song!:Landmark Climate Lawsuit: Meet the Youth Activists Suing the U.S. Government & Fossil Fuel Industry
21 young Plaintiffs assert the U.S. government violated their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property by allowing and facilitating the exploitation of fossil fuels. The youth asked the court to order the federal government to give them a science-based national climate recovery plan. They sued 9 agencies including the Obama Administration. Turns out the federal government has some powerful friends.
On January 13, 2016, Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin of the federal District Court in Oregon granted defendant status to three trade associations, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (“AFPM” representing Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell, Koch Industries, and virtually all other U.S. refiners and petrochemical manufacturers), American Petroleum Institute (“API”representing 625 oil and natural gas companies), and National Association of Manufacturers (“NAM” representing 14000 corporations).
Philip Gregory, attorney for the young Plaintiffs, “The fossil fuel industry would not want to be in court unless it understood the significance of our case… as a momentous threat to fossil fuel companies. The fuel industry and the federal government lining up against 21 young citizens. That shows you what is at stake here.”
The fossil fuel powerhouses call the youth’s case “extraordinary” and “a direct, substantial threat to [their] businesses.” During Wednesday’s hearing, the industry argued that a victory for youth plaintiffs will require a significant restructuring of the fossil fuel business model, such as potentially invalidating thousands of leases for fossil fuel extraction.
Judge Coffin agreed that a decision in plaintiffs’ favor would impact the fossil fuel industry and wants all the key parties in the courtroom. Counsel for the trade associations confirmed they represent nearly every fossil fuel related company in America. In response to the Court’s questioning, the three trade associations stated they would all speak with “one unified voice”.
“We are prepared to take on the world’s largest fossil fuel polluters, including Exxon and Koch Industries,” said Julia Olson, counsel for the youth and Executive Director of Our Children’s Trust. “This case asks the court to order what the industry fears most: a national plan using the best science to leave a nation of clean air and a healthy climate to our kids. These trade groups will now face the science-based evidence in a courtroom, not in the halls of Congress where their lobbying dollars hold the most clout.”
Two days later on January 15th, the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) and the Leadership Council of Women Religious (LCWR) promptly filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the youth plaintiffs in the climate change lawsuit.
LCWR represents leaders of more than 40,000. GCCM is an international network of more than 250 Catholic organizations and individuals, including Pope Francis and Catholic bishops. The Catholic group is relying on the Pope’s recent encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home.
“Laudato Si’ reminds us that ‘Intergenerational solidarity is not optional, but rather a basic question of justice, since the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us,’” said Tomas Insua, Global Coordinator with GCCM. “We join our voices with the young plaintiffs who are calling for climate justice and the protection of the atmosphere for generations to come.”
The judge has set oral argument on all Motions to Dismiss for March 9 at 10 a.m. in Eugene, Oregon.
Our Children’s Trust is a nonprofit organization, elevating the voice of youth, those with most to lose, to secure the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate on behalf of present and future generations. We lead a global human rights and environmental justice campaign to implement enforceable science-based Climate Recovery Plans that will return atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration to levels below 350 ppm. www.ourchildrenstrust.org
Earth Guardians is a Colorado-based nonprofit organization with youth chapters on five continents, and multiple groups in the United States with thousands of members working together to protect the Earth, the water, the air, and the atmosphere, creating healthy sustainable communities globally. We inspire and empower young leaders, families, schools, organizations, cities, and government officials to make positive change locally, nationally, and globally to address the critical state of the Earth. www.earthguardians.org
“You are the future generation. You are the ones who are going to have to deal with this mess that everybody else behind us has gotten us into!” says ten-year-old Grace from Seattle.
On Earth Day, HBO aired SAVING MY TOMORROW PART THREE, the latest in a six-part series on children taking action to protect our fragile world. (Check listings for today’s times)
With songs, activism, and heartfelt tips, kids share their thoughts on environmental concerns, from endangered animals and pollution to climate change. A lyrical mix of science, animation and music, SAVING MY TOMORROW celebrates the wonders of the natural world, sending a message from kids to kids, that we must care for the planet.
The Earth Day special showcases the ways in which kids are focusing on issues like plastic pollution and deforestation. The special follows young advocates like ten-year-old Grace and fellow members of Plant-for-the-Planet in Seattle as they plant trees in an effort to decrease CO2 levels. As 12-year-old Zoe from Seattle says, “The adults clearly aren’t doing enough to stop this, so we have to take it into our own hands.”
Meanwhile, children from a Maryland elementary school create a plastic bag chain around a lake, demonstrating the number of bags one individual throws away each year. “Ocean warrior” Maddie encourages kids “to trust that your actions, no matter how small, can make a difference.” A group of young people in Santa Fe sees just that after their persistent protests lead to an historic plastic-bag ban.
Interspersed are readings by Alan Cumming (on destruction of Amazon rainforest) and Laura Dern (on threats to the albatross), a conversation between musician Pharrell Williams and kids, and a previously unreleased performance, recorded by HBO, of the late Pete Seeger, singing with his great-niece and nephew.
You can join Plant-for-the-Planet. Check the calendar of events for the next Academy. Or organize an Academy in your town. We’ll help you!
Tonight President Obama steps onto the world stage for the annual State of the Union, but on Saturday morning, Ambassadors for Climate Justice deliver “State of the Planet 2015” at Seattle City Hall.
How is Earth doing in 2015? Find out Saturday as Ambassadors, who range in age from 9 – 14, share the latest climate update and more. “We don’t have time to wait until we’re grown up. We’re announcing initiatives to end the climate crisis.” says Ambassador Gabe, speaking on behalf of all kids who need grownups to help clean up. “Give us a chance at a habitable world.”
The children do their part planting trees, stopping pollution, inspiring others to take bold action. Come do yours!
You’re invited to this fun, free community event.
Saturday 1/24, 11am-Noon
Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room
Councilmember Mike O’Brien will be on hand as young Ambassadors update Washington’s Billion Tree Challenge, plus their new initiative to put Climate “Warming Labels” on Seattle gas pump nozzles. Hear Aji & Adonis debut a new song live, and guest speaker Rob Shirkey, who originated the ‘labels on gas pumps’ idea in Canada.
If the children succeed, the City of Seattle will join Berkeley, which passed gas pump labels in November, and San Francisco, which has scheduled a hearing. Labeling gas pump nozzles “is just like labeling cigarettes,” according to 11-year-old Ambassador Stella, “but way better because gasoline poisons life all over the planet.”
Washington’s Billion Tree Challenge engages our state in doing our fair share toward the worldwide goal to plant 1 Trillion trees this decade. Over 34,000 Plant-for-the-Planet Ambassadors plant, speak and sing about climate justice worldwide. Volunteering with the United Nations, Ambassadors counted over 13 billion trees planted so far.
In December, Seattle Ambassadors appeared in a documentary “Saving My Tomorrow” on HBO as well as on KING5 “New Day”. They also introduced Governor Inslee at a lunch with Al Gore, and planted the 11,000th tree of the season in Seattle Parks.
Now let’s make 2015 count as the year we turn the tide on climate change. Pledge to make a difference this year. Share your commitment!
After 45 days, Itzcuauhtli completed his silent strike with 1.5 million people joining his Thunderclap. If you ever needed a reason to smile about climate disruption, listen to his first message after ending a courageous silence.
What does he mean, YOU are the world leaders? Hear more at SilenceIntoAction.org and become a leader.
This week NY Governor Cuomo banned fracking, President Obama protected Bristol Bay, Alaska from oil and gas, and WA Governor Inslee announced his Carbon plan. Let’s celebrate these HUGE BABY STEPS forward ending the fossil era!
Picture a kid shouldering a fully-loaded backpack before starting up Mt Rainier. That’s us! Balancing that load for the first stand-up moment feels triumphant! It’s the beginning… snap a photo, grab a map, and start climbing that mountain!
Meanwhile climate talks in Peru left the world’s nations in disarray with no hope for a meaningful agreement at the critical PARIS 2015 talks next year. How did world leaders say so much yet do nothing? Here’s an example:
John Kerry at the U.N. climate talks gives his best speech. He cites the world’s best scientists in a call for dramatic personal, social, and political action. he leans way too hard on impoverished, developing nations in a world of killer poverty, to pick up the bill for some of the U.S. pollution we grew wealthy spewing into our air. Nonetheless, he shoulders his responsibility as a statesman-scientist admirably right up until he declares, “We are proud of these [U.S. pollution] targets!”
In a sign of how harmful international talks have become, the climate champion of the last 25 years ignores timetables (from the very scientists he names) on how quickly we must act and asks, “Are we going to do it fast enough?”
According to scientists Kerry names in his speech, U.S. pollution ‘goals’ not only put our own children on course for exceeding 2C warming to disrupt ecosystems enough to unmake Western civilization, but our ‘goals’ also irreversibly eliminate more than half of species on earth, change the face of the planet and disrupt land & marine ecosystems going forward millions of years. Billions of people will suffer needlessly for centuries to come.
Does that sound like something to be proud of? Instead of aiming for climate recovery, the U.S. Secretary of State hikes down the wrong trail with an old map. In his view, if we refuse to get serious, we strand our kids and everybody else halfway up the mountain with zero chance to get back home. Why not check the map?
Money & power. The world’s poor don’t have any. Future generations don’t have any. It’s up to world leaders like you and me to give them the power to live in peace. Because worldwide, yes BlackLivesMatter.
If politics is the art of the Possible, climate recovery is the art of the Necessary, where Science maps our terrain, not politicians. What can you do?
Learn climate recovery science. Then school our climate champions on how urgent this has become for young people. Reduce your footprint, and help your loved ones do the same.
Read James Hansen’s timetable for climate recovery, the one paper every person needs to understand, submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of youth, (including Itzcuauhtli’s brother) who are suing the government for a habitable planet, details a map back to safety that looks something like this,
- 6% per year decrease in Greenhouse Gas pollution, beginning in 2013 (oops!)
- coupled with 100GtCarbon CO2 worth of reforestation (or more than 1,000 billion trees)
- might restore the climate to 350ppm CO2 in the atmosphere near 2100.
In other words, only drastic, liberating action immediately for the next few years keeps our kids chance alive for a climate that protects young people, future generations, and nature.
Half of CO2 we emit today lingers in the air for 25 years, the rest for centuries. Without decisive action starting now, before 2020, we mathematically surrender more and more life centuries from now. Today we hold the right to protect them, the future generations we hear about in every speech on climate. Yet every year we have surrendered more of that right, and have given up on more species. No more.
Who do you choose to lead us? John Kerry a true climate champion, or the people and a boy who is willing to give up something we think we can’t live without “for everybody else’s future”. Go to ClimateSilenceNow.org to take action.
Go to Plant-for-the-Planet.org to plant some TREES! If 1,000 billion trees tips the equation in our favor, when you plant for the planet, and you plant for our survival.
Restoring climate balance now is the Wonderland journey of this decade. We take steps together both hard and joyful, beautiful and unbearable. But let’s never forget where we’re headed, a peaceful world for the next seven generations free and equal, just and lush, prosperous and caring, rising up from the killer consumer culture we leave behind.
Want a little music for your journey? https://vimeo.com/69227576
Itzcuauhtli is an 11 year old climate activist. His older brother Xiuthezcatl helped start the Earth Guardians program in Colorado. The boys have been speaking, rapping and spreading the word about climate change to every child and adult they can, like they do in HBO’s “Saving My Tomorrow”. They marched in the front row of the People’s Climate March in NYC.
But Itzcuauhtli realized that speaking wasn’t going to cut it.
He made the decision to take a vow of silence until the politicians and leaders of our planet started to take notice and help us on our mission of reducing the amount of carbon in our atmosphere. Itzcuauhtli has been completely silent for 45 days.
On Saturday December 6, 2014, Climate Justice Ambassadors from Plant for the Planet in Seattle stood in support of Itzcuauhtli. We went silent for 1 hour and held a silent protest downtown with a large sign bearing the message, “Stop Talking, Start Planting” and green tape over our mouths. We also had a donation bag to collect donations from the public, each dollar donated planted one tree. In one hour we collected $29 total! plus we shared brochures and raised awareness for trees and climate action.
If you want to help Itzcuauhtli’s cause, please wear a green bracelet on Wednesday December 10th, Human Rights Day, and post your picture online to show your support. To do our part we will continue to share these protests in the future!
ed. –United Nations climate talks in Peru December 1 – 12 must take a major step forward as delegates lay groundwork for an entirely new climate treaty in Paris 2015. Forests and Climate Justice have been a BIG DEAL so far this year. Itzcuauhtli has kept silent, looking for leaders like you and me to show officials how to lead.
Learn HERE how you can help on December 10th, Human Rights Day, wherever you are on Earth.
Bellevue Plant-For-The-Planet Academy, Eastshore Unitarian
Saturday October 10th, 2015 9am – 5:30pm ALWAYS FREE, students ages 9 – 14
- Free Snacks and Lunch
- Free Plant-For-The-Planet T-shirt
- Free Plant-For-The-Planet Book, “Tree By Tree”
- Free Ambassador Name Badge and Certificate
What is an Ambassador for Climate Justice?
Once upon a time, way back in 2007, a 4th grade boy in Germany, Felix Finkbeiner, put together a classroom powerpoint report on the climate crisis. Inspired by “An Inconvenient Truth” and by Wangari Maathai, the nobel prize winner, Felix concluded his presentation, “I believe we children can plant 1 million trees in every country of the world.” Today, Felix is 16 years old and 35,000+ youth (and their families) around the world are working to plant 1 Trillion additional trees by 2020 — that’s the amount of trees required to absorb enough CO2 to restore earth’s climate during their lifetimes. Students direct the Plant-for-the-Planet Global Board with help from grownups. They partner with local groups and the United Nations to inspire us all to leave carbon in the ground now. Anyone ages 9 – 14 can attend a free one-day workshop (the Academy) to learn from other ambassadors,
- the 3-Point Plan to end global crisis
- tree-planting basics
- climate science and climate justice
- presentation skills and a powerpoint
- how to engage our communities and leaders
Bring a water bottle and wear layers for the weather. Although we’ll be learning indoors much of the day. the whole group goes outside to plant a tree and for break times, whatever the weather. Families arrive to attend the end of day Graduation event when our new Ambassadors for Climate Justice show us what they’ve learned including their plans to restore our climate. The students graduate as new ambassadors when they announce their commitments to their families and a few students present the slideshow shared by youth around the world.
After the Academy
The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Plant-for-the-Planet Ambassadors connect with schools and on local tree-planting events to build momentum to stop the climate crisis. Last year, we helped plant almost 9,000 trees. In Seattle ambassadors hold monthly Leadership Corps meetings at the Good Shepherd Center to plan actions. Letter writing from Ambassadors inspired college students to vote in Whatcom County, to help block a proposed coal terminal there. Local Ambassadors work with 350.org, Our Children’s Trust, Climate Solutions, and more groups speaking at rallies, at schools, to City Council, legislators and the Governor, and won a legal decision to make the Dept of Ecology do our fair share to combat global warming.
You can be part of a global children’s movement that is changing the world, “Tree by tree”.