Sign Isaac’s “Divest Beaverton” Project

Tonight at 6pm, Beaverton, OR City Council will hear Isaac make his first public request to DIVEST from fossil fuels. A project he began over a year ago. Go Isaac! You can support him below after you read his first-person account here:
Power Past Coal holds people's hearing on Pacific Northwest coal exports
(Photo by: Alex Milan Tracy)
It’s been a busy year, but for my Bar Mitzvah Project I am doing a bunch of stuff to help stop and reverse Climate Change.Isaac Vergun at the United Nations Environmental Programme sponored Plant for the Planet Academy in Seattle
Isaac at the Plant-for-the-Planet Academy in Seattle, 
devoted to planting 1,000 billion trees for climate justice.

My main project is a campaign with 350.org to get the City of Beaverton, Oregon to divest from fossil fuels and nuclear power. Please sign my petition, even if you do not live in Beaverton. Most people who will be reading this live, work, or shop in Beaverton, but what my city does affects the rest of you too, so please sign!

http://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/divest-the-city-of-beaverton-from-fossil-fuels-and-nuclear-power

What I Am Asking the City of Beaverton and Others To Do

Based on the 350.org divestment toolkit I am asking the City of Beaverton to:

  1. Immediately freeze any new investments in fossil fuels.
  2. Divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years.

Instead of investing their money into fossil fuel companies, we can reinvest in companies who are making solutions to climate change.

There are 200 publicly-traded companies which hold the vast majority of listed coal, oil and gas reserves. These are the companies from which I am asking our institutions to divest. As 350.org says, my demands to these corporations are simple, because they reflect the stark truth of climate science:

They need to immediately stop exploring for new hydrocarbons.

They need to stop lobbying in Washington and state capitols across the country to preserve their special breaks.

Most importantly, they need to pledge to keep 80% of their current reserves underground forever.

Why Should the City of Beaverton Divest?

The mission of the City of Beaverton is to be looking out for the public good. It is well known for the quality of education and work to get solar adopted. One big action of  “looking out for the public good” is divesting from fossil fuel companies, because these companies are putting us at risk for: less access to water, droughts, uncontrolled forest fires, etc. Mayors and other local leaders need to take the lead because the action of the federal government has been stalled, so the local communities need to take action. Divestment is the moral choice for governments who care about their people. Beaverton taking action to solve the climate crisis will help to make sure that the city’s investments pay off in the future.

I am also having a contest for people helping me to get signatures. Ask me if you’re interested in helping! We’ll try to post more soon! Thanks!

Kathleen Dean Moore Opens Global Climate Convergence Event, April 27 at Seattle U

Connecting The Dots: Compassionate Communities Fostering Climate, Social, & Economic Justice Sunday April 27th 12:30 – 5:30pm

Thanks to Seattle U student activists, a festival of speakers and workshops from a variety of local groups will grace the Seattle University Pigott Building, Sunday April 27th, beginning with the philosopher, naturalist, and climate speaker Kathleen Dean Moore ( author of Riverwalking, Wild Comfort, Moral Ground among others).

Bring the family and discover a world of change that starts with people power. The Global Climate Convergence, 10 days of global actions from Earth Day to May Day, connects groups like 350.org, Idle No More, Backbone Campaign, Compassionate Seattle, fostering climate, social, and economic justice. Renew your energy and commitment in an afternoon of celebration and education. Stir your heart to action.

Ambassadors from Plant-For-The-Planet workshop Climate Justice at 1:45pm. Full schedule with workshops and registration HERE. Wa-ConnecttheDots.org

Schedule: Formal Event 12:30-5:30*

  • 11:30-12:30: Art, Mingling and Tabling
    12:30-1:30: Lunch & Program Opening – speaker Kathleen Dean Moore, a Blessing w/ Sweetwater Nannauck of Idle No More, Music, youth from Unleash The Brilliance & more
    1:45-2:40: First set of 55 min workshops (or 2 hour workshops continue over both slots)
    2:50-3:45: Second set of 55 min workshops
    4:00-5:10: Community dialogue to cross-pollinate, share insights & intentions
    5:10-5:30: Interactive Closing
    5:30-6:30: post-event art, mingling and tabling
    *Backbone hosts Anti-Oppression training from 9am – 12pm, & 1:45-5:00pm.
    **All-ages Art & Imagery Station All Day from 11:30-6:30
    Don’t forget Earth Day, Tuesday April 22nd! Honor our mom with trees in the name of climate justice.

VIDEO: Keystone XL Vigil, Last Public Comments

Zoe eloquently delivered her public comments against the Keystone XL pipeline to a freezing crowd of 350.org supporters outside the federal building in Seattle, WA. The report from the State Dept on whether the international pipeline gets completed will go to the President in May.

As I write you only have 3 hours left to submit a comment (by midnight EST Friday  March 7th, 2014 to the State Dept http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=DOS-2014-0003-0001) for the report headed to the President’s desk, your opinion on the Keystone XL pipeline doesn’t count.

Well, OK, your opinion still counts, and you can still make a ruckus and be heard; you can call the President’s White House line right now. In fact you can write the editor, join a protest, and get your neighbors to join you. But you won’t be counted among over 2,000,000 comments environmental groups delivered to the Dept of State this month opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. With this deadline, the time for the President to decide moves one step closer.

This marks the end of the official process for public input, which means now things get really interesting. If you want to make a difference now, you have several options. Over 75,000 people have pledged to commit civil disobedience if the President signals that he is going to approve the pipeline. http://nokxl.org/

We carbon-based lifeforms simply can’t allow tar sands into the pipeline. No matter what the law allows, our children won’t survive the Keystone XL.

Why such a fuss over one oil pipeline? It’s true there are other pipelines, and trains, moving Canada’s product south. And it’s true we need oil to drive around.

But Keystone XL commits us to decades of driving on the world’s absolute dirtiest fuel, from the 2nd largest oil reserve in the world. GreenHouse Gas emissions from extracting tar sands and making the sludge for shipping pollute as much methane and CO2 as our large metropolitan areas, and that’s before the tar sands oil gets refined and burned. In front of the White House, along with 1,200 people committing civil disobedience, Dr. James Hansen told the President and the world that building this pipeline to speed up burning the tar sands in Canada equals, “Game over for the planet.” 

The Keystone XL pipeline leads to a Carbon Bomb that we must leave in the ground. Since Alberta tar sands oil is already showing up in our gas tanks, we all have to drive less, and find ways to stop the oil trains and other pipelines delivering this extra deadly stuff from Canada, and from the Bakken Shale fracking wells in North Dakota. Our children depend on us now to stop using fossil fuels.

No More “All Of The Above” Energy As for the President, he has a chance to choose dirty energy or clean energy with the stroke of a pen. Until now he has expanded both kinds, simultaneously leading greater expansion in renewables and in our fossil fuel extraction faster than George W. Bush. The fracking creates boomtowns and jobs for roughnecks, but risks contaminating our water supplies. But opening up a pipeline to 800,000 barrels of tar sands every day, or not, stands as the greatest single climate decision he gets to make as President.

Chris Hayes articulates our chemical addiction and the President’s “intervention moment”. http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/keystone-xl-time-to-end-the-addiction-132949571674 an excellent commentary.

Zoe spoke up at a Keystone Xl Vigil in February 2014. You can watch more of the vigil here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZwk4Fm52gw#t=23

Seattle Children Demand Climate Justice

Oct. 17, 2013 | KCTS9

CONTRIBUTED BY:

KATIE CAMPBELL

REPOSTED From Earthfix

“I’m here to draw the line because my future is on that line,” says Gabriel Mandell, 11, a climate justice ambassador at a recent rally in Seattle.

credit: Plant-for-the-Planet Seattle

SEATTLE — Gabriel Mandell is standing on stage at a recent anti-climate rally at a Seattle park squeezed between the railroad tracks and Elliott Bay.

“We’re on the fossil fuel nightmare express hurtling into a future we do not want,” he yells into the microphone. “To get off this train before it gets too far down the tracks, we have to stop Keystone XL! We have to stop the coal trains!”

The crowd of hundreds cheers in agreement.

Mandell’s voice is big and booming, but the rest of him is quite small.

He’s 11 years old, just starting middle school. And he’s flanked by a handful of other adolescents, kids who call themselves climate justice ambassadors.

“We want you to look at our faces to remind you why we need to draw the line against fossil fuel exports in the Northwest,” Mandell says to the crowd.

Mandell and his crew are part of a growing number of children worldwide who are asking adults and governments to take action to fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A recent Unicef study (pdf) found that children around the world will bear the brunt of the impact of climate change. The study points out that children growing up today will experience first hand effects of climate change in the form of increased droughts, floods and storms. In the 10 most vulnerable countries, including India, Bangladesh and the Philippines, there are 620 million children under 18.

Mandell says he was inspired by the story of a 9-year-old boy from Germany named Felix Finkbeiner who started the Plant-for-the-Planet campaign, an effort to plant a billion trees worldwide.

Subsequent Plant-for-the-Planet chapters have sprung up around the world with children participating in academies to learn how to make an impact by studying climate change effects and developing public speaking skills.

Stella Foster
Climate justice ambassador Stella Foster

This past spring the first Plant-for-the-Planet Academy in the United States took place in Seattle and Mandell was one of 80 children to participate. On Oct. 26, two more academies are being held in Seattle with space for 160 children.

Michael Foster is the behind-the-scenes parent organizing these workshops. His two daughters took part in the May workshop and have since taken action through planting trees, writing letters, talking to elected officials and giving public presentations about the impacts of climate change.

Children talking about climate change are difficult to ignore, Foster says.

Last year, 12-year-old Rachel Howell captivated audiences at the final scoping hearing for the Gateway Pacific coal export terminal proposed to be built near Bellingham, Wash. She said, “My generation will pay a high price for the global warming that you do. This is the future that you’re creating for us and this isn’t the future that we want so please don’t build these coal export terminals, it’s just not fair to my generation.”

Watch Rachel’s testimony in the EarthFix documentary COAL.

Mandell, following in Howell’s footsteps, spoke this week in Tacoma at the final scoping hearing for the proposed Longview coal export terminal.

“We need to do more,” Mandell said. “We need to act as if our lives depend on it. Because they do.”

— Katie Campbell

Video: Seattle Climate Justice Ambassadors “Draw The Line”

Do you want to help future generations speak? Hear what they have to say. And Click Here to view the entire hour of inspirational speakers.

Fossil Fuel Exports on the Columbia River?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

581681_555938907803540_1813073730_n
Banner drop “Coal. Oil, Gas, None Shall Pass”  Columbia River protest against Fossil Fuel Corridor

from Earth First! News

Saturday July 27th, 2013, in a day-long affair involving hundreds of activists, the Portland Rising Tide and 350.org collaboration, Summer Heat, went off yesterday without a hitch.

Activists congregated in the morning at the Vancouver Landing in Vancouver, Washington, where  this week port authorities approved a terminal to ship hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil carried on trains from the Bakken Shale.

521686_555937994470298_835309442_n

Hosting info sessions about secret corporate trade agreements, direct action, and infrastructure resistance, the event carried a festive air into the early afternoon. By 3pm, around 250 activists in more than 100 boats took to the river for a symbolic blockade and massed under the Columbia Bridge.

Hundreds more activists gathered on the bridge, and three climbers repelled down with a long, transparent banner that read, “Coal, Oil, Gas: None Shall Pass.”

The crowd that came out to the protest showed that they will not be intimidated.

18394_10100137671048341_1671520289_n

Police presence was relatively minimal at the protest compared to other Rising Tide and Occupy actions that have occurred. Nobody was arrested, and the message was sent: Expect Resistance.

Summer Heat was only a high point in what has been a long, hard, and in many ways successful struggle, which has seen three three proposed coal terminals shut down so far.  Today, Portland Rising Tide looks invigorated, confident, and more dedicated than ever to the mission of stopping climate change.

UW Students Call On Regents To Divest From Fossil Fuels

Divest UW photo

“If it’s wrong to wreck the climate, then it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.”  — Bill McKibben, 350.org

University of Washington students coordinated 5 powerful, articulate speeches before the Board of Regents meeting today in a passionate call to divest university funds from fossil fuel investments.

The meeting room was filled with supporters who then rallied outside the hall after witnessing, “A historic moment.”

The City of Seattle has pledged to divest its holdings, along with dozens of cities, churches, and colleges, leading the way for over 300 other institutions where divestment campaigns are gathering momentum. Two days ago San Francisco State University announced they will divest.

The divestment campaign at 350.org is growing rapidly as the morality of investing in these planet-wrecking corporations is clearly unforgivable. How can we invest money for retirement, or build universities, knowing that the return we made on carbon fuel stocks to live comfortably now helped push the planet over the tipping point and committed my children to a life of suffering?

Find out more at gofossilfree.org about how you can get involved in leading and supporting these campaigns to move money out of fossil fuels, hold rogue industries accountable, and invest in a clean, livable future for our children. The UW students are showing us the way. Now it’s our turn!