Seattle Plant-For-The-Planet Academy
University Unitarian Church, Seattle WA
Saturday, May 7th, 2016; 8:30am – 3:30pm
For students in grades 4th – 8th
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!
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:
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!
By Gary Piazzon
They are everywhere: lobbying their representatives, participating in UU Voices presentations in Olympia, introducing Governor Inslee and other prominent officials, presenting to the Seattle City Council and of course, planting trees. It is just getting started! These children mean business.
We hosted our first Plant for the Planet academy on Whidbey Island Saturday, 3/28/15 and it was a great time. We certified 15 Climate Justice Ambassadors who join 300 in the USA and 340,000 worldwide. This international, UN sponsored program is just getting started in the US. Like most other aspects pertinent to this über issue we in the USA have been late adopters. Boo on us.
The children had an exciting day. They learned about the Climate/Ocean crisis, climate justice, how to speak in public, provide positive feedback to their peers and work together. The weather was wonderful. We planted 11 Garry Oaks in the luscious, dark chocolate earth, found lots of worms, a gorgeous garter snake, the bones of a deer, and petted the resident baby goats. We even celebrated a birthday! We now have the nucleus for a club and will be meeting monthly to strategize how best to get our message to the community and for another academy in the Fall.
You can see images of the event on the CREATe and Climate Change for Families websites.
The goals of PFTP are to:
Why so many trees? Trees absorb CO2. Scientists at NASA have determined this is the number of trees needed to stabilize the climate. A trillion trees may seem like a lot. It amounts to 150 per person on the planet. Huge, but that is where we are. Even that is insufficient to get where we need to be. We must also decrease CO2 pollution by 6% per year. Economists agree that the best way to do that is to tax polluters, i.e. the coal, oil and natural gas industries and provide that money to people so they can make wise choices. So, let’s all “Stop Talking and Start Planting!” and get our legislators to pass a carbon tax like those that make the economies of Germany and British Columbia so strong.
Planet for the Planet Seattle Explained:
The inspiring back story: Now We Children Save the World
Presentation to the Seattle City Council- PFTP (begins at about at about 45:00) http://www.seattlechannel.org/mayor-and-council/city-council/city-council-all-videos-index?videoid=x21710
Images from the Academy Saturday 10/25/14 with the Mayor Ed Murray:
Introducing Governor Inslee:
Piazzon, G. (2015). Plant for the Planet Stepping Up. Retrieved from http://www.nwuujn.org/view/article/551ee5e50cf24df50709ffc3
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,
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”.
Plant For The Planet Academy, October 26th, 9am – 5:30pm
Free for all students ages 8 – 14.
2 locations: Jane Addams School & MLK Elementary, Seattle WA
Imagine planting a million trees, what you would feel like, how you would change the world…?
Now get started! 160 students ages 8 – 14 from area schools will train to serve our community as Climate Justice Ambassadors! Worldwide, over 19,000 students have attended this fun and educational Academy training to join forces worldwide as leaders of the Official Tree-Planting Campaign of the United Nations.
All participants receive:
The following weekend we celebrate in parks with hundreds of families to launch Green Seattle Day, the first day of tree-planting season in Seattle! Ambassadors can invite friends and families to come plant thousands of free trees sponsored by Seattle Parks!
At the Academy, we play experiential games to understand how our world needs care, learn to plant a tree properly, get a photo with local leaders, and rehearse an amazing slideshow on Climate Justice. We conclude the Academy by presenting the slideshow to invited guests and take a graduation photo.
Students, age 8 – 14, who care about our future and want to start a “tree-mendous” transformation of our planet, please attend this one-day workshop on October 26th.
At 4pm, families and invited guests come see the student slideshow presentation at the conclusion of the Academy. Make plans to attend with the whole family to experience this powerful work from the world’s newest Climate Justice Ambassadors!
Thanks for support to the Seattle Parks Dept, and Coolmom for help making this a free event, open to all students!
To learn more, go to the “About the Seattle Plant for the Planet Academy” page. Questions? Contact us below in comments.