Environmental Activism Opportunities

  • #ProtectNEPA to #ProtectOurVoice on the Environment via @ProtectNEPA

    DJnOmyuWAAMxiL5.jpgIf you didn’t know it already, you have a legal right to know about and weigh in on federal government projects before any action is taken. Those rights are protected by the first bedrock piece of environmental legislation - a law called the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA.

    NEPA has three main components:

    1) It promotes transparency by requiring that plans for federal projects be released to the public,

    2) It promotes informed decision-making through requiring detailed studies on environmental impacts and alternatives, and

    3) It gives the public a voice on these projects through public hearings and comment periods.  

    It’s all important, but that last piece is vital. Because of NEPA, citizens have the opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns about plans that will impact the environment and their communities, and then hold their government accountable. That period of public review also takes time and shines sunlight on consequences, whether unintended or otherwise. And that’s essential to stopping dangerous, rushed or poorly planned projects.  

    NEPA requirements don’t just force the truth to come out, they allow time for movements to be built before projects are underway. They allow time for organizing and for media to be drawn in to alert the broader public and win the public relations war against giant companies. Think of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Think of Keystone XL. NEPA made it possible for these projects to become household names and public battles instead of inevitable… and that is, of course, why NEPA is under attack.

    A NEPA repeal would be incredibly difficult and unpopular, so instead conservatives are trying to chip away at it bit by bit. In a Heritage Foundation report last year, the organization wrote about their plans to “pave the way to rescission” of NEPA by introducing legislation that narrows NEPA reviews, mandates time limits, limits alternatives, and eliminates consideration of - you guessed it - green house gases and climate change. 

    In the last two Congresses, over one hundred and fifty bills were introduced that weakened or waived NEPA. Now, in the current Congress, there are already over fifty introduced bills that would limit or eliminate public input, government accountability, and environmental review of federal projects. Several of these bills have passed or are likely to pass soon.

    We will all lose if NEPA is damaged or destroyed. But low-income communities, indigenous communities and communities of color, which face environmental injustice every day, will lose a critical tool in their fight to protect their health, economy and environment. For 40 years, NEPA has given a voice to people who would otherwise be shut out of the process, but that could change unless you get involved today with the NEPA Works campaign. 

    Go to NEPAWorks.wpengine.com. There you will find details on the history and importance of NEPA, as well as a complete list of categorized legislative threats to this critical law in the House and Senate. Your next step is to call Congress and spread the word about the ulterior motive within these bills. You can also read and share success stories from every single state where NEPA requirements have quite literally saved the day. The things companies have tried to get away with will shock you. 

    Follow the campaign on Twitter @ProtectNEPA and join other environmental action groups in using the hashtags #ProtectNEPA and #ProtectOurVoice while shining a light on this subversive Republican plan. The NEPA Works campaign is just getting off the ground and so we encourage you to get involved now and keep checking in to see what else you can do to help. 

    If only there was a NEPA to help us defend the NEPA…

    So, if fighting for your right to protect your health, family, community and environment is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Protecting NEPA via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

     

     

    TAKE ACTION:

    Get involved with the NEPA Works campaign to protect your voice!

    Read about pending legislation that chips away at NEPA, share it, and call Congress (try Stance) to stop it

    Read and share NEPA success stories from every state

    Follow NEPA Works on Twitter @ProtectNEPA

    Use the #ProtectNEPA and #ProtectOurVoice on social media 

    EDUCATE YOURSELF:

    We will not be silenced. Stand up for a strong NEPA! (Earth Justice)

    Trump CEQ rolls out plans for swift NEPA reviews (Governors' Wind & Solar Energy Coalition)

    US people of color still more likely to be exposed to pollution than white people (The Guardian)

    Christine Todd Whitman: How Not to Run the E.P.A. (New York Times)

    Boston Communities Unite to Democratize Their Economy (Next City)

     

    Posted September 19, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1134: Unnatural Disasters (Hurricane & the Climate)

     

  • Bring MORE Conservatives On Board to a Carbon Fee & Dividend #ClimateChange Solution via @RepublicEn @CreationCare @citizensclimate

    board-1521348_1920.jpgWe live in polarized world where hard-lined political ideologies make it difficult for us to talk, let alone hear each other. So, when faced with the existential crisis of climate change, how can we make any progress? Turns out there is hope.

    There is one solution to climate change that has actually been embraced by both sides of the political spectrum: Carbon Fee and Dividend (aka: Cap and Dividend). Carbon Fee and Dividend is the idea of applying a fee that companies would pay for their carbon output (or imports) and sending that money directly back to the people to offset the increase in fuel costs. It puts pressure on the market to move away from fossil fuels and the dividends provide an incentive for people to move toward more affordable renewable sources so they can use the extra money for other things.

    Conservatives like it because it is a market-based solution, it isn’t a tax (because it goes back to the people), it won’t increase the size of government, and would actually make less regulations required. Progressives like it because, well, it’ll actually work. 

    So, do you have some conservatives in your life that you’ve been avoiding lately? Instead of telling them they are wrong about everything, engage them with ideas from other conservatives that just so happen to align with your goals too. 

    Here are a few things you can share with them…

    • RepublicEN, highlighted in the BOTL #1108, is a group of over 3,000 conservatives and libertarians who are educating Americans about free-enterprise solutions to climate change. Share or get involved with RepublicEN at RepublicEn.org.
    • The Evangelical Environmental Network, highlighted in BOTL #1108, is a group of 200,000 evangelical, pro-life Christians, who see themselves as “stewards of the bounty upon which all life depends.” They believe being pro-life also means protecting the environment that is essential to our quality of life. Share or get involved with EEN at CreationCare.org
    • And finally, if you can get them onboard with Carbon Fee and Dividend, introduce them to the Citizens Climate Lobby, a non-profit, non-partisan grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. They have chapters all over the country, and the globe, and they lobbying for one thing and one thing only: Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation. 

     

    SAMPLE TWEETS/POSTS: 

    • GOP friends: Thoughts on a free-market, reduced reg #climatechange solution? This conservative org has a plan: http://www.republicen.org/ 
    • These Evangelicals want to solve #climatechange b/c they are "stewards of the bounty on which all life depends." http://www.creationcare.org/

     

    So, if making sure we actually get to even try to solve climate change is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Bringing MORE Conservatives On Board to a Carbon Fee & Dividend #ClimateChange Solution via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

      

     

    TAKE ACTION

    Let’s solve climate change! Engage with your conservative friends…

    EDUCATE YOURSELF

    AN EVANGELICAL MOVEMENT TAKES ON CLIMATE CHANGE (Newsweek, 2016) 

    Conservatives Plan for a Carbon Tax (The New York Times)

    Citizens Climate Lobby pushes for a carbon tax and dividend (The Guardian, 2013)

    7 Reasons Conservatives Should Support Climate Change Solutions (Huffington Post)

    New economic study shows carbon tax refunded to households would create jobs (Citizens Climate Lobby, 2014)

     

    Posted May 30, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman.

     

    Hear Best of the Left Edition #1108: A conservative solution to solving climate change

     

  • Take Part in Global Divestment Mobilization Week May 5-13 via @GoFossilFree @350


    C-LZ-IzXUAAoZ0r.jpgDuring the height of the Keystone XL fight in 2012, we sat in a theater in Washington, DC, along with hundreds of other climate activists and concerned citizens, and heard 350.org founder Bill McKibben talk about climate action via divestment. Back then, the divestment movement was just getting started and within a year, there were student-led divestment efforts happening on college campuses across the country and around the world. Since then, the divestment mobilization has become a core strategy of the climate movement.

    With the national spotlight on science and climate change, 350.org has organized a week-long, Global Divestment Mobilization week May 5-13, on the heels of the People’s Climate March. The last Global Divestment Day was two years ago, so, it’s more than time - and perhaps the perfect time - to reinvigorate a movement that has taken off and grown substantially over recent years. 

    As you’ve heard on this show and everywhere by now, renewable energy is becoming more efficient and cost effective every year, but to have a chance at that future we have to keep fossil fuels in the ground….and we don’t have time to wait for the market to fix things. We need to make change happen now and money seems to be the only thing that talks in our corrupt, capitalist society.  

    On their website, the Divestment Week organizers wrote, “Now it’s time to highlight the impacts of fossil fuels on our planet and to demand action that is rooted in the moral argument that investing in fossil fuels is not only a financial risk, but also risking the lives of human beings.”

    During Global Divestment Mobilization Week, actions will take place around the globe to demand the following moral responses from governments, universities, religious organizations, cultural institutions, individuals, and others: 

    • Immediate freeze of any new investments in fossil fuel companies.
    • Divestment from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years.
    • Cutting of sponsorship ties with fossil fuel companies

    Visit GlobalDivestmentMobilisation.org to learn more and to find actions near you. If there isn’t an action in your area, the site offers ideas and resources to organize one of your own. You can also follow the movement @GoFossilFree on Twitter and by checking out and using the official global hashtag #FossilFree.

    So, if saving the planet before it’s too late is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Taking Part in the Global Divestment Mobilization Week May 5-13 via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

     

    TAKE ACTION

    Join or organize Global Divestment Mobilization Actions, May 5-13,2017 

    Follow @GoFossilFree and @350 on Twitter 

    Engage with the Divestment Mobilization hashtag #FossilFree  

    EDUCATE YOURSELF

    Why Divestment is Changing the Climate Movement (The Nation, 2013)

    The rise and rise of the fossil fuel divestment movement (The Guardian, 2015)

    This is a Timed Test (Slate, Bill McKibben, 2015)


    Posted April 28, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman.

     

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1099: The science of the times

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F26RQ9PFRjk

     

  • Get in the Streets! Join #ScienceMarch on 4/22 & People's #ClimateMarch on 4/29 via @ScienceMarchDC and @Peoples_Climate

    Screen_Shot_2017-04-07_at_9.14.51_PM.pngIf you’ve been waiting for the second coming of the Women’s March, this could be it. Two major rallies, which both have had months of planning, preparation and outreach, are scheduled back to back weekends at the end of April. 

    On Earth Day, April 22nd, scientists around the world will march side-by-side with those who believe in science and want to defend it from climate deniers, religious extremists, oil and coal companies and the Trump administration - which, of course, is made up of representatives from all of those anti-science, special interest groups.  

    On the march website, the organizers wrote, “The march has generated a great deal of conversation around whether or not scientists should involve themselves in politics. In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery, we might ask instead: can we afford not to speak out in its defense?”  

    Go to MarchforScience.com to learn more about the details of the march and, if you can’t make it to DC, find one of the 480 satellite marches near you. You can also follow the march on Twitter @ScienceMarchDC.

    After the March for Science, you have a week to rest up and then get in the streets again for the second People’s Climate March.

    In 2014, we were proud to be some of over 400,000 people who marched in the streets of New York City for the first People’s Climate March on the eve of the UN Climate Summit, demanding urgent action on the global climate crisis. We made history and our numbers and voices could not be ignored. Limited - but important - progress was made.

    This second march, taking place on the 100th day of the Trump Administration, is a fight to protect those gains, however small, and continue to push to make the climate crisis impossible to ignore politically. 

    As with every single political issue, climate is intersectional. The march aims to

    • Advance solutions to the climate crisis [that are] rooted in racial, social and economic justice and committed to protecting front-line communities and workers.
    • Protect our right to clean air, water, land, healthy communities and a world at peace.
    • Immediately stop attacks on immigrants, communities of color, indigenous and tribal people and lands and workers.
    • Ensure public funds and investments create good paying jobs that provide a family-sustaining wage and benefits and preserve workers’ rights, including the right to unionize.
    • Fund investments in our communities, people and environment to transition to a new clean and renewable energy economy that works for all.
    • Protect our basic rights to a free press, protest and free speech.

    Go to PeoplesClimate.org to learn more about the march and, if you can’t make it to DC, find one of the sister marches happening across the country and around the world. You can also follow the march on Twitter @Peoples_Climate. 

    So, if you believe in science and saving humanity from climate change, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Getting in the streets for the March for Science and the People’s Climate March via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

    As the People’s Climate Movement has always said, “to change everything, we need everyone.” So, let’s show up for our future…and claim it. 

     

     

     

    TAKE ACTION

    April 22nd (Earth Day): March for Science Follow: @ScienceMarchDC

    April 29th (Trump’s 100th Day): People’s Climate March Follow: @Peoples_Climate

    EDUCATE YOURSELF

    Activists Announce People's Climate March (Huffington Post)

    Peoples Climate Movement Releases March Route (Common Dreams)

    Climate Justice Organizations Call for "People's Climate March" on April 29 (DemocracyNow!)

    Pussy Hats Making Way For Resistor Beanies In Science March (Huffington Post)

    This man in a space suit has a message for Earthlings (CNN)

    Congress’s one PhD-trained scientist will join march on Washington (STAT News)


    Posted April 7, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

     

    Hear the segment in context on Best of the Left Edition #1093: The Exxon President goes to war with the planet (Climate)

  • Call on President Obama to Make Standing Rock a National Monument #NODAPL

    Screen_Shot_2016-12-06_at_7.37.18_PM.pngWhile the news that the Army Corps of Engineers denied the final permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline and will be producing an environmental-impact statement is a huge victory for the water protectors, this is not over yet. We have less than 7 weeks - not including the upcoming slew of Federal holidays - to push President Obama to make Standing Rock a national monument through the power of the Antiquities Act. 

    A proclamation under the Antiquities Act is not the same as an Executive Order, which could be easily undone by Trump. Congress would have to pass a bill abolishing the monument, Trump would have to sign the bill into law, and then the courts would have the final say. The courts have a long history of supporting the Antiquities Act when challenged, but at the very least the legal battle would take time.

    Every day has been harder and colder for the heroic water protectors in North Dakota, who have been viciously and unjustly attacked while they remain unarmed. Meanwhile, President Obama could end all of this and come out on the right side of history with the stroke of a pen.

    If you’ve been joining the demonstrations of thousands across the country in support of Standing Rock, it’s easy to feel like everyone is paying attention. Let me assure you they are not. The media is still distracted by the inflammatory tweets of the same man that has captured them like a cat with a laser pointer for the last year. By all means, we must keep getting out in the streets, but let’s also spend time urging our outgoing president to wield a valuable tool at his disposal that he has already used more than any other president in history. 

    So, pick up your phone and call the White House today to tell President Obama to protect the water that millions rely on by making Standing Rock a national monument. The number to call the White House with your comments is 202-456-1111

    We also urge you to email the President by going to the contact page of whitehouse.gov and to write and mail hand-written letters to the president. We know that he reads 10 of the public’s letters every night that his team selects as representative of all the emails and letters that come in the door. Let’s make sure he is getting letters about his moral obligation to make Standing Rock a national monument every…single…night. 

    So if protecting our water from Big Oil is important to you, then be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Calling on President Obama to Make Standing Rock a National Monument via social media so that others in your network can take action too.

    Stand up. Fight back. There is no time to lose.

     

    TAKE ACTION 

    Call the White House comments line at 202-456-1111

    Get the info to write to the President by visiting the contact page on whitehouse.gov

    EDUCATE YOURSELF

    The Historic Victory at Standing Rock (The Atlantic)

    Standing Rock: Tulsi Gabbard on What the Dakota Pipeline Decision Means (Rolling Stone) 

    FAQ: The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's Litigation on the Dakota Access Pipeline (Earth Justice)

    President Obama: Declare a "Standing Rock" national monument to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (Our Revolution)

     

    Posted December 6, 2016, written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman.

     

    Hear this segment in the context of the latest Best of the Left Edition #1062: Defend the Sacred Dakota Access Pipeline

  • Break Free 2016 #KEEPITINTHEGROUND - A Global Wave of Resistance to Keep Coal, Oil and Gas in the Ground via @350

    Humanity is at a critical turning point. If we want a viable future, there is only one thing we can do: shut down the fossil fuel industry. That means millions of people joining communities on the front lines in mass, global civil disobedience right on the doorsteps of the largest, most dangerous fossil fuel projects in the world. And you can do that…RIGHT NOW…by joining 350.org's Break Free 2016, happening now through May 15th at a strategically selected fossil fuel project site near you.

    Break Free 2016 is focusing on specific locations for its global actions because...

    “...fighting climate change requires the courage to confront polluters where they think they are most powerful. For years, communities on the front lines have led that struggle, and this May we can join them.”

    In the US, the top actions will take place at the following locations: 

    Pacific Northwest action - Anacortes, WA

    Northeast action - Albany, NY 

    Midwest action - Chicago Area, IL

    Western action - Denver, CO 

    Southwest action - Los Angeles, CA

    Mid-Atlantic action - Washington, DC

    If these action locations are not close to you, the organizers encourage you to organize buses, trains and bike-pools to the event in your region of the country. If you absolutely can’t make it to one of the primary actions, you can look for actions popping up in major cities near you, or organize your own as part of Break Free. Visit BreakFree2016.org to sign up and get further details on the actions nearest you, and use the hashtag #BreakFree2016 and #KeepitintheGround to join the conversation online. 

    So, if the future of humanity is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Break Free 2016 via social media so that others in your network can get involved too.

    No matter how much money they make, fossil fuel giants can’t drown out the voices of millions. So join the global movement and let’s break free from fossil fuels once and for all.

    Watch "DISOBEDIENCE," a new film from 350.org

     

    TAKE ACTION:

    Find and sign up for a targeted action near you at breakfree2016.org

    Learn more about organizing your own action

    Get inspired by the latest 350.org film “Disobedience”  

    Join the conversation online via the hashtags #BreakFree2016 and #Keepitintheground 

    Follow @350 on Twitter for the latest updates on the action and other news

    Donate to support the work of 350.org

     

    Sources/further reading: 

    4 Reasons Now is our Chance to Break Free from Fossil Fuels (via BreakFree2016.org)

    Bill McKibbon: Global Warming's Terrifying New Chemistry (via The Nation)

    Inside the Paris Climate Deal (via The New York Times)

    President Obama's Climate Action Plan Infographic (via WhiteHouse.gov)

    Bill McKibbon: Why We Need to Keep 80% of Fossil Fuels in the Ground (via Yes!)

    Fossil Giant BP Sees Fourth-Quarter Profits Sink Nearly 70% (via Smarter Shift)

     

    Hear the segment in context:

    Episode #1011: "Deception vs. Disobedience"

    Written by BOTL Communications Director Amanda Hoffman.

  • Break Free 2016 #KEEPITINTHEGROUND - A Global Wave of Resistance to Keep Coal, Oil and Gas in the Ground via @350

    2015 was the hottest year on record. February 2016 was the most abnormally hot month in history - by a long shot. 

    But here’s some good news: The winds of change powered by an energized and organized climate movement are blowing strong, and the fossil fuel giants are starting to sway. 

    This year, BP announced that its 4th quarter profits sank by nearly 70%. Royal Dutch Shell warned its profits would be cut in half from the previous year. In Paris, 193 countries agreed to end the age of fossil fuel. President Obama released, and is fighting to uphold, a Clean Power Plan that would shutter hundreds of coal-fire power plants. 

    This is an unprecedented opportunity for the climate movement. For the first time we have momentum on our side, but to take advantage of the shift in global awareness and make the full transition to renewable energy we must keep the pressure on. 

    And so, in that same spirit, we are reminding you again today about 350.org’s “Break Free 2016” - a global wave of mass actions over May 4th to the 15th that will target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects, in order to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground and accelerate the just transition to 100% reniewable energy.  

    Break Free 2016 has strategically selected the locations of these global actions citing that...

    “...fighting climate change requires the courage to confront polluters where they think they are most powerful. For years, communities on the front lines have led that struggle, and this May we can join them.”

    In the US, actions will take place in most regions of the country at the following locations: 

    Pacific Northwest action - Anacortes, WA

    Northeast action - Albany, NY 

    Midwest action - Chicago Area, IL

    Western action - Denver, CO 

    Southwest action - Los Angeles, CA

    Mid-Atlantic action - Washington, DC

    If these action locations are not close to you, the organizers encourage you to organize buses, trains and bike-pools to the event in your region of the country. If you absolutely can’t make it to one of the actions, you can organize your own local action as part of Break Free. 

    Visit breakfree.org to sign up and get further details on the action nearest you. Use the hashtags #BreakFree2016 and #Keepitintheground to join the conversation online. 

    So, if the future of humanity is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Break Free 2016 via social media so that others in your network can get involved too.

    This is the moment we’ve been waiting for. Let’s show the fossil fuel giants that we’re ready to break free from fossil fuels once and for all.

     

     

    TAKE ACTION:

    Find and sign up for a targeted action near you at breakfree2016.org

    Learn more about organizing your own action

    Join the conversation online via the hashtags #BreakFree2016 and #Keepitintheground

    Follow @350 on Twitter for the latest updates on the action and other news

    Donate to support the work of 350.org

    Sources/further reading:

    4 Reasons Now is our Chance to Break Free from Fossil Fuels (via BreakFree2016.org)

    Bill McKibbon: Global Warming's Terrifying New Chemistry (via The Nation)

    Inside the Paris Climate Deal (via The New York Times)

    President Obama's Climate Action Plan Infographic (via WhiteHouse.gov)

    Bill McKibbon: Why We Need to Keep 80% of Fossil Fuels in the Ground (via Yes!)

    Fossil Giant BP Sees Fourth-Quarter Profits Sink Nearly 70% (via Smarter Shift)

    Hear the segment in context:

    Episode #1001 http://www.bestoftheleft.com/_1001_climate

    Written by BOTL Communications Director Amanda Hoffman.