Environmental Activism Opportunities

  • 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.

  • #LeapYear Manifesto: For New Economic & Energy Systems via @NaomiAKlein — Best of the Left Activism

    You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: Leap Year Manifesto: Mobilize Towards New Economic & Energy Systems.

    Naomi Klein’s latest project is bold. At a two-day meeting this past spring in Toronto attended by representatives from Canada’s Indigenous rights, social and food justice, environmental, faith-based and labor movements, a manifesto was created to advance economic and climate justice. The Leap Year Manifesto has over 32,000 signatories including organizations like 350.org, Sierra Club Canada and Black Lives Matter - Toronto.

    The Leap Year Manifesto states:

    "The time for energy democracy has come: we believe not just in changes to our energy sources, but that wherever possible communities should collectively control these new energy systems.”

    As they decided that “small steps are no longer enough,” the team at This Changes Everything have gone international with the goal of gathering people to mobilize towards new economic and energy systems. Today, Klein and 350.org’s Bill McKibben participated in a Google Hangout you can watch at ThisChangesEverything.org to get more information on the world-wide effort: Leap Year 2016.

    In a piece at The Guardian, Klein lays out what the campaign means and why she’s hopeful. Among the 15 demands in the manifesto, she’s advocating for a rapid shift to 100% renewable electricity that’s democratically controlled to be paid for by ending fossil fuel subsidies, imposing high royalty rates on fossil fuel extraction and implementing cuts to military spending.

    Leap Year 2016 would not just address climate change, it could create equity for long-suffering groups who have dealt with discrimination and multi-generational health issues from pollution, reduce economic and gender disparities, and initiate a boom of stable, well-paying jobs. At LeapManifesto.org, you can join or host an upcoming event such as teach-ins, community discussions, screenings of This Changes Everything, and more.

    Klein is optimistic that this is all possible thanks to recent victories against Keystone and Shell’s Arctic drilling. She closes her Guardian article with words of motivation and encouragement:

    “[T]ake a minute or two to think about the extra day at the end of this month. It’s a reminder that people can indeed come together to change a failing set of rules. The laws of nature, not so much. Then let’s make 2016 the year we started to bridge the chasm between what is, and what must be. Let’s make it the year we started to leap.”

    TAKE ACTION:

    JOIN/Host: #LeapYear Event, Feb-March 2016 via

    WATCH: "Leap Year 2016 - Hangout with Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, and more”

    hosted by This Changes Everything

    Canadians can SIGN: The Leap Year Manifest

    Sources/further reading:

    "Let’s make this a real ‘leap’ year, and go fossil fuel-free” by Naomi Klein

    Hear the segment in context:

    Episode #988 "When climate science meets faith-based economics"

    Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich

  • Break Free From #FossilFuels via 350.org — Best of the Left Activism

    You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: Break Free From #FossilFuels via 350.org.

    The Paris Climate Summit ended in a first-of-its-kind agreement: limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius with an aim of 1.5 degrees and achieve climate neutrality that will require phasing out fossil fuels in the second half of this century. While organizers wit 350.org were hoping for more, they’re celebrating a deal that sends what they call “a clear signal” — that it’s time to keep fossil fuels in the ground and time for investors to cut their ties with coal, oil, and gas by divesting for good.

    In order to continue pressuring governments to make good on — and possibly even out-perform — the goals from the Paris agreement, 350.org and coalition partners including GreenPeace are inviting you to join their global wave of resistance this May to keep coal, oil, and gas in the ground.

    At BreakFree2016.org you can get updates and learn more about how to participate. Plans are coming together and progressing quickly with plenty of ways to get involved before the international actions this spring. There will be public actions such as marches as well as protests with civil disobedience set on shutting down the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects while also supporting the most ambitious climate solutions.

    A map and calendar of actions from May 7-15 are coming together with a vision of tens of thousands of people all over the world rising up at a moment when the effort is not linked to any particular government summit, conference, or legislation. Activists and organizers will set the terms and demand attention following the hottest year on record as climate change is already having massive impact on so many communities.

    From the BreakFree2016.org sign-up page:

    "We are close to a historic, global shift in our energy system. The way we get there is by action that confronts those who are responsible for climate change and takes power back for the people so we can shape the sustainable and just future we need. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for, let’s seize it.”

    TAKE ACTION:

    Sign up to help organize and/or get updates: Break Free From #FossilFuels via 350.org

    Sources/further reading:

    "10 awesome things we did together in 2015” via 350.org

    "Leaders Move to Convert Paris Climate Pledges Into Action via The New York Time

    "Historic Paris Climate Agreement Should Spook Fossil Fuel Markets and Escalate Clean Tech Investment” via DeSmog Blog

    'Green News Report' Special Coverage 2015 Year In Review via Green News Report

    Hear the segment in context:

    Episode #980 "A agreement made in Paris (Climate)"

    Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich

  • #KeystoneXL Victory Update & #ActInParis via @sierraclub — Best of the Left Activism

    You’ve reached today’s activism segment. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s a glimmer of hope to remind you that not absolutely everything is completely terrible all the time. Today’s update: Keystone XL Victory and the Road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

    Keystone XL is officially dead.

    Thanks to activism lead by extraordinarily brave and relentless Indigenous People across the continent and climate activists refusing to give up and willing to risk repeated arrest over several years, President Obama has announced that Keystone will not go forward. Take time to sign the Sierra Club’s #ThanksObama note — it took years, but he did finally (mostly) listen and keep the project from being completed.

    Rejecting Keystone is an important step not just for the long term goals of campaigns like 350.org’s Divest From Fossil Fuels and Sierra Club’s #‎KeepItInTheGround, but as a political optics move ahead of the climate negotiations in Paris at the end of this month. It’s easier for the U.S. to ask other nations to curb their pollution in an attempt to prevent catastrophic, irreversible climate change if we are taking visible steps of our own.

    As was covered just a few weeks ago on this show, international organizations like 350.org have co-organized the upcoming Global Climate March on November 28th and 29th. You can find the action in your area or help put one together — still plenty of time — by visiting 350.org/Paris.

    If you are unable to march — and not everyone is, the Sierra Club has some great visibility boosting actions. At ActInParis.org as well as on the hashtag #ActInParis you can find updates on goals for the talks, check out the “Best of the Best” from commitments countries have made ahead of the talks, and read what international faith leaders are saying in support of bold action in Paris. Even if you aren’t religious, you know you have those friends and family in your networks who are swayed by the Pope, the Dalai Lama, and other recognizable figures. Frankly, even for the non-religious, it’s pretty inspiring to see unity among Buddhist, Catholic, Episcopal, Greek Orthodox, Islamic, Jewish, and Hindu leaders from around the world.

    As expected there’s a social media campaign — but it has an “in the real world” twist. People who submit photos of themselves holding a sign with the #ActInParis hashtag through Twitter and/or Instagram will not only show public support for strong action at the summit, they’ll become part of a collage that’s GOING TO the summit. The Sierra Club is posting what will hopefully be a sizable pictorial display of people from around the world demanding their leaders get something real accomplished this year.

    Looking ahead to next year — which is right around the corner, 350.org has actions already planned to follow up on the Paris talks; you can get all that information at 350.org/Paris.

    Update!

    #KeystoneXL Victory! "KEYSTONE XL VICTORY: TO WIN A FIGHT, YOU HAVE TO PICK ONE: Obama’s pipeline rejection a huge win for citizen action” via Sierra Club

    Follow-up/new(ish) Action!

    #ActInParis for bold climate action with Sierra Club

    Snap a selfie and “go to” Paris with Sierra Club’s #ActInParis Photo Campaign

    SIGN on to 350.org’s Plan Through Paris

    SIGN to say #ThanksObama for rejecting #KeystoneXL!

    Hear the segment in context:

    Episode #967 "Going to Paris with our heads held somewhat high (Climate)"

    Revisit the original actions/segments:

    #GlobalClimateMarch via @350

    Tar Sands Resistance March #stoptarsands

    #KeystoneXL Under Congressional #Climate Deniers

    Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich

  • #GlobalClimateMarch via @350 — Best of the Left Activism

    You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: #GlobalClimateMarch.

    The United Nations is preparing for climate negotiations in Paris this December and, predictably, 350.org has been active ahead of time.

    “The Road Through Paris” campaign is so-named because the pressure will need to continue beyond the summit. As 350.org’s campaign page says: "No matter what happens at the summit, this will continue to be true: Politicians don’t lead movements — people do.”

    2015 is on track to be the hottest year in recorded history — which will make this the third record-breaking year in a row. The UN Secretary General says he’s on board, telling the press that we need to "accelerate investments in clean energy and spur a global, low-carbon transformation well before the end of the century, consistent with a below 2 degrees Celsius pathway.”

    350.org is looking to hold them to that and more with specific milestones. Their goal is to get world leaders to make a deal that’s “in line with the imperatives of science and justice.” They’re demanding that 80% of fossil fuels stay in the ground and financing for a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. These are ambitious goals and everyone has to get involved in a visible show of support to put the necessary weight behind the demands.

    Next up is the Global Climate March November 28th and 29th — info on the specifics in your area can be found at 350.org/global-climate-march. It’s the weekend before the talks start and, while the biggest action is happening in Paris itself, people are participating around the globe.

    350.org optimistically calls this a possible turning point — but only if we push for it. Visit 350.org and join up with the Global Climate March happening near you, or access resources to start your own.

    TAKE ACTION:

    Join the next 350.org #RoadThroughParis event: The #GlobalClimateMarch

    Additional Activism/Resources:

    GoFossilFree.org’s push ahead of the Paris summit: Register Your Divestment from fossil fuels

    Sources/further reading:

    "Leaders Discuss Deeper Engagement for Strong Climate Agreement in Paris”

    "Solar and Wind Just Passed Another Big Turning Point: It has never made less sense to build fossil fuel power plants.”

    via Bloomberg

    "Demolishing The 7 Myths Propping Up Fossil Fuels: It's time to set the record straight.” via Huffington Post

    Hear the segment in context:

    Episode #962 "Building momentum to and through Paris (Climate)"

    Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich

  • #FindYourPark on National @PublicLandsDay — Best of the Left Activism

    You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: National Public Lands Day.

    It’s no secret green space is vanishing. Enjoying nature for nature’s sake is lost on most people these days. For some of us it’s because we’re creatures of habit, for other’s it’s how the hamster wheel of capitalism sucks up almost all of our time.

    This week, use National Public Lands Day as an excuse to take a breath and do something that’s as good for you as it is for nature. Saturday, September 26 is set aside as the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands. It’s hosted by the National Environmental Education Foundation and signing up to volunteer at PublicLandsDay.org earns you a “fee-free” coupon to visit any federal site. For some public lands that even includes accompanying passengers in a car.

    What started as three events and 700 volunteers 17 years ago has grown to over 2000 events and more than 175,000 volunteers. Last year alone, NPLD volunteers removed 500 tons of trash, built and maintained 1,500 miles of trail, and contributed an estimated $18 million through volunteer services to improve public lands across the country. This year’s events include planting trees and shrubs; educational and recreational activities like kayaking, birding and camping; and locale-specific events like the live, interactive pre-historic cooking demonstrating featuring the "earth oven" method of cooking at Poverty Point World Heritage Site in Louisiana.

    So grab friends and get to a National Public Lands Day event in your area. The best way to make sure people are personally invested in maintaining public green spaces is to take them out to those spaces for relaxing and fun activities. Make it an annual thing and challenge others to do the same.

    TAKE ACTION:

    Register to volunteer for National Public Lands Day!

    Be sure to get your Fee-Free Coupon as a thank you for volunteering!

    Sources/further reading:

    "More than 175,000 Volunteers Expected on National Public Lands Day, September 26, 2015” via National Public Lands Day

    "Let's Move Outside: Public lands make the best playgrounds!” via National Public Lands Day

    "Our Land, Up for Grabs” via The New York Times

    "This Land Was Your Land” via The American Prospect

    "Volunteer on trail crews for National Public Lands Day, Sept. 26” via The Seattle Times

    Hear the segment in context:

    Episode #955 "In search of the good life (Culture)"

    Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich

  • .@BeyondCoal via @SierraClub — Best of the Left Activism

    You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: the Sierra Club's "Beyond Coal” Campaign.

    Climate actions and campaigns can seem overwhelming in scope. But while few in the media were paying attention, the grassroots organizing and smart strategizing of the Beyond Coal campaign has made shutting down the dirtiest energy source in the country look almost easy.

    The main goals of the Sierra Club campaign are to keep coal in the ground in Appalachia and elsewhere, move municipalities to clean energy, and successfully retire one-third of the nation’s 500-some coal plants by 2020. Last week, they celebrated the closing of the 200th plant, leaving 323 on their targeted list.

    This is a major victory for both health and optics reasons. Coal is responsible for one-third of US emissions while making us unnecessarily sick. As many as 13,000 premature deaths and more than $100 billion in health care costs annually are attributed to coal. Hitting even just the hallway mark — which is practically around the corner — would make a massive difference in the lives of millions while proving that transitioning from dirty to clean energy is not the impossibility it was once portrayed as.

    Bruce Nilles, ‎senior campaign director for Beyond Coal, explained the importance of last week’s milestone to Kate Sheppard at The Huffington Post:

    "Back in 2009, the prevailing wisdom was that coal was inevitable, that the U.S. would be burning coal for a long time. We set out to show that you can make a lot of progress even without a climate bill.”

    The Sierra Club is still, of course, pushing the administration to follow through on promises to be proactive. Their “Speak Out For a Strong Clean Power Plan” petition — which can be found at SierraClub.org. — is flooding the administration with support ahead of the expected push back on the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan from fossil fuel billionaire. Through the petition page you can sign; tweet to the EPA with the hashtag #ActOnClimate; post the campaign to your other social network feeds; get involved in specific coal plan closing action in your state; and connect to other campaigns.

    Join with Beyond Coal and help push them over the tipping point to achieving an end to our dirtiest energy source.

    TAKE ACTION:

    SIGN & SHARE: Speak Out For a Strong Clean Power Plan with the The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign

    Get involved in your state through Beyond Coal’s Take Action Page

    Sources/further reading:

    “United States Phases Out 200th Coal Plant As Momentum For Renewable Energy Grows” via The Sierra Club

    "Iowa Utility Will Phase Out Coal At 5 Plants, In Milestone For Sierra Club” by Katie Sheppard via Huffington Post

    Hear the segment in context:

    Episode #940 "What we are facing and how we are fighting (Climate)"

    Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich