Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation
Working for peace, social
justice and principled nonviolence since 1976
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This banner about the Climate Crisis appears at some of the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s peace vigils.
-- The term “global warming” might sound pleasant to those of us who live in areas with cold winters.
-- The term “climate change” sounds neutral, because “change” can be either good, bad, or merely different.
Both of these terms seem like euphemisms, because the reality is so much worse!
What is happening is climate disruption or climate chaos. The climate patterns that have existed for thousands of years – to which plants, animal and humans have adapted over thousands of years – are being torn up and thrown around. The jet stream is sending some people’s weather to other places. While the average temperature around much of the earth is increasing, various areas have become much hotter, or much drier, or much wetter. Many thousands of temperature records have been broken, and the process is projected to escalate much worse.
The climate crisis is much more disruptive and destructive than merely warmer temperatures. Since before the dawn of civilization the earth’s climate has allowed life to prosper and diversify. Plant and animal species evolved and adapted to the climate. Human civilizations emerged and thrived. Now – in a very short time – humans are wrecking the climate, and many people around the world are horrified at the very disruptive and destructive future that lies ahead.
Scientists are largely in consensus about this reality. But in the U.S. and a few other nations that have caused this climate crisis, the dominant political and economic systems have refused to accept reality. Hardly any U.S. politicians are dealing seriously with this crisis. Many U.S. politicians even deny that the problem exists, and almost all of those who do know acknowledge the problem have refused to take the bold actions necessary solve it. They are condemning many species to extinction, and they are condemning countless millions of human beings to misery and death.
Giant oil and coal companies want to continue “business as usual,” except for escalating their public relations propaganda (e.g., coal companies claiming that coal can be “clean,” and oil companies and electric utilities exaggerating their “green” activities). Mainstream media – which is almost entirely owned by giant corporations – fail to report on it adequately.
This is a damning indictment of our political and economic systems. Survival and civilization require radical changes to these suicidal political and economic systems.
Scientists, nonprofit organizations, and grassroots organizers around the world are trying desperately to shake our political and economic systems to recognize reality. The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation is helping through a variety of new activities, including this website page about the Climate Crisis.
This short video is informative, easy to understand, and entertaining. You might want to skip the introductory and proceed directly to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2Jxs7lR8ZI
On Monday January 14 the Olympia FOR’s climate action group (“Confronting the Climate Crisis”) held a rally on the steps of the Washington State Capitol building. During that event many of us went across the way, put on big bright red ponchos and spelled out “NO COAL” and “350.ORG” on the steps of the Washington State Supreme Court Building, the Temple of Justice. Thanks to Steve Wyant for this photo.
Watch edited video coverage the Olympia FOR’s January 14, 2013, Climate Crisis rally at the State Capitol on TV. Dennis Mills and others videotaped it, and Dennis edited it and arranged for it to be seen on BlipTV: ( Video on BlipTV )
The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s “Confronting the Climate Crisis” group is gathering signatures to deliver a petition to Governor Inslee, directing the State to: (1) Immediately freeze any new investments in fossil fuels; (2) Divest from direct owner ship and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years; (3) Have the State of Washington’s retirement plans offer fossil-free investment fund options for state employees.Please sign the petition and ask others to sign it.
It’s at: http://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/divest-from-fossil-fuels-17For more information about the Olympia FOR’s vigorously active climate group, see http://www.olympiafor.org/Climate_Crisis.html, look for new information to be added to the Climate Crisis portion of www.olympiafor.org in early June, and see climate information in recent newsletters and our upcoming June-July 2014 issue. (We post our newsletters on our website.)We invite other FOR chapters and members to collaborate with us. Many of our activities are regional for Wash/Ore, and some are statewide regarding our state government. We invite you to collaborate with us by contacting the chair of our climate committee, Bourtai Hargrove, at (360) 352-6327 email@example.com
Olympia FOR member Beverly Bassett took this photo of the exploding oil train bomb designed and built by Olympia FOR member Rod Tharp. We displayed it at Heritage Park Fountain near Capitol Lake in Olympia WA on Friday May 23, 2014 immediately before the 7 pm performance & speaking engagement of Dana Lyons (“Cows with Guns”) and Matt Krogh (www.forestethics.org) on their "Crude Awakening Oil Train Tour" at Traditions Café in downtown Olympia, Washington
The climate crisis in the larger context of U.S. empire, economic inequality, Peak Oil, the assumption of endless economic growth, corrupt politics, recurring financial crashes, etc.: These are current examples of a civilization that is starting to decline. The fascinating and insightful article at this link -- http://tinyurl.com/m7hoace -- examines the decline of great civilizations, including ours. (It’s OK to skim a few paragraphs where the author summarizes his recent and upcoming blog posts. The more substantive parts of this article are elsewhere within this article.)
Climate change reality will force us to abandon endless economic growth: This article by Peak Oil researcher/writer Richard Heinberg is compelling and much shorter than the one noted above. The “conventional wisdom” of politics, economics, etc., is not sustainable. The laws of physics, geology, atmospheric science, etc. expose the hard realities. We need to choose sustainability and abandon the myth that endless economic growth is possible. Climate change is a hard reality that will force us to abandon that myth. See Richard Heinberg’s excellent new article posted on Common Dreams. Heinberg is perhaps the best current writer on Peak Oil and related topics. See his insightful new article at this link: http://tinyurl.com/p345o67
Global warming is making Washington State’s wildfires even worse: In late July the Sightline Institute (www.sightline.org) publicized their “talking points” about global warming and wildfires. They emphasized that global warming is fueling dangerous “mega fires.” See http://tinyurl.com/puujzgw
California is now experiencing the most severe drought ever recorded: See info at http://tinyurl.com/mxkgwuz
Drought leads to depleting groundwater: A new study shows that the parched West is using up underground water at an alarming rate. See http://tinyurl.com/p2xh69f
May and June of 2014 were the hottest on record: http://tinyurl.com/ofop2ks
Climate Scientists See 'Very Rapid Declines' in Annual NOAA Report: http://tinyurl.com/m6cnu2b
Carbon dioxide levels just reached 402 ppm: http://tinyurl.com/ps9apz9
US government sells coal from public lands far too cheaply: On July 24, 2014, Sightline released a new report on the US Bureau of Land Management’s coal leasing programs, titled, “Unfair Market Value: By Ignoring Exports, BLM Underprices Federal Coal.” The report documents the facts that coal companies operating in the western U.S. are buying coal from the American public with the explicit goal of shipping that coal overseas, but the BLM charges coal companies far less than it should because of the profitability of exporting coal from public lands. The U.S. government is subsidizing coal companies millions of dollars every year at taxpayers’ expense. See http://daily.sightline.org/2014/07/24/coal-exports-unfair-market-value/
In late July 2014, the South Portland, Maine, City Council voted to prohibit toxic tar sands oil from being loaded onto tankers: It’s a coastal port. The vote was overwhelming to stop the oil industry’s escalating plans to ship Canadian tar sands. See http://tinyurl.com/qe647vz
Blockade at First Tar Sands Site in US Challenges “Brazen Disregard for Climate Crisis” – See www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/07/21-3
Grassroots organizations help China move away from coal: See http://tinyurl.com/m23kuys
On June 30, 2014, the New York Court of Appeals decided that local towns can use zoning laws to prohibit fracking there: This precedent-setting case pertains to the towns of Dryden and Middlefield, NY, and pertains to other heavy industry. See info at http://tinyurl.com/osdm4on
EXCITING success story about into NY's opposition to fracking -- a legal loophole that can win: Corporations have corrupted the laws so the corporations manipulate the “regulatory” process. But in New York state, farmers and other landowners who wanted to prevent fracking found that they could legally PROHIBIT fracking, even though the law would not let them “regulate” it. This point comes up at about 5 minutes into this fascinating 11-minute video: http://tinyurl.com/m9yhrd9 This is a powerful distinction that the “Community Rights Ordinance” (CRO) movement has jumped onto. See www.celdf.org and the Olympia FOR’s April 2014 TV program, which you can watch on the “TV Programs” page at www.olympiafor.org Also see more info about this case at www.earthjustice.org
Keystone XL pipeline’s South Dakota segment will be delayed: TransCanada’s permit for the Keystone XL in South Dakota expired at the end of June 2014. That state’s permit had been issued in 2010 when Keystone XL was considered “a done deal” and was expected to be completed in just a few years. However, an historic national alliance of farmers, ranchers, tribal leaders and climate activists has delayed the pipeline so effectively that its permit for construction in South Dakota has expired. TransCanada will not be able to proceed in South Dakota without a new permit there.
Canadian Supreme Court recognizes a tribe's right to prevent tar sands pipeline across their land: Here is an interesting article with more information about pipeline routes, etc. The author is optimistic about stopping more tar sands shipping. See http://tinyurl.com/n8wgcon
Scientists call for a moratorium on tar sands development: www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/06/25-8
Fracking industry loses an important court case: “Losing this case was not good for the industry,” said Thomas McGarity, a University of Texas law school professor who specializes in environmental and administrative law, in a recent interview with InsideClimate News. “My guess is the industry will coalesce around this case. The industry will want to stop the dam from breaking wide open. ...This is where they will take a stand.” Robert Percival, director of the University of Maryland's Environmental Law Program, said the judge's decision was “another important step toward providing redress to those exposed to the unpleasant side effects of fracking operations.” Info: http://tinyurl.com/lt9dcyl
Do live in the blast zone for explosive oil trains? See map here: www.explosive-crude-by-rail.org
Oil train derailed in Seattle on July 24, 2014: The 102-car oil train accident occurred a little north of downtown Seattle in the Interbay neighborhood. The accident drew a strong reaction from Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Indian Nation, and President of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and Area Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians. She said, “It was sheer luck that the cars, carrying 100 loads of Bakken crude oil, didn't spill or even catch fire. If that had occurred the chances are there would have been tragic loss. If fire had occurred, the odds are it would have burned out of control for days and oil would have made its way into Puget Sound. People need to know that every time an oil train travels by this is the risk that is being taken.” See more info at http://daily.sightline.org/2014/07/24/oil-train-derails-in-seattle/
See this new video documentary titled, “The Crude Gamble of Oil by Rail: Bomb Trains” – This 23 ½-minute video shows and explains the “pipeline on rails” that will increasingly endanger our region unless we stop it. http://daily.sightline.org/2014/07/28/video-the-northwests-bomb-trains/
Safer oil trains in the U.S. will be delayed for several years: Public pressure convinced President Obama to call for safer oil trains, but the process of federal rule-making and bringing new oil tank cars into service could take more than three years. See this link: http://tinyurl.com/l9hav8a The regulations proposed are weaker than they should be, and since they would not go into effect until 2017, shipping crude by rail will continue to be dangerous. More info: http://tinyurl.com/mb3no3k
Chehalis City Council considers a resolution addressing the dangers of Bakken oil trains moving through Chehalis: Dangerous oil trains rolling through downtown Chehalis and Centralia have caught the attention of the public and the Chehalis City Council. A new organization, Lewis County for Safe Rails, convinced the Chehalis City Council to pass a resolution 4-to-2 on July 28, expressing its concern about shipping North Dakota Bakken Crude Oil through city limits. The city government has no legal power to prevent shipments, but the resolution carries moral and political weight. It calls on Gov. Jay Inslee to analyze whether the oil shipments are in the public’s best interest and, if so, to ship it in the safest way possible. It also calls on the Washington State Department of Transportation and a regulatory agency to study the matter. More info is at http://tinyurl.com/ky8zxyq Get more information about this and Lewis County for Safe Rails from Larry Kerschner (360) 880-4741 firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about oil trains in Thurston County – especially if new export terminals in Grays Harbor – with implications for rail lines crossing roads and rail routes through residential areas: http://tinyurl.com/lpqywcl and this in downtown Tenino, paralleling McDuff Road: http://tinyurl.com/jw5ozy7 Also, on July 3, 2014, the Olympian editorialized for more transparency: “On oil trains, state fights for public’s right to know.”
Oil trains could hurt NW economy by taking precedence over other kinds of cargo: Angel Gonzalez, a business reporter for the Seattle Times, wrote an article about this on July 26, 2014, and updated it the next day. He wrote that the oil trains hauling North Dakota crude oil are delaying trains hauling our locally grown grain to Pacific NW ports, and the problem would get much worse if even more oil trains are allowed.
Preparations underway for big increase in coal trains here and coal exports from Bellingham: Developers of the largest of the region’s proposed coal-export terminals have shifted their site plan to claim they are reducing impacts on wetlands. Meanwhile, SSA Marine, the Seattle international terminal operator, said it will speed up plans to operate Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) north of Bellingham at full capacity. The capacity planning, along with plentiful evidence that BNSF Railway is beefing up its tracks in northwestern Washington to prepare for more coal and oil traffic, alerted terminal foes and brought immediate pushback Monday from the Bellingham City Council. Potentially adding fuel to the fire, BNSF and its largest union are moving toward a contract that allows the railroad to run the 130-car, mile-plus-long coal trains with a single engineer in the cab, replacing the present practice of two in the cab. See Floyd McKay’s article in Crosscut: http://tinyurl.com/qeawnq7
Protect our communities – and our taxpayers – from coal and oil trains: While supporters of exporting coal and oil claim economic benefits for our region, they are ignoring costs that could offset those benefits. State Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle), who chairs the House finance committee, says that a new report implies that the economic benefits (jobs and tax revenue) from new export terminals “are incredibly modest,” but “the costs are off the charts.” The anticipated benefits would be quickly gobbled up by the need for new roads to get around congested railroad tracks. See http://tinyurl.com/nd8s5aj
Sign petition urging Gov. Jay Inslee to oppose oil export terminals in Grays Harbor: http://tinyurl.com/jw68at2
350 Seattle paid for this powerful bus ad appearing on Metro buses to oppose more oil trains: http://tinyurl.com/m48rz6
Short videos of oil trains in our region: Robert Whitlock shot this video in July over the Nisqually River: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOl9KvNPJ3o Someone else shot this video from Horsethief Lake State Park: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFTxSUYlKF8
Short video of a coal train near Tenino WA on July 3, 2014: http://olyblog.net/coal-train-today
More info on exploding oil trains: http://tinyurl.com/ktxpeec
Climate supporters won a victory when 2 of 3 Port Commissioners voted to delay building Warehouse B for proppants until completing a thorough SEPA review: In July 2014 two of three Port of Olympia Commissioners voted to reject all bids for building a new Warehouse B for storing proppants for shipment to North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields, where massive fracking occurs. Port projects had been handled on a piecemeal basis but really need a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) related to the State Environmental Policy Act. Bev Bassett, an active member of the Olympia FOR’s Confronting the Climate Crisis group, which has been working on the issue, wrote that proppants “are tiny ceramic beads essential to fracking. The proppants, imported from China, are shipped by rail to the Bakken shale oil fields where they are blasted into the shale to ‘prop’ the rocks open so that tar sands oil can be extracted. The highly volatile oil product is then put onto rail cars and shipped back to China where it is ultimately burned. We in the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation's Climate Crisis Action Group oppose The Port of Olympia's aiding and abetting fracking.” See http://tinyurl.com/mxbh8yf
Urging colleges, universities, local governments, pension funds, etc., to divest from fossil fuels is a great way to “think globally and act locally.” The Divestment Movement allows local people to set short-term local goals in bite-size pieces. Cumulatively, the Divestment Movement can accomplish a lot.
The Unitarian-Universalist church’s national level is divesting from fossil fuels: See www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/06/29-1
The World Council of Churches -- representing 590 million Christians -- urges churches to divest from fossil fuel companies: See http://tinyurl.com/lecocup
Bill McKibben’s new article on divestment: While the divestment movement grows, some people are arguing against divesting, such as a July 10, 2014, article in the New York Times that pooh-poohs the divestment movement. Bill McKibben wrote an article urging more people to consider whether their investments are hurting the climate, and to act responsibly for the future. Already many people are making positive choices. Read McKibben’s article at www.commondreams.org/view/2014/07/10-9
A petition urging the State of Washington to divest: The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s “Confronting the Climate Crisis” group might develop a petition urging the State of Washington to divest from fossil fuels. The draft was not ready for public use when this news item was posted here. For the latest information contact Bourtai Hargrove at (360) 352-6327 email@example.com
Another nonprofit organization offers information about divesting from fossil fuels: www.gofossilfree.org
The British Medical Association was the first big health association to divest: The BMA’s Dr. Jane Richards, stated, “Reducing greenhouse gases will … have health and economic benefits…. “It is now time to reduce our reliance our reliance on [fossil fuels].” The BMA will transfer those investments into environmentally sound investments. Info: http://tinyurl.com/o3utju3
Climate change makes for “risky business,” says a reliable non-profit org: The Institute for Policy Studies (www.ips-dc.org) has a long, distinguished reputation as a source of information and advocacy from a progressive orientation. In late June 2014 IPS’s executive director wrote, “You know the climate change debate is at a critical turning point when even business leaders are claiming that not addressing climate change is ‘risky business’ in Forbes.” IPS’s Climate Policy program is working on the crisis. Their “New Economy Maryland” project recently partnered with the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Council to address these issues on a local level. IPS is involved with the growing Divest–Invest movement. See the next item below.
The respected Institute for Policy Studies now calls for divestment: The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS, www.ips-dc.org) has a long reputation for providing solid information about progressive issues. Now IPS is building the movement for people and institutions to divest from fossil fuels. See www.divestinvest.org.
Republican Henry Paulson, former Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Treasury, wrote an article in the June 21, 2014, issue of New York Times,(“The Coming Climate Crash”), warning that we are in a bubble now regarding fossil fuel investments: Oil and coal companies have five times more assets underground than can be safely sold and burned without damaging the climate beyond a tolerable limit. At some point the nations of the world will wise up and prevent extraction and sale. Then those assets will be worthless, so oil and coal companies will have to write off about $20 TRILLION of assets down to zero, and their stock prices will plummet. In June 2014 Paulson joined with some of our nation’s top business people in releasing this week a “Risky Business Project” report that will influence business and investor decisions worldwide. His approach leads him to vigorously support a carbon tax. But the risks of fossil fuel investments should also lead to divesting as well. Paulson’s article deserves wider circulation.
British Columbia’s highly successful carbon tax: http://tinyurl.com/k3kkacl
Why Washington State should enact a carbon tax like British Columbia’s: On July 25, 2014, Sightline published an overview of the latest iteration of our CarbonWA proposal and its benefits in terms of policy and politics. See the article “Why Washington State Should Adopt a BC-Style Carbon Tax” at this link: http://tinyurl.com/kyrt9yj Much more information about a carbon tax is at www.carbonwa.org and its blog, http://carbonwa.org/blog/
Paul Krugman reports that right-wing politicians are denouncing efforts to protect the climate as “Marxist” and full of economic perils. See http://tinyurl.com/kfhkja5
Tell Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC to stop giving equal credence to climate change deniers: In July 2014 the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) stopped giving equal airtime to climate deniers because real science is so clear and giving equal time to deniers has been misleading the public. Now a new petition campaign urges Fox News, CNN and MSNBC to stop their complicity in misleading the public. Sign the petition at this link: http://tinyurl.com/mugom4k It is organized by Interfaith Power and Light, a nonprofit organization of faith-based people working to mobilize the public to protect the climate and our wonderful natural world. See www.interfaithpowerandlight.org
How 16 major economies stack up on energy efficiency: Germany leads the world in energy efficiency, followed by Italy, the European Union, China and France, according to a new ranking of the world's 16 largest economies by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. See the slideshow at this link: http://tinyurl.com/lqtc4zs
Sunday September 21, 2014, in New York City: The People’s Climate March” will be the largest march in world history to protect the climate. The Olympia FOR’s “Confronting the Climate Crisis” group is sending two young people there. Info: www.peoplesclimate.org and www.stopglobalwarming.org and www.350.org
Sunday August 24, 2014, in NE Olympia: The Olympia FOR’s “Confronting the Climate Crisis” will staff a booth with climate information at the 4th Annual “Love Our Local” fest on San Francisco Street NE (near Bethel, etc.) from 1:00 to 9:00 pm. If you know the climate issues and want to help staff the booth, please phone Glen Anderson at 491-9093 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Info about the event: www.loveourlocalfest.org
The youth-oriented (ages 14-18) Next Generation Climate Justice Action Camp will occur in Hillsboro, Oregon from Thursday August 14 to Sunday August 17, 2014: See info at http://tinyurl.com/qxbk35h
Starting and sustaining local climate groups: A few pages of ideas for starting a small group to work on the climate crisis and helping existing small groups to start working on the climate are available from Grassroots Coalition for Environmental and Economic Justice, 21431 Marlin Circle, Shade Gap PA 17255, c/o John Conner, (814) 259-3680 email@example.com.
Top 10 Questions on the EPA’s Proposed Carbon Standard: On June 2, 2014, the U.S. government introduced a proposal to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. Labeled the Clean Power Plan, the proposal establishes state limits on carbon emissions, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) projects by 2030 will reduce carbon emissions nationwide by 30 percent compared to 2005 levels. The knowledgeable non-profit organization Public Citizen (www.citizen.org) (founded by Ralph Nader) published answers to frequently asked questions about this. See www.citizen.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=6353
Washington State simplifies and reduces cost of installing rooftop solar panels: On July 17, 2014, Washington State’s Building Code Council has unanimously approved a change in state law to allow installation of simple rooftop solar power systems without review by an engineer. This change should reduce project costs by $500 to $2,500 and eight weeks of review time previously experienced by homeowners, state Department of Commerce officials said. An emergency rule approving the change went into effect July 1. The council is expected to approve the permanent rule in November after public hearings and formal rulemaking. The building code change had the support of Northwest Solar Communities, a coalition of jurisdictions, utilities, industry partners and citizen groups working to make rooftop solar systems more affordable.
What are “adaptive markets”? How could they help reduce emissions? Read this July 10, 2014, article promoted by the Center for American Progress: http://tinyurl.com/ngnzomc
Michael Klare -- for decades one of the best experts who links foreign policy and fossil fuels – recently wrote another great article about this: The article is long but very informative: “Raging Energy Wars: Global Conflict Fueled by Oil and Natural Gas,” http://tinyurl.com/nmyogf5
Another study finds methane leaks from abandoned wells offset benefits of natural gas as a bridge fuel: See http://tinyurl.com/me6gtqy
State-by-state governors’ positions on the climate crisis: http://tinyurl.com/nh5uzun
Insurance company sues local jurisdictions for failing to mitigate against climate change: Here is an interesting new approach! Local and state governments had better take action to protect from climate damage. The Insurance Journal, an industry publication, published an article (http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2014/05/19/329506.htm) about an insurance company’s suit against local governments that did not do enough to protect from losses due to climate-caused damage. The article says, “Farmers Insurance filed nine class actions last month against nearly 200 communities in the Chicago area. It is arguing that local governments should have known rising global temperatures would lead to heavier rains and did not do enough to fortify their sewers and stormwater drains.” It’s not very often that the environmental movement and the insurance industry are on the same side, but here is an opportunity for “strange bedfellows.”
More opportunities for “strange bedfellows” -- Sensible Republicans know we must take action to stop global warming: Switching to renewable energy will create much needed prosperity and jobs. Let's cross the aisle and get it done now. See http://tinyurl.com/qgyz625 Also, the chairman of the nation’s largest private company told the 1% to worry about climate change: http://tinyurl.com/qgd7qyp
Al Gore's June 18, 2014, essay about the climate sees hope: The climate crisis is extremely serious. Many people avoid looking at the realities because they are so frightening. But Al Gore’s new article in Rolling Stone sees reasons for hope. For example, solar energy has become economically competitive with traditional sources, and technology for storing solar energy in your home has become affordable and efficient. Gore’s statement that “fossil fuel markets are at risk, while markets for solar and wind are expanding” supports the DIVESTMENT emphasis of the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s “Confronting the Climate Crisis” group. Therefore, if you own stocks or bonds issued by fossil fuel companies or the companies that service the fossil fuel industry, sell them now. Also, check your mutual funds, retirement funds, insurance companies’ assets, and other entities for fossil fuel investments, and urge them to divest before the bubble bursts. See this quotation from late in the article:
“Several large banks and asset managers around the world (full disclosure: Generation Investment Management, which I co-founded with David Blood and for which I serve as chairman, is in this group) have advised their clients of the danger that carbon assets will become "stranded." A "stranded asset" is one whose price is vulnerable to a sudden decline when markets belatedly recognize the truth about their underlying value – just as the infamous "subprime mortgages" suddenly lost their value in 2007 to 2008 once investors came to grips with the fact that the borrowers had absolutely no ability to pay off their mortgages.”
Also, rooftop solar collectors enhance decentralized energy instead of the centralized corporate utilities, and More and more nations are converting to solar energy. However, fossil fuel companies and their propagandists are worried, so they spreading lies. Therefore, we need to inform ourselves and spread the real information to counter the disinformation. Al Gore’s new article is long (6 pages at this link), but it is worth reading. If you haven’t read it yet, read it now, to learn more information that you can share with other people and build the movement to save our climate. Here is the link to Gore’s article: http://tinyurl.com/oljwb34 Despite grounds for hope, Al Gore’s new article also lays out some extremely serious facts about global climate disruption. It’s worth reading to beef up our knowledge of the facts, in addition to learning about progress related to alternative energy and opportunities to beat traditional utilities. More than halfway through the article he states that democracy has been hacked by big business corporations, and he also calls for putting a price on carbon.
The Olympia FOR’s “Confronting the Climate Crisis” organizers meet once a month, and smaller working groups meet more often: In October 2012 the Olympia FOR’s Steering Committee created our “Confronting the Climate Crisis” group, which has worked vigorously ever since. We’ve posted information at www.olympiafor.org/Climate_Crisis.html, and we invite you to contact Bourtai Hargrove (360) 352-6327 firstname.lastname@example.org for more current information. Also see our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pages/Olympia-Confronting-the-Climate-Crisis/486300664775244
Port of Olympia’s complicity in fracking for North Dakota’s oil: Now that the world has reached “Peak Oil,” and the easy-to-extract oil has already been burned, the oil companies are extracting the earth’s dwindling supplies from locations that cause much more environmental damage and cost a lot more money and energy to extract. They are damaging human and environmental health by using a risky process called hydrofracturing (“hydrofracking”) in the Bakken oil shale region in NW North Dakota and elsewhere. They inject dangerous chemicals at high pressure underground to fracture the rocky structures, and they pump ceramic beads (“proppants”) to keep the rocks apart so they can extract the oil. Oil companies are importing these proppants from China on ships that unload them at the Port of Olympia for rail transport to North Dakota. Some of the local people concerned about the climate crisis are discussing the problems with the Port of Olympia and the general public. Some folks are identifying with the precious waters that cover most of our planet and are used for shipping proppants from China to the Port of Olympia’s docks. On Sunday afternoon May 19 an activity sponsored by the Olympia FOR’s “Confronting the Climate Crisis” group used kayaks to help people get onto the water, and featured a blessing of the waters by a woman active with the Indian-based Idle No More movement, which is organization across Canada and the US to protect Native lands and all lands from this kind of environmental abuse. Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca are sometimes called the Salish Sea in recognition of the indigenous people who have lived here for thousands of years. Robert “Berd” Whitlock videotaped parts of the May 19 event, edited it into a program titled, “Salish Sea by Kayak,” posted it to YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHtq0q5vqsw), and arranged for it to air on Thurston Community Television (TCTV), cable channel 22 in Thurston County three times in late May and five times in early June (5:30 pm on Saturday the 1st, 1:30 pm on Wednesday the 5th, 10:00 pm on Saturday the 8th, 12:30 pm on Monday the 10th, and 8:00 pm on Wednesday the 12th. For information contact Berd at (360) 259-4291 email@example.com
A new group is organizing opposition to the Port of Olympia’s transport of fracking materials: In response to the problems described in the paragraph above, some local people have created Olympia Port Fracking Resistance to organize opposition including possible nonviolent civil disobedience. Contact https://twitter.com/OlyPFR and @OlyPFR and http://OlympiaPFR.wordpress.com
A one-page map with photos and brief descriptions explains the links between Washington State and the oil fracking in North Dakota: Zoltan Grossman, a professor at The Evergreen State College who is skilled at “connecting the dots” among issues and explaining them clearly and concisely, created a one-page resource to show and explain what the long paragraph above introduces. See http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/oilconnections.pdf
Growing numbers of localities and nations are banning fracking: The growing worldwide list is posted at http://keeptapwatersafe.org/global-bans-on-fracking/
A huge item for oil drilling was too big for the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River and knocked the bridge down: Besides the usual environmental costs that oil companies dump onto the rest of us, another public safety disaster has occurred because of the tar sands in Alberta, Canada. A truck from a Canadian company that routinely hauls oil drilling equipment through our region was hauling a huge box for oil drilling equipment through Skagit County to Vancouver WA, an important transfer point for such equipment to be loaded onto enormous trucks headed for Alberta. This oversized load was squeezed toward the right by another passing truck and struck an arch in the overhead bridge structure, knocking it down. For more information contact All Against the Haul (www.allagainstthehaul.org), a homegrown effort working to stop the construction of a permanent industrial corridor for oversized loads to the Alberta Tar Sands through Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana.
What about the jobs? Subtract numbers for Skagit River bridge accident? Supporters of environmentally destructive oil and coal extraction say they create jobs. Local people point out that the environmental damage costs existing jobs in existing parts of the local economy. Now after an oil-related truck destroyed the Skagit River bridge, public officials and politicians are saying that the absence of the bridge will disrupt our region’s economy and eliminate many jobs. So shouldn’t we subtract those jobs from the ones that will allegedly be created by exploiting tar sands?
Less Chinese demand for coal undermines case for new Pacific NW export terminals: People who care about the climate have been working hard to prevent the construction of new port terminals for exporting coal from Cherry Point (near Bellingham), Longview in Cowlitz County, and other Pacific ports in Washington and Oregon. Energy conservation and efficiency – and strong environmental concerns – have reduced the demand for coal in the US, so coal companies were eager to export their surplus to China, India and other Asian countries that are rapidly industrializing. But several recent news reports have stated several reasons why China’s demand for importing coal seems to be inadequate to justify new export terminals in the Pacific NW. China is developing its own coal extraction, suffering from terrible air pollution caused partly by burning coal, diversifying its energy sources into wind and solar, and losing some jobs to other countries with even cheaper labor. Some of the NW’s proposed coal export site proposals have been withdrawn.
Build a massive oil export terminal near Grays Harbor’s environmentally sensitive major bird sanctuary, and haul massive oil trains across sensitive rivers and streams? People who want to protect our climate and environment have our hands full opposing one boneheaded scheme after another! People in Grays Harbor mobilized and prevented a coal export terminal from being built there, but now they are working hard to protect the same area from a huge oil export terminal, the Imperium Oil Tank and Terminal Project. Bowerman Basin includes the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge. It attracts countless thousands of migrating birds annually and attracts a great many tourists who come to watch the birds. It’s hard to think of a worse location for a giant oil export terminal with many loud, smelly, dirty diesel trains a mile and a half long, hauling tank cars of crude oil, and ocean-going tankers constantly arriving, loading and chugging away. But these are not normal times we are living in, and common sense counts little when so many powerful interests will do anything to make huge profits. Incredibly, the Washington State Department of Ecology said this won’t affect the environment enough to require a real Environmental Impact Statement. The Grays Harbor Audubon Society’s website, www.ghas.org/bowerman.php, offers information about the area. The local grassroots group that is very knowledgeable and active on this is Citizens for a Clean Harbor, www.cleanharbor.org
Local man to walk 1,000 miles of proposed coal train route from Helena, Montana, to Cherry Point near Bellingham, Washington: An Olympia resident, Matt Fu, is seeking out the perspectives and voices of the people most affected by the long trains that would haul coal from Montana and Wyoming to the proposed export terminals on the Pacific Coast – and he wants to celebrate the beautiful calm and the peacefulness that characterize our gorgeous Cascadia region – so he is preparing to walk 1,000 miles of the proposed PRB coal train route in August and September of 2013. The journey will take him from Helena MT through Sandpoint ID down to Washington’s Tri-Cities (Richland-Kennewick-Pasco), down along the Columbia River through Portland OR, and up to the proposed Cherry Point terminal outside Bellingham WA. He is already active with a local low-powered radio station (KOWA-FM 106.5, located on Media Island’s property at 816 Adams Street SE, Olympia) and a board member and manager of Seattle’s community station, Hollow Earth Radio. He will broadcast as much of the vibrant terrain and conversations with local folk as possible live online, as well as archiving the audio and video on a website for this “Light On The Corridor” journey. Matt invites everyone to take a closer, unfiltered look at what people think of this coal export proposal. Early sponsors of this documentary project are MASA Records, Hollow Earth Radio, The New American Underground, and 106.5 KOWA-FM. He is organizing a benefit brunch at Media Island on Sunday July 7 starting at 11 am. For more information contact Matt Fu at Olympia’s nonprofit organization Media Island International, (360) 352-8526, firstname.lastname@example.org and www.kowalp.org/alotc
US State Dept’s environmental review of Keystone XL pipeline was written by Big Oil’s propaganda mouthpiece, and also used subcontractors connected with the oil industry: You would think that the research report guiding a major governmental decision would rely upon impartial scientific data. But in the case of the Keystone XL pipeline, you would be wrong! In March 2013 the State Department issued its environmental review of the dirty, dangerous Keystone XL pipeline, but the report said it would not hurt the environment. The environmental organization Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org) reported that – despite the many studies showing that building the pipeline will accelerate climate change and endanger communities along its route – “the State Department came to the outrageous conclusion that the pipeline will have minimal environmental impacts.” It turns out that “the firm hired by the State Department to write this flawed review is a dues-paying member of Big Oil’s mouthpiece in Washington, the American Petroleum Institute. And, many of the sub-contractors hired by the firm to do the Keystone review have deep ties to the oil industry.” Friends of the Earth and other opponents of the pipeline are urging people to demand that Secretary of State Kerry immediately investigate how a Big Oil contractor was allowed to author the report. Investigative reporters from Mother Jones magazine also discovered that “someone in the State Department redacted the official disclosure forms that would have revealed these ties,” according to a statement by Friends of the Earth. We need to make major governmental decisions based on honest science, not by corrupt inside deals in which Big Oil can trump science.
Canadian Kids for Climate Action mobilize and oppose a Vancouver BC coal export terminal, port officials promise them a June 15 forum, but the port later breaks its promise and cancels the forum because the industry refuses to participate, apparently afraid to face young critics: Yes, this is a very long headline, but it summarizes what actually happened. This news article http://globalnews.ca/news/390143/kids-for-climate-action-stage-protest-at-canada-place/ minimizes the reality expressed more thoroughly and accurately in the original source article that led me to write this headline, so I’m still looking to retrieve the original source information and will post it here when I find it.
Eleven U.S. Cities Commit to Pursue Fossil Fuel Divestment: By late May 2013, eleven cities in the US have committed themselves to divest from fossil fuel companies because of the climate crisis. Last November Seattle became one of the first. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn stated, “Divestment is just one of the steps we can take to address the climate crisis.” Joel Rogers, Director of the Mayors Innovation Project, stated, “Cities are taking the lead on the issue of climate change. In the face of federal and state inaction, cities know they have to protect themselves.” Bill McKibben, founder of www.350.org, said, “It’s so fitting that American cities are taking the lead in the fight to weaken the fossil fuel industry's political power.” Since every city public works department is already spending scads of cash to deal with the gathering storms and rising seas climate change is bringing, it’s clear it makes no sense for them to also prop up the industries that make it necessary.” The Olympia FOR’s “Confronting the Climate Crisis” campaign includes a Divestment Working Group that is urging local governments to remove fossil fuel companies from their pension funds and other investments. Divestment campaigns are underway at about one hundred other cities and at hundreds of college campuses throughout the US. For information contact Bourtai Hargrove or Ted Nation at (360) 352-6327 email@example.com. For nationwide information contact Jamie Henn at (415) 601-9337 firstname.lastname@example.org
Read Bill McKibben’s powerful new article, “The Fossil Fuel Resistance” – Bill McKibben, a powerful thinker, writer and organizer for the climate movement, recently published this article in Rolling Stone magazine, a year after he had published another powerful article titled, “The Terrifying New Math of Global Warming,” which jump-started the divestment campaign with compelling information and insights. His new article, “The Fossil Fuel Resistance,” points out that although the public was slow to recognize scientists’ warnings about the climate crisis for many years, the climate movement has finally started growing rapidly and powerfully around the world. This movement has no single leader or central organization, but is widespread and diverse with a number of related issues, organizations and strategies. Read McKibben’s article at: http://act.350.org/signup/resistance/ McKibben intends the article to move beyond restating the problem and to build a stronger movement to save the climate from further destruction.
Science girl explains climate change in a very entertaining, very short video: In only 2 ½ minutes she clearly conveys the basic information about the climate crisis. Share it with people you know: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eij91cInLHI&feature=youtu.be
“Dear Future Generations:
Please accept our apologies. We were roaring drunk on petroleum.” -- Kurt Vonnegut
On Wednesday February 13, 2013, 47 persons in various leadership roles were arrested at the White House to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. More wanted to be arrested, but the authorities limited the number of persons who could get that close to the White House. Shortly before he went to the site to be arrested, Robert Kennedy, Jr., made this ACCURATE, ARTICULATE, POWERFUL speech.
No Obligation Financing of Efficiency And Renewables (NO FEAR) (Word) Gar Lipow proposes a clever, practical way to finance energy efficiency without tax dollars
"Climate Change 911: The Health Effects of Climate Change"(video)
Confronting the Climate Crisis (pdf doc)
Interactive map brings home warming trends An interactive map published by New Scientist shows changes in temperature over the past 20 years for every spot in the world. Drop-down menus reveal temperature patterns dating back to 1893.
Remember climate change? The issue barely came up during the presidential campaigns, and little has been said since. But bringing climate change back into our national conversation is as much a communications challenge as it is a scientific one. Scientist Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, joins Bill to describe his efforts to do what even Hurricane Sandy couldn’t – galvanize communities over what’s arguably the greatest single threat facing humanity. Leiserowitz, who specializes in the psychology of risk perception, knows better than anyone if people are willing to change their behavior to make a difference.
National Climate Assessment the nation's report card on the impacts of climate change on a regional basis.
One very short video:
Robin Everett of the Sierra Club on the need to stop the coal trains:
In the third short video, the Mayor of Seattle takes the “jobs” issue head-on:
The American PRIDE (Promote Renewable Infrastructure & Develop Efficiency) Gar W. Lipow and the Visions Sub-committee of the Olympia FOR Climate Crisis Committee (Word Doc) The American PRIDE (Promote Renewable Infrastructure & Develop Efficiency) is a~250 billion a year proposal that makes a social profit by reducing greenhouse gas pollution, while creating two to five million new jobs per year, reducing U.S. oil use by a third within ten years, and reducing U.S. greenhouse gases around 60% by 2025.
On Sunday March 17, 2013, a ship arrived from China at the Port of Olympia. [ See Video ]It unloaded ceramic proppants made in China to be transported through the Port of Olympia to the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota, where they will be used in the “fracking” to extract dirty oil. This will hurt the environment and water tables in North Dakota, and it will hurt the earth’s climate. On Monday March 18 two rallies were held at the Port of Olympia to protest this. Robert Whitlock produced this video (shorter than 10 minutes) with visuals and speakers about the issues.