Category Archives: Commentary

Commentary written by OCA & others

Confessions of a Monkeywrencher

Leonard Higgins explains why he broke the law to protect the climate

“My hope is that more and more of us, including this court, will see and feel the emergency and pull together to demand immediate changes to reduce our carbon emissions and the other responses needed to avoid the worst.”

Leonard Higgins gave the following testimony at his sentencing hearing after being convicted of trespass and property damage, in conjunction with an action on October 11, 2016, in which five activists, dubbed the Valve Turners, turned off all four major tar sands pipelines in the U.S.

Confessions of a Monkeywrencher

NOTE: Olympic Climate Action does not condone civil disobedience involving property destruction, and our publication of his courtroom statement is not meant as an endorsement of Higgins’ actions. Here is OCA’s policy on non-violence:

We use non-violent means to achieve change. We are committed to nonviolence, inspired by the spirit of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and other peaceful protesters before us. We believe that this approach, eschewing violence and property damage, offers the best means of creating lasting progress toward a just and healthy world.

A Plea for Initiative 1631

by volunteer Don Steinke, with the Washington State Sierra Club:

Can We Save Civilization As We Know It? A Plea for Initiative 1631

We’ve waited thirty years for Congress to act on global warming. We’ve waited enough. Some scholars are saying it is too late to save civilization as we know it, but I believe for the sake of our children we are obligated to do everything possible to save what we can. There is probably nothing more important you can do right now than to pass Initiative 1631.

Initiative 1631 will place a fee on large corporate polluters, such as refineries and power plants, and use the funds to invest in clean energy projects such as wind and solar while mitigating the impacts to low income households. We currently send billions of dollars out of Washington State each year for natural gas, coal, and oil produced in other states as well as Canada. Initiative 1631 will keep some of that money here to invest in local clean energy production.

Let’s get this initiative passed for jobs and clean energy!

A climate game of chance–literally

Developed by the Thurston County Regional Planning Council:

http://www.trpc.org/844/Resilience-Road—Board-Game

Declaration of Independence from Fossil Fuels

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary to dissolve our dependence on fuels that have driven so much human development, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that we should declare the causes which impel us to the dissolution.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, governments are instituted and corporations are chartered, deriving their powers from the Consent of the People.  –That whenever any Form of Government or Corporation becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to reorganize these institutions in such form as most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence dictates that institutions long established should not be changed for light and transient causes. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations evinces a design to reduce the People to poverty, sickness, insecurity, and death, it is their right, their duty, to throw off such a system and provide new guards for their common security. The history of the present power structure is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of a tyranny of the Few over the Many. Let these facts be submitted:

  • Big Oil, Gas and Coal corporations have known for decades that their extractive industry, if left unchecked, would doom our common future with extreme weather, melting ice caps and glaciers, global sea level rise, ocean acidification, diminishing food and water supplies, forced migration, damaged physical and mental health, and a progressive unraveling of the very bonds of Civilization.
  • They have plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and captured our Governments.
  • They have continued to seek untrammeled Profit over the over the health and welfare of the People, endeavoring in every manner to manufacture doubt and mislead the People about the consequences of their activities, using their vast Wealth to skew the Body Politic into confusion, apathy, distraction, and even self-destructive support of their very Oppressors.
  • And they have known that those who will suffer first and most from these ravages will be those who are most innocent of the damage: the poor, the flora and fauna of our earth, and our future generations.

In every stage of these Oppressions we have petitioned for Redress, stating the facts well studied by our best minds and lately observed all over our Earth. Our repeated Petitions have, unfortunately, been answered by repeated injury and a turning away from these Truths so inconvenient to our Oppressors. A wielder of Power whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to hold sway over a free people.

It is against such Corporate and Governmental abuses that we, the People, join forces in common purpose to end the dirty-energy era and bring about a just transition to a future based on clean energy and economic opportunity for all rather than the few. We call for action now to complete this transition within a few decades at most, but we must start in earnest and with all due speed.  There is not a moment more to lose. We urge Governments of all States to say no to fossil fuel infrastructure, to deny permits, certifications, and other regulatory approvals for further extraction, transport, processing, and combustion of these dirty fuels, and to accelerate investment in renewable energy.

We therefore, in the Name and by Authority of the good People of this Earth, solemnly publish and declare our intention to become independent from fossil fuels and transition to clean, renewable energy. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the rectitude and necessity of our Purpose, we mutually pledge our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

We’re in deep

Even conservative pathways to capping rising temperatures at 2 degrees Celsius suggest industrialized nations should start reigning in carbon emissions by 10 percent each year before zeroing them out entirely by mid-century; even that scenario assumes we’ll be able to deploy so-called negative emissions technology at a global scale, despite the fact that those technologies remain untested at scale. Without negative emissions, the deadline for decarbonization comes much sooner: 2026 — eight years from now.

Kate Aronoff, The Intercept

Should Houston sue the oil companies?

Should the oil capital of the world take oil companies to court?

 

Opinion: Clallam PUD should encourage sun power

“We have three (Clallam PUD) districts and three commissioners elected to that office. In the case of Clallam County, they are elected for six years. That is a long time to hold a public office. It is enough time to become complacent, to not rock the boat, to not stay abreast of the times, to forget the greater good.”

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/letters/letter-clallam-pud-should-encourage-sun-power/