Category Archives: Inspiration

Like all social movements, this one must confront despair. Here’s some inner fuel for the soul.

It’s up to you

From Hi Times, Sequim High School Business English Class, Vol. II, No. 10, April 10, 1931, displayed at the Sequim Museum and Art Center. This class included Joe Rantz, who went on to win the Olympic 8-man rowing competition in Berlin in 1936, beating Hitler’s Nazi team in spite of illness and underhanded officiating. The class also included his high-school sweetheart, Joyce Simdars. Both are featured in the book The Boys in the Boat.

You

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.

On Climate Change, Interconnectedness, and Tolerating Risk

boltcutters

by Emily Johnston. Cross-posted from the Climate Defense Project.  The Climate Defense Project is part of the legal team providing support to Emily and the other valve turners.

______

A certain kind of anxious question comes almost every time we give a talk as “the Valve Turners”: Why would you take such a risk? What brought you to this? One interviewer was sure that I was leaving something out in my answers; he thought for sure some moment in my childhood had primed me for this.

I could tell it that way, if you wanted. It’s true that when I was twelve or thirteen, my brother told me about global warming. We lived on a low-lying island each summer, a place where the manmade causeway would sometimes be dramatically reclaimed by the sea in a big storm: swallowed by waves, just like that. The island was the place I loved most in all the world, and it disturbed me deeply to suddenly imagine it under the rising seas—my father’s vegetable garden, my mother’s flowers, the trees and their dappled light. It gave me an uncomfortable awareness of impermanence.

But the truth is that my love for the natural world often gave me that feeling of vulnerability: extinctions, factory farming, the clubbing of baby seals—all of these were wounds to my sense of connection and continuity. It’s a susceptibility I shared with a lot of sensitive kids. Which is to say, with a lot of kids—not to mention adults. Continue reading

On the Fifth Day, A poem about the presidency.

On the fifth day
the scientists who studied the rivers
were forbidden to speak
or to study the rivers.

The scientists who studied the air
were told not to speak of the air,
and the ones who worked for the farmers
were silenced,
and the ones who worked for the bees. Continue reading

Four laws of ecology

One of Barry Commoner’s lasting legacies is these four laws, written in The Closing Circle in 1971:
1.  Everything is connected to everything else. There is one ecosphere for all living organisms and what affects one, affects all.
2.  Everything must go somewhere. There is no “waste” in nature and there is no “away” to which things can be thrown.
3.  Nature knows best. Humankind has fashioned technology to improve upon nature, but such change in a natural system is, says Commoner, “likely to be detrimental to that system”
4.  There is no such thing as a free lunch. Exploitation of nature will inevitably involve the conversion of resources from useful to useless forms.

At the root

Earthjustice attorney Vawter “Buck” Parker, looking back over his 40-year career involving environmental battles on every subject, from wilderness to nuclear power to human health, realized that beneath the complexity was an underlying unity:

“The root cause is so often the same:  the desire of some to reap the benefits while imposing the costs on others.”

Crescent-seedling

OCA volunteer Daniel Walker shows the structure of the seedling’s roots

Hitchhiker’s Guide to Climate Change

An artistic tour-de-force by local family physician Ned Hammar (notes here):

hitchhikersguidetoclimatechangep2

Back

hitchhikersguidetoclimatechangep1

Front