Tag Archives: fossil fuels

“Chopping down our fence for fuel”

In 1931, the year he died, Thomas Edison told Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone, his retirement neighbors in Florida:

“We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind, and tide. I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”


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.

Climate Resistance kickoff Jan. 31

Fossil Free Fast: The Climate Resistance

On January 31, Fossil Free Fast: The Climate Resistance, launches Fossil Free U.S, a campaign led by 350.org, calling for an immediate halt to all fossil fuel projects and a fast and just transition to 100% renewable energy for all. We’ll be hosting local kickoff watch parties on the Olympic Peninsula.

See Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben, and a wide array of climate activists speak out on a vision for a healthy planet with justice for all. You will see a new path and be inspired to resist the current federal government’s endless attacks on the climate, with an eye toward the 2018 and 2020 elections and an emphasis on local action.

Connect with other activists equally passionate about this work in exploring how to end our oil addiction and transition our world to 100% renewable energy, starting right here on the Olympic Peninsula. Together we can work to solve one of the biggest challenges humanity has ever faced.

Please go to one of the events below for details and to RSVP:

Port Angeles



Harvey is a Particularly Urgent Warning

Satellite Image, Digital Globe

Brookshire, Texas                                                                                                                                           Satellite Image, Digital Globe

Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, deadly monsoon rains in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, mudslides in Sierra Leone . . . these tragedies deserve our kindest thoughts and our aid for the victims.

At the same time, these are grim reminders of the inevitable trajectory of our society’s current energy choices.  If we continue to warm the water and the air, these tragedies can only get worse and more frequent.

This is time to intensify our efforts toward 100% clean energy. Now is the time to impress those in positions of leadership with the urgency of this message-from-the-planet, even if the only language they can understand is monetary. How to confront the titanic economic costs we are incurring on into the indefinite, frightening future?  We must ultimately curb our reliance on fossil fuels. If not now, when?

Hurricane Harvey Response Toolkit

Trump’s “low-energy” thinking on energy

Pacific NW activists call for a clean break from fossil fuels

OCA participates in regional action in Anacortes

Part of a global wave of resistance to keep coal, oil & gas in the ground

May 13-15, 2016: A global wave of mass actions targeted 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% renewable energy.

With bodies out in the streets, activists around the world called for strong follow-up to the Paris COP21 talks, to shift power from the fossil fuel industry towards grassroots groups working toward an economic and energy transformation of our society.

The Anacortes protest was held at the site of the Shell and Tesoro refineries, the largest source of carbon pollution in the Pacific Northwest.  With the plumes of the refineries swirling all around, a broad coalition of activists, including more than a dozen OCA members, called for a just transition to 100% renewable energy.

Report from the Anacortes Break Free event

Diane Vendiola, Swinomish elder:  these lands were ours

Sequim Gazette article about OCA’s participation in Break Free

The time is now for a just transition to clean energy

Eight ways we can break free from fossil fuels

Comment on Longview coal export terminal

The biggest potential impact of our state on climate change is not from our own emissions but from the emissions we may facilitate elsewhere, for instance through proposed new coal-export terminals at Cherry Point and Longview.  The Washington Department of Ecology has announced the dates of scoping for the Longview proposal, during which time it will seek comments on what subjects will have to be analyzed in the proposal’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  It is critically important that public comments call for consideration of climate-change impacts.

World economic leader calls for broad energy policy reform

In a speech last week, the Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) called for immediate worldwide reform of economic and political policies to avert climate disaster.  Included in his speech was the imperative that we leave most existing reserves of fossil fuels in the ground and provide a credible and stable path to a zero-emissions energy economy.