Activists endure hunger for more than a week in a strike to push Biden administration to take climate action in a bill

October 29, 2021 by  
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Five young activists are camping outside the White House on a hunger strike to demand climate action . The activists demand that President Joe Biden keep his promise to “build back better.” The five activists (Kidus Girma, 26, Ema Govea, 18, Paul Campion, 24, Julia Paramo, 24, and Abby Leedy, 20) say they will not eat until the president fulfills his promise to Americans. “We’ve committed to not eating until you deliver on your climate commitments in the Build Back Better Act,” the activists said in a statement. Related: How the Sunrise Movement is changing the climate activism game The young activists, part of the Sunrise Movement , have been on a hunger strike for over a week now. They check their blood pressure three times each day and use wheelchairs to prevent falling and fainting. So far, one activist, Girma, has been hospitalized due to dizziness, blurred vision, and nausea. “Millions of people are going to die if they don’t do this — people our age, in our lifetimes, in climate disasters, in floods , fires and hurricanes, of starvation,” Leedy told reporters. The five have written a letter to the president asking him to “stand up to Joe Manchin,” a Democratic Senator from West Virginia . The senator has been a stumbling block in the way of progressive climate policies. West Virginia relies heavily on the coal industry, a situation that Manchin has cited to fight progressive policies. This includes blocking a clean electricity program wherein the government would pay companies to replace their coal plants with renewable energy. “We want Joe Biden and the Democrats to look us in the face, as real people going through the horrific experience of starving and withering away before their eyes, because that’s what’s on the line here, people’s bodies and people’s lives,” she added. “I don’t think we knew how else to get their attention.” In a White House news conference, press secretary Jen Psaki was asked to give the president’s response to the activists. According to Psaki, the president admires the activists ‘ efforts. However, there was no commitment from the government’s side to address the issue. Campion responded on Twitter , saying, “We don’t want your admiration. Show us the results.” Via HuffPost

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Activists endure hunger for more than a week in a strike to push Biden administration to take climate action in a bill

Children help LEGO write handbook on saving planet for Cop26

October 29, 2021 by  
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In a brilliant marketing move consistent with listening to its customers, LEGO  has issued a handbook to save the world. It will publish just in time for the COP26 climate summit starting in Glasgow on Sunday. Tim Brooks, LEGO’s vice-president of environmental responsibility, said the project intends to “give  children  a voice” at COP26. “Children are demanding that they and future generations are front of mind when it comes to creating policy,” Brooks said, as reported by The Guardian. Related: LEGO responds to kids’ worries about single-use plastics To devise the plan to save  Earth , LEGO involved more than 6,000 children, aged between 8 and 18, from all over the world. The children told researchers that global warming was their top concern. One in ten reported thinking about the environment every day, while about half considered environmental problems weekly. The handbook, designed to look like a LEGO instruction booklet, boiled down the children’s input into 10 action steps: reduce pollution and waste; protect nature; change laws; stop ignoring the problem: do more; educate people; reduce emissions; leaders, change your own behavior; invest in the environment; help people and future generations. Colorful illustrations accompany the actions. The handbooks will be distributed to delegates at the  climate  talks, and hopefully, they will take the children’s suggestions to heart. LEGO has already demonstrated its commitment to a greener future. The company employs more than 150 people to devise sustainability projects, has pledged to reduce carbon emissions 37% by 2032 and is investing $400 million over three years on green initiatives. LEGO recently introduced its first bricks molded from PET  plastic  from recycled bottles. According to Brooks, the company receives a thousand letters annually from kids, both praising and criticizing LEGO. The children’s input has influenced LEGO to eliminate single-use plastic and continue improving its recycled bricks. Via The Guardian Lead image via LEGO

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Children help LEGO write handbook on saving planet for Cop26

Petaluma becomes first US city to ban new gas stations

August 18, 2021 by  
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A small group of activists is driving the conversation about climate change in new directions with a push against establishing new gas stations. In March, Petaluma, California , became the first town in America to place a moratorium on new gas station construction thanks to the efforts of local activists Jenny Blaker and Woody Hastings. The actions of Blaker and Hastings have inspired many other activists and helped start the conversation about putting an end to the era of gas stations. One such activist is Emily Bit, whose family lives in southern Napa County in California. According to Bit, climate change has become more apparent in her life, with wildfires and extreme weather patterns appearing in recent years.  Related: Maintaining an electric vehicle costs less than gas or hybrid counterparts Bit has mobilized her fellow students to stand against the establishment of new gas stations in her town. She believes that together they can stop the construction of two new gas stations proposed in her town.  Bit borrows a lot from other activists such as Hastings and Blaker, who have had success in their local community. Blaker and Hastings are the co-coordinators of Coalition Opposing New Gas Stations. Blaker says that the push to stop the construction of more gas stations is just the beginning. In the future, the coalition may consider pushing for the construction of more charging stations and demand better public transport facilities.  “Hopefully the next step is more charging stations, cheaper electric vehicles, better public transport, more bikes . But you have to start somewhere,” said Blaker. The city of Petaluma has a population of roughly 60,000 people and is served by 16 gas stations. D’Lynda Fischer, a Petaluma councilor, says that for an area of 14.5 square miles, the 16 gas stations are enough. “Sixty percent of trips in Sonoma County are under five miles and we are basically flat,” Fischer said. “On top of that, 60% of our greenhouse gas emissions are from transportation. We have an obligation to do this.” Although Hastings and Blaker are happy about their success, they say that it is easier to drive the conversation on a local scale than at the national level at the moment. Hastings argues that if the movement gains national traction, it may be dragged into culture wars. “We are in a bubble,” said Hastings. “But as more affordable alternatives for transportation emerge I think it’ll become less of an extreme idea.” Via The Guardian Lead image via Pexels

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Petaluma becomes first US city to ban new gas stations

In surprise vote, Senate keeps Obamas methane rules in place

May 11, 2017 by  
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In a stunning win for environmental activists , the U.S. Senate voted against repealing the BLM methane rule (originally passed during the Obama administration) to limit methane pollution on public land. Overturned with a 51-49 vote , the deciding “No” was from Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona . Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), lawmakers can overturn the rules of a previously instated administration within the first 60 days of their enactment. Because of this, Congress has voted 13 times to overturn a selection of Obama rules. Many of these relate to srteam protection, internet privacy and the shooting of hibernating bears, reports BuzzFeed. The outcome of Wednesday’s vote is being lauded as positive news, as the Obama-era rule requires gas drillers to limit leaking, venting or burning methane, which is responsible for fueling climate change . In present-day America, where the President believes climate change is a “hoax” and has ties to the oil industry, outcomes such as this one are rarely witnessed. Politicians including Sen. McCain, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina all voted against the repeal to prevent the government from drawing up any future rules that might restrict methane emissions. McCain said in a statement , “Passage of the resolution would have prevented the federal government , under any administration, from issuing a rule that is ‘similar’. I join the call for strong action to reduce pollution from venting, flaring and leaks associated with oil and gas production operations on public and Indian land.” McCaine added that the smarter thing the Trump administration could have done was to release an updated rule to improve the one passed during Obama’s time as President. Related: Senate Republicans could save methane rules from Trump Commenting on McCain’s surprising stance, Mark Brownstein of the Environmental Defense Fund said, “The oil and gas industry gets into power and the first thing they ask for is a repeal of pollution rules, it just doesn’t make people happy. Senator McCain once again demonstrated that he is a voice of common sense and reason.” According to the Bureau of Land Management , enough methane gas is wasted by drillers to supply 6.2 million homes a year. This, in turn, costs taxpayers $46 to $204 million in lost royalties. Considering solar technology is becoming more affordable and countries such as Germany and Costa Rica have already proven populations can thrive on renewable energy , it seems clear the future is green. Erik Milito of the American Petroleum Institute deemed the outcome “disappointing” and is calling for a review of the rule under a new executive order which was recently released by the White House. However, because of the short time limit on the CRA, it is now too late for another Congressional resolution to take place to repeal the BLM methane rule. Via The Washington Post , BuzzFeed Image via Colorado Politics , Newsmax.com

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In surprise vote, Senate keeps Obamas methane rules in place

Bill McKibben on how to protect the earth from a Trumpocalypse

February 2, 2017 by  
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If you’re feeling overwhelmed in the face of President Donald Trump’s overtures to ignore climate science, resuscitate oil pipelines , and in general undo all of the environmental progress we have made so far, you’re not alone. But you can take action, and renowned climate activist and author Bill McKibben is here to tell you how. Bill McKibben knows a thing or two about activism. His landmark book The End of Nature came out in 1989 under Republican president Ronald Reagan. Since then he has penned several more books and been active in environmental fights under presidents from both major political parties. He’s protested the Keystone XL pipeline in front of the White House, for which he was arrested. And he helped bring attention to ExxonMobil’s deliberate suppression of climate change information , to name just a few of his global actions. Related: 8 ways to help the water protectors at the Standing Rock Reservation But, if you’re not Bill McKibben, activism under Donald Trump’s administration can be intimidating. When asked how he feels about people who are discouraged, McKibben told Inhabitat, “Me too. But people have faced big challenges before. And if Trumpism goes down, much will go down with it: climate denial, for instance. We don’t know whether Trump is going to be bad in a normal way or bad in an abnormal way. The first week makes it look like the latter. We don’t really know how to fight an authoritarian oaf, but we’re going to have to figure it out.” McKibben recommends getting involved with organizations fighting the good fight, including the organization he helped found, 350.org . “Find a local group connected to the big national and global fight: 350.org, Sierra Club , or your local environmental justice group,” he said. “That way you can work at every level, from projects nearby to big international fights. If DC is closed to us, we need to open new fronts.” McKibben imagines pipeline fights under Trump, for example, will still require a similar mix of mobilization and litigation as they did under President Obama. But he emphasizes there’s strength in numbers in the dawning resistance. “In the end, if there’s a big enough movement in enough places it’s harder for them to do their dirty work. Their currency is currency. Ours is passion, spirit, creativity – and bodies!” He also said it’s important to stand up for other issues too. “I’d make sure you’re also working with other causes and groups – immigrants facing deportation, for instance,” he said. “Solidarity has never been more important.” + Bill McKibben + 350.org Images via Lorie Shaull on Flickr ( 1 , 2 ), Mark Klotz on Flickr , Takver on Flickr , Fabrice Florin on Flickr , and Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Bill McKibben on how to protect the earth from a Trumpocalypse

Shockingly, authorities arrest activists, instead of people responsible for the Aliso Canyon methane gas leak

February 18, 2016 by  
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The California State Patrol has arrested two people in connection with the massive methane leak in Southern California’s Aliso Canyon , but many residents who had to leave their homes near the leaking underground gas storage site think the wrong people are in custody. Instead of busting company executives and engineers who are responsible for the massive methane gas leak, the CSP arrested two protesters who draped banners on the headquarters of the California Public Utilities Commission. The protesters draped banners to highlight the lax regulatory environment that enabled the spill — similar to the political culture that enabled the water poisoning in Flint . But unbelievably, the activists are now the ones going to jail. Read the rest of Shockingly, authorities arrest activists, instead of people responsible for the Aliso Canyon methane gas leak

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Shockingly, authorities arrest activists, instead of people responsible for the Aliso Canyon methane gas leak

Basque Activists Create Green Graffiti on a Hillside to Petition the Construction of a High Speed Train

August 14, 2013 by  
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Villagers in the French-Basque region have found a creative way of expressing their discontent with a new railway to be constructed on a picturesque hillside at the foot of La Rhune mountain. Residents “green graffitied” the words ‘EZAHT LGV NON’ (no to the LGV ) in an attempt to be heard and seen. The huge words are grown with grass right at the site where the new tracks for the high-speed train are to be constructed. Read the rest of Basque Activists Create Green Graffiti on a Hillside to Petition the Construction of a High Speed Train Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: activism , Art , Botanical , green graffiti , green materials , high-speed train. mountain , La Rhune , LGV trains        

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Basque Activists Create Green Graffiti on a Hillside to Petition the Construction of a High Speed Train

Climate Activists Join 10,000 Protesters to Occupy Wall Street (Video)

October 6, 2011 by  
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Photo credit: Peter Walsh Projects via Flickr Drums pounded, horns blared, an incensed speaker’s voice crackled over the PA. Union members chatted with students and gay rights campaigners raised their flags. Parents pushed children in strollers, the media swarmed everywhere, and elderly activists beamed out at the 10,000-strong crowd gathering around City Hall for the biggest day of Occupy Wall Street protests yet. A coalition of climate activists led by 350.org was smack dab in the … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Climate Activists Join 10,000 Protesters to Occupy Wall Street (Video)

Student Activists Take the Lead Down the Path Away From Coal

September 9, 2011 by  
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Photo credit: Sierra Club One big reason for optimism that America will rise to the occasion and make the transition away from coal is the movement taking place on college campuses around the country. Student activists are organizing, rallying, working with local communities, and putting pressure on university administrators to phase out coal power from their energy portfolios. Above, student activists rally at Penn State University. Helping lead the way is the

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Student Activists Take the Lead Down the Path Away From Coal

Stockbox Drops Popup Shipping Container Groceries Into Food Deserts

September 9, 2011 by  
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Many parts of urban America are food deserts, defined as “a low-income census tract where a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store.” (see a map of them here ) Stockbox is a clever attempt to ” fix the grocery gap in a neighborhood near you.” They repurpose shipping containers into popup grocery stores, and plan on dropping them in parking lots…. Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Stockbox Drops Popup Shipping Container Groceries Into Food Deserts

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