A LIVABLE WORLD: IT’S UP TO US

latest posts

Day One Wrap-up

In a remarkable disruption of business as usual on Monday, 300+ of us from across Washington State descended on the State Capitol in Olympia to begin the Climate Countdown. At the same time, an indigenous-led encampment of dozens of people centered around four “tarpees”‘ (tarp-covered teepees) on the lawn in front of the Capitol, which had been set up in the pre-dawn hours to protest the construction of the new Puget Sound Energy Tacoma LNG facility and the new Trans Mountain pipeline, and to stop net pen fish farms. The encampment is still holding.

We are not done till the legislature meets our demands–that its members ban all new fossil fuel infrastructure in the state, and that they enact legislation to spur the State to 100% renewable energy within the next ten years.

Watch the video!

In coming weeks, we will be showing up in Olympia and engaging the legislature in many ways. Take a look–this is just the start!

Only 58 days left. Join us!

Read

Why We’re Here

We are here to demand that the Washington State legislature deal with the truth.

For well over a decade, anyone following the news has known that climate change is a matter of profound urgency. Scientists and oil company executives have known it since at least 1959. In 1977, an Exxon scientist wrote that “man has a time window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical.”

In other words, “hard decisions” were deemed necessary by 1987. And yet here we are.

There’s a strange comfort to this—people have been talking about the urgency for so long that it feels less dire. With visceral alarm, we may understand that this is what is driving the extremities of flooding and landslides, droughts and wildfires…but most days, after all, are pretty normal. At least here.

Humans are adaptable, is the problem. We’ve adapted to these periodic disasters too—however disturbing we find them.

The NOAA stats for December aren’t out yet, but November marked the 395th month in a row of temperatures over the 20thcentury average—despite the fact that people began widespread use of fossil fuels in the Industrial Revolution, so the 20th century average was already warmed by 200 years of emissions.

In Washington State, as others have mentioned, we’ve already seen seriously increased flooding, wildfires, ocean acidification, and more. But the Northwest continues to be one of the least impacted places in the country, maybe the world…human adaptability looks notably different in Puerto Rico right now. Or Syria. Or Yemen. In many places, adaptability means anything but looking away.

And that—above all—is why we can no longer accept even another year’s worth of delay by our legislature. We know the excuses—it’s the Republicans, we might lose the majority, it’s because environmentalists can’t agree. This just doesn’t cut it. There is nothing acceptable about this lack of focus—this outright obstruction—when business as usual means death and displacement for hundreds of thousands of people already…and soon, for millions or tens of millions.

We are skating on the thinnest of ice. In June, the former UN climate chief told us that we have less than 3 years to stave off runaway, irreversible climate change. Another researcher agreed, saying that it’s “brutally clear: while the world can’t be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded…[before] 2020.”

So the point is not just that this is as urgent as urgent can possibly be. The point is that we CAN do this now—and in two or three years, it will no longer be possible.

Because of hydropower, because of education levels, because of progressive urban politics…the necessary changes are actually much easier here than in many places.

What we are demanding is simple, and is the only sane route forward: do not allow a single new fossil fuel project in the state, because each one locks us in to decades of fossil fuel use. At the same time, move with genuine focus and ambition to 100% renewable energy within the next ten years. Do they think we can’t? Do they believe that we lack the necessary resolve and creativity and love for our children? We do not—Washington state is more than capable of this. We can be a beacon.

I dare them to go home and look their kids or grandkids in the eye, and then sit down and tell us why they cannot act with even a grain of courage for their sakes. Moral clarity is a gift that we need to live up to. We possess that gift, and if they do not, we will replace them. 

Make no mistake, we will be back.

 

(Emily Johnston’s remarks from Climate Countdown: Day 1)

 

Read

An Amazing Eight Days

What an amazing eight days! Last Monday, activists from 350 Seattle and 350 Tacoma climbed a crane to stop construction of the Tacoma LNG facility. On Thursday, activists used tripods to block all three gates to the site. That same day, a Tacoma jury, finding ambiguity in whether the LNG facility is on Puyallup or City of Tacoma-owned land, acquitted two women who locked down to construction equipment.

Then Monday was the biggest day of them all. Watch the wrap-up video.

If Puget Sound Energy hadn’t already gotten the message, they have now: they have a gas problem.

We all have a gas problem: gas production releases huge amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas that, over a 20-year period, causes 86 times more global warming than carbon dioxide.

But this project is even worse than that: Puget Sound Energy is not only destroying our climate, it is also perpetuating a long and brutal history of colonialism.

Despite the vocal and legal opposition of the Puyallup Tribe, Puget Sound Energy is building this facility. If it’s completed, the air, water and salmon of the Puyallup Tribe will be polluted. If it’s completed, the 1854 Medicine Creek Treaty will have been violated. If it’s completed, the rights of indigenous people will have been trampled…as they have been for centuries.

We will oppose this project with everything we have, and stand with the Puyallup.

Can you join us? You can start by adding your voice to 44,000 others calling for a halt to this project.

Starting in January, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency will begin a 60-day comment period followed by a public hearing. This will be our last major chance to stop this project through the regulatory process. We’ll need you then, so stay tuned.

Read

We WILL stop Tacoma LNG

Business as usual must end—especially when it involves new fossil fuel projects. So yesterday morning, three people hoisted themselves up 10′ in the air onto tripods at each gate of the proposed PSE liquefied “natural” gas (LNG) facility, to slow down construction for the second day this week. Today, it was Ryan Qualls, a 30 year old Tlingit nation member; Cody Reed-McKee, 25, of Longbranch; and Erin Fox, 30, of Seattle…supported by many friends.

Next week, we hope it will be you—and hundreds of us. Please take two minutes to watch and share the Call to Action video here.

Then plan to join us! Saturday morning is the next Mass Action meeting, and we’ll all be gathering in Tacoma on Sunday at 6pm. All of the details are hereThere’s also one more art build listed there!

Finally, we can’t send this without mentioning that also yesterday, a Tacoma jury found Cynthia Linet and Marilyn Kimmerling, of the Tacoma LNG #SuperSix action last spring, not guilty on all counts, even though they hadn’t been allowed to present any necessity defense witnesses.

We suspect the folks at PSE aren’t sleeping very well. We’d recommend they take two good decisions, and call us in the morning. Such as: no new infrastructure, and a business model that respects people and planet—taken together, those decisions could have them breathing easy and sleeping like babies. Till then, we Block the Gates!

Read

Activists to be arraigned today for lockdown on crane at PSE’s LNG plant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Activists to be arraigned today for lockdown on crane at PSE’s LNG plant

Activists locked themselves to a crane for nine hours at the site of the proposed Puget Sound Energy (PSE) liquefied “natural” gas (LNG) facility at the Port of Tacoma yesterday—halting construction of an 8 million gallon storage tank all day.

Though it lacks essential permits and has been issued a Notice of Violation by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency following a Work Stop Request by the Puyallup Tribe in August, PSE has continued to build the facility, which is adjacent to the Puyallup Tribe’s reservation boundaries.

“If I tried to build an addition to my house without permits, the City of Tacoma would make me stop, and might require me to undo the work done. If a powerful corporation like PSE can get away with what is happening here, then the community has to take a stand,” said Stephen Way, a 72-year-old Tacoma grandfather and one of the two men locked to the crane. The pair had kayaked across the Hylebos Waterway in the pre-dawn hour, scaled a fence, and then climbed the crane.

Way and Carlo Voli, 52, an activist with 350 Seattle, will be arraigned today at 1pm PST.

PSE touts the project as producing a cleaner shipping fuel (although better alternatives exist, including low-sulfur diesel) and as a source of jobs (though it will only create 18 jobs). The Puyallup Tribe points to a litany of issues: it risks their waters, salmon, and treaty fishing rights; an explosion would have a 3.5 mile blast-zone range, endangering adjacent communities; and the Port of Tacoma sits in a zone at risk for earthquakes, lahars and tsunamis.  Other Tacoma community members add that emissions from the liquefaction process will worsen the already unhealthy air near the Port; that there has not been proper regulatory process by the City and Port of Tacoma; that over 40% of the price tag for the project will be paid by PSE ratepayers; that PSE has created a shell company in order to avoid liability in the event of a disaster; and that the project would facilitate the poisoning of waters, land, and communities at fracking well sites.

“The time for talk is over—the planet is on fire and in dire need of first responders,” says Robert Satiacum, Puyallup Tribal member. “Disregarding the Puyallup Tribe’s objections is criminal: No means no.”

Climate activists are also concerned that this project will lock the region into “natural” gas use for decades to come; recent studies indicate that fracked gas is as bad as coal in its climate impacts. With the increase of extreme weather patterns, sea level rise,and forest fires, they say we can no longer afford to build new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Today is also the continuation of the trial of two women (Cynthia Linet and Marilyn Kimmerling, part of the “Super Six”) for a direct action at the same facility in May.

Activists from the #NoLNG253 coalition say that yesterday’s action marks the beginning of a new wave of public opposition to this project. They are calling for people from around the region to converge on Tacoma on the morning of the 18th of December to slow construction of the plant while the final regulatory processes are underway.

 

 

Read

Social Media

Calendar

News

From giving testimony at hearings to blockading oil trains, we work on all levels to fight for climate justice. We’re building a movement here in the region, and we need you!

DISCOVER

Videos

Watch videos of our actions, events, members and community as we work together at all levels to safeguard our planet. 

WATCH

The Science

Why 350 is the most important number in history: To protect our world from devastating climate disruption, science tells us we must stop global warming in its tracks, and justice demands it. This means holding total warming to the peak seen since the last ice age, just a little over 1°C

LEARN MORE

- Naomi Klein

Join our mailing list!

Powered by 123ContactForm | Report abuse