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Aviation Growth Radically Undermines Climate Goals

Jet in flight
Dear PSRC Executive Board,

I am submitting these comments on behalf of 350 Seattle in response to the Aviation Baseline Study currently underway.[1] Founded in 2013, 350 Seattle is a grassroots group working for climate justice by organizing people to make deep system change: resisting fossil fuels; building momentum for healthy alternatives; and fostering resilient, just, and welcoming communities. We have a mailing list of over 13,000 people, the great majority of whom are in the Seattle metropolitan area. We’ve been a key leader in successful fights like the #ShellNo campaign against Arctic drilling, the campaign to defeat the (proposed) world’s largest oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver, and the campaign against the Anacortes Shell oil-by-rail spur. With Got Green, we are co-leading the Seattle for a Green New Deal campaign.

We have very serious concerns regarding the Aviation Baseline Study, and three specific asks for you.

Without consideration of our climate, public health, or environmental justice, PSRC has positioned the Aviation Baseline Study as setting the stage for unconstrained aviation expansion.[2] This expansion is projected to consist of a doubling of flights in the next 15 years. [3] According to King County’s 2017 greenhouse gas emission inventory, emissions from Sea-Tac and King County International Airport, based on fuel used, totaled 7,168,000 MgCO2e, or roughly a quarter of the County’s emissions.[4] If we allow aviation to indeed double, increased emissions will far outweigh reductions achieved in other sectors.[5]  

The science is clear: our climate cannot bear this. Instead of laying the groundwork for doubling emissions, we must spend the next decade cutting emissions in half to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.[6] Moreover, the very bases of the Study do not reflect PSRC’s own stated climate goals—which include protecting and restoring the natural environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions—and conflict with the principles of PSRC’s Regional Transportation Plan, including “moving people and goods in ways that support a healthy environment.”[7]

The Study also fails to acknowledge that those harmed by aviation expansion are not those benefitting from expansion. Indeed, impacted communities have been fighting against increased air traffic. For example, residents of Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood[8]—which sits directly below flight paths for two airports and is constantly bombarded by noise and pollution—have been tirelessly collecting noise data showing that noise levels over their schools and homes are constantly above acceptable levels set by the city and FAA.[9] Exposure to these levels of noise has serious health consequences, and negatively impacts student learning.[10] Impacted communities are also dealing with unknown levels of air pollution, including ultra-fine particulates.[11]

Finally, while the Public Involvement Plan says that PSRC will “provide transparency and create confidence,” it has failed to engage and listen to impacted communities, instead prioritizing the profits of large corporations and the aviation sector.[12] The Public Involvement Plan says that “community leaders … have been briefed,” but staff has not told us who those leaders are.[13] The Public Involvement Plan also says that PSRC is communicating the scope and findings of the study to “diverse audiences.”[14] These audiences appear not to include impacted communities, as many, if not most, of the potential stakeholders listed in the Public Involvement Plan are corporations or industry groups. PSRC should not prioritize the profits of Alaska Airlines, Amazon, and FedEx over the health and wellbeing of impacted communities.

As the Board overseeing this Study, you must take responsibility for these shortcomings. We urge you to direct staff to fully consider aviation emissions in the study. How can you have a “clear picture”[15] of aviation activities without considering that these activities are inimical to our region doing its part for a stable climate? You must also ensure that PSRC’s other stated goals and policies are incorporated into the study instead of being at odds with them, including substantially reducing, not increasing, greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, if PSRC is to be the “honest broker of reliable and valid data and analysis”[16] that it touts itself as, it must be clear that the putative benefits of aviation expansion do not flow to those suffering from its direct negative consequences every day. Finally, PSRC must prioritize engaging impacted communities, particularly marginalized communities whose voices are often unsought or downed out—and this engagement should not just be lip service or box checking.

Specifically, we ask that you:

  1. Adopt greenhouse emission reduction targets set by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as a non-negotiable restraint on aviation expansion.[17] When doing so, consider the full extent of emissions from aviation activities based on fuel usage.[18] Climate must be an existing condition recognized in the Study and necessary greenhouse emission reductions must be a future constraint.
  2. Ensure that the Study’s Economic Analysis captures which corporations are driving and profiting from increased aviation.[19] This analysis must also show who is benefiting from aviation activity and who is paying the immediate and longer-term price.
  3. Establish a community advisory board made up of representatives from each and every impacted community, including south Seattle neighborhoods. Involve this community advisory board in all phases of the Study, and ensure that its members review and weigh in at each phase of the Study. With regard to public involvement, the advisory board should help determine which stakeholders receive outreach, how focus groups are comprised, how surveys are constructed and conducted, and where and when public meetings are held. The advisory board’s questions, concerns, and input should be recorded and reflected in the Study results.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sarah Shifley
350 Seattle

[1] Founded in 2013, 350 Seattle is a grassroots group working for climate justice by organizing people to make deep system change: resisting fossil fuels; building momentum for healthy alternatives; and fostering resilient, just, and welcoming communities. We have a mailing list of over 13,000 people, the great majority in the Seattle metropolitan area. We’ve been a key leader in successful fights like the #ShellNo campaign against Arctic drilling, the campaign to defeat the (proposed) world’s largest oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver, and the campaign against the Anacortes Shell oil-by-rail spur.

[2] Scope of Work, p. 1 (the purposes of the Study includes “set[ting] the stage for future planning”); Draft Public Involvement Plan, p. 9 (PSRC’s “elevator speech” for the study includes “meeting future aviation demand”).

[3] Port of Seattle, “Forecast of Aviation Activity,” September 2015, available at https://www.portseattle.org/sites/default/files/2018-05/TM-No-04-Forecasts-of-Aviation-Activity.pdf.

[4] “GHG Emissions in King County – a 2017 update,” pp. 10 and 29, available at https://your.kingcounty.gov/dnrp/climate/documents/201907-KingCounty-GHG-Emissions-Analysis.pdf. This inventory only reflects 10% of actual emissions resulting from fuel used at Sea-Tac and King County International Airport.

[5] The Study’s Scope of Work pays lip service to climate concerns, making it internally inconsistent since its entire premise is laying the groundwork for doubling aviation emissions. p. 6 (stating that the Study “will consider the principles of sustainable transportation that includes… reducing carbon and other emissions”).

[6] “We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN,” The Guardian, Oct. 8, 2018, available here https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/global-warming-must-not-exceed-15c-warns-landmark-un-report.

[7] Regional Transportation Plan – 2018, p. 2. Indeed, the Study states that it will “integrate the policy framework of the PSRC’s Regional Transportation Plan,” including “that the transportation plan must move people and goods in ways that support a healthy environment.”  Scope of Work, p. 6.

[8] 70% of SeaTac landings and 30% of SeaTac take-offs travel directly over Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill also experiences heavy air traffic from King County International Airport and the noise and pollution impacts of all of this air travel on Beacon Hill are demonstrably high, even compared to the communities considered directly adjacent to Sea-Tac.

[9] In King County, the Beacon Hill population is in the top 25% for poverty, infant mortality, deaths due to diabetes and stroke, and adults without health insurance. About 25% of Beacon Hill residents older lack a high school diploma. About 80% consider themselves non-white. More than 30 languages other than English are spoken at home, and of those who do not speak English at home, less than half report being able to speak English “very well.” See https://beaconhillseattlenoise.org/about.

[10] A study of six million older people and 89 airports in the US, including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Seattle’s King County International Airport, linked aircraft noise with cardiovascular disease and increased hospital admissions. In a study of 46 US airports and surrounding schools, including five Beacon Hill schools, statistically significant associations were established between airport noise and lower reading and math scores as compared to non-impacted schools. Additional studies underway may show that exposure to aircraft noise may also be linked to negative metabolic outcomes and lead to depression. See https://beaconhillseattlenoise.org/noise-health-effects.

[11] See https://deohs.washington.edu/mov-mobile-observations-ultrafine-particles-study.

[12] Although I have been corresponding with staff about the study and voicing concern regarding public involvement, I was not made aware of this meeting nor the opportunity to submit comments.

[13] Staff has only stated that community leader briefings entailed “conversations with member jurisdictions, discussions at PSRC board meetings, and with others….” We’ve also requested that Beacon Hill be considered among the “core” audience for purposes of the Public Involvement Plan; that request was denied.

[14] Draft Public Involvement Plan, p. 4.

[15] Scope of Work, p. 1.

[16] Draft Public Involvement Plan, p. 4.

[17] UN Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, “Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5 C,” available at https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/spm/.

[18] Scope of Work p. 12.

[19] Id., p. 6.

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Climate activists need to prioritize tax reform

map of US highlighting WA State's regressive taxes

by Andrew Kidde

Climate change has arrived. In the northwest, climate problems are likely to worsen in the coming decades—increased wildfires, smoky and polluted air, heat waves, droughts, floods, etc. These crises will lead to economic disruption and fewer resources. Our poorer communities will be hit hardest. The rich already seek protection: anti-immigrant movements, police-state treatment of refugees and the homeless, and the ever more popular “gated communities” and “doomsday escape plans” for the super wealthy. Left unchecked, the trajectory of these trends in a world of worsening climate crisis will create a dystopian future.

As climate activists, we seek a different future where communities come together to make the changes we need to survive climate change. To do this, our state and local governments need to set a different course. Rather than implementing homeless sweeps, they should respond to the next crisis by saving lives, helping relocate and re-engage the displaced. Rather than permitting gated communities at the edges of suburbia, state and local governments should help communities become more inclusive, energy efficient, resilient, transit focused, and healthy.

To pay for this, local and state governments need adequate revenue that is based on a fair tax system. We don’t have this now. A recent report found that in our current tax structure, “the poorest fifth of residents pay 17.8 percent, (while) the top 1 percent only pay about 3 percent of their income in taxes.” Our state and local tax system, considered the most regressive in the country, has long been unfair and dysfunctional. As the crises of climate change hit us, this will become dramatically worse—our poorest communities will both pay the highest state and local taxes, and face the brunt of damages from heat waves, floods, and poor air quality.

The good news: We can design a tax structure that collects revenue more fairly. In Oregon, for instance, the poorest families and the wealthiest families pay a relatively equal percentage of their income, about 9%, in state and local taxes. Climate activists should join the struggle to restructure our taxes. We can start by supporting Noel Frame’s bill, Modernize and Rebalance State Tax (HB2117 / SB 5973), which gained several sponsors in both houses last year. Other recent proposals include a state capital gains tax, a corporate tax on high earners, and of course Seattle’s Income tax ordinance, the constitutionality of which will soon be taken up by the State Supreme Court. It is hard to know at this point which proposals will gain momentum down in Olympia. For now, let’s be sure to tell our legislators that it is time to make our tax system more equitable and more appropriate for the coming climate challenges we face.

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October Newsletter!

7 million marched worldwide for climate. Will it make a difference? With your help, it will.

KEEP CLEAN TRANSPORTATION ALIVE

We have just one month to defeat a ballot initiative that would devastate our efforts toward climate justice in Washington.

Seattle transit advocate says vote no on I-976

I-976 would gut funding for transit throughout Washington. Small town bus service in many areas could close, and in areas like Seattle, thousands of service hours would be cut. Basic maintenance of bridges is threatened. And it’s all being sold under a banner of cutting costs for individuals by just a little.

Help make sure that we don’t lose our ability to have clean, accessible transit for everyone in Washington. Here’s how:

Questions? Want to really dig in and help lead a canvass? Reach out to Meg.

TRANSPORTATION = 62% OF SEATTLE GHG

Want to do something about the largest source of greenhouse gases in our city and the state? The next Transportation Team meeting will be on Zoom:

Stop I-976, support transit in the city budget, and more!

Monday, October 14, 5:00pm

Join online here.

This month we’ll focus on opportunities to stop I-976; ways to engage with transportation issues on the city budget; and how to support our own 350 Seattle members in choosing options other than driving to attend our events and get around town. We’ll also debrief our recent #ClaimTheLaneForClimate actions. Email Andrew for additional call-in options or to join the Transportation team email list.

THANK YOU FOR STRIKING

In September 7.6 million people around the world responded to the global call from youth to strike for climate. Here in Seattle, 10,000 marched. These strikes were organized by a powerful intergenerational, multiracial, multi-issue, worker-organizing coalition—and we know that’s the only way we can win the fight against the fossil fuel industry. To change everything, it’s going to take everyone.

From the pressure of 1,800 Amazon employees pledging to walk out on September 20, CEO Jeff Bezos announced the Climate Pledge the day before the Global Climate Strike; the Climate Pledge is a commitment to get Amazon’s carbon footprint to net zero by 2040. Of course, Amazon Employees for Climate Justice and allies are demanding that the company get to true zero by 2030, not rely on offsets, and stop selling AI to oil and gas companies… so thousands of Amazon employees still walked off the job. This announcement is a huge win—there’s no way it would’ve happened without organized worker power!

Throughout the week, other actions unfolded: The Protectors of the Salish Sea started their walk (more below); Artful Activism informed and enlightened with three separate interactive events including Envision at the Luminata walk; the Toxic Assets Affinity Group raised awareness about Carnival Cruise Line’s pollution; our Transportation Team held two #ClaimTheLaneForClimate actions, holding a morning rush-hour ride down 4th Avenue, and, in the evening, holding space for buses; and on Friday, a crew of us attended Netse Mot: One Mind for Xw’ullemy (The Salish Sea), an action on the land and sea.

And last but not least, we shut down every downtown branch of JPMorgan Chase, the world’s largest funder of fossil fuels as we shone a light on Chase’s salient role in the climate crisis. In the months ahead, we’ll be supporting the eleven people who were arrested. Pitch in here if you can help.

Will all this make a difference? With your help, it will.

CALLING FOR A CLIMATE EMERGENCY

The Protectors of the Salish Sea have been occupying the traditional indigenous gathering place of Sta,chas, now known as the Washington State Capitol, since Tuesday, September 24, after walking 46 miles from the Tacoma LNG construction site. The walk started on Friday, September 20, as part of the Global Climate Strike. As Governor Inslee was talking to climate activists in New York, more than 70 state riot police forcibly removed peaceful and prayerful indigenous climate protectors and their allies.

Despite this, the Protectors of the Salish Sea have vowed to remain in occupation indefinitely until a Climate Emergency is declared in the Washington State and all fossil fuel expansion projects are halted. Questions or offers of support can be directed here and monetary donations can be made here.

Saturday October 5th, people from all over Washington filled the capitol steps to add their voice in urging Gov Inslee to take action on the Protectors’ demands. Please keep calling our Green Governor at (360) 902-4111 and reaching out on social media.

PULL TOGETHER

Nothing focuses the mind like a good deadline, and we’ve got one from the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal: we have less than 10 weeks to fundraise for Indigenous Nations facing down the Trans Mountain pipeline and tankers project. Court hearings start the week of December 16th.

With your help we’re going to stand with Coldwater, Tsleil Waututh, Secwepemc and Squamish Nations in court to get this tar sands pipeline off of Indigenous lands and waters. Click here to help support their legal effort. Want to host a house party or get involved in some other way? Contact Hogan.

KALAMA METHANOL

The Department of Ecology makes their decision on October 11 on the shoreline permit for the world’s largest methanol refinery and one of Washington’s biggest contributors to the climate crisis! So here’s your last chance to tell the Department of Ecology to do the right thing—personalize this email!

Here’s a few key facts to remind them about the flawed environmental analysis that was used for the project:

  • Current science puts the impact of methane emissions at 20% higher than the older science used in the study;
  • Methane should be evaluated using its 20-year intensity, not averaged over 100 years as the study did;
  • The magical 0.5% leak rate used in the study was way off; the EPA uses 1.4% and independent studies suggest it’s even higher, due to fracking.

TACOMA LNG

While the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) prepares to approve the final permit for the Tacoma LNG fracked gas project using outdated science, controversial data, and an apparent disregard for the legal rights of the Puyallup Tribe—we must not sit idle!

Please send a letter to the elected PSCAA board members reminding them that we can’t build a clean energy future by investing in dirty energy.

You can also reach out to the PSCAA board members that represent you here:

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan: Facebook, Twitter, email

King County Executive Dow Constantine: Facebook, Twitter, email

Tacoma City Council Member Ryan Mellow: Facebook, Twitter, email

Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier: Facebook, Twitter, email

City of Everett Council Member and PSCAA Board Chair Paul Roberts: email

Snohomish County Council Member Sam Low: Facebook, email

Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler: Facebook, email

Kitsap County Commissioner Edward Wolfe: email

Your representative on the PSCAA board needs to hear from you! Share this video to help spread the call! (And if anyone else finds it strange that there’s no contact info available for Public at Large representative Stella Chao, drop the agency a line here.)

Support Tacoma LNG legal challenges!

Our local permitting agencies have failed to protect the public’s health and safety, put corporations above future generations, and completely disregarded the sovereignty and rights of the Puyallup Tribe. We’re not giving up though—too much is at stake—and we have more people standing with us than ever. Together we WILL keep the proposed Tacoma LNG from ever becoming operational! Please give what you can! Want to help by planning a fundraiser? Email Stacy.

Are you in the LNG evacuation zone?

Recently discovered documents reveal that 12.6 miles in every direction from the refinery/storage tank could be affected in the event of a disaster! That distance includes multiple airports, countless schools, parts of JBLM, all of Vashon Island, parts of Burien, Seatac, and a large section of the I-5 freeway. The city of Tacoma has had the information for 3 years, yet we’re only finding out now thru a public disclosure request and none of this safety data was included in the Environmental Impact Statement. Join the Puyallup Tribe, environmental organizations, and concerned community members in demanding a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement that accurately considers the health and safety risks of this proposed project to the public. The number to call: (253) 591-5818, office of Tacoma City Manager Elizabeth Paulie.

Free screening of Ancestral Waters

Learn more about this fight from an Indigenous perspective: join us for a free screening of Native Daily Network’s documentary.

Ancestral Waters

Thursday, October 24, 6:30pm

Urban Grace Church, 902 Market St, Tacoma 98402

Shareable event page.

This film chronicles the Puyallup Tribe and Water Warriors’ movement to resist the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility currently being built without proper permits on the Tribe’s ancestral tideflats in violation of the Medicine Creek Treaty.

Contact Stacy to set up a screening in your neighborhood!

NEW P.U.D. IN THE HOUSE

And speaking of bait-and-switching, politician buying, greenwashing, for profit utilities who build unwanted climate killing fracked gas facilities… If you live in east King County, or can help gather signatures there, you have a chance to help make Public Utility District history!

East King County PUD Initiative Planning Meeting

Monday, October 7, 7:00–9:00pm

Northshore United Church of Christ, 18900 168th Ave NE, Woodinville 98072

Come help get the East King County PUD Initiative on the ballot next November. All are welcome!

SCAP? WHAT’S THAT?

Have you ever asked yourself:

  • When will King County follow Seattle’s lead on the Green New Deal, particularly banning fossil fuels like fracked gas in new construction?
  • How will the County decrease the number of miles driven by private cars?
  • How can the County reduce air travel?
  • When will the County start to measure the carbon embodied in building materials?
  • How can we build accountability into our climate action plans so we don’t continue to fall short of our goals?

If you have, or would like to, bring your questions and ideas to these public workshops on King County’s 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan!

King County climate workshops

Saturday, October 12, 10:00am–12:00pm, University of Washington, RSVP here for North King County

Wednesday, October 16, 6:00–8:00pm, Highline College, RSVP here for South King County

These workshops are a once-in-five-years opportunity to help the most climate-conscious county in the state do more, better, to reduce our collective emissions footprint. And a lot more is needed.

ARDAGH’S BAD AIR

Glass packaging manufacturing is a notoriously harmful. The Ardagh operation has been one of the Northwest’s biggest polluters, spewing carcinogens into the air and water 24/7 since the 1930s, fighting clean up efforts all along the way.

County leaders have heard from interests with financial motives, but until now have declined to hear from members of the community who will be paying the price of this decision with their families’ health for years to come. This may be the community’s only opportunity be heard before the decision is made and finalized.

Environmental Impacts of Ardagh Glass

Tuesday, October 8, 6:30pm

South Seattle College Georgetown Campus, 6737 Corson Avenue South, Seattle 98108

Tony Wright, King County’s Director of Facilities Management, will hear concerns from the Georgetown community about the environmental impacts of Ardagh Glass’ toxic operations. More background information here.

EQUITY AND INCLUSION

Our new Equity and Inclusion workgroup is the next iteration of Frontline Allies, continuing to supercharge all our work, and deepening our equity work across the org with Lisa facilitating, and coaching from BJ at Wildfire. We have 7 co-leads on 4 teams: Solidarity, Equity Filter, Education, and Hiring, all of which have set ambitious but achievable goals for the year. We are looking for folks to engage as part of the Solidarity Team. If you are interested in getting involved in this important work, please RSVP to Kara who is developing the Solidarity Team.

SOLIDARITY

Here is a statement from Raynell Squil-le-he-le Morris and Ellie Tah-Mahs Kinley, the two Lummi tribal women intending to sue Miami Seaquarium, Palace Entertainment, and EQT, for the return of Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut, the orca also known as Tokitae or Lolita:

“We will be together in prayer for Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut next Thursday, October 10, at 9:30am. We are asking you all to join us from wherever you are. Please say her name, please pray in your own way, please carry her in in your heart. We want Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut to feel our love, we want to send her hope and strength. Please pray for Miami Seaquarium to do the right thing and work in a good way with us to bring her home in 2020. Hy’shqe.”

Miami Seaquarium has until October 25, 90 days from the date of the letter of intent, to respond. Here is a shareable event page. And you can donate to the Tokitae Fund here.

SING WITH US

Join The People’s Echo to infuse our movement with music and learn original songs written for this very moment! Learn to be a song leader and come release endorphins with us!

Check out our group page for more info and mark your calendar with our upcoming song teach-ins: October 24, November 20, December 18, January 23, February 27, March 10 and April 23. Questions? Contact Ahlay.

BRING YOUR TEARS

Overwhelmed by the immensity of what needs to be done to reverse the enormous ecological crisis and injustice of our times? Community practice can help!

Grief and Empowerment Support Group

Saturday, October 12 10:0am–1:00pm

Capitol Hill, Seattle–for the address, register here.

Using practices developed by Joanna Macy and drawing on longstanding wisdom traditions, this monthly group for adults 18+ will gather to deeply feel, process and move through grief to empowerment. Limited childcare will be available on a first-come, first serve basis; contact Megan.

ARTFUL ACTIVISM

We welcome all skill levels in any art form, and have lots going on to jump into, from occasional participation to leadership opportunities. Join online here or come to art builds whenever you can! They are fun, no-skills-needed community gatherings with food and good connections.

Join the Deployment Team!
Ever wish you had a role during actions and events? Come learn crucial skills with us! We need you! Contact Shemona. Lots of opportunities to learn by doing this month!

If you’re a skilled artist (visual, theater, dance, music…) and want to apply your skill or show others how, please let us know! Contact Lisa.

Join our Photo/Imagery Library Team!
We’re organizing our photos and imagery data and are looking for folks who want to join a team to do photo sorting and labeling for our events and our imagery library. Also looking for an imagery co-librarian! Contact Lisa.

VOLUNTEER DROP-IN HOURS

Looking for an easy way to help out at 350 Seattle? Curious about other ways to get involved? Join us this month to meet others and help out with all the small things that keep 350 going! Tasks range from phone calls to data entry to arts and crafts.

Volunteer drop-in hours

October 16, 3:00–7:00pm

October 30, 3:00–6:00pm

350 Seattle, 1127 10th Ave East, Seattle 98102

Questions? Contact Shemona.

THANK-YOU-THURSDAY FUNDRAISER!

September was a busy month for the climate movement—both worldwide and locally! Let’s take a night to celebrate our hard work and raise some funds for future activism. $1 dollar from each pint, growler, or three-taster sets will be donated directly to 350 Seattle so that we can continue our work. We’ll also have activities with the chance to win a small prize, information about our upcoming events and ongoing campaigns, such as the Seattle Green New Deal.

350 Seattle Thank You Thursday at Reuben’s Brews Brewtap

Thursday, October 10, 3:00–9:00pm

Reuben’s Brews – The Brewtap, 800 NW 46th St., Seattle 98107

All ages welcome. Non-alcoholic beverages and hard cider also available. Please note, this event takes place at The Brewtap on 800 NW 46th St, not the Taproom on 14th Ave NW! Contact Allie with any questions.

COME PARTY WITH US AT INTERTWINED

Tickets for our fall fundraiser are on sale now! Come celebrate with us on Friday, November 15th at the Centilia Cultural Center. Buy your tickets now! Family friendly dinner, dessert, music, videos and more! Can’t make the early part of the evening? Come dance with us at the after party!

Want to help volunteer on the day of the event? We could really use your help with food prep, set up, auction logistics and more! Please Contact Shemona!

SAVE THE DATE

Remember the Battle of Seattle? Some of us do, and we’re joining with Washington Fair Trade Coalition and other community groups to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the World Trade Organization protests. Please join in!

20th anniversary of the WTO protests

Saturday, December 7

10:00am, Rally at Occidental Park

3:30pm, Workshops at Town Hall on the negative effects of trade agreements on climate and other topic areas

7:30pm, keynote by economist Joseph Stiglitz at Town Hall

To learn more, contact Hillary Haden of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition.

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September Newsletter!

Global Climate Strike September 20 2019
Back to school? Make that the streets! Lots going on this month, so we’re glad you’re rested up. Let’s dive right in:

JOIN THE 350 SEATTLE STAFF COLLECTIVE!

We have a full-time opening in our Staff Collective for someone who is a strong administrator—a fundraising/finance/operations lead. Read more here. We will begin reviewing applications on September 15th, so please share widely and apply soon.

SEATTLE FOR A GREEN NEW DEAL

This is where it gets real. Last month, Seattle City Council unanimously committed to a Green New Deal for our city. Now, they have the chance to back up their words with action.

Join us at City Hall Monday, September 16th as the City Council votes on three pieces of climate legislation:

  • An ordinance creating a Green New Deal Oversight Committee
  • An ordinance phasing out polluting oil heating in our homes
  • A resolution supporting the September 20th Climate Walkout

Seattle Council: Vote YES on Climate Justice!
Monday, September 16, 2:00pm
Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Ave, Seattle 98104

Next up, on September 23rd, the City Council will vote on the Healthy Homes, Healthy Buildings ordinance. If passed, Seattle will be the first major city in the country to ensure that all new residential and commercial buildings receive their heating and power from carbon-neutral electricity, and not climate-wrecking, health-damaging fossil fuels. Join us for this historic vote:

Seattle Council: Vote YES for Healthy Homes, Healthy Buildings
Monday, September 23, 2:00pm
Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Ave, Seattle 98104

We know that utilities hooked on fossil fuels—(cough) Puget Sound Energy (cough)—will put their profits first and fight this tooth-and-nail―and so we need you to speak up as well as show uptake five minutes to call City Council right now and ask them to support climate justice and pass ALL of the major climate policies before them this September: Phone numbers and a call script are here. Calling after hours? Leave them a voice mail!

And if a Green New Deal for Seattle gets you excited, sign the petition and sign up to volunteer!

SEPTEMBER 20TH—WE STRIKE!

With millions of people around the world walking out of work, school and their everyday lives, September 20th is going to be the world’s largest-ever climate mobilization. Around the globe, there are over 1,300 Climate Strike events already confirmed with over 500 of them happening in the United States. Here in Seattle, the #ClimateStrike will be a full day of youth-centered action, including a peaceful march and powerful rally at City Hall. Before the march, we’ll gather at Cal Anderson Park for Climate Justice Fest: an interactive, family-friendly space for everyone to learn, skill-up, play and plug in to the movement.

Seattle Climate Walkout
Friday, September 20
9:00am–12:00pm, Climate Justice Fest at Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave, Seattle 98122
12:00–1:00pm, March from Cal Anderson Park to Seattle City Hall
1:00–3:00pm, Youth-led rally for climate justice at Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Ave, Seattle 98104

Climate Justice Fest is open to all, with trainings, climate movement orientations, music, interactive art and workshops led by youth and adult allies. RSVP here to join us for this powerful day and follow this event page for updates.

Organized by a broad coalition of youth and adult organizations, including Fridays for Future, WA Strike, Climate Action Families, Zero Hour Seattle, Sunrise Seattle, 350 Seattle, UAW 4121, Got Green, Young Women Empowered, Transit Riders Union, Mazaska Talks and more.

GLOBAL WEEK OF CLIMATE ACTION

The Climate Walkout is only the very beginning of a full week of climate action, September 20th – 27th.

When Greta Thunberg and 46 other youth activists called for the September 20th Global Climate Walkout, these remarkable youth leaders asked us to “kickstart a week of climate action with a worldwide strike for the climate.” It was to use September 20th to “unleash mass resistance” in the week afterward, a week during which the United Nations and world leaders are gathering in New York to talk about the global response to the climate emergency.

Around the country, people are responding. Activists have promised to shut down the last remaining coal-fired power plant in New England, dozens of activist groups have committed to shutting down Washington D.C. for the day, and in Minnesota thousands are expected to march to stop the Line 3 pipeline.

Here in Washington, we’re gearing up for a full week of powerful action. Throughout September, we’re hosting and supporting the trainings, marches and rallies listed below, as well as bold actions to voice our demand for a stable future. Check out the full list here.

Be a part of infusing our movement with music!
Join The People’s Echo and learn original songs written for this very moment and how to be a song leader. Come release endorphins with us! Co-hosted with Sunrise Movement Washington! Contact Ahlay for more info.

Song Teach-In 
Tuesday, September 10, 6:00–8:00pm
All Pilgrims, Weld Room, 509 10th Ave East (that’s the side door), Seattle 98102
RSVP and event page.

Pledge of Resistance Trainings
With the Climate Walkout on September 20 and the subsequent week of action, there may be calls to risk arrest or support those willing to do so. We still have some upcoming trainings in our Pledge of Resistance Training Series. Learn skills you may need for the upcoming week of actions and beyond!

Upcoming trainings include:
Tuesday, September 10, 7:00–9:00pm, Staying Healthy & Safe at Protests
Thursday, September 12, 7:00–9:00pm, Jail & Legal Support
Saturday, September 14, 1:00–6:00pm, Nonviolent Direct Action
More info and RSVP here.

Interactive Installation 
A team of Artivists are creating installations to draw in the broad sector of the public who don’t normally engage in our events using art, music, dance, and conversation around how people are feeling about what’s going on, what they can envision, and what they can do.

Help get the word out about the Climate Strike and Week of Action during the Capitol Hill Art Walk and engage new folks through art and music. Want to get involved? We can use your help! Contact Lisa.

Art Talks for Climate 
Thursday, September 12th
3:00–6:00pm, Interactive Installations at Cal Anderson Park or on Broadway, Seattle
7:00 – 9:00 pm, Showcase of powerful performers in Velocity Dance Center, 1621 12th Ave #100, Seattle, 98122

Friday, September 20, 9:00am–3:00pm
At Strike/Walkout events, Cal Anderson Park and Seattle City Hall

Saturday, September 21, 6:00–10:00pm
At the Luminata lantern walk at Green Lake Park, Seattle

More details on the Art Talks here. Also, at Velocity Dance Center we’ll be collecting food and camping gear donations (or loans) to support this next action…

Walk to Protect and Restore the Salish Sea 
Join Protectors of the Salish Sea and grassroots partners in an Indigenous-led walk from Puyallup lands to Nisqually village site of St,chas (Washington State Capitol) to demand that the State of Washington officially declare a climate emergency, and for our legislators to draft emergency legislation to terminate all current fossil fuel expansion projects. The walk will culminate in a Climate Emergency Gathering at the Washington State Capitol on September 24th.

Walk to Protect and Restore the Salish Sea
Friday, September 20, 9:00am to Tuesday, September 24, 9:00am

For all the details, visit the shareable event page.

Lots of ways to support even if you can’t attend the entire walk! We are especially in need of support vehicles/drivers, kitchen assistance and camping gear. To plug in or offer support, contact Jess Lee.

No Line Divides Us
This family friendly land and water gathering hosted by Lummi Nation will be a mass gathering at the border to show that no line divides us–we are of one mind–when it comes to protecting our shared home. The event will be a celebration of the Salish Sea, and a rallying call for its protection. Speakers, music and unity circle. Wear RED!

Netse Mot: One Mind for Xw’ullemy (The Salish Sea)
Friday, September 27, 4:30–7pm.
Fishing Pier, 725 Milhollin Drive, Blaine, WA 98230
More details, including carpooling link, on this shareable event page and SacredSea.org.

TACOMA LNG

Hundreds of people from across Puget Sound stood in solidarity with the Puyallup Tribe to oppose PSE’s dirty Tacoma LNG fracked gas facility at the recent public hearing, calling on the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) to deny their permit.

Now it is time to take the next step. We have marched. We have submitted comments. We have testified. Yet PSCAA continues to move this project forward based on deeply flawed analysis and without legally required consultation with the Puyallup Tribe.

The PSCAA Board of Directors is made up of publicly elected officials from around Puget Sound that represent YOU. This precedent-setting decision requires action—it is time for them to intervene in this failed process and show their climate leadership. Tell your representative: We can’t build a clean energy future by investing in dirty energy.

And speaking of fighting with your whole heart, here is a hopeful documentary about Sandra Steingraber, an introspective biologist and mother, who reinvents herself into an outspoken activist and throws herself into an environmental war that many believe is unwinnable.

Unfractured
Followed by Q&A with special guest Sandra Steingraber
Tuesday, September 10, doors open at 5:30
Vashon Theater, 17723 Vashon Hwy SW, Vashon, WA 98070
Free, with $10 suggested donation to help fight Tacoma LNG
More details here.

Support the Tacoma LNG legal challenges! Our local permitting agencies have failed to protect the public’s health and safety, they have put corporations above future generations, and completely disregarded the sovereignty and rights of the Puyallup Tribe. But we’re not giving up—too much is at stake—and more people are standing with us than ever. Together we WILL keep the proposed Tacoma LNG from ever becoming operational! Please give what you can!

KALAMA METHANOL

Remember the world’s largest methanol refinery? Last year the proposed monstrosity was required to complete a supplemental environmental impact statement. A big win, because upstream methane leaks from fracking were going to be factored into the analysis, right? Not so much—the state hired the same contractors who did the egregious Tacoma LNG assessment and guess what—using cherry-picked studies and outdated information, they produced a final report that attempts to deceive the public and regulators about the use, and true impacts, of the methanol.

Now the fight moves to the court of public opinion—so get out your typing fingers and send off a letter to the editor of your favorite publications. Let them know it’s time for Governor Inslee to back up his good talk and the Department of Ecology to stand up for our future: Ignore the greenwashed final SEIS and deny this project. Need some ammunition? Here’s some facts, and here’s some more. Go get ‘em, tiger!

TRANS MOUNTAIN TAR SANDS

Victory in court 
The approval of the appeal by six First Nations based on insufficient consultation is a good sign that the expansion of the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, now owned by Canada, could be delayed again, and potentially defeated. But to do that, it’s going to take lawyers and fundraising. Can you help? Chip in to Pull Together here.

Trans Mountain pipe arrives in Vancouver, WA
Thirty percent of Trans Mountain pipe isn’t made in Canada. In fact, it’s arriving on ships at the Port of Vancouver, Washington, where local activists were on hand to meet one. Sound like your kind of fun? There’s an all-day NVDA 101 training coming up on Sunday, September 15 in Portland. More details here.

Failure to plan for tar sand oil spills
Tar sands crude oil is already moving through our region—by barge on Puget Sound, by pipeline through Whatcom and Skagit counties, and by train through eastern Washington, then along the Columbia River Gorge and up the Salish Sea.

Since tar sands crude is heavy, it sinks when spilled and is virtually impossible to clean up, causing irreparable damage to shoreline communities and vulnerable aquatic ecosystems.

The good news is that the legislature told the Department of Ecology to update their rules for addressing tar sand spills. The bad news is that the early drafts of the updated spill plan suck. Want to help make it better? Check out this fact sheet and submit a comment!

Oil Spill Contingency Plan Public Hearing
Tuesday, September 17, 1:00–4:00pm
Courtyard Seattle-Everett Downtown, 3003 Colby Avenue, Everett, WA 98201
Shareable event page here.

Online webinar 
Thursday, September 26, 6:00 pm
Use this access link. For audio, 1-571-317-3122 / access code 696815493

There will also be in-person events in Spokane and Vancouver, WA. Tell your friends!

EQUITY AND INCLUSION

Our new Equity and Inclusion workgroup is the next iteration of Frontline Allies, continuing to supercharge all our work, and deepening our equity work across the org with Lisa facilitating, and coaching from BJ at Wildfire. We have 7 co-leads on 4 teams: Solidarity, Equity Filter, Education, and Hiring, all of which have set ambitious but achievable goals for the year. We are looking for folks to engage as part of the Solidarity Team. If you are interested in getting involved in this important work, please RSVP to Kara who is developing the Solidarity Team.

Given these changes, this will be the last month that we have a Frontline Allies meeting in its current format. Please join us Monday, September 16, at 7 pm to hear more about ways we can deepen our understanding of systemic oppression and be in solidarity with climate justice organizations. If this is your first meeting, please plan to arrive at 6:40 for an orientation. Please RSVP to Lisa if you plan to attend—given how much is going on that week, we may need to cancel the meeting if there aren’t enough attendees. Location to be determined!

SOLIDARITY

Coastal Gas Link bulldozes Wet’suwet’en War Trail
The Unist’ot’en Solidarity Brigade is calling for support! The action requests are to call a couple Canadian officials, DONATE to the legal fund, and, if you’re able, apply and register to come to camp for at least 2 weeks. Additionally, please share this video and info widely so that people are aware of the continued assault on Indigenous people by fossil fuel corporations!

There is a great deal of work to do to complete projects underway, to prepare for the next winter season, to support the ongoing running of the Camp, and the never-ending opposition to unauthorized intrusions onto the territory.

L’eau Est La Vie comes to town!
Come hear from three of the most effective organizers on Turtle Island about the ongoing work fighting Energy Transfer Partners, community resiliency in the Gulf South, and visions and plans for how to fight back.

L’eau Est La Vie West Coast Tour
Sunday, September 29, 6:00–8:00pm
Hillman City Collaboratory, 5623 Rainier Ave S., Seattle 98118
Event page here.
$20 suggested donation at the door but no one turned away for lack of funds.

The L’eau Est La Vie Camp’s sustained resistance campaign delayed the completion of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline—the tail end of the Dakota Access Pipeline—for over a year. In addition to costing Energy Transfer Partners upwards of a billion dollars, the camp galvanized the fight for climate justice in the Gulf South and serves as an amazing example of how effective a small group of committed activists with powerful leadership can be.

TRANSPORTATION AND HOUSING UPDATES

Mobility is a human right! We’re joining TRU’s new campaign to push for transit passes for everyone, starting with asking big businesses to pay their share. Join us and get involved at the…

Orca for All Campaign Launch
Wednesday, September 11, 6:00–8:00pm
SEIU 775 Benefits Group, 215 Columbia St, Ste 300, Seattle 98104.
Shareable event page here.

The bike pieces of #MASSTransportationPackage passed unanimouslyread all about it here, and here. More multimodal transportation legislation is queued up for September votes.

And in the annals of “Wait a minute! People have been twisting environmental rules to stop environmentally necessary housing and even block bike lanes? That’s Machiavellian!” we bring you: SEPA reform. Please come to ensure that climate-friendly, housing-friendly voices are present as the Council wisely considers streamlining City rules to discourage frivolous SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) appeals of new housing.

Evening Public SEPA Hearing
Monday, September 9, 5:15–8:00pm
Seattle City Council, 600 4th Ave, Seattle 98104
More details here. Can’t make it? Comment online!

CHECK YOUR VISION, PSRC

The Puget Sound Regional Council makes the big, region-wide plans around here, and their new one, Vision 2050, will guide where growth occurs in our region over the next 30 years.

Ensuring transit-oriented growth, compact and clustered around transit connections, is key to reducing climate pollution from cars—and, right now, the plan doesn’t do nearly enough to promote transit-oriented development. We’ll submit an organizational comment, but more voices are needed—here’s your chance to add yours.

KING COUNTY HAS A PLAN

Save the date for these upcoming King County climate workshops! These three public workshops are an opportunity for you to provide input into King County’s 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan:

Wednesday, October 2, 6:00–8:00pm, Bellevue College, RSVP here for East King County

Saturday, October 12, 10:00am–12:00pm, University of Washington, RSVP here for North King County

Wednesday, October 16, 6:00–8:00pm, Highline College, RSVP here for South King County

NAFTA UPDATE

For the last year we’ve been fighting Trump’s new NAFTA, calling out its pro-corporate and climate damaging provisions. Many of us have been lobbying Congressional reps and speaking out on social media, even performing in this anti-NAFTA skit! While we’re hearing about opposition to the deal in Congress (Representatives Smith and Jayapal both oppose it), there’s still a chance that Trump will bring it to a vote. Stay tuned.

ARTFUL ACTIVISM

We welcome all skill levels in any art form, and have lots going on to jump into, from occasional participation to leadership opportunities. Join online here or come to art builds whenever you can! They are fun, no-skills-needed community gatherings with food and good connections.

Join the Deployment Team!
Ever wish you had a role during actions and events? Come learn crucial skills with us! We need you! Contact Shemona. Lots of opportunities to learn by doing this month!

If you’re a skilled artist (visual, theater, dance, music…) and want to apply your skill or show others how, please let us know! Contact Lisa.

Join our Photo/Imagery Library Team!
We’re organizing our photos and imagery data and are looking for folks who want to join a team to do photo sorting and labeling for our events and our imagery library. Also looking for an imagery co-librarian! Contact Lisa.

VOLUNTEER DROP-IN HOURS

Looking for an easy way to help out at 350 Seattle? Curious about other ways to get involved? Join us on the third Wednesday of every month to meet others and help out with all the small things that keep 350 going! Tasks range from phone calls to data entry to arts and crafts. Stop by anytime from 3 to 7pm on Wednesday September 18th at our office, 1127 10th Ave East, Seattle. Questions? Contact Shemona.

BECOME A MONTHLY DONOR!

Our Monthly Sustainer Drive is live! We are a grass roots organization and we want to be powered by the community not corporate sponsors. This year our goal is to reach 100 new donors! Can you sign up to help us reach that goal? 

SAVE THE DATE FOR INTERTWINED

Tickets for our fall fundraiser are on sale now! Come celebrate with us on Friday, November 15th at the Centilia Cultural Center. Early bird tickets available now until September 15th. Buy now and save $10! Want to help volunteer on the day of the event? Contact Shemona!

Happy end of summer, everyone! See you in the streets!

Read

Let’s Keep Seattle’s Buildings Clean, Safe and Fossil Fuel-Free

 

Seattle City Council unanimously adopts Green New Deal resolution

by Nick Etheredge

Seattle should follow the City of Berkeley’s lead and ensure that all new buildings are heated by clean energy, rather than climate-wrecking, health-damaging fossil fuels

As Seattleites brace for yet another smoke season, it is more important than ever to take meaningful steps to eliminate our city’s climate pollution. Worryingly, our greenhouse gas emissions are currently going in the wrong direction – the latest data shows a 2.5% increase between 2014 and 2016

More hopefully, on Monday, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution, committing to create a transformational Green New Deal for our city, which will eliminate climate pollution by 2030, address current and historical injustices and create thousands of jobs in the process. The City Council should immediately follow up that resolution by passing binding policies that will ensure we are not making the problem any worse.

Luckily, other cities around the country have shown us the way, and have created policy blueprints that we can follow. One city, Berkeley, recently passed a policy that will ensure all new buildings are heated by clean electricity, rather than health-damaging, fossil fuels such as fracked gas. Seattle should follow Berkeley’s lead and pass policies that ensure that all new buildings in our city are clean, safe and fossil fuel-free. 

Climate pollution from our residential and commercial buildings is the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in our city, largely because of the use of fracked gas to heat our homes and cook our meals. And while the gas industry (which includes the multinational fossil fuel utility Puget Sound Energy currently trying to buy influence in our local politics) would have you believe that so-called “natural” gas is a bridge fuel to a brighter future, that’s a lie. As of 2015, energy-related emissions in the U.S. from gas have surpassed emissions from coal. It’s also becoming increasingly clear that any modest benefit gas was thought to have over coal is wiped out by leaking methane, which is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over the short term. In addition to leaking from extraction sites, a recent article in Scientific American indicated that U.S. cities are emitting far more methane into the atmosphere from leaky pipes than was previously realized. It is simply untenable for Seattle to continue allowing more fracked gas in our buildings and homes.

And the evils of fracked gas don’t stop with climate destruction; there are also major health and safety concerns with its use. Recent studies have shown that the use of fracked gas in homes, particularly for stoves, creates indoor pollution levels that are hazardous to respiratory health. When we use gas for cooking, we are breathing in levels of pollution that the EPA would consider illegal outdoors. Gas in homes has been linked to increasing asthma, which is already a major health issue in our city, particularly in Seattle’s low-income communities and communities of color, where people currently bear the brunt of polluted air due to a history of racist land use policies.

In addition to threatening our health, gas in our homes threatens us with death by explosion. Gas pipelines connected to our homes explode and endanger communities. Seattleites will not soon forget the 2016 natural gas explosion in Greenwood that leveled two buildings and damaged many others. While this explosion thankfully did not kill anyone, who’s to say the next one won’t? Gas pipelines explode with alarming frequency. The last deadly gas pipeline in the explosion in the U.S at the time of writing? Ten days ago. In Seattle earthquakes are an ever-present risk, and should “the Big One” hit, we can be fairly certain that gas pipelines will explode.

The good news is we can choose a different future. Replacing dangerous, health-damaging fracked gas in our buildings with clean, renewable electricity is not only a win for the climate and our health, it can also lead to increased comfort and more energy efficiency. For example, heat pumps present a superior alternative to fracked gas furnaces, either as ducted or ductless units. Heat pumps are devices that run on electricity and produce heating in the winter and cooling in the summer, doing both jobs very efficiently.  As extreme heat becomes more common, air conditioning will become increasingly important. As the Seattle Times recently reported, climate change-driven heat waves could soon be killing hundreds of Seattleites. In light of this, investing in heat pumps, which provide air conditioning where gas furnaces do not, becomes a matter of climate resiliency, as well as climate mitigation.

More good news is that the other two main uses of fracked gas in our buildings – water heating and cooking – have ready replacements that again perform better, run on electricity, and use far less energy. Heat pumps can also be used for water heating, and they look just like standard electric or gas water heaters. But compared to a standard electric water heater, a heat pump water heater uses approximately ⅓ the energy. And unlike a gas water heater, it produces no pollution. Not only that, it is a device ready for a future smart grid powered by renewables. In effect, future in-home electric devices like water heaters and electric vehicles will act as grid batteries, pushing and pulling electricity to and from the grid, smoothing out the variability issue with intermittent solar and wind energy.

Replacing gas stoves can be done with high performance induction stoves, which use magnetic waves to heat pots and pans with great precision – even greater than natural gas stoves. Better cooking, lower utility bills, healthier, safer homes and a livable planet for future generations. What’s not to like?

With these solutions in place, there is no excuse for our city to continue to hook new buildings up to climate-wrecking fracked gas. Doing so is only digging the climate hole even deeper, and everyone knows the first rule to getting out of a hole is to stop digging. 

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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!

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

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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

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- Naomi Klein