THIS IS THE FIRST IN OUR SERIES OF POSTS ABOUT BEYOND EXTREME ENERGY (BXE)
I get asked all the time: “What’s next, how can we top 400,000 people in the streets of New York City. What can we do to make world leaders, moms and dads, business leaders and the world, wake up and pay attention?”
There is no simple answer. What is clear though, is that we need to extract ourselves from the Faustian bargain we find ourselves trapped in. This ‘bargain’ is reeking havoc with our natural world in such a way that it is also putting the very existence of OUR species at mortal risk.
At the same time as we work to stop the madness and slowdown the fossil fuel bullet train which is racing humanity towards a bridge that isn’t there, we need to change tracks and accelerate and build up climate solutions, moving forward with renewable energy ideas and advances. We must put in place energy efficiency solutions and build up our resiliency to the climate chaos that is and will unfold, regardless of what we do today. We must continue to create climate hope, not only for the future of our children, but also for our now.
As part of this drive for climate hope, Climate Mamas and Papas from across the country will be meeting in Washington, DC, November 1-7th, for a week of actions. On November 1st we will be on hand to welcome and honor the original Climate Marchers. Those stalwart and brave souls who in March 2014, left California, to walk across the United States with the purpose and intent of raising attention to the climate crisis.
Starting on November 3rd, actions will take place every day to raise attention to the need to put a full stop to extreme energy and move beyond it, including non-violent direct action where Climate Mamas and Papas will be risking arrest. A big part of the BXE week’s events are to draw attention to the role of the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC), an independent body of the US government, which overseas the expansion and development of fossil fuel infrastructure across the United States. As a FERC employee told me recently: “In 20 years, we have NEVER said no to a pipeline.” Well, it’s past time that this rubber stamping stopped. More people need to understand that “FERC Doesn’t Work,” period!
To introduce the BXE week of action, we are thrilled to share with you this strong, clear and powerful letter of invitation, from Michael Bagdes-Canning, Pennsylvania Climate Grandpa extraordinaire. Michael sent the letter which follows, to friends, family and colleagues. When we asked him if we could share this more broadly with our Climate Mama and Papa community he immediately told us: “Of course!”
We believe that to be successful in the fight we find ourselves in, we must come at it from all sides and every angle. Many people around the world are joining Michael and using non-violent direct action as an important way to demand changes. As Kathleen Dean Moore tells us in her “rules of the river”, as more of us begin to throw stones into the river of climate chaos, we will create islands which will change the course, the direction and the speed of this dangerous, fast flowing, out of control current we are all now precariously traveling on.
Sustained protests and on-going arrests will continue around the country for the foreseeable future.
Letter from Michael Badges-Canning – Risking arrest for my children and grandchildren. October, 2014.
I have something big to ask you.
But first, though, let me tell you why you’re receiving this. 98% of you know me well enough to recognize my face. Two percent of you may not know me at all – we’re just connected through the Marcellus Outreach Butler mailing list or some other mailing list that I’m on.
But 2%… 98%… I’m writing you because I’m pretty sure that 100% of us share serious concern about climate change and fracking. I’ll save some time and not quote scary facts at you. I know you are already familiar with most, if not all, of what I could tell you.
Often when we read something about tackling big issues, writers emphasize how easy it can be to make a difference. It’s safe to say that this isn’t going to be one of those kinds of letters. In fact, just the other day, one of you reminded me that the simple things (recycling, changing the kind of light bulbs we use, etc) aren’t enough. I’m actually going to invite you to do something that could seem very, very hard. For some, given life circumstances, it may be impossible. But there will be hundreds more whom I hope will consider my request with utmost seriousness. Continue reading