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Glick writes: "The major target is President Obama. He is being called upon to give real content to his inaugural call for action on climate, to lead practically on this urgent issue, and, most specifically, to permanently reject the tar-sands Keystone XL Pipeline."

On February 17th the largest climate change protest in US history will take place.   (photo: Franck Robichon/EPA)
On February 17th the largest climate change protest in US history will take place. (photo: Franck Robichon/EPA)


Big Steps Forward for US Climate Movement

By Ted Glick, Reader Supported News

09 February 13

 

here are two major events being organized by the US climate movement over the next month.

The first and most immediately significant event is what is being described (accurately) as the biggest climate demonstration in US history, taking place February 17th in Washington, D.C. Tens of thousands of people have already signed up indicating their intention to take part, and momentum is building.

This action was called by the Sierra Club soon after the November elections. The official call to action that went out in December came from them, 350.org and the Hip Hop Caucus. Since that time close to 100 organizations have endorsed it, mostly environmental and climate groups but also including the League of Women Voters, MoveOn, the Nebraska Farmers Union, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Public Citizen and United for Peace and Justice.

The demonstration is happening on President's Day weekend, on purpose. The major target is President Obama. He is being called upon to give real content to his inaugural call for action on climate, to lead practically on this urgent issue, and, most specifically, to permanently reject the tar sands Keystone XL pipeline.

The tar sands, without question, has become a "line in the sand" for enviros, climate activists and most progressives in the US and Canada, and we are having a real impact.

There is the broadly-based, effective and escalating actions of Indigenous and others groups in Canada and the just-won't-give-up organizing of Bold Nebraska. There's the harassing activities of Tar Sands Blockade in Texas and organizing in New England against another potential tar sands pipeline proposed for that area. There is the on-going work of various national enviro and climate groups. And finally, with the replacement at the State Department of Hillary Clinton by former U.S. Senate climate champion John Kerry, big shots at TransCanada and within the oil and gas industry and the conservative Canadian government cannot be feeling so good these days.

Let's really "make their day" on February 17th, come out in such large numbers that history will record this as a turning point day for the Keystone XL pipeline, all the various tar sands pipeline proposals, the tar sands itself and, indeed, the whole dirty fossil fuel corporate enterprise in North America.

Stop the Frack Attack Convenes

Two weeks after Feb. 17, the no-fracking movement will convene for a national conference right in the belly of the beast of the gas industry, in Dallas, Texas, from March 2-4. Organized by Stop the Frack Attack, the coalition which brought thousands to DC on July 28th last year, this event will be attended by hundreds, not tens of thousands, but it will still be significant. This will be the first major national conference of the movement against fracking that has grown up over the last several years.

As explained at http://stopthefrackattack.org, people from across the US will "attend to share stories, build skills, become better spokespeople, learn about the clean energy alternatives to oil and natural gas, celebrate victories and help build this national movement. We are also organizing a rally on Monday, to welcome the Texas State government back to work and remind them that they work for the people and not the oil and gas industry . . . The Dallas/Fort Worth area represents urban fracking at its worst; as you fly in you can see well pads as far as the eye can see, and once you land you are greeted by a compressor station right outside the airport. Dallas/Fort Worth is also home to many of the oil and gas companies destroying our communities around the country."

Without question, the problems with fracking will be part of what is said from the stage and printed on the signs and banners of those attending the Feb. 17 DC demonstration. President Obama is in serious need of a wake-up call about how problematic fracking is. So far, he has been an unabashed cheerleader for this polluting and destructive industry, not just for those who live near fracking wells or who drink water downriver from them but for the earth.

Fracking leads to significant releases of methane, a greenhouse gas between 72-105 times as powerful as carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after it enters the atmosphere. Recent studies by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that, in Colorado and Utah, there was a 4% and 9% methane leakage rate, respectively, in areas where there are large numbers of gas wells. These leakage rates alone, not counting other methane released over the life cycle of natural gas, make the gas produced in these areas worse than coal as far as greenhouse gas emissions.

Natural gas, however it is produced, is a fossil fuel that when burned and when released into the atmosphere makes our historic task of reducing atmospheric ghg's more difficult. The current "gold rush" to produce fracked gas has without question weakened the absolutely essential, urgent need to move from fossil fuels to clean, jobs-creating, renewable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal.

We need a nationally coordinated, unified movement that recognizes fracking for what it is, that slows and stops the mad rush toward a massive expansion of gas infrastructure intended to dramatically accelerate overseas gas exports, and that works closely with the broader climate and progressive movements to accomplish this absolutely essential goal.



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+9 # brianf 2013-02-09 10:20
If you can't make it to D.C. on 2/17 there is also a rally in San Francisco on the same day at 1PM at One Market Plaza.
 
 
+2 # BLBreck 2013-02-09 18:22
And other rallies in LA, San Diego (I'll be there) and in other states.
 
 
-4 # Walter J Smith 2013-02-09 11:44
What?! "...the replacement at the State Department of Hillary Clinton by former U.S. Senate climate champion John Kerry, big shots at TransCanada and within the oil and gas industry and the conservative Canadian government cannot be feeling so good these days." Where in the world does the idea that Kerry is any less beholden to Wall Street's and to its political puppets' demands than was/is Clinton?

It is disheartening to see such delusions passing as substantive thought. And to think, that is only the worst of the smaller delusions the article panders.

To suppose, as does the overall focus of the article, that Obama gives a fat fart about what any of his non-Wall Street-worshipp ing critics think, and doing so without offering any evidence of why the writer supposes that, is enough to help the reader decide he has something better to do than read this feel-good drivel about the effectiveness of certain concerted actions that have a track record of proving entirely ineffective. How is getting your head cracked a path to enlightenment?

This, of course, means we need to clarify what 'winning' means. And one cannot find in this article any help with that.
 
 
+3 # Eliza D 2013-02-10 13:21
This is so cynical. We have to step up our response to these environmental horrors. What choice do we have? Let them kill our children and grandchildren? My family and I are going to DC next week.
 
 
+6 # HowardMH 2013-02-09 11:58
Who cares if you show up on the mall in DC on Sat. The local vendors love the increased income for sure. However, until there are two hundred thousand really, really pissed off people on Capital Hill (all at the same time – with base ball bats, or 2 x 2s) raising some serious hell against the Lunatics, absolutely nothing is ever, ever going to happen to these totally bought and paid for by the richest 50 people in the world that are becoming more and more powerful with each passing rigged election thanks to the stupid people.
 
 
+5 # HowardMH 2013-02-09 12:04
GLOBAL WARMING
You think maybe, just maybe the stupid politicians will finally recognize global warming and start to actually do something about it instead of listening to Big Oil? Nah will not happen

As one Idiot Senator said how can there be global warming when we can build a snow man and igloo on the mall in Wash DC, which his kids or grand kids actually did a couple years ago. However, the real problem is the millions of idiots that voted for these morons. Until food prices doubles or triples these stupid people will not get it – and by then it just might be too late to stop global warming.
As long as the oil and coal companies continue to own the politicians, nothing is going to change on Capital Hill.
 
 
+6 # Penelope Jencks 2013-02-09 13:08
Sitting back & ranting is even more useless than protesting, "moron"!
 
 
+7 # roger paul 2013-02-09 12:54
Come on folks, our legislators aren't stupid, I would guess that their IQs are average or slightly higher. The problem is not their intelligences, it is their belief system. Many very intelligent people believe irrational things. This is because faith and emotions almost always trump science based facts for these people. Now throw in greed, and power and one begins to understand their irrational behavior. This does not excuse their behavior, but gives us a damn good reason to vote them out of office.
 
 
0 # Vardoz 2013-02-09 13:42
As oil companies are making recod profit we the people are paying tens of billions in damages because of climate change. But they don't care.
 
 
-1 # Doc E 2013-02-09 16:15
Are you aware Big guv makes more $$ off oil via taxes than they make?
 
 
-6 # Doc E 2013-02-09 16:14
First of all, "Big Guv" makes more $$ off of sales taxes than the oil companies do profits. Also, for those who want to reduce their "carbon footprint," they can quit breathing. Climate change, global warming, global cooling are all a ruse to control your life. As we like to say, the environmental movement is the hidden home of socialism.
 
 
+4 # Nominae 2013-02-10 01:50
Quoting Doc E:
First of all, "Big Guv" makes more $$ off of sales taxes than the oil companies do profits. Also, for those who want to reduce their "carbon footprint," they can quit breathing. Climate change, global warming, global cooling are all a ruse to control your life. As we like to say, the environmental movement is the hidden home of socialism.


Baseless claims require proof to be taken seriously.

The above rant represents some *serious* B.S. to those who know (google it) that the Oil Boys don't even pay the Govt.
the ROYALTIES on the extraction that they owe them.

That the GOVT (taxpayers) GIVE the Oil boys 16 BILLION per year in "finders fees" SUBSIDIES. (google Energy Dept. Subsidies to Big Oil).

As for "taxes" and huge corporations, have you *heard of* the CAYMAN ISLANDS ?

So, either you are making some coffee money TROLLING the progressive sites, or you *seriously* need to check your tin foil hat for leaks !
 
 
+6 # Helen 2013-02-09 16:27
I refuse to be as pessimistic as some folks who commented on this article. After experiencing Hurricane Sandy, a record-breaking wild fire season and severe droughts in parts of the midwest, Americans are increasingly aware of the disastrous impacts of global warming. Accord ing to the Environmental Defense Fund, 77% of us now say global warming should be a priority for the President and Congress.

If Obama and Kerry have half the intelligence we credit them for, they will read the recent NASA and NOAA reports, which I believe represent research paid for by American taxpayers. We can no longer let them cater to the fossil fuel barons. If, like me, you can't travel to Washington DC for the rally, write letters and sign petitions. Send donations to the Sierra Club. Do what you CAN do, and do it now. It matters.   
 
 
-5 # aaheart 2013-02-09 21:58
The science is definitely NOT settled, Helen and there is NO consensus other than that manufactured for political propaganda purposes. Global warming is being severely discredited by scientists who are doing what scientists are SUPPOSED to do...be skeptical and seek to verify hypotheses. In a headlong political rush toward solutions, science has been skewed and twisted to fit the funding parameters of patrons. The arctic ice is back, they still have not found the hotspots predicted by the computer models, the new studies of ice cores have revealed that temperature is the cause of the increase in CO2, not the effect. Political action ought to follow sound science instead of driving junk science.
 
 
+1 # Nominae 2013-02-10 22:14
Quoting aaheart:
The science is definitely NOT settled, ... The arctic ice is back....... the new studies of ice cores have revealed that temperature is the cause of the increase in CO2, not the effect. Political action ought to follow sound science instead of driving junk science.


Part I

We should all follow sound science and ignore junk science, including you. Spending centuries pumping TONS of CO2 into the atmosphere did NOTHING, but a rise in TEMPERATURE caused the present day levels ? Is this "science" straight from a handout you got at EXXON-MOBILE ? It is foolish on the face of it, the "science" be damned !

The only place the "science is definitely NOT settled" is in the United States where The Extraction Industries buy "Tobacco Scientists" in an effort to delay the inevitable regulatory action against them.

Thus the 97% of global scientists in agreement with the FACTS of global climate change.

Global warming is NOWHERE being discredited by scientists not employed by big Extraction industries. (google it)

And given the massive Forest Fires, Floods, Hurricanes, Droughts, etc taking place ALL OVER THE WORLD, there is precious little NEED to study the minutiae of a scientific report. All one need DO is to look out the WINDOW !

Cont'd
 
 
+1 # Nominae 2013-02-10 22:19
@ aaheart

Part II

The only way it can be accurately said that the "Arctic Ice is back", is if one were ignorant of the fact that, now, as it never did before, Arctic Ice "comes and goes". In January, it is indeed back. However, in July it will again be gone.

For the history of the globe since mankind has been on board, the Arctic Ice has been present *all year*. No break. That's why explorers of the 19th Century died in search of what was then a non-existent path over the pole.

This ice is now GONE EVERY summer and returns in the winter. This is the reason for the fact that the U.S., Russia, Denmark, and Canada are laying claims to the newly exposed ocean floor for the resources now accessible. Each of the above countries is also gearing up to protect their claims with military force. This is also why shipping is now humming across the North Pole during the summer months from Europe to Asia and back.

Governments don't spend that kind of money on resources no one can touch.

Shipping magnates don't spend that kind of money shipping via impassable routes.

Cont'd
 
 
+1 # Nominae 2013-02-10 22:20
@ aaheart

Part III

In addition, a trip to Alaska or Montana will show anyone (with assistance from the park rangers) the actual pictures and/or places of glaciers that were here until very recently, and then a picture or the same actual place now with nothing on it but rocks.

Those who cannot believe "the numbers" can go look at the direct and irrefutable evidence. That is, those who are *interested* in the evidence as opposed to being committed to regurgitating the "talking points" put out by EXXON-MOBIL.

Follow the money. Do Scientists have some huge prize to gain by faking the facts ? How about Oil Companies ?
 
 
-3 # aaheart 2013-02-09 21:50
Yes focus on REAL environmental issues like fracking and the enormous pollution of aquifers and disturbance of deep strata in the earth. Don't expect much movement by Obama on that because the amount of oil and natural gas in the Bakken field would make the USA the top oil-producing nation on the planet. The wealth that will create and the political power that will come from that would be too tempting to Obama to miss. The end of the economic depression would drive his poll numbers to the top of the charts, enough for him to emulate FDR in his grasp for power and lead to successive terms in 2916 and beyond.
 
 
0 # tm7devils 2013-02-09 23:22
He didn't put the heads of the 1%ers on the chopping block for nearly destroying the American financial system and costing the 99%ers billions...what makes anyone think he will act against them now?
And what do you think you can do if he doesn't?...not elect him again...
 

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