We anticipate a replay of this congressional pressure in early 2015 as the Republican-controlled Congress will no doubt try again, with the risk of pushing such a bill through much more likely. Normally, Keystone XL would require approval from the President to be built. Congress was trying to take that authority away — and force it to be built. They failed, but clearly will try again. Now the ball is back in President Obama's — and our — court. He has said that he will reject the pipeline if he finds it contributes to climate change (which it obviously does), and so we need to put people power to work again to tell him to reject the pipeline now. 350.org is asking us to please tell President Obama that it's time to reject Keystone XL! Click here to send a message to the President. Your calls have made the difference in the past; let’s keep working together to make history.
The concept? Bring together climate activists from around the state and provide them with ideas, policy guidance, and inspiration to implement a specific local climate/clean energy goal that fits a particular community. The full-day conference will include presentations on specific Maine success stories and models, as well as training on effective community organizing strategies.This conference is the launch of Sierra’s own climate action team program, but attending could help energize local 350 Maine nodes or build a node with Sierra Club Maine where one does not yet exist! RSVP HERE. [Image: http://grassrootsresearchrocks.wordpress.com/]
Reader/speaker: We give thanks to all the waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms-‐waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of Water. All respond: Now our minds are one.
It is a powerful address and one you may want to use for this holiday feast, when we celebrate working together for survival. And in the spirit of one mind, may you have a good Thanksgiving. [Image: Penobscot River; MaineFishingAdventures.com]
- “The Climate Made Me Do It” from the Boston Globe
- “Ecosystem Files to Defend Legal Rights to Exist and Flourish” from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
- “Does Walmart Have a Dirty Energy Secret?” from InsideClimateNews
- Will a Change in Leadership Impact Bakken Transport Safety? from Railway Age
- MoveOn petition to press Senator McConnell to reconsider Senator Inhofe as chair of the Environmental and Public Works Committee
- Global Vigil for Climate Agreement, sponsored by OurVoices, a joint project of The Conservation Foundation in the UK and Green Faith in the USA. The global vigil, organized in individual communities, would be witness to and support world leaders gathering in Lima, Peru to pursue an agreement on climate change. Vigil organizer, has resources, including an opportunity to support a solar lights for Africa project. For info/resources go to ourvoices.net/lima.
- Nov. 30, Greater Portland (location TBD): Tar Sands Team meeting, 4-7 p.m. FMI: Sarah Lachance.
- Dec. 3, Falmouth: 350 Greater Portland meeting, 6:00–8:00 p.m., Friends School. Carpool Message Board
- Dec. 6, Augusta: 350 Maine Spokescouncil meeting, Mediation Center, King Street; 3:00–6:00 pm. Spokescouncil representatives and their alternates may attend.
- Dec. 11, Portland: 350 Maine Arts for Climate Change, 6:00–9:00 p.m., Becky’s Diner, Portland
- Dec. 13, Augusta: 350 Maine Convergence 3 meeting. This group consists of representatives from each node and campaign team, and addresses issues related to organizational structure in preparation for our statewide general meeting. We are limiting our numbers to three reps per group in order to facilitate dialog and decision-making.
Calling on Collins to Say No to Keystone XL Pipeline
Call Senator Susan Collins today! In an effort to circumvent the Obama administration to seek approval for the Keystone XL pipeline, the U.S. Senate may vote as early as Tuesday on whether the proposed project should move forward. Senator Susan Collins has voted twice in favor of the project. And though she agrees that human activity is a primary cause of climate change, her environmental record fails to reflect that understanding.
Will you please take a moment to call her today and ask that she reconsider her vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline? You’ll find suggested talking points and phone numbers to use here. This is also a good time to thank Senator Angus King for his opposition to KXL in the past and to ask him to reach across the aisle to Senator Collins, encouraging her to also vote no. A script and phone numbers for Senator King are here as well. Thank you for your ongoing advocacy and support, and for helping to make these critical calls. 350 Greater Portland is holding a vigil in protest against the Keystone XL pipeline this Sunday from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in Congress Square in Portland. You’re invited to join them. [Image: AP]
350 Maine Divestment Shines in the UK
The United Kingdom magazine Resurgence & Ecologist recently contacted 350 Maine for permission to use the divestment banner we take to our rallies. Apparently a photo of the banner in use caught the editor’s eye. After some quick work to get a suitable image (thank you, Meaghan lasala), we sent off the image. You can see it on the righthand side of the e-zine page; in the print version it leads the article! Way to have art, and Artists Rapid Response Team!, share our message. [Image ARRT! & 350 Maine]
Tar Sands Mining: Un-Grounded, Un-Earthed, and Un-Believable
350 Maine’s three Healing Walk participants will be giving a presentation on their experience of the Alberta tar sands at the Midcoast Friends Meetinghouse (77 Belvedere Rd., Damariscotta) on Sunday, November 23, at 12:30 p.m. “In Maine, folks don’t look at things through the NIMBY lens very often. Learning about the environmental injustices happening up in Alberta Canada to First Nations people and their way of life is enough for them to get involved,” said Sarah Lachance, a walker and co-coordinator of 350 Maine’s Tar Sands Team. This event is sponsored by the Midcoast Outreach and Peace Center. Lee Chisholm, Freeport; Hilary Clark, York, and Sarah Lachance, Cape Porpoise, will discuss their impressions of tar sands mining’s impacts on people, especially First nations people, place, and planet. FMI call 207-563-3757.
- “KXL Pipeline Approval Bills Advance in Congress” from Scientific American
- “Obama says position on Keystone XL Pipeline has not changed” from Reuters
- “Keystone pipeline to get vote in Congress” from the BBC
- “Why We Need a Steady-State Economy” from Christian Council for Monetary Justice
Save the Date
- Nov. 16, Belfast: Climate vigil, corner of High and Main Streets, noon to 1:00 p.m. rain or shine. FMI contact Bob.
- Nov. 16, Portland: Anti-Keystone XL pipeline vigil, Congress Square, noon to 1:00 p.m. rain or shine. FMI contact Lee.
- Nov. 19, Belfast: 350 Waldo County meeting, third floor conference room, Belfast Free Library, 6:30-8:00 p.m. FMI contact Heidi (207-382-6477, email@example.com)
- Nov. 20, Portland: The Role of Language in Human Ecology, University of Southern Maine, Southworth Planetarium, 7:00 p.m.
- Nov. 30, TBD: Please fill out this Doodle Poll so that the Tar Sands Team can determine where and what time to meet for a face-to-face on Nov. 30: http://doodle.com/w8fp7dxp6qt68gdm. All invited!
- Dec. 6, Brunswick: Maine Local Climate Action Conference, Bowdoin College, PLACE, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Co-sponsored by 350 Greater Portland and Sierra Club Maine Chapter. Register here. FMI contact Bob.
Rise Up Singing
It’s a gray morning and the election results have most reasonable folks feeling down. One bright spot on the elections: 350 Maine’s Billy Rixon is now a Freeport Town Councilor; congratulations, Billy!
This is an important time to remember that we have survived four years of Governor LePage and we can survive four more. We know the forces against which we will combine; we know we have no reason for complacency and we can’t relax. All good information to keep in mind! Today WERU community radio played “Rise Up Singing” and I thought what a great bit of advice for all of us. We have not been defeated; we have defined the field. Anybody ready for a Keystone XL pipeline resistance action and perhaps arrest? Gotta believe that will be coming up fast on our horizon. —from Heidi Brugger
Let the Sun Shine
In a recent spate of emails we learned that communities around the state are jumping on the solar bandwagon. It was quite a lift to read that—
- South Portland is considering a solar array on the city landfill,
- Paris is the site of Maine’s first solar farm,
- Belfast is installing PVs (photovoltaics) on its fire house,
- Hotels in Boothbay are investing in solar,
- York is putting PVs on the York Beach Fire Station and the middle school,
- South Berwick is installing solar on its library,
- Mt. Abrams ski resort recently announced commissioning of a 244.915 Kw, 803 panel, photovoltaic solar project,
- Freeport wants to explore a solar farm for the community, and Auburn has also expressed interest..
- Efficiency Maine is discussing replicating the Boothbay solar grid project in other communities in the state.
This is a lot of incredible energy for renewables in our state. And the bandwagon has room for more. Phil Coupe, founder of Revision Energy, welcomes inquires about how to get your town in on this action. He recommends contacting Jen Hatch (firstname.lastname@example.org, 207-221-6342). Sarah Lachance suggested that we may want to create a 350 Maine Solutions campaign team. This could be the time! (Image: Portland Press Herald)
Energy East Pipeline Update
350 Maine joined forces with Sierra Club Maine Chapter, Environment Maine and the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) to launch a campaign to warn northern and eastern Maine residents about possible environmental harms from a $10.8 billion crude oil pipeline proposed by TransCanada. The Energy East pipeline could carry about 1.1 million barrels of oil per day over 2,860 miles to reach New Brunswick and, as it passes around Maine, could come within 20 miles of the border.
The coalition of environmental groups warns that a spill from such a pipeline could pollute tributaries of the St. John River. They also warned that the project threatens to speed up climate change by bolstering tar sands production. As NRCM’s Emmie Theberge of NRCM notes, “The proposed Energy East pipeline would still threaten to pollute our waters and air, and send our climate past its tipping point. It would be totally unacceptable for a huge new tar sands pipeline just across the border in Canada to threaten the St. John’s water quality, wildlife habitat, and recreational resources.” Adds 350 Maine’s Sarah Lachance, “The Energy East pipeline would allow further destruction of this land [Alberta], its people, and the planet through climate change. I think it’s fair to say that lots of Mainers join people across Canada opposing the proposed Energy East pipeline.”
Anti-Infrastructure Arrests Around the Nation
More than 60 people were arrested in recent days while conducting non-violent civil disobedience actions in New York, Rhode Island, Maryland, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. The DC protests targeted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in DC for its continued bowing to industry pressure, rubber-stamping permits for fracking as well as pipeline and LNG export facilities regardless of environmental and health impacts. Climate impacts are not part of FERC’s review processes. Rhode Island protesters conducted a sit-in in Senator Jack Reed’s offices opposing the SPECTRA natural gas pipeline, which runs throughout New England. (Image: DCMedia Group)
Considering a Carbon Tax
The Pricing Carbon Initiative is calling for people to hold post-election events that promote the goal of enacting “legislation that puts a price on carbon pollution and returns revenues to the American people, either directly or by reducing taxes.” The Citizens’ Climate Lobby and many of those involved in state-level carbon tax efforts are encouraging people to participate in these events. 350 Maine is invited to one such event—a potluck meeting on Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Brunswick home of Patty and John Newlin from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m.. John is one of the people heading up the Citizens’ Climate Lobby in Maine. The meeting will begin with an optional woods walk from 4:00 to 4:30 p.m. (please bring blaze orange wear if you have it). If you plan to attend, let the Newlins know by RSVPing. Click here for directions and here for a short video about the Pricing Carbon Initiative events on Nov. 14-16 across the United States.
- U.N. Panel Issues Its Starkest Warning Yet on Global Warming by Justin Gillis
- Keystone XL activist gets his day in court from Grist
- Inside the Koch Brothers’ toxic empire” from The Rolling Stone
- Citizens’ Climate Lobby focuses on a revenue-neutral carbon tax. 350 Bangor suggests checking out the national website which is loaded with info on the national struggle.
- Super Typhoon Nuri brings warm winter in Alaska and cold in the continental US from StormWatch 7 WeatherBlog
- Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainability (CLAS) has an interesting exercise called Scenario Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change. The site also has links to innovative online tools for analyzing climate and climate change, such as the Climate Reanalyzer, which is an amazing resource!
Save the Date
- Nov. 8, Winthrop: 350 Maine Convergence Part 2, Winthrop Center Friends Church,10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. For regional nodes and campaign representatives.
- Nov. 9, Waterville: 350 Central Maine meeting, upstairs in the Universalist-Unitarian Church, Silver Street, 11:30 a.m.
- Nov. 9, Portland: Climate Justice Vigil, Congress Square, noon to 1:00 p.m. Nov. 11, Your phone: Tar Sands Team conference call, 7:00 p.m. Number: 1-213-550-2200; Participant Access Code: 317-1692#
- Nov. 12, Falmouth: 350 Greater Portland meeting, Friends School, Mackworth Island, 6:00-8:00 p.m. FMI contact Lee.
- Nov. 16, Belfast: Climate vigil, corner of High and Main Streets, noon to 1:00 p.m. rain or shine. FMI contact Bob.
- Nov. 30, TBD: Please fill out this Doodle Poll so that the Tar Sands Team can determine where and what time to meet for a face-to-face on Nov. 30: All invited!
Beyond Extreme Energy Call to Action
A group of activists from around New England and a bit beyond met recently in Upstate New York to discuss and strategize resistance to corporate and government plans to expand natural gas pipelines in Massachusetts and New York for export. As part of that planning, the group is calling for a week of actions starting November 1 in Washington, DC at the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) offices. 350 Maine is supporting the call and endorsing the action. For more on the Beyond Extreme Energy, click here. If you are interested in going to DC to act, please contact Bob Shaw.
Canoes vs. Coal
On Friday, October 17, the 350 Pacific Climate Warriors paddled out into the Port of Newcastle in Australia, and came head to head with gigantic coal ships. It truly was David versus Goliath. Using hand carved canoes, the Warriors and dozens of Australians in kayaks were able to prevent 10 scheduled ships from passing through the Newcastle coal port. But most importantly, the Warriors stood tall and their message was heard loud and clear: they are not drowning, they are fighting. You can witness this powerful action by watching the video. At the request of 350.org, people around the globe stood in solidarity with the Pacific Climate Warriors, including a group of those at the Justice for the River event on Indian Island that was on Saturday, Oct. 18. By the way, Justice for the River raised $10,000 for Penobscot legal defense of the river!
TransCanada a Leader in Combating Climate Change?
Yes, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project. The Carbon Disclosure Project, or CDP, is a United Kingdom-based nonprofit that works with companies to tally and report their greenhouse gas emissions. TransCanada was one of five energy sector companies included on the "A List" in this year's report. Each year, company responses are analyzed and scored against two parallel scoring schemes: performance and disclosure. The CDP report focuses solely on performance and includes only those companies that enter the Climate Performance Leadership Index (CPLI) and achieve the highest ‘A’ band. According to the CDP, its Climate Performance Leadership Index 2014 reveals which companies around the world are doing the most to combat climate change. But one has to wonder how the companies that are doing the most to promote climate disruption are also the ones doing the most to combat it! The criteria are geared toward investors and helping the deep pockets figure out who is looking beyond the short term for profitability. You can view the report in its entirety here.
“A Fierce Green Fire”—film and discussion
Our colleagues at Sierra Club Maine Chapter are sponsoring a two-part screening of “A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet,” at Belfast Free LIbrary (106 High St.), Part 1 shows Wednesday, October 29, at 6:00 p.m. The film focuses on activism, people fighting to save their homes, the future and succeeding against all odds. Part 2 of the film will be shown on December 10, same time, and place. The two showings are designed to permit discussion after each one; post-film discussion will be led by Becky Bartovics, Sierra Club Maine Chapter Co-Chair. FMI contact email@example.com.
Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything
Many of 350 Maine’s members have snatched up copies of Naomi Klein’s latest book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism versus The Climate. It’s an inspiring if demanding read. You don’t have to spend big bucks to access it—we recommend book-sharing and public libraries as sources. If you can’t wait or want a taste of the full tome, you can read a “digest” version of it in a recent issue of The Nation. This could be a great winter discussion group text!
Save the Date
Nov. 1, TBA: Tar sands campaign meeting, location TBD, 3:00-6:00 p.m. FMI contact Sarah or Bob.
Nov. 2, Durham: 350 Maine Spokescouncil meeting, Durham Friends Meetinghouse, 3:00 p.m.
Nov. 4, your town: Vote, keeping in mind where candidates stand on energy and justice issues!
Nov, 8, Winthrop: 350 Maine Convergence: Part 2, Winthrop Friends Meetinghouse, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., for representatives of regional nodes and campaigns.
Nov. 14, Hallowell: Annual Community Food Council Summit, Maple Hill Farm. Sponsored by Maine Network of Community Food Councils. Keynote speaker: Erin Lane, USDA Northeast Climate Hub. Register here.
Air travel is the fastest growing contributor to climate change—over the period 2002–2050 the overall contribution of air travel to climate change is expected to increase from 3.5% to 6–10%. Flying produces a lot more CO₂ than any other mode of travel. What's more the CO₂ released in the upper atmosphere is far more damaging than that released on the ground.
Choosing not to fly is an immediate and very effective way of reducing your contribution to climate disruption.
Change can be challenging so we are starting this change by targeting frequent, casual, short-distance, short-break, leisure flights—flights that are only possible because they are cheap; flights that are disproportionately polluting because most of the fuel is used getting to cruising height and then almost immediately landing; journeys that can easily be made by rail.
Sign up to the pledge and make an impact! Then send us photos of yourself and your family and friends using rail or ridesharing or whatever other means you choose to replace air travel!
Maine Youth Gather for Climate Justice
For more photos from this event click here!
Last weekend marked an exciting turn for the college activist community in Maine as five colleges, College of the Atlantic, Colby College, University of Maine-Orono, Unity College, Bowdoin College, and the University of Southern Maine-Portland, met under the coalition Generation Climate Convergence at USM. The event was sponsored by Pine Tree Youth Organizing, 350 Maine, and Maine Students for Climate Justice, which is the group formed by the students who participated. Workshops were offered on various aspects of climate justice work, from direct action techniques, to campus divestment basics, to water justice rights.
The magnum opus of the weekend was an evocative, matter-of-fact, and heart-wrenching speech delivered by indigenous lawyer/activist Sherri Mitchell, a first-generation Penobscot. Her talk made no bones about the horrific state of affairs that is the Keystone XL Pipeline, whose launching point in central Alberta is travelling through the boreal taiga forests that predominate the area. Both the wildlife and First Nations tribes are watching in helpless despair as their water is poisoned, land destroyed, and citizens evacuated for the sole purpose of tar sands extraction to perpetuate the iniquitous juggernaut of capitalism. Her speech, the workshops, and the sheer solidarity has inspired and empowered students to converge their individual and collective talents and resources to create the mission of Maine Students for Climate Justice.
350 Maine Bike Brigade to the PCM Reports Back
September 21 and 22 were powerful days of activity charged by climate change activism, both in New York and in solidarity all across the globe. Over 1,000 Mainers made the trek – by bike, car, train and bus. 350 Maine supporters Bob Klotz and Dave Oakes covered the 350 mile distance from South Portland to Manhattan by bikes, connecting with other cyclists from across New England (and the country), reinforcing an emphasis on solutions and what is possible in confronting climate change.
For more detail about the bike brigade and to share your experiences – please see this link. People in Maine and around the country continue to engage around the PCM by planning for the future through sustained action and solidarity. Your involvement is essential to ensure that the momentum of the PCM continues to grow, resulting in the change that we so desperately need, so be sure to keep up to date on upcoming climate related events and actions around Maine by visiting the 350 Maine calendar here.
- National Climate Assessment by GlobalClimateChange.gov
- Climate Moms (and Dads) Fight Global Warming by Anne C. Mulkern and ClimateWire
- Climate Change Has Raised Ocean Acidity by a Quarter by AFP
- Climate change writer and activist Bill McKibben offers insights, hope at UMaine by Lauren Abbate
- Yeb Sano sets off on 1000km Philippines climate march by Ed King
- If These 35,000 Walruses Can't Convince You Climate Change Is Real, I Don't Know What to Tell You by Tim McDonnell
- Climate policy: Ditch the 2 °C warming goal by David G. Victor & Charles F. Kennel
- Here’s Who To Blame For America’s Increased Contribution To Global Warming In 2013 by Emily Atkin
Calling All Youth for Generation Climate Convergence
The climate crisis is all too real—perhaps more so for youth who have inherited this crisis and will deal with it for decades to come. The Generation Climate Convergence on October 4-5 (this weekend), at the Univ. of Southern Maine's Portland Campus, is a chance for high school and college youth to figure out how to solve the crisis in sustainable ways and bring justice with solutions. Some food and housing will be provided.
There will be mentorship and workshops on topics including climate justice, school and campus sustainability, grassroots activism and community organizing, media, agriculture, and much more. Do you connect with any of these topics? Interested in hosting a workshop on another topic? Please fill out this: Workshop Proposal. The planning team will try to give you the support to make it happen. Register for the Generation Climate Convergence: here. FMI, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. 350 Maine is a co-sponsor for the Generation Climate Convergence along with Pine Tree Youth Organizing and Maine Students for Climate Justice.
Indigenous Rights Lawyer and Activist Sherri Mitchell at USM
Please join Maine Students for Climate Justice for a keynote presentation from indigenous rights lawyer and activist Sherri Mitchell. This event is free and open to the public. It will be at the Talbot Lecture Hall, in the Luther Bonney building, on the USM Portland Campus, Saturday October 4th from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.. Sherri Mitchell is the Executive Director of the Land Peace Foundation. She was born on the Penobscot Reservation at Indian Island, Maine and has been working for many years as an activist, lawyer and advocate of indigenous rights.
Bill McKibben speaks at UMO October 7
Bill McKibben, one of the founders of 350.org and noted environmental journalist, will be in Maine. He’ll speak about “Making a Life on a Tough New Planet” at the University of Maine’s Collins Center for the Arts on Tuesday, Oct. 7. The lecture, which runs from 3:30–5:00 p.m., is hosted by the UMaine Honors College. The Honors Read for 2014–2015 is McKibben’s book, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. The Q&A period should be terrific! The event is free and open to the public.
Justice for the River! champions the Penobscot
The Penobscot River has been under siege by the State of Maine and the Penobscots are working to maintain their right to the river with which they share a name. The Penobscot Nation is inviting us to learn more about their battle with Maine in Penobscot Nation v. Mills, and hear about the watershed, which is threatened by the proposed East-West Corridor crossing it, a proposed 600-900-acre dump north of Indian Island and near Birch Stream, oil trains crossing the river en route to the New Brunswick Irving refinery, and a legal challenge from the State of Maine to Penobscot jurisdiction of their river.
Saturday, October 18 from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. the Penobscots are holding a concert, speak out and fundraiser named “Justice for the River!” at the Sockalexis Arena on Indian Island. The event includes a silent auction (2-6 p.m.), a children’s art table, and a food court. Drumming by Alamoosic Lake. Musicians include Timbered Lake, Peter Neils, Eric Green, Mitchell and Mann with special guest Nick Bear and Nikoa Parsons, and featuring Grammy-Award-Winning Joanne Shenandoah.
Suggested donation is $20 at the door. If you can’t come but would like to support the Penobscot Nation River Defense Fund, click here. On behalf of the River, kci woliwoni ("great thanks").
“Dear Matafele Peinem" a poem by Poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, from the Marshall Islands.
- “Amid Climate Change Backlash, Even Oil Companies Are Dumping ALEC Now” by Emily Atikin
- “Burn Notice” a segment from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
- “Global Warming Pollution on the Rise, CO2 Set to Hit 40 Billion Tons in 2014” by Chris Rose
- “U.S. carbon emissions rise despite Obama climate plan” by Wendy Koch
- “Scientists to Explain 'Climate at Your Doorstep' at New Online Hub” by Lisa Song
- “8 reasons for hope: Our top take-aways from Climate Week” by Nat Keohane
- “Naomi Klein on how fossil fuels threaten our ability to have healthy children” by Indre Viskontas
- “No, economic growth and climate stability do not go hand-in-hand” by Sam Bliss
$50 Billion in Assets Divested from Fossil Fuel Sector
The Global Divest Coalition announced on Monday that the group of foundations and investors intends to divest from fossil fuel holdings. The decision was attributed to the threat of climate change and “the irresponsible behavior of the oil, coal, and natural gas companies,” according to a report by Common Dreams. The pledge represents a total of $50 billion in assets that will be removed from the fossil fuel sector and placed in clean energy investments instead. While the coalition admits that its action won’t change the profitability of the fossil fuel sector, it acknowledges that the move could help create more interest in others following suit.
350 Maine was there,
(Image: Jason Linneken)
(Image: Bob Klotz)
coming by bike ...
and many by bus
(Image: Sass Linneken)
Estimates of the marchers kept increasing throughout the day—100,000, then 300,000, then more than 400,000 people flooded the streets of New York for the People's Climate March, billed as the largest demonstration of its kind in history. 350.org’s Jamie Henn characterized the event as "beautiful in a way we couldn't have imagined." You might like Democracy Now’s coverage of the march. We especially enjoyed the Massachusetts District Attorney marching with Jay O'Hara and Ken Ward—fulfillment of a pledge made at the lobster boat trial. 350 Maine was there in force along with many others from Maine, biking to NYC, attending workshops on divestment, volunteering to be marshals, etc. Some were part of the flood Wall Street action on Monday and others participated in the tar sands projection event at the Canadian Embassy.
Awesome Solidarity in Auburn too!
Rainy skies could not keep people away from marching in solidarity in Auburn and Lewiston on Sunday. Between 50 and 60 people came from far and wide; Portland, Naples, Farmington, Waldoboro, Brunswick Freedom and more were represented. People were in parade regalia and chanted as they marched across the Androscoggin River and assembled at the Festival Plaza in Auburn for a group photo. (Image: Heidi Brugger)
Trial Results for Maine Activists
The court decision regarding the restitution sentencing remains in place for Sylvia Stormwalker and Betsy Catlin. They both testified that they expected the police to cut their locks and not the doors of the TD Bank in Monument Square. In January of this year the two locked themselves to the doors to protest TD Bank’s investments in tar sands and to mark the start up of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. They had asked to have the court waive the restitution portion of their fine but now must pay for the doors’ replacement.
The Auburn train action participants Doug Bowen and Jessie Dowling were tried in Androscoggin Superior Court on September 15. The defendants had one trial but two juries, a request granted by the court due to Bowen’s previous arrest at the Fairfield train blockade in June 2013. Bowen’s jury found him guilty of criminal trespass on Pan Am railway property; he was fined $100 plus $40 in court fees and charges. Dowling’s jury was deadlocked and the court declared it a mistrial. A key component of the defense was the issue of police procedure regarding clear warning of violation and the announcement of arrest pending failure to obey. Denial of competing harms defense meant that Bowen and Dowling could not reveal their motivation for their actions, which was to raise awareness of the immanent danger rail transport of Bakken crude presented to the Auburn community.
Rally to End Violence in Bangor September 27
One week after many Mainers joined hundreds of thousands of people for the People’s Climate March in New York City, they are being invited to march again, this time to connect the dots between climate destruction, poverty, and war. As part of the national Campaign Nonviolence, the public is invited to gather this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on the Bangor waterfront for End Violence Together. The rally will feature drumming, speakers, and music followed by a march through downtown and a closing ceremony. This public action, one of more than 170 being held across the country, is co-sponsored by some 38 Maine organizations including 350 Bangor and 350 Maine. Leading the march will be Peter Baldwin on the big drum. Call 942-9343 for more information. In case of rain on Saturday, organizational tables and rally will be held at the Union Street Brick Church.
Save the Date
- Oct. 3, Orono: Michelle Obama at rally to benefit Michaud, UMO Collins Center for the Arts, Questions? Email or call 207.504.5494. Great for street-side bird-dogging!
- Oct. 4-5, South Portland: Generation Climate Convergence for high school and college youth.
- Oct. 7, Orono: Bill McKibben speaks about “Making a Life on a Tough New Planet” at the UMO Collins Center for the Arts. Lecture from 3:30–5 p.m. Hosted by the UMaine Honors College.
- Oct. 10-20, a path through Maine: Maine Walk For Peace & A Sustainable Future.
- Oct. 11: Global Frackdown
Speak Out Against Oil-By-Rail and Do It Soon!
The deadline for comments on the Obama Administration’s proposed regulations for oil trains is September 30.That’s the last day to say that these changes don't do enough to protect our communities. Right now millions of gallons of highly flammable crude oil is being transported near our homes, offices, and schools in tank cars so unsafe the US Department of Transportation has declared them an “imminent hazard” to the public. The administration's new rules should fix this problem, but instead they cater too much to the oil industry, which has fought half a dozen life-saving measures. Their reason—the oil industry doesn't want to pay to make these trains safer. If you didn't already sign the petition, please do so now to send a powerful message to the Obama administration: We demand stronger rules to stop exploding oil trains.
Maine’s Generation Convergence Needs a Place to Sleep
Generation Climate Convergence preparations are going well, but we need some help finding housing for Saturday night, Oct. 4. Please review the Google form and send it to friends/family in the Portland area that would be interested/available to provide moderate housing! FMI contact Iris at 233-0866.
People’s Climate Is More Than Just a March—How to Plug In
There is so much networking to do to strengthen our movement, so much to learn from each other and some serious direct action necessary. Check out the important events below that will help us all make the People's Climate events more than just a march!
Consider the Climate Convergence (Sept. 19-21), more than 100 workshops taking place in churches, gardens, community centers and on two university campuses in Lower Manhattan, all aimed at finding real alternatives and developing action plans that transform the system, rather than accept it. The convergence will include hub meet ups for the following hubs: Tar Sands, Indigenous Peoples, Public Health, Vegans, Bike Bloc, Elders, Boston, California, Fracking, White Anti-Racist Climate Activists, Climate Impacted Shorefront Communities and Great March for Climate Action. FMI and for schedule visit http://convergeforclimate.org/.
On Monday, September 22 at 9:00 a.m., thousands of people will gather at Battery Park in Lower Manhattan to confront the root cause of the climate crisis—an economic system based on exploiting frontline communities, workers and natural resources. Wearing blue to represent the sea that surrounds us, we rise to the steps of the NY Stock Exchange at 12:00 p.m., flooding the area with our bodies in a massive sit-in—a collective act of nonviolent civil disobedience—to confront the system that both causes and profits from the crisis that is threatening humanity. Through the power of people taking collective action we will build an economy based on justice and sustainability, and stopping the climate crisis. Full call to action and information here: http://floodwallstreet.net.
Last-Minute Ways to Build Buzz for the March
As we gear up to the big day, here are some ways we could increase excitement and participation at the last minute. In New York City the climate march organizers conducted a culture jam this past Friday. Our situation in Maine is different but we can take a page from NYC and adapt these buzz building actions/events to a location near one of us! This link takes you to the details for Friday’s events with ways to build buzz through social media and more. Just in case you haven't seen it, we’ll whet your appetite with "5 Things Anyone Can Do on Social Media to Promote the March."
➢ “...High times for the fracked gas industry” according to Standard & Poor's from Global Credit Portal.
➢ “Obama Administration releases weak proposed rules on Crude by rail,” from desmogblog.com
➢ “Fleeing energy forum for NASCAR promotion says much about LePage” from the Portland Press Herald.
➢ Climate flags! 350 Maine has this one, a gift from the designer Joan Bernier, but there are others (www.careaboutclimate.com and www.climateflag.com). Spontaneous idea!
Save the Date
❏ Sept. 16, via phone: Tar sands campaign phone conference, 7:00 p.m. Conference Dial-in Number: 1-213-550-2200; Participant Access Code: 317-1692#. Developing Agenda link.
❏ Sept. 17, Belfast: “Gasland 2,” 6:00 p.m., Abbot Room, Belfast Free Library. Part of the Peace and Justice Group of Waldo County’s monthly community forum series. Admission is free (donations accepted); discussion will follow. FMI contact Bob Shaw at 338-4450.
❏ Sept. 19-21, Unity: Common Ground Fair. Visit the 350 Maine booth in the Environmental Concerns tent.
❏ Sept. 21, New York: People’s Climate March.
❏ Sept. 21, Auburn: People’s Climate Solidarity Parade, 1:00 p.m. FMI contact Wendy at 777-1980.
❏ Sept. 23, Bangor: 350’s movie “Disruption,” 6:00-8:00 p.m., Bangor Public Library. Cosponsored by 350 Bangor and Maine Chapter of Global Solutions.org. FMI contact Lee Davis (207-866-4785).
❏ Sept. 26-28, Bryant Pond: GrassRoots Organizing Workshops (GROW)—scroll to bottom of page FMI.
❏ Sept. 27, Bangor: End Violence Together Rally/March, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Cosponsored by 350 Bangor and 350 Maine.
People’s Climate Parade in Auburn Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
It’s definite—there will be a People’s Climate March solidarity parade in Auburn on Sunday, September 21—rain or shine! The parade will start at 1:00 p.m. and take a mile-and-a-half route linking Auburn and Lewiston, crossing the Androscoggin twice to do it. The parade is an opportunity to show the impact of climate disruption using banners and costumes. We invite participants to come as displaced species—polar bears, penguins, puffins, humans, etc. We will include a section for species that are invading Maine—think green crabs, Japanese beetles, deer ticks, etc. We want to wrap up the parade line with costumes, banners and signs that focus on peace, possibilities, and solutions. There will be some costumes and banners available for those who want to parade but don’t have time to make something. For more information or to sign up to participate (we have a job for everyone!), contact Wendy (207-777-1980). A big shout-out to Wendy Schlotterbeck, Lisa Ravis, and Heidi Brugger for making a solidarity parade happen!
A Few Words on Buses to People’s Climate March
Everyone is talking about buses to the climate march—buses leaving early, buses staying late, buses from farther north, etc. Unfortunately there is no central information hub for Maine buses to NYC. 350 Maine has had limited success with self-directed car-pool spreadsheets, so we are trying a self-directed and managed bus spreadsheet. Here’s the link to the new hub.
- If you are on one of the buses that are listed and have details, please email the bus captain or leave comments for bus captains to add to the spreadsheet.
- If you are aware of other buses, please send the information to Heidi to add and make sure that you provide a contact so that she can track down someone for more info on a particular bus. (Image: Suzanna Lasker)
Phone Banking Builds Bus Riders
To make sure that we are making good use of resources, we need to fill the buses we’ve reserved for the march in New York city. Willow Femmechild is convening a coalition effort to call and drum up bus rider commitments. Phone banking is on Sunday, September 14, at the Allen Avenue UU church (524 Allen Avenue, Portland 04103) from 5:30-8:00 p.m. The church is set back from the road, from the intersection of Washington Avenue go east/north on Allen Avenue (toward Falmouth), when you come to a dip down in the road that is where you turn left at the church sign. Come up the path to the right as you are standing in the parking lot, the door will be open at this end of the church for you to enter. Phone bankers meet for calling in the back rooms of the church. If you can come, contact Willow at 317-6531 (cell). Please bring your fully charged cell phones with you for making calls!
Live Streaming the March at Common Ground Fair
350 Maine will be at MOFGA’s Common Ground Country Fair all three days (9/19-21). We are working on a live stream from the People’s Climate March to be shown at our booth in the Environmental Concerns tent at the Common Ground Country Fair 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help staff the booth! This fair is our annual opportunity to reach out to an estimated 60,000 people with our message about climate disruption and just and sustainable ways we can address this issue together. Be sure to stop by if you go to the fair; it’s also a good chance to catch up with 350 Mainers you might not get to see regularly.
Don’t Forget the Two-Wheelers!
The Bike Brigade is strictly a voluntary, individual effort; the choices made and any liability are solely that of individuals who choose to join the ride. If this interests you, contact email@example.com.
www.lobsterboatblockade.org: All criminal charges dropped! Statement from Ken Ward and Jay O’Hara about their trial for blocking a load of TMTR coal from reaching the Brayton Point power plant in Massachusetts. Also media links to coverage of this ground-breaking trial for climate.
http://watchdisruption.com: 350’s latest movie has some science, some politics, and some history and takes the viewer right up to now. It makes you want to get on the bus to NYC! It’s free, less than an hour, thought provoking, and a great tool for our organizing!
It’s definite—there will be a People’s Climate March solidarity parade in Auburn on Sunday, September 21, rain or shine! The parade will start at 1:00 p.m. at Festival Plaza and take a mile-and-a-half route linking Auburn and Lewiston, crossing the Androscoggin twice to do it.
The parade is an opportunity to show the impact of climate disruption using banners and costumes. We invite participants to come as displaced species—polar bears, penguins, puffins, humans, etc. We will include a section for species that are invading Maine—think green crabs, Japanese beetles, deer ticks, etc. We want to wrap up the parade line with costumes, banners and signs that focus on peace, possibilities and solutions. Paddlers, "march" along the river with us; there's a hand-launch at Festival Plaza!
There will be some costumes and banners available for those who want to parade but don’t have time to make something. We need people to carry banners; we need parade marshals to keep us safe and in line. If you come, we will find a way for you to be a vital part of this solidarity parade.
Park at the Auburn Parking Garage across Main Street, or across Court Street at the Great Falls Plaza beyond the hotels.
For more information or to sign up to participate (we have a job for everyone!), contact Wendy (207-777-1980).