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Categories : Activism, Democracy, Environment, Occupy, People Power, Permaculture, Resistance 2.0
from Realizing The Future
by Steve Liptay
December 1, 2011
As 2012 approaches and movement strategies are being shaped within the 99% movement and the climate justice movement, we stand at a pivotal moment in history. The climate crisis is bearing down on us stronger than ever, the ecological crisis is deepening, and economic, social and environmental injustices are escalating. With our hijacked democracy in gridlock we’ve taken to the streets and sparked what many, including Dr. Cornel West, would describe as a ‘deep democratic awakening’. How do we yield the paradigm level changes that are needed to heal the earth and make our human world both just and sustainable? That’s the question of our time. None-the-less, solving the climate crisis will require us to rewire the globe with renewable energy and put an end to the tyranny of oil, gas and coal. To do this I propose that the 99% movement and the climate justice movement initiate a sustained civil disobedience campaign targeting climate deniers in the U.S. Congress to dramatize the need for their ouster.
To end the extraction and burning of fossil fuels it is necessary to put a rising price on carbon pollution. For Americans, this means that rewiring our country with renewable energy will require the U.S. Congress and our President pass a new law that taxes the most profitable industry in the history of the world. The revenue generated would then be distributed in its entirety on a per capita basis back to the American people to buffer rising energy costs. A monthly dividend check would give the 99% the ability to become more energy efficient and afford the transition to renewable energy. A highly centralized energy sector in which the 1% have become richer and richer would be transformed into a highly decentralized sector in which the 99% power their lives with rooftop solar panels and a host of other renewable energy technologies. This policy is called ‘fee-and-dividend’ – you can download a PDF of a legislative proposal at: www.citizensclimatelobby.org/. If enacted, the thriving fossil fuel industry could potentially be put to an end in the matter of a decade.
Electing a Congress to pass ‘fee-and-dividend’ would require a massive and sustained civil disobedience campaign to shine a light on the urgency of climate change. One of the central lessons we can take away from the Tar Sands Action campaign to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline is that civil disobedience gets the goods. A 2-week long sit-in at the White House led to 1,253 arrests and an explosion in media hits. During the sit-in and in the weeks to follow the American people were educated by our mass media and social media – they learned the who, what, where, when and why of the tar sands in Alberta, Canada. The media and the American people began to evaluate the costs and the benefits of the proposed pipeline and the events that unfolded were nothing short of remarkable. The big environmental groups came together against Keystone, Republicans and Democrats found common ground in opposition, the New York Times wrote a timely editorial and an in-depth investigation of pipeline safety, Nobel laureates a wrote letter to the President, and a State Department scandal broke (among other developments). The Obama administration responded by sending the pipeline proposal back to the drawing board, promising a thorough and independent review that will include climate change. If we had instead decided to pass around a petition, hold permitted protests, submit op-eds to the newspapers, and make phone calls to our elected officials this fight would very likely not have gained the momentum it needed. Of course I think we all wish it weren’t the case, but as history has proven over and over there comes a time when we have no other choice but to take a stand. As the Tar Sands Action and the Occupy movement have demonstrated, it is time for direct action.
If our movements were to get behind this line of reasoning, I believe that it would leads us into a sustained civil disobedience campaign targeting the U.S. House and Senate calling for 1. an immediate end to all fossil fuel subsidies and 2. a comprehensive renewable energy bill centered around ‘fee-and-dividend’. It would trigger a grassroots mobilization with all hands on deck and everyone playing to their strengths. On the ground it would likely mean occupying House and Senate offices and disrupting debate in Congress from the House gallery and the Senate gallery. In addition, mic checking and bird-dogging Congress’ climate deniers would help maintain pressure when Congress was not in session.
A few months ago I disrupted the House of Representatives with 8 others on the day that Power Shift 2011 began. (Here’s a video.) Our intent was to spark a conversation within Power Shift about the need for civil disobedience in the climate movement and to speak directly to our elected officials about the urgency that the climate crisis demands. We were handcuffed by the Capitol police and transported to a D.C. police station where they booked and held us for the afternoon and early evening. In the end, we all took a settlement offer, completed 32-hours of community service for a non-profit of our choosing, and waited out a 4-month stay away from the Capitol grounds. It was a minor sacrifice relative to the suffering endured today by our frontline communities and the suffering to come if we continue to extract and burn fossil fuels. As I look back, disrupting Congress with my fist raised and singing ‘We Shall Overcome’ was the possibly first time I felt fully engaged as an American citizen.
If we were to begin this campaign when Congress reconvened in January 2012 it could potentially put a proposal to end fossil fuel subsidies up for a vote during the 112th Congress and make ‘fee-and-dividend’ a key election issue in November. While ending fossil fuel subsidies would do little to curb carbon pollution and would only reduce the national debt by an estimated $122 billion over 10-years, it would be a small step in the right direction. Putting a significant price on carbon would get us on the path to a renewable energy future and put the fossil fuel industry in the grave where it belongs. Maybe we’d achieve one or both of these goals during the 112th and 113th Congresses, maybe we wouldn’t. What’s critical is that we start to wake up our elected officials and fellow Americans who are asleep at the wheel on climate change. Now is our hour. It’s up to us to end the tyranny of oil, gas, and coal.
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Categories : Activism, Environment, Occupy, People Power, Permaculture, Resistance 2.0
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Categories : Environment
Welcome to the Emergent Reality Network.
Please stand by for a public service announcement.
Please be advised that you have been advised.
Tomorrow has been canceled due to the lack of interest.
Thank you for your participation in humanity.
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.
This is a recording.
This is, The Occupy Earth Proclamation: and I quote:
We are, One people. We share, One planet. We have, One common dream. We want, to live in peace. We choose, to protect and heal the Earth. We choose, to create a better world for all. We will do, our best to make that dream come true. We will change, what needs to be changed. We will learn, to love, share and forgive. We are, One people, we want to live, and we, will. end quote: we offer this as a pledge as a Personal Commitment:
We So Declare: We are, aware that human activities are seriously endangering the fragile ecosystems of our planet. We are, aware of the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. We are, aware of the need to redirect our energies to protect and restore the global Web of Life. We Choose, to begin right now, to rethink our ways and values, and change what needs to be changed in ourselves and of those around us.
We So Declare: We want the year 2012; to be, a symbol for a New Beginning; a turning point in the local and global efforts now underway, to create a better world based on equality, justice and a sustainable planet; a world in which Peace on Earth prevails.
We So Declare: We want the year 2012; to be the year of understanding, that we are, all individually responsible for the kind of future we will, create for our children and for countless generations to come. We will, participate in initiatives, locally and globally, to transform our world and protect this Jewel of Life, we call, Earth. We agree, with this Occupy Earth Proclamation and personally commit ourselves to do, all that we can, to spread it throughout the world and help make the universally shared dream of Peace, Love and Harmony on Earth come true.
Of this, We So Declare:
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Categories : Activism, Environment, Occupy, People Power
by Mathew McDermott, January , 2012
Germany’s promotion of renewable energy rightly gets singled out for its effectiveness, most often by me as an example of how to do things well versus the fits and starts method of promotion common in the US. Over at Wind-Works, Paul Gipe points out another interesting facet of the German renewable energy saga: 51% of all renewable energy in Germany is owned by individual citizens or farms, totaling $100 billion worth of private investment in clean energy.
Breaking that down into solar power and wind power, 50% of Germany’s solar PV is owned by individuals and farms, while 54% of its wind power is held by the same groups.
In total there’s roughly 17 GW of solar PV installed in Germany—versus roughly 3.6 GW in the US (based on SEIA’s figures for new installations though the third quarter of 2011 plus the 2.6 GW installed going into the year).
Remember, Germany now produces slightly over 20% of all its electricity from renewable sources.
The thing that got me though, other than the huge lead in solar PV installations Germany has over the US, thanks to good policy, and the fact that so much wind power isn’t owned by utilities, is what slightly over half of renewable energy being owned not by corporations but by actual biological people means—obviously a democratic shift in control of resources and a break from the way electricity and energy has been produced over the past century.
A good thing: Decentralized power generation, more relocalization and reregionalization of economic activity, the world getting smaller while more connected and therefore in a way bigger at the same time… taking a step backwards, and perhaps sideways, while moving forwards.
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Categories : Environment, People Power, Resistance 2.0
taken from OccupyWallSt.org
As Wall Street’s corrupt influence on the economy has grown, the corporate ownership of our food system has hurt the health and livelihood’s of some of our most vulnerable communities. This Sunday, December 4th food justice activists and occupiers will be traveling from as far as Colorado, Iowa, Maine and Upstate New York to join together for the Occupy Wall Street FARMERS’ MARCH.Through a day of dialogue, musical performances, and a march, farmers and their urban allies working for food justice in their communities will form alliances to fight and expose corporate control of the food supply.
Events throughout the day will call and inspire participants to fight against the corporate manipulation of the agriculture system. An industry that is responsible for using chemical toxins tied to soaring obesity rates, heart disease and diabetes and limiting access to affordable, wholesome food to the country’s poorest citizens.
The event will kick off at 2pm at La Plaza Cultural Community Garden with a musical performance followed by remarks from food justice activists and occupiers. They will share their stories and listen to their peers as they highlight the role of urban-rural solidarity in building a sustainable food system as well as challenges of family-scale farmers in a culture of corporate dominance.
At 4pm, musicians will be among those leading the Farmers’ March in a colorful parade from La Plaza to Zuccotti Park/Liberty Plaza, the site of a Solidarity Circle at 5pm. Stories of struggle, triumph and ruminations about the role OWS might assume in the food justice movement will help form the circle. The circle will close with a Seed Exchange.
Participants are encouraged to express their dissent creatively, donning fruits hats, wearing burlap sacks, carrying brightly colored signs and moving in time to the beat of the drums.
Please join us, farmers, ranchers, farm workers, urban gardeners, foodies and supporters of all kinds in the Occupy Wall Street FARMERS’ MARCH.
Speakers will include:
George Na ylor – Iowa farmer and president of the National Family Farm Coalition. Karen Washington – Founder of City Farms Market and board member at NYC based organization Just Food. Jim Gerritsen – Maine based farmer who was named one of 20 world visionaries by Utne Reader in 2011 and is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against Monsanto.
Severine von Tscharner – Food advocate and producer of the film “Green Horns”, profiling young farmer entrepreneurs. Jim Goodman – Wisconson Farmer, organizer of the tractorcade to Madison to speak out against Governer Walker’s union legislation. Jalal Sabur – Founding member of the Freedom Food Alliance and advocate working on the alliance of black urban communities with black rural farmers. Mike Callicrate – Colorado cattle rancher, entrepreneur and rural advocate . Andrew Faust – World renowned permaculture expert and educator.
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Categories : Activism, Democracy, Environment, News, Occupy, People Power, Permaculture, Workers