|No longer dominated by the traditional “Big Green” groups that were taking big donations from corporate polluters, the new environmental movement is broader, more assertive and more creative. With extreme energy extraction and climate change bearing down on the world, environmental justice advocates are taking bold actions to stop extreme energy extraction and create new solutions to save the planet. These ‘fresh greens’ often work locally, but also connect through national and international actions.
The recent national climate assessment explains why the movement is deepening, broadening and getting more militant. The nation’s experts concluded that climate change is impacting us in serious ways right now. It is no longer a question of whether climate change is real—the evidence is apparent in chaotic seasonal weather; floods caused by heavier downpours of rain and deeper droughts; more severe wildfires in the West; the economic impacts of rising insurance rates, as well as challenges for farming, maple syrup production, and finding seafood in the oceans, among many others. [...]
Recent studies show that protest can have a big impact on corporations. The study, “Costs of Company-Community Conflict in the Extractive Sector,” published in in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences included a special report entitled: “Conflict translates environmental and social risk into business costs.” “Communities are not powerless,” co-author Daniel Franks who is deputy director of the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining writes “our study shows they can organize and mobilize, which results in substantial costs to companies.”
Around the world protests against mining, extraction and oil are costing companies billions of dollars a year. According to the report, one corporation alone reported a six billion dollar cost over a two-year period. A Canadian gold mining company lost $5.4 billion over a decade of protests, never extracted any gold and the project was suspended by court order. Protests also forced a copper mining project to suspend operations. Protests are delaying the KXL pipeline and many others. People power is real and has real world impacts that can defeat extraction industries. [...]
Scott Parkin describes the growing front-line environmental movement in the United States writing:
“There’s an insurrection afoot. And it’s in America’s heartlands no less. Bold and effective organizing against oil companies, natural gas companies and coal companies has started this insurrection that has openly challenged these powerful industries. This phenomenon has spread across the country and created unusual coalitions of Indigenous communities, environmental activists and rural landowners opposed to corporate seizures of their property.”
The power of protest is being recognized by corporate media. This week the New York Times focused on a Keystone Pipeline protester from Nebraska, Jane Kleep, in a lengthy review of her work with Bold Nebraska. The Times reports how “TransCanada badly misread popular sentiment in Nebraska ... Rather than rallying behind the idea of American independence from Middle Eastern oil, Nebraskans saw a foreign company coming into their state and asserting rights to land that had been in their families for generations.”
Coal also continues to be a focus of protest. The World’s largest Coal Company, Peabody, has been facing protests all over the country. Washington University students in St. Louis organized a historic 17 day sit-in to end the university’s relationship with Peabody. And then, seven were arrested trying to enter the Peabody Board of Trustees meeting. This is part of a nationwide student-led divestment campaign against carbon fuels. The St. Louis protest followed a barricade of the office of the president of Harvard that led to Harvard divesting from fossil fuels. [...]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2013—NRSC makes itself and Gomez ridiculous in Massachusetts Senate race:
|This is just stupid. A super PAC created by California billionaire Tom Steyer, NextGen PAC, is talking about launching a campaign against Republican Gabriel Gomez in the Massachusetts Senate race with Ed Markey. Markey doesn't want anything to do with it and "has called on Steyer to stay out of the race." That's because Markey has signed a pledge (that Gomez has not signed) to limit outside spending in his campaign—the "People's Pledge."
With that established, enter the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which sent out a press release whining that Markey "is the first to violate the 'People’s Pledge.'" You know, the pledge that isn't in effect because Gomez hasn't signed it. Which Markey couldn't technically violate because it isn't in effect, and because he's asked Steyer to stay out of it, and because it hasn't actually happened anyway because Steyer hasn't spent any money yet.
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