On September 24th, The Planet Is Moving. Are You Joining The Ride Beyond Fossil Fuels?

Across Ontario and around the world, September 24th is a a day for people to rally and demand from our elected leaders action on moving beyond fossil fuels. Initiated by 350.org, Moving Planet is a day to put our demands for climate action into motion—marching, biking, skating—calling for the world to go beyond fossil fuels.

Moving Planet will be a day to put our demands for climate action into motion—marching, biking, skating—calling for the world to go beyond fossil fuels.

To find a Moving Planet event in your community, click here.

Here in Red Lake, we’re kicking off our Harvest Festival with a bike rally/rodeo around town, ending with a bike maintenance workshop. Along with all the Harvest Festival activities during the day, Saturday evening we are screening “carbon nation”, which describes itself as  nn optimistic, solutions-based, non-partisan documentary that illustrates why it’s incredibly smart to be a part of the new, low-carbon economy: it’s good business, it emboldens national and energy security, and it improves health and the environment. The screening will be followed by a Q & Q session with Director Peter Byck.

In Winnipeg, Manitoba, some friends of mine have put together a fabulous event which has been kicked off by a chalk “footprint parade” around the city for the last two weeks, and culminates with a parade from the Manitoba Legislature to the Forks where music will be happening at the Main Stage. If you’re in the city, check it out – go to the Moving Manitoba event page for all the details.

So wherever you are, get out,get moving, connect with other people who are concerned about their children’s future, and have fun doing it! Remember, there is NO Planet B!

More links:

Climate Mama: The Planet is Moving: Are You Joining the Ride?

“We Are All Downstream”: Tar Sands Protests Go Global

Yesterday, 144 protesters were taken away in police vans from the front of the White House, bringing the total number of people arrested for peacefully expressing their opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline to 843. Solidarity demonstrations sprang up yesterday at U.S. and Canadian embassies and consulates on six continents, including Durban, South Africa where visiting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to cross a picket line thrown up by climate justice campaigners. And speaking of Ms. Clinton, here’s a video via DeSmogBlog, featuring her and her “State Department Oil Services”. The animation is by Mark Fiore:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mtr1kU0b_Gw&feature=player_embedded]

I’ve been extremely busy over the last few weeks with out-of-town guests, family celebrations (congratulations again on your 50th wedding anniversary, Mom and Dad!) and saying goodbye to our daughters as they head off to another year of university (you’ll be missed, girls). Here’s a few stories/websites that caught my eye yesterday as I surfed the Net to see what I had missed. Have a great Labour Day weekend (and yes, Canadians spell it with a “u”)!

  • From Daily Kos.com: Tar Sands Scam: 5,000 Jobs Over 3 Years Is Worth Risk To People, Economy, Wildlife & Water? (Although I do wish Daily Kos would stop posting ads featuring Tim Hudak, the Ontario PC Leader who is campaigning to cancel our province’s progressive Green Energy Act. It’s especially jarring to see him linked to articles about the importance of clean energy. Feel free to send them a note, as I have, asking them to remove these and stop promoting Hudak’s anti-renewables agenda)
  • Powering a Nation.org has put out an amazing interactive film. Check it out at Coal: A Love Story: It’s more than a rock. It’s power. It’s people. It’s a relationship.
  • A new report says that only 1 in 8 insurers are planning for climate change, despite the fact that insurers generally acknowledge the problem of climate change and the effect it can have on their business:

“Even those insurers with no formal climate policy, no climate risk management structure and a stated belief that the company is not vulnerable to the effects of climate change still name perils that may be affected by climate change 20 percent of the time,” Ceres said in its report. Read the full article on Reuters.com

More links:

DeSmogBlog’s Tar Sands Action Page


Our Land: Will We Be Left With Only a Memory of Beauty That We Might Have Protected?

American photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams was a passionate advocate for national parks. Adams, who was best known for his striking black and white photographs of the West, died in 1984 at the age of 82. Although he spoke them 46 years ago, these words are eerily accurate today, as we stand on the threshold of global, irreversible, climate change thanks to our unsustainable way of living.

The American Pioneer approached the Natural Scene in a very different way than we must now. The land and its provisions were seemingly inexhaustible. The problems of existence were most severe. The Pioneer undoubtedly cherished his farm, his ranch, and his range – representing something almost infinite in extent and bounty – young, vibrant, ever-enduring. Now, as the blights of over-population, over-exploitation, and over-mechanization encroach from all directions, we come to love our land as we would love someone very near and dear who may soon depart, leaving naught but the recollection of a beauty which we might have protected and perpetuated. We must realize – and with desperate conviction – that it is truly later than we think.

~ Ansel Adams, Charter Day Address, University of California at Santa Cruz, 1965

The Economy: Stealing The Future, Selling it In The Present, and Calling It GDP

In this TED talk from last month, futurist Alex Steffen shares a vision of the way our cities offer the key to addressing climate change. Cities, Steffen says, can help save the future while offering us a much-improved quality of life.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjDjbJJlqZ0]

More links:

Future-Ready Cities: Why The Capacity and Willingness to Change Trump Everything

TED.com

Pipeline Protestors to Obama: This Is Our Environmental Impact Statement

Photo by Milan Ilnyckyj

From TPM.com, Why Far-Off Canadian Tar Sands Have Become Make-or-Break Issue For Obama With Enviros:

For six days and counting now, hundreds of protesters have gathered outside the White House to demand President Obama intervene and stop the construction of an oil pipeline that will span the breadth of the United States — from Montana to the Gulf of Mexico. Over 300 of them have been arrested — and not just wild-eyed idealistic college students, but high-profile advocates including environmental leader Bill McKibben. Despite all this, the administration says this is a question for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

What the heck is this all about?

At issue isn’t just NIMBYism or standard concerns about oil spills, but the question of whether the United States should accelerate an extraction process that some environmental experts say will lose the fight against global warming forever. Click here to read full article.

Photo by Josh Easton

Meanwhile, here in Canada, there is an Ottawa day of action against the tar sands being organized for September 26th. The Indigenous Environmental Network, The Council of Canadians, and Greenpeace Canada, are calling for a day of sit-ins on Parliament Hill to show Canadians support a transition to a clean energy future:

There comes a time when you need to take a stand. When sending letters and signing petitions isn’t enough. When together we must say, “enough is enough — not on our watch”.

That time is now. We must act together for the health of our planet, our air, our water, our climate, and our children.

On September 26th we need you to come to Ottawa to join a historic action to oppose the tar sands. In a large peaceful protest, many will be risking arrest to tell the Harper government that we don’t support his reckless agenda; that we want to turn away from the toxic tar sands industry; and that we oppose the direction he’s taking this country.

For more information, go to Ottawa Action.ca.

More links:

Energy Protests Are In Martin Luther King’s Footsteps: Obama Should Heed Tar Sand Civil Disobedience

Climate Mama: I Need To Be In Washington This Week For My Children

Harriet Sugarman, a policy analyst and economist, is the Founder and Executive Director of Climate Mama which, according to its website, is:

…about the facts, about getting the straight scoop, about understanding Climate Change and Global Warming. We want to help you make the connections – to understand how you, your family, your friends and your community are impacting and changing our climate. Then, we want to show you what you can do to make your hectic, harried life more sustainable, for you, for your children AND for the world we live in. We will offer you simple, straight forward, and easy to understand ways to combat climate change as well as easy to implement options to reduce your carbon footprint! We want to make it simple for you, as a Mama and Papa, to understand that climate change is a part of your life. We at Climate Mama, like you, have enough day to day issues in our lives just managing the craziness of our families, our careers, our busy 21st century lives…so we aren’t surprised or disappointed if you ask why climate change should matter to you and if you question what you, as an individual can really do that will make a difference to affect this global challenge.

Harriet is also a New Jersey mom who happens to be originally from Alberta, Canada. Harriet chose to participate in this week’s Stop the Pipeline action in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. and was one of the nearly 300 people arrested so far this week in the largest civil disobedience action in the American environmental movement’s recent history.

Photo credit: Flickr/Creative Common TarSandsAction

In the video below, Harriet talks about why she felt she needed to be in Washington this week. She took a stand for a clean energy future for her, and all our children, even though risking arrest was a difficult decision to make:

My family in Alberta is not too keen on me getting arrested down here for this..It’s a very difficult road to cross.  I think that my children will be proud of me some day. I don’t want them to look back  in twenty years, because if we don’t do anything, all of our children are going to be looking back at us and saying, what were you doing,  why were you asleep at the wheel?…I’m doing this for them.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wZ7ewYa3rY&feature=youtu.be&a]

More links:

Read more about Harriet’s experience on Climate Mama: Why A Bra Makes A Good Purse In Times of Imminent Arrest: The Tar Sands Action

To find out how to send a message of support for the brave folks sitting in at the White House this week and next, go to 350.org.

For the latest news on the tar sands action, and to find out how to donate, go to Tar Sands Action.org