Two thousand miles lay ahead for the nearly 40 marchers who departed from Los Angeles in February and will arrive in Washington, DC, in November. Their feet tell the story of walking a thousand miles for climate justice. Their eyes look across the United States.
The Great March for Climate Action threads through small towns, big cities and wide-open wilderness. In each area, local residents join the marchers, who also visit schools, churches and community organizations, raising awareness about the causes, effects and impacts of climate change on our society. If left unaddressed, climate change could reach catastrophic levels, heralding the collapse of modern civilization and ultimately, the extinction of the human species.
Critics of the march say it is mainly symbolic, yet in one small Northern New Mexico town, the climate marchers had a tangible effect: The local newspaper reported on their arrival. While this may seem insignificant, the newspaper in question, like many others across the country, does not report on the subject of climate change. The arrival of a cross-continental delegation of climate marchers who have been traveling through major cities, small towns and the state capitol of New Mexico received one of the first mentions of climate change by the newspaper. This is one of the main goals of the climate march: to raise awareness of the issue in a nation that is ill-informed and often ignorant of the science and reality of climate change.
While mainstream media has remained quiet on the defining issue of our time, alternative journals have been reporting tremendous news about the climate justice movement. The Cowboy and Indian Alliance erected teepees on the Washington Mall to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. Four hundred students were arrested in an act of civil disobedience in Washington earlier in 2014. Germany is setting world recordsfor renewable energy development to fight global warming. Seventy-five thousand citizens have sworn the KXL Pledge of Resistance to engage in civil resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline. Every week, numerous climate justice or fossil fuel extraction demonstrations occur in cities and towns across the nation. Small and large-scale solar and wind installations are among the most rapidly growing sectors of our stagnant economy.
Great March for Climate Action. (Credit: Dariel Garner)There have been some breakthroughs: in 2012, Hurricane Sandy broke the almost deafening silence on climate change during the presidential campaigns and more recently, the Los Angeles Times announced that it would no longer publish the articles or opinions of climate change deniers. Yet, in general, mass media is shifting slower than the Titanic on this issue, leaving alternative journalism and independent media to pick up the slack. Will newspapers, television and other media shift fast enough to give citizens the information they need to make wise decisions regarding climate change? (Listen to Occupy Radio interview climate marcher, John Abbe)
In Northern New Mexico for example, the local newspaper did not report on the 2013 Los Alamos National Laboratory study on the impacts of climate change on the Southwest forests. In eight years, the study found, the region will reach "megadrought" conditions as the new normal. As early as 2033, due to drought, stress, disease, fires and insects, the forests of the entire southwest may be gone. These statistics affect the lives of the local community in everything from real estate to tourism to disaster preparedness in homes and emergency funds set aside at the city and county level. It impacts the decisions around the dwindling water supply and also how the regional forests are managed for fire and disease prevention.
Yet, most citizens are unaware of the severity and immediacy of the climate change impacts happening around them.
The media is largely responsible for the general ignorance of the populace on a subject that 97 percent of the world's scientists agree on.
The climate justice movement has struggled with this gross public deception for over 30 years. The Great March for Climate Action is one effort to break through the appalling lack of public awareness, but efforts are needed in every town and city. Even as increasing numbers of citizens sign up to commit civil disobedience to stop the Keystone XL pipeline or book flights to join the People's Climate March in September in New York, regular, persistent local actions will be required to shake off the lethargy of public officials and local utilities.
Climate change needs to be on the lips of every city council member, county commissioner, state and federal representatives, BLM (Bureau of Land Management) managers, and public regulatory commission members. Citizens need to show up at meetings demanding to see adaptation studies, energy transition plans, disaster preparedness overviews and water management plans. People must contact their public utilities and go to public or shareholder meetings to raise concerns and demand shifts from fossil fuel-based energy sources into renewables. Individuals and groups can assist the divestment movement that has moved billions of academic investments out of fossil fuel stocks. The divestment movement can be expanded from educational institutions into individual investments, bank portfolios and other organizations.
The deafening silence on climate change must be countered by courageous truth-telling by ordinary people. Across the whole country, in small towns and large cities, the cry must echo again and again: climate change is real, and we are going to meet its challenges - not tomorrow . . . today!
Copyright, Truthout.org. Reprinted with permission. Link to original article
Congress may be on recess, but activists across the country are not taking a break from the nationwide push to get big money out of politics. Today activists teamed up for a massive petition drop, delivering petitions in support of a constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United to 21 Senate offices in 15 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington).
It seems like every e-mail I receive these days from a Democratic Senate candidate or Senator up for re-election this cycle includes a warning that the infamous Koch brothers will do anything, no matter the cost, to take over the US Senate - and with it, our country.
On Thursday, a group of Democratic lawmakers proposed a law to establish a Code of Conduct for the Supreme Court.
It’s surely to have Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Scalia quaking in their Tea Party boots because it would mean they would actually have to be independent of political and other influences. They would also have to have the appearance of independence. They would have to stay away from political activity. That part would be really hard.
On June 23rd the State Senate passed AJR 1, making California the second state in the union to officially call for an Article V constitutional convention for the sole purpose of passing a United States constitutional amendment that would effectively overturn Citizens United v. FEC and limit the corrupting influence of money in our electoral process.
A new organization called ExposeFacts—backed by well-known source of The Pentagon Papers Daniel Ellsberg—is debuting itself in Washington, DC on Wednesday as a new place where government and corporate employees aware of wrongdoing can more safely and securely report their concerns.
The telecommunications industry is creating and funding front groups which pose as consumer organizations and aggressively lobby to kill net neutrality, journalist Lee Fang revealed in an article published in Vice on Friday.
It’s a sad state of affairs when a country that touts freedom of the press depends upon cable TV comedy shows to hear the real news.
Why the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon ruling is good news for the super-rich and bad news for progressive Democrats.
At the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference, a conservative election lawyer and a baby-faced electrical engineer from Alabama with a made-for-TV Southern drawl began plotting how to unravel federal campaign finance regulations.
This is an idea worth spreading - so - please watch & share with 5 or 10 friends. It’s important to get money out of politics and the average person back in. Also - leave a message on the YouTube and let TED know - this is one of the most important issues of the day."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is, as they boast on its website, the world's largest business organization, as well as the nation's largest corporate lobbying group. It is also a recipient of some of the largest amounts of so-called "dark" money in the country, refusing to disclose to the public its donors or even the amounts it receives.
Citizens United is not just the default reference for US Supreme Court decisions—including the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling—that have ushered in a new era of corporate dominance of American elections. It’s the name of the conservative group that encouraged Chief Justice John Roberts and the most activist Court majority in American history to tear the heart out of what were already weak campaign finance laws.
PITTSFIELD -- Their signs read "Get Big Money Out of Politics," "Democracy Is Not For Sale" and "This Is What Plutocracy Looks Like." About a dozen of them stood in Park Square on Wednesday evening, one of 130 "rapid response events" coordinated nationwide to protest that morning's Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. FEC.
Any doubts about the determination of an activist United States Supreme Court to rewrite election rules so that the dollar matters more than the vote were removed Wednesday, when McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission was decided in favor of the dollar.
Sam Bell is in the third year of a PhD program in geology at Brown University. Geology as in rocks. But Bell also moonlights as the the state coordinator of The Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, the state affiliate of the 10-year-old Progressive Democrats of America. And in his work with The Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, Bell was instrumental to the investigation that ultimately led to the National Rifle Association paying the second largest campaign finance fine in the state's history.
Postal workers are giving it their all this holiday season, as cards and packages and returns must be collected and delivered amidst ice storms, snowstorms and wild temperature drops.
They deserve our thanks in 2013.
And our support in 2014.
Thanks to a loophole that subsidizes CEO pay, McDonald's, Yum Brands, Wendy's, Burger King, Domino's, and Dunkin' Brands trimmed $64 million from their tax bills in 2011 and 2012.
The fast food industry is notorious for handing out lean paychecks to their burger flippers and fat ones to their CEOs. What’s less well-known is that taxpayers are actually subsidizing fast food incomes at both the bottom — and top — of the industry.
In December 1972, I was part of a nationwide campaign that came tantalizingly close to getting the U.S. Senate to reject Earl Butz, Richard Nixon's choice for secretary of agriculture. A coalition of grass-roots farmers, consumers and scrappy public interest organizations (like the Agribusiness Accountability Project that Susan DeMarco and I then headed) teamed up with some gutsy, unabashedly progressive senators to undertake the almost impossible challenge of defeating the cabinet nominee of a president who'd just been elected in a landslide.
Progressive voices were heard loud and clear at Saturday’s Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) State Committee Meeting in Maricopa, Arizona.
Unlike some past ADP meetings where progressives were ignored or where progressive resolutions were tabled and not heard by the full ADP membership, the Maricopa meeting was dominated by progressives.
Tucson is one of the most impoverished cities in the country—for many reasons. The Arizona Legislature—driven by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and short-sighted, “small government” ideology—has routinely swept funds earmarked for counties and cities to “balance” the state’s budget or fund pet projects like lower corporate taxes. Beyond the Legislature’s negative impact on Baja Arizona, the Tucson economy is not diversified enough. Manufacturing is nearly non-existent in Southern Arizona. There is an over-reliance on defense spending, University of Arizona spin-offs, tourism, low-wage service jobs, and growth/development.
MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track
Public Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority
MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership
CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab
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