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350 Marin https://350marin.org Sun, 08 May 2022 15:49:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://350marin.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/cropped-1F-NO-WHITE-BORDER-32x32.png 350 Marin https://350marin.org 32 32 125017858 350 Bay Area’s Take on “Planet of the Humans” https://350marin.org/350-bay-areas-take-on-planet-of-the-humans/ https://350marin.org/350-bay-areas-take-on-planet-of-the-humans/#respond Sat, 09 May 2020 00:19:27 +0000 http://350marin.org/?p=25356 Who would have guessed a “documentary” would come out from Michael Moore who has been pushing Bernie and the Green New Deal, that tells everyone that clean energy in this country is really just fossil fuels in disguise?

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350 Bay Area’s Take on “Planet of the Humans”

We Are STILL Here Making It Better

                                             STILL . . .  This. What we have been given. What we must earn. This will never end.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   last line from The Overstory by Richard Powers     

Who would have guessed a “documentary” would come out from Michael Moore who has been pushing Bernie and the Green New Deal, that tells everyone that clean energy in this country is really just fossil fuels in disguise?  And for greatest effect, on Earth Day, while we are being reminded that fossil fuels are the problem when we are all so emotionally fragile and open from watching the death toll rise from the pandemic.  To top it all off, it seems that a primary message is that we need a lot fewer people on the planet. Is it possible that Gibbs and Zehner who put this documentary together, and Moore as executive producer, kind of feel it is okay that Trump is having more people getting out there and dying – sacrificing for the economy, and his reelection? In their minds, it is probably more the overconsumers they think should go, but they could have made that more clear for those on the Right unanimous in their praise of the film.

I was so appalled at what they were doing that I could only watch a part on my first attempt. I went back to it the next day at the point where they started attacking leaders in the climate movement, sowing still more division. It was striking how willing they were to manipulate their audience by going through all their old footage and choosing only the segments that supported a very one-sided message while not even giving any time for the people they attacked in the climate movement to respond.  

It is easy to hear Gibbs and Zehner’s frustration level. Many of us have a lot of our own with how the revolution is not happening fast enough – and some of us hurt that we won’t have Bernie leading, maybe like them. That miracle Jeff Gibbs, the narrator and director, thought was supposed to happen, hasn’t. Miracles are hard to come by as Trump has learned. The transition has been slower (they fail to mention, because of intense, well-funded, climate denying) than many have hoped. And then there is also the fact that the pace of the climate crisis and all of its effects are happening even much faster than we thought back when they did the filming. He wanted to make sure with the old footage chosen, though, that everyone saw that there was something not right happening behind the curtain of the “clean energy movement”. Perhaps that is worth considering but, really, these guys need to be told that solar and wind, generally, and especially in California, has grown and changed a lot. It is worth taking a look at how we are doing in California today.

On that Sunday I first watched it, I checked on the CAISO site you can go to, where you can see the demand for energy in CA at any moment during a day and where the supply is coming from.  At 3:00 pm 22,373 MW was being used out of which 15,131 MW was being supplied by renewables (68%). Yes, biomass was in there at about 2% and biogas at another 1.4% of that 68%.  An additional 5% beyond the 68% came from large hydro and another 10% from nuclear, that we are getting rid of soon. So that’s at least 83% “carbon-free” at that time. 12% was coming from natural gas, but only the smallest fraction of 1%, even at night, is ever from coal. Nights are still a problem but increasingly less expensive battery capacity is being added to the grid. There is not enough wind at night. We have moved farther than people thought we could on our renewable energy goals in CA 8-10 years. We know the transition is needing to go faster. Is what we are doing now, perfectly sustainable forever into the future? No, lots of changes have been made in these last years, though, and will continue in the future. 

There are the problems with rare minerals used to make solar panels and batteries, even with changes in those in the last few years that make them way more efficient than shown in the film. But if you look, today, at life-cycle emissions and all the effects on taxpayers’ costs for healthcare, the environment and climate mitigation, solar, wind, and batteries are way more efficient and less damaging than fossil fuels. So, why did they feel they had to use old, outdated footage so much in this film? They should be able to make their point with updated information rather than try to manipulate us with this easy to see through, cherry-picked, old stuff?  

Perhaps they are mostly just trying to say we use way too much and that’s not likely to change. At first I thought it was from their belief that the game is over and we are deluding ourselves that we can do anything about it.  So maybe they were kind of just proud they are relieving us of our illusions. “Just get over it, the planet is dying rapidly and nothing is working fast enough”. That belief is out there expressed a lot these days and at times it is hard not to let it in. The case is being made to just focus on adaptation measures and on helping people treat each other more kindly as planetary disasters increase. Most climate activists are not ready to go there, exclusively. And there are the youth, whose energy in fighting for their future encourages us all..  Climate strikes have happened since the footage used in the movie. So Greta and her statement “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth” which most all us climate activists agree with, is not mentioned. We know what Moore thinks about capitalism and how it has failed the 99% and the documentary is saying we have let capitalist tendencies into the way we do green energy. 

My first reaction was – not me, us – certainly not 350 Bay Area, or 350.org,  Maybe in some parts of the green movement at some times. Cap and trade is really not working well at all in CA – the whole carbon offsets and free allowances for polluters is riddled with problems; carbon pricing, in general, is market based. The price is always set way too low to start. Though the idea, if implemented well, might have helped many years ago. Still it has been very helpful in getting the message about climate breakdown out, even it was always suspiciously bound up in a system that promotes more being better. So what is 350 Bay Area doing that is not reinforcing the capitalist virus?  Quite a bit, actually. 

It was good to be reminded about biomass and that it is just not okay to cut down trees for fuel which is where some of the messaging about the for-profit interests getting mixed in with the push for “renewables” was.  And biomass is rising somewhat from where it is at 1.4% now as a source for fueling US electricity needs. Obviously, that needs to be stopped. 350 Bay Area here in CA where us environmentalists love our trees alive, well, it never was okay. Even dead trees in the forest, we have learned, play a huge role in helping forests grow back from fires more quickly. I will say more a little later about Bill McKibben who gets a really unfair take down on this.

It is possible that 350 Bay Area has been so focused on getting more solar and wind that we may not have emphasized energy efficiency as much as we could. It has been there all the time, though, as we push our local community choice energy (CCE) programs here in the Bay Area and CA to focus on incentivising using less energy. These CCE’s did not even exist when most of the footage was taken that is in the documentary, so maybe Moore, Gibbs, and Zehner are not aware of this trend in energy democracy that has sped up the renewable energy movement.  Driving fewer miles is better, even if you have an EV.  Public transportation incentives and more room for bikes are still better and more equitable. Fly much less, for sure.

Maybe we will learn something from this stay-at-home time from so many online meetings. Lockdown for the Climate Emergency! We ARE in an Emergency bigger than the pandemic now, or the ones coming. Yes, the cleanest energy is the energy we don’t use. This will be a takeaway from this documentary to focus on even more. But there is the way we think solar should be done, too. And we are very focused on that. It is important for energy efficiency even and I wonder if these guys even know about the ideas regarding community microgrids being put forth in CA and elsewhere across the country.

350 Bay Area is frequently pointing out that utility scale solar has problems with it. Wrong thinking or conflicted people are making profits. There is inherent in the Investor-Owned Utility (IOU) model that more and bigger, is better. Big transmission lines to bring energy from those projects is where the IOU’s can overestimate what they will need.  Lately, because of their potential or current bankruptcies, they have even been pleading for an extra few percent of profit beyond what they usually get, which is already in addition to what they need for their work . . .  because their hedge fund shareholders want that. We are constantly fighting that and arguing instead that many more smaller projects, designed and owned by the communities that more efficiently use the energy coming from them, work best. 

These projects come from a not for profit, local government model.  They can be set up in an advanced community energy way that allows more parts of the grid to be sectionalized off. Power, from renewables with battery back-up, can exist for at least the important services in an emergency or to fight fires that are coming from our climate change fueled droughts at first and then, increasingly, all of the time. With right sized batteries, these microgrids or other roof-top solar – that the IOU’s constantly resist or try to control – we end up having closer to the exact amount of energy we need. The excess energy capacity that IOU’s push for, that we might not need later as we learn to use less and less from working at home more or using our bikes or, with better public transportation, never gets approved then.  So many natural gas peaker plants thought to be needed, even some in their final stage of approval, have not been allowed to move forward in the last two years in California. Climate activism works.  And also, something we fight against at the state level, is that all of us are paying equally for costly transmission over long distance, insecure lines, even if our energy is almost never “transmitted” but comes from very local solar build out that can be more smartly managed on the distribution grid we most often see around us. The state, as our Governor recently said, needs to focus on decentralizing the grid which is what 350 Bay Area has been pushing for.

Many CCE programs in our communities are incentivizing battery powered EV’s by saying if we have them hooked up at night (charging in the day is better at certain hours when more solar is on the grid and less energy use is happening) so that while you are asleep and don’t need the energy in your battery, they can take a little to supplement the wind that is blowing so they can supply more renewable energy at night to the grid.  There are many creative things that can happen.  Will all of them put together get us back to a stable climate? It certainly is unlikely in the time most of us have left, as it is already getting bad. But what do you do in any crisis? Just say “this is bad” like the filmmakers did.  There are people like Bill McKibben who have inspired many groups to start up all over the world to try to change the course the developed world has been on. And he has focused on and supported environmental justice, how fossil fuel use affects frontline communities, as has 350.org and 350 Bay Area.

Let’s look at how Bill was treated. He has come out with his own longer response that is especially worth reading HERE. In the picture below he was here in the Bay Area in 2016 ( just after writing a strong article on how bad burning trees is for energy) at an event speaking with climate activist students who have plans for how to make the world more livable for them.

mckibben

Mckibben was especially worried about coal back in 2012, and the oil burning fuel used at Middlebury College where he was, so thought maybe biomass would be better for a while since true renewable energy was not ready yet to provide enough.  But who wins when you focus on that time in the past only and don’t give indication that the climate leader changed his point of view long ago?  Or taking a segment from an interview where he struggles for a moment with remembering which foundations have contributed to 350.org after showing how fossil fuel and other related big corporations have sponsored environmental events, implying 350.org has taken from those big corporations (they haven’t and neither has 350 Bay Area or other 350 local groups) is kind of FoxNews style fake news. They do something of the same with Michael Brune who came on as Executive Director of Sierra Club in 2010 and soon after ended funding from any natural gas interests. He did this right around the time when methane leaks from fracking and the whole life cycle of getting natural gas to where it is burned for energy were being shown to make it as bad as coal for moving Climate Breakdown along. This kind of obvious “gotcha” journalism should make us all wonder if we are not being pushed messages that skip over a lot of important updated facts in all the other segments. 

There are problems with each segment in the solar and wind sections. There is so much more to analyze and debunk. It is important to learn more about where we are today with renewable energy. This review is helpful for that HERE and there is a long list of them HERE that includes this one from The Nation, written by Josh Fox, who beat Moore to showing how bad fracking is in a couple of excellent documentaries in Moore and Jeff Gibbs’ style.

If you haven’t watched POTH, it is not really worth your time. If you do watch it, or have, there is some slight benefit in taking the time to think about some of it. 

Biomass energy from trees is bad and we need to stop it. Some may learn a little from that part, though it is a bit more nuanced about some biofuels, and a whole documentary on that would have been good. 

We need to keep big corporations from getting too involved in the renewable energy sector. In some ways, yes, for sure. But Google, loving that they could put this documentary on their youtube, was not chosen like Tesla was to be attacked, even though Google says they have powered 100% of their huge operations with renewable . . .  and are still hooked into the grid as was pointed out about Tesla which actually might be so they could provide some of their unused solar energy back to the local community they are in. 

We should all feel the need to have and buy a lot less. Needs a whole documentary on this, rather than the sparse treatment it gets in this one.  

And maybe have only one or no children for a while. Again, sounds simple, but how you implement that needs a couple of documentaries rather than having a few white men speculating in this one. Would it have been worth at least one woman having a say here? 

So some worthwhile things to consider, or to feel guilty about personally as fossil fuel interests prefer you to do. But it is all wrapped in a package that is a mess. 

You really have to wonder why they chose Earth Day to push it out.  

Climate activists were busy fighting fossil fuels in our “Stop the Money Pipeline” campaign that day. Youth were speaking about how we need the Green New Deal on EarthDayLive. Were Moore, Gibbs, and Zehner feeling a desperate need right then to enable Breibart.com, and so many other conservative business groups who have since cheered it on, to have a chance to say that our side of the climate crisis has finally confirmed what Trump has been saying about the worthlessness of clean energy? 

And, as a Breitbart reviewer speculated, they maybe single handedly gave the election to Trump and Republicans . . .  just so they could tell all their environmentalist friends they have gone in the wrong direction and have duped their followers? The Trump, far right, campaign ads, using the messages in this film, referencing Moore and parts of this documentary, are being made now and social media will be filled with them in clever ways soon.

 

Ken Jones
Clean Energy Campaign
350 Bay Area/350Marin

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Earth 2050 Event Celebrates Earth Day & the Future https://350marin.org/earth-2050-event-celebrates-earth-day-the-future/ https://350marin.org/earth-2050-event-celebrates-earth-day-the-future/#respond Sun, 08 May 2022 15:30:34 +0000 http://350marin.org/?p=26177 Line-up of booths at the Earth 2050 festival on April 24, 2022

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Earth 2050 Event Celebrates Earth Day & the Future

 Line up of booths at Earth 2050 at Mill Valley Rec Center on April 24, 2022

Earth 2050, the free community event to celebrate Earth Day and focus on the possibilities for a thriving, climate and environmentally responsible future had a great turnout on April 24, 2022.  Art was seen, inspring talks were heard, games and music were played, much was learned, and fun had by kids and adults alike!

The event was sponsored by Green Change, 350Marin, 350 Bay Area, and many other local groups.  Groups, including 350Marin, reported that many people expressed interest in and signed up to become more active in their work to guard and guide the planet’s future.

 

 

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COP26 Whimpers to a Close as Activists Decry Inaction https://350marin.org/cop26-whimpers-to-a-close-as-activists-decry-lack-of-action/ https://350marin.org/cop26-whimpers-to-a-close-as-activists-decry-lack-of-action/#respond Wed, 10 Nov 2021 20:09:39 +0000 http://350marin.org/?p=26053 More than 100 fossil fuel companies sent 500 lobbyists to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, more than any single country...

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COP26 Whimpers to a Close as Activists Decry Inaction

 “Artists take over the streets in San Francisco in the COP26 Stop Funding Climate Chaos protest against the big banks funding fossil fuel expansion  Photo: 350Marin

As the COP26 (the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties) ‘whimpers to a close’ this week, as one observer put it, the growing gap between this spectacle of largely empty words & greenwashing and real global action to tackle climate change should be an embarrassment to all concerned.  The reaction from climate activists has been scathing.

Some examples:

From Bill McKibben:  “…in a press release issued last week, the government of the United Kingdom, which is hosting the summit, initially claimed that a hundred and ninety nations and organizations represented there had joined in a breakthrough pledge to phase out coal and stop investing in new coal-power projects. But, as Agence France-Presse’s Patrick Galey pointed out, by the time the list of nations was published, only twenty-three had announced new plans to abstain from coal, and ten of them don’t even burn coal. Together, he found, the twenty-three nations account for just thirteen per cent of the world’s coal use. China, Russia, the United States, and Australia aren’t on the list.

Read Bill’s full article here.

Eighteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg called COP26 a “failure”.  She said, “The COP has turned into a PR event where leaders are giving beautiful speeches and announcing fancy commitments and targets, while behind the curtains the governments of the Global North countries are still refusing to take any drastic climate action.”

Climate Justice Activist Eve Chantelle from Uganda urges world leaders to put human rights and the rights of land and Environmental Defenders ahead of big polluters at COP26. See the report here.

The Glasgow U.N. climate summit is inundated with fossil fuel lobbyists, according to a recent report published by Global Witness that found “if the fossil fuel lobby were a country delegation at COP, it would be the largest with 503 delegates two dozen more than the largest country delegation.” Additionally, they estimated that there are over 100 coal, oil and gas company lobbyists and their associated groups at COP26.

See details here

Climate activists protested outside the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow Monday spotlighting the role of the U.S. military in fueling the climate crisis. The U.S. Department of Defense has a larger annual carbon footprint than most countries on Earth, and it also is the single largest polluter on Earth.

See Democracy Now’s report here

On Friday, 25,000 people, including many thousands of school students, joined a massive climate strike. The following day there were hundreds of actions all across the world and more than 100,000 people formed a protest marched through the streets of Glasgow. One of the speakers in Glasgow said: “We’re taking this action to encourage others, scientists and all people, to rise up in rebellion against the system that is killing everything.”

Over 100,000 cram the streets of Glasgow, Scotland to protest the inaction of governments and corporations on the climate crisis.  Photo credit:  The Left CC 2.0 License

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Years of Climate Activism Bring Three Huge Victories https://350marin.org/years-of-climate-activism-bring-three-huge-victories/ https://350marin.org/years-of-climate-activism-bring-three-huge-victories/#respond Thu, 01 Jul 2021 16:05:34 +0000 http://350marin.org/?p=25936 On May 26, 2021, climate activists scored three historic but separate victories against Exxon, Chevron and Dutch Shell on the same day...

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Years of Climate Activism Bring Three Huge Victories

 “Tears of Joy! We Won!”: Friends of the Earth Europe Celebrates the Shell Ruling

Climate activists just scored three historic victories against Big Oil that show the tide is slowly but surely turning in the fight to address the climate crisis.  On the same day, May 26th, 2021, three of the largest oil companies in the world, Dutch Shell, Chevron and Exxon were dealt three different, powerful blows likely to hasten the demise of their fossil fuel business in coming years and to accelerate the move to renewables.

Shareholder Rebellions:  For Chevron, it was an overwhelming vote by 61% of their shareholders that they should work to track and reduce not only Chevron’s own carbon emissions, but ‘Scope 3’ emissions, those of its products and its customers as well, (a majority of Conoco-Philips and Philips 66 shareholders had approved similar proposals earlier in the month). And at Exxon, a small activist group of shareholders succeeded in electing three ‘activist’ directors to Exxon’s 12 member Board of Directors who will now push the company to more quickly stop investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure and move to accelerate its transition into a renewable energy company.

A first-ever climate court order:  And finally, a Dutch court in the Hague ordered Dutch Shell to reduce its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, in line with IPCC recommended goals.  This is a precedent-setting ruling that potentially puts a ‘carbon polluter’ label and liability on the back of every fossil fuel company in the world, adding meaningful risk for their investors. The court acknowledged that ordering Shell to cut its emissions virtually in half in just the next nine years could have a negative impact on Shell’s operations, growth and business.  But the court said that the interests of the public to stop disruptive, life-threatening climate change clearly outweigh Shell’s commercial interests.

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350Marin Internship Program https://350marin.org/350marin-internship-program/ https://350marin.org/350marin-internship-program/#respond Mon, 08 Jun 2020 16:07:57 +0000 http://350marin.org/?p=25543 We are seeking college-age youth and high school students with good communication skills who are already active or are interested in becoming active in helping to address the climate crisis...

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350Marin Internship Program

NEW! Internship Positions for 2022 & 2023
greta-350
Want to make an impact while learning about the fundamentals of climate activism and how grassroots organizations operate? Check out our open positions:

 

High School Internships:   We seek highly motivated, passionate, self-starter high school students to assist with local climate activism campaigns. Interns will learn the skills needed to become effective climate activists and to experience how grassroots organizations operate.  See details here.   We have 3 unpaid positions available.  Contact us at info@350marin.org or apply here.

 

Climate Action Planning Assistant (paid): We’re seeking an organized self-starter with a passion for addressing the climate crisis, and strong organization and communication skills to support the towns of Fairfax and San Anselmo to further the implementation of the Town Climate Action Plans.   The primary focus of this spring-summer internship will be to work with 350Marin to support the Climate Action Commissions/Committees and the Town’s Climate Action Coordinator. We have 1 paid position available.  See the details here and you can apply here.  Contact info@350marin.org if you have any questions.  We look forward to working with you!
youth-panel
Natale and other 350Marin  interns lead a 2019 youth panel on climate

 
If you’re high school or college age, consider checking out our program for 2022 and 2023 school years.  Interning with 350Marin can be an exciting chance to learn how activists work to make change happen while positively affecting one of the most important issues of our time!

 

Past Internship History

Our internship program allowed us to welcome youth from College of Marin, Marin School of Environment Leadership, Sir Francis Drake High School, and the Marin Academy.  Some of our interns have become involved directly in activist actions and have provided a liason with the Sunrise Movement Marin Hub, while others worked on special projects and/or supported other 350Marin organizing efforts.  Our former interns had different experiences depending on their focus and areas of interest within climate change activism. Our flexible structure allows us to tailor the internship on both the needs of our organization and the profile of the student. Below are pictures of some of our former interns along with what they have to say about their interests and their experience interning with 350Marin.

In 2020-2021, 350Marin’s Youth Internship  program worked with Tucker Vorhees (Marin School of Environmental Leadership), Brianna Flores (Archie Miller HS) and Nate Wolford (Archie Miller HS) with the aim of creating a game that would be fun and informative about the Green New Deal (GND) With master programmer Kelly Jones, we met weekly to develop the game, which you can see and play today at https://www.350Marin.org/GNDgame.html! We created the questions and found the images to use that illustrated the questions, which was an excellent way to familiarize ourselves with the concerns of climate change and how the Green New Deal could help us move towards a future that was more promising.

Eleanor Huang

 My name is Eleanor  Huang. I am a member  of Terra Linda High  School’s graduating class of 2020, and a student in the Marin School of Environmental Leadership. When I’m not at school, work, or orchestra, I like to spend my free time artistically, like painting or making earrings. I wanted to be a 350 Marin intern because I am passionate about youth advocacy. I believe 350 Marin’s style of grass-roots activism in youth leadership is the spirit the world needs to conquer the climate crisis. During my time as an intern, I gained a new perspective on climate activism, met other students determined to protect the earth, and learned how to use zoom video calls. I’m forever grateful for the experience! Next year, I will be a Philosophy major in the Honors College of Letters & Science at UC Santa Barbara. 

 

Natale Urquhart

My name is Natale and I am going into my senior year at Humboldt State University, majoring in Environmental Science with an emphasis in ecological restoration. This summer and the next I will be working as an intern soil conservationist with NRCS. I was part of the first year of interns with 350Marin, and it was such a good learning experience. I got to plan events, attend community meetings, give input into our campaigns, and learn from the tight-knit, caring group of adults that make up 350Marin. I’m so excited to see how 350Marin will continue to grow and inspire! 

Brianna Flores

Hi! My name is Brianna Flores. I am a senior at High School 1327, previously known as Sir Francis Drake High School. My interest in environmental science and social justice pushed me to join a community at my school named SEA-DISC, which stands for Studies of the Environment Academy – Drake Integrated Studies Curricula. It is through SEA-DISC that I became aware of 350 Marin, and their work sparked an interest in me, especially with this game as I am also interested in computer science. I am still not sure what college I will be attending in the fall, but I know I want to focus on a science related major, which is why I applied for biochemistry programs.

Niklas Ugalde

My name is Niklas Alexander Ugalde Recarte and I am a second year student at College of Marin. After graduating with an A.A. in Social Sciences this spring, I will be pursuing a B.A. in Environmental Studies for the coming two years. During my time at College of Marin, I have become increasingly active in environmental initiatives such as launching a recycling program on campus. Through my environmental engagement, I learned about 350 Marin and their shared mission to fight for environmental sustainability. With a vision to divest my college from fossil fuels, I decided to work as an intern for 350 Marin and find support in their expertise on sustainable investments. The team’s guidance not only helped me learn about divestment but pushed me to move beyond my expectations. I learned to analyze my College‘s investment holdings, and formulate a thesis on the ecological and financial risks of investing in fossil fuels. In the end, through 350 Marin’s continual support, I was able to gain my college president’s commitment to divest a six-million-dollar fund from fossil fuels. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I received to work with inspiring personalities at 350 Marin.

 

Sylvia Potovsky

I am 17 years old and a current senior at Sir Francis Drake High School. I play softball and field hockey at my school and spend most of my free time combating climate change, volunteering in my community, and maintaining my school garden. I love to take hikes in nature and create films. 

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350Marin and Allies Protest Novato Costco Mega-Gas Plan https://350marin.org/350marin-and-allies-protest-novato-costco-mega-gas-plan/ https://350marin.org/350marin-and-allies-protest-novato-costco-mega-gas-plan/#respond Tue, 23 Feb 2021 16:44:01 +0000 http://350marin.org/?p=25811 On Saturday, 2/202021, protestors marched and rallied in opposition to a proposal to build an unneeded, un-ecological, 28 pump gas station at Costco on Vintage Way...

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350Marin and Allies Protest Novato Costco Mega-Gas Plan

Silke Valentine, 350Marin Steering Committee member and Marin Sierra Club Board member speaks at the rally

On Saturday, 2/20/21, a crowd organized by Novato citizens and environmental allies 350Marin, 350 Bay Area, the Sierra Club, Green Novato and Sustainable Novato gathered by the Vintage Oaks Mall to protest plans by Costco to build a large new gas station next to its Vintage Oaks store.

Excerpt from KRON 4 coverage:

‘Video shows a crowd marching with signs along a sidewalk. One sign reads, “Costco, stop fueling climate chaos.”

via https://www.indybay.org/

This after the city proposed a 1.15-acre gas station that would be located in the southern portion of the Vintage Oaks Shopping Center.

Protesters want to send a message to Novato City Council, according to a flyer sent out organizing the protest.

They say the proposal goes against all of the hard work Novato and Marin County residents put into transitioning to a clean and green economy.

The project would include a 10,244-square-foot fuel dispenser canopy, 14 dispensers (28 fueling positions), three 40,000-gallon gasoline underground storage tanks, one 1,500-gallon additive UST, an approximately 125 square-foot controller enclosure, a vapor processing unit, directional stripping and an approximately 6,086 square-foot net increase in landscaped areas.

If approved, the construction is expected to begin in June with an aim of completion by September.’

You can read the full KRON article here.

Protestors said the gas station was unneeded, and represented a dangerous continuation of fossil fuel infrastructure build-out at a time when the Novato City Council just three months ago declared a Climate Emergency and promised it would guide the town’s future planning. See what local citizens and organizers had to say about the project by clicking on the video image below:

 

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2nd Largest Solar Farm in World Goes Online in China https://350marin.org/largest-solar-farm-in-world-goes-online-in-china/ https://350marin.org/largest-solar-farm-in-world-goes-online-in-china/#respond Sun, 06 Dec 2020 16:57:46 +0000 http://350marin.org/?p=25728 In September, 2020, as the lifetime cost per megawatt hour of PV solar has been plummeting, China connected the 2nd largest solar farm in the world to the grid...

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2nd Largest Solar Farm in World Goes Online in China

2.2 Gigawatt Longyangxia Solar Park in China.  Image courtesy Sungrown Press Release

Massive solar arrays are starting to spring up around the world, particularly in Asia.  That’s because the lifetime cost per megawatt hour of PV Solar has been plummeting, and is now estimated to be well below coal, offshore wind, and nuclear power.   Recent estimates of solar farm construction costs in Asia have fallen to roughly $1 million/megawatt installed, or a billion dollars per gigawatt.

Excerpt from CNET’s report:

“Chinese President Xi Jinping last week committed his country to carbon neutrality by 2060. This week, China took a small but tangible step in achieving this goal as the country’s biggest-ever solar power station was connected to the grid in the northwest province of Qinghai.

The solar park has a capacity of 2.2GW. That makes it the second biggest in the world, narrowly trailing India’s 2.245GW Bhadla solar park. Until now, China’s biggest solar station was the Tengger Desert Solar Park, with a capacity of 1.54GW. For comparison, the US’ biggest solar farm has a capacity of 579MW.”

 

According to PV Magazine, construction on the massive power plant began in November, 2019 and completed just 10 months later in September of 2020.  The power station also includes a storage component with 202.86 megawatt hours of energy storage plant. Construction on that portion of the project was also completed in September after just four months.

Rewiring America’s “Electrify Everything” plan estimates that virtually all industrial, transport, building and residential energy in the US could be converted to electricity with a 10 year crash project by also implementing smart building, energy conservation, and timing of useage patterns.  They say the cost of such an intense transformation would fall within the at a $3 trillion 10 year budget to address the climate crisis that was set by most Democratic presidential candidates in the 2020 election.  You can read the details here.

 

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Big Oil Uses Virus as Cover to Build XL Pipeline https://350marin.org/big-oil-uses-virus-cover-to-build-xl-pipeline/ https://350marin.org/big-oil-uses-virus-cover-to-build-xl-pipeline/#respond Wed, 08 Apr 2020 14:47:05 +0000 http://350marin.org/?p=25260 The oil industry saw its opening and moved with breathtaking speed to take advantage of this moment...

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Big Oil Uses Virus as Cover to Build XL Pipeline

Worker coats the Keystone XL pipeline after welding

From the Guardian:  

Big Oil is using the coronavirus pandemic to push through the Keystone XL pipeline

The oil industry saw its opening and moved with breathtaking speed to take advantage of this moment

Excerpt:

…[A] decade ago, beginning with indigenous activists in Canada and farmers and ranchers in the American west and midwest, opposition began to something called the Keystone XL pipeline, designed to carry filthy tar sands oil from the Canadian province of Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico. It quickly became a flashpoint for the fast-growing climate movement, especially after Nasa scientist James Hansen explained that draining those tar sands deposits would be “game over” for the climate system. And so thousands went to jail and millions rallied and eventually Barack Obama bent to that pressure and blocked the pipeline. Donald Trump, days after taking office, reversed that decision, but the pipeline has never been built, both because its builder, TC Energy, has had trouble arranging the financing and permits, and because 30,000 people have trained to do nonviolent civil disobedience to block construction. It’s been widely assumed that, should a Democrat win the White House in November, the project would finally be gone for good.

And then came the coronavirus epidemic – and the oil industry saw its opening. It moved with breathtaking speed to take advantage of the moment.

On Tuesday, TC Energy announced it was moving workers from across America into place in states along the pipeline route – although local reporters in Montana discovered they’d actually begun arriving 48 hours earlier, narrowly beating the state imposition of a quarantine.

On Thursday, JP Morgan Chase announced that it was leading a $1.25bn bond issue for TC Energy.

So here’s how it shakes out:

1) The oil industry is flying in workers from across America to rural states with already strained health care systems, at a moment when all Americans have been asked to shelter in place, and pretending that they are “essential” employees in order to build a pipeline that would carry oil no one wants or needs, and which would go a long way toward wrecking the planet’s climate system.

2) The work is being done on the edges of many Indian reservations – endangering a group of people who, over the centuries, have endured 90% population losses from introduced epidemics, and who are suffering horrible losses already from this one. As Faith Spotted Eagle of the Yankton Sioux put it on Wednesday, “this causes eerie memories for us [of] the infected smallpox blankets that were distributed to tribes intentionally”.

3) It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the oil industry is acting decisively now because it knows this is the one moment when protesters can’t make themselves heard. Those 30,000 trained volunteers represent one of the great nonviolent armies in American history, willing to suffer to protect the planet – but they are moral human beings who will not risk taking microbes into prisons with them, and endanger prisoners crowded together in impossible conditions.

Read Bill McKibben’s full opinion piece HERE.

File photo:  Truck moving 36″ pipe into place to build Keystone XL Pipeline

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NYC and London Mayors Call On All Cities to Divest https://350marin.org/mayors-divestment-call/ https://350marin.org/mayors-divestment-call/#respond Fri, 17 Jan 2020 00:51:21 +0000 http://350marin.org/?p=25129 This fall, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and London mayor Sadiq Kahn called on all cities around the world to divest from fossil fuels...

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NYC and London Mayors Call On All Cities to Divest

 ‘We are calling on other cities to stand with us.’ New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and London mayor Sadiq Kahn (right). Photograph: Pacific Press/LightRocket 

From Guardian UK by New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and London mayor Sadiq Kahn:  

“It’s clear that what we think of now as freak weather in our cities is likely to become the new normal, and that climate change poses a huge threat to the futures of our children, and many generations to come.

As mayors, we are not only committed to taking bold action to tackle climate change and to improve the lives of those we represent, but also to showing others the way. That’s why, ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit in California, we are calling on other cities to stand with us to divest their assets from fossil fuel companies. Today we are announcing a new global initiative for cities on divestment and sustainable investment. Working through the C40 Climate Leadership Group, London and New York will co-chair the Cities Divest/Invest forum, a global network for cities that will not only enable us to share tools, knowledge and experiences, but also to advocate for action on divestment and green investment.

London and New York are two of the world’s most dynamic, innovative and forward-thinking cities, and we are determined to push ahead with the goals of the Paris agreement – stealing a march on many national governments.”

 

Read their entire statement in the Guardian here.

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Climate Protesters Halt Harvard-Yale Game https://350marin.org/protest-harvard-yale/ https://350marin.org/protest-harvard-yale/#respond Mon, 25 Nov 2019 20:05:18 +0000 http://350marin.org/?p=25078 Over a hundred students and alumni stopped the Harvard-Yale football game to protest the universities' climate change investments...

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Climate Protesters Halt Harvard-Yale Game

File photo of Yale/Harvard game

From CNN:  

The Harvard-Yale football game was delayed Saturday after more than a hundred students and alumni flooded the field to protest against the schools’ endowments from fossil fuel companies.   “Nobody wins. Yale & Harvard are complicit in climate injustice,” read a banner held by the students… Harvard was leading Yale 15-3 during the game in New Haven, Connecticut when the students ran into midfield as halftime was ending. The game was delayed for nearly 30 minutes until students were escorted out of the field by police.

Students are calling for both schools to divest their endowments from fossil fuel holdings. Yale students are demanding the school to pressure hedge fund managers to cancel any debt from Puerto Rico.

“Harvard and Yale claim their goal is to create student leaders who can strive toward a more ‘just, fair, and promising world’ by ‘improving the world today and for future generations.’ Yet by continuing to invest in industries that mislead the public, smear academics, and deny reality, Harvard and Yale are complicit in tearing down that future,” the student groups, Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard, Fossil Free Yale and Yale Endowment Justice Coalition, said in a statement following the protest.   “We demand that our universities take responsibility for their role in perpetuating the climate crisis and global climate injustice — we call on Harvard and Yale to fully disclose, divest, and reinvest their holdings in the fossil fuel industry, putting an end to business as usual and taking meaningful action towards building a more just and stable future,” the groups added.

— Read the full CNN report HERE.

An excerpt from the Guardian article on the protest explains the protestors are abandoning their former strategy of administrative engagement:

“Students began campaigning in 2012 for both schools to stop investing in oil and gas and coal companies that contribute to the climate crisis. Both universities refused, arguing that they would be in a better position to encourage corporate climate action if they remained shareholders.

“They believe that they can engage with these companies and get them to change their fundamentally extractive business models, which we think comes from a place of naivety amounting to gross negligence,” Nora Heaphy, an undergraduate at Yale, said.

“It’s absurd to make those kinds of claims. So since then our campaign has moved away from administrative engagement, recognizing that it is often a stalling tactic.”

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