Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Message from Zephyr Teachout

November 5, 2014
Friend --
Like many of you, I'm disappointed that the New York State Senate is now firmly in the hands of Republicans in this big-hearted, egalitarian, Democratic State. And like many of you, I’m disappointed that Andrew Cuomo refused to help Senate Democrats, and has shown every indication that he plans to continue implementing his big-donor agenda. We have our work cut out for us.
And the national news that Democrats lost--well, that's a sign we need to return to our core progressive values with Elizabeth Warren-style populism if we're going to win, not a set of manufactured milquetoast messages with no real ideas behind them. People feel powerless--we should address that honestly and directly, and take on the monopolists that are rigging the system. We need a trust-busting, pro-public school, clean energy Democratic Party that is unafraid to speak the truth and refuses the trickle-down ideology. So let’s keep up the fight.
This is the statement that we put out last night, on receiving news of the election results:
We will fight for the best public schools in the country. We will fight for an economy grounded in the health of our small businesses. We will fight to be a welcoming state for immigrants. We will fight to ban fracking and build a clean energy future. And we will fight to restore our democracy with public elections and end the corrupt influence of wealthy interests.
Because we don’t want to be the most unequal state in America any longer — whether Andrew Cuomo is governor or not.
Even though Governor Cuomo and the Republicans may have control in Albany this term, we still own our dreams of a populist progressive Democratic state. And we will continue to broadcast that vision loudly. No matter who is in office, I'll keep fighting. Will you?


Saturday, October 4, 2014


Put on your walking shoes, grab your helmet and bike, or hop in your canoe/kayak
On October 11th to
Rally ‘Round Otsego’s Waters (RROW)

As part of this year’s Global Frackdown, we are once again celebrating our Otsego waters, headwaters to the mighty Susquehanna River and life force of our environment. While we are gathering at Otsego Lake, this is a celebration of all of Otsego’s waters – Gilbert Lake, Canadarago Lake, Goodyear Lake, Summit Lake, and all the many ponds and streams and creeks that course toward the rivers. Come celebrate the health of your favorite body of water!
Walkers will leave Lake Front Park in Cooperstown at 10:00am, walk up the east side of Otsego Lake and arrive at the West Pavilion in Glimmerglass State Park at approximately 12:30pm. Cyclists will leave from Lakefront at 11 am. Shuttles will provide transportation between the two parks throughout the walk. Participants will be able to join or leave the walk along the route and walk whatever distance they are comfortable with. Kayakers and canoeists will meet at Glimmerglass State Park at 10:00 for launching at 10:30 am. Bring life vests and appropriate safety gear and clothing appropriate for the water temperature. Boaters will paddle along the shoreline in a group around Hyde Bay and return to Glimmerglass.
 At Glimmerglass, lunch will be provided for everyone via potluck volunteers, along with live music by Heaven's Back Door. At 2:00pm, those who wish to participate in the return walk to Lake Front will leave Glimmerglass and arrive at Lake Front at approximately 4:30.

If you want to Rally ‘Round Otsego’s Waters but don’t want to walk, bike, or paddle, we would love volunteers to drive shuttles and bring potluck dishes.  To sign up for the event as a participant or volunteer, please contact Cat Gareth, Sponsored by Otsego 2000. Other sponsors welcome!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tipping Point: The People's Climate March September 21, 2014

Dave Pruett                                                                                                                
Former NASA researcher; Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, James Madison University

Tipping Point: The People's Climate March

Posted: 09/30/2014 8:49 am EDT             

"If the planet dies, all causes are lost causes." -- Anonymous

Humanity's fate hangs on a tight race between two tipping points: a scientific one and a cognitive one.

Scientists use the term "tipping point" to refer to a runaway feedback loop that, when triggered, abruptly and irreversibly changes the behavior of a system, such as the climate. For example, when permafrost melts, it releases methane, 50 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Thus: global warming, melting permafrost, more atmospheric methane, more global warming. The worrisome cycle can easily spin out of control.

But there's another climate tipping point: the tipping point of public awareness. If the level of climate awareness tips before climate catastrophe, we just might salvage a viable future. And if so, historians of that future will record September 21, 2014, as the day that saved planet Earth.


I had planned to attend the People's Climate March (PCM). Our small town chartered two coaches -- bound for the Big Apple -- and packed them to capacity. Alas, a knee injury sidelined me. My wife and daughter marched. Spellbound, I watched the event live-streamed from Democracy Now!

Organizers had anticipated 100,000 marchers; in their wildest dreams they hoped for 200,000. Early Sunday afternoon the numbers exceeded 300,000 and kept climbing. As marchers spilled in from side streets, the procession swelled and stretched, ultimately reaching four miles in length and gathering up at least 400,000. A drone captured this aerial view.

The environmental equivalent of the 1963 civil rights march on Washington, the PCM was undoubtedly an historical watershed.
But unlike the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1950s and 1960s, during which the media daily brought police brutality and body bags to our living-room TVs, the mainstream media has been conspicuously AWOL or unreliable on the climate. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox all ignored the PCM or treated it as an afterthought. Even NPR downplayed the event. We can only conclude that corporate media has as a stake in the status quo, even when business as usual is stealing the future. For genuine news, it has become necessary to frequent refreshing alternatives such as Democracy Now!, which covered the PCM live for three hours, The Guardian, Nation of Change, and Common Dreams, among others.

I'm no journalist, but for those who missed the significance of this singular moment due to the mainstream media's abdication of responsibility, permit me a few reflections on why the PCM was monumental.

First, it was huge: eight times the size of the largest previous climate march. I've learned a little rule of thumb from local politics. For every person who shows up for a protest, 10 others wanted to be there but couldn't, and perhaps 100 others sympathize with the cause. The sheer size of the PCM implies that Americans are finally waking up. The rest of the world, it's worth noting, has long been awake on the issue of climate.

Second, although I can't claim this as gospel truth, I suspect the PCM gathered the largest coalition of groups since D-Day, and perhaps more. There were, of course, the usual suspects, the environmental groups: (the primary organizer), Sierra Club, Green Peace, Climate Justice, the Rainforest Action Network, and so on. But these comprised just the tip of an iceberg gargantuan enough to sink the Titanic of climate denial.

Also present were numerous unions, from the AFL-CIO, to the UAW, to the Domestic Workers Union, to the Amalgamated Transit Union. Not surprisingly, Occupy Wall Street was there also, because the 1 percent that is screwing the 99 percent economically is also screwing us climatically.

Women were out in full force. In addition to stalwart groups like now NOW and Code Pink, there were Mom's Clean Air Force and the Raging Grannies, lobbying for climate action to secure a future for their children and grandchildren, respectively.

All manner of medical workers were present: Physicians (and Psychologists) for Social Responsibility and the New York Professional Nurses Union, for example. Why? For many reasons, among them climate change's impact on the spread of tropical diseases and the increasing frequency of asthma and respiratory illnesses due to atmospheric pollution.

Anti-war (including Veterans for Peace) and anti-nuke protestors were there, because addiction to fossil fuels keeps us perpetually at war, and because nuclear power plants are ticking time bombs. Renewable energy solves both problems.

Citizens of 150 counties attended, represented by groups as diverse as South Asians for Climate Justice and the Eco-Sikhs. Marshall Islanders, for example, live on average just 6 feet above sea level. Their ambassador marched to draw attention to the devastation the island nation has already suffered from rising seas. The Survivors of Sandy marched too, for much the same reasons as Marshall Islanders.

Indigenous groups from around the world were front and center, because they've known from time immemorial that to dishonor Mother Earth is the worst form of insanity.

Students from hundreds of colleges marched because their futures are jeopardized by an unstable climate and continual war over oil, land, and water.

Communities of faith, awakening to the moral and spiritual implications of climate change, were represented by tens of thousands of marchers.

Scientists marched too, proclaiming unapologetically: "The 'Debate' Is Over."

Two dear friends, Harvard grads both, marched with Divest Harvard, determined to end profiteering by the fossil-fuel industry, which has declared war on the Earth's life-support systems.

In all, 1400 organizations participated, each with a unique identity, yet united in solidarity for one mega-cause: to rescue planet Earth from the stranglehold of fossil fuel. And speaking of solidarity, there were 2646 solidarity events held in 162 countries.

Finally, the PCM, unlike mass demonstrations of the past, was truly a "People's" march. Sure, there was no shortage of celebrities, politicians, and climate gurus: environmentalist and principal organizer Bill McKibben, U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Sheldon Whitehouse, former vice-president Al Gore. Susan Sarandon and Leonardo DiCaprio marched. So did UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, alongside world-revered primatologist Jane Goodall.

But there were no major speeches by the organizers or the celebrated. Instead, there was a moment of silence followed by a deafening roar that coursed like a wave through the four-mile throng. Some called this a wake-up alarm, intended for those whose heads are buried in the sand, whose ears are filled with wax, or whose souls are deadened by greed and/or power.

There was no need for speeches. The faces, costumes, placards, and signs said it all: "The Greatest Danger to Our Future is Apathy," "Stop the War on Mother Earth," "There Is No Planet B," "We Are All in the Same Boat."

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Climate March, Explained

One Week Away: The Countdown! We're really looking forward to seeing all our fracktivist friends at the People's Climate March, next Sunday, Sept. 21

SEP mimi www legal
PCM poster

One Week Away: The Countdown!

We're really looking forward to seeing all our fracktivist friends at the People's Climate March, next Sunday, Sept. 21st, and at all the amazing events leading up to it. This is a chance not only to show the world that fracking = methane = climate change, it's a chance for activists from around the country to meet each other and build our movement. There are many contingents joining the march (Labor, Faith, EJA, and more). This newsletter is aimed at making sure everyone whose focus is fracking, pipelines, LNG and fossil fuels knows where to go and what to do. Here's the countdown, working backwards from the march, day by day. Seeya soon!


SUNDAY SEPT. 21st: March Logistics

march route

The fracking hub of the march will be a powerful contingent, filled with art, banners and media-perfect images: we'll be bouncing inflated methane molecules like beach balls; the huge LNG tanker from the DC march will be there; plus a 100-foot pipeline and a block-filling painted parachute! And we will have great company: we'll be marching with tar sands and mountaintop removal activists. Together we will tell the world that extreme energy extraction is SO last century.

HOW TO GET HERE: If you haven't signed up for a bus yet, click here. If you need a place to stay the night before the march, Sane Energy Project has reserved space at a youth hostel located near the march lineup. We have just a few beds left. Email if you want to reserve a bed. For other accommodations, click here.

WHERE TO MEET: Find us on Central Park West between 80th and 81st street. Enter at 81st street (or 77th street). Get there as close to 8am as you can manage. As the blocks fill up, police will seal off those streets. If you arrive later you may be moved to the end of the march. Because there are so many folks ahead of us, we probably won't start moving until around noon. Buses are not due in until about 11am. If you can't join our hub right at the start of the march, don't panic. We'll either catch up to each other en route, or see each other at the closing celebration in front of Javitz Center. The important thing is to tell the world about fracking and climate change!

HOW TO PREPARE: If police seal an area you won't be able to get back in if you leave, so please bring plenty of water, sunscreen and food. Port-o-sans will be provided. If you have trouble standing please bring a folding stool or seat. We're asking volunteer musicians and performers to come keep our spirits up and get everyone dancing and singing while we wait!

IF YOU HAVE MOBILITY ISSUES: We don't have details yet but we know there will be at least 2 points along the march where those with trouble walking can join for a short distance, or leave the march if necessary. Stay tuned or check the PCM website for details as they are released.

solutions NY front clean

HOW TO HELP: What's the point of this march? To get our message out to the UN, Obama, Cuomo, De Blasio, and anyone who is along the route, or recording it for media. To that end, please volunteer to hand out the variety of postcards we have created for the march. Pick up a couple hundred cards at any of the events we'll be at this week (see below), so that no matter where you end up in the march, you'll be ready!

One of the cards we've created is a summary of The Solutions Project; how New York State can go 100% renewable by 2050. This is something we want to get out to the public in a big way. We also have a card listing 5 "no brainer" climate solutions for NYC, including choosing a wind farm over LNG (duh!) How can we make sure all New Yorkers know about this? Only with your help!

seachange you are here kingston

The Seachange Flotilla lands in Kingston and stops for a photo with one of our "You Are Here" map pins.

PS: One of the more inspired events around the Climate march has been the Seachange Flotilla (aka, We All LIve Downstream). Watch this video for a taste of the intense creative power behind this effort.

This collection of handmade PAPER canoes launched from Troy, NY two weeks ago, and landed in Inwood on Saturday! Along the way they stopped in numerous Hudson River towns, highlighting the risks from climate change and fracking, such as the Spectra AIM pipeline and numerous gas and nuclear power plants along the route. They'll be floating around the tip of Manhattan as we are all marching on Sunday.



Saturday @ 12:30: Launch of YOU ARE HERE

map-pin copy

For two years, Sane has been developing this project in collaboration with dozens of upstate allies. This groundbreaking interactive map catalogs all the existing and proposed shale gas infrastructure in New York State, AND connects users to the local groups fighting it. And, to connect the development of shale gas with the political situation in NY, Zephyr Teachout will say a few opening words. At this forum, you will meet the contributors to the map and speak with affected front-line activists working against frack waste, the Seneca Salt Caverns, the Constitution Pipeline, and various downstate projects as well. We'll have iPads so you can try out the map for yourself. Part of the Climate Convergence, at The Graffiti Church, 205 E. 7th St., between Avenues B & C, Manhattan. Free (suggested donations to cover costs) To register, click here. or just show up! The Convergence will run from 8:30am until 5:30pm.


Saturday @ 3:30pm: Meet Your Fellow Fracktivists!


Lots of people will be coming in from out of town for the march, including folks who've traveled across the country, from upstate, Texas, DC, California and Pennsylvania. An informal networking and social gathering will take place in Tompkins Square Park, just half a block from the Climate Convergence, at the Gaia/Krishna Tree near the center of the park (the park is between 7th and 10th streets and Avenues A and B). PICK UP POSTCARDS FOR THE MARCH HERE!

Saturday Nite LIVE: Many options!

There's no shortage of ways to gear up for the march this last night before. The big event at Ethical Culture has been sold out for a week (PICK UP POSTCARDS FOR THE MARCH HERE!), but check out these other options (needless to say, ARRIVE EARLY to any of these stellar events):

5-7pm: FRACK OFF: Indigenous Women Leading Media Campaigns to Defend our Climate. Activists Shelley A. Young, Kandi Mosset, Elle Maija Tailfeathers, and Ellen Gabriel discuss high-profile campaigns by indigenous groups in Canada and the U.S. that protest the oil and fracking industries. @ The New School, 66 West 12th Street, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall.

7-9pm: Closing Plenary of the Climate Convergence features Naomi Klein, Jaqui Patterson, Desmond D'Sa and Olga Bautista, @ Saint Peter's Church, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street (near the Citicorp building).

8-10pm: The Climate Crisis: Which Way Out? Join Senator Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, Chris Hedges, Kshama Sawant and Van Jones for a discussion of strategies and tactics for the climate movement. Moderated by Brian Lehrer of WNYC. @ The Unitarian Church of All Souls, 1157 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY Corner of East 80 Street. FREE.


friday event

5pm: Today's Fossil Fuels and the Future of our Children's Health. Ignoring all the bad news about climate change won't make it go away; especially when it comes to what could negatively impact our most vulnerable of population, children. @ John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 W. 59th Street, near 10th Avenue. FREE but reservations strongly recommended. Sane Energy Project is a cosponsor. PICK UP POSTCARDS FOR THE MARCH HERE!


6:30pm: Resistance Cinema presents screening: Groundswell Rising, The Human Cost of Fracking. SPECIAL GUEST: MARK LICHTY, Executive Producer. @ Community Church of New York Assembly Hall, 40 East 35 Street, between Madison and Park. FREE (donations appreciated). PICK UP POSTCARDS FOR THE MARCH HERE!


7-9pm: Fracking Voices From the Frontlines. Speakers, including Madeline Stano, CA; Jenny Lisak, PA; Asha Canalos, NY; and Martin Guillermo Mullaly, Argentina, will share stories from their communities of resilience, resistance, and strength against extractive industries. @ MayDay / PCM Arts Space, 3rd floor, 214 Starr Street. Brooklyn Map here. L train to Jefferson Street station.



7- 8:30pm: Climate Conversations: Why the UN's Climate Summit is Important to All of Us A discussion with Lisa DiCaprio, Yvonne O'Neal, Beth Ackerman, and Philip Orton; Moderated by Steve Knight, GreenFaith. @ Church of the Holy Trinity, 316 E 88th St, between 2nd and 1st Avenues. FREE. Sane Energy Project is a cosponsor. PICK UP POSTCARDS FOR THE MARCH HERE!



6:30pm: Screening, The Future of Energy, NYC Premiere

A powerful documentary that captures the movement across the United States to transition to renewable energy and what everyday people are doing to help foster that shift. It's a love story about the countless individuals and communities that are re-imagining their relationships with the planet and with each other.

Featuring: Mark Jacobson, CA Governor Jerry Brown, Mayors Bob Dixon and R. Rex Parris who have transitioned their cities to 100% renewable energy.

Get tickets here: @ New York Society for Ethical Culture,
2 West 64th Street at Central Park West. Sane Energy Project is a cosponsor.



8pm to 9:30pm: Screening: Cowspiracy
The vegan advocates / filmmakers claim there is a conspiracy of silence by the big greens about industrial-scale animal agriculture, which they consider the biggest cause of climate change on the planet.

As one of the forces behind Food Not Fracking, and as advocates for farmers, we sure want to see what they're on about. We know that done right, meat can be sustainably raised, in a way that even fixes carbon in the soil, and that upstate farmers are some of our best advocates against fracking. Join us to check out the controversy: @ Jivamukti Yoga Center, 841 Broadway, near 13th street, upstairs.

Remember: Fracking = Methane = Climate Change!

Believe it or not, this is just a SMALL SAMPLING of climate march events. You want the whole nine yards? Check here, and here and here! Have a great week, see you at the march!

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