Blog

430 I’ve learned many things in my four years at Washington University in St. Louis--not all of them in the classroom. For example, before I became a student at Wash U, I had never heard of Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private sector coal corporation.

In St. Louis, Peabody ingratiates itself to the local community by posing as a benefactor of the arts, charitable corporate ‘citizen,’ and hero tackling “energy poverty.” It all sounds pretty good until you realize that Peabody Energy is the world’s largest private sector coal corporation whose business model propagates climate change and destroys communities. Peabody’s list of crimes is a veritable laundry list of social and environmental injustices: the destruction of mountains in West Virginia, the forced relocation of Navajo and Hopi Indian tribes in Black Mesa, Arizona, being a major supporter of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which have been strong advocates of controversial legislation like “Stand Your Ground” laws, the destruction of Rocky Branch, Illinois through aggressive mining and logging, and the distortion of democracy here in St. Louis by striking down a city-wide ballot initiative.

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Hundreds of students from fossil fuel divestment campaigns from across the country have descended onto the campus of San Francisco State University for a national convergence. The atmosphere is very exciting, the energy is palpable. Each student here represents a campaign and is here to share their experiences and learn from each other. The issue of fossil fuel divestment is the fastest growing student movement in history according to a recent Oxford Study. It comes down to students asking their universities to pull the money in their endowments out of fossil fuel companies.

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This blog was authored by Casey Aldridge, a first-year student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

One Monday in October 2013, I made the five-minute walk to the student center at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for a protest that I helped orchestrate.  The protest, directed at a Bank of America recruitment session on campus, was part of a nationwide campaign by Rainforest Action Network to tell banks to “Stop Financing Climate Chaos”.

421 Activists disrupt Bank of America recruitment at UNCC in early 2013.Working with about twenty students and a pair of local activists, we arrived at the recruitment session.  Our plan:  to mic-check the presentation, showcasing our banner that denounced Bank of America’s policy of funding mountaintop removal and coal.  Our goal: to get our point across to potential Bank of America recruits; Bank of America’s addiction to coal – investing $6.4 billion in the dirty energy over the last two years – is destructive to our shared planet.

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The following post was authored by Laura Mistretta, a fourth-year student at Duke University.

It may be the most inconvenient truth of all: many of our actions, including those deeply embedded in our lifestyles, produce greenhouse gas emissions.  The most obvious sources of greenhouse gas emissions are those associated with transportation and electricity use.  If we look a bit further we can see greenhouse gas emissions lurking behind the milk in our refrigerators, woven into the fabric of our clothing, and stained with ink in our newspapers. 

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I was asked to submit this piece by the Northeast Pennsylvania Energy Journal, a pro-fracking magazine funded entirely by gas industry ads that's inserted in our local newspapers. The piece will be printed with an industry representative's counter argument that shale gas is good for Pennsylvania and the climate. From www.energyjustice.net.

Shale Gas: Not the Wise Choice for Pennsylvania

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I wrote this for my political science class, and I thought some of the info would be helpful to the movement. Some of what is in here will be quite obvious to those of you who are apt to be reading blog posts on ssc.org or wearepowershift.org, but I get into a few details that have been overlooked by most people in the climate action movement. Perticularly important, and overlooked, are Nationwide Permit 12 and Executive Order 13604, which will be discussed below.

 

Why Keystone

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409 Powershift Rally in D.C. Photo by Robert van Waarden.Does the green movement have a Millennial problem? That’s the charge, according to a new Pew Research Center report showing that only 32 percent of people born after 1980 identify as “environmentalists.” So, the thinking must go, environmentalism among tomorrow’s leaders is fading from view faster than your last Snapchat selfie.

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This blog was written by Summer Worthington, a second-year student at St. Louis University.

401 Summer Worthington and SLU students disrupt Citi recruitment, fall 2013After the recent chemical spill from a coal processing plant in West Virginia, it’s easy to bring up the subject of the disastrous effects of the coal industry domestically, especially since 42% of our energy consumption comes from the coal. It seems as though coal makes up the backbone of the United States (though let’s not forget inequality). However, we do not necessarily think of what the coal industry is like in other countries and across the globe, or how American businesses and enterprises affect those countries.

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Over the last few weeks, I had the pleasure of collaborating with Spring Break organizers to do snap interviews of participants getting ready for Mountain Justice Spring Break (both VA & WV) and Shalefield Justice Spring Break. We asked each participant to tell us more about what moves you to stand in solidarity with these frontlines. Check out some of their inspiring reflections below!

Shalefield Justice Spring Break (starting in a few days!)

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Last weekend, over 1,000 youth leaders converged in DC for XL Dissent - the largest-ever youth sit-in for climate justice. 398 young people were arrested for taking a peaceful & principled stand at the White House, protesting the Keystone XL pipeline. This action just didn't just make waves in DC - it also blew up in big ways on social media.

The Energy Action Coalition team was on-site and jumped in with friends at 350.org and SustainUS to take photos and sling memes - trying to spotlight the diversity of youth leaders who came from around the country (and as it turns out — the world.). Check out some of the deeply inspiring youth activists we met, who shared their stories with us at the pre-action training, as well as some of the inspiring speakers at the rally itself.

Most all of the memes are available on the XL Dissent Facebook Page - where stories of the youth resistance against KXL continues!

375 This meme captures one (of two) huge non-violent direct action trainings that happened the night before the action. This image mash-up totally popped on facebook and revved people up - with over 5,000 shares, and over a third of a million views. Photo and meme by Mary Schellentrager.

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