Cross-posted from the Coal Export Action

On Wednesday, over 30 people gathered in Helena, Montana’s Constitution Park to support the venerable US tradition of civil disobedience. Immediately before an omnibus court hearing for the 23 people arrested during last August’s peaceful protests against coal exports at the Montana Capitol, the group gathered with signs reading “Support the Coal Export Action 23,” and “No More Coal Exports.”

The rally in support of the Coal Export Action also coincided with an international week of climate solidarity, initiated by organizers of the Tar Sands Blockade in East Texas. It’s a good time to be organizing; as the Tar Sands Blockade puts it, “The aftershock of Sandy still being felt on the East Coast, it’s the hottest year on record, and families most affected by climate change are increasingly bearing the brunt of dirty extraction.”

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This blog was orignally posted on the Southern Energy Network's blog. It was written by Simone Domingue, SEN Communications Fellow.

“A Climate of Change” read the headline of the Huffington Post this past Saturday. The article read that a recent Rasmussen poll concluded that 68% of Americans recognize climate change as a “serious problem”. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and after the climate silence controversy, I can’t help but get the sense there is a changing narrative about climate change in this country. Unfortunately it isn’t necessarily an uplifting narrative. The bottom line is people are concerned, they are concerned for their future and that of their children’s. People are beginning to realize the threat that a changing climate means to their livelihood.

So this isn’t the most uplifting way for the climate events of our time to unfold…but maybe there are some things to be learned and applied to our ongoing fight for the climate.

There are a few things we shouldn’t forget in order to ensure a better a future for ourselves, our family, and our world. First, we have to stay informed and stay involved. There are far too many people who would have you believe that caring about issues and exercising your rights to participate in decision making is a futile effort.

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Election season is over, and organizers are finally seeing some blank spaces on their calendars. Even beyond the presidential race, the climate movement has made some real progress. Going forward, how can we convert our momentum into meaningful change? This is a great forum to generate new ideas, and I've got some thoughts to get us started.

First, let's look at where we stand now. As a group, young voters reasserted our power in this election. Despite some predictions, youth turnout was even higher than in 2008, swinging at least eighty electoral votes . Meanwhile, several states chose climate-friendly congresspeople over their anti-environmental opponents.

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The aftershock of Hurricane Sandy is still being felt on the East Coast, its the hottest year on record, and families most affected by climate change are increasingly bearing the brunt of dirty energy extraction.

The acceleration of tar sands exploitation from Keystone XL is dangerously hurdling us toward an unstable future. We need immediate action to address the climate crisis now.

TransCanada's construction crews are quickly clear-cutting through our homes and forests in East Texas and we must continue to rapidly escalate if we are going to stop this toxic pipeline. We invite you to join us in Nacogdoches, Texas on Monday, November 19th for our next mass action to stop Keystone XL. 

Sign up now to join the Mass Action to Stop Keystone XL -- Monday, November, 19th


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Clean Coal is a Dirty Lie

I’d tell you where I went this weekend, but then I’d probably have to kill you or erase your mind or something.  It’s not like I did anything illegal, but to the people who have large stakes in the coal industry, the things that my friends and I did were shit list-worthy.

Our plan to leave by noon on Friday was thwarted, so by the time we were approaching our location, it was dark outside, and the coal processing plants we passed looked like lit-up roller coasters at Cedar Point. 

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On Tuesday, President Barack Obama earned the opportunity to lead our country for another four years. And that means that our movement must fight harder for climate action than we ever have before. The candidate that the fossil fuel lobby spent millions trying to get into the White House lost last. But if clean energy is going to win, our movement must be ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work right away. There isn’t a moment to lose.

Big Oil, Big Coal and the 1% pledged to spend record amounts -- over $1 billion -- trying to rollback the progress we’ve made on building a clean energy economy, but once again we showed that people power can overcome. And it almost worked.

For the first time in many of our lives, climate wasn’t even mentioned in the Presidential debates. Instead, we saw a race to the bottom as the candidates competed over who had the plan to burn the planet the fastest.

But time and time again, our movement rose to the occasion; we organized people power to stand up to all the dirty money, and misleading TV ads that led to a near silence on climate change. We organized with people in the grassroots to demand climate action, and demand the candidates break their silence.

And on Tuesday, thanks to many of you, our generation proved it’s power and it’s passion when we mobilized like never before: in 2012, Millennials were any even greater share of the electorate than we were in 2008. Nobody expected this. With all the challenges and growing cynicism, people expected that youth vote would stay home; but we didn’t, we showed them that no matter how great the challenge, we’re determined to meet it.

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