Climate Justice is the work we do to confront the climate crisis. While Washington State is a small proportion of the world population and economy, there are actions we can take to show leadership in solving the climate crisis. Some of the major issues we confront are listed in the menu item “Our Work.” Recent changes in the state’s action on climate can be seen in the news items posted below. Also, follow current legislative activity that we are tracking at our Carbon Pollution Accountability page in the legislative advocacy section.
Climate change affects all of us, but its consequences are not distributed equally. Climate impacts exacerbate existing inequities in society, whether they are related to poverty, gender, race or ethnicity, ability, or other factors. The slow-onset impacts of climate change are displacing communities and having severe impacts on human rights — the right to health, food security, water and sanitation, life, religious expression, and culture, among others.
Often, grassroots, frontline communities have the best and most appropriate solutions to these challenges. At the same time, these communities receive the smallest share of funding and are sidelined by state and international decision makers.
The WTO+20 Event Schedule:10:00am-12:00 pm Rally at OCCIDENTAL PARK 3:30pm-6:00pm Trade Justice Workshops @ TOWN HALL Session 1 Environment with Selden Prentice of 350 Seattle and Manuel Pérez Rocha from Institute for Policy Studies Labor Issues in Trade Policy with Motthida Chin from Verité and Barbara Byrd from Oregon AFL-CIO Public Health with Leigh Haynes and Julia Robinson of Peoples' Health Movement and Health Alliance International Immigration with Ricardo Ortega from LELO Session 2 Indigenous Sovereignty and Extractive Industries with John Sirois of the Colville Tribes Labor Activism That Crosses the Border: Past and Future with Oregon Fair Trade Campaign Food Sovereignty with Karen Hansen-Kuhn of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy WTO Tech, Data, E-Commerce Expansion with Deborah James of Our World is Not For Sale Trade and Militarism with Carly Brook of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility 7:30pm Keynote with Joseph Stiglitz and Brief Action Orientation with Lori Wallach @ TOWN HALL General admission for the keynote is $20. A limited number of free student tickets are available first-come-first-serve. Scholarships are available--contact Hillary at Hillary@washingtonfairtrade.org for more information.
You are invited to participate in the Climate Reality Project's "24 Hours of Reality" Zoom Conference Call event. CRP was launched by former VP Al Gore to train Climate Justice presenters, several of which are in our community doing great work. Unitarian Universalists from across the nation are honored to be kicking it off Wednesday which begins at 9 AM PST - Here's the link for the UU Wed timetable of presentations beginning at 10AM PST. The link to register for the Zoom Conference Call: https://forms.gle/bJvEpaKkWxWf7rPSA. You will need to register to get the link. Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/441689836539682/ For more information about the entire event: https://www.24hoursofreality.org Please share and Let people know that for everyone who participates, a tree will be planted in the location of their choice – Amazon Rainforest, Andes, Appalachia, Australia, Brazil, British Columbia, California, Colorado, Ethiopia, Florida, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Ontario, Oregon, Quebec, Romania, Rwanda, The Philippines, Uganda or Vietnam!
“On my last day on earth I would plant a tree.” WS Merwin, poetThis amazing effort is being coordinated by: Doris Marlin All Souls Church UU, Washington DC, Green Sanctuary Advisory Board, UUMFE Lay Leader for SLCC Strengthen Local Climate Commitments Climate Reality Leader, Atlanta 2019
UU Ministry for the Earth has several calls to action that have deadlines over the next couple of weeks:
- 1) Submit a Keystone XL Environmental Impact Study (EIS) Public Comment by Nov 18th --www.uumfe.org/2019/11/13/public-comment-needed-now-for-keystone-xl-pipeline-by-nov-18/
- The US State Department just released a draft of its most recent study on the Keystone XL pipeline, and this is your last chance to give a public comment on KXL! All comments must be submitted by November 18th, 2019 (as of today only 400 letters have been sent).
- 2) The US House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis is seeking public input on climate policy issues -- due by Nov 22nd -- climatecrisis.house.gov/inforequest
- The U.S. House of Representatives created the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis to “investigate, study, make findings, and develop recommendations on policies, strategies, and innovations to achieve substantial and permanent reductions in pollution and other activities that contribute to the climate crisis, which will honor our responsibility to be good stewards of the planet for future generations.”
- There is a questionnaire that the Committee needs you to respond to.
- 3) Sunrise Movement is holding another US national climate strike on Dec 6th pushing for a Green New Deal! Support your local youth leadership!! www.sunrisemovement.org/climate-strike
- . . . in Washington Faces New Federal Court Challenge (https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/kalama-methanol-refinery-washington-faces-new-federal-court-challenge-2019-11-12/).
- Sign the WA Department of Ecology petition at: https://www.columbiariverkeeper.org/petition-methanol
Starting in late November, there will be a “Week of Action” from Nov. 29 to Dec. 6, 2019. Fridays for Future is doing a November 29 strike; more information at https://www.fridaysforfuture.org/ Globally people are also doing strikes on November 29 – watch for information at https://www.brightest.io/cause/fridays-for-future/activity/global-climate-strike-november-29th/. There is a map there but no events in Washington yet. Sunrise Movement is holding another US national climate strike on December 6th, pushing for a Green New Deal. Sunrise is also doing sit ins at legislative offices on Dec 6th. More information at www.sunrisemovement.org/climate-strike Next year in April, there are plans for climate strikes starting on Earth Day, April 22.
Our house is on fire and Washington State’s senators aren’t putting it out! We must convince them to extinguish the fire by supporting the Green New Deal. But that will take large-scale, disruptive, direct action - and we need your help! Can you join us in planning our largest action to date to put out the fire? Democracies function when our elected officials listen to the people who elected them. But after multiple visits to our senators’ offices, we still haven’t received a reason why they won’t support the Green New Deal. Every day they delay, our future becomes graver. They need to take action now. The only way they will do that is if we convince them this December through actions like this one! To plan our biggest action yet, we need help from you to recruit other young people to join us, make artwork and posters, gather supplies, spread the word via social media, and much more. To help plan this fun, firefighter themed action, please take 30 seconds to fill out this 5 question form. We can’t do this without your help! Sunrise Movement Seattle sunrisemovement.org Facebook Twitter Instagram
Glen Anderson, Host of Glen's Parallax Perspectives on TCTV Cable television in Olympia, WA, interviewed Solutionary Rail Project Lead Bill Moyer on the latest developments of the project. Watch the interview. Glen wrote up a very helpful 14 page briefing about Solutionary Rail, which includes a summary of the interview, as well as additional links to resources. Access the information HERE. To learn more about Glen Anderson's Parallax Perspectives show and website, visit parallaxperspectives.org Thank you, Glen, and the TCTV Team for this in depth conversation and for your help in spreading the word about this plan to decarbonize transportation and energy! Watch Glen's 2017 interview with Bill for even more perspective on this project.
For three days UUs and friends gathered in Washington, DC, for inspiration, outreach, education, and action on the climate emergency and the need for climate justice. We came from all over the country at a critical moment, a few days before the global Climate Strike and the start of the United Nations Climate Conference. The conference was the result of cooperation from all corners of the UU world, and that is itself one of the most important takeaways—this is a challenge we all acknowledge cannot wait and that requires us to work together. At this year’s General Assembly we passed an Action of Immediate Witness, “Build the Movement for a Green New Deal,” that called on us to “rebuild our political and economic structures to prioritize the well-being of future generations.” This conference was a contribution to that goal. More Join our Webinar Conference Review Click here to join. Thursday, November 14, 5 PM PST
The federal government is facing a new legal battle against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. . . . “We are taking this issue to the Supreme Court of Canada not only to stand up for our inherent and constitutionally protected rights, but also to make sure that Canada follows their own laws when making decisions,” Tsleil-Waututh Chief Leah Sisi-ya-ama George-Wilson said in a news release. Read more here.
Green Biz, Elsa Wenzel Wednesday, October 30, 2019 Part of the power that young activists such as Greta Thurnberg hold for older folks is that they represent the fuzzy concept of "the future" in the flesh: Here, face your non-theoretical neighbors, nieces or grandchildren. Their complaints about inheriting a mess are legitimate. Plus, they appear to have more wisdom and stamina than you, and they probably don't even drink coffee yet. It's humbling. These "kids" are not just pointing fingers and raging, but calling for action from all generations. There's reason for hope, given that youth-led movements historically have shown long-term tenacity against "even the toughest barriers, not the least of which can be the intransigence, negligence or timidity of their elders," GreenBiz Executive Editor Joel Makower noted back in the spring. Read more here.
It is quiet right now in the Legislature, which makes it the perfect time to reach out to our Representatives and Senators and let them know what is important to us.See leg.wa.gov site for their contact information. I am suggesting three issues that may resonate with JUUstice Washington members. This list is one guy’s best guess of those few priorities that have-
- had some traction in the 2000 - 2019 legislatures;
- been or currently are priorities for our justice allies, and
- have precedent in other states or jurisdictions.
- Clean Fuel Standards - 2019 House Bill 1110 - Passed the House, Active in the Senate
- Mitigation measures to preserve the Southern Resident Orcas - Supported by the Governor and an active issue in 2019
- Eliminate Cash Bail in Washington State - Cash Bail imprisons the poor, who cannot post bail from family resources.
Legislative Advocacy Action Team
Two Alaska Native youth introduced a resolution on climate change adopted earlier in the week at the Elders and Youth Conference. The hour-long discussion that followed ended with acclamation for Nanieezh Peter, who is Neets’ail Gwich’in, age 15, and Quannah Chasing Horse Potts, who is Gwich'in and Lakota, age 17. The resolution they brought to the floor calls on the Alaska Federation of Natives to to declare a state of emergency on climate change and to set up a climate change task force to develop climate policies. . . . “In recent years, we have lost community members due to unpredictable and unsafe ice conditions,” the resolution continues. “We have seen the die-off and disease of seals, salmon, migratory birds, shellfish, whales, and polar bears and recognize that these are also our relatives. We, the Alaska Native youth are asking our tribal leaders to consider, as is traditional, the future of their grandchildren and the generations to come,” read Peter. Quannah Potts added, “We shouldn't have to tell people in charge that we want to survive. It should be our number one right. We should not have to fight for this, but here we are coming to ask for your help.” Read more here.
Where: Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave, Seattle, WA
Community Alliance for Global Justice/AGRA Watch is excited to welcome to Seattle Million Belay, Coordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, and Tim Wise, author of Eating Tomorrow: Agribusiness, Family Farmers, and the Battle for the Future of Food (New Press 2019). This event is a rare opportunity to hear directly from one of the leaders of the African food sovereignty movement; in addition to coordinating Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, Belay is founder of MELCA - Ethiopia, and is an expert and advocate for forestry conservation, indigenous livelihoods and food and seed sovereignty. Belay and Wise will engage in a conversation on the themes of the book, which features stories of the victims of land-grabbing in Mozambique, Monsanto officials trying to push genetically modified corn into Mexico, and Malawian farmers trying to preserve and promote their nutritious native seeds. Vandana Shiva, renowned agroecology activist and author of many books including Soil Not Oil writes, “Eating Tomorrow is a wake-up call about the future of food. Wise describes how agribusiness has transformed agriculture into an extractive industry, destroying the land and farmers.” Watch a video of the launch, which was in NYC with Mark Bittman and Vandana Shiva.
Pre-Event Reception: 6 - 7PM
Join us at Town Hall for a Pre-Event Reception! Please register on CAGJ's website. CAGJ will offer hors d'oeuvres, and guests can purchase drinks from Town Hall's bar. The reception is free, but we appreciate donations.
Speaking Event: 7:30 - 9PM, Doors open at 7PM
As the chaos in the world increases, most ideas of the future become fatalistic. Yet, the situation only seems “hopeless” when viewed from the narrow logic of a collapsing world view. Old ways of seeing the world are blocking more vital paths of imagination, vision and healing. The point is not simply evolution or progress, rather there needs to be a collective rite of passage that transforms our world view. Transformation is required to move us from despair and overwhelm to awakening and imagination. We are either on the way to transformation or on the road to greater tragedy. The agony of the earth calls for each of us to defeat the growing alienation and isolation of life in order to become more human and be more present. The issue is not the pretension of “saving the planet,” but rather finding deeper ways of serving the earth. This world, despite all its troubles, remains a place of ongoing creation. Yet, creation can only work through the souls of those alive at a given time. What we learn from mythic stories and imagination is how our human nature can make us part of the ground of being and the vital pulse of the living world. Join us for an evening of myths of renewal, tales of transformation, and a resounding call to find unity and wholeness in this time of conflict and confusion. Tickets: $15 General / $10 Student. Doors open at 6:30 pm, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St., Bellingham, WA
The next Washington State UU Climate Action Roundtable will be November 13, 7:00 p.m. An agenda will be sent to addressees on the climate list serv. If you are not a member of the listserv, please fill in the form on the right. Here are the details of the Zoom meeting: https://zoom.us/j/287970416 , Phone +1 669 900 6833, Meeting ID 287 970 416
UU Ministry for Earth is proud to be an Executive Producer of The Condor & The Eagle, a documentary film about Indigenous climate leadership and movement building across North & South America. The world premiere of the film was on October 4 at the Woodstock Film Festival in Woodstock, NY. The film will be shown at over one dozen film festivals throughout October. Stay tuned for information about hosting a UU community screening! LEARN MORE
“Sustainable means accountable to the future. Unsustainable means unaccountable to the future. Everything else is but a footnote or distraction.” ~ Rev. Michael Dowd
Time: October 20, 2019 from 10:30 am to noon
“A Humble Relationship to Reality.” Rev. Dowd speaks to the intersection of science, inspiration, and sustainability. He will explore healthy vs. unhealthy ways of relating to temporal and spatial reality and offer practical guidance for nurturing a mythic relationship to time and nature that doesn't require believing in anything.
En Route to Standing Rock, Greta Thunberg Holds Up 'Struggles of All Indigenous Peoples in Protecting Their Land, Water, and Traditions'
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg expressed solidarity Monday with "the struggles of all Indigenous peoples in protecting their land, water, and traditions" as she continued her climate-focused trip to the Americas with stops in the Dakotas.
Thunberg's tweet included images of an event she attended on Sunday, the Youth Climate Activism Panel at Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The discussion—which also featured 16-year-old Dakota Access Pipeline opponent Tokata Iron Eyes—was hosted by the Lakota People's Law Project and the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
"We are at the edge of a cliff in regards to our timeline to save this planet, and the Indigenous peoples will be the ones to lead the movement off of the edge," Iron Eyes said during the talk.
Read more here.
Rail Bite #5 - SR will cut Greenhouse Gas EmissionsOur Solutionary Rail Team has compiled Rail Bite 5 on "Solutionary Rail as a solution to Greenhouse Gas Emissions." Rail Bites are easy to digest morsels of info for busy policymakers, educating them on different aspects of electrified freight rail. Please share this with your elected officials and policymakers working on transportation, energy, and climate - and don't forget to SHARE on social media. Sign up to be a SR Ambassador and keep the momentum building!