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.
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!
Below is a request from Lummi Nation. As some of you may know, Lummi Nation is seeking the return of Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut (Tokitae/Lolita). For those of you who don’t know, Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut (Tokitae/Lolita) is the last remaining Orca that was brutally taken in the 1970s raids on the J, L, K pods from Penn Cove. Over 40 Orca youth were taken from our waters and dispersed to various aquarium around the world. Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut (Tokitae/Lolita) is growing older now and is near retirement from the aquarium. She has spent all but 4 years of her life (about 43 years) in a small concrete tank. She still remembers her pod’s songs. Lummi Nation has been trying to get Miami Seaquarium to release her and let her come home to spend her remaining years in the waters of her home and with her family (her mother is still alive). She will be kept in a special sanctuary and a detailed plan has been worked out to bring her home and secure her for the remainder of her life.
You can find more information here: https://sacredsea.org/skalichelhtenaut/. Take a few minutes to read and watch some of the videos, especially the link to the trailer for a documentary (https://vimeo.com/266726774).“We will be together in prayer for Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut next Thursday, October 10, at 9:30am. We are asking you all to join us from wherever you are. Please say her name, please pray in your own way, please carry her in in your heart. We want Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut to feel our love, we want to send her hope and strength. Please pray for Miami Seaquarium to do the right thing and work in a good way with us to bring her home in 2020. Hy’shqe.”Statement from Raynell Squil-le-he-le Morris and Ellie Tah-Mahs Kinley, the two Lummi tribal women intending to sue Miami Seaquarium, Palace Entertainment, and EQT, for the return of Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut. (Tokitae/Lolita). Miami Seaquarium has until October 25, 2019 (90 days from the date of the letter of intent) to respond.
|Our youth led the way and propelled the Climate Strikes into one of the largest climate strikes in history. We want to center the brilliance and power of our youth and encourage you to build with local youth-led movements and create relationships in an effort to learn and adapt. We’re in awe of the images from around the world, demonstrating the fierce urgency of this movement. UUs came out in the thousands across the country. Our movement is energized! We’re grateful to the youth who are leading this movement around the world and we’re dedicated to continuing to follow their leads and remain committed to fighting for their future now. And as we celebrate what we achieved, we know we have the capacity for more and we are preparing. We have a What's Next? webinar planned for 10/16 so register now.|
The sheer power of the people resisting at this moment is breathtaking. Millions mobilized around the world to demand that our governments address the climate emergency. Thank you for your part in the Global Climate Strikes. We’re in awe of the images from around the world, demonstrating the fierce urgency of this movement. UUs came out in the thousands across the country. Our movement is energized! We’re grateful to the youth who are leading this movement around the world, we’re dedicated to continue to follow their leads and remain committed to fighting for their future now.
And as we celebrate what we achieved this past week, we know we have the capacity for more and we are preparing. We have a What's Next? webinar planned for 10/16 so register now. Below are the three main things we need everyone to do.
Dowd and Barlow are very popular among UU congregations all across the U.S. as they have managed to weave science and religion together into a coherent thought. There are still opportunities to engage these speakers.
More info at: http://www.thegreatstory.org/
The climate strikes of September 20, 2019 involved millions of people all over the world: at least 900 strikes in the U.S. and more than a dozen in Washington State. In Seattle, the largest strike in Washington involved more than 5000, including 2000 from Amazon who converged with those coming from Capitol Hill to city hall. Signs carried by marchers included "Our Children's Future," “If you don’t act like adults We will,” “Act now or swim later,” and “Not the hot girl summer I had in mind,” based on an internet meme. Speakers at city hall emphasized the urgency of the crisis and called for zero emissions by 2030. Just prior to the strike, CEO Jeff Bezos of Amazon said that the company would try to reach zero net emissions by 2040 but his employees demanded faster action.
On Sunday, September 22, MoveOn is joining with other #StrikeWithUs partners to host a national organizing call to hear from climate action leaders, including the youth activists who have led the strikes, about what we can do next. Click here to RSVP for the Climate Crisis National Organizing Call to learn about actions you can take in the weeks and months ahead to build off of the Climate Strike and keep up the momentum. The call will be at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 PT. Just click here to RSVP. You can participate on Sunday from any device with the internet by going to the RSVP page—where you will get immediately plugged into more actions to take to fight the climate crisis. Climate change is a dire crisis that demands urgent, large-scale, collective action at the community, state, regional, national, and global levels. We are seeing a movement emerge that is growing in political strength—forcing political candidates to talk in-depth about climate justice in ways they haven't before and forcing corporations and local governments to act. On this call, you'll learn about some of the opportunities to take action following this historic climate strike.You'll hear from:
- Isra Hirsi, Executive Director of US Youth Climate Strikes and a leader in tomorrow's strike, about plans for future strikes and escalations;
- Monica Mohapatra, from 350.org, about continuing actions around the country next week as part of an entire week of action on climate justice;
- Jon Barton, Deputy Director at the Service Employees International Union, on how to get engaged locally;
- And more!
The B.C. Court of Appeal has instructed the province to reconsider its environmental assessment certificate and conditions issued for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
In their challenges, the Squamish Nation and the City of Vancouver argued the certificate should be quashed because it was based on a flawed report and approval from the National Energy Board that was later quashed by the Federal Court of Appeal.
Read more here.
On September 12, 2019, a member of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, Immigration/Farmworker activist and Executive Director of Community to Community Rosalinda Guillen received RE Sources Environmental Hero award.
Farmworker justice leader and food system activist. Among many other things, Rosalinda Guillén is a widely recognized farmworker justice leader working to promote food sovereignty, immigration reform, and farmworker rights in Northwest Washington. As the founding executive director of Community to Community Development (C2C), a grassroots organization led by women of color, she and her team work to strengthen local and global movements toward social and environmental justice, amplifying the voices of farmworkers on immigration issues, labor rights, and trade agreements. She also works to strengthen cross-border alliances for immigration reform and fair agricultural policies.
Read more here . . .
Crosscut by Caroline Gerdes / September 11, 2019
The petrochemical refinery would be larger than any currently operating methanol facility in the world, and would use more natural gas each day than all of the power plants in Washington combined. It would manufacture methanol from natural gas and ship it to China to make plastics. The refinery would produce up to 3.6 million metric tons of methanol per year.
Cowlitz County approves the shoreline permits. It's now up to the Dept of Ecology to approve or deny the project. Sign Columbia Riverkeeper's petition to the DOE or contact the DEO yourself asking them to reject this project!
Backbone Campaign Offers Organizing and Banner Design Aid for Global Climate Strike: Webinar Sept. 10, 5:00 pm
Backbone Campaign is moving our normal Monthly Organizing Call date up a bit in anticipation of the Global Climate Strike happening Sept 20-27.RSVP HERE
- want to connect with a light team in your city and help with projection
- need a banner tool kit so that you, with a small group of friends, can deploy banners over freeways or in other locations
- want to reserve an LED banner, for high visibility night-time messaging
- need imagery to make your action pop, including an inflatable pipeline (our two globes have been reserved already for DC and Vashon/Seattle)
- are local and can join us in our Vashon warehouse and make your banners for the Climate Strike, Wednesdays, Sept 11th and Sept 18th
Washington Environmental Council.
Despite opposition from the Puyallup Tribe, over 80 community organizations, and Governor Inslee, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) is still working to complete their fracked gas project in Tacoma. This project is an affront to our climate, health, and safety.
Send in your comment to urge the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) to reject the permit for the Tacoma LNG project!
Many of the protesters were Puyallup Tribe members. The facility is being built on historically Puyallup tribal land, and opposition groups like Frack No 253 argue that nearby residents within a certain distance from the facility could be killed in the case of an LNG-related explosion. The city of Tacoma denies this on its website, stating that such worries “are based on worst-case scenarios involving a terrorist attack on an LNG cargo ship resulting in an uncontrolled spill of LNG over water.” One family of Puyallup Tribe members at the rally held an umbrella with the words “We Live In The Blast Zone” lettered in yellow duct tape on its top.
“We live right off the street that’s closest to the tideflats,” said one young member of the family, Amenda (last name withheld), while marching with others toward the site of the public hearing. Her family has lived in the area all her life, she added, so the possibility of harm hits “very close to home.”
Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, President of the UUA, delivers a compelling message about what Unitarian Universalists are doing to create climate justice. The UUA and UU's advocate for climate justice following the leadership of most impacted communities doing frontline climate justice work. Create Climate Justice is a community organizing hub for UU Climate Activists. Create Climate Justice Net was created to give UU climate and environmental justice activists and coalition partners a valuable tool for education, collaboration, and organizing. It is a joint initiative of the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth, Unitarian Universalist Association Green Sanctuary Program, and UU-United Nations Office. See Rev. Gray’s video. Join Create Climate Justice.