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 UU Young Adults for Climate Justice Network is curating a zine exploring the threads between theologies of place and climate justice, and we want YOUR art! Art is a powerful tool for change, and we will use this zine to mobilize our communities and connect our movements. Intergenerational submissions are welcome as long as young adults are involved, and submissions can be anything that can be rendered in a 2D format - words, visuals, photos, etc. Check out the FAQ here, and find resources to get inspired here. Please fill out this interest form to stay in the loop! Questions? Contact Amelia Diehl at firstname.lastname@example.org. Createclimatejustice.net - make an account for you and your organization/congregation, learn and start sharing information. Become part of a prophetic, faith-based UU movement for climate justice.
The Strengthen Local Climate Commitments (SLCC) campaign provides resources and peer support for UUs to find out how their local elected leaders are doing on their climate commitments — and then to help them aspire higher so that humanity can realize a Just Transition to an ecological civilization and not exceed the 1.5°C global warming threshold. Learn more.
Join UU Ministry for Earth: March, Celebration, Talks and Movie sneak-preview at General Assembly, June 19-23, Spokane WA
UU Ministry for Earth will be at the General Assembly in Spokane, June 19-23rd, hosting two very exciting side events, an exhibit hall booth (#324), “table talks” in the exhibit hall, and presenting at a poster session and in numerous official workshops. We also invite UU congregations and communities to bring a symbolic artistic representation of an endangered or threatened species from your area to General Assembly for a “Procession of the Species” from the Convention Center down to the Spokane River where there will be a prayer at the water and a 30th Anniversary Dinner Celebration at a pavilion in the Riverfront Park. Learn more.
Goals of the Tour:
- Build relationships between UU Ministry for Earth & UU communities in Oregon and Washington
- Inspire and uplift Unitarian Universalist action for climate justice; catalyze the UU movement to Create Climate Justice
- Build UU awareness & support for Levi Draheim and his climate lawsuits
- Raise funds to support UUMFE’s Summer and Fall 2019 program goals
- Collaboratively create climate/eco-artwork that culminates in beautiful worship and “ Procession of Species ” at the 2019 UUA General Assembly (and then continues to grow for an even bigger ceremony in 2020)
- June 4-6 – First Unitarian, Portland, OR
- June 9th – UU Church on Eugene, OR (10 a.m. service and 12-noon presentation)
- If you are able, please join us at one of these events:
- June 9th, UU Church in Eugene, OR, 10 am worship service, 11:30 am after-church potluck, 12-12:45 presentation, 12:45-3 pm art build with eco-muralist Esteban Camacho-Steffensen, multi-media artist Patti Warner, and UUMFE Program Director Aly Tharp.
- June 10th, UU Fellowship of Corvallis, OR – 6:30 potluck and 7:30 presentation
- June 14th, Bellingham UU Fellowship, Bellingham, WA, 6:30 potluck and 7:30 presentation
- June 15th, East Shore Unitarian Church, Bellvue, WA, 11 am – 12:30 pm potluck and presentation, followed by a carpool/caravan to the Lummi Totem Pole Journey event in Seattle at 1 pm
- June 16th, University Unitarian Church, Seattle WA, 10 am worship service, 11:15-12:30 pm presentation
- June 16th, Woodinville UU Church, 3-4:30 eco-art build, 4:30 – 6 pm presentation, 6-7 pm potluck
The JUUstice Washington Board of Directors and the Social and Environmental Justice Committee of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship have voted to to become signatories on an interfaith amicus brief to be filed on behalf of the youth in Aji P. v. State of Washington. This case has been brought by Washington youth to demand the State take action on climate change and to treat climate change as an issue that belongs within the Public Trust. It was dismissed by the lower courts and is now going through the appeals process and will be filed in either the WA Supreme Court or in the WA Court of Appeals (if the WA Supreme Court declines to hear the case). We will be encouraging and working with WA UU congregations to prepare for and join future briefs in this case. More information can be found at Our Children’s Trust.
In similar news, Juliana v. US heard arguments on June 4th before the Ninth Circuit (Federal) Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon on June 4th, 2019. In this case, Levi Draheim, an eleven year old UU from Florida, is a plaintiff. "Their complaint asserts that, through the government's affirmative actions that cause climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources." Oregon Voices for Justice signed onto the amicus brief for this case. More
WUUC will sponsor the UU Ministry for Earth Speaking Tour on June 16 from 3-7 PM.
This is a unique opportunity to hear from national climate justice leaders - Aly Tharp, Program Director for the Ministry for Earth; Levi Draheim, the youngest plaintiff of the Juliana vs US federal youth climate lawsuit, and; Leonard Higgins, best known for shutting down the Spectra Express pipeline in Montana, as one of five “valve turners”.
Sponsoring this event is a special privilege for WUUC . WUUC is inviting other UU churches/fellowships in the area to attend, including Shoreline, Edmonds, Northlake, East Shore, and Evergreen.
Backbone Campaign is honored to co-host two screenings of the highly anticipated Dammed to Extinction - in Seattle this Friday (June 7) and on Vashon Island next Tuesday (June 11).
We are also co-sponsoring two more Human Orca Murals next weekend, bringing our total of Human Murals up to 13 since Tahlequah carried her deceased baby across the Salish Sea, so we would witness what is happening to the Southern Resident pod and the dire conditions of their habitat. If you'll be in Gig Harbor or Bainbridge Island this Saturday, show up in black and stand up for the orca! Info is at the links below.
Dammed to Extinction Film Screening, June 7th, Seattle
Dammed to Extinction Film Screening, June 11th, Vashon Island
About the Film: Directed by eastern Washington native Michael Peterson, "Dammed to Extinction" chronicles the plight of the endangered Southern Resident orcas who depend on Chinook salmon for food, including Columbia Basin salmon runs especially in winter/spring.
The film features interviews with scientists and experts across the Northwest, from the Salish Sea to the mountain rivers of Idaho, who make the case for removing four aging dams on the lower Snake River to bring back many thousands of chinook salmon to thousands of miles of pristine rivers in the Snake River basin, providing much-needed food for orcas. Currently, all runs of Snake River salmon and steelhead are listed as threatened and endangered. This year's adult returns are predicted to be the lowest in decades.
Backbone now has lights and gear in 33 cities! Join our next Solidarity Brigade Network Call to hear about actions in your area, Thursday, June 20th, 5pm.
We recently trained up the Kitsap Solidarity Brigade and they quickly organized a three point action - light projection on one end of the county, an LED banner on another end, and a freeway banner at another entrance, all during the evening commute.
Our Builder's Guild meets each Wednesday in our Vashon Island Warehouse to build props, assemble LED light panels and banners, and prep imagery to be shared across the US. Currently, the Team is working on a kaleidoscope of monarch butterflies to show solidarity with immigrants, and a life size inflatable of Orca Mother Tahlequah and her calf. If you're in the area, stop by any Wednesday, 11-6. Shoot us an email for directions - email@example.com. No skills necessary! We have snacks available. The third Wednesday of the month we hold a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner so we'd be honored if you join us Wed, June 19th at 5:30.
Backbone props are used just about every day in some part of the country. Whether it's to bring attention to the urgent need to shut down the child prison in Homestead Florida or light projection on the Venezuelan Embassy in DC to protect it from a State Dept coup, or activists in Houston working to keep their communities safe from toxic explosions, Backbone is happy to deploy our light projectionists or lend gear to protect what you love. Click HERE to see some of our Spring actions. Borrow an image or LED banner by reserving one HERE.
Solutionary Rail is about using existing US railroads to get our society “on track” for clean transportation and renewable energy. We feel it may be the best chance we have for significantly curbing carbon emissions and ushering in a just and sustainable future.
Last month, we brought the Solutionary Rail concept to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting in Omaha. (Berkshire Hathaway owns BNSF, the largest US railroad company as well as Berkshire Hathaway Energy.) Just after deploying Backbone's signature creative activism tools outside the meeting, Bill (Solutionary Rail Project Lead) was selected via lottery to ask the 1st question from the floor of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.
Bill asked if the Solutionary Rail team could meet with them to discuss our proposal for a public-private partnership to electrify their railroads and open corridors for a clean energy future. Mr. Buffett’s reply was evasive and rambling, but he did say that we were “free to speak with Carl Ice,” the new head of BNSF. Then, Buffett’s partner Charlie Munger chimed in. Gloriously, Mr. Munger stated that, “The questioner is on the side of the angels. Electrification is bound to happen sooner or later… I think Greg will decide when.”
WOW! We couldn’t have imagined better words of blessing. The “Greg” Mr. Munger referred to is Greg Abel, President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Energy and a likely successor to lead Berkshire Hathaway. We are working with our volunteer team of organizers and technicians to strategically follow up on Buffett's invitation.
Learn more about Solutionary Rail by watching this 3 minute video.
Make a tax-deductible contribution to Solutionary Rail HERE.
From the UU Ministry for the Earth.
The constitutional youth climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, will be heard before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon on June 4th, 2019. Our Children’s Trust is calling people to organize events locally and encourages you to mobilize on the day of the hearing to watch the Livestream (details to come) of the arguments and to hold marches in support. For more information, check out their FaceBook event HERE. For those who can be in Portland for the hearing, more than a thousand supporters will gather at Director Park downtown at 10:30 a.m., just a few blocks from the courthouse (which only seats about 40 people) to watch the live-streamed oral argument and afterwards hear from youth plaintiffs, their attorneys, and other community and climate movement members.
More here. Additional info on the case itself is tracked by Our Children's Trust.
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth (UUMFE) is on a speaking and fundraising tour to UU communities throughout Oregon and Washington, featuring three special guests: Levi Draheim, Aly Tharp, and Leonard Higgins. Levi, Aly, and Leonard will facilitate a series of lively evening and afternoon events from June 11-18th --- sharing stories, reflections, details about their work, and calls to action. Aly is also offering a collaborative community art project that will culminate in a “Procession of Species” event at the UUA General Assembly in Spokane, Washington, on June 20th.
The dates available for booking a speaking engagement in Oregon are June 5-11, and in Washington are June 12-18th. This document will be updated as dates become booked.
For a potential event In Oregon, contact Aly Tharp, and Leonard Higgins, --- and for Washington, contact Aly Tharp
and Bill McPherson.
Dina Gilio-Whitaker Talks About "As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock"-Listen to the Webinar
Organize a Local Event to Support the June 4 Juliana v. US HearingThe constitutional youth climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, will be heard before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon on June 4th, 2019. Our Children’s Trust is calling people to organize events locally and encourages you to mobilize on the day of the hearing to host watch parties of the live stream of the arguments and to hold marches in support.
Our final Poetic Justice Theatre Ensemble event of the season, and part of a global youth led climate strike on May 24th, is "Our Suffering Earth," an Interactive Playback Theatre Performance / Community Dialogue on Climate Change & Cultural Dis-Ease.
Where: Finnriver Farm and Cidery, 124 Center Rd, Chimacum, WA
When: May 24th, 4:00 pm
FREE EVENT ~ Pizza & Cider garden open to the public.
More about the global climate strike
Governor James Inslee signed all of the following climate bills May 7:
The House and Senate have passed HB 1444, which sets Appliance Efficiency Standards. This bill adopts a series of new standards for both water and energy efficiency for various household appliances and fixtures. This will result in major reductions in energy and water use over time. Within the first 15 years we will save an estimated 150 billion gallons of water and avoid 5986 thousand metric tons of CO2 emissions.
Visit UU Ministry for Earth in the Exhibit Hall at Booth #324 and join our many special side events: small-group "Table Talks", singing processions, ceremony at the Spokane River, and a 30th Anniversary Celebration! Details are still being finalized --- more information about these special side events will be shared shortly.