350 Updates

A Magazine of Our Movement

I woke up this morning to find a local volunteer in Melbourne, Australia had sent me a magazine. No - not a magazine about the royal couple's new baby. All congratulations to that royal couple, but really, this magazine is far more interesting: the Global Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement magazine

It was less than two months ago that we officially launched divestment campaigning in Australia, during Bill McKibben's Do the Maths tour. Since then it's been a scramble for us to keep up with the explosion of divestment campaigning across the country, from university campuses to churches, to towns and cities. At the sametime, we've been learning and sharing resources with divestment campaigners in the United States - who have even got Obama uttering the word "divest". Now we're looking to Europe as divestment looks set to take hold there in the coming months.

Graham Clark has been watching and documenting the movement closely and has pulled together many of it's successes, highlights and stories into this epic 30 page online flip magazine. It's truly inspiring to see how much this movement has achieved in a very short amount of time, and the momentum brewing for the coming months and years. So take a look, share and enjoy!


Power Shift Pilipinas Ask PH President to #WalkTheClimateTalk

On Monday, 22 July 2013, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III will be delivering his annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) to an audience of almost 100 million Filipinos living all over the world.
And while he may talk about great things -- we're not expecting to hear much about his climate promises. That's because he's broken so many of them already..
During his campaign three years ago, President Aquino boldly declared his commitment to protect the environment and promote renewable energy sources.  However, after completing half of his term, the reality does not mirror his promises.

VIDEO: An Unprecedented Event

We just sent out this email to our friends around the world. Not on our email list yet? Sign up here to receive crucial updates from the climate movement. 

Dear Friends,

Last month, something incredible happened.

In Istanbul, 500 climate activists from 134 countries came together for "Phase 1" of Global Power Shift. You can get a glimpse of this unprecedented event in this inspiring two-minute video:

We'll need everyone on board for Phase 2, so take two minutes to watch and share the video -- and sign up to join the next phase in the fight for our future.


Hong for the whole team at 350.org


Good Governors Don’t Frack Their People

On July 13th, over a hundred Coloradans from across the state gathered outside the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) meeting at the St. Regis Resort in Aspen to tell Governor Hickenlooper and other governors from across the country to say no to fracking and yes to a renewable energy future.  The demonstration outside the Democratic Governors Association’s “Summer Policy Conference” was organized by 350 Colorado and other members and allies of Protect Our Colorado, a statewide coalition dedicated to protecting Colorado from fracking.  The groups sought to ensure that these important state leaders and presidential hopefuls know that support for horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is unpopular with voters and to urge them to chart a course for a renewable energy future.

Check out a video from the rally here, and read more after the break:


South Africa Tells Barack Obama: Stop Keystone XL!

This post was written by Kate Watermeyer

It’s not often that we down here at the southern tip of Africa can have our voices heard by one of the most influential players in our global climate future, but on June 30th that’s exactly what happened.  News got out that President Obama’s whirlwind Africa tour was to include a speech to invited guests at the University of Cape Town that evening, and we grabbed the opportunity to add our voices to those from all over the world telling him that he must reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

Despite the late notice, a small group of UCT students, alumni and concerned Capetonians turned out to urge the President to make the only defensible decision and reject the pipeline, and to show local support for 350.org's global campaign. Although security stopped us from getting close to the man himself, we hope that we succeeded in getting our message across. The signs held up as those arriving to hear the president’s speech passed by, asking Pres. Obama to say no to KXL, no to desertification, and yes to clean energy, will alert both his administration and the power players here in South Africa that we care about and are affected by this vital decision.

Climate change is a global issue, but projections suggest sub-Saharan Africa - one of the regions least responsible for creating climate change - will be especially badly affected by droughts, floods and natural disasters, with all too many consequent social tragedies. The KXL pipeline has been described as “the fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the planet”, and there are implications for all of us if it is allowed to go ahead. We can only hope that President Obama feels the weight of his responsibility, and is guided by science to make the right decision and say no to KXL, and yes to taking real steps on climate!



Virginians Against KXL Greet VP Biden to Richmond

Post by Kara Dodson

You gotta love this photo.

(photo cred: Zack Gerdes)

This is the Richmond Rally to Stop Keystone XL - around 60 folks pressing Vice President Biden to reject the pipeline. Everyone is chanting, holding signs up so they're visible behind the police cars, focusing 200% of their energy despite the sweltering heat and long wait. The signs say why we're here and the intense energy says how serious we mean it.

Virginia climate activists gathered for Saturday's critical rally and march to defend their coastlines, rural communities, urban centers, and mountain lands. For Virginians (and many other Americans), climate change is no longer a threat - it's an actively destructive force. April Moore, rally speaker and longtime environmental activist, passionately described the "weird" weather  in the Commonwealth over the last few years. April spoke for us all when she described the remedy for climate disruption, "There's one very important thing we can do this year. We will keep the tar sands oil in the ground!  We cannot let this Keystone XL pipeline be built. We cannot. We all heard President Obama's promise last week that if the climate would be significantly impacted by the pipeline he would nix the deal. Well I ask you, would it significantly impact the climate! (YES replied crowd!). Are we going to insist that President Obama keep his promise to us? (another YES from the crowd!)"

The Obama Administration hears our call to action and has replied in significant ways this summer. With President Obama's climate change announcement and VP Biden commenting that he shares our views on the pipeline, we know that bird dogging, mass protests, and petitioning works. We can't back down. Herb Fitzell from the Richmond's rally spells out why, "We know the power of the fossil fuel industry and their intention is to undermine the Administration's efforts every step of the way. But we're here to say, 'We got your back Joe Biden!'"

(photo cred: Zack Gerdes)


Obama and Climate Action: Where I Go From Here

When President Obama was elected in 2008, I was in my first year of high school. It seemed the whole country was abuzz with hope about this inspirational orator and the possibility of electing the first African-American president. I felt for the first time the irresistible tug of activism and political involvement, and knew that we desperately needed a radical shift from the previous administration and its policies. Obama’s campaign mantras of “Yes We Can,” "Hope," and "Change" called me to action and served as my introduction to the life of an organizer.
The last few days in America have been filled with a number of monumental political bombshells. Some are heartbreaking defeats, especially the Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act. But others are exciting steps forward for activists and progressives: Court decisions about DOMA and Proposition 8, a 13-hour-long filibuster in Texas to prevent an anti-abortion bill, and a climate action plan. It’s certainly been an exciting week.
For environmental organizers and anyone concerned about the looming threat of climate change, President Obama’s speech on Tuesday marked a critical turning point. After years of failed legislation and stalled environmental progress, President Obama has finally outlined a series of steps - although somewhat limited and with some serious drawbacks - that will hopefully begin to set us on the right path.
In 2008, I did not foresee the disappointing ways in which a gridlocked Congress and President Obama’s approach to partisan politics, which in reality was far from progressive, would play out. But even compared to modest expectations, the President has often fallen short: from failing to close Guantanamo Bay and bailing out big banks while reappointing the top CEOs responsible for the financial meltdown, to ignoring the oversized role of lobbying interests and renewing Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, the list goes on.
After the proposed carbon cap-and-trade legislation failed in 2009 and 2010, the Obama administration’s efforts to enact major environmental reform slowed. Tuesday’s speech, which was filled with surprises that rocked climate change organizers and oil industry CEOs alike, seems to have changed that. Of course, the President’s climate plan is a mixed bag, and contains far too many dismaying endorsements of natural gas and nuclear power expansion. But it was also an important step in the right direction.
Obama’s plan includes a series of executive actions to combat carbon emissions, a transition away from reliance on fossil fuels, and preparation for the inevitable impacts of climate change. He recognized that extreme weather and climate disasters are already upon us, and cited the moral obligation towards future generations that requires us to act now. Obama also acknowledged the health and economic cost of inaction, ranging from the droughts to floods to hurricanes and other extreme weather that cost more than $110 billion and hundreds of deaths in 2012 alone.
While many of the President’s announcements were expected, his statement about the Keystone XL pipeline and his mention of fossil fuel divestment were surprises far beyond what most had hoped for. After months of delays and silence surrounding KXL, Obama declared that he would only approve the pipeline if it does not “significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” This statement was a highly calculated one and does leave him some options, so the climate movement must be on his back to ensure that he follows through. However, if Obama accepts the overwhelming scientific evidence that the carbon emissions from developing Canada’s tar sands would be “game over for the climate,” then this new criterion effectively guarantees that he must reject it.
But where did these surprises come from? The climate change movement should get a lot of the credit for pushing the President to move past wishy-washy stances and break his years of climate silence. In recent months, tens of thousands of people have mobilized to join fossil fuel divestment campaigns, organize in their communities, rally in the streets, be arrested for the sake of the environment, and demonstrate that we are serious about climate action. This grassroots uprising has provided the President with the courage to finally take a stand.
In the coming months President Obama must do much more, and so must we. The plans announced this week are a start, but they ignore the plight of communities suffering from fracking contamination and the threat of nuclear energy. A full-fledged rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline and a transition away from fossil fuels are necessary actions that need to happen soon.
We saw glimpses of the passionate visionary who ran for office in 2008 during Tuesday’s speech, and it brought alive again the inspiration I felt five years ago. The drive to be involved and to organize is stronger than ever. This climate movement is growing daily, and we will continue to mobilize the country until Obama has no choice but to do the right thing.



Istanbul right now.

We just sent out this email to our friends around the world. Not on our email list yet? Sign up here to receive crucial updates from the climate movement. 


I want to give you an update from Istanbul, where we are a bit low on sleep but quite high on energy.

After months of hard work to prepare, climate organisers from 134 countries on every continent are in Istanbul for Phase 1 of Global Power Shift, spending every waking hour building new relationships, skills, and power. The days are divided between intensive skills trainings, regional collaborations, global visioning, and meals over the reddest tomatoes you'll ever see.

The skills that we're sharing will give us the tools we need to prepare for a wave of national and regional Power Shift actions in coming months, and the connections to people across the world will give us the vision to translate that energy into international action.

I'm writing you now to ask you to join what comes next. After we wrap up here in Istanbul, there will be a wave of regional and national Power Shifts across the planet. We're making those plans now, and we need to know if you will be there with us to continue our amazing growth.

You can join phase 2 of Global Power Shift by signing up here -- will you join us? act.350.org/signup/global_power_shift/

Phase 2 of Global Power Shift will put pressure directly on national governments across the world.

Tomorrow, Christiana Figueres the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will be coming to GPS here in Istanbul to discuss the path forward to international climate action, and we want her to leave here with the strongest mandate possible to push leaders to take action.

We want to be able to show her messages from tens of thousands of people who have pledged to create a bold wave of climate activism in countries around the world. If you sign on today, we'll be able to do that -- and will be that much closer to strong international action on climate.

In a fight this big, everyone has a role to play. Can you step into yours by pledging to ramp up the climate movement in your home countries for Phase 2 of Global Power Shift? act.350.org/signup/global_power_shift/

I also want to let you know a bit more about who you'll be fighting alongside during Phase 2.

You'll be shoulder-to-shoulder with the warriors of the Pacific, who told everyone here about their Warrior Day of Action, sending the message that as the ocean waters rise about their island homes, they are not drowning -- they are fighting. You'll also be standing with youth here from Eastern Europe who are winning hearts and minds to shut down gigantic coal plants and end a generations-long legacy of industrial pollution. And you'll be joining the fight alongside our friends here from central Africa who are defending climate-critical forests while also adapting their communities to the early impacts of climate change.

There are many more stories to come that you will only be able discover by joining in. I'm amazed by the hard work and joyful solidarity on display here in Turkey -- but the most amazing thing about what's happening now in Istanbul is that it's just the beginning.

I hope you'll join us for what's next.


P.S. Get a look at the amazing Southern Africa crew on stage at the opening plenary -- this is the kind of energy in this movement:

(photo: Shadia Fayne Wood)