350 Updates

Power Shifts in Southeast Asia

Engaging with Thai youth and hearing their reflections (through our translators) during Thailand Power Shift, made me realize how powerful the space we have created through Power Shift is. It provided an avenue for young people to build connections, discover their potential, learn from each other, and be inspired to take action back in their community.

 

Imagine a continuous wave of Power Shifts in different parts of the world holding the same powerful space of young people taking leadership and engaging in activism. How powerful could it become?

 

Envision a hundred more like Siripaporn Chuensri, who just like her have learned to conquer their fear of speaking up. She said, “…after this training I am able to tell my story and speak in front of you. I realize that my voice matters and it has the power to unite people and change the world.”

Or how about a thousand more community youth leaders building new connections and support like Arthit Pilaboot (Champ), who said: “I thought the youth in the cities does not care about issues we face in our rural communities. But after the 3 days of being together, I learned that we care the same. I hope this kind of connection continues beyond this training.”

 

In the Southeast Asia Region, Power Shift Vietnam had also just concluded. There, my colleague Hoang Hong boldly launched several actions engaging Vietnamese youth in creative climate actions. It recruited roughly 600 volunteers during their climate leadership workshop dubbed “I AM A CLIMATE CITIZEN!” and the climate concert “NONG” (which means “HOT”) – an activity that raised consciousness about coal and climate change.

 

In the next two weeks, Power Shift Malaysia will be bringing together 200 young and passionate climate leaders aged 18 to 30 from all over their state provinces under the theme “YOU’VE GOT THE POWER!”. According to Adrian Yeo, our ever-dynamic organizer and team leader in Malaysia, “…we aim to build a movement conscious and aware of the interconnected issues of climate, environment and social justice and that it be given the level of attention it deserves by government with the appropriate sense of urgency.”

This is where grassroots organizing and mobilization is building up strength and taking on the fight against the fossil fuel industry. We’re done with the 19 years of climate negotiations who cannot take a bold stand for our generation and the generations to come.

Our decentralized but organized climate mobilization in different parts of the world will define leadership – where real people fight for real action and real solutions to address the climate crisis. This is where the casualties of the deadly typhoon Haiyan will claim justice. Let us scale up our movement as we continue to raise consciousness, organize communities, and mobilize campaigns to shift power!

 

More updates from 350 Pilipinas on the Haiyan aftermath



Map of Eastern Visayas

Meggie, one of the volunteers at 350 Pilipinas traveling in the areas impacted by Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda, follows up to the first report back with the following two updates.


November 20

We are still reeling from the devastation that we saw in Eastern Visayas and got caught up with the relief drive when we got back. We will be sending the first wave of relief goods tomorrow so everyone is busy taking care of the logistics but we are all set now. We drafted a short account of what we saw during our trip to the Yolanda-impacted areas.

There is little or no building left standing in the towns we came across leading up to Tacloban City, which is a virtual no man’s land. We saw an evacuation center made of concrete that wasn’t spared by the devastating gusts and storm surges. It collapsed and killed 13 people that sought refuge in it, including small children. Typhoon Haiyan uprooted or damaged all sources of subsistence and livelihood, and the debris and flood waters contaminated most sources of water. There were dead bodies that the government still hasn’t cleaned up yet, and heaps of debris and rubble are everywhere.

The survivors we have talked to confirmed that hardships continue to persist on the ground: government relief still has yet to arrive in these areas a full week after the disaster and survival has been the priority of the families, with a lot of them resorting to looting or scavenging. They are urgently in need of at least a week’s worth of food, water, and materials for temporary shelters. In the long term, the people will be needing help in reconstructing their homes and infrastructure, and rebuilding their livelihoods.

The assessment team identified 24 priority municipalities and cities – these are communities that are among the most affected, but have local people’s organizations that can help facilitate the efficient and secure delivery of relief. Our local partners will also serve as the main conduit for long-term climate change education and action, as we believe the best way to help the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan is through empower them towards struggling for climate justice.


November 21

I'm sharing with you the output of our trip to Leyte and Samar, the (partial) needs and damages assessment report. This is not as technical and complete as we would have liked but we were only able to scan the area and had limited time. The team needed to get back as soon as the logistics have been prepared and arrange for the actual relief operations which kicked off today. Leon [other 350 Pilipinas volunteer] joined the relief caravan and maybe he will have a more detailed report on what is happening on the ground.

NOTE: Brigada Kalikasan and Kalikasan PNE are coordinating with Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan or BALSA in shipping the relief goods to Eastern VIsayas, that is why we signed the report under BALSA.

NOTE: The report is unavailable right now.


We’re so grateful for the dedication of people like Meggie and Leon, who provide support around relief and rehabilitation, as well as connect the dots of extreme weather event impacts and climate justice. Let’s keep raising our money and our voices for them!

 

 

The Other Side of the Storm

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. 


Friends,

For the past few weeks in the Philippines, we’ve gotten a devastating glimpse into what a climate changed future looks like.

In the past two days, we've gotten to see the other side of the storm — the networks of people, coming together to support each other in new and ever-stronger ways.

All across the world, people converged in their communities for vigils to reflect on the impacts of Typhoon Haiyan, and called on world leaders to take action for climate justice to honor the many lives lost to the storm.

Here are just a few pictures from these events:

photos from (top left to bottom right) Bellingham WA, Fiji, Burundi, Serbia, Sweden, Philippines, Leesberg VA, London, Huddersfield UK, and Bolivia

And here in Warsaw, Poland, hundreds of people walked out of the UN climate talks that had been taken over by corporate polluters and backsliding governments. Many of them were carrying red dots that said “We Stand With You” — a simple phrase that emerged as a global symbol of solidarity with the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan.

 

To join this global outpouring of solidarity, take a couple minutes to make and share your own photo with a red dot here: westandwithyou.tumblr.com/submit

I know this show of support is making an impact, because here’s the note I got from Zeph, 350’s fearless coordinator in the Philippines:

"Rebuilding my country will take a long time, but the stories and pictures of people standing in solidarity around the world shows me that the world has not forgotten the climate victims, and that a movement is uniting to rise to this global challenge."

Sharing a solidarity photo is one way to show we’re standing together. Another is to support the very immediate needs of grassroots relief efforts. Our friends at 350 Pilipinas are helping to get food and supplies to people in need -- please donate to support this work here: brigadakalikasan.serverthepeople.com/

Until we rein in the use of fossil fuels, this is what will keep happening, at an ever faster rate. So we hold vigils to mourn, we share photos to show our solidarity, and we rise in the morning awake and ready to build a movement strong enough to create a new world.

That movement is growing everywhere -- including the Philippines, where activists continue their efforts to block the construction of new coal-fired power plants and build resiliency in their communities to adapt to the reality of climate change.

In the US, the movement to divest from fossil fuels is growing in size and courage. We're also preparing to step up our work to stop Keystone XL as the President nears his final decision, and finding new ways to fight fracking across the US.

The fossil fuel industry is everywhere, but so are we. And every time we get a glimpse of a our world being ravaged by climate change, it makes us sadder but also stronger -- because it reminds us at the most gut level just what the stakes really are.

Heavy as that may be, we will carry it in our hearts in the fights to come.

Onwards,

Jamie

 

Thailand Power Shift

UPDATE: Here's the wrap-up video from Thailand Power Shift...

We are joining 60 climate leaders and activists across Thailand. Thailand Power Shift highlights the need for grassroots collective action while linking it to the global efforts to shift power beyond dirty and destructive energy sources like coal and mega-dams.

thailand power shift

Last night, the room radiates with so much love and hope as we lit a candle remembering the survivors and victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Participants send out their hearts to the Philippines as they stood up for Climate Justice. Participants from frontline communities also shared their local stories and determination to take action.

we stand with you

It was an amazing day and now we are headed to Day 2. According to Supanuth Bell, 350 Thailand Team Leader, “…if we move people’s hearts, we can move the world!”  And I couldn't agree with her more. We needed people whose hearts are ready and open to change the world. 

Follow #ThailandPowerShift on Twitter and Facebook at Thailand Power Shift.

 

350 PDX Steps up for Haiyan Relief

On Saturday, November 16, 350 PDX rapidly organized and hosted a fundraising event in order to help provide vital disaster relief assistance for the people of the Philippines and to create a space for community to get together in solidarity in the wake of this climate calamity. A couple hundred Portlanders came together over the course of the morning in order to open their hearts and checkbooks. The event took place at a church that graciously donated their space and a homemade brunch was lovingly prepared by fellow 350 PDX members and served to all by the chefs with the help of our youngest, 6- &12-year old, climate activists. Over a dozen local businesses donated items for the raffle portion of our fundraiser, which also included arts and crafts made by 350 PDX members and friends. All proceeds (several thousand dollars at last count) are being sent to Doctors Without Borders.

350 PDX invited leaders and members of the local Asian Pacific-American and Filipino-American communities to the event to share with us the personal impact Typhoon Haiyan has had on the lives of their friends and family, struggling to survive and rebuild their ravaged communities, with deeply touching tributes of hope and survival in the midst of the sheer devastation. Coming together in solidarity over this immense devastation has sown the seed for growing a relationship between members of our communities. The overarching message:  Climate change is the biggest social justice issue of our time and we must listen to each other and learn from each other in order to build the type of powerful alliances we need to grow the movement.

 

October: Phailin, November: Haiyan

We just sent this email blast out to our network in India, calling on to support the relief work underway in the state of Odisha affected by cyclone Phailin. 

They say lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice but given the unusual times that we live in, we shouldn’t be surprised if it did. As I write this, another cyclonic storm Helen is hurtling towards the coast of Andhra Pradesh, just a month after cyclone Phailin devastated villages along Odisha’s coast. With rising global temperatures, climate change has increased the odds of extreme weather like cyclones and floods.

The citizens of Odisha are still rebuilding their livelihoods more than a month after cyclone Phailin, and will be for months to come. Help support rebuilding the livelihoods of thousands affected by cyclone Phailin.

The media might have shifted its attention away from Phailin but the hard realities on the ground need our attention now more than ever before. Fisherfolk and poor farmers who have lost their homes, crops, fishing nets, and therefore livelihoods need support in rehabilitating and rebuilding their lives.  Last week Dr. Krishna Kumar, the collector of Ganjam district - one of the worst impacted by the cyclone - made an appeal to respond to the overwhelming need for resources in restoring shelter and livelihoods for the thousands affected.

350.org along with Council of Social Action, a local NGO partner in Odisha are urging you to support the relief and rehabilitation work across 1000 families  in Ganjam district. Your donations will directly provide essential resources in the form of shelter, housing, medication, sanitation, clothing, stationery etc. More importantly, we want to lobby and work with the local administration to adopt strong climate adaptation practices whilst rehabilitating people.

Uttarakhand floods showed us how vulnerable we are; cyclone Phailin made international headlines; and typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines shattered all records. It’s all connected. Climate change has increased the odds of extreme weather events around the world, but its often those who are the poorest and contribute the least to the problem, who pay the biggest price.

Click here. Support the survivors of Phailin to rebuild their livelihoods and lives.

www.350.org/phailin

 

350.org Joins Movements from Around the World to Walk Out of UN Climate Talks in Warsaw

We joined young people and other civil society groups in a walk-out protest of the UN Climate Talks here in Warsaw, this afternoon. 
 
 
Here's the statement that I put out to press at the action: 
 
“It’s powerful to see groups from across civil society coming to the same conclusion that in order to keep open any hope of an international climate treaty, we need to challenge the power of the fossil fuel industry. By walking out of COP19, we’re walking into a fight with the real enemies to progress: the coal, oil and gas companies that have a stranglehold over our governments and economy. It’s time to stop sitting in negotiating halls and stand with the Philippines and millions more who are calling for real climate action in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.” 
 
 
This Thursday evening, we're helping coordinate candlelit vigils around the world to honor the victims of Typhoon Haiyan and other climate-related disasters, as well as shine a light on the role of the fossil fuel industry in causing this crisis. Join us!
 
 

Yeb Sano's Speech at #WeStandWithYou Petition Delivery

This afternoon, Filipino negotiator Yeb Sano delivered the signatures of over 600,000 people from around the world who are joining him to call for action at the UN Climate Talks in Warsaw. Here's the transcript of the speech he gave at the event: 

We stand here knowing that hundreds of thousands maybe even millions around the world are standing with us in this difficult time for our country, but also in this difficult time for the planet, for the climate. 
 
We are deeply moved and deeply touched by this expression of solidarity from hundreds of thousands of people and we are here to deliver their voices into this process, into this national stadium here in Warsaw. We hope that they can create the kind of impact that people around the world -- billions and billions -- are desiring. 
 
This is a call, once and for all, to take ambitious steps to address climate change, which is now affecting lives and livelihoods. We are very glad and heartened to see this kind of solidarity being expressed by civil society, especially by many young people here. I cannot thank them enough for what they have done in supporting the call for action in the climate negotiations. 
 
 
We stand with them as well as they stand with us.