350 Updates

Statement of support for Greenpeace Activists #FreetheArctic30

Greenpeace activists bear witness to the actions of the fossil fuel industry and their megaphone urges on the entire climate movement. Right now, they need our help. 30 activists are being held without being charged for a peaceful protest drawing attention to the harmful affects of Arctic oil drilling.  The team at 350.org joins the call for a global day of solidarity on October 5 to support our colleagues and the many others who draw inspiration from their courage. 


Bangladesh power plant struggle calls for international solidarity

Painting by Dhiman Sarkar

In Bangladesh, a 1320 Megawatt coal fired power plant has been proposed. A joint venture with India, the proposed Rampal power plant is expected to strengthen bilateral relations with the neighbouring giant. But amidst the growing impatience of both Government's to start construction, there is a strong and widespread movement in Bangladesh against the plant. Environmental activists and concerned citizens alike are taking to the streets to stop the plant from destroying the largest single block of Mangroves in the world, the Sundarbans. 

Help stop the destruction of Sundarbans, Stop the Rampal power plant 

The harmful impacts of coal-fired power plants are too well known around the world. But to put at risk, a natural barrier to rising sea levels and home to some of the richest and most diverse ecosystems, is a very dangerous move. For establishing this 1320 Megawatt power plant, Bangladesh will need to import about 4.72 million tons of coal each year. This massive freight will need about 59 ships each having an 80,000 ton capacity that take to the port which is 40 Kilometers away from the plant and its route cuts through the Sundarbans.   

Such projects around the world are being driven by profits more than people and their upliftment. Obfuscation of facts, lack of transparency in the bilateral agreement, an utter disregard to established rules and laws around environmental protection and an undemocratic and forceful approval of the project; Rampal power plant embodies all that is wrong with our obsession over growth.

Lest it appear that Bangladesh does not want development, the protest chants on the streets of the country respond beautifully by saying, "There are many alternatives of power generation, but there is no alternative for Sundarban". A massive rally has started today, September 24th, from Dhaka to the Sundarbans spanning over 400 Kilometers. With educational rallies and protests along the way, concerned citizens want to send a message loud and clear to both Bangladesh and Indian Governments, the plant must be stopped and the beautiful forests of the Sunderbans must be protected. 

Marzia Izrat has started a petition on 350 campaigns, urging her national and international community to speak out against the project. Sign this petition and lend her your support in saving the Sunderabans. 


This is how we Draw the Line on Keystone XL

Have photos you'd like to submit? Email them as an attachment to photos@350.org, with your location in the subject line and a description of the photo in the body of the email.

After years of organizing, years of building strength in the movement and building resistance to the Keystone Pipeline- today was really something to see. Thousands of people in hundreds of cities drawing one line to protect our future. But today was also more than fighting the pipeline -- it was also about showing the strength and power, and how people can overcome the corruption of the fossil fuel industry.

Two years ago, when 1253 people ricked arrest in front of the White House taking a stand against the Keystone XL pipeline, we showed President Obama that the movement was deeply committed to this fight. Since then, we have grown in tremendous ways: in the continued resistance along the southern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline, the fight to keep Obama from approving the Northern leg, the organizing against pipelines in the Northeast and Midwest, the Indigenous resistance on First Nations land, communities fighting refineries burning tar sands oil, and costal communities fighting exports -- we are so big, and so strong, and so creative.

Here is just a snapshot of some of the actions today:

350 Seattle had over a thousand people draw the line between the Puget Sound and the train tracks that could lead to exporting an inflated fossil fuel dependency. In Texas, folks drew the line against the southern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline right on TransCanada's home turf. On New Orleans, a marching band drew the line against continued threats to the Gulf Coast communities. In Nebraska, landowners built a barn ON the line of the proposed northern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline. In Detroit, the line was drawn between residents and refineries burning tar sands. Today we were in many different places, doing many different things, but we were drawing one line, in between our future and the people who would threaten it with their greed. And we will defend it.

Thank you to everyone who drew the line and continues to stay committed to the fight for our planet.


More amazing photos from Draw the Line

Click here for live updates

Santa Barbara has a 90 foot pipeline on the beach:

In Waterville, Maine they're standing up against tar sands pipelines headed East, as well as Keystone XL:

In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, folks drew the line along painfully low riverbeds:

Amherst, Massachusetts marched with this GIANT pipeline:

A great crowd braved the rain in New Orleans to Draw the Line against tar sands pipelines and other projects headed for the gulf:


Rallies from Nebraska to NYC for Draw the Line

Amazing photos are coming in from all across the country today, as people "Draw The Line" on Keystone XL, the tar sands, and other dirty enegy projects that are worsening the climate crisis. In Nebraska, BOLD Nebraska and friends rally outside the renewable energy powered barn they're building in the proposed route Keystone XL:

In New York City, activists formed a human tide line to highlight the threat of sea level rise:

In Madison, WI, dozens of people rally with a giant pencil -- it's for the President to draw the line against Keystone XL!


Draw the Line on Keystone XL, actions underway!

Draw the Line on Keystone XL actions are underway! Today in over 200 places, people will draw the line, using their bodies, creativity and spirit to defend the places we love from cliamte change and to tell President Obama to keep his climate promises and reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Click here for all of the live-updates from the day of action!

Above is a photo from 350JAX in Jacksonville, Florida -- one of the first actions of the day, on a beach at risk of disappearing under the waves.

Here's Bloomington, IN:

And Two Harbors, MN:

With many more to come!


Interesting results from a new climate change survey across Asia

The BBC media action surveyed 33,500 people across 7 countries of Asia (India, China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal), over a span of 3 years, on their perceptions of climate change based on their lived experiences of its impacts. With an approach that focused on the effects people noticed or felt in areas of food, water availability, agricultural productivity etc (and other direct impacts of climate change), the Climate Asia survey revelead some useful results. 

46% of over 20,000 surveyed felt that human activity was behind climate change. But a higher number contributed it to population growth and tree felling (68% and 65% respectively). Insofar, climate change communication has been majorly around its extreme weather consequences. This survey digs deeper into the day to day impacts on some of the indispensable needs of food, water, health and housing. Another useful statistic reveals that the three main motivators for people to take action on climate change, in India for instance are; health, a better future for children and a basic need to survive. It reflects the hard realities of climate change impacts on the day to day living of billions across the developing world. The survey goes into quite some detail across various variables of population, gender, resource availability, media exposure etc to throw unique light on the lived experience of climate change Asia. 

The survey comes with a toolkit for NGO's, media and policy makers to use the data and develop communications around climate change. It is not an issue that can remain to be abstract and in the distant future but a clear and present danger that needs a swift response. 


The Australian Election was a Climate Disaster: What Now?

Just over a week ago, Australians did the democratic thing and went to the vote. In short, the outcome was a disaster for the hope of Australian government leadership on climate change - it elected a government that is on par with Canada's Harper Government, which has done everything to prevent action on climate change. So we rallied together and hashed out a post election strategy for Australia, and this is what we just emailed to our friends across the country. We thought it worth sharing globally to give a taste of what's to come for Australia. 

* We're sorry if our words in an earlier version of this post suggested that the carbon price is not worth defending. We don't think that. 350.org will be focusing on coal expansion and divestment but we strongly support efforts to defend these extremely important policies and we commend the organisations and individuals doing so. Our bad! 

I think we all know that the outcome of the election was not a success for tackling climate change, and if we're to be honest, it's probably most adequately described as a climate disaster.

You do have to wonder if Prime Minister Tony Abbott's blood oath to repeal the carbon price counts for anything as there was actually no blood involved. But here at 350.org Australia, we've concluded that the area we need to focus on is their weak spot: coal expansion. We need to win this one, big time.

Here's how.

The Government is fighting a losing battle to expand coal exports

Abbott and the Premier of Queensland, Campbell Newman are desperate to rapidly expand Australia's coal exports. But they’re going to have a tough time. The international price of coal is low and is likely to remain low as demand for coal is not growing as fast as the industry predicted it would. China for one is busy putting in new legislation to decommission coal power plants and ramp up alternatives - meaning that the country is on track to reach its peak of demand for coal much earlier than the consensus outlook had predicted. The international price pressure, coupled with the divestment pressure, and the great work community groups around Australia are doing to fight these projects is making financing big coal projects increasingly risky and undesirable. Just last week, Glencore Xtrata shelved its massive Wandoan coal project for these very reasons. 

Over the coming year, we'll continue to build momentum and pressure with Divestment campaigning. We'll also issue a direct challenge to the fossil fuel industry - through Summer Heat Australia (more to come soon).

Alongside those two, we're going to be figuring out ways to challenge the ideology of extraction that would see Australia dug up no matter the social or environmental cost. Naomi Klein defines that ideology as 'extractivism':

It’s an approach to the world based on taking and taking without giving back. Taking as if there are no limits to what can be taken – no limits to what a functioning society can take, no limits to what the planet can take. When crisis hits, there is only ever one solution: take some more, faster. On all fronts. So that is their story – the one we’re trapped in. The one they use as a weapon against all of us.

We mustn't just target Abbott and Newman for their extractivist agenda, we must target the small number of powerful people in Australia pushing extractivism. We must name it and shame it, and at the same time push forward strongly with the progressive, science-based path of development that treats the planet and people like they actually matter. That's a big project, but it's time to begin it. We're always keen to hear your ideas - just hit reply to this email, or post them on our Facebook page!

There's a few other parts to our strategy, which we've summarised in this post-election climate organising checklist:

  1. Rational argument won’t win the day - the Coalition is deeply ideological. It is a power fight.
  2. Government lobbying won’t work. We have to challenge power with power.
  3. Divestment is now more important than ever - it’s our most effective strategy to fight the extra power the coal and gas industry has just received with the change in government, because it gets to the financial base of the industry. We don't have to faff about with the Government.
  4. Things will move fast. We need to get ready to respond. But we mustn’t get caught up with just responding. We need to go on the offensive.
  5. Support alternative media. Create alternative media. We have to divest ourselves from reading and believing the Murdoch press. Invest our desire for news into media that is fact-based and unbiased.
  6. Be ready for non-violent direct action
If this resonates with you, the main thing we want you to do is stay active and stand with us over the coming months. The other thing that helps a lot is if you would become a monthly donor to 350.org Australia. Click here to find out how. We are a small team, and treasure every dollar that comes our way. Your ongoing support will enable us to rise to this challenge.
Thanks for all that you do, onwards!
Aaron, Blair, Charlie, for 350.org Australia
* We're sincerely sorry if our words in an earlier version of this post suggested that the carbon price is not worth defending. We don't think that. 350.org will be focusing on coal expansion and divestment but we strongly support efforts to defend these extremely important policies and we commend the organisations and individuals doing so. Our bad!