Rallies sprung up nationwide this weekend in solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin. Much of the opposition faced by unions is from the same polluter-funded front groups that have opposed climate legislation for years. The protests in Wisconsin have the opportunity to be a key turning point in the fight against corporate influence on our politics. The House and Senate will return to D.C. this week for further consideration of short-term spending bills.
Hold on to your seats; February isn’t over just yet. This week we’re standing up to the dirty energy supporting U.S. Chamber of Commerce and rallying around the nation in solidarity with workers in Wisconsin. Also in the news, report this week shed light on the serious danger coral reefs are in and Rolls Royce dropped a few photos of their brand new electric car.
Coral in Danger
The rain forests of the sea could soon be no more. A study released this week says that coral reefs are headed for dire straits.
I recently attended the 2011 Good Jobs Green Jobs National Conference, and I was struck by a number of things. The first thing was the attendance – we were filled to capacity! As an organizer, however, what really got me was the intense focus on movement building from all involved – panel speakers, moderators, and participants alike.
We are beginning to realize that our strength lies in our numbers, and that we need to get organized! I knew that’s what we were doing here at 1Sky, but it was hugely inspiring and empowering to hear that goal echoed across the community.
In Beijing, they celebrate when they have a "blue sky day," when, that is, the haze clears long enough so that you can actually see the sun. Many days, you can't even make out the next block.
Washington, by contrast, looks pretty clean: white marble monuments, broad, tree-lined avenues, the beautiful, green spread of the Mall. But its inhabitants -- at least those who vote in Congress -- can't see any more clearly than the smoke-shrouded residents of Beijing.
From Wisconsin to D.C., the talk of the town this week has been conservative budget bills and their potential consequences. In Congress, the GOP-led House amended their spending package to include a complete shutdown of climate and clean energy programs ranging from subtle tweaks to all-out gutting of the Clean Air Act and state-based climate law enforcement. The budget agreed upon by the House is so drastic that leaders in the Senate will likely scrap it and start from scratch with their own version. Right now the government is funded through March 4th.
So much of our time has been taken up with defending the Clean Air Act from the likes of Fred Upton (R-Coal/Oil) that it's easy to forget there are lawmakers out there willing to speak out strongly in its defense. People like Barbara Boxer, who has been giving Fred Upton her own version of Ian McKellen's 'you shall not pass!' speech from Lord of the Rings in reference to the Clean Air Act.
The Clean Air Act and climate change-related policies are under attack from all sides in D.C. this week. In an ongoing showdown, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is considering Chairman Fred Upton's (R-MI) "dirty air" bill. Meanwhile, the full House is pulling climate regulations and clean energy investments into a fight over the budget. Rhetoric suggests that the Clean Air Act and climate policy generally will continue to be points of contention throughout the upcoming budget process.
Over the past few weeks, 1Sky house parties have been popping up faster than electric carcharging stations across the U.S. -- and with about the same amount of energy. This week we're celebrating these fantastic throw-downs for climate organizing.
The latest attacks on the Clean Air Act are not about policy or even politics; they're about corruption, plain and simple.
We see these attacks coming from both Republicans and Democrats, but nearly all of them are coming from lawmakers who have received large infusions of cash or pressure from big polluters like the coal industry.