Bill McKibben

"Wouldn't it be better if you all got together?"

7
Apr
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If you spend a little time as an environmentalist, one thing you’ll hear eventually from friends and family: “I wish there weren’t so many groups. It’s confusing—I don’t know who to volunteer for. Wouldn’t it work better if you all got together?”

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A BIG Announcement

6
Apr
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For too long, the fossil fuel industry has had its way on the climate issue--its money has overwhelmed the scientific facts, delaying action on the largest challenge humanity now faces.

Right now, the the Clean Air Act is being threatened, the EPA is under attack, and big polluters are mounting an all-out onslaught that threatens to destroy our lands and scorch our planet. In short, we are losing ground.

In the face of these challenges, one thing is clear: if we want to win, we will have to come together like we never have before.

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Renewed Hope for an "Older" Climate Activist

6
Apr
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So this 1Sky/350.org effort to engage our citizenry in backing a strong national & international climate change movement is really serious -- and it’s being grown from the bottom up. Meaning: a grassroots movement that is attempting to drag our national leadership along, and a youth-driven movement which lends energy and new ideas and savvy communication mechanisms. Geesz, I’m hooked!

Linda Isaason Fedele is a climate activist from New Rochester, NY. She attended the joint 1Sky/350.org volunteers retreat in late March 2011.
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To tackle climate change: Target corporate money in politics

9
Mar
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We have to address corporate money in politics if we want to win on climate change policies. It might sound off focus, but the fact of the matter is that corporate money in Congress, through donations to campaigns, lobbying, attack ads, etc, is drowning out reasonable arguments for addressing climate change. We have to address the influence of dirty energy industry money in the political process in the United States if we want to see real action on climate change.

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Policy Update 3/8/11: Upton and Inhofe's Dirty Air Bill

8
Mar
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Politicians continue to attack the Clean Air Act on a daily basis as budget fights, science hearings, and consideration of anti-climate bills persist on Capitol Hill. The government is currently only funded for two more weeks, forcing a major budget compromise by March 18th. House GOP leadership is signaling that they are willing to back down on their most egregious anti-climate riders, but Clean Air Act-blocking legislation continues to be considered in the House and Senate with the introduction of the Upton-Inhofe bill.

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Policy Update 3/1/2011: Wisconsin and Climate

1
Mar
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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.

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Weekly roundup 2/25/11: Standing Tall in Wisconsin and Around the Nation

25
Feb
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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.

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Weekly roundup 9/10/10: Navel-gazing and direct action (and inaction) (VIDEO)

10
Sep
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How could a four-day work week after Labor Day and with the Senate in recess still feel so full? Could we possibly have much to talk about? Actually, we always have a lot to talk about, and this week it’s about contemplating the movement, direct action against mountaintop removal, pondering the failure of a comprehensive climate bill, and a wrap on Bill McKibben's excellent solar adventure.

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Policy Update 9/8/2010: Another oil disaster strikes the Gulf

8
Sep
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The midterm elections continue to dominate the August congressional recess. Members of Congress will go on campaigning for one more week before returning to Washington, D.C. for their final session before the midterms. This week another explosion on a Gulf oil rig entered the news cycle, increasing support for the Obama Administration's drilling moratorium.

Congressional Timeline:

  • 9/13: Congress returns from recess
  • 10/8: Target adjournment for the House and Senate
  • 11/2: Election Day
  • 11/15: Beginning of Senate "lame duck" session (tentative)

Another Gulf Oil Rig Explodes

Another oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico suffered a major explosion last Thursday, forcing all 13 crew members to dive off the burning rig. Luckily there were no fatalities or major oil spills. A small firm called Mariner energy based out of Houston, TX owns the the platform. The rig was built in shallow water, so repairs will be much easier than on the Deepwater Horizon Rig, which blew out just 135 miles away. The rig was in active production at the time of the explosion, but so far Mariner and the Coast Guard are saying that the explosion did not result in a substantial oil spill.

Industry representatives are working to minimize Thursday's incident and distance it from the well blowout in April. "We have on these platforms on any given year roughly 100 fires," said one representative. Nonetheless, the disaster has increased support for the Obama Administration's drilling moratorium.

Oil companies have been battling the Obama Administration in federal court to lift the moratorium, which they claim hurts Gulf Coast workers. Workers from Mariner were among 5,000 oil company employees who were bussed to the Houston convention center last Wednesday to protest the moratorium, claiming that "Obama is trying to break us."

Senate RES is Back on the Table

Last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that the Renewable Energy Standard (RES) would be back on the table when the Senate returns this fall. Reid noted that two Republicans have expressed interest in the bill, but that he still needed to "tie them down a little more closely.”

One of these Republicans could be Senator Brownback (R-KS), who recently endorsed the RES passed through the energy committee last year. Senator Reid noted that his energy package is more likely to be passed during the "lame duck" session, held after the midterm elections. This final session of the Senate is expected to begin on November 15th, and continue as late as the December holidays.

A major renewable energy developer NextEra Energy has promised to invest $2.5 billion in solar and wind energy if an RES passes, enough to create 40,000 jobs in five years. A 2009 UCS analysis of the Senate Energy Committee's RES (.pdf) suggests that the 15% standard being proposed would not necessarily guarantee renewable energy deployment beyond business as usual levels.

EPA Holds Field Hearings to Discuss Toxic Coal Ash

Last week the second hearing on toxic coal ash regulation was held in Denver, Colorado. The Obama Administration's EPA is considering stronger regulations for toxic coal ash dumps, but their efforts are being met by major pushback from industry. 1Sky and our allies are calling on the Obama Administration to crack down on toxic coal ash.

State of the Movement:

1Sky Board Member and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben wants to focus more on movement building and less on Washington, D.C., while Grist's David Roberts gives blunt predictions for what the coming years have in store for climate advocates.

Prepared by 1Sky Policy Coordinator Jason Kowalski. Please direct questions or comments to jason@1sky.org.

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Weekly Round-Up 8/6/10: Enviros finger-pointing and the state of the climate (VIDEO)

6
Aug
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This week started with ire over the Senate's delay in bringing a climate bill to vote before the Senate recess. And the week ends with... ire over the Senate delaying in bringing a BP accountability and efficiency bill to the floor! The Senate can't even get 60 votes to pass a small, "no-carbon capping" bill with number of non-controversial measures that easily passed bi-partisan Senate subcommittees, like Home Star?

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