An Open Letter to My Fellow Youth Climateers


Let’s speak frankly. In the years after the failure of a climate bill to pass the US Senate and the climate treaty implosion at Copenhagen in 2009, we’ve been wandering in the wilderness figuring out what went wrong. Sure, in 2010 California’s landmark global warming law was saved from big oil’s nefariousness, but that same election put dozens and dozens of climate deniers into office.

We’ve got this pipeline issue going on; something I’ve been arrested over and slept on the ground for. I hope we win, and I will continue doing what I can to see that we do, but the pipeline is just a symptom of larger issues central to the current system (obviously).

We are now presented with a real chance to change that system: the Occupy Movement. Given how fast our civilization is hurdling toward/past climate tipping points, we have got to change the system of government to deal with the serious problems in this country. Right now profits are more important than people and the planet, grand larceny goes un-prosecuted on Wall Street, K Street lobbyists get away with legalized bribery and money-laundering, and mega-corporations plunder anything and everything they can.

In response, something is happening in the United States that has never happened before: deliberately defying unjust laws, Americans are occupying public spaces as an ongoing protest against the excesses of the 1% that own 40% of the wealth. Many of these places are important and symbolic of the power of the 1%.

Everyone I’ve spoken to at the Occupation of DC in McPherson Square ( understands the necessity of dealing with climate change – climate change being a symptom of deeper problems. Last night we approved the funds to buy solar panels for our encampment so we won’t have to use a gas generator.

But if the earnestness of protestors not wanting to use fossil fuels to power their movement doesn’t convince you, how’s this: I’ve watched young friends age very quickly in this struggle to stop climate change, usually by working within the accepted channels of political action. It hasn’t worked so well. So just as Bill McKibben said, we as folks worried about climate change need to participate in this movement. Hell, even Al Gore has unabashedly endorsed the Occupy Movement.

I’ll see you at the General Assembly!


PS – Environmentalists love camping. Think of it as camping where the 1% don’t want you to!

9 Responses to “An Open Letter to My Fellow Youth Climateers”

  1. 1 mememine69 Oct 15th, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Note that the occupywallstreet list of demands does not mention “climate change”, “CO2″ or “greenhouse gasses”. It does mention energy and conserving nature etc……………….
    How is it anti-capitalist to let bankers bankroll corporations to run carbon trading markets overseen by politicians to manage the temperature of the planet?

    Pollution is real, death by CO2 is not.

  2. 2 mememine69 Oct 15th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Human CO2 doesn’t cause climate change, exaggerating scientists and lazy copy and paste news editors and pandering politicians do.

  3. 3 bill mckibben Oct 15th, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    this is a great post, and camping is always more fun when you;re not in your assigned spot!

  4. 4 Jdpauletto Oct 15th, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    This is really exciting to see this movement grow so quickly. 1500 cities world wide, and they are continuing to pop up all over the place. Corporate media has even been giving the occupiers a positive spin in many cases. Hopefully this will continue to grow and evolve into change.

  5. 5 mememine69 Oct 16th, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Why should we allow banks to bankroll corporations to tax the air we breathe with CARBON TRADING MARKETS run by politicians? Hardly anti-capitalist.
    System Change, not climate change is new era of responsible stewardship.

  6. 6 Jay O'Hara Oct 16th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Great post Drew. I’ve been enjoying spending some time at Occupy Boston, but living an hour bus ride away has made it hard to really integrate into the GA process, and make sure climate is on the list. Looking forward to doing more camping, nothing like being in boston’s public spaces in a tent at night. @bill mckibben knows something about this. :-)

  7. 7 Fubar Oct 16th, 2011 at 11:17 pm


    Al Gore is part of the problem not the cure! He’s one of the biggest capitalist pigs on the planet, so I don’t think we ought to accept his endorsement… he’s just trying to get rich!

    Also, I’m worried about the solar panel thing. Like, who are you buying them from and have they been vetted. I mean that are they part of the power elites we’re protesting? Or are the parts made by some power dudes?

    Or worse, are these things made in China where they don’t give a rat’s ass about human rights and working conditions — like sweat shops, dudes, worse than anything we’ve ever done.
    China doesn’t give a damn about global warming either, and they’ve even surpassed the US as the worst poluter on the planet.

    So, are we sure the panels we’re buying aren’t from some offender of some sort.

    That would be kind of hypocritical would it not?

    Be careful, dudes, or you’re going to end up endorsing some asshole by way of your purchase!

  1. 1 Links for October 15, 2011 through October 16, 2011 | Youth Vote, Technology, Politics Trackback on Oct 16th, 2011 at 2:02 pm
  2. 2 Wake Up And Smell The Stupid: Occupy DC Goes Solar « SOYLENT GREEN Trackback on Oct 16th, 2011 at 10:37 pm
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College Graduate. Environmentalist. Mid-Westerner. Outdoorsman. Opinion-haver.

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