Archive for the 'Humor' Category
The following letter was sent to me by an anonymous employee at the Ranco Las Palmas Resort in Palm Springs, California. The author identifies themselves only as “Chucky”. It appears to have been written prior to the first International Conference on Climate Change–an annual gathering of so-called “climate skeptics” in Washington D.C. The content of the letter suggests that the premise of the ICCC Conference is to manufacture uncertainty in the conversation about anthropogenic global warming.
The employee claims she found it in a briefcase that had been turned in to the lost-and-found desk at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort. It is worth noting that the resort was the location of a retreat hosted by Charles and David Koch just one day prior to the briefcase being found. The letter includes no conclusive evidence that the letter was addressed to Charles and David Koch. [I transcribed the letter below due to the difficulty of reading the handwriting. Notes added are in italics and bracketed. Links are included for background information.]
Dear Charles and David,
Yeah, flashmobs, pranks, swiftly organized warroom tweetups, late-night dance parties of 15,000. Remember that rebellious side of us, that “we won’t take the past for an answer” side of us? Remember that “join us because this is awesome and you’re invited” side of us?
Politics is personal identity built into popular movements. The Tea Party is powerful because it ready-makes an identity for those who feel left behind by the 21st Century. It’s a safe space in a post-9/11, post financial collapse, peak-global-hegemony America. And the Tea Party’s done well wiping up a messy identity crisis by defining what they’re afraid of.
We’re also proud to define ourselves as what we’re not: we are cooler than the fossil forces of the past. They rail on chalkboards; we rally with giant puppets in the streets. They are talking heads for septuagenarians; we are sneaking into shareholder meetings and embarrassing giant fossil fuel companies. They are snarking about crosshairs on Facebook from defensive compounds in Wasilla. We are 10,000 lithe young people fighting for our future while a crotchety old pitbull like Tom Donohue screams to get off of his front yard at the US Chamber of Commerce. We are in the West Wing interrupting the President of the United States of America to remind him that energy shouldn’t kill.
But the past is where we leave the comparison. Those fearful forces haven’t got much vision for the future, and we sure do: we are identity awesome. We are the people not afraid to build something better than the assumptions handed to us.
Other American generations have staked their identities on propositions equally grand – rebelling from tyranny, beating back fascism, defending the world from communism. Our generation is staking its identity as the people responsible enough to face climate science for what it means, and political corruption for what it is. To build a cleaner, leaner, more durable and more prosperous way of life on our full tide of vibrant energy. The people smart enough to put our moral muscle to work.
But we need to remember how to have a blast doing it. Where’s the rebelliousness, the youthful energy pulling more pranks to call out our opposition? Remember when the Yes Men and the Avaaz Action Factory staged a mock press conference on the US Chamber’s “sudden” climate action? Remember when Tim DeChristopher tied on his bandanna and marched into the fray of a corrupt shareholder process? Remember when young people lay down on the train tracks against tremendous new coal facilities? (That hasn’t happened yet, but it should.)
We mustn’t abandon tried-and-true organizing tactics, nor our hard-earned insider game. And if we do rebel our way into a better world, we do so on the shoulders of giants: after all, we’re now defending the Clean Air Act that our foremothers first passed, celebrating Earth Day last week because our forefathers founded the first four decades ago. And we need the scientific white papers still, because after all, we’re fighting for a political reality that keeps pace with the chemical reality of the atmosphere. This is a movement of the young and young at heart – if you are awesome, you are in.
Cross-posted from the Consequence Blog
Senate staffers expecting a typical morning commute were in for a surprise yesterday when they stepped out of Union Station and into a Big Oil Carnival.
While our literal Big Oil Carnival — complete with oil-themed midway games, Tony Hayward clowns, and an enthusiastic, stilt walking Uncle Sam — may have been out of the ordinary, it should have felt familiar for anyone who works on Capitol Hill.
The unfortunate reality is that every single day in the U.S. Senate is a carnival of Big Oil.
At every opportunity, a minority of Senators who are in the pocket of America’s largest polluters choose political games and obstruction over working together to solve America’s energy and climate crisis. As a result of their actions, the big polluters will continue to reap record profits at the expense of Americans.
Cross posted from Bruce Nilles’ blog on Climate Crossroads
We’ve had some disturbing news come to us from the coal industry. It’s appropriate that it comes to us on April Fool’s Day, as it is a coal industry iPhone application that is designed to fool the American public about the devastating cost of coal.
Watch this video from our Executive Director Michael Brune to learn more.
While this iPhone app is a bit shocking, I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised coming from an industry that, besides the coal carolers and the coal coloring books, also unveiled pro-coal cell phone ringtones last year. (We gave those ringtones a reality check in this video)
Check out the Sierra Club’s website on this latest coal industry embarrassment to learn more: www.sierraclub.org/scrubber
People for Climate Justice, a national coalition of concerned residents in Canada wish to announce the Fossil Fools of the Year, but who is it going to be? Please vote!
People for CJ have nominated several tar sands supporters, all worthy of the dubious prize. It will be a tough choice. Who really and truly is the most foolish to be tangled up in the dirty fossil fuel industry? To make this easier for you, we have nomination videos and a little information about all of our nominees.
“Honourable” Stephen Harper is being nominated for his first domestic Fossil Fool award! Continue reading ‘And The Fossil Fool Nominees Are…’
One of the spoken word artists was performing at Power Shift 2007 and I stood captivated. “There is something in the water. But my melanin will not protect me from my fears. There is something in the water…”* It was one of the first times I truly understood the connection between art and activism. A year and a half later I wrote and performed my first piece of spoken word at the Energy Action Coalition Power Vote training.
Art (spoken, visual, musical) communicates the emotion and passion and values behind the work that we do in a way that sticks in our memory. On a daily basis organizers in our movement face the weight of global problems, widespread injustice and a system tilted against us, yet we persevere in large part through support and encouragement of this community. Sometimes that is best communicated through art.
Recognizing the importance of creative expression in our movement, It’s Getting Hot In Here is hosting a month-long series called “Create Our Climate,” which will feature video, poetry, prose, visual art and music from this community. If you have already created such a piece and want to share it, sign up! If you want to specifically create a piece for this series, sign up!
Even if you’ve never posted anything before, we want your contribution. We are all artists and have something to share.
*To this day I still can’t find the video of that performance. If anyone knows where I can find it, please share!
Ben and Rachel gettin’ down with animatronic penguins, and covering the Conference of Youth – where 700 youth leaders converged before COP15.
On the final day of the UNFCCC negotiations in Barcelona, the last meetings before the world turns it’s eyes to Copenhagen, the Avaaz Action Factory formed a coalition with the aliens from Planet B (you read that right). The aliens were on a dire mission to find climate leaders who are willing to do what it takes to achieve a fair, ambitious and legally binding climate treaty in Copenhagen. Unfortunately it looked like there were very few climate leaders at the Barcelona negotiations. The 10 aliens searched high and low outside the conference center, greeting negotiators as they arrived. To the aliens dismay most negotiators identified themselves as NOT being climate leaders. In fact, ONLY negotiators from Bangladesh told the aliens they were here in fact because they were climate leaders.
As the talks in Copenhagen wrap up, nations like the US, Australia, most of the EU refuse to take the steps science deems necessary to avert a climate crisis. The main strategy coming from negotiators seems to now be to dramatically downplay any possibility of achieving a just treaty in Copenhagen. Now that’s ambitious leadership. Golf clap.
Confused as ever by the lack of evidence of any ambitious leadership the two aliens decided to sneak up to the delegation offices and ask the inert negotiators why no ambition, why no binding treaty, why just no no no. It was time for an intergalactic intervention! The aliens swung by the EU offices, they weren’t interested in ambition. Next they swung by the UK negotiation offices (video), no ambition there either. However, the UK sound like big fans of they new idea of “politically binding” (oxymoron, um hmm) instead of legally binding, a concept the aliens, or I, care to entertain. Finally the aliens spotted the US offices , surely the ambitious nation that brought us the Mars rover and shooting a missile at the moon would be willing to lead the world in achieving a treaty to curb climate change. Oh, funny naive aliens. They were dealt a strong dose of US reality when the delegate didn’t even want to talk to the extraterrestrials .
So here’s why I interrupted my frivolous YouTube watching of recent Glee episodes (which I watch primarily to life-plan for the day that climate change is solved and I can finally pursue my dream of amateur Broadway. It’s between that and becoming the Jodie Foster à la Contact):
It’s that time of month again. Alllll the countries in the world (that can afford it) are in Bankok for a United Nations meeting on climate change. There has been a handful of them this year, about once every 6 weeks. They are discussion and working meetings for countries to talk about their climate change commitments.
The last of this year (where all the decisions have to be made) is in Copenhagen in December. (Kind of like each week of So You Think You Can Dance Canada leading up to the final showdown, and everybody wins in their heart regardless of those who technically come out on top.)
One would think, hope, etc, that the United Nations is an efficient and effective playground for ideas and decisions that ultimately impact the world for the better. Today in “plenary”, the main hall in talks that include all countries, Canada dragged out the conversation for a little longer than I would deem allowable, even by democratic standards.