Fossil Fools Day

Vote for Stephen Leer at WeArePowershift.org

 

Help plan actions against this Fossil Fool and others at Green Action’s weekly meetings, Tuesdays at 8pm in DUC 236.

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An Open Letter to Chancellor Wrighton

Chancellor Wrighton,

When was the last time you had lunch with Steven Leer? Has he gotten a chance to tell you that the corporation he runs, Arch Coal, just posted a 48% rise in fourth-quarter profits? And because Steve sits on our Board of Trustees, that’s good news for WashU’s endowment too, isn’t it? Well last week I got off the phone with some people from West Virginia and they had another side of the story to tell. You see for the past fifteen years Arch Coal has been raking in profit by exploding the tops off mountains in Appalachia and mining the coal buried underneath. The waste from this process ends up in the rivers and streams that flow beneath the mountains, poisoning the drinking water for all those that inhabit the region.

Residents on the ground in Blair, West Virginia report that Arch Coal seems to be moving forward with its plans to mine historic Blair Mountain—the site of a massive 1921 uprising of mine workers seeking to unionize. This insurrection, the second-largest in American history only after the Civil War, represents the beginning of the American labor movement—thus the destruction of this site by a multinational corporation like Arch would be a heinous attack on the legacy of those workers and the land upon which their descendants depend.

I invite you, Chancellor Wrighton, to join students who will be gathering at 1pm near the DUC Firepit this Friday to stand in solidarity with the people of West Virginia against the devastation of their community by Arch Coal. Additionally, I ask you, as the leader of this institution, to call on Steven Leer to back off Blair Mountain—because despite the dollars that Mr. Leer might bring to WashU, we as a community cannot afford the human and environmental costs of continuing the war against Appalachia.

Sincerely,

Green Action

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Green Action Kicks off Campaign to “Renew WashU”

Just a few days ago, on February 6th, over 50 students at Washington University in St. Louis joined Green Action in officially announcing our campaign to Renew WashU by shifting our school to 100% renewable energy. Here in Missouri, this campaign will not be an easy one, nor will it be won overnight. Not only is Missouri 85% dependent on coal, but coal CEOs sit on the WashU Board of Trustees and fund the University’s Consortium for C!#@n Coal Utilization. We are asking for a commitment to make the shift to clean energy because we cannot rightfully continue our pursuits as a “national leader in education” and also support the atrocities wreaked by coal on our local Missouri communities. Coal has proven time and time again to be Undesirable Number One.

At our kick-off, we heard first-hand accounts from those affected by our coal addiction in Missouri. Patricia Schuba, a “Water Warrior” from Labadie and the leader of the Labadie Environmental Organization, spoke about living next to the 15th largest coal plant in the country and the threats to our drinking water posed by our local utility Ameren’s proposed coal ash landfill in the Missouri River floodplain. She drove home why this fight for environmental sustainability is also a fight for social justice. Attendees created Valentine’s Day cards to send to Chancellor Wrighton, detailing why renewable energy is so important to them

Though, WashU students come from across the country- for at least a short time St. Louis is our home, and therefore, we are Missourians. We owe it to the city; we owe it to the people; we owe it to ourselves. The accomplishments of Washington University as a research institution are remarkable, but we cannot simply stay tucked away on our hilltop and forget that our actions each and every day are having irreparable consequences on our neighbors in Labadie and elsewhere.

This shift away from corporate greed, in the name of coal, is one that has been in the making for quite some time. As young people, we understand that climate change is real. It is occurring because of OUR actions- our overconsumption, our apathy, our materialism. And we have realized we must curb our appetites.

In Missouri, the youth climate movement is in full force. Young people from universities all across the state are joining together to demand the shift away from coal and to an innovative, clean energy future. On Wednesday, February 8th, Missouri State University launched their campaign, and University of Missouri will kickoff their campaign next week. Webster University and Drury University are continuing to plug away, and are making great strides.

We are so psyched to be launching into this new adventure of renewing our school and bringing justice not only to the environment but also to the people who have built these communities. If ever there were a time to be bold, it is now. It is about cutting our ties with the crooked coal companies, and designing a renewable, clean future. So join us! Why not? Renew WashU. Or Die. Trademark Pending…

MO Love <333

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Standing up to Obama, fighting for our future

On Sunday, Nov. 6, thousands of people will converge in D.C. to send President Obama an unmistakable message: preserve our future and block the Keystone XL pipeline. The goal is to gather enough people to encircle the whole White House compound. We need to remind Obama of the power of the movement that he rode to the White House in 2008.

Will you join us?

Fill out THIS GOOGLE FORM if you are interested in attending the November 6 protest. For updates on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and the Tar Sands action, go to www.tarsandsaction.org/.

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Comin out the Midwestttttt

Don’t miss the Midwest Powershift info session this Monday!!!

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Interupting the President to Interupt the Pipeline

This post was written by Arielle Klagsburn, who helped lead the #noKXL rally in St. Louis, and was originally posted on WeArePowershift.org. To join the Tar Sands Action in Washington DC on November 6th, click here: http://www.tarsandsaction.org/sign-up

Yesterday, my friend Ken and I attended an Obama Campaign fundraiser in St. Louis. But we didn’t go there with any ordinary mission. We went to make sure our generation’s demand that President Obama reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was heard.

After waiting over an hour, and with hundreds rallying outside, President Obama took the stage. As he began his speech, Ken and I prepared for our intervention. I unwrapped my shawl, and Ken opened his jacket, which both had our message clearly inscribed “President Obama: Veto the Keystone XL pipeline.”

After President Obama spoke about leaving a better future for our children, we seized the pause and asked “will you veto the Keystone XL pipeline?” Obama didn’t directly respond, but acknowledged us a few minutes later when saying “we’ve got a couple of people here who are concerned about the environment.” Yesterday, we were heard.

We stayed for the rest of event and explained to people that we voted for Obama and want to work to elect him again – we just need to re-inspired.

Interrupting Obama was a type of accountability. When President Obama met with young leaders during Power Shift 2011, he said “push me.” We are. Over 1,200 people were arrested outside the White House – young and old and in-between – asking Obama to veto Keystone XL. People have organized actions all over the country when Obama appears to speak. Yet, he has not given any sort of response or indication of his opinion.

Yesterday, we made sure that President Obama got our message. People across the country are stepping-up on this. In the three days since I posted a letter on the blog explaining that we needed support for this action, 25 people responded. We had over 30 people outside and were joined in movement solidarity by a group from #OccupySTL. Inside, we demonstrated to the President that Keystone XL is too dangerous for him to ignore. As we push forward to the DC State Department hearing on Friday and the November 6th action, we must continue to push Obama as directly as we can, just as he asked us to.

Thank you to all who supported us in every capacity!

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St. Louis Tar Sands Action this Tuesday!

President Obama is visiting St. Louis on Tuesday, Oct. 4th to hold a fundraiser downtown. We will be there to tell him:

“President Obama, we are the ones that elected you in 2008. You need us to get reelected in 2012, and we’re more than happy to help. But first, we need you to prove to us that you really are the man we elected four years ago. And here’s your chance. Stand up for justice Mr. President, block the Keystone XL Pipeline.”

Check out the Facebook event.

Tar Sands Action rallies have greeted President Obama at every single public appearance he’s made since Labor Day weekend – and many more are in the works. The President will likely be making a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline by the end of the year – so we really need to keep up the pressure for the next couple of months.
Protests like these are critical: it’s a chance to reach the President directly and the national media who travel with him.

Check out photos and videos of recent protests at Obama events click here.

WHAT THE HECK ARE THE TAR SANDS?

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