You may have heard that a few days ago a divided federal appeals court threw out the landmark climate change lawsuit – Juliana vs. US – brought on behalf of young people against the federal government.
While the judges found primarily for the plaintiffs, they “reluctantly” concluded that the courts do not have the constitutional power to force the political branch of government to take action on the climate crisis.
The judges voted 2-1, with Judge Josephine L. Staton writing in a lengthy and impassioned dissent (page 32 onwards) that “the government accepts as fact that the United States has reached a tipping point crying out for a concerted response — yet presses ahead toward calamity. It is as if an asteroid were barreling toward Earth and the government decided to shut down our only defenses.” Read the statement from Our Children’s Trust here.
I felt deeply disappointed when I heard this news, but I’ve been reflecting since. There is deep hope to be taken from the 5 year journey of these 21 young people.
They have started a global movement. From Colombia to Pakistan to the Netherlands, kids are claiming a right to a clean environment—and sometimes winning. In the Netherlands they won, with a court ordering the government to curb carbon emissions 25 percent by next year. Another ground-breaking success emerged last year in Colombia, where 25 young people won their lawsuit against the government for failing to protect the Colombian Amazon rainforest. The court concluded that deforestation violated the rights of both the youths and the rainforest and ordered the government to reduce it to net zero by 2020.
Outside of the courts their actions have helped inspire the global youth climate movement. Since their court case started we’ve seen the advent of Greta Thunberg, the Sunrise Movement, and millions of other young people across the world striking for their rights.
And finally – they will appeal and will not stop until they get the decision we all need. Kelsey Juliana, the 23-year-old named plaintiff in the case and resident of Eugene, Oregon, said: “THIS ISN’T OVER. STAY HOPEFUL STAY WITH US STAY TUNED STAY IN POWER.”
Here’s your 350PDX weekly update.
Can you help stuff envelopes Thursday?
We just concluded a very successful fundraising appeal (a HUGE thank you to everyone who donated!), which means we’re in the lucky situation to have many donors to thank! So we’ll be sending thank you cards (along with tax receipts, prize vouchers and a little gift) to everyone.
Can you help stuff envelopes with us TOMORROW Thursday Jan 23 for a few hours anytime from 2 – 7pm? Let firstname.lastname@example.org know if you can. Thank you!
369 letters to Jamie Dimon!
That Defund/Divest Team campaign to Flood CEO Jamie Dimon with letters? (The letters demanded that JPMorgan Chase Bank immediately stop funding new fossil fuel projects, such as Jordan Cove, and end funding of current fossil fuel projects by 2030.) The aim of the national campaign was to send 1000 letters all at once to his residence; our 350PDX community got seven times more than our goal and is sending 369 letters on to Mr. Dimon, many with your own comment added. Each will arrive in its own unique looking envelope at his house! Congratulations to all of us who took the time to get inside Mr. Dimon’s head! Perfect timing: this week Chase is represented at Davos World Economic Forum–and Greta Thunberg is making opening remarks. Also the team have a new shiny webpage, check it out!
Fri Jan 24, 12:00PM – 1:00PM @ Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave, PortlandEvery Friday folks are assembling outside City Hall in an energetic and colorful vigil to keep the pressure on Mayor Ted Wheeler to shut down the Zenith tar sands terminal in NW Porland, and to raise awareness from people and cars passing by.
Bring signs or banners, or just bring yourself. Among the many things such a sign can say is “Fire Drill Fridays,” “Stop Zenith Energy,” “No More Bomb Trains,” “Mayor & Commissioners: Stand Strong!” 2×3 signs are big enough to be visible to walkers-by and drivers-by.
Tues Jan 28, 12:00PM – 1:00PM @ Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave, PortlandBeen reading in the media about law agencies monitoring climate activism on Jordan Cove? We have, too, and it’s cause for concern, because such monitoring makes it harder for everyone to feel safe participating in the climate movement. Please join us at Portland City Hall for an action around Portland’s participation in the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. (Read more about this issue in a Guardian article here) Involved organizations include Peace and Justice Works/Portland Copwatch, Portland JACL, 35 PDX, League of Women Voters of Portland, Portland Democratic Socialists of America, Jewish Voice for Peace-Portland, and Portland’s Resistance.
Sun Feb 2, 3:00PM – 5:00PM @ Taborspace, 5441 SE Belmont St, PortlandOccupella is a group of social justice singers and instrumentalists. They sing to promote peace, social and environmental justice, and an end to corporate domination. You are invited to sing with them on the first Sunday in February! They will introduce ourselves, discuss the connection between music/song and social justice organizing, and join together in song as we fundraise for two local organizations: 350PDX and Never Again Action.
The sing-a-long event is free but they will pass the hat for donations to these two organizations working on human rights and climate issues. Some light refreshments will be served – please bring your own reusable cup or water bottle for beverages. Hope to see you there! Facebook event here.
Thurs Feb 6, 5:00PM – 6:00PM @ 350PDX, 1820 NE 21st Ave, PortlandJoin us for our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color* (BIPOC) Caucus meeting! Come meet with other people of color working on climate justice at 350PDX or on various justice issues within our partner organizations. At our February meeting, Renate, the Census Equity Manager at Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF), will be joining us to share more about the #WeCountOregon campaign.
The #WeCountOregon campaign is a community-led effort to ensure that hard to count communities – people of color, immigrants, renters, rural communities, and parents of children under 5 – understand and take the 2020 Census.
This meeting will be a potluck for community building from 5-6 PM, with Renate presenting from 6-6:30 PM. Email Anissa at email@example.com to RSVP and to sign up to bring a dish! Share the Facebook event here.
*People of color are defined as black, brown, Asian, indigenous, and mixed-race people who do not identify as white. White people are encouraged to attend all other events but this is an affinity group for folks of color to form a community. Thank you for respecting our boundaries!
Fri Feb 7, 10:30AM – 2:30PM @ Vancouver Port Commissioner’s Office, 3103 NW Lower River Rd, Vancouver, WA, 98660Have you been following the resistance to the pipelines in the Wet’suwet’en territories in so-called Canada? Have you heard about the Tiny House Warriors in so-called British Columbia that are blockading the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project (TMX)? Were you watching as activists shut down the Port of Vancouver, WA to block pipe destined for TMX this past fall?
The resistance against pipelines and fossil fuel projects is growing. We need you to join us, in solidarity with those on the frontlines up north, to amplify the message: No Pipelines! Stop TMX! Right now, there is still TMX pipe at the Port of Vancouver, WA. The Port Commissioners have said they want to be a part of the solution to the climate crisis–but they are proving to be all talk and no walk. Join in the fight! If so-called climate leaders won’t ensure a stable climate future, then we have to rely on each other to make this necessity a reality. We’ll be meeting at the Vancouver Port Commissioner’s Office at 10:30am on Friday, February 7th to rally and take action! Wear red and/or black! Facebook event here.
Thank you all for the work that you do, here’s to ten years of radical positive change,
Chris – 350PDX Volunteer & Communications Coordinator