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Rally for Renewables at PGE’s Annual Shareholders Meeting!!

The rally and flash mob!

At 9am on April 29th, the top decision makers of Portland General Electric showed up at the World Trade Center for their Annual Shareholders Meeting to discuss, the opportunity to lock Portland into generating our power with fracked gas for 30 years. Imagine the shareholders’ surprise when they arrived and, instead of casually filing into the building, walked straight into a flash mob. As part of the Rally for Renewables, Portlanders bearing wind turbines and carrying sunflower umbrellas burst into a choreographed number: “Why, PGE?”, to the tune of Village People’s classic “YMCA”,” singing and dancing like their lives depended on it. Probably because our future does depend on this. Read more

Youth-Led Climate Fundraising Event Makes Quite A Splash

Fourteen local students participated in a youth-led swimathon on Sunday, April 23 at Columbia Pool in North Portland. Sixth-grader Dylan Beckett organized the fundraising event, LAPS 4 LIFE Swim for the Climate, to raise awareness and to help combat climate change. To recruit swimmers, he presented in front of several classes at his school where he discussed climate change issues and asked students to sign up and help raise money. Most of the swimmers were from ACCESS Academy. The youngest participant was 8-years-old and the oldest 15. Read more

Climate Activism News Roundup #5

A two week curated collection of climate activism news, protests, public marches, direct actions, and related court-cases. We are regularly inspired by the creative and courageous resistance we see around the globe, and we hope that gathering the stories here will keep you motivated, informed and connected.

Keystone XL Pipeline

Keystone XL Opponents Target Banks Funding Climate Destruction

Common Dreams / April 16, 2017

Kicking off a week of actions targeting the institutions financing the controversial Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipelines, activists protested at banks in 25 cities to shine a spotlight on the roll they are having on climate destruction. After fierce nationwide opposition forced the Obama administration to halt the project, President Donald Trump has given it the green light and the climate movement has vowed to fight it once again. “It’s back—and so are we.”

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Climate Change Snapshots #1

CO2 emissions via wine volume from left to right – Total US, Average total MDCs, Total LDCs

Here is the first from a series of snaps I’m doing focusing on some small part of climate change every several weeks: At this point what’s important to me with these postings is to keep engaged with climate change through learning, advocacy and creativity. The posts will range from prescriptive to educational, some hopeful and some laments.

CC Snaps #1:
Trump is allegedly considering pulling out of the Paris Agreement. Semi-briefly – here is why that sucks. Read more

Portland City Council Votes to Cease Investments in Corporate Bonds

Portland’s foray into Socially Responsible Investing ended on April 5th with the City Council deciding it was too much time and trouble, at least that’s the impression this observer came away with.

When the City Treasurer’s proposed Investment Policy came before Portland City Council we were there, many of us wearing orange, with our orange divestment ‘wavies.’ Alongside us was the Occupy Free Portland Coalition, opposing the Treasurer’s proposal to dissolve the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Committee and to instead rely solely on a Wall St. firm’s inadequate rating system. We were also advocating for adding Wells Fargo and Caterpillar to the do-not-buy list (The Treasurer’s proposed policy named the Carbon Tracker 200, as well as Walmart, as securities that would not be purchased so we didn’t need to advocate this time for fossil fuel divestment).

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A Short History of Fossil Fuel Divestment and the City of Portland (and how it became a Socially Responsible Investment issue)

July 19, 2012 Rolling Stone publishes Bill McKibben’s Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math, making the case for keeping 80% of fossil fuel reserves in the ground to try to keep the global rise in temperature below 2°C.

November 8, 2012, Bill McKibben speaks in Portland on the second day of his national Do the Math tour launching the fossil fuel divestment campaign.

June 3, 2013 350PDX meets with Commissioner Fritz to discuss fossil fuel divestment. Comm. Fritz agrees to support.

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Background on the Portland Socially Responsible Investment Committee

The Socially Responsible Investment Committee spent a year discussing what companies should be on the City’s do-not-buy list with criteria of concerns about the environment, health (including weapons production), abusive labor practices, impacts on human rights, extreme tax avoidance and exercise of such a level of market dominance so as to disrupt normal competitive market forces.

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Critique of Proposed Investment Policy

On April 5th, Portland will consider changing its investment policy, abandoning the Socially Responsible Investment Committee [SRIC] and adopting a new proposal from Treasurer Jennifer Cooperman. This proposal is inadequate, nontransparent, unaccountable and would contradict Portland’s position as a sanctuary city.

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