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Fossil Fuel Divestment Needs Your Support!

The Portland City Council is considering renewing fossil fuel divestment, but needs some support from the community! Please call or email Portland City Council to ask them to continue the city’s divestment from the Carbon Tracker 200, the top 200 companies still maintaining reserves and drilling for fossil fuels around the world, and affirm the recommendation of the Socially Responsible Investments Committee to place Amazon, Caterpillar, Nestle, and Wells Fargo on the City’s Do-Not-Buy list.

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Swim for the Climate

My name is Dylan Beckett; I live in Portland and I am in sixth grade.

When I started school, I was hearing all these scary things on the news—things like ice caps melting, and weather changing, and animals going extinct—that made me worry about the planet. People always say, “even if you do something small, it can have a big effect,” and I felt like I wanted to do something. So in third grade, I decided to do a Climb-a-Thon for Climate Change. We raised almost $3500 for 350PDX, a non-profit that works to help stop climate change.

With everything happening in the world this year, I felt like it was time to do another event. So this year I’m organizing Laps for Life—a Swim for the Climate. Read more

Rhianna Lakin: With a Dream and a Drone the Sky’s the Limit

“To be honest, I was kind of scared,” Rhianna Lakin admits over lunch at a little Mexican restaurant near her work “I went far away and took my drone up high…”

Rhianna’s telling me about the time she came across illegal gold mining in a small village on the island of Lombok in Indonesia and filmed it–using her drone to get a bird’s eye view of the hazardous mining practices the poor local villagers were subjected to, which would otherwise have stayed hidden–an environmental crusader with an unlikely weapon which she has utilized from Sumatra to Standing Rock.

Five years ago, when a friend showed Rhianna drone footage from the Pacific Northwest, she knew immediately that she was going to learn how to fly one and use it, “to save the world.” Read more

Climate Activism News Roundup #3

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. The fight at Standing Rock is all but lost, but the struggle against other pipelines continues and a renewed resistance against fossil fuel infrastructure is being born. See all articles →

The Divestment Team is more than Divestment!

In fact, we changed our name to Divestment/Reinvestment several months ago. We still work on divestment–currently we are engaged with the Cities of Portland and Milwaukie, Lewis & Clark College and Catlin Gabel School, among others, and have a new campaign to divest PERS, the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System–but a lot of our energy and interest has turned to reinvestment, especially Community Solar.

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Centering Frontline Communities in Portland’s Climate Movement

In previous years, environmental groups and social justice groups have operated independently. This has been to our detriment. We know from the many successes of coalition-building that we are stronger when we work together to achieve our goals. Together, we can achieve ecological justice, where our knowledge of how we manage community resources is applied to achieving environmental, economic, racial, and social justice.

This year, the frontline communities of the Oregon Just Transition Alliance (OJTA) are taking a central, leading role in the Portland People’s Climate Movement (PCM). We’re joining in solidarity, led by those who are most impacted by ecological injustice, to advance the Portland PCM Platform.

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Audio: Bridge to Disaster – Resisting Fracked Gas in the PNW

On Feburary 23, 2017 organizers from a number of climate/social action organizations (listed below) joined forces to promote resistance to fracked methane being implemented as a fuel source for our local power grid, as well as for export to foreign markets. Methane – a greenhouse gas with 86 times the heat trapping potential of carbon – is being extracted from shale fields throughout the country with leaks are occurring regularly.

The technology already exists to transition to 100% renewable energy sources, however the incentive to do so for utility companies is lacking due to the reduced profit margins for shareholders.

PGE plans to build 2 new natural gas power plants at the Carty Boardman site using primarily fracked methane as their fuel source. Natural gas is being promoted as a cleaner bridge fuel to the future, however it is merely just another fossil fuel with a myriad of public health threats. Read more

Speaking Up Against The Carty Gas Plants

On February 23rd, some fellow Sierra Club members trekked out to Cousins’ Country Inn in The Dalles.  The Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) was holding one of their regular meetings where they discuss and eventually vote on which sites are granted the right to produce energy.  Thus, they can either approve or deny the Carty/Boardman gas plants.  Although the Carty gas plants were not on the agenda, public comment (of any sort) was – and thus a few of us wanted to voice our concerns with the proposed PGE gas plants.

The meeting took place in a small conference room, thus it was a very intimate setting.  One very significant bit of information was gifted to us at the very beginning of the meeting.  Very briefly, the secretary of the council informed the other council members that they received a complaint from the contractor that installed the initial gas plant pipes – which has been up and running since July 2016. Read more