Climate Strike Tomorrow: Where Will You Be?

Who will you bring? As you ponder this, think also of what you will say to the children and grandchildren in your life, when they ask what you knew and what you did. They will ask. They will want to know.

In brief,

Retake Our Democracy on KSFR 101.1 FM, Saturdays, 8:30 am – 9 am.  This week I will be interviewing two youth climate activists from Youth United for Climate Crisis Action (YUCCA) Yang (full name) and Artemesio Romero y Carver. Joining them will be Bianca Sopoci Belknap, Co-Director of both EarthCare and New Energy Economy. YUCCA is the youth-directed group organizing the Santa Fe General Strike on Friday, Sept. 20.  We discussed their motivation for activism, how YUCCA was formed and plans for the General Strike. If you want to find out what will be happening on the 20th and why, listen in.  General Strike: Friday, Sept. 20, 11:15-1:30, East Side of the Roundhouse.  For more information, to RSVP and to invite others, click here.   On Saturday, September 21, I’ll be interviewing Rep. Abbas Akhil. We’ll discussing, climate justice, community solar, the PRC and more. 

A Public Bank can be a tool for funding the just transition. If you don’t fully grasp its potential, this would be a good place to start, as Elaine Sullivan does a brilliant job of laying out the benefits and how you can help ensure a planning bill passes in 2020.

Tuesday, October 1, 6:30-8:30pm at 1420 Cerrillos the Center for Progress and Justice.  Retake Our Democracy Organizing Meeting. We are planning a panel discussion on democratizing our energy:  Community Solar, Local Choice Solar and a shallow dive into creating a just transition plan for NM.  Confirmed panelists include:

  • Rep. Abbas Akhil, D-District 20, and retired climate scientist;
  • Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, D-District 13 and sponsor of the Community Solar Act;
  • Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director, New Energy Economy and advocate for Community Solar, Local Choice Energy and democratizing our energy policies; and
  • A representative from Picuris Pueblo who used a $1M Federal grant to solarize their pueblo, meet the pueblo’s energy needs and sell excess energy to the grid, generating important revenue to the pueblo.

Save the date for this important discussion. As always, bring a pal.

Why We Strike

The sky is falling but the privileged and those who represent them are protected (for now). And so they procrastinate and postpone and profit. And so we strike.

Climate Strike, Friday, 11:15am-1:30pm, Assemble on the eastside of the New Mexico State Legislature (Roundhouse). Please where red, orange or yellow tomorrow. For details click here. And please share this post with others when you encourage them to join you.

For now the privileged and the governing are protected. For now, the governing and the Governors can continue to build budgets based on toxic fossil fuel. They tell us that the US and NM oil production buffers our economy while ignoring how it closes the window on the future of our youth. And so we strike. And so today, I write first to you, Retake supporters and then to our Governor.

I don’t know how many of you plan to strike tomorrow, but I am hoping that none of you aligns with the privileged and the governing and postpone your own action for another day. I hope that no one has a “conflict” that supersedes our responsibility for action. As part of the “woke,” the ones who understand, make no mistake about this: it is your responsibility to set aside all else and to act. It is the responsibility of all of those who understand what the climate catastrophe is bringing, to challenge those who prefer profit and revenue to the sacrifice required to protect future generations. We have choices today; our children and grandchildren will not. Their unfathomable challenges will have no solutions.

  • If you have friends visiting from out of town, skip the museums and bring them to the Roundhouse for two hours and use that experience to launch an important conversation;
  • If you have an appointment, postpone it, as we can not mirror the privileged and the governing by postponing the only socially responsible action we can take;
  • If you are planning to come, but have not asked others, you have today to form a team; and
  • If you strike, pay close attention to how many adults have come to support the 2,000-3,000 youth we anticipate. They will be watching this, too. We need to outnumber them many fold and that can only happen if you bring others. Many others.

Last week, I asked that you to take out a picture of a child in your life, a child who you love deeply and to think about what you will tell them when they ask what you knew and what you did. If you are not planning to participate in the strike, I’d like you to write to that child and explain why. If you are planning to attend, and especially if you have organized a team, I’d like you to write to that child and tell them what you did and why.

Make a habit of this, your journal to the child you love. There will come a time when that child will want to know. Make a habit of writing to them often and telling them how your activism grew, how you tried. We all need to be accountable to our future and this habit will help keep you honest about what you have done and what you have not. Trust, I will remind you of the need to maintain this habit.

Governor Lujan Grisham: The NM state budget derives 40% of its revenue from gas and oil extraction. We have been near the bottom of all measures of social, community, and family health and well-being for decades, and so the allure of addressing those challenges with gas and oil revenue is understandable. But to date none of those funds have been earmarked for planning for a just economic and energy transition. This must happen in the 2020 legislative session. To do otherwise is to postpone for profit while closing the window on future generations. And so we strike.

Just ten days ago you spoke to a packed room of gas and oil leadership at a Carlsbad annual conference. I am sure your message soothed them, but it is time to tell them this state can no longer live off of oil teats that may provide revenue but that poison our water, our air and our future. We understand that this will not be an easy decision or any easy path, but leadership around the world will soon begin to understand that the choice to live off of gas and oil is a false choice.

Just yesterday the University of California divested from fossil fuels their entire $13.4 billion endowment fund and their entire $70 billion pension fund. The trustees of that University did not attend a gas and oil conference to reassure them. They made the right decision. That is what action looks like.

When we assemble on the ground floor of the Roundhouse tomorrow, you will hear us on the fourth. We will be loud because we want you to understand that placating the gas and oil industry is no longer an option and so we must begin to plan a different path.

The Governor and her staff will hear us and so we want to be many and be loud. And they need to know that we will be back.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

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2 replies

  1. Has there been a call for businesses in Santa Fe to shut down for about 5 minutes to support the march?

    • We had four teams of folks reaching out to 1) business, 2) schools 3) non-profits and 4) artist community. For business, we offered a variety of options including: shutting down entirely for the day; releasing their employees for the two hours that the strike was occurring; displaying the strike poster; and contributing. EarthCare and Youth Activists are the leads on this and so I don’t determine the specific asks, indeed, this is designed to be youth-led, so I have limited input. but I am reasonably certain that the youth would have not felt that a five minute shutdown was sufficient to the crisis at hand, but this did give me an idea I will share with their leadership. Thanks for the suggestion.

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