February 2nd, 2018

So, this fire is out and President Donald John Trump in his first State Of The Union address—with the exception of a smooch thrown at clean coal—told Americans to go fuck themselves for the next four (eight?) years on all matters touching on the greatest existential threat humanity has known: climate change/global warming.

We are on our own. There will be no help from Washington.

Bill McKibben has a plan. In We can battle climate change without Washington DC. Here’s how for The Guardian, he writes:

The strategy that’s been evolving for US climate action – and for action in many other parts of the planet – bypasses the central governments as much as possible. That’s because the oil industry is strongest in national capitols – that’s where its money is most toxically powerful. But if frontal attack is therefore hard, its flanks are wide open.

Like any good plan of attack, McKibben’s has three components: slap fossil fuels in the face, punch them in the stomach and kick them in the balls:

The first—joining in work pioneered by groups like the Sierra Club—is to persuade towns, cities, counties, and states to pledge to make the transition to 100% renewable energy. This is now easy and affordable enough that it doesn’t scare politicians—cities from San Diego to Atlanta have joined in, and they will help maintain the momentum towards clean energy that the Trump administration is trying so hard to blunt.

Job two is to block new fossil fuel infrastructure. In some places, that will be by law: Portland, Oregon, recently passed a bill banning new pipes and such, over the strenuous objections of the industry. In other places it will take bodies—tens of thousands have already pledged to journey to the upper midwest if and when TransCanada decides to build out the Keystone XL pipeline that Trump has permitted.

And third is to cut off the money that fuels this industry—by divestment, which has now begun to take a real and telling toll ($6tn worth of endowments and portfolios have joined the fight, and studies show it is cutting the capital companies need to keep exploring for oil we don’t), and by the kinds of lawsuits that New York, San Francisco and a host of other cities have already filed.

Here in Ohio, the Rover pipeline snaking across the state has to be a prime protest target for Step 2.

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