How Do We Begin Building an Energy Democracy?
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We want to hear from the 350Vermont family about what you want (and don’t want) to see happen in Montpelier, so we’ve put together a tool to let you do just that without ever having to leave the comfort of your living room. Introducing 350VT’s first comprehensive Vermont policy survey

By taking this survey, you’ll be able to direct and stay involved in 350VT’s policy efforts over the coming months as your legislators vote on policies affecting the future of our state. While the Fossil Fuel Industry has deep pockets, we have deep roots, and now more than ever we need to mobilize Vermonters and give them the support they need to have their ideas heard by lobbying their legislators. As a first step, take our survey!

Take the Survey Here!

If you have any questions, comments, or difficulties with the survey, you may contact austin@350vt.org


A NEW YEARS LETTER TO CANADA’S PRIME MINISTER

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This article originally appeared on January 1st in Intercontinental Cry – a publication of the Center for World Indigenous Studies 

Dear Mr. Trudeau,

 

This is a love letter to Mother Earth, to the keepers of the fire, and to the next seven generations, yet to join us on this beautiful planet. My words are a pledge to nature, expressing my sorrow regarding your approval of the two major pipeline projects — Enbridge’s Line 3 and Texas-based Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain. Please be reminded that your decision contradicts your promises in many ways: to the environment, to work with First Nations communities and to revamp the review process for energy projects.

Briefly, your rhetorical gestures towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada are profoundly at odds with your actual approach to projects like these. The Tsleil-Waututh, whose territories are directly affected by this project, have unmistakably told you that the answer is “No.” You’ve also claimed that “only communities give permission.” In return, Vancouver and Burnaby have told you that the answer is “No.” Hence, I cannot understand how it is in any way democratically legitimate for you to approve these projects anyway. After all, your intentions seem to turn into empty words – making choices based on market based mechanisms and profit – continuing to feed the insatiable thirst of the fossil fuel industry. Which irony, in a time where our feverish planet needs us to realize, more than ever, that humans’ separation from Nature is an illusion.

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Loving the America that Elected Donald Trump

A Donald Trump presidency with a Republican-controlled House and Senate. We were told it couldn’t happen. We were sure it wouldn’t end like this. And when we were wrong, I watched my friends, many of them first-time voters in a presidential election, fall apart. So many people are hopeless and angry this morning. So many people feel defeated and abandoned. I encourage you to get the support you need to get past these emotions, to live again.

For me, this morning is about love. I have never felt so called upon to do anything as I feel called to love my community, my friends and family, and my country today.

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Standing With the Water Protectors

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In September 2016 Arthur Hynes spent six days on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in Cannonball, North Dakota. He stayed at the Sacred Stone Camp, which is one of the smaller camps and the one where the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline began last April. The camps are all sacred and don’t allow any alcohol, drugs or weapons. No photos or video are allowed at the Sacred Stone Camp, so he spent his days at the much larger Red Warrior Camp taking photos, shooting video and conducting interviews with leaders and visitors.

Media was loosely controlled, but for the most part Arthur was able to wander and record whatever he wanted. The atmosphere was so warm and welcoming and everyone he talked to said they had never experienced anything like it. At this point, over 300 tribes have come to bring their tribal flag and give their support to the struggle. This coming together of the tribes has not happened since the 1880’s.

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Visit to New Community Project (Starksboro, VT)

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Introduction

Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history. Experts see the trend is accelerating and have called for urgent actions to curb irreversible pending damage. One place to learn and acquire practical action skills to combat climate change and promote sustainable living is the New Community Project in Starksboro, Vermont, an experimental and public educational center for JUST and SUSTAINABLE living practices.

Just 33 minutes’ drive from Burlington, one is welcome to this amazing natural place with myriads of experiential sustainable living. I share with you my experience.

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Green Hills, Silver Waters

“These green hills and silver waters, are my home, they belong to me,

and to all the sons and daughters, may they be strong, and forever free.”

My eldest son sang the Vermont state song in his 3rd grade chorus this spring. The other day as we talked about the impacts of the fracked gas pipeline on Geprags Park and the yellow-winged warbler habitat, he came up with a new version: “these black hills and polluted waters are my home, they belong to Vermont Gas.” He laughed with a 9 year old’s take on dark humor. My son is privileged to live in a community where the hills are intact, not annihilated by mountaintop removal, and waters are drinkable and swimmable, unlike many places on the frontlines of fossil fuel extraction.

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The Yin and Yang of Lyme Disease and Climate Change

book cover imageBy Brendan Kelly

Our usual Western view of the world teaches us separation. Medically, we’re taught to believe that each organ is separate from the others and that the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of our lives are distinct. We’re also encouraged to see ourselves as separate from the people and the world around us. The long history of Chinese medicine offers us a different view—one of interconnection.

From an Eastern view, all of our organs are connected and the different parts of our lives are woven together into a whole. Likewise, we are part of the human and ecological communities surrounding us. For several thousand years, Chinese medicine has understood that what happens on a large scale is a reflection of what occurs on a smaller scale, and vice versa. Similar to a modern Western understanding of holograms, where each small part of the picture contains the entire image, Eastern medicine recognizes that what happens within us is reflected in what happens in nature.

Though we’re encouraged to see it as two distinct issues, Chinese medicine can help us recognize that what’s happening with the climate is being mirrored in our internal environment. In particular, the rapid heating and destabilizing of the climate is mirrored in the rapid increase of Lyme disease.

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Update From Ghana

gideon2It has been 4 months since I left Vermont to Ghana after completing my 4 months Community Solutions Program (CSP) Fellowship with 350Vermont in December 2015. Considering it is the same length of time I spent in Burlington brings to heart memories etched on my mind. Not only did my time with 350VT shaped my experiences and activism, 4 months later, that relationship is shaping my vision.

Some months ago, when the foliage had put on their best possible color in the Green Mountain State, I shared a vision with friends who had grown to become my family. The vision was to eradicate kerosene lanterns in Ghana by replacing them with solar lamps. The motivation behind this was my attempt at seeing energy poverty in Ghana as a climate justice issue.

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Your Investment Matters – Personal Divestment Workshop

your investment matters“Whenever we spend a dollar, we are saying ‘yes’ to something.” Those wise words have stuck with me and haunt some people every time they make a purchase of something they’d rather not be affirming. You probably try to buy local food, buy clothes and furniture second-hand, and maybe even buy solar power (or at least buy less fossil fuel). But have you thought about your investments? Your mutual funds and 401K may be invested in the same companies which are destroying our planet, and you may not even know what you’re saying “yes” to. Divesting your portfolio from these dirty stocks is the ticket. But how to begin?

Get the help you need to take the influential step of divesting from fossil fuel stocks, and ensure that you have other viable options to invest your money. You’ll be able to take the information to your place of employment and to your friends and family to encourage them to divest as well. (more…)


The VT Youth Activism Summit was AWESOME!

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50 teens attended, bouncing from workshop to workshop, pizza party to ice cream social, silk-screening to the healing arts space, there was something inspiring for everyone. Teens learned skills of observation, communication and transformation as in a Theatre of the Oppressed embodiment activity about racial justice.

To lift up the importance of creativity in the struggle for justice, we created an art space which was constantly full of young people creating their own stencils, banners for the march, and silk-screening tee-shirts. To center the importance of self-care in our movement work we created a healing arts space where participants could come and get massages, herbal teas, tarot readings, make fire cider and more.

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Why Break Free?

Break Free: Stop the Bomb Trains
On May 14, people from across the Northeast will stand in the way of the fossil fuel industry in one of the largest actions in a coordinated, global wave of escalation. In Albany, NY, local groups have been fighting oil trains—which bring explosive fracked oil from the Bakken shale of North Dakota to the Port of Albany—for about four years.  May 14th will be the first mass direct action, an escalation welcomed by the local community. This is one person’s call to action.

Why?

If I asked you to be part of a huge global day of civil disobedience for the Climate, you might well ask me “Why?” Why should I spend time and energy travelling to the distant city of Albany to shut down operation of a rail yard for a day, and then go home and back to business-as-climate-destroying-usual?

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