People’s Climate March 2017

350.org and a strong coalition of PCM for wordpressnational organizations have called for another People’s Climate March, this time on April 29th in Washington, DC, marking the end of the President’s first 100 days in office. 350Vermont is ready to mobilize! While we are still ironing out some details, we are excited to announce that bus tickets to Washington DC are available for purchase!

Sign up for bus tickets today!

We’ve made a new page which will be a landing space for any and all details for Vermonters about the People’s Climate March happening in Washington DC and the sister march in Montpelier. We will post events, emerging transportation details, and any other news that may be related to People’s Climate March. So keep checking back for more information!

Get your bus tickets today or email katherine@350vt.org with any questions!


Rebecca Dalgin: Rooted in Nature

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This blog is the second in a series of profiles written by 350VT intern Julie Elfin. Julie got the chance to speak with Rebecca Dalgin of Montpelier, whose connection to the Earth informs her social justice work. This is Rebecca’s story.

 

I live in the occupied lands of the Abenaki, AKA Montpelier. When I want to feel connected to nature, to this place, I go to Hubbard Park. It’s quiet and peaceful, but still rife with life. As an herbalist, I feel connected to the Earth when I go out and harvest some goldenrod, for example, because I know my family is going to need it come allergy season or to support their digestion.

Humans are inherently connected to nature. We’re animals. We’re a part of nature. As the permaculturist Penny Livingston-Stark says, “we are nature working.” When we build something, it’s still nature. We’ve forgotten that we are connected to each other and to the plants and animals and fungi.To me, that’s a huge part of what has happened to our world. We are nature working, but we’re nature not working very well. (more…)


Mary Martin: Mother, Grandmother, Protector

Mary Martin

This blog is the first in a series of profiles written by 350VT intern Julie Elfin. Julie got the chance to speak with Mary Martin of Cornwall, who’s been involved with fighting the VGS pipeline since 2013. This is Mary’s story.

 

In the beginning, I was angry. I wasn’t afraid. There’s no fear with anger. I just knew I had to do something.  

I wasn’t an activist or an environmentalist. I wasn’t looking for a cause. Vermont Gas came knocking on our door, my family’s home. They just took the wrong approach with me. They threatened to seize our land right off the bat. What they were trying to do, using eminent domain for a private company, was just so wrong.

At the time, it was just about our land, and I didn’t care about the world. I was like a mother bear protecting her cubs. It was personal: my land, my town, my territory. I was still blissfully ignorant about the harms of natural gas and climate change. I didn’t know about the tar sands, where the gas was coming from. Once you are informed, though, you have to do something about it.

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Coming Soon: Activist Profile Blog Series

Protect Geprags Action (Credit Jim Mendell)

My name is Julie Elfin, and I’m an intern with 350VT. I study the environment and public communications at the University of Vermont (UVM). I’m interested in creative communication around big issues like climate change, and in the power of compelling stories to change hearts and minds. I’ve been involved with the climate movement for a few years, and the insular “bubbles” of political opinion that limit the discussion have always bothered me. I believe stories can inspire and persuade in ways that facts and debates cannot.

In order to put this conviction into action, I’ve spent the past few months interviewing activists engaged in the fight against the Vermont Gas pipeline in Addison County. Through short personal profiles, I hope to introduce readers to the many faces of environmental activism in Vermont.
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New Path Towards a Low-Carbon Future for the Vermont Pension Fund

No New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure October 2014On Thursday, February 8th, 2017, Treasurer Beth Pearce released a letter that details the combined findings of the Vermont Pension Investment Committee (VPIC) sub-committee on divestment so far and changes to make in the next few months. The recommendations in the letter are reflective of months of learning about the rapidly changing world of fossil fuel investments, fiduciary duty, and climate risk while hearing from panels of experts in the field, as well as a study by a third party facilitated by VPIC.

The work of the sub-committee has developed some creative and constructive climate risk mitigating policies which will have very real implications for a low-carbon future for the Vermont pension. The committee will condense their findings into final recommendations for VPIC on February 16th, 2017 to present to the whole committee on February 28th, 2017. Treasurer Pearce has recommended to her colleagues on the sub-committee the following recommendations which represent a broad shift for the pension fund away from fossil fuels and towards a low-carbon future. (more…)


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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