Energy news

What should climate activists do in 2015 now that the PCM is a happy memory?

Michael Brune
Executive director of the Sierra Club

1. Target 100 percent clean energy. The best defense is a good offense. The costs of wind and solar are a fraction of what they were just a few years ago. Clean energy — plus savings from energy efficiency — is now cheaper than gas, coal, and nukes in many parts of the country and the world. Why keep fracking, mining, and burning dirty fuels when investing in clean energy creates more jobs; cuts air, water, and carbon pollution; and saves people money? As we organize, we need to set our sights on 100 percent clean energy cities, 100 percent clean energy campuses, 100 percent clean energy corporations, dive bars, NBA teams, and more. State-by-state, the president’s Clean Power Plan gives us an opportunity to begin building a 100 percent clean energy economy that works for everyone.

2. To change everything, we need everyone. Climate activists joined forces with economic-justice organizations, unions, housing advocates, and so many others for the People’s Climate March — the largest climate demonstration in U.S. history. Our movement is finally making long-overdue progress on becoming more diverse and building meaningful relationships with the communities on the front lines of climate change. We can’t succeed unless our solutions work for everyone, not just a privileged few. Access to clean energy and a safe, healthy environment is a fundamental human right and essential to a free and democratic society.

3. Will the empire strike back, or strike out? The coal, oil, and gas industries are fighting so hard for a reason. The coal industry knows it’s losing its chokehold on the power sector, and oil and gas executives see growing resistance to fracking, tar sands, and oil trains. They’ve spent millions to buy a friendly Congress. Will they prevail? Will Republicans — and some Democrats — be allowed to roll back protections for air, water, and our climate? Sometimes you have to hunker down and play defense: We cannot afford to give up the ground we’ve gained in stopping polluters over the past five decades.

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6) DIRTY ENERGY IS COSTING US ALL: Coal is making our kids and adults sick by polluting the air we breathe and the water we drink. Big Coal profits at the expense of people.

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Coal 101: A simple way to visualize the problems with coal, the outdated way to make power. A clean energy future is available now; why don't we move beyond coal? (click on image)

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