4th Summit Topics

The heart of the Summit will be small group breakouts focused on the topics most critical to your organizing.  These participant-generated discussions will be an opportunity to analyze successful strategies and campaign wins, talk through challenges and barriers you are facing, learn about new areas of work or strategies you are interested in pursuing, or workshop a new idea.  These won't be traditional workshops or presentations, but instead spaces for dynamic dialogue amongst a diverse group of working organizers.  The topics can range as widely as the interest in the room. 

Here's a place you can start brainstorming and discussing possible breakout groups.  Please give as complete an explanation of your proposal as you can.  We suggest that you read through the existing proposals and see if there is something similar proposed before posting your own.  If there is, you can start discussing it with them in the comments.  Even if you don't have a proposal of your own, please read through the suggestions and mark proposals that you like, would attend, would be interested in helping lead or think are especially critical to our work together.

 

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

Citizens Climate Lobby

Citizens Climate Lobby Posted by Harlan Johnson, January 29, 2015 My hope is that members of all groups devoted to protecting the environment will join the Citizens Climate Lobby and join - or FORM a chapter at your location. The CCL aims to have a chapter in every congressional district in the US - and also in Canada (and around the world) The goal is clear and simple: To institute a CARBON FEE that will be paid by all fossil fuel companies at the point of extracting the fuel (oil, gas, coal) from the earth - and that a DIVIDEND will be paid equally to everyone (e.g. all taxpayers or all citizens or residents). So everyone will get a check - money that came from Fossil Fuel Industry extractors - and, of course, the cost of fossil fuel products will rise. And citizens can choose to use that money to buy products from coal, oil or gas - or to instead purchase energy from alternative/renewable sources. It's simle. It's not a tax if the Government doesn't keep it. It avoids bureaucracies and minimizes the likelihood of corruption. Already fossil fuel companies are planning for this. We just need to see that it's enacted into a law. Oh yes - the plan is to start small, and to increase the carbon fee and dividend every year. Every year. P

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Uranium mining and nuclear power

Native American and other constituents of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota have begun to rally around a unified demand for no more uranium mining until regs are stiffened and legacy mines cleaned up. The movement comes on the heels of the EPAs announcement in Jan. 2014 of the largest judgment in an environmental settlement in U.S. history, against Kerr-McGee for its Navajo Nation uranium waste. Part of the money is earmarked for cleanup, but there’s not nearly enough. Legislation has been drafted to support the movement’s demand. A sponsor is sought. Meanwhile the EPA just announced it is revising uranium mining rules since in-situ mining has become more prevalent and its rules are for conventional mining. In-situ occurs in the groundwater, so one of the main arguments against it is protection of the water supply. Another is that radiation released throughout the nuclear power cycle is a health risk. Foreign investors are behind the push to reopen uranium mines and to build more nuclear plants abroad. For example, the Russian state nuclear company Rosatom owns Uranium One, which is mining in Wyoming; and the self-same Rosatom is trying to force a new nuclear plant on neighboring Belarus, where activists got jailed for protesting that they were denied participation in the decision, in violation of the precepts of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. Linking the struggles in the Intermountain West and abroad could strengthen opposition. A regional meeting of participants in the struggle could consolidate a strategy based on consensus reached in the uranium mining group that met at the 3EEE Summit. A five-part news series on the subject resulted from that summit in the Southwest U.S. It can be seen at the following internet addresses. http://www.indianz.com/News/2014/013072.asp http://www.indianz.com/News/2014/013706.asp http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/12256 http://www.indianz.com/News/2014/014847.asp http://indianz.com/News/2015/016021.asp

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Our Forests Aren’t Fuel: The Wood Pellet Industry is Devastating Southern Forests and Communities

Today’s biggest threat to Southern forests is the expanding biomass industry. Despite the fact that deforestation is the third largest cause of carbon pollution just behind cars and power plants, European policy makers are promoting the burning of Southern forests for electricity to meet their “clean energy” targets. The wood pellet industry is expanding at a rate that is impossible for Southern forests to sustain. Our beautiful forests are being clear-cut, processed into pellets, and then shipped to Europe to be burned for electricity. Not only is the industry bad for our forests and our climates, but also for the communities living near the wood pellet facilities. The biomass industry, like many others, has disproportionately affected poor communities and communities of color. Deforestation in these communities leads to loss of flood control and erosion control, and threatens water quality. Additionally, the facilities detract from the quality of life of residents. Communities living near facilities have had to deal with dust and noise pollution, and an 100-200 trucks PER DAY coming in and out of the facility, creating increased traffic and road wear. Organizing techniques have thus far centered around communicating these realities to EU legislators, whose policies are driving the industry, and working with communities to pass local resolutions banning woody biomass.

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mountain top removal in the Appalachian mountains.

Mountain top removal is blowing up the top of a mountain to reach a thin stream of coal. Then when the rain comes the heavy metals are washed down in to the streams that is left creating orange toxic water. Over 500 mountains has been blown up and 2,200 miles of streams gone. What is left is a toxic mess. This is about how to stop MTR, clean up the toxic waste left. Ideas of what has worked or not worked related to MTR

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Grief Workshop for Environmental Advocates

//** This workshop proposal is from Dawn Harris**//

Many of us work tirelessly to protect the world around us yet don’t take the time to nurture ourselves. I am deeply connected to our planet and have experienced feelings of grief and loss in the face of political corruption, greed, environmental disasters, and the increase in the assault toward the sacred. To help, I have developed a Grief Workshop for Environmental Advocates. The idea is to create "safe space” to explore the emotions that are associated with the difficult work of protecting our planet. We will engage in experiential activities in order to balance our head and our heart experiencing fuller peace. Experiential activities, or hands-on projects, access different areas of the brain; I tie this in with therapeutic exercises in order to provide practical tools for use on the journey of advocacy while creating an opportunity to validate and explore emotional reactions to loss.

These are a few of the workshops I have facilitated: • journal making followed by a formal journaling exercise and small group processing • remembrance collages and/or moving forward vision boards • candle making followed by a candle lighting ceremony • discussion on the tasks of grief followed by personal expressions (songs, poetry, dance, etc)

Grief is a normal reaction to loss whether it is loss of a desired outcome, dream, loved one, pet, job, etc. and how we respond to the loss is very important. Loss affects our emotions (fear, sadness, guilt, depression) but it also affects us physically, spiritually, socially, and psychologically. When we are authentic with our responses to loss and validate our experiences, the result is less burn-out and better ability to engage in the amazing work we do. By attending the Grief Workshop for Environmental Advocates, you will: • learn practical tools for dealing with grief and loss • balance “head and heart” resulting in fuller peace • be reminded of simple strategies for self care • learn to replicate the process with your groups

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