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Celebration Time! A beautiful day in Zuni and a major legal win for climate by youth in Montana

Today is a joyful day! In a landmark ruling a Judge in Montana ruled in favor of the courageous youth who took Montana to court for violating their right to a “clean and healthful environment” by promoting the use of fossil fuels. This ruling will have legal implications around the world as more than 2200 climate cases have or are currently being fought, most in the United States. At least 14 of these cases have been dismissed in the past, but this victory means that precedent has been set, and here in New Mexico this ruling means that our own courageous youth who have sued the State of New Mexico for violating the New Mexico Constitution's mandate to "prevent the despoilment of New Mexico’s air, water and other natural resources, and protect the state’s beautiful and healthful environment" have a stronger chance. The case, brought by NM Laws on behalf of Indigenous peoples, youth, frontline community members and environmental groups demands that the state comply with its constitutional duty to protect New Mexico’s environment, and that permitting of oil and gas wells be suspended in the meantime.

Quoted in the Washington Post today, Michael Gerrard, the founder of Columbia’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, speculated that Montana's lawyers argued only that the legislature was the proper venue for resolution of the issues in the case because "they may have concluded that the underlying science of climate change was so strong that they didn’t want to contest it.” The article anticipates that the case may prompt judges in other venues to apply "judicial courage" in addressing climate change. It's about time public officials showed as much courage as these young people!


On Friday we joined a joyful community of the Ashewee People from Zuni Pueblo to celebrate our own climate victory - the completion of our largest Sol for All project to date! We were joined by the Tsabetsaye family, whose vision, courage, determination and perseverance built this center for healthy food and community gatherings at Zuni, and whose love for the people, and care for their land, health, sustainability and culture was the impetus for this project. And we were joined by NM Senator Benny Shendo who reiterated his support for solar positive policies at the Roundhouse, by the wonderful Shelley Morningsong and Fabian Fontenelle who offered a joyful prayer in music and dance, and we enjoyed amazing food from Major Market's own Chef David Tsabetsaye. As Cornell West said, “Justice is love made public.” On Friday we came together to celebrate real community-centered solutions like Major Market that rely on the sun for power, not coal, not gas, not hydrogen or carbon capture and sequestration. We no longer have time for false solutions or any fossil-based extreme extractive ways. We must rely on solar and wind and storage. Communities coming together. Communities benefiting. Honoring the natural world, not raping, plundering and exploiting the natural world.

This project was made possible by generous funders, including 11th Hour, US Bank, DOE, First Nations Development Institute, our trusted partners at Positive Energy Solar who installed this 84 mega watt system, long-time partners at Remy’s Good Day Fund, especially Donna Brown and Maureen Vosburgh, and last but not least, many many individual donors who gave from their hearts to build a new future.

Thank you!


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