Today is a day for celebration! Not only did the San Juan coal plant close its doors after 50 years polluting New Mexico air, land and water, but a united and determined environmental movement led by environmental justice advocates like Indigenous Environmental Network and the Climate Justice Alliance succeeded in stripping Manchin's dirty deal to fast-track fossil fuel permitting projects from a must-pass budget resolution. Leaders got arrested, people demonstrated, and so many of you called, emailed and tweeted at your legislators, and our message was heard. The people's determination yields results!
The fight is not over, of course. The data shows that despite international promises, despite technological advances, despite increasing awareness and acceptance of the science, emissions continue to rise.
Yes, greenhouse gas emissions are still rising, reaching 417 parts per million today. Science is not impressed with our efforts, and neither are scientists. As NASA researcher and climate activist Peter Kalmus recently stated on Democracy now:
"On April 4th, the IPCC released its Working Group III report, which said the very obvious, which is that [climate change] is caused by the fossil fuel industry and that we have to stop expanding the fossil fuel industry. And yet world leaders, including this
administration, keep calling for expansion of the fossil fuel industry — Joe Manchin, Chuck Schumer, the Mountain Valley Pipeline. You know, they both received about $300,000 this election cycle to fund that pipeline. So, there is huge pressure. There’s corruption from the fossil fuel industry, controlling politicians with basically legalized bribery to expand the fossil
fuel industry, which is taking us completely in the wrong direction.
And the science is so clear, right? Eighty percent of global heating is caused by burning fossil fuels. Most of the rest is animal agriculture. We have to stop that; otherwise, all of the things that we’re seeing — the hurricanes, the fires, the flooding, heat waves, increasingly crop yield losses and declines and increasing food prices... none of this will stop until we ramp down the fossil fuel industry."
Alive and well is "legalized bribery" in NM, where oil and gas will contribute $2.5B to the state budget next year, buying off not only politicians but everyday New Mexicans through sponsorship of beloved causes like the state fair, the balloon fiesta, educational scholarships and the United soccer team. (We highly recommend Jerry Redfern's Petroleum PR Blitz article about O&G bribery in NM!)
Even now the people of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Florida and Pakistan are suffering the price of this injustice. Two million are under water and without power in Florida. More than 7 million in Pakistan are displaced. Together we must turn the tide.