MORE THAN 6,000 environmental activists assembled in Pittsburgh for PowerShift 2013, sponsored by the Energy Action Coalition (EAC). This fourth PowerShift reflected the broader changes taking place in the environmental movement, with more emphasis placed on grassroots struggles, climate justice, racism and indigenous rights. This year's conference was the first to be held outside the Washington, D.C., area. The choice of Pittsburgh as the location signifies the deepening of locally based resistance to extreme energy extraction and growing criticism of fracking practices nationwide.
Arielle Klagsbrun, David Osborn, Maryam Adrangi, Kirby Spangler, Grist, October 23, 2013
Architecturally, a keystone is the wedge-shaped piece at the crown of an arch that locks the other pieces in place. Without the keystone, the building blocks of an archway will tumble and fall, with no support system for the weight of the arch. Much of the United States climate movement right now is structured like an archway, with all of its blocks resting on a keystone — President Obama’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline
Before Tzeporah Berman began her current position as head of the North American Tar Sands Coalition, Tides Canada had already established these structures to create near-total control over budgets– and therefore, most decisions– for staggering numbers of organizations. Berman was around at the time, working for PowerUp pushing forward offsets garnered by river destruction. Some of the participant organizations already had working partnerships with multiple tar sands producers. The over-whelming majority were already greased by primarily high donors and foundations.
When C&C published Chris Williams’ article Strategy and tactics in the environmental movement last month, we said that we hoped it would “promote a much-needed discussion on how to build the fight against climate change in particular, and against capitalist ecocide as a whole.” That’s just what has happened. For weeks it has been the most frequently read article in Climate & Capitalism, and many other websites have linked to it. Now, we’re pleased to publish a reply to Chris Williams by Sasha Ross is a member of the Earth First!
With tar sands, fracking and mining all on the rise, there's never been a more important time for a strong environmental movement in Canada. Surveying the landscape of organizations, one thing is missing: democracy. Which is to say, meaningful informed participation among equal participants. The images are familiar. People gathered together, making pivotal decisions about their collective direction in community halls, church basements, and conference rooms. Heated debates, pivotal votes, historic gatherings and galvanizing speeches.