An Amazing Week in Harvard Yard

Harvard-Heat-Week-Divestment-Fossil-Fuels-5.jpgLast week, hundreds of Harvard students, faculty, and alumni, along with members of the greater Boston community, shut down business as usual at one of the country's most powerful institutions. 

Screen_Shot_2015-04-18_at_8.36.58_PM.pngFrom Sunday night to Friday evening, the Yard echoed with chants and songs calling on Harvard to divest from fossil fuels. A five-day blockade prevented administrators from entering Massachusetts Hall. Rallies, marches, panels, and vigils brought huge crowds to campus, united in a single demand: divest now. 

Check out all the photos from the week here! 

It was an incredible week -- and it's only the beginning. We'll keep turning up the heat until Harvard chooses to stand on the right side of history. Stay tuned! 

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Harvard Heat Week Kicks Off

11116755_819732638075721_1276854156_n-300x300.jpgHarvard Heat Week is officially underway — at this moment, students, alumni and faculty are blockading Massachusetts Hall to demand that Harvard divest from fossil fuels. The blockade will continue all week, along with an amazing line-up of rallies, speakers, and more — check out the full schedule here! The week will culminate with a final rally in Harvard Yard on April 17. Join us as we celebrate the recent successes of the divestment movement and commit ourselves to continuing to push for radical action on climate change!
WHAT: Harvard Heat Week Closing Rally
WHEN: Fri, April 17, 6pm – 7pm
WHERE: Science Center Plaza, Harvard, Cambridge

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Fighting for a Living Wage and a Livable Planet

CClIvx5WIAABjYu.jpgIt was great to see such a strong climate justice contingent at today's #‎WageAction #‎Fight4Fifteen march. Economic and climate justice are intimately linked — as Bill McKibben said today, there’s no such thing as a living wage on a dead planet! Better Future Project staff, 350 Mass volunteers, and student divestment activists joined community groups, labor unions and faith communities from across Massachusetts for a massive march and rally. Tens of thousands of others will join Fight for Fifteen rallies and mobilizations across the globe tomorrow — stay tuned! 

Thank you to everyone who was there!

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Help #SaveCapeWind Take Over Twitter

When we first kicked off the campaign to save Cape Wind, we set an ambitious goal: we wanted to reach 1,000 petition signatures by the end of February.  We're big believers in beating our goals, but 110,000? Definitely didn't see that one coming. 

Over the past two months, our last-ditch effort to save Cape Wind has built tremendous momentum. We held a huge rally on Boston Common on February 28, and thanks to our friends at CREDO Action, more than 110,000 people have now signed a petition calling on National Grid to save Cape Wind. 

We met with National Grid executives in Massachusetts a few weeks ago. Now, we're getting in touch with their boss, the London-based CEO Steve Holliday. He needs to know about the public outcry prompted by his company's decision to withdraw their contract with Cape Wind. 

Click here to tell National Grid CEO Steve Holliday that more than 100,000 people are calling on his company to save Cape Wind! 

Hundreds of people have already tweeted at Holliday, and we're only just getting started. The more people contact him on Twitter, the more pressure he'll feel to respond. Join us!  Don't have a Twitter account? Don't worry -- you can set one up in just a minute by following the instructions here. No specialized skills required!

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An Important Message about Climate Summer

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today with the news that we are suspending our Climate Summer program.

We have determined that at our current levels of staff capacity, it is not possible for Better Future Project to support both Climate Summer and our 350 Massachusetts network in a way that would allow both programs to truly thrive.

As you may know, Climate Summer launched in 2009 as a program of Students for a Just and Stable Future, and when we founded Better Future Project in 2011, Climate Summer became our first program. Over the last six years, more than 125 young people have graduated from Climate Summer, and many of them are now playing important leadership roles in the climate movement on their campuses and in their communities. As riders, they engaged with thousands of community members and hundreds of faith communities and partner organizations (people like you). They helped host countless events and earned hundreds of media hits.

And as our first program, Climate Summer played an essential role in getting Better Future Project off the ground. I am so very proud of the work of everyone involved in Climate Summer -- staff, riders, partners.

As part of our efforts to further strengthen 350 Massachusetts, Marla Marcum, under whose leadership Climate Summer has grown and matured over the past six years, is now pivoting to support the 350 Massachusetts network full-time as our new Network and Trainings Coordinator. Marla will bring her seasoned organizing experience to help this network continue to prosper and develop.

Thank you for all your work building the movement in Massachusetts and beyond, both through ClimateSummer and through your efforts in your communities.

We at Better Future Project look forward to working together to achieve our shared goals, and hope to be able to collaborate with all of you on the road ahead.

Onward and upward,

Craig S. Altemose
Executive Director, Better Future Project

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Great Barrington Passes a Fossil Fuel Divestment Resolution

Stoller-e1425057231216-470x627.jpgOn March 9, the Great Barrington Select Board voted unanimously to pass a pro-divestment resolution! The resolution states the select board's support for the bill to divest the state pension fund from fossil fuels.

In late February, Gary Stoller, the divestment coordinator for 350Mass Berkshires, had presented to the Select Board about the climate crisis and the history of successful divestment movements in the United States.

12 towns and cities in Massachusetts, including Boston, Cambridge and Framingham, have now passed resolutions in favor of fossil fuel divestment.

Congratulations to 350Mass Berkshires! Read more about our efforts to divest towns and cities across Massachusetts here. 

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New Compressor Station Proposed in Weymouth -- Join the Fight!

images.jpegSpectra Energy just can't get enough of pipeline expansions! In addition to the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) expansion, they're proposing a second expansion of their existing pipeline network in MA. The proposed expansion, also known as the "Atlantic Bridge" project, would require the construction of a new compressor station in Weymouth.

South Shore residents are mobilizing to stop this polluting and unnecessary project! There will be a training session on Saturday, March 14, location TBD, led by Bill Manter, who has been part of the grassroots resistance to the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Manter will discuss the basics of pipeline opposition and help people prepare for the open houses that Spectra Energy is planning to hold over the next few weeks!  To learn more, click here, or contact and/or Alice Arena, 

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FERC Approves Spectra's AIM Pipeline Expansion

11037641_350855661779092_130404850903308341.090038.jpgOn March 3, FERC issued an official permit to Spectra Energy's effort to expand the Algonquin Pipeline (the Algonquin Incremental Market expansion, or AIM). The pipeline runs from New York through Connecticut and Rhode Island to Massachusetts, and the proposed project involves expanding the Burrillville, RI compressor station and building a new stretch of lateral pipeline in West Roxbury.

Expanding the pipeline would expose local communities to the risk of explosions and accidents while deepening our reliance on polluting natural gas. The fight against this project is not over! Our allies at FANG (Fighting Against Natural Gas) just organized a three-day march against the pipeline, earning coverage from The Boston GlobeThe Providence JournalWPRO, and more, while the Stop West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline group is considering legal action. Stay tuned for updates! 

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Huge Turnout, Beautiful Pinwheels, and Great Media Coverage at Rally to Save Cape Wind

Saturday's rally to #SaveCapeWind was a tremendous success, with 300+ people in attendance and great media coverage from The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, WGBH, Dig Boston, CommonWealth Magazine, MetroWest Daily News, Fox25 News, The Associated Press, and other outlets!

It was a stunning day with perfect weather. We planted 130 beautiful rainbow pinwheels in the snow to symbolize the 130 turbines of Cape Wind, and it made for a wonderful visual -- check out some of the great photos from the day here.

Congratulations to all the amazing folks who made this day a reality, and thank you to our partner organizations in the effort to save Cape Wind: Mothers Out Front, Climate Action Business Association, Jewish Climate Action Network, Healthlink, UU Mass Action, and the Massachusetts Climate Action Network, along with sponsor Clean Water Action and endorsers Commit2Respond, Cape Downwinders and Environment Massachusetts!

As Jim Gordon, developer of Cape Wind, said during Saturday's rally, we are not giving up -- we have only just begun to fight.

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95,000+ People Say: Save Cape Wind!

We've been fighting tooth and nail to save Cape Wind over the past few weeks. Cape Wind has been in big trouble since early January, when two utilities dropped their contracts to buy power from the project (thanks to endless litigation from oil and gas billionaire Bill Koch).
Over the last few days, the campaign to #SaveCapeWind has gained tremendous momentum.
  • Earlier this week, our partners at CREDO Action sent out our #SaveCapeWind petition to their national email list. Their effort, combined with help from and our ten partners, sponsors and endorsers -- along with the amazing effort of our outreach team -- has allowed us to reach 95,843 signatures on the petition to National Grid asking them to reinstate their contract to buy 50% of the power from Cape Wind. 
  • 350Mass volunteer leaders and Better Future Project staff met with National Grid executives on Thursday and had the chance to make a powerful case for saving Cape Wind.
  • Our dedicated volunteer phonebankers have called more than 800 people to let them know about Saturday's rally.
  • We've already gotten some solid press coverage (eg, this Commonwealth Mag op-ed and this short piece in the The Boston Globe).
Join us this Saturday at 1 pm on Boston Common as we rally to save Cape Wind!
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