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
On 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.
Spectra 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 SouthShore@350ma.org and/or Alice Arena, firstname.lastname@example.org.
On 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 Globe, The Providence Journal, WPRO, and more, while the Stop West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline group is considering legal action. Stay tuned for updates!
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.
- Earlier this week, our partners at CREDO Action sent out our #SaveCapeWind petition to their national email list. Their effort, combined with help from 350.org 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).
What a great day of action for divestment at the MA State House! We heard from an amazing line-up of speakers, including climate activist Tim DeChristopher, financial experts from Fossil Free Indexes and Green Century Funds, community leaders like Boston City Councillor Michelle Wu, and more. Youth leaders from the Alliance for Climate Education, Student-Organized Climate Action Network - SOCAN, and Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC) brought amazing energy and enthusiasm to the event!
Read about all of the divestment events across the state, including the Harvard sit-in and our action, in the Boston Globe here. And check out the wonderful photos and videos by 350Mass volunteer Peter Bowden!
Tired of hearing people saying that #Blizzardof2015 refutes #climate change? In fact, it's just the opposite: climate change is making huge snowstorms more likely. We've compiled some links and resources to help you educate the climate deniers in your life:
- Statistician Nate Silver crunches the numbers and finds that big blizzards have become more common in New York in recent years -- probably driven by global warming.
- Blogger Jom Romm reviews the latest climate science and concludes that the giant snowstorms of recent years have been fueled by climate change.
- The 2014 National Climate Assessment found that the quantity of precipitation dumped by huge New England storms (like the one outside your window) have increased by more than 70% since 1958, driven by warmer temperatures.
- National Geographic has a great explanation of the counterintuitive physics that connects global warming and huge snowstorms.
After fourteen years of effort, Cape Wind -- meant to be the nation’s first offshore wind farm -- is in trouble. As you probably know, National Grid and Northeast Utilities, which had agreed to purchase power from Cape Wind, backed out of their agreements in early January after a lawsuit funded by oil billionaire Bill Koch prevented Cape Wind from locking down the full financing for the project. Now, the project is on life support, at best.Read more
We’re at a critical moment in the fight against Keystone XL and the tar sands. Only a few days ago, President Obama responded to threats from Congress by promising to veto any bill that required him to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Now, following a ruling by the Nebraska Supreme Court, the decision about the pipeline is once again in Obama’s hands. We’re calling on him to go beyond his veto threat and finally reject this pipeline once and for all.Read more