Global climate change is the greatest crisis of our time. The extraction, refinement, transport, and burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal have wrought havoc upon our natural environment and our human communities, and is the single-greatest anthropogenic factor contributing to the Greenhouse Effect that is driving climate change on a global scale.
Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry itself has grown ever more powerful, consolidating its wealth and power and extractive capabilities beyond the control of any global government or citizenry, and in spite of growing citizen oppostion. Global carbon emissions rose in 2017, after having remained stable for several years.
350.org, an international grassroots movement of everyday people intent on taking action to avoid catastrophic changes to our climate, organizes local communities to stand up to the fossil fuel industry, opposes new fossil fuel projects, and demands a just and equitable transition to clean and renewable energy. The fight is not simply for pretty rivers and fuzzy critters, but for our fundamental human right to have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, clean, safe soils in which to grow our food, and to determine our own destinies at the local and community levels.
Here on the North Coast, 350 Humboldt, a fledgling subgroup of 350.org, is starting to spread its wings. This November, 350.org launched its newly-branded Fossil Free Campaign, underpinned by the themes of Keep it in the Ground, Building a Fossil Free Economy, and Equitable and Just Transition for people and communities to a Fossil Free future. In support of that campaign, 350 Humboldt held a launch party on November 13 at the Richard’s Goat Miniplex in Arcata. Seating capacity in the Miniplex was full, and after the presentation, attendees discussed their concerns and questions about living in a fossil-fueled world and suggestions about moving toward a fossil-free one.
350 Humboldt is building a campaign to advocate for a local transition to 100 percent clean and renewable energy for our county by the year 2025. Resolutions are being prepared to propose to the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, the Cities of Eureka and Arcata, the County of Humboldt, and others, demanding their active support toward clean energy for our communities to meet that goal. We will continue engaging with the Redwood Coast Energy Authority and its board of directors to advocate for local investment in clean and renewable energy sources and for just and equitable processes and practices in the awarding of new energy contracts.
350 Humboldt believes that a transition from a fossil-fuel dependent-economy also must be just and equitable, ensuring any workers displaced or communities that might be adversely affected by the transition are helped and supported and not left behind.
350 Humboldt opposes new fossil fuel extraction or refinement projects, in alignment with their parent organization, such as the highly controversial and ill-conceived LNG (liquid natural gas) export facility proposed for Jordan Cove in Oregon, that would include a pipeline built under the iconic Klamath River. The permit has already been denied twice, but the company is back again for a third go-round—despite the strong objections from residents, environmental groups, and the local tribal communities whose culture and traditions are intimately entwined with the health and function of the Klamath and the surrounding area.
350 Humboldt needs you. Volunteers can attend local hearings and meetings, write letters, make phone calls, attend community organizing events, or lend other skills to help grow the organization. As a community-based group of volunteers, anyone and everyone is welcome to join.
To find out how you can get involved, visit the following links:
350 Humboldt website (under construction): www.world.350.org/Humboldt
Sign up for the 350 Humboldt email list: www.actionnetwork.org/forms/sign-up-for-350-humboldt