In defense of survival, is any action too radical?

Dear Friends, Earlier this month in testimony about climate change before the British Parliament, renowned naturalist, David Attenborough, said, “We cannot be radical enough in dealing with the issues that face us at the moment.” Indeed, as people wake up to the utter urgency of our situation, it’s easy to understand how desperation might set in. I witnessed that five years ago on the Great March for Climate Action, when marchers proposed actions that, to me, seemed crazy: Blocking Chicago commuter trains at rush hour. Continue reading →

An error of judgement

Dear Friends, This past weekend, Bold Iowa held an action intended to dramatize the severity of the climate crisis. Our inspiration came from students in Germany, who stood on melting blocks of ice in a gallows with nooses around their necks. Our message — As the Arctic melts, the climate noose tightens — was well received by many. Yet we inadvertently hurt some individuals whom we had hoped to inspire, either because the image of the noose raised the specter of lynchings or because it kindled sadness over a Continue reading →

Climate warnings from the North

Dear Friends, With human survival on the line, we all need to be as fully engaged as possible. There’s just no way to sugar-coat it: Earth’s climate news is not good, especially up North: Wildfires burned across the Arctic last month. Anchorage recorded a record-high temperature of 90 degrees. Greenland is seeing unprecedented ice melt. It’s easy to feel despair, but we can’t give up. The stakes are too high. Now more than ever, we need climate action at both the personal and political levels. Continue reading →

Bakken Oil Fuels Chinese Repression

Dear Friends, Last week, Bold Iowa achieved a small victory in regard to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Dakota Access wants to drastically increase the flow of oil across Iowa — from 570,000 barrels per day to 1.1 million! The carbon emissions from this increased capacity would be the equivalent of thirty coal-fired power plants. Our planet simply can’t take any more. The only path to sanity and survival is to leave the oil in the ground and quickly reduce our fossil-fuel consumption to net zero. Continue reading →

A Candid Assessment of Some Presidential Candidates

Dear Friends, Remember how the Republican field shifted in the 2012 and 2016 Iowa Caucuses? The lead changed so many times that emergency rooms across Iowa saw a drastic increase in whiplash cases. Ok, I made that last part up. But seriously, remember one-time 2012 front runner Herman Cain? I didn’t think so. How about 2016 flash-in-the-pack leader Ben Carson? Or shoe-in-for-the-nomination Scott Walker? And oh, how I miss Michele Bachmann. The horde of Democrats running for president this year may or may not experience Continue reading →

Dakota Access Announces Pipeline Expansion

Dear Friends, As predicted, Dakota Access (DA) announced yesterday that it wants to increase the amount of oil flowing through its pipeline across Iowa. DA claims it needs no additional authorization from the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) to proceed. Bold Iowa disagrees. Today, we filed the following request with the IUB. We need YOU to take action, too. Here’s our five-step action request, which should take you about half an hour. It’s important, and your voice is needed NOW! 1. Read Dakota Access’s filing. 2. Continue reading →

Donald Trump Needs Us

Dear Friends, “[T]he United States right now has among the cleanest climates there are based on all statistics. … I believe there’s a change in weather, and I think it changes both ways. Don’t forget, it used to be called global warming, that wasn’t working, then it was called climate change.” (from The Guardian) That’s President Trump, enlightening the British with his profound scientific knowledge. Sadly, it’s impossible not to be embarrassed by his blathering. And just in case you’re inclined to believe that the US Continue reading →

Tell me to shut up

Dear Friends, If you’re among the handful of people who tell me I’m spending too much time talking about climate, let me respond bluntly: You’re wrong. If anything, I’m not spending enough time talking about it. At this pivotal moment in human and planetary history, if the current trajectory of increased fossil fuel consumption continues, Earth will be unfit for human habitation. If your home was on fire, that’d be the only thing on your mind, right? Well, our world is on fire. As the Continue reading →

Court rules against people, planet, property rights

Dear Friends, For those of us who have fought Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) for nearly five years, today is a sad day. This morning, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that ETP had the right to forcibly take Iowans’ land for an export crude oil pipeline. And make no mistake: DAPL is an export pipeline. While I’ve yet to find anyone, even inside the oil industry, who can tell me exactly how much of the oil is destined for export, it’s Continue reading →

Pipeline Ruling Expected Tomorrow!!!

Dear Friends, The Iowa Supreme Court ruling we’ve long-expected will likely be issued tomorrow, Friday, May 31. The case is titled “Puntenney v. Iowa Utils. Bd.,” and the Court’s decision will be viewable online at this link. Kudos to the landowners and the Iowa Sierra Club for investing so much time and money in pursuing the case. Their persistence and dedication is for all of us. Here’s what the Iowa Supreme Court’s website says about the case: “The district court denied petitions for judicial review Continue reading →