Monthly Archives: December 2015

How Black Lives Matter came back stronger after white supremacist attacks

By Celia Kutz. Published 11-30-2015 at Waging Nonviolence

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis marches after the shooting by white supremacists. (Facebook/Adja Gildersleve)

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis marches after the shooting by white supremacists. (Facebook/Adja Gildersleve)

When five protesters were shot by white supremacists in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 22, my world turned a bit upside down. My time as an activist there, from 2006-13, has largely informed how I organize and do movement building. I knew at a lot of the people involved and was quickly on the phone. The protesters’ campaign demanded justice for Jamar Clark, an unarmed African American who was killed by Minneapolis police a week before.

I knew that the protest site, the Fourth Precinct Police Station on Plymouth Avenue, had previously been the location of a storefront center for black activism named The WAY. Thirty-five years ago, Police Chief Anthony Bouza bragged about how he would turn the site into a police station to show who was on top. Now the location spotlights the violent police role in institutionalized racism in Minnesota. It’s no wonder that freelance shooters would show up. Continue reading

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Warming World of Chaos Fueling Global Refugee Crisis Never Before Seen

‘The year 2015 will be remembered for the heart-breaking image of a lifeless little boy on a beach—one of many who came before him; one of many who came after him.’

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-18-2015

A group of Syrian refugees arrives on the island of Lesbos after traveling in an inflatable raft from Turkey near Skala Sikaminias, Greece. 15 July 2015. (Photo: UNHCR/Andrew McConnell)

A group of Syrian refugees arrives on the island of Lesbos after traveling in an inflatable raft from Turkey near Skala Sikaminias, Greece. 15 July 2015. (Photo: UNHCR/Andrew McConnell)

As ongoing violence and conflicts continue to grip the warming planet, the number of people worldwide forced to flee their homes this year is on track to shatter all previous such records, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warned Friday.

For the first time ever, that number could hit 60 million by year’s end.

The figures on worldwide displacement are documented in the agency’s Mid-Year Trends 2015 report, which looked the number of people who were either refugees, asylum-seekers, or internally displaced. Continue reading

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‘Off the Charts’ Violence Against Muslims Ravaging US Communities

New data confirms anecdotes of rising Islamophobic violence reflect nationwide trend

Written by Sarah Lazare, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-18-15.
A view of damage at the burned Islamic Society of the Coachella Valley on December 12, 2015, in Coachella, California. Image vis Facebook.

A view of damage at the burned Islamic Society of the Coachella Valley on December 12, 2015, in Coachella, California. Image vis Facebook.

From an attack on a hijab-wearing sixth grader in the Bronx to the arson of a mosque near Palm Springs, reports of hate crimes targeting Muslims are more than troubling anecdotes, but rather, reflect a measurable nationwide rise in Islamophobic violence, according to two separate studies released this week.

Researchers with the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University (CSU) found that anti-Muslim hate crimes have tripled in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks.

According to The New York Times, which obtained the study ahead of its public release, there has been an average of 12.6 “suspected hate crimes” against U.S. Muslims per month for the past several years. But since the Paris attacks in mid-November, that monthly number has climbed to 38 attacks that are “anti-Islamic in nature.”

Such crimes include arson and vandalism of mosques, shootings, and death threats.

“The terrorist attacks, coupled with the ubiquity of these anti-Muslim stereotypes seeping into the mainstream, have emboldened people to act upon this fear and anger,” CSU researcher Brian Levin told Timesreporter Eric Lichtblau.

While the researchers said the attacks have not quite reached the levels seen in the immediate aftermath of the September 11th, 2001 attacks, they identified similarities in the climate, including attacks on Sikh people falsely believed to be Muslim.

The university’s data corroborates a report released this week by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which noted a severe rise in attacks on mosques, including vandalism, destruction, and intimidation.

In fact, CAIR said the 29 documented attacks on Mosques in 2015 is the highest annual number the advocacy organization has recorded since it began keeping track in 2009. The group noted that “November 2015 was the most significant spike, with a total of 17 mosque incidents, with all but 2 of those incidents occurring in the wake of the November 13 Paris terror attacks.”

These attacks are not happening in a vacuum.

“We are seeing an unbelievably toxic, anti-Muslim environment in our society that is being encouraged and exploited by public figures like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, and others,” Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesperson for CAIR, told Common Dreams. “This is leading to fresh incidents of hate crimes nationwide.”

Hooper described the violence as “off the charts,” adding: “I don’t think we’ve seen the end of it.”

Fresh incidents this week underscore the trends highlighted in both reports.

All schools in Augusta County, Virginia were closed on Friday after a world geography class taught a lesson on Arabic calligraphy—which then prompted a racist and Islamophobic backlash.

And in Grand Rapids, Michigan this week, a Sikh store clerk was reportedly called a “terrorist” and then shot in the face by an individual demanding money from the register.

Over the past month, people across the United States have staged rallies, vigils, and speak-outs against rising Islamophobic violence, including a mobilization in New York earlier this month under the banner of “Human Rights Trump Oppression.” Large numbers are expected to gather at a demonstration on Friday in San Francisco, organized by the Arab Organizing and Resource Center, calling for the “upholding of the dignity of communities.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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US Congress to Corporations: Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

The ‘good things’ in the budget bill and tax cut package ‘come at far too high a price.’

Written by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-17-15.

"Congressional Republicans have instead straitjacketed spending and sabotaged government functions," writes Isaiah Poole. (Photo: IIP Photo Archive/flickr/cc)

“Congressional Republicans have instead straitjacketed spending and sabotaged government functions,” writes Isaiah Poole. (Photo: IIP Photo Archive/flickr/cc)

Along with a $1.1 trillion spending bill that will keep government funded through September, the U.S. Congress is on the verge of passing a Republican-backed, $629 billion package of tax cuts that one group calls “a lobbyist-wrapped Christmas present for our nation’s biggest corporations.”

The package of bills unveiled Wednesday is facing criticism for its lifting of the long-standing oil export ban, as well as its inclusion of a controversial cybersecurity measure that watchdogs say will quietly expand mass surveillance. The budget bill also repeals a law requiring Country Of Origin Labels (COOL) on meats—a move Food & Water Watch decries as “a holiday gift to the meatpacking industry from Congress.”

To be sure, the package also includes tax incentives for wind and solar energy and permanent extensions for the enhanced child tax credit and earned income tax credit, which will help working families. Continue reading

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Refugees Welcome: A Storefront Sticker Campaign by Veda Partalo and Burlesque

To change what is happening, we all must take action. Here’s a simple way that makes the message clear. Businesses, homes, community centers and government buildings need to display these stickers.

Window stickers that say "Refugees Welcome" are being shipped all over the country and the world. Image via Facebook.

Window stickers that say “Refugees Welcome” are being shipped all over the country and around the world. Image via Facebook.

How can someone know that they’re welcome in a new place? What can we do to tell them they are? In response to the current refugee crisis and harsh anti-refugee sentiments harbored and broadcasted by some Americans, Veda Partalo collaborated with Mike Davis and Wes Winship of Burlesque of North America to create a set of window stickers which will enable local businesses to create visibly welcoming environments for recent refugees. Haley Ryan, a digital content intern at the Walker Art Center, spoke with Partalo and Davis about the process of creating these stickers, from initial ideas to design and distribution.

Her full interview with Partalo and Davis can be found at the Walker Art Center blog.

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The stickers can be ordered through Burlesque of North America, or you can print some yourself. If you do your own printing, do the right thing and make a donation or contribution to the Walker Art Center in Haley Ryan’s name, or send a donation to Burlesque of North America.

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Kurds resist state-imposed curfews in Turkey

Since August, 52 curfews have been declared by the Turkish state in Kurdish towns and neighborhoods. Despite the repression, the resistance is thriving.

Written by Joris Leverink. Published 12-15-2015 in ROAR Magazine.

What remains of a home in Sur, one of the Kurdish towns and neighborhoods placed under curfew by the Turkish authorities. Image via Twitter.

What remains of a home in Sur, one of the Kurdish towns and neighborhoods placed under curfew by the Turkish authorities. Image via Twitter.

The scenes of destruction in the Kurdish towns and neighborhoods placed under curfew by the Turkish authorities do not just resemble a war zone – they are a war zone. This is a war of a government against its people. A total war, in which a government is indiscriminately targeting a civilian population, killing the youth, destroying houses, burning down historical monuments.

Dozens of people have been killed by Turkish police and special forces in the past few months. From months-old babies to 76-year old grandfathers. Mothers, daughters, students, school kids – lives cut short by the terror of the state.

The world might prefer to ignore this fact because Turkey is being such a valuable ally at the moment. On the one hand it plays a role as the gatekeeper of Fortress Europe, while on the other it is the patron of many “opposition” groups fighting against Assad in Syria – many of whom awkwardly keep their imperialist friends close, but their jihadi enemies even closer.

On Friday, a curfew that had been imposed on Sur, the historical district of Diyarbakir, was lifted for a few hours. In the nine days the neighborhood was cut off from the outside world, special police forces descended upon the area like vultures on a feast. Randomly bombing and shooting at the densely populated neighborhood where there is no escape from the violence for those trapped inside.

During an earlier curfew several weeks ago, special forces had left a message on the wall of one of the neighborhood’s houses: “You will see the power of the Turk”, signed, the Esedullah Tim. There has been much ado about this special ops team, whose name translates to “lions of god”. In every town under curfew, the same graffiti appears on walls, and locals speak of bearded men shouting insults, and using extreme violence against the population.

So far, their existence remains shrouded in mystery, with the government refusing to comment. It is clear, however, that this is a special unit placed above the law, whose sole purpose is to terrorize the population.

In the June elections, the leftist Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), with its roots in the Kurdish freedom movement, managed to breach the exceedingly high 10 percent electoral threshold, bringing an end to the 13-year one-party rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Posing a serious obstacle to the ambitions of the AKP’s founder and current president Erdoğan to turn Turkey into a 21st century sultanate, the HDP and its Kurdish supporters became the target of a state-orchestrated terror campaign.

The peace process between the state and the Kurdish guerrillas of the PKK was brought to an end, and a bombing campaign of PKK positions in Turkey and northern Iraq was launched. Hundreds of HDP party offices across the country were attacked by nationalist mobs, while the police failed to intervene. Kurdish people were attacked on the streets, abused, insulted and in some cases even killed. The Turkish military even attacked the Kurdish YPG militias fighting against the so-called Islamic State across the border in Syria.

curfews in TurkeyThe Human Rights Foundation of Turkey released a detailed report listing the 52 curfews that have been declared by the state since August. Repeated round-the-clock curfews, often lasting days on end, were imposed in 17 different cities, affecting 1.3 million people. A total number of 157 people have died during these curfews, murdered by the state.

Currently, curfews are imposed in five different towns and neighborhoods: Sur in Diyarbakir, Dargecit and Nusaybin in Mardin, and in Cizre and Silopi in Sirnak.

There are fears that the crackdown will be especially long and brutal in Cizre and Sirnak. On Sunday the government ordered all school closed, dormitories shut down and called all teachers back to their home towns to attend “special training sessions” — apparently to spare the large number of Turkish teachers from the terror launched against their Kurdish countrymen. While police and military forces were amassing at the cities’ borders, hospitals received instructions to be prepared.

Some teachers of the Egitim-Sen Union chose to ignore the government’s orders and to stay in the towns. Independent news website Sendika.org spoke to the co-chair of the local chapter of the union, Serhat Ugur, who was quoted as saying:

“It is as if we have a war here. They are coming as if to destroy our whole town and raze it to the ground. How could such a move be justified? If this happened in Palestine everybody [in Turkey] would be up in arms. We are following the news, but not a whisper of the events here is heard. We are facing a total annihilation. They [the government] are coming here as if to confine us inside for about 10-15 days.”

In the past days, major protest occurred in many cities across the Kurdish parts of Turkey. The biggest protest was seen in Diyarbakir, where tens of thousands of people defied a ban by the governor and took to the streets in solidarity with the people of Sur. In the clashes, two youths of 21 and 19 years old, were shot dead by the police.

The war across Kurdistan continues. In the southern parts, the Kurds are fighting the Islamic State, and in the north they are under attack from the Turkish government. When the AKP was rewarded for its strategy of divide and rule prior to the November elections, and received nearly 50 percent of the votes despite its campaign of terror directed against its own citizens, all incentives to look for a peaceful solution to the so-called “Kurdish issue” had vanished.

The violence, repression, and the propaganda aimed at polarization and marginalization has paid off. In the international arena, no country will stand up to Turkey and demand that it respects the lives and demands of its Kurdish citizens. Locally, the media remains firmly under the control of the government, allowing for little news from the besieged towns to reach the outside world.

Meanwhile, the people of Cizre, Silopi, Sur and Nusaybin brace themselves for what might be weeks of shootings, bombardments and killings — not even safe inside their own homes because a bullet or a rocket might come flying through the window any minute.

The Turkish state calls this “fighting terror”, but they have misunderstood. The only true fight against terror is fought by the people on the streets and behind the barricades, in the cities and in the mountains, at the assemblies and in the local meetings. This fight is long and hard, and has been going on for decades, if not centuries. But it takes more than a few masked men and some heavy artillery to break the resistance.

In the words of the tens of thousands protesters on the streets of Diyarbakir: “The struggle continues and Kurdistan will be the grave of fascism!”

About the Author:
Joris Leverink is an Istanbul-based political analyst, freelance writer and activist. He is an editor for ROAR Magazine, columnist for teleSUR English and Turkey-contributor for the IPS news agency. He blogs at Deciphering Disorder.

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A Holiday Note to Congress: Half of Your Country is In or Near Poverty

Written by Paul Buchheit. Published by Common Dreams on 12-14-2015.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Recent reports have documented the growing rates of impoverishment in the U.S., and new information surfacing in the past 12 months shows that the trend is continuing, and probably worsening.

Congress should be filled with guilt — and shame — for failing to deal with the enormous wealth disparities that are turning our country into the equivalent of a 3rd-world nation.

Half of Americans Make Less than a Living Wage 

According to the Social Security Administration, over half of Americans make less than $30,000 per year.

That’s less than an appropriate average living wage of $16.87 per hour, as calculated by Alliance for a Just Society (AJS), and it’s not enough — even with two full-time workers — to attain an “adequate but modest living standard” for a family of four, which at the median is over $60,000, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

AJS also found that there are 7 job seekers for every job opening that pays enough ($15/hr) for a single adult to make ends meet.

Half of Americans Have No Savings 

A study by Go Banking Rates reveals that nearly 50 percent of Americans have no savings. Over 70 percent of us have less than $1,000. Pew Research supports this finding with survey results that show nearly half of American households spending more than they earn. The lack of savings is particularly evident with young adults, who went from a five-percent savings rate before the recession to a negative savings rate today.

Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman summarize: “Since the bottom half of the distribution always owns close to zero wealth on net, the bottom 90% wealth share is the same as the share of wealth owned by top 50-90% families.”

Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Can’t Afford to Fix Their Cars 

The Wall Street Journal reported on a Bankrate study, which found 62 percent of Americans without the available funds for a $500 brake job. A Federal Reserve survey found that nearly half of respondents could not cover a $400 emergency expense.

It’s continually getting worse, even at upper-middle-class levels. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a JP Morgan study’s conclusion that “the bottom 80% of households by income lack sufficient savings to cover the type of volatility observed in income and spending.”

The Middle Class Is Disappearing 

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This chart from Pew Research shows the dramatic shrinking of the middle class, defined as “adults whose annual household income is two-thirds to double the national median, about $42,000 to $126,000 annually in 2014 dollars.”

Market watchers rave about ‘strong’ and even ‘blockbuster’ job reports. But any upbeat news about the unemployment rate should be balanced against the fact that nine of the ten fastest growing occupations don’t require a college degree. Jobs gained since the recession are paying 23 percent less than jobs lost. Low-wage jobs (under $14 per hour) made up just 1/5 of the jobs lost to the recession, but accounted for nearly 3/5 of the jobs regained in the first three years of the recovery.

Furthermore, the official 5% unemployment rate is nearly 10% when short-term discouraged workers are included, and 23% when long-term discouraged workers are included. People are falling fast from the ranks of middle-class living. Between 2007 and 2013 median wealth dropped a shocking 40 percent, leaving the poorest half with debt-driven negative wealth.

Members of Congress, comfortably nestled in bed with millionaire friends and corporate lobbyists, are in denial about the true state of the American middle class. The once-vibrant middle of America has dropped to lower-middle, and it is still falling.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

About the Author:
Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, an active member of US Uncut Chicago, founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (UsAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org, RappingHistory.org), and the editor and main author of “American Wars: Illusions and Realities” (Clarity Press). He can be reached at paul@UsAgainstGreed.org.

 

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As Trump Surges, New Polls Underscore Corporate Media’s ‘Bernie Blackout’

The corporately-owned media may not like Bernie’s anti-establishment views but for the sake of American democracy they must allow for a fair debate in this presidential campaign.’

Written by Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-13-2015.

ABC World News Tonight devoted a total 81 minutes this year to Donald Trump's campaign and just about 20 seconds to Sanders' candidacy—a ratio of 81:1. (Photos: RawStory.com)

ABC World News Tonight devoted a total 81 minutes this year to Donald Trump’s campaign and just about 20 seconds to Sanders’ candidacy—a ratio of 81:1. (Photos: RawStory.com)

New Wall Street Journal/ NBC News polling numbers out Sunday showed that Donald Trump continues to lead the wide and varied Republican presidential field and—despite increasingly inflammatory rhetoric—reached a new high with 27 percent support.

The latest survey comes on the heels of an analysis by the Tyndall Report which that showed that media coverage of Donald Trump eclipses that of all his rivals from both parties.

According to the study of nightly news programs on NBC, CBS and ABC, Trump has received more network coverage than all the Democratic candidates combined and accounts for 27 percent of all campaign coverage thus far.

What’s more, there appears to be a concerted “blackout” of news about Bernie Sanders, despite similar voter support.

As Eric Boehlert at Media Matters for America pointed out this week, “The network newscasts are wildly overplaying Trump, who regularly attracts between 20-30 percent of primary voter support, while at the same time wildly underplaying Sanders, who regularly attracts between 20-30 percent of primary voter support.”

In fact, ABC World News Tonight devoted a total 81 minutes this year to Donald Trump’s campaign and just about 20 seconds to Sanders’ candidacy—a ratio of 81:1 which Boehlert calls a “stunning revelation.”This comes despite the fact that a recent poll found that Sanders would beat Trump by eight points in the general election.

In a campaign statement, Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weavers said that media channels were ignoring the progressive candidate because his campaign is an affront to the corporate-dominated system.

“The corporately-owned media may not like Bernie’s anti-establishment views but for the sake of American democracy they must allow for a fair debate in this presidential campaign,” Weavers said. “Bernie must receive the same level of coverage on the nightly news as other leading candidates.”

The campaign has even begun a petition calling on corporate-owned channels to “start covering Bernie.”

Commenting on the stark divide on Sunday, columnist Juan Cole suggests that with Trump’s anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant messaging propelling some followers to take drastic action, the corporate media may be posing a “danger to society.”

Cole writes:

What better for corporate news. You pretend there isn’t a candidate in the race addressing growing economic inequality or the woes of the working class. You put all the spotlight on someone who insults and even incites against Mexican-Americans, African-Americans and Muslim-Americans. It is a tried and true tactic of the American business class to keep the workers and middle class divided by playing up minor ethnic issues.  The end result, however, is fire-bombing of mosques and attacks on minorities and other white hood phenomena familiar from past epochs of American history.

For his part, the Senator from Vermont continues to lead Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire with 50 percent of likely Democratic voters in the state, compared with her 40 percent, according to the latest CNN/WMUR tally. Meanwhile, a Fox News survey released on Sunday found Clinton beats Sanders in Iowa 50 to 36 percent.

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The DuPont and Dow Chemical Merger: Bad Deal for People and the Planet

Groups are calling on the Department of Justice to reject the deal to protect food supply

By Sarah Lazare, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-11-2015

"Just a handful of large chemical companies including Dow and DuPont already control most of the seed supply used to grow crops like corn and soybeans, as well as the herbicides that genetically engineered seeds are designed to be grown with," said Wenonah Hauter of Food & Water Watch. (Photo: Desmanthus4food/Wikimedia/cc)

“Just a handful of large chemical companies including Dow and DuPont already control most of the seed supply used to grow crops like corn and soybeans, as well as the herbicides that genetically engineered seeds are designed to be grown with,” said Wenonah Hauter of Food & Water Watch. (Photo: Desmanthus4food/Wikimedia/cc)

Watchdog groups are sounding the alarm after two of the oldest and largest corporations in the United States—DuPont and Dow Chemical—announced Friday plans to merge into a $130 billion giant, thereby establishing the world’s biggest seed and pesticide conglomerate.

The new behemoth, named DowDuPont, would then be split into “three independent, publicly traded companies through tax-free spin-offs,” according to a joint corporate statement marking one of the the largest deals of 2015.

These companies would focus on agriculture, material science, and “technology and innovation-driven Specialty Products company,” the statement continues. Together, they would form the second-largest chemical company world-wide. Continue reading

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21 Teens Tell Exxon and Koch Brothers: Get Out of Our Lawsuit

By Our Children’s Trust. Published 12-8-2015 at EcoWatch

Twenty-one young people from around the country are working to keep the world’s largest fossil fuel companies from intervening in their constitutional climate change lawsuit. Last week, the youth opposed the industry’s proposal to intervene as defendants in their case.

The proposed interveners are trade associations for major corporations, including the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM)—representing ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Koch Industries and virtually all other U.S. refiners and petrochemical manufacturers—the American Petroleum Institute (API)—representing 625 oil and natural gas companies—and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). 

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“These organizations were not named as defendants in our complaint,” Phil Gregory, of Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy said. Gregory serves as one of the attorneys for the youth plaintiffs. “The fossil fuel industry understands how significant our case is. They want to join the federal government in attempting to defeat the constitutional claims asserted by these youth plaintiffs. The fossil fuel industry and the federal government lining up against 21 young citizens. That shows you what is at stake here.”

The lawsuit asserts the federal government has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty and property. It also claims the government failed to protect essential public trust resources by facilitating the exploitation of fossil fuels. The youth have asked the courts to order the federal government to prepare and implement a science-based national climate recovery plan. 

The fossil fuel powerhouses call the youth’s case “extraordinary” and “a direct threat to [their] businesses.” They claim “significant reduction in [greenhouse gas] emissions would cause a significant negative effect on [their] members by constraining the sale of the product they have specialized in developing and selling.” 

Victoria Barrett, 16-year-old plaintiff and fellow with Alliance for Climate Education, is participating in the climate talks in Paris advocating for science-based climate recovery plans. Barrett became a plaintiff because she was tired of the U.S. government sacrificing her future by allowing fossil fuel companies unbridled economic growth.

“Fossil fuel companies continue to show complete disregard for my future and the future of my generation,” Barrett said. “They have put my constitutional right to a certain quality of living at risk and continue to completely bulldoze over any real solutions for a sustainable world. These companies are focused on short-term goals, without thinking of their lasting effects on humanity. Fossil fuels are the energy of the past and I see no reason why these companies would not want to pride themselves in looking to the future.”

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In seeking to join the case, AFPM, API and NAM argue the court should focus on short-term economic benefits over a stable climate and healthy environment for future generations. The industry claims that “reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to bring atmospheric carbon dioxide levels down to 350 parts per million would abate some of the future risks of climate change, those reductions would nevertheless not be ‘appropriate’ if the future potential benefits would be outweighed by, for instance, enormous losses in productivity and economic development.”

In a declaration on behalf API’s motion to intervene, Howard Feldman claims, “A sudden and significant reduction in allowable GHG emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels could have a significant negative effect on the profitability of many of API’s members.” However, Jack Gerard, API’s president and CEO, presented a different picture in a press release on API’s website: “The facts are clear … by embracing our nation’s energy renaissance, we can lower costs, clean the air and create more jobs here at home while providing an example to the world.”

AFPM echoed API’s concern in a declaration of David Friedman of AFPM, stating, “If Plaintiffs succeed in eliminating or massively reducing U.S. conventional fuel consumption and imposing other severe restrictions on GHG emission limits, the impact on AFPM’s members will be significant and varied.” 

“We oppose the world’s largest fossil fuel polluters, including Exxon and Koch Industries, arguing that young people don’t have a constitutional right to life if it means reducing fossil fuel use,” said Julia Olson, executive director for Our Children’s Trust, also counsel in the litigation.

“Given what our president just said at the UN climate talks in Paris, a renewed alignment between our government and the fossil fuel industry could not be less welcome. This case asks the court to order what the industry fears most: a national plan using the best science we’ve got to try to leave clean air and a healthy climate to our kids.”

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