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Happy Holidaze and Farewell for Now December 29, 2009

Posted by Julie in astroturf, bonner and associates, cejapa, chamber of commerce, climate bill, copenhagen, G20, obama to copenhagen, tcktcktck.
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Copenhagen has passed and the Action Factory has packed up, moved out, and dispersed. This just might be the last post on our blog for a while.

In the end, we did not get nearly what we had hoped for — neither a US Senate climate bill, nor a binding international climate treaty.


…perhaps we can claim just a little credit for helping push Obama to go to Copenhagen? After all, we did give him a plane ticket for his birthday. And we gave him some flack when he went there to try to get the Olympics.

…Or how about for influencing Arlen Specter’s far-from-certain EPW committee vote after we chased him in a SurvivaBall herd, all the way from the capitol into the Hart Office Building?

…Or for making Jack Bonner of Bonner and Ass. look like a real idiot when we shook his hand while wearing Astroturf suits at a House Commitee hearing, much to the delight of Congressman Ed Markey…

…And there was also that time we crashed a press conference being held by Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravestahl prior to the G20 summit at the National Press Club. Before the G20 summit even began, we dominated the media cycle by asserting our first amendment rights and demanding strong climate action from world leaders. Then we continued to make news once in Pittsburgh with our Global Climate Wake-Up Call (the first link is hilarious, btw)

… And finally, I suppose we can claim credit for the defection of a major paper company from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It happened just 1 day after we successfully pulled off an elaborate spoof press conference with the Yes Men in which we temporarily reversed the Chamber’s backward stance on climate policy. We may have even provoked the Chamber to dig itself into an even deeper hole and sue some of us… gee, that would make them look real bad… hmm…. oh wait, we did. The Chamber also sent a letter to Senators Boxer and Inhofe not long after our stunt, trying to play nice guy and directly assert supposed (feigned?) support for climate legislation, an act which Senator Kerry suggested would be a “Nixon to China” moment, if the Chamber really meant it.

All in all, we had a lot of fun and made a lot of friends. We generated hundreds of media hits highlighting the dire need for climate action, and these were undoubtedly seen by hundreds of thousands. We hope that through our actions, we have inspired and will continue to inspire many, many more actions.

Here are three nuggets of DC action wisdom:

1. Crash other events for media attention

2. Being ridiculous is fun and can actually put pressure on elected officials

3. The bottom of the reflecting pool is slippery – enter boldly, but carefully and everything will work out fine.

The Action Factory may be over, but our work is far from complete. In the final hours of the Copenhagen conference, a handful of countries – including Tuvalu, Bolivia, and Venezuela – made statements strongly opposing the undemocratic accord, which is essentially a death sentence for many low-lying countries. When one nation’s “unprecedented breakthrough” is another’s death sentence, something is clearly not right. That’s why in 2010 many of us will stay engaged with battles and creative actions in the Coal River Valley, within the US Senate, at the US Chamber of Commerce and elsewhere. Avaaz as an organization will take on the Chamber directly. We hope you will join us for the long haul — not just because it matters, or because the future of our planet depends on it, but because it is FUN.

Thanks to all of you who have been along for the ride – it’s been a pretty wild one. See you in the streets.

People vs. Polluters December 22, 2009

Posted by Morgan in astroturf, bonner and associates, chamber of commerce, copenhagen, naked fraud.
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There are more people to blame for failure in Copenhagen than… sensational cliches to start blog posts with.  Obama probably negotiated his ass off during his 9 hours in Denmark, but he didn’t do enough legwork beforehand to set himself up for success.  China blocked any sort of requirement, goal, target or accountability mechanism, even though it is and will remain the largest greenhouse polluter.  The US Senate didn’t pass a climate bill in time.  The list goes on.

Yet some guilty parties are actively trying to mess the process up instead of just not doing enough: powerful fossil fuel and business interests are working against the interests of the people in the struggle for a senate bill and in the negotiations for a treaty. As Ricken Patel from Avaaz said about Copenhagen: “one group was cracking open the champagne – the polluting industry lobbyists.”

Even before the dust had settled or the last negotiations had stopped, the DC Action Factory used its last few hours as a group to deliver Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming to every single senate office and Roland Burris (D-IL) in person. Maybe we didn’t do enough to expose the dirty energy campaign to hijack the senate, but hopefully final hours as an Action Factory are a sign of big things to come.

Mr. Burris probably shouldn’t have stopped to talk to us, because it didn’t make him look good at all. Even without knowing what an astroturf suit with a coal lobby name-tag symbolizes, you would think any senator with an instinct for self preservation (all of them?) would be wary. Instead, Julie said we had a book for him about how dirty industry has spun the science on global warming.Burris  saw the coal lobby name tag on David’s astroturf jacket and said, “You know, we have a lot of coal in Illinois, and we need to burn that coal.” Ouch. (more…)

Monsanto Refuses Angry Mermaid Award December 18, 2009

Posted by sam daly in astroturf, climate bill, copenhagen, oilsands.
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The seas are swirling with mermaids’ fury against Monsanto and the corporate criminals who sabotaged the Copenhagen climate process. Mermaids know no borders. They swam it all the way to DC Wednesday to share their anger with the 3 winners of the “Angry Mermaid Awards“.

We at the DC Climate Action Factory teamed up with a delegation of irate Danish anthrofishies and hit the frozen streets of K and I: global corporate lobby ground zero. It’s from here that climate criminals and climate profiteers staged their war to infiltrate and cripple the climate legislation that so many saw as the lynchpin for progress towards a real deal at the COP. Naturally, this place is home to the Angry Mermaid Award winners.

First stop we hit it was API, the American Petroleum Institute. API came in at 3rd place in global interweb polling of over 10,000 homo sapiens sapiens and mermaids. API’s lobbying war chest weighed in at $4.1 million this year. Beyond the beltway, they fielded a mercenary astroturf army, lobbing lies at congresspeople and directing climate coverage in corporate media. All to perpetuate the fossil fuel economy that’s devastating the planet and threatening mermaids, humans, and everyone else who depends on natural temperatures and stable ecosystems.

Apparently someone tipped them off, because we arrived to find the API entrance caution-taped. But nay, no length of ribbon could thwart our MERMAID FUNK ARMADA. We triumphed in delivering a 5ft. Angry Mermaid award inside the building despite heavy resistance from the astroturf army sentinels who tried in vain to blockade the entrance.

But that’s all for another video. And so is our daring ascent up the highest steeple in the Church of Shell Oil, Jorma Ollila’s sustainable tar sands spa. Yes, we bested them too, the 2nd place winners. But that is also for another video. This is a 3-part series.

What we can share is this: Exclusive footage of a daring fin and foot dance attack on Monsanto castle, 1st prize winners. We were victorious in our goal of decorating Monsanto’s terrific genetically modified Christmas tree with a life-size Mermaid trophy. But, alas, there were casualties on our side. Chalk another up for the murderous behemoth that is Monsanto.

Monsanto is at the head of the corporate climate profiteers‘ counter-evolution, undermining sustainable technology by lobbying for false solutions to the CO2 emissions crisis. Monsanto’s prime false solution is leading the proprietary GMO biofuel monoculture empire. Similarly, Shell and API champion Carbon Capture technology and unconventional extraction like the Alberta Tar Sands project.

Alongside the false solutions scam, the Angry Mermaid winners feed from another common trough: government subsidies for carbon-intensive economic sectors. All three winners benefit from fossil fuel, factory-farming, and military-industrial subsidies. The related industrial sectors, transport, industrial agriculture, dirty energy, manufacturing, and war, comprise the greatest emitters in the second-worse emitting country in the world.

As people who depend on the land and water ecosystems in the United States and depend on the same oceans and atmosphere, we share in the rage of the angry mermaids. Thus the uncompromising beat of our global MERMAID FUNK ARMADA. We are unstoppable. And as with all things unstoppable, more action is on the way.

The Angry Mermaid Award is organised by ATTAC Denmark, Corporate Europe Observatory, Focus on the Global South, Friends of the Earth International, Oilchange International and Spinwatch.

Here’s another DC Delivery by the Organic Consumers Association

A Fossil for the USA December 14, 2009

Posted by Julie in Uncategorized.
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As the second week of climate talks unfolded in Copenhagen today, the United States of America was awarded the prestigious Fossil of the the Day Award. The award is presented daily to the country most impeding progress on a fair, ambitious, and binding treaty.

Climate Action Network – International chose the US for today’s award for two reasons:

  1. The US has made no commitment to long-term financing for developing countries, a major shortcoming that could sink the Copenhagen talks altogether
  2. Despite being the biggest cumulative emitter of global warming pollution, the US has among the weakest emissions targets of any major developed country. Given that the science calls for 40%+ reductions below 1990 levels by 2020, the US goal of just 4% cuts by 2020 is laughable

While the formal Fossil award ceremony took place inside the Belle Center in Copenhagen, we showed up outside the White House in dinosaur costumes and sang the Fossil of the Day jingle (to the tune of the Jurassic Park theme song).

US negotiators in Copenhagen seem to be more concerned about representing the fossil fuel lobby than about standing up for the millions of Americans who want a real deal by the end of this week. Today the international community is blaming and shaming the US for their fossil-like negotiating position at Copenhagen.

The World Wants a Real Deal (not an Ark) December 13, 2009

Posted by Julie in Uncategorized.
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A crowd of approximately 100 weathered the cold this evening to gather by the bow of our now-complete 60-foot-long replica of Noah’s Ark for a short rally and candlelight vigil. Copenhagen is half over and our message is loud and clear: The World Wants a Real Deal.

RIGHT NOW: Ark Construction on the Mall December 10, 2009

Posted by Julie in Uncategorized.
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A team of about 10 is currently on the National Mall building Climate Plan B: The Ark.

We’ll be building today until 5pm, and again tomorrow from 9am-5pm. We’re right by the Smithsonian metro station (blue/orange) and the American History Museum. We’d love your help!

And of course, looking forward to seeing you Saturday at 4pm for our candlelight vigil. Here’s the latest on speakers:
Joelle Novey, Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light (confirmed)
Kim Huynh, Avaaz Climate Activist (confirmed)
Rev. Derek Harkin, 19th Street Baptist Church (confirmed)
Senator Ben Cardin, US Senator from Maryland (invited)
Gillian MS Briston, Ambassador to the US from Grenada (invited)