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Carbon Bigfoot Harper Visits the White House September 16, 2009

Posted by Morgan in oilsands, tcktcktck.
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Carbon Bigfoot Harper and Obama Shake Hands

Carbon Bigfoot Harper and Obama Shake Hands

Big news today: Prime Minister Harper visited the White House to get a photo-op with Obama. But he didn’t expect that photo-op would be organized for him, by the DC Action Factory.

The scary, climate destroying monster met with Obama today to discsuss how they could stop the Afganistan war, how to revive the global economy, and what to do about this pesky energy problem. Unfortunately, he wasn’t smart enough to propose a fair, ambitious and binding global treaty that would create a green global economy with lots of good, clean jobs. No, instead, the oaf that he is, thought he could impress Obama with a milkshake. An oil sands milkshake, to be exact.

Sipping on the Oil Sands

Sipping on the Oil Sands

Doesn’t Harper know that oil sands are the largest climate project in the western hemisphere? Don’t they know that tar sands are a huge road-block on the road to a Copenhagen Climate Treaty? And don’t they know that oil sands extraction is killing polar bears?

Stephen Harper killing Polar Bears

Stephen Harper killing Polar Bears

With all the press in the last couple days, you think he’d have gotten the message. RAN dropped a 70′ banner off Niagra Falls yesterday. Greenpeace activists in Canada are still locking down to a gigantic shovel and dumptruck, effectively shutting down Shell Oil’s climate crime.

We’re guessing Harper isn’t going to be too happy with all the ‘bad’ press. His conservative government in Canada is under attack from more progressives who are more serious about climate action. From Kevin Grandia via Huffington Post:

Popularity – Harper is desperate to gain in the polls in Canada where he has been unable to get a majority of Canadians on his side. His backroom boys are no doubt advising him to saddle up to President Obama as a means of appearing more moderate.

Wake up Canada!  This isn’t the kind of leadership the world needs.  As we enter the final 3 months before Copenhagen, the G20 looms large. Activists are stepping up the pace of actions even more. Get ready for Sept 21st and the global wake up call, followed by the 350.org day of action on October 24th.

For more tar sands action on twitter, follow @AcFac or join the conversation using #stopoilsands


The sum total of the public remarks Harper concerning energy and global warming.  Too bad they didn’t bring up tar sands.  (These in French, during the joint press conference.  Obama did not mention climate change.)

We discussed energy security and climate change.  I remind all our American friends that Canada is by far the largest supplier of energy to the United States.  And we are determined to be a continental partner in dealing with the joint — with the very linked problems of climate change and energy security.

Bonner and Ass. Pissed us Off August 6, 2009

Posted by Morgan in bonner and associates, naked fraud.
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Bonner and Associates pissed us off, so a few of us at the Action Factory, a group of young climate activists living and working in DC, took our clothes off in the rain to demonstrate the NAKED FRAUD of this astroturf lobbying firm.
Bonner and associate, who were working for the Hawthorne Group, whom in turn were working for American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, forged not 1, not 6, but 12 letters to not 1 but 3 congressmen. All three of these companies are outraged, claiming to have fired the ‘deviant’ employee who supposedly acted on his or her own. They were so ‘outraged’ that they didn’t notify the congressmen who received these letters. They were so ‘outraged’ that they even forgot that Bonner has been caught using almost the same tactics before, making them look very stupid for hiring them in the first place. That’s pretty much blind with outrage.

Once the intense anger of the moment subsided, we grabbed a camera and headed back to Bonner’s office first thing Monday morning to get to the bottom of this. Keep in mind, we’re not professional journalists, and I apologize in advance if our ‘outrage’ clouds our judgment on ethical conduct. But, I think that you’ll enjoy joining us on this search for democracy. Bonner and Associates seems to have stolen it, so it only made sense to start looking at the scene of the crime…

Some thoughts:
*People seem pretty unsure of whether forging letters is illegal
*We’re not legal experts – what are the legal consequences for mail fraud? forging names and signatures? Lying to congress?

Aliens, Wizards, and Other Made-Up People Oppose Green Jobs August 5, 2009

Posted by Morgan in bonner and associates, naked fraud.
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Bonner and Associates (ahem, Hawthorne Group, ahem, ACCCE) couldn’t find enough real people to oppose clean energy and green jobs legislation. In fact, the management wouldn’t take that ‘no’ for an answer, and pushed their employees to commit outright mail fraud instead.

(C’mon, seriously, Tom Periello knows the folks who work for the NAACP chapter in his district. He’s gonna notice. – catch his interview on Rachel Maddow last night.)

So today, we decided to help the coal industry out a little bit by showing them that made-up people and creatures can have a say in politics! We dressed up as aliens, a wizard, and Little Red Riding Hood and passed out the Sierra Club’s hill add to hill staffers getting out of the subway. “Hey, help us kill green jobs!”

Its a testament to hill staffers that at least some of them replied, “No, I like green jobs.” Apparently irony isn’t the best tactic at 9am. But making up the names of people who oppose climate change legislation? Never a good tactic.

For Obama’s Birthday: A Ticket to Copenhagen August 5, 2009

Posted by Morgan in obama to copenhagen.
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For his 48th birthday today, President Obama received a giant ticket to Copenhagen from Avaaz’s DC Action Factory. In a street party outside his house – complete with party hats, noisemakers, and music – cardboard cut-out Obama received his birthday gift with a smile. He even blew out all the candles on his special Copenhagen-themed birthday danishes in one breath! (He wished for a strong and binding global climate treaty.)

This December, the President will use his thoughtful birthday present to fly to the UN global climate treaty negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark. There, he will once again define the United States as a world leader and safeguard this earth for his daughters, Sasha and Malia, their generation, and those to come. And he’ll eat more danishes.

At least, that’s what we hope he’ll do. The Copenhagen negotiations are the world’s chance to work together to cut carbon and solve global warming. If America is to be a true world leader, Obama must show up with bells on. His cardboard cut-out was optimistic today, stating that he would accompany his negotiating team, including Todd Stern and Jonathan Pershing, to the negotiations this December. But we at the DC Action Factory would like to hear the real Obama commit to attending the treaty talks.

Happy Birthday Obama! Obama to Copenhagen!

Shaping the Story August 2, 2009

Posted by Morgan in bonner and associates.
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A lot of the work of the Action Factory is about shaping a story in the public debate. Friday’s action was a perfect example. At 11am we were discussing the days news, and the naked fraud of the lobby firm Bonner and Associates was just too blatant and wrong to be ignored. Shifting into action, we were protesting their office at 2:30 that afternoon, stripped down and holding signs saying “Oil and Coal: Naked Fraud”

Working with allies Powershift09 and Friends of the Earth, we produced video and photos that were up on the web within hours. Our goal was to stoke the fires of outrage of what is the most blatant and illegal action in recent months on the part of vested interests and dirty industry. We wanted to provide material for bloggers and media to get this story seen.

Our slideshow ended up on the front page of the Huffington Post. With Huffpo’s high ranking on searches, we suddenly placed our story and our images as the top search result for Bonner and Associates, the lobbying firm responsible for this fraud.

In today’s short media cycle, rapid response and producing high quality content in hours are the key parts of the game, and that’s what we’re here to do. Anyone looking for Bonner and Associates is going to see our naked, outraged faces calling out the fraud of that firm.

Lets take this to the next level and make sure that the perpetrators of this fraud are called out. This is bigger than one ‘bad employee’ and its bigger than one lobbying firm.

Buff Climate Strongmen: The Envy of EPW Senators August 2, 2009

Posted by Morgan in climate bill, strongmen.
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Last Thursday, just before news broke of the Naked Fraud committed by fossil fuel lobbyists prior to the house vote on ACES, the Climate Strongmen made the trek to Capitol Hill once again. These honest advocates are speaking on behalf of 300,000 Americans rather than on behalf of greedy oil executives, and they are speaking the truth. This time, the Climate Strongmen flexed their climate bill muscles both inside and outside of a Senate Hearing on Climate Change and National Security. In honor of the hearing theme, the strongmen wore hats with stars and stripes in order to remind Senators that passing a strong US climate bill isn’t simply about going along with the rest of the world – it is about protecting our own national interests and making America stronger. Ensuring the stability of countries most vulnerable to climate change will ultimately be a down payment on the future security of the United States. Reducing our dependence on foreign oil will mean that more American dollars will stay in the US and be invested in clean energy technologies here at home. A strong US climate bill will boster the American economy rather than support potential foreign threats.

Three climate strongmen sat inside the hearing with small signs stating the crucial role that a strong climate bill will play in ensuring the safety and security of the US. The strongmen were quite visible and despite their wit, Senator Lautenberg did not seem impressed by their humor. For the duration of the hearing, 3 additional Strongmen worked up a sweat in the hallway by a door where EPW committee members entered and exited the hearing. There the Strongmen greeted Senators and their staffers, encouraging them to adopt a rigorous climate workout routine. They had friendly exchanges with Senators from both sides of the aisle including chairwoman Boxer, and Senators Carper, Lautenberg, Cardin, Klobuchar, Whitehouse, Udall, Merkley, Inhofe, Barrasso, Bond, and Alexander.

Senators Klobuchar and Carper took particular interest in the Climate Strongmen and thanked them for their efforts. Envying the Strongmen’s burly muscles, these senators pledged to work harder to buff up the climate bill in the weeks to come in order to attempt to make it as strong and bold as the Climate Strongmen. Yet they didn’t seem to have the energy or motivation to flex their muscles in the Dirksen hallway.

Even Senator Inhofe, who has historically been unconcerned about climate change and doubtful of the risks that a weak and out-of-shape climate bill poses to America, was curious to know where the Climate Strongmen learned their brilliant workout routine and responded in a friendly manner when the Strongmen asked him to flex his climate muscles.

The Strongmen were excited to have the opportunity to show their strength and hope for a stronger climate bill to so many senators directly, and were glad to hear that many of these senators are committed to setting more ambitious CO2 fat reduction goals. Yet the Strongmen are not impressed with the stamina of the senate and really hope to see senators step up their ambition in the coming weeks. Perhaps the senate recess will give senators a chance to work out, so that they come back in September ready to make their climate bill harder, better, faster, and stronger. And only time will tell where the Climate Strongmen may show up next.