Sign Isaac’s “Divest Beaverton” Project

Tonight at 6pm, Beaverton, OR City Council will hear Isaac make his first public request to DIVEST from fossil fuels. A project he began over a year ago. Go Isaac! You can support him below after you read his first-person account here:
Power Past Coal holds people's hearing on Pacific Northwest coal exports
(Photo by: Alex Milan Tracy)
It’s been a busy year, but for my Bar Mitzvah Project I am doing a bunch of stuff to help stop and reverse Climate Change.Isaac Vergun at the United Nations Environmental Programme sponored Plant for the Planet Academy in Seattle
Isaac at the Plant-for-the-Planet Academy in Seattle, 
devoted to planting 1,000 billion trees for climate justice.

My main project is a campaign with to get the City of Beaverton, Oregon to divest from fossil fuels and nuclear power. Please sign my petition, even if you do not live in Beaverton. Most people who will be reading this live, work, or shop in Beaverton, but what my city does affects the rest of you too, so please sign!

What I Am Asking the City of Beaverton and Others To Do

Based on the divestment toolkit I am asking the City of Beaverton to:

  1. Immediately freeze any new investments in fossil fuels.
  2. Divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years.

Instead of investing their money into fossil fuel companies, we can reinvest in companies who are making solutions to climate change.

There are 200 publicly-traded companies which hold the vast majority of listed coal, oil and gas reserves. These are the companies from which I am asking our institutions to divest. As says, my demands to these corporations are simple, because they reflect the stark truth of climate science:

They need to immediately stop exploring for new hydrocarbons.

They need to stop lobbying in Washington and state capitols across the country to preserve their special breaks.

Most importantly, they need to pledge to keep 80% of their current reserves underground forever.

Why Should the City of Beaverton Divest?

The mission of the City of Beaverton is to be looking out for the public good. It is well known for the quality of education and work to get solar adopted. One big action of  “looking out for the public good” is divesting from fossil fuel companies, because these companies are putting us at risk for: less access to water, droughts, uncontrolled forest fires, etc. Mayors and other local leaders need to take the lead because the action of the federal government has been stalled, so the local communities need to take action. Divestment is the moral choice for governments who care about their people. Beaverton taking action to solve the climate crisis will help to make sure that the city’s investments pay off in the future.

I am also having a contest for people helping me to get signatures. Ask me if you’re interested in helping! We’ll try to post more soon! Thanks!

350 “Draw the Line” Ambassadors Slideshow

Ambassadors fists up

Video: Seattle Climate Justice Ambassadors “Draw The Line”

Do you want to help future generations speak? Hear what they have to say. And Click Here to view the entire hour of inspirational speakers.

Draw the Line – McKibben – Seattle

byJohn CrapperFollowforClimate Change SOS

Two years ago, retired NASA climatologist James Hansen famously said that if we allowed the development of Keystone XL, it would be “game over” for the climate.  But today there were over 200 Draw the Line actions that took place across the country saying emphatically that that is not going to happen.  You can click here to see where they occurred.   I attended the one in Seattle.  The keynote speaker was Bill McKibben.  It was a great day of environmental activism. Please go below the fold to check out the pictures I took and some key things I learned.


Each tent was a workshop.

Trans-Pacific Partnership.  We need to stop Fast Track Authority.

There were workshops (in two sessions) on topics including: an overview of all of the infrastructure projects currently on the table in the Northwest, tar sands in Washington State, theTrans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the current status of the coal train proposals, ocean acidification, a possible WA carbon tax, Nonviolent Direct Action, and Plant for the Planet. There were  kids art-making and Plant for the Planet tents in both sessions; and the whole event was family friendly.The sessions were very informative and very well attended.

Ambassadors for the Planet – Informed and articulate.

Following these workshops the crowd (between 1,000 -1,500) gathered to hear the speeches.   Right before the speeches began the Plant for the Planet Amassadors confronted the nasty train trying to ship coal from west coast ports to markets in Asia.

These young Ambassadors were the first to speak and immediately touched the hearts of all in the crowd.

Next to speak was  Chief Rueben George Sundance Chief and Member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Chief Rueben George

Then  Friends of the Earth president Erich Pica took the stage.

Erich Pica

The next First Nations leader to speak was Chief Phil Lane Jr. an internationally recognized indigenous leader and founder of Four Worlds International Institute

Chief Phil Lane Jr.

Mayor Mike McGinn

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn introduced the keynote speaker of the day – founder Bill McKibben.

Bill McKibben

The day ended with people making pledges to continue the fight and partake in acts of peaceful civil disobedience if necessary.

Pledges of action from the crowd.

And a human line in the sand.

Our line in the sand!

Below are the workshops I attended and links so you can learn what I learned today.The Trans-Pacific Partnership

A “free trade” agreement that would set rules on non-trade matters such as food safety, internet freedom, medicine costs, financial regulation, and the environment. 2. A binding international governance system that would require the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and any other country that signs on to conform their domestic policies to its rules.  3. A secret trade negotiation that has included over 600 official corporate “trade advisors” while hiding the text from Members of Congress, governors, state legislators, the press, civil society, and the public.

From 350Seattle:

This agreement is very bad news for anyone who cares about the environment.  This agreement consists of 29 chapters and most have nothing to do with trade but instead impose limits on domistic food safety, health, environmental and other policies.  The texts of these chapters have not been released to the public but 600 U.S. corporate “trade advisors” have full access. In essence the TPP privileges “investor rights over national sovereignty.  Investor rights basically give corporations the same rights as sovereign nations and veto power over national laws.

For more information please investigate the following links.……
For environment-specific information:………  (specific to fracking)… (ditto, long version)


Coal Export Terminals – (The Key Facts are here.):

Recent economic conditions have been putting the brakes on these projects in general.

That message – that end times are upon us for global coal markets – is the gist of  recent reports from Citi, Sanford Bernstein Company (proprietary), Deutsche Bank, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, and Goldman Sachs.  Citi’s report is the most recent, forecasting “peak coal” in China by the end of the decade. Perhaps the most significant for those following the proposed Northwest coal terminals is Goldman Sach’s recent warning to investors that the window of opportunity for global thermal coal infrastructure is slamming shut.

The two sites receiving the greatest push for expansion are Cherry Point, close to Bellingham, WA and Longview, WACherry Point

Largely due to the success of public comments the scope of the environmental impact statement (EIS) will evaluate a broad range of impacts.

1. A detailed assessment of rail transportation impacts in Whatcom County near the project site, specifically including Bellingham and Ferndale.

2. An assessment of how the project would affect human health, including impacts from related rail and vessel transportion in Whatcom County.

3. An evaluation of greenhouse gas emissions from terminal operations, and rail and vessel traffic.

In addition the study will include:

4. A detailed assessment of rail transportation on other representative communities in
Washington and a general analysis of out of state rail impacts.

5. An assessment of how the project would affect human health in Washington.

6. A general assessment of cargo ship impacts beyond Washington waters.

7. An evaluation and disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions of end use coal combustion.

James Wells, a fellow Kossack, has written extensively about Cherry Point. Here is his latest post Outsourcing Carbon Pollution – Not So Fast! which includes links to all previous diaries on coal export.


We are in the public comment period to determine the scope of the environmental impact statement.

From Friends of the Earth:

If approved, the Millennium Bulk Terminals proposal in Longview, WA, would be the largest permitted coal export terminal in the United States, with plans to export 48.5 million tons of coal annually.In addition to saying NO, this is your opportunity to provide input on what impacts you believe should be considered. There are a myriad of potential impacts from increased train and shipping traffic — harm to our fragile marine eco-systems, global warming and more.  What’s important is that you voice your concerns!

Protect the Northwest from dirty coal exports – speak out at the hearings for the new Longview, WA, coal terminal. There are four remaining hearings across the area to attend. Please RSVP for one here.The four hearings:

Sept. 25, Spokane Convention Center, Spokane, WA

Oct. 1, The Trac Center, Pasco, WA

Oct. 9, Clark County Fairgrounds, Vancouver, WA

Oct. 17, Tacoma Convention Center, Tacoma, WA


Carbon Tax (Taken directly from the website):

The best climate change policy in the world is British Columbia’s carbon tax. (More on BC from our 2012 NY Times op edfrom this 2012 Sightline post, and from The Economist in 2011, plus here’s some historical perspective.)Our vision is to bring a similar policy to Washington State to improve the state’s economy and the state’s environment. That means following BC’s lead by implementing a carbon tax of $30 per ton of CO2 (equivalent to about $0.30 per gallon of gasoline, $0.03 per kWh of coal-fired power, or $0.015 per kWh of natural gas-fired power). Such a tax would reduce carbon emissions and still raise about $2.3 billion per year in Washington State.

*Plant for the Planet:  I wrote about this extensively in our Climate Change SOS’s Hummingbird blogathon in my post entitled:  Hummingbirds – Plant  for the Planet. but they basically call for a 3-point plan.

1.  Planting 1,000 billion trees.

2.  Leave the fossil fuels in the ground.

3.  Poverty into the museum through climate justice.