VIDEO: Keystone XL Vigil, Last Public Comments

Zoe eloquently delivered her public comments against the Keystone XL pipeline to a freezing crowd of supporters outside the federal building in Seattle, WA. The report from the State Dept on whether the international pipeline gets completed will go to the President in May.

As I write you only have 3 hours left to submit a comment (by midnight EST Friday  March 7th, 2014 to the State Dept!submitComment;D=DOS-2014-0003-0001) for the report headed to the President’s desk, your opinion on the Keystone XL pipeline doesn’t count.

Well, OK, your opinion still counts, and you can still make a ruckus and be heard; you can call the President’s White House line right now. In fact you can write the editor, join a protest, and get your neighbors to join you. But you won’t be counted among over 2,000,000 comments environmental groups delivered to the Dept of State this month opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. With this deadline, the time for the President to decide moves one step closer.

This marks the end of the official process for public input, which means now things get really interesting. If you want to make a difference now, you have several options. Over 75,000 people have pledged to commit civil disobedience if the President signals that he is going to approve the pipeline.

We carbon-based lifeforms simply can’t allow tar sands into the pipeline. No matter what the law allows, our children won’t survive the Keystone XL.

Why such a fuss over one oil pipeline? It’s true there are other pipelines, and trains, moving Canada’s product south. And it’s true we need oil to drive around.

But Keystone XL commits us to decades of driving on the world’s absolute dirtiest fuel, from the 2nd largest oil reserve in the world. GreenHouse Gas emissions from extracting tar sands and making the sludge for shipping pollute as much methane and CO2 as our large metropolitan areas, and that’s before the tar sands oil gets refined and burned. In front of the White House, along with 1,200 people committing civil disobedience, Dr. James Hansen told the President and the world that building this pipeline to speed up burning the tar sands in Canada equals, “Game over for the planet.” 

The Keystone XL pipeline leads to a Carbon Bomb that we must leave in the ground. Since Alberta tar sands oil is already showing up in our gas tanks, we all have to drive less, and find ways to stop the oil trains and other pipelines delivering this extra deadly stuff from Canada, and from the Bakken Shale fracking wells in North Dakota. Our children depend on us now to stop using fossil fuels.

No More “All Of The Above” Energy As for the President, he has a chance to choose dirty energy or clean energy with the stroke of a pen. Until now he has expanded both kinds, simultaneously leading greater expansion in renewables and in our fossil fuel extraction faster than George W. Bush. The fracking creates boomtowns and jobs for roughnecks, but risks contaminating our water supplies. But opening up a pipeline to 800,000 barrels of tar sands every day, or not, stands as the greatest single climate decision he gets to make as President.

Chris Hayes articulates our chemical addiction and the President’s “intervention moment”. an excellent commentary.

Zoe spoke up at a Keystone Xl Vigil in February 2014. You can watch more of the vigil here.

Governor Inslee Listens to Plant-For-The-Planet Ambassadors

Oct 28th, 2013

At the Governor’s Legislative and Executive Workgroup public hearing on Wednesday night, two ambassadors for climate justice walked up to the front of a standing room only crowd of 500 people and many elected leaders, to speak up for future generations on the climate emergency.

Ambassador Stella (10 years old) speaks to the Governor’s CLEW hearing  click for video

Ambassador Zoe (12 years old) addresses the Governor’s CLEW click for video

The Governor sat at a raised table only a few feet away, so we know he heard them loud and clear. It was a special opportunity to address the leaders who will formulate Washington State’s first climate action plan to meet our emissions targets.

But it was a special night for Zoe and Stella too, a school night.  As she and her sister were leaving the building  Zoe realized she had an essay due the following day. She joked that she would need a note from the Governor.  Just at that moment, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn walked up the stairs. Stella walked right up and said, “Excuse me sir, my big sister needs a note for her teacher because she gave a speech on climate change for the Governor tonight. So she won’t get her homework finished in time.” To his credit, Mayor McGinn, a father, replied, “Who’s got paper?”

Speaking of writing notes, you can write your note to the EPA on tough climate protections against coal power plant emissions.

p.s. The Mayor’s note worked. Zoe got her homework turned in with a one-day extension. Thanks to Mayor McGinn and Governor Inslee for being climate heroes!

Issac Heiman, 13, committed to planting trees across the world

Reposted from The Everett Herald By Andrea Brown, Herald Writer 

photos: Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

Isaac Heiman, 13, checks on a newly planted cedar tree June 29 in Mukilteo.Heiman, 13, checks on a newly planted cedar tree June 29 in Mukilteo.

Isaac Heiman is on a one-man tree spree.
With the help of family and friends, Isaac Heiman put in 50 trees June 29 at a Mukilteo park. Since April, he has added more than 300 trees to the planet.The Mukilteo teen orchestrated the planting of trees from Washington to Israel and Guatemala for a service project for his Aug. 3 bar mitzvah.

“I always liked trees,” said Isaac, 13. “They’re more like living creatures that you can bond with. You can interact with them.”

His original mission was to plant 250 trees by August, but he met that goal before a recent planting party at 92nd Street Park in Mukilteo. He hit up the city to provide 50 hemlock and western red cedars. He provided snacks for the 20 people who came with gloves and shovels to assist.

Isaac chose trees for environmental and personal reasons.

In an email sent to friends and neighbors, he explained: “They speak to me. They make me feel good. Most importantly they make the world feel good.”

He invited everyone to join the party. “I can’t tell you how thankful I will be, but how good you will feel as well. I want to demonstrate the power of community to do so much more than one person can on his or her own,” he wrote.

He gave tips. “By the way, if you join for $10, they will send you 10 trees appropriate for your area free.”

He didn’t stop there. “For those of you that are traveling over the next three months, if you are able, make a lasting mark on wherever you are visiting by planting a tree.”

He has a list where the trees are planted. “So I can check on them later and see them as they grow,” he said, sounding like a proud parent.

It’s a diverse family of seedlings: “Cherry trees. Dogwoods. Firs. Cedars. Smoke trees. Norway spruces, tons of them,” he said.

Isaac isn’t resting on his laurels. “I’ll send more emails about planting some more,” he said.

With the help of family and friends, Isaac Heiman (right) put in 50 trees June 29 at a Mukilteo park.

His project got the nod from Rabbi Jessica Marshall of Temple Beth Or in Everett.

“It was all his idea,” she said. “Isaac has shown such thoughtfulness and maturity in his project. He is really interested in a deeper meaning. Many students get inspired and dream big.”

Projects by others include raising money for mosquito nets in Africa, collecting shoes for people in developing countries and a Mukilteo beach cleanup.

Isaac doesn’t live and breathe trees. He likes to play video games, shoot baskets, bake cookies and clown around with his 8-year-old sister, Annabelle. He’s in the band and on the track team at Harbour Pointe Middle School.

The voicemail message on his cellphone tells callers they’ve reached “the office of Isaac Heiman, attorney at law.”

His dad, Ron, is a public defender. Isaac’s considering a career in law. “I’ve been to my dad’s work and it was cool,” he said.

His mom, Wendy, is a massage therapist. “That’s cool, too,” he said. “I’ve given her massages.”

Isaac isn’t ruling out something in sports.

“I like watching NBA games. I would like the Sonics if they were here,” he said. “If I had another bar mitzvah, that would be my project to bring them here.”

Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443;