Emma Schoenberg and I leading the Next Steps walk into Montpelier on April 9th. photo credit: Zac Rudge/350VT
It’s a badly-kept secret that I love taking long walks. That started for me in 2005 when I hiked the Appalachian Trail and got mixed with climate activism starting with the Energy Exodus walk in 2013, and with two Quaker-led climate pilgrimages along pipeline routes and between coal plants in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. So it’s no wonder that when my friend Maeve McBride asked about doing a climate walk led by 350 Vermont, I got excited and jumped in.
It might not be exactly obvious why pitching in on a five-day 65 mile walk through Vermont called Next Steps is the work of the Climate Disobedience Center. Aside from taking the streets through Middlebury and Montpelier without a permit, we followed the traffic laws and weren’t overtly disruptive on our journey. We gathered 300 people in the state house at the conclusion of the walk and sang the place down at the invitation of our elected representative allies, and the doors were open for us and we left on our own accord.
But on another level this is precisely the work of the CDC - building the bonds of trust and love that make possible a vibrant movement of risk taking and disobedience. And was for me an experiment in building what we call “the field”.Read more
As the climate crisis grows ever more urgent, Trump signed two executive orders today that expedite oil and gas pipelines and undermine states’ rights to protect themselves from the assault of the fossil fuel industry. This was yet another reminder that our government is run by a nihilistic sociopath who serves the whims of an industry that has killed people for profit throughout its history. This latest rush toward apocalypse will undoubtedly be met with complicity from the Republican politicians who have spent years pretending to care about states’ rights, and with ineffectual faux-outrage from Democratic politicians who have rarely ever used the powers available to them to stop fossil fuel expansion.
Thankfully there is a growing movement of people willing to engage in civil disobedience to stop fossil fuel infrastructure everywhere in this country. The Climate Disobedience Center is proud to be part of that movement which has effectively made all new pipelines losing investments, and we will continue fighting every one of these stupid projects until we have the organized power to overthrow our system of corporate rule and establish a democracy that respects life.