Students from SJSF hoist a wind turbine at the State House at the beginning of the Copenhagen conference.

Cross-posted at It’s Getting Hot In Here.

This morning, as predicted, we awoke to the news that the most liberal state in the nation has elected a tea party Republican to represent it in Congress for the next two years.  It’s a stunning turnaround for what was until recently Ted Kennedy’s seat; a seat that for 46 years was a champion for justice and for the least among us.  This pattern isn’t new, however: it is the predictable outcome of the Democratic campaign strategy.  This strategy parallels the losing strategy of the climate movement, and there’s a lot to learn from Massachusetts as we move forward after Copenhagen.

From the Boston Globe to It’s Getting Hot In Here, the stark difference between the two candidates, Scott Brown and Martha Coakley, on climate change, and an appropriate response have been detailed before.  For anyone looking to make a choice in this race on the merits of averting a climate crisis, the choice was clear.  But who was looking to make that choice?

It may seem like the obvious, but elections are won by the candidate who gets the most people out of bed, out of the house and to the polls to vote for them.  Working on an issue such as climate is not as clear cut as an election, but elections are where the rubber meets the road.  If the climate movement hopes to win, we must think as strategically as those who win elections.  So what does it take?  Victory takes two mutually enforcing pieces; a compelling narrative and a mobilization strategy. (more…)


Fall semester has wound down.  Students across the state are busy with finals and papers, making up for all the time they devoted to halting catastrophic climate change. International negotiations have begun at the Copenhagen climate conference and the Leadership Campaign has finished up a thrilling first semester of action. This matters. For all the flashy things going on at Copenhagen and in Washington, DC it is efforts at the real grassroots level that will change the course of history, and amount to more than theater. It matters because the only way that we can solve this crisis is by mobilizing the collective resources of everyone in this nation, and the only way we can do that is to build a movement powerful enough to change the laws.

As Al Gore has said, while it is important to change a lightbulb, it is more important to change the laws. And against all odds, it is working. For seven weeks, students, citizens and people of faith across the Commonwealth have been building a movement to change the laws by refusing to sleep in their houses, dorms and apartments powered by dirty electricity. In the lead-up to Copenhagen we have demonstrated to the state, nation and world that we are ready to lead the way to a green and prosperous future. In the process we have met face to face with Governor Patrick, gained the support of dozens of state legislators, brought Dr. James Hansen and Bill McKibben to stand in solidarity with us, and had a bill introduced into the House and Senate that would put us on the path to 100% Clean Electricity in the next 10 years. This is just the beginning. (more…)

Alright everybody, are you ready to take this to the next level?  Tonight and tomorrow is destined to be the biggest and most exciting sleep-out yet.  Here’s why: Dr. James Hansen, lead climate scientist at NASA will be sleeping out with us tonight and testifying before the Senate Global Warming Committee on Monday.

Grab your sleeping bag, grab your hat and head on down to the Commons.  This is going to be awesome.  Here’s the schedule of events:

Dr. James HansenWhen: Sunday, November 8th

Where: Boston Common, in front of the Statehouse

3:50pm: Rally on Boston Common

5:30pm: Tent set up

Monday, November 9

8:00am: Wake up, pack up tents

10:00am: Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change Hearing with Dr. James Hansen, Bishop Bud Cederholm, Economist Frank Ackerman, and student leader Dominique McCadden.

Join the Facebook event, follow our Twitter feed and we’ll see you there!

Cross posted at Blue Mass Group.

Copenhagen looms like Russia over Sarah Palin’s horizon, and it is easy to get discouraged that negotiations aren’t going to accomplish what needs to be done: our federal government will not pass laws that will meet the demands of physics and chemistry, our President is making speeches full of rhetoric and bereft of policy, and the tops of new mountains are being blown off.

Now is the time for serious actions and strategies that advance our goals.

In Massachusetts, students and community leaders have joined together to lead us out of the wilderness and off the road paved with good intentions. The Leadership Campaign is demanding their state show the nation and the world that it is possible to implement sound policies based on the science of 350. And, they are putting their bodies on the line to do it, working to Repower Massachusetts with 100% Clean Electricity in the next decade. They hope to move legislation forward before international talks begin in Copenhagen December 7. (more…)

It is a beautiful crisp fall day in Southeastern New England, and I am on the bus, leaving the place I grew up on Cape Cod. Headed for Boston and the beginning of the Leadership Campaign’s road to Copenhagen I was blessed to catch a glimpse of both the future and the past – where we are going and what we are fighting for.

As the bus crossed over the Cape Cod Canal on the Bourne Bridge, brilliant yellow and red leaves covered the forest below stretching away to the south and west, to a panorama of Buzzards Bay. Mid afternoon sun was dancing across the water, this sacred bay that breeds life of all kinds, illuminating all of the beauty that we stand to loose. And on the shore of Buzzards Bay, nestled in our little village of the same name, is a vision of the future that we have to choose if we are to keep that bay, that cradle of life – our home that sustains us – intact.