Fast For Our Future Enters Second Week as House of Representatives
Struggles to Develop Legislation on Energy and the Climate Crisis
For immediate release, April 27, 2009
For more information:
Ted Glick, 973-460-1458
Jere Locke, 512-964-1134
As the House of Representatives struggles with the development of legislation to address the climate crisis and advance a clean energy agenda, approximately 20 people around the USA continue a “Fast For Our Future” that began on April 20th. 10 of the fasters, who are eating no solid foods, are planning to fast for between 25 and 40 days.
Jere Locke, Director of the Texas Climate Emergency Campaign and planning to fast 25-40 days, explained that “we want to call attention to the need for the United States to give leadership to the world on this critical issue. We can do so by committing to the 25-40% target, with 1990 as the baseline, for carbon emissions reductions called for by the world’s climate negotiators at a United Nations Climate Conference in Bali, Indonesia in 2007. It is a target that, if reached, would give the world some chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change.”
Other main demands of the fasters include a moratorium on the building of any new coal plants and no giveaway of emissions permits to corporate polluters. The fasters support President Obama’s public support of a 100% auction of those permits, or the enactment of a substantial carbon fee.
Ted Glick, coordinator of this action, expressed concern about the direction of efforts in the House Energy and Commerce Committee to come up with comprehensive energy and climate legislation. “Last week’s hearings in this committee, and important elements of the committee’s draft legislation, are grounds for serious concern. The draft contains huge loopholes for corporate polluters to avoid reducing their carbon emissions by way of problematic and complicated ‘offsets.’ There are also strong indications that half or more of the permits will be given away for free. It is essential that the American people, who strongly support a shift to jobs-producing, clean, renewable energy, flood Capitol Hill with calls, letters, faxes and emails demanding truly strong legislation that eliminates offsets, makes these polluters pay for their pollution and has a real chance of meeting the 25-40% reduction target.”
Those who are planning to fast for 25-40 days include:
Elliott Adams, past national President of Veterans for Peace, formerly a paratrooper in the infantry serving in Viet Nam, Japan, Korea and Alaska. His commitment to ending all war has taken him from testifying before the Congressional Judiciary Committee to being arrested several times.
Kathleen Breault, a 51 year old midwife, mother and grandmother from upstate New York who is fasting because she wants to make a profound statement about the climate crisis which deeply concerns her.
SKCM Curry, a 47 year old social justice historian and activist from South Central Los Angeles, Ca. and a member of the Green Party of the United States. She has seen first hand over the past 20 years of her work, in the USA and in Ghana, West Africa, the very real effects of the lack of legislative action on climate change. She trains on popular education to help people change their social conditions.
Ted Glick, a Bloomfield, N.J. resident, a peace and human rights organizer since the Viet Nam war and a climate organizer since 2004 when he co-founded the Climate Crisis Coalition. He has been arrested several times as part of his climate activism and engaged in a long climate emergency fast in fall, 2007.
Diane Lopez Hughes, a resident of Springfield, Illinois who is chair of the Illinois Sierra Club Environmental Justice Committee and a leader of Pax Christi, USA. She sees her work for peace and justice as intricately woven with issues of environmental justice and the integrity of creation.
Jere Locke, Director of the Texas Climate Emergency Campaign and a father of two sons. As a result of his attendance at the United Nations Climate Conference in Bali, Indonesia in December, 2007 he became very concerned about the future for his two sons and the people of this planet.
Cathy Luna-Desaulnier, from small-town USA also known as Smithville, Tx. She is a 38 year old mother of two and a homemaker. She believes in standing up proud and tall for the right causes and being passionate about it.
Portia Odell, an 18 year old student at the University of Texas in Austin. She is a vegetarian and is fasting to send a strong message to those who do not understand the urgency of greenhouse gas emissions reductions, as well as to prove to herself that this is something that she will commit her entire life to.
Vincent Pawlowski, Tucson, Az., resident and active nationally with the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth. He has been active with Focus the Nation on the University of Arizona campus and is a recent graduate of Prescott College’s Degree Program in Sustainable Community Development.
Diane Wilson, a fourth generation fisherwoman on the Texas Gulf Coast and a leader of Calhoun County Resource Watch. She has been fighting on environmental issues for over twenty years and is the author of “An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Pulluters and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas,” published in 2005.
More information can be found at http://www.fastingforourfuture.org.