By Micah Parkin –

I’m here today to express the support of 350 Colorado and 350 Boulder County for this lawsuit and our communities’ commitment to do our part to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

It is critical at this point in history that we all do everything we can to transition as rapidly as possible off fossil fuels to clean renewable energy in order to preserve a climate capable of supporting life as we know it.

My family moved to Colorado a decade ago from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in an effort to find a region less vulnerable to climate impacts only to find ourselves on evacuation notice in the middle of Boulder 2 years later for the state’s worst wildfire at the time – it’s been surpassed by 4 even worse wildfires since. Then in 2013 our communities suffered through one of the worst flood events in Colorado’s history that destroyed many homes and lives.

Serious impacts are already clearly being felt here and in many places around the world, and unfortunately there is a lot more warming in the pipeline.

What is most disturbing is the information that has emerged in recent years exposing how Exxon had researchers studying climate change as far back as the 1970s, but instead of heading the warnings of their researchers and warning the world, they hid the facts and funded disinformation campaigns to confuse the public and delay action.

Compelling scientific consensus on the dangers of fossil fuel burning contributing to the overheating of our planet has been known for decades, and yet corporations like Exxon and Suncor have lobbied against climate change action and pollution reduction so they could maximize profits at society’s expense. Suncor has in fact proceeded to extract and process two of the most polluting forms of oil on Earth – tar sands oil and fracked oil.

Future generations and those least responsible for causing climate change will bear the brunt of the impacts. We need to shift the costs back to these companies that have profited off their demands for unabated pollution in the face of global climate destabilization.

As they have historically, rather than owning up and taking responsibility, we can likely count on the fossil fuel industry to pay for expensive PR campaigns in an attempt to counter spin and cast doubt on this lawsuit, just as they’ve tried to cast doubt on climate change for decades.

So please stay informed, remain vigilant and publicly call out these spin tactics when you see them. It’s time to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for the damage and delays in climate action they’ve caused, and to transition to a fossil free future.

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