Hello fellow climate activists,
As 2019 ends and a new decade begins, I am so grateful as I reflect on all that we have accomplished together over the past 10 years of action to return our atmosphere to 350ppm and protect life as we know it on our only planet. And yet, I’m also aware of how much we must still do over the next decade if we are to succeed. Time is short, so our pace must quicken, and our resolve and willingness to sacrifice must increase commensurate with the crisis at hand.
The movement is growing. This year, Greta Thunberg and all of the other incredible youth activists here in Colorado and around the globe, Sunrise Movement, Extinction Rebellion and determined individuals inspired not only hope, but action. Over 4 million people participated in 4,500 strikes in 150 countries during the September Climate Strike Action Week alone. There were climate emergency declarations in 1,261 jurisdictions and local governments representing 798 million citizens. The concept of a Green New Deal was introduced by a new, young Latinx Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and it gained rapid traction and has become a rallying convergence point for simultaneously addressing cross-sectional issues including the climate crisis, regenerative agriculture, healthcare, fair wages, and a just transition for workers and impacted communities, which too often are low-income communities of color. People are beginning to realize that we are most powerful when we stand united, and that we can and must address the root causes of the imbalances of power and injustices that harm many for the benefit of the few.
In Colorado, we had our share of the action too. Hundreds of people attended our Climate Lobby Days, and years of work demanding action and encouraging climate champions resulted in legislation to address fracking, limit greenhouse gas emissions, support a just transition for coal workers, and more. Over 10,000 Coloradans participated in Climate Strike Action week. Our members spent hundreds of hours testifying at local and state hearings to demand action to protect our communities from fracking, for a rapid just transition off fossil fuels to a clean renewable energy future, and to move public funds out of fossil fuels. And so much more! (If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out our inspirational year-end video here with many of the highlights!)
We’ve reached a long-awaited threshold time for the transition to renewable energy. Renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels, as demonstrated by power bids Xcel Energy received where even solar + battery bids were cheaper than fossil fuel bids. Fossil free portfolios now frequently outperform those with fossil baggage, as shown clearly in a report we co-commissioned this past fall that demonstrated that PERA lost $1.7 BILLION due to fossil fuel investments over the last decade! Fracking companies have still never had even 1 year of positive cash flow in aggregate, and investors are finally beginning to catch on, limiting the funds needed to continue their reckless, toxic boom.
However, the few profiting off the fossil-fueled status quo are wealthy, powerful and won’t yield to change easily. So we must continue to build the movement to demand a just transition to a clean renewably powered future. Research shows that it only takes 3.5% of people actively involved in a nonviolent movement to create societal change (voting with that as a top issue, talking with family and friends, and taking personal action). In Colorado, with 5.6M people, 3.5% is just under 200,000 people. In polls, over 70% of Coloradans express worry over climate change. So together, and with our numerous partner organizations, we will convert that concern into action.
I’m deeply grateful for all of your continued contributions of time, money and energy to 350 Colorado during our end-of-year fundraising campaign and year-round, which makes our work possible. Every dollar donated helps level the playing field with the fossil fuel industry and greatly increases our potential impact on solving the climate crisis.
Thanks to everyone’s incredibly generous giving and matching funds from our host committee and Patagonia, we more than doubled our year-end fundraising goal, raising over $140,000! We are so grateful for your support, allowing us to step up our activism in 2020 in line with the urgency of the crisis. Your donation will make it possible to:
- Increase our power by adding staff organizer time to lead campaigns and build grassroots teams ready to tackle the crisis.
- Organize a mass mobilization focused on divestment from fossil fuels and support youth actions during Earth Week in April.
- Lead trainings across the state to build knowledge and skills for grassroots leadership and organizing non-violent direct action.
- Rally hours of testimony, letters, petitions, and meetings with state legislators and agencies and hold two Climate Lobby Days to support policy at scale with the climate crisis.
- Support our local teams with supplies needed to organize including banners, brochures, trainings, event space and more.
- And so much more!
With just 10 years left to make the majority of the renewable energy transition necessary to solve this crisis, we are committed to keep growing, mobilizing and showing up for climate justice. Thank you so much for your support, and we hope to see you at an upcoming event. Check out our calendar here!
Until We Win!
350 Colorado Executive Director Micah Parkin