Newsletter- Dec 4, 2014


Thought the Keystone XL pipeline was dead? Think again. Then get active!


Table of Contents

Emergency protest rally to stop the Keystone XL pipeline – Dec 13

Keystone XL Nonviolent Direct Action Training – Jan 3

Springfield Climate Justice Coalition: Update and Next Steps-December 11

Divest UMass Alumni Board of Trustees Meeting – Dec 10

Sign the postcard to tell Gov Patrick to ban tar sands oil

Pipeline opponents crash close Franklin County Chamber of Commerce meeting

Rolling March of Words

Pipeline Resolution for Amherst

Rudy Perkins: ‘Given the options, lets not get burned by natural gas’

Solidarity moment

Article of the Week

Culture Corner

Get Connected with 350MA

Climate Action To-Do List

Emergency Protest Rally to Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline!

keystone xl protest  amherst

When: Saturday, December 13, 12 noon to 2 PM
Where: Old Northampton Court House, Main St. at King St.

Please join us in front of the old Northampton Courthouse on the corner of Main and King Streets for an emergency rally to urge Washington leaders – Congress, State Department and the President – to block the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline. There will be street theater and educational leafleting! This event launches a series of local actions focused on stopping Keystone XL, including nonviolent direct action in  2015 in concert with the national Pledge of Resistance (signed by 97,000 American people).

The Keystone XL MUST BE STOPPED. It would be a disaster for the climate, for the states through which it will run and for the land and native peoples of Alberta, Canada from which the tar sands are mined.For more information or to help us build for the rally, contact Marty Nathan at


If you want to help to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline, put January 3 in your calendar!

That is the day we will gather to prepare for our Keystone Pipeline Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA). We’ll do the Action in Springfield at the TD Bank sometime between mid-January and March. It will be timed so it happens the same day 97,000 others take action – as part of the national Keystone Pledge of Resistance.

WHO SHOULD COME: Everyone who wants to participate in the Action– either by blocking TD Bank or supporting those who do. 

LOCATION: Springfield. We’re working to get the site now.

HOW TO GET UPDATES: We’ve created a Google Group so that we can easily update the list of interested people. We’ll be using this Group to send updates on local actions tied to the national Keystone Pledge of Resistance. If you’d like to be on the Google Group, please email Dave Roitman at (Please note, that’s droitman1, not droitman.) Also let Dave know if you can help make phone calls to connect with other folks who want to participate. PS: We’ll also have a Facebook page soon.

Read some of the background info for this action here.

Springfield Climate Justice Coalition: Update and Next Steps

Our sustained grassroots efforts have led to the Springfield City Council supporting a Climate Action Plan for Springfield but this is only the first step  

Please join us on Thursday, December 11th at 6 PM.

 We will gather in the Meeting Room at Chestnut Towers, 70 Harrison Avenue in Springfield 

The focus is on joining together to keep our growroots movement growing as we strategize how to let Mayor Sarno know that we expect him to fund  and implement the Climate Action Plan Resolution.  We will continue our outreach efforts so that the plan reflects what the community of Springfield wants to see included.

For more information and/or carpooling please contact Susan Theberge at

Together we can help Springfield become healthier, safer, offer more and greener jobs, and become a leader in the struggle for climate justice. Read more here.

UMass Divestment Trustee Action

Students at UMass Amherst have worked tirelessly for over a year to divest the five-college endowment from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies.The UMass Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign has been invited by the Board of Trustees to speak at their upcoming meeting. We will highlight the importance of climate justice and the University’s responsibility to divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in projects and funds that do not perpetuate racism, classism, sexism and other systems of oppression.

The trustees will not be voting on divestment at the meeting and have not committed to taking action. We are therefore trying to get as many students, faculty, alumni and community members to attend the meeting as possible to demonstrate support for our cause. We are asking people to wear all black to show they support divestment. 

UMass belongs to all of us! It’s time to lead UMass to become the first public university in the Northeast to divest from dirty energy. Join us as we pack the room on December 10 to send a powerful message to the board of trustees and other decision-makers, in preparation for an upcoming season of supercharged campus/community organizing. For more information, contact Varshini Prakash,

WHAT: University of Massachusetts Trustee Action
WHEN: Wed, December 10, 8:30 AM
WHERE: Since the location has not been released we will gather in the UMass Amherst Student Union Building at 8:30 a.m. 

Did you attend UMASS? We’re also trying to get alumni to send a letter or call the trustees to show their support for divestment. You can use this template for the letter and this template for the call script. If you are able to call or write to the trustees, or if you know any other alumni who would be willing to do that, we think that would also help our campaign leading up to the meeting.

Sign the Postcard & Tell Governor Patrick: Ban Tar Sands Oil!


If the Keystone XL pipeline goes forward, there will be major consequences for Massachusetts: tar sands could make up nearly 18% of our liquid fuel supply by 2020.

Pressuring the President is no longer enough. Despite the millions who have spoken out, Big Oil is still calling the shots in Washington, and we can’t trust our national leaders to do the right thing.

Sign the postcard here and forward it to five friends!

Pipeline opponents crash closed Franklin County Chamber of Commerce meeting

GREENFIELD—Four opponents of the proposed Kinder Morgan Tennessee Natural Gas pipeline crashed a closed Franklin County Chamber of Commerce meeting Tuesday to deliver an anti pipeline message days after the chamber voted to accept Texas corporation Kinder Morgan in to its membership.

Chamber officials told the opponents to leave the meeting. “If you want us to leave,” Nestel said, “call the police and have them arrest us.”

Read the rest here.

franklin county protest

Photo by Hattie Nestel




Rolling March of Words Ready to Launch!

March of Words Letter Writing – The Rolling March of Words is a weekly gathering every Sunday in December. The intent is for residents of the towns to write letters to legislators to urge their upholding of Article 97 and to oppose any new natural gas pipelines in MA

Turn off the lights – Set up a “Pledge Sheet” at the library, community centers, churches, schools, etc… Residents can sign to pledge to turn out the lights Sundays from 6:00-9:00. Include names and phone numbers so pledges can be contacted and reminded. And turn out your own lights!

Gather – Select a host site, (a community building, church,temple or other gathering place). Compose letters. Personal stories and hand written letters work best. Encourage people to try to write ten letters each. Celebrate and have fun, share food and drink, stores and songs.

Count – Tally the numbers of letters written and to whom. Count the numbers of households with lights out.

Read the rest of the details here, and you can use these sample letters to state legislators and federal congress members


We Need a Resolution from Amherst Opposing the Kinder-Morgan Fracked Gas  Pipeline!

Please join a new working group focused on getting a resolution passed in Amherst. Please contact Rudy Perkins if you can lend a hand. We would love to hear your comments and feedback so please read the Amherst draft resolution here.

All about Drafting local laws and resolutions


Rudy Perkins: Given renewable energy options, let’s not get burned by natural gas

The Gazette
Nov 28, 2014

An over-reliance on natural gas in our region could subject us to greater energy price volatility, divert resources needed to ramp up energy efficiency and renewable energy and set back efforts to hold the line on climate change.

Our region already depends heavily on natural gas for its electricity generation and home heating. If certain pipeline and utility advocates have their way, this over-reliance on gas would only increase. Read more here

Solidarity Moment…from the Catalyst Project

In the wake of Mike Brown’s killing, a powerful and inspiring Black-led movement has erupted. Many white people are looking for places to get involved and want to take accountable action to end police violence and anti-Black racism. Let’s make the most of this movement moment to talk to the people around us, and engage them in conversation and actions around Ferguson. We take inspiration and leadership from Black people fighting for their dignity and freedom, and for those of us who are white, it is our responsibility to support other white people to join the fight against racism. Click here for 5 ways to get involved from the Catalyst Project.

Article of the Week

Are We Missing the Big Picture on Climate Change?

Rebecca Solnit, NY Times
Dec 2, 2014

‘To grasp climate change, you have to think in terms of species and their future. To know how things have already changed, you have to remember how they used to be, and so you may not notice birds disappearing from the skies, or hotter weather or more extreme storms and forest fires. You need to look past the sparrow and see the whole system that allows — or allowed — the birds to flourish. The swallows, the chinook salmon, desert tortoises, manatees, moose and us. Addressing climate means fixing the way we produce energy. But maybe it also means addressing the problems with the way we produce stories.’ Read the rest here.

Get Connected!

Just can’t get enough climate news and events? Climate Action Now is part of a wonderful statewide organization, 350 Massachusetts, that puts out a fantastic weekly newsletter of their own. The newsletter covers all sorts of great campaigns from all over the state. Click here to sign up!

Culture Corner

Earthcare Concert

magpie music

Two of the finest musicians around creating music that relates to the challenges facing our planet are coming to Amherst Friday night. Many of their CDs (“Living Planet”, “Circle of Life”, “Seed on the Prairie”) are heavily focused on earthcare and climate issues. Don’t miss this. They’re terrific!  They’re songs will fill you with new inspiration & strength to carry forward our important work to reverse the destruction being waged against our planet.

When: Friday, Dec. 5, 7:30pm
Where: Pioneer Valley Cohousing Community, 120 Pulpit Hill Rd., North Amherst

$10- $20 donation at the door

 This week’s Climate Action To-Do List

1. Join the Google Group to receive updates on local actions tied to the national Keystone Pledge of Resistance. If you’d like to be on the Google Group, please email Dave Roitman at

3. Comment on the pipeline proposal docket at FERC (learn how). FERC has the final say in permitting pipelines and assigns docket numbers to each proposal. Anyone can comment. (Northeast Energy Direct is #PF14-22, Connecticut Expansion is #CP14-529)

4. Check out our monthly Featured Climate Actions, to get great ideas for actions you can take on the personal, community, and national/gobal level to combat climate change. Courtesy of the Climate Action Group of the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence.

Can you take two minutes to help us make the newsletter better?

We love feedback! Thanks so much to those who filled the survey out. We would love to hear from everyone so this newsletter can better meet the needs of our growing climate movement. Can you take this super quick survey to give us your feedback? Thanks! We look forward to reading your responses.

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Climate Action Now is a local, volunteer, grassroots Western Massachusetts organization, and also functions as the regional node of the statewide organization 350 Massachusetts.