The Historic People’s Climate March

On the 100th day of the Trump presidency, the people will gather all across the country to make their voices heard.  In Washington, D.C., they will arrive on buses and trains, with thousands expected to converge on the Mall.  They will start at the Capitol building, move on to surround the gates of the White House, and end near the Washington Monument.

They will send the message, peacefully but loud-and-clear, that the see-no-problem attitude over the greenhouse gases spewing into our atmosphere and making our earth less habitable by the day will no longer be tolerated.

In Los Angeles, I will join thousands more for a march on the Tesoro oil refinery.   Among the speakers will be Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who edited and wrote the powerful introduction to my book, “Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” which is being published this week.

Tesoro is already the largest fossil fuel polluter in California, and now wants to double its storage tank refining capacity by an unprecedented 3.4 million more barrels.  The corporation also plans to switch to high benzene crude oil, endangering the health and safety of residents in the surrounding communities of Wilmington, Carson, and West Long Beach.

Tesoro’s proposed new terminal in Vancouver,Washington would mean bringing in 360,000 barrels a day of Bakken and Tar Sands crude oil by rail, after which it would be shipped to L.A. and other refineries on the West Coast.  This is fracked, highly explosive oil whose extraction spews high quantities of greenhouse gases and then releases toxics into the air, water and land.  Tesoro also intends to connect two other pipelines in North Dakota to the Dakota Access pipeline that endangers the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux.

The nationwide march occurs the same week that Trump has signed two new executive orders.  One could open up large parts of the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans to new oil and gas drilling, overriding Obama’s decision to limit fossil fuel development and combat climate change by NOT including new drilling leases off the California and Alaskan coasts.

The other order requires the Department of Interior to embark on reviewing every national monument that’s been created in the past two decades (under the Antiquities Act), including Utah’s Bear Ears National Monument designated by Obama last December to protect Native American sacred lands and cultural sites from drilling and looting.

A people’s stand has never been more urgent.  A week ago, thousands in 600 cities around the world came together to March for Science – and soon will come an immigrants march and an LGBT pride march in Washington.  Step forward, everyone, and let’s make our voices heard in opposition to the worst assault on our environment and our civil rights in American history.

 Photo credit: Michael O’Brien on Flickr.