December 1, 2015
Mark Schlosberg, Food & Water Watch
While the recent tragic events in Paris leave uncertain exactly how public participation around the upcoming climate talks will occur, it is clear is that the growing movement to ban fracking, keep fossil fuels in the ground, and move to a 100% renewables will bring this message in no uncertain terms to our elected leaders in Paris. We are at a critical point in our planet’s history, and there is no time for half measures or anything less than bold action if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
The difference between the rhetoric and actions from our elected leaders and the climate reality is startling. Fueled by oil and gas industry campaign dollars, leading Republican elected officials continue to deny the overwhelming scientific consensus that our earth is rapidly warming as a result of human activities. President Obama has acknowledged the real threat of climate change – and taken some action such as the recent decision on Keystone XL pipeline – but throughout his administration he has championed and presided over a massive expansion of oil and gas production in the US, fueled largely by fracking.
California Governor Jerry Brown has talked extensively about the need to take action on climate and signed a number of deals with other governors and mayors from countries around the world, yet his abysmal record on oil and gas tells a very different story. Under his watch, California has purposefully increased oil production, oil and gas waste fluid has been injected knowingly into clear aquifers in a time of drought, oil and gas waste has been used to irrigate the crops and communities continue to be harmed by this polluting industry. Not only has Governor Brown turned the other cheek to these issues, he has consistently defended the California oil industry against environmental concerns.
When we go to Paris, we will attend conferences, speak on panels and monitor negotiations, but we will also be holding the U.S. leaders in Paris accountable. We will make the case loud and clear: To make real progress against climate change, fossil fuels need to be left in the ground. And our elected officials cannot be considered leaders in the fight for the survival of our planet, while they push the fracking and other extreme extraction methods that keep us hook on these dangerous and outdated fuels.
We need to move quickly to a 100% renewable energy future and fracking has no place in it. President Obama, Governor Brown and other elected officials should match their actions to the climate reality, stop carrying water for the fossil fuel energy and show real leadership by banning fracking and taking action to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
See all the pictures from Paris here.