350.org Top 11 from 2011
2011 was an incredible year for the climate movement. Scroll down to check out the our Top 11 highlights from 2011, and use the box on the right to make a donation to sustain this work.
1. We stopped the pipeline.
After an epic campaign, the incredible coalition fighting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has emerged victorious. The pipeline—the fuse to "the largest carbon bomb on the planet"—has been delayed and effectively killed. And good thing too: NASA's top climate scientist James Hansen has said that burning the oil locked in Canada's tar sands would mean "game over for the climate." While no environmental victory is permanent, it currently looks like the Keystone XL pipeline is dead—and we're working every possible angle to make sure it stays that way.
2. We moved the planet.
2000 events. 175 countries. A single day to move the planet beyond fossil fuels. Moving Planet was 350.org's third global day of climate action, and it brought massive numbers of people into the streets to call for a different kind of world—one that runs on renewable energy and people power, not on fossil fuels.
3. We trained a new generation of climate leaders.
Latvia, Ethiopia, Ukraine, South Africa, Brazil, India, Fiji, Egypt, the Marshall Islands, Kenya, Nigeria, the United States, and Vietnam—in 2011, we ran climate leadership workshops in each one of these countries. All together, over 350 rising leaders across the globe are now trained, empowered, and fired up to build this movement.
4. We stood with a hero—and then followed his lead.
Tim DeChristopher's courageous act to peacefully interrupt an immoral (and as it turned out, illegal) land auction for oil and gas drillers was an inspiration to us this year. It helped set the tone for 2011—the year when the climate movement got bold. Over a thousand of us put our bodies on the line in DC this August, and got arrested outside of the White House to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. It felt great--and we're only going to get bolder in 2012.
Many thanks, Tim, for the inspiration (you can thank Tim yourself here).
5. We stood with the 99%.
No one saw it coming, but in September the global Occupy movement burst onto the scene and changed everything. 350.org was proud to stand in solidarity with "The 99%"—we sent people to join in, helped lead teach-ins, and built bridges to help create a powerful, connected movement that stands for economic justice, a safe planet, and people power.
6.We occupied the airwaves and the UN Climate Talks
As the UN Climate Talks heated up in Durban, South Africa, 350’s distributed network of activists launched “Radio Wave”—a campaign to spread the climate-themed hip-hop song “People Power.” We helped bring that excitement to the streets, and in the last moment of the talks, our small delegation led hundreds of people to literally occupy the UN climate conference—standing up to protect the survival of Africa and Small Island Nations. The talks were a grave disappointment, but together we stopped the worst outcome: a delay on the agreement of a treaty until 2020. The results of the talks were still completely inadquate, but the grassroots movement around them showed signs of real hope and courage.
7. We reached outside the choir
We don't do this work for the media attention, but we know that breaking into the mainstream can help us build a stronger movement, educate more people, and make bigger change. That's why we were thrilled to see the movement featured on the front pages of the New York Times, the BBC, The Huffington Post, Google News, and on and on.
8. We connected the dots.
The weather got positively weird in 2011. We are already starting to see the tragic and terrifying impacts of the climate crisis—floods, wildfires, droughts, and on and on. For better or worse, these tragedies are teachable moments. In 2012 we'll scale up our efforts to spread the scientific truth and connect the dots between extreme weather and the climate crisis.
9. We went local.
350.org has always kept a focus on the global nature of the climate crisis—but this year we ramped up our efforts for local and national solutions. This year, we helped run and WIN local campaigns for climate action. We joined efforts to create a clean energy utility (in Boulder, Colorado), helped stop fracking (in the Delaware River Basin), called out politicians who take dirty money (in Boston, MA), and put a price on carbon (go Australia!). Look out for big things to come in 2012 to help us launch thousands of local climate campaigns.
10. We shifted the power.
Young people have always been absolutely crucial to this work—it’s their future that’s on the line, and it’s their fierce will for change that fuels this movement. So of course 350 joined with youth groups all over the world to support "Power Shift" conferences to train, empower, and inspire young people to become climate leaders. In the USA, we joined the Energy Action Coalition to support Power Shift USA—the biggest youth organizer training in history in Washington, DC. Bill McKibben gave a keynote speech that sent ricochets of urgency through the globe with tens of thousands of views on YouTube.
11. We laid the groundwork to go big.
It was a year of transformational change for our network at 350.org. We merged with 1Sky, a US-based partner group, to build a more powerful US climate movement together. We expanded our global staff to include young people working everywhere from Brooklyn to Brazil to Burundi. And we joined forces with our friends Tar Sands Action to launch the "350 Actions Team" which will take on bold, hard-hitting campaigns in the year ahead. In short, 350.org became bigger, stronger, and more united—and we can't wait to keep making it count in 2012.