“Our politicians are turning a blind eye to the protesters and to the native peoples as a new tyranny of oil is taking over our government” – Josh Nodiff ’19
On Friday, September 9, Dragonfly Climate Collective, a local anti-capitalist environmental justice group, organized an action outside of TD Bank on Washington Street to protest the bank’s investment in the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Over 125 people from Wesleyan, Middletown, and greater Connecticut area turned out in response to a call for solidarity actions from the Camp of the Sacred Stones and the Red Warrior Camp, the two camps that have been leading the resistance against the DAPL. The Dragonfly Climate Collective report on the action can be found here.
Join us on Wednesday, November 12 for a discussion about the growing resistance to the Spectra pipelines, and how you can join in defeating the fracked-gas industry and opening the way for a renewable energy future.
FANG (Fighting Against Natural Gas) and BASE (Burrillville Against Spectra Expansion) are two grassroots groups that are organizing resistance to the three proposed expansions to Spectra Energy’s northeast fracked-gas pipeline system.
Date: Wednesday, November 12 – TODAY
Time: 7:00-8:30 PM
Place: 200 Church
Several weeks ago, members of a student group calling themselves Wes, Divest! put together a petition calling on President Roth and the Board of Trustees to divest from fossil fuels. The petition has since amassed more than 250 signatures, many with accompanying messages of support. President Roth hasn’t yet publicly responded. When asked about the possibility of divestment at a WSA meeting in March, he suggested that it was highly unlikely—and argued that Wesleyan’s endowment shouldn’t be a “vehicle for social change.”
As the push for divestment first starts to heat up at Wesleyan (as it already has at Tufts, Amherst, and much of the ‘Cac), we’re presenting a guest perspective by Lauren Steiner ’79, an environmental activist and Wes alum who urges all Wesleyan students to take up the fight now, before it’s too late:
“Plant trees, create recycled art, tour a chestnut orchard, work on an organic garden and much more during Earth Month at Wesleyan!” So reads the first sentence of an article in the latest edition of The Wesleyan Connection emailed to me in April. As an environmental activist who attended the first Earth Day celebration 33 years ago at age 12 and who planned an LA solidarity rally to the D.C. Forward on Climate Rally this past February, I found this quite dismaying. When I was at Wesleyan between 1975 and 1979, when we hadn’t even heard of climate change, we were actively protesting threats to the environment and human health. In 1976 and 1977, activists from Wesleyan joined the Clamshell Alliance protesting the construction of the Seabrook nuclear power plant in New Hampshire. Where is that activism now when environmental threats are so much worse?
Climate Ambassadors, Wesleyan’s hot new climate justice group, is heating up the campus faster than greenhouse gas emissions are heating up the planet:
Climate Ambassadors is hosting a screening of Split Estate followed by a discussion with State RepresentativeMatt Lesser ’07 and Ariana Shapiro, an anti-fracking activist who has organized civil disobedience demonstrations against the natural gas industry in upstate New York.
Come to learn about and discuss the issues of hydro-fracking on a state and national scale, as well as how Wesleyan is complicit in this unjust industry.
Date: Tuesday, April 16 Time: 8:00 p.m. Place: Downey House 113 Facebook:Link
Those who have not attended the minimally publicized meetings regarding the administration’s plans to build a new natural gas power plant on campus—it is time you paid attention.
After the Snowpocalyspe of last October, President Rothmandated that the University strive to reduce the risk of losing schooldays in the event of a similar weather emergency in the future. Some administrators and Physical Plant staff developed a plan to construct a natural gas co-generation power plant near Freeman Athletic Center to supplement a similar plant that Wesleyan built in 2008 on the corner of Williams and High Streets. This new plant, they claim, is necessary to allow us to go into “island mode” and avoid a blackout during the increasinglycommon extreme weather events. For a combination of logistical, budgetary, and moral reasons, I argue otherwise.
First, some background. The plan was set on trajectory behind closed doors, without input of the community or students, until Evan Weber ’13 gleaned through a comment made in passing at a sustainability meeting that this was being proposed. In fact, Wesleyan’s new Sustainability Coordinator, Jen Kleindienst, hadn’t heard of it either until about a week before Weber. By the time Weber organized an emergency organizing meeting, Wesleyan had already hired a firm to site and start designing the plant. As Weber told the Argus, “I want to start a conversation about the power plant with all constituents because students, professors, and other members of the community have been largely left out of the discussion.”
So why not have that discussion now?
There are many problems with the proposed plant, which are laid out in a recent Wespeak written by a few concerned students, including Weber and myself. These are what I believe to be some of the most compelling issues at hand:
In the last couple of weeks, it has come to my attention that the University is moving FAST on plans to build a new natural gas co-generation plant at Freeman to make most of the campus “energy independent.” In the university’s greenhouse gas reports, it has used the installation of the co-gen plant on High Street as a source of significant greenhouse gas reductions. While co-generation is a more efficient technology than traditional power plants (uses excess heat produced by combustion to heat buildings), such a strong capital investment in fossil fuel technology would cripple our community’s ability to move to true energy independence through renewable technologies. This doesn’t even begin to touch on the fact that domestic natural gas is largely extracted in this country through hydraulic fracturing (“hydrofracking” or “fracking”) which poses huge moral questions of environmental justice and may have a larger life-cycle carbon footprint than coal.