Activists Challenge TD Bank on Keystone XL Investments
On Saturday activists from Climate First! entered, in succession and without incident, two TD Bank branches in Washington, DC, attempting to initiate discussions with the bank about its investments in the Keystone XL pipeline.
The action was taken one day after a TD Bank press release was issued—later discovered to be a clever prank by the environmental group, Tar Sands Blockade. The fake press release announced that the bank intended to sell all of its shares in TransCanada, the company seeking to build the pipeline in the U.S., due to the stock’s financial risk, as well as the beating that the bank’s “green” reputation has been receiving. Activists were surprised that neither bank manager showed any reluctance to speak with them.
Ted Conwell and Brian Higgins of Climate First! conversed with both employees, asking why TD Bank had invested in carbon intensive fuels that many experts say could lead to climate instability if they all were burned for energy. Predictably, both managers responded that they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the bank regarding such matters, but would provide contact information for individuals who could respond. Climate First! will attempt to contact these individuals early this week in an effort to further the discussion.
By Jake Johnson
Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.
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Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.
"It's easy to feel dwarfed in the context of such a global systemic issue," says psychologist Renée Lertzman.
She says that when people experience these feelings, they often shut down and push information away. So to encourage climate action, she advises not bombarding people with frightening facts.
"When we lead with information, we are actually unwittingly walking right into a situation that is set up to undermine our efforts," she says.
She says if you want to engage people on the topic, take a compassionate approach. Ask people what they know and want to learn. Then have a conversation.
This conversational approach may seem at odds with the urgency of the issue, but Lertzman says it can get results faster.
"When we take a compassion-based approach, we are actively disarming defenses so that people are actually more willing and able to respond and engage quicker," she says. "And we don't have time right now to mess around, and so I do actually come to this topic with a sense of urgency… We do not have time to not take this approach."
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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