Dr. Margaret Flowers and James Lane - co-chairs of the upcoming Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention - have written the following open letter to the climate justice movement, invited it to join the Green Party as it's political home for climate justice work.
After decades of using traditional tools to raise awareness about the climate crisis and negotiate policy changes for effective solutions, you, the climate justice movement, have experienced that the fossil fuel, nuclear energy and other industries, which profit from the status quo, have a stranglehold on our political system. They fund the elections of our legislators, write the legislation and then lobby with seemingly unlimited resources to pass laws in their interest. They promote false science through the corporate media. The failure of the current political system has brought us to a place of crisis with a short time to transform to a clean energy economy and prepare for the sequelae of climate chaos.
The Democratic Party’s “All of the Above” energy strategy is driving more fossil fuel extraction to the detriment of our communities and the planet. Recently, the White House approved 1,500 leases for fracking in the Gulf of Mexico, which still has not recovered from the BP Horizon’s massive oil leak and the spraying of millions of gallons of toxic Corexit. The government is now holding auctions of public lands for oil and gas leases online because of protests.
International agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which are being rammed through by the Obama Administration, will drive greater exports of oil and gas. This means more drilling, fracking, pipelines, compressor stations, etc. New goals for renewable energy and control of methane can best be described as “too little, too late.”
As people who understand the gravity of the climate crisis, which is upon us, you have heroically stepped up your game. In communities across the country, and around the world, front line residents are speaking out and placing their bodies and futures on the line through civil resistance to stop the construction of more fossil fuel and nuclear infrastructure. People are creating solar energy cooperatives and local sustainable food systems, especially in low income communities. When governments and industry hold conferences such as the UN Conference of Parties (COP) meetings, the climate justice movement holds its own conferences to clarify its solutions and demands.
The climate justice movement has realized its power by working outside of and applying pressure on the system. We believe that in this election year and going forward, it is critical that we also develop electoral power outside of the traditional system by building an alternative political party that embraces our values. The Green Party is founded on four pillars: nonviolence, social justice, sustainability and grassroots democracy and Ten Key Values, one of which is ecological wisdom.
We invite you to consider the Green Party as a political home for the climate justice movement. We are grassroots activists who work on many issues of economic, racial and environmental justice and peace. We welcome your participation in leadership roles and as candidates for office. We have more than 150 candidates this year running at all levels of government.
As honorary co-chairs of the Presidential Nominating Convention, we encourage you to join us for the Annual Meeting and PNC this August 4th-7th in Houston. We will meet with Greens from other countries, hold workshops, show our talents at open mic night and celebrate when our presidential nominee is confirmed.
The Green Party has been quietly building electoral infrastructure for twenty years across the nation. We hope that you will consider joining us to build our political power together for the changes we so desperately need.
Margaret Flowers and James Lane
Honorary Co-chairs of the 2016 Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention