Eminent Climate Scientist Dr. James Hansen joins Climate Justice Activists in Nationwide Mobilization in New York

Pro-coal and carbon trading Natural Resources Defense Council and Bank of America among Targets for Demonstrations Inspired by Seattle WTO Protests in 1999.

(Nov. 30, New York) Across the nation and in midtown Manhattan, the climate justice movement came alive. Today marks the 10th anniversary of the successful WTO demonstrations known as the "Showdown in Seattle," and is one week before UN climate negotiations begin in Copenhagen. Hundreds of members of Mobilization for Climate Justice (MCJ) turned out to unleash what environmental economist Charles Komanoff suggests is a "rebirth of the environmental movement based on environmental science and economics -- and not on deal-making with corporate polluters."

Having signed the Yes Men’s Climate Pledge of Resistance ( http://www.beyondtalk.net/), the MCJ members first rallied in front of the Bank of America at Fifth Avenue and 16th Street, where renowned climatologist Dr. James Hansen discussed the Bank's notorious role in financing coal power plants. A marching band then led all in a procession down Fifth Avenue, to the offices of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an organization that collaborates with polluters and climate profiteers of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, or U.S. CAP. (See members here:  http://www.us-cap.org/about/members/index.asp)

In a theatrical parody, the carnival procession of activists chased faux politicians, bureaucrats of corporate-friendly “environmental” organizations, and a grim reaper down Fifth Avenue to expose their true alliances. The procession brought awareness to the gross inadequacy of proposed U.S. climate policy, which is based on carbon trading and the continued use of coal, oil and gas.

A speak-out was held outside the offices of the NRDC, featuring Laura Sheinkopf, a local water defender and advocate for a renewable energy economy, Charles Komanoff, a leading environmental economist and co-director of the Carbon Tax Center and Dr. Hansen.

Mistress of Ceremonies Monica Hunken said, “We are part of a nationwide network of organizations opposed to the climate profiteering behind the Waxman-Markey and Kerry-Boxer climate bills. Proposed U.S. climate policy is a betrayal of the environment and of future generations. Our coalition demands equitable, democratic, and science-based solutions to climate change. We call for an end to hydrocarbon extraction and we reject carbon trading.”

Speaking about the “Blueprint for Legislative Action” published by U.S. CAP and the NRDC, which served as a template for Waxman-Markey and Kerry-Boxer’s “disastrous” climate bills, Dr. James Hansen condemned the NRDC's deal-making as promising environmental devastation. “Cap-and-trade with off-sets would guarantee that we pass climate tipping points, locking in climate disasters for our children. Cap-and-trade benefits only Wall Street and polluters, sacrificing humanity and nature for their profits."

The parade of environmental activists briefly took the street in front of NRDC, unintimidated by dozens of police troops and scooters, trucks cars and vans. A contingent of five environmental advocates sought to meet in the offices of the organization some say is doing more to mislead the public about false solutions to climate change than any other. Police swarmed the lobby of NRDC headquarters and prevented the activists from going upstairs. NRDC representatives did not come outside to address the crowd of nearly 100 critics. There was one arrest of a dedicated activists for allegedly chaining themselves to the front entrance.