From: Ricken Patel - Avaaz.org [mailto:avaaz@avaaz.org]
Sent: Wednesday, 23 December 2009 6:16 AM
To: cbel@notjustwords.com.au
Subject: Someone's drinking champagne in Copenhagen...

 

Dear friends,

The polluting industry lobby stopped a real deal at Copenhagen, and now they're trying to silence the rising climate movement by suing youth activists. They've raised $750,000 for their intimidation effort -- if 20,000 of us give just a small amount each, we'll show them their tactics backfired, and show politicians that people-power can defeat polluters. Click below to chip in:


Click to Give A Small Amount

Leaders disappointed the entire world in Copenhagen last weekend. But one group was cracking open the champagne - the polluting industry lobbyists who pushed our politicians to failure. The polluters have only one worry now: us.

Recently a few youth climate activists (funded by Avaaz online donations!) dared to challenge the most powerful polluter lobbyist group, the US Chamber of Commerce, by helping to stage a humorous satirical press conference announcing the Chamber had decided to help fight climate change.

The polluter lobby?s response? A huge lawsuit suing these young activists for potentially enormous amounts of money. Experts say a response like this is extremely rare. It appears designed to send a chilling message to our movement and silence all who would speak out.

Let's send a message back. The Chamber has raised $750,000 from US corporations to help launch this attack ? If 20,000 of us give just a small amount each to our effort to stand up for climate activists and stop the polluter lobby, we?ll raise more than them - showing their intimidation backfired! Let?s show the polluter lobby that we can?t be silenced, and show politicians that the future belongs to people, not polluters:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/people_vs_polluters

Copenhagen failed primarily because big polluters US and China wanted a weak agreement. President Obama was heavily constrained by a US Congress that has been captured by lobbyists. The Chamber is a front group for the largest corporations in the polluting lobby, including oil and coal companies like Exxon Mobil. They were major backers of President George W Bush, and have spent hundreds of millions of dollars blocking Obama's attempts at change. The Chamber claims to represent US businesses, but even many large corporations (like Apple, Nike and Microsoft) have opposed its pro-polluter positions on climate change.?

While people were out in force in Copenhagen, polluter lobbyists worked in the shadows, their voices loud only in our politicians' ears. To get the climate deal we need, we have to expose their influence, stand up to their intimidation tactics, and?send a signal to others that the time has come, once and for all, to stand up to the villains holding our planet hostage:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/people_vs_polluters

In our journey together as the Avaaz community, we've taken on dictators in Burma and Zimbabwe, promise-breaking politicians in Europe and North America, and the forces of extremism in the Middle East. But the Chamber is in some ways the most powerful and dangerous opponent we've faced. Some have advised Avaaz to stay quiet about this, to protect our own organization. But with danger comes opportunity, and if people power can defeat even the most powerful corporate lobby in the world, we'll send a much broader message, that a new world, the one we all seek, is on its way.?

With hope,?

Ricken, Ben, Iain, Alice, Graziela, Luis, Paul, Taren, Sam, Pascal, Benjamin, Paula, Milena and the whole Avaaz team

PS - here are some links for more information:

New York Times -- "Way behind the curve" - the NYT savages the Chamber's position on climate change:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/opinion/30wed3.html

Washington Post -- "The U.S. chamber vs honesty" - the Post is scathing about the Chamber's tactics:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/26/AR2009102602714.html

Huffington Post -- "PGE Quits US Chamber of Commerce" - about large corporations leaving the Chamber because of its climate stance:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brendan-demelle/pge-quits-us-chamber-of-c_b_295424.html

Common Dreams - covering the satirical press conference about the Chamber:
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/10/19-9

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