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Climate Strike set for Battle Mountain High School

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September 19, 2019, 12:09 pm
Coal mining in Wyoming (Wiki commons).
Coal mining in Wyoming (Wiki commons).

At 11:32 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 20, some students at Vail’s Battle Mountain High School will participate in a nationwide “Climate Strike” to call for immediate federal and state action on the growing climate-change crisis. Here are more details from a recent BMHS email:

Hello BMHS Community,

We wanted to give you details of the upcoming, student-led Climate Strike at BMHS this Friday: 

  •  An international “Climate Strike” is happening this Friday, Sep 20.
  •  BMHS Environmental Club is organizing a peaceful strike/walkout at BMHS.
  •  The strike/walkout will occur at 11:32 a.m. on Friday and last approximately 25 minutes. Students will gather at the front of the school. Administration and Sheriff’s Office will be on site to make sure the venue is safe. Students should return to class or lunch immediately after when finished.
  •  BMHS staff will be expected to mark students accordingly as an “Absent” or as “Walk Out” if either of these occur.
  •  If possible, teachers should not plan “can’t miss” activities or assessments and should provide opportunities for students to make up what they’ve missed.
  •  Any student who participates will not be penalized by any athletic practice or competition repercussions.
  •  The protest/strike is not organized by BMHS and is completely optional to participate or not participate. Staff should not say anything similar to, “We are all going out for the climate strike now”.  Everyone is free to make their own decisions regarding their participation.

Thanks, Battle Mountain High School

It’s great to see high school kids finally snapping out of their screen-induced comas and realizing it’s up to them to fix what their parents have so badly broken – from our environment to our democracy to our basic security (or absolute lack thereof due to the NRA) in public places.

Now follow this action up by registering to vote the moment you turn 18 and then actually vote (if you can) in the 2019 election and even more importantly the 2020 election. Statewide issues include supporting Colorado’s inclusion in the National Popular Vote movement – meaning if enough states adopt NPV, we would go to an actual one-person, one-vote election model.

The current Electoral College system has given us two presidents in the last 18 years (George W. Bush and Donald Trump) who did not win the popular vote. Both advanced the agenda of the heavily federally subsidized fossil fuel industry and basically poured gas on the climate crisis.

Bush invaded Iraq based on bogus intelligence and furthered destabilized the Middle East to the tune of trillions of dollars in blood and capital that could have gone toward combating climate change. And now Trump has us on the verge of a war with Iran – again, over oil – after pulling out of a nuclear deal with that country and also pulling America out of the Paris Climate Accord.

Yes, listen to Greta Thunberg, but also listen to Democrats asking you to come out for them in huge numbers in 2020. Don’t throw your vote away on obscure Green Party or other candidates with no hope of winning. Consider the consequences of Trump being re-elected.

Here’s a warning I issued in 2016 prior to Trump’s stunning election. The damage he’s done to our environment since then is incalculable. Democrats not only need to win back the White House and the Senate, they also need to pack the court with at least two more Supreme Court justices to make up for the one that Republicans stole from former President Barack Obama and the one who at the very least has proven to be a complete scumbag in high school and college.

Here’s that 2016 RealVail.com post:

So if you’re a millennial voter either dead-set against or on the fence about voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton for president, you probably won’t read this because it’s being posted on an old-school blog. But hopefully someone can fill you in on how throwing your vote away on a third-party candidate can lead to 15 years of undeclared war and cost a precious decade in the fight against global climate change.

I’m talking, of course, about the 2000 presidential election, when a few hundred votes in Florida, squandered on well-intentioned Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, cost Democrat Al Gore the presidency. Republican George W. Bush claimed the White House and disastrously convinced Congress, including Clinton, that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

That monstrous intelligence failure led to an invasion of Iraq that destabilized the entire Middle East, propelled Iran to prominence in the region and created Isis in the power vacuum after President Barack Obama honored the Bush administration deal to pull out of Iraq. Clinton has admitted her mistake in supporting the invasion. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump won’t admit he backed the invasion even though he’s on tape with Howard Stern in 2002 saying, “Yeah, I guess so; I wish the first time it was done correctly.”

But the biggest lie Trump told Monday night during the first presidential debate was that he never said climate change is a Chinese hoax. He did say it even if now he’s trying to write it off as a joke, and he continues to call climate science a hoax benefiting the Chinese, a nation he claims does nothing to combat global warming.

Actually, Obama has struck a deal with China, which is shutting down coal mines and coal-fired power plants and rapidly becoming a renewable-energy leader. Both China and the U.S. support the Paris climate change accords, and Trump has said he’ll scrap those accords his first day in office.

If you’re a millennial voter and you’re still reading this, please closely consider that critical set of facts before you throw your vote away on Green Party candidate Jill Stein or Libertarian Gary Johnson, who knows so little about the Middle East that he couldn’t correctly identify Syria’s second largest city, Aleppo.

If Gore, whose groundbreaking 2006 climate-change film “An Inconvenient Truth” won two Academy Awards, had been elected instead of Bush in 2000, one can imagine that a national renewable energy standard and a carbon tax would have been put in place 10 years ago or even earlier. Instead, Gore lost by a few hundred votes in Florida, where Nader collected 90,000 votes.

Remember that Bush and his vice president, Dick Cheney, had deep ties with Haliburton and other oil and gas companies with a direct interest in spreading the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. In fact, in 2005 the Bush administration successfully exempted fracking from the Clean Water Act. That would not have happened on Gore’s watch, but it did because of the Green Party, and that can’t be allowed to happen again.

I get the frustration with the corporate-shill Democrats, many of whom have allowed rampant abuses in the banking industry and even backed fracking and the coal industry. But the Republicans controlling both houses of Congress and the White House would be way worse.

The GOP has in its party platform that it wants to sell off publicly owned federal lands for energy extraction. It would be an enormous environmental disaster if third-party Bernie Backers cost Clinton the White House.

Lastly, think about Trump picking the next Supreme Court justice, who will likely be the deciding factor in whether Obama’s Clean Power Plan is ultimately adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

And if none of that moves you to vote for Clinton, consider that Trump has openly stated he will revisit libel laws and clamp down on media critical of his administration. This may be one of the last anti-Trump blogs I’m allowed to write if millennials don’t get off the sidelines and help advance Obama’s climate agenda by electing Clinton.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is an award-winning freelance reporter based in the Vail Valley of Colorado, writing on health care, immigration, politics, the environment, energy, public lands, outdoor recreation and sports. His work has appeared in 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Colorado Independent, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the London Daily Mirror, the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, Atlantic Media's RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail and Westword (Denver). Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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