Youth and elders unite to protect climate and stop Exxon

On September 24, we rallied and marched as part of the Global Climate Strike and Fridays for Future. Locally we are determined to protect the climate and public health and safety by stopping ExxonMobil’s dangerous plan to restart three offshore oil platforms by trucking out the oil at a rate of 70 trucks a day, every day, day and night.

Community members already beginning to gather in front of the Santa Barbara County Administration Building cheered as the first group of students arrived to swell the ranks.

Many thanks to the youth who attended the climate rally and march! And thanks to the young activists from UCSB’s Environmental Affairs Board, Sunrise Movement Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara Community Action Network who spoke so eloquently about the urgency of responding to the climate emergency, and how that means stopping all new fossil fuel projects.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the President of the United States have all spoken of recent and current disasters, like the massive fires in California, as a “CODE RED for humanity.” The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that no new fossil fuel sources should be developed if we hope to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and limit global average temperature rise to less than 2ºC. Yet ExxonMobil continues with business as usual, and has no shame at spreading climate change disinformation and buying off politicians.

Industry talking points include the trope that we need local oil, that we need oil to run our civilization because there is no realistic alternative. What we need is local solar and wind. Fortunately, some suns showed up to point out that “Solar Power is Cheaper and Cleaner” than oil at this moment in history – the economics of oil no longer make sense.

The need to stop oil companies like Exxon was underscored by the day itself. It dawned gray and smoky – a reminder that California is suffering from the effects of climate change: ever-increasing fires, drought and heat. The smoke came from the Windy Fire as far away as the Southern Sierra. From InciWeb (9/25/2021):

The Windy Fire is approximately 71,349 acres (8,647-acre increase from the Friday evening acreage estimate) and 5 percent contained. The lighting-caused fire was detected on September 9 and is burning in the Tule River Indian Reservation and the Sequoia National Forest, including the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The fire has affected several giant-sequoia groves, including Peyrone, Red Hill, Cunningham, and Long Meadow Grove, where the Trail of 100 Giants is located.

The climate march took place under a red sun – all too familiar to Santa Barbarans who have sadly experienced so many days under an oppressive fire sky.

We must respond to the climate emergency and stop Exxon.