The Dernogalizer

December 15, 2010 “We got in it to win”

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 12:36 am
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I think’s recent e-mail reflecting on the closure of the Cancun climate talks is spot on.  It’s reposted below

Dear friends,

It’s not something you hear often when it comes to climate negotiations: “progress has been made.”

At 4AM on Saturday morning in Cancun, delegates emerged from the UN negotiations, all of them sleep-deprived and most of them smiling. They had managed to agree on a foundation for future talks. The agreements that came out of Cancun won’t be enough to get the world back to 350–but they offer a glimpse at a path forward that just might.

The feeling of momentum emerging from Cancun was refreshing: countries rebuilt trust, and wrestled with difficult issues like deforestation and transparency. This trust was in serious doubt after last year’s failed negations in Copenhagen–and even in the final hours of negotiations in Cancun.

These countries will now have to negotiate with the world’s climate–and the physics and chemistry that govern the climate won’t negotiate. In the wake of the modest progress achieved in Cancun, it’s tempting to overlook the fact that delegates mostly avoided the real crux of the negotiations: exactly how much will countries reduce their planet-heating emissions?

In fact, the current pledges contained in the negotiating text are still grossly inadequate, leaving the planet on a crash course with at least 4 degrees Celcius of temperature rise–a terrifying prospect that would put us closer to 750ppm than 350ppm. That’s very far from where we must be, and that gap won’t be fixed by simply waiting until next year’s convention in Durban, South Africa.

To close the gap between scientific necessity and political possibility, we must fight the influence of big polluters on the political process.
At the end of last week, thousands of you spoke up in support of the most vulnerable countries, sending your messages of solidarity from all corners of the planet. Our team in Cancun delivered your messages directly to the delegates, and reminded them just how much the world is counting on them to stand up to big polluters.

By building a public movement around the climate solutions that science and justice demand, we’ve helped keep this process alive when major polluters tried to destroy it. We’ve made the science clear. And thanks to your messages of solidarity, we’ve strengthened the voices of vulnerable nations, who have pledged to keep the fight for bold climate action alive.

In the months and years to come, that will continue to be our fight as well. In the final hours of the talks in Cancun, members of the team were among a group of young people who stood peacefully at the entrance to the negotiating halls and slowly counted upwards towards 21,000, the number of deaths attributed to climate-related disasters in the first 9 months of this year.  After two weeks of abstract negotiations, this event was a poignant reminder of the stakes in this struggle–and of the strength of the bonds of this global network.

There will be those receiving this email who would wish us to condemn the agreements that came out of Cancun — as well as those who might like us to call it a hope-filled victory.

But we didn’t get involved in this movement to condemn or cheer: we got in it to win.

To do that, we’ll have to win our country’s capitols first, and to do that, we’ll have to organize in all the communities where we live. We’ve begun that work, but we still have much more work to do.

We will do it with hope, with passion, and with unwavering determination.  And above all, we will do it together.


May Boeve for the Team

P.S. To get real action from the UN process, its crucial to keep spreading what happens in these conferences out into the world. If this email resonates, please pass along this link to a photo-tour of our experience in Cancun via Facebook and Twitter.




October 11, 2010

TckTckTck “Today we took things into our own hands — lots and lots of hands.”

Filed under: Energy/Climate — Matt Dernoga @ 12:00 am
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Below is a re-post from’s Joshua Wiese on some of the highlights from the 10/10/10 global work party.  Congratulations to for their success!

Today we took things into our own hands — lots and lots of hands.

The message is clear. In the face of gushing oil wells off the coast of the Americas and Africa, disastrous heat waves and floods across Asia, the fastest melting of sea ice ever seen in the Arctic – we have problem and we’re going to fix it. That’s the spirit of today’s Global Work Party, which brought together people around the world at more than 7,300 events in 188 countries to create real climate solutions and inspire leaders to do the same. We’re still gathering stories and photos from the events today–you can see our favourites so far in our photo gallery–but here’s a taste of some of our favourite events of the day:

In North America, over 2000 events were scheduled to take place. Students in New York City painted the roof of their school white to save energy during hot summer days; parishioners it Atlanta weatherized their church; volunteers in Victoria are restoring seagrass meadows for their value in carbon sequestration; in Mexico City, the Mayor signed the 10:10 pledge to cut carbon emissions 10% in the next year.

In Beijing – just one hour south of where UN Climate Talks wrapped yesterday, having made little progress – over 30,000 students from 200 Chinese universities launched the “Great Green Initiative,” the largest grassroots, youth-led environmental campaign in China to date. You can read more about it in this blog post here.

1,600 high school students and community members in Iganga, Uganda came together to install solar panels and plant trees at the local school to promote clean energy and reforestation as solutions to climate change and to urge politicians to pass clean energy policies.

Hundreds of local residents from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, gathered to celebrate the release of endangered African Penguins who were rehabilitated after an oil spill.

7,000 people marched down Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey’s, urging politicians to pass clean energy policies.

Organizers in Irkutsk, Russia, held a day-long workshop on energy savings in a solar powered building as a solution to climate change and to urge politicians to pass clean energy policies. Elsewhere in Russia and Croatia, organizers signed up nearly 10,000 schools to plant trees, and volunteers in Moscow collected tonnes of acorns to plant and replace trees destroyed by this summers’ horrific firestorms.

Volunteers in the Marshall Islands planted native trees in their community to promote reforestation as a solution to climate change and to urge politicians to pass clean energy policies.

We’re not sure exactly how grand the scope of today’s actions will be. There are estimates that by the time the sun sets on 10/10/10 over the Pacific that over 100,000 trees will have been planted, over 100 solar panels installed, and hundreds of homes and buildings weatherized. Cyclists will have ridden over 1,000 miles and citizens will have cleaned up at least 500 miles of coastline.

Greenpeace International Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo said “[Today] is a challenge to our politicians for real climate action, not just talk. Citizens in almost every country are pulling up their sleeves to make the energy revolution a reality. The demand to our political leaders couldn’t be clearer: ‘We are acting on climate, it’s time for politicians to do the same’.”


October 10, 2010

10/10/10 Global Work Party Happening Right Now

Filed under: Energy/Climate — Matt Dernoga @ 2:02 pm
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I’ve participated in an event, here is an e-mail from about today and how you can follow the activities around the globe.

Dear friends,

It’s happening–and it’s even bigger than we thought it would be.

From what we can tell from reports streaming in from East Asia and Australia and New Zealand, 10/10/10 is going to be the biggest day of climate action ever–from one end of the planet to the other, people are already hard at work.

If you haven’t already figured out which event to join, visit the map on our website to find a work party in your community–and be sure to check out the front page of, which has transformed into an amazing showcase of today’s events.

And a last minute request: Make sure that you document whatever you’re doing today. WE NEED PICTURES, and we need them right away so we can post them on our homepage, send them to the media, and deliver them to political leaders.

It’s seriously easy to upload pictures to–just read the instructions in the box on the right side of this email.

This year has been a hard one: political leaders have failed to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis, and we’ve seen one climate-related disaster after another.

But today represents a crucial shift–and we’re gaining momentum for the road ahead.

After today, we can move forward with a new sense of optimism and confidence–not just because President Obama decided to put solar on the White House or because the Mayor of Mexico City announced that his city will cut carbon emissions by 10% this year.

We can be confident because the climate movement is bigger and more beautiful than ever before–and it’s not going away.  Visit today and you’ll see that millions of people, from 188 countries, are united with a common purpose. They may speak differently or look differently or pray differently, but they all care about the same future.

It won’t be easy to get on the path to 350, but we can all keep pushing for the big actions that matter–pushing with the confidence that comes with having a movement standing together.

Thanks for all you’ve done–and all you’ll do in the days, weeks, and months ahead.


Bill McKibben for the whole team at





October 8, 2010

President Nasheed of the Maldives Installs Solar on his House

Filed under: Energy/Climate — Matt Dernoga @ 12:52 am
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This is part of the upcoming 10/10/10 rally is organizing.  Go Nasheed!



October 5, 2010

Obama is going Solar! (and so is California)

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 7:16 pm
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The President continues an impressive green October by announcing solar panels will be placed on the White House to supply part of the electricity, and heat the water.  This is nice symbolic move from the President.  An even better move which won’t get as much PR is the administration’s approval of the first ever solar projects on public lands.  Below is an e-mail from Bill McKibben announcing the good news about the White House.  Bill’s organization has been pushing the Obama Administration to put solar on the White House as part of the 10/10/10 initiative.  Below Bill’s e-mail is the press release from the Department of the Interior on the new solar in California.  Keep it up Obama (more…)

October 1, 2010 Breaks Last Year’s Record

Filed under: Energy/Climate — Matt Dernoga @ 12:11 pm
Tags: , , ,’s 10/10/10 rally has broken it’s record last year, with over 5249 global work parties now scheduled.  Below is an e-mail from founder Bill McKibben with the good news.  Don’t forget to attend one of these events, or make your own.

Dear friends,

Wow. That was fast.

Apologies for sending multiple emails in one day, but I didn’t want to keep the good news to myself.

About 15 minutes minutes ago, Biljana from Serbia registered an event for her local community in Belgrade.  On 10/10/10, at 10:10 AM, they will take 2nd and 4th graders on an “eco field trip” to volunteer at an sustainable farm, participate in green workshops, and do a trash clean-up.  Of course, they’ll be finishing up their event by forming a big “350” for a group photo that they will send into after their event.

Biljana’s event in Serbia was the 5249th event registered for 10/10/10, and it officially broke last year’s record! To give you a sense of just how diverse this day promises to be, I’ve pasted a list of a few event highlights assembled by our grassroots media team just below this email. (more…)

September 30, 2010

Actress Ellen Page for’s Global Work Party on 10/10/10

Filed under: Energy/Climate — Matt Dernoga @ 5:09 pm
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I’m participating on 10/10/10, are you?

September 3, 2010’s Bill McKibben on David Letterman: Put Solar on the White House on 10/10/10

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 7:51 pm
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Famous climate activist and founder of Bill Mckibben was on David Letterman recently, and I absolutely love what he is pushing now with the 10/10/10 global work party.  Just as awesome is what he is suggesting President Obama do on this day.  Put some solar panels on the White House.  Can you imagine the symbolic gesture of Obama standing on the White House and putting the final touches on some solar panels?  That would be incredible symbolism considering the history of solar panels on the White House (Carter put them on it, Reagan took them down…).  Below is the video from McKibben on Letterman.  Come on Obama, Put Solar On It!

October 29, 2009

350 Highlights

Filed under: Climate Change — Matt Dernoga @ 12:24 am
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I highlighted some 350 actions on October 24 a few days ago. has compiled a great video of some highlights from around the world.  Check it out.

October 26, 2009

350 plus Maryland Powershift

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 1:09 pm
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The Diamondback has coverage of the coverage this weekend that took place involving University of Maryland students, along with our regional Maryland Powershift.  I participated in the 350 action at UMD, the 350 march to the White House in DC, and I led a lobby training at Maryland Powershift.  All in all, a great weekend of activism.  Below are excerpts from both events.

A march on Washington. A climb to the top of an Antarctic mountain. A photo shoot outside the McKeldin Library.

An international protest pushing policymakers to cut atmospheric carbon concentrations took on many forms this weekend, as more than 5,200 broke out across 181 countries. But all the events unified around a common theme: the number 350.”

“The 70 students who gathered in front of the library Friday hoped their demonstration would play a part in pressuring lawmakers to take ambitious steps to reduce the earth’s carbon concentration as a global climate summit approaches in December.

“We want to show that Maryland, as a school and campus, cared as a whole,” said Kate Richard, a member of UMD for Clean Energy, who organized the petition. “Our main goal was to get as many people out for the petition as possible, especially since the main events are all this weekend.”

“The protests continued Saturday, the official 350 Day of Action, when about 25 students from UMD for Clean Energy joined hundreds of others for a march on the White House.

Similar events took place in all 50 states, and organizers declared the day of action the largest environmental demonstration ever  recorded.

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network coordinated the Washington protest, where supporters marched from Malcolm X Park to Lafayette Park, stopping outside the White House to form a “circle of hope” in the hopes of persuading President Barack Obama and other U.S. leaders to create an ambitious treaty at the Copenhagen meeting.

“It was inspirational walking down the street because we held up traffic and people were cheering on the side, which was exciting,” Eric Marshall-Main, a member of UMD for Clean Energy, said. “The rain definitely hampered the turnout, but the energy was still huge.”


“Students from schools across the state gathered yesterday at the first-ever Maryland Power Shift, a conference to train, educate and inform student environmental activists.

In the basement of Jimenez Hall, nearly 100 students from high schools and universities, including this one, learned how to lobby as they cooked up plans to pressure the U.S. Senate to pass a climate bill before an international global warming summit meets in Copenhagen in December.”

“Students attended training and break-out sessions where they learned about leadership, lobbying, and running local and national campaigns. Fellow students led some sessions, while others were headed by activists from organizations including the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Avaaz Climate Action Factory and the Sierra Student Coalition.”

“In some of the training sessions, students acted out meetings with legislators. In the break-out sessions, students devised plans of action to combine local and national issues in an effort to build a successful lobbying base for the Senate bill.”

“Many have attributed Obama’s victory to us,” Nazdin said. “Now that he’s in office, it’s time for him to put his money where his mouth is and go to Copenhagen and push for a strong international climate agreement that won’t leave developing countries behind.”

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