The audio from Climate One's event "Fighting Fossil Fuels All the Way to Prison" featuring Tim DeChristopher, Georgia Hirsty and Brendon Steele is now available.
How far would you go to get the message out about climate change? Recently at The Commonwealth Club, Climate One founder Greg Dalton was joined by two guests who put the “active” in “activist,” and a third guest who thinks perhaps you can be more effective with different tactics.
Last summer, Greenpeace’s Georgia Hirsty and twelve other activists suspended themselves off of a Portland bridge on ropes for over 24 hours to protest an oil rig bound for the Arctic. As the ship steamed towards them, Hirsty hailed it by radio, ordering it to stop. There were long moments of tension as the activists waited to see what the captain would do. They ultimately managed to delay the ship for over 40 hours, and create a lot of media attention. Tim DeChristopher, also known as bidder 70, ended up serving 21 months in jail for his act of civil disobedience when he outbid oil companies for oil and gas leases on parcels of land around Arches and Canyonlands National Parks… of course without intention to pay. His story not only made headlines, but has been made into a movie, also titled Bidder 70. And the oil is still in the ground to this day.
Activism as an extreme sport gets headlines, and in some cases, results. But wouldn’t it be more effective to try to change things from within? Greg’s third guest, Brendon Steele, thinks so. He believes working collaboratively on the inside of companies is a better way to influence their behavior than confrontation and villainization. His non-profit, Future 500, works closely with energy corporations to encourage more sustainable business practices, through shareholder engagement and other methods.
- Tim DeChristopher, Founder, Climate Disobedience Center
- Georgia Hirsty, National Warehouse Program Manager, Greenpeace
- Brendon Steele, Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Future 500
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