Photo by Jenna Pope of First Nations Leaders at the 2013 Forward On Climate Rally

Detroit and America Are Ready for the Green New Deal

Every year in the U.S., upwards of $52 billion in tax dollars are getting burned-up on corporate welfare for fossil fuel companies under the veil of subsidies. Why is our government giving billions to billionaires while enabling this carbon-based addiction, when it could be  jumpstarting the 21st century localized green economy and moving us closer to a just and stable future?

Human Impact InstituteThink of what we could accomplish if that $52 billion per year was redirected into revolving grants and loan programs dedicated to supporting community-driven solutions to the climate crisis! This Green New Deal could transcend inequality by replacing antiquated and exploitative top-down models with creative, sustainable programs from the grassroots-up.

gvcs-all-50Imagine communities collaborating and sharing information across borders and lines of maxresdefaultdifference  through programs like the Open Source Ecology Project to build millions of local, cooperatively owned wind turbines from recycled materials. Envision retooling our underutilized and dormant factories in Michigan and across the country to manufacture solar panels and Solar Roads using 3D printing technology.  We could replace aging coal powered infrastructure with distributed energy grids owned and operated by the people, and implement scalable carbon reducing organic farming innovations to bring farming jobs back home. As a climate mitigation strategy, the Green New Deal could champion the financing and hiring of a million young people, veterans, and formerly incarcerated citizens alongside an army of volunteers to reforest our public parks with vibrant ecosystems and food forests.

These common sense solutions will only happen if you use your voice and vote alongside the masses to demand that our government shift its priorities towards sustainable, resilient work that benefits everyone. It’s time to seize the moment and put tens of millions of people back to work building the foundation for America’s future.

Check out Oil Change International to learn more about the fight to end fossil fuel subsidies!

Join the CATS for 2 amazing events in one night!

Water is life celebration for World Water Day

1619190_253911248115583_783584318_nFriday 3/21 -4:30pm-5:45pm -23 E. Adams road Det. Central United Methodist Church  -3rd Floor)

D-CATS is hosting this informal and fun event. We are inviting folks to bring a poem, song, prayer, or just their presence to share with the group.  We will also open up the space for folks to share their vision for how we can better steward this living giving system in MI. Light refreshments will be served. Free and Open to the Public.

Exploring the Age of Extraction through Art: Beehive Collective Comes to Detroit

beehiveFriday 3/21 at the 5E Gallery Space(4605 Cass Ave Det.) at the Cass Commons-6:00pm-8:00pm-The Beehive Artist Collective Comes to Detroit! Click here for more info about this Free & public Event! This event is being organized by the amazing folks at Detroit Youth Energy Squad! The Beehive collective is an all-volunteer swarm of educators, artists, and activists using images to communicate and educate about the complex realities of our times. A number of you may have met them when they were in Detroit for the US Social forum – we are thrilled to have them with us again!


Originally posted by the D-Cats on March 20th 


Draw the Line, Resistance against tar sands and dirty energy

By Jarret Schlaff
November 2013

The Detroit Coalition Against Tar Sands, Ann Arbor 350 Local, Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands, and others from across MI, protested in front of the Marathon tar sands refinery where they formed a human chain, delivering the people’s demands.  PHOTO/DAYMONJHARTLEY.COM

The Detroit Coalition Against Tar Sands, Ann Arbor 350 Local, Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands, and others from across MI, protested in front of the Marathon tar sands refinery where they formed a human chain, delivering the people’s demands.

(Re-blogged) Originally published in the November issue of the People’s Tribune.

DETROIT, MI- Folks from across Michigan came together on September 21st in Southwest Detroit to peacefully form a human line of resistance against tar sands and dirty energy. This gathering took place on the International Day of Peace and was part of the National Day of Action against tar sands called “Draw the Line” that was spearheaded by Actions were organized locally by various groups in over 200 places across the US and in Detroit we came together in front of the Marathon Tar Sands refinery.

We drew the line because if we want our children and grandchildren to grow up on a planet with a stable climate, biodiversity, breathable air and drinkable water, we need to quickly cure our addiction to dirty energy and transition towards clean universally accessible energy for all. It’s our duty as human beings to not stand idle as exploitative economic systems fueled by dirty energy benefit some of the world’s largest corporations at the expense of marginalized communities, from indigenous people in Alberta, Canada to schoolchildren in Southwest Detroit. It’s unacceptable that Marathon’s bottom line created the 3rd most polluted zip code in the country while turning surrounding neighborhoods into sacrifice zones for the sake of corporate profit.

Scientific consensus states that there is 5x more carbon stored in proven oil, coal, and natural gas reserves than our atmosphere can handle if we are going to avoid catastrophic climate change in the coming decades. Keeping this stuff in the ground gets interesting when those reserves are valued at 27 trillion dollars and the fossil fuel corporations will do everything they can to hold onto their power. The fossil fuel resistance is challenging that money and power with people power and truth. These destructive forms of energy have no place in our future and we will not let the greed of a few wreck the future for us all.

There is much work to be done, and some of the systems in place can aid us in this peaceful {r}evolution. The US patent office for instance could release the 5,000 sequestered patents it’s holding, that include energy innovations that could make localized universal energy a reality. We are willing to fight for a new a way of living, which works in harmony with natural systems, does not disproportionately impact people of color and low-income people, and does not force individuals to choose between a paycheck and a job that harms human health and natural ecosystems. Over 15,000 young people from across the US will converge in Pittsburgh this October for the Power Shift conference to discuss how we can amplify the movement to address the climate crises and win back the right to our future. The movement is growing by the day and is being led by young people across the globe ready to transition beyond this materialistic, market-dominated society focused solely on the pursuit of profit, towards one aligned with community resilience, racial and social justice, and preserving climate stability and biodiversity.

Jarret Schlaff is a volunteer at the Detroit Coalition Against Tar Sands (D-Cats)

Representative Democracy & The Government Shutdown

Google national parksFor anyone that uses Google today you’ll see that they are commemorating the 123rd anniversary of Yosemite National Park. Ironically and I think intentionally, this highlights the sorry fact that for anyone wanting to visit one of the over 400 national parks and museums today, they are all closed today and will be as long as this self-imposed gov. shut-down continues. Same goes for our food inspections, the EPA will shut down almost entirely, and 800,000 federal “non-essential” employees will get sent home without pay. The reason? Because we don’t have a separation of corporation and state in our government and a few radicals in the house and senate are doing the bidding of big business. Our “representatives” give billions in tax breaks each year to big oil as they cut funding for food programs and after school programs for kids. “Our representatives” decide that it’s ok to be the only country in the developed world to not to label GMO foods because it’s bad for business. “Our representatives” attack programs that help people afford to be able to go to their doctor(Obama Care) so we can maximize profits for the pharmaceutical and private healthcare companies.

Members of congress are letting ideology and their obstructionist agenda that boils down to, “let’s oppose everything the black president is in favor of” get in the way of them actually representing the people they were elected to serve. The systems that allows unlimited funding to get dumped into our political process and election cycle(Citizens United) results in manipulative fear mongering media that results in the majority of people being duped into voting for politicians and measures that will never actually represent their interests. This is one example of what “we the people” get when we get lulled asleep by our comforts and let what we see on TV dictate how we think, what we care about, and who we allow to represent our interests.

What happened to service? What happened to democracy and a gov. of the people, by the people, for the people? It’s going to take a lot more people making the conscious choice to think for themselves and turning to one another instead of turning on the TV, if we are going to fix the systemic issues plaguing our country and planet.


The Petcoke Blows Almost as Much as Those Profiting Off It

An Update from D-CATS on How We Are Rising Above Marthon, the Koch Brother’s, and their Dirty Petcoke Habit

O7318096During the Land Use Hearing on Petcoke today I heard a concerned resident say, “This all seems like a bad movie.  How the heck can they be so apologetically  honest with what they’re doing and still get away with this?” My internal monologue answer, the system is rigged to put profit above all else and it will take we the people standing up together to those that people, industries, and institutions that profit off using our back yards and climate as a dumping ground. It is everyone’s job to do what they can to fight for the people to ensure the people and planet are put before the profit margins of dirty energy companies.

We heard the community’s concerns and the voice of the people elevated higher than the noise from big business today because people came together from many different arena’s to offer their voice and speak up for the people who are being treated by big business as a sacrifice zone.  There was a powerful community presence today at the Detroit Bulk Storage (DBS) Land Use Hearing called to discuss whether or not Petcoke should be allowed to be dumped any longer at the Transflo Terminal, located on Rosa Parks and Jefferson on the Detroit River. Dozens of folks spoke and everyone but 1 person(who was a self proclaimed oil and gas man) spoke out against Detroit Bulk Storage’s plan to store 125,000 to 140,000 tons of petcoke per month(18,000 produced by Marathon a day).

Click Here to read more

1000180_599176316783162_1653400027_nThese combined events aim to bring together everyone who believes it’s time to move beyond the exploitative dirty energy systems of the past to clean energy and local solutions for our future. We need folks and organizations who can lend their vision and expertise from leading the way for decades, as well as first time marchers and activists. We want this event to be open to all! Lets co-create  a diverse group of organizations and individuals working for social change from the grassroots level.

62664_625093520837688_1082058614_nWhether your work is to fight for access to clean air, challenge the system from a policy perspective, or protecting the water and communities affected by petcoke, all voices should be represented and heard at the table. This event aims to bring together people from all backgrounds to raise our collective voice to call for a new way. A transformation and revolution of our values like the one Dr. King called for — to value people and planet over profit and things.  Come join us!!


On June 23 & 24 please join PEOPLE AGAINST PETCOKE
as we hold a march, rally, and action from the afternoon to the following morning. Event link: |

Sunday June 23 starts from the stage at center of Clark Park at 3:00pm. A march to the petroleum coke piles near Rosa Parks & Fort St will be held. Dust masks to be provided. Not recommended for pre-teen youth. An overnight vigil will be held, rising to action from 9-11am Monday. People’s Press Conference at 10am.

Email DCATS at for more info

You May Also Sign Up for the Event with Food & Water Watch Here

Costume & Sign-making Party May 21 from 5-8pm
BEE busy … we’re putting together a presentation!


Actions around the world are being organized in protest of Monsanto. You can see hundreds of activities through these websites:

MONSANTO is the world’s largest developer of Genetically Engineered crops and Genetically Modified Organisms. Their heavy handed reign of our food industry has put the world at its knees and sadly many people still don’t know who this corporate behemoth is.

Have you ever eaten food that you found didn’t have the taste you remember from the past… it is just kind of bland, yet the food LOOKS good, actually VERY GOOD LOOKING. But it is empty of flavor, and nutrients as well. Monsanto has developed crops that grow fast, event when the herbicide ROUNDUP is sprayed on them. Yes – these specially modified seeds can grow even when poisoned!

Many of these crops if left to bear seed result in sterile seeds, known in the industry as terminator technology. This forces the grower to buy new seeds each season rather than work in a traditional manner that would have one season’s crops create the seed for the next. Thousands of thousands of farmers who followed traditional methods were convinced to buy into Monsanto’s seeds unwittingly destroying their farmlands, and economy for planting from season to season. Biotech Cotton in India in 2005 was blamed for what has been termed the “Seeds of Suicide”, claiming thousands of lives of frustrated, bankrupt farmers.

There are many sources of information about Monsanto, which will be post on the wall and added as links at the bottom of this event description. We encourage the community to share information with each other!

News Bits
March 27 2013 – ‘Monsanto Protection Act’: 5 Terrifying Things To Know About The HR 933 Provision

3 Minute Video on Why We March:

The World According to Monsanto



Planit4Planet and 55 others from the Detroit area were proud to be part of the Largest Climate Rally in History

We were among 50,000 other folks from across North America who selflessly braved the cold to show up, speak up, and help move the conversation forward on climate and so much more, during the largest climate rally in history in DC on February 17th. This is a defining moment in time and we were so thankful to spend the last few days with so many brilliant spirits. Our bus from Detroit was packed with positive energy, great people, and even better conversations. We all departed the bus with much more than just stiff necks and memories.  As Bill McKibben wrote, “Today was the day. Finally, powerfully, decisively — the movement to stop climate change has come together.”

Planit4Planet was proud to be among the 168 partner organizations who made this rally possible.  We spent weeks planning, promoting, and tirelessly organizing across SE Michigan for this rally and could not have been happier with the turnout.  We could not have done this without the generous support of Sierra Club, Environmental Action, and all the individual donors who supported our ticket scholarships. You were instrumental in making Detroit represented at the rally.


So much energy and promise. We have a long way to go but the wind just started blowing in our direction. Onward we go.

Pictures from the February 17th, 2013 Forward on Climate Rally can be seen here!

Detroit Stands with the Tar Sands Blockade

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