This Thursday, November 16th, at 4:30 PM (although some may arrive as early as 3:30PM) as many of us as possible will take a stand against API, the American Petroleum Institute.  It is having its annual conference Thursday-Sunday, but we all plan to protest on its first day, Thursday, at 4:30 PM.

API is one of 500 members of the Atlas Network, a network of think tanks propagating free market and conservative causes, which typically places them as strong ideological opponents of all movements working to protect the planet.  The American Petroleum Institute is one of its members.  It is paid basically to lie to Americans about climate change, since it represents the economic interests of a few people who will benefit financially from keeping fossil fuels going for as long as possible, while jeopardizing our future.  The API and the wider Atlas Network will tend to oppose environmentalists, painting them in the media as “Nazis” and otherwise opponents of “freedom.”  It is really surreal to imagine these otherwise educated people mulling around their hotel actually believing such clap-trap.

In reality they do not believe in freedoms at all.  They are a shady group of business people willing to sacrifice American rights, expressed poetically in our  Declaration of Independence, as “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” by insisting on continued dependence upon fossil fuels which will cause droughts, water and food supply shortages, floods, toxic smoke from worsening forest fires, and other delightful horrors. This is the freedom that they wish to enjoy while drastically curtailing and abolishing the freedoms of their fellow Americans. Therefore, their idea of freedom is really just a catchword for the freedom of the few to generate profits for whatever time we have left from unsavory means while citizens around the world are desperately trying to secure a green economy.  The freedoms of this small gang are at the expense of whatever freedoms most Americans and planetary citizens will have lost after all the damage they will have wrought our natural world.

We don’t know how many of us will turn up this Thursday, but please take a stand, and tell as many people as you can to turn up.  The members of the API who are coming for their annual conference will probably hear the shouts we will utter outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel as so many annoying flies buzzing outside their window, something relatively easy to tolerate.  They will treat our cries for a livable future as the small price they must bear for leading lives based on greed.  I’m sure many are good Christians who don’t even see a contradiction between the teachings they profess to live by, and the wasteland they are turning our planet into.

However many of us turn up will be standing there to inspire others around Chicago and the country to put survival and the quality of life ahead of the short-term financial interests of a few criminals, as of course they will be seen as as our natural world continues to degrade.  These are people who care nothing about their fellow Americans, or either the people or other living creatures living elsewhere.

The address of the protest will be:


Hyatt Regency Hotel 2233 South Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago , IL 60616 US


We hope that as many of you as possible will turn up just to take a stand, even if you have no signs or banners, to make it clear that a rising tide exists in this country, as it does in others, toward prioritizing our future and that of other species, if we are going to have one at all.  Such a future will depend on transcending fossil fuel.  That may not be the only change required to establish a more sustainable future, but a highly significant one.  We certainly invite you all to study, research, and imagine, ways of living that will bring us into a more harmonious alignment with the natural world of which we are a part. 

However, API, more than almost any other big-business think-tank, will not be working, as it morally should, to transform the fossil fuel industry from an agent of death to one  that will support the energy needs of the future.  Instead, it seems its members’ only stance right now is to let that gas flow to the last drop so its clients can keep getting rich, able to buy exotic mansions and luxury yachts in what beautiful places the world may still offer, while starvation, drought, toxicity, floods, mass immigration, global political instability, ravages around the rest of us (and them too, as there will be no escape).  The API is not made up of people with courage, these are frightened, confused, and cowardly Americans working like good slaves to market their fossil fuel clients and keep them rich for as long as possible before the house of cards falls forever, which they know it sooner or later will.

Click here for more information on the location and time of the API protest

See you all there!

Extinction Rebellion Chicago





trick-or-treat from xr chicago!


In the last Voices post we referenced the Atlas Network, a group representing hundreds of propaganda vehicles that exist to contradict the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change.  One such group is the American Petroleum Institute which has its convention in Chicago from the 13th to 17th of November when we and other environmentalists plan to protest in some fashion or other – dates and actions are still being worked on at this time).  News has emerged with regards to such corporate propagandists that the city of Pittsburgh has hired lobbyists with a vested, economic, interest in lying to the public about the dangers posed by said climate change.

Apparently, while the city has done a great job of divesting its pension funds from climate change-contributing energy companies, the city’s school district has hired lobbyists to possibly trickle a little climate denialism into education (which of course is the perfect recipe for fueling the high school climate change movement in Ohio). Furthermore, the University of Pittsburgh continues to hire two lobbying groups, Allegheny Strategy Partners and Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, who represent the big twenty-one energy companies, to produce its propaganda, even though, ironies of ironies, “new research from the University of Pittsburgh found that children living near shale gas activities in Southwest Pennsylvania had a higher risk of developing lymphoma.” However, even such conservation groups as Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Pittsburgh Foundation have hired the same lobbyists, as have such Pittsburgh cultural organizations as Carnegie Institute, the Frick Art & Historical Center, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. You can read more about this here:

Pittsburgh institutions go to bed with the oil industry

Meanwhile, more and more students around the country are asking their universities to divest from fossil fuel companies. Pennsylvania State University, Pomona College, Tufts University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, and Washington University in St. Louis are among those to have added their campaigns to an already expanding list of student-led actions. You may read the complete list here:

Growing list of universities students are asking to divest from fossil fuel

Human-caused climate change is trick-or-treating with the farmers this year by either flooding their pumpkin farms some months, or causing them serious droughts in others, both of which have cut the normal pumpkin supply by half. This may become an increasingly serious problem affecting our food supply as the years advance (p.s., the lobbyists we have mentioned earlier eat too, don’t they?).

Temperatures play treat-or-treat with the pumpkin farmers

The aforementioned hundreds of think-tanks, institutes, and lobbyists paid to lie to the public about the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change, one of which, the American Petroleum Industry, we hope to protest in some capacity in a few weeks in Chicago (sometime during the 13th – 17th, more details to follow) have obviously failed to prevent the media from informing us that this year is, once again, the hottest on record:

Temperatures continue to soar while oil lobbyists swoon singing Killing Them Softly With Our Song

Again, Extinction Rebellion and other environmental groups urge us all to transform our culture in every way we can to establish a more sustainable society.  Everybody on the planet must act now! That is the sticky chocolate we offer you this evening.


Extinction Rebellion Chicago





Chicagoans urged to give petroleum association convention a reception as warm as the climate it's causing

Chicagoans urged to give oily convention a reception as warm as the climate it’s causing


From November 13 to the 17th, the American Petroleum Institute is holding a conference at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.  According to Wiki, it represents nearly 600 companies involved in the production of petroleum.

It is a climate denial organization, and one that works to block climate legislation because, you know, profits must be made no matter if the planet is going down the tubes.

The recent 2023 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urges policy makers to reduce energy reliance upon coal, gas and petroleum, because “continued greenhouse gas emissions will lead to increasing global warming, with the best estimate of reaching 1.5°C in the near term in considered scenarios and modeled pathways. Every increment of global warming will intensify multiple and concurrent hazards (high confidence).”

Latest IPCC report

The American Petroleum Institute exists to promote the interests of the gas and oil industry.  According to its website, it works to ““influence public policy in support of a strong, viable U.S. oil and natural gas industry.”

According to the website which “was founded in January 2006 to clear the PR pollution that is clouding the science and solutions to climate change… quickly becoming the world’s number one source for accurate, fact-based information regarding global warming misinformation campaigns,” (which in plain English means it tries to oppose the findings of the consensus among scientists on climate change), “API has funded organizations that oppose regulations aimed at combating global warming including the Cato Institute and Citizens for a Sound Economy.”  Don’t ask what they tell their children what they do for a living.

In short, API is much like the tobacco industry lying about all it knew about the cancer epidemic it was causing for decades, however you just replace tobacco with climate change – well, the forests are really smoking these days.  The Cato Institute, incidentally, is one of the close to 500 think tanks of the Atlas Network ( which is likely behind every misinformation campaign opposing climate change activists, environmental activists, indigenous activists, and not just opposing them, but also trying to get such activists criminalized.  For more on such anti-democratic campaigns, and more on the Atlas Network, read this:

 How criminalization is being used to silence climate activists across the world

Climate change activists, environmentalists, and citizens in general, are going to need to prepare themselves by familiarizing themselves with these dangerous movements attempting to violate democratic rights to organization and free speech when fighting for the living world, getting to know their topsy-turvy language, their thinking, and their enormous influence on the media and political arena.  Many may not even believe what they write; they are paid professionals working to make the oil industry as attractively dressed up as possible; even when they try to hide its smell, we can’t help but smell the dollars which this is all ultimately about.

They will stop at nothing to oppose the democratic rights of people to stand up for the integrity of living systems, calling them Nazis (these people obviously have great respect for our grandparents or parents who sacrificed themselves to protect the world from fascism), and people opposed to freedom.  Of course, they do stand for freedom, the freedom to make profits at the expense of people and nature, even when such exploitation leads to increasingly violent storms, droughts, forest fires, pollution from fires that threaten respiratory functioning, flooding, mass species extinctions, deforestation.  So remember the freedoms they will be arguing for, and claiming you are opposing, these are so-called freedoms to have their way with impunity with the planet so that a few may live out their lives on luxury yachts.  So do we believe their clap-trap about freedom?  Uh….

So this is what we must remind ourselves of when the American Petroleum Institute gathers November 13-17 in our fair city.  We hope you will all be there in large numbers to give them the welcome they deserve.

Read more about the protest here and don’t forget to sign the petition!

Read more on Opposing The API Conference and Sign The Petition




Students from 50 High Schools Oppose the Censorship of Climate Change in their Curriculum

“We are Prepared to do Whatever it Takes”

“We are Prepared to do Whatever it Takes”


50 High School Students Oppose the Removal of Climate Change from their Curriculum

Last week students from 50 high schools protested the censorship of climate change in their curriculum, which conservatives are deeming a political subject not worthy of academic inclusion, despite the potentially catastrophic future it offers them. These students were proposing a Green New Deal for Schools.


Not all, but more, Republicans believe that climate change is a scam, although of the four recent GOP debate candidates, one sidestepped the issue completely, one accepted that climate change was real but that the United States was not a significant contributor, and one outright stated it was a hoax. However, the question was asked by a young conservative, suggesting that among more and more youth of any persuasion, climate change is viewed as both a significant threat and a major political priority.


There is, in fact, a more than 99% consensus that climate change is human-caused in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.



Many right-wing ideologues have been able to find lone scientists who stand against the consensus. However, in science, it is the consensus that matters. According to the wiki entry on scientific consensus “it is the generally held judgment, position, and opinion of the majority or the super majority of scientists in a particular field of study at any particular time. Consensus is achieved through scholarly communication at conferences, the publication process, replication of reproducible results by others, scholarly debate and peer review.” Therefore, trotting out for political purposes a scientist who does not accept the consensus is meaningless and an insult to the academics in their field.

We live in an era in which not just lone scientists with unconventional views are exploited (by both left-wing and right-wing ideologues), but in which political and cultural figures who are not themselves scientists can utter falsehoods about scientific facts in the media to prop up their political positions, which defies the five core principles of ethical journalism (public accountability, impartiality and fairness, humanity, truthfulness and accuracy, and objectivity).

They and the general population will also in selected cases turn to conclusions that seem in their view to best support their political ideologies, known as the confirmation bias. Such realities are troubling in a world in which anti-vaccine conspiracy thinking can cost millions of lives, and climate change denial billions. These individuals may not necessarily challenge science in general, but will when the topics seem to them more laden with political implications.




Climate change activists and movements are going to have to find other ways than spouting facts alone to effectively convince others of our need for a more sustainable society, such as by focusing on stories that everyone agrees with, and that can wrench others on a deep emotional level, such as how the crises will devastate economics, the richness and stability of nature, the quality of family life including the fate of our children, profound spiritual questions such as humans meddling so destructively with God’s plan (at least, for the religious among us), and confront our city dwellers about the choices they make and their effects, questions that will rile even the most doggedly individualist of Americans.

Which brings us back to the courageous and inspiring choices being made by more and more young people, such as the high school students protesting their curriculum, and the high school and college students who organized and led the recent Chicago climate change protest on September 15th. Using that quote in the title from a 17-year-old in the recent school protest, we are all urged to follow their example and support them, which is also supporting our own demand for a more sustainable future, to do whatever that might take.