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Pushing Biden on Climate Change 'Code Red'


Climate change protesters challenge Biden to declare a "Climate Emergency" Photo by Ray Bailey.

President Biden famously said that the world faces a "Code Red" climate crisis and has pledged to make fighting that crisis a top priority of his administration. But is he matching his actions with his words?


Our guest on The Lean to the Left Podcast is Karen Igou, an organizer of a week-long protest over the Christmas holiday called OccupyBiden. It was a 24/7 outdoors Climate Justice Occupation within a mile of President Biden’s house in Wilmington, DE.


I found it interesting that such a demonstration would be held targeting Biden, especially considering the harm done by his predecessor, Donald Trump, with his actions that were rooted in the denial of climate change. After all, Biden has been working to reverse many of those actions.


However, many climate activists believe there is more rhetoric than action coming out of the Biden administration, and so some 200 demonstrators from 10 states participated in the OccupyBiden event. Not only do they say there is more talk than action when it comes to taking action to counteract the forces of climate change, they contend that some of Biden's actions actually have been harmful.


That includes reopening of oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico, an action that Igou contends was "unnecessary" and "purely political." The action flies in the face of Biden's climate agenda, as he has promised to slash greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. Environmental advocates say it could set U.S. climate goals back for years.


"Our demands are that he declare a climate emergency and that his administration grant no new permits for fossil fuel projects," Igou says, noting that even the fossil-friendly International Energy Agency has said this is absolutely necessary to avoid catastrophe.


The group's goal was to present Biden with a letter setting forth those demands and giving him a January 31 deadline to meet them, but the Secret Service guarding the Biden's home would not accept the letter. So, it was read aloud. Marchers then led a single-file line to the security barricade to each leave a flower, intending to appeal to the humanity of the officers and the President. Some chose to take a knee and moment of silence to communicate their message.


Occupy Biden participants say the movement will continue until their demands are met. They have built a strong coalition of concerned citizens and organizations and if their demands are not met by 1/31/22, a larger and more organized event will be planned.


"We are not OK with politics as usual running things," Igou says. "It's not working. We are going in the wrong direction. At least we’re trying to address our crisis. We’re trying to wake people up. We’re trying to get the voices of the people unified to take care of our one and only planet. Our own president has said that we are in a Code Red existential crisis."


She adds, "It’s madness. It’s lunacy to destroy the very part of the ecosystem that make it work. No other species has ever done what we’re doing, which is destroying our own home. We’re literally committing ecocide and it’s madness."


Igou dedicates her life, and her business, a farm-to-table grocery called Honeybee Kitchen and Market, to fighting the climate crisis. On the podcast, she suggests many ways that you can also get involved to save Mother Earth.


Organizations participating in the OccupyBiden event included:

  • 2021 Grandparents Walk for their Grandchildren and Mother Earth

  • Beyond Extreme Energy

  • Build Back Fossil Free

  • Extinction Rebellion DE, Philly, Richmond VA and NYC

  • Sunrise DE and Baltimore

  • Fridays for Future DE

  • Working Families Party

  • Honeybee Kitchen and Market

  • Democratic Socialists of America

  • Climate Mobilization

  • Philly Water Protectors

  • Seeds of Peace Catering

  • Marcellus Outreach Butler (PA) aka MOB

  • The Green Party of Butler and Venango Counties

  • Code Pink

  • Peace, Justice, Sustainability NOW!

  • YES Youth Environmental Summit

Listen to the interview:




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