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Washington State University Vancouver
The Thin Green Line Is People: Documenting Pacific Northwest Fossil Fuel Resistance

Tool Kit, Road Map, and Community Resource for a Fossil Fuel-Free Future

Forged out of a commitment to preserve the history of the ongoing struggle to keep the Pacific Northwest from being transformed into a toxic fossil fuel transport corridor, this project was Inspired by the courage and commitment of ordinary people speaking out and standing up.

Study, teach, and share tactics and strategies that activists in the Pacific Northwest are using to beat back Big Oil and hold The Thin Green Line between a thriving global future and the dystopian world of the 1973 cult classic Soylent Green.

Major documents in the Pacific Northwest Fossil Fuel Fight for the fate of the planet are right here–or coming soon!

Listen to the voices of Tribal Chairs, Elders and children and learn how Tribal Nations are defending their cultural traditions, ancestral lands, and First Foods from a future of climate collapse. Listen as diverse communities come together to fight off exploding oil trains, tanker collisions, and catastrophic spills.

Hear health professionals speak up about the profound threat that fossil fuels pose to human bodies. Environmental experts speak to the irreparable damage fossil fuels exact on our shared planet. Mayors fight to keep their towns from becoming the next Lac Megantic Quebec.

In 2013 a train carrying crude oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota derailed, exploded into flames, and incinerated much of the downtown core, killing 47 people and countless animals.

This website is for everyone–a resource for people and communities who are already involved in the fight, and for educators in universities–and K-12. Use these documents to teach, design, and share curriculum, and build on, and draw inspiration from the Zinn Education Project and Rethinking Schools, to educate, inspire, and empower new generations of “climate warriors.”

What’s here?  Videotaped testimony, transcripts, and minutes of public hearings, city council meetings and public gatherings archived on the site provide critical insights into the range and breadth of concerns that are informing the Pacific Northwest struggle.

Among the hundreds of thousands of people who have submitted written comments and testified at public hearings from Bellingham, Washington to the Powder River Basin, are:

  • Tribal Chairs and Elders
  • mayors, city commissioners, and representatives
  • port commissioners
  • nurses, physicians, oncologists and experts in public health
  • policy analysts for environmental NGOs
  • union leaders
  • firefighters
  • clergy
  • farmers
  • small business owners
  • poets, writers, journalists and filmmakers
  • professors, teachers, and school children

Learn about anticipated impacts of fossil fuels on salmon spawning grounds, treaty-protected fishing rights, human cognition, prenatal development, and a host of other issues.

Watch activists interviewed by a community-based research team at Washington State University Vancouver as they offer insights into organizing/movement strategies and tactics, and what sustains them in their drive to preserve the beauty and delicate ecosystems that support us all.

The site is modeled in part after the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project at the University of Washington.  The project seeks to add to the existing—and ever-growing body of research—on the unfolding movement that the  Seattle-based Sightline Institute has dubbed “the Thin Green Line.”

Start up funding for the project provided by the Washington State University Vancouver Council on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. We actively welcome your contributions. The fossil fuel fight is ongoing, so if you have items to contribute, such as hearing records, transcripts, or sample curriculum, please email  desiree.hellegers@wsu.edu.

 

View more activist interviews here