Friday, February 24, 2012

Tim DeChristopher is Still in Jail

I can only imagine how many bitter minutes must creep slowly by for someone who has been wrongly incarcerated.  Anyone who cares about the future of our planet should take just a few of their precious minutes of freedom to remember the tremendous sacrifice he made to protest blatantly illegal corporate pillaging of Nature.  Tim has made another legal appeal to shorten his sentence.  If that fails, he will remain in custody for another entire year.  It was a great honor for me to be in the audience when he addressed the Pricing Carbon Conference in November, 2011, where I took this photo.

Following is a part of his statement to the Court upon sentencing...the entire text can be found here.  Tim is one of the most astute, and powerful speakers I have ever heard.  Tim articulates the need for a complete system change if anything substantive is to be done to save us from ECOpocalypse, which is why he is such a threat to the corporatocracy, and why they made an example of him - to deter others from emulating his courage.

"...As a native of West Virginia, I have seen from a young age that the exploitation of fossil fuels has always gone hand in hand with the exploitation of local people. In West Virginia, we’ve been extracting coal longer than anyone else. And after 150 years of making other people rich, West Virginia is almost dead last among the states in per capita income, education rates and life expectancy. And it’s not an anomaly. The areas with the richest fossil fuel resources, whether coal in West Virginia and Kentucky, or oil in Louisiana and Mississippi, are the areas with the lowest standards of living. In part, this is a necessity of the industry. The only way to convince someone to blow up their backyard or poison their water is to make sure they are so desperate that they have no other option."

"But it is also the nature of the economic model. Since fossil fuels are a limited resources, whoever controls access to that resource in the beginning gets to set all the terms. They set the terms for their workers, for the local communities, and apparently even for the regulatory agencies. A renewable energy economy is a threat to that model. Since no one can control access to the sun or the wind, the wealth is more likely to flow to whoever does the work of harnessing that energy, and therefore to create a more distributed economic system, which leads to a more distributed political system. It threatens the profits of the handful of corporations for whom the current system works, but our question is which segment of the public are you tasked with protecting. I am here today because I have chosen to protect the people locked out of the system over the profits of the corporations running the system. I say this not because I want your mercy, but because I want you to join me."

Please write to him!  He also likes getting photos so he can see who is writing.  Be sure to put a complete return address or he will not be able to receive your letter.

Tim DeChristopher #16156-081
Federal Correctional Institution
PO Box 800
Herlong, CA 96113

You can stay updated at Peaceful Uprising, and donate to his legal defense here.


  1. "Every wave on the ocean that has ever risen up and refused to lay back down has been dashed on the shore, but it is the very purpose of a wave to rise up, because once it rises up above the horizon it finally has the perspective to see that it’s not just a wave, that it’s a part of a mighty ocean. And the sharpest rock on the wildest shore can never break that ocean apart, they can never wear that ocean down, because it’s the ocean that shapes the shore."

    Tim DeChristopher

  2. Ha, nice, Dion.

    I am going to write him a letter right now.

  3. I'm going to write to Tim also.

  4. For West Virginia now read south Wales 30 years ago. Where I live, Swansea, was at the very heart of the beginning of the industrial revolution with it's rich mineral resources and proximity to the sea.
    Once all the resources and profits had been taken by the coal, copper and iron lords the local population was left with massive pollution to clean up.
    The trees were all felled, the waterways poisoned, the once-rich valley and flood plain soils ruined.
    Then Thatcher took away the last vestiges of industry that offered decent paying jobs in the 1980s and since then the whole area has suffered from the lowest rates of health, income, education, and any other indicator you can think of, in the UK.
    Now that the pollution is mostly gone (hidden), the only industry left is tourism with what's left of farming.
    What is also still here and which has never gone away is community spirit.
    People in this part of the UK give most per capita to charity and are amongst the happiest when asked the question for such polls.

    Over time the waves will always overcome the hardest of the rocks.

  5. Thanks Paul that was sweet of you to share. My great-great-grandfather came from Wales but I have never been there. I was once to Cornwall and hiked along the coast, it was very beautiful. I have some photos of the cliffs and first daughter in the stone tower of an abandoned tin mine.

    It is good that the Welsh have survived. Perhaps in pockets of the world that will be the happy fate.

    Unfortunately, I think the Americans have many more guns per capita and quite a few think nothing of using them. Our families are isolated, many are broken, and the although some communities are cohesive many more are far from that.

    And there are so many more of us. Too many to live sustainably without oil.

    Last night I watched a couple of peak oil movies available in segments on youtube, which I haven't paid much attention to so far. Squeeze-Surviving the Human Project, Running on Empty, and will start another today...Aftermath, Life Without Oil.

    Most peak oilers seem to think like you do - life will be nasty for a while, as people adjust to living without modern expectations for creature comforts, and then life will actually be better.

    I'm afraid the environment is already too degraded to allow that. Bad as pollution was in the past, it is far, far worse now. Just consider the death of life in the oceans, a source of food for so many.

    Well, somebody said, "Extinction will settle that argument."

    I guess we'll find out!

  6. I agree Gail, this time it is very different. But life is determined and difficult to fully extinguish and I do expect some sort of human population to survive and adapt in the coming millenia.
    It will be nothing like any life we want to imagine now though.


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