Dear Fellow Fairbanksan,
As we enjoy the relaxation and adventure of Alaskan summer, it is worth taking this moment of relative calm to reflect on where the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition came from and what we have achieved in the past few months. Born from relationships between community members who shared a sense of moral urgency around responding to the climate crisis, FCAC was spurred into action by a call for unity with the Paris climate talks in November of 2015. From the inception, the Coalition was geared to mobilize the Fairbanks community around our ability to act and transform in accordance with what climate change demands.
Since then, we have built community and utilized our grassroots power. Our analysis of the issues we face in Fairbanks has developed and so has our vision. During a Paris to Fairbanks discussion panel, Princess Johnson, Dave Matheny, and Don Ross shared their experiences in Paris and rooted the climate movement energy in what we could do locally. We met to collaboratively dream up a future for our community rooted in climate action through visioning sessions, and called for our leaders to push us forward in this just transition with our Fairbanks for a Clean Energy Economy rally during Arctic Science Summit Week.
We have seen the need to advocate for our vision for our community even when radically different visions hold power – including at a field hearing Sen. Murkowski’s Energy & Natural Resources Committee held on increased Alaskan fossil fuel development, and during proposals to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean. We have also seen the space and enthusiasm for a new story about Alaska’s future, including during the beautiful expressions of a spiritual call to action during Earth Day, and with the enthusiastic support for renewable energy during the 2016 GVEA Annual Meeting.
Through all of this, we have continued to dig deeper into how to take action as a community and what organizational structures can allow this to happen in a transparent and accountable manner. This summer, we have been strategizing around bringing new people and groups into the picture and creating a solid movement for change in Fairbanks. Last month, we started forming Working Groups so that our members could join others in smaller groups to work on issues such as Renewable Energy, Interfaith Organizing, State Elections & Politics, and Education & Outreach. We believe that this structure will allow FCAC to engage in the broad range of tactics needed to fight and adapt to climate change in Interior Alaska and create lasting relationships with other groups in town with a similar vision for change.
We have also revamped our online presence to make it easier for others to learn more about us and get plugged in to what we are up to. Please take a moment to browse around and invite your friends to check out our site!
As we look forward, we hope our structure allows for efficiency and connectivity to create the ideal space for moving our community forward to just transition. Our community faces big issues and we all need to give what we can to build the future that we want.
With love and solidarity,
The Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition