Diane Martin

Bedford UU Climate Justice group. She embraces her work role with Cambridge's Living Well Network, nurturing community and expanding programming for area seniors aging in-place. After growing up in Vermont, she lived for 20 years in California where she graduated with a BA in Geography from UC Berkeley. Diane lives in Cambridge with her husband, Ron Moulton, who develops solar energy solutions for remote African villages.

What did you do?

I blocked construction of the pipeline by entering the construction site and the ditch where the pipeline was being laid. I wanted to take action in addition to calling legislators and attending rallies.

Why did you do it?

I am opposed to all new pipeline construction and fossil fuel extraction. I am committed to making my position known. I am very clear that many oppose the expansion of the fossil fuel industry – but as an older person whose children are grown and who is not building a career, I take this stand for any who want to but don’t because they are busy with raising their children, building their careers, focusing on pressing health concerns, etc. I did this because I can. I consider climate change the most pressing issue of our times. I want future generations to enjoy a biologically diverse world. We have many problems to solve to make our world more just, but we won’t even have the chance to do that if there is catastrophic and human-induced climate change.

Why did you oppose the West Roxbury pipeline?

The pipeline is not needed or wanted. Its operation exposes West Roxbury and surrounding towns to unnecessary health risks. The fossil fuel industry chooses new construction and expansion of the industry instead of investing in repair and maintenance of old and failing pipelines in the Boston area that are still in constant use. The governor of Massachusetts and investors in the pipeline hope to force the people of Massachusetts to pay for this new infrastructure although ratepayers are overwhelmingly opposed to the new pipelines including the one in West Roxbury. Spectra ignored what the people of West Roxbury and Boston want and is focused on profits for a few regardless of the health and climate change risks in every step of the fracking and delivery process. It’s wrong.

What reports, studies, articles, personal experiences, etc convinced you that pipelines, fossil fuel extraction, and climate change are serious issues?

Books - Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future” and “Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist”, both by Bill McKibbons; films – “An Inconvenient Truth”, “Gasland”, “An Inconvenient Sequel”, various reports.

Why did you believe social movements/civil disobedience can make a difference?

It helps family members, friends, social networks, colleagues, acquaintances, and others recognize that an issue is so important to me that I’m am willing to risk arrest and all that an arrest entails, in order to stand for my beliefs. It is a really strong statement that presents numerous opportunities to talk about the issue and educate people about what’s going on with climate change and the fossil fuel industry. Because of the risks involved with civil disobedience (jail time, financial, etc) it is an empowering stance at a time when many of our leaders are failing us.

What other attempts did you make to stop the West Roxbury pipeline, keep fossil fuels in the ground, stop climate change, etc?

I participated in a walk that followed the path of the pipeline in Massachusetts (one full day only). I spoke publically at my church in front of 400 people about my arrest and reasons for it. I joined the Climate Justice group at my UU church. I have protested the pipeline at the MA statehouse and participated in rallies and marches. I am a member of Mothers Out Front Cambridge.

What articles, books, reports, personal experience, etc convinced you that our governmental processes are not effective at protecting our communities from threats like this pipeline?

Al Gore says (and I’m paraphrasing) that especially in times when we have a leadership gap we must step up and lead ourselves. Too many of our political leaders have financial interests in promoting the interests of the fossil fuel industry and are not providing the science-based reasoning and leadership we need. The attorneys for Spectra have continually stymied attempts to require them to provide a safety plan. The federal and state government has repeatedly paved the way for expanding the fossil fuel industry and its profits in spite of overwhelming opposition.

 

 


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