Why Tim DeChristopher Is So Important

For anyone who hasn’t heard, an American activist named Tim DeChristopher is on trial in the Rocky Mountain state of Utah. His crime? Bidding for some oil and gas leases that the Bush administration was trying to auction off to big energy companies so that they could produce more fossil fuel. Tim—in an act of deep, spontaneous, creative protest—raised his hand and bid more than a million dollars, winning a couple of the leases. But he didn’t actually have a million dollars, and once the federal government found that out, they went crazy, charging him with disrupting the auction. He faces as much as ten years in prison.

The first great service Tim has done for the planet was: help keep some carbon underground, where nature has safely stored it away. The second great service: he’s helped raise the bar, showing us that we’re going to have to be willing to really sacrifice in what is the greatest fight the planet’s ever faced.

Some of our team are with Tim in Salt Lake City today—part of a huge crowd surrounding the courthouse making lots of joyful noise. But all of us are thinking of him—hard. He’s not just a friend, he’s a real hero in this fight, stepping up for all of us across the planet.

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