Feel Like Blowing a Whistle? Put on a Ref Shirt and Organize a Climate Change Penalty Action


On Friday, I got an email update from Bill McKibben and who organized an event on the day of the Annual State of the Union Address.  At the protest, over 500 people dressed like referees and stood outside the U.S. Capital blowing whistles, and throwing penalty flags in order to draw attention to members of Congress taking money from the Oil Industry, and the subsidies that oil and coal companies receive.

The event and day were reported to be a success.  At the demonstration, Senator Bernie Sanders announced that he’s introducing a bill to remove all the subsidies from the fossil fuel industry.  On this same day eight hours later, Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address and talked about stopping the handouts to the world’s richest companies.

A new report from the International Energy Agency has shown that if subsidies for the fossil fuel industry were stopped, this would cut half the carbon emissions that are contributing to climate change.  The five biggest oil companies alone have made more than $1 trillion in profits over the last decade.

Feel like blowing a referee whistle?  Bill McKibben and are inviting others to lead an action to blow the whistle on your local Member of Congress who is taking money from the oil industry.  To do this5-10 people could form a “referee squad,” and meet up wearing referee or matching shirts and whistles, and bring strips of cloth to throw as penalty flags.

If you think you can get a group of 5 or more people together, can send you ref jerseys, whistles and flags, and a organizer will help you with planning.  You also can get facts and information about how much money your Congressperson or Senator has taken from the fossil fuel industry so you have accurate information you can use at the event.

These actions will be happening across the U.S., and is suggesting to do it this week, close to the run up to the Super Bowl, you will most likely get some media notice.

Image Source:


Blow the Whistle Action Info:



About the Author

KbaumlierKristen Baumlier’s work spans the full spectrum of interdisciplinary media, including performance, interactive installation, video and audio works.View all posts by Kbaumlier →

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.