Ben West

Every Time the Wind Blows…

READ IT by Bruce Mason


Ben West• “Now what?” That’s the question people have been asking since the Harper government’s decision on Enbridge. “How can we stop this?’ is another, along with the hopeful thought, “Surely we can do better!”

Ben West – Tar Sands Campaign Director for ForestEthics Advocacy – has a big idea and an opportunity to contribute to a positive outcome. He’s asking us for our help in publishing an important book on moving beyond fossil fuels by providing a road map to where we need to go to save the planet. You may have heard West speak and know of his tireless work, including being the go-to-guy for media.

Bill McKibben, founder of says, “He knows more – and has done more – to slow the spread of pipelines and keep Tar Sands in the ground than just about anyone I can think of. He’s a real visionary!”

West reports, “This book project will be the culmination of over a decade of my work, dreams and experiences trying to answer the question of how can we stop these pipelines and other projects like them – that cause global warming – and to get serious about making better alternatives a reality.

“My working title is Every Time the Wind Blows… The idea is to get folks asking the question, ‘Isn’t it wasteful not to capture the energy and wealth that is blowing away in the wind every minute and shining down on us every day?’”

We all know – or should know – the biggest threat to humanity is an environmental issue. But global warming is, fundamentally, a human rights issue, as well. We have a moral responsibility to act, to empower people to get involved.

Ben says, “The climate challenge is daunting, but a different world is within our reach.” His book will explore framing, strategy, tactics and action, using real world examples and outlining a game plan for tackling the power and influence of big oil by focusing on specific alternatives. It will also share lessons learned in this epic life and death struggle in a moment of profound change and opportunity.

At Common Ground we’re excited about sharing examples of taking back the Commons (see Common Ground, May 2014). One of the hottest trends in the global phenomena is “Crowdfunding.” Websites raised US$89 million in 2010, $1.47 billion the following year and $2.66 billion in 2012, when more than one million individual campaigns were established globally. A May, 2014 report – “The State of the Crowdfunding Nation” – by UK-based The Crowdfunding Centre shows that in March 2014, more than US$60,000 were raised on an hourly basis and 442 campaigns were launched globally, every day.

Neil Young – remember him? – created a crowdfunding campaign to finance his revolutionary Pono Music system. The goal of $800,000 was reached in less than 24 hours after it launched in March and is now closed, having raised more than $6.2 million.

Young writes, “It’s been a long time coming. It was not easy getting this far, but you made it happen by supporting Pono’s vision for better listening. Pono wants to preserve the history of music, in all of its beauty and expression, for all time. Forever.”

West wants to help save the planet, forever. His bottom line is a modest $20,000.

He promises, “By supporting the creation of this book, you will also be helping me to work with First Nations communities, farmers, labour unions, business leaders and many others as we attempt to make better alternative projects a reality along the proposed pipeline and tanker routes in BC. I will document case studies and share an honest, open dialogue about the challenges, opportunities and lessons we are learning.”

We’re preaching to the choir here, but folks in the choir are doing the singing. Join the rapidly growing number of people seeking answers to the biggest question of them all: “What did you do?”

Supporting West’s book is just one opportunity to walk the global warming talk. Putting our money where our mouths are will make a real difference. Carpe diem. Please consider supporting Ben’s book and sharing this opportunity to make a wise investment in our future.

Contribute to Ben West’s crowdfunding campaign for his imperative book about moving beyond fossil fuels at

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