People Vs. Fossil Fuel Rally in DC All This Week, Climate Champ–Genesis Butler, Pope and Other Faith Leaders Sign Joint Climate Appeal, Dyson Award Finalist–Pyrus

by | Oct 11, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Massive People Vs. Fossil Fuel rally in DC all this week, plus youth climate champion, Genesis Butler. Pope convenes faith leaders to sign joint climate appeal, and Dyson Award finalist wants to make wood from kombucha!



This October, thousands of people will come to DC to demand that President Biden end the fossil fuel era at a week-long event called, People vs. Fossil Fuels. It runs from October 11-15, 2021.

People vs. Fossil Fuels is a week of action in DC organized by Indigenous Environmental Network and others under the Build Back Fossil Free campaign, which focuses on things Biden can do via Executive Action, without involving congress. For instance, he must stop approving fossil fuel projects and declare a climate emergency right now, ahead of the United Nations climate summit in November. 

Support the work of indigenous Americans to stop further fossil fuel infrastructure. We will take action over 5 days to highlight the damage done by fossil fuels, the climate impacts we are already facing, and the need for real solutions rooted in justice.

  •   Monday, October 11th: Indigenous-led action on Indigenous Peoples Day.
  •   Tuesday, October 12: Fossil fuels are driving the climate crisis.
  •   Wednesday, October 13: Climate chaos is happening now. 
  •   Thursday, October 14: We need real solutions, not false promises.
  •   Friday, October 15: We did not vote for fossil fuels. Youth-led action.

Each day has an event or series of events scheduled, which each participant must train for on the previous day. That means unfortunately, unless you already knew about People vs. Fossil Fuel and got trained yesterday, today’s Monday the 11th event is spectator-only. Find out more by visiting and clicking on the links in the deeper dive section. Or go to

DEEPER DIVE: People vs. Fossil Fuels, PVFF Invitation, Action Network



We have inherited a garden; we must not leave a desert to our children.”  This is the theme of the multi-faith appeal to governments formally signed by over 40 religious leaders at Vatican City last week. Pope Francis, Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, were joined by leaders of other major faith groups representing Sunni and Shiite Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Jainism, Sikhism and more.

Curiously, everybody’s super cool faith leader, the Dalai Lama was not invited by Pope Francis to attend this ceremony. Apparently, even the Vatican is afraid of antagonizing China.

The appeal is part of a broader initiative called, “Faith and Science: An Appeal for COP26.” COP26 is shorthand for the “Conference of Parties”, the 197- members of the UN Framework on Climate Change–aka UN Climate Change. The “26” refers to this being the 26th UN Climate Change Conference. It’s scheduled to begin October 31st in Glasgow, Scotland.

The appeal calls for decisive international political action to combat climate change and “to safeguard, restore and heal our wounded humanity and the home entrusted to our stewardship.” 

Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Metropolitan Hilarion said, “It shall be remembered that the current ecological situation has been caused, among other factors, by the desire of some to profit at the expense of others, as well as by the desire of unjust enrichment.”

Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury used his speech to chide humanity, saying over the past 100 years, humanity had “declared war” on creation and must now repent by not only building a green economy but by bringing justice to the global south. He ended his speech by saying, “I have run out of time, but the world has just enough time to get this right.”

DEEPER DIVE: America Magazine, Climate Home News, Reuters



I was actually researching a story on climate activist Jasmine Butler when I came across somebody even better–Genesis Butler! Genesis Butler is a 14 yr old Black, Indigenous, Mexican teen fighting for animals, humans and Earth. She founded Youth Climate Save.

And she says she did so because there were no youth climate/environmental organizations that regularly discussed animal agriculture and it’s negative impact on the environment and the climate. Her hope was that other youth who wanted to address animal agriculture and promote a plant based food system might join her cause. Well they have, and in numbers too big to ignore.

Butler has over 67K followers on Insta, while YouthClimateSave has over 10K. In fact YouthClimateSave now has over 80 chapters from 29 countries around the world. In fact, many its members are Indigenous peoples! 

Genesis Butler recently launched her own YouTube channel, “Genesis Butler Takes Action!” And most recently, she was a featured speaker at the September 24th Fridays for Future rally in NYC. Links to both can be had in the Deeper Dive Section of this story. Just visit You’ll find the Deeper Dive at the bottom of the transcript for this story.

DEEPER DIVE: YouTube, Youth Climate Save, Genesis Butler, Fridays For Future Speech, Live Kindly



We promised to highlight James Dyson Award finalists throughout the first half of October here on The Climate Daily, in the run-up to the major award announcement, scheduled for October 17th. One of those finalists is a product called, Pyrus.

Pyrus is made by Symmetry Wood, a Champaign, IL biotech firm that “aims to create harmony between humanity and nature by creating a sustainable material that can stand in as an alternative to wood.” The alternative to conventional wood they make is from renewable bacterial cellulose. It’s grown from food waste-fed bacteria. The idea is to replace timber and drastically reduce exotic woods deforestation while also diverting food waste from landfills.

And that’s why Pyrus matters to us. How does Symmetry Wood do what it does?

First a little science. “Wood” is defined as “ a natural composite of cellulose fibers that are strong in tension and embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression. Cellulose and lignin are the most common organic molecules on Earth. What’s more they can be found in other organisms aside from trees, like in certain bacteria. 

For example,  Gluconacetobacter Xy-linus produces coherent (and slimy) sheets of cellulose on top of any liquid where a colony of it is found. That is if the liquid is sugary. Toss rotten fruit or old bread into a partially filled bucket of water or juice from the fruit, wait a few days and –voila! The most famous example of this are the Kombucha “pancakes” of Gluconacetobacter Xylinus.

The sheets of cellulose are blended to an even consistency and then embedded in an algae-based gel. As the gel dries, it hardens significantly and is placed under a mechanical press to form a flat sheet of wood. This material can then be sanded, cut, and coated with resins just like its tree-based counterparts.

How’re they doing? Well the folks at Symmetry Wood have managed to make jewelry and durable guitar picks as their prototype products.

DEEPER DIVE: Dyson Award, Pyrus, Wikipedia