Norwalk photos: Third Act bank protest

“Third Act” protestors, Tuesday on West Avenue, outside the Wells Fargo bank. (Nancy Chapman)
Diane Keefe, Tuesday at Chase Bank on West Avenue. (John Levin)

NORWALK, Conn. — Diane Keefe cancelled her Chase Bank account Tuesday. Judd Lee, a Seymour resident, came to Norwalk to withdraw his money from Wells Fargo, joining Keefe and her small band of senior citizens on a mission.

The Keefe-led brigade traveled down West Avenue briefly, between the two banks, as part of a nationwide “Third Act” protest.

Third Act is “a group that seeks to engage Americans 60 and older — those in their “third act” of life — in environmental activism,” The Washington Post explains. Tuesday’s demonstrations drew “attendees of all ages in about 100 cities across 29 states, according to the 53 groups organizing the events.”

Keefe explained:

“This is a national movement founded by Bill McKibben to mobilize people over the age of 60 because we control 70% of the assets in this country. And if more people move their money from Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, and say that they will not put any money into those institutions until they stop funding fossil fuel investments, then maybe there will be more rapid change.

“Right now, we’re going in the complete wrong direction since the Paris Agreement, which made the world commit to plans for a 1.5 degrees Celsius increase from pre-industrial levels. These four banks have invested more than a trillion dollars in oil and gas company development. And we can’t do that and achieve our goals.

“So they need to have a concrete plan to get to net zero by 2035. Just yesterday, the U.N. came out with a report that said that anybody who had any plans that went out to 2050 or later needs to move those plans to 2040 and everybody else should be making concrete plans to try to get to net zero by 2035, which means absolutely rapid fire investing in solar and wind and really eliminating new oil and gas development.”

(Nancy Chapman)
From left, Suzanne Solensky of Stratford, Norwalk resident Diane Lauricella, Judd Lee of Seymour, Norwalk resident Diane Keefe and Irene Corsaro of Wilton. (John Levin)


10 responses to “Norwalk photos: Third Act bank protest”

  1. David Osler

    I commend their activism I question their understanding of many things. Sticking it to oil and gas development great idea. Convincing Banks to invest in energy saving and energy conservation technologies as well as new technologies would be a better idea. We are not going to get to net zero by 2035 it’s not possible without playing ridiculous games that don’t reflect reality but what we can do is probably get to a point where the environment can catch up. Building modern atomic power, putting hydrogen boosters in diesel engines 96% reduction by the way, and getting the transmission technology out of vehicles would save us ungodly amount of resources. Also fixing certain aspects of health would reduce our carbon footprint remarkably particularly getting sugar, MSG, and several chemicals in foods to pre world war II levels. We cannot realistically get rid of fossil fuels we can significantly curb their use. By the way with the environmentalism they have going on and investment what about solar and geothermal heating and cooling for homes. That would make more of an impact then photovoltaic it won’t go after the electric bill it would fix the oil bill which I believe is one of their targets.

  2. Barbara Meyer-Mitchell

    Good thinking, but bad timing in the context of the banking crisis. Praying we all weather the storm.

  3. Audrey Cozzarin

    Thank you, Diane, and friends! A meaningful, important act by this brave group.
    I am inspired to move my accounts from one of the national-level banks mentioned, which invests in fossil fuels, and move it to a smaller, regional bank without that carbon footprint.

  4. Diane keefe

    David Osler, Other banks, notably HSBC, have already committed to stopping the financing of any new oil and gas development.
    Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and B of A must do the same if we have any chance of keeping climate change impacts from ruining life as we know it. Business as usual in the banking sector is no longer acceptable.
    Barbara Meyer Mitchell, there are plenty of good smaller banks whose deposits are insured up to $250,000 and potentially more according to recent news. It’s time to cut the cord with the big 4 who are profiting from bond issues for fossil fuel development today while making commitments they have no concrete plans to meet out in 2040 and beyond.
    I moved my account to M&T. Others are moving $$ to Savings Bank of Danbury, Webster Bank and Credit Unions.
    I also have money at Schwab Bank which reimburses ATM fees from other banks.
    We need to build this boycott pledge movement to make the big 4 banks feel the impact of our commitment to slow the damage associated with climate change.

  5. Katherine A. Kelley

    Has anyone updated the most populous country in the world with this news? Just wondering. Me thinking they’ve lost the memo. Or the plans got lost in the piles of construction diagrams for their coal plants. ‘Cuz when you built 2/week, there’s going to be a lot of paperwork.

  6. Bryan Meek

    Left up to these folks, we’ll be living in the dark ages again while the rest of the modern developing world laughs at us. We’re dumping millions of gallons of untreated sewage in the river every heavy rain and have abandoned most recycling efforts, but at least we have paper straws (that come in plastic wrappers).

  7. Bryan Meek

    Who has money to finance oil and gas, like HSBC, when the profits in laundering drug money and financing enterprises who “employ” child labor are too good to pass up.


  8. Kevney Moses

    Where to start unpacking this….

    1. The vast majority of the Northeast power grid is run off natural gas, coal or nuclear power (that means all the “green” Teslas run on fossil fuels – let that soak in). If we stop natural resource investment and production, it creates a dangerous lack of energy resiliency. And if the lights go off…the pitchforks cometh and society devolves. Not a fun future to imagine.

    2. Of the many lessons from the pandemic, first and foremost might possibly be the dire necessity for domestic resource independence to mitigate and reverse the many vulnerabilities resulting from globalization – whether that be energy inputs, computer chips, or toilet paper. Elsewhere in the world, Germany and their reliance on Russia for natural gas may be the best example, but those same resource and supply chain vulnerabilities, coupled with gross over use of stimulus, lead to the run on inflation every American has endured over the past two years. That inflation then led to rate increases, which then lead in part to the recent bank failures. Until alternative energy sources are economical, sustainable and resilient, we need fossil fuel investment and production to support commerce and all the intricacies of our economy that quite simply demand them (tires, asphalt, airplanes, trains, etc, etc, etc).

    3. With or without us, the rest of the globe – in particular the developing second and third world countries – does not have the same self-loathing luxuries we have here. They will remain married to fossil fuels for the next century at minimum. That said, without domestic natural resource investment and production we will miss the opportunity to form strategic global relationship, profit from them, and ensure a bright future for our country. It goes without saying that the United States extracts natural resources in safer and more environmentally responsible strategies than most other countries – certainly by comparison to China, Russia, India, and entirety of the Middle East – so if someone is going to be the exporter, shouldn’t we want it to be us?

    While I am a proponent of moving toward sustainable energy alternatives and believe that climate change is real, one can not sensibly support doing so at the expense of our own national security or economic vitality. Cutting off big bank funding and liquidity in fossil fuel markets would inevitably be both disastrous and self-destructive.

  9. Tom Belmont

    We have enough oil underground for another hundred years. We will need it as we approach another mini ice age. Natural gas and oil are the life-blood of our survival. I laud the banks invested in fossil fuels. These investments are sound, practicle and realistic. Reliance on renewable energy source will not be practicle until wind turbines fill the seas and plains and solar panels replace the fields of grain. In that case, they themselves would be an environmental disaster. The invention of ESG and DEI as a corporate -bank requirement are proving to be a lemon for a return on investment. A gallon of ESG-DEI can never equal a gallon of fuel oil. One provides a feeling, the other heat in a cold winter night. Net 0/2035 is at the end of the rainbow. Technologies and US engineers have for the last 50 years designed,built and installed devices to make the air cleaner and life safer. It goes on. Zero is utopia. Never to be achieved. I trust the bank, my bank, will continue to have the confidence and invest-lend to the production of fossil fuels and the drilling for oil, and nuclear energy.

  10. Bryan Meek

    Even proponents of sound energy policies are stuck using the term fossil fuels, a term which intimates a finite supply. A concept that violates the fundamental first law of thermodynamics and stimies the needed efforts on carbon capture and recycling that the greenies have abandoned.

    The industry on both sides, green profiteers like Al Gore and Exxon Mobil, have done a good job convincing the populace that there is a finite supply to support their goals. Both sides want profits. But one side wants us to live in the dark ages.

    The idea that oil is a finite biogenic resource lacks imagination. The solar system’s largest moon Titan is completely covered in LNG. It’s 300 below zero. How many dinosaurs used to live there?

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