In June, as an activist with Connecticut Citizen Action Group, I took to the greens at the 2023 Travelers’ Championship to gain recognition for the global climate emergency and the complicity in that crisis of the corporate interests involved in the tournament.
Over the past month alone, I have seen some of the tragic effects the climate crisis has had on my own home in CT and around the world. Record heat waves have taken the lives of thousands while setting ablaze forests from Canada to California—their smoke polluting the air we breathe across the entire country. Unprecedented flooding and sea levels have wiped out homes and entire ecosystems while decimating the crops we and our farmers rely on.
Travelers has taken note of this, with nearly double their projected losses from climate disasters across the nation leading to mass withdrawals from insuring properties in affected areas. On the other hand, they have invested nearly $5 BILLION in the exact fossil fuel corporations facilitating this crisis while underwriting the major projects that allow those companies to continue their operations.
“It is incumbent on [@Travelers] to oblige both their fiscal duty and moral responsibility to mitigate against this [climate] crisis in every way possible.”
— CCAG (@CCAG) August 8, 2023
It is no surprise that Travelers, in hosting this PGA Tour event, would remain silent on PGA’s acquisition by LIV. LIV is an entity operated by the Saudi government, a regime notoriously intent on subverting human rights and any opposition to their autocratic rule through the purchasing power of their monopoly on oil. They are buying Travelers’ silence.
I am only 23 years old. I am still a student. The fight against this corporate conglomerate upholding fossil fuels seems insurmountable. But its assault on my future, the future for my kids, and for this country leaves us, collectively, with no other choice. We must act.
At the tournament last month, we played drums and sang as loud as we could, chanted for “CLIMATE JUSTICE,” created an oil rig to mark the entrance, flyered, and hoisted a banner in front of thousands of fans at the very last hole to cap the event. Although we were assaulted by a few fans and removed from the tournament multiple times by police escort, our minor and peaceful disruptions are nothing compared to the disruptions of the climate catastrophe unfolding each day.
Fossil fuel interests have been a defining force in this country during my lifetime. They have been behind every major war I’ve lived through, from Afghanistan and Iraq to Russia’s waged violence against Ukraine. It is the obligation of every entity and stakeholder to fight for a sustainable and peaceful future. It will not be beneficial for our planet, our people, our country, our treasured democracy, or our economy to continue down a path of enabling this fossil fuel regime.
Travelers and insurance companies of the like play a critical role in the functioning of this system and it is incumbent on them to oblige both their fiscal duty and moral responsibility to mitigate against this crisis in every way possible.
Be our umbrella from this greatest of storms, we are all counting on you.