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Story Publication logo May 4, 2024

All Gassed Up: Inside the International Fight Against LNG

A ship in a foggy harbor

The Gulf Coast is the epicenter for exporting liquefied natural gas around the world.

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Multiple Authors

Protestors from three environmental organizations call on Japanese insurance companies to stop underwriting new liquified natural gas infrastructure across the world during a demonstration outside the Hilton Tokyo Odaiba hotel on Nov. 7, 2023. Image by Halle Parker. Japan.

Sea Change’s series, “All Gassed Up,” exposes the enormous scale of the global expansion of liquified natural gas (LNG). Our reporting revealed that this gas expansion not only has big impacts on local communities like Cameron Parish, but also on the planetary scale for our future climate. The expansion threatens the effort to slow climate change. And there's a lot of money at stake. Some countries and companies are investing billions and billions of dollars to make the most of this LNG boom.

Until recently, the growth of the global gas industry has flown under the radar. But we witnessed how that's starting to change. There is a growing global movement opposing LNG. In this episode of Sea Change, we talk with people from around the world who are fighting to stop the LNG expansion. People working on the ground in their communities and countries.

“All Gassed Up” is a special 3-part series from Sea Change. This special series is part of the Pulitzer Center’s nationwide Connected Coastlines reporting initiative. For more information, go to

This episode was hosted, reported, and produced by Halle Parker and Carlyle Calhoun. Our sound designer is Emily Jankowski and our theme music is by Jon Batiste.

Sea Change is a WWNO and WRKF production. We are part of the NPR Podcast Network and distributed by PRX. To see more of our reporting on LNG, visit And to help others find our podcast, hit subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and don’t forget to rate and review!

As a nonprofit journalism organization, we depend on your support to fund our nationwide Connected Coastlines climate reporting. Donate any amount today to become a Pulitzer Center Champion and receive exclusive benefits!



Note: Transcripts are produced by a third-party transcription service and may contain errors (including name spellings). Please be aware that the official record for our episodes is the audio version.

Carlyle: Hey, Halle

Halle: Hi, Carlyle.

Carlyle: We’ve got a different kind of episode on Sea Change today.

Halle: Yes, indeed.

Carlyle: So, Halle, we've spent almost a year reporting on LNG, which, if you've been listening to our series, you know is short for liquefied natural gas. We met so many people and learned so much. We couldn't fit it all into three episodes.

Halle: No, we really couldn't. I mean, there was that British guy living in Germany, Alex von Finkel, and he was what, the leader of a local green party where the country's first import terminal was built. And he gave us that very spicy interview.

Carlyle: Oh, yes. I remember.

Alex: I mean, I think the message to people of the U. S. from the people of Germany is, thank you that you're messing up your environment to give us gas, because otherwise we might have to do that ourselves.

Carlyle: We got to travel around the world and also practice our German and Japanese.

Schuselsohntz? Schuselsohntz? Oh, that's Pot of meat. Oh, that's pot of meat. Schuselsohntz. Ooh, sorry German speakers. Ludden? Oh, that sounded like you said that right. They'll tell us we're wrong later.

Halle: And ultimately, we learned way too much about LNG. Or maybe the perfect amount, given how our series showed us that this gas expansion is such a big deal at the local level for communities like Cameron Parish, which you heard about in the first episode, but also at the planetary scale for our future climate. The scale of this global expansion is huge.

Carlyle: And as all of you heard in the series, there's a lot of money at stake.

Halle: A lot.

Carlyle: Some countries and companies are investing billions upon billions of dollars to make the most of this LNG boom.

Halle: Yeah. I remember we were so shocked at the scale of these investments and just how little attention it's grabbed over the years.

But we witnessed how that's starting to change. We met a lot of people in their own countries, as well as people who visited the U.S. to learn more about the LNG industry. People who are working with environmental groups working to oppose it.

Carlyle: And that movement is growing globally. You heard from a few in the series, but we wanted to spend some more time with people on the ground, from around the world,, who are fighting to stop the expansion of LNG.

And Halle, you've met all three of the guests we're talking with today. Hiroki Osada, Andy Giorgu, and James Hyatt.

Halle: I have, and it was so nice to talk with them again.

I really think it will bring everything full circle and talk about alternative paths forward. You know, the solutions that we didn't have the chance to talk about in the series.

Carlyle: Yes. And so today on Sea Change, Hallie talks with grassroots leaders from the locations of each of our episodes, the Gulf Coast, Germany, and Japan. That's coming up after the break.

Halle: So this episode I'm joined by Andy Giorgu, a full time German climate campaigner, Hiroki Osada, the development, finance, and environment campaigner for Friends of Earth Japan, and last but not least, James Hyatt, the founder of For a Better Bayou, a community organization in southwest Louisiana. Welcome everybody.

Hiroki: Hi. Hi. Good afternoon.

Halle: Yeah. I wonder if everyone can first start off by saying just where you're joining from.

James: It's good morning here from Southwest Louisiana. I'm here in Lake Charles.

Andy: And it's good day for me here. Um, I'm based in the middle of Germany.

Hiroki: I'm good afternoon from Tokyo, 9 p. m.

Halle: Oh my gosh, good afternoon, good morning, good evening. Um, so you all know each other, which is kind of crazy.

You've all been to the Gulf Coast. I wonder if you can kind of talk about how everyone met and got in contact with each other. James, can we start with you?

James: Yeah, I met Andy, basically about this LNG buildout that's happening in the Gulf. We are exporting so much LNG that it is, uh, going to countries, uh, like Germany, uh, who are also having an incredibly huge buildout of import facilities, uh, as we have export facilities.

And then Hiroki I met, also same thing, uh, it was last, I guess, November, uh, October, November, uh, had came over to visit because, uh, Japan has got a lot of import and all, has its hands in the financing of a lot of the Gulf Coast export facilities as well.

Halle: Yeah, Andy, how did you get connected to James?

Andy: Well, um, it started by actually, finding out that there, there's a long term contract. And then a second one was announced between Vulture Global, who's behind the CP2, and the Plaquemines LNG export terminals, um, in the U.S.

Halle: Also known as Venture Global.

Andy: Oh, yeah. Also known as Venture Global by some, known as Vulture Global by others.

Um, and so yeah, I've reached out. We, we had a, we had a chat and then, by the end of 2022, we've realized with others that we actually need to, to have some proper transatlantic coordination. And then that's the point when we basically started to, coordinate on a regular basis.

And last May I came over for a tour, um, including LNG export facilities or a proposed one in Louisiana. Um, and all of them have a direct connection to Germany, either because of the long term contracts with German companies, or because German banks have co financed these facilities. And yeah, definitely next time I need to stay longer and, and, you know, just enjoy, um, the great food you guys have.

Halle: And Hiroki, how did you get connected?

Hiroki: Oh, yeah. U.S. energy has been always, you know, on our radar.

And then like, uh, we just finally like get to know like, people, people living in us, in Texas. And, um, they're also kind enough to invite, us to kind of, you know, Hey, why don't you come here and just see what's going on over there.

So, James here was, was one of the very great folks, uh, who were kind, kind enough to, um, Yeah, like tour, tour us around, the energy site. And yeah, that was amazing. Um, we had, we had a great food as well.

Halle: Did everybody get to try James' boudin?

Andy: I don't know if it was James' boudin, but James definitely brought boudin.

James: I bring boudin everywhere. That is the, that is like the currency. And if you don't know what a boudin is, it's like a sausage, but instead of being meat, it's like rice dressing stuffed inside a casing and Southwest Louisiana has the best boudin.

I love that both of you, both of you, One of the things was about the food. You know, that's like, that is like, the hospitality is like food.

Hiroki, you were there for a crab boil, right? We had crabs.

Hiroki: Yes, that was amazing.

James: Yeah, yeah. And you got to ride on Travis shrimp boat, Our friend Travis the Shrimper. Yes. Uh, we've got to go out and, uh, see firsthand how big these ships are and, and, and the terminal,

Halle: Yeah. I'm so glad you brought that up, James. Cause like, I am so curious, like Andy Hiroki, it's been a few months now since you were here, like what still stands out to you?

Andy: I would say definitely James and all the other great people that we met. Um, and I enjoyed, you know, New Orleans and the music but now coming to the actual bad stuff, like this constant flaring of Venture Global's Calcasieu Pass terminal, like this 24/7 climate barbecue that we could experience was kind of like that, that's still in my mind. And whenever I tweet about it, there's this great picture took by John O'Lear, um, who's basically the neighbor of Venture Global. Uh, and the ship is called clean energy and you have this massive dirty flare going on. So yeah, that it's like, it's in my brain.

It won't go out.

Hiroki: Obviously, James, I agree, right? But when we talk about the energy stuff, um, so like when I, when I, when I, when I was doing was always kind of comparing to Philippine experience because that's the country I firstly visited, uh, the energy site. And there's a couple of things that stands out to me there.

So one thing was the tax break. In the Philippine there, if there was an energy terminal, uh, that, that kind of village right behind, right, right behind that terminal can get a lot of money.

But that is not the case in the U S like, uh, there was a huge tax break. So as a community that, accepted this terminal, it was actually not better off at all. Uh, that was very significant kind of contrast that I was really surprised by.

And the last thing was the kind of inequality. So whether it's, uh, um, people of color, whether it's a low, low income community, there's a specific community who are, like, especially kind of, like, harmed by energy facility, and that, that was also something really kind of stand out to me.

Halle: Yeah, I mean, James, like hearing all that, making these connections and like basically facilitating a lot of these visits. How has it felt for you to see people in other countries going through similar issues, be interested in what's going on in your community?

James: Yeah, I mean, this systemic inequality Hiroki is speaking about, it's, it, it's part of the system that we, we all are, are inside of and that we are all trying to, uh, change,

It is mind blowing that are Republican and other politicians continue to say how good and what an economic benefit and the economic prosperity comes from from these LNG export facilities. And I wish that was true; I wish that was the truest thing and that the communities had some benefit but if if these LNG export facilities actually benefited the community Cameron Parish would look totally different than it looks.

Um, it has three of the nation's seven export facilities, and it looks like the hurricane of three and a half years ago hit yesterday. There is no economic benefit, uh, really for the local community and instead of any kind of benefit whatsoever, we see the harm. We see the harm of the air pollution.

We see the harm, uh, to the fisheries. It seems like, uh, these profiteers, people are making money on the backs and, and, and with no regard to these marginalized communities or, or any of the communities at all.

And instead they come in, they extract, they get what they can, they maximize profits for shareholder value. The shareholders are none of the people nearby the facilities. And, and that story is, is not just uh, in Southwest Louisiana, it is the story of, of extractive industry basically everywhere. What happens in each of these places where extractive industry has continued to try to expand is going to be a carbon bomb. It's going to be, massive suffering for future generations that we in this moment can avert, if we can get these politicians and the profiteers to wake up to the reality that we all share this one planet, Japan and Germany and Louisiana, we're all on this one floating ball and, and this is the thing that, that we know that we are united.

And we do have the power to change, and the way we do that is by coming together and sharing our stories, sharing this, shared suffering that's been going on.

Hiroki: I totally agree actually, like, this, that is, that is something going on all over the world. Where RNG is it's just destroying local community's environment and local community's livelihood as well.

Halle: Yeah, I wonder if we can kind of stick on that point a little bit, like, I know that you are in Japan, but you do a lot of work in, like, Southeast Asian countries. I wonder if you can give us a little bit more of, like, a picture of what's happening in those areas and how Japan's connected to it.

Hiroki: So Japan is not only one of the biggest importer of energy, but it's also the biggest financier of energy, And um, It provides, like, 4. 3 billion to fossil gas each year.

So Japan is a, like, huge, financier of fossil gas. And especially to the countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Mozambique, U.S., Australia, Canada, these countries, like, all countries all over the world.

In Japan, our job is to try to stop the, this finance, because that, that, that's something we can do, uh, in our part.

Halle: And Andy, I wonder if you could talk a little bit too about what you're seeing and how, just explaining how Germany is connected to this.

Andy: So just a bit of history to get that content to Germany, um, was, and still is the largest gas consumer and dealer in Europe. And for many, many years, I mean, I've been in this fight for over a decade, like, talking about exactly this moment and why we need to get off fossil gas and why gas is such an issue.

So for the past 10 years, what happened was that, we managed to win over the fracking industry who tried to expand in Europe. So we fought them off.

And after fighting off fracking, we started to realize that there's this geopolitical dimension that involves the U.S., who was putting pressure on Europe and especially Germany to construct LNG import terminals for fracked gas to come in especially, you know, during the Trump administration. But at the same time, Germany was actually playing a double game by increasing the already existing dependency on Russian gas. Although everyone said that's a stupid idea. Now we know. It was a very stupid idea.

So the Climate Alliance against LNG in Germany was founded in 2018, and back then we had to fight off 3 proposed onshore terminals, and it was literally a handful of people, including myself and some grassroots groups. And we actually managed to prevent them from from making the final investment decision. But then Russia invaded Ukraine, you know, and the industry since then, it's just, you know, shamelessly making use of the current situation to push on both sides of the Atlantic.

And in your case, it's, you know, both sides of the Pacific, um, for actually unneeded LNG.

As of now, we do have 4 to 5 floating storage units. Three of them are already partial operational. And we still have 3 proposed onshore terminals. But at the same time, um, despite, you know, this pretty gloomy picture, over the, you know, the course of the last year, our transatlantic alliance grew, like, by the hour. Um, and this, I think, strengthened a lot, um, the movement on both sides of the Atlantic,

So I think that if this continues, then we'll really have a chance to kill, maybe not all projects, but to kill a lot of them and, to maybe, you know, create an atmosphere where some of them who are already partially operational will actually become stranded assets.

Halle: And I really appreciate how you brought up, you know, you've been doing this work for 10 years. Like, really, this gas expansion, this global gas expansion isn't something that's just sprung up overnight. And that's something we talk about. And, you know, even the start of the LNG industry goes back, you know, 50, 60 years, and Japan was actually a huge part of kicking off the LNG industry.

I wonder, like, even though it's been around for so long, why do you guys think that it's taken a while for people to actually start paying attention and, get a feel for how important this is to the future of our world? Because it's not happening quietly, right? It's happening out in the open.

Hiroki: I think big part of it, it's because of narrative. Um, narrative that energy is clean, or energy is rich fuel, or energy is like, necessary for development. LNG is, like, necessary for, like, economic stability. LNG is necessary for, like, you know, electricity systems.

But like, this is, they're all incorrect. Um, there's a lot of, a lot of scientific reports. There's a lot of, reports and journalistic reports that prove otherwise.

So, uh, it's always, it's always a false narrative. Uh, kind of, um, intentionally, proactively kind of, shared by Japanese government and also, fossil fuel industries.

Also, it's obvious that energy is also causing a lot of harm to the communities, not just in the Philippines, not just in the U.S., but also in Mozambique, Indonesia, Canada, all over the world. So, we just have to see these facts and just try to change the narrative.

James: Yeah, the piece I'd add is, you know, in, here in Southwest Louisiana, we built two terminals to import gas in early 2000, 2006 and 7.

Uh, Cameron LNG and Chenier Sabine Pass were built as import facilities because, uh, we needed for our national security to have good supply. Um, what changed was that we began fracking.

We had this huge fracking boom coupled with Obama lifting the export ban, um, because there was a ban on sending our natural resources overseas because we know that they are finite. We know that they will not exist forever. Um, and, and it really feels like the last throes of the fossil fuel industry is like, well, let's do the most harmful thing we can do to get the most profit we can out of all of these places where they have found that they can get oil and gas by fracking. It's embedded in people's mind that natural gas, even in the name natural gas, we should stop calling it that. Fossil gas. It's basically methane. It is the thing that is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming the planet.

I saw something the other day, uh, from one of the climate scientists saying that they don't have a good handle on why we over the past year we have seen such amazing heating of this planet.

Like why the oceans are so hot, why the summer is so hot, why every, every single month it sets a new record. And they don't have a good handle on it. And just because I'm tired, I've been doing a lot of LNG work, maybe I'm a little biased into thinking that maybe it has to do with the massive amounts of fracking that's going on and the incredible amount of methane leaks that are all along the supply chain that are driving this massive global heating that we're seeing.

Andy: And, I agree to, to everything that was said, um, it's definitely liquefied frack gas or fossil gas. and there is, you're not biased, James. There is a connection between the so called shale gas boom and an increased, you know, methane in the atmosphere. I mean, it's evident. So narrative was definitely important and the industry did a good job with regard to, you know, promoting the 'natural' part of the fossil gas. In places like Germany, I mean, for a decade, there was me and a handful of people in Europe that actually talked about the fact that we need to talk and tackle fossil gas. Even think tanks and some scientists actually used wrong sources to calculate their climate models they've used for almost a decade, which means that they've mostly only looked at at the climate impact of gas when burned and compare that to coal, leaving all the pollution chain out of the equation, um, which is, which is a massive--I wouldn't say in parts attempted--but maybe ignorance-produced greenwashing.

So that's the basis of why we're in the situation where we are always trying also as a climate movement to come up with solutions, you know, don't be so negative. Let's provide like, what is the solution? It is not my job to provide a solution. I'm in the trenches fighting an industry that is killing human society. I don't think that we are here to provide solutions for an industry that is producing toxic and non essential goods. So, as long as we still try to somehow fix the business as usual, and just make it a bit more clean and green, we will always bump into traps like natural gas and others.

So and we should stop doing that right now.

Halle: Yeah. And I, I love where we're at right now with the conversation. I did just want to go back to parts of what you were saying, Andy, just to make sure people understand, like, when you're talking about, historically, we've just been considering the emissions from burning gas and you're talking about needing to take into account the entire life, lifespan, right, of gas, like from getting fracked up, from getting pulled out of the ground, right, all the way through the system.

Andy: Exactly. That is the long pollution chain that Hiroki and also James talked about. For a long time, we didn't pay attention to, there's methane leakages in the system, but there's also like, you know, flaring and venting that the industry does because it's cheaper for them to do it or because the design of the facilities, you know, it's basically flawed as is the case, you know, for venture global and they'll have to structurally flare and vent because otherwise it will blow up.

So there's leakages, but then there's from the industry deliberate releases and then you have energy losses for the production of LNG. You'll have more, you know, methane that they need to release when they ship it over and stuff. And so, yeah, I was talking about all the long line that is before the burning of the gas.

Halle: And then greenwashing is just a term that people might not be familiar with. Maybe you want to explain what greenwashing is.

Andy: Greenwashing is, is basically, you know, you, you say that this is cleaner than that, but you actually hide the truth. So greenwashing is to say gas is clean. Gas is more climate friendlier than coal, for example.

You could also say, you know, just instead of using greenwashing, I would say, stop, you know, putting out these blatant lies. You know, because this is what they're doing. They've been lying to us for decades now. They've been lying about their business and, you know, they've been lying about meeting releases and leakages. So yeah, greenwashing is a nicer word instead of saying they're lying.

James: I wanted to just say one piece that you were saying, Andy, about coming up with solutions. I'd heard this the other day and it just really, really struck me. We don't have to have all the solutions to stop punching ourselves in the face.

We could just stop punching ourselves in the face, you know, and that is what we're doing when we continue to build and build into dependency on fossil fuels of any sort all the way around.

And that is just, uh, yeah, for me, it's like the piece that just bothers me the most out of all of this is we take the human, the humanity out of it and we no longer account for the damage that has been done for ever since we got onto the sauce, mostly marginalized black and brown and low-income communities who have had to suffer the brunt of our, of our fossil fuel dependency up until this point.

And now we know better, but we're going to continue to pursue the path that will inflict this suffering onto others and call it progress. I mean, there's insanity and like at every level.

Halle: Yeah, and part of what that brings up for me, I mean, Andy, I thought you did a great job of describing, you know, this fork in the road in the episode three, we're calling it a critical juncture that we're reaching across the globe right now, where, like, we need to take extensive action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change, right?

And something that I mean, I feel like it's probably general knowledge, but also just really emphasized to Carlyle and me while we were reporting this project is just how much cheaper renewables are right now compared to LNG. And I wonder, Hiroki, especially for you, because emerging countries in Asia could be switching to renewables right now, right? If it wasn't for some of the interference going on with the oil and gas industry. I wonder if you could kind of talk about how you're thinking about that. They could be switching to solar and wind instead of building new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Hiroki: In Southeast Asia there's tons of tons and tons of renewable energy potential. But Japanese government keeps underestimating it and keep underestimating, saying 'Hey, this is renewable energy is actually super costly' and blah, blah, blah.

So like we just, they just in Japanese companies and government keep going with the fossil fuels. But it's just for shareholder values, um, Japanese companies, especially in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries or Mitsubishi Corp. These kind of companies have much, um, the vested interest in keeping fossil fuel infrastructure they created in Southeast Asia so that they can just, they can keep money out of this fossil fuel infrastructure.

So they came up with other new ideas like hydrogen or ammonia co-firing or carbon capture and storage. This kind of new greenwashing, another greenwashing technology to keep going with the fossil fuels.

So even though there's so much potential in Southeast Asia, to transition to renewable energy, but Japanese companies and government is actually, uh, proactively prohibiting it.

Halle: Yeah, it's hard to say no to all of that money flowing through. It's not like people are necessarily lining up to bankroll renewables in those countries. So I don't know, that just, that always blows my mind when I think about that. And Andy and James, I really appreciate like, that we don't have to have a solution to like stop ourselves from punching ourselves in the face.

But something that I know you talk about a lot, James, with your organization is, this idea of how to build a different future for Lake Charles, for Cameron Parish, like different ways that you can look at switching the economy around to not rely so much on these petrochemical, companies. Can you talk a little bit about how you're thinking around that?

James: Yeah, I mean, one of the big things for me is the biodiversity and the beauty of this place. The tourism in Louisiana is a huge industry, but most of the tourism goes to New Orleans.

But we have such a unique place. Uh, we have a pink dolphin that lives in the Calcasieu River. I've, I've had the opportunity to see twice, uh, who's been here for over 15 years

Halle: I still have not seen Pinky!

James: Yeah, I know, and it's magical to encounter this thing, you know, like being in the marsh or being out in nature, which Cameron is, has four national wildlife refuges because of its importance for biodiversity and a migration path for these birds that transit all the way from Central and South America. Uh, they fly over the Gulf and land here,

I think the first time I met you, Hallie, we were, we were sitting out there at the, uh, at Calcasieu Point, and, and, uh, I got, we're in the middle of talking, there was a, a little red summer, uh, tanager just flew by and it just caught me this idea that this one life that we all have, whatever your belief is, whatever your belief system is, you are on this planet at this time, in this moment, and you only get to be here for such a short amount of time.

I know my mama wanted better for me. I know that her mama wanted better for her. All the way back. We come from a long line of ancestors. Each one of us are connected through a long line of ancestors who have wanted better. And, and we are at this point where I am not sure if I can give better to my children if we continue on this path, but I know we can give better if we stop doing the things that are causing harm and have been causing harm to communities and individuals for decades.

So, uh, part of the, the, the solution too, uh, to get back to what your actual question was, is that we have got to be resilient.

And I hate that word so much, but we, I mean, right now, in this moment, uh, this morning, we were under a tornado watch. Um, because of more frequent storms; they don't have to be hurricanes. We've seen flooding in Vermont and east, uh, eastern Kentucky and in Pakistan, the climate chaos. We're reaping what we sowed by being so dependent on fossil fuels is coming for us no matter where you live.

And that's an unfortunate reality that Southwest Louisiana has faced and is continuing to face. And so. That is one of the industries is how can we build resiliency into the system into our, into our, our buildings and, and even the ways that we live.

Halle: This is great. Woo hoo! I'm actually like very invigorated at 7 a. m. in the morning just from you guys, your energy. So, thank you for that.

For me personally, like, throughout this series, learning from all of you. It's kind of led me to feel kind of depressed, just to understand, like, how massive these forces are, and understanding just how global this is, how much money is behind it.

And that's something we were also really struggling with when we were ending this series, was trying to figure out how to give people some hope, And part of what I'm thinking right now, just from listening to you all, is like the critical importance of global cooperation.

And I wonder if you guys can talk about that and also just any other, um, things that you would like to maybe tell people that should push them away from maybe being totally depressed in the sense of like, I'm going to hide from this global gas expansion and maybe wanting to get involved or figuring out a way to get involved.

James: I'll start. I'll just say that today is also the day where the prime minister of Japan is meeting with President Biden to specifically to speak about LNG. Um, one of the, one of the other things, um, hopelessness is not a solution. Um, despair is not a solution.

The hope comes because we are not dead because we are, we are still alive because there is power in the people. I thought LNG is too big to fail. There's no point in fighting this and, and. I had to become convinced by doing the work,

Of educating myself and others and, and finding that there is unity and there is community and that we are actually a global community and that it breaks down all the barriers. I mean, we still, we organize with folks who are on the entire political spectrum from, from some far leftists to MAGA, uh, loving, um, you know, Republicans, but we all see one thing that we have this one life and that the future It's tied to the decisions that we make, and, and we do not have to continue to, to make bad decisions once we're informed.

James: And you will find your hope. You may have periods of, uh, losses or depression or grief or, or things, but, but there is hope in coming together And that the idea that, like, we do have the power to, to affect change that big corporations and big moneyed interests are not the only way.

They have poured out more money into this greenwashed LNG campaign than any of these NGOs and any of these non profits have ever seen. And yet we were still able to somehow effectuate uh, this minor, thank you Biden for this pause. We were still able to get that because there is power in people and people sharing their story and coming together.

God, I'm sorry. Sometimes I can just get so fired up because like, uh, you know, like the, we can do this. It's actually happening, but it doesn't happen unless all of us and we need everyone, actually everyone, uh, the entire political spectrum to come together and find the humanity in each other and the preciousness of each other's lives.

And, um, I'll stop ranting and raving at that point.

Hiroki: I also kind of going back to what James shared, uh, about the, like, it's always a systematic problem.

Unless we can change the system, we cannot solve this problem.

The one thing we need to focus on is to target the big player, the target the powerful player that is, try to keep the system they're benefiting from, uh, such as big government or big companies or fossil fuel industries.

This system is made by these powerful players. And we can, we can change the system by changing these powerful players.

We can write letters to politicians, we can meet politicians,

We can also write letters to media persons. If you have a bank, if you have money in the bank, just divest if the bank invests in fossil fuels.

We can do a lot of stuff to change powerful players. So please join us. James said, please join us, uh, to change these powerful players. And if we can change powerful players, we can actually change the system. Yeah.

Andy: So I'll start by saying that I was the one that said I'm not here to provide solutions and I meant not solutions for the business-as-usual scenario.

For example, and this is not, I mean, just providing some of the real solutions that exist in the area where I live. So a few years ago, um, these 2 couples started at the solidarity agricultural farming project. and so by now, they, they can feed, 200, 300 people, maybe with vegetables. And we now have our own, um, unwrapped supermarket where you can go buying 24/7 and, and nothing is, is, you know, like, wrapped in plastic.

Um, so these are real solutions, you know, And I know at the same time, we need to change the system. I fully agree. Uh, and it starts by not losing your humanity in the first place. We are fighting off a very inhumane, machine-driven, heartless industry.

And the biggest power that we have, is I would say, the mind is important, but our hearts: If we lose our hearts in this fight, we are already lost. And by connecting with all the people around the world, like we're doing right now, we are creating the networks that we need for the future that will come and to all the people who are suffering from depression and, you know, I have my dark moments, no doubt about that.

So, but at the same time, as long as the game is on, the others will play. So I might just as well play and play as hard as I can. and feudalism and all the other changes that we had in the past, they didn't come about because people were depressed and like, but because people were pissed and went out and just, you know, and we're defeated and get back defeated and get back and then 200, 300 years, you know, down the line, they managed to create a different world. Giving up is no option period.

And I've experienced this many times in many campaigns, not only in Germany, you know, it starts off with a handful of people mission impossible. But over all these years, um, I've experienced, you know, like really magical results. And, and I think that we shouldn't be scared to dream and have big visions.

Uh, so yeah, that will be my final words.

James: I hope that's not Andy's final words.

Halle: (laughs) Um, but no, it's very true. Like the gas industry right now, they're gambling right now on their future, right? This isn't guaranteed. And so there's still a lot of room for people to get involved and raise their voices so I think that reminder is always incredibly important.

Andy, Hiroki, James, thank you so much for joining us to have this global conversation. I really appreciate it.

Hiroki: Thank you for inviting us.

Andy: Yeah, thanks Emil for providing the space and, and for, you know, making sure we have the right date and time to come together.

James: Yeah, thank you so much. It's so good to see all of you.


Thanks for listening to Sea Change. This episode was hosted and produced by Hallie Parker and me, Carlisle Calhoun. Our theme music is by John Batiste and our sound designer is Emily Jankowski. Sea Change is a WWNO and WRKF production. We're a part of the NPR podcast network and distributed by PRX. To see more of our reporting on lng, visit, and to help others find our podcast, hit subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

See change is made possible with major support from the Gulf Research Program of the National Academy of Sciences Engineering and Medicine. WWNO's Coastal Desk is supported by the Walton Family Foundation, the Mereaux Foundation, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation. This special series is part of the Pulitzer Center's nationwide Connected Coastlines Reporting Initiative.

For more information, go to Thanks for being here, and SeaChange will be back soon.



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