Greenpeace floats hot air balloon over Chico farm Message to governor: Stop fossil fuel extraction

by Karen Laslo
guest commentary

If you were driving west on Sacramento Avenue past the CSA GRUB Farm early Oct. 8, you might have seen a big blue and green globe floating above the tall trees on the edge of the farm.

photo by Karen Laslo
The Greenpeace protest balloon floats up over the north Chico farm in the early morning light.

It was a Greenpeace hot air balloon, painted to look like planet Earth and trailing a giant banner with a definite and firm message to the governor of California: “Newsom: Stop fueling the flames.”

The message was in reference to the massive climate change-driven wildfires that have scorched Northern California.

photo by Karen Laslo
The balloon takes off.

Greenpeace, along with some 750 groups, have formed the Last Chance Alliance that claims that Gov. Gavin Newsom isn’t doing enough to facilitate the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. According to the Alliance, Newsom has issued more than 1,500 oil and gas permits in 2020.

Greenpeace chose to bring its Earth balloon to Butte County because of the climate-fueled Camp Fire that killed 86 people in 2018 after years of drought, a fire that was triggered by a fatal spark due to PG&E negligence.

photo by Karen Laslo
Matt Leonard of in the Bay Area and member of Last Chance Alliance.

Representatives of local environmental groups showed up to help inflate and tether the big balloon and it floated above the farm, an urgent reminder of the importance of Last Chance Alliance’s call to: 1) Stop new oil permits, 2) Drop existing oil production and 3) Implement oil field setback limits.

The rise of the Greenpeace balloon is a crucial reminder that our lives depend upon what we do now.

Karen Laslo is a Chico photographer who publishes a blog called “A Picture’s Worth.”

2 thoughts on “Greenpeace floats hot air balloon over Chico farm Message to governor: Stop fossil fuel extraction

  1. Just wondering…How was the hot air generated? Certainly not by burning a carbon based fuel…So how did it collect all the hot air, and create more to keep it aloft?
    It is a worthy cause…

  2. Get a grip, guy.

    It’s absurd to put climate change protesters to the impossible standard of not living in our current world.

    They are asking for a systemic change. Once complete, you’ll have options for what kind of fuel is used to put up a hot air balloon. Those ptions don’t exist because we still approve fossil fuel permits and otherwise support this almost obsolete industry.

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