Dec 1 Sierra Club Webinar: Supporting EPAs Critical Smog Pollution Health Protections

Child with Inhaler

As you may have noticed EPA proposed new smog pollution protections to protect children’s health the day before Thanksgiving: http://content.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2014/11/sierra-club-applauds-new-smog-pollution-proposal-children-and-elderly.  Please join us this evening at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT for an important webinar on the impact of what EPA has proposed and what we can all do to help get this critical proposal across the finish line.

Supporting EPAs Critical Smog Pollution Health Protections
Join us for a Webinar on December 1 at 8pm ET/ 7pm CT/ 6pm MT/ 5pm PT
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/533385639

On December 1st President Obama is expected to follow through on his 2008 campaign promise to propose a new smog standard and protect children’s health.  This decision is one of the most important opportunities to reduce pollution of his final term, rivaling the positive impact of the Clean Power Plan for our health and climate.  Join the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign for a webinar later that evening at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT to learn more about how you can help us get these critical public health protections across the finish line.

Our opposition is geared up to fight this proposed rule, including an incoming Congress that will do everything they can to derail the President’s clean energy agenda.  The National Association of Manufacturers and their allies have driven hyperbole to new levels by calling this the most expensive EPA rule in history, and they are pleading with the coal industry and the American Petroleum Institute to spend tens of millions of dollars to defeat it.  In reality, this rule will save tens of thousands of lives and let our children take a breath without worry.  It will ensure new clean energy technologies are deployed and jobs are created.  Every parent has a right to know whether or not the air is safe to breathe, and President Obama can deliver that.  But we need your help to make sure the rule is strong and final by the end of 2015.

Join us at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT on Monday, December 1st to learn more about what is in the proposed rule, and what you can do to help make sure President Obama lives up to his clean air promise.
Title:    Supporting EPAs Critical Smog Pollution Health Protections
Date:    Monday, December 1, 2014
Time:    8:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

2014 Annual Report and Ballot

Thanks to our great NC Sierra Club staff for their work in preparing the 2014 Annual Report. Click below to download and read a copy.

All members with current dues paid should have received a copy of the NC Sierra Club Annual report and election ballot. This year we are encouraging everyone to vote electronically, although you can still submit a paper ballot.

2014 Annual Report and Ballot2014 Annual Report – Final

The ballot page hosts candidate information and the official ballot for the Executive Committee elections for the  NC Sierra Club.  Candidate statements are located below the ballot.

Only Sierra Club members are allowed to vote in this election and your member number is required to submit your ballot.

Member numbers are located on the address label of the NC Sierra Club Annual Report.  If you did not receive a copy of the Annual Report and need help finding your member number, please contact Janet Joye Smith at ncsierracg@gmail.com.

For any questions about this ballot or the voting process, please contact Dustin Chicurel-Bayard at dustin.chicurel-bayard@sierraclub.org.

Voting is open from November 15 – December 15, 2014.

Remember: You need your Sierra Club member number to vote!

Vote for our local Executive Committee members here: 2014 Central Piedmont Group Ballot
Vote for our NC Chapter leaders here: 2014 NC Sierra Club Steering Committee Ballot

Sierra Club Outing: Dec 14 – South Mountains State Park Hike, High Shoals Falls and Chestnut Knob

high shoals fallsHigh Shoals Falls

chestnut knob overlookChestnut Knob Overlook

South Mountains State Park Hike

3001 South Mountain Park Avenue
Connelly Springs, NC  28612
Sunday, December 14, 9:30 a.m.

The South Mountains, carved out of the Blue Ridge by erosion, are a broad belt of peaks and knobs rising abruptly from a deep valley. These steep, rugged mountains encompass 100,000 acres in Burke, Cleveland and Rutherford counties.  We will hike 8-10 miles, enjoy the spectacular view from Chestnut Knob with an elevation of 2300 feet, walk along beautiful mountain streams, explore the different forest types present in the park, and hike to High Shoals Falls which has an 80 foot drop.

Participants should be able to hike approximately 8 miles in sometimes rugged terrain.  This hike is moderately strenuous as there are some steep areas.  We may have a couple stream crossings to make over rocks depending on which route we choose.  Hiking poles or a walking stick will be helpful.   Please wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring water, lunch or snacks.

We will meet at the Jacob’s Fork Parking Area at 9:30 a.m., the hike will last 5-6 hours.

South Mountains State Park is a 1 ½ to 2 hour drive from Charlotte, located in Burke County near Connelly Springs.  Car pooling is encouraged, but not arranged by the Sierra Club.  Each participant on a Sierra Club Outing has to sign a standard liability waiver.  You can view the waiver here: https://nc2.sierraclub.org/sites/nc.sierraclub.org/files/SignInWaiver%20with%20photo%20release.pdf

Limited to 20 hikers.

Registration required. Contact Linda Alley,  lindasuealley@hotmail.com

 

Send a message to Todd Stern, the U.S. Climate Change Envoy

The world demands climate action!

Tell the US Climate Change Envoy to seek strong and equitable international commitments at the Lima summit.
Peoples Climate March
Send Your Letter

On Monday, December 1, the UN Climate Change Conference kicks off in Lima, Peru. This is an important opportunity to demonstrate to leaders from across the globe that the world demands action now on climate.

Send a message to Todd Stern, the U.S. Climate Change Envoy. Ask him to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to cut carbon emissions and to seek strong and equitable commitments from the leaders of other countries.

I’m excited to be attending the Lima conference as part of a Sierra Student Coalition delegation. Across the globe, students and youth are voicing our generation’s concern about the dire consequences of climate change and the need for immediate action.

In September, I attended the People’s Climate March and was struck by the growth of our movement — indigenous and frontline communities, labor unions, faith groups, and climate activists of all ages marched as one. We sent a clear message and the world took notice! “When you have more than 400,000 people in the streets of NYC… that’s political will that’s getting exercised,” said Todd Stern after the march.

The talks in Lima will set the stage for Paris climate negotiations in 2015, where an agreement on global climate action will be sought. The recent U.S./China climate agreement demonstrates that world leaders are taking our message to heart. However, we can and must do more to avert climate catastrophe.

Make your voice heard in Lima! Ask the U.S. Climate Envoy to build global consensus for strong and equitable climate action.

Thank you for speaking up,

Natalie Lucas
International Committee Chair
Sierra Student Coalition

Sierra Club Applauds Obama for Bringing Millions From the Shadows to Security

Coming Clean: The blog of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune

Michael Brune

November 21, 2014

From Shadows to Security

Last night, President Obama announced that he will use his executive authority to take the first significant steps toward fixing what has become an increasingly dysfunctional national immigration policy. As with climate and energy policy, he has not done all that is needed, but as much as he believes he can. In the face of a Congress that routinely passes on opportunities to do anything constructive, and political ideologues who cry foul before the ball is even in play, Obama is determined to do his job.

Why should the Sierra Club care about this latest announcement? For the same reasons anyone should care. Because (again, just as with climate disruption) fixing this problem is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. What kind of society forces millions of people — people who are essential to its functioning — to live in the shadows?

Policy debates tend toward abstraction and depersonalization. One side talks about “illegal aliens” and the other about “undocumented workers.” Really, though, we’re talking about people. People just like us. They are moms and dads. They’re uncles, aunts, and grandparents. They may love to dance, to hike, or to spend Sunday afternoons at a big family picnic. Their kids play with ours in the schoolyard. We sit together in the same movie theatres and at our churches, mosques, and synagogues.

One thing is different for them, though. When we look to see who is being hurt most by pollution, our nation’s immigrants are the people we usually find on the front lines. Their communities are not only among the most exploited and abused by polluters but also among the most vulnerable to the consequences of climate disruption and extreme weather. Yet they have been denied even the most basic protections that would allow them to speak up and seek justice.

That millions of families in this country should never feel truly safe is both unconscionable and un-American.

Beyond the issue of justice, though, Obama is helping to restore something that has always been essential to the character and achievement of our nation. Immigrants do not want to be a burden — they want to contribute. In the past, we were proud of that fact and those contributions. When the Sierra Club was founded 122 years ago, at least 20 of our 182 original members were immigrants — including, of course, John Muir himself. Some of them had come to the U.S. because it was a land of opportunity. Some were fleeing political upheavals. All of them, though, were proud contributors to their adopted country.

After six years of waiting in vain for Congress to act, President Obama has taken an important and necessary first step toward offering temporary relief for undocumented families. In doing so, he is enabling millions of people to make their own contributions to this country by removing the threat of deportation and family separation. The result will be an America that is more diverse, more fair, and all the stronger for it.

Thank President Obama for taking action here.

NC Sierra Club Footnotes Online – November 2014

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

Dear Sierran,

With Thanksgiving coming next week, we at the NC Sierra Club would like to take a moment to express our appreciation for all of the hard work done by our volunteers. From working to elect conservation-minded candidates to celebrating our wilderness areas, Sierrans have shown time and again what people can do to preserve and protect our state’s natural heritage.

We hope you enjoy the upcoming holidays, and as always, it’s a pleasure working with and for you.

Your staff at the NC Sierra Club

Take Action: Protect Our Forests

Forest_Action12.png

The U.S. Forest Service is currently in the process of revising the management plans for North Carolina’s Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, which determines the future of our forests for decades to come. These plans only get revised once every 15-20 years and this is a critical time to let your voice be heard!

The Forest Service is proposing a large proportion of the landscape for “timber production”, rather than a balanced plan that will provide for recreation, natural resources, sensitive ecosystems, wildlife, wilderness protection and timber harvesting.

Click here to send in your comments to the US Forest Service and let them know that we should protect our forests!

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2014 Annual Report

The NC Sierra Club’s 2014 Annual Report & Ballot has been mailed to all members! It should arrive at homes across the state this week.

Aside from updates on our work this year, the annual report includes a Message from the Chair, recognition of our financial supporters, information about electing local and state volunteers to leadership positions in the Sierra Club, and more!

But you don’t have to wait to receive your report from the Postal Service to check it out. Click here to read the 2014 Annual Report online!

 

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Electing Today’s Environmental Leaders

Every Sierran in North Carolina can vote in Chapter elections. This year, there are five candidates running for three open seats on the NC Sierra Club’s Executive Committee. Chapter elections information can be found by clicking here: https://nc2.sierraclub.org/2014Ballot

Also, every Sierra Club member in North Carolina belongs to a local group, and these local groups are holding their elections now, as well! Click here for information about electing your local Sierra Club leaders:  https://nc2.sierraclub.org/2014LocalBallots

All elections are open now and close on Dec. 15th. Don’t miss your chance to vote!  Click here to vote now!

Not a member yet?  Click here to become a bona fide Sierran today!

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Wilderness Spotlight: Croatan National Forest

The 160,000-acre Croatan National Forest lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Neuse River and contains a variety of ecosystems, which are further protected within four separate wilderness areas set aside in 1984. The forest is cherished for its pine forests, salt estuaries, bogs, and pocosins. Being suitable for hiking, camping, hunting, and trail biking make these wilderness areas great places to explore and connect with nature.

Click here to read Nancy Card’s full blog post about this national forest and the four wilderness areas within it.

 

 News Worth Sharing

Coal Ash

The newly formed Coal Ash Management Commission (CAMC) held its first meeting last week. The meeting itself mostly provided the commissioners with information about coal ash in North Carolina.

The website for the CAMC has the presentation from that all day meeting and is chock-full of useful information. Click on the link to keep an eye on CAMC and their upcoming work: http://www.camc.nc.gov/meetings.html.

Offshore Drilling

Earlier this month, state officials hosted a closed door meeting about potential offshore drilling off the Eastern Seaboard. And even though elected officials, federal agencies and state bureaucrats attended the meeting, the public was shut out. The federal government is currently evaluating whether to allow drilling off our coast in federal waters. Governor McCrory is an advocate for opening up the Atlantic coast to offshore drilling.

The NC Sierra Club was instrumental in pointing out the lack of transparency. Hopefully future meetings will allow public participation. Read our response to the closed door meeting in the Associated Press story here: http://wapo.st/1vqbbDT.

Solar

North Carolina is a national leader in solar power; however, uncertainty around several solar policies have many businesses and solar supporters worried. Dave Dewitt at WUNC produced a great story about the solar policies in our state and the challenges they face. Click the link to read and listen to his story:  http://wunc.org/post/solar-business-booming-nc-how-long.

And find out more information about our Solar Is Rising campaign at SolarIsRising.org!

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