Memories and Images of the Peoples Climate March

Thanks to long time Sierra Club member Nancy Bryant for this great message!

Memories of the “Great March”

Nancy C. Bryant

On Saturday, 8pm, September 20, our charter bus, along with nine other buses from NC, took off for New York City for the People’s Climate March the next day. The 55 people on our bus were to join what we had hoped would be 250,000 others, but which would become 400,000 at the final tally.

Now, why would 400,000 people come from all over the US and Norway and Canada, and who knows how many other counties, to march for one day? People of all ages, all colors, cultures and backgrounds. People singing, playing instruments, chanting, shouting, carrying signs and posters and waving flags and flying birds and giant parachutes, people walking, in strollers, in wheelchairs, on floats, on bikes, on scooters, on roller skates, dancing, prancing……..

I’ll tell you why. Because they care about what is happening to this, our fragile planet earth. They care about the future of their children and grandchildren and all living things on this earth. They care about the climate that is now changing so rapidly that we see it in front of our eyes, if we look about and pay attention to the climate. Just ask the farmers who were there. Just ask our local farmers. They want fossil fuels to continue being replaced with renewal energy sources, not 10 years from now, not 50 years from now, but now. They want the fracking to stop. They want our climate to get back into balance instead of heating up.

At first, my stepson, Jeep Bryant, and I marched with the contingent of people of faith and scientists, but later we joined the indigenous peoples of the world. There were people from labor, families, students, elders, environmental justice, community groups, neighborhood groups, the City Council of NYC, the head of the UN, movie and pop culture advocates – every possible group of people concerned about the issues.

The people who marched were marching with hope and exhilaration, knowing that millions more of us would also march for our fragile earth and the future for generations to come if they could. Deb from Anson, James from Montgomery and Harry from Richmond, my busmates, join me in saying that it was a highlight of our lives to be marching on Sunday, sharing the hope of a better world.

And now for some scenes from the People’s Climate Change March.

Enjoy the memories. Rekindle the passion. Take some action on the Climate Cris today and everyday…

PCM ImagesPCM Art and Photos

Oct 18 Outing: Exploring Rocky Face Mountain Recreation Area

EXPLORING ROCKY FACE MOUNTAIN RECREATIONAL AREA

EXPLORING ROCKY FACE MOUNTAIN RECREATIONAL AREA
Saturday, October 18, 2014, 9:00 AM
3451 Rocky Face Church Rd, Hiddenite, N.C.

Easy to moderate 4-5 mile hike at Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area, located at the southeastern  edge of the Brushy Mountains in Alexander County,  about 65 miles NW of Charlotte.  We’ll climb the centerpiece of the park, a dome shaped mass of granite with a maximum elevation of 1800 feet above sea level that offers spectacular views.  RFMRA is the site of a former quarry operation and is listed on the NC Registry of Natural Heritage Areas.  It is also an official Hawk Watch Site for the Hawk Migration Association of North America.  We will be joined by a park naturalist who can explain the interesting geology and history of the site as well as help us identify the flora and fauna of the area.   This hike will last 3-4 hours.  Please bring water and lunch or snacks.  We’ll be taking a break on the peak to relax and enjoy the view.

Group size is limited to 12.  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

Contact Hike Leader Linda Alley to sign up: lindasuealley@hotmail.com or 704–962-526.

 

Oct 20 Program: Citizens’s United and Corporate Personhood

Make plans to attend and learn how you can protect our environment by protecting our democracy!

Sierra Club Endorses Move to Amend
January 27, 2012
“While our board passed a resolution about Citizens United last year, Move to Amend offers a framework for our volunteers to take action.”
~ Sarah Hodgdon, Sierra Club Conservation Director

Move to Amend Program

David Cobb is a founder and member of the national leadership team of Move to Amend and a former Green Party presidential candidate.

David is also an attorney and speaks all over the country on the issues of Corporate Personhood and money in politics.

 

Citizens’s United and Corporate Personhood

Monday, October 20
7:00pm

Charlotte School of Law
Room 1001
201 S College St
Charlotte, North Carolina 28244

Map for Charlotte School of Law

Co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society- Charlotte School of Law Chapter and the Charlotte Area Green Party.

How Green Spaces Are Saving Humanity

Great article from  Sierra Magazine!

Need to get your green on and recharge your humanity? Check out our Mecklenburg Park & Rec Nature Preserves. You’ll be glad you did!

How Green Spaces Are Saving Humanity

It’s like The Giving Tree, but in real life.
Park bench on a summer day

Thanks, Mother Nature.

Parks and green spaces are little oases nestled in a city’s fabric, offering respite from stressful bustle and ideal spots to picnic or walk. But urban green spaces—parks, gardens, or simply the trees that line sidewalks—also afford a host of less visible health benefits. Even living around leafy areas can provide perks you don’t even realize you’re getting, from lower blood pressure to lower crime rates.

1. Green spaces make you less stressed.

Anyone who’s ever sat in a park after a harrowing day of work knows that trees just have a way of making you feel better. Scientists have backed up this phenomenon, with studies that found lower blood pressure and heart rates, as well as lower levels of cortisol, a marker of stress found in saliva, among people who spend time in green spaces.

Trees are there for you during the harder times, too. Dutch researchers surveyed over 4,500 people going through stressful life events, including the death of a loved one, serious illness, or financial hardship. The ones who lived within 3 kilometers of green space reported higher levels of well-being and fewer health complaints in the face of their struggles than those who didn’t. And several studies have shown that people who live near green spaces are much less likely to suffer from depression or anxiety.

2. You’re less likely to die from stress or pollution-related problems.

These positive effects can go a long way. A study of 575,000 urban residents of Ontario, Canada showed that who lived near trees had lower rates of mortality, and were especially less likely to die of respiratory disease. This makes sense: Trees are air-filtering workhorses, taking in pollution and pumping out that sweet, sweet oxygen.

Another vivid study in 2013 used a natural experiment to confirm this trend. Scientists tracked the emerald ash borer, an invasive green beetle, as it demolished tens of millions of ash trees in Michigan and the northeast U.S. Over a period of five years, they found that in the areas the beetle hit hardest, about 21,000 more people had died from lower respiratory tract illness and heart disease than those who lived where ash trees survived.

3. Spending time in nature makes you a better employee.

Hanging out with trees during your lunch break can give your brain a rest by replenishing attention, say researchers at the University of Michigan. Unlike urban environments that require focused attention (say, dodging a speeding car), natural environments are filled with “intriguing stimuli” that modestly grab your attention—a funky-looking insect, the wind rustling through leaves—letting your higher concentration faculties rest. When you get back to work, you’ll be refreshed and more prepared to make savvy, career-advancing decisions.

4. Trees make inner-city neighborhoods safer.

Trees can even fight crime, according to a study by the Landscape and Human Health Laboratory at the University of Illinois. Researchers analyzed police crime reports from a Chicago public housing development to discover that buildings with greener surroundings had fewer reports of crime, both property and violent.

The idea that trees can act like leafy Batmen is cool enough, but how does it happen? In a later study, the same researchers found crimes in low-income areas often occurred because people were constantly mentally fatigued or stressed. Since the mere sight of trees is restorative, as we know, being surrounded by vegetation helped people recover from their stress, check their aggression, and keep the peace.

To top it all off, research has shown that these psychological benefits are even more pronounced when a park contains more biodiversity. Researchers from the University of Sheffield, England quizzed park-goers about their psychological well-being and how many bird, butterfly, and plant species they thought lived in the parks they frequented. The parks’ species richness, the scientists found, correlated with the people’s well-being. Moreover, the visitors themselves were able to tell on some subconscious level which parks were more diverse. That knowledge, it seems, did them good.

NC Sierra Club Footnotes Online – September 2014

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

Friends,

The Wilderness Act of 1964 not only defined the term ‘wilderness,’ but it protected over 9 million acres of land. The act became law 50 years ago this month. Over 100 million more acres of wilderness have been protected in the last 50 years. That’s certainly cause for celebration, and that’s exactly what we’re planning to do.

The NC Sierra Club’s Wilderness Celebration will be held on September 26 & 27 at Morrow Mountain State Park and will be our largest event of the year! If you haven’t signed up for the celebration yet and want to learn more, click here to read about the free programs and outings! We hope you can join us for a chance to celebrate wilderness and the outdoors in North Carolina.

However, this edition of Footnotes isn’t solely about wilderness.  There are a few time sensitive issues where we urge you to take action! See the links below for ways you can speak up to protect the red wolf and call for stronger fracking rules!

Thanks for all that you do,

Your staff at the NC Sierra Club

Take Action Center

Red Wolf ACTION BUTTON 3.jpg Fracking action button 2 - small.jpg Climate March Collage.jpg
Red wolves were extinct in the wild until a program started in the late 1980’s to re-introduce them to a small portion of North Carolina.  The program is being reviewed and may be ended!

Click here to send in your comments urging the Fish & Wildlife Service to protect the program and save the red wolf!Less than two weeks remain in the public comment period for the proposed fracking rules for North Carolina.
Click here to make sure your voice is heard on making sure our communities and waterways are protected!North Carolinians are traveling to New York City this weekend to take part in the largest climate march in history!

Click here to learn more about the march and to see if there’s a spot for you on a bus leaving from NC!

 

2014 Legislative Review

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Rarely does an environmental issue rise to the top of the legislative agenda, but this year our elected officials were compelled to respond to the February Dan River coal ash spill, the third largest in the nation.

Click here to read our full Legislative Review that covers coal ash, fracking, public transit, and more!

Citizens Climate Hearing in Charlotte is a Success

CLT Climate Hearing - Convio.png

The Central Piedmont Group partnered with the Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte to host a Citizens Climate Hearing earlier this month.

Stakeholders, public health advocates, faith leaders and concerned citizens provided their testimony on the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. All testimony was recorded by a certified stenographer and is being submitted to the EPA as official comments on the plan.

Read more about the public hearing and see the media coverage of the event on the Central Piedmont Group’s website.

Wilderness Spotlight: Joyce Kilmer – Slickrock Wilderness

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This month’s featured wilderness area is written by Brent Martin. Brent is the Southern Appalachian Regional Director for the Wilderness Society and will be the keynote speaker for the Wilderness Celebration on September 27.

Click here to read the short article on the Joyce Kilmer – Slickrock Wilderness written by Brent Martin that was originally featured in The Laurel magazine.

Meet Jacquie Ayala

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Please help us in welcoming the newest member of our team, Jacquie Ayala!  Jacquie began work this month as an associate field organizer, based in Raleigh.

Jacquie may be new to the NC Sierra Club, but she is certainly not new to organizing.  She was first inspired to organize after participating in the Greenpeace Change It! Program in 2008, where she learned about how the environmental movement and other social justice movements created real, concrete change in the world through community organizing. After the program, Jacquie went on to work with Repower America on comprehensive climate change legislation.

Jacquie will be working with the NC Chapter’s local groups to bring clean energy to North Carolina, protect the state from dirty and dangerous fossil fuels, and defend our resources to make sure we have clean air and water in the state.

Feel free to send Jacquie a welcome note at jacquie.ayala@sierraclub.org

Wilderness Celebration Festivities

The wilderness celebration at Morrow Mountain State Park is sure to draw a big crowd for its Saturday evening program.  If you plan on coming, but haven’t placed your dinner order yet, this is your last chance!

However, the dinner isn’t the only event and the outings are filling up, too! Below is a list of outings and events that are part of the wilderness celebration. Click here for a full description all of the events, or click on a particular outing to make sure you have your spot reserved!

Friday, Sept. 26, 1:00 pm, Birkhead Wilderness Hike

Friday, Sept. 26, 6:30pm, Group Dinner at Jay’s Seafood

Saturday, Sept. 27,  8:30am, Canoeing on Lake Tillery, Yadkin-Pee Dee River and Hidden Lake

Saturday, Sept. 27,  9:00 am, Hiking the Fall Mountain Trail

Saturday, Sept. 27,  11:30am, Kron Restoration Tour

Saturday, Sept. 27,  1:00pm, Mountain Biking Uwharrie National Forest

Saturday, Sept. 27, 1:30pm, Service Outing, Three Rivers Trail and Fall Mountain Trail Shoreline

Saturday, Sept. 27, 1:30pm, Hiking the Rocks Trail

Saturday, Sept. 27,  5:30pm, Wilderness 50 Celebration (check-in 5pm) This is the NC Sierra Club’s biggest celebration of the year!

Sunday, Sept. 28,  8am, Birding Along the Fall Mountain Trail

Other Outings and Events

Clean Energy for Raleigh Public Workshops

Clean Energy for Raleigh is hosting three free educational events for the public to learn about the program and technologies, meet the installers, ask questions, and get the details about tax credits, utility rebates, and financing options.

If you have thought about putting solar power on your house, these forums are sure to answer the questions you have!

September 22, 7:00-8:30pm at AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design, 14 East Peace St. Raleigh, NC (map)

October 14, 7:00-8:30pm at the Church of the Nativity, 8849 Ray Rd., Raleigh, NC (map)

November 6, 7:00-8:30pm at the Community United Church of Christ, 814 Dixie Trail, Raleigh, NC (map)

Click here to RSVP to any of the three forums and find out how you can be a part of the clean energy future in North Carolina!

 

October 1 & 15, 4:00 – 5:00 – Walking on Wednesdays – Durham, NC

Join Sierrans for this monthly fast-paced, mid-week walk on the Al Beuhler Trail.

The trail circles the perimeter of Washington-Duke Golf Course, offering shade, moderate hills, and natural scenery. The leader will set the pace to complete the 3-mile course in 1-hour although you are welcome to go your own pace and do as many laps as you would like. Rain cancels. The trailhead is located off Cameron Blvd, just east of Science Dr. Look for parking area at GPS Coord: 35.993851, -78.945780

There are no restroom facilities at this trailhead.

Contact for October 1: Contact Jae (SeeingTrees@gmail.com)

Contact for October 15: Contact Ginny (vkloepfer@nc.rr.com)

 

October 3-5 – Waccamaw River Paddle and Camp – Lake Waccamaw

The group will paddle Friday until 4:00 or 5:00 pm to find a good spot for an overnight camp site.  Paddle will be approximately 4 to 5 miles on Friday, 12 to 14 miles on Saturday, and 6 miles for Sunday morning.

Contact Information: Jerry Weston at takeahike@earthlink.net

For a full description, visit: http://nc2.sierraclub.org/outings/outing/waccamaw-river

ROBERT REDFORD: “Fracking Puts Our Drinking Water at Risk” (So Submit Comments on the NC Fracking Rules)

Just 2 days left (midnight, Sept 30th) to submit comments on the proposed NC fracking rules!

Submit Written Comments on Fracking Rules

Don’t forget, the Sept. 30th deadline for submitting written comments on the fracking rules is tomorrow! Check out the Frack Freee NC resource page here, for more information and bullet points to focus your comments on the rules.

To send a quick comment, go to Last Call for Fracking Comments – Sept 30th!

For more detailed taking points to really make an impression, click below and write and send a personal message!

NC Fracking RulesMEC-rules-1-page_WNC_8-28

Public Hearing Comments on the Proposed Weakened Stormwater Ordinance

Read two of the comments made at the September 22nd Public Hearing on the proposed weakening of our stormwater regulations. And while you’re at it, mark for calendar for October 27th for the City Council vote on this ordinance. We’ll need your voice, signs, and emails and calls to the Charlotte City Council!

Public Comments of Bill Gupton on the PCCO Revisions

Char Global Enviro Leader

Mayor Clodfelter, members of City Council, City Staff and others,

My name is Bill Gupton and I currently serve as Conservation Chair on the Charlotte based Sierra Club Central Piedmont group.

I apologize for not appearing tonight before you tonight for this public hearing as planned. This past weekend, in 34 hours, I was part of 3 buses full of 165 concerned Charlotte area citizens that traveled 1,300 miles as we joined 7 other North Carolina buses and over 400,000 people in New York City in the largest March in world history to call for action to address the Climate Crisis and Environmental Injustice. I’m exhausted, aching, I have no voice, yet I’m committed more than ever that we must address issues at the local, state and national level.

I’m a Charlotte native who grew up in the Oakdale Community on the west side of the County in the late 50’s and early 60’s. It was rural. My friends and I romped through the woods, camped out, and explored the woods, streams, and hills. We spent much of our time at “The Creek”, a stream where we waded and played. Some days we couldn’t get in the water because it was covered in red or blue foam. On other days it was covered with an oily sheen. We didn’t know why.

Today, while some areas of our surface water are better, we are at a critical junction. 81% of our streams in Mecklenburg County are officially labeled as “Impaired”. Almost every stream in our area suffers from pollution to some degree. The good news is that where we have decided to act, we have made a big difference such as in the Little Sugar Creek.
On August 10, 2014, City staff made a presentation to the City Environmental Committee that stated “CHARLOTTE will become A GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER” and “Charlotte will lead BY EXAMPLE” (see above). If you believe that this is true and accurate, you must reject the proposed revision to the Post Construction Control Ordinance (PCCO) as it would weaken stormwater control across our City and continue to degrade our area streams, lakes and rivers.

As scheduled now, on October 27th you will vote on this ordinance. I personally consider this one of the most important environmental votes of record by this City Council. By rejecting this change you will be telling developers that the cost of onsite mitigation of stormwater pollution is not an “incremental cost” but a “cost of doing business” in today’s world to protect our environment and the surrounding residents. By rejecting this ordinance you will send a message to Charlotte residents that you support environmental justice where we do not allow pollution controls to be weakened in areas of re-development that would allow the surrounding neighborhood streams to suffer. By rejecting this ordinance you will be telling Charlotte voters that you will not allow cost shifting of stormwater control and cleanup costs from developers onto the taxpayers. By rejecting this weakening of our stormwater controls you will be demonstrating real environmental leadership.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. This was an act designed to assure that every resident deserves clean streams flowing through their neighborhood. We’ve come a long way but we have much more to do. I strongly urge you on October 27th to reject the proposed weakening of stormwater controls for the future of our City and the quality of life and health of our community. Should you vote to approve this ordinance, I would request that you ask City Staff never to use the phrases “CHARLOTTE will become A GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER” and “Charlotte will lead BY EXAMPLE” because it just won’t be true.

Thank you.

 

Public Comments from Sustain Charlotte

Good Evening Mayor Clodfelter and Members of Council,

My name is Shannon Binns and I am the founder and Executive Director of Sustain Charlotte, a local nonprofit whose mission is to inspire choices that lead to a healthier and more vibrant community for generations to come.

I have just one question for you tonight:  Do you want Charlotte to be a leader when it comes to protecting our environment and growing our city in a sustainable way?  Right now our city sustainability staff in neighborhood and business services are putting together a plan, and the overarching guiding principle is for “Charlotte to be a global environmental leader.”

However, what you will be asked to support one month from now is a policy that is nowhere near leadership.

Leaders when it comes to managing stormwater runoff are requiring a range of on-site mitigation options to capture heavy metals, oil, trash, and other forms of pollution before it enters local waterways. As we learned from city stormwater staff at the last environment committee meeting, the city of LA already has installed 10,000 pollution filters, for example. Seattle’s county, King County, is requiring these filters as well, they mentioned.  These cities are two of the leaders because they require best practices as part of their ordinances.

In 2011 our local real estate industry asked for relief from our ordinance citing the downturn in our economy. So a three-year temporary option to bypass our onsite mitigation requirement by paying a fee was granted. That three-year period expired in April but this council agreed to extend it for six months so that the environment committee and staff could explore our options. During this time, my organization and three other local nonprofits who have professional expertise on environmental science and policy issues asked staff and members of the committee to require at least some best practices rather than simply extending the option to pay a fee instead of manage stormwater on site.

Unfortunately, none of our recommendations were included.

We want our city to be a leader. We want our children to be able to safely play in their backyard streams and creeks again. We want our city to thrive for generations. But if that is going to happen we must move beyond the rhetoric and we must begin taking the actions that leading cities take.  So we urge you to vote against allowing developers anywhere in our city to simply pay a fee instead of complying with one of our most important local laws. After all, doing business in this community comes with responsibilities to this community. And I hope you will hold those who wish to profit in our city accountable to these basic responsibilities.

This is not a zero-sum game. We can have economic development AND we can protect our natural resources. This is called sustainable development, and we urge you to be a champion for sustainable development, not a champion for short-term economic development that sacrifices our quality of life.
Thanks for your service to our community and if we can provide additional expertise on this issue, please let us know.