Why We Must March!

Great article. And in other news…

The People’s Climate March has gone global!

A weekend to bend the course of history

In September, heads of state are going to New York City for a historic summit on climate change. With our future on the line, we will take a weekend and use it to bend the course of history.

In New York City there will be an unprecedented climate mobilisation – in size, beauty, and impact. This moment will not be just about New York or the United States. Heads of state from around the world will be there, as will the attention of global media.

Our demand is for Action, Not Words: take the action necessary to create a world with an economy that works for people and the planet – now. In short, we want a world safe from the ravages of climate change.

We know that no single meeting or summit will “solve climate change” and in many ways this moment will not even really be about the summit. We want this moment to be about us – the people who are standing up in our communities, to organise, to build power, to confront the power of fossil fuels, and to shift power to a just, safe, peaceful world.

To do that, we need to act – together.

Join the Global Weekend of Action

 

People’s Climate March = Marching for the Future

Bill McKibben, Eddie Bautista, LaTonya Crisp-Sauray | September 14, 2014

On Sunday, Sept. 21, a huge crowd will march through the middle of Manhattan. It will almost certainly be the largest rally about climate change in human history, and one of the largest political protests in many years in New York. More than 1,000 groups are coordinating the march—environmental justice groups, faith groups, labor groups—which means there’s no one policy ask. Instead, it’s designed to serve as a loud and pointed reminder to our leaders, gathering that week at the United Nations to discuss global warming, that the next great movement of the planet’s citizens centers on our survival and their pathetic inaction.

As a few of the march’s organizers, though, we can give some sense of why we, at least, are marching, words we think represent many of those who will gather at Columbus Circle for the walk through midtown Manhattan.

PCM Bright Eyes

We’re tired of winning the argument and losing the fight. And so we march. Poster by James Jean

We march because the world has left the Holocene behind: scientists tell us that we’ve already raised the planet’s temperature almost one degree Celsius, and are on track for four or five by century’s end. We march because Hurricane Sandy filled the New York City subway system with salt water, reminding us that even one of the most powerful cities in the world is already vulnerable to slowly rising ocean levels.

We march because we know that climate change affects everyone, but its impacts are not equally felt: those who have contributed the least to causing the crisis are hit hardest, here and around the world. Communities on the frontlines of global warming are already paying a heavy price, in some cases losing the very land on which they live. This isn’t just about polar bears any more.

But since polar bears can’t march, we march for them, too, and for the rest of creation now poised on the verge of what biologists say will be the planet’s sixth great extinction event, one unequalled since the last time a huge asteroid struck the Earth 66 million years ago.

And we march for generations yet to come, our children, grandchildren and their children, whose lives will be systematically impoverished and degraded. It’s the first time one century has wrecked the prospects of the millennia to come, and it makes us mad enough to march.

We march with hope, too. We see a few great examples around the world of how quickly we could make the transition to renewable energy. We know that if there were days this summer when Germany generated nearly 75 percent of its power from renewable sources of energy, the rest of us could, too—especially in poorer nations around the equator that desperately need more energy. And we know that labor-intensive renewables would provide far more jobs than capital-intensive coal, gas and oil.

And we march with some frustration: why haven’t our societies responded to 25 years of dire warnings from scientists? We’re not naïve; we know that the fossil fuel industry is the 1 percent of the 1 percent. But sometimes we think we shouldn’t have to march. If our system worked the way it should, the world would long ago have taken the obvious actions economists and policy gurus have recommended—from taxing carbon to reflect the damage it causes to funding a massive World War II-scale transition to clean energy.

Marching is not all, or even most, of what we do. We advocate; we work to install solar panels; we push for sustainable transit. We know, though, that history shows marching is usually required, that reason rarely prevails on its own. (And we know that sometimes even marching isn’t enough; we’ve been to jail and we’ll likely be back.)

We’re tired of winning the argument and losing the fight. And so we march. We march for the beaches and the barrios. We march for summers when the cool breeze still comes down in the evening. We march because Exxon spends $100 million every day looking for more hydrocarbons, even though scientists tell us we already have far more in our reserves than we can safely burn. We march for those too weak from dengue fever and malaria to make the journey. We march because California has lost 63 trillion gallons of groundwater to the fierce drought that won’t end, and because the glaciers at the roof of Asia are disappearing. We march because researchers told the world in April that the West Antarctic ice sheet has begun to melt “irrevocably”; Greenland’s ice shield may soon follow suit; and the waters from those, as rising seas, will sooner or later drown the world’s coastlines and many of its great cities.

We don’t march because there’s any guarantee it will work. If you were a betting person, perhaps you’d say we have only modest hope of beating the financial might of the oil and gas barons and the governments in their thrall. It’s obviously too late to stop global warming entirely, but not too late to slow it down—and it’s not too late, either, to simply pay witness to what we’re losing, a world of great beauty and complexity and stability that has nurtured humanity for thousands of years.

There’s a world to march for—and a future, too. The only real question is why anyone wouldn’t march.

Eddie Bautista is executive director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. LaTonya Crisp-Sauray is the recording secretary for the Transport Workers Union Local 100. Bill McKibben is the founder of 350.org and a TomDispatch regular.

http://ecowatch.com/2014/09/14/peoples-climate-march-future/

EPA Takes Real Steps Toward Curbing Smog Pollution – Now We Need Your Voice

Jasmine Smog

EPA Takes Real Steps Toward Curbing Smog Pollution – Now We Need Your Voice

September 11, 2014

The Environmental Protection Agency recently found that we’ve been doing it wrong for years; our air is not as clean or as safe as we once supposed. The agency’s smog pollution policy assessment, released in late August, found that current “safe” levels of smog pollution are actually not strong enough to protect our communities, our kids, or the air we breathe.

Doris Toles could tell you that.The Baltimore resident struggles with serious respiratory issues which are only made worse by the poor air quality in the city.

“I had my first asthma attack when I was two. I’m now living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD),” says Doris. “A person gets COPD like I have after years of asthma attacks permanently weaken the lungs, and there is no cure.”

Doctors told Doris that her asthma is triggered by pollution in the air where she lives. “I have to be very careful and keep my inhaler close at hand on days when smog levels are high.”

When smog is inhaled, the harm it does has been likened to getting a sunburn on your lungs. Thankfully, we’ve got a chance to put things right. This December, the EPA will propose new smog pollution protections that can get America’s air quality back on track.

 “Safe” smog pollution levels were first lowered in 2008 from 88 parts per billion (ppb) to 75 ppb, but it turns out those protections were not enough to ensure clean, safe air for children and vulnerable populations living near the sources of this pollution. New recommendations from scientists since the 2008 protections have found that we need to ratchet them down to 60 ppb, in order to guard against dangerous air. The recent smog pollution policy assessment echoed this sentiment, recommending that the levels be reduced to a range of 60 to 70 ppb.

While we applaud the EPA’s assessment for acknowledging the need to strengthen the current safeguards, it’s important to note that the devil is in the details, which is why we need your help. Thousands of lives hang in the balance between 60 ppb and 70 ppb, and are pushing hard for the EPA to propose 60 ppb protections in December.

At Sierra Club, we have strongly advocated for a 60 ppb standard for years because the science is clear that it will better protect families from smog pollution from power plants and tailpipe emissions. Smog pollution can trigger respiratory problems like asthma attacks and cardiovascular problems. Over time, continued exposure can even lead to premature death.

Doris has lost friends and family to severe asthma attacks. For her and many others, it’s a matter of life and death. “Cleaning up this pollution helps people like me stay alive,” she says.

A 60 ppb standard would safeguard families, especially young children and the elderly, from these health hazards and save roughly $100 billion in health care costs. The EPA also estimates that cutting back to safer levels of smog pollution (60 ppb) would prevent 12,000 premature deaths, 21,000 hospitalizations and the stop the loss of 2.5 million work and school days each year. In view of this, the smog pollution policy assessment is an important step toward holding polluters accountable and lifting this huge burden off our communities.

In the months ahead, we work to secure the strongest possible protections for those who need them most. Let EPA know you support strong standards here.

–Mary Anne Hitt, Beyond Coal Campaign Director

City of Charlotte Throwing $1000s Away

The City of Charlotte is wasting thousands of taxpayer dollars by the lack of policies and programs to conserve energy across our community.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has issued a report for Charlotte’s Energy Efficiency programs and it’s bad. Really bad!!

Charlotte scored 23.75 points out of a possible 100 points.

Charlotte ranked 31st out of 34 major metropolitan cites.

We hope that Charlotte elected officials and staff will review this report and decided to get serious about energy efficiency. Click below to see how we did in each of 5 areas. Let your elected City officials and staff know that we want to save energy, save money, and save the environment.

Energy Efficiency is ‘Cheapest Fuel’

ACEEE-Energy-Manage1http://www.energymanagertoday.com/energy-efficiency-is-cheapest-fuel-099803/

City of Charlotte Total Score – 23.75 out of 100

Charlotte City Scorecard Rank – 31 out of 34 major metropolitan areas

Charlotte EE Ranking

LCO EE

CWE EE

BP EE

EWU EE

T EE

Read the full report at: http://database.aceee.org/city/charlotte-nc#sthash.2vwIyHiv.dpuf

EPA Clean Power Plan Background Information

Check out these Sierra Club resources on the EPA Clean Power Plan. Put this information to use tonight, Sept 9th!

Citizen’s Climate Hearing
September 9th
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Myers Park Baptist Church
Heaton Hall
1900 Queens Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207

Free Solar Tours preceding the hearing – 5:00 and 5:30 PM

Hearing Format
•    Please limit oral comments to 3 minutes (typically 400 – 450 words)
•    Please bring a copy of prepared comments for the court reporter (optional)
•    Written comments may be of any length and submitted without public speaking

New EPA rules on carbon will benefit economy

New EPA rules on carbon will benefit economy

Thanks to Joel Olsen, president at Cornelius-based O2energies Inc., for speaking out in the Charlotte Business Journal opinion – New EPA rules on carbon will benefit economy!

Won’t you stand with Joel and others from across the state and speak out tomorrow, September 9th, at the Charlotte Citizen’s Climate Hearing (see flyer below for more information)?

Citizen’s Climate Hearing
September 9th
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Myers Park Baptist Church
Heaton Hall
1900 Queens Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207

Free Solar Tours preceding the hearing – 5:00 and 5:30 PM

Hearing Format
•    Please limit oral comments to 3 minutes (typically 400 – 450 words)
•    Please bring a copy of prepared comments for the court reporter (optional)
•    Written comments may be of any length and submitted without public speaking

 

New EPA rules on carbon will benefit economy

VIEWPOINT – Sept 5, 2014
Joel Olsen

With the recent announcement of new federal rules to reduce carbon dioxide, market opportunities will open for clean energy, which is good news for North Carolina.

Our already booming solar industry ranks second in the nation for utility-scale capacity. Our state hosts more than 18,000 full-time jobs in the clean-energy sector.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s rules create an opportunity for renewable-energy and energy-efficiency businesses, as well as natural gas and nuclear, to play an increasingly important role in the transition to a low-carbon future.

The EPA rules also will help level the playing field both nationally and on the global stage where U.S. industry must compete.

Take our automobile industry as an example. When lax domestic regulations allowed automakers to produce cars with lower fuel efficiency in the U.S. market, they quickly found that those cars could not be sold in foreign markets with higher fuel-efficiency standards. Instead of boosting efficiency, the U.S. auto industry lost market share, jobs and investor confidence as it tried to protect itself from being held to the regulatory requirements of its global competitors.

The new rules set national standards to reduce emissions from the generation of electricity, the largest source of carbon in the country. These stricter requirements will promote innovation, investment and jobs in America for clean-energy business while reducing emissions that cause pollution and global warming.

For O2energies, a developer and owner of solar farms in the Southeast, the new rules provide a clear market signal to our investors, suppliers and contractors that they should invest in projects, manufacture products and add jobs.

Thanks again Joel!

 

Charlotte Citizens Climate Hearing

March or the Polar Bear gets it!

OK, we really would do that. Or would we?!?!?!

Make sure that we don’t. Sign up for the Charlotte to New York City People’s Climate March Bus – Limited Seats, Sign Up Today!

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It’s going to be a powerful day! Be a part of history. Sign up for the Charlotte to New York City People’s Climate March Bus – Limited Seats, Sign Up Today!

 

Sept 7th – Watch “DISRUPTION: Climate. Change.”

Watch the video trailer and plan to watch the full showing. I’m sure that after seeing it you’ll want to sign up for the Charlotte to New York City People’s Climate March Bus – Limited Seats, Sign Up Today!

“When it comes to climate change, why do we do so little when we know so much?” This is the question that Disruption investigates in the 60-minute documentary with narration based on the writings of Bill McKibben.

Disruption takes a fearless look at the devastating consequences of inaction on climate change. The film calls for bold action now and shows how building a renewable energy future can help provide solutions to our fossil-fuel addicted economy. “We’re the first generation to feel the impacts of climate disruption, and the last generation that can do something about it,” says the films synopsis.

Disruption takes you behind-the-scenes of the efforts to organize what will likely be the largest climate rally in the history of the planet—the People’s Climate March on Sept. 21 in New York City during the United Nation’s Climate Summit.

Disruption will be released for free online Sept. 7. Independent screenings and house parties are being planned around the country so people can watch the movie together.

The film boasts inspiring interviews with many climate leaders including: Leslie Cagan, Keya Chatterjee, Dr. Heidi Cullen, Justin Gillis, Dr. James Hansen, Chris Hayes, Dennis Hayes, Naomi Klein, Van Jones, Bill McKibben, Dr. Naomi Oreskes, Ricken Patel, Yeb Saño, Jeanette Toomer and more.

P.S. Seats are filling fast. Sign up for the Charlotte to New York City People’s Climate March Bus – Limited Seats, Sign Up Today!