EPA Carbon Standards Give Our Kids a Fighting Chance

EPA Carbon Standards Give Our Kids a Fighting Chance

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As dire warnings from climate scientists continue to escalate and what were once rare extreme weather events become increasingly common, we at the Sierra Club applaud today’s announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency outlining its proposed protections from dangerous carbon pollution from existing power plants. These standards won’t just take a big bite out of climate disruption, they’ll also help us tackle other serious power plant pollution that threatens our health, air and water – pollutants including soot, smog, and mercury.

I’ve been thinking about this news all weekend, and I keep coming back to one thing – this new standard gives my daughter, and all today’s kids, a fighting chance at a safe and promising future. We are the last generation of people who have the chance to turn the corner on climate disruption. I want my daughter and all kids to be able to breathe clean air and drink clean water, to enjoy snow days and fishing trips. I don’t want them to face more massive wildfires, droughts, superstorms, food insecurity, breakdowns in infrastructure, and all the other unthinkable outcomes that our climate crisis could bring. As parents, we all want a better life for our children, and we now have to stand together to deliver that for them.

For decades, dirty power plants have been allowed to dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into our air, making them our single biggest source of the pollution that’s pushing our climate to the brink. Right now air pollution is making our children sick and costing us billions of dollars every year. Some dirty and desperate polluting companies would like to keep it that way, which is why they’re spending big to try and stop these standards from getting across the finish line. We need to join together and make our voices heard in support of these new standards, which you can do right here.

These costs — to our health and our wallets — will only grow unless we act. Climate and weather disasters cost the US $100 billion in 2012 alone, according to the EPA, the second most expensive year in US history for natural disasters.

Curbing dangerous carbon pollution from power plants will save billions of dollars (up to $93 billion, to be exact) – but more than that, it will save lives. The new standard is poised to prevent up to 6,600 premature deaths and 150,000 asthma attacks in children. EPA’s new safeguards will also spur innovation and accelerate the clean energy economy to create good American jobs.
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That’s why the Sierra Club and our 2.4 million members and supporters stand with President Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s in their action to cut harmful carbon pollution. We’ll do everything we can to ensure a strong and just standard to save lives, boost the clean energy economy, and help American families thrive.

I’ll write more in the coming days about the specifics of the standard, and how far it goes in moving the needle on climate change and air pollution. But big polluters are wasting no time in trying to stop these standards in their tracks, so let’s join together today and make one thing crystal clear – Americans want to turn the corner on climate disruption, we want safe air and water for our kids, and we want action now!

I encourage you to contact your governor and other elected officials. Urge them to support EPA’s carbon pollution standards for power plants and put strong state plans in place to implement the standards, to give our kids a fighting chance and a safe and promising future.

– Mary Anne Hitt, Director of the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign

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Moral Monday on June 2 – Focus on Environmental and Health Justice

June 2 Moral Monday

We cannot stand idly by while this extremist General Assembly endangers thousands of North Carolinian lives by denying Medicaid expansion, restricting women’s health access and letting corporations pollute without consequence.

Join us this Monday, June 2 at Moral Monday as we raise our voices to protect the health of our state!

3 pm – Pre-rally meeting
Pullen Memorial Baptist Church
1801 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC

5 pm – Moral Monday Rally
Halifax Mall
Behind the General Assembly
16 West Jones St, Raleigh, NC

“Solarize Our City” – June 3rd

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I hope that you are enjoying the nice summer sun. I have some great news to share. Since our Earth Day launch, Solarize Charlotte supporters have continued to knock on doors, talk to community members at festivals and meetings across town, and get great media coverage.

It has been a huge success. We have over 200 homeowners signed up for free solar assessments. We have achieved our sign-up goal for the entire three month enrollment period in just one month. Thank you for all your hard work to help spread the word and sign up yourself.

Let’s keep the solar momentum going. Will you join us on Tuesday 6/3 to “Solarize Our City“?The “Solarize Our City” event will have two parts–first an opportunity to learn about the program from solar experts including our installer RED Group, Admirals Bank and an Accountant to cover tax credits. We will also have different outreaching opportunities for supporters to learn how you can help spread the word and make Solarize Charlotte the most successful program yet.

WHAT: “Solarize Our City”

WHEN: Tuesday, June 3rd from 5:30pm to 8pm
WHERE: International House in Plaza Midwood
(1817 Central Ave #215, Charlotte, NC 28205)
We hope that you will join us and make this event a great solar success.
For the power of the sun,
Hanna, Michael and Monica

 

PS: Don’t forget, Solarize Charlotte is a limited time offer and only available thru July 31st. Hurry and sign up today at CleanerisCheaper.com

Sierra Club and Solarize Charlotte – A Perfect Match

Our Wednesday monthly meeting drew a big crowd and lots of first timers. So glad that you joined us!

Special thanks to our presenters and panel members Steve Rundle, Solarize Charlotte Champion, Hanna Mitchell, Solarize Charlotte Outreach, and Jeff Redwine, Co-Founder of RED Group who provided some great information about solar installation and the Solarize Charlotte program.

Following the Q&A the attendees broke into 2 groups to brainstorm and plan events for getting the word out about Solarize Charlotte (photos by Renee Reese and Ahmer Inam).

For more information, to request a presentation, or to volunteer to be a Solarize Charlotte Champion, email Bill Gupton or Hanna Mitchell.

SC and SolChar Steve

SC and SolChar Jeff

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Click below to see and share the presentation!

Sierra Club and SolChar PresentationSierra Club and Solarize Charlotte Presentation

NC Sierra Club Speaks Out on Crazy Fracking and Regulatory Reform Legislation

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club
Last week we saw a flurry of news hits and participation.
Here’s a look back.
The week started off with Foothills and Chapter Steering Committee member Gus Preschle getting a letter to the editor published in the Winston Salem Journal.
Your May 13 story “Foot traffic light for community meeting” was short and to the point. The writer states that foot traffic was largely nonexistent at Duke Energy’s community event in Eden. The three dozen smiling Duke Energy employees were probably wondering what it would take to get Duke Energy’s good name back.
Molly and Dustin were quoted in several news outlets on fracking.
North Carolina wants in on the fracking game (Washington Post) - But environmentalists say the legislature is reneging on a pledge it made in 2012 to allow the Mining and Energy Commission to establish a regulatory framework for horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Dustin Chicurel-Bayard, a spokesman for North Carolina’s chapter of the Sierra Club, said the legislature should vote on whether to allow hydraulic fracturing after the commission’s rules are finalized.
 
Fracking: With drilling on horizon, opponents prepare for fight (Fayetteville Observer) - The North Carolina Sierra Club, which says fracking should not be allowed until the state has adopted adequate protections for ground water and drinking water, will use its political action committee to endorse candidates whom it views as friendly to the environment.
 
North Carolina Senate Passes Pro-Fracking Bill (Al Jazeera America) -This has left some North Carolinians confused. Why, they wonder, is the state’s Senate pushing so hard to lift a ban on gas drilling before its Mining and Energy Commission even has a chance to draft and receive comment on the rules that would regulate fracking in the state?  “In 2012 the Senate promised that the rules developed by the Mining and Energy Commission would be put in place before fracking was allowed,” said Dustin Chicurel-Bayard, the communications director of the North Carolina branch of the Sierra Club. 
 
Granting NC Fracking Permits in 2015 Has Senate OK (ABC 11) – Sierra Club appears in the ABC 11 video, not the AP story below.
 

The NC Chapter also contributed to a number of stories on the massive regulatory reform bill that started to move this week.

 
NC environmentalists worried by GOP-backed bill (AP) – Molly Diggins, the North Carolina director of the Sierra Club, said the group successfully fought a similar measure from becoming law in the state during the mid-1990s. A note on the ALEC webpage says the language was first approved by the organization’s board in 1996.  “This provision allows companies to hide information that may document knowing, intentional and ongoing violations,” Diggins said. “It gives companies the ability to avoid potential enforcement action, penalties and bad publicity. It would better be called the ‘environmental secrecy’ provision.”
NC Senate Pushes Forward Sweeping Regulatory Reform Bill (WUNC) – “There is the concern that removing the possibility of getting in trouble as long as they [industries or polluters] clean up, as long as they report it, will create questions as far as if best practices are going to be kept in place,” says David Chicurel-Bayard of the Sierra’s Club North Carolina Chapter.
Regulatory reform heads for Senate floor (WRAL) – One provision would allow regulated businesses to avoid civil fines or penalties for a leak or spill as long as they report it and correct it. Molly Diggins with the North Carolina Sierra Club says that’s a return to the 1990s, when regulatory enforcement was far more lax. As written, Diggins says, “It arguably would allow Duke Energy, if they did voluntary site cleanups and inspections, to have that information be confidential and to get blanket immunity from fines.”
Bill Would Restrict Permit Challenges (Coastal Review) – Molly Diggins, director of the N.C. chapter of the Sierra Club, said the changes would effectively prevent environmental groups and others from challenging permits issued to heavy industries, like Titan America. The company wants to build a controversial cement plant near Wilmington. It received a state air permit, but a coalition of groups, including the N.C. Coastal Federation, challenged the permit, claiming the company wasn’t reducing emissions to the levels required by federal law.  “The challenge to Titan could not have gone forward under this provision,” Diggins said.
 
Dustin Chicurel-Bayard
Communications Director, NC Sierra Club

Make your voice heard on coal ash – June 4 Coal Ash Lobby Day

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

Friends,

All across North Carolina, Duke Energy is storing coal ash in unlined pits directly adjacent to our rivers and lakes. In February, this unsafe and antiquated method of storing toxic waste came to the inevitable result when up to 40,000 tons of coal ash – laced with arsenic, mercury, and lead – gushed into the Dan River.

And North Carolina has 13 other power plants with coal ash ponds across the state that are threatening the health of communities and polluting our groundwater.

Now some lawmakers want to pick and choose which coal ash sites are cleaned up.

Join community members from across the state to tell your lawmakers that your community matters, and to ask them to clean up coal ash across North Carolina!

June 4, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in Raleigh, NC (you do not need to be there the entire time)

Community members from across the state will meet with their lawmakers to express concerns about coal ash. No prior experience necessary. We will let lawmakers know that no community should be left behind in a full cleanup.

Please join us in Raleigh to make your voice heard.  Get in touch if you have questions. If you cannot make the lobby day but want to get involved please let me know.

Thank you,

Zak Keith
NC Lead Organizer, NC Sierra Club

PS. Don’t forget to sign up for the coal ash lobby day!

NC Sierra Club Footnotes Online – May 2014

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

Dear Friends,

The North Carolina General Assembly reconvened last week for its 2014 legislative short session.  And though it may be ‘short’, this session is already substantive and fast moving.

The best way to stay up to date on what’s happening at the legislature is to sign up for Cassie Gavin’s weekly updates.  As our lobbyist, Cassie is on the front lines helping protect our air, water, and natural places as various pieces of legislation are considered.  Send Cassie (cassie.gavin@sierraclub.org) a note to request her updates.

You will find more information on advocacy actions you can take, as well as outing opportunities to get outdoors and explore and enjoy our beautiful state.

Thanks for all that you do,

Your staff at the NC Sierra Club

 

Breaking News: Fracking Bill Speeds Through the Senate

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Yesterday, S 786 (this year’s fracking bill) was pushed through two committees and sent to the Senate floor.  Today, the full Senate gave tentative approval to the measure. We expect it to be heard in the House next week.

S 786 contains a provision that breaks the promise made by the 2012 legislature when it put a ban on the issuance of fracking permits until a regulatory framework is in place.  The legislature committed that the ban would not be lifted until the General Assembly reviewed and voted on the Mining and Energy Commission’s rulemaking recommendations.  And, the legislature promised that North Carolina would have the strongest rules in the nation.

Instead, S 786 lifts the ban on issuing fracking permits effective in July of 2015.

Click here to take action now and tell your legislators that you want them to keep their fracking promises.

 

Let Your Voice Be Heard: Coal Ash Lobby Day on June 4

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As you know, in February a stormwater pipe burst beneath a coal ash impoundment spilling 40,000 tons of coal ash – laced with arsenic, mercury, and lead – into the Dan River. Coal ash now coats the bottom of the Dan River for more than 70 miles, and is inches thick in some locations.

Along with Dan River, North Carolina has 13 other coal plants and 33 coal ash pits across that state that are threatening the health of communities and polluting precious groundwater.

That’s right.  All across North Carolina, Duke Energy is storing coal ash in unlined pits directly adjacent to our rivers and lakes. Hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians rely on drinking water downstream of these coal ash ponds.

Join us for our Coal Ash Lobby Day in Raleigh on June 4 to make sure your community has a voice in how this toxic coal ash is cleaned up!

You may not be surprised to learn that some lawmakers want to pick and choose which coal ash sites are cleaned up. Join community members from across the state to tell your lawmakers that your community matters!

Click here to make sure your community is represented during the Coal Ash Lobby Day on June 4!

 

 

Take Action Now! Online Action on Coal Ash

Whether or not you can attend the Coal Ash Lobby Day in Raleigh, there is something that you can do right now to help protect our communities from toxic coal ash.

Click here to tell NC Senate President Pro-Tempore Berger and NC House Speaker Tillis that we need leadership on coal ash now!

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Join the Team: the Volunteer Lobby Corps

Our volunteer lobbyists are instrumental in making sure that legislators have the information they need when taking up serious issues.  From fracking to clean energy, and issues local and statewide, our success depends on Sierrans like you stepping up.

You are the leader that you’ve been waiting for.  Sign up to learn more about the Lobby Corps today!

 

Party Like It’s 1984: NC Wilderness Celebration

What do Bill Murray, Mary Lou Retton, and the NC Sierra Club have in common?  Monumental achievements in 1984.

Thirty years ago the NC Wilderness Act was signed into law and 68,700 acres of wilderness in North Carolina were protected. The acreage total gets higher when you include the 25,000+ acres of study areas that were part of the law.  And Sierrans played a large role in getting the Wilderness Act passed.

And now, only a few tickets are still available for the 30th Anniversary Wilderness Celebration in Raleigh on June 12!

The program includes presentations from:

●     Dr. Robbie Cox, past NC Chapter Chair and former Sierra Club President;

●     Dan Chu, Senior Campaign Director for the Sierra Club’s Our Wild America program; and,

●     Amanda Damweber, Triangle Inner City Outings Chair.

Join us for an evening of great food and drink and even better company.  Help celebrate wild North Carolina and Sierra Club’s outings programs.  Get your tickets today!

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Wilderness Spotlight: Areas of the Croatan

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the North Carolina Wilderness Act, each month we will highlight a wilderness area or a piece of history about how these areas became protected.  This month, we celebrate the four wilderness areas within the Croatan National Forest.

In eastern North Carolina, the Croatan National Forest is home to four Wilderness Areas: Catfish Lake, Pocosin, Pond Pond, and Sheep Ridge.  Altogether, these tracts of land consist of over 31,000 acres.  Many dismiss these wilderness areas as impenetrable bogs that are only accessible by crossing deep ditches, but this is not entirely true.

Catfish Lake Wilderness Area can be reached driving down a dirt road to the lake and then crossing the lake in a kayak to the wilderness area. Sheep Ridge is directly accessible by the same gravel road that offers the turn off to Catfish Lake. Pond Pine wilderness area is accessible by the dirt road that leads to Great Lake, and Pocosin is a accessible by either a railroad track or the upper tributaries of the Newport River.

Visitors to these areas may see alligators, at least three kinds of poisonous snakes, and insectivorous plants like the sticky sundew, the waxy butterwort, and the no-way-out pitcher and Venus flytrap.  Being remote and seemingly uninviting are part of what helps keep these wilderness areas mostly unspoiled. But that also makes them worth seeking out for those of us who truly want to explore Our Wild North Carolina.

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Left: Henry Fansler of the Foothills Group walks between Sheep Ridge and Pond Pine, with Great Lake in the distant upper left corner. Right: The edge of Pond Pine Wilderness. Photo credit: Avery Locklear, used with permission.

 

Solar is Rising: A New Campaign with a Strong Foundation

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The NC Sierra Club has been working for years to help move our state away from dirty energy sources and onto clean energy solutions.  Our new Solar is Rising campaign builds on the great work our volunteers have already done and pushes our public education and advocacy efforts to a new level.

For the coming months, the Solar is Rising campaign will engage, educate, and motivate North Carolinians about the consequences of dirty energy and our state’s potential for better solar policies.  The will be more to come from this campaign in the coming months, but for now, it’s pretty clear that Solar is Rising!

Visit SolarIsRising.org for more information.

 

 

A Look Back: Recent NC Sierra Club Events Events

Celebration of the Military Child Outdoors – April 26, 2014

The second annual Celebration of the Military Child Outdoors (COMCO) at Camp Lejeune, NC was headed up by Karan Barber, the new director of the Charlotte Inner City Outings Program (ICO).  Joining Karan and her E-Corps Crew for the set-up day on Friday were Kelly Mieszkalski, Tom Williams and Nancy Card.  On Saturday, it was all hands on deck as Robert Scull, Elizabeth Greene and Hap Palmer joined in to help connect approximately 250 folks from military families to the great outdoors.  Representatives from five NC Chapter Groups were there to share in the fun!

The children checked in and were given a mission card to be stamped by each exhibitor including: Sturgeon City, Thrifty Adventures, Possumwood Acres, Camp Corral, USMC MCCS Outdoor Adventures, USO, Play Mobile, and the NC Zoo.

The North Carolina Sierra Club Outings leaders set up camp – literally – with tents and other camping gear. For some of the kids, it was their first time inside a tent. They also participated in a treasure hunt game developing navigational skills using a compass that was theirs to keep. The treasure chest featured bandanas screen printed by the Our Wild NC Team.  Fifty-four new folks signed up for the Explore Our Wild NC challenge and the NC Chapter raffled off a family tent to one lucky family.

After sampling all there was to offer, the young explorers returned to the check-in desk to share their successful mission cards and claim prizes including a magnifying glass, cool shades, a flying disc, and kite.  The high fives and smiles were overwhelming.  It was a wonderful opportunity to share adventures with our country’s youngest heroes!

For more great pictures of this event, click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjXN181k                               

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Sesquicentennial Park Outings Leader Training (OLT) Event a Big Success!

On May 3-4, over 30 current and aspiring Sierra Club Outings Leaders from the North and South Carolina Chapters gathered at Sesquicentennial State Park in Columbia, SC for a weekend full of Outdoor Leadership Training (OLT).  In true Sierra Club fashion, we camped out under the stars and did all of our teaching and training outside! Participants were treated to camp fire songs, perfect weather, and fantastic South Carolina hospitality (including BBQ!).  Training included Sierra Club OLT101 (Basic Outdoor Leadership), OLT201 (Advanced Outdoor Leadership), Watercraft (Canoe/Kayak) Safety, and CPR/First Aid training.

Thank you and congratulations to the following volunteer Outings Leaders who devoted a weekend away from home to further their commitments in getting more people outdoors while keeping them safe, happy and inspired:

Capital Group

●     Barbara Adamski

Central Piedmont Group

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●     Linda Alley

●     Bill Gupton

●     Dori Bowman

●     Hollis Parks

●     David Robinson

●     David Underwood

Foothills Group

●     Vance Parker

●     Henry Fansler

Headwaters Group

●     Michael Byrne

●     Kelly Mieszkalski

Orange-Chatham Group

●     Kim Ashley

●     Rosmarie Rosenbloom

A special thank you to our event organizing and training partners:

Art Seel, Starr Hazard, Al Graves, and Chris Hall from South Carolina; and, Bill Gupton, and Kelly Mieszkalski from North Carolina

The next Sierra Club Outings Leader Training event will be at Hanging Rock State Park 8/24-8/26–please save the date!  If you are interested in becoming a Sierra Club Outings Leader and/or if you have questions about the training event, please contact Kelly Mieszkalski at kellymieszkalski@yahoo.com for more information.

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Upcoming Outings

May 24, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Upper Newport River Kayak Outing – Newport, NC

Like most rivers that flow entirely within the coastal plain, the Newport River in Carteret County meanders, alternating between light sandy and dark silty soils.   Most of this trip will be beneath a canopy of cheery spring foliage and lucky participants may see and hear beaver, turtles, deer, and a variety of birds.  The length of the trip will depend upon the tide and how much its rained recently further upstream in the headwaters within the Pocosin Wilderness Area of Croatan National Forest.

Bring your own kayak, personal flotation device, drinking water, and lunch.  Expect to get wet.  Intermediate experience is preferable. A maximum of ten participants. You must sign a waiver to participate.  For more information you must email Robert Scull to register at scull1453@gmail.com.

May 30 – June 1, Overnight Backpack Trip – Cold Mountain, NC

This trip to Cold Mountain is in the Shining Rock Wilderness and is rated strenuous with significant elevation gain (from Flower Gap at 2,400 ft. to the top of Cold Mountain at 6,030 ft.)

This trip begins at the Big East Fork parking lot on NC 276 off the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Pisgah Inn.  This is the trailhead for Shining Creek Trail. Group size is limited depending on the experience of the participants.  For more information contact Jerry Weston at takeahike@earthlink.net or 336-856-1431.  Telephone calls before 9:00 p.m. please. More information at https://nc2.sierraclub.org/outing/cold-mountain-nc

May 31, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Catawba Wildflower Glen Service Outing

Join volunteers at the Catawba Lands Conservancy preserve to help Mary Stauble, Land Stewardship Volunteer, remove invasive plants and contribute to protecting this important natural landscape.  The Wildflower Glen is one of the conservancy’s crown jewels due to its rich ecological diversity and proximity to Charlotte.

Volunteers will meet at the property at 9:00 am for an orientation. After the work,  Mary will lead the group on a hike of the glen.  Please bring work gloves, clippers (optional), water, and a hat.  Limit 10 participants.  Please contact Linda Alley at lindasuealley@hotmail.com for more information and to register.

June 14 – Grandfather Mountain Photography Workshop with Avery Locklear

Join the Sierra Club Foothills Group’s own award-winning 20-year old nature photographer, Avery Locklear, for a free outdoor photography workshop along the scenic Profile Trail at Grandfather Mountain State Park.

Advance registration is required. Registration is limited to 20 participants.  Your cell phone number will be required to register.  Please contact Vance Parker by June 7, 2014 at vance@vparkerlaw.com or at (336) 768-0481 before 10:00 pm. to register.  Note:  Your cell phone number will only be used for trip communication only; we do not give your cell phone number to any third parties.

June 14, 10:30 – 11:15 a.m. – Orange-Chatham Annual Picnic Hike, Carrboro NC

Work up an appetite for the annual Sierra Club Orange-Chatham Group picnic with a short 30-40 minute hike along the banks of Bolin Creek. Only a short walk from downtown Carrboro, the surrounding forest provides a peaceful escape from life’s complexity. The hike will provide a brief physical / mental challenge requiring well-placed steps to avoid getting wet in one section.

Sturdy non-slip hiking shoes are a must and an extra dry pair of socks are recommended, just in case. No pets on this one. The hike starts at the picnic location in Wilson Park. The outing leader will be Jae Furman. We will have a sign-up sheet/waiver at the start.  More information at: https://nc2.sierraclub.org/outing/annual-picnic-hike

June 28,  8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – NC Zoo Endangered Species Walk – Asheboro, NC

Join the Sierra Club Foothills Group and Nicole Petersen, a zoologist, marine scientist, and the NC Zoo’s Visitor Educator for our first NC Zoo Endangered Species Walk.  The zoo is about much more than showing off cute animals to the public—it has a serious environmental and conservation mission to protect, preserve, and rehabilitate threatened and endangered animal and plant species both in the U.S. and around the globe.

All participants will be required to purchase a zoo admission ticket.  There will be an additional $7/person fee for the Endangered Species Walk.  Our group will be limited to 20 participants. Your cell phone number will be required to register (this is for trip communication only–we do not give out telephone numbers to third parties.)

Please contact Vance Parker to register by Wednesday, June 25th via e-mail at vance@vparkerlaw.com or by telephone before 10:00 p.m. at (336) 768-0481.  This is a family-friendly outing suitable for all ages.

Want to know the latest? Join us on Facebook or Twitter!

Did you know you can make a monthly gift to the NC Sierra Club? Find out how you can make a sustaining gift by visiting our website, or contacting the Chapter office at 919-833-8467.

Money Flower

Donate Button

Tonight, May 19, Pat McCrory and the Koch Brothers

This evening, May 19, Brave New Films is taking to the hill to host a press event and premiere of scenes from the film Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition with Senator Harry Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. Following the event they will be making the entire documentary available online here.

Koch and McCrory

Thanks to your amazing support we’ll be offering a full version of the new documentary on our website for no cost at all TONIGHT at 8PM EST/5PM PST.

But before you tune in to discover the latest truths about the Koch Brothers, head to bravenewfilms.org/koch2014 to watch a live stream of the event with Sen. Reid, Leader Pelosi, and myself TODAY at 6PM EST/3PM PST.

After watching, we want you to do the most important thing you can do to help us, share this documentary with a friend. We don’t have the billions that the Koch have to spend, but what we do have is each and every one of you! And, by passing forward this important film you’re helping drive awareness to an important issue and helping us to reach new audiences only the way film can.

Thank you so much, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Robert Greenwald
Brave New Films

Check it out!

Take Action: Keep dirty fuels in the ground

Dear Friends,

Tell President Obama to protect our climate and keep dirty fuels in the ground.Take action!Take action!

There’s no way around it. The race to curb climate change is race we cannot lose. Even with President Obama’s efforts to cut carbon pollution, there is more to do. If we’re going to keep climate disruption at bay, we need to keep dirty fuels in the ground.

We can raise fuel economy standards. We can transition from dirty power plants to clean, renewable energy sources. But we need a strong commitment to stop allowing dirty energy companies to mine, drill and frack our public lands and seas to even stand a chance at beating climate change. Will you tell President Obama to keep dirty fuels in the ground?

Send your letter today. Tell President Obama allowing mining, drilling and fracking on our public lands takes us farther from the goal — protecting our communities from climate disruption.

What’s at stake? The Beaufort and Chukchi Seas just north of Alaska are home to the entire U.S population of polar bears, but the oil and gas industry wants to explore and drill here at the expense of our environment, local communities, and a dwindling polar bear population. Frackers have their eyes on the Delaware River Basin — an area that provides drinking water to millions of people on the East Coast. Coal companies want to mine the Powder River Basin in the west for pennies an acre and ship dirty coal to other countries. The oil industry only sees oil shale and tar sands in the Green River Formation — an area covering three states that includes Canyonlands National Park, provides limitless recreational opportunities to people, and is home to eagles, owls, elk, mule deer, bear and pronghorn antelope.1

President Obama must take administrative steps to ensure that dirty fuels remain in the ground. He should embrace clean energy and climate action rather than further our dependence on dirty energy. Join other activists who have sent their message to President Obama. Together, we can flood his office with 40,000 letters by the end of the week.

Thanks for all that you do to protect the environment.

Dan Chu
Director, Our Wild America Campaign
Sierra Club

P.S. Six letters are even better than one! Please share this with five of your friends and family today!

Share this action on Facebook Share this action on Twitter

[1] “Dirty Fuels Clean Futures Report” Sierra Club. April

To Live Dangerously or Not to Live Dangerously? It’s Our Choice

To Live Dangerously or Not to Live Dangerously? It’s Our Choice

National Climate AssessmentWhat’s next? What can I do? Those are questions you might be pondering if you tuned into Years of Living Dangerously on Showtime this weekend, or if you’ve been watching online clips from the “Preacher’s Daughter” story that was featured on Sunday night. In the episode, actor Ian Somerhalder follows Anna Jane Joyner, a young woman trying to persuade her evangelical pastor father that climate disruption is real, while she is also a full-time climate activist and one of the real-life heroes working with me and thousands more to move beyond coal.

I watched the episode with my family, and the next evening we sat around the dining room table talking about how to translate the urgency of the climate crisis to evangelicals skeptical of science. My mother-in-law is a retired minister and my husband is a scientist, so it was a great discussion, and I imagine Anna Jane’s story sparked many conversations just like it at kitchen tables around the country.

For everyone out there who has been having those conversations, let me bring you up to speed on what’s happened since the episode was filmed, and how you can help me, Ian, Anna Jane, and thousands more move America beyond coal. Around the nation, we keep on winning. Just last week, we announced coal plant retirement #165, when we won our campaign to retire the Reid Gardner plant in Nevada. Even better, the utility announced it will replace much of the power from the plant with a massive solar project.

In Asheville, the campaign featured in the Years episode, Duke Energy has announced for the first time that they’re considering retiring the Asheville coal plant. The announcement comes in the wake of a horrific spill of toxic coal ash from a retired power plant that devastated over 70 miles of the Dan River flowing through North Carolina and Virginia. The public outcry that followed has sent shockwaves all the way to the governor’s mansion. I helped lead a protest outside Duke headquarters a few weeks ago, and last week activists rallied at Duke’s annual shareholder meeting, calling for the retirement of the Asheville plant and the cleanup of not only the Dan River spill, but all of Duke’s coal ash sites in the state.

Meanwhile, Ian Somerhalder and his Ian Somerhalder Foundation have rallied people around the world through their #coalsucks social media campaign. The intentionally edgy and provocative hashtag is opening the eyes of millions to the threat of coal pollution and the urgency of moving to clean energy.

All this momentum comes just as more climate alarm bells are ringing. Today, a national committee of experts in agriculture, climate science, commerce, and disaster relief released the National Climate Assessment. The report is the nation’s foremost comprehensive, peer-reviewed analysis of the impacts of climate disruption, showing us the effects of climate disruption across the country.

The headline – the U.S. is already being seriously affected by climate change. As you might guess, the assessment shows the significant toll on our health and wallets that extreme weather is already exacting across the U.S. Here are just a few findings from the report that stood out to me:

  • The most recent decade was the nation’s and the world’s hottest on record, and 2012 was the hottest year on record in the continental United States.
  • U.S. average temperature has increased by 1.3°F to 1.9°F since 1895, and most of this increase has occurred since 1970. Temperatures are projected to rise another 2°F to 4°F in most areas of the United States over the next few decades.
  • Evidence indicates that the human influence on climate has already roughly doubled the probability of extreme heat events such as the record-breaking summer heat experienced in 2011 in Texas and Oklahoma. The incidence of record-breaking high temperatures is projected to rise.
  • The stakes are high, as nearly five million Americans and hundreds of billions of dollars of property are located in areas that are less than four feet above the local high-tide level.
  • Climate change affects human health in many ways. For example, increasingly frequent and intense heat events lead to more heat-related illnesses and deaths and, over time, worsen drought and wildfire risks, and intensify air pollution.
  • Certain groups of people are more vulnerable to the range of climate change related health impacts, including the elderly, children, the poor, and the sick.

More than 240 authors from across the country with diverse expertise helped create the National Climate Assessment, and this is especially disturbing – the findings are considered conservative estimates of the effects of climate disruption.

The report is also very clear about this – the effects will only grow worse if we fail to curb carbon pollution, the main culprit behind climate disruption. The assessment lets us know that it’s not too late to act, but we must do it now if we want to stop the worst of the expected climate disruption. You can weigh in right now and support EPA’s efforts to tackle our biggest source of climate pollution – coal-fired power plants. Just click here to take action.

We can choose to stop living dangerously by moving beyond coal, doubling down on clean energy, and holding our leaders accountable. We need your help. Join us.

– Mary Anne Hitt, Beyond Coal Campaign Director