“The alarm bells keep ringing, our citizens keep marching. We must answer the call”

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If you haven”t read this yet it’s worth a read. If you like what you read, send the link to your friends and neighbors, post on Facebook. It’s time for action!

Obama to UN: “The Alarm Bells Keep Ringing, Our Citizens Keep Marching”
Transcript of U.S. President Barack Obama’s remarks at the UN Climate Summit in New York today:

For all the immediate challenges that we gather to address this week — terrorism, instability, inequality, disease — there’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.

Five years have passed since many of us met in Copenhagen. And since then, our understanding of climate change has advanced — both in the deepening science that says this once-distant threat has moved “firmly into the present,” and into the sting of more frequent extreme weather events that show us exactly what these changes may mean for future generations.

No nation is immune. In America, the past decade has been our hottest on record. Along our eastern coast, the city of Miami now floods at high tide. In our west, wildfire season now stretches most of the year. In our heartland, farms have been parched by the worst drought in generations, and drenched by the wettest spring in our history. A hurricane left parts of this great city dark and underwater. And some nations already live with far worse. Worldwide, this summer was the hottest ever recorded — with global carbon emissions still on the rise.

So the climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it. The alarm bells keep ringing. Our citizens keep marching. We cannot pretend we do not hear them. We have to answer the call. We know what we have to do to avoid irreparable harm. We have to cut carbon pollution in our own countries to prevent the worst effects of climate change. We have to adapt to the impacts that, unfortunately, we can no longer avoid. And we have to work together as a global community to tackle this global threat before it is too late.

We cannot condemn our children, and their children, to a future that is beyond their capacity to repair. Not when we have the means — the technological innovation and the scientific imagination — to begin the work of repairing it right now.

As one of America’s governors has said, “We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.” So today, I’m here personally, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and its second largest emitter, to say that we have begun to do something about it.

The United States has made ambitious investments in clean energy, and ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions. We now harness three times as much electricity from the wind and 10 times as much from the sun as we did when I came into office. Within a decade, our cars will go twice as far on a gallon of gas, and already, every major automaker offers electric vehicles. We’ve made unprecedented investments to cut energy waste in our homes and our buildings and our appliances, all of which will save consumers billions of dollars. And we are committed to helping communities build climate-resilient infrastructure.

So, all told, these advances have helped create jobs, grow our economy, and drive our carbon pollution to its lowest levels in nearly two decades — proving that there does not have to be a conflict between a sound environment and strong economic growth.

Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution by more than any other nation on Earth. But we have to do more. Last year, I issued America’s first Climate Action Plan to double down on our efforts. Under that plan, my administration is working with states and utilities to set first-ever standards to cut the amount of carbon pollution our power plants can dump into the air. And when completed, this will mark the single most important and significant step the United States has ever taken to reduce our carbon emissions.

Last week alone, we announced an array of new actions in renewable energy and energy efficiency that will save consumers more than $10 billion on their energy bills and cut carbon pollution by nearly 300 million metric tons through 2030. That’s the equivalent of taking more than 60 million cars off the road for one year.

I also convened a group of private sector leaders who’ve agreed to do their part to slash consumption of dangerous greenhouse gases known as HFCs — slash them 80 percent by 2050. And already, more than 100 nations have agreed to launch talks to phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol — the same agreement the world used successfully to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals. This is something that President Xi of China and I have worked on together. Just a few minutes ago, I met with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, and reiterated my belief that as the two largest economies and emitters in the world, we have a special responsibility to lead. That’s what big nations have to do. (Applause.)

And today, I call on all countries to join us -– not next year, or the year after, but right now, because no nation can meet this global threat alone. The United States has also engaged more allies and partners to cut carbon pollution and prepare for the impacts we cannot avoid. All told, American climate assistance now reaches more than 120 nations around the world. We’re helping more nations skip past the dirty phase of development, using current technologies, not duplicating the same mistakes and environmental degradation that took place previously.

We’re partnering with African entrepreneurs to launch clean energy projects. We’re helping farmers practice climate-smart agriculture and plant more durable crops. We’re building international coalitions to drive action, from reducing methane emissions from pipelines to launching a free trade agreement for environmental goods. And we have been working shoulder-to-shoulder with many of you to make the Green Climate Fund a reality.
But let me be honest. None of this is without controversy. In each of our countries, there are interests that will be resistant to action. And in each country, there is a suspicion that if we act and other countries don’t that we will be at an economic disadvantage. But we have to lead. That is what the United Nations and this General Assembly is about.

Now, the truth is, is that no matter what we do, some populations will still be at risk. The nations that contribute the least to climate change often stand to lose the most. And that’s why, since I took office, the United States has expanded our direct adaptation assistance eightfold, and we’re going to do more.

Today, I’m directing our federal agencies to begin factoring climate resilience into our international development programs and investments. And I’m announcing a new effort to deploy the unique scientific and technological capabilities of the United States, from climate data to early-warning systems. So this effort includes a new partnership that will draw on the resources and expertise of our leading private sector companies and philanthropies to help vulnerable nations better prepare for weather-related disasters, and better plan for long-term threats like steadily rising seas.

Yes, this is hard. But there should be no question that the United States of America is stepping up to the plate. We recognize our role in creating this problem; we embrace our responsibility to combat it. We will do our part, and we will help developing nations do theirs. But we can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every nation –- developed and developing alike. Nobody gets a pass.

The emerging economies that have experienced some of the most dynamic growth in recent years have also emitted rising levels of carbon pollution. It is those emerging economies that are likely to produce more and more carbon emissions in the years to come. So nobody can stand on the sidelines on this issues. We have to set aside the old divides. We have to raise our collective ambition, each of us doing what we can to confront this global challenge.
This time, we need an agreement that reflects economic realities in the next decade and beyond. It must be ambitious –- because that’s what the scale of this challenge demands. It must be inclusive –- because every country must play its part. And, yes, it must be flexible –- because different nations have different circumstances.

Five years ago, I pledged America would reduce our carbon emissions in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2020. America will meet that target. And by early next year, we will put forward our next emission target, reflecting our confidence in the ability of our technological entrepreneurs and scientific innovators to lead the way.

So today, I call on all major economies to do the same. For I believe, in the words of Dr. King, that there is such a thing as being too late. And for the sake of future generations, our generation must move toward a global compact to confront a changing climate while we still can.

This challenge demands our ambition. Our children deserve such ambition. And if we act now, if we can look beyond the swarm of current events and some of the economic challenges and political challenges involved, if we place the air that our children will breathe and the food that they will eat and the hopes and dreams of all posterity above our own short-term interests, we may not be too late for them.

While you and I may not live to see all the fruits of our labor, we can act to see that the century ahead is marked not by conflict, but by cooperation; not by human suffering, but by human progress; and that the world we leave to our children, and our children’s children, will be cleaner and healthier, and more prosperous and secure.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-23/obama-to-un-the-alarm-bells-keep-ringing-our-citizens-keep-marching-.html

 

Oct 16 More Moral Movies – Watch and Discuss “Disruption”

This is a powerful film that I highly recommend that you see! Join Action NC, Move to Amend, Greenpeace and the Sierra Club for a moving and inspiring evening!

Disruption Poster

Thursday, October 16

7:00pm

Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte
234 N Sharon Amity Rd
Charlotte, North Carolina 28211

Synopsis

‘When it comes to climate change, why do we do so little when we know so much?’

Through a relentless investigation to find the answer, Disruption takes an unflinching look at the devastating consequences of our inaction.

The exploration lays bare the terrifying science, the shattered political process, the unrelenting industry special interests and the civic stasis that have brought us to this social, moral and ecological crossroads.The film also takes us behind-the-scenes of the efforts to organize the largest climate rally in the history of the planet during the UN world climate summit.

This is the story of our unique moment in history. We are living through an age of tipping points and rapid social and planetary change. We’re the first generation to feel the impacts of climate disruption, and the last generation that can do something about it. The film enlarges the issue beyond climate impacts and makes a compelling call for bold action that is strong enough to tip the balance to build a clean energy future.

If a Tar-Sands Project Fails in the Forest…

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

Michael Brune

Oct 1, 2014

Back in March, I wrote about the Keystone XL “it’s not about the pipe,” saying that any rejection of new tar-sands pipelines serves the purpose of keeping this dirty oil in the ground. Some good news from last week proves the point that I and others have been making. The Norwegian energy firm Statoil announced that it would pull the plug on a planned multibillion-dollar, 40,000 barrel per day destructive tar-sands project in Alberta. What reason did they give? Rising costs and “limited pipeline access which weighs on prices for Alberta oil, squeezing margins and making it difficult for sustainable financial returns.” (Translation: We are kicking Keystone’s keister.)

In fact, Statoil’s is actually the third Canadian tar-sands cancellation this year. This latest one, though, is both the largest and the first in-situ project to get the axe. The other two were strip-mining operations, which carry a higher overhead. If you can’t make the numbers work for an in-situ tar-sands mine, then your business model is in trouble.

And if Statoil’s project is in trouble, you can bet the whole tar-sands industry is looking over its shoulder. They may wish they hadn’t, because we’re gaining on them.

Unless you’ve watched tar-sands mining firsthand (an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone but a couple of Wichita billionaires), it’s impossible to comprehend how nightmarish it really is. (Last week’s “In Focus” photo feature from The Atlantic comes close, though). No rational reason exists for doing this to our planet — unless you count greed. Sadly, some people do. But even if you are willing to destroy 50,000 square miles of boreal forest just to make a profit, there’s no way to justify destroying our future in the process.

No one knows exactly how much oil lies under Alberta’s tar-sands fields — perhaps as much as 3 trillion barrels. But we do know that it would take far less than that to put our planet on a path to runaway climate disruption.

I’ve said before that we cannot let that happen. Today, I’m proud to say that we aren’t letting that happen. Over its lifetime, the Statoil project alone would have released a total of  777.4 million metric tons (MMT) of CO2 into our atmosphere. For comparison, the EPA projects that its Clean Power Plan will be eliminating up to 555 MMT of CO2 emissions annually by 2030. Every single tar-sands project cancellation is a huge victory for the hundreds of thousands of people who’ve stood up to fight Keystone XL.

But as I said, it’s not about the pipe. It’s about stopping the expansion of tar-sands mining while we still can. The three dominos that have fallen this year in Alberta are just a beginning.

Let’s keep ‘em falling: Tell President Obama he needs to reject this pipeline for good.

Oct 6 – MSNBC “All In: Coal Country” with NC Coal Ash and Duke Energy

On Monday, October 6th at 8:00 PM, Chris Hayes on MSNBC will be doing an hour-long investigative special on the coal industry. It looks like he’ll be devoting a significant amount of time to looking at Duke Energy’s mishandling of coal ash here in North Carolina.
 You can watch the preview by clicking below.
Spread the word about this program on Facebook and with your friends and neighbors!

Coal Country MSNBC Trailer

 

 

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

And for a special treat, listen to the “Voices of the the Peoples Climate March” by Brian Kasher

The audio stream includes over forty (40) mini-interviews; street music from: the Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band, Rocket McFlyy, the Raging Grannies and more; chants, Central Park crickets, police helicopters, and general crowd ambiance. Two-hundred fifty three (253) sounds clips were recorded during the March.

PCM Voices 1

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

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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

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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