Join the team and make a huge difference – People’s Climate March

You can make this a tipping point.

RSVP now

Sign up to volunteer –
and make the People’s Climate March one for the history books!

Friends  –

What do you have in common with Cesar Chavez, Susan B. Anthony, and Barack Obama?

You’ve all chosen not to simply accept the status quo, but to stand up and take action in your communities. That’s what truly creates change, and that’s why I’m so excited that you’ve signed up to be a part of the People’s Climate March — the biggest climate march in history.

You have the power to make this a tipping point — but to achieve that goal we need leaders to step up and volunteer. Can we count on you?

There’s a lot to do to ensure our message is heard loud and clear on September 21st– phone banking, flyering, and recruiting– but when we march down the streets of New York alongside tens of thousands of activists from around the country, it will be because of people like you who chose to be a bigger part of this movement.

Click here to let us know how you can help — making calls, handing out flyers, or anything else you can think of!

Once you sign up, I’ll contact you to help you get started. You can commit as little as five hours a week — or more if you’re available! Feel free to email me with any questions about how you can make a difference.

Thanks for all you do. Look forward to hopefully organizing with you!

Dan Sherrell
Sierra Club Organizer

P.S. Volunteering is more fun with friends! Click here to forward this message to five of your friends and family and share this on Facebook and Twitter to get the word out.

Meet U.S. Senator Kay Hagan

I’m going to be in Charlotte this Tuesday to meet with grassroots supporters at the local Campaign Office. I want you to be there with me.

Click here to RSVP if you’re interested in joining us at the Charlotte Campaign Office this Tuesday, August 19.

I’m the only candidate in this race with a record of fighting for the middle class — always putting North Carolina families first.

My opponent, Speaker Thom Tillis, passed a divisive agenda in Raleigh that hurts middle class families and looks like a special interest wish-list. So it’s no surprise that the Koch brothers and Karl Rove have made me their No. 1 target for defeat.

Election Day is right around the corner. The momentum in this race is on our side.

But with so much special interest spending against me, our grassroots network needs to come together and organize over these next few critical months.

This will be a great opportunity to connect with fellow supporters and volunteers in your area. There are incredible conversations happening across this state — neighbors talking to neighbors about our commonsense priorities.

I’m looking forward to getting our supporters fired up to make sure we win in 2014.  Can you join me at the Campaign Office in Charlotte this Tuesday?

I hope to see you there!

Kay

September 26-27 Wilderness Celebration

Make plans to join us for 2 days of Wilderness Celebration, September 26th and 27th, at beautiful Morrow Mountain State Park. For questions or to find out about camping, program details or to reserve a spot, contact Nancy Card at OurWildNC@gmail.com or 910-540-3088. Download the announcement flyer below and send to your friends. See you there!

Save the date Sept CelebrationSAVE THE DATE September

Sierra Club NC Chapter Legislative Update 8-15-14

Protect Enviro Democracy

Hello Friends,

This week was our second “final” week of short session this summer. And it may not be the last.  As is often the case in the final days of a legislative session, mischief increases towards the end.  For example, a regulatory reform bill that had been considered dead last week returned to life last night and was passed today.

Regulatory Reform – a gift basket for polluting industry:
Conforming with tradition to pass bad environmental bills at the very end of session, the legislature today passed a regulatory reform bill full of giveaways to regulated industry at the expense of the environment. There were several regulatory reform bills in negotiation throughout the session, including S 734 and S 38. A conference report for S 734, which included many old and some new provisions, was made public last night – and passed today; it next goes to the Governor to be signed (unless he were to decide to veto it).

Among the provisions in S 734 that are problematic for the environment are the following:

A provision that would allow a speed limit waiver to be granted for special events in state parks and forests.  It would allow any person to petition DENR to waive the standard 25 mph speed limit in a state park or forest for a special event. According to reports, this speed limit statute is the only obstacle to the Division of State Parks, for the first time, issue a permit for exclusive use of the main attraction of a state park for private purposes (specifically, for auto races). This measure was sought by political backers of Gov McCrory. Opening the door to allowing our state parks to be used exclusively by private groups is a serious matter.  So serious, that if we are heading down that road, it should be properly discussed and debated, not put into a bill without explanation or public review.

Another provision of S 734 would weaken protection for wetlands. The provision would nearly eliminate protection for isolated wetlands in eastern NC by raising the acreage threshold for when a permit must be sought to an acreage higher than the size of most isolated wetlands. The threshold for when a developer must get a permit to impact isolated wetlands eastern NC is currently 1/3 acre. That doesn’t mean isolated wetlands cannot be built upon – just that a permit from the state is required to do so.  Builders’ efforts to avoid permitting requirements actually end up protecting lots of wetland habitat – this bill would remove some disincentive to building in these areas. The provision also would reduce mitigation requirements for impacts to isolated wetlands statewide. Overall this provision is a negative for water quality because isolated wetlands are important for flood control, groundwater recharge and habitat.

Additionally there are several provisions that would negatively impact water quality at the coast, one that would make challenges to CAMA permits less effective by eliminating a stay on development when a legitimate claim is filed and another that would create a new exemption from coastal stormwater rules, essentially creating a windfall for certain properties but having a negative overall effect on water quality.

Representatives Luebke (D – Durham) and Rep. Insko (D – Orange) spoke up against the bill today because of the bad environmental provisions.  A number of the provisions in the S 734 conference report that passed today were not in any prior version of the bill. Apparently, adding provisions in conference that were not in either bill is not acceptable when it comes to protecting groundwater for communities threatened by coal ash, but is fine when it means gutting environmental protections that have served North Carolinians well for decades.

Opportunity for Action:
Please thank Represenatives Luebke and Insko for sticking up for the environment by speaking up against S 734.  And please contact the Governor to ask for a veto of this bill.

Coal Ash Bill Update – Deja Vu?
Its been more than six months since Duke Energy’s facility in Eden spilled nearly 40,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River. During this time legislators have promised the public a solution that will protect communities and prevent future disasters. The Sierra Club has advocated for a strong coal ash bill that would require clean up of coal ash at all 14 sites across the state and protect groundwater.

On Thursday the Senate again voted to not concur on the House version of the coal ash bill and re-appointed the same conferees as before (Senators Apodaca, Berger and Wade).  The Senate had previously taken these same steps but then reversed themselves in an apparent late night effort to pressure the House to agree to a coal ash bill without additional groundwater protections that the House demanded.  Since then, the House seems to have not given up on this demand – so the Senate reappointed the same conference committee – indicating that the coal ash bill is still being negotiated. It appears unlikely that that the coal ash bill will be resolved this month. It could possibly be addressed in a November session if the legislature chooses to return then – or in the 2015 long session.

The End?
On Thursday the Senate passed three adjournment resolutions to give the House options to choose from.  The House has not yet chosen an adjournment resolution – so the legislature is not in agreement as to when to adjourn. The House and Senate have scheduled sessions Monday afternoon, but House Speaker Tillis said that may change to Wednesday.

Thanks for your volunteer advocacy!


Cassie Gavin, Director of Government Relations
Sierra Club – NC Chapter
cassie.gavin@sierraclub.org

Urgent Action Alert – Please ask your House representative to vote to not concur on S 734

Hello Friends,

It may be the last day of the NC legislative short session and, as is tradition, a lengthy “regulatory reform” bill was passed by the Senate – S 734. The bill has a few good provisions but many bad provisions that are giveaways to regulated industry and bad news for the environment.  Please contact your House representative and ask them to vote to “not concur” on this bill (S 734) because of the negative environmental impacts.

Contact info for House members is here:

http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/memberList.pl?sChamber=House

To determine who represents you go here:

http://www.ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx

More info:

Renting out state parks to private interests:  Speed limit waiver in state parks and forests.  Allows any person to petition DENR to waive the standard 25 mph speed limit in a state park or forest for a special event.  This is the only obstacle to the Division of State Parks, for the first time, issuing a permit for exclusive use of the main attraction of a state park for private purposes (and specifically, for car races to the summit).  This measure was sought by political backers of Gov McCrory.

Weaken protection for wetlands:  Nearly eliminates protection for isolated wetlands in Eastern NC by raising the acreage threshold for when a permit must be sought to an acreage higher than the size of most isolated wetlands in eastern NC (1 acre). The threshold for eastern NC is currently 1/3 acre. Also reduces mitigation required for impacts to isolated wetlands statewide. Overall this provision is a negative for water quality – isolated wetlands are important for flood control, groundwater recharge and habitat.

There are several provisions that would negatively impact water quality at the coast, one that would make challenges to CAMA permits less effective by eliminating a stay on development when a legitimate claim is filed and another that would create a new exemption from coastal stormwater rules, essentially creating a windfall for certain properties but having a negative overall effect on water quality.

Thank you,

Cassie


Cassie Gavin, Director of Government Relations
Sierra Club – NC Chapter
cassie.gavin@sierraclub.org

 

Why wilderness?

Just two and a half weeks until the official 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Join us for a celebration this month – Aug 27 – Join us for a 70th, 50th, 40th, 30th Anniversary Party! – and next month too – Save the Date! Sierra Club Wilderness Celebration, Sept 26-28.

September 3, 1964

Sierra Club Wilderness Celebration
Morrow Mountain State Park
Sept 26-28
We are planning a fun weekend full of outings, camping, picnics, presentations and more!
Save the Date! Sierra Club Wilderness Celebration, Sept 26-28

Sierra Club NC Chapter Wilderness Celebration website
Our Wild NC

Central Piedmont Group (Charlotte) Area Resources
Birkhead Wilderness – Uwharrie National Forest – Morrow Mountain State Park

Central Piedmont Group (Charlotte) 50th Wilderness Act
50 Years of Wilderness

Central Piedmont Group (Charlotte) North Carolina 30th Wilderness Act
30 Years of NC Wilderness

Celebrate wilderness
Aug 27 – Join us for a 70th, 50th, 40th, 30th Anniversary Party!
Host a house party and protect America’s special places!

Bonus
Happy 70th Birthday Smokey Bear! and Happy 40th Birthday Mecklenburg Park and Rec!

Test your science smarts. Get a free sticker.

Oh, the things people say…

True or False:

There’s “no global warming in North America.”

That's not science  Yes, that's science!

Okay, maybe that’s an easy one—that was Fox News inaccurately reporting the very real impacts we’re already seeing from global warming.

But it’s not far off from the ridiculous things people say about science. It’s up to us to tell science fact from science fiction. Can you spot it? Choose your answer to get started.

take the quiz, get a sticker

“Wind is such an unreliable source of electricity that coal plants are required to operate around the clock as backup for wind power.” —fossil-fuel funded front group ALEC

“Every major review of the scientific literature exonerates sugar as the cause of any disease, including obesity.” —The Sugar Association

More and more these days special interests go out of their way to spread misinformation and undermine science—and the truth isn’t always easy to see.

That’s why we want to make sure you can spot the difference between science fact and science fiction! Take our Got Science or Not Science quiz today and get a free “Got Science?” sticker.

The Union of Concerned Scientists and the Sierra Club have teamed up to fight back against those who mislead the public about climate change and other vital issues. We want to expose disinformation and corporate “counterfeit science” and help scientists to do real cutting-edge research free from political interference.

So…do you think you can spot the fake? We’ve gathered quotes about climate change, deforestation, even dragons! It’s up to you to determine whether each quote has got science or if it’s not science. Click here to take the quiz.

And once you’ve demystified the misinformation, feel free to show off your smarts to your friends and let them know how they can get a free “Got Science?” sticker too.

It’s really that simple: Take the quiz. Get the sticker. Tell your friends. Stand up for Science. Done.

It’s up to us to defend science and ensure that decisions about our health, safety, and environment are based on sound science—not corporate hype and disinformation.

Sincerely,
Your friends at the Union of Concerned Scientists and Sierra Club!

Moral Week of Action – Why You Should Be There!

Not sure why we need a Moral Week of Action – or why you should be there?

Watch the video below:

http://youtu.be/SUA-nDeJ8-o

Friday, August 22 – Thursday, Aug 28

Join us for seven consecutive days of action at the North Carolina State Capitol to expose and challenge the destructive laws coming out of Raleigh. Every day for one week, we will gather outside the offices of power and demand that Gov. Pat McCrory, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate Leader Phil Berger repent and repeal their public policy attacks on North Carolinians’ civil and human rights. We are fighting for the type of democracy that places the common good at the center of public policy!

Each day we will emphasize several urgent issues, but all justice-loving people are encouraged to attend all the days. On the final day,Thursday, August 28, the 51st Anniversary of the March on Washington, we will hold a mass rally on Bicentennial Mall for voting rights and voter mobilization – the Vote Your Dreams, Not Your Fears Rally – at 5:30 pm.

Aug Moral Monday

Don’t forget to RSVP on Facebook!

Issues

Friday, 8.22 – Labor Rights, Fair and Living Wages, and Economic Justice

Saturday, 8.23 – Education and Criminal Justice

Sunday, 8.24 – Equal Protection under the Law: Call for Respect in the Law and in the Community regardless of race, creed, class, gender, sexual orientation and immigration status

Monday, 8.25 – Youth Moral Monday

Tuesday, 8.26 – Women’s Rights

Wednesday, 8.27 – Medicaid Expansion, Health Care and Environmental Justice

Thursday, 8.28 – Vote Your Dreams, Not Your Fears Mass Rally for Voting Rights

  ###

Forward Together, 

Not One Step Back!

Aug 27 – Join us for a 70th, 50th, 40th, 30th Anniversary Party!

This is a special year for NC and Charlotte outdoors!

Smokey 70th

This is the 70th anniversary of the Smokey Bear Wildfire campaignHappy 70th Birthday Smokey Bear! 

Wilderness 50

The 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act50 Years of Wilderness

40th anniv logo_485

The 40th anniversary of Char-Meck Park & RecHappy 40th Birthday Mecklenburg Park and Rec!

NC Wilderness Celebration

And the 30th anniversary of the NC Wilderness Act30 Years of NC Wilderness

Wow! Join us Wednesday, August 27th at 6:30 PM for a celebration with pizza and cake. The celebration will take place prior to our regular monthly meeting at the Mahlon Adams Pavilion in Freedom Park, 2435 Cumberland Ave., Charlotte, NC. Free parking is available.

First ever Charlotte 2014 Sustainability Report released

Perhaps this will push the City of Charlotte to FINALLY develop a Sustainability Plan! As the saying goes, If It Isn’t Written Down, It Doesn’t Exist – “A strategy you can’t write down is unlikely to be well-enough conceived or communicated to actually work.”

And special thanks to the Sustain Charlotte team for this great work!

Sustain Charlotte 2014 Report Card2014 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Sustainability Report Card

Announcement from Sustain Charlotte:

After more than a year of research, writing, and design, we’re proud to announce the public release of the 2014 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Sustainability Report Card: Scoring Our Economic, Environmental, and Social Health. The inaugural quantitative report card marks the first ever independently researched and written report that assesses the current health of the community using 57 metrics spanning nine issues.

Shannon Binns, Founder and Director of Sustain Charlotte was joined by Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham, Charlotte City Council Member John Autry, and Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio, all of whom spoke at the press conference held in Marshall Park on Tuesday morning. Charlotte City Council Members David Howard, Vi Lyles and Greg Phipps were also in attendance.

Using a robust methodology and years of data from a variety of sources, the authors have generated a report card for each issue and provided 94 recommendations for how Charlotte-Mecklenburg can accelerate progress. The nine issues assessed include: Air Quality, Energy Use, Equity + Empowerment, Food, Jobs + Income, Land Use, Transportation, Waste, and Water Use.

The report card is available for free public download at www.sustaincharlotte.org/ReportCard2014.

“We’ve taken an objective, quantitative approach to assessing our progress on the issues that affect the quality of life for today’s residents as well as those who come after us,” said Binns. “We hope our leaders as well as all residents who call Mecklenburg home will take our recommendations to heart, and make the choices we must make to ensure a vibrant future.”

And here’s a good summary of some key points from Ana McKenzie of Creative Loafing –   15 takeaways from Sustain Charlotte’s Sustainability Report Card.