Oct 26 – Relive the Legacy of the Appalachian Trail

Join the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), the Sierra Club Central Piedmont Group,  and your fellow hikers during the ATC 2014 membership drive as we watch the film “The Appalachian Trail: An American Legacy”. Watch this never-before seen film, hear exciting guest speakers, win prizes, and much more! Best of all, you will be supporting the Trail you love; the Appalachian Trail.

Order your ticket todayUse the promo code “Sierra14” to receive 5% off!

Blumenthal Performing Arts – McGlohon Theatre
Sunday October 26, 2014
from 6:00pm-8:00pm

345 North College Street
Charlotte, NC

AT Legacy Oct 2014

Order your ticket todayUse the promo code “Sierra14” to receive 5% off!

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


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


‘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.

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

Oct 18 Outing: Exploring Rocky Face Mountain Recreation Area


Saturday, October 18, 2014, 9:00 AM
3451 Rocky Face Church Rd, Hiddenite, N.C.

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

Group size is limited to 12.  Each participant on a Sierra Club Outing has to sign a standard liability waiver.  You can view the waiver here: https://nc2.sierraclub.org/sites/nc.sierraclub.org/files/SignInWaiver%20with%20photo%20release.pdf

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


Oct 20 Program: Citizens’s United and Corporate Personhood

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

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

Move to Amend Program

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

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


Citizens’s United and Corporate Personhood

Monday, October 20

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

Map for Charlotte School of Law

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

How Green Spaces Are Saving Humanity

Great article from  Sierra Magazine!

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

How Green Spaces Are Saving Humanity

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

Thanks, Mother Nature.

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

1. Green spaces make you less stressed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Trees make inner-city neighborhoods safer.

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

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

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