Mecklenburg Livable Communities Plan

Heidi Pruess, Mecklenburg Community Plan and Sustainability officer, lead a very informative review and discussion at our September monthly meeting. Below is a description about the plan as well as copies of the draft Strategy Matrix and the draft Actions and Successes. If you would like to provide feedback on the plan or schedule a listening session for your neighborhood organization, house of worship, or other group, please contact Heidi.

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Mecklenburg Livable Communities Plan

The Mecklenburg Livable Communities Plan is a joint initiative between Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte, surrounding towns, the Foundation For The Carolinas and our community partners to develop a unified vision that incorporates community-wide goals centered on how we live, work and play today and in the future. This collaborative effort provides an opportunity to review existing plans and identify commonalities that encourage and support a vibrant and healthy quality of life in our community.

The Mecklenburg Livable Communities Plan is offering to come to your organization for a “listening session” this month to ask such questions as, “Are we on the right track? Will the priority strategies and actions we developed help us reach our vision?”

For more information on the Mecklenburg Liveable Communities Plan, click here.

If your neighborhood organization, house of worship, or other group is interested in scheduling a listening session, please contact Heidi Pruess, Community Plan and Sustainability officer, at heidi.pruess@mecklenburgcountync.org.

Click below to download and review the draft Strategy Matrix and the draft Actions and Successes.

Meck Livabality Plan Draft StrategiesMecklenburg Livable Communities Draft Strategies

 

Meck Livabality Plan Draft Actions and SuccessMecklenburg Livable Communities Draft Actions and Successes

 

Sierra Club’s NATIONAL SUMMIT FOR A NUCLEAR FREE FUTURE, NOV. 14-17, 2014, in Washington, DC

Do you have a passion for a carbon free, nuclear free energy future? If so, the Sierra Club’s NATIONAL SUMMIT FOR A NUCLEAR FREE FUTURE, NOV. 14-17, 2014, in Washington, DC will be a great opportunity to become active and shape this movement. Register at Buy Tickets for: National Summit for a Nuclear Free Future

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The EPA is blatantly promoting nuclear power as one solution to cutting carbon. Nuclear is NO solution, and we need to push to end any campaigns to encourage more nuclear, and instead promote clean renewable technologies. Come help us plan strategies to move towards a future free of nuclear power.

Here are the event details:
WHO: Sierra Club Nuclear Free Campaign
WHAT: National Summit for a Nuclear Free Future
WHEN: Nov. 14-17, 2014
WHERE: National 4-H Youth Conference Center, 7100 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Questions: Susan Corbett (reindeargirl@gmail.com)

We look forward to seeing you there!

Start Date: Friday, November 14, 2014
End Date:   Monday, November 17, 2014

If you’d like to attend this event you can purchase tickets online.

Click here to RSVP.
Click here to RSVP.

Nat Nuke Summit Nov 2014Nuclear Summit Nov 2014

5 Crucial Lessons From Naomi Klein’s New Book

“I think we need to be very clear about this – the only way you can win against forces with a huge amount to lose is to build a movement of people, many more people, with a huge amount to gain.”

~ Naomi Klein

Can’t wait to read this. Folks are raving about it. Below are take outs but the full article is well worth the read (see link below). Here’s a taste…

Naomi Klein

5 Crucial Lessons for the Left From Naomi Klein’s New Book

You can’t fight climate change without fighting capitalism, argues Klein in This Changes Everything.
August 21, 2014
Jessica Corbett and Ethan Corey

Klein argues that carbon trading programs create perverse incentives, allowing manufacturers to produce more harmful greenhouse gases, just to be paid to reduce them.

In her previous books The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and NO LOGO: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs (2000), Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein took on topics like neoliberal “shock therapy,” consumerism, globalization and “disaster capitalism,” extensively documenting the forces behind the dramatic rise in economic inequality and environmental degradation over the past 50 years. But in her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (due in stores September 16), Klein casts her gaze toward the future, arguing that the dangers of climate change demand radical action now to ward off catastrophe. She certainly isn’t alone in pointing out the urgency of the threat, but what sets Klein apart is her argument that it is capitalism—not carbon—that is at the root of climate change, inexorably driving us toward an environmental Armageddon in the pursuit of profit. This Changes Everything is well worth a read (or two) in full, but we’ve distilled some of its key points here.

1. Band-Aid solutions don’t work.
“Only mass social movements can save us now. Because we know where the current system, left unchecked, is headed.”

2. We need to fix ourselves, not fix the world.
“The earth is not our prisoner, our patient, our machine, or, indeed, our monster. It is our entire world. And the solution to global warming is not to fix the world, it is to fix ourselves.”

3. We can’t rely on “well-intentioned” corporate funding.
“A great many progressives have opted out of the climate change debate in part because they thought that the Big Green groups, flush with philanthropic dollars, had this issue covered. That, it turns out, was a grave mistake.”

4. We need divestment, and reinvestment.
“The main power of divestment is not that it financially harms Shell and Chevron in the short term but that it erodes the social license of fossil fuel companies and builds pressure on politicians to introduce across-the-board emission reductions.”

5. Confronting climate change is an opportunity to address other social, economic and political issues.
“When climate change deniers claim that global warming is a plot to redistribute wealth, it’s not (only) because they are paranoid. It’s also because they are paying attention.”

Read the full article at http://inthesetimes.com/article/17079/this_changes_everything_naomi_klein_lessons

Charlotte Joins the Global Frackdown

Thanks to the great folks that spoke about the dangers of fracking Saturday at the Piedmont Natural Gas headquarters! Check out some photos from the Charlotte Global Frackdown event.

At the end of the event we shared information about some important upcoming environmental and social justice events. Click below to download a copy of the handout.

Couldn’t make the event but still want to take action? Great! Please take action to keep dirty fossil fuels in the ground and Show Solidarity on Global Frackdown Day!

4QT Events4QT 2014 Mecklenburg Environmental Social Justice Events 2

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Catawba Wildflower Glen Service Outing – Nov 1st

A great opportunity to learn, experience and give back! For more information or to RSVP, contact Central Piedmont Outings Chair Linda Alley.

Join us at this 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.

We’ll meet at the property at 9 a.m. for an orientation where we’ll learn about the history and importance of the preserve.  Then we’ll spend some time pulling out invasive plants.  Afterwards, Mary will lead us on a walk through the glen.  Mary frequently visits the Glen and she is very knowledgeable about the local flora.

Please bring work gloves, clippers (optional), water, and a hat.  The Glen is located in Northwest Charlotte.

Saturday, November 1
9:00 AM

Catawba Lands Conservancy Wildflower Glen
12001 Riverhaven Drive
Charlotte, NC

You can learn more about why and how to control non-native invasive plants here:

http://nceppc.weebly.com/

http://ncbg.unc.edu/uploads/files/ControllingBooklet.pdf

All participants on Sierra Club outings are required to sign a standard liability waiver.

Seize the Day – Try to Find Your Own Voice

Carpe Diem; Seize the day! Strive to find your own voice.

Find your own voice and ways to become active on issues related to climate change. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Seize the day…..

Robin Williams – “Seize the Day”

Films:

Dead Poet’s Society
Hook
Jack
Mrs. Doubtfire
What Dreams May Come
Good Morning Vietnam
Patch Adams

Lyrics:

Carpe Diem; Seize the day!
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
Strive to find your own voice
Seize the day – look at it in another way

We are members of the human race
And the human race
Is filled with passion
Words and ideas can change the world

The powerful play goes on
And you may contribute a verse
The powerful play goes on
Goes on

I’m a hip old granny who can hip hop be bop
Dance dance dance till you drop drop drop
I’m a hip old granny who can hip hop be bop
Yo yo make a wicked cup of coco

I’m a raptor doing what i can
Gonna eat everything till the appearance of man
Yo yo see me I’m living below the soil
I’ll be back but I’m coming as oil

This is rock and roll
Dance dance dance till you drop drop drop
Cast your eyes to the summer sky
And today – make a wish

(refrain)

Only in their dreams can men be truly free
Twas always thus, and always thus will be

Why Lisa Cried When Eric Dumped ALEC

Great piece by Michael Brune about why we need to stand up to ALEC!

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

Michael Brune

October 7, 2014

Exactly 54 days after Lisa B. Nelson, the new CEO of the American Legislative Council (ALEC), started her job, Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google, dropped the bomb: Google wanted out of its relationship with ALEC. “That was some sort of mistake,” Schmidt said on The Diane Rehm Show when a caller asked why Google was supporting the organization. “We’re trying to not do that in the future.”

It’s like breaking up via text with your girlfriend when you’re 16,” said Nelson, presumably before throwing out the mixtapes and Google hoodie Eric gave her and unfriending him on Facebook. Wait a minute, she couldn’t do that, because Facebook is also leaving ALEC. Well, then maybe she could post a picture of her trashed hoodie and mixtapes to Yahoo’s Flickr site? Nope, Yahoo’s ditching ALEC, too.

How about leaving mean reviews of Google, Flickr, and Yahoo on Yelp? Sorry, Yelp already gave ALEC the thumbs down. And before she opens Outlook to send some “actually-I’m the-one-who-broke-up-with-YOU” emails, she might recall that even Microsoft has Ctrl-Z’d its relationship with ALEC.

Any way you look at it, Lisa B. Nelson’s first 60 days on the job were, as they say, character building. But, really, she shouldn’t take it personally. It’s not her — it’s ALEC.

What is it about ALEC that has given so many Big Tech firms cold feet? For that matter, what is ALEC, exactly? It calls itself a nonpartisan organization that focuses on the principles of limited government, free markets, and federalism. Not quite. The New York Times, reporting on Google’s defection, described ALEC as “a conservative-leaning group that has urged repeal of state renewable power standards and other pro-renewable policies.” And the Times was being kind.

ALEC is actually one of the most brazen attempts to steal our democracy that corporate interests have yet conceived. The “council” is composed of representatives from corporations, along with state legislators. Corporations like Exxon Mobil and Koch Industries pay fees along with other generous financial contributions. The legislators pay nominal dues but are forced to bring their families on all-expenses-paid vacations, where they mingle with their corporate benefactors and receive “model” bills (written by the corporations for the corporations). The rested-and-relaxed lawmakers can then take these Stepford bills home and introduce them in their state houses. The only way to make this easier would be to cut out the middleman and just let the corporations pass the laws themselves.

Because this all happens at the state level, it tends to fly under the national radar. It’s also aimed dead at the heart of our absolutely critical local campaigns to develop clean energy and combat climate change.

ALEC exists solely to do the will of the corporations that bankroll it, which is how technology firms got seduced into supporting it in the first place. They hoped ALEC could help them with issues aligned with their own values, such as an open Internet.

What changed? The Climate Movement, which reared its head and roared on September 21 around the world, has made it a lot harder for some companies to keep turning a blind eye to the harm that ALEC does by undermining clean energy and funding climate denial.

Eric Schmidt was blunt: ALEC is “literally lying” about the reality of climate change, he said. “[They] are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people.” I can see how that would be a problem for a company whose official corporate motto is still “Don’t be evil.”

“Our citizens keep marching,” said President Obama at the UN Climate Summit last month, one day after hundreds of thousands around the world mobilized to demand climate action. “We cannot pretend we do not hear them.”

That is the strength of a movement like this one. It blazes a light that makes it impossible to miss the difference between what is good and what is evil. And here’s how strong we have grown: Last week, Occidental Petroleum — an oil company! — announced it was leaving ALEC rather than be associated with its positions on climate change and EPA regulations. Other tech (and non-tech) companies that have severed ties with ALEC include Amazon, General Electric, Apple, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Bank of America, and Proctor & Gamble. Many of these companies left a few years ago after Color of Change and other grassroots organizations called out ALEC for its support of voter-suppression and “stand your ground” laws around the country.

Unfortunately, ALEC still has plenty of corporate funders who are willing to ignore the difference between what’s good and what’s evil. Perhaps Lisa Nelson shouldn’t have been so quick to toss that Google hoodie — she could have sold it on eBay!

That’s right: eBay is still supporting an organization that Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Yelp, Yahoo, and Facebook have all unfriended.

Send a message to CEO John Donahoe today and tell him that it’s about time eBay, too, opened its eyes and saw the light.