Autumn often brings thoughts of family, food, and friends. That may be due to the concentration of holidays or it may be that the shorter days feed the need to circle oneself with comfortable people and surroundings. And Sierrans are no different.
In this edition of Footnotes Online, we will recap some recent events that Sierrans participated in, offer a list of upcoming items of interest for your consideration, and tell you about a new benchmark you helped the Sierra Club reach. So our question to you is: Are you ready to embrace the season and surround yourself with friendly faces wanting to create some good in the world? If so, maybe we will see you at one of these events!
Your staff at the NC Sierra Club
We’ve Done the Math, and It’s Starting to Add Up
You probably know that Sierrans have played a leading role in retiring coal plants in North Carolina. But did you know that last week, when Brayton Point Power Station announced its retirement, Somerset, Massachusetts became the 150th community to move beyond coal? This is huge! Let’s look at some numbers to see how we got here.
Over 154,000 activists took action in communities across the country, creating over 100 partnerships with community and national organizations, and taking more than 4.6 million actions online.
Closing 150 coal fired power plants has saved billions of dollars in health care costs, lowered carbon pollution by 225 million tons and saved over 4,000 lives.
The result is that we have healthier and happier communities, and we are propelling the clean energy economy which has generated more than 200,000 jobs across the country.
Check out the infographic below for great facts about this important work and share the image with your friends! And click here to join the Asheville Beyond Coal movement and help take back our mountains!
Time to Solarize
By now, you probably know a lot about solar energy in our state. For instance, you’ve probably heard that North Carolina ranked 5th in the country last year for solar installations. And you likely know that June was Solar Month in North Carolina.
But what you may not know is that it is illegal in our state for a solar company to sell you electricity directly! That’s right. Solar companies have to sell the power they harness to a utility that in turn sells it to consumers. Click here to watch our video about Third Party Sales of electricity.
But until that changes, there’s a group of folks working to find solutions to help homeowners take advantage of the dropping prices of installing solar panels. A new initiative in Western NC is getting a lot of attention for its effort to help residents work together to get lower prices and good loans to install solar panels on their roofs.
More than 300 people signed up for the Solarize Asheville project, and Solarize Carrboro is working to get off the ground. For more information about the Solarize Carrboro effort, please visit: http://www.solarizenc.org/carrboro.
Working together, we can make North Carolina First In Solar!
Looking for Answers
As we move toward wind and solar, we still have the problem of no solution for nuclear waste. And right now, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is holding hearings on its draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in cities all across the country. The hearing in Charlotte will be on November 4!
The hearings provide the public an opportunity to comment on a generic draft EIS being issued by the NRC to justify “confidence” that waste will be taken care of therefore can continue to be generated. The results of these hearings could restart licensing new and extending licenses of old nuclear power reactors in the US.
For information put together by Sierra Club volunteers including some background on Waste Confidence, please click here: http://content.sierraclub.org/grassrootsnetwork/documents/background-waste-confidence.
Talking points and comment instructions for Waste Confidence Hearings can be found here: http://content.sierraclub.org/grassrootsnetwork/documents/talking-points-and-comment-instructions-waste-confidence-hearings.
Now that you’ve got that, go ahead and mark your calendar for:
November 4 - 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Open House, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. Hearing
Hilton Charlotte University Place, 8629 J.M. Keynes Drive, Charlotte, NC 28262 (map)
If you want to join other Sierrans who are standing up against the dangerous practice of nuclear energy, join the Nuclear Free Campaign today!
Visit the campaign’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/NuclearFreeCampaign/) or webpage (http://sierraclub.org/nuclear/) for more information and the latest developments!
A New Class of Leaders
Outings connect the Sierra Club’s past, present, and future. Getting outdoors is why the Club started and it is still what inspires our conservation efforts today. On October 5, thirty-nine aspiring and current North Carolina Outings Leaders came together in Chapel Hill for a day of Outdoor Leadership training. Eight of North Carolina’s local Sierra Club groups were represented—with participants traveling from areas all across the state!
And just as it was with John Muir, Ansel Adams, and the countless others who have allowed their love for outdoors to reach others and inspire conservation efforts, North Carolina has a new flock of leaders. And that’s something for which we should all be thankful!
Special thanks for conducting the training go to the NC Chapter Outings Committee members: Kelly Mieszkalski (Chair), Nancy Card (Vice Chair), Bill Gupton, Debra Rezeli, and Ginny Kloepfer. Durham Technical Community College provided first aid training for the volunteers. We thank them, as well!
Where We Are on the Frack Track
For more than two years now, there has been a push to allow fracking in North Carolina. During this time several bills have been introduced, DENR did a fracking study, and the legislature created a Mining & Energy Commission (MEC) to develop draft rules for potentially allowing fracking in our state.
If you are looking to stay on top of all of these fracking items of interest, going to a MEC meeting is a good way to keep tabs on what rules are being developed. Those meetings are listed below and you can click this link for more information about the MEC meetings: http://is.gd/1YZuzd.
Also, click on the picture to the right to see our newly updated fracking timeline!
Meetings of the Mining & Energy Commission
October 24-25 – Archdale Building – 512 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC
MEC Committees and study groups will meet on the 24th. The full MEC will meet on the 25th and is expected to have a final discussion on their proposed chemical disclosure rules.
These rules, if adopted by the General Assembly, would determine the what information fracking companies would have to make available about the chemicals they plan to use.
November 21-22 – Archdale Building – 512 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC
MEC Committees and study groups will meet on the 21st. The full MEC will meet on the 22nd and their proposed rules for fracking well development are due at this meeting, although the MEC can change this deadline if they choose.
Upcoming Events & Meetings Worth Mentioning
Triangle Area Events
October 17, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – UUFR – 3313 Wade Avenue, Raleigh, North Carolina (map)
Capital Group October Monthly Meeting: “For Earth’s Sake: The Life and Times of David Brower”.
Join the group this Thursday for a showing of “For Earth’s Sake: The Life and Times of David Brower”! “For Earth’s Sake” is a documentary profiling David Brower, the environmentalist who established several of America’s parks and who has directed two of the world’s most influential environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club.
Stick around afterward for refreshments and a chance to socialize with fellow Sierrans. Announcements and Sierra Club updates will precede the screening of the movie.
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/524851234251647/.
November 7, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Marbles Museum in Raleigh – $50 registration fee
Community Summit on why Transit Makes $en$e: What’s in it for Me, Business, & the Economy
Local business leaders and planning professionals explain why transit is critical for our community’s future. Keynote speaker Will Shroeer, from the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, is an expert on how transit investment directly benefits local economic development. Carolyn Flowers, CEO of Charlotte’s transit system, will describe the economic success of Charlotte’s expanding light rail and streetcars.
Click here for more details on other speakers!
November 13, 4:00 p.m. – Chapel Hill/Durham Area
Outing – Second Wednesday Winter Hike Series - November – February
The days are getting shorter, but if you’re looking for ways to keep yourself conditioned during the week, join like-minded folks for a 3-mile fast-paced nature hike on the second Wednesday of each month from November through February. Locations vary, but will be on wooded trails somewhere between Hillsborough, UNC and Duke campuses. Limited to 12 participants. Sorry, no pets. To register, contact Jae at SeeingTrees@gmail.com. You can also check the Outings Calendar for updated information: http://nc2.sierraclub.org/outings-calendar.
October 19, 2013 – 1:45 – 4:00 – Hammock’s Beach State Park, Swansboro, NC
Outing – Marsh Cruise at Hammock’s Beach State Park
Learn about the ecology and cultural history of coastal North Carolina as you enjoy the wildlife and scenery of Swansboro and Hammocks Beach State Park by ferry. The trip is open to everyone. The ride begins at 2:00 p.m. and runs for about 2 hours. Gather at the park visitor’s center at 1:45 p.m. The cost is $5 per person to benefit a local charity.
For more information, or to sign up, contact Nancy Card at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 26, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Time for Science Learning Center – Grifton, NC (map)
Outing – John Lawson Days Paddle
Activities are scheduled in Grifton, NC to commemorate naturalist and explorer John Lawson’s time in the area. This is an opportunity for Sierra Club members to join in by attending lectures on this history (10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.), a field trip to Fort Barnwell of the Tuscarora War (4:00 p.m.), and a 9:00 a.m. Sierra Club paddle down Contentnea Creek (dependent on creek conditions at the time!!). Details of Lawson Day can be found by clicking here: http://johnlawsonlegacydays.org/Schedule_of_Events.html.
Sign up for the paddle with Tom Williams at email@example.com and provide your cell phone number in case of a need to cancel due to creek status. Paddlers will meet at the green trailer on the Time For Science campus in the Grifton area at 8:45 a.m.
November 9, 9:30 a.m.- Cape Fear River, Wilmington, NC
Toxic Tour Boat Trip
By the end of the year the Sutton Coal Plant in Wilmington is switching away from coal, one of the dirtiest fuels from start to finish. But for decades tons of toxic coal waste, containing harmful heavy metals, have been dumped in unlined pits that threaten local clean water. And Progress Energy still has not decided what to do about this legacy of pollution in the community.
The NC Sierra Club and Cape Fear River Watch are teaming up for a trip on the Cape Fear River to the Sutton Coal plant. The trip will educate the community on the dangers of coal waste and what we can do to overcome the legacy of coal in our community. Wilmington deserves clean safe drinking water, sign up for our toxic tour today and learn how to protect our vital water resources. The trip will last two hours, the cost is $10.
For more information, or to sign up, contact Nancy Card, NostalgicNan@gmail.com.
Events In the Mountains
October 20 – Grandfather Mountain, NC
Outing – Tanawha Trail and Fall Color Hike
This should be a great opportunity to view the colorful fall foliage on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Tanawha Trail parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway on Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina.
You will need to bring hiking footwear, water, lunch, and rain gear. All participants on Sierra Club outings are required to sign a standard liability waiver. If you would like to read the liability waiver before you choose to participate in an outing, go to http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/chapter/forms/. Group size will be limited to 15.
For more information please contact Kathy Rigsbee at firstname.lastname@example.org or (336) 466-2803.
November 1 – 3, near Boone, NC
Hump Mountain Overnight Hike and Backpack Trip
Bring your own gear and food or arrange prior to departure to share. Please arrange your own car pools. The AT through this section is reported to be exposed with vistas. The bald on Big Hump provides a vast sweep of the mountains of NC and TN including Roan High Knob, Grandfather Mt and as far away as Mt Rogers on a clear day.
Group size is limited depending on destination and experience of participants. $25 per person is refundable-at-the-trail head, deposit required. For full trip information, visit: http://nc2.sierraclub.org/outing/hump-mountain.
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.