Posts Tagged ‘Sierra Club’

Trump Wins Presidency But Climate Keeps The Mandate

November 16, 2016

The Unlikely Path To Less Carbon …

Last week, The Donald won the election but not the popular vote. Days later, membership in the Sierra Club exploded faster than any time in its 124 year history. The country’s oldest and most iconic environmental preservation group is now more than 2.5 million members strong with considerably greater reach. 

Maybe it was because most sane people, and even some Trump voters, know that science has no agenda. They listen to climatologists, not lobbyists. Maybe it’s because they love the great outdoors, or they want to preserve our biosphere for future generations. Or maybe it’s because Mother Nature is the original nasty woman, and whether you accept the reality of climate change or not, she always bats last.

Sadly, the inmates have taken over the asylum. Trump is looking to run the country from his gilded New York City penthouse, sending his proxy to Washington via Mike Pence, who has already begun to seize executive power Dick Cheney-style (only his war is against women and he’s a much bigger dick.) Trump will also look to white supremacist, Steve Bannon, as senior policy whisperer. And because, in Trumplandia, conflicts of interest only apply to everyone else, our new Commander-In-Chief will be relying on fracking billionaire – and yuge campaign contributor, Harold Hammto head the Department of Energy transition team. He’s also considering Sarah “I can see Russia!” Palin for Secretary of the Interior. No joke. But, in perhaps what is the most egregious pick of all, Trump has named chief climate denier, old King Coal himself, Myron Ebell, to dismantle the EPA and overturn Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

Windmills, Not Windbags

Thankfully, the world does not revolve around Trump Tower. The next four years will be rough, regardless of how many evil clowns Trump sends to Washington. No amount of dark money poured into GOP coffers, no degree of economic protectionism, will insulate his administration from global market forces. Trump will be compelled to follow the money. It won’t serve him to sit on his tiny hands and bet the entire U.S. energy future on extreme fossil fuel extraction while the rest of the world laps us in the development of sustainable energy.

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This is what Climate Policy Change looks like. Marrakech, November 2016

Should the Trump administration shun the Paris Agreement, should they renege on U.S. commitments, and ramp up fracking and Arctic Drilling, his government will be sued, and then there’s every possibility that the invisible hand of the free market will give him the finger. Trump may want to believe there’s a growing taste for coal, fracked gas and more carbon, but better, cheaper, more efficient alternatives already exist. The rest of the world’s markets are reshaping and retooling, surging forward on renewable energy, decoupling their economies from a rapidly diminishing supply of fossil fuels, and they recognize the clear danger of Trump’s ideas about energy.

The Donald has promised a lot of people a lot of jobs, and I can’t help but wonder, where does he think the best-paying, most secure and desirable incomes will come from? The clean energy sector has grown despite all the Republican efforts to squelch it. That says a lot about the strength, resiliency and sustainability of the clean energy market. To borrow that over-employed phrase, it seems like it’s already baked in.

UN Secretary-General BanKiMoon said he is “optimistic” that Donald Trump can be “made to see reason.” (I know, LOL, right?) Nevertheless, he asserts, “I believe that he understands that there are market forces already at work on this issue. And we need to harness these forces for good of the planet and all the species in this planet.”

Environmental activists are now striving to take the longview, and to not be discouraged – or worse – distracted by the present sideshow that is American politics. My only hope is that we can rely on the rule of law. Ours is a great Republic, and citizens should be able to look to the law to provide reasonable checks and balances for the powers that be. In the fight to conserve our natural resources, the courts have often served as the last bastion of protection for environmental human rights.

Still, I feel sick when I see what the orange menace is plotting. I’m repulsed by the small-mindedness under which he operates, and by how he and his crew of deplorables want to devalue important, vaunted U.S. institutions like the EPA. Sure, I know the fight for climate is a long one, longer and more complex than any one U.S. presidency. Plus, I refuse to be cowed by bullies. I also know I’m not alone. Think about Sierra. 

Think Global, Act Fast

Maybe you will Stand With Standing Rock and the Sioux Nation’s right to protect sacred water. Perhaps you side with Senator Sanders and the Climate Revolution? No matter how you contribute to the climate movement, we need to work smarter and faster, and we need good quality information. Not all news is created equal and some actions are more powerful than others. Here are a bunch of trusted resources. I share them in the hopes that they might help you in your efforts — solidarity!

For Climate, Fight Fracking

PA AgainstFracking:  Broad, statewide coalition of groups and individual members across Pennsylvania who are in support of stopping fracking through a statewide moratorium.

Delaware Riverkeeper Network:  Non-profit, membership organization dedicated to addressing “the issues, actions, regulations, legislation, policies, programs and decisions that impact the health of our Delaware River Watershed waterways and our ability to protect and restore them for the benefit of all.”

Food and Water Watch:  National group led by Winonah Hauter, leading public interest advocates and author of Frackopoly. FWW champions healthy food and clean water for all. Join FWW’s Clean Energy Revolution or help Ban Fracking Everywhere. Busy local chapters such as Food Water Watch in Philadelphia, Pa. love to hear from volunteers, will gladly put you to work!

Sierra Club:  Longtime conscientious objector to fossil fools, this group simply wants to #LeaveItInTheGround.

Friends of the Earth:  Global network of more than two million activists in 75 different countries. Several U.S. offices advocate in the halls of Congress, in state capitals, and with community groups around the country. Online petitions.

Earth Justice:  Because the Earth obviously needs a good lawyer.

NextGen Climate:  Founder, Tom Steyer, believes Climate Change is the most pressing issue of our time. Nextgen actively seeks to engage voters. 

News & Information:

StateImpactPA / NPR:  https://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/

EcoWatch:  http://www.ecowatch.com/

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Don Hopey:  http://www.post-gazette.com

PA Against Fracking Newsroom:  http://www.paagainstfracking.org/newsroom/

ClimateWire by EENews:  http://www.eenews.net/cw

Democracy Now, Amy Goodman:  http://www.democracynow.org/

DeSmog Blog:  http://www.desmogblog.com/

PA Environmental Digest: Environmental news and headlines:  http://www.paenvironmentdigest.com/newsletter/

The Berks Gas Truth: Regularly updated links to headlines across Pennsylvania covering the great  fracking divide:  http://paper.li/BerksGasTruth/1369451548#!all

Delaware Riverkeeper’s BlogMaya van Rossum is an environmental champion, attorney and organizer: http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/blog/

Laura Legere, freelance journalist:  https://twitter.com/LauraLegere

Oil Change International:  http://priceofoil.org/

ClimateChangeNews:  http://www.climatechangenews.com/

Follow Sierra’s Executive Director, Michael Brune, on facebook and feel like a climate  insider:  https://www.facebook.com/michael.brune.9

Protecting Our Waters: Northeastern U.S. water advocates:  https://protectingourwaters.wordpress.com/ 

Raging Chicken PressRefreshingly left, entirely raw truth spoken here:  http://ragingchickenpress.org/

@fractivista, all the #fracking headlines I can find, and why you should read on:  https://twitter.com/Fractivista

The Onion, because sometimes you just have to laugh:  http://www.theonion.com/

List by no means comprehensive, please feel free share your favorite resources and organizations in the Comments.

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SB1171 Would Nearly Double Renewable Energy In Pennsylvania

November 14, 2013

Naturally, The GOP’s Gonna Hate It

On November 12, 2013, State Senator Daylin Leach [D-Montgomery/Delaware] introduced new Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) legislation, SB1171, aimed at reducing Pennsylvania’s dependance on fossil fuels. Leach was flanked by State Representative Greg Vitali [D-Delaware], who is sponsoring companion legislation in the house (HB100), and Tom Schuster, who represented about 24,000 Sierra Club members in Pennsylvania.

SB1171 is already supported by the majority of economic and environmental stakeholders in the state, including Blue-Green Alliance, Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition and PennFuture. Makes sense, too, in this age of super storms and carbon thresholds, and given the fact that Pennsylvania is the third highest carbon producing state in the nation, right? Tell it to the Mayberry Machiavellians in Harrisburg, please.

What’s 8% Of Lame?

Under current state law, passed in 2007, Pennsylvania’s power generating utilities must acquire 8% of their energy from renewable sources. Last time I checked, natural gas was not considered a renewable in Pennsylvania, though in Texas the definition gets a little hazy.

Time, technology and other states have passed us by,” said to Leach to Kevin Gavin and Haldan Kirsch in PA Lags In Renewables, on 90.5 WESA NPR Pittsburgh on November 12, 2013.   (more…)

Sierra Club’s Brune Braves Fox Fact Bubble, Remains A Gentleman

February 16, 2013

Interviewed, and often talked over, on Fox NewsVarney & Co.Sierra Club Executive Director, Mike Brunenot only keeps his cool but remains a polite and informative guest.

Despite Stuart Varney’s ill-informed scoffing and scorn, the unflappable Brune manages to state a few facts on climate change, solar power, wind, natural gas and the Keystone XL Pipeline – facts like how KXL isn’t any more inevitable than other planned, non-existent pipelines; and how the number of US solar installations broke the record in 2012, and will do so again in 2013.

A vociferous climate denier, Varney appears to think fossil fuels will last “forever” while one of his co-hosts would simply deny wind power altogether because he’s never seen a windmill turning. (Here’s a hint: just like the sun is more likely to shine in the daytime, the wind is more likely to blow at night – maybe go look then?)

Photo: sierra.org

Brune isn’t baited or cowed by Varney & Co.’s carnival-esque atmosphere. I’ve been unable to embed the video, as is usually the case with Fox clips, but here’s the link:

Sierra Club ExecutiveDirector Mike Brune On His Efforts To Stop The Completion Of The Keystone Pipeline

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2165321833001/

Way Beyond Coal   (more…)

VOTE Pro-Earth, Pro-Pennsylvania

October 23, 2012

Where Do Our Candidates Stand On The Important Environmental Issues Facing Pennsylvania?

If you’re interested in supporting eco-friendly candidates in Pennsylvania, you might need more information about their voting records, endorsements, contributors and, of course, their campaign promises. And you’ll want to be sure to exercise your franchise on Tuesday, November 6th.

It’s Time To Mother Earth

Visit Marcellus At The Polls to learn where your candidates stand on issues related to shale gas drilling. A note from Marcellus at The Polls:   It’s an all-volunteer effort. We have information on candidates running in PA who are ‘fracktivist friendly’. They are running for various offices, they are of varying political parties. We list the ones who have made strong statements against the wanton fracking of PA. We’re all volunteers & accept no $ from anyone/any political party/PAC.  

Who Got What 

Campaign contributions from the Oil & Gas Industry to Pennsylvania Politicians are tallied up at MarcellusMoney.org

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Get Radical! Marcellus Truth & Action Conference in Bethlehem PA

March 10, 2012

[UPDATE: APRIL 5, 2012]  Visit shaleshockmedia.org for full-length video of keynote speech by Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, Cornell University, and other highlights from the conference.

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[Original Post]  Marcellus Shale Exposed: A Symposium for Truth and Action on Fri., March 16th & Sat, March 17th at Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA is a great place to get informed and involved in the effort to protect our land, air and water from the ravages of Unconventional Gas Drilling. Presenters will include: Jeff Schmidt, Sierra Club * Tracy Carluccio, Delaware Riverkeeper Network * Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth * Deborah Rogers, Energy Policy Forum.

Free Admission – Register here!

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Legality of Susquehanna River Basin Commission Hearing Challenged

December 22, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Thursday, December 21, 2011):

“CONSERVATION ORGANIZATIONS CALL INTO QUESTION THE LEGALITY OF ACTIONS TAKE DURING SRBC MEETING”
Today, a consortium of seven conservation and environmental groups have sent a letter to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, asking the Commissioners to reconvene to complete its meeting held on December 15.  Last week, the Commission hastily adjourned its meeting in Wilkes-Barre, after a group of citizens challenged its authority, shouted at the Commissioners and disrupted the meeting. (more…)