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[1THING] Blog: Archive for October, 2016

[ Good Jobs in the Climate-Friendly Economy ]

Good Jobs in the Climate-Friendly Economy

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PEO ACWA / Flickr

 Adapted from the Labor Network for Sustainability Report “Just Transition” – Just What Is It?

We are well into the greatest economic transition ever experienced — one that will dwarf all that came before. Creating a carbon-neutral economy will require us to retool all sectors of our economy, from manufacturing, transportation, and health care to waste management, communications, energy, and more.

Frontline communities — including workers and all those threatened or already devastated by climate change and the fossil fuel economy — must be leaders in this fight. A “just transition” is one that protects and prioritizes communities and workers’ livelihoods as we build this climate-friendly economy together.

We know that coal power is a significant driver of climate change, for instance. How can we ensure that the people who work for coal companies have good jobs in the clean economy of the future?

The Eastern Kentucky Clean Energy Collaborative has created an innovative and inspiring model.

A significant portion of electricity in eastern Kentucky is provided by the East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC), a rural electric co-op serving eighty-seven counties. In 2005, EKPC got the go-ahead to build a coal plant in Clark County.

In 2009, a public interest coalition, including the Sierra Club, contested the decision. They argued that changes in energy demand and the availability of renewables made the plant unnecessary.

The coalition also knew that the issue of jobs and economic impacts would be crucial in impoverished eastern Kentucky. So they commissioned a study showing that far more jobs would be created and electric rates would be lower if EKPC invested instead in energy efficiency, weatherization, hydropower, and wind power.

The report spawned lots of positive public discussion. Community leaders shared educational materials, held meetings and hearings, and met with EKPC board members to encourage them to support the alternative to the coal plant.

About a year later, in November 2010, EKPC agreed to immediately halt plans to build the coal plant.

Even more remarkably, EKPC committed $125,000 toward a collaboration between its member co-ops and public interest groups to evaluate and recommend new energy-efficiency programs and renewable energy options in Kentucky. The Clean Energy Collaborative meets quarterly and comprises a wide range of partners, including the EKPC and its member co-ops, the public interest coalition members, and housing and economic development groups.

In late 2016, Kentuckians reached another milestone with the launch of the Empower Kentucky Summit. The event brought together renewable energy and energy efficiency professionals, faith leaders, environmentalists, social justice advocates, electric cooperatives, and many more. Here was a roadmap for the future, from the very heart of coal country.

We can build an economy that saves the climate, creates good jobs, and contributes to community well-being. Labor and justice advocates, environmental organizations and others can come together for a common vision. A just transition is within reach if we work together.

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[ Obama administration to decide fate of Arctic Ocean oil leasing soon ]

The Obama administration will soon finalize its five-year program for offshore oil and gas leasing on the U.S. outer continental shelf.

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[ What happened at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge must never happen again, anywhere in America ]

Michael Reinemer

“What happened at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge must never happen again, anywhere in America,” said Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society. “The Bundys and their allies are out of step with the overwhelming majority of Americans who value ou

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[ 2 ways to help us meet the Paris climate goals ]

With the right policies and partnerships in place we may even cut emissions ahead of schedule.

     
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[ Colorado vineyard country threatened by oil and gas drilling plans ]

Full of pastoral valleys, high mountain peaks and rugged canyons, the Uncompahgre region includes the idyllic vineyard and farm-rich lands of the North Fork Valley, nestled on the western side of the Rocky Mountains, between Grand Junction and Montrose.

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[ Musician and Composer Trent Reznor Talks “Before the Flood” ]

The Nine Inch Nails mastermind and Atticus Ross assembled a team of musicians to score Leonardo DiCaprio’s new climate change documentary.

The new eco-documentary film Before the Flood is an examination of the challenges we face from climate change.  Its musical score is the result of a unique collaboration between Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Gustavo Santaolalla, and Mogwai.  The music forms a narrative backdrop to the film’s call to action and the personal-discovery story of its narrator, Leonardo DiCaprio. (Check out Sierra‘s complete review of Before the Flood.)

Reznor is well known as the musical engine behind Nine Inch Nails, but he has produced and written music for, and scored the soundtracks to, film for years, including Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers(1994) and David Lynch’s Lost Highway (1997). Recently, he worked with his writing partner Atticus Ross to create the soundtracks to David Fincher’s The Social Network (2010), which won an Academy Award for Best Original Score, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and Gone Girl (2014).

Sierra magazine’s Jonathan Hahn recently spoke by phone with Reznor from his studio in Los Angeles.   Here are a few highlights:

What convinced you to take on the project of scoring Before the Flood?

My writing partner and collaborator Atticus Ross [and I] had been apart for a couple of years because I was on tour and doing some other things. We committed to working together over the next few years on a variety of things. When we started talking several months ago, he mentioned that he’d met Fisher [Stevens] and had seen a very early cut of the film and was excited about it. I have great respect for Fisher, and also feel a civic duty to do anything I can, which seems absurd, to try to help spread the word about the facts and science of climate change. The subject matter was interesting to me and something I cared about. Then I saw an early cut of the film, and we decided to get involved.

Was it clear to you what Fisher Stevens and Leonardo DiCaprio were after with this film? It’s not just about the facts of climate change. The story is as much about DiCaprio’s character arc, from being deeply skeptical that anything can be done to reverse climate change to eventually landing on a moment of optimism, when Piers Sellers, a NASA scientist facing terminal cancer, delivers the message of hope he’s been looking for. The music closely tracks that story. Was that story clear to you from the start such that you tried to respond to it musically, or did you discover it along the way?

I give all credit where it’s due to Fisher, who was a great shepherd of this project. He was very articulate through the process that the audience we’re aiming for is a mainstream audience, that we’re capitalizing on Leo’s popularity, and we’re introducing a personal narrative where it is Leo’s journey of discovery. We want you to leave the theater feeling concerned, but with a sense of hope. This isn’t about the end of the world. There’s still time to enact change and awareness on a personal level as to how you can proactively get involved to change things politically. He was very articulate about stressing that throughout.

Get the full story from Jonathan Hahn and Sierra here.

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[ Polar Bear Week – Take the Energy Challenge! ]

It’s early November. It’s cold. It’s snowy. And polar bears are waiting for the sea ice to form. It’s Polar dreamstime_s_5849191Bear Week!

Polar Bear Week coincides with the fall polar bear migration to Churchill, Manitoba, where polar bears gather to wait for freeze-up on Hudson Bay so they can return to hunting seals. During Polar Bear Week, the importance of sea ice to polar bear survival is focused on.

The 2016 event is October 30-November 5. Take the Energy Challenge to sustain a future for the bears. Here’s your day-by-day invite from Polar Bears International:

Sunday, October 30: Tune in to the live Polar Bear Cam—watch the polar bear migration and get tundrified.

Monday, October 31: Reduce energy consumption at your home, workplace, and school. From light bulbs to Energy Star appliances, learn how.

Tuesday, November 1: Make changes to the way you heat and cool your home—and work to inspire these changes on a community level.

Wednesday, November 2: Power down at home, work, or school! Check out the Power Down Community Action Toolkit to learn how.

Thursday, November 3: Pledge to VOTE with the climate in mind! Let your representatives know you support action on climate—and urge your friends, family, and colleagues to do the same.

Friday, November 4: Sign this petition asking for a fair price on carbon, and share the link with your network. This will help speed up the transition to a renewable future, saving the sea ice that polar bears depend on.

Saturday, November 5: Let your utility company know you want to subscribe to green power. If you live in the U.S., you can do so by switching to Arcadia Power—and you’ll benefit PBI at the same time!

The Polar Bear Connection
Using less energy produced by fossil fuels reduces carbon emissions and can slow and even stop global warming, saving the sea ice that polar bears need for efficient hunting. Without sea ice, polar bears will decline in range and numbers, making them vulnerable to extinction in the future.

The Energy Challenge is part of Polar Bears International’s Save Our Sea Ice (SOS) campaign, a series of celebrations centered around action on climate change. It begins each year on International Polar Bear Day, February 27th, and continues through Polar Bear Week in the fall—although you can take the challenges at any time.

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[ New poll shows strong support for Northwest Forest Plan: Voters prioritize water protection and recreation for public lands in the Pacific Northwest ]

Michael Reinemer

new poll reveals voters’ priorities for the management of a 25-million-acre network of America’s public lands, forests and rivers in Northern

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[ High School Students Plant Rain Gardens In East Stroudsburg ]

With help from local students, the Brodhead Watershed Association recently coordinated the planting of several new rain gardens in East Stroudsburg in Monroe County.

In the first week of October, East Stroudsburg High School South students from Pat Bixler’s environmental science class planted three small gardens next to the East Stroudsburg firehouse on Lackawanna Avenue.

The gardens will intercept parking lot runoff before it goes into an underground water storage basin and from there to an underground tributary to Brodhead Creek.

On October 14 BWA volunteers planted two small gardens at the historic Dansbury Depot on Kistler Street. Stormwater from that area also flows to the Brodhead.

East Stroudsburg municipal public works crews prepared the sites for planting.

Rain gardens are bowl-shaped depressions filled with native plants. The gardens capture runoff from roofs and paved areas, allowing the water to seep slowly into the ground as the plants filter out pollutants.

The new rain gardens will help prevent runoff from reaching nearby Brodhead Creek.

A grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation pays for the rain gardens with municipal in-kind match.

For information about other local rain gardens and how to create your own, visit the BWA Rain Gardens webpage.

For more information on programs, initiatives and other upcoming events, visit the Brodhead Watershed Association website.

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[ Poll: Pacific Northwest voters value clean water and protecting old-growth forests ]

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