Footnotes Issue #66: October 31, 2012
Climate Change Spooks Us
"Romney mocked Obama for promising to 'slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet,' saying 'my promise is to help you and your family.' Hurricane Sandy says you can't do one without the other."
--Mike Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director
I took the Georgia Chapter Director position about a month after the climate bill had failed in the U.S. Senate, summer of 2010. It has been dispiriting to watch the consequences: the U.S. handcuffed at international climate negotiations, and the long and drawn-out public disillusionment has prevented other climate policy solutions from gaining any traction.
Here in Georgia, I felt we didn't need to frame the issues we are working on in the climate context because there are so many other reasons to embrace energy efficiency, clean energy, transportation options and land protection. Benefits include job creation, saving consumers money, lessening the strain on our water resources, and cleaner air, just to name a few.
As we keep friends and family in Sandy's path in our thoughts and prayers, it is hard not to connect the dots: extreme weather is becoming more frequent and severe all over the planet because we are changing the make-up of the atmosphere in the biggest, most dangerous experiment ever. In Georgia, we have already seen increased flooding and drought, and climatologists warn that sea levels will rise, and diseases will spread.
Recent reports that US carbon emissions are down 7.7% since 2006, and that we may well achieve deeper reductions by 2020 than we would have under the climate bill. We see climate solutions popping up all over the place. In September, all the new electricity that came online was from wind and solar. Other states are setting good examples: Iowa gets 23% of its electricity from wind, which has created 7,000 jobs. Michigan is considering a ballot initiative to get 25% of its energy from renewables by 2025. New Jersey is a leader on solar megawatts installed. We need to make sure the solutions reach the scale that will stabilize the climate, and the Southeast presents the biggest challenge, and also the biggest opportunity.
Bill McKibben, the Bruce Springsteen of the climate movement, is taking his 350.org "Do the Math" show on the road, stopping in Atlanta at the Variety Playhouse on Tuesday, November 20. Come get inspired to take action, and then visit us at the official after-party to join the movement to solve the climate crisis while creating thousands of clean energy jobs for Georgians.
Our Wildlands Team once again supports HemlockFest, which in its 8th year is an all-ages, eco-friendly event to save our hemlock trees by minimizing the impact of the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), which is an introduced parasitic insect killing the hemlocks of North Georgia at an alarming rate. Within the next 15 years, if we can't slow HWA down, our hemlocks may be gone and our forests changed forever. But through the efforts of the Lumpkin Coalition and other non-profit organizations, government agencies, universities, private citizens and YOU, the tide can be turned. Help save our native forests and preserve our quality of life!
Sierra Club Meetings
Smart Energy Team Meeting, Monday, November 5, 7:00 p.m.
Wildlands Committee Meeting, Tuesday, November 20, 7:00 p.m.
RAIL, Monday, November 26, 7:00 p.m.
Atlanta Inner City Outings (ICO), Tuesday, November 13, 8:00 p.m.
Fundraising Committee, Wednesday, November 28, 7:00 p.m.
November 4 – Hike to Shoal Creek
Sierra Club & Beer is back! On election night, we will hear from MARTA CEO Bev Scott and Georgia Conservation Voters' Rob Teilhet about politics and the environment. Play environmental trivia, watch the results. Event is from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Music Room, 327 Edgewood Ave, upstairs in the Speakeasy after that, $5 suggested donation.
November 11 - Beltline Bike
Help us keep Georgia's wild places wild.
Your donation can do so much to help us continue to protect Georgia's environment.
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