Author Archives: chesco14

Today is World Water Day

Water by Wendell Berry

I was born in a drouth year. That summer
my mother waited in the house, enclosed
in the sun and the dry ceaseless wind,
for the men to come back in the evenings,
bringing water from a distant spring.
veins of leaves ran dry, roots shrank.
And all my life I have dreaded the return
of that year, sure that it still is
somewhere, like a dead enemys soul.
Fear of dust in my mouth is always with me,
and I am the faithful husband of the rain,
I love the water of wells and springs
and the taste of roofs in the water of cisterns.
I am a dry man whose thirst is praise
of clouds, and whose mind is something of a cup.
My sweetness is to wake in the night
after days of dry heat, hearing the rain.

Youth Climate Strike West Chester

Event from Youth Climate Strike West Chester (sign up there)

Start: March 15, 2019• 1:45 pm (was 11:00 AM)
End: March 15, 2019• 5:45 pm (was 3:00 PM)
Location:Everhart Park•N/A, West Chester, PA 19380
Host Contact Info: vleibowitz71@gmail.com

Our Mission

We, the youth of America, are striking because decades of inaction has left us with just 11 years to change the trajectory of the worst effects of climate change, according to the Oct 2018 UN IPCC Report. We are striking because our world leaders have yet to acknowledge, prioritize, or properly address our climate crisis. We are striking because marginalized communities across our nation —especially communities of color, disabled communities, and low- income communities— are already disproportionately impacted by climate change. We are striking because if the social order is disrupted by our refusal to attend school, then the system is forced to face the climate crisis and enact change. With our futures at stake, we call for radical legislative action to combat climate change and its countless detrimental effects on the American people. We are striking for the Green New Deal, for a fair and just transition to a 100% renewable economy, and for ending the creation of additional fossil fuel infrastructure. Additionally, we believe the climate crisis should be declared a national emergency because we are running out of time.

Our Demands

Green New Deal

An equitable transition for marginalized communities that will be most impacted by climate change

An equitable transition for fossil-fuel reliant communities to a renewable economy

100% renewable energy by 2030

Upgrading the current electric grid

No creation of additional fossil fuel infrastructure (pipelines, coal plants, fracking etc.)

The creation of a committee to oversee the implementation of a Green New Deal

That has subpoena power

Committee members can’t take fossil fuel industry donations

Accepts climate science

A halt in any and all fossil fuel infrastructure projects

Fossil fuel infrastructure disproportionately impacts indigenous communities and communities of color in a negative way

Creating new fossil fuel infrastructure would create new reliance on fossil fuels at a time of urgency

All decisions made by the government be tied in scientific research, including the 2018 IPCC report

The world needs to reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2030, and 100% by 2050

We need to incorporate this fact into all policymaking

Declaring a National Emergency on Climate Change

This calls for a national emergency because we have 11 years to avoid catastrophic climate change

Since the US has empirically been a global leader, we should be a leader on climate action

Since the US largely contributes to global GHG emissions, we should be leading the fight in GHG reduction

Compulsory comprehensive education on climate change and its impacts throughout grades K-8

K-8 is the ideal age range for compulsory climate change education because:

Impressionability is high during that developmental stage, therefore it’s easier for children and young adults to learn about climate change in a more in-depth manner, and retain that information

Climate change becomes a nonpartisan issue, as it truly is because it’s based solely on science from the beginning

Preserving our public lands and wildlife

Diverse ecosystems and national parks will be very impacted by climate change, therefore it’s important that we work to the best of our abilities to preserve their existence

Keeping our water supply clean

Clean water is essential for all living beings, when we pollute our water supply, or the water supply of someone else, it’s simply a violation of an essential human right

Our Solutions

The extraction of Greenhouse Gases from the atmosphere

Reforestation– replenishing our forests by planting trees and allowing them to thrive, sustainable forestry

Reduced food waste– methane emissions from rotting food in landfills contributes immensely to overall Greenhouse Gases emissions

Emission standards and benchmarks

We need to create standards and benchmarks for reducing Greenhouse Gases that align with those expressed by the science community to avoid 2° Celsius warming

Changing the agriculture industry

Less carbon-intensive farming

More plant-based farming

Using renewable energy and building renewable energy infrastructure

Stopping the unsustainable and dangerous process of fracking

Stop mountaintop removal/mining

It is very harmful to our environment and people working in these fields

*These are not the sole solutions, these are just some solutions that we approve of

*To be effective, these solutions need to be implemented at a large scale by the United States government

A Paddleboarder’s Quest for Cleaner Water

by Wendy Backtold, Sierra magazine, 3/5/19 [what one person can do, and inspire others to do!]

Lizzie Carr goes the extra mile to get rid of plastic pollution

In 2013, Lizzie Carr was working at a creative agency in London and living what she calls a fairly normal life. Then she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She had just turned 26. After an emergency thyroidectomy and radiotherapy, Carr went to her father’s house on the Isles of Scilly, off the UK’s southwest coast, to recuperate. There, she tried paddleboarding, hoping to regain her strength. Out on the water, she says, she experienced an unexpected peace of mind. She was hooked.

When she recovered, Carr found herself craving a larger purpose. Back in London, she took to the city’s many waterways to figure things out. As she paddled, she was disturbed by the ubiquitous plastic trash she encountered, and she could see the impact it was having on wildlife. (Once, she saw a bird’s nest made entirely of plastic.) Other people, she decided, needed to be aware of it too.

In May 2016, Carr loaded a borrowed board with camping gear and set off to paddle the length of England (400 miles) by river and canal. For 22 days, she photographed every piece of plastic she saw⎯mostly bottles, bags, and wrappers⎯then geotagged it and charted it on an online map. She picked up what she could.

Carr shared the images on social media, and several news outlets carried the story. She attracted a following of people eager to get involved. That summer, she organized paddleboarding cleanups in areas where she’d found high concentrations of trash. About 250 people participated; since then, about 1,000 more have taken part in her plastic patrols….

keep reading at Sierra magazine

DRN defeats motion to dismiss complaint against Sunoco for Clean Water Act violations

email from Delaware Riverkeeper Network, 2/28/19

On February 12th, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network defeated a motion to dismiss filed by Sunoco Pipeline L.P., allowing the case to proceed. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s complaint was filed in June 2018 against Sunoco for their failure to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit (NPDES permit) for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project and the Wild and Scenic Delaware River.

“Our government officials have not required pipeline companies like Sunoco to comply with the pollution permitting requirements of the Clean Water Act, they have allowed the companies to evade this mandate of the law entirely,” stated Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.

Read more in pdf: Sunoco_MTD_Denial_2.13.2019_

Leading the charge to a 100% renewable energy future for Pennsylvania

from PennEnvironment, 2/19/19

Pennsylvania is the fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the country, but that could all change this legislative session.

PennEnvironment is reintroducing legislation in both the House and Senate this session that will require Pennsylvania to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. This legislation couldn’t come soon enough, with recent reports such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s, that show that climate change’s effect are not in the distant future as previously thought.

A commitment to renewable energy at this level would make Pennsylvania a leader in clean energy, and, as a state that depended largely on coal until more recent years, serve as a primary example of how states can take action to drastically reduce their emissions.

“We’re not California. We’re not Hawaii,” said David Masur, executive director of PennEnvironment, to CBS News. “When you have a purple state that Trump won, where the General Assembly is dominated by conservative Republicans, it’s significant and shows that other states with a history of fossil fuel production can lead the way.”

Just one month into the new legislative session, the bill already has more than 50 cosponsors.

Read more here from Environment America.

Why Are People Finally Believing in Climate Change?

By Mukta Patil, Sierra, Feb 19 2019

A climate communication expert talks bad weather, and young Republicans

A record number of Americans—73 percent—now understand that global warming is happening. About 62 percent of them know that humans are mostly responsible. What is bringing this change in understanding? Is it a generational shift? Or just a whole lot of bad weather?

Anthony Leiserowitz is director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC), which is behind this new data. Along with colleagues from George Mason University, the YPCCC has spent the last decade studying American awareness of climate change and how to shift that awareness. Leiserowitz spoke to Sierra about young Republicans, the weather report, and why it’s easier to explain climate change to a person in India than to a person in the US.

Sierra: The most recent survey that YPCCC has done shows awareness of climate change is at its highest since you started collecting data. What is it about right now that is significant?

Anthony Leiserowitz: The number of Americans who think global warming is happening is at an all-time high. We saw an eight percentage point jump in Americans who were very worried about climate change. That’s a big surge. When you do these kinds of surveys twice a year, you’re used to seeing changes that are one, two, or maybe three percentage points. Very rarely do you see that kind of movement.

Questions like “When will climate change start to harm people in the United States?,” “When will it harm you, your family, your community?”—we saw a big jump in those numbers— much more than “How much will it harm future generations or other plant and animal species?,” which are more distant.

We think that in the end, this big jump from March to December 2018 has a few different things that have sort of converged. One is the extreme, record-setting weather—from Hurricane Michael destroying part of the Panhandle in Florida to the terrible wildfires that went on and on in California.

They still have a long way to go, but the media is beginning to use the words “climate change” when they are reporting those extreme events. That’s crucial, because there have always been fires and floods and droughts. Of course, all disasters cannot be connected to climate change, but many can. As the media begins to make that link for people, it helps solidify in people’s minds that this is happening and it’s not some far away, distant thing—it’s tearing apart communities right here, right now, in the United States.

The other thing that happened was the release of two major scientific reports—the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] special report on what it would take to stay within 1.5 degrees of warming, which is a real wake-up call for the global community, saying that we’ve actually got about 12 years to very seriously bend the curves on our emissions if we are to have any hope of staying below 1.5 degrees. That got a fair amount of press coverage….

read more at Sierra