SEA Actions Taken- Sept/Oct 201

In addition to those who attended the 350.org Draw the Line event at Myrtle Edwards Park on Sept 21, 2013 (see prior post), following are some of the activities and actions we had taken since the September 2013 meeting:

Plant for the Planet:

  • On Sep 24, Ellen, Mike and Basilia met with Michael Foster to talk more specifically about recruiting kids and other preparations for the academies on Oct 26.
  • Basilia volunteered to be the Food Czar began researching Costco prices to feed 200 people (160 kids and the adult volunteers) with lunch and snacks.  However, her passion is reaching out to schools to recruit kids.  So, Jack assumed the title and responsibilities of Food Czar.  Ellen and Bruce Wolcott offered to help with food.
  • Mike, Basilia, Alan Healy, Jack and Rich Voget attended the training sessions on Oct 5.  Rich attended both of them because he is going to run one of the academies on Oct 26.  Rich has taken on the role of Michael Foster’s “Right Hand Man,” and is in charge of a lot of things, not all of which we know about.
  • At the Oct 5th training, people signed up for various jobs for/on the 26th.  Jack took on making signs, staffing the sign-in table, and “tree planting.”  The latter involves identifying a site to plant a tree at MLK Elementary, buying (or securing a donation) of a tree, and demonstrating proper tree planting to the kids on that day  October 5th.

Church Divestment in Fossil Fuels:  Sept 22nd, Mary D was recognized in the sermon at the St Paul Queen Anne Episcopal Church for the great work she has done toward getting their church and diocese to divest in fossil fuels:

 At a Vestry meeting some months ago Mary Davies on behalf of a little group in the parish came before the Vestry asking us to join with them in divesting any investments we might have from fossil fuels.  What this led to was the Vestry writing a letter to the Board of the Diocese of Olympia requesting that the Diocese do this with all their investments.  Many conversations and hundreds of emails later, what began as a small group conversation in this parish has produced multi-parish support for the idea and what may turn out to be a resolution and some action on this at our diocesan convention.

Longview Coal Export EIS Scoping Hearings:

  • On Sept 17th, Isa, Mary M, and ____ attended the EIS Scoping Hearing in Longview, WA with about 600 others, including three busloads from Portland.
  • On September 19th, Isa, Mary M, and Connie attended the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal monthly planning/strategy meeting.
  • On various data Isa and Mary M have entered data for the Beyond Coal Campaign to ensure that there is effective communication with those in opposition to coal export terminals on upcoming events.
  • On Oct 17th, Mary M, Isa, and others attended the Longview Coal Terminal EIS scoping hearing in Tacoma, which was the last opportunity to submit comments orally on the need for the EIS to include areawide and climate impacts that could result from creating a coal terminal in Longview, WA on the Columbia River.   Sierra Club brought a bus load down and the attendees were overwhelmingly wearing RED!

Work With Other Concerned Groups:

  • On October 1st, Rich V and Mary M attended a meeting of representatives from most of the Climate Groups in Seattle who are working on climate action held at the Greenwood library.  It was a great opportunity to connect with and learn about other groups for effective collaboration and coordination on climate change.
  • Mary M has been working with 350 Seattle to develop a calendar for all climate action that can be accessed by all to help avoid conflicts in scheduling as well as have one place for those looking for climate events.
  • Susan S succeeded in getting her Rotary Club to have a speaker from Sightline to balance a presentation that had been scheduled for a representative from SSA Marine to speak to them.   Because of her involvement with SEA and other climate activities she was aware that the SSA presentation would likely address the proposed ports for coal export.
  • On October 5th, Mary D and Mary M attended a monthly meeting of the Citizens Climate Lobby at which they joined a national conference call, heard a presentation by Dr. John Abraham, IPCC reviewer and climate scientist at the Univ of St Thomas in St Paul.  He covered some of what had changed in the IPCC 5th Assessment Report from the last one five years ago.

Here are some of the key findings from the report:

      • Sea levels are likely to rise 3 feet by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue at current rates.
      • The past 3 decades are the hottest since the start of the Industrial Revolution in 1850.
      • In the past two decades, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have steadily lost mass, and glaciers are shrinking across the world.
      • The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased to levels unprecedented in the last 800,000 years.

While the rate of warming has slowed over the past 15 years, this should be viewed as a temporary reprieve, not a long-term trend. Ocean absorption of heat may be contributing to this slowdown.

At the meeting, there was also an opportunity to write letters to our representatives on the new IPCC report and urge them to consider a market-based approach to reducing greenhouse gases.

  • On Oct 12th, Mary M and Mary D attended a training by the Executive Director of the Citizens Climate Lobby on how citizens can effectively and positively lobby their Congressmen on the need to repair the market failure that burning of fossil fuels for energy represents.   By using a fee on carbon emissions that gradually increases, the true costs of burning fossil fuels will be gradually included in the price of this energy, so that it competes more equitably with sustainable energy.  The proposal is that it be made revenue neutral by having all fees returned to individuals through a equal dividends.  They are seeking to help communities set up more chapters in all legislative districts to effectively educate representatives all across the country about the potential and need to take the incentives out of using fossil fuels for energy.

Letter to the Editor:

Mary D has gotten at least one letter to the editor published in the last month addressing climate change.  See: http://blogs.seattletimes.com/northwestvoices/2013/09/14/congressional-hearing-on-climate-change/

Add any activities (lectures attended, letters written, calls made, petitions signed….) that have missed in a comment or edit to this post, please!   We want to know what people have been doing and what they have learned about addressing climate change!

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