10 Secrets to Better Climate Organizing

On Saturday, Mike Tidwell led a training for the 40 people in Maryland, Virginia and D.C who have been trained to give the Al Gore slideshow.

“TEN SECRETS TO BETTER CLIMATE ORGANIZING” was designed to share six years of learning and lessons as to climate activism, practical real steps to move from awareness to action.

Adam, a Climate Project trainee and blogger was one of the attendees and wrote a very in-depth post on Daily Kos summarizing the event.

The training is available on the U.S. Climate Emergency website and will be available on the CCAN website soon.

Another Day…

…and another report of the Bush administration repressing science in favor of ideology. We’ve heard it before. First they were all up in James Hansen’s junk, then they were in NOAA’s face, and now they are messing with one of their own appointees.

Yesterday, NPR’s All Thing Considered reported that in a hearing before the House Government Reform Committee, former Surgeon General, Dr. Richard Carmona, accused the Bush administration of ignoring “Anything that doesn’t fit into..[their]…ideological, theological or political agenda”.

Dr. Carmona was joined by two other former surgeon generals – Dr. David Satcher, who served under President Bill Clinton, and Dr. C. Everett Koop, who served under President Ronald Reagan and the first President Bush. While all surgeons faced challenges from the administration they served, all agreed that difficulties presented by the Bush administration where the most extreme. Continue reading

60 Seconds to Save the Earth

During the Live Earth concerts, Al Gore and Cameron Diaz, on behalf of Current TV and in association with the Alliance for Climate Protection, announced the “:60 Seconds to Save the Earth” contest. The contest challenges viewers across the US, UK and the Republic of Ireland to create 15-, 30- or 60-second ecospot PSAs about taking action or motivating change to help fight the climate crisis.

For contest rules and details and to submit an ecospot, visit www.current.com/ecospot.

The Weak Senate Energy Bill

Many enviro groups have been touting the Senate Energy Bill that passed last week as a victory. I’m not impressed. In fact, I’m somewhat appalled.

Yes, the Senate passed a bill to increase fuel efficiency standards (from 25 to 35 mpg) for the first time since 1975 and yes, they managed to beat back some really bad amendments (including the amendment to promote dirty coal-to-liquid technology, which USCEC was heavily involved in advocating against). But defeating bad amendments does not mean we’re advancing, it simply means we’ve managed to avoid going backwards for the time being. And that it’s taken us over 30 years to increase our CAFE standards to a relatively low 35 mpg is nothing to be proud of.

Thomas Friedman summed it up in a NY Times Op-ed on June 24:

The whole Senate energy effort only reinforced my feelings that we’re in a green bubble

So Others Might Eat: The Climate Emergency Fast

Yesterday the U.S. Climate Emergency Council sent out an alert to all of its members calling on people to join a nationwide fast on September 4th. Notable signatories include (but not at all limited to), Bill McKibben, Van Jones and Dave Robinson of Pax Christi USA. The response was good: 50 people had registered within just 10 of blasting our list.

This morning Jon Rynn, a Gristmill blogger who received our call to fast, critiqued the fast saying that the goal of the fast was not specific enough:

The problem as I see it is that in the past, direct action and protest have had very clear achievable goals, whereas in the case of global warming, we know we want drastically reduced carbon emission, but the devil is in the details.

Rynn had two propositions: 1) That the fast be linked to some piece of legislation and 2) That the fast tie global warming to other issues, job creation for example.

Unfortunately, there is no piece of legislation that goes far enough. A discussion I was part of at the Climate Crisis Coalition’s annual strategy meeting in New York last summer came to a complete standstill over this issue of specific legislation. Some thought we should focus on the best legislation out there (which at the time was the McCain-Lieberman Stewardship Act) while others could not stand advocating for such a flawed and weak bill.

In the end it just doesn’t seem honest to me to say that we are in the midst of a climate crisis and then rally behind a piece of legislation that doesn’t go far enough. According to George Monbiot, we might need as much as an 87% reduction by 2030 and there is no piece of federal legislation that goes nearly that far.

So, although we will not be fasting in support of specific legislation, the fast will not be without specific demands:

What will we be calling for? Three things: no new coal or coal-to-liquid plants; freeze greenhouse gas emissions and move quickly to reduce them; and a down payment of $25 billion for energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy.

And as for tying global warming in with another issue, this fast ties global warming to the biggest issue of all: Morality.

To draw attention to this threat and its moral implications, we are calling on thousands of Americans to voluntarily give up food for one day…Fasting is a simple yet profound way of combining the spiritual and the political. Mahatma Gandhi called it “the sincerest form of prayer.” It communicates seriousness and urgency without violence, thereby focusing peoples’ attention on the issues of the fast.

It’s no surprise that many in the faith community, including the national Catholic peace movement, have gotten behind this fast. Global warming, as Al Gore tells us in An Inconvenient Truth is not a political issue. Global warming a moral issue and focusing on this morality is the ultimate purpose of the fast on September 4th.

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Officials and Citizens Rally to Support Renewable Energy

Yesterday, Monday, June 18, 2007, clean energy advocates converged on Rockville, MD. to show support for proposals to increase the amount of electricity that comes from renewable energy. CCAN teamed up with Environment Maryland to call on Congress to pass a bill introduced by Representatives Udall (D-NM) and Platts (R-PA), H.R. 969, which would require 20 percent of America’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2020. Last week, Rep. Van Hollen agreed to cosponsor of the legislation.

Baby with pinwheel

Children will be most affected by climate change. This child
shows his support of clean energy by waving a pinwheel.

The clean energy advocates listened as Congressman Van Hollen spoke about the urgency that Congress needs to tackle Global Warming. Relating his support for the cleanest forms of alternative energy, Van Hollen stated, “I hope the new political breeze on Capitol Hill will produce a new energy policy that focuses on renewable energy sources like wind and solar. After listening to the Senate debate the future of coal to liquid, this was music to our ears.

CCAN’s director, Mike Tidwell, made it clear that climate change is the issue of our time and Congress must step up to task with alternative energy sources such as wind and solar. Other speakers at the event included local and state representatives that are firm advocates for clean energy in Maryland. The other speakers for the event included:

Christine Real de Azua, spokesperson for the American Wind Energy Association;

Rob Garagiola, Maryland State Senator;

Brad Heavner, Environment Maryland State Director.

The state of Maryland is shaping up to be a national leader in the clean energy revolution. CCAN’s Maryland and DC organizer, Claire Douglass, planned this press conference to show that state and federal leadership in Maryland support clean energy alternatives to combat global warming. Maryland citizens and their leaders should be proud that they are paving the path to clean energy. The citizens in the crowd demonstrated the use of wind turbines by holding up pinwheels that flickered as they spun around in the breeze.

If every member of Congress is as tuned in to the climate and alternative energy as Congressman Chris Van Hollen, we’ll be in much better shape. However, the truth is that every citizen still needs to demand results from their leaders in order to stop global climate change!

Welcome to CCAN

CCAN is proud to announce that we have our new blog up and running! This blog will be a way to share our thoughts with our members without sending out email after email. With guest bloggers, it will also be a way for our members to interact with each other.

So come back and visit our blog often to see what we’re up to and contact us if you want to submit your own blog entries.