- A Grave Climate Warning, Buried on Black Friday In a massive new report, federal scientists contradict President Trump and assert that climate change is an intensifying danger to the United States. Too bad it came out on a holiday. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/11/national-climate-assessment-black-friday/576589/
Weatherman Skilling draws crowd at Palatine Sustainable Energy Expo
To celebrate the installation of solar panels on the roof of Countryside Church in Palatine, parishioners initially envisioned “a party with cake.”
What the event ultimately became was a daylong Sustainable Energy Expo drawing more than 300 people, with keynote addresses from WGN Meteorologist Tom Skilling, Argonne National Laboratory scientist and author Seth Darling and Des Plaines Democratic state Sen. Laura Murphy.
But no cake.
“We decided we wanted to share with the community and other congregations what we had learned,” said Mark Krivchenia, one of the parishioners who helped spearhead the campaign to outfit the church with solar panels. “In the end, it comes down to our belief that it’s an ethical and moral issue to care for our common home.”
The solar panels on the roof will cut the church’s reliance on traditional energy sources by 40 percent. They have a guaranteed life span of 30 years and are expected to pay for themselves after eight to 10 years, Krivchenia said.
About a dozen exhibitors were invited to participate in the expo and share information on topics such as native plantings, recycling, renewable energy, electric cars and other conservation issues.
Linda Sullivan, a member of the Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club’s executive committee, said interest in her group has grown significantly since President Donald Trump’s election in November 2016, followed by his controversial appointments of Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency and Ryan Zinke to serve as secretary of the interior.
“People have realized that they have to get involved and just being in favor of something and wanting something to get done is not enough,” she said. “Trump has started a movement, even though it wasn’t his intention.”
For his part, Skilling lauded efforts by scientists and environmental groups that have been promoting ways to fight global warming by focusing on ways to reduce mankind’s carbon footprint, the way the church has done.
Skilling talked about the broader economic and cultural ramifications of global warming, pointing out the loss of tourism jobs caused by the destruction or depletion of natural resources as well as human migration and military conflict caused by droughts brought on by climate change.
“The tentacles of climate change don’t just affect our atmosphere,” he warned. “People will say that climate change isn’t real, and it’s nonsense. The trend is real. Every serious scientific organization in the world agrees that climate change is happening.”
Bloomberg Pledges $4.5M to Cover UN Climate Dues Nixed by Trump
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday he will write a $4.5 million check to cover this year’s US financial commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.
President Donald Trump last year pulled the United States out of the pact, which every other country has committed to ratifying.
In an interview with CBS to mark Earth Day, Bloomberg said he was obligated to honor America’s financial commitment.
“America made a commitment and as an American if the government’s not going to do it we all have responsibility. I’m able to do it,” he said. “So, yes, I’m going to send them a check for the monies that America had promised to the organization as though they got it from the federal government.”
Bloomberg, a billionaire philanthropist, said he hopes by next year Trump will change his mind despite his criticism of the agreement. But if the United States does not rejoin the pact, Bloomberg will continue to foot the annual bill, according to a statement by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charity he founded.
“Our foundation will uphold our promise to cover any cuts to UN climate funding by the federal government,” Bloomberg said in the statement.
UN Climate Changed welcomed the donation, saying, “Financial support of this kind is critical to mobilizing climate action leading up to 2020 and fostering synergies across sectors and geographies in the context of sustainable development.”
Bloomberg last year joined members of the US Conference of Mayors in opposing Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Paris Climate Agreement and committing to meet environmental goals despite the move.
Bloomberg also announced that Bloomberg Philanthropies, would help coordinate a U.S. effort called “America’s Pledge” and submit a societal NDC – nationally determined contribution – in place of a government one.
Last year, Bloomberg pledged to provide the $15 million that he says the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat will lose from Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from the pact.
This week, former Vice President Al Gore returns to the big screen with An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, sounding the alarm on the climate crisis transforming our planet and sharing the truth about clean energy solutions. We’re happy to be partnering with our friends at Paramount Pictures and Participant Media to help spread the word about this exciting new film.
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power highlights our Climate Reality Leaders in action, showing what can happen when people around the world come together for one cause and join the movement for solutions.
Our over 12,000 Climate Reality Leaders are making a difference now more than ever. On June 1, President Trump announced the United States would begin the process of withdrawing from the historic Paris Agreement, which brought 195 countries and parties together to cut greenhouse gas emissions and solve the climate crisis devastating our planet.
That’s why we need you to take action too. If you’re ready to get involved, download our I Am Still In action kit. We’re excited to share that Participant Media is featuring our toolkit as an action everyone can take to help end the climate crisis and uncover the potential for solutions and change.
In the toolkit, you’ll learn:
The facts about the Paris Agreement.
Who’s still supporting the US’ commitments to climate action.
How you can help build support for clean energy and other climate solutions.
Download the toolkit now and make sure to see An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power when it hits theaters nationwide next week. You also have the chance to buy one movie ticket and get a second one free! Click here and use the code CLIMATEBOGO at checkout. This is a limited-time offer, while supplies last. See promotion terms here: atm.tk/aisbogoterms.
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Now more than ever, our future is in our hands – and we need you to help us seize the moment. Thank you for taking climate action!
– Your friends at Climate Reality
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- I’m a climate scientist. And I’m not letting trickle-down ignorance win. – Washington Post Opinion
- New NOAA tool shows how climate change will affect your neighborhood
- Emanuel Recoups Climate Change Info Deleted From EPA Website – NBC-Chicago
- How a Professional Climate Change Denier Discovered the Lies and Decided to Fight for Science – The Intercept
- An Open Letter to America’s Coal Miners
- Resources on Climate Change
- Carbon Tax Center Website
- Before the Flood Website
- Before the Flood Video
- Obama Just Took One Final Step to Fight Global Warming And there’s nothing Donald Trump can do about it. – Mother Jones
- Energy and Environment Obama administration just made a last effort to save a controversial water rule – Washington Post
The General Assembly has adjourned for the year. The most notable accomplishment of the fall veto session was the passage of Senate Bill 2814, one of the most consequential pieces of environmental legislation ever enacted in Illinois. I was one of 63 bipartisan votes in the House in support of the bill. Governor Rauner was involved in negotiating the bill and has indicated he will sign it.
SB2814 was the culmination of several years of work to expand clean energy jobs and preserve the low price of electricity in Illinois relative to the rest of the country. It incorporated major elements of House Bill 2607, the Clean Jobs bill I introduced in 2015, as well as other energy proposals put forward in recent years.
The end result is a law that will allow utility companies to develop more in-state renewable energy sources, expand investment in reducing the demand for electricity, and preserve the nuclear power plants that make up much of our existing carbon-free energy production.
The bill has been subject to three main criticisms. One was a proposed “demand charge” which would have radically reshaped how you are billed for energy based on when you consume it. The second was generous subsidies to downstate coal-fired power plants. Both of those provisions were removed entirely from the final bill. The third has been described as a “bailout” for Exelon Corporation, which had indicated that without state action, it would have closed two nuclear power plants due to cost constraints
The decision to provide new revenue to a profitable company was not an easy one, but I was ultimately persuaded to support the bill by three arguments: my belief in the benefits of the renewable energy and energy efficiency provisions, the consumer protections included, and the real dangers and consequences of inaction.
SB2814 will create jobs across the state for people with a wide range of different skills, professions, and qualifications. It will spur billions of dollars of investment in the renewable energy sector installing solar panels and building wind turbines. There are specific provisions designed to connect people in economically distressed communities with opportunities to access clean power. And since the greenest energy is energy not consumed, the bill enhances efforts to make our buildings, appliances, and transmission systems more efficient.
To shield ratepayers from large increases in their electric bills, SB2814 created a two-tiered cap on increases. The utilities are limited in how much more they can charge on your bill. There is a cap on overall growth, as well as each of the renewable, efficiency, and nuclear programs. If the overall cap is exceeded, spending must be brought down within those three programs. Furthermore, the energy efficiency component will result in significant savings once the law takes effect.
In the weeks of discussions and debates, it became easy to forget that doing nothing and allowing the nuclear plants to close would present its own financial challenges. Economic studies told us the demand for electricity from the shuttered nuclear plants would remain and would be met instead by energy from fossil fuels and imported electricity. In short, consumers would pay higher rates for the privilege of sending more money out of state and polluting more in Illinois.
The proof of that can already be seen in the way energy markets have treated Illinois. Though on balance we export more energy than we import, the market has been skeptical of our ability to supply energy during the hot summer days when demand is highest. That skepticism leads to some $700 million per year in added cost. Recognizing the benefit of carbon-free electricity, SB2814 gives priority to Illinois nuclear plants to help them better compete in that market.
I understand that many are opposed to any rate increases, but I believe passing SB2814 was extraordinarily important for the state. However, the economic benefits of this bill don’t resolve the biggest impediment to growth in Illinois- passing a budget that puts us on a path for long-term fiscal health.
Governor Rauner and the leadership from each legislative caucus met several times this week to discuss that issue. They were unable to negotiate a plan for a balanced budget that also incorporates the policy proposals the governor has identified as fundamental to his support of said budget.
I’m disappointed and frustrated that no agreement was reached. Agencies and vendors doing business with the state continue to be short-changed and the bills continue to pile up. Passage of SB2814 is cold comfort to a family that’s lost child care or the former employees of a shuttered social service agency. I remain angry that we have found ourselves in this situation for so long and I continue to work with Democrats and Republicans to end it.
Ultimately though, I reflected on a common lament that those who live in the future aren’t represented in our government. That absence is apparent when one looks at the debt kicked down the road to future Illinoisans. It’s also seen in the treatment of our environment and climate. The goal of SB2814 is that of a healthier world for generations yet to be born. I felt strongly that such an effort deserved my support.
Thank you, as ever for the opportunity to serve you.
- On a Heating Planet, ‘Gasland’ Filmmaker Josh Fox Lets Go and Loves By ANDREW C. REVKIN
- Salt Lake City Makes Historic Commitment to 100% Renewables by 2032 – EcoWatch 7/14/16
- Scientists say that the world is losing so many species that we’re putting ourselves at risk – Business Insider
- Missouri Plans to Build Solar Panels into Road Along Old Route 66 – NBC News
- RS July 2016 Can New York Be Saved
- RS July 2016 – The Exxon Investigation (4)
- North America Will Draw Half Its Electricity from Carbon-Free Sources by 2025 – By Jean Chemnick, Emily Holden on June 28, 2016
- Petition to Governor Rauner to Keep Illinois Going to Clean Energy – Sierra Club
- A Call for College Students to Help Shape Their States’ Clean Power Plants – dotearth
- Climate Change Overview – 2016v1
The Durbin Report: A message from Senator Richard J. Durbin
Over the past decade, America has seen rapid changes to its energy sources. The U.S. has dramatically increased its natural gas and oil production, renewable energy production has sky-rocketed as its costs decrease, and we are finding new, better ways to address our most-pressing energy and climate challenges as a nation.
This week, the Senate is debating a bipartisan energy bill, the Energy Policy Modernization Act, that takes those new developments into account and updates our energy policies to allow us to take advantage of all of them.
The bill contains several important provisions to build domestic clean energy resources, strengthen energy efficiency measures, and modernize electric grid infrastructure. In Illinois, this means that tens of thousands of low-income and elderly households will be able to receive critical upgrades that make their homes more efficient while saving money on energy costs. It will also help maintain Illinois’ leadership as the top state for LEED-certified building projects , as ranked by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Investing in Breakthrough Scientific Research
Most importantly, this bill will make a substantial commitment to supporting basic science research and innovation at our universities and the Department of Energy’s national laboratories, including Illinois’ Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab. An amendment to give the Department of Energy’s Office of Science an annual budget increase of 5% real growth over inflation each year for the next five years – authored by Senator Lamar Alexander and me – was included in the Energy Policy Modernization Act. This investment in American innovation will lead to new breakthrough scientific discoveries that will keep our nation competitive in the global market.
The investments and energy choices we make now will determine whether or not we will be able to leave our children and grandchildren with a sustainable planet and a promising, bright future. I hope my colleagues will work together to improve this bill and help us create a 21st century energy economy.
United States Senator
- Wind, Sun and Fire – Paul Krugman
- Call to Earth: Astronauts Send a Message from Space to Global Leaders at #COP21 Urging Action on Climate Change
- 24 Hours of Reality Flyer
- 24 Hours of Reality Flyer PDF
- I Am Pro Snow – The towns of Vail and Avon and Beaver Creek Resort signed an open letter to world leaders asking for meaningful action on climate change
- Thanks to This MIT Scientist, You Can Press Print Using Air Pollution Inventor Anirudh Sharma wants the carbon in smog to become an office staple
- “Climate 101” with Bill Nye – The Climate Reality Project
- Obama Takes on Climate Change – The Rolling Stone Interview
- Upcoming events:
- NWS Coalition Group leaders planning meeting
Wednesday September 9 at 7:00 PM at Spring Valley Nature Center: 1111 E Schaumburg Rd, Schaumburg (Between Meacham & Plum Grove, south side of the street). The plan is to come together with groups from around the NW suburbs interested in envisioning and planning one or more actions in the NW suburbs for Oct. 14.
- EPA Clean Power Plan Presentation
Thursday September 10 at 7:00 PM at Spring Valley Nature Center: 1111 E Schaumburg Rd, Schaumburg (Between Meacham & Plum Grove, south side of the street). Join Christine Nannicelli from the IL Chapter of the Sierra Club for a presentation on the finalized EPA Clean Power Plan. See Sierra September newsletter below.
- Global Day of Action
Wednesday October 14 partnership event at a location and time to be determined: Many of the groups that organized the People’s Climate March are planning a national day of action on October 14 to build momentum leading into the Paris Climate Talks. Groups are encouraged to come together to plan events in their communities that can have a local, national, and/or international focus.
- NWSOFA CC Night at the Movies
Date, time and location to be determined
- The World’s Hot Spot
- Climate Camp OFA Video Link… 1. The science of climate change; 2. How we make progress; 3. How to talk about climate change; 4. Why organizing matters; 5. What you can do about climate change
- EPA and Department of Transportation Public Hearing
Thursday August 6, 2015Palmer House, 17 East Monroe St, Chicago, IL
There is an EPA hearing on Thursday, August 6th at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel, 17 East Monroe Street. The hearing will start at 9am and end at 5pm. Once a person decides he or she would like to testify at the hearing the Sierra Club will set up a time that is best for you. This is also helpful for people who cannot attend the entire event.Background: The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation have proposed standards to reduce carbon pollution and oil use from freight trucks. The agencies will hold a public hearing in Chicago on Thursday, August 6. With the support of Sierra Club’s Beyond Oil campaign, the Illinois Chapter will turn out supporters to testify at the public hearing, applauding the agencies for their proposal and asking them to strengthen it.We talk a lot about the Clean Power Plan, and the electricity sector is number one for carbon pollution — but transportation is number two, and these trucks rules, along with the fuel economy standards from the first term, are a really big deal in cutting down that slice of the pie.To schedule a time please contact
- The House’s Refusal To Remove The Confederate Flag Is An Awkward Victory For The EPA
Faithful People Caring for the Earth
July Earth Care OpportunitiesLast month we had several enjoyable nature outings, including the Beaubien Woods Celebration. Youth and families took advantage of the lovely weather for canoeing, archery, fishing, and more. People also participated in story circles connecting our stories of movement with the migrations of species around us.Also in June, Pope Francis released the encyclical on climate change. The Pope’s message is inspiring, and adds to the growing chorus of people from diverse religions calling on people of all faiths to live out our moral obligation to care for each other and the planet. Now is the time to carry that momentum forward. Check out these opportunities to get involved, and join people of diverse faiths in caring for the Earth this July!-Brian Sauder Executive Director
Nature Outing – Kids’ Fest – July 11.Get outside and enjoy an outdoor extravaganza for kids of all ages! Join us this Saturday July 11, 2015 from 10 AM – 4 PM for a Nature Outing to Wampum Lake Woods. Activities will include fishing, hiking, canoeing, archery, story circles,and land stewardship. Register below and be sure to join the Faith in Place team by clicking “Join an Organization.”
Call the GovernorLet’s keep the Clean Jobs momentum moving forward this summer. If you have not yet signed Faith in Place’s petition for clean energy and climate justice, now is a great time! Calls from 25-30 faithful constituents to the Governor’s office will also help make a difference. We’re going to have a week-long phone “blitz” next week (July 13-17) – all it takes is 5 minutes and a phone.
Save the Date – Green the Church Summit – August 19-21Join us on August 19-21 to learn more about resources to help your faith community save money and energy by going green and connect with folks from different faiths around the country who are committed to better Earth care. The conference begins Wednesday evening with a worship service, followed by workshops on Thursday, and a tour of sustainability efforts throughout Chicago on Friday. Clergy and lay leaders from all faith communities are welcome, but the event is especially geared towards African American congregations.
Save the Date – Nature Outing – July 25Mark your calendars for our next nature outing on Saturday, July 25, time TBD . We’re still in the process of finalizing a forest preserve location, but sign up to receive updates on this event. It will be a great way to get outdoors and enjoy story circles, land stewardship, hiking, and more.
Coming Soon…New Website!Watch for our new website within the next month or so! We hope to provide people of faith in Illinois with better resources for Earth care with this update. Tell us about your house of worship’s green efforts to be featured on our website and share your successes with other faith communities!
Involve your Faith Community in Earth CareIs your faith community interested in doing more to care for the Earth, but unsure where to start? Are you hitting the wall when it comes to ideas for next steps?
Faith in Place staff are here to help ! We can come to your house of worship for an “Engaging Faith in Place” event. During this hour-long presentation we will listen to the interests of your community and let you know about our programs and resources for saving energy and water, using the land sustainably, and advocating for change. We’ll also help you connect with other faith communities in your area to make a bigger impact.
- IL-Sen: Environmental Groups Make Mark Kirk (R) A Top Target With $1 Million Ad Buy
- Pope Francis Climate Change Encyclical
- How Climate Change Deniers Got It Very Wrong – MSNBC
- You Might Be Tempted To Hate The Guy In The Sunglasses — Until You Realize Who He Is
- Skiers March for Climate
- President Obama at the United Nations – Climate Change
- Climate Change and Wildfires Explained in Less Than Three Minutes
- California’s Clean Energy Goals In Danger As Drought Drains Reservoirs
- Rolling Stone: Al Gore-New Hope for the Climate
- The Climate Change Train to NYC
- Climate_Change_Slides-JAS – PowerPoint Presentation
- Clean Power Plan Explanation – Short Version
- EPA’s Clean Power Plan – Long Version
- Chinese Scientist Urged To Develop New Thorium Nuclear Reactors by 2024
- Ted Talk – Bjorn Lomborg Sets Global Priorities
- Ted Talk – Hans Rosling and the Magic Washing Machine
- Thorium, Molten Salt Reactors, and Green Energy Presentation
- Thorium,_Molten_Salt_Reactors,_and_Green3 – PowerPoint Presentation
- Full White House Plan – redirects to whitehouse.gov
- Chris Stewart-Skeptic-Chair EPA Subcommittee.pdf – 61.5KB
- Climate Change Library 5-3.pdf – 230KB
- Expert Credibility-1.pdf – 101KB
- Using Retired Military Planes to Fight Forest Fires – http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/use-retired-military-planes-to-fight-forest-fires-more-effectively/2014/06/18/5b9e831e-f64c-11e3-afdf-f7ffea8c744a_story.html
- Health-Concerns-from-Unconventional-Gas-Extraction2loedits1.pdf – 3.96MB
- Keystone XL Could Cost Society Over $100 Billion per Year May07 Lorne Stockman – redirects to pricefoil.org
- New York Times – The Facts on Fracking-1.pdf – 1.60MB
- NYT Editorial Climate Warnings, Growing Louder By THE EDITORIAL BOARD Published: May 18, 2013 – redirects to nytimes.com
- Rolling Stone – The Fossil Fuel Resistance.pdf – 2.52MB
- Some Strange Things Are Happening To Astronauts Returning To Earth – redirects to upworthy.com
- Washington Post 8/10/13 In his second term, Obama becomes bolder on the environment By Juliet Eilperin – redirects to washingtonpost.com
- Production Tax Credit for Renewable Energy
- PTC Fact Sheet
- Tell Congress to Stop Wind Energy Attachs
- A group of 144
- HB_2864_Synopsis S