It has been a year of great awareness of the climate crises; locally, nationally and globally. In 2019, U-CAN sponsored two climate leadership summits, plus our signature 'Seize the Power' climate and renewable energy fair at Cazenovia College. We also participated in several climate marches and advocacy initiatives. Working together with many other climate groups, we helped get the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) passed in New York State.
The U-CAN action strategy focuses on two major areas as we work to tackle the climate crises:
1. Take Action Reduce our own individual carbon footprint.
2. Advocate / Educate Let our elected representatives and fellow citizens know we are for policies that promote climate justice, practices to reduce carbon emissions and promote environmental stewardship.
Here are a few things that Beth and Phil Rose do to conserve energy and cut waste.
1. Carry a bunch of bags in our car/truck at all times so we don't need plastic bags or paper bags when shopping - even for quick "stop and shop" purchases.
2. I learned this at a workshop at Camp Sagamore in the Adirondacks where they needed to conserve water: namely that, "When it's yellow let it mellow. When its brown flush it down."
3. We compost fruits and veggies (no meats or fish) in a small bucket in the kitchen and store it in a larger bin outside. It makes great soil for our garden.
4. As much as possible we buy veggies and fruits and other foods not encased in plastic.
5. We wear wool sweaters in our home and lower the room temperatures.
Taking personal action makes a big difference. Here is a link to our website for more ideas.
While personal action is important it is nowhere near enough to have the impact we need.
A new United Nations report lays bare the yawning gap between the sharp cuts in emissions required to meet the goals of the Paris climate accord and current projections, concluding that the window is closing to prevent the worst effects of damaging climate change.
'We need to catch up on the years in which we procrastinated,' said UNEP's Inger Andersen. 'If we do not do this, the 1.5°C goal will be out of reach before 2030.'
Check out this link for the full article.
We need to have strength in numbers for effective advocacy. Here is a great opportunity to advocate for funding the CLCPA as recommended by NY RENEWS.
On December 16, we're visiting our elected officials in their districts across the state to demand $1 billion for climate, jobs, and justice in this year's budget.
Because of your work, we passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Now, we need to put our money where our mouth is and fund the just transition to a renewable economy for New York State.
$1 billion is less than one percent of New York's budget
for the most pressing issue of our time. But it's also less than what we'll eventually need, and what we as a coalition have committed to fighting for in the long term. $1 billion in the 2020 budget is our down payment on the goals set by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. We need to act now.
Please contact your NY State Senator or Assembly representative to schedule a time to meet on December 16th. U-CAN members will be meeting with Senator Rachel May. Please contact Phil Rose firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join us.
Picture taken by the Tongass National Forest Service
Article submitted by U-CAN member Julie Poplaski.
John Muir wrote “to the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world”.
This wilderness he describes is still present in the Tongass National Forest. A vast landscape of 16.7 million acres, where animals and geography shape the habitat more than humans; where eagles, wolves, salmon, lynx, arctic fox, wolverine, bison, moose, polar, black and brown bears reside. A place where native people make up around 22% of the general population.
The USDA found the Tongass sequesters 10-12% of all the carbon stored in national forests across the country. (alaskawild.org)
The current Republican Administration has asked that this land be exempt from the 2001 Roadless Rule Act to allow for growth of the timber industry. Agriculture Director Sonny Perdue would like 9.5 million acres of the Tongass National Forest to be opened up to road building and would look to convert 165,000 old-growth acres and 20,000 young-growth acres previously identified as unsuitable timber lands to suitable timber lands.
Logging companies in the Tongass have been funded heavily by subsidies. Managing the Tongass for timber, an industry that accounts for not even one percent of southeast Alaska’s jobs is a costly business. And it could have devastating effects on what does make Alaska money; fish and tourism.
Fishing and tourism, which depend on a healthy forest, bring in more than $2 billion to Alaska annually. The Tongass alone supplies 25% of the West Coast’s commercial salmon catch. The inhabitants here, especially those in rural communities, rely heavily on these fish.
Tourism accounts for roughly 72,000 jobs versus the oil, gas, mining, and logging industries which together support just 15,000 jobs.*
If you wish to express your opinion, the USDA is accepting comments until December 17th 2019. Follow this link for details https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/109834_FSPLT3_4876053.pdf
This USDA press release, https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/109834_FSPLT3_4876053.pdf
walks you through their six proposed alternatives. Alternative one takes no action and would leave all of Alaska under the 2001 Roadless Rules protection.
The USDA's preferred alternative 6, would exempt the Tongass National Forest from the 2001Roadless Rule completely and could open it up for timber, mineral and gas extraction.
*For additional information go to Alaskawild.org
MAKE A TREE PLANTING DONATION!
Submitted by U-CAN member Laurie Dudley
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
― Chinese proverb
For all of us who would like to have some positive impact on climate change or just love the idea of planting trees here is a list of some charities that are dedicated to reforestation either in the United States or globally.
: “We're planting 50 million trees across our National Forests. We invite all Americans – businesses and individuals alike – to join us as we replant America’s National Forests.
We make it easy – $1 plants one native tree on a National Forest in need of reforestation. And, for every $1 we invest in reforestation, the U.S. Forest Service provides $2 of value in project support and implementation.”
Environmental charity 501(C)(3) with a focus on global reforestation. “We work with amazing reforestation partners around the world that need your support to help get trees in the ground.”
“The Nature Conservancy's Plant a Billion Trees campaign is a major forest restoration effort with a goal of planting a billion trees across the planet. Trees provide so many benefits to our everyday lives. They filter clean air, provide fresh drinking water, help curb climate change, and create homes for thousands of species of plants and animals. Planting a Billion Trees can help save the Earth from deforestation. It’s a big number, but we know we can do it with your help.”
Our goal for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020
is to plant 7.8 billion trees, one for every person on earth.“You can help support the Canopy Project by donating to our $1 per tree program. Each dollar you donate supports the planting of one tree.
Planting trees strengthens local economies. Every dollar spent on reforestation generates $2.50 in local downstream income and benefits.
This is the Arbor Day Foundation initiative. It’s goal is to plant 100 million trees and enlist five million tree planters by 2022 the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day.
Thanks for your interest in U-CAN and our little corner of planet earth.
To get involved with United Climate Action Network
visit our website http://unitedclimateaction.org