Susan Theberge

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September Featured Climate Actions

This is the fifth of a continuing series of monthly “Climate Actions of the Month”, brought to you by the USNF Climate Action Group (CAG). It is a way to provide focus and build a spirit of collective action as we each do what we can to tackle climate change. Each monthly bundle of actions touches on 4 levels: personal, community, state/national/global, and educational. Our website will be coming soon and will offer resources to support the monthly actions. To learn more about the CAG contact Molly Hale at hellomolly@comcast.net or 585-0791.


1. Personal: Attend a civil disobedience training workshop on Sunday Sept. 22 in Northampton. The workshop will cover the philosophy and history of non-violence, role-playing in how to carry it out in a peaceful, dignified manner, the legal consequences in dealing with the police, arraignment in court, what to expect in terms of fines/jail/community service, etc.  It will be led by Jeff Napolitano of the American Friends Service Committee and Luke Ryan, attorney and member of the National Lawyers Guild. Time: 2-8 pm, with short BYO dinner break at 6pm.   Place: Frances Crowe Community Room at the Media Education Foundation, 32 Masonic St.  Cost: Free!

 The workshop is not only for those considering civil disobedience at future actions but also for those who would like to help in a legal, support role for those choosing to risk arrest.

RSVP to John Berkowitz at 413 325-4533 or johnpberk@gmail.com

2. Community: Northampton residents–attend the City Council meeting on Sept. 5 at 7 pm to support the 2nd reading of the Resolution on Fossil Fuel Divestment, available to view here:http://www.northamptonma.gov/citycouncil/uploads/listWidget/12252/Resolution%20Fossil%20Fuel%20Divestment.pdf At the 1st reading on Aug 15, the resolution passed with 5 yes votes and 2 abstentions.

Residents of other towns: Join other residents to present a similar resolution to your own town government.

3. State/National/Global: 1.Sign the state pension divestment petition on gofossilfree.org  http://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/divest-the-state-of-massachusetts-pension-funds.

2.Then attend the rally at the Statehouse in Boston when the petition will be delivered. The proposed pension divestment bill, S 1225, would require the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Trust (PRIT) to freeze any new investments in fossil fuel companies, and to divest from direct holdings in fossil fuel companies within 5 years. The bill will be heard at 11 am. The rally is at 9:30. College groups, faith based groups, unions, retirees, and environmental organizations will all be represented.

 

4. Inform yourself: To remind yourself of the urgency of our climate situation and consider a global course of action,read Eaarth by Bill McKibben. He explains how climate change is changing our planet so radically that it no longer operates like the old familiar Earth, and we need to shift our way of living on it just as radically if we are to survive. He lays out a vision of how we might survive by scaling our societies and economies back to essentials and building close-knit communities through which we can support one another.

 

July Featured Climate Actions

This is the fourth of a continuing series of monthly “Climate Actions of the Month”, brought to you by the USNF Climate Action Group (CAG). It is a way to provide focus and build a spirit of collective action as we each do what we can to tackle climate change. Each monthly bundle of actions touches on 4 levels: personal, community, state/national/global, and educational. Our website will be coming soon and will offer resources to support the monthly actions. To learn more about the CAG contact Molly Hale at hellomolly@comcast.net or 585-0791.


1. Personal: If you own a house or business in Northampton, check out the website solarizenorthampton.com and sign up for a personal home or business evaluation with Real Goods Solar. The deadline to sign up is Sept. 30. If you have thought that you can’t afford solar, you may be surprised. Typical payback for owning your own system takes only 5 years, but the solar panels keep generating electricity for at least 25-30 years.

If you live outside of Northampton, contact an independent local solar installer about getting a PV system. Currently available rebates and low prices on the hardware make this a really good time to get PV, whether through Solarize or another program.

And if you haven’t already done so, contact the Center for Ecological Technology for a free Mass Energy audit: laura.biddulph@cetonline.org This is a requirement prior to installation of a solar system through Solarize Northampton.

 

2. Community: Volunteer to help Solarize Northampton by tabling or hosting an informational house party for neighbors. Contact solarizenorthampton@gmail.com to help.

 

3. State/National/Global: Participate in the“Summer Heat” mass mobilization of non-violent direct action organized by 350.org and taking place at sites across the country. Our region’s action will be in Somerset, MA to shut down the Brayton Point Coal Plant, the largest fossil fuel plant between Maryland and Maine. The action takes place on Sunday July 28, with training on July 27. Learn more and sign up at http://joinsummerheat.org/

 

4. Inform yourself: The Summer 2013 issue of UU World magazinehas 3 articles related to climate change. Links to these articles are below. Read them and initiate conversations with others in our congregation.

 

“Adaptation and Defiance” http://www.uuworld.org/ideas/articles/285901.shtml

“Fossil Fuel Divestment is Moral, Strategic” http://www.uuworld.org/ideas/articles/285524.shtml

“Fossil Fuel Divestment is Not the Answer” http://www.uuworld.org/ideas/articles/285525.shtml

 

June Featured Climate Actions

This is the third of a continuing series of monthly “Climate Actions of the Month”, brought to you by the USNF Climate Action Group (CAG). It is a way to provide focus and build a spirit of collective action as we each do what we can to tackle climate change. Each monthly bundle of actions touches on 4 levels: personal, community, state/national/global, and educational. Our website will be coming soon and will offer resources to support the monthly actions. To learn more about the CAG contact Molly Hale at hellomolly@comcast.net or 585-0791.

 

1. Personal: If you have a vegetable garden, focus on keeping it mulched, watered, and tended consistently this season. If you don’t, try growing vegetables in containers such as 5 gallon buckets. Here’s one website with details on how to do this: http://containergardening.about.com/od/vegetablesandherbs/tp/5-Tips-For-Growing-Tomatoes-In-Containers.htm

2. Community: Plant fruit trees with other neighbors. Many fruit trees require more than one plant in order to pollinate. Why not plan with your neighbors to coordinate planting trees that will pollinate with each other? Local garden centers can advise on the best varieties for our region and how to get started.

3. State/National/Global: Support Ed Markey for U.S. senator. Mark your calendar to vote in the Special Election on June 25. Markey is a far better candidate in terms of climate change, by supporting the Kyoto protocol, voting against the Keystone Pipeline and leading the congressional investigation into the BP oil spill. To volunteer or contribute to his campaign, visit http://www.edmarkey.com/. His opponent, Gomez, supports the Keystone pipeline and on his official website seems to favor business over meaningful climate actions.

4. Inform yourself: Plan a movie night with friends or neighbors to watch a documentary about climate change. It’s important to keep reminding ourselves of why dealing with climate change is so urgent. Some possibilities are Six Degrees Could Change the World by National Geographic and available from our local library system, Do the Math by 350.org, available on YouTube, and Chasing Ice, available from Netflix.

 

 

May Featured Climate Actions

This is the second of a continuing series of monthly “Climate Actions of the Month”, brought to you by the USNF Climate Action Group (CAG). It is a way to provide encouragement and build a spirit of collective effectiveness as we each do what we can to tackle climate change. Each monthly bundle of actions touches on 4 levels: personal, community, state/national/global, and educational. Our website will be coming soon and will offer resources to support the monthly actions. To learn more about the CAG contact Molly Hale at hellomolly@comcast.net or 585-0791.

 

1. Personal:Make a personal pledge tohang your laundry to dry whenever possible. On average 5.8% of U.S. residential energy use is from using clothes dryers. Laundry lines, umbrella-style outdoor drying racks, or wooden racks for indoors or outdoors are some of the many options, all available at your favorite local hardware store. A great source of info and support including FAQs about wrinkles, stiff clothes and drying in winter is http://www.laundrylist.org

2. Community: Attend a meeting of a local climate action group. The USNF Climate Action Group meets after the 2nd service on 1st and 3rd Sundays: this month May 5 in the Sam Hill Room and May 19 in the Parlor. The local group Climate Action Now is meeting Sunday, May 19 at ARISE, 4pm-6pm, 467 State St, Springfield. Their website is http://dev.climateactionnowma.org/

3. State/National/Global: Donate money to a group actively campaigning against climate change. Some choices:

350.org http://350.org/about

National Resources Defense Council http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/

Friends of the Earth http://www.foe.org/

The Sierra Club http://www.sierraclub.org/

Greenpeace http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/

4. Inform yourself: The July 2, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone magazine contains a pivotal article by Bill McKibben titled, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math”. In it he clearly lays out the argument of why much of the fossil fuel resources now considered available by fossil fuel companies must stay in the ground if we are to avoid a severely compromised future climate. The article is also online at http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719

 

 

 

April Featured Climate Actions

For the Pioneer, 3/21/2013

 

The USNF Climate Action Group (CAG) has been busy working on a number of fronts to address the issue of climate change. We know that many USNF members and friends are also deeply concerned and perhaps overwhelmed about this monumental problem and would like to feel that personal actions they take are meaningful. We believe that personal actions alone are inadequate without community support and infrastructure, and without political and economic policy changes. On the other hand, individuals have to be willing to change aspects of their lifestyles in order for policy changes to become acceptable in society. As a way to provide encouragement and build a spirit of collective action, the CAG is excited to launch this April the first of a continuing series of monthly “Climate Actions of the Month”. Each bundle includes a timely action on each of 4 levels: personal, community, state/national/global, and educational. We encourage you commit to one or more of these actions each month, knowing that we are working on the same goals together. If a suggested action doesn’t work for you, feel free to substitute an action of your choice that is meaningful to you. We are working on developing a website that will have more detailed info on the whys and hows of each action, as well as a way we can track our progress together, and collect your ideas of actions into a master list. The CAG meets the 1st and 3rd Sunday each month after the 2nd service. Please join us! To learn more about the CAG contact Molly Hale at hellomolly@comcast.net or 585-0791. This month’s actions focus on the tar sands, about which President Obama will be making a crucial decision within weeks.

 

April Featured Climate Actions

 

1. Personal:Get a residential energy audit through Mass Save to determine the energy improvements most appropriate for your home. 75% of the cost (up to $2000) of energy improvements may be paid by your utility. Whether you are a homeowner, a renter, or a landlord, call Mass Save at 1-866-527-7283.

2. Community: Organize a neighborhood potluck to develop familiarity among neighbors. This will help lay the groundwork for neighborhood cooperation on many levels.

3. State/National/Global:

a.) Call Obama ASAP at 202-456-1111 to urge him to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry tar sands material. We need to start reducing CO2 emissions significantly, not create new ways to increase them. If Keystone is approved then we’re locking in a several more decades of dependence on fossil fuels.

b.) Sign the CREDO petition to urge Obama to say no the Keystone pipeline. The URL is here: http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/kxl_seis/?r=13093920&id=55907-908966-vwHoWcx

4. Inform yourself: Learn about tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline. Much info can be found on the web, but here are two articles to start with:

http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/about-2/why-oppose-kxl/

and http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/canadas-oil-sands/

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