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March Featured Climate Actions

These 4-tiered featured actions are brought to you by the Climate Action Group of the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence.

Personal:  Reduce the amount of meat and dairy, especially factory-farmed products, in your diet. Consider these facts presented in the documentary “Cowspiracy”:

  • “Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.”
  • “Methane (emitted in abundance by cattle) has a global warming power 86 times that of CO2.”
  • “One hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to produce – the equivalent of 2 months’ worth of showers.”

And this fact from the May 2014 issue of National Geographic:

  • “For every 100 calories of grain we feed animals, we get only about 40 new calories of milk, 22 calories of eggs, 12 of chicken, 10 of pork or 3 of beef”.

Community:  Get together with some friends to watch and discuss “Cowspiracy”, available for a fee online, or by buying a DVD from www.cowspiracy.com.    This feature-length film shows how “animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill.”

State, National or Global:  Find out whether your state legislator has pledged to support the two “carbon fee and rebate” bills now before the MA congress. (See below.) If they have expressed support, contact them to thank them, and if they haven’t yet made a decision, urge them to support the bills.  Most of the legislators from the Valley have already declared their support but the following have not yet:  Reps Ashe, Kulik, Petrolati, and Wagner, and Sens Downing and Lesser.

Inform Yourself:  Learn about the 2 “carbon fee and rebate” bills proposed in MA. From the Climate Action Now blog: “You don’t have to be an expert, but you should understand why putting a fair price on carbon is so important, and how the MA bills would do this. You can read talking points for the two bills and principles to consider in pricing carbon here 1 and here. 2 And, think about the “revenue neutral” vs. “revenue -positive” issue. In brief, a revenue-neutral bill sidesteps being attacked as “just another tax,” while a revenue-positive bill may be more likely to result in significant emissions reduction.”  A good source of information about Sen. Barrett’s version of the bill is here:  http://www.climate-xchange.org/ 

1  http://climateactionnowma.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Barrett-bill-2-page-flier-vs5.pdf

2  http://climateactionnowma.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Talking-Points-for-SD-1815-Sen.-Pacheco.pdf