Action Update #20

Dear Friend of the Earth,

The purpose of this email is to help busy people in the Greater Rochester Area find opportunities to join the fight against global warming.  These emails are distributed twice per month and include 3-4 actions you can take to help stop climate change.  Read on to learn how you can quickly and easily do your part to protect the planet.

Quick Climate Fact

The only place on Earth that experienced below average temperatures this past winter was the American Northeast.

Cheap and Healthy Climate Action

ColorBrightonGreen.org is holding their annual “Curb Your Car Week” from May 10-16, and you don’t need to live in Brighton to participate!  Here’s how it works:

  1. Complete their very brief online registration form here.
  2. Replace at least one trip you would normally take alone in your car during the week of May 10-16, with walking, biking, carpooling, riding the bus, or telecommuting.
  3. Report how many miles you saved.
  4. Feel good knowing that you (and everyone else who participated) reduced your personal use of fossil fuels and started developing eco-friendly travel habits!

For more information, see http://colorbrightongreen.org/initiatives/curb-your-car-week/

One-to-Five Minute Climate Action

When Dr. James Hansen was in town a couple weeks ago, he repeatedly stressed the need for federal legislation that puts a fee on carbon emissions and returns the revenue to American households in the form of a monthly dividend check to offset resulting price increases.  This type of policy, called Carbon Fee and Dividend, is what your local Citizens’ Climate Lobby chapter is working hard to implement.*  To help them, please call your Congressional Representatives (even if you’ve done so before!) and ask them to support Fee and Dividend.  Assuming you don’t live an extremely energy-intensive lifestyle (e.g., owning multiple large houses and traveling in a private jet), you will probably benefit financially from this solution to climate change.

Steps to take:

  1.  If you’re not sure who your Senators (2) and Representative (1) are, look them up at http://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup, or…
    • If you live in NY State, your Senators are Chuck Schumer (202-224-6542) and Kirsten Gillibrand (202-224-4451).
    • If you live in NY Congressional District 25 (most of the Greater Rochester Area), your Representative is Louise Slaughter (202-225-3615)
    • Surrounding districts include NY-27 (Chris Collins, 202-225-5265) and NY- 23 (Tom Reed, 202-225-3161)
  2. Call each office (3 total)** and say something like…
    “Hi, this is (your name) calling from (your city).  I’d like to leave a message for Sen./Rep. (name), asking him/her to support the Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Carbon Fee and Dividend plan.  I’m very concerned about the impacts of global warming and would like to see immediate, bold action that dramatically reduces greenhouse gas emissions while protecting the economic interests of the poor and middle class.  Fee and Dividend does this by putting a fair price on carbon emissions and returning 100% of the revenue to the American people in the form of a monthly dividend check.  Please support this legislation.  Thank you.”

*For more information on Carbon Fee and Dividend, visit citizensclimatelobby.org

**If you live in the 25th District and only have time to make one call, start with Senator Schumer (he needs the most encouragement).  If you live in the 27th or 23rd District, call your Representative and ask all your friends and neighbors to do the same (Collins and Reed need quite a lot of encouragement!).
Educational Climate Action
If you’ve been receiving these updates for a while, you know that trains carrying highly explosive Bakken Crude Oil pass through Rochester and surrounding suburbs every day.  You know that accidents involving this type of train have caused several recent disasters, including an explosion earlier today in North Dakota and the 2013 derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec that killed 47 people, so you’re probably concerned about all the schools, homes, landmarks, and people that would be in peril, should an accident occur here.  You also know that the oil these trains carry contributes to climate change when burned, endangering us all in the long run.  But you might not know what you can do about it!  Fortunately, there’s an upcoming opportunity for you to find out:
  • What: Bakken Oil Trains in New York “What You Need to Know” Forum with Sandy Steubing from PAUSE (the organization in Albany that is fighting to stop the trains)
  • When: Sunday, May 17 from 1:30-2:30
  • Where: Brighton Public Library, 2300 Elmwood Ave.
  • For more info contact rochester.ny@mothersoutfront.org

Spread the Word

  1. Forward this email to friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc.  Don’t be shy!  You never know who might be interested in saving the world.  If someone would prefer not to receive these emails from you in the future, they will let you know.  When forwarding this message to multiple people, enter their addresses using the blind carbon copy function (bcc) to protect everyone’s privacy.
  2. Visit RochesterClimateAction.org, click on “Action Updates,” and use the share buttons to post this newsletter on Facebook and other social media sites.
  3. Become a Rochester Climate Action “frontline contact.”  Frontline contacts receive bimonthly emails directly from us, rather than having to wait for someone else to forward them on.  Frontline contacts who distribute the email to their personal contacts are acting as true leaders in the fight against climate change.  If you’d like to be a frontline contact, simply send an email saying so to rochesterclimateaction@gmail.com.
  4. Talk to people about global warming!  Tell them why you are concerned and politely suggest that they should be too.  Again, don’t be shy.  These are important conversations that we should all be having.

Words of Wisdom from a Local Activist

“No matter how clear the evidence on man-made climate change, our leaders, and those with the power to directly affect change, don’t act.  The risks are dire, and the solution – responsibly transitioning to clean, renewable energy – is feasible and indeed beneficial to public health and the economy.  The worst case scenario resulting from taking firm action to address climate change is a better, healthier and wealthier world.  There is no more timely and important cause to devote your energy to.  The success of this movement translates directly to the success of no less than our entire species (and countless others as well).  Proceed along this path with a clear heart, a determined mind and a clean conscience.  If not you, then who?” Paul Sanders (Vice Chair, Executive Committee of the Sierra Club, Rochester Regional Group)

This message was written by Abigail McHugh-Grifa on behalf of RochesterClimateAction.org.  Rochester Climate Action is run by a group of local mothers who are concerned about how climate change will affect their children’s futures.  These mothers are unpaid volunteers and are not affiliated with any “green” businesses.  For more information, including other action opportunities, visit RochesterClimateAction.org.  We welcome your feedback on our work.  Please send comments, questions, suggestions, etc. to rochesterclimateaction@gmail.com.

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