#WeAreStillIn – Lexington joins the Paris Accord.

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Lexington Board of Selectmen voted to have Lexington join the Compact of Mayors who will adhere to achieving the goals of the Paris Accord!

We have already been on this road through the actions by Sustainable Lexington, Town Meeting and the Town Manager and the employees of the Town of lexington.

This is not just a symbolic gesture (which is important), but by joining the US Compact of Mayors we have agreed to develop an energy and emissions baseline (Done), conduct a climate vulnerability analysis (Done), set emissions targets (Done), adopt a climate action plan (Drafted but not formally adopted yet), and perhaps most importantly to take the actions necessary to achieve our emissions targets (Ongoing).

Finally, we have agreed to report our performance against these goals at least annually to the US Compact of Mayors, who will in turn report our overall performance to the UN as part of our collective commitment to achieving the goals set forth in the Paris Climate Agreement.

Also, the US Compact of Mayors has pledged to give us technical assistance (at no charge) to help us achieve these goals.

The Compact of Mayors was formed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in September of 2014 at the UN Climate Summit. The Compact of Mayors officially merged with the Covenant of Mayors on June 22, 2016. The newly created Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy unites more than 7,100 cities in 119 countries across six continents in the shared goal of fighting climate change through coordinated local climate action. https://www.compactofmayors.org/

May 17: Hartwell Solar Ribbon Cutting and Tour

Solar Tour & Ribbon Cutting Invitation 5-18-2017

May 4: Movie: AWAKE -documentary on Standing Rock NODAPL resistance

AWAKE

UPCOMING EVENTS!

March for Science

 • March for Science Washington DC:  https://www.marchforscience.com

Facebook  for Full day of activities.

March for Science Boston:  Boston Common 2-4, kids’ activities 1-2
Facebook  or https://www.marchforscienceboston.com

 

• Create Signage for the Climate March

Wed., April 26th from 6:45 p.m. – closing
Munroe Center for the Arts, 1403 Mass Ave, Lexington

 Come join us at a sign-making workshop to closing and make a sign to bring to the April 29th People’s Climate March. Even if you are not going to the march, make a sign to place somewhere where lots of people will see it.

This workshop is free and all supplies will be on hand for your use. You only need to bring your design idea and a slogan.

Sign up here to reserve your spot: https://resistanceisthekey17.wufoo.com/forms/qytgtt2082pe08/

PCM

•April 29, 2017: People’s Mobilization for Climate, Jobs, and Justice

In Washington DC: Facebook  or go to: https://peoplesclimate.org

People’s Climate March Boston: Boston Common 12 pm

A full day of workshops and activities to build and grow our movement, starting with an energizing rally at 12:00 pm on Boston Common.

To attend, fill out the quick form on the website

For more information, to see the organizations represented, and to view the schedule of events, the official Facebook page is here

 

 Facebook Cover Event Photo

MOVIE: AWAKE

•Thursday, May 4, 2017: 6:30 pm – 8:45 pm

Lexington Community Center, 39 Marrett Road, Lexington

Enter the Community Center and turn right to go to the room for the event.

The Community Center is located on 39 Marrett Road and is in the back of the parking lot behind the National Heritage Museum.

Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition will be hosting a showing of the movie AWAKE, a documentary on the dramatic story of the historic #NODAPL native-led peaceful resistance at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, which captured the world’s attention as one of the biggest stories of 2016. Tens of thousands of activists travelled from all over to stand in solidarity with the water protectors (activists) protesting the construction of the 3.7 billion dollar Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which is purposed to transport fracked oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields through sovereign land, under the Missouri River, the water source for the Standing Rock reservation and 17 million people downstream.

RSVP here: https://actionnetwork.org/events/awake

Lexington Leaps Forward on Considering Climate Change!

February 27 was the night the Town of Lexington decided that our next school will not use fossil fuels to heat the building! This is a really important decision for our health and for our future. 

The Town of Lexington also approved the Community Choice Aggregation program – that we hope will move our electricity to 100% renewable energy all at lower costs than Eversource’s basic service rates. 

Thanks to everyone at Sustainable Lexington for bringing these initiatives to our Board of Selectmen and to LexGWAC and Mothers Out Front who supported these initiatives. 

We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are making good progress by working together. Thank you!!! 

Why all these actions are so important for all of us – can be explained in part by an article that was published in 2015 – outlining the reasons why we all need to stop deploying fossil fuel infrastructure by 2018.  Here is a short segment from the article:

In only three years there will be enough fossil fuel-burning stuff—cars, homes, factories, power plants, etc.—built to blow through our carbon budget for a 2 degrees Celsius temperature rise. Never mind staying below a safer, saner 1.5°C of global warming. The relentless laws of physics have given us a hard, non-negotiable deadline, making G7 statements about a fossil fuel-phase out by 2100 or a weak deal at the UN climate talks in Paris irrelevant.

“By 2018, no new cars, homes, schools, factories, or electrical power plants should be built anywhere in the world, ever again unless they’re either replacements for old ones or are carbon neutral? Are you sure I worked that out right?” I asked Steve Davis of the University of California, co-author of a new climate study.

“We didn’t go that far in our study. But yes, your numbers are broadly correct. That’s what this study means,” Davis told me over the phone last fall.

Davis and co-author Robert Socolow of Princeton University published a groundbreaking paper in Environmental Research Letters last August, entitled “Commitment accounting of CO2 emissions.” A new coal plant will emit CO2 throughout its 40- to 60- year lifespan. That’s called a carbon commitment. A new truck or car will mean at least 10 years of CO2 emissions. Davis and Socolow’s study estimated how much CO2 will be emitted by most things that burn oil, gas, or coal, and it is the first to actually total up all of these carbon commitments.

Based on their work, I estimated that if we continue to build new fossil fuel burning stuff at the average rate of the last five years, we’ll make enough new carbon commitments to blow through our 2°C carbon budget sometime in 2018.

“Is that really where we are?” I asked Davis.

There was a pause, and I could hear the happy sounds of children playing from his end of the phone. Eventually Davis said “yes, that’s where we find ourselves.”

[A Hard Deadline]

Sat. Feb. 4: Heather Murray, Lawyer with Conservation Law Foundation on ExxonMobil lawsuit

CLF Feb 4

Jan. 18: Before the Flood – Movie and Discussion Event

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For more information:

before-the-flood-final-press-notes Read More »

Thank You to all who came and exhibited at the Lexplore Sustainability Fair!

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Lexplore Sustainability Fair: Speaker Schedule

Location: Commons II
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Lexplore Sustainability Fair: Exhibitors

Location: Commons I

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Lexplore Sustainability Fair: Electric Cars & Electric Bikes

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Lexplore Sustainability Fair: Children’s and Family Activities

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Lexplore Sustainability Fair: Food Options

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May 17: Gas Leaks in Lexington

Gas Forum Nation Build 5_3

May 24: Living Building Challenge

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Lexington Passes Getting to Net Zero

For more information and to see the presentation:  net0.lex.FINALCover.net0.lex.FINALexploring net zeroexploring net zeroexploring net zero

For more information and to see the presentation:  net0.lex.FINAL

Lester Brown discussing Transitioning to Solar and Wind

Download the slide show that was presented during the talk on May 7. Fascinating information on the market-driven speeding-up of the transition from oil and coal to solar and wind! 

TGT_HarvardSlidesEarthPolicyInstitute

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Lexington Approves Community Choice and Divestment!

Lexington’s Town Meeting approved the Community Electrical Aggregation article and the Divestment from Fossil Fuels article taking two more important steps toward sustainability and addressing climate change!

Community Choice Article: 

The largest source of Lexington’s emissions comes from our electricity consumption. How can the Town of Lexington help local residents and small businesses switch to cleaner and cheaper electricity?

The Board of Selectmen is planning to submit a warrant article asking Town Meeting to authorize the Town to enter into a Community Choice program that would consolidate residential and commercial retail electricity demand in order to seek proposals for cheaper and cleaner sources of power on behalf of our residents and businesses.

We are lucky to be living in Massachusetts, one of only 5 states in the country that allows local residents and businesses to collectively choose a competitive supplier by pooling their buying power with the goal of choosing a cleaner and cheaper supplier for our electricity.

All electricity consumers in Massachusetts have the option to select a competitive retail electricity supplier. But only 10% of Lexington’s residential customers have switched to competitive suppliers. It is not hard to understand why so few have taken advantage of this opportunity. Picking a vendor can be complicated and time consuming, and many residents are concerned they might not have enough information to make a good choice.

In contrast, 86% of the electricity consumed by Lexington’s commercial customers comes from competitive electricity suppliers. Large commercial customers have proven that they can effectively obtain lower rates by switching to competitive suppliers. The Town of Lexington has also had great success with our competitive supplier, purchasing electricity for 22% less than the NSTAR Basic Service rate last year. With the recent rate hikes, the Town is looking even smarter. Our long-term supply agreement allows the Town to buy electricity at half the rate of NSTAR’s Basic Service rate and get cleaner energy than NSTAR’s Basic Service!

If approved, the Town’s electricity broker would develop an aggregation plan that would be reviewed and approved by the Board of Selectmen, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and the Department of Public Utilities. Once the plan is approved, the broker would solicit bids for cleaner and cheaper power, all at the broker’s own cost and risk.

Customers would continue to receive one bill from NSTAR and NSTAR would continue to provide electricity delivery, emergency services and customer support. Individual residents and businesses would retain the right to opt-out with no penalty and choose any other competitive supplier or the default Basic Service energy supply provided by NSTAR. Many local governments are achieving a powerful range of objectives for their residents and businesses using Community Choice programs:

• Competitive, often significantly lower, electricity rates

• Transition to a cleaner, more efficient energy supply

• Consumer choice, consumer protection, & local control If that sounds good to you, ask your Town Meeting members to approve the Community Choice warrant article.

Draft Warrant Article: To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to enter into a Community Choice Aggregation Program and contract for electric supply for Lexington residents and businesses as per MGL 164, Section 134, or act in any other manner in relation thereto.

Comment: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by enacting Chapter 164 of the Acts of 1997, has established a competitive electricity marketplace. The residents and businesses of Lexington have substantial economic, environmental, and social interests at stake and are interested in reducing their electricity emissions and rates. If a Community Choice Aggregation program is implemented in Lexington, individual residents and businesses would retain the right to opt-out with no penalty and choose any other competitive supplier or the utility’s default Basic Service energy supply. NSTAR

Divestment Article

Fossil fuel companies have five times more carbon in their underground reserves of coal, oil and natural gas than can be burned to stay below the internationally agreed upon 2 degrees “safe limit” to curb the worst impact of global warming.  Yet, it is in their business plan to burn it, and they spend 1.6 billion dollars every day exploring for even more. Instead of leading the transition to clean energy, fossil fuel companies have used their tremendous financial resources on lobbying to block political action on climate change and on misinformation campaigns to cast doubt on the science and confuse the public.
Yet some of our Lexington Town funds and state retirement funds are invested in these fossil fuel companies.  Our ownership of these investments carries with it our responsibility for the actions of these fossil fuel companies.  According to Bill McKibben, Lexington-raised author and environmentalist, “If it’s wrong to wreck the planet, it’s wrong to profit from this wreckage.”  In addition fossil fuel investments have become “risky business.”  A resolution on the upcoming town warrant proposes that Lexington get out of fossil fuel investments in its Retirement and Public Trust funds and that town authorities urge the state retirement fund managers to do the same.

People’s Climate March

We said it would take everyone to change everything — and everyone showed up!

We Made History! Now it is Time to Change Our Future!

“We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.”

We Demand Action – Not Words

We Are Everywhere – And We Are Rising

It is Time To Answer the Call

Leonardo DiCaprio – Opening Climate Summit 2014

“Clean air and a livable climate are inalienable human rights.” – Leonardo DiCaprio

Obama At Climate Summit 2014

“There is one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.” – President Obama

“The climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it. The alarm bells keep ringing. Our citizens keep marching. We cannot pretend we do not hear them. We have to answer the call. We know what we have to do to avoid irreparable harm. We have to cut carbon pollution in our own countries to prevent the worst effects of climate change. We have to adapt to the impacts that, unfortunately, we can no longer avoid.” – President Obama addressing the UN Climate Summit 2014

[White House]

Disruption Movie

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To view the movie online go to: http://watchdisruption.com

The People’s Climate March made a movie.  Disruption weaves together political intrigue, mind-blowing science, and an insider’s view of the largest climate mobilization in history. It features some folks you will find familiar (like Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein), and brings some fresh faces and exciting new stories to the fore.  Disruption built energy and excitement for the big march in New York City on September 21 which attracted 400,000 people into the streets of Manhattan.

“It Always Seems Impossible, Until it is Done”…Nelson Mandela

It always seems impossible, until it is done. – Nelson Mandela

President Obama speaks out on Climate Change

Read the transcript:

Remarks by President Barack Obama
Subject: Climate Change
Location: Dahlgren Quadrangle, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Time: 1:44 p.m. EDT, Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2013
(Applause.)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you, Georgetown! (Cheers, applause.) Thanks. Thank you so much. Now — thank you, Georgetown. Everybody please be seated.
And my first announcement today is that you should all take off your jackets.I’m going to do the same. We got — (cheers) — it’s not that sexy, now. (Laughter.) Read More »

Write President Obama to say NO to Keystone XL Pipeline!

Click here for a handout to give to others.

Keystone XL  Update: The EPA has registered concern about the State Dept.’s Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement, together with over a million citizens.  President Obama has the last word on this carbon intensive project.

You can help.

Your comments to President Obama are essential.

Write President Obama:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact (preferred)
Or:  The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500


 

Obama should say no to Keystone XL, because doing so would help to limit development of the Canadian tar sands, and because we really wouldn’t get any significant benefit from saying yes; no real oil security, few permanent jobs, and most of the money goes to Canada and to Texas refiners in tax-free zones. Rejecting the Keystone XL permit makes a statement that it is time to stop investing in technologies that lock us into continued fossil fuel use, and it is time to make a strong commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The U.S. State Department released a 2,000-page analysis finding no compelling environmental reason to block the Keystone XL pipeline, the first direct link between one of the largest oil reserves on Earth and the world’s most advanced refining center on the Gulf of Mexico.  The State Department assessment has a number of serious flaws, that include downplaying the direct and indirect climate impact of the Keystone XL.

For more details on the specifics and key talking points click “Read More” to see full details.

Read More »

Jan. 13 Climate Change Action Public Forum

Thank you to all our attendees and panelists.

Click here for All Summaries of Breakout Action Sessions

Click here for: Federal Action Summary
Click here for: State Action Summary
Click here for: Local Action Summary
Click here for: Investment Action Summary
Click here for: Energy Action Summary
Click here for: Food Action Summary

It’s Time to Find Common Ground for Our Common Atmosphere

Watch this Kerry Emanuel and Peter Frumhoff, UCS, about finding common ground on climate action.
Click here to watch the video: It’s Time to Find Common Ground for Our Common Atmosphere

LexGWAC joins coalition for Coal-Free Massachusetts

Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition is proud to join the Coal Free Massachusetts coalition, a diverse group of statewide and local organizations committed to ending coal fired electricity generation in Massachusetts. The Coal Free Massachusetts Coalition seeks to:

  • Phase out all of Massachusetts’ coal-fired power plants by 2020;
  • Advance energy efficiency and clean renewable energy like responsibly sited wind and solar to support the transition from coal electricity generation in Massachusetts;
  • Partner with and empower community leadership and vision for clean energy and clean-tech development for our host communities, including:
    • robust transition plans focused on the long-term health of the community;
    • innovative opportunities for growing the green economy;
    • transitional support for workers and municipal revenues.

Cooler Smarter: A must read

Based on a comprehensive two-year study of hundreds of consumer decisions by the Union of Concerned ScientistsCooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living is a new science-based consumer guide that offers the facts on what decisions make the biggest impact on reducing your carbon emissions and what decisions don’t add up to much. The experts at UCS debunk many eco-myths, like the importance of “food miles” or the superiority of all hybrid cars, as they provide the science behind the right decisions that will save money and help save the planet at the same time.

In conjunction with the publication of Cooler Smarter, the Union of Concerned Scientists has issued a 20% Challenge. Their research has shown that by using the more than 20 methods outlined in Cooler Smarter, you can cut your carbon emissions by at least 20% in 20 days or less.

Read more about the book!

Connect the CLIMATE Dots in Lexington

Tree Trouble in Lexington:
Climate Impact Day

Lexington Global Warming Coalition and Lexington Interfaith Environmental Action Team supported the 350.org planet-wide Connect the (Climate) Dots event.  The event focused on Lexington’s trees as an example of how extreme weather can impact our community. During the “Halloween Storm” of October 29, 2011, snow fell on trees whose leaves had not fallen due to the unusually warm fall weather.


Rooftop Revolution: How Low Cost Solar Changes Everything

On April 2, 2012 we heard from two speakers how recent changes in the solar energy world are making solar affordable for everyone.

Topics covered:

How has the Solar market changed?

• What are the options for going solar – leasing and buying?

•  Learn 3 simple steps to determine your rooftop’s solar potential

• Solar Power Success Stories

• Powering our Town Buildings with Solar

Speakers

Mark Sandeen, Chair, Sustainable Lexington
Ben Cumbie, Solar PV Director for Transformations, Inc.

To learn more about what was presented:

Click here to see Mark Sandeen’s presentation.

Contact Ben Cumbie at ben@transformations-inc.com.

Click here to see Ben Cumbie’s presentation.

The true cost of Alberta Tar Sands oil

What does environmental devastation actually look like? At TEDxVictoria, photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos of the Alberta Tar Sands mining project — and the beautiful (and vital) ecosystems under threat.

This powerful talk is for anyone who thinks the tar sands are just another source of oil — and that the only source of greenhouse gases from the tar sands come from burning gas and oil.

Learn more by watching this Ted Talk:  Garth Lenz: The true cost of oil

 

Climate Extremes

The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be….

The air is on average warmer and moister than it was prior to about 1970 and in turn has likely led to a 5–10 % effect on precipitation and storms that is greatly amplified in extremes. The warm moist air is readily advected onto land and caught up in weather systems as part of the hydrological cycle, where it contributes to more intense precipitation events that are widely observed to be occurring.

Read the article by Kevin E. Trenberth “Framing the way to relate climate extremes to climate change”

 

LexGWAC Picks

Top blogs and websites to keep you up to date with the latest:

-Joe Romm’s ThinkProgress Climate Progress
http://thinkprogress.org/romm/issue/

-Weather Underground with Jeff Master’s blog on extreme weather
www.wunderground.com/

-Daily Climate
www.dailyclimate.org/

Book Recommendations:

Changing Planet, Changing Health: How the Climate Crisis Threatens Our Health and What We Can Do about It — Paul R. Epstein MD, Dan Ferber and Jeffrey Sachs

Plan B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble – Lester R. Brown

Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth —Mark Hertsgaard

Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet —Bill McKibben

Climate Change News