July 30: Rally at the State House to Raise the Net Metering Cap NOW!

Soak Up the Sun Rally for Solar

10:45 am – 1:45

Massachusetts State House,  24 Beacon St, Boston

It’s summer and the weather is beautiful — we should do everything we can to soak up the energy of the sun.

Net Meter Cap 171 Merchants of book naomi oreskes

But utility companies have placed a cap on the state’s most important solar program, net metering. Back in March, the cap was hit for 171 towns and cities, bringing solar development to a halt.

We need to raise the caps ASAP to keep solar growing. So we’re gathering at the State House and calling on state officials to take action.

Meet us at 10:45 AM for a rally in front of the State House (Bulfinch Entrance on Beacon Street, overlooking Boston Common). Then, we’ll go into the State House to meet with legislators and their staff.

The theme of the rally is “beach party,” so bring your beach gear! Towels, inflatable beach balls, beach umbrellas, etc.

Please RSVP at http://bit.ly/SoakUpTheSun-MA.

Questions? Contact Ben Hellerstein, ben@environmentmassachusetts.org

Call your state house representatives and ask them to raise the caps on Net Metering NOW!

 

Sept 28: A presentation on Cambridge’s Net Zero Plan

A joint presentation with Mothers Out Front:

Cambridge’s Net Zero Plan

September 28, 2015

7 – 9 pm

Cary Library Large Meeting Room, Lexington MA

Speakers: Quinton Zondervan and Henrietta Davis

From the Cambridge Net Zero posting on the Cambridge City website:

In December 2013, the City of Cambridge created the “Getting to Net Zero Task Force” charged with advancing the goal of putting Cambridge on the trajectory towards becoming a “net zero community”, with focus on carbon emissions from building operations. This includes reducing energy use intensity of buildings and taking advantage of opportunities to harvest energy from renewable sources.

To guide this process, City Manager, Richard C. Rossi, appointed a thirteen-member committee comprised of residents, community advocates, business and property owners, developers and representatives of local universities. This committee will be working collaboratively with a team of technical consultants with support from City staff to examine strategies and develop recommendations that address the following topics:

• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the built environment 

•Improve energy efficiency and conservation in existing and new buildings 

•Support renewable energy generation both on- and off- site 

•Best practices to engage and educate users and influence occupant behavior

The Task Force is assigned to study the technical aspects of greenhouse gas emissions from buildings in greater detail and develop comprehensive, actionable, long and short term recommendations; these may include changes to City ordinances, zoning policies, and other directives.

Visit their website for more information: http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/Projects/Climate/netzerotaskforce

October 24: Naomi Oreskes speaks on Climate Change

Co-hosting with the Cary Lecture Series

Naomi Oreskes: 

Dynamics of Disbelief: Science, Society and Social Welfare

October 24, 2015

8:00 pm

Clarke Middle School, Lexington Massachusetts

Synopsis of Lecture: 

Scientists have known for a century that human activities had the potential to disrupt the Earth climate system.  In the early 1960s, they began to bring this message first to political leaders, and then to the American people at large.  When the issue was discussed in the Nixon Administration in the late 1960s, none of his advisors doubted that the claim was true, they only wondered what if anything should be done about it. But as the science coesleced, and a forecast became a fact, disbelief set in. This talk examines the history and dynamics of climate science disbelief, and its implications for society and the common good.

naomi oreskesnaomi oreskesMerchants of book naomi oreskes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the article in the NYTimes about Naomi Oreskes:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/science/naomi-oreskes-a-lightning-rod-in-a-changing-climate.html?hpw&rref=science&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

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

Slide01

 

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

DisruptionMoviePoster

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