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Monday, November 30, 2015

STAND UP FOR THE PLANET! Yes we DID!

About 40 people came to STAND UP FOR THE PLANET on Sunday, November 29. Great signs and great ideas. Thanks to Kathy for setting things up, Ken for the news release, WXOW for covering the event, Greeengrass Cafe (1904 Campbell Road) for staying open late so the group could meet afterward, and all of us for showing up!


 Our NEXT event will be on Saturday, December 12. We'll meet at 2 p.m. at the "Burger King corner" - where La Crosse Street meets Copeland Avenue/Fourth Street. Bring your sign (and, if you can, bring one or two new people!) Organizers Jacob and Avery have a spot for us to meet up afterward to plan our next action(s).

PLEASE SIGN UP FOR THE DECEMBER 12 EVENT and share the sign up link: tinyurl.com/laxclimatemarch2   Here's a link to the FB event. Please tweet, share, and spread the word.

And be thinking of what local changes we can make/encourage/demand to reduce La Crosse's CO2 emissions.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Stand Up for the Planet

Today marks the start of the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) called COP21. That's TWENTY-ONE years of talking about what to do about catastrophic climate change. Meanwhile, catastrophic climate change has not stopped to wait for us puny humans to decide what to do.

* Sea levels are rising faster than predicted in some parts of the world
* Artic ice levels have dropped dramatically
* This is the hottest year ever

Today's marches around the world are calls for world leaders to get it together and make an agreement that will actually start to turn things around.

That's easy - we march and wave signs. They change.

But what if we have to do more than march and wave signs? What if they can't change?

In the US, there is not one Republican presidential candidate who will even concede that human's are causing the climate to change let alone who has a plan to address it. Republicans, who have majorities in both the House and the Senate, have spent much of their last year tryig to defeat even the modest measures President Obama has taken in Executive Orders. Their current target is the Clean Power Plan. Electing a Republican president in 2016 could unravel everything. So, even if the Obama administration agrees to strong and reasonable goals in Paris, there's no guarantee they will ever come to fruition.

And, then you have the TPP, which Naomi Klein has called, "A grave threat to climate action." The same "green" President Obama working to curb greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Power Plan is pushing for the Trans Pacific Partnership, which, according to a multitude of environmental groups, will dramatically threaten our ability to combate climate change? Where are the leaders?

Front runner Democratic party candidate Hillary Clinton has not agreed to  350.org's candidate pledge to not take money from fossil fuel interests and in fact her campaign in, according to the environmental blog DailyGrist, "raking in money" from them. Only candidates Bernie Sanders (who is the best candidate on climate change issues according to Climate Hawks Vote), Martin O'Malley, and Green candidate, Dr. Jill Stein have signed that pledge.

So, what if this leaves things to the people? Who is working to make a real difference and how can we join together to amplify our voices and efforts? (And it's going to take more than "liking" a group's Facebook page, too).

National groups are listed at the website of the CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK.

Local groups working on climate change related issues (please email to have your group added to this list):

Citizens Climate Lobby (La Crosse) (email for info) is having it's monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist building, 401 West Avenue South.

Coulee Region Sierra Club meets monthly and is connected to the state's John Muir chapter which is working on several climate related initiatives, including its Solar Homes project and Beyond Coal to Clean Energy initiatives.

Coulee Partners for Sustainability - "promoting lifestyles that are environmentally sustainable, economically viable, and socially just."

Friends of the La Crosse Marsh - working to maintain the health of this precious and unique resource and protect it from encroachment and degradation by rail lines, highways, and other endeavors. 

Hillview Urban Agriculture Center - "creat[ing] a healthy community by transforming our Coulee Region food system to one that is sustainable, local and accessible."

Houston County Government Accountability Project - This group began with efforts to oppose the wholesale exporting of Houson County via unlimited frac sand mines but has evolve to work on changing and improving local government by mobilizing public outrage, anger and activism.

Frac sand mining issues in Wisconsin, including Trempealeau County, are covered by the Save the Hills Alliance and documented in the blog, Contested Landscapes (this article is particularly good and documenting how local politicians are won over to frac activities and what citizens opposed to frac sand mines are up against). 

La Crosse Area Transit Advocates (LATA) - a NEW group FORMING NOW (email if interested) to support the La Crosse Municipal Transit Utility and advocate for more and better public transportation options and service the city and the region. We will affiliate with the Wisconsin Transit Riders Alliance and work with city, county and regional groups and departments. Organizational meeting will be in January 2016.

Livable Neighborhoods (La Crosse) - " to improve and promote the livability of all neighborhoods in the La Crosse area."

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

This Changes Everything report

Thank you to the 100+ people who purchased tickets to tonight's screening of This Changes Everything. At tt his link you can find more information about the specific stories followed in the film.

Several people asked about how to show the film to others. This link will give you that info. It is now available for on-demand streaming and there are new community screenings being set up every day. If you have a venue already, you can contact the film producers about screening rights. If you don't have a venue already, I recommend going through Tugg - you don't have to pay for anything (theater, screening rights) up front - that is all taken care of through ticket sales.

About twenty of us repaired to Overtime Sports Bar to talk about what we can do in our communities to highlight the issues in the film and our own issues. Some people decided to try putting together a community action to highlight the upcoming and CRITICALLY IMPORTANT climate talks in Paris in late November/early December.

If you are interested in joining the planning, please attend the meeting TOMORROW at 1:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church (corner of Main Street and Losey Boulevard).

UPDATE: This event has already been scheduled! Let's do it!

Sunday, November 29, 2:00 PM Myrick Park (upper parking lot)
2000 La Crosse St.
La Crosse, WI 54601
Be a part of the global movement to show world and local leaders that it's time to take serious action on climate change! We need to leave fossil fuels in the ground and transition to renewable energy, for the sake of the planet and all its residents!

Another important meeting is next Tuesday's Coulee Region Sierra Club meeting - Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Ho-Chunk House (corner of 8th and Main) in La Crosse. You do not have to be a member to attend. The Wisconsin DOT will present their plans to force a road through the marsh whether we want it or not.

Our issues included frac sand mining, oil trains, war, poverty, inequality, corruption in politics, renewable energy, cooperatives, quality of life issues, protecting the river, encouraging and supporting young people's involvement in the movements. We encouraged each other to stay involved and not give up.
 
Beyond that, we discussed the importance of banding together at all levels, continually looking for new members and new connections in person and through social media. 

The reality of climate change is that CO2 emissions and soot must be dramatically reduced as soon as possible. In the US, burning fossil fuels to produce electricity and driving are the majority of CO2 emissions. So whatever we can do to affect those two major causes, we should do.

Locally that means (at least):
* Fighting fracking and frac sand mining (used to "produce" more fossil fuels)
* Demanding an immediate move to renewables for energy production and fighting against anti-rcnewables/anti-efficiency rate changes
* Fighting oil trains
* Supporting more public transportation and fighting more and more roads and parking
* Working for good candidates

If your group or organization is having a meeting or event, please let me know and I'll post it here. We really do have to get going on making major changes and especially making clear to elected representatives that business as usual - especially with respect to carbon emitting activities - is not going to cut it anymore.

Monday, November 09, 2015

TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE - LARGER THEATER!!



Thanks to everyone who has already bought tickets for the important film, This Changes Everything! We have blown past the original capacity (90) and they have moved us to a larger theater so TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE!!

Please tell you friends - get your tickets here: tinyurl.com/climatefilm.