Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The final countdown

Among the end of year and decade countdowns -- richest people, best sports plays, worst crimes, funniest cat videos, ... -- let's include the climate crisis.

In 1959, Dr. Edward Teller warned the American Petroleum Institute (API), along with government officials attending his speech, that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels would cause temperatures to warm, polar ice to melt, and coastal cities to flood.

In 1969, a Stanford Research Institute report for the API, warned that carbon dioxide was a serious problem. “There seems to be no doubt that the potential damage to our environment could be severe.”

In 1988, Dr. James Hansen's U.S. Senate testimony warned of human-caused climate change.

In 2006, Vice President Al Gore's Oscar-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth, laid out the indisputable science behind “global warming.”

In 2008, climate activist Bill McKibben founded 350.org, the group's name a reminder that carbon in our atmosphere needed to remain below 350 parts per million to ensure a livable planet for future generations. (It's now more than 415 ppm.)

In 2015, world governments pledged carbon emissions reductions to keep global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius. (Only a few countries are on target to meet their goals. The Supreme Court of the Netherlands recently ruled that the whole country must cut emissions by 25% by the end of 2020 to meet their emissions reduction goals.)

In 2017, David Wallace-Wells wrote The Uninhabitable Earth describing what will happen to our planet if we don't stop burning fossil fuels.

Last year, UN climate scientists said we have twelve years to make drastic changes or life as we know it will not survive. Other experts said greenhouse gas emissions must peak no later than 2020.

This month, the UN climate conference failed.

The Correspondent's climate reporter, Eric Holthaus, advises: grieve, revisit the science, and get political. Realize politicians will not save us. Understand climate science facts are not going away. Holthaus writes, “It's not constructive to continue to pretend that polite compromise and incremental changes will save us.”

We didn't start changing all those years ago when it would have been relatively easy. Now, drastic immediate changes are needed.

Most Wisconsin electricity still comes from burning coal and gas, so we have to stop wasting  electricity and go all in on renewables. Utilities must abandon plans for new fossil-fueled plants and we must end subsidies for fossil fuel infrastructure. We must switch to electric transportation. We must heat our homes and businesses without fossil fuels. And we must ensure the people affected by these changes are given support and new opportunities in a clean energy future.

I urge everyone to get political. Assess your carbon footprint, investments, habits, and spending. Demand that our cities, counties, schools and universities, businesses, and services create and follow strong community-wide plans to immediately reduce carbon emissions and switch to renewables. Expect that climate-saving is the top priority. Lobby state government to promote and support major changes. Insist that financial institutions divest from fossil fuel systems. 
Raise this issue with every person you know and meet. Vote for candidates who understand the dire threat and need for immediate action.

Passing resolutions and changing light bulbs is not enough. 

The countdown is over. 

We have to act now.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Back to work

The first votes in the 2020 election will be held in February, just a few weeks away. Iowa primaries are on Tuesday, February 3 followed by more early states' votes and March 3 Super Tuesday, this time with California. The spring is about to be sprung.

Now is the time for volunteers to ramp it up - make more phone calls, send texts, donate, head to an Iowa town to spend an afternoon canvassing.

If we want a habitable climate and a more just society, then we need to ensure a climate, people-focused candidate goes into early primary elections strong.

If Bernie's your candidate, visit https://www.mobilize.us/sandersia/ to sign up for canvassing. Take a car load. To work from home, sign up to call (https://berniesanders.com/call/) or text bank (https://berniesanders.com/text/).

UPDATE: Two Bernie phonebanks in La Crosse - Dec. 22 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and on Dec. 29 from noon to 2 pm. Sign up at links!

Please do not nit-pick us into Joe Biden or "Mayor Pete" et al by bringing up a thirty year old article or spin on an old speech, or worse, a rw troll's lie that taints your pure progressive bubble and poisons you against anybody but. We can't afford it. 

Several progressive leaders, from Robert Reich to Naomi Klein to Norman Solomon have reminded us to keep our eyes on the prize and our focus on the overall goal. I'm with them.

Don't forget the sorry state of formerly progressive Wisconsin where the new normal is that people who may not read all their mail (or, if you live in my neighborhood, where your mail carrier regularly delivers your mail to someone else and someone else's mail to you) are suddenly ineligible to vote because some for-profit vendor paid for by our tax dollars (mis)identifies them as having moved.

There's a Supreme Court primary in February that needs our attention. As Wisconsin Republicans continue seeking ways to disenfranchise voters (funny how the constitutional right to vote is now no more secure, apparently, than a pile of Kohl's cash), the Wisconsin Democratic Party has vowed to ensure as many as possible are registered, re-registered, and able to vote.

Sign up to help your fellow citizens by calling and canvassing locally. Contact the local DPW organizer, PeterK-at-wisdems-dot-org. Sign up to help other environment and social justice groups canvass and educate voters. 

One impeachment vote (thank you, Ron Kind) does not bring us back to whatever normal might have been or might never have been for a large number of our neighbors. Now we need to double down on calling, donating, writing, canvassing, and working. Our "leaders" are still supporting obscene military spending, institutional racism, guns>ppl, illegal treatment of immigrants, big pharma, big insurance, big banks, big business, and the murder of our future by forced fossil fuel addiction.

The theater of impeachment plays out on top of the everyday injustice, violence, greed, and corruption. That has to change. "We just wanna party." This is America

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Impeachment Rally Tuesday

In La Crosse: 5:30 p.m. in Cameron ParkA gathering to show support for a vote to impeach Donald Trump. Bring signs, flashlights, horns, whistles, flags, etc. Speakers are invited.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Friday Climate Strike

From Fridays For Future:

The Strike Map lists La Crosse - Fourth St N outside City Hall. If you can come to support strong climate action, the students and indigenous participants kicked out of COP 25 while sponsoring polluters remain, a habitable future, etc, please show up.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Socials support local activism

As the year winds down, several local organizations will host social affairs, opportunities for friends and members to discuss the ending year's challenges and accomplishments and start to focus on the coming year. These gathetrings are also good places for potential new members to get more information and try out the community before officially joining.

We know if three such events coming up later this month. All are free and open to everyone. Consider attending one or more to show support, mingle with members, and learn about getting more involved in the new year.

On December 15, The Center-7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection hosts its annual Holiday Open House Arts & Crafts Bake Sale from noon to 4 p.m.

On December 16, the La Crosse County Democratic Party invites friends and members to its annual Holiday Social from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Big Al's Party Room, 115 Third Street South.

On Tuesday, December 17, the Coulee Region Sierra Club will hold it's annual Holiday Gathering, a potluck, at a local home beginning at 6:00 p.m.. All are invited - members and friends.

Are there more? Please submit other events and we'll update the calendar!

And, watch for an impeachment rally coming soon to a space near us.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Reminder- Climate Action needs YOU!

Let's hope we have better participation for our December climate action!



Friday, September 20 was our first strike. Led by the Fridays for Future, La Crosse chapter, we joined millions around the world to highlight the extreme crisis we face and called out elected "leaders" who are not doing nearly enough. More than 300 constituents signed a letter to US Rep. Ron Kind urging him to co-sponsor and support five specific bills. So far, he has not taken any action to cosponsor crucial climate legislation nor provided a date for a promised meeting with youth.
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Print & post our flyer for December 6.
Use this,one December 6 - on social media.

If you missed the NOVEMBER 29 group action, you can still make a commitment to take your own personal actions.

PLEDGE TO TAKE PERSONAL ACTION. Use our list of suggested actions below or come up with your own. Please pledge to take at least one action on this day in solidarity with Fridays for Future, Sunrise Movement, 350.org, Sierra Club, and more below.


Please join us in another crucial push to make our U.S. elected officials pay attention to the climate crisis during the next global climate summit in Madrid from December 2 - 13 (a.k.a. COP25 at https://unfccc.int/cop25).

How? Sign up to strike with us at the La Crosse offices of U.S. Rep. Ron Kind and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin.

Where? 205 5th Ave. South, La Crosse, WI, 54601.

We will be striking at this location in order to follow up on our petition from the last climate strike on September 20th, 2019. We wish to show our representatives that we are not only able to show up on paper, but in person as well. We are asking you to sign up for the times that you are able to attend, so that we can keep the pressure on them ALL DAY LONG. Please sign up for more than one time slot if you are able! We will wear all black, in order to symbolize the danger and death that people and many living things face due to the accelerating climate emergency. We hope that everyone will bring signs as well. We suggest that these signs have clocks or other symbols of urgency on them--in order to show that there is little time left for strong action.