GREEN TEAM

You May not be able to change the whole world but you can change the place you live!

Putting the 7th Unitarian Universalist principle into action in our church and our community: “We Affirm and Promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part”.

 

JUST A THOUGHT: HANGING TOGETHER

At the signing of the Declaration of Independence Ben Franklin said; “We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” He was referring to the fact he and the other leaders rebelling against King George were traitors and would be executed if they lost the war. They had to hang together to win. Today we’re in two wars that we must win, but neither is against a king.

            In the battle against Covid 19 and climate change we should be hanging together, but we are not. It has been said many times that “we are all in this together”, but we are not. Instead, a cult of belligerent individualism has overwhelmed America. A large portion of our citizenry has taken the legitimate principle of individual liberty and pushed it to a monstrous extreme.

            We have a Bill of Rights, but unfortunately no bill of obligations. Apparently, there are many in America who believe that self-interest, self-gratification, and the accumulation of private wealth are the only things of value, and that there is no such thing as the Common Good. They do not, or will not recognize that without the preservation of the Common Good “most assuredly, we shall all hang separately”.

Vote for the Climate & the Earth on November 3rd. Learn where the candidates stand.

GREEN TEAM NEWS & EVENTS:

Vote for the Climate Rally to be held on  Halloween: 10/31/20, 12 to 1 pm

HALLOWEEN VOTE FOR THE CLIMATE RALLY

October 31, 2020 12 to 1pm

On the street corner at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke

 

Please join us for our “Vote for the Climate Rally” on Halloween. Show up and hold a sign to remind our neighbors in the Roanoke Area about our horrific future if we don’t address the Climate Crisis. We have signs for you to hold but you can make your own. Feel free to be creative. Costumes are welcome but we will not mention specific candidates or political parties. Masks are required and distancing will be maintained.

We are a partner of  the VIRGINIA CONSERVATION NETWORK. Please review “Our Common Agenda” at the  web site: visit VCN

PROJECT DRAWDOWN

The World’s Leading Resource for Climate Solutions

Read about it here: HTTPS://DRAWDOWN.ORG/

OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS & INFO

Hot real estate tip: An all-electric home will probably save you money

By Emily Pontecorvo on Oct 23, 2020 at 3:55 am

Despite the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, at least one sector of the economy seems to be booming: residential construction. Specifically, the construction of single-family homes. Mortgage rates are low, and demand is high as work-from-home life has led many Americans to dream of having a bit more space. U.S. Census Bureau data released Tuesday shows that in September, permits for new single-family homes were up 24 percent compared to last year, and new construction was up 22 percent.

With the construction market thriving, a timely report published by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), a clean energy think tank, illustrates one way developers can keep energy costs and climate impacts down in these new homes: Go electric. The authors compared the cost of building an all-electric single-family home to a home hooked up to the gas system in seven cities around the U.S., and found that all-electric homes saved money and reduced carbon pollution in every case.

Only about one in four homes in the U.S. is fully electric, and the vast majority of them are concentrated in the Southeast, where winters are mild. Recent improvements in heat pump technology have made all-electric homes in colder parts of the country more feasible and economical, but adoption has been slow. In 2019, in the northeast, midwest, and west, more than 80 percent of new single-family homes were hooked up to gas.  READ MORE HERE.

What’s Wrong With Gas?

Doctors in British Columbia are trying to get people to give up natural gas.

By Lloyd Alter Published October 16, 2020 11:21AM EDT

Switch It Up is a campaign by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) in the province of British Columbia, Canada, and Clean Energy BC to promote all-electric living and the removal of natural gas from our homes. British Columbia is blessed with clean hydro-electricity, so the local impact of gas is large: “Natural-gas furnaces, water heaters, clothes dryers, fireplaces, and cooking appliances generate a staggering amount of British Columbia’s climate pollution.”

Switch It Up notes that when gas is used in kitchen appliances, it can pose serious health risks for vulnerable children. (Treehugger has previously written about “Piles of Peer-Reviewed Research Show How Bad Cooking With Gas Is for Your Health.“) Switch It Up writes:

“Natural-gas kitchen appliances pollute your home with nitrogen dioxide (NO2), an air contaminant. If you cook with gas and have a child with asthma, your stovetop could be exacerbating their attacks. In 2015, following an extensive review of the science, Health Canada issued new indoor NO2 safe exposure limits. These limits remain among the strictest in the world. Health Canada says that most existing Canadian gas ranges do not meet its long-term NO2 exposure standard.”  READ MORE HERE.

Let’s talk about the climate apocalypse

By John D. Sutter

When the winds of a storm in the Atlantic Ocean reach a certain speed — 39 mph — that storm is given a human name from a list created by the World Meteorological Organization.

This act of naming is no accident. “In general, humans care about other humans, so when we humanize something inanimate, it makes us care about the thing more,” Adam Waytz, a professor at Northwestern University, told National Geographic recently. “Naming things can make them more memorable, easier to recall, and certainly it makes things feel more fluent or easy to process. Given that work shows that easily processed information takes on outsized

processed information takes on outsized importance in our minds, it is likely that naming things can give them importance as well.”

No longer, though, thanks to 2020. This is only the second year the World Meteorological Organization has run out of human names — the Andrews, Marias and Sandys that haunt the communities they attack, for decades — for storms in the Atlantic. (The other time this happened was 2005, which saw Katrina, Rita and other monster storms.)

The backup protocol, in the event that an alphabetical list of 21 human names is exhausted, is to dip into the less accessible Greek alphabet. Witness the 2020 storms that were named Alpha and Beta, and so on.

I bring this up not only because it’s a very 2020 occurrence to run out of hurricane names. This year seems to have been all the things, almost none of them pleasant. I bring it up because unnatural disasters like these Atlantic storms, which we know are supercharged by global warming, are becoming so frequent and so dangerous that they almost have a numbing effect on our collective psyche — the opposite of the intended effect of naming storms in the first place. Rather than Arthur, we have Alpha, which feels detached in a high-school-physics kind of way. We’re at the point where even storm names are becoming alphabet soup.

The fires in Western mountains, the violent windstorms in Iowa cornfields, the storms in the Atlantic. All of these disastrous events once were scarce enough that we typically could keep track of them — at the very least, their names, if not their locations and on-the-ground consequences. How many among us — putting aside those most intimately affected — can name the myriad wildfires burning in California, Oregon and Washington? Perhaps naming those fires for humans, rather than locations, would help. But I fear that as we become increasingly trapped in a revolving door of climate-related disasters, we’ll become numb — more numb than we already are — to the magnitude of what’s actually happening.  READ MORE HERE.

What Is the Carbon Footprint of Transportation?

Driving big cars and flying short distances are the worst.

By Lloyd Alter Published October 13, 2020 12:56PM EDT

The statistician and engineer W. Edwards Deming once said “In God we trust. All others must bring data.” Some of the best data come from the Our World in Data team at Oxford University. Their latest looks at what form of transport has the smallest carbon footprint.

Probably to no one’s surprise, driving a big car is the worst. The data are all from the UK, so we are probably talking Land Rover here. The next worst way to travel is a short domestic flight. “This is because take-off requires much more energy input than the ‘cruise’ phase of a flight. So, for very short flights, this extra fuel needed for take-off is large compared to the more efficient cruise phase of the journey.”

Long-haul flights in the economy section don’t look that bad in terms of carbon per kilometer, but of course, one is traveling a much longer distance. READ MORE HERE.

Has oil peaked?

By Richard Heinberg, originally published by Resilience.org

Last month, the world’s 4th largest oil company—BP—predicted that the world will never again consume as much petroleum as it did last year. So, have we finally hit peak oil? And if so, what does that mean for our economy and our world?

There was fierce controversy in the first decade of this century over claims by petroleum geologists and energy commentators that peak oil was imminent (I was a figure in that debate, writing several books on the topic). Most of those early claims were based on analysis of oil depletion and consequent supply constraints. BP, however, is talking about a peak in oil demand—which, according to its forecast, could fall by more than 10 percent this decade and as much as 50 percent over the next 20 years if the world takes strong action to limit climate change.

Numbers from the US Energy Information Administration’s Monthly Review tell us that world oil production (not counting biofuels and natural gas liquids) actually hit its zenith, so far at least, in November 2018, nearly reaching 84.5 million barrels per day. After that, production rates stalled, then plummeted in response to collapsing demand during the coronavirus pandemic. The current production level stands at about 76 mb/d.  READ MORE HERE.

How affluent people can end their mindless overconsumption

Every energy reduction we can make is a gift to future humans, and all life on Earth.

By Jag Bhalla and Eliza Barclay  Sep 24, 2020, 10:30am EDT

“Highly affluent consumers drive biophysical resource use (a) directly through high consumption, (b) as members of powerful factions of the capitalist class and (c) through driving consumption norms across the population,” the authors write.

Somehow, in all the campaigns to inspire climate action, the onus on well-off people to take the lead on sustainable consumption has been lost. Let’s face it: Rich people are influencers (though you don’t have to be rich to be an influencer). And those same rich or merely affluent are blowing through the world’s carbon budget — the maximum amount of cumulative emissions that can be added to the atmosphere to hit the Paris agreement’s 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming goal.”  READ MORE HERE.

In Defense of Carbon Footprints

Personal Responsibility Matters

By Lloyd Alter Updated August 27, 2020

Most people’s carbon footprints have been pretty small during the pandemic; people are not going out much, they are driving less, and hardly anyone is flying. As I wrote a few months ago, “We’re All Living a 1.5 Degree Lifestyle Now.” But I am still counting every gram of carbon I am responsible for, from what I eat to where I go to how long I am sitting at this computer. There are many who think this is silly and possibly even counterproductive; I have been arguing for years about this with my colleague Sami Grover, who wrote that the whole idea of carbon footprinting was a corporate plot:

This is actually why oil companies and fossil fuel interests are all too happy to talk about climate change – as long as the focus remains on individual responsibility, not collective action. Even the very notion of “personal carbon footprinting” — meaning an effort to accurately quantify the emissions we create when we drive our cars or power our homes — was first popularized by none other than oil giant BP, who launched one of the first personal carbon footprint calculators as part of their “Beyond Petroleum” rebranding effort in the mid-2000s.

Climate Scientist Michael Mann has said much the same thing in an article titled “Lifestyle Changes Aren’t Enough to Save the Planet,” noting: “There is a long history of industry-funded ‘deflection campaigns’ aimed to divert attention from big polluters and place the burden on individuals.”

Now Kate Yoder of Grist has leaped into the fray, in a post titled “Footprint Fantasy: Is it time to forget about your carbon footprint?” In the light of everything that I have been researching and writing, I have to respond with a resounding No.  READ MORE HERE.

What’s causing climate change, in 10 charts

Different ways of looking at the problem.

By David Roberts@drvoxdavid@vox.com  Sep 11, 2020, 3:00pm EDT

With heat waveswildfiresintense hurricanes, and other extreme weather events in the headlines, the ravages of climate change have become undeniable and unavoidable. Who or what is responsible for this?

It seems like a simple enough question, but like so many things about climate change, it gets more complicated the more you look into it. It turns out there are a number of ways of divvying up the blame.

To illustrate the point, I’ve borrowed some charts from a recent research note by the investment firm Morgan Stanley (with permission). They help distinguish who is emitting now from who emitted in the past, who’s emitting more and less over time, and which fuels and activities are driving the change. None of this data is original — it’s all public — but putting these charts in one place can help us wrap our minds around the many different ways that questions about responsibility for climate change can be phrased.

READ MORE HERE.