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”.


Please take a look at the VCN web site at: visit VCN

Just a thought:

Maybe Covid 19 is a reminder from Nature about who is really in charge on this planet and that we should show some respect.



August 22nd, 8 am to 12 pm

On Saturday, August 22nd Sustainable Roanoke and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke will hold another recycling event. As last month, Sustainable Roanoke will accept items for recycling that aren’t usually accepted elsewhere. List of recyclable items here.


Microsoft’s astonishing climate change goals, explained

The company plans to wipe out all of its carbon emissions — and keep going.

By David  Jul 30, 2020, 10:10am EDT

You could be forgiven for missing it, given the surplus of news, but the past few years have seen a profusion of climate change commitments from big tech companies. FacebookGoogleAmazon, and Apple have all promised to shrink their climate footprints, each attempting to outdo the others.

Climate advocates are naturally leery of these commitments. Those who lived through the faddish interest in climate in the mid-2000s, around the release of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, will recall the endless torrent of breathless corporate announcements. NBC had a “green week,” big corporations bought cheap offsets to become “carbon neutral,” automakers sold SUVs with vegan leather seats, and dozens of companies sold “sustainable” coffee cups, T-shirts, and tchotchkes. It was a greenwashing parade.

But times really have changed. The steps tech companies are taking these days represent a sea change in engagement. Climate change has moved out of the public relations department, into the C-suite, and down to the shop floor.

To explore the strength of recent corporate climate commitments (and their limits), I want to focus in on Microsoft, a widely acknowledged leader in the field. Earlier this year, it committed not just to reducing its emissions but to going carbon negative, wiping out all the carbon the company and its suppliers have emitted since its founding in 1975. In recent weeks, Microsoft has released a flurry of announcements updating its progress, so now seems like a propitious time to take a close look.  READ MORE HERE.

Scientists have ruled out the worst-case climate scenario — and the best one too

There’s a range of possibilities for how much the earth will warm. A new study narrows the likely window by the largest margin in decades.

By Umair Irfan  Jul 31, 2020, 10:37am EDT

The basic mechanics of climate change are simple: Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps heat. More carbon dioxide means more heat is trapped across the Earth, causing it to warm up.

But scaled up over the entire planet, these physical processes interact in a myriad of complex and sometimes unexpected ways. The Arctic reflects sunlight back into space. Clouds in some circumstances trap heat, and in others, they cool the region beneath them. Forests store a big chunk of carbon, but they’re being burned, cut down, and dying off from warming. The ocean soaks up a huge amount of heat and carbon dioxide, but it can’t absorb it forever. And these effects are not all linear; some may taper off as the planet heats up while others may suddenly accelerate.

That’s why scientists for decades have struggled to answer the basic question of how much the earth will eventually warm up for a given amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The term for this parameter is equilibrium climate sensitivity. The classic way of framing it is asking what happens if we double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere compared to levels prior to the industrial revolution. Back in the 1800s, it was about 280 parts per million. Today, it’s about 413 ppm. Some estimate it could reach 560 ppm as soon as 2050 without major mitigation steps.  Read more here.


This country regrew its lost forest. Can the world learn from it?

By Nell Lewis, CNN

Pedro Garcia nurses a plate of seeds on his lap. “This is my legacy,” he says, tenderly picking up the seed of a mountain almond — a tree which can grow up to 60 meters (200 feet) tall and is a favored nesting spot for the endangered great green macaw.

Aged 57, Garcia has worked on his seven-hectare plot, El Jicaro, in northeast Costa Rica’s Sarapiqui region for 36 years. In his hands it has turned from bare cattle pasture to a densely forested haven for wildlife, where the scent of vanilla wafts through the air and hummingbirds buzz between tropical fruit trees.

Garcia has restored the forest — home to hundreds of species from sloths to strawberry poison-dart frogs — while also cultivating agricultural products from pepper vines to organic pineapple.

Read more here.

Why the next president should establish a Department of Climate

The executive branch is not yet equipped to respond to climate change.

By Allison Crimmins  Jul 21, 2020, 11:30am EDT

It’s been a big month for new climate policy ideas in the US, with a flurry of plans out, brimming with hundreds of policy recommendations. The presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden campaign’s task force on climate change, for example, released new proposals on July 14 for reducing fossil fuel use, aiming to establish a national clean energy standard and rectify climate injustices.

Earlier in July, the campaign also convened a new Climate Engagement Advisory Council to mobilize more people in the fight against climate change and systemic racism. And in late June, the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming put out a 500-plus-page Climate Crisis Action Plan. But so far, none of these plans has included a key action that would strengthen the government’s ability to make these policies a reality: the creation of a new, Cabinet-level Department of Climate.

To give these new proposals a fighting chance, the committees and councils must recognize that the executive branch is not yet properly aligned to respond to climate change, a complex problem of unmatched size and duration.  Read more here.

“If you can’t stand the heat…get off the planet”!

“As I sit in 90-degree heat typical of Washington, D.C. in midsummer and a so-called “heat dome” hovers over much of the United States, I am reading the following:

At 11 or 12 degrees [Fahrenheit] of [global] warming, more than half the world’s population, as distributed today, would die of direct heat. Things almost certainly won’t get that hot this century, though models of unabated emissions do bring us that far eventually.

That implies one of two things: A lot of migration or a lot fewer people. This second thought is suggested in the observation above, but few people want to come out and say it: What we are doing to the climate, to the air, to the water and to the soil, and thus to ourselves, on our current trajectory implies a dramatic decline in human population as multiple crises converge and our ability to cope with them dwindles”. Read more here.