Maybe some of you also envision frustrating conversations like how I do. (And yes, they’re usually about sustainable agriculture or energy…). Here’s how this hypothetical conversation in my head normally goes….
[Jill (me)]: Hey America! How about more renewable electricity generation? Also, I think we should have some good ol’ carbon policy so that renewables can compete more fairly in the energy market.
[America]: Eh… I don’t know about that. Renewables are expensive!
[Jill]: Renewables used to be quite expensive, but these days, they can be quite competitive depending on the locale and the source! In Michigan, the levelized cost of wind is cheaper than coal!
[America]: Ehh…. well wind turbine energy is only available sometimes. I want electricity all the time.
[Jill]: Wind power could still be backed up by natural gas electricity generation. Incorporation into the grid is doable. The DOE even did a study on this.
[America]: But wind turbines kill birds! Lots of them! We love birds…
[Jill]: *sounds of frustration* Continue reading Birds on the Brain: Tackling the question…are wind turbines avian-friendly?
Job creator? One stop shop to push us over the climate edge? With all Americans in mind? Single fossil fuel interest?
Many differing perspectives surround the Keystone XL Pipeline project, but one thing is clear: it is taking on more significance than the pipeline itself. We are at a crossroads in our energy infrastructure and the “to build or not to build” question of Keystone is at the heart of it. Keystone is the physical and symbolic battleground for constructing our energy future.
But what exactly does this project entail? Why does President Obama need to approve the project? Below you will find the basics of the project, so that whether you will join 350.org, the Sierra Club, and the Hip Hop Caucus at the #ForwardOnClimate rally at DC on February 17th or are taking part in discussions at your work, home or elsewhere, you know the key points for Keystone. Continue reading Xplaining the Keystone XL pipeline battle
- What: The first public informational meeting of the Divest & Invest Campaign at the University of Michigan – to divest all university money from fossil fuel stocks, funds, and direct and indirect investments.
- Who: The Divest & Invest Campaign is a student/faculty/community coalition of: Ann Arbor 350, Students for Clean Energy, Student Sustainability Initiative & most importantly YOU
- When: Monday, February 4th at 6:30 PM
- Where: Room 1040 DANA Bldg, School of Natural Resources & Environment, Univ of Michigan Central Campus
Continue reading Cleaning Up UMich’s Endowment: Divest & Invest Campaign
Updated Friday, January 25, 2013
The biggest environmental rally EVER is happening in D.C. on President’s Day weekend. You definitely want to be there. Even though this kind of thing is physically exhausting, it’s inspiring and way-past-due. Travel and transportation are definitely big carbon guzzlers, but this is Important. So we decided to do some math to help you figure out what’s your best option for getting to the biggest, most important single event of the year. Here goes:
- Drive yourself: About $120 in gas and 895 pounds carbon (see picture below and multiple by 2 for round trip)
This is assuming you drive a Ford Fiesta by yourself. Cost of boredom not included!
- NOT A FEASIBLE OPTION: Ride with us in a 15-passenger van: $45 per person, 115 pounds carbon per person
- Ride with us in a big old charter motorcoach: $100 per person, can’t find a calculator for such a large vehicle
What do you think? Get on the bus.
I thought I’d post the agenda and some discussion points from our meet-ups for people who attended to comment on and for those who didn’t to catch up. This is my first attempt to do so, so I welcome feedback (below in the comments would be great).
Date/Time: Dec 3, 5pm
Attending: Ginny, Larry, Ann, Carolyn, Mal, Ben, Rachel, Jill, Monica
Introductions: Two truths and a lie! Our intro tool. I (monica) did terrible — I accidentally did 1.25 lies, but everyone else was awesome. Some very intriguing facts came out that I want to know more about.
Hurricane Sandy: We watched a local news story about an Occupy Sandy flashmob documentary event and talked about the hurricane and relief efforts by Occupy Sandy. The 24-minute Josh Fox documentary is available here. We’d be happy to “screen” the film if folks would like to watch it together. Let us know below or email us and we’ll set something up. Continue reading Climate MeetUp – December 2012
We Did the Math. Solution = Divestment
Do the Math Tour wraps up, but work is just beginning
350.org has toured around the country spreading the message about terrifying math associated with fossil fuel reserves ready and waiting to be extracted and billowed into our fragile atmosphere. Climate change has an enemy, and that enemy is the fossil fuel industry. This enemy goes by several names, including but not limited to: Exxon-Mobil, Shell, BP, Lukoil Holdings, Gazprom OAO, Chevron Corp, Peabody Coal, Severstal JSC, Anglo American PLC, BHP Billiton, Shanxi Coking Co, and Exxaro Resources.
Continue reading Solution = Divest Now!
When Proposal 3 – the Michigan Renewable Energy Standard – was voted down in the November election, many things came to mind. However, I am not ashamed to say that one of the recurring ideas was a meme in the style of “Courage Wolf”. I thought, “Even though Proposal 3 was defeated, this doesn’t slow us down. We are still going to fight for renewable energy truly no matter what.“ And a meme was born.
But then I thought, memes are EXACTLY what would make these environmental discussions easier and more fun, these small images and text convey a lot of info concisely and with the humble tone of humor. Furthermore, why not use other literary and visual tools?
This idea has evolved into a “toolkit” of visuals, metaphors, and stories that could be easily passed on to you all (via Facebook, our blog, Twitter) and that you could then retell and share easily with your coworkers, friends, and family….. Or it could inspire you to find your own analogies and archetypes…. OR, even more simply, could solidify our understanding of the intersections of people, culture, and environment. Someone asks you about the difference between climate and weather and you are prepared to tackle this complex and abstract topic (See #2 below for some help) with ease (and a view visual and literary tools in tow).
Continue reading Memes, Metaphors, and the Military
Hurricane Sandy brought surprising destruction to millions on our northeast coast, and it is an unmistakable sign of climate change. However, followers of scientists and activists in the climate movement are hardly surprised. This summer, Bill McKibben proposed in an article in Rolling Stone that math also has something to do with our increase in natural disasters.
350 Do the Math. Sold out in Seattle, WA.
Now, McKibben and 350.org are hitting the road, bringing their show to cities around the country–Columbus and Chicago in our neck of the woods–and it’s all about math! Doesn’t that sound exciting? Well, maybe you’re not a big fan of math, but it’s actually just about a few big numbers regarding climate change. Continue reading Connecting Nationally: 350 Do the Math Tour
I may be demanding too much, but when I settle down to watch some Detroit Tigers baseball with my roommate – a rarity to begin with – I’d rather not have to deal with absurd political ads. How can you even begin to sum up the complexity of Proposal 3, the Michigan Renewable Energy Standard calling for 25% renewable energy by 2025, in a single 1-minute ad?
Proposal 3 or “25×25″ calls for 25% renewable energy by 2025 in Michigan
You can’t just talk about finite fossil fuels, you can’t just talk about human or environmental health and mercury emissions from coal power plants, you can’t just talk about climate change – it’s about all of this and much more.
One ad in particular funded by the main campaign against Proposal 3 – Clean Affordable Renewable Energy (C.A.R.E.) – caught my eye recently.
The ad states that the campaign is being funded by out of state interests – with imagery of people on a beach in the background (apparently in California?) – this really left me puzzled – as the proposal has been a grassroots ballot initiative from the start. I observe people everyday fighting for it…. I see small businesses rallying around it. Who are these supposed out-of-staters?
Continue reading Proposal 3 Countdown:Recipe for democracy didn’t call for big (fossil fuel) money