Elemental (the film) is coming to the Michigan Theater — one day only!


Come see Elemental: The Film with us at the Michigan Theater next Tuesday! The film tells the story of three individuals as they work to confront the most pressing ecological challenges of our time.

We’re excited to be partnering with A2Share and the Graham Sustainability Institute to bring the film to Ann Arbor and have a panel discussion with local activists and experts after the film.|

Questions? Let us know!

Let’s get started on an Ann Arbor chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby!


Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose goal is to speed the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy by pushing for a consumer-friendly tax on carbon.  It is a relatively young, fast-growing organization, and there isn’t a chapter in Ann Arbor — yet!

If you are interested in helping to get a chapter of CCL started in Ann Arbor, email Ginny at annarbor@citizensclimatelobby.org.

For more information about Citizens Climate Lobby, visit http://citizensclimatelobby.org/  They also hold a  weekly introductory telephone conference call which gives a great introduction to the organization — you can sign up for this on the website.

Can local action change the climate? Sure, but only if we get started

Satellite image showing entry of the Polar Vortex into the northern US. Flickr/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Whew! How about this crazy weather?

The scientists tell us that extreme weather is one of the consequences of climate change, and we’ve sure seen plenty of that around here the last several months.

That’s one reason we’ve been pushing for local action address climate change. Local action is critical to global progress on climate pollution — because cities like Ann Arbor are at the forefront of the causes and effects of climate risks that will become more frequent and severe over time.

In particular, we’ve spent the last several months organizing a plan to implement Ann Arbor’s Climate Action Plan (CAP). The CAP is an ambitious plan with 87 different steps we can take to address climate change at the community level.

Given the lack of momentum at the state and federal levels, cities can’t wait to take action. That’s why we’re launching a Community Climate Partnership to get started fixing the world, right here at home.

We look forward to keeping you posted on the progress — and on ways you can engage to help us get to our goal.

Happy 2014!

This Saturday: Forest Heroes Halloween Party!

The Michigan Forest Heroes campaign has hit the ground running and are continuing to put pressure on Kellogg’s cereal company, which buys palm oil from Wilmar International (the company that controls almost half of the palm oil industry worldwide).

This weekend, Ann Arbor’s Forest Heroes — Eva and Katie — would like to invite you and your family to their Halloween Party:

All ages welcome for games, tiger-friendly goodies, and action! 

Forest Heroes hit downtown Grand Rapids! Photo: mlive

Saturday, October 26th, 10am – 1 pm
Gallup Park
3000 Fuller Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105

It’s almost Halloween, and the Forest Heroes of Ann Arbor invite you to join us for a family-fun Halloween celebration! There will be games, tiger-friendly candy giveaways, fun tiger costumes, kids craft activities and tables set up to take immediate actions like calling John Bryant and taking pictures to urge Kellogg’s to be a Forest Hero too! It should be a lot of fun, and we need as many people there as possible to make sure Kellogg’s hears us loud and clear! Can you and your friends or family make it to the party on Saturday? It’s a free event, but please take 30 seconds to RSVP here today!

Kellogg’s is a Michigan institution and Tony the Tiger is an American icon, but they’ve recently partnered with Wilmar International, ranked the least sustainable corporation in the entire world. Wilmar’spalm oil production destroys the homes of endangered species like Sumatran tigers, elephants, orangutans and other wildlife, and is a top driver of climate change.

We envision a world where rainforests are protected and cherished; not destroyed for profit. The good news is that Kellogg’s has the power to influence Wilmar to change its practices to preserve the rainforest, but they will only act if they see that their neighbors here in Michigan want them to do the right thing. This Saturday, we have an amazing opportunity to make a real impact on this critical global effort – and to have some fun while doing it!

Join us with your family and friends this Saturday for the Forest Heroes Halloween Party to help us protect our precious rainforests! Please take 30 seconds to RSVP here today!

Climate meet-up is this Wednesday, 9/25, at 6pm


At this month’s climate meet-up, we’ll learn about Partners for Transit, a coalition of folks working to improve transit in the county.

We’ll also have updates on issues we’ve been working on — divestment, fracking, 350.org’s Draw the Line event, and more. RSVP here.

Other agenda items? Let us know!

In the meantime, check out this inspiring slideshow from this weekend’s #drawtheline events:

Detroit Draws the Line this Saturday — Let’s coordinate rides!

This Saturday, September 21st, we’ll be joining with allies in Detroit to draw a line against tar sands and dirty energy. Across the country, 200 cities are participating in this national day of action called “Draw the Line.”

draw the lineDetails –> Detroit Draws the Line:
Folks will gather at 1pm at Kemeny Parkat 2260 S. Fort Street to connect with each other, hear from some local artists. The group will then march a few blocks to the Marathon refinery to deliver our demands — drawing a line (by lining up) on the public sidewalk in front of the oil refinery. Individuals will be invited to share their stories and vision for a future that works for all of us.If you’re able to make it, let’s coordinate! Saturday is also the Tour DeTroit and parking could be difficult so carpooling is optimal. If you’re interested in carpooling, you can enter your information here OR let me know – email works well and you can call/text 734-707-1350.

The event starts at 1pm so we would like to leave Ann Arbor by 11:45am in case we need to find parking.

Saturday morning Farmers Market activism:
If you’re interested in participating in some local activism on Saturday morning:

Rainforest Action Network at Ann Arbor Farmers Market

Saturday, September 21st, 7am-12pm

315 Detroit St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Come to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market on Saturday morning, where Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and Forest Heroes are raising awareness about the problem with palm oil and collecting photo petitions. Rainforest Action Network staff will then be joining Ann Arbor 350 for the big Draw the Line Action in Detroit!

Last week Rainforest Action Network launched an ambitious new campaign called The Last Stand of the Orangutan which aims to remove “Conflict Palm Oil” from America’s snack foods by convincing major food companies to implement responsible palm oil policies that do not contribute to rainforest destruction, climate change, species extinction, and human rights abuses. RAN is traveling across the US with our The Power Is In Your Palm Tour, visiting the hometowns of many of the “Snack Food 20” companies to spread the word about our exciting new campaign. The Snack Food 20, as we’re calling them, use conflict palm oil in their snack food products and control some of America’s most well known household brands including Pepsi, Heinz, Hershey’s, Kraft and  Smuckers.


Learn more and RSVP for the event at melanieb@ran.org.

Other Draw the Line events:
You can also find other “Draw the Line” events by searching here:http://act.350.org/event/draw_the_line/search/

You’ll want to add these events to your calendar

Erb Speaker Series:  Peter Sinclair ‘Communicating Climate Science in the Disinformation Era’

peter-sinclairWednesday, Sept. 11, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Room 2230
701 Tappan Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Free and open to the public.

A primary obstacle climate scientists face in educating the public and decision makers on the realities of global warming, is the well-funded, well-organized and coordinated effort of climate denialists on the internet. One of the most effective social media initiatives to push back against climate denialism has been Peter Sinclair’s “Climate Denial Crock of the Week,” the YouTube series that confronts and calls out climate deniers, deftly dissecting fossil funded disinformation and propaganda.

Sinclair will be receive the Ecology Center’s Herbert L. Munzel Award for Environmental Activism next month at the Fall Dinner featuring James Hansen.

Peter Sinclair is now producing a companion series, “This is Not Cool,” through the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media.

Click here for full event listing

Climate Meet-up featuring Partners for Transit – Sept. 25 at 6pm


At this month’s climate meet-up, we’ll learn about Partners for Transit, a coalition of folks working to improve transit in the county.

We’ll also have updates on issues we’ve been working on — divestment, fracking, 350.org’s Draw the Line event, and more. RSVP here.

Other agenda items? Let us know!

draw the line350.org’s ‘Draw the Line’ day of action Sept. 21

For this month’s 350.org day of action, “Draw the Line”, we’re helping Detroit draw the line against tar sands. Our partners in this effort, D-CATS (Detroit Coalition Against Tar Sands), are coordinating logistics and we’re organizing carpools.

The details are still being figured out, but will be posted here once they become final.

If you’re able to drive, please post your ride here to give us a head start on coordinating carpools. Know a better carpool-coordinating tool? Let us know!

Renowned climate scientist James Hansen will headline Ecology Center’s annual dinner


James Hansen, the scientist whose testimony before Congress in 1988 first raised the threat of global warming to national and international attention, will be the keynote speaker at the Ecology Center’s fall dinner on Thursday, Oct. 3 at the Michigan League in Ann Arbor. Tickets are available online.

Read more about James Hansen at aa350.org >>

The Ecology Center brings James Hansen to Ann Arbor

James Hansen photo from The Guardian

When the former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies warns that our current climate change policy isn’t protecting our planet, it’s probably a good idea to listen. In fact, it’s imperative. James Hansen is considered one of the world’s top climate scientists and has spent his lifetime not only observing, but teaching students how the Earth’s environment works at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

For these reasons and more, the Ecology Center is excited to bring James Hansen to Ann Arbor as the keynote speaker for our fundraiser this October (click here for tickets). Hansen is helping shape an intelligent response to climate change with scientific understanding. Earlier this year, he received the Ridenhour Courage Prize for his continued advocacy despite a backlash from the government and scientific communities.

At the start of his career, Hansen published research connecting human activity with changes in the climate. In 1988, he testified to Congress that these altered conditions will be dangerous for life on Earth, and did the same in 2001 as a scientist on the Bush administration’s Environmental Task Force. These early warnings have become our present problems. The Earth is experiencing greater and more frequent storms, floods, and droughts. And we’re approaching the point where our impact may be irreversible.

That’s why James Hansen has taken to the street to fight for a healthy world, especially against the threat of our continued reliance on carbon-producing energy sources. Over the last few years, he’s partnered with Bill McKibben of 350.org to pressure the government to stop subsidizing fossil fuel companies, reject the Keystone XL Pipeline, and make carbon-producing industries pay for their cost to society. Ensuring a healthy world requires public education and organization. We hope you’ll join us in learning from James Hansen’s experiences this fall.

NOTE: Limited free/discounted tickets are available. If you’re interested in volunteering for 5 hours in exchange for a ticket (4-7pm and 9-11pm — i.e., not during the dinner and speech), contact Jenn Ketz.

Hear from an A2 student activist who was part of the campaign to remove palm oil from Girl Scout cookies!

Madison Vorva, left, and Rhiannon Tomtishen also took their campaign against the use of palm oil to the White House. Via http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/palm-oil-and-scout-cookies-the-battle-drags-on/

Did you know that in 2012, two high school juniors from Ann Arbor won the first-ever United Nations Forest Heroes Award for their campaign to remove Palm Oil from Girls Scout cookies?

These two activists – Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen — have succeeded in winning pledges from GSUSA to pledge to limit the use of palm oil to cases where there was “no alternative.” The long-time Girl Scouts partnered with Rain Forest Action and worked for over 5 years to make the cookies “rainforest-safe”.

One of the students, Rhiannon Tomtishen, will share her experiences and give an update on the campaign at Rainforest Action Network’s Forest Heroes Campaign Kick-off Meeting on September 18th at the Michigan Union.

Here are the event details:

Wednesday September 18, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Michigan Union
: 530 South State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Room D, 3rd Floor

Refreshments provided: RSVP here

The most recent campaign to protect forests from bulldozing to harvest palm oil focuses on the Michigan-based cereal company Kellogg’s – because the company is doing business Wilmar International. Wilmar International has been ranked the least sustainable corporation in the world – worse than Exxon Mobil and Monsanto — in part because they bulldoze rainforests to harvest palm oil.

The resulting deforestation caused by the palm oil, which is then used in Kelloggs’ cereals and snacks, destroys the homes of endangered species like Sumatran tigers, orangutans and other wildlife, and is a top driver of climate change.

We envision a world where rainforests are protected, not destroyed for profit. Changing the practices of companies like Wilmar will go a long way toward achieving that goal. The good news is that Kellogg’s can demand sustainable palm oil, but they’ll only act if they see that their neighbors here in Michigan want them to do the right thing.

Come to the Forest Heroes Campaign Kick-off Meeting to learn how you can get involved and move Kellogg’s to protect the rainforest!

You can RSVP here, and are encouraged to bring a friend!

To learn more about how you can get involved before the meeting, please contact Eva Resnick-Day at eva@greencorps.org

Needed: Boots on the ground (for transit)

parters for transit - bus stop photos

We’re proud to be supporters of Partners for Transit (P4T) — a coalition dedicated to the improvement of transit, in the belief that better transit means better communities. P4T works to expand and improve the transit system so that more people can use it and more often.

There’s some argument over who should pay for what when it comes to transit improvements and we think that’s because people don’t get how important transit is. We’re looking for folks to help us spread the word that transit…

  • …helps build vibrant, livable communities by connecting people to educational, cultural, and recreational destinations such as schools, museums, malls, and concert halls

  • …makes traveling more efficient for everyone, bus riders and drivers alike, by alleviating traffic congestion and reducing travel delays

  • …fuels local economic activity by creating new jobs, attracting commerce and investment, and enhancing business profits and productivity

  • …saves costs for households and businesses and expands the workforce and customer base available to local businesses, promoting regional prosperity

  • and so much more!


Will you help?

P4T is looking for folks to hang out on buses and bus stops to engage riders and table at local events so community members know how important transit is. We’re open to other skill sets and interests too!

You can attend a volunteer orientation on Thursday, August 15th or contact Martha, Ecology Center’s transit campaign organizer, to get plugged in.