Living Lightly On the Earth 2010 Alabama Sierra Club Retreat

Hosted by Coosa Valley Group
Desoto State Park Nov. 5 – 7
Exciting programs and activities! Some meals will feature local foods.
Retreat registration and lodging will be Separate – watch mail & website Alabamasierraclub.org for form.
Limited Space – make lodging reservations by calling 1-800-568-8840 Double rooms $76/night Chalets and cabins (sleep 4) $128/night Camping also available.

To Members of the Alabama Sierra Club:

As you may know, environmental author Bill McKibben's 350.org is taking the lead in putting on a variety of events (4174 identified as of September 26) around Planet Earth on Oct. 10, 2010. A major purpose of this is to call attention to climate change.

In a recent conference call with energy activists, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune stated the Club is cooperating with 350.org in this effort. According to the website (350.org) there is only one event reported in Alabama. There is still time to plan, to participate, and to raise the level of awareness in climate change.

In the Auburn-Opelika area, some of us are planning to plant one or more trees at a public school. One person suggested building a few birdhouses out of recycled lumber. We will have a public screening of a National Geographic DVD titled Glacier Meltdown, item number 1085198. (Order through the Geographic's website or dial 1-800-437-5521.)

Soon, we will contact the local news media, city and county governments, and others to make them aware of the events and invite their participation. We'll write the story and furnish photos -- so the local newspapers will be more likely to provide publicity.

We hope the Alabama Chapter will work with allies, individuals and organizations, around the state to create additional interest in this issue. Thanks.

David Newton, Chair
Legislative/State Government Committee & Publicity Committee
Alabama Chapter of the Sierra Club
(H) 334-821-9817


October 2010

The U.S. Senate Fiddles While the Earth Begins to Burn

While the dysfunctional U.S. Senate does nothing about climate change, with some members still apparently believing it is a hoax, other members and millions outside the senate are very concerned. For example, the quote from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) offers insight into the position of this agency of the United Nations.

"Several regions of the world are currently [August 11] coping with severe weather-related events: flash floods and widespread flooding in large parts of Asia and parts of Central Europe while other regions are also affected: by heat wave and drought in Russian Federation, mudslides in China and severe droughts in sub-Saharan Africa. While a longer time range is required to establish whether an individual event is attributable to climate change, the sequence of current events matches IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] projections of more frequent and more intense extreme weather events due to global warming. The Monsoon activity in Pakistan and other countries in South-East Asia is aggravated by the la Niña phenomenon, now well established in the Pacific Ocean."
Source: http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/news/extremeweathersequence_en.html (Read Sept. 3, 2010)

Earlier, on December 8, 2009, the WMO reported: "The decade of the 2000s (2000–2009) was warmer than the decade spanning the 1990s (1990–1999), which in turn was warmer than the 1980s (1980–1989)."

Even though the science of climate change is sound and Planet Earth is getting hotter, it is doubtful the U.S. Senate will enact, this year, a comprehensive measure to limit green house gases (GHGs). Voters are not sufficiently focused on the climate, but are much more concerned with the economy. As a result, the senate will also be more concerned with the economy, and doing the bidding of their campaign funders, the fossil fuel part of which is grandly revealed at www.dirtyenergymoney.com.

In spite of this, the Sierra Club is cooperating with 350.org, founded by author Bill McKibben and friends "to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet." With Sierra Club's cooperation, the next major event of 350.org is the 10/10/10 Global Work Party "to complete a sustainability project that will benefit your whole community, and help make carbon reduction tangible – and fun – for everyone! For ideas, please visit www.350.org/workparty-ideas."

If federal policy makers are to act to reduce GHGs to the levels required, citizens must force them to do so. We must become more engaged. It simply will not happen without overwhelming political action by citizens.

What's your plan to ACT?

Submitted by David Newton