Author Archives: olyclimate

About olyclimate

We seek a safe, prosperous, sustainable future for residents of the North Olympic Peninsula by addressing climate change.

Interrupting the bad news with kindness

A Democrat and a Republican were on a plane

It sounds like a set up to a political joke, doesn’t it?

It’s actually real. On a recent four hour-flight to Chicago, my seatmate and I enjoyed something that has become rare in these times: a civil exchange of ideas and a surprising consensus. He was from rural Oregon, a gun owner, and a Republican. I’m from “the valley,” a moderate Democrat, and very concerned about gun violence in our country.

Had we followed the script, we might have eyed each other suspiciously, muttered insults under our breath, and tuned each other out with the in-flight entertainment. Instead, he asked about my work, and I shared how I created the Americans of Conscience Checklist.

“Oh, wow,” he said. “That sounds really great.”

“It’s non-partisan and meant to engage all people in their democracy by speaking up for our shared values. I really think our nation needs more listening and better collaboration.” He looked thoughtful and then nodded in agreement.

Taking a courageous risk

When I asked his views on the increasing gun violence, he surprised me by saying, “I believe people should have to get trained and pass a test—just like a drivers license—before they can own a firearm. There’s no good reason to oppose this.”

“I’m surprised,” I confessed. “That’s not what I expected you to say.” He grinned at me.

We’d found common ground. Our conversation was a humbling reminder that our neighbors—red, blue, and green Americans—are more than the labels we put on them. I could have smugly written him off with misinformed biases, but he wasn’t a caricature. He was a real person with values, cares, and concerns just like me. In listening deeply, I came to understand this person and appreciate his thoughtful, nuanced views.

As we landed, I thanked him for sharing so openly with me about a contentious issue. He thanked me for being curious and listening despite our differences. We agreed our country would be better if everyone showed respect to one another, even when we don’t see eye to eye. I got off the plane feeling more hopeful than I had in weeks.

The value of choosing kindness, even now

When I started the AoC Checklist three years ago, my vision was—and remains—to create a kind and thriving nation. This worthwhile effort can take many forms and many small steps to achieve, but it’s fundamentally grounded in hope.

Despite evidence to the contrary, kindness is part of the fabric of our nation. You need only peruse our Good News section in each issue to find generous souls and organizations doing good because they can. Although we may temporarily forget this kinder nature in the rising tide of hate and fear, it’s still there waiting when tragedy strikes and we decide to be part of the solutions. Kindness isn’t magic; it comes down to making a choice.

Thriving means much more than having a good leader in the White House. In a thriving nation, every person enjoys dignity and respect, health and happiness. That’s why, week after week, our Checklist offers ways for all Americans—red and blue and green—to steer our nation in the direction of a healthy democracy that represents all its people. Every time you take an action, you help create this.

The future is up to us

Feeling discouraged is normal. Our team feels it. I feel it. Everywhere you look there is so much to fix, the project seems impossible. If you notice this discouragement too, here’s a reminder that if a conservative and liberal on a plane can talk civilly, respectfully, and meaningfully about a hard topic (and come out smiling!), maybe all isn’t lost just yet.

That’s why Americans of Conscience Checklist is still here, keeping the flame lit and held high. We believe that a brighter future is possible, no matter how bleak things may seem at the moment. It won’t be easy create the kind and thriving nation of our vision. It will take listening and advocacy. It will require tenacity and generosity. And. Every time you and I show up with courage and compassion—every time we take small but meaningful actions, we say YES to that brighter, flourishing future.

We create that vision by choosing it. If you need a place to start (or re-start), join us in creating a kinder, thriving nation this week.

Warmly,
Jen Hofmann
Americans of Conscience Checklist, creator and editor

Hot Off the Wire — 1/17/2020

Opinion

League of Women Voters of Washington
2020 Legislative Session Expectations

Rewriting the Rules about the Environment, Energy, and Agriculture
How the bills undermine protections for our environment
— The Center for Media and Democracy

Solutions

Week 8: Celebrate
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy
by getting out and serving others

Your Guide to Climate Action — The Audubon Society

Recycling in the United States is broken
So, how can we fix the system?
–New York Times – Climate Fwd:

Regional Actions

Youth Climate Lobby Day

Join us in Olympia, WA on Friday, January 24th
to demand that our legislators act boldly on climate

Become a Legislative Session Activist
Sign up to take action this Legislative Session

— Washington Environmental Council and Washington Conservation Voters

Help the 350 WA Civic Action Team lobby for Climate Action — 350.org

Contact your legislators today and tell them that Washington State must lead on climate
Climate Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy

We are standing for mother Earth and humanity, especially for the youth inheriting this future.

Join us on #FridaysForFuture
Noon to 1:00 at the Port Angeles downtown fountain

Governor Inslee wants your input!

Restore salmon, save orca, & strengthen communities
–The Sierra Club

— Washington Environmental Council

High School and Middle School Summit 2020
Application DEADLINE JANUARY 16TH AT 11:59PM

We are not #GenZ. Instead, we are #GenGND.
Not a student but want to support this summit?

National Actions

Please make your voice heard on Capitol Hill now
Help save the Tongass National Forest before it’s too late — NRDC Action Fund

Greenpeace All-Volunteer Webinar Party recording is now available.

Don’t let Trump silence the American people and embolden polluters
— NRDC Action Fund

Add your name now to make Exxon pay for Australia — Greenpeace

Sign the Petition to World Leaders:
The Time for Action on Climate Change is Now

You want to Solve the Climate Crisis
Learn how to become a Climate Reality Leader

Las Vegas, Nevada – March 8-10

Wall Street is Financing Climate Destruction
New effort is challenging Chase Bank

Social Media Toolkit for sample posts & Tweets

Local/Regional News

About the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits FundPortland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF)

The Fund was created by a local ballot measure that is anticipated to bring $54 – $71 million in new revenue for green jobs and healthy homes for all Portlanders

Sightline’s Latest Original Work

National/International News

Fossils Brace for Scrutiny as Carney Warns Half of World Oil Reserves Could Become Worthless as Stranded Assets — The Energy Mix

“Stop the Money Pipeline”:
150 Arrested at Protests Exposing Wall Street’s Link to Climate Crisis
— DemocracyNow! video

What’s Up with Banking and Climate

Climate in Politics

Interrupting the bad news with kindness

A Democrat and a Republican were on a plane
It sounds like a set-up to a political joke, doesn’t it?
It’s actually real.

Inspiration

Carbon dioxide: nature’s tiny solar panels
more to come

Let’s go back to the basics of the science behind climate change.

Nan Bray is an oceanographer and climate scientist who has farmed superfine merinos near Oatlands since 2000

Category:
Burning Worlds

Help the 350 WA Civic Action Team

Day 3 of the legislative session and here is what we have done together already!

27: Climate calls made to legislators!
25: Climate emails sent to legislators!
52: total legislator contacts made by the Civic Action Team in 2020!

We’re thrilled to be off-and-running on the new session. And we’re thrilled to now be emailing you from our new 350WA.org listserv! It works the same as the old one, and now we’re all on one statewide list! Exciting! 

Here are three bills that are getting an early start in what will be a fast moving session:

Community Solar, HB 2248
This bill expands access to renewable energy through community solar projects, with 40% of each project going to low-to-moderate income participants. What’s more, utilities should be on board because it helps them meet clean energy requirements passed last spring.

It’s getting a hearing in the House Environment Committee on Thursday, January 16 at 8:00am.

Five members of the Committee are already co-sponsors of the bill, so let’s rally the support of  four of their colleagues:
Rep. Matt Boehnke (R-8) – (360) 786-7986 – Matt.Boehnke@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Keith Goehner (R-12) – (360) 786-7954 – Keith.Goehner@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Jared Mead (D-44) – (360) 786-7892 –  Jared.Mead@leg.wa.gov
Rep. June Robinson (D-38) – (360) 786-7864 – June.Robinson@leg.wa.gov

Script: Hi, I’m calling to ask Rep. [Name] to support HB 2248, Community Solar. I really like how it’s extends the benefits of renewable energy to people who can’t afford to put solar panels on their house, or who live in apartments. And it has bipartisan support, which is refreshing! Will Rep. [Name] be supporting it?

Next, here are two bills coming up for votes on the Senate floor that will send them to their first  House committee:
Zero Emission Vehicles,SB 5811

This bill will expand the selection of electric vehicles in Washington state, which also helps the used EV market. It’s coming up for a floor vote in the Senate, so this is easy: to support this bill, click here, verify your address and ask your Senator to support the bill with a Yes vote.

Sustainable Farms and Fuels,SB 5947
This bill creates a grant program to support sustainable farming practices that sequester carbon. We like it because it addresses climate change, supports rural communities, and strengthens our state’s farming economy. To support this bill,  click here, verify your address and ask your Senator to support the bill with a Yes vote.

Thanks everyone! This session, we are recording our collective impact.

Can you please take a moment to let us know what actions you took?
— David, Katherine and Selden for the 350 WA Civic Action Team

PS: Check out the new 350 WA website: www.350wa.org


Hot Off the Wire — 1/10/2020

Opinion

LETTER: Endorses local contributions to climate knowledge
— Peninsula Daily News – Friday, January 3, 2020

My Journey to Radical Environmentalism
It’s never too late to take action aimed at
protecting our planet.
By Charles M. Blow, Opinion Columnist,
— New York Times

In agreement with a comment on the article:
@A Reader in Hampstead I can’t agree more with this writer, Charles.
There’s nothing more important right now than pushing our political leaders to take massive action, now–or to get rid of them and elect new ones. No amount of individual lifestyle change is going to accomplish the scale of change we need, at the speed we need.
See Al Gore’s commentary in your own paper:

The Climate Crisis Is the Battle of Our Time, and We Can Win
Ed Chadd | Port Angeles, WA

Names and Locations of the Top 100 People Killing the Planet
— Films for Action

“The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” – Utah Phillips

Solutions

Week 7: Recycle snack wrappers in a Subaru Loves the Earth TerraCycle bin at your local REI
Take part: Jan. 12–18, 2020

The Impact of Fossil Fuels in Buildings
A Fact Base

The first step in solving this problem is understanding it

Cleaner fuels for WA and our climate
A ClimateCast look back at 2019

Regional Actions

We are standing for mother Earth and humanity, especially for the youth inheriting this future.

Join us on #FridaysForFuture
Noon to 1:00 at the Port Angeles downtown fountain

Sign the petition: I support Greta Thunberg, and other youth climate activists — Daily Kos

The 9th Annual Greenpeace Action Camp is April 9th-14th, 2020, Near Cazadero, California
Accepting applications until January 31st, 2020

National Actions

I can volunteer to work on the scorecard

I can’t volunteer now, but please let me know about additional volunteer opportunities later on this year

Learn to Defend Voting Rights
and Environmental Justice

WEBINAR – Wednesday, January 15 – Noon-1:00 PT


Take action for the climate on January 28th!
Greenpeace activists across the country will host textbank parties in their communities to contact voters in their state about the upcoming election

Join the movement to get rid of the Electoral College — Climate Hawks Vote

Tell Automakers to End the Attack on Clean Car Standards! — Sierra Club

Local/Regional News

No Time To Waste: The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC and Implications for Washington State

Related consequences for Washington state

Contact your legislators today:
Ask them to take action for climate this session!

  • Climate Pollution Limits (HB 2311)
  • Clean Fuel Standard (HB 1110)
  • Transportation For All
  • Zero Emission Vehicles (SB 5811)
  • Washington Conservation Voters

Fall 2019 Clean & Affordable
Energy Conference Digest

Energy leaders discuss challenges and opportunities as the Northwest transitions to a clean energy system

National/International News

Investment Bankers Are Now Waging the War on Coal
As UN climate negotiations faltered, bankers on Wall Street brought good news for the climate. What’s even happening? — The Atlantic

Driving Electric Is Cleaner Than Ever

Big improvements in lowering global warming emissions by driving plug-in electric cars, thanks to cleaner electricity generation

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is new-york-times-climate.jpg

One thing you can do:
Help to preserve forests


— The New York Times

Climate in Politics

Bernie Sanders’s Latest Endorsement: Sunrise Movement — New York Times

Ed Fallon endorses Tom Steyer for President — The Fallon Forum
” Steyer’s record on climate is second to none”

Trump Rule Would Exclude Climate Change in Infrastructure Planning
— New York Times

Inspiration

Nan Bray is an oceanographer and climate scientist
who has farmed superfine merinos near Oatlands since 2000

Carbon dioxide:
Nature’s tiny solar panels

Note to her readers: This is the first in a series I’ve written on climate change for our local monthly newspaper. I wanted to go back to the basics of the science behind climate change.
I’ll post them in coming Yarns.
Cheers, Nan

Grassroots Rising:
A Call to Action on Climate, Farming, Food, and a Green New Deal

“This is a book that should be in the hands of every activist working on food and farming, climate change, and the Green New Deal.”


Category:
Burning Worlds

Grassroots Rising: A Call to Action on Climate, Farming, Food, and a Green New Deal

Grassroots Rising by Ronnie Cummins, founder and director of the Organic Consumers Association, will be available January 28. This is one of the most important books Chelsea Green has published, and we are offering activists and organizations the special discounts listed below.

$17.95 paperback – 208 pages – ISBN 9781603589758 – Available January 28, 2020

“This is a book that should be in the hands of every activist working on food and farming, climate change, and the Green New Deal.”
—Vandana Shiva, scientist, environmentalist, social activist; author of Earth Democracy, Soil Not Oil, and Stolen Harvest

Continue reading

Yarns From the Farm – Climate Basics

Nan Bray is an oceanographer and climate scientist
who has farmed superfine merinos near Oatlands since 2000

Note to my readers: This is the first in a series I’ve written on climate change for our local monthly newspaper. I wanted to go back to the basics of the science behind climate change.
I’ll post them in coming Yarns.
Cheers, Nan



Leading Australia’s
Antarctic Program

A Climate Basics Series

Carbon dioxide: nature’s tiny solar panels

Hopefully, more to come . . .

Learn to Defend Voting Rights and Environmental Justice

WEBINAR INVITATION

The 2020 election is a key opportunity to push leaders to lay out a bold vision for how they plan to combat the relentless assault under way on science, truth, and justice that has weakened our democracy. And throughout the election year, we will need to fight back against attacks on voting rights that deny people their fundamental right to vote, making it harder for them to advocate for policies that benefit their communities.

The Union of Concerned Scientists invites you to a webinar to learn key skills and ways you can join a strong, representative coalition to lead efforts on voting rights and environmental justice in your community.

Our #UnhealthyDemocracy:
Where Voting Rights Meets Environmental Justice
Date: Wednesday, January 15
Time: 3:00–4:00 p.m. ET / 12:00–1:00 p.m. PT

Register Today

Fight for Voting Rights and Environmental Justice

Continue reading