Thursday, April 26, 2007

Cypress mulch is bad...How bad is it?

Citizens and groups throughout the Gulf Coast region are calling on Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowe's to celebrate this Arbor Day by saving cypress trees and halting the sale of cypress mulch.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Prez's post


Favorite Photo from "The Step It Up" Event in New Orleans. This is Warren, he came to the Step It Up event. Warren lives with his wife and family in the house behind him in the lower ninth ward, Holy Cross Neighborhood of New Orleans. He moved back post Katrina this January. The lower ninth now has ten solar collector locations and they want to rebuild carbon neutral.

The next best picture, will hopefully be in the New York Times with everyone sitting on the ninth ward levee with their red "Save New Orleans" T-Shirts on spelling out with their bodies STEP IT UP.

Thank you and congratulations Darryl Malek Wiley and Aaron Viles for organizing a hugely successful event.

Below is the outline of the speech I used - entitled - "WHY YOU WILL REMEMBER TODAY."

Lisa Renstrom
Sierra Club

Step It Up
Speech for first "Step It Up" Rally
9th Ward Levee, Holy Cross Neighborhood, New Orleans


Thank you

You are going to remember today!

You are going to remember today because

Being here, in this iconic place, to ask Congress to step up their action to curb global warming is

1) a part of history
2) a part of a movement
3) a turning point

Today is a part of a larger history -

113 years ago, the Sierra Club was founded by men who knew that in wildness is the preservation of the world. This realization was the birth of the environmental movement. The Sierra Club was at its core.

In this first era of the Sierra Club and of the environmental movement, we recognized the value of protecting special places. This recognition went beyond preservation; it spilled over into literature and the arts. It became a permanent part of the American culture.

The next era, the 2nd era of the environmental movement was a reaction to pollution Brown air and burning rivers, Love Canal and Three Mile Island caught our attention. The industrial assault on our air and water quality, and unregulated chemical dumping rekindled America's environmental awareness. The Sierra Club responded. Modern environmental activism was born.

In the 1960's and 70's we took on the responsibility of protecting not only our special places, we took on the responsibility of protecting the health of Americans. The health of the planet.

This challenge, this responsibility, seemed colossal. It was literally and figuratively David versus Goliath. The villains though, were easy to see; the pollution, easy to identify; the cause and effect between toxins and life obvious.

People just like us, in fact many of us, faced the enormous challenge of educating Americans and enlisting them in environmental protection. We were bold and aggressive - adept at championing, passing and enforcing environmental legislation.

Today we are entering the third wave of the movement - the climate phase.

You are going to remember today because you are part of a movement.

Think of a movement as a confluence of rivers all flowing toward a gulf that opens to the sea.

Today we are seeing new rivers forming heading to this sea of social change.

The faith community's waters are rising with the moral imperative to care for Gods creation and fight climate injustice.

The business community waters are rising as they use their influence to demand a price on carbon

The tributaries that link these rivers are expanding and flowing.

The waters are rising and the movement is gaining momentum, velocity and power.

You are going to remember today because we are at a turning point.

Bill Moyers movement action plan (MAP) model of social movements indicates that we are in the "take-off" mode where movement groups proliferate, new tactics evolve, and the movement appears to be everywhere.

In the past 6 months we have seen California Governor Schwarzenegger pass the first legislation to reduce green house gas emission in every sector of the economy, COE of major fortune 500 companies call for immediate action to address Climate Change, a Presidential Candidate declare his campaign climate neutral, and a Supreme Courth ruling enabling the Federal Government to regulate carbon from vehicles. Green has become cool. Green has become the new patriotism, the new red white and blue.

You are going to remember today because we are standing in an iconic place.

We are standing on the levee, 20 months after Katrina, in the lower 9th Holy Cross neighborhood in New Orleans, asking Congress to Step It Up.

To take the steps necessary to reduce carbon 80% by 2050.

But - make no mistake about it - the Holy Cross Neighborhood association is not waiting for Washington - they are taking action NOW. They have committed torebuild the lower nine carbon neutral. They currently are producing more energy from renewable sources than the rest of New Orleans.

This neighborhood was devastated by flooding and resident were not allowed to reenter for almost a year. But today dozens of former and current Holy Cross residents are here, joined by 300 supporters.

So that is way we are going to remember today!

We have the solutions,

we are gathering the will.

We are a part of history,

a part of a movement and today is a turning point.

Thank you


That’s the collective sigh of a dozen organizers who made the SAVE NOLA – STOP GLOBAL WARMING – STEP IT UP kickoff happen. We had a brass band (hear Soul Rebels on myspace here:) We had speakers from the National Sierra Club President Lisa Renstrom, to NOLA’s city council President Oliver Thomas. We had 200 people in bright red t-shirts (and 300 hundred disgruntled folks who really wanted a bright red t-shirt - again, sorry about running out, but really, it was a good sign) sitting on the levee in the lower 9th ward, the levees that we rely on to protect our city from two of the biggest climate change impacts, sea level rise and increased storm severity. What each element had in common was our call for action. It was said again and again in the speeches we heard, and said again in the words we spelled on the levee.

In the city that tells the story of climate change impacts better than any other, and in the city where some of the best global warming solutions are being put in place as we recover from Katrina, we can’t wait any longer. We were honored and excited to kick off the event, the moment that we believe will spark a movement.

While we were the first event, I think we were also the first event to get our message directly to our target (and I’m not talking about the coverage on Saturday’s Good Morning America, though that was cool). This afternoon I was at a convening of the Gulf Coast Recovery fund and saw Senator Mary Landrieu in the hotel lobby! Senator Landrieu has supported minimal action on climate change in the past (the Carper Bill) but hasn’t cosponsored ANY of the climate change legislation currently flooding the Senate. I grabbed my computer, sat down on at her table and fired up our slide show. She saw the speakers, the crowd, and the money shot of 200 of her constituents spelling out STEP IT UP on our levees. The message was to her, and I was able to get it to her immediately. She committed to support capping carbon emissions, acknowledging that voluntary measures won’t cut it. I urged her on behalf of the 500 attendees at the rally, the 15 organizations that cosponsored it, and the IPCC report that names the Louisiana coast as the most at risk area in the continental U.S. to climate change impacts to support legislation that does what we need: cut carbon 80% by 2050.

I know she heard me say it, let’s keep pushing to make sure she hears all you too!

Thanks again,



Delta Chapter

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hey Louisiana - Time to STEP IT UP on climate change

Here in Louisiana, we all know what big storms look like. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita showed us how vulnerable we are to the impacts of climate change. Now the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a report forecasting climate change impacts on people and our environment and the news for the Gulf Coast isn't good, confirming what we already knew.

Our low elevation, and past history with storms and flooding means we won't like the accelerated sea level rise and increased storm intensity that's headed our way. This report means the facts are in, and the scientific consensus is grim.

But all hope is not lost. Green house gas emissions that are causing climate change CAN be reduced if we begin to prioritize action. Everyone from Al Gore to Entergy's CEO agree we can and must act. While we can all help out by replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, and driving more fuel-efficient cars, the nation-wide action we need to cut our CO2 emissions is going to take national leadership.

That's why the Sierra Club is proud to be sponsoring STEP IT UP 2007. Inspired by green author Bill McKibben, SIU is a national day of climate action happening this weekend around teh country. From Shreveport to Baton Rouge, people are rallying throughout Louisiana to send a message to Congress that they need to Step It Up and cut carbon emissions to stabilize our climate. We know that Louisiana is a state with the most to lose due to climate change impacts, yet the least likely delegations in BR and DC to actually address the issue - so Friday (BR and NOLA) and Saturday (Shreveport, Lafayette) rallies really need your support.

There are over 1200 events planned across the nation, and a few to pick from in Louisiana - so check out the website, find an event you can attend, and help us send this important message.

Aaron Viles
Delta Chapter

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Scientific report warns of Louisiana's vulnerability to global warming

NEW ORLEANS – Today, April 6, 2007, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released it’s second of four summaries comprising the Fourth Assessment Report, which describes the current consensus of the world’s scientific community on climate impacts due to global warming. The Working Group II Summary for Policymakers, released six years after the prior assessment by the IPCC, evaluates “Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”. It offers a crucial analysis of how global warming may affect the natural and human systems in each region and how they may or may not be able to cope with the consequences.

Read more in this PDF (99KB) document of the press release.

Warming ruling squeezes Bush from both sides

Top court rebukes administration on warming.

In a defeat for the Bush administration, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a U.S. government agency has the power under the clean air law to regulate greenhouse gas emissions that spur global warming.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Entergy to offer green power

But customers will pay for the privilege
Sunday, March 25, 2007
By Pam Radtke Russell

Beginning next month, some Louisiana residents will be able to pay more for electricity.

Yes, more.

Under a green pricing program, Entergy Gulf States customers in Baton Rouge and western Louisiana can choose to pay 2.25 cents per kilowatt hour more to buy green or renewable power.

The Rise and Disappearance of Southeast Louisiana

If you ever wanted to learn more about the geography and geology of Southeast Louisiana, The New Orleans Times-Picayune has created a beautifully clear and easy to understand interactive presentation to help you.

The link below takes you to the excellent primer on how Southeast Louisiana was created by the Mississippi River and also why and how it is eroding away.

This was created by TP Staff Artist Dan Swenson and is a supplement on to a printed version that the TP ran recently.