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(Photo credit: JTMP.org - Keystone XL Pipeline Protest at White House - NOV 2011)
FEB 6, 2013 - 60 environmental groups, such as 350.org, Applachain Mountain Club, Clean Water Action, CREDO, Earth Day Network, Greenpeace and many, many more, have sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, asking him to prioritize the isssue of our climate crisis as a result of global climate change, and also ask him to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline treaty. Tar sands oil has substantially huge amounts of CO2 that we would unlock and release into the atmosphere if we built the pipeline and used these tar sands for energy. The letter in part says:
Dear Secretary Kerry,
[W]e urge you to use your position as Secretary to emphasize the severity of the threat and spur bold and immediate action. Under your leadership at the State Department, the U.S. should take...decisive steps to become an international leader on addressing dangerous climate change.
Reject any new or expanded infrastructure for tar sands oil, starting with the Keystone XL pipeline. At a time when we must rapidly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. must demonstrate bold leadership by refusing to aid the expansion of this destructive and carbon-intensive industry. A first step towards stopping the expansion of tars sands oil should be the rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. This pipeline is not in our national interest – the evidence shows it would unlock vast amounts of additional carbon that we cannot afford to burn, extend our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels, endanger health and safety, and put critical water resources at risk. As an export pipeline, it will not support U.S. energy security. We urge you to ensure the State Department has a full understanding of the climate and environmental impacts of this pipeline which have been previously ignored. We also urge that any decision on Keystone XL be made in the context of the President’s call to address climate change by moving away from reliance on carbon intensive fuels towards clean, renewable energy sources.
APR 25, 2012 - As a young kid, Alec Loorz saw Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" and was so alarmed and moved by it he formed Kids vs. Global Warming, an organization that is "committed to providing opportunities for youth to learn the science and solutions of climate change". He does this by creating presentations specifically designed for “youth, full of videos, animation, easy-to-understand science, and compelling motivation for kids K-college ages.” He has given over 30 global warming presentations before being invited by Al Gore to be formally trained with the Climate Project in October of 2008. He is now their youngest US trained presenter.
Below is a video of a spoken word performance and great motivational speech by the very dedicated 17 year-old activist Alec Loorz. JTMP supports Earth Day, and if you are wondering what part you can play, you can help Mobilize The Earth and we all can do A Billion Acts of Green.
APR 24, 2012 - Legendary tenor saxophonist, Ron Holloway, who hails from Washington, DC was blowin' his sax on Earth Day, playing with Vermont's Chad Hollister Band. Ron Holloway has played with greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and Root Boy Slim, and has over 40 Washington-area awards to his credit. Just watch the music video below and you can see why some people put him in the top 10 saxophone players alive today. The song is called "One World Free" and is a song that contains a message of peace and sustainability around the world. (photo credit: Xopher Smith/Wiki)
APR 20, 2012 - Now normally I wouldn't be mentioning "green" and NASCAR" in the same paragraph, and I know some people will say it is merely a PR stunt and NACAR is one of the biggest spillers or polluters of gas and oil, and forget about the CO2 emissions they are through the roof. However, they have made a couple of gestures towards being "green" recently and are out touting their efforts. I feel that even though it is like your alcoholic uncle being sober for one weekend and there is still a long way to go, we should applaud and support NASCAR's efforts at being "green". They seem very genuine in their efforts, and have started a NASCAR Green Initiative to not only be responsible when it somes to the environment, but are also becoming a platform for inventors and entrepreneurs to stage new green automotive technology. They have even been very aggressive at setting up recycling containers for the millions of spectators that come to their events. In fact, it was the fans that pressured NASCAR to try and be as "green" as possible, because the fans were concerned about their other favorite outdoor activities, hunting and fishing. A huge majority of NASCAR fans support the green initiative and want to preserve the natural habitat for their grandkids.
In 2010 NASCAR announced a major partnership with American Ethanol to "go green" and started using a 15-percent ethanol fuel blend made with American-grown corn, also adding much needed American jobs. 43 cars would use an ethanol-based fuel for the Daytona 500 in 2011. Richard Childress, a NASCAR champion driver and current team owner, wrote an Op-Ed in Charlotte Observer today praising ethanol saying that by using ethanol based fuels "we are reducing not only carbon emissions, but also lots of other toxins that would otherwise be pumped out the exhaust. Those toxins don’t only degrade our health, but also the streams, lakes and forests where my family and I like to fish and hunt." Childress also added that the myth of ethanol-based fules reducing performance is false, in fact he says the opposite is true. "NASCAR has accumulated nearly 2 million miles of driving – in practice, qualifying and racing laps – on E15, without a hitch. Plus, we’ve also seen enhanced performance. In fact, many of the teams have reported an increase in horsepower. In my mind, this proves that E15 is a viable alternative to regular gasoline." Read the whole Op-Ed on CharlotteObserver.com here. NASCAR is having Earth Day events all month long at races, and will have a huge green "Ethanol" painted across the backstretch of the track at Kansas Speedway. They have even released a white paper touting what steps they are taking to try and be "more green".
The latest "green thing" is NASCAR has announced is that they will be using an all-electric car at the next NASCAR event in Richmond, Virginia at the Sprint Cup Series on April 28. The Focus Electric by Ford will be unveiled to the public on April 25. Ford had used a hybrid (gas/electric) back in 2008, but this is the first pace car that will be 100% all electric. The car will actually be unveiled at the Virginia State Capitol and then driven to Richmond International Raceway by LT. Gov. Bill Bolling. JTMP applauds NASCAR and it's fans for "going green"!
MAR 20, 2012 - IOBY (eye-OH-be, the opposite of 'NIMBY') which stands for In Our Back Yard, is an organization based in NYC and for over 2 years has been using web tools and crowd funding for over 100 parks, gardens, farms, water, trees, bees, bird and other projects. Erin, a spokes- person from IOBY told JTMP, “We all want to do something good for the earth, and we all want to make our neighborhoods better places to live and grow. IOBY uses the power of online crowd-funding and digital engagement to achieve the global goals for environmental change, block by block.”
Currently, their website is available for anyone who believes they have a good idea for their neighborhood. You can go to IOBY.org/idea and start raising money, connect with volunteers, and "share innovations with a like-minded community." Whether it's cleaning a stream, helping little critters, or starting an urban farm, one can go here and start changing the world with their idea for a project. Watch the video below to "Meet IOBY"!
FEB 22, 2012 - Food giant Monsanto was found guilty of poisoning a famer by French courts in Lyon, the damages to be established by a panel of experts. The farmer, Paul Francois, developed neurological problems such as memory loss and headaches after being exposed to Monsanto's toxic "Lasso weedkiller" in 2004. Monsanto's Lasso weedkiller was banned in the EU and France in 2007. This also paves the way for legislation for the current toxic pesticide Monsanto uses, their "Roundup" pesticide formula. Read more at Reuters.com here.
(Photo credit Cyril Cavalie on Flickr)
The Honey Brothers, a great alternative band out of New York is dedicated to making the smallest carbon footprint when they are on the road. They travel in a biodiesel van, and use LEED certified hotels, and shop at the local farmer's markets for chow. They are also involved in numerous causes, such as expanding and improving our local open spaces, such as parks.