July Newsletter

No regular monthly meeting this month. Instead we encourage you to join our tabling at the Arts Festival and then get together for a social event on Sunday, July 24.  This newsletter contains news from our chapter, actions you can take for the midterm elections, notices of community events, and a review of a climate book.

 

Join Us for Social Event
     Arts Fest, Wing Fest, Spikes games, and farmer’s markets. Summer is in full swing in State College and that makes it a great time to gather for a social event. CCL is inviting anyone interested in climate, environmental, conservation or sustainability topics to join us at JL Farm & Cidery on Sunday July 24th from 4pm – 6 pm. Whether you are an educator, a business person, a community volunteer or just want to come and meet others who care about the environment, bring a friend and a folding chair and join us at JL Farm and Cidery! This is an unstructured event, with no agenda other than to have a nice time.  It is open to everyone. Covered outdoor space and indoor space is on the grounds. Cider, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as food from local food trucks will be available for purchase. Music by Mathew Wagner Acoustic.

JL Farm & Cidery
3392 Shingletown Rd., State College, PA 16801
Sunday, July 24, 4-6 pm


We Need Your Help With Tabling
 
      One of the most powerful ways of spreading the word about climate solutions is face-to-face interaction at public events. It is also a great way to meet new people and recruit members for our climate work.  After two years without tabling because of the pandemic, we are excited to have a chance to table again. We will be at the Arts Festival in State College on Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16 from 11 am to 5 pm.   Our tent will be at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on S. Fraser St. across from Memorial Field.
Please sign up through this Signup Genius page for as many shifts as you like.  It is best to have at least two people for each shift.  If you would like to table on Thursday, please let us know. 
     If you are new to tabling, we schedule a veteran on the shift with you and we will give you full instructions about CCL tabling.  It is really a lot of fun.  If you have questions, write to Diane Mills at tabling@statecollegeccl.org or to Lisa Richardson at twitter@statecollegeccl.org 

 CCL members in action

 

Tabling at Best of Clinton County
     On Saturday, June 18, Diane Mills represented our CCL chapter at the Best of Clinton County event in Lock Haven.  Her very clever Jenga game, with each block representing a part of the natural world, attracted the attention of children, as well as the Lock Haven Express, which printed a picture of it in its account of the celebration.

OpEd
     Matt Herndon wrote an OpEd for the Centre Daily Times commenting on news of rising fossil fuel costs and demonstrating that “Renewable Energy is the Sensible Economic Choice.”  His timely and well-argued piece was in the June 12 issue of the CDT.
 
Lila Yoga endorses EICDA
     A local business owner has endorsed the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.  Thank you to Erica Kaufman of Lila Yoga for supporting climate action, and for giving CCL a shout out on her website.  She learned of us through the spot on WPSU-FM online in which Spectacles F. Y. Eye endorses Citizens’ Climate Lobby.  We appreciate the commitment of Joseph Haloua and Spectacles in downtown State College for supporting the work of CCL. 
     You can now see the logos of all of our local endorsers on our website at https://statecollegeccl.org/local-endorsements/ .  Feel free to tweet and share this link.



National Conference in DC
     Grace Oram and Helen Kenion represented our CCL chapter at the national conference in DC that took place on June 12 and 13.  From the evidence of the pictures they took while they were in DC, it appears they had a great time.
     

The main presentations at the conference were recorded and you can watch the videos here.  The beginning and ending keynote speakers (Alex Flint of the Alliance for Market Solutions and Bill Shireman of Future 500) gave insightful remarks based on many years of working on environmental and climate issues on Capitol Hill.  Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse gave an inspiring presentation highlighting the importance of the work that CCL has been doing. 
     CCL announced that in addition to the focus on getting our elected officials to put a price on carbon, we would be undertaking two other initiatives that would be essential for successful climate action.  The first is building the clean energy economy, and the second is nature-based solutions with a focus on forests. Stay tuned for more information on how those broad outlines will be implemented in actual legislation that we can work on.
 
Lobby meetings
     For many years, the concluding event of the CCL conference was to lobby our elected representatives on Capitol Hill.  The pandemic interrupted the in-person meetings, but they have continued via Zoom.  This year we held meetings with staff from the offices of both of our members of Congress.  On June 22, Jeanne Kuehl, an aide to Congressman Keller, met with Susquehanna Valley CCL members Michele Mitchell, Kay Cramer, Leslie Jenkins, and Sabrina Kirby, along with Sylvia Neely from the State College chapter. 

      

On June 29, two aides of Congressman Thompson, Adele Borne and Brian Arata, met via Zoom with State College CCL members Sylvia Neely, Kathy Pollard, and George Otto, along with Michele Mitchell of the Susquehanna Valley chapter.  

     

Beginning in January 2023, we will have only one member of Congress in our area, and the two CCL chapters will have the same member of Congress.  Because of redistricting, Rep. Keller will not be standing for re-election and much of the area he used to represent will be included in the district now represented by Congressman Thompson.  We look forward to continuing the close cooperation that already exists between our chapters.

CCL National News      

Are you looking for ways to make a difference in the midterm elections?  The  Environmental Voter Project needs you to text or to make calls to people who care about the environment but do not generally vote.  Nathaniel Stinnet, the head of EVP, will be the invited speaker on the CCL national call on Saturday, July 9 at 1 pm to explain how you can help and why this approach matters.  Click here to join the call or listen to the recording later. 

Community News

Poetry Reading and Pie Sale 
     On Saturday, July 16, during the Arts Festival, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church will be hosting a reading for the winners of its poetry contest followed by a panel discussion.  The theme for the contest was “Caring for Creation.”  The poetry portion will start at 1 p.m. with the panel at 2:30 pm.   Panelists will include Todd Davis from Penn State, Altoona, Greg Williams representing PA Interfaith Power & Light, and Rhonda Rumbaugh from Clearwater Conservancy.  Click here to learn more about the event and the panelists.  It will also be live-streamed on facebook.com/StAndrewsc.org/
Once again the church is selling home-made pies and Meyer Dairy ice cream as a fundraiser for its free Community Cafe that takes place on Thursday nights.  The pie sale will run from 9 to 4 on Friday and Saturday of the Arts Festival.  A substantial slice is only 4 dollars and the option to top it off with a scoop of Meyer Dairy vanilla ice cream is just 1 dollar more. 
Stop by the CCL tent on the lawn and then take a refreshment break at this great fundraiser.
 
Water Cooler Talks
     Bob Carline has called our attention to a series presented by Penn State Extension on water issues called Water Cooler Talks.  On June 29th, Amber Stilwell gave a presentation on “Aquatic Invasive Species in Pennsylvania.”  Her talk was recorded and you can watch it by clicking on the title.  The next in the series on the subject of “Pesticides and Water Pollution” will be on July 27.

 ICYMI – In Case You Missed It

Republican Energy and Climate Plan
     Glenn Thompson, who represents the 15th district in Pennsylvania, is a member of the Republican Energy, Climate, and Conservation Task Force.  This group, appointed by Congressman Kevin McCarthy to articulate a Republican climate and energy policy, has released a set of policy pillars as well as talking points for this year’s elections.  Here is a press release with details and a Washington Post analysis and criticism of the talking points.  CCL published a blog on the subject as well.
 
Update on Auxon story
     Last month we described the disarray among solar installers because of a challenge from a small solar panel manufacturer called Auxon that argued panels imported from Asia were avoiding American tariffs.  The Biden administration responded with a compromise, allowing the challenge to go forward, but delaying any tariffs for two years.  This article in Canary Media describes the government’s action and has lots of interesting information about the solar industry.
 
CBAMs
     Citizens’ Climate Lobby has been highlighting the interest in Congress for Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms – CBAMs.  This page has CCL handouts on the subject that you can download.  Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has introduced a bill called the Clean Competition Act, which is meant to provide a price on carbon in several carbon-intensive industries to reduce emissions while also ensuring American international competitiveness through the use of a carbon border adjustment.  For a deeper dive into this subject, here is a recording of a webinar from Resources for the Future that featured Sen. Whitehouse.
 
West Virginia vs. EPA     
     The Supreme Court opinion in West Virginia vs. EPA has been in the news lately.  The opinion is a genuine setback for climate action.  However, the legal realities are complicated and do not block climate action.  We will have an analysis in next month’s newsletter.  In the meantime here is an initial statement in response from Citizens’ Climate Lobby.  The Supreme Court opinion appears to confirm the wisdom of CCL’s approach which has from the very beginning focused on legislative solutions to climate change, instead of executive action.  
     If you want to learn more about the opinion in West Virginia vs. EPA, Resources for the Future is having a webinar on the topic on Thursday, July 7 at 11 am.  To register click here




Review of Vaclav Smil book
By Mark Neely

Vaclav Smil, How the World Really Works: A Scientist’s Guide to Our Past, Present and Future (New York: Viking, 2022), 326 pp.
 
     Vaclav Smil, a member of the geography department at the University of Manitoba, in this well organized and clearly written book, argues that globalization and what he calls “the four material pillars of modern civilization,” plastics, steel, concrete, and ammonia, are central to understanding the problem of climate change. The problem, simply put, is that all of them are carbon intensive. 
     Ammonia is “the gas that feeds the world,” and without it as nitrogen fertilizer, it would simply be impossible “to feed at least 40 percent and up to 50 percent of today’s nearly 8 billion people” (p. 79). And the problem for climate mitigation lies in the energy to make and deliver it to farmland. Smil supplies the fascinating calculations that reveal that to put “a kilogram of roasted chicken on dinner plates” requires “300-350 milliliters of crude oil: a volume equal to almost half a bottle of wine” (p. 58).  Scale that up to all the billions of plates of chicken in all the world and the energy requirement makes one gasp.
     Plastics may appear to be unhealthy for the planet. But in fact they are essential to our health.  
(Read rest of the review by clicking here)
If you have ideas, comments, or just want to talk about climate, please feel free to contact Sylvia Neely (PaStateCollege@citizensclimatelobby.org) or Lisa Richardson (twitter@statecollegeccl.org).  We would love to hear from you.
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