September 2022 Newsletter

It’s Time to Celebrate!!!
    The Inflation Reduction Act was signed by President Biden on August 16, the date of our last monthly meeting.  This month we will be celebrating this momentous step forward in climate action.  We will also celebrate the beginning of a new academic year with all the opportunities that it promises to bring and will make plans for our next steps..  And of course we will celebrate our new CCL members who have joined recently, as well as the veterans who have been with us for the long haul.
     Please join the fun on September 20.  We are planning some special events.  Stay tuned for more information.  I hear a rumor that there might be cake.
Sylvia Neely

Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
5:30pm – 7pm
 
This will be a hybrid meeting.  You can join either by Zoom or in person at
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in downtown State College.
 
In Person
Room 325 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church 
208 West Foster Avenue, State College, PA
For directions and parking information, click here.
 
Via Zoom
Write to PAStateCollege@citizensclimatelobby.org for zoom info

CCL members in action 

OpEd and Letter to the editor

On August 14, our monthly OpEd in the Centre Daily Times focused on why the Inflation Reduction Act was so important:  It was entitled “Passage of major climate legislation is victory for future generations” and the authors were CCL Executive Director Madeleine Para and State College chapter co-leader Lisa Richardson.
 
John Swisher wrote a well-researched letter to the editor entitled “Heat and humidity demand our attention.”  His letter on this important topic appeared in the CDT on August 7.
 
Call for Volunteers 
 
State College Borough is hosting Lion Bash again this year on Thursday, September 8th, 5:00 pm – 8:00pm, along Allen St.  This event introduces Penn State students to the opportunities available in our community. CCL will have a table, and we will talk to people about Climate Change, the Energy Innovation Act, and the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. We will ask people to join us to lobby congress to pass legislation to reduce CO2 emissions, through the monthly calling campaign and/or joining our chapter. 
If you can volunteer for an hour or two, please email:
dianemills9@gmail.com
Text: 570-660-7678

News from National CCL

What’s in the Inflation Reduction Act?
CCL has an excellent explanation of the climate benefits in this important legislation.  You can access Dana Nuccitelli’s 40-minute presentation here.Danny Richter leaving CCL

At our monthly meetings, we have frequently listened to legislative updates from Danny Richter (CCL’s Vice President of Government Affairs) and have benefited greatly from his insights and expertise.  Danny generously came to State College in the fall of 2018 and gave a community presentation for us.  His excellent and well-attended lecture was held at the borough building (see pictures below).  CCL has just reported that Danny has decided to leave CCL.  This will be a great loss to all of us.  If you want to wish Danny well on his new endeavors, here is a page where you can leave a message. 



Environmental Voter Project
The Environmental Voter Project could use your help.  They seek volunteers to call people who care about the environment but do not vote.  You can register to phone bank here:  environmentalvoter.org/get-involved

 Community News

Rep. Thompson makes appearances in Centre County
Congressman Glenn Thompson serves as the ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee.  In August, he held two public events bringing people in our area up to date on developments in Washington and also answering questions.  On August 8, he held an Agriculture Summit at the Central PA Institute of Science and Technology.  Kay Cramer and Michele Mitchell of the CCL Susquehanna Valley Chapter attended that event.  On Wednesday, August 10, as part of Ag Progress Days, Congressman Thompson appeared on a panel with PA Secretary of Agriculture Russel Redding and Dean Richard Roush of the Penn State College of Agriculture (see photo below).  Sylvia Neely of the State College chapter attended that event.  After Thompson’s introductory remarks on the Farm Bill (which will be renewed in September 2023), the questions from the audience focused on several issues including the need to get young people involved in agriculture, the importance of land preservation and water quality, and the effect of climate change on agriculture.



Green drinks 
On the second Wednesday of each month, starting on Wednesday September 14 at Faccia Luna at 5 pm. Please respond if coming to Doug Keith at dugaldkeith@gmail.com. Green Drinks is an informal gathering of folks interested in the environment.

 
Climate Conference at Dickinson College
Registration is now open to attend, in-person or via livestream, Science-Based Choices for Climate Action, Insights from the IPCC 6th Assessment Report, hosted by Dickinson College 24-26 October in Carlisle, PA, USA.  Both in-person attendance and the livestream are free, but we are asking everyone to register in advance. You can register yourself, your students, and colleagues onlinehttps://www.dickinson.edu/climatesymposium.

Rhiana Gunn-Wright to speak at Penn State
The McCourtney Institute for Democracy is starting its speaker series early this semester with a lecture by Rhiana Gunn-Wright, director of climate policy at the Roosevelt Institute and one of the architects of the Green New Deal, on September 8 at 7:00 p.m. in 100 Thomas. The lecture is titled “Climate Change is Everyone’s Fight — Including Yours!” and is aimed at encouraging students to join the fight for inclusive climate policy.

ICYMI – In Case You Missed It

Articles in The Atlantic on climate policy
Robinson Meyer writes articles on climate for The Atlantic magazine.  His recent reflections on the importance of the Inflation Reduction Act are worth your time.  In one article he pointed out that there have actually been two other important bills that directly affect climate, both passed with bipartisan support:  the Infrastructure Bill and the CHIPS Act.  In another piece, he argued that the Inflation Reduction Act is better than some commentators would lead you to believe.  It has been criticized for being all “carrots” and no “sticks.”  But Meyer argues that “The EPA Just Quietly Got Stronger.”  Notably the bill states explicitly that carbon dioxide is an air pollutant.  This summer the Supreme Court restricted the powers of the EPA in a decision called West Virginia vs. EPA.  Part of their argument was that carbon dioxide was not specifically listed as an air pollutant in the Clean Air Act.  That legal issue has now been settled by the IRA and the EPA can indeed regulate carbon dioxide.  Robinson Meyer has other interesting things to say about climate policy as well.  Here is a list of his recent articles.
 
Good news
Renewables provided over 25 % of electricity in the U.S, in the first half of 2022.  https://electrek.co/2022/08/25/us-renewables-first-half-2022/
 
Heat Wave in India
The Washington Post had a feature article on what it was like to work outdoors in India during the extreme heat of this summer. 


 Book Review
by Mark Neely
A review of Sunil Amrith, Unruly Waters:  How Mountain Rivers and Monsoons Have Shaped South Asia’s History (New York:  Penguin, 2020), 397 pp., maps, photos.
 
     This sweeping history of India from the nineteenth century to the present focuses necessarily on agriculture, climate, and engineering.  Unlike the United States, where agriculture has not been dominant for a century, agriculture “employs 60 percent of India’s population,” and India’s “population will continue to be predominantly rural by the mid-twenty-first century” (p. 14).  Therefore, climate matters less in U.S. history, and it would be difficult to imagine a comparable history of the U.S.  In India the uncertainties of the monsoon and its effects on the country have long been a national preoccupation.  Water in India is “unruly,” and that is the point of this book.  In the U.S., on the other hand, after the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 and the penetration of the Appalachian barrier by trade, migration, and commerce, water was not a major focus until the settling of the arid West was made possible by the Bureau of Land Reclamation (founded in 1902) and its great irrigation projects.  Certainly, Americans have never been as a nation transfixed by hydraulic engineering, but India’s very national identity after independence was wrapped up in enormous projects for damming rivers (which we may find difficult to square with the anti-technology image of Gandhi sitting at his spinning wheel).
     Floods, droughts, and famines have marked the area’s history indelibly. 
[For rest of review click 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.
August 2022 Newsletter

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