August Newsletter

It’s time to up our game

     July was the hottest month in recorded history.  But it is not likely to keep that distinction for very long.  The El Niño phenomenon is just beginning and will become more potent so that the summer of 2024 is probably going to be even hotter than this one. 
     You are on this mailing list because you care about climate change and are committed to climate action.  Scientists predicted that the world would get hotter, but even they are surprised to see their predictions coming true so dramatically. That means our efforts need to be intensified.  We need to up our game. 
     In State College, the rhythms of the university’s calendar dictate our calendar as well.  August is when we need to plan for the coming year.  What do we want to focus on?  What are our specific goals for this new year?  How can we leverage our members and our knowledge to make a difference?  What do you want to commit to doing? 
     We have been asking people for ideas and our list is long.  There is bound to be something that is just down your alley.  We have ideas for local, state, and national action.  Please come to our August meeting to find out which of these goals speaks to you and to tell us what you think is most promising for our group to do.  At the end of our meeting I hope we will have narrowed our choices to a select few that will be the most impactful.  Then we get to work.
     I hope to see you on Tuesday, August 15 at 5:30.  We need to hear from you.  Even more, we need your active participation.  The climate emergency is here.  We need to act now.
Sylvia Neely

Monthly Chapter Meeting
Tuesday, August 15, 2023, 
5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Rm 6
780 Waupelani Road
State College, PA 16801

CCL Members in Action 

Tabling at Arts Fest
The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is our most successful outreach event every year and this year was no exception.  On Friday and Saturday we talked to many people and were able to gather letters urging climate action from 148 individuals to be sent to their elected officials.  In addition, 15 people signed up for our mailing list.  These are excellent results, especially since our hours on Friday were curtailed by a severe thunderstorm.  Thank you to Diane Mills and Sandy Hoyte, who organized and recruited volunteers.  Thank you to all those who tabled:  Greg Basarab, Lisa Richardson, Randy Hudson, Bruce Christianson, Kelly Forest, and Kathy Pollard.  Thanks also to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church for allowing us to put up our tent on their front lawn.

Randy Hudson and Kathy Pollard at our tent at Arts Fest.

July Social
 A great time was had by all at our very spirited social event held on July 19 at the Elk Creek Cafe in Millheim.  It was a treat to chat with our friends, to meet new people, and especially to connect with the members of the Susquehanna Valley chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.  They are now in the same congressional district that State College is in, and we are working together on lobbying and other projects.


CCL in the Press
      Our July OpEd was a timely and informed analysis of the dangers that heat poses for human beings in a warming world.  “What Climate Models Can Teach Us About Heat” was written by CCL member James Kasting and appeared in the Centre Daily Times on July 8.
      Sylvia Neely wrote a letter to the editor that appeared in the Scranton Times-Tribune on July 25 under the title “Burning Issues Beyond Golf.”  It was also published by PennLive and the Centre Daily Times.
We appreciate our letter writers
     Thanks to the following members of the State College chapter for writing in July to Rep. Thompson and Senators Casey and Fetterman about the PROVE IT Act, which CCL supports: Sandy M. Hoyte, Wayne Laubscher, Kelly Forest, Phyllis Gardener, and Dick Jones. Thanks also to John Dziak for writing to those same legislators about permitting reform.
     Going back to June, kudos to Brett Green, Joan Sattler, Wayne Laubscher, and Robert Freeman for their letters to legislators about our number one priority, a price on carbon.
     We’ve learned that legislators really do pay attention to communications from constituents. They constitute signals to lawmakers about how much attention they need to pay (or not pay) to certain issues. CCL has made it so easy to write letters now. Just go to “CCL Community” click on “tools” and click on “Write Congress.
—Dick Jones (

CCL’s current priorities
In preparation for our August planning meeting, you might like to review what Dick Jones wrote in our May newsletter about CCL’s national priorities.  
      From time to time, it is useful to reexamine our group’s priorities. CCL has four at present.
Carbon fee and dividend. The first priority remains the top priority because it is the single-most effective policy tool to reduce the carbon pollution that fuels global warming.
Healthy forests. A healthy climate needs healthy forests.
Building electrification and efficiency. Electrify America’s buildings. Bring the clean energy future to America’s doorsteps.
Clean energy permitting reform. This will unlock the clean energy future that is waiting to be built. 

Community News

Job Opportunities in Sustainability
1. State College Borough is advertising for a Sustainability Assistant to work in their sustainability office.  Here is the description and application.
2. Penn State’s Sustainability Institute (to be rechristened “Penn State Sustainability” — watch for news soon) is now hiring for the newly created position of Sustainability Programming Coordinator to help develop and manage principal public and student-facing programming (like Intersections film series and annual Colloquium on the Environment).  This is a full-time, entry-level position of one-year (with renewed appointment for an additional year likely) based in State College, PA.  Here is the description and application.

ICYMI — In Case You Missed It 

Family Forest Carbon Program
NPR presented a program on the Family Forest Carbon Program that featured forest owners from Pennsylvania.  That program was also highlighted in the video that our local central PA CCL chapters produced in 2021.  You can see our CCL video here:  “Exploring Forest Carbon:  Management, Markets, & Policy.”

Cost of Climate Change to Pennsylvania
Jon Clark, the CCL Appalachia Regional Coordinator, has called our attention to a report that concludes that “climate change adaptations will cost Pennsylvania municipalities and taxpayers more than $15 billion by 2040.”  The article about this report appeared in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.

Good news for beer lovers
The Associated Press reports on a promising technique for growing hops underneath solar panels.  It turns out that shade is going to be useful for some crops in a world that is getting hotter.
Plant-based diet
The New York Times had an article on the environmental benefits of a plant-based diet.  The conclusions are dramatic:  “People who follow a plant-based diet account for 75 percent less in greenhouse gas emissions than those who eat more than 3.5 ounces of meat a day, and a vegan diet also results in significantly less harm to land, water and biodiversity, according to new research from the University of Oxford.”

August Reflections on a Warming World
After the record setting temperatures in July, I decided to spend the month of August with daily reflections on my Facebook page about where we are and what we might be able to do.  I am inviting comments from others and hoping to encourage a genuine discussion of these issues.  See my Facebook page.  If you do not have a Facebook account, you can follow most of what I am writing on my blog “Trying Times” and you can also comment there.  I hope you will join the conversation.
Sylvia Neely
July Newsletter
September 2023 Newsletter

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