ACTION ALERT: Join the "Off Fossil Fuels" Campaign
February 4, 2018 Food and Water Watch
For five years, Food & Water Watch has worked to ban fracking because it presents unacceptable risks to our water supply. Now, we're taking on dirty energy for another reason: climate chaos. The goal: to move the US from fossil fuels to 100% renewables by 2035. Over 400 organizations have signed onto a letter urging support for this "visionary legislation," including 350.org, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution, National Nurses United and more.
ACTION ALERT: Join the "Off Fossil Fuels" Campaign/big> We must stop the climate chaos that
threatens our food, water, and very survival.
Join the new effort demanding a clean energy revolution.
(February 3, 2018) -- This week saw some big news at the state level with campaign launches for bills to move to 100% renewable energy in Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia along with new co-sponsors on the OFF Act. There are also 100% clean energy bills coming in Colorado and New York soon!
Here are a couple sample tweets to help spread the word!
This was a big week for the movement to move #OffFossilFuels and onto 100% clean energy: state bills introduced in MD, NJ, VA, and more co-sponsors on the federal #OFFAct. We can do this! #ReadyFor100 #FossilFree http://bit.ly/2EdHkJ8
States are leading the fight to move #OffFossilFuels and onto 100% clean energy: lawmakers introduced bills in MD, NJ and VA this week! #ReadyFor100 #FossilFree http://bit.ly/2EdHkJ8"
100% Renewable: Right Here, Right Now It was a BIG week for the essential campaign
to move off fossil fuels and on to
100% renewable energy by 2035 Food & Water Watch
(February 2, 2018) - -- With a climate-denying President moving to increase oil and gas extraction, it is more important than ever for state and local governments to act. That's what happened this week, as state bills for 100% renewable energy moved forward this week in New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland.
In New Jersey, we have spent months building a coalition to support this visionary goal. On February 1, the NJ Off Fossil Fuels coalition came to Trenton to formally launch our campaign to support two pieces of legislation that will get New Jersey to 100% clean energy by 2035.
Standing alongside bill sponsors Senator Patrick Diegnan and Assemblyman Tim Eustace, an enthusiastic crowd chanted, sang, and shouted out our support for bold action to create a clean energy revolution in the Garden State.
With a new governor who has declared his support for 100% clean energy, the time for setting this ambitious goal is right now. As Senator Diegnan put it, "No challenge is beyond our reach. And anybody who tells you that this goal is unreachable are simply lying to you." Assemblyman Eustace echoed those points, saying that a "failure of imagination" should not hold us back from thinking big: "There's no way this will fail."
On Tuesday, Virginia lawmakers heard the first ever state level bill that calls for 100% clean energy by 2035. The new legislation, introduced by environmental champion Delegate Sam Rasoul, could have major impacts on renewable energy in the state.
In a pivotal moment, the bill was passed by indefinitely (i.e. tabled) but with significant support from all the Democratic Delegates on committee -- Kaye Kory, Jeff Bourne, Jeion Ward and Stephen Heretick.
In Maryland yesterday, Delegate Shane Robinson and 47 co-sponsors in the House of Delegates announced the introduction of the bill to move Maryland to 100 % renewable energy by 2035, the strongest climate bill ever introduced in Maryland.
More than 100 people from the 100% Renewable Maryland coalition including the groups Food & Water Watch, Maryland Sierra Club, Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, Howard County Climate Change, Hartford County Climate Change and others rallied in support of the bold bill.
In the coming weeks, similar bills will also be introduced in New York and Colorado. All this activity at the state level bodes well for the national effort to move off fossil fuels. In the past week, three new co-sponsors joined Tulsi Gabbard's Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act, and the number of groups supporting the bill continued to grow.
Over 400 organizations have signed onto a letter urging support for this "visionary legislation," including 350.org, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution, National Nurses United and more.
To get involved in all these efforts from anywhere in the country, go to offfossilfuels.org. Experienced organizers will be able to help connect you with these campaigns, or start one in your own state or community. Together we can bring about the clean energy revolution we need to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, now and for future generations. Our Lives Depend on Moving America
Off Fossil Fuels. Here's How We'll Do It. Food & Water Watch
(March 28, 2017) - -- For five years, Food & Water Watch has worked to ban fracking because we've determined that it presents unacceptable risks to our water supply. We've worked alongside grassroots activists across the country – including in the states of New York and Maryland – to pass bans and other ordinances against fracking.
Now, we're taking on dirty energy for another reason: climate chaos.
While Trump unleashes a chaotic maelstrom of tweets, "alternative facts" and reactionary policies upon the American public, climate change is unleashing its own chaos on planet Earth as we know it. What's worse, the White House has brazenly appointed several climate change deniers with extensive fossil fuel industry ties to key positions in the cabinet. Their agenda appears to be burn more coal, oil and gas, not less.
Since the election, it's become crystal clear that it's up to us to step up and demand better from our leaders for people and the planet. That's why Food & Water Action Fund has launched a bold new effort to get America Off Fossil Fuels by building political power, beginning at the local level. Together, we'll cultivate climate champions in government, ban fracking, keep fossil fuels in the ground, stop dangerous pipelines and infrastructure projects, and transition to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2035.
How Will Climate Affect Our Survival - --
Specifically, Our Food and Water?
We know that burning fossil fuels contributes to climate change, and a warming climate will have many impacts on society, but let's drill down specifically to expected impacts on our access to safe food and clean water supplies – two things that are essential to our survival.
Chaos for Our Food Supply
The impacts on our food supply could be immense. Lloyds of London, an insurance industry giant, wrote in its report, Food System Shock that the global food supply is very vulnerable to uncertain climate impacts.
With a global population expected to exceed 9 billion in 2050, extreme weather linked to climate change and the accompanying spread of agricultural pests and diseases could destabilize the global food supply.
Another study by the U.S. Global Change Research Program shows a warming planet would have other widespread impacts. Climate change will continue to reduce the nutritional value of our food, as rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels decrease the concentration of protein and essential minerals in crops like wheat and rice.
Increasing risks of food-born illness are also expected, as are increases in chemical contamination – for example, as the ocean temperature rises, we could see higher levels of mercury accumulating in fish. Adverse weather events, that will likely increase in frequency and intensity with climate change, could also harm the infrastructure that brings us our food.
Rising levels of carbon dioxide emissions in the earth's atmosphere are causing a phenomenon called ocean acidification. As the oceans absorb more and more CO2, this results in seawater becoming more acidic and creates increasingly unfavorable conditions for calcifying sea life such as shellfish and corals.
Ocean acidification is already setting off a chain reaction throughout entire ocean ecosystems, bringing with it serious implications for marine habitats and food security. Ocean acidification is pervasive and its legitimacy is unquestionable and backed by scientific evidence: carbon dioxide emissions are the direct cause of ocean acidification.
Chaos for Our Water Supplies
Climate change will have a range of impacts on our ability to have safe drinking water. Aging drinking water and wastewater systems could fail under the stress of adverse weather events.
Runoff from storms will also directly impact the water supply, introducing pathogens and increasing the prevalence of algal blooms. Warming waters themselves could expose us to more waterborne pathogens. And of course, climate change is increasing droughts, as well as heatwaves and floods. Globally, water supplies are already stressed – and climate change will only exacerbate those stresses.
Vulnerable Communities are Getting Hit Hardest
Low income communities, communities of color, indigenous communities, and immigrants are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and will be hit disproportionally by health and other impacts – as will people with disabilities, pregnant women and children, and the elderly.
The poorest communities are also the ones that are saddled with polluting fossil fuel infrastructure that not only contribute to climate change, but public health impacts locally. Climate change isn't just an environmental issue: it's a social justice issue.
Off Fossil Fuels: On to the Clean Energy Revolution
The scale of what's needed is immense. Since world leaders met in Paris in 2015 to agree to limit warming to 2°C, the roadmap to getting there shows we need to act quickly. What's more, Food & Water Watch believes we must limit warming to 1.5°C, which means our call to action must be even more urgent. To achieve this limit in temperature rise, we must achieve 100% renewable energy by 2035. That's less than 18 years away.
In other words, we have less than two decades to transition to renewable energy, and we can't afford to wait for our elected leaders in Washington to do the right thing. We must build power locally, from our city councils, to our state legislatures and beyond. While there has been good progress, with many cities making resolutions to go meet certain targets for renewables, the scale at which it must happen must ramp up.
During the Obama administration, we fought hard to protect the resources we need to sustain life. With our grassroots allies, we pushed hard to pressure the EPA to recognize that fracking contaminates drinking water – and won.
But now, there's a new administration in town that is truly emboldening the fossil fuel lobby, and has a startling lack of accountability on environmental issues. It's clear that any environmental progress we'll make has to start at the local level – and it starts with each one of us.
We've learned one powerful lesson from our experience organizing alongside grassroots partners to ban fracking in states and communities across the nation: When large numbers of people come together, we can win even in the face of powerful opposition.
To join the OFF Fossil Fuels mobilization, go to offfossilfuels.org.
This piece originally appeared on our sister site, Food & Water Action Fund.