Wednesday, May 25, 2016

STATE CAPITOL RALLY: Stand Together for Climate, Jobs, and Justice

Join us to Rally for 
100% Clean Renewable Energy in NY State!

The Climate Justice Coalition of WNY and the Sierra Club Niagara Group need YOU in Albany to tell our lawmakers that we demand a Clean Energy Economy with Good Jobs, Healthy Communities, a Livable Climate and Justice for ALL!

The shift to renewable energy will cut global warming pollution, create new jobs and must include policies that ensure equity and justice for our communities and workers.

Fortunately, the NYS Assembly recently introduced a new bill, The Climate and Community Protection Act (A10342), that addresses all of the above concerns. But the bill will not become law without Strong Public Support. That's why we need YOU at the State Capitol!

Rally with us on June 1st to make your voice heard and let New York State legislators know that We Stand United for a clean energy economy and renewable energy future for all!

Get your BUS Tickets here: Buffalo Bus To Albany

Renewables Are Doable!

For more information visit New Yorkers for Clean Power

RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS: No Fossil Fuels? A Renewable World?

Where in the world have we achieved 100% renewable power?

In a few places around the world, humans have achieved a feat that seemed impossible just a few years ago, and still seems inconceivable nearly everywhere else: They’ve stopped burning fossil fuels for electricity.

Throughout 2015, several nations, states and cities announced they had either managed the switch to renewables, or to a massive increase in non-polluting energy production. It’s a big shift from a time when, after the financial crash of 2008, many dismissed renewable energy as unscalable, niche, or too expensive to consider.

So who is producing the most power from renewable sources, and how are they doing it? The areas that go 100% renewable tend to combine two factors: great natural resources (like the terrain needed for hydropower) and small populations (getting power to everyone is easier when there are only a few million of them). Others might not be quite at 100% yet—but are taking impressive steps towards it. 

Read more at Quartz

Video: Mark Jacobson on a Renewable World

Mark Z. Jacobson, PhD, of Stanford University, has modeled a transition to 100% renewable, carbon free energy, for 138 countries and all 50 US states. He was interviewed in December 2015.

Rooftop solar and energy efficiency just saved Californians $192 million in transmission costs

In regulatory proceedings across the country, we have long made the case that consumer investment in solar and other clean energy options can be a real cost-saver as it reduces the need for expensive new and upgraded utility infrastructure. Now, with solar on the rise, we’re seeing that promise turn into reality.

The governing board of the Golden State’s grid operator, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), recently approved its 2015-2016 Transmission Plan which … wait for it … calls for canceling THIRTEEN sub-transmission projects that had been planned for PG&E’s service territory.

Read more at Vote Solar

Renewables Are Leaving Natural Gas In The Dust This Year

The U.S. electric grid added more than 70 times as much renewable energy capacity as natural gas capacity from January to March.

In the first three months of 2016, the U.S. grid added 18 megawatts of new natural gas generating capacity. It added a whopping 1,291 megawatts (MW) of new renewables.

The renewables were primarily wind (707 MW) and solar (522 MW). We also added some biomass (33 MW) and hydropower (29 MW). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) latest monthly “Energy Infrastructure Update” reports that no new capacity of coal, oil, or nuclear power were added in the first quarter of the year.
Continue reading at ThinkProgress

Monday, May 23, 2016

VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Albany Rally to Break Free from Fossil Fuels

By David Kowalski

Members of the Climate Justice Coalition of WNY, the Sierra Club Niagara Group as well as concerned citizens rode a bus from Buffalo to a Rally in Albany on May 14, 2016 calling on NY State to end our dependence on polluting fossil fuels and shift to clean, renewable energy.

This rally was part of Global Actions held on six continents and in several U.S. cities during that week. People around the world stood up to say to say Break Free from Fossil Fuel and Keep It in the GROUND!

We joined over 1000 concerned citizens in Albany to say NO to new fracked gas & oil pipelines and NO to explosive oil trains ('bomb trains'), whose risk of derailment is threatening the safety of our communities in Buffalo, Albany and elsewhere in the state.

We said YES to Clean, Renewable Energy necessary to end global warming pollution, curb climate change, create new jobs and ensure justice for communities at risk.

Here is a 1 minute MUSIC VIDEO made from photos that I shot at the rally:

 Music credit: "Who's Gonna Stand Up?" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse band

Below is a link to a SLIDESHOW that contains photos and a few video clips of the rally and the march to the railroad tracks at the Port of Albany.

To access the SLIDESHOW, Click Here

HINTS for navigating the SLIDESHOW after you open it:
- Hover the mouse pointer over a photo to see the Caption.
- Click on a photo to view it, and Click again to Enlarge it to full size.

Environmental activists from around the region march down Pearl Street to the Port of Albany on Saturday, May 14, 2016, in Albany, N.Y. The demonstration delayed oil train traffic at the Port of Albany to raise awareness for the region's opposition to all fossil fuels. The event was part of a weeklong global effort called Break Free From Fossil Fuels. (Photo: Cindy Schultz / Times Union) 
Press coverage: Albany protest: 5 arrested after oil train delayed
ALBANY — A daylong effort to block crude oil trains brought hundreds of people near the Port of Albany, where they sat on train tracks and listened to speeches, sang and discussed nationwide and local environmental issues.
The Albany event on Saturday, organized by the coalition Break Free From Fossil Fuels, was one of several around the country and world this month.

Read more in the online report at the Albany Times Union: Click Here

~   ~   ~

For a livable climate and a just transition to renewable energy, 
 fossil fuels must be kept in the ground!

Green Drinks: Renewable Energy, Efficiency, and Clean Transportation

Green Drinks @ Ulrich's 1868 Tavern
Date: Tuesday, May 24th

Time: 5:30 - 7:30 PM

Location: 674 Ellicott Street Buffalo, NY 14203

Green Drinks is on Tuesday evening at Ulrich's 1868 Tavern.

Renee Vogelsang and Elizabeth Broad will be stopping in Buffalo on their “Road to Renewables” tour across the state in a Ford Fusion Energi, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. We're excited to welcome them to Buffalo!

Elizabeth Broad and Renee Vogelsang - NY'ers for Clean Power
The event will promote local campaigns for renewable energy and announce the “New Yorkers for Clean Power” statewide campaign to increase the deployment of clean energy across New York State.

The campaign will focus on education, organizing, and advocacy to engage the public, local governments, and businesses to advance a range of renewable energy, efficiency, and clean transportation solutions.

Delicious German food will be provided courtesy of PUSH Buffalo, this month's Green Drinks sponsor.

RSVP to Melanie at will receive a free drink ticket. Please write GD RSVP 5/24 in the subject line of the email!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Albany Rally: Break Free From Fossil Fuels - Hop on the Bus!

For a livable climate and a just transition to renewable energy, fossil fuels must be kept in the ground.
The Climate Justice Coalition of WNY and the Sierra Club Niagara Group have chartered a bus from Buffalo to a Rally in Albany on Saturday, May 14th calling on NY State to Break Free from Fossil Fuels.

Join concerned citizens to say NO to new fracked gas & oil pipelines and storage, as well as explosive oil trains in our communities. Say YES to clean, renewable energy sources.

This rally is part of a Global Action to Break Free from Fossil Fuels. We will join with thousands of people around the world standing up to say,  KEEP IT IN THE GROUND!

It is time to move toward 100% Renewable Energy!

Bus Ticket Button
BUS from BUFFALO: leaving at 5:00 AM from the University at Buffalo South Campus Park & Ride lot on Main Street near the Metro Station. 

ALBANY RALLY will begin at 10:00 AM in Lincoln Park, Eagle St. Entrance, between Morton Ave. & Park Ave.  [Map]

Groups from some areas of the Northeast are being trained and will participate in direct action. We will be there to rally and stand in solidarity, not to participate in the direct action.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

GASLAND Film Director Bringing New Film to WNY

Climate Justice Coalition
of Western NY
 Free and Open to the Public
Join Josh Fox and concerned citizens in Pendleton on Tuesday, May 3rd at 6:30PM where the local community is fighting the proposed National Fuel Northern Access Project. That project would bring fracked gas from Pennsylvania through a new pipeline and into new dehydration and compressor stations that bring noise and toxic air pollution. To add insult to injury, the gas will be exported to Canada.  

Planet-warming fossil fuels are history. Nature's clean, renewable energy sources are the future. We need to let go of the past and invest in the future!

Watch the film Trailer

Interview of Josh Fox about his film and related issues HERE

Climate Justice Coalition of WNY: List of Spring 2016 Events is Here

Social Media:

Funded in part by grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the Sierra Club Niagara Group

NY State Attorney General Speaks on Climate Change and Economic Justice in Buffalo

By David Kowalski

Eric Schneiderman    photo D.Kowalski
NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman visited Buffalo on April 21 and presented a talk to a full auditorium at the Frank E. Merriweather Library. The event was sponsored by the Climate Justice Coalition of WNY, NY Renews, Open Buffalo and PUSH Buffalo and was followed by a panel discussion led by Clarke Gocker.

Schneiderman's talk on climate change and economic justice is covered below. A subsequent story will cover another part of the talk about his office's investigations of fossil fuel industries responsible for the global warming pollution and their denial of the problem.

Eric Schneiderman spoke about the need to unite the campaigns that deal with the crisis of climate change with a campaign to deal with economic inequality. He said that the two have to go hand in hand if we are going to save the planet and if we’re going to be the country that we’re supposed to be. He added:
The movement that we have to build has got to go beyond the traditional environmental movement. We have to get everyone to understand that we are all in this together, and that we have to deal with the issue of the destruction of our planet while building a world that supports all families. We can do this. Because this does require a revamping of our energy sector, new jobs will be created. We have to make sure they are good, family-supporting jobs that go to the people that need them in every community.
We have to take action and we have to say what people don't say enough, which is, climate change is real, and it's happening now, and it's affecting us now.
It is undeniable that Earth is warming. Last month was the hottest March since humans began to use instruments to measure the temperature. The month before that was the hottest February ever, the month before that the hottest January ever, 2015 was the hottest year ever, 2014 was the second hottest.

Schneiderman said that the northeastern United States is seeing much more violent and much more frequent storm patterns. In 2011, Hurricane Irene dropped over 11 inches of rain in 24 hours causing catastrophic flooding in the Hudson River Valley and the Adirondacks. Thirty-one counties were declared disaster areas.

The following year, Superstorm Sandy hit New York Harbor with increased intensity because it passed over ocean water warmed by heat trapped by greenhouse gases and was 9°F warmer than it would have been in the past. Also, the sea level was over a foot higher than it was before the beginning of the 20th century, before burning of fossil fuels accelerated. Consequently, Sandy flooded an additional 80,000 people's homes that would have been had the water had been at the pre-industrial sea level.

"There is no responsible scientist who disputes the fact that burning fossil fuels is contributing to warming of the planet. There is no legitimate debate as to that," Schneiderman said.

He pointed out that the argument against environmentalism is usually couched in terms of destroying jobs and hurting the economy. Schneiderman said:
You are the people who are going to build a movement that says we know that’s all a lie. We know the way to create good green family-supporting jobs is to lean in to the move to renewables. And the states that lean in early, are the states that are going to do better in this incredibly competitive Global market.
New York I'm proud to say is leaning in. But as most you know public officials do what their constituents make them do. And this is true of our friends as well as our enemies. We need to encourage our friends and give them support and we need to dissuade our enemies from opposing our efforts to re-establish equality and the state of the planet. It's not really much more complicated than that.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Film Screening: 'CATCHING THE SUN' - Free

WHEN: Friday, April 29 at 6:30 PM

WHERE: Daemen College (Schenk Hall), Main St., Amherst [Map]

Sponsors: Sierra Club Niagara Group, Daemen College Department of Global & Local Sustainability, League of Women Voters Buffalo Niagara, and the Climate Justice Coalition of Western NY

Watch the film trailer:

"A must-see film. An eye-opening look at workers and entrepreneurs on the forefront of the clean energy movement that will transform, and enliven the way you see the future. What is clear is the wonderful opportunity the transition to clean energy represents." 
An unemployed American worker, a Tea Party activist, and a Chinese solar entrepreneur race to lead the clean energy future. But who wins and who loses the battle for power in the 21st century?

Through the stories of workers and entrepreneurs in the U.S. and China, Catching the Sun captures the global race to lead the clean energy future. Over the course of a solar jobs training program, Catching the Sun follows the hope and heartbreak of unemployed American workers seeking jobs in the solar industry.

With countries like China investing in innovative technologies and capitalizing on this trillion-dollar opportunity, Catching the Sun tells the story of the global energy transition from the perspective of workers and entrepreneurs building solutions to income inequality and climate change with their own hands. Their successes and failures speak to one of the biggest questions of our time: will the U.S. actually be able to build a clean energy economy?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Green Drinks: Help Us Build YOU a better Environmental Summit


Join us for Green Drinks
When: Thursday April 28th
Where: D'Arcy McGees 257 Franklin Street Buffalo, NY 14202
Time: 4:00PM - 7:00 PM

Join us for the next Green Drinks at the always fabulous D'Arcy McGees with Bob Knoer and the organizers of the WNY Environmental Summit.

They're trying to make the Summit more innovative and poignant than ever with a fun, quick and interactive process where we'll solicit your input.

We're going to poll people with small note cards while they're socializing to find out:

What topics are you most interested in hearing expert speakers discuss?

What workshops or training sessions would be a draw and get you to attend the Environmental Summit this year?

We want to know!

Mark your calendar's and RSVP today. Light food will be provided. The first 50 people to RSVP to Green Drinks with Melanie McMahan at will receive a free drink ticket at the event.

There will also be a raffle for your participation and input for The Summit.

If you're interested in being more active with the WNY Environmental Summit this year, please include this in your email to Melanie.