Sunday, January 29, 2017

RALLY: Support Senator Schumer in Resisting Trump's Dangerous Agenda

RALLY In front of Senator Schumer’s Office
Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 12:00pm
130 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo 

Trump's Agenda is a Danger to 
Our Environment and Communities!
His administration of corporate cronies will protect elite interests while threatening our water, air, and food, undermining civil rights, and risking climate chaos.

On February 2, New Yorkers will rally at Senator Schumer’s offices across the state urging him to resist Trump’s agenda!

As the nation’s top Democrat, Senator Chuck Schumer must continue to stand strong against Trump’s catastrophic Cabinet appointments and his climate-destroying plans. 

Let’s show our Senator he has 
strong support in Western New York! 

Join Sierra Club, Climate Justice Coalition of WNY, PUSH Buffalo, 350.0rg, Food and Water Watch, WNY Peace Center, NYPIRG and many others

Questions? Email

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Women March in Unprecedented Numbers in DC, Buffalo and Beyond in Support of Women's Rights, Safety and Health - January 22, 2017

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THE BUFFALO NEWS - January 22, 2017

Buffalo protesters join masses at Women's March in D.C.

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THE HILL - January 21, 2017

Sanders on women's march: Trump 'made a big mistake' 

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THE BUFFALO NEWS - January 22, 2017

Thousands attend women's rally against Trump in Buffalo

Nationwide Protests 'Inspiring' and must keep 'Moving Forward' to Protect Our Democracy, says Author

Democracy & Government                 

A Great and Joyful March, But It’s Not Enough

Saturday's protests were inspiring but just the first step in fighting back against those who would end democracy.

 Thousands of people take part in the Women's March on Jan. 21, 2017 in New York City. The midtown Manhattan event was one of many anti-Trump protests nationwide that came a day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

“Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”

On Sunday morning, that came flying out from the Twitter account of @realDonaldTrump, raising the question, “What have you done with the real, @realDonaldTrump?”

It sure didn’t sound like the troll we’ve come to know. A couple of days in, maybe the awesomeness of becoming the leader of the free world had penetrated his roiling psyche and settled him down.

Nah. Clearly, he hadn’t written it. Because just two hours before, in a tone far more like the narcissistic whinge we’re used to, the Trump account tweeted, “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.”

Not voting? Celebs? That sound you heard was my cognitive dissonance alarm hitting DEFCON 1.

In both instances, the bad and not-quite-as-bad Trump personas were writing about Saturday’s worldwide protests, women’s marches in more than 500 cities in the United States — at least 3.7 million Americans — and more than another hundred demonstrations internationally, from London and Paris to that handful of hearty souls who displayed their protest signs in Antarctica.

There were half a million people in Washington, DC, just the day after the less-than-superb turnout for Donald Trump’s inauguration and some 400,000 here in New York City, if not more. According to Sarah Frostenson at Vox, “… Political scientists say they think we may have witnessed the largest day of demonstrations in American history.”

I have been at many, many protest marches in my life, going back to the big anti-Vietnam demonstrations of the late ’60s and ’70s, and I have never experienced anything like what happened this weekend. We arrived at our designated stepping off point on Saturday at 11:30 a.m., right on time, but the block was so packed it already had been penned off. A marshal suggested we move up to the next street above and work our way back down to where we were supposed to be but it was impossible and in the process I managed to get separated from my friends — too much of a crowd between us to get back to one another; a situation complicated by a dying cellphone.

A scene from the crowd in the march in New York on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo by Michael Winship)
A scene from the crowd in the march in New York on Saturday, 
Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo by Michael Winship)
And so there I stood, alone in the crowd, waiting for something to happen, soaking in the excitement and anticipation everyone shared at being there, enjoying the collegiality, reading the hundreds of signs, from the woman carrying a 5×7 card with the words, “A tiny sign for a tiny man” to the guy not far from me whose placard read, “A woman made this sign for me.”

Apparently, our numbers were so unexpected it took a while for the organizers and police to figure out what to do with us all, so it was 2:30 p.m. or so before we finally began to move, slowly swinging south onto Second Avenue on the east side of Manhattan. This wasn’t so much a march as a slow group shuffle; there were so many people crowded onto the street we could only move a little bit at a time, like an escaped chain gang bound at the ankles.

We worked our way down to 42nd Street and then west. I was tempted to peel off at Grand Central Station and head home — the hour already was late — but I was determined to make it all the way to the end, to reach Fifth Avenue and 56th Street and summit at Trump Tower.

By the time we made our way onto Fifth Avenue the sun was going down but we kept moving, singing, chanting, cheering. A 6-year-old girl, perched on a grown-up’s shoulders, urged us on: “We are the popular vote! This is what democracy looks like!” she shouted and we echoed everything she said. This was her personal favorite: “Donald Duck for president!”

Saturday was a stunning affirmation of defiance, a rebuke and warning that resistance has just begun, yet only if we have the patience and grit to keep it moving forward.

We got to a block from Trump’s gilded pleasure dome and then were turned away by parade marshals
and police. We could get no closer; barriers blockaded the way. Amicably, the protesters broke up, walking east and west on the cross streets, many filling the bars and restaurants, others crowding into the subway stations, headed home.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer tried to shrug off the significance of what happened on our streets Saturday. Referring to the Washington march, he said, “There were people who came to the Mall, as they do all the time, sometimes in smaller numbers.” Ho-hum, he seemed to say.

“A lot of these people were there to protest an issue of concern to them and not against anything,” Spicer said, personifying the self-deception that believes the lie.

Sorry, Sean — Saturday was a stunning affirmation of defiance, a rebuke and warning that resistance has just begun, yet only if we have the patience and grit to keep it moving forward.

I’ve told this story here before, but the lesson remains: In the wake of the murder of protesting students at Kent State and Jackson State in 1970, the big antiwar demonstrations that followed and the nationwide student strike that shut down hundreds of colleges and universities, the idea was not just to demonstrate but to mobilize and continue to work toward an end to the Vietnam War. Once the dramatic marches had come to an end, all too many simply took advantage of an early end to the semester and headed for the beach. Little was accomplished and the war continued for another five years. Those of us who wanted to keep the peace work going — the stated intention of the strike — were met with diffidence at best and at worst, outright apathy and resentment.

“Thank you for understanding that sometimes we must put our bodies where our beliefs are,” Gloria Steinem said at Saturday’s rally in Washington. “Pressing ‘send’ is not enough.” She’s right, but marching won’t be enough either as we go up against a committed band of zealots determined to end all remaining vestiges of the New Deal and the Great Society and to further enrich the wealth of the 1 percent — especially, of course, themselves.

“This is the upside of the downside,” Steinem said on Saturday. “This is an outpouring of energy, and true democracy like I have never seen in my very long life. It is wide in age, it is deep in diversity, and remember, the Constitution does not begin with ‘I the president,’ it begins with ‘we the people.’”

The work must take place at every level, from local on up: organizing, keeping yourself informed,
sending letters and emails, making phone calls, attending town meetings, running for office or working for the candidates who best represent your interests.

And this, perhaps above all: confront your member of Congress. Don’t let him or her off the hook. Make sure your representative doesn’t sell you out to the Big Interests, or deceive you with empty rhetoric. If they do – throw the rascals out.

There is no time to lose. With each day, a cornice of our republic crumbles and the body of democracy struggles to keep itself from stumbling and falling into the abyss. No joke.

Call on Gov. Cuomo to Defy Trump and Make Climate Change a Priority

Resist Trump, Press Cuomo
We’re not even a week in, and the Trump administration has already begun burying climate science, dialing back progress, and pushing our planet toward the brink of catastrophe. 
In the face of federal denialism, it's up to the great State of New York to lead the fight to save the world.

How can Governor Cuomo lead the fight? He can start by including the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) in the state's 2017 budget.

CLICK HERE to sign up for a 'Thunderclap' and join thousands of other New Yorkers who are calling on Governor Cuomo to defy Trump and make climate change an urgent top priority.

What is Thunderclap? It’s a website that allows participants to pledge to post a message (our scripted message to Cuomo in this case) to Facebook or Twitter (or both) all on the same day--and at the exact same time--in order to achieve maximum impact (i.e, get Cuomo's attention and attention of all friends and followers that the message reaches).

On Monday, January 30th at 10:30AM, the Thunderclap will automatically launch on Facebook and Twitter, echoing across the state, and calling on the Governor to lead on climate in this moment of crisis by making climate action a top priority in the state budget.
Just 10 days after Trump’s inauguration, help us make sure we’re setting New York on a course to lead the nation in tackling climate change. 
Our futures depend on it.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Renewable Energy: Powering the World with Wind, Water and Sunlight

Mark Jacobson, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, has published a number of peer-reviewed scientific publications dealing with electric power derived from three renewable energy sources: wind, water and sunlight.

His publications demonstrate that renewable energy will not only benefit the environment in terms of avoiding pollution and global climate change, but also will provide far more jobs than will be lost in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. In addition to environmental and economic benefits, the transition to clean energy will provide significant heath benefits to society.

In the video below, Jacobson delivers a short lecture to California high school students titled "Powering the World with Wind Water and Sunlight (WWS)."

Want to see how Jacobson's WWS plan would apply to New York State?  
- Powerpoint Presentation (34 Mb) by Mark Jacobson titled "Powering New York State with Wind, Water and Sunlight"- Click here.
- Publication (2013) by Mark Jacobson and colleagues titled "Examining the feasibility of converting New York State’s all-purpose energy infrastructure to one using wind, water, and sunlight" -- Click Here to download the PDF. 
[Click image to enlarge]

See how the Jacobson WWS plan applies to the 50 United States:
- Publication (2015) by Mark Jacobson and colleagues titled "100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for the 50 United States" - Click Here.

See how the Jacobson WWS plan applies to the World:
- UPDATED October 24, 2016: "100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water, and Sunlight (WWS) All- Sector Energy Roadmaps for 139 Countries of the World" - Click Here.

Video at Youtube:  Click here.

China will invest $361 billion in clean, renewable energy by 2020 to curb pollution from fossil fuel combustion

Global Energy News | Thu Jan 5, 2017

China to plow $361 billion into renewable fuel by 2020

China will plow 2.5 trillion yuan ($361 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020, the country's energy agency said on Thursday, as the world's largest energy market continues to shift away from dirty coal power towards cleaner fuels.

The investment will create over 13 million jobs in the sector, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said in a blueprint document that lays out its plan to develop the nation's energy sector during the five-year 2016 to 2020 period.

The NEA said installed renewable power capacity including wind, hydro, solar and nuclear power will contribute to about half of new electricity generation by 2020.

The agency did not disclose more details on where the funds, which equate to about $72 billion each year, would be spent.

Still, the investment reflects Beijing's continued focus on curbing the use of fossil fuels, which have fostered the country's economic growth over the past decade, as it ramps up its war on pollution.

Last month, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's economic planner, said in its own five-year plan, that solar power will receive 1 trillion yuan of spending, as the country seeks to boost capacity by five times. That's equivalent to about 1,000 major solar power plants, according to experts' estimates.

The spending comes as the cost of building large-scale solar plants has dropped by as much as 40 percent since 2010. China became the world's top solar generator last year.

"The government may exceed these targets because there are more investment opportunities in the sector as costs go down," said Steven Han, renewable analyst with securities firm Shenyin Wanguo.

Some 700 billion yuan will go towards wind farms, 500 billion to hydro power with tidal and geothermal getting the rest, the NDRC said.

The NEA's job creation forecast differs from the NDRC's in December that said it expected an additional 3 million jobs, bringing the total in the sector to 13 million by 2020.

Concerns about the social and economic costs of China's air pollution have increased as the northern parts of the country, including the capital Beijing, have battled a weeks-long bout of hazardous smog.

Illustrating the enormity of the challenge, the NEA repeated on Thursday that renewables will still only account for just 15 percent of overall energy consumption by 2020, equivalent to 580 million tonnes of coal.

More than half of the nation's installed power capacity will still be fueled by coal over the same period.

(Reporting by Meng Meng and Beijing Monitoring Desk; Writing by Josephine Mason; Editing by Michael Perry and Christian Schmollinger)

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See also: ThinkProgress
Trump to cede millions of high-wage jobs to China
Beijing will create 13 million jobs by 2020, investing $360 billion in clean energy, while Trump vows to abandon the sector. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Webinar: NY Renews Community - Looking for Ways to Make a Difference?

NY Renews Community,
Looking for ways to make a difference?  

NY Renews is looking for you!

A year after our launch, NY Renews is building rapid momentum toward timely, just, and equitable action on climate change in New York State. Our coalition has grown to unite more than 100 environmental, social, labor and economic justice organizations with a mission to move the state’s economy off of fossil fuels and foster a just transition to renewable energy, create well-paying, safe jobs and revitalize impacted communities.

Facing a President-Elect who has stacked his cabinet with climate deniers and Big Oil, our best chance for progress is at the state and local level, and New York can show the way.

In recent weeks, hundreds of New Yorkers have turned out to town halls and press conferences, asking the Governor to stand up to Donald Trump by passing the nation's most ambitious climate policy. We need as many New Yorkers as possible to play an active part in pushing Governor Cuomo to be a real climate leader.

Ready to get involved? 

Join us for a Webinar on Monday, January 9th
from 7 to 8 pm

Find out how you can take action with NY Renews 
at this critical moment

*RSVP for the Webinar Here

[Click image to enlarge]

Spread the word widely on Facebook

In the meantime, please keep up the pressure by calling the Governor's office nonstop. Click here to go to our call-in tool (or here for Spanish). Urge him - soon and often - to stand up to Trump and make the Climate and Community Protection Act part of the 2017 NY State budget.

We look forward to your joining us on Monday, January 9th to discuss next steps.
Onwards, in solidarity,
Marc Weiss
for NY Renews Organizing Committee

Rally Outside Cuomo's UB Speech to Stop the Fracked Gas Pipeline

RALLY outside Governor Cuomo's 'State of the State' speech 
Monday January 9th, 2:00 UB North Campus!

Say NO to the Northern Access Pipeline!

In the days before his SOS speech, CALL GOVERNOR CUOMO.
Press 3 to talk with a representative
To see suggested messages, Click Here.
Use your own…there are plenty of compelling reasons to say  
NO NOrthern Access 2016!

We need Gov. Cuomo and the DEC to Deny the DEC 401 Water Quality Permit for National Fuel’s proposed Northern Access 2016 Pipeline Project

CONTACT: Diana - Niagara Sierra Club