The Friends of Peace meet monthly, the third Tuesday of the month, 6 pm, at Poppo Rollo's Pizza
Westbank Meeting Room, 703 N. Valley Mills Dr., Waco, 76710. Free presentation and pizza/salad buffet.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

PLANNING MEETING DEC. 12th -- INAUGURATION PROTEST

There will be a planning meeting for an inauguration day action on Monday, Dec. 12th, at 6 pm, in a private meeting room at the Summer Palace Chinese Restaurant, 1520 N. Valley Mills Dr. in Waco.  A buffet meal (at your cost) will be available.

Waco Friends of Peace/Climate will coalition with other progressive groups from Central Texas in order to plan a large rally/protest/march on January 20, Inauguration Day.  We will convert a day of mourning into a day of RESISTANCE and UNITY.  We know that Trump's plans on climate are especially deadly, so we must protest on this day. Please join us as we plan strategy for this protest.

PROTEST DEC. 10th -- Wells Fargo: DIVEST From DAPL

There will be a protest action on Saturday, December 10th, from 11 am until 1 pm, on the sidewalk in front of Wells Fargo bank, 1105 Wooded Acres Dr.

We have a victory with President  Obama's announcement that he will not grant the final easement for the DAPL and that an environmental study of the project routes will be undertaken, but we will continue the pressure.  We are in communication with Native American leaders and those planning actions in other Texas cities, and everyone plans to continue the protests.  We don't know the outcome of the route study, and of course, Trump will probably try to force pipeline construction no matter the study outcome.  Of course our goal is to STOP all new pipeline construction.

A large banner will be provided, and people should bring their own individual signs.  We will be there rain or shine -- our conditions could not possibly be as horrendous as those the water protectors in North Dakota suffer!

Monday, November 28, 2016

HOMEOWNER’S EXCELLENT EXPERIENCE WITH ROOFTOP SOLAR

Alan Northcutt reports the following on his year-long experience with a photovoltaic solar system at his home:

Solar panels, also called photovoltaic cells, were installed on my roof around New Year’s Day 2016.  Since that time my average electricity bill has been $3.13.  In fact, for 3 of those months my bill was $0.00. Yes, $0.00.  So I would like to share my amazing experience with solar energy through a practical overview applicable to Central Texas.

Cost:  Although the exact price of a home solar system depends on multiple variables, I will provide a general example for illustration. Importantly, now is an excellent time to go solar in light of plummeting panel prices and available incentives.  A 7.5kW system (producing about 850kWh per month) has an invoice price of approximately $25,000.  If the home is within their service area, ONCOR’s generous incentive would lower the purchase price to $20,000.  And at income tax time, the 30% federal tax credit of $6000 would further lower the final price to only $14,000.  The average time to pay for a system with electric bill savings is 7 to 8 years.  After that, the system generates income, through these lower or absent electric bills.

Obstacles:  The primary requirement is that the roof be unobstructed by trees or other objects. (But if an obstruction exists, many installers erect ground based solar arrays in the customer’s backyard.) A south facing roof generates maximum energy, but is not mandatory.  Finally, homeowners’ associations will often assert that rooftop solar is not allowed.  Fortunately, this claim is false, and these associations are not able to restrict solar installations in Texas.  In reality, solar panels are not an aesthetic detriment to the roof. Their sleek, black futuristic appearance is actually an improvement over mundane gray shingles. 

Installation:  Waco is fortunate to have an excellent, experienced local installer in Holtek Solar, my provider.  One advantage of a local business is the rapid attention paid to any questions or problems.  Another option is Freedom Solar, based in Austin, which offers a no money down plan, with monthly payments.  Installation involves attaching the panels to the roof, attaching the inverter (converts DC to usable AC) to an outside wall, and wiring the system components, connecting to the existing electric service.  The process surprisingly only takes a couple of days.
   
Operation:  One delight of home solar is monitoring the function of the system.  Through one’s computer or smart phone app, the system data is displayed: weather conditions; daily output graph; weekly, monthly and annual outputs; individual panel generation; and cumulative cost savings in dollars.  And through net metering, the excess production during the sunny hours is credited by the grid provider, lowering one’s electricity bill. 
Maintenance.   With no moving parts, solar panels are essentially care free.  If the data monitor does show an output drop from a given panel, a cleansing spray of water is corrective.  But in 10 months of operation, my system has required no maintenance. 
Rationale:  In conclusion, the reasons to install rooftop solar are multiple:
  • Once the system cost is recovered, monthly electricity bill savings represent income.   Further, the systems are guaranteed to produce 80% of initial output for 25 years!
  • Home value may increase 3 to 4% upon the addition of rooftop solar systems, according to a 2011 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Conversion of the world’s energy system to renewables is a race against time, to avoid climate change catastrophe.  Installation of residential solar is a powerful contribution toward winning this race.  
  • The immediate lightening of one’s greenhouse gas footprint is a potent step to combat anthropogenic climate change. 
  • Decreasing the use of fossil fuel energy helps combat its serious health impacts, including lung disease, cardiovascular disease, and 30,100 premature US deaths per year.  

 “Sunshine is Nature’s hug and spirit breath to the earth,” wrote Terri Guillemets.  I concur with this sentiment, and invite others to consider powering their homes with this limitless, clean, zero carbon resource. 

Alan D. Northcutt, M.D., is a local physician and director of the Waco Friends of Peace/Climate (www.friendsofpeace.org)

Friday, November 18, 2016

NO DAPL Action Successful

The NO DAPL action hosted by Waco Friends of Peace/Climate on November 15th at the Federal Courthouse in Waco was a huge success, with participation by over 35 people and media coverage by two TV stations and the Waco Trib.













To subscribe to FOP/Climate email list: anorthc@aol.com

Thursday, November 10, 2016

NO DAPL PROTEST - Global Day of Action




















On Tuesday, November 15th, Waco Friends of Peace/Climate will host a protest action in front of the United States Federal Courthouse at 800 Franklin Ave in Waco.  The action will last from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm.

This event will be part of the actions around the world on November 15.  The NO DAPL movement is the biggest issue at this moment in the climate change community.  It is a REAL issue for the Standing Rock Sioux people, as they work to protect their water and sacred sites.  It is a REAL issue as the science tells us we must build NO more new fossil fuel infrastructure if we are to have hopes of surviving climate change.  And it has become symbolic of our struggle: the people and science against the greed of the fossil fuel corporations. 

And with the election of climate change denier Donald Trump as President November 8, we must work even harder the next four years, starting immediately.  This protest is the perfect opportunity to express our commitment to defeating the environmentally destructive policies Trump has promised. 

 Details:
  • This will be a legal protest on a public sidewalk.  We have informed the Courthouse personnel in order to avoid conflict.  No need to fear arrest.
  • We will provide the giant banner.  Please express yourself by bringing your own sign.
  • We expect a sunny pleasant day, but bring gear in case of rain.  We will protest, rain or shine.  The Standing Rock Sioux have endured attack by dog--we can survive a little bad weather. 
  • We start at 4pm because of Courthouse hours.  But come whenever you can:  your presence is what matters. 
  • Dinner at a downtown restaurant after would be great if members agree.
  • The protest serves as our November meeting.  PLEASE join us and help create a huge crowd.  If you have never joined a protest before, I encourage you to take part--you will never regret doing the right thing.  Let's fill up the sidewalk.
  • Questions:  contact Alan Northcutt at anorthc@aol.com.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Letter to Waco Meteorologists

The following letter was signed by attendees at the October meeting of Waco Friends of Peace/Climate and sent to the weathermen at Channels 6 and 25 in Waco:
                                                                                                                                                                                              
As citizens of Central Texas, we would respectfully request that you include information in your weather broadcasts connecting weather to climate change. We recognize that many local residents rely on television weather forecasts, and that you have a large and loyal following. Thus you have a great opportunity to inform citizens about the serious challenge of climate change. Please consider the following:
  • Anthropogenic climate change is a crisis according to the best science, and thus we have a responsibility to educate the public on this topic.
  • The American Meteorological Society completely embraces the science of climate change.  Their websites contains publications by the AMS, such as "Explaining Extreme Events of 2014 from a Climate Perspective." 
  • Central Texas has experienced very hot weather this past summer, and July and August 2016 are tied for globally the hottest months in recorded history.
  • Waco experienced severe flooding in the spring of 2015 and 2016.  May 2015 was the wettest single month on record in Texas.  Climate science has predicted heavier rainfalls, as the warmer atmosphere holds more moisture. 
Although the nations of the world are united to combat climate change through the Paris Agreement, history informs us that major change also depends on an informed populace demanding action. You have an excellent opportunity to educate viewers by making the connection between weather and climate change. Thank you for taking action on this vital and urgent issue.

 To subscribe to FOP/Climate email list: anorthc@aol.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Progressive Film Series: October 18th, 2016


The Brainwashing of My Dad

Wednesday, October 18th
Poppa Rollo's Pizza
703 N. Valley Mills Dr.
Waco
6 PM Business & Buffet
6:30 Film & Discussion
Runtime:  89 Minutes

Waco Friends of Peace/Climate will show "The Brainwashing of My Dad,” the just-released award-winning documentary, which details the conversion of a sane moderate Democrat to a right-wing fanatic through the power of conservative media and talk radio. The film deals with details of the Fairness Doctrine, forces behind the media expansion, and the power of misinformation and division. 

   "Fascinating" -- Examiner.com

   "Should be required viewing for everybody." -- Tony Trupiano

   "It's about all of us." -- David Alm, Forbes 

To subscribe to FOP/Climate email list: anorthc@aol.com