Waco Friends of the Climate normally meets on the first Monday of the month at Poppa Rollo’s Pizza, at 703 N. Valley Mills Dr. in Waco, with a free buffet followed by a documentary film or a guest speaker.

To subscribe to our email list and learn about our meetings, campaigns and actions, please email anorthc@aol.com

To enter the 4th Annual Climate Crisis Art Exhibit in October 2020, please email anorthc@aol.com

Thursday, August 06, 2020

7th Annual Free Reusable Shopping Bag Distribution August 15th

We have approximately 600 bags, so come by early to insure bags are available. Please wear a mask or other protective covering when approaching our table.

These bags help protect our environment, as they replace single-use plastic bags which are rarely recycled. And single-use plastic bags contaminate our land and oceans, are eaten by all types of animals, sicken or kill animals and end up in human foods.

ln addition, as the fossil fuel companies see decreased burning of their product for energy, they are pushing the greater conversion of fossil fuels into plastics, which are non-biodegradable. Thus the reusable bags have a role in combating the climate crisis.

Each reusable bag will also contain an information card, which has details of our organization and suggested steps to mitigate the climate crisis.

For more information:  anorthc@aol.com.


Tuesday, August 04, 2020

WACO FRIENDS OF THE CLIMATE Zoom MEETING, Monday, August 10, 7pm


Our first Zoom meeting is scheduled for next Monday, from 7pm until 8pm.  We hope many of our members will be able to participate, and help keep the climate movement in Waco moving forward. 

Joining will be simple:  click on the link in the invitation below a few minutes before 7 pm.

The topics of the meeting:
  • Ongoing and upcoming projects and campaigns
  • Very recent and important climate science
  • Few very brief videos
  • "the worse climate crisis impact":  in this portion of the meeting we ask members to state which climate change impact has affected them most strongly.  We request just a couple of sentences from all who wish to speak (no pressure, entirely voluntary).
Please join us on Monday.  The program should be educational and interesting, and the meeting will help us keep in touch with colleagues.
 
If any questions or comments:  anorthc@aol.com.


Invitation:

Alan Northcutt is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic:  Waco Friends of the Climate:  AUGUST Zoom MEETING 
Time:   Aug 10, 2020 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID:  655 799 0174
Passcode:  1sKSG7

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Passcode: 572240
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/knEl2oQXM






Saturday, August 01, 2020

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Climate ZOOM Presentation, Thurs, July 23, 7 pm

All Waco Friends of the Climate members are invited to a ZOOM meeting presented by the McLennan County Democratic Party this Thursday evening.  I will provide a 15 minute Powerpoint talk on the climate crisis.  The meeting will also function as a fundraiser for the Democratic Party.  I encourage all of our members to attend:  the climate lecture will be of interest.  And if possible, a contribution to the Democratic Party would be nice.  We are all aware of the fact that Donald Trump and his minions have made our climate crisis even worse.

If you are able to attend, please use the following  link to register now.  Thank you!

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZItfuCpqD8tHdD3YbF6X4akWe52jl7kUzuo




Waco City Council Action NOW:  Please HELP!

From Alan Northcutt:

The City of Waco agenda for July 21 includes an item for the purchase of some 16 Ford Interceptor SUVs for the police, with a total expenditure of $856,551.  As you recall, we managed to have the Sustainability Board present recommendations to the Council stating the City should move toward electric vehicles (EVs).

Now these Interceptors are hybrids, but they have terrible efficiency of about 19-24mpg.  Clearly, the City can do better.  Multiple police departments are now using battery-electric cars and Waco should act now on this transition rather than purchasing 16 more GHG emitting SUVs.
  
Thus I request everyone to take a couple of minutes to comment on the City website in support of my comment to strongly evaluate EVs now, rather than approve this Interceptor purchase.  Here is what to do:

  1. Go to the City of Waco website:  https://www.waco-texas.com/council.asp#gsc.tab=0  
  2. Scroll down to "agendas here"
  3. Look on the page for "City Council meeting July 21:"
  4. On that line click on "agenda"
  5. Scroll down on the agenda to item "RES-2020-480"
  6. At the end of the item click on "Comment Card"
  7. Fill out the Comment Card
  8. Basically, just state something like the City must seriously evaluate the EVs on the market and NOT approve the Interceptor purchase..  With many members commenting, the City will be likely to act.
Complete this by 11 am, July 21st.

The following is my more detailed comment for reference.  I also had two attached files with details.  Many thanks for taking action.
   
The Sustainability Board recommended last year that the Council begin the transition away from fossil fuel vehicles.  Although the multiple vehicles for purchase in this Resolution are hybrids, the economy is very poor, with combined city/hwy mileage ranging from 19 to 24 mi/gal, depending on engine.  The agenda states that no electric option for the Ford Interceptor is available--this is true if you limit your search to ONLY this model car, which does not come as a full electric.  So the City must do a real search, looking at all the EVs available.

Many cities are now using electric police cars:  Hyattsville Maryland uses the Chevy Bolt, Seattle the Nissan Leaf, Bargersville Indiana the Tesla Model 3, Australia the Tesla Model X, and Europe the Hyundai Kona.
 
The City should seriously look at the options.  Attached is a file showing a list of EVs.  3 EVs are marked with "X" and should be considered.  They are all cheaper than the Interceptor.  The Tesla Model 3 is faster than the Interceptor, the Kia Niro is a small SUV and the Chevy Bolt can save the City money.  Also attached is a file showing  Hyattsville, Maryland's experience with the Bolt, in which they saved $15,864 over 5 years in fuel costs alone.
 
The City will never transition to electric vehicle by continuing to do what was done in the past.  We recommend that rather than automatically approving this purchase today, the City take a serious look at all EV options.  

Thank you, Alan Northcutt, MD

Friday, July 17, 2020

UPDATE TO ARTISTS JULY 17, 2020

From Alan Northcutt:

Below are the instructions for the 4th Annual Climate Crisis Art Exhibit, to be held in October 2020.  We hope to have a live art show at the Waco Winery as in previous years.  However, we will follow CDC and other governmental guidelines:  if a live event is not possible, we will hold a virtual exhibit, with art pieces uploaded to the show website.  Be assured that your work WILL be displayed, we will offer the same cash prizes, and we will have a Zoom reception.
 
We are committed to continue this art show during the COVID-19 pandemic because the climate crisis is mankind’s existential threat, and will challenge our future even after the pandemic has resolved. 

To simplify, if you plan to enter the show, please email me with the number of pieces and their medium, at anorthc@aol.com

CALL FOR ARTISTS
4th Annual Climate Crisis Art Exhibit
hosted by the Waco Friends of the Climate
 at the Waco Winery, 708 Austin Ave., Waco, Tx 
October 2020 


OVERVIEW
The Waco Friends of the Climate is a local non-profit organization dedicated to direct action and education to combat anthropogenic climate change.  The goal of the art show is to raise awareness of the climate crisis, emphasize that climate change is a global emergency, portray the ongoing effects, and suggest hopeful solutions.  We believe that art, through its emotional/spiritual/mystical impact, enhances the scientific understanding of the subject.  All submitted art should address some aspect of the climate crisis.  To encourage all artists, professional and amateur, to consider submitting their work, this 4th annual show will again take place in a larger, beautiful venue, requires no entry fee, and offers cash prizes.

The following are aspects of the manmade climate crisis that could serve as topics for submitted art:


  • Temperature increase of air, water, land
  • Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, death 
  • Melting polar sea ice with loss of habitats (polar bears)
  • Melting glaciers
  • Sea level rise
  • Flooding, submerged island nations
  • Increased heavy rainfall with freshwater flooding
  • More severe hurricanes (superstorms)
  • Increased tornado clusters and more Eastern US tornados 
  • Flooded cities around the globe
  • Worsening wildfires with longer wildfire seasons 
  • Coral bleaching and death, worldwide
  • Ocean acidification with damage to shelled creatures
  • Ocean dead zones
  • Altered ocean and atmospheric currents 
  • Deforestation 
  • Forest damage due to increased temperatures
  • Drought
  • Crop failure
  • Air pollution secondary to burning fossil fuels
  • Famine
  • Emigration and internation conflict
  • Water shortage
  • Loss of species, the 6th mass extinction, biodiversity collapse
  • Spreading diseases, especially spread by mosquitos, ticks, other insect vectors
  • Melting permafrost with methane release
  • Fossil fuel company funding of misinformation to delay regulation of greenhouse gases. 
  • Impact on the military, with flooded bases, threat “multiplication” 
  • Renewable energy, including photovoltaic (solar panels), solar thermal (concentrated solar), hydropower, wave, tidal, geothermal, biomass and biofuels, waste-to-energy
  • Geoengineering, including atmospheric aerosols (sulphates), carbon capture and storage, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS)
  •  Electric cars, electric busses, electric trucks, hybrid cars, hydrogen fuel cell cars
  • Solar and electric aircraft.
  • Batteries 
  • Plant-rich diet
  • Soil and forest restoration including regenerative agriculture
  • Green buildings, including green roofs, LED lighting, smart thermostats
  • Household recycling and composting
  • Alternative cement
  • Refrigerant management
  • Floating cities
  • Extinction rebellion symbol (climate change symbol):  a circle containing an hourglass, as a metaphor for the limited time remaining to take action. 
This list is not comprehensive, as the climate system is extremely complex.  Any topic related to mitigation of or adaptation to anthropogenic climate change is welcome.

SHOW TIMELINE
 EarlyEntry:  March 18 until September 25, 2020.  When you have a title for your art (maximum 3 pieces) respond to this email and fill in the blanks, containing your name, email address, titles and media of each entry.   This will ensure a space for your work in the show.
Early Entry Deadline:  September 25. Although early entry ensures your space in the show, works are accepted on delivery day, space permitting.
Delivery of Art to Waco Winery:  Sunday, September 27, 2pm until 8pm.
(Almost all art will be delivered during that time.  However, if you will be out of town September 27, email me to make special arrangements, anorthc@aol.com).
Hanging of Art by Our Staff:  Monday, September 28, 2pm until 8pm.
Official Show Opening:  Wednesday September 30, 2pm.
Voting for People’s Choice Award:  Wednesday September 30, 2pm until Saturday October 17, approx. 7pm.
Artist Reception with Awards:  Saturday, October 17, 6pm until 8pm.  
Closing Date of Show:  Saturday, October 24, 12 midnight.
Pick-up of Art:  Sunday, October 25, 2pm until 8pm. This is very important, as the Winery does not have space for storage of the art.
       
PRIZES 
The adult art will be judged as one group (all media), and given 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, with a People's Choice award. The Student Award will include all entries by those 18 years of age and younger.  Judging will be performed by members of Waco Friends of the Climate and a professional artist, and results are final.  The following prizes will be awarded at the Reception: Adult 1st-$1000, Adult 2nd-$600, Adult 3rd-$400, People's Choice- $400, Student 1st-$500, Student 2nd-$200, Student 3rd-$100.  Art will be judged on relevance to the topic of the climate crisis and on artistic merit.  At times, special awards may be added.

RULES 
  • Age:  there are no age restrictions in entering this art exhibit.    
  • Geography:  entries are limited to those with residence within the state of Texas.
  • Size: most sizes of hanging art (of any medium) are acceptable, except for murals.  Space is available for a few small to large sculptures.  If a large sculpture is anticipated, please check with me to confirm space is available (anorthc@aol.com).
  • Capacity:  the venue size will allow approximately 95 pieces of hanging art, and multiple sculptures.  
  • Number of entries:  three (3) entries are allowed per artist.  
  • Hanging requirements:  all entries should be ready to hang, with a hanging device appropriate to hold its weight.  For heavy pieces, a wire across the back of the piece is recommended.  The artist must ensure the mounting device is adequate for the piece’s weight.  If a piece of art has NO hanging device, the artist must return and attach one.   
  • Each piece should be delivered with an index card or paper of index card size with the following information:  Artist name, title of piece, medium, dimensions in cm., sale price, contact phone number or email address for sale. Please make 2 identical cards: 1 is attached to the art and the second is given to me during drop-off.  An artist statement is also allowed and must be typed and printed.   
  • Insurance:  since the venue is a public place, the Waco Friends of Peace/Climate cannot guarantee there will be no damage to the artwork.  The venue does not provide insurance for the art.    Artists should consider purchasing their own insurance policy.  The Waco Friends of the Climate and the Waco Winery are not responsible for any damage to the art.  Artists accept this fact upon entering the show. However, in the first 3 years of the exhibit no theft of art or damage of art was reported.  
  • Shipping:  if the artist needs to ship her/his piece to the venue, the cost will be paid by the artist.
  • Sales:  Sales are between the artist and the buyer.  No commission is received by the host of the show or the venue. By entering the art show, the artist agrees to leave the piece in place until the end of the show, October 25/ 
  • Public Relations:  the host of the show reserves the right to use images of any submitted art for PR purposes.
The Waco Friends of the Climate encourages all artists to consider entering this exhibit.  There are many art shows in Waco.  However, this climate art exhibit allows artists to utilize their artistic skill to play a role in combating mankind’s greatest challenge of anthropogenic climate change. Artists can take action to help preserve a livable biosphere for their descendants and for all the children of this world. 

Note March 2020:  We remind all artists this year to focus firmly on the topic of the climate crisis.  Although trash and plastic pollution are very serious problems, they are not major causes of the climate crisis.  Please refer to the list of suggested aspects of the climate crisis above.  And I further suggest that for 2020 we have more emphasis on solutions to this existential threat.   

For any questions or concerns, please email the Director of our organization, Alan Northcutt, MD at anorthc@aol.com.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

A PRACTICAL ELECTRIC VEHICLE UPDATE FOR WACO


This column, with only minor changes, appeared on the Opinion page
of the Waco Tribune-Herald on July 15, 2020.

The transportation sector was the largest source of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the United States in 2019, producing 37% of total carbon dioxide emissions. Since automobiles are the primary mode of transportation in the Waco area, driving an electric vehicle (EV) instead of an internal combustion engine (ICE) car is one of the most powerful steps Wacoans may take to combat the climate crisis. 
Are there other advantages of driving an EV instead of a gasoline vehicle?  Besides fighting global warming, driving an electric car yields multiple benefits:
  • EVs are often less expensive to drive because of lower fueling and maintenance costs.  A study in Corporate Knights found a Nissan Leaf EV was $2205 cheaper to drive over 10 years than the comparable Honda Civic, and the Hyundai Kona EV was $5000 cheaper than the comparable Toyota RAV 4. 
  • Minimal EV maintenance, including no oil changes, saves valuable time and is more convenient.
  • Absence of tailpipe pollution would prevent 53,000 premature deaths annually in the U.S., according to a study from MIT.  Cardiopulmonary health would improve, including that of children with asthma, and associated medical expenses would decrease.  
  • Absence of tailpipe pollution helps prevent non-compliance with EPA air quality standards in Waco, which often has borderline air quality in the warmer months.
  • Electric vehicles are extremely quiet, slashing local noise pollution.
  • EVs are enjoyable to drive, with instantaneous torque that produces outstanding acceleration.
  • A larger EV fleet (with charging stations) in Waco would improve the City’s image to prospective residents and businesses.    
  • Long life of electric cars is expected, as moving parts are very few.  One Tesla has now traveled 420,000 miles.                                                                                                                                                                           

Which EVs can Wacoans test drive and purchase?  Unfortunately, local car dealers lag in this option, with only the Chevy Bolt in stock for driving, as of this writing.  To help inform those interested in going electric, I have test driven all six reasonably priced EVs available for purchase in Texas and available for test drive in Austin.  In addition, I have owned the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 over the last 3.5 years.   I have excluded cars which are not available in Texas, not yet released for purchase, or are exorbitant in price.  Below are the basic specs for each EV, along with my overall impression of these cars.  If applicable, the federal tax credit of $7500 and the Texas (Tx) rebate of $2500 are applied to the stated MSRP.  Recognize that all of this data is subject to change.  If one is interested in an electric vehicle, I suggest purchasing as soon as possible:  the federal tax credits will eventually expire and the Texas rebate concludes Jan.7, 2021 at the latest.   Cars are listed in order of increasing base price. 

  • Mini Cooper SE.  compact hatchback, $20,750 (after federal/Tx incentive), 110 mi range, FWD (front wheel drive), seats 4, 0-60 mph in 6.9 sec., trunk 7.5 cu ft.  The electric Cooper would make an economical city car, with an exterior that exudes British charm.  The interior best accommodates 2 adults and small children, with fascinating but dated analog instrumentation. 
  • 2020 Nissan Leaf. hatchback, $22,525 (after fed/Tx incentive), 149 mi range, FWD, seats 5, 0-60 mph in 7.4 sec., trunk 15.4 cu ft.  The Leaf is an excellent value, with 10 years’ maturity, solid technology, and an updated pleasing body style.   
  • 2019 Kia e-Niro. crossover, $29,620 (after fed/Tx incentive), 239 mi range, FWD, seats 5, 0-60 mph in 7.5 sec., trunk 15.9 cu ft.  The e-Niro would make an excellent family car, with substantial range, generous space for passengers and cargo, and a reasonable price. 
  • 2020 Chevy Bolt EV. hatchback, $34,995 (after Tx incentive), 259 mi range, FWD, seats 5, 0-60 mph in 6.5 sec., trunk 16.9 cu ft.  The Bolt has excellent range, a roomy cabin, admirable electronics and safety features, with uninspired body style.   
  • 2019 BMW i3. hatchback, $35,445 (after fed/Tx incentive), 153 mi range, RWD (rear wheel drive), seats 4, 0-60 mph in 7.2 sec., trunk 9.2 cu ft.  The i3 boasts German engineering, and has a convenient heads up display, impressive graphics, and a controversial body style. 
  • 2020 Tesla Model 3. midsize sedan, $36,600 (no incentive), 220 mi range, RWD, seats 5, 0-60 mph in 5.6 sec., trunk 19.1 cu ft.  The Model 3 has an elegant sporty exterior, luxurious minimalist cabin, good range, superior safety features, and optional cutting-edge autopilot.  (Note:  these six cars are the entry level models.  Upper models have additional features and longer range.  Tesla, in particular, sells 9 more EVs, with range up to 391 miles).  


Since this is Texas, what about pickup trucks? Unfortunately, no electric pickups are available for purchase at this time.  Globally about 7 are in the concept stage, and in the U.S. 3 are nearing production. The estimated price and beginning production dates of these three are:  the Rivian R1T at $69K in 2020, the Tesla Cybertruck at $40K in 2021, and the Ford F-150 Electric with unknown price in 2021.  These trucks will have tremendous range, towing capacity, and storage space.
Is EV charging a problem?  Not really.  The vast majority of charging is done at home, where drivers replenish the battery charge overnight.  A level 1 (110V) charger adds about 4 miles for each hour of charging, while a level 2 (220V) charger adds about 20 miles per hour.  Apartment dwellers will sometimes have these outlets available in the facility.  Otherwise, charging may be done at one’s site of employment or at a public rapid charge station.  While traveling, drivers typically use a public Level 3 (DC fast charge) station, completing a full charge in about 30 to 60 minutes.  The U.S. charging network is constantly growing, with about 25,000 non-Tesla chargers (EvGO, Chargepoint, Blink, etc.) and about 17,000 Tesla Superchargers.  Waco has one large Electrify America station and one large Tesla Supercharger station.  Charging while traveling does require some planning, but frequently the EV navigation will map out a route which includes charging stops.  At this time, the only real limitation is the lack of Level 3 chargers in remote locations.   
So how do I choose the right EV?  First, it is vital to select a car with adequate range for one’s daily driving distance, with price typically increasing with range.  Second, selection of a vehicle with sufficient passenger and cargo space is critical.  Important:   when purchasing a new or used EV, be certain the vehicle can utilize level 3 chargers, as this feature is optional on some models.
What about pre-owned EVs?  Although this discussion has focused on new cars, EVs have very few moving parts to suffer wear and damage, and thus pre-owned vehicles are an excellent consideration.  The website myev.com includes only battery-electrics and plug-in hybrids and offers frequent bargains.  For example, a 2014 Nissan Leaf SV with only 11,970 miles sells for $12,590. 
In conclusion, why drive an electric vehicle?  I believe the real question is: “why NOT drive an EV?”  When I drive a clean, quiet, powerful, exhilarating electric car that saves lives now and preserves this planet for our children, I could never return to last century’s fossil fuel transportation.

Alan D. Northcutt, M.D.
Waco Tribune-Herald Board of Contributors
June 1, 2020


Thursday, July 09, 2020

WACO FRIENDS OF THE CLIMATE Update 7/08/2020

PLACE YOUR T-SHIRT ORDER NOW!

Our T-shirts obviously will need to be updated with the new name.  We would like to place the order ASAP.  Since the light green background was popular, the plan is to continue that tradition.  Please respond to this email with the the sizes and number of shirts you require.  Previously, we had Youth S/M/L and Adult S/M/L/XL/XXL/XXXL.  We hope to be able to sell the shirts at cost for $10 as in previous orders.  We only need money at the time of sale.


SOLAR TOUR WACO:  October 3 & 4, 2020



If anyone has a photovoltaic system and is NOT signed up for the tour, please contact Alan Northcutt at anorthc@aol.com   Thank you.  


WACO FRIENDS OF THE CLIMATE Zoom Meeting



We believe that if we are prevented from holding in person meetings because of the pandemic, we should hold a virtual ZOOM meeting sometime in July or August.  Stay tuned for future date and time announcement.  

Many thanks for your dedication to the climate crisis struggle and for your loyalty to the Waco Friends of the Climate. 

Please join us on Facebook:  Waco Friends of the Climate