Waco Friends of Peace/Climate 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.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Alan Northcutt Article On 2018 Elections Published In Waco Tribune-Herald

The following article by Alan Northcutt, submitted on October 7th, was published by the Waco Tribune-Herald on October 18th:

A Climate-change Warrior Votes


Texas incumbents resist warnings of scientists on fast-changing world


The 2018 general election has been widely heralded as “the most important election in a generation.”  From the climate standpoint, this description is appropriate.  While climatologists intensify their warnings that we must decarbonize by 2050, the Trump Administration’s every environmental action is decreasing our ability to combat climate change. We will thus compare the climate change portfolio of candidates in several of the major November races.

U.S. Senate   The race between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke is extremely close at this point.  But the candidates’ views on anthropogenic climate change could not be more distant.  Cruz is a notorious climate science denier who takes pride in flaunting his rejection of science.  As Chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, he headed a denialist hearing/gala in 2015, where he justified his position by trotting out such absurd memes as “CO2 is good for plant life,” and “the planet is greener right now.”   But he had no response when confronted with actual scientific data documenting global warming.  With the tables turned, one has to wonder how attorney Cruz would react if a climate scientist entered a courtroom and belittled the judge’s understanding of the law.  Further, Cruz’s website contains no mention of climate change or renewable energy, and instead promotes more extraction, fracking, pipelines and fossil fuel exports. 

The website of Beto, on the other hand, states: “It is crucial now more than ever that the U.S. and world leaders act urgently to address the issue of climate change.”  He recommends staying in the Paris Agreement, full funding of climate research, strengthening the EPA, tighter regulation of fossil fuel facilities, and expansion of renewables. 

Of course ACTION is what really counts, since politicians are known to flip- flop like fish.  The League of Conservation Voters (lcv.org) publishes a respected scorecard on the voting record of the U.S. Congress. The scores of the two candidates on climate and other environmental issues are as follows:   lifetime positive scores, Cruz 3%, O’Rourke 99%; 2017 positive scores Cruz 0%, O’Rourke 100%.  What does this mean?  In 2017, O’Rourke always voted to protect the climate, and clean air and water.  And Cruz always voted to protect the fossil fuel industry and the polluters.  Maybe this has something to do with the fact that Cruz has accepted over $2.5 million in contributions from fossil fuel interests since 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 

The decision to vote for Beto O’Rourke should not be difficult. 

U.S. House of Representatives District 17   The contrast between Rep. Bill Flores and opponent Rick Kennedy is stark.  Since “climate denier” has become something of a dirty word, Flores now has pivoted from denier to the ultimate non-position on his website:  “most of us agree climate change is occurring.”  But the rest of his website does make clear where his heart lies:  he supports Trump’s “leadership” on the Paris Agreement, while heaping praise on oil, gas, and “clean coal.”  And he mentions renewables only to falsely claim they will cost jobs, are unproven, and are too expensive.  Rick Kennedy proclaims, on the other hand, that “climate change is real,” and that we must act to minimize impacts for future generations.  He believes the transition to clean energy will create jobs, lower energy costs, and is the pathway to sustainability.  

On voting records, the League of Conservation Voters scorecard reveals abysmal numbers:  lifetime positive score for Flores 3%, 2017 positive score for Flores 0%.  Of course, Kennedy has no voting record for comparison.  

Thus Flores’ statements and voting record equate to more of the same, with fossil fuels, and devastation of our biosphere.  Kennedy’s position supports the transition to renewable energy, consistent with the scientists’ recommendation.  It certainly makes more sense to vote for Rick Kennedy and trust his votes will mirror his positions, rather than vote for Flores and know for certain his votes will support climate catastrophe.  

Texas House of Representatives District 56   This race pits veterinarian Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson against challenger archeologist Katherine Turner-Pearson.  To my knowledge neither candidate has website or press statements about climate change.  But it happens that I am personally well acquainted with Turner, and had an informal climate debate with Anderson recently.  Turner clearly recognizes the science of anthropogenic climate change, while Anderson is a classic climate science denier.  (Let me add that Anderson was very polite, pleasant and respectful during our discussion). 

The environmental voting record of Rep. Anderson was tabulated by Environment Texas as follows: lifetime positive score 34%.  Although a weak record on climate, his score is much superior to that of Cruz and Flores.  An additional impact, Rep. Anderson is Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Energy Resources. The jurisdiction statement of this Committee includes:  “(7) identifying, developing, and using alternative energy sources.” Having a climate denier, who told me renewable energy is “not efficient,” on this Committee, is clearly an obstacle to transitioning to clean energy.  Although Turner has no voting record, she pledged to me that she will act on climate change once in the State Legislature.  

Although less documentation is available in the Texas House race, Katherine Turner-Pearson proclaims she will act to mitigate and adapt to climate change.  She is clearly superior to Anderson, who cannot act to mitigate climate change, since he does not believe it exists. 

The summer of 2018, with record high temperatures and drought in Waco, provided an alarming preview of extreme weather to come.  We urge everyone to combat this danger by voting in November—only for candidates committed to combating climate change.

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


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Waco Friends of Peace/Climate At Waco Cultural Arts Fest


Artists from the just-completed FOP/C second annual Climate Change Art Show participated in the Waco Cultural Arts Fest from October 5th - 7th.  Twelve paintings were on view in an exhibit at the Convention Center, helping to educate the many people who saw them about the reality of climate change and the urgent necessity to address it.  Handouts outlining steps individuals can take to combat climate change were available.

FOP/C would like to thank those artists who participated in the Cultural Arts Fest.





Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Environmental Film Series: October 16, 2018

Climate Refugees

Tuesday, October 16th
Poppa Rollos Pizza
703 N. Valley Mills Drive
Waco
6 PM:  Free Pizza/Salad & Business,
followed by film & discussion

Runtime 84 minutes

A climate change refugee is a person who has been displaced by climatically induced environmental disasters.  Such disasters result from incremental and rapid ecological change, resulting in increased droughts, desertification, sea level rise, and more frequent occurrence of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, cyclones, fires, mass flooding and tornadoes.
 

These developments instigate mass global migration, and with it, border conflicts.  For the first time, the Pentagon has decided to consider climate change a national security risk, and the term “climate wars” is now mentioned throughout vital discussions in Washington, D.C.

The filmmakers traveled the world for nearly 3 years to document the impact of climate change, witnessing inhabitants of countries forced to leave their homes by climatic events with little or no protection. The film features a variety of leading scientists, relief workers, security consultants, and major political figures, including John Kerry and Newt Gingrich. All make a strong case that, whether human-caused or a product of nature, the changing climate is already creating humanitarian disasters and will inevitably lead to worldwide political instability.

"This film is an agent for social change."
     --Robert Redford, New York Times

"A resounding Wake-up call for every human being.  A must-see film that puts the human soul in the science of climate change."
     --Sherri Quinn, NPR

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

 


Friday, September 28, 2018

2018 Waco Cultural Arts Fest

A number of our artists  have agreed to participate in taking portions of our climate art exhibit to the Waco Cultural Arts Fest this year.  We believe this will be a method of increasing our impact and educational effort in Waco.  Attendance at this event is said to be in the 1000s.  FOP/C expects to display 10-12 pieces.  We anticipate our Arts Fest display will look very similar to our show at the winery, just smaller.

Artists:  Please deliver your work to the Convention Center, lower level, Texas Room 115.e. 

Delivery date for the 2018 Cultural Arts Fest is Thursday, October 4th, between noon & 7pm.

Pick up of art will be Sunday, October 7th, 4pm, at the Convention Center.


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

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

2018 Climate Change Art Show Is A Winner

The 2018 exhibit has been a tremendous success.  The reception on September 15th had a full house of over 100 guests, and the mood was jubilant.  Thanks to everyone involved for applying your creative energies to this most vital of topics, and thanks to the manager of Waco Winery.  Friends of Peace/Climate plans to return to this venue next September for the third annual art show.

Pick-up times for artwork at the Waco Winery will be September 30th, 6:00-7:45pm, and October 1st, 2:00-4:30pm.  Thank you for adhering to these times to pick up your pieces.

FOP/C would like to honor all the artists who participated in the show, devoting their creative energies to join the fight against climate change.  The following artworks were this year’s winners:


1st Place:  Silent Guardians
--Susan L. Sistrunk


2nd Place:  Pollution Boy
--John Ciaburri

3rd Place:  Welcome to 2100
--Serena Kristiana Teakell Rigby

Honorable Mention:  Abstracted
--Al Bato Landoll

Honorable Mention:  Three Degrees Warmer
--Maggie Sanders

Honorable Mention:   Ousted From the Arctic
--Genaro Barron


Student Award:   Handprint Earth Turtle
--Jerri Barker Love & The Turtle Creek Kids

Student Award:  Nauseous
--James Johnson

Student Award:  Consuming Nature
--Adrian Northcutt





Peoples' Choice:  The Sins of the Fathers
--Shawn Knuckles

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Powerpoint Presentation: "The Climate Change Crisis and Go Renewable Waco,"

Alan D. Northcutt, MD, will provide a powerpoint presentation entitled "The Climate Change Crisis and Go Renewable Waco," at 7 pm, Thursday, September 20th, at the Unity Spiritual Center of Waco, 400 S. 1st St., Hewitt.  The lecture will describe the dangers of climate change, and the Go Renewable Waco campaign, which is addressing the crisis.  Refreshments will be served.  Everyone welcome. Free.

Alan Northcutt Responds To Column In Trib

The following is a reprint of a September 14th op-ed by Alan Northcutt in the Waco Tribune-Herald:

The Editorial Board of the Waco Tribune-Herald, in a recent column, recognized the relationship between our summer’s intense heat and drought, and climate change.  Although the equivalent term “climatological shift” was used for “climate change,” I applaud the Trib Board for referencing this critical association.  This column will explore more deeply the issues of severe weather and global warming raised in the editorial.
    
2018 was a year of global summer weather extremes.  Waco experienced an historic temperature maximum of 114° F, and a record “exceptional” (D4) drought.  But it is crucial to realize that our weather records were just a part of extreme weather events across the Northern Hemisphere.  Over 17 locales experienced record temperatures, drought and crop failure, savage wildfires, punishing rainfall and flooding, and/or energy disruption.  Examples include: scorching heat in Canada and Japan, crops at risk from Russia to El Salvador, more than 80 killed by wildfires in Scandinavia and Greece, more than 200 killed in flooding in Japan and the U.S., and nuclear plant closures due to warm river water in France.  And all of this is no surprise:  climate scientists have been warning us of climate chaos since Professor James Hansen testified before Congress in 1988.

Heat (thermal) injury, especially heat exhaustion and heat stroke, is one of the most important causes of weather-related death.  Surprisingly, more people die from heat injury in the U.S. than from any other weather event, 1220 deaths from 2004-2013.    We can now even measure the temperature at which humans will die:  a wet-bulb temperature greater than 35° C is lethal after 6 hours exposure.  Further, if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue unabated, parts of the Middle East and the Central China Plain are projected to be uninhabitable by 2100.  Yes, uninhabitable. 

Drought and crop failure are climate change impacts that will most threaten mankind in coming decades.  When McLennan County reached the “exceptional D4” drought category this summer, only 3 counties in the entire state were as severely affected.  As the Trib editorial noted, agricultural losses were almost $8 billion before the 2015 rains.  And the County Agri-Life agent has reported half the normal yields of sorghum and corn in 2018. If we don’t act rapidly to combat climate change, the crop situation will become dire.  At a mean global temperature increase of 4° C, crop yields of corn in the major production areas will decrease as follows:  China 27%, Argentina 29%, and the USA 47%.  Obviously, on a planet approaching a population of 9 billion, this is a scenario of FOOD SHORTAGES and famine. 

The cause of climate change is not debated in the scientific world—it is known absolutely to be GHG emissions from burning of fossil fuel.  The relationship between global CO2 level and global mean temperature is indisputable.  Further, the professional climate scientists have ruled out other conceivable causes of climate change, including volcanic eruptions, solar flares, and orbital variation.  As we rationally rely on the professionals, the physicians, for diagnosis and treatment of our physical disease, we must rely on the professional climate PhDs to manage our planet’s illness.
   
Beyond recognizing the cause and impacts of climate change, we have a responsibility to our beautiful, fragile planet and to our children to combat this existential threat.  Although one may take myriad actions to mitigate this danger, several of the most important steps include: 
 

  • Meticulously conserve energy, water and all natural resources. 
  • Walk, bike, or take mass transit when possible.
  • Drive a plug-in hybrid or full battery-electric car at earliest opportunity.
  • Confirm one’s electric utility is sourced from 100% renewable energy, 24 hrs. per day (e.g., Green Mountain Energy).
  • Install a residential or business rooftop solar system, if possible.
  • Consume a vegan/vegetarian diet or eat meatless days each week.
  • Vote only for candidates committed to robust climate action.
 
Finally, we note that climate change science originates in the brain—and impacts touch the heart.  Thus Waco Friends of Peace/Climate invites all interested readers to visit our 2nd Annual Climate Change Art Exhibit, at the Waco Winery, 708 Austin Avenue in Waco, through September 29.  The show contains pieces that are beautiful, stunning, educational, and disturbing, in a wide variety of media, from local artists of all types. Visitors will enjoy the spectacular venue while being challenged and inspired by the art.  Admission is FREE.

Alan D. Northcutt , M.D.
Waco, Tx.


Alan Northcutt is a Waco physician and Director of the Waco Friends of Peace/Climate.  He has volunteered during 18 years at a mission hospital in Kenya. 



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