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

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Waco Friends of Peace/Climate Participate in Cesar Chavez Event

Waco Friends of Peace/Climate was honored to participate in the Cesar Chavez Event, 3/30/2019, with a table containing a climate science quiz, a sea level rise VR (virtual reality) experience, and our new business card-size information cards.  Multiple visitors took the quiz, and the data card was well received.  The card lists 15 key things individuals can do to combat climate change, a description of our organization, and reference sites. Quiz results & $50 winner to follow.  

Thanks to Adrian Northcutt for helping man the table, Jose Abel Raymundo for organizing the event, and all the individuals and groups who maintained tables, performed, provided food, displayed low riders and exhibited art. 

We celebrate the life of Cesar Chavez, a leader of the environmental justice movement of that time.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Friends of Peace/Climate Members Address Waco City Council

From Alan Northcutt:

Twelve Waco Friends of Peace/Climate members spoke about the urgency of action to mitigate anthropogenic climate change at the Waco City Council Business Session, March 19, 2019 (photos in alpha order). I have never been so proud of our organization, as each speaker demonstrated strong knowledge of climate science, while placing their personal perspective on the issue. The members truly spoke truth to power, emphasizing the scientific urgency of acting NOW, in the face of voices of misinformation and delay on the Council and Boards.

The Sustainable Resource Practices Advisory Board recommendations for decarbonization (derived from our proposals) were presented to the Council at 3:00pm. And then, unbelievably, Bryan Shaw, an engineer, spoke to the Council, uttering climate-denier memes and misinformation on renewable energy. I used my three minutes to refute his deceptions. I am hopeful the Council members recognize our truth, based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports and other current climate data.

My deepest gratitude to all our members who spoke or attended the session.

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

Monday, March 18, 2019

EVERY VOICE NEEDED: Next Step at Waco City Council March 19

Date:  Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Time:  5:45pm assemble, 6:00pm session begins.
Venue:  Waco City Council Business Meeting
Address:  Bosque Theater, Waco Convention Center, 100 Washington Avenue, Waco 76701
Logistics:  Abundant parking in the lot behind the Hilton and beside the              Convention Center.  Enter the rear of the Convention Center.  The Bosque Theater auditorium is visible as soon as you enter the building.  A table is present near the entrance doors of the  Bosque.  Fill out a request to speak form, and note that you do not have to be a Waco citizen to speak.  Then you may enter the theater.  After a usually short business session, public comment is allowed.
Rationale:   The Sustainability Board on Feb. 7 approved a letter which contains most of "Go Renewable Waco" recommendations for decarbonization of the City.  Our information now is that  "renewable energy" is on the Council agenda for Feb. 19, presumably at the Working Session at 3pm.  I will attend this Session and be able to evaluate exactly the response to the Sustainability Board recommendations.  Regardless, this is the perfect time for Waco FOP/C to have many members speak in support of decarbonization,  This will be a first and I think that Councilpersons hearing from many citizens will be powerful. 
Speaking:  We encourage all members and supporters to speak.  However, if you are not comfortable speaking, your attendance and moral support is also vital.  Students are especially welcome to participate.
Notes for speakers:

  • After the business, the mayor will call out names from the paper slips we filled out.
  • Speakers will proceed to the front of the auditorium and use the podium.  
  • Be sure to speak close to the microphone so everything said may be heard.  
  • It is absolutely fine to write down your statement and read it, especially given the short  time of 3 minutes.
  • A yellow light warns of time almost up, and a red light  indicates end of 3 minutes.  Times are enforced.  
  • Please rehearse your statement so that it is 3 minutes or less.
  • CRUCIAL:  please stay on the topic of decarbonization of Waco, the climate change emergency, the switch to renewable energy.  Important points may include:  the fact that anthropogenic climate change is a global emergency, the science says we must reach net zero emissions by 2050,  personal experiences, experience with solar and wind power,  concern for the future of our children, the fact that the technology to decarbonize DOES exist today, the City must act as slashing emissions is said to be mankind's greatest challenge. 
Questions:  If anyone has questions about this event of needs help with their statement, feel free to contact me:  anorthc@aol.com
Dinner:   Per our custom, dinner will be provided at a nearby restaurant after the session. Vegan available.
RSVP:  So that I may judge participation, please RSVP me if you plan to speak:  anorthc@aol.com
Summary:  Speaking from 1 to 3 minutes, with adequate time in advance to prepare, should not be threatening to most members.  But the presence of a series of speakers, all committed to climate change action, should be a powerful statement to the Council at this critical moment.  So PLEASE JOIN US.  


Waco Friends of Peace/Climate in solidarity with the Youth Climate Strike Houston, March 15, 2019

The action was organized by youth and held on the grounds of the Houston City Hall, skyscrapers in the background.  Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee inspired the crowd, emphasizing the power of each individual to fight climate change.  Alan Northcutt spoke about our experience in Waco, with progress, through persistence, in decarbonization at the city and county level.

The Waco contingent was 6, our signs indicating our endorsement and support of the Houston activists.  Chants were a major focus of the rally, with “When the climate you need is under attack, what do you do Stand up, fight back” a favorite.

 All ages were represented, from a 4 year old to seniors.  Several political candidates spoke, emphasizing their commitment to climate action.  Activists included an anarchist, an anti-Trump person, a Women’s March group, and an anti-capitalist. The theme was “climate change strikes hard, we strike harder,” by the Houston Youth Climate Council.

Congratulations to the Houston youth activists for this inspirational rally at this crucial moment in human history. And this rally was one of hundreds in the US and worldwide on the 15th day of action.  All recognized the recent IPCC warning that we must reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 to avoid catastrophe.

Many thanks to Travis for negotiating downtown Houston in his large truck & procuring a parking space.  Also thanks to Ana, Kira & friend, and grandmother for their dedication.

Monday, March 04, 2019


As everyone knows, the Sustainable Resource Practices Advisory Board voted approval of a letter of recommendations on decarbonization that is to be forwarded to the full City Council.  The letter contained most of our proposals, with some weakening of language and removal of timelines.  To our knowledge, the letter has NOT been sent to the City Council as of this writing.  We are now attempting to determine the status of the letter.  We may have to insist that is does get sent.  Once that has been established, we will notify all members and supporters by email of the next step, which will probably include contacting one's City Councilperson.  Please be sure to read and act on upcoming emails.  Thank you.

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

Sunday, March 03, 2019

PRESENTATION: "McLennan County & the Future of Energy

Date:  Tuesday, March 5, 2019.
Venue:  McLennan County Commissioners' Court Meeting, Commissioners' Courtroom, 1st Floor, West Wing, McLennan County Courthouse, 501 Washington Avenue, City of Waco, Texas.
Time:  session starts at 9:00am.  Presentation is midway through the agenda.
Attire:  Professional attire is expected.  Tank tops, shorts, hats, and bare feet are not allowed.

Following our success in helping to initiate the process of decarbonization by the City of Waco, Alan Northcutt was invited to speak on this subject at the County Commissioners' Court meeting.  The PowerPoint presentation will be 15 minutes in length.  Although it will be similar to his prior talks to the City of Waco, he has modified it to apply more directly to McLennan County.  Since some agricultural space is present within the County limits, he will address land use briefly, including no-till farming, cover crops, and crop rotation.
Alan recognizes that 9:00am is a difficult time for our members and supporters to attend.  Although this event does not have the urgency of our Sustainability Board interactions, a nice group of supporters would be a positive signal to the Commissioners and would be greatly appreciated.  If the County should also begin to take small steps toward a clean, renewable economy now, this would be a fantastic occurrence.

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

Friday, March 01, 2019

Alan Northcutt February 23rd Column In Waco Tribune Herald

The following is the unedited column as submitted to the Waco Tribune Herald that was published on February 23rd:


The Waco Tribune-Herald in recent weeks reported on the Go Renewable Waco (GRW) campaign, a citizen-led effort that ultimately resulted in passage of recommendations by the City of Waco Sustainable Resource Practices Advisory Board (Sustainability Board) designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and combat anthropogenic climate change.  Although the Trib reports were excellent, they raise multiple important questions.  

Why is a campaign to cut City emissions necessary?   Since climate scientists are in near unanimous agreement that anthropogenic climate change is a global emergency, and since no significant mitigating action is taking place at the federal level, many cities and states have worked diligently to reduce their emissions.  Worldwide, 70% of GHG emissions derive from cities. 

What is Go Renewable Waco?  GRW is a grassroots citizen movement, initiated by the Waco Friends of Peace/Climate, designed to persuade the City of Waco to join some 100 U.S. cities that have pledged to go 100% renewable in energy use by 2050. A petition requesting that the City make this pledge kicked off the campaign.  

Is there support for the pledge in Waco?  Absolutely.  The petition garnered an amazing 1187 signatures of Waco area adults and endorsement by 14 local churches and other civic organizations.   In addition, city-wide support was documented by a 2018 Yale University poll that found a majority of Wacoans request more action by City officials to combat global warming.  
But how widespread is support for 100% renewable energy?  Support is pervasive:  13 states, 155 major corporations including Mars, Inc., 100 universities, 57 countries, and the prestigious U.S. Conference of Mayors champion this goal.

How did the GRW campaign interact with the City?  Over a period of one year, the campaign held a dozen presentations and discussions with City groups of various size, emphasizing the urgency of mitigating climate change, and its benefits. Ultimately, Sustainability Board member and attorney Sarah Brockhaus and I submitted a resolution to the Board, providing justification for the renewable energy pledge and steps for implementation.

Exactly what was approved by the Sustainability Board?  After considerable debate, the Board approved the following recommendations to the City Council, derived from the GRW campaign’s steps for implementation (without the timelines):  conduct efficiency audits of municipal facilities, evaluate strengthening efficiency standards for new construction, consider transition of power purchase agreements  to 100% renewable energy, consider encouraging businesses and residents to purchase renewable energy, evaluate possible city rooftop solar and encourage same for business and residential consumers, replace retiring municipal fleet vehicles with electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids when these meet City needs, encourage sustainable practices by citizens and businesses, and consider installation of rapid charging EV stations.

Were these recommendations sufficient?  Although the GRW campaign greatly appreciates the effort of the Sustainability Board to initiate climate change mitigation, we believe that our climate crisis demands more robust action:  when one’s home is on fire, one does not “consider” using a fire hose. The IPCC has reported that if the world does not slash GHG emissions 45% in only 11 years, climate catastrophe will ensue.  Since transportation and power generation are the #1 and #2 sources of U.S. emissions, we recommend immediate action in these sectors.  As City fleet vehicles are retired, they should be replaced with electric vehicles, including cars, buses, and garbage trucks.  Although initial cost may be higher, the lifetime cost of EVs is frequently lower, due to reduced maintenance and fuel costs.  With only 11 years to halve emissions, we believe the City must begin negotiation now for 100% renewable power purchase agreements in 2022.  In addition, the City should immediately obtain proposals for rooftop solar installations on City structures, recognizing that after 8 to 10 years, these photovoltaic systems provide free electricity. 
Is action by the City alone adequate?  Absolutely not.  A zero-carbon economy will require community response in all sectors, including transportation, power, industry, agriculture, cooking, cooling and heating.  And all GHGs must be eliminated, including CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, and certain refrigerants.  

What can businesses do?  Waco businesses can also act on the major sources of GHGs by obtaining electricity from all- renewable providers, installing rooftop photovoltaic systems, transitioning all vehicles to EVs, and installing 110 or 220V. power outlets for employee/customer EV charging. 

What about schools?  Schools can execute the same actions as businesses.  As a bonus, the installation of rooftop solar can provide an educational benefit for students interested in environmental science or engineering.  The evolution of busses to electricity power will remove GHGs which endanger the student’s biosphere, while it removes the toxic pollution of diesel powertrains which endanger their heart and lungs. 

What role do individual citizens play?  Some of the most important actions individuals may take include obtaining power from renewable utilities, installing rooftop solar, driving EVs, and decreasing meat and dairy intake.

All sectors wish to help, but isn’t a green economy just too expensive?  Although the renewable revolution may seem costly at first glance, several factors should be kept in mind:
  •  The hidden costs of fossil fuels are typified by burning coal, which includes illness, premature death, and healthcare expenses, totalling $187 billion per year, or 9.3 cents per kWh. (Ann NY Acad Science) 
  • Electricity from renewables will soon be consistently cheaper than from most fossil fuels.” (International Renewable Energy Agency, 2017)
  • Consistently, economic models have shown that the cost to prevent dangerous climate change is a fraction of the cost to pay for the damages of uncontrolled climate change.  
  •  Finally, as parents, we contentedly save thousands of dollars, a decade in advance, to ensure a quality education for our children.  Will we not invest in solar panels and affordable EVs to help preserve a livable planet in which these children may pursue that education?

 Alan D. Northcutt, M.D., is a Waco physician and Director of the Waco Friends of Peace/Climate.     

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