Waco Friends of Peace/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

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

From Alan Northcutt: Earth Day 2020

  • I have received some images from members see previous post), but many more are needed.  The goal is to build a virtual crowd, since we can't build a real crowd.  
  • In honor of Earth Day, I will construct a virtual solar tour at my home.  
  • Please take whatever shot you wish, from home garden to chalking to EV, expressing your action on the climate crisis.  Use your imagination. 
  • The evil fossil fuel side is not resting because of COVID-19, and neither can we.  
  • THANK you for contributing to the Earth Day Digital Rally in Waco.

Reminder:  

  • Wednesday is the 50th Anniversary Earth Day!  
  • Theme was to be "Earth Rise 2020." focused on CLIMATE, with a massive march in D.C.
  • With the pandemic, online events have replaced real marches.
  • JOIN  us Wednesday--we must keep fighting in Waco.
  • Use your inspiration & creativity to make a sign and include in your selfie. 
  • Take pic with your EV, garden, compost, solar panels, ...........
  • PICTURE:  email to me as soon as ready, or post on Waco Friends of Peace--Climate on Wednesday.
  • EMAIL;   anorthc@aol.com                                                                        


EARTH DAY ACTION:  Fun Event for April 22, Morning

     
With Earth Day this Wednesday, it is our responsibility to be certain the day is not forgotten.  When the pandemic resolves, the climate crisis will remain and represent a even greater threat to mankind.  We continue to persuade the City Council and the Metropolitan Planning Organization, but this will be a more visible event, in place of a live rally.  Please join us: 

Digital CLIMATE CRISIS Rally--Post Your Picture:


Take a selfie of yourself or family where you shelter in place, in home or safely outdoors.

Include a sign or banner with your CLIMATE message. 

Include a decarbonization prop if you wish-- EV, solar panels, vegan diet

If you don't have poster board available, use printer paper, or tape these together for larger canvas.  

Include your name (optional but powerful).

PLEASE stay on topic:  our mission is combating the existential threat of the anthropogenic climate crisis.  

TO POST:   a)  go to our Facebook group, Waco Friends of Peace-Climate, and post selfie there April 22 morning and b) reply to this email with your image.   If you are not on Facebook, replying to this email is fine. 
 .
In addition to Facebook, if everyone responds we can use a huge collection of images for working with City Council.  I believe images of citizens concerned about the climate will be even more powerful than words alone.  Plus our website, of course.  

This action should be FUN and POWERFUL.

Please join us:  100% participation is critical. Thank you!  

Questions: Alan Northcutt, Director. at anorthc@aol.com  


Friday, April 17, 2020

EARTH DAY ACTION: Fun Event for April 22, Morning



With Earth Day this Wednesday, it is our responsibility to be certain the day is not forgotten.  When the pandemic resolves, the climate crisis will remain and represent a even greater threat to mankind.  We continue to persuade the City Council and the Metropolitan Planning Organization, but this will be a more visible event, in place of a live rally.  Please join us:

Digital CLIMATE CRISIS Rally--Post Your Picture:

  • Take a selfie of yourself or family where you shelter in place, in home or safely outdoors.
  • Include a sign or banner with your CLIMATE message. 
  • Include a decarbonization prop if you wish-- EV, solar panels, vegan diet
  • f you don't have poster board available, use printer paper, or tape these together for larger canvas.  
  • Include your name (optional but powerful).
  • PLEASE stay on topic:  our mission is combating the existential threat of the anthropogenic climate crisis.  
  • TO POST:   a)  go to our Facebook group, Waco Friends of Peace-Climate, and post selfie there April 22 morning and b) reply to this email with your image.   If you are not on Facebook, replying to this email is fine.  .
  • In addition to Facebook, if everyone responds we can use a huge collection of images for working with City Council.  I believe images of citizens concerned about the climate will be even more powerful than words alone.  Plus our website, of course.  
  • This action should be FUN and POWERFUL.
  • Please join us:  100% participation is critical.
  • Thank you!  
Questions: Alan Northcutt, Director. at anorthc@aol.com 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

LESSONS FROM COVID-19 FOR THE CLIMATE CRISIS

The following is an article by Alan Northcutt printed in the Waco Tribune-Herald on April 14, 2020:

LESSONS FROM COVID-19 FOR THE CLIMATE CRISIS

The COVID-19 pandemic, as of March 29, includes 640,000 cases globally, and the United States leads in the number of confirmed cases.  As we shelter in place and observe Center for Disease Control (CDC) precautions, the coronavirus emergency teaches important lessons about the climate crisis.
   
Danger of ignoring science.  The Trump administration’s inadequate response to COVID-19 highlights the danger of rejecting science.  When years ago, public health officials warned of pandemic risk, Trump terminated the Directorate for Bio-Defense and cut the CDC budget.  After the first U.S. case in January, Trump downplayed the danger of COVID-19, gave out misinformation based on “hunches,” delayed using the Defense Production Act for one month and finally declared a national emergency on March 13.        Suppression of climate science has paralleled that of the coronavirus epidemic—but over decades rather than weeks.  Warnings have come from climate scientists since the 1980s and have been fought by the fossil fuel industry through their misinformation campaign, led by the Heartland Institute.   Hopefully the painful lessons of the COVID-19 response fiasco will cripple the pseudoscience misinformation crusade and permit data-led action mitigate the existential danger of the climate crisis.   
   
Greed vs. human well-being.  The classic struggle between the voracious corporate hunger for profit and the people’s health is seen in both COVID-19 and climate change. To benefit corporations, Trump is calling for an end to social distancing well before the epidemiologists recommend an end.  And even now, the fossil fuel corporations remain determined to process every gram of oil, gas, and coal within our planet, even though they realize this would ensure climate catastrophe.  In both cases, the profit of the few is placed above the health and wellbeing of the many. 
   
COVID-19 and climate disruption are both deadly.  As of March 28. 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 26,494 global coronavirus fatalities.  In comparison, climate change produces some 400,000 deaths annually (Climate Vulnerability Monitor), with approximately 7,000,000 deaths from air pollution, both largely due to burning fossil fuels. The coronavirus pandemic is an acute global disaster which could kill several million over 18 months.  And the climate-pollution crisis is a chronic disaster, killing over 7 million this year—and every year until the world cuts emissions. 
   
Why is coronavirus feared, but not climate change? First, with Texas cases of COVID-19 skyrocketing and almost 6,000 deaths expected, the infection elicits the primal fear of death.  And although the total death count of the climate crisis is staggering, the risk in Waco may seem small. In reality, a similar 4,200 are estimated to die annually in Texas from air pollution (thesolutionsproject.org)--every year.  And second, the coronavirus, under electron microscopy, has the sinister appearance of a gladiator’s spiked ball.  Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, is a villain you can’t see, an innocuous molecule of carbon and oxygen.   
         
Climate change increases COVID-19 risk.  Climate change increases the risk of respiratory viral infections, such as COVID-19, in two ways.  First, the incidence of human exposure to these viruses has risen.  Approximately 65% of new emerging diseases are now zoonoses, spread from animals to humans. The warming world and deforestation contribute to loss of suitable habitat for many species.  As these animals migrate in search of appropriate conditions, contact with humans increase and viral pathogens may jump to man.  Second, air pollution, especially the small particulate form (PM 2.5), worsens lung function and immune response, increasing the risk of acquiring respiratory infection, and worsening the prognosis once disease is acquired.
   
The COVID-19 pandemic decreased emissions.  A beneficial but temporary side effect of the pandemic are areas of decreased atmospheric nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a toxic air pollutant, emitted by vehicles and industries.  Satellite imagery found a 10 to 40% decrease in China, South Korea, Italy, the U.K. and the U.S. Further, CO2 levels, currently at 415.5ppm, have temporarily stabilized.  This decrease in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions obliterates the frequent denialist claim that man can do nothing to combat climate change.   And these observations are good news, indicating the climate system is very sensitive to mankind’s decrease emission of GHGs, even if for a limited time.
   
A brighter future is possible.  Once the COVID-19 pandemic has resolved, there is no doubt we will respect epidemiologists and become better prepared for the next pandemic.  And we hope climate scientists will also be respected and their warnings finally heeded, by declaration of a National Climate Emergency, since we know that the danger of climate breakdown is even greater than coronavirus—threatening human civilization as we know it.  And we know that a national emergency response is possible, that citizens will take part, and that our actions can help heal our biosphere.   

                                                                   **********************
   
We invite all artists, professional and amateur, adults and students, to enter the 4th Annual Climate Crisis Art Exhibit, October 2020.  For information and entry form:  www.friendsofpeace.org   


Alan D. Northcutt, MD
Waco, TX
March 29, 2020

Alan Northcutt is a Waco physician and Director of a climate action and education organization, The Waco Friends of Peace/Climate. 

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


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Local Action: City of Waco 4/11/2020



COMMENT TO WACO on Brazos Promenade Project.
Recent City of Waco Council meetings have included discussion of the waterfront project termed Brazos Promenade.  We had about 3 comments from our members which were read into the record at the April 7th session. Obviously we need many more members to get involved.  If you have 5 minutes to spare during these social distancing times, please use them to take part.  For our organization to have a voice we need much greater participation.  Remember the victory on municipal all renewable power--we must keep working to maintain our momentum.

How to say it:
This is incredibly easy and quick.

  1. Go to the Waco City Government page:  https://www.waco-texas.com/council.asp
  2. Look for links to the left or in a menu listing Mayor and Precincts 1 through 5.
  3. Use the links to go to the page of your Councilperson and the Mayor.
  4. To communicate, each individual will have a form to fill out, or their email address will be stated.  Make a short statement to your  Councilperson and the Mayor. 

What to say:
The point is that the construction of a riverfront project called Brazos Promenade should be built with sustainability in mind.  This is especially true given the fact that our tax dollars will be funding the project and that the year is 2020.  The Brazos Promenade will include residences, retail, restaurants, small office spaces, hotels, green spaces.  So please write from your heart, but here are some suggested inclusions:
  • in 2020 construction without green technology will be out of date            
  • all buildings should have rooftop solar if feasible for the roof conditions.
  • all buildings should be all electric, no gas.
  • all structures should purchase 100% renewable energy from their utility, e.g., Green Mountain.
  • EV charging facilities are a must in 2020.  This can consist of  110V outlets, 220V. outlets, Level 2 chargers, or Level 3 chargers. 
  • green roofs on some buildings would be aesthetically amazing for this promenade and could cool roofs and generate produce/flowers.  
  • support vehicles for these businesses should be battery-electrics.  
  • whatever GHG cutting technology you can
We MUST increase participation for our voice to count.  We are disappointed with our last council meeting and we implore our members to act now.  This action is very quick and not difficult.  But if the Councilpersons and Mayor are bombarded with messages about this project, we believe we can see action. If any questions:  anorthc@aol.com

Thank you for caring about our climate.  We know that the climate crisis is not going away because of the pandemic.  And we know that in the long  run, if the world does not take robust action on GHG emissions,  the outcome will make COVID-19 seem like child's play.  



Tuesday, April 07, 2020

URGENT CLIMATE ACTION APRIL 6, 2020

Why Take Climate Action During COVID-19 Pandemic?
Some may argue that we should only be concerned about the pandemic and that climate should be forgotten at this time.  We reject that view for the following reasons:

  • In the ultimate scale of disaster, COVID-19 has been called a fire drill for the climate crisis.
  • COVID-19 truly illustrates the danger of being unprepared.  This lesson tells us we can not wait to prepare for climate breakdown.  
  • The Trump administration is using the pandemic to order non-enforcement of environmental regulations, and slashing of vehicle mileage efficiency requirements.  Keystone XL construction has been enhanced even though it is clearly not "essential."  Further, several states have passed regulations making pipeline protests felonies with severe penalties.
  • We see that the side of climate destruction has NOT stopped their activities.  It is our responsibility, at the city level, to advocate for steps to preserve a livable climate. 
COMMENT ONLINE at the Waco City Council Website by 10am,Tues. April 7

If multiple of our members make comments, the City WILL TAKE NOTICE.  This is an excellent opportunity, and is less stressful that commenting in person. Here is the procedure:

  1. Go to the Waco City Council website:  https://www.waco-texas.com/council.asp
  2. Click on the tab:  "agenda here"
  3. Look for the April 7th City Council meeting.
  4. Find tabs "agenda" and "agenda packet" 
  5. Click on the "agenda" tab.
  6. Scroll down to the item RES-2020-225, which concerns the large development planned, the Brazos Promenade.  This proposed development includes include retail space, restaurants, small office space, hotels, parking courts, parking structure,  covered parking, streetscape, and open spaces.  The point we can make is the in the year 2020, any new development must include structures to combat the climate crisis:  rooftop solar, electricity only construction with no gas, EV charging stations, etc.  Add your own ideas and WHY you believe acting now is vital.    To write your comments click the tab "Public Comment Card" at the end of the agenda item.  I suggest you write your comment in Word, etc, and copy and paste.  (the comment card does not allow you to scroll backward to review your statement).  If you want more detail, go to "agenda packet" and read about the Brazos Promenade or Google this plan.  
  7. Scroll down to the Item "XII. Hearing of Any Visitor Concerning City Business".  Find the "Public Comment Card," click and again fill out the comment page.  Include whatever you wish  concerning  the City and climate, from the urgency of action. to the necessity of City EVs to need for charging stations, to electric buses, etc.   
  8. There are other items on the agenda that may be relevant that I missed.  Please comment if you wish.  
  9. Please take a few minutes and fill out a Public Comment Card on the 2 items above.  Even a short general comment is important.  And remember the deadline:  Tuesday, April 7 at 10am.
  10. Deepest thanks to our members for their dedication to our climate. If any questions on how to do this:  anorthc@aol.com 

Friday, April 03, 2020

April 2nd Update From Alan Northcutt

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are all absorbed with obeying the epidemiologist's recommendations and helping as we can. You may also feel like me that our climate work has reached a standstill.  In reality, there are things we can do.  And we must act since Trump and his evil henchmen are using this opportunity to further destroy our planet.  Taking action is superior to despair.  Here are actions you can take during this time:

  • VOTE on a possible name change if you have not:  keep Waco Friends of Peace/Climate or simplify to Waco Friends of the Climate.
  • Call on the Waco City Council to approve steps to decarbonize on all City decisions.
  • Take action to oppose the Trump's administration horrendous assault on our climate and clean air and water.

See details below on how to act on City & National issues.  Thanks for your dedication, and stay safe.

Alan D. Northcutt, M.D.
Director
anorthc@aol.com
Facebook:  Waco Friends of Peace-Climate



CLIMATE ACTION Directed to the City of Waco
During the COVID-19 social distancing the City Council is continuing to hold virtual meetings and we should continue to comment when climate is at issue.  During the most recent meeting of March 31st the following item was found on the agenda:
"Discussion of the Brazos Promenade development, including a proposed amendment to the Development Agreement with Catalyst Urban Development, LLC".
 This is a huge project involving hotels, office space, walkways, parking lots, green spaces, etc.  In 2020 this project should clearly include green technology.  Thus I submitted a comment online.  The following is my comment, as an example:

The published details of the Brazos Promenade include retail space, restaurants, small office space, hotels, parking courts, parking structure, and covered parking, streetscape, and open spaces.  This project may provide improved quality of life for Waco and business opportunities.  However, it should be remembered that the City and the world are facing a climate crisis, and this should be included in the planning.  Remember that the US Conference of Mayors unanimously approved a resolution that its members, which includes Waco, adopt a goal of becoming 100% renewable powered.  The designers and builders of this project should be required to include green technology in this proposal.  We must begin to include climate considerations in all Council decisions.  Possible solutions in this project include:all electricity in all structures, no gas;  rooftop solar on all structures in which feasible;  covered parking spaces with solar in roofs; 110v and 220v outlet in some spaces in parking garages; Level 2 and Level 3 EV chargers in parking spaces and hotels;  green roofs on larger buildings.  These are just a few examples.  Developers should be required to incorporate some such green technology in their plans.
Thank you.
So I encourage our members to take action and also comment on this Brazos Promenade development. My comment is just an example and I hope that many of you will provide input in your own words.  Since that meeting has passed, the best way is to email your council person and Mayor or comment on their comment page on the City website.  To do this now, just go to:https://www.waco-texas.com/council.aspFind the tabs on the left and go to your councilperson and mayor.  Instructions on how to comment will be found at the link.  This would be a great method of letting the Council members know that we believe climate action is vital and mandatory in 2020. . 

Before the next City Council meeting on April 7, I will provide instructions on how to comment in the next email.  


CLIMATE ACTION to oppose TRUMP'S Attack on our Planet.
Trump and his evil minions have used the cover of COVID-19 to sneak through actions designed to further damage our climate and worsen air and water pollution.  Rather than despair, we must act.

1.  Trump has wrecked the EPA and has rolled back efficiency standards for vehicles.  And as you know, transportation is now the #1 source of GHG emissions in the U.S. To make your opposition known, join the campaign of the Union of Concerned Scientists at this link:

2. Trump's EPA will halt enforcement of environmental safeguards during the pandemic.  Please join the Sierra Club campaign to reverse this dangerous gift to polluters. 


7th ANNUAL EARTH DAY  REUSABLE Shopping Bag DISTRIBUTION
This event was originally scheduled for April 18, 4 days before Earth Day.  We have received a  fresh supply of the canvas bags, and the Downtown Farmer's Market continues to be open with mainly fresh foods for sale, without cooked items, art, or music.  I found a list of about 20 vendors.  My thought is to either go early and provide bags for all vendors or to have a table as before. We can place our climate information cards in the bags.  I am in touch with the Farmer's Market about this.  Either way, I can handle this effort and no one else need risk being out.  If the vendors agree to give out their wares in our bags this could turn out to be an excellent way to increase awareness of plastic pollution and of the climate crisis. 


STYROFOAM RECYCLING, Part 4, EARTH DAY Edition, POSTPONED
We have postponed the April 26th collection to maintain social distancing.  Although we could conduct this and keep space between ourselves and our patrons, we will postpone since there is no real urgency in this project.  I would hope to conduct this in June or July, especially since my garage is filling up with early donations.  We will keep everyone updated when we schedule a replacement date.  And please save your personal styrofoam. 


4th ANNUAL CLIMATE CRISIS Art Exhibit:  September 30 through October 24, 2020
The Call for Artists has been sent out this week, in hopes that by October social distancing will not be required.  In any event, we felt we must inform artists now if we are to continue with excellent participation numbers.  The big change this year, to accommodate student entries, is an October rather than September show month.  We will continue at the beautiful Waco Winery venue and our cash awards have increased to $3200.  To find the detailed Instructions for Artists and simple entry form, please go to: www.friendsofpeace.org 
 
The climate show is our biggest event of the year.  So we ask all members to do 2 things at this time:
  1. If you are an amateur or professional artist, please start planning and thinking and  acting to begin your piece for the show.  Up to 3 pieces may be entered. 
  2. Spread the word about the show to artists you know, as well as students.  Supply them with the URL for the Artist Instructions. 
ADDENDUM:  There is a possibility that COVID-19 could extend into October or that a second wave of the disease could occur.  If that happens we can convert this show to an online show, with the same judging, People's Choice and prizes.  Maybe the educational component could reach MORE people?  Thus in some form we are committed to the 4th Annual Climate Crisis Art Exhibit. 



GO RENEWABLE WACO:  Let's Continue the Victory Momentum 
After the victory of the City decision to go all renewable in their power contract for 2022, we presented a spread sheet at Council Meeting demonstrating that EVs may actually be cheaper on a lifecycle cost basis.  After that, the pandemic engulfed us, and its a difficult time to make progress on climate.  I have proposed that FOP/C donate a Level 2 charger for the CIty, destined for Cameron Park, and the City handle the installation and upkeep.  Since other organizations make donations to the City, this seems like a reasonable proposal that would help lower emissions, represent concrete evidence of the CIty's concern with climate, and be a good PR action for our organization.


  

DAVE MORROW for MAYOR
Many of our member know Dave.  He clearly recognizes the climate crisis and is much stronger on climate than his opponent Dillon Meek.  I have his yard sign in my front yard, and he has requested our members also host yard signs if possible.  I encourage our members to do this.  If Dave should win, it would be vastly easier to accomplish our climate agenda.  If you can display a sign, please email Dave at:  dave@dave4mayor.com.