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

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Another Victory

Earlier this year the City of Waco announced it would utilize 100% renewable electricity for its 2022 power contract.  Well, today we learned that the City staff will recommend at the Council meeting Tuesday that it include rooftop solar on its proposed Fire Station #6 to be built soon.  The Council will vote Tuesday but approval appears  probable.  There is no doubt that we have influenced this Council to move toward renewable energy, and other areas of decarbonization. In fact, we have repeatedly called for solar on all new City construction, especially at Council meetings.  It has taken about 2 years, but the momentum for progress seems to be building.  Thanks to every member who has contributed to the success of the Go Renewable Waco campaign. 















CALL FOR ACTION--URGENT--PLEASE HELP

To solidify the fire station news and add to the progress, we ask that each member who has a couple of minutes take these simple actions--they should take no more than 5 minutes.  

  1. Send a message to your Waco councilperson and the Mayor.  To do this, follow this link:  https://www.waco-texas.com/council.asp.  Then find the tab to go to the Mayor and your specific councilperson's page.  You will then either fill out a comment page or send an email.
  2. Inform these 2 Council members that you strongly support the proposal to do rooftop solar on Firestation # 6.  This is RES-2020-335 on the agenda.  Thank them for this progress
  3. Next, let them know that this fire station also must be all electric--no natural gas.  (The agenda packet does not specify this point so we must assume gas may be planned).  You can point out that it makes no sense to install gas now when it will need to be replaced with electric by 2050--a huge waste of funds. 
  4. A $2 million parking facility for the Tx Ranger Museum is also on the agenda for approval, RES-2020-337.  Please let your Councilpersons know that this is the perfect opportunity to install EV charging in this lot.  Request their support for 2 or more Level 2 EV chargers to be installed in this lot. (Two Chargepoint Level 2 chargers would only cost about $20K).  This would be good for the climate, support the future of transportation, help visitors and tourists, and improve Waco's image. 

BAG DISTRIBUTION, STYROFOAM COLLECTION, ART EXHIBIT PENDING 

We remain hopeful that we will be able to carry out these events as the pandemic begins to fade.  But the possibility of a 2nd wave  exists  and there is no certainty at this moment.  So we will monitor the science and carry out these events as soon as possible.  We will keep everyone up to date on our plans, including our awesome volunteers for these actions.  We DO encourage artists to work on their climate pieces now, as we will definitely hold the exhibit, even if the science requires a delay.

EARTH DAY: DIGITAL CLIMATE CRISIS RALLY

On April 22, we held a wonderful virtual rally on Facebook.  Participation was very generous, with powerful images submitted or posted by around 20 members.  It really helped mitigate the feeling of isolation, and we offer deepest thanks to all who participated.  If you haven’t seen the pictures, check out the previous post on this website.

If you haven't participated in our Facebook group, please join us:  Waco Friends of Peace--Climate. 


From Alan Northcutt:  INTEREST IN SAFE PROTEST??

A major target of protests now is banks that fund Arctic drilling or other fossil fuel extraction.  "Stop the Money Pipeline" is the slogan of some of these actions.  I have been considering a local protest at a bank such as Bank of America or Chase.  We could do so safely, I believe, with 6ft. spacing on sidewalks and mandatory face masks.  My question:  would you be willing to participate in such a direct action?  Please email anorthc@aol.com with your thoughts, pro or con. 

I feel certain that members share my feeling of frustration at this slowing of the pace of climate activism.  But I am hopeful that the pandemic has reminded climate deniers of the critical nature of science. The following are actions we can all take to keep activism alive:

Participate in actions described in FOP/C emails.
Make comments on virtual City Council meetings through the City website.
Write letters to the Editor of the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Talk about the climate crisis to everyone in your sphere. 
Practice personal sustainability.
Do a large sustainability project--rooftop solar or an EV. 
Join us on Facebook. 
Read climate science books, listen to podcasts
Spread the word--always talk about the climate crisis. 

Thanks to all our members for their dedication and perseverance. I  believe the arc of history bends toward science, as well as toward justice. 
Alan D. Northcutt, MD, Director
Facebook: Waco Friends of Peace--Climate .






Thursday, May 07, 2020

Digital Earth Day Celebration

Waco Friends of Peace/Climate held a digital Earth Day celebration, with images submitted on Facebook.
































Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Fourth Annual Waco Friends Of Peace/Climate Art Exhibit

We are still hoping to have the FOP/C art show as planned.

























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

Still Hoping For Waco Downtown Farmer's Market Bag Giveaway



PURCHASE RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR THE CLIMATE

The following is an article submitted to the Waco Tribune Herald by Alan Northcutt:

Earlier this year, the City of Waco announced that its 2022 electricity contract for municipal power needs would provide 100% clean, renewable energy. Climate activists commended the City for this important decision.  However, the City uses only a fraction of total electricity consumed, with residences, businesses, schools, and churches consuming the majority of power.  We thus call on all users of electricity to follow the example of the City of Waco and purchase 100% clean, renewable energy.
 
Why is it important to use 100% clean, renewable electricity in Waco? “Clean” power generation is free of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are producing our current climate crisis.  In fact, of all sources of GHGs in the United States, electricity production is the second largest.  In addition, clean electricity generation is free of air pollutants, like sulfur dioxide and lead, which cause an estimated 200,000 deaths in the US annually.  And “renewable” means that this supply of energy, derived from the sun and wind and oceans, is inexhaustible. On the other hand, the supply of fossil fuels will someday end. 
   
But how can the clean electricity reach my outlet when it is diluted with dirty electricity?  This is one of the most confusing aspects of renewable energy.  It is absolutely true that electrons from a wind turbine or solar panel are mixed with electrons from a coal power plant in the power lines that traverse to your home. It is analogous to a glass of clean water poured into a dirty river.  So, your home receives a minute portion of the massive river of electricity from all sources—you cannot directly utilize the renewable electricity you purchase.
   
If so, how does your renewable power purchase fight climate change?  As you purchase a percentage of renewable electricity from a utility, that company then purchases a matching number of Renewable Energy Certificates/Credits (RECs). These RECs then support the development and operation of more renewable energy resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, small hydro, wave or tidal.  As the megawatt hours output of clean energy grows, the fraction of dirty fossil fuel energy shrinks   
   
How do I purchase renewable energy from available utilities? In the Waco area, many consumers may select an electricity provider from a buffet of utilities on websites such as chooseenergy.com.  For example, for the Waco zip code 76710, we found 13 providers and a total of 70 power plans available to consumers.  The monthly bill estimates for 1000kWh usage ranged from $62 to $159.  Within these 70 plans, 20 provided 100% renewable energy, distributed amongst 6 companies. 
   
The following is an overview of those 6 companies offering renewable energy plans:

  • Gexa Energy, 7 plans, monthly bill estimate for 1000kWh is $64 to $147.
  • Tri-Eagle Energy, 2 plans, monthly bill estimate for 1000kWh is $108 and $110.
  • Pulse Power, 2 plans, monthly bill estimate for 1000kWh is $110 and $111.
  • 4 Change Energy, 1 plan, monthly bill estimate for 1000kWh is $133.
  • TxU, 1 plan, monthly bill estimate for 1000kWh is $145.
  • Green Mountain Energy, 7 plans, monthly bill estimate for 1000kWh is $109 to $141.  

(It is important to note that this comparison provides a summary of the plans, and that the details of each should be reviewed.  Specifically, the EFL [Electricity Fact Label] provides the small print details of each plan and can confirm that a plan is actually “100% renewable.”) 
   
Is an economical 100% renewable energy plan available?  YES.  Each consumer must compare the plans for their specific zip code and kWh usage.  However, the example above shows that renewable electricity CAN be among the most economical plans:  the Gexa Energy Saver Deluxe 12 plan, at $64 monthly for 1000kWh, is one of the lowest-cost plans.  Gexa specializes in renewable energy, with 6 other plans offered.  But energy purchase transcends price:  this is an investment in our children’s futures. 
   
In addition to following the City of Waco, why purchase 100% renewable electricity?  The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic reminds us of the importance of respecting and heeding scientific expertise.  The climatologists’ warning that we must convert our entire energy system to clean energy by 2050 is as certain as the physician’s warning of the necessity of social distancing.   In addition, we know that the transition to renewable energy will save lives, decrease cardiopulmonary disease, decrease medical costs, create jobs, save water, and preserve precious lands.
   
Does our energy choice impact pandemics?  With all of these reasons to participate in the transition to renewable energy, a stunning recent report from the Intergovernmental Science- Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) added yet another reason—to help prevent additional pandemics. The report found that climate change, rampant deforestation, and uncontrolled agricultural expansion contribute to the spillover of diseases from animals to man.  The authors noted that “We have a small window of opportunity in overcoming the challenges of the current crisis, to avoid sowing the seeds of future ones.”   As consumers, our choice of renewable energy will help us enter that window—and we can now do so economically.


Alan D. Northcutt, M.D.
Waco, Texas
May 3, 2020

Alan Northcutt (anorthc@aol.com) is a Waco physician and Director of a climate action and education organization, the Waco Friends of Peace/Climate