Sunday, December 20, 2009

CCTF meeting at 1 p.m. December 20, 2009

CCTF Meeting from 1-3pm Today.‏
From: joanna pollock (
Sent: Sun 12/20/09 9:43 AM

Good Morning! Join us at the OMNI house at 3274 Lee Street in Fayetteville from 1-3pm (we will adjourn earlier if possible). Robert McAfee will briefly share the importance of climate change preparedness. Ryan Denham will share the main talking points and action items from 1sky. Jacob Holloway will address agriculture and the importance of organic farming for sustainable living. Nick Brown will share outcomes from the 25x25 meeting in Little Rock and news from the CEW campaign. Please join us if you can and carpool as much as possible. We need your help to make this movement strong so organizers are not just talking to each other.

See below the 1sky press release from founder Gillian Caldwell.

Joanna Pollock
Climate Change Task Force, OMNI
Climate Precinct Captain, 1sky

World Leaders Fail to Deliver a Critically Needed Deal to Tackle Global Warming
1Sky Campaign Calls for Climate Leadership from Obama and the U.S. Senate
December 19, 2009
Contact: Liz Butler; (202) 487-4908,
Gillian Caldwell; (202) 446-8811,
As the United Nations climate change talks in Copenhagen staggered on, it became clear that they will conclude without reaching the bold and binding global agreement needed to stave off climate catastrophe. In response, 1Sky Campaign Director Gillian Caldwell called upon President Obama and the U.S. Senate to lead by ensuring the passage of bold and comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation as soon as possible.
“Events continue to unfold as we speak, but it is clear that the Copenhagen talks will not result in the fair, ambitious, and binding global treaty that the world desperately needs,” said Caldwell. “The 1Sky campaign pushed hard for President Obama to join the Copenhagen negotiations and we were pleased that he did, but unfortunately the proposals offered by the Obama Administration fell short of what was needed. The hopes of grassroots advocates and civil society leaders for a successful outcome have been dashed largely because the U.S. has yet to take bold action to tackle the climate challenge.”
“Our work is clearly not done yet -- the science calls for much more urgent action than what we’ve seen to date, and President Obama has acknowledged that,” Caldwell continued. “Delay only benefits the fossil fuel industries that are reaping record profits while destroying our future. We call upon President Obama and the Senate to take bold action as soon as possible in 2010 to secure our future.”
1Sky and its many partners in the growing movement for real climate solutions had flagged three key points to determine whether the Obama Administration’s efforts in Copenhagen could be deemed a success:
Acknowledging U.S. responsibility for climate change by making substantial financial investments in the transition;
Setting goals for short term emission reductions that are consistent with science;
Using the prominence of the Copenhagen conference to push the U.S. Senate for real action in the coming months.
Caldwell noted that the U.S. Senate’s failure to pass a strong climate bill in 2009 presented a significant roadblock to progress in Copenhagen. “Every day the U.S. Senate delays undermines the U.S.’s negotiating position and diminishes our potential to lead the way in the clean energy economy of the future,” Caldwell said. “President Obama must step up to the challenge and rally the American public behind bold climate legislation and secure a strong bill from the U.S. Senate. The longer we wait, the worse it gets: the International Energy Agency tells us that every year of delay costs $500 billion.”
Caldwell called for the U.S. to significantly increase its weak proposed emissions reduction of 4% below 1990 levels by 2020, which falls far short of scientific recommendations of 40% reductions. She also called upon the U.S. to ensure significant investments in international climate finance. “The most vulnerable communities need clean pathways out of poverty and humanitarian assistance for climate disruption that they did little to cause,” said Caldwell. “Financial commitments from developed nations are essential to ensure our national and global security, to boost our economy by opening up new clean energy markets and partnerships, and to ensure that poor nations can adapt to climate change while developing sustainably.”
“The Copenhagen talks failed to produce the substantive outcomes the world desperately needs. We are more determined than ever to secure strong U.S. climate legislation and a fair, ambitious and binding global treaty,” Caldwell concluded. “More than 12 million people across the world, including 600,000 in the U.S., raised their voices for strong action before and during the conference. This rapidly growing global grassroots movement will not be denied. We won’t stop short of the real solutions that science and justice demand.”
1Sky is a collaborative national campaign for strong federal action to tackle global climate change and invest in building the clean energy economy of the future. As one of the largest national campaigns in the country, 1Sky combines the force of 540 allied organizations, 184,000 committed climate advocates, 3,300 volunteer Climate Precinct Captains covering more than 394 congressional districts in 50 states, and a team of 43 including 33 organizers in 23 states working to mobilize constituent support.
For more information on 1Sky contact Alex Posorske at (301) 270-4550 x230 or

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Joe Neal suggests less shopping, more protecting

less shopping, more protecting‏
Joe Neal (

Back in 2000 I saw a Red-tailed Hawk nest in the stout fork of a big old prairie-era post oak. The oak was part of a small forest developed on former Tallgrass Prairie habitat well marked by impressive prairie mounds. There were Northern Bobwhites in the surrounding fields and Painted Buntings in the shrublands. Visitors to northwest Arkansas and us locals are invariably drawn to this area now because it is Steel Creek Crossing in the burgeoning retail-entertainment district in the vicinity of NW Arkansas Mall.

There was a big battle over these old prairie oaks in 2000, begun when Mary Lightheart climbed what she called the “mother tree” and vowed to stay until development plans were dropped. She kept her vow to stay, but eventually law enforcement brought her down and arrested others who tried to take her place.

I was out Christmas shopping in that area yesterday. What remains of that old oak barren is a handful of fantastic mature native trees and prairie mounds between two popular retailers, Kohl’s and Target . Kohl’s refused to make any compromise with their store building plans at the time. Folks who supported Lightheart handed out bumper stickers after the fracas that read, “I will never shop at Kohl’s.” Trash from the parking lots collects there, mute witness to what happens when a worthwhile fight is lost.

I haven’t seen one of those “I’ll never shop…” adorning a bumper in a few years, so I guess this too has now largely faded. Just from an ecological viewpoint, the little remnant is worth a visit because it is a perfect example of a unique Ozark habitat once much more widespread in northwestern Arkansas. There’s plenty of parking nearby, too.

But I am a historian and a birder, and when I’m out that way, I always stop and look at the oaks and the mounds, remembering that big hawk nest, the bobwhites, and buntings. Bobwhites and Painted Buntings are two of our native birds whose declines are thought by some to be a mystery. Stop by the little woodlot. The reason for decline, at least in our western Arkansas neck-of-the-woods, is palpable.

I also notice that while I did, and do, support the notion of boycotting environmental travesty, like others here, I move on. It’s like being push out to sea by the rip tide. The people who work in Kohl’s and Target look and likely feel just like you & I.

The trash out there in the pitiful prairie remnant got me to thinking yesterday about whether or not any of it was worthwhile, even from the get go. I think Lightheart and the others were right to protest , even if against overwhelming odds. I don’t mean to celebrate “tilting at windmills.” But how else will native birds and their habitats receive protection when they are jeopardized? How else will politicians and developers be put on notice that their decisions have real consequences, and not just the positives that get headlines.

I agree with the reputed views of a Populist agitator from the 19th century, who supposedly told a bunch of angry Kansans, "What you farmers need to do is raise less corn and more Hell." I suppose that’s what Lightheart had in mind when she climbed her mother tree – less shopping, more protecting.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fasting activists inspiring others in Copenhagen to hang tough and demand Climate Justice NOW!

"I support Climate Justice Fast!" sent you a message on Facebook...‏
From: Facebook (
Sent: Sun 12/13/09 4:23 PM
To: Aubrey James Shepherd (
Anna C Keenan sent a message to the members of I support Climate Justice Fast!

Subject: Hunger for Survival - Thursday 17 December 2009

Hello, Climate Justice Fast supporters,

During the COP15 conference, the Climate Justice Fast here in Copenhagen has inspired people around the world to higher levels of activism, and has generated a huge number of media hits from Turkey to Japan to Greece to Korea and all around the world!

Due to the inspiration that the fasters have provided to - in particular - the 1000-strong youth activist contingent at the conference, the youth groups and a number of large environmental organisations have decided that they would like to invite their members to fast for one day - THIS THURSDAY 17 DECEMBER - in support of the CJF, and solidarity with the millions who have and will lose their lives due to the preventable and involuntary hunger, disease and conflict resulting from climate change.

We have created a facebook event here - sign up if you are willing to join the day of fasting and reflection:

Many notable climate and sustainability leaders, including Vandana Shiva, will also be joining in this fast and moral call.

“If not us then who, and if not now then when?”

One day before the Heads of State arrive to finalise the deal in Copenhagen, we are calling for all people, everywhere across the world, to join a single global day of fasting – voluntarily going without food – and personal reflection on the climate crisis, and what we as humanity need to do to solve it.

Commit to join the day of fasting by joining this facebook event - and inviting all of your friends!

Now, we must be done with trying to persuade politicians with debates and intellectual argument. They have heard it all already. Now they face a decision about what is simply morally right.

On Thursday 17th December, we will therefore not yell, but instead quiet our voices and raise up our hearts in silence, not telling our leaders what they should do, but instead use the historically symbolic and powerful act of the fast to ask our leaders to reflect on the gravity of the choices they are about to make.

*** UPDATE on the fasters ***

Sara Svensson, Anna Keenan and Paul Connor are all now on the 39th day of their fast, having started on the 6th of November. Matthieu Balle, a solar panel installer from Paris who joined us immediately after hearing about us on French radio, is now reaching his 22nd day. Daniel Lau and Michael Morphett have both bravely decided to end their fasts, following medical advice, after both passing 30 days without food - a heroic feat.

The fasters are all in high spirits and good health, and are under appropriate medical supervision.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Audubon Arkansas open house from 4 to 7 p.m. today; Environmental Action Committee at 5:30 p.m. in Room 326 of city hall

Audubon Arkansas open house from 4 to 7 p.m. today; Environmental Action Committee at 5:30 p.m. in Room 326 of city hall
The Holiday Season is a busy time so here's a little reminder about our Holiday Open House! If you have not yet RSVP'd don't forget to drop us a line and let us know your are coming! We are looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Please Join Us

Thursday, December 10, 2009
From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at
34 East Center Street
Fayetteville, Arkansas

For the
Audubon Arkansas
Holiday Open House

The staff and board of Audubon Arkansas invite you to join us for food, refreshments, conversation and conservation. Spouses, children, and friends welcome.
Please RSVP to
Wishing You Happy Holidays!!!