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GCAN for Mar: “Changing the System thru Non-violent Direct Action” & City, County, State updates!

 GCAN for Mar: “Changing the System thru Non-violent Direct Action” & City, County, State updates!

GCAN logo
Dear GCAN Friends,
 Please join us for our next GCAN Meeting on  Wed, March 11, 7:00-9:00 pm. The topic will be “Changing the System through Non-violent Direct Action“.  In anticipation of the Earth Day days of action, this seems like the perfect time to learn more about what is planned and why the organizers feel that “direct action” is the best way to effect change.
Our meetings are now divided into three or four sections. Details are below.
 Below, you will see that we are highlighting a few issues in this announcement
a) Annapolis Updates on 5 priority areas
b) Update from Prince Georges Climate Parents
c) Update on a County Climate Action Plan
d) Upcoming Drawdown Intro Workshops: Reversing Global Warming
e) Update from ERHS Sunrise Chapter
Please scroll to the bottom for a list of upcoming events this month.
Thanks,
Lore Rosenthal
Greenbelt Climate Action Network, Leadership Team
301-345-2234
Greenbelt Climate Action Network
 “Changing the System through Non-violent 
Direct Action
  
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
7:00-9:00 pm
Greenbelt Community Center, Room 114
15 Crescent Rd, Greenbelt, MD

According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), if we are to have a 67% chance of limiting global heating to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, then on January 1st of 2018 we had only about 420 gigatonnes of C02 left to emit. At our current emissions rate, that budget will be exhausted in 8 years, although many scientists reason that these numbers are too moderate. A recent climate model by 100 of the top French climate scientists outlines a worst case scenario of a 6-7 degree Celsius rise in temperature by 2100, a figure well above the worst case scenario in the IPCC reports.

And yet with red lights flashing and alarm bells ringing It has become clear that our political institutions are either unwilling or incapable of responding to this crisis with the scale and urgency demanded by the science. In response to this reality, last September saw the largest climate protests in the history of the movement. Catalyzed by the youth led school strikes, an estimated 4 million people participated in actions in over 99 countries. Here in DC, a coalition of social justice and climate activists occupied intersections across the city and shut down business as usual.  Speakers from various local climate groups (Extinction Rebellion, #ShutDownDC, Beyond Extreme Energy, The Climate Mobilization) will be presenting about upcoming plans for further “Non-Violent Direct Action” (NVDA). In the words of Greta Thunberg, “…if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, then maybe we should change the system itself.”   

The latter part of the evening will be spent on (a) report-backs on local “drawdown” solutions (b) three county level legislative campaigns, (c) Report backs on priority bills in the MD General Assembly. We always allow time for announcements of upcoming events.
For more info, contact Lore Rosenthal, Greenbelt Climate Action Network, SimplicityGroupsMD@gmail.com, 301-345-2234 (landline)
Priority Legislative Campaigns
At our February GCAN Meeting, those present voted to support five pieces of legislation.
Fact Sheets, Action Alerts and Status Updates are listed for each.  All of the hearing dates are passed and none of the bills have been voted out of committee.   The deadline for a vote in at least one committee (“crossover day”) is Mon, March 16. We encourage you to click on each Action Alert below and write to your state representatives.
 
HB1425/SB926 Climate Solutions Act of 2020 (GGRA)   Fact Sheet   Action Alert
  House hearing: 3/4  Senate hearing: 2/19
HB1545/SB887 – Just Transition off of Coal   Fact Sheet  Action Alert
  House hearing: 3/5  Senate hearing: 2/25
HB368/SB424 – Funding Public Transit  Fact Sheet    Action Alert
  House hearing: 2/4  Senate hearing: 2/12
HB209/SB313 – Ban on Plastic Bags   Fact Sheet  Action Alert
  House hearing: 2/11  Senate hearing: 2/20
HB589 – Requiring Composting for Large Producers Fact Sheet (p.2)   Action Alert
  House hearing: 2/19

A handful of GCAN members went to Annapolis on Feb 17 and Feb 24, to lobby in support of these important bills.

Prince George’s Climate Parents

 

Here is an update from Joseph Jakuta from Climate Parents.  They are working on the goal of
100% Clean Energy in all of the PG Co Schools.  Four of us testified at a recent School Board Budget Session about this issue.  One of the school board members (Pamela Boozer Strother) plans to introduce a resolution for a Climate Change Action Plan for the schools.
There are many reasons to encourage our school board to do this:
  1. Saving public dollars through pursuing reliable, low cost electricity (and thereby avoiding or delaying future tax increases).
  2. Setting a real world example for other counties in Maryland, which broadcasts the achievability and broad economic advantage of partnering with renewable power producers.
  3. Demonstrating to our young people that we, the generations currently holding the reins, will not abandon them or their future to the unimaginable devastation that climate inaction will guarantee.
Here’s how you can help:
  1. A core group is working on research, outreach, and a resolution. They need help with that and the more people that can get involved the quicker the process will unfold. You can email climateparentsPGMD@gmail.com if you are interested in helping in this fashion.
  2. They are also looking for people to go in person to school board meetings and to write letters to the elected decision makers who will consider moving this resolution to a vote.
  3. Finally, they are looking for people to liaise with PTAs and other groups that could write letters as well.
You can also follow our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClimateParentsPGMD/, or Twitter: https://twitter.com/climateparentPG to stay informed on actions to take.
To find your school board representative, visit https://www.pgcps.org/board/ (scroll down to bottom)
Come to our March 11 GCAN Meeting to hear further updates.
Prince Georges Environmental Forum – Introduction of a Resolution for a Climate Action Plan
 We were lucky to have Council member Tom Dernoga attend our January GCAN meeting.   He announced that he (along with several other council members) planned to introduce a resolution calling for a Climate Action Plan for Prince George’s County.
On February 9, Tom hosted a PG Environmental Forum.  Over 100 people attended.
Shortly thereafter, Tom’s draft plan came out of legal services.
Come to our March 11 GCAN Meeting to hear updates on the status of the resolution.
Introduction to Drawdown: Reversing Global Warming

Do you wonder what you can do about global warming?
Are you ready to connect with your community and learn how you can make a real difference?
Join us for a free workshop to learn about Project Drawdown, a comprehensive scientific study of 100 solutions that, together, could start to reverse global warming by 2050. Learn about the study and a sample of the solutions. Engage in conversation with your neighbors about actions that we can take now. Hear from Project Drawdown leaders, in short video clips, about how we can change the conversation about global warming from “game over” to “game on!”
Lore Rosenthal and a team of 23 volunteers are busy planning Introductory Workshops throughout the area, including: DC, Annapolis, Baltimore, Columbia, College Park, Greenbelt, and more!
For information about upcoming workshops, email
DCMetro PachamamaAlliance <dcpachamama@gmail.com>
Please indicate where you live, so we can match you up with a workshop nearby.
UPDATE FROM ELEANOR ROOSEVELT HIGH SCHOOL SUNRISE HUB
Lots happening at the ERHS Sunrise Hub.
First, leaders Angel Nwadibia and Leena Mohamed testified at a recent School Board Budget Session, requesting at least one “excused absences” a year, to experience “civic engagement” first hand, such as attending a Student Climate Strike.  Several School Board members who were ERHS alumns spoke to them afterwards, with great enthusiasm.
Come to our March 11 GCAN Meeting to hear an update on their request for an excused absence.
Meanwhile, Sunrise students around the world are preparing for the biggest Climate Strike ever on Earth Day, Wed, April 22.  For more info:  https://strikewithus.org/ 
WINTER/SPRING CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Here is a partial list of upcoming events. The link above will be updated prior to the March 11th meeting.
– Sat, March 7 & Sat, April 4, 10:00-11:30 am: Hot Compost Training  greenbeltneighborhoodcompost@gmail.com
 Thurs, Mar 12, 7:30 pm, PG Climate Parents webinar
– Wed, Mar 23,  6:00-8:00 pm CCAN rally for the Climate Solutions Act in Annapolis,  College Ave rally space.
– Thurs, Mar 26, 8pm, “Fantasic Fungi” movie at the Old Greenbelt Theatre
 https://greenbelttheatre.org/calendar/
– Sun, Mar 29, 12noon, “Biggest Little Farm”, FREE. Old Greenbelt Theatre.
– Wed, April 8, 7-9 pm, GCAN meeting, topic “tba”
EARTH DAY actions, April 22 – May 1
 Week One Info: https://strikewithus.org/
– DAY 1: Wed, April 22, Earth Day, Mass Mobilizations and Strikes
– DAY 2: Thurs. April 23, Stop The Money Pipeline Day of Action
– DAY 3: Fri, April 24, Day of Political Action
Week Two Info:  https://www.shutdowndc.org/
– Mon, April 27- Climate Justice and Environmental Justice – Right Here Right Now – Anchored by Black Lives Matter DC
– Tues, April 28- Green New Deal – Anchored by the Sunrise Movement DC Hub
– Wed, April 29- Hold the Corporations Accountable – Anchored by La ColectiVA and other groups in the region working to hold Amazon accountable as it builds its empire and its new headquarters in Northern Virginia
– Thurs, April 30- Keep Fossil Fuels In the Ground-Front line communities leading the fight -Anchored by Appalachians Against Pipelines and other front-line anti-extraction and campaigns
– Fri, May 1– All Out for May Day!
For details on any of them, email Lore at SimplicityGroupsMD@gmail.com.
Greenbelt Climate Action Network, 56 F Crescent Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770
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