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The Fair Climate Connection 
September 15, 2011

Do you know anyone who is working to fight climate change or better your community?

Of course you do.

Over the next week, we want to hear who inspires YOU to do the work you do. The stories, links, videos or photos I get from you will be featured in our newsletter, which gets sent to over 500 community leaders around the country.

Give a shout-out to a co-worker, a neighbor, a friend, or someone else who you admire. Send me a few sentences about them; send me a photo of an awesome community garden they work on, or a photo of them hard at work organizing. Or just send me a link to a blog they wrote or a blog about someone you think is revolutionary.

Why? Because we all need inspiration to remind us why we are in this fight.

Email your submissions to Katharine Pelzer at pelzerk@nwf.org. I look forward to hearing from you!

In this issue...
Obama Delays Climate Action
Keystone XL a Job Killer, Says Cornell
Dose of Inspiration: Be The Change You Want To See In The World
EPA Seeks to Protect People's Health and the Environment in Communities Overburdened by Pollution
Invitation: Weathering Change- Stories about Climate and Family from Women around the World
Funding Opportunities

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About Us

The goal of NWF's Fair Climate Project is to build and engage a national network of leaders representing underserved communities to advance equitable and just solutions to climate change. We work to forge connections between community leaders and decision makers to jumpstart local projects and national initiatives that promote green communities, clean energy, and green jobs.

Clean air, clean water and abundant wildlife sustain Americans from all walks of life. We all have a shared responsibility to protect these resources for our children's future.  At NWF, we are working to bring together diverse voices to affect decisions that will create safe and healthy communities for all.

 Obama Delays Climate Action
air pollution
Just days after shelving long needed action to reduce ozone and smog pollution that costs the nation billions, today the Obama administration said it was delaying action on climate change that would rein in carbon pollution from power plants. This comes the day after new studies reveal Arctic sea ice is melting faster than predicted.

Joe Mendelson, NWF policy director, climate and energy programs said:

"Delaying action puts our nation unacceptably at risk from the ravages of air pollution and climate change. With record summer heat, fires raging in Texas and unprecedented floods in the Northeast, the costly impacts of global warming have never been clearer.   


"Every day we delay cleaning up our nation's power plants fattens polluter profits and shrinks our chances of tackling the climate crisis. Today's decision suggests that when it comes to uncontrolled carbon pollution, the administration appears content with business as usual."
Keystone XL a Job Killer, Says Cornell
by Tony Iallonardo, NWF
Pipeline fires, spills and explosions exact a toll on local economies that industry refuses to account for in its job estimate. Image by Tom Burford.

Echoing some of our previous posts, the Cornell Global Labor Institute hasjust released it's analysis of the job impacts from the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.  Their take?  It will kill more jobs than it creates.

Cornell says: "TransCanada and The Perryman Group's [a TransCanada subcontractor] job estimates do not consider the jobs that might be destroyed as a result of the pipeline and the expanded use of tar sands oil.

The Obama administration is due to decide by the end of the year whether the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest.  You can tell President Obama to stop the pipeline and protect the environment from high carbon fuel spills. Take action here!

Read more here.
  Dose of Inspiration: Be The Change You Want To See In The World
by Matthew Yglesias, as featured on his blog
1.27.2011 Green the Block in ATL
I got a great email today from a self-described "well-educated, politically literate, 30-something person with a job and a kid" who spends "let's say 45 minutes a day that I spend thinking about politics" and who had a great question:


That 45 minutes is about 40 minutes reading you, Ezra Klein, and Steve Benen and 5 minutes talking to my husband who's been busy reading Kevin Drum and Jon Chait. It's all very lovely to be well-acquainted with graphs, but I'm starting to realize that I am part of the problem as well. I don't actually DO anything besides read and fulminate in the quiet of my own home.

She wants to know what she should actually be doing to try to create change, since "[w]atching Jon Stewart tell me things I already know in funny voices is starting to seem hollow."

This has become one of my refrains when talking to people in person. If you're a progressive and you feel that the political system isn't doing what you want, it's misguided to look at this as a personal failure of elected officials. It's, if anything, a personal failure of you and people like you. Justice and equality doesn't just happen because it's nice, people need to make it happen. If it's not happening, then its advocates are failing. And I do think there's a lot of wisdom to the old Le Tigre song "Get Off The Internet." Reading and talking to like-minded people about how powerful people are failing can seem like action, but it really isn't. As for what you should do, probably the most obvious step is to make sure to remember to volunteer doing something at peak election season, but I would also suggest the following two steps that I think people underrate:

    - Make sure to call/write to your member of Congress and senators. Even if their vote is entirely predictable, they still pay attention to what they're hearing from constituents, and the overall volume of feedback still matters. If reliable liberal members get praise from their constituents from doing liberal stuff, then they become emboldened in their liberalism. You should be doing this regularly. If a major legislative proposal is dropped, let your elected officials know how you feel about it. Both positive and negative reinforcement matter.

    - Be personally annoying about your political views when they're relevant to your interactions in everyday life.

Read on here.


EPA Seeks to Protect People's Health and the Environment in Communities Overburdened by Pollution

Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of Plan EJ 2014, a three-year, comprehensive plan to advance environmental justice efforts in nine areas, including rulemaking, permitting, enforcement, and science.

Plan EJ 2014 aims to protect people's health in communities overburdened by pollution, to empower communities to take action to improve their health and environment, and to establish partnerships with local, state, tribal and federal governments and organizations to promote sustainable communities where a clean environment and healthy economy can thrive.

"Far too often, and for far too long, low-income, minority and tribal communities have lived in the shadows of some of the worst pollution, holding back progress in the places where they raise their families and grow their businesses," said Lisa F. Garcia, senior advisor to the EPA Administrator for Environmental Justice. "Today's release of Plan EJ 2014 underscores Administrator Jackson's ongoing commitment to ensuring that all communities have access to clean air, water and land, and that all Americans have a voice in this environmental conversation."

Read Plan EJ 2014 here.

Invitation: Weathering Change- Stories about Climate and Family from Women around the World 
Thursday, September 22, 2011 from 10-11:30 AM

Weathering Change takes us to Ethiopia, Nepal and Peru to hear the stories of women as they struggle to care for their families, while enduring crop failures and water scarcity. The film shows how women and families are already adapting to the climate change challenges that threaten their health and their livelihoods.

Weathering Change documents how family planning, girls' education, sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation are part of the solution. As the world's population hits 7 billion in 2011, the film calls for expanding access to contraception and empowering women to help families and communities adapt to the effects of climate change.

Followed by a panel discussion on climate change, gender, and family planning.
  • Ellen H. Starbird, Deputy Director, USAID Office of Population and Reproductive Health
  • Tonya Rawe, Senior Policy Advocate, CARE USA
  • Esther Kelechi Agbarakwe, Atlas Corps Fellow, Population Action International
  • Geoff Dabelko, Director, Environmental Change and Security Program, moderator

Participate in the live webcast

Funding Opportunities