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   Chattanooga Chapter of Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light (TN-IPL)





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City joins pact aimed at curbing pollution

Chattanooga Times-Free Press, September 21, 2006

 

The agreement signed by Mayor Ron Littlefield calls for Chattanooga to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions. Chattanooga has joined 275 cities across the country in pledging to reduce carbon dioxide pollution with Mayor Ron Littlefield’s signing of the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement.

 

The pact commits city governments to bringing their carbon dioxide emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. City forester Gene Hyde said Chattanooga would begin an "emissions inventory" to identify major government carbon dioxide sources. Mr. Hyde said the city has taken several steps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, including the use of electric buses and the replacement of incandescent light bulbs with LED lights in traffic signals. In addition, since 1990 the city has added at least 5,000 trees, which absorb carbon dioxide, he said. "It could very well be we’ve already reached that (7 percent below 1990 levels) and need no further action,"

 

Mr. Hyde said. The climate agreement was initiated by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels in February 2005 and is endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The Chattanooga Tree Commission in August urged Mr. Littlefield to sign the pact. "I have always been a strong supporter of the environment, especially air pollution control," Mr. Littlefield said in a statement. "This Climate Protection Agreement moves us one step further by providing cleaner air for everyone in our region and in the entire country."
 

  

 
An Open Letter to Mr. Bob Corker
on the dangers of Global Warming

 

 “It is getting hotter and the ice caps are melting and there is a build up of carbon dioxide in the air.  We really need to do something on fossil fuels.”  
            
-- Rev Pat Robertson, 8/3/2006
 

 "For most of us, until recently this [global warming] has not been treated as a pressing issue or major priority. Indeed, many of us have required considerable convincing before becoming persuaded that climate change is a real problem and that it ought to matter to us as Christians.  But now we have seen and heard enough."  
            
-- Rev Rick Warren, 2/8/2006
 

Dear Mr. Corker,

Ron Littlefield, the current mayor of Chattanooga, recently signed on to the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.  This agreement urges

“…the federal government and state governments to enact policies and programs to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol target of reducing global warming pollution levels to 7% below 1990 levels by 2012, including efforts to: reduce the United States dependence on fossil fuels and accelerate the development of clean, economical energy resources and fuel-efficient technologies such as conservation, methane recovery for energy generation, wind and solar energy, fuel cells, efficient motor vehicles, and biofuels..”

In the primary debate in Knoxville at the Howard Baker Center on the University of Tennessee campus, the president of the Knoxville League of Women Voters asked all three Republican candidates the following question:

“The overwhelming body of reputable scientists have found that the mean temperature of earth in increasing, and we are approaching what is known as the so-called tipping point, where irreversible damage will occur to our planet and way of life. Do you agree that the scientific debate on global warming is over? If so, what steps would you support to take us back from the tipping point?”
 
Mr. Corker, you replied as follows:   “You know, there are a body of scientists who think what the questioner said is true; there is a body of scientists who think that's not the case. It’s just part of the changes that are taking place.”

Sir, based on your answer I would respectfully submit that you are out-of-step with the latest scientific findings on human-induced climate change.  We want to ensure that you are aware of this most serious of problems and what can be done about it.  This is not a political issue.  This is not a cyclical phenomena.  Simply put, this is one of the greatest challenges to the survival of life on planet earth….ever.

Consider that:

bullet Nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1995.
bullet So far, 2006 is the hottest year ever recorded within the continental United States
bullet Since 1979, more than 20% of the polar ice cap has melted away, and polar bears are now beginning to drown for lack of solid ground
bullet The coral at the Great Barrier Reef is bleaching and will soon break down to rubble.
bullet Due to warming ocean waters, the population of jelly fish is spreading, as noted for the coast off Spain all the way to the Puget Sound
bullet The thermal expansion of the oceans is expected to raise sea levels by 20 to 80 inches over the next 500 years – Tennessee may become a refugee camp for flooded coastal residents.
bullet It is now known that temperatures for over 1500 years have correlated with the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.  Unfortunately, human activities are now increasing those CO2 levels exponentially, and the temperature rise, and resulting impacts could be catastrophic.

And what could be the effects of climate warming on Tennessee and the Southeast? 

Consider:

bullet The Southeast is prone to frequent intense precipitation which is projected to increase.
bullet Human health concerns arise from the projected increases in maximum temperatures and heat index in the region. 
bullet These concerns are of particular concern for lower income households that lack sufficient resources to improve insulation and install and operate air conditioning systems. 
bullet Rising temperatures in surface waters are likely to force out some cold water fish species such as trout that are already near the threshold of their viable habitat.

The list of dire facts goes on and on.  There really isn’t much debate among scientists about whether global warming is real.  The only debate now is how fast it’s happening.  And unfortunately, it’s happening much faster than they warned.  Keep in mind that not a single peer-reviewed, scientific paper written in the last 15 years disagrees with the premise that human-induced carbon dioxide is causing earth’s ongoing temperature rise.  The only scientists still questioning global warming are on the payrolls of the oil and coal industries.

As far as what can be done, that too is pretty simple:

bullet Increase the use of clean, alternative energy, like solar and wind
bullet Trade carbon credits among clean and polluting companies
bullet Replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent
bullet Promote tree planting
bullet Recycle, re-use
bullet Purchase only Energy Star appliances
bullet Promote sustainable building practices
bullet Promote cleaner transportation alternatives, like bicycles, hybrid cars, higher fuel standards for cars sold in America, public transportation, etc.
bullet Turn off lights, and electrical appliances when not in use.

And that list also goes on and on.

Sir, if you do win your Senate race, we want to be sure that you’re armed with the latest information on this serious issue and the tools needed to combat it.

Please contact us to learn more about the problem what can be done to address it.

Respectfully Submitted,

Chattanooga Chapter of Interfaith Power & Light,
Global Warming Task Force

10/16/06

   


Protests, international conference focus
on U.S. climate stubbornness

November 7, 2006

 

How many delegates does it take to convince the U.S. to address climate change? No one knows, but the 5,000 gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, for the U.N. climate conference are giving it a shot. The two-week event opened yesterday with remarks from Kenyan Vice President Moody Awori: "We are all gathered this morning on behalf of mankind because we acknowledge that climate change is rapidly emerging as one of the most serious threats humanity will ever face." U.S. negotiator Harlan Watson didn't get the hint, telling those assembled that the U.S., despite shunning Kyoto, is controlling emissions better than some other countries and isn't likely to accept mandatory cuts. This despite the growing fury represented by thousands who protested political foot-dragging this weekend in locales from London (20,000-plus) to Melbourne (30,000-plus) to Taiwan, Sweden, and even the U.S. One Canadian protester said climate apathy was "like calling 911 and being put on hold." Man, those Canadians are needy.

Forbes, Associated Press, Charles J. Hanley, 06 Nov 2006,  BBC News, 04 Nov 2006,
The Vancouver Sun
, CanWest News Service, Catherine Solyom, 05 Nov 2006,  The Age, 05 Nov 2006

 

Originator: Céline Rozenblat
Source: World Development Report, 1999/2000: Entering the 21st Century, Banque mondiale, Washington DC
Abstract: Maps comparing per-capita CO2 emissions by country in 1980 and 1996. Year Published: 2000
  


 



 

  

 

Reduce your environmental and energy usage:
go to www.climatecrisis.org and click on
"TAKE ACTION"
 

Do not wait for leaders. Do it alone, person to person.
—Mother Theresa

 

       
 
 
Chattanooga
 
 Interfaith  Power & Light
   
     
 
Global Warming Task Force

   Chattanooga Chapter of Tennessee InterFaith Power & Light (TN-IPL)
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Tennessee InterFaith Power & Light  www.tn-ipl.org
Interfaith Power & Light     The Regeneration Project
 
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SANDY KURTZ, Chattanooga Leader: SandyKurtz@comcast.net 423.892.5237
 
JIM DEMING, TN Stewardship Coordinator:
 JimDeming@comcast.net.
   

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