President of the European Investment Bank Declares ‘Gas is Over’, plus an end to a mining proposal near Yellowstone National Park. “We Got Next!” now applies to being on the cool great outdoors team and, a quick look at the Energy Resilient Communities Act.
EU Investment Bank Declares “Gas is Over!”, No More Mining Near Yellowstone? Green Spotlight on “We Got Next”, Energy Resilient Communities Act
COMMUNITY: “WE GOT NEXT”–LEVERAGES THE GREAT OUTDOORS TO POC & MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES
Here’s the story of a community organization doing its part to educate folks in an unconventional way. It’s a group called WeGotNext. And in the words of one of its ambassadors, Sebastian Cancino, a queer and LatinX environmentalist, “I’m reminded that water lives in the soil and in the rock beneath. That water travels within us and in our non-human cohabitants. That water walks on air and blankets the world. That water is a path itself. That water flowing free reminds us of that which we all desire and that which is right.”
They’re from an essay in which he distilled his passion for outdoor adventure and for working toward opening the world’s most treasured natural spaces to all communities.
So what exactly is WeGotNext? Well back in the day, back in my neighborhood, it was what you said on the playground to stake your place in the ever ongoing game of shirts vs. skins basketball, kickball or dodge ball. But in the era of climate change, WeGotNext, takes outdoor play to the next level–literally to the extreme outdoors–to the mountains, white water rivers, and forests, places not often visited by people of color and other underrepresented communities.
Often members of POC and underrepresented communities can intellectually grasp the need for urgent climate action, but cannot buy into it emotionally. That’s because so many live in heavily urbanized areas already rife with pollution, their lifelong situation. And lacking access to the real outdoors, are unable to envision the real beauty of the planet. WeGotNext bridges the intellectual and emotional divide.
WeGotNext exposes adventurers of all non-traditional backgrounds to the outdoors and to solutions to mitigate the dire environmental crisis unfolding in their own communities and around the world. The operating principle here is once you’ve seen how beautiful and fragile the planet is outside your own neighborhood, you can’t unsee it. And it makes it worth fighting for. It puts your skin in the game.
DEEPER DIVE: WEGOTNEXT
EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK PRESIDENT DECLARES, “GAS IS OVER!”
President of the European Investment Bank, the investment bank publicly owned by the European Union’s member states, declared ‘gas is over.’ Dr. Werner Hoyer made the remark during a press conference about the bank’s 2020 operations.
Reported by EcoWatch, Hoyer called the break from gas “a serious departure from the past,” and added “without the end to the use of unabated fossil fuels, we will not be able to reach the climate targets.”
Hoyer also emphasized the transition away from gas carry on during the COVID-19 pandemic as greenhouse gas emissions continue to pollute the atmosphere.
Co-founder of 350.org, an international environmental organization focused on addressing the climate crisis, Bill McKibben was one of the first to celebrate. McKibben pointed to Hoyer’s remarks as a promising sign that economic sectors are catching up to climate science and the global shift to renewable energy.
DEEPER DIVE: EcoWatch
A QUICK LOOK AT THE ENERGY RESILIENT COMMUNITIES ACT
America is at last coming to terms with the side effects of climate change-induced wildfires, hurricanes and floods. I’m not talking about the enormous property damage. I’m talking about the power outages. Once-high-falutin’ luxuries like air conditioners, refrigerators, respirators and incubators have long since become modern necessities which allow humans to thrive in the most marginally hospitable places. That is until the thick ropes of copper and aluminum coiled around steel cores, strung pole to pole in equal measure in both desolate and densely populated places transmitting electricity from distant, centralized power stations snap, burn or short out from hurricane force winds, tornado-like wildfires or severe flooding.
That’s why Democratic Congresswomen Nanette Diaz Barragan (CA)and Yvette D. Clark (NY) introduced The Energy Resilient Communities Act during the 116th Congress in 2020. “Keeping the lights on and maintaining health care and emergency services can be the difference between life and death,” Congresswoman Barragan said. The bill is also designed to help communities recover from extreme weather events by centering America’s most vulnerable communities at the heart of the clean energy revolution. And it will provide good, high-paying, green jobs.
This bill is important because it will provide grant funding and technical assistance to develop zero-emission microgrids. These microgrids will fortify essential services infrastructure like public housing, hospitals, fire stations, schools, grocery stores and senior centers. The construction of zero-emission electricity micro and mini grids fortifies our national security–bad actors have already hacked our vulnerable, aging national grid; protects localities from power outages cause hundreds or thousands of miles away, and opens up the path for local, community ownership of electricity, which opens the path for safe substitutes to the dirty, smoky toxic diesel-powered microgrids of yore.
DEEPER DIVE: Mothers Out Front, Barragan.House.Gov
PROPOSAL TO HALT ALL MINING NEAR YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
A Montana Supreme Court has put an end to a gold mine project proposal near Yellowstone National Park. Proposed by the Canadian company, Lucky Minerals, the gold mine project planned to develop in Paradise Valley, the northern gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Reported by Earthjustice, the project was expected to have caused irreversible environmental damages to the region and its wildlife.
Earthjustice brought the case to Montana’s supreme court, which found the state acted illegally when permitting mine exploration. The court also ruled the state ignored wildlife destruction and failed to propose a plan for how the company would prevent environmental pollution.
Through the hearings, the court unanimously found sections of Montana’s Environmental Policy Act unconstitutional for denying locals the right to stop unlawful projects. Beyond Montana, the court rulings helped set a precedent in the mining and industrial sector.
DEEPER DIVE: Earthjustice