Fracking Meeting in Montgomery Held Last Month
April 25, 2013. A meeting was held concerning possible oil and gas exploration rights for the Talladega National Forest. As expected, there were very few definitive answers and more questions remain. While many are concerned with the overall possibility of ANY form of gas or oil extraction from our National Forest lands, the possibility of fracking has many people even more afraid. Find more information on the meeting and general information on fracking here: Channel 42's CBS News team; and here: LocustFork.net. Thanks to Amanda L Pence Melton for sharing photos of the meeting.
ALABAMA YOUTH IN ACTION
by Mallory Flowers, UAB
About the author: Mallory Flowers was recognized by the Alabama Chapter as the 2012 "Student Activist of the Year." She became a member of Sierra Club just a few years ago when another student encouraged her to attend a SPROG training program. And here is her story…..
Here's a little more about what youth in Alabama are up to these days!
As a senior this year at UA, it's incredible to see the sudden flurry of environmental action pop up all around us here in Sweet Home Alabama. When I first arrived, there was little organized function among student groups, but look how far we've come! From community education and engagement, to hard-hitting campaigns that win, young people in Alabama are showing that the environment is something not forgotten, and that they're willing to go to great lengths (and in some cases, literally astounding distances) to explore, enjoy, and protect our natural surroundings. Here are some of the highlights:
Shepherds Bend: Proposed strip mining along the Black Warrior River has gone from presumed act to controversial thought thanks to ongoing efforts by our statewide network of like-minded students, the Coalition of Alabama Students for the Environment (CASE). We've rallied behind a common cause, defending citizens and the environment at the same time, and combined forces to enhance each campus' member base, skill repertoire, and momentum to be forces of change. The jury is still out to see if the mine will go forward, but already we have changed the way that many view the destructive mining practice and its potential impacts on nature and human life.
SPROG: The Sierra Student Coalition put on yet another successful Summer PROGram, training, networking, and empowering young people from across the Southeast for the third year in a row. Thanks to support from the Alabama Chapter of the Sierra Club students were able to attend for an affordable price. Alabama SPROG 2010 was the birthplace of CASE, and the program has developed leaders for Alabama and beyond ever since.
SIP: CASE is celebrating victory on several campuses as we push Sustainable Investment Programs, or Green Funds, for our campuses' long-term environmental friendliness. UA, Auburn, and Montevallo have seen success in getting long-term funding options for environmental sustainability.
COP18: Two Alabama students represented the Deep South at this year's UN Framework Convention on Climate Change! Jackson Wilke, a Maryland native and recent transfer to UA, joined me and 12 other Sierra Student Coalition members from across the nation to push our nation's negotiators towards a binding, just, and universal climate deal strong enough to tackle the challenges we will face in the coming years. We learned a lot, met people from all over the world, and got to see how environmental issues are handled at the global scale!
More: We continue to make efforts towards sustainability across many realms -- setting up bike shares, advocating local and organic food, and connecting like-minded people all over the state to help each other keep up the hard work! We're looking forward to another year of progress in the fight for clean air, water, and land.
SUGGESTED COVER LETTER FOR DISTRIBUTION OF NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES BOOKLET TO ALABAMA ELECTED OFFICIALS
TO: Members of the Permanent Joint Legislative Committee on Energy Policy
This letter and the enclosed materials are provided to you on behalf of the thousands of members and supporters of the Sierra Club in Alabama.
In the last couple of years, we've had drought in the South, tornadoes in the South and Midwest, floods in the Mississippi River basin, hurricanes Irene and Sandy in the East, wildfires in the West, and thousands of high temperature daily records across the U.S. Munich Re, the largest reinsurance company, stated North America has experienced almost a five-fold increase in weather disasters over the past three decades, and such events will continue--which means higher insurance rates, poorer health, more wildfires, droughts, floods, and higher food prices.
Several states and other jurisdictions have enacted measures designed to create a better future, in which more jobs are created, public health is improved, and security is enhanced.
To do this here, we suggest there is a need for effective education concerning climate change and what to do about it. To those ends, our members and supporters offer the enclosed copy of the National Research Council's Climate Change: Evidence, Impacts, and Choices and also their brief DVD titled Climate Change: Lines of Evidence. These should be useful in your interactions with colleagues and constituents. (Recall that the NRC is the research arm of the National Academies of Sciences, a non-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. The NRC utilizes volunteer talent from academia, industry, and government to address pressing challenges confronting the nation and the world.)
Regarding climate change, positive steps recommended by the NRC include increased emphasis on: 1) energy conservation; 2) energy efficiency; 3) alternative energy sources, e.g., solar and wind.
On behalf of all Alabamians, we urge you to take constructive actions concerning alternative energy and climate change.
Thank you for your service to the people of Alabama.
(provided by David Newton)
Mobile Earth Day a Success!
Help Save the Black Warrior River!
Please take 30 seconds to Tell The University of Alabama, the major owner of land and mineral rights at the proposed Shepherd Bend Mine site, to protect the river and Birmingham's drinking water: www.AmericanRivers.org/BlackWarrior. You can also read Nelson Brooke's guest blog post on American Rivers website, here.