Climate Meeting Sunday, 2:30 1/7
- Houston Climate Protection Alliance meets Sunday, 2:30pm at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 5200 Fannin at Southmore. We will discuss theses issues
- Global Warming lobby day, Sunday February 15, a free bus and lodging leaving noonish and returning Monday evening.
- Texas is already paying the price of climate change in rising insurance rates and cancelled policies. (See attached documents.)
- Stern Review, by British chief economist Stern, says that protecting the climate will only cost 1% of global gross product while abusing it will cause the economy to shrink by 5% to 20% or more forever.British Consulate in Houston wants help in getting coverage for this. Call 713-659-6270 and ask for the press office (Mitch Jeffrey).
- Texas Legislature starts soon and will vote on a variety of global warming and energy bills, a first. Horray us! Please ask your legislators to vote for climate protection and energy efficiency. Lookup them up on www.capitol.state.tx.us
Todays date SAMPLE LETTER
The Honorable (Full Name)
Texas House of Representatives/Senate/Governors Office
(City), TX (Zipcode)
Dear Representative/Senator (last name),
I am writing to urge you to support a variety of bills on global warming and climate protection. I am a constituent of your district. I am also involved in ???? church or environmental group. (This is your political significance.) I am writing to urge you to co-sponsor these bills on global warming and energy issues:
· HB269 to increase energy efficiency efforts of transmission companies
· HB344 and SB124 to improve auto mileage and reduce air pollution
· Global warming impacts study that will be submitted
· Coal plant moratorium that will be submitted
Texans are already paying the price of climate change in rising insurance rates and cancelled policies. (For more information, see attached documents.) Since 1971, insured U.S. weather-related losses have grown 10 times faster than premiums and the overall economy. Insurers worry that climate change will make them go broke. Their cancellations of coastal policies pushes the burden onto government. Insurance companies are protecting the climate by switching their investments to clean energy, rewarding customers who adopt energy efficiency, and public education on climate change such as movie, The Great Warming.
The decision to permit 19 new coal-fired electricity generating plants will affect the health and welfare of Texans for generations. It is too important to be made without consulting the Legislature or the people of Texas. We should think before rushing into building coal plants because:
· Texas already leads the nation in global warming emissions.
· Half of Texans now live in areas where the air fails to meet federal minimum health-based standards and these plants would add to this.
· Coal-fired electricity generating plants are the largest source of environmental mercury. The Center for Disease Control found that one out of every 10 U.S. women are at risk of having newborns with neurological problems due to mercury exposure in the womb.
· Autism rates have zoomed in the last ten years. Palmer of University of Texas found that places in Texas with more environmental mercury pollution had higher rates of autism and special education.
· Texas has more renewable energy potential than any other state in the countryTexas renewable energy sources could provide enough power to meet 40 percent of US demand if they were developed.
Legislators have several options for action, and they need to pursue all those options in the upcoming legislative session.
1. Global warming impacts study so we will know how much is at risk.
2. Moratorium. Lawmakers could pass a resolution putting all new power plant permitting on hold pending a review of the health, environmental and global warming implications of proposed technologies along with a comprehensive analysis of alternative strategies and their comparative costs and benefits.
3. Comprehensive energy efficiency legislation. Efficiency is the cheapest, quickest, cleanest source of new energy. Please co-sponsor HB269 by Anchia. Please co-sponsor HB344 and SB124 to improve auto mileage and reduce air pollution.
4. New technology standards. Lawmakers could pass legislation requiring power plants built after a specific date to meet or beat industry best practices that would reduce (but not eliminate) new power plant emissions in Texas and which can more cheaply be fitted with carbon capture when federal regulations demand it.
5. Serious renewable energy targets. Lawmakers could increase Texas renewable portfolio standard (RPS)the percentage of electricity in the state that is required to come from renewable sources.
(Your phone number)
Nan Hildreth, Houston
"Global warming is the greatest moral and spiritual crisis facing Earth's people." Unitarian Universalist Ministry for the Earth.