climate action alerts
A regional resource for Cape & Islands climate activists
April 27, 2021
News, Features, Opinion
America needs a Civilian Climate Corps
America needs to get back to work, and we can do that while confronting the intersecting crises of the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice, economic inequality, and climate change.
By Edward J. Markey, The Boston Globe, April 27, 2021

The United States needs more than a jobs program; we need a massive careers mobilization. Livable wages with benefits. On-the-job training supported by local unions. Sweat equity that builds toward racial, moral, and political equality. Work that rebuilds the economy and arrests the climate crisis. We need a 21st-century Civilian Climate Corps.

America needs to get back to work, and we can do that while confronting the intersecting crises of the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice, economic inequality, and climate change. Solutions must have the scale and scope of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. But this time, frontline communities and communities of color must be at the center. They have too long been left out of or, worse, excluded from the country’s discussions about jobs, infrastructure, and prosperity. Read more.
How green are you? For Earth (Month), check your habits against this list of planet-friendly choices
A beginner’s guide to climate responsibility.
By Karen Campbell, The Boston Globe, April 21, 2021

With the climate crisis back on the nation’s governmental agenda, Earth Day (April 22) looks a bit brighter this year. Individually, we may not be able to save the polar bears or stop the fires and hurricanes, but there are some simple ways we can step up our personal responsibility toward environmental sustainability.

Here’s a list of habits to reduce, reuse, and recycle in seven key areas. How many are you practicing? Read more.
It’s time to get creative with climate incentives
By Adam Met, Quartz, April 20, 2021

We have all heard the doomsday stories about plastic oceans, burning forests, and pervasive global hunger. They’re all true. And most of us have agreed we need to do something about it. While we haven’t agreed on who the “we” is, for the purposes of a timely and successful movement, let’s assume it’s everybody, in some capacity: businesses, governments, civil society, and individuals. Every member of the “we” is necessary, albeit with varying styles of engagement.

Incentives for participating in the climate movement run the gamut, from political, to monetary, to emotional, to social...Suffice it to say, everyone has their price. It is our job to figure out the most effective currency. Read more.
Global/National
John Kerry: Protecting Our Planet
By Washington Post Live, April 21, 2021

U.S. special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry says no one nation can solve the climate crisis by itself. The former secretary of state is an advocate of personal diplomacy and is touring Asia ahead of a two-day climate summit hosted by the United States.

Kerry is meeting with foreign officials in pursuit of consensus-building around climate change. Kerry joined Washington Post opinions writer Jonathan Capehart to discuss the importance of setting ambitious goals to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and how the U.S. plans to lead by example.

In a conversation on Washington Post Live, U.S. special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry talked about the importance of having China join President Biden’s climate summit, what he discussed with 42 countries in a “listening session” Wednesday ahead of the climate summit, and how a more ambitious climate strategy will impact the U.S. economy. Click here for transcript. Watch the video.
QUOTE OF THE DAY

The U.S. and China have pledged to work together to tackle climate change. John Kerry, President Biden’s International Climate Envoy, says, “Without China at the table,
there’s simply no way to resolve the climate crisis.”
Washington Post Live
Science & Education
Water, Land Use & Conservation
Erosion: Cape Cod's Constant Change
Brewster Conservation Trust releases must-see video for climate activists

This March, the Brewster Conservation Trust (BCT) hosted Greg Berman,* Coastal Process Specialist, to talk about ways in which rising seas have created and shaped Massachusetts' shoreline over many millennia. BCT’s Communications Coordinator Dorria Marsh worked with Jonny Robinson, an ecology major at College of the Atlantic, to write and produce this short video that took lessons learned from Greg’s presentation and transformed it into a beautiful 7-minute video to share with a wider audience. This is a simple, must-watch video for all Cape & Islanders who care about our region's vulnerable, ever-changing shoreline. Watch the video here.

*Gregory A. Berman, PG, GISP is a coastal processes specialist for Woods Hole Sea Grant and the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension.
Paying landowners to store CO2 in soil a promising climate mitigation tool
Natural climate solutions – including land management practices that increase or protect carbon storage – could provide more than a third of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed between now and 2030, research shows.
By Melissa Gaskill, Texas Climate News, April 15, 2021

For four generations, the combined Broussard and Hebert families have owned land in the Beaumont area of Southeast Texas that includes rice fields, coastal prairie and marshland. With a grant from the Texas Coastal Exchange funded by San Antonio-based Valero Energy, the family plans to capture 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide on 4,000 acres of it.“ The grant is something we hope will allow us to increase the cash flow from our properties and actually enhance them and make them more productive,” Jimmy Broussard said. Read more.
Hearth & Home
Enjoy Springtime Shopping with Discounts from the Cape Light Compact
Go green and save some green! 

Have a smart thermostat and central air conditioning at your home? Consider enrolling in CLC's ConnectedSolutions demand response program. Earn incentives, plus help the grid, by allowing for small adjustments to your thermostat during times of peak demand. Enroll Your Thermostat.

Attention local business owners: CLC's Main Streets effort is back! For no-cost, they will offer on-the-spot energy assessments and install instant-savings measures in specific towns on select dates this spring. Plus, for a limited-time, businesses can receive up to 100% off additional recommended updates. Find Locations.

Celebrate Earth (Month) with these special deals on the Mass Save® online storefront! Find increased discounts on several brands of smart thermostats, as well as instant rebates on lighting, water fixtures, advanced power strips, and many more products to help you save. 
Region, Towns & Climate Action Networks
Cape Cod Commission seeks public comment on draft Climate Action Plan
Public comments due by May 24, 2021
Cape Cod Commission, April 26, 2021

The Cape Cod Commission released the region’s first-ever climate action plan for a 30-day public comment period. The draft Cape Cod Climate Action Plan was informed by input gathered from a wide range of stakeholders in an extensive and collaborative region-wide engagement and outreach effort, a regional greenhouse gas emissions inventory, an economic and fiscal impact analysis, and a legal and policy analysis.  

The result is a comprehensive plan that sets actionable goals for Cape Cod, within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts framework. The Climate Action Plan is intended to foster collaborative, targeted action to address climate change in measurable ways. It details the need for planning and identifies strategies and actions the region can take to mitigate the Cape’s contributions to climate change and adapt to its impacts.  

The plan targets the region’s highest emitting sectors, transportation and energy, as identified in the greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and include strategies that apply more broadly to support successful implementation of the plan. Strategies outlined will require action across all sectors and actors, including all levels of government, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and others. Read more here.

  • Submit comments via email to climate@capecodcommission.org
  • Submit written comments to Cape Cod Commission, P.O. Box 226, 3225 Main Street, Barnstable MA 02630
  • Call in your comments to 508-744-1271.
Mashpee Is Leading Climate Change Mitigation On The Upper Cape
By Judith Holt, The Sandwich Enterprise, April 15, 2021

Several towns across the Cape exemplify the work that is needed to mitigate climate change. In this series, in conjunction with the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative, we will review one town from each of the four quadrants that define the Cape.

The towns being recognized for their work to mitigate climate change are Upper Cape—Mashpee; Mid Cape—Yarmouth; Lower Cape—Chatham; and Outer Cape—Wellfleet.

From the Upper Cape, Mashpee demonstrates what it takes to reduce fossil fuel energy use, produce renewable energy and save taxpayer dollars in the process. The extent of the work in Mashpee is impressive. From active volunteer groups to town leadership, an all-out effort is being made to reduce greenhouse gases, increase renewable energy production and protect the environment through programs like the Bottle Bill. Read more.
Introducing the Harwich Climate Action Network (Harwich CAN)!

Watch this interview with leaders of the fledging Harwich CAN.

Congratulations to all Harwich activists who are assuming the climate activist mantle!
Business & Finance
Part of EarthTech Month Sustainable Energy series.
Join Greentown Labs for a Coffee Q&A
The largest clima-tech startup incubator in North America

Friday, April 30
10AM

Greentown Labs, based in Somerville, is the largest clima-tech startup incubator in North America. The mission of Greentown Labs is to be a supportive, collaborative, and inspiring community for early-stage entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. In this Coffee Q&A, Katie Geusz, Director of Programs at Greentown Labs, will talk about the Greentown Launch Accelerator, focused on helping startups partner with Corporates to get their technology deployed. Katie will also highlight a new project with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and Vineyard Wind – the First Friday speaker for EarthTech Month!
Texas schools. A food bank. Now a climate-change prize. The Tesla founder discovers Big Philanthropy.
By Theodore Schleifer, Vox,  April 22, 2021

Elon Musk has recently discovered the joy — and challenge — of giving away large amounts of money. In the first four months of 2021, the billionaire has given almost $150 million directly to charities. Before this year, by Recode's estimate, all of Musk's direct giving totaled around $75 million. In other words, in just four months, he's doubled the amount he'd previously given away in his entire life. Read more.
Biden’s climate all-stars: ‘The ambition is breathtaking’ — but so are the expectations
The president lured top talent into his administration, all behind one goal: “There aren’t a lot of egos. Just a motivation to make things happen.”
By Michael Grunwald, Politico, April 21, 2021 

Jigar Shah was a green finance legend, the founder of the pioneering solar firm SunEdison and then the billion-dollar green infrastructure firm Generate Capital. He was overseeing Generate’s investments in more than 2,000 sustainable projects, while co-hosting the top-rated climate podcast on iTunes. He certainly wasn’t looking for a job, especially an obscure government job running a loan program that had basically stopped making loans. Read more.
Biden plans to cut emissions at least in half by 2030
The target, intended to reassert America’s global leadership on climate action, would require profound changes at home.
By Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post, April 20, 2021

President Biden this week will pledge to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at least in half by the end of the decade, according to two individuals briefed on the plan, as part of an aggressive push to combat climate change at home and convince other major economies around the world to follow suit. The move comes as Biden convenes a virtual summit of more than three dozen world leaders on Thursday, aimed at ratcheting up international climate ambitions and reestablishing the United States as a leader in the effort to slow the planet’s warming. Read more.
Energy & The Built Environment
Electric vehicle charging stations expanding nationwide
By Amy Phillips, WWLP, Apr 14, 2021

As interest in electric vehicles (EV) grows, the nation has to find ways to expand charging stations to meet the need to provide long distance drivers with effective and convenient charging options.

President Biden is pushing for a national EV charging network in the proposed infrastructure bill as part of an effort to expand the development and use of electric vehicles. His plan would see a half million charging stations in use by 2030.

Eversource Energy is planning to create 3,500 charging ports across the state. They will be joining the Electric Highway Coalition, a group of the national utility companies looking to create a network of charging ports across major regions of the country. Eversource is also seeking regulatory approval for EV programs in Connecticut and New Hampshire. Read more.
Cities Confront Climate Challenge: How to Move from Gas to Electricity?
Ending the use of fossil fuels to heat homes and buildings is a key challenge for cities hoping to achieve net-zero emissions. Nowhere is that more evident than in Philadelphia, where technical and financial hurdles and a reluctant gas company stand in the way of decarbonization.
By Johnathan Mingle, Yale School of the Environment, April 20, 2021

In 1836, Philadelphians mostly used whale oil and candles to light their homes and businesses. That year, the newly formed Philadelphia Gas Works caused a stir when it lit 46 downtown street lamps with gas made from coal in its plant on the Schuylkill River. By the end of the Civil War, public thoroughfares and private dwellings in the core of most large Eastern cities were illuminated by gas, supplied through cast iron pipes buried beneath the busy streets — and the whale oil lighting industry was nearly dead.

Philadelphia’s own pipe network has expanded over the past 185 years to encompass 6,000 miles of gas mains and service lines. But today, Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) — the largest municipal gas utility in the country — is the incumbent business staring down existential threats, facing challenges from new technologies, upstart rivals, and a quickening 21st-century energy transition that aims to convert many buildings from gas to electricity. Read more.
Events & Webinars
Real Progress and Opportunity: Sharing Best Practices and Ways to Keep Going

Wednesday, April 28
7:00 to 8:15 p.m.
Join St. Barnabas Church, UU Falmouth and the Faith Communities Environmental Network for this second of a several-month series on eco-justice and the climate emergency. This gathering focuses on climate progress being made on the Cape and ways to get involved. Participants will share what they are doing individually, in their communities, and as advocates of global change. Forums are held on the last Wednesday of each month through November. All are welcome!
Climate Mobilization Network Kick-Off Call

Monday, May 3
5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern

Climate Mobilization Network is a new community space for Climate Emergency organizers to share your work, network, collaborate and make decisions together -- whether you are working on passing a Climate Emergency Declaration, or are running another type of campaign to reach zero emissions by 2030. During this first monthly call, climate activists will come together to kick off this new workspace and network.
Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM Climate & Health Webinar)
This event has passed but you may watch the video here.
ELM Climate & Equity Webinar
This event has passed but you may watch the video here.
ELM Climate & Clean Energy Webinar
This event has passed but you may watch the video here.
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We are an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to reach carbon neutrality or net zero on Cape Cod and the Islands of Massachusetts by enhancing communication, collaboration, and activism among organizations, programs, and individuals committed to mitigating the climate crisis. We depend upon the generosity of our stakeholders to conduct our work. All donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.
The Climate Action Alerts newsletter is compiled and crafted by Fran Schofield. If you've got a climate story from your home, school, workplace, town or organization, please be in touch!
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