Spring into Summer!

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Potluck Picnic
Thursday, June 20 | 6:30-8:30PM
Ralph Sampson Park, Shelter #2
431 E Washington St, Harrisonburg

Come catch up with old friends in the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (CAAV) or make new relationships with like-minded members of the community. Learn about different climate change issues CAAV is tackling in a relaxing setting, and share your ideas on how else we can help make Harrisonburg-Rockingham a regional leader in climate action and resilience.

Conversation Topics (or suggest your own!): Solar & renewable energy, Climate change education, Composting, Climate-related legislation & elections, No pipeline activist art, Climate resilience

From 6:30 – 8:30 PM, CAAV Members and allies will gather at Ralph Sampson Park (Shelter #2) to share food for the body and soul. Bring your own dish to share. Come and go at your convenience, but stick around until 8:43PM if you want to take in a beautiful Valley pre-Summer solstice sunset.

Please come connect with us, and bring along your colleagues, friends, and loved ones!

Facebook event page HERE.

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Celebrating Earth Day with a Free Screening of The Red Turtle

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In celebration of Earth Day on Monday, April 22nd, the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley and Court Square Theater are offering a FREE, community showing of the Academy-Award-nominated animated film The Red Turtle!

The Red Turtle
Monday, April 22 | 7PM
Court Square Theater
41-F Court Square, Harrisonburg
FREE! All welcome!

The Red Turtle‘s simple but stunning story about humankind’s struggle against nature will appeal to audiences young and old. The film is completely dialogue free, so members of the community who speak different languages can appreciate its universal message together!

At its simplest level, the film is about a man who is isolated on an island and battles a giant turtle. Looking at it symbolically, Dutch illustrator, animator and director Michaël Dudok de Wit says that the man represents humankind and the turtle represents nature. In recorded interviews he calls it “a love letter to nature.” He also intended the story as a statement about the power of nature and about humankind reconnecting with nature.

The 80-minute animation was a hit at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, critically acclaimed at its 2017 U.S. release, and later nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Rotten Tomatoes, a leading review website, gave it 94% and called it “…a beautifully animated effort whose deceptively simple story boasts narrative layers as richly absorbing as its lovely visuals.”

The Red Turtle appeals to viewers young and old, English-speakers and non-English speakers, casual movie-goers and analytical movie-goers. De Wit successfully uses visual storytelling and the characters’ face and body language to convey emotion in place of dialogue. He describes The Red Turtle as kid-friendly, though there is animal death which reviewers suggest will be appropriate for children age 10 and up.

Early arrivers can enjoy FREE POPCORN thanks to support from the Shenandoah Group of the Sierra Club! (Limited supply of free small popcorn for the first 33 guests).

Come celebrate our connection to Earth with your community this Earth Day!

Check out the movie trailer HERE.

Learn more about The Red Turtle in this interview with the movie’s director Michaël Dudok de Wit HERE.


Bob Corso of WHSV-TV interviewed organizer Lynn Smith for 1 on 1 about the film and Earth day on April 22, 2019:

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Click here or on the image above to find this 1 on 1 segment.

Wake up Virginia!!! Recap

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On March 20, 2019, the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley presented “Wake up Virginia!!! Mobilizing for Our Climate Crisis.” We proudly hosted Karen Campblin of Fairfax, Co-Chair of the Green New Deal Virginia Coalition, and Environmental and Climate Justice Chair for the Virginia NAACP; Bob Shippee of Richmond, Legislative and Political Chairs of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter; and April Moore of Shenandoah County, member of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network Board of Directors, to answer questions on state level legislative ways to address the rapidly evolving issue of fossil fuel-driven environmental degradation. Some 85 community members gathered at the Rockingham County Government Center’s community room to be part of this discussion.

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Moderator Karen Lee posed a series of five questions to the panelists, followed by questions from the audience. These questions, and the responses, are summarized below:

About the scope of the climate problem—Are we looking at a crisis where we need to mobilize like we did in WW II?  What lessons do you think that experience offers us today? 

The three panelists all agreed that the Climate Crisis facing our nation and world is unequivocally worthy of a World War II scale mobilization and investment. They agreed that we are experiencing a true emergency that calls for leadership by government, science, and business to ensure we respond promptly and effectively.

What is the status of the legislation you have been focusing on? What have been the biggest obstacles to getting them passed?

Major legislation during the 2019 General Assembly session included bills focused on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, pronounced like the name “Reggie”), Solar Freedom, Solar Demonstration Project, and Coal Ash Removal. RGGI would have authorized proceeds from carbon auctions to belong to Virginia and Virginia would determine how to use them. Without RGGI, the utilities would receive proceeds and decide on their use. The Solar Freedom legislation would have removed existing barriers to Virginians—individuals and businesses—who want to deploy solar energy.  The Solar Demonstration Project would have allowed a pilot project to examine the feasibility of solar in low and moderate income communities. Coal Ash Removal would require appropriate disposal of massive amounts of toxic coal residue from several “ponds.” All but the last piece of legislation was defeated because of legislative partisanship and parochialism and the persuasive power of Virginia’s largest utility.

What strategies are your organization and partners using to move forward the legislation you support in future legislative sessions?

The newly formed Virginia Green New Deal is hosting an April 27 partner summit during which it hopes to form alliances and partnerships with other organizations to develop legislative framework for the 2020 General Assembly session. The panelists suggested not only participating in this activity but also having off-season conversations with legislators and organizations around issues such as clean air, safe water, renewable energy, local-scale agriculture, and job training.

What suggestions do you have about how we can work with other groups to move Virginia toward more renewable energy and toward less fossil fuel dependence? I am thinking of groups like conservatives for clean energy, evangelicals, creation care groups, libertarian groups, and environment social justice groups.

Suggestions included:

  • Develop local “people power” such as local solar cooperatives.
  • Establish relationships with diverse organizations that share a common interest such as labor groups, coal miners, cleaner transportation advocates, and health workers.
  • Do coalition building within a community and among other Virginia communities to focus on the intersection of economic, climate, and social justice priorities and propose ways to move forward within that overlap.
  • Don’t build walls. Meet others where they are. Look for commonality.

Even though next year’s General Assembly session convenes in January, we recognize that a lot of legislative work happens much earlier. What are the most effective actions we can take as individuals and communities, especially between now and when they convene?

  • Get involved in the election process. Find the candidates whose positions you agree with and help them get elected. Canvas for them. Donate to their campaigns.
  • Reach out to local legislators and let them hear what you want; do that repeatedly. “Badger” your elected leaders … all year.
  • Write letters to your legislators spelling out your priorities as their constituent. Letters appear to have the most impact; emails and phone calls can be effective provided they are personalized. Personal stories are compelling. Form emails and petitions have less value. Then send your letters to the newspapers.
  • Become aware of the local budget process to learn the local elected officials’ priorities. Speak up about budget proposals. Look at local zoning rules to see if there are areas for improvement.
  • Early submissions for a General Assembly session begin in November. So don’t wait to put forward your requests.
  • In reaching out to others, be cognizant of your approach. Using words like “conserve” and “preserve” might resonate better with some people than “climate change.” Talk jobs (e.g., clean energy jobs, retraining of coal industry workers).  Raise health risks from environmental degradation. Express solutions in terms of “free market” methods.
  • Use the Virginia Public Access Project’s website to learn how your local legislator voted and where your political contributions are going.
  • Consider supporting campaign finance reform in Virginia.

A few other ideas from the question and answer session:

  • Read The Solar Patriot by Erik Curren to learn how to “pitch” the value of solar energy to conservatives and libertarians, as well as progressives and liberals.
  • Do what plays to your strengths and personality. Noise, rallies, protests all play a role and help inspire others.
  • Join the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (CAAV) mailing list. Read its Weekly Climate News Roundup, ask to work on one of its four standing committees: Coalition Building, Education and Events, Legislation and Elections, and Speakers Bureau. Write CAAV at contactcaav [at] gmail [dot] com to ask questions, offer ideas, learn where to look for information.
  • Reach out to organizations like local Rotary clubs and the Christian Coalition.
  • Stay informed. Our National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) provides reliable online resources here.
  • Volunteer! Local grass roots groups like CAAV, Renew Rocktown, and RAPTORS could all use your help.
  • And not least: plant a tree! 🙂

CAAV Founder, Steering Committee member and one of the event planners, Cathy Strickler, was pleased with the “great questions and comments from the audience.” She noted that “the panelists were very strong on intense contact with elected officials, the immoral power of Dominion, the importance of the State Corporation Commission … , ways to communicate with conservatives, and the importance of outside pressure ‘street actions’ on elected officials.”

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Media Roundup!

Liesl Graber reported on it for Harrisonburg’s The Citizen here: Virginia’s Green New Deal can be built on common ground between people of all political stripes, activists say

WMRA’s Anna Saunders covered the discussion here: Panel Discusses Need to Address Climate Change.

The Daily News-Record‘s Jessica Wetzler’s article Panel Talks Politics Of Climate Change, Election was published on March 22.

JMU’s The Breeze published Experts speak on Virginia climate change legislation by Christian Lovallo on March 25.

Karen appeared on WHSV-TV3’s 1on1 with Bob Corso earlier in the day on March 20, to help promote the event: Climate crisis forum is tonight in Harrisonburg.

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Wake up Virginia!!!

Find our recap, and media coverage of this event HERE.


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Wake up Virginia!!! Mobilizing for Our Climate Crisis
A panel discussion featuring experts on state climate legislation

Wednesday, March 20 | 7-8:30PM
Community Room
Entrance C
Rockingham County Administration Center
20 E Gay St, Harrisonburg
All welcome!

… [C]limate change is running faster than we are – and we are running out of time.” – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, December 3, 2018

A recent report to the United Nations from the world’s leading climate scientists indicates the humanitarian crisis and scale of ecological devastation to come has seen no precedent in human history. Likewise the scale of needed intervention requires an unprecedented, united will and effort. Are we up for it?

The Harrisonburg-based Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (CAAV) has invited three regional experts in Virginia climate legislative initiatives for a panel discussion focused on current efforts and next steps needed to turn the tide of the climate crisis and slow our sinking ship! The program, “Wake Up Virginia!!! Mobilizing for Our Climate Crisis,” will be held on Wednesday, March 20 at 7PM at the Rockingham County Administration Center in Harrisonburg. In addition to looking at efforts now underway, it will explore options and possibilities, including the hope, scope and promise offered of a Green New Deal, and concrete actions for audience members.

“Wake up Virginia!!! Mobilizing for Our Climate Crisis” will feature Karen Campblin of Fairfax, Co-Chair of the Green New Deal Virginia Coalition, and Environmental and Climate Justice Chair for the Virginia NAACP; Bob Shippee of Richmond, Legislative and Political Chair of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter; and April Moore of Shenandoah County, member of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network Board of Directors.

CAAV is encouraging all citizens to attend! There will be a drawing for some great door prizes after hearing from the guest panelists and an audience question and answer segment.

Door Prizes include:

  • Certificate for 4 adults to have refreshments and a home and garden tour in Bridgewater. (The home has 8.3 kW rooftop solar, solar tubes, and a densely planted landscape of native plants and edibles.)
  • owlprintsnipBoxed set of two exterior solar spotlights
  • Hand crafted earrings of fused glass in climate-friendly green
  • Print of a Great Gray Owl created by local artist Karen Lee for The Defenders project

The event is co-sponsored by the Shenandoah Group of the Sierra Club and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

About our invited panelists:

Karen Campblin.250Karen Campblin of Fairfax is Co-Chair of the Green New Deal Virginia Coalition, and Environmental and Climate Justice Chair for the NAACP’s Virginia chapter. Green New Deal Virginia’s co-founder, Delegate Sam Rasoul of Roanoke, says that environmental, economic and social justice cannot be separated. A Green New Deal, he believes, would give Virginia a way to greatly reduce poverty and bring economic prosperity by “creating tens of thousands of good paying jobs in clean energy”.

BobShippee.250Richmond resident Bob Shippee is Legislative and Political Chair of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter. As Legislative Chair, he tracks legislation, does lobbying, leads the chapter’s legislative committee and collaborates with them to develop position papers. Sierra Club is the largest grassroots environmental organization in the country.


April Moore Portrait.250April Moore is a climate activist, organizer, and author, who lives in Shenandoah County.  She is a board member of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) and a member of CAAV’s speakers’ bureau. Her long-running blogsite, www.theEarthConnection.org, offers “to nourish and inspire people who love the earth.”

CCAN’s website says its major successes, since its founding in 2002, include cleanup of coal-related mercury in Wise County, cleanup of three dump sites of coal ash in Maryland, an anti-fracking law and strong carbon cap in Maryland, and the groundbreaking Clean Energy DC Act of 2018 in Washington D.C., the strongest climate law in the country.

Contact Karen Lee: karenrlee [at] gmail [dot] com

Please share this event with friends, family, and community groups! Printable flyer is HERE.

Climate Change and Climate Science: The Ghost of Christmas Future

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The speaker series “Democracy in Peril?” is pleased to announce our next session: “Climate Change and Climate Science: The Ghost of Christmas Future.” The presentation, given by Dr. Leslie Grady, Professor Emeritus in Environmental Engineering at Clemson University, will take place on Monday, February 11 from 5-6:30PM in Madison Hall Conference Room (Room 1001) at James Madison University.

For years, climate scientists have warned about the dangers of man-made global warming. Yet just as the Ghost of Christmas Future showed Scrooge what may happen depending on how he acted, climate science provides us with glimpses of possible futures that depend on how we respond. Some future warming is inevitable because of accumulated greenhouse gases, but its severity and impact on precipitation, drought, agriculture, and sea level will depend on how quickly industrial nations adopt renewable energy sources and how generously they assist developing nations in doing so as well. Dr. Leslie Grady, an environmental engineer and Professor Emeritus from Clemson University, will discuss what many have called the most difficult challenge ever faced by humankind, one that puts democracy itself in danger. An open discussion with audience members will follow the presentation.

The Democracy in Peril series is co-sponsored by the History Department, the Office of Faculty Access and Inclusion, the Lifelong Learning Institute, the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement, the College of Arts and Letters, and the Center for Global Engagement. This session is also co-sponsored by the JMU’s Office of the President.

The Defenders at Stuarts Draft Farm Market

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Climate change is upon us and we need to do what we can to ‘build the best and block the bad.’ Fossil fuel infrastructure projects like the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines threaten people’s homes, health, safety, and access to clean water. Ultimately, these proposed projects harm all of us by deepening our dependence on fossil fuels and accelerating climate chaos.

A collaborative effort to ‘block the bad,’ an 8-foot tall, 8-foot wide steel sculpture, “The Defenders,” was created as a strong symbol of resistance to stand in defiance along these pipelines’ proposed paths. With $4000 raised through a crowdsourced fundraising campaign, donated talent from sculptors Mark Schwenk and Cheryl Langlais of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, “The Defenders” is currently making the rounds to properties close to the proposed pipeline route in Augusta, Bath and Nelson Counties whose landowners are welcoming the piece on their land.

This protest sculpture stands against the needless swath of destruction and downstream consequences of fracked gas pipelines. As a symbol of resistance and inspiration, it honors all those Defenders who are engaged in the fight against pipeline projects that threaten people and planet.

Members of the public are cordially invited to view “The Defenders” sculpture at its current location in Augusta County along Rt 340 at the Stuarts Draft Farm Market store at 2964 Stuarts Draft Hwy in Stuarts Draft at least through November … and pick up your holiday goodies while you are there!

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Above photo is by Ken Wyner at the September 30, 2018, dedication of “The Defenders” near the Rockfish Valley Foundation Natural History Center in Nelson County.

Dissent as Defense of Our Forests and Future

ThePowerofDissent.10.24.18.cropBig thanks to our Oct 24 presenters Case Watkins and Kendall Sellars (both in photo at right), and the Nov 17 speakers Chris Bolgiano and Kate Holcomb, for all their great presentations for this two part series!

Below are resources recommended by Kate Holcomb of the Dogwood Alliance:

  • the Stand4Forests website that goes over the ideals the platform is founded on.
  • resources on U.S. forests on the Dogwood Alliance website
  • biomass economics in the southeast paper
  • wetland logging investigation
  • the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Dominion issue brief, and here are more NRDC resources
  • Southern Environmental Law Center Biomass Energy in South
  • the film Burned

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We cherish our forests for many things, their beauty, their grandeur, and for all our memories of special childhood, youth and adult experiences there. They give us oxygen, plants, animals, healthy soil, clean water, beauty, peace, and re-creation in the fullest sense.

Are forests essential for our future? What action, if any, do we need to take to protect our forests? The Climate Action Alliance of the Valley, invites the public to explore these questions in a two-part education series titled “Dissent as Defense of Our Forests and Future”. It will be held at the Rockingham County Administration Building, Entrance A, at 20 E. Gay Street, Harrisonburg, 7pm, on these two Wednesdays: October 24 and November 14.

Part one, “The Power of Dissent” is a lecture by Dr. Case Watkins, October 24 at 7pm. Watkins, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Justice Studies at James Madison University (JMU), will talk about the importance and necessity of dissent for social change. His focus while teaching at JMU has been to realize and integrate social, global and environmental justice. He draws on experience in New Orleans, Portugal and Brazil to understand these issues, especially for rural communities and communities of color.

To add the perspective of a current activist, Watkins is joined by Kendall King from Virginia Student Environmental Coalition (VSEC). VSEC works with campuses around the state to empower Virginia students and other youth for climate action. They explain, “We are a group of young people striving to build a new world, one in which people are free to express themselves and find community. We fight because people’s needs aren’t being met and we don’t think it’s accidental.”

Part two, the second lecture, on November 14 is “Forests Are Our Future” by Chris Bolgiano, who will explain the national campaign, Stand for Forests. See https://stand4forests.org/. A Wild Virginia representative joins her to speak on “What Can We Do Now?”.

Bolgiano, now Emeritus Faculty from JMU, refers to herself as a “mildly amusing nature writer.” However, she has written or edited six books, several receiving literary awards, and has authored many articles on nature and travel for the New York Times, Washington Post, the Sierra Club, Audubon Society, and others. Harvard ecologist, E.O. Wilson, known worldwide, says of her 2011 book, Southern Appalachian Celebration: In Praise of Ancient Mountains, Old-Growth Forests, and Wilderness, “No book of my experience has ever caught the natural beauty and richness of southern Appalachia with greater exactitude.”

Both events are free and open to the public, and there will be time for questions.

Facebook event page here.

Rise for Community Climate Action

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Saturday, September 8, 1-4 PM
Pale Fire Brewing Company
217 S. Liberty St, Harrisonburg

Join the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley, Renew Rocktown, and Virginia Clean Cities in sharing, celebrating, and supporting local climate resilience actions!

On September 8, thousands of rallies will be held in cities and towns around the world to demand our local leaders commit to building a fossil free world that works for all of us. This collective Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice is part of an effort by Peoples Climate Movement​ to show the world how many people think climate matters. And that we need to elect officials who will take strong, fast action — or take matters into our own hands.

In the Harrisonburg/Rockingham-area, we hope to bring together climate, sustainability, and justice-seeking allies to celebrate our community successes and build capacity for more initiatives that are grounded in local ownership, equality, and climate resilience.

We are calling on a number of organizations and groups to showcase their inspiring work at this event, but the central initiative featured at our ​Rise for Community Climate Action​ will be the Harrisonburg City Sustainability Action Plan. This plan has been under development by the Environmental Performance Standards Advisory Council (EPSAC)​ for many, many months. The plan calls to create a new sustainability coordinator position in City Council, conduct a Greenhouse Gas Inventory, increase in renewable energy, and set other community priorities for climate resilience. It is being supported in large part by Renew Rocktown​, a community coalition dedicated to climate action and resilience in the Harrisonburg area.

Join us Saturday, September 8th at Pale Fire Brewing Company​ in downtown Harrisonburg for a fun, informative afternoon of connecting with fellow community organizers and do-ers! You can learn about exciting projects underway by various sustainability and climate resilience allies and find out how to get involved in those efforts that interest you most!

  • Talk to EPSAC members about the Sustainability Action Plan and give feedback and support
  • Add your voice to the call for local climate action by joining a letter-writing coalition
  • Sign up to visit or volunteer at local Sustainability Success Sites
  • Check out electric vehicles brought to you by Virginia Clean Cities for National Drive Electric Week
  • Learn about other climate action, environmental justice, and sustainability efforts in our area

Community gardens, pipeline opposition, composting, compost/recycling pick up, restorative justice, organic agriculture, community policing, fossil fuel divestment, fair trade retail and cooperative ownership, waterway management, sustainable transportation, accessible housing, solar power installation — these are the kinds of solutions that we hope to promote at this event.

Please reach out if you are working on introducing or implementing an initiative that you’d like to be featured at this gathering! Interested parties are invited to set up a table and/or poster display of their work, or just show up and share your ideas for climate action and resilience!

Contact: Rosie Lynch rosielynch11 [at] gmail.com

Harrisonburg Rise for Climate Action Network event page

fb-art event page

Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley to Speak at NAACP Banquet on Climate Change and Civil Rights

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NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet
Featuring Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley presenting: Seize the Moment – Climate Change is a Civil Rights Issue

Sunday, September 16, 2018 | 6-8PM
Festival Ballroom, James Madison University, Harrisonburg

“Environmental injustice, including the proliferation of climate change, has a disproportionate impact on communities of color and low income communities in the United States and around the world. The NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program was created to support community leadership in addressing this human and civil rights issue.” https://www.naacp.org/issues/environmental-justice/

Harrisonburg-Rockingham County NAACP Branch #7132 and the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley are excited to be part of this program and to bring climate justice activist Dr. Gerald Durley to the 15th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet. This is the major fundraising event of the year for Branch 7132 and is vitally important to our work for civil rights.

Only rarely are we privileged to hear a speaker combine knowledge and experience, understanding, compassion and humanity. Even rarer is one who also speaks with such enthusiasm that he can inspire a whole room to rise up and seize the moment, ready to meet the challenge of climate justice right here in the Valley.

Dr. Gerald Durley, Pastor Emeritus of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, is such a person. While serving as Pastor, he became intensely involved in the climate change, global warming, and environmental justice movement. Rev. Dr. Durley now combines the disciplines of faith and science with the lessons learned as a civil/human rights advocate from the 1960’s. He believes that God created a perfect ecologically balanced world for humans to care for, but we are destroying it at an alarming rate. He asserts that for the environment to be saved, the educational, scientific, business, political, and faith communities must seek common solutions.

Dr. Durley has served on many interfaith associations and boards, including Interfaith Power and Light, as well as being a long-time member of NAACP of Atlanta. A few of his notable awards include the White House Champion of Change Award given by President Barack Obama and the placement of his name on the International Civil Rights: Walk of Fame in Atlanta.

 You can watch one of his speeches, “Race, Faith and Climate Change: How Global Warming is a Civil Rights Issue,” at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgEO5GkBuQY

Tickets for the September 16th banquet are $40 per seat ($25 for students) and $300 for a table of 8. 

The form to purchase tickets is HERE. Advanced sales only. Please print form and send it along with payment by August 27, 2018, to:

Harrisonburg- Rockingham County NAACP
C/O Freedom Fund
P.O. Box 1010
Harrisonburg, VA 22803

You may also purchase an endorsement in the 8″x10″ printed brochure. The form to purchase endorsements is HERE.

fb-art facebook event page HERE.

Dr. Durley recently received a letter from Ted Turner announcing his reception of the Captain Planet Exemplar Award. This will be given Dec. 7 ” In celebration of your commitment to a sustainable future, the fight against climate change, and your indefatigable work to spread the message of creation care…” He’ll be in good company with previous winners Jimmy Carter, Sir Richard Branson and Erin Brockovich, and others. I’m sure you will want to be there with us and the NAACP to congratulate him on this latest recognition. See the letter HERE.

 

Climate Advocates Meet with Senator Hanger

Hanger24On May 8, six constituents of Senator Emmett Hanger met with him at Valley Pike Farm Market (his choice).  Present were:   Joni and Les Grady, Sally Newkirk,  Erik Curren of Staunton (author of The Solar Patriot, Staunton city councilman, and consultant with Secure Futures (solar company), Sandy Greene, local conservationist, naturalist, and solar advocate, and Joy Loving.

The meeting lasted about 1 ½ hours.  We talked about the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – RGGI,  and Distributed Solar.  The agenda is below.  We took turns speaking and each of us focused on different areas.  We scripted it loosely and more or less took our cues from him.  It was really a conversation.  We gave him background materials, including two books and a “solar primer” full of pictures.  We thanked him for his efforts on Medicaid expansion and on Chesapeake Bay restoration.  Erik gave him a copy of his book and Joy gave him a copy of Virginia Climate Fever by Steve Nash.

The Senator was receptive, cordial, and engaged, and he offered suggestions on how to reach out to other legislators and whom to consider contacting.  He also recommended we try to develop a business coalition similar to one he is aware of around the I-81 corridor improvements and see if we could get anywhere with the Chamber of Commerce, using a market/business approach.  He is already familiar with the idea of the trade part of cap and trade because of the “nutrient trading” program that has been in effect for some time as part of Chesapeake Bay cleanup.  He offered to meet with us again; we’re thinking early September but haven’t tried to schedule anything yet.

RGGI Discussion with Senator Hanger, May 8, 2018

  • What is Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) bill, SB 696/HB 1273? Virginia Alternative Energy and Coastal Protection Act, a Carbon Cap and Trade Carbon Reduction Program
  • RGGI Bill Provisions
  • RGGI Regulations Provisions: 9VAC5-140. Regulation for Emissions Trading Programs, Published January 8, 2018
  • Difference between Regulations and SB 696
  • Alternatives and Opposition to RGGI
  • Benefits
  • Moving Forward for 2019 General Assembly Session

Solar Discussion with Senator Hanger, May 8, 2018

  • Intro to Erik Curren’s book and its premise, that America and Virginia need a clean energy revolution not just for climate but to create jobs and build resilience
  • Popularity of rooftop solar across political spectrum, especially among conservatives
  • Benefits of distributed rooftop solar over centralized utility solar
  • Answer to utility claim that rooftop solar owners are “free riders” on the grid who shift costs to non-solar ratepayers, many of whom are low income — the truth is the opposite in fact, that solar owners give more value to the grid in peak demand reduction, and their non-solar neighbors, than they receive in net metering payments

– Joy Loving, May 2018


From the Daily News-Record, June 1, 2018

Sen. Hanger’s Efforts To Listen To Constituents To Be Applauded

RECENTLY, SIX CONSTITUENTS of Sen. Emmett Hanger, R- Mount Solon, sat down with him at the Valley Pike Farm Market (his suggestion).

The senator agreed to meet during a brief time when he was not in Richmond for the special April/ May sessions. He was engaged in delicate negotiations with members of his party regarding Medicaid expansion. Even so, he was attentive and engaged during our meeting, readily offering his reactions to the matters we raised and his responses to our questions.

Del. David Toscano, D- Charlottesville, offered high praise: “The House budget, with the amendments proposed by Senator Hanger, is perhaps the best budget that I have seen in my time at the General Assembly. If the budget comes to the House with these good amendments, I will enthusiastically support it.”

To that I add my gratitude for the senator’s efforts on behalf of his constituents during his tenure in the State Senate.

Joy Loving Grottoes