Tue, 30 October 2007
In this podcast, PennFuture's Jan Jarrett attends the annual dinner for the Hershey-Harrisburg Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and speaks with their keynote speaker, Dr. Bob Edgar, President and CEO of Common Cause. Common Cause works to bring positive change to our democratic system, including important work to reform media ownership, elections, and lobbying. And with over 300,000 members, they help to increase public involvement in our political systems in order to create a more just democratic society.
PennFuture's own mission shares a great deal in common with the work of Common Cause. At PennFuture, we are "working to create a just future where nature, community, and the economy thrive." We have witnessed firsthand the accomplishments that informed and empowered citizens can (and do) achieve. Take for example Pennsylvania's transformation from an economy without the option of clean, alternative energy to a state with a growing renewable energy sector where local governments are adopting green practices. Or consider the legal victory spearheaded by PennFuture that requires the Pennsylvania coal companies to post bonds to cover the cost of environmental clean up. The list goes on, and accomplishments such as these and those of many other groups could not have been fully realized without the support and efforts of people working together for a shared vision.
Like PennFuture, Common Cause (and Physicians for Social Responsibility) understands the need to act without hesitation to stop our contributions to global warming. The mission is critical, and success is only achievable through the work of passionate individuals carrying the messages of clean energy, carbon reduction, and energy independence.
Listen in as Jan and Bob talk about the work of the people. To learn more about our work, visit our Web site. There you can also make a tax-deductible contribution to support our efforts toward creating a just future for all. As always, we welcome your feedback. Simply send us an e-mail at podcast (at) pennfuture (dot) org, or click on "Comments" below.
Wed, 17 October 2007
Pennsylvania is unfortunately a leader in the production of heat-trapping gas emissions that are causing global warming. Ranked third in the United States and responsible for one percent of the world’s entire greenhouse gas emissions, the Keystone State is a major part of the problem. And its projected to worsen; greenhouse gas pollution will grow at a rate of 10 percent per decade in the years to come, unless we act now.
The first of the autumn's Urban Sustainability Forum events in Philadelphia focused on just that: impacts of global warming on the Philadelphia region, and ways that we can take action together to prevent the worst. The forum featured Brian Hill, President of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) and Erica Spanger-Siegfried, Northeast Climate Project Manager for the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). In this podcast, PennFuture's Christine Knapp speaks with them both as they describe the facts about global warming and its expected impacts in southeastern Pennsylvania.
It's important to note that global warming is a problem that requires many solutions all at once, from dedicated people of all stripes: scientists, economists, environmentalists, medical professionals, students, elected officials, businesses, clergy, hunters, anglers, and concerned citizens of every variety. We all need to be working for change in Pennsylvania.
Taking action on key Pennsylvania policy initiatives is one critical way to help. Visit PennFuture's web site to learn more about the Energy Independence Strategy and our Cool Pennsylvania campaign. You will also find our most current action alerts where we urge you to speak out now! You can also make a tax-deductible contribution by clicking here; your support enables us to continue our successful work for healthy communities, a healthy economy, and a healthy environment today and tomorrow. As always, we welcome your comments. Simply send us an e-mail at podcast (at) pennfuture (dot) org, or click on "Comments" below.
Fri, 12 October 2007
September ended with the start of a special legislative session on energy in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Recall that Governor Ed Rendell introduced the Energy Independence Strategy in February 2007, a comprehensive package of funding and programs that will put Pennsylvania where we need to be in the next several years in order to keep electricity prices low, to bolster development of clean, alternative sources of energy like wind and solar, and to help stop Pennsylvania's contributions to global warming-- just to name a few.
In this podcast, PennFuture's Vice President Jan Jarrett and President & CEO John Hanger review how far we've come in the fight for energy independence, and what we need to accomplish in the coming months.
Demand for electricity in Pennsylvania increases on average by 1.5 percent per year, despite the fact that our population isn't growing. It may not sound like much in any given year, but over the course of a few years-- it adds up. And since the overwhelming majority of our electricity in Pennsylvania comes from coal-fired and nuclear power plants, which spew toxic chemicals, cause premature death, use enormous amounts of water, and result in serious waste disposal issues, meeting that rising demand for electricity means more of the same. The costs for "more of the same" are staggering-- nearly $20 billion for new power plants and energy distribution and transmission infrastructure. Unless we stop business as usual, and follow a different road to the future.
That road is one paved with energy policies that require Pennsylvania to meet growing demand for electricity with energy conservation programs and strategies linked with renewable energy development. It's been done with wild success in other states. In California, for example, electricity demand has stayed even since energy conservation mandates were enacted, yet their population and economy have grown a great deal.
We can have our cake and eat it, too: build our economy while at the same time curbing heat-trapping and health-threatening pollution causing global warming. Spur new family-sustaining jobs in the alternative energy fields while at the same time saving every Pennsylvanian money in their electric bills. Enhance our security by replacing imported foreign fuels with biofuels made here at home.
Listen in to learn more. Visit the Energy Independence section of our Web site, and take action to declare your support for energy independence. There you can also make a tax-deductible contribution to support our work for energy independence. As always, we welcome your comments. Just e-mail us at podcast (at) pennfuture (dot) org, or click on "Comments" below.
Fri, 5 October 2007
The United States started with a single curbside-recycling plan. Twenty years later, Americans recycle 32 percent of their total waste each year on average, as projected by Earth 911. Over time, recycling methods and the availability of facilities have grown. Today we are finding new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle the materials that would typically end up in landfills. These aren't really new concepts, but the "throw-away" society of the 20th century is starting to come around-- everything old is new again.
Environmental health is but one great reason to recycle. In Philadelphia, PennFuture-led Next Great City project is demonstrating that focusing more on recycling has economic benefits for the city as a whole, since waste disposal costs come down as recycling rates go up.
In this podcast, PennFuture’s Joy Bergey conducts a series of interviews with Philadelphia-area businesses involved with recycling and reusing materials that most of us may not have thought possible. When we hear the word "recycling" we usually think of those things that are easily taken out to the curb: paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum. But as Joy discovers, that's only the beginning. Listen in as she talks with folks from Elemental, Inc., Walk a Crooked Mile bookstore, and the Urban Nutrition Initiative about their contributions to recycling beyond the curb.
To learn more about Next Great City and other projects and activities at PennFuture, visit our Web site. There, you can sign up for more information and make a tax-deductible contribution to support our work. As always, we welcome your comments; just e-mail us at podcast (at) pennfuture (dot) org, or click on "Comments" below.