Category Archives: Uncategorized

PA has a long way to go in renewables

This image from “Inside Clean Energy: Three Charts that Show the Energy Transition in 50 States” by Inside Climate News reflects some good news: “The Energy Information Administration reported last week that, for the first time ever, the United States generated more electricity from renewable sources in 2020 than from coal.”

On the other hand, our own state, which has contributed far more than its fair share to fossil fuel extraction* and therefore to the current global climate crisis, has done far less than its fair share to ramp up renewable energy production, ranking 23rd among the 50 states plus DC (2020 figures). Note that Texas and California are so far ahead of the others that they are shown on a different scale at the bottom of the chart.

It’s clearly a matter of political will, not geography; otherwise, why would PA rank so far behind 7th-place Minnesota in both wind and solar energy? And if it weren’t political, why would Kentucky rank dead last, even after tiny DC?

*Although antecedents around the world go back thousands of years, the first modern oil well is considered to have been drilled in Titusville PA in 1859. Even today, among the states PA ranks 2nd in producing natural gas, 3rd in coal, and 18th in crude oil (2019 figures from EIA download).

PA legislative Climate Caucus urges priorities

On Jan. 27, the legislative Climate Caucus sent a letter to Gov. Wolf, whose signatories include, from Chester County, Rep. Danielle Friel Otten (D-155) and Sen. Carolyn Comitta (D-19).

The letter, entitled “The social, economic, and environmental case for a Climate Action budget,” urges that “Pennsylvania’s budget framework be intentional in its efforts to address the three crises of our moment: racial justice, economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19, and advancement on climate action in Pennsylvania.”

Download the letter here.

TED Talk on Climate by Katharine Hayhoe

You’ll have a chance to listen to more of renowned climate advocate Katharine Hayhoe this spring. Stay tuned! And for starters, view her TED talk here to find out how to talk to people who don’t want to hear facts but may be reached through their personal values. Summary from TED:

How do you talk to someone who doesn’t believe in climate change? Not by rehashing the same data and facts we’ve been discussing for years, says climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe. In this inspiring, pragmatic talk, Hayhoe shows how the key to having a real discussion is to connect over shared values like family, community and religion — and to prompt people to realize that they already care about a changing climate. “We can’t give in to despair,” she says. “We have to go out and look for the hope we need to inspire us to act — and that hope begins with a conversation, today.”

FoodFirst defends sustainable agriculture

FoodFirst has long been a leader in defending the rights of non-industrial farmers as not only more environmental but also maintaining the human rights of traditional tenders of the land.

As the statement says, “due to fervent support for corporate interests, the U.S. government’s representation to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the Committee on World Food Security neglects the needs and betrays the rights of workers and smallholder farmers in the U.S” — and throughout the world as well.

Read the full statement here.

Special feature: West Chester Co-op

The West Chester Co-op is working hard to build a member-owned (cooperative) full-service grocery store in West Chester.  The store will provide daily access to fresh, healthy, local food, and will be walkable for those in the Borough and have parking for those who don’t.

They now have over 300 members in their campaign to launch full-scale operations! The Co-op already has regular special events and a table on Saturdays at the West Chester Growers Market.

Cooperatives are businesses formed not to earn profits for investors but to serve the needs of their members.  A cooperative offers our community the opportunity to build together something we all want.

The Food Co-op hired a consultant to produce an investment-grade projection of revenue for a store in our community; so we know it can work.

Cooperatives start through community support: many small investments from as broad a base as possible assure that the business reflects the community.  The Co-op is building that equity base right now.

The Food Co-op is more than a grocery store: its mission is to enhance the well-being of the people of West Chester by promoting healthy and mindful eating, improving access to sustainably produced food, helping those in need to secure quality food, advancing sustainable and humane agriculture, supporting local farms, and building community through cooperative enterprise.

The Co-op seeks to bring transparency and accountability to every step of the food production and distribution process from farm to table, providing confidence for educated consumer choice and food that the community can trust. Nutritious food is a gift to the health and well-being of an entire population.

Member-owners make a one-time $400 investment (there is an installment plan and gift certificates are available). The Co-op is nearing its target to move into the next phase of development; your investment will help put them over the top.

You may email the Co-op here or join on-line.  Please support our friends and community: we’re all on the same team for healthy environment and food!