Sarah Peters

  • rsvped for Climate First!'s Annual Meeting 2024-01-15 17:26:38 -0500

    Climate First!'s 11th Annual Meeting

    Image: The March to End Fossil Fuels, New York City; 9-17-23.

    If you want to learn how doing business with a green bank can help lessen climate change, join Climate First!'s virtual Annual Meeting on Sunday, February 25, 2024. The Keynote speaker at our 11th Annual Meeting (AM) will be Ivan Frishberg, chief sustainability officer at Amalgamated Bank, a U.S. lender that stopped investing in fossil fuels in 2016. Mr. Frishberg will talk about the role of traditional banks in causing climate change, and how green banks (AKA "ethical banks") are addressing the climate crisis. Please RSVP for the AM below.  

    We will also look back at Climate First!'s past year, including how the organization is presently revising its bank campaign strategy due to the constant "greenwashing" its activists heard in their meetings with traditional bankers over the past few years. Everyone is invited to participate in the meeting by sharing their perspectives on relevant issues.

    Image: We are tabling at TH!RD ACT's National "Day of Action";
    Washington, D.C; March 21, 2023.

    At the backend of the AM--around 3:30 pm--we will transition into a Board of Directors meeting to work on issues regarding the nonprofit. Attendees to the general meeting are certainly welcome to stay for the Board meeting, or permitted, of course, to leave the meeting at that time. 

    DETAILS 
    What: Climate First!'s 11th Annual Meeting.
    When: Sunday, February 25, 2024; the event starts with a general meeting from 2:30 to 3:30 pm EST, followed by an optional Board meeting that ends around 4:30 pm. 
    Where: Online.
    Misc: By RSVPing to the event you'll receive, 1 to 2 days before the meeting, a link to attend the event, and other helpful information. 

    If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact us at [email protected].

    We hope to see (and hear) you on February 25th at 2:30 pm. Thank you.

    WHEN
    February 25, 2024 at 2:30pm
    WHERE
    Online
    rsvp

  • donated 2023-11-16 19:33:31 -0500

    Donate

    Your donation will help Climate First! with: 

    • Encouraging comprehensive research which lays a strong foundation for Climate First!'s campaigns and events
    • Critical planning of our campaigns and direct actions
    • Debriefing of Climate First!'s campaigns and events
    • Training of our volunteers and staff to be more effective leaders

    Climate First! is a charitable nonprofit organization as defined by 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. See the organization's IRS determination letter regarding its charitable nonprofit status here and here. For additional corporate information and documents, go here.

    Climate First! would not be able to do the effective work that it does without your ongoing support and assistance. Please give generously!

    gximage2.png

    Donate

  • Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act Takes Aim at the Climate Crisis

    The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 is the single largest clean energy investment in U.S. history, supporting the Biden Administration’s climate goals of a net-zero economy by 2050 and the acceleration of renewable energy projects. According to Princeton researchers, the IRA could reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions up to 41% by 2030. Passage of the Act also spurred Canada and Europe to announce similar policies in order to compete with the U.S. in attracting energy companies and manufacturers.i

    Since the IRA was passed, development has begun on 56 new solar and 29 new wind projects, with investments around $40 billion. The U.S. Postal Service received $3 billion to switch its’ entire fleet to electric vehicles. The EPA received $1 billion to aid school districts in replacing old diesel buses with electric buses. In total, there has been $44.1 billion invested in 65 new electric vehicle projects.ii

    Read more

  • Blue Carbon: The Major Role Oceans Play in Solving the Climate Crisis

    The escalating climate crisis makes it clear that the world must deploy every possible method to mitigate and adapt to our changing climate. This must include the use of carbon removal and storage to lower historic carbon dioxide emissions. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that we cannot achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions without the use of carbon removal and storage strategies on a global scale.[i] This will include emerging technologies, but we also cannot ignore the critical role of natural carbon cycles in sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    One of the first biology lessons that many of us learn is that trees draw in carbon dioxide from the air and then produce oxygen. But we cannot ignore that oceans cover almost 71% of the Earth’s surface and they, too, participate in the carbon cycle. Oceans and coastal ecosystems play a critical role in carbon removal and storage. This sequestered carbon is known as “blue carbon”.[ii] Mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and salt marshes are particularly efficient carbon sinks. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research, mangroves and salt marshes sequester carbon ten times faster than tropical forests. Seagrass meadows alone are responsible for storing 11% of the ocean’s carbon, even though they cover only 0.1% of the seafloor.[iii] 

    Read more

  • Green Hydrogen – Climate Change Solution or Hype?

    Many recent headlines have touted the benefits of green hydrogen, an energy-dense fuel made from the most abundant element in the universe, as a tool to combat climate change.  What exactly is green hydrogen?  Is it truly the fuel of the future as advocates claim?  To answer these questions, one must explore how hydrogen fuel is created and the current limitations of renewable energy in supporting certain industries.

    Hydrogen fuel is created when electrolysis (sending an electric current through water) is used to split two hydrogen atoms from the oxygen atom within water (H2O) molecules.  The most common source of energy used to power the electrolysis is fossil fuels, and the resulting fuel is known as gray hydrogen.  Blue hydrogen uses the same method but incorporates technology to capture the majority of the carbon emissions.  Green hydrogen is created when renewable energy is used to power the electrolysis.

    Read more

  • Climate Crisis Causing Severe Water Shortages in U.S.

    The United States cannot afford to waste any more time addressing the climate crisis.  It is already drastically impacting the western U.S., particularly California.  The Golden State is in the grips of a drought so severe that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, has designated 50 out of 58 Californian counties as a primary disaster area.  The snowpack that California depends upon for 30% of its’ water supply has dried up months early.  The state’s 51,000 reservoirs are only at 50% of their average capacity.  Low water supplies will hamper hydroelectric power generation, and increase the severity of this year’s wildfire season.  The lack of water will also devastate the California’s agricultural industry, which in turn impacts the rest of the U.S as California provides two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts, and over one-third of its vegetables.  State officials anticipate that 500,000 acres of agricultural lands will remain unused this year due to water shortages. [1]

    Sometimes, it can be difficult to identify anthropogenic climate change as the specific cause of a natural disaster. However, this is not the case with California’s historic drought.  In 2020, researchers from NASA, Columbia University, University of Idaho, University of California Merced, University of Colorado Boulder, and the Universities Space Research Association examined tree-ring constructions and hydrologic models.  Their research concluded that the southwestern U.S. is experiencing the second worst megadrought since 800 AD.  In addition, the data revealed that 46% of the factors leading to CA’s megadrought were a result of anthropogenic climate change.[2]

    Water conservation is crucial even in regions that are not experiencing drought.  The water supply that can be used for human consumption is not limitless.  Ninety-seven percent of the Earth’s water supply is salt water.  Out of the remaining 3% fresh water, 2.5% is stored in glaciers and ice caps, the atmosphere, and the soil.  That leaves a mere 0.5% of the Earth’s supply readily available for human consumption.  Desalination (removing the salt from seawater) is still prohibitively expensive.  In 2015, a thousand gallons of water from a desalination plant costed up to $5 versus $2 for a thousand gallons from a traditional plant, due to the massive energy requirements.[3]   Researchers are working on improving the desalination process through more efficient membranes and developing better methods of handling the leftover brine.[4]

    Conserving water ensures that the maximum possible amount is available to ecosystems, human communities, and farms.  Critically, it reduces the impacts of droughts and water shortages.[5]  There are also economic benefits to individuals and communities  in conserving water.  Water conservation reduces the costs and energy demands of wastewater treatment, and results in lower household water bills.

    There are many ways that individuals can take steps to conserve precious water.  Some tips from the non-profit “The Water Project” include:[6]

    Read more

  • Moving Past Natural Gas for a Clean, Green World

    One of the next major challenges for renewable energy providers is to displace natural gas.  As demand for oil and coal decreases, power generation is frequently being replaced by natural gas.  In the United States, natural gas currently generates about 40% of the nation’s electricity supply, compared to about 20% for renewables.  However, economic forces look promising for growth in renewables.  For example, solar panels can deliver energy at $31 to $111 a megawatt-hour compared to $122 to $162 a megawatt-hour for natural gas.[1] 

    The weight of historical inertia helps explain why natural gas currently has an edge over renewables.  The U.S. already has approximately three million miles of pipeline transporting natural gas between facilities and consumers.  The top five producers are Texas, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Ohio.  One of the major products is liquefied natural gas (LNG), a natural gas that has been cooled to a liquid state at sub-zero temperatures for storage and shipping in areas where pipelines are not feasible.  The U.S. has been a net exporter of LNG since 2017 due to a significant increase in domestic natural gas production.  The majority of LNG exports went to South Korea, Japan, Spain, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.[2]

    Natural gas production has a devastating effect on the environment, particularly the practice of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).  Fracking is the process of injecting liquid, usually a mixture of water and chemicals, into the ground to force open cracks in order to extract oil or gas.  Fracking requires great quantities of water, and when the wastewater is injected back into the ground, it can cause small earthquakes and contaminate the surrounding area with toxic chemicals.  Another significant impact of natural gas production is methane emissions.  Methane is a potent greenhouse gas.  When compared to carbon dioxide over 100 years, methane is more effective at trapping heat by a factor of 25[3].  According to estimates by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2018, methane emissions from oil and natural gas systems, including abandoned wells, were responsible for 29% of total U.S. methane emissions and 3% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.[4]  In 2015-2016, a prolonged leak from a processed natural gas (PNG) well in Aliso Canyon, California was the greatest single accidental release of greenhouse gases in U.S. history. The release prompted the evacuation of 5,790 households.[5] 

    Read more

  • Halting the Food Waste Flood: Now More Than Ever

    There is no better time than now to tackle the pervasive issue of food waste in the United States.  As so many of our neighbors struggle to put food on their tables during this pandemic, we can all take steps to reduce food waste.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. wastes 30-40% of its food supply annually.  A snapshot from 2010 reveals that Americans wasted 133 billion pounds and $161 billion dollars’ worth of food in that year alone.[1] The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculated that in 2018 Americans generated 63 million tons of food waste, contributing to 24% of landfill materials.  Decomposition in landfills contributes significantly to emissions of the potent greenhouse gas, methane – 14.1% of 2017 greenhouse gas emissions, according to EPA estimates.[2]  This figure does not even include the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the production and transportation of food products that end up in landfills.

    Studies by non-profit organizations working on climate change solutions corroborate government studies.  Project Drawdown calculated that reducing food waste could decrease worldwide greenhouse gas emissions by 70 gigatons.  Crucially for ecosystem health, generating less food waste will have a significant effect on stemming the tide of biodiversity loss.  The World Wildlife Fund estimates that 70% of biodiversity loss is a result of converting habitat to agricultural land.  Cutting food waste would mean that we need less land to feed humanity.[3]

    Read more

  • International Treaties and Recovery after COVID-19

    On September 27th, 2020, world leaders from 64 nations signed the voluntary Leaders’ Pledge for Nature.  This international agreement committed these nations to addressing the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and pollution as part of their post-COVID economic recovery plans.  Signatory nations included Bangladesh, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, and the U.K. Conspicuous in their absence were Australia, China, Brazil, India, and the U.S.[1]

    The Leaders’ Pledge for Nature served as a prelude to the U.N. Biodiversity Summit on September 30th.  Nearly 150 nations met virtually to discuss the extensive global loss of biodiversity, and to build political capital for a biodiversity agreement at next year’s Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) meeting.  Interestingly, between September 27th and 30th, ten more nations signed the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature.[2]

    Read more

  • COVID-19 and the Rise of Renewables

    July 4, 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic has likely affected every aspect of our economy, including the construction of renewable energy projects.  However, even a pandemic cannot stop the continued march of renewable energy’s dominance in the U.S. energy market. On May 21, 2020, in a historical and unprecedented moment, renewable energy outshone coal by providing a higher percentage of U.S. energy consumption for 100 consecutive days.  Consumption of renewable energy sources increased 1% and coal consumption decreased 15%.

    Consumer demand in the face of climate change, declining costs, and the increasing imperative for grid resiliency will continue to drive the growth of renewable energy projects.  According to the 2019 Cogent Reports Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™ Residential study, over 40% of U.S. consumers would choose renewable energy over fossil fuels.  In a December 2019 Gallup poll, 55% of U.S. adults ranked climate change as an extremely or very important issue in the 2020 elections.  Deloitte has calculated that the levelized costs of commercial-scale solar projects fell 10% in 2019.  Onshore and offshore wind costs fell 18% and 24%, respectively.  According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the power generation costs of solar photovoltaics and onshore wind decreased 82% and 39%, respectively, from 2010 to 2019.

    Read more

  • wants to volunteer 2020-05-06 01:52:25 -0400

    Become a volunteer

    Video: Climate First!'s Virtual Action vs. Chase Bank, April 23, 2020.

    ------

    Why does your involvement matter? Your voice is needed to build the tipping point. 

    Solving the climate crisis requires collective action that comes from a tipping point.  Tipping points happen only when more people, businesses and public agencies persistently demand solutions. To build toward the tipping point:

    • Make a decision right now to act. And continue to act going forward.
    • Run an online strike vs. Chase Bank. Post on social media photos/videos of yourself and others with a relevant climate message. Use these hashtags in your post: “#HealthIsClimateFirst!” & “#ClimateStrikeOnline”. Also, insert "@Chase" and "@ChaseSupport" in your post to get the bank's attention. To find examples of other recent related posts, do a "Google search" of the above hashtags. 
    • Sign up for Climate First!’s emails to learn about our upcoming actions and other events.
    • Share your talents with Climate First!. Volunteer opportunities include sign making, updating website content, photographing, writing press releases, etc. Scroll down to sign-up.
    • Encourage your peers to participate too. Let them know that their participation matters because we win if we reach the tipping point.
    • Tell everyone that the Climate Crisis is your #1 voting issue.
    • When purchasing things from Amazon, you can help Climate First!. Just remember, always start at smile.amazon.com--you'll get the same products, same prices, and same service. And Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Climate First!. If you use Chrome, add the MakeMeSmile extension to your browser. Every time you shop on Amazon.com, it makes sure your applicable purchases are attributed to Climate First!, Inc. Visit this page to learn more: https://www.couponchief.com/makemesmile#46-2708294
    • Donate to Climate First!

     

    Become a volunteer