Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Record high temperature 69 degrees in Fayetteville on Friday

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Record High Temperature Set

By Anna Fry The Morning News
Warm temperatures Friday set a record at 69 degrees, said Pete Snyder, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Tulsa, Okla.

The previous record of 66 degrees was set on Dec. 26, 1971, said Chuck Hodges, another meteorologist with the National Weather Service. The average temperature for the day over the past 30 years is 45 degrees.

The service records temperatures for Fayetteville but not Bentonville, Springdale and Rogers, Hodges said.

Warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico started flowing through the area Thursday, Hodges said. A strong cold front will approach from the northwest today.

As the weather changes, there’s a chance of severe weather, including tornadoes, hail and wind, Hodges said.

Hodges expected storm watches and warnings to be issued overnight. The National Weather Service forecasts possibly severe thunderstorms into noon today.

Mike Dixon, the deputy director of the Benton County Department of Emergency Management, said it’s good to remember the difference between a watch and warning.

“A watch means the weather is probable and a warning means the weather is imminent or happening,” he said.

If a thunderstorm warning is issued, people should stay indoors and away from windows, Dixon said. If a tornado warning is issued, people should get on a lower level room without windows such as a closet or bathroom.

“We would encourage people if they have a weather radio, check it and make sure it’s working,” Dixon said.

Monday, December 22, 2008

British view of Obama's Green Choices

Obama Cranks Up Green Revolution
Sunday 21 December 2008
by: Geoffrey Lean, The Independent UK

The next US president is reversing Republican policy on global warming by putting leading scientists in key posts. Geoffrey Lean reports.

Barack Obama yesterday promised to end George Bush's "twisting" of science to suit "politics or ideology" in an extraordinarily outspoken address to the nation, and announced that he was putting top climate scientists in key positions in his administration.

The move, which signals perhaps his sharpest break with the outgoing administration, makes it clear that he was going to put climate change and the environment among the most urgent priorities of his presidency.

And as if to emphasise the difference, President Bush is using his last weeks of power to push through a record number of last-minute rule changes to increase mining and oil drilling on public lands, and even to allow people to carry concealed, loaded guns into national parks.

During its years in office the Bush administration attempted to muzzle senior government scientists who disagreed with it, and even altered scientific reports - causing more than 60 top academics to sign a petition accusing the White House of manipulating findings for political reasons.

But in his weekly radio address, Mr Obama pointedly promised to end this. "Promoting science is about free and open inquiry," he said. "It's about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It's about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it's inconvenient - especially when it's inconvenient. That will be my goal as president of the United States."

The president-elect used the address to announce his top scientific appointments, which included two of the world's most respected climate scientists, John Holdren and Jane Lubchenco, in a move warmly welcomed even by the country's top Republican environmentalist. They will have enormous influence over his government's green policies.

The appointments follow the naming earlier this month of Steven Chu - a Nobel prize-winning physicist, and another prominent advocate of urgent measures to tackle climate change - to the key position of energy secretary, and a decision to create a special office on energy and climate within the White House headed by Carole Browner, Bill Clinton's former environment chief.

Both Professors Holdren and Lubchenco are past presidents of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Professor Holdren, a professor at Harvard University and director of the blue-chip Woods Hole Research Center, will be science adviser to Mr Obama, who has elevated the position to an official assistant to the president.

He recently called for immediate action on climate change, saying that it was already causing "widespread harm". But he is also sceptical about nuclear power, reflecting a feeling in the Obama team that it cannot be made economical.

Professor Lubchenco, of Oregon State University, a similarly outspoken expert on oceans and global warming, is to be the first female administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which measures the pace of global warming, tracks hurricanes and monitors the health of the world's seas.

The chief scientist at Defra, Professor Bob Watson, who worked in the Clinton White House, said yesterday that Obama was putting together "a phenomenal team of world- class scientists", as a sign that he was "totally committed to the environment".

William K Reilly - President George Bush's environment chief and the country's leading Republican environmentalist - told The Independent on Sunday that he was "very pleased" by the appointments of "long-standing advocates of addressing climate change".

In another clear indication that the incoming team has taken on board the arguments of those advocating a "green new deal" that expanding environmental industries and jobs is the best way out of the recession, Mr Obama on Friday signed up a vocal advocate of green jobs, Hilda Solis, to be his labour secretary. The Californian congresswoman will be a key figure in implementing a plan to create millions of green jobs.

US environmentalists, however, are split over yet another appointment - of Colorado senator Ken Salazar - as secretary of the interior. It was welcomed by the top environmental pressure groups, but smaller and more radical ones said he had had a mixed record in congressional votes. "He's far from the most anti-environmental guy out there," says Kieran Suckling of the Center for Biological Diversity, "but he's no environmental hero."

Meanwhile, Mr Bush has been pushing through a record number of so-called "midnight regulations". He has enabled coal-mining firms to dump waste in valleys, relaxed pollution rules from factory farms, and allowed companies that produce toxic wastes to burn them as fuel.

Barack's Green Team

Professor Steven Chu The Nobel Prize-winning physicist becomes Energy Secretary. He is a forceful advocate of America's urgent move towards carbon-free energy.

Professor John Holdren A physicist at Harvard University who directs the prestigious Woods Hole Research Centre, he will have the ear of the President as Obama's top scientific advisor.

Professor Jane Lubchenco A leading expert on the effects of global warming on oceans, she becomes the first woman administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Congresswoman Hilda Solis The new Labour Secretary advocates providing employment through a clean energy economy. She was key sponsor of a Green Jobs Act last year.

Carole Browner Head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Clinton, she is on the radical side of the party and will head a White House energy and climate unit.

Senator Ken Salazar Ten-gallon-hatted Colorado Senator Ken Salazar is more controversial as Interior Secretary. The top environment groups are pleased but radicals have doubts.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Coal plant appeal set for trial March 9, 2009

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Trial date set for coal plant appeal

LITTLE ROCK -- A challenge to Southwestern Electric Power Co.'s air permit for a planned coal-fired power plant in Hempstead County will go to trial March 9, an administrative law judge said Monday.

At a scheduling hearing, Judge Michael O'Malley set aside March 9-20 for a trial to decide whether the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality's decision to grant an air permit for the $1.6 billion, 600-megawatt plant should be overturned.

Environmental groups, hunters and landowners have appealed the permit, claiming it was granted without complete analysis of the plant's potential impact on public health. SWEPCO claims there is nothing more to analyze.

Construction of the plant is already under way. The state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission ruled Dec. 5 that SWEPCO can continue with construction while the appeal is pending.

SWEPCO announced last week it would seek a rate hike to cover increased costs, including but not limited to the cost of building the Hempstead County plant.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

President Clinton joins Governor Beebe to announce plan to bring energy-efficiency to state government



The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Clinton, State Announce Energy Efficiency Plan

By Peggy Harris
The Associated Press
LITTLE ROCK -- Former President Bill Clinton announced a partnership Saturday between his foundation and Arkansas to retrofit state buildings and adopt energy-efficient practices, part of what he said was the country’s “greatest opportunity” to rejuvenate its economy and create a safer, cleaner world.

Clinton joined Gov. Mike Beebe and state Rep. Kathy Webb, co-chair of the Arkansas Governor’s Commission on Global Warming, in announcing the partnership and urging state and business leaders to join them in bigger task of creating “green jobs,” reducing dependence on foreign oil, and stopping the advance of global warming.
Clinton said the foundation’s Clinton Climate Initiative, created in 2006, has been working with 1,100 cities, including New York, where the housing authority is upgrading residences with energy-efficient windows and lighting along with “green roofs” to reduce energy costs. He said a loan for the work will be paid off with money saved in utility costs.
In Pennsylvania, he said, the foundation was helping find ways to sequester carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. He said the Clinton Climate Initiative provides the technical expertise and the purchasing power for its partners to secure materials and environmental technologies at discounted costs.

“No one is proposing to do anything in Arkansas that is not good business, that doesn’t make sense, that doesn’t create jobs and save money over the long run,” Clinton told an audience of hundreds at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum.

He said six countries, including Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Sweden, will be able to meet international goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because they shifted to “a new energy economy” and realized great energy savings and job creation.

“This is the greatest opportunity we’ve had since we mobilized since World War II to completely redo our economy,” he said. “And if we do this right, I think you’ll have more growth than we did when I was president, and more jobs.”

Both the former president and Beebe recognized J.D. Lowery of Maumelle, a graduate student at the Clinton School of Public Service, for suggesting a partnership between the foundation and the state after Lowery worked on a Clinton Climate Initiative in Australia.

Beebe said the partnership coincides with strides the state has already made to reduce energy consumption and do less harm to the environment. He said Pennsylvania has been working with the foundation on a limited basis, but Arkansas will be the first state to join forces with the foundation on a larger scale.

December 14, 2008, agenda of Carbon Caps Task Force

Carbon Caps Task Force – 13 Dec 2008
Location and Time: Omni Center @ United Campus Ministry, 1:30pm
1. Repower Arkansas – Update on roadshow, materials, state action
2. Fayetteville coal moratorium resolution
3. National policy/strategy debrief
4. Poland international climate talks update
5. The Green-collar Economy discussion groups
6. Formation of fundraising event committee
7. Powershift 2009
Attachments and Links
1. Repower Arkansas Friday letter (attached)
2. 350ppm newsletter - http://www.go350ppm.org/Latest_Issue.html
3. Green-collar Economy discussion guide (attached)
Friday Letter No. 4
4 December 2008
This past week was devoted to getting ready for and then presenting 3 Road Shows in Jasper and
Russellville. Our second conference call was not very successful as we had only 4 participants.

On Thursday evening, December 4th, I gave the Presentation in Jasper at the Newton County Public
Library. There were 25 people in attendance and the presentation led to much discussion about the
future of energy in Arkansas and the creation of the grassroots network to contact their legislator
during the General Assembly next year. To encourage everyone to fill out the contact cards I had 3
door prizes to hand out at the end of the slide show: a poinsettia, fluorescent bulbs, and switch and
socket insulators. Afterwards the librarian, Jennifer, had refreshments. For over an hour we had
informal talks with a number of people. Barry Weaver who helped organize the event emailed me that
the event was viewed as successful and “There is very good feeling here about what you are doing.”

At 2:00 PM I spoke to a standing room only crowd at Arkansas Tech University. Heather Kowolski
and the local campus environmental club, had done an excellent job in advertising and getting a turn
out. There were a number of questions and comments about global warming, green jobs and getting
involved. It was an exhilarating experience. Door prizes were again given to encourage completion of
the contact cards. Here’s a link from the Tech website after the presentation.

After this presentation at Tech I had the opportunity to talk with some of the students active in
environmental issues at Tech. We had supper together before my presentation at the Pope County
Library at 6:30 PM.

Although the turn out at the Library was small (15) it was still an interested group and appreciative that
Repower Arkansas was doing this outreach. We gave the same door prizes as in Jasper. For nearly an
hour after the program ended individuals continued to talk and find out more about our project.

The intense and quick paced 48 hours left me tired and exhilarated at the same time. As a woman told
me in Jasper, your grassroots campaign is just what a number of people are wanting -- somehow they
can feel they are taking action that can make a difference. The effort produced new contacts: 20 in
Jasper, 42 at Tech, and 11 at the Pope County Library. I am going to send each of the new contacts an
email next week.

These Road Shows have convinced me that there is a great many people who are willing to help with
what we are doing and we just need to get to as many locations around the state as possible.

Thanks so much for your support and help along the way. Together we are building a very exciting
movement across the state that is empowering Arkansans to repower, rebuild, and refuel their state.

All the best for your endeavors next week.


Dear Group Leader,
Thank you for your interest in The Green Collar Economy and for taking the next step of using
the book to generate discussion. Green For All has partnered with The Engage Network to cre-
ate this guide and to begin the process of building small community groups on this issue around
the country.
This book guide has a companion video guide. Use these tools to bring people together, to eat
(we love eating!), to talk and to create an economy that can lift people out of poverty and save
the earth at the same time. We can create a world that is truly GREEN FOR ALL!
The book guide and the video guide are slightly different. Feel free to mix and match the top-
ics we have given you or to focus your whole discussion on the questions you feel are most important. Each section of
the book guide has a place for you to write your thoughts. We also encourage you to create your own list of ques-
tions and quotes. You can email us your thoughts and opinions at smallgroups@greenforall.org. We may use your
questions or notes in future versions of this guide.
We want all of you who read the book to become part of the effort to make a difference. If this book leads you and
your group to want to become more involved, or if you are inspired to take some kind of action, we want to know!
To see what others have done to get involved and to bring attention to the issue and get involved, view the great
videos and photos at www.greenforall.org and www.greenjobsnow.com. We hope you will do the final exercise and
collage a vision of what is possible in your town/city. We would love any photos or videos of your book group or
community group that you would be willing to share with others around the country.
Green For All,
Van Jones Marianne Manilov
Green For All The Engage Network
www.greenforall.org www.engagenet.org

• Do you believe the United States can create a green
economy? Why or why not?
• What do you think are the blocks to creating a green
economy? What are the opportunities?
The American Midwest is the Saudi Arabia of wind; indeed, North Dakota, Kansas, and Texas alone produce
enough harnessable wind to meet all of the nation’s electricity demand. As for solar, according to a study in
Scientific American, photovoltaic and solar-thermal installations across just 19 percent of the most barren
desert land in the Southwest could supply nearly all of our nation’s electricity needs without any rooftop instal-
By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Solar Richmond: Richmond, California, a Green For All Partner Organization. For more info go to www.solarrichmond.org
© Ella Baker Center Solar Richmond / GRID Alternatives training
page 1x:
my thoughts:
• Where do you see problems of the environment and
the economy in your everyday life? Where do you see
this nationally? Internationally?
• Create a list of the businesses in your town or that you
have heard of around the country that employ or train
low-income people. Create a list of the green
businesses in your town or that you have heard of.
Are there some that do both? Are there some that
could do both?
The Katrina story illustrates clearly the two crises we face in the United States: radical socioeconomic inequal-
ity and rampant environmental destruction . . . Is there a way to address both crises simultaneously? Can we
help the people without harming the planet? Can we protect the planet, without dooming more people to mate-
rial poverty? I believe the answer is yes. And if so, the key to a dual victory is to be found in the heart of the
one sector of the U.S. economy that is still thriving and growing: the green part.
The Dual Crisis
pages 24 & 33
Global Green’s construction on New Orleans green affordable housing in the Lower 9th Ward: August 21, 2007. For more info go to www.globalgreen.org
© Global Green USA
my thoughts:
• What is eco-apartheid? • Where do you see signs of it in your community?
It is not too early to sound the alarm against the possibility of eco-apartheid. In that scenario, on one side of
town there would be ecological “haves,” enjoying access to healthy, morally upstanding green products and serv-
ices, and on the other, ecological “have-nots,” languishing in the smoke, fumes, toxic chemicals, and illnesses of
the old pollution-based economy. This kind of morally disgraceful, politically untenable, and ecologically unsus-
tainable result is not far-fetched—at all.
The fourth quadrant
Page 53
Playground and Chemical Plant, Texas City TX
© Sam Kittner www.kitner.com
my thoughts:
• Who are the key people who would need to get
involved to create a green economy? Can you name
five in your community and five nationally?
• What are the three things required for a successful
movement for change? Can you think of something
you can do to help the green collar economy effort?
If the crusade to racially integrate the dirty, gray economy represented the height of nobility in the last century,
then how morally compelling is the calling to build an inclusive green economy in this one? If Dr. King and
other activists were willing to face attack and dogs and fire hoses and murderous mobs to get everyone included
in the pollution-based economy, then what should you and I be willing to do today to ensure that the new,
clean, and green economy has a place in it for everyone?
CHAPTER three:
page 72
my thoughts:
• What are the barriers you face in being ready to
participate in creating a green collar economy? Which
barriers are inside of you? Which are outside?
• What practices do you or could you undertake to help
you find a place of more compassion inside and out?
We are not just battling the polluter without; we are also battling the polluter within...We all have inner
demons that pollute our minds and hearts—that cloud our thoughts and distort our actions.
The green new deal
page 110
my thoughts:
• What are the five subsystems of sustainability the
book talks about?
• Of these, which do you think is the easiest to start
action on?
Which would be the most difficult? Why?
In Los Angeles, the community-based group Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE)
convened the local Apollo Alliance. Campaign Coordinator at SCOPE, Elsa Barboza says the local Alliance’s
first step was “to collect signatures from black, Latino, Asian, and Anglo working-class families throughout Los
Angeles’ inner city neighborhoods.”...One of the people knocking on doors with a petition was Oreatha Ensley,
a lifelong civil rights activist, a mother and grandmother, a former teacher [who said], “I expected some folks
to tell me that jobs are number one and cleaning our environment is just a nice wish. Instead, they told me
that it’s about time reinvest in our community, because we are slipping away further into poverty and getting
sicker because of it.”
the future is now
pages 116 & 117
my thoughts:
• What are the key factors and leadership that have led
to Chicago’s success? Are there local leaders in your
community who are examples of great leadership?
• What are the five areas of local policy change that
local and state governments can embrace?
One American city is quite clearly at the forefront, leading the way toward sustainability, but it’s probably not
the place you’d guess. “With its strong industrial base, Chicago is perceived to be a meat and potatoes kind of
town,” says Chicago’s chief environmental officer Sadhu Johnston, “so for it to set a green example is different
than a city like San Francisco or Boulder doing so.” It’s true. For such groundbreaking environmental leader-
ship to come out of “ The City of Big Shoulders” rather than the land of tofu and hot tubs is remarkable. And
the example the city is setting is a powerful one for industrial centers across the nation and the world.
the government question
Pages 165 & 166
my thoughts:
• What are the key factors and leadership that have led
to Chicago’s success? Are there local leaders in your
community who are examples of great leadership?
• What are the five areas of local policy change that
local and state governments can embrace?
One American city is quite clearly at the forefront, leading the way toward sustainability, but it’s probably not
the place you’d guess. “With its strong industrial base, Chicago is perceived to be a meat and potatoes kind of
town,” says Chicago’s chief environmental officer Sadhu Johnston, “so for it to set a green example is different
than a city like San Francisco or Boulder doing so.” It’s true. For such groundbreaking environmental leader-
ship to come out of “ The City of Big Shoulders” rather than the land of tofu and hot tubs is remarkable. And
the example the city is setting is a powerful one for industrial centers across the nation and the world.
the government question
Pages 165 & 166
my thoughts:
We would love you to photograph or
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Green For All
1611 Telegraph Ave. 6th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
For more information,
or to join our efforts go to
1611 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 600
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P.O. Box 330446
San Francisco, CA, 94133