You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: the Sierra Club's "Beyond Coal” Campaign.
Climate actions and campaigns can seem overwhelming in scope. But while few in the media were paying attention, the grassroots organizing and smart strategizing of the Beyond Coal campaign has made shutting down the dirtiest energy source in the country look almost easy.
The main goals of the Sierra Club campaign are to keep coal in the ground in Appalachia and elsewhere, move municipalities to clean energy, and successfully retire one-third of the nation’s 500-some coal plants by 2020. Last week, they celebrated the closing of the 200th plant, leaving 323 on their targeted list.
This is a major victory for both health and optics reasons. Coal is responsible for one-third of US emissions while making us unnecessarily sick. As many as 13,000 premature deaths and more than $100 billion in health care costs annually are attributed to coal. Hitting even just the hallway mark — which is practically around the corner — would make a massive difference in the lives of millions while proving that transitioning from dirty to clean energy is not the impossibility it was once portrayed as.
Bruce Nilles, senior campaign director for Beyond Coal, explained the importance of last week’s milestone to Kate Sheppard at The Huffington Post:
"Back in 2009, the prevailing wisdom was that coal was inevitable, that the U.S. would be burning coal for a long time. We set out to show that you can make a lot of progress even without a climate bill.”
The Sierra Club is still, of course, pushing the administration to follow through on promises to be proactive. Their “Speak Out For a Strong Clean Power Plan” petition — which can be found at SierraClub.org. — is flooding the administration with support ahead of the expected push back on the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan from fossil fuel billionaire. Through the petition page you can sign; tweet to the EPA with the hashtag #ActOnClimate; post the campaign to your other social network feeds; get involved in specific coal plan closing action in your state; and connect to other campaigns.
Join with Beyond Coal and help push them over the tipping point to achieving an end to our dirtiest energy source.
Get involved in your state through Beyond Coal’s Take Action Page
"Iowa Utility Will Phase Out Coal At 5 Plants, In Milestone For Sierra Club” by Katie Sheppard via Huffington Post
Hear the segment in context:
Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich