Rally for Climate Change, Jobs Draws Crowd

by Melinda Tuhus, New Haven Stands with Standing Rock

This article was sent to PAR from the author Melinda Tuhus. It was originally published in the New Haven Independent on Sept. 10, 2018. The full article can be read at www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/climate_change_jobs_rally_draws_crowd.

A diverse crowd gathered on the (New Haven) Green Sunday afternoon, Sept. 9, for Connecticut’s own version of Rise Up for Climate, Jobs, and Justice.

It was one of 800 similar actions held around the world over the weekend ahead of a critical conference of provincial, state, municipal government and business leaders from around the globe convened this week by California Gov. Jerry Brown to push forward solutions to the climate crisis.

Traditional folk singers alternated with young rappers, Wes and Q, from Hartford in revving up the crowd, which also witnessed a “battle” between a 60-foot-long “fossil fuel dragon” and an “earth hero” armed with a sun shield and wind turbine sword, played to the hilt by young climate fighter Sam Rosenberg.

City Engineer Giovanni Zinn welcomed people to New Haven on behalf of Mayor Harp and urged everyone to check out the 97 elements of the City’s Sustainability Framework and sign up to help usher them into reality.

Jen Siskind with Food & Water Watch urged everyone to call their member of Congress to support the OFF Act (Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act, H.R. 3671). Of Connecticut’s five reps, only Rosa DeLauro has signed on so far.

“Climate change is the most crucial issue facing all of us for the rest of our lives,” John Harrity, retired president of the State Council of Machinists and chair of the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, said. And it’s happening now. “We all know that the fossil fuel economy can’t be sustained, but fossil fuel workers need a just transition to green jobs and new employment.”

The inclusion of “justice” in the day figured into several short speeches. Connecticut Puerto Rican Agenda member Alex Rodriguez related two recent disasters that befell the island.

“My mom and grandmother were caught in the storm,” Rodriguez told the crowd. “For two weeks, my family was immensely frightened by the possibility that they may be dead. When we made contact, we had to pool all of our resources together to bring them home a month after the destruction took place. The CT Puerto Rican Agenda calls on the federal government to provide more housing vouchers to the many families barely surviving without a roof over their head. We also call for our debt to be eliminated, because the PROMESA bill signed into law in recent years makes it impossible to pay back debt owed to the United States and give government services such as healthcare and education back to our people.”

“We know that the struggle against climate change is ultimately a struggle against injustice, and we definitely have to stand together,” the Rev. Scott Marks of New Haven Rising said. “The people that experience the cost of climate change are poor people and people of color. If that is the case then poor people and people of color must take the front and help to lead this movement. So many things are coming together to have us be divided, but I’m telling you, the environment is a great thing to bring us all together.”

Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs needs your calls to the governor today

by John Humphries, Organizer

[On Oct. 26, the House of Representatives voted in favor of Dominion/Millstone. This bill now goes to Gov. Malloy. Call (800) 406-1527 and Demand that he not sign it. Call your legislators! (Find their number on this website in the sidebar.) Let them know what you think of their preferential treatment to the demands of the Dominion.]

Two current energy questions—Millstone and offshore wind —are linked, and how CT responds in the coming months will impact the state’s workers and communities, as well as the region’s electric grid, for decades to come.

Tell legislators: Protect Millstone’s workers, not its shareholders. Recently we published an op-ed that lays out a vision for resolving the ongoing “debate” about the Millstone nuclear plant with a long-term strategy to protect the plant’s workers and communities and to replace it with renewables (including offshore wind) when it does eventually retire.

Last month, the Senate passed a bill designed to give Dominion Energy (Millstone’s owner) a special deal, even though the out-of-state corporation has produced no evidence of economic hardship and has made no commitment to remaining open even if they get such a deal. The House may take up the measure in the coming week.

Tell them to REJECT any special deal for Dominion Energy that doesn’t require a long-term commitment to Millstone’s workers and communities.

Offshore Wind: Clean Energy & Jobs for CT

On September 20, more than 60 labor, religious, environmental and business leaders gathered at IBEW Local 90’s union hall to learn about the potential for local jobs and eco-nomic development from the regional push for offshore wind.

As neighboring states aggressively pursue development of offshore wind resources in federal waters off the coast of New England, CT must act quickly to catch up and secure a share of the economic benefits for our ports and coastal communities.

More than 130 people from 60+ towns across the state endorsed our statement about the need for offshore wind to be included in the Comprehensive Energy Strategy. We look forward to working with all these allies to build a broad-based offshore wind campaign in the coming months.

CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, ctclimateandjobs.org.

Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3) Stakeholder Events in New Haven May 5

During 2016, the Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3) will be gathering input from stakeholders across the state, as part of its charge to develop a strategy/plan to meet the state’s mandated goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions below 2001 levels by the year 2050.

The current plan involves three rounds of stakeholder events (May, July and October) to engage stakeholders at different points in the process. For the first round — scheduled for 5:30-7:30 the evening of May 5 — the primary/central location will be in Hartford, with six satellite locations around the state. Participants at the satellite locations will view the presentation(s) via video link and then engage in facilitated dialogue at the local level.

The May 5 gatherings will provide stakeholders the opportunity to learn about and provide feedback on the technologies and measures that will be modeled in the Long range Energy Alternatives Planning System (LEAP). This widely-used software tool for energy policy analysis and climate change mitigation assessment will help us understand the GHG reduction potential of various measures and technologies (and combinations thereof).

The CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs is helping to coordinate logistics for these gatherings.

Register for May 5! Please register at http://bit.ly/GC3_May5 in order to receive updated info and background materials prior to the gatherings.

May 5 Site—Yale University, Sage Hall, 205 Prospect St., New Haven. Refreshments available at 5 p.m.; program begins at 5:30 p.m. (Other sites are available; see http://bit.ly/1UC3pUb) Registration is not necessary, but it allows us to send you preparatory materials and help us ensure adequate food and proper room set-up.

Info: John Humphries, john.humphries1664@gmail.com, 860-216-7972.