Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day: A Turning Point for Global Climate Change?

Andrea Sears, Public News Service

Everyone can help reduce global climate change. (Tony Webster/Flickr)
Everyone can help reduce global climate change. (Tony Webster/Flickr)
HARRISBURG, Pa. - It's Earth Day and representatives of 155 countries are gathered in New York City to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Under that agreement, those nations will work to keep the rise in global temperatures below two degrees Celsius, a goal that could help limit the worst effects of climate change.

Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of PennFuture, points out this is the latest in a series of efforts to slow climate change, efforts that stretch back some 30 years.

"And every time we were beaten back by the fossil fuel interests," he says. "And now, we have this Paris Agreement and the Clean Power rules, and we can only hope that they don't beat us back once again."

He says PennFuture is urging everyone to do their part, from composting organic trash to purchasing electric power from renewable sources, to aid in the effort.

According to Schweiger, Pennsylvania alone emits about 110 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, the equivalent of one full day of the entire earth's carbon pollution.

"So, we have a big role to play as a state," he says. "And I think it takes every citizen to give voice to the need to avoid climate change."

Schweiger adds the effects of climate change are no longer just predictions of future events. He cites severe weather events like the recent torrential rains in Texas as indications that climate change is real and is happening now.

"We're seeing those kinds of things happen more and more around the world," says Schweiger. "And they are strong indications to us that we need to move quickly to avoid even worse conditions."

He says many experts now agree that the transition to clean energy is going to happen. But the question remains, will it happen in time?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Keystone Progress PAC endorses Shapiro, DePasquale, 32 legislative candidates

Political Action Committee gives “seal of approval” to candidates seeking to bolster their
progressive bona fides.

[READING, PA] –The political action committee of Keystone Progress announced its primary election endorsements today, highlighted by a unanimous endorsement of Josh Shapiro for Attorney General. (www.keystoneprogresspac.org)

The candidates were endorsed based on their support of the issue agenda of Keystone Progress, which includes supporting abortion rights, the right to organize, support of public schools, a clean environment and other progressive stands.  (See questionnaire here.)

“We are thrilled to endorse these candidates who are running as bold progressives,” said Michael Morrill, executive director of Keystone Progress PAC.  “These candidates are standing up for our working people by promising to protect our environment, our economy and our democracy.

“The Keystone Progress PAC is proud of our unanimous endorsement of Josh Shapiro for Attorney General. The people of Pennsylvania deserve an Attorney General who will prosecute the violation our all of our laws, including corporate malfeasance and despoiling our environment.”

KPPAC received applications from nearly 50 candidates.  This was the first year that Republicans asked for the KPPAC endorsement. None of the GOP applicants were endorsed.


Name
Office
District
Home County
Josh Shapiro
Attorney General
Montgomery
Eugene DePasquale
Auditor General
York
Peter Zimmer
State Representative
6
Crawford
Christian Rieger
State Representative
12
Butler
Nancy Dean
State Representative
13
Chester
Jessica Wolfe
State Representative
19
Allegheny
Dan Frankel
State Representative
23
Allegheny
Perry Warren
State Representative
31
Bucks
Steven Elliott
State Representative
43
Lancaster
Mary Popovich
State Representative
58
Westmoreland
Patrick Edwards
State Representative
62
Indiana
William Weaver
State Representative
73
Clearfield
Christopher Cowan
State Representative
88
Cumberland
Keven Schreiber
State Representative
95
York
Charles Klein
State Representative
97
Lancaster
Dale Hamby
State Representative
100
Lancaster
Michael Schlossberg
State Representative
132
Lehigh
Joseph Ciresi
State Representative
146
Montgomery
Mary Daley
State Representative
148
Montgomery
Stephen McCarter
State Representative
154
Montgomery
Carolyn Comitta
State Representative
156
Chester
James Butt
State Representative
162
Delaware
Sekela Coles
State Representative
164
Delaware
Elaine Schaefer
State Representative
165
Delaware
Francis Nelms
State Representative
170
Philadelphia
Michael O'Brien
State Representative
175
Philadelphia
Phillips Armstrong
State Representative
183
Lehigh
Pam DeLissio
State Representative
194
Philadelphia
Donna Bullock
State Representative
195
Philadelphia
Mark Cohen
State Representative
202
Philadelphia
Larry Farnese
State Senator
1
Philadelphia
Martin Molloy
State Senator
9
Delaware
Judy Schwank
State Senator
11
Berks
Robert Teplitz
State Senator
15
Dauphin