Virtual Lunch Hour - Nadia Steinzor of Earthworks
Have you ever wondered what methane emissions look like? Join us August 6 at noon for a conversation with Nadia Steinzor from Earthworks about using flir cameras to capture emissions from oil and gas facilities. In addition to filming oil and gas sites, Earthworks advocates for better air quality and protections for residents. Nadia has been involved in several advocacy efforts, including helping research and write a report Earthworks recently released. This report details the proposed rules for the controls of emissions in Pennsylvania. You can read it here https://earthworks.org/publications/comments-on-proposed-rulemaking-in-pennsylvania-control-of-voc-emissions-from-oil-and-natural-gas-sources-regulation-7-544/.
Virtual Lunch Hour : July 30th - Sustainability Now with Maren Cooke and Rhea Homa
Making the most of valuable natural resources is a critical part of protecting human health and the climate. Decreasing the waste in your home can seem like a daunting task, but with a few helpful tips, you might be surprised how much you are able to change. In addition to making changes in your home, you can also partner with others to advocate for changes on a larger scale. Join us July 30 at noon Live on YouTube for a conversation with Maren Cooke and Rhea Homa about their experiences as individuals and partnering with others to make sustainable changes at home, promote sustainability and hold corporations accountable for their practices on a larger scale. About the speakers: B. Rhea Lingenfelter Homa Rhea Homa is a Speech and Language Pathologist by training, but now concentrates on environmental education, collaboration, and activism. Rhea holds a particular passion for collaborating on environmentally-positive projects as well as appreciating the natural world in all its beautifully balanced processes of symbiosis. Within her town of Verona, PA, Rhea is treasurer and board member of the Verona Community Group and oversaw her town’s participation in a community-wide Trex plastic film recycling program. Rhea is also a board member of Verona’s Parks and Recreation Committee as well as co-founder and chair of Verona’s SEE Green Sustainability Group (Social, Environmental, Economic). She also writes a recurring column, ”Intentional and Low-Waste Living”, for Verona Community News, a quarterly newsletter. Outside of her town, Rhea serves on the planning committee for ReImagine Turtle Creek Watershed and Airshed Communities + (TCWAC) and is organizer for the ReImagine Food Systems Working Group. She also provides intentional and low-waste living speaking engagements for groups and organizations. During these engagements, Rhea focuses on providing environmental education, bringing awareness to our impacts as interconnected individuals, linked with all living and nonliving things on this earth. She provides local resources and DIY ideas to help promote intentional daily choices by living gently, decreasing plastic dependency, and using earthly resources in a meaningful and responsible way. To contact Rhea Homa, please email email@example.com Maren is a planetary scientist by training, now mostly doing environmental education and activism on climate change, air quality, energy, plastics, land use, food, and sustainability. She serves on the board of the Group Against Smog & Pollution (GASP) and the steering committees of 350 Pittsburgh, Pittsburghers Against Single-Use Plastic (PASUP), and the Ohio Valley Environmental Resistance (OVER), and works closely with many other environmental organizations. She volunteers as an Urban Ecosteward, a Tree Tender, and a Master Gardener, and co-founded a nature education program and a school garden at a local school. She has helped create science curricula and train teachers, and has taught physics, astronomy, environmental science, gardening, and permaculture to people of all ages. She operates an urban microfarm, supplying organic produce and garden plants to the surrounding community, and has been rebuilding her family’s home as a demonstration site for green building, green living, and creative design. Also trained as an artist, most of her creative work in recent years has been in the form of architectural features, photography, and botanical illustration. Maren organizes and hosts Sustainability Salons, a monthly environmental education forum and community gathering now in its ninth year, and maintains an online listing of environmental and social justice events called MarensList. She was recently honored by PennFuture with a Women in Conservation award for Community Engagement. Resources: Check out Maren's Sustainability Salons https://www.facebook.com/SustainabilitySalon/ Learn more about Ohio Valley Environmental Resistance https://www.facebook.com/overpa2020/ Learn more about GASP-PGH https://gasp-pgh.org/ Learn more about the Reimagine Turtle Creek Watershed and Airshed Communities Plus Initiative https://www.facebook.com/ReImageTCWAC
July 23rd - Residents Taking Action: Virtual Lunch Hour with Karen Feridun
Pennsylvania legislators have a track record of listening to the industry rather than listening to residents. That’s why groups like Better Path Coalition organize community actions to give residents the opportunity to share their concerns and call out those who are standing with the industry over people. While Covid-19 has made in-person actions impossible, it has not stopped community efforts to organize and educate. Join us for a virtual lunch hour with Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth and co-founder of Better Path Coalition, Thursday, July 23rd at noon live on YouTube. Karen will be sharing her out-of-the-box organizing methods that have proven results before Covid-19, shifting to virtual methods, and how you can find out for yourself if your legislator is working for you or an industry that pollutes and harms the people of Pennsylvania.
Virtual Lunch - In the Blast Zone: What you need to know about Mariner East
Mariner East is a dangerous liquified natural gas (wet gas) pipeline that is transporting ethane, propane and other materials to Marcus Hook to be shipped overseas to make plastics. This pipeline network consists of several pipelines welded together and runs through 17 counties in Pennsylvania. Many homes, schools, businesses, assisted-living facilities and other community centers are within the potential blast zone of Mariner East. Join us July 16 @ noon for a live conversation with George Alexander, author of the DragonPipe Diary, about the safety issues surrounding Mariner East and what you can do within your local community to better protect yourself and your neighbors from this pipeline. Read George’s blog: https://dragonpipediary.com/ Let us know what you think of the lunch hours by taking our survey https://bit.ly/pptlunchhour If you would like to support the Safety Seven Case, you can do so on their gofundme page https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-the-Safety-7-Halt-Mariner-East Find your county representatives to let them know about Mariner East https://bit.ly/pipelinereps
Virtual Lunch Hour - July 9th, 2020 - Pennsylvania’s Revived Green Amendment: A discussion with Maya
The Green Amendment has been the foundation for many legal challenges in advocating for the environment in Pennsylvania. While this amendment was adopted almost 50 years ago, it only gained legal life in recent years and is still often overlooked by decision-makers and is unknown to many residents. This amendment has an inspirational story of formation and provides powerful support for environmental work and environmental justice communities. Join us for a discussion on July 9th at noon with Maya K. van Rossum, founder of Green Amendments For The Generations, a grassroots non-profit organization inspiring a nationwide movement to secure constitutional recognition and protection of environmental rights in every state and ultimately at the federal level. Learn how Pennsylvania inspired the national Green Amendment movement! If you would like to learn even more about the Green Amendment, check out Maya's documentary on PBS https://bit.ly/PBSHeresTheStory
Introducing the PPT Summer Interns
We have several amazing interns working with us this summer! They’ve already helped out with several key projects, including researching and drafting comments for the PA DEP, setting up monitors, mapping wind patterns and more. Get to know a few of our interns as they share their experiences and what they’ve learned so far. This week, we’ll be joined by Jon Rokicki, Peter Nelson and Ryan Murphy. You can read their bios below. Be sure to check out our website to find out more about all our interns. https://www.protectpt.org/meet-our-interns If you missed the Membership Drive, you still have the opportunity to become a member at protectpt.org/membership. Also, please take our lunch hour survey to let us know what you think https://bit.ly/pptlunchhour. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll be notified when we release new content.
Organizing in Directly-Impacted Communities
Organizing in communities that are directly-impacted by oil and gas development presents unique challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic has only heightened the disparities for communities that do not have access to certain resources like stable internet or phone service. The PA Department of Environmental Protection’s response to Covid-19 has involved stopping all inspections and has taken away many of the public’s means of participating in the permitting process. Meanwhile, operators continue to carry out their projects, exposing residents to increased pollution while they have been quarantined in their homes. Join us for a conversation with Ashley Funk from Mountain Watershed Association and Heaven Sensky from the Center for Coalfield Justice about their experiences organizing in communities with lower-access to technology and other resources and how they have adapted their organization’s services to best meet the needs of their constituents during these times. Resources: Mountain Watershed Association's Direct Support funding bit.ly/DirectSupportFund Center for Coalfield Justice https://www.coalfieldjustice.org/ Request an Organizing ABC's guide email firstname.lastname@example.org Fracking Hotline 507-904-2642 email@example.com Become a member of Protect PT https://www.protectpt.org/membership Communities United Mentorship https://www.protectpt.org/mentorship
Virtual Lunch Hour - June 18th with Young Voices for the Planet
There has never been a more critical time in our history for young people to be developing a sense of themselves as changemakers—fighting for social justice, human rights, natural resource protection and climate change mitigation—and understanding their role in guiding and participating in the democratic system. Young Voices for the Planet (YVFP) empowers youth, through inspiring success stories, to take an essential role in informing themselves, their peers and communities, challenging decision-makers, and catalyzing change. YVFP’s award-winning films document youth solutions to the climate crisis and other environmental and social justice issues and feature diverse young role models, reducing the carbon footprint of their homes, schools and communities—while saving money and improving health. These films along with its civic engagement resources, give young people hope and the tools they need to change minds, change laws and change the world—even though they are still too young to vote. In this workshop, YVFP Founder and Director, Lynne Cherry and Youth Ambassador, Jaysa Hunter-Mellers, will share the ‘Words Have Power’ film that features Jaysa, and engage participants in how to take action around issues that matter to them, using YVFP’s A.C.T.I.O.N Plan (Assess & Analyze, Collaborate, Create a Timetable, Identify, Organize & Share the News). This plan guides young people on how to find their team, passion and power and develop the skills they need to organize and engage their community and speak to their local and state officials to get the change they want to see. The plan is the preliminary lesson in YVFP’s free Civic Engagement & Democracy Curriculum, which features 12 lessons for students grades 3-12 based on the films Resources: Civic Engagement & Democracy Curriculum – Enter your email, and download 12 free civic lessons for grades 3-12, based on our award-winning films. https://www.youngvoicesfortheplanet.com/civic-engagement-democracy-curriculum/ A.C.T.I.O.N. Plan — Find Your Team! Find Your Passion! Find Your Power! https://www.youngvoicesfortheplanet.com/wp-content/uploads/YVFP_Curriculum_Action_Plan.pdf Jaysa Hunter-Mellers — Meet YVFP’s Youth Ambassador who is featured in "Words Have Power" and learn about her work to advance environmental justice and civics in schools. https://www.youngvoicesfortheplanet.com/words-have-power-jaysa-hunter-mellers/ Civics in Schools — Join the movement for equitable and effective civics in every school so young people nationwide can make their voices heard and directly engage in our democracy. https://www.youngvoicesfortheplanet.com/civics-in-schools/ PA Civics is a bipartisan coalition formed to promote civic education in the state. Contact Jim Gerlach, former congressman, at 484-252-1626 or firstname.lastname@example.org and Beth Specker, The Rendell Center, 484-568-3910 or email@example.com to discuss PA Civics' current initiatives and if/how they give students the tools to speak to their local and state officials on issues relevant in their lives. https://www.freedomsfoundation.org/pa-civics-to-promote-civics-education/ Not from PA? Contact Follow CivXNow to find out what policy initiatives are taking place in your state. https://www.civxnow.org/policy Read Generation Citizen's letter on how they are working to elevate youth voices in addressing systemic oppression, power and privilege and build a truly participatory and just democracy. https://generationcitizen.org/a-just-democracy-is-an-antiracist-democracy/ Professional Development - are you an informal or formal educator interested in teaching civic engagement, participatory democracy, citizen science and environmental justice in your organization or school? Find out about YVFP and partners’ educator opportunities. https://www.youngvoicesfortheplanet.com/professional-development/