Month: September 2019

Plastic Update | Marriott Bonvoy Hotels

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | September 24, 2019)
NoreenByLine-a by Noreen Wise

With the EU voting to ban single use plastics by 2021, a bold and decisive move, highlighting their focus and commitment to climate action and saving lives, let’s get excited about shifting into high gear and doing the same.

ST-SAGA-CovFrnt-72-300The statistics behind single use plastic are alarming:

  • 99% of plastic is made from fossil fuels
  • 40% of plastic production is for single use plastics
  • Global plastic production is the equivalent of “189 500MW coal-fired power stations”

Tiny, impoverished countries around the globe are displaying impressive resourcefulness in replacing single use plastics with a climate crisis alternative. It’s inspiring.

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Marriott Bonvoy Hotels has just announced that by December 2020 it will no longer be offering small individual toiletries to guests, reducing single use plastic by “500 million little plastic bottles per year across the company’s 7,000 hotels in 132 countries.” The bottles are so tiny that they can’t be cleaned, and thus can’t be recycled. Smart. Marriott Bonvoy will instead be using large plastic pumps in the showers. Perfect. I recently stayed at a Marriott and found these to be an excellent Plan B.

Every American company has similar decisions to make. Grocery stores for example will most likely have to go cold turkey on their single use bags. Many consumers are just plain oblivious. After a fifteen year warning, shoppers should not be shocked when they arrive at their favorite store one day and the single use plastic bags have disappeared.

Saying “NO” to single use plastic is very easy. It doesn’t require effort or money, just awareness. Not being mindful of the life or death consequences these types of decisions have on others is irresponsible, some might even say willfully irresponsible. The worst aspect of the climate crisis is climate injustice, where those with the largest carbon footprints (Americans), aren’t necessarily the ones who suffer the most destructive climate consequences. For example, Bahamians have a tiny individual carbon footprint, and yet an entire island was destroyed during Hurricane Dorian, and 1,300 people are still missing and presumed dead. This reality should haunt us, and compel us to act… quickly!

Pivoting away from single use plastic is as simple as the diagram below. It’s just a matter of making different everyday choices. We can do this!

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© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
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America’s Youth Stressed About the Reality of the Climate Crisis

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | September 19, 2019)
NoreenByLine-a by Noreen Wise

Listening to the four determined youth activists air their views during a Congressional hearing on Wednesday September 18, 2019, was a refreshing moment of realism after nearly three torturous years of altered reality, alternative facts and a
constant deluge of propaganda through rallies, tweets and proxies.

These four activists cut through the pervasive GOP BS and made it clear that if Congress doesn’t act, and if GOP continues denying the existential threat to their hopes and dreams and bright futures, then their generation would hold them accountable.

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg did not suffer fools lightly. She spoke little, was very direct with her answers, and submitted a multi page document written by scientists as her testimony, asking Congress to rely on the experts.

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But it was the words of 17 year old youth Climate Activist Jamie Margolin, co-founder of Zero Hour, that should resonate with all parents. Jamie explained that the most devastating impact about the looming climate crisis is that she can’t dream about a ST-SAGA-CovFrnt-72-300bright future. She stated that her horizon is nothing more than a big “IF.” She is not able to wrap her mind around which colleges to apply to, because “what if” the climate crisis impacts her dream college or potential career. The future is now too unpredictable to plan for. Nothing is solid or certain. Her testimony made it clear that Generation Z feels like they’re standing in quick sand.

Can any of us imagine growing up without being able to tightly clutch a dream to lift us out of present day hardships? That dark void of hopelessness is too difficult to process. This is America. I refuse to let this be the reality of today’s youth. I personally would not be able to exist without having hopes and dreams, nor would I have been able to survive the many difficult challenges I’ve faced across the years without these two vital life-sustaining essentials.

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Additionally, stress and anxiety impacts the immune system and changes our perspective on relatively minor everyday challenges. An “uncertain future” creates an emotional crisis and the only way to counter it, is for all adults to quickly move into action and commit ourselves to lowering our personal carbon footprints ASAP.

We can fix this. Let’s go!

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Are Gun Deaths Higher in States Without Common Sense Gun Laws? Yes, Indeed!

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | September 18, 2019)
NoreenByLine by Noreen Wise

There are many states who began passing common sense gun legislation to curb gun violence and are now experiencing the benefits. Lives have been saved. Communities  are safer. Thus, it’s very clear why more than 90% of Americans are demanding that local, state and federal legislators do something.

ST-SAGA-CovFrnt-72-300Diving deeper to assess which states have passed which bills, it soon becomes crystal clear that the permissive gun states that have allowed gun ownership to go unchecked, are the states with the highest gun violence deaths. This makes sense, which again is why more than 90% of Americans, many millions of whom are gun owners, are demanding action.

How can Mitch McConnell hold a blind eye to this reality? Why is Mitch McConnell suddenly saying that he can’t allow any bill that Trump won’t sign to be brought to the floor for a vote? This is illogical and unconstitutional. The Legislative Branch is separate from the Executive and McConnell is at the helm of the Senate in the Legislative Branch. Going rogue and eliminating a vital check & balance, especially when it comes to the safety and protection of the American people, should be grounds for having him removed as Senate Majority Leader.

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Connecticut is an excellent example of passing common sense gun laws that have served residents well and saved thousands of lives.

  • The Sandy Hook massacre of 20 innocent first graders and 6 adults occurred on December 14, 2012
  • In idyllic Newtown, Connecticut
  • On April 3, 2014….  less than 4 months after the traumatizing horror, the bipartisan state legislature passed sweeping gun reform
  • State Permit is required to purchase both long guns and hand guns
  • Registration is required through Department of Emergency and Public Protection for log guns & handguns, gun tracked by authorization number and DPS-3-C form
  • Partial ban on assault rifles: no new sales/purchases of assault rifles; banned ARs already owned, must be registered, if owner wants to sell AR, can only sell to licensed gun dealer

  • Magazine Capacity Restriction: any magazine that holds greater than 10 rounds is considered an LCM (Large Capacity Magazine); all LCMs were banned when new law went into effect, cannot be sold or transferred; existing owners had to register LMs by
  • Permit Required for Concealed Carry: owner must meet requirements, and abide by two-step process, first, 60-day temporary permit issued by local authorities, Second, 5 year permit issued by DESPP
  • Permit Required for Open Carry: MUST have a license to open carry
  • Vehicle Carry: Must have valid pistol permit to carry loaded gun in car, otherwise must be unloaded and firearm and ammunition stored in separate locked containers; if car left unattended, firearm must be locked in trunk or glove box
  • Castle Doctrine: not the exact same as “stand your ground,” but if intruder enters home or yard and owner has permit and “reasonable force,” courts provide civil immunity
  • Background Checks: required for private party transfer and must be performed by federally licensed dealer
  • Red Flag Law: allows police to obtain a court warrant and seize guns from anyone posing a risk to others or themselves once they investigate and determine probable cause

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Connecticut’s sweeping common sense gun laws are some of the most reasonable and effective in the country and serve as a very sensible model to follow. In 2019, Connecticut ranks in the top 5 states with the lowest number of gun deaths per capita.

  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • New York
  • Connecticut

The top 5 states with the highest number of per capita gun deaths are five red states with permissive gun laws:

  • Alaska – most permissive gun ownership in country, must be 21, complete handgun competency course, no permit required to carry, Castle Doctrine, that’s it
  • Montana – must be 18, open & concealed carry legal without permit, Castle Doctrine, done
  • Alabama – must be 18, no permit or background check or registration required for private sales, open carry legal without permit, concealed carry needs pistol permit, Castle Doctrine, done
  • Louisiana – must be 17, no permit or background check or registration required for private sales, concealed carry is legal with a permit, open carry requires no permit, Castle Doctrine, that’s it
  • Missouri – must be 19, no permit or background check or registration required for private sales, open carry and concealed carry both legal without permit, but gun owners can obtain a concealed carry permit (CCP) if they’d like one, local authorities are able to restrict in certain locations, Castle Doctrine, done

The Connecticut common sense gun laws respect the 2nd Amendment, while simultaneously protecting the American public’s expectation to live in a safe community. Colt is headquartered in Connecticut, and yet these bipartisan common sense gun laws passed in record time following the Sandy Hook massacre.

If more than 90% of the American public are demanding common sense gun laws, and the data proves the effectiveness, it doesn’t make sense to sit on the sidelines and hold a blind eye to such convincing proof that common sense gun laws save lives, maybe your own.

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© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Energy-Storage Batteries | A Whole New Industry

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | September 16, 2019)
NoreenByLine by Noreen Wise

With the global climate crisis focus upon us, which begins Friday September 20, 2019 with a massive worldwide #ClimateStrike, and continues for a full week of events, the entire globe will be fixated on how we can quickly find and execute the cure and save millions of lives, and in certain regions, entire populations.

ST-SAGA-CovFrnt-72-300This year has seen an unprecedented uptick in the switch to solar energy, with California leading the way.  EV car sales are leaping tall buildings. The increase in clean energy is so significant, that the new big industry mushrooming overnight is that of storing excess clean energy, to be used after the sun goes down, or when supply runs out. There are investors and innovators popping up in many countries, looking to produce the highest quality energy storage batteries — small ones for homeowners, and massive ones known as “utility scale” for corporations, towns, cities, etc.

It would be very smart if fossil fuel communities jumped in quick to seize the opportunity and transition coal and oil workers into clean energy storage careers.

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Batteries are very important in enabling energy companies to store the excess energy generated by a sunny or windy day, to then be used at night, or on a very still day, when there’s no strong wind force. Critical requirements for high quality energy storage batteries include the following:

  • Capacity & Power – measured in kilowatt hours (kWh), we should get stackable kind so we can easily increase capacity as need grows
  • Depth of Discharge (DoD) – the amount of the battery that has been used, a battery’s use level has a floor; the higher the DoD (ie 80%), the more the battery can be used before needing to be recharged
  • Round trip efficiency – it takes a certain amount of energy to store energy, so the higher the efficiency, the more energy you’ll receive from your battery; the efficiency rate is measured as a percent, the higher the percent, the higher the efficiency (30% is bad, 80% is good)
  • Battery life & warranty – clean energy storage batteries have a “cycle” of charging and draining; battery life is listed as a specific number of cycles, ie 4,000; a warranty will read something to the effect: 4,000 cycles or 8 years at 65% of it’s capacity… meaning at the end of the warranty the battery will have only lost 35% of it’s initial capacity.
  • Manufacturer – there are no so many different brands that it’s difficult to determine which is the best, so it’s important to compare using the above four critical features

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Companies around the world hoping to become the top clean energy storage producers. Here are 7 to keep your eye on:

  • Tesla
  • Vivint Solar
  • LG Chem
  • Eos Energy Storage
  • Sonnen
  • Nissan
  • Sunverge

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantGreenSmileGold-75

 

What? Why so many life-threatening new gas plants opening?

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | September 9, 2019)
NoreenByLine by Noreen Wise

The climate crisis keeps growing more alarming as climate change inflicts serious consequences. The out of control fires in the Amazon rain forest last month, devastated hundreds of millions of trees. Trees sequester carbon, lowering the worlds’sST-SAGA-CovFrnt-72-250
atmospheric carbon levels. And although there’s been significant global effort to lower the PPM carbon level by transitioning quickly to clean energy, and we’ve been trending lower in 2019 — moving from 415 PPM to 411 PPM (YAY!) — the goal is to actually reach 350, so we still have a long way to go.

And then disaster struck… again. We now must transition to clean energy that much faster. Thankfully we can do this. Solar energy is much less expensive than building new power plants, cost consumers less per moth, and can actually earn households money if they invest in a battery that stores excess solar energy. With this clear vision in place, and with a united purpose of saving lives, which may be our own, what is the point in initiating a plan that’s the opposite of this? It seems ludicrous and life-threatening.

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With headlines like that of this morning’s,As Earth faces climate catastrophe, US set to open nearly 200 (dirty) power plants“, climate deniers are doing an excellent job at undermining America’s influence in the world. Gas power plants are expensive, dirty, and will kill innocent people across the globe. We see this now. We see innocent Bahamians, with one entire Bahama island demolished, 70,000 people without homes, no sanitation, completely reliant on the kindness of others, yet dozens of evacuees on one humanitarian cruise ship were removed.

The US is behind the majority of other nations in the world on transitioning to clean energy. This makes us look indifferent to the suffering of others, backwards and greedy. In fact, in opening 200 new dirty power plants, we actually are all of these terrible things.

  • US is world LEADER in carbon emissions from power plants “emitting 2.70 billion tons” of carbon, followed by China who emits 2.66 billion (China has a population of 1.43 billion though, while US population is only 329 million). So US carbon output at this level almost seems criminal, at the very least negligent.
  • Texas has the most power plants and oil reserves and emits 12% of US carbon, that’s an incredibly irresponsible number. There are 50 states. California emits 7% of US’s carbon emissions but has a population of 39.75 millions, while Texas only has 29.09 million.
  • It’s far less expensive to install solar panels than to build a gas power plant, even though gas is less expensive than coal power plants.
  • Clicking through the EnergySage link to get a Solar quote is just like scrolling through Expedia or kayak for a travel quote.

So what’s the point here? Natural gas power plants do not make economic sense. They pollute the air, undermine health, and do indeed kill innocent people through climate change events. There is no economical or moral justification for 200 new gas power plants. Wong choices like this one, reinforce the world’s perception that the US is idifferent to the suffering of others (that we inflict ). That we’re driven by the blind greed of a few, no matter what the climate and human consequences are to the 99%. And the few that are mapping out this nonsensical strategy, only have scream “climate denier” to gt away with it.

We need to hold these executives accountable. Denying climate change, and thus furthering the crisis, is the equivalent of admitting guilt.

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantGreenSmileGold-75

 

Seriously, Switching to Solar Now Is So Easy | Check This Out

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | September 6, 2019)
NoreenByLine by Noreen Wise

During this urgent global climate crisis, with all eyes are on the world’s atmospheric carbon level — measuring 415 PPM in May 2019, with the goal of returning to the late 1980’s level of 350 PPM — we must immediately change gears following the catastrophic loss of a large chunk of the Amazon rainforest due to ferocious forest fires.

SOLUTION: It’s time to step up the America’s transition to solar energy. ST-SAGA-CovFrnt-72-250
Additionally, let’s plant more trees on every continent ASAP.

In July 2019, the atmospheric carbon level actually dropped a bit to 411.77 PPM which was very exciting. There are so many countries and so many millions of global citizens working tirelessly, making sacrifices and changing our lifestyles in our effort to lower our carbon footprint, which in turn lowers the atmospheric carbon level. It’s nice to see that our committed efforts are netting positive results. It was only a few weeks later, however, that the Amazon rainforest was consumed with fire. Argh, now the CO2 level will rise again.

So, we must move quickly to counter the effects of the fires.

We know we’re going to have to switch to solar at some point, let’s take the leap right now so we can save more lives. There are much too many benefits not to switch ASAP:

It’s exciting to find excellent resources that make transitioning easier. EnergySage is just that, a user-friendly resource that makes the transitioning process stress free.

It only takes a few clicks to save the world and our futures… Let’s Go!

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Assault Rifle Ban | NRA’s Illogical 2nd Amendment Argument

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | September 4, 2019)

The red flags and warning signs are everywhere. The time has come to act definitively on common sense gun legislation
and stop punting this vital life-saving, society-saving, democracy-saving, America-saving legislation down the road. #EnoughIsEnough.

Here are the facts:

  • 2nd Amendment: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
  • The 2nd Amendment was written using critical commas that have further exasperated clarification of the Amendment’s exact meaning.
  • However, if we dig deeper, we can clearly see that our founders were very awareST-SAGA-CovFrnt-72-250
    of human evil and it’s potential harm to democracy and thus created numerous checks & balances, most notably our three branches of government.
  • Further, throughout the 185 Federalist Papers, written for the purpose of justifying the need for a federal government as well as a Constitution, every single one of the letters highlights the importance of checking evil
  • The concept of “checks & balances” is ingrained in our rule of law, our institutions, and throughout American society and shouldn’t be foreign to any American
  • Checks & balances apply to gun ownership as well, and supports the concept of common sense gun legislation
  • Assault rifles and high capacity magazines are weapons of war and are NOT meant for civilians or self-defense

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  • We had an effective Assault Weapons Ban from 1994 – 2004 that President Bush foolishly did NOT renew (Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, passed by a narrow margin of 4 votes, signed by President Clinton.)
  • The fact that assault rifle owners are threatening violence if their weapons of war are banned, is the very reason they need to be banned. For an American to believe that the way to resolve differences in a democracy is to slaughter those who don’t agree with them is a huge wake up call to all political leaders for the urgent need to #DoSomething.
  • In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled on District of Columbia v. Heller, whereby Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia ruled that even though the 2nd Amendment states “well regulated militia” it applies to personal protection as well, putting an end to the debate about whether or not the 2nd Amendment applies to the general public. However, Scalia did clarify that the public’s gun ownership can be regulated.

“…not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” ~Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Associate Justice, 2008 ruling, District of Columbia v. Heller

  • On January 9, 2019, Senior Senator Dianne Feinstein of California again Sponsored and Introduced S. 66: Assault Weapons Ban of 2019. This is a bill “to regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.”
  • Earlier versions of Assault Weapons Ban were introduced on November 8, 2017, following theOctober 2, 2017 Las Vegas slaughter of 58 using an assault rifle, and on March 14, 2013, three months after the world-altering Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre of 28 elementary school students and several teachers. If these shockingly vicious annihilations didn’t wake-up our representatives, we can’t give up… we simply must try harder. Case in point, the shutdown outrage became so forceful, that it even brought Mitch McConnell back to life.
  • The next step for the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 is to be considered by the judiciary committee. Unbelievably, the bill only has a 4% chance of being enacted.

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  • There are 28 Democrat co-sponsors of the ban, all 28 joined the day it was introduced. There are no GOP sponsors.

S. 66: Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 co-sponsors:

  • Blumenthal, Richard (D-CT)
  • Booker, Cory (D-NJ)
  • Cardin, Ben (D-MD)
  • Carper, Tom (D-DE)
  • Casey, Bob (D-PA)
  • Duckworth, Tammy (D-IL)
  • Durbin, Richard (D-IL)
  • Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY)
  • Harris, Kamala (D-CA)
  • Hassan, Maggie (D-NH)
  • Hirono, Mazie (D-HI)
  • Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN)
  • Markey, ED (D-MA)
  • Menendez, Bob (D-NJ)
  • Merkley, Jeff (D-OR)
  • Murphy, Chris (D-CT)
  • Murray, Patty (D-WA)
  • Reed, Jack (D-RI)
  • Sanders, Bernie (D-VT)
  • Schatz, Brian (D-HI)
  • Schumer, Chuck (D-NY)
  • Shaheen, Jeanne (D-NY)
  • Smith, Tina (D-MN)
  • Van Hollen, Chris (D-MD)
  • Warner, Mark (D-VA)
  • Warren, Elizabeth (D-MA)
  • Whitehouse, Sheldon (D-RI)
  • Wyden, Ron (D-OR)

It’s time to act one and for all to get S66 passed. Our lives and our democracy are at stake.

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
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