Category: Environment

EMERGENCY | Curbing Personal Carbon Footprint, 4 Key Areas to Nail

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | July 8, 2019) –  Climate expert Dr. Joseph Romm has made carbon reduction super easy for all of us by organizing our decision making into four manageable categories.

The only way for the United States to SAVE our East Coast landscape – our beautiful, fabulous cities and all the homes, businesses and assets contained within – is to RUSH on minimizing our individual carbon footprints by taking advantage of numerous  green solutions under each category.

  1. HOME: one of the easiest and fastest ways to cut carbon.
    • Solar Panels: take advantage of one of the many offers being floated in 2019 where the Solar Energy provider will install solar panels with no $ down.
    • Replace all lightbulbs: all traditional lightbulbs in the home should be replaced with either LEDs, halogen incandescents, or compact fluorescent lamps. These cost more, but they last 3-25% longer, so we’ll save money in the long run.
    • Turn Off Lights: so basic, turn off lights whenever we leave a room.
    • Buy Smaller House (if moving): it’s no longer cool to have a huge house. The new life-saving logic is to have a smaller home with more land, beautiful gardens, and plant as many trees as possible.
    • Use cold water for laundry: washing clothes uses a lot of water, warming water wastes energy. Get used to cold for washing whites. New normal.
  2. TRANSPORTATION: Hybrids and EV options have been transformed in just a few short years. Much longer range. Super fast charge. Many more charging stations. More affordable. One of these must be on our list when we replace existing cars.
    • Hybrid: prices have come down and range is up to 280 MPG.
    • EV: Significant price reduction, with one model as low as $30,000, range is now at 200 MPG.
    • Walk, Bike, Scooter, Public Transportation, Carpool: Attend monthly Town Legislation meetings and work to get walking/bike trails set-up maintained.
    • Run all errands at same time: awareness of who our actions impact the survival of other people will make us more organized about how we time manage simple things like grocery shopping and going to bank.
  3. DIET: surprisingly, cows add as much carbon to environment as fossil fuels.
    • Switch to white meat & fish: turkey  & chicken, etc.
    • Minimize dairy: this may also cure several health conditions that stem from high levels of antibiotics and pesticides found in dairy.
    • Vegan: finding the right protein is a climate solution. Beans, lentils, eggs.
  4. STUFF: Stuff we buy, Stuff we cart around, Stuff we store. Who knew that our “stuff,” particularly the vast accumulation and management of, is a significant factor in global warming.
    • Carting around stuff, results in buying larger cars than necessary.
    • Buying more stuff than we need or can possibly use, results in buying a larger house that uses more energy
    • There’s substantial carbon emissions involved in the manufacturing and transporting of stuff.
    • American consumerism has been a global frustration since the 1980’s.

In 2019, America’s population is only 4.6% of global total, however we are now ranked #1 in carbon emissions. We are responsible for the deaths of thousands. Let’s jump on this so we can save lives and save our country as well as the world.

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Climate Action Force Strong Enough To Unseat McConnell

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | June 24, 2019) –  The American public has moved into action on the Climate Crisis. The public isn’t waiting for legislators to pass bills, but rather running forward, choosing products and services based on whether or not a business has a climate action agenda.

Slowly but surely, climate action is taking root and starting to sprout all over the country, particularly in coastal cities and states.

The momentum is increasing exponentially and is may prove to have the power necessary to unseat McConnell in 2020.

We’ve got the power as individuals to make changes that save lives:

  • “Shining city on the hill” takes on new meaning in 2019. Towns are installing solar panels on streets to harness green energy.
  • Retailers a going cold turkey by eliminating single-use plastic bags all together. Here one day, gone the next. Shoppers better have reusables in their cars.
  • Towns are banning plastic straws.
  • Restaurants are choosing to replace plastic straws with paper.
  • According to CNN, 90% of the ocean’s plastic flows through 10 rivers resulting in 400 million pieces of plastic to wash ashore far-flung islands in the Indian Ocean, amongst these were one million shoes and 375,000 toothbrushes (very easy to correct this by keeping tabs on personal belongings when boating and on shorelines)
  • YouTube videos are popping up showing consumers how to convert a t-shirt into a reusable shopping bag without having to sew.
  • Families are taking advantage of amazing sustainability offers and switching to solar energy with $0 cost for transitioning.
  • More Americans are choosing to walk and ride bikes for local errands.
  • High Schools in foreign countries have begun requiring students plant 10 trees in order to graduate. American high schools can easily do the same
  • Families have created climate action weekly habits: recycle, cold water to wash clothes, turn off lights when leave a room, LED lights.

These tiny, easy adjustments have a significant impact when implemented on a grand scale by millions of Americans. We do NOT need to wait for legislators to act. Begin today to implement your family green agenda.

McConnell is singularly the most responsible American for global warming, voting NAY and eventually blocking every single solitary US initiative to curb carbon emissions, elevating carbon levels from 345 PPM in 1985 to 415 PMM in 2019.

Foreign countries are much further ahead than America. France has begun installing solar roads.Many countries are banning plastic single-use bags by 2025.

Category 5 hurricanes kill, maim and destroy. If all that it takes to reduce and prevent are simple, basic, everyday green habits, is there any benefit to not implementing immediately?

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McConnell is highly likely to be removed from office in 2020 if Climate Action becomes the number one priority to the American majority this election season. We have the power here. The ball is in our court.

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Exxon In Pitched Battle With the World

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | June 7, 2019) –  A growing number of world leaders, and state attorney generals, are taking off their gloves and flexing their muscles in an effort to drive home the point with Exxon that they aren’t backing down. In fact, they plan to ramp up their resolve, and persevere through to the next level and pry the appropriate climate action commitment from Exxon. Not only that, the world’s prepared to continue bringing charges against Exxon for climate fraud.

ExxonMobile Corp is the world’s largest publicly traded oil company. Back in 2015, during the build up to the 2016 presidential election,  documents leaked revealing that Exxon had intentionally kicked off a misinformation campaign for the purpose of undermining climate science in the hopes it would steer decision makers to continue with the massive use of oil for automobiles and energy. Since the 1970’s, Exxon has known that oil production causes global warming and has continued to mislead consumers, failing to warn of the hazards.

Now, 40 years later, we see Exxon’s misinformation campaign worked. Carbon levels have risen significantly – 335 PPM to 415 PPM. Thousands of innocent people have died as a result.

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The state Attorney General’ who have and/or will be filing climate fraud charges against Exxon:

  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington DC – tentative

Foreign Nations are leveling penalties against Exxon through the European Parliament.

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House Passes Climate Action Now Act | HR9

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Opinion | May 4, 2019) –  The Climate Action Now Act (HR9) was passed by the House on Thursday May 2, 2019. Very encouraging event in the midst of a tumultuous week of shock and disappointment related to the William Barr Hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

This is the first climate crisis legislation to pass the Congress “in nearly ten years,” according to Bill sponsor Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL). HR9 will keep the US commitment outlined in the Paris Agreement, to reduce carbon emissions in the United State by 26-28% by 2025. HR9 prevents the Trump Administration from leaving the Paris Agreement. There’s a bipartisan group of 23 governors, nearly 300 cities, and 2,000 businesses who have all pledged a commitment to stay in the Paris Agreement. The US House of Representatives has now been added to this list.

HR9: To direct the President to develop a plan for the United States to meet its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement, and for other purposes.

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HR9 gives the President 120 days to submit the United States Climate Action plan to assigned congressional committees as well as to the American people.

  • House Committees: Foreign Affairs and Energy and Commerce
  • Senate Committees: Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works, and Energy and Natural Resources

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Despite the Trump Administration announcing it was pulling out of the Paris Agreement on June 1, 2017, the United States went of to reduce carbon emissions by 42 million tons in 2017 the largest reduction by any one country on the globe. Our massive landmass and population can successfully tip the carbon scale. If we can stay committed on a daily basis to do everything in our power to cut carbon – all those very small everyday choices: recycle, reusable bags for all shopping not just grocery shopping, LED lights, tighten faucets after using so no dripping, plant a tree with family and friends once a month, walk more drive less, solar energy – it will become so engrained in our way of life, it won’t feel like extra effort.

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We can do this! Let’s go for a carbon reduction goal of 100 million tons in 2019. Next step for HR9 to become law, is passing the Senate.

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Fallen Trees in Forest | Time To Reforest

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Opinion | March 29, 2019) –  I run along the winding forest trail every evening, headphones blaring, so many things on my mind. I notice the fallen trees. I marvel at how massive the roots are, stunned by the way they seem to creep beneath the surface as deeply as they grow tall.

Today it suddenly dawned on me, that when we see fallen trees in a forest, we should plant new ones in the same vicinity. More than one perhaps. We don’t even have to wait for anyone to direct us, although I guess I’ll inquire at town hall just to be on the safe side. Who would actually notice if a tree-loving, anti-Global Warming citizen planted a barrel of trees, though.

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It never really occurred to me before that:

“Reforesting & restoring mangrove forests are a key solution for Climate Action. They act as a barrier against floods & storm surges caused by rising sea levels, erratic rains, land degradation & erosion.” ~UN Environment

Any Climate Action project that’s this simple, easy, economical and fun is going to be a winner. A newly planted tree is like a new friend. I can’t wait to watch it grow. I’ve read that trees can communicate, so this will be another positive benefit. I can conduct tests. Scientific experiment of sorts. For example, if I stop and talk to the tree every day after I run, will it grow taller faster? Will it be stronger than otherwise? It’ll be exciting to find out.

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“Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish.” ~Munia Khan

You know something’s a really big deal, when citizens from the state with the Senator who’s the strongest anti-environment advocate in the Legislature, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are hosting their 20th annual “Reforest the Bluegrass” event tomorrow March 30, 2019, the last Saturday of the month. Good luck and have fun, Kentuckians! You may want to plant ten times as many trees as other states to offset all the coal carbon. Again, thank you!

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“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” ~Chinese Proverb

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Cakeism |Why Good People Support an Evil Leader (Trump)

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report |Opinion | March 19, 2019) –  This phenomenon that we’ve been witnessing for nearly three years now – friends, family and colleagues who we get along with very well, many of whom we even admire, supporting Trump, and we can’t figure out how they can be so blind – can be explained. Cakeism. We’ve seen it before. In fact, illustrations of this are everywhere. Securing a new credit card and jetting around the world. Buying a fancy car when the existing one only has $35,000 miles. Eating delicious cake. Cake is so delectable. Does anyone doubt this? It’s certainly my weakness.

“Let them eat cake.” ~ Marie Antoinette, 1789

When good things are good, they can’t be bad, right? Take low unemployment rate as an example. It’s certainly wonderful. No one can deny it. Who doesn’t love an excellent job market? I’ll take doubles, even triples. Trump announced at CPAC, that the unemployment rate is so low we don’t have enough skilled Americans to fill the open positions, so we need immigrants. Yes, Trump did emphatically state that we desperately needed immigrants, even though he’s demanding a wall to keep immigrants out. He clarified. According to Trump,  we need the right kind of immigrants.

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If a low unemployment rate is good, how can it be bad? Very easily. There’s always a downside to a short cut. Consequences are inevitable. Increasing our national debt by a trillion dollars a year, will lead to the death of America unless a fierce and noble leadership team steps in to quickly fix this disaster. Cutting environmental protections, as well as all the regulations that keep our landscapes and health safeguarded, will have very serious repercussions to our food supply, our tourism industry, and our physical well-being. Our crumbling infrastructure can’t be ignored.  Modernizing requires public funds. Taxes. The downside to our low unemployment will quickly become our worst nightmare in the not so distant future.

Cakeism. The belief that there’s only one side of the coin, the good side. The upside. The belief that there are never any consequences for bad decisions or short cuts.

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So yes, low unemployment rate is sensational, the same way chocolate ganache cake is to die for. We can absolutely thank Trump for this. Thank you, Mr. Trump.  But an increasingly polarized country, with the far right demanding a civil war (what they mean by this, is slaughtering innocent liberals and their families with assault rifles, the same way the New Zealand terrorist slaughtered innocent families at the Mosque) is a frightening traumatic reality. A corrupt cabinet that undermines our future. A president without a moral code, leading through fear, serving himself, bettering himself, at the expense of everyone else. Extreme weather conditions that will only grow worse, flattening towns, destroying thousands of square miles of personal property, killing thousands of Americans, eliminating our coastal communities and many of our most important military bases.

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Destroyed American landscapes. Unattended superfund sights. Gargantuan national debt. Crumbling infrastructure. An entire generation of undereducated. Alarming healthcare crisis. Our cherished institutions, the very pillars of our democracy, smashed. Extreme wealth disparity. Out of control white collar crime. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

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“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny,” ~Aristotle, 322 BC

Excellence is what America has always reached for. Excellence has been our collective purpose for two straight centuries. Excellence is what propelled us to become a global titan. Excellence, not cakeism.

I’m sure many of us have family, friends and/or colleagues who’ve made comments to the effect, “I like a lot of his policies, but I’m not a big fan of Trump.” We can now simply reply, “Cakeism. The belief that you can have all the advantages, and never have to deal with the disadvantages.” Cakeism isn’t rational of course. Bad decisions will always have negative consequences, despite the momentary short term gain.

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Think Green When Making Weekend & Vacation Plans

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Perspective | March 17, 2019) – GREEN should forever be at the forefront of our minds whenever we make weekend plans as well as vacation plans.

Climate Action, is nothing more than a resolution. A proposal. An urgent call of action to help address the most challenging crisis facing America and every nation around the world. Climate change impacts all of us. The traumatic reality brings our diverse global population together through a shared purpose.

With the arrival of spring, we can move into the GREEN fast lane and start planting trees. As many trees as space allows. Pakistan has planted over a billion trees. The most important step for us to remember here in America is that steady consistency is the best path forward. Let’s be inclusive. Let’s create a vision for solving this crisis that the vast majority will identify with and participate in. No closed doors. No closed minds.

Here’s a quick lesson on how to properly plant a tree:

Have fun! Make it a family or friend event. It’s wonderful to know that around the world, communities are gathering to plant trees. Not only will this reduce carbon, it will provide cleaner oxygen and a more beautiful environment that will add cheer to our lives. Health and beauty are worth fighting hard for.

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