Category: Environment

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-GlobalWarming 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

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.2Pillars&Gold-mini

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.

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Think Green | Spring Is Here

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Perspective | March 17, 2019) – Spring is here! GREEN should be at the forefront of our minds especially in light of the Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal, 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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© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Mitch McConnell’s Days Are Numbered

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Opinion | February 26, 2019) –  Mitch McConnell has been indicted by the American majority, global leaders, and citizens of the world. Denunciations of this notorious coward are erupting with every news story, resulting in strong protests of disgust toward his blatant lack of morality that now rings from every single corner in every major city in America. Despite McConnell’s pivotal leadership role in the most powerful legislative body on earth, McConnell is loathed, despised and scorned.

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Mitch McConnell is a self-serving fraud. There are many who believe McConnell’s a criminal and may eventually be indicted by the Southern District of New York, along with Trump and his children, when SDNY takes down this organized crime syndicate. What’s incredibly fascinating about the public’s deep mistrust and animosity toward McConnell, is that corruption appears to have a tangible residue, much like filth, that sticks to those he comes in contact with, and blinds them, while the good hearts flee with a horrible foreboding.

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What is it about Jim Mattis that commands overwhelming respect and admiration from all people in all demographics, the entire stretch of population spanning the globe? Mattis’ strong character is like a magnet, drawing people toward him rather than repelling them. Mattis embodies the deep virtues that our nation was founded on. Honor. Sacrifice. Commitment. Perseverance. Grit. All things noble. All things good. Mattis’ presence on the news screen, his noble commitment to our American ideals, quietly inspires us to be our best selves. True greatness isn’t about words, it’s about actions. A real leader doesn’t need to say anything, he or she simply shows the way by example.

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Mitch McConnell won’t have a hero’s goodbye. He’ll leave in the dead of night, shrouded in disguise. We’ll likely learn of McConnell’s arrest one blistering summer day as we’re headed to a climate change rally, or a superfund site to protest the undermining of our wondrous natural resources, and awe-inspiring landscapes. Mitch McConnell will spend the final chapter of his life a very lonely man, with nothing to look forward to. No noble legacy. No hero statue honoring his patriotism. His after-life will be eternity in the deep dark abyss, with all the other evil souls he tried to emulate while holding his gavel.

McConnell began his Senate career January 3, 1985. In these 34 years, he’s been the single strongest force behind global warming, blocking every single initiative introduced to protect our cherished national treasures. Mitch McConnell, the U.S. Senator who will go down in American history as the arch obstructionist, the most politicized politician we’ve ever had the misfortune of being steamrolled by, straight from the bluegrass state of Kentucky whose astute motto has been ringing true for 2,500 years: “United we stand, divided we fall.”

DitchMitch

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Weekend Climate Change Fight Plan

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report) –  Every Friday, from this day forward, we need to take a moment while chilling after work, and figure out what efforts we can exert over the weekend to aggressively fight the effects of climate change. This should become our new normal, the same way we tackle our other house chores, yard work, and exercise routines. Climate change isn’t going away, it’s only going to get worse.

Typically we feel a great sense of pride when we finish that weekend project. Painting the den. Working in the garden or mowing the lawn. Completing an oil painting. Expanding the family tree on Ancestry.com. Carving out family time for tackling climate change every single weekend will make so much sense once we start. It’ll feel very similar to buying a pet. One day there’s no pet, and the next day there is. The family has to launch immediately. All hands on deck.

Wednesday February 6, 2019, was a significant day on Capitol Hill. The House Natural Resource Committee held it’s first hearing on climate change in more than a decade. Witnesses pleaded their case in support of immediate and aggressive action by Congress to stem the violent and deadly force of climate change. Even the Republicans were convinced in the mandate that Congress has to take action.

Way out in front leading the conversation, was the Governor of North Carolina. North Carolina knows all to well the importance of taking climate change seriously. In September 2018, it was pummeled by Hurricane Florence so massive, it walloped 6 trillion gallons of rain across major sections of the congested coastline turning miles of I-40 into a river, causing $17 Billion in damage. Thirty-six people were killed. The forceful winds and drenching rains reeked havoc more then 100 miles inland, pounding two of the nations largest military bases located in Fayetteville, NC. There’s nothing like the voice of experience to drive home the point about the importance of taking aggressive action in battling the effect of climate change. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is a man on a mission, noting that the state just suffered two “once every 500 years” storms.

“I urge congress… to match the level determination brought to recovery efforts in our fight to reduce the effects of climate change.” ~Gov Roy Cooper (D-NC)

Cimate change is the great equalizer. It effects every single one of us, and it will take every single one of us to curb the brutal impact of an angry Mother Nature.

This weekend’s Climate Change efforts to choose from. These are very simple. It’s okay to choose all:

  • Tighten taps on all the sinks
  • Use cold water when washing clothes
  • replace lightbulbs with LED
  • recycle
  • plant a tree… or two
  • Walk or bike instead of driving
  • Research green energy and create timeline for transitioning

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Bill to Ban Toxic Pesticides|Chlorpyrifos

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report) Chlorpyrifos was banned from home use in 2000, after years of monitoring its impact on public health. At the time, scientists proved conclusively that chlorpyrifos resulted in a permanent negative impact to public health, particularly children, when exposed. The chlorpyrifos damage to the American public includes:

In March 2017, shortly after Scott Pruitt was sworn in as EPA Director, Pruitt swiftly moved to reverse the late 2015 conclusion by the EPA that any of the existing predetermined tolerances to the exposure to chlorpyrifos were safe. Pruitt’s reversal, empowered farmers to continue the use of chlorpyrifos on our food supply.

The new year brought a breath of fresh, clean air to the federal legislature in DC, sweeping in the Democratic House Majority. On day one, January 3, 2019, Representative Nydia Velazquez of NY’s 7th District introduced  H.R. 230: Ban Toxic Pesticides Act of 2019 along with her 55 co-sponsors (54-D, 1-R) in a valiant effort to finally ban chlorpyrifos from farming and the American food supply.

Several big hurdles must be overcome before H.R. 230: Ban Toxic Pesticides Act of 2019 can be enacted and become law.

The next steps for Representative Nydia Velazquez and co-sponsors:

  • consider the bill in committee
  • bring to House floor for a vote
  • bring to Senate floor for a vote
  • signed by the President

CALL to ACTION: The American people must unite in support of this vital, life-saving ban on toxic chemicals. Call or email Congressional Representatives and Senators, as well as post on their Facebook Pages, to let them know that we demand their support for this critical Ban on Toxic Chemicals.

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