The next meeting of the Climate Change IOT for PDA  Tucson will be at 6 PM on Tuesday, February 28 at Fromino's Greek Restaurant on Speedway, just across from the Loft Theatre.  We have reserved the front room.  Come eat with us and get updates on the carbon tax movement, other activities, the National PDA meeting in Winslow this month, and help us write/send letters to the schools in Tucson about the very deceptive educational materials that the coal and nuclear power industries are sending out to the schools about the wonders of nuclear power and coal for electricity.

PDA Tucson – Issue Organizing Team on Global Warming/Climate Change, 10/26/2011 
Educational resources: Articles/action items posted on -Climate page. Several members have been working on a Power Point presentation on energy externalities Russell Lowes has the latest version and will be reviewing the order, adding more data on externalities and how each energy system works. Terry and Vince are also interested in working on this project. David will review and comment when available.
Education of children and community will be focus of the Power Point presentation.
Barbara Cain (Children) and Sarajean Harwood (adult ed) are co-coordinators for this group. Terry, Russell, Jackie and Vince are also interested in working on community and ElHi education. This team will meet and work on a plan for goals and objectives, materials, resources, access to schools, other groups working on climate change education, etc.
Tucson Clean and Beautiful has list of school contacts from their work on recycling.  The U of A offered teacher training on climate education a year or two ago. Nobody in our group was aware of any regular curricular materials on climate or energy. Russell did a presentation on energy at Greenfields School 2 years ago. It was very well received.
Media education/discussions/alerts Barbara asked that others in the IOT on Climate make contributions to the Web page at: It is our team’s resource for posting related articles, action items, events and commentary.
Climate Mitigation and Adaptation - work ongoing with City’s Climate Change Comm. Barbara and David discussed the history and the committee process in developing climate mitigation strategies. The current recommendations will meet only 48% of the goals by 2020. Many would like to see a much more aggressive approach. All are encouraged to attend the City Council meeting in December when the recommendations are presented to Council for approval. New ideas for more aggressive strategies should be encouraged. Go to  to find materials on Mitigation measures, consultant reports, references and more.
Energy Conservation – Training trainers and workshops on EE thru T.M.E.C. Vince and Terry’s neighborhood will be hosting a training on energy efficiency in the home. Jackie is training trainers and conducting these workshops with Donna. Tonight we all wrote letters to the Az Corporation Commission to encourage incentives for more energy efficiency through "decoupling" of energy revenues from energy bills to rate payers. The Sierra Club and the PIRG are providing education and support for this citizen lobbying effort. The letters will be filed with the SW Gas and TEP Dockets at the ACC.  Jeff Schlegel at SWEEP has led this effort for years and led development of the EES of 20% more efficient by 2020, the most aggressive standard in the nation when implemented.

Legislative actions
  • Rail plan-public opinions/comments can be made at:
  • EPA rules enforcement and support are critical to climate action plans and environmental protection efforts from coal and fracking and other fossil fuels
  • Tar Sands Pipeline is a very hot issues internationally. Go to There will be a presentation at St. Phillip’s Church on Nov. 6 –more info from Vince forthcoming.
  • Hydro-fracking is an important issue for National PDA
  • Coal burning in power plants is being re-evaluated for Tucson!
  • Nuclear power plant safety will be addressed in Russell’s talk on November 1 at Voices of Oppostion, at the Engineering Bldg on campus – 7 PM. Info will be sent out.
  • Energy Efficiency through Decoupling addressed tonight with letter writing to ACC

Interact with National PDA IOT – attend state meetings, national conference calls and on local steering committee. All IOT members are encouraged to participate in the National IOT calls on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. Call (605) 477-2100, Code # 900640

Social Justice workshop in November at U of A Native American Film Festival (?)
Barbara Warren and Vince Pawlowski will follow up

Developed other AZ IOTs on Climate in Phoenix, Flagstaff. Two activists and coordinators found! Liz Hourican and Kevin Hengehold are organizing in Phoenix area.

"World on the Edge" books by Lester Brown available for $10 a copy, a 40% discount. Contact Barbara Warren at 325-3983. Great factual resource on climate change’s current state and solutions.

New Business, Discussions

  • Climate Reality Project and film presentation. Elna Otter of Benson is an organizer and will help us get a presentation here in Tucson to a larger group. We agreed to do this.
  • Citizen’s Climate Lobby is working to develop strong support for a new Carbon Tax bill submitted by Pete Stark and supported by Raul Grijalva and others. They would like our support here to lobby, participate in media events, write letters to editors, educate, etc. Vince will organize a conference call to get started.
Future meeting plans: Continue meeting at Fromino’s. Good meeting space provided and food available. Next meeting in early or mid December. Several members out of town in November.
PDA Tucson Chair, Phil Lopes, who attended tonight welcomes comments to the Steering Committee on how they are doing . PDA Tucson may be the largest chapter in the country with over 800 members. There are 100,000 members nationally and PDA is growing. Please become a supporter by going on the website: and contributing to "Change Makes Change". Next quarterly General Membership Meeting in on November 10, 6:30 PM, Hotel Tucson. Subject is "Creating Jobs". Our IOT will have a table there.

Watch this fun video with a great idea.


Watch this great Commentary by Nancy LaPlaca on ACCESS Tucson TV as she discusses energy issues and the benefits of solar power for Arizona!

HOW DOES ORGANIZED LABOR VIEW CLIMATE CHANGE?This is an evolving topic. Check out the latest newsletter at the Labor Network for Sustainability which is “Dedicated to engaging trade unions, workers and their allies to support economic, social, and environmental sustainability.” In the current issue they ask the question: “Climate change has arrived in America. What will it mean for your job?”

Check your email for minutes

Several of our PDA IOT on Climate members attended the recent interactive public hearing for a community wide planning process for how to manage the future of water for the Tucson and Pima County Community. The Regional Water Assessment Task Force offered an inside view of their thoughtful, comprehensive, and inclusive Think Tank processes. Their goal is to reach consensus in the community about issues of water use, availability, quality and management for our future in our region. Their themes are Coordination and Cooperation, Sustainability, Supply and Cost, Pricing and Funding. Many of us would like this process to include and enhance a very challenging but critical approach to water: that of measuring, detecting, managing and preventing threats to to the quality of our water. This is a growing challenge, as we all know. For more discussion: See this article just posted in the Citizen on Clean,Safe Water for Tucson


Over 10,000 signatures on a petition to President Obama and approaching 1000 arrests for a peacful protest in Washington DC at the White House!

If you haven't taken action yet, please read this article and then click on the link at the bottom of the page to sign the petition to President Obama, choose other actions, if you wish, and help spread the word!

For those of us who attended the AZ Democratic State Committee meeting in Flagstaff this past weekend, some of us attended another meeting high atop a mountain.
 Circle: Protecting the Sacred Link:

The Hopi call her Nuvatuqui Ovi, the Navajo Dook’osliid.  Hosting 180,000 visitors a year, the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, Arizona have been sacred to the Thirteen Tribes for centuries.  As global warming makes the snows unreliable, the  Snowbowl ski resort’s owners are looking to extend the ski season by pumping 1.5 million gallons of Flagstaff’s treated wastewater daily up the mountain to make fake snow.  In addition to the unknown environmental effects of pharmaceuticals and hormones excreted in feces and urine soaking into the groundwater, spewing treated sewage onto the Holy Mountain has been compared to urinating on the altar at the Vatican.

Alison McLeod, RN, BSN, Southern Arizona Field Organizer, Progressive Democrats of America
"The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities."


This short film - - documents the struggle the Moapa Band of Paiutes in Nevada are facing with coal ash generated at the Reid Gardner power plant. It features 50 States participant William Anderson. If you’re interested in seeing how our state’s regulations stack up, Earthjustice and the Appalachian Center for Economy and the Environment recently released a “States of Failure” report  at
 exposing how states fail to protect the health of communities across the nation.


This week, the NRC's Near Term Task Force, which reviewed the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster for lessons to improve safety at US nuclar reactors, presented its recommendations to the whole Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Despite the documentation of multiple safety lapses at nuclear reactors in the US, the nuclear power industry is claiming that there is not enough known about the Fukushima disaster to make ANY changes in safety regulations.


You can call in to hear more from the NRC about the Japan Task Force
on July 28  at 11 AM, Arizona time.  Call 301-415-2939 to register

THE CHALLENGE IS ON TO REPLACE KING COAL!  - $50 MILLION TO GET BEYOND COAL!The Sierra Club has received a $50 million grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies  (Yes, Mayor Bloomberg of New York!)  to work on their Beyond Coal campaign.  See the full article in the llink below.   The Sierra Club will work with other like minded organizations to accomplish the monumental task of mocing our nation off of coal and into our renewable energy future!

This excellent article by Carl Pope of Sierra Club reknown lays out the case for the disappearance of King Coal and replacement with renewables.

A YOU TUBE VIDEO TO USE FOR EDUCATION ON HEALTH HAZARDS OF COAL WASTEYour IOT Coordinator has created this video, through the generous help of ACCESS Tucson.  This can be used to educate everyone you know about the health hazards of coal wastes in our communities.  Check it out!

                                 CREATING A CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE FOR ARIZONA

VIEWS FROM OUR IOT MEMBERSI picked up the May edition of Scientific American and read David Pogue’s ‘Gadgets are Garbage’, in which he reveals that 2.25million tons of electronics was thrown away in 2007. I then recalled a USGS report on recycled cell phones that claimed a recycling company was extracting 140kgm of copper per ton of cell phones. That is 308.6lbs and assuming electronics consists of phones, Ipods, laptops, TVs etc. and they contain roughly the equivalent copper as cell phones, around 694million lbs of copper is thrown away each year.

From the Az. Dept. of Mines and Minerals Economic study the Rosemont Mine is predicted to produce 200million lbs per year. I’ve read in the Star that clean energy products require copper and we have no choice but to rape and plunder our beautiful mountains. Well maybe we should stop and think about more than three times the copper available from recycling.

Check out this cool music video!!!  

Fred Highton, Member PDA Tucson IOT on Climate Change


Check out this very provocative,well done short video of Bill McKibbin's recent OpEd:

DON'T TRASH ARIZONA! Our governor wants to do away with automobile emmissions controls in Arizona.  Tell her "NO WAY!"

The Mohave Electric Coop is proposing that they be allowed to burn trash in the Phoenix area to generate electricity. They are also claiming that they can meet the renewable energy requirement for power plants by doing this. They are ignoring the toxic waste, environmental pollution and release of Greenhouse Gases by doing this. Please take action by contacting each of the Arizona Corporation Commissioners and tell them to oppose this proposal.

Q: I have never submitted comments before. What should comments say?
A: Express your concerns about the health effects of mercury and air toxics. Comments may be technical, but need not be. It is appropriate to discuss the impacts of mercury and air toxics on you, your family or your community, as well as on vulnerable populations like children, the elderly, and environmental justice communities.

Q: Where can I get more information on the rule?
A: For background information on the rule, consult the EPA website:

Q: Are sample comments available?
A: For sample comments prepared by Physicians for Social Responsibility, please see:

You can copy the prepared comments into your own email. Or you are welcome to add your name and address and send the comments from the PSR website. You may edit the comments or send them as-is.
In addition to submitting their own comments, organizations are invited to add their names to an organizational sign-on letter drafted by Sierra Club and Environment America. That letter is available at

Q: How do we send our comments?
A: Comments may be sent by electronic mail (e-mail). Send them to: In the subject line, put: Attention Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234. EPA will accept comments on the proposal until July 5, 2011. and


This was posted through our National PDA news.  Check out the pages at  pda-stop-global-warming-issue-organizng-team (google groups)  Join the Google Group. See what folks are doing around the country!


COAL CONTRIBUTES HALF OF THE GREENHOUSE GASES FROM ENERGY PRODUCTION - And it is DIRTY and TOXICGiven the close connection between cleaning up our air and our water and the need to protect our 50 states from poisons that reach communities via smokestacks and ash dumps, I want to invite all of you to join the Coal Ash Listserv that will keep you informed on the coal ash fight.  To join the coal ash listserv, please email Dalal Aboulhosn of the Sierra Club:

To read Emily Enderle's blog on why we have to pay attention to air and ash, see below or go to:
Thank you in advance for helping to secure a strong coal ash rule.  And if you have any coal ash questions or are experiencing air or water pollution from a coal ash source, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,  Lisa Evans,   Senior Administrative Counsel
Earthjustice     T: (781) 631-4119

Tr-Ash Talk: The Whole Enchilada
Public Health Depends on Strong Power Plant Air Toxics and Coal Ash StandardsLast week, the Environmental Protection Agency hosted hearings in Philadelphia, Chicago and Atlanta to hear public comments about their proposal to reduce mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants. If finalized, these health protections will reduce mercury and acid gas emissions by 91 percent, reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 55 percent, and capture toxic chemicals like arsenic and hexavalent chromium.

Where will this toxic soup of pollution end up? Unfortunately, in the toxic coal ash that has already poisoned more than 130 sites across the country. If the EPA doesn’t finalize a Subtitle C coal ash standard, which would designate coal ash a hazardous waste, with a timeline that coincides with cleaning up smokestacks, we’ll see an increased quantity and toxicity of the ash that will pose an even more egregious threat to public health.

During their testimony last week, many community members who live in the shadows of coal-fired power plants pointed out that controlling power plant air emissions is only a partial fix to protecting people from the toxic pollution produced when burning coal. They live beneath the smokestacks and next to the coal ash dumps. Though the air standard will do wonders to improve air quality in the U.S., without Subtitle C regulation of coal ash, all that toxic gunk collected from the smokestacks will end up in our bodies through contaminated water and breathing in fugitive dust from improperly regulated coal ash disposal sites.

The EPA has done an excellent job calculating the health benefits of controlling air pollution from power plants, which include the following reductions.

In 2016, these proposed rules would avoid:

    6,800 – 17,000 premature deaths,
    4,500 cases of chronic bronchitis,
    11,000 nonfatal heart attacks,
    12,200 hospital and emergency room visits,
    11,000 cases of acute bronchitis,
    220,000 cases of respiratory symptoms,
    850,000 days when people miss work,
    120,000 cases of aggravated asthma, and
    5.1 million days when people must restrict their activities

The impacts of more toxic ash, however, have not been assessed.  Transferring toxics like mercury from one waste stream to another doesn’t reduce pollution, it simply changes the pathways that impact communities across the country. And in the case of coal ash, where there aren’t the same types of science-based health projections available, all we know is that there will be more toxic ash to further plague already burdened communities. This means more coal ash-related illnesses, like cancer, developmental disorders, reproductive damage, and internal organ problems, until we clean up this dangerous waste stream.

To truly fulfill the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency—to protect human health and the environment—the agency must finalize the power plant air toxics rule AND a Subtitle C coal ash rule.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Goals and Work Plan for the Global Warming and Environment IOT in Tucson

The PDA IOT on Global Warming and the Environment in Tucson, Arizona seeks to educate, advocate politically and for the environment and work with others within a coalition of organizations in our community to pursue the goals of addressing climate change and assaults on our environment.  These are our working objectives and specific areas of emphasis.   Please consider joining our team and choose the areas of work that you might be most interested in pursuing.  It takes our village to make the changes!  Meanwhile, check out this excellent 5 minute video on the cause of our problems!

1. Develop internal IOT Group education  
   A. Guest speaker on Arizona Corporation Commission's work and issues
   B. Tour of Tucson's coal burning electric power plant
   C. Provide materials: coal, clean air, nuclear power, solar energy, global warming
   D. Offer guest speaker on GW in the SW from UA for General PDA meeting
   E. Offer film series on GW and environmental, energy issues

2. Offer community and school education
   A. Identify materials and projects already in the community and collaborate
   B. Develop educational new tools on energy problems and solutions
   C. Organize volunteer corps of educators on GW and Energy concerns
   D. Prepare "Connect the Dots" presentation on Hidden Costs of Energy

3. Support Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
   A. Participate in City of Tucson's CC Committee as members or observers
   B. Advocate for adoption of the CC Plan for City of Tucson by City Council
   C. Offer education and outreach about the CC Plan

4. Support Energy Efficiency Advocacy
   A. Support work of the Metropolitan Energy Commission on Energy Efficiency
   B. Help organize Energy Efficiency training workshops in our community

5.  Participate in Clean Air Act Advocacy
   A. Participate in on line political action alerts
   B. Participate in the 50 States United Lobbying in Washington DC
   C. Recruit others in the community to participate

6. Advocacy for Solar Power in Arizona 
   A. Participate in on line political action alerts supporting solar power
   B. Participate in local Solar 101 Workshops
   C. Recruit others in the community to participate

7. Advocate for regulation of energy waste/emmissions
    A. Participate in on line political action alerts  
    B. Participate in workshops on environmental ethics of coal waste
    C. Recruit others in the community to participate

8.  Work with Local Coalition Partners on Related Issues
    A. Respond to pollution action alerts by Audubon Society, Sierra Club
    B. Attend Tbreaks at the Audubon Society - re. environmental issues
    C. Support Hiroshima Day nuclear power protest - Nuclear Resister
    D. Attend WILPF/ASEH co-sponsored workshop on environmental ethics
    E. Testify on behalf of clean air for AZ Passenger Rail Plan for PIRG
    F. Participate in the Peace Fair organized by the Peace Center
    G. Work with Earth Justice: advocate for Clean Air and Coal Emissions control 
    H. Support the Tucson Metropolitan Energy Commission on Energy Efficiency
     I. Work with to "Connect the Dots" on energy.

9.  Support National PDA Connections and Advocacy 
   A. Participate in National PDA's monthly GW-IOT Conference calls
   B. Advocacy to oppose or strictly regulate hydrofracking for natural gas

10.  Offer Southern Arizona Workshop on Environmental Justice
   A. Organize community and UA based environmental groups to participate
   B. Plan workshop with AZ Rise and others
   C. Bring film producer and advocates for environmental justice to present
       Films: Return of Navajo Boy and Power Paths
Stop Global Warming/Environmental Issue Organizing Team

No issue reveals more clearly the flaws of the U.S. political-economic system than global warming-the dominance of greed and corporate power over the public good, the nearsighted focus on the short term over the welfare of future generations. The corporate-backed drive in support of the status quo-carbon-based energy-is causing irreparable harm as seen in the ongoing degradation to the Appalachian Mountains by mountain-top coal mining, toxic hydro-fracturing (fracking) processes in Pennsylvania and New York, and oil shale mining throughout the Midwest and West. The burning of carbon-based fuels has led to rising sea levels, melting glaciers, more violent storms, and drought.

The public is ready to act to save the planet and to protect our remaining wild places from further degradation in the pursuit of oil.

PDA calls on the Democrats in Congress to lead boldly in reducing our country’s oil dependence and use of fossil fuels by placing a price on carbon that reflects its true costs to society. We call on Congress to establish a Carbon Tax to level the playing field for new technologies, returning the revenue to American households to offset the increase in prices. Congress should make investments in public transportation, energy conservation technologies, and alternative energy development to help transition the U.S. to a new green economy and also create good jobs.

Review of Projects on Work Plan