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Need To Know News
Climate Change Clarity
Thinking Through the Solutions
Our One and Only Planet
Policies & Politics

Sally Ranny moderator and keynote speaker



The climate change lawsuit that could stop the U.S. government from supporting fossil fuels

By STEVE KROFT 60 Minutes March 3, 2019

Of all the cases working their way through the federal court system none is more interesting or potentially more life changing than Juliana v. United States. To quote one federal judge, "This is no ordinary lawsuit." It was filed back in 2015 on behalf of a group of kids who are trying to get the courts to block the U.S. government from continuing the use of fossil fuels. They say it's causing climate change, endangering their future and violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property. When the lawsuit began hardly anyone took it seriously, including the government's lawyers, who have since watched the Supreme Court reject two of their motions to delay or dismiss the case. Four years in, it is still very much alive, in part because the plaintiffs have amassed a body of evidence that will surprise even the skeptics and have forced the government to admit that the crisis is real.

The case was born here in Eugene, Oregon, a tree-hugger's paradise, and one of the cradles of environmental activism in the United States. The lead plaintiff, University of Oregon student Kelsey Juliana, was only five weeks old when her parents took her to her first rally to protect spotted owls. Today, her main concern is climate change, drought and the growing threat of wildfires in the surrounding Cascade Mountains.

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Need to Know News

Is Anyone Listening?

Reports, reports, reports. They’re being issued everywhere at the moment. But is anyone actually listening? Given that emissions are set to rise by around 3% this year, despite the dire warnings of global climate collapse, it appears not.

Perhaps the world’s politicians will surprise us all at COP, currently taking place in a city built on coal, and start making active policy changes that actually make a difference. Watch out next week for Max Hall’s blog on pv magazine, live from Katowice.

This week, IRENA issued a report on the role solar can play in firing the energy transition up to 2050, in time for the G20’s Energy Transition Working Group. But whether headline-grabbing soundbites such as the estimate PV investment can create more than twice as many jobs per unit of electricity generated than coal or natural gas, or that women make up 10-15% more of the renewable energy labor force than are represented in the conventional energy sector, remains to be seen.

As the introduction to the report explains, not only was the study not passed to the energy ministers of the global group’s member states, but “it does not necessarily reflect the G20 membership’s national or collective views”.

A new Wood Mackenzie report shows U.S. energy storage deployments tripling in capacity during Q3 ’18 versus last year’s volume. It also notes that the future pipeline growth rate doubled versus prior quarters to reach 33 GW of future projects.

number of recent manufacturing and investment plans in China, Germany and North America by major automobile makers VW, Tesla and BYD are backing up reports that electric vehicle car sales are set to skyrocket in the coming decades.

Another report analyzing the world’s largest lithium-ion battery’s performance in the first year of operation shows the Hornsdale Power Reserve has delivered on the high expectations of its performance and market impact. Overall, South Australia’s Tesla big battery has been shown to save $40 million in grid stabilization costs.


Climate Change Clarity

Greenland Melting Is ‘Off the Charts’

By: ECOWATCH Olivia Rosane Dec. 06, 2018 09:30AM EST

The first continuous, multi-century study of surface melt from the Greenland ice sheet was published in Nature Wednesday, and the results are clear: the ice sheet is now melting at rates unseen within at least the last 350 years.

"Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet has gone into overdrive. As a result, Greenland melt is adding to sea level more than any time during the last three and a half centuries, if not thousands of years," lead study author and Rowan University School of Earth & Environment glaciologist Luke Trusel said in a press release from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), one of the institutions involved in the research.

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Thinking through the Solutions

Can Mushrooms Save The Honeybee & Our Food Supply?
By Host Defense Organic Mushrooms on April 21, 2016

James Dills and Paul Stamets at the Ashland Food Co-op, Ashland, OR, in front of their “Give Bees A Chance” endcap display.

Not so long ago our forests had huge amounts of wood debris decomposing from mycelium—a natural process for creating soil that also sustains a healthy habitat for insects, birds, bats, bees and mammals. Unfortunately, that wood debris is now being eliminated from the forests through our current logging practices and we are rapidly losing the habitat that sustains the balance of this eco-system. So what do organisms and species like the honeybee that have depended on this eco-system for millions of years do?

“I study mycology and the use of fungi to help clean up the environment, and improve the immune systems of humans and animals…and I began to think: we’ve gone to the moon, we’ve gone to Mars, and we don’t know the way of the bee? I believe I can do something 
to help the bees…” –Paul Stamets, D.Sc., mycologist, author, TED speaker, passionate innovator, and founder Host Defense Organic Mushrooms.

In his 2015 Bioneers presentation, Paul Stamets revealed the interconnectedness between bears, trees, mushrooms and bees. This series of connections may have led to an incredible discovery for the survival of the honeybee.  

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One and Only Planet

Landmark Youth Climate Lawsuit Heads to
Federal Appeals Court

By: Our Children's Trust Nov. 17, 2017 12:22PM EST


There has been a significant development in the constitutional climate change lawsuit so far successfully prosecuted by 21 youth plaintiffs: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has decided to hear oral argument over whether the Trump administration can evade trial currently set for Feb. 5, 2018. Oral arguments will be heard before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Dec. 11 and can be watched on a live stream beginning at 10 a.m. PST.

The subject of oral arguments will be the Trump administration's extraordinary mandamus petition filed in June, which seeks the Ninth Circuit's review of U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken's 2016 denial of motions to dismiss in Juliana v. United States. In their petition, Trump, et al., claim irreparable harm for having to participate in the ordinary pre-trial discovery process and go to trial. The next step in the case would ordinarily be for the Trump administration to face the youth and their scientific evidence at trial, and then later appeal an adverse ruling after a final judgement in the case.

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Policies & Politics

Will the Left go too far?

By PETER BEINART The Atlantic December 2018 Issue

For the third time in a century, leftists are driving the Democratic Party’s agenda. Will they succeed in making America more equitable, or overplay their hand?

If you gauge the climate inside the Democratic Party merely by which candidates won its 2018 primaries, you might think reports of its leftward lurch are exaggerated. Despite the hoopla about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s and Ayanna Pressley’s upset victories in congressional races in New York and Massachusetts, not a single incumbent Democratic governor or senator lost a primary to a left-leaning challenger.

But who wins an election is often less important than who sets the agenda. And ideologically, the Democratic Party has veered so sharply that “establishment” or “centrist” Democrats now frequently support larger expansions of government, and more vehemently scorn Big Business and Big Finance, than most liberal Democrats did a few years ago. In 2016, Hillary Clinton said a single-payer health-care system “will never, ever come to pass.” In 2017, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, by some measures the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, said the idea “should be explored.” During the 2013–14 election cycle, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey received more money from Wall Street than any other member of Congress. This February, he announced that he would no longer accept donations from corporate political-action committees.

For the first time in more than 40 years, the left is shaping the Democratic Party’s identity. At a time when the terms liberal, progressive, and leftist are often used interchangeably, it’s worth clarifying what these terms mean. In America, what distinguishes leftists from liberals and progressives—as well as conservatives—is their commitment to radical equality. Leftists are more likely than liberals to argue that economic inequality renders America’s constitutional liberties hollow. They’re more likely to look abroad—to the Soviet Union or Cuba in past eras, and to Scandinavia today—for alternatives to America’s political and economic models. They’re more skeptical of credentialed experts who define the limits of acceptable change. And, perhaps most important, they’re more willing to challenge entrenched norms of fair play to forge a more equal country.

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Featured Work

11th ANNUAL AREDAY SUMMIT, Aspen, CO August 2014

Featured President Jimmy Carter, Ted Turner, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Amory Lovins and more to promote the rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies via demonstrations, presentations, performances, film screenings and dialogue.


Sally interviewing President Jimmy Carter



WECAN engages women grassroots activists, Indigenous and business leaders, scientists, policy makers, farmers, academics and culture-shapers in collaboration. Our goal is to stop the escalation of climate change and environmental and community degradation, while accelerating the implementation of sustainability solutions through women’s empowerment, partnerships, hands-on trainings, advocacy campaigns, and political, economic, social and environmental action.

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Sally Ranney on "Grow Up, Stand Up, Speak Up"


Important Links to Check Out

AREI/AREDAY - American Renewable Energy Institute

A Matter of Degree - Climate Conversations with Sally Ranney

WECAN - Women's Earth & Climate Action Network, Int'l

IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature

CAI - Climate Accountability Institute

Lighthawk - Lighthawk Flies for Conservation

Laura Turner Seydel - Creating a Sustainable and Healthy Future for our Children


Favorite Quote

"It always seems impossible until it is done."
- Nelson Mandela



Sally's Music and Art

Sally Ranney album cover - Love is Where you are Album Cover

Love is Where You Are

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Sally Ranney painting in Patagonia

Painting in the field in Argentina

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