Social Justice Updates

19 February 2021

Do It Now for Climate Justice:
The Green Team calls your attention to critical, long overdue Massachusetts climate legislation #S9 that Governor Baker has just vetoed for the second time in six weeks, with amendments requested.  Here is the Sierra Club’s abridged summary of this legislation and their suggested script for a quick contact with your legislators.  Join the Green Team at their next monthly meeting at 7:00 pm on Thursday, March 11 to find out more about this important legislation.

Click here to ID your legislator:  https://malegislature.gov/search/findmylegislator

Background & context:                                                                                                           On January 3, 2021, House and Senate  overwhelmingly approved and sent the Climate Roadmap bill (S. 9 in the new 2021 legislative year) to Governor Baker’s desk for signature. The bill included important provisions, such as interim emissions goals for 2030, 2035, 2040, and 2045; codified environmental justice policies into law; and implemented a municipal net zero stretch building code. On February 7, Governor Baker vetoed the bill for the 2nd time in six weeks and requested the following changes:

 
  • The 2030 and 2040 emissions targets: S.9 calls for a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030 and a 75% reduction in emissions by 2040. Baker’s amendments would weaken these targets to 45% and 65% respectively.
  • The sector emissions sublimits: S.9 establishes sector sublimits for different sectors of the economy (electric power, transportation, heating, and cooling, etc). Governor Baker’s amendments would severely weaken the accountability power of these sublimits.
  • The net zero stretch building code: S.9 requires the state quickly move to develop a “net zero carbon building code” for new construction. Baker’s amendments would severely weaken this provision by removing the “net zero” definition, slow down the timeline for adoption, and make it easier for communities to opt-out.

The Governor also proposed many smaller edits to the bill.

Email Template

Dear [Rep/Senator],
 

I am thankful for the legislature’s leadership on climate and environmental justice issues this past year. It’s clear that addressing the climate crisis is a priority for the vast majority of legislators and that makes me proud to be a Massachusetts resident. 
 

I am writing today to ask you to request that [House/Senate] leadership move urgently to reject any of the Governor’s amendments to S.9 that would weaken the legislation . It is critical that the legislature preserves the following key provisions as originally passed:
 
  • The 2030 and 2040 emissions targets
  • The sector emissions sublimits
  • The net zero stretch building code

Climate science tells us we have only 9 years left to significantly address carbon emissions to escape the worst impacts of climate change. Please talk to your colleagues and ask them to bring the bill back for a floor vote as soon as possible with no amendments that weaken the bill.
 

Sincerely,
 
[Your Name]
 
[Your Town/City]
 

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 The Other King: The Radical Call to Genuine Equality, a MLK Day program sponsored by the Anti-Racism Working Group: if you missed this provocative event, view the program here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1CWSAVTZXF5GbQh7w75b3KO1j7ymjtnaU?usp=sharing

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EATING TO SAVE THE PLANET

INTRODUCTION                                                                                                       This excerpt from the book Drawdown, explains why it’s necessary to change our eating habits if we are committed to addressing global warming and saving our planet.

Plant-rich diets reduce emissions and also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease. According to a 2016 study, business-as-usual emissions could be reduced by as much as 70 percent through adopting a vegan diet and 63 percent for a vegetarian diet, which includes cheese, milk, and eggs. $1 trillion in annual health-care costs and lost productivity would be saved.

As Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh has said, making the transition to a plant-based diet may be the most effective way an individual can stop climate change.

For more information, check out the Project Drawdown website: https://drawdown.org/solutions/plant-rich-diets

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY RECIPES

Cinnamon Buns to make ahead of time

Ruebens start ahead of time but oh so worth it. I use caramelized red cabbage and onions instead of sauerkraut

Guacamole Salad (not exactly in season but quick and easy)

Magic Squares to satisfy a sweet tooth

Blueberry Scones with our without the glaze

Black Bean Tacos vegan sour cream is available in most grocery stores now or make your own

Easy Vegan Lunches you can make in 15 minutes or less

Morrcan Stew easy, yummy and satisfying