Category Archives: Environment

This is going to take more than windmills: Addressing Trauma at the UN Climate Summit

Climate activists from around the world converged on New York City during the United Nations Climate Summit in September, 2019, and I was lucky enough to be invited to contribute to this historic moment. There were scientists, lawyers, architects and … Continue reading

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University and High School Students Collaborate to Host September 20th Climate Strike

Between September 20 and 27, over 6000 protests took place in 185 countries as part of the Global Week for Future. Students walked out of classes, workers went on strike, and millions gathered to demand climate justice and take action … Continue reading

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After Statewide Coal Ash Victory, the Fight for the Middle Fork Continues

Protecting the integrity of our natural resources requires multigenerational vigilance, perseverance and dedication. Successes are rarely quick and easy, and generally only mark milestones in an unending quest to preserve what we hold dear. Such is the story of the … Continue reading

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Faith in Place: Twenty Years Protecting the Earth and All Who Depend on It

At the dedication of a community garden, in a smallish county seat, I met Robyn, whose high school class had sown and nurtured the vegetable seedlings that we planted that day. She told me: “My special-needs students learn so much … Continue reading

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Unacceptable Levels—Our Body Burden, Our Planet Burden

Our planet is drowning in synthetic chemicals. Our bodies have become synthetic chemical processing plants. A 2005 Environmental Working Group study of umbilical cord blood revealed that babies are born already pre-polluted with over 200 industrial contaminates. Hundreds of the … Continue reading

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No Time to Wait: Let’s Make a Green New Deal!

As a series of intergovernmental panels and the March 15 global wave of student strikes remind us, the environmental crisis is no longer a thing of the future. It is our here and now, exacting a toll on the world’s … Continue reading

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Think Heliocentrically, Act Locally

“We are building solar at all scales.” Scott R. Tess, Urbana’s Environmental Sustainability Manager The Big Picture Solar power from photovoltaic (PV) panels has been around for a long time now, and the technology is definitely ready for prime time. Here, … Continue reading

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A New Option to Finance A Clean Energy Future for Everyone

While renewable energy technologies have made tremendous strides in recent decades, financing and investment options for those who want to go green have remained scarce. The Clean Energy Credit Union (CECU), chartered by the American Solar Energy Association in 2017, … Continue reading

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Air Pollution in Champaign-Urbana

By Jacquelyn Potter Why Should We be Concerned? Our most immediate necessity for life is breathing.  It’s the process of taking in life-giving substances and releasing metabolic by-products; therefore, clean air is vital for survival.  It’s only when substances are … Continue reading

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Ban Fracking in Illinois this Year

By Lois Kain Lois Kain lives in Urbana and is a member of Food and Water Watch and Sierra Club. Illinois has so far avoided the damages that inevitably result from horizontal, or directional, High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF), known … Continue reading

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Women and the Environment

By Jacquelyn Potter, Sierra Club Prairie Group About a month ago I had the “great” idea to write an article in honor of Women’s History Month about women in the environmental movement. I soon realized the futility of this. Writing … Continue reading

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A People’s Hearing: Bringing the Public’s Voice to The Middle Fork Coal Ash Decision

by Pam & Lan Richart, co-directors of Eco-Justice Collaborative Eco-Justice Collaborative is a Champaign-based non-profit that uses education, advocacy and action to address urgent environmental issues, while integrating its work with ongoing struggles for social and economic justice.     “If … Continue reading

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The Honduran Crisis: Not Quite Your Father’s Oligarchy…

By Janice Jayes At first glance the political crisis in Honduras seems depressingly familiar: a military coup against a left-leaning President in 2009, continued repression of opposition groups, and now a Presidential election so full of irregularities that demonstrators refuse … Continue reading

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Water as a Human Right

By Jacquelyn Potter Jacquelyn Potter has an MS in Biology and serves on the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club Prairie Group. Her environmental interests range from water and air quality issues to land and wildlife issues. Water is essential for … Continue reading

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“The End of Civilization As We Know It”

The Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association (with several co-sponsors) brought environmentalist Bill McKibben to speak at our annual conference in Chicago on June 24, 2017. It was a terrific presentation, and I will try to relay … Continue reading

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OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND, THE HIDDEN COSTS OF WAR

“War is a racket!” This was a famous quote from retired U.S. Marine Corp General Smedley Butler in 1934. Butler stated that “I spent 33 years in the Marine Corp, most of my time being a high-class muscle man for … Continue reading

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The Water Project: Examining our relationship with our most precious resource

Nancy Dietrich is a resident of Urbana who became an environmentalist because she likes to breathe clean air and drink clean water. “Destruction of water resources and of forest catchments and aquifers is a form of terrorism. Denying poor people … Continue reading

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Our Mahomet Aquifer

By Jacquelyn Potter, Sierra Club Prairie Group Jacquelyn Potter is on the Executive Committee of the local Sierra Club, where she is involved in activism with many issues, including water protection, and serves on the Mahomet Aquifer Model group. Water … Continue reading

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People’s Climate March: History & Views from the Local & D.C. Marches

By Members of Prairie Group of Sierra Club and Food & Water Watch Origins of the People’s Climate March By Alice Englebretsen Alice Englebretsen has been a member of the Sierra Club for many years, and originally got involved by … Continue reading

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TRUMP EMBRACES 19th CENTURY ENERGY PLAN WHILE THE REST OF THE WORLD LOOKS AHEAD

On June 1, 2017, President Trump made it official: the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. The 2015 Accord is an agreement among 195 countries to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change … Continue reading

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