Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Climate Change Hits Home

Check out this Letter to the Editor in the Missoula Independent written by a University of Montana Climate Action Now! member.  See the letter here: Climate Change Hits Home or read below:

Climate Change Hits Home
Posted on Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 3:19 PM

I strongly urge both Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester to support the Kerry-Boxer climate bill with the current provision to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 2005 emission levels by 2020. Climate change is a well-researched phenomenon with the support of America's and the world's scientific community. It is a mistake for Americans to turn our backs on our scientists at a time when a discovery such as global climate change is already impacting America and Montana.

The most salient examples of global climate change in Montana are the melting glaciers in Glacier National Park and reductions in annual snow pack and stream flow throughout the state. At least 10 million tourists visited Montana in 2008 and spent approximately $2.8 billion dollars supporting about 48,000 or 10 percent of the jobs in Montana. Many of these visitors come to Montana to enjoy activities such as skiing, fishing and sight-seeing, all of which will be severely hindered by a loss of glaciers, snow pack and stream flow.

Who will want to visit Glacier National Park when it has no glaciers? Who will ski on bare mountains? Who will fish in dry streams?

Losing Montana's natural beauty will destroy a huge part of Montana's tourism industry and cause the Treasure State to hemorrhage jobs. Supporting strong science-based climate legislation like the Kerry-Boxer climate bill will preserve our tourism jobs and keep Montana a beautiful place for generations.

Thomas Bassett


Friday, November 20, 2009

Facebook Exchange with Politically Apathetic Person

Check out this conversation with a politically apathetic person.  Have conversations like this with your friends and encourage them to get involved in the politics of change in the United States of Amercia!

Thomas Bassett

Such dismal comments about the condition of the US senate. Don't be sad! Get active! Tell them what you think! Participate in your democracy. They actually listen!

Person’s Reply

They actually listen to the big corporations and the banks and the pharmacutical companies that fund their campaigns and by them fancy dinners and good liqour. Then they say a lot of crap to everyone else. Watching the senate is a complete waste of time, unless of course the revolution has happened and you're planning the best approach to storm its defenses and dispurse the criminality occuring therein.

Thomas Bassett

Have you ever spoken to a Senator? They do listen and corporations are powerful, but then lobby to take corporate power away. Such as lobbying to remove the status of corporations as "artificial persons". Your dismal attitude is what allowed corporations to gain power in the first place. Don't justify your laziness with apathy.

Emily White


Person’s Reply

I waited tables on the Senators at the DNC in the most expensive restaurant in Denver where they ate raw oysters and king crab and top shelf liqour and for dessert had chocolate with small slivers of silver over them. 3 flat screen TVs displayed corporate logos of the banks that paid for the event all night while two more showed msn bc. I still ... Read Morehave a giant kinkos banner I stole from the event that had all these banks' names on it and oh yes there was live music. All this while their candidate talks about the working man and woman and how they feel our pain.

All those people are completely full of crap, liars, war funders... Sure they listen. They listen politely and then once you leave they go right on representing the corporations like they always have.

My attitude is not dissmissive or apathetic. Nor am I lazy. All I am saying is that power concedes nothing without a demand, and polite words and patience for powerful oligarghs have never gotten us anything.

Thomas Bassett

Power concedes nothing without a demand...exactly! SO DEMAND CHANGE! Trying to dismiss grassroots lobbying efforts as "polite words and patience" is just more apathy.

I've seen Senators and House members getting hit-up by corporate lobbyists as well. It doesn't mean you can't effect change at the national level. You have to fight to win, giving up will never get you anywhere.

Person’s Reply

I also lived in DC for 5 years... and I remember the HRC dismantling the gay marriage movement in 2004 so as not to embarrass john kerry for his lack of enthusiasm for his voters' human rights.... as well as the feminist organizations inviting war criminals Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright to their "emergency march for women's lives".

The DC... Read More lobby groups are holes in the water that people throw money into to feel better about themselves. No one votes on these groups' politics or their platform and their directors and head honchos get fat salaries regardless of their performance. The unions give democrats 10's of millions every election and what do they get? Not a damn thing. Congress gives themselves a wage every year but took 12 years to raise minimum by a BUCK!

I think if any real change happens it will be because americans outside the belt way are generally revolting. Leaving politics to professional insiders and the masses to silent toil amid oppression is a pretty pathetic state of affairs.

Thomas Bassett

Trying to dismiss grassroots lobbying efforts as "polite words and patience" is just more apathy. I repeat Grassroots. Don't donate money. DO SOMETHING. Calling campaigns, write a letter, write a letter to your newspaper, an Op-Ed piece, start something, do direct action, sit-ins, protests, parades, marches, blogs, tweets, be involved and encourage others to be involved. It's the only way the people will be heard. THIS IS THE REVOLUTION! It's a dogfight, we win some, we lose some, but we must fight!

Person’s Reply


Emily White

Yay Mr. Bassett!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Climate Action Plan Announcements

UMCAN and Mont PIRG Climate Action Plan comment meeting.
  • December 1st, Tuesday 5 pm UC Alumni Boardroom 329
2020 Vision has been a huge help in keeping UMCAN and other student groups interested in climate change informed about the Climate Action Plan.  Be sure to thank them the next time you see a member!

2020 Vision ideas for UMCAN and Mont PIRG members at the meeting:
  1. Access the draft plan at www.umt.edu/greeningum 
  2. Submit comments to asum.sustain@mso.umt.edu (Erica Bloom) or cherie.peacock@umontana.edu
  3. Propose an aggressive deadline (i.e. 2020) This is important in order for momentum to be maintained as the plan is implemented and to keep pressure on the University to continue to allocate time, effort, and resources to reduce carbon emissions into the future.
Contact 2020 Vision  at: whitney.byrd@umontana.edu
2020 Vision is a group of EVST graduate students who are advocating for UM to commit to carbon neutrality by 2020.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

UM Climate Action Now! article in the Kaiman

DSC08977Big news today!

UMCAN was in the Kaiman check out the article here! http://www.montanakaimin.com/index.php/outdoors/outdoors_article/students_inspired_by_climate_change_conference/4310

The article was even trending on Twitter! We didn't even start the trend! Twitter picked us up immediately! Totally Cool! Check out the tweets here!  http://twitter.com/#search?q=umclimateaction

Big thanks to Kendra Higgins for sending out the press releases!  PowerShift West was the featured topic.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Internship and Funding Opportunities

1) Internship Forum:

Thursday, November 19
Spring Semester Climate Change Internship Opportunities – An open forum for students
5:00-6:00 pm, Main Hall, Room 210
Sponsored by the Climate Change Studies Program.
Students interested in doing a climate change-related internship next spring are welcome to attend this forum to learn about available opportunities and meet potential supervisors. Details will soon be provided on the CCS website for students who cannot make it to the forum.

2) That there are funds available for students for internships and research, $500-$2500, and up to $12,500 or more total. See attached. Applications are due December 1st, and must demonstrate connection to public policy in the US.

Student Funding Available
for Internships and Research in the Areas of Public Policy and Leadership

Application Deadline: December 1, 2009

The Public Policy and Leadership Initiative of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center is pleased to offer internship and research awards in the areas of public policy and leadership to both undergraduate and graduate students in amounts ranging from $500-$2,500.

The Public Policy and Leadership Initiative fosters civic responsibility in future leaders and furthers civil dialogue on domestic policy considerations. The program emphasizes the global nature of responsible decision-making; the ethical imperatives of leadership; and the skills necessary for careful policy analysis and development.

Priority will be given toward applications in the areas of representation and public discourse, low‑income or under-represented populations, and the environment, though awards will not be solely limited to these areas.

Grants will be awarded for use by both undergraduate and graduate students in Winter, Spring, and Summer 2010, for completion no later than July 31, 2010. Applications are due in the Mansfield Center by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, December 1, 2009. Depending upon the needs of the Fall applicant pool, a second round of awards may be announced in Spring 2010 for Summer 2010.

Grants will be made in two areas: internships and research.

Internships. Students must already have a specific internship in mind to which these funds would be applied (for example, an internship obtained through Internship Services, the Davidson Honors College, Missoula community partners, or personal contacts), though applicants may certainly consult with such UM departments as the Political Science Department, Environmental Studies, or the Mansfield Center on relevant opportunities.

Internship Application Criteria:
1. UM cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. Please submit an unofficial UM transcript.
2. Suitability of the student’s academic program for a public service or leadership internship, as indicated by successful coursework in relevant fields such as American government, politics, history, economics, environmental studies, education, social work, or other public policy issues, though students will also be considered from other disciplines.
3. Evidence of interest in public policy or leadership, as indicated by a one-page resume.
4. A concise essay (500 words maximum) specifically noting the internship to be pursued, addressing how the internship would advance the student’s academic program and career goals, particularly in the realm of public service, and stating the student’s current interest in a specific public policy issue.
5. Contact information for two UM faculty members who can provide references on behalf of the student.
Research Grants. Students must have sufficient background in the discipline of the major to conduct meaningful research and the ability to develop and carry out a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The student applicant must have the faculty mentor’s written agreement to work with the student. Each successful student applicant will be expected to submit research results to be made available via the Mansfield Center web site as a resource for the academic community as well as the broader public.

Research Grant Application Criteria:
1. UM cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. Please submit an unofficial UM transcript.
2. Suitability of the student’s academic program for a public policy or leadership research project, as indicated by successful coursework in relevant fields such as American government, politics, history, economics, environmental studies, education, social work, or other public policy issues, though students will also be considered from other disciplines.
3. Evidence of interest in public policy or leadership, as indicated by a one-page resume.
4. A one-page abstract of your proposal. This abstract should be a 250-word summary of your project and the methods involved. Design it to convince the reader-judge of the project’s merit.
5. Provide a prospectus of approximately five pages in which you give a description of your project, a plan of how you will organize your research, and a preliminary bibliography (if appropriate). The prospectus should indicate the number of hours of student work anticipated per week.
6. A budget page, showing estimated research expenses for books, material, equipment, and student travel.
7. One letter of support from your faculty project director(s) or mentor(s).

Please submit your application including cover sheet with contact information to: Deena Mansour, Project Manager, Mansfield Center, Mansfield Library Fourth Floor, The University of Montana. For more information, e-mail deena.mansour@mso.umt.edu or call 243-2713. Awardees will be contacted by December 14 and posted on www.umt.edu/mansfield.

Application coversheet will be posted on the forthcoming UMCAN website and linked to in the blog

Application Deadline: 5 pm on Tuesday, December 1
at The Mansfield Center, MLIB 4th floor.
Only complete applications will be accepted.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Import Dates and Times Nov. 16-20, 2009

  • Monday Nov. 16th, 9am-4pm- MONTpirg- lower tuition petition campaign- Meet at the bear statue in the oval.
  • Tuesday Nov. 17th, 3:00pm- Climate Action Plan Open House- UC Theater
  • Tuesday Nov. 17th, 7:00 pm- The Beehive Collective presents: Mountaintop Removal: The True Cost of Coal- North Urey Underground Lecture Hall
  • Tuesday Nov. 17th, 7:30 pm- Climate Countdown- Discussion on Global Cap and Trade at U of M- UC Ballroom, 3rd Floor
  • Wednesday Nov. 18, 8:00 pm- Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse- Speaker Dr. David Orr- UC North Ballrom
  • Thursday Nov. 19, 5:00 pm- Spring Semester Climate Change Internship Opportunities – An open forum for students- Main Hall, Room 210 (Note time conflict with the UMCAN club meeting)
  • Thursday Nov. 19, 6:00 pm- UMCAN Letter to the Editor letter writing session- UM FLAT
  • Monday Nov. 16th 10:00 am- Direct Action subcommittee meeting- Mansfield Library
  • Monday Nov. 16th 5:00 pm- Media subcommittee meeting- UC Source
  • Tuesday Nov. 17th 12:45 pm- Senator meetings subcommittee meeting- UC Source
  • Wednesday Nov. 18th 2 pm- Recycle Right! subcommittee meeting- UC 224
  • Thursday Nov. 19th 5 pm- UMCAN club meeting- UM FLAT

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sierra Club Doorhanger Event

The Sierra club is planning a doorhanger campaign to lobby Missoula citizens. We want citizens to lobby Max Baucus and John Tester and get them to support climate change legislation. The doorhangers will have Max Baucus and John Tester's numbers and encourage people to call and make climate change legislation a reality.

This is a great way to get leverage on your impact for climate change legislation. Rather than you making one phone call, get 30 people to make a phone call. Let Max Baucus and John Tester know where Montana stands!

This event is happening on Saturday!

The Sierra Club will be meeting at the Zootown Coffee and Brewshop at 10:30 in the morning on the 14th (my birthday whoop! whoop!). From there, they will be staging their doorhanger campaign. This is your chance to get the community involved!

Afterwords, the Sierra Club will provide Biga Pizza, pop, and beer. Nothing beats changing the world and having a nice buzz after its all over.

Let's hop to it UM CAN.

You guys are doing amazing work!

(posted by Thomas)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March 9, 2009 Meeting Minutes

Main Meeting:
• Whitney introduces new meeting format
- Position of “Facilitator” will be rotated among members for each meeting.
- The role of the Facilitator will be to set the meeting agenda as well as focus on the meeting organization.
- Facilitator for the March 16th meeting will be Brent Rowley.
- If there is something you would like to have on next week’s agenda, contact Brent at brent.rowley@gmail.com
• Individuals who went to Power Shift shared their experiences and explained the Power Shift Platform
- For more information about the Power Shift Platform, contact Martha Sample.
• Earth Day
- There was a brief discussion about the committee working on Earth Week. The committee is looking for volunteers!
- Earth Week is April 20-24, with Earth Day on April 22, 2009. Anybody interested in volunteering should contact Martha Sample or Derek Kanwischer.
• Lobbying during the US Congressional Recess
- UMCAN is going to request to meet with Montana's Congressional Representative and Senators during the Recess.
- Letters are going to be sent to all three Montana Congressmen requesting a meeting during the week of April 20-24. The Congressmen will be asked if they could meet at the University of Montana.
- A basic calendar for the mailings will be sent out with the emailed version of the minutes.

• Nick Stocks from Seeds For Peace came to the meeting and shared information about the organization he works with. They are planning a future campaign against certain actions carried out by Northwest Energy and PPL. Anyone who is interested can contact Nick at 208-240-3253
• Montana Conservation Voters are having a Lobby Day Training Session this Friday. Find more information at www.mtvoters.org
• Volunteers needed for the Revolving Energy Loan Fund (RELF) Campaign. Contact Sonny Kless if you are interested in helping out. You can also check out the website: www.umrelf.info