A Just and Fair Transition to Fossil Freedom
KEENE, NH – Hundreds attended the public rally to support a just and fair transition to renewable energy at Keene’s Central Square on Saturday, September 8th in conjunction with hundreds of others and just days before New Hampshire’s primary day.
With New Hampshire’s 18 days of 90 degree temperatures so far this summer, the temperature trends of a changing climate keep getting worse every year and for people at the NH Rise for Climate Jobs and Justice Rally in Keene, NH we have reached the boiling point. We are demanding a just and fair transition for all in New Hampshire to enjoy the benefits of clean energy with safe jobs, protected wildlife, efficient housing, healthy air, and a better future than what we inherited from our elders.
An hour of speakers at Central Square was followed by an afternoon with local favorite Murphy’s Blues Band at Railroad Square setting the mood for a speakers’ tent and information tables. Ice cream and treats were provided by sponsors Stonyfield Farms and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream – businesses that have taken the movement to their factory floors and business principals.
With only days before the primary election, political actions were top priority. People called their elected officials about the popular net metering bill, SB446, that will be in the NH State House on veto day next week. Pledges to vote in November, voter registration, clean car standards, immigration protections, and Indigenous People’s Day discussions popped up at the ready.
The rally and afternoon included NH Sierra Club, The Monadnock Progressive Alliance, Harris Center for Conservation Education, Moms Clean Air Force, League of Conservation Voters, Clean Energy Team, Monadnock Progressive Alliance, The Sustainability Project, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, League of Women Voters-Peterborough Plus, Monadnock Sustainability Network, Twin States Animal Liberation, NH Plastic Pollution Alliance, Conducive, ECHO Action NH, Elm City Compost Initiative, Union of Concerned Scientists, Keene Immigrant and Refugee Partnership, Walker Cellar Works, Cowasuck Band of Pennacook-Abenaki People, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 490, Stonyfield Yogurt, and Ben&Jerry’s Ice Cream.
Quotations from speakers, supporters and rally goers:
Conor T. Hill, Keene High School Senior Class President and KHS Sierra Student Coalition President
“Eric Houlthaus wrote in an article in Grist about how every action has meaning in the age of the climate crisis. We have to take his advice, and not despair, but embrace our responsibility to mature as a society and combat climate change with our hopes, fears, laughter, and art. We all must roll up our sleeves and mobilize, each and every day, to demand justice for our children and communities. It’s time that we take care of one another. The future is bright, my friends, and the path to that future is lit not only by the power of solar panels and wind turbines, but by the light of the human heart. ”
Bob King, President, Ashuelot River Hydro Inc.
The best way to increase small hydro’s percentage of the New Hampshire energy pie is to reduce the overall size of the pie. Then hydro becomes a larger slice. This is accomplished through aggressive energy efficiency and deep conservation. A countervailing, though positive, force is the adoption of electric vehicles, which will drive up electricity consumption. Recognizing the importance of electric vehicles to a clean energy future, our small hydro plants already include charging stations. More electric vehicles charging directly from hydro and solar means fewer financial losses and heightened awareness of where one’s electricity comes from. Once the software is in place, these same electric vehicles will help shave system peaks and enhance the value of renewables of all kinds.”
Julie Mudd, Tesla
In the beginning the TESLA companies worked tirelessly to ‘Accelerate the worlds transition to sustainable transportation!” Now that we have successfully changed the trajectory of the auto industry with an innovative collection of vehicles leading the way in all areas electric and sustainability and luxury! We now focus our efforts on helping to ‘Accelerate the worlds transition to sustainable ENERGY!’
We deserve the ability to control our EVER RISING energy costs, to protect ourselves with predictability and sustainability. With Solar power and net metering, one home with a Tesla eco system powered by the sun can help fuel your entire neighborhood on Solar Power! Take back our power and our control! The more we demand options to these ever growing utilities the faster sustainability can spread!
Rev. Elsa Worth, Saint James Episcopal Church in Keene
I am here today to speak of the spiritual beauty of creation. Of the peace that we have all experienced in nature, in the laughter of children, in the love between friends and family, and in the midst of a loving, respectful community. And I am also here to lament the damage to creation that has been caused by our wasteful and unspiritual disrespect of nature, children, persons, community – which is none other than our wasteful and unspiritual disrespect of God.
Andrea Polizos, The Mondanock Progressive Alliance
The Monadnock Progressive Alliance is proud to join our grassroots actions with the NH Sierra Club and other organizations across the state to bring the NH Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice Rally to Keene! United actions demonstrate strength and resiliency in the fight for Justice and Democracy!
Catherine M. Corkery, NH Sierra Club, Chapter Director
New Hampshire is witnessing the changing climate with the demise of the moose population and extreme heat this summer. New Hampshire is ready for the just and fair transition to clean energy for all. Solutions abound – energy efficiency measures, distributed energy sources like small scale hydro, solar, and wind energy, and energy conservation – that are supported by science. This is the election to vote for protecting our future by supporting climate solutions together and make progress.
Marge Shepardson, Citizen’s Climate Lobby
Citizen’s Climate Lobby is working to implement a carbon fee and dividend plan as the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change. The goal is to create the political will for a livable world.
BJ Wahl, Twin States Animal Liberation, a grassroots NH/VT animal rights group, highlighted the environmental degradation caused by the meat, dairy, and fishing industries, especially in regards to climate change.
“Going vegan is the single biggest way to reduce your carbon footprint, by as much as 75 percent. This not only helps the planet and the animals, but studies show a plant based diet is far better for humans too and can reverse and eliminate many diseases.”
Doug Walker, Walker Cellar Works of Harrisville
“Walker Cellar Works is passionate about preserving our existing homes and protecting this beautiful planet. I’m excited to have this opportunity to educate people about our process at this event.”
John Kondos, The Monadnock Energy Hub,
We’re at this rally in support of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco 9/13-15 because the Monadnock Energy Hub focuses on effective actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and improve energy security and resilience throughout our communities.
MORE EVENTS to celebrate and envision a clean energy future:
Sunday, September 9, 2018: Electric Car Expo at the New London Historical Society in New London from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, September 9, 2018: Portsmouth Electric Vehicle Show at Portsmouth City Hall/Police Dept. Lower Parking Lot, Portsmouth from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Monday, September 10, 2018: Movie showing “Burned: Will Trees be the Next Coal?” at Red River Theatre in Downtown Concord at 7 p.m. with a expert panel discussion. Cost: $10
Wednesday, September 12, 2018: Movie showing of “Reinventing Power – America’s Renewable Energy Boom” from the Sierra Club followed by a panel discussion Keene State College’s Centennial Hall in the Alumni Center at 7 p.m.
Thursday, September 13, 2018: Granite State Electrical Coop hosts the Plymouth Electric Car Day at the Common Man Inn in Plymouth from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday, September 15, 2018: The Monadnock Energy Hub is hosting the Monadnock Drive Electric Expo at Keene Ice Arena, 380 Marlborough St. Keene, NH from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday, September 16, 2018: National Drive Electric Car Show at the Exeter Town Hall Parking Lot (& bandstand) from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Visit http://www.driveelectricweek.org for details.