Welcome to the
Environmental Advocacy Group
LWV of Washtenaw County
The Environmental Advocacy Group focuses on educating the public and advocating for protection of our environment and alleviating environmental injustice.
We welcome new participants!
Our Environmental Advocacy group also participates in the League's Statewide Environmental Network. All League members are welcome to our monthly presentation and discussion meetings generally held on the third Thursday of each month at 11:00am via Zoom
Information and Advocacy Topics include:
- Fighting climate change
- Federal, state and local government regulatory issues
- Protecting Michigan's natural resources
For more information, contact advocacy [at] lwvwashtenaw.org.
Clean energy, mobility, energy efficiency make progress in Michigan budget
Legislature inks budget that fights pollution, grows clean energy jobs, saves Michiganders money
LANSING, Mich. – A diverse group of non-profit organizations today highlighted the Michigan Legislature passed a 2023-2024 budget that makes investments in clean energy, transportation and weatherization of homes and small businesses. These investments will help create jobs, save consumers on their energy bills, protect public health, and address climate change. READ MORE
Event Date: September 21 2023 - 6:00pm
Event Location: On Zoom
YOUTUBE VIDEOS OF PAST ENVIRONMENTAL EVENTS
MICROPLASTICS IN THE GREAT LAKES: THE PROBLEM AND SOLUTIONS
LWVMI Environmental Network educational presentation on Microplastics in the Great Lakes: The Problem and Solutions
Presentation by Art Hirsch. Click HERE TO VIEW.
Art Hirsch is an environmental advocate focused on water quality issues affecting the State of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region. He is a former environmental engineering consultant with more than 35 years of water quality and environmental experience, including a strong background in plastics/microplastics, infrastructure sustainability, climate change-risk analysis, and water quality management. He participates as an environmental engineering advocate with several organizations including the Michigan Environmental Council, the Ecology Center, the Sierra Club, the Inland Ocean Coalition, Beyond Plastics and 5 Gyres
MICHIGAN’S FAILING SEPTIC SYSTEMS – THE PROBLEM AND SOLUTIONS
On April 26, 2023 Jennifer McKay of Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council gave an informative presentation on the problem and solutions to Michigan’s failing septic systems.
A link to the recording of the presentation is here. State House Bills 4479 and State Senate Bills 299-300 providing for regular inspections of septic systems are supported by LWVMI.
The video recording of the January 19, 2023 presentation by Peter Sinclair on CLIMATE CHANGE 2023: CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS is posted to the League of Women Voters Washtenaw YouTube channel here.
Peter Sinclair, who is based in Midland, Michigan has been involved with the Yale Climate Project for many years. Peter is a renowned videographer and speaker specializing in environmental and energy issues. He is recognized by the National Center for Science Education as a "Friend of the Planet".
Washtenaw County's Plan to Reach Carbon Neutrality by 2035
Washtenaw County has completed the Resilient Washtenaw Plan with actions for Washtenaw County's Climate Action Plan. The purpose of these actions are to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 for County operations, carbon neutrality by 2035 county-wide, and to prepare the county and its residents for the impacts of climate change through adaptation and resilience. The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners formally approved the Resilient Washtenaw Plan on December 7th. The plan is designed to bring the county to carbon neutrality by 2035 with 45 recommended actions. Read more about the Plan in this article from the Ann Arbor News.
You can sign up to get updates on the Plan here.
Resilient Washtenaw is designed to be a living document that will guide community goals and county operations for years to come.
GOOD NEWS! Congress Passes Inflation Reduction Act
Click here for the Bipartisan Policy Center's summary of key climate and environmental provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act. These provisions are estimated to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emission by 40% by 2030.
Another key provision of the Act clarifies the EPA's authority to use the Clean Air Act to fight greenhouse gas emissions, and use it's power to push the adoption of wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.
Join our Statewide Environmental Interest Group to share information, resources and issues affecting all of Michigan, from PFAS to oil spills, to lake erosion, to alternative energy systems. Contact: Advocacy [at] LWVWashtenaw.org.
We all need to work together NOW to reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- so our world will be a livable place for us, our children and our grandchildren. Details on the Resolution and Action steps below.
Remember, there is no Planet B!
What can WE do about our Climate Emergency?
To beat climate change, we need engagement at all levels:
- Local leagues
- Local governments
- All of us!
- We work with Washtenaw County Governments – townships and cities - to adopt and implement Climate Action Plans.
Click here to view 10 Actions and 10 Processes for local governments
We make educational presentations
As part of our environmental advocacy, we partner with the LWV Programs Committee to present educational programs to our members and the public on climate action and environmental justice topics. We can present to your organization! Contact us at Advocacy [at] LWVwashtenaw.org.
Resources on Environment Advocacy
Carbon Pricing and Alternatives. October 13, 2021. Views & Brews. Mary Garton of the Ann Arbor Chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby presents on the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Missy Stutz of A2Zero will join us for a local perspective.
Renewable Energy/Wind/Solar and Effects on Farmland. October 22, 2021. Lunch & Learn. M. Charles Gould MSU Extension, Bioenergy Educator discusses the impact of building solar farms on land presently used for agriculture in "Understanding Solar Development on Farmland at a Utility and Residential Scale.
"Environmental Justice Part 1. November 10, 2021. Views and Brews. Dr. Kyle Whyte, Professor of Environment and Sustainability at UM speaking on “Environmental Justice and Federal Policy.”
Environmental Justice Part II. November 19, 2021. Lunch and Learn. Dr. Gavin Edwards speaking on “Detroit’s Most Polluted Zip Code: History, Science and Environmental Justice.”
Up-Cycling: the New Recycling: Waste Management issues. December 8, 2021 Views and Brews 7pm.
Protecting our Watershed: Keeping our Rivers Clean and Healthy. December 17, 2021. Lunch and Learn. Speakers Kris Olsson and Janet Kahan of Huron River Watershed Council join a panel along with Diana Kern of Legacy Land Conservancy. They discuss the importance of protecting our watershed and the benefits that conserving land provide to our watersheds.
Climate Emergency Resolution - LWV-WC
The Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Washtenaw County, following the lead of LWVMI, recognizes the importance of getting climate change under control while we still can. On March 28, 2022, the LWV-WC adopted a Climate Emergency Resolution.
The Resolution adopts as LWV-WC priorities:
- Advocating for solutions to climate change that limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2050
- Working to fix the adverse effects of climate change on disadvantaged communities.
How Will We Put the Resolution Into Action? We have Climate Tool Kits to:
- Advocate with local governments to adopt their own Climate Emergency Resolutions
- Educate League members and Michigan residents about our climate emergency
Please join this important effort!
Additional Climate Resources
Excerpt from presentation by Seth Darling of the Argonne National Laboratory:
We have 3 options for fighting climate change:
- Adaptation, or
To minimize suffering, we need to do a lot of mitigation and adaptation. Using more solar energy in place of fossil fuels is one of our best resources for this.
- Tom Skilling, WGN Chief Meteorologist
- Professor Donald Wuebbles, University of Illinois Climate Scientist & Coordinating Lead Author of 2007 Nobel Prize winning International Climate Assessments
- Seth Darling, Argonne Laboratory. Interim Chief Science & Technology Officer, Advanced Energy Technologies Directorate & University of Chicago Fellow
If you only have a few minutes please watch Seth Darling’s excellent presentation starting at minute 42.00.
Please contact Sandy Sorini Elser at advocacy [at] lwvwashtenaw.org to learn how YOU CAN make sure our future generations--our children and grandchildren-- will live on an earth that allows healthy and productive lives.