Dallas Sierra Club

Dallas Sierra Club News - April 2020


Dallas Sierra Club General Meeting via Zoom - Tuesday, April 14

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the April General Meeting at Brookhaven College has been cancelled.

ZOOMIn its place we are going to hold our April General Meeting via Zoom. Bear with us - this is a first as we try to adapt to current stay at home / social distancing / no public gatherings guidelines. We are also planning on using Zoom for our May and June meetings.

We'll start the meeting off at 6:30 with open Q&A / chat session while everyone gets on-line. We'll start the actual meeting at 7:00 with announcements, committee reports and a program.

So, here is what you need to do:

  • Phone - download the Zoom app (if you don't already have it) and on Tuesday, April 14, a bit before 6:30, open the app and enter the meeting id below.
  • Computer - a bit before 6:30 on Tuesday, April 14, click on the link below and follow the instructions.
  • Dial-in - call one of the numbers below. When prompted, enter the meeting id.

Here is the link for joining the meeting with a computer or tablet or phone browser:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/351513948

If you phone in you will be asked for the Meeting ID: 351 513 948

One tap mobile
+13462487799,,351513948# US (Houston)
+16699006833,,351513948# US (San Jose)

Or dial in:
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US


Message from the Chair about Our Response to the Pandemic

The response of your Dallas Sierra Club, with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, follows the guidance provided by National Sierra Club. We have cancelled or postponed all of our group activities including meetings, camping and back packing trips, service outings, and our picnic. The Executive Committee has met once using Zoom. The ExCom will continue to meet using Zoom. We are planning to try to hold a trial general meeting using Zoom in the near future. Stay tuned for more info on that.

The main source of revenue for the DSC is our Outings Program. Of course, we will take a hit on revenue because we have had to cancel all pending outings and provide refunds. We know that many of you may have taken a hit on your own personal revenues. Please check the information about North Texas Giving Tuesday Now. This program is an upcoming opportunity for Sierrans to donate to DSC or other charities of your choice. And, of course, you can always donate using the DONATE button on the right column of this web page.

Each individual Sierran should follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control regarding social distancing, use of masks, hand-washing, etc. Also, the shelter-in-place orders issued by your county and city should be followed to the best of your ability. Let's be part of the solution.

Please use good judgement to be safe and stay well. We need you!

Sincerely,
Dan Moulton
Chair, Executive Committee
Dallas Sierra Club


Earth Day's 50th Anniversary Goes Virtual

April 22nd will mark Earth Day's 50th Anniversary and the world was geared up to celebrate with huge climate actions and events planned in DFW and across the globe. However, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we'll be taking Earth Day to digital platforms. While we certainly will miss attending beloved Earth Day events, we want Earth Day online to be just as impactful and we've found plenty of options to help you celebrate virtually:

  • April 22 - 24 Earth Day Live 2020 - Sierra Club invites us to join three days of action -- from teach-ins, musical performances, divestment, and more. We'll come together to watch, discuss, and participate in a livestream featuring stories, performances, discussions, and opportunities for collective action around the themes of STRIKE, DIVEST, VOTE.
  • April 22 - 25 Earth Optimism Summit - Hosted by the Smithsonian, this digital event will feature speakers talking about both small and large scale environmental actions.
  • April 25, 1 - 4 pm Citizen's Climate Lobby -Uniting From Home - Hear from climate leaders like Katharine Hayhoe, learn about quick actions you can take, and get trained for climate activism.
  • All April Sierra Club Action Campaigns - Contribute to a Sierra Club campaign; It can be as easy as sending a tweet or letter to your representative.
  • All April Sierra Club Earth Day Resources - From buying a special edition Earth Day t-shirt to checking out tips on recycling, Sierra Club has laid out some great resources to help.
  • All April Earth Challenge 2020 - Join a Citizen Science project: all you need is your phone to gather information about your local environment on topics such as plastics or air quality to help advance important environmental research.
  • All April Earth Day Daily Challenge - Hosted by Earthday.org, complete 22 daily challenges to help you live a healthier, eco-friendly lifestyle.
  • All April Earth Day 50th Anniversary Virtual Run/Walk Challenge - Free virtual run/walk challenge to keep you active and outdoors while social distancing.

You can also use Earth Day as a time to make "environmental new year" resolutions for you and your family. Want to use less plastic, start an organic garden, or go zero-waste? Now's the time! As you take action online, remember to share posts/pictures with your friends, tag @DallasSierraClub, and use hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EarthRise to spread the word.


North Texas Giving Day Tuesday Now - A Special Response to COVID-19

North Texas Giving Day Tuesday NowOn Tuesday, May 5, Communities Foundation of Texas, the Dallas Cowboys and the United Way will host an emergency response day of giving, North Texas Giving Tuesday Now, to encourage donor support for nonprofit organizations reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch this space for more information and links.

COVID-19 can't cancel community. Or generosity. Or kindness.


City of Dallas Climate Action Plan

It is time to encourage your Dallas City Council members to pass CECAP soon.

Since January 2019 the City of Dallas Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability has been developing a Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan, with input from citizens at dozens of meetings in all parts of the city and with advice from a stakeholder advisory committee that includes several Sierra Club members who represent a wide variety of community and business interests.

In December Dr. Susan Alvarez from OEQS presented our general meeting program. Beginning in November, 2019, the new Environment and Sustainability Committee, chaired by Council Member Omar Narvaez, held public monthly meetings, available on video, to obtain a deep understanding of CECAP. In February 2020 The OEQS invited more public input on the draft CECAP in a month-long online forum. OEQS has revised CECAP, and is available to brief Council Members if needed. The plan provides for regular revision as technology and climate change impacts develop.

We in the Dallas Sierra Club conservation committee hope to see CECAP passed as soon as possible. One reason to pass the plan quickly is money. Cities with a climate action plan become eligible for funds through C40.org and other funders. Climate plan cities have group purchasing opportunities that can save money as well. In addition, some actions such as replacing lights with LEDs and converting fleets to electric vehicles are less expensive in the long run than retaining old lighting and vehicles. The comprehensive measures in the plan include emergency and food planning, particularly for low-income neighborhoods, to help the city better manage just such climate-related emergencies as the current epidemic, October's tornado swarm, and the 2017 floods and drought.

The original plan was to have CECAP ready for a Council vote on Earth Day, April 22, 2020. The schedule of the city council vote will depend on council members. but it is important that council members hear from their constituents that we want Dallas to become a Climate Plan city as soon as it can.


About the Southern Border Wall by John T. ''Doc'' Baker

The Border wall issue is a big one, from every standpoint. People who are in the know about the border are against the Wall. Even ground level Border Patrol people are against it. Upper level people have to be for it, or lose their jobs, I suppose.

The vast majority of illegal immigrants and narcotics are smuggled through Ports of Entry, not out there in the country where walls are being built. Walls are being built and land being taken away in places where there has never been a single documented case of drugs or humans ever coming through those places.

Since 1963, I have been going to the Rio Grande and Mexico regularly, sometimes spending six weeks a year along the Rio Grande. I was a River guide for twelve years, guiding over 2,000 politicians, senators, congressmen, legislators, TV people, and regular people along the Rio Grande. I have camped, backpacked, and explored both sides of the river for fifty-seven years. Over a nineteen year period I was a missionary dentist along the Rio Grande and into Mexico in the Chihuahua and Coahuila Deserts. I made thirty-nine trips to the poverty areas where people lived in caves, dugouts and huts made from river cane and scrap materials. I have been taken into custody in Mexico. I have worked on smugglers, bandits, and once did dental work on the cartel as they stood around me with their AK 47's across their laps .

Throughout these years, I have also been involved in wildlife restoration activities along the border, involving Bighorn Sheep, Black Bears, peregrine falcons, mule deer, Jaguar and Ocelots. This involves interactions back and forth across the border. Some of the Border wall construction is to be in Federal Wildlife Preserves where no documented crossings have occurred.

Through the years I have learned the customs along the border and how the local county governments feel. No one wants that Wall. I have found that there are people who support the wall who have no earthly idea about the real situation. That is sad. I have good friends that support the wall, but who are totally without knowledge about that of which they speak. Dallas Morning News published a great article about the Wall being built along the border near Columbus, New Mexico. What a waste of money in the time of this horrible virus situation.


Limerick of the Month

The old trail guide just tried to arrange
Different hiking trip. But what was strange,
     Is that none of his crew
     Wants to go somewhere new.
Could it be that they fear climb-it change?

- by Chris Gross

If you would like to submit an environmental limerick for our Limerick of the Month feature, send it to editors@dallassierraclub.org.