Category: Economy

Denver Climate Strike with Greta Thunberg

I had the unique experience of being on the stage and taking pictures of the Denver Climate Strike on October 11, 2019. It was incredible, it was emotionally overwhelming, it was one of those experiences that when reflected upon, still makes my eyes tear up. I went to see Greta Thunberg speak in person. Greta has inspired the global youth to speak up and speak out about our current Climate Crisis. Adding to the gravitas and magic of the day, Native Elders led the Ceremony with Traditional songs, Native youth spoke, Earth Guardians,, and Mother’s Out Front were all present. The painted handprint across their faces was to bring awareness of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement.

Thank you all again for an amazing day.

American Solar Jobs Eclipse Fossil Fuels

Clean energy jobs in California now outnumber jobs in the fossil fuel industry five to one, a new study has found, an increase driven by the state’s ever-expanding renewable energy and climate laws.

More than 512,000 people are employed in jobs related to clean energy  — from installing solar panels to building electric cars — making the state home to 1 in 7 such jobs in the United States, the study found. Those numbers are expected to grow further in the coming years, as California further ramps up efforts to address climate change.

“The clean energy industry is a large and growing part of our economy, certainly here in California, but nationally as well,” said Bob Keefe, executive director of Environmental Entrepreneurs, a non-profit group with offices in San Francisco and San Diego that compiled the data.

“With the right policies, we can keep these clean energy jobs growing in red states, blue states, purple states,” Keefe said, “and in every county in California from Humboldt to San Diego.” 

The study was based on an annual survey of businesses called the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, a snapshot of the energy industry that in the past was put out by the U.S. Department of Energy.

But the survey was discontinued after President Trump took office in 2017. In recent years, the report has been compiled instead by two non-profit groups using the same methodology, the Energy Futures Initiative, and the National Association of State Energy Officials.

Among the study’s findings for California:

  • Statewide, there were 512,934 jobs in the clean energy industry in 2018. Those included jobs in renewable energy, like installing solar and wind power, building electric and hybrid vehicles, doing energy efficiency work in buildings, manufacturing clean fuels and building battery storage projects.
  • That same year, there were 89,059 jobs in fossil fuel industries, including drilling jobs at oil and gas fields and offshore platforms, oil refinery work and mining jobs, but not attendants who work at gas stations or the stations’ convenience stories.
  • Nearly four in 10 solar jobs in America are in California.
  • The only state with more clean vehicle jobs than California is Michigan.
  • The top counties ranked by total clean energy jobs are Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Clara, San Diego, San Francisco and Alameda.

Growth was largely flat last year compared to the year before, the study found. California’s 2018 clean jobs total was just slightly up from its 2017 total of 512,233 clean jobs. The reason was a 7.5 percent dip in solar industry jobs, which industry officials say was in part a result of tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on Chinese-made solar panels, which increased the costs for U.S. homeowners considering installing solar on their roofs.

That trend is expected to change this year, Keefe said, because California regulators have passed new rules requiring all new homes constructed after Jan. 1, 2020 to either have solar panels on their roofs or be powered from electricity from a solar farm.

“We’ll start to see that swing back in the other direction very soon,” he said.

As the Earth continues to warm, California has ramped up its clean energy laws. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law requiring 60 percent of the state’s electricity to come from solar, wind and other renewable sources by 2030 and 100 to come from “carbon-free” sources, which can include nuclear and large hydro-electric dams, by 2045.

This year, 34 percent of the state’s electricity is generated from renewable energy, according to the California Energy Commission. The state’s greenhouse gas emissions peaked in 2004, and have fallen roughly 15 percent since then. By the end of this year, more than 1 million homes in California will have solar power on their roofs.

And the highways are greening. There are now more than 500,000 electric vehicles on the road in California, more than any other state.

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The Research Is In: Stop Fracking ASAP

“Our examination of the peer-reviewed medical, public health, biological, earth sciences, and engineering literature uncovered no evidence that fracking can be practiced in a manner that does not threaten human health.”

Over 1,500 reports show there’s simply no safe way to do it — and it’s harming us all every day it goes on.

Science. Evidence. Facts. Do these even matter anymore in U.S. policy? They should — especially when it comes to issues that affect our health and environment, like fracking. 

Concerned Health Professionals of New York and my organization, Physicians for Social Responsibility, recently released a remarkable compendium of research on the subject. It summarizes and links to over 1,500 articles and reports and has become the go-to source for activists, health professionals, and others seeking to understand fracking. 

The new studies we looked at expose serious threats to health, justice, and the climate.

2018 study in the Journal of Health Economics, for instance, found that the babies of Pennsylvania mothers living within 1.5 miles of gas wells had increased incidence of low birth weight. Babies with low birth weight (under 5.5 pounds) are over 20 times more likely to die in infancy than babies with healthy birth weight.

Babies exposed in utero to fracking are likely to face additional challenges throughout their lives. They may suffer long-term neurologic disability, impaired language development and academic success, and increased risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 

Other researchers are finding that fracking wells and associated infrastructure are disproportionately sited in non-white, indigenous, or low-income communities. 

study published this year in Ecological Economics analyzed the socio-demographics of people living near drilling and fracking operations in four high-fracking states: Colorado, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas. It found strong evidence that minorities, especially African Americans, disproportionately live near fracking wells. 

They don’t just face disproportionate exposure to toxic emissions, leaks, and spills. They also have fewer resources — like health insurance, medical services, or income security — that would help them protect their health.

But you don’t have to live near wells and pipelines to be at risk. We all face harm from fracking’s impact on the climate. 

So-called “natural gas” is 85-95 percent methane, a short-lived but highly potent greenhouse gas. Over its first 20 years in the atmosphere, methane traps about 86 times more heat than carbon dioxide. That 20-year timeframe matters: Scientists tell us that’s about the time we have to slash our greenhouse gas emissions and begin pulling carbon out of the atmosphere.  

Unfortunately, as the research we collected finds, methane leakage rates from drilling and fracking operations have “greatly exceed” earlier estimates. A 2018 analysis of methane leaks across the U.S. found leakage rates to be 60 percent higher than reported by the EPA. A 2019 study in southwestern Pennsylvania found some gas emissions to have been underreported by a factor of five. 

Overall, how bad is fracking? The Compendium states that “public health risks from unconventional gas and oil extraction are real, the range of adverse environmental impacts wide, and the negative economic consequences considerable.” 

It concludes: “Our examination of the peer-reviewed medical, public health, biological, earth sciences, and engineering literature uncovered no evidence that fracking can be practiced in a manner that does not threaten human health.”

The logical conclusion is that, for health, justice, and a livable world, the time to stop using fracked gas is now.

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Kickoff Party!

Cleary For Broomfield Kickoff Party!
Date: August 4, 2019
Time: 1-3pm
Where: The Broomfield Crescent Grange – 7901 W 120th Ave, Broomfield, CO 80020

We are so excited & proud to formally kickoff the campaign for Broomfield City Council Ward 3. Come on down to The Broomfield Crescent Grange to celebrate with Chris & AnnMarie at one of the many gems of our Broomfield Community. This is a family event with light fare food, a coloring activity area for kids, and Live music. Mix and mingle with friends, family, advocates, and various supporters from all over Colorado. Come learn about the plans Chris has for Broomfield and how he will go about working to implement them. 

Please visit the facebook events link, confirm if you are able to go, and please give my page a “like”. Thank You!


Special Guest Speakers

Susan McFaddin

Susan McFaddin, PhD, LEED-AP, CEM, HERS-Associate

Specializing in zero and low energy efficient and sustainable commercial and residential properties,  Susan was a Commissioner for the Fort Collins Housing Authority. She also served on the CSU Institute for the Built Environments.  She leads high performance teams, including the one that created the first DOE Zero Energy development in Colorado, and was the 2016 and 2018 DOE Housing Innovation Grand Prize Award Winner and 2017 and 2019 award. Susan is currently the CFO of Solaris Energy LLC, a solar developer providing solar to non-profits, universities, municipalities and Indian tribes. 

Robert Edwards

Robert Edwards

Robert has explored ways to serve the community and has served in the following organizations that he felt resonated with him. Robert has been an active Big Brother since 2014. He serves on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado Board of Directors, and is on the Board Finance Committee and the Board Diversity Outreach Committee. Robert served on the Human Rights Campaign Colorado Steering Committee and Project Angel Heart. Robert’s mission is to ensure that all people have a safe place in this world and to know they are not alone.

Guyleen Castriotta

Guyleen Castriotta

Guyleen was elected to represent Ward 5 on Broomfield City Council in 2017.  She decided to run for office because she recognized that women and minorities were underrepresented in all levels of government.  She’s always wanted to be an agent for positive change and doing what’s right. She believes we are put on this earth to help one another, to being of service to our community and taking action to improve the lives of others.

AnnMarie Cleary

AnnMarie Cleary

AnnMarie, my wife and partner in life, has been a longtime outspoken advocate for Broomfield and Colorado. Participating in multiple advocacy groups since 2013, and worked to bring various ballot measures to the voting booth such as 300, 301, and 112. She has been recognized for her work, and has appeared in various magazines and newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal.

Musical Guest – Randy Bonnom

Randy Bonnom

Randy Bonnom
With long roots in the era of folk, Randy is a nice, casual throw back to folk roots with a kind, authentic presence not often found in contemporary music. Enjoy the visuals of the lyrics, the catchy musical phrases, and don’t be surprised to find yourself humming the tune later…
You Can find Randy on the web at:
You Can Find His Single Here:

Efforts Squandered On Vintage Practices

I am tired of city council members that thoughtlessly squander months of people’s time, energy, and resources, only to string along their constituents, teasing a vote that the council never had any intention of making. The same council members, time and again, string constituents along, not in favor of their constituents, but in favor of industry. 

The American oil boom started in 1859. We do not currently rely on the tools, technology, and wisdom of what was available in 1859. That would be ridiculous. So why are we emotionally attached to an industry that began before the Civil War, before women could vote, and when slavery was legal? 

Technology and scientific development, since 1859 have given us choices we never thought possible. We now have enough consumer-based technology that with a World War II style national effort, we could convert the entire nation to renewables in one year. One Year. 

In 2016, solar and wind became cheaper than traditional fossil fuels, according, to a new report from the World Economic Forum. The ridiculous, ongoing, false equivalence argument, of we can either have power or nothing, is now the mantra of the ignorant. That feeble argument has no place within the 21st century technological advancements. 

Why remain beholden to an industry, that by all rights, were it not propped up with subsidies and Wall Street, would have gracefully ended with the turn of the last century.

All of this time, energy, money, and resources should not be squandered supporting a sector that will be gone within our children’s lifetime. We need to focus on what will preserve, protect, and propel us firmly into the 21st century, and in a way that does not ruthlessly and permanently destroy our land, air, water, and health. 

Christopher Cleary
Broomfield Resident

Click here for original article

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We Know Better, Let’s Do Better

Often, when the city council has study sessions, they will kick out the very people who are specialists in the field of what the ‘study session’ is supposed to examine. I was at the session regarding bees. The council did not meet with the entomologists, and the kicked out the local bee keeper, when it came time to discuss factual research. 

That same logic has been applied to fracking, regarding the dismissal of scientists and peer reviewed data. Greg Stokes, when presented with peer reviewed data by a research scientist, being visually disgusted by the research opposing his personal feelings, called the research “junk science” and summarily dismissed the scientist. Let that sink in for a moment. 

When presented with a specialist in the field of study that the council session is examining, council dismissed the specialist. They dismissed the very specialists that could answer every question, Especially when the information the specialist had, could have informed the decision making process of the council. 

This has been an ongoing issue with the council. Especially when the data is in direct opposition to the council’s ‘belief’ or ‘feelings’ regarding the matter. 

Councilman Greg Stokes is great at bullying, but not when it comes time to standing for anything meaningful. We see it in meetings, his responses on social media, and even in his email responses. I sent Stokes a picture of a fracking well that blew up, (do a quick internet search for “fracking explosion”). One tank was 150 feet in the air.

He spent the next four emails fighting about the press calling it a fracking explosion. He expressed no concern for the people, or the dangers of fracking wells, but argued about the semantics. Council emails are catalogued. My email was sent April 19, 2015, feel free to look it up. It also has pictures of the explosion.

Eight years ago, fracking marketing people came in and people did not have enough knowledge to dispute the marketing lies. 

Now, Broomfield residents are armed with knowledge, data, facts, and studies (31 peer reviewed studies Now we know the extent of damage fracking causes to the land, air, water, and people. 

Now, there are peer reviewed studies from NASA, NOAH, USGS. The list of damages from earthquakes to stillborn babies. We inevitably need to move to renewables. It’s no longer a question. It needs to happen in our lifetime. 

Where would the state be, if all the time, energy, and money, spent on preventing the inevitable move to renewables, had been channelled into creating renewables in the state? Colorado could be leading the nation in renewables and true energy independence. 

Maya Angelou used to say “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” 

We now know better. The council knows better. Now it’s time to do better. 

Christopher Cleary is a Broomfield resident

Click here for original article

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