“As eco-theologian Thomas Berry stated, it will require a universal leap of consciousness — a group effort — if we Homo sapiens are to have any kind of real future here on this garden planet we were given.”
Together, the city of Asheville and Buncombe County approved over $11 million in funding to install roughly 7 megawatts of solar power at public facilities and area schools. The projects are anticipated to save the governments and local schools roughly $650,000 in electricity costs in the first year and more than $27 million over the installations’ 30-year operational life.
“We have been shouting about climate change for a long time, but now, we feel like it’s going to take more messaging in a different way,” says Avram Friedman of the Canary Coalition, a Sylva-based environmental activism group. “We’re showing people that we’re so committed to this, it’s so important, that I’m willing to fast for 10 days to get this message across.”
As we celebrate Earth Day 2015, we take a look at the status of the sustainability movement in WNC. How far have we come, and how far do we have to go? We asked local nonprofits and regulatory agencies to take us to school by examining our environmental efforts — from our air to our water, from our successes to our failures — and giving us an honest assessment of how we’re doing.
The sun is shining on those who want more competition in the N.C. energy marketplace. A series of bills recently introduced into the state legislature aim to diversify the energy business through independent solar sources and provide incentive for energy efficiency through a tiered rate system.
From the Get It! Guide: Long before the age of Internet lists and online travel magazines, people came to Asheville and Western North Carolina for the intrinsic natural beauty. In fact, the beauty of our environment is what many say makes this place so special. But are we protecting what we have? What initiatives are underway to help ensure that the region remains a respite and a haven for generations to come?
Republican Congressman Mark Meadows faces a challenge in this year’s election from Democrat Tom Hill. They’re vying to represent District 11, which encompasses much of Western North Carolina, including western Buncombe County. They debated for the first time last night, Sept. 4 at Western North Carolina University in Cullowhee. Watch a complete video of the […]
On Monday, Feb. 3, three days after the State Department announced in its report that the Keystone XL Pipeline would have “no significant impact” on climate change, around 150 people gathered at the First Presbyterian Church for a candlelight vigil. See the event in its entirety in this video from the Canary Coalition.
Local activist group Canary Coalition will sponsor a petition to President Obama to deny a presidential permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would transport crude oil from Canada and the northern United States to refineries in Texas. The organization believes the pipeline would cause harm to the environment, including damage to natural forests and endangered species.
A one-hour video of a recent talk here in Asheville by Dr. Helen Caldicott, “one of the world’s foremost experts on the effects of radiation on the human body,” according to the press release from the Canary Coalition.
Appalachian Voices Bringing people together to solve the environmental problems that have the greatest impact on the central and southern Appalachian Mountains. Info: 262-1500 or www.appvoices.org. Asheville Green Drinks Community members who are interested in environmental issues and topics meet for drinks at BoBo Gallery, 22 Lexington Ave. A guest speaker usually makes a short […]
No-more-coal! No-more-coal! No-more-coal! was the rhythmic chant reverberating throughout the streets surrounding the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on March 2, as columns of thousands of people from all corners of our nation marched through snow and 16-degree temperatures from Spirit of Justice Park to the power plant several blocks south that supplies heat for the […]
Flipping off Cliffside The North Carolina Division of Air Quality could issue a decision on Duke Energy’s coal-fired Cliffside power plant “any day, or it could it be in a few weeks,” according to agency spokesperson Tom Mather. What is certain, however, is that if the 800-megawatt plant is approved, the increased power generation at […]
Progress Energy’s plan to build a power plant on land adjacent to the old Buncombe County county landfill was thwarted by the town of Woodfin Zoning Board of Adjustment last night, but the company still holds a one dollar per year lease on the property.
Less than three years after North Carolina passed the groundbreaking Clean Smokestacks Act, the state now appears to be moving in the opposite direction when it comes to regulating air pollution from old, grandfathered power plants. But a grassroots environmental group based in Sylva is determined to hold North Carolina’s feet to the fire. State […]
These days, complaining about Western North Carolina’s air quality comes dangerously close to cliche. For the past several years, residents of the region have been saturated with the disheartening news that the mountains are no longer a refuge from the heavily polluted air of more populated, low-lying urban areas such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, Houston […]
Hats off to all the Mountain Xpress readers — along with every citizen in Western North Carolina — who e-mailed, called and harassed their elected officials to support the Clean Smokestacks bill. We won! Now, we can look forward to 70-percent reductions in smokestack pollution over the next 10 years, as coal fired electric plants […]
It’s not just some romantic fancy that leads us to classify these environmental-news briefs by the four ancient elements: Earth, Water, Air and Fire. Modern physicists say four states of matter exist — solid, liquid, gas and plasma and four layers of the planet (geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and magnetosphere). Whatever terms you use, that’s four […]
The Canary Coalition wants clean air in WNC If you’re one of the Western North Carolinians who are growing increasingly frustrated with the quality of air in our region, you’ll be interested to hear about a new grassroots organization called the Canary Coalition. “Our intention is to build a broad-based, mainstream, grassroots movement throughout the […]