Many thanks to Michel Lee for this information.  She has created what is essentially a table of contents to the CNN climate program.  Her synopis of speakers is followed by sources and reports that the speakers used.  It is a brilliant piece of work that makes the recorded webinar much easier to navigate. – Marilyn

This webcast sponsored by the People’s Climate March was quite good. Thank you Marilyn for posting. They said the event was taped, so others can view when it gets uploaded. My personal notes are below – at the very end I added annotated citations to provide background info on some of the speakers and studies they mentioned. – Michel

NOTES. People’s Climate March – Town Hall Meeting on Climate Change and Rural Communities

Web Conversation with EJ Groups (re nuclear & fossil toxic burden and sustainable agriculture) (Sep 9, 2019). (14)

Michel Lee notes:

People’s Climate March conversation was recorded.   Grist newsletter the Beacon appeared to be a cosponsor of the broadcast.

John Brown, Farmer from Bismarck, ND involved in crop diversification and soil sequestration  

Collaborative process of what it means to be human and what gives value to our lives. Encouraged that conversation is rising from the ground up.

Potential solution to many of the issues we face is simple. Take all of the subsidies going into agriculture now and encourage people to take a fifth of their production and turn it into cover crops. 

Surpluses improves health of soil, brings water cycle back into balance. When fields go through this regenerative process, it also reduces carbon emissions.   Are trying to explore this idea with Senator Tester

Labor is beginning to realize they will be dropped like a hot potato the minute they are not useful to corporate interests. The key is to harness labor’s skills and knowledge and training people to get engaged in renewable.

Lindsay Harper

Executive Director of Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions (GA WAND)

Harper says that, when companies came in to set up the site for Vogtle many decades ago, the land was taken away from African Americans members who had it in their families for years.

The area where the nuclear reactors are (now with 2 more being constructed) is in Eastern Burke County, Georgia, is known as “Shell Bluff” is because it was originally the bottom of the sea. {Eocene sea} As a result, the terrain has a mixture of sand and Georgia red clay – quicksand. Georgia has also been identified by scientists to be one of the areas in the US which will be most heavily affected by climate change and severe storms and flooding. “So you can imagine when the floods come, hurricanes come, and people need evacuate, roads muddy and hard to pass. “There are a lot of folks of color out there that are more vulnerable because of the dirt roads.”

Atlanta already committed to 100% renew by 2025. This can be leveraged to promote policy that puts former nuclear workers first in line for training in clean energy economy.

Vogle 1 & 2 and now the two new reactors being built, add to the region’s very high toxic load The Savannah River has the third highest amount of toxins in nation. When you talk about swell of water in this area from flooding, you’re talking about exposing people to multiple pollutants. Radioactive water comes from both nuclear energy plants and fossil other. Tritium is radioactive water, it can’t be screened out of the water. Tritium is incorporated into the placenta. So we are talking about generations of people exposed to toxins from the Savannah River and the Vogtle nuclear site. This is a Reproductive Justice issue.

Folks in Burke County, Georgia have born burden of toxins for generations. With the new Vogtle reactors, they are being forced to continue bearing the burden.

A lot of conversation in the climate and environmental movement focuses on fossil fuels, but advocates need to think about nuclear too. When thinking about toxins in the water, you need to do more to protect waterways. Nationwide we need to think about what will preserve our most important and treasured resources.

We need to everything we can to conserve water and not contaminate it. Everyone is living downstream from a nuclear site somewhere  Georgia is one of the states at most risk from accident from old reactors (the bathtub curve), climate change, and pollution.

Nuclear also contributes greenhouse gas emissions. Every industry has a supply chain which involves carbon emission activity, so one has to look at the whole picture and the whole emission and pollution load produced. We need to expand the frame beyond GHG emissions and shift focus to include what ruins our water.

EJ mandates we stop turning areas of the country into energy sacrifice zones.

Ask: How do communities come into another way of being other than just being hubs for extraction of resources? Systems that do not just concentrate wealth well also make rural communities come alive and thrive

Extractive energy economy has been based on devaluation of people of color. Indigenous peoples and people of color have same interests.

We must consider climate and all of the other things associated with its collapse

Nuclear waste in Baaken oil fields  – radioactive waste coming from oil field extraction and fracking. Less radioactivity comes from fossil than from mining uranium and nuclear plant operation. [ML As fossil extraction is increasing, it would be contributing more and more to the public health burden of radiation.]

Shift of Model

Need to bring rural folks to the table. No way to have a solid answer if you’re missing segments of the community. This means shifting the model from not just what decisions are advocated and made, but how decthing decisions are advocated and made.  In other words, you need to not just inform communities of environmental concerns, but ensure environmental groups are informed about the concerns, needs and views of rural stakeholders. 

Equitable ____ Action Team and US CAN rn – steward the process of steering this together. Any policy that goes forward needs to go thru 

Climate Forum – putting together a policy platform, so make sure alignment of greens. All groups  SE climate and energy networks   make  transport, health, all things have consideration.

Nicole Horseherder

Executive Director of the Navajo environmental group To Nizhoni Ani

Navajo Black Mesas in Arizona – the largest surface mine on the reservation until it was shut in Aug 2019.  Navajo Nation. It took indigenous people to intensively fight against continued operation of the coal mine.

Indigenous peoples are closely connected to the land, so the Navajo Nation peoples have noticed subtle changes for 20 years. Navajo may among those impacted early, but everyone will be impacted sooner or later.

Business interests in the community. Coal jobs  – jobs is a big part of the equation, but it is not all of the equation. The jobs make up >5% of population. So in an indigenous nation with about 50% unemployment rate, the rate has changed very little. Not brought prosperity – while Navajo nation government may enjoy some of the revenues from the coal extra

Mining precious and pristine groundwater – and giving it away literally to the coal companies, who doen’t care whether they contaminate aquifers and making water unattainable.

These communities have no way of cleaning the water. “We’ve got to do something different. People have got to face the truth that the elements of life are water, land, air and energy from the sun.” People need to face the truth. There’s a truth out there. And the truth is that natural resources are what will bring health and happiness and life to each and every one of us.. This is how we’re framing it.

 Why so reliant on coal extractive industry?  The answer is jobs, revenues and lack of information.

The rebuttal is illustrated by the saying “don’t eat your seed corn.” Fossil consumes the resources needed to sustain life. Renewable energy jobs are what will produce power, economic benefits while enabling current and future generations of the Navajo Nation to survive on their ancestral land.  

Those of us in Black Mesa are here because many of our peoples have moved off the reservation, and we’re here to remind them this is what is happening.

Rural people are up against these big corporations and utilities who create the messaging. Corps always say that if people do not support dirty energy their bills will increase.  In reality, renewable bring costs down.

Activists have to be here for the long haul and have the information. Horseherder returned to area after college to interpret information for her people. Once people understand the information, they mobilize.

The answer is speaking truth. “I think it underestimated how powerful the truth is.”


CLEAN TECHNICA: Shahan, Cynthia, Navajo Group Travels To NYC To Protest Private Equity Firm Takeover Of Largest Coal Plant In Western US, CleanTechnica, Sep 11, 2018.

[In September 2018, more than a dozen members of the Navajo Nation traveling over 2,000 miles from their homeland in Arizona to New York City. There, they gathered in the rain outside the Midtown Manhattan headquarters of the private equity firm Avenue Capital to demonstrate their opposition to its efforts to purchase the Navajo Generating Station (NGS), the largest coal plant in the western US. 

Nicholas Ashley, Tó Nizhóní Ání Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Coordinator, issued the following statement: “‘Our very existence is bound to the fate of our land, water, and air. The financial capital of the world needs to know that Diné people will no longer be putting our bodies and our homelands on the line for multinational corporations.’”

In interviews with CleanTechnica and Public News Service, Nicole Horseherder, Executive Director of the Navajo environmental group To Nizhoni Ani, said:

“‘Today we’re not only up against the president of the United States, today we are up against powerful companies. This is like fossil fuels’ last push, to make something out of a dying industry — the last hurrah.”

“‘So Avenue Capital is now in negotiations with the Navajo Nation but there is an important key figure in there that people are overlooking and that’s Peabody Energy. And Peabody Energy I do know is powerful around the globe. I mean, If you ever talk to anybody who knows the inside tactics and strategies that these guys use to get what they want. It’s pretty aggressive the way these guys work.  Look what they just did. They announced bankruptcy a couple of years ago . Then the minute that they let all their liabilities go they came out of bankruptcy. That’s how aggressive these guys are.”

“‘I think it’s important for people out there to know that the type of jobs and the type of revenue we need is one that doesn’t kill people and doesn’t kill the environment. So to those people that are concerned about the jobs and revenues, we are also concerned.”]

HOMEGROWN STORIES: John Brown: A Passion for Soil Health, Home Grown Stories, accessed Sep 9, 2019.

[As John Brown was building his growers co-op in Montana, he came across Northern Plains Resource Council. It was through Northern Plains’ actions and work that John started to see the bigger picture of industry and land. John joined as a member and started getting involved in the work of Northern Plains in 1974.  Northern Plains offered resources to family farmers and ranchers wanting to protect their land from energy development. Along with Alternative Energy Resources Organization (AERO), they later had ongoing campaigns to support farmers and ranchers working to regenerate the soil and improve the markets for farmers.]” 

NGA WAND:  See, e.g., Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions (GA WAND),

[GA WAND is: “a women-led organization promoting peace and policies that counter state violence, militarism, and nuclear stockpiling. GA WAND is a leader among a coalition of organizations dedicated to climate justice in the South, particularly in relationship to the Savannah River Site nuclear weapons complex and nuclear power Plant Vogtle, both of which abut the Savannah River in Burke County.”] {Organization contact: (202) 459-4769}

FRONTIER GROUP and ENVIRONMENT AMERICA RESEARCH & POLICY CENTER: Inglis J, Dutzik T, and Rumpler J,  Wasting Our Waterways: Toxic Industrial Pollution and Restoring the Promise of the Clean Water Act, Frontier Group and Environment America Research & Policy Center report for Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center, Jun 26, 2014.

[This report by Frontier Group and Environment America Research & Policy Center analyses 2012 data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The data in this report do not include radionuclides or cover the entire volume of toxic chemicals released to the environment, just pollutants released to surface waterways by industrial facilities that report to the TRI. The results show industrial facilities dumped 206 million pounds of such toxic chemicals into American waterways in 2012.

“Our nation’s iconic waterways are still threatened by toxic pollution – with polluters discharging chemicals into the following watersheds: Great Lakes (8.39 million pounds), Chesapeake Bay (3.23 million pounds), Upper Mississippi River (16.9 million pounds), and Puget Sound (578,000 pounds), among other national treasures.” (p 4, see also Table ES-1 and Figure ES-2, pp 4-5)

The analysis ranks the Savannah River the third most toxic in the US, with some 5 million pounds of toxic discharge released into its waterways in 2010. The Savannah River stretches from North Carolina to the ocean, but most of the pollution is in the roughly 200-mile stretch between Augusta and Savannah. Pollutants that dissolve oxygen in the river’s water are a prime concern.   The only watersheds with higher volumes of toxic pollution are the Lower Ohio River-Little Pigeon River (which runs through Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky) and the New River (in Virginia). More than 37 million pounds of toxic chemicals are dumped in waterways of the South Atlantic-Gulf region.

The report shows 1,396,149 pounds of toxic chemicals were duped into New York’s Oswego River in 2012.] 

See also:

Bradford A, Sundby J, Fanshaw B and Sargent R, Solar Homes: The Next Step for Clean Energy, Frontier Group and Environment America Research & Policy Center report, Dec 2018.

ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION (AJC): Sharpe, Joshua, Floods, fire and hurricanes: Dire warnings for Georgia in climate report, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dec 1, 2018.

[Jeff Adams, a public official who surveyed the damage After Hurricane Irma finished its assault on coastal Georgia in 2017, is well versed in research on the vulnerabilities of the Georgia’s 100-mile-long coastline.  He was therefore not surprised by the dire warnings for Georgia — and the entire Southeast — in the climate change report issued in Nov 2018 by 13 federal agencies. “The sprawling and detailed document predicts that in the coming decades the coast will be at greater risk of flooding amid rising sea levels and stronger, more frequent hurricanes. It suggests potentially heightened danger of wildfires in the state’s northern mountains. It urges communities to steel themselves for myriad issues from increased heat in every corner of Georgia.” Recent years have been “marked by a series of punishing hurricanes and large wildfires in both north and South Georgia. … Researchers with the Georgia Climate Project — founded by the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and Emory University — are creating a massive public database with their findings in hopes that officials will use the information to drive policy changes.”]