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Join 1 of the 170 National Drive Electric Week Events Sept. 12 - 20
Have you been thinking about switching to a car that's technologically advanced and fun to drive, one that uses less fuel, and one that's cleaner for the air and the planet? Chances are you live near one of the more than 170 National Drive Electric Week events coming up Sept. 12-20. Yes, you read that right—events showing off electric cars in cities nationwide. Register for an event near you to check out all sorts of plug-in cars and talk to people who have been having a blast driving them. Why am I so charged up?
National Drive Electric Week, organized nationally by Sierra Club, Plug In America and Electric Auto Association, is now in its fifth year and at least five times bigger than when we first began. At the local level lots of other partner groups and passionate electric car drivers are putting on the events, too. Our city captains have been working hard to organize events that might just electrify your life.
If you're fortunate enough to live near Los Angeles, you'll get to see the west coast debut of the much anticipated Chevy Bolt concept car. Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune will be at the event as well as state senator Kevin de Leon and race-car driver Leilani Munter who may well show the crowd the souped-up Tesla Model S she drove in the documentary Racing Extinction. Oh, and did I mention that you'll be able to take a ride in or talk to the owners of more than 135 plug-in cars registered to be a part of the event?
Some events will include electric vehicle (EV) parades, including those in San Antonio, Texas where there will be an interactive energy lab for kids, and in St. Petersburg, Florida where a city EV proclamation will be announced. Since EVs are quiet (no roaring engine), the crowds' cheers will be all you'll hear. At the events in places like Boulder, Colorado and Asheville, North Carolina you'll also hear some great live music. In Worcester, Massachusetts and Tallahassee, Florida, event-goers can check out zero emission transit buses.
EVs aren't just for the left and right coasts; we have events registered in 39 states, including one in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma being organized by an oil industry worker interested in getting the country to move beyond oil. The Idaho chapter of the Sierra Club, which houses an EV charging station at its office, is organizing its fourth annual NDEW event in Boise.
Interested in how to charge electric vehicles, both at home and around town? The event in Torrance, California will unveil new city charging stations, and National Drive Electric Week sponsor ClipperCreek will show off its home chargers at a number of events. Home solar power opportunities will be on display at many of the events by companies like SunPower, another national sponsor.
If you already drive an EV, we hope you'll come to an event near you and talk about your experience with your curious neighbors. At the events in Tallahassee, Florida; Boston, Massachusetts; and Concord, New Hampshire, you'll even be able to talk up EVs to your state leaders who will be attending Drive Electric Week events at the state capitol buildings. And the governor is expected to attend the event in Shelbourne, Vermont.
So, register for an event near you and get ready to rock down to electric avenue. Can't make it to an event? Then check out Sierra Club's interactive online EV Guide where you can learn about all the plug-in cars on the market, what incentives can take thousands of dollars off your purchase price, and just how much you can reduce your fueling costs as well as your emissions in your region of the country. And help us spread the word by sharing this post and tweeting about National Drive Electric Week at #NDEW2015.
Gina Coplon-Newfield directs Sierra Club's Electric Vehicles Initiative.
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By Julia Conley
Climate campaigners on Friday expressed hope that policymakers who are stalling on taking decisive climate action would reconsider their stance in light of new warnings from an unlikely source: two economists at J.P. Morgan Chase.
Tensions are continuing to rise in Canada over a controversial pipeline project as protesters enter their 12th day blockading railways, demonstrating on streets and highways, and paralyzing the nation's rail system
Colorado River Has Lost 1.5 Billion Tons of Water to the Climate Crisis, 'Severe Water Shortages' May Follow
California is headed toward drought conditions as February, typically the state's wettest month, passes without a drop of rain. The lack of rainfall could lead to early fire conditions. With no rain predicted for the next week, it looks as if this month will be only the second time in 170 years that San Francisco has not had a drop of rain in February, according to The Weather Channel.
The last time San Francisco did not record a drop of rain in February was in 1864 as the Civil War raged.
"This hasn't happened in 150 years or more," said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability to The Guardian. "There have even been a couple [of] wildfires – which is definitely not something you typically hear about in the middle of winter."
While the Pacific Northwest has flooded from heavy rains, the southern part of the West Coast has seen one storm after another pass by. Last week, the U.S. Drought Monitor said more Californians are in drought conditions than at any time during 2019, as The Weather Channel reported.
The dry winter has included areas that have seen devastating fires recently, including Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties. If the dry conditions continue, those areas will once again have dangerously high fire conditions, according to The Mercury News.
"Given what we've seen so far this year and the forecast for the next few weeks, I do think it's pretty likely we'll end up in some degree of drought by this summer," said Swain, as The Mercury News reported.
Another alarming sign of an impending drought is the decreased snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. The National Weather Service posted to Twitter a side-by-side comparison of snowpack from February 2019 and from this year, illustrating the puny snowpack this year. The snow accumulated in the Sierra Nevadas provides water to roughly 30 percent of the state, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Right now, the snowpack is at 53 percent of its normal volume after two warm and dry months to start the year. It is a remarkable decline, considering that the snowpack started 2020 at 90 percent of its historical average, as The Guardian reported.
"Those numbers are going to continue to go down," said Swain. "I would guess that the 1 March number is going to be less than 50 percent."
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center forecast that the drier-than-average conditions may last through April.
NOAA said Northern California will continue deeper into drought through the end of April, citing that the "persistent high pressure over the North Pacific Ocean is expected to continue, diverting storm systems to the north and south and away from California and parts of the Southwest," as The Weather Channel reported.
As the climate crisis escalates and the world continues to heat up, California should expect to see water drawn out of its ecosystem, making the state warmer and drier. Increased heat will lead to further loss of snow, both as less falls and as more of it melts quickly, according to The Guardian.
"We aren't going to necessarily see less rain, it's just that that rain goes less far. That's a future where the flood risk extends, with bigger wetter storms in a warming world," said Swain, as The Guardian reported.
The Guardian noted that while California's reservoirs are currently near capacity, the more immediate impact of the warm, dry winter will be how it raises the fire danger as trees and grasslands dry out.
"The plants and the forests don't benefit from the water storage reservoirs," said Swain, as The Mercury News reported. "If conditions remain very dry heading into summer, the landscape and vegetation is definitely going to feel it this year. From a wildfire perspective, the dry years do tend to be the bad fire years, especially in Northern California."
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