Join 100 Days of Action for Climate Solutions and Clean Energy
Today the Sierra Club launched a new campaign demanding that President Obama make the fight against climate disruption a priority in his second term. The Obama Climate and Clean Energy Legacy Campaign will bring the organization’s 2.1 million members and supporters together to push the Obama administration to tackle the most serious environmental crisis of our age.
“President Obama’s second term will be a pivotal four years in the fight against climate disruption,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “In his victory speech, the President invited a national climate conversation, but we also need swift, decisive action to prevent more erratic weather, superstorms and wildfires.”
“As we make critical decisions about how we power our nation and what kind of place we’ll leave for our children and grandchildren, the Sierra Club will push President Obama to define his legacy with bold climate solutions and clean energy innovation,” said Brune. “Climate disruption is the singular issue of our time for anyone who cares about clean air, clean water and a safe future for our families.”
To demonstrate the urgency of its demands, the Sierra Club launched 100 Days of Action on Climate, a series of local and national actions focused on bringing climate disruption to the forefront of the national conversation and pressing the President to be a leader in the climate fight. During this period—spanning the President’s Inauguration through Earth Day—allies and activists from around the country will host events ranging from inauguration watch parties in New Mexico, to a national climate rally on Presidents Day weekend in DC, to town hall meetings across the nation, highlighting the broad support from Americans for fighting the climate crisis.
The Sierra Club outlined five key actions that the Obama administration must take to curb the country’s carbon emissions and address climate disruption. The actions include:
1. Hold fossil fuel corporations accountable for their pollution
- Adopt and enforce coal pollution protections for carbon, soot, smog, sulfur, water toxics and coal ash, and set water pollution standards that will end mountaintop removal mining.
- Enact standards and close loopholes to protect water, air, and climate from fracking and other forms of oil and gas production.
- Finalize Tier 3 clean fuel standards, finalize emissions standards for refineries, and establish strong mileage standard for medium and heavy-duty vehicles.
2. Reject proposals to import dirty fuels and stop the rush of fossil fuel exports
- Stop Keystone XL and other tar sands infrastructure.
- Halt expansion of fossil fuel exports, including liquefied natural gas export facilities, new coal export terminals, and increased oil exports.
- Increase U.S.-backed international finance of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and phase out fossil fuel lending.
3. Double down on clean energy
- Open innovative financing and investment avenues for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
- Facilitate environmentally responsible leasing and deployment of clean energy generation and technologies on public lands and waters and within federal agencies.
4. Protect communities from future climate disasters and readying a robust and just response
- Release equal and just national climate resilience plans that help create strong and sustainable communities, infrastructure and ecosystems.
- Hold the U.S. Environmental Protection Agecny and Federal Emergency Management Agency accountable for ensuring equal, appropriate and just federal emergency and disaster response, including better equipping state and local officials to develop and support climate resilient communities.
5. Protect America's lands, air, water and wildlife from fossil fuel development
- Stop the rush to expand oil and gas drilling, coal mining, and dirty fuels development on our public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf, reform the Department of Interior coal leasing program, and protect the Arctic Refuge and national parks from fossil fuel development.
- Ensure that lands and wildlife can adapt to climate disruption by protecting large scale landscapes that connect wildlife habitat, and ensure that every national forest addresses the impacts of climate disruption and protects carbon-storing old growth forests as part of their management plan.
“When our children and grandchildren look back at the climate crisis, what will President Obama’s legacy be?” asked Brune. “The American people recognize the impact of extreme weather on their communities and the ever-greater threat climate disruption poses to their children’s future. President Obama deserves credit for improving vehicle efficiency standards, creating incentives for clean energy, and passing historic clean air protections. We are, as a nation, slowly beginning to succeed against climate disruption, and we must do everything we can to ensure that President Obama and the federal agencies he leads roll up their sleeves and increase the momentum. We cannot afford to lose a minute in this fight. It’s time that we finally establish our American climate legacy.”
Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE pages for more related news on this topic.
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Since even moderate-intensity workouts offer a slew of benefits, walking is a good choice for people looking to stay healthy.
How to Rock Your Walk<p>Walking isn't just fun and healthy. It's accessible.</p><p>"Walking is cheap," says Dr. John Paul H. Rue, a sports medicine doctor at <a href="https://mdmercy.com/" target="_blank">Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore</a>. "You can do it anywhere at any time; [it] requires little to no special equipment and has many of the same cardio benefits as running or other more intense workouts."</p><p>Want to up your walking game? Try the tips below.</p>
Use Hand Weights<p>Cardio and strength training can go hand-in-hand when you add weights to your walk.</p><p>A <a href="https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2019/03000/Associations_of_Resistance_Exercise_with.14.aspx" target="_blank">2019 study</a> found that weight training is good for your heart, and <a href="https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(17)30167-2/abstract" target="_blank">research</a> shows it reduces the risk of developing a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/nutrition-metabolism-disorders" target="_blank">metabolic disorder</a> by 17 percent. People with metabolic disorders have a higher chance of being diagnosed with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.</p><p>Rue suggests not carrying weights for your entire walk.</p><p>"Hand weights can give you an added level of energy burning, but you have to be careful with these because carrying [them] over a long period of time or while walking could actually lead to some overuse injuries," he says.</p>
Make It a Circuit<p>As another option, consider doing a circuit. First, put a pair of dumbbells on your lawn or somewhere in your home. Walk around the block once, then stop and do some bicep curls and tricep lifts before walking around the block again.</p><p>Rue recommends <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/running-with-weights" target="_blank">avoiding ankle weights</a> during cardio workouts, as they force you to use your quadriceps rather than hamstrings. They can also cause muscle imbalance, according to the <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/wearable-weights-how-they-can-help-or-hurt" target="_blank">Harvard Health Letter</a>.</p>
Find a Fitness Trail<p>Strength training isn't limited to weights. You can get stronger by <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/bodyweight-workout" target="_blank">simply using your body</a>.</p><p>Often found at parks, fitness trails are obstacle courses with equipment for pullups, pushups, rowing, and stretches to build upper and lower body strength.</p><p>Try searching "fitness trails near me" online, checking out your local parks and recreation website, or calling the municipal office to <a href="https://calisthenics-parks.com/" target="_blank">find one</a>.</p>
Recruit a Friend<p>People who workout together stay healthy together.</p><p><a href="https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-017-0584-3" target="_blank">One study</a> showed that older adults who exercised with a group improved or maintained their functional health and enjoyed their lives more.</p><p>Enlist the help of a walking buddy with a regimen you aspire to have. If you don't know anyone in your area, apps like <a href="https://www.strava.com/" target="_blank">Strava</a> have social networking features so you can get support from fellow exercisers.</p>
Try Meditation<p>According to the <a href="https://www.nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/nhis/2017" target="_blank">2017 National Health Interview Survey</a>, published by the National Institutes of Health, meditation is on the rise, and for good reason.</p><p>Researchers <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29616846/" target="_blank">found</a> that mind-body relaxation practices can regulate inflammation, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/biological-rhythms" target="_blank">circadian rhythms</a>, and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/glucose" target="_blank">glucose</a> metabolism, as well as lower <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/high-blood-pressure-hypertension" target="_blank">blood pressure</a>.</p><p>"Any form of exercise can be turned into a meditation of some type, either by the surroundings you are walking in, like a park or trail, or by blocking out the outside world with music on your headphones," Rue says.</p><p>You can also play a podcast or download an app like <a href="https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app" target="_blank">Headspace</a> that has a library of guided meditations to practice while you walk.</p>
Do Fartlek Walks<p>Typically used in running, fartlek intervals alternate periods of increased and decreased speed. These are <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-hiit" target="_blank">high-intensity interval training (HIIT)</a> workouts, which allow exercisers to accomplish more in less time.</p><p><a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154075" target="_blank">One study</a> showed that 10-minute interval training improved <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/metabolic-syndrome" target="_blank">cardiometabolic</a> health, or lowered the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, just as well as working out at a continuous pace for 50 minutes.</p><p><a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0111489" target="_blank">Research</a> also shows that HIIT workouts increase muscle <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/fast-twitch-muscles" target="_blank">oxidative</a> capacity, or the ability to use oxygen. To do a fartlek walk, try walking at an increased pace for 3 minutes, slow down for 2 minutes, and repeat.</p>
Gradually Increase Pace<p>A faster walking pace is associated with a lower risk of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/copd" target="_blank">chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)</a> and respiratory diseases, according to a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30303933/" target="_blank">2019 study</a>.</p><p>Still, it's best not to go from a stroll to an Olympic-worthy power walk in a day. Instead, increase your pace gradually to prevent injury.</p><p>"Start by walking at a brisk pace for about 10 minutes per day, 3 to 5 days per week," Rue says. "Once you've done this for a few weeks, increase your time by 5 to 10 minutes per day until you get to 30 minutes."</p>
Add Stairs<p>You've likely heard that taking the stairs instead of an elevator is a way to add more movement into your daily routine. It's also a way to step up your walking. Stair climbing has been shown to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211335519301123?via%3Dihub" target="_blank">decrease the risk of mortality</a> and can easily add a bit more challenge to your walk.</p><p>If you don't have stairs in your home, you can often find them outside a local municipal building, train station, or at a high school stadium.</p>
Is Your Walk a True Cardio Workout?<p>Not all walks are equal. A walk that's too leisurely may not provide enough burn to qualify as cardio. To see if you're getting a good workout, try to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-check-heart-rate" target="_blank">measure your heart rate</a> using a monitor.</p><p>"A target goal for a good walking workout heart rate is about 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate," Rue says, adding that maximum heart rate is <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/fat-burning-heart-rate" target="_blank">typically calculated</a> by 220 beats per minute minus your age.</p><p>You can also monitor how easily you can carry on a conversation while you walk to gauge your heart rate.</p><p>"If you can walk and carry on a normal conversation, that's probably a lower intensity walk," says Rue. "If you are slightly breathless but can still have a conversation, that's probably a moderate workout. If you are out of breath and can't talk normally, that's a vigorous workout."</p>
Takeaway<p>By shaking up your routine, you can add excitement to your workout and reap even more rewards than a basic walk provides. Increasing the pace and intensity of a workout will make it more effective.</p><p>Simply pick your favorite variation to add some spice to your next walk.</p>
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