Chattanooga Healthy Energy for Everyone sponsors August festival.
Aren’t we lucky to live where we live? As Goldilocks would say, “It’s not too hot; it’s not too cold; it’s just right!” Tennessee has a greater variety of plants and animals than elsewhere in the world. If you have flown in from other places, you know how beautifully green it is in comparison to other spots. The combination of water, forest and scenic vistas just can’t be beat. And to date we have four tolerable seasons—although overall, it’s getting hotter.
Marring the view is recent research revealing our higher amounts of poverty and crime compared to other cities. USA Today says Chattanooga is the nation’s eighth unhealthiest city. Poverty sometimes leads to crime as people become desperate for food and shelter. Poverty leads to poor health given lack of access to nutritious food and health services plus unsanitary living conditions. Then there is sickness-related air, food and water pollution, plus flooding, inability to afford energy costs, and the danger those conditions may bring, especially in extreme weather events.
There are laudable attempts in the works in Chattanooga and Hamilton County to reduce both poverty and crime, and there has been a stab at sustainability and climate change action, but until now there hasn’t been an organized effort to work on energy justice. A newly formed coalition is growing in Chattanooga to tackle that issue. Because energy impacts us all, Chattanooga Healthy Energy for Everyone (CHEE) is reaching out to organizations across a broad spectrum.
These include hospitals, schools, farmers, businesses, industries, government and service agencies at all levels, nonprofits, and all the organizations that serve neighborhoods. It also includes all individuals who want a clean energy world with clean air and water where they can work, play, be safe and afford basic comforts of life.
The CHEE coalition intends to promote a transition to the use of more Earth/people-friendly energy sources replacing coal, natural gas and nuclear with conservation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. CHEE also wants to build a plan addressing climate change, and mount a city effort for environmental justice. For more information, email Climate-Chattanooga-list@Sierra Club.org.
Environmentalists are often accused of only talking about gloom and doom. There’s a grain of truth there, but talked about or not, problems do exist. Environmentalists continue to point out planet and support system issues that we humans have brought upon ourselves. Knowing the problems helps us fix them, once we put our minds to it.
Our environmental problems encompass a long, complex list. By the time you think about it, you’re going to need some cheering up. Besides, it’s summer! Let’s celebrate actions and solutions—and there are many. CHEE invites you to the Chattanooga Climate Festival, August 16 from 4-9 p.m. at the Crash Pad. Spend a Sunday afternoon and early evening with live music, informative speakers, fun exhibits, intriguing workshops and food. It’s all being done with the belief that when we get together and become aware and informed, we are a resourceful bunch, fully able to make a positive difference. We are the ones to do it.
Admission is free, but if you have a few bucks to help sponsor the event, join other advocates by going to causeway.org. Thanks to Tennessee Environmental Council sponsorship, you can participate in crowdfunding, allowing you to join with others and see 100 percent of your big, small, very small, or even measly contribution go exactly where you want it to go for a change. Click on causes, select Chattanooga Climate Festival, and follow directions to contribute.
See you there!