Some Positive News Globally, and Some Positive Actions Locally

By Maryvonne Devensky 

1) SABAL TRAIL PIPELINE —Since last fall, DIVESTING globally is a growing movement according to an article from December 12, 2016, by Damian Carrington. Here are some excerpts: “The value of investment funds committed to selling off fossil fuel assets has jumped to 5.2 TRILLIONS doubling in just over a year.

The new total was welcomed by United Nations Secretary Ban Ki-Moon who said: “It’s clear the transition to a clean energy future is inevitable, beneficial and well underway and that investors have a key role to play”.  The movement to divest started in 2011 on University Campuses but the new report (2 month old) revealed that concerns over investments in coal, oil and gas have now entered the financial mainstream, with more than 80% of the funds now committed to divest being managed by commercial investments and pension funds…688 institutions and 58,000 individuals across 76 countries, are now committed to divestment, including major financial institutions, such as the world biggest wealth funds, owned by Norway, Allianz and Aegon… Ban Ki-Moon added : “Investments in clean energy are the right thing to do and the smart way to build prosperity for all, while protecting our planet”.

For more information on Divesting, please go online and check, Divestment, and other websites. You will find the names of the 17 banks involved in supporting the Sabal Trail Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline (owned by the same companies, according to WWALS article).

Actions to take:  Please call or write (better) to the CEO of these 3 American banks who have loans with pipelines companies, and ask them to divest from fossil fuels companies:

Timothy J. Sloan, CEO
Corporate office   Wells Fargo,
420 Montgomery Street,
San Francisco, CA 94104

William H. Rodgers Jr.  CEO
303 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
Phone: 800-786-8787

Michael Corbet,  CEO
388 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013
Phone:  212-793-1201

If you feel like writing to 14 international banks, you will find their list on Banks.  Also on the Food and Water Watch website, check the graph of all these banks with amounts of loans, list updated on December 5, 2016.

ACT LOCALLY, check if your own bank has loans with fossil fuel companies and ask them to divest, or move your money to another bank. It’s tedious, I know, I did it…. If you want, check if the University of Florida has investments in fossil fuels companies and ask them to divest as well.

2) LIVING WAGE ISSUE On Tuesday, February 7, the Alachua BOCC voted to increase the Living Wage for their staff and contractors’ employees to $13.00 an hour.
Sierra Club at the national level supports a Living Wage of $15.00, so this vote from the BOCC is on the path to a better living wage, and SSJ supports the move of the Alachua BOCC.

3)  SSJ NORTH FLORIDA WORKING GROUP Our next meeting is Saturday, February 25, at 10:00 am, at the Sierra Club office at Rum 138, in Fort White. Sierra Club members from the Northern counties (Baker, Hamilton, Suwannee, Gilchrist, Columbia, Union, Bradford, Lafayette and Dixie) are most welcome to attend the meeting. We will discuss issues pertaining to these counties, and everyone concerned about the protection of our rivers, lakes and springs is welcome. For more information, contact Chris Mericle at, or Merrillee at .

4)  SOLAR CO-0P COMING TO GAINESVILLE On Monday, February 13, the League of Women Voters and the Florida Sun gathered several Gainesville residents in a steering committee meeting to launch a Solar Coop in Alachua County. After the defeat of the industry amendment in November, this is a project to increase the use of Solar Energy in more homes. This solar co-op could be a step in the right direction to provide solar energy at a more affordable cost for residents of Alachua County. Stay tuned…Launching date will be around Earth Day!

5)  John Muir Celebrations on November 10-11-12, 2017 To celebrate the 150 year anniversary of John Muir crossing Florida in 1867, we are planning a 3 day event for these dates:

Friday, November 10, Conference on Climate Change.
Saturday November 11, John Muir stay in Cedar Key.
Sunday, November 12, Kayak trips planned.

Anyone wanting to help out in promoting this event at the Arts Festival in Cedar Key, on April 8-9, or at the Seafood Festival, October 21-22, 2017, when Sierra Club will have a booth, please contact me at