Welcome to GCAN, the Greenbelt Climate Action Network!

GCAN’s mission is to educate residents about climate change, “systemic” solutions, how they can change their behaviors to be more sustainable,  and take personal, local, systemic, or political action. From September to June monthly meetings are held at the Greenbelt Community Center on the second Wednesday of the month.



After you view our special July 21st presentation (https://www.facebook.com/116064745113092/videos/341211967495082), we hope many of you will consider subscribing to a community solar farm through Neighborhood Sun. This is a significant way for you to reduce your carbon footprint and support GCAN’s mission. By subscribing to Neighborhood Sun, you enable clean solar energy to connect to the grid, but your electric company doesn’t change. You are basically changing the source of your energy through your utility company so it comes from a local solar farm that generates clean energy, local green jobs and cleans the local air.

You can view available projects at  https://neighborhoodsun.solar/solarfarms/ Do not use the link here to sign up.   This is for informational purposes only.

All of these projects offer you a discount off of what you are paying for dirty electricity through your utility. They range from 5% to 10% (to 25%), depending on the terms of the particular developer involved, (and whether you qualify as a Low to Moderate Income Household).

If you use this special link to sign up, Neighborhood Sun will donate $100 to GCAN’s parent organization, CHEARS (Chesapeake Education Arts and Research Society).  www.neighborhoodsun.solar/GCAN

Save money on your electric bill AND support GCAN!     




You are invited to the April meeting of the Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN). It will take place via Zoom on Wed, April 13, 7-9 pm. The Zoom link is below

Invite friends on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/662600225030833

Learn more about Community Solar as a way to reduce your carbon emissions and fight climate change without installing solar panels at home and actually saving money on your electric bill. We’ll be meeting with Neighborhood Sun to learn more about how it works, the signup process, solar farms available, and all the benefits.

When you sign up to get clean energy from a local solar farm with Neighborhood Sun, GCAN’s parent organization (Chears.org) receives a $100 donation to support our mission. You may use this link to sign up www.neighborhoodsun.solar/GCAN

We will also take some time to practice explaining the concept of Community Solar to our friends and neighbors, in preparation for tabling at the upcoming Greenbelt Green Man Festival.

For more info, contact Lore Rosenthal, SimplicityGroupsMD@gmail.com, 301-345-2234 (landline, no text)

Topic: GCAN for April: Community Solar
Time: Apr 13, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Living with Paradox in a Warming World?

You are invited to the March meeting of the Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN). It will take place via Zoom on Wed, March 9, 7-9 pm.

As we live with the devastating effects of human-caused climate change and work to slow or reverse the warming trend and protect life on our planet, we may encounter paradoxes that make us wonder if our actions are meaningful or meaningless.

For example, our city, county, and state are quickly transitioning to electric cars and buses. However, does the extraction of materials for electric vehicles have its own environmental and human costs?

We are all trying to reduce our use of plastics, which are made from fossil fuels. However, does switching from plastic to heavier materials like glass increase the climate impacts from shipping?

Many of us have made numerous lifestyle choices to reduce our carbon footprint. However, are our personal choices pointless in a world where so many people don’t have access or can’t afford to make those healthier choices?

Recognizing these paradoxes can cause anxiety and paralysis, or they can be an opportunity for exploration and connection. Let’s talk about what paradoxes we are facing and how we can sit with and make space for them while continuing to do our work.

Please think about and bring examples of the paradoxes you are living with to discuss with the group.

We will also start our meeting with updates about the five pieces of state legislation we have been supporting.



GCAN has Legislative Update

You are invited to the February meeting of the Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN). It will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, February 9, 7-9 pm. The Zoom link is available belo

With the Maryland General Assembly in full swing, we will hear from various GCAN members on legislative updates regarding the top bills we are following. These includes:
* Climate Solutions Now Act, comprehensive legislation introduced by Senator Paul Pinsky

* Reclaim Renewable Energy Act, to clean up our RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard)

* Amendment for Environmental Human Rights

* Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act

* PFAs Chemicals: Prohibitions and Requirements

* Magnetic Levitation Transportation Systems: Prohibited Appropriations (Maglev)

We will also hear updates on what is happening with the plans to build the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) at BARC (Beltsville Agricultural Research Center) as well as the status of the wooded tract of land at NASA/Goddard, that will hopefully be transferred to the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge.



Climate Scientist, Katharine Hayhoe says the most important thing you can do about climate change is to TALK ABOUT IT.

So what is the best way to do that? Scare people? Offer “doom and gloom” scenarios? Watch and discuss a documentary or movie about Climate Change? Pepper family and friends with data and facts? Talk about solutions that are already being done? Offer a vision of a better future?

Did you talk to your family and friends over the holidays about climate change? If so, which approach did you take?

Join the Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN) on Wednesday, January 12, 7-9 pm for our next virtual meeting, via Zoom. We will watch a short video of Dr. Hayhoe, followed by a discussion.

During the latter part of our meeting, we will have brief updates on the state, county, and local campaigns we are following. We will round out the evening with announcements of upcoming events.

Preview the video or read a recent book review of Professor Hayhoe’s book, Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World



You are invited to the December meeting of the Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN). It will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, Dec 8, 7-9 pm. The Zoom link is available at www.chears.org/gcan.

We will be learning about five legislative campaigns coming up in Annapolis this January. At the conclusion, attendees will have an opportunity to indicate which campaigns they would like to get involved in.

First up will be Nina Cardin. She is Director of MDEHR. She is working on the Amendment for Environmental Human Rights. The goal of the bill is to place in the Declaration of Rights of our state constitution an amendment that ensures that everyone, everywhere in Maryland, has the right to a healthful environment.

Next we will hear from Hope Clark, Maryland Organizer, Climate XChange. Hope will represent the RMC, Rebuild Maryland Coalition. Their bill is the Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act (CCEJ) which will help meet Maryland’s greenhouse gas reduction goals; help fund actions to reduce emissions; enhance resilience to climate impacts; help protect low- and moderate-income households from financial harm; and provide assistance to county and municipal governments to develop local Climate Action Plans.

Third, we will hear from Jennifer Kunze, Maryland Program Coordinator at Food & Water Watch. She will explain about the Reclaim Renewable Energy Act, which will ensure that all of our renewable energy subsidies through the Renewable Portfolio Standard go to energy that is actually clean and renewable, by taking trash incineration, methane production, and other polluting energy sources out of the RPS.

Our fourth speaker will be Laurie McGilvray, Co-Chair, Climate Justice Wing of the Maryland Legislative Coalition. She will be speaking about the 2022 Comprehensive Climate Package. The climate package represents bills that will be introduced in the Senate, likely as a single bill, and in the House as multiple bills. It includes climate legislation related to transportation, buildings, renewable energy, greenhouse gas reduction goals, methane accounting, and environmental justice and equity.

Finally, we will hear from Emily Scarr, Director of Maryland PIRG. She will explain about the Maryland PFAS Protection Act, which will protect public health by stopping the use of PFAS in food packaging, rugs and carpets and fire fighting foam and ban the mass disposal of these chemicals by incineration and landfilling.

After the five speakers, we will discuss ways that we can support these campaigns and there will be opportunities for folks to express their interest in particular bills.

As always, we will close out our meeting with an overview of upcoming events. This calendar will be updated prior to the meeting. https://chears.org/gcan/monthly-meetings/upcoming-events/


Details for November 10, 2021


You are invited to the November meeting of the Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN). It will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, Nov 10, 7-9 pm. The Zoom link is below

 The meeting will be divided into two parts.

During the first part, we will learn about the Prince George’s County Climate Action Plan. Our guest speaker will be Janet Gingold. The plan has just been released for a month of public comment at http://mypgc.us/climateactionplan. We will discuss what type of comments we want to submit, to make sure the PG County Council accepts the plan and enacts necessary legislation.

During the second part, we will hear from two representatives of the Energy Foundation Coalition, Emily Frias and Cecilia Plante. The coalition spent all summer in a process to narrow down select pieces of state legislation to support in the upcoming Maryland General Assembly in January 2022. Potential bills fall into four categories: Fossil Fuel Legislation, Buildings Legislation, Transportation Legislation, and Renewable Energy Legislation. Learn what bills “won” in each category and discuss how GCAN can support this coalition as we lobby in Annapolis, beginning in January.

Dr. Janet Gingold is the chair of the Prince Georges County Sierra Club. She is also one of 16 commissioners who helped draft the PG County Climate Action Plan. Emily Frias is MD Grassroots Coordinator for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Cecilia Plante is on the Executive Committee of the MD Legislative Coalition (MLC). She is one of the co-chairs of the MLC Climate Justice Wing.




You are invited to the October meeting of the Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN). It will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, October 13, 7-9 pm.  

We will have a guest speaker from Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Anthony Field, to explain about their latest campaign to “Electrify” Maryland Buildings.

For those who missed the meeting, here are three helpful links:  

Slide presentation

Electrify MD Resources:

Petition to support building electrification in MD:

The movement to create cleaner, healthier, all-electric homes and buildings has gained steam across the country. Maryland must not fall behind and should support rapid building electrification (involving heating, appliances, cooking, hot water, etc) in order to cut pollution from homes and buildings. Otherwise, we risk locking in emissions that will threaten the state’s climate goals while endangering Marylanders all across the state with dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure.

One of the most impactful and economically viable ways to approach electrification throughout Maryland is by starting with new homes. This would benefit community members by giving them access to cleaner air, healthier homes, good jobs, affordable clean energy, and energy efficiency to reduce monthly energy bills, while helping the state meet its climate goals.

Our speaker, Anthony Field, is CCAN’s No New Fossil Fuels campaign lead and has been with CCAN for 2 years. He works to protect communities in Maryland from the climate and health impacts of gas by opposing gas projects, passing legislation, strengthening regulations, and engaging in litigation

You are invited to the September meeting of the Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN). It will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, September 8, 7-9 pm.  
This month, we will have a series of brief “Progress Reports” on priority issues we have been following.
They include
A. Federal Budget Reconciliation Plan – report on our August lobby visit with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, to discuss ending fossil fuel subsidies and refining the CEPP (Clean Energy Payment Program) portion of the bill.
B. County Climate Action Plan – final draft to be submitted in September
C. School Board Climate Change Action Plan
D. Greenbelt City goals for Greenhouse Gas Reductions – discussions with Green ACES committee; request for all-electric buildings for new construction
E. 495/270 Highway Expansion Plan fights
F. Maglev – multiple attempts to stop it
G. NAACP Prince George’s County Branch- Environment and Climate Justice: Legislation, Engagement, Advocacy and Priorities
H. Maryland Legislative Coalition, Climate Justice Wing – early plans for January Maryland General Assembly Session
I. PG Sierra Club Compost Team – plans to educate and encourage 27 local municipalities to begin compost programs in their towns
J. BFFPPA (Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act) – campaign strategy for this federal legislation
There will be something of interest for everyone!



GCAN Presentation on Community Solar
Join the Greenbelt Climate Action Network on Wed, July 21, 7:00-8:30 pm, for a special presentation by Neighborhood Sun, on community solar

Community Solar is a state-run program that offers homeowners AND renters all the environmental benefits of going solar with no costs, no panels, no cancellation fees, no switching energy suppliers while getting guaranteed savings every month on your utility bill.

Neighborhood Sun can help you reduce your carbon footprint by subscribing to a local community solar farm. It was founded by the former leader of Clean Currents, the area’s first exclusively green energy company, which brought together thousands of people, businesses, and organizations to switch to wind and solar power. For them, solar is about creating strong communities. NSun is a B Corp, which means they are a certified social enterprise that meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Join us on Wed, July 21, to learn more about how community solar works, its benefits and see if you are eligible to subscribe to one of their solar farms in MD. Current Solar Farms are Simba Solar (for Pepco-MD customers) and Friendship Solar (for BGE Customers). https://neighborhoodsun.solar/solarfarms/



You are invited to the July meeting of the Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN). It will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, July 14, 7-9 pm.  This month, we will cover two topics: Plastic and the Prince George’s County Climate Action Plan.

Environmental pollution arising from plastic waste is a major global concern. The profusion of plastic world-wide is one of the greatest water and climate issues of our time. Microplastics from plastic pollution have been found in the most remote regions of the globe, and inside human bodies. Marine species ingest or are entangled by plastic debris The Pacific and Atlantic Trash Vortices consist primarily of plastics that accumulate at the center of ocean gyres. Plastics originate as fossil fuels and because of this, the extraction, transportation, production and disposal of plastics has a great impact on our climate. Alexis Goldsmith of Beyond Plastics will speak on the cradle-to-grave impacts of plastic and the legislative solutions, including the federal Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.

During the latter part of the meeting we will examine the preliminary recommendations of the Prince Georges County Climate Action Plan. At their June 24 Public Information Session, the County Commission on Climate Action released their 27 Priority Recommendations. https://pgccouncil.us/810/Climate-Action-Commission    OR  https://pgccouncil.us/DocumentCenter/View/6435/CAC-Priority-Recommendations_052121  You are encouraged to review these recommendations, prior to our meeting. What do you think of them? How could they be improved? Let’s get ready for the third Public Information Session in August and be ready to submit our comments, https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdx1yey15X3s_G7TDJmuFPN5IhP8dmhC2lZtKmeocCCk4MGCg/viewform




Interested in learning more about the American Jobs Plan and the Clean Energy Standard, which are two current national legislative proposals?

Please join the Greenbelt Climate Action Network via our Zoom meeting on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 from 7 to 9 pm.

Jorge Aguilar from Food & Water Watch (F&WW) and Jamie DeMarco from Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) will be discussing the American Jobs Plan Act and the Clean Energy Standard and the likelihood that either of these proposals can become law, given our current Congress.

Some of the questions we will look at are:
1. Are either 50% by 2030 or 100% by 2035 reasonable greenhouse gas reduction goals for the Clean Energy Standard?
2. How does the Clean Energy Standard compare to the Renewable Electricity Standard, a more stringent proposal that removes natural gas, nuclear, biofuels, offsets, etc.?
3. What is the possibility that Congress will remove all mention of green infrastructure (green jobs and renewable energy) from the American Jobs Plan, to satisfy the more conservative base?

There will be plenty of time for discussion about these and other issues that participants have, with Jorge and Jamie after their presentations.




You are invited to the May meeting of the Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN). It will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, May 12, 7-9 pm.    

Now that the Maryland General Assembly has recessed until January 2022, GCAN is turning our attention to various national level campaigns. We will spend our May meeting learning about some of these campaigns and deciding to which ones we want to devote our focus.

> American Jobs Plan (AJP)/Biden’s Climate Plan
> Clean Electricity Standard (CES): Part of the CLEAN Future Act. A proposed amendment to the American Jobs Plan which would increase the emissions reductions goal to 80% by 2030; and 100% by 2035
> Renewable Electricity Standard (RES): a more aggressive proposal to remove gas, fossil fuels, and other false solutions, acheiving 100% by 2030.
> THRIVE Agenda/Green New Deal Network
> Red, Black, & Green New Deal Network (Movement for Black Lives)
> Protect the Right to Organize (PRO Act)
> Build Back Fossil Free (BBFF)
> Enbridge Line 3 and Dakota Access Pipelines
> National Ban on Fracking
> Break Free from Plastic Pollution (BFFPPA)
> Drop Incineration from the Clean Future Act (GAIA)

During the latter part of the meeting we will hear from Greenbelter, Owen Kelley. He will describe the impact that the SCMaglev operations would have on annual greenhouse gas emissions. Among other objections, the Maglev is a climate change issue.



Join the Greenbelt Climate Action Network for their next monthly Zoom meeting, on Wednesday, April 14, 7-9 pm.  The Zoom link is available at www.chears.org/gcan.“Sine Die”, the last day of the Maryland General Assembly is on Mon, April 12.  Therefore, we will use our April Meeting to do a recap on important legislation that died or survived this session.
Bills will include: Climate Solutions Now Act, Transit Safety & Investment Act, several recycling bills including the Plastic Bag Reduction Act, several incineration bills, and two bills about beltway widening.
We will also have updates about:  The Maglev Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), the School Board Climate Change Action Plan, and the County Commission writing our Climate Action Plan.



Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN) will meet via Zoom on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

During the first half of our meeting, we will learn about how a bill becomes a law and how to navigate the Maryland General Assembly website (https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/) to track a bill or submit testimony.

The second half of the meeting will include updates on our priority issues, including: State legislation on the MagLev, Climate Solutions Now Act, and the Beltway Expansion; the County’s Climate Action Plan; the Prince George’s County School Board resolution on its Climate Change Action Plan, as well as State and County legislation on the Brandywine Power Plants.



Contacting Elected Officials & Priorities Updates”
Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN) will meet via Zoom on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

During the first half of our meeting, we will discuss the various ways we contact our Maryland state legislators about issues that are important to us. We will also look at the balance between agricultural farms and solar farms, and hear a report on our recent successful visit with the city council.

Please have a piece of writing paper handy, as we may be writing a brief letter to our legislators.

The second half of the meeting will be updates on our priority issues, including: the status of the Eastern Shore Pipeline; State legislation on the MagLev, Climate Solutions Now Act, and the Beltway Expansion; the County’s Climate Action Plan; the Prince George’s School Board’s resolution on its Climate Change Action Plan, as well as State and County legislation on the Brandywine Power Plants.



Join the next Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN) meeting on Wed, Jan 13, 7-9 pm.
This month’s meeting will be divided into two parts.
Let’s start the year with good news—climate change action will be a top priority of the Biden administration. And solar power will be essential to move the US toward a zero-carbon future. Forward planning about where and how we create clean solar energy will be a topic of discussion during our first meeting of the new year.
Check out this Bay Journal article, “Where Solar Arrays Shouldn’t Go is as Critical as Where They Do Go”, to get started. It clarifies the issue among Maryland residents about where solar sites are desirable. Should arrays be built on farmland? https://tinyurl.com/GCANSolarWhere
You are encouraged to read the article, prior to the meeting.
The second part of our meeting will be devoted to our GCAN Priorities. Things are heating up on all fronts regarding our 5 top priorities:
Brandywine Power Plant and Pipeline
GCAN members met with state legislators to garner support for PG 410-21, the Stop Environmentally Unjust Coal and Gas Plants Act of 2021
Eastern Shore Pipeline
One branch of the pipeline was approved on Dec. 2 by the BPW (Bureau of Public Works). There is still another pipeline branch left.. What are our next steps?
Prince George’s County Climate Action Plan
Commission members are working with the Cadmus Group to develop a Climate Action Plan, and GCAN is working closely with Prince George’s Sierra Club to provide input.
495 Beltway Expansion
Maryland House Environment and Transportation (E & T) Chair Kumar Barve as well as Del Marc Korman and Jared Solomon are working on legislative reform to protect the public from empty promises for faster traffic at no-net cost to taxpayers.
Northeast Maglev
GCAN members have joined the letter writing campaign to extend the comment period for the DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Statement). Look for a survey being conducted by Citizens Against SCMaglev, and attend a Town Hall meeting to hear from the “experts” on the looming threats of SCMaglev. The Greenbelt City Council has hired an attorney to represent the City’s opposition to the Maglev.
GCAN members continue to actively engage in letter writing, attending strategy meetings, testifying at hearings, networking, using social media to advance the cause, and providing creative support to our partners, as needed.
We hope you can join us. For questions, contact Lore Rosenthal, SimplicityGroupsMD@gmail.com, 301-345-2234 (landline, no text)


Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN) will hold its next monthly meeting, via zoom, on Wed, Dec 9, 7-9 pm.
At the Nov 11 Greenbelt Climate Action Network (GCAN) meeting, group members participated in a poll to choose our top 5 priorities for our advocacy work. These top campaigns include:
1. Brandywine Power Plant and Charles County Pipeline – The Mattawoman Energy Company, LLC plans to build a fifth power plant just East of Rte. 301 and just South of Brandywine Road. This 990-MW plant would be fueled by natural gas from a 7.6-mile pipeline that would run from Charles County, through the headwaters of Mattawoman Creek and the Zekiah Swamp and through parts of Cedarville State Forest.  GCAN opposes this plan which will use fracked gas.  Brandywine has become a “sacrifice zone”.
2. Eastern Shore (Delmarva) Pipeline – The Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company has applied for a tidal wetlands license. This is part of a 6.83 mile long 10-inch diameter gas pipe line beginning in Salisbury and extending to University of MD, Eastern Shore.  Organizations such as GCAN oppose the disruption of the wetlands as well as the use of fracked gas, creating new fossil fuel infrastructure, rather than transitioning to renewable energy. NEWS FLASH: This pipeline was just approved on Dec 2nd.  We will strategize about next steps.
3. Prince George’s County Climate Action Plan – The Commission plans to create a Climate Action Plan by fall of 2021. The plan will include strategies for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and also increasing community resilience in the face of the changes that are expected to occur. GCAN plans to provide input to the plan, through the local Sierra Club chair, who serves on the Commission.
4. 495 Beltway Expansion – a plan to allow a P3 (public private partnership) to build toll lanes on I-495 and I-270.  This project will result in more traffic congestion, not less, defeating its “purpose and need.”  Chronic traffic congestion must be made to continue indefinitely in the “free” lane or there will be no incentive for motorists to pay to use the toll lanes. Despite assurances, the P3 will need to be subsidized by Maryland taxpayers. GCAN is against this plan.5. Northeast MagLev and Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail – a plan to deploy the 311 mph SCMAGLEV train in the Northeast corridor. The promoters described the Northeast Maglev as an innovative, green transportation option that would carry passengers at 311 mph, travelling from DC to New York in an hour, decreasing intercity trips by cars, and using less energy per seat than traditional automobile or air travel. Opponents, such as GCAN, are against this plan, because it will destroy homes and green spaces along its route, tickets will be very costly, and the train will not serve Prince George’s County.

At our December meeting, we plan to strategize about these top 5 priority campaigns. As a grassroots organization, GCAN needs volunteers to work on various tasks such as attending City Council meetings, writing letters of support, testifying at hearings, attending coalition meetings and reporting back to GCAN, posting on social media (GCAN Facebook page) and posting to the GCAN Google group.  Come join us and see how you can volunteer for one or more of these campaign teams.

For more info, contact Lore Rosenthal, SimplicityGroupsMd@gmail.com, 301-345-2234 (landline)


This website is not updated on a regular basis, so some of the info may be a little out of date..

However, our basic structure remains the same:

  • Monthly Meetings
  • Upcoming Events
  • GCAN Activists
  • Discussion Circles
  • Special Projects

As of March 2016, we update the new Upcoming Events on a regular basis!

For more info, contact Lore Rosenthal, SimplicityGroupsMD@gmail.com, 301-345-2234, Greenbelt Climate Action Network. We will add you to our monthly announcement.
Also visit the CHEARS Facebook page.

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