Waco Chat

Alan Northcutt

By Kevin Tankersley

Director of Waco Friends of the Climate

“Our goal is to do everything we can locally to combat the climate crisis.”

We’ve been working on this for about a decade now, maybe a little more, and we’ve done everything from opposing a possible new natural gas plant at Tradinghouse [Creek Reservoir] to a lot of educational things. The art show is part of that educational effort. Education and direct action are what we do.

This is the fifth annual art show. It’s been great. It’s grown. We started with around 50 pieces of art. This year, we had like 110 entries. Originally, it was a live show, and this year and last year were virtual [Climate Crisis Art Exhibit, climatecrisisartexhibit.org]. We’d like to get back to a live show someday.

More people see the show when it’s virtual. I looked at our numbers today, and we had 709 visitors to the show. Our last venue was the Waco Winery down on Austin, up on the second floor. It was a nice place, but we just didn’t have that volume of traffic, and not as many people saw it.

Of course, a live show is better when you’re looking at [the art], but as far as numbers, the virtual show is probably superior. We have people all over the world who see this show, so that’s kind of cool.

Probably the easiest and most important thing [to help combat the climate crisis] is people can look at their electricity provider. We get to pick our companies here, and almost all companies will have some kind of a green plan. Look for a plan that’s 100 percent renewable energy. As more people get on such a plan, that’s a stimulus for building more renewable infrastructure. That’s something that most people can do. And the price is really not higher.

You can help the planet and still get a good, competitive price. Electricity [production] is the number two source of greenhouse gases in the United States. Number one is transportation. And [another step] is an electric car.

Hybrids decrease emissions some, I guess, but I would say that anyone buying a new car, or even a used car now, should definitely consider an electric car. There are reasonably priced ones you can get in the $20s [thousand] and we still have a $7,500 tax credit on most EVs. That’s a pretty big chunk.
And definitely watch the news because the goal, I think of the administration, is to try to get that up to $12,500 I believe for the union-made cars. That’s still in the works and hasn’t passed yet, but if it does, that would help folks even more to get into an electric car.

They’re just superior in every way. I’ve been driving an electric car for five years and I would never go back to gas. They’re quieter and cleaner and faster. I have a 2020 Tesla Model 3. Before that, I had the Chevy Bolt, because that was the first long-range EV.

For 31 years, Alan Northcutt was a dermatopathologist in Waco. “I have a specialty in interpreting biopsies from skin specimens,” he said. He retired from that and is now director of Waco Friends of the Climate, an organization that began in 2002 in opposition to the Iraq War. In 2012, it transitioned to Waco Friends of Peace/Climate, and to its current name in 2020. Find it at friendsofpeacewaco.blogspot.com and the art show and sale at climatecrisisartexhibit.org.

The Drink: At Hencho En Waco, in downtown Waco, Northcutt ordered a Diet Coke, a drink to which he’s been “addicted” for years. “It doesn’t have that sugariness” of other Coke products, he said.

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