Sustainable Tompkins is a citizen-based organization working towards the long-term well-being of our communities by integrating social equity, economic vitality, ecological stewardship, and shared responsibility.
Sustainable Tompkins has been working hard over the past five months to coordinate a major regional conference on making our communities more climate friendly and climate resilient. Under the leadership of Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, a coalition of Cortland and Tompkins County nonprofits, colleges, businesses, youth groups, and local governments has formed to support ongoing planning and action on climate mitigation and adaptation. The Climate Smart & Climate Ready conference will take place April 18-21 at multiple venues in Cortland and Ithaca. The conference will focus on how our local governments, institutions, residents and businesses can both lower fossil carbon emissions and prepare for multiple impacts of a turbulent climate regime.
The conference opens the evening of Thursday, April 18 with a keynote presentation at the Hangar Theater in Ithaca featuring Mark Hertsgaard, author of “Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth.” Mark will join ST President Gay Nicholson and panelists from academia and state government to talk about what actions are being taken at the state level.
Events on Friday, April 19 will be held in Cortland for the agricultural sector, and in Ithaca for the legal and medical professions. Saturday will feature an all-day conference in downtown Ithaca with specific tracks developed for elected and appointed local government representatives, business and economic development interests, and community leaders. A Youth Power Summit focused on the overlap between climate justice, economic justice, and social justice will take place on the Ithaca College campus on Saturday and Sunday.
On Sunday, April 21, families and citizens are encouraged to come celebrate Earth Day at the Ithaca Farmers Market and in downtown Cortland, and learn how they can share in the responsibility of coping with climate impacts while preventing additional damage to our atmosphere.
Everyone has a role to play in protecting and preparing our communities for climate change. We are grateful to our sponsors for making the conference possible, and to Assemblywoman Lifton and the members of the coalition for working toward a shared understanding of what our region is facing and how we might simultaneously lessen the severity of climate change while coping with what has already been set in motion. We thank our promotion partners for getting the word out to people throughout the Southern Tier, Central, and Finger Lakes Regions.
Events are free and open to the public except for the multi-venue Saturday conference downtown. Tickets for Saturday are only $20 and include morning refreshments and afternoon reception ($12 for students and scholarships are available). Seating is limited so be sure to buy your ticket today!
On March 26, 2013 we heard from the Park Foundation that they will renew their support to Sustainable Tompkins with a gift of $85,000. We are extremely grateful for their continuing support for our organization. Since our inception the Park Foundation has been our largest benefactor and their gifts to Sustainable Tompkins have made it possible for us to continue our work to convene, connect and catalyze both individuals and policymakers so that our community can successfully cope with global influences such as climate change and energy descent. The 2013 grant, through our fiscal sponsor, Social Ventures, will be used to continue our work to expand our base of support, to recognize achievements in sustainability through our Signs of Sustainability program, to provide Neighborhood Mini-grants, to build the Finger Lakes Climate Fund and to partner with grassroots organizations to promote the Finger Lakes Energy Challenge in Tompkins County.
Sustainable Tompkins was honored to be asked to co-host, along with the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, the 50th Anniversary Celebration for HOLT Architects on February 22. The keynote speaker for the anniversary celebration was Ed Mazria, the visionary and courageous leader behind the 2030 Architecture Challenge to build only zero carbon buildings by 2030.
Gay provided opening remarks to a large audience at the Hanger Theater composed of HOLT clients and local sustainability advocates. Sustainable Tompkins has partnered with HOLT in the past when they helped us put on our Health and Sustainability conference in 2007, and they are currently sponsoring and helping to design sessions of our Climate Smart & Climate Ready conference to be held April 18-21.
We appreciated Ed’s encouragement to the architects and engineers in the crowd to remember that they hold great power in helping to determine how effective our response to climate change will be.
As Gay emphasized in her remarks, this is no time for business as usual. And in fact, there is no more business as usual because even if we continue to build in the same old way and move around in the usual way, the outcome is no longer “as usual.”
The philosopher Holmes Rolston calls this a “hinge point” in human history. We have set in motion planetary changes and have entered a new era of human-induced major shifts in the ecosystems that support us. Thanks to visionaries like Ed Mazria and leaders like the folks at HOLT, we have only to implement the restorative power we already possess.
Tompkins Weekly 05/20/2013
By James A. Balyszak
With the onset of spring and the arrival of warmer weather, residents of Ithaca and the Finger Lakes Region look to the outdoors for recreation and relaxation. This exodus to the outdoors marks a wonderful respite from the clutches of winter, and the beginning of a new season. At the same time, this transition also marks the beginning of a different type of season…Hydrilla Eradication Season! Read more…
Tompkins Weekly 05/13/2013
By Abbe Lyons
Have you made decisions on whether to get married or stay married based on access to health insurance? Have you applied for, stayed in or left a job or career path because of how it would affect your health insurance? Have you ever come close to losing a job with health insurance benefits? Read more…
Tompkins Weekly 05/06/2013
By Karim Beers
You’ve seen the yellow Streets Alive! signs on Cayuga and Court streets. You know that Bike to Work/School day is fast approaching. A voice within you is asking if it might be time to dust off that bike that has been in storage since the 20th century. Here are some great arguments you can use to resist that siren Read more…
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Mindfulness Practice and Sustainability
Are We Nearing the Peak?
Fracking: We Know What We’re Against. What Are We FOR?
by Maura Stephens
As antifracktivists, we are often accused of being against fracking but not offering any alternatives to “natural” gas. That’s completely wrong. Our NO message is adamant and comprehensive, to be sure: Read more…
by Derek Cabrera
What is the Crisis?
My colleagues and I surveyed the faculty of Cornell University to identify how scientists from different disciplines thought about the most pressing crises facing humanity. Respondents brainstormed 116 diverse crises, sorted, and ranked them in terms of importance and solvability. We applied multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis to their answers to the simple question, “What is the crisis?” Read more…
If you sit by and wait for others to stop the industrialization of New York State, we’ve already lost.
by Maura Stephens
17 August, 2012
A recent thread on a sustainability list-serve ended with the words: “Gratitude to those in direct actions to keep attention on fracking issues.”
I think it’s safe to speak for antifracktivists collectively when I say they don’t want to be thanked. Read more…