Signs of Sustainability

We have a long way to go, but we're making progress. Here are some signs that we are moving towards sustainability.

August 30, 2016

Can Art Shake Us Out of Our Climate Denial?

Tompkins Weekly        8-29-16

By Gay Nicholson

In the Finger Lakes, it’s been a summer of extreme drought and repeated heat waves. Elsewhere, fires and floods have displaced tens of thousands. No wonder people feel nervous about what will happen next. But it’s also pretty easy to feel overwhelmed by the complex global nature of climate change, and end up in a kind of daily amnesia in terms of doing anything to address the problem.

Worried scientists and activists have been working for years to break through this very human response – trying to find entry into our inner workings to shift the pattern. At the same time there is a growing conversation among artists, sensitive to the many interlocking problems that confront humanity, that this is not a time for object making for galleries and museums. Instead this is a time for being socially engaged, to use art as a means for culture shifting and problem solving – taking advantage of the way art creates shortcuts into our inner consciousness and rearranges the furniture in there.

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August 22, 2016

Natural Gas Pipelines Versus Renewable Energy

Tompkins Weekly    8-22-16

By Marie McRae

In Tompkins County, the legislature has adopted goals for reduced energy use and carbon pollution reduction that involve a “transition away from natural gas”. Achieving the goals rests on a cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent (from 2008 levels) by 2050.

In our region, as well as in many other areas of the country, new infrastructure designed to carry methane (a.k.a. “natural” gas) is one of the most insidious forms of resistance to that transition. For example, one relatively small pipeline proposed for Dryden has the potential to increase carbon emissions in the county by a volume equal to 30 percent of current levels.

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August 15, 2016

Ithaca Establishes First 2030 District in New York

Tompkins Weekly       8-15-16

By Peter Bardaglio

Earlier this summer, 17 local building owners, community partners, and professional stakeholders came together to launch the Ithaca 2030 District. In doing so, Ithaca joined the ranks of 12 other forward-thinking cities in the United States and Canada that are working toward the goal of cleaner and greener commercial buildings.

2030 Districts, initiated by the non-profit research organization Architecture 2030, are unique private and public partnerships bringing together property owners and managers to meet the energy and resource reduction targets of the 2030 Challenge for Planning. Through collaboration, leveraged financing, and shared resources, they benchmark, develop and implement creative strategies, and establish best practices and verification methods for measuring progress towards a common goal.
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