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.

January 8, 2018

Test for Radon

Tompkins Weekly     1-8-18

By Guillermo Metz

Many people resolve to do something healthy with the start of each new year. Exercise, eat healthier, do yoga. We all know how long those resolutions actually last, but there’s one resolution that’s not only cheap and easy to keep, but may save your life: test your home (and business) for radon.

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer, killing more than 21,000 people in the U.S. each year—about 1,000 in New York alone. And dangerously high levels are common in the Finger Lakes area. It’s a naturally occurring, invisible and odorless gas, yet it’s easy to test your home for radon, and relatively easy to do something about it if high levels are found.

Read more…

December 26, 2017

An Informed Community Can Make A Difference

Tompkins Weekly     12-26-17

By Jean E. Rightmire

For thousands of years, the human race has moved forward on one strong tenet – fact-based information.

Through figuring out how to make fire, outsmart an enemy, migrate to new land, grow and store food, build shelter, or harness energy, we have survived and thrived as a species simply due to the fact we can learn and we have passed that knowledge down to future generations. Thankfully, our societies across the world have learned from factual information, past mistakes or misinformation to not wipe the human race off the Earth.

At 21st Century Facts, our mission is: “To deliver accurate information about issues important to people, democracy, and the environment.” This new, non-partisan nonprofit, located currently in Ithaca, is committed to working across communities in New York state to bring accurate, fully vetted and critically important information to the public on issues concerning healthcare, education, democracy, the environment and more. We use a broad range of media outlets and formats, as well as other outreach strategies to inform residents about key vital issues — so they can make informed decisions about their community’s future. One long-term goal at 21st Century Facts is to increase community engagement to bring that information to action.

Read more…

December 12, 2017

Climate Despair, Climate Hope, Climate Courage

Tompkins Weekly      12-11-17

By Wendy Skinner

At the behest of a friend, I recently hosted a group at my home to talk about “climate change despair.” Many of those present expressed feelings of depression and defeatism. One person broke down and cried as she talked about her deep love for the earth and her sense of loss.

A debilitating kind of despair is reported by those who work in fields that research and see first-hand the devastation caused by climate change, and if I list even some of that here, I will probably start to cry as well. Humankind is facing the biggest, most complex problem of our lives and the lives of generations to come. Even the most well-off and sheltered individuals have one foot in the climate change apocalypse, whether they acknowledge it or not. Others around the world are fully engulfed in apocalyptic ruin.

Read more…