Even as we might be tempted to relax and enjoy this mild December weather, New Yorkers understand we have to invigorate a collective response to the multiple threats that climate change poses to our security and our economy.

Under the leadership of Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, Sustainable Tompkins is working with a coalition of Cortland and Tompkins County nonprofits, colleges, businesses, and local governments to support ongoing planning and action to make our region more climate friendly and climate resilient.  The Lifton climate coalition has been meeting to plan a major regional conference focused on how our local governments, institutions, and businesses can both lower fossil carbon emissions and prepare for multiple impacts of a turbulent climate regime.  The ‘Climate Smart & Climate Ready’ conference will take place April 19-21, 2013.

We invite you to join us in this regional conversation at the Ithaca premiere of ‘Chasing Ice’ at Cinemapolis on Friday, December 21 at 6:45 pm.  This award-winning documentary by James Balog was created from years of time-lapse filming under the extreme conditions of the planet’s polar regions.

Originally a climate skeptic, Balog encountered the undeniable evidence of global warming on his first visit to Iceland in 2005.  What he saw made him realize the scope of the greatest risk that humanity has ever taken, and he decided to launch the Extreme Ice Survey and capture multiple years of arctic climate change on film.  The result is Chasing Ice with its hauntingly beautiful images of a planet forced into rapid change and tumult by humanity’s dependence on fossil carbon to power its economy. 

The film will run at Cinemapolis for two weeks, but Sustainable Tompkins and partners will be hosting the opening show on December 21.  Gay Nicholson will introduce Assemblywoman Lifton before the initial screening.  Lifton will speak briefly about the challenges of climate mitigation and adaptation and how she is working with her constituents to prepare residents of Cortland and Tompkins Counties for the climate work ahead.

A sign-up list for those interested in helping with the Climate Smart & Climate Ready conference will be available in the lobby (or email Gay@sustainabletompkins.org to get on the list).  Attendees can also sign up for the Finger Lakes Energy Challenge to document their efforts to reduce fossil emissions, and access the Finger Lakes Climate Fund to offset emissions from their holiday travel.