The Sustainable Tompkins Community Blog

Sustainable Tompkins is pleased to announce the launching of our Sustainability Blog. A blog is a combination of the words web and log: therefore a web log. Our blog is open to all who wish to post and/or discuss issues broadly related to sustainability. You can find our blog at the bottom of the ST homepage at The blog can also be reached from the main page or through the menu bar under the programs button.
Here in FAQ format is the basic information about the ST Blog:

Why have a blog?

We have noticed over the past couple of years that many folks use the ST listserve for announcements and also to post thoughts, ideas, criticisms and responses to postings by others. While it is possible to continue doing this on the listserve, on a blog all the postings about a particular topic can be kept together and you can automatically see the development of the discussion. It will be easier to find things and possibly the discussions will be more focused. If you respond to a blog entry then someone responds to you, all the materials are together in one place and you can see the development of an argument. For some teachers this might be useful as a means of showing students how discussions and debates unfold.

What can I do on a blog?

You can do any to all of the following:

1. You can comment in response to blog postings or comments
2. You can comment back and forth as much as you want with other commentators
3. You can post an original blog for others to comment on and can also comment on their comments

What will a typical ST blog look like?

We recommend a posting of about 600 words but you can post a blog as short or as long as you want. Our recommended length is based on our observations that people in the blogosphere seem to generally read pieces of about that length.

What kinds of materials are suitable for a blog?

Anything you want to discuss or get reactions to that seems relevant to sustainability. Right now three sample blogs are posted: A Safe Operating Space for Humanity is a summary and has comments about a 2009 article in Nature where scientists tried to quantify the degree of threat to the earth’s life support system.

A second current posting is ST President Gay Nicholson’s comments at the April 6 Energy Fair and Pledge-In for the Finger Lakes Energy Challenge. Reports on interesting or thought-provoking talks or videos could be appropriate.

At the top of the blog list is a blog called “GreenNotes” with some surprising (or not?) facts from Lester Brown’s new book World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse.

Some of the recent postings on the listserve about fair housing, land preservation, Ithaca demographics would have made an interesting blog sequence.

Book reviews or book notes might generate interest among the blog audience.

Can I put links, graphics, photos, videos or other similar materials into my blog or into my responses?

Yes, but in some cases we might have to use links for readers to click on in place of direct insertions, depending on the size of your non-text materials.

How do I comment on a blog?

The first time you want to respond to a blog, you must register on the ST site. By having bloggers register we can help to filter out automated responses, advertisements, etc. that will interfere with the blog and cause a lot of mechanical administrative time. Registration is free.

Once you have registered, you can comment on any blogs as often as you want – you only have to register once.

How do I register? What is the procedure?

To register, visit and create a username and password. Once registered, login with this new account (login link in right sidebar), and you will be ready to participate in the discussion

Note: if you have taken the Finger Lakes Energy Challenge, you may already have an account

Note also: the first time you try to respond to a blog, you will be asked to login or register. Just follow the onscreen directions.

There is a “Login with Facebook” button right on the main login screen. The first time you click on it, you will have to enter your Facebook account and it will ask you for permission to connect to ST via Facebook. Subsequent times it will automatically log you in upon clicking if you are logged into Facebook in the browser. (Many people stay logged into Facebook routinely.) Once connected through Facebook, you will be able to comment.  Regular login/registration is still available.
How do I post a blog for others to respond to?

Send your proposed original blog to Dick Franke at
Plain text, or attachment in Word, rtf or htm formats are OK

Is there separate registration for posting a blog and for responding to a blog?

No, just register once and you can post or comment at will.

Are there any rules for style or content that I should be aware of?

We recommend the following suggestions for keeping blog discussions positive and respectful:
What about people who are not on the ST listserve?

Anyone who registers on the blog page once can contribute to the blog even if they are not on the ST listserve.

How will people know I have posted a blog?

You can send out an announcement on the ST listserve; or, we can do it. You can also send it out with a link to anyone else or any other lists you want to.

How often will blogs appear?

We are thinking to post a new blog about once a week, but if something is particularly timely, we might bend that rule.

What if I want to just continue posting my ideas on the listserve and ignore the blog?

Go ahead. The blog is intended for those who find it convenient, but the listserve will continue to function as is for announcements or other uses.

Whom do I contact for more information about the ST blog?

The blog facilitator at present is Dick Franke: